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.
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
- 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?
- 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
- 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
- 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;
- 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
- 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.
578 replies on “Site Build It Scam Review”
SBI sounds like YTB
Ken Evoy is like Tom Vu
I now am a member of Carol’s “with a wave of the hand” club. I spent a good deal of time answering each of “ex-SBI Guy”‘s erroneous statements at lissowerbutts.com/site-build-it-scam-review/#comment-6739
“SBI sounds like YTB”
There was no attempt to reply to any of my answers, so I assume that I replied to his concerns satisfactorily. Either that, or it was too much work to reply to my answers and it was easier to simply dismiss them and me with a wave of the hand and throw out another incorrect statement.
After all, it doesn’t take long to write 4 words.
And regarding that statement about YTB, I had to look up “YTB” and see what it was (it’s a multilevel marketing scheme). That kind of threw me off, since MLM is almost never about the product. It’s about the “opportunity.” That’s not what SBI is about. It’s about building a web-based business.
If you look at SBI-built sites, most of these businesses have nothing to do with Site Build It or Web marketing. Some may have something to do about business topics, but not about SBI. After a quick review, I found no more business sites than sites about gardening or entertainment or health or hobbies or any other major category I could think of.
If you want to do a review yourself, check out the Results and Case Studies pages.
(And compare that with most followers of MMO. A few do progrress to build non-MMO-niche sites. But by far, most are about making money online. After reading about MMO for a while, they start a business about MMO. And so do the next generation of readers. And so on and so on. It’s not an official ORGANIZATION or company or anything, but it’s certainly not about creating profitable, real businesses about the infinite variety of niches in this world.)
SBI site owners come from all walks of life. They earn income in a wide variety of ways. My guess (based on looking for SBI promo material on those sites) is that about half are not affiliates for SiteSell. This is very different from a typical MLM system, where every site is about that company’s products and opportunity.
Those who are SBI affiliates put a link in their footer, or have a banner or skyscraper ad on their site, or, at most, tell their story about how they use SBI. If you look at the sites, it is clear (to me, at least) that they earn most of their income from other means, NOT from promoting SBI.
I have seen comments in the forums from SBIers who tell friends about SBI and they are not even affiliates. Personally, I would ask a friend to go through my link and earn the affiliate commission.
And I have seen Ken, in his posts, advise SBIers flat-out NOT to create sites about SBI or just to promote SBI. He tells them to focus instead on what interests them.
But the point is that SBI is very different than MLM.
The other point, too, is that I could have ignored another wrong statement from “ex-SBI Guy.” But, somehow, leaving wrong statements out there just seems wrong.
Or I could have just answered that “SBI sites could not be more different.” But that reduces us to Grade 3 “yes it is” vs “no it isn’t.”
So again, it takes a long answer to rebut 4 words that make no sense. I thought I would hang in here and reply to these, but I’m beginning to see why other SBIers come and go.
It takes too much work to answer 4 words.
P.S. To those who have derided SBIers for spending so much time defending SBI, saying “why bother, just go about your business if it’s so good?” I guess, at least in my case, it’s a sense of fair play, of balance. SBIers really LIKE the product and the company because they see the value, they see the care, they see results. When something you like is attacked, you tend to defend it. I do, anyway.
Yawn… Lissie – no more of the Jeff “I need attention” guy… puts me to sleep.
Boring is also a reason for a wave of the hand…
.-= Griz´s last blog ..Great Grandmother Needs Help =-.
Oh not fair Griz – I now know what YTB is – I didn’t know either but couldn’t summon the effort to Google it – cause I knew someone would tell me LOL
Oh yeah and Jeff – absolutely nothing that I do in my actual business is about building MMO sites – this one is just for entertainment purposes!
I, too, found this thread because I was considering SBI!. I had not yet made my decision, so I am glad that I found it. At first, I almost decided to change my mind on SBI! after reading your review, Lis. Then I read Ken Evoy’s rebuttal which rang true. No one ever countered his points, but they sure attacked HIM (?Hitler, really).
And the pattern has been the same ever after. There are many excellent answers by SBIers to a variety of attacks on SBI!. The answers are either ignored as if they were never said or they are attacked, “a slap of the hand.” Even worse, the PEOPLE are attacked, many very personally.
But whether it’s a SLAP of the hand (MMO people insulting SBIers and their answers) or simply being waved off, not one MMO person has really wanted to argue on the merits. No one rebutted Ken Evoy’s two replies which basically turned Lis’s review to ashes.
And ever since then, including these last two replies by Griz and Lis, it’s either the “back of the hand” slap or simply waving SBIer answers off. I see why SBIers stop coming back here.
The main point that I derived from all this? I don’t want to bank my future on a philosophy that is so bent on fooling Google that their gurus talk about “leaving no Google footprint” and “avoiding detection at Google” and “we’ll talk about this offline since Google may be watching” and creating aliases when they build fake link networks.
No one has rebutted the BIG POINTS made by SBIers, and in the end they certainly come out on top here as most credible.
Jeff and Frank,
If you love SBI and want to risk $300 per site a year, that’s okay. It’s your money.
But SBI is not for me.
I would rather spend my money acquiring the skills (keyword research, content creation, etc.) which will enable me to find the best free or low-priced tools and thus build the most profitable sites at very little cost.
KWA (Keyword Academy) is helping me accomplish that.
As for YTB and SBI, it’s not about multi-level marketing. It’s about the hype. Both companies promise online success for a few hundred dollars.
With YTB, you are given your own travel website for $500 (and $50 monthly thereafter). It may sound great. But it is difficult for some unknown Referring Travel Agent (RTA) to compete against the well-known travel giants of Expedia and Travelocity. As for SBI, you are given all these seemingly awesome resources (Brainstorm It!, SiteBuilder! — with too many exclamation points). But when compared against easily available and excellent tools like WordPress and HostGator, SBI falls flat.
Basically, both SBI and YTB over-promise but under-deliver.
Site Build It is geared for product marketing, its not for everyone. But it does have value to a newbie. Its a great place to learn how to build a website, the videos are very good and informative. I know some people that have done well using SBI. There are some points to it that are good and some negative as with everything.
I would recommend wordpress over html because of the seo and powerful plugins available. Search rapidshare for wordpress themes, you’ll find some good ones. Just my 2 cents.
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As Dave above said, “Keyword Academy costs more than SBI for a year and only contains advice and vids – stop ripping us off.” Well, he overstated that because KWA also contains forums. The $1 promo is smart because many people just tend to let time go by and then, well, leave it for another month, and on and one. It’s a well-known marketing/sales technique.
But SBI! has all that KWA offers, AND also written guides, and HQs that are always kept up-to-date for everything from content-building to traffic-building to monetizing. Just look at tools.sitesell.com and compare with everything that SBI! does include.
I went ahead and joined, and now I’m really glad I did.
If you compare SBI! with KWA, you actually DO get all the SBI! tools for FREE, Ex-SBI! Guy. Actually, you get them for LESS than free.
Jeff talked about Keyword Academy above and didn’t see the value. As he said, you still “buy extra tools such as the article submitter at $67 per month.” He talked about the dishonesty and spamminess of the entire MMO approach.
Having read all this, I concluded that if you want to play a game that Google is likely to strike down and build a whole bunch of sites based on words that have a high ad value, using content of others since you don’t know anything about the topics, and then create those fake inbound links networks, then the MMO system is for you.
If you want to be pitched all kinds of tools that will cost you much more than SBI!, then the MMO system is for you. Because you WILL spend much more than “WordPress and free hosting.” You are already spending more than SBI!, Ex-SBI! Guy.
Regarding TYB (you still ignored all of Jeff’s other replies to you in his previous post, I see). There’s just one problem with your comparison to YTB.
As I said, I bought SBI! since my last post and it’s simply nothing like what you describe. It’s absurd to even defend SBI! against a post like yours, which borders on Lis’s original statement that SBI! is a “franchise.” Totally wrong.
I CAN say that SBI! is mindblowingly great. The first five days provide me with the research process AND all the tools to be sure about building ONE great business, in a niche that I know. I agree with Warren Buffett’s “eggs in one basket” quote above. What serious business person creates tons of crappy (and I quote one of the MMO gurus) little businesses at the same time, hoping that a few stick until Google shuts this all down?
Instead, find one thing, something you love and know. Turn THAT into a business.
I won’t be spending more, just focusing on building one great e-business. I compared that to what Jeff said about KWA, spending “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.
You are right, ex-SBI! Guy, about one thing that no one can argue about, when you say “SBI is not for me.” And you are not right for it.
Different strokes for different folks.
When I compare the MMO approach, an approach that my moral code could not live with, taking the content of others and re-using it, instead of taking what I know about my subject and adding real value (always “the secret” of building a business), I’m glad I decided to buy SBI!.
To anyone reading this thread, I highly recommend that you read the posts AND READ the replies to those posts, of Carol, Jeff and Terry-Anne above. OK, time to sign off now before someone slaps me and says I post because I need attention. Like I said, read the replies to Jeff, Carol and Terry-Anne. The replies to the posts will reveal as much as the actual posts.
Then you make the decision that is right for you. Best of luck to anyone who reads this deep.
*Who* is being sarcastic?
.-= Wendy´s last blog ..Jul 28, How To Give A Massage =-.
I have read a bit about suitebuilit.
I am not sure whether you are a competitor of sitebuildit or a product review site?
What do you sell apart from advice?
I have heard of shill reviews and fake product reviews. I know people get other people to write paid reviews of their products. Is that lawful, even if they havn’t used the product?
I am not sure where I stand on this.
When you say “it doesn’t make it any less of a scam”……and qualify it by saying “no it is not a traditional scam”, what exactly do you mean by that?
I have my own impressions of what a scam is and the way I read your post the first thing I would notice is SCAM. Is this word commonly understood in the internet community as meaning something other than it’s ordinary meaning?
Trust me this wasn’t a paid review! I am neither a competitor or SBI or a product review site. This is my personal blog where I talk about my attempts to make an full-time living online and try to help others by sharing my experience. A scam in my book is a product which over-promises and under-delivers – you will get what SBI claims if you pay your $300 – the point is (and there are 100,000 words of discussion on this page alone) that you can spend a lot less and learn how to make money online.
Lis, seems you created an immortal blog post here, well done! SY
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It just won’t die! Its a zombie – everytime I think its dead I returns to life LOL 503 comments and counting!
I, too, have been researching SBI and the other ideas that have been presented here.
I just read your interview over at http://www.retireyoungandwealthy.com/interview-with-internet-marketer-lis-sowerbutts/
You talk about how well you are monetizing thanks to the Site Build It! controversy. Since I do not see you monetizing with SBI! as an affiliate of theirs, and since the products do compete with SBI! (for example, you won’t need Keyword Assistant if you buy SBI! since there is so much more in SBI!), I’d have to disagree with you:
1) It was indeed a paid review. You claim it was not, but you are monetizing thanks to it. SiteSell did not pay you to write it, but you are earning income from it, significantly according to you. That makes it “paid” and no more trustworthy than those affiliate reviews that you deride because you, too, had an agenda.
2) You are a competitor, since you recommend competing products.
3) You say (about SBI!) that “you can spend a lot less and learn how to make money online.” But it’s clear that you cannot do that, or you would not in conscience be recommending products that cost more than SBI! but deliver much less.
I’ve not made up my mind one way or another, although I must admit that your post about “not a paid review” was inconsistent and that SBI! feels right to me, both in terms of what it delivers and its overall ethical business philosophy.
@Heather its not a paid review – a paid review is one which is written with the intention of earning either direct or indirect revenue from the product reivewed. I am not a competitor of SBI! or any other paid mentoring program – I am an affiliate for one – but not a competitor. BTW that affiliate program did not exist when I wrote this post – I didn’t know that it was going to be opened up a few weeks after I wrote this post – and yes I am an opportunist LOL
Your maths is way off – KWA does not cost more than SBI! – you can can access to their entire system for $1 – if you worked hard and applied yourself in that month that’s all you’d need to spend outside of $8 /month hosting and $8/year for a domain name. Why don’t you? If you don’t like it you can always join SBI.
Thank you for your fast reply. You say that your review is not a paid review because “a paid review is one which is written with the intention of earning either direct or indirect revenue from the product reivewed.”
As I mentioned, you confirm you are doing exactly that at this article http://www.retireyoungandwealthy.com/interview-with-internet-marketer-lis-sowerbutts/. You certiainly recommend competing products, whether you knew Keyword Assistant was coming or not, because the MMO philosophy is totally different from SBI! and the products you recommend and earn affiliate and/or advertsing income from are SBI! competitors. You just don’t need any of those products if you own SBI!.
Finally, Lis, I am sure that Keyword Assistant would go bankrupt if everyone did what you suggest, which is to start with them for $1 and then cancel. In fact, they count on inertia for enough people to keep paying monthly and they also do other upselling once you are in. Based on other reviews, I’ll give that one a pass.
Why don’t I try it? Because your review is equally biased, although it is very well written, compared to the negative attack reviews you write. Because once I start $8/month hosting, which I’ve tried before, with and without WordPress, I’ll be another 6 months down the line. I will have been sucked into buying more tools to make it easier to do, although right not I’m told all I need is 1) a domain name ($1); 2) $8/month hosting; and 3) $1 for one month of Keyword Academy, which you advise me to cancel after one month.
For less than $200 more, I can have much more with SBI!, and a way of doing business that I am much more comfortable with.
Lis, I do thank you for this post. It was challenging to read, painful at times to see so much anger back and forth. But it has calmed down into thoughtful analysis. And I thank you for challenging me now, too. Because when I re-think it, Site Build It! makes sense to me.
MMO and that whole approach outlined in earlier posts, and buying other tools, and avoiding Google detection, it may be for other people, but SBI!’s cost to benefit ratio and honest business philosophy make the more sense to me.
You must be joking.
SBI actually costs less than KWA? Are you serious?
KWA costs only $1 for the first month to start and then $33 monthly thereafter. Of course, it can add up within a year.
But after you’ve worked hard and have acquired the necessary skills, as taught by KWA, you can quit the academy anytime and use many of the free or low-priced tools on the internet. (As for the $67-a-month Unique Article Wizard, it is only a suggestion by KWA. Not a requirement.)
In contrast, SBI charges a hefty $300 per site per year. That is just too much for the average person who does not have much capital to begin with.
My guess is that you value Convenience. This is probably why you love SBI so much. With SBI, you get many online tools and resources in one place. Just pay $300 (or more) a year.
As for me, I value Freedom. This is why I prefer KWA above all. Through KWA, I learn the skills (keyword research, content creation, etc.) necessary to build a profitable website. With such skills, I can go anywhere in the world and create successful sites at low cost. (Of course, some of my sites will fail. But I can sell them off for a sizable return.)
As for you and other SBI guys, you are forever trapped into paying $300 (or more) a year. If you should quit SBI, there goes all your hard work and all that money. Luckily, I got out of SBI before the 30-day deadline for a full refund.
Ken Evoy is laughing all the way to the bank.
@Heather – what ex-sbi guy jiust sums it up nicely: freedom or convenience? In fact I’m not even sure its that – its about learning to think for yourself or join the cheer leaders? of course the KWA would go broke if everyone cancelled after one month – but seriously I believe that after 2 months if you are not covering your costs you should cancel cause you are obviously not doing enough work! Whether you build one site or 100 the choice is yours – the price remains the same (except for the domain names – but then of course you can just use free sites like blogger as well…)
Having read this completely, and researched the MMO philosophy as espoused by the major gurus you follow, you are obviously a competitor. You are an affiliate for many products that people do not need if they purchase SBI!. My comparison and cost analysis above points that out well https://lissowerbutts.com/site-build-it-scam-review/#comment-8076
As mentioned earlier, I have now bought SBI and continue to be blown away. The block-by-block builder that they use to train you is brilliant in its simplicity. It may not be necessary for the savvy who already know how to build a page that works for both the human and search engine visitors, but SBI! tells the savvy to just go ahead and use their own HTML editors.
Since either work, there’s room for all comers.
However, I read that Ken Evoy says, “if you are already successful, you don’t need SBI!.” So I would highly recommend that, if “the savvy” are not so successful yet, they should use that training wheels block builder, to correct any mistakes. After all, they must be doing something wrong.
In my previous post, I said “different strokes for different folks.” And that stands. If people like the MMO philosophy of creating lots of “money pages” or “splogs” or “micro-sites” and then fake link-networks, all by changing the content of others (even using automated tools to create bogus content), all while trying to avoid detection of Google, then SBI! is not for you.
And Lis, while you don’t sell a product that competes with SBI!, you and the rest of the MMO gurus certainly promote products that do. And they cost a whole lot more. Does that hurt the “noob” to internet marketing who has to succeed because they lost a job and have to earn money? Yes, it does.
And if you want to compare apples to apples in price, think about it this way:
Compare the MMO cost of building 20, 50, or 100 “micro-sites” (@$10 per domain and $100 for hosting, per year), plus the cost of using all the tools recommended by you and the other gurus (as I mentioned above), with the price of SBI! ($299 per year) to create ONE, serious authority site.
Warren Buffet said “put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket”. Even after the economic meltdown we’ve experienced, he’s still right.
Given the same amount of time, I’m convinced SBIers come out ahead in price and results. That’s why I purchased it.
One serious authority site?
So you would put all your eggs in one basket.
But, what if that serious authority site fails?
Jeff here, again, the “I need attention guy,” according to one of the MMO gurus who chose to insult me after I made a lengthy post. I notice more discussion on KWA, which I have tried, and reported on in an earlier comment.
That $67/month for the article creator and submitter is a VERY strong suggestion. Even you said so in your review, Lis. Otherwise, the entire strategy drags down because it becomes manual drudgery. By the way, KWA not only does their best to keep you subscribed (that IS their model to make money, after all), they also do their best to upsell you to more expensive products.
By the way, ex-SBI! Guy, you didn’t answer my other points to you in my earlier comment.
As for the “heat” that Heather talks about early on, having read this ENTIRE thread, it comes from two very different camps of thought. SBI! provides process, tools and updating for anyone to create, build and grow an increasingly profitable site. MMO strategies focus on building loads of low-or-no-value-added content that is driven by fake link networks. I explain why I feel that strategy is doomed in my second comment.
The MMO group does not like to talk about it. And, sooner or later, the Google hammer will happen. There’ll be no “told you so” from this SBIers. I’ll be busy, building my first authoritative business site. MMOers will be starting from Step 1.
I will answer the question from “ex-SBIer”, who asks why Matt is only making $8-$9 per month. Here is the entire context of Matt’s comment, way back many months ago:
“I am now making between $8-9$ a month! No lie, I wouldn’t make that up. So, ya, you have to make $300 a year to break even. I’m doing that in less than half a month. The rest…. Pure Profit!
And the beauty of it? My site is young! My income is growing steadily each month, and this is all while the economy is in shambles.”
He is making his $300 back in less than half a month. So he means $800-$900 per month. And he confirms that in his later comment, where he says:
“For the past 3 months I have made approximately 7 HUNDRED dollars each month. Right now, if the second half of March is the same as the first half, I should be over 9 HUNDRED dollars this month.”
The $8-9 is clearly a typo. Some folks either don’t read carefully enough, or choose to make a false point by ignoring the surrounding context and selectively quoting a typo.
Back to the earlier “heat,” Ex-SBI Guy’s “Ken Evoy is laughing all the way to the bank” comment reflects a jealous mindset.
I don’t mind if Google makes money off me, nor Apple. And I feel like I profit from my relationship with SBI!. So why should I be jealous of a company that makes a profit if it delivers what it promises? Most SBIers seem to feel they profit enormously, at only $299/year to build an entire business.
Lis, I have no idea what “join the cheerleader” comment means. I thought we were past that type of comment. I’ve read comments to posts by the guru (the one who felt that I needed attention). Now THAT is cheerleading. But so what? They like his preachings of “content doesn’t matter” and create tons of crappy little sites/blogs with fake link neworks that are basically Google-tricking. They like that, and he has a nice style. His fans won’t be so happy when the algorithms figure it all out. And, as I explained above, they historically always have.
Lis, regarding your “no freedom” comment, SBI! sets me free. SBI! has set a lot of people free, truly on the road to independence. I call THAT freedom. If, for some reason, an SBIer decides to move, any Webmaster who knows anything at all about hosting, knows how easy it is to suck an entire Web site, images and all, with all the folders in the exact site architecture, and ftp it to a new host. So we’re not trapped. SBIers are free Lis, and succeeding.
It’s a silly argument, anyway. Are you “trapped” with WordPress? No, you choose your horse and you ride it. If you succeed, you keep riding that horse. Ken Evoy is the first to say that if you’re making good money with whatever you’re doing online, you likely don’t need SBI!. If you’re not, you may be listening to the wrong gurus or you may have info overload. Maybe it’s time to try SBI! and follow it for a couple of months. And ask for a refund if you don’t like it.
Again, this whole post boils down to 2 camps: 1) build 100 splogs and fake link networks and hope something happens until Google shuts it down. Or 2) build a real business, carefully building one brick at a time, something that you will never have to “avoid Google with” and that you can feel proud of and earn excellent income.
Metaphysician here. Wading back into this discussion…
As described previously, I bought into SBI because I didn’t at the time have sufficient expertise to do what I wanted to do, and I liked the back-end tools. I then backed out when I found they didn’t offer the level of hosting I needed. I guess I was thinking bigger, much bigger, than they and the average SBIer do.
Here’s what happened after that:
I built a website, my very first. Not just any website either. I learned how to create a three-column layout where I can add any amount of content to any column, and the other two columns automatically extend in length to match the longest. (This is not typically the case with three-column layouts) I learned to make that layout liquid. It fills a browser window regardless of the screen resolution, so no one has to scroll to see the width of a page. I learned to make templates, so I can build pages from them and replace the items that are shared by all the pages with a couple mouseclicks, sitewide. I learned to do these things and more by Googling them.
We got hosting with HostGator. Business hosting with unlimited domains, unlimited subdomains, unlimited MySQL databases, unlimited bandwidth and all the other bells and whistles for $12.95 a month, or $155.40 a year. HostGator servers are reliable and powered by a wind farm. That green power and reliability mean a great deal to me.
The website has far too many items for sale to use PayPal buy now buttons, so we got a very cool shopping cart from AuctionCart for $19.95 a month, or $239.40 a year.
Total website operating cost is now $394.80 per year. I could have had SBI at $300, plus pay a second hosting service at least $9.95 month ($119.40 a year) to have the PHP and MySQL we need for the comments form and on-site search engine we have. With the shopping cart that’s $658.40 with SBI versus $394.80 the way I did it. Oh, yeah, the comment form was free. The search engine was a one-time expense of $99, and wouldn’t have come with SBI either. (And does it ever come in handy!) Buying the search engine either way, we’re $263 ahead compared to using SBI. That’s comparing costs using a really good web host compared to pricing it using a cheap, unreliable one like BlueHost with SBI. This is really apples to oranges and SBI benefits from that comparison. Apples to apples, where everything is equal, we’re $299 ahead of where we would be using SBI to do what we’re doing.
The main domain is a content site. There’s not much content there yet; I wanted to get the comments form going first and did that, with Askimet, just yesterday. There’s a store in a subdomain. The store has at least 400 items, all supplied by drop shippers. No inventory, no rent, no etc.
I learned to SEO the site by exploring resources like Bruce Clay, Rand Fishkin and his SEO Moz site, the Marketing Experiments people, SEO Zombie, and Court Tuttle from KWA. I gained a mountain of knowledge from all those generous people and it didn’t cost a cent.
The site went live June 2. I didn’t start working on the SEO details until July. Google hasn’t indexed over eighty of our pages yet. We’re not ranking well under the very competitive general search terms, but do very well with the long tail, boutique kind of searches. We started getting orders a few weeks ago, resulting from those kind of searches. Over the last week we’ve made over $1100 in sales. The profit on that is sufficient to pay all the website costs for the first year and then some. I’d say it’s a pretty good start.
What a tremendous learning experience it’s been. (Learned enough to earn another $700 creating a simple website for someone else, plus annual webmaster fees) I am SO glad I did it the way I did, because if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have gained so much knowledge. Of course the money’s nice too. 🙂 In this case it made very good sense to do it without SBI.
I guess you could compare SBI to a franchise: it’s designed for people who need a lot of structure and help through the process of starting a business. Otherwise, everything you need to know is out there, you just need to go get it. If you need your hand held, then by all means go with SBI. If you don’t, just go for it.
Peace to all.
Metaphysian that is a turely inspiring story thanks for sharing it
Well i have been following this thread for the past couple of months and it has been very entertaining.
My situation is: I am a software/Web developer and run a number of websites (some more succesful than others).
I saw sitebuild it a number of months ago but was put off mainly by this article from signing up immediatley. I followed this discussions and eventually weighing up my options decided that i would take the risk with SBI.
Now everyone is entitled to there opinions and people always have different experiences and i respect that and for me i though SBI was worth every penny.
The advice is excellent, the video tutorials are well structured and easy to follow, and the fact that all the tools are available in one place is excellent, The only downside is that the forums can be a little inactive at times.
For me personally i am glad i bit the bullet but that does not mean that everyone should. Like i was told right at the start before i paid any money SBI is not for everyone and there is no guarantee of making a living from it, having said that if you apply yourself and follow the advice you give yourself a good chance.
It is only relativly early days for me with SBI but i am happy and i am already exceeding what i expected from SBI.
I do think some of the more agressive posters from both sides should lay off a little tho . Everyone is entitled to there opinion and SBI does not fit everyone but some of the comments i have read are bordering on threatening.
I see SBI as something catered to people very new to the business. It is a one stop shop. The thing is that once you learn how things work and where to get tools cheaper then its not worth it. It all boils down to convenience and that costs. I am sure that some people will see results through SBI and some will not. In the end teh same applies to everyone. Knowing what I know about IM now there is no way I would buy it or would recommend it to anyone.
I am an SBI user. (Edit: and an affiliate that’s why I want you to follow my link) I have been using SBI for over 8 months now. I can give an honest review about them. I had used some other services before such as Wealthy Affiliate, Mccainzee Lee’s program and etc.
But SBI actually motivated me to build a profitable site. It’s true that their prices are high but you get a lot of things in return. I actually understood how to build a business online. I did not make tones of money in the past 8 months. But I can see that growing and the traffic grows every months as well.
Although I would not say it’s a bad service. It’s actually a pretty great service.
Ooops sorry had to delete your url and edit your comment – I don’t really want the unsuspecting reader to end up on a sitesell affiliate page do I ! LOL
the do-a-site on your passion and money will come model is just so wrong.
When you build a site around passion, as per K.E. .. you wil be sucker of SBI for life and continue to pay K.E. $300 a year!
“Do a site on your passion” is important, at least for beginners, it is hard to write good content about something you are not at all interested in. Monetizing this passion (I guess I end up in the spam filter now, having mentioned “passion” now two, oops, three times) is the real art, but I think each niche can be monetized, you just have to start thinking out of the box! As for SBI, I think as a tool it is too expensive, there are really cheaper ways around to learn the ropes and to keep full control about the sites you built! SY
.-= hospitalera@Blogging´s last blog ..Market Samurai Review =-.
Good one, although I’ve come to this page from another site but it’s a good review. I didn’t know much about Site Build It and perhaps this campaign is really for those who’re very new to Internet or desperate to get everything set up. I know getting your site up and setting it up is a bit time-consuming but not that much hard and also very cheap! Hosting is cheap, you can call it off whenever you want rather than go for contracts, domains are cheap and WordPress itself is free and you get a great support from the community to get yourself established first and then start spending huge sums of money on other things.
I have never used SBI, and Im not an affiliate. However I am looking to grow a profitable Ebusiness so I can quit my job and move to the tropics and work from home. I was trying to find some reviews on SBI and came across this blog – which offers ALOT of info. Im going to throw in my 2 cents.
This blog is all well and good, but SBI looks like a blessing to me. I have been trying for over a year to get my sites making money and I haven’t made one sale, nor am I making any money from ads. I get about 1000 unique visitors per month, but NO MONEY, nada. I have read tons of books, info online, tried ALL the different keyword tools, etc. I have spent hours and hours on this stuff and it’s frustrating. Im bogged down with technical stuff and SEO, etc. I spend days pulling my hair out! I have tried so many different things it’s ridiculous – and I’m not stupid. The best thing that has come out of my business so far will be a nice tax write-off! lol. My friends keep saying to me “dude, you’re spending all this time on these websites, when are you going to start making some money?”
Right now I spend $39/month for a program called Wealthy Affiliates, which hasn’t done anything for me, and I also spend $67 a month for a program called Unique Article Wizard, which doesn’t do anything either. That’s over $100/month!! So $300 for the year…that’s CHEAP! Shoot, I’ve spent thousands buying other products that haven’t worked, as well as putting in hundreds of hours, which equates to money too. AND, on all of my sites I am using targeted long tail niche keywords, and I’m using exact match searching. I’m doing tons of article marketing, pinging blogs, etc. However every day I check my Ad sense account and it says a BIG FAT ZERO! Everyday, I check my affiliate programs and I’ve had NO SALES! And like I said above, Im getting about 1000 unique visitors a month. So, it’s discouraging to say the least. It makes me want to quit, BUT I know there is a way and I’m determined to reach my goals.
HERE IS WHAT I AM GOING TO DO!
Despite the negative press on SBI here, I am going to purchase the system and try it for the year. I am going to then give it a totally independent and objective review. I will make a blog about my experience with it. I WILL NOT have any affiliate links in the blog and I will not sell anything in the blog. It will simply be an honest review of my experience with the system.
The blog will be at http://www.mysitebuilditreview.com. I just bought the domain name at godaddy. HOWEVER, dont go there yet, because there is nothing there yet! lol. But I’m going to buy site build it today, and start using it and I will post all my experiences with it and again, I WONT BE SELLING it. It will be an honest independent review. Ill also post here when I post my first blog.
OH, PS…in regards to the above post – there will also be NO LINKS to site build it. Again, an honest review.
Well it better be Matt otherwise the link won’t be staying I can assure you! I hear your frustration – I haven’t used Wealthy Affiliate myself but haven’t heard much good about them. Unique Article Wizard on the other hand is just an article spinning/distribution service which many people use to good effect. However it won’t make you money directly you need to have chosen the right niche for that.
It sounds to me that you have the technical skills to build websites but lack the skills to actually find a “buying keyword”. From all that people have said on the thread above the emphasis at SBI is on how to build a website and add content. You know that all ready. You need to learn how to chose topices which will get you buyers, not readers. There are twor resourcdes advertised on this site which will do just that and neither cost anything like $300 – but to each his own – good luck!
Your intentions (with your SBI review blog) are sincere, I’m sure.
But I will be very surprised if your blog doesn’t flounder long before you have given an “honest review” of every aspect of SBI. There is much more involved than mere software. You will find that out for yourself before too long, unless you are in the fortunate position of having a previously acquired skillset or knowledge that can be readily “cashed in” (many people initially think they do, but then find that they don’t, and that is the biggest problem).
You will be helping some. But, even if you are “honest”, you will be misleading others. Because, no matter how hard you try to be impartial, your “review” will be subjective, not objective. It will be your opinion. Nothing more. You will be helping those who are on the same wavelength as yourself. Those who are not will still be as lost as ever.
Some people take to SBI like a duck takes to water. Some splash around in the shallow end for a long time, almost drowning, before finally scrambling to the side and giving up.
For some – who don’t see themselves as experts on any specific subject – the soul searching SBI evokes can be downright painful. You either quit, or you “hang on in there” until you come out the other side. You learn to control SBI, instead of it controlling you.
SBI tells you “about yourself”. An “honest review” is not going to tell anybody anything about themselves.
Success with SBI is far more about individual personality and personal circumstances than it is about the “tools” it provides.
The only way for anyone to know if it is for them is to try it. They will never know by reading other peoples’ “reviews”.
SBI is not about software. That is incidental. It’s about mindset. If you don’t have the required mindset then all the software in the world isn’t going to help you. Even less so, an “honest review” of it.
@Bill – oh come on “SBI tells you about yourself”? That’s (I think- I can’t be bothered review 100,000 words to check) a new claim even for SBI. SBI claims to be a business in a box – they tell you to do what they tell you to do – if you like following orders I guess it might make you happy – probably not much money – but happy – but it certainly won’t tell you anything about yourself!
I agree that walking away from comfortable, easy, well-paid employment and deciding to build your own business online is an adventure which will probably teach you a lot about yourself – but I don’t think even SBI’s most ardent admirers claim that for SBI!
I’m speaking from experience. You are not. That’s the difference. 🙂
It appears that you are suggesting that I may not have the “mindset”. If so, you are ignorant to suggest such a thing without knowing anything about me. Not to toot my own horn, but you would be hard pressed to find many people that have achieved the successes I have – financial, personal, spiritual, etc. The “mindset” is the least of my worries. I am one of the most driven, positive, persistent, success driven individuals you will meet. And I am an “expert” in many things and have valuable information to share. That is not the issue Bill.
I think the fact that I get unique 1000 visitors a month to my site considering I have had no previous SEO training or website building experience, speaks for itself. The fact that they are not converting to sales is the problem and SBI claims it will help me with that.
SBI tells me if I follow there instructions then I will make money, I am paraphrasing of course, but that is what it says.
Although I agree with you that the review will be my opinion, your argument holds no merit, because ALL reviews are an opinion. All reviews are going to have subjectivity in them. That is like saying a review of an automobile is going to be based on personal preferences – if the person is large, they are going to have a different opinion of the car then someone that is small – so the review will help other large people (on the same wavelength), but it will confuse the rest. Your argument could be applied to any product or service out there. So are you saying reviews are just worthless?
I will say this…opinion or not, I am not going to have any financial incentive, which makes the review as honest as it can get.
And by the way, “soul searching”? I have to agree with Lis on that one. That’s pretty funny. lol. You really want to soul search – go do a water fast in the desert by yourself for 7 days. Then tell me about soul searching.
It seems to me that you have corrected most of the bad stuff you say about sitebuildit! There are many ways to get going on the web. “Scam” is heavy word and I would associate it with “con”. Sorry, but I really can’t agree with you that sitebuildit is a scam or con.
With a scam you lose your shirt. Site build, it appears to me, want to help beginners get going and they do say it’s not for people who are already up and running a successful web business.
Lis, it’s a shame the way people who reply in support of SBI! are either ignored or shut down here. Calling Jeff someone who wanted attention was one example. No one in the “anti-SBI!” camp bothers to actually reply to each of the good points, they just respond with an insult or change the subject.
And what experience did you, Lis, actually have with SBI!? You’ve already admitted that most, if not all, of your points in your initial review were wrong. You replaced them with even more inaccurate “facts” and accusations.
You have never used SBI!. So I don’t see how you speak from experience compared to Matt. There’s no difference there. The difference is that a very clever campaign was organized by the “Make Money Online” group to be found for keywords that SBIers would search for before purchasing.
Articles were posted to try to mislead people to a system that is all about spamming the Web with fake content and inbound links — something that Google will ultimately close down because it is not in their best interest to deliver low-value pages in their search results. When your followers discover your recommendations lead to getting shut down, they will ultimately
be as upset with you as you have managed to get them angry at SBI!.
Matt, go to it. You’re thorough. You work hard. Just follow the Action Guide and you’ll do well. It is NOT a mindless “do this, do that” process that they are claiming, as if you have no choice in how to build your business. You have to work. You have to think and create your own REAL content and basically “keep it real” as you build an e-business that lasts.
I’m learning more and more as I go through SBI!. It’s amazing. I’m not only learning the important stuff (i.e., the process), but the big picture information, too, of how this all fits in. I’ll never feel like I have to avoid detection by Google, that’s for sure (something that seems to be discussed in so many threads in this anti-SBI! group).
It’s happening all over again.
The SBI suckers, oops! I mean supporters, are out in force just like before.
Ken Evoy is desperately marshaling his trolls, oops! I mean troops, to counteract the effectiveness of Lis and her message.
Ex-SBI Guy, you are merely proving the point that I made just above your latest post.
You dismiss without any logic or thought that shows work. You throw out false accusations and insults, making stuff up as you go along. You do that regularly throughout this thread.
But you don’t actually debate any of the good points that those who are “pro-SBI!” make. Other than the fact that I just hate to see a great product trashed, it’s hard to figure out why I’m trying. I do see why other SBIers have bowed out.
You are by far the dumbest and most incorrect person I’ve ever had the unfortunate chance of reading a post about SBI on. I can’t believe people on here actually applaud you for such idiocracy.
I’ve got friends who have used SBI before and they now have sites that generate them hundreds of thousands a year. They don’t charge $300 for support they actually provide you with the SEO and content for your site to get to the top of Google.
I’m an experience Internet Marketer myself and with their help and my knowledge it won’t take me more than 1 year to get my site up from scratch to the first page of Google for my chosen keywords.
Your opinions are the most biased unknowledgeable scraps I’ve ever read in my life.
You sit there talking about how people promote a product and they haven’t even used it? HA here you are talking crap about a product you yourself haven’t given a try. You’re a hypocrite!
Good luck on your quest to feeling good about yourself through carnage and lible/slander about successful people!
*Still in shock about you…
Hmm I googled the name you are claiming – ezine author article account suspended, twitter account has one online poker link, seo site suspended by homestead. Kinda not really taking you seriously sunshine! Oh I see from your goarticles you couldn’t even read EzineArticles TOS well enough to get your articles approved at the best article directory on the web. Hope you clients aren’t too disappointed.
Really, 12 months to rank your site on first page – really, really impressive
Just wanted to clear up the crap that Google returns when you do a search on my name. First of all I go by a different alias as an Internet Marketer since online you can create any image or logo or brand and not have to give too much personal information. So running a search on my real name is not going to bring you any results worth talking about.
Next, yes I recently got one of my accounts on ezinearticles.com suspended, but I spoke with support yesterday and they are removing the hold. It seems one of my articles had broken links and it was an error on their end when they first approved it.
Next, I signed up on Twitter to see if I could get exposure on articles I was writing for clients, unfortunately I didn’t get much
exposure on one of my poker test articles so I tried to cancel but couldn’t find the link to do so.
And finally, Homestead is a hosting company with a sitebuilder application. For the past 6 months I hosted a site called AdlerSEO.com there where I offered services to small businesses, recently I decided to narrow the niche and so I cancelled my own account. Plus I was overpaying for the site hosting anyway.
So that should clear up what you find on my name.
Anyway, I appreciate the informative review on me, but please don’t judge a book by its cover.
You made me mad too that’s why I researched you 🙂 I totally understand about EZA – though they do have quite good customer service and will fix stuff when they got it wrong – so I am pleased that worked out for you. And yes twitter is pretty much a waste of time. Homestead I’ve seen advertised often so I’m not surprised its overpriced – I use and recommend hostgator – ooops sorry I wasn’t going to sell you anything – but you have a good URL there you should throw up a quick blog and at least a “coming soon” so Google doesn’t deindex it .
And oh yes I have spreadsheet to keep my online identities separate – I only threw this blog on this url because I thought I already had it – never thought anyone would read it, didn’t know about online reputation at the time LOL
Good answer, Lissie. There are several Marshall Adlers when
you search Google. But since this one claims to be a Net marketing “pro,”
you are likely correct in your research conclusions. I would push my
own conclusion one step further, though, because SBI! does NOT provide
you with “content for your site.” What is that about?
Personally, my conclusion is that he is not an SBIer since all the
things that you point out that he has abused online go directly against
everything SBI! teaches. If he is an SBI! owner, he’s not paying attention.
By the way, his claim to jump to the top of Google for
“his chosen keywords?” This is a useless claim. If I could
get to the top 10 for the 300 most lucrative keywords for an
extremely lucrative, highly competitive NICHE (an entire niche,
not just one micro-blog like the MMO gurus promote), I’d be very
happy if it took me one year. Along the way, I’d be making more
and more money, of course, and the future would be looking rosy.
But, based on the rest of Marshall’s post, I don’t think this
is likely. While I agree that you are unfairly biased towards a
truly terrific product, he should just stick to the facts and not
make crazy claims and nasty insults.
I am grateful for the responses. It’s pretty hard to get your point across when all the fish are friends…everyone seems to stick up for each other here.
Yes I will admit that I am not an SBIer myself but that your post is the only negative one I’ve found out of 30 or so reviews I’ve read.
And yes, when you Google my name there is a lot of negative BS and some suspended accounts etc. However I do not base my success on what results come back from a search on my name. I base my success as an Internet Marketer on the people that I have helped to succeed as a small business and the money that I deposit into my bank account each week.
Finally, after some careful thought and realization it was wrong of me to attack your character. I really do apologize as that isn’t who I am, I just get a little angry when I’m just about ready to buy into something and I find someone’s negative review that sort of makes me regret my own decision to move forward.
I’m sure many would agree with me that we just want to be successful and with all the hype and gurus online, SBI for me came as an avenue to where I could really start an online business. Not a get rich quick but an opportunity to go somewhere in life.
Please accept my apology for the name calling and anger expressed in my previous message and I wish you a great weekend.
God bless 🙂
@Marshall – I wrote the review BECAUSE there were no negative reviews. Its impossible for a company to be in business for any significant length of time – there is always something someone doesn’t like – its the nature of life and business. After writing the review I found out WHY there were no negative reviews – SBI has an organised group of volunteers who actively seek out reviews and post up the canned response to every know criticism of SBI! There were also threats of legal action – even the threat of legal action will make most bloggers take down their review. The of course there is an affiliate program so most of the reviews you have seen are “advertorials” not reviews.
After I sought advice of the ability for a US-based entity to sue an Australian blogger with a blog hosted in the US my friends came to my defence – and yes I personally got very mad – I made mistakes in the original review and subsequently corrected them but I am a passionate believer of free speech and I really don’t like bullies which is what the “attack squad” are – bullies.
If you trawl through all the comments (there are 100k plus words on this page now) – you will get almost certainly a VERY balanced view of SBI as there are both current supporters and former SBI users who comment at length regarding their personal experiences – and thats the best testimonial or not you can get. My friends have probably dominated in the later comments but start at the top of the comments and you will see a wider view. I would point out that Ken Envoy is the ownder of SBI and the guy in the bear suit – Grizzly – ranks high on page 1 for “make money online” with a common, ugly blogger blog – you might want to note what he says.
Thank you for your apology – that’s first I don’t think I’ve ever had an apology on this thread yet, its just a business there is no need to be personal about it 🙂 Yes there is a huge amount of hype and bullshite out there. But it sounds to me that you are still looking for the magic bullet – sorry there isn’t one. If you want to work hard and learn you will make money online – but there is no one program that will do it for you.
Do yourself a favour – keep your hand in your pocket (does that make sense to Americans? – means don’t buy anything) – take a look around my blog – I’m no expert but I link out to those that are – and I yes I sell make money online products online too – but don’t buy them (yet 🙂 )- read – read Grizz’s blog, read Vic’s blog (if its recovered from its hosting problems today).
You clearly have been in this game for a while – you know how to sell because you are doing consulting – that’s the hardest skill of all to learn – the rest of its much easier. Most people fail with online business – and most people quit just before they succeed. Don’t quit – but do yourself a favour – spend a few days reading here and the blogs I link to. Feel free to ask questions – then sit back – think about where you want your business to be, what skills you need to take you to that level, and then decide what, if anything you need to take you to that level. There are no get-rich-quick schemes that work long term and/or are legal. But there are LOTS of way to build your business online. SBI claims to build businesses not websites but they say their way is the only way. That is not true there are many, many ways and some will work for you and some will not – you just have to find the right way.
Hey maybe next week you will buy SBI – that’s cool but you will have made a reasoned decision to do so – so don’t be mad my review – use it as opportunity to think a little harder thats all !
I just wish there was a straight forward way to find out if SI is a scam or not. I’m tired or reading all the basing.. and shi*… stuff…! I need a way to make money from home.. well back to my wading throught the BS.. heheh
TRY IT. Haha then you can decide 🙂
On balance, I agree with the article. I went to the SiteBuildIt site and could not decipher exactly what their service was because I was bombarded with adspeak. That made me instantly suspicious. Scams come from all directions and in all shapes and sizes.
I checked it out because a friend of mine told me of another person she knows was using this system and making money. It felt hinky, so I read some reviews about it and verified my bad vibes.
I am a graphic and web designer and know well the challenges of building and managing web sites.
While this review was helpful, I don’t agree about the cost of doing a web site. Generally, you need professionals to build great websites and they don’t come cheap. WordPress is great for blogs and I have seen some use it as a CMS and incorporate e-commerce capability. But it is not the only solution nor is it always the right solution.
My recommendation for those seeking a great site: Have a decent marketing plan, save your dollars and hire a bonafide developer, designer and an SEO expert. There are no shortcuts and you get what you pay for. If this doesn’t work for you and you don’t take your marketing seriously, then you should question whether you should be in business at all.
I disagree re WordPress being “just” for blogs – WordPress is a CMS – are you saying a sophisticated website is JUST html/CSS/flash/javascrpt/php – I don’t think so! Well I hope not anyway because then the poor owner would have to be hiring a “professional” everytime they wanted to change a word!
I wish I would have read this before taking the course. I took the course spent 500 dollars only to find out that our instructor did not even have his own website complete. YES HE WAS TEACHING THE CLASS but we didn’t finish the program because HE HIMSELF HAD NOT FINISHED IT. Interesting isn’t it. Also If I wish to continue BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS USING THE INTERNET I get to pay a $299+tax annual fee using SBI.
I completed the course and am barely any better off if I choose to not use the SBI program. SBI teaches reliance to its programs not How to build a successful business using the internet yourself.
BASICALLY I didn’t learn how to build a successful business using the internet. I got to learn how to use SBI! Not only did their manuals beat around the bush, but I don’t know how to do anything without SBI!
F*CK Y** SBI! Thanks for the misleading!
SO to continue.
My last article was slanderous and I apologize.
SBI In my opinion is a legitimate business, however they do not teach you how to build a personal autonomous business, rather you end up being reliant on their product. I found the advertisements misleading ( perhaps i miss read them?)
In all I cannot say whether it is better to use SBI or not, however I can say that their teaching program which I attended at a local college was not great for learning to build a business that does not need their products to be built.
The “Build a successful business using the internet” course teaches you how do “build a successful business using the internet USING SBI”
I had a bad gut feeling throughout the experience and now it has been verified.
The “older” I get on the internet, the more I think that for building / having truly successful sites you need to build sites you would like to find yourself. Just ask yourself, if I google “xyz” would the site I have be what I hope to find, or not? Just my two cents, SY
I am So confused right now. I am unemployed due to my job being outsourced overseas – twice – last year AND this August (I’m in New Zealand) and just cant get a job anywhere (I’m 49), I am an artist, but no one seems to have money to spend on my art at the moment.
So this SBI sounded great to me. Thanks Lis for giving your opinions as its good to hear honest ones and not all ‘Spam’ comments – not saying they are all like that, as I’m sure some people are really making good money from it. I just made $20 NZ from Google Ad-sense which should buy 5 loaves of bread when it arrives. I have registered to EVERY search engine there is and get on average 5-10 hits a day and maybe one Google click every couple of days.
My daughter has to pay for her own education as i have NO savings, due to a nasty divorce.
I’m just scared as I have $2,000 (NZ) redundancy money left before I jump off a bridge. My Unemployment benefit is $300 week, and my overheads (weeded right back) are $500 week.
I wish had HONEST information on what I should do as if I spend $300 on this I am that much closer to doom and destruction.
If there’s a SBI angel out there, I’d like to know.
Don’t, just don’t spend your last money on site build it, you can get the same and better results when you just go with self-hosted niche blogs. Do your keyword research (Keyword Academy and Market Samurai are the best tools), buy your domains, set up wordpress blogs and write as much and as best content you can. Read Lis blog, read through Griz blog, even read through my blog, give us a shout and I think we all are happy to help you out. I don’t say that SBI is a scam, but it is hopelessly overpriced to say the least. Regarding selling art, have you tried Zazzle or Cafepress? What kind of art are we speaking? Photography? Painting? There are a lot of possibilities out on the internet of making money the honest way, just ask 😉 SY
My thoughts as well Lorecee – seems about once a week one of them show up to add yet another epic tale of nonsense. Think sales are down these days for Ken and the affiliates? 😉
.-= Griz@Hiya Lizzie´s wrote recently ..Griz’s First Video =-.
I see that the SBI Rapid Response Team has been given the all clear signal to go around to sites that say bad things about Dr. Ken and his product and overwhelm them with long, long posts full of canned script material about SBI (rewritten in their own words, of course). Can’t say they’re lazy, though–just very strange. I love chocolate, my boyfriend, and my cats, but imagining how anyone could love a bunch of electrons so much as to devote this much energy to defending it makes me feel a bit ooky, ya know?
No doubt Ken unleashed the troops quietly this time, rather than posting it in the SBI forums where everyone can see. The idea is that most readers who come here via Google will just scroll down to the bottom of the thread and see all the praise and adulation of SBI, while the truth is much farther up on the page.
Lissie, maybe it’s time to cull out a “best of” comments section and append it to this thread somehow, before we all drown in the SBI Rapid Response Team bullshit. I hope life is going well for you. Good luck with the move.
Hey Griz: sales have to be down if they’ve resorted to working in pairs like David and Clive up there.
Not to be confused with Bonnie and Clyde, of course LOL!
If you have made it this far down the page – you are probably wondering WTF? Yes there aren’t too many blog posts with over 100,000 words on them – but this one is mamoth – thank’s entirely to the heated arguement in the comments. Here is the summary for those who haven’t got all day.
1. SBI is an expensive and “old school” product. You can do what SBI does and a whole lot more by using the free software WordPress (for beginner tips check out my new site http://netmarketingtoday.com )
2. What is really disturbing about this post is not the fact that my original post wasn’t a polished piece of prose – its the religious furore with which the SBI supporters club (called the active response team and yes they do exist). descended on this post when it was first published – I was a no one – with a blog not ranking for anything – but I was threatened with legal action, distruction of myself and family and wished dead (by cancer) – if you think this is a sane response to something which is JUST A BUSINESS then you probably deserve SBI. An that was why when I wrote this post there was NO even slightly negative critiscism of Site Build It! on the web – nothing – a product that had been around for years not one word of this works but… or this is not a good investment because … They had been bullied into submisssion – I hate bullies.
3. Although I hadn’t used SBI myself plenty of people appeared to have and many of them didn’t have a good experience see here or here
4. My friends hate bullies – and they and I now (thanks to this furore) know a lot more about SEO than most of the SBIers. SEO is why this post is #1 in Google if you search “site build it scam” #2 for “SBI scam” and #10 for “site build it review” (all without quotes) – in fact that’s how you found this post in the first place. There are quite a number of other critical posts all of which are a response to the bullying behavour of the SBI attack dogs here. Grizzly explains what happened here
5. There are no short-cuts to making money online – there is no one system. But there is one thing for sure – you have to learn to make your own decisions – something that SBI most certainly does NOT teach. The Internet is a fast changing place – eBay substantially changed the method of paying affiliates in October – it destroyed some people’s businesses, others saw jumps in their income – the fallout continues. This month (Dec09) Adsense CPC seems well down – probably because of the dire state of the US economy. No rigid “business in a box” model will teach you how to deal with that.
If you are a beginner looking to make money online then here is the bad news:
The good news its that entirely possible to make money online and there is a vast number of different ways to do it. You also need little capital to start – if you fact you can start for free. If zero is your budget head over to Grizz’s blog and read it – it will make this page look short the information is all there. If you have some money then consider signing up for the The Keyword Academy which will cost you $1 for the first month and around $30/month ongoing – its no hype, no bullshite, how to chose the right keywords and rank in the search engines for them. Once you can do that – you can build all sorts of different types of business.
If you are flat broke and worried about the bills/mortgage etc You don’t need a busiiness – you need a job. If you have a skill such as design/ writing/ coding – then get on the freelance boards – be prepared to work long hours for little pay – in the beginning – but there is really no reason why you can’t make a few hundred US$ in the next few weeks if you work your arse off. Many business owners on the Internet are constantly looking for people to write articles, submit links and do all the other boring day-to-day stuff. Its not fun or sexy – but it will get you paid. Oh and it may be too late to say it but – stop spending. Sell stuff you don’t need, move to a cheaper house, a cheaper town, a cheaper country. Stop subsidising the kids who don’t need it -stop pretending to family and friends that you can still afford the lifestyle you had when you had a job. Stop worrying about what others think – thats the single biggest reason why people get into debt and fail financially.
Reduce your lifestyle costs, develop your online skills and you will never be without a way to make enough money to cover you living costs – and that folks is true freedom! And as Yoda so famously said: Do or do not, there is no try!
I bought Site Build It! about 4-5 times. I got a couple of the two-fer-ones too. I always had a hard time making it through the materials. I would have to practically read a book to accomplish one single simple thing. Yet, I have studied Peachpit and Lynda.com books on, and know how to use, HTML and CSS. You can make a link in a real webpage way faster in HTML and CSS than by getting through the books and videos used in SBI!. Because after that you get to be faced with the uphill climb on learning a content manager, this is after you puzzled out the keyword blaster that tells you there are many keywords to slog through to decide on your domain.
My earnest advice? Never fill up a content product with fluff and say that it’s not important that you don’t get it all now, if you don’t you will get it later. And call that “over-delivery”! Take all the doo doo out and make it really completely understandable and doable from the beginning and bit by bit as you go along. Quit pretending that only you know something and other people are not as good and are even stupid if they don’t get all the things you are not able to clearly impart to others in a usable fashion.
In all fairness to Ken Evoy, I thought he had a real product there and I guess if you can make it through the learning curve you might make it. But I found out that for me it added a lot of complexity and wasted time and money. I mean, literally, I bought it for like 4-5 years and never did dip with it, much less get a business going. I sell stuff faster on eBay.
I’m sorry, too. I can’t imagine forking over the dough one more time to not use it for a year and go no where. I’ve done that at least twice. I’m sorry.
I didn’t start with Site Build it, I had my site with an outfit that provided “Coaching” and hosting…I was not happy after the “Coaching was over, and made about $3.00 in adsense,but thats another story…So I saw Site Build it, and I thought that is the way to go for a newbie like me just learing how to build websites….I transferred my domain over, and then I looked at the build it instructions. To time consuming, so I hired a person that builds these sites (for a hefty FEE!) and he built my site for me….except, after it was done, he explained that my pages were in one catagory, and I had to add more just to put on Adsense! I had only my 3 offers for fish oil through Fish oil companies, and never did make anything off that site. I used article marketing exclusivly, and got a decent amout of visitors to my site, but no one as buying anything. I finally had enough, and told them I want to move my domain elsewhere, got it back, and got a whole new website up and running, which is now seeing some Adsense income come in. Also, no rediculous hosting charge. Good riddance to Sit Build it, I will NEVER DO BUSINESS with them again!!!
I just signed with SBI because I have no knowledge of how to build a website. It is difficult! I am still reading and watching their video but after reading few blogs on SBI and website ownership I am changing my mind about the whole thing, I might just drop out and try to get my money back, I have signed couple of weeks ago and I hope I can get full refund.
My question; I have no knowledge of html (and I am not willing to learn it, I hate it!!) what should I do? My website is about trading and I like monetize it and sell my eBook too, I tried to hire a website designer they asked for so much money. If I buy software will that be easy to use? I appreciate an answer soon so I can drop SBI before it’s too late
I don’t write html either – that’s kinda like 1990 stuff :-). You can set up a site using WordPress and use it to promote your e-book extremely easily – yes you will have to learn how to do it – but there are a zillion free resources out there and starting with a good hosting company which offers a “one click install” for WordPress won’t cost you more than $8/month. I have some more specific beginners information on setting up a website at my Legitimate Online Businesses blog
The website is the easy part of this business – the hard part is finding the right keywords to rank for – particularly in area as competitive as trading! Good luck whatever you decide – and yes I do believe that SBI will honour their 30 day money back guarantee period
This has been a very informative post. I think there is hostility on both ends. Some of you guys should understand that everyone is a “fing noobi” at one point or another. I don’t disagree with the criticism of SBI. I was looking for a business, having made the same salary for about 10 years, and desperately wanted a way out. I read 4HWW by Tim Ferriss, and I should have just stuck with that game plan. He outlines everything completely. Instead, I continued to read, and came across “Internet Riches” by Scott Fox, a pretty good book, but who recommended SBI as one of the ways to get going online.
I took the SBI plunge and was very excited to get going. It is hard to convince someone that a business model does not work when you are in that state with the blinders on. I probably wasted about 2 years following the action guide, putting up more content, and more content, up to 100 pages, and making anywhere from $2 to $10 a day. My traffic has doubled to average about 400 unique users a day. Everyone keeps talking about traffic, and more traffic on SBI, but I agree with these posts that traffic does not mean much if you are not making any money. SBI is similar to MLM in that everyone is excited about this or that, but when you ask them how much money they are making, crickets, and then – build more content!
I very recently realized that the business model was not working. I lost sleep over it, because I knew I had spent two years of very rigorous, hard work earning just about zilch. Visitors were simply getting a lot of good free information, and then leaving. I should have just followed 4HWW, tested the market, put up a page with Dreamweaver (which would have looked much better than my clunky SBI site), and then start selling the winners and dropping the losers for high gross margins.
It was very humbling and somewhat disheartening when I realized I had taken a wrong turn, and spent a lot of money in the process. It was a hard lesson, I was a “Fing noobie” just trying to find my way in the midst of all the advice and confusion. I do not have the knowledge many of you do, but that is the path to knowledge, isn’t it? I decided to learn Dreamweaver, subscribe to Lynda.com to learn CSS and other stuff, and start testing the market properly.
Vic, calm down dude! You have a lot of good information to share, but your anger is distracting me. A lot of these guys are in the same boat I am. I tried it, and realized later is was not working. Everyone is looking for something to work, and a lot of these guys like Matt put a TON of work into building a website. If SBI is one thing, it is very very very hard work. Unfortunately, most people will not get paid very much for it. It is really not there fault that SBI can potentially steer people in the wrong direction (just follow the action guide and build more free content!) instead of looking critically at the business plan. Have some compassion. Maybe you have info to share that could help people who are just trying to figure it all out like me.
These posts are great in that everyone has a lot of knowledge to share, and though sometimes emotional, are definitely informative. Thanks for everyone putting in their input and knowledge. I am still trying to figure out the right way to do this, and may come back to the info here whenever I get a bit lost.
I joined SBI through my “friend” who earned $75.00 for a referral; notice I quoted friend, she did not share she was earing money from this.
I work full time and have two teenage daughters at home, and volunteer (requesting food for local families and distributing it) I spend most of the year “$300.00” following the steps to my website. I was very fustrated by this time and decided not to join the cult, which is what it felt like.
I decided that time with my family and those I help was more important at this this time.
I typed it SBI to see what scams they were up to today when I found you, thanks for the info.
So I’ve been working with a friend on getting an ecommerce website up and running. I am a graphic designer, but NOT a web designer. Many people don’t realize that there is a difference between the two. After playing with WordPress for my own portfolio site (that I’ve linked to), after helping my friend register domain names of his own, I threw up the beginnings of a wordpress blog on both of his sites. I’m still in the process of cleaning them up, and they are not ready for public viewing, so I am NOT linking them here.
In the process of our research for setting up his own site, I found a website that is doing something similar to what he wants to do, but not doing it very well in my opinion. Also, it was a website that I found once (and I don’t remember what keywords that I used to find it). I forgot to bookmark it, and then had a dickens of a time trying to refind it.
There was an affiliate link to SBI on his website, but I didn’t pay much attention to it.
Today, my friend emailed me and asked if I would take a look at the half hour introduction video for SBI. I did. He called me to get my reactions to it. My gut reaction was to tell him that while SBI seemed to be promising the world, I reminded him how impossible it was to find this guy’s site the second time we tried looking for it – if SBI is that good, why wasn’t it actually optimizing his pages in the search engines?
As I continued to do research, I did a google search and came upon this blog. And after reading through all of the comments (yes… I read them… all… this was actually fascinating), I basically have come to this conclusion:
$300/year is not a lot of money to spend on developing a website. However, I can take that $300 and throw it at someone to do all of the work for me. Or I can take that money, invest in a regular internet provider for half of that cost, put wordpress on the site for no extra charge from the provider, have full control over my site, go and do some research on how to do effective SEO and keywording on my own, and in the end, instead of having a day’s worth of fish that someone has given to me, I can have learned how to fish so I never have to pay to rely on someone else again.
Thanks for posting this.
A year later and this post is still getting comments. Almost 600 now. That’s incredible! I watched it very closely for a few months after you wrote it when the shit was really hitting the fan. Had to come back and check it out again real quick. There’s been plenty of new controversial posts since this one. Keep it up!
I thought you’d like the update on SBI now. I’m remaining anonymous for now (so yes the email is fake) because I am moving my SBI site in the next 3 months and don’t want Ken to find out because he will slash and burn it.
I’m an SBIer of many years, and my SBI site makes decent money despite being in a very competitive niche and only using Adsense.
However Google and Facebook have changed the paradigm completely. Alot of SBI sites, the one’s which have been set up by by the real SBI fanatics have seen their traffic and Adsense revenue slashed by Panda. Why? Because Ken Evoy decided to be too clever for Google. He promoted something called C2. This was SBI’s attempt to allow website users to post comments on content pages, much as blogs allow. However instead of those posts being added into each page as on a blog, Ken decided that each comment should instead become a new page. So sites started ending up with huge numbers of low quality pages of maybe 100 words, all targetting the same keywords. Google originally used to think sites with loads of pages were great, but as a result of Panda they now view sites with lots of poor quality pages targetting a few keyword phrases as highly suspect. As such on the SBI forums you’re seeing more and more cries about reduced traffic and Adsense revenue. In fact one very high profile SBIer found Google had dropped every page of all his 4 sites completely. Ken’s response is always the same: write more content, build more links!
As you rightly point out, I believe too that most of the SBI elite make their money from selling SBI subscriptions, and also providing added on services to SBIers. Few sites make much real money and if they do, it’s purely by luck. It is worth mentioning that SBI survives purely on a few brainwashed individuals having 5-30 SBI sites. Yes really. I hear from a very reliable source that only 1% of those who join for a year, renew. Oh yes and those low Alexa rankings they always crow on about? All SBIers are told to get an Alexa tool bar, and then if you post a couple of times a day in the SBI forums you are guaranteed at least 5-10 SBIers a day. That is why there are posts from people saying, “I must be doing really well because even though I only have 80 visitors a day, my Alexa rank is 97,000!”. As a result all the case studies are from people with low site Alexa ranks but who can never demonstrate how they make any money.
So I’m getting the hell out of SBI. $299 is too much to pay for a platform which provides little and is gradually getting worse and worse. People think SBI can never fail. What they fail to realise is that it can and should that happen, they are completely stuck. You see, as you rightly point out, if you use SBI’s CMS there is no way to move especially as many SBI sites have 500-3000 pages. It would take 6 months full time work to go into each page and change the links, code etc. That is of course assuming that you can get access to it.
I’m just glad I’ve always done things my way (even with SBI) and have not been brainwashed sufficiently to remain a sheep to the cult of SBI and Ken!
Thanks “anon” that’s useful info – and mirrors the issues that HubPages have had with low quality pages all focussing on the same KW – thanks very much for your input!
I would take a look at the half hour introduction video for SBI. I did. He called me to get my reactions to it. My gut reaction was to tell him that while SBI seemed to be promising the world, I reminded him how impossible it was to find this guy’s site the second time we tried looking for it – if SBI is that good, why wasn’t it actually optimizing his pages in the search engines?
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