SBI!ers, like life itself, are very much a case of "slow-steady-sure wins the race." Too many solopreneurs think that the prize goes to the "Get Rich Quick" ("GRQ") hare. Do YOU know a single person who actually GOT Rich Quick? No, while the hare flits from one "biz-opp" to another, the steady, persistent tortoise RULES. Have a success to share, a failure you need help with? Share it, and solve it here!

Moderator: Antoinette from Bedford

#96046 by Rachel from Sfat
Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:12 am
Hi all,

It's the time of the year to greet Janus, the god with two faces, one looking forward and one looking back. It's also a good time for me to sum a year of active site building (as opposed to a year of sitting on my butt doing nothing. So stupid).

I started my first SBI site in 2003. I was just back from Tuscany, I have always loved Italy and travel, so I took travel to Tuscany as my site concept. To tell the truth - I love Paris just as much, but it is very competitive, so I stayed with Tuscany.

At the time I was unemployed, and looked for a way to make a living on the Internet. I started the site and got to about 16 pages with one of the default look and feel templates (there were only a few back then) and no other graphic at all. There was no Google adsense, no forums, and I didn't even finish going through the action guide.

When I reached 16 pages I found a job, and had no time to spend on building a site. Every few weeks I would take a look at the traffic stats, just out of curiosity. For a very long time they were extremely low, than just a little better. Things (like being found in search engines)were mysteriously happening, but not much. I came to the conclusion that it was just a waste of money and time, and decided to let my site expire.

Then, one day I found a check in the mail. It was a check from Commission Junction for $417. I was very excited! After all it was possible to make money even with a few lame pages and no activity. This was in December 2004. A year ago. I renewed my subscription when it was almost too late, and started from scratch.

All that remained from the first phase of my site was the domain name (that I think could have been better), and some affiliate programs. I started using any spare time that I had to learn about site building and rebuild my site. I read the action guide again, read MYCPS and spent a lot of time in the forums.

At the time my site wasn't listed by any search engine (Yahoo, that sent me some traffic before dropped all my pages, and so did all the others). I took Anne-Marie's advice from the forums on how to get into Yahoo. It was very important to me, because it made me feel I had influence on what happens to my site. I wasn't just sitting there, and praying to be found.

Then there was Google Adsense - I implemented it, again according to advice from the forums (The famous Debs tip), and immediately saw some money. The sums are small, but they are there. Every little success pushed me to work for the next little success. I worked on incoming links, posted to forums, added more pages and graphics and found new good monetization options.

I was so excited about the money from Google in January that by Valentine's day I couldn't help myself and got another site on the sale. I planned to give the second site to my husband, but he wasn't very enthusiastic about all this work, so I ended up with 3 sites.

So, after a year of work, this is what I have to show for:

3 sites, all about vacation in Italy in different stages of building
Almost 300 web pages
About 400 incoming links in Google
A little over $2000 earnings
small traffic (I consider it small) - about 40 visitors per day, depends on the season.
A lot of knowledge I didn't have last year.
The great feeling of being able to earn money without being someone else's employee.

As you can understand, if it stays at this level of traffic and income, this is not a viable business. I cannot support a family with this. However, I believe I can make it grow. I started a newsletter, wrote a few articles, and I keep doing the action guide in loops. I believe that Each stage of the guide needs to be revisited over and over again. The only stage that can only be done once per site is the domain name registration. All the rest is a constant process of learning and improving.

My goals for next year?

The title would be - Generate enough income to keep going

I know money isn't everything, but my bank thinks otherwise, and I have to keep them happy.

Trying to break it down into goals and action items:

* Have 1000 visitors per day
* Earn more than $1500 per month (to justify another year trying to raise this number)
* Build new ways of monetization
* Have 500 subscribers to my newsletter
* Rank better on search engines

Action items:
* Build more content pages
* Write 1 article per week per site
* Write a newsletter once a month
* Post 5 messages on travel forums every day
* Travel to Italy to improve my knowledge (and enjoy, that's the whole point!)

My greatest fear is not of failing. If I fail miserably I will know what to do. I would leave this subject and try a different one, because I know success is possible.

I'm afraid to be stuck in the middle. Not succeeding nor failing. I'm afraid of finding myself at a point where it's not obvious that I should continue, but it's a pity to stop.

I love the image of the tortoise, and I keep doing small slow steps uphill. But what if the tortoise is going in the wrong direction? Is there a finishing line in any direction you go?

I hope I'm walking in the right direction, since I plan on spending the next year walking in that direction.

Have a happy and successful 2006!!

#96060 by Morgen from White Pine
Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:09 pm
You said it so well! Keep doing the action guide in loops and keep going.

I only have one site at this time, but I hope for more.

I've also done a review and decided to niche my site a little more in the cat training area. My preliminary findings in MKL show the niche is under represented, and it seems that is my strongest area. What could be better? :wink:

My hope for you is that you get what you want in 2006 - especially the traffic and subscriptions.

Your husband may end up getting his on site, once he sees how successful you are becoming. Make sure you get your commission from that sale!


#96383 by Thrandur from Reykir
Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:45 pm
Great work Rachel and Morgen - you are on the winning team!

I feel I also have some success to share with you and all SBIers.

2005 has been the best year :lol: and 2006 will be even better. Counting my blessings. Lots of small and big successes to name after this year.

[Domain Private]
- opened a real off line shop at (remember LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION) Reykjavik centre. (please drop by when you are in town)
- daily visiors about 200
- web site and off line shop work great together
- my wife is able to create art as well as help other artists sell their work

[Domain Private]
- daily visitors between 3000 and 4000
- newsletter subscribers just over 3000
- Did some amazing trips
- Made friends all over the globe
- Finished a real off road monster truck (Explorer Sport Trac on 38 inch tires)
- handsome income from Google AdSense :wink:
- becoming a true brand

Icing on the cake came in just minutes ago. A DHL delivered Christmas present from - no other than - GOOGLE 8)

I started work at my first SBI site exactly two years ago at Christmas day. My first Google check came in about a year ago so you can imagine how I feel now.

Early next year I will turn these projects (among others) into a full time "work". Having more time for my family and friends and spending more time doing what I love to do. Knowing what I do now I have no doubt 2006 will be the BEST YEAR EVER!

#98136 by Joe from in the woods
Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:31 pm

:D great post. i was about to put one up just like this one.

sounds like everyone had a good 2005 and looking forward to a better 2006.

my 05 started off slow with my first site. actually i quit sbi in 2002 but wonder where i'd be if i hadn't. so i came back.

i only had part time to put into it and it grew slowly but steadily.

now after 80 pages i am doing ok. steady visitors per day which my goal is to double after improving each page in december.

my goal for the year is to improve on earnings with ads, aff programs, and offering advertising to biz in florida.

i want to start an ezine at 100+ visitors per day which i am committed to cracking.

i want to hit a steady flow of monthly cashflow

and also utilize monetize it to build more content and keep on truckin.

plus i am graduating college, having a baby boy, got a job in accounting, and going to start a new site later in 06.

anyhow happy new year and hope to hear more good upbeat
goals for the new year

#98151 by ken-admin
Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:01 pm
Thread within this terrific thread! :-)

The interesting common thread running through this is...

Natural uncertainty come first, then...

Some small sign of success, then...

Renewed energy, then...

Commitment, and finally...

Growing success. The snowball.

If I was answering this for Nori, she'd be quitting her full-time job by now (which happens to be school so I wouldn't let her do that even if she wanted to!) and her plan this year would be to COMMIT...

1) move to Anguilla -- can be more effective locally.

2) double Google income using Monetize It! to create more content, and sell ads more effectively -- could probably reach $3K/month (I'll be writing some articles as I explore this amazing tool in the coming days and weeks)

3) promote locally for direct advertiser deals (add $2K/month, min)

4) build referral income by creating competition among key referral/finder businesses (add $2K/month).

She could easily be reaching $10K/month if she was to commit to this full-time and have a local presence (assuming she was a 30-year old without teenage distractions).

But... even I, know what I would do, with Nori... we had to reach that first stage...

"Hey, this is small but it's working."

It's below minimum wage, as I discussed in a recent post. But so is any form of entrepreneurship. That's the hump stage I've talked about.

But once you commit to something that shows you there is indeed potential there, the world becomes your oyster.

What are YOUR goals, plans, action steps for 2006? :-)

All the best,

#98257 by Dominique from Dirranbandi
Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:43 pm
Alright, I'll bite.

I started [Domain Private] the end of June. I am going slowly, about one page per week; two young children, pressing job, immigration to a new country in a month... just a few minor things :) preventing me to go faster. But that's alright I am enjoying this and I am going to continue this slow but steady approach in 2006

Goal: increase tenfold
- in visitor numbers (30 unique to 300 unique per day)
- income ($ 10 / month to $ 100 / month)
- in subscribers to the e-zine (40 to 400)

Action steps:
- add a page per week on average.
- have my site reviewed soon and for once, not be stubborn and think I know it better, but learn from it.
- write articles for article directories.
- get more valuable incoming links (link pop. at 39.5 now; let's aim for 50)
Those are the top priorities. Other plans as well, very creative, crazy stuff in between. If successful, you'll hear about it :)

#98337 by Vicki from Mountainhome
Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:39 am
Hi, all---

Thanks for starting this thread. I, too, was naturally thinking about my goals for both the past and for the coming years.

First, I MUST talk about how SBI helped me reach my 2005 goal---and it was a BIGGIE. It was none other than "What should I do with the rest of my life?

The first 30 years of my adulthood were spent working on the goal of raising my family...3 kids and a step-daughter. It was a satisfying journey, and contained the interesting sub-goals of completing home school and traveling to all of the "lower 48" states. I wasn't tired of that child-raising goal yet---but the kids grew up!

The last "kid," my step-daughter, entered the army in the fall of 2004...(and my 2nd husband said, "Thanks for raising her...goodbye!) Not being one who enjoys living alone, I moved in with my only unmarried adult child, a son who lives in greater Phoenix. We got a house on the very western edge of the that I can reach the very eastern suburbs of my beloved Los Angeles in only 3 hours.

My next question, though, was what to do with the rest of my life. You know...something more than "finishing off my working years and then retiring." Retiring to do WHAT? Wait around to die? I enjoy being a Grandma to 4 kids (and one on the way from my Army step-daughter. No Iraq any more for her!) But, being a grandmother is hardly a full time job.

I started filling in my time by writing travel articles (mostly about So Calif) at IgoUgo...the company who also supplies the "citizen travel review" sections of the Travel and the Rough
Since my travel reviews were well received there, it gave me the confidence to think that I might be able to start up my own website...first as a hobby, but later down the road turning into an income-producer.

Surfing the internet, I found SBI...and it wasn't long after I started working on my website that I realized, "Hey---this is it! The answer to my 2005 New Year's goal about what to do with my life! The kind of thing that I can "retire" to and be ALIVE! Alive with interesting things to do. Alive with ideas always "up my sleeve" for the next page of the project. Alive with the "passion" about which Ken speaks.

My goals for 2006? Well, the first one is just to enjoy my website! To have fun with it. To explore the different things I can do with it. To just "feel the passion" for it.

I'm not sure yet about the more "concrete" goals. More or less, they include---
*Finishing the site's main structure. (The Theme Park section is now "framed up." It still needs some filling-in here and there. But the "Other Activities in Southern California" section isn't even started yet.)

*Finding more "hot topics" that bring visitors to my site. I say "more" because I accidentally found the 1st "hot topic" already---Christmas and New Year's Eve activities at the theme parks. I was pleased with my December traffic---for such a new site, that is---after adding the holiday pages. I STAYED pleased with the traffic through New Year's Eve, when the traffic was 139. (After the holidays, traffic plunged to 67. Dropped like a rock! But, I enjoyed it while it lasted...and you can bet I'll do and even BIGGER AND BETTER Christmas section in 2006!)

Uh....actually, I guess those are all of my goals! Vaguely, I have goals of getting in-bound links, starting a web PR campaign, writing articles and monetizing more....but my poor brain only has a limited capacity. I'll TRY to work on those things, as well...but getting the site itself set up is really a pressing issue for me.

Well---thanks for listening!

I wish all of you the very best for your websites in 2006! See you around, here in the forums!

Your SBI friend---
#99527 by Alan from Shirland
Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:50 am
Hi Everyone,

My wife and I have some pretty ambitious goals in 2006 for our 5 SBI web sites.

Let me start off saying that when I first got an Internet account some 8 years ago, after about a month of surfing I told my wife to, “get familiar with this web thingâ€
#99575 by ken-admin
Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:39 am
When I read the quality of thinking, the focus, and the determination (not just in this thread but it's the one that provoked this thought this morning), sometimes I think that SBI! "really" works so well because we somehow attract the best of people.

Then I "re-realize" what SBI! really does. It enables the truly focused and motivated, the determined, to succeed.

No matter how extraordinarily hard and consistently you bang your head against that immovable brick wall, you won't move ahead. But put a road map and the right set of tools in the hands of YOU...

Wow. There is just no stopping you.

SBI! is just the enabler. We really have, somehow, managed to attract extraordinary small business people, people I'm proud and excited to be associated with.

People who thrill me every morning.

All the best,

P.S. Don't let me distract this thread, no need to reply. I'm anxious to hear more about what your goals for 2006 are, not to pull this thread off track. :-)
Last edited by ken-admin on Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

#99585 by Robert from Red Hill South
Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:30 pm
Hi all... greetings from Phuket Thailand where I now live as a result of SBI which I stumbled across almost 2 years ago.

My first SBI site which I built after writing a book for students on how to get 'A's in their exams (by the way Nori... hope my ebook helped with your exams), is generating enough income from adsense, affiliate products and ebook sales to enable me to live in a tropical paradise.

Which brings me to my second SBI site inspired by Nori Evoy about the beaches in Phuket which after much research using my MKL led me to the name of [Domain Private] (apologies to Nori).

The site has been up for a little over a month and the ranking is already 159,358 and climbing fast. You're right Ken... it does help to locate yourself locally. Businesses are beating a path to my door especially the real estate agents and developers.

So... goals for 2006... to rank under 30,000 on Alexa and create a second "wage". To continue waking up every morning with no problems. I've also managed to create the lifestyle of my dreams and can travel anywhere in the world with a laptop over my shoulder.

SBI has allowed me to "simplify" my life. I've actually sold all my worldly possessions, invested all my money in real estate in Australia (which requires very little effort and supervision) and am now totally mobile and free. I even renamed my company Tao International (been following the Tao philosophy for years).

My rewards for the past year... changing the life of a friend of mine by advising him to buy SBI so he could communicate with the world. He has built a travel site called [Domain Private][/url] which is currently ranked around 70,780 after only 6 months. He in turn passed SBI onto another friend who has built a site called [Domain Private] and after only ONE MONTH is ranked at 124,667 would you believe. They are both the highest ranked sites in their respective locations in the world! Their lives have been permanently and positively changed.

This started out as a short post but as usual... the enthusiasm takes over. Some days I wake up in the morning and spend the whole day until bed time building web pages. So much to write and so little time.

Have a fruitful, prosperous and healthy 2006 and if you really want to be inspired check out [url]" class="postlink" target="_blank">[Domain Private] and after only ONE MONTH is ranked at 124,667 would you believe. They are both the highest ranked sites in their respective locations in the world! Their lives have been permanently and positively changed.

This started out as a short post but as usual... the enthusiasm takes over. Some days I wake up in the morning and spend the whole day until bed time building web pages. So much to write and so little time.

Have a fruitful, prosperous and healthy 2006 and if you really want to be inspired check out [url] and press "view presentation". No hidden agenda... just makes you think.

All the best


#99768 by jr from Apan
Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:29 am
wow, this forum just keeps getting better and better!

my goal this year (after 3yrs of building) is to finally start a linking program and MONETIZE. MI came in the "nick of time".

adsense was a lifesaver 3yrs ago. december 2004 just under 3k dollars, december 2005 just under 1k. HELLO!

what is really striking about these posts is not the money anyone is making but the HOPE that sbi gives; and that is invaluable. to paraphrase billy g, "if i'm awake (and sometimes asleep), i'm working on my sites".

sbi is much more than money. people are discovering themselves and finding a dream.

"without dreaming; a society would perish in 2 weeks." - william s burroughs

2006 the best year ever!,

[Domain Private]

#100037 by Angel from Mineral City
Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:40 am

Hi everyone,

I totally agree with gaby:

sbi is much more than money. people are discovering themselves and finding a dream.

I've been freelancing for the past five years and used to have a skinny little website that brought me enough business to pay the rent, but it (the website) was just my online brochure. It didn't provide me with any joy or passion--it was just "there," nothing special, just a marketing tool. I let it fade into oblivion, where it rightly belongs.

My new SBI site gives me the unlimited freedom to pursue my two greatest passions: writing and helping other people.

My goals for 2006 are to: add incoming links, build my traffic to 500+ visitors/day, generate $2K/month selling my own e-products, add Google AdSense, and start my next SBI site :lol: .

It's been a long road getting here, but I thank my lucky stars every night that I finally feel like I'm doing what I was put on earth to do! Do I feel like I'm living my dream? You bet!

#101619 by Kim from Maroondan
Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:30 pm
Hi Angel

Like you I was thinking to do a site for women starting out in business as it was close to my heart. I think I saw your site when it was one page. Its excellent.

I've been researching what else exists out there and there is a multitude of websites for women in business, women entrepeneurs, women in enterprise etc etc. How do you see that your site differs. I haven't viewed most of these sites just looked at the synopsis so no idea what's on most as yet.

Interestingly I was trying to find some comment from women about such a site. I got little response but one woman said she found it difficult to find all the information on one site. I'm in Aust as was this person and the Australian specific sites are probably limited but growing. But back to my original question how do you think your's is different

#101650 by Angel from Mineral City
Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:20 pm
Hi Kim,
Thanks for looking at my site and asking such a great question. I think my site is different because I'm using my own personal experiences, as well as those of my clients, to deliver real-world information. I've seen these different techniques work for real people in real businesses, so I'm not just information gathering, repackaging, and disseminating the same old stuff that others are producing (although some things, like business plans and marketing plans are pretty much standard across the board--they need to be because that's what works). So to answer your question, I'm giving people real information, real tools to use to help them achieve their business goals. I've looked at tons of women's business sites, and they're full of links to other resources and networks and membership societies, but they don't seem to be focused on the hands-on "this is how to do it" aspect that I'm trying to cover with my site. That was always my goal--don't just tell 'em what to do--show 'em HOW to do it. That's my plan anyway. Time will tell if it's working! :D
Best of luck in your venture too.

#103676 by Gail from East Hardwick
Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:58 pm

Okay, guess I had best hop in and commit my goals to writing!

Goal: Increase cumulative page views per day for all my sites to at least 1500 per day.

Action Items:

    Add a minimum of 40 pages per website for the existing two.

    For the new website, have at least 50 pages by year end.

    Create an aggressive linking strategy.

    Write at least three articles per site per month.

    Create press releases for all sites.

    Start an ezine for the new website by the end of September.

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