Is BANS Really Dead? Lets Experiment!

Written By Ben Johnson on 20 June 2009 17 People Commented

BANS

My first proper affiliate website was built using the platform known as Build A Niche Store (aka BANS). I say proper because I had actually toyed around with iFrames and Amazon aStores for a while before that, along with associateomatic, but all in all I didn't really know what I was doing and had little success with either of the latter. BANS was where I first started to learn how to make money through the eBay Affiliate Program and from that point of view I owe a lot of my basic knowledge to buying BANS back when it was first released, albeit somewhat different from the platform we see in front of us today.

I currently have no BANS sites left as the few remaining ones had 'died' off and just weren't making any money and so from then onwards I stopped using BANS. You may also have heard about BANS V3.0 sites being de-indexed from Google for....well little or no reason whatsoever other than the fact the Google algorithm does not like affiliate sites, or at least thin affiliate sites anyway. Some of the sites were even quite decent. Since I built my first BANS site a few years ago I have learnt a heck of a lot of stuff and I am turning over a very very good profit with my portfolio of affiliate sites. The big difference is that these sites all use WordPress and some sort of monetization tool such as phpBay, phpOStock or phpZon etc, some of them just earn from Adsense.  Now I love WordPress and I love all of the tools and the flexibility it can provide but I also have somewhat of a soft spot for the BANS platform and I don't think I gave my sites enough of a chance to do as well as I have with WordPress. Of late BANS is something which I have stopped recommending to people but I want to give it one last chance before I walk away from it forever.

I already have a domain name which I am going to be using for this site which doesn't currently have a site on it, it's not indexed and as a result it receives no traffic so this will be a completely clean slate. During the site building process I will treat it exactly the same as I would with any other site, I am going to promote it in exactly the same way and I will document my progress, along with stats/traffic details, right here.  Overall I plan to have it making an income within the first month.

Okay so first things first I need to get BANS installed and set up. Once this is done I am going to de-BANS the site and by that I mean I am going to remove all of the attributes which leave the 'BANS Footprint' and get my chosen theme installed.

I will document my progress next week.

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  • Mandy Allen said:

    Hi Ben, I am very interested to hear about your progress with this, looking forward to the next post!

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy

  • Mark - Niche Store Builder said:

    Before I opin, I want to say that I think it can do just as well, but the efforts needed to keep a BANS site updated and loaded with fresh content are just more time consuming than non-wordpress site models.

    From the extra plugins, widgetized sidebars, and numerous extensibility options with WP, its just a stronger and easier to use solution.

    SO.. in my opinion, BANS is not really dead, its just that someone came along and built a better solution that equates to a higher $/hour.

    Mark

  • Ben said:

    Hi Mandy

    Thanks for that, we will see how it goes, it’s certainly been a long while since I put one together. I may even find I don’t like using the platform any more but there is only one way to find out.

    Ben

  • Ben said:

    Hi Mark

    I agree that BANS sites are much harder to keep updated and you don’t get as much flexibility with them by far, there are just so many people who think it’s impossible to make money with BANS. I used to enjoy putting a BANS site together so it will be fun if nothing else. It’s safe to say though that I know before I even start that WordPress is my preference.

    Ben

  • Gerri said:

    This should be interesting. I will be following your progress to see how things are going.

  • James Mann said:

    I have pretty much given up on BANS as well. I am done to just two BANS sites now. One for fishing and the other for gardening.

    The fishing BANS site makes a little each month. Just enough to keep it but I am not making it any better, perhaps I should.

    The gardening BANS site has never done anything, so I guess I really only have one BANS site working at all.

    I will be curious to see what happens in your experiment Ben. Perhaps you will discover something I can use to make my two BANS work better and then I might even create a few more.

  • Olivia said:

    I admire your “leave-no-stone-unturned” attitude. I look forward to seeing your results.

  • Sallie said:

    I’ll be interested in how you do. I have 8 BANS sites, and all of them have been doing pretty well, but perhaps that is because I put time into making them good sites when I created them. None of them look like all of those awful standard issue BANS sites I’ve seen made by people unwilling or unable to do a little work. All of my sites have lots of content, and I make sure to keep them fresh. I’ve never had a BANS site de-indexed by Google or any other search engine.

    I added a wordpress blog to one of the sites (BANS is the root) because I had content reasons to do so, and that has brought me a bit more traffic, but it was already the most highly-trafficked and highest earner among my BANS sites. Apparently a number of people have found success by creating wordpress sites with BANS as a subfolder.

    I still like BANS for lots of reasons, but I am planning to use phpbay in my next site because I want to see how that works. I hope your new site does well and look forward to your updates.

  • Tzuvelli said:

    BANS is not dead and never has been. Its just that BANS as a tool was abused by people to slap up thin affiliate sites. That is in contrast to sites that have decent content. I know of several BANS sites that rank at the top of their niches. BANS as a tool, itself, is not targeted by. But, it is viewed by Google as an internet marketing tool used by people that are border line spammers and so sites using the tool are more closely scrutinized. The same thing will eventually happen to phpBay; as more people use it and do not build decent sites. That does not mean that phpBay users will be penalized just the sites will get a closer look.

    As far as updating content is concerned, I am not convinced that this is a major factor or absolutely necesary. There are plenty of static sites out there that have not had their content updated for years yet they rank well for their target niches. Constantly updating content may help to get you to the top but I am not sure that it is the primary impetus to keep a site at the top.

    Making money with eBay has always been more about choice of niche than the affiliate tool you use.

    I do not use BANS because it is not flexible enough for my strategy.

    Just my two cents.

    Beau

  • Gerry - Small Laptop Computers said:

    This is going to interesting to follow, and I give you credit for giving it a go. I switched to WordPress for new sites but BANS was the starting point for me. There are increasing numbers of existing BANS sites for sale that have not been de-indexed but have owners that want to move on. I would like to see a few articles on how to buy and resurrect an existing BANS site, so I’ll stay tuned.

  • Ben said:

    It’s nice to see this post has initiated the sort of response I was hoping for. I have never actually said that BANS was dead as such, I simply moved away from it because I love the flexibility of WordPress and the many affiliate plugins which go along with it.

    @Gerri

    Thanks Gerry, hopefully the results should be good.

    @James

    Hopefully this will help you re-gain some faith in the BANS platform:).

    @Sallie

    That’s the thing…you definitely have to move away from that out of the box BANS feel, even if it’s just removing the obvious BANS footprint and changing the theme a little..it’s nice to hear someone doing well with BANS which is encouraging.

    @Tzuvelli

    I agree that the ‘out of the box’ BANS site has certainly not helped towards the overall attitude towards BANS, I actually enjoyed using BANS myself so I am hoping to see good results. Having said all of that I personally know people who had very good quality sites which were de-indexed by the SE’s for little or no reason.

    With regard to content…I find it depends on the model/type of site I am going for. I have 3 sites which don’t get updated and they are earning well over $1200 per month between them using the e-commerce model, they are just very well optimized and are marketed well.

    @Gerry

    Thanks for that, I loved using BANS ‘back in the day’ I learned a lot whilst using it so I am actually enjoying playing around with the script again.

    Ben

  • sleekseo said:

    Hi Ben,

    Any news on this experiment?

    Thanks.

    Al.

  • Ben said:

    Hi Al

    Still working on it, got a little bit delayed building another site which I had hacked. I will have something to report this week though :).

    Cheers for reading
    Ben

  • Rochelle said:

    What a great idea! You are saving the from doing the same thing, as I’ve been pondering exactly this.

    What all are you doing to remove the BANS footprint? And, will you be using v2 or v3 to create the site?

    Rochelle

  • Ben said:

    @Rochelle

    Thanks for that, I hope you will find it useful. I am still in the process of putting the site together, it won’t be at all complicated in fact it will be quite simple to start with.

    I’ll be detailing exactly what I do to remove the BANS ‘footprint’ but many of the things will include removing the ‘view more items’ link, removing the sort by box, not using the ‘powered by BANS’ link. All the usual stuff. I also won’t be adding more than 3 listings per page and I will try to make it more content based than listing based.

    Hopefully this will make a difference. Keep a look out for an update.

    Ben

  • Rochelle said:

    I will keep an eye out for updates.

    Would you consider adding the ‘subscribe to comments’ plugin? It makes it much easier to know when there is an answer instead of having to refresh a page. Just a thought :)

    Rochelle

  • Ben said:

    Hi Rochelle

    Sure, it’s not one I’ve used before but I’ll get it installed. Great suggestion, thank you:)

    Ben

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