Wordpress is easily one of the most easiest and most powerful CMS's you can use today. Combine PHPBay with Wordpress and you have unlimited possibilities. Here's a few reasons why you should consider using PHPBay for your next niche store.
1. Easily Create Super Targeted Niche Stores, No Longer Worry About Being Accepting into A Large List of Affiliate Programs
When creating a typical affiliate site, you have to deal with a big list of merchants which you need to apply to and sometimes you'll get rejected.
If you get rejected for their affilate program you simply can't promote their products (it sucks, trust me... I've been rejected countless times by merchants). This means lost revenue for products or services that are really lucrative.
Making an EPN site is not like that at all.
Once you are accepted into EPN you can create super targeted niche stores and easily make money selling any of the many products E-bay offers for sale - literally anything and everything.
2. Earn with the Ebay Affiliate Program, PepperJam, Mediaplex, TradeDoubler, or Affilinet
While PHPBay is a popular plugin to use with the Ebay Partner Network, some don't realize that it's also compatible with other affiliate networks as well.
3. Choose What Products to Display with A Simple Keyword
Inserting the code to display relevant auctions is as easy as a simple copy/paste of the code. There is also a button you can use in the editor which will quickly drop the code on your page. All you have to do is enter in the keyword and how many listings you want PHPBay to display. If you want to finely tune it wil other options you can further enter in those options but you don't have to if you don't want to.
4. The Plugin is SEO Friendly
There's no complex coding involved that's going to make the Google spider confused - inserting PHPBay is a simple 1 line copy/paste or a click of the button through the editor.
The auctions displayed on your site will change nearly everyday. Not only will these auctions have keywords which you're probably targeting already, but Google will read the changes to your page as you updating the content.
5. Consider Marketing in Different Countries, PHPBay Supports Over 17 Different Countries
With so many internet marketers competing over the dollars of US consumers, you might want to consider the UK market which is still to some degree largely untapped. There are other countries in Europe like Germany which also do a lot of spending online, and there are plenty of earning possibilities if you can handle making a site that targets foreign language buyers.
6. A Full Array of Options Available to Tailor your Auctions to Your Visitors That Will Make Them Click
List items by zip/postal code if your site is targeted towards a certain region, or choose to display listings in different languages and currencies depending on what country you choose.
When building niche stores being able to do these kinds of things has become invaluable for me. If I can read the demographics of my site, I can make an easy estimation on the type of products I should be showing my visitors. The more accurate I am with this, then the more sales I'm going to see and the more money I'm going to make!
7. The Members Only Forum - A Wealth of Knowledge
Are you stuck for ideas on what to do with the plugin? Check out the member forum where you can find discussions on how to earn money with PHPBay. Sometimes members post their sites for others to see, which sometimes helps me get ideas for new PHPBay sites. It's insightful and inspiring to see how others are earning with the plugin.
If I have a question I can easily get answers from different perspectives - the forum is literally a mastermind of loyal PHPBayers.
Pay close attention to the buying habits of your visitors with the reports EBay allows you to download.
I have a hunch that few EBay affiliates take real advantage of these reports - don't fall into the trap of just checking your daily earnings, clicks, and then logging out.
You may or may not know that you can see what items were purchased through your affiliate links if you dig deeper under the Reports section.
I suggest doing this at a bare minimum of once a month.
Why Track What People Buy?
Keeping track of what items are hot will give you a good idea on what items you really should be focusing on. If you're building backlinks to your site, note what items are selling well so you can build related backlinks and boost your SERPS for these items as well.
You're going to want to get targeted traffic that is interested in the hot selling items. The reason is simple: it converts better and makes you more money.
For example, on one of my sites a certain kind of laptop bag is a good seller. I make sure I have good rankings for these laptop bags by building latop related backlinks so I can drive as much of this traffic to my site as possible. I know these bags can also be hard to find, yet Ebay lists a good assortment of them.
This is a perfect example of focusing in on a profitable product so you can make the most revenue from your site as possible.
How To Download Your EPN Transaction Report
1. After you login to your EPN account, click the "Reports Tab".
2. Click the "Transaction Download" sub header.
3. Select your start and finish dates, this will call up the days you want your report data to consist of.
Now you can either download through a text file or through an Excel file. I prefer Excel since all the rows are neatly aligned and the data is easier to read.
The reports are easy to understand. They show sale amounts, category numbers, item IDs, etc. Unfortunately, they are a pain to manually garner any information from them.
A Simple Tool that Makes Reading Your EPN Report Much Easier
Check out the EPN report analyzer over at MyEPNReport.com. They have created a tool that will read all the data on your EPN report and give you something that you can quickly scan over and read a lot easier. There are similar tools out there but I like this one the best.
Simply download the text file of your report and then upload it to the site. It will tell you the auction title and link, the buyers ID, sale price, and more. This will easily give you an idea of what's selling well and you won't have to fumble with item or category ID numbers.
You will probably notice that there's a fair amount of items that aren't related to your niches that you get credited for. That's the nice thing about being an affiliate for E-Bay, people might click through your site to check out one item and then end up buying something completely different!
Whenever I build a new affiliate blog I immediately upload and install a few plugins that my blogs cannot do without. Some of these are SEO related, which is paramount for any blog - old or new. Others like Popularity Contest improve the 'stickiness' of your site. Check out my list.
Must-Have Wordpress Plugins
1. All In One SEO - Easily the #1 SEO plugin available for Wordpress today. You don't want to run a blog without this plugin. All In One SEO allows you to set titles, keywords, and descriptions for your site which search engines will pickup and use. Make your meta description good, you want to entice searchers to click on the link to your site.
2. Wordpress Database Backup - Sometimes bad things happen. Be safe and backup your Wordpress database with this plugin. I have this plugin sending me database backups for all of my sites every single week. Sure it's a lot of email, but better safe than sorry!
3. Link Cloaking Plugin - If you're going to work with affiliates other than Ebay, consider using a link cloaking plugin to cloak your affiliate links. Top affiliates suggest you do this, as it improves conversions and people will be more inclined to click your affiliate links. This translates to more revenue for you.
4. Google XML Sitemap Generator - In the days of old we had to make sitemaps by hand for static websites. This was an annoying task, and as you added more content you had to update the sitemap. With this plugin + Wordpress the workload is completely automated. As new posts are added your sitemap is automatically rebuilt and Google is informed of your changes. Another great plugin for SEO!
5. Popularity Contest - It's always a good idea to have links to your most popular content handy for your visitors - it's going to make your website more 'sticky'. I've noticed my best, most indepth posts get the most comments.
This plugin is helpful in driving more surfers and even more comments to these posts without fumbling up the overall organization of the blog.
6. WhyDoWork Adsense Plugin or Adsense Injection - If you're looking for an easy way to insert Adsense into your posts then consider either of these plugins. The last thing you want to do is tediously insert Adsense code into each of your posts by hand.
Suggested Wordpress Themes for Affiliate Bloggers
Chances are you don't want to stick with the plain default theme that your Wordpress blog comes installed with. You're going to want to make your site more attractive to the eye - if your site is ugly or unprofessional looking then visitors have a bigger chance of clicking off your site and onto something else.
There are also some themes that are ideal for affiliate blogging and some that aren't. Consider some of these themes for your next affiliate blog.
1. Revolution Series - If you want to pay for a really great, professional theme then none of them beat out the Revolution Series of themes. These are top notch magazine style themes which have great features like video, pre-installed adsense and banners, and front-page featured content.
This blog is using the Revolution Music theme, I really recommend these themes if you want to add flair to your site. While they take a bit getting used to, once you get the hang of using this theme you will be glad you put in the extra effort because its a really great theme. There are many Revolution themes to choose form.
If you don't want to spend the money on a premium theme, check out Mimbo or Branford - two very good magazine themes which have a similar feel to the Revolution themes (minus a couple of the features).
2. Cutline - One of the most downloaded themes, I like cutline because it is simplistic yet not too much like the default theme.
You can easily customize the header to match your site, and I like how the pages are displayed between the header and blog name. You can make these pages your "money pages" where they are mostly product oriented and you can get visitors clicking on your PHPBay ads.
Some affiliates say you should keep your pages for earning and converting your visitors into buyers, and use your posts for traffic generation and general content updates. This is probably a good idea if you want to keep your site professional-looking, and not cluttered with ads.
3. Prosense - If you want maximize the adsense earnings from your blog check out some of the themes which are specifically made for getting the most from your adsense clicks.
Prosense is an Adsense ready Wordpress theme that is very simple and highly customizable. You won't need an Adsense injection plugin with this theme, it has a built-in feature that automatically inserts Adsense into your single posts for you.
Here I am going to give you a simple step by step forumla that you can use to easily make money with PHPBay. This niche store script makes it surpsingly easy to make money online, and with a little work and patience you can have an army of sites earning monthly revenues for you.
Let's get started.
Step 1. Build sites
First things first, don't expect to build one or two sites and have them be your top breadwinners. You're going to need to build multiple sites to see what niches are worth the majority of your time and what just aren't panning out like you expected.
Another reason you should build multiple sites is so you can diversify your earnings and you won't be too hurt if something happens to one of your best sites.
How many of you have built a new site, and after a week or two, BAM! (in my best Emeril impression) you start getting traffic like mad? Visitors are coming, they are clicking links, and you start seeing some reward for all your hard effort? You know what I'm talking about, right? Most of us have seen this and think to ourselves "man, this is the life, it actually works!"
Then about 3-4 weeks later, everything comes to a screeching halt. You've gone from 300-500 visitors per day, to 10-20 visitors per day. Why? It's the Google Sandbox. It has many different names and some even suggest there is no such thing, but we've all seen the pattern, right? Call it what you will, the pattern is obvious, noticeable and predictable.
So now what do you do? You have no visitors, you have no earnings.
So you think to yourself "I'll start link building and adding fresh content." Doesn't work, does it? In most cases I've seen, it doesn't. Once in that preverbial sandbox, expect to be there for a good six months to year. I know exactly what you are thinking..."I'll be broke, this ain't cool, what a waste of time!" Right? Not exactly!
We know the predictable pattern, right? One site is good for about 3-4 weeks before it heads off into the sandbox. What if, you build 2-3 sites per week?
A few hours on a site, even if you are doing this part time, 2-3 sites per week are doable.
Here's why I suggest this and how you can really turn things around and start earning:
If you build 2-3 sites the first week, those sites are going to be good for about a month's worth or earnings at best, initially. Not because it's a phpBay Pro site, but because this *generally* works (with google) for just about any site. I've experienced it dozens of times.
So, the next week, you build 2-3 more sites. The next week, 2-3 more sites. Now, when your sites from the first week start fading away for their sandbox period, you have another set of sites that are still in their prime. And when those start fading away, you have another set, and so on and so on. And they all overlap, because each site is going to be good for 3-4 weeks, but you are building a few per week.
So there is the foundation to get started with. If you want to earn, invest a few dollars in a few domains each week.
Consider registering a handful of domains and getting content posted on them and a link or two so Google can find it. It's a good idea to begin aging these domains immediately.
Step 2. Get Links to Your Content and Site
I promise you, if you don't do this part, regardless of how you go about doing it, your site is worthless. Getting links to your site is absolutely critical, even for the first phase above in building your sites. Some say you should be building links to your sites about 60-70%% of the time, with the rest of your time spent on content and design.
I'm going to share with you ways I build links, to help you get started.
When you release a site, you need to get it linked so search engines will find it. This is easy to do.
Building Links with Forums
How many of you have an account at Digital Point Forums (uh, that hasn't been banned by the sometimes zealous moderators?) How about another forum? You have signature links right?
Rotate your sig links on the forums you are on. Here's why. You aren't worried about Page Rank. You just want to get the search engines to your site.
When you release 2-3 sites the first week, use your signature spots to get those links in there, for nothing more than getting the search engines to your site. The next week swap them out. That's it, it's really that simple, just use those sig links from virtually ANY forum, just to get the search engines to your sites.
You can also linkbuild with do-follow forums. Drop some sig links and participate in popular discussions. I've found some pages in do-follow forums that have PR.
Next, buy some directory submissions. They are not the "premium" links we all want, but it will help you that first month your site is up. Try to order these on day one or two when your site goes up.
So where do you go to get someone to do directory submissions? Digital Point, of course. There's people there that will submit your site to hundreds of directories for 10-20 bucks. Here's the link to find them.
If you are really on a shoestring budget, and have more time than you do money, go here.
Every day, members there release new directories where you can get a free link. Granted, it's going to take some time and you're probably going to think "jeez, I should probably just pay someone to do this" after you submit the first few, but it's the quickest and cheapest way to get links. I know...you're thinking that these are new directories. Yes, they are. And these guys are spending money to get links to their new directories. It's a vicious circle. Don't worry that they are new directories. It's a link, and search engines will see it as a link, and it's a start if you are on a tight budget.
A Warning about Renting Links
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY BUYING A MONTHLY PR5,6,7 LINK. It will take a few months, at least to see any benefit, and while it may increase your Page Rank (which is cool, I suppose), traffic is what you want and PR does not equate to traffic. I once had a PR6 site (amazon site) that hit PR6 while still in the sandbox. I was shocked and excited with the PR Update. Didn't change the traffic though. 20 uniques per day on a PR6 site isn't cool. Just follow the instructions below for link building and don't waste money buying paid monthly links. We want "pay once, stay for the life of the directory or blog" type links.
Article Writing and Article Directory Submissions
I can't stand writing articles. I can, and I've written many to promote my sites over the years. Two ways to go about this. Pay someone, or do it yourself if on a tight budget. I'm going to share with you why this important and it will lead into the next section, which is buying blog posts.
First, though, let's go a bit deeper into the article writing. Why is it important? First, you can submit your articles to free article directories where others can use your article. Don't worry about the fact that others are going to use it, the benefit here is, you get a link back to your site. Links are important, right? You better believe it!
Article directories/sites are a great way for you to get other free links, if you are on a tight budget. Write up a 250 word article or two about your site. You can find lists of free places to submit articles to on Digital Point forums.
Now, if you have a budget, go here.
You can get articles written, 250 or 500 word articles for 5-10 bucks. Find someone to work with, about six to ten of these written, all on the same niche for the same site.
With these in place, you have two options. Submit them to a free article submission site and get a back link, OR, buy blog posts. I prefer buying blog posts.
Make sure you're submitting to Ezinearticles, they are the top name in article directories and will provide the most powerful links.
Buying Blog Posts
This has been very successful for me. I don't use "text link ads" or anything like that, where you have to pay monthly, or your article or post is gone. Forget about them. It will cost you too much money in the long run.
Instead, go here.
Every day, established blog owners offer to write, or post on your behalf, a post to their blog...generally with 1-3 links max per page. I generally will do 1 or two links on a post, even if more are offered.
You have a choice here. Let the owner write the post, which (in my experience) will be less quality and shorter, OR, you can sometimes get a discount if you write the article. And sabes que? (means "And guess what?" in English) You've written a few articles of your own, or had someone write 6-10 for you above. All *unique* content, ready for a backlink on an established blog. Cost will be $5 -$50, depending on how powerful the blog is.
Don't worry if it's a PR2 or PR3. Just means it's been around for a while, and their site will probably gain in the next update, which means yours will too. If you have a budget, try to purchase 6-10 unique blog posts to get your site going.
I like to purchase blog posts for multiple sites at once. Don't be afraid to haggle with them and request bulk discounts. Ask if they offer a bulk discount first instead of offering up the number, sometimes they will drop their prices significantly less than you expect.
Another good way to get your sites indexed as well as get some backlinks from social bookmarking sites that don't use redirects or the "nofollow" attribute. I like to social bookmark a few of my articles to my sites - it's a little similar to directory submissions but you can submit social bookmarks for any article/deeplink within your site.
Check out the Top 30 Social Bookmarking Sites here.
Step 3. Go to Step 1 and Build More Sites!
Just repeat the process and over and over. Keep building sites with unique content, get links for these sites, and then build more sites. This way you'll be able to find out what your best earning sites are. Consider culling the losers (sell them or let them sit) so you don't focus your time or investment into sites that don't perform for you.
Look at why your best sites are doing well. Is it the niche or do they just get good traffic? Look at the CPC earnings. You might want to build more sites in related niches to try to replicate your high earnings with new sites.
For EPN my best site has a 3 month average of $16.72 EPC - my worst site is a low $3.84 EPC (but interestingly enough boasts a high Google adsense EPCs).
Which brings me to another point, some niches work great with EPN and others can be monotenized better with Adsense or other affiliate programs. Just keep testing.
After Your Niche Sites Are Built: Monthly Maintenance
Month one is now over, you have 8-10 new sites, and you are starting to see some results. Keep building. Keep doing the same things above, creating new sites (even if just 2 per week).
In your second month, go back to your first eight to ten sites. Either write, or have written, one or two articles for those sites, then either submit to an article submission directory, or buy more blog posts. Just a few, no need to go crazy. This will keep a few fresh links to your first month's sites, as they start to drop off. This will keep your sites getting a few links per month (at minimum, you can opt to do more) while in the sandbox.
Keep your linkbuilding process natural and gradual, in the end you will see results.
Six to Eight Months Down the Road
By now, you've got the process down. Your earnings are steady, even though sites continue to fall off into the sandbox. Every month, you try to get a few links to your very first sites created (and those since), and suddenly, a few start to show signs of more traffic. They are slowly coming out of the sandbox. Now you have a steady stable, while you continue to build more.
Some are NEVER going to be successful. No matter what you do, no matter how you play by the book. They are a loss. Don't worry about them, because some will pan out and work well for you others aren't worth the time or investment.
One last thing I want to share. You can certainly take the easy route with these sites, and just create pages that have a bunch of ebay listings, with no unique content. I know a lot of my customers do this. These are going to be disposable sites. They will probably never recover from the sandbox and probably have a shelf life of 1-3 months, then they are toast. If you are doing this, it's probably not a good idea to invest that much time effort as I've outlined above. Do try to get some links to them if you can, but they are going to be disposable. Once you've milked earnings from them, they are pretty much done.
However, if you are willing to put some time/investment into them, try to write unique content for each page. 2-3 paragraphs of unique content for each page/post that has ebay listings. Two paragraphs at the start of the page/post, your ebay listings, then a final paragraph after the ebay listings. Try to get your keywords in those paragraphs, bold one, italicize the other, underline one, etc.
Some Final Tips
1) Don't get too caught up in the blog template. Try to use colors that are attractive with a simple, clean "easy on the eyes" template. Something like the Limau Orange template.
Remember your goal here: You want traffic and you want those visitors to click a link. Everything else is just extra. Get them there, get them to click and go to Ebay.
2) Once you do the first two weeks, it will probably become second nature to you. You may spend a day, maybe two at the most, to create, link, blog posts/articles. If you have time and are not on tight budget, try to do a few more. The more you make, the more you earn.
3) Some sites are never going to do well. It may be a tough niche, it may be that google, yahoo, or msn just views the site as such as to not do much for it. Don't worry about those sites. Focus on the ones that are, or begin to start earning and continue to repeat the process.
4) If you are buying a domain, setting up Wordpress, adding some Ebay listings, and hoping down the road it's going to work out...I'll be quite frank with you. Good luck! It just doesn't work that way. If you have an aged domain/site, and you are adding listings to, you'll probably do well. If you don't have that, though, use the above, get to work, and start doing the basic things needed to be done, to create a revolving door of earnings.
Not all niches are created the same. If you have multiple websites already, you've probably noticed how the earnings for each of your sites vary. I personally have one affiliate site that makes as much money in affiliate sales as my Adsense account - and my Adsense account is spread across all 13 of my sites combined.
Some niches can be about as good as a dead stick in the water. Other niches can be literal internet goldmines.
The best advice I can give you, is choose wisely.
You won't really be able to get a good idea for how profitable your niche is until you drive a good amount of traffic to it, which takes time and effort.
Find Trends with EBay Pulse
Ebay Pulse is one of my favorite places to find new niches for websites. This little site from Ebay gives you the most popular items that are selling on ebay. You can track trends and keywords so it should give you some good ideas for new sites. If you're going to be apart of the Ebay Affiliate Program (which I highly recommend), give this website a good search.
If you're looking to market internationally, Ebay Pulse UK has results for Ebay UK, as well as all their other international Ebay sites.
Back Engineering Profits with Google Adwords Traffic Estimator
In order to see a ballpark range for what advertisers are spending on certain keywords, I use the Google AdWords Traffic Estimator. The more advertisers are willing to spend on keywords, then it's a safe bet that the more profitable that niche is.
To use this tool just enter in your selected keywords and then Add "All Countries and Territories" then click "Continue". Don't bother choosing a budget, leave it blank.
On the next page it will display the average cost per click that it will cost an advertiser to market via Adwords with these keywords.
Check out the results I get for these keywords:
California Lawyer: $10.18 - $15.27
Iphone: $2.00 - $2.51
Murad: $5.08 - $6.36
Myspace: $.30 - $.42
Webkinz: $.15 - $.23
This tells me that having an acne site about the Murad acne solution might be a good idea. Upon further research I find they also have a solid affiliate program which I can send visitors to, along with Murad Ebay listings and also a healthy click value for Adsense.
This tool is also a good gauge for what kind of earnings you can expect with Google adsense. Don't expect to receive these amounts per click, but the higher the number the better.
Good Ol' Keyword Research
Of course finding the demand for websurfers is also a good way to judge popularity. The free keyword research tool at SEO Book works nicely for the top 100 most popular keywords in your niche. If you want to go further than that I recommend Wordtracker.
More Google Tools - Google Trends and Google Sets
If you want to find out if your niche is on the upswing or quickly losing popularity, check out Google Trends. Notice the trends for popular products during the Christmas season - if you're making your sites around that time it might be a good idea to really push your promotion for extra sales.
If you want to find related keywords within your niche check out Google Sets. This might help you find keywords and/or products worth promoting you never would have thought about before.
The Top 5 Poorest Niches You Can Make A Website On
While I can't give you the best niches, I can give you the absolute worst.
Proxy - Way oversaturated, advertising is completely untargeted and you won't see much earnings unless you actively promote on other Proxy sites... I never really understood this niche.
Making Money Online - Unless you're a real expert on making money online then I would advoid this niche. Far too often I see webmasters opening sites trying to make money online by teaching other people how to make money online - does this make sense to anyone?
Arcades - A fun website to run but unprofitable, oversaturated.
Image Hosting - Although these kinds of sites have a functional purpose, don't expect to earn too much money from them. They will also suck up your bandwidth.
Warez - I wouldn't touch this theme with a ten foot pole.
While internet spending continues to make leaps and bounds, the competition for these dollars also increases.
The internet is no longer a barren playing field. Many highly profitable segments of the market like insurance and home mortgages are full of competition - some of them very experienced marketers.
However, there is a way you can even the competition by choosing a targeted niche. Here are some of the best reasons you should choose a targeted niche for your store, and stick with it.
1. Less Competition, Easier to Dominate
One of the biggest newbie mistakes I have seen niche store websites make is they target very broad niches. Broad niches are ultra competitive and it would take a while before your website started seeing revenue if you went this route.
It's much better if you choose a specific niche.
For instance, if you want to open a niche store that sells cellphones, consider targeting a certain brand or type of cellphone. Trying to dominate cellphone sales as a whole is already difficult, as there are many online stores selling all kinds of cellphones already and they have plenty of marketing dollars to throw into advertising.
If you chose a specific brand it's going to be easier for you to rank for these keywords in Google because all of your backlinks will be related to this certain brand. So when someone searches for the brand your store is about, Google is going to happily refer to your site because you are an obvious source that sells or provides info on this brand of cellphones.
2. Focus to Build an Interested Audience and Diehard Fans
If there's a lot of interest in the niche you've selected and you have a fair amount of good information then it's going to be easier for you to build an audience for your website. This means more return visitors and more sales for you.
Consider opening a forum on your website to let your visitors interact with each other. Forums will make your website especially "sticky" and surfers will be more inclined to stick around and read posts.
3. Easier to Monotize and More Profits
Ads on general sites are hit and miss, the advertisements may or may not be relevant to what the visitor is looking for. Unless these general topic sites are getting a ton of traffic, it can sometimes be hard to find out what kind of ads they should serve their visitors.
On the other side of the coin you have niche sites which can be a real goldmine. The reasoning behind this is simple. You know pretty much exactly what your visitors are looking for when they come to your site, so its going to be a lot easier for you (and Google Adsense if you use this) to serve them relevant ads.
All of this translates into more revenue for you!
There's no doubt about it, quality content is one of the big things that makes websites great.
Search for any keyword in Google, chances are the top 10 results will be filled with content that you will find useful. Of course, this is what search enginges are used for: giving searchers the best, most informative information.
As a website it's absolutely imperative that you have good, readable English articles on your website related to the niche which you're promoting. Does your niche store sell cellphones? Write cellphone reviews. Does your niche store sell lawnmowers? Write lawn tips or articles on how to pick the best lawn mower. You get the picture.
Ultra-Important for SEO
Google loves unique, quality content. If you're looking to rank for a specific term, then it's in your best interest to write an article loosely focused around this term. Don't make it a big fluff article that nobody is going to find useful, give it real substance.
Put some time and thought in your articles - write a small outline and present solid points your visitors are actually going to find useful.
Good content is just as important as good links, don't neglect either of these!
Presell What You're Selling
As your visitor reads your articles, they will become warmed up to your offer. Have you ever visited a website that just has pages and pages of products? Did seeing all these products make you want to buy? Chances are, it didn't. Have you ever visited a website where you read an informative review about a product and then purchased the product after you read the review? I certainly have.
doesn't involve hard sales pitching in any way. You're merely presenting honest facts to your reader, negative or positive. Be brutally honest about the products your niche store offers, customers will appreciate it and will come back to your website because they TRUST you.
Keep Your Visitors Eyes Glued to Your Site
Good content will keep visitors on your site for longer periods of time. Instead of arriving and then leaving quickly because they realize your site has nothing good to offer them, they stick around to read up on something that interests them.
The longer visitors stay on your site then the better chances you have of them noticing and clicking on an ad, or clicking through to your affiliate links and making a purchase.
A nice plugin I like to use on my Wordpress sites is Popularity Contest. It displays my most popular articles on the right-hand site so visitors can get to my best content quickly and easily.
What Not to Do
The absolute worst thing you can do is just load up your niche store script and make your site into just pages of products. Make your website interactive, keep your visitors entertained with good content - make sure they stick around for as long as possible!