BANS Part 4 – Tweaking Your eBay Affiliate Store

In part 4 of the Build A Niche Store series we’re going to look at making your eBay affiliate store appear different than just an out of the box version of a BANS store. Some people have expressed concern that BANS stores will saturate the market, look like duplicate content to Google and at some point not be a viable income producer any longer. And I have to say I agree with that thinking 100%, if you build a crappy store, but we aren’t going to do that.

Yes, that will happen to those that put up stores and try to spam the search engines with nothing but pages full of auctions, but it won’t happen to you if you build a quality store. So in the next couple of days I’ll be explaining how to do that and some of the options in BANS you can tweak to keep that from happening. Unfortunately I see lots of BANS stores that haven’t had that much effort put into them, but this isn’t a reflection on the tool, it is a reflection on the user. People spam search engines with useless content by using WordPress and some will do the same using BANS, but if you don’t, then you won’t have anything to worry about.

Basic Tweaks To Your BANS Store

One of the most basic things you can do to give your store a unique look is to change the color of the background, nav bar headers, nav bar text, search bar background and create a simple logo. With just those basic tweaks and about 30 minutes worth of work on a logo, I’ve transformed my air purifier store from this:

Air Purifier Store Before Changes

To this:

Air Purifier Store After Changes

In all, those changes only took about 45 minutes. These modifications can all be done in the styles.css file in the template you are using. There are presently 9 different templates (more on the way) you can pick in the BANS interface and I like to be sure about which one I’m using before I make these changes, because once you change templates you have to make all these changes again.

BANS TutorialsMaking these changes are extremely easy because there are nearly 50 tutorials accessible within your control panel explaining every aspect of modifying the look of your store. You can literally change everything you see in your store and customize it to look the way you want. All text, borders, backgrounds, links, boxes, headers and more can be changed. I don’t recommend tweaking everything, because it’s way too much work, but a few minor changes can make a lot of difference in the way your store looks.

There are also many tutorials on keyword research, niche research and adding income streams to your store. There’s even a tutorial on how to create permanent search results pages and link them in your nav bar as well. In about 2 minutes you can create a page and have it linked in your nav bar for any search term in any category of your store.

Uploading Your Logo

The header or “logo” as it is called, is an important part of your store so if you don’t have a graphics skills or some kind of a graphics program, it’s best to have one done for you. There are only 2 sizes of logo to make for a standard BANS template. The 2 column template logo is 780 x 180 pixels and the 3 column template is 968 x 180 pixels. They have to be this size unless you modify the height, and there’s also a tutorial explaining how to do that.

One you have a logo for your store, it has to be named logo.jpg, not Logo.jpg, logo.jpeg or banslogo.jpg. Anything other than logo.jpg won’t do and your logo won’t display. Because I have so many BANS stores I have a separate folder on my computer for each one. If I didn’t, it would be hard to tell exactly which logo.jpg went with which store if I ever wanted to modify one.

After you get the logo and name squared away, all you have to do to upload your logo is to go into the template area of your store interface and select Upload Logo and you will be taken to an interface where you can search for the logo on your computer and then upload it. Once you do that, it will appear at the top of your template and you now have a nice looking BANS store ready to add some content and H1 tags to, which I will cover in the next installment of the BANS tutorial series.

You can get Build A Niche Store here if you are interested.

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14 Responses to “BANS Part 4 – Tweaking Your eBay Affiliate Store”

  1. This is a great review of BANS! The simplicity of updating your header or logo can make a huge difference in converting more sales!

  2. Very informative. something I haven’t thought about but you have definately piqued my interest.

  3. Sharp looking header graphic! Nice job.

    – Mark A.

  4. Thanks Mark!

  5. Are you the one who design that site?

  6. Hey Alan…

    Hope all is well fella, damn good job with the header graphic it looks great!! So how many stores are you running at the moment? And how are they doing…

    All the best


  7. I just installed BANS 3 last night and I love how much easier it is to use. One thing that makes me angry though is that the “sitemap” feature is for navigation alone and isn’t an XML Sitemap at all (like I thought it was when I first read the features). At least now they have some accountability for meta descriptions on pages in the templates – which makes all the difference in the world.

  8. John,

    http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml is where your xml sitemap resides.

  9. well, well – that’s a refreshing relief! Looks like I’ll have something to post about later tonight! I need to look more at how they’re built – I just checked mine out and it didn’t seem like it contained much of anything (yet). I also want to see if there’s a way to include (non-BANS) pages into it from the same domain – like there is in the XML Sitemap plugin for WordPress.

    thanks for the heads up Alan!

  10. great write up, very informative. It doesn’t make sense why BANS puts content pages above the store pages in the nav though. Can you think of a good reason for it to be that way?

  11. Alan,

    Thanks for the article; I ‘get’ most of this, except I’m having a heck of a time trying to create my own correctly sized logo from a photo. Every time I try to crop the photo to 968 x 180 pixels, the image editing program I’m using (eg. irfanview) doesn’t let me. It adjusts the height if I set the width and vice versa. I’ve tried two freewares and two photo editing programs. I’m sure I’m missing something easy.

    Please help!

  12. great tutorials so far! Thanks for taking the time to do them for us.

  13. Your tutorials have been extremely helpful to me in setting up my own site….Thanx

  14. This is great layout! Good Work

    For the search feature, bans does not provides the search query results on admin panel, while its very important to track what people are searching for! or missed somewhere

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