Curious about how to develop a website?

Here's how I did it using Site Build It…

If you’ve ever wondered how to develop a website, the chances are you might have read all sorts of conflicting advice online.

make my own website - my storySome people advise you to start a blog, some reckon taking programming courses is the way forward, and others just say “pay a web designer”. It can be seriously confusing.

I did a lot of research before starting Pasta Recipes Made Easy and after considering blogs like Blogger and services like Sitecube I decided to use Site Build It (by Canadian company Sitesell) to develop my site. And I’ve never looked back.

The SBI approach

The whole Site Build It (SBI) concept is based around taking what you already know – your hobby, your burning passion or business – and turning this into a content website that attracts lots of traffic, which you can then earn money from. The concept sounds simple... because it is!

This 2-Minute Starter Video explains SBI really well…

My site – topic, goals and results

For my first online venture I decided to go with a pasta site because I figured this was an easy topic to write about (in that my Italian wife and her mamma were constantly teaching me recipes anyway), and at the very least I'd get some tasty meals out of it!

I didn't choose a recipe site because I thought I could make loads of money from it... in fact I didn't have any earnings goals at all really. I just considered it a site to learn the process with. I figured if traffic did well and I made enough to cover the first year’s renewal cost with a bit left over, I'd be happy. And I’d also feel confident that future sites could perform even better.

I started my site in May 2008 and by following the SBI process I’ve added on average 2 pages per week.

how to develop a website - my SBI trafficMy site currently receives - wait for it, I love this bit! - around 1900-2000 unique visitors every day (as of September 2010), with that figure hitting over 2500 some days! Traffic-wise, I'm told this figure makes my site more visited than 99% of the sites online.

I currently 'monetize' my site’s traffic using Google AdSense ads and some affiliate links (i.e. links to sellers of cooking pans, pasta machines etc.). This brings in a good few hundred dollars each month and I expect this sum to rise as I write more pages and grow my traffic further.

Are these the kind of earnings I can retire on? No, but I've learned that recipes are not typically a serious-earning kind of niche. I believe the niches I have planned for my next 2 sites will be – and those topics adopted by the ‘SBI'ers’ over on this Case Studies page definitely are. (And in case you’re wondering if these SBI'ers really exist… the answer’s yes. I’ve spoken to many of them when they’ve helped me with my site... from advice on writing pages to fine-tuning my site's structure.)

What Site Build It is not

- SBI isn’t just a company that puts your website online (hosting), so you don’t buy SBI and then have to spend more cash on other services like your website's name, image hosting, keyword tools etc. Everything is included. Think of SBI as an e-MBA in a box… there really is that much guidance on offer. (Try comparing SBI with its competitors here.)

- It’s not a Get-Rich-Quick online scheme. There’s nothing quick about it in fact… it’s a gradual, step-by-step education on how to develop a website – well, a web business really – that could easily provide you with passive income for years. But not until you’ve put in the time and effort required.

- It’s not a scam. I'm from Yorkshire in England, which means I'm a tight-wad and don't like spending money, so I did lots of research before buying SBI! Even when I'd read several SBI case studies, I was still wary so I Googled all kinds of negative phrases like 'SBI sucks' to try and make sure it wasn't a scam. I found nothing but great feedback except for one nonsense anti-SBI campaign, which frankly you should ignore (it's all explained on this Site Build It scam page). In short, I was convinced SBI was the real deal.

What Site Build It includes

Site Build It is a full online system that spans everything from beginner-friendly teaching guides to keyword tools, page design templates, site hosting, your website's name (domain) and more. For example, you get:

- A full ‘Action Guide’. Available in written or video form, this talks you through the process of developing your website at your own pace. The ‘AG’ covers researching your site topic, identifying keywords, writing pages, adding images, helping search engines to love your site, and ‘monetizing’ your site.

(How do websites make money? There are numerous ways depending on your niche… it could be simply adding Google ads to your pages, or suggesting recommended products, making your own products, partnering with local business and so on.)

- Website templates. SBI’s ‘BlockBuilder’ template system gives you numerous page designs to work with (all of which you can adapt), and the ‘block-building’ approach means you don’t need to know any technical stuff. If you can read and send e-mail, you can use SBI.

- Brainstorm It. This superb keyword research tool helps you discover which phrases internet users type into search engines when looking for information on your topic. You then build great content pages based around these ‘keywords’ and hey presto – real web traffic arrives!

SBI suits everyone

If you’re willing to devote real time and effort to building an online business then SBI can work beautifully for you. Here are some links you might find useful…

• Are you a stay at home mom looking to earn extra cash? Check out this page.

• Are you a university student with time to spare? See here.

• Do you want to grow your small business client list? Try this guide.

• Or do you simply have a subject or hobby you are passionate about? Read this page.

Finally… the big 2

In the past year and a half, several friends who love my site have asked me why I use SBI. I always respond with what I consider to be SBI’s 2 key benefits:

1. Sites built using SBI receive real traffic, rather than gathering cyber-dust. (SBI sites are often featured in traffic measurement company Alexa's top 1% of all websites online - see here.)

2. You never feel alone when you build an SBI site. Not only is the Action Guide excellent, but there's a wonderful online forum where fellow SBIers meet to help each other and celebrate their successes. Check out the response I received to my site review request here (use ‘pasta-recipes-made-easy.com’ without quotes for the username and password).

Does that help?

I hope I’ve given you some useful thoughts on how to develop a website. If you have more questions, try firing these at SBI's helpful customer team or drop me a line here.

Happy site building!

Matt.

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