Solo Build It! Review From The Great Barrier Reef Australia

Now I’ll bet that you won’t find another Solo Build It! review written from this location. Prove me wrong?

Square pure silk scarf 'Coral Spawning'Jill Booth 'Coral Spawning', dyes on silk


It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Port Douglas, Tropical North Queensland, Australia, where I live. 

The town's marina is the closest jumping off point for the Great Barrier Reef. The nearest sand cay and lagoon, Low Isles, is visible on the horizon, its lighthouse a beacon at night.

I’ve just been for a short walk along a jungle path from my house to the beach to see what’s happening there. 

Not a lot. The tide is out – just one young man, way in the distance, leaping and dancing over the ripples in the hard, wet sand, not a care in the world.

His happiness is infectious and starts me thinking about all the things for which I am grateful.

What Is Gratitude?

For me, it's family, good health, good friends, a roof over my head and nutritious food, with the odd adventure thrown in, for a start. 

But also, I am grateful for the sense of purpose that having Solo Build It! in my life brings. Now, that might seem odd to count a business/website building programme as something for which to be grateful, but it’s true.

Ten years ago (can it be so long?) my family had sold its well regarded art gallery so I was semi retired, except for doing some adult teaching and my own arts practice. 

I had enjoyed the interaction with artists and clients at the gallery, so decided to investigate building a website to promote some of those artists and so, this site, Art in Tropical Australia, was born.

But then, ‘life isn’t meant to be easy’ – and it wasn’t! Starting with zero knowledge of website building and with a two finger typing ability, it might seem surprising that I even considered tackling what appeared to be a very daunting task, especially as I was also organising an arts festival.

However, I had landed in the right spot. But, even with the detailed help and amazing tools that SBI! provides, I had to really work at understanding and applying principles. To my surprise I learned that I was much more patient than I had believed myself to be.

The process was so interesting, fascinating in fact, that at times it almost took over my life as I leaped out of bed each morning to tackle yet another tantalising task (my start to the day is more measured now!).

And the brain is totally amazing. I would go to bed with a problem almost solved, but not quite. Next morning, not exactly a ‘lightbulb’ moment, more the clear light of a new day shining, and bingo! I’ve got it!

So it progressed, one small step at a time.

Does it make me money?

A little. I charge artists an annual fee for writing articles about them but after two years this fee reduces steadily. Call me crazy if you like but I value their loyalty and love it that we’re a special ‘family’ that sometimes exhibits together or joins in other projects such as festivals and markets.

A couple of years ago I was approached by the State Library of Queensland, which has links to the National Library of Australia, for permission to archive this website 'in perpetuity'. It seemed an honour so I was pleased to agree. I guess that the site gives a snapshot of art in the region at this particular time in history.

I also write reviews about several art related businesses and this returns me commissions from time to time. Here's the latest offering from one of those artists, Richard Robinson, for your enjoyment:


I could make much more money from the site - I now know how to do it, thanks to The Monetise It! section of SBI!'s Action Guide. For instance, one day I'll publish those 'how to' books that are half written and offer advertising or sponsorship to selected businesses. Then I'll really be able to plan that overseas holiday...!

Fairly recently, the name of SBI! (or Site Build It!) was changed to more accurately reflect its emphasis on building a business, of which a website is an integral part, rather than just building a website. It is mostly designed for 'solopreneurs', often working from home. So if you see reviews of Solo Build It! in these several forms, they will be referring to the same programme, owned by the company, Sitesell.

Now, where was I? Ah, yes - and now back to website/business building!

Steady growth with Solo Build It! 

Now I have three online businesses, one being a fairly new offshoot of the original art site, so it is still tied to 'Mama'.

This is Spirit of Oz, built to display and sell my designer silk scarves. Sales are cranking up as the website and social media, also local retailers, help to spread the word.

This business developed as a result of my participation in a free programme called ‘Make It!’, developed by Solo Build It’s! founder, Ken Evoy. There is so much help available from Ken and his dedicated team that at times it’s slightly overwhelming!

Take the forums. If I don’t quite ‘get’ some aspect of what I am trying to do I just ask the question and, within a short time, there are usually several people willing to make suggestions. Sometimes I am able to help others, too and that's a good feeling. 

Not so long ago I was feeling rather disheartened as the traffic to one of my sites had dropped and I was considering giving up on it. So I posted in the forums to see if anyone had an idea why this was happening. Lo and behold! One of the SBI! team answered and offered me a free subscription for six months and extra help with the site. Now that was a total surprise, but indicative of the encouragement and service, ‘above and beyond’ to which the SBI! team will go to help its members.

As you might gather, if you are considering building your own web based business I recommend SBI! highly. Not only is the team skilled, honest, friendly and kind but they listen!

'Fake News' - Solo Build It Reviews 

We’ve all heard about lies, dressed up as ‘alternative truths’, ad nauseum, of late. It really is difficult to sift truth from fabrication in this online world, where anyone can write almost anything and have it read (and believed) all around the world in an instant. 

But when an online business deliberately sets out to undermine and denigrate another by telling lies about it just in order to make money for themselves, that’s more than sickening - and it's difficult to counter. 

Such behaviour deserves to be shown up as totally selfish and dishonest. But also, those whom it is deluding have the right to some protection from these predators, who write fake Solo Build It! reviews soley to make money for themselves.

Solo Build It! (well, the company, Sitesell) has decided to initiate a painstaking study into what one deceitful company is up to (check it out for yourself). Sometimes it is best to just ignore detractors but, in this case, the lies, promoted, without proof, as ways to get rich quickly and easily, are impacting on honest, trusting, hard working people, as well as all of us who currently use the SBI! programme.

By writing this review of how Solo Build It! has influenced my life and small businesses I hope to prevent others from falling into the ‘get-rich-quick’ trap and encourage them to have a look at what this reputable company has to offer.

'There's no such thing as a free lunch' and buyers would do well to investigate business building programmes with that thought in mind. As we all know, if it sounds too good to be true - then it very likely is!

Experience teaches - and so does SBI!

A few years ago my daughter, Virginia, and I started a business called Tropical Superfoods, initially an information site about the nutritious foods that grow in this part of North Queensland, where we live.

Virginia is a fabulous and experienced cook so she devised scrumptious products based on these, I designed and arranged the printing of glass jars and plastic pouches, all branded with our logo and images. The attractive products were sold at local markets and through speciality retailers.

Did they sell? Indeed they did – like hot cakes!

But after about a year we stopped doing that. Want to know why?

It wasn't the hard work, which we enjoyed, but a lack of knowledge about ‘scaling’. It was before Ken’s ‘Make It!’ series hit the cyber waves.

So, although each product was delicious, attractively packaged, reasonably priced and sold readily to retailers and direct to the public, there was a limit on how many items we could produce. The returns just didn’t outpace the costs of licenses, rent, insurance and the hundred-and-one demands on our time and skills.

So we have learned, thanks to Solo Build It! - and to 'having a go'!

Now, in June 2017, we are re-grouping and tackling the job of promoting the wonderful products of the region in a rather different way. Stay tuned!




PS:  If you would like more details of the Solo Build It! business builder programme, there are heaps of links on this next page.



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Looking north, Four Mile Beach Port Douglas, coconut palms overlooking beach and oceanSouthern End Four Mile Beach Port Douglas


Artwork from Artists of Tropical Australia

Two blue patterned vases hold bunches of Blood Gums red flowersTania Heben oil, 'Blood Gum'


Brown black palm sticks and red threads adorn this mangrove dyed garment made by Linda JacksonLinda Jackson - Black Palm


Casual and happy, 'Beach Shack' painting by Terry JohnsonTerry Johnson - Beach Shack


Hand made dichroic glass pendant in rusty colours by Marie Simberg-HoglundMarie Hoglund, dichroic glass pendant


Trudi enjoys playing with sheer silk chiffon scarf, 'Night Falls' by Jill BoothTrudi wears 'Night Falls' silk scarf by Jill Booth


Ripe, red coffee beans growing in my garden, green leaves and blue sky behind.Tropical Superfoods - ripe coffee beans