I’ve been asked in a comment on this post about making quality sites whether I’ve gained something by joining SBI and what exactly. I didn’t want to answer that in a comment because I think it warrants a post in itself.
I joined SBI in December and started researching my first site right away. I’ve registered my domain early January and now I’m at about 12 content pages on it. I intend to write at least 2 pages every day. I can’t do much more than 2-3 a day though because writing quality stuff really needs a lot of research, even if I know something about the subject.
If you’ve gone through the free Action guide, you might have realized the power of SBI. Before joining SBI, actually long before it, I’ve searched quite a lot about it. I mean at $300 a year it’s not exactly cheap, so I wanted to see what makes people join instead of going for the free Wordpress or using Xsitepro at only $200 - a one-off price. Especially the Warrior Forum has a lot of negative stuff about it.
I also had a long discussion (spanned across a few months last year) with an SBIer who is making a full income from his one SBI site. He has a few others as well, but only one is hosted with SBI, and he says ever since he is hosting with Hostgator, he simply can’t recreate the level of income he achieved with SBI.
One of the things he mentioned is that Google might favor SBI sites when it comes to indexing and ranking. Now before roll your eyes, just read further. SBI is ALL about white hat, and really purist white hat if I may say. They actually shy away from ‘doing SEO’ because they say that their entire program includes SEO, which is proper onfactor optimization and offsite linking and networking.
SEO has been created as an industry out of internet marketeers needs to game Google in bringing their sites to rank higher than other sites that might - or might not deserve to rank. Instead of letting Google determining who is best for visitors to rank, they are pushing their sites so make more money. Fair enough. But this is exactly what Google doesn’t like. And this is exactly what SBI doesn’t do either! Sure you have to promote your site, just like any offline business, for people (search engines) to start noticing you, but pushing a tight focused long tail keyword in an EMD (exact match domain) just to get to the top of the SERP is not exactly kosher, now is it.
Also SBI teaches how to create a good value site, one for visitors. They really bring home the idea of writing about your passion - or at least about something that you are interested in, know a bit about or want to learn about. There is a section on outsourcing tips in the SBI forums, but that’s pretty recent and it’s not very populated. It is because when you are interested in a topic and you put your own spin on it, your own personality on it, you can’t just outsource that and get the same results as when you write on your own.
This is the very opposite of what 99% of internet marketeers do (including the Xfactor ones) which is outsource everything, as cheap as possible. Even Elance is too expensive for many and they go instead to cheap Philippines to write a so-so article that will be put on the site to start making money NOW!
Yes, I’ve had this mentality as well, it was ingrained in me from the very first ebook that I bought on internet marketing. I’m just unlearning the bad habits that I learned during the last 3 or so years since I’m setting up sites to sell or to make money from. (I know, I’ve already lost half of you right here because you don’t agree with me on this point, and I’m pretty sure that half already clicked the Back button. That’s ok, I’m prepared to live with it).
Now I don’t say that all sites SHOULD be built with SBI. Far from that. However for me joining SBI means in the first place unlearning all bad habits and STARTING WITH A CLEAN SLATE in the right direction. This is like a university (darn cheap at $300 a year) where I can also earn money - money that I won’t be afraid to lose because of various new Google algorithms tweaks that are there to wade out thin Adsense and thin affiliate sites.
Also while the action guide is pretty big in itself, the actual amount of tips, guides, downloadable or videos, it’s pretty staggering. I haven’t even read the half of it. Many are written by the staff, and many by other SBIers who have become successful over time.
Before I’m going to the tools, I want to touch a bit on the forum. Personally I find the SBI forum just as big as the Warrior Forum, without the bickering and nastiness and censorship that is going there. At the WF unless you belong to a clique, if you’re a newbie and ask a question, well let’s say, you wish you’d never asked it in the first place. At SBI forums the information is equally much. The gems that I keep finding by great guys like Tomaz and others bring me those AHA moments just like that, one after another one, and I’m not kidding.
Definitely, Warrior forum has a ton of great posts, but except the human factor which is quite elitist there, the information is very ‘all over the place’. It has so many different ways of making money, that no wonder the newbies start with one thing, after a few months give up as they didn’t make money, and then they go back to the next shiny thing advertised on the forums, hoping to learn something new that WILL make them money. And the story goes on.
At the SBI forums the information is staggering indeed, but all is based on one central theme: making a quality site that makes you passive income in the long run. You can’t wade into thousands of different directions as you do with the WF, which especially as a newbie is quite confusing. Every section of the forum is focusing on one aspect of working on your site, be it from brainstorming those great ideas, to using the internal tools to get the best keywords for it, to writing that content that pre-sells and sells, to finding the best monetization methods for your chosen site, to using the right (white hat) backlinking methods to increase traffic, and so on…
And then you have thousands of posts in each of these section - all based on a central theme. In all honestly, the forum alone is worth the $300. Even if you never start a site with them, by simply being there for one year to learn all the right techniques, the right steps and the right way of doing things, you’ll receive the education that WILL help you make money online . Period.
Btw, one of the most commonly touched upon points at WF when it comes to SBI is that they say that SBI is very expensive for getting your domain there and the hosting. But if you read through this (very long) post from top to finish, you’ll see that SBI offers much more than just hosting and a domain registration. It offers an entire business (not merely a website builder) and the education to do it the right way as well.
And now to the tools. I’ve passed through the first two tools, the Brainstormer and the Master Keyword tool. They’re basically the day 2 and 3 of the Action Guide. Day 4 deals with best monetization of your site and it’s still using the master keyword tool. It’s nothing like the Google keyword tool, it’s a very complex tool that analyzes a lot of things that I haven’t even started on yet. But with the action guide taking you one step at a time, it’s not difficult at all.
Then you have a lot of other different tools. You can use the block builder (which is what I”m using right now for step 6) to setup your site, or you can add your own html pages. You can customize your site with the Look and Feel selector. Right now I used one of their existing ‘out of the box’ templates to get started on my site. I’ll change it later once my site is more established and it’s worth fiddling with the layout.
Personally I’m at this stage so far. However there are many more tools that I haven’t touched yet, such as C2 (Content 2) for adding extra pages using the help of others who submit tips to your site (and if you roll now your eyes and think ‘who would stick around on my site to send me in tips’, well SBI sites are made for visitors who return and love to send in their tips to be features on the site), using traffic analyzer, a business center, value exchanges, and a bunch of others that I haven’t even touched upon. I’m following right now the action guide to the letter and going through the ‘days’ (which are not really days, they’re more like steps) as I go ahead.
So for now, if you’re asking me if I got a lot out of SBI at $300 a year, I have to safely say, yes I did, and more. Like I mentioned earlier on, I will not host all my sites with SBI, but the one site that I will (actually I’m doing 2 right now with them because I got a 2 in 1 deal that I grabbed in December), will teach me how to setup sites the right way, without following all the many ebooks in the WF for ‘making money fast’ (and then fall flat on your face when Google ‘again’ tweaks their spam algorithm).
There are people at SBI making several hundred dollars from one site per day. Sure, it does take over a year in most cases to reach to that stage, however this earning will be stable because the sites created using their approach are safe sites, good sites, sites that will not give you a high bounce rate and push your visitors to hit the Back button all too soon… These are the sites that will continue making you money year after year - truly on complete autopilot once you’ve done your dues during your first year there.
And if you ask me how would I know, since afterall I’ve only started with SBI, it’s because there are many discussions about it on the forums on how much everyone is making and there is also the huge list of sites made with SBI that reached top 1% in Alexa based on their amount of traffic. And based on this traffic, trust me, these sites DO make money.
Once you’ve checked out those sites, if you decide to join SBI, please do come back to my blog and click through my link if you feel that I’m providing you with useful information