Online Business Passive Income Product Reviews Rants

Site Build It Scam Review

If you Google “site build it scam” – you will find a lot of positive reviews. Read this one for a genuine insight into the SBI cult.

Site Build It has been around for a while, the question is – is it a good way to make Passive Income?  There are some good parts to it. But that doesn’t make it any less a scam. I’ve thought about reviewing it before but now I am MAD – and Steve Pavlina is the reason I’m mad. I like Steve –  his motivational writing is great – but now he has sold out to the other side and is pushing the old Site Build It scam review bandwagon!

Latest Update Jan 2011 – read my latest Site Build It Review

UPDATE: If you are late to the riot you may want to check the comments section and also the next post for the update on Site Build It scam review.

Your site all tied up
Your site all tied up

What is Site Build It ?

Its a “one stop shop” for someone who wants a website but doesn’t know where to start. You pay them a heafty fee- PER SITE – around $300 ANNUALLY. And for this sum you get:

  • “free” domain name
  • “free” hosting
  • drag and drop website builder
  • newsletter manager
  • autoresponder
  • search engine ranking help
  • traffic reports
  • hand holding: forum, tutorial etc.

Now if you Google for “site builder scam” – you will find a lot of  “reviews” which are just affiliate pitches.  Why? Because Site Build It pays affiliates around $75 a sale, and that’s an annual fee too remember. You don’t even have to be a user of SBI to be an affiliate – how can you sell something you don’t use yourself – that’s what I turned me off affiliate marketing initially.

You will find no link here for SBI – if you want to join – type in their url direct and then sign up as an affiliate and pay yourself the commission as a discount!

So Why is Site Build It a Scam?

  1. You don’t own your domain – the Anguilla-beaches .com site which features prominently in the sales pitch is owned by Ken Evoy – who owns site build it – according to domain tools anyways; UPDATE: yes you do own your site but this is still disingenuous marketing
  2. You can’t just move your website elsewhere to say cheaper hosting – you are tied up with SBI for life. You have to make $300/year just to break even on the deal! UPDATE: you can with varying degrees of difficulty – its not easy appears to be the consensus
  3. They spend a lot of time quoting Alexa rank of SBI sites – Alexa ranks just proves that you have a bunch of internet marketers visiting your site – probably because of the link from the sales page – as they are the only people who use the Alexa tool bar. Internet marketers are unlikely to buy your homemade chocolates or rent your condo in Puerto Rico;
  4. The search engine help according to Ssite Build Tt’s own sales promotion video involves submitting your sites to the search engines –  do not ever do this – this just prooves to Google that your site is not worth visiting cause no one is linking to it. Read Court on why you should NOT submit your website to Google
  5. Then to rank your site they suggest you use pay per click (PPC) advertising – this is as about as risky as say foreign exchange dealing as it not something any new on-line marketer should be doing.

So, no, SBI! is not a traditional scam. They no doubt deliver on what is promised – though you no doubt have to pay extra for the PPC champaign. Yes traditional hosting and free software won’t give you support on how to build your business.

But $300 for support is pretty darn expensive.

What Does It Cost to Build Your Own Site:

  • under $10 for a .com domain name ;
  • around $5/month for cheap hosting BTW that will cover more than one website to;
  • Drag and drop software to develop the site WordPress free ;
  • keyword research – free use adwords external ;
  • traffic analysis Google Analytics or Statcounter – both free

Yes its not all in one place, you have to learn to do some odd stuff along the way – but you are building a business aren’t you? SiteBuildIt is basically a franchise model applied to building websites – without the brand awareness that having “McDonalds” or “Avon” in your business does to customers in the real world. UPDATE: Its more like a cult – its a pretty scary one to, see the comments! Your visitors won’t feel more likely to buy from you just because your site is a “site build it!” site!

UPDATE: April 2012 The latest update of SBI’s software appears to have been a bit of a technical disaster. So rather than dealing with his customer’s complaints and sorted out the glitches, Ken Evoy has taken to hurling abuse at people who dare to complain that their website’s are broken -and has even, according to reports, banned some from the forums, and possibly even from SBI! 

Think about it – do you really want to have your website held hostage to someone who behaves like that? 

Yes they don’t promise that you will get rich in your sleep. Whatever tools you use to develop a website that’s the easy bit – getting the traffic is the work bit.

Bottom line with the  Site build it scam  you put the hard work in – you get your keywords to rank and you don’t own your website UPDATE You do own your site but you are locked into the SBI tools and although you can take the actual words from the site and you lose the access to the tools that you use to maintain and develop the site.

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578 replies on “Site Build It Scam Review”

@yourmom, doesn’t get 400,000 uniques a month…do a little research and you might be able to discover the truth yourself one day instead of having it spoon fed to you by SBI.

Talen’s last blog post..What is it About Thailand?

I can’t wait for the book Vic! When are you coming to Canada? You have fans here too you know?

@yourmom…you didn’t do any research you took what a web page said to be fact. It is most decidedly not fact. Dig a little deeper and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

Talen’s last blog post..What is it About Thailand?

After all this extensive discussion I am still not sure if I should use sitebuildit or not. It doesn’t sound like a scam though. I also checked some different options for hosting, and some cost as much as $20 per month, so I would rather pay a lump sum and use all the tools Ken offers, rather than average that over the year and still be lost.

@Paul I think you are being sarcastic – professional doesn’t mean a pretty blog or a professional sound studio – it means acutally caring about people, not their money, them. Vic doesn’t have a lisp – he had severe toothache when he made that post – he should have been in bed – not trying to help.

@Yourmom – actually major brands don’t use email lists in Australia – I suspect because its illegal here, though I don’t know. Neither Vic not Grizz has a list – or if they do they have never used it, they didn’t use it to mobilise the reponse across the net – but there was response – go figure.

@Dina – its your money – but $20/month is WELL overpriced if you are a beginner or with only one site – check out the affiliate ilnk for hostgator on my software page. Or get a free blog.

Your giving “moms” a bad name. The more you talk the more you show how little you know.

Microsoft doesn’t say he gets 400k a month. That’s the author’s own BIO written by himself. Do you believe everything you read online?

His primary keyword averages 135k searches a month. Not bad but far less than 400k. Unfortunately he sits in 4-5 spot behind’s pages. A 4th position will net less than a 10th of the traffic – in this case even less as almost everyone searching for windows xp updates is going to click – who wouldn’t use the site that produces the update. Let’s be generous and say he ranks well for lots of long tails and I’m sure he does, however he will still be competing with microsoft who will hold position 1 for all of them.

The big keywords are windows (101 million searches) windows xp (16.6 million) windows update (1.8 million) and windows xp upgrade (165,000) – none of which he ranks on page 1. Windows Vista (7.5 million) and no front page ranking either. Vista Tips 40K (his targeted keyword) – not on page 1.

The related long tails generated by his content might net him 20 – 50 k a month and this would jive with his Alexa ranking. Alexa is a horrible gauge of traffic though and only comes remotely close to being accurate for sites in the top 10,000. Sites with 400k monthly uniques would be at or in the top 10,000 and would not be showing an Alexa rank of 76,111. For example I have a site with an Alexa ranking of 76,812 and I have about 20k uniques on it monthly.

How is it a site with 400k uniques only has me beat by 700 points? Given that Alexa is skewered to techie visitors who use the toolbar and his site obviously appeals to a techie audience he should have a rank below 10,000. To put it bluntly any site with 400k would be showing a very low number in Alexa and trust me on this – the advertisers would be all over his site which they aren’t.

Now let’s look at some tell tale signs – any site with 400k is going to have funnel traffic and it will be considerable – ie. people leave his main page for the sites he links to. One of those sites is his number 1 “current popular article” site and it has a whopping Alexa rank of 1.2 million.

Are you putting this together yet? A site with 400k visitors has a prominant link to another site (his) and doesn’t generate any traffic to it? Impossible. (1.2 million means a few dozen visitors a day)

I have a site with 200k visitors and I feed another site way down low in my sidebar after passing a couple of dozen other links and the funneled site has an Alexa rank of 152,000 almost entirely based on traffic from the 200k site. The site averages 6k a month.

If you knew how to evaluate a site by all the direct and indirect signs you would be embarrassed to come on here and try and tell us this site has 400k a month.

He has aprominant link at the bottom of his page for his personal site – it has an Alexa rank of 658,648. The traffic bled from a 400k site (which would be popular) to a prominant link to the author of that popular site would be large. An Alexa rank of 658k is roughly a few hundred visitors a day. Could be a lot less if everyone is using the toolbar.

So you are telling me that a site with 13,000 visitors a day only generates a few hundred click thrus to the authors own site?

Moreover most of the links I clicked on his site led to a down server – hard to make any money that way. (Like his advertise page. lol)

Mom – give it a rest. You may have believed what you have been told in good faith but you have been made a fool of. I asked you to stop trying to impress us for your own sake. Please heed my advice.

Grizzly’s last blog post..Site Build it – Don’t Buy It

@Talen :

I did research. Here’s what Microsoft (it’s a Microsoft domain) says about getting 400,000 monthly uniques:

==”Primary Profile:
Marc is a keen fan of Windows XP, Vista and Windows Media technologies… His background as an IT manager and extensive knowledge about Windows XP/Vista enables him to provide solid and actionable advice to the online community.

He runs a popular website at (which attracts over 400,000 UNIQUE visitors a month) and is currently building a website dedicated to explaining Windows Vista at”==

According to Microsoft, the page with the above info was updated in January of 2009.

@Lis == Well, I wouldn’t know what they do in Australia, but like I said, every major online retailer in the US, every Presidential candidate (though Obama did it better than anyone), many non-profits and charities, etc. use email marketing in the US, which, I think you’ll admit, is still a bigger market than Australia.

There is a difference between “spam” and opt-in. Spam is defined as an email message when you have no prior relationship with the sender, or when you have requested that the sender stop sending emails. Just because someone subscribes to a list, gets sick of it but is too lazy to unsubscribe, doesn’t make subsequent messages spam.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to make money WITHOUT a list (I make money without a list), just that from what I’ve observed, those with lists make more money PER visitor. The top selling Clickbank sellers, for example, almost universally use lists. Go check out the sites of the top Clickbank sellers and you’ll see that they either use squeeze pages to get your email, or have an opt-in box above the fold on their homepage.

I’ve always wanted visit Australia. Maybe I can crash at your place…:)

@Vic– Do you know you look and sound a bit like Barney Frank?

Yes there is a difference between and spam and opt-in- however many lists take more than a simple unsubscribe to get off. I understand from an above comment or 3 that Ken Evoy’s is one of the more difficult.

I’m no huge fan of clickbank – I am sure the big sellers there use lists because they have to keep sending you the new “Google Adsense” system every 6 months – where the reality is the making money with Adsense hasn’t changed for years – but not selling doesn’t keep the commission checks rolling in. The commissions I get for products here are not my core business, the real money on the interent is NOT in the MMO sector.

BTW if you are considering any MMO product check out Splork at he’s a bought practically everthing, returned almost all of it, and has an opinion on eveything!

Hey Lis,

How’s the word count now? Lol

The worst thing about mom is that she came on here flogging someone else’s niches and held them out as a target of her ignorance. Her claim that SBI is responsible for any success they may or may not have is laughable. The Vacuum site does rank well but it has little to do with SBI. Thanks to mom blowing the bloggers identity it came to light that it was Tomaz – an old reader of mine and Vic’s. It’s not a surprise he ranks well as he took the time to learn from us.

google this query “tomaz”

I was wondering why the “owner” of the sites Mom was flogging was being quiet. When I saw who it was I felt like a shit – he’s a good guy and works hard and didn’t deserve to be trashed publicly. I’m sure he cringed when mom started pimping his sites publicly.

Mom – with friends like you – who needs enemies? In future I hope you think about the damage you might cause others by your thoughtless acts. If you want to impress us use your own bloody sites and leave the innocent out of it.

Griz’s last blog post..Site Build it – Don’t Buy It

Word count 48,500 – but SEOQuake crashed firefox while adding it all up LMAO! Yup I’ve been feeling sorry for the vacuum guy for a while it wasn’t him pimping his site here! Matt deserved what he got but this guy no. Yeah really friends like you and glass houses comes to mind. In reality the Intenet is quite a small place and some people should remember that..

@Lis – Not all Clickbank is MMO. For example, the “hot seller” I was thinking about is Truth About Abs, which is in the health and fitness genre. He sends you a ton of emails once you’re on the list, but it’s good stuff.


I kind of feel like foam on the wave of internet visitors that have arrived here through curiosity. lol

So, if visiting your post here has become something of a social IMers trend on the net, should I throw up a short term niche site targeting search terms like ‘Lissie Site buld It review’ and make some quick adsense moolah by ranking on page one of Google? LOL

Seriously, thank you for this post – just for the quick awareness it has generated on the subject; I think enough has been presented here by people who really know what they are talking about to make someone truly think twice (maybe even three times) before just going ahead and committing the kind of money involved with something like SBI without hearing lots of input from sources other than just SBI affiliate. Its just a shame that so much venom has been sprayed at you by some parties in the process. Yeesh.

@Stephen “Lissie site build it review” – I like it LMAO. Don’t worry about the venom – “sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you” – my mother used to say – well she had to with the surname we were saddled with LOL

My intention is not to depend SBI but to impart some real story I know. I run a site to sell some service related to webmaster staffing and link building services. I used to get many clients from SBI members with whom I have a long relationship .I know their success stories. I m not sure whether I should post their sites url, but if needed to prove I will provide.

Working with SBI site owners I got some experience that most of the site owners who even know how to edit a html page have successful websites . A site that earn money for them. So far I know SBI not only provides a hosting or domain registration service or CMS , its a complete package of Education and guide what are much needed for any newbie with no technical knowledge who wants a success full website .

I dont have any SBI site . I have many sites hosted at different places. I know how to even program my custom cms. I have been on the net for many years. Many things I have learnt spending hours and money . What is valuable to a starter has no value to me.

If anything is measured by its cost , it will be wrong. Its value that should be the factor to judge anything.

I know many website owners struggling to see any success. I know many who wants to have sites but have no clue. I have checked SBI action guide , its very good for any starter

For any newbie getting a successful site building it with what it needed to be successful is much valuable . Over the net failure rate is very high.

I’ve nothing to say really, just dropped by because I’ve been told this Lissie lass is the new hot thing on the interwebz 😉

How ironic the showcase site of SBI is a person who studied our techniques how ironic LMAO!!!

Vic’s last blog post..Yup! People Do Not Appreciate FREE!

“@Lis == Well, I wouldn’t know what they do in Australia, but like I said, every major online retailer in the US, every Presidential candidate (though Obama did it better than anyone), many non-profits and charities, etc. use email marketing in the US, which, I think you’ll admit, is still a bigger market than Australia.” –your mom

Opt-Ins are no good unless you actually have something to offer the customer like solid information they are interested in (to build trust) rather than a sales pitch.
I get emails from sites like Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, Big lots, and Neiman Marcus all the time. And I never read them because they provide no value. When I get them I know I can expect an ad just like the junk mail from my snail mail box. In my opinion their e-mails are perfectly useless. Why would I want to buy from someone who only communicates with me when they want me to purchase something? Its poor salesmanship I don’t read the ads and go buy what’s on sale because it’s on sale. I buy something I either need or want that happens to be on sale.
I’m sure I m not the only one who feels this way. If I need something I’ll go to them it’s that simple. Obama actually provided useful information about what was going on with his campaign. My point is you can lose credibility fast by mishandling a mailing list and even major retailers can fail miserably in this area.

I’ve been following this thread with interest since I’m a prospective IM’er. I’ve been a technical writer for 20 years and never made a dime from it above my salary. Like Lorecee, I’d like to put my writing skills to work for myself.

However, if Vic and Grizz are the guiding lights of this community, I think I might have to go with SBI. Neither of these supposed gurus has had anything constructive or informative to say here. Apparently, all they can do is criticize.

Vic and Grizz also post all of their information on blog sites, which are hideously poor at organizing information in anything other than a useless chronology. It’s understandable that people might be drawn to SBI where something like the Action Guide is available in a reasonably well-organized format.

As “cultish” as the SBI community may be, it may still be more supportive than what I’ve seen of the non-SBI community here. Everybody seems very self-centered and I not too fond of having to make my own way without any kind of peer support.

Also, the seeming dependence on back linking seems very fragile to me. What if the search engines catch on to how they’re being manipulated and change their algorithms? What happens then?

I’m a writer. Maybe the “content is king” model is the better one for me. SEO seems like a rug waiting to be pulled out from under me.

I know that you don’t want to hear this – but I wasted nearly a year writing beautiful, useful stuff, which a lot of the people in that particular community really like and you know what – the search engines rarely come. Writing for yourself is fine and a great creative outlet, but as many before you will tell you its not the way to get rich or even make a living online. Readers are fun – but they don’t pay the bills.

As an experienced technical writer you can probably make a nice living as a freelance writer – you can get paid a decent amount of money and inside 6 months I should think you could replace a full-time income. BUT – its just a job – a work from one home admittedly – but a job, stop writing and you stop being paid. On the other hand compared to going out to work there is no commute, no need to get out of the PJ’s and that ability to fire clients who annoy you easier that changing employers!

The issue is that there is no one blueprint that will take you to the riches, either instant, or, in the case of SBI, with a lot of hard work. Yes SBI has an action guide, but the bottom line is that you can write all the beautiful prose you like about Ancient Chinese Archeology – you won’t make any money, few search for the term and even those that do are researching a school project not looking to buy something. You can write a really beautiful, thoughtful, insightful piece on credit card debt (which a lot of people search for ) and no one will read it – because you don’t know how to get your websites/blog/article noticed. This post is being noticed by Google – its got nothing to do with the quality of the content

IF you missed the information that Grizz and Vic gave here than you weren’t reading very hard, yes they are defending me but they are also providing real information. Don’t you think I’ve had a bit of peer support here – and I didn’t ask for it.

Neither Vic or Grizz’s sites are organised to provide easy access – they are optimized for search engines, blogs do tend to be chronological. But the chronology is relevant – the search engine’s algorithms are not static – Google particularly is always improving their search technology -that’s why they employ all those Silicon Valley engineers. If you want nice and easily organised check out Grizz’s most recent blog on how to make money with Adsense – there are only 6 posts! Also Frank over at Earn Online Cash has a nice technical style to his writing which you might enjoy – and his info is top notch.

To be honest I have worked with, and as, a technical writer ( I was a Business Analyst) – I suspect that you want the clear cut, simple blueprint for success. Unfortunately there isn’t one – but those two references are easy to follow and again will provide you good information. If you want to explore the freelance writing options check out Terry Didcott and Monica – freelance writer both are professional writers who also do IM.

If you feel comfortable in group think and crowds – good luck to you – but I can assure you I feel very well supported by my group of mob, even though they are little unkemp around the edges.

Your perception is your reality! Right?
Funny how you condemn Griz and Vic by stating that all they do is criticize. And your doing WHAT? Plus you criticize them for utilizing blog posts — alleging that they “… are hideously poor at organizing information in anything other than a useless chronology.” I find it ironic that their make money online sites have the #1 PR spots! Again I will reiterate: Your perception is your reality! Now if you were to actually read the information on their blogs without your brazened bias, then the lenses of your interpretation and perception of what they really do offer FOR FREE would not be obscured with disdain and contempt. Don’t hate! Propitiate 🙂
Having an objective attitude towards anything which I analyze benefits me — even if I’m reviewing something that I do not believe in! I can still learn from information that I may not, per say, believe in, and thus I will broaden my experience and understanding of how things work; how different cultures act, feel, and believe, and simply grow as an [i]ndividual and the unique person I am.
I’m very sorry that you don’t GET IT David. Maybe its time to look at things through some different lenses?

@Skitazarella — There are best practices for using email lists, no doubt. One can’t make the blanket statement “lists don’t work” anymore than David can accurately say “blogs don’t work”. Nearly anything can work if you use it correctly. Best practices for email includes USEFUL information (that doesn’t give away all your product), and spacing out your sales pitches.

Hi, David,

If you want to the joy of blogging, think “Content is King”.

If you want to make money online, think SEO. It’s not a fad.

You are probably an excellent fact-finder. That will serve you well. Keep searching until you have a reasonable understanding of how to make money online.

In that quest, when successful, you will come upon a few honest people who tell the whole truth.

Don’t be surprised if their names are Court, Griz, and Victor.


Yet Vic, Tomaz says you guys don’t know what you are talking about yet he uses your techniques and teachings to rank his own sites and niches.

I can’t believe people will leach off you like that and then stab you in the back. What kind of crock is that.

@Tomaz, I mean 47k a month traffic at $2.50 cpc a month network… so safe estimate of 25% of that is… 2.5 x .25 = .625 cents.

Wow at 50% of 47k average at .625 cents each click, with a CTR of 41%, hrmm, guess what, people will start targeting that niche and giving you competition. Good job Tomaz, I guess you skipped the part about not exposing your niches and or being careful about who you tell your sites about.

Have a nice day, Lawl =).

@Grizz == “I was wondering why the “owner” of the sites Mom was flogging was being quiet. When I saw who it was I felt like a shit – he’s a good guy and works hard and didn’t deserve to be trashed publicly. I’m sure he cringed when mom started pimping his sites publicly.

Mom – with friends like you – who needs enemies? In future I hope you think about the damage you might cause others by your thoughtless acts.”==

It’s MY fault that Vic and you and Lis attacked Tomaz, and cussed and whatnot?!?!?

I didn’t “pimp” his site publicly. He runs an MMO blog where he talks about his site’s performance, and recommends SBI through his affiliate link. If he didn’t want people to know about his site, he shouldn’t have started the MMO blog.

Since I’m not an SBI affiliate, it’s not like I’m commenting to make money–unlike Vic and yourself you link back to your sites full of affiliate links. So lurkers should ask themselves who has a reason for bias.

Tried staying out of it and did for this long, but I finally HAD to chime in.

I know something we could do to solve this entire issue…

Everyone come back here to this post in exactly one year and post their combined monthly income from all their sites. If everyone was honest, which they won’t be, but let’s just pretend for a minute that everyone was.

Here is what we would find…

Most of the SBIers wouldn’t even come back here to post because they would have quit out of frustration by then. The ones still sticking it out would be making very little money. A few might be doing well but not many.

Most of the people who follow Griz, Vic, and Court would certainly come back here to post because they would be making way too much money to ever quit. All of their incomes will have increased and the money they make each month will be significant.

By the way I have been a full time internet marketer making my living online for a little over 6 years now. I guarantee that’s longer than 99% of the people who have commented on this post.

I’ve seen countless people come and go, and just as many products and services die off. I know all the different methods that people use to try to make money online. I also know the ones that work and those that don’t work.

Site Build It was one of the first resources I ever heard about and looked into my first year online. Never decided to use it and I’m glad I didn’t, especially after reading all the SBI user responses on here. I have bought some of Ken’s info products in the past and they were good at the time, although still lacking. However, now he simply has not kept up with the times.

My first online mentor 6 years ago always preached that link building was top priority and the actual looks of the site and constantly updating content did not matter. So, I took her advice and got as many quality and relevant backlinks as I could for each site I started. Didn’t take long to get first page rankings for several sites that way, and the money starting coming in.

Fast forward 6 years and link building is still the way to get high search engine rankings and make money online. I do it all the time.

I don’t necessarily think SBI is a scam but I know there are much better options out there for a lot less money. Plus, I definitely think Ken needs to finally start preaching what he has to know to be true by now… links = rankings = targeted traffic = money! And you have to find niches that actually get a lot of monthly searches for keyword phrases where people are looking to buy, not just get free information.

Finally, I want to state that I have learned more useful information that actually makes me money from Griz and Vic in the past year or so than I did from all other bloggers, forums, information products, mentors, and everywhere else COMBINED in the past 6 years.

Choose who you follow wisely!

Did you know Oprah’s folks did a search on a topic and the best site they found was an SBI site? They had the owners on the show. There are others who have been nationally recognized as well. If SBI sucks but you get on Oprah, then I love what sucks.

It’s scary to know that people without all the facts, without the proper knowledge can convince unknowing visitors that what they say is the absolute truth.

I’m an SBIer who was able to quit my day job, and there are plenty more who have done the same. Can I have done that without SBI? Sure, but it would have taken be probably 2x, 3x as long because I would have had to read and weed out all these posts with the wrong info about how to build an online business.

You got what you wanted with this post. A lot of people talking about it, making you rise to the top for false info.

I have to disagree with you. Site Built it has made me thousands of dollars a month for the last 4 years. Through my site and I make the annual fee everyday. so don’t go slamming something you haven’t tried.

I wasted over $50,000 on my first site to find out I did not get any traffic.

I love SBI.

Clint Lawton

I didn’t say all mailing lists don’t work. I said mailing lists that are only sales ads and sales pitches- And there are a lot of retailers who are guilty of offering very little value in their e-mails- don’t work. I’m just trying to point out that opt-in lists aren’t the holy grail of internet marketing if they aren’t handled correctly. Getting someone’s e-mail address is one thing. But converting that information into a sale takes skill.
That’s all I’m saying

@Trent thanks very much responding – its cool to hear from people with real experience

@Toban – that is a very fair and well researched review of SBI that you did – anyone still reading this thread and wondering about SBI should head over to your blog and read it! The interesting thing though is that your review predated mine by several weeks and when I searched for a negative review of SBI I never found it. Anyone reading your review, regardless of their opinion of SBI can tell in 2secs that your review is better than mine. Unfortunately Google didn’t give it the prominence it deserved, purely because you don’t have enough backlinks to the site. I am however LMAO re the comment in the forum thread you started on Steve Pavlina’s site: someone said:

“I typed “how many people have made money from site build it” into google and it came up with a bunch of negative reviews!”

Yes we have made a different to the SERPS over the last few days- that wasn’t even a phrase I thought of – some bloody ugly blogger blog is #1 for the term – he should be pretty easy to outrank LOL

dear clint,

it is not SBI that makes you money it’s properly making a website (with good back links). Anyone can make money online if they just get proper anchored backlinks, half decent niche, good title tags (and read griz blog).

some people don’t need to use SBI because everything that SBI provides can be found for free. Why spend 300 dollar a year when you could spend 20 dollars. (that is the point people are making here)

Actually i use SBI, it’s easy and efficient for newbies, great support, friendly people – I make some money

However people shouldn’t say that “the SBI process” made me thousands. You can use that process (proper marketing) on any website – there is no need to spend 300 dollars a year. For some people that is a lot of money to spend.

There are other options. People need to know this. Rather than just telling new people to the internet to spend 300 dollars on SBI. Tell them that if they want they could spend 20 dollars and read Griz’s blog. That is only fair because 300 dollars is a lot of money to most people.

All SBI modules can be found for free on the internet. (the only one that maybe is not found for free is content 2.0, but that costs an extra 100 dollars on the SBI fee).

Would i recommend SBI? Actually yes for convenience. It’s kinda nice just to have everything in one place. However there are many many people who loose the 300 dollars, just see how many websites are put up for sale on the SBI forums that don’t make money. So if i recommend SBI to someone I say to them, only buy it if you’re willing to loose all that money. That is only fair because many people do loose money with SBI.

I don’t know how you can loose $50,000 dollars on a site !!!!! That is foolish to loose that amount of money on anything. I think you got very bad advice to loose that much.

I love the pre-formatted “rapid responses” we’re getting from the SBI cult. Like…

“I wasted a gajillion dollars until Dr. Ken removed my brain and made life easy…”


“I’d rather pay a lump sum and be a drone than think for myself or get off my butt and do any work”

Gotta love Dr. Ken writing these responses out for you so you can conveniently copy and paste them wherever someone is challenging SBI. I can’t decide…would you SBI’ers who have been rapidly responding like to be called cultists or “brownshirts”.

These testimonials of SBI people make me laugh. Its akin to the “testimonials” on comments on political sites during the last election of “I was a Republican but this year I’m voting for Obama because…” and then they list reasons that no Republican would ever list.

Admit it guys…you thought you could bully Lis into submission like you do with others and it failed miserably.

But – by all means, please stay in the dark about this business. Continue on with your “easy button” way of doing things and paying as much to host 1 site as I do for unlimited sites. Continue paying yearly for tools you cannot take with you if you change hosts.

Please the rest of the IM’ers who are following Grizz, Court and Vic want you to stay in the dark. Just leave this site, go back to your circle jerk and let us continue to make money while you can’t figure out why your sites about dust bunnies (while interesting reading t be sure) aren’t making you serious money. You’ll be happy thinking you showed us. And we’ll be happy knowing that we tried to warn you but “There are none so blind as those who WILL NOT see.”

Give it a rest guys…go back to Nazi camp and try not to skip Arts and Crafts this time.

Thai’s last blog post..Site Build It? Forget It!!

And since you seem to think the only sites that really compete or can compete with your SBI sites are other SBI’ers…you should be THANKING US for driving away any future competitor from using SBI…

If SBI was sooo good… and you only had to worry about SBI like some of you think… then Lis and the people that have come to her defense have done you a great service by eliminating the pool of SBI competitors that could possibly be working your niches.

No need to say “Thank You”…

You are most welcome!!

Thai’s last blog post..Site Build It? Forget It!!

” David Mar 25th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

However, if Vic and Grizz are the guiding lights of this community, I think I might have to go with SBI. Neither of these supposed gurus has had anything constructive or informative to say here. Apparently, all they can do is criticize.”

Not only that, they really don’t know what the hell they’re talking about either. Seems like they’re part of the “fake it til you make it crowd” if you ask me. Sadly, most here don’t seem to know any better.

Yeah, I think you folks should take the advice of the marketing expert here who has to use a free blogger blog because he can’t afford to spring for the $10 domain name, lol. I KNOW he knows what he’s doing because he can pull random numbers with no basis in fact out of his ass like nobody’s business. You know, the guy who criticizes others for targetting weak keywords with no traffic, say…like vacuum cleaners, yet bases a blog around a keyword that gets less than 4,000 searches a month, lol.

By the way, if any of you get a chance, ask him if he thinks Project Payday is a scam….you know, because of all those fake “Project Payday scam” review sites similar to the “SBI scam” review sites being complained about here.

Oh, and for the record, I think SBI sucks. Their target market is newbies for a reason…because they don’t know better. $300 for a set of tools you can use once is a joke. It’s like having to buy a new copy of Dreamweaver for every site you build.

@clint…making thousands a month…that’s are you monetizing to make that amount of money? Took a look at your sites in compete. Your debt site shows 723 uniques a games 8.067 uniques. Both sites have 3 back links.

@Clint Why would you come in here and lie? I stopped by to see if this thread is still going and I look at your sites as you claim thousands of dollars a month in income. DO you think we don’t have the tools to see your traffic, and to see what your keywords are probably paying?

You have a 5 year old site listed and it only has 40 backlinks with 6-8k traffic. Dude, that’s not very impressive. Is that what they teach you at a SBI? And with your other site, do you really think you are going to go up against the best marketers in the world in one of the most competitive niches on the internet by accumulating around 100 backlinks(In a year+!!)? Anchored to-your-U-R-L…LMAO!

And one more thing (I am trying to be nice, really!) what the fuck are you thinking giving away your niches and web sites, Did they teach you that at SBI?

Dude, I kinda like that party game niche. I bet I can get ranked #1 in about 8 months, maybe sooner, and make a little cash without much work. I have a great idea on how to monetize it! Thanks Bro!!!!

bk’s last blog post..UPDATE: Noob Crime Scene

It is hard to believe how this is still moving! It seems there is no end to it. Way to go Lissie!!! 😀

SirDent’s last blog post..Devoted to God

Toban your review is excellent!
$300 is way tooooo expensive as a recurring fee – it’s daylight robbery (except that it’s legal so it ain’t robbery and it happens in the dark too so it ain’t solely daylight) but apart from those two provisos Site Build It is daylight robbery.
I ain’t got anything to say really, I just wanted to practise typing my URL without making a mistake! 🙂

A few thoughts about SBI. There has been some mis-information going round. Actually I think it’s a pretty good option for certain folks that don’t know where to start. Basically it groups some good information (although long-winded) and tools together along with the block builder that makes it easy for a newbie to get started.

What I don’t like…

The block builder has very limited editor functions. The new block builder has to toil over how to simply put an image on their home page. Some subscribers learn at a faster pace and can upload their own pages but this is slow and clumsy. Templates are of the cookie-cutter type with little or no options for 2-3 column templates.

The sales pitch for new subscribers is the fact that most SBI owners are in the top 3% (give or take a percent) in Alexa rankings. I had never heard of Alexa before SBI, so most new subscribers are obsessed with their Alexa rankings. I don’t know if these new subscribers install the Alexa toolbar or not. Although, I do know that Alexa ranking can be easily manipulated with the toolbar installation…and that you will get reprimanded in the forum for even questioning the validity and/or merits of Alexa.

Forum moderators run a tight ship and will tell you they moderate freely, although I’ve always wondered if possibly they may receive their site subscription cost in exchange for moderation. It does seem to me that one has to walk somewhat of a fine line in the forums. I have seen the disenchanted banned from the forum and have their site subscription revoked. I understand the need for civility in any forum but it is unnerving that you can have the rug pulled for disagreeing.

I don’t like the extra charge for Content 2.0. Basically you are paying an extra 100 dollars a year for ability of visitors to upload an image. The comments are hard to manage and the structure of comments lacks a lot to be desired. Form Build It would work much better and be more manageable if you had the option to include an image upload but then SBI would lose their yearly fee for Content 2.0

I do think only a small percentage of sbi’ers have successful sites but then thats true regardless of what system you use. Lots of advice being thrown around the forum by newbies and others who don’t have the stats to back it up. I think the more successful SBI owners frequent the forum very little or not at all.

Overall SBI is a good option for new website builders…some make it…some don’t….but it’s not the only option….although I do see Ken’s need for his subscribers to believe…SBI is the only option. He has a great business plan and has been very succesful. He’s a very smart person…You gotta give him his dues.

Hi Lis, hope you are having a great day!
I may need to study out this whole SBI Cult Mentality angle for my-own-self. I have been involved in some fairly staunch and outspoken religious orginizations in my day, and much of this smacks of what I escaped. Hmmm, I since a new SBI Bullshit Review.
We’ll see….

Allyn’s last blog post..Internet Marketing, Passion, Making Money, Helping People: The Balance

Lis, thanks for the good read 🙂
And thanks Vic and Griz, I learned a few new things from your comments as usual

Tim’s last blog post..Deskercise To Burn Off Those Greasy Pepperoni Snacks

To all SBIers,

To evaluate how you well or not you are doing, have a poll to see how much profit you are making per month. To be fair, only those that are SBIers for at least 1 year should answer. Hopefully, no one among you will game the stats and most will be honest.

less $10/month
less $25/month
less $50/month
less $100/month
less $500/month
less $1000/month
less $2000/month
less $3000/month
less $4000/month
more than $4000/month

The ideas is too see how much of you are successful, or not, and by how much.

If you see that most make $300/month and you are still at the $25/month mark after 1 year, then you should reevaluate if it’s still worth it for you based on your earnings and the time you invested on your site.

You can keep it private if you want.

Steve McGrath’s last blog post..Site Built It Review/Opinion followup

Heya Say What…

About these:

>>”Forum moderators run a tight ship and will tell you they moderate freely, although I’ve always wondered if possibly they may receive their site subscription cost in exchange for moderation.”<>”It does seem to me that one has to walk somewhat of a fine line in the forums. I have seen the disenchanted banned from the forum and have their site subscription revoked. I understand the need for civility in any forum but it is unnerving that you can have the rug pulled for disagreeing.”<>”I don’t like the extra charge for Content 2.0. Basically you are paying an extra 100 dollars a year for ability of visitors to upload an image.”<>”I think the more successful SBI owners frequent the forum very little or not at all.”<>”Ken’s need for his subscribers to believe…SBI is the only option.”<<

Umm, Ken’s never ever said this. He said it’s one of the best options, especially for a newcomer.

Just as one can say, “Nike is one of the best footwear around”, doesn’t mean that you don’t also wear and shop for Reebok, Sketchers, Crocs, etc.

I have learned by now by reading here that dismantling, rebutting, etc really has zero value to the ones that know everything here, but for those who are curious about Sitesell or anything like this, you simply know the truth.


@Michael again: you wrote–

Umm, Ken’s never ever said this. He said it’s one of the best options, especially for a newcomer.

Ken must have forgotten to relay this message to his sales staff. I was digging through some old email tonight and found the letter SBI sent me when I canceled my subscription after five months because it’s based on a business model that stopped being current with the internet sometime around 2005:

Thanks for confirming your intention to cancel your SBI!
account. I have forwarded your refund for processing. As your subscription is past 30 days old your refund amount will be on a pro-rata basis. This amount is in accordance with the SiteSell refund policy outlined on our order pages…
I’m really sorry to be losing you. This is to wish you the
best of luck. Please don’t hesitate to come back to us when
the time is right as only SBI! delivers all this functionality…[link]… and more importantly…[another link]

I promise that you will discover that the grass is not only
greener on this side of the fence… it’s the only green
grass on the Net.

Regarding your domain name. You will need to purchase a
Name Park It! subscription if you wish to keep the domain
parked. Once the refund has been processed and your account
deactivated, I can move the domain across to your new NPI!

Whoops, that domain name. Better take out the Visa card and go take care of business…sigh.

My refund was $134 for subscribing five months with seven left to go. Not exactly prorated, but at that point I just wanted to take the money and run.

Lorecee’s last blog post..How to Make Money Online

@michael…”Umm, Ken’s never ever said this. He said it’s one of the best options, especially for a newcomer”.

I said it! It’s advantageous to his business model for folks to figure out there’s more than one way to skin a cat! The teachings of “The Way Of The Tortoise” keeps subscribers, who have pathetic traffic stats holding on to the hope that eventually they will “Get Over The Hump”. Some do…more don’t.

I have a problem with the credibility of someone who moderates or professes to be an authority on web building that don’t have the stats to back up their claims.

Seems everything too good to be true really IS too good to be true. I was investigating SBI, but God bless legit bloggers – you can always search for and find the real story. Thanks Lis!


TSC’s last blog post..Are you an idiot? Ask Larry


Hope you have had fun…

The saddest thing about all of this is that a few really superb MMO Gurus (especially Vic and Griz), who really are experts in their field, by coming to your help, have probably really damaged their integrity in the eyes of many.

Guys, who really have done so much to help others, have been seen doing really insulting videos about some poor guy having fun with his website…

…just because he pays a more for a set of easy to understand tools to get him started in building his little site about something he likes…

How sad.

It’s like two major world famous brain surgeons destroying there professional integrity for a hick town proctologist who can’t diagnose a boil from a haemorrhoid…

…and then has to apologise because the scam (or boil or haemorrhoid) word was the wrong diagnosis, only done just to get noticed.

Next time anyone of you go out and pay big bucks for a pair of Levis, or Nike for example, do you all realise the low cost of making them?..

…next time you buy a diamond engagement ring do you feel you have been robbed because you are probably paying about 5 times the wholesale cost?…

…are we all noobs when we buy some overpriced article at a local shop instead of on EBay at probably a fraction of the cost…

Get real. Someone who wants a website, BUT KNOWS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT BUILDING A WEBSITE would get hammered a lot more than 300 bucks for the design of a fully functional website and would have ongoing costs, and it would probably still fail. That could well be a scam as I know of very few who are prepared to get paid solely on results.

I’m no MMO expert and I am not defending SBI. I am just stating facts as I see them.

For someone who has only recently found out the difference between a keyword and a key ring, SBI doesn’t seem like a bad option.

Expensive… who cares, if it does the job all in one package it’s a great deal.

You can always opt out when you have more experience…

…hell, even the U.S. Govt pay hundreds of bucks for a toilet seat.

I will say no more and post no more, hope you post this…

…enjoy your moment of glory…

I’d like to address the “brainwashing/cult” thing.

People who are big fans of a product like “apple” or a certain type of car, or a TV show, or anything really, often talk with the same set of lingo and have the same type of fevered excitement about their product.

Linux users can be some of the very worst. The rabid defense of Linux and attacks on anyone who disagrees can get pretty comical.

This is the same thing. People who are big fans of a product defending it. No they don’t get paid for their time posting defenses. Yes, there was a mention in the forum about it.

No, I’m not defending SBI as one of the “faithful.” It’s my opinion that the more people defend SBI the crazier we all look, mainly because once someone has pulled out the cult/hitler/brainwashing card, people tend to pick up a mob mentality and view everyone through that lens.

When people call others brainwashed cult members, it’s an attempt to dehumanize and discredit any point they make. So it doesn’t matter how well-reasoned it is…they must be a cult member.

And actually cult members do the same thing…no matter how well reasoned your argument, you’re going to hell.

In reading over this, let’s ask who is using well-reasoned arguments and who isn’t? How much kool-aid induced SBI hysteria is going on if the glassy-eyed faithful are able to produce such logical and well-reasoned responses?

It should be noted that the people who are making the big defenses of SBI are people who are making good money using it. That’s not typically the behavior of brainwashed cult members.

People who are brainwashed to believe a certain way, the brainwashing is necessary because the truth goes in direct contradiction to the facts. That’s what brainwashing IS. It’s not just fervently believing in and supporting something because it’s been proven to be good. That would be reality.

For example, the faithful often “believe” something will happen, and preach it as true, even though it hasn’t happened for them. But the loudest SBI supporters here, it HAS happened for them. They aren’t acting on faith, they are expressing facts about the product, and most of them have had success that you can check out to confirm.

Bleeting sheep do what they’re told. These are valid customer testimonials from people who’ve had results, and not just been promised them.

In fact SBI never promises you’ll make money, only that they’ll provide you with the tools you need.

Am I going to gush on and on about SBI now? No. Do I think absolutely everything about SBI is perfect? No. Might I bleet a little if/when I reach the same level of success some of the others have? Maybe.

There has never been a discussion forum or group I’ve been a part of, in which I have followed the party line of absolutely everything. That continues to be true with SBI.

Also I’m fairly certain that “cults” REQUIRE proselytizing and participation in everything. I am not required to participate in the forums and often do not. I am further not required to “share the good news” of SBI, and I do not.

Where do I fit on the cult-o-meter. Please help label me.

yep SBI is the best – there is no competition – none at all – period .

sure you can get hosting, etc.. for under $25 for a year (maybe even cheeper). but how much will you make.?
if you get into the top 10 mill on alexa (without SBI) your a genuis. most people cant do that and will need SBI.
sure – its damn hard work and it takes time to build an SBI site.

but if your still getting suckered into those sales pitches being a millionare in less than a year by spending $25 on a website – you will never make it. but slowly SBI creeps up the google rankings.

pretty poor review on SBI guys – you should be ashamed.

@SBIUser O N etc,

You said; “It should be noted that the people who are making the big defenses of SBI are people who are making good money using it. That’s not typically the behavior of brainwashed cult members.

What the critics here are taking exception to is not the responses of the [few] people who are making good money using it, but the ones who are making their money by hyping it to Noobs, and we suspect that the heat of their response is fueled solely by their self [$’s] interest! To put it bluntly, they fear their [unearned affiliate] income will be lost!


Rhys’s last blog post..How To Find Long Tailed Keywords

I don’t own a website (yet) but I have been researching internet marketing and ways to make money online for more than 6 months.

I came across this post through my research of SBI. I tried really hard to be objective and I followed quite a number of links from this post to other sites and SBI reviews.

Here are my conclusions:

1. 99% of those who criticize SBI have not used it (big loss of credibility) and 99% of those who have used it are very satisfied. (whether that’s a cult or not I don’t care.)

2. 99% of those who criticize SBI are not polite and use very vulgar language to attack (another loss of credibility), while 99% of those who defend SBI are polite and typically state the facts.

3. In my research of making money online, I came across references to Ken Evoy quite a few times (Allan Gardyne, dr. Andy Williams, …) but haven’t come across any references to the bloggers against SBI.

4. Oh, and last but not least; to the guy who says that people don’t buy vacuum cleaners online: I actually bought a Hoover 5140-900 model 1 month ago through (it sucks great btw) which has over 1000 reviews on Amazon – which suggests that MANY people buy vacuum cleaners online. (another loss of credibility for the person stating that people don’t buy vacuums online)

Just my 0,02…

Actually Rhys, that’s not true either. I don’t have SBI on my site as an affiliate option. No one can buy it through me. And it’s like that with a lot of SBI users.

And even the SBI users who do sell SBI to others and get affiliate income, most of them have several monetization models in place for their niche, which isn’t internet marketing. So it’s completely false to think most SBI users are making most of their incomes from selling SBI.

That kind of irritates me because on the forums I rarely hear anyone talk that much about selling SBI. Most of the forum is busy talking about other monetization models. Sure some people are selling it, but you need to look at the big picture, it’s only a TINY part of most people’s monetization, and not a part of everyone’s monetization.

But people who don’t use SBI persist in acting like the only money SBI users make is from selling SBI and that’s just patently false. I think the initial idea of having an affiliate option was good because it offered an organic way to sell the product through customer happiness, and also paid back people who referred others, but I think it also leads to this misrepresentation and idea that it’s the “main show” for many. And to many people it looks like a conflict of interests.

I can understand that perception. Still, it would be nice if people bothered to look a little deeper instead of just assuming they know.

what’s internet marketing all about ??? I know nothing at all – no joke – i didn’t even know what an MMO blog was till i read this. (serious)! I’ll read the guys recommended here (griz), to find out what SEO stands for.

All i know is i make thousands with my SBI site.


Hi Lis,

I wish I had the time to thoroughly read all the comments above and give you a complete response; I just don’t.

I’ll just say that to me $300 a year for what SBI gives me is a bargain. The reason I say that? Time.

Time is the #1 obstacle to success on-line for most people. If you want to build a business in your spare time that succeeds — in my experience — it will take a lot of work and time.

SBI has saved me thousands of hours I would have wasted chasing down rabbit holes and undoubtedly I would have simply quit long ago.

Instead, following SBI’s roadmap and the fantastic help provided by SBI and fellow site owners — I was able to do what very, very, very few website owners (at least in my sports niche) ever do — that is build a very profitable website that is now funding my expansion into new sites in other areas. THese new sites are also quickly becoming profitable.

Also, $25 a month for fantastic hosting is cheap. Even if you simply look at that basic cost for that one service that SBI provides — it’s a bargain. I have a non-sbi site that gets similar traffic to my sbi site — for that I pay $225 a month for reliable hosting. Yes, I tried the cheap hosting you refer to — it’s fine if you don’t get much traffic. If you get lots of traffic (in other words your site succeeds) — that cheap hosting will crash and that will cost you much time and pain to find a new host. Oh, and you will pay much, much more than the $25 a month SBI charges — for the best hosting around.

And, of course, that is only one tiny piece of what they give all together.

OK, MY BOTTOM LINE: It makes sense to me to plan for success at the beginning. So, pay the $300 up front. Get all the tools for success, don’t waste time on rabbit trails. And,when the website succeeds — you will have the quality host you need anyway.

If anyone wants more info — just contact me through my site. I’m more than happy to discuss anything.

Lis, I’d be impressed, if you re-evaluated and just said that based on the new info you’ve received — you need to correct the record. But, that’s your call.

Gotta go


@Paladin – do you really think that because Grizz and Vic stick up for people that damages their credibility – strange world you live in. If you think Vic’s bad language is unprofessional – have you ever heard of the British Chef – Gordon Ramsey – the guy has a huge empire based on the use of the f**k word and his ability to cook…

@Nick thanks for the complement – apparently I’m a genius ’cause this site now has a Alexa ranking of under 10 million- under 200k actually LMAO!

@Mo Johnson -thank you for your honest to actually linking to your site. If you don’t make any money selling SBI where is their a prominant link at the bottom of ever page? You can get reseller hosting for $25/month – which is more than sufficient for anyone who is not getting 100,000’s of uniques.

Guys what really, really bermuses me is that the SBI group really have missed a critical point: you don’t need huge amounts of traffic to your site: you need people who are going to buy!

@Mo – BTW I did and wrote a follow up post which you obviously missed …

BTW did you guys miss that Ken told you stop coming over here and keeping the debate going 🙂

I guess they didn’t get that memo Lissie.

Their statements on the reliability of shared hosting are yet another example of how they’re stuck in 1999 mode.

It’s also interesting to note their love for the wildly inaccurate Alexa numbers. I guess if they ran more than one site they would figure this out quicker. They would understand that a site with an Alexa score of 76K and one of 980K can have virtually the same traffic. It’s just the one with the much higher number doesn’t attract tech, webmaster or Internet marketer traffic.

“Mike T” was pretty funny since that’s obviously a shill comment. Apparently he never Googled on the term he said he researched, ‘making money online’, since Griz has two spots on page #1 for that term. 6 months of researching ‘make money online’ and you never Googled on the term? Please.

Frank Carr’s last blog post..How To Earn Cash Online with Site-Build-It

Hi Lis, guess I didn’t get the “word” to shut up from Ken. If I did — I don’t think it would stop me. Sorry Ken 🙂 — if you are still following this.

I actually came back here because I forgot to address the humorous point you made about SBI promoting use of adsense to promote our sites so we get traffic. I chuckled at that one because I’ve been an SBI site owner for over 2 years and have never read anything from SBI promoting the use of adsense to get traffic. In fact, the things I have read from SBI about using adwords warn folks not to use it unless you have really spent time learning how to effectively use it — because, as you say, you can lose a lot of money fast if you don’t know what you are doing. And, then SBI provides lots of info about how to do it right — which by the way, i’ve never gotten into.

i can assure you that 95% of sbi site owners make money from adsense and do not spend it on adwords. anyway, seriously, i hope this doesn’t sound harsh but truly you do not know much about SBI.

yes, please come visit me at SEC Sports Fan any time at all. anyone is welcome.

as for selling sbi. sure i promote it and would love to make commissions off selling it. i never said I don’t make money off that – but actually, you have hit on a sore point — truth is i have, in fact, never made a single commission selling sbi. bummer, but maybe that will change one day 🙂 either way, it’s a product i know works and can help anyone build a profitable business on-line.

which, might be why some “gu-rus” don’t like it. we actually don’t need any gurus to succeed on-line. maybe that’s the real heartburn you have with SBI.

oh, and you are right that i missed your follow up post apparently correcting some mistakes you made. sorry, but i can’t wade through the hundreds of follow up posts that appear here.

i did see the updated comments you made in the top post which seem to sort of take away any objective points you initially made against sbi and water what you have left to a conclusory statement that sbi is a cult because its users seem to like it.

If you have major corrections to make, you should simply re-write your top post so people when they first come here get the best information right at the top. seems to me anyway.

Lis — come on, admit it, you were wrong, your arguments are silly. THe only real problem with it all is you may well mislead people away from something that could really work for them. and that is really sad.

we are all wrong sometimes. no big deal. but, it’s great if once we figure that out, we admit it. you can say there are other fine ways to build a site. but, to say sbi is a scam is just silly. sbi is really the anti-scam — because right up front it tells you there is now get rich quick easy way to riches on the web. it takes hard work. i bet more newbies (like me) have built successful sites through sbi than any other website builder.

oh, the reseller host thing. i’m certain you cannot get any kind of host the quality of sbi for $25 a month. (if i thought you could i’d want to follow up for the other site i’ve talked about) by the way, it’s url is SEC Talk and everyone is most welcome to visit us there too. (i only wish that was an sbi site since it would be much more profitable if it were, but i bought it from someone else and didn’t start it with sbi…)

and even if you could — why wouldn’t you go with SBI since you get so much more too?

and the traffic thing. you are very right about that. traffic is only part of the equation. as you note, you have to attract people wanting to buy something. that’s not totally true since you can make money off google ads, etc that don’t necessarily relate to buying something. but, generally you are gonna do better if you have site visitors looking to buy something. again, this is fundamental to sbi philosophy about building a site that attracts qualified visitors and pre-selling them, etc.

Lis, sorry, but, really, you got nothing (at least in regards to you sbi scam allegation)

even so, hope you have a nice day. just really hope you don’t mislead anyone. that you should think about.

and, thanks for some of the other stuff you have on your site. you do have some good info — just wrong about SBI.



@Mo – if you are saying that 95% of SBIers are using Adsense as their main monetisation method I kinda rest my case! I am mean please – your own site has Adsense not just below the fold – but right in the flipping bottom of the site!
BTW the push on adwords comes from kens own video on the sales spiel.

@Frank I think the first thing I learnt online was that no one would read my personal blog, and the second thing was that Alexa was a well-outdated concept- I promptly forgot about it. I have never heard so many people quoting Alexa in my life until I discovered SBI – even if it was accurate, which it isn’t (google Alexa stats reliable ) who cares how much traffic you have the site – the question is how much money have you made?

good points, i only use alexa as a broad figure – it just gives me an idea where my site is – on the grand scheme of things, but its not that important.
true – you can get cartloads of traffic without sbi, and i’m working on a JV with another blogger who has tons of traffic on an e-book, as my very new site gains traction.

i suppose what it boils down to is; that html and all the miniutia of code bores to tears and sbi takes that away for me, so i can build a web business. $300 isnt that much for me, (wonder how much brad fallons wedding site cost? more than 300 bucks i’m assuming).

so its down to personal choice, nothings really really right or wrong. sbi is far from a scam, i have a site with them that gets well over 600,000 visitors a year, with bad / non-existant navigation and plainly poor sparse content pages- somthing i admit i messsed up, and intend to fix this year, and yes i’m making good money with it too.
so the sbi choice is all down to the individual.

Nick – one more time – I don’t write html I can barely anchor a link without a wiswig editor, CSS is a mystery and as for php – double dutch! To put up a website using WordPress you need the ability to use a visual editor (somewhat easier than Word’s one) and ftp to copy files around. That is it! However told you the rest of the world codes in html outside of SBI is on some other planet- or possibly stuck in the 90’s!

It’s funny that no SBIer did replied to my earlier comment about having a poll. I expected at least one to say it’s an interesting idea. Are you afraid of the results?

I agree with Lis that tools exist now to lower the importance of knowing HTML, CSS, PHP… WP is a good example. Personally, it’s better to know a little(basic HTML, FTP).

I checked a few “Top” SBIer sites from the “result” page on SBI. Some are still showing Adsense to everyone thus earning less money. Some don’t use Adsense or maybe controlling it. Did some of you have learned a few things from here? 😉

With discussion I had from SBI on my own blog, some are selling their own products like me.

Even if I think it’s not scam, I don’t need to buy everything to see if it fit my business models or not. SBI does not.

In this economy, it’s better to be diversify than having only one $300 niche. Soon after I finish preparing my income tax (no fun to do in any country 😉 ), I will build 10 new sites and even more in April, May…. If I was with SBI, it would had cost me at least $3000+ to create them. Those 10 are really targeted thus low monthly traffic but still paying. 😀

I do think that Ken should take this opportunity to reevaluate the cost of his service and even more so for those that may want to target another niche.

Steve McGrath’s last blog post..Getting Your Expired Domain Name Back

Lis, You admitted on another blog, that you were wrong about SBI, but that the “pitbulls” made you angry (yeah, if I were to take something of yours and rip it apart on my blog and say it was a massive scam, even though I’d never before used the product, I’d draw your ire too. I’m not sure why that’s a hard concept to follow.)

Also you seem to have the idea that no really bad reviews of SBI exist because SBI users bully them into retreat, so you think you’re part of a “good cause” helping take down bullies. So I guess as long as you’re taking down what you perceive of as a bully, it’s okay to lie, then backtrack when you know you’re caught and switch your attack to the people who use a product you thought wrongly was a scam. (Because you have to be right somehow, right?)

It’s never once crossed your mind that the reason reviews like yours were in short supply is because reviews like yours were false (as in non-factual smears), and also tend to be reviews given by people who have obviously never used the product. How is it possible to review a product without actually owning it?

Maybe I should start going to Amazon and posting random reviews of products and books I’ve never used or read because obviously I have a valuable viewpoint to share…not having ever used the product.

And further in your updated post you mention that SBI isn’t a scam, but then you go on to say it’s “worse”, it’s a CULT. oh noes!

I think you totally miss the point of what a cult is. It’s become popular in our culture to call anything that has a loyal following a cult. But no one has had to give all their possessions to Ken, not one has had to move to a compound, no one has been isolated from their family. No one has been harmed.

SBI does not work for every person. It’s never claimed to work for every person. But NO product of any type works for every person. SBI offers a suite of tools, that’s it. Do you think you’ve been scammed if you buy a computer and scanner and such for a business that later fails? SBI is not magic. But it is a much more expedient and in the long run cost effective and integrated solution than many other “solutions” I’ve seen.

Once you realized you had no logical leg to stand on in saying the product was a scam which offends people who use and like it and who were afraid of the same thing before they signed up because of so many scams on the internet… You and others wrongly assume it’s because they’re losing their affiliate income from SBI.

Though I find this amusing since you also later seem to think that most SBI users get most of their income from adsense. If that’s true, then why would the loss of the SBI affiliate income be a big deal? You can’t have it both ways, either SBI users are making most of their money from adsense or most of their money from SBI.

The truth is, there are about 15 monetization models that are discussed. And many people who implement several of them. Not everyone in SBI uses adsense, and yet they still make money. Not everyone in SBI sells SBI, and yet they still make money. And probably there are many SBI users who monetize NEITHER with adsense or SBI, and yet…wait for it…they still make money.

Also some have confused adsense with adwords. Using adsense is free. Adwords is the PPC. And I’ve NEVER been encouraged to use PPC on SBI.

You don’t have to “like” SBI and you don’t have to use it, but what you do have to do is stop telling silly lies about it. (and its users.)

When you find you have no leg to stand on, you shift the argument from the product to the people using it. Since you use the word “cult” I’m sure it will slip by many that your argument has shifted to ad hominem and has completely left the realm of logic and the original topic.

And one other thing. You got really excited about your SEO rankings for this keyword phrase involving SBI and “scam.” Well good for you, but what related product were you selling instead? What point is all that traffic without results? Considering the fact that a large portion of your traffic was SBI users, how likely do you think it is that we’ll buy something from you? Because you just insulted a large portion of the people you drew here.

Talk about untargeted traffic.

You talk about how traffic means nothing if you aren’t selling anything. Untargeted traffic means nothing. And unless you’re selling something and converting that traffic you got from this well, what was the point except to smear a product and it’s users?

It seems like the goal posts keep shifting here. Despite the many intelligent posts by SBI users, followed by posts devolving into ad hominem hitler comparisons and profanity by non-SBI users, somehow we are the idiotic noobs. I’d love to follow the logic trail that led you to that.

Further, this reminds me of the Linux/Windows debate. Linux users go on ad nauseum about how much Windows sucks and how only noobs should use it. And how those noobs have no business being on computers or the internet.

But they shoot themselves in the foot by being complete jerks to all windows users or anyone who doesn’t know everything there is to know about Linux.

I see a big parallel here in all the internet marketers who have decided to mock and deride anyone who finds a different product suitable for their own needs than what someone else is using. Why is one person’s choice to use a different suite of tools than you so upsetting?

You can no longer hide behind the mask of wanting to protect people from a scam, because it’s been shown to you, and you’ve admitted in other places on the internet, that that isn’t so.

What you’re left with is very loyal customers, not unlike Apple.

I would never tell someone what is right for them. But it’s really funny how SBI is only right for cult members and noobs in your view. Nice.

Oh, and one more thing…

How many people saw this sleight of hand:

1. Make a scathing non-review of a product/service you’ve never even used, calling it a scam.

2. When people call you out on your lie, shift your argument to calling them cult members, because you’ve determined what is and isn’t a proper and sane reaction to your misinformation.

Let’s keep in mind, that the “rabid” responses from SBI users never would have happened without the “scam review” which turned out to be false.

If you admit that we’re not dealing with a scam here, then how can you use comments initiated from your misinformation as proof of something even worse?

Maybe your holy crusade isn’t as holy as you think it is.

Just a thought.

@mo — “which, might be why some “gu-rus” don’t like it. we actually don’t need any gurus to succeed on-line. maybe that’s the real heartburn you have with SBI. ”

Really? You don’t need gurus??? Maybe thats why you just need the products each year that someone named Dr. Ken provides to stay in business. All while paying him for his knowledge and when google goes to slap SBI or Dr. Ken goes out of business, what then??

The forums are full of sycophantic cultists saying stuff like “we follow what you preach Dr. Ken”…

But … right… you don’t need a guru.

You’re being fed a fish… try fishing for yourself.

If you want to start a business… any business, you’d better learn it from the ground up or you’re bound to fail eventually.

As for the notions that the arguments are more succinctly laid out by the SBI’ers, thats why there’s a whole section fo the forums with canned answers for your rapid response team to use. Some SBI members have tried coming here and other websites claiming they make $1000’s per month and then make the mistake of showing us their website. We can reverse engineer the traffic, their target keyword and what those keywords pay in no time at all. And so some of those most ardent proponents of SBI are lying about their incomes from the sites they hold up as their best earners. This is what happens when you don’t learn how the making money on the internet works but decide to try making money on it with a “business in a box”.

Thai’s last blog post..Site Build It? Forget It!!

BTW- before anyone goes around claiming that a lawsuit will be started from Kenny boy… it won’t.

Not one blogger has committed a crime by expressing their opinion. Here in the U.S.A, expressing an opinion is not a crime. It may be in Europe where free speech is all but dead, but in the good ole U.S. of A. its still alive and kicking.

The very last thing Ken wants to do is sue. It would be worse for him than anyone else. Trust me.

Thai’s last blog post..Site Build It? Forget It!!

Lis — not sure what you are saying about adsense, but whatever. yea, i certainly use adsense and, along with about 7 other things I make money with, do fine with it. adwords is what i don’t use.

anyway, to sum it all up for me — my time is well worth what i pay sbi to get premium products all packaged together for me that are constantly updated for me and new features added all the time.

content 2.0 has been huge for my sports site. the rss feed is very important for all my sites. the integrated newsletter is great. the new social buttons are terrific. most all that has just come along since i first signed up. i don’t have to worry bout it. the forums are fantastic. i got most of my good ideas there.

having my sites with SBI saves me lots of time each month vs keeping up with all the developments and running around to find tools to integrate them in my site, etc, etc. that’s nuts. my time is way more valuable than that. if sbi saves me even 1 hour a month — i can use that time to do other things — that will make me more than the $25 i pay sbi.

bottom line is my time is worth more than $25 an hour. So, SBI is a bargain for me.

but, to each, his (or her) own.


Please disregard last post – it didn’t come through in its entirety.

This is what I wanted to post:

Lis and crew,

There are over 40,000 people who own SBI! sites. As a matter of fact, more than half of these 40,000 SBI! website owners own more than 2 (sometimes 5 and more) SBI! websites. The forums consist of about 7,000 SBI!ers.

The 33,000+ SBI! owners do not come to the forums for whatever reason. (Actually there was a poll taken, and we learned that a lot don’t come because they are very busy).

So when you constantly say, “Ken told you not to come back”, you have to realize that Ken said this in the forums.

The others who don’t visit the forums often, would not have seen that apt request. I actually found this post because of a friend of mine who was researching SBI! info came upon this and forwarded to me. Just want that to be clear in your head.

There are over 40,000 SBI!ers, and a mere (in comparision) 7,000 or so SBI!ers who regularly go to the forums.

So they would not have seen Ken politely asking; nor would they be able to resist setting the truth, if not for you, to others who may be seeking quality, truthful information on SiteSell’s wonderful product.

And we also know that deep down, you know that SBI! is not a cult. A cult, Koresh-like people? You have to know this isn’t true. I believe you keep saying it to get more responses. Ken genuinely cares for his customers; yes the forum members say they feel like family. But lots of tight-nit forums feel this way.

@ Mike T.

>>I came across this post through my research of SBI. I tried really hard to be objective and I followed quite a number of links from this post to other sites and SBI reviews.

Here are my conclusions:

1. 99% of those who criticize SBI have not used it (big loss of credibility) and 99% of those who have used it are very satisfied. (whether that’s a cult or not I don’t care.)

2. 99% of those who criticize SBI are not polite and use very vulgar language to attack (another loss of credibility), while 99% of those who defend SBI are polite and typically state the facts.
<>Seems everything too good to be true really IS too good to be true. <<

SBI! did sound ‘too good to be true’.
A lot of folks will agree with you on this one, including myself. Which is why I researched SBI! for over 7 months before I decided to hand over my hard-earned $300. I truly believe that it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

And that is where due diligence comes in. I tried **brand name removed** because at $200 for the system, you can build as many websites as you like. I balked (and worried) at the thought of having to pay $300 Sitesell every time I wanted a website. So I went the cheaper route with **brand name removed**. Long story short – you get what you pay for.

And even though SBI! says that you can try it for a set time-period, and get a complete refund; all you really have to do is go read all of the free information they provide – truly read it, and that will tell you if you could or should trust them. If you can find a better Action Guide model than C-T-P-M, please post it here for others to also learn from. I’d honestly love to see it.

So is it the best? Is Mac the best? Are PC’s the best? I have both, and while I really don’t enjoy much, my beautiful $3,000 Mac computer, I would never post mean, degrading, foul-mouthed comments about it or Apple. Some folks swear by it. That’s up to them and their preferences. I think my PC does what I need it to do, rather than the fancies of what “Apple” provides.

@Lis, you edited my recent post and that wasn’t cool. I said that the only people that get kicked out of the forums are the very nasties that you’d not even want in your own home. Why did you delete the truth? And my recent post is in italics, showing that you edited it. Why did you do that? It was the truth, nothing mean, nothing insulting, just the truth.

As one of your buddies already noted – you guys are in trouble. Just a matter of time…

I do hope that this page gets to stay up, as a lesson to other online liars.

To Mike T.

>>I came across this post through my research of SBI. I tried really hard to be objective and I followed quite a number of links from this post to other sites and SBI reviews.

Here are my conclusions:

1. 99% of those who criticize SBI have not used it (big loss of credibility) and 99% of those who have used it are very satisfied. (whether that’s a cult or not I don’t care.)

2. 99% of those who criticize SBI are not polite and use very vulgar language to attack (another loss of credibility), while 99% of those who defend SBI are polite and typically state the facts.

After alllllllll of the comments here – this is your bottom line – sounds excellent to me.

For you guys asking for stats, why not ask the members straight out, instead of assuming. Like Marc Liron’s site. The guy is GOOD, and he doesn’t have to use SBI!, he certainly knows what he’s doing. So SBI! must be doing something for his site, that he felt no other could match. You want his stats? Ask him. It’s really that simple.

@ Lorecee – you sound so very bitter. 🙁 Sarcasm doesn’t help your points at all.

When Ken said that “SEO is Dead”, he was speaking of all the unethical, dishonest methods such as keyword stuffing, loaded meta tags, etc etc. You like to keep digging up past references, so I advise that you dig that article up and truly read it.

You also keep spouting that some methods of Sitesell’s are ‘outdated’; which doesn’t make sense as he has a special team dedicated to reading every single new internet marketing scheme, scam, and product out there.

What you quoted from that e-mail is saying that you won’t find all of those tools all in one place, like you will at SBI! That is the truth. Please, Please name one other online business product that has every single helpful tool all in one place – like SBI! does.

Again, they say there is no one like them – that is true.

They say that their system is one of the best ways to succeed online – that is true.

They did not say their system is the –only- way to succeed online.

Do you see the difference?

Honestly – there is no comparison. None.

SBI! is an online business building system. Actually, the hosting comes in second, and is there because you will need hosting. It’s the system and the amazing support that most enjoy paying for (yes I said enjoy). 🙂

So no, there is no comparison to hosting at all. The hosting comes with the service, just like e-mail, or this tool or other.

Yes, yes read all the free information touted from the other gurus. Thank you gurus for all your ‘free’ info, but not everyone learns like that. Some need hand-holding, some need step-by-step broken down, and not flitting from one blog post to another on this or that. It can be very confusing for some.

I don’t think anyone has said that Vic, Grizz, et all don’t know what they are talking about, when it comes to making cash online. What Vic, Grizz, Lis, et al, don’t know is – SBI! truly works. And this is because they’ve never tried it, never read the Action Guide in its entirety, and never even met or ‘talked’ with Ken Evoy.

Ken Evoy actually posts at his forums, and always shines new updates for the members who go to the forums, gives excellent and amazing advice. I don’t know how many other successful owners do that. Sure, some do, but not many, and certainly not to the extent that Ken and SiteSell do.

When something doesn’t work as expected, or wished for an improvement or feature change – guess what – Ken makes the changes for them – for us. And typically at no extra rate. The keyword tool makes all the other keyword tools pale in comparison. I’d pay $25/month simply for the keyword tool. I’d pay $25/month simply for the autoresponder tool. I’d pay $25/month only for the chance to glean the amazing successful info from the forums. And we know many paid forums charge even triple this.

Yes, the Content 2.0 cost an additional $99. It took over a year to finish by his top techies. But you don’t need this function, and if anything, after implementing this, your money quadruples, so it’s really not a big deal. When you earn thousands a month, a piddle $25 / month is truly a drop in the bucket.

If $300 a year sounds like a lot to most of you – that speaks volumes. Do you not earn enough to afford a simple $25/month? Ok three SBI! sites – do you not earn enough to afford a simple $75 a month? Heck, most of us pay more than that for cable television.

But especially if you are successful, that tiny little amount of money is really a mere drop in the ocean.

For those who don’t succeed with SBI!, like say Lorecee and X-SBIer, etc. Not everyone succeeds if they don’t read the manual. Sometimes you can open, plug, and play but it’s not like that with SBI!’s tools.

You must learn how to use them, and that takes a learning curve that some wish not to attempt and/or finish.

The Action Guide isn’t a one-day read and succeed. It takes time, the same as any serious business. But guaranteed, if a person truly follows the Action Guide – they have no where to go –but- succeed.

Sitesell doesn’t tell you which topics to pick. They tell you how to choose a topic that may be successful, but that is up to you. And if you choose the wrong topic, then you will learn your lesson. If you decide that the third day of the guide is something you already know, therefore don’t need to read it – you’ve missed something big.

This is why some do not succeed. Some see the work involved and – no thanks, not for me – I don’t want to work at this – I want the easy way out. Some see the work involved and think shortcuts will get them there faster. This doesn’t work either. Some see the work involved and are gung ho at first, get a bit frustrated, and give up. Guys, it’s not easy. But it’s doable.

So the ones who roll up their sleeves and truly go for it – see success. Honestly.

Could they apply this model to non-SBI! websites? Yes.

Could they use the keyword tool, the ezine publishing tools, website builder, form builders, keyword placement tools, automatic pinging tools, traffic stat tools, link-building tools, graphics managing tools, niche choosing tools, tips and techniques libraries, etc – if they stopped paying for SBI! and ‘left’? No, but then that wouldn’t make sense, you know?

And how could they promise that all of their tools would be compatible with the umpteen web hosts out there?

When you stop paying for your cable television and leave Comcast, they do not let you even keep the cable box. After all, it wouldn’t be compatible with your new Qwest cable service.

Like others said, you can get a hammer, nails, and wood from any hardware store, however some choose to purchase theirs from a place that explains how to use these tools. (Which is why some prefer Home Depot as they have classes in building your homes, etc – even though they have basically the same tools as Lowes)

Give these tools to 25 different people, and you are going to see 25 different built houses. Some will be beautiful, , some will look pretty ok, and a few will look dilapidated. It depends on how they took the time to pay attention and follow the instructions.

To the person who said they didn’t need to try every product out there on the market to know if it’s not right for them. That’s fine. But you DO have to use a product before you can make any kind of recommendation/review to use it or not use it.

Every day people make decisions to use one product over another product, and they don’t necessarily go try every single product available first. We all have limited time and resources.

All we ask is that you please refrain from slamming a company/system that you really know only the most surface information about, and most of that information, faulty.

Why should anyone make a decision not to buy a product based on a review by someone who hasn’t even used it? And why further, when called to task for that, should the discussion devolve into personal attack of the customers of the product/service?

@SBIUN – I understand the difference between Adsense and Adwords some of the pro SBIes confused the 2 in their comments – I couldn’t bothered being their editor… A large portion of my traffic NOW are sbi users – I don’t expect to sell them anything – after all they already have all the tools they already need – don’t they?

Is the traffic untargetted at the moment – I think so – I’ll give it at least a month to settle down. What product am I selling to compete with SBI – I’m not. Was this post designed to make me money – no not directly …

@Mo – content 2.0 sounds like a blog: why didn’t you just put up a wordpress one – and then publish the RSS feed on your SBI site? Are you not allowed to host a wordpress blog on a directory in your own domain? WordPress is free BTW and constantly evolving

@Michael – don’t know why your post was cut off – I think I posted what you wanted me to… I don’t think I edited any of your posts

RE keyword tools: easiest to use is Market Samurai’s – the product is paid but the keyword tool is free for life even if you don’t buy the product. The google external keyword tool is also free I HOPE that SBI’s tool is based on the google tool and not the long outdated wordtracker tool… Why not just try these 2 free options and run a side-by-site comparison – that would be quite fun to see..

Michael there is one statement of yours I agree with “there is no other tool like SBI” – that’s true – thank goodness.

You compare SBI tools to pay TV – you stop paying for the service you lose access. You miss the point – I don’t pay every year for my web browser or my operating system. These are tools which I buy once and that’s it. I get free updates for life because I am a customer. BEing sucked into paying for software on an ongoing business is a huge issue to me – most of even the maintream world (think Microsoft, Adobe) dropped this model 10 years ago. The best software out there is either free, or low-cost – but even software that I use that is not cheap e.g. keyword tools, are one off costs – and they have on-going costs running the service btw

And anyway even if you are happy to pay for the software on a subscription basis – why on earth do you have to pay again for another site? – Do you pay for another copy of Word cause you want to write another document? Of course not: The only additional costs for SBI for hosting your 2nd site is the domain name and the hosting – why charge the full amount again -we have a term for it in Australia – price gouging!

@Thai – I agree –

@SBIUser – you obviously know nothing about software evaluation. Do you think a company looking for a new – say Customer Service Application – does a tender and installs every product that they receive before they make a decision. They don’t. Instead they look at what the products offer, decide what their requirements are (some times the other way around) and then find the products that best match. The last one or 2 shortlisted may be installed and evaluated “live” – but often only the last one.

I don’t need to know that a Mac won’t work for my business – I know it doesn’t run some of the software I need. I know its over-priced. I know I don’t need a hummer to drive to work cause I know i cant afford the petrol and it won’t fit in the parking space.

Its called experience.


I HOPE that SBI’s tool is based on the google tool and not the long outdated wordtracker tool… Why not just try these 2 free options and run a side-by-site comparison – that would be quite fun to see.

When I was a member in late 2008, their tool ran over the top of Wordtracker. SBI worked some kind of bulk purchase deal with WT to give each SBI member 20 free searches which was supposed to be enough to choose the domain name you would marry, till death do thee part. After that you could buy additional WT searches at a discount from what WT charges.

It might have changed in 2009. I don’t know, don’t care. I took one look at Google’s free AdWords tool, walked from SBI, and never looked back.

Lorecee’s last blog post..How to Make Money Online

20 FREE SEARCHES – you have got to be kidding me – I do that before breakfast most days – quite literally sometimes!


You didn’t even do the most basic research of SBI before you determined it was first a scam and then a cult. You’ve had SBI user after SBI user including the president of the company himself correct your faulty information. (You’ve even gone back to add that we are “scary” culty people. Why? Because we’ve debated an issue with you?)

The least you might have considered doing is finding some users of the product to interview before posting a review. But you didn’t even do that. You just got pissed off at Steve Pavlina based on your personal “scam perception” and went from there.

And I believe I DID say that people didn’t try every single product out before deciding what to buy, so saying I obviously know nothing about software evaluation, is a bit of a stretch.

When I go to buy “anything” if I am considering reviews from other people I will first consider the reviews of people who have actually used the product. And people who haven’t used the product better have done some pretty good research. What you did wasn’t “software evaluation.”

Steve Pavlina didn’t use the product, but he DID do software evaluation. And not only because it was a positive review, but because he made sure that what he was saying was factually true. You however, did not.

I don’t recommend a career in software evaluation for you. Because when you evaluate a product, the facts aren’t something that you can use or ignore according to your liking.

You even admitted you were wrong in Griz’s blog. I could quote your words back to you exactly:

“The other irony is that Ken did a good job on taking my original post apart – I might have even taken it down or printed a retraction – but his support pitbulls made me MAD.”

So first Steve Pavlina made you MAD, and you posted your scam review (and then later claimed it was an SEO exercise, but come on, you said yourself in your post that you were MAD), then SBI users had the gall to make posts calling you to the mat and you got MAD again.

How credible is this really?

No one here has said they think SBI is right for you. It clearly isn’t right for you. And that’s fine. But you weren’t qualified to write a review, because you just weren’t well-versed enough in the material.

If you had just admitted that up front and apologized for the mistake, you wouldn’t have made so many people mad.

Typo before you nitpick and call me to task on it, but the sentence:

“Not only because it was a positive review…” should have read “Not because it was a positive review.”

Positive or negative has nothing to do with proper research, but factuality does.

Lis, as other person said, message comes through funny, so posted this once more as the first one didn’t come through correctly.

TO Steve

*** To all SBIers,

To evaluate how you well or not you are doing, have a poll to see how much profit you are making per month.

less $10/month; less $25/month; less $50/month; less $100/month; less $500/month; less $1000/month; less $2000/month; less $3000/month; less $4000/month; more than $4000/month

The ideas is too see how much of you are successful, or not, and by how much.

[….truncated]. ***

There are only a few people who use SBI! who are at this blog page. How could you get 40,000 SBI!ers to really participate?

Perhaps that’s why you’ve no takers. However, as you are a good marketer and attention grabber, you just may very well be able to set this up somehow. If it’s that important to you.

TO Joe

*** And KE just posted his note today that they got rock solid case on u guys for defamation…I doubt he would do anything LMAO!!!! ***

This is funny to you? You doubt that he would do anything? How was your dinner yesterday with Ken when he told you this?

TO SBI User Oh Noes……

*** Steve Pavlina didn’t use the product, but he DID do software evaluation. And not only because it was a positive review, but because he made sure that what he was saying was factually true. You however, did not. ***

Actually Steve DOES have an SBI! site; and it makes a really nice sum of cash. 🙂

TO Lorecee…. you are right, you’ve not been there for a while. . .

*** Really? You don’t need gurus??? Maybe thats why you just need the products each year that someone named Dr. Ken provides to stay in business. ***

I believe this person is talking about ‘self-appointed’ gurus. Or those who loudly profess / want other new folks to think that they are the end-all.

*** All while paying him for his knowledge and when google goes to slap SBI or Dr. Ken goes out of business, what then?? ***

Some of you need to remember that Ken was way wealthy well before Sitesell . Sitesell is more like one of his philantrophies…

With or without Sitesell, Ken’s already had it made. Not only is he an amazing doctor, but is also a well-known educational toy inventor.

Seriously doubt he needs our money to fund his life or lifestyle, however, I am guessing he uses the profits of SBI! to keep it running smoothly for his customers (and to pay his excellent staff).

Honest to goodness, the same way that some pay $700 per month for the Stomper Program, and $1200 for some of Perry Marshall’s specific online forums and programs – I’d pay the same for Sitesell’s services. And no, this isn’t a canned answer, it’s just how I personally feel.

The value is exceptional, and I feel / felt relieved that back when I was a beginner that I could afford a mere $25 per month, and now, several years later, I’ve several SBI! sites, yet I also own several websites that are non-SBI! sites. Putting all your eggs in one SBI! basket or all in one Hostgator basket couldn’t be a wise decision, as you know.

Also, SBI! are for the typical site. Seeing as there are some functions that are beyond SBI!’s capabilities, such as Php, etc (most website owners don’t ‘need’ these extra features or functions for their type of site(s)), you can still plug in their Infin It! function they have to make features like that compatible with your SBI! site.

But as I said, I’ve websites on several different hosts, not because I don’t believe in or trust SBI! to host every single site I own, and not because I “can’t” afford it – rather simply for the reason some wisely noted – not to keep all ventures in one house.

content 2.0 is a lot like a blog. just a lot better. for a lot of reasons.

if you are really interested, contact me through my site and i’ll fill you in.

the guru thing — i don’t think anyone thinks ken is a guru. i don’t. he just has some really simple ideas about how to build an effective website. you start with research and go step by step. it’s simple, but not easy. takes a lot of work. there are no tricks. no secrets. it’s very basic. not guru stuff.

actually, maybe the best advice he gives is to keep things simple and block out all the noise out there that distracts you from doing productive things like writing good content.

people do disagree with ken. in fact, i think i’ve seen his view on twitter for instance evolve due to what people have said about it in the sbi forums.

anyway, to each his own. good luck to all


@Tim – I hope you are joking.
@Mo – a WordPress blog is perfectly SEO optimised with some standard plugins, a blogger blog is perfectly optimised and free – I can’t work out what would be better than that.


“There are only a few people who use SBI! who are at this blog page. How could you get 40,000 SBI!ers to really participate?”

Micheal mentioned that the forum has 7000 active participants(support polls?) or Ken could send an email to all to take a poll. That’s how and simple for you since your are in the inside. Only took me 1 second to think about it.

Anyone has stats on the “churn rate” on SBI?

That’s important to know because it also indicate how successful SBI is or not. For example, 40K is the current installed base but they might have 15-20K every year that enter/quit the program.

“you can still plug in their Infin It! function”

That’s a good way to remain too dependent of SBI. By that, I mean you can’t easily move your site out of SBI since you use those integrated tools on your site.The same couldbe said from other host. The other provided tools(kw research) that are not on the site can still be use thus you limit your dependence on SBI.

“Putting all your eggs in one SBI! basket or all in one Hostgator basket couldn’t be a wise decision, as you know.”
On that, I agree and that’s why I have multiple hosting package. My latest is a reseller account that I pay $8.70/month.

“With or without Sitesell, Ken’s already had it made.”
I hope he was not hit too hard in the markets, wait even Warren Buffet was hit too. Ken can decide to sell the site or might need money thus raise the price to $350-400. Just an increase of $25 would earn him 1 Million. You never know in this business.

Steve McGrath’s last blog post..CanadaCare Did Not Killed Natasha Richardson

lis, really i’m not joking. I noticed you’re number 1 on “site build it review”, if someone is going to buy it anyway they may as well as buy it though you.

just a thought

Lis — Just compare/contrast a blogger or wordpress blog page to a content 2.0 page. then let me know what differences you find. I’ll check back tomorrow. Thanks


Notice Vic is unusually quiet. . .

Must be gathering his huge MMO profits and seeking durn good lawyers.

i’m getting a visual,–

“LMAO your honor when those stupid fucking Noobs and “faggot fearless leader” started crushin’ on my best fucking friend lis; uh, please excuse my fuckin language your honor.”


Anyone heard of SBI coaching

costs 2,200 dollars !!!!!!!!! for 20-30 hours help by phone (or aprox 100 dollars an hour)

is this a scam ?

@tim – well its about the going rate for SEO consulting in the real world- so yes I think it is – after all SBI is supposed to be everything you need right…
I snipped the link because the owner of the site spammed another of my pages with their link


You said;
“There are only a few people who use SBI! who are at this blog page. How could you get 40,000 SBI!ers to really participate?”

40,000 SBI’ers may not be 40k users, but definitely 40k websites. So, 40,000 sites X USD$300 = USD$12000000.
$12 millions X 5 years equals to $60 millions. I ignored a few years in my stupid calculation to make it fair as there might not be more than 40k users in the first two or three years.

With $120 millions, don’t you think any company should have evolved into something better? Don’t you think the company should have managed to develop an “UNDENIABLE” product? Even a multi-billions dollar company like Microsoft keeps on improving their products; upgrading from one version to another better version.

If you were to have that kind of money, would you rather upgrade your product or would you prefer to lure more people into buying and using your original product’s version?

From the way you are defending SBI, it seems to me like you will choose the latter suggestion.

That is not the right way to keep on claiming that the product is the best.

Can’t you see what are we trying to do here?

We are not trying to humiliate SBI in any whatsoever ways. We are trying to tell that the business model is no longer “the best”.

Therefore, instead of firing back at us viciously, why don’t all of you SBI’ers gather and discuss on how to improve the product? Take some times to study the model and do some researches to fine tune the product. Take about, say, six months to ensure that the product becomes the “best” again. After all, I don’t think 6 months of leaving your so-called “make-money” sites could do you any harm, right? ;D Unless they are great sites, I can understand why you would be worry to leave your sites unattended and instead of finding ways to improve your products, I also understand why you prefer to rebuttal anything we said here.

You then said;
“** And KE just posted his note today that they got rock solid case on u guys for defamation…I doubt he would do anything LMAO!!!! ***

This is funny to you? You doubt that he would do anything? How was your dinner yesterday with Ken when he told you this?”

If only that SBI is the greatest product ever, I can assure you that no one would bother to take a look at our “SBI Scam Review” sites. Why? Because the product will sell itself. For instance, how many times you saw sites talking about the disadvantages of using IE? They said nasty things about the browser. Yet, Microsoft didn’t sue them. Apart from that, no one from the company came and write threatening things in those sites. Why? Because instead of defending the company, they take notes on whatever said by people and later do some research, and later they come up with newer version.

Tell me Teej, did all those who wrote bad things about IE want to take the company down? No Teej. They just want better products. Better products means greater power to us as the end users.

Teej, I’m not sure where you came from, but from where I came, we work hard to earn decent money. We help each other to make money and if someone tries to cheat, we tell them it is wrong to cheat and we bring him back to the right track. We don’t bully him or boycott him.

Oh yes, the problem with some people these days is they are so afraid to say things to avoid being sued. So ironic (to me at least), how come countries that practice freedom of speech are usually countries with lots of people being sued for saying things?

It’s the mentality.

We like saying things to others but hate it so much when people start to say things about us.

RE-read all the comments and you can easily see this mentality.

Btw, I’m looking forward to see any action from your “thaumaturge”…it might turn out to be against your wish…;-)

Sorry, forgot to mention something~ whatever the result is, this post has served its original purpose. If they listen, they will improve the product and make it a better one. If they don’t, then I suggest that all beginners not to buy it. Period.

Joe – don’t worry. Ken has no case to take to court and in fact he’s afraid to take it to court. Anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of U.S. law will acknowledge that defamation is hard to prove and expressing an opinion about something is not illegal.

The judge will laugh himself silly while throwing this out. This is also after discovery is done and Ken’s business and business practices are laid bare by the defendants. Anyone think Ken wants this?

Anyone else just a tad bit weirded out by the “Dr Ken is great and he doesn’t need our money but we send it to him anyway” mentality?? All those SBIers need to stay away from the koolaid at the SBI retreat…

Thai’s last blog post..Site Build It? Forget It!!


I imagine that Vic is off growing his business much like the rest of us are doing.

Thai’s last blog post..Site Build It? Forget It!!

Wow, Lis, 300+ comments on one post?! I haven’t been to your blog in over a week so I am interested to see the mayhem that ensued from your post. Wow!

I have SBI for my first niche site. I credit the information I learned through SBI with my success on many other ventures, as it was a crash course in SEO, keywords, pre-selling, and the like.

I do however agree that SBI is a little clunky now in the web 2.0 culture, but for basic niche sites for beginners, I haven’t found a program that can be beat. I mean, my grandmother could follow the SBI videos and get a site online and earn money from it.

The $300/ year price tag works out to just $25 a month. For the time and effort saved for a beginner, not to mention the wealth of help available on the forums, I think it is well worth the cost.

Maria’s last blog post..How to Make Money with a Website: Writing Content

I guess I’m a “noob”

I have been following this post since the start and I get more confused with each comment, so I wanted to ask for advice, since there arn’t many (any?) real noob’s commenting here.

I don’t MMO, I have some blogs and a site (not SBI) all created in the last few months and all taking a lot of work and effort. I have been learning html,php and css and have somewhat got the hang of it.

So here it is, I want to make money, (I didn’t add my link, I know i’m a noob so I don’t need to be told that :))

So what do I do? SBI, if it makes even a couple of hundred a month (after 6 months, a year…) will make a BIG difference to my income, more that my current job and I am a young mother (in my twenties) with a family to support


Try and learn all the stuff Griz and Vic etc are teaching, (I have visited both sites and I do believe they will be very helpful to many people, but I don’t know where to start/what to learn first)I don’t even understand all of the things they are talking about.

So in my position, what would you recommend? (obviously Liz 🙂 I know you are not going to recommend SBI) but honestly for someone who really only needs to get a start and earn a moderate income, what should I do?

I would have to save up to afford SBI, but my free blogs, that I have at the moment I now know, are not going making me money.


@Confused – am not all surprised you are confused! I actually posted a follow up post : with far fewer comments, starting an on-line business partly in response to Kelly also asking where to start here both Lorecee and I answered her in some detail. Lorecee did in fact use SBI to start off and wasn’t happy she explains why here If $300 is a lot of money for you, and it sounds like it is, please think carefully about investing in it for any program. You may also want to check out Grizz’s beginners make money with Adsense blog: its a lot less over-whelming than his others – there’s only a few posts.

I really hope this helps! Sorry for confusing you even more believe me, been there done that! Lis

@Confused as hell,

I have never met Griz in my life. In fact, I have never met anyone in this network.

I found Griz’s MMO blog about 8 months ago. You can get confused reading there as Griz had not intentionally wanted to have social readers like us, so the gist are all scattered in every post. But you should be able to extract the gist you wanted.

I followed his methods and applied them to few of my free blogs. Just FYI, those blogs of mine have already been slapped up with Adsense before I found Griz’s blog. Barely made few cents in a month LOL.

After 4 months, my site started showing some traffic (from both Google and Yahoo). And the earnings has increased since then to at least a dollar or two a day. At certain times, I can make up to $10 a day.

And I only followed a fraction of what Griz has said. Imagine if I followed 100% of his advice.

And his advice is FREE. No catch whatsoever.

If you want to make money from free blogs and particularly from Adsense, then Griz’s blog is the place to learn. It’s a gold mine.

Note : You don’t have to follow every single suggestion made by Griz. He tried things by applying the concept of “trials and errors”. You can try slapping up as many blogspot sites as you can in the same niche and then try different methods on each one of them. The one that shows the result you want is the one with the right method. So you can work on that particular site/blog from there by optimizing it.

That’s the beauty of using free system. You don’t have to spend $300 to build a site that you have no idea at all whether it will bring you money or not. And you don’t have to spend another $300 to build another site if the first site failed.

However, if you have the money and if you think your research about SEO is adequate enough, you can try SBI. But hey, if you really have done some research, then you don’t even need SBI or Griz, rite? ;-P

Good luck!

You are absolutely right.

Joe’s last blog post..Site Build It Scam Reviews-Reviews Collection

Thanks Joe – I pointed “confused” over to Grizz’s new today blog because he started as he himself knows how confusing the original ugly blogger blog is! And Grizz of course has one characteristic the same as Ken – never answer in less than 1000 words LOL

Thanks Lis

Great advice you gave Kelly and your posts, I had been researching SBI and to be honest what was putting me off was the Sales pitch, not from the affiliates but the site itself, your right I can’t afford it, maybe for this year but long term, no. Im out of work this coming October, which is why I have been working so hard on my sites but I began to feel it was so much to learn, starting out first with html then php and css, I haven’t even gotten started on backlinks, seo or any of the rest of it, its a lot to take in, so I started blogging, I have over 100 subscribers but after some research I found its not a profitable niche. Very low search volume, even though I rank on the first page for my keyword.

I am downloading market samurai, it looks good,I have been watching the videos.

I need to find the right niche first (I think) 🙂 I want to keep working on the site I have too but I am not sure how to optimize it for search engines.

Thanks for your reply, Ill be following your blog

@confused – you have no idea how happy I am that you are saving your money 🙂 Don’t worry too much design and look and feel – the important stuff is finding a nice niche, building sites and then driving traffic -rinse and repeat – diversification is very,very good in this game!

Interseting what you say about the sales pitch – I had that hard sell from any product and generally makes me run for the hills – I don’t think marketers understand how off-putting they are with the buy,buy, buy now. I thought it was just me – obviously not!

Don’t close down any of your existing sites – never delete a site – you may find they come in handy further down track – I still have my first baby- no one visits, it has no focus, I still don’t know what its keywords are – but its my first born LOL


If it were me, this is what I’d do.

First I would go to CourtneyTuttle dot com and read his posts.

Or, if you prefer visual, start here: Go to dogpile dot com and search the video tab for “Victor Franqui”, and watch Vic’s videos.
They’re a year old, but classic.

Then, toss Griz’s epic posts into your education.

After that, you’ll be free to buy Site Build It, use Blogger blogs, whatever.

The Warrior Forum is also full of good stuff, tho a person could spend their whole day there and end up taking no action. You might also find yourself pulled in multiple directions and overwhelmed by information. (While Court, Griz, and Vic are very different people living different places, they agree on the basic principles of organic search for drawing visitors to their sites.)

Allyn’s blog, while new, has plenty of encouragement for fledgling marketers.

Wishing success to everyone!


Max’s last blog post..Blogger Illustrated Slams SBI

Over the time I was learning how to make REAL websites, my father decided SBI was the way to go. He’s been through 4 websites that I know of so far, none of which have been at all successful, and to top it off they look UGLY and use loose HTML. Right now my father’s latest website is awaiting me to redesign it but you know what? I don’t think I can help it much. It’s too structured. I can’t create a fully customised template that my father can still edit using the block tool. I can only change a few small elements. And that’s just not good enough to put my name on.

I honestly DO NOT know why my father insists on using it when I can set him up with Drupal and a WYSIWYG editor and charge him AU $100 per year for hosting. Why Dad WHY?!

Wow! What an enlightening read this has been!

I’ve just spent the last hour reading everyone’s posts and watching various videos.

Thanks Lis for stirring this up. 🙂

Biggest lessons – Nothing is what it seems to be, and do your research.

I had my first encounter with SBI when I was introduced to a young man who was referred to me for some SEO work. He wanted to start a site in a sports niche and was a SBI user.

We sat together at the coffee shop and he began to show me his site, and as I began making minor suggestions he would go into his SBI panel to do whatever I told him to do. Anyway, the first observation I made was how counter intuitive some of the tools were.

Furthermore this gentleman wanted to start a blog, and some goof told him that their tools were perfect for that. WTF? No I don’t think so. I wouldn’t have gotten so angry if he wanted a more complex business solution, but he wanted a blog.

So immediately I had him buy a new domain, because contrary to what the cult members are writing, neither one of us good figure out how to transfer his domain to a new host. And he was paying by the hour lol.

Then I got a look at the keyword tool that is supposed to estimate how valuable a particular keyword. After spending sometime with it, I am convinced that anyone who can find profitable keywords with that thing proves that they must otherwise be good people in life. LOL, I couldn’t deduce in the few hours I played with it, how they ascertained a keyword is valuable.

So after spending sometime getting it out of his head that submitting your site to search engines was a horrible idea, we promptly, and why SBI won’t help him rank number for credit cards or myspace mobsters adds, we promptly installed wordpress on the new domain I had him buy, on his new hostgator acount.

By the way, the niche he picked won’t make any money despite the fact the SBI keyword tool indicated it was profitable. He currently gets hundreds of visitors a day because of my advice. However since he stubbornly won’t apply what he has learned to a new niche, he isn’t making any money.

And in the end, isn’t that the point of traffic to make money on it? I wouldn’t recommend SBI to a newbie, a oldie, or a hippie.
But my too cents, —–Antonio aka Hwould.

Easy Mobsters Adds’s last blog post..Just Get Mobsters Adds, Don’t Take the Game Personal!

I really see no value from using any tool that doesnt start with google adwords – I mean its what the advertisers use for pricing – it has to be right LOL Thanks for your useful comment Easy Mobsters!

What is up with all of these people getting so punched up in knots because you exposed this website may not be legitimate. Yesterday I had some spammy hubbers try and promote their affiliate products, so I sort let them know I think there are enough of these on the market. Unless someone is selling something that is truly useful and needed, why all the hoopla about sites where you have to pay large sums for very little in return. With this economy I believe we could do with less affiliate marketing. The comments here are pretty humorous, and I see you have many people making third grade play ground comments. Must be fun knowing that you revealed some truth here because I do not think they would be reacting so adamantly unless they believed you were on to something.

Methinks the lady doth protest too much – has always been one of my favourite Shakespeare quotes. Unfortunately I can see an absolute explosion of over-priced,make money online schemes this year – there are so many people looking for the quick solution or any solution with the way the economy is going.
Thanks for visiting sweetiepie

I don’t think SBI is a scam by definition. They aren’t exactly taking your money and running. And I can see how it could be useful for a complete beginner. I even considered getting a site with them a few times in the early days of running my online business. However, now that I have been doing this a long time, I know that there are much better options for a lot less money.

Anyone can get a hostgator account for less than $10 per month and host unlimited sites on it. Use wordpress and all their plugins/themes to do pretty much anything you want with the site. Even a complete beginner shouldn’t have any trouble. You get all the SEO benefits and ease of use. Everything can be installed with a few clicks and managing is super easy. You could have 100 (or more) fully functioning sites making you money in all sorts of different niches for the cost of just one SBI site.

I guess it all comes down to preference. Nobody is necessarily right or wrong in this argument. Just varying opinions. Although I think the SBI faithful really should sit back and consider the alternatives. You might change your mind or you might not, but at least you can say you actually considered that some of these other people might be correct in what they are trying to tell you.

I personally like their affiliate program and have it on my top affiliate programs page. That’s because it targets beginners which are who my site targets as well. I do think if you start with SBI you should branch out away from them once you have some experience. It doesn’t hurt to have sites on all sorts of different platforms.

One thing’s for sure, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from everything that followed this post. There are some important things to take away from all of this and I hope everyone can see them whether they are pro SBI or anti SBI.

Finally, I would like to add that I am able to say with complete certainty that Griz and Vic know what they are talking about. Anyone reading this will benefit greatly by following their advice!

I hope everyone makes a fortune with their websites no matter where they host or build them. Good luck to you all!

Hey Trent,

My real problem with all of these comments from anti-SBI people isn’t that people CAN do it without SBI, that’s a no-brainer. There are plenty of people with web businesses without SBI who are making money. That’s not in dispute.

There is a very specific type of person that SBI is right for. And a lot of people it’s not right for. I happen to be the type that it’s right for. I dont’ think “SBI” itself is magic or better or worse in general as a way to build an online business. It’s just one option.

But I seriously resent being poked fun of, treated like a cult member, or an idiotic noob too stupid to spot a “scam” (which SBI has been proven not to be, but hey why go with the evidence when everyone is so happy with mental masturbation?)

My problem here is and has been from the beginning, the smug little self-righteous attitudes of the people who are patting themselves on the back for being smart enough not to fall for the “SBI scam.”

I think if this conversation could have been more mature and “These are the people SBI is right for and these are the people SBI isn’t right for and here is why” it would have been far more productive.

Instead all it was was a contest to see who is the smartest and who has the better insults.

Also I truly don’t understand the people who are anti-SBI and so defensive about it. So, you’ve found a product/service that isn’t right for you, congratulations, just don’t use it and move on. Jeez. It’s not a cult. It’s not a scam. It’s just a product/service that some people like and some people don’t like. It’s no more complicated than that.

Why people have to feel like they’re rocket scientists for being brilliant enough not to fall for a scam that isn’t even a scam, I’ll never comprehend.

The conversation would have been a lot more mature if the SBI “members” hadn’t come to my site with threats of legal action and comments on my mental health and worse. That makes most people a bit defensive.

SBI is a huge waste of time for most people – at the end of the day for most people losing 6 months or more time is worth a lot more than $300+ that SBI will cost them. And they will have to relearn the technology when they leave the scheme – as the products used in SBI are not available outside of the product.

Most people fail at making money online with SBI or otherwise. That’s because they get fed the wrong information, and in most cases they don’t do enough work. To me the real con that is SBI is that some people do a LOT of work on their SBI sites and still don’t make money because a) they chose the wrong niche b)hey don’t know enough SEO to promote their sties up the rankings c) they don’t know how to diversify their income because the SBI model of charging per a domain actively discourages anyone from having more than a handful of sites.

hang on a minute lis… just recommended the keyword academy (now Courtney is a great marketer and great advice he gives – i love his blog) ….however, the premium membership for keyword academy is 33 dollars a month (29 a month for basic).

$33 x 12 = over 396 per year!

ummmm, should i buy SBI for $300 dollars per year or a bunch of videos for $396.

thanks for the bad advice liz 🙁

Its $1 for the first month – $33/$29 subsequently – there is no minimum obligation, the tools he teaches are predominantly free, those that are paid are provided by third party so you can use them all without continuing with Court’s membership. Oh and for the $33 x 11 +$1 = $362 one year – you can build as many sites as you want…. I see no comparison. Their process is designed to get your site making money within about 90 days- if you are not covering your membership by then you should probably drop the membership. In fact you gain the access to all the videos for $1 ….

And it just keeps going and going . . . I gotta hand it to you Lissie, you certainly have recieved a lot of traffic to this post. You keep going on and on. . .

I am actually proud of you.

SirDent’s last blog post..SirDent’s Peach Cobbler

Hi Lis,

I’m sort of a ‘noob’ or at least I’ve acted like one. Hanging my head in shame! I’ve been messing about with websites etc for about 6/7 years, I understand about most of the in’s and out’s involved except the intracies of Adsense which I just can’t get my head round. Why, oh why then did I still buy Sitebuilt It! I should have known better! What was I hoping to get from it? After reading this fab blog of yours, Grizz and Vic’s, I finally had my eyes opened. I have requested my money back, I’ve only been involved for about 6 weeks and never registered a domain with them, let’s see how easy it is to take advantage of Ken Evoys no quibble (pro-rata after 30 days) money back guarantee. After sending in my request for a refund I received an email from Carol Leather at SiteSell support which was a pre-written letter from Ken Evoy explaining the pro’s and con’s of becoming an X-SBIer. I have since replied still wanting my account closed and my money back. Now I keep getting an auto response from their support team letting me know that the ticket reference number is either missing or expired. The ticket reference number is in the subject line of the email and is as plain as the nose on your face. As for expired, I only started this process yesterday and replied to this Carol Leather within minutes. Messing me about? – We will see! I’ll keep you and your readers informed of my progress.

I just want to say thank you for this interesting and informative review of Sitebuild It! which has allowed me, and I hope many others, to get a balanced opinion of the product and the set up over at the Site BuiltIt camp.

Do let us know what happens – I think money back guarantees are important -its not until you call them on that you know whether they really work. Clickbank and paypal both have their issues but at lest the 3rd party guarantees your refund – no hassel with the merhant

Hi everyone,

Ok, just a quick recap, I read this fantastic blog of Lis’s and decided I needed a SBI refund without delay.

I’m pleased to be able to report that SBI has lived up to their word and refunded me without any major problems or hassle.

Here’s what to do if you too need a refund.

Fill out the online form over with SBI’s support team. Tell them clearly you want a refund. If you have had SBI for less than 30 days you will get a full refund, if you have had it more than 30 days your refund will be calculated on a pro-rata basis. You will also need to quote your original order number on the refund form.

Next, you will get an automated email from Ken Evoy, via Carol Leather, pointing out the disadvantages of leaving SBI and becoming an X-SBIer. If you still want your money back after reading this message from Ken you will need to approach SBI’s Support again explaining you’ve read Kens message but still want a refund and want your account closed.

This process has only taken 3 days in total, my refund has been confirmed today and I started the process on the 10th.

So guy’s at the end of the day, SBI are good for their word and the whole refund process has been painless.

Hope this helps someone!

Best Regards
Andy (Birmingham – UK)

I’m a newbie doing research about SBI and i’m so glad to have read your “opinion” because it has convinced me to BUY SBI!!!! I thank all the SBIers that commented and defended the site.

Lis, after reading all your statements and responses, it’s clear to me that you are an attention seeker, and one of those people who contributes ugliness to the world. You are far from credible and shamless,…way to be proud! is my SBI! site.

I makes a few cents a day via Adsense and is 2 years old with about 140 pages of content.

I think SBI! is way overpriced and that’s why I have 50+ other websites all done in wordpress. BTW, I only make a couple of bucks a day with them. All adsnese, LOL.

When I began in Feb 2005 I knew practically nothing about IM and SBI! was a good way for me to learn about IM. It was like a IM bootcamp and tho I do not make that much with my I will probably keep it. It is populated mostly with Adsense and I am just beginning to add affiliates to it as I am with my wordpress websites.

This site got over 1K uniques in March 2008:; it is not SBI! it is WordPress.

I tried transferring a SBI! website and the new host screwed up the transfer and I lost the webiste. I then went back to SBI! and they recreated my lost website. It was worth the 300$ to get it back so SBI! is not totally evil and I dont think it deserves the label “scam” but I think it is a good choice for someone who knows nothing about IM and is willing to pour through the voluminous documents, tips, and tutorials that SBI! offers. They are what is worth 300$, at least for a noob and I must admit I sometime refer to them also even tho I am able to use html, ftp, php, etc with ease.

So stop the SBI! bashing and concentrate on the real scammers out there with there 90 day-wonder-get-rich-quick schemes that don’t work for 97$ or more, don’t deliver, and under-perform, no, just flat out don’t do anything but flatten your wallet like Google Conquest and its ilk – 60 days to $200 a month, yeah, right…dream on.

Walt Brown’s last blog post..Apr 9, Beach poems

I have been working on building a website with SBI for about 6 weeks now. If you want to sell some kind of stupid crap it’s the place for you. I am trying to make a website for an existing local service business and about 80% of the content is irrelevant. Sure, there is good stuff that applies to everyone, but overall it is far too complicated and takes way too long to get the job done.

If you like to get after it and get the job done, it isn’t the product for you. If you want to fiddle with it forever, have trouble making decisions, and like to diddle daddle around, it’s perfect!!!

I have only read halfway down the comments section so far and I’ve already been reading for hours.

So far, my most glaringly obvious observation of the two sides is this:

People who are anti SBI keep claiming that the ‘pro SBIers’ are ignorant, brainwashed zealots. Well, coming from someone who is just trying to form an accurate estimate of the truth, so far it seems to me that THE EXACT OPPOSITE IS THE TRUTH.

People who are arguing SBI’s merits so far have presented well thought out, conscientious responses detailing why they feel it is a good service. It’s the people who are trying to run it into the ground who seem like they have some kind of fanatical agenda. In fact the only fanatical sounding posts I’ve read so far have come from people who DON’T like SBI. You’re certainly not helping your case by making crass statements left right and centre.

So far, I have not read a single ‘fanatical’ or ‘brainwashed’ sounding post by somebody who thinks SBI is a good service. Again, I have found in fact that the exact opposite is true.

I’m not yet commenting on the service itself because I’m not really in a position to. Just commenting on the general vibe I’m getting from the comments so far.

And now I’ll continue reading.

@Walt any decent host should have a daily backup of your database – I have had my host restore my site within a few hours after it was hacked – its worth making sure your hosting does this! Its relatively easy to make a little with Adsense but harder to make the larger amounts – your site may well do better with other affiliates. Regardless of what software is used to develop a site: WordPress, SBI or whatever its the demand for the keywords that its about and having them in the domain name always helps – quite a lot 🙂 Its worth reiterating that if you had built those 50 sites with SBI that would have cost you $300×50 = $15,000 a year in fees – that’s a lot of cash to make up before you go into profit. Keep any site which is covering its costs – which should be around $10/year!
I agree their are zillion of scam products out there – its very much buyer be ware – and make sure you buy a product which has a money back guarantee – from a third party! Anything that gurantees XX$ in Y time is a scam!

@NewSBIer – looks like you are in a slightly different niche than most of us – there are plenty of website in a box products that would probably work for you

@Liam – well the comments aren’t getting any shorter! If polite long-winded well written comments are important to you sign up – I find that in business the content of what is being sold is a whole lot more important than the grammar. BTW its the pro-SBIers who started with the name calling and threats …

Thanks for reply Lis…

I’ve finished reading all the comments… first off, I’m really warming to your posts.

Would I have as much success with wordpress and free tools? Honestly? Is it just as easy to build a successful, income generating website with wordpress as it is with SBI?



I honestly believe that it is Liam – not because I have used SBI – but because the software that you use to develop a money making site has very little to do with your success: the most important things that determine your success is your ability to choose the right keywords (topic) of the site, (buying keyword, enough demand but not too much competition), and getting your site on top of the search engine results. And diversification – this is not about having one site to make money – its about having quite a number – some of which will work some of which will fail. Check out my latest post re The KeyWord Academy
if you want a beginners guide for a reasonable price.

Lis — i just want to comment on your diversification argument. You’ve made it a few times. i completely disagree. actually i think it’s very important to focus on one website first and get it to “work.” By work — I mean get a lot of traffic. To do that, as you say, you need to pick a good niche, good keywords, etc (exactly what SBI teaches and gives you the tools to figure out).

but, my point is that you really won’t know if your site will “work” until you’ve put a lot of work into it. In my opinion, if you haven’t put up at least 100 pages, you really can’t know. 1000 is even better.

THe reason is that the more pages you build, the stronger the site gets as a whole and each page makes all the other stronger. The SE’s (and people) like large sites with lots of relevant, interlinking information focused on a niche.

so, skipping from site to site is a formula for failure in my opinion.

much better to build large sites (using all the tools SBI provides) one at a time — and maybe only a few.

WordPress is probably ok — if you can figure out how to make it work more like a website than a blog. websites are much better long term than blogs. if you wonder why, type into google “build sports website”

you’ll find my page at the top. then click on the graphic on that page that says “blog or build” i think, something like that.

that will show you why you should not do a blog (almost always) and thus, i think, why wordpress is not the best option.

wordpress is great for a blog. for a real website — well, i’m sure it’s possible to use for that, but i don’t think very easy.

to me, time is money

Madeline — i like your attitude. You’ll do well.

which is one more point i’ll make. if you want quick, easy money. don’t bother with SBI. you won’t make quick, easy money with sbi. but you will have better odds for success if you are willing to work and stick to it.

if anyone knows how to make quick, easy money — let me know. i’m all ears. i don’t think it’s possible — unless you win the lottery or get very lucky with some web scheme (odds are very high you will lose money trying that, but I would admit that 1 in a million might hit it big…)



Mo – I don’t care whether a website will work or not – I just want it to make money :-). That’s absolutely nothing to do with traffic – you can have lots of traffic and make no money because a) the visitors don’t click on the ads or b) the ads aren’t worth anything say Adsense 5c clicks. What you need is targetted traffic who has a need – a need to buy not necessarily a need to read your site. You don’t know for sure that is the case until you have your site on page 1 of the rankings, that is true, the clicking behavor being the hardest to predict, but if I site starts making me money – guess what I do – I add more content :-). A 5 page site will get you on page 1, but more content on the site will get you more interesting long-tail search traffic. Here’s an interesting test: would you agree that mortgage foreclosures is a highly competitive term which could make you a lot of money if you were in position #1 of the serps? Type in “forclosure” into google (with the typo no quotes) – you will find the top result is – the site consists of one page with about 10 words …. Yes the domain name match helps but the point is it has as little content as is possible and still ranks #1 for a 968,000 results.

WordPress is a just a free tool to build websites/blogs – what’s the difference between the 2- I don’t update my niche blogs often/at all – it shows some pages of content (no dates show) WordPress does the automatic interlinking of pages – that’s why Google loves blogs – not because they are special just cause all the pages are interelinked via the tags and categories! The technology that use to build the site is the least important part of the equation (I also use blogger, static html sites and mystarterblog to build sites)

There is no difference between a blog and a “real website” as you call it, for the visitor or the search engine, – I have wordpress blogs that 90% of visitors would think were a static website – they don’t care that one has a mysql database and one doesn’t – they just want to click on the links and move around the site! You can make a site which google can’t read using WordPress (use lots of images!) as easily as if you use another tool. BTW I have never argued that SBI sites don’t get indexed or ranked by Google – they seem to produce clean code and therefore do – the problem is with the write it and they will come approach to site building.
Oh and I completely agree – there is no quick and easy way to make money online – it takes a lot of hard work 🙂 Go get a job if you want fast easy money!

The post that won’t die 😉

Mo: I, like Lis, create multiple small sites. Yes, I tried the whole “single site” before a few times.

Anyway, in mid-January, I bought a new domain name, created a 1 page auction site. I was using phpBay API but now it’s using MyStarterBlog and the MSB eBay plugin.

$7 MyStarterBlog(free for me 😉 )
$7 MSB eBay plugin
$0.10 hosting since I have many sites.

You know what? I made $183 from that site alone. It does not have a lot of traffic because it’s targeted traffic. I was number 1 in the Google but now it’s in the sandbox(new domain). I still get Yahoo traffic but eventually it will get out of the sandbox.

Based on the result, I created, with MSB, 9 other sites like that niche.

I also bought a older site with crap traffic for $250. I found an offer(not auction) and made $600 from that in 4 months.

No, I don’t claim to hit 100% every time but I’m getting better every time I make a new site. With SBI, I could not afford $300 each time with my diversification model.

Like with my investments: I buy mutual funds and not shares of one single company.

Steve McGrath’s last blog post..Buying A Domain From SEDO

@mo ..hello mo, i just want to comment on what you said, you said – “if you want quick, easy money. don’t bother with SBI. you won’t make quick, easy money with sbi. but you will have better odds for success if you are willing to work and stick to it.”

SBI or no SBI it takes work to make money – but you can work at website with or without without SBI. It isn’t the “SBI process” which builds success, their is no magic bullet by being an SBI website.

What makes success is hard work – writing content and building links – you can do that with any platform! SBI is an expensive option – that is something you have to admit. Build one website with xsitepro / wordpress/ myfreeblog and market it correctly, put hard work in and you “might” be a success – just as you “might” be a sucess with SBI. (not every SBI user is a sucess)

Anyway, I use SBI – i like “content 2.0”. However, i don’t like reading “the SBI process works” (i read it all the time) …it isn’t the SBI process but correct marketing (info + links).

Anyway, a complete beginner would do well with SBI, I can testify – it is a great way to start to understand internet marketing.

Although SBI isn’t everything – google xsitepro (for 200 dollar lifetime build as many sites as you want).

@liz – i’m surprised you never mentioned xsitepro before.

So about two weeks ago I was just plain bored here at work and I started looking around the web for something to do. I don’t remember how, but I wound up here. Very much interesting reading. I have nothing to say about SBI as I have never even looked at it. I do want to say thank you, yes – all of you, for your comments, your rants, and even some of the nastiness. Thanks to you I have been reading and learning, mostly from Griz, and have even attempted a blog!

I hope to continue on my path. I hope to make money one fine day. If any of you would like to look at a blog made by someone with zero experience and no html knowledge whatsoever, please feel free. I would be happy to take any and all constructive criticism!

My point really is, I have learned so much just from two weeks of reading that I believe anyone with half a brain could do something on this internet and maybe even make a cent or two.

Happy Trails to All,
(a work in progress!)

Kary’s last blog post..Time to Get Out of Debt Forever

Welcome Kary and thanks for comenting – its not usually this exciting around here but I am glad we didn’t scare you off! You won’t go far wrong with Grizz. Good luck with your blog – you’ve done the most important -thing actually doing something not just reading about it!

Appreciate your review of SBI.

I’d like to add that although SiteSell presents itself as a web hosting company it actually is not. There are no available features, like PHP and MySQL, that you would need to have a real online business. (They say PHP is unavailable for security reasons, but use it to drive their own forum) There is no FTP. They tout their “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth, but restrict you to three (!) folders (no sub-folders) to store your “unlimited” files. All your html files must be stored at top level in the root folder. They dictate what filename formats you can and cannot use, and it’s quite restrictive. They even dictate how to name your CSS properties. Rules upon rules, like nothing you’ve ever seen from a web host. The degree of control they exercise over your website is amazing. Ken Evoy must be a major-league control freak.

Once you’ve bought the program and have gone halfway through the “Action Plan”, which is a very time-consuming process, you will discover the things I mentioned above, and also that you’ll have to find a real hosting service for your e-commerce site. They will steer you to Lexiconn, one of the more pricey ones at $29.95 month with disk space and bandwidth restrictions. This is after you’ve bought the SBI package, which is supposed to include hosting.

The people on their forum are either heavily censored or don’t complain much. They sound like a pack of brainwashed ninnies.

If you build your website using the tools they provide on their site, you’ll probably never get your complete website out of there alive.

Of course they tell you none of this upfront. Instead they present SBI as some kind of ultimate e-commerce and web-hosting solution. It is not.

Beware. My friend was one of the lucky ones who managed to escape the trap after falling into it.

Yes, you can do it yourself for a lot less money, considerably less hassle and aggravation, and with much more freedom than you can have with SBI.

Really appreciate the detail Snarky – I know a lot of people don’t really want control of their files or to run php – but the reality is you should never accept unnecessary restrictions on your business: it makes it very hard to grow it in the long term. I believe the forum is censored because its used as a 2nd level marketing tool where prospects and login with read only access.

@Lis — I made $1,000 last month (passively) with my SBI site despite not having “php” or “mysql”. In this economy most people would rather have a grand in the bank per month than mysql…

So, you making any passive income yet with your 50 wordpress and BANS sites?

@yourmom – where have you been 🙂 You are missing the point, again, in fact I just started using php you certainly don’t need to use it to make money online, you’re make money regardless of the technology if you have the right keywords and backlinks.
And yes I am making money -thanks for asking

Yourmom doesn’t care if SiteSell engages in unethical and unprincipled business practices. She’s making her thousand a month in passive income, why should she care? After all, ignorance is bliss, and the more ignorant you are the more blissful you are.

Glad she’s not my mom.

OK, I’m reading this over very carefully. I’m another one on the fence, am a current SBI user and have no serious complaints other than the price, it is very good for clueless types such as myself but this hubbub has intrigued me and I have today signed up for a cheapie webhost with WordPress blog for my next project. I have worked hard on my SBI site but not getting much traffic which has been disappointing but I can’t blame them exactly — at least I don’t think so. I hope I can apply the lessons learned there and here to try things differently. Wish me luck… if successful I will have you to thank! If not, well, no biggie.

Certainly I wish you luck Lori. You can be successful and you will only have yourself to thank 🙂

“I don’t think you can really call SBI a scam. At the very worst, it’s just web hosting for $24.92 a month.”

I’m not an SBI customer, but I’m thinking about becoming one. Can anyone argue the above point? I’ve been down the road of spending countless hours building a site, paying for it, dabbling in PPC advertising, trying to link to relevant sites, learning a bunch of different web building tools, Photoshop, etc., etc. I have no regrets though, because it was all a learning experience and I feel like I took something away from it…which is important to me. That was a couple years ago.

Well now I’m thinking about getting back into it. My interest was sparked because I constantly have friends, family, and co-workers asking me questions related to PC problems. Issues that are trivial in my mind, but clearly not to them. So I was thinking about starting a site…a place I can document everything my brain has to offer when it comes to troubleshooting problems with a PC.

Then I stumble across SBI. And because I’m the type of person that doesn’t like to spend a dime before I completely over-analyze it and research it until I’m bored…well, I haven’t made the purchase. I almost did today though, but I thought, let me dig a little deeper and here is where I am now.

So…my logical brain is telling me this. If I look at SBI as nothing more than a $25/mo. fee for hosting my website, then it cannot be a scam no matter how you spin it. Correct? And EVERYTHING else that is offered is just gravy. Right? Please, someone tell me how this is inaccurate. I’m looking for a reason not to do this, but I’m struggling to find one.

Roguu’s last blog post..Age Before Beauty, First to Down 1D

I presume this is a wind-up right? You claim to know lots about PC’s and you want to share information though not, presumably, to make money: set up a free blog on or …. If you do want to make money then do some careful keyword research because you start cause there is a LOT of “how to fix my PC” sites out there

I gotta stop posting here, lol.

Perhaps I can share some insight for you people looking at SBI.

It mostly works, OK? People are using it to make money. It is a long hard grind, though. Same thing without it, except you pay less and learn more.

The forum is like something out of The Stepford Wives. Stir things up or ask the wrong questions and you’re history. The whole thing is very, very controlled. It’s very cordial as a result, but it just doesn’t seem real.

A lot of their stuff, like templates, is antiquated. They have a lot of other “stuff” to sell you besides what’s covered by the annual fee.

If you plan to do serious e-commerce selling hard goods they can’t host your site. They’re not set up for it and they won’t tell you this up front. If that’s the case you’ll pay for SBI as well as a real web host. In other words you’ll pay twice. Again, they don’t tell you this up front.

You can get really good web hosting with more features for half the price of SBI. WordPress is free and easy to use. You can install XAMPP (free) or WAMP (free) on your computer and build your WordPress site locally before taking it online, and not have to pay for hosting while you do it.

You can make money online without SBI. Lots of people do. The question is: to what degree do you need someone to hold your wrist while you go about it? You can learn a lot more by doing it yourself, and the resources are out there. This site is a good place to start.

SBI has a free trial. Check it out. It may be for you. Or it may not be. It’s certainly one way to find out. If you do the trial then y’all report back to Lis now, y’hear?

@Snarky- thanks very much for all your useful comments! Now go and do some work on your own sites 🙂

you keep pushing the keyword academy – it costs more than SBI for a year, and only contains advice and vids – stop ripping us off

Yeah right Dave – yup the keyword academy is a complete rip off cause all they do is teach you how to make money and doesn’t charge you for every site! a) I have around 50 live sites SBI would charge me $300×50 = $1500 LOL b) most people will only need the program for about 3 months I should think! Oh and they include live webinars, forums as well as videos – but yeah I agree you shouldn’t risk $1 trying it with that sort of attitude

I am completely neutral on this matter but would like to clarify some previous conjecture about
defamation in cyberspace–more specifically, about accusing an organization of being a”cult”
or a principle with a company–in this case, Ken Envoy–of knowingly participating in consumer fraud, i.e., a consumer “scam”.

The allegation that SiteBuildit is “a scam” suggests that Ken Envoy has knowingly been involved in
facilitating a deceptive practice on consumers for the intent of receiving payment for goods (or services) GROSSLY disproportionate in terms of value relative to the money tendered.

I do not believe there is any evidence that he concealed, misrepresented, or material facts about the SBI program with fraudulent intent.

This being so, it does not follow that Mr. Envoy would have cause to bring an act for defamation against Lis–even if she made defamatory or reckless allegations about SRI and this is because under Sullivan v. New York Times, Ken could conceivably be viewed by the courts as a a “limited public figure” by engaging in actions which generate publicity within a narrow area of interest.

As such, it would be extremely difficult for Ken Envoy to prevail in any such suit because as a public figure he would have to demonstrate statements directed at him or SBI were made with malice, that is the person who conceivably made the statements knew them to be false or did so with a reckless disregard for the truth.

To cut to the chase, Lis statement’s on the surface do not seem to meet the necessary legal standard for an action of libel to be initiated by SBI or Ken Envoy. At the same time, they would have perhaps been better left unpublished as indifferent to winning or losing such cases, there are
an escalating number of such suits finding their way to court, if for no other reason than to make life miserable for the defendant.

I would council a truce and perhaps a retraction of the word “scam” or any inference that SBI is conducting their business fraudulently.

Attorney John Larson of Ann Arbor, in an article written in for “Expert Law” in August of 2003, addressed the issue of defamation in
his piece, “Defamation, Libel, and Slander Law”. In closing, he expanded on the legal concepts of “Public persons” and suggested why individuals can be declared “involuntary public figures”, which paradoxically can protect the defendant against allegations of defamation:

Under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1964 Case, New York Times v Sullivan, where a public figure attempts to bring an action for defamation, the public figure must prove an additional element: That the statement was made with “actual malice”. In translation, that means that the person making the statement knew the statement to be false, or issued the statement with reckless disregard as to its truth. For example, Ariel Sharon sued Time Magazine over allegations of his conduct relating to the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Although the jury concluded that the Time story included false allegations, they found that Time had not acted with “actual malice” and did not award any damages.

The concept of the “public figure” is broader than celebrities and politicians. A person can become an “involuntary public figure” as the result of publicity, even though that person did not want or invite the public attention. For example, people accused of high profile crimes may be unable to pursue actions for defamation even after their innocence is established, on the basis that the notoriety associated with the case and the accusations against them turned them into involuntary public figures.

A person can also become a “limited public figure” by engaging in actions which generate publicity within a narrow area of interest. For example, a woman named Terry Rakolta was offended by the Fox Television show, Married With Children, and wrote letters to the show’s advertisers to try to get them to stop their support for the show. As a result of her actions, Ms. Rakolta became the target of jokes in a wide variety of settings. As these jokes remained within the confines of her public conduct, typically making fun of her as being prudish or censorious, they were protected by Ms. Rakolta’s status as a “limited public figure”.

Wow thanks John. I don’t know you but it sounds like you are in the legal profession and know your subject. You touch on exactly why I didn’t take this post down:
at the same time, they would have perhaps been better left unpublished as indifferent to winning or losing such cases, there are an escalating number of such suits finding their way to court, if for no other reason than to make life miserable for the defendant.
Or as I said it – I don’t like bullies. Your advice was exactly what I got told privately – though far less well phrased. Thanks for your comment.

Greetings, all. As I was doing my due diligence in researching SBI, I came across this blog and I must say I do appreciate the info on both sides of the aisle! Some great exchanges here– isn’t that what makes America great?!

I will take the cons about SBI to heart, although I have to say that I’ve pretty much made my mind up in favor of investing in SBI. I want so much to establish a *profitable* online presence, though I’m grounded enough to know that it will take time, patience, and hard work on my part to make that happen.

The reason I feel as though I must choose SBI over, say, WP or other resources- is a matter of time. I work close to 50-55 hours a week at my job, and finding the time to do keyword research, and all the other stuff involved in making a site successful is practically impossible. Though I’m not necessarily a noob to the internet and using the computer, I feel that spending the $300 to promote our gorgeous home-made foil-printed wedding invitations is money well-spent. I plan to use the site in conjunction with some local advertising.

But we’ll see. To those of you antagonists against the SBI system, perhaps I’ll be writing to you in 6 months or a year saying “I should have listened to you”. Hopefully though, I’ll be singing the praises of having a relatively profitable website within a year.

Then I can quit my god-forsaken grocery-store management job.

Thanks again all…..

Hey Terry anything is better than a management job you hate so I wish you the very best whatever way you chose to go. You will have to do keyword research either way you go – hint look a mytown wedding invites and similar – yes I know you probably ship all over the place but many people search for a mytown location even if they don’t actually need one…

All: I’ve been watching this SBI in vivo experiment for a few years now. Nick Usborne is the man behind “Coffee Detective” and he is an a-list copywriter who could sell pork to Al Queda.

He has an ongoing journal about the vicissitudes of going the SBI way that is really informative indifferent to what you think of the company and system.

Nick is one of those guys who if you called as an expert witness, his testimony be very hard to

I think, after rreading Nick’s blogs about this issue, a reasonable person would draw three conclusions:

First, while it is true that the price seems steep, many novices in e-commerce, left to their own devices, would fail even if a good, optimized website could be put on line for $20.00. They just haven’t paid their dues and do not have any idea how much talent is fighting for the same turf.

Second, When a genuinely bright and very successful guys like Nick Usborne and Dr. Ralph Wilson first look at SBI with a jaundiced eye but come away very impressed for what it can do for novices,
such opinions cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Finally, every organization of any size (i.e., Amway or AIG) will inexorably draw enough dubious people into it who have “Second-story-man” mentalities. The self-help industry and the complimentary medicine field is pregnant with con artists. It’s not surprising that some SBI members would act thuggish. (Long ago, I received a call from an Amway Direct Distributor who threatened to have hos squad break my kneecaps if I ever came close to one of his distributors again. I was educating her about the small odds of success–purely as an overture for seduction.
When I told the guy I wasn’t trying to get her to defect to Shacklee or Herbalife and my intentions were purely sexual he relaxed a bit. But he would have roughed me up had my ambitions been more fiduciary.

The bottom line seems to me that SBI is a tool–an expensive one to those who know their way around the block. There will always be people however who buy designer suits or dresses from retail outlets on Fifth Avenue because it’s easier than finding the same thing in a showroom in a loft of an alley in the Village.

Here’s a link to Usborne’s memoires as an SBI’er:

Hes a very good copywriter I agree – its quite an impressive affiliate pre-sale that! Its very interesting that you mention the similarities of SBI and the worst aspects of the MLM industry …

With my own site, I originally paid around $60 to get it setup – $10 for a domain name, and then $2.99/month for traffic reports. I wouldn’t go near SBI – I’ve seen it before – nothing but fraud.

Hi Lis! Very interesting post, I really respectyour opinion regarding SBI. But I have to say that currently own 2 Site Build It Sites, and I am very pleased with them and with Site Build It in general. 🙂 I do not use any PPC advertising, all my traffic is organic and from the Search Engines.

I have really learned a lot about internet marketing with the SBI tools, things that I would have never discovered on my own. Don’t get me wrong, $300 a year a heafty amount to dish out yearly, but if you build your site right and follow the guide, you will definitely make it back on the “backend”. 🙂

I’ve little doubt that Nick’s motivations to talk up SBI are at least in part because as an affiliate opportunity, SBI has a lot of momentum going for it.

Personally, I like to think of myself as a cyber-rogue who would rather fail 100 times and through the wisdom gained by failure, like Edison, finally discover the way to make a light bulb.

I’ve no reason at all to believe this–it’s merely a hunch–but I think you lose something fundamental and essential with “paint-by-the numbers” solutions. (I think it was Nick who gave the lie to the idea that you can come into SBI completely uninformed about internet marketing and not have to put in the time to at least wrap your arms around some of the basics.)

I suppose at the end of the day, I feel more comfortable attempting to follow the same treacherous and thorn-strewn path that guys like Dan Theis, Aaron Wall, yourself, and too many others to be named took–learn more than you ever would have want to learn about how not to
succeed in this business and from the soil of that trial by fire, come to an understanding that it is one of the most baffling, challenging, and ultimately satisfying enterprises in which a person can engage and for which there is no “magic bullet” that assures success.

I agree – I never found anything in life which would make you significant income without you actually knowing what you were doing. Remember when everyone was buying houses for investment? We did to – did quite well -but we didnt do it the wa the “experts” told us to – maybe thats why we have survived the drop in house values? Because we took the time to understand the risks and made rational decisions based on that risk assessment.

SB might have been a good deal a while back – when most people looking to get into IM had little notion of how to SEO and how to promote a site.

SM might still be a good deal for people looking to get into IM who are put-off by all the “techie” stuff. No reason to be put-off by the “techie” stuff nowadays as it’s pretty much fall down simple. If you can fall down unaided, you can design, publish and promote a website. It’s not rocket science anymore and the only people who keep saying it is, are selling rocket packs.

SB doesn’t have a monopoly on ranking websites. SB doesn’t have the only blueprint in town. I’ve got my own which is good enough to keep 11 sites in the Google, Yahoo and MSN Top 5 results for my targeted keywords, bring in tons of targeted traffic and convert to the tune of $2000 a month per site.

And before anyone says “hey hotshot, you know so much but you don’t even know enough to leave a link to your site”, Yes I do know enough, but luckily for me, I can afford to comment on treads I find interesting without sweating the back-links.

My brother just bought SBI, and he didn’t even buy it through my aff link. Boy am I pissed!

On a serious note, good post.

Now I’m just debating if I should forward this url to him.


LMAO RV – my brother would do exactly the same thing – if he knew what an affiliate link was!

I tell him not expect hours of free tutorials if you won’t even buy something through my link.

I have a BIL, who does(did) quite well as a Real Estate investor and is constantly hounding me for Twitter and general IM help. He swears Twitter is the “holy grail” of Internet Marketing. I ask him to do one simple task, and he won’t do it.

He’s out there hustling >>

Is it just me?

Wow, those people who are doing “it” are really earning a lot. You can have your website done to some freelancers at a lower price.

“He even recently dropped Google Ads, which cost him over $100,000 per year, because he did not like some of the ads that were being delivered.”

That’s true, the guy thought that “meat ads are evil!!!11” so he stopped using ad sense.

Blah, vegetarians…

To be honest SBI guys, I thought Lis’ post was exaggerating things. But the sudden appearance of tons of posts of yours and the insistence does sounds like a cult. An ugly one.

Bottom line truly is, that if your web site is just a blog and articles, 300 USD a year is way too much, your claims you win 1000s a month may be true, but I t don’t think SBI is necessary, and well, it does not seem worth having to spend 300 USD yearly and also all that cult-like loyalty you are showing, it is actually scary…

Yeah Lis. Good on you for doing what you’re doing here. Wonderful.

I’m a recovering sbi user been lurking in the solitude of sbi addicts anonymous until I came across your sbi review.

You seem to have attracted a bit of a slug-fest, coping a barrage of Evoy groupies and other assorted creatures of the underworld.

I thought I’d add to the SBI Wars with my post here…entitled
“Is Ken Evoy The Devil” …enjoy!

Site Build It And The Legion Of Loyal Hoes’s last blog post..How To Make Money Blogging

I learned about Site Build It! through Steve Pavlina dot com. I was very off-put by it — to the credit of Pavlina, I was hesitant to call BS right away due to my trust in his words — I just couldn’t avert myself from the bad taste left in my mouth.

Based on what I’ve read here in the comments section (which have been far more telling than the actual article) I see there was certainly a reason for my feelings (though not for the reason i initially suspected). I don’t like it when trusted mentors start advertising services. Their intentions may have been well-meaning but Pavlina has always been about personal development for SMART people. Why suddenly cater to individuals who are too lazy to do their own research?

He has given PLENTY of advice to make a successful web based business (which is still a web site, despite what jargon they want to feed you as to how much a god send SBI! is). Based on Pavlina’s blog alone, if you are an intelligent, business savvy individual, you should be able to do enough personal research on your own to build a successful website. If you aren’t, you probably don’t have any business using SBI! either.

In the end I have no ill feelings towards Steve P. himself, because I really think he had the best in mind for people who desperately wanted to improve their lives. I just don’t necessarily agree with his methods (and I doubt he’d have a problem with that opinion).

I have a problem with SBI! because I don’t believe the service is really necessary. I believe that individuals who claim disproportionate success after using the service could have gotten the same success all by themselves, with the proper education. SBI! to me, is the ‘easy way out’ if there is ever one. And it’s a VERY expensive easy way out, based on who it is marketed to. Most importantly, the way it is marketed towards those people just feels like a ‘scam’ to some degree, so I can understand where this article comes from. In the truest sense of the word though, ‘scam’ is very unfair and actually, pretty dangerous.

To summarize:

Who should use SBI!? Prospective entrepreneurs that already make enough money that $300 isn’t too big of an investment. SBI! takes a lot of the stress out of the process involved.

Who shouldn’t use SBI!? Less-than-wealthy individuals that want to start their own online business and have the capacity and desire to learn all that is involved.

Who definitely shouldn’t use SBI!? Individuals with 0 business sense or tech-savvy who are just looking to make cash in a more attractive way who also don’t have $300 to waste on the off-chance that they actually have a marketable idea/service/product.

/end comment

I can actually add something to this discussion, though I realize I’m about eight weeks late. I’m just finishing up my first year with SBI!, and my experience was, to say the least, absurd. I document the reasons here:

I’d also like to note in response to Zeek’s comment directly above that, from a philosophical perspective, Steve Pavlina is a charlatan and a quack, a lightweight, though even those designations give him too much credit, as I also document, in some detail, in the above article.

Lol, you certainly have a bone to pick. I can’t blame you, but It’s certainly sad to see that you wasted all that money for nothing.

As far as Pavlina goes, we’ll just agree to disagree. I disagree with a lot of what he says, but I also agree with a lot of what he says.

Even I, an animal lover, find his vegan assertions to often border on offensive, for example.

In many ways, however he has a very open mind, and he is frank about his stance on things, and that I can respect at least.

I’ll have to leave a disclaimer though; I haven’t read even 5% of his articles. Actually..most of my reading centered around motivation and his polyphasic sleeping ‘experiment’.

I admit the possibility there may be something extremely creepy about him I just haven’t read yet, but for what it’s worth, I’ll give your blog a good once over to see what I’ve been missing.

Lis, thanks for grabbing the bull by the horns, pun absolutely intended. You’ve saved me a lot of $$$ and grief. I work in the relationship / sexuality field, and wanted a web presence. Knowing nothing of HTML, etc., I was flailing around searching for a website builder software that I could manage. SBI! looked like the real deal for Dr. Clueless here.
Luckily, my wife thought it sounded overpriced, so I did some research to prove her wrong. Hahaha. Thankfully, I found your post, and Griz’s supporting post, and Vic’s jump-on-it-with-both-feet video post — and my idea of using SBI! went in the trash.
Now I’m learning what I can do on my own, using you and the others I mentioned as my primary gurus. Have just put up the first blog post on Blogger, per Griz’s lead.
Thanks for having the brass to stand up to the b.s. of SBI! Otherwise, all I’d have found would be phony reviews leading to SBI!affiliate links.

I understand that wives are always right – so that was a good move for your marriage and your hip pocket 🙂 Good luck with the new blog

Wow this is a review people don’t see often. Thank you so much for this review, I will send this link to a friend of mine who is planning to buy SiteBuildIt.
To me the price $300 is too hefty anyway, I always stick to the traditional approach: buy your own host, buy your own domain and build a site from Dreamweaver.

I know they kept saying they NEVER advise PPC’s because you must be experienced and such; however, this is from THEIR own site!!!

Does is not mention how MUCH money you can earn from PPC’s…..Doesn’t say be warry if you are unexperienced??? Weird that they would say that they dont advocate it, then have it on their own page???

NOTE THE WORD “SIMPLE” involving this, NOT complex as he said!!!!

Finder’s Fees Generate Leads… And Income!

*****C T P M is as simple as “1-2-3-4.”********

From Theresa Coffey, TNT Editor…

The finder’s fee model is as classic as business itself… get paid a referrer or finder’s fee by finding customers (or “leads”). In other words, you become the key intermediary between surfers looking for information/solutions and business owners (especially those ones offline) who provide the products or services these surfers are seeking.

It’s a worthwhile monetization option for your SBI! site because…

1) A huge number of offline businesses have no idea how to use the Net — even if they have a Web site, they get no traffic. So have them pay you for referrals from all the traffic that you will generate to your site.

2) Most businesses, especially offline ones, do not need, and will never use, an affiliate program. You can help spread the word about their products or services both locally and globally.

Here’s how you can generate revenue from the niche-oriented content of your SBI! site…

Your theme-based content provides the type of information (Content) that attracts targeted visitors (Traffic), who are all potential customers)

Your site’s content credentializes and builds trust (PREsells) in the minds of your prospective new customers

Your e-zine (electronic newsletter) builds more and more trust.

***********You recommend a business or service (the majority will be offline businesses), resulting in payment for the click, lead or sale that results (Monetization). *****************

Nori Evoy (Ken’s teenaged daughter) successfully uses the finder’s fee model on her content site, The content of her site and e-zine reflects her knowledge and passion for Anguilla. This encourages visitors to trust her recommendations. For example, as you can see, Nori invites visitors, with the help of Form Build It! (FBI!), to contact her family’s favorite real estate agent in Anguilla. As a result of these referrals, Nori earns thousands of dollars from villa sales and rentals.

*************Nori also uses FBI! to send referrals to boat charters, hotels, tour operators, rental car agencies, and so forth. Naturally, the Evoy family and Nori have verified their quality. This “customer-first” orientation pays dividends… all on a pay-per-click, per-lead, per-sale, or per-month basis.************

Now that PREsold traffic is solidly established (thousands of visitors per day), she has been adding more and more revenue streams. Diversification contributes to the stability of an online business…

The site earns thousands more from AdSense ads.

Well-chosen, travel-oriented affiliate prograams supplement nicely (and she has dropped low-earners such as Amazon).

She even sells her self-designed keychain, self-produced DVD, and the crafts of Anguillian artisans through her online store!
The SBI! system (i.e., C T P M process and tools helps build referral income. If this monetization model is right for your business, you’ll find FBI! especially invaluable. It provides all you need to notify your recommended resources, receive cc’s and even audit for honesty! All you have to do is…

Follow the Action Guide and online help carefully. And keep in mind that it all begins with providing valuable Content. Content is what attracts Traffic, PREsells you by building trust and respect, and results in clicks, leads or sales to those you recommend (the easy part… Monetization!).

I was being scammed once. I wanted to buy a fresh domain, but what the seller gave me is an expired pre-used domain. I wonder if there’s any way if you can check if a domain was used previously.

Mark’s last blog post..Directions to Translate Aviary

My question is why do you think Alexa matters -all it tells me is that lot of Internet Marketer (the only ones who install the alexa toolbar) visit his site – big deal! I do know I am number one for “site build it scam’ if you google that without the quotes…

This is the best. I have been reading everything. I have a friend that is in SBI and is doing very well. But she has many years of website building under her belt and is not in an over saturated market. I have been thinking about buying SBI for myself. But I have decided not to. My market niche is way to small it would be a micro niche…LOL.
SBI for some can be a great way to get started but if your product doesn’t have enough interest than you’ll lose money big time. Even if you follow the SBI steps.

I’ve been contacted by this company called US Website builder that claims to specialize in the development of websites for small business owners. Coincidentally I had been planning to create a presence on the web to expand my company’s operations.

I was contacted by them by phone, and during this call told of their various website packages, which seemed attractive to me because of their relatively low cost: “OWN a 3 pager website for US$39.95 , US$49.95 for a 5 pager , 10 pager for US$59.95 , complete with free matching emails, and this includes the designing, and free hosting. Or we could do the designing for you only for a flat rate of $35/page.” Also there was the option of paying a “one-time” fee, paying all per month fees in one bulk payment. I indicated my interest but informed them I would need a couple of days to make my decision.

What followed was a barrage of phone calls EVERYDAY asking me to pay the money which was relatively little in my opinion $400. This has raised some doubts of their legitimacy in my mind. Has anyone ever heard of them?

If you have $400 to contact me lis (at) lissowerbutts (dot) com – I’ll do a site for less than they are quoting including hosting if required

Defamation on the internet is not as simple as you seem to think. There are several problems, such as the definition of “publish”. Australia law, for example, defines publish as making the material available to someone, and that person reading it. Yes, the definition defines the publication as when the person reads it. See Wall St journel V Guitnik. Wall street journel thought that they published in the US, but Victoria Australia, said that it was published in Victoria because victorians read the publication in Victoria.
Burden of proof is on the publisher in Australia, UK, and other commwealth style governments. In fact, people have been know to lie and say that what your are saying about them is untrue, when they know it is true, and sue you for libel. You can’t prove it, and have to pay them damages! Do you remember good old uncle Joe in Queensland Lis?
Also be aware of the imfamous “McLibel” case, McDonalds sued private individuals for comments made in a private meeting.
Furthermore, truth is an impractical defense in commonwealth countries because you have to prove the truth of EVERY imputation reasonable imputation. In my opinion, defamation in commonwealth countries is completely inconsistent with free speach, but that is the state of the law.

I think they main issue with the law is that people live in fear of it! The fear of being sued is what stops them publishing in the first place. The reality is that the fear of being sued keep people in line. Uncle Jo was a Kiwi export we were quite pleased to get rid of BTW! This post – including its comments has been called the “most balanced SBI review on the Internet” I know people have signed up with SBI after reading it, and others that have chosen alternatives. The fairly sad part of the exercise is that most of the SBI supporters haven’t even figure out WHY this post is #1 for “site build it scam” in Google

Hey Lis … it still lives on …. WOW!

Congrats on creating such an interesting, compelling (though somewhat argumentative at times :)) post and gaining the #1 spot on Google. Isn’t social buzz cool 😉

After reading the penultimate post, however, I thought perhaps KM had dropped the old legal ball on you (I know some of his cohorts love to invoke lawyer letters). I hope that’s not the case here.

Again, thanks for all the great insight not to mention entertainment!

Best always,

Jim H.

Jim Hickey’s last blog post..Effective Blog Commenting: Use Effective Blog Commenting for Increased Blog Traffic

Hi Jim – you still get to win as the person who left the first innocent comment – and had to deal with my comment subscribe spam for the next 412 comments LMAO! Nope no sign of the lawyers – they may be confused as to exactly what jurisdiction applies to me – which is totally cool with me! No its all good here – in fact you might want to check on the recent guest post I had which gave a different perspective on a site build it scam

Juristiction is not a problem. Being able to prove damages, and collect damages, and the possbility that a court action would bring negetive publicity. The McLibel case was a “victory” for McDonalds, and it cost them a fortune in legal fees and bad publicity.

Suggestions: (most have been previously made, many by site build it “enthusists”

Make balanced statements, don’t say things that are untrue.
Don’t think that you can get away with “suggesting” bad things about people, imputations are just a defamatory.
If you make a mistake, appologise.
For internet legal suggestions, check out from time to time, my wife adele is currently writing about this, and may more issues relating to “the law of the internet”. The internet does complicate the situation, is an “evolving” legal enviroment.
Lastly, most importantly, what you don’t know can hurt you, and as Mark Twain said, things you know for sure, and “just ain’t so”, or the most dangerous of all….. Learn enough about the law to survive, that is common sense. And seek real legal advise from a real lawyer when it necessary.

Steven I just about clipped your link – but it looks like the site may become useful so I left it for readers. You miss my point – jurisdiction is entirely the problem – and collection. I don’t have assets in my name that would pay for 5 minutes of court time. I move countries often – because I can, its my lifestyle, not to flee the law. I did actually correct the original factual errors in the original post – but I’m not apologising because what for me was a “gut feel” i.e. opinion, about the disturbing overtones of cultism and poor value for money turned out to be correct given by the number of subsequent comments and emails I received. At the risk of repeating myself – I don’t like bullies – and I have no intention of prefacing every statement on MY blog with a legal disclaimer just because it might upset someone.

If balanced statements were important legally than my local paper – The West Australian and 7 News would be very,very short! Media are notorious for not doing balance – 7 does informational advertorials as news all the time, there is no pretense of balance in the commercial news media of Australia (ABC and SBS are much, much better).


Consider the following:

1. Jurisdiction is easy – to clarify publication occurs in every jurisdiction. The internet is borderless. You could be hauled into any jurisdiction and have their law applied to you.

2. No assets in your name – Courts looks beyond the ‘corporate veil’ and will pierce it where it is intended to shelter assets for the purpose of avoiding impending or actual judgements

3. Defamation – Don’t oversimplify it, or do so at your peril. The law of defamation has undergone significant revision – see Uniform Defamation Law 2006. Read it.

4. Free Speech – Free speech is protected free speech only where it doesn’t cross the line and violate the law. There are a number of basis upon which you could be found to have violated the law. I am not going to expand on these for you.

5. Innocent dissemination ‘defence’ – liability of online intermediaries. Safe harbour provisions are complex and you are in this instance, much more than an intermediary. You are admitting that you are assuming editorial control and posting. You are primary and vicariously liable.

6. Consider your liability for injurious falsehood

Read the Mark Twain quote again.

The fact that you think it is impractical for someone to do anything about what you are doing doesn’t make it right. You never know whether or not there may be someone who is willing to do something about it if they feel strongly enough about it. You must remember the old bulletin board cases in Perth if you know about internet law.

Be careful.

Hey Lissie, I still havent signed up for site build it and I probably never will. @Darek dont do it man.

Bihar’s last blog post..Shashwat Shriparv commented on the blog post ‘Super-30 do it again’

Wow, I just realised I’ve spent the last two hours reading these comments. Great debate!

I’m a complete noob as far as IM & MMO are concerned (although I have built & run a few basic websites in the past to support my offline businesses, mostly using WordPress).

I’m going to do an experiment here. I’ve just paid my $300 for an SBI subscription. I’m now going to set up two businesses, one following the SBI Action Guide to the letter and the other based around advice from Vic, Grizz & other MMO experts who have contributed to this debate.

I’m going to try to invest the same amount of time and effort in both, to see which generates the most profit over then next 18-24 months.

I do have other businesses to run, so this will be a part-time activity, but it should be an interesting experiment. If nothing else it will resolve some of the conflicting arguments is my own mind.

Wish me luck!


@Mike, I know its pretty good debate, I even heard that the owner of site-build-it came here as well.

Bihar’s last blog post..Shashwat Shriparv commented on the blog post ‘Super-30 do it again’

My wife has received an email from Dr Evoy, and I have read it, along with all of the posts on this forum to date. These are my thoughts:
@Dr Evoy, when I was considering signing up for SiteBuildIt, I was using Google, my instincts told me that someone had been manipulating the discussion of SiteBuildIt. Other than the affiliates, the stupid sites that say “don’t buy site builder until you read our review”, there was no discussion of SiteBuildIt. I had to search down through more than 100 listing before I came to this blog. Lis came to a simular conclusion for a simular reason. We both see this as abusive. Like Lis said, it is the fear of legal action which does the most damage. Dr. Evoy, you and I have both lived most of our lives in the US, and from your email to my wife, I can see that you understand the free speach implications of your actions. Do you member the secret tape of the McDonalds board meeting that appeared in the McLibel documentary? The McDonalds board was uncomfortable about attempting to silence free speach as well.
Another consideration, the lack of real discussion of SiteBuilder created a vaccum, which Lis was drawn to. I know that it is unfair, but because the internet is build on low overhead operations, the owners will take down anything that could cause them any problems. I know it is unfair to blame you, but getting rid of all unfair critism of SiteBuildIt results in all material being deleted, resulting in a vacuum. Any reasonable person of intelligence will be very suspicious, just as I was. One of the contributers pointed out that you should appreciate someone explaining the weaknesses of your product, and many of the posts have been filled with very useful feedback.
I know that you don’t want to be seen as heavy handed, so you will have to balance that against your desire to not have outrageous things said about you. As distasteful as it is, your policies should specified that “cease and desist” letters should only be sent out in carefully selected circumstances, and a lot ugly comments should just be ignored. This is the new press, the press has never been fair, and is never going to be fair, don’t expect them to be. Remember, “Don’t pick a fight with guys who buy ink by the barrel”
I understand that you don’t like the way Ken conducts his business, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t tolerate each other. Nobody has made any argument supporting the allegation of “Scam”, we of the internet culture have a fair solid common understand of what “Scam” means, and we seem to be in agreement that SiteBuild doesn’t qualify.
Your defense seems to be what we americans call the “turnip defense”, the saying being “you can’t get blood our of a turnip”, but this is even more of a reason to not provoke the good Dr too much. After all, if he get mad enough, he might take legal action, even if there is no practical reason for him to do so.

Mediation is the answer that I think is in the public interest. Both sides have valid roles to play. I don’t like the erosion of free speach, but we all recognise that there is a line that you can’t cross. A scam would be a crime, I think we can all agree that you can’t go around accusing people of crimes, when that haven’t commited one. The internet is traditionally a lawless place, but only a fool assumes that things will never change.

@Steven – you have confirmed what I thought was the case that Ken Evoy was still keeping an eye on this thread. I have retracted that I think SBI is a Scam here. I stand by use of the term though in the title though. In fact if you look at the Adword advertising for that term you will notice that I number of Ken Evoy’s affiiates use that term in their headline. Why? Because if you are new to the Internet you are cautious when you are looking at spending money – you check product XYZ review and product XYZ scam to try and get both sides of the story. Because, as you rightly say, there are always two sides to the story, and if you can’t find them there is a problem and the loss of trust. The irony is that some people have found this post read it all and then gone on and bought SBI – they have told me so – maybe they even made some the earlier commentators an affiliate sale. So be it, that’s life – at least they are a whole lot better informed than they would have been before I wrote this post.

I was researching Site Build It out of curiosity and considering using it when I came upon this firestorm. I now have a red flag concerning SBI that has nothing to do with the original post. There are two things I have noticed about the replies from SBIers: First all the commenters seem to be taking this way too personally. Its as though you were flaming them personally. They all take almost the same tone. Second: the points they bring up are all almost identical. Frankly it is the sameness of tone and the points they make, that makes me suspicious. I’m not accusing because I don’t know, but, this is throwing up a red flag for me about this company. My point is that the reaction of SBIer’s is too overblown for me to believe this. I’m sorry, I’m a cynical sort. I don’t buy this as brand loyalty.

Is Site Build It, bad? I don’t know. Is it truly a scam? I don’t know. Does it deliver what it says? Maybe, depending on the site. Am I going to use their services, I don’t think so. Not because of the original post, but, because of the SBIer’s reaction to it. It is their words that are causing alarm bells to go off in my head and making me walk away.

@Mikey – exactly – that’s what bermused me – if I’d gone their sites and trashed SBI I could have understood the reaction, but given that I had no idea who these people where until all hell broke loose over here – I agree – like chill out people – its just a piece of software. I use WordPress – I like WordPress – but I won’t die in a ditch over it – its just a piece of software which facilitates my business.

building website is like passion. if you dont have passion for it it will be very costly. heheheh!

if you have it then its free for all! heheheh

Hi Lis.

One-and-half weeks ago, I somehow stumbled upon your review. As an SBI guy, I was defensive at first. I thought that your criticism of SBI was bull.

So, I decided to confirm. I called the SBI Sales Department and was shocked. SBI really does charge an annual fee of $300 per site. I felt like a fool. I had been blinded by enthusiasm. I thought that I could create countless sites through SBI at no extra charge.

Fortunately, I had seven days left until the 30-day deadline for a full refund.

Today, I got my $300 refund. I will now use that money toward the purchase of a brand new laptop.

Thank you, Lis. You saved me from a $300 mistake.

To be fair, SBI does offer a lot of potentially useful tools and tips for any newbie. But it is so expensive. If your SBI-built website flops, then that’s $300 down the drain.

As I discovered, there are free and low-priced alternatives on the web. Internet success does not take a lot of money. Just an investment in time.

My dream is to someday have a number of profit-producing sites which will enable me to live a life of freedom. I know it will be hard work. But I believe I can do it.

Again, thank you.

I live in America now. But I originally came from the Philippines. So I consider you a neighbor.

ex-SBI guy – I am delighted to have saved you the money – and don’t give up on your dream. The secret of online success is more about learning how to do keyword research and action – its a lot of hard work – but a surprisingly small amount of upfront investment. Check out my favorite online site which teaches you how to think for yourself – The Keyword Academy review

I must admit I haven’t got to the Philipppines – hopefully soon when I have all this passive income rolling in 🙂

@ Site Build It has been around for a while, the question is – is it a good way to make Passive Income?

Lets be honest here, MLM is not a good way of earning money, people who have been scammed turn into the scammers and the trial of disaster never ends.

What is going on with the 1000 word comments defending SBI, its hilarious. The more they defend it, the more they sound lke a cult and the more it puts people off buying site build it.

I considered buying site build it until I discovered you have to pay extra just to have a comment form on your site. Like they havent taken enough money off you with the $300 year, it costs and extra $90 or so for the comment form feature. Other places give you this free, WordPress anyone?

The templates are so ugly with too much empty space, an upgrade is much needed.

In terms of whether it is a scam or not, I think its not. However, the website is a bit misleading.

I was looking into options to escape WordPress and was researching SBI! I found this post. I had contacted SBI today to receive more info, but after reading the following from X-SBI, and am running away from SBI with a full head of steam…

“now the problem:

ken doesn’t allow FTP, and there is no way to export your files (as far as i know). so, you have to use a website copier program to retrieve your files, after which you will probably spend months cleaning up the copier program’s and sbi’s html. and, if you have uploaded files to sbi that are not included in your pages; then you need to be an idiot savant with “rainman’s” talent to remember those files, or preview and copy and paste each one manually from your sbi sites control panels. you can see the problem if you have hundreds or thousands of image files. chances are you won’t retrieve all your files when you transfer.”

WordPress isn’t perfect. Especially when you cross the threshold from blog into profitable website. But at least I have flexibility with my content. Sorry SBI.

Muscle and Brawn’s last blog post..The Fix is In: Manion and Manion Corruption?

And BTW, to top everything off, I make $300+ a month and don’t have a freakin’ clue what I’m doing. If your SBI newb site can’t hit $300 a month in a year, you need to address the niche and content…this is not really rocket science.

Muscle and Brawn’s last blog post..The Fix is In: Manion and Manion Corruption?

Oh my god!! it took me hours to finish reading all that
I have decided not to buy the product. I feel a bit sad, because I really spend hours and hours reading reviews about it.
I think it is expensive after all. Hidden costs made me really change my mind. Like using the brainstorm.
The thing is I have little knowledge of html, I used to know how to use frontpage but it so outdated now.
Maybe wordpress would be a good start
Don’t know
Thank you for this long but usefull post

LOL sorry about the reading time Peter- can’t really help that! Yes give wordpress a go – no html required – honest.

I was thinking about the SBI-ers…they can get their content by saving the files in the browswer, or by using an offline grabbing tool.

Just in case any of them are reading and want to escape 🙂

Muscle and Brawn’s last blog post..Advanced Training: Basic Sets, Step Sets and Wave Loading

I wouldn’t like to do it for a huge site – a right pain – to save every page and then have to recreate and then do the 301 redirect to make sure Google doesn’t sulk about the urls changing …

Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite so many holes so easily picked out of a review before. I’d actually be quite embarrassed if I were the author, but anyway…

Yes I use SBI bla bla bla. I don’t, however, promote it, before anyone makes that assumption (there does seem to be quite a few bold assumptions thrown around by the critics, which is always…uh…helpful, but there you go).

Serious Doom summised: “Bottom line truly is, that if your web site is just a blog and articles, 300 USD a year is way too much”

Completely agree. You’d have to be an idiot to spend that much if you were only planning a blog and articles.

Personally, I’m really happy with SBI. Yes, there are a few little gripes, but you know, I wouldn’t have had half the functionality on my site, in one place, with another host. Plus, this functionality is always being developed and added to based on the suggestions/demands of its users and changing internet trends.

I know most of the techie stuff involved in getting a website up with a conventional host, but I have the money, so I’m happy to pay extra to be able to focus 90% on actual content creation, which includes videos and audio (I run a guitar lessons site).

As for the cult aspect – you know, I can see why it looks that way. I’ve often joked about it myself in the forums. What I’m struggling with is what the hell this has to do with MY site and MY assessment of how capable SBI is, as a host, of delivering what I want. I hate cults, I can’t stand religion of any kind, and if I felt I was being pulled into some inescapable, psychologically manipulating zombie environment, I’d like to think I am not so dumb that I’d let it swallow me up.

There is no place like the SBI forums when it comes to getting things done and learning new techniques, regardless of the host you’re with.

Just a final response to Muscles and Brawn, who said: “I was thinking about the SBI-ers…they can get their content by saving the files in the browswer, or by using an offline grabbing tool.”

Well it’s not a problem for me since I upload my HTML (er, yes there is FTP functionality actually) – all my files are on my computer as a result and if I want to remove any site wide SBI-isms from the code I can run a multiple search & replace within my index directory. 3 seconds, done, dusted, ready to move to a new host if/when I need.

More false assumptions, more utter bollocks from the critics.

Good day.

And Mike,

You can’t derail my comments with your foolishness. I took the plunge, spent the $300, and really wanted SBI to work. It was awesome until I hit the content stage, and the emperor’s clothes fell off.

Any SBI Jedi Clones who come here and claim SBI is anything more then a crappy ancient WYSIWYG with a free newsletter service is smoking the crack pipe. You pay $300 for niche research, and videos by some French Canadian guy that is hard to understand.

And get this…they are desperately trying to get a 3 column CSS layout working for SBI, and by reading the vast quantity of forum posts, you think they were trying to build a spaceship out of duct tape, dental floss and a garbage can.

Nice, they might be…but living in the stone age, they are. Seriously, Mike…I was there. I read it. And I couldn’t believe how clueless the community was about template development.

Sure, design your own template. I could too. But I don’t need SBI for that. As a HTML producing CMS, even Blogger is light years ahead of SBI.

Now, feel free to attack my character, or say I missed something. I didn’t. I spent $300 to look under the hood, and you had no clothes on.

I would NEVER recommend SBI to a newb. WordPress is much easier to research and run, and you have a near endless amount of free plugins and themes for.

My little old site…, has been alive for 8 months. I have doubled in size for the last 8 months, and will have a pure 1,000,000 pages served per month very soon.

I am starting to make good money, even though I handicapped myself by not reading up on SEO for 6 months.

My point? My site looks damn good, and is making money despite myself. You don’t need SBI to make money. HARD WORK and DEDICATION trumps the system.

So, with a level playing field…why the heck would you even bother with SBI? Heck, my webhost provides a free newsletter script in it’s package, AND a forum…and on and on and on…

Muscle and Brawn’s last blog post..The Hugh Jackman Wolverine Workout

Having been a webmaster and designer for 10 years, I decided to take the plunge and give Site Build It a try for a single. My thoughts…

Training. SBI exceeds expectations with regards to training and niche research. A 12 on a scale of 1 to 10. I was extremely satisfied with this area on SBI.

Templates and back end. Horrible. Just horrible. SBI provided you with templates that looked outdated 12 years ago. Sure, I could plug in my own template, but them SBI becomes nothing more then a fancy FTP system with free mailing lists.

Overall, once you finish the niche materials, SBI is horrendous compared to the functionality, tools, design and SEO relevance of WordPress.

I really wanted to give it a go, but after spending $300 and finding templates that were embarrassing , I asked for a refund.

Again, I could use my own template, but that becomes a more tedious experience then me just working on my own with Kompozer.

SBI should be much better on the backend as a WYSIWYG, and should be ashamed to feature such archaic, plain old ugly templates. You think with the community they have, they would provide a wide variety of nice looking, functional templates.

And please, spare me the babble about how simplicity helps SEO, or whatever. Simplicity doesn’t have to look ancient and butt ugly.

Tsk, Tsk.

Hello Muscles,

Your (non-SBI!) muscles site looks very nice. And you are making money with it. Congratulations on its success.

You said you’ve been a webmaster and designer for 10 years and you’ve been working on your non-SBI! site for 8 months and it’s doing well.

You have established that you don’t need SBI!. And I do believe that you are doing well without it.

At first, your post read as if you bought SBI! just to debate Mike. The tone grew so aggressive that it actually hurt to read. When I re-read both of your posts, it does not seem that you “really wanted SBI! to work.”

Can I ask how long you owned SBI! before you refunded? I’m just wondering if you gave the SBI! site the same degree of effort or just gave up because you didn’t want to upload your own template. If that is why you wanted to refund, as you say it is, I cannot agree that you really wanted it to work.

Many people use the custom:style template. I don’t think you discovered that. And many who already know HTML do indeed just upload their own.

Also, this is not accurate: “Sure, I could plug in my own template, but then SBI becomes nothing more then a fancy FTP system with free mailing lists.” That is not right.

You yourself said that SBI! is “12/10” as a training system and on niche research. And that is just one part of SBI!. SBI! is also much more than a sitebuilder and Web hosting. Go to and see.

It sounds to me like you owned SBI! for all of a day or two and then refunded if you did not get past niche research and didn’t even find the custom:style part for non-HTML uploaders who want to take their Look and Feel further. Please tell me how long you worked on it so hard?

You claim to not read up on SEO for 6 months despite being a webmaster and designer for 10 years. But you are obviously talented and 10 years is a lot of experience. I doubt if you needed the training and niche research, nor even the other tools. While many accomplished Webmasters do use SBI! because of all that it integrates (I stay away from the HTML and javascript forums!), it’s obviously possible to succeed without it if you have spent the time that you have to reach your skill level.

I probably have 1/10th of your talent and started this part-time although it is not full-time for me. My SBI! site earns my living, and I have started my second and now my third. I have nothing against you, but it sounds like you and many others here really hate SBI! and SBI’ers.

Please recognize that many average people learn much more about succeeding at business online with SBI! than they could anywhere else. The 12/10 training only STARTS with keyword research. Many sbiERS have tried many other places, including WordPress, and failed. With SBI!, they succeed.

Not all do, of course. But I’m sure the success rate is much higher than anywhere else. Half start additional businesses with it ($299 is cheap when you realize all that you get, although I do understand those who focus on wanting cheap hosting and figuring it out themselves).

But what would not have figured it out on my own. Or it would have taken me so long and had so many setbacks, I might have given up. Or I might finally have re-discovered SBI!. All I know is that this process and tools and community works for me and thousands of others.

Muscles, that is is why there is genuine love for the company and the product. If they get upset when you and so many others here attack it, maybe that will help you understand. Most know nothing about S SBI! except what other attakers here have written. And you clearly don’t need SBI! and I doubt you owned it for very long or sincerely really wanted to make it work — if you did own it for several months and give it the same effort as your non-SBI! site, I apologize.

Eitehr way, not everyone knows all that you have learned in 10 years. In fact, few do.

I know you can talk rings around me about HTML and CSS and design and SEO. But I have learned the skills that I need to build a business online, even learning to write better, I have all the tools I need to grow my business, and I can turn to a strong community whenever I have a question. And yes, I return the favor and help others out a lot too. That does not make me a cult member, by the way.

SBI! is priceless to me, much more than cheap hosting, WordPress and some scripts. And I’m not attacking WordPress. I am simply doing very well with the SBI! structure, the training, and all the tools (not scripts that I have to figure out) and information that I need in one place.

I hope that makes sense.

Best regards,

Carol’s last blog post..Jul 1, Embroidery stitches for flowers

why you not publish my comment ? if you not think it suit you? Maybe because you not want tell me if you make money. Let I not allow to say I think you can have good idea but could be scam too because free speech we had when we left our country

@brimvi your English was so bad your previous comment made no sense. I just published my income figures in my latest post. This comment is still marginal – which country are you talking about?

I Think your product is scam because you can only make enough money to travel and not buy the asset. only way to make wealth is to make enough to buy the property. if you only want to travel then you can not be making enough for your retirment. what will i do when i get to 65 and I dont have asset to live off with your system? I think this is scam even though you have good point if you want make just enough to go on a fun holiday.

Look you idiot I don’t have my own product I do recommend some other people’s products for which I get a commission. You clearly haven’t travelled much if you think its cheaper than living in one place – its not! My retirement is looking just fine – not that its any of your business – I have substantial property and share portfolio. I doubled my income in June from the previous month May – did you?

this post and comments is like a complete reference on this topic.
I am a new comer to this field and learning a lot from reading this kind of articles.

thanks for the information and fantastic comments 🙂

Carol, I did find everything. Please re-read my posts. As a wise man once said, “I am so done with this.”

It is beginning to look cultish to me with all these 1800 word responses. Good luck with SBI!

And say what you will about it, but bottom line…the backend templates are a true embarrassment for the cost and the era, ESPECIALLY for newbs. And BECAUSE you are newbs, you should have MORE features and plugins at your fingertips to help you piece together a site.

The custom SBI builder is nothing more then an upload tool that you can stick a menu, and footer in.

And again, I was in the forum…the post in which the SBI gurus were trying to figure out a CSS template was at least 11 pages long.

It felt like I was watching a group of monkeys trying to operate a can opener. Sorry, but that’s how I felt.
.-= Muscle and Brawn´s last blog ..Ronnie Coleman Wallpaper, Set 3 =-.

Just hope you didn’t click the subscribe to comments box Kirsty – the first commetator on this post has been regretting that for months LOL

Hello Muscles,

I did re-read your posts, as requested, and I can’t see how you could have “found everything.” That sounds all-encompassing, but “everything” is not even included at

You are incorrect when you reply to me that the “custom SBI builder is nothing more then an upload tool that you can stick a menu, and footer in.” I was talking about the “custom:style.” You can look it up in the Action Guide and try again, and then use a different insult about SBI!, but I am not sure why you go to the lengths you do without truly answering me.

You did not answer my question about how long you actually worked with SBI! and how hard you actually did want it to work, such as you claim. Based on your comments, I suspect it was a very short time and in that case it really is not possible to find everything. Nor, in that case, did you “really want it to work.”

Failing a reasonable conversation from you that starts with the foundation of respect for a fellow successful online business person, I can only repeat that SBI! is obviously not for you, that I started as a total “noob” (such a derogatory term, so I have to note that I quote you for context) and likely still know less technicalities than your 10 years of experience. But after failures elsewhere online, SBI! enabled me to build a successful online business that now accounts for my entire living, and which has more than replaced my former job.

I have started two more recently, the first requiring little of my time, and would not dream of doing this anywhere else. Again, ask of you just one thing:

Please recognize that many average people learn much more about succeeding at business online with SBI! than they could anywhere else. The “12/10 training” that you yourself gave SBI!? It only STARTS with keyword research. Like me, many SBIers have tried many other places, including WordPress, and failed. With SBI!, they succeed. It is far more all-encompassing than you suggest, or than you could have possibly discovered.

Also, your comment about cults is unfair. Equating “cult” to the length of a post is unfair and unusual. You made two posts in a row which together contained 604 words and several insults. I made one reply that contained 879 words. I hope that does not make me a cult member?

Part of the problem of post length is that it takes many more words to correct inaccurate statements than to make them. For example, when you talk about SBI!’s new 3-column, css-driven Look & Feel that is coming out, you failed to say that Ken Evoy specifically released that to the forums to ask for feedback, looking out for the needs of 40,000 different users, and wanting ideas from the community. A thriving discussion ensued, and from that the final release will be much better.

I’m sorry if you reduce that to your perception of “a group of monkeys trying to operate a can opener.” But there is no short way for me to correct that insult.

SBIers have, for the most part, long ago left this thread behind. I saw it and ignored it, but rediscovered it recently and happened to jump to the bottom and find your two posts, Muscles.

They were so mean-spirited and left such a wrong impression about SBI! that they compelled me to reply. It is, one sense, sad that SBIers have left this thread. It leaves it very one-sided. The overall result of this thread, failing rebuttal in a reasoned manner, is no more accurate than the initial faulty review.

But I now understand why SBIers have left. This thread is not about real discussion. It is about derision of a brilliant product that may not be for the 10-year pro such as yourself. It may not be for those who believe in creating a whole bunch of mini-blogs with “semi-content” supported by made-up link networks.

But it is for those of us who want to build a real business online, one that I am proud to have created, one that grows with me over time. I will leave you with the last words, Muscles, because I do indeed take too many words and too much time to correct short, too easily made insults and jibes.

Your goals are to hurt SBI!, while mine are simply to let people know how delighted I am with it. As are thousands and thousands of other “noobs” (who are actually very nice, sincere, everyday people). So I must take my leave now.

You should simply recognize that many everyday people really do succeed at SBI! and that it’s not for you. And if it turns out not to be for others they, like you, can simply refund. I hope they do give it a sincere effort though. They will find a product of far greater depth than you represent here.

Best regards,

P.S. Sorry for the 848 words. I know it was longer than your last post. Nothing here, though, should be construed as making me a cult member, just a genuinely delighted SBI! owner with a successful e-business.

Carol there is no need to apologize if I was bored with getting free content on this page I would have closed the comments long ago – whether Google can index this number of words who knows – but its an interesting experiment.
To be honest I think you would have succeeded with any product : SBI, html, WordPress – in fact your site looks as good as I’ve ever seen an SBI site look so good and you have found a profitable niche – and yes you provide excellent information on the products you sell and that’s one of the key’s you are actually selling your own (or a partner’s) products. The reality is that you are totally (by your own comment) dependent on one site. What if Google dropped your site tomorrow? It happens – and not always to bad people. Broaden your base – start more sites – sell the same products, sure but build sites based on more profitable keywords than “needlework tips and techniques” – get a decent shopping cart integrated which doesn’t involve people calling an overseas number (at least add a free skype number!). The free wordpress blog is a start – but a domain will only cost you a few $’s, in fact for you I’d suggest getting a site as well

Dear Lis,

Thank you very much for those kind words, Lis. It’s nice to see a pleasant response. So, despite the fact that I said my above would be my last post, let me reply to yours:

1) You said, “To be honest I think you would have succeeded with any product”

Thank you for the compliment. But Lis, please see my first post above. I had already failed at every other approach.

Still, your comment is important. So many people seem to tell SBIers that they could have succeeded anyway, as if a carefully laid out process and all the tools to execute counted for nothing.

Those people do not seem to realize how good SBI! is at really taking you through a process, one that leaves you free to create and build a business, one that frees you from having to do anything but that. Their tools update constantly. They just released an amazing new brainstormer, which is the first one anywhere that is so highly process-oriented to help you choose the right niche for you. They just released a nice little Socialize It! too, complete with Twit This and even a way to offer others a way to deep link to all my pages.

All I had to do was add a tag. And for those who use their BlockBuilder, all they had to do was click to put it on every page. I love that I don’t have to read all the conflicting advice, consider all the pitches for (usually bad) products out there. I just build my business.

They are genuine people, a genuine company and truly help people succeed. Many, like me, had failed trying many other things. Some are lucky and SBI! is their first online effort. And some are power users who could, as you say, do it without SBI!.

I might be able to do it myself NOW. But… why would I want to? I stick with what works. $299 is cheap when one’s mindset is “business building” instead of “putting up a site.” And when you consider the videos and other written content, the tools, the constant updating of tools, and the forums.

So, while I thank you, I could NOT have done it without SBI!. I know. I tried. I spent many times more than $299 per year trying. And I see the same comments in the forums often.

2) You said, “your site looks as good as I’ve ever seen an SBI site look”

With all due respect, you are not looking hard enough, Lis. There are so many better-looking sites than mine. I love Erwin’s (who posted above, when SBIers were upset with that inaccurate review):

But there are folks who take it way beyond that. (And SBI! is developing the next generation BlockBuilder that will enable anyone to convert their current site to a wide variety of highly sophisticated looks.)

Many people do a much better job with SBI! Look and Feel module than I did when I first started. And some, frankly, take the most boring templates and an Arial font, and turn out something that looks really boring. When they ask a question in the forums, it turns out that they may be getting 1,000 or 2,000 visitors per day and they have an advanced question about some form of monetization or another. The first thing Ken (who has made over 6,000 posts in the forums) tells them is… “Um, improve your Look and Feel. With that type of traffic, you really should put in the effort.” You CAN do nice work with what they provide, but they recognize it’s time to enable EVERYONE, not just those who do their own HTML and CSS, to take their look as high as they want. But many are proficient at html and css and they can already do any Look and Feel you may see on the Web.

My site started with a simple, 2-column look and feel. It was clean but not fancy, what many here would consider an ugly SBI! site. But it really wasn’t ugly, it was quite serviceable. And certainly, all my e-mail was very positive. As my traffic built higher and higher, I decided to upgrade the Look and Feel. The point is that I didn’t need this Look and Feel to build a success. The current look came after the success. It was merely a natural evolution as my business grew.

3) You said, “you have found a profitable niche – and yes you provide excellent information on the products you sell and that’s one of the key’s you are actually selling your own (or a partner’s) products.”

Yes, I learned all this from Site Build It!. For the first time, I learned everything in order, from brainstorming a good niche to writing well (they even have a book for that) to writing properly for the search engines to monetizing. Site Build It! thinks of AdSense as a “good starting point” that reinforces that traffic turns into dollars. And, if you only want to be an infopreneur, it shows you how to get the most out of AdSense, affiliate programs, et.

But they emphasize many other monetization models, including selling your own products, services, and so forth. There is even an extensive section on how to outsource overseas for those who want to leverage themselves and grow a VERY big business.

Lis, you are not seeing here the people who sell $40,000 per week in vacation packages and $400,000 in asphalt products. They don’t have time to debate. I wish people could understand the depth of SBI! and how it offers the best chance for success. $299 would hardly seem expensive. When you think of SBI! as “Web hosting with tools,” it is done a disservice.

4) You said, “The reality is that you are totally (by your own comment) dependent on one site. What if Google dropped your site tomorrow? It happens – and not always to bad people.”

As I said in my first post to “Muscles,” I have started a second and a third SBI! site. But that is not because I worry about my needlepoint site. Google will not drop my site tomorrow. And that is because I do not use any tricks.

You said “not always to bad people” and words like “always” are a safe bet. But I’d bet that 99.9% of the time it happens to bad people, and the one time it happens to a good one, it’s an accident that gets reversed. It’s not hard to be a good person, by the way, when you follow the SBI! process:

All my content is my own. I don’t go to other sites and paraphrase material. I do not build fake link networks. Those type of strategies, when you do them only for Google, are likely destined to be dropped. If you do not add value to the your visitor, just like any business, eventually Google figures it out. Those people get dropped. And that has been true from the beginning of search engines. The tricks get trickier and harder to do, but the engines get smarter and figure them out.

But everything I do is simply, as Ken would say, “keeping it real.” I have no worries about Google dropping my site since it delivers quality information. Although, I agree, dropped sites do happen:

Yes, a temporary glitch can occur, as we’ve seen in the forums, but those are reversed within a week. The SBIer always posts back, “I’m back in.”

And yes, we have seen people in the forums come in asking why they have been dropped. Sometimes, they do not follow the Action Guide and instead follow some trick from some guru or another. Sometimes, I can spot it. But if no one can, someone will tell that person to check at Google Webmaster. Sure enough, they have a note from Google about a violation and what to do to be re-instated.

We do see, in the forums, “young sites” that get dropped. Ken’s (and other SBIers’) advice is always the same. Just keep on following the Action Guide. Google CAN drop a good site, especially if it is young. But the more established your site, the more you build good content and an honest, diversified inbound links program, the less likely that is to happen.

But I have not seen a mature, well-done SBI! site ever dropped by Google (and I contribute quite a bit to the forums). I’m sure it’s because SBI! sites, when done properly, do not manipulate Google. They work WITH all the engines to give them what they want, which is the same as what humans want, good content.

I have no worries about my site being dropped.

5) You said, “Broaden your base – start more sites – sell the same products, sure but build sites based on more profitable keywords than “needlework tips and techniques”

I’ve read the philosophy of the “make money online” gurus. It is the opposite of SBI!’s. We build real businesses through sites full of real content. We research well and build ONE real site. On DAY 4, there is a detailed monetization process you must do before you finalized DAY 5 by choosing a niche. If it will not monetize well, whether your primary model is AdSense or e-goods, you return to DAY 2 and start again. Research until you get it right.

Or, as Warren Buffet said, “Keep all your eggs in one basket. Really protect the basket.”

We know our niches and we give people what they want. Not ALL my pages have to be high-profitability pages (from an AdSense point of view). The more great content I deliver, the stronger my site gets a whole. I am found for over 20,000 long tail keywords related to my niche and all that traffic adds up.

So I do not have a need to start more sites related to needlepoint. If I wanted to create a bunch of semi-content regurgitated sites with those fake link networks, I suppose I could increase my traffic even further. Until Google really did kick me out for creating a bad link neighborhood. So I prefer not to compromise the business I have built.

My efforts are best spent on growing what is established. Or on starting whole new businesses, now that this one runs itself. That is what I am doing.

I know that the “make money online” gurus have gone so far as to write that content does not matter, to just paraphrase the work of others, to build link networks full of fake content (even with special software to change content slightly and submit to various article sites). And I understand why, out of necessity, they recommend that. There is no way I could do 100 mini-sites with quality, original content in both the main page/mini-site and the link network. But time will show whether Google considers that to be “working WITH them.” History is full of search engine tricks that are ultimately defeated.

So allow me to make the same suggestion, Lis, to you and to people who are building 100s of these mini-sites. You are likely more exposed because you are depending on ONE strategy and it is somewhat dodgy. But do not take my word for it. Ask yourself if Google is likely to approve of that philosophy. Read their guidelines…

Ignore them at your own risk.

Beyond Google worries, there is a bigger reason why I could not follow much of the advice given by the gurus in this group (and I don’t count you in that group, since you do put some emphasis on content). Here is the bigger reason: I could not proudly tell my mother how I earn income online. And it just seems so tiring and tedious. I would feel depressed to do it, instead of pride for what I have built.

I suspect this opposite approach to building a business online is where much of the angry opposition in this thread comes from (from both sides). I feel sad that this thread hurts the reputation of SBI! when I know how it has enabled so many thousands of people just like me to change their lives through business.

6) You said to “get a decent shopping cart integrated which doesn’t involve people calling an overseas number (at least add a free skype number!). The free wordpress blog is a start – but a domain will only cost you a few $’s, in fact for you I’d suggest getting a site as well”

Some of that is spot-on. But regarding .co.u, my business is not a local one. It is global.

The blog, as you can see, was an experiment — I have not posted much. SBI! does recommend blogging for those SBIers who have the time, inclination and business model. The two (SBI! with an integrated full blog) can go well together. I could have integrated the blog right into my SBI! site using Infin It!, as you explain, but by making it a subdomain of my main site (“ex,”). But my free experiment shows me that I’m not really into blogging. It felt too much like “I really should make a post today.” Ken’s advice turns out to be good. One has to experiment, and find out what’s right for oneself.

For most people, they’d be better of creating evergreen Web sites, instead of blogging. But for people like you, it’s a great medium.

As for the shopping cart, yes, I am thinking of integrating a full shopping cart into my site. PayPal has served me well during the experimental phase. Setting it up was so easy, and it works brilliantly. But, as I grow, so does the shop’s income and the overall business. Again, I merely follow the Action Guide, which offered several options regarding stores. I chose the simplest one that made sense to me at the time. But as you (and Ken) suggest, there comes a time to move up.

I suppose, if you look at this letter, my story is one of following priorities. I built a business before I decided to try blogging. I keep my shop easy with PayPal until I decide I enjoy having customers and it builds bigger. I improved by Look and Feel as traffic became high. Today, I could handle many of these at the same time, starting a new business, with SBI! or without.

Following the process, and having all the tools, enabled me to succeed for the first time. And the second time around, it’s 100 times easier. Everyone talks about $299 as being expensive. I can’t understand that. It’s $200 more expensive than cheap hosting. For all that I get, and because my intent is to build a long-term business, not to game Google, I consider it ridiculously cheap.

I hope this last post helps clarify things. I know your comments were intended to be helpful. Sorry for the length of this. I hope it demonstrated how much misunderstanding there is about SBI! in this thread.

Naturally, it’s NOT the only way to succeed. And I don’t think anyone at SiteSell ever claimed anything more than it’s the best way to succeed. Nor does EVERYONE succeed. And some flat out don’t like SBI!. For example, many don’t like having to follow a precise process, nor the fact that there is no FTP (which is not a pre-requisite for success, just a way that people like to work). But the solution is simple. Like Muscles, who I doubt put in a genuinely serious effort like he did for his current site, simply refund. They honor their guarantee.

Muscles, by the way, was a perfect example of someone who does not need SBI! and who knows a ton more about the technical side than I do. I doubt very much that he made a sincere effort to make SBI! succeed. If that was true he would have merely upload his HTML and followed the entire process. And that is the part that I guess I will never understand. Why do people feel obliged to attack SBI!. If it is not right for you, please do recognize the joy of success that it has brought to many thousands. At a very cheap price.

And really, Lis, SBIers are not a cult. They are mostly everyday people who grow to deeply appreciate SBI! and the company and Ken because they can see that the care is sincere and that the process, tools and updates offer unmatched value that enables them to achieve what most could never have achieved. E-business success.

I suspect that someone will read and dismiss this post with a sweep of the hand, as Muscles did. And again, to fully answer, just takes too long. But I did feel that YOU deserved a thorough reply to your comments. Offered sincerely, they showed the depth of misunderstanding and polarity that exists between two very different groups.

Time will tell who was right.

Warm regards,

I know people who’ve been building quality mini-niched website for ages, and they’re making a good living. As long as you’re using white-hat SEO techniques and quality content, what difference does it make? I, for my sins, bought into SBI twice (yes…twice) before I twigged “this toss isn’t working for me”. And before any of the SBI Stepford wives contingent pipe up about how I must not have been following the tenants of Doc Ken properly and the like, I was. At the risk of repeating what others have said, all of what’s bundled up in SBI, you can get it either a fraction of the price or free. As I’ve discovered for mostly free, if you want to make a decent living online through your website you need laser targeted traffic, quality content, quality authoritative one way back links, end of. Surely

Hi Avril

“people who’ve been building quality mini-niched website”
-That would be “websites”.
Those same “people” are probably also making good “livings” rather than “living”.
“Tenants” would be “tenets”.
“you can get it either a fraction of the price or free”
A “for” might be useful in there somewhere.
“end of…”
Story, discussion, the line???

Yeah, quality content!

Yours, Katherine Ross

Yeah Avril don’t u cum round her and spel bad no more u got that? Its not prroffesionle youse no!

Wow. It’s nice to see how this page is ranking after all the links have shown up and the heat has been settled down. This was a great example how serps work and I see you have made some progress when people are not singing in to that program.

Fascinating reading, been following for months.

First off before you throw stones, I am a client of SBI, and have two primary sites hosted with them.

SBI never claims that it is the only way to make money on the Internet, nor that it is the cheapest. What it does claim to have is a proven repeatable process.

The real key to an SBI site is developing a long term organic traffic play. The system if done properly, and with a solid niche is an outstanding way to build free traffic. How you monetize it is up to you and results vary.

No traffic? No business. So rather than using Alexa as a proxy, let’s focus on some actual SBI traffic numbers.

Allen Gardyne has a great article posted where the author actually shows actual SBI unique visitor logs. Someone will say they are photoshopped, but whatever. gets over 8,000 visitors per day! Not bad for a $299 investment. At that rate it is 1/10,000 of a cent/click!

The link to the case study and traffic logs is here:

Bottomline, give me 8,000 visitors a day and I will guarantee I can find a way to make money.

So let’s do the math. 8,000/day = 2,920,000/year.

At a 1% click rate that is 29,200 clicks.

Sunglass bids on adwords are average $1.50, call his share $0.75/click and that takes us to $21,900.

Directionally the ROI is 7300% on the investement.

That is if he only did adwords.

Let’s think through adding in affiliate links.

Go with 1% making a purchase, and an average commission of $1.5 per sale.

That adds another $43,800 to the bottomline for a total of $65,700/year.

ROI is now 21,900%.

Now the traffic log was from February 2009, my presumption is that his traffic is continuing to increase. We don’t know his real numbers, but $65,700 a year in passive income beats working full time in my book.

Many people focus on the money too soon rather than focusing on the traffic.

It is a business that takes time, and is not for everyone.

Would love to hear people’s feedback!


PS: Lis, you are pretty square on posting comments, so I hope you will post this analysis.

No problem posting your free content – but I did have to release your comment from Askimet!

He’s got social traction by being written up by celebs – that will certainly get you traffic – but is it buying traffic – in a word no. Traffic logs notoriously include little details like search engine bots – in my experience search engine bots don’t buy anything!
Neither will the people who click thru from here thru curiosity. I would be a lot more impressed if it was search engine traffic. He’s built 10,000 backlinks to a 2-year-old domain – that site has been worked – its irrelevant that its an SBI site. I still wouldn’t want my entire business built around one site – for one thing -I would think the demand is very seasonal

Just for grins, here are some more SBI traffic stats for those not interested in looking at Alexa numbers.

This is from another SBI Site.

They update their stats monthly so you can check back later.

Their site has grown from an average of 620 visitors a day to 1150 visitors a day in six months. Not bad in a down economy.

So they are on target for over 365,000 visitors in a very targeted niche.

How they monetize is up to them, but their cost per click is 7/10,000 of a cent. Again not bad.

SBI is just a different business model for working online.

Not everyone gets these traffic numbers (some do much, much better), but it still shows a solid method for getting traffic that you can monetize.


Again the stats are provided to entice real world advertisers. Those stats are inflated with bot searchs and I note they are not quoting unique numbers. There site has grown in the last 6 months because its gone from Jan to Jun – more people want a houseboat holiday in the summer I should think- the number will drop again probably over winter. The down economy has nothing to do with – online advertising is booming and houseboats are a relatively cheap holiday -compared to an overseas trip for example.

I think perhaps non traditional therapy could help you to open your heart to others and their success. Life would be more gratifying and you would draw your focus inward. Everything I read here is filled with rage and people respond to that…or rather feel triggered by it. Rage is never really about what is happening out there. Site Build It is not what the hatred is about. I am not an SBI owner…perhaps one day I will be.

Hey Pat I heard laughter was the best medicine and really find some of the comments here hilarious – your’s amongst them!

Lis, thanks for posting my comments.

In answer to your original question< "Can SBI be used to make Passive income?" I think the answer is YES. It is not the only way, perhaps not even the best way, but even if half of the traffic were from Bots, that is still an enviable amount of unique daily traffic.

Perhaps the eggs are in one basket, but then again, it may be a basket that is working very well.


Hey Lis!
I found your blog through felicia’s no job for mom…I think you make a lot of great points, but in this **one** case, I think I’d like to chime in.

SBI! does do **exactly** what it promises…but this is not for everyone.

I think that’s the crux of it.

A perfect example. I am **not** a business person by nature. I love it in theory, but in practice, I am just not a “natural”. I loved your comments about clueless bloggers, because you could have been describing me. I’m learning and trying, but it takes practice.

So I signed up for SBI. What I need, it has. If I had not needed it, I wouldn’t have signed up. I certainly know how to create cheap websites. I also know how to find all the information you mentioned.

Also, to be brief, if your site **doesn’t** pan out, SBI is actually very good at refunds and customer service.

Bottom line: if you need it, it’s there. If not, don’t buy it or get a refund. And really, it is that simple. It’s not a scam.

It’s a little like looking into buying a Land Cruiser and then criticizing the fact that it doesn’t run like a Porche. It’s not a Porche.

SBI! does have out dated, dorky templates. No doubt. More sophisticated SBIers have great looking sites. They upload their own stuff. The unsophisticated friends I have (real friends in my real town) who use SBI with dorky templates make great income, because the content of the site delivers.

Anyway, I am enjoying your blog, learning a lot, but do have to agree with the SBIers that SBI does a great job of selling information on how to build a business. And a huge part of that is delivering what they say they will, and more…including refunds, etc…, for unhappy customers.



As someone who temporarily bought into the SBI mythos, I’ve been following this conversation with some interest.

If you, like so many others, think your $300 will buy you more than the most basic web hosting (available elsewhere for under $60), I’m afraid you’re mistaken.

It will take you some time to discover this, but if you intend to to do e-commerce your SBI hosting will not provide the tools you need to do it. For a shopping cart you’ll need PHP and a MySQL database, two critical items SBI does not provide as part of their hosting, although their marketing would lead you to believe they provide everything you need. They will claim they don’t offer PHP because it’s a “security risk”, even though their own forum uses it. This is very strange because every other hosting company on the internet offers PHP.

SBI will instead recommend you run your store as a sub domain to your SBI domain (which is how it’s usually done), and to accomplish that they refer you to one of the most expensive hosting services out there, one that will cost you over $200 a year in addition to your $300 outlay for SBI. A shopping cart is in addition to that; the best one the hosting service has is at least $600. Are you doing the math? Whatever happened to that $300?

Let’s say you have the savvy to configure your own free shopping cart software, Mal’s for example. It’s still going to cost you over $500 a year to do it the SBI way. Have you seen any indication of this in the marketing material? Didn’t think so. This is where SBI is so misleading. It’s false advertising with a bait-and-switch routine, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Dr Evoy has a financial interest in the “recommended” hosting company.

On the other hand, you could get yourself a free Word Press template and avail yourself of plenty of free online advice on how to build a Word Press site, along with literally thousands of free WP plug ins, with which you can do all kinds of cool things.
For about half of what just the basic SBI hosting costs, and far less than their additional “recommended” e-commerce hosting, you could get excellent hosting with PHP, Perl, unlimited MySQL databases, unlimited domains and sub domains included, and everything else you might need to do e-commerce through, well, an unlimited number of websites if you chose to do that over time.

Why do people equate SBIers with Stepford Wives? In other web host forums you’ll find people engaged in a free exchange of ideas and opinions, some of which may not be flattering to the web hosting company. You don’t see any of that in the SBI forum, or if you do it’s censored-out quite quickly. There is no “free exchange” going on. Instead the whole thing is very carefully controlled so SBI never looks in the least bit questionable, or “bad” in any way. It’s really quite surreal, and unreal. My immediate gut feeling was that someone with serious control issues is overseeing the whole thing. How sad that people who spent all that money aren’t allowed to be in any way critical of the product they spent the money on.

If people are spending an exorbitantly large amount of money to accomplish what others are doing for far less, won’t the tendency on their part be to somehow justify that expenditure through responding en masse to negative comments about that cost on blog pages like this one?

If you have sufficient intelligence to write good content, and you obviously do, you’re likely to be intelligent enough to learn how to use Word Press, or Joomla, or Dreamweaver.

You don’t have to sell yourself short, Terry-Anne, and you don’t have to fall, like so many others, for the SBI scam. $300 gets you nothing you can’t get elsewhere for far less.

Hi! I just thought I’d mention that it is that plodding. boring integrity and long-termishness of SBI! that really cinched it for me when I chose to go with them. One of the benefits for someone like me is that it is totally based on doing the “right” thing every step of the way, so there is never a conflict with my integrity.

I had forgotten about that issue, so thanks for bringing it up.

The “real” friends I have here in town who used SBI are all very down to earth, simple, honest people and that is important to me.

I think you might start noticing (I did) that I am actually **not** as influenced by the looks of a site as by the quality of the content.
Anyway, good points, and thanks for reminding me of one more reason I signed up with them.

.-= Wendy´s last blog ..Jul 28, How To Give A Massage =-.

Hello. I too have been following this for a while now. I tried to post before but it didn’t show up (not sure what happened) so I’m now slightly out of order. I want to respond to Avril’s reply (
to Carol’s post.

I must say that, based on this thread and especially upon the last few comments here, I will be choosing Site Build It!. The prediction in Carol’s post was absolutely correct. Avril indeed dismissed her post “with a sweep of the hand.” And sure enough, someone who failed at SBI! feels compelled to insult SBI! owners as “Stepford Wives” which is, of course, a chilling reference to mind control and by extension, cults. SBI! owners strike me as nothing of the sort. From my standpoint, they are simply grateful for a great product that helps them do what they want to do.

Meanwhile, Avril claims to “know people who’ve been building quality mini-niched websites for ages.” Not herself, though, just people she knows. And where are all those sites? SBI! owners do not seem to be afraid of the competition. But when I scan the “guru sites” for their own case studies, they are not to be found.

Avril seems bent on proving much of what Carol said: there is no attempt at real debate here. An SBI! owner takes so much time and then: Boom!

“Stepford Wives.” Why is that shot justified?

As a “noob,” I found this thread when considering SBI!. And that also led me to several of the MMO gurus. That is when I realized, after much reading, that they were not recommending “quality mini-niched websites.” My understanding is that they recommend creating 100, even 1000, of those mini-sites or “money pages,” paraphrasing (at best) the work of others and creating fake content pages that link to each “money page.” There are even, or at least that’s how it appears, elaborate networks of friends who collaborate in these schemes.

I think that the reason for this copy-and-change approach to content is that no one can create original, quality mini-niched websites and stay within Google Guidelines for links. So instead, as a fast alternative, just bang out a bunch of “money pages” along with a bunch more dishonest “link pages” at places like hubpages, squidoo, etc.

Lis pointed out that some of those free page sites got slammed by eBay. How long until Google slams this scheme of fake-content link pages linking into “money pages”? All they have to do is devalue links coming from all those free page providers. I find it risky to base my future on manipulating Google with a process that is not within their Guidelines and, in my own view, is immoral.

Personally, I find the SBI! system and philosophy to have integrity and I’ve seen enough to realize it’s my best chance for online success. I don’t see how I can get it at a fraction of the price. That “too expensive mantra” is something that anti-SBIers seem to say over and over without justifying it, including Avril.

If I could get it all for free, why would the MMO gurus recommend so many products that cost many times more than Site Build It!? I would presume it’s to help me do something that is not so easy as first promised.

Well, SBI! makes it clear upfront that it’s not so easy. So they provide all the info and tools are one place. And from their site, I see that it’s constantly updated. That is more than worth the $200 difference between cheap hosting and a domain name, and everything that is in SBI!, especially if SBI! can make my business life go more smoothly online.

SBI! owners seem to be serious about their business. And that’s how I want to do my business too.

Dear metaphysician,

First off, I hope I don’t have any glitches with this post. I put a lot of thought into it.

Thank you very much for your help. At first, I thought it was going to be beneficial since you had “temporarily bought into the SBI! mythos,” and I find the experience of others always adds to my understanding of something.

But then you say:

“If you, like so many others, think your $300 will buy you more than the most basic web hosting (available elsewhere for under $60), I’m afraid you’re mistaken.”

metaphysician, the answer disappoints me because it does not address the answers that others have given to that. I have done extensive research and I still cannot find anything close to the process, guidance, videos, documentation, tools and support offered by SBI. When you compare it (see to the products that Lis and the gurus recommend, you will find that it simply offers way more value. And none of those
products include “e-commerce” either.

I am beginning to see what SBI owners mean by debate here. There is none. It is frustrating to answer you. It would take me way too many words, too much time, to explain all that I have found about SBI. I see in this thread how people who are using it to build a business (my goal too) keep taking so much time to explain, for example, the value and then others just sweep it all away with “it’s only hosting” comments.

SBI is clearly more than hosting. Hosting is merely included as one feature of so many more features in SBI. And it’s not the cheap type of hosting that can suddenly pull down your site if it gets traffic.

Regarding “e-commerce,” I assume you mean a shopping cart. As you know, since you owned SBI, their process is all about CTPM.

So it starts with content. People can read what all that means on this page ( What I understand by it is that you first need to do good research to make sure you pick a strong, monetizable niche, and then you build strong, organic traffic that can be monetized. If one of your income streams is to add a store, you can use Blue Host (which does not cost $500 and is recommended by some of the MMO people) with Infin It, one of SBI’s tools.

If you go to Blue Host (, I see the usual $6.95 per month. I don’t see your claimed cost of $500.

SiteSell recommends Blue Host just because it is as good as any of them and it lets SBI owners have a common reference point when they are discussing Infin It in their forums. I read in the forums (you can do that just by joining as an affiliate) that they get better support since many SBI owners are at Blue Host.

SBI doesn’t receive a penny for its recommendation. In another SBI forum where this is speculated, people say there is not an affiliate link in there, and that Ken Evoy was very clear on this.

You can use any cheap hosting that works with Infin It. On the tools page, it talks about how you can integrate a store right into your site as a subdomain. I don’t know about subdomains, don’t want to set them up, don’t want a store either. So if someone has made that easy for other people, I think that is great. From what I see, it’s not going to cost you $500 to do that. It will cost you whatever the cheap host costs you.

SBI’s method strikes me as a very clever way to add a store to your site. With so much store software around, I can see why it would be silly for SiteSell to create another one. They focus on what I and most people want – to build an ebusiness that pulls in lots of targeted traffic that you can monetize.

It seems to take so many words here to counter a mistake. You talk about “misleading” but you 1) are wrong when you say that it costs $500 to add a store 2) insinuate that “Dr Evoy has a financial interest in the “recommended” hosting company.”

You also talk about WordPress and free online advice. But you simply ignore the points that people have made about the fact that you are not comparing apples to apples. There’s no point in me repeating that when Carol has talked so well about how she failed with that very approach, and being pitched with so many high-priced products along the way while reading all that free online information. It has also been covered by so many other SBIers. But no one answers those points. They ignore and keep repeating the same points.

I don’t need unlimited sites because I don’t intend to create tons of mini-sites/micro-slogs/money-pages and fake link networks. I intend to build a real business with real equity and long-term income that will not be slapped by Google in a year or two. Like Carol and so many others have said, the idea is to build one really great business. It obviously works for many SBIers. I like that Warren Buffet quote… “Put all your eggs in one basket. Then protect the basket.”

No one answered Carol’s question about the risk that MMO followers take. Those hundreds of sites take time. Aren’t they worried about the flagrant violation of Google Guidelines?

As for “Stepford Wives and cults,” I followed the SBI forums before deciding to purchase. I think you mistake a positive attitude and a flame-free environment with mind control. The guidelines are clear and reasonable in my view. But if you don’t like the guidelines and can’t live with them, refund.

There are, of course, criticisms of Site Build It. Right now, there is a great thread about how to make the Action Guide (offered in video and written) easier to digest. There are all kinds of criticisms, from distracting sidelinks to “too much information,” even though this product covers the spectrum of building a business online. All of it.

Some are impatient for an upcoming NavBar release. Ken tends to be overly optimistic on dates, but what most people remember is that this company adds more software for free each year, and for some features other companies would charge more than $299 as a standalone. I do think that people tend to cut Ken some slack because they know he is so focused on their success and that the company delivers amazing value. But this is not mind control.

However, if you mean that someone is not allowed to say that SBI is a pile of , you are right. But that’s because flames and inflammatory, obscene language are not tolerated in the forums, period. If that type of communication is your idea of free discourse, there are other forums out there.

If you are saying that criticism is not allowed, you could not be more wrong. If anything, it is encouraged.

If you say that “you hate the templates, they really should be updated,” others will agree (even though I’ve seen that people can make their sites look quite decent) and put it on a Wish List. As a result, SBI is coming out with a CSS-driven, 3-column Look and Feel that even those using their simple BlockBuilder will be able to convert over to.

It’s a funny thing how people respond to the SBI forums. Most post comments that they are stunned and delighted at how constructive and helpful the forums are. Many post at how many forums they have tried over the years, and never seen forums that are this good and useful and friendly.

And yes, to get there, SBI does fire the very rare bad apples. They are not free thinkers or free speachers. Just nasty people who would drag the level of helping down.

You only have to look at this world to realize the power of bad people. It only takes a few.

And then there are the cynics who somehow think there is mind control, that there is no “free exchange of information.” You can be as critical as you like about SBI, just do it in a constructive way. Is there a compelling reason to be destructive, obscene, distracting?

Not in my book. Everyone focuses on building their business. When there is something SBI owners don’t like, they start a thread on it, including how they would like to see it work. Of course, SBIers are not product developers, but sometimes the ideas are quite good.

And then we are back to your claim that SBI owners “are spending an exorbitantly large amount of money to accomplish what others are doing for
far less.” Please read my post and answer the questions I raise, such as all those products that the MMO gurus recommend that, together, cost much more than SBI?

And this statement: “If you have sufficient intelligence to write good content, and you obviously do, you’re likely to be intelligent enough to learn how to use Word Press, or Joomla, or Dreamweaver.”

Thank you. But Carol answered that. I have no desire to try and figure out who is right, who is wrong. I do know who is moral and that “rehashed content” and fake link networks are wrong. I would not bet my future on any product or system or philosophy that is based on fooling Google.

And it’s clear that many MMO people are trying to do just that because they always talk about avoiding Google detection, about not having a footprint, and so forth.

And then, metaphysician, you close with that “wave of a hand,” as Carol put it so well..

“$300 gets you nothing you can’t get elsewhere for far less.”

The fact is that if any thinking person reads the last 10 posts or so, they will see that this statement is made over and over by people who seem to really hate SBI. Meanwhile SBI owners spend much time explaining how and why that statement is false. I ask, if I could really get it for far less, why do Lis and all the MMO gurus sell products (or are affiliates for them) that cost many, many times more than the products that you get with SBI?

I guess I’ve learned what I need to learn here.

I have no doubt that in five years, SBI owners will be sailing along, working with Google and building real businesses, while this “game” of fake content will be history. And all those who bought all these products to regurgitate no-value content (even automatically with a click of a button)? They will be crying.

Time will tell, as others have said.

I guess I could have answered like MMO people seem to and said, “You are wrong. SBI is worth way more than $299 and it is my best chance to succeed. Everything else you say is so wrong, it’s hard to figure out where you get that information.”

But then all I would be doing is making the same old claims, they’d be unbacked by any type of reasonable argument, and we’d be in the “I-say-you-say” silly way to argue.

It’s easy to understand why SBI owners move on. This is not debate. It is unsubstantiated mud-slinging, and then every now and then someone who uses SBI or leaning that way like me, finds this thread and we try to clean up the mud.

But it takes so long to clean and even then it leaves smudges. Your conduct has convinced me to continue with my gut feeling and purchase SBI. And like Carol, I won’t add anything else to this thread. I don’t mind an intelligent debate but these last posts show such a difference in the two camps that there is really no debate by those who like the MMO approach.

So with that, I bid you adieu. Lis, you are great at getting “free content.” MMO people make these sweeping statements unbacked by logic. And then SBIers (and I count myself one right after this post) make the effort to counter, but it takes time to do that.

Then the MMO person either does not read or picks one small part to jump on. And off they go again.

I suppose that if people clearly understand the different values of the two groups, and that the value of SBI is much more than the products that are pitched by the MMO gurus, the right person will pick the right product for them.

I only wonder whom the MMO followers will blame when Google squashes the strategies/philosophy supported by MMO gurus. I hope it’s themselves and not the gurus. Even Griz says not to believe anything he says.

If I don’t like SBI, I’ll refund. And I’ll be back here to let you know. Somehow, though, I think I’ll find more than what I hoped from SBI and I know that I will find a community with shared values… integrity, persistence, constructive criticism, return a helping hand with your own.


@terry-anne – Askimet thinks you are spam- you should ask for reinclusion with them. I do monitor my spam folder but sometimes I don’t feel like going thru 200 cheap s*x aid ads just to find an SBI comment so I hit the *delete all*

I really can’t be bothered with the argument any more – except to point out, again, that the forums are a second level marketing tool because anyone can access them read only – that’s why they are kept clean!

Google involves – Google is a company in the business for making money for – Google – not for people with SBI sites, or me with my crappy little WordPress blog – they will do what is best for their shareholders – its a good think to keep in mind.

It seems a shame Terry-Anne because you sound like a smart person – there is no one way to run your business – you need to find a way that works for you – and it should be as unique as you are as a person. There is no one size fits all business on the Internet or anywhere else – you need to continue to learn and adapt, I just hope you find that out yourself one day.

Hi Lis.

It seems that the SBI defenders are back in full force. I detect nothing but desperation.

I think it’s because you’ve been so effective in exposing SBI.

I used to be an SBI guy myself. (Hence, my username.) That is, until you opened my eyes. (And luckily, before the 30-day deadline for a full refund.)

They can’t seem to think logically. The reason why $300 per site per year is just too much — is because not all of your wonderful website ideas will work out. Some will succeed. But some will flop. Risking $300 per site is foolhardy and unnecessary.

So I really feel sorry for Carol and Eric. They each have three successful sites. That’s good. But they have to pay $900 a year.

A much better alternative is the Keyword Academy (KWA). Under the easy-to-follow instructions of Courtney Tuttle, a beginner will learn how to do keyword research and content creation with readily available tools that are free or low-priced such as Google AdWords Keyword Tool, WordPress and HostGator.

And KWA costs only a dollar to start for the first month and is just $29-$33 every month thereafter. You can cancel anytime. It really is worth it. Plus, you won’t have to deal with all those annoying exclamation points (Brainstorm It!, SiteBuilder!, ad nauseum).

Having been a KWA student for a month, I am quite excited. I’ve learned how to find the most profitable but attainable keywords. And I am now in the process of putting together my first website. If it succeeds — great! If it doesn’t — that’s okay. It will have cost me only $10 a year for the domain name (as opposed to $300). And I can sell it at Sitepoint Marketplace for a decent return. I’ll then just repeat the process until I’ve built a number of lucrative sites. The risk is so minimal.

I doubt, that with SBI, one could create a low-cost site and then sell it if needed.

In truth, you don’t really need a single centralized site that offers convenient access to fancy tools and resources. All you need are skills which will enable you to find excellent but affordable tools throughout the internet (just as a carpenter can easily find good hardware around town).

Courtney Tuttle is way ahead of Ken Evoy (in terms of vision and ability). And someday, KWA will overtake SBI.

Keep up the good work.

To Terry-Anne:

My compliments to you on your thoughtfulness and writing skill. If SBI is working for you, that is fantastic.

In my case what I saw was not what I got, even though I read a boatload of their promotional material in advance of purchase. Personally I found the promo material to be dishonest and misleading. That’s a matter of my personal experience. If your needs are different, and SBI addresses your needs without any “surprises”, then that’s great. They do happily refund your money.

In my time Blue Host was not a recommended option. If you’re planning to sell a few things through PayPal you don’t even need it. My really unpleasant surprise with SBI was finding that any additional hosting was required, at all, because it certainly wasn’t presented that way. That’s where the $500 cost came in: the SBI hosting plus another $200 for the additional hosting they recommended at the time. There was no advance warning that that was the case, and one had to get quite a ways into the program to find it out. I felt like I’d been scammed because of that lack of transparency.

Yes, the people on the forums are very nice and congenial. It’s that way on every hosting forum I’ve visited. However the SBI forum reminded me of certain religious groups that fervently observe their own Eleventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not ask certain questions.” For me it felt downright creepy, which is a personal perception — and I am sensitive to that kind of thing. If you’re comfortable with it, then I honor that.

I don’t “hate” SBI and doubt if many people do. At least I hope not. Hate is an awfully counterproductive emotion and hating a “thing” is the ultimate in counter-productivity. I guess some of us are perplexed as to why so many people see it as such an effective shortcut.

What works for you… WORKS. What works for me… WORKS. Isn’t it wonderful that we’ve found things that work for us? Because what works for you doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean you’re wrong and I’m right. That’s the left-brain ego-driven stuff that’s behind all the really ugly things on the planet, like war. We can all be right if we accept that what works for one may not work for another, and vice-versa. If we understand that we’re all unique individuals who share much in common and honor each other for that — rather than attack each other over our differences — we will finally begin to advance as a race.

Ultimately, as the saying goes, “We’re all bozos on this bus.” By sharing our experiences we can only make each other smarter, don’t you think? I’ve shared mine, you’ve shared yours, other people have shared theirs. Each and every one of our experiences are 100% valid and someone will definitely learn something from them. For that reason Lis is providing an invaluable service here. (Thanks, Lis)

Cheers, Terry-Anne, I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

Peace to all.


Your review is very interesting.

I used to be on SBI but after being on it for more than a year, I didn’t feel I was getting anywhere so I left.

My SBI site still exists on another domain. I sucked the html down with Frontpage and used Komposer as per SBI’s suggestion for a website tool when not using their page building templates.

The truth is that SBI is a great system for learning about website building and business building for someone new to IM.

It’s brainstorm tool for keyword analysis is excellent.

However, what I found problematic was that I found one of their success story sites and discovered that it was only earning $12,000 a year. The owner is a prominent presence in IM and is a leader in affiliate marketing and is doing quite well overall. (Yeah, I know you LOVE affiliate marketing).

I disliked the idol worship atmosphere in dealing with Ken. Ken is a great guy and in my opinion has developed a great product. However, there was too much rah, rah, rah in the forums.

If you asked a question which seemed to indicate dissatisfaction or unhappiness with certain features of the system, you were not considered one of the groupies.

Additionally, they have a number of features that are broken or weak.

The forum search doesn’t work.

Their blog isn’t. Visit one of their sites and click on the blog navigation item and you’ll see it’s just a post with no possibility of comments. Ken doesn’t believe in blogs.

I tried to connect to a WordPress blog using their subdomain generation process (infin it). It was a disaster and I couldn’t get anyone who really knew what they were doing to help me with it.

Their traffic reporting and analysis tools are weak.

They have content and forum posts dated in 2006 and they really need to bring a number of things up to date.

Overall, it is a great learning environment for newbies and for $300 considering the tools, hosting and business building information they provide it is truly a bargain. Though I mentioned the weakness of the forum, there are really a lot of very knowledgeable and helpful people in the forums that can help you get over the humps.

If it works for you and you make money, it’s not a bad place to be. If not, you can take what you learned with you elsewhere.

If it doesn’t work out, it takes some work, but you can leave.

By the way, I never saw any mention of PPC while I was there. They also strongly suggest that affiliate own SBI to better know what they are talking about.

Just one more point.

Almost every example of how to do something is taken from Nori’s Anguilla site. Ken, give it a rest. We know you love your daughter but the users need some diversity in the examples.

I’m one of those dreaded SBI “noobs.” I commented here on Monday or Tuesday, but I guess it landed in Akismet purgatory. I’m posting again now, even though it replies to some comments made over the past weekend.

Anyway, as I was investigating SBI, I came across this post. I bought SBI a while back (early on in this comments thread). I subscribed at that time. I just got caught up, reading this past week’s comments. I thought I would just make some observations on them…

1) I’m surprised by the disrespect and lack of true debate shown to SBI owners. There is the patronizing tone such as, “It’s a shame Terry-Anne” because you sound like you are a smart person.” She seems like a smart person to me. So why is her post a shame? It makes sense logically, yet none of her points were answered with the same degree of thought. She is happy in her decision. Where is the shame? As Carol says, all SBI points are dismissed with short “waves of the hand,” like politicians who refuse to answer the questions. For example:

2) Lis, you say that the SBI Forums are “a second level marketing tool.” Almost 700,000 posts in a positive and helpful culture that I never experienced before in other forums. But because SiteSell enables SBIers to let friends see, through a secret loophole which everyone has respected (except you, apparently), what the forums are like, they’re a marketing tool? That’s a lot of work for any marketing tool, let alone one that most SBIers don’t seem to take advantage of (I know I haven’t).

3) You say that Google is in the business of making money. But you miss the point that SBI makes. Google is in the business of making money by adding value to the web. I believe that the MMO crowd misses that point because they believe in making money, no matter how it is made. But, as others have said, time will tell.

Google adds value by delivering a superior experience. Time will tell if they believe that delivering splogs and thinly plagiarized “money pages” counts as “added value” for those who use Google to find information.

4) Lis, I disagree with you about “there is no one way to run your business.” Certain principles are universal. There is ONE way to run an honest business that turns a long-term profit. Provide added value, or, in other words, give $20 in value for a $10 investment. If you do that, visitors will become customers, who will become repeat customers. But give them $5 in value for $10 invested, and you’ll never see them again.

In the context of web sites, this means original, valuable content, not the methods recommended by MMO gurus.

5) Before Lis’ comment, “Ex-SBI Guy” says that “SBI defenders are back in force. I detect nothing but desperation.”

I detect nothing but well thought out posts from people who are either very happy with SBI or, in Terry-Anne’s case, about to start. Are people like Carol no longer allowed to reply:

If we reply, are we all desperate? And, since you keep replying, does that mean the MMO crowd is desperate too?

Carol’s post is very well done, but as she noticed in her next post, no MMO follower bother to really answer it. Instead, she and others are “waved away with a hand” (what a great and accurate line), and are considered to be “desperate.”

It’s clear they love SBI, enough to spend time to defend it well against single-sentence attacks that take paragraphs to answer completely.

6) Ex-SBI Guy goes on to say that “they seem unable to think logically.” Their logic appears flawless to me. They do a lot of research upfront, like any serious business person. Then they put their “all” into that business. They reject, on moral and business grounds, the “splog” approach of creating 100 fake-content sites and link-networks (feeling that Google will ultimately reject this approach, just as engines have always squashed manipulative approaches — look what they just did with PageRank sculpting).

7) Next, Ex-SBI Guy talks about Keyword Academy. I tried it for $1, too. After the trial, it’s at least $33 a month. The only rationale I can see for paying for something over and over is that you plan to use it over and over, which means the rationale for the product is creating hundreds of splogs.

And you still have to buy extra tools such as the article submitter at $67 per month. I would rather spend the $67 a month to have original articles written for me, than use software that slices and dices an article into 3 different versions with 7 different bios. Or is it 7 different versions with 3 different bios. Either way, I think it’s a dishonest attempt to get around Google’s preference for original content.

We’re now up to $100 per month for the KWA system (KWA and the article submitter). Nothing about building a sustainable, reputable business, which I am learning to do with SBI’s written and video Action Guides, and additional articles about various topics. All that for one quarter of the KWA system’s price.

By the way, the strategy of doing 100 sites will cost you about $1000 per year in domains (perhaps more if you have to pay for privacy to hide ownership of all those sites). That’s over 3 times the annual cost of SBI right there. And Ex-SBIer implies that “free or low-priced such as Google AdWords Keyword Tool, WordPress and HostGator” is all that you’ll ever pay. Of course, the cheap hosting is $100 per year.

So now we’re up to $2,300 per year for the KWA system, domain names and hosting. Or $192 per month. So you have to earn just shy of $200 a month just to break even, without getting into all the other tools that MMO people promote.

Based on the really low traffic numbers for many of the MMO sites listed in the comments of this thread (I checked with Alexa, Quantcast and Compete), I doubt whether most of the MMOers who have commented here are making $200 a month from their 100 splogs.

I had never heard of Warren Buffett’s “Put all your eggs in one basket. Then guard the basket well” until I read it here. I think it makes a lot of sense. I realized after reading it that that’s what I’m doing with SBI. I’m building a well guarded (read “professional and credible”) web-based business, one where my equity is going up as I put more work into it. I just don’t see how splogs that are at Google’s mercy have any equity built into them, let alone professionalism and credibility.

8) I don’t know how to answer the feeling that Ex-SBI Guy feels that he could sell a failed splog for a decent return. If it failed, why would a domain, a “money page” and a fake link network… why would that be worth anything more than few bucks. Regardless, it’s hardly the good logic that he claims SBIers lack.

And to metaphysician:

9) Like Terry-Anne said, a shopping cart is not included in any of the MMO products that are sold, just as they’re not offered with SBI. I find it interesting that you brought that up, since no one who has commented here seems even slightly interested in selling their own goods (or drop shipping someone else’s goods). Everyone here seems to be interested in making sites for AdSense, where the ends (if any) justify the means. So why bother with this point at all? It sounds like it’s still a sore point for you, so maybe that’s why you mentioned it.

SBI has an entire Resources HQ, where they provide links to third party monetization and other software, often offering it for much less than what YOU can buy it at at the vendor’s site. Of course, NONE of those are included in SBI. What IS included in SBI is listed on the SiteSell Tools page.

A shopping cart is not mentioned anywhere there. To expect them to list everything that is NOT included in SBI is being very unrealistic.

10) I agree with you that “hate” is a counterproductive emotion. But if you read many of the anti-SBI posts, it is hard to understand this keen intensity to hurt, to mock, to attack with obscenities, SBIers (f’ing noobs!), SBI and Ken Evoy (“Hitler”?).

This is a good point, metaphysician:

“I guess some of us are perplexed as to why so many people see it as such an effective shortcut.”

I guess it’s because, to me anyway, SBI is not a shortcut. It’s just an effective way of building my sustainable web business. Ken Evoy is very clear: “There are 1,000 easier ways to build a site.” I am not building a site. I am building a business.

I guess you could say that SBI is the honest, patient, long-term, low-risk, Google-consistent, LONG-CUT approach to MMO.

There is much more to building a business than the MMO approach of fake content-and-link-networks, “small footprints,” “avoid Google detection,” and AdSense.

It is a methodical, steady approach to building businesses of all kinds. You build them from the ground up, laying one brick upon the next. The research is critical to pick the niche that is right for your time commitment, your passion and, most importantly, is monetizable.

I also like the idea of adding other monetization models. I don’t want to depend on AdSense, even though the money is good. Far too many people have been banned by AdSense, and have to settle for the little income they earn from all the AdSense wannabes.

I know that almost all MMO people do their thing just for AdSense. I realize it’s more of a game than a true business approach. I agree with those here who feel that MMO is MUCH higher risk than worrying about making a mistake with SBI. Once Google devalues this approach, ALL those sites and all that effort are gone.

If you do not learn from history, you become part of it. And the engines have always put those who manipulate their way to the top through “no-value-added” tricks, out of business. In a year or two, this debate will seem absurd.

Lis says Google won’t slap them all down permanently because “Google is a business.” But she defines business as “money at all costs.” Google does not define business that way. I realize that many in this world, big business or small, have lost sight of ethics and that the “ends justifies the means.”

But the engines, whether due to ethics or not, do not like to be manipulated such that their searchers are provided with poor results.

Most SBI owners do not see SBI as a shortcut. They use it as an ethical, effective way to build a long-term, profitable e-business to reach certain goals in their lives, whether trying to add a modest second income for the family, or quitting the day job, or building a content empire.

But if your methods are built on the quicksand of “small footprints” and “avoiding Google detection,” and if Lis’s business is dependent upon selling the MMO philosophy so that her content on this site can earn her income (such as her affiliate review for a product that builds a content site in seconds), and if on top of that most of her followers attack SBI and SBIers relentlessly, I am not so sure that those goals are truly valid. Or honorable.


P.S. I thought, when starting out on this post, that I was just going to make a few quick replies. It really does take time to elaborate properly and completely.


I am also a f***ing SBI “noob”, and, in principle, I agree with much of what you say. I also agree that much of the general MMO BS is unethical in the extreme.

But, to me at least, you appear to be painting both Google and SBI as being “whiter than white”. Not so. There is no such animal as a squeaky clean marketer. It simply doesn’t go with the territory.

The domain was registered on the 15th of September 1997. Now, 12 short years later, Google Inc. rules the world. Perhaps even owns it. Or so it would appear, given the way that so many people seem to be running scared of them.

The internet is the most powerful communications medium in existence. Google effectively controls the lion’s share of it. I, for one, can understand why so many people who have felt underprivileged and downtrodden all their lives (they are not all thoroughly bad eggs) would want to take advantage of the likes of Google when they get the chance.

And that is exactly what Google has presented them with. A chance. In the shape of Google Adsense. Google are not cleaning up the internet. They are cleaning up a mess of their own making.

And SBI sites do not all “contribute value” to the internet. An example? Domestic appliance review sites. Do you seriously believe that all the different models have been tested by the “review site”? Of course not. Many of them just get the articles written for them. Do the article writers test the appliances before they write the reviews? Not a chance. They look at the manufacturers websites for the specs, and add in a few “love it, hate it” comments here and there to make the “review” look authentic. And then poor old Mrs Smith thinks she has found a genuine review of the appliance she is interested in purchasing.

Does that “add value” to the internet? Not in my book it doesn’t.


Hi Bill,

I agree with you when you say that “SBI sites do not all ‘contribute value’ to the internet.”

If an SBI owner is creating fake content merely by changing the words of some other page that ranks highly at Google for a keyword he wants to win for, that is just as dishonest. It makes no difference if that page is part of a larger SBI site or whether it’s an MMO “money page.”

What about ANYONE who creates fake link networks using “waste-content” at Hubpages, Squidoo, etc. (but with the keywords in all the right spots, of course)? SBIer or not, that too is just as dishonest.

By the way, from what I can tell, it’s the link-networking strategies that represent the “new aspect” of the MMO group. I spent some time researching it at first when I found this thread (too much, I’ll admit, but I was considering this option until I fully understood it).

People have been copying the content of high-ranking sites since the Web began (I, too, have tried many ways to earn income online, including blogging, and have yet to succeed — SBI is the first to feel right to me, and for me).

So while “copying/paraphrasing leading content” is part of what the MMO gurus teach (one going so far as to say not to believe anything he writes), the real next-step in SEO manipulation is the use of link-networks that supposedly push mini-sites or “money pages” to the top of the SERPs.

The sophistication and organization by the gurus is impressive. They don’t give examples of their success, I suspect because they would not want Google to learn about them, so I can’t base my future on “reports of success” that I can’t judge. But, in any event, there is an amorality (or perhaps it’s an immorality) to this that I can’t live with.

In the old days, “copying-and-changing” was one thing. If you did 100 of these, that was only 100 pages. Enough work in itelf, but if you keyword-stuffed well, you might make a few bucks. The engines trashed that.

The strategy of adding link-networks to push those pages up the SERPS is a clever one. But the amount of Web spam required is appalling. If you do it “right” (if you can call this “right”) by using aliases and doing all you can to avoid Google detection and if you keep AdSense off your fake-link pages, then it must be challenging for Google to reliably detect and destroy.

But, just as it’s natural for SEO tricks to evolve, so is it for the search engine counter-moves to evolve. And remember, they have hundreds (thousands?) of computer search geniuses whose job it is to figure it out. And figure it out they will.

So let’s not worry about bad SBIers. They will get their comeuppance.

I know that SBI kicks out SBIers who violate copyrights (I have seen it in the forums). But if SBI owners are using more subtle (or not so subtle) tricks like this to make crappy BIG sites instead of tons of crappy “money pages,” they are just as doomed. But they won’t have SBI to blame, only themselves.

(I think that’s one of the reasons that Ken Evoy says that they track feeds, zines, etc. and report on what’s important. Keeping people focused on building the business instead of “keeping up” and being misled by so many gurus selling stuff, and the MMO crowd IS selling stuff, is, IMO, another advantage of SBI. But some people call that “cultish.”

And I can see how they can say that. Ken is asking SBIers to put their faith in the SBI service so they can focus on building businesses, not reading about it. We each have to decide how much to follow that advice. Personally, I like to read the ideas of others, but it likely slows me down. (So I get his point, from a business viewpoint.) )

On another point:

Regarding your comment about painting Google and SBI as being “whiter than white,” maybe I did. It definitely wasn’t intentional, as I don’t think that any monolithic business is good for the citizenry.

Google exists to make money. Their income depends on search, of course, as has every engine to date. And ultimately, that ad income originates from people RETURNING to Google. If another engine gives substantially better results, Google could be toast very quickly.

That is why I disagree with what Lis says. I do believe that Google cares about the quality of their search results, if only because the bottom line depends on it. I like to believe that they still believe in their “don’t be evil” motto, but I KNOW that they will act in their own self-interest every time. So protecting/improving the quality of their search results may not be the idealistic thing it was when they first started, but it is CRITICAL to keeping the money coming.

That is why the MMO strategy of low-or-no-value-added content that is driven by fake link networks will prove to have a short lifespan.

I understand your point about how some people feel OK about “taking advantage of the likes of Google when they get the chance.” I don’t believe, though, that it justifies the lack of ethics of MMO.

It seems to me that many people who “do MMO” draw the line far to one end of the spectrum, so they can feel OK about it. And it seems like many people are doing this. I do agree that MMO (and other abuses of AdSense) is Google’s problem to clean up.

Like you, I am unable to follow the advice of MMO, not only because I believe it’s short-term, because Google wants to continue “ruling the world.” But also because it’s just too soul-sucking (for me) to do all that stuff. With SBI, I’m building something. I’m adding my knowledge to the collective knowledge (and wisdom?) of the Web.

I’m not sure what should be done about SBIers who abuse SBI. Not all review sites are bad. If you know the field, do extensive research, and use Content 2.0 to invite visitors to submit an appliance review (to use your example), I can see how Google would consider that a high-value site, especially as it naturally generates off-page behavior by humans, which Google tracks.

Interesting point. It might be a good SBI forum thread, too.

Good “talking” to you. Best wishes with your site.


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