28
Aug

Make Money With StoreStacker Affiliate Store Builder

 Visit StoreStacker.com

For the last few weeks I’ve been toying around with a new store building script called StoreStacker that I believe has potential even though I had quite the adventure installing it. Yes, StoreStacker has potential, but if you don’t have the right hosting that includes Zend Optimizer and the ability to easily run cron jobs, this could be one seriously frustrating install for you.

StoreStacker is a script that you upload and install on your server that grabs products and feeds from eBay, Amazon, YouTube, Clickbank, Overstock, RegNow, HotelClub and any RSS feed that mashes everything up into a nice little store that could have anywhere from 50 pages to 1,000’s of pages. With the exception of  products featured on your home page, StoreStacker creates an individual page for every single item in your store. For instance, I created this digital camera deals web site with products from eBay and Amazon, photography videos from YouTube and photography books from Clickbank and Amazon, with every product having its own page.

As you go to each product or video page, StoreStacker grabs the product description, tags and other pertinent info along with automatically mashing up different products, books and videos related to the content on the page, giving you unique content for search engines to index. I installed the digital camera site as a test only 3 weeks ago or so and as of this post I have 11 pages indexed by Google so far.

While StoreStacker does create a lot of content for you, I would never suggest you just throw up one of these stores and not add any of your own original content. There’s just too much garbage on the net today and we certainly don’t need to add to the cyber-landfill that spammers and spolgs have created. StoreStacker allows you to add content to any page just by navigating to each one and adding your own product description or whatever you want and I suggest you do this to as many pages as you can (my store still needs a lot of work).

Since your store will change over time because of updating you will do through a cron job, you probably aren’t going to want to add content to your individual eBay pages. They will obviously change once your store updates. What you can do is add content to your home page, each individual category page and to pages that will be permanent such as product pages from Clickbank, videos from YouTube and some Amazon pages.

Now for hosting StoreStacker. I have to be totally honest with you because that’s why I call this blog Affiliate Confession. Installing this script was a huge pain, no joke. It’s probably more the fault of my hosting company 1and1.com rather than StoreStacker, but it took me 3 days to get this thing working correctly and I was almost to the point of dropping the entire project. However, I see the potential of something like this to make some decent cash and I decided to stick with it.

I think the problem is that 1and1 doesn’t have Zend Optimizer installed and doesn’t use cPanel as as the default interface once you log into your hosting account. Most hosts either have Zend Optimizer installed or will do it for you because it is not something most companies want you to try on your own. After trying to install Zend with no luck on my own and a few emails to tech support pleading with them, they finally installed it for me and I was able to complete the installation of StoreStacker.

Another obstacle I ran into was the ability to run cron jobs at 1and1. Amongst many other things, cPanel allows you to easily set up cron jobs which will automatically update your StoreStacker Store with new products as eBay, Amazon, Overstock and other sites update their products (of course it is especially important for you to be able to update eBay at least once a day). Since 1and1 doesn’t have cPanel, it is a little more complicated process to run cron jobs there. You can still update your store without running a cron job by going into your store interface and updating each category page by hand.

I think StoreStacker can be a nice product for building a quick affiliate store or 2 or 3 (actually you can build as many stores as you want for the price of admission), but you definitely don’t want to host with 1and1 if you decide to use it. If you do get StoreStacker, make darn sure you write to tech support at your hosting company and ask them if Zend Optimizer is installed (or if they will do it for you, for each store) and ask if they use cPanel or have a way to easily set up cron jobs.

Pricing for StoreStacker is $97 for the script and includes the Amazon and eBay plugins. Additional plugins for Clickbank, Overstock, YouTube and others are $25 each. However if you are one of the first few customers some of the plugins will be free, but I’m not sure how many.

Check out StoreStacker and see if it’s for you.

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27
Aug

20 Question Interview On TheAtHomeCouple.com

The nice thing about blogging is that you meet some really great people from them leaving comments on your blog and by you leaving comments on other blogs throughout the net. A frequent reader and commentator at Affiliate Confession has been Elijah from TheAtHomeCouple.com. Elijah and Veronica write about their journey into the realm of internet marketing to document the struggles and victories and also give advice on what’s working for them. Their blog is a refreshing change from much of the usual mess that clogs up the blogosphere.

Elijah recently asked if I’d be willing to to a 20 question interview for his blog, I gladly accepted and he published the interview today. The questions deal with all the important things in affiliate marketing like my shoe size and who my favorite superhero is and he also managed to slip in a few that deal with boring stuff like making money online. I had a great time answering the questions and tried to be as informative and witty as possible.

So instead of me writing a long-winded post today, just head over to The At Home Couple and read the interview. And don’t forget to leave a comment, cause that’s how this blogging thing works.

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26
Aug

Tip For Creative Use Of Spam Email

Nancy Pelosi helping affiliate marketingIf you are like me you probably get tons of spam emails every day. I usually get between 300 and 400 every single day of the week even though I’ve set up several rules in Outlook Express to deal with all of it. I’ve eliminated about 30% of my spam lately with the rules, but lots of it still comes in.

Sometimes I read the subject lines just for a laugh and then delete the long list of emails. But it seems as of late, the subjects have been getting more and more creative with lines on the order of cataclysmic world events, Bill Clinton engaging more deeply in his sordid lifestyle and then the most creative one I’ve seen ever:

Release Of The Nancy Pelosi Sex Dvd Causes Mass Erectile Dysfunction

Great Spam FolderI almost fell out of my chair the first time I read that line. And that’s when it hit me, I ought to be saving some of these great headlines to get ideas for Facebook and Google ads. So I created a folder in Outlook and as I scan the spam every morning, if a headline sticks out then it goes into the Great Spam Headlines folder for future consideration.

I probably won’t be trying to sell any Nancy Pelosi DVD’s on Facebook anytime soon, but you never know how a subject line may inspire you for a killer line of your own. Besides, what do you think the chances are of getting Ms Pelosi’s mug approved to run on Facebook?

I would like to thank Nancy for helping out at least one affiliate marketer come up with a creative idea. And you thought your tax dollars were wasted.

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25
Aug

Tropical Storm Fay Has Finally Gone Away

Last week was supposed to be a week long celebration and vacation for my wife’s birthday, but instead turned out to be more like a long bout of cabin fever thanks to tropical storm Fay. The home of Affiliate Confession was right in the eye of the storm as we are located in Palm Bay, Florida. And as you can see from the rain totals map, we were in the dark green zone for receiving between 15 and 30 inches of rain. I think we got about 20 inches of rain where we are for a 3 day total.

Fay Rainfall

Thankfully, we we’re high and dry through the storm, but as you can see from the pics below some people lost their cars and had their entire neighborhoods blocked off from the rising water.

Flooded Cars

Flooded Road

A friend of ours standing beside his mailbox. His home was okay, but others in his development did get some water inside.

Flooded neighborhood

The town of Cocoa, which is about 30 minutes north of us, had some neighborhoods that were flooded and water got into homes and in areas north of Orlando several homes had to be evacuated because of the flooding St John’s river.

This is pretty unusual for Florida because we just don’t get floods here like you see around the Mississippi with actual rivers overflowing their banks. I’ve been through so many hurricanes and tropical storms I can’t count them, some with winds 100-120 mph, but this one kicked our tail even though it never reached hurricane strength. Fay was way different than most storms like this because it just wouldn’t go away. Once it reached Brevard county it hung out here for 3 days and poured rain for 72 hours solid.

Even in bad hurricanes most of the time we get strong winds and pouring rain for 12 hours or so with medium rain for another 12 hours. These storms usually move fairly fast and the worst passes in a few hours. Fay gave us torrential rain for 3 days with medium to heavy rain for 12 hours while it approached and 12 more hours of rain when it passed and moved up the coast and across northern Florida.

Durning the storm since we were couped up in the house I worked on some PPC and Facebook ads and it was pretty nice just to be able to concentrate on that and nothing else. There sure is something to be able to focus on just one thing for a few days. We’ll see how the results turn out.

After the storm we got to enjoy some of our vacation and went over to Orlando and Winter Park for a couple of days and have another week long vacation planned for Grayton Beach in the Florida panhandle in mid September. Even though Jean and I didn’t get to vacation like we had planned, we’re very thankful that there wasn’t any damage to our home as some people are having to deal with now. We were only slightly inconvenienced, others lost their homes and vehicles.

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19
Aug

Build A Niche Store Changes

Build A Niche StoreBuild A Niche Store users received an email a few days ago outlining some major changes to the main BANS website and forums implemented recently. The design of the BANS site has changed completely to better reflect a more professional look and feel to come into line with where the developers want to take the product.

The forums have also been changed with better organization of topics, updated rules, no signatures at the bottom of posts any longer, no affiliate links allowed and unfortunately, no discussion of products that compete with BANS. Also, name calling and derogatory comments in the forums won’t be tolerated. It’s too bad that it happens, but many forums I’ve belonged to have deteriorated into a free-for-all and the developers of Build A Niche Store aren’t going to let that happen.

Here’s a selected snippet from the email that pretty much sets the tone of how the developers feel:

Like we said – BANS is in many ways at its beginning. Whether it evolves into what it can be rests with the collective user base as much as it does with us.

We will take BANS as far as it can be taken IF it remains a supported product amongst its users.

If that dies or doesn’t evolve BANS as a project and platform is over. It either becomes what it can be or it sinks into oblivion.

With a project like BANS there is no middle ground.

From the tone of the email to the changes to the web site and forums it appears that BANS is being targeted to a more serious affiliate audience than it has been in the past. While BANS is a great product and the earnings potential is very high (people have reported in the forums making over $10K per month), it is not a product for everyone. Frankly, there are lots of BANS websites I run across that shouldn’t even be taking up bandwidth on the net. For whatever reason, the concept of content just doesn’t see to sink in with some people. Throwing up an eBay affiliate store shell with nothing but auctions will earn you exactly nothing.

It’s possible that the way the product has been advertised in the past by affiliates and the way it has been represented on the main site that too many of the wrong kind of people have been attracted to BANS. Any product that assists affiliates and makes it easier to make money online can certainly fall into the hands of the get rich quick types of people who are looking for more reward with little to no work.

On a more positive and exciting note, there are now 12 new BANS templates with 3 layouts each, for download in the forums. While several people have developed some nice templates for a nominal fee, these new templates are available for free when you become a member of BANS. They actually look pretty nice compared to the stale looking ones that have been around for years and will give users many more options. 

It is great to see the changes on the main Build A Niche Store website, in the forums and the new templates. Again, BANS is not a product for every one, but if you’re willing to put the effort into it and build a decent eBay affiliate niche store, you can earn some pretty good income with it. My BANS websites earn me around 25% of my income.

You can check out the new web site and learn more about Build A Niche Store here.

PS – This will be the last post for several days as I’ll be on vacation celebrating my wife’s birthday. I’ll try to approve new comments and check my email once a day, but if you don’t hear from me till next week, it’s because we’re chillin’ on vacation. Peace.

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