How Do Solopreneurs Really Do at Squarespace? An In-Depth Look

How Do Solopreneurs Really Do at Squarespace? An In-Depth Look

“You have to fine tune your ideas and focus in order to make everything work. You can’t do everything and be everything all at once.”Peg Fitzpatrick

Congratulations! You have an idea for a new web-based business… what do you do now?

How do you figure out everything you need to do to bring your idea to life, while simultaneously navigating all of the rocks and waves that threaten to capsize your ship?

Our friend Peg Fitzpatrick’s advice is spot on: you can’t do and be everything. However, isn’t that exactly what solopreneurs do/are?

Yes, the person who “does it all” could be the definition of “solopreneur.” It also explains the extremely high failure rates (see our State of Solopreneurship article).

How Do You Maximize Your Chance of Success?

The only solution is to focus on what you know best, your niche. Find a partner who can not only take you through the learning curve (the right way) but can also offer a platform that minimizes the “to do” time of all the tasks you must master.

Focusing on a niche that you can master helps you tailor a winnable business. All you need is a platform to help you get there.

There are loads of them, too…

  • Hosting services that offer site-building software (e.g., 1&1, GoDaddy)
  • Site-builders that include hosting (e.g., Wix, SquareSpace)
  • WordPress, which has grown so large that it falls into its own category!

The State of Solopreneurship, and a series of studies that determined how solopreneurs really do, showed a reality that is seriously out of sync with the marketing hype all around us. The problem?

Few solopreneurs get the right help they need, in the right order, in a way they can execute and win. For example…

  • How do you choose a niche and fine tune your ideas?
  • How do you even know whether your idea is a good one?
  • What content will you create and how will it get found?
  • How do you build a following? And so on…

There are tons of critical decision points. One wrong choice, especially in the early stages, will make the difference between clear sailing and crash-and-sink. Mastering the process (one that works!), on the other hand, leads you to a life of profitable passion.

You need the help of a trusted advisor to guide your solo ship safely to the port of success. That raises the obvious question: Are there tools or platforms out there that can help guide you safely?

And that, in turn, brings us to the obvious answer: Yes, there are… Way too many, promising way too much.

How do you know who delivers the goods (i.e., success)? Up until now, it hasn’t been easy. Marketing hype (everything from Super Bowl ads to rampant fake reviews) leads solopreneurs to choosing products with low rates of success.

You get lost in comparison charts, unproven claims, and on and on. Well, in this series of studies, there are only facts. And if anyone (including the owners of the products that were studied) don’t believe them, they could repeat the exact same studies and publish those results.

That fact brings us to this fifth and final study of its kind. It (and the 4 earlier ones) compare actual hard-data results. There’s no room for opinion, marketing hype or promise. There’s only one question, and it’s the only question that matters to the serious solopreneur…

Who Delivers the Highest Rate of Success?

The State of Solopreneurship studies use rigorous, objective analysis to determine the levels of solopreneur success at Wealthy Affiliate, GoDaddy, Wix, and WordPress vs. Solo Build It! (SBI!).

KEY POINT: Some readers may doubt these studies since they appear on the site that offers the SBI! platform. And that’s a fair point…

It’s natural to doubt the claims of any company and its affiliates. In fact, fake reviews in the “solopreneur/make-money/online-business” space are at such epic levels that, up until now, there has been no way to know who’s best.

Believing the marketing has been the downfall of most solopreneurs. Reading a fake review, especially the smart reviews, the sophisticated ones that pretend to be objective, many don’t realize that those reviews are just marketing, too!

So who really is best?

That question, sparked by the tons of fake reviews about SBI!, gave us an idea. Study actual performance. After all, the results are all out there on the Web. The studies gather those results and compare the platforms. So… who’s best?

Before we can answer that, we have to define “best product” in a way that matters to solopreneurs. Cutting through all the marketing, solopreneurs are looking for the answer to this question…

Which product gives me the highest chance to succeed at my online business?

“Best” is “highest chance to succeed.” That leads us to the final question…

What is success?

“Online solopreneur success is all about reaching a target income level by doing something I love.

“Target income level” varies according to circumstances. The “how” varies, too, but building a niche-based content site, based on a niche that you know and love, is the most doable, repeatable process.

And that’s why we studied the 5 different ways to go about building a profitable web-based business. They objectively measure results of all five platforms. These studies are the only source of hard facts on solopreneur success. The reason for that?

No one wants you to know the true track records – they’re dismal.

If anyone does not believe that (including the platforms tested), run the studies again. Follow the simple methodology…

  1. Randomly select apples-to-apples sites from each platform.
  2. Measure their traffic levels, using 3 objective metrics tools.
  3. Tabulate the results.

They’ll get the same results. They show that SBI! performs 33X better at delivering high-traffic sites than one platform, and over 100X better vs. another.

SIDEBAR: Ironically, the 33X result is for a product that affiliates have written hundreds, if not thousands, of “our product is #1” fake reviews. It’s a compelling example of how easy it is to be fooled.

Just to be clear about the meaning of “33X“…

That “X” means “times” and not “%.” For example, if a platform had 10 sites in a certain high-traffic range, SBI! would have 330!

Don’t confuse “X” with percent (%). If SBI! were 33% better, that in itself would be significant (133 sites compared to 100, say). The magnitude of the difference surprised even us!

Bottom line: These studies are highly significant, trustable (DIY to check) and show a staggering, factual superiority of SBI!.

Looking at this from a higher perspective, these studies also serve to show you the sorry state of solopreneurship in current times. How well are solopreneurs actually doing overall? In a word…

Not.

And that’s a shame because the super-high failure rates are totally avoidable if you use the right platform to build your business.

Widening the Solopreneur Profile

This study analyzes how well solopreneurs do with Squarespace. It also deepens our general understanding of solopreneur results.

Important: Like the previous studies, this one also outlines the methodology in enough detail that anyone can perform the study to check the accuracy of the results. We have discussed at length why this is so important, but in a nutshell it’s this…

Companies that market products to solopreneurs spend plenty of time promoting their features and benefits, but put little effort into proving success.

Success, though, is the only outcome that matters to the solopreneur. While Solo Build It! has long shown and proven its high rate of online business success, no one else has.

Now, these studies take it a big step further. They are the first to provide head-to-head success rates and levels.

Given the amount of over-hyped and unproven claims in this space, you should insist upon objective, rigorous and reproducible studies that reveal actual success rates.

Doing that cuts through all marketing and gets straight to the bottom line: success rates and levels. You get an unbiased look at how often, and how high, each platform performs.

Let’s get into the methodology and results specific to this study.

The Study: How Do Squarespace Users Perform?

What Is Squarespace?

Squarespace offers two main packages (after a free trial):

A Personal package costs $16 a month for “a beautiful, simple website” – or a Business package that costs $26 a month that is “perfect for businesses of all sizes.”

The packages include domain name, hosting, a website builder with attractive templates, and the ability to create unlimited content.

The business package also includes eCommerce, pop-ups, the ability to completely customize templates, and additional premium options.

There are also additional Online Store packages that, presumably, are for businesses that already have traffic and more than a few products.

The study asks 2 questions:

  1. How successful are solopreneurs who use Squarespace as their website builder? The answer will help round out the typical solopreneur experience, too.
  2. How do these results compare to the suite of services included within Solo Build It! (C T P M, step-by-step process and training, domain name registration, hosting, website builder, ongoing education and auto-updating, tools, community)?

Let’s proceed to the study, its data, then the analysis.

Squarespace Data and Analysis

According to BuiltWith.com, there are 1.4 million websites that are built with Squarespace.

The study randomly selected 10,000 sites from this total. Our previous studies have shown that this sample size reflects an accurate picture of the entire Squarespace customer base.

We further refined the parameters in order to ensure a completely fair comparison by:

  • Eliminating parked domain names, sites “under construction,” sites that have no content, etc.
  • Selecting sites that have a home page and at least five links to internal pages on the same domain name.

We call the survivors of these criteria “Real Effort” sites. The study’s selection process used these criteria to choose 10,000 random Real Effort sites.

We use the term Real Effort to designate websites that have a certain level of site-building effort. We do this to make the comparison of SBI! to Squarespace more apples-to-apples. We want to compare SBI! sites to those done by solopreneurs who really gave it a shot using another sitebuilder.

Filtering out “non-effort” sites yielded the first surprising result…

We had to parse through 20,828 Squarespace domain names just to find 10,000 Real Effort websites. In other words, only 48% of Squarespace websites fulfill the Real Effort definition.

As a comparison, GoDaddy and Wix were at 5% vs. SBI!’s 10,000 Real Effort site percentage of 92%.

Conclusion so far?

Squarespace users seem more serious than Wix users. GoDaddy users often put up many sites, putting serious effort into few (or none). But Solo Build It! members get started more effectively, likely due to the clear, step-by-step Action Guide. That focuses them on their one best business idea.

They advance through the early steps significantly better. While there are more conclusions to come, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of this finding…

Effective early progress is one of the most important online success factors.

“When working on your own, you need to keep updated constantly about what’s new in your industry, what’s trending, etc… which consumes a considerable amount of time that could otherwise be spent in other tasks.”Antonio Calero

Squarespace Site Distribution

We conducted a manual review of 500 randomly selected Real Effort Squarespace websites (out of the 10,000) to double-check whether this filter had selected similar populations for comparison with SBI!.

The review confirmed that. It showed this distribution:

  • 436 solopreneur content sites (blogs, infopreneurs, etc.)
  • 35 service sites (lawyers, dentists, service sellers, etc.)
  • 19 local sites (local restaurants, schools, etc.)
  • 7 online stores (small to medium retailers)
  • 3 junk sites (sites with poor content / little real effort)

This filtering process successfully narrowed the study’s focus to legitimate, business-oriented websites. Some exceeded “solopreneur” size and scope (i.e., larger companies), but we accept that and other skews in favor of Squarespace in order to keep the study simple and reproducible. So, if anything, the study is biased in Squarespace’s favor, all the more so because of the “early filter” that weeds out more than half of their sites.

Armed with a sufficient “apples-to-apples” sample of active websites from Squarespace, we were ready to compare them against online businesses built by solopreneurs using Solo Build It!.

In order to evaluate actual traffic of sites, we used 3 industry standard providers of reliable competitive information about websites (Alexa, SimilarWeb and SEMrush). Here is a detailed explanation of why we use these three services.

Squarespace vs. Solo Build It! – The Results

We’ll review how Squarespace and Solo Build It! Real Effort websites performed for each of the three traffic metric tools. First, we summarize the overall results:

  1. SBI! websites are 32.5 times (32.5X) more likely to achieve “Outstanding – Excellent” levels of traffic than Squarespace.

    “Outstanding – Excellent” is defined as being among the top 1,000,000 sites on the Internet (<1M at Alexa, SimilarWeb).

  2. SBI! websites are 5.2 times (5.2X) more likely to achieve “Medium” levels of traffic than Squarespace.

    “Medium” level of traffic is defined as websites having traffic that places them among the top one million to ten million websites (1M – 10M at Alexa and SimilarWeb).

  3. 75.4% of Squarespace Real Effort websites are Invisible. Solo Build It!’s “Invisible” rate is only 40%.

    “Poor to Invisible” is the lowest traffic category. Squarespace nearly doubles Solo Build It!’s lowest traffic range (called “Invisible,” these sites get no detectable traffic).

Now let’s break these numbers down according to each of the three tools, and each of the three levels of performance, for a closer look.

Results – Alexa

First, let’s look across the entire range of website traffic according to Alexa. The Alexa ranking ranges appear on one axis and the percentage of sites in each of those ranges on the other axis.

The bars on the chart below indicate, of the combined total number of websites that fall within each range, what percentage are Squarespace (red) and what percentage are Solo Build It! (blue).

Entire range of website traffic according to Alexa

Note: The lowest Alexa numbers (rankings) have the highest traffic. For example, #1 (Google.com) has the most traffic, so would be included in the 1 to 100K range. Traffic decreases as the ranking ranges get larger (i.e., increasing Alexa ranking reflects decreasing traffic).

A clear pattern emerges at the highest traffic levels (rankings of 1 to 1,000,000). Solo Build It! massively outperforms Squarespace at each of the high-traffic ranges…

For example, within the best possible Alexa range, 1 – 100K, there are 23 Solo Build It! websites and 0 Squarespace websites – 100% SBI! (23/23) and 0% Squarespace (0/23).

This continues until we reach the Alexa ranking range of 1M – 2M (the higher traffic end of “Medium”). From 1M – 2M until 9M – 10M (“Medium” ranges), SBI! continues to outperform. The gap narrows at a fairly steady rate along these ranges until we reach the “Poor to Invisible” ranges.

As we approach “Poor to Invisible,” the gap narrows, with the percentage of low-traffic SBI! sites decreasing rapidly, while increasing with Squarespace.

Interestingly, the proportions intersect at the second worst range, same as our previous studies. From that point on, Squarespace results deteriorate quickly, shooting past SBI! to dominate the Invisible range.

Next, let’s look at the total number of sites that fall within each of the three major categories of traffic (Outstanding – Excellent, Medium, Poor to Invisible).

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 1 – 1M “Outstanding – Excellent”

Solo Build It! sites are 26.49X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 1M – 10M “Medium”

Solo Build It! sites are 3.92X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

We see the same pattern….

The ratio of SBI! to Squarespace effectiveness is highest at 1-2M (the highest “Medium” range), leveling out at the lower levels of 7-10M. The consistency is striking, with an obvious conclusion…

The SBIer has higher odds of success, and those ratios are highest for the best results. The difference narrows until we reach poor results, which is where the majority of Squarespace sites reside.

In short – SBI! dominates at producing big winners, with Squarespace dominating the Invisible range.

We can see the continuation of this pattern in the “Poor to Invisible” ranges, where Squarespace surpasses SBI! in delivering poor results. The worse the result, the more Squarespace “dominates,” as shown here:

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 10M – 20M+ “Poor to Invisible”

Squarespace sites are 1.51X more likely to achieve these poor traffic levels.

Results – SimilarWeb

Here’s how the spectrum of websites ranks according to SimilarWeb:

Spectrum of websites ranks according to SimilarWeb

Like Alexa, SimilarWeb ranking starts with #1 at the top and goes “down” from there. As you move through the chart, the SimilarWeb rank increases, reflecting sites that get less and less traffic.

The chart indicates, of the combined total number of websites that fall within each range, what percentage are Squarespace and what percentage are Solo Build It!.

For example, within the best possible SimilarWeb range, 0 – 100K, we found 18 Solo Build It! websites and 0 Squarespace websites that fit our criterion for Real Effort. That equates again to 100% Solo Build It! (18 websites out of 18 total) and 0% Squarespace (0 out of 18).

Next, let’s look at the total number of sites that fall within each of the three major categories of traffic (Outstanding – Excellent, Medium, Poor – Invisible).

Important: Note the identical patterns in the SimilarWeb and Alexa results. This is a strong confirmation because the Alexa and SimilarWeb systems generate their metrics differently.

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 1 – 1M “Outstanding – Excellent”

Solo Build It! sites are 50.52X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

This is comparable to the Alexa multiple. While the overall chart results ramp up for SBI! sites, it remains relatively flat for Squarespace sites. Only Solo Build It! delivers this level of results at this rate.

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 1M – 10M “Medium”

Solo Build It! sites are 7.09X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 10M – 30M+ “Poor to Invisible”

Squarespace sites are 1.47X more likely to achieve these poor traffic levels.

Results – SEMrush

Finally, here’s how the spectrum of websites ranks according to SEMrush:

Spectrum of websites ranks according to SEMrush

SEMrush presents absolute traffic counts, not “traffic ranking” (as Alexa and SimilarWeb do). So 0 means no organic search traffic.

SEMrush provides an extra valuable insight. Its results are specifically for search traffic. Search accounts for most of the traffic for the majority of solopreneur sites, which means this tool gives us an important insight into the effectiveness of sites to rank organically.

The chart indicates, of the combined total number of websites that fall within each range, what percentage are Squarespace and what percentage are Solo Build It!.

For example, within one of the highest possible SEMrush ranges, 60K – 70K, we found 11 Solo Build It! websites and 1 Squarespace website that fit our criterion for Real Effort. That equates to 92% Solo Build It! (11 websites out of 12 total) and 8% Squarespace (1 out of 12).

You can see how SBI! (blue) dominates at the high-traffic portion of the chart while Squarespace (red) takes an increasingly larger share as traffic decreases.

Note: In our Wealthy Affiliate study, we performed an analysis that correlated SEMrush organic search traffic numbers to Alexa’s and SimilarWeb’s traffic ranking…

  1. SEMrush traffic of greater than 5,000 was the equivalent of being in the Top 1M sites (“Outstanding to Excellent”)
  2. 100-5,000 was equivalent to “Medium” (1M – 10M)
  3. 0-100 was equivalent to “Poor to Invisible.” (>10M).

Considering the SEMrush numbers in this way helps you see the same patterns in SEMrush as in Alexa and SimilarWeb.

Now, let’s look at the total number of sites that fall within each of the three major categories of traffic (Outstanding – Excellent, Medium, Poor to Invisible).

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 5,000 – 400K+ “Outstanding – Excellent”

Solo Build It! sites are 20.48X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 100 – 5,000 “Medium”

Solo Build It! sites are 4.52X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 0 – 100 “Invisible to Poor”

Squarespace sites are 1.50X more likely to achieve these poor traffic levels.

Final Analysis

Now that we’ve taken a deep dive into the data, let’s come back up for some air. The data (averages of all 3 traffic metrics) shows, in a few different ways, that online businesses started with Solo Build It! get more traffic than those built with Squarespace.

Let’s revisit the conclusions (average of Alexa, SimilarWeb and SEMrush) that we shared earlier:

  1. SBI! websites are 32.5 times (32.5X) more likely to achieve “Outstanding – Excellent” levels of traffic than Squarespace.

    “Outstanding – Excellent” is defined as being among the top one million websites on the Internet (<1M at Alexa and SimilarWeb).

  2. SBI! websites are 5.2 times (5.2X) more likely to achieve “Medium” levels of traffic than Squarespace.

    “Medium” level of traffic is defined as websites having traffic that places them among the top one million to ten million websites (1M – 10M at Alexa and SimilarWeb)

  3. 75.4% of Squarespace Real Effort websites are Invisible. Solo Build It!’s “Invisible” rate is only 40%.

    “Poor to Invisible” is the lowest traffic category. Squarespace “beats” Solo Build It! in the lowest traffic range within this category (called “Invisible,” these sites get no detectable traffic).

You are 32.5X more likely to develop a high-traffic site with Solo Build it! than with Squarespace, and 5.2X for a medium-traffic site.

Whether you monetize passively (where you really need high traffic to earn well) or actively…

More targeted traffic = more income = success.

Final Thoughts on the Choice Facing Solopreneurs

This study of Squarespace has once again confirmed what we suspected, as well as added to the abundance of overwhelming data showing just how poor a solopreneur’s set of choices really is.

Not only do Solo Build It! users outperform Squarespace in every category that matters, the same was true for WordPress, Wix, GoDaddy and Wealthy Affiliate.

Each of the numbers below represents the rate at which Solo Build It! outperforms that particular platform, using one of the three tools, at the highest performing level.

Solo Build It! Performance
The rate at which SBI! is superior to each platform at the highest level of traffic.

Ranked according to the average of the results, Solo Build It! users are:

  1. 9.1X more likely to succeed than those using WordPress
  2. 10.1X more likely to succeed than those using GoDaddy
  3. 32.5X more likely to succeed than those using Squarespace
  4. 33.3X more likely to succeed than those using Wealthy Affiliate
  5. 116X more likely to succeed than those using Wix

WordPress and GoDaddy users come closest to SBIers, with SBI! being “only” 9X and 10X more effective, respectively. These solopreneurs use full FTP hosting, so are likely more experienced than those who use Wix, Squarespace or Wealthy Affiliate.

However, they have likely picked up much bad advice along the way. Many SBIers come to SBI! after failing with other systems and succeed for the very first time. The combination of process, tools, auto-updating, community and support makes all the difference.

The difference really is as simple as that…

Folks who choose those other platforms still have to figure out everything on their own, including a winning process, which is one of the biggest reasons why Solo Build It! gets much better results.

SBI! is an all-in-one package of step-by-step process, software tools, comprehensive guidance, 24/7 support and “auto-updating” that enables solopreneurs to build profitable online businesses.

The Action Guide provides the step-by-step for executing SBI!’s core process. That process has evolved over 15 years but remains based on the concept of Content Traffic PREsell Monetize (C T P M), automatically updated for significant new changes.

The beauty of C T P M is its simplicity and its evergreen nature. The core business concepts are universal to all businesses. They were valid 500 years ago and will remain valid during these fast changing times.

C T P M is so simple and flexible that it easily integrates major changes as the Internet evolves. Therefore, as search engines become more sophisticated, as social media became important and mobile grew, SBI! just kept improving.

The Internet continues to grow more complex. We expect the SBIer advantage to increase, not just due to the approach, but also because we constantly simplify and update what’s important.

And that brings us back to the beginning of this. Solopreneurs do it all. You don’t have time to “keep up” and “figure it all out.” You focus on your niche and building your business. SBI! does all the rest…

It makes sense that a service like Squarespace would pale in comparison. It offers some great tools and services, but none of the other essential aspects – in particular, the process and the guidance – that help Solo Build It! members achieve so much.

This helps SBIers save an enormous amount of “figure it out” time. Solopreneurs, by definition, have a limited amount of time to invest. They have no time to read extensively (to learn and keep up), for trial and error, nor to make mistakes.

The Value of Time

Time is the solopreneur’s biggest enemy. SBI! optimizes its use, giving the SBIer a significant edge over other solopreneurs. Saving time enables SBIers to focus 100% on building their business.

We have also seen how SBI! is especially strong at growing search engine traffic. However, we focus very little on the details of SEO. The concepts of site-building deliver high search traffic, naturally. Once again, it’s the process (and the deep understanding of it), not the tools, that accounts for the results.

SIDEBAR: If you search for reviews on SBI!, you’ll find loads of fake reviews by Wealthy Affiliate users who claim WA is #1. They offer no proof. A few of these reviews are bound to rank highly due to the sheer volume of fake reviews, and their teams of “you comment on mine and I’ll comment on yours.”

You’ll also find trolls who flat-out lie about SBI!, making up all manner of claims. We used to debate these folks, but they’d just ignore the rebuttals and make 10 more wacky claims.

It bothers us that solopreneurs who are serious enough to search for reviews should find these and get fooled. More on that here.

Now, though, there’s no need to debate.

If those reviews were correct, we would not be able to deliver results like this. “Curiously,” these other platforms totally avoid discussing these studies like the plague. Surely some have done the studies for themselves. None report on that, though. And now you know why!

These studies also show, dramatically, that the big claims and marketing techniques may be sexy, but they will not help you succeed.

You need more than Squarespace’s promise of “a simple, beautiful website.” And their Super Bowl ad with famous actors like Keanu Reeves will not help. Build a real online business that generates traffic and revenue – it’s all about passion, hard work, and a solid process.

That, together with all the tools, auto-updating and a strong community is how and why you’ll do so well with SBI!.

We’re thrilled with the success that so many of our customers achieve. Those numbers translate into real people. Read these real-life success stories to see what we mean.

It’s more important than ever to help everyday people cut through intense and contradictory noise so that they can focus their time and energy on what’s important – becoming extraordinary.

But what if you’re one of the tens of thousands of would-be solopreneurs who haven’t yet joined Solo Build It!? You have a critical decision to make.

Do you want to start a new online business? Have you been tempted by celebrities or Super Bowl commercials talking about how “it’s easy” to start a website?

It’s critical to remember this:

You’re not starting a website. You’re starting an online business.

There’s a world of difference between the two.

You need more than a shiny site builder.

You need more than a promise to have your site up in 5 minutes.

You need more than detailed hosting specs and tool features. Benefits such as “unlimited domain names” are hype – one serious business is all that most people ever need or have time for. When solopreneurs succeed, they need to hire more people to accelerate business growth, not create more websites! And yes, we cover that topic, too.

Bottom Line? You need and deserve more than “being sold.”

You need to be able to see the real differences between platforms – data-supported results.

Who cares which one offers more domain names or storage space? Which one offers proven processes that are going to help you succeed?

You need to have access to real reviews and real proof from real people about a company’s track record of success.

Not more marketing hype and fake affiliate claims.

You need a business-building platform and a partner that’s going to do everything possible to help you save your most precious commodity…

Time.

We mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth exploring further…

Time is the ever-growing challenge facing solopreneurs today. Content Shock is simply another symptom, right alongside Social Media Overload and News Fatigue.

We bring you only the small number of important changes that will help grow your business. This ongoing auto-updating is critical…

Countless voices scream to snag some of your precious minutes. You cannot afford to waste time on anything less than the proven best.

If you’re serious about creating an online business based on your knowledge and passions, one that offers real opportunities for online business success…

The State of Solopreneurship?

We have now completed five rigorous studies comparing our product to other comparable platforms – something no one else has endeavored to do even once. Sadly, a clear pattern of failure has emerged.

The head-to-head studies, when taken together, start to give us an estimate of how poorly solopreneurs do in general. The answer is that the true status is poor, but the odds of success can be multiplied by up to 116X with SBI!.

The “solopreneur industry” creates a rosy picture that’s not supported by actual results. We hope that serious companies see this and pick up the pieces and dedicate themselves to truly helping you succeed.

If you insist, they will. If that happens, we’ll enter a new era for solopreneurs – one that fulfills the promise of the Internet.

Yes, that means we’ll see our first serious competition for Solo Build It!. We not only believe in solopreneurs and what they can achieve through online business success, we know that there’s lots of room for way more folks to succeed. In short…

We welcome anything that helps more solopreneurs take advantage of this unique time in history, when the individual can seize control of his/her life by starting a business with so little risk.

LET’S COMPARE!

Wix / GoDaddy / Wealthy Affiliate / WordPress / Squarespace vs. Solo Build It!

As we complete each study, it’s helpful to compare the results to all previous studies as there are new conclusions that can be reached.

For reference, here are the key charts:

Wix - Percent of Total Real Effort - Alexa Rank Ranges
View the whole Wix Study.

GoDaddy - Percent Real Effort - Alexa Rank Ranges
View the whole GoDaddy Study.

Wealthy Affiliate - Percent Real Effort - Alexa Rank Ranges
View the whole Wealthy Affiliate Study.

WordPress - Percent Real Effort - Alexa Rank Ranges
View the whole WordPress Study.

Squarespace - Percent Real Effort - Alexa Rank Ranges
View the whole Squarespace Study (you are here).

These comparisons detail the percentage of each platform’s sites within the Alexa traffic ranges.

Clearly, choosing Solo Build It! means that your chances of building a successful site that drives serious traffic are significantly higher than if you use Wix, GoDaddy, Wealthy Affiliate or WordPress.

Author information

Mike Allton

Mike is an award-winning blogger, speaker, and author at The Social Media Hat, and Brand Evangelist at Agorapulse where he strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers and agencies.

The post How Do Solopreneurs Really Do at Squarespace? An In-Depth Look appeared first on Solo Build It! Blog – Proven Real-World Advice for Solopreneurs.

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Beginner’s Guide to Journaling

5 Simple Steps to Greater Self-Awareness

We all know that being a great leader means practicing self-awareness. But that’s incredibly hard to do in a consistent way. In this episode, we show you how the simple practice of writing for a few minutes a day can help you avoid making mistakes based on pride or ignorance and make solid decisions by being aware of your own motivations.

Extracting Dental Myths Online Helped This Dentist Retire Early

Extracting Dental Myths Online Helped This Dentist Retire Early

As I write this, I am in a hotel room in Madrid, about to fly to Hong Kong, then on to New Zealand, and then a tour of Australia. My website will continue to support me while I’m travelling, and I will also have the opportunity to work on my business while I’m on the road!

Dr. Richard Mitchell has a steady hand and itchy feet. After he graduated as a dentist in 1979, he lived and worked in 5 countries on 3 continents.

During his many years of dental practice, he came across a lot of myths and bad information about teeth, gums and dental care. How could he help more people than just the patients who came to his practice?

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” as a popular saying goes. In Richard’s case, the teacher was his son, who introduced him to Solo Build It!. That was in 2009. Nine years later, Richard was able to retire early from his career as a dentist. Now he works on his online business from wherever his itchy feet take him.

Here’s his story…

1. Richard, you have a successful career as a dentist. What made you start www.dental-health-advice.com and how did you know that Solo Build It! was the right platform?

My then 19 year old son started his first website in 2009, after much research, with SBI!.

I saw what he was doing, and saw an opportunity to provide accurate information about dentistry without the usual pressures of insurance companies, regulators and registration authorities. I could explain my knowledge in a simple manner, hopefully helping people to understand their dental issues.

My son was very thorough in his initial research, and when I took a look at SBI! I was convinced that he had chosen well. I felt an affinity with SiteSell’s founder, Dr. Ken Evoy.

TAKEAWAY #1: Let’s face it. Those of us who have crossed the 50 year mark are probably not as tech or Internet savvy as our kids. In addition, wading through the jungle of website builders and “make money online” (mis)information is a time-consuming challenge.

Richard was fortunate that his adult son did the due diligence for him. If you aren’t that lucky, and you’d like to shorten the learning curve about SBI! (and whether it’s right for you), we have two suggestions: watch the Solo Build It! video tour for a 30 minute summary about how SBI! works and / or talk to one of our experienced Advisors to get your specific questions answered.

Big Sur Marathon in California
In his free time, Richard loves to travel and run marathons. The photo shows him and his partner after finishing the Big Sur Marathon in California.

2. What were your initial goals for http://www.dental-health-advice.com? Have these goals changed over time?

My aim was and still is to provide truthful dental information, bust any dental myths, and start to build the site into something that could provide an extra income in later years.

The only thing that has changed is that I now have more time to work on my site, as I retired early (more about that below).

TAKEAWAY #2: In just two short paragraphs, Richard listed 3 huge benefits of building an online business:

#1: Your in-depth knowledge about a certain topic helps people solve a problem or fulfill a wish. And – contrary to an offline business – you can reach many more people online.

#2: You build up one or more extra income streams, plus equity (i.e. you could, at some point, sell your online business).

#3: That income helps you to retire earlier. How’s that for a Win-Win-Win situation? 😀

3. On your “Ask the Dentist” section, you offer advice via email for a small fee. How did you come up with this idea? How much does it contribute to your income from the site?

I was receiving a lot of emails asking for personalised, individual dental advice. After answering questions for free for a few years, I decided to start charging people for a personal one-on-one consultation where I give individual advice.

This is a recent development, and so far it has been a small contribution to overall income.

TAKEAWAY #3: Solving your visitors’ problems with your high quality, free content is the cornerstone of an informational website. In fact, relevant and unique content is the engine behind your online success. Without content, you won’t get free, targeted traffic from the search engines. And without traffic, there’s no business.

That’s why every successful SBI! member follows our time-tested C T P M strategy. You can read more about this approach, and why it works so well, here.

But for now, let’s get back to Richard’s idea of charging for individualized advice. When you attract thousands of visitors to your site each day, chances are that you get many questions that you need to answer.

You have two options how to react:

Option 1: “Sigh, another question I have to answer. That takes up so much time!”

Option 2: “Yes! Another question that gives me ideas how to improve or add to my content. Hey, perhaps I can even turn this into a product or service to sell?”

Richard chose option 2, which allowed him to add another income stream to his monetization mix.

Ask The Dentist

 

4. What other income streams do you have, and how do they perform?

I have AdSense on my site, and also Ezoic. After 8 months, I have not found Ezoic to work well for me (although it does work well for other sites), and I am replacing Ezoic with Mediavine.

I also have Amazon sales for dental products, and individual affiliate agreements with a toothbrush manufacturer, a snoring device manufacturer, a hypnosis downloads company, and a denture products producer.

Another income stream are my two ebooks that I sell through FastSpring.

These all work quite well, but depend on enough traffic coming through my site. Traffic is everything. Even with the best affiliate agreement or the best ebook in the world, you need traffic to generate sales.

Toothache Survival Guide
One of the eBooks that Richard sells on his website. Ouch. 😉
TAKEAWAY #4: There it is again, that crucial ingredient for your online business success: traffic. How much traffic do you need to make a substantial income? That depends mainly on two factors:

  • How many of your visitors become paying customers (aka your conversion rate), and
  • How much each conversion is worth to you (that “worth” ranges from a few cents for an AdSense click to thousands of dollars for a service or the commission on a real estate sale).

As a rule of thumb, the more “passive” your monetization model is, the more traffic you need. For some solopreneurs Google AdSense (probably the most passive way of monetizing) still works well, especially when they use a service like Ezoic or Mediavine to optimize the serving of ads on their pages.

However, many of the solopreneurs we interview, gradually move away from advertising and affiliate marketing into more active ways to monetize, like selling their own products and services.

Richard mentioned one other way of increasing his profit margin, while remaining on the more passive side of earning an income: individual affiliate agreements. We were curious to find out more about how he negotiates those, so we asked him…

Can you share any tips how to best approach companies that you’d like to represent as an affiliate? Do all these companies offer affiliate programs? If not, how do you get paid?

When I study my Master Keyword List (i.e. the list of keywords that SBI!’s Brainstorm It! tool brings back), I identify keywords with strong demand that I can write about. Sometimes there is a product that I use myself or that I am aware of that I feel I can honestly recommend.

My next step is to visit the manufacturer’s website and see if they have an “affiliates” link anywhere on their home page. If they do, they have an affiliate program, and I apply to register.

If they don’t have an affiliate program, I contact them and ask about how I might promote their product on my site. Sometimes I get no reply at all, sometimes I get a rejection, but sometimes they are interested, and we set up an agreement.

I never know in advance if I will get an affiliate agreement. The only way to find out is to ask. To me, a rejection or failure is just part of the process of building something successful.

I have been aware of that fact for many years in different ways, but it was reading about Elon Musk that really brought it home to me. A fear of failure is one of the biggest roadblocks on the road to success. So many folks don’t even attempt something challenging because they are afraid of failure.

To answer your question about how I get paid:

We agree about a percentage of any sales generated from links on my site.

For example, Amden make toothbrushes. They gave me a link to use on my toothbrush page, and if a reader clicks through to the Amden site from my link, and subsequently makes a purchase, I get a percentage of the value of the sale generated.

So it’s like Amazon, but with percentage rates of 10% to 20%, which I negotiate myself (Amazon pays between 1% and 10%).

There’s currently no way for me to monitor what happens each day. I have to trust my contact person at each company to be honest. Some might say that trust is good, but accountability is better, and I would agree.

Long term, I’d like to switch these “gentlemen’s agreements” to proper affiliate arrangements, with a tracking system in place. But for now, it’s working well.

TAKEAWAY #5: We love Richard’s “no fear of failure” attitude. It’s one of the character traits that all successful people share. It’s the “A” in “BAM,” a combination of the three winning personality traits we’ve observed during our 20 years of helping solopreneurs succeed online:

Brain – they have experience/knowledge in a field that others would want

Attitude – they have a positive attitude/ability to bounce back, and

Motivation – they persist, hanging in until they win.

Finishing Honolulu Marathon
Richard’s no fear of failure attitude also shows in his pastimes. Here he is finishing another marathon, this time in Honolulu.

5. Do you also use your site to get more clients for your dentist practice? If not, why not?

My SBI! site is a general educational resource, and I regard it as being quite different from my dental office site, which is (was) targeted at a very small community on the coast in Spain.

TAKEAWAY #6: While Richard’s answer surprised us initially, it’s perfectly in line with his goals. He started http://www.dental-health-advice.com to provide truthful dental information to a global, English-speaking audience. It’s rather unlikely that his site gets found by his local, Spanish-speaking clientele.

Besides, he wanted to grow a location-independent income stream in addition to the local income from his dental practice.

Depending on your goals, you can of course use your SBI! site to attract customers for your local business, too. SBI! member Melissa Makris is doing exactly that, and it helped her make her massage therapy practice profitable from day one.

6. How did you manage to build a profitable online business while continuing your dentist career? Any specific tips you can give our readers?

Sheer hard work!

When I started, I knew I had to build a website quite quickly, otherwise I would just drift and maybe write one new page a month. I realised that I had to get myself established online.

So I set myself a target of writing the bones of a page every evening after work, Monday to Friday. At the weekend, I would sit at my laptop from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday putting those five pages from the week up onto my site.

I told myself I had to upload 5 pages a week for 30 weeks, to get up to 150 pages. I stuck to my plan. I told myself I was sacrificing a little over six months of intensive work to get a solid foundation for my online business.

My advice is to write a timetable, and stick to it. Watch less TV. Quit surfing useless websites. Put domestic chores on the back burner for 6 months. Make the foundation of your online business your main focus in life, for 6 months.

TAKEAWAY #7: Richard’s dedication is impressive! Writing and publishing 5 pages a week for 30 weeks is a tough goal even when you work full-time on your online business. Richard achieved his goal on top of taking care of his patients.

Do you feel you could never stay that motivated for so long? Or even come up with a plan and a timetable in the first place? We’re here to help.

In the SBI! forums, you’ll find various challenges to keep you focused and accountable towards your goals. For example, at the beginning of the year, we held a “Plan Your Socks Off Challenge” to help our members plan ahead, and make 2018 as productive as possible for their businesses.

Working while traveling
Working from a hotel room in Madrid before flying to Hong Kong.

7. What has been your biggest challenge as a solopreneur?

Scheduling the time to keep the site up to date. As well as adding new pages, I have to keep the existing pages updated and fresh. I need a timetable!

TAKEAWAY #8: Seems that Richard needs to follow his own advice. 😉 But yes, setting aside enough time to work on your online business is a big challenge for every solopreneur.

There are only so many hours in one day, and so many roles to fulfill: content researcher, content writer, image creator, social media marketer, newsletter editor, to name just a few.

You have to be disciplined about how you spend your time. You need a “timetable” as Richard points out, and stick to it. Focus on the tasks that matter most for your business. And that’s exactly what SBI! is designed to help you with.

We cannot provide you with more hours per day (we wish we could!). But we can give you the perfect combination of tools and process, so that you invest every last second into the most meaningful business-building task.

8. What do you enjoy most about being an online business owner? How has it changed your life so far, and how do you see its impact for your retirement?

I like the aspect of being able to work when I want, where I want. The income from my site has allowed me to work part-time as a dentist for a few years, and recently to sell my business and go full-time on SBI!.

Although I have “retired” from clinical dental practice, I still work full-time on my website. But at the times and places I choose!

As I write this, I am in a hotel room in Madrid, about to fly to Hong Kong, then on to New Zealand, and then a tour of Australia. My website will continue to support me while I’m travelling, and I will also have the opportunity to work on my business while I’m on the road!

SBI! has helped me to “retire” from a conventional job earlier than otherwise possible. Thank you SBI! and Dr. Ken Evoy!

Ready to work from New Zealand
Richard shortly after arriving in New Zealand. Ready to work from wherever his travels take him.
TAKEAWAY #9: Time and again, we are thrilled to hear how much positive impact an online business makes in the lives of “everyday people.” What starts out as a side hustle turns into a passionate career with a full-time income, or into enough side-income to retire earlier than planned.

The freedom that comes with a portable, “work-from-anywhere” business is priceless. Not to mention that the only “boss” you need to report to is yourself.

Are you ready to become your own boss? Start your side hustle with SBI! now.

Author information

Dr. Richard Mitchell

Dr. Richard Mitchell trained as a dentist in the U.K., and then moved around a little as he loves to travel. After a couple of years in Manchester, England, he moved to Barbados in the Caribbean for a spell. After that, he worked in Germany for 10 years, then Australia for 7 years, then Spain for 2 years. After that Richard moved back to the UK for a bit, but he missed the warm climate of the Mediterranean, and so returned to Spain at the end of 2008. It was about a year later that his son introduced him to Solo Build It!. Richard saw a possibility to build a business online that would give him more freedom — the chance to build a second income that would eventually help him retire early, and allow him to travel more.

The post Extracting Dental Myths Online Helped This Dentist Retire Early appeared first on Solo Build It! Blog – Proven Real-World Advice for Solopreneurs.

How to Identify, Plan and Test Your Most Wanted Response

How to Identify, Plan and Test Your Most Wanted Response

Understanding and implementing the concept of a Most Wanted Response (MWR) is critical for generating a good income online. Even though it’s a simple concept, many fail to apply it when they reach the monetization stage.

This article will guide you through learning about the Most Wanted Response, deciding on what it should be for each page of your site, the options for applying it to a page, and tips for implementing it.

What Is a Most Wanted Response?

Your MWR is the action you want your visitors to take on a specific page of your site.

If you think about it, you’ll come to the conclusion that your MWR is to get the click. The question is, what does “the click” mean? What the page is about … what it’s for … determines what “the click” means.

It could be to have a form completed, to get the visitor to click on an affiliate link, to buy your own product, or simply to visit another page on your site. But it all starts with “the click!”

Why Have a Most Wanted Response?

Without a clear MWR, your visitors are much less likely to take the primary action you want. They will likely take one of two actions:

  1. They’ll leave your site (the worst case scenario, and the one that every visitor reaches eventually), or
  2. They’ll travel endlessly around your site, reading your information, but never helping you earn money (the best case scenario).

How Do You Pick the Best MWR for a Specific Page?

There are different ways to monetize a page, depending on the type of page or the offering you have. And there are different ways to get the click. For some, you can ask outright. But for others you can’t ask, so you’ll need to try other ways to get the click.

Before you can ask, you need to decide what your MWR for a given page will be. Here are a few suggestions …

Primary MWR by Type of Page

Note: Tier levels refer to their relationship to the home page of a site. Tier 2 – 2nd level with home page as 1st level. Tier 3 is linked from the Tier 2 page (aka Category or Subdirectory).

Sometimes it’s OK to have a different MWR for a given page type. Some Tier 2s might be product or sales pages, so the MWR would be to get the sale, not to get them going deeper into your site to the Tier 3s.

Limit MWRs to two per page for any page on your site. Why? If you give too many choices, visitors will have a harder time choosing which way to go. If this happens, they’ll likely leave your site, which means you won’t get either MWR.

Your Tier 2 Category pages will usually have more than 2 links to Tier 3 pages, but the MWR is still just one… getting them to a Tier 3 page. The same goes for your home page – its MWR is to get visitors to click to a Tier 2 page.

Key lesson #1: Multiple links, but just one MWR

What Are the Ways to Get Your MWR?

Deciding on an MWR for a page is easy. The real work comes in taking that MWR and making it happen – getting visitors to do what you want, when you want them to do it.

Now let’s discuss how to improve your sales/product pages and PREselling pages so that they get your Most Wanted Response.

Sales Pages

We’ve all seen sales pages for e-books or other e-goods online. Some salesy language, colorful fonts and images, and lots and lots of text.

Sales pages are about selling … telling your visitors why they need what you offer; not just telling them about your product. In other words, explaining benefits, and not just features!

You also need to ask your visitor to buy multiple times, and you can’t be subtle about it.

Don’t be afraid to tell your visitors what your product will do, but especially explain to them what problems it will solve for them. After all, your visitors want to know how you (or your product) can help them.

Talk about your product (its features), but that should be secondary to its benefits – what problems it solves. Show your product too. Use photos and/or graphic representations of your product, and what it does. Even show your visitors the care that went into producing it.

Then give them the confidence to buy (money back guarantee, secure payment processing icon, privacy policy, refund policy, testimonials, trust seals, etc.).

Sometimes providing an icon is sufficient. Other times, you’ll need to have supporting pages linked from the sales page. But, keep the links discreet (at the bottom and/or top of the page) so they don’t distract from the message itself.

Where appropriate, you then need to ask them to buy (and buy now), or fill in a form, or do whatever action you want them to take now (this is what we call a “Call To Action”). For longer sales pages, add multiple Calls To Action (i.e., multiple buy buttons or links spread through the page, or multiple links to a form, etc.), but just one MWR.

Don’t forget the price. Do take it a step further, of course, and show the value for the money. Why is your product better? How is it different, what does it do that the competition can’t?

Most Wanted Response - Build ConfidenceAdd testimonials above and below the Calls To Action. They help visitors gain confidence in your site and in your product.

Consider the length of the sales page. How much text is too much, how much is too little? Usually the more expensive an item is, the more content (text) you’ll need to persuade prospective buyers they can’t live without your product.

I mentioned before to limit MWRs to 1-2 per page. For sales pages, the MWR is to get the sale, but consider a 2nd MWR to get their email address if they don’t purchase during that visit.

Keep in mind, you don’t want to distract the visitor from your MWR of getting the sale! Consider using exit actions to trigger a signup, offer a discount, etc.

Speaking of distractions … your sales pages should not have distractions such as site navigation, links to other pages (except as noted for supporting pages) or products, or other advertising on them.

Key lesson #2: Keep sales pages tightly focused to get your primary MWR

Product Pages

Product pages are sales pages, but shorter ones. Since many sites (particularly store-type sites) offer multiple products, having a shorter product page vs. a long sales page is expected.

Even though they may be shorter, they still need a good description of the product, its features, and the benefits it can provide the buyer. They also still need to build confidence in the prospective buyer to make the purchase from or through your site.

Popular stores on the Internet often provide links to a few (just a few) related, popular or similar products several lines below the product image, description and buy button. These links are considered a second MWR for the page.

Asking for a newsletter signup or completion of a survey form on why they didn’t buy could also be considered, but don’t try to do everything. Adding multiple MWRs can irritate your visitors, which may keep them from coming back. Keep everything primarily focused on your single Most Wanted Response.

When you have multiple products, such as in a store, you can have a side menu for other product categories, as well as top and / or bottom links to supporting informational pages for shipping, returns, FAQs, etc. People also like to see what others liked, ordered, reviewed from your store.

On your product page, include multiple photos of the product, good descriptive text, etc. Shorter than a sales page by far, but the basic elements remain the same:

  1. Enticing Title
  2. Description
  3. Benefits
  4. Features
  5. Testimonials /Reviews, etc.

And, don’t forget…

Key Lesson #3: Still ask for the purchase (Call To Action)

Provide the buy button or link close to where you ask, or as part of the Call To Action.

Preselling Pages

Just as your sales page has a job to do (to sell), so do your PREselling pages. But don’t confuse the two. Never hard sell on a PREselling page. Instead:

  1. Reduce distractions.
  2. Go from presell to soft sell.
  3. Make the connection.
  4. Make the recommendation.
  5. Ask for “the click” (Call to Action).

Your PREselling pages can each have 2 MWRs. Getting the visitor to go where or do what you want is primary; secondary could be, for example, links to other pages or products on your site, or a newsletter signup.

In fact, I recommend you keep the links to the other pages you want to recommend lower on the page (actually last on the page) after your soft sell. This way the focus is on the soft sell to the product you want to promote (your MWR), then if they choose not to click, the next item they see are the links to the other recommended pages or products.

If your MWR for a page is to get visitors to go to another page on your site (e.g., your Tier 2 Category pages linking to Tier 3 content pages), that’s ok, but if it isn’t your primary MWR, don’t link from one page to another. You’ll encourage your visitors to read and read and read, and never give you the sale.

Most Wanted Response - DistractionsSo, remember not to distract your visitors by lots of links to other pages (unless that’s the MWR for that page). Guide them to your MWR by focusing the content on the primary MWR, then your secondary one, in the flow of the page.

From Presell to Soft Sell

Your PREselling pages, or great informational content pages, were first written to inform, to over-deliver on great content. When you did that, your MWR was likely to link to other pages of your site. But now you’re monetizing. Your goal is to get them to buy products or services. So what do you do now?

You have 3 options. You can edit the pages just a bit to work in your sales MWR, or add a paragraph or two to soft sell your new MWR of clicking to a sales or product page, or both!

  • Edit the text, removing links to other pages on your site that are within the flow of the content. If you still want or need to link to other pages, put a list of those links at the bottom of the page instead (except on the home page, where the MWR is to get visitors deeper into your site).
  • Add a product/service image and link it to the sales / product page. Add a soft sell caption to the image.
  • Add a link or two within the text to the product / sales page.

Add a soft sell paragraph or two:

  • Add a paragraph or two near the end that soft sells the product/service with a link to the sales/product page. Ask for the click!
  • Add the product/service image as noted above so it’s part of the soft sell section too.

I recommend you do both, editing and adding the soft sell at the end of the page content (before the list of links to other pages), but test and track to see what works best for your pages.

When Do You Want a Soft Sell and Not a Hard Sell?

The words you use to ask, and their placement, can go a long way toward getting the result you want. It’s important that the product / service you want to promote is relevant to the linking page’s topic, and is what the visitor needs and is looking for. If it isn’t, you’re much less likely to get the click and the resulting sale.

For example, one client asked me why she wasn’t getting any sales for a particular product she was recommending for acne. She did a decent soft sell and linked to the product page. But she never mentioned the product by name.

The merchant’s landing page showed the name of the product (and its description) but never mentioned how the product helped with acne. There was no connection between the recommendation and what the landing page showed, so visitors may have thought they were on the wrong product page.

Another client had a site on managing stress. Quite often she put in one strong sentence about massage chairs, and would link to the product page at a furniture store for massage chairs (landing page).

While massage chairs are great at helping to reduce stress, they are big ticket items. She didn’t make the connection between reducing stress and using massage chairs. In other words, she didn’t presell massage chairs as a way of managing stress. She just used a short blurb to link to the landing page on a variety of pages about stress, stress and disease, etc.

If the PREselling page doesn’t connect the product with your landing page, then you aren’t going to get the sale. So make sure the connection is there, or include it in a soft sell at the end of the page.

Also, big ticket items need more PREselling than small ticket items. You need to make the connection and help build confidence in the product much more with big ticket items.

Consider using review pages as a way of doing this, but always make the connection between your page and the product on the landing page, especially if the merchant doesn’t.

Small ticket items are easier to connect, and are often “connected” by the merchant on their product page. For example, if you have a skin care site, and a PREselling page about pimples, you’ll link to products that prevent pimples, or reduce their appearance on your visitor’s face. So linking within the flow of the content is a natural.

However, if the landing page doesn’t mention pimples, or how the product works to help remove, reduce, or hide pimples, then the connection isn’t there. You’ll need to make it for the visitor. This means a simple link to the product, within the content, likely won’t get you the sale.

In a soft sell paragraph, go one step further. Mention why you’re recommending this specific product / service as well as how it connects to the problem the visitor wants to solve. (Have you used it? Do you have testimonials to show how well the product works?) If you do that, ask for the click by providing a clear Call To Action.

Stay away from the hard sell on PREselling pages. A hard sell might include heavy formatting such as all capitals (it’s considered screaming/yelling on the Internet); formatting soft sell content so it stands out (color, fonts, bold, italics, well-placed exclamation points, etc.).

Words that imply making a demand are also not a good way to get your visitor to do what you want. Your soft sell should flow with your content and lead your visitors, not drag or push them.

Asking for “The Click” (aka A Call To Action)

Asking your visitor to take a specific action is hard to do for a lot of people. If you’re one of them, you’ll have to get over it! Think about how you would like to be asked to do something, and then use that to write your own call to action to get your visitors where you want them to go.

Key lesson #4: To get your MWR for PREselling pages:

  1. Reduce distractions.
  2. Go from presell to soft sell.
  3. Make the connection (if the landing page doesn’t).
  4. Make the recommendation.
  5. Ask for “the click” (give a clear Call To Action).

Remember…sales and product pages are for selling; PREselling pages are for PREselling and can include a soft sell. While you may need to do a bit extra at times when the merchant’s landing page doesn’t do its job, never hard sell on a PREselling page.

If you’re offering your own products / services, including a newsletter or e-course (even if it’s free), you need a dedicated sales page. But don’t “sell” your own products / services on PREselling pages. You soft sell and link to your dedicated sales or product page.

This goes for merchants whose products you promote also. Let the merchant’s product landing page do its job. And when it doesn’t, consider what extra steps you need to take to complete the process.

What are those extra steps you may need to take? One is to make the connection discussed previously; another is to do a slightly stronger soft sell that includes not only your recommendation, but also a bit more about the product and what it does to solve the visitor’s problem.

Remember, visitors are looking for solutions to their problems. If the merchant landing page doesn’t tell visitors how the product solves their problems, you may need to … or find another merchant. 😉

What If You Can’t Ask for the Click?

I mentioned using other ways to get the click. For instance, with Adsense ads, you cannot ask for the click. Ad size, placement in the page, colors, etc. all play an important part in improving conversions. However, you also have to pay special attention to what the advertiser will and will not allow. Know the rules, then test results with small changes.

Are You Getting the Best Results With Your MWR?

If you’re happy with the results, and income, you’re getting, you can skip this section. But I recommend you keep reading!

As with any monetization strategy you implement, tracking and testing are essential. Otherwise you won’t know what change to your site, let alone a single page page, caused changes in your MWR conversions or your income. And when you want to maximize conversions and income, track and test, make additional changes as needed, then track and test again.

What Should You Change and Test?

Everything! But one thing at a time. Here’s a list of some of the page elements to consider testing:

  • Title (in the source code’s “Head” section); this appears as the clickable link in the search engine results, so you need to grab the attention of the right visitors (your target market) and get them to click on your link. This is usually the first thing your visitor sees before coming to your site.
  • Headline (likely the first thing they see on your page)
  • First paragraph
  • Benefits (come first and last in the page)
  • Features (come later in the page)
  • Calls To Action (including buy buttons)
  • Images/Photos (must be high quality)
  • Link Text (aka anchor text)
  • And the list goes on. Test everything if you can.

How Many Visitors Should See the Page to Consider It a Good Test?

Whether you do it by organic search results, your newsletter subscribers, paid traffic, etc., try to get 1000 unique visitors to see the change before you draw any conclusions from the test.

Why 1000? It’s statistically considered a large enough number to reduce the effect of bias in the test.

Key lesson #5: Track and test to improve conversions:

  • Track the changes you make
  • If you don’t track, you don’t know
  • Analyze the results
  • Did they improve conversions and/or income?
  • Make a decision … What’s the next step?
  • Improved results? Keep the change.
  • Disappointing results? Revert back, try something else.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Most Wanted Response - RewardTo obtain the maximum number of conversions on your site, don’t just test your product or PREselling page. Take it a step further and consider changes to the landing page.

If you don’t control the landing page, consider changing products / merchants and tracking that too. You may find another product / merchant will give you a better conversion, and that’s worth testing!

When It Comes to Your MWR, Here’s the Bottom Line

  1. Determine what your MWR will be on a page by page basis.
  2. Use “Best Practices” to start (see what other top pages are doing and use them for inspiration).
  3. Make one change at a time.
  4. Test (1000 unique visitors need to see the change).
  5. Track.
  6. Analyze.
  7. Rinse and Repeat.

After all, the goal – your Most Wanted Response – is to “Get the Click!”

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Debs Seeber

Debs Seeber has been the director of SiteSell Pros since 2008, Solo Build It! Forum Admin since 2004, and SBIer since 2002. She provides guidance to Solo Build It! customers as well as writing training articles for Solo Build It!’s customer article archive and the Solo Build It! Blog.

The post How to Identify, Plan and Test Your Most Wanted Response appeared first on Solo Build It! Blog – Proven Real-World Advice for Solopreneurs.

How This Seamstress Found Her Pattern for Online Business Success

How This Seamstress Found Her Pattern for Online Business Success

I feel more confident in so many ways. I know I can generate income, which will help me reach my goal of retiring from  “regular” work next year.

Her passion for sewing began at the age of six. That’s when Judy Christensen’s mom started to teach her daughter the fine art of creating clothes at home. As she grew older, Judy’s interest in sewing didn’t wane. On the contrary, it developed into a full-blown profession.

Judy spent all her life in the apparel industry and the theater, creating anything from retail clothes to sports mascots to opera costumes. She visited apparel factories across the globe to hone her skills.

Now, she uses her experience to help a global audience of home seamstresses perfect their pattern-making skills. How, exactly, did she achieve this? And how will it help her to retire from her regular job? Let’s find out!

1. Judy, how did you decide about your niche, clothing pattern design? How did you know it was the right topic for you and had great business potential?

I belong to some sewing groups on Facebook, so I knew that sewing was making a comeback. Many seamstresses are self-taught (it’s no longer a requirement in US schools, I believe). I’ve spent my life as a seamstress or involved in the apparel industry, so I knew I had a lot to offer in terms of sewing and pattern-making.

I used SBI!’s Brainstorm It! tool to see if there were good keywords for these topics (focusing on the patterns – I really did not want to teach sewing online). To my delight I discovered that “clothing patterns” had great potential, whereas “sewing patterns” was simply too big.

TAKEAWAY #1: Judy based her business decision on a smart combination of qualitative and quantitative research. Due to her lifelong passion for sewing, it was a natural fit for her to join relevant Facebook groups. Participating in those groups helped her “take the pulse” of her niche; it told her that there was a growing community with an interest in making their own clothes.

Still, that interest in sewing could have been anecdotal. She needed to confirm her hunch with hard data. That’s where Solo Build It!’s brainstorming tool comes in. Brainstorm It! takes your niche concept word (in Judy’s example that would be “sewing” or “clothing”) and brings back hundreds of related “keywords.”

“Keywords” are the words or multi-word phrases that people use to search at Google and other search engines. Brainstorm It! tells you…

  • which keywords (that are related to your niche) people search for
  • how often they search for each term
  • how much true competition there is for each term, and
  • what the commercial value of those terms is.

With predefined analysis and filter functions, Brainstorm It! helps you decide if your business niche is too narrow, too broad or just right.

Online Business Success Seamstress

2. Tell us about your philosophy regarding content for www.clothingpatterns101.com. How do you know what your prospective customers are looking for? Where does this information come from?

I base my content decisions on various sources. For choosing my initial topics to write about, Brainstorm It! was invaluable. Even the niche concept keyword (clothing patterns) came from Brainstorm It!. It’s not a term I would have thought of.

I was searching “pattern making” and Brainstorm It! came up with “clothing patterns,” which was in the sweet spot with lots of searches, but not a lot of competition. I then searched specific pattern terms (ie, “dress patterns,” “sleeve patterns,” etc.), and found Brainstorm It! to be very useful in showing me the value of each, and providing new terms I hadn’t thought of.

My second “source” is my own experience. I wanted to help home seamstresses design and make patterns for their own clothing – so I started at the beginning, making a “block” or basic pattern from which all other styles are created.  

I came up with a fairly easy way for someone to accomplish this (using a purchased pattern), and from there, I started adding instructions for creating new sleeves, collars, etc.

By that time, I was getting feedback and questions from readers about what they wanted to see or learn about, and I wrote pages addressing some of those topics. Or, I’d save the question to address it in the more in-depth tutorials, which I sell.

I also have an email list of almost 5000, and I’ll occasionally ask what they’d like to see next. So, my third source for content decisions is feedback from my readers.

TAKEAWAY #2: Can you detect a “pattern” here? Just like she did for her niche decision, Judy uses a well-rounded mix of resources for deciding about her content:

  • Keyword research helps her evaluate topics she already had in mind (do people really search for these terms?) and to uncover completely new topics.
  • Her many years of experience and her knowledge about sewing shape the overall direction and format of her content.
  • Feedback from her readers (both unsolicited and solicited) gives her ideas for additional content that will address her audience’s needs and wishes.

Online Business Success Seamstress

3. You packed all the information from your site into an eBook that readers can order as a download or on DVD. How did you come up with this idea? How popular is it with your readers?

A couple of years ago, there were several discussions in the forums about developing your own products and monetizing content you’ve already created. I don’t remember if the idea of using your entire site as an ebook was discussed, but I certainly got the idea from those discussions.  

TAKEAWAY #3: When Judy talks about “forums,” she refers to the Solo Build It! forums. Our forums have the reputation of being the most helpful community of solopreneurs on the Web. In fact, in several member surveys over the past 2 years, the SBI! forums consistently ranked among the top 3 factors for achieving online success.

Whether you’re just starting out, or are an online veteran, there’s always something new to learn. No question is too stupid to ask and no question goes unanswered for more than 24 hours. But the value of the SBI! forums goes way beyond professional advice and help.

It’s a place to get re-energized and renew your motivation should you feel ready to “throw in the towel.”

Here’s how SBI! member Michelle Zack describes the forums:

The enthusiasm is contagious. When I have been away from my site awhile or am lacking motivation, the Action Guide can feel overwhelming. But somehow jumping into the forums makes things feel smaller and more manageable.

Take a peek here to feel their “vibe” yourself!

Back to Judy and how her ebook idea worked out for her…

I thought it might be a viable income stream, and it’s turned out to be one of my most popular products. I’m a little concerned that it might take away from sales of the other tutorials, but I’ve found that a customer often orders a tutorial after purchasing the ebook.

Although the content is available for free online (which is why I priced the ebook at only $4.99 – I can’t justify charging much more for information that’s available for free), I think the ebook format is easier to follow. Online, it’s too tempting to jump from one topic to another, and my lessons really need to be followed in a certain order.

I’d like to think that, once they’ve seen what I have to offer in the ebook, they’re more comfortable paying a bit more for the expanded information in the tutorials.

TAKEAWAY #4: As a time-pressed solopreneur, you have to think “leverage.” How can you make the most of the content you create while still providing value for your audience? You repurpose it. Combine some of your articles and turn them into a downloadable PDF. Post snippets of your content to social media. Or create a slide deck and upload it to SlideShare.

You might even be able to turn existing content into a sellable product, like Judy did. Her specific approach (to turn the whole site into an ebook) works so well for her because she rarely adds new pages. Her site offers a fairly complete, but basic, “course” in pattern-making for a home seamstress; anything beyond that is saved for the paid tutorials.

Online Business Success Seamstress

4. In your store, you offer in-depth tutorials with videos and text. Can you share your experiences with creating and selling these tutorials?

It’s been a learning process! The tutorials include illustrations done with Adobe Illustrator (with which I had very little experience), and are packaged with text in Adobe InDesign (with which I had no experience).

I found an online course specifically for using Illustrator and InDesign for making sewing patterns, and learned a lot from that.  

My videos are very amateurish, I’m sorry to say. I set up my camera (just a Canon snapshot camera) on a tripod, sit at my dining room table, and shoot the video in one sitting. It may require several “takes,” but I do it start to finish each time. I’m terrible at editing, other than trimming the end and adding title and credit pages!

I’d love to be able to do more professional videos, but it hasn’t held me back so far.

TAKEAWAY #5: Judy follows a motto that every solopreneur can take to heart: “Done is better than perfect.” So what if you have no idea about how to produce a tutorial video? Learn the basics and get started. The outcome will improve much faster with practice than with theory.

The use of video on your website and on social media is getting more important each year. Cisco’s 2017 “Visual Networking Index” forecasts that in 2021, 82% of all Internet traffic will be video-based, up from 74% in 2016.

The “State of Video Marketing 2018 Survey” conducted by Wyzowl found that a whopping 95% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. And, where both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service.

That’s a lot of compelling reasons to add videos to your content mix. In Solo Build It!’s “Tips and Techniques Headquarters” – a private resource for SBIers of hundreds of helpful articles – there’s a whole section around shooting, editing and hosting videos.

5. You have 3,000+ subscribers on YouTube and 6,000+ followers on Pinterest. Why did you choose these social media channels and how do they benefit your business?

I chose YouTube because it gave me a platform for featuring some quick teaching sessions to get people interested in what I have to offer. The videos also allow people to see my personality so they’re comfortable with me and are more likely to go to my site and perhaps purchase a tutorial.

When I posted teaser videos for one of my tutorials, I noticed increased interest in the tutorials and a boost in sales.

Pinterest allows me to post some of my technical sketches. So again, someone can learn something for free and gets intrigued to click over to my website to learn more.

I also have Pinterest boards focusing on different fashions (e.g., vintage, ethnic, etc.), which attract people who want to learn how to create these fashions themselves.

Overall, I need to do a much better job using both of these platforms. It’s on my list for my retirement next year!

TAKEAWAY #6: For a niche like sewing, which lends itself well to “how-to” videos, YouTube is a natural fit. It offers an easy way to upload and host your videos, so that you can embed them on your web pages. On top of that, it gives your videos additional exposure. After all, YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google.

Judy mentioned another benefit of being on camera: it allows people to see you, to put a face to the previously anonymous person, thus building the most important sales “currency” – trust.

Which brings us to the main purpose of any social media presence for your business: it’s about building relationships with your audience, about growing an engaged community of people with an interest in pattern-making, raising rabbits, retiring abroad, or whatever your niche may be.

We call this “PREselling,” and it’s a vital part of SBI!’s C T P M process.

Below is one of Judy’s videos. See how she uses it to connect with her audience? She explains what a visitor can expect from her site and answers some of the most frequently asked questions.

6. What other income streams do you have, in addition to selling your ebooks / tutorials, and how do they perform?

I use Amazon’s Associate Program to sell pattern-making tools (everything from rulers and paper to dress forms) on my site. Income varies tremendously, depending on what is purchased. I reach the 6.5% commission level each month, but I get an awful lot of $0.50 commissions.

I need to do a better job with those pages (they’re not laid out well, and just plain ugly).  I believe that I could do much better with some of the publisher tools Amazon now has to offer, but that project is for another day.

I also joined Craftsy’s Influencer Program to promote sewing classes (because I prefer to focus on making the patterns, not the sewing). That income varies wildly, too, in part because Craftsy keeps changing its commission structure. I’ll keep it for now, but if I get the chance to add a few sewing pages (or even start another site with sewing tutorials), I’ll drop them.

TAKEAWAY #7: Affiliate marketing is a good starter monetization model. It’s easy to implement and requires little maintenance. Depending on your niche and your website’s traffic levels, it can provide a sizable contribution to your bottom line.

The downside? You’re at the mercy of the merchants and their changing rules. They might lower their commissions, or even shut down their affiliate program completely.  

Consider passive income streams like affiliate marketing and advertising as the “icing on the cake,” as a nice side benefit of your online business. For your primary monetization models, focus on more active models with a higher profit margin, like selling your own products or services.

Online Business Success Seamstress

7. What has been your biggest challenge so far as a solopreneur?

Focus and time management!!

I still work as a seamstress (more hours than I’d like to). When I have time off I’m constantly catching up on life in general. I need to make my pattern business more of a priority because I know that I can replace a good part of my working income with income from my tutorials.  

Unfortunately, it keeps getting placed on the back burner. It’s a challenge to find the time, energy, and focus required to really make it a success.

TAKEAWAY #8: The biggest benefit of building an online business – that you can do it “on the side” – also poses its biggest challenge. How do you find enough time to drive your business forward?

You’ve already cut down your Netflix hours to the bare minimum, and burning the midnight oil isn’t sustainable long term. If you can’t increase the hours to work on your business, focus on increasing your efficiency and effectiveness instead.

Prioritize your tasks. Then work through them diligently. How do you know what’s most important in your business-building process at any point in time? As an SBI! member, you’ll have the Action Guide to take you through each task, step-by-step. And you’ll have the tools to carry out those steps.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with the ever-changing requirements of the online world. When there’s an important development, SBI! provides you with the information you need to know and which action – if any – you have to take.

SBI! member Joe Servello puts it this way:

What I like most of all is that SBI! stays on top of every aspect of creating, owning, and monetizing my site. It’s like having an employee doing all the background work for me.”

8. What do you enjoy most about being an online business owner? How has it changed you, your life, your family?

Obviously, the flexibility and income are great, but what I enjoy most is learning new things. The challenge of learning how to create a website, and to create an online business has been a lot of fun!

I feel more confident in so many ways. I know I can generate income, which will help me reach my goal of retiring from “regular” work next year.  

And I can do it at my own pace, giving me the freedom to decide when to work, when to relax, when to travel, etc. I’m not there yet, but I’m confident that it will happen.

TAKEAWAY #9: Judy expresses a sentiment that we see in many of the solopreneurs we talk to.

Yes, building a web-based business is about making money. But it goes much deeper. It’s about a proud sense of accomplishment, of having created something out of nothing, of touching the lives of thousands of people around the world in a meaningful way.

And then there’s the added benefit of stimulating your gray cells – which grows in importance the closer we get to retirement. To give you a sense of how much stimulation you can expect from SBI!… it has been likened to getting an MBA (for a fraction of the cost) and to having the library of Alexandria at your fingertips!

9. And finally… What’s your top tip for someone who is just starting a solopreneur career?

Find a topic that genuinely interests you and in which you have something to offer.  Then do your keyword research with Brainstorm It!.

Brainstorm It! provides fantastic guidance for choosing a profitable niche – but your own interests and experience are what will really make the difference. I’ve had a couple of other sites, and I didn’t have the knowledge or experience in the topic to really speak intelligently – and it showed, in my writing, traffic and income.

When you know and love what you’re talking about, you’ll gain followers and build up an engaged community. That’s – in my opinion – the core of a good online business (or any business!).

TAKEAWAY #10: Combine intelligent research with genuine passion – that sounds like a smart pattern for online success, in the clothing pattern niche and beyond. 😊

When you’re ready to design your own path to online business success, we’re here to help. Talk to one of our experienced Advisors or learn more about SBI! here.

Author information

Judith Christensen

At the age of only 6, Judith Christensen started to learn how to sew. She enjoyed making her own clothes and began making sewing patterns in high school. Judith spent her whole life in the apparel industry and the theater, using her experience to ensure the fit and quality of retail clothing. She’s made sports mascots and opera costumes, and travelled the world to visit apparel factories. In 2013 she started clothingpatterns101.com to help other home seamstresses increase their skill set.

The post How This Seamstress Found Her Pattern for Online Business Success appeared first on Solo Build It! Blog – Proven Real-World Advice for Solopreneurs.

How To Handle Fake Reviews: A Manly Interview

How To Handle Fake Reviews: A Manly Interview

Isn’t there a danger for companies? Somebody is buying all these fake reviews. Can’t you just buy fake positive reviews and then we’ll have this mutually assured destruction kind of thing going on?Jeff Sieh

Throughout history, men who took it upon themselves to invent ever-greater means for fighting war would often state that their intentions were, ultimately, peaceful.

Wilkie Collins wrote in 1870, “I begin to believe in only one civilizing influence-the discovery one of these days of a destructive agent so terrible that War shall mean annihilation and men’s fears will force them to keep the peace.”

Yet history has shown the opposite, over and over again. The gatling gun. Dynamite. Rockets. None of these inventions were successful at forestalling conflict or resolving arguments.

When World War II ended and the United States began to square off against the Soviet Union, the concept of “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD) was born again, only this time with global ramifications.

While it can be argued that the proliferation of nuclear weapons did create pause in the minds of military leaders, and nuclear annihilation was indeed avoided, conflict in general certainly wasn’t.

Having and using the same weapons of war as their opposing nations did not create a peaceful society. It never does.

Likewise, stooping to the same nefarious tactics as your business competition will never result in positive business growth for you.

Specifically, we’re talking about Fake Reviews, and like Jeff Sieh asked in the quote above, we’re wondering what businesses should do when faced with such unethical behavior.

We know from our in-depth series that a fake review is, “designed specifically to give a false impression to consumers on the point of purchasing.” They can be either positive or negative, and are damaging to both the business and the consumer.

In this interview with Jeff Sieh of Manly Pinterest Tips, Mike Allton talks about the real issues with fake reviews, and explains what businesses can do to actually fight them. Effectively and ethically.

Watch the interview here, and read the transcript below:

Full Interview Transcript:

Jeff Sieh: Hello folks, welcome to the Manly Pinterest Tips podcast show. I’m Jeff Sieh and you’re not. And I am here with my good friend Mike Allton. So this is going to be a different show than normal, because Mike and I were talking, and he’s been having some issues with some things, and I wanted to make sure that we talked about them. Mike, why don’t you tell us your story real quick, and why we are talking about this today?

Mike Allton: For those of you who don’t know, I’m Mike Allton, blogger over at the Social Media Hat.

I’ve been a blogger a long time, social media consultant, but I’m also the chief marketing officer for SiteSell. I’ve been there for three years. SiteSell helps solopreneurs start online businesses. And a couple of months ago we found something that was troubling, was insidious. It was frightening in many respects. We found a couple of negative reviews, which happens to every business, but as we started to read these reviews, they seemed off a little bit.

They were talking about some criticisms that were either really old, like we don’t offer responsive designs, which hasn’t been true for years, or there were criticisms that were just flat out wrong, like we charge for customer support. Who does that?

So we were thinking, “these are weird, where are these coming from?” And as we got into it we discovered that there were a bunch of these negative reviews, and as we studied them we saw this pattern where, number one, they all had a very similar format, a similar style, sometimes the same tone, the same criticisms, and every single one of them always came around at the end to say something to the effect that Solo Build It! might be nice or horrible or whatever they had to say, our number one recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate. And we were asking each other, “What is this all about?”

Turns out these are fake reviews. They’re reviews written by people who either haven’t used our product, haven’t used our services, or are just copying and pasting information, so that they can recommend somebody else. So this is different from somebody who is unhappy and has written a negative review. Like I said, that happens to every business, and there is a certain thing you do when that happens. You try to work with that person.

So there’s a process you can follow to address a negative review, but what do you do about fake reviews? We didn’t know, so that’s what we had to figure out.

Jeff Sieh: I know restaurants have had to deal with bad reviews, and this isn’t something new, and there’s even been I’ve seen reports on restaurants when some competitor comes in and they have all their employees leave negative reviews on sites, but I’ve never seen it, I’ve never heard about it before for another product other than a restaurant where people are going in like this and leaving bad reviews. We’re not just talking about somebody going in and saying my sushi tasted funny, it’s somebody going in and making a fake review, for purposes to either promote themselves or cast a bad light on their competitor. Is that what you’re saying?

Mike Allton: Yes. What we’ve seen in our research is that there are basically two forms that fake reviews come. The first form is what you just said, where you’ve got major sites like Amazon or Google or Yelp, where people are leaving negative comments that aren’t based on their personal experiences. They are either angry or they were directed to do that, and there’s no other financial gain for them, maybe they’re paid to do the review and then that’s it.

What we’ve experienced personally is affiliates of a competing product creating negative reviews to sell that competing product, and they’re doing so based on our brand name space, they’re writing reviews about SiteSell, about Solo Build It!, so that they can turn that reader around into reading another review, a positive review about the competitor.

Jeff Sieh: So are they dropping their affiliate links in? How does this actually benefit them? Is that what they’re doing, are they dropping a special link in there?

Mike Allton: Yes, that’s exactly what they do. Almost every one of these reviews that you would look at follow a very similar format. This happens to other businesses, as we discovered, but in our case they’ll take you step-by-step through some features. Some of the reviews even compliment our product in one respect or another, but at the end there is always a paragraph that says, if you want to know my number one recommendation for building an online business click here.

The link isn’t an affiliate link though. It’s almost always a link to another review that tells them all about the product that they’re recommending, and then in that review there are definitely affiliate links.

Jeff Sieh: It’s kind of a bait and switch kind of a thing, you follow the trail.

Mike Allton: That’s exactly what it is.

Jeff Sieh: So this is kind of a troubling thing, because one, just like through the restaurant sites, you can’t go in and really… first of all let’s talk about why this is such an issue for businesses, because if this is happening in one industry, people are gonna think that it works, or they’re gonna have somebody tell them that it works, and they’re gonna try on their stuff, so why is this such a big deal and an issue for businesses?

Mike Allton: Yes, that’s exactly it. As we’ve been researching this and learning more and more, we’re becoming experts in fake reviews. We’re finding that it’s spreading into many, many other industries, because unfortunately it kind of works.

If you’re selling a service online in some respect, it’s pretty easy to get ranked for the term “Jeff Sieh’s service scam,” “Jeff Sieh’s service review.” It’s pretty easy to create that content, particularly if you’re given a formula and you’re told this is what you write and this is how you write it, and here’s a graphic that will show your readers the benefits and features and so on.

So it’s spreading. It used to be very focused on restaurants, like you said, and then it kind of spread into MLM, like Amway. We found some relatively old articles that talked about that issue, in that industry. Now it’s going into things like online businesses, pretty much anyone that has an affiliate program. A competitor that has an affiliate program is susceptible to this kind of technique.

Jeff Sieh: Well even Carlos here on the comments on CrowdCast said he’s a marketer and he does indoor management for physical products on Amazon, and he said just on Amazon the review problem is a nightmare, so there is a problem for businesses.

We’ve talked about that, and we’ll try to get into some solutions to combat that in a little bit, but why is this such a big deal for consumers? Is it because people aren’t taking the time to track this stuff down, they’re just kind of scanning and they see this product stinks so they’re just gonna go to the next one. Why is it such an issue for consumers?

Mike Allton: There’s a company called Feefo that helps businesses provide a third-party reputable, verifiable review system that lives on their own sites, because most of us aren’t Amazon, so we don’t have our own review system and we don’t have the ability to program that.

You can now have a service provide that you. Feefo is an example, they did a survey a year or so ago of UK online shoppers, a couple of thousand online shoppers, and they found among those online shoppers 74 percent said they were influenced by reviews. So the majority of online shoppers, again 74 percent, said they read reviews and that helped them determine what to buy.

Out of all those shoppers who were surveyed, 81 percent said that they actively looked for negative reviews, because, while most people may not consciously think this way, if they see a product that has 100 percent positive reviews, it’s just all five stars, they really don’t quite believe it, so they look for the negative experiences, the negative reviews.

Which means if your business has one or more fake negative reviews out there, people are actively searching for those negative reviews, and they’re going to find them, and they’re going to read them, and they’re going to be influenced by them.

That’s a little bit of the idea of the impact on businesses, but from an individual’s perspective, that means we’re going to make poor decisions, we’re going to buy something that’s maybe not legitimate, that we’re not going to be happy with, that isn’t what we thought it was. We are just simply misinformed, and that’s potentially wasting money.

It can even have longer impact. It’s one thing if you go on Amazon, and an author has bought a bunch of fake reviews, so now his is the book for that particular category. You buy it, it turns out to be a lousy book, and you’re out a few bucks, and however much time you spent reading it.

What about author number two, who had the number two ranked book? He missed out on a sale, and you missed out on whatever that particular author was offering in his book. Maybe it was genius stuff that could have really helped you. That’s a small issue right there.

You move on from that, but what if it’s something bigger? What if it’s a car, what if it’s a warranty, or a house? There are so many different things that we can buy today. There are reviews available out there for all of them. Positive, negative, fake or real, who knows. Those are all potential situations where we might be influenced incorrectly.

Jeff Sieh:Yeah, I do that. On Amazon I do the split where I can see the most negative review and the most positive review, and I read those to compare if that negative is going to be enough for me to not buy something. When I look for, let’s say, a new dishwasher, the first thing I do is type in the one I’m looking at, Samsung dishwasher review, and see what comes up and start reading. So I can see how this is going to be a big deal.

So what can businesses do about it, because sometimes there’s not even a place to comment for the business to do any sort of rebuttal. On some of them you can, you can answer the questions, and just like Jay Baer talks in his book, hug your haters. This is a great time to do some great customer service and management and those things, but a lot of times you can’t do that. It’s some weird commenting system, or it’s just a star system and their comments are there and you can’t do anything, how does a business handle this?

Mike Allton: You’re absolutely right, Jay Baer continuously provides great advice on how to deal with customers, but we’re not talking about customers, we’re talking about fake reviewers, people who probably aren’t a customer and probably have never been a customer, so they have a different mindset, a different motivation.

Oftentimes their reviews do have comments, because if it’s an organized system of fake reviews, commenting on each other’s reviews is part of the process, because that helps with the ranking, so there will be comments most of the time.

Now whether or not they publish your polite comment that refutes whatever’s incorrect or misinformed about their review, that’s a whole other thing.  They probably won’t.

That’s certainly an option, but the number one most effective tactic is to make sure that you have good, genuine, positive reviews coming out of your own customer base. Joey Coleman, who we saw at Social media Marketing World, another great customer service expert, he talks about making sure that you’re prompting your customers to leave a review to provide some feedback, at the moment they achieve success. Whatever that looks like for your business, whatever that looks like for the customer, at the moment they achieve success, that’s when you want to come in and say, “What did you think? How did you do?”

Which makes complete sense. So as businesses we want to make sure that we’re doing that on a regular basis, whether it’s giving them a link to go leave a review on Amazon, on Google Local, or through Google Merchant, or someplace on our own website. Google is actually encouraging businesses to self-post reviews and have a verification process in place so that you’re Self-hosting reviews from actual customers, that’s number one. Make sure that on your own site and out on the web there are reviews, genuine reviews, both positive and negative, as long as they’re genuine reviews from your customers.

Jeff Sieh: Isn’t there a danger for companies? Somebody is buying all these fake reviews. Can’t you just buy fake positive reviews and then we’ll have this mutually assured destruction kind of thing going on? Is Google taking a stand on this? Because this can be a problem. This is almost going to be like buying fake followers, it can go back into the stuff that they were doing back in the day, the spam, buying links, all this kind of stuff, it feels like that, and Google eventually came in and slapped some people down with the algorithm. Is that coming? Have you heard anything? What are these big platforms doing about this?

Mike Allton: As an individual business, you don’t want to have anything to do with fake reviews yourself, positive or negative. You do not want to be encouraging, paying for, facilitating positive fake reviews, and you certainly don’t want to stoop to your competitors’ levels and be involved in creating fake reviews.

Don’t do that, because yes, Google, Amazon, and others don’t care if it’s a positive or negative review, they care whether it’s fake or genuine, because negative reviews are just as helpful to people as positive reviews can be, if they’re genuine. So they have definitely tried to crack down. They will continue to find new ways to eliminate those from search results and that sort of thing, which potentially could be damning to the business that’s facilitating all of that.

But there are two other issues that we touched on before. Number one, if I’m a customer and I bought your product or service based on a fake positive review and now I have learned the truth about your business, I’m unhappy. I don’t know what that is, but I’m unhappy and that’s a problem.

Worse yet, what if it comes out that you as a business have been buying fake positive reviews? I’ve read news stories about businesses that did that, so you’re risking some truly terrible bad press for what? So you got some fake positive reviews out there, why don’t you just treat your customers great and get some real positive reviews out there and now you don’t have to worry about that.

Jeff Sieh: We said not to buy fake reviews, by stooping to your competitors’ level, so do we just have to take it on the chin? Are there legal recourses you can do? This can really hurt small businesses that don’t have a big legal team. There won’t be any big press release of it, because it’s maybe two small-fry people who are doing this. It’s not going to be a big deal in the news even if it’s public. So what’s a small business to do? What actions can we take other than really working on getting good reviews to drown out those bad reviews? What else can we do as small businesses to combat this?

Mike Allton: First is to take a breath, because this is emotional. It creates all kinds of defensive anger responses as a business owner, particularly, as you said, if a small business owner, even a solopreneur, is a victim of this. It’s upsetting, and you don’t want to try to work the issue from that mindset, so take some time to chill out. You need to do that, that’s got to be part of the process.

Then follow a step-by-step process, as cool and unemotional as you can be.

Number one is to go gather, encourage positive reviews.

Number two is to leave a comment on each individual fake review, at least the ones that are ranking well if you’re facing a bunch of them. Make your comment factual, professional, polite and respectful. Do not try to get into arguments with these people, because that just feeds their whatever.

Step number three, contact the individual author outside of the comment, whether it’s a contact form or email. Use domain Whois to find that kind of information. Let the author know – again, factual, professional – this is what’s wrong about the review, here’s some supporting stuff, and he needs to either change the review or take it down. Tell them that in a very unemotional way, as much as you’re capable of doing.

Jeff Sieh: Do they even care though?

Mike Allton: That’s the thing, they might, they might not. It just depends.

Jeff Sieh: It sounds like these groups are sometimes getting together for nefarious purposes and almost copying and pasting copy that’s been given to them to slam this other company. It’s kind of like a grouping up bullying on the schoolyard kind of thing, so it may not even be worth time messing with those people, because they’re not going to post your comment, they’re not going to take time to answer it, so I guess you have to kind of play that by ear. Am I right?

Mike Allton: Yes. We found mixed results when we did this tactic ourselves. We did exactly this at SiteSell, and some people published our comments verbatim, including links that we put in there, some people stripped out the links but published the comment or edited it in some way, and other people didn’t publish it at all. Some people replied to the email, some people replied to the comment, some people just ignored everything completely. It’s interesting because while this technique we found, it’s called Astroturfing, is illegal. It’s illegal to organize people in this way.

Jeff Sieh: It’s actually illegal?

Mike Allton: It’s actually illegal. Like I said it’s called Astroturfing, which is fake turf. It’s illegal to organize, whether it’s positive or negative, people who are going to provide deliberately disinformation in this way.

What’s interesting is not everybody has the same motivation, and not everybody has the same realization. So while some people might be leaving fake reviews, knowing full well that they’re totally fake, other people, maybe they just don’t know, maybe they read everybody else’s reviews and thought that they were true, so they’re just regurgitating what they’ve been told without coming to the understanding that what they’re doing is wrong.

That’s why I said you might have mixed success as a business reaching out to these people individually. Some people, as we found, might actually be very receptive to taking the time to discover where they have gone off track, where they are now misinforming their readers. They might come to the realization that maybe that wasn’t such a good idea, maybe I shouldn’t be phrasing it that way, maybe I shouldn’t even have had this review published.

We’ve had mixed results. Some of the people we reached out to took down the review right away. Other people have edited them. Still others decided to figure out what’s true and what’s not.

But to get back to your original question, there is the fourth option, which is legal. That’s hard and it’s potentially expensive, and there are layers to it.

If it’s an individual person who has created a fake review that’s potentially defamatory of a business, a product or a service, that’s called trade libel. If it’s a group of people that have been organized to create this fake review system, that’s the Astroturfing that I mentioned before.

You have to be able to prove it. You have to be able to prove damages, and of course you have to be able to pay for the attorneys and that sort of thing. What you can do as an individual is report the fake reviewer to the FTC, or to whatever governing body. If the reviewer is from Canada, there’s a different organization. With a little bit of research you can figure out which country they’re from. There’s probably a governing body that controls what they can say, what they can’t say, what’s legal and what’s illegal.

Try to work it from that route. Like you said that’s hard, it’s time-consuming and it’s a very individualized process. It’s so much more effective to just work with your customers and have as many positive wonderful stories out there as you can get that push those negative reviews down in the rankings.

Jeff Sieh: I wanted to go back a little bit and ask, have you heard anything in your research about what Google is doing, and maybe even Facebook. I know there are reviews on Facebook. Are they doing anything to help with this? Are there going to be any tools? Is there a board you can appeal to, any of that kind of stuff? What have you found out about some of these big platforms?

Mike Allton: Big news from Google is that, for its merchant services, which allow you to process credit cards and that type of thing through Google, what they’re doing is they’re connecting their merchant account with some of the more well-known e-commerce platforms, so that they’re going to be able to verify purchases, and once that’s in place, they will automatically email your new customers a nice note, and a link to go leave a review of the verified purchase. So that’s going to help them demarcate whether or not a specific review comes from an actual customer or not. It’s very similar to what Amazon has been trying to do for a while.

Jeff Sieh: Very cool, so let’s say I’m an individual. I see a product that you guys have, and I’m doing some research. With so much of this going on, and I don’t want to spend a ton of time doing this stuff, how can I spot a fake review? I don’t want to have to dig down through links. What’s the best way to kind of do the smell test on some of these reviews that we see?

Mike Allton: Well the first thing, and this is actually why I’m doing the show, why I’m going to be writing about this more often, is simply having an awareness as a consumer that fake reviews are out there. It wasn’t on my radar. I kind of knew it happens, but I wasn’t aware that it could be happening virtually anywhere as a consumer. So that’s something we want to help people come to the understanding that anywhere you are, if you’re reading reviews, be aware that some of them might be fake. Just having that awareness is going to help you, because then it’s a lot easier for the fake ones to stand out, the ones that are disingenuous.

Once you have that awareness, the second thing is to watch out for clickbait trending keywords like “scam.” Regular people don’t use those words really when we’re writing reviews, particularly about a product that maybe we were unhappy with but that’s not to say that it didn’t do what it was supposed to do.

If I order a blender from Amazon, and it shows up and it’s not the color I ordered, so I send it back, I’m not going to call it a scam. It’s not a scam, but if you see a review that says this blender was a scam because it came red and I ordered pink, that guy is over the top. It goes both ways, I mean you read a review about the same blender from Bob that says it changed his life.

Jeff Sieh: That’s not real either.

Mike Allton: So watch out for those words. When you’re on individual sites, ask yourself why the author is writing this review, what’s the motivation, is there an affiliate link, are they being paid to do this, are they disclosing that? Those are the kind of things to watch out for on an individual basis.

Now, as you’re doing your research for a product, you’ll probably read through a number of different reviews. If you start to notice that they all read and look the same, very similar, that should be another flag. Ask yourself if it’s the case that this product had this impact and people noticed the same thing over and over and over again, or are they being directed? Are you reading a template?

As an individual, the best advice I can give you is to watch out for those fake reviews and ignore them or run away from them as fast as you possibly can. The more time you spend on them, sharing them even, linking to them, commenting on them, any kind of thing like that, actually does more harm than good, because those end up sending positive signals to Google.

Don’t share a bad review with all your friends on Facebook, and say look at this horrible review, it’s so fake, well you just sent a bunch of people to that fake review, and the fake reviewer doesn’t care, they just know that they got a lot of traffic from Facebook.

We noticed in our research, the authors of all these fake reviews are smart. They know they can’t link to the fake review, because now they’re providing link juice, unless they do some doctoring of the links, so all they can do is talk about the product they’re reviewing.

I’m not going to show you all the fake reviews of Solo Build It!, because I’d be sending traffic to those fake reviews, and I don’t want that. The best I could do is screenshots. We don’t want to do that as individuals.

But you can report them if it’s particularly egregious, or, if you’ve actually been harmed, and that’s a big point that I want to make, for viewers and listeners, if you’ve purchased something as a result of the fake review, you potentially have a legal case there as an individual. You’ve potentially been harmed, you’ve potentially wasted money. If you can demonstrate that at all the FTC is going to want to talk to you.

Jeff Sieh: Interesting. So is there anything now that SiteSell is doing moving forward to help mitigate fake reviews?

Mike Allton: Yes, a couple of things. It was really interesting to us, running through this whole process, that this particular competitor was claiming that what we do, they do it better. That’s what their affiliates said, that this was the best system out there. It was kind of cool for us, because as a business that helps create online businesses, it’s easy to compare.

We were able to look at the 17,000 active hosted sites that Wealthy Affiliate has, paying customers, compared to the 10,000 paying active hosted sites that use Solo Build It!. We looked at how they did, so this wasn’t just “Do you offer HTTPS, or do you offer multiple domain names?” Or some other kind of feature by feature comparison. We looked at actual customer performance, to see out of all of those people, who performed the best.

It was actually shocking. I mean we’re Solo Build It!, we’re SiteSell. We assumed that we would be doing better, but we didn’t realize just how much better. We used Alexa, SEMrush and Similar Web. These are three different sites that use different data points to gauge how much traffic a site gets, and then we compared them.

We found that if you’re looking at the top tier of traffic, like an Alexa rank of over a million, SBI! sites performed 33 times better. There are hundreds more Solo Build It! sites in that tier than from Wealthy Affiliate. If you’re looking at the median tier, it’s 10 times better. It’s really only at the bottom tier, where sites get no traffic, where Wealthy Affiliate wins – 87 percent of Wealthy Affiliate sites get undetectable levels of traffic.

So what this means is that the people who join Wealthy Affiliate are not doing well, and new people who join probably aren’t going to do very well. For us that obviously meant there was no basis to their claim. If there was, like I said before, that would be something we would want to look into. If you come to us and your platform is providing a better solution for solopreneurs than we can, first off, that’s not fake, that’s real, and that’s something we have to tip our hat to and say, “Okay, well, can we do better than you?” And if we can’t, we might actually talk to our customers, and our CEO Ken to his credit has actually said this to them, that if there’s another platform out there that’s dramatically better than ours, we would move our customers to that platform, because we care that much about our customers.

But that’s not what we found. It’s not even close to what we found, so we published that as this massive study. We published the results, and we published the methodology, so anybody in the world can go out there and reproduce the exact same study that we did. They’re going to get the same results, they’re going to see that one platform is outstanding for building high-traffic online businesses, real businesses, and the other platform not so much.

So we published that. And to wrap up your question, the next thing we’re doing is talking about fake reviews, and trying to educate people on this, so we actually have a three-part series coming out later this month that really digs deeper into these issues of fake reviews.

Jeff Sieh: Alright, cool. I want to be clear to anybody who’s watching or listening that I don’t have any skin in the game with this. Mike didn’t pay me to do this show, I’m not an affiliate for SiteSell or any of that stuff, but I thought this was a big issue, because I’ve heard it rumbling in the background for a long, long time, and it’s coming more and more to the forefront.

Mike, who is a friend of mine, and I talk a lot, we hang out. He mentioned this and I thought I needed to get this out there, because this doesn’t just affect one company. It’s going to affect a lot of companies, so I just want to make clear, I’m not getting any sponsorship or anything from this company. It’s just me trying to help educate you and bringing Mike on because this is a real issue.

I realized that maybe I needed to go check and see if there are fake reviews being written about me, and then oh my goodness I better do something about this because I did not know this was going on outside of the company, so anyway I just want to make that clear.

Mike, do you have any wrap-up statements you want to talk about fake reviews? We’ll make sure we drop those links to the studies that you have done in the show notes.

Jim [in the comments] says it’s a big issue along with all the negativity from trolls. Yeah, they’re much braver online than they would be face-to-face, that’s true, I call that digital courage, that’s what it is, yeah it’s horrible, and people will say stuff online that they would never say to your face. So it’s very good, and Jim also earlier reinforced what we were saying, negative can be offset by positive, positive, positive, and you need to focus on that, so that’s great advice Jim, thanks for coming by today.

Mike, you have anything to wrap us up with?

Mike Allton: That’s absolutely true. I mentioned the study because obviously there’s something else that SiteSell did, and we were able to do it, and it’s also partly why we’re so interested in continuing these conversations about fake reviews, because not every business could do that, not every business has the ability to use third-party tools to measure the success of their product or service, and compare it to another business, so we kind of lucked out in that respect.

So for everybody else, if you don’t have that as an option, there’s no way for you to have actual measurable proof, then it’s all about the stories, it’s all about the reviews. One of the really, really wonderful things that we are able to do every single week is publish another story from one of our customers. I share this because this is what you all should be doing for your own businesses – talking to your customers, interviewing them, allowing them to bring their stories out about what they’re doing with your products or services, the change, the impact, whatever the case may be. Those are great blog posts, fantastic content. This is something we’ve been doing every single week for months, and they are our most popular posts. People love them, they eat that stuff up. So do that.

Jeff Sieh: They want real-life stories. Real-life stories will win almost every time.

Mike Allton: We’re blessed, because they’re really powerful stories. One of our customers was a farmer in Zimbabwe. They had to leave the country due to a dictator, and they left with nothing. They had to start over, ended up building an online business, and now have a successful online business about Victoria Falls and how beautiful it is in Africa. It’s a really cool story, so those are the things that we’re blessed to be able to share on a regular basis.

Jeff Sieh: And be looking for those stories as a customer, you’re going to have to draw those people.

Mike Allton: You’ve got to ask.

Jeff Sieh: Yes exactly, so Mike, where can people find you online?

Mike Allton: I write at thesocialmediahat.com, and like I mentioned earlier, we’ve got that fake review series coming out, so definitely subscribe to the SiteSell newsletter so that you can get that, if you’re interested in this. If you want to know more, if you think this is a real issue for you or your business, definitely reach out to me. I’m happy to have some conversations about it.

We’re also looking for other people to partner with and collaborate with, because this is an issue that we stumbled upon, and there’s just no information out there, not enough awareness, so that’s what we’re trying to do to help our customers, you folks, anybody who might be potentially harmed or victimized by fake reviews.

Jeff Sieh: Very, very cool, and always, I’d love for you guys to go to ManlyPinterestTips.com, click on the sidebar, and subscribe to our email community so you’ll never miss not knowing about a great guest like we have with Mike today. We try to bring you stuff that you may not have thought of, and kind of breaking news in the digital industry as well, so thanks everyone for being here today, we will see you next time, because at Manly Pinterest Tips we’re always adding testosterone one pin at a time, see you next time everybody, thanks.

Wrapping Up

As was mentioned during the interview, we went on to publish a series of articles on fake reviews that stemmed from our research, and the obvious need for increased consumer & business education.

Part 1: What is a Fake Review, and Why Should You Care?

Part 2: Peeling Away The Dark Side Of Internet Marketing

Part 3: Spot ’em and Stop ’em!

Part 4: Tired of Fake Reviews? Let’s Steer a Different Path!

Part 5: Beat the Fake – How to Gather Authentic Reviews for Your Business

Make sure that you have educated yourself and prepared your business for this eventuality.

If you have questions, or have your own fake review horror stories to share, please leave a comment below.

Author information

Mike Allton

Mike is an award-winning blogger, speaker, and author at The Social Media Hat, and Brand Evangelist at Agorapulse where he strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers and agencies.

The post How To Handle Fake Reviews: A Manly Interview appeared first on Solo Build It! Blog – Proven Real-World Advice for Solopreneurs.

How Do Solopreneurs Really Do Using WordPress? An In-Depth Look.

How Do Solopreneurs Really Do Using WordPress? An In-Depth Look.

The biggest challenge today that solopreneurs – and really any small business owner faces – is the need to focus.Neal Schaffer

Cut Through the Noise

There are roughly 3.3 million blog posts written every day.

Approximately 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day.

And over 500 million tweets are sent every day.

A constant flow of emails, instant messages, notifications and other communications rounds out the info-glut picture.  As a solopreneur, this avalanche of “choose me” hype makes it near-impossible to identify the platform that goes beyond hosting and sitebuilding.

It’s not about the tools, it’s about success.  How do you know what to read or listen to? What advice should you heed, and what should you ignore?  Most importantly, which service delivers your best chance at success?

That’s a big part of what our friend Neal Schaffer is referring to. He goes on to say that, “you are constantly bombarded with information that might not be relevant for you to run a successful business, and therefore it is easy to lose focus on the final objective.”

The “final objective” is, of course, your business success.  Your decision could lead to a rewarding, online business, OR pull you down to wasted time, energy and money (all of which are in short supply for the average solopreneur)!

This brings us to the point of this study, the 4th of its kind.  Previously, these “State of Solopreneurship” studies have performed rigorous, science-quality studies to determine the levels of solopreneur success at Wealthy Affiliate, GoDaddy and Wix vs. Solo Build It! (SBI!).  

In each instance, Solo Build It! members were building many times more (up to 100X greater) high-traffic online businesses.  As SBI! teaches, high-traffic is not the only “win” that matters. But it’s mighty hard to generate income without traffic.

Clearly, where you build your online business matters.  That raises the obvious question…

Why? What’s different about SBI!?  

Every company markets itself as being the best.  Wix builds “stunning websites” while GoDaddy sells reliable hosting and tools. None, though, talk about their success rates.  But what percentage of their customers actually succeed?

These first-of-a-kind studies not only reveal the numbers that matter. They give you the exact methodology to empower you to repeat the studies for yourself (just in case you don’t believe them)!

Why stop there?

Widening The Solopreneur Profile

After seeing how much better Solo Build It! solopreneurs perform,  compared to users of Wealthy Affiliate, GoDaddy and Wix, we decided to test another approach, the most widely used one… WordPress.

As we conducted these studies, we realized that we were actually building a profile of how well (or how badly, as it turns out) most solopreneurs are doing.  Each of these platforms markets to solopreneurs differently…

  • Wealthy Affiliate uses thousands affiliates to create fake reviews against competitors such as SBI!.  The goal is to rank some of them highly enough to mislead. This was the impetus for doing a direct head-to-head study.  The results surprised even us.  
  • GoDaddy is a typical web host, mostly focused on solopreneurs.  They also provide a site builder and other tools, along with articles.  It lacks, however, a dedicated focus on a winning process. While this type of provider tends to attract more sophisticated users, SBI! Significantly outperformed it, too.
  • Wix tends to attract less sophisticated solopreneurs, marketing itself a sitebuilding tool that builds “stunning” websites.  The comparison study with SBI! shows that the typical solopreneur needs much more than just a stunning site.

Each of the three studies compares SBI! to a product that represents a typical example of the major approaches used to attract solopreneurs

  • Wealthy Affiliate (a high-profile example of the “make money online” ilk). This category is loaded with false information from thousands of affiliates – WA pushes this beyond moral limits with false reviews of competing products.
  • GoDaddy (web hosting).  This category typically also offers an optional sitebuilder, other tools, lots of articles and the use of regular FTP, scripting, etc.
  • Wix (sitebuilders).  The marketing emphasis here is on the sitebuilder that builds beautiful sites.  Hosting is included.

WordPress, the most used product, adds tens of millions of solopreneurs.  This study gives us a view of the most commonly used approach of all, widening the solopreneur profile even further.

This study answers how well WordPress (WP) users do.  Its approach is different from the first three…

  • This popular blogging/sitebuilding software is free, highly regarded and extremely flexible thanks to the massive ecosystem of template and plugin vendors.
  • Users purchase regular hosting (or the more expensive “Managed WordPress Hosting”).  While WordPress does offer free hosting, you really do need your own domain and hosting to be considered seriously by search engines.

An extremely popular option, WP’s major disadvantage is the long learning curve for the software and the thousands of templates, plugins, etc.  It tends to attract more sophisticated users, so we would not be surprised to see this study generate the best results yet.

However, the #1 problem for most WP-using solopreneurs is the lack of focus on a winning process.  This, along with no training and little support, could compromise its success results. Interesting!  

This study analyzes exactly how well solopreneurs do with WordPress. And, at the same time, it widens our picture of solopreneur results.

Important:  Like the previous studies, this one also outlines the methodology in so much detail that anyone can perform the study to  check the accuracy of the results. We have discussed at length why this is so important, but in a nutshell it’s this…

Companies that market products to solopreneurs reveal everything but their success rates.   Success, though, is the only outcome that matters to the solopreneur.  While SBI! has long demonstrated and proven SBI!’s high rate of online business success, no one else has.  

And now, these studies go one big step further.  They are the first to provide head-to-head success rates and levels.  

Given the amount of over-hyped and unproven claims in this space, solopreneurs should insist upon objective, rigorous and reproducible studies that reveal actual success rates.

Let’s get right into the methodology and results specific to this study.

How Do WordPress Users Perform?

As mentioned, this series of studies cuts through all marketing claims and gets straight to the bottom line: success rates and levels.  You get an unbiased look at how often, and how high, each platform performs.

Who Uses WordPress?

WordPress powers close to 30% of the websites on the Internet. You can choose to either host at WordPress.com (free) or install WordPress under your own domain, with a dedicated web hosting service.

That means WordPress is both a free platform and a website builder.  Those who choose “free,” though, get very little traffic. Think about it – when was the last time you found a site hosted on WordPress?  The answer is near-zero. This fact impacts the structure of this study…

For this to be a fair, apples-to-apples comparison, we exclude all sites hosted for free by WordPress (the weakest).  Otherwise, the results would be highly lopsided (in favor of SBI!).  

Serious solopreneurs don’t use free hosting.  Therefore, for the purpose of this study, we only include those who choose their own domain name and install WP on a (paid) web host (e.g., GoDaddy, 1&1, HostGator, etc.).

This constraint is favorable to WordPress because many beginners start with the free WP option.  SBI! owners range from raw beginners to sophisticated individuals who have yet to succeed online.  So one of the questions that this study will answer is the following…

Does SBI’s approach overcome the higher level of sophistication and the highly touted flexibility of WP?

WordPress starts, too, with a second advantage…

Large Businesses On WordPress

While SBI! members (SBIers) are 100% solopreneurs, WordPress has many larger customers. So we should expect another bias in favor of WordPress – larger businesses, overall, have the resources and built-in reputation to build more traffic.  

They also have the resources to build traffic using pay per click (PPC) advertising to sell products. Few SBIers buy ads, because they build so much traffic organically.  This also tends to favor WordPress sites.

We chose to accept these WordPress-favoring biases, too, in order to keep the study simple.  Overall, though note that, WordPress starts with some “built-in” traffic advantage due to solopreneur sophistication and the presence of larger companies (with their greater resources).

The study asks 2 questions:

  1. How successful are solopreneurs who use WordPress as their website builder?  The answer will help round out the typical solopreneur experience, too.
  2. How do these results compare to the suite of services included within Solo Build It! (process and training, domain name registration, hosting, website builder, ongoing education and auto-updating, tools, community)?

Let’s proceed to the study, its data, then the analysis.

WordPress Data and Analysis

BuiltWith.com lists 23 million domain names for sites that are built with WordPress.  Its detection process most likely misses some of the most invisible sites, yet another advantage for WP.

The study randomly selects 10,000 sites from this universe of WP sites.  As we have seen in the GoDaddy and Wix studies, 10,000 is a sufficient sample size to deliver statistically significant results. In other words,  the 10,000 sites are a fair representation of all WordPress-built sites.

To keep this study “apples-to-apples,” the process needed to do even more filtering to achieve “apples-to-apples” comparison…

  • Eliminate parked domain names, sites “under construction,” sites that have no content, etc.  SBI! has few of these types of sites, so their elimination yields a fair comparison. A final constraint…
  • Selected sites also had to have a home page and at least five links to internal pages on the same domain name.  The study’s random selection process used these criteria to choose 10,000 “Real Effort” sites.

We use the term Real Effort to designate websites that have a certain level of site-building effort. Filtering out “non-effort” sites yielded the first surprising result…

We had to parse through 24,000 WP domain names, just to find 10,000 Real Effort WP-built, hosted websites. Only 41% of WordPress websites fulfill the Real Effort definition.

As a comparison, GoDaddy and Wix were at 5% vs. SBI!’s 10,000 Real Effort site percentage of 92%.

Conclusion so far?

WP users seem more serious and sophisticated than GoDaddy and Wix users.  But Solo Build It! members still get started more effectively, likely due to the clear, step-by-step Action Guide.

They advance through the early steps significantly better. While there are more conclusions to come, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of this finding…

Effective early progress is one of the most important online success factors.

You have to fine tune your ideas and focus in order to make everything work. You can’t do everything and be everything all at once.Peg Fitzpatrick

WordPress Site Distribution

We conducted a manual review of 500 randomly selected Real Effort WordPress websites (out of the 10,000) to double-check whether this filter had selected similar populations for comparison.

The review confirmed that. It showed this distribution:

  • 442 solopreneur content sites (blogs, infopreneurs, etc.)
  • 30 service sites (lawyers, dentists, service sellers, etc.)
  • 8 local sites (local restaurants, schools, etc.)
  • 7 online stores (small to medium retailers)
  • 7 junk sites (sites with poor content / no real effort)
  • 6 brochure sites (company sites with products/services)

The Real Effort criterion successfully narrowed the study’s focus to legitimate, business-oriented, solopreneur-built websites. Some exceeded “solopreneur” size and scope (i.e., larger companies), but we accept that and other skews in favor of WordPress in order to keep the study simple and reproducible.

Armed with a sufficient “apples-to-apples” sample of active websites from WordPress, we were ready to compare them against online businesses built by solopreneurs using Solo Build It!.

WordPress vs. Solo Build It! – The Results

We’ll review how WordPress and Solo Build It! Real Effort websites performed for each of the three traffic metric tools. First, we summarize the overall results:

  1. SBI! websites are 9 times (9X) more likely to achieve “Outstanding – Excellent” levels of traffic than WordPress.

    “Outstanding – Excellent” is defined as being among the top 1,000,000 sites on the Internet (<1M at Alexa, SimilarWeb, SEMrush).

  2. SBI! websites are 3.6 times (3.6X) more likely to achieve “Medium” levels of traffic than WordPress.

    “Medium” level of traffic is defined as websites having traffic that places them among the top one million to ten million websites (1M – 10M at Alexa and SimilarWeb).

  3. 76.4% of WordPress Real Effort websites are Invisible. Solo Build It!’s “Invisible” rate is only 40%.

    “Poor to Invisible” is the lowest traffic category. WordPress nearly doubles Solo Build It!’s lowest traffic range (called “Invisible,” these sites get no detectable traffic).

These results are the averages of all three tools.

Now let’s break down the results of the 10,000 Real Effort WordPress websites versus Solo Build It! websites.

Results – Alexa

First, let’s look across the entire range of website traffic according to Alexa. Alexa ranking ranges appear on the Y-axis and the % of sites in each of those ranges on the X-axis.

The bars on the chart below indicate, of the combined total number of websites that fall within each range, what percentage are WordPress (red) and what percentage are Solo Build It! (blue).

Alexa % Total Website - How Do Solopreneurs Really Do Using WordPress? An In-Depth Look.

Note: The lowest Alexa numbers (rankings) have the highest traffic. For example, #1 (Google.com) has the most traffic, so would be included in the 1 to 100K range. Traffic decreases as we move down the graph from the top (i.e., increasing Alexa ranking reflects decreasing traffic).

A clear pattern emerges in the highest traffic category (1-to-1,000,000). SBI! massively outperforms WordPress at each of the 10 ranges. For example, within the best possible Alexa range, 1 – 100K, there are 23 Solo Build It! websites and only 9 WordPress websites – 72% SBI! (23/32) and 28% WordPress (9/32).

This continues until we reach the Alexa ranking range of 1M – 2M (the higher traffic end of “Medium”). From 1M – 2M until 9M – 10M (“Medium” ranges), SBI! continues to outperform. The gap narrows at a fairly steady rate along these ranges until we reach the “Poor to Invisible” ranges.

As we approach “Poor to Invisible,” the gap narrows, with the percentage of low-traffic SBI! sites decreasing rapidly, while increasing with WordPress.

Next, let’s use bar charts to look at the total number of sites that fall within each of the three major categories of traffic (Outstanding – Excellent, Medium, Poor to Invisible).

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 1 – 1M “Outstanding – Excellent”

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 1 - 1M
Solo Build It! sites are 4.91X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 1M – 10M “Medium”

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 1M - 10M
Solo Build It! sites are 2.79X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

An interesting pattern appears here. The ratio of SBI! to WordPress effectiveness is highest at 1-2M (the highest “Medium” range), leveling out at the lower levels of 7-10M. The consistency is striking, with an obvious conclusion…

The SBIer has higher odds of success, and those ratios are highest for the best results. The difference narrows until we reach poor results, which is where the majority of WordPress sites reside.

We can see the continuation of this pattern in the “Poor to Invisible” ranges, where WordPress surpasses SBI! in delivering poor results. The worse the result, the more WordPress “dominates,” as shown here:

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 10M – 20M+ “Poor to Invisible”

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 10M - 20M+
WordPress sites are 1.44X more likely to achieve these poor traffic levels.

Results – SimilarWeb

Here’s how the spectrum of websites ranks according to SimilarWeb:

% Total Real Website Ranks - SimilarWeb

Like Alexa, SimilarWeb ranking starts with #1 at the top and goes “down” from there. As you move down the chart, the SimilarWeb rank increases, reflecting sites that get less and less traffic.

The bars on the chart indicate, of the combined total number of websites that fall within each range, what percentage are WordPress and what percentage are Solo Build It!.

For example, within the best possible SimilarWeb range, 0 – 100K, we found 18 Solo Build It! websites and 5 WordPress websites that fit our criterion for Real Effort. That equates to 78% Solo Build It! (18 websites out of 23 total) and 22% WordPress (5 out of 23).

Next, let’s look at the total number of sites that fall within each of the three major categories of traffic (Outstanding – Excellent, Medium, Poor – Invisible).

Important: Note the identical patterns in the SimilarWeb and Alexa results, a strong confirmation because the two metrics systems generate their numbers differently.

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 1 – 1M “Outstanding – Excellent”

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 1 - 1M
Solo Build It! sites are 5.18X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

This is comparable to the Alexa multiple. While the overall chart results ramp up for SBI! sites, it remains relatively flat for WordPress sites. Only Solo Build It! delivers this level of results at this rate.

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 1M – 10M “Medium”

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 1M - 10M
Solo Build It! sites are 2.96X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 10M – 30M+ “Poor to Invisible”

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 10M - 30M+
WordPress sites are 1.36X more likely to achieve these poor traffic levels.

Results – SEMrush

Finally, here’s how the spectrum of websites ranks according to SEMrush:

Spectrum of websites ranks according to SEMrush

SEMrush presents absolute traffic counts, not “traffic ranking” (as Alexa and SimilarWeb do). So 0 means no organic search traffic.

Note, too, that these results are specifically search traffic.  Search accounts for most of the traffic of most solopreneur sites.  Analyzing this backbone gives us a clean look at the backbone, search traffic.

The bars on the chart indicate, of the combined total number of websites that fall within each range, what percentage are WordPress and what percentage are Solo Build It!.

For example, within one of the highest possible SEMrush ranges, 90K – 100K, we found 27 Solo Build It! websites and 2 WordPress websites that fit our criterion for Real Effort. That equates to 93% Solo Build It! (27 websites out of 29 total) and 7% WordPress (2 out of 29).

You can see how SBI! (blue) dominates at the high-traffic portion of the chart while WordPress (red) takes an increasingly large share as traffic decreases.

Note: In the SEMrush bar charts below, traffic increases as you move down, reflecting more and more traffic from search engines.

Note: In our Wealthy Affiliate study, we performed an analysis that correlated SEMrush organic search traffic numbers to Alexa’s and SimilarWeb’s traffic ranking…

  1. SEMrush traffic of greater than 5,000 was the equivalent of being in the Top 1M sites (“Outstanding to Excellent”)
  2. 100-5,000 was equivalent to “Medium” (1M – 10M)
  3. 0-100 was equivalent to “Poor to Invisible.” (>10M).

We don’t chart these here, but search traffic correlates well with the total traffic of Alexa and SimilarWeb. In fact, the above chart shows the same patterns described in the overall Alexa graph at the change from Top 1M – 2M to 10M and with a sudden burst in percentage of WordPress sites at 0 (no search traffic).

Next, let’s look at the total number of sites that fall within each of the three major categories of traffic (Outstanding – Excellent, Medium, Poor to Invisible).

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 5K – 400K+ “Outstanding – Excellent”

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 5,000 - 400K+
Solo Build It! sites are 17.16X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 100 – 5K “Medium”

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 100 - 5K
Solo Build It! sites are 4.96X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 0 – 100 “Invisible to Poor”

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 0 - 100
WordPress sites are 1.87X more likely to achieve these poor traffic levels.

The big picture conclusion here is that SBI! Is particularly effective at driving search traffic, the best traffic of all because it is free, it is targeted, it sustains and it constantly delivers new visitors to you.

Final Analysis

Now that we’ve taken a deep dive into the data, let’s come back up for some air. The data (averages of all 3 traffic metrics) shows, in a few different ways, that online businesses started with Solo Build It! get more traffic than those built with WordPress.

Let’s revisit the conclusions (average of Alexa, SimilarWeb and SEMrush) that we shared earlier:

  1. SBI! websites are 9 times (9X) more likely to achieve “Outstanding – Excellent” levels of traffic than WordPress.

    “Outstanding – Excellent” is defined as being among the top one million websites on the Internet (<1M at Alexa and SimilarWeb).

  2. SBI! websites are 3.6 times (3.6X) more likely to achieve “Medium” levels of traffic than WordPress.
  3. “Medium” level of traffic is defined as websites having traffic that places them among the top one million to ten million websites (1M – 10M at Alexa and SimilarWeb)

  4. 76.4% of WordPress Real Effort websites are Invisible. Solo Build It!’s “Invisible” rate is only 40%.

    The “Poor to Invisible” is the lowest traffic category. WordPress “beats” Solo Build It! in the lowest traffic range within this category (called “Invisible,” these sites get no detectable traffic).

The first two conclusions are based upon the total number of Solo Build It! and WordPress sites within each range, averaged across all three traffic metric tools. You are 9X more likely to develop a high-traffic site with Solo Build it! than with WordPress, 3.6X for a medium-traffic site.

If you look solely at SEMrush, Solo Build It! websites outpace WordPress sites by a whopping 17.16X! Why is this so important?

Organic search traffic is important to solopreneurs, who tend to be constrained by money (not just by time!). Whether you monetize passively (where you really need high traffic to earn well) or actively…

More targeted traffic = more income = success.

Final Thoughts on the State of Solopreneurship

We continue to see substantial differences depending on which platform the solopreneur chooses to build her or his website. Once again, SBI! is the difference, and by a large margin, between likely failure vs. a solid chance of success.

SBI! is an all-in-one package of step-by-step process, software tools, comprehensive guidance, 24/7 support and “auto-updating” that enables solopreneurs to build profitable online businesses.

The Action Guide is the step-by-step guidance for executing SBI!’s core process. That process has evolved over 15 years but remains based on the concept of Content Traffic PREsell Monetize (C T P M), automatically updated for significant new changes.

The beauty of C T P M is its simplicity and its evergreen nature. The core business concepts are universal to all businesses. They were valid 500 years ago and will remain valid during these fast changing times.

C T P M is so simple and flexible that it easily integrates major changes as the Internet evolves. Therefore, as search engines become more sophisticated, as the Internet continues to grow more complex, we expect the SBIer’s advantage to grow, not just due to the approach, but also because we constantly simplify and update what’s important.

It makes sense that a service like WordPress would pale in comparison. It offers some great tools and services, but none of the other essential aspects – in particular, the process and the guidance – that help Solo Build It! members achieve so much.

This helps SBIers save an enormous amount of “figure it out” time. Solopreneurs, by definition, have a limited amount of time to invest. They have no time to read extensively (to learn and keep up), for trial and error, nor to make mistakes.

Time is the solopreneur’s biggest enemy. SBI! optimizes its use, giving the SBIer a significant edge over other solopreneurs. Saving time enables SBIers to focus 100% on building their business.

We have also seen how SBI! is especially strong at growing search engine traffic. However,, we focus very little on the details of SEO, proving that it’s the process (and the deep understanding of it), not the tools, that accounts for the results.

This Study also shows, dramatically, that what a site looks like has very little impact on its success. Clearly, you need more than WordPress’s promise of infinite templates (for “a beautiful website”) if you want to build a real online business that generates traffic and revenue.

We’re thrilled with the success that so many of our customers achieve. Those numbers translate into real people. Read these real-life success stories to see what we mean.

It’s more important than ever to help everyday people cut through intense and contradictory noise so that they can focus their time and energy on what’s important – becoming extraordinary.

But what if you’re one of the tens of thousands of would-be solopreneurs who haven’t yet joined Solo Build It!? You have a critical decision to make.

Do you want to start a new online business? Have you been tempted by celebrities or Super Bowl commercials talking about how “it’s easy” to start a website?

It’s critical to remember this:

You’re not starting a website. You’re starting an online business.

There is a world of difference between the two.

You need more than a shiny site builder.

You need more than a promise to have your site up in 5 minutes.

You need more than detailed hosting specs and tool features.  Benefits such as “unlimited domain names” are hype – one serious business is all that most people ever need or have time for.  When solopreneurs succeed, they need to hire more people, not create more websites! And yes, we cover that topic, too.

Bottom Line?  You need and deserve more than “being sold.”

You need to be able to see the real differences between platforms – data-supported results.

Who cares which one offers more domain names or storage space?  Which one offers proven processes that are going to help you succeed?

You need to have access to real reviews and real proof from real people about a company’s track record of success.

Not more marketing hype and fake affiliate claims.

You need a business-building platform and a partner that’s going to do everything possible to help you save your most precious commodity…

Time.

We mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth exploring further…

Time is the ever-growing challenge facing solopreneurs today. Content Shock is simply another symptom, right alongside Social Media Overload and News Fatigue.

We bring you only the small number of important changes that will help grow your business. This ongoing auto-updating is critical…

Countless voices scream to snag some of your precious minutes. You cannot afford to waste time on anything less than the proven best.

If you’re serious about creating an online business based on your knowledge and passions, one that offers real opportunities for online business success…

The State of Solopreneurship?

As we widen our studies to include more of the most common ways that solopreneurs choose to grow a business, a clear pattern of failure emerges.  We don’t expect that to change until companies start to take your success more seriously than merely selling a product.

The head-to-head studies, when taken together, start to give us an estimate of how solopreneurs do in general. The answer is that the true status is poor, but the odds of success can be multiplied by 30-100X (and more) with SBI!.

Sign up for the Solo Build It! newsletter to be sure you catch all future studies, plus weekly articles to help solopreneurs like you.

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The “solopreneur industry” creates a rosy picture that’s not supported by actual results. We hope that serious companies see this and pick up the pieces and dedicate themselves to truly helping you succeed.

If you insist, they will. If that happens, we’ll enter a new era for solopreneurs – one that fulfills the promise of the Internet.

Yes, that means we’ll see our first serious competition for Solo Build It!. We not only believe in solopreneurs and what they can achieve through online business success, we know that there’s lots of room for way more folks to succeed. In short…

We welcome anything that helps more solopreneurs take advantage of this unique time in history, when the individual can seize control of his/her life by starting a business with so little risk.

LET’S COMPARE!

Wix / GoDaddy / Wealthy Affiliate / WordPress vs. Solo Build It!

As we complete each study, it’s helpful to compare the results to all previous studies as there are new conclusions that can be reached.

For reference, here are the key charts:

Wix - Percent of Total Real Effort - Alexa Rank Ranges
View the whole Wix Study.

GoDaddy - Percent Real Effort - Alexa Rank Ranges
View the whole GoDaddy Study.

Wealthy Affiliate - Percent Real Effort - Alexa Rank Ranges
View the whole Wealthy Affiliate Study.

WordPress - Percent Real Effort - Alexa Rank Ranges
View the whole WordPress Study (you are here).

These comparisons detail the percentage of each platform’s sites within the Alexa traffic ranges.

Clearly, choosing Solo Build It! means that your chances of building a successful site that drives serious traffic are significantly higher than if you use Wix, GoDaddy, Wealthy Affiliate or WordPress.

Author information

Mike Allton

Mike Allton is the Chief Marketing Officer for SiteSell. He has spent years helping solopreneurs achieve success online through the precepts of content marketing: write great content, share that to social, and drive new leads & sales.

Mike’s focus is to reach people who have a passion for something and show them how it’s possible to turn that dream into a real online business and income.

The post How Do Solopreneurs Really Do Using WordPress? An In-Depth Look. appeared first on Solo Build It! Blog – Proven Real-World Advice for Solopreneurs.