BANS Review, Part 1: Getting Started With BANS

BANS - Click here to find out what they areI ordered my copy of BANS this morning, to review over the weekend...

I was in and downloading the product in less than a minute. Its set up through ClickBank, which takes PayPal, so I didnt even have to whip out a credit card - I just paid for it out of the affiliate commissions in my account.

The download file included a 74-page detailed User Manual, the templates & files and access to the BANS member-only forum. I unzipped the files, opened the manual for a quick scan (very impressive!) and headed over to the private forum...

In addition to the User Manual which is included in your BANS pack, there is the BANS member area which contains a community forum made up of a large knowledgebase of over 25,000 posts covering just about everything from installation to traffic generation and a growing selection of BANS related tutorials.

I have to say, I'm really impressed with the BANS site. Its not the typical one-page salesletter that you see for a software program or info-product, but instead an entire community and resource. I love the model, as it really gives you a sense of the support they offer. Instead of feeling like a buyer, you click the order button ready to become a member. Very "Web 2.0" for a sales letter...

The BANS Member Forum is impressive as well. There are over 30,000 posts already, so its pretty active. I headed over to the Tips & Success Stories section first - just to see what I'd find there. Exactly what I expected - lots of happy BANS users ;)

BANS Success Stories found at the Member Forum

I set up my profile at the Member Forum, added it to my bookmarks, and headed off to dig into the User Manual...

Once you've familiarized yourself with the software it will not take you longer than 10 minutes to build a basic store leaving you with plenty of free time to use the built in features of BANS to develop your store and employ effective marketing strategies to bring relevant people through to relevant products...

Lesson 1 of the 9 lessons went into detail on how to set up hosting, choose a domain name and join the eBay affiliate program. Since I am not a new user, and am already an affiliate for eBay, I simply scanned this section and focused on choosing a niche and selecting a domain name.

Picking a niche - Hmm... where to start :mrgreen: Well the obvious, of course! I headed straight over to What's Hot on eBay's Seller Central. Since these niche websites revolve around eBay products, I want to get an idea of what's hot on eBay these days.

The affiliate program pays a percentage of the high bid, so I definitely take an interest in higher priced product types. I also want to choose a niche that has a wide range of product listings - to ensure there is plenty to build a site around.

Another idea is to look at product types that would attract new people to eBay, as their affiliate program pays up to $25 for new registrations. In this case, the price range would be less of an issue - and while it might take a little creativity, you'd want to target a market that may be new to eBay. People who are into electronics and computers for example, most likely already have an eBay account.

I started by looking over the Buyer Behavior Report, and then checked out the Hot Items by Category. Again, you can find both of these in the What's Hot section on eBay. The current report is for November 2007, so it's very up-to-date.

Looking over the categories, the first two that caught my attention were Musical Instruments and Business & Industrial. Both of these just might fit my criteria of reaching newer users and having higher prices.

There's no magic to that, really. Its kind of a "go with your gut" thing. I'm sure no two people would select the same categories or make the same decisions right off the bat. At any rate...

Between the two, Musical Instruments interests me more. My son plays bass and I love live bands (again, no magic - no science). A quick search on WordTracker shows 1252 searches a day across the major search engines for the phrase "musical instruments" - so that's a good start.

Related keywords in the "Super Hot" section of the What's Hot report for Musical Instruments - like electronic keyboards (88/day), trumpet (2012/day), flute (1906/day), vintage guitars (211/day), drums (3534/day) etc - have decent numbers of searches as well.

I like the idea of working with such a wide range of related products, as this will get wider exposure in the major search engines. And in addition to eBay's affiliate program, there will be plenty of alternate revenue sources to work with as well - affiliate programs, Google Adsense, etc.

So the niche for my new BANS site is now chosen: Musical Instruments. That was easy :D . Obviously you can get more specific with your niche, or work with a combination of niches. For the sake of this example, and my first BANS site, I just went with an easy choice.

Next on the task list is choosing a domain name. I start by looking at my base keyword in WordTracker to see if I can find a good combination of words to use in the "dot com":

1252 musical instruments
158 used musical instruments
91 discount musical instruments
88 homemade musical instruments
84 yamaha musical instruments

MusicalInstruments.com, UsedMusicalInstruments.com and DiscountMusicalInstruments.com were all three already taken - as expected. I settled for SearchMusicalInstruments.com (I love an action word in a domain name!) and registered that through GoDaddy.com.

Now that I have the niche chosen and the domain name registered, I'll simply set up my first BANS site on my HostGator account (you can host unlimited domains & sites on one hosting account for less than $10/mo).

Keep an eye out for Part 2 of this BANS Review where I'll show you the site I created, and let you know if it was really as easy as they claim... ;)

Best,

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreĀ»

Discussion

  1. Hi Lynn,

    I'm glad you decided to include a review of BANS.

    The concept is certainly exciting and it seems like a good value at $97.

    I look forward to reading part 2 of the review.

  2. Nell Taliercio says:

    Oh my heavens, I'm so interested in this now. I've got so much in the works though, I don't know that I could put enough time into this right now.

    I'd do it if there were any niche sites that would go well with my current market of work at home jobs, service based businesses...most of that stuff on ebay isn't anything I'd promote though.

    I'm going to put this on the "check back on" at the beginning of the year though. Seems like a very interested system.

  3. I have been looking for something that would keep my interest and this certainly seems to be the ticket. Thanks for the step by step breakdown.

    My problem has been knowing a little bit about a lot of things and not a lot about one thing! My childhood ADD still haunts me as an adult.

    My goal is to become focused. Stay focused and FINISH something!

    Joanne

  4. Great goal Joanne! I think we all have to consistently work at that, so dont feel alone ;)

    I think it will be a nice change to work in a totally new niche. I have several niche sites, all which need some work and attention this coming year, so that's definitely on my goal list for 2008. Should be fun!

  5. Hi Lynn,

    As a user of the BANS program myself I can honestly say that it is simple to use and a very good starting out point for someone new to the world of internet marketing or online business.

    Thanks,
    Alan

  6. One of the things that attracted me to this (among others) was how versatile you can be. I have been looking for something new to do and this seems like a great opportunity. I am looking forward to the rest of the review :)

  7. Cara Mirabella says:

    I'm looking forward to the rest of your review. This sounds like a great way to add another stream of income.

  8. Thank you - I am looking forward to publishing it. Actually I am looking forward to the next step with BANS and actually creating my new site. I should have the second part of this review up in the next 48 hours.

  9. You got my attention!!

  10. Laurie Neumann says:

    Lynn,

    I've been looking this over. How do you get from the What's Hot listings to actually deciding what to put on your store? I see level 2,3 4 categories. Do you take one of those categories and go into Ebay and see what's there? Then choose what you want to offer?

  11. Hi Laurie,

    As I said in the original post, there's no real science or magic to the decision. I went with a broader niche, you can just as easily go with a more focused niche (like "guitars" instead of "musical instruments"). Its all just totally up to you!

  12. Laurie Neumann says:

    Lynn,

    Sorry for all the questions:-(

    I guess what I meant to ask is: For example, on the hot items by category list, there are books. The only things listed under books are catalogs and agriculture. Does that mean you should stick with one of those? I saw in one of the custom stores someone selling kids books. Would that not be a good idea?

    Also - do you know what the difference is between level 2, 3 and 4?

    I hope I asked that a little clearer.

    Thanks in advance.

  13. No problem, Laurie ;)

    The levels are category levels. So Level 2 is a sub-category of the main category and Level 3 is a sub-category of Level 2. This helps you choose a micro-niche within a niche if you want to do that.

    There is no limit to what you can decide to create with BANS. You can even combine categories or use search results - its VERY versatile. I was simply using the What's Hot list as a starting point to get ideas.

  14. Lynn - you mentioned that you bought the name through GoDaddy.com but then you're using HostGator for hosting. Recently I tried to do this and HostGator said I had to pay a transfer fee of about $20. So if this is true I wasted the money buying the name at GoDaddy. Can you share if you had to do this?

    Thanks!
    Joe

  15. Hi Joe,

    I'm not sure what you're referring to there... I use HostGator for most of my sites and always register my domain names at GoDaddy. And I dont pay any additional fee's like that.

    Did you set up hosting at GoDaddy too? Or just register the domain?

    You simply register the domain, then change the nameservers to HostGator's nameservers...

    You may want to contact HostGator support again and find out what's what on that. It doesnt sound right, but then I dont know all the details.

  16. I'm most definitely going to ask them. I specifically said to them I want to keep the name registered with GoDaddy but wanted to have the hosting through HostGator using my existing account. The guy said the only way to do this is if I transfer the name to HG. I was borrowing a laptop when I was chatting with the guy but I think I saved the text chat just in case. I'll check tomorrow.

    Thanks again for your help :)

  17. Maybe the person you talked to was confused. Or maybe there's something about it I dont know. But its as simple as updating your nameservers at GoDaddy (from within your account > manage domains) to HostGator's nameservers. Then log in to your HostGator account and click the ADDON DOMAIN icon at the top right...

  18. Hi,

    I just purchased BANS through your post for $77.00 and received the receipt on my PayPal email. The question is where do I get it? Will it be sent to download on that email?

    Thanks-I'm just anxious to get started because I have a really great idea to make even more money with it!

  19. HELP! I ordered BANS through your website at the discounted price this morning. How do I get it? I paid through PayPal?

  20. Hi Joanne,

    You could reply to the PayPal email and ask them, or you can contact them through the Support page on their website. Just go to http://www.clicknewz.com/bans.htm and click the Support tab at the top right of the page.

    Best,
    Lynn Terry

  21. Lynn...I was having issues understanding the ebay Hotlist Report. I found a ebay resource page which helped. I thought it would helpful to everyone to post the link. I hope that posting this link is ok. http://reviews.ebay.com/Understanding-the-eBay-Hot-List-Hot-Items-by-Category_W0QQugidZ10000000001214729

  22. Sure, Wes - thank you ;)

  23. Nell Taliercio says:

    Lynn,

    Does the BANS give you the ability to add articles, reviews, and other written content or is it simply made for the products of ebay?

  24. It does - thats one of the things I loved about it. Its completely flexibile and customizable. You can add content on the pages that display auction listings, and you can add new content pages outside of that as well.

    Adding new content pages is as simple as it is in WordPress.

  25. Nell Taliercio says:

    Okay, this thing has me sold. ;)

  26. Laurie Neumann says:

    Hi,

    First, thank you, Wes for that link. It did help.

    Lynn - if you don't mind me asking, have you found it to be profitable yet? I realize you havent' had it that long, just wondering what your general impression of profitability is.

    Also - looking at the hot list, I know around Christmas time there's going to be a lot more action going on. But do you think, in general, you can go by what the hot list says? I was looking at the link Wes posted.

  27. You'll love it! If you are an Elite Member, log in to the Private Forum for a special deal ($20 off). If not, just go to http://www.clicknewz.com/bans.htm

  28. Hi Laurie,
    I expect the site to do very well :D
    I will be using my BANS site as a case study throughout the coming year, so watch for detailed updates & statistics.

  29. Lynn,

    I've had my BANS for about a month set it up with ebay and additional affiliates. I've done my due diligence and have over 100 unique visitors about 5,000 hits the problem is I only get a few clicks registered through the commissions website and have only 2 sales through one affiliate which was me. My ebay section has had a lot of action through my hosts statistics but to this day have not gotten any credit of one not even the 10 buys I did through my BANS. The concept is great but something is fishy as I haven't had any help so far.

  30. Hi Karl,

    When you say you havent had any help - do you mean from the BANS team? I assume you've posted to the BANS Member Forum?

    It may just be that eBay doesnt allow you to get credit for sales made through your own affiliate link. This is common with affiliate programs - I know Amazon.com enforces this policy.

    At any rate, keep an eye on it. 100 unique visitors isnt really enough to show trends, but it shouldnt take you long with targeted promotions to see if there is truly a problem.

  31. Nell Taliercio says:

    And ebay has a 7 day cookie only. If they make sales after the 7 days you don't get credit, correct? Maybe that is the problem?

  32. Pedro Maia says:

    Hi. New to the blog. Just love your writing style. You can be sure you have another reader. =)

  33. Thank you, Pedro! Welcome to ClickNewz ;)

  34. Hey Lynn-
    I have just finished your review over BANS. LOVE it... Im in! So I am following your review step by step and am at the registering name and hosting part. Few questions.
    -Can I use blogger or WordPress as a host and then have them register my name? It seems that this would be cheaper as they are free hosting sites. I am sure you can do this but would you recommend doing this? I want to make sure I take the right direction and not cut corners.

    -Obviously I am late on recieving the $20 off BANS. Do you know of any coupons out there?

    Thank you for your time and for this wonderful site. You are doing a great job.
    Jamie

  35. Hi Jamie,

    Actually you cant install BANS on one of those free blogging servers. You'll need your own hosting account. I use and recommend HostGator, and I have a coupon code you can use to get your first month "free" (its actually 1c): http://www.clicknewz.com/995/hostgator-coupon-code-first-month-for-a-penny/

    You'll want to register your domain name at GoDaddy.com (or your registrar of choice), so that combined with using the coupon code will have you up and running for under ten bucks and less than $10/month.

  36. Hi Lynn,
    I never had any experience with affiliate programs.
    I understand that in order to apply for CJ or Sharasale.com , I need to have a website.
    So the first step would be to decide what type of products I want to deal with and then to register an appropriate domain name at GoDaddy.
    For example, I do some photography and have my photos posted on 4-5 websites. I'll need to have a domain name more or less related to photography.
    After I register the name, I can purchase BANS.

    Now I have a question. When should or can I register with eBay and CJ ?
    They both require to have a website, correct ?
    Can BANS create a website without being signed up as affiliate with either CJ or eBay ?

    If I want to create books related site, then I'll need to register a domain name related to books?
    THANKS!

    any coupons for BANS?

  37. I honestly dont recall if CJ.com requires you to have a website in order to sign up as an affiliate with them... you need to go to their site and try to register and find out from there. Then you'll know what steps you need to take.

    But if you do need a website, you should register a domain name related to the niche you want to target with your BANS. Go through all 3 parts of this review as I go through the niche selection process as well - that should help.

    I do have an advertised discount for Elite Members at my discussion forum. Its a link that will save you $20 on BANS. You can become an Elite Member for only $20, so the cost will be the same in the end - but you'll access to the Private Forum at my site where you can download tons more products free. If you're interested you can find out more at http://www.selfstartersweeklytips.com/elite-members.htm

  38. MarxistSeo says:

    no doubt is worth the 97$. it's all about getting the right niches and the long tailed kw. good luck to you.

  39. is it possible to put adsense on your bans site?

  40. Absolutely! You can put Adsense on the site, or even banners & links to affiliate products, your own content - basically anything you like!

  41. thats good to know, and is it really that easy to use? i already have an ebay store on my site, can i use the same account or will i need to open another EPN account, thanks for your reply

  42. You're welcome :) It really is easy to use - and yes, you can use your same affiliate account with them. The key to success is to use it as a site template and then to customize it and make it unique - with content, other offers, that kind of thing.

  43. thanks for your comments lynn, also fantastic blog by the way :)

  44. Thank you! I look forward to seeing you around, and hearing more from you. Definitely keep us posted on your BANS decision. I have a forum too if you need any help along the way.

  45. I tried BANS a year ago and did exactly what you did with one exception. I used godaddy as my hosting account. Big Mistake. For some reason MySql has a problem with the BANS. Godaddy claimed it wasn't their fault but BANS for coding. I went back and forth for a week with both companies trying to straighten the code out. I even gave my passwords for my FTP to a BANS owner so he could play with the coding. But nothing worked. Which is a bummer as I have 12 sites all hosted with GoDaddy.

    BANS gracefully gave me a refund and I have nothing but admiration for their leaps and bounds they went through to help me out. With GD I'm a little unimpressed with their mantra "we cannot assist you with 3rd party coding."

    Moral of the story until GD can accept BANS coding you will have to host elsewhere. But by all means buy hosting names through GD.

    IMHO

  46. Adriane Grabler says:

    You can not believe how long ive been looking for something like this. Through 6 pages of Yahoo results couldnt find diddly squat. One search on Bing. There was this.... Gotta start using that more often

  47. eBay Affiliate Dude says:

    Build A Niche Store had made me a good chunk of change over the past few years but unfortunately times has changed, like ebay moving the affiliate program inhouse and now from what I have been hearing, the BANS team will not be releasing anymore updates.

    I have since converted all of my stores over to "My eBay Script" which seemed pretty easy.

    The concept that BANS had galvanized is still worth while for making money for doing pretty much nothing.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Part One of this BANS Review I ordered and downloaded the product, chose a niche and domain name, and set up [...]

  2. [...] is Part 3 in a review on BANS, aka “Build a Niche Store” See Part One | See Part [...]

Leave a Reply

*

CommentLuv badge