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!

Kyle Eslick is WordPress enthusiast who took his passion for WordPress to the next level in 2007 by launching WPHacks.com as a place to share hacks, tutorials, etc. Connect with Kyle on Twitter or Google+!

  • http://www.catswhocode.com Jean-Baptiste Jung

    Wow, thanks for this awesome post, Kyle. I don’t have any site that will fit with an ebay affiliate store for now, but that’s always a good thing to now for the future!

  • http://www.dailyblogtips.com Daniel Scocco

    Thanks for the mention of StudioPress Kyle!

  • http://eventurebiz.com John Hoff – eVentureBiz

    Kyle, can this be installed if you don’t have a template designed to work with this? Also, I’ve been thinking of adding a small eBay affiliate link on my site, do you know if they have free ones or do you have to pay for this software if you want to sell anything from eBay on your site?

    As for sub domains, I personally haven’t used them much myself, but there are some real advantages people might want to consider when thinking to use one or not.

    1. They work off of their own dns, so they are their own web and can be indexed differently in search engines.

    2. Simplicity. If your store directory is “ebay” but people have to type out http://my-site.com/stores/office/ebay they might not remember that address. However, http://ebay.my-site.com is much easier to remember.

    Just a quick thought….

  • http://eventurebiz.com John Hoff – eVentureBiz

    Hi Kyle. I meant do you know if eBay has an affiliate widget like Amazon uses which doesn’t cost us money to show on our website.

    I’m sure there is, I just haven’t checked yet.

    Also, I’m curious about the diamond website. I assume you’ve created multiple websites with affiliate links for multiple streams of income? Is this correct? Is there much up keep? What methods have you found for getting people to come to your sites and buy work best for you?

    Sorry – a bit off topic. Just curious.

  • http://kyleeslick.com Kyle Eslick

    @ JBJ – Glad you found the post useful.

    @ Daniel – No problem 8)

    @ John – Great points. I think if you are trying to get people to remember it, you can install BANS in the root domain, but for the purpose of this post I was trying to explain how to add a store to an existing WordPress site. Usually I put them on store.domain.com or domain.com/store if I’m doing this.

    BANS can absolutely be used anywhere including commonly as the root site itself. You can see an example of that at Diamond Investment, which is one of my stores that makes decent money each month. Took under an hour to get completely setup, posts written, etc.

    You can also customize the BANS theme to look how you want it to. The templates above were actually designed for people that aren’t comfortable hacking templates or making stylesheet adjustments.

    As far as a free ebay link, can you be more specific? I’m not aware of any generic links to eBay. These stores use their API to insert actual links directly to the auctions, which is always changing (BANS updates automatically).

  • http://kyleeslick.com Kyle Eslick

    Hi John,

    Yes, I use BANS on some of my extra domains as a way to monetize them and have them cover their yearly renewal fees. This way I can keep 100′s of domains in my portfolio without spending any of my own money. Right now I have about 50 stores running.

    You do not need BANS to use Ebay’s Partner Network, but you will need some API knowledge and a lot of time to manually setup something like this. You can sign up for free with eBay Partner Network and look around to get an idea if it is something you can do yourself or not. You may also want to check into something like PHP Bay.

  • http://www.melissaeaton.com Melissa Eaton

    Couldn’t agree with you more on this post. I’ve had BANS since 10/06 (the month they launched) and have had phpBay since 08/07.

    You are right that it will not fit well with a MMO/Affiliate Marketing blog, however I disagree when it comes to celebrity and personal blogs.

    You have to think outside the box a little bit to make it fit, but it can be used on these sites quite successfully.

    On a personal blog, many people post about a new gadget or product they just bought and how wonderful they think it is. If these people built a BANS site without using a category number, they can create a page using a custom search and link to that page from their post. (Very easy to do)

    No, it’s not a “niche” site when done this way because you might have a page on iphones, one on a certain laptop, one on a lawnmower, etc. You get the idea. However, if the blog has a loyal following, their readers are likely to buy something if that person recommends it. If they can get it cheaper on eBay than anywhere else, the visitor is likely to buy through their site.

    If it’s a celebrity blog, it all just depends on the celebrity. Think movies, music, books, sports, autographs, clothing and cologne/perfume lines, etc.

    You can also apply this to a general celebrity news blog. Just create more pages in the BANS store. I know several people who have used BANS this way and have done very well with it.

    @John – EPN has a few tools in the member’s area you might want to take a look at for displaying auctions/links on your site. You don’t have as much control over them, but you can use them until you can buy something like this.

    Hope this helps

  • http://eventurebiz.com John Hoff – eVentureBiz

    Thanks, Melissa – I will take a look at EPN.

  • David Lau

    Thanks,I’m looking it for a long time,that’s great!

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  • Frank Gil

    Yeah, great application, I will try that soon!

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  • Ben

    Hi all

    I have just finished my niche template download site, nearly all templates are free and there are many BANSWP templates there to help you integrate BANS and wordpress seamlessly.

    Enjoy :)
    Ben

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  • Jeff Paul internet Business Ideas

    I was so happy to find the real legitimate opportunities which guaranteed money from the comfort of my home. As there are so many scams on the web which are bogus.

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  • http://catholicrevelation.com Rob

    This will be very useful for my Catholic Website for integrating some store pages for selling Catholic Crucifixes, Rosaries, Books, etc. All things that are available on eBay.

    Thank you,

    Rob

  • http://premiumwpthemes.in Premium WP themes

    Thanks for this article sharing.

  • MAICLE

    nice feature. i will use this. thanks for sharing