Note: SBI has extended this promotion through January 3, 2012.
Site Build-It’s special buy one get one free holiday promotion is back again for a short time, starting today. This the best deal they offer, and they only do it once each year around Xmas time. This offer is good until midnight on December 25th, 2011.So if you’re thinking about starting an online business, now’s the time to get started.
What Is SBI?
SBI is a service for people who want to start their own Internet business. They provide the hosting, tools, and education to help you create a real business that generates income for you.
SBI is a very popular service. I’ve been recommending them for years, and thousands of people have signed up as a result of my recommendation alone.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I don’t personally use SBI. I’m not the right type of customer for it. But if I wanted to start my own online business today and I didn’t already have 16 years of experience, I’d use SBI.
Why? SBI would help me get to the income-generating phase a lot faster. I could learn in several weeks what might otherwise take me years to figure out on my own by hunting for resources all over the place instead of having everything I need in one central location, organizing in a step-by-step process.
SBI offers a massive amount of educational resources, support, and tools to help people learn and implement the things I had to learn the hard way.
Years ago when people would ask me how to make money online, I tried to tell them how to do it the way I was doing it. I was very specific with the details too. But pretty much everyone screwed it up when they tried to implement it. They made lots of mistakes that seemed really dumb to me, but couldn’t even see it. I didn’t realize how much of my knowledge in this area is subconscious and automatic. I don’t have to think about it, but someone who’s just starting out really does have to learn a great deal more than I can teach them.
The tricky thing about online business is that it’s very sensitive to mistakes. You have to do a lot of things right. If you screw up just one of a dozen critical pieces — and virtually everyone does — you can doom yourself to failure. Then no matter how hard you work thereafter, you cripple your traffic and cripple your income.
Lots of bloggers, for instance, write to me with messages like, “I’ve been working on my blog for 9 months now, and I still have very little traffic. What am I doing wrong?” If I go to their sites, it takes me maybe 30 seconds to spot several mistakes they’ve made. If they just used SBI instead of trying to muddle through on their own, they wouldn’t have made those mistakes in the first place, and they’d have traffic and income instead of a ghost town.
An example of a mistake that I can share is ad placement. Some bloggers try to make money with ads on their sites, especially Adsense, but they use ad layouts that aren’t going to be effective. Ads are really sensitive to how you arrange them. One layout can easily earn 10x as much as another. I say this from experience since I used to earn $9-10K per month just from Google Adsense (as I shared in this article).
The biggest mistakes aren’t usually what a blogger does though. It’s what they don’t do that kills them. I look at their sites and see some really important stuff missing. They install WordPress and few plugins and figure they’re good to go. Unfortunately that isn’t enough. WordPress will help you build a nice website, but it won’t build you a business.
If you just want a website, don’t use SBI. That would be overkill. Use it if you want an online business that generates income for you. Making a website is just the first 20%, maybe less. That part is fairly easy relative to building traffic and having your site earn significant income. It’s the difference between learning how to drive and being a race car driver.
Making a website isn’t a competitive endeavor. No one will get in your way if that’s what all want to do. But if you want to make it a real business, now you’re competing with others who are trying to do the same thing in your field, so you’d better know what you’re doing if you want a shot at the income pool.
It’s not enough to just put some content out there and sprinkle in some affiliate links for good measure. If you want to generate income, you have a lot more learning and skill-building ahead of you.
My decision to recommend SBI was born of my frustrations watching various friends try to jump into online business and failing miserably at it. Now I just refer everyone to SBI. SBI gets them up to speed and helps them achieve their goals, and SBI does a better job of it than I would.
SBI helps you break the work down into small chunks, and then it helps you complete the necessary steps one by one. But it’s still a good bit of work.
If you’re lazy and you know you won’t follow through, don’t bother. If you’re willing to put in some effort and seriously make this happen, then SBI is a good choice.
Many people who thrive with SBI do so because they’re fed up with the alternatives. They’re sick of working for someone else and just scraping by financially.
Others do it because they want a more independent lifestyle.
I got on this path as a combination of both. Having a boss doesn’t appeal to me, and I want a flexible lifestyle where I can work when I want, where I want, and how I want. I’m not lazy, but I value my freedom to choose how I spend my time.
I also like earning money from my overall contribution, not from how many hours I sit at my desk.
I worked maybe a couple hours yesterday, doing what I enjoyed, and my website earned a few thousand dollars. I now earn more in a day than I used to earn in a whole season when I had a job, and I can’t be fired or laid off.
About the SBI 2-for-1 Special
The 2-for-1 special is an extra bonus where you can get a second SBI account for a friend or relative (or yourself) for free. It’s a nice deal for couples, for a parent and child, or for two friends, since the two of you can build your own online businesses together and help hold each other accountable.
Most SBIers that I know use the 2-for-1 special to build two sites for themselves though. Every site monetizes differently, so you may find that one site brings in $500 per month while a second site is earning $2000 per month after an equivalent amount of time spent on each. Then you may want to put more effort in the more successful site to build it even higher.
The 2-for-1 is also a nice deal if you can’t decide between two different ideas. Go ahead and develop both, and see how each idea performs.
WordPress or SBI?
If you’re considering using WordPress to build your own online business, you can indeed do that. I used WordPress, and it meets my needs just fine. But I don’t recommend this approach for most people.
Before I started this blog, which became very successful (I hit yet another all-time traffic record last month), I’d already been actively generating income online for nearly a decade. Most of the income I’ve earned in my life has come via my online businesses.
I’m also a skilled programmer. I’m comfortable working with Internet technology and writing my own custom code.
So I’m not in the same boat as most people when it comes to running an Internet business. My choice to use WordPress was dictated by my personal skills and experience.
If you’re in a situation like mine, and you’re already making tens of thousands of dollars per year online without much difficulty, then go ahead and use WordPress or something similar for your new ventures. It’s fair to say you don’t need SBI.
If you have outstanding technical skills and you’re willing to learn the business side, that’s a borderline call. For you I’d still recommend using SBI to start. Use it to learn the business and marketing side until you start making real money with your sites… till you’re bringing in about $5K per month or so. Then think about using what you’ve learned with SBI to switch to WordPress or something similar. You could stay with SBI still, but you may no longer need it at that point.
Most programmers I know can build their own websites just fine, but they suck at building traffic and making money. They create sites that virtually no one visits. SBI is a good choice to help them learn the business side too.
I started as a programmer, and I assumed that learning to run an online business would be no big deal. I was wrong. It’s a whole different skill set, and it took me years to develop those skills on my own, even with tons of business-related reading, audiobooks, seminars, training, etc.
Don’t underestimate the scope of this challenge. It’s better to bite the bullet and learn it the right way, or you’ll have to the privilege of watching people with inferior technical skills run circles around you as they earn income from simple ideas. Don’t just be technically savvy — learn some business savvy too.
If you’ve never made serious money online and you’re not a programmer… or if you’ve been trying and you’re still struggling… don’t keep banging your head against the wall hoping for things to improve. Use SBI and take advantage of their system and resources, which has been refined over many years and is proven effective. That one’s a no-brainer. You’ll reach your goals faster with it than you will without it.
For more help deciding between WordPress and SBI, see this WordPress vs. SBI comparison page. It may look fairly short at first… until you notice the “Click here to show and read the rest of this page” link. It’s disgustingly detailed.
If SBI sounds interesting to you, a good place to start is to watch their video tour. It’s pretty basic, but it will give you an idea of how the service works.
Then you may want to read my full review.
After that you may want to poke around the SBI website.
And finally I recommend you read my Site Build It! Walkthrough.
If you have any questions about SBI, please submit them via their questions form. Your questions will be answered by an actual SBI customer.
Just remember that the holiday two-for-one bonus offer is expires at midnight on December 25th, so you have about 2 weeks to sign up.
Your Lifestyle Is Your Choice
Last year around this time, I wrote a similar post to let people know about the SBI holiday promo since SBI does this once a year. If you saw that post and decided not to act on it, did you make the right call?
If you took action and signed up for SBI back then and followed through on it, then today you’d own a profitable income-generating website. There’s no way to know how much it would be earning since that depends on many factors, but let’s say it would be earning about $2K per month by now, which I think is pretty reasonable based on what I’ve seen other SBIers do.
Do you choose a path that was better than this? If you had it to do all over again, would you make the same call, knowing what you now know?
We can never really know the outcomes of the paths we didn’t choose. We only get to see the outcomes of the paths we actually took. But if you suspect you chose a less than optimal path last year, then don’t make the same mistake this year. Try something different, and see where it leads.
I haven’t had a job since 1992, and I really don’t miss it. It wasn’t easy at first, but I’m glad I pulled the trigger and chose this path.
Some Internet marketers will tell you that building your own online business is really easy. They’re lying to you. It’s relatively easy to maintain it, but it’s not so easy to figure it out the first time. There really is a lot to learn.
If you’re really lazy and can’t get yourself to follow through on anything worthwhile, SBI isn’t going to baby you. But if you have a bit more self-discipline than the average person, and you feel motivated to create a more flexible and interesting lifestyle for yourself, then creating your own Internet business is an excellent choice these days.
With an online business, you can maintain it from anywhere. No one cares what hours you work. You can take vacations and travel when you want to. You can work from home or from a Starbucks or from the beach. And once you learn how to create some income online, it’s not as tough to maintain it and increase it. SBI businesses in particular often scale up very nicely. More traffic means more income.
Most likely I’ll be making a similar post around this time in 2012. When you see that post, will you be one of the people who sat on the sidelines and wished you’d made a different choice today? Or will you be satisfied and fulfilled by the path you took?
If you want more help understanding what the SBI path might look like for you, I’d recommend reading the stories from people who did make that choice. There are many detailed SBI case studies. This is especially worthwhile if you want to get a better idea of the specific results people are getting with it.
Whatever you decide, it’s up to you to creating the lifestyle you desire. The world won’t just hand it to you. I’m quite enjoying the lifestyle I’ve created, and my online business is a big part of that, but it didn’t happen by itself.
Update: SBI has extended this promotion through January 3, 2012.