Building A Travel-Related Business Site
An SBI! Review, Update #2
"I travelled from May till October, only checking emails
once in a while, answering the odd question and providing
customer support where needed. What a life!"
I've had a fantastic year, not due to my own efforts for at least 6 months of it as you'll see below, but all thanks to SBI!:
I sat back in awe as I watched my Kimberley site explode in the early days of January. Book sales more than doubled!
I broke several income milestones that I hadn't expected to hit until a later date:
- $5K per month just from AdSense advertising
- $200 in one day from Adsense
- $10K per month for overall income
I realized that not only do I earn more than my previous boss, but I now earn more than my ex boss's boss! Yay. And I bet I have a lot more fun while doing so!
I travelled from May till October, only checking emails once in a while, answering the odd question and providing customer support where needed. What a life!
I also met two lovely fellow SBIers and spent three weeks house-sitting for them - a huge, ancient, renovated farmhouse in rural France, near Mont Blanc. During that time, I climbed several dream mountains in France and Italy. The things SBI! is good for! Amazing.
On my return to Australia, after having totally neglected my sites and readers for months, I sent out the shortest newsletter issue ever. And got absolutely swamped with reader email - all of it enthusiastic feedback about my book or telling me how good it is to hear from me again. I was smiling non-stop for seven days straight I think.
And last but not least, I am finally getting back to work. I haven't done much to seriously grow my business for nearly two years. I finally figured out how to position and market my next book(s), how to brand myself, and how to take the whole show to the next level. Now that I have a new goal and direction I'm excited all over again!
Oh, and I finally bought myself a new laptop for Christmas. :-)
If one person with no business sense whatsoever, no previous computer knowledge, a snail-like internet connection and an old, slow laptop with only a 40GB hard drive can achieve results like this, then it's no wonder that so many people think SBI! is too good to be true!
Any Idea Has Potential With SBI!
When I returned from my Kilimanjaro climb (details in my last update), the first thing I did was to create a hobby site about it... MountKilimanjaroGuide.com.
Anyone who has climbed Kili seems compelled to write about it, share what they've learned and publish their photos. There must be thousands of free travel blogs out there filled with stories of people's Kili climbs.
Of course, I made an SBI! site instead. And wouldn't you know it, a year later it gets a couple of hundred readers a day, many of whom send grateful emails about how helpful my information is. This site earns a couple of hundred dollars a month and all that for maybe three weeks "work". I haven't touched it since! Beats any free blog any day.
It goes to show that once you understand SBI! you can take pretty much anything that excites you and turn it into a money-making website. And again it sounds to good to be true, doesn't it?
Success Will Come So Plan For It
I mentioned at the start that traffic to my Kimberley site had exploded. I should have seen it coming, but I didn't click.
Naturally the avalanche of traffic and book sales also created an avalanche of reader email and enquiries. And I wasn't ready for it.
I have always enjoyed communicating with my readers and providing personal help where I could, and that's why I waited far too long to automate some of that communication.
So I had to work very feverishly to keep up. It took a long while for me to get the situation under control, but eventually I did (by adding autoresponders wherever I could, expanding my FAQ pages, etc.).
Because I had waited so long to implement that automation, my main season was a lot more demanding than usual. That's why I decided I needed a break from my computer, email and my sites and I put my businesses on auto-pilot.
My sites chugged along nicely without my help, financing my nearly six months of travel in Australia and Europe. So I'm certainly not complaining!
Suffice it to say, my little holiday has allowed me to recharge and I'm back now, highly motivated and working hard on my businesses.
As always, Ken, thanks for everything!