5
Oct

BANS Is For Sale For A Mere $500,000

Owners of Build A Niche Store just got word that the eBay affiliate store builder is going on the auction block. Yes, BANS is for sale. Actually it’s already up for auction at Flippa.com and you can own it for a Buy It Now price of only $500,000. Or if that’s a bit too steep for you and you think you can get it for cheaper through the auction process, the opening bid starts at just $200,000. I’d sure like to collect an affiliate fee on that sale.

Not only is BANS for sale, but everything related to BANS including N1Way (which was honestly a bit disappointing) and 27 related domains in various stages of development go along with it. It does seem kind of odd that the developers just came out with the new ebook or e-online-whatever, The N1Way or The Number 1 Way To Make Money Online only 3 months ago and they are now selling the whole show. Actually when you see that the total revenue generated from the ethingy N1Way was only $16,926.59, it’s not quite as surprising.

It’s a pretty interesting read at the auction page to look at the profit generated from BANS and all the domains that go with the sale as well as how the profit from BANS took a serious nose dive late last year and into this year. Profit for 2008 was $267,985 and profit so far for 2009 is right around 20% of that at $54,009. In reading the auction page you see the revenue drop off beginning in July or August of 2008 where they state:

At this point BANS was starting to get a bad reputation as being used by spammers so we re-developed the sales presentation and user forum accepting a significant cut in revenue so that it would have a legitimate shot as a long term project.

It was about that time that several people including myself started seeing some of their version 3.0 BANS stores getting deindexed by Google. I’ll take part of the blame for that in that I was putting up too many stores and not having enough time to fully develop them, while a lot of the blame goes to eBay affiliate spammers who used BANS for hundreds or thousands of garbage sites with no content and only auction listings. The general consensus was that Google didn’t like this and identified something in v 3.0 that was a footprint and removed many, many sites from its index. Some of my eBay affiliate income has returned since taking a big dive around the end of 2008, but it’s still not where it was at its height of around $1,000 per month.

While BANS is for up for auction, it in no way changes what I’m doing with it. Since the glory days, I’ve continued to work on a couple of my sites with one taking up the majority of my BANS related time. Getting backlinks and working on a blog added to my primary store has made somewhat of a difference and that will be the direction I’ll continue to head in for the time being as far as BANS relate affiliate revenue. I also have several other sites with eBay auctions and the good news is that my Quality Click Pricing Report last month was significantly more than twice the actual revenue earned. As long as that holds, I’ll have nothing to complain to eBay about its new click pricing model. If it doesn’t, well then, it will be suspect.

BANS will still continue to be a great product regardless of who owns it as long as you develop your stores and treat it like a business.

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5
Mar

February 2009 Affiliate Income Report

In every affiliate’s career there are good income months and bad months. February was a bad income month for me for a couple of reasons. I spent another $800 on 100 articles for content and article marketing and did some advertising that just didn’t pay off. Also, the eBay Partner Network was way off for me this month.

One of the ppc campaigns I ran this past month, that was one of those, “This will definitely work” campaigns, has drained me of over $200 without a single conversion. Almost the same thing happened with Facebook as well when I spent about $120 to earn a mere $36. Luckily the merchant getting traffic through the ppc campaign has a 45 day cookie so it might just pay off. The reason I spent so much on that campaign is that a single conversion could erase all the losses because were talking about $2,500 products with a 10% payout. Hopefully it will be worth it because with pay per click marketing, things can turn around in a single day.

So in effect, I spent about $1,100 this month that brought zero return so far. The articles however are producing some decent seo results for one of my BANS stores and if nothing else, this site should produce some decent Adsense revenue once I add it to all the content.

Total revenue produced last month was $2,825.57 with expenses of $1,317.14 that gave me a net income of $1,508.16. Everything breaks down as follows:

Google Adsense – $1,319.10
Commission Junction – $225.56
EPN – eBay – $186.99
Meal Planner Ebook – $187.00
TripAdvisor – $110.59
Private Advertising – $105.00
AzoogleAds – $288.00
Amazon.com – $187.58
Neverblue – $27.00
Other Affiliate Programs – $188.75

Total Revenue – $2,825.57

Total expenses – $1,317.14

Total Income – $1,508.16

You never know what’s going to happen month to month. All you can do is keep plugging away and focus on the things that work and trash the things that don’t. Forward is the only direction to go in the affiliate marketing game. Remember, things can turn around in a single day, or even just a few hours.

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26
Jan

Sound The Alarm, BANS Is Dead! Oh Really?

Occasionally I see blog posts declaring the death of Build A Niche Store (BANS) and receive comments on the blog here predicting the same. Many times when this happens I head over to the BANS forums expecting to see Hiroshima type devastation and read about all its users calling for some of Obama’s stimulus handouts. Funny though, that just doesn’t seem to be the case.

What I do find is BANS users complaining somewhat about Google’s unfairness (who doesn’t complaining about that?), but an equal or larger amount of users gleeful about new records their network of stores or usually just one or two stores are setting month after month. At least once a week some new user testifies about making it into the $1,000 per month club (Not a real club, just a serious achievement users like to point to) or some other record such as $2,000, $3,000 or $4,000 per month. Apparently BANS users making $500 to $4,000 per month don’t realize it’s no longer a good way to make money.

Where there is a problem with BANS there is a problem with just about anything else you do on the Internet. Saying BANS is dead because of what is happening to a few users is like saying WordPress is dead, or Amazon is dead, or Azoogle, Neverblue and Pepperjam are dead. Just because some affiliates spam forums, build horrid looking sites, misrepresent products or steal commissions and gets caught doesn’t mean whatever affiliate programs or tools they’re using is dead. It means those affiliates need to get into and understand, really understand the game or get out and work in a cubicle or go flip burgers for a living.

On the other hand, yes, BANS is dead. It is dead for those that put up crummy sites that have nothing but auctions, pages and pages of auctions with no content. It is dead for those that build one site with nothing but auctions and expect to get accepted into eBay’s affiliate program. It is dead for those affiliates that create 20 sites that have 1 paragraph on the home page and nothing else. It is dead for those that build a site with every category and try to make it look just like eBay. It is dead for those that build sites with 30 different categories totally unrelated to each other. How anyone can believe they can throw up, in other words, barf out, a BANS site with zero content and make money is beyond me. Have you not been reading the news that Google wants relevant and useful information in its index?

Get a grip, how do you feel when you run across crap sites when you’re looking for something? And you want visitors to your equally crappy BANS site to spend more than 1 second window shopping at your Expensive-Watches-With-No-Content-And-An-Ugly-Header.com website. Am I missing something here? Google certainly isn’t.

If you want to build a business on the net and are committed to putting together a quality portal with information for visitors in your particular niche then Build A Niche Store is still for you. However, if you just want to make a quick buck and plan on creating a network of spammy BANS sites to match your splog network, please, don’t clog up the system.

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23
Oct

Checking Stats – Like Watching Concrete Dry

When it comes to checking stats too much, (Adsense, Adwords spend, eBay, Neverblue, etc.) I’m probably the worst offender. I usually check them early in the morning for the previous day, some stats after lunch and then do the rounds again before I go to bed.

That’s what I plan to do, but it rarely is limited to only those 3 times per day. You might know what I mean. You go to check email and while you’re waiting for it to download, you’ll just run over to your Google account and see how Adsense is doing or how much you’ve spent so far today with Adwords. I do that a lot and then I see something and decide to delve a little deeper and find that one of my sites isn’t giving me the usual Adsense revenue I’m accustomed to, or I see lots of clicks on one of my Adwords campaigns, better check the CPA company to see if I’m earning more than I’m spending.

Pretty soon I’ve spent the last hour over-analyzing everything, stressing out about some little anomaly I’ve run across and I’ve forgotten I just wanted to check email. Funny thing is, my stats will be the same at the end of the day whether or not I check them every time I download email, wait for a Photoshop file to save, wait for a browser reload after leaving a comment on someone’s blog or anyone of a hundred other things where I think I can just “check this one stat here.”

Pouring, then watching concrete dry

It’s kind of like waiting for concrete to dry. We had our slab poured early this morning for the extension on our home and it was kind of cool to watch the whole process take place. The concrete came out of the pump looking kind of thin but I was assured that it would set properly, it’s just a little thinner than normal so it can be pumped through a hose from the front yard to the back yard.

Even though we have thinner than normal concrete setting right now, no matter how many times I walk out of the home office and go watch it dry, it’s still going to cure at the same pace and at the end of the day we’ll be able to walk on it. There might even be some weird kind of mental-wave-mind-meld sort of thing going on that actually causes it to cure slower when watched. You know that creepy feeling when someone is watching you.

Maybe this will be a good reminder not to log into my Adsense account 10 times a day.

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2
Oct

September 2008 Affiliate Earnings Report

Even though I had major revenue reductions this month from eBay, Adsense, Azoogle, Market Leverage and a few others, I still managed to have a record month in affiliate earnings. Most all of the increase came from pay per click earnings to the tune of more than $2,100 profit. I owe nearly all of what I’ve learned about PPC to PPC Coach. The bottom line you see below would have been $2,100 less with out it.

I’m not sure what’s going on with eBay, but many an affiliate are seriously complaining about revenue drops in September. I was down $300 in eBay earnings this month and nearly $750 from the month before that. What’s very odd is that my earnings per winning bid have gone from $4.80 in July 2008, to $3.52 in August, to $2.25 for the month of September. That’s a 55% reduction in revenue earned per winning bid in 3 months time. There will certainly be shifts in earnings, but I’m not liking the trend. Time to contact eBay.

Regardless of the inner workings of eBay I’m very thankful for the overall increase this past month. Total revenue for September was $7,292.33 with expenses at $2,551.70, making for a net profit of $4,740.63. It all breaks down as follows:

Google Adsense – $1,055.10
Commission Junction – $109.28
EPN – eBay – $458.61
Meal Planner Ebook – $170.00
TripAdvisor – $105.76
Clickbank – $45.83
Private Advertising – $35.00
AzoogleAds – $694.45
Microsoft – $200.00
Pepperjam – $33.00
Market Leverage – $73.35
Neverblue – $4,042.50
Other Affiliate Programs – $269.80

Total Revenue – $7,292.33

Total expenses – $2,551.70

Total Income – $4,740.63

My goal for September was to earn $5,000 profit, but I missed it by only $260. Hopefully with Halloween promotions and PPC looking nice this month so far (and maybe some favor from eBay), the $5,000 will be reached in October. As always, remember to diversify your affiliate income to make up for when eBay and Adsense aren’t as nice as they could be.

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