If you are not already familiar with BANS, it stands for Build A Niche Store and its a cool new product for developing affiliate sites that is getting rave reviews. It is super simple and incredibly fast to get a website up and running with this program. Click here for more information on BANS
Once you have your first BANS site created, its time to dig in and add your personal touch to it. In this third and final phase of the BANS Review, I'll walk through some of the customization options and share some tips to help you make the most of your new niche website...
As I was getting familiar with the BANS features, I began to realize that this program works very much like a CMS - a Content Management System. You can add your own static pages easily, customize each of the pages the script creates for you, and basically create a fully functional affiliate site out of the tools & options in the Admin panel of your BANS setup.
In short, this system ROCKS! 😉
I'm not a big fan of automated systems or site builders with limited functionality. They usually generate websites with very little unique content and very limited features. That could even be said about BANS if you whipped up a site real quick and tried to market it "right out of the box".
That said, BANS is incredibly versatile compared to most site builders on the market, allowing you to customize the entire site - even the product pages it creates - to suit your needs. As I said, it works more like a CMS than a turnkey site builder and offers plenty of room to grow.
BANS definitely gets a thumbs-up from me for being easy to set up, easy to use, and as a super-fast way to create affiliate sites...
Developing Your BANS Site
Once you get your new niche site up and running, which should only take about 30 minutes at the most, it's time to flesh it out a bit and start customizing it. We'll take a quick look at some of the features and options that BANS offers, and the elements you should consider adding to your core site...
I started out with the basic site that you see in the screenshot above. The first thing I want to do is customize the template, and basically just make it look nicer. As you can tell, my basic colors are black, red & white. I created a quick graphic header and changed the page background to black - so now its time to make the rest of the site match that theme.
I'm not really a creative type, so I headed over to the BANS site to check out some of the styles that other users created. (You can see them by going to BANS and clicking Customer Stores). In addition to picking up some great ideas there, I checked out the Template Guide offered in the members-only area. This is an awesome detailed resource for every modification you can imagine!
Making changes is pretty much as simple as changing out the color codes in the style sheet. Even if you are not familiar with CSS and stylesheets, the Template Guide has simple instructions and screen shots for every kind of change you might want to make.
In fact, with a few simple changes to that one file, I got a whole new look:
Like I said, I'm not all that creative. But the difference between the before and after images you see here took all of about 10 minutes of tweaking. That's it!
Making Your BANS Site Unique
We now have a fully functional niche affiliate store. You could easily start promoting this site through Pay-Per-Click advertising, article marketing and other means. But in order to truly make your site unique, and ultimately rank well in the major search engines, you want to make it unique.
In addition to fleshing out your BANS site for good Search Engine Optimization, you also want to consider Visitor Optimization. This just means making it the best resource possible for your target market (your ideal visitor).
As you've probably already guessed, I know nothing at all about musical instruments. So writing up a bunch of cool unique content on the topic is not going to happen. But that's okay - there are other options 😉
I'll start by doing some keyword research to find out what my target market is looking for, in the way of information. I'll choose some keyword phrases and create new content pages around them. This is easy to do in the BANS admin panel of course - you can create as many content pages as you like, and put whatever you want on them.
Ideas for new pages on my musical instruments site might include: Instructional Guides, Learn To Play Guitar, Musical Instrument History, Antique Musical Instruments, etc - honestly I am just guessing at the moment.
Once I do the in-depth keyword research to get a feel for what my market wants, my next step will be to locate content. I'll need content for the site, for a free report I may want to offer, for articles to submit, and even for an autoresponder series.
As for the actual content, my first task will be in locating PLR (Private Label Rights) Content that I can modify and use. Second is to outsource the writing to a freelancer. I might have them create resource pages, write reviews (based on reviews shown on Amazon, for example), and do the research to write How-To articles.
Of course, if you choose a niche you are familiar with, you can do this type of work yourself.
Adding New Streams Of Revenue
The basis for the BANS site is to build a niche store that uses the eBay affiliate program. While this is a great way to monetize the site, you'll want to add additional revenue sources to your new site as well.
- Google Adsense
- Books/Products from the Amazon.com affiliate program
- Affiliate Programs for Related Products
- Your own Reports/Info Products
I'll be looking heavily into PLR, and also into info products related to the musical instruments market to see what kind of JV's I might be able to strike up. At the very least, I want to put together a free report to encourage visitors to get on the mailing list for the site.
I havent set up the mailing list yet, but that's definitely on the list. You MUST have a mailing list 😉
I hope this overview helps you decide whether BANS is right for you. If you are looking for an easy way to set up your very first niche affiliate site, I would highly recommend you go with BANS. Even as a seasoned affiliate marketer, I am absolutely in love with the system and will be using it to create new niche sites... over and over and over.
This ranks right up there in my tool-set with WordPress!
P.S. If you want to see my BANS Site, to get an idea of the end result, you can check it out for yourself: www.SearchMusicalInstruments.com