So if the eBay affiliate programs hold real potential the big question is - how do you "get involved" in them?
Broadly speaking - there are two ways :
* You can add eBay listed products to an already developed site via the tools contained inside the eBay affiliate centre.
* You can develop new sites which have, as part of their development, relevant (ie to the niche you are targeting) eBay listed products built into them.
Build a Niche Store has been created to enable you to do number 2 – develop new sites to target niche markets of your choice - and every refinement to it has been done to make it the best possible tool for doing this.
This "Build a Niche Store process" is simply defined in the flow diagram below:
Explained : You develop your new site to target a particular niche market. Using marketing strategies you "connect" with your target market who visit your site and through the products and content it contains are directed onto eBay via your affiliate links. These people then register as a new eBay member / make purchases and your site generates affiliate commissions.
The aim, therefore, when using Build a Niche Store is to connect people to relevant eBay products through your own portfolio of niche stores.
The more relevant people you connect to relevant eBay listed products (eg golfers to golf clubs) the more eBay affiliate commissions your sites will generate and the 5 step system for doing this, which to one degree or another all Build a Niche Store users follow, is described below :
Step 1 Choose A Country
11 eBay marketplaces results in 11 different opportunities and before installing Build a Niche Store your first decison is to choose which market you want to operate in.
For example, if you choose the US you will be marketing eBay.com listed products to US internet users and if you choose Australia you will be marketing eBay.com.au listed products to Australian internet users.
The 11 currently supported marketplaces are: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, India, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.
Please note that we place no restrictions on which markets our users operate in and many have developed niche stores in different national markets.
Step 2 Choose A Niche
This is where it gets interesting because eBay's product inventory is so wide. Taking eBay.com as an example, at any one time there are over 20 million products listed for sale across close to 30,000 categories (niches).
This provides a huge variety of options and opportunities and there are many different effective methods that can be used for determining which niche to target.
For example, you can follow and aim to capitalize on market trends, you can build a site around something that you have a genuine interest in (and hence easily add relevant and interesting content), you can base your decision on niche and keyword research and target under competitive markets (a narrow site) or alternatively you can opt for a much wider (and by definition competitive) niche with the aim of developing a fully fledged resource site and coming out on top of the market as an "authority".
The BANS community forum has a section especially set up for discussion about "choosing a niche" which covers many of these ideas and more.
Step 3 Build Your Basic Site
Once you've decided on your niche you can then build your basic site from inside the setup area of your Build a Niche Store admin panel.
BANS utilizes the eBay category structure mentioned above along with a host of other features to enable you to pinpoint those products you want to display inside the store part of your site.
Select a template, upload a logo and you have the foundation of your new site built.
Step 4 Develop Your Site
Depending how wide your target niche is and how deep you're planning on going into it there is an almost endless variety of ways in which you can develop your site so as to make it "valuable" for its target market and hence a better earner in the eBay affiliate program.
Template customizations, store page creation and content development are standard with some Build a Niche Store users going deeper and deeper adding things like videos, blogs, directories and forums.
Again, sections in the Build a Niche Store community forum are set up to enable the discussion of such ideas and strategies to evolve.
Step 5 Marketing
There are many different ways of connecting your site to your target market and these can loosely be defined as marketing.
As with niche research and site development there is a lot of discussion inside our community forum about the different marketing avenues open to affiliate marketers and the way in which you can utilize these to bring relevant people through to the relevant products contained inside your store and onto eBay.
The most common include SEM (search engine marketing) comprising of SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click advertising), article marketing (including the use of content publishing platforms like Squidoo), free-ads advertising, viral techniques like video, good old fashioned link building and the direct purchase of advertising on related sites.
By following these 5 principles and going as deep into your target niche as required your new site will begin to generate eBay affiliate commissions. You can then take what you've learnt and repeat the process in as many niche markets as you want to operate in.