Site Build It! Advisor

Beyond Site Build It

Site Build It is a wonderful system for buidling an online business. The step-by-step instruction on online marketing fundamentals is truly special. It's like learning how to ride a bike with training wheels. Anyone can really build a site that succeeds.

But if you are serious about online marketing, at some point you want to take those training wheels off.

This is where SBI can get frustrating. There really is no easy way to get those training wheels off. Most everything is built for a beginner and there really isn't any "advanced" functionality where you can feel like someone is talking to you at a high level... and the tools are made to move at an advanced marketer's speed level.

In many ways this is understandable. It's difficult to be all things to all people. And SiteSell realizes it's bread and butter is the newbie so everything is geared for them.

OnThe Other Hand...

The Site Build It platform has limitations. For beginners these limitations don't get in the way. In fact they probably help a beginner not get distracted by "noise."

But when you want to get into "high gear" and become a truly advanced online marketer, these limitations can be a problem.

Some SBI limitations include...

Only One Email "List"

If you really want to build good email lists so you can have relationships with all the different types of visitors, you'll want to segment them into categories based on interests or specific problems. You can't do this with SBI. You really need a powerful email system like AWeber or Constant Contact, or even MailChimp.

Clunky Page Building

I think even Blockbuilder II is pretty bad. Compared to BB1 yes it's an improvement. But compared to WordPress it just doesn't cut it. WordPress let's beginners build pages easily and advanced "coders" get under the hood when they need to.

No Way To Easily Work In HTML with BB2

All good online marketers know HTML at least on a basic level. Being able to tweak code is a great time saver and trouble-shooting tool. The fact that you can't touch the HTML or get easy access to the CSS code again, makes it hard to get into high gear with SBI.

It Can't Keep Up

By far the biggest issue with SBI is it is slowly getting farther and farther behind what is going on with other systems and tools (see below). That's the problem with being a tortoise. If you're competing with hares all the time, being a tortoise just doesn't cut it.

But seriously, a small programming team cannot compete with the "open source" architecture of something like WordPress, where thousands of programmers add functionality all the time... for free. It's like SBI is bringing a knife to a gun fight.

There's other technical issues, like not being able to do server-side functions, and other advanced "programming" types of tactics, plus all those WordPress plugins, but these are less important than the basic "page-building" issues. It's harder and harder to compete online these day, and we just can't afford not to use the latest, fastest tools. Using the best tools just helps you compete and get things done more quickly.

Is SBI Really The Only Way?

Ken often says that there is nothing else like SBI out there. That's just not true anymore. If you search Google you can find lots of others. And many are just as good.

Unfortunately I can't name the names of those products on this site. SiteSell would give me a hard time if I did.

But here's some other gurus that I do listen to...

Systems like Niche Proftit Classroom and The Challenge are just as good as SBI and offer alternative ways to build websites that don't require a heavy time investment for each site.

The Challenge will be changing as of August when it will be relaunched with brand-new training based on the changes in the online marketing landscape over the last few years (i.e. Penguin and Panda). For now it does still seem to be up with video-based free training. Go here to sign up.

And the SBI approach of putting all your eggs in one basket and building a site with hundreds of pages is only one way to go. The systems above offer solid alternatives to that approach.

The fact is, with a good hosting account you can have hundreds of websites online for less than $10 per month. And working with a traditional host is really not as difficult as you have been lead to believe.

Beyond C-T-P-M

The idea behind C-T-P-M is creating Content leads to Traffic and Preselling that Traffic lets you Monetize and make money. Truly C-T-P-M is a bedrock fundamental way to build an online business and it really does work.

But C-T-P-M is only one way to go.

Many successful online marketers do other variations like M-P-C-T where you choose a product to promote first and build your site around that product. If you do proper market research this a much faster way to make money online... and you don't need as many pages to do it. See this page on doing a Monetization Test, as an alternative approach.

Do You Really Need A Lot of Pages?

The SBI philosophy says the more pages you build the more successful you will be. I agree to a point with this. It's a fact that Google likes sites with a lot of pages so I don't disagree with that philosophy. But do you really need a 200 page website to make money?

I say NO!

I have sites that are fewer than 30 pages that make thousands of dollars per month. The point is... if you can solve a problem, then you can make money. And it doesn't take 200 pages to solve a problem.

Why put all your eggs in one basket? Especially if after a couple of years you end up making a "goose-egg" in monetization.

It's Really About Visitor Value

If you can attract traffic with a clear "buying intention" then it doesn't take 1000's of visitors a day to make money. I say you can make more money with 100 visitors than you can with 1000 visitors if those 100 visitors really want to buy something... in other words they have a problem that they want to solve.

I know SBIers who have hundreds of pages and get 1000's of visitors per day but don't make much money. The problem is they attract visitors that have no buying intention.

So it's not just about Traffic.

It's about Traffic with "buying intention."

it's really about finding a problem that people are willing to pay money to solve. And then building enough pages to move people through the sales cycle and then ask for the order. Again, it doesn't take 100's of pages to do that.

The Monetization Test

One of the problems with the C-T-P-M approach is it takes a long time until you have traffic. And until you have traffic you can't really determine if there is buying intention in the niche. It could take years with this approach to find that there really is no pot-of-gold at the top of the mountain.

One of the things that The Challenge has taught me is to do a "monetization test" right away to determine if there really is buying intention in your niche. You can get your answer in the first 30-60 days, and if there isn't any buying intention you can abandon or sell your site before you invest too much time, and perhaps money, on a dead end proposition.

And if you find there really is buying intention, you can build out your site, and put in the hundreds of hours it will take to succeed, with much more confidence that you are not wasting your time.

This makes a lot of sense to me.

Beyond C-T-P-M

So there are many other strategies besides C-T-P-M that can be used to make money online.

Of course to do some of these other strategies you must know what you are doing. These other approaches are not for raw beginners and SiteSell is correct in not introducing newbies to advanced tactics. But it sure would be nice to be introduced to some other advanced ways to go when you are ready. And you can be ready after a few months if you are motivated to learn.

These advanced tactics include ideas like...

Of course some of these tactics are talked about in the Tips and Techniques HQ but most are framed in a beginner's context and are not very advanced.

For example, the list building "eZine" approach of SBI only allows you to create one list. Good email marketing requires that your list be targeted to the exact needs of your visitors. So you want to have multiple lists for each category of prospect that you have. You'll need an outside email system like AWeber to do that correctly.

And of course, because you can't do any Server Side Functionality, like PHP scripting, many of these tactics cannot even be done on Site Build It sites.

In fact, I'd say that much of the SiteSell training is a bit superficial. By that I mean the concepts are kept a bit vague and you never really get to a higher level understanding of them.

Take The Concept of PREselling

Preselling is when you gently use your helpful content to create trust and credibility with your visitors. This of course makes a lot of sense...

But...

Here's how SiteSell describes Preselling on their C-T-P-M page...

"Complete strangers develop trust and confidence in you. Why? You "PREsell" by OVERdelivering what they seek... relevant, original, information. Deliver it in your own voice, in your own way. Go beyond merely instilling confidence... your visitors will like you."

They go on to say...

"Immediate "selling" on Web sites is ineffective unless you have a brand like Amazon."

The problem is... this assumes that everyone that comes to your site is at the same stage in the selling cycle for your "solution." They imply that everyone needs to be "Presold" before they are ready to buy.

The fact is, your visitors will be at various stages of the sales cycle when they arrive on your site.

A good online marketer realizes this and lets visitors choose where they are in the sales cycle and go to exactly what they need for the stage they are at.

That's just good common sense! The last thing you want to do is send away a motivated buyer by telling them stuff they already know or making it harder for them to buy.

What To Do When You Are Ready To
Go Beyond Site Build It

If you have a site currently on SiteSell then you might want to consider moving it to a new host. If that's your choice here's a page that explains the process.

If you are just thinking about "big picture" strategies here's some that I recommend...

1. Get A Good Hosting Account

A good hosting account will let you build unlimited sites for one monthly hosting fee (usually $6-$10 per month). You can test out a site concept and do a monetization test, build a site for just the $12 domain registration fee.

Also good hosting companies have what's called a CPanel backend that let's you do some fancy site management stuff pretty easily. SBI implies that it's too complicated but it really isn't.

I recommend BlueHost. I've been using them for over 6 years and I have 20 sites (so far) hosted there and I've had no problems.

http://www.BlueHost.com

2. Use WordPress To Build Your Site

WordPress is an "open source" Content Management System (CMS). It puts Blockbuilder to shame... even Blockbuilder 2. It's free and most good hosts like Bluehost have a 1-click install. You can literally have a site up in 30 minutes.

WordPress is known as blogging software but it's a true CMS and you can build a complete site using it. There are no limitations.

Now I've had a chance to compare BB2 to WordPress and I have to confess I'm very disappointed in BB2. It's still harder to use than WordPress and doesn't offer the flexibility or template options (what they call Themes) that WordPress does. It's a big improvement over BB1, but I think it's "too little too late" based on what other sitebuilders can do.

You can then add additional functionality through "plugins" that make your site fully able to do some very powerful things. Adding shopping carts, and contact forms, and search boxes, and links to Social Media are a breeze. Of course you'll need to know where to look and what to add.

You can change the site's look and feel very quickly by changing what are called "Themes". Most themes are free but you can buy advanced Themes that offer lots of control and advanced functions for affiliate marketing.

What I like about WordPress is it really offers a growth path. You can work in a simple WYSIWYG interface, and when you have the skills you can get "under the hood" and tweak the HTML and CSS when you are ready.

Dreamweaver versus WordPress

Yes you can also choose to have total control using something like Dreamweaver. I have several sites I've built with Dreamweaver. If you like to code, or can build your own design templates, you might like it better than WordPress.

But I can do all that but I still prefer using WordPress. Why?

I can build a site much more quickly with WordPress. I can also work on my site anywhere because it's a true CMS and I work on my site through my browser (to be fair you can do that with Blockbuilder as well). This is nice when you are on the road or just like to get out of the house sometimes.

And WordPress offers advanced site functionality through Plugins. Some of this functionality I don't even know how to do myself with Dreamweaver. It takes a site to another level. It's really quite brilliant.

The Market Samurai Connection

And if you don't know about Market Samurai you might want to check it out. It works extremely well with WordPress even to the point of being able to find and add content with Market Samurai and automatically uploading it to WordPress as a post. Pretty cool really.

bizXpress

bizXpress

You might have heard about SiteSell's new product called bizXpress. bizExpress adds the Site Build It Tools to WordPress as a plugin. Now you can have the best of all possible worlds... the training and hand-holding of Site Build It and the world-class tools of WordPress. Very cool for a WordPress beginner in my opinion. Learn more about it here.

4. Get Some Advanced Training

Once the training wheels are off you can do some powerful things with your website. Server side scripting and adding things like membership functions, shopping carts and forums are easy to do with your own hosting account.

And you can think about moving beyond C-T-P-M and trying some advanced approaches, like M-P-C-T and doing a Monetization Test.

I'm glad I've looked beyond Site Build It. Doing that has led me to WordPress and Market Samurai and some pretty cool ideas for how to do online marketing. It's also led me to some other great "gurus" who have "been there and done that", often beyond what Ken Evoy has done.

I've found some advanced teachers who are on the front lines and constantly testing their tools in the real world. I like that they have "laboratories" where they do the testing and then they report in. I pay to be a part of these advanced groups. It's worth it.

Here's the people I listen to to get some advanced training about Online Marketing. And to be honest, these folks are a little more objective and open-minded than Ken because they don't have a specific site-building system they are promoting. They can promote whatever they want.

Advanced Online Marketers I Recommend

Ed Dale - The Immediate Edge and The Challenge

I found Ed Dale through something called the The 30 DAY Challenge back in 2009. His free training focused on making your first $1 in 30 days and was aimed at raw beginners.

His approach is... why spend hundreds of hours building out a site before you know if there is buying intention in the niche. He teaches, build a site but "test your market" before you commit to all that time and effort. I totally agree.

The 30-Day Challenge morphed into The Challege in 2011. This year he will be creating a brand new Challenge based on what he has learned in the last few, crazy years with Panda and Penguin. It will start in August and the current Challenge has been put on hold until then. I suspect it will be back better than ever. But you can get a running start by signing up for the older course here. His complete FREE WORDPRESS COURSE is here. His Manefesto (much like the SBI Action Guide) is here.

His teaching uses video to keep things simple and they are very well done. He introduced me to my favorite Keyword Research tool Market Samurai in his training. I really do love it... check out a FREE Trial here.

http://www.MarketSamurai.com

The beauty of The Challenge is Ed and his team reinvents it every year and it starts in August and lasts for 30 days. He adds everything he learned during the year to "this year's model" so you always feel you are hearing the latest and the greatest tactics.

My take is... If Site Build It is an undergraduate education in online marketing, Ed Dale's teaching is like getting your Masters Degree. Check out his Immediate Edge membership site for some advanced training with no sign of training wheels.

I'm a member of his Immediate Edge membership site. This is for advanced online marketers (graduate school) so if you're a beginner don't bother, you'll really be overwhelmed.

Each month Immediate Edge comes out with new training on all kinds of Online Marketing topics like the latest Google and Facebook news, how to outsource some of your tasks, and the right equipment to make videos, and what they call "Blueprints" for using some very specific tactics. I pay a monthly fee to be a member but it's worth it if you're ready for advanced training. Check it out here...

http://www.immediateedge.com

 

Ed Dale

Ed Dale is the leader of a group of online marketers that started what was called The 30 Day Challenge several years ago. They've since turned into The Challenge with a membership business called The Immediate Edge. This group has very high-level educational tools that I follow closely. You can subscribe to their blogs if you want to hear some of the latest, cutting-edge info on the constantly changing online world.

Perry Marshall

Perry Marshall was known as the AdWords guy for a long time. His Ebook "The Definitive Guide To AdWords" was the first training on how to use Pay Per Click. He offers lots of other trainings but that book is still a classic and it's been updated.

Sign up for his emails and pay attention to what Perry Marshall has to say. He is a great online marketer.

Mike Filsaime

Mike Filsaime is probably best known for his Butterfly Marketing Manuscript. This is an advanced system for selling your own products online. He uses scripts to capture leads, and automate the upsell, downsell, and prospect management process. He is from the camp that "the money is in the list" and building a good list is central to his approach.

I would argue that he is right. The folks making big money online all have lists in the 100's of thousands and they can make 6-figures easily with one email to their lists. This is where my online marketing approach is heading.

Frank Kern

Another well-know list builder. Frank is a real character and his videos are very entertaining. I hear him talked about by other "gurus" probably more than any other. It's worth signing up for his emails just to watch how he does his promotions. He's a master at writing emails that sell.

Jeff Walker

Jeff is famous for his Product Launch Formula. Almost every guru uses his tactics these days when they have a new product they want to launch. Mike Filsaime uses many of his tactics. Who came up with them first? Well who really know.

Bob Bly

As far as marketing copywriting this is the guy. I get his emails and I learn a ton from every one I get. It took me a while to realize this guy is the real deal. Copywriting that sells is a critical skill to have in online marketing, and is not talked about enough. Maybe that's because the great ones can do it naturally and they forget everyone does not have the same skills.

This is the guy to learn those skills from.

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Site Build It! is a simple process but it's certainly not easy to do. It takes Brains and Motivation to succeed. It also takes time and persistence.

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And it's hard to be good at everything required to build a great online business.

That's what Site Build It! Advisor is all about. We want to help you succeed by offering advice and help. If you don't have the time or just don't have a particular skill-set maybe we can be of service.

Here's how we can help you...

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