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I’ve been blogging on MelissaBlevins.com for a year and a half. I tried blogging a few other times in the past but failed due to lack of knowledge and support. In short, I had no clue what to do or where to start. Solo Build It reached out to me and asked me to review their products to see if they might be a helpful solution to many of you who are just starting your blogging journey.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, and I am being paid to write the review. However, if you’ve learned anything about me from my previous reviews, I don’t sugarcoat or hold back my true thoughts. I only review products I truly believe would be beneficial to my audience. All determinations were made after deep diving into SBI! products for over a month.
I have spent a lot of time in the various programs SBI! offers. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the review!
The Story of SiteSell
Dr. Ken Evoy, founder of SiteSell and Solo Build It, is what some would consider a jack of all trades. He practiced emergency medicine and taught at McGill University before realizing that he really wanted medicine to be a hobby rather than an obligation.
His true passion, it seems, was in business. He and his wife launched a successful toy and game design business that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and millions in royalty revenue.
Later, he became what he calls “websessed” (obsessed with the web). He created a first site and business in a highly specialized investing niche market (“Penny Gold”). This “experiment” worked so well that he wanted to teach others what he had learned.
What excited him most was that the Internet leveled the playing field: everyone has the same chance to successfully market a product or service on the Web.
So, in 1997, he founded SiteSell with a small team. Initially, the company published a series of groundbreaking eBooks that led absolute beginners through the very same process Ken had used to build his Penny Gold business.
As the Internet evolved, Ken realized that solopreneurs needed more than just words. They needed a combination of process, guidance and integrated tools to help them execute what they learned.
So, what started as an experiment became a book that later became a course that later became a product called SBI! that has helped so many solopreneurs for over 20 years now.
Solo Build It Review
I wish I had known about SBI when I first started blogging years ago. The first time I tried to start a blog was in 2011. I had just had my second child, and I wanted a way to provide for my family and to be a stay at home mom.
In our area, there was already a website for Moms to use as a resource to find fun outings and events going on geared towards moms and dads with small children. I didn’t care, though. My website could be better. So I purchased a domain name and hosting and decided to start a blog.
The problem was I had no idea what I was doing, so my friend’s husband installed a theme for me into WordPress and I ended up letting the domain expire without a single page written. What a waste of time and money!
The second blog I started was slightly easier. At least I figured out how to write a post and publish it. But I had no idea about how to actually run an online business. So it became an online diary of sorts.
Take note: if you’re wanting to make money from home in an online business, don’t write about your personal life. You’ll learn more about why you shouldn’t do that and what you should write about instead in the Solo Build It Action Guide.
What is SBI! for WP?
SBI! for WP is SiteSell’s WordPress program that helps solopreneurs build a business from scratch. It teaches the fundamentals of building a business…not just a blog. Anyone can start a blog, but when you are wanting to create a sustainable online business, you need action steps to follow, along with education and support.
I spent $700 on a blogging course 2 years ago that didn’t cover everything in this action guide. I have learned things with Solo Build It for WP that I didn’t learn in my expensive blogging course!
For example, when I started my blog, I chose topics, called cornerstone content but my course didn’t lay out the roadmap of linking to and from specific pages, called Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 in SBI! for WP. Even though I have tens of thousands of pageviews every single month and am earning a good amount of money, my blog structure was wrong. Yikes! ????
Solo Build It for WP Teaches You How To:
- Research and plan the perfect niche and topic for your site. This is also known as your site concept. This isn’t as easy as brainstorming. You get access to the Brainstorm It! and Master Keyword List, which will help you research and find a highly searched, less competitive, super-niche topic. Very important if you want to stand out in the overcrowded interwebs.
- Find your voice and brand. Consider who your readers will be and learn how to effectively reach them. Your brand is your virtual handshake. It is a first impression, and it’s so important!
- Create killer content that will have readers showing up every day to see if you’ve written anything new.
- Build your social media strategy. What I love about Solo Build It is that they realize that social media isn’t the golden ticket to success. SEO and building a foundation are your top priorities and social media is like an accessory to make you look better and stand out.
- Build traffic aka blog readers. SBI! for WP helps you build a foundation so that readers can find and engage with your content. You don’t just want a reader. You want a reader who also follows you on social media. To take it a step further, you want a reader who is subscribed to your email list and wants to buy what you are selling (even if you don’t know what that is yet). Quality is more important than quantity. But Solo Build It helps you grow engaged readers at a sustainable pace.
- Implement a monetization strategy so you can get paid for what you do! It’s important to diversify income sources as a solopreneur, and SiteSell explains it all in the Action Guide.
What’s the SBI Action Guide?
The Action Guide is SiteSell’s roadmap for building a sustainable business. It includes step-by-step tutorials to guide you through a plan to launch and grow your blog so you can start making money by writing about what you love.
The goal is to avoid burnout but to stay on the path to growing your site into a money-making machine.
Upon signing up for Solo Build It for WP, you’ll receive immediate access to the action guide. It takes you on a journey, day by day, with action steps of what you need to do in order to grow your blog, starting with research and brainstorming.
BrainstormIt! Keyword Research Tool
This is an incredible keyword research tool but also includes research for your site concept. Remember when I mentioned earlier that there are three tiers to a site? Tier one is the most important. That’s your site concept. BrainstormIt! allows you to find less competitive, highly searched terms that are super specific to your audience.
There are paid keyword research tools out there costing upwards of $179 per month, and while they may be great tools, you don’t need to break the bank to do your keyword research.
The Difference Between SBI! and SBI! for WP
SBI! is an all-in-one program that offers the same Action Guide along with an entire drag and drop-type website builder. You don’t need to purchase any hosting or domain with SBI!. If you’ve never used WordPress in the past, this may be the perfect program for you to try.
SBI! for WP, however, is a bit different. It includes a plugin for WordPress that allows you to do keyword research inside your dashboard. It also includes the Action Guide. You do need to purchase web hosting and a domain for SBI! for WP. That being said…
I did review both products and found SBI! for WP to be easier to navigate.
Of course, I may be biased as a WordPress user, but I found that I was able to really focus on what I was working on, and I just love the WordPress dashboard.
Solo Build It Cost
SiteSell offers a 90-day risk-free guarantee on both the annual and monthly subscription plans. Considering what you get with a subscription, it’s a super affordable price! The best value is in the annual plan costing just $149 for the entire year. You can also pay monthly at $17 per month if this is easier on your budget right now. I remember when I first bought hosting and my domain the last thing I wanted to do was invest another couple hundred dollars into a plugin, BUT it is worth it.
Speaking from experience, don’t waste time trying to research it all yourself. It’s all in the Action Guide! Oh, I almost forgot! As an SBI! member, you also get access to the forums where you can ask questions and interact with other SBI! business owners. This alone is worth $17 per month.
I don’t regret investing money in my blog on a course that helped me get where I am today. However, I do wish I had come across SBI! for WP sooner so that I could have learned more about site structure and also the importance of staying focused on my site concept and interlinking.
I’ve done all the things! Girl, I’ve washed my face. I’ve trashed everything that doesn’t spark joy. I’ve walked the baby steps. I’ve cried. I’ve prayed, but my perfectionism has really held me back.
Perfection Hangover can be crippling. Stop comparing yourself to others and start living your best life! That’s why PH exists! I want to encourage you to take control of your money, your blog, and your business.