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#1370478 by ken-admin
Fri May 05, 2017 7:34 pm
This is a summary of Ken's coverage of immoral and illegal marketing by a less-than-scrupulous competitor. As much as we hate to distract you, consider this must-reading...

This just may be the longest TLDR on the Internet! But it's important - poses both threat AND opportunity to SBI!, to SBIers and to "everyday solopreneurship" itself.

Now, more than ever, we're all in this together.

Warm regards,
Help Elf

P.S. Want to read the whole 10-Episode series? Start at the "Pilot Episode."

P.P.S. (ADDENDUM): The full SBI! vs Wealthy Affiliate Study is now up...

Part 1: http://www.sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/we ... eview.html
Part 2: http://www.sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/we ... art-2.html
Part 3: http://www.sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/we ... art-3.html

Results are mind-boggling. SBI! is 33x more likely for you to end up in elite traffic levels and almost 10x more likely in "Medium"-level. And 87% of its sites are "Invisible."

That means that fake SBI! reviews mislead would-be solopreneurs (people just like YOU) to a product that...

1) cuts their chance of high-traffic success by 97%

2) cuts mid-traffic sucess by 90% and

3) has 87% of its active sites in a category called "Invisible" (undetectable by Alexa, SimilarWeb,SEMrush).

In the long run, they'll also damage SBI! quality, damaging you. We're NOT letting that happen!

The only thing WE can't do, though, is write REAL reviews. That's a critical part of the plan. So please...

Do not let this stand. We need you - to help us - to help you...

Here's how to write a REAL SBI! review to counter the FAKEs at the SERPs.

And here's a tighter "Cheat Sheet" version in PDF format.

----

OK, nice and comfy? Let's TLDR it!...

Wealthy Affiliate vs. SBI! Success Comparison Study - Our Only Way to Counter Fake Reviews (Part 1)

The Solopreneur Success Challenge provides compelling evidence of the power of SBI!. We created it for one particular competitor due to compelling circumstances of their making, but we may turn it into "This week we compare SBI! with ____."

It's aggravating that we had to do this study, but this immoral technique (fake reviews) put us into a corner. And rather than fall prey to "debait" (not a typo), we thought we'd go on the offensive.

And we need your help. That's why we want you to have the whole picture.

It's hardly mainstream to build an online business AND succeed. But SBIers do, and every day, which makes me very optimistic about your future, and SBI!'s. Here's why...

  • the leveling off of the total number of sites
  • the increasing importance of RankBrain
  • the solopreneur edge in social media
  • the increasing total activity (both social and search) thanks to mobile

And What of SBI!?

SBI! enables the individual to succeed online, better than any other product in the world, which we publicize and prove.

Why wouldn't others do the same if they could?

And SBI! is only going to get stronger. Increasing complexity feeds into what we do... Select. Synthesize. Simplify.

The more complex it becomes to succeed, the harder it gets to figure out, the more intense the firehose of information, the bigger the SBI! Advantage.


On a Personal Note...

Almost 50 years ago, I was first exposed to legendary American authors of the mid-1800s. SBI! is, at its heart, all about achieving self-reliance, the freedom to live life as YOU want...

It represents the American Dream gone digital.

Its creation was just one of those weird, perfect, serendipitous combinations of timing, circumstances and fundamental beliefs.

This is the ride of my life. But not just mine -- EVERYONE at SiteSell feels the mission of enabling others to achieve goals that matter to them.

You should see, for example, the joy when we talk about the details of each new story (with real-life Takeaway lessons) that we share in the blog...

http://www.sitesell.com/blog/real-life-success-lessons/

"Sea glass?"

"Comic books?"

"A teenager buys her first horse?"


We're Just the Catalyst

You may have noticed in the forums that I always downplay our role to the person who writes a big thank you. It's not modesty. It's because YOU are the ones who DO it.

We enable that success, in the same way that a catalyst enables a chemical reaction. We ALL take great pleasure in knowing the IMPACT that we enabled. Yes, the catalyst is necessary. Only a small percent could do it without SBI!...

There's just too much noise to filter, sort and organize. The proof of that is in the dismal solopreneur success rates.

But WE do NOT build your successful business. YOU do.

And as a group, SBIers do it best.

ADDENDUM: We kept the company unnamed for the first several posts. Two SBIers knew the identity. Since there was no point in keeping the name quiet until we revealed The Study, we've edited those posts to change "a company" (for example) to "Wealthy Affiliate."

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 1 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 3#p1369913


The First Sign of Trouble
A Product Claims to Be Better than Solo Build It!

[Episode 2 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 7#p1370017]

A while back, a SiteSeller skyped me about a couple of convincing articles about a competitor (I'll name it in a bit). Both reviews claimed that this product was better than SBI!.

"Convincing?"

I thought about that for a minute. What would we do if this ever really did happen?

We're not in this to fool anyone...

Being second-best in THIS business is a disservice to the solopreneur.

It turns out that these claims were untrue. In fact, the SiteSeller meant that they WOULD be convincing to the untrained eye.

He had figured it out pretty quickly, though. The reviews had the usual telltale signs.

It goes deeper than that, which is where it gets interesting...

This company (Wealthy Affiliate, or WA for short) was misleading its affiliates. The strategy is to write "reviews" of products that compete with them, assuring them that they really are the best.

They repeated that... a LOT. "The best."

But were they?

There was no proof of it in the SBI! "reviews," nor on WA's site, nor in the affiliate training. There's not a single success story anywhere, let alone one with a domain name provided (making it verifiable).

A single success wouldn't mean much, of course, but it's better than nothing. We always figure that if a company claims that they enable success, they'd prove it to the max...

... if they could.


The Reality

Our future is promising. So is yours. All signs point to us continuing to help you to personal freedom, whatever YOUR version of that may be, better than anyone, and for a long time!

  • Success rates are the best ever.
  • SBIer traffic is growing steadily since mid-2013.
  • Some important releases are on the way.
  • Our attrition rate is a fraction of our competitor's. Our detractors never mention that kind of stat. It's another sign of satisfaction/success.

Everything is looking up, especially for SBIers. And if it's looking up for you, we'll figure out how to translate that for SiteSell.

The Internet Marketing space has changed -- there's a ton of "dark side" fake reviews. It fits WA well, but not us. Fake reviews are now a major problem everywhere...

https://www.google.com/search?q=fake+re ... ps&num=100

But it's an epidemic in the Internet Marketing space. WA's affiliates are a major source, although the affiliates may not realize that the only thing WA does "better" than us is deliver failure (400% better!).

Image
Our Study is slated for publication on May 8.
Image

The marketing team has been busy building a new foundation, reaching out to honorable modern-day influencers instead of super-affiliates of the old Internet Marketing school.

Image
See my post in Social Quant as an example of a terrific modern company...

https://www.socialquant.net/solopreneur/
Image

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 2 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 7#p1370017


The Storm Clouds Gather
Uh-oh. Those Two Reviews Were NOT Alone

[Episode 3 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6#p1370086]

They used a search for "SBI! review" (or similar terms) as the method for baiting and then switching pre-SBIers to WA.

Affiliates seem to believe it's a superior product. As we deepened our research, we learned quite a bit about WA and its product...

Its affiliates blanket the Web with fake reviews, all calling WA the best. They seem quite convinced of that because, well, WA says so. A lot.

Say anything enough, even a lie, and it often becomes the truth in folks' minds. If you do a little research into WA's product, you find many folks who learned that the hard way.

"Great," I thought, "now we're going to get dragged down again, through a THIRD organized besmirching?"


No. I've had it with this. NOT this time.

This was a pretty depressing discovery. We've been there, done that, and there's no way to reply to it. Until now.

This time, it's a business that's attacking us...

It doesn't matter that the reviews are false -- they're convincing to someone searching for reviews on SBI! who finds what she assumes to be an honest review.

And then the prospective SBIer finds another one that says the same thing, in a different way (although the pattern is similar). And then another!

The whole system is brilliantly, if deviously, set up. This continues the "hit" on SBI! sales, just as the previous attack was fading. And beyond that...

How devastating is this for the solopreneur who is so close to building a REAL business instead of starting what will become yet another "make money" site?

What if that person knew that the success rate was a teeny fraction of ours?

Lisa from [Domain Private] puts the human reality to that in this post, after she discovered the fake reviews. Her note is devastatingly on-the-mark...

(I added italics to the most relevant parts.)

I just Googled Solo Build It and found a whole bunch of lies and ugliness.

Ugh!

I am immensely grateful those kinds of lies weren't floating around online when I started my business with SiteSell in 2006. At the time, I'd been burned by a couple of companies that over-promised and under-delivered, so I was in high-skepticism mode.

I read everything I could find about SBI. I Googled the term "Site Sell scam" (and variations) and found absolutely nothing. I remember, I even checked way back to the 10th page of Google results for "Site Sell scam" because I figured -- that Ken Evoy, he knows how Google works, maybe people have concerns, but they can't get to the top of the search results because Ken has it locked in. :roll::D There was nothing negative on the 10th page of results, by the way.

I see the ugly lies that exist now, and I wonder if I would have passed on SBI if those things had been around in 2006. I don't think I would have been savvy enough about internet marketing to recognize them for what they are.

My life is pretty awesome, and a big part of that awesomeness is made possible by SBI. As a former career coach, I care a lot about how people make their living and make their way in the world.

I wonder how many people miss out on something great because they don't know enough to be able to see through those lies.


That last sentence says it all...

I wonder how many people miss out on something great because they don't know enough to be able to see through those lies.


1) Many pre-SBIers have already been burned and are cynical. Lisa even went 10 pages deep trying to find a scam report about SBI! in 2006! Nothing. Thank goodness it was 2006, but this shows just how suspicious folks in this general niche are.

2) Now that she sees "the ugly lies," she doubts that she would have been savvy enough to see through them. She's probably correct. Many just need a reason NOT to start SBI!. If the affiliate provides even a hint of smoke, they assume fire.

3) SBI! has impacted her life in a significant way, and she can't help but wonder how many people would pass on SBI! today.

This is upsetting on so many levels....

1) The answer is... a lot! Many solopreneurs are being directed towards failure and a "make money" depression, working in a niche that doesn't excite them, tricked into doing something that's ethically low (although they probably don't know that), just for the money.

(I'll explain below how WA misleads its customers.)

2) They're the customers we want. Anyone who digs 10 SERP pages deep is going to do well with SBI!.

3) They could have been following THE most successful system while building a business they love. Soon they will be trying to justify to themselves why it's OK to suck others into a "make money" scheme, too -- a niche with a very high failure rate.

So, just as we thought it was "safe to go back in the e-waters again" after the first two attacks on SBI!...

Now comes the third. The first two were major pains that attacked our reputation and claimed that SBI! didn't work, etc.

This time, though, it's different. WA itself doesn't attack us. They train their affiliates to write reviews for money. It's not clear if the affiliates know that we have the superior product.

WA instructs them to write a ton of reviews, including techniques such as researching other people's reviews (most of them from the second attack) and turning that into their own content.

WA repeats how they're the best so often in the training materials that we understood why affiliates write it.

It's because most of them probably believe it. It's great to offer true value to your visitor. That's what WA tells them.

These reviews are adding up to another drain of our morale and time. And don't get me wrong...

If the reviews were true, it would merely be "overly aggressive" (i.e., the inaccurate things said, the "review of reviews" techniques, etc.).

But the claim of superiority is so untrue that this "strictly for the money" company-inspired affiliate action goes beyond aggressive marketing.

It's flat out dishonest. The only question is, "Who knows what?"

This attack comes with an even bigger problem than the first two. Consider what "fake reviews for money" means -- the nature of this type of attack has an important ramification. Can you spot it?

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 3 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6#p1370086


An Ugly Reality Rears Its Head
An Organized Business Attack Won't Fade Away

[Episode 4 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 8#p1370118]

It hit me like a brick. I realized it as soon as I had my first thought about all these reviews, "These will go away, too." That's what happened with the first two, right?

I've always depended upon the right people, those with BAM, to figure it all out. In any event, we had no choice but to let them try to figure it out -- debate was "de-bait" and merely poured gas on the flames.

These reviews, though, are different in nature. They don't attack SBI! and me with extreme emotion. These have been written...

  • to move pre-SBIers over to a competitor (the previous two attacks didn't do that)
  • to make money from the competitor (in return for the referral)

The bigger, deeper realization came quickly after that...

Unlike the first two attacks, this third one will not go away. Worse, it's going to grow. It's commercial, purely for the dollar. And when there's a buck to be made, it serves WA to keep telling affiliates that THEY are the best.

That assures affiliates that they do their visitors a service when recommending WA. Honest business people want/need to feel that. After all...

"Cheating people" is not a valid monetization model.

But, given the incentive of a high commission and an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas (for those who reach milestones -- few do), and the assurance that they do their visitors a good service, more affiliates are going to...

  • keep pounding out those fake reviews
  • battle each other for the highest rankings

Basically...


The Bad Guy Has Us In a Choke Hold

And he's not letting go.

Folks doing due diligence show good signs of BAM. But WA's affiliates are diverting the very people who'd make great SBIers to a competitor.

Eventually, they'll choke us so much that it will be nearly impossible to sell the PROVEN best product of its kind.

We cannot keep losing high-potential, prospective SBIers.

After studying their product and affiliate program, we were pretty sure WA couldn't come close to SBI!...

  • The superficial knockoff of the C Image T Image P Image M approach doesn't give their customers all they need to succeed.
  • False assurances to affiliates, along with this focus on reviews, only leave room for a small number of talented people to succeed (the same 10 or so get most of the rankings). The rest do poorly, especially because "make money" niches are so hard to win.

Most of them would be better off with us, in "real" niches.

However, from the WA's point of view, focusing affiliates on reviews makes sense. They target the prospective solopreneurs who are closest to making a purchase decision.

And it's not just affiliates who are ill-served by WA. We were stunned to find a third reason why their unproven promise to affiliates (that they're the best) simply could not be true.


Putting Company Before Customer

Aside from misled affiliates, customers don't realize that they have been steered into playing a losing game. Early in their process, WA's advice to new users tells them...

If you can't think of a niche within 15-30 minutes, choose "make money."


That advice moves over 1/3 of their paying customers into "make money" niches. WA doesn't help them find the right niche for them -- compare that to our DAYs 2 and 3. WA doesn't suggest you stay OUT of "make money," as we do, with explanations.

They move them into an area that's both hard to win and depressing (unless you're exceptionally great at learning a complicated niche, doing outstanding research and delivering truly valuable, original content that your visitors will love you for).

The "make money" family of niches ("MMO," "affiliate marketing," etc.) ARE perfect for promoting THE PRODUCT, though. Yes, the bad advice serves WA very well. Even if only a teeny percent succeed, it's enough to blanket the Web with fake reviews.

But it's terrible advice for the customer who unsuspectingly falls into "make money." One assumes great advice after paying as much as they do (more than SBI!).


Fake Reviews

Their affiliates don't realize that the only thing WA does "better" than us is deliver failure (400% better!). They don't know that we excel at the opposite end of the solopreneur spectrum, success.

So they may not realize how fake their reviews really are (the conclusion as well as the content). But whether this is mostly by company design or not, these reviews are as fake as it gets.


We Have to Fight This Time-Wasting Nonsense

We have no choice. We either fight or be choked to death.

What would their affiliates do if they realized that they were misled, that SBI! is much better? What if that misleading information was not just a "small little oops" type of mistake?

What if the difference was MASSIVE? Could anyone recommend a clearly inferior product to unsuspecting people who expect an honest review?

That crosses the "marketing hyperbole" line. Good copywriting and marketing always put forward a product's best foot. No problem, everyone knows nothing is perfect -- the cynical purchaser discounts that.

However, recommending a hugely inferior product in the form of a "review" is not only immoral, it borders on outright FRAUD.

Unless WA changes its practices, affiliates will keep writing reviews since many won't see our Study (even though we plan on marketing it widely). And some will claim superiority over SBI! even when they know there is none.


So What Are We Going to Do About It?

We're going to fight. And this one -- we're going to win!

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 4 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 8#p1370118


The Good Guys Mobilize
No More "De-baits"

[Episode 5 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6#p1370256]

We've been here before. We know what NOT to do. The exercise of debating fake reviews is futile. Even beating down the most obvious lie becomes a loss...

It's met with a swarm who ignore the reply and bury it with many more lies (at worst)/unfair accusations or conclusions ("best" case).

WA's program makes it easy for them to call for reinforcements. So replying would only go the same way as the first two attacks did.

It's NO-WIN...

  • Replying to bait creates more content for them, resulting in more and better SERP listings.
  • Not replying leaves the statements standing.

Attacks #1 and #2 lost us many prospective SBIers (the decreased conversion rate made that clear). We even lost existing SBIers. I can't blame those who were failing with SBI!. Some have even added a negative comment to those reviews, convinced that they'd been fooled by us.

Image
About 35% of SBIers, at any given time, have very little traffic. Some are starting out, some create a couple to several pages and then life intervenes. But put all that aside and let's just accept the number at face value...

It's an amazingly good track record for solopreneurs...

WA's failure rate is close to 90%!

To be fair to WA, most solopreneurs don't get a site attempt off the ground, period. WA may help somewhat over the unaided, "figure-it-out" solopreneur, IF they persist to find their own niche (ignoring the push into "make money"). Some direction is better than none.
Image

If you're a struggling SBIer... Get help here in the forums. It really is totally doable.

And if you ever doubt us because of something you've read online, bring it to the forums and ask me.

I'm comfortable answering everything ever written about us. I'm just not going to de-bait and help THEIR rankings anymore. So, after we publish the Study, please...

If you see any claim, argument, criticism, etc., that worries you in a so-called SBI! "review" (or attack article), please ask about it here in the forums. Copy-and-paste the text of any single point in its entirety and let me know why it worries you (this part is important).

None of their points can survive the results of the Study. When YOU see that, there can really only be ONE. BIG. CONCLUSION...

It's a lie, or a molehill that the review's author grew into a mountain, or a brilliantly twisted argument, or (one of their favorite techniques) takes minor points as springboards to jump to outrageous speculations (presented as if there was no other possibility).

The Study is going to put that into perspective. It eliminates debate. Now there's a simple answer...

How important can any negative claim be about SBI! with results like that?

But if you still have any doubt...

I'll be happy to finally have the chance to expose those claims. All that said...


That Does Not Mean That SBI! Is Perfect

There are loads we still want to do. There always will be. But now, more than ever, I know that we have the big 80/20 right.

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 5 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6#p1370256


The Plan Unfolds
Yes, We Have THE Answer! It's THE Definitive Study!

[Episode 6 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 9#p1370349]

The previous two attacks where like being assaulted by clouds. They came at us to hurt our reputation, firing bolts from all directions.

I realize now, though, that there was no "entity" to address.

And this time there is!

Yes... the commercial nature of Wealthy Affiliate provides the solution, not just the problem...

Simply compare apples to apples. And may the best product win!


The Solution Is Simple, Powerful and Inarguable

The second attack group was anger personified. I kind of admire that, in a weird way -- at least they weren't doing it for a buck. This third group is more like assassins-for-hire.

We just had to figure out what WA's track record was, because they were doing a good job of hiding it. All we knew is that most folks seem to think that the other WA users are succeeding. No proof, but somehow, they believed in WA.

We already knew their track record was going to be poor (reasons noted earlier -- no proof, hiding domain names from other users, self-serving advice, bad advice, incentivized participation (= misallocation of time), superficial coverage, etc.).

They started in 2005 with a weakly worded version of C Image T Image P Image M, and although they profess to care deeply, they ended up with a business that could not be more opposite to us. Sooooo...


Let's Do the "Mano a Mano" Thing and Find Out Who Brings It!

Let's do a full study that documents how both SBIers and "WA users" do! How many SBIers are in Alexa Top 1M? How many WA users? What about mid-range? And the "Invisibles?" (>30,000,000)

Were we 100% better or 200%? That would be pretty good. Or what if, heart be still, 500%? Sure there was a risk. Maybe I misunderstood their program. Maybe we were even-steven -- or worse?

The results were beyond expectations. And there's just no way to deny what it means...

The full methodology is available because we WANT others to repeat the study -- anyone can replicate it and check for themselves. For now, though, here's the nutshell of how it works...

1) Both sets of sites received the identical treatment.

2) We started by weeding out parked or other inactive single-page sites. That was 48% of their (approx) 32,000 sites, 41% of our 17,000. This step reduced us both to "REAL" sites.

3) We did a head-to-head comparison of their 17,000 REAL sites vs. our 10,000, measuring how well their sites did vs. ours at three levels (high-medium-low)...

  • using THREE objective measures (Alexa, SimilarWeb and SEMrush) to be extra-sure of the results (IF they corroborated each other)
  • that's 27,000 active sites, large enough samples to be sure of the results.

These numbers were going to be reliable!


There's a Beauty in Numbers

They don't argue. They don't debate. They totally ignore lies.

Numbers just ARE!

So a study like this would show hard, verifiable, reproducible and COMPLETE proof. It should....

  • provide the hard wind that blows away the smoke of innuendo and rumor.
  • expose WA's repeated promises to its affiliates ("you serve your visitor well because we're the best"). By extension, it would also...
  • show how fake all those "SBI! review" recommendations really are.

This was especially important because WA provides no proof of success. Their Success page doesn't mention a single person, let alone provide hundreds of domain names. Their "forums" don't provide the domain name of any participants, until they ask others to go to a page and comment on it (yes, WA instructs them to ask for comments from other WA users just to increase the engagement rate of the page). And on that note...

Do you know why we include domain names? There's a famous scientific principle...

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Wikipedia summarizes this principle well...

This phrase is at the core of the scientific method, critical thinking, rational thought and skepticism everywhere.


http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Extraordin ... y_evidence

How does that principle apply to "little old SiteSell"?

If we claim to enable success better than anyone else, we better darn well prove it in big, memorable ways. And, as you know, we do.

No one else does this. WA claims to be the best to their affiliates, but they don't back it up.

They would if they could. Wouldn't you?

So now we have the first COMPLETE, COMPARATIVE HEAD-TO-HEAD STUDY. Suffice it to say...

When one product places 2,200% (Alexa), 3,340% (SimilarWeb) and 4,280% (SEMrush) more sites into the Top 1,000,000 sites (out of 170,000,000 sites total) than the other, THAT is the better business-building product.


Boiling It All Down

Their formula is "Success Through 'Dishonesty for Dollars'"

Ours is "Success Through 'Passion for SBIer Success'"


There are only two problems with this...

  1. Our formula doesn't work, hasn't for years.
  2. We are vulnerable to predatory marketing.

Irony

When our affiliate program thrived, it was the affiliate marketers/Internet marketers who drove most of the traffic and sales. We had many super-affiliates who influenced the next tier to join.

But Internet Marketing affiliates became much less idealistic, promoting the more dollar-oriented products. It was a time of tectonic changes in the world of Internet Marketing.

And because of that, our affiliate program became a shadow of itself. But product quality was not one of them.

We won't be getting super-affiliates back. And to tell you the truth, it doesn't sadden me.

Our CMO, Mike, Allton, has excellent relationships with the "new Internet Marketing," excited folks honing new crafts and who don't sell out to the highest dollar.

In short, we've been laying some solid groundwork.

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 6 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 9#p1370349


The Study Can't Just Sit There
A Wise Man From the East Once Said...

[Episode 7 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 5#p1370415]

Know your enemy. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War


We've learned a ton about WA as we prepare to fight, and fight we must. Despite our clear superiority, WA has us in a choke hold that will strangle us if we do not act decisively.

We've all worked too hard for too many years, to build something so unique, to let that happen!

They have a 70% bigger user-base for only one reason. They outsell us like crazy. And there's one big reason for that....

The "make money" product creates "make money" sites that "make money" by promoting the "make money" product by creating tons of fake "make money" reviews about products related to it, including SBI!. That sucks more people into WA, and the circle keeps turning.

No one at WA, it seems, stops to ask if this is in the best interest of their customer.

Companies reach key decision-making/strategy-setting points from time to time. Sometimes, a certain choice or action may serve the company better than it does its customers, even to the customers' disadvantage.

SBI!'s internal motto has always been, "SBIers First." I've always believed that if we focus on you, first and foremost, the rest sorts itself out. And that is indeed what happened for almost 10 years...

https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1370394#p1370394

Since then, things have turned upside down. And it has benefitted WA tremendously, despite its low success and high failure rates (which have been well hidden until now).

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In fairness, they probably are "better than nothing." But that's not really a promotable slogan, and it's far from what everyone seems to think -- ain't much success over there.
Image


How Wealthy Affiliate Succeeds As a Business

Is WA misleading its affiliates when it tells them that they do their visitors a good service because WA is the best?

Is it a disservice to WA customers to guide them into "make money" niches instead of helping them/pushing them to find a "real" niche, one that they'd do better with?

Over 1/3 (34%) of their sites are in a "make money"-related niche, a tough, cynical and loaded-with-scams area. That's amazingly high.

Consider all the niches in the world. There must be many millions. But 34% of WA's "businesses" just happen to be "make money"?

The only big success we see is WA's business itself. Worse, it must be demoralizing when you stop to think about what you're doing -- sucking innocent people into the same unproductive, self-reproductive system.

Here's what Allan, our CFO, said after running the study to discover what percent of Wealthy Affiliate sites are "make money" or related to it. This is totally unedited...

P.S. Doing this study was quite depressing... Even the "Not MMO" sites were **profanity auto removed** sites when compared to SBI! If SBI! sites were anywhere near WA sites I would quit immediately... WA are doing a disservice to all their customers. I cannot believe they have such a large user base... Depressing.


The easiest way to really FEEL what this means is to make it personal...

I'd never advise Nori to build a "make money" site. Consider the joy of earning income from a business focused on Anguilla. Her sponsors love her (and more than ever with the social media shoutouts). The Anguilla Card is a huge hit.

As I type this, there's a major travel influencer from Brazil on-island. They've been out and about, and tonight they're going out to dinner and will talk about what else they can do together.

That's REAL.

And forget my role with SBI! for a minute...

Consider my joy, as a parent, seeing her trying to figure out, "What next? How do I leverage this?" The answer is NOT to write a rehash of other reviews about yet another "make money" product related to SBI!.

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I have NOTHING against affiliate marketing. Done right, it's a solid form of passive income. The operative two words are "Done right." And that's the way we cover it in Monetization HQ.
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"Make money" is just a really tough, over-crowded niche. And sucking others into one "make money" scheme after another is a depressing thought. It's mighty hard to feel great about yourself if you have a conscience or desire to create value.

None of it is real or productive, except to WA, which makes the real money. The vast majority of its customers lose. Behind a facade of caring, WA works to the disadvantage of the solopreneur.

The Study shows the inevitable outcome of all that. And yet, what do we see?


The Current Sorry State of the SERPs

WA affiliates already dominate for "site build it reviews" and are moving into "solo build it reviews" ("sbi reviews" too after you remove "State Bank of India" pages). If you search on those terms and scan the domain names of the sites in the SERPs, few if any are about "real" niches...

They're related to making money online, some form of Internet marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. The majority of those are WA affiliates. Whether they are "kind" to SBI! and rate it as "good" (to establish "objectivity") or they attack us, the content is low-value and irrelevant.

The only thing that matters is how they end...

They all firmly recommend Wealthy Affiliate as their top choice, their #1 recommendation, etc. Whatever they write about SBI! beforehand, WA is always recommended as better.

Surely, given the results that SBIers deliver, one of those "legitimate" sites about Internet marketing or MMO or whatever would see the much greater value of SBI!? NOPE...

And they dominate the SERPs for OUR "<name> reviews!"

"If SBI! is so good, how do they do that?"

It's simple, really, if you create a "make money" feedback loop. I call it...

SERP Happiness Runs in a Circular Motion

WA has developed a circular, self-feeding process that can be summarized as follows.....

1) Customer buys "make money" product, WA.

2) Affiliate earns commission for recommending WA as the best.

3) Guide customer into "make money" niche (we advise against it due to high fail rate and its nature).

4) Offer big commissions, and free trip to Las Vegas for those who reach certain milestones (few do).

5) New affiliate writes "make money" articles, especially reviews of SBI! and any related products.

6) Very low percent rank high (perhaps 10-20 people, total) enough to get found for "SBI! reviews." They move prospective SBI! customers via those reviews to their "#1 Recommendation."

7) More customers buy this "make money" product.

8 ) Round and round and round it goes, thousands of people funneled into similar strategies.

It's a "vicious circle" in both senses of the term.

You only see the few winners in the rankings. The "less-than-1%" who succeed hide the 99+% who fail at this depressing, hard-to-win niche. It's a classic example of "survivorship bias"...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

You don't see many SBI! sites in those rankings.

You may see the occasional SBIer, such as this moving story about folks who lost their farm in Zimbabwe...

[Domain Private]

... and regained their lives through SBI!.

My guess is that WA doesn't have a single story like that. But check out our recent stories...

http://www.sitesell.com/blog/real-life-success-lessons/

A teenage girl buys her first horse.

A couple live the beach life... thanks to sea glass.

It's flat-out inspirational.

Why don't you see more? Ahhh, wait until you see OUR version of the circular system.

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 7 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 5#p1370415


We Have Invented the "Anti-Circle"
And It's Our Biggest Marketing Weakness

[Episode 8 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6#p1370416]

I realized that SBI!'s biggest strength leads to our biggest marketing weakness. Here it is...

We enable REAL people to create REAL businesses about REAL topics that generate REAL profits and equity.

So what's the problem?

SBIers have no real BUSINESS reason to write about SBI! on their sites. Yes, several have written up their stories, but it's not for the money. Even if they use an affiliate link, income from non-related niches is an occasional fluke.

The reality is that anyone interested in, say, Anguilla, someone who is likely planning a vacation or just keeping up with a niche they love, is not thinking of starting an online business when visiting [Domain Private].

And it's the same for your niche.

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"SBIers First."

Recommendations that are in your best interest, not ours? Two examples...

1) Build Only 1 Business

After Panda, we realized that more than half (that's from conservative memory -- I suspect it's much higher than half) had 3, 5, 10 and even more "sites." It's just not possible to manage that many, creating STANDOUT content for them all.

We never promoted that. It was just crazy-easy during a period of 30 months. But it led to sloppy content.

So we've been recommending that you build only 1 business ever since, putting much more emphasis on higher monetization of existing traffic, rather than starting a second.

Start another only under special circumstances (ex., maxed out on income, can leverage the first with a second, related one).

Now, over 80% of SBIers have only 1 business, and the 20% include folks who had 10, say, and now may "only" have 2 or 3.

2) Avoid "Make Money"

Unlike WA, there's not a single "make money" site in results.sitesell.com, and hardly any in all of SBI!. That's not an accident. Reasons...

  • The real way to generate income is by creating real, enduring value. "Real" niches are your best shot at that, exploring something that you know and love.
  • "Make money" is a tough world for solopreneurs to enter, crowded with savvy folks who've been doing it for years. Real niches aren't nearly as crowded. And hey...
  • You didn't decide to start an online business to pitch "make money" schemes. You wanted to learn how to build a REAL business around a niche that you already know and love. And it's a great bonus that there aren't nearly as many savvy solopreneurs in your niche.

You can see how powerful it is for WA to have thousands doing "make money" -- they default into promoting IT. And it DOES take thousands, because only a handful or two succeed.
Image

How BIG a difference does this make?

Picture 2 solopreneurs. Both find the reviews. One sees through them, or decides, "What the heck, SBI! has that guarantee." The other ends up in WA.

Fast-forward 1 year...

One is doing something she loves, sees traffic is growing and has just laid in her first monetization program. She'll be growing both a business AND as a business person for years to come, building income and equity.

The other is pitching "make money" if she hasn't quit yet (WA has a high churn rate). Or, if she ends up in a "real" niche, she does not have the quality program and is likely to fail, as shown by the Study.

And on that note, those SBI! reviews are quick to show an identical comparison table, but none do deep-dive comparisons because, well, you know.

We may get some folks after they churn out of WA. But how many folks just give up after a disastrous year, never to try again?

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To be fair, you can fail at both. It's just that you're MUCH more likely to succeed with SBI! and MUCH less likely to fail with SBI!.
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So What's the Plan, Stan?
The Anti-Circular Marketing Program

Anyone who sees the Study can only come to 1 or 2 possible conclusions...

1) "You made it all up." But wait, we're providing the full methodology so anyone can do it.

That leaves this as the only legitimate conclusion...

2) All the negative reviews about Solo Build It! must be wrong. The worse the review, the "wronger" they are.

It can't be both the horrible things that our worst critics claim AND the best at the same time. The recommendations are beyond wrong -- they lead the visitor down the wrong path.

That type of reasoning is a whole lot easier than debating all that stuff from folks with ulterior motives.

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As I mentioned at the beginning, we may turn the Study into a series called...

"The Solopreneur Success Challenge: SBI! vs. _________"

If this first one resonates well, watch for more exciting challenges to follow! :-)
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The Next Step? We Need to Get The Word Out!

The Study will be published first as a blog post on Monday and/or Tuesday (not sure yet if it's going to be published as 1 part or 2). We'll repurpose it into tighter content for use on the landing pages.

Here are some of the first "get the word out" steps we'll be taking...

  • Integrate the Study page tightly into our landing pages, making it a landing page.
  • Link to it extensively, and use various graphs within certain other pages. In short, it will be unmissable -- we want to "vaccinate" visitors against reviews. Moving off-site now...
  • Paid search, of course.
  • Social media, too (organic, paid and influencers).
  • Affiliates and those who DO have SBIer experiences/reviews online will be asked to link to it.
  • We'll be spreading the results of this study far and wide. I can't go into too much detail for obvious reasons, but suffice it to say that turnaround is fair play.
  • Some of WA's customers must be getting tired of incentivized participation while wondering why they're failing. Surely there are ethical affiliates who'll realize that they recommend a horrible product, thereby injuring good people who are undertaking something important to them.
  • Explore options with the FTC (re affiliate law), consumer protection groups, and legally (is this fraud? class action?).

There's more, but it's "sensitive" and inquiring minds that don't belong to SBIers may want to know. ;-)


How Do You Fit In?

I hope to have your support.

SBIers are our biggest fans. While WA affiliates are busily churning out passionless reviews, you've been busy building REAL businesses. And THAT is as it should be.

But the anti-circle is at a huge disadvantage. How do we pull this all together?

At times like this, things sometimes come together in new ways or with a "now or never" type of urgency. So I'll also be sharing a vision that I've had for SBI!, something really different.

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 8 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6#p1370416


"Letter From Limbo
An Affiliate Marketer Provides Some Interesting Insights

[Episode 9 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 1#p1370501]

An email entitled "Letter from Limbo" arrived from a perceptive affiliate marketer. We share it in its entirety because it's a darn good read, is funny in spots and has some interesting insights...

Hi Ken,

Hope this finds you doing well. A friend of mine shared your post on Social Quant last week about the state of solopreneurship. I don't have words to describe how brilliant your post was! To say my eyes were opened about what it takes to succeed as a solopreneur is an understatement.

After reading your article, one search led to another before I happened to catch your "Netflix-style series" (clever btw) called "Success Comparison Study -- Our Only Way To Counter Unfair And Inaccurate Marketing".

Thought you might be interested in my "take" on WA since I joined WA earlier this year. I like to think of myself as a fairly smart marketer but, embarrassingly, I got sucked into their WA affiliate track, since I didn't have a solid niche idea to explore at the time.

Let's just say I'm one of those people who, no matter how good or bad a movie is, watches it to the end. So, since I'd paid the full monthly price ($49) for a second month of WA without yet recognizing I was paying to be a part of an affiliate program(!), I kept pushing through the affiliate bootcamp lessons, wanting to get my money's worth and believing there would be more to the plot and, ultimately, a good ending. As I worked my way through the lessons, however, I kept ignoring this nagging feeling that something wasn't quite right.

After completing an exhausting 70 bootcamp lessons, it turns out that nearly all of it focuses on teaching their affiliates to write product reviews. Lots of them. And later, you get to pay to get traffic to your reviews.

Your first review is, of course, of the Wealthy Affiliate platform. Next you write a review of their keyword tool. After that you move on to other products. You are instructed to review each and add the obvious conclusion that WA is your #1 recommendation.

Seeing myself as an affiliate of WA, which obviously means promoting their product, I couldn't see for myself. Stay with me here and I think you'll soon see what I mean.

All affiliate marketers promote products that are supported by an affiliate program of one sort or another. Heck, your Solo Build It! product is supported by your in-house affiliate program. And you teach affiliates how to promote your products, right? That's what affiliate programs do.

But WA is different. Like I said earlier, almost all you are taught to do is write product reviews. And in every lesson, you hear again and again how WA is the best, most complete program for anyone who wants to build a business online. And how it should be your #1 recommendation. Every time.

As an affiliate, a lot of this seems pretty normal until you start to tire of writing review after review. Or start to question if WA really is your #1 recommendation.

Another aspect that pulls you in deeper is the community of fellow affiliates cheering you on due to constant reminders from WA owners to comment, answer, reply to, reach out to, encourage, etc. other affiliates. There are nothing but positive, encouraging comments in their chat areas. Which to me means they fell for the same ploys I did.

Here are a few important observations.

You can start with a free membership at WA but are reminded quite often how beneficial the premium membership is. Did I say often? Annoyingly so.

Exaggerated potential income claims are disguised in an "earnings calculator," which to the novice, makes it look like easy money.

Thee annual Las Vegas Conference is strongly pushed too. All you have to do is have 300 paid referrals to WA in a calendar year! There's a counter at the top of your profile that, for some, becomes a point of competition. I guess that's a good thing for WA. Not so much for WA affiliates who never even get close to 300 sales.

But I'm getting off track. Initially, you're rushed into deciding between doing the niche business track or the make money (promoting WA) track if you aren't sure about a niche yet. I estimate that half of the new people choose "make money" because they don't come in with a niche idea. And they aren't encouraged to find one.

Premium members are told they "get to host" 25 sites at WA (they don't mention you pay separately to a subsidiary of WA for the domain name for each one. And who has 25 businesses anyway???). You also get 25 free subdomain sites, which they tell you "are your own assets where you have full control." What they don't tell you is these free subdomains have no chance of ever getting found in search. I knew this but it wasn't that important to me when I read it.

Your next step is to build your website in -- wait for it -- 30 seconds!

Then comes the first of many cleverly written steps, some of which I'll share here word for word:

Today we are going to be coming up with a potential direction for your site...

The core of our site is going to be to promote Wealthy Affiliate. It is easy to compare WA effectively against any program out there...there is nothing like it available within the industry.

From the websites, to the keyword research, to getting help and motivation, to networking with others online, to saving yourself from the abundance of scams out there. Wealthy Affiliate is going to become a very easy sell and obvious choice as your site evolves.

Oh yeah, and if you get a chance, continue sharing Wealthy Affiliate with the world. (social media examples follow)

Sharing WA should be part of your daily routine. Those that eat, breathe and sleep WA are those that are going to be successful.

Everyone has a passion or an interest, imagine if you told them they could take that passion and turn it into an online business at WA. The opportunity is endless. Absolutely everyone can benefit from WA.


Seems innocent enough right?

But wait, there's more.

After you write your WA review, you are invited numerous times to share the link with the WA community and ask for comments. Then you're told to comment on other affiliate's reviews. This cycle continues throughout the entire bootcamp. One-liners are discouraged. You're instructed to make real comments, for example, by pulling out a specific point and saying something about how it resonated with you.

Yes, you got it. They all create content on each other's review. Does this sound right to you?

Hey, I'm all for helping others and getting help in return but after a while you begin to realize, you couldn't care less about the comments you're making on other affiliates' reviews.

If my heart is not really into the comments I'm “paying forward” by posting them to others' reviews, they probably feel the same way about commenting on mine! Which means all these manipulated reviews are floating out on the internet where real people are searching for honest reviews about products they want or need.

Bottom line is, these reviews and comments are perpetuating a vicious cycle of fabricated content that could steer people in a dead end direction. Maybe I'm reading too much into this. But I don't think so. I'll leave that for others to decide.

Back to the lessons:

Today we are going to be adding our very first review to our site, appropriately this will be your "Wealthy Affiliate Review".

Wealthy Affiliate is by far the most interactive, helpful, and thorough platform anywhere in the world for building a business online. You simply need to SHOW people that and they will be interested.

Your next task is going to be coming up with a list of FIVE products in the niche that you are going to be able to review (either in a positive or negative way).

Think of product reviews this way, it is easy to sell WA compared to any other product out there. Our free service typically supersedes many of the paid services out there. The Premium tends to offer WAY MORE than anything else there.

Wealthy Affiliate is a potential option and it will be easy to compare WA along side other companies.


Are you getting this? What exactly am I supposed to be raving about? That I paid good money to promote the product that I paid for? Is this getting weird or am I missing something?

Remember, be elaborate with your reviews and don’t leave anything on the table. You should be signing out every review with a block of content that points people to your number one ranked product. Remember, your ultimate goal is to help people find the best product fit for them. With Wealthy Affiliate as your top product and by recommending WA, you are going to be able to help people see the light with a real, legitimate program.


Wow! I'm going to help them see the light! Wait! What light?

Remember, there is NOT a product online that offers that value and the community that Wealthy Affiliate does, so you are going to be able to leverage these products by fairly reviewing them and pointing people in the direction of your #1 ranked product (Wealthy Affiliate).


OK, well. I guess if they keep saying it. I still don't know what the product is, though.

I do recommend that if you haven’t already done so, you share your Wealthy Affiliate review post/page within your social profiles.

For the "Where You Have Worked", you can actually use WealthyAffiliate.com if you like. This will add additional exposure to you being a member of WA and you will likely get questions as a result (which can and will lead to sales).

As your position, you can add:

  • affiliate marketer
  • internet marketing
  • affiliate
  • active member
  • active contributor

Any of these would work.


Really? I'm going to tell my contacts that I work at WA, except I don't. Oh wait! (I tend to say that a lot!) That makes a link to them.

But then I can't tell my friends and contacts where I really work. Oh well, anything for a commission. Oh wait! (You see?) But then I'd have to put in an affiliate link.

Next, affiliates create a review of Jaaxy, the keyword research tool owned by the owners of WA. Most of the above lessons are repeated with "Jaaxy" replacing WA.

So now I am promoting that, too. Just like how many others? What chance do I have to rank for any of this?

Unlimited Possibilities With Review/Scam Type Keywords

Product related keywords convert very high. People not only are interested in a product already, they are seeking out something that is legitimate if they are searching for reviews or checking to see whether or not a product is a scam.

We have created a powerful platform here at WA that you can use to compare WA against any product in the industry. It is very easy to let folks know about WA in this format and easy to represent WA as a clear “winner” when compared to several other products in the industry


Wow! They may convert, but I don't see how mine will ever be found. How many before me have done this over the past 10 years?

Where to Find Products to Review?

I have created a list of the TOP yielding products that are currently getting a lot of traffic in the industry (popular). These are definitely a good starting point.

Download the Hand Picked Product Keyword List

[img=http://www.sitesell.com/img/wealthy-affiliate-suggested-companies.jpg]Screenshot of 175 companies[/url]


Oh, and another important tool that's promoted is using a pre-filled comparison chart. It has check marks for everything that comes with WA.

Affiliates are instructed to fill in the checks for whatever product review they are working on so readers can see at a glance that the other product is inferior. My guess is this chart is probably very effective given the fast-moving scanners who visit websites. Here's what WA says about this chart:

We have an easy-to-use comparison chart builder geared towards your product/service reviews and comparing them to Wealthy Affiliate.

It is very easy to compare WA to any service/product in the industry and define it as a clear winner. The handy comparison chart builder is going to allow you to quickly create comparison charts, comparing WA to any other product you are reviewing.

You will want to go through and complete all the steps for your given reviews. Do note that the WA review will always remain the same because ALL of the options are available within WA. Make sure that the WA rating that you select reflects the review rating on your actual website.

For every product you review in the industry, you will want to be taking advantage of these charts and inserting them into your review posts.

...

We are all suckers for charts and graphs.


I guess so, but who reviews the product thoroughly to write intelligent reviews? Me? I like this idea of pre-done charts! I just have to check which of WA's features are NOT in the other product.

I guess I'll find out next.

Let's look at a hypothetical product comparison

On the left, you can see a page with a comparison chart. On the right, you can see a page without the comparison chart.

I personally can quickly scan the first comparison chart and quickly determine that the product with the "checks" is far better than the one with the "X". I can do a simple computation and determine that I am going to get much more value if you chose Wealthy Affiliate over product xyz.

Decision made.


Ken, I also forgot to mention that one of the owners, Kyle, who does most of the front end communicating, shows you his own reviews every step of the way, which WA affiliates use as a template. That's why so many reviews from WA affiliate look and feel so similar.

The last 2 bootcamp phases are where things begin to unravel a bit with some of the happy-so-far-affiliates.

These lessons (20 or so of them) are entirely focused on PPC marketing to promote WA and Jaaxy. They are way longer and much more in-depth than the first 5 bootcamp phases. This is where my head-scratching intensified.

The positive comments begin to change into questions like:

  • why am I not getting any traffic?
  • why are we only writing reviews?
  • is anyone making any money?
  • I am losing a lot money on PPC.
  • should we really be spending this much each day?

Pay Per Click marketing is not for beginners! It's incredibly easy to lose money. Lots of money. And fast. I know this from experience.

Why WA would include such extensive teaching about PPC marketing is beyond my comprehension. Or it was. Now I see that it's another cleverly disguised way of getting others to promote WA.

But it's a win-lose. Win for WA. Lose for all but a few affiliates.

Ken, I had hoped to keep this email shorter but all of this folly just can't be explained succinctly.

  • You have to read between the lines at times.
  • You have to experience the near-brainwashing-style of repetition.
  • You have to dissect each section, recognizing that when you take individual sentences in a paragraph apart, they "seem" passable on their own. Put them all back together again though, and you begin to see that WA is nothing but a masterful approach to building an army of affiliates to promote their products.

Affiliates who don't know any better, and those who should but somehow miss the subtleties amidst this almost black-hat platform? I think they're being duped.

[NAME WITHHELD UPON REQUEST]

Okay, I'm back. OK, now the test question...

Did you believe that was a real letter or did it start to feel like a plant?

Truthfully now....

If you realized it was a fake, you're in good shape to escape all the tricks that happen online.

A SiteSeller dug into the program and boiled down her impression of the program into a letter from a fictional confused then cynical WA affiliate.

I thought it started smelling fishy about half-way through, but then again -- I knew the truth.

If you believed it, but smelled the odor of a fish, too, your radar is still pretty good. You should be fine.

But if you bought it hook, line and sinker, well...

You're the fish! 🐠

And there are loads of scams online that would like to hook you. 🎣

Luckily, you're in a spot where the tricks don't cost you a penny. :-)

--

"Oh wait" (as that emailer said a few times)...

While the letter was not sent in by anyone, it's the SiteSeller's impression of how WA's program works.

I don't think I need to comment, except to add that it's worked really well...

For WA and a small number of really talented affiliates. For everyone else, as the Study will show (and as sample results earlier have shown), it hasn't worked out, not nearly so well.

And that brings us back to what Lisa said earlier...

I wonder how many people miss out on something great because they don't know enough to be able to see through those lies.


It looks like we're starting to see an ugly pattern emerging here.

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 9 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 1#p1370501


The Grand Finale
Where Is John Galt?

[Episode 10-1 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 1#p1370611]

We seem to be a favorite target since we are a direct competitor, but there are others who suffer from WA fake reviews.


Aggressive or Wrong?

About the WA approach...

It would merely be "aggressive" if the content was accurate and balanced, if the recommendation was true (what any visitor expects from a review). But we can categorically state (based on results from the Study) that...

1) the recommendation is untrue. The Study is "The Truth." It's inarguable, as you'll see (and have glimpsed).

2) our review of their reviews shows some or all of the content to be wrong and/or unbalanced. The content is often just a rehash of other reviews with their own inaccuracies.

Hence -- "fake reviews."

A fake review can be defined as a positive, neutral or negative review that is not an actual consumer's honest and impartial opinion or that does not reflect a consumer's genuine experience of a product, service or business.
– European Parliamentary Research Service, 2015


Wealthy Affiliate sample training...

Wealthy Affiliate is by far the most interactive, helpful, and thorough platform anywhere in the world for building a business online.


Affiliates are reassured repeatedly...

There is NOT a product online that offers that value and the community that Wealthy Affiliate does, so you are going to be able to leverage these products by fairly reviewing them and pointing people in the direction of your #1 ranked product.


Note the "fairly." The wording is pretty subtle -- they basically put the responsibility on the affiliate if they write a fake review.

However, the body of work, taken in its totality, suggests that an affiliate can draw no other conclusion but to "write a fake review because the recommendation is true and valuable." What we see as the outcome (actual affiliate "reviews") confirms that.

By the above definition of "fake review," we have yet to find one that's not fake. The point of the WA strategy seems to be not to write a fair review (the visitor's expectation) -- it's to bait (SBI! review) and switch to WA.

How can it be considered "fairly reviewing" when the assumption is that they'll end up "reviewing them and pointing people in the direction of your #1 ranked product?" REAL reviews do not start with preconceived conclusions.

They seek the objective, balanced truth. FAIR reviews, written to provide honest guidance for visitors, don't start with ANY assumptions. They start with actual experience (or, if that's impossible, at least deep, original research.

WA's affiliates are blasted with "WA is best so recommend us" so often that they do seem to believe that they really are doing their readers a favor.

Another example of disservice? In <a href="http://www.sitesell.com/img/wealthy-affiliate-suggested-companies.jpg" target="_blank">the list of 175 companies</a>, they say the following...

These [reviews of the 175] can be used to drive your SEO campaigns as well as PPC campaigns and the overall comprehensiveness of your site within the given niche.


So affiliates are not only supposed to SEO their reviews (each person competing against the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other reviews out there) to the top....

They're supposed to spend money on PPC to make sales for WA. In our legacy affiliate program, our PPC info boiled down to "for the PPC-savvy only." And we don't even mention it in the new program -- it's too darn hard. Most lose money.

To us, WA's PPC training is another example of "company first" instead of "solopreneur first." For the vast majority of affiliates, this sounds like an extremely poor-paying proposition.


The Really Big Point

Almost all of the affiliate program focuses on WA being the best, which reassures affiliates that they do a service for visitors by recommending WA. There's just one problem...


The Study vs. The WA Claims

Their affiliates are about to discover, when they see the Study, that they do a huge disservice by sending folks to WA instead of to SBI!. It does not turn out that they "help people see the light with a real, legitimate program" (according to WA training materials).

They actually turn the light OUT...

WA decreases their visitors' likelihood of success, when compared to SBI!. SBI! places 2,200% (Alexa), 3,340% (SimilarWeb) and 4,280% (SEMrush) MORE sites into the Top 1,000,000 sites. Thats 22x, 33x and 43x more likely to be in the Top 1M.

Massive difference. Who would NOT want to be 33x, or "just" 22x, more likely to succeed at a really serious level?

That raises a question...

When faced with the reality of the Study, will affiliates act on the fact that SBI! is far superior? The process looks something like this now...

1) Attract person interested in SBI! (or other products) who searches for any version of "SBI! review."

2) Proclaim WA to be the affiliate's "#1 Recommendation" (after faulty, one-sided content).

3) Decrease visitors' likelihood of success by choosing WA over SBI!.

Ouch!

Will these affiliates be swayed by morality, honesty and duty to the visitor?

Will they care that these are people just like them, individuals who want to build a SUCCESSFUL business?

Will they continue to lure others into a "make money" scheme -- just as they themselves were drawn in earlier?

We'll see.


I Gotta Admit -- We DO Have a Problem

That circular buy-"make money"-to-sell-"make money" system "works" much better than our "Anti-Circle." What's the "Anti-Circle?"

It's where REAL businesses have no financial incentive to write about their REAL experience with SBI!. Those are SBI! businesses.

After all, folks searching for info on Puglia, an example of a "real" niche, are planning a nice vacation to Italy. They are not looking for info on how to build an online business.

So WA outsells us by a ton.

They churn, of course. That may be fine in WA's mind -- THEY are growing, selling more than they lose, although losses are high (40-60 per day).

It's NOT even close to OK in my mind, not...

  • how they negatively impact the psyche of those searching for information in our niche (people become cynical)
  • how they bait-and-switch, nor (most importantly)
  • how those folks would have 1) had a 33x better chance at success, and 2) loved what they were doing -- with pride.

It offends me, not just because of the choke hold on SBI!, although that's the more pressing problem. Let's put the strangulation aside for a moment. The deeper we've dug into WA, the more it's been bothering me at a root belief level.

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 10, Part 1 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 1#p1370611


Attacking "The Individual Dream"
The Solopreneur Manifesto

[Episode 10-2 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 3#p1370613]

I can't say it any better than we did over at Trafeze. Please take a few minutes...

https://blog.trafeze.com/2016/08/04/the ... manifesto/

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For those who don't know, Trafeze was a high-risk "home run shot" at developing a higher-monetization tool. SBIers who don't have the time or inclination for "full active" income models would benefit greatly.

Yielding a higher $-per-visitor ratio, it would NOT require a great deal more work than passive models. (There were some special, unannounced features in there for SBIers, too.)

Trafeze's big surprise was how few solopreneurs there were who met our criteria for acceptance as a "Traffic Seller." While SBIers did well, we were expecting much higher numbers of significant success.

After all, there are around 30,000,000 solopreneurs. If just 1% made the cut, that would be 300,000. Not even close -- we performed a study -- there are only around 30,000!

It became yet more proof of the strength of SBI!, where a disproportionately high number passed the test. But it was a disappointment -- we needed way more high-traffic solopreneurs to have a chance to reach a critical mass of 5,000.

We haven't given up on Trafeze though.
Image


Back to that manifesto...
https://blog.trafeze.com/2016/08/04/the ... manifesto/

I'll shorten that. At SiteSell, we believe...

  • in the solopreneur with BAM
  • that we are happiest when productive, free, self-reliant
  • that the Internet offers THE best chance to reach that state
  • the most <em>do</em>able way to succeed online is through the C Image T Image P Image M process
  • in the joy of working at something you love
  • in these forums, where kindred spirits meet to "help and be helped."

THAT is what SBI! means to all of us -- the product, YOU as individual, YOU as community, SiteSellers -- all of us who share the same vision.

Social Quant published an article by me that discusses the practical ramifications of the principles published in the Trafeze manifesto...

https://www.socialquant.net/solopreneur/

When you start a product with those concepts and principles, when everyone lives by it, the results are inevitable. There's never a decision that comes out "company first."

SBI! works to these principles, placing the "SBIer first." The outcome of the Study was inevitable.

We were surprised ONLY by the size of the difference.

What does all this mean? We need to digress for a bit, then come back to that.


The American Dream Is Now "The Individual Dream"

"The American Dream" was the most enlightened and empowering concept for the everyday person. Made possible by the libertarian-based U.S. Constitution, people immigrated to the U.S. in waves from one troubled country after another.

Without getting into politics, much of both (Constitution and Dream) have been degraded. But people still want that dream.

At SiteSell, we call it "The Individual Dream" -- same concept, gone digital.

Set aside what we "believe."

I absolutely KNOW that none of us will ever have a chance to do anything that remotely resembles SBI!... not you, SiteSellers or me.

It'll never be done again...

Web hosts won't do this. Sitebuilders may market the concept, even some shallow facsimile that won't be enough. But none will ever "do" SBI!, for a simple business reason....

It's just too darn hard, and for too few people.

That focuses the issue squarely on my greatest fear...

If WA succeeds, the only product that enables everyday people disappears.

That is what this all means.


It's About the Future of Everyday Solopreneurs

If we get knocked out, WA has the field wide open to itself. They don't even need to improve because there's no one else doing it.

Sure there are Wix and other sitebuilders, and regular web hosting. We already know how poorly they do from multiple smaller studies and empirical evidence.

Image
An Alert...

We'll be repeating the same study protocol to tightly document performance across web hosts, WordPress, sitebuilders. THAT will give us a well-rounded picture.

Right now, though, it's head-to-head vs. WA.
Image

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to make this overly dramatic. "Solopreneurship" itself will still exist...

There will still be solopreneurs who CAN figure it all out. Frankly, if I was starting all over again right now from a zero knowledge base, I'm not sure I could figure it all out.

There's just so much more to learn... and to NOT learn... and to avoid. What's important? What's B.S.?

I doubt if I could do it (maybe -- if I were 30 years younger! ;-) ). And I know that most folks couldn't. SBI! benefits have grown as business-building has become more complex.

So when I say that the future of solopreneurship is at risk, I'm not talking about the few "super-smarts" who can figure out a way. I'm talking about the "everyday solopreneur"...

It will be gone for those with BAM who can knock it out of the park if someone just takes care of everything except their actual business. We've seen what people can do when you remove the obstacles.

Losing THAT is what steels our resolve to win this.

I initially resented having to do this work. Now I'm glad this came about (almost! ;-) ).

Seriously, I don't know how they've got away with this for so long. It's time to expose this operation. And, at the same time...

It's time we use this to jump-start SBI! growth into what I believe should be a "limited-size community," one that's structured to get stronger over the years. THAT's where we'll find John Galt, I suspect. More on that later.

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If you have not read Atlas Shrugged, you must be asking...

"Who is John Galt?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Galt

It's the question of the best book not written by my favorite U.S. authors of the mid-1800s...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged

We'll close the final Part of The Finale with a discussion on that.
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Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 10, Part 2 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 3#p1370613


That's NOT Going to Happen
Good Guys Can and Do Lose

[Episode 10-3 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 4#p1370614]

The good guy always wins.


I couldn't track down who actually said that, and probably with good reason...

Unlike in the movies, good guys can and do lose. And heck, I didn't even know we were in a fight, let alone one that we're losing. No wonder our conversion rate is down!

And the choke hold will only tighten.

Telling a story Netflix-style has been a great exercise in connecting dots, as Steve Jobs used to say.

We had fought Attack #1 and Attack #2 (see the introduction), so doing it all over again? The thought was draining. We were ready to do it, but just the thought of it was depressing. Like I said earlier, 2 steps backward after laying down some fine marketing groundwork.

When I finally connected the "dirty little details view" to the much bigger picture of the future of solopreneurship, I started to get pumped about this. This was not some tedious fight over nothing.

This was IMPORTANT. And we had a way to fight back conclusively, the head-to-head study.

And when THAT got connected to John Galt, well, this could get radical. We could come out of this with a stronger, unified community that would not only end this vulnerability to attack, it would get stronger as the years go by.

That's probably why, while watching something on Netflix late last night, with Nori half-asleep, she startled when I half-yelled....

"That's NOT going to happen!"

"No frigg'n way!" (I didn't actually say "frigg'n" ;-) ).

I felt like Ben Kingsley in the movie Sexy Beast (amazing movie if you haven't seen it)...

"No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!"



Let's switch to Lord of the Rings to show you how we feel...

Image

If you're getting the feeling that the team and I are determined to win, you're half-way there!

I really hope that you feel the same. YOU are the other half.


Action Time

I've told you some of what we're planning (and I had to leave some out because we're going "all in" on this and others are probably watching -- they're even changing the dates on some of their documentation to update it).

Now let's turn our attention to you! :-)


We have 3 HUGE plusses on our side...


1) RIGHT

To recoin a phrase, "right makes might." Folks instinctively want to support right vs. wrong, good vs. evil. I'm not saying that WA is evil, but much of what they do, and what they get their affiliates to do, doesn't feel right, at least not to us.

We've always acted in the best interests of SBIers. That would merely be "a nice thing," except for the next fact...


2) TRUTH

Not only do we have "right" on our side, here comes the truth.

The Study shows categorically who delivers the bacon!

SBI! puts 2,200% (Alexa), 3,340% (SimilarWeb) and 4,280% (SEMrush) more sites into the Top 1,000,000 sites. I wish there was a stronger adjective than "better" or "superior"... "dominating"?

Being 33x better at success is a mighty powerful tip of the spear! We'll be maximizing its spread, as noted earlier.

You might ask, "Don't you prove it on SiteSell's website?"

We sure do. But it's not a specific head-to-head against a company that represents itself as superior. Someone really should ask for proof of success...

Image
Our current SITE proof is pretty convincing (Case Studies, 500 Results, Current Stories).

WA does not offer a single site. Domain names are not revealed in their "forums" unless someone asks for a review or an "engagement" comment on a live page. Affiliates offer little or no real verifiable proof. So yes, we tend to agree with that question -- we DO prove it. They don't.

The obvious question to WA comes from one of my favorite all-time commercials...



There's no proof!

Still, since WA is using affiliates to attack us, we needed something clear, direct and HEAD-TO-HEAD. SBI! shows its Success Advantage, big-time. And if anyone wants to check it, they can do it themselves.
Image

And the third big plus?


3) YOU!

You are the biggest PLUS of all!

We need the help of our best fans, those who know us best -- YOU!

The "Anti-Circle" quietened you. It didn't seem to matter -- until now.

I don't like to distract you, but I really must for us to turn this around. I'm only asking each SBIer to do one thing.

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If you'd like to help a little more from time to time, that would be great. Please contact Support...

http://support.sitesell.com/contact-support.html

... and tell them you want to help out. Include the URL to your "SBI! Review" page and ask them to send me your note.

Thanks very much to those who volunteer.
Image


Break the "Anti-Circle" 👉 Write Your SBI! Story

You've probably guessed that "one thing" by now...

Yes -- please write your SBI! story and put it up on your site...

YOU are THE most important piece to the puzzle. If you have a wonderful SBI! story to tell, please do. Sweat it, make it a story that really reflects what SBI! means to you, how it has impacted your life.

We've been sharing incredible stories to the blog...

http://www.sitesell.com/blog/real-life-success-lessons/

Every time Margit sends me one to review, I always email back something like, "Margit, that was incredible."

One day, I realized that "incredible" was the "new normal" around here...

Everyday people building extraordinary businesses... every day.

Those stories drip-drip-drip our message, while including valuable takeaway lessons. But they're on our site, so the cynical reader doesn't look at them in the same way.

We need your story, published on your site. In your words and emotions.

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 10, Part 3 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 4#p1370614


We Need You!
Here's How

[Episode 10-4 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 1#p1370641]

The real-life stories on our blog are interviews. They tell inspiring stories of solopreneur success, leaving the reader with some real-life takeaway lessons, too. Every one that Margit sends me for final review blows me away. But...

They don't have the full impact of YOU telling YOUR story on YOUR site, the one that your readers love. Only a few of your visitors may be considering starting an online business, so PREselling SBI! to your visitors is not the main point here...

We really need everyone to rally in numbers. Some will rank at Google. The collective effort will deliver wins in the SERPs.

There's no need to tell the story ON your "About Me" page. That page should focus on you and your business. Since Solo Build It! is part of that, it's natural to add a paragraph or two about Solo Build It!...

That provides the necessary lead-in. Link THAT to the dedicated page about your SBI! story/review. Here's how Nori leads into her story...

[Domain Private]
(Do a Find for "solo" on the page -- you'll find 2 spots where she mentions Solo Build It!. One is a link to us, the other (in a callout box) provides the link to her review.

It's important that the page be reachable, like every other page, for Google to "care." No engine likes "orphan" (unreachable) pages.


The Dedicated SBI! Review/Story Page

If SBI! has made a substantial difference to your life, helped you take back some measure of freedom, please tell that story. Let the person who reads it in on the best-kept secret online.

Your story should be free-form, told in your own voice, in your usual way.

Does YOURS have to be as super-amazing as the interviews? Not at all. It just has to be REAL...

Saving a few thousand a year for vacations? Have an SBI! business that contributes to the college fund? That's REAL!

Job-quitting-big or "merely" supplementing a pension, it doesn't matter...

Unlike the fake reviews, YOU really WILL be doing someone a favor.

Nori just put hers up...

[Domain Private]

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She can't "vaccinate" yet (we'll talk about vaccinating against WA below). She'll add the link to the Study when that goes up.

But her page gives you an idea of how each person tells their own story in their own way -- even in her own particularly unique way.
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You already know how to write about your niche. Now write about you, SBI!, your niche, and your business. Why does it matter to you? How has it impacted you? Your family?

Keywords

As usual, get the keywords right. Here's an example Title tag...

"My Review of SBI! and How It Changed My Life"

Choose a Specific Keyword that's some permutation of "review" or "reviews" together with "SBI!" or "Solo Build It!" or even "Site Build It!" (ex., "Site Build It! review," "SBI! reviews," "Solo Build It! review," and so on).

Title and Meta Description should reflect the passion AND get the click.

Blend your Specific Keyword and other variations of the keyword you choose into the body of your text. There's little or no difference (in Google's eyes) between "Solo Build It! Review" and "Review of Solo Build It," so use them as best fits the syntax of a sentence.

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What About "Site Build It!?"

The "Site" version of our name will slowly fade, but it's still popular now and it's jammed with WA reviews. If you decide to target that, put it in the Title. In the Meta Description, you could write something like...

Site Build It! Review: Now called "Solo Build It!" because it's much more than a sitebuilder, here's how this business-builder with proven success changed my life.


That reflects the rebranding toward business AND gets a key message into this important, click-getting tag.

Then mix "Site Build It! review" into the text a few times. You could even add a callout box to explain the name change, how it focuses on building "solopreneur businesses," not just "sites."

It's up to you. Do it YOUR way! :-)
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IMPORTANT: VACCINATE AGAINST WA!

Add a "Vaccination Note" at the end. Here's a sample of what you could add to "vaccinate" the reader against fake reviews. But please write it your own way...

If you search for reviews of <<WHATEVER SBI! NAME YOU CHOSE>>, you'll find fake reviews by people paid to make reviews to send you to a proven inferior product. SBI! did a head-to-head study to test those claims. In the name of transparency, they show you how to do the same study and check for yourself.

The study included every site from both products. On average, SBI! placed 3,300% (that's 33X) more sites into the top bracket. The other product only "beat" SBI! in failure (and by a large margin). Click here for that study [the link will be provided when we put the Study up].

Those fake reviews have all kinds of ways of "fake-reviewing SBI!," but they never, ever compare success because SBI! has always provided tons of verifiable proof on their site.

The Study, though, is ultimate, head-to-head proof. It's the first time anyone has done a head-to-head comparison between two products. But it's important to "out" the fakes...

Fake reviews are a big problem online. They mislead consumers, just to make money. For more info, do a Google search for "fake reviews." It's so bad that consumer protection groups and government may have to step in.

I wrote this page not only to share my story with you, just in case you ever think about starting an online business. When I heard about all the fake reviews tearing down a product that I love, I wrote this page in support.

I built THIS site into a business with <<WHATEVER SBI! KEYWORD YOU CHOSE>>. The Study shows how I would likely have failed without SBI! -- its competitor had only 53 sites in the top category, less than 1/10th of SBI!'s results (even though the other company has 70% more sites!).

<<WHATEVER SBI! KEYWORD YOU CHOSE>> takes care of everything, which clears the way for me to focus on what I really know and love, <<YOUR NICHE>>.


That "VACCINATION" will make folks immune to the WA fake reviews. Change the language to yours, modify it as you like. It's important to link to the Study with a brief summary (in case they don't click through).

--

Aside from the VACCINATION, just write it like you do any other story. Your knowledge and passion will tell the story between the lines.

ONE FINAL STEP! Let us know that you've posted your review. Contact Support...

http://support.sitesell.com/contact-support.html

Send in the URL of your review. They'll send it on to me and the team.

--

IMPORTANT: You won't earn much from this page, for two reasons...

1) Your visitors are unlikely to be interested in starting an online business. Some may be interested in reading this much detail about you and your business. A few may actually purchase over the course of a year. But, overall, you won't earn much compared to your main income models.

2) It's far from a lock to be found, since your site is not an authority in its field. But Google does try to present varying types of pages. So...

The more SBIers who write a REAL REVIEW, the more likely we'll place some onto the first page of SERPs for the various "review" keywords, enabling Google to present more variations of the search.

TIP: If you can get a high-quality, deep link, straight to the page, that could push it up in the ranking. Just make sure it's from a good source.

If you do get a ranking, you may earn some extra commission (since that traffic is more targeted and is pre-purchase). But again, it's not for the money.

The goals here are much bigger...


Help Us Help You

It's time for SBI! to grow, not to get strangled. There's lots more we want to do with SBI!...

The more we grow, the more we can do. Over the years, SBI! has widened the edge against the general solopreneur population. The more complex online business gets, the more we simplify.

We want to keep growing that advantage. Yours is a critical part of fighting back, getting rankings and providing us with material we can use strategically (that I can't talk about in public).


Write and Rank -- Maybe

We need everyone involved. The more stories, the more likely we are to get some good rankings. If you write a tremendous page, one that visitors are staying on for a long time, you increase your personal chances.

The goal is to get ranked high -- it takes a great page. It's possible, even though your niche is not an authority in Internet marketing or online-business-building.

For example, Victoria Falls Guide does rank for a search or 2...

[Domain Private]

Some of the best, or those that just happen to hit Google just right, are going to find their way to the top of some rankings. We may be able to lend a hand here and there. I can't say much more than that -- well, just a bit...

We also have some plans to widen some stories' exposure. We really NEED to balance things out in the SERPs, getting REAL reviews mixed in with the fake.

WA pretty much has its way there right now. We need to make it probable that folks who are searching for SBI! reviews find genuine, honest-to-goodness experiences of/reviews by its actual, REAL, current USERS!

Your stories will stand out if we can rank just a few for each permutation of "reviews" and "sbi" or "solo build it" or even "site build it."

To do that will take everyone.

Please let us know about your page in this new forum thread, Summary of How to Write a REAL Review by REAL SBIers - Submit Here, Please...

https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=222543

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 10, Part 4 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 1#p1370641


It Takes a Village
{b]We Can't Fight This Onslaught Alone[/b]

[Episode 10-5 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6#p1370656]

A single company can't fight this onslaught of fake reviews. The ones you see come mostly from 10 super-talented affiliates. Some are not WA customers. There are many more from honest people who haven't realized how they've been manipulated into making the wrong recommendation.

We can't de-bait it, out-advertise that many organic rankings, and, due to the financial incentives (most don't realize they won't earn a penny), it's only going to get worse.

There's only one way to fight this...


It Does Take a Village

It's going to take us all, SBIers and SiteSellers, working together.

It takes large numbers to rank enough pages into the SERPs...

So please share your uplifting story about using Solo Build It!. Please do NOT think that you don't matter. If you have a nice story to share, you DO and it DOES.

We'll be marketing some stories and, um, helping others along, including those that are superb but don't rank, in a variety of ways. So EVERY review counts.

Getting back to Google...

When we achieve those rankings, those interested in SBI! will start finding TWO types of pages in those SERPs...


Group 1

These "reviews" feel a little wrong -- something is "off." If searchers look around any of those sites, they'll see a site about Internet marketing, reviews of other products AND a link to WA...

It gets odd, too, that most of them, after some song and dance about SBI! (good or bad), end up recommending WA. I mean, heck...

Some of them repeat seen-these-lies-before stuff like "old-fashioned" and "doesn't work anymore." Some rehash lies of Attack #2. Others say that SBI! is actually quite good (likely more effective since they SEEM to be "fair"). No matter what the approach...

They all end up sending the reader to THEIR review of WA (which is the first page that the WA affiliate program gets them to write) or directly to WA.

Right now, there's no "Group 2." So our ONLY hope right now, without you, is that some really smart folks might wonder...

Wait a second. I'm searching for SBI!! reviews. Why do so many end up sending me to Wealthy Affiliate after general comments about SBI! that tell me very little about what I wanted -- a REAL review? Ah, I get it -- these are fake reviews.


Not many people have the digging skills and time to figure out that game.

Your reviews give us that fighting chance. And that brings us to Group 2 in the SERPs (I hope)...


Group 2

REAL stories by REAL users who have been impacted in a significant way by SBI!. Given your passion and actual experience, not to mention that the searcher finds a review in a "real niche" site....

Who do you think is going to win THAT battle? :-)

Your review is REAL and the reader will know it. Linking to the website is, of course important. And linking to the Study ("vaccinating") really closes down the effectiveness of the fake reviews (see Part 10-4, above).


Have You Ever Sailed?

Neither have I. But I've been on a sailboat. On a windy day, it's wonderful when the wind's at your back ("tailwind"). But it's boringly hard to sail into a wind...

Tack. Tack. Zig. Zag. The sailor works like crazy, tacking back and forth to zig-zag into the breeze. (I just focus on trying not to get hit in the head by the boom as it swings back and forth!)

We've been marketing into a headwind for years now, laying down a foundation while we waited for the search impact of Attack #2 to subside.

And then comes Attack #3.

This time, though, the wind won't die down, not unless most of the WA affiliates who see the Study realize how much they've been misled. I don't believe that most of them really KNOW how much better SBI! is.

Once the Study is out, they'll know.

Will it matter that they're misleading people into a much higher chance of failure and near-zero chance of significant success? I believe in the basic goodness of people -- so I hope so.

But there'll be others who will take their places. Like I said, there are a lot of scams in the "Internet marketing" world. That means that there are a lot of people who somehow justify fraud to themselves.

Image
Or, if someone is a sociopath, there's no need to even justify defrauding people.

But I digress. Depending on all of the hundreds or thousands of authors to mend their ways is unrealistic.
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Without our own response -- your reviews -- we'll slowly strangle to death. We'll take it from there and work like crazy to beat this, but YOU are a critical piece of this puzzle.

I hate to distract you, even for the few hours this will take, from your main business, but writing one inspirational page -- your story -- contributes to the WIN we need to start growing again.

It's a battle of "SBI! passion" vs "dialing for dollars."

Distracting you feels like a one-sided favor, I know (because I feel it, too). But it's more multi-dimensional than that.


Helping Us Helps You

Don't just do it for "us." I don't see us surviving more than a couple of years against this attack. That's just the way it is.

I can't stand to see what we've all built, hate to see it get beat like this...

Not by such a poor product.

If there was something stronger than us, run by honest folks with the same sincere belief that "YOUR success is our success," we'd all talk about it here. I'm sure everyone would agree for us to work out a deal with them to migrate SBIers and SiteSellers there.

And Janice and I would be on the first flight to someplace far, FAR away. :-)

That's what you call WIN-WIN-WIN.

Until then, there's no such product.

We all owe it to each other (and future SBIers with the same aspirations) to turn back a product that can only put 53 out of 17,000 sites into the Alexa Top 1,000,000 (compared to 697 for SBI!, even though they have 70% MORE sites).

The problem is simple, but unbeatable without you...

WA is perfectly set up to "circle-sell," get rankings and trash the best product. But the success rate is dismal, failure high.

Our track record is the opposite, but we have a "circle-break"...

The only business reason for you to create your SBI! reviews is to keep us doing what we do best. Your most direct impact is obvious...

First and foremost, we can break the choke hold.

Second, renewed growth enables us to grow the resources to do even more with SBI!. And that ties into...

Third: "Project John Galt" -- explained further down.

So...


Don't Do It for the Money, Do It to Grow This Special Spot for Solopreneurs

WA leaves the impression that their affiliates will make money doing what they do. Few succeed (as the Study will show).

I'd rather be straight up about low direct earnings. It's the collective effort (i.e., everyone with a great story to tell) that will impact us in a significantly POSITIVE way.

So don't worry that you might not rank on Page 1 of the SERPs. Most won't, just like WA affiliates.

Even if you don't rank for the main keywords, you'll get found for long-tail keywords -- that all adds up across thousands of reviews. AND it gives us more to work with, from our end of things.

So I repeat...

There's not much money in this, so please don't do it for that. Heck, leave affiliate links off your URLs so you can make your links "follow" links, if you like.

TIP: If you prefer to use an affiliate link, that's fine. Make it "nofollow." Also, you are legally obliged to let folks know that. No problem. Just put something like this into a callout box...

NOTICE: If you click on a link to the SBI! page and start with SBI!, I will earn a commission. I assure you -- this is not about earning income. Every word on this web page is true.

I'm writing this because it's upsetting to see so many fake reviews, written just to sell an inferior product (as you've seen in the Study). On the other hand, there's no point in passing up some income if you decide to try.

And by the way, if you do try SBI! and discover it's not for you, SBI! always honors its 90-day guarantee (full refund within 90 days, pro-rata after that).


Either way, you get to make a valid point.

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You don't see this notice on Nori's page since she didn't use affiliate links.
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Link to the Study

This Study is super encouraging for us, for two reasons. First, the obvious...

1) SBI! way outperforms WA. That's important for the short-term. THEY wanted to do a head-to-head comparison in qualitative terms, even though they offer zero proof.

We quantified it.

Linking to it from your SBI! page is the only proof that anyone really needs because WA is the other product that any reader of that page will be considering.

It's a major new "Proof of Success" that pushes beyond...

  • the current stories (in the blog) that add a new human face
  • the Case Studies that indicate longevity
  • the Results, which let folks see the wide range of niches in the 500 examples of success.

But the Study is the lopsided winner in a head-to-head.

So be sure to "vaccinate."

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You could even try using it if you happen to see a post in an Internet marketing forum that slams SBI!, especially if WA is being pushed at our expense.

For example, if you see a post saying how much better WA is, all you need to do is post...

Have you seen the results of this Study [including the link]? SBI! is 3,300% better at delivering success. WA excels at failure. And if you don't believe it, they even show you how to do your own study.


You probably won't change THAT person's mind, but others will see it. So if you get a rude reply back, you have two choices...

1) Just leave. Don't get dragged into a "de-bait."

-OR-

2) Reply...

"I've posted what you said to the Study [and really do post it to us]. They should find it interesting. Meanwhile, thinking people can consider that study [repeating the URL] on its merits."

And THEN leave. Don't get dragged into a "de-bait."

Your audience in marketing forums is the lurkers who are thinking, not those out to make a buck.

That said, that's not your job. It's ours. :-)
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The second big reason that it's so encouraging?

2) The success rate itself is amazing, even standing on its own without WA.

It's a win that we can expand to "challenge others"...

This study (and others like it) documents how poorly solopreneurs do, compared to SBIers. As we do more of these, it should help us grow sales.


Bottom Line

We need you...

to help us...

so we can continue to help you do better and better.


So here I am, in my best "Uncle Ken Needs YOU" call, from another great movie...



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uncle-ken.jpg (32.02 KiB) Viewed 1649 times


  • Don't do it for the affiliate income.
  • Don't do it to attack any other company.
  • Don't do it to de-bait any fake affiliate review.

Do it because you believe in SBI!, because we're all in this together in a wonderful way, and because THIS is the one and only place where solopreneurs with BAM have the best chance at success.

This is a village worth fighting for.

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 10, Part 5 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6#p1370656


Out of Crisis...
Opportunity

[Episode 10-6 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6#p1370676]

I started this series with this comment...

I've had it with unethical marketers in our space.


I was really tired and, frankly, somewhat angry and depressed. Not a great combination -- been there, done that, and it was all starting again.

Now I see opportunity.

How else is there to see it once you realize the word that we can finally get out, partly through your SBI! reviews...

Out of 17,000 sites, they have only 53 sites in the Alexa Top 1M (confirmed to be in the same vicinity by SimilarWeb and SEMrush).

Out of 10,000 SBI! sites, we have 697 (similarly confirmed)!

And THEY have 7,000 (70%!) more sites than us!

THAT is worth fighting for.

And what about failure?

They have 3.5-4 TIMES AS MANY SITES WITH ALEXA >30,000,000 or SEMrush of 0. That's no traffic, basically.

I believe in the basic goodness of most folks. We feel/hope that both their affiliates and customers will feel misled. We'll find out soon enough if they decide to join "the good guys."

Meanwhile, so many dots seem to swirl around, looking for connections. One came back from the ancient past...


Who Is John Galt?

Digging into all this has, at times, left me really bugged. There are more scams than ever. It's so bad in "old-school" Internet marketing that the SiteSeller who is researching the existing lawsuit against WA can't even figure out if the guy who is suing WA is "good" or "bad."

I can't see how the would-be solopreneur can sort out what's right in many areas of "old-school Internet marketing" (i.e., the basics such as traffic-building). I CAN, though, see how they'd fall into "make money" schemes and scams...

It's virtually unavoidable. You have to wade through a ton of muck to find the few good guys. Meanwhile, if one scumbag doesn't get you, another one will.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have rose-tinted glasses for the good old days. There have always been scams, hypes, opportunists, etc. There are just way more now.

And then there's the more benign level. When we track RSS, there are so many folks who just regurgitate what has already been written (i.e., they aren't "bad" -- they just don't add anything). Most figure that they don't have to do their own hard, original researching and thinking.

Just rehash and the money will come rolling in.

YOU know that's not true. But supposedly "professional" ones don't know that there's no such thing as a successful shortcut?


The Alexa Series

That "rehash" thought struck me when we were researching an update on our Alexa article.

Even in such "benign" (non-money-grubbing) areas like content about Alexa, the new articles were almost all regurgitations from pre-2008. They failed...

  • to realize that Alexa had made major changes in 2008
  • to be objective. They started with a "negative mindset," so they failed to see usefulness even when the very examples that they themselves were using showed how useful it can be.

So we decided to set the record straight on Alexa. I recently wrote what I (modestly) consider to be the definitive work on it (brilliantly edited by CMO Mike)...

http://www.sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/al ... myths.html

It's amazing how iUrban Myths stick. I have no respect for bloggers who rehash the work of others and aren't clever enough to add anything new.

But there was one study that struck me as different...

Smart, obviously. He made a good point, off of original data points, that sat me up. But then the article kind of unraveled.

And you know what? That's OK, because it was original work by a smart writer. But it illustrated a point that I was making...

Even good guys approach Alexa expecting to find negative stuff. Matt Cutts was included in there, too. The very data that both of these fine authors put out raised unanswered questions and missed positive uses for Alexa.

I linked to both articles as examples of folks who missed the positive points of Alexa.

Adam Connell replied in the comments to that post...

http://www.sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/al ... 3288256185

Take a moment and read his reply. My critique was friendly-factual, but I was fearing the worst because so many people seem to have a hair trigger online.

Instead, his reply was total class.

That's when it hit me...

THOSE are the ONLY folks I want to work with from now on. I'm too old to waste my increasingly precious time (there's less of it 😢 ) on anyone but all-star thinkers who are good people.

So when it comes to influencers, we want to work with "the new Allan Gardynes and Ralph Wilsons." There aren't many in the old schools of, say, affiliate marketing. Who would do what Allan did back then (hire someone to build a site with SBI! and take a year before writing his review)?

Most today seem "bought." That will apply to any affiliate from WA, once s/he knows about the Study, who doesn't change her/his mind and recommendations. Those actions will define her/him.

The good ones, people like Adam, consider new data/thinking and see the truth. Why? Because they seek it.

They are also attracted to what's "right," not what pays the biggest buck even if it hurts others. As I said earlier, turning a famous phrase on its head...


Right Makes Might

Will those who attacked us "to protect solopreneurs against SBI!" suddenly turn their attention to WA? No. That was just a ruse to cover the fact that they went irrationally overboard, all over some perceived slight over a marketing disagreement.

If they now go after WA, I'll print this entire series out and eat my words. 😋

Unlike Adam, those are NOT the people who are willing to say, "hey, that made sense -- let me reassess. I'll correct course."

Everyone else, those Wealthy Affiliate folks who "stick to their fake review guns"?

They'll just re-draw that dividing line that separates good from bad...

  • Somehow, they'll justify (to themselves) their fake review and bad recommendation.
  • Somehow, they won't see it as a blatant disservice to the visitor's search intent.

Unless we're psychopaths, we NEED to believe that. A normal human cannot accept otherwise.

So be it.

The good ones won't. We want them.

And we want to work with influencers who understand how important SBI! is, those who want to work with what's right.

Having a competitor with shady practices, who ultimately misleads affiliates into promoting something that (the Study clearly shows) cuts other humans' dreams down -- that's an opportunity.

While "right makes might," though...


Right Does Not Win By Default

Even with the Study, there'll still be folks there who won't change their minds, not when there's money to be made.

The only difference will be that they'll KNOW, at some level where even justification can't penetrate, that they're taking money under false pretenses. Even more seriously, they do harm.

There's just no way around that conclusion, for a simple reason...


The Study Is "The Truth"

It's well-constructed...

  • Both products undergo the identical methodology.
  • The numbers are more than high enough for the results to be significant.
  • On top of the numbers, the difference is massive -- even more significant.
  • We use 3 ways to measure traffic instead of 1, to diversify any "selection bias." And most importantly...
  • Anyone can repeat the study and check it.

I'm sure those with ulterior motives will try to pick at it -- there are always clever people to twist things out of shape. Let them try. I'll be glad to reply on that page. There's just no avoiding reality.

If it offends, so be it. When the truth is offensive, it's not my problem, it's the problem of those who lie.

Sure that kind of approach can bite you...

It's possible that folks who have been totally brainwashed, as well as those with a financial interest to protect, will fight back with even more lies instead of the truth.

The Study may bite us back if the absolute evidence in there can't penetrate the delusion, if it can't overcome the ulterior motives. The way we figure it...

So what? There's nothing to lose.

It would get worse anyway, even if we did nothing.

However they respond, it's up to their conscience. It can't change our plan. So please...

Write your SBI! story and put it up to your site now -- see the "How To" here...
https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=222543

Let's build momentum quickly. This is an opportunity in getting some rankings. There's opportunity in having thousands of REAL reviews from actual SBIers.

This time, unlike the previous 2 attacks, where we left you out of it (asked you NOT to reply), we're asking for some of your time to create a massive counter-presence.

That will give us enough to combat Attack #3.

OK, let's wrap up...


Times Like These Shake Steve Jobs' Dots Up

Jobs always talked about how the dots of your life connect to form new ideas.

At times like this, dots swirl around, as if in a bingo basket.

I was reminded of Atlas Shrugged, a book I read in high school, when I wrote earlier about these forums. Quick summary if you have not read it..

In a dystopian, ultra-socialistic world, the most productive titans of industry start disappearing. They simply... disappear. One by one. It's only late in the story that we learn what is happening...

Each at their own pace, they realize that an entitled world, through corrupt leaders, sucks more and more from the most productive people who are the engines of prosperity. The book raises the intriguing question...

What if they said, "Enough."


One by one, they do. They decide to stop prolonging the downward spiral by carrying an ever-greater weight. Basically, each decides to let a hopelessly corrupt and entitled world collapse under its own weight, as it must when incompetents are left behind and no productivity remains to drain.

They shrug that weight, passively pressing "Reset."

Atlas Shrugged's philosophy of objectivism is, to oversimplify, extreme libertarianism -- so I'm bringing this up only in the broadest of strokes, more of a metaphor.

Ayn Rand (the author) never dreamed that the Internet would come along, that everyday individuals could find kindred spirits and work together to build productive lives of freedom.

SBIers do that every day.

And together, we have built something remarkable -- a family of people with shared values.

But, just to continue the metaphor, look at the "developed" world around us. We're surrounded not just by dysfunctional government...

Throughout the developed world, we see the rise of entitlement, the expectation of government to fix things, the impending bankruptcy of government programs that are only fundable by raising, yet again, the debt ceiling.

The number of people who are like SBIers, folks who ARE willing to WORK toward goals that matter on an emotional level, is small.

We are a small subset of those who merely want more/have dreams.

In the developed world, people buy homes they can't afford, put new cars on a plan and spend to impress. Why work when there's debt? But time passes and there's a sinking feeling that there are more important goals in life.

And then, out of nowhere, comes this "Interwebs thing." Most never "get it" beyond being consumers of YouTube, Amazon, smartphones, etc. MORE to spend on! Waste time on!

Some, though, see more. Where there are consumers, there MUST be producers. Why not be a producer of content? That said...

How many are ready to stick their necks out like an adventurous tortoise, and take a chance to make it happen? Not many, even though the financial risk is so low online.

Why should so many whine about their lot in life? The Internet is right THERE! It's opportunity knocking.

Most won't ever hear the knock. If they do, they won't believe it's possible, won't do the work to find out.

Of those who do, most fail and conclude it's all a scam.

So we're down to a pretty small subset of people. Out of maybe a few hundred thousand....

There are fewer than 10,000 SBIers. I thought of these forums and it led to a thought, a dot from the past...

WE are, collectively, John Galt.

I find that to be an exciting, long-term, opportunity.

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 10, Part 6 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6#p1370676


Shrug!
And Achieve Goals That Matter

[Episode 10-7 post: https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 1#p1370691]

I've long felt that SBIers are special people.

Even though we're more than 20 years into the Internet, most people still don't understand the concept of what you do. Family and friends thought you were sucked into a scam (and 99 times out of 100, from what I can see, they'd be right).

There are other ways to do it online, if you don't mind pick-pack-ship for platforms like eBay or Etsy. But to start something of your own, from nothing more than knowledge inside your head? That's still very non-conformist thinking.

You set out to work to achieve goals that matter. They vary from person to person, but if they are important to you, they're important, period.

You work on the most incredible range of niches. You passionately create value to get value. You don't curl up at the first setback -- you roll up your sleeves.

So yes. You think different. You're ready to work. You're resilient. That's special in anyone's book.

--

We all meet in these forums. Given the nature of the individuals, it's no wonder that a special culture has set in. It's "The Place for Friendly, Business-Building Discussions," a place where folks come to "help and be helped."

You are probably the only person (among family and friends) who does what you do. Here, though, it's not just understood... it's assumed.

I've long said that these forums are my favorite place on the Web. It's YOU who make it such a special spot.

In short, YOU are "John Galt" and "John Galt is here."

You don't have to be a titan of industry. You don't have to physically disappear. And I'm not talking about the extreme concepts of "objectivism" -- closer to a "soft libertarianism," if anything.


Shrug

A shrug can mean many things. But shrugging off a weight is the only shrug that is empowering. While researching for this piece, and receiving research from Yuki (my right hand-arm-shoulder daughter), it got very heavy.

"We're in the midst of all that crap," I thought.

It's so much worse than I remembered. The offline direct marketers have landed! There are so many people who want something for nothing (called "marks" or "mooches" by the predators). They are easy prey for "Get Rich Quick" / "Get Rich Easy."

Any GRQ/GRE sales copy, no matter how creative the approach (and there are some doozies), can NOT convince you that "this time it's different" if you simply remember "too good to be true ends badly. NO exceptions."

But most people don't want to hear that it's hard. They'll vote for "easy" every time. Unfortunately, predators ALSO draw in good people who were ready to work. When we lost them to a bad experience or two, it's forever and at the expense of our reputation...

"It's all a scam."

I wondered, "How do we stand out from all that?"

And then, I simply...

Shrugged.

I simply can't help what happens. All we can do is a better job to help more folks see who we are. You simply have to shrug that crap off or it becomes stifling.

It was as empowering as when I finally decided to ignore Attack #2.

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There are also, thankfully, loads of good marketers online. It takes time to find, follow and especially to be confident in them. But they ARE out there.

We're building relationships with a whole new generation -- "new school" "Allan Gardyne's."

You should be doing the same in your niche. Find the good ones (in YOUR niche, not ours -- we take care of that). Ignore those you don't trust. Keep up with your niche by following the best through RSS. Build relationships through "personal-social."
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We CAN all simply ignore those who would drag us down. We can get drawn in, yes -- it happens. But when you recognize it...

Shrug!

Productive people move themselves ahead here, apart from the others. We do what we do to take back part or total control of our lives.

What we all do is unconventional. Friends don't have to "get it" -- offline friends and family have even more important roles in your life. But online...

We all meet HERE to push ahead together.

THAT is pretty much (in what is admittedly a liberal interpretation) what Atlas Shrugged is about. The title is brilliant.

What SHOULD Atlas do when the weight just becomes too great?

Shrug.


That's what the titans of productivity did. They disappeared to "Galt's Gulch" (hey, I didn't name it ;-) ).

What are the impediments to your goals, big or small? Thanks to the Internet, we can all shrug and get to work. And there's an extra upside...

World problems? There's nothing we can do about them.

Shrug. Turn off the news and take that weight off.

Live your own life, your way.

I took it further geographically than most do. So have other SBIers and SiteSellers. Anguilla, Ecuador, Panama, Nicaragua -- whatever country you were born in, chances are there's a better fit.

Those who pack their business into a briefcase and leave are still a minority, but many could if they want to. Once you mentally shrug and decide to take back control by doing something you love to do, borders are optional.

That alone, just having the option, is a powerful feeling.


Strongest Together

When you think this way, as I was saying, it doesn't matter how WA customers and affiliates react. We hope to attract the best of them when they realize how they've been misled. But...

It if doesn't happen, we're still strongest together. And we have learned...

We have one huge vulnerability.

Attacks #1 and #2 proved it, but they didn't last. They faded. This one is different.

"Anti-circle" has left us vulnerable. It's the natural outcome of what happens when the entire SBI! system is geared to discourage "make money" and encourage "REAL."

SBI! is the ONLY product of its kind that TRULY enables success. More than ever, after doing this exercise, SBI! feels like a pillar rising out of the mire.

I can't worry about the mire. I wish it wasn't that way -- I'd rather be the best in a competitive field that is honorable and valuable. Here's an example of what I mean...

I wanted to get a Bluetooth speaker for our bedrooms in Anguilla and Panama. It's simple enough. I go to Amazon. Searching quickly hones me in on Bose and a couple others.

A ton of reviews reveal the best (the "Wisdom of Crowds" bubbles the best to the top -- comments by smart reviewers nail it down). Amazon works like crazy to eliminate "fake reviews." So I trust them. And...

I love my Bose speakers.💖 🎶

But in OUR world?

People who try to figure out how to build an online business soon get lost in a combination quagmire / labyrinth. They become so cynical, many can't recognize us despite all the proof ("just another trick").

There's NO Amazon. Google should be working much harder to help eliminate fake reviews. And, in fairness, they never spot-fix -- they'll catch it as RankBrain's AI gets sharp enough.

That would be too late for us, but it's good to know that a business based on a fake model is, at its core, doomed, as are affiliates who recommend for the buck. Ultimately, the ONLY way to success is through great content and great product, not tricks.

Meanwhile, the whole process is ugly and hurts us in two ways...

1) Directly: They fall for WA's "bait and switch" tactics, losing us the very people who were searching for REAL reviews about us. If there were REAL reviews in the SERPs, we'd have a much better chance.

2) Industry Reputation: We're the "Bose of mire," I'm afraid. That's kind of like being an honorable business in Venezuela. ;-)

We need to shrug that weight off -- we can't shrug this one away, but we won't play in the mud.

We have to face it and counter what they're doing, honestly and directly...

Whatever WA may claim on its site or to its customers and affiliates, the Study shows it's false. As we add more studies, it can become a tool to find folks who are tired of all the baloney -- failing WA users, WordPress users, Wix users, whoever. After all, it's only natural...

Everyone believes that they're using the best -- why else would they be there? The only way to bust that up is with the hardest and most credible facts.

For example, when WA users are not advancing, they don't like to admit to an error and lost time. WA does a great job of keeping them busy "feeling busy"...

WA should be moving their users relentlessly forward, but just take a look at the scrolling board of activity on their home page ( http://www.wealthyaffiliate.com ). A quick glance says, "wow they're successful."

And WA, the company, IS successful. But if you know what each activity is (ex., the useless free sites that have zero chance of success but that are proclaimed as "better than paid systems"), most of the activity benefits WA rather than moving the client forward.

Another example -- after WA affiliates/customers write a "review," they're instructed to ask others to comment (i.e., create false activity) AND, in repayment, to comment on 3 other WA reviews (more fake content). It's not honest feedback -- it's non-productive manipulation of Google.

For now, short-term, it may help some reviews move up, although I have my doubts based on the Study. But we all know how fake manipulations of search engines always end.

And the customer does poorly. The company succeeds.

The Study makes that clear. The results speak for themselves.

We need to get the word out there to get back to growth ("we" meaning SBIers and SiteSellers).

Now, more than ever, we're all in this together...

If you (meaning "everyone") create an inspiring story that explains how SBI! impacts your life, including a link to the Study, that creates, collectively...

1) a strong presence in the SERPs

2) a massive resource that we can work with on the marketing side. (That's why we ask you to post a new review to the forums (here... https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=222543 ) OR let SiteSell Support know, sending the URL.)

It's the missing piece that fixes the hole in my original thinking that "it will all sort itself out if we deliver the best product."

WA has figured out how to exploit that hole. They show the sheer power of third-party reviews, even though they're fake. REAL reviews will be so much more powerful....

The cynical searcher needs more -- s/he needs the word from a third party, OFF of our site.

S/he needs YOUR story -- the REAL deal!



The Surprising Bottom Line...

How do these dots, SBIers as John Galt and Wealthy Affiliate, connect?

There are 2 more dots...

  1. It's the realization of how few people there are like YOU.
  2. The "Trafeze discovery" showed us that we had grossly miscalculated the number of solopreneurs who would qualify as high-traffic sites ("Traffic Sellers")... 30,000.

Putting those 4 dots together results in the biggest shrug of all...

It's time for SBI! growth to focus on quality, not quantity. Yes, we need to grow, but...

Can there be more than a few hundred thousand people online who have the BAM to build an online business, C Image T Image P Image M-style?

I'd like to set a target that's also a limit that becomes a steadily more successful COMMUNITY. In other words...

Grow to 50,000 SBIers and close the door!

No more!

We'd accept from a waiting list only to replace attrition.

We'd focus not just on individual success, but on making a stronger community.

Does that sound crazy? Tell me if you think so. Let's think it through...

WA has created a crisis.

They have caused some heavy researching, thinking and brainstorming. Dots are coming together in a way that makes sense.

The bottom line facts are simple. One step to the next...

1) We have the best and only product of its kind. WA is barely on the map of success. Future studies will show whether they are "slightly better than nothing." But they are nowhere near their claims.


2) There are a few hundred thousand folks out there. They'd be great with SBI!. They're looking for us and don't even know it. When they DO search, most end up going the wrong way due to misleading fake reviews. And even setting WA aside, there is just so much muck in which to get stuck.


3) Unlike WA, we don't incentivize fake activity. Everyone is here because they want to be. It's all REAL (that word just keeps popping up as a major differentiator).

No one here adds 3 fake comments to get 1 fake comment. We EARN our comments. It's not only the RIGHT way to do things, it's the smart way -- search engines blow up tricks, always have and always will.

"Keep it real." We've been saying that since we launched SBI! in late 2001.


4) SBI! should become a community that grows to 50,000 everyday superstars with the BAM to "JUST DO IT." We need to get past this mess with WA and grow steadily. That "quantity" is enough to let us focus more on "quality" in a totally new way...


5) Working together, we can build an ever-improving community. It's not about titans who "shrug" while looking to re-establish world freedom. That was fiction. The reality is more exciting...

Creating a community of everyday people who build extraordinary businesses... every day. Each in our own way, we take a growing piece of our lives back under OUR control.

How does a whole community improve?


6) It may sound funny to be talking about a limit of 50,000 when we're at 10,000 with a slow net attrition...

  • But our actual attrition rate is less than half of WA's. That's a strong plus. It's an asset, not a liability.
  • What we're not doing well is growing sales. Here is where your stories will help (along with the marketing that we're putting together behind it).

Let's face it... it's kind of crazy that the best product in the world can't do better in that department. It's like being unable to sell lemonade in the middle of a desert.


7) As we grow, I'd like to improve SBI! performance even more...

  • I'd like to push those who are in the "Medium" category into the "Outstanding-Excellent" range.
  • I'd especially like to move even more of those who are "Invisible" into the "Medium" range.

We should be constantly striving to "push UP" (i.e, to higher levels of success).

We do that by updating and adding to content and tools already, I know. But the Study opened my eyes to another approach...

Let's look at one stat in particular. The Study shows that SBI!'s "fail" percent is fantastic and yet, there's a ton of room for improvement.

The Study shows that WA "owns" 80% of all failing ("Invisible") sites (in absolute terms) -- the first and only category it dominates. Breaking that down, it gets more interesting...

  • Approximately 87% of WA users are "Invisible." (average of 83% (Alexa), 86% (SW), and 91% (SEMrush) )
  • Approximately 37% of SBIers are there. (average of 37% (Alexa), 40% (SW) and 34% (SEMrush) )

So...


8) Fix Fail: Given the extremely high fail rate of solopreneurs in general, 37% is a major improvement over both WA and those who try to figure-it-out. But it's still way too high -- these are not numbers to rest on our laurels.

We need to develop a program to find out why, then work with those folks to help them grow. It needs to be free, but that takes manual time, which means a budget we can afford for this type of never-been-done approach.

We'll do a study within the next few weeks to start the process. But we need to grow to afford personal free help.

I already know that we'll find that some SBIers don't work at it, others have temporary issues, etc.). Developing algorithms to send out questionnaires will quantify various reasons.

That tells us how we can help. Examples...

  • if there's been an illness, give an extension
  • stuck on a hump -- provide some free, 1-to-1 communication
  • haven't had the time to even get started -- explore priorities
  • working but making mistakes[/b] (ex., Too broad niche? Wrong target market? Terrible content? Bad writing style?). THIS is where we can make the most gains with 1-to-1.

And finally, there's going to be some "hard-core fail" that's built into that number. If it's simply a case that they aren't and won't be using it, we suggest that SBI! may not be right for them.

I would bet that SBI!'s failure number can be cut in half because (anecdotally) most failures happen at an incredibly fundamental level. Imagine that, if we could cut fails down to 15-20%....

Compare that to WA's 87% fail rate. Heck, we'll likely find that Wix or other "figure-it-out" solopreneurs do even worse -- over 90% with no traffic detectable by Alexa, SW and SEMrush.

Putting this together will take more resources than we can afford now. But this is a totally different direction that's worth doing when we're big enough (well before 50,000)...

Ever since the launch of SBI!, we've focused on giving you all you need to succeed. Our attitude has been "it's up to you" because there are forums here for those with questions.

That's fair enough but why stop there?

If we ALSO focused on fails as "works in progress" and helped them progress, THAT could be sensational.


The Benefits Spill Back to You

If I'm sounding like a loon, um, we'll chalk it up to the virus and fatigue. ;-)

If it's getting boring because you're doing fine so this sounds irrelevant, consider this...

A healthier, smarter community can only spill back into a better-than-ever set of forums.

So we're going to start with the first step within weeks...


It Needs to Start with a Survey

Taking that pulse may find treatable problems we can help now.

We may find 1 or more large clumps of "the same reason."

Doing free e-classroom sessions of SBIers who have the same problem may help. That's affordable sooner than we could do large-scale 1-to-1. Setting up a special forum for each type of reason is even more doable.

Anyway, it needs to start with a survey. We can take it from there. It's the concept that's important at this stage...

We focus on success, but why not move "failure" UP the ladder? We'll certainly find at least some with resolvable problems. Ditto for "Mediums" -- move them UP.

Sometimes, all it takes is a helping hand at just the right moment.


Constant Improvement in a "John Galt" Community

SBI! is much better than WA, after which there is no "next." We never considered them competition until we found these reviews.

They don't just attack us, they attack the entire concept of "winnable everyday solopreneurship."

The Study debunks their claims. Now we need to use it to turn those claims against them, to let their customers and affiliates know the truth and to grow AND send pre-customers (interested in SBI!) to REAL DATA.

You are a critical part of that, of reducing how vulnerable we are to attacks like this.

The "Help us to help you" and "help and be helped" mottos take on new meaning...

We need your help to...

  • get ALL your wonderful stories online and some of them into SERPS
  • "vaccinate" innocent researchers against fake reviews. Include the "Vaccination note" (see the above "how to" post) in your review. And we'll include it prominently in our website.
  • use those stories to leverage in other ways.


In short...

Everyone is part of SBI!. We have found "John Galt." It's this remarkable group of SiteSellers and SBIers who share similar values and goals.

Even when not in the Forums, SBI! has always been a place to shrug what drags you down, enabling you to work towards whatever future matters to YOU.


It's also SiteSell's 20th Anniversary. It's time for some major, fresh new thinking. We've learned a lot and will keep learning.

The community as a whole matters like crazy. Working to improve OVERALL performance levels of the entire group -- I find that to be an incredibly exciting long-term prospect.

Setting a reasonable limit for SBI! at 50,000 is both manageable AND we will always be able to afford whatever resources we need for programs like this.

And if/when we reach that limit, a waiting list will grow to replace those that either can't succeed or discover they aren't up to the work required to win the challenge. That type of attrition can only raise the bar even higher.

From there, it's a positive feedback loop. People always want to join what they can't be part of. Who knows, there may even be an "entrance exam." ;-)

In a business world of "growth at all costs," WHY? Can't "enough" just be "enough" so we can focus on other priorities?


Wrapping It Alllllllll Up

Thank you for coming along for the ride. Getting this all down was originally going to be a few medium-length posts...

It, um, grew. ;-)

But it made important discoveries and has gone to some interesting, even radical, places.


BOTTOM LINE (the last one!)

SBI! is already a digital community, not of titans, but of everyday solopreneurs who have the gumption to live life on their own terms. We, it turns out, are John Galt.

So far, you have only had some glimpses of the extremes (Top 1M and >30M). The full spectrum shows how SBI! outperforms at every level until the very worst. I had to hold some goodies back, after all! Watch for the study later in the week!

The future is looking like this...

  • The "success side" of the spectrum will keep improving, no matter what. It's built into the whole concept of SBI!. We take care of everything to clear a path so that YOU TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS. The more complex it gets, the bigger your advantage.
  • I'd like to grow first, but cap our size at 50,000. Emphasis shifts from growth (quantity) to quality > Move our overall performance UP, year after year after year.
  • I'd like to be able to help those who are putting in the work but not getting the results, repeating/adjusting to achieve the same goals for "Mediums."

Next? No Next... We're done!

Watch for the announcement of the full Study and link to it from your review.

Two action steps remain for you (I guess I should have said, "I'm done." ;-) )


1) Let us know: Please either post your review URL here or let Support know when your SBI! review has been posted. We would like to have a complete list.

Image
And if you would like to help more than that from time to time, please contact Support and let them know -- see "volunteer" in Episode 10, Part 3...
https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1370614#p1370614 )
Image

2) Comments? Here's the super-tight boiled-down TL;DR of the TL;DR...

We're 33X better than a competitor who has built an elaborate network of customers, non-productive activity, and misled affiliates who amplify their unproven message of success, specifically attacking us at our most vulnerable chokepoint.

At the end of the day, this WA threat has the potential to deliver a hugely positive outcome for SBI!, SBIers and SiteSellers. We're not just in this together -- we're all part of SBI!, the only bastion of reproducible solopreneur success.

Tell your story. Link it to a powerful promotional truth, the Study. It's the exclamation point to every SBIer's review.

We need YOUR help to close that vulnerability and help us grow into an ever-improving community of "50,000 extraordinary everyday people."

Given the limited number of such folks, closing the doors at a certain point. The stability lets us focus on what matters most by that time -- quality, not quantity.

There are two ways to UP the overall performance...

  1. Help those who are working but failing.
  2. Improve through replacement of attrition.

To me, THAT's an exciting future. But it's not "my" community.

It's everyone's. What say you?

Have a question? Need more detail? You'll find the full version of Episode 10, Part 7 at https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.ph ... 1#p1370691

All the best,
Ken

P.S. We need you. And beyond that...

"Marketing," they say, "is a dish best served cold."

- THE END -

THE BEGINNING!
#1370485 by Tracey from Du Toitskloof
Fri May 05, 2017 9:51 pm
So aggravating to hear how low people can stoop :x ...the truth will prevail. Thanks for the summary, Help Elf - that was a really helpful condensation!
Awaiting our marching orders to vanquish this foe!!
#1370489 by Mike from Mount Dora, Florida
Fri May 05, 2017 10:37 pm
I had no idea of what WA (Wealthy Affliliate) was up to in the negative review game until I read Ken's post. Ken has presented a very convincing study comparing actual results of SBI! sites to WA sites. The amazing thing to me is that I've never heard of WA and they have more sites than SBI! does.

Before reading Ken's post, I Googled "is sbi a scam" and the first SERP result was a review from a woman who is not in the "get rich quick" game, is a former SBI! customer, and has written a lengthy, detailed, and somewhat vitriolic review about why she believes SBI! is a scam. Her website has a fairly low Alexa ranking so I assume she gets quite a few visitors. She most definitely is not in the Ken Fan Club.

This woman is promoting Word Press, so is probably not one of these WA sponsored reviewers discussed in Ken's post. I'm wondering, however, how many of these reviews there are out there and do they hurt SBI! very much. There seems to be something almost personal about her attack on SBI!

I do not need to be convinced of SBI!'s value, but have a hard time articulating it to my friends who think they would like to have an online business. It's the same old problem of human nature: when coming to a fork in the road many people want to take what they think is the easy route.
#1370510 by Rebecca from Chateaugay
Sat May 06, 2017 4:34 am
I'm ready to go into battle, too. Just point me in the right direction.

My mom is an attorney, and she said SBI would have a great trade libel/product disparagement claim. "Under the Lanham Act, victims of online product disparagement and trademark infringement are entitled to claim the defendant’s profits, their actual damages and costs of the case."

Now that sounds really awesome, doesn't it? :) (The quote is from http://www.thebusinesslitigators.com/in ... ement.html.)
#1370511 by Sanet from SA
Sat May 06, 2017 5:00 am
Mike from Mount Dora, Florida wrote:I had no idea of what WA (Wealthy Affliliate) was up to in the negative review game until I read Ken's post. Ken has presented a very convincing study comparing actual results of SBI! sites to WA sites. The amazing thing to me is that I've never heard of WA and they have more sites than SBI! does.

Before reading Ken's post, I Googled "is sbi a scam" and the first SERP result was a review from a woman who is not in the "get rich quick" game, is a former SBI! customer, and has written a lengthy, detailed, and somewhat vitriolic review about why she believes SBI! is a scam. Her website has a fairly low Alexa ranking so I assume she gets quite a few visitors. She most definitely is not in the Ken Fan Club.

This woman is promoting Word Press, so is probably not one of these WA sponsored reviewers discussed in Ken's post. I'm wondering, however, how many of these reviews there are out there and do they hurt SBI! very much. There seems to be something almost personal about her attack on SBI!

I do not need to be convinced of SBI!'s value, but have a hard time articulating it to my friends who think they would like to have an online business. It's the same old problem of human nature: when coming to a fork in the road many people want to take what they think is the easy route.


This same woman found me on either the SBI Instructor web page or the Top 500 page, posted what I pressume was posts from herself pretending to be me defending SBI. I found out when I saw back links from her "home renovation" site to both my sites which are not in the same niche, I immediately checked it out because that is strange. I found the bogus posts "made by me", I asked her several times to remove it but she simply ignored me. I would never post at such length on a slander site because I know for a fact it would only let her page rank.

To answer your question: No she is not part of WA. She is just a know-it-all person who can do everything cheaper. She received SBI for free during the buy 1/ get 1 free promotion from a friend or family member, didn't make it past the 2nd day of SBI training (said so herself). Then went on and started a Wordpress site because she couldn't afford the $29 p/m. She created a post about SBI on her wordpress "home renovation site" because she got angry when she said negative things about SBI and Ken elsewhere and got seriously "grilled" by SBI'ers. So she was angry about that and with every SBI'er from there on.

She didn't stop there, she continued to create several more negative pages about SBI. Why? Because she received more traffic to those few pages than any other pages on her site. Check Alexa, her top 5 pages on a home renovation website is for slandering SBI (it was back then) - it is sad. I am not even going to do the effort to check again. WA affiliates obviously caught on and figured riding the SBI wave and name in a negative way to "fame" is what building a successful business is about - a pityful thought pattern! At the time I actually thought that might happen and so hoped SBI would sue her, take her to court and make an example of her. The SBI name is big, it is like "super star gossip" on the internet if you do that - low quality journalism if you ask me. Does the paparazzi care whether a story is true or not, NO they just go for headlines that sell - same principal.

My thought: If you have to put someone else down to lift yourself up, it says way more negative things about yourself than of the person you are trying to harm.
#1370518 by Sanet from SA
Sat May 06, 2017 6:34 am
Now for the real story at hand...

I've been with SBI for 13 years... wow how time flies when you work on something you love.

I've tried every other business site builder including WA. Got hooked by their promise "build your site in minutes" or something to that effect at the time, this was before SBI started SBI for Wordpress.

I left WA after 2-3 months because their were in fact no successful business websites then - no proof. The sites I was sent to, made me feel ashamed, all promoting WA or some top-end Amazon products the writers have never used themselves, just one sales pitch after the other. They all told the same story, page after page - "buy me because..." from the first line to the last. I never found any WA site that was not a "review" or hard sales-pitch site of some sort. The WA forums were full of SBI advice but the people didn't GET IT because they only had snippets of information.

The one thing that stood out was that there was no "site planning". To me it seemed like you had to pick a niche and jump in and create one sales page after the other - a sure way to drive every site visitor away - a sure way to long term failure.

Why do I say that? If I had to build a page for every affiliate product I sold the past 13 years, can you imagine how many non-existing 404 pages I would have had by now and how many times I would have build the same pages over. We all know products are not evergreen, why base a site on affiliate products?

I still want to know how many of those site owners are truly "Wealthy Affiliates".

Yes I could have used my SBI knowledge and I could have built a proper site there but why do that, it simply made no sense - no business sense.
#1370524 by Nancy from 90%Persistence-10%Inspiration
Sat May 06, 2017 8:21 am
When one product places 2,200% (Alexa), 3,340% (SimilarWeb) and 4,280% (SEMrush) more sites into the Top 1,000,000 sites (out of 170,000,000 sites total) than the other, THAT is the better business-building product.


SBI has always been data driven. Maybe too much so. Too many numbers. Too analytical. Most people are LOUSY at numbers and even worse at statistics. But they love stories. Human beings are built to understand stories and relationships.

Right now WA has better, simpler stories. They succeed partly because they're appealing to people's crocodile brains. ( EAT NOW..create a make money website if you can't decide on a niche in 15 minutes ). SBI has data and numbers that prove that more people can be successful using it. But without the right stories to package the numbers, few will listen.

Maybe SBI'ers can help themselves and SBI by learning to write better stories about their successes. And then create links within those stories to pages where people can find all the analytical, number driven facts. But SBI, please include easy to understand graphs, pie charts and other aids to ease the cognitive load on the 'numbers' pages as well.

What makes a good pitch story?
1. It must be brief, and the subject must be relevant to your pitch
2. You need to be at the center of the story
3. There should be risk, danger and uncertainty
4. There should be time pressure - a clock is ticking somewhere and there's ominous consequences if action is not taken quickly.
5. There should be tension - you are trying to do something but are being blocked by some force.
6. There should be serious consequences - failure will not be pretty.

This list was created from notes that I took on a book called, "Pitch Anything" by Oren Klaff. He does multi-million dollar pitches to investment bankers. Not exactly my environment, but I learned a few things that I'm trying to incorporate into my online business writing to make me more persuasive. Maybe some of his techniques can help us help SBI.

Sanet:
We all know products are not evergreen, why base a site on affiliate products?

My BIGGEST online business mistake. Right there...Only took me 7 years to figure it out. <<sigh>>
#1370553 by Chang from Donk
Sat May 06, 2017 7:21 pm
I have no doubt when I first join SBI in 2009.
Since then I have never search for any other company.
My first intention was to build a site fast and earn some money for fun.

However, after I have built a numbers of pages; I felt that I preferred to go slow.
And I decided to relax and follow my own timetable. I do not want to rush. I preferred to enjoy my writing.

We are all different!

You may not be able to understand every human being.
There is always a contras in every subject.

Every company will have their own group of customers and students.
Just like the singers.

The CONTRAS is must for every creation.

Imagine... if there is not a bad guy; how can you know you are the good guy?

When you understand there is no right or wrong; good or bad;
there is only a difference; you will never waste your air-time to compare yourself to the rest again.

I am proud of doing what I have intended to do up-till today.

You may think that I can do faster and earn some along the way.
But I have learned to follow my own feelings.

Confidence is from your feeling.
There is unlimited everywhere!

Note:
Being a customer I wanted to buy something immediately;
I will go direct to the store and buy it when the website is with a lock (https);
and the price and materials are to my interest. I will not go to read the pages at all.
#1370555 by ken-admin
Sat May 06, 2017 7:54 pm
Hi Mike,

About your question about "the woman" you asked about...

https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1370489#p1370489

Sanet gave a good answer here (details aren't all 100%, to be fair, but it's got the highlights right)...

https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1370511#p1370511

--

I'll add more about this...

Yes, they DID hurt us - a lot. They had been fading and I was quite happy about the foundation we've been laying to start recovering. And then...

WA's Attack #3 comes along!

But for you and anyone wondering about the previous one...

That woman that you're talking about is the leader of "Attack #2," covered in one of the earliest Episode. These are the folks we call "IEDs" (Irrationally Exuberant Detractors). Most of them have faded as they finally lost interest (anger and hate can only last so long).

They were fading (many more than hers ranked), even hers (she's not longer #1 for every term), but she still has a lot of strong SERP results because...

1) she was first to write a massive "review" and "scam" story that was marketed so well that it got a lot of reaction.

2) she got a ton of inbound links from other ex-SBIers who had left

3) she (and her swarm) hit every marketing forum that asked anything about SBI! and slammed it.

She was, in fact, quite brilliant. Some of her arguments seem compelling, unbreakable even, but as the first URL below will show you, she has a propensity for untruths.

If I was to sit in a room with her, no swarms - just 1-on-1, I'd dismantle each and every one of her arguments, some of them remarkably involved. I'd be delighted to do that if she agreed to replace our discussion with whatever came out of that meeting. Instead, you'll note that I'm the only one who is NOT allowed to comment.

After that meeting..

All that would be left are a couple of molehills that turn out NOT to be the huge and distorted mountains that she turned them into. Most would simply be reduced to lies, half-truths or irrelevance.

She is truly 3 cuts above at this type of stuff. She takes facts out of context, for example, to make a point (the real lesson, in the full context, is much smaller, or different, or even sometimes the diametric opposite).

I leave her with the ultimate insult - she should have been a lawyer. ;-)

Seriously, though...

There isn't much of Attack #2 left around, although WA reviewers often just rehash previous reviews. So you'll see their points re-appear.

--

The Bigger Picture

There'll never be a point to debate. That's why The Study is so powerful - there'll be no need for it.

Once we publish the results of The Study, anyone who knows The Study (and that's the key!) can only come to 1 of 2 conclusions...

1) The Study must be a lie. No problem - just repeat the study and check it for yourself. We give the exact "how to" methodology.

Therefore...

2) Since The Study is true, all of that stuff published with such vehemence, or even simple claims like "It doesn't work anymore" (everyone seen that one? ;-) )...

THEY have to be lies or irrelevant. After all, the nasty claims AND the results cannot BOTH exist at the same time.

--

[b] More info on Attack #2 (WA is #3) that you should know is at...


https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1369913#p1369913 (see "Attack #2")

And this is how it was finally wrapped up...

https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1370079#p1370079 (see the P.S.)

She has no idea of how this ended - even at this point - she jumped to a conclusion without knowing the facts ("leaps" were another of her favorite techniques).

--

Hope that helps.

All the best,
Ken
#1370556 by ken-admin
Sat May 06, 2017 7:55 pm
Oh nutz, I almost missed this point from you, Mike...

I do not need to be convinced of SBI!'s value, but have a hard time articulating it to my friends who think they would like to have an online business. It's the same old problem of human nature: when coming to a fork in the road many people want to take what they think is the easy route.


Easy...

1) Show them The Study.

2) And then tell them that GRE and GRQ (Get Rich Easy and Get Rick Quick) are lies. If one existed, everyone would be rich.

3) If they still go for "easy," they don't belong here. Wait for them to fail. If they don't ask you again, they've realized that they'd rather not work to achieve life's bigger goals.

In fact, there aren't a ton of folks like SBIers. We learned that with Trafeze and the The Study drove it home with 3 exclamation points!!!
--

Rebecca...

https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1370510#p1370510

Your mom is correct...

My mom is an attorney, and she said SBI would have a great trade libel/product disparagement claim. "Under the Lanham Act, victims of online product disparagement and trademark infringement are entitled to claim the defendant’s profits, their actual damages and costs of the case.


But, see the P.S. that I refer Mike to...

https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1370079#p1370079

Lawsuits are unproductive use of one's time. The leader of Attack #2 is the closest I've ever come - until one of my friends (and a mentor) asked just one simple question.

We have an elaborate plan for addressing this. Going legal is only if our hand is absolutely forced...

I would prefer to focus on the positives of SBI!

--

Sanet, this was super-interesting...

https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1370518#p1370518

WA is a depressing place to be. When you go to the home page, they proudly show a scrolling of all the activity going on.

It's largely non-productive word, incentivized by the company, to benefit the company. Those people should be focusing on THE business-building activity that matters most at the time.

Commenting on someone's review of SBI! so that they'll comment on yours is NOT that type of activity. And that brings up another point...

An "accident" of SBI! (i.e., we didn't build this into it on purpose) is that people grow here, both as business people and as people. Some start as suspicious, cynical people after being "shaked and baked" by the "make money" schemes...

Their "normal" is skewed. They know it, somewhere deep down. It's incredible to watch them open up, learn what DOES matter, execute. When you simply confirm to them what their inner voice confirms to them to be true, good things happen.

Others have talked about SBI! as a self-improvement product - they saw it before I did. We don't list it on the website as a "free bonus" or anything, though. ;-)

Your note about SBI! is the feeling that I imagine people would feel...

made me feel ashamed


--

Nancy, interesting post...

https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1370524#p1370524

Gotta disagree with you on numbers..

Numbers are kind of important at times, Nancy. The Study boils those numbers ( 2,200% (Alexa), 3,340% (SimilarWeb) and 4,280% (SEMrush) ) into bar charts for easy understanding - remember I'm only giving a peek here.

But if you're not a numbers person, the above means 22X, 33X and 43X better. The bar charts are even more explosive for the visual person. You'll see loads of them. :-)

SBI! itself is actually far more conceptual than "number-focused." But there simply are times when quant data is important.

That said, I'm not sure what this means, Nancy...

Maybe SBI'ers can help themselves and SBI by learning to write better stories about their successes. And then create links within those stories to pages where people can find all the analytical, number driven facts.


I'm all for making data more understandable. So if you enter that as a wish on the Wish List with an actual real-world example so we understand, we'll do if it gets traction.

--

I liked this quote...

Right now WA has better, simpler stories. They succeed partly because they're appealing to people's crocodile brains.


"Crocodiles" aren't right for SBI!. So I won't worry about them.

We're not going to market to crocodiles because they refund within 3 months. There's just no way to hide the fact that it takes work to build a REAL business.

That's been true since Grok the caveman figured out that if he caught more fish than he needed, he could barter for other stuff or services.

Regarding the part about stories...

I have to disagree with your point about stories. Here's a few of ours...

http://www.sitesell.com/blog/real-life-success-lessons/

Where are WA's?

The nice thing of The Study is that I won't even have to say that. There's really nothing left to debate about for anyone who wants to build a successful business. It says it all. :-)

--

If you're talking about SBIers telling their stories en masse, including a link to The Study... you're getting ahead of me. Wait for The Finale.

--

I loved this quote, Chang

if there is not a bad guy; how can you know you are the good guy?

Keep going at your own pace, and thanks for that - a lot in it!

OK, I've really gotta stop checking in. That said, some posts here did sharpen my thinking for The Finale.

Next post... the Finale.

Really. :-)

See you in a bit!

All the best,
Ken

P.S. As always, when I go this fast, I live in terror of bad typos (ex., "not" becomes "now"). If anything seems to read a tad weird, I apologize in advance. Don't have the time for a careful proof-read.
#1370558 by Sanet from SA
Sat May 06, 2017 8:35 pm
SBI has always been data driven. Maybe too much so. Too many numbers. Too analytical. Most people are LOUSY at numbers and even worse at statistics. But they love stories. Human beings are built to understand stories and relationships.


Nancy I couldn't agree with you more. We live in a world of "what is in it for me", "instant gratification" and "possibility" and WA fulfills that (until you reach the finale and discover you wasted a lot of time and energy).

The numbers that really matter in the end are:

a) the number of site visitors
b) how much money that brings in
c) how many people take the desired actions the page intend to accomplish
d) how many people come back for more

and perhaps in the long run...

e) how much a site is worth at the end of the day (when you've put all that hard work in)

Not WA, SBI or any other platform can make any promises in this regard, it all depends on what you do with what you are taught and the actual quality and clarity of the training material. The SBI training material is by far superior but can do with a lot more real life examples... this person took this route and this is what happened senarios. So that people can make informed monitization decisions from the word go. Build those into the training - for instance why Amazon, Etsy, Popshops, Cj, Share-a-sale, E-junkie etc work for some and not for others - or if they work at all, without slating them, just facts.

Quite frankly, the SBI numbers vs. Wordpress vs. WA vs. the next fad, has never influenced me. What matters to me is that when I have done what they told me to do - did it work. Can I visualize it working many years down the line.

I feel SBI do themself an injustice to respond to unjust comparrisons or feel obliged to. SBI should be a bit more snobbish and only stick to the facts why SBI work for so many and why so many stay with SBI for many years.

SBI should drive some serious ad campaigns and advertise a whole lot more on social media and via adwords. I see a hundreds of adverts from shopify, weebly, wix, wa etc. on my my website and social media but never of SBI - and guess what people think my site is built with those and click on them! Why not ask SBI'ers for possible ad slogans & colours that will make them "click". Launch a competion for the best ad design, there are so many possitive things one can do to involve the people that are using the product. Advertisements should go directly to a high conversion page that includes a small section / link dealing with SBI slander and why it is happening, written by actual contactable SBI'ers not by Sitesell. Preparation is better than cure.

Code: Select allRight now WA has better, simpler stories. They succeed partly because they're appealing to people's crocodile brains.


So true. WA messages, be it training, advertising, emails, articles are always 100% to the point - very short & personal - that is how they keep the attention span of their visitors/subscribers. They leave you with a single "to-do item" plus an "I want that" future carrot, so that you look forward to their next communication, this is how they dominate and control their market. Their short trainings and instant gratification "visible" websites appeals to the masses. All-and-all I saw it more as feeding me yummy drops of poison that would be fatal in the end.

Affiliate marketing didn't work for me on my website, it frustrated the life out me having to go back again and again to change code, change products, find new affiliate programs when these companies simply quit, move their programs or end their products. Therefore I could not see how Wealthy Affiliate could work for me in the long run. WA truly do not have a magic secret that will make you king of affiliate marketing. The only way I have experienced affiliate marketing to truly work is through selective and non-intrusive recommendations to my lists. WA ultimately aims at this right in the end, the problem with WA however is, you end up with a hard-sales-pitched website that will need a lot of changes in future - not smart.
#1370559 by Mike from Mount Dora, Florida
Sat May 06, 2017 8:48 pm
Ken:

Thanks for taking the time to explain the woman and "Attack #2" to me. One of the questions I had is why she spent so much time and energy on the attack, and you answered that for me.

SBI! has been very good for me. I have had a long career as an engineer, developer, writer, and now solopreneur. As you know, I'm a senior citizen and have many times wish I'd discovered SBI! earlier than 2009.

The Study and your observations on "get rich quick" will give me the tools to encourage people I care about to sign up with SBI! and get their online businesses on the right track.
#1370568 by Sanet from SA
Sat May 06, 2017 11:53 pm
Ken:

The "typo monster" attacked me too.

SPOT ON! I was too ashamed to even mention to anyone that I have tried WA - only now do I understand why I had to travel that road for a bit.

You say it so beautifully, make me want to rush out and go save all the WA's from wasting all that time & effort!

Looking forward to see the bar charts for us "visual non-percentiles"
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