How Much Content Should Your BANS Store Have?

I haven’t written much lately about Build A Niche Store, but I still do come across those stores that have little or no product descriptions and absolutely zero articles for content. And since I’ve been working quite a bit on my gold coins BANS store I thought I’d discuss how much content you should add to your store and a couple things you can do to get better rankings and more traffic.

Besides product descriptions of at least 2 paragraphs for each and every one of your products pages you should treat your BANS store as an on going project and continue to add pages to it on a fairly regular basis. I changed my philosophy back several months ago as did many BANS users, because of sites getting deindexed, in that the general consensus had been to build as many stores as possible and add content as you could. Now, I wouldn’t recommend working on more that one or two BANS stores at a time until you can add at least 30 or 40 pages of content to each one along with appropriate descriptions for each page that features auctions. You also want to get 30 or 40 articles to start off with placed in article directories for those all important incoming links.

Now, don’t think you’re going to get away with picking up a few articles from an article site and throw them on your store along with nonsensical product descriptions and poof, you’re done with that store. I’ve never been one to advocate the easy way of affiliate marketing and anything other than serious treatment of your content by giving your niche audience the quality information they’re looking for just isn’t worth doing.

Once you have your 30 to 40 pages, the same amount of articles and relevant product descriptions, congratulations, you now have the beginnings of a BANS store. I’ve read on the Build A Niche Store forums that some people have put up 10 or 15 pages of content on their sites and now they can’t think of anything else to add to their site. If you can’t think of more than 10 pages of content to add to your BANS site then either you need to change your niche or, more than likely, you need to expand your thinking.

On my gold coins BANS site I currently have 78 pages of content in several sections such as alternative investments, buying gold coins, the financial bailout, gold bullion, rare gold coins and more. These are all subjects related to gold coins that will eventually draw in the kind of visitor that could possibly be interested in either collecting gold coins or investing in gold coins. It’s not really that hard coming up with stuff to write about related to your niche. Just go to Google News or Google Blog Search and search for the top keywords in your area of interest. You’re bound to find lots of ideas for content and articles for article marketing.

As you continue to build your BANS store, the more relevant, quality content you add, the more your site begins to look like quality site to the search engines and your visitors. As far as some of the other things you can do to get better rankings are remove auctions from your home page and start a blog on your BANS site. I’ve seen my site completely disappear for some top keywords in just a couple of days when turning on home page auctions and then have watched that totally reverse itself in the same amount of days when flipping the switch again. I don’t have a clue why this happens, but Google just doesn’t like to see BANS sites with auctions on the home page, so get rid of them.

Also, blogs normally only take a few days to appear in the search engines and the gold coins blog added to the BANS site, while it only has 8 posts, it is indexed and starting to get traffic. The blog covers some things related to gold coins and other economic news and gives me an outlet to rant about the current state of financial affairs in this country while giving people access to alternative investments in gold if they choose to do so.

Yes, building a quality BANS site is still a lot of work, but having a successful affiliate business is all about work and quality these days. There are certainly smart and easier ways of building your affiliate business and a BANS store, but there aren’t any short cuts to easy money any longer.

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What To Do With Your Outsourced Content

Outsource Your ContentA few weeks ago I wrote about outsourcing your content writing to help you build your affiliate business. So far this year I’ve received 210 articles from SEO Article Writing Pros covering a variety of niches. So, what are you supposed to do with all those articles?

You can do several things with your outsourced content such as article marketing, trading articles with other sites in your niche, submitting your articles to authority sites in your niche and of course, simply adding the content to your own sites. Having massive amounts of content however doesn’t mean that you just put up everything all at once. You’ll want to selectively release your work so as to give the search engines the impression that your sites and incoming linking process are an ongoing work.

Several years ago I outsourced about 80 articles to get incoming links through article marketing and it ended up backfiring because of the process I used. One of my vacation sites and our healthy diet site was deindexed by Google and Yahoo shortly after these efforts and in the case of the vacation site there was probably another reason for the deindexing, which I’ll cover later, that the article marketing efforts identified.

In getting incoming links, you want to to get a natural trickle of links pointing to your site over time, not all at once. You also want to vary the anchor text pointing to pages on your site as well. The mistake I made was posting the same article, sometimes 2 or 3 at a time, that had the same anchor text to 10 or 15 different article directories every day for a month. We never know exactly what Google wants, but apparently they don’t like seeing links coming into your site at the rate of 600 a month if it doesn’t look natural. Had these links come from different sites or blogs at this rate they would have at least had different anchoring text and different content in each post or article.

Now while you may be thinking this is a duplicate content penalty, that’s not what it is. Duplicate content only means posting the same article to your own site that is found somewhere else on the net. My belief is that this is an unnatural linking process that looked to Google as though I was trying to do nothing but get tons of links into my sites. I believe the other reason my vacation site bit the dust (it has since recovered)  was that all the incoming links helped Google see that there were way to many affiliate links on the site. I’ve also since removed over 300 of these links from that site.

So what’s the proper way to do article marketing?

When submitting to article directories, I never submit more than 1 article per day with links pointing to the same site and never use the same article twice. In other words you want to simply use each article one time and let the natural process of other people picking up your articles bring you additional links.

It’s probably not as critical when using your outsourced articles for adding additional pages to your site, but I would recommend a slow process in this area as well. It is believed that Google likes to see fairly consistent changes being done to a site so it stands to reason if you put up 75 to 100 pages on a site in a couple of afternoons Google will notice your site less. For this reason I will add no more than 5 pages a day to any one of my sites, but most of the time its 2 to 3 pages every couple of days. This way if you have 100 articles, your site will be constantly changing over a 3 month or so period.

I just want to offer a little disclaimer here because much of what I’m saying about Google is pure speculation and only what I’ve been experiencing in my own business. We all know Google is a fickle beast to figure out, so you have to keep poking it with a stick until you see life in your niche. However, I can tell you that slow, steady consistent work never hurt anyone.

Use this as an example and find the content outsourcing and article marketing process that works best for you and your business.

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EzineArticles.com – Strict On Linking To BANS Sites

EzineArticles.com has always been one of the more popular directories to submit your articles to for picking up those much needed incoming links. It has been my favorite for some time now, but recently, as of the last article I submitted a few days ago, they have become extremely picky in allowing live links in your author’s box.

I’ve never had a problem with EzineArticles.com after submitting nearly 50 articles over the last 3 years or so, but with the last one the scenario went something like this – I went through the usual process and sent in my article only to have it rejected for “linking to a website that violates our terms of service.” Since I have never had a problem I wrote to support and asked for a better explanation. The answer came back that the website I was linking to, a Build A Niche Store site, was nothing but auctions and I needed at least one page of content before they would consider it a legit site.

Obviously the noobie editor that went to my site didn’t see any of the 10 article pages featuring no auctions at all. I sent him a list of of those 10 urls, and while he thanked me, he still wouldn’t allow me to link to any auction page on the site, even though the specific one I wanted to link to had 3 paragraphs of text and an information widget. I had to link to article pages only! While this is still an good incoming link, it totally defeats the purpose of using anchor text to get a particular page quickly ranked in Google by using EzineArticles.com.

While there are plenty of other article directories to use for the intended purpose of links to very specific pages, EzineArticles.com was definitely the best in my book. I will continue to use them for many of my other niches, but not any longer for BANS related sites. Maybe it was a new editor or maybe they’ve just developed a snooty attitude towards certain types of linking.

EzineArticles.com is still a great place to work your article marketing efforts, just be warned that they’ve apparently adopted a stricter policy towards linking to BANS or eBay auction related sites.

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Build A Niche Store Tutorials Overview – Parts 1-7

Build A Niche Store v3.0 LogoThe 7 part Build A Niche Store tutorial series ended yesterday and showed you how to do nearly everything to set up a BANS eBay affiliate store. The series covered how to brainstorm a niche, how to upload your BANS software, how to set up your store, how to add valuable content, how to get links through article marketing and much more.

As I was thinking about the series of BANS tutorials, I thought that there wasn’t one place you could go to get a summary of all the posts and have a link to each one as well. So, to make things easier, here’s that list below starting from the oldest post first:

Part 1 – What BANS Does And Does Not Do – A prequel post clearing up some misconceptions about BANS and what you are able to accomplish with it through the eBay affiliate program.

Part 2 – Niche Brainstorming And Gettng A Domain Name – All about finding a profitable niche for your BANS store, using keywords and what to look for in a good domain name.

Part 3 – Installing And Setting Up Your BANS Affiliate Store – a basic guide on how to set up your BANS eBay store that covers uploading your files, setting up a MySQL database and building your store. It is a simple process that takes about 15 minutes.

Part 4 – Tweaking Your eBay Affiliate Store– Some guidelines on how to make your store stand out from all the other BANS affiliate stores. A little work in this department can bring your store a long ways.

Part 5 – Adding Some Content To Your eBay Store – Content in the lifeblood of your store and this tutorial shows you how to not only have your store look different, but be different by adding unique content,and headings. Don’t miss this one.

Part 6 – Article Marketing And Getting Links – You can do lots to build your BANS store, but if you don’t have any incoming links, you won’t get any traffic. Read this to learn about one of the most important off page things you can do for your eBay affiliate niche store.

Part 7 – Using USFreeAds.com For Traffic And Getting More Links– This is one classified site I use quite a bit to get a little traffic and more importantly, links. This BANS tutorial shows you how to use USFreeAds to your advantage.

I wrote this series of Build A Niche Store tutorials because it is the number one product I use to make money online through the eBay affiliate program. It is easy to set up, easy to use and can help you earn a pretty good income through one of the best affiliate programs on the net.

I hope you enjoyed the series and please let anyone else you know who is thinking about getting BANS or already has it, about these tutorials.

If you are interested in starting your own eBay affiliate empire, you can read more about BANS on their web site.

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BANS Part 6 – Article Marketing And Getting Links

Build A Niche StoreFantastic, we’ve set up our first Build A Niche Store, but what good is it if it doesn’t get any traffic? In the 6th installment of the BANS series I’ll be going over the fastest way I’ve found to get a web site indexed and have a trickle of traffic coming in. I’ll also show you how I get a few more links coming into a store from sources other than article directories. What we’re going to learn here will work for any web site, not just a BANS eBay affiliate store.

Article marketing can help you get your BANS site indexed in Google in approximately 3 days to 1 week. This doesn’t mean you will have any favorable position or be the first page for your best search term, it just means Google knows you exist and they will rank you as they gather more data and see more incoming links. There are other ways to get immediate incoming links, but I like this way because at least 2 of the article directories I use are very authoritative sites and rank well.

Getting Links Through Article Marketing

Many times one of the hardest concepts for the new article writer to understand is that you will not be writing an article about the web site you are linking to. I’ve seen many forum posts with newbie writers trying to figure out why their articles keep getting turned down. The secret is, you should not be writing about your site, you need to write about the subject of your site. Promotion of your site is considered a no, no and you will never get articles published if you go about it this way.

So what subject are we talking about? Well, since my site is about air purifiers, I’ll write an article on air purification and title it something like, “The Best Kind Of Air Purifier For Your Home”. I’m actually working on the article as I’m writing this post and it will end up being 500 to 750 words and will be submitted to the three articles in this more comprehensive post on article marketing.

The main point of writing articles is to get keyword links coming back to your site from the author’s box at the bottom of each of your articles. We may also get some links coming in as others pick up the articles and place them on their own site for content. Don’t worry about duplicate content with this, as sometimes the question is asked. These articles will never be published on your site, and if there is a question about dup content from someone else using them, Google will penalize the site that borrows from the article directory. 

Getting Even More Links

Getting incoming links is not a do it once activity per site, and then forget about it. It is an ongoing process that really never ends. I suppose if you are making big bucks from a site you can probably forget about getting links, but it’s up to the individual what the term “big bucks” really means.

One of the things I like to do to get a few more links is go to BackLinkSpot.com and search for blogs that have do follow comments. Of course, you want to look for blogs in your niche and make relevant comments on a post. Use your BANS site as the name and url link when leaving a comment.

Directories are also a great way to get back links although the talk is that Google is giving less authority to directories as of late. One of the most comprehensive list of free directories I’ve found is at OneWayTextLink.com. As of this post, there are more than 1,600 directories in this list with a page rank of 1 or above. I’m sure you can find plenty of good places to submit your site to of the 200 listed on page 1 that are ranked from PR9 to PR4. When I can find a few minutes a couple times a week I’ll submit a few of my sites to the directories on this list.

If you want some more info on link building, I highly recommend Collin LaHay’s Link Building Cookbook. It is one of the best and most comprehensive series of posts that covers the gamut of link building tricks. I particularly like using his link building with Flickr idea and have even figured out a way to find photos with good PR to get links from which I may cover in another post.

The info should keep you busy for some time writing away and getting links into your BANS stores.

We’re almost at the end of the Build A Niche Store series and the next and final segment will focus on placing classified ads on USFreeAds.com to get a little traffic and even more incoming links.

If you are interested, you can get a copy of Build A Niche Store here.

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