Rebuilding my business with SBI
By: John from ayearfromnow.com » Date of Post: 2011-12-07 14:11:17-05
Joined: 2004-08-24 17:28:27-04 » Location: Murphy, NC 28906, USA
Several important currents are coming together to make 2012 a much more productive year for me. Sitesell is going to play a very big part.
1. I am recovering from a very serious illness and I finally feel like working on my sites again. It has been a difficult period (almost three years), but I'm ready to go.
2. I have closed over 50 websites that I built over the last decade (non-SBI). I tested many different ways of building websites and blogs, and some of them were successful, but all of them had problems. Problems that I've never experienced on either of my SBI sites.
Why did I build so many websites? I am a firm believer in testing to see how well something works. I don't believe what people say, until I test it for myself. I've reached my conclusions based on my own experience, not from someone's claims.
3. The release of BB2 is coming at just the right time. I'm going to rebuild both of my sites and I'm going to take the time to do it the right way.
4. My income from affiliate marketing took a nose-dive in 2009. It has not recovered, yet.
The sites I built were very successful until the North Carolina legislature passed the nexus tax law in 2009 and Amazon.com cancelled my affiliation, and all the other affiliates in the state. Several other large merchants also dropped me at the same time. I had been an Amazon.com affiliate for 13 years and all of my sites were heavily monetized through their affiliate program. *poof* *gone*
This happened just as I was getting so sick that I had a very difficult time thinking straight and trying to make the necessary changes.
Do I feel bitter about this and resent Amazon.com? I did, at first. Now, I recognize that our state legislature made a decision, Amazon.com responded to that decision, and I (and many others) took the hit. That's business. There are always ups and downs and obstacles in our path to success.
5. After over 15 years of building websites and earning a living with my marketing business, I'm turning my attention from all the other ways I know of building websites and blogs and focusing on SBI.
My first SBI site, started in early 2004, was something I built because it was a subject that is important to me, not because I thought it was something that would make a lot of money. I liked how SBI made it easy to build and manage the site and how it did so much for me behind the scenes.
I was heavily focused on other ways of building money-making sites, at the time. I've built social communities, forums, websites, blogs, and even an article directory. I wanted to know, from the inside, how these various sites worked and performed -- and I wanted to discover their benefits and problems.
I was a 5P affiliate before there was an SBI. So, I had the chance to watch as SBI grew and expanded. It continued to improve and offer more features, year after year. And, the price has not increased, even though the product is many times better than it was all those years ago.
I've also observed, for about 13 or 14 years, the high levels of intelligence, honesty, ethics, integrity, innovation, and good-judgement that are possessed by the people who make up the Sitesell team. I've observed how the company has adapted to a changing world, not by following every fad, but by evaluating each new innovation from a business standpoint and then deciding whether or not it would have a long-term beneficial or detrimental effect on all of Sitesell's subscribers.
I'll be re-reading the Action Guide and re-watching the videos as I work though my site redesigns and expansion, next year. It's going to take a lot of work and a lot of time. It feels almost overwhelming when I look at the big picture, but I'll take the tortoise path. One keyword, one page, one topic at a time -- over a period of months and years. Each individual task is relatively simple.
I am more of a technogeek propellerhead than I am a businessman. I've been self-employed as a computer consultant, analyst, programmer, and SysAdmin since the late 1970s. Over the last ten years, I mostly built websites for the fun of it. I did it for the achievement of overcoming the technical hurdles and creating sites that worked as I wanted. In most cases, the goal was not to earn more money, it was to revel in the joy of learning and doing. As long as I had enough money to cover living expenses and a few luxuries, money was not all that important to me. Money is nice to have, but I valued the experiences more.
6. I am moving from being wide and shallow to being narrow and deep.
For a decade or so, I was wide and shallow -- lots of websites with not too much depth to any of them, except for a couple. I spent a lot of time on various forums and commenting on other people's blogs. Although I enjoyed those activities, and they gave me something to do when I wasn't able to focus on work, I was not building a business in the process.
It is important not to confuse busy-ness with business.
I actually believed the nonsense about having 100 sites producing $1 a day being a good way to earn $100 per day. Now, I know that this is ridiculous. That's a whole lot of work to earn very little money. Now, I know that it's much, much better to focus on a few sites and build them so that they attract thousands of readers. Better sites earn more money. It's really that simple.
7. Success is a process.
Of course, as all SBIers know, it takes a lot of thought and work to build an income-producing, niche-focused, original-content website. The Action Guide is a tremendous help, but important parts of building a successful online business can only be learned by doing what you think is best, and then adapting and improving the things that don't work as well as expected.
8. I'm going to quit focusing on what SBI doesn't do, and focus more on all that it offers.
This time, I'm going to stop fighting the few things I didn't like about SBI (the main one being no integrated blog module with commenting) and start fully using all the tools that ARE available.
It turns out that blogging is fun for me (busyness), but doesn't produce any real income (business), so the lack of an integrated blog or forum module in SBI no longer bothers me. I've learned, after a decade of blogging, that I don't make my money on my blogs or forums. I enjoy writing them, and sometimes enjoy the conversations in the comments, but the money is made on my websites, and that's what I am going to focus upon next year.
I've also quit focusing on wanting comments and conversations on my website pages. That's been a sticking point for me for a long time. When I started focusing on the lack of this feature, I really believed that all the commenting and discussions I was having on multiple blogs (my own and others) was helping my business. Earlier this year, I stopped most of that, and neither my income nor the number of visitors to my sites dropped. It has already freed up hundreds of hours of time, in less than a year.
Once again, I was confusing busyness with business. They are not the same.
9. It has taken me a long time, but I have finally proven to myself that SBI is the best choice for me. Not just another choice in my bag of tricks and tools -- the best choice. I feel comfortable in stating that I've tried most of the alternatives and they are all lacking.
If you hear that SBI is only for beginners who don't know how to do the technical stuff, part of that is true. It is perfect for beginners, but it is also perfect for us old propellerheads who have been slinging computer code for decades and building websites for almost as long as there have been websites.
Ken Evoy has been a great mentor and I have learned a great deal from him. I haven't implemented all that I learned as well as I could have, and I'm going to remedy at least some of that. He has also been a great inspiration. I admire his dedication, work ethic, intelligence, and ability to cut through the fog and keep things real. I look forward to learning more from him and putting that knowledge to work.
10. SBI is a bargain.
Some of us have proven to ourselves that SBI offers a better way of building the kinds of sites we want to develop. Many of you have done much better with this than I have, but I intend to do better next year.
I won't waste thousands of (more) hours on trying to prove to myself that SBI is the real deal. I've already done that.
Sitesell is the real deal. You have to look at the big picture. Sitesell is much more than a webhosting company.
SBI is not a magical Internet money machine on steroids.
SBI is an online business success toolkit, complete with detailed instructions that you can adapt to the niche of your choice. It comes complete with a set of tools that are unmatched in one service -- anywhere. (Remember that there were no challengers in the recent $50,000 Sitesell challenge!)
Only for beginners? Not true.
Too expensive. Not true.
I still spend several hundred dollars every month for webhosting, email mailing services, domain names, and other expenses related to my online marketing business. Only $60 of that is for my two SBI sites. By comparison, they are a bargain. (In fact, the cost of my two SBI sites is less than what I was paying for domain names every year, before I closed so many of my websites and blogs.)
I have a dream and I'll act on achieving it in 2012 and beyond.
Act on your dream!