Product Name: Site Build It (SBI)
Product Owner: Ken Evoy
Advertised Price: $29/month, $299/year
What Is It?
Site Build It or SBI for short (SiteSell.com) has a large number of training videos and instructional guides on how to set up your first niche website. They also provide information about how to monetize your new site.
The information contained in the training modules is informative, accurate, and simple to understand. I agreed with 95% of what they had to teach, and think that someone who uses their service could actually make money using their program.
However, there are some negatives to consider. Lack of guidance with regards to how to build your site, an unattractive site builder and average support are the things I worry about.
What I Liked:
Before You Buy “Site Build It”
There is a whole lot to like about this product. First, their home page and advertising is very low-key, meaning they do not feed you a bunch of hyped rubbish about how you can make a million dollars in one week. They are very realistic, present the facts, and don't try to entice you with normal tricks you see in the type of business. Plus, a 90 day money back guarantee is pretty huge. That's a full 3 months to try out their service.
They first introduce you to the site, the program, and their training by having you set realistic goals. This is very important, and I was happy to see this. They also talk about pacing yourself, which many people do not do!
The general outline of what they teach is called BCTPM, which stands for Brainstorm, Content, Traffic, Presell, Monetize
In a nutshell, this is the order of events of how you will build your site. If you try to monetize things from the beginning, you will be in trouble. A concept the bring up over and over again is the idea of quality content. Again, great job here guys.
Some other important things they talk about are brining targeted traffic to your blog, proper keyword research, and finding relevant products and services for your visitors. Nothing to complain about here.
The videos were high quality, had good audio, and were visually appealing. I've seen better, but they would definitely rank in the top 80-90 percentile. Some videos actually contained links, and all had easy to navigate menus, which I thought were great.
I felt that the training was relatively complete with regards to getting your website up and running and finding how out to make money from it. The video content and order of training was easy to follow. This was definitely some good training compared to most of the other products I review, but I have some other comments about these videos, so continue reading below.
The website builder
The website builder wasn't bad for newbies. I personally didn't like it much, but I only tested it for about 20 minutes. It's very hard switch gears like that (I use WordPress) and get a really good feel for a site builder. I checked out some member sites from the forum, and they seemed to get along pretty well with it, so I can imagine that like anything, there will be a bit of a learning curve.
However, there is a major downside to using this builder which I will discuss below.
What I Didn't Like:
One complaint I have about their advertising is that they made use of logos like these that give you a false sense of authenticity. No doubt you see these logos and think, “Oh, this was featured on NBC. It must be legit!”
But if you read the fine print, you see that they, “You will get noticed by these companies”, which doesn't mean anything significant. They are not the only company that does this, but I still don't like it.
The largest issue I had before purchasing Site Build It was that I did not have enough information to make an informed purchase. I was left with the feeling that I didn't know exactly what I was buying. The 90 day money back guarantee is likely the thing that convinces people to actually pay for SBI because there was not a whole lot of information describing what my $29 per month would pay for.
I ran into a few technical issues along the way while setting up my site. There were a few links in the email they sent me that didn't work and I couldn't get to the back end of my newly registered domain for about 20 minutes. Minor issues, but frustrating nonetheless.
The most frustrating thing was registering a domain. It was next to impossible with their domain registration tool. Sites like Godaddy.com and Namecheap.com which are popular domain registrars will provide a list of similar domains if the one you want is unavailable. This is not the case, and I was simply guessing in the dark to find an available domain to register.
I think this is why so many folks in the forum had multiple hyphens in their domain name despite the training videos explicitly stating that this was a last resort.
I was mostly happy with the training offered, but I felt that they TOLD us what to do instead of SHOWING us what to do. This will make following their instructions more challenging for newbies. It's very easy to take a video showing us how to use their domain registrar, or how to use the forum, or whatever else. As mentioned above, the quality of the training was good, but it definitely could have been better.
I was very unimpressed with the results the website builder produced. Though the finished product was average looking, it would be very clear to most people that the site was built by an amateur. There are some serious limitations to how you can design your site. A beginner probably won't worry about this stuff, and will be happy just to have a working site. As your business grows, it could turn into a major issue.
This in itself isn't a huge problem, but there are so many builders out there that do a better job of utilizing drag/drop design. There were very few themes/designs to choose from, and I felt that they looked unprofessional. I think most folks will end up with sub-par design for their sites using Site Build It.
The biggest issue you need to know about is that if you decide to move your site to another host later on, you cannot keep any of the content you create with SBI unless you pay a huge fee to convert your site to another format. (Note: They now support WordPress, no doubt due to pressures from criticisms) The software they use is unique to their company, and it will be very difficult/expensive/maybe impossible to take your text/pictures and transfer them somewhere else.
You will be able to keep your domain name, but that's about it. This is important to know before committing to a subscription and investing your time and money into SBI.
One last criticism is that I felt they put a lot of effort into prepping you to build your site, and not enough into giving you a strategy for moving forward. Building the site is no doubt challenging, but the most challenging thing about making money from a website is what to do once the website is done being built. It's often a long and confusing process getting traffic and monetizing that traffic. I felt that they did not provide enough training in this are.
There were a few things that at first I liked, then didn't, or vice versa.
Members Forum: Having a forum is great. And very surprisingly, there were active members that were posting as recent as today (November 5th, 2013). This is a major plus for any kind of site builder or make money system. Support is crucial to success.
However, I noticed that there were very few responses to each question, and often saw that members had to “bump” their posts up to get views and responses. A few times, members had to request multiple times for help or advice.
Link Building: I do absolutely zero link building because unnatural link building can get you penalties in Google. I was not happy when the recommended building a link profile for your site, but they made it very clear that you should not pay for links, and than an unnatural link profile could hurt your site.
Time Limit: I took about 1 day to review Site Build It, so obviously there may be some flaws in my review. I feel that this is probably the most informative and comprehensive review at this time, but there are still plenty of limitations and probably some personal biases which may influence my understanding of their program.
Site Build It contains some very good training, and a great philosophy of how to build your first website and business. The price is fair, and a 90 day money back guarantee is hard to beat. However, there are some important flaws that you should take note of before committing time and money a website hosted and built with them.
I read a very compelling review calling out SBI as a scam. Please read this review before you make your decision about SBI.
There are also lots of negative reviews about Ken Envoy, the owner, and his attitude/behavior towards critics. I haven't read them all, or checked their validity, but the number of legitimate SBI scam reviews makes me think there's some weight to them. The main one, which will scare anyone away from SBI, with lots of proof, including insane groupies making comments linked above.
Update 2: Another one has cropped up. This lady had to wrote an initial review, then an update saying it wasn't a scam, but an its an over-priced, out-dated, cult. It gets intense, and is a very good read from someone who has had a very rough run-in with the owner.
Update 3: The owner, Ken Envoy, has taken to social media, and started creating multiple, repetitive reviews about Wealthy Affiliate, the product I recommend. Please note that the two other links I provided above are not from Wealthy Affiliate people. They host their own websites somewhere else, and are not in the “make money online” niche. Yes, some WA members have been critical of SBI, but most are fair, such as this one which gave it a 7/10 rating. I even gave it an 84/100 rating.
But Envoy has launched a tirade of false information about members creating fake reviews about his company. I'll let you make up your own mind about events. But for my review, I paid for SBI, I went inside and took their training, and I present my review as my opinion based on what I know about making money online and the training newbies need to be successful online.
My main concerns with SBI were the completeness of training and the quality of the forum support. The place where I learned how to build websites and make money from them has a live chat support system, and a thriving community of online entrepreneurs that are interested in helping you learn how to build your own business.
In comparison, the training videos/modules are leaps and bounds better than SBI, and are there is a much more comprehensive guide for how to make money from your site once it's built. I am still an active member to this day and you can contact me personally within the community or via email for 1 on 1 support.