I love the freedom of working for myself! Freedom has always been something that is SO important to me, and the notion of a 9-5 and having to ask permission to take a vacation – well, it never sat well with me! - Alison Andrews, SBI! member since 2009

52 Top Solo Build It! Solopreneurs Share Their Must-Do “Non-Secrets” of Success

Written By: Margit Streifeneder in Real-Life Success Lessons! | March 15, 2017

52 Top Solo Build It! Solopreneurs Share Their Must-Do “Non-Secrets” of Success

For 15 years, we have received inspiring and inspired feedback about SBI! (“Solo Build It!”). Recently, the content in a few of those notes got us thinking… We live in a “go-go-go” world where most solopreneurs focus on the latest Google gurgles, social strategies, complex metrics and countless tools.

In our experience, though (and we’ve worked with solopreneurs since 1997), the key to building a profitable online business isn’t about the latest-greatest.  It’s about evolving with the times, sure, but it’s mostly about mastering the “non-secrets to success.

To find out what these are, we asked 10% of those who appear on this “Results Page” to answer a single question…

Q: What are the top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to your success?

SBI! members (“SBIers”) are happy to share those with anyone who has yet to really succeed.  These solopreneurs mention SBI!, of course.  But the lessons are timeless and universal. Best of all, they apply to anyone who has a strong reason (what’s your goal?) for growing a profitable online business.

Let’s meet 3 of them now…

For the past 16 years, SBI! has been there to guide me with sound business-building advice. Yes, they help you build a site, but the true value is the guidance in developing the right mindset about building a business.Tracy Scorzafava, womansdivorce.com

Your takeaway?  It takes a particular mindset to build a business. Most solopreneurs don’t have it. We’ll cover that later.

I meandered my way through countless Get Rich Quick (GRQ) pages, and kept coming back to SBI!. Its attraction was real people, telling real stories. They were ordinary people, people like me. It was a case of thinking — if they could, I could.Susan Dugdale, write-out-loud.com

Your takeaway?  The solopreneur space is loaded with “opportunities” that lead to failure. Find an all-encompassing approach that makes sense and stick with it.

In all my transactions across the various domains of life, I compare price for value. Nothing, anywhere, even comes close to the value provided by SBI!.Arthur Gueli, InsuranceClaimCoach.com

Your takeaway?  Evaluate your suppliers (that’s what web hosts and sitebuilders are to you).  Do you get tremendous business-building value for your dollar?

These are just 3 short quotes pulled from the 52 replies we received. They may appear somewhat “salesy,” and sure, we DO hope you decide to try SBI! (at no risk to you). But here’s the thing…

We have long known that Solo Build It! gives solopreneurs an edge. In fact, a recent study showed how SBI! multiplies a solopreneur’s chances for success by 100X.

No kidding… 100-fold!  We had our own thoughts on why that is — we nurture “best practices” within a process that has proven timeless while continuously evolving over time. We eliminate “worst practices” and update relentlessly.  Those strengths, though, are our point of view.

We wanted to hear why SBIers think they succeed.  What are the key things they do right?  Where did they go wrong (or avoid going wrong)?

SIDEBAR: We already know the “weakness” of SBI!. In the name of fair play, we share it here…

It’s why 15-20% of new SBIers quit and refund. The reason?  There’s a lot to SBI!.  The good news is that it’s not rocket-science hard. There’s nothing that you cannot do…

We break the massive project of building a business down into 10 big stages. Those break down into mid-level steps, each of which breaks down into simple, do-able tasks (see this page about the Action Guide, which is the core of SBI!)…

“Do this.  Next do that.” And so on, until each mid-level process is done.  Each little task is DO-able. Add them all up and the entire business-building project becomes so, too.  But…

There are a LOT of steps, intermingled with the info you need to understand why you do each.  That’s the reality of business.  If it was quick and easy, we’d all be rich.

The feedback from those who refund within 90 days reflects that.  “There’s too much.”  “I don’t have the time to do all this.”  “I was hoping to just start building my site.”  Too many individuals don’t take “one big step” back and think about what it takes to succeed with business.

We won’t compromise on that. The “make money with a site” mindset is a destined-to-fail way of thinking.  We serve those who arrive with BAM.

So we don’t equate “building a site” to “having a business.” In fact, it is just part of “DAY 6” of our 10-DAY process outlined in the Action Guide.  Here’s the bottom line…

If folks don’t get all the steps right, they fail. That takes a business mindset.

OK, here’s hoping we didn’t scare you away! If you are still here, you’ll take away a great deal of the most important principles to apply to your own efforts. In the long run, these will prove to be more useful than any hot topic of the month.

The goal of our quest was to discover what SBIers learned in order to build the type of success that all solopreneurs seek. Their answers reveal what really counts when building a business online. No fluff – just straightforward answers from everyday people who ended up as winning solopreneurs in a wide variety of niches, from Anguilla to Zanzibar, aardvarks to zebras.

OK, let’s settle in. This is going to be a long read — and worth every minute of your time. Prefer to get the roundup as a PDF? Just enter your email below and we’ll send it to you.

QUICK TIP: You’ll see terms like Brainstorm It!, BlockBuilder, Analyze It! and others mentioned in the answers. These are some of the tools that come with every SBI! subscription. Each tool is explained in depth here, but it’s the lessons that matter.

As a matter of fact, you can replace most of the tools with plugins if you use WordPress. SBI! for WP enables WPers to follow the exact same process. You do exactly the same thing – the only difference is that we master the WP ecosystem for you, too.

I started using SBI! back in 2010 and it has honestly changed my life. I started building my first online business whilst still working to see how things went. After a year I took the plunge, quit my job and moved to SBI!.

Over the last 7 years I have learnt loads! I started a second site and then a third. I’ve even written a book! I never expected to have anywhere near the success I have. And I could not have done it without SBI!. So here are the ways SBI! has contributed to my success…

1. Action Guide

When I started, I knew nothing about building websites. I watched every video, twice! And I followed the steps. I found them really user friendly, easy to understand and easy to put into practice. Every now and again, I go back and watch one, to check I’m still doing the best I can. They give such a comprehensive overview that I had the tools to get started.

2. Brainstorm It!

Each time I’ve started a new site, it has been Brainstorm It! that has helped me to choose what topic to write about. I firmly believe that if you get the right topic with the right blueprint, you can succeed — it has certainly worked for me.

It has given me ideas I wouldn’t have thought about and valuable data to help me choose what pages to build and what to skip. It shifted my mindset from structuring the site the way I thought people would want it to be, to what people are actually searching for.

3. BlockBuilder and Analyze It!

Having started on BB1 (SBI!’s original block-by-block page builder) way before sites even thought about being mobile friendly, things have changed a lot. But SBI! has made the transition super easy and building pages now is a doddle.

Building pages that pass Analyze It (a tool that helps you make your web pages search engine friendly) seems to be helping. My Google rankings prove it!

4. Support

It’s not often I’ve needed to contact them but when I do, I’ve always had a quick, thorough response. In a couple of situations where it has taken a bit longer to resolve the issue, they send regular updates about how things are progressing. Knowing that help is there if you need it is invaluable.

5. The Range of Topics Covered

Not only has SBI! shown me how to build a site that gets visitors, they’ve taught me about how to get the best from it. AdSense tutorials, social media, and even how to write a book for Kindle (SBI! help was better than Kindle’s!).

I never thought I could write a book, but I have, and it’s selling! They keep up to date on what’s going on in the world (eg., algo changes, mobilize it, cookie notices etc.) — it keeps my sites up to date and on the ball.

10 years down the line and I am still as thrilled with SBI! as I was the day I found it.

Here’s why:

  1. Worry-free
  2. No fluff
  3. Freedom to grow my site, my way.

Let me expand:

1. Worry-Free

I know my site is always 100% secure and online – no hackers! My domain is safe, renewed without any hassles on my side, even on the odd occasion when I had bank card renewal problems. The server is always sufficient for my traffic. In short, I never have to worry about any hosting problems.

2. No Fluff – Peace of Mind

No matter how big or small the changes are on the internet, it affects all websites. I truly appreciate how the SBI team always comes up with a plan when there are important changes that require action – without getting their subscribers in a freaked-out flat spin.

I’ve learnt to wait until the SBI team advises us what to do. I then analyze my own situation and take action.

The support team and programmers are a great plus point, too. They are always willing and able to sort out any issues that would otherwise take me days to figure out on my own. (I bother them perhaps once a year and always with respect and gratefulness).

3. The Freedom to grow my site, my way, with confidence.

The SBI training is brilliant, especially for newbies. I have learnt an incredible amount from SBI at my own pace. The true magic happens when you start to see how it all fits together and it starts working its business-building magic.

When you can actually take the parts of your site that work well, learn how to duplicate that success and grow stronger and more confident with every page you build.

SBI! encouraged me to be a game changer, not a follower. I ascribe the success of my online business to that. SBI! for life!

“What are the top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to your success?”

1. Action Guide

A structured pathway to follow so that I did things in the right order in the first year.

2. Brainstorm It!

A great tool which helped me to focus on the most important areas to write about in the first year.

3. Key Information

The key information provided by SBI! (in the Forums and elsewhere) — i.e., what to know, what to ignore, etc.

I’ve been with SBI! since 2006 (and teetered on the edge of buying for about three years before that).

I was initially put off by the cost (for a “website”), but over the subsequent years began to realise that $300 a year to start and run a “business” was/is a bargain.

As the years go by, the info from Ken and others at SBI! about what to know and what to ignore, etc. is the most valuable single part of my subscription.

My site has always been a passion, and so I guess it never feels much like work. I have written a short article about the ways that SBI! has helped me. I was unable to narrow it down to 3, so there are actually 7 ways…

Top 7 Ways SBI! Has Led Me to Success

When I started with SBI! about three years ago, I knew nothing about the internet other than it was a platform to obtain information. I was not on any social media sites. I barely knew how to do a search that would bring back the results I wanted. Calling myself a novice was rather flattering — I didn’t even consider myself worthy of that term.

Needless to say, I had a lot to learn. But the worst part was that I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. Consequently, I didn’t know how to ask the questions that would propel me along.

Semi-retirement placed me in a position of wanting to do something new, something challenging, yet manageable. Somehow I stumbled onto SBI!.

1. Action Guide

As a former preschool teacher, I am particularly appreciative of the SBI! Action Guide. It supports any learning style, following proven techniques that lead to mastery, and doing all of this in a fun, relaxed format.

Without the Action Guide, I would have immediately tried to build a website that was doomed to failure. With the help of the Action Guide, I not only learned how to build a website, but also how to…

  • build a business
  • create an online presence that goes beyond just a website
  • manage my time and energy so that I could get the maximum amount done in the shortest period.

2. Brainstorm It!

Many SBIers are very good with numbers, but I am not one of them. What I needed was a simple platform that could help me determine what to write. At first, I thought I knew what people wanted. My logic was a little faulty as it assumed that if I found it interesting, everyone else would too.

After a while, it dawned on me that most of my readers were at least 30 years my junior, and what they wanted wasn’t exactly what I was giving them. That is where Brainstorm It! (SBI!’s keyword research and analysis tool) came into play. I started paying more attention to what people are looking for, instead of what I wanted to write. Which brings me to the next way that SBI! has helped.

3. Answers to All My Questions in The SBI! Tips and Techniques Online Library

I have never sat down and counted the number of articles in this extensive collection, but it is fair to say that there is an article about anything you need to know to build an online business.

None of my past writing exercises prepared me for writing for the web. Again, SBI! came to my rescue with numerous helpful articles on what it does take to crank out something that another person would even read. After all, who wants to write something no one reads?

Writing for the internet is quite different from the writing they teach you in school. SBI! taught me how to look for and find my voice.

Ditto that for all the other elements that make working on a website fun: photography, videography, graphic design, social media, site structure, monetization techniques, and even a little coding, although coding is normally not necessary for a successful SBI! site. I knew little to nothing about any of these but slowly learned through all the resources that SBI! has to offer.

4. Helping Me Organize Myself

Most of a business’s organization is already in place when a new employee begins work. There’s generally an orientation program that tells her or him what s/he needs to know. Not so with starting a business of your own.

The new solopreneur is left to write her business plan, develop a procedural manual, and figure out how to organize her work.

Here again, SBI! came to the rescue. There are so many helpful people in the SBI! forums who are glad to provide a tip here and there. There are articles available to help you get organized. And best of all, SBI! models organization at its most efficient.

In Site Central, for example, is everything you need to run a business in one place. One page with links to all of your pictures, articles, links, brainstorm notes, traffic stats and so on. No need to try to remember any of it in my head, nor search for it on an already overloaded hard drive or a desk covered with Post-it notes.

5. Someone Has My Back

Setting up an online business is not easy, and there are no guarantees for overnight success. There is much to learn and relearn. Sometimes it feels as if the internet changes overnight.

I can count on SBI! to monitor all of these developments and alert me when it is time to make changes to my site. Over the last three years, so much has changed, and if it weren’t for SBI!, my website would likely reflect the year 2013 instead of 2017.

6. Planning

This saying has always stuck with me…

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

One of the core tenets that I have learned from SBI! is that building a website is not something you do overnight. It is a long process that requires motivation, determination and planning. An hour of work here or there will not give you a successful website.

So many of the website builders on the market advertise the ease with which your site can be up and running. No need for planning with these builders, just do it.

I did look at several in the early days. They were enticing, but in the end, I realized that I need so much more than a site builder that I could use to throw together a site on a Saturday afternoon. I wanted a business that I could feel good about – something that would make me proud — something that I would still be passionate about in 3 or 5 or even 15 years.

7. Encouragement

There is nothing better than asking a group of people for help and receiving what you need right away. Fellow SBIers are the most helpful group of individuals in the world. It is also fun getting to know people from all corners of the world. Perspectives may be different, but there is always a sense of friendliness, support, and camaraderie. I’ve learned so much from the SBI! forums.

And when there is a question that no one can answer there is always Support. The SBI! Support team responds quickly and stays with you until the problem is resolved. You never feel alone.

These are just seven ways that SBI! has helped me to build an online business. I am sure there are many other ways. No matter how knowledgeable you are in some areas, there are always learning gaps, and that is where SBI! steps in. I feel as though I’ve gotten more practical knowledge with SBI! than I ever received to complete my bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Tracy Scorzafava

Tracy Scorzafava

www.womansdivorce.com

1. SBI! Takes Care of the Technical Side

With SBI! I don’t have to worry about all the “technical stuff” such as coding, responsive design for mobile friendliness, doing site-wide changes, etc. There are only so many hours in a day, and I would never be able to get any traction with my business if I had to also master the technical side of things.

2. Sound Business-Building Advice

For the past 16 years, SBI! has been there to guide me with sound business-building advice. Yes, they help you build a site, but the true value is the guidance in developing the right mindset about building a business.

A lot of newbies get frustrated with all the steps in the Action Guide, but it really does make you stop and take the time to make sure your “baby” stands a good chance of succeeding. I know how easy it is to get distracted by bright shiny objects and the latest formula for success. SBI! filters out all the junk and lets you know what is important so you can focus on building your business.

3. Forums

The forums are indispensable. It’s a safe place to discuss issues you may be having with your site, ask for help, and give your input on someone else’s questions. It really does feel like a family that truly understands what you are doing. And that shouldn’t be taken lightly because none of my offline family or friends really understands what I do on a daily basis. I have never felt alone in my online ventures.

I found SBI! in 2005. Then I was newly middle-aged and without a regular job, having left teaching because of varying health issues. I needed, I thought, a business in a box — something I could take with me wherever I wanted to go, and that “something” had to pay.

I meandered my way through countless “Get Rich Quick” (GRQ) pages, and kept coming back to SBI!. Its attraction was real people, telling real stories. They were ordinary people, people like me. It was a case of thinking — if they could, I could.

Write-out-loud.com began in 2006, and quite literally I had no idea about what I was doing. I didn’t know anything about building web pages, marketing, writing for the web, images — nada, zip, nothing.

Unlike other “systems” I’d read about, SBI! made it OK to know nothing — to start from where I was. The articles, the help in the forums covering everything a person like me needed to know, enabled me to crash through the most humongous barriers and self-made snafus, and despite causing carnage with my trainer wheels, I could, and did, keep going.

I made all kinds of mistakes, e.g., accidentally deleting entire pages, and because I hadn’t made copies of them, having to start them all over again; using impossible file names (some of which still exist); putting up pages without research because I found the topic interesting; not understanding what Brainstorm It! was really about until years after my initial set up; and so on, and so on. Miraculously my website withstood every naive insult I inflicted on it.

I remember the thrill of getting those first visitors and seeing the numbers slowly, slowly increase.

So that was the first major lesson for me via SBI!. Keep going. It will be OK. You can learn. Even though there were many instances of sobbing into my computer keyboard late at night through pure frustration, and having to resist hurling everything out the window, there was always, always a way through.

There would be a generous post explaining code for noddies like me, a slice of inspiration from someone farther down the track… That, my love of my niche, and the promise I made myself to give us (my husband and me) a good retirement, i.e., something to live on other than our pension, kept me going.

Now here is where it gets tricky. These days I have fantastic traffic. It’s mind boggling — at least to me. I get emails from all around the world saying thank you for the site. And yet — I’ve not cracked making it fully viable. We can’t live off what it earns. I’ve not stopped working at it. I have learned a bunch of lessons along the way about the relationship between content and money, and me.

Here they are.

I realise I set this situation up and that I am living with the result of my lack of business understanding at the very beginning. I had no plan for earning money — no products — nothing. What I learned was how to build web pages, good ones, but not how to earn from them or even think that I should!

When my traffic rose enough I applied for AdSense and then put that code on my top traffic pages. That was it in terms of monetization, and somewhere, I felt I had compromised myself even by doing that.

The mental switch from wage earner to entrepreneur I found really hard and challenging. As a teacher, I taught for as many hours as was needed — nights, weekends, until I couldn’t do it anymore. Selling time, selling knowledge just didn’t feel right, or good. It felt mean, and even fraudulent.

Needless to say significant training was required to make it OK to put together the e-products that I have on my site, and to begin a bespoke speech writing service.

Along the way there have been failures — an attempt to set up sponsorship arrangements was a dismal waste of time. I’ve been well and truly taken for a ride by a number of people who requested speeches, and then once they had received them, disappeared. (Those account for far too many hours!)

The newer SBI! material places a great deal more emphasis on building a business — looking at all the threads that need to come together to create that — a plan for the site, dovetailed with a plan for monetizing it. That is how it should be.

And I would add to that — a rather nebulous concept — yet one I believe that underpins it all — re-training, or help to re-define a person as they shift from wage or salary to self-employed. I discovered all sorts of self-sabotaging behaviour — reluctance to charge, reluctance to charge properly, a failure to set boundaries around time spent on a project, a fear of being seen to be “too big for my boots,” fear that I would be called out for not knowing what I was talking about (even though I do), reluctance to delegate, and more.

Maybe this is an age thing. Perhaps people younger than me don’t come along apologising quite so readily for themselves, their shortcomings, and the state of the universe. I hope not! It wastes so much time!

I know I could not have done what I’ve done without SBI! — the people in the forums, the articles, and its suite of integrated tools.

Write-out-loud.com had its tenth birthday in 2016. That’s very old in Net years. Yet we’ve still got places to go — adventures to have. I have an app planned which I’m hoping will be a game changer. I have more ebooks too, and vid courses in the wings. I truly love what I do and the people I meet, and I am determined to crack the money mystery.

Here are the 5 main ways in which SBI! made my site the success it is… not only as a website but as a web business:

1. SBI! Philosophy

Keep it real, overdeliver, slow & steady wins the race, go for the snowball, pick a small pond you can be a big fish in… This taught me the overview of what it takes to succeed, long-term, with a website. It created a rock-solid foundation to build from.

2. SBI! Strategy

Find the right niche, build on your passion, fill a need, create a great USP, give great content, balance between what readers want and what search engines want…. This info helped me create a style and a focus that made people love reading my articles and want more.

3. SBI! Tactics

Go for the long-tail keywords, proper pinging, using Analyze It! (SBI!’s tool to ensure that each page has a good chance to get high into the search results), get great links, etc. This info gave me the techniques to get my website found — and often in the first page of Google search for my keyword.

4. SBI! Tools

Automates most of the above — everything except the actual writing:

  • Brainstorm It! makes it possible to find and fine-tune a profitable niche
  • Action Guide teaches all the ins-and-outs of successful website creation
  • BlockBuilder, Link Fix It!, Analyze It!, etc. simplify building and maintaining a site in a constantly changing online environment, minimises SEO research and grunt work, and keeps my website fairly technically up-to-date automatically… so I can concentrate on writing great articles and selling my products (i.e., the fun part ).

5. SBI! Support

Good help/support people, tons of useful FAQs on pretty much anything you need to know, especially the incredible forums — whenever I have a question, I always know exactly where to go to find the answer.

That in itself is priceless! It saves me countless wasted hours trying to find reputable answers in the mishmash of useful, garbage, and out-of-date information that’s out there.

Thank you so much for asking for our input on how SBI! has made a difference. We are humbled. Dave and I have had our website, Front-Porch-Ideas-and-More.com, for over 8 years and it has enabled the two of us to leave our corporate jobs since 2010.

I am grateful every single day for what we have learned via SBI! and what that knowledge (plus an admitted ton of action) has done for us. And the best thing is that we love our niche. It has enabled us to travel throughout the USA to photograph porches, visit grandchildren and be there for our family when needed.

We’ve had our ups and downs over the years, but overall it’s been a joyful journey. We work on our website on an ongoing basis — sometimes full speed and other times in more maintenance mode.

The top reasons we believe that SBI! has helped us to achieve success are:

1. Tools

Brainstorm It! (keyword research tool) and Analyze It! (a module that analyzes each web page before you publish it; it gives suggestions how to optimize the page for search engines).

2. Education

The education we received in the Action Guide was informative and enlightening, especially from the “how to build an online business” perspective. It also keeps us on the right track, even today, years later.

3. Support and Forums

The SBI! support folks, the community support in the forum and the many helpful articles in the knowledge base where information is researched, tried and condensed for us.

(It was hard to narrow it to 3.)

Being part of the SBI! community has made a huge difference in our results, and for that we are truly grateful. Still, after all these years, we wake up happy knowing that we get to work from home, on our own terms and doing something we enjoy.

Here are the three ways SBI! has contributed to my success:

1. Help with Choosing my Niche

SBI! forced me to choose my niche wisely. It did not allow me to begin my business until I had chosen a topic that both interested me and had the potential for success.

2. SEO Made Simple

SBI! makes search engine optimization (SEO) simple. SBI!’s careful instruction guide held me by the hand through the entire process of building my site. My daughter and I were able to focus on research and writing while Brainstorm It! (SBI!’s keyword research tool) guided us on what to write. After finishing a page, Analyze It! (the tool that analyses a web page and gives optimization suggestions) made sure I had properly applied white-hat SEO techniques.

Everything else SBI! handled in the background, much more efficiently than I ever was able to do myself. The result was steady traffic increases as I added content. Now we have a million unique visitors a year.

3. SBI! Family

The third contributor to our success is the SBI! family. The forums are a tremendous help with quick answers and good advice.

Top 3 ways SBI! contributed to my success? SBI! has contributed in thousands of ways, so choosing 3 is tough — but I’ll try!

1. Site Building How-To

SBI! fully explains the anatomy of a successful website — and how to build one, step by step, even for people like me who aren’t tech savvy in the least.

2. Business-Building Information

SBI! teaches exactly what is important for success — keywords, niche, etc. — and then provides incredible tools to make the most of what you’ve learned.

3. Help and Support

At SBI! there’s always someone available to answer questions — forums, Sitesell Pros, and the customer service team — all excellent resources.

Extra thoughts: Never be afraid to start a second website. The valuable things you learned from your first — and what mistakes you made there — can boost you to a second site that’s hugely successful. Plus it’s fun!

SBI! has given me a new pride in myself and the satisfaction of earning good money from all I’ve learned.

Here are the top 3 ways in which SBI! helped me succeed…

1. The ordered, step-by-step approach of the Action Guide.

2. Brainstorm It! and the Master Keyword List.

3. Educational resources and the “website is better than a blog” approach.

What are the top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to your success?

1. SBI! showed me that it is indeed possible to earn money online and build a website without much technical knowledge at the beginning.

With SBI!, all of this was possible and totally doable. I didn’t have to be a top brand to have 2000 visits a day and generate income from it. How cool is that?

My SBI! website has had more than one million unique visits since its creation. I have never worked on it full time (and for two years it was totally living its own life). Despite these limitations, the site became a great success. It wouldn’t have been possible without SBI!.

Many of my non-SBI! friends (who work in the SEO industry) still find it hard to believe how I did it.

2. SBI! started a new career path for me.

Back in 2012 when I discovered SBI! I didn’t have much (almost any) knowledge about SEO (search engine optimization) or Internet marketing. I was a complete newbie. I kept wondering about whether it’s possible, whether it really works.

I guess these are the questions every new SBI! member keeps asking. However when I started to study all the SBI! materials I instantly knew that it all makes sense and is possible. I loved the idea behind SBI! and wanted to make it a reality. The moment I signed up for SBI! I decided that I was going to become a successful Internet entrepreneur… no matter what.

I have never given up or backed down even for a moment even though I am not a massive success (at least not yet). During these 5 years I learned HTML, CSS, website development and website administration, and have become a full-time white-hat SEO professional. I cannot count how many people I amazed with the techniques and tips I learned from SBI!.

I got my first job in the SEO industry thanks to this SBI! website (I showed its rankings and Google Analytics stats and immediately got hired). I managed to repeat this SEO success with many other websites (my other blogs I built over these years and websites I worked on at my job).

I am very patient and definitely a turtle. It’s been 5 years since I discovered SBI! and I still have a regular job. I work on my websites in my free time. However, I see that the turtle way totally works and I am willing to wait another year or two before I become a full-time solopreneur.

3. SBI! gave me access to all the tools and the knowledge base needed to succeed.

Knowledge on SEO forums is very often fragmented and you’ll find a lot of black hat techniques (if not only them). Knowledge on SEO blogs is often too general. SBI! is the only place on earth (and the Internet) where you get everything you need to succeed (and much more).

When I came across positive SBI! reviews for the first time (back in 2012), I was sure it was 80% marketing hype. It’s not. It’s the truth.

If you apply only 70% of what you learn from SBI!, you will still be far ahead of your competition. In many cases you will not have any competition at all. You will be that good!

I could only come up with 2 meta-level answers (well, maybe 3) for how SBI! has contributed to my success. If I were to get more granular, I could probably list hundreds of specific ways.

SBI! has contributed to my success by…

1. Training and Software

Providing a structured, step-by-step, duplicatable training program coupled with easy-to-use software. No other product offers everything included with SBI…not at the same level of quality and certainly not for the low, low price. Although I didn’t follow the Action Guide at first, and paid the price with a failed business attempt, eventually I got on board. I now closely follow SBI’s proven system, and have a thriving online business because of it.

2. Keeping Up-to-Date

Continually updating their product (both software and educational content) to keep customers current with new marketing trends and requirements from Google, while simultaneously shielding us from all the noise and harmful advice that’s pervasive in the online marketing world.

Overall, I have received more value from SBI! than any other purchase in my entire life, and the value consistently increases with no corresponding increase in price. I’ve been a customer for over 10 years and haven’t seen a single price increase, despite product value increasing at least 10 fold. This is incredible.

In all my transactions across the various domains of life, I compare price for value. Nothing, anywhere, even comes close to the value provided by SBI!. This may actually be the third way SBI! has contributed to my success…by providing an example of how to constantly increase value through continuous improvement. I try to follow SBI’s example of tireless dedication to increasing value for customers.

I’m so glad I found SBI! back in 2010.

The top 3 ways that SBI! has contributed to my success would be…

1. The Technical Stuff is Being Taken Care of

SBI! takes care of all the hard technical stuff (that I have no idea about), which gives me the time I need to spend “building more content!” I could never do all of that myself and try to build a website at the same time — would be impossible.

2. The Action Guide

Boy did this help me a lot! I had no idea what I was doing in the beginning, but the Action Guide, and in particular the tutorials, made it easy. The videos are so simple and easy to follow that even a techno dummy like myself could understand them!

3. The Forums

The forums are great. So many people are willing to help. If it wasn’t for the forums, I probably would have given up. There were definitely times when I felt completely overwhelmed and wanted to throw in the towel, but after receiving help from fellow SBIers, I continued on (which I’m so glad I did). I can’t say enough about the people in the forums. Amazing.

So there’s my top 3 ways that SBI! has helped me. There are lots more of course, but these 3 are the ones that have really helped me to succeed.

The top three ways SBI! has contributed to my success. Hmmmm. I guess I’d have to say:

1. Information

The information supplied (Action Guide, Tips and Techniques, etc.) is deep and thorough. If a person pursues it hard enough it compares to earning a college degree. I will say that some of the info is difficult to get through, at least for me. There’s so much, and so many offshoots it’s difficult to follow. But as complex of a business as this is, the complexity of the information should be expected.

2. The Forums

Great support there, and a great place to find new, relevant information, though it’s definitely not like the “old days”. LOL. I remember when I first started, there would be multiple pages of new posts in a matter of hours, especially on the weekends. People were much more eager to post back then, it seems.

One of the reasons I became more active in the forums recently was to try to help the forums regain some of that activity, but I’ve kind of become somewhat “locked” into the “Page a Day” thread. It feels more secure there in the little community as opposed to the full forums. And that’s my fault. I’ll try to post in more of the forums.

3. Support

Always helpful and able to resolve the problem. Sometimes I may have been a bit frustrated by the route taken by support personnel. Or, more precisely, I was frustrated by the difference of what my perception of the way to resolve a problem was, compared to the way the support person resolved it.

But again, every problem was fixed, so my frustrations were a problem with my thinking, not a problem with support. I apologize for including the criticisms and negative stuff with each of the three ways SBI! helped me be successful.

To make it clear, I think SBI! is great, and I couldn’t have built my online business without it. I’m a lifer here, and hope SBI! is around for a long time.

Top 3 ways SBI! has contributed to my success…

1. Technical Aspects Being Taken Care of

SBI! takes care of so many technical aspects of website building, including coding and a large part of the design work. This has allowed me to concentrate on what I feel I do best: providing strong content that helps my readers.

2. Tools and Information

SBI! puts a huge battery of tools and information at my fingertips — far more in fact than I have time to use — and thus saves me the hundreds of hours it would take to be an expert on things like website marketing.

3. Money-Generating Systems

SBI! makes it easy for me to implement money-generating systems on my website that I can practically do and forget about, and which have created a steady income.

Crispin Pennington

Crispin Pennington

www.math-salamanders.com

The top 3 ways that SBI! has helped me to develop my sites are:

1. Framework

SBI! has given me a framework to help me create a successful online business.

2. Advice and Support

SBI! is packed full of invaluable advice and support to help you grow your site and integrate social media.

3. Confidence

SBI! has given me the confidence and expertise to know what works and what doesn’t from people with huge amounts of experience and know-how.

It’s good to know that my site has risen above the mire of failed solopreneur websites.

The 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to my success are as follows:

1. The Action Guide

As a complete beginner with limited computer literacy the Action Guide gave me the step-by-step instructions I needed to get started and the motivation to stick with it.

2. BlockBuilder

The easy to follow format of BlockBuilder provides a great structure and discipline for writing webpages.

3. Analyze It!

I know that if I get the ‘good, good, good’ seal of approval from Analyze It!, my page will have a good chance of appearing near the top of Google search results. Actually I wish Bing were the only search engine because I nearly always rank amazingly on Bing.

My website has been my full time retirement hobby for the past 6 years. My passion is travelling and my site enables me to travel around Malaysia and find new material to write about.

Below are the top three ways SBI! has contributed to my success, in no particular order.

1. Value for Money

I don’t need to look anywhere else for information on how to build my business. Everything is included for an exceptional price. The information is constantly updated to reflect the ever-changing technological world. It seems every time I turn around more value is added.

I would happily pay US$1000 or more for the privilege of the information provided by SBI! I really mean that. I don’t know of another business where the expenses are this low as a percentage of the potential income.

2. The Action Guide & The Forums

Building a business of any kind is rarely a ‘walk in the park,’ and SBI! is no different. I knew nothing about the online world when I started with SBI!. Between the Action Guide, the Forums and the Support team, I felt like someone was guiding me the whole way. For me, SBI! has become a safe, enjoyable, creative place to “work’ everyday.

3. Honesty & Integrity

When I first started my business, I was scared of the Internet…or perhaps the information on the Internet — I didn’t know what to trust. The moment I signed up with SBI! I knew I’d hit upon a system that was going to deliver what it promised. I knew it wasn’t a “get rich quick” scheme.

Everything I expected to receive I did…and so much more! I know that I’m supported by a team of people that have my best interests in mind. At the risk of sounding cliché, I love the life I have been able to create as a result of the business I have built through SBI!

I’m sure my answers will mirror pretty much what most other SBIers will say, but who knows, I’m a fairly odd duck!

1. Hope and Motivation

First and foremost, SBI! gave me the hope & the push I needed to even consider trying to build a website.

After watching the 30 minute video introduction to SBI! back in 2008, and reading a bunch of reviews, testimonials, etc., something just clicked in my wee brain that I might actually be able to pull something like this off myself, even though I didn’t have a clue about building a website, never mind an online business.

I have to tell you, I was in a desperate situation at the time to build a new career after a life change, and I really needed this to work so I was intensely motivated no question; but only because of SBI’s initial message did I have the courage to even try it.

I should also add one other main reason I was able to give SBI! a try is that it was not cost prohibitive. If it would have been say $500 or more, I most likely would have not tried as I just didn’t have that kind of money to spare at the time and I don’t believe you had the monthly payments back when I started in 2008.

2. The Action Guide, Brainstorm It! and all the Other Tools

Not really much else to say here other than it’s pretty hard to get anywhere in life without a road map (okay, GPS these days), and that is exactly what the Action guide gave me – direction!

Of course all the other SBI! tools are a huge part of it, but having a bunch of tools without a building blueprint and a teacher aren’t of much value. That’s why I come back to the Action Guide as the wise teacher of all.

3. All the Behind the Scenes Mechanics and Technical Things that SBI! Takes Care of

Not even sure if that is what all that stuff is called, but I’m not very computer savvy (even after almost a decade at this). Just goes to show all the technical stuff going on behind the scenes works so well, I don’t have to bother worrying about it or trying to learn it. I can focus on my little niche and my customers which is a huge weight off my shoulders.

I should also add any time I have any technical problem, and I have to contact the technical support team, they are just wonderful folks and always give me the help I need to sort out the issue in a very timely manner. As a complete computer dummy, SiteSell Support is very much a hidden SBI! gem in my books!

So I guess those are the main three with a little extra gravy on the side. To add one little caveat is the one downside I have experienced with the SBI! process; not that it was any fault of SBI, I’m totally to blame. Things were actually almost too easy at first and in less than three years after starting with SBI, my little website was generating a 6 figure income, more than I had ever made in my life!

This turned out to be a mixed blessing. I got spoiled quickly and being completely new to this web stuff, just figured this SBI! snow ball would keep rolling on indefinitely and even continue growing in size. Not so as my little site is now making about 25% of what it used to in the glory days 4 years ago.

I should mention, even at 25% of what my site used to generate, it’s still a better income than I figured I would ever be able to earn online. Not only that, I get to work from home and love what I do, there is really no price to put on that freedom.

I don’t fully understand how things dropped off so quickly 4 years ago other than the market in my niche has changed a fair amount. AdSense is a joke now. Plus I have to be honest to myself, I was taking things very much for granted and slumped in my efforts. I know it’s totally my fault, but I also know if I keep pulling up my sleeves and get back to the basics, SBI! will work as it has for these past 9 years. Really not sure what I would do without it!

It’s an honor to have my website featured on the results.sitesell.com page. I am usually so buried in research and writing that I don’t pay a lot of attention to SEO other than keeping on the “straight and narrow” to properly present an article/page for the search engines.

The question, “What are the top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to your success?,” is a tough one to answer since I had no prior experience in how to profitably build a website (the right way) before stumbling on to SBI!

The foundation of my business is thanks in large part to Ken Evoy’s teachings and following the mantra, “Keep it simple, dummy.” However, it wasn’t always that way as I will admit. I had to learn the tough lessons of the Google Panda algorithm change. Now I fully understand how important top quality content is.

My very first website, a travel niche launched in 2005 covered a small but popular vacationing spot in North Carolina which I had visited since my childhood. It ultimately wasn’t successful because there simply wasn’t enough demand.

Then, I thought, why not go big and cover a topic I have always loved, railroads? I realized the scope was much larger than what SBI! would normally recommend; it wasn’t a niche but an entire industry. However, I knew the traffic potential, had a great understanding of the subject, and realized there would be an endless number of articles to cover. It launched in 2007 and by late 2010 was showing strong returns.

Alas, then Panda hit. Looking back it was my fault; in a haste to quickly add topics I had cut corners by writing thin articles with little content (or partially boiler-plating information from my other articles). In hindsight, the website just wasn’t very good. I spent a great deal of time properly rewriting the entire website and had largely escaped Panda’s grasp by 2012.

Then I ran into another issue in 2013 that I eventually found out dealt with pages named too similarly (even though the specific subjects were different). The website began a steady climb in May, 2014. Today, I am witnessing record traffic.

To sum it up, the three ways in which SBI! has contributed to my success would be: all the tools for success are provided to you, just keep it simple, write about what you love, and ignore the SEO pundits.

From someone who has screwed up more than once please heed SBI!’s advice and never, ever cut corners (take the time to produce high quality content and the search engines will reward you); and finally, never give up.

As Ken and SBI! have stated many times, the tortoise wins the race. This is very true. At first, and even after a year or more, the results may appear slow. Give it time.

If you have done your homework, understand your audience, and know the potential traffic is there for a successful business just “Keep On Keeping On” as Curtis Mayfield would say! Follow your passion and you will never work a day in your life.

1. Antidote to Snake-Oil Pitches

Before I joined SBI!, I knew zero about the ways of the Web and I was a sucker for every snake oil pitch out there. After getting bitten a few times, SBI!’s BS-free message about building a REAL business was the antidote I needed.

2. Encouragement

Nothing that is worthwhile comes easy, and that’s particularly true during the genesis of a business when the hours are long and the payback seems a lifetime away.

What kept me going during those early days of doubt? Just the sheer encouragement wherever you turned — in the forums, in the Action Guide, you name it. Quite simply, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t had that omnipresent voice saying, “Yes You Can!”

3. The Action Guide

Without a user’s manual, I wouldn’t have even known where to begin. Simple as that.

Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett

www.yescoloring.com

1. More Brandable Domain Name

I started my YesColoring SBI! site as Coloring-Pages-Book-For-Kids-Boys.com in 2007. It did well with Google Adsense until Google’s “Panda” (an algorithm change to improve the quality of search results) caused a big traffic loss.

This led to SBI! suggestions about shorter and simpler website names which is the first way I’ve gained more traffic success.

2. Bloglets

The second way to success are the bloglets (bloglets allow you to publish announcements or time-sensitive news to your readers without having to create a full web page): I can schedule my bloglets two or three weeks in advance. It is the best way to update my audience about current and future events.

3. Site Blogging

Third, the webpage image that SBI! causes to appear on regular blogs helps the readers understand what is on the web page and visit it. (Michael refers to Blog It!, an SBI! module that adds every new page to a site-blog, to which readers can subscribe via RSS.)

4. Forums and Tutorials

Fourth, the forums, video tutorials and tips and techniques articles are good resources. I am hard pressed to visit the forums every day, but I find golden nuggets when I do.

5. Good Content Writing

Fifth, SBI! pushes good article and content writing. I set YesColoring apart with unique wit and wisdom that kids and their parents can enjoy. I also ensure them the website is safe and easy to navigate.

6. Pinterest

And, sixth, having a presence on Pinterest. I also tried other social channels, like Facebook and Twitter, but I cannot keep up – It is overwhelming.

Through the ten years I’ve been with SBI! it’s consistently taught SBIers to become experts at creating exciting websites, understanding visitors, how to navigate the technical aspects of web design and the internet, and earn good money while providing a public service.

My site is somewhat seasonal, people are knitting more during the winter than summer, that way not a “real” below 500,000 Alexa ranking site. The average for a year is above 500,000. The site gets visitors from 150 countries, and since Australia and New Zealand has winter when the rest has summer, it helps.

In 2008 I was 60 years old.

As Brian Tracy puts it; “due to expanded life span, now you are at your top when 65, and still dancing when 75.” Right, I knew I was not going to become a traditional pensioner. However, as a management consultant, leading a consultant company, I had to find a new, interesting pathway to follow (for as long as possible). I did not want to continue traveling that much, not even going back and forth to an office. Working at home is much more effective and pleasant.

I found SBI! at “Early to Rise,” which at that time was a serious information provider with Masterson.

Instead of all the usual bla, bla, at SBI! I found a method I recognized. Fundamentally it was, and is… about trust. Ken Evoy was, and is, central in this picture. I trust his competence and honesty about what is required to succeed.

SBI! taught me the fundamentals of online visibility. At that time online competence was in the stone age in Norway. I became one of the few top experts. As my consultancy career had ended, I used my new competence to prepare for the next 20 years.

SBI! made me understand the importance of a site concept keyword. It helped me refine my niche: from the general word “pattern” to “patterns for knitting” to “patterns for knitting for dolls.” My domain name reflects this understanding: doll-knitting-pattern.com. Many of my keywords are variations of that main keyword.

Every month I get emails from so called SEO experts that want to help me with the website, which they claim is not that visible. Sometimes I ask them to be more specific and provide examples of keywords where the site does poorly. Without exception, they either provide keywords that are partly irrelevant, or I rank for that keyword on the first page of Google’s search results, and often even better with Bing. You bet that these “experts” never get back to me. 😉

My online business does not provide a full time income. It is more like a hobby for me. That being said, the monthly turnover, $3.000 – $6.000, even shared among two partners, has become that “added money” that makes it valuable.

Since it is not an informational site but a sales site, the challenge has been to create enough content to get respect from the search engines. A few months ago I started to add “a sneak peek at the pattern” from the pattern content on the product page, of course without giving away the pattern. It will be interesting to see eventually results.

And here’s the answer to your question, the top 3 ways that SBI! has helped me succeed…

1. The Kind of Information Provided

SBI! provides complete information that helped me understand the internet from a business perspective. SBI! educated me to become and to continuously stay competent as an online expert. Included is the never ending development of the site builder with effective components.

(One recent example for these improvements: the ability to make copies of reusable content. This was like god-sent from heaven. It streamlines the publishing of new products and saves me a lot of time.)

2. How the Information is Provided

All information is provided methodically as a system. This includes the 10 DAYs of the Action Guide, and the continuous stream of high quality, up-to-date educational information.

3. Support and Forums

Easy access to a responsive support team and the forums.

3 ways SBI! has helped me succeed online:

1. Passion and Knowledge

SBI! has given me a vehicle to spread the good news of something that I’m passionate and knowledgeable about: better health, largely without surgery and medication is to be had by those willing to make some changes in their lives; predominantly better food and more exercise, and with chiropractic care for joint problems.

2. Forums

The time donated so generously in the forums by many knowledgeable people has been hugely helpful.

3. Content 2.0

Content 2.0 page have contributed enormously to the traffic, and in astounding ways (Content 2.0 or C2 is SBI!’s user generated content tool). For example, one C2 with a title of 25 words lies 9th on the list of most popular pages this month; I have no idea how so many people find it.

Here are the top 3 ways in which SBI! has helped me:

1. Brainstorm It!

My first master plan for the website was created through Brainstorm It!. I was very thorough in researching and almost obsessed with analysing keywords. Keyword ideas for the first tiers of my site were generated and put into the plan through the tool.

This scaffolding for the site was critical in helping me form a long-term vision for the site, motivating me with the exciting possibilities, and propelling me forward to build that dream site step by step, day by day. It was a powerful tool that I never regretted taking so seriously.

2. Search Engine Optimization Tips

I learned most of the ways to optimise my site for search engines through SBI!. These include linking to and from pages of other sites, making appropriate tags and descriptions for my pages, use of keywords, tapping on social media, the importance of creating fresh and quality content, ideas for interesting types of content, etc.

My site would probably remain hidden and undiscovered if I hadn’t followed SBI!’s guidance.

3. Forums

There is so much to learn from the people in the SBI! forums. It’s a place that I go whenever I encounter a roadblock in solving a technical problem, when I am overwhelmed by the do’s and don’ts in building traffic and I am desperate for directions, when I feel dry and tired, need to hear inspiring stories of other SBIers, and find a renewal of strength and passion so that I can get a fresh start over and move on.

I can’t imagine what it would be like building my business without this precious resource.

SBI! has given me the 100x success formula in one way above all others… Content 2.0 (the SBI! tool that allows visitors to add their own content to my site).

Content 2.0 has helped me develop a huge long tail of content pages, inspired by and contributed by my readers.

I would guess that over 50% of my organic search traffic comes to me through reader-generated questions driven by my Content 2.0 invitations.

I’d like to list four ways in which SBI! has helped me build a successful online business…

1. Brainstorm It!

The tool helped me select the right keywords that provide reasonable demand and low supply. Without it, I would not have selected keywords with sufficient demand, as it would have been based solely on instinct.

For example: Do I choose “mobile broadband,” “prepaid mobile broadband,” “prepaid wireless broadband,” “prepaid wireless internet,” etc. All have the same meaning, however, choosing keywords that deliver the best “traffic bang” helps to build traffic more efficiently.

2. Content 2.0

I have hundreds of pages, and even a number of pages with tens of thousands of words from visitor comments which drive a lot of traffic. (Content 2.0 is a module that allows visitors to create pages on your site.)

3. Forums & Newsletters

These keep me up to date on trends and key techniques that allow me to focus on adding content, and not waste time figuring out SEO, breadcrumbs navigation, social media, etc.

4. Stats

I use SBI!’s keyword search stats, and page traffic to see what people are most interested in, and how they’re finding my site. I then elaborate (by adding new pages/content) on those topics.

In a nutshell, the top 3 ways are support, support, and support!

1. Support

… and that means the Action Guide. It’s a step-by-step process, not to build a website, but rather to build a business. Following the AG was crucial. When I encountered problems, it was because I had missed a step!

2. Support

… and that means the actual SBI! Support, whether by email, chat, or using the Pros. Glitches and questions … and I’ve had many over the years … are resolved quickly.

3. Support

… and that means the Forums. Help and advice is always forthcoming from fellow SBIers. It’s definitely not a me-myself-and-I mentality, but rather help-and-be-helped.

Sherry Ochoa-Rounkles

Sherry Ochoa-Rounkles

www.who-sang-that-song.com

First of all, I am in no way a website designer, SEO expert, marketer or anything at all similar. So, I probably wouldn’t have (or even have started) this website if it weren’t for SBI.

I’m not even totally sure how I get such good traffic other than by following what SBI! told me to do.

SBI! made it easy for me to build my site. I love how most of what I need is located in one single place and I don’t have to deal with plug-ins, etc.

I love how all parts of a website business are discussed by SBI! and not just how to build a website, or just SEO, or just monetizing, etc.

I also love that we are kept up to date with website information and not “forgotten.”

Thanks for SBI! It’s been wonderful!

I’m not sure how specific you want me to be, but here are my answers.

1. The Action Guide

The ultimate step-by-step guide to hold your hand and lead you through the process of building a profitable business.

2. Analyze It!

The only tool you need to see if your pages are going to rank well!

3. The SBI! Forums

Such a wealth of knowledge, with friendly advice and insights. The friendliest forum I have ever been on, as well as the most informative!

Katharine Scarfe Beckett

Katharine Scarfe Beckett

www.calligraphy-skills.com

1. Business Plan and Tools

SBI! gave me a business plan, as well as site-building tools. I still remember the principle I read at the start that ‘there is no footfall on the internet’ and my big realisation that the business planning aspect wasn’t just a nice ‘extra’ … I needed a workable way to build an online business. The Action Guide (AG) provided that.

The fact that it proceeds step by step and each step builds on the previous also appealed strongly. There is enough going on in the rest of my life to not have to try to work out by myself what’s the next important thing to do with my site.

The Action Guide is a bonsai business plan: well-pruned, perfectly formed, diminutive, ancient, and evergreen.

2. “Keep It Real” Principle

SBI! taught me the principle that search engines are trying to think like people, so you can skip a heap of overthought crud by not gaming the engines. I focus on providing for human visitors … albeit with some concessions to the rudimentary state of today’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) and with an eye to Google’s rules. That principle has stood me in good stead and I now consider it a fundamental truth shaping the provision of good web content.

I’ve concentrated on voice, excellent helpful info, and simplicity. I’ve also worn the keyword research tool to a nub.

3. Forums

SBI! provides amazing forums: a uniquely helpful and well-informed international community of great people. There’s nothing I can say to encapsulate the years and crowds of experience and help in there; you just have to go use them and be helped and amazed and grateful and then pay it forward when you can.

4. Encouragement

SBI! encourages the sense that my site can remain a work in progress so I can keep on building. I have plans to expand my site and some great ideas. The way search algorithms have developed over the past few years, and the way the site has stayed steadily afloat and profitable despite neglect, both encourage me to think I can go on and go on again to keep building what will eventually become a serious calligraphy haven.

The only thing daunting me is that I want to restudy the ever-improving Action Guide before diving in again. That said, I’m very happy indeed that the AG is kept up to date! The messages from SBI! about what’s going on are among the few that I am glad to see in my inbox.

5. “Follow Your Passion” Principle

If you read carefully, and I think this is a more important point than many realise, SBI! allows for pretty much any topic to succeed. OK, it may not seem financially sensible to follow your heart not your head, but online – as in life – you have to be able to commit for the foreseeable future.

I had a couple of good profitable-looking options at the start, but my heart wasn’t in them and, after much agonising, I chose a topic that I could justify building a site for even if I didn’t get paid.

I took seriously the message that passion and expertise would speak louder than cash-hunting. That message (and who but SBI! would have said it?) saved me. My tiny site punches above its weight and even in a relatively unprofitable field it brings in useful money every week – more than enough to noticeably improve our quality of life.

And I get regular communications from visitors around the world asking questions and thanking me for the info supplied. I know some of the people I’ve helped and how, and that means a lot to me. That wouldn’t be the case unless SBI! had recognised and advertised that a solopreneur has to really believe in what they’re writing about.

I’m sure there are more ways SBI! has contributed, but five out of three ain’t bad.

The top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to my success:

1. Focus on Your Visitors

First, the focus on creating valuable content and writing for the visitors is big.

2. Training and Tools

Second, the training package is excellent, with the Action Guide and all the integrated tools. One of my favorites is a module called “Analyze It!”. It really helped me understand how to format content for search engines.

3. Forums

Third, the SBI! forums helped me so much when I was starting out. I got all my questions answered there and the motivation to keep moving forward.

I am grateful for SBI!.

1. Secure Hosting

Sitesell provides a host server platform which is secure, dependable and easy to use. I don’t have to worry about my data because I know Sitesell has the technical expertise and caring attitude that will keep it safe. Sitesell hosting is the bedrock upon which I built my business.

2. Tools

SBI! offers a range of extremely helpful tools which I used to build and maintain my website. In particular, the keyword research tools were critical for finding and tapping into a niche in which I could gain a foothold and build out a successful information-sharing business.

The drag and drop page-building interface makes it easy to create new content and maintain my site. It also makes it easy to provide informational products to my customers and take advantage of affiliate opportunities.

In addition, the page analyzer and other verification tools help keep me on track in implementing my site correctly, all with the click of a button.

I’ve tried building websites on other platforms, and found it difficult and time-consuming. SBI! makes it easy to build pages which automatically attract search engine and reader attention.

3. Knowledge Base

SBI! delivers a huge reservoir of knowledge on how to create a successful web-based business. Not only did I get “big-picture” knowledge, but also specific direction and focus to apply that information to my website. The Action Guide got me started, and the guidance and help continues as my site grows.

Sitesell offers support and coaching services, knowledgebase resources, frequent communications on new features, forums for asking questions and an overall attitude of working to provide the information I need to succeed.

Five years ago, I set an intention for my life: I wanted to work for myself and make a living helping others. Today, that’s exactly what I’m doing. Ken Evoy and the staff at Sitesell helped me make my intention manifest in the world.

I am thankful to have found them, and truly believe that if I hadn’t found and experienced SiteSell’s platform, tools, information and caring attitude, I wouldn’t have a successful business today.

1. Choosing the Right Niche

The number 1 way SBI! contributed to my success, was keeping me from starting a site in a niche that would have most certainly failed.

When I joined SBI! in April of 2010, I wanted desperately to start a site about achieving financial freedom. Unfortunately, after an untold number of Brainstorm It! sessions that failed to generate enough winnable keywords for my desired niche, I finally gave up on the idea and instead based my niche site on something I had been doing since 1997 — creating online calculators.

The difference with my new SBI! site and my old one is, instead of focusing on creating online calculators for other online businesses, I started creating consumer-oriented calculators for my own content publishing site.

2. Creating a Site Blueprint

The second of the top 3 ways SBI! contributed to my success, was the guidance I received in building a site blueprint that would all but guarantee my eventual success. The idea of finding keywords with high demand and low supply, and then formulating them into a three tier structure was totally new to me.

It took me four months to choose a niche and then build a winnable site blueprint. But from there all I had to do was build the pages in my blueprint — while making sure each page I built was more user-friendly and helpful than my competitor’s pages. In turn, this helped to avoid getting hit by Google’s Panda algorithm (an important change in Google’s algorithm to improve the quality of search results).

3. Keeping it Real

The third of the top 3 ways SBI! contributed to my success, was how SBI’s “Keep it Real” mantra saved me from making the same business-killing mistakes made by others who were trying to build an online business.

For example, despite “link-building” being recommended by others in the forums in my early days, I never felt that exchanging or buying links was “keeping it real” — so I basically ignored them. This saved me from getting hit by Google’s Penguin algorithm. (This change penalized sites that had used link buying and other shady link exchange schemes to boost their rankings.)

I’m not your typical SBIer as I’ve been earning a living online since 1997. I’ve uploaded my own HTML right from the get go, and I’ve built two completely separate versions of the SBI! site:

  1. A separate mobile (m.) version in JQuery Mobile hosted on a Virtual Private Server on inMotion hosting via Infin It!, and
  2. database-driven, ad-free, member version built in PHP/MySQL/Amember and having a SSL certificate (also on the inMotion VSP).

Here are the top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to my success:

1. Road Map

SBI! gave me the all important road map on the best pages to build, based on demand, and how to structure them in my website (tier 2, tier 3), all based on my basic seed keyword “physics.” Without this I could not have done anything without going through much trial and error.

2. Evergreen Content and Passion

SBI! emphasized the power of a content based site, that is evergreen, and the importance of putting my passion and knowledge into my website.

3. Confidence

SBI! gave me access to examples of other websites that have succeeded, along with all the other useful information found in forums, etc., which gives me insight and confidence that I can succeed. Sometimes the most important thing is to know that something can be done and knowing that you are not wasting your time trying.

Also, very important to mention… my traffic keeps growing year after year even without adding much more new content. In fact, the bulk of my current traffic growth is from pages I created several years ago.

My niche is increasingly penetrating my target demographics with no signs of slowing down. The fact that my page topics are evergreen contributes greatly to this constant state of traffic growth that I am experiencing.

The top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed my success are:

  1. Action Guide
  2. Brainstorm It!
  3. SiteBuilder

Plus, I am freed up to put all my available time into my site, because I do not need to chase all the new web building fads and formulas that most others get sucked up in. I know SBI! follows all that on my behalf, and provides me with the cream when found to be so.

Also, while others are stuck in the Training Trap, consistently doing one online marketing course after another, (and there is ALWAYS another), I plod along — slowly but surely winning – not a race – my freedom!

The top 3 ways in which SBI! — (Solo Build It) has contributed to my success*:

  1. The Action Guide
  2. Continued Improvements and Communications
  3. The Forums/Community

1. The Action Guide (AG)

The Action Guide is awesome. I couldn’t get enough of it when I first started 6 years ago. There is just no way I could have set things up properly without the step-by-step instructions within the AG. I know you’ve updated it often since I read it the first time. Revisiting the AG is on my to-do list!

I want to start selling my own products. During my research I noticed that “make money online” step-by-step courses have become ridiculously popular. SBI! has been providing that for years within the Action Guide and the Info Center. Always a step ahead!

2. Continued Improvements and Communications

SBI! is constantly upgrading the website software, design templates and ways for all SBIers to improve, to do better, stand-out and keep up with all the changes. The weekly SBIX newsletter keeps SBIers aware of what’s going on and what the product development, content and marketing teams are doing to ensure we can all be successful.

SiteSell CARES. SiteSell cares about its customers. They provide the best possible product and support to enable us to build successful businesses and get it right (as long as we do our part like putting things into action). SiteSell is not one of those developers that sells a software and lets customers dangle (I’ve been tripped up at least once by something like that — my mistake).

3. The Forum Community

Over the years there are many things that I have learned to do on my website or for my business just by coming across a discussion where some kind SBIer has given a fantastic tip, or piece of code. There is something special about the SBI! community — the people are generous with their help. I have never come across another forum like it; it’s like a whole other Action Guide, but a fluid one.

People go on about Facebook Groups, and they have their place I am sure, but the search-ability of the Forums is way better than trying to find something someone suggested in a FB group and trolling through a gazillion posts trying to find it and not finding it.

*I struggle to say that word success to be honest, probably because I am measuring it in financial terms and also, I’ve been slower than a slow tortoise all these years because of fitting this in around full-time work and family life.

I was finally able to quit my full-time work last year (yay!) and live off my online business (aka website) earnings alone, so I guess that is a successful step right there — but I know I could be doing much better. Right now, 100% of my income comes from Google Ads… which is scary because I have to make sure I don’t break their rules and get suspended and lose my livelihood overnight.

I am working on implementing my own products this year.

Also, I have just set up my first proper affiliate promotion related directly to my website topic, and whilst I was doing it I thought “why am I not doing the same for SBI!?” I am an affiliate after-all. I do mention SBI! in small ways on the website but I plan to dedicate a full page to it.

Top ways how SBI! has contributed to my success:

1. “Keep it Simple” Philosophy

Ken Evoy’s insights from his ebooks and articles about focus and “keep it simple” philosophy. His strategy of continuously focusing on simple steps such as “write one more page”, “add content regularly”, “don’t focus on the numbers”, “trust the CTPM process”. I’ve been doing this day in and day out since starting my site in 2008, and it just works.

2. Ease of Use

The relative ease of use of the whole SBI! system. I like the ” connect-the-dots” approach of the site-builder. I’ve tried many other platforms and web-hosts to build sites which never brought any significant traffic because I would simply get discouraged. Learning the system was so time-consuming. There was no help and no directive to show how to use their system.

3. Brainstorm It! and the Master Keyword List

Obviously Brainstorm It! and the Master Keyword List (= MKL, a keyword analysis tool) are the gold standard of keyword research. I’ve tried other tools and they are no competition to SBI’s. Brainstorm It! and the MKL are in a different class.

4. Tips and Techniques Articles

The Tips and Techniques articles are invaluable! The knowledge they have brought me over the years about web design, content creation, keyword analysis, marketing, and business in general has made me a better entrepreneur, not just for my SBI! site, but for my other business as well.

I am founder/CEO of Pizza Rock Taiwan, a fast growing chain of restaurants in Taiwan. I use my SBI! site about travel in Taiwan to drive massive business to my 13 restaurants around the island. You can check my story here: http://www.taiwanese-secrets.com/pizza-rock-taiwan.html

1. Everything in One Place

I love the way SBI! supplies all the tools you need to build a website and that it’s all in one place, like the Action Guide, Brainstormer (keyword research tool), Content 2.0 (user generated content) and the Master Keyword List (keyword evaluation tool), just to name a few.

Plus, it’s all included in the price you pay for your yearly subscription. These tools have helped us become what we are today.

2. Forums

The SBI! Forums are a great help if you are stuck or have a problem and have helped us out a few times. For most queries you will find the answer here.

3. Support

The support crew at SBI! is amazing. They are fast and will stay in touch if you have a problem with your website until the issue has been solved.

1. Trustworthy Information

Without a doubt SBI! has saved me tons of time and potential failure by stopping me going down multiple blind alleys in the search for information.

It has kept me on the straight and narrow, quite literally by providing honest, intelligent, trustworthy and ‘clean’ — free of waffle — information, and no ‘alternative facts’ either! You know that success is within your grasp, even if it can’t be guaranteed.

2. Brainstorm It!

Brainstorm It! was like a beacon in the sea of possibilities. It gave me a huge ‘leg-up’ in terms of ranking in the search engines.

3. Forums

The forums are like a surrogate family. We’re all in the same boat helping each other succeed by providing honest feedback, direction, support and a shoulder to cry on when a hurdle seems just too big to overcome.

Here are the top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to my success…

1. Being There

The obvious one — simply by being there! I doubt I would have ever started a web business if I hadn’t been introduced to SBI!

2. Ease of Use

Bearing in mind I started in 2002 when SBI! was a little less complex than it is now. I was fairly computer illiterate at the time, and SBI! wasn’t too complicated to get my head around.

3. Everything That Goes on Behind the Scenes

The folks at SiteSell take care of everything that us SBIers would otherwise be worrying about. They tell us about new developments in the online business world, and what it means for us. This is a huge part of SBI! that counts for so much.

Having my website certainly has been an interesting ride. If, when I started it back in 2002, someone told me it would still be going 15 years later I never would have believed them.

Sure, there have been a lot of downs in recent years and the good old days of ‘easy money’ will never be repeated, but SBI! has certainly given me the freedom that you can never put a price on.

When I first built my website I had no idea of how to go about developing one. I knew what I wanted to write about but not how to make it work. SBI! guided me through every step of the process and has provided ongoing support that has made my success possible.

A fellow SBI! member introduced me to SBI! and provided great guidance and advice. So this is one of the 3 ways that SBI! has contributed… the SBI! community is incredibly supportive, helpful and committed to ensuring success for their members.

This is very evident in the SBI! forums and the response you receive from SiteSell’s support team. I am able to ask questions and get good answers quickly and efficiently whenever I need help or guidance, both in the forums and from Support.

Brainstorm It! and the resultant keyword lists are central to the success of a content-based, or any, website. It is a simple but highly effective tool to use to determine which keywords and content to focus on. The guidance provided by SBI! on how to write pages around the keywords and get them ranked by the search engines (the SEO guidance) has been invaluable in getting my pages highly ranked.

The constant updates and the ongoing information and resources provided by SBI! have enabled me to keep my website current with ever-changing demands and trends (eg. making the site mobile friendly, the rise of social media and many more).

This is one of the most time-saving and efficient services provided by SBI!. Instead of having to battle through masses of information on your own, SBI! provides you with the essential information you need to ensure your website continues to meet the criteria for success. They then provide you with the resources and tools to accommodate any changes that this information indicates you should make on your site.

SBI! is a one-stop service provider for everything you need to build and maintain a successful website. Of course, content is king, and you need to write really good content, but SBI! shows you how to do this.

I am truly indebted to SBI! for providing exactly the right platform for me to have created and grown my website into the successful solo business it is today. Members get an enormous amount for a very reasonable subscription fee. Thank you SBI.

SiteSell, you are the company to whom I owe my life today. Thank you! Yes it’s right. Without SBI! I would not have the freedom to do exactly what I enjoy.

However, it was not always easy. When I started with SBI! 8 years ago, I had just lost my company and my entire assets. I had to start from scratch, but I thought I could do it. The first two years were dominated by learning — more precisely, I learned everything from the Action Guide and at the end I was able to start building my first website.

At the beginning I did not earn anything with my website. 1 Euro a day was the first result of Google AdSense. Nevertheless, I always went on. After a year I earned 30 euros per day, later I could increase up to 100 euros every day and more. I was very confident…

And then I had a stroke at Christmas 2010 — from one second to the next. I had to begin from zero again. This time, however, I had to learn something more important: walking, grabbing and writing again with the keyboard to make money.

During these hard times after my stroke my SBI! website made sure that I got my money automatically. The next few years were a real up and down though. The income through AdSense began to decline. So I started developing new products. I wrote my own books and sold them successfully through my website.

At the same time I started a second website, which is supervised by my busy wife Elisabeth. Super-Kinderburtstag-Feiern.com already contributes a few hundred euros per month to our income.

Nearly two years ago, I began to change my website to a responsive design. Many old pages have been deleted, new content added, and overall, my site is better than before. My site’s redesign and content overhaul will be completed this year. And I already have an idea for a third online business!

But now I do not want to bother you anymore with my personal story. Here is my answer to the question about the top 3 ways that SBI! has contributed to my success.

1. Action Guide

Without the essential Action Guide my success would not have been possible. It was reassuring for me to know that there are SBI! instructions, where I can read, listen and watch how everything works.

2. Continuous Developments

It was very helpful that SBI! continuously improved. You kept releasing new tools and features. Fantastic! The better SBI! became, the more my online business soared.

3. SBI! Support

If I had problems that I could not solve in the forum, because I do not speak English so well, the SBI! support was a great help for me. Thank you (!!) to my angels Jenny, Jill, Laura and the whole support team.

At the end, however, the most important thing at all: YES, SBI! is the best thing that has ever happened to me. But I’m also a bit proud of myself: I’ve never given up. I have never doubted that I will succeed with SBI!. And I still work many hours every day for the success of my websites. I work a lot, but it also makes me very happy. Today, SBI! is simply my life.

Summary: Nothing goes by itself. A business does not run by itself. Success does not come by itself. No pain no gain. But SBI! is the best helper you can imagine.

I think of SBI! as a “recipe” of success in the business of creating a profitable website. It has all the “ingredients” necessary to achieve the goal without having to go to school to become a professional chef:

1. SBI! Takes Care of the Technical Details

All the technical details of running a website are either taken care of or explained in the Action Guide. If you still have questions about a certain technical “ingredient”, there’s a forum where other chefs will give you advice.

Examples include: Where to find free images? A specific html or css code to achieve a specific look you desire? How to set up Social Media?

2. SBI! Works with the Search Engines

SBI! constantly finds new ways how to best work with search engines in order for websites to be found. While search engines do not come with user manuals on how to work with them, the SBI! team offers solutions based on trial, error and analysis. When search engines change their algorithms, SBI! finds ways to adapt.

3. SBI! Shows You How to Monetize

SBI! provides a vast source of information and ideas on how to monetize almost any imaginable niche.

If you are not sure about the “niche,” SBI! can help even here. With brainstorming and keyword planning tools, you can calculate the profitability of all the potential niches you can think of. This way, you can find out what information people are looking for.

Now the only thing missing in the “recipe” is the “filling” — that is, your personal touch to the “dish” — your website. You have all the ingredients in one SBI! package. Botched your “recipe”? SBI! will help you fix it.

Now all you need to do to achieve success is to follow the “recipe”, add your “filling” — and you are a successful solopreneur!

1. Action Guide

Providing a basic education in how to set up an internet based business through the Action Guide. Even though I didn’t follow it exactly to the letter, it was my general guiding principle — and still is — during the creation of my website and subsequent content creation and adjustments. If colleges offered such a thing as an MBA with a web based business theme, SBI! would be it.

2. Trustworthy Information in One Place

In my early SBI! days I learned that the internet is full of information about web based business and internet marketing. Some is good, some is bad. It’s difficult if not impossible for one person — a solopreneur — to keep track of everything that’s happening.

SBI! is a single source that takes the best of what is out there and allows me to ignore the rest.

When Google changes their algorithms, SBI! is there to tell me about it and provide solutions to handle it. When new ideas come along that are worthy, SBI! tells me about them. Simple things like broken links can damage a web site’s reputation with Google and other search engines. When my website has a broken link (a common thing on a large site), SBI! sends me an email with all the details (which link is broken and on which page).

All of this information in a single source is invaluable. It saves me the trouble of having to sign up and pay for separate services such as keyword research, traffic reports and analysis, link checking. I get everything I need to know for only $300/year. I estimate that my SBI! membership saves me thousands of dollars each year.

3. Support

SBI! has a tremendous Support system and staff. Many times over the years I have been unable to figure something out and Support has quickly responded to my questions and either fixed the problem or given me the answer I was looking for.

SBI! also has a lot of talented coaches that are available for a reasonable fee and I’ve taken advantage of that a couple of times. I’ve found that sometimes I’m too close to my own website and an impartial coach looking at if from a different angle can be a great help.

Ken Evoy, the founder of SiteSell, is actively involved in the business and is a frequent valuable contributor to the forums and newsletters. He has written several books on the subject of web based business, and is a true expert in the field.

4. SBI! Forums

Last but not least are SBI!s forums. The forums are arranged around the Action Guide mentioned in Item 1) and have thousands — maybe even millions — of posts relevant to questions I’ve had or am having. Without exception, when I’ve submitted a question, somebody chimed in with a great suggestion or technical fix to whatever the situation might be.

I have tried to help others on these forums, but have received 10 times the help I’ve given. SBI! is a community and it’s SiteSell that holds the entire thing together.

Ann Richmond Fisher

Ann Richmond Fisher

www.spelling-words-well.com

Without SBI, I would not have the success I currently enjoy. I know, because I tried building websites previously without SBI!’s training and tools, and those sites failed.

Top Three Things SBI! Has Done for Me:

1. Training

Everything I need to know to build a successful site is included in the Action Guide, Tips & Techniques, and all the other informational guides. The training materials are available 24/7 to review over and over again. I also like the fact that they are constantly updated.

2. Tools

I still don’t use everything that’s available, but I appreciate Brainstorm It!, Get Google $ (what a keyword is worth at Google), Search It! (business research tool), Search Engine HQ (shows how your pages rank on each search engine), Click-Through Data (shows which of your links to external resources perform best), the Mail Out Manager (newsletter mailing tool), and more.

3. Price

A loved one who works in Web Design tried once or twice to convince me to leave SBI! in order to save money. So we started pricing all the different pieces we’d have to buy to replace it, and quickly discovered that $300/year is a bargain. And everything is in one place!

4. Excellent Support

I am not an expert at any of this. Sometimes I try something new and run into difficulties. SBI! support ALWAYS responds quickly and ALWAYS stays with me until the issue is resolved. And, when the “issue” is something simple that I should’ve figured out for myself, no one ever makes me feel stupid.

Here are the top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to my success:

1. Tools

SBI! equipped me with the tools I needed to build a successful website.

2. Action Guide

SBI! gave me very important and helpful insight with the SBI! Action Guide into how to build traffic through content (CTPM). It taught me how to use my skills to build a successful business.

I’ve been the church secretary at our church for 20+ years and my desire was always to help other churches and their secretaries by giving away church forms, etc. and offering them affordable products.

3. Courage

SBI! gave me the courage to develop products to sell on FreeChurchForms.com. One of them is Shepherdbase (church membership database) which I’ve had the privilege of selling to thousands of churches everywhere at an affordable price. SBI! made all this possible!

I’m so thankful for SBI!, everything it provides to ensure that I continue to be a successful solopreneur!

1. Action Guide

Follow the Action Guide. SBI! provides all the tools and articles that show you exactly how to do every step of building your business. I wouldn’t have succeeded and I would have given up a long time ago if I had to figure so many things out myself. The detailed step by step instructions helped me build my web based business much faster.

2. Forums

Search the forums and ask questions about anything you can’t figure out.

3. Motivation

Don’t stop. There’s a lot to do, but if you just keep going you’ll eventually get there. Persistence leads to success.

The top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to my success are…

1. SBI! = Quality

Everything that SBI! provides is based on quality, and everything they suggest that I do is also based on quality.

This is true right from the start with the Action Guide. The Action Guide itself is great quality, and one thing which is repeated again and again is the importance of quality in content and user experience.

The whole structure of SBI! is built on quality – all the SBI! tools are of high quality — the forms like Contact Me, the keyword search, the traffic stats – everything is easy to use and you don’t need to question it because you know it is made by people who care and whom you know you can trust.

2. SBI! = Trust

Trust is maybe as important a factor as quality, maybe even more?

When you are not a computer geek, which I am certainly not, you can use immeasurable amounts of time searching the internet for advice about how to grow your website, about why there is a sudden decrease in the number of visitors and how you change that. Even if you do find some advice, you really don’t know if you can trust it or not.

Having my website with SBI! means that I can trust all the advice I get. Throughout the years I have had the wonderful experience that there are people working to help me every time I need it.

Also there are the SBI! forums where I can find help regarding all relevant topics and even ask for a review of my website — trusting that other SBIers will help me (which they have!).

3. SBI! = Constant Improvement

SBI! Is constantly working to improve itself (my user experience) and my website (my visitors’ user experience).

An example: My website Clipartqueen.com is mostly a picture website, and since I started it in 2010 the size of the pictures I can upload has grown as well as the speed with which these rather heavy pages will load, which will mean a lot to my visitors.

In short:

When all the technical stuff works, and when I know SBI! actually cares about my website’s well being, then I don’t have to think of anything other than doing what I love and do best:

Create new pages with new drawings and clip art. And I can have so much fun doing it!

First of all, I would like to say that I am deeply grateful for finding SBI! nearly 10 years ago. You have done an absolutely stellar job of providing the training tutorials and backend technology which fueled the success of my site. (I provided the rocket fuel, but you provided the rocket-ship.)

Ten years ago, I knew nothing of creating a website. I did not know HTML (still don’t know much). I did not know CSS (still don’t).

All I wanted to do was share good, solid information. I just wanted to write…and not be bogged down by all the never-ending technical aspects of website creation. And, today, BB2 (BlockBuilder 2) has made content creation, adding images and global changes even easier than it was in BB1 (SBI!’s original block by block page builder)!

Here are the top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to my success…

1. Secure Hosting

SBI’s bulletproof, secure backend gave me the total peace of mind to remain freed up to write. I don’t have to continually update plugins or worry about security issues. This was a huge time savings when I began, and remains a HUGE timesaver to me.

In fact, even today, I do not know of any other hosting company that provides such secure, worry-free, no-hassle backend hosting…without upcharges.

In my mind, this is SBI’s most overlooked and greatest strength for both a newbie want-to-be webmaster, and just as equally, for seasoned, professional webmasters who have multiple clients. It’s like having your very own personal bodyguard (for security) and your own cleaning lady (for daily maintenance), all wrapped into one! SUCH a time savings!

2. Action Guide

The Action Guide is pure gold. I read every single page and followed every single link. I also printed it out, (as directed), put it in a notebook and read it a second time to be sure I fully understood the process before I began the actual creation of the site. This really helped.

I have never regretted the “extra” time that it took to learn what I should be doing before I jumped into doing it. In fact, by doing so, I have probably saved countless hundreds of hours over the years, fixing errors later on down the road. I mean, who learns to “drive” a rocketship without reading the directions first, right?

3. Forums

The SBI! forums are invaluable. I spent many, many hours learning from other SBIers who were kind enough to help and be helped. The Pay-It-Forward culture in the forums gave me new How-To ideas whenever I ran into a roadblock.

SBI! has been a really helpful platform and I would not have achieved this success without all its tools. I have done a lot of research over the years on web hosts. I haven’t found any other platform that offers the wide range of tools at such a reasonable cost.

I often tell people to not bother looking elsewhere but just go for SBI!. There is nothing better out there. Those who have gone against this advice have found themselves wasting a lot of time and money, only to come back later.

So for me, the three things about SBI! that have helped me succeed are:

1. Keyword Research

Brainstorm It! and the Master Keyword List have been the lifeblood of my site’s success. I’ve had many ideas that just did not measure up once scrutinized with these tools. Those that measured up have been successful once implemented.

2.The Action Guide

The Action Guide is really simple and straightforward. The trouble is that many of us think we know better and decide to take shortcuts, only to regret it later. In the initial phases of building my website I was too excited to just get going and made a lot of mistakes.

Later when I saw that my site was not doing so well I went back to the Action Guide to check where I went wrong. After following its advice closely, my site did better.

My advice to anyone is… “do not skip through the Action Guide and do as it says.” The success formula is there for you; don’t reinvent the wheel.

3. Understanding How to Do Business Online

SBI! overall has helped me to understand how business works online. Plain and simple. This understanding has moved on to other online things that I do, such as using social media effectively for business.

SiteSell’s books such as “Make your Content Presell!” have been invaluable in helping me build my online profile. This book is also responsible in a big way for launching my writing career as a published author. The skills I learnt there were easily transferable to other forms of writing.

Thank you so much for this marvelous platform. It has been a life-changer for me and I look forward to succeeding even further with SBI!.

Summary: Top Ways in Which SBI! Helps Solopreneurs Succeed

There you have it!   We asked…

“What are the top 3 ways in which SBI! has contributed to your success?”

You’ve read 52 answers from some of the top solopreneurs online.

The replies vary wildly in style and length. Some SBIers add the story behind their solopreneur career, others stick to a bullet point list of their top 3 ways.

We’ve counted and analyzed the replies. Here are the takeaways…

Two features of Solo Build It! stand out as the clear winners…

1) the Action Guide

2) the forums / community.

Tied for third place…

3a) the provision of up-to-date, vetted information, weeding out the noise and bad info

3b) first-class customer support.

And at least 10 people mention 5 more keys to winning online…

5) Brainstorm It! and Master Keyword List (“MKL”), SBI!’s advanced keyword brainstorming and analysis tools

6) SBI!’s integrated suite of easy-to-use tools (another time-saver).

7) SBI! takes care of technology behind the scenes

8) “SBI! saves me time.”

For a graphical overview, take a look at the chart below.

And here’s the complete list…

The range of  each set of “Top 3” answers is amazingly diverse.  And their supporting commentary is even more so, adding valuable depth.

The same feature can be presented in different ways (ex., hosting can be “secure and handles my technical issues” or “worry-free” or “gives confidence”). Grouping the replies accordingly, it all boils down, first and foremost, to this…

OPTIMAL USE OF TIME (FOCUS)

Solo Build It! enables solopreneurs to focus their limited time in the most efficient and effective way possible.  Even the person with all the BAM in the world will fail if s/he does not focus her time onto the business-building task that matters most at any given point of the process.

That’s incredibly fundamental. In fact, it almost seems absurd to make a big deal of it.  And interestingly, few actually do consciously recognize it (time-saving is #8).

“Of course I’m focused,” you may think.  And you’d be right – until you thought about how the solopreneur environment works.   Let’s explore this a little…

By the very definition of being a SOLOpreneur, you are time-limited. We each get 24 hours in a day. Remove 8 for sleep, another 8 for “the job” and 3-4 hours for commuting, eating, child-care/family, some form of downtime (TV, exercise, etc.) and whatever else…

You’re only left with a few hours per day, MAX. Full-timers gain more, of course, but there’s still an absolute time ceiling.

Let’s be on the high side and average “time for my business” to 4 hours per day.  If it’s 2, the following discussion is all the more important. If it’s 10, you still do NOT want to spend hours per day on inefficient “to do” items.  Yet you may very well be doing that…

The nature of the Net is distraction.  And I’m not talking about the “just one video” on YouTube that turns into 3-hour segues. I trust that those are chopped (or you carefully manage that in your “downtime” bucket which is, ideally, minimized).

Consider the poor use of most solopreneur time…

Figuring it all out.

You may be doing a lot of reading and organizing and re-thinking as you pick up something new. That  takes time away from the actual building of a business. I mean…

Who do you follow? How do you know? How do you decide what makes sense and what is the correct order of the steps?

How do you avoid GRQs’ incredible sales copy that convinces you that “this time is different?” That alone can easily blow $500-$1,000 and a year of your life.

Then there is the ton of repetitive articles, the softer “waste-of-time” info and the flat-out bad that is actually harmful to your efforts.  Do you have the expertise to sort it all out, the discipline to reject the hot and hyped?

Need help?

Where do you go? WordPress forums answer questions about using their sitebuilder.  And yes, there are tons of forums for everything. But affiliates lurk everywhere, ready to promote whatever makes them money.  And loads of people who give answers are parroting inaccurate information.

Even the most active participants vary in their opinion of what works. Is their approach compatible with yours? Do you end up disagreeing, or asking follow-ups?

And there are those who can sound super-smart, but in fact are failing. Again, you need a certain level of savviness to sort it all out… in order to become savvy.

Getting the right answers is risky and time-sucking.

There’s a tool for everything.

But which ones do you actually need?  So many review sites are affiliate recommendations. This alone is a quagmire to figure out.

WordPress has an excellent user-rating system, but again, which tools or plugins do you need?  Which are going to crash on the next upgrade of WP? Which upgrade of one tool might crash another?

And even with WordPress you have to find a quality host. And on it goes.

Many count that and other activities as “relevant work.” It’s what everyone does, and it’s why almost everyone fails (see the bottom 99%). Your time must be focused on actually building your business.

Sharp use of time, a BUSINESS-building focus, lies behind most successes.  Everything, and we do mean everything, needs to blur away until you are always doing what matters most, never spending “empty treading” time.

Over and over, if you think about many of the Top 10 items that our “Wisdom of Crowds” tabulation has bubbled to the top above,  there’s a huge time saving component.

With that context, let’s look at the top lessons from top solopreneurs…

1) The Action Guide

Consider SBI’s 15-year-proven,  C T P M process outlined step-by-step in the Action Guide.  That takes a long time to figure out, and even then, it will never be as clear in your mind as it should be.

Every hour not spent figuring it out  is applied to doing the next step that actually pushes you further ahead with your business.

SBI! provides the right information at the right time and in a well organized, easy-to-follow format. This starts with the Action Guide (in written, audio and video format) and continues throughout an SBIer’s progress with tips and techniques articles, tutorials and the weekly newsletter.

This saves you, the busy solopreneur, a lot of time (your most precious, non-renewable resource). You don’t have to wade through hundreds of articles and figure out what’s valuable or worthless or even detrimental to your success. SBI! does that for you.

As Ian Parkin puts it…

“I am freed up to put all my available time into my site, because I do not need to chase all the new web building fads and formulas that most others get sucked up in. I know SBI! follows all that on my behalf, and provides me with the cream when found to be so.”

2) Forums

Building a business doesn’t happen overnight. Especially in the beginning, you have to put in many hours with little to show for it. So, yes, there will likely be times when you feel discouraged, frustrated, perhaps even willing to throw in the towel.

New SBIers appreciate the non-intimidating atmosphere. Much like a “borrow a book – leave a book” library, folks arrive asking questions, return later to “pay it forward.”  And even for the veterans, the zero aggravation factor (no flames, no selling) is nice, too.

It goes further than that, though. In Richard Mitchell’s words…

The SBI! forums. Such a wealth of knowledge, with friendly advice and insights. The friendliest forum I have ever been on, as well as the most informative!

That’s why SBIers rate being part of a helpful community of like-minded solopreneurs as such  a critical part of success. Consider the efficiency of using a set of forums that covers every aspect of online biz-building with a unique help-and-be-helped culture, populated by folks who all use the same “playbook?”  Priceless.

So once again, while it’s important to find resources that enable you to get excellent answers to problems, doing it quickly lets you get right back to the work that matters the most.

3) Up-to-date, Vetted Information, Weeding Out the Noise

The firehose of info is constant. Most is just a new way of saying the same thing, or low-quality, or wrong, or spammy.  There’s only a little that is new and important enough to act upon.

While other solopreneurs are “keeping up on information,” SBIers are moving ahead with their business-building activities, delighted that we’ve got their backs by filtering the firehose.

4) First-Class Support

This one is obvious. Every customer wants fast and effective support.

The SiteSell support team is available to SBIers 24/7. We are super proud about the high marks that our support team consistently receives, like this one from Mike Miller…

SBI! has a tremendous Support system and staff. Many times over the years I have been unable to figure something out and Support has quickly responded to my questions and either fixed the problem or given me the answer I was looking for.

Just FYI (in case you are interested), we “do” Support differently (behind the scenes). Everyone gets the same number of inbound “tickets.”  Each issue is handled to completion by the same person. No one is pressured to handle as many as possible per hour (a common metric for Support staff). We keep hours low, which keeps enthusiasm high.

Every member of our Support staff understands how important your business is to you. They care about getting you back on task (business-building) ASAP. And oh yes, one more thing…

If you ever have a problem that we seem to be fouling up, (no one’s perfect!), you can reach our founder and CEO directly via email!  That clears any misses up pretty quickly!

Our Support staff are the true heroes of our company. They care like crazy.

5) Brainstorm It! & Master Keyword List

Brainstorm It! received the highest marks of all of SBI!’s tools, and rightfully so.

It’s hard work, but also an exciting time to see your niche, set of topics and site structure forming up.  Brainstorm It! and the Master Keyword List have a unique set of functions that are specifically aimed at maximizing your odds of success.

You will use our sitebuilder (BlockBuilder 2) or WordPress (if you use SBI! For WP) more, of course. But any sitebuilder is just a tool.  It does not write your content. Nor will it help you pick the best domain name, build traffic, master social media, or monetize.

Business success starts with high-quality upfront research, before you do anything  else. The high vote for Brainstorm It! shows how much top solopreneurs understand that.

Chase Landre summarizes this perfectly…

SBI! teaches exactly what is important for success — keywords, niche, etc. — and then provides incredible tools to make the most of what you’ve learned.

6) Integrated Tools

The best information and training are useless if you don’t have the tools to apply them. SBI! comes with all the tools you need to build your online business.

From keyword brainstorming to page building to sending out newsletters to one-click integration of social media, and much more, it’s all there. All in one place and constantly updated.

Frequent mention was made of the all-in-one nature of the SBI! toolset.  That brings us back to time-saving. There’s no need to sort out good from bad from best. And after that?…

You could easily be logging in to 20 different resources, learning 20 interfaces and approaches to software functionality.  Instead, one login covers it all.

7) Taking Care of Technology

Even our most successful SBIers probably know less “tech stuff” than most other solopreneurs. We not only take care of the info-overload (aka “the firehose”), we handle all the technology, too. You don’t even need to bother with hosting.

This, too, boils down to another time-saving benefit, enabling you to focus on growing the business. So they may know less jargon and “latest-greatest,” but they know what matters and how to use it optimally.  And that brings us to the last of the factors that was mentioned more than 10 times…

8) “SBI! saves me time.”

Some SBIers actually recognized this benefit. And it’s not just about saving time, but what SBI! enables you to do with it. Time-optimization and focus is built into every part of SBI!.  That’s because we think about online business-building for solopreneurs differently…

Let’s say that you know a niche really well and that you want to build a business around it. We’ll use “breeding tortoises” as an example because, well, we like tortoises.

What should you be spending your time on?…

Keeping up with what’s going on in the world of tortoise-breeding?

OR…

Keeping up with what’s going on in the intense world of “all things related to building your online business”?

We believe it’s the former.  

After all, if you had an MBA and got a big job with a manufacturer of automobiles, you would become an expert in the making and marketing of cars. You would study the competition, know as much as possible about your industry…

But you would not keep taking MBA courses!

The same goes for solopreneurs…

You should be reading about your tortoise niche, learning through your own experiences, networking with other breeders. You’ll do everything from figuring out what your business will be to maximizing profits.

In short, you focus 100% on building your business. We’ll do everything else, enabling you to succeed by outperforming others in your niche.

That is the Solo Build It! advantage.

Get Started Here

Do you love this collection of advice as much as we do? If so, please share it with your networks. You might also enjoy the slide deck below that features the highlights from the 52 top solopreneurs.

Margit Streifeneder
Margit Streifeneder is the Communications Manager at SiteSell. She handles the Editorial Calendar, coordinates marketing initiatives and is renowned for her organisational skills. She's passionate about helping solopreneurs achieve success, and enjoys interviewing SBI! members about their achievements. Her personal goal is "never being cold again," so she chose to settle in Nicaragua, for now.
Margit Streifeneder

Latest posts by Margit Streifeneder (see all)

  • Harvey Chapman

    Great post, Margit & everyone at SiteSell. I’m thrilled that I was selected to form a very small part of it.

    Today is the perfect example of how Solo Build It! has changed my life…

    I’ve been away from my desk all day enjoying the first good day of Spring. Just got home to discover I’ve made a couple of sales while I was out enjoying the sunshine.

    Life doesn’t get much better than playing hooky for a day and ending up a little richer (in every sense) than you were at breakfast. Thanks again, SBI!

    • Margit Streifeneder

      Thanks Harvey. Enjoying life on your terms AND making a living… “yes you can.” 🙂

  • SuperNan

    Excellent and informative article.
    Explains what it is to actually build your website with the advantages of Solo Build It. The main advantage is that you are not alone.
    To anyone considering doing so my one piece of advice is to follow the Action Guide and choose your ‘subject’ or ‘niche’ wisely.
    Understand the steps before you apply them and that way you will have every opportunity to produce the success that you are looking for.

    • Margit Streifeneder

      Exactly right, SuperNan. The Action Guide and the SBI! community in the forums came out as top contributing factors to solopreneur success.

      When we talk to SBIers we often hear that – the first time round – they skipped over the research and preparation phase (Days 1 through 5 of the Action Guide), because they were so excited and eager to get started.

      Well, this approach inevitably fails. So, they either go back and re-study the Action Guide, or start over new and this time, they follow the Action Guide closely.

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