Besting the Competition and Building a $40k/mo Review Site

Hello! What's your background, and what are you working on?

Hi, I'm Steve Benjamins. I'm a designer and developer in Toronto. Five years ago I decided to launch my own website builder (like Squarespace, Wix).

Unfortunately, the website builder I launched failed. It failed because there were way too many website builders already. No one needed another website builder. What they needed was someone to tell them which website builders were good and which were bad.

So I started Site Builder Report. Site Builder Report does in-depth reviews of website builders — think of it like The Wirecutter, but for website builders. In the last two years Site Builder Report has averaged $44,000/month in revenue.

What motivated you to get started with Site Builder Report?

I had just moved to Toronto and was dreading taking a job. I wrote this in my journal at the time:

"Just had another coffee with the co-founder of [a design agency]. Once again, I had a real tough time articulating what I was looking for... The reality is I just don't want to work at an agency. I want to build my own company. It's what I've always wanted to do."

So that summer I decided not to take a job — instead I'd take the summer to launch a bunch of products and see if any of them stuck. My goal was to generate $4,000/month from these projects to fully support myself. (I was doing freelance work to support myself at the time.)

Some of the projects I launched seem silly in hindsight. Canada In Pictures did photo tours of destinations in Canada. I was hoping to generate a ton of traffic and earn money through Adsense. It went nowhere.

Since I was a kid I've always had side businesses… Most of those businesses failed but a few did succeed.

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Other ideas had some promise. I started Oak Tree Themes, a site where I would sell custom Weebly themes. Unfortunately it was a lot of work to design themes and it only made a few hundred dollars in sales.

But of all the projects, the most promising was Site Builder Report. By the time November rolled around, I wrote this in my journal:

"Site Builder Report is really starting to pay off. It looks like November has a chance to eclipse $350 monthly revenue. And who knows where it goes from there."

What went into building the initial product?

While I designed the website and wrote a custom CMS in Rails, I still think the most important thing has always been the editorial.

I've now written hundreds (seriously) of reviews of website builders and ecommerce software. It's boring work. But after a couple years of writing reviews, you develop a pretty informed perspective. How many other people on this planet have spent hundreds of hours trying different website builders? This informed perspective is at the core of Site Builder Report — it's the value I offer readers.

(Why not use a website builder for Site Builder Report? I believe website builders are best for specific use cases. For example, while I don't use a website builder for Site Builder Report, I do use Squarespace for my band's website.)

Site Builder Report's Homepage

How have you attracted users and grown Site Builder Report?

SEO. Full stop.

Site Builder Report comes up first if you search best website builders in Google. It comes up third if you search website builders. This means it regularly beats GoDaddy and Wix — companies with tens of millions of dollars in ad spend.

Choose a market with high search volume and go overboard… to create value for people searching those keywords.

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So why does Site Builder Report rank so high? Honestly I don't know. Don't believe anyone who speaks with certainty about SEO.

I've tried many, many things to boost SEO: I've done endless amounts of content marketing and link outreach, I've started a magazine, I've built a popular free stock photo search engine to attract links, and more. But it's not apparent to me which of these things drove results.

In the end, my SEO advice is simple: (1) choose a market with high search volume and (2) go overboard trying to create value for people searching those keywords.

What's your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

I earn an affiliate commission when readers choose a website builder based on my reviews. (Almost every website builder has an affiliate program.)

I worried that readers would not trust this arrangement when I first started. But in practice it hasn't been a big issue. In fact, readers ask me which links to click to ensure I get my commission. Honestly, negativity about my business model is more likely to come from a community like Hacker News than it is from my readers.

Different website builders pay different commissions. For example, WebsiteBuilder.com pays commissions that are 4x the website builders that I recommend. But I don't let that influence my reviews. In fact I've been very critical of that company.

I think readers have a sixth sense for bullshit and can sniff out inconsistencies. In the long term it's far better to invest in creating value for readers. More than that, it's also just the right thing to do. Site Builder Report already makes more money than I need. My readers aren't just pageviews, they are real people. I don't want them to use shitty software.

What are your goals for the future, and how do you plan to accomplish them?

I don't have ambitious goals for Site Builder Report. I just want to keep incrementally improving on a modest goal: help readers choose a website builder. A couple examples of what I mean:

All of these improvements take time and attention to figure out — but they are fun and exciting for me. I like testing and tinkering with new ideas.

People occasionally suggest that I scale Site Builder Report to new categories, but I'm not interested. I've found it hard to scale the editorial. Instead I have been working on Wise Buyer, a new project where I do customer satisfaction ratings for software by talking to thousands of real-life users. Wise Buyer hasn't been as successful as Site Builder Report so far, but I'll keep cracking at it.

SBR's Editorial on Squarespace

What are the biggest challenges you've faced? Obstacles you've overcome?

Early on, it was money. I had no money. Once I started making $4,000/month (CDN), I felt rich. Everything was easier after that.

Now my largest obstacles are all SEO related. For example, in July 2015 I designed a new review system without image compression. Oops. I didn't notice how slow-loading my reviews were but Google did — they penalized me and traffic plummeted. Since then I've fixed the image compression (I recommend IMGix!) and rankings have been improving.

What were your biggest advantages? Was anything particularly helpful?

It's funny to connect the dots in hindsight. Two events come to mind:

When I was in high school I sold a website for $12,000 that shared custom emoticons for MSN Messenger. That website had succeeded because it ranked in Google for the term "msn emotions" (a common mispelling of "emoticon" at the time). That experience showed me you could generate real revenue with SEO.

Just get started. When you have something to show people, then you can talk about it.

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Also (as I briefly mentioned in the introduction to this interview), I had spent 4 months trying and failing to building my own website builder. This gave me some insight into the industry, or at the very least, an opinion.

Otherwise I think luck always plays a role. Since I was a kid I've always had side businesses. I sold knockoff NBA jerseys, I sold DVDs, I started a flat-fee real estate listing company, and a bunch more. Most of those businesses failed but a few did succeed. This has shown me that success or failure is not pre-ordained. You really can only try stuff and hope for the best. Fortune favors the bold, right?

What's your advice for indie hackers who are just starting out?

Starting businesses is not theoretical. It's a practice. It's something you do. Don't even bother talking about starting a business — those conversations easily slip into indulgent fantasy talk. Just get started. When you have something to show people, then you can talk about it.

I also wonder if it's better to avoid media that glorifies entrepreneurship. Close the tab if you find yourself reading an article with a glossy photo of Evan Spiegal or Mark Zuckerberg. You don't need that hero-worship swimming around in your head. I always think of this quote from a book publisher on why people buy business books:

"All the evidence suggests that business books are not in fact about learning, but about escapism, just like a romance novel. The business book is about imagining yourself a success, not making yourself a success."

So skip the entrepreneur-porn. Far better to read publications like Indie Hackers that focus on real stories and tactics you can relate to.

Where can we go to learn more?

You can go direct to Site Builder Report :)

I also run Village (a weekly newsletter about Toronto) and Wise Buyer (software buyer guides). In my spare time I make solo music and play in a band. You can also find me on Twitter.

Ask me anything in the comments, happy to share :)

sitebuilderreport , Creator of Site Builder Report

Want to build your own business like Site Builder Report?

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We're a few thousand founders helping each other build profitable businesses and side projects. Come share what you're working on and get feedback from your peers.

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Courtland Allen , Indie Hackers founder

  1. 14

    So simple – love it.

    1. 2

      Thanks!

  2. 10

    This interview is as purifying as an ice cold shower after a night out's hangover. Thank you Steve, I'm sober again. haha

  3. 5

    I rarely read more than a sentence or two from "entrepreneurs" because of the worthless torrents of self-adulating bullshit they tend to emit. But this is good: a simple, pleasantly-readable website, providing truly useful information, with no obnoxious advertising, and a transparent and fair revenue model. Admitting to nonmagical SEO and not valourising contrepreneur-wank is even better. Nice story. Very Canadian (sorry). Congrats and hope it continues to go well.

    1. 1

      Thank you! I really appreciate your comment because I feel the same way. I never introduce myself to people as an entrepreneur for these exact reasons (though maybe I did in this article, I'd have to go back and look....). There's a lot of obnoxious bullshit out there.

  4. 3

    Good interview - I liked the decision to review the competition rather than trying to beat them!

  5. 3

    Great work Steve.

    For those of you who are looking at simply replicating this business model, note that the single reason the site ranks so well, is because the "Stock Up" URL [1] has some absolutely amazing back links (300+). This gives a major boost to the authority of the domain and affects all pages.

    Just great content is not enough these days.

    [1] https://www.sitebuilderreport.com/stock-up

    1. 1

      axeman, how did you figure that out?

      1. 2

        Just checked the backlinks at majestic.com

        1. 1

          Thanks for that majestic.com site. Never heard of it.

        2. 1

          Thanks!

    2. 1

      So even though the two services are not related at all, the reviews profit from the stock photos. I wonder if this may stop working at some point in the future.

      About replicating the model, I'd be already happy with 10% or even 1% of the success ;-)

    3. 1

      Wow all those photos are from other websites? Interesting. I see they are public domain. Hmm

      1. 1

        Yep— I have permission to crawl those websites because I link back to their pages, rather than hard links to images!

        1. 1

          Curious how you worded your emails when contacting them. "I have x views I can link to you if you link to me or..."

          Sorry about my initial presumption, whenever I see content from other websites like job boards I wonder if they are just added to the site. Although some of those sources like Indeed I believe are publicly available.

          At least you don't have to be concerned with personally validating images both explicit content and legal wise (if someone else uploaded them to the site and it's not their image).

          1. 1

            So these days most new photo websites that I crawl have asked me to be included in Stock Up.

            Here's the email I sent when I started Stock Up and was looking for sites back in February 2015:

            "I was wondering if I could include [website name] in my stock photo search engine Stock Up? Every thumbnail would link directly to your website (the individual photo pages like this[link to an example page]).

            What do you think? "

            I got about 10 photo websites signed up that way.

            Also my VA writes ~10 tags for each photo (that's how the search works) and validates them for explicit content— so there is some moderation.

            1. 3

              Edit: I wasn't thinking, this is probably irrelevant to you sorry.

              Thanks for the information. I can't say that I've tried it but have looked into it, possibly consider Google's Vision API. Can't say if it's better/relevant to you/extra cost.

              Dang man 2015, it's funny when you hear about these entrepreneurial success stories and they're like "Btw we started [7] years ago" haha and just now people hear about them.

              Awesome man, you're livin' the dream haha (to me anyway).

            2. 1

              Great interview and insights. Thanks, Steve! What do you mean by "VA"? (sorry if it's obvious... but I wonder if it's an artificial or a human intelligence way to tag the photos). Also, with regards to the photos, how did you build the database? I guess you are saving thumbnails on your server to speed up the search, but would love to learn about your system/data configuration.
              Thanks!

              1. 1

                VA = Virtual Assistant :)

                I built the system using Algolia— I highly recommend it. It's excellent.

          2. 1

            This comment was deleted 3 years ago.

    4. 1

      This comment was deleted 6 months ago.

  6. 2

    Hi Steve,

    I'm not sure if this is a dumb question, but how did you stay focused while working on this?

    In the podcast you did with CEO Library, I believe you said you made around $300 in November and had started it in April of the same year, so 7-8 months of dedicated work. How much longer until you hit $4k/month and could then focus on it full time?

    I guess those are secondary questions to the real one of focus/commitment/persistence. Clearly this took some time to build up the content, the site, the SEO, and then money over time - were you never distracted by other things to spend your time on, did your mind not wander during the slog before the site started to be successful? Were you just so sure it was going to be a strong success because of your confidence/validation of the problem? Were you so passionate about the idea that it didn't matter?

    You also said how writing reviews is really not the most fun, before success when things are so uncertain and its taking up a ton of your time, what do/did you say to yourself?

    There just always seems to be a better idea as soon as you start working on the current one. I know it's stupid, but I struggle with this a lot. I cant seem to take things the distance and finish them.

    How did you deal with doubt in the early days? "is this worth my time", "should I be doing something else instead", and the other similar self-talk.

    Thanks.

    1. 3

      Hey Michael— really appreciate the comment, I recognize you from Twitter. Hope Montreal is warmin' up :)

      I didn't start Site Builder Report because I was passionate about website builders. That actually took years. My motivation originally was just hating my jobs. I was never certain of Site Builder Report's success either— that's why I started a bunch of businesses. Many of them failed. I had no clue that Site Builder Report would succeed. I still get bored by Site Builder Report, when that happens I give it a rest for a few weeks and then return to it.

      Motivation is hard! The only that really helps me is continually shipping / launching: it doesn't matter if my launch is a success or failure, just going from zero to something gives me motivation.

      1. 1

        Yeah! Haha yeah slowly but surely :D rain is better than snow.

        Man is it ever lol, so hard. Really impressed with how you've built and grown Site Builder Report, been sorta following you since early 2013 when I tweeted at you a suggestion to check out. My how it's changed since then eh!

        I feel like I'm taking a page out of your book, you've been an inspiration so thank you for that. I was working on a niche invoicing app, but I'm not a developer (tho learning now out of interest) so I paid someone to build it and after spending way too much money already I saw how much more would be required to make it a real contender with the oodles already out there, and the more time it spent on ice the more I thought about how the world really doesn't need yet another invoicing/accounting app. What I hate though, is I can't tell if I'm being smart and cutting my losses or if I'm quitting too early. I could always go back and pick up where left off, but it does appear I've quit it and somewhat decided to instead review all the online accounting software offerings out there. The product now is content not code, so I can do it myself and it just costs time. Either it becomes a success, it's market research if I go back to building the app, or it's a portfolio item/cred for future job or clients if I decide to go back to freelancing.

        Anyways, keep up the great work and thanks for taking the time to write back. Enjoy that sun in Toronto!

        1. 1

          That's awesome! Send me the site when you launch it. Would love to see other people get into the software review space.

          1. 1

            Cool! Will do :)

  7. 2

    One of my favorite Indie Hacker interviews ever. I appreciate the common sense advice and rejection of entrepreneur-porn. I'm really happy to discover Site Builder Report now as I've been trying to decide what builder to use.

    What kind of website builder would you recommend for a news/opinion/media site?

    1. 1

      Hey Kyleb, probably Squarespace because it has— by far— the best blogs.

  8. 2

    This is now my favourite affiliate success story. Very inspiring! I love the simplicity and focus on value. I have been reluctant to explore this model because I always feared affiliate links would upset my readers but you are demonstrating that it's not the case.

    Also agree 100% on entreporn. It's a dangerous and addictive way to procrastinate.

    Thanks for the writeup.

  9. 2

    I was super excited when I saw Site Builder Report here on Indiehackers - I first found it a couple years ago when I was looking up website builders, and I read almost every single review on there just because the information was so well-organized and useful. Commissions in the website builder industry (and web hosting in general) is pretty high, and I think it's great that you've chosen to recommend quality products instead of just the ones with the highest commissions. Enjoyed the read, keep up the good work Steve!

    1. 1

      Wow! That's really awesome to hear! :)

  10. 2

    It is very inspiring to read about your journey. Big congrats. As someone who is thinking relocation to canada myself, this gives light to the possibilities of earning as I understand good paying jobs can be hard to find for people of color and programmers. I was just wondering about the stock photos search service. Are you using an API or just a generic internet search? Do you make money off that? If yes, how? It is fine if you are not able to answer :)

    1. 2

      For Stock Up, I'm actually crawling 28ish free stock photo websites (example, Unsplash) each week to create the database. I have permission from each website because I link back to their pages— rather than a hard link to the image.

      I'm using Algolia for the instant search :)

      1. 1

        Thank you.

  11. 2

    Such a good idea. Super simple

  12. 1

    This post just inspired me to join Indie Hackers. Better late than never! I'm keen to start some side projects and become an Indie Hacker myself 😃

    Site Builder Report is delightfully simple, and the layout is incredibly clean. But when I went through it again today I realised how much work, effort, and detail has been put into it. Simply showing such a large amount of information like that must not be an easy task!

    1. 1

      That's awesome Nate! It's nice when someone sees the work behind the site— I appreciate you taking the time to say so :)

  13. 1

    Gem of an interview. Funny I hadn't seen it until now. Props on the success Steve! I have some follow up questions I would love to know the answers to:

    1. When you released Stock Up, did you do any marketing for it other than listing it on Product Hunt
    2. I went and listened to the podcast interview you did mentioned in the comments. After you hit $350, how long did it take for you to reach $3k MRR? 10k? 40k?
    3. You put a lot of effort into content marketing. The blog, the magazine, Stock Up. Did you see your revenue steadily increase the more work you put in? or was there a lot of uncertainty up until the SEO results kicked in? (you mention in the interview that you don't know for certain what worked)
    1. 2

      Thanks Olivier!

      1. I did lots of cold outreach too... but I'm pretty certain Product Hunt was the main reason it ended up some of the major publications.

      2. The jump from $350 -> $3,000 was a matter of months. The jump to the $40k was a matter of years. This was all driven by SEO and unfortunately I think it's harder for new sites to gain traction in Google these days— so the timeline to $3k would be different today.

      3. A lot of uncertainty! Many of those things didn't work, in fact it's possible none of them worked :) ... In my case there was not a correlation between work and results when it came to content marketing because I was doing it purely for backlinks. If I were running a SaaS company I would be highly in invested in content marketing for lead generation.

  14. 1

    Hey Steve! Another fellow Torontonian here. I stumbled upon this article, and loved the way how informative and straight to the point this article was. Congrats on your success.

    The article is now a few years old, and I'm wondering if you have any updates on how this business has performed over time?

  15. 1

    Awesome site Steve!

    I notice you make incremental changes here and there.

    Are you running split tests or just making adjustments when you see fit?

    Keep up the great work.

    • Lyman
    1. 1

      Hey Lyman— a mix of both.

      I definitely split test lots of things (page designs, meta titles, descriptions).... but I also just make adjustments where I see fit.

      Mostly I use split testing when I don't feel confident in the answer. (But confidence is tricky thing— I've definitely been both "confident" and "wrong" many times. )

  16. 1

    Hi Steve, I loved reading this interview, it felt very relevant to me because I've been building a VPS comparison website (vpsbenchmarks.com) that is also relying on affiliate programs to get revenues. But even though the site receives a decent number of daily visitors, who do click on the affiliate links, the revenues are very low. That's because most VPS providers who do have an affiliate program only give credits for their services or because they don't have an affiliate program at all.

    "I think readers have a sixth sense for bullshit and can sniff out inconsistencies. In the long term it's far better to invest in creating value for readers." I strongly believe in this too and I hope that's apparent on my website. But how do you convince website builders to give you money if you don't want to alter your reviews to favor one provider over another and if the website builder product gets reviewed on your site no matter what?

    1. 3

      Fortunately had to deal with that problem. Most website builders have affiliate programs— I've never really had to ask for one. I've had one or two kick me off because I gave them a poor rating but that's about it. One website builder took their affiliate program down but when they did they let me carry on as a private partner with them.

      Best of luck!

  17. 1

    Hi, Sitebuilderreport

    what happens if the particular niche does not have affiliate programs? I assume it would be harder to monetize, but I'm wondering if there is a way to do so...

    How did you approach those sites that did not have an affiliate program? did you go ahead and review them anyway or did you keep them out of your site?

    1. 1

      My primary goal is to create a helpful resource for readers— so if someone doesn't have an affiliate program I still review them (most do have affiliate programs though).

      1. 1

        OK, thought so, thanks for the reply!

  18. 1

    Great! love it

  19. 1

    Love this article. One question though..

    I'm building my (first) product around a niche and hoping to monetize via affiliates.

    At what point do you step to the affiliates for approval? Without a site to show I'm getting turned down affiliate networks (e.g. cj.com). But on the other hand, if I invest a lot of time up front: finish coding the site, write all the articles, tweak the SEO— It'd be really disappointing if affiliates still rejected it.

    1. 3

      I actually run a few affiliate websites other than Site Builder Report (example: https://www.giftideasthatdontsuck.com). In each case I build the site before applying to affiliate networks :)

      1. 1

        Thanks!

  20. 1

    Nice!

  21. 1

    Hi, where these owl illustration on Wise Buyer come from?
    it look really nice.

    1. 2

      Glad you like them! I went to Creative Market, found someone with cartoons I liked and pitched them on some custom work :)

      It cost me between $300-$400 for each image but "software reviews" is pretty dry— and I think the cartoons do a lot to bring some life.

      1. 1

        yes, software review is pretty dry, these illustration make it not so boring

      2. 1

        Haha, Thanks for quick reply!
        so right now it got about 10 image, so at least $3000 on illustration?
        wow

        1. 3

          Went back and checked— it's actually close to $200 / illustration. I think she's a talented illustrator so I was happy to pay her suggested rate.

          What's nice about being "my own boss" is that I didn't have to convince my manager that the illustrations were worth it. I felt they would be a nice touch so I just did it.

          I can only imagine having to convince my managers (in past jobs) to let me hire someone for illustrations. It's not like there's no way to calculate ROI on illustrations :D

          1. 1

            hahaha, yeah, no way manager would allow it, hard to measure the outcome.
            9 illustration * ~200 = about 1800 to 2000 dollar :O

            would you mind send her link to me? I may need hire her someday in near future. I like the style.

            Thanks!
            and also thanks for the detailed reply!

              1. 1

                Thank you!

  22. 1

    Hah! Not only a great maker but also singer and not to forget dancer. Way to go Steve! ;)

    1. 1

      Hah! Thank you— glad you appreciated my "dancing" :D

  23. 1

    This is really cool idea. Instead of competing with the big companies, tell people which one to use.

  24. 1

    Super.. you nailed it so well. Pure, simple and awesome.

  25. 1

    Hi Steve, Thanks for sharing! What was the impact of Google featured snippets on your traffic/revenue?

    1. 1

      Good question! I wish I knew— but I really am not sure :s

  26. 1

    Great interview Steve - the 'starting' thing really resonates at the moment.

    What system did you settle on to bubble the content reviews back up to yourself? Am facing something similar at the moment so curious as to where you ended up.

    1. 1

      "bubble the content reviews" — think I'm missing something, not sure I understand the question :)

      1. 1

        Sorry! Too vague.
        You mention "I've even figured out a schedule to update reviews after 9 months so nothing's out of date."
        Was curious how you are doing this?

        1. 1

          Nothing fancy. Every 9 months I will check each individual review. I have them staggered at this point so I'm checking a few each month. (In the CMS I added a "last-checked" field so that I can always tell which reviews are about to become out of date.)

          1. 1

            Ah ok - perfect!

  27. 1

    What about Saas? Did you consider reviewing Saas to help users evaluate suitable softwares?

    1. 1

      Readers have asked me for this many times. I've explored it with my project wisebuyer.com ... but I've never sat down and tried to review other SaaS categories. Just covering website builders is a lot of work— so doing more of it doesn't appeal to me.

  28. 1

    I love that quote at the end... don't about your ideas, just build it.

  29. 1

    Wow awesome! Thanks so much for the information Steve! Very interesting route you have taken. You are right: make something before you talk about it. Once it's made, then you can tell people about it. Don't waste time fantasizing about something that you will never do. Do it, then talk about it, and about how you are going to make it better.

  30. 1

    The sites are super clean and well designed. A few questions: 1) I noticed neither SiteBuilderReport or WiseBuyer are mobile responsive. Are you not seeing much phone traffic on your sites and/or penalty from Google? 2) It seems like you've added a whole another level of design and brand to WiseBuyer. Do you have a sense of if that was helpful? Also any ideas why it's not performing as well as SBR for you?

    1. 1

      They are mobile friendly :)

      (Try them with your phone— not by re-sizing a browser)

      Yeah! I was always bummed with how the name 'Site Builder Report' (super vanilla). With Wise Buyer I wanted to try something better branded. Software reviews is boring so I thought cartoons made for a lively visuals. So far I'm actually not sure whether the branding helps Wise Buyer— it doesn't generate nearly as much organic traffic as Site Builder Report did. But on the flipside, it's been far easier to pitch Wise Buyer to journalists and blogs (for example, Smashing Magazine wrote about Wise Buyer). I wonder if that has something to do with the branding.

      1. 1

        not that it matters you can use media queries (CSS) and resize events with JavaScript to have real time scaling.

        edit: probably don't want scaling use debounce/last input to then make the changes. Still media queries are real time when you hit the defined thresholds.

        Congrats on making a successful site

      2. 1

        Ahhh, I figured they were mobile but was too lazy to get my phone :) Interesting that the PR articles didn't give it a solid boost, good to know. One other question about the differences between: is there the same amount of original content on both?

        Oh also are you taking any more folks for SBR? Our product (https://monograph.io/) isn't a perfect fit since it's targeted to professionals but maybe?

  31. 1

    Great interview article! I liked the idea behind this website, simple things are the best.

  32. 1

    Hi, Steve
    How do you manage affiliate comissions payments - do you have a company or just receive payments to your paypal account?

    1. 2

      I manually set up each affiliate program— from there most are automated. I check-in every month to see my stats and receive payments through Paypal or wire transfers.

  33. 1

    Could you share (without naming the sites) some example affiliate structures? Do you have legacy/grandfathered agreements with some sites, for example SquareSpace that appears to no longer have an available affiliate program (https://twitter.com/squarespace/status/296306781901168640?lang=en)

    1. 2

      Hey Craig, I do have a grandfathered agreement with some sites that discontinued their programs— so yup.

      Averaged out, most website builders tend to pay ~$100 per customer. At the high end, some website builders have offered me $400 per customer. The low end is ~$40 I'd say.

      1. 1

        Awesome - thanks for the response. Those are very healthy commissions! Is it just you at this point, or do you work with others?

        1. 1

          Just me— always open to hiring more writers though!

          1. 1

            Heya Steve,
            Absolutely enlightening piece...I especially love the way you started off with building a product you thought would make it but when it didn't, instead of throwing in the towel, you pivoted on to what turned out to be super successful...great inspiration. Quick one: I'd love build something great like you and while I do that, I would like to have an income to sustain me month to month...since you're open to hiring writers, I'd love the chance to show you what I can do for you and maybe we can work together....what do you think?

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    This comment was deleted a year ago.

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      Awesome— checking it out now! Are you a user?

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        The're is also bitblox.me, which is more of a landing page builder, but it still can fit your criteria. By the way, nice job.

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          I'll check it out— thanks!

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