Ken Evoy Attacks Blogging & WordPress

 

I have learnt a huge amount from Ken Evoy over the years, he provides some of the best free ebooks to learn about affiliate marketing and pre-selling ever written.

His SiteBuildIt system has created many successful online businesses and was doing this long before WordPress became popular.

In his email to affiliates today he announced a new sales page attacking blogging head on.

Blogging has reached lemming status. Without even thinking, many small businesses equate blogging with having a Web site. This is obviously wrong for small businesses with something to sell (ex., services, e-book sellers, etc.).

But it’s also the wrong choice for infopreneurs (ex., those who earn affiliate and AdSense income, without selling anything directly to customers).

How and why has blogging reached “lemming epidemic” status? How do bloggers actually do FINANCIALLY, where it counts? Should YOU blog? When? How do blogs compare to Theme-Based Content Sites, performance-wise in the short-and-long terms?

Where did the misleading promise of blogging come from? Why do folks buy into it, despite all the evidence of failure?

Remember that “Where’s the beef?” commercial. Well, the “beef” of blogging vs. building is all here…

In some ways I have similar reservations about blogging, after all not too long ago I did write that blogs suck.

Part of that is from what I learnt from Ken in my early days online.

So what is the best option?

  • Use something like SBI which already exists
  • Turn blogging into SBI

In many ways I am attempting to do the latter

When I first discovered SiteBuildIt I am sure I spent at least 2 days reading all the different sales pages, case studies, and the tons of free ebooks they provide.

It is a good learning experience even if you do ultimately decide as I did that it isn’t quite what I wanted to do.

SBI seems like an expensive option compared to cheap hosting and free WordPress, but then you end up buying lots of additional training materials, keyword research tools etc, and what seemed cheap very often costs a lot more.

Blogging evangelists are going to love ripping into this new sales page attacking blogging.

 

Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more. Follow

Comments

  1. says

    Andy, I wasn’t aware of SBI. Checking it out now. Looks like something many of the small business owners I work with could benefit from.

  2. says

    Andy, I’m taking the latter of the two paths you presented as well.

    I think that the “blog it or build it” piece raises some issues about blogging that are legitimate. A chronological approach to content organization is not the best way to lead people through a sales funnel for most e-businesses.

    One area the critique falls way short though is in its implicit critique of WordPress software to accomplish similar things to SBI given a proper theme and plugins for the task.

    When I use WordPress for niche sites one of the things that goes away from my templates are the “archives by date” (and sometimes date indicators on the posts themselves to make things appear even more evergreen).

    • says

      One thing I have always done.

      Whenever someone leaves a comment pointing to an SBI site, I always leave it, because I know even if the comment is quite short, it is probably legitimate.

      I have never believed in the “Top 3% of Websites” part because SBI owners all use Alexa bars, typically visit other SBIs, and any site showcased is likely to be visited by lots of webmasters.

      The new Alexa ratings are quite telling, but not as catastrophic change as I expected.

      I always love pointing people in the direction of Michel Fortin’s Success Doctor as a great brochure site built on WordPress
      http://www.successdoctor.com/

  3. says

    OK I am willing to rip into it.

    I look at effective Internet marketing as a process where you create a conversation with your users. It does not have to be a conversation but I believe that is why autoresponders have always been so successful.

    WordPress is just a publishing tool and as a publishing tool it is quick and effective and SEO friendly.

    I remember looking at SBI years ago and did not pursue it although I probably should have at the time because I spent at least a couple of years spinning my wheels. WordPress would not be able to replace keyword tools or any of the other tools that SBI has but as for straight publishing I can not imagine that it is any worse.

    As we all know the real thing holding most people back from success is not really tools but instead inaction in the sales process. Having a blog or a site is great but it has to be on the internet not just in your head.

    • says

      One of the things most blogging lacks however is a sales process or effective sales funnel.

      SBI does have RSS, but the sales process is squarely aimed at bringing people into a sales funnel.

      I am not sure whether they have updated their autoresponders, or if most people just use Aweber with their SBIs these days – it used to be a bit of a limiting factor.

      Another thing they do well is that with SBI, the approach is not to keep blasting out content, but to refine what you already have.

      SBI are designed with fairly good information architecture from the start, there is no need for SEO plugins etc.

  4. says

    Well, I’ve been to the SiteBuildIt page quite a few times since my official beginnings on the web late last year. I’ve learnt and absorbed a lot of content since then, and I can now say that blogs have some benefits and some obvious disadvantages. The thing that SBI got right in their sales page is the “You Could Do Both” – which is a very big selling point from anyone’s perspective. They are referring of course Blog and Build a site.

    It has really got me thinking, I’ve always wanted to begin a separate site for a while now. The whole point is that blogs in general depend heavily on search engine traffic and as pointed out by the SBI people – when you stop blogging, you stop getting traffic.

    A very thought provoking post Andy, I’m going to have to do some weighing up of pro’s and cons. I always knew typical websites always had an edge.

    • says

      You can make a normal website with WP, it is just a little more work, and you don’t have the backend tools.

      SBI is all about 1 or 2 new pages per week, well researched, optimized, link build each page etc.

  5. says

    How do blogs compare to Theme-Based Content Sites, performance-wise in the short-and-long terms?

    Define blogging, please? Personally this smells like linkbait all the way to up here in the snowcovered northern parts of Norway, and the above quote “reveals” it all to well. Any given topical blog out there is a “Theme-Based Content Site”. “Blogging” and all that it has become in the past (two, I think I’d say) years is simply a certain way to present content to your visitors. And that certain way of presenting it is being re(de)fined by the hour.

    And here I was thinking that we were past the days when people bought in to the hype that blogs equal diaries.

    Not that I personally putting some focus on it though, because I don’t think that the traditional WordPress/blog/diary way of presenting content, which results in perfectly fine and still relevant content getting next to no attention, is optimal.

    In all honesty though, you can pretty much put your content on display whichever way you wish with WordPress.

    And that’s about all the incoherent rambling I have in me right now. Have a nice day ;)

    • says

      Lars to setup WordPress as a CMS, plus add in all the additional backend tools you are still looking at a larger first investment than the $300 SBI charges.

      WordPress can do everything and more but that doesn’t make it the right choice for every individual, and even if you go the WordPress route you can still benefit a huge amount from all the free material and tools that SiteBuildIt provide.

      Lots of people also claimed that my original “Blogs Suck” post was just linkbait, but what percentage of the people who read it improved their traffic funnel to the extent that they could send PPC traffic to their blog and make a profit from it?

  6. says

    A little harsh title but maybe that’s just some linkbait? ;)

    Anyway, I’ve been with SBI for over 2 years now and with 2 SBI sites (and a few more in the makings) I am earning over $10,000 per month.

    In my personal opinion, the greatest value of SBI is in the knowledge and the detailed Action Guide which helps you stay focused on the important things that need to be done. (so many distractions on the web…)

    I usually recommend to my friends to buy at least 1 SBI package to get access to all the tools, Action Guide, Help section and Forums, and then later use that knowledge to build a non-SBI site if they wish.

    They will still miss on some very cool tools like Content2 and so on…

    • says

      Tomaz the title was written to give Ken the opportunity to link to something interesting ;)
      This post is already on the 2nd page of results for his name – it won’t take many links to push it to the front page for some reputation management.

      It also is a good demonstration of the conversation that an interesting blog post can generate. I didn’t need to write a long essay proclaiming the virtues of SBI compared to blogging with WordPress, and my audience creates some useful content.

      This isn’t a one way conversation, I am adding to it, but I didn’t need to spend as much time initially.

  7. says

    I think many are starting to react to the “blog in a box” mentality cropping up everywhere on the web. As a teacher, I think blogging is good for cultural literacy. But I think in terms of a business or a money making endeavor, a lot of people believe the hype that a free install and a post everyday is going to make them rich. I’ve tried a lot of platforms and a self-hosted WordPress is all I will ever need … then again, I only make about $200 a month on it and that’s okay with me. This is a very interesting post Andy, thanks.

  8. says

    I love a good fight.

    Anyone with half a brain and who knows Ken Evoy would know that he was not slamming blogging in general.

    He was warning new site owners that if you go down this path of this thing we call blogging, you better be aware of some of the dead ends.

    For example, you better like to write and add a lot of content and be prepared to put up with not so great income.

    If you piled up the bodies of all those who thought they could get it done with just blogging, you could easily reach the moon.

    Blog in a box, blogs r us, blog your way to millions is pure junk… period.

    Is a blog useful? Just about as useful as a privacy page on your site or a disclaimer. It may be important to some, but useless when it comes to earning a good income.

    Should you have a blog if you have a website? Why?

    I’ve got 7 sites and a blog and would gladly give up the blog. It’s too much work and I wish I’d never started it.

    But in truth the traffic my blog funnels to my main site more than makes up for the pain in the butt blog.

    Paul

    • says

      Paul,
      Your trailing comment is an important one. I think the key is, if doing it to make money, you need to blog strategically.

      By driving traffic into your sales funnel, that is what you are doing. Part of the reason that blogs can be successful at this is that blogging can be a good way to help build trust over time.

      It can also attract natural links much easier than an overtly commercial enterprise. If channeled properly, it gives you a little firehose that you can use to spray link juice at your commercial projects.

      To get back to SBI — there is no reason that with some fiddling WordPress themes can’t be tweaked so that they support the blog and the commercial side.

      That said, what I really like in many cases is a full-fledged SEO-friendly CMS like ExpressionEngine that can be shiftedd into so many sizes and shapes you can really accomplish a lot with it. There are hybrid sites that, although technically doable in WordPress, become a pain to manage over time once you’ve jumped through all the hoops that you need to…

  9. says

    I see it as one of the traditional sales techniques where you bad mouth the alternative solutions. I have great respect for Ken He wrote many one stop manuals on different aspects of Internet Marketing. It’s also a good marketing strategy as he knows bloggers will get infuriated and start blogging about this its all free publicity.

    • says

      Rame there is nothing wrong with a little controversy to start a conversation, and to express a different point of view, especially when the point of view has real value.

      If you actually paid someone to maintain a single WordPress installation, keep the installation up to date, all the plugins, and fix the ones that break with each update, even if you outsourced to one of the cheaper offers on Elance it is going to cost you more than $30 a month.

      It is actually one of the reasons many blggers use WordPress.com which doesn’t have the same flexibility of hosted WordPress.

  10. says

    I have used SBI in the past, although it wasn’t really for me in the end. I like the philosophy behind SBI – create excellent content – but found the tools rather limiting.

    However, it is aimed at a certain market, and for that market it seems to do the job very well, as they have many happy customers.

    Personally I tend to use a mixture of static html, php and heavily modified WordPress for my sites, which works well; theme based content sites with up an up to date news section (aka blog) seems to be ideal to me.

    Really there isn’t too much difference between using SBI for you CMS or using WordPress; slightly different functionality, you get the benefit of the keyword tools with SBI, but lose out in data portability which could be an issue and quite limited in what you can do with the design – yes, there is the option to upload individual pages, but it isn’t well realized in my opinion.

    • says

      You have actually just proved Ken totally right, and made yourself look a little stupid.

      You are leaving comments on a blog that is dofollow, thus probably after the juice.

      You are aiming to rank for “free blog traffic”

      Free blog traffic might be a keyword which works ok as a headline in an email or rss feed, but guess what?

      Free Blog Traffic brings almost no search traffic

      How would I know that?

      I currently rank 3rd on Google for Free Blog traffic, based on a US datacentre and with personalized results switched off.
      http://www.google.com/search?q=free+blog+traffic&pws=0&gl=US

      That is with one of my Blogrush articles
      http://andybeard.eu/2007/09/blogrush-free-blog-traffic.html

      One of the reasons is I linked to it from my sidebar on the front page, because “Blogrush” was bringing in search traffic.

      “Free Blog Traffic”? – totally forget it as a search term

  11. says

    I’m going to have a look into SBI. It will need to be much superior than wordpress to get me to change – I love WordPress and its even better since I moved server and got fantastico on my hosting so I can update with one click.
    I’ve recently started messing about with using the stuff I found in the mimbio theme which has allowed me to start using WordPress as a true CMS. It rocks.

    • says

      Michael I think you will find it is comparing apples to oranges.

      SBI is a different way of thinking and methodology, whilst both are a CMS and can be used to create a siloed site.

  12. says

    Hey Andy,

    I went and read what Ken had to say. As one who has been blogging for almost a year and a half now, I think he makes a very valid point (as you do in the ‘blogs suck’ post).

    I think the accessibility and ease (short learning curve) of blogging is what has lured so many in. Then they see the few who are making a healthy living from it, and think they should at least give it a shot. When in actual fact, if they invested more time in learning copy and affiliate marketing skills, they would make a lot more money, with (in the long term) a lot less effort. Would you say this is accurate?

    I’m seriously considering SBI for a future project, instead of going with WordPress and other OS options. I might have to chat to you about it.

  13. nancy says

    Sorry, but you guys have me totally confused! If you were just starting out and had no knowledge of either, which would you say would help the newbie the most?

    • says

      Nancy

      I have written posts about the spam abuse currently being caused by people requiring their apprentices to comment on other people’s blogs for backlinks.
      I have deleted the link – you are welcome to link pointing to one of your own personal sites that says something about you (no MFA, affiliate stores etc)

      Please inform your mentor that this is not going to be accepted any more. It never has been, but then I was kind last time and my response was of a general nature.

  14. says

    Hello! Yes I know Ken Evoy product and his e-books, I learn a great deal from them. He was the one who invented pre-sell idea.
    After a couple of years with Affiliate marketing I will say:
    1) Blogging is a mode, a fashion, we all use is for free traffic, but some how is superficial, and not always produce solid success. Like any fashion it will come, it will be abused, and it will go.
    2) A WebSite with amazing content, pack full of solid content will stay forever, because it is useful.

    Blogs are not all of them useful, some yes, the majority no, this is my opinion. And the fact that it is so easy to create Blods – it is a disadvantage for Blogs.

    Regards
    Michisor2
    http://internetmarketingreviews-michisor2.blogspot.com/

  15. says

    I saw Ken’s article over the weekend and somewhat agree. I personally feel I made mistake when I created a ton of blogs thinking that my wife and I were going to write as much as Darren Rowse does. I don’t know what we were thinking!

    Prior to that I was following the SBI model and doing much better.

  16. says

    After reading this stuff and doing a little bit of research, I think I’m going to probably wind up buying an SBI package to get access and knowledge to the tools and stuff, and then once i get comfortable I’m going to build a non-sbi site…

  17. says

    as long as people are getting good content online, the methods they use doing it aren’t too important when they start. it’s rather like when you get your first car, you shouldn’t start out with a porsche, no matter how much you want it. you need something solid and easy to do — that’s blogging. then, once you’ve gotten familiar with everything out there, know what’s going on with the web, then you’re ready for an upgrade. ;) it’s all a matter of where you on in the grand scheme of learning things online.

    • says

      Morgan

      Most of what I write about is strategic, with a little seizing the opportunity of the moment such as this post, or the release of a service readers will find useful.

      If content doesn’t fit within my overall gameplan, it doesn’t appear.

      Most people online shouldn’t be driving cars, they should have a trike or a bike with stabilizers.

      SBI is the type of learning experience that should come before blogging, and the decision not to use it shouldn’t be price, but specific technical reasons.
      The cost of writing one blog post (time) covers a month of using SBI for a small business. Then 5 people read it, either staff or family memebrs for many of them.

      p.s. don’t forget the semantic markup on your brochure pages.

  18. says

    I had several SBI sites and I found Ken Evoy’s ebooks and information extremely valuable. But it is in part due to his grounding that I progressed to blogging, and WordPress in particular.

    What is undeniable is that the world has moved on from static websites. Web 2.0 has introduced online interactivity where the blogger and visitor conduct a dialogue (as here) and this takes the web into new directions.

    IMHO there is nothing that a website can do that you cannot do with a WordPres.org blog. WordPress can be a complete Content Management System if you want. And it’s a whole lot cheaper than SBI.

    I really respect Ken Evoy but, for once, I think he’s wrong.

    Sarah

    • says

      Sarah first of all you are a programmer – that helps understand WordPress a little.

      That being said if you have used SBI, you are forgetting a lot of what Ken no doubt taught, such as semantic markup.

      With WordPress you don’t have the tools to hold your hand and remind you to use meaningful headings.

      Also of note, how many beginners guides to using SBI have you seen written? They are not needed.

      You think of WordPress being cheaper than SBI – the cost of me upgrading to WordPress 2.5 is more than $1000

      Do SBIs ever get hacked?

      I am a big fan of WordPress, and it is also the route I took, but I had very specific technical and business reasons to do so.

      • says

        Andy,
        I saw this ‘anti-blogging’ message in my inbox a couple of days ago. I just knew it would get a lot of response. I am new at creating a presence on the net and I intend to monetize. Right now I am blogging my travel journals at wordpress.com and learning a lot. I do understand somewhat how wordpress.org could function as a CMS. I do not understand what you meant when you said it cost you $1000 when wordpress upgraded last month. Would you mind taking the time to enlighten me?

        Just checked out bluetooth for hosting wordpress, should I go that route, and noticed they are now offering site building in the package. That would surely cut into SBI’s profits. And if bluetooth is doing it, surely other hosts are as well.

        Is Ken Evoy running scared or just savy in stirring up a little controversy?

        • says

          Diane

          You really need to look at various costs

          1. The cost of making mistakes
          a) You are using titles which won’t bring you any traffic either from social media or search engines
          b) You are using Technorati tags rather than tags to the WordPress.com internal tagging system (which gives you links back)
          c) Why are you using WP.com in the first place – it is complicated to move away from them if you want to monetize, and most forms of monetization are forbidden on WP.com

          2. IT Costs

          If I have 20 blogs, I can use scripts to update them fairly quickly if they are all using the same plugin set and themes, but I also need to spend a lot of time testing existing plugins work, and there are other things that can go wrong.
          From a business perspective, you have to value your time, or that of an employee doing these tasks.
          Tim went into that side recently
          http://www.timnash.co.uk/04/2008/wordpress-security/

          WordPress have this horrible habit of combining new features with security updates

          If you are paying $60 to $100 per hour for IT support, it soon adds up.

          3. Training & Tools

          SBI provides you with tons of very specific training and tools, the system that works – with WordPress you have to do everything yourself, buy additional tools etc.

          It would be just as complicated to move away from SBI as it is to move from WP.com to your own hosting with WP.org software.

          Also of note SBI is unlimited bandwidth – you can still create content that will be popular in social media, and their servers can take the traffic.

          I couldn’t run my blog on normal shared hosting, they would kick me off – just hosting this blog is a minimum of $30 to $50 a month without massive surges of traffic from the likes of Digg.

          4. Time To Create Content

          Every single piece of content you product takes time to create. If what you are producing is not going to bring you long term results, it is in many ways a wasted effort.

        • says

          Hi Andy,
          Thanks for your detailed response. And thanks for taking the time to visit my WP.com blog. I am sorry I did not write more clearly…I am not planning on monetizing that personal blog. Having the blog is helping me take my handwritten travel journals and get them into publishable form for a future book, perhaps, someday. But it is really just an experiment to learn about blogging and share my travel adventures with friends already known and those being made in the blogosphere.

          I am planning to build and monetize three websites…I have three distinct business ideas I want to implement this year.

          I read Tim’s article about how WP has the attitude of “upgrade or die,” and it was a real eye opener for me. I think I will probably take WP.org off my list of site building possibilities. I like WP.com just fine for personal blogging and plan to continue until all my travel journals and other memoirs are posted.

          The marketing techniques of Ken Evoy send me up a tree and it has really put me off from considering that product. Tooting your own horn so loudly, plus allowing people who have no experience with the product to become affiliates, are two practices I wish that company would change. Any communication from SBI is so full of repetitious garbage it is sickening to wade through it to get to the main point.

          Even so, I might use it for one of my sites. What is your opinion about Bluetooth’s or any hosting company’s own site building capabilities? Have any opinions on those, as compared to SBI for a newbie? And can an inexperience person pull of using Plone or Drupal without paid IT assistance?

          Thanks, Andy, for your time.

        • says

          I am not a lawyer, but I believe in some countries there are legal reasons why you shouldn’t run an affiliate program that is closed to free members.

          With SBI for instance Affiliates do have extensive training available to them, and they have access to the private forums. It used to be just part of them, but I think they may have opened that up a little now.

          The are all kinds of affiliate marketing, and most forms do not involve word of mouth marketing.

          This review in theory is word of mouth marketing, but I also clearly stated I don’t own the product. Actually there are very specific reasons why I don’t own the product, and I elaborated on those in the SBI affiliate forums.

          Whilst SBI is sometimes likened to an MLM kind of selling, with lots of hype, a lot of that is because of belief in the product, both Ken and many of the owners.

          However every single sales page I have read on SBI plays down get rich quick, and likens them to a tortoise rather than a hare.

          Other forms of affiliate marketing don’t have any connection with word of mouth marketing, such as sending traffic direct to a merchant using PPC, shopping comparison engines, and simple display advertising.

          It would be impossible for an Amazon or Ebay affiliate to purchase every product in the stores they create.

          WP.org is a better choice than most if it is the kind of content building you are looking for, and SBI shouldn’t be looked on as a site builder – it is a process

        • says

          Hi Diane, I know I replied over on my own site, but thought I would add quickly that my article was aimed very squarely at companies over individuals. Just because in my view WordPress is not suitable for companies does not make it a bad platform to run a business on. However even though the software is free their is always a cost, even if you are not accurately measuring it.

          on SBI I know in my reply to you on my blog I likened it to a Cult perhaps that gave over a sinister unintended edge :) I like Andys description of it being a process when you buy into SBI you are buying into their way of thinking.

        • says

          Andy, in which SBI affiliate forums? You mean over at the SBI site? Is your name the same over there?

          Tim, thanks for the clarification on the original purpose of your article about WordPress. Your phrase about SBI having some cult-like qualities was a good one…and I mean no harm, either!

          I am interested to know why people don’t use SBI. I did look at the top twenty SBI sites as recommended by SBI themselves and all the sites looked alike to me…no personality, all the same color and format. Yikes!

          Did I just answer my own question?

        • says

          yes
          In the late 90s the craze was something called nuke a CMS which at its time was revolutionary and spawned numerous clones written in a host of programming languages. The problem was every site using it looked the same and generally very ugly!

  19. says

    Heck! I figure I chime in on this. I have been developing websites for years. Worked with homestead CMS and others. Built my own CMS with PHP and MySQL. Hacked a phpBB forum. Spent a year around SEO crowd and now doing social media networking.

    I started my WordPress blog about 4 months ago. Took a little heads up from Andy and Darren from Problogger!

    Slowly, it is going up the hill with about 100 to 200 uniques a day!

    I was told http://www.igorthetroll.com is a bad name for domain! I say Horseshit! It is what you make of it!

    So I guess I am on the right track! If I did not have all this experience, would I be able to succeed, even a little as I am doing now? I say no way Jose!

    So having experience, whatever it maybe, does help you survive in the Blogosphere!

  20. says

    Frankly I’d challenge wordpress itself as the unofficial king of blogging platforms. I use NucleusCMS for one reason – I need just one URL re-writer plugin for ever bit of SEO I’ve needed. Given that wordpress themes directly into PHP I’m always amazed at how much work goes into plug-ins. But then I make no secret of the fact I don’t like wordpress.

    Frankly if I had the time I’d write a fresh system from scratch. But I no longer have that luxury.

    I use NucelusCMS along with categories as a simple tree structure sometimes. I can theme away all trace of dates and other stuff and use the index page theme to present a main landing page with the content “inside”.

    I also sometimes use software I have written to theme my content too. Maybe I should share it for a small price.

    • Mark says

      So many of the comments on here have very valid points!

      Something that seems to be getting lost once-in-a-while in the “noise” is that SBI brags about not having to learn or do all the “SEO” stuff. They are for businesses, whether that is a sol-proprietor or a big university.

      Follow the plan, CTPM (Build Content, Traffic, Presell the Visitor and then Monetize the website.

      They are not for personal use, though I guess you can if you just want to learn or get your message out there in a big way.

      Is SBI as simple as “default” WP install? No way, but they never claimed to. They claim to build websites that make people money! BTW: I haven’t seen anyone comment that they even use the default install, everyone learned how to tweak, from Andy or others. Ken’s solution just provides the whole package.

      No I’m not a customer but I do read their stuff, particularly this sales page.

      I am getting ready to start a new project and was considering WP. I am amazed how many comments here justify Ken Evoy’s position whether they were intended to or not, nice thread of comments here Andy.

  21. says

    The only reason I could see for Kem Evoy to attack Blogging is because it directly effects his profits. It is of course less expensive to start a “Theme Based” Blog than it is to use SBI. WordPress has many free plugins that open up the doors to viral marketing in ways no other program can. But, I have never seen a Blog as a website. I have always seen them as a tool that is used to promote your main website. In the case of SBI a Blog could perfectly compliment your theme.

    I would think it would be smart to use the power of blogging to build a SBI site instead of saying it is not a good thing to use. It would be great if SBI could incorporate WordPress into the site building structure.

    • says

      Stephen I would suggest you read some of the other comments. WordPress though free to download isn’t free to use, because it takes more time.
      Most comparisons with SBI on internet marketing forums are with XSitePro, used to develop static websites. Also not free but certainly a strong competitor.
      Businesses tend to start a blog, and then pay a blogging consultant to teach them how to blog, and a web developer to maintain it.

      SEOs spend a lot of time teaching people how to SEO WordPress, but if you follow 99% of the guides I have read, you will end up with something that isn’t quite as good as a siloed static website, which is what you get with SBI.

      Note: SBI does have its own blogging platform, which includes things like permalinks

  22. says

    WordPress and blogging are no less effective than SBI (and can even be more effective) if you know what you’re doing.

    In my opinion, SBI’s strength is in the training. The technology behind it makes it easy for the non-technical user to set up their site but it’s a bit limiting compared to building your own site, whether with WordPress or some other system.

    I’m sure the underlying technology does things a “normal” website doesn’t, but the same results can be had without it. I had two SBI websites at one time and moved them both onto my own hosting once I found myself wanting to do things I couldn’t with their system. Both have continued to grow after the move.

    I think this is partly a linkbait tactic on Ken’s part, but the fact is the technology behind a website is a MUCH smaller part of its success than the brains behind it.

    And one advantage WordPress has over SBI for me is that it doesn’t feel so much like a rah-rah MLM meeting when I pop into the forum to look for an answer to a question :-)

    • says

      John

      Haven’t you noticed the MLM like following that WP sometimes has, especially among blog consultants who charge their business clients $50 to $100 per hour to tech them how to blog.

      SBI certainly has limitations and a lot of my current and future business plans are very much WP related, but for some people WP isn’t the best answer.

      • says

        I haven’t noticed that – I guess I’m fortunate enough to not need those $100 an hour consultants :-)

        SBI vs WordPress, Mac vs PC, Ford vs Chevy – whatever battle you happen to be part of, they all come down to the same thing. Use what works best for you.

    • says

      John, I am interested in learning what it is you wanted to do with your sites that SBI did not have capabilities for. Would you mind sharing?

      Was it difficult to move your sites away from SBI? Do you still have those sites and are they a significant income source for you?

      Thanks,
      Diane

      • says

        Diane, the primary thing I wanted to be able to do was run WordPress and a couple of other php scripts. SBI had a basic blog capability when I left but it was nowhere near as capable as WordPress.

        I also found the process of uploading new pages a little cumbersome compared to standard FTP. I would have probably put up with it if it wasn’t for wanting to do the other stuff though.

        I wasn’t using their templates – I had designed my sites myself – so moving them wasn’t all that complicated. I basically just had to save all the HTML pages and edit them to remove any SBI-specific tags that were in them. It took a bit of time but it’s not hard work if you know a little bit about HTML.

        I do still have the sites. They’re earning more than when they were in SBI and have continued to increase in traffic since moving them. I don’t spend a lot of time maintaining them anymore so they aren’t huge money-makers, but they’re still respectable.

  23. says

    Many years ago I read the free Ken Evoy affiliate training material. It served as my introduction to affiliate marketing and making money on the web. While I never moved on to SBI, his e-book provided some great information on how to create money making websites that all green webmasters should know.

    I think his take on blogging is that a blog should supplement your sales website, not be your sales website. I think he misses the mark on how a good blog can draw in targeted traffic to feed your ‘money website’ with a flow of new prospects. He is correct, however, about a blog needing to constantly be fed with new content…

  24. says

    I have learned a great deal from SBI free guides. Ken does a good job of a educating people on strategy for creating websites in an internet based platform. The key point that I learned most from Ken is Preselling.

    And I agree with you Andy when you mentioned that WP have intangible cost associated with it aside from the base install on CPanel’s Fantastico.

    As for me, I employ both approach. I use WP as a way to create a sense of connecting to visitors which is not normally existent on basic websites. The blog could be both content and traffic builder depending on one’s strategy. The blog then leads visitors to the main site where you have the preselling staging and monetization. The SE traffic that it creates at most times, leads to the main selling site.

    I think the premise that blogs would earn you money, by itself, is misleading to beginning bloggers. The end result is a frustrated blogger who thought they would make money because Fantastic Guru said so.

    I’m not a user of SBI although I’m an affiliate, so I could not assess the methods that is being used by the product itself. If one is a techie, I believe with much WP theme pages tweaking, you could create a website from the WP platform. I am currently experimenting on this combination of WP + bbPress as a forum.

    Just my opinion….

  25. says

    After I read the thing I wanted to rip into it with vigor. But Ken defeated me ultimately because there was so damn much spin in that thing to sell SBI it was like watching FOX News.

    Just thinking about taking the 20-30 points that were so clearly set up to sell an old school system on the new web and explaining why Ken has completely lost his mind was exhausting.

    So I waited for people like you to respond, Andy, and then you were far too diplomatic in your response.

    So I’m still waiting for someone with more time than Ken (and who has that kind of time?) to write so much about a topic that you lose interest in life itself by the time you are halfway through.

  26. says

    Great marketing article, would love to hear more about how this might be implemented online and your thoughts on that aspect. Keep the great articles coming.

  27. says

    Geat comments!

    I’ve been a fan of Ken’s formula of pre-selling content to sell your products and still model. As a web designer I don’t use SBI but have a main site and a blog.

    Whatever you use depends on your purpose…it’s not really the tools you use but how you use them. The purpose of my blog is to freely and easily write quick posts, even articles that provide traffic to my main site and provide fresh content for visitors. The beauty of the blog is that I can spend only 15 min updating it with good content without FTP

    The purpose of my main site (static) is to offer long term content and services.

    Sidenote – the blog takes more work however I enjoy writing so it’s actually a joy to do it.

  28. says

    Internet Business Blogger echoes my experience.

    I too looked at SBI a long time ago. I too went another route. I went the blogging route and my mistake was to use Blogger instead of getting my own domain, and, hosting a WordPress blog there. But, hey, I was a total newbie!

    The hit on blogging by Ken and others is unwarranted. Blog traffic does not only come from search engine love. There are a multitude of ways to promote that are not much different from promoting SBI websites.

    For me, a blog and a website are just different vehicles to get from home to the bank. Blogs tend to be more personalized and, thus, attract their own audience.

    SBI is comprehensive but does not have every possible aspect of the WWW covered. No one system does. SBI is one system. Blogging is another system. Email marketing is another.

  29. says

    Hi Andy,

    I have a lot of respect for Ken Evoy. Learnt a lot from him.

    Having said that I’m not too sure if we can call denounce WP sites and blogs.

    Personally, I’ve used Niche Marketing on Crack method to great effect with blogs.

    Blogs, if used properly, together with an opt in form, can still be a cost effective way to build a site that pulls.

    At the end of the day, the blog or website must offer value. If not, the visitor ain’t coming back.

    Best,
    Jag

  30. says

    I am a strong supportor of blogging, to me it is the best way to create conversations with potential clients or even fellow business owners.

  31. says

    There are successful bloggers who are doing well financially because they are delivering value on a large scale.

    SBI is a great place to start for those without a technology background. The primary focus is on what Evoy calls “keyword focused content pages”. These focus on keywords which are in demand but also in short supply.

    I had previously built several websites that got no traffic so found it refreshing that with my SBI site I did get traffic and started making money.

    What I did not learn from SBI was effective linkbuilding. My site was doing well on MSNSearch but no Google traffic at all. The Google traffic only came after I learned linkbuilding which I learned from other sources.

    What really matters whether you blog or build a traditional site are: basic principles. You need to master the basics just like you would in any other endeavor whether it be chess or baseball. Most bloggers have not mastered the basics and so are making no money at all. To learn the basics requires study and work and, ideally, having mentors.

    • says

      I think that perhaps many got into blogging because it was such a buzz and everyone wanted to be a part of it and not necessarily to make an income. As time went on and people learned they can generate profits from it….those with the discipline to learn this craft soared and the rest are left behind.

      Sales Letters

  32. says

    I think Ken Evoy is an absolute genius. I’ve thoroughly studied his work for close to 2 years now and there is no other internet marketing ‘guru’ on the internet whom I feel gives more BEEF backed up by real evidence. I’ve bought his products, read his newsletters and he is usually, from what I read in his materials, on the money and way ahead of the times. He is a true visionary.

    And no, I’m not paid to say any of this. :-)

    Sales Letters

  33. says

    I am very hesitant to post a link because of the no spam policy, but I have found reading these comments absolutely fascinating, and I wonder if any of you guys had used Terapad?

    I use it for my sites specifically because it bridges the gaps between blogging and websites and works perfectly for SEO and all the latest Web 2.0 stuff. Before I used Terapad I was on wordpress, but frankly it was too complicated for me if I wanted to set up the full CMS, and whilst I haven’t tried SBI the pricing does seem to be extraordinary.

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this.

  34. Melissa Taylor says

    Andy,

    If you are not an SBI affiliate, you should be! Ken would love this rant_ for or against or… I lost the point and purpose of this page and fury… I believe this proves Ken and SBI without a doubt. I certainly would not want to toil, work and monitor this fuss and mess just to plant a single sale–especially when the greater number of respondents here are only after a link back, which I do not seek.

    Cheers :)

  35. says

    I'd experimented with WordPress.com websites, and built 2 SBI websites (one for myself and 1 for a client) before I decided to delve into a hosted WordPress.org blog website (see link on my name).

    All I can say is that I'm very thankful I had the knowledge, experience and basic HTML knowledge from Ken's E-books, SBI and the SBI forums before I ventured into building my first blog website.

    While it did not take me long to set up the blog, it was definitely not as uncomplicated as many would have you believe. Between the WP updates (which require “backing up your database”), working with plug-ins and trying to figure out how effective SEO, blogs for business are definitely not a newbies game in my humble opinion.

    Comparing SBI to WordPress is definitely a complete Apples-to-Oranges deal. If you're only interested in personal blogging, with no serious traffic or business building needs, then I say go ahead with the lower up front costs of a WordPress blog, stumble and learn and aggregate all the resources you need at your own pace, and keep at it till you make it work.

    However, if you have a standing local business, or want to make money by building an Internet Business, SBI is virtually a must-have, even if you never build an SBI website. As far as SBi websites all looking alike, many do, but a few points to think about:

    Your clients will be drawn to your content and value proposition and not comparing you to an imagined list of 200 other SBI sites.

    The ever-improving SBI can be customized with 2 or 3 column templates at $50 bucks or so (for those who care) and the company is actively updates to many features virtually everyday. In the 2 years or so since I've been a client (after studying it for 2 years before making my decision), there have been tons of improvements, and extensions:

    You can now have a WordPress blog attached to your site, along with Ning websites, phb forums and all sorts of other resources with SBI's infinIT functionality.

    The company is also working on other template customizations such as 3-column templates for those who care as much about sophisticated design as they do about business functionality.

    In the interests of full disclosure, I am an SBI affiliate, and have been for about 2 years. I also find the “SBI-evangelist snobs” you occasionally find on the forums a bit overbearing, but, to be fair to them (and in all honesty), you will rarely find a CEO, product and customer in as much alignment as SBI and Sitesell are with their target market.

    Who's their target market?

    The beginner to the internet who is not a programmer, doesn't want to spend time and money “playing part-time programmer” and wants an all-in-one solution for building an internet business at an affordable price.

    Hope this helps someone.

Trackbacks