Build A Niche Store Site Down Temporarily

If you have been trying to visit the Build A Niche Store web site from Affiliate Confession today, you have probably seen a notice that reads “This Account Has Been Suspended”. While the main BANS  account isn’t suspended, it was hacked some time yesterday and there has been a problem getting things back online.

BANS store owners may have also noticed the account suspended notice within their admin panels. This is only because a feed comes from the main BANS site with updated news and information. All Build A Niche Store sites and admin panels continue to work fine, so if you are a BANS user, just ignore the message in your interface and continue to work on your sites.

I was working on the sixth post in my Build A Niche Store series and trying to get it published today, but it looks like I will be holding off until Monday for that post. I don’t want to send people to a web site that isn’t working at the present time.

I was first notified about this some time last night when someone emailed me letting me know about the error message. I had a minor freak out for a short time because I thought my account at Clickbank had been suspended or someone had banned me from selling their product. My initial reaction was relieved when I checked a few more sites linking to the forums and main site only to see that they were getting the same message.

If you are interested, you can follow the discussion at Digital Point Forums here.

As I’m getting ready to hit the publish button there are a couple of pages back up at the main BANS site explaining what happened and apologizing for the problem. At this time there are only a couple of pages accessible because of issues with their hosting provider. It is amazing what hackers will do just to get their jollies.

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Build A Niche Store Review

Build A Niche Store Logo

Build A Niche Store is a tool I use to help maximize the potential of the eBay affiliate program. So yes this is a review that contains my affiliate link, but at least it’s one where the writer (me) actually uses the product. I don’t want to go off on a rabbit trail here, but the way many of the Clickbank guru’s make money online is by doing reviews for Clickbank products they don’t own. I own Build A Niche Store (BANS), have built 7 or 8 sites with it and it’s my biggest single money maker outside of Google Adsense.

I’ve said it several times before what a great opportunity the eBay affiliate program is and I had been reaping the benefits of it since before I even knew about BANS. When I came across BANS I had already been using a script named CaRP which is an RSS to HTML converter. CaRP allows you to take advantage of eBays RSS feeds which are found at the bottom of every search you do on the site. However, when using a script such as CaRP you must hand build every page. BANS however, allows you to build a complete website in about 15 to 20 minutes.

You must already have a hosting account (I use 1and1.com, you must have UNIX hosting), a domain name and be a member of the eBay affiliate program and once you have your copy of BANS, installation is very simple. All you have to do is upload the BANS files to your domain via ftp and follow the instructions, choose your eBay category, plug-in your PID from Commission Junction for your new domain, click Set Up and you have a new website with a few or more than 1,000 pages depending on the categories and niches you pick.

BANS is fully customizable and comes with 9 templates that you can tweak via CSS or if you are savvy enough you can design your own template and just put the necessary tags in the correct places. You can adjust everything in your BANS store to suit your liking and style. You can change the number of auctions that show on the pages of your BANS store, you can add customized search pages for very specific items, you can change the layout of how the auctions are displayed, you get to upload your own logo and tweak many more parameters so you have your custom store. It really is so simple a low IQ caveman could do it.

Every page on your site gets necessary header info such as titles and meta tags via eBay so you will want to add your own titles and change the meta info, but this info will at least have you started and some of your pages will get indexed in Google very quickly. I have additionally added H1 tags and a paragraph or two of text to each individual page of my sites to give them their own unique spin. You should also add a few to several articles related to the niche you’ve chosen to give your readers info about your topics and so the search engines see that there’s something to your site.

Can You Make Money With BANS?

Well, that all depends on how much you are willing to work to promote your site and the niche you are in. Here is a screen shot from CJ on my best performing BANS website last month:

BANS CJ Earnings

The example above is for a store that is only two months old as of the date of this posting. I’m not revealing the url of this store but here is my BANS travel auctions site and a toys and hobbies site I added to an already existing gifts site.

As you can see, at least for me, the answer is yes you can make money with Build A Niche Store. BANS is one of the first products that has really live up to it’s billing. I’ve found BANS to be very search engine friendly and have seen several pages on new sites get indexed in Google in only about 6 to 7 days.

After spending 2 months building a eBay computer affiliate store with the CaRP script, Build A Niche Store is like an answer to prayer. In the time it took me to build my computer store, I had 5 BANS stores built and had paid for the initial $97 cost of the software many times over. If you can’t make money with BANS and the eBay affiliate program, you might not want to quit your day job.

If you want more info on Build A Niche Store you can check it out here.

However, if you can wait, you just might win a free copy of BANS that I’m giving away in a contest starting tomorrow.


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Why Blogs About Blogging & Making Money Make Money

When I told a friend of mine that I had finally started this blog after reading John Chow’s October income report he first congratulated me and then made this statement via email, “I keep having trouble wrapping my head around the idea of guys like him who make tons of money off a blog whose only purpose is to tell others how to do it.”

I’m going to attempt to explain why this happens.

First of all, if you’ve ever been over to ClickBank you know the number one selling type of ebook has to do with making money online or how to get into Google’s supposed super secret back door or whatever so you can, what else, make more money online. Then there are the groups or more like cliques of Internet gurus who’s individual members come out with an ebook every week it seems like, telling you how to, you guessed it, make money online. The way they make money is by promoting each other’s books.

And I’m sure in your online trekking you’ve come across those 10,000 foot long web pages that attempt to tell you how everybody else is doing it all wrong and you absolutely must listen to them about how to…make money online.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

The trouble with these supposed secrets is that they cost a bunch of money and while some are good, some are really bad and very costly. They are filled with stuff that you could probably get from reading forums and the top bloggers on the net. So here’s your answer:

When someone Like John Chow or Jeremy Shoemaker shows up on the scene and tells you how they make a killing on the net and they give that information away for free, people are naturally going to gobble it up. Even when they tell you their failures as in Shoemoney’s 10 Worst Ideas To Make Money it’s worth listening to because it just shows they are not really superstars, they’re just trying to make a buck like the rest of us.

Secondly, there are tons of blogs that tell you how to make money, but they are nothing but affiliate spammers that haven’t made a dime themselves. All they do is refer you out of their blogs or sites to those expensive ebooks found on ClickBank. Jeremy, John, Darren Rowse, Yaro Starak, all of these guys have made money outside of their primary blogs and they write a lot about how they have done that.

I recently read an ebook found on ClickBank that was going to tell you how to make thousands from blogging. It turned out to be nothing more than a formula to set up a huge spam blog network and make money from scraped content by putting Adsense on all your spammy sites. No thanks, not interested. I’d rather learn how to make a living from someone who’s actually done it in a legit way that’s going to last longer than the next Google update.

I don’t know about you, but I want an honest representation of what people really do to make money on the web instead of getting a bunch of hype about how the next ebook someone comes out with will contain even bigger secrets.

The next time you ponder how someone like Shoemoney or John Chow are making a killing from their blogs just think of them as constantly updated free ebooks. Those spammy affiliate blogs telling you how to make money, guess what? They don’t make money!

If you must read an ebook to learn how to make money on the net, go read John Chow’s ebook on how he did it. Scroll down to the bottom of the post and you’ll find a direct link to his ebook. Oh, by the way, it’s free.

Shoemoney is also coming out with an ebook that is scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2008. I’m sure he will be charging for it, but there are definitely some things worth paying for so I will be reading it when it comes out.


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Cyber Monday Began On Sunday

My promise to post earnings for Cyber Monday probably won’t happen until tomorrow because there seems to be quite a delay with CJ updating their stats. I still don’t see any earnings posted for Monday at the time of this post, but I do have earnings posted for Sunday and they are fairly good.

Sunday’s earnings were right at $100 in Commission Junction, $35 in Adsense revenue, $13.75 at Azoogle Ads and we sold a Vegan Meal Planner from our Healthy Diet website for $17.97. So that brings the grand total for Sunday to $166. I can say that I had a pretty good Adsense day at $54 on Monday, but that’s all there are updated earnings for.

Cyber Monday Adsense earnings:

Google Adsense Earnings

The reason Cyber Monday started on Sunday is because Sunday is always one of the best shopping days online. Being that the Thanksgiving Holiday was winding down and you put your dear Aunt Mildred on a plane back to Kentucky and won’t have deal with that for another year, it was time to go shopping online.

You may not know this, but for you eBay sellers, the best day to end your eBay auctions is on Sunday evening between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm Eastern time. The worst days to end your auctions is on a Thursday or a Saturday evening. I can attest to this in the way I see my Adsense income go up and down during the week. Sunday, Monday & Tuesday are definitely the best earnings days with Google and Wednesday & Thursday are my lowest earnings days.

Hopefully by tomorrow morning I will get a report for Monday’s earnings from CJ and I’ll report that here.


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How I Make Money Online

Three months ago was a big milestone for me as I passed the $2,000 per month mark for online earnings. No, that’s not huge by any stretch of the imagination, but it is certainly a level at which many people could begin to work at home which is a big time goal for most online affiliate marketers.

My next goal is to be able to maintain a consistent $100 per day in earnings. There have been several days where earnings have be significantly over $100, but that unfortunately hasn’t been the average. I think my best day’s earnings so far was around $300. Then there are days where earnings are only $40 or so. That’s just the way it goes when you’re making a living online.

Anyway, I thought I’d spell out a little bit of what I do just so you can get a feel for what it takes to make $2,000 per month online.

I belong to several affiliate programs and I’m an affiliate for probably 50 to 60 merchants, very few of which make money for me. My two top earners are Google Adsense and the eBay affiliate program through which I use a site building program called Build A Niche Store. BANS for short, allows you to build web sites and put eBay auctions right on your site automatically. 

Another affiliate program I use to make a little money is Clickbank.com which I’ve had minor success with. I signed up in July and made a little over $900 so far. Most of the stuff sold through Clickbank is pure garbage and nothing more than junk ebooks making supposed internet guru’s rich. However, some legit merchants use Clickbank for great products like Build A Niche Store. BANS is in a completely different league than 99% of the stuff sold through Clickbank.

I have a travel related site that earns the most for me through Adsense, probably around $400 to $500 per month. Travel seems to me to be one of the niches that has the highest earning potential of just about anything. When people shop for travel, they will click on just about anything to find the best deal or the nicest place to stay and they will go to several pages of your site clicking away to continue to find what they’re looking for. Yes, travel is very profitable and if you don’t have a travel related site of some kind, you are missing out.

The next best niche is probably computers. People buy computers and computer related accessories at an astonishing rate online and people particularly like to buy on eBay. That’s why I like the eBay affiliate program so much. Everybody loves to buy stuff on eBay, so if you haven’t figured it out, my number one affiliate tip is to do whatever you can to send traffic to eBay. I like eBay much better than Adsense. It’s a lot less hassle with the way Google changes the rules all the time and has the potential to earn you much more than Adsense.

Other niches I have websites and blogs in are nutrition and healthy eating, coin collecting, raw food, cell phones, home decor, air purifiers and home based businesses.

So how do I get traffic to my sites? Isn’t that the number one question any affiliate marketer wants to know? The best kind of traffic will always be free search engine traffic. When people find your site in a natural search without clicking on an ad, or banner, or go to it from a social networking site they are the most primed for buying or clicking on ads or considering whatever offer you have presented to them.

Getting natural search traffic is best achieved in no other way than hard work and great content. Giving people the information they’re looking for is the hands down best way to get them to your site.  The best way to get your site noticed quickly, especially a new site, is to write at least one article and submit it to these 3 article sites:


In the author’s box at the bottom of your article you can put in 2 or 3 links back to your site. I have had brand new sites and blogs get indexed in Google and start getting traffic in 3 days by doing this properly. You must use a relevant keyword phrase in your anchor text to get full SEO benefit from this technique.

The next best way to get traffic is through Craigslist. I get a few hundred visitors a day to my sites through posting up to 16 ads a day on Craigslist. I could go into lots of detail about how to do this and how to avoid their spam filters, but I will save it for my upcoming ebook. I will give you one warning though. If you are a member of Commission Junction, do not use Craigslist for traffic!This could cause you to get banned by CJ or have your commissions reversed.

I’ve started using USFreeads.com to drive some traffic and although some have reported getting good results, I have yet to see much of a benefit. But I’ve also heard it takes a month or so to get established on the site with your ads. I signed up for a premium membership at a cost of $10 per month. I’ll use the site for a couple of months and report on the results.

There are many more things you can do to get traffic and many more affiliate programs I use that I’ve have limited to fairly decent success with which I will cover in more detail later.

Most of my day is spent writing blog posts, posting classified ads or updating or adding web pages to already existing sites. The secret is to focus, which I am terrible at, on the affiliate programs that make you money and trash the rest of them. I get 5 to 10 emails a day asking me to join some affiliate program that usually doesn’t interest me in the least.

My two biggest online money making tips are send as much traffic as you can to eBay and build a travel related site and put Adsense on it. You can easily make at least $1,000 per month with a good eBay niche and a travel site with a combined total of around 300 to 400 pages of quality content.


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