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Scam Review Backfires – Lis Sowerbutt’s Review of Site Build It
Lis wondered if Site Build It (SBI!) was a good way to make passive income. She labeled it a scam. This caused a riot in her comments section below this particular post.
Some comments agreed with Lis while others (mostly loyal SBIers) stuck to their guns and praised the approach that SBI takes for creating passive income on the Internet. I have two, but the bulk of my websites are done in Wordpress like this one.
You see, I learned the Internet Marketing ropes with SBI which allowed me to tackle the more advanced tools like domains, hosting, Wordpress, Keyword Analysis, Search Engine Optimization, FTP, cPanel, html, php, cloaking, autoresponder, AdSense, AdWords, etc.
When I began this business in February 2005, I knew nothing about Internet Marketing. Heck! I am still learning. It’s a huge subject. But in 2005 I knew zilch, nada, nothing. I found SBI very suitable for beginners and the amount of backup material was stunning.
Tutorials, tips, and lots of incisive information for someone just starting an Internet business to make some passive income.
This was just what I needed.
Creating a website with SBI is easy. You just fill in the blocks and Voila! You have a working website that can begin to pull in income immediately. Just follow the detailed action plan provided by SBI.
And a free forum is included with your purchase where you can get answers to any problem. There are over 7,000 people in the SBI forum. And they are all very helpful.
SBI is not a scam. Lis admitted that in a later post.
The most interesting thing about this riot was that Ken Evoy, the creator of SBI, took umbrage and wrote a scathing review of what Lis wrote on her blog.
A review of the SBI Scam review, in essence.
He really set the record straight and rebuffed every critical point make by Lis in her “scam” review.
Here is Ken’s reply. It is a real eye-opener.
Ken Evoy Mar 19th, 2009 at 2:55 am
I have seen many reviews of SBI!, but never one that is so intellectually dishonest and lazy as this one……(Editor’s Note: Be forewarned – it will take a good hour to read all the comments!)
I’ve debated with myself about whether to give this the undue attention that it does not deserve, or to sue for defamation and slander (I’m not litigious by nature, it’s just not worth the negative use of time), or to ignore.
But this review is simply too inaccurate to ignore.
Point by point (each point starts with a quote from the review, followed by my reply). The entire review has essentially been deconstructed and replied to…
1) “Site Build It has been around for a while and even has some good parts to it. But that doesn’t make it any less a scam.”Actually, it does. Bad products don’t tend to last.
2) “Steve Pravlina (sic) is the reason I’m mad. I like Steve - his motivational writing is great - but now he has sold out to the other side and is pushing the old Site Build It scam!”
I’ve spent hours talking with Steve and he is one of the most honest, moral people I have ever met. He did an incredible amount of research and due diligence before recommending a thorough and accurate review of Site Build It He even recently dropped Google Ads, which cost him over $100,000 per year, because he did not like some of the ads that were being delivered.
3)”What is Site Build It ?
Its a “one stop shop” for someone who wants a website but doesn’t know where to start.”
No, it’s the only product in the world that enables people to create profitable e-BUSINESSES. It’s NOT about building a Web site. There are thousands of easier ways to do that. The vast majority fail due to the lack of process and tools that SBI! provides. Like I said, there are easier ways to build a site, but no better way to build a BUSINESS.
4) “You pay them a heafty (sic) fee- PER SITE - around $300 ANNUALLY. And for this sum you get:
* “free” domain name* “free” hosting* drag and drop website builder* newsletter manager* autoresponder* search engine ranking help* traffic reports* hand holding: forum, tutorial etc.”
And the results speak for themselves. Like Apple or an early Google, a product does not develop a devoted following unless it OVERdelivers a great product.
“Now if you Google for “site builder scam” - you will find a lot of “reviews” which are just affiliate pitches? Why because Site Build It pays affiliates around $75 a sale, and that’s an annual fee to remember.”
I did that very Google Search and I find one article in the top 10 that discusses reviews such as this shoddy one that FALSELY call SBI! a scam…
This post is by Lisa Irby, a former SiteSell Affiliate Manager who went on her own because she grew her own business as well until she was making too much money with her SBI! site and as a 5 Pillar Affiliate (and as an affiliate for other products, too). Lisa credits us for much of her success.
6) “You don’t even have to be a user of SBI to be an affiliate - how can you sell something you don’t use yourself - that’s what I turned me off affiliate marketing initially.”
This is an absurd argument.
Site Build It! is the equivalent of a business degree in a box, with all the tools necessary to execute the “course.” You don’t have to take the Harvard MBA program to do thorough research and due diligence, and then write a reasoned review of the best MBA programs.
I have written about the dark side of affiliate marketing, where people are paid 50%-80% commission to sell Get Rich Quick programs that cost thousands of dollars. But any investigation of our program, how we have conducted business for 10 years, and how SBI! owners respond to our efforts for them would convince a serious researcher than this is not us.
7) “You will find no link here for SBI - if you want to join - type in their url direct and then sign up as an affiliate and pay yourself the commission as a discount!”
This is actually against the rules of our program. This dishonest suggestion to take advantage of what should be a partnership relationship is an unfortunate insight into the reviewer. If this advice resonates with you, please don’t join our program.
“So Why is Site Build It a Scam?
1. you don’t own your domain - the Anguilla-beaches .com site which features prominantly (sic) in the sales pitch is owned by Ken Evoy - who owns site build it - according to domain tools anyways;”
This is patently false. Of course you won (sic) your own domain. Any research on any OTHER site EXCEPT anguilla-beaches.com would show that. And any research at all about anguilla-beaches.com would have revealed that this site was created by my daughter when she was 14 years old. She is now 20 and I have merely not got around to transferring the site into her name.
Her site, by the way, is the highest trafficked site about Anguilla (you can verify this at Alexa, Quantcast, Compete, etc.). She earns excellent income despite this being a 2-hour per week hobby for her.
9) “you can’t just move your website elsewhere to say cheaper hosting - you are tied up with SBI for life. You have to make $300/year just to break even on the deal!”
Flat wrong. Any Webmaster can suck these pages and move them to another Web host. Like any other transfer, you would have to hook up forms, etc. But SBI! sites are completely movable.And $300/year amounts to $25 per month, cheap for all that SBI! provides.
And cheap if you are at all serious about building a genuine, long-term, ever growing business.
10) “they spend a lot of time quoting Alexa rank of SBI sites - Alexa ranks just proves that you have a bunch of internet marketers visiting your site - probably because of the link from the sales page - as they are the only people who use the Alexa tool bar. Internet marketers are unlikely to buy your homemade chocolates or rent your condo in Puerto Rico;”
This is an Alexa myth. It’s not possible to fake hundreds of Top 1% sites such as on Alexa.
It discusses how to use several metrics sites to get a better picture. But the bottom line message is that no other company can show the type of results like SBIers get.
No metrics site is perfect. I can point out serious flaws with Quantcast, Compete, etc. Sampling always has some built-in bias. Understanding statistics helps to understand how to use these tools more effectively than this reviewer comprehends.
11) “the search engine help according the site build it’s own sales promotion video involves submitting your sites to the search engines - do not ever do this - this just prooves (sic) to Google that your site is not worth visiting cause no one is linking to it. Read Court on why you should NOT submit your website to Google.”
Also false. We may still use the word “submit” in our sales sites (I don’t recall, but if so it’s conceptual). I do know that it has been a long time since we submitted pages. Here is how SBIers have been ahead of the curve throughout the past many years in this area…
We were one of the first to automate Site Engine submission, always according to optimal sequences that worked (according to an algorithm that tracked spider visits to every page, indexing, etc.) We were also THE first to create an automatic Google SiteMaps XML file, adapting it as Yahoo!, MSN and Ask all came on board.
We do NOT tell SBIers to submit pages. That’s ancient history and totally false as this researcher would know if she actually did research on SBI!.
12) “further more (sic) to rank your site they suggest you use pay per click (PPC) advertising - this is as about as risky as say foreign exchange dealing as it not something any new on-line marketer should be doing.”
Um, no… we don’t. The whole point is that SBIers generate tens, then hundreds, then thousands, and many with tens of thousands of visitors PER DAY. Without PPC, instead with CTPM.
I have no idea where this reviewer would get such incorrect information.
13) “You don’t need a newsletter or autoresponder unless you are selling crap - sorry I mean affiliate products to visitors. If you site is just for attracting niche buying search traffic - you don’t need these products.”
This is opinion, one that I don’t agree with. At least it’s not flat-out wrong facts such as we have seen up to now. It’s just an opinion that she does not believe in e-mail marketing. Many people do.
Many SBIers use a combination of e-mail marketing and RSS feeds to allow their followers a choice of how they want to “subscribe to their sites.” The feed is a RAPID updater about what’s new and the zine is a regular (ex., monthly) reminder of what’s new, staying in front of their visitors. Others use it to sell products that they create such as e-books, artisan materials, decking. And others use it to promote products for which they are affiliates.
14) “So no SBI is not a traditional scam. They no doubt deliver on what is promised - though you no doubt have to pay extra from the PPC champaign.”
I’m not sure how to deal with this statement. I’m glad to see one accurate phrase “They no doubt deliver on what is promised”.
Actually, we’re well know for OVERdelivering.And we’re not a scam, “traditional” or otherwise. And we do not actively suggest PPC as an integral part of business-building. For the most part, PPC is a high-risk, hard-to-learn science that is beyond most people. We even tell our affiliates that they should be very sophisticated, and ready to lose money while they learn, before using PPC.
At most, we mention PPC, that it can be good for high-margin, low-cost niches, for example. But in general, we steer SBIers away from it.
15) “Yes traditional hosting and free software won’t give you support on how to build your business.But $300 for support is pretty darn expensive.”
No, it’s pretty darn cheap when you consider…
1) all that you receive
2) that you don’t waste a year of your life on regular hosting/blogging. Most people simply can’t fathom all the barriers that have to be overcome.
3) that ultimately you acquire a new life skill and a successful, profitable business that will grow with you for the long-term.
16) “What Does It Cost to Build Your Own Site:* $10 for a .com domain name ;* around $5/month for cheap hosting BTW that will cover more than one website to;* Drag and drop software to develop the site WordPress free or MyStarterBlog $7 (lifetime) ;* keyword research - free use adwords external ;* traffic analysis Google Analytics or Statcounter - both freeYes its not all in one place, you have to learn to do some odd stuff along the way - but you are building a business aren’t you?”
No, again, I have to emphasize that you are NOT “building a site.” SBI! builds businesses. The bulleted list above is NOT what it takes to build a business.
SBI! owners build a business through a rigorous process, step by step, with ALL the tools integrated right into the process, and with Support and the best small business forums in the world.That is what it takes to build a business. And it’s a lot more than than a domain name, “cheap hosting” (that will not be so cheap as soon as you start generating significant traffic), and free software from a variety of places.
17) “SiteBuildIt is basically a franchise model applied to building websites - without the brand awareness that having “McDonalds” or “Avon” in your business does to customers in the real world. Your visitors won’t feel more likely to buy from you just because your site is a “site build it!” site!”
Honestly, I have no idea where she gets these concepts. SBIers build their OWN “Brand of One.” SBI! is process-and-tools, not a franchise to sell our products.
You would be amazed at how many SBI! sites you find every day, not even recognizing what has become known as “the SBI! look.” That’s because the 40,000 sites (out of 100,000,000) way outperform the average non-SBI! site or blog.
In fact, the average visitor has no idea they are visiting a Site Build It!-built site. All they know is that the sites provide the information they were seeking, they read more and become PREsold, they subscribe to their RSS feeds and/or e-zines deepening that relationship, and ultimately they monetize through several of 15 major monetization models.
18) “Yes they don’t promise that you will get rich in your sleep. Whatever tools you use to develop a website that’s the easy bit - getting the traffic is the work bit.”
This is perhaps the closest-to-correct statement in the entire review. Developing a Web site is indeed the “easy bit.” Building traffic is what SBI! owners excel at. And converting that into income, building a profitable BUSINESS, is what SBI! is REALLY all about.
NOT building a site.
19) “Bottom line with the Solo Build It scam you put the hard work in - you get your keywords to rank and you don’t own your website.”
Bottom line with SBI! is that you bring BAM (Brain-Attitude-Motivation). We provide the rest, the process…
… and the support and community to build a thriving online BUSINESS. And yes, [b]you own your Web site.[/b]This single statement (”you don’t own your site”) should alert any serious reader as to just how badly researched this “review” is. She then proves it with a series of flat-out wrong statements…
I have quoted virtually every word from her quote. Not one stands up, except for the couple of places that grudgingly admit some sort of left-handed compliment.
Never have I seen such a poorly researched butchering of a review. Or baseless besmirching of Steve’s name. Shame.