One website building program that I have been consistantly asked about by readers over the last 12 or more months is Site Build It. While not a blogging platform as such it is a way of building a website for money and as a result I guess readers feel I will have an opinion of it. Unfortunately I’ve not used it before so don’t have any personal experience to offer. When I mentioned this on Twitter recently Julie Bonner (one of b5media’s staff writers) told me that she’d used SBI successfully – I asked her if she’d be interested in writing a user review. She agreed and here it is.
I first heard of SBI (Site Build It) back in August of 2004. I had tried, unsuccessfully, to build a website on my own a few months before that. Needless to say, I was frustrated because of my sheer lack of knowledge of html, seo and all the other stuff involved. I knew I could write, I knew I loved to write and I knew there was money to be made on the Internet. What I needed was a program where I could just pump out good content and have all of the other stuff taken care of for me, while making money of course. That’s when SBI fell into my lap.
In July 2004 I purchased SBI and hit the ground running. In a span of about 3 years, I built a handful of websites and then turned around and flipped them for a profit. I wrote on everything from decorating kids’ bedrooms to on-line games for kids. While I was in the process of building the sites, I was making a fairly decent income off of Google Adsense and affiliate links. To say I am grateful to SBI and what it has taught me, would be an understatement.
Some of you may be asking what the benefits of purchasing SBI are. It’s not super expensive, but pricey enough to where you need to do your research and think about if this is something you are willing to open your wallet for. You also have to realize that every year there is a renewal fee. For me personally, my income from the site has covered that fee over and above, so it has never been an issue.
Here are some of the benefits of SBI:
- Hosting is taken care of.
- You are guided through the process of choosing a topic and domain name that is profitable.
- There is an amazing keyword tool built in to the system.
- You can choose from many different templates, or upload your own.
- They submit your site to the search engines. All you have to do is place your keywords in the right places – which they tell you exactly where that is.
- No knowledge of html, ftp, graphic or programming skills needed.
- The training is phenomenal!
- Forum support is some of the best I have ever seen. It’s a very active forum with the give first attitude.
- You have the chance to learn from people who are making a full-time income off of their SBI sites.
- It is great for beginners who cringe at the word Internet or website.
I won’t go into great detail about the individual benefits, because SBI has a great site where they explain everything. You can read about the program or take their video tour.
What I will tell you, is that if you think you can go out and purchase SBI, throw up a few pages and watch the money start rolling in, then you might as well not waste your time or money. I was successful at building web sites and making money at it because I worked hard. SBI gives you the tools, but you have to provide the blood, sweat and tears. I spent many late nights writing and writing and writing and it payed off. I wrote for three months before I started seeing the money come in, but once it did, it just didn’t stop and continued to grow from there.
If you dig a little into the SBI site, you will see that this program has really changed people’s lives. I can tell you that it’s true. I have personally exchanged emails with people who are making a full time living off of their SBI sites, but like I said, it’s because they worked very hard in the beginning. They understood what they needed to do and they just did it.
SBI is what convinced me that making money on-line was truly possible. The thought of working from home and doing something that I loved became a reality for me and I have never looked back. It’s funny because SBI is one of the places where I first heard about this thing called blogging. They talked about it as a way to promote your web site and build traffic and encourage you to use the two together. Little did I know back then that blogging would take over my life.
My web site building days are currently on hold because, well, blogging is my new love. Will I pick it up again some day? Maybe. And if I do, I can guarantee you that Site Build It is where I will go back to. No doubt about that!
A Note from Darren – thanks to Julie for this review. While I’ve not use Site Build It at all and can only rely upon the advice of people I respect and trust (like Julie) I find myself reacting to the idea of SBI in a couple of ways.
Firstly, if I’m honest – when I hear of these programs I get a little skeptical. Why would you need to pay for this type of thing when you can set up your own blog or website using free tools?
Secondly, I really like the sound of some of the tools and features bundled up in this product. Some of the keyword tools, SEO that is built in, the community aspect etc. While the skeptical side of my brain tells me that you can get a lot of this for free – I guess I’m reminded of my first year online trying to build my first blogs where I quite literally had no idea what I was doing. I had to ask a fellow blogger how to make text bold – I didn’t know where to begin.
While some of us who have been around for a while might look down our noses at this type of tool I think that they can have a place – particularly for those starting out, who want to learn some basics and who don’t have the skills (or know someone with them) to get going. The idea of a service that bundles a lot of this stuff into a package and then charges for it will not appeal to everyone – some of us prefer to spend time researching, pulling together information from lots of sources etc – However for some, SBI sounds like a good ‘getting started’ tool.
I’d love to hear readers experiences of SBI. Have you used it? How did you find it? What did you like? What could they improve and do better?