Some home business ideas are made much simpler if you use software to pull in offerings for your customers. That doesn’t mean you should just slap up dozens of sites with no effort to make your sites unique, but it can be a faster way to build a site that can pull in some affiliate income.

Build a Niche Store (BANS) is a solution that I’ve had some good luck with. It’s a tool to build sites that feature eBay auctions. The program costs $97 and is fairly easy to use. Customizing your template can take some work, as can researching good niches to build a site around.

The biggest challenge with BANS is making a decent quality site. Yes, you can just throw up a site and not add anything of your own to it. I do not recommend that. They don’t last.

The disadvantage to a BANS site is that they can be deindexed by the search engines for poor quality even if you have put some effort into them. I haven’t had that happen, but others have. To me that makes it not necessarily an ideal home business, but not the worst one either. The few BANS sites I run have paid for the software at least 10 times over. That’s not much really, but considering what I do with the sites after I set it up, not too bad either.

Skills Required

Your first step with a BANS site is to research the niche you want to use. You want to find things that sell well through eBay. Tight niches are a good thing. “Jewelry” is too broad. Antique jewelry of a particular era or Middle Eastern jewelry would be better. eBay has a Popular Products section that can make for some interesting reading.

You will also need to know how to customize the templates. The BANS software separates things out and offers you a few extremely basic templates to start things out. If you have the skills to do more than change the header, it’s a good idea to really work with your template. Change the colors, work with the layout, keep the site from looking like an out of the box BANS site.

You should also have some skills at writing copy. Even for the pages BANS generates automatically for the categories you choose you should be adding a good amount of your own copy. This is a big part of how you keep your site from being thrown out of the search engines.

You’ll probably also want to do article writing. The software makes it easy for you to post your articles to your site.

Common Expenses

The BANS software is the big upfront expense, of course. But you will also need a domain name for each site and hosting. Fortunately a good hosting account will let you host quite a number of BANS sites, so that cost should not increase too much with each site built.

Note that it may take you several tries to come up with a niche that will pay well. I have a couple BANS sites that hardly do anything at all. Two make up the bulk of what I have earned. I mentioned that this isn’t a completely easy home business solution, right?

Possible Income Streams

eBay commissions are not your only source of income on a BANS site. You can add in AdSense and other affiliate links. The templates make it very easy to put banner ads in.

Recommended Reading

Read in the BANS forums after purchase. You’ll get a link and be allowed to join once you’ve bought it. Lots of great tips from active users.