Larry Brauner

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began to blog. I had lots of great reasons for blogging, so I just got started and hoped for the best.

As Mike Litman says, “You don’t have to get it right. You just have to get it going.”

I did do some keyword research before choosing a main topic and a domain name. I chose as my main keywords online social networking and made them the name of my blog.

In hindsight I see that I could have easily taken on keywords that were more competitive. Fortunately I realized before too long that I could venture off topic and rank well in the search engines on keywords other than my primary ones.

Content Attracts Traffic

Online marketing begins with content and traffic. A site needs to communicate with and pre-sell visitors and then ultimately monetize, i.e. sell them, and content is the catalyst.

One article I wrote about the Spider Web Marketing System has attracted more than 4,000 visits and one on Ad Surf Daily more than 5,000. The content in these two blog posts plus the content in the many comments they received drove them to the top of the search engines.

Overall my blog has received about 12,000 visits from approximately 5,000 keyword combinations making me a big believer in the power of content to draw substantial search engine traffic.

Blogs Are Problematic

Blogs are great for ongoing conversation with readers. However, their reverse chronological orientation makes it easy for visitors to access only the newest content. Older content becomes obscured. Bloggers attempt to compensate with extensive cataloging and liberal use of cross-linking — look at my blog’s sidebars — but this problem is never totally mitigated.

Traditional websites on the other hand are great for organizing and presenting large amounts of information. Their hierarchical orientation aided by site maps and cross-linking make it easy for visitors to access the most important and relevant content.

The Best of Both Worlds

The best way to market is to build a conventional website with a blog embedded in the site to communicate with visitors and customers.

This marketing idea works equally well for small businesses and large ones. I will be taking this direction for myself as I continue to develop my own web presence.

Conceptual and Technical Challenges

Starting a blog is easy in many ways. Blogger, for example, allows a novice to get up and going in a jiffy. Simply create an account, choose a theme and start writing. That’s it.

Building a marketing website is much more involved, both conceptually and technically, creating a major obstacle for the typical entrepreneur.

Faced with this obstacle most small business owners either

  • do nothing
  • opt for a simplistic small business website that resembles a big business card
  • rent of buy an expensive template to build a second-rate small business website that doesn’t get any traffic
  • hire an expensive web developer to build their second-rates mall business website for them

If they’re lucky they find somebody good, but the average web developer doesn’t understand marketing. I’m sure that what I’m saying will ring true for some readers.

My Recent Discovery

What we’re discussing isn’t new to me. I’ve been thinking about regular websites vis-à-vis blogs and conceptual and technical issues surrounding them for a number of months.

This past week I happened to listen to a conference call introducing a service that I knew existed but that had never managed to grab my attention. I listened for nearly 90 minutes as Ken Evoy explained how he arrived at his Internet business solution, Site Build It!, how it worked and why. He dealt with the blog vs. build issue as well. I was impressed by what I heard.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  1. Site Build It! costs $299 per year — everything included. No high price template. No expensive consultant.
  2. SBI! makes online business do-able by hiding all the technical issues and structuring the conceptual ones. The process is simplified to such a degree that success (i.e. profits, not the mere presence of a website) can be achieved — with serious effort — even by a motivated beginner. The 80/20 Rule still applies — of course — but why shouldn’t the lives of the 20% be made easier?
  3. Online profits require more than just having an online business card or a collection of Web pages. The SBI! service appears to include the tools and the proven process required to build a long-term, profitable e-business.
  4. SBI! is more than just a “site builder.” There’s no need to worry about separate hosting, a separate keyword research tool, integrating autoresponders, etc.
  5. There’s also no need to know anything upfront about building a website. The tedious, “under-the-hood” stuff is handled automatically.
  6. The SBI! service helps clients to design a profitable business, before they jump into building their sites. For beginners, the learning curve will be shorter and they bypass show-stopping errors.
  7. The Action Guide presents a step-by-step process in both written and video formats. The most successful site owners are the ones who follow the guide and don’t get sidetracked. They don’t have to guess at what to do next, since the guided approach helps them reach their goals. Continuous mentoring via the Action Guide and online help is always available.
  8. A keyword brainstorming and research tool helps verify that a site concept has acceptable profit potential, saving site owners from making a common fatal error. The SBI! service helps to find topics related to the site owner’s niche that will pull in traffic and generate income.
  9. SBI! provides fully customizable, easy-to-use templates (this page shows a range of styles).
  10. The SBI! service includes domain name analysis, optimization, and registration, as well as fast and reliable website hosting.
  11. Unlimited customer support and forums that are supposedly friendly and helpful are major selling points for me personally.
  12. There’s a no-risk, 30-day money back guarantee.

In Conclusion

I can see the Site Build It! service helping both existing small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs reach their online marketing objectives. My only caveat is that sufficient internal motivation is a necessary prerequisite for success.

If you find that building your website is not “your cup of tea”, please get help or exercise the 30-day refund option. Don’t waste your money.

Now it’s your turn. Feel free to share your small business website experiences.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Also, visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about me and my social media and web marketing services.

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12 Responses to “Intriguing Small Business Marketing Idea”

  1. Jeffrey D. on November 23rd, 2008 11:10 pm

    Larry,

    Based on our previous email about SBI!, I was looking for your input. You relayed to me that starting a website may not be in my best interest. Site Build It! has been embedded into my brain for a while now. I am very happy to learn about your endorsement for it and this is going to make my decision about using it much easier. I’m sure at one time I expressed the genius of Ken Evoy, and I’m glad you have witnessed it firsthand. And as Diane Hochman, Mike Litman and Joe Schroeder say, “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going!”

  2. Larry Brauner on November 23rd, 2008 11:25 pm

    I’m still not sure it’s the right direction for you Jeffrey. On your current path, you’re probably better off investing your time in video marketing than in a major site building and search engine optimization project.

  3. Jeffrey D. on November 23rd, 2008 11:58 pm

    Thank you Larry,

    I greatly appreciate your advice. Video marketing is something definitely in the works for me. I will never discount this powerful tool! I have many things to think about at this point.

  4. Morgan Mandel on November 24th, 2008 12:25 am

    I’m going to restructure my website. I’ve started some of it already. In my way are a few other projects that I’ve committed to first.

    I’ve been working on getting my blog up to speed. I’ve got some of the technical parts done and am busy at trying to attract visitors. So far, it has an average visitor load, nothing really high scoring.

    Morgan Mandel
    morganmandel.blogspot.com

  5. Debbie Morgan on November 24th, 2008 3:00 pm

    Thanks, Larry, for this great information. I’m planning on setting up a blog in January so I’m looking around now for the most effecient yet inexpensive way to do that. I’ll have to put this on my list of places to check out. Deb

  6. Mike at Business Consulting Buzz on January 22nd, 2009 2:56 am

    Larry,

    I’ve heard good things from many about Site Build It. Seems it is a great solution if you just want to get up and running and not worry about fussing over all the details of hosting, autoresponders, etc. as you pointed out.

    Now that was a long time ago, so I’m happy to hear it’s still around and doing well.

    Also very interesting to hear about those two articles that brought hordes of traffic to your site. Great work!

    Cheers,
    Mike

  7. Larry Brauner on January 22nd, 2009 10:53 am

    What’s great Mike about Site Build It! is that it treats web site development as starting a totally new business, and provides the tools needed — from research to full implementation.

    Thanks for the kudos.

  8. Business Consulting Buzz on January 23rd, 2009 2:30 am

    Agreed Larry. That’s what I’ve heard as well. And I think the sites are supposed to be quite SEO friendly too.

  9. A Coffey on February 9th, 2009 3:37 pm

    Interesting perspective Larry, especially the reverse order bit about how the pages are listed in the blog. Didn’t really think about that ’til you mentioned it.

  10. Accounting and Tax Services on February 17th, 2009 12:22 am

    I’m looking around now for the most efficient yet inexpensive way to do that. Also very interesting to hear about those two articles that brought hordes of traffic to your site. Great work!

  11. Larry Brauner on February 17th, 2009 12:30 am

    If you’re looking for a real website this is an inexpensive yet comprehensive option.

    Thanks for the kudos.

    I typically post once per week and have written many articles since writing those two.

  12. azali-pemasaran anda on July 25th, 2009 7:48 am

    Hey Larry,

    I think your effort in Internet marketing is successful. You give great tips to Internet marketers. Yes, I agree that a blog is the way to do better Internet marketing today.

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