Depending on the type of WordPress blog you run, you may have an interest in building a small store into your blog. I’ve found this is a great way to make some extra income to cover your blog costs while at the same time providing your readers with a useful resource.
How to Add a Store To Your WordPress Blog
The method I’m going to cover here is the method I use and have found a lot of success with. It involves using a purchased software and eBay’s affiliate program to generate income. Before I get started, I wanted to make one quick point. This method is not for all blogs. Because the generated income comes from being an eBay affiliate, this method is best applied to blogs that cover products or services that are regularly purchased on eBay. Examples would be photography blogs (cameras and equipment), video game blogs (games and equipment), etc. Things like celebrity blogs, make money online/affiliate marketing blogs, or personal blogs probably won’t find a lot of success with this method because it doesn’t relate well to an eBay product.
In order to get started, you’ll first need to purchase the Build a Niche Store software (commonly referred to as BANS). It has a one-time cost associated with it, but once you own the software, you get lifetime updates and you can use the software on unlimited sites. The team behind BANS is incredible with both their dedication to updating the product as well as their support on their forums. Owning BANS has really been a great experience for me. The software has also developed a lot of trust over the past 2 years from its users, so it is a very safe investment.
Once you’ve got your BANS license and downloaded the software, you’ll also get instructions on getting your first site setup. It installs via a script so everything is really easy. The only thing you’ll need to know how to do when purchasing this software is how to manually create a MySQL database (if you installed your WordPress software manually, you should already know how to do this). You can always contact your web host to find out how to do this as well.
You’ll want to create either a sub-domain or directory on your site where you want to place your new eBay store. I generally use directories, but either should work the same. Inside your new folder you created you’ll want to upload the BANS software and then visit the domain and go through the install. If you run into any troubles on your first try, you can always consult the installation guide that comes with the product.
How Do I Integrate Build a Niche Store (BANS) with WordPress?
Now, BANS was not specifically created for use with WordPress, but was instead designed to run solo on a new domain name. Fortunately, thanks to the hard working team over at The Niche Store Builder, you can now get WordPress themes that were specifically designed to integrate WordPress and BANS together. In addition to creating their own unique BANS themes for WordPress, with Niche Store Builder you can also get BANS templates that were designed specifically for popular existing WordPress themes such as ThemeSpinner’s Chimera theme and Daily Blog Tips StudioPress theme. You’ll get a matching skin for your BANS directory/subdomain and also a widget to display on the main site promoting some of your niche stores items. These templates can be activated from the BANS control panel just like how a WordPress theme is activated.
Here is a screenshot of BANS being used with the Chimera theme:
And here is one for the popular StudioPress theme:
I’ve been using this method on a few of my sites offering up cookbooks or whatever else is related to the content of the site and the income definitely helps cover domain renewals, hosting expenses, or whatever other costs come up.
If you have any questions or run into any troubles, please let me know in the comments below!