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My SBI! Review - Using It for 10 Years and Still Loving It

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26 August 2017 - Every blogger has a journey, one that starts with the "aha!" moment of creating an online presence and culminates at some convenient point - the first time you earn $1,000 a month, or the first 1,000 newsletter subscribers or, in my case, my tenth anniversary.

SBI review

Now technically, Women on the Road isn't a blog - it's a website. I started way before the term "blog" was coined. Remember that in its early days, a blog was something that listed posts chronologically. Today, it can be anything but back then, we had websites. Nothing more, nothing less.

As someone who didn't know her HTML from her telescopes, I was stumped. I was a journalist, I could write - but how would I get that writing into the mysterious online world?

This was before YouTube. Before Facebook. Before almost everything... and I had no idea where to start.

I don't know how I found Site Build It! (it's called Solo Build It! these days) - possibly by searching on something like Dogpile or Altavista or Yahoo (yes, that last one is still around).

I don't remember. All I know is that I found it.

Expensive! Just under $300 a year. And that's ten years ago. I hummed and hawed and did my sums and decided to take the plunge.

We didn't have many free tutorials online back then, and SBI! (no, I don't know why the exclamation mark follows everything!) had instructions. Manuals. Lists. E-books. A huge forum. It certainly seemed to have all the tools to teach me. Even me.

So I started slowly, learned to code (we did that back then). Built part of this site. Learned some more. Built some more. At some point I started earning an income - nothing huge, but enough to keep me going.

Wordpress appeared, and it looked much fancier than what I had. My template was old-fashioned, and Wordpress had all the bells and whistles. I considered moving over but then, SBI! came up with new templates. And that's what happened every time. I'd see a shiny new object and go investigate. New keyword tools. Better design. Faster photo downloads. Glitzy hosting. Whatever.

And they'd show up in SBI! - for free. I ended up paying less for SBI than I would have had I gone another route with all the add-ons. 

I was busy building my empire - and then the dreaded Google Panda and Penguin struck. Google changed the way it did things, and I suffered a little. Not too much - but my income dropped. (I was lucky because a lot of websites simply disappeared.)

SBI quickly came out with detailed reports and instructions on how to get out of the doldrums and rebuild if we had lost traffic. Things turned around, slowly, but steadily. Soon, my traffic was higher than ever - and so was my income.

And that's how it has been for a decade. A new social platform is launched? SBI highlights the pros and cons. Google changes its policies? SBI shows us how to survive the shifts. The latest traffic-building technique? SBI writes it up. It is a bit like having my own online guru read every relevant article on the web and prepare a summary and recommendations for me (and if you've ever scoured the Internet for the latest, the best or the most effective email marketing or business technique, you'll know just how much of a time suck that can be.)

I might have had the same results without SBI - but I have noticed that SBI sites do well, very well in fact. (You can check out these success stories yourself.)

I happen to have a travel website, but SBI can work for any niche.

So why am I writing this review of Site Build It?

First off, there isn't a single affiliate link on this page, so this review is actually costing me money rather than earning me some. I'm writing it because I know just how much I owe SBI!

I can't say the same for everyone, however. 

Some people write (fake) reviews for money, period. They don't test the product and they don't know what they're talking about (on this site, I only promote products I firmly believe in and that I or someone I trust has tried).

One example is Wealthy Affiliate, a company that uses SBI reviews to convince people to join Wealthy Affiliate, which they say is better. Those reviews aren't real, and you can't begin to compare Wealthy Affiliate with the success of SBI! sites. (Here's a solid review of Wealthy Affiliate - you'll see how SBI users perform so much better - good for me!) It's sad because people are parted from their money by being told they're buying a better product... they're not...

If you want to know what a REAL SBI review looks like, here are some bona fide reviews of SBI - you'll see the difference.

And that's why I'm writing this. Because if it weren't for SBI! I wouldn't have this site - nor would I have the income that comes with it. I wouldn't have the solid support system I've built on the forums and personally with so many staffers. I'd be living off my small pension - and probably not in my large farmhouse in rural France.

So I'm not telling you to rush out and sign up for SBI!, not in the least. What I am saying is if you're thinking of it, at least read REAL reviews by real people and get the story from those of us who have been on the inside - and who still are.

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