About Site Build It!
How SBI Could Change Your Life and Finances the Way it Changed Mine
Okay, so you already know the story of how my tiny little soccer magazine ran into trouble when the internet came along, and how my first attempt to bring it into the digital age cost me a whole bunch of money, and didnt even work that well. Now, let me tell you about my second attempt, and how that one succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.
If you recall, I had just lost my biggest client and was now feverishly researching the web for any information I could find on affiliate marketing, website development and internet commerce. Pretty soon, after wading through all the "get rich quick" nonsense that inevitably comes with such a search, I discovered a company called Sitesell and their Site Build It! method of building websites.
What struck me about Site Build It! is that it didnt just promise to help me build a cool-looking website (Remember, I already had one of those, and a $7,000 hole in my bank account to prove it). It offered to do something far more important and turn that cool-looking website into a profitable business, which is something I had never been able to do with the previous Soccer New England site. And it offered to do it for a tiny fraction of the cost of my previous site.
I started my first site, Soccer-Tournament-Guide.com in August of 2006. I decided to focus on the specific area of soccer tournaments because many of Soccer New Englands best advertisers over the years had been tournaments. By the end of that first year, the site had started to make money. Pennies a day at first from Google ads, but growing by the month as traffic grew. Pretty soon we started to get inquiries from advertisers, and by the fall of 2007, we were selling web ads to most of our traditional advertising base, and many others who had never advertised in the magazine before.
The ads were cheaper than their old ink-on-paper couterparts, so my advertisers were naturally very happy. Yet without a printing bill to pay each month, they were still more profitable than those traditional black and white print ads.
In October of 2007, I started our second site, shutting down the old Soccer New England site and replacing it with this one, a newly-designed, Soccer-New-England.com, also powered by SBI. I love that I have so much more control over the look and feel of this new site, to say nothing of the monetization models.
The SBI Process Makes Perfect Sense.
Of course, it all starts with content. To a twenty-year publishing veteran, it came as no surprise that creating great content was a crucial first step. SBI helps you do that with writing tips and loads of help in deciding just what it is your site should be about.
Then comes traffic. How search engines view your content is crucial to building traffic, as is the number of other sites that link back to you and myriad other things that Site Build It! helps you with.
Once you have a good site that generates lots of traffic, the fun part is in turning that traffic into profit, either from advertising, affiliate links, online stores or dozens of other things that Site Build It! and the entire SBI community can help you with.
Take a look at this video tour if you want a better idea of how the whole process works.
Has it been a lot of work? You bet. But Ive been running my own business for a long time now, so hard work is something Im used to. More to the point, it's fun work, and I feel that I'm working for myself.
There was once a fairly well-known political fundraiser who, after years of raising money for several high-profile campaigns, decided to retire and go into a career selling real estate. When asked a short while later how he was enjoying his new life, he replied, Its great! Selling real estate is just like fundraising, except that you get to keep the money.
Let me tell you, as a publishing veteran who used to work 80 hours a week generating revenue, only to see 50-60% of it go out the window each month to pay printers and the US postal service, I love the idea of internet publishing. Its just like print publishing, except that you get to keep the money!
Site Build It! has helped me navigate the tricky transition from traditional print publishing to a dynamic and exciting web-based magazine that better serves the needs of our readers, our advertisers, our contributors, and (lets be honest) our publisher. Along with our sister site at Soccer-Tournament-Guide.com, we have been able to re-define the business model for regional soccer publishing in the US - To one that actually works!
Its been a fun ride, and my guess is that the best part is yet to come. The aim is to generate as much revenue from these sites as we used to from the old print magazine. When we accomplish that (and we're about half-way there right now), without having the expense of a printing and mailing bill each month, we will really be able to "Live the Dream" of making a handsome living doing something we love.
Anyone can do it, even an old dinosaur like me. So if youve ever thought of starting your own internet business, or if you're looking to the web to give a boost to your existing business, like I did, you might want to check out Site Build It! I'm pretty sure Soccer New England would not be here today without it.
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