This is the place to start. A welcoming message from Ken Evoy (creator of Solo Build It!), including a few pearls, words of wisdom to solopreneurs, and other Ken Notes. (There are also some MUST READ Guidelines. Please read before making your first post. Following them is important for smooth-running, friendly forums.)
IMPORTANT for Solo Build It! for WP users: There is a special set of forums below, just for you ("SBI! FOR WP (DAY 6)"). Use those for their specific topics. Otherwise, the entire forums are for you, too. There's no special forums for WPers since we're all solopreneurs and the topics apply to everyone, regardless of sitebuilder being used (BB2, HTML editor or WordPress).

Moderator: ken-admin

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#1056952 by ken-admin
Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:55 pm
Hello to all,

I've been thinking a lot about what lies behind the post that I made over here...


I touched further upon this in the thread that had some great questions after we released The 252 Report...

It's my pleasure to spend many hours answering good questions, such as I did...

... before I got distracted with other projects pulling me away.

And such as I've done many times before.


Unfortunately, in just a few days, that thread has grown so large that I'd never have time to catch it up. So volunteer Coaches and moderators are splitting the job up to assemble a list of good questions not yet answered.

I do this because I want to, because I want folks to succeed. Normally, SBIers would help each other and some, like Wendy, are delivering super answers. I've asked the coaches to pull out great answers, too.

In this particular case, I want to not only deliver the best answers, but I want to use them to make our overall documentation as good as possible since this is new terrain.


Some folks seem to think this is routine, or that a report that took over 1000 hours and took me away from my day-to-day at SiteSell for almost a month, is routine.

It's not. Everyone's blood, sweat and tears is in that study. And the high-value, must-do set of recommendations (along with the Audit) are must-do. Ignore anyone who implies otherwise.

To my knowledge, this Report is unique. There IS speculation and bad advice (mixed in with some good, but which is which?), everywhere else outside of SBI!, in tons of blogs and forums, none of it supported by anything more than speculating and over-reading of what others have stated vaguely, who then repeat that, and so on.


So folks... do the Audit and Recommendations ("A&R"). On that note, I replied to a post by Dan about the report being a "retrospective study"....

... in great detail. Why? Because I figured that folks need a detailed answer to understand that the conclusions they might draw from a post like that are wrong.


Well, I don't have time to answer posts like that anymore, not in that type of detail.

From what I heard at our 2-hour training session of Coaches for Panda reviews, there are several absurd threads on Panda 252 in the forums right now...

I don't have time to answer dumb threads that blame Analyze It! on Panda drops.

Nor do I have time to turn out a detailed mathematical treatise on the 252 study.

In past years, other examples would include long (and often recurrent threads) on various forms of automated article-marketing, overly aggressive link strategies, or techniques on how to move T2s and T3s around just for engines, etc., etc.

All my long answers do is lead to more debate by those who are married to their positions.

Of course, I (and Help Elf and the mods) need to say something where and when we can't allow SBIers to throw good work down the drain by following bad advice. (More on this shortly.)

MOST "help and be helped" advice is high quality.

I'm talking about the stuff that is not.

We can't be everywhere, of course. If a thread does not have
a "this is wrong" notice by the moderators or me or H.E., it
may be because we missed it.

So ALWAYS make sure advice here is in the AG and/or HQ
before following it.

See Debs' post about this...

It may only take me 10-20 minutes to think issues (like the ones above) through (sometimes far less than that). But to put it on paper in a detailed, coherent manner?

THAT can take hours.

My time can be better invested elsewhere for SBIers (ex., answering Panda questions by folks who are doing what it takes to get out of Panda). It should be invested on so many projects, current and future, that make SBI! better and better.

My time needs to be spent on folks like this... (read posts preceding this one)

-and this... ... 4055922814

I have every spare hour in my day (and non-spare ones, too) for "the positive, forward-looking, free-thinking... people who grab their futures and take charge of it instead of letting the future happen to them."

I have none for those who insist on pushing the "latest and greatest" that is brought into the forums from outside Internet marketers, nor on posts that suggest you ignore advice in the AG, HQs, or new information like the A&R.


We DO get some bona fide great NEW ideas from these forums. They respect the fundamental principles. We incorporate them into the AG and/or HQs so that they are not lost to posterity.

But there are bad ideas, too, the ones that do NOT respect core values that generate long-term success. Some of them sound great. Some even deliver good results, at first.

Stuff like that may work for a while, so it is reported with great excitement... and later, it gets slammed by Google.

We need to be more diligent and close those down fast. I don't mean to "lock" the threads, merely to flat-out state they're wrong, that you do them at your own peril.

We need to state, short and sharp and as often as necessary, that they're wrong and that everyone's time would be better spent EXECUTING good advice (and that goes double for some of the 252 threads that I've heard about).


I've asked the moderators and Help Elf to be on the lookout for what is not in the Action Guide and the HQs. And, to those of you with deep understanding of SBI!, don't be afraid to call out anything that's wrong.

I've asked them to call out, in red text posts, when something is not consistent with core principles of SBI! such as "keep it real" (i.e., not just for the engines) and "add value" (i.e., paraphrasing does NOT cut it).

And to keep calling it out so no one misses it.

We are also reviewing all of the SBI! documentation to make
sure that everything is clearly, strictly in keeping with
"keep it real" and "add value".

I'll be answering new and "wrong-headed" advice that gains traction with short, sharp posts. For example, my reply to Dan and his article about the non-value of retrospective posts would be (should have been)...

Dan's post has some statistical elements of truth. It has already been noted in the 252 Report itself, actually.

However, intentional or not, this post takes you away from the common sense conclusion that you MUST do the A&R if you hope for your traffic to bounce back.

We all know that Panda is about quality. This study found certain factors that correlate strongly with Panda drops.

There is no reason for a Panda penalty to be reversed in the future unless you do something... do the right things!

Feel free to continue this conversation. But..

The ONLY thing that you should be doing now, impacted or not, is the Audit and Recommendations (A&R).

We will, by the way, follow this up with a prospective study once we have accumulated enough A&R sessions performed by Coaches. We'll be comparing this group with those who have not done the audit.


If Debs sends me (in the list of questions/issues to be answered) a thread about folks blaming Analyze It! on the Panda drops, my answer will be a short and clear...

This is disappointingly dumb. Everything in AI! has long been accounted for in the 'main' Google algorithm. Panda is completely different. Ignore any conclusions that emerge from this thread.


As for the request to turn out a detailed mathematical treatise about The 252 Report, the answer will be...

I don't have the time. You don't do something like this half-way. It would take me at least 15 hours to dissemble and recompile the data, explain the calculations and the process, etc..

Even if I did have the time, I would not do it. Why?

Because most SBIers do not need it and could not deal with it, would not read it.

AND, most importantly, it won't change a single action step.

We give SBIers what they need, be it tools or information, to succeed. Period.

If you can't follow the recommendations without the detailed math, scour the web for speculation and try that.

My time, all of our time, needs to go where it will do the most good.

All the best,

P.S. I won't be back to debate this. I've nothing else to say. I am asking moderators and H.E. to save the URL to this post, so that when they add their own "this is wrong" replies in certain threads, they refer folks to this post about "Policy About Bad Advice In Forums."

Like I said, it's not just me who only has 24 hours in a day.

NONE of us has time to debate what does not work. Once SBIers have been notified, I feel that we will have fulfilled our mandate. After that, if anyone chooses to be dazzled into the wrong action despite us telling them something is wrong, they'll have only themselves to blame.

Our job (H.E., moderators and those who understand the power of sticking to the fundamentals) is to keep SBIers on the single best road to success.

P.P.S. Sorry for any upset tone in this post. The frustration of allowing a minority to adversely affect others after all the work we put into SBI! (in general) and Panda (in particular), is tremendous. We've all worked too hard to see that happen.
#1057290 by ken-admin
Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:47 pm
I've been thinking more on this. Consistently doing this will develop a culture of keeping folks OUT of trouble.

We all think of "helping" as suggesting a "positive" ("do this" or "do that") but it can also be keeping others out of a "negative," avoiding a mistake ("do NOT do that"). That is what we are talking about here.

It's a fine line...

I don't want to create a police state (or is that "policy state" ;-) ) where good ideas are afraid to flourish. We've had great ideas from these forums.

But we DO need to protect some folks from bad ideas and advice (some are not very good at evaluating/judging).

That said, none of us have time to write long essays explaining, nor debating, those who are in love with a bad idea. For example...

I don't know how many thousands of words I wrote explaining why the various "volume article-marketing" programs were bad ideas, with push-back that turned into debate, swearing how many people were using it and doing well with it. Some of those threads were mega. No more debates, I just should have written...

This is a bad idea/strategy. It is neither 'keeping it real' nor 'adding value.' It will ultimately bring pain when the engines adjust for this lazy, too-easy strategy.

I don't care how many people are supposedly using this successfully now, and I don't have time to debate this. But it's really straightforward...

This will bring pain in the long run and no business should be built on the short-run. My advice to all is to STAY AWAY from this. For more information on the forums' bad idea policy, please see...

(Actually, I or the moderators (or "wise savvy SBIers who get it right") could use that text for most bad ideas in the future. ;-) )

Then, as those threads went on and on and on, anyone else who saw my first post on that topic could/should simply copy-and-paste that message, as necessary, every couple of pages. In other words....

Let folks have their say, but keep most from falling for a bad idea. While none of the moderators have time to write long essays, we can warn folks away from advice that is not in the AG.

What about GOOD advice that is not in the AG. We WANT
those, of course. If it gains traction, Help Elf or the mods
will send it to me to consider. If it really is solid,
we'll recognize it and blend it into the AG and/or HQs for
future reference, for those who miss that particular thread.

I do NOT want to discourage great new ideas. :-)

Even if a bad concept works at first, it simply won't last.

Some strategies CAN work because they are not inherently bad, they are just usually used badly. Take, for example, the outsourcing of content...

Paul Crane, our old affiliate manager, outsources content. He pays a PhD in his niche VERY well. He has a formal agreement in place, assigning him all IP, etc. It's someone who he had vetted carefully (any "dog" online can say they have a PhD). But....

Most use outsourcing badly -- $5/article is almost guaranteed to bring you disaster.


Here's the bottom line, the goal...

The only way to sleep well at night is to take the time to write the best quality content that you can (which takes time and effort) and build a genuine, well-diversified inbound list program until it snowballs (which also takes time and effort). Monitor It! can help with both (way under-used, from my "show of hands" survey at the Anguilla Conference).

Along the way, there'll be lots of opportunities to shortcut (ex., "volume-article-marketing"), lots of new strategies (some of them good), many of them bad and brought into the forums as the "hot thing that we're all missing."

If they don't "keep it real" and "add value," they will ultimately bring pain.

This "Bad Advice Policy" is meant to stop that. Add by subtracting.

As I said up top...

Consistently doing this will develop a culture of keeping folks OUT of trouble. We all think of "helping" as being a "positive," but it can also be keeping others out of a "negative." :-)

All the best,

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