SBI eLearning – A Complete eBusiness Education

May 9th, 2009 by Steve Pavlina

Site Build It recently launched a new service that I’ve been eager to review. It’s called SBI eLearning, and it’s a structured 12-week online course with a real instructor that guides you through the process of building and launching your own income-generating online business.

This is the ultimate in hand-holding. By the time you complete the course, you’ll be able to have an online business that’s already up and running. Your job is to show up for the classes and complete the lessons as they’re assigned.

Helping you focus on taking action

For years SBI has been offering their do-it-yourself package that helps you create and launch your own online business. I reviewed that service last year and gave it a big thumbs up. Hundreds of people have signed up for SBI as a result of my recommendation, and some of my local friends in Las Vegas are now building their own SBI sites as well. It’s been exciting to see new SBI businesses popping up everywhere.

I’ve received lots of great feedback about SBI, but during the past year, I’ve noticed one common problem that still holds some people back from succeeding with it — namely their own lack of focus.

As we all know, some people just aren’t very disciplined and have trouble maintaining momentum on their own. They enthusiastically sign up, go through a few days of the do-it-yourself instruction, and then get caught up and distracted and let it fall by the wayside. This is self-sabotage to be sure, but unfortunately it’s a fairly common problem.

This problem isn’t unique to SBI by any means. Lots of well-intentioned people eagerly sign up for things and fail to follow through to completion on their own. The question is: Are you really good at following through to completion, or do you have a hard time completing projects on your own?

Teach it to me vs. do it yourself

SBI’s eLearing course addresses this problem. It’s a great choice for people who prefer to be taught by a live instructor, those with tight schedules, and those who have a hard time maintaining momentum without help. With this course you’ll have more accountability to stick with the schedule and keep up with the class in order to get your online business launched.

SBI’s eLearning course teaches you what you need to do and gives you the tools and guidance to get it done. You’ll learn right along with other students who are taking the course with you.

This is a real college-level course you’ll be taking. This course is already taught at more than 25 colleges and learning institutions around the world. The advantage you’ll have is that you can complete the whole course from the comfort of your own home. You just need access to a computer with an Internet connection.

Just to be extra clear, you really can graduate from this class with a functional, up-and-running online business of your own. You’ll own your own domain name too, so if you ever want to transfer off of the SBI platform at some point down the road, you’re always free to do so.

SBI is geared for people who are not super-advanced Internet experts. If you know how to send email and use a search engine like Google, that’s about all you need to know to get started. You do NOT have to understand things like RSS feeds, HTML, CSS, trackbacks, SEO, page rank, social bookmarking, tagging, contextual advertising, online marketing, and so on. SBI makes it much easier. They’ll either teach you what you need to know, or they’ll provide automated tools to handle it for you.

Take note that SBI isn’t merely a web host. If you only want to put up a blog to use as your personal journal, I’d advise against using SBI. It’s not the right tool for that, and you’ll end up paying extra for bells and whistles you don’t need. SBI is for people who want to build a profitable online business that makes real money. Anyone can start a blog, but how many of them are earning enough for their owners to live off?

What’s included?

SBI eLearning includes all of the following:

  • A one-year Site Build It subscription, which normally sells for $299
  • Extra reference materials and resources
  • Enhanced Action Guide videos with some interactivity (great for visual learners)
  • Access to a qualified instructor who has already gone through the process of building an SBI site

In this course you will learn how to choose the focus for your site, how to conduct keyword research, how to pick a strong domain name, how to design an income-generating website, how to generate multiple streams of income, how to build a community around your site, how to drive traffic, and how to continue developing your website for sustainable long-term income.

All SBI eLearning classses are recorded, so if you ever miss a live class, you can still access the recording to quickly catch up. You don’t have to worry about missing anything.

Each class is limited to 12 students at a time. This is a very hands-on environment where your instructor gets to know you and your business goals and can therefore offer more personalized guidance.

The course includes 10 live sessions that are 2 hours each, so that’s 20 hours of online instruction.

If you’d like to see the complete 12-week curriculum all laid out for you, you’ll find it here.

Your eLearning instructor

In order to become an eLearning instructor, your teacher must have also taught an offline SBI course at a college or university. So you’ll be working with an experienced teacher, not just an Internet jockey.

This is a hands-on class where you learn by doing. Your instructor will monitor your progress to make sure you’re keeping up and taking action to get your online business launched.

Your instructor will assign homework, so you’ll need to complete this before the next live session in order to keep up with the class. However, the pacing is slow and steady, so you won’t be overloaded with a ton of busywork. Your assignments will contribute directly to building your own business.

How much homework is assigned? Expect about a 1:1 ratio between classroom time and homework time each week. So for 2 hours of live instruction, you can expect about 2 hours of homework.

You’ll also be given quizzes to make sure you understand the material and can apply it to your business successfully.

In addition to having the opportunity to ask questions during class, you can also contact your instructor between classes and expect a reply within 24 hours. Your instructor is there to help guide you to succeed.

You’ll be able to connect with your classmates for some friendly mutual accountability. After the course you can take advantage of a special alumni networking group, so you can keep in touch with your fellow students if you so desire. And you’ll also have access to the regular SBI forums and support staff to help you grow and improve your new business over time.

Course schedule

SBI eLearing is a 12-week online course. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can access it from anywhere in the world.

The courses are taught in real-time, so you will have regular weekly appointments at set times. Currently there are 5 different times offered, so it’s flexible enough to work with all time zones.

In my time zone (Pacific time), I can see that there are SBI eLearning courses now being offered at 4am, 7am, 10:30am, 4pm, and 7pm — and on different days of the week too. There’s even a weekend class. I doubt it will be a problem to find something that matches your schedule.

New courses begin often, so you won’t have to wait long for the next start date. When I last checked the next available course was starting only 10 days from now.

eLearning tuition – introductory pricing

Fortunately since this is an online class, it’s very affordable. The regular tuition is $798, but they’re currently offering a $200 discount, so it’s only $598 total at this time.

This price includes a one-year Site Build It subsciption, which is normally $299 by itself. So the incremental cost for the whole 12-week course is only $299.

If you already own an SBI subscription, then you can sign up for SBI eLearning and only pay the incremental $299 cost for the whole course. The eLearning sign-up form will ask you if you already own SBI.

Please note that is an introductory price. I’ve been told that the prices will increase sometime in 2009, but exactly when that will happen hasn’t been determined yet. So don’t put it off if you want to get the best possible deal.

SBI eLearning is backed by a money-back guarantee. You can complete the first week as a free trial, and if you find it isn’t right for you, you can drop out and get a full refund.

Even if you decide not to continue using SBI as your hosting platform long-term, I think you’ll gain a tremendous head start by completing this course.

If you’ve already built a profitable, high-traffic website and are very web savvy, this course will be too basic for you. You don’t need it. But if you’ve never done this before, or if you’re stuck somewhere along the way (like if you’ve launched a site that struggles to draw traffic and makes very little money), then this course will offer you a great education to get you moving in the right direction.

Stop frakkin’ it up!

Speaking from my own experience, most people are just really, really clueless when it comes to building websites that actually make money. The worst part is that they don’t know what they don’t know.

In 2006 I wrote the article How to Make Money From Your Blog. It explains what it takes to build a high-content, income-generating website.

After posting that article, which became extremely popular in the blogosphere (and still is to this day), I then I had the privilege of watching countless people frak it up badly when they tried to do it on their own. This included watching people churn out bottom-of-the-barrel drivel and call it content, hideously suboptimal monetization schemes, counter-productive SEO attempts, copycat bloggers who recycle other people’s content, and tons more mistakes that made me nauseous.

I stopped sharing specific income figures from my blog because I grew tired of people butchering my advice and then “crediting” me for their results. Some people would complain that my advice didn’t work when in reality they practically did the opposite of everything I wrote in that article, especially with respect to the companion piece How to Build a High-Traffic Website.

Obviously you can make money online. Lots of people do. Erin and I each earn six figures a year from our websites, and it’s easy to maintain. But as I’ve written previously, 99 out of 100 people who make the attempt will surely frak it up. It’s not because they’re stupid. They just don’t have the web savvy necessary to pull it off on their own. They’re capable, but they need serious help and proper guidance. They can’t apply my advice properly because their own intuition keeps betraying them, causing them to make mistakes they don’t even notice.

Perhaps the main problem is that there are lots of things that are counter-intuitive when it comes to building a successful online business. For people who are just starting on this path, the intuitive thing to do is quite often the wrong thing to do. So they end up spinning their wheels without making substantial forward progress, and six months later, they’re still struggling to attract 50 visitors a day.

I was pretty excited last year when I started recommending SBI because I could see it would help people stop frakkin’ things up. It definitely went a long way toward accomplishing that. But some people are unfortunately still frakkin’ it up, not because they’re making mistakes but because they just aren’t very good at working solo and maintaining the necessary momentum.

SBI does a great job of helping people do the right things. It prevents you from making serious mistakes that will kill your traffic. For starters SBI carefully guides you through a process to pick the right focus for your site — one that can actually draw traffic and generate income. Many people have told me that SBI’s tools made it clear that their original ideas would be nearly impossible to monetize successfully, so they dodged a serious problem right there by selecting a more profitable niche.

At this point I’m very optimistic about SBI eLearning because this it will help people stay on track and moving forward. It adds accountability to actually get your site up and running.

Personally I wouldn’t sign up for something like SBI eLearning because I’d be concerned that it would slow me down. I’m very much a self-starter, and I don’t favor classroom-style teaching. But I’m a guy who graduated college with two degrees in three semesters. I don’t need a teacher telling me what to do. I’m much faster at learning solo. I also love learning things for which there are virtually no teachers, such as polyphasic sleep.

But I absolutely understand that most people aren’t like me. Most people would really benefit from having that teacher to guide them. Some people need that extra accountability to make it to the end.

SBI eLearning is an awesome fit for people who aren’t obsessive content-creating machines like I am. This course gives you a more gentle and practical way to get your online business up and running.

Questions?

If you have specific questions about SBI eLearning or the standard Site Build-It package, please submit them via their questions form. Your question will be answered by an actual SBI customer who has used the service.

* * *

I appreciate that Ken Evoy and the SBI team are seriously committed to results. They really go all-out to ensure that their customers succeed. If you’ve ever visited the SBI forums, I’m sure you’ve seen what a motivator Ken is. He’s a huge SBI evangelist who’s always encouraging people to stick to their plans and take action. He has set up his life in such a way that his success and other people’s success are pointing in the same direction. In order for Ken to achieve his goals, he has to make sure SBI’s customers are achieving their goals.

I know from experience that building a successful online business can be challenging, especially in the beginning where you must put in the time before you can harvest the results. That’s how life works though. You have to sow before you can reap. At least with SBI eLearning, you have that extra built-in accountability to make sure you get your sowing done and your business launched — without getting waylaid by distractions.

Please visit the SBI eLearning page to learn more about it, and sign up for a course if you’d like to get your online business up and running. I think it’s a great new service, and I’m excited to see what new businesses will be launched as a result. :)


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