Upon clicking to this page you might be wondering, "Okay, what does this have to do with railroading or anything at all related to American-Rails.com?!" While this may sound a bit confusing, everything and nothing. Yes, of course this topic has nothing directly to do with the website, at least in terms of content. However, if it were not for a service called Site Build It! (also known as Solo Build It!, a SiteSell, Inc. product) there is absolutely no way I could bring you American-Rails.com or have even developed this online resource. I guess the best way to go about this is to just start from the beginning and tell you how the website was born. You may have already heard me talk about this elsewhere but not the "reason" and "why." During the early fall/late summer of 2005 I had been out of college for a few months and was still, for the most part, at a loss as to what I really wanted to do with my life, at least as far as a career was concerned. Yes, I had earned my degree in a field I was interested in and from a highly respected institution. While I remained unsure, I knew I wanted to do something which brought great enjoyment, a sense of self-accomplishment, and provided a respectable income. I had long contemplated running my own business but with no money to launch a brick-and-mortar operation this was not an option.
Back in the spring of that year I got my first taste of website development when I helped put together a little hobby/freelance project with a few friends. I very much enjoyed it and began seriously considering launching my own business via this platform but had no idea where to turn or how to even get started. If owning and developing your own website is something you are interested in, whether it may be for just a little extra cash or a full-time project, you are probably aware that a simple Google search will bring up literally hundreds of search results and/or endorsements. Many are simply "get rich quick" schemes that claim they can either earn thousands of dollars in the first month or provide all the tools ever needed to achieve success. Needless to say I tried a few of those "get rich quick" sites and soon learned the amount of work required (something which they never tell you) was so overbearing that they were simply not worth it. The unfortunate truth behind most is that someone else is making the money at your expense and you never have the chance to develop a website on a subject you are passionate about.
The purpose of this review is to highlight the Site Build It!/Solo Build It! services, which are nothing like those "get rich quick" schemes. As I continued searching for an honest, straightforward web hosting service from which to launch my own site I happened to stumble upon a review not unlike this one where an individual was highlighting the SBI! product. They explained in great detail what it was all about and how much it had helped them. As I continued to read I realized I had finally found what I was looking for. From the start, SBI! clearly explains, step-by-step, just what it takes to launch a successful web business and garner top rankings for whatever subject you are writing/highlighting while providing the necessary tools to do so. If you have done your homework and understand the market you are targeting you will eventually drive significant numbers of visitors (web traffic) to your website, the lifeblood for any web business.
The bottom line is the path to success is not rocket science; if you have the drive, determination, and willingness to put in the work necessary you can create your own successful website in whatever capacity you define as "success" (i.e., to complement your established brick-and-motor business, selling your own product[s], offering a service, or simply presenting reference material). For instance, in the case of American-Rails.com I was looking to create an online resource (reference) for those researching American railroad history because it is a subject I have been interested for as long as I can remember. With help from Site Build It!, I believe I have firmly achieved what I set out to accomplish. Today, American-Rails.com receives between 250,000 - 300,000 page views per month and according to Alexa.com carries a web ranking just inside of 250,000. To put that in perspective there are currently more than 1 billion websites online which means American-Rails.com ranks inside the top 1%, worldwide.
While I have already mentioned a little about my Solo Build It! experience it was a few quotes I ran across while originally researching the SiteSell, Inc. services and their success stories that really hit home:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~ Mark Twain
"The biggest mistake people make in life is NOT making a living at doing what they most enjoy."
~ Malcolm S. Forbes
Another comes from a Robert Frost poem entitled Robert Frost, "Two Tramps In Mudtime:"
"My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future's sakes."
I think that these are such important life lessons, doing the things in life that make us the happiest. If you are seriously interested in pursuing this idea please do not become discouraged by thinking that you cannot because you do not have the necessary computer skills. Believe me, Sitesell will provide all that you need and walk you through everything, regardless of your technological expertise. Previously I mentioned a bit about those other services I had tried and the pitfalls with each (you can read more about how they compare to SBI! here). One of their biggest drawbacks, besides the fact that you do not "get rich quick" as many claim, is they just do not provide the tools you need to succeed. So you might be asking, "Okay, so how exactly did you come to learn about SBI before actually purchasing it?" Well, that’s where the real beauty of the Sitesell service comes into play. They provide you a great deal of information on just what it takes to create your website before you purchase their product.
What was my biggest draw to Sitesell and the Solo Build It! services? Most definitely the independence, self-reliance and accomplishment it offered. I was able to create my very own website (not a pre-built, "cookie-cutter" experience) on a subject I love and continue taking great pride in developing it everyday. You can do this very same thing; with the tools already provided, all you need is the motivation! If Site Build It! sounds like something for you, or you would like to learn more about Sitesell and SBI! I strongly suggest thoroughly reading through what they offer before taking the final step of purchasing. In this way you will have a firm grasp about SBI! and the task in front you. If you ever have any questions and would like to contact SiteSell directly feel free to do so, they are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Remember, while creating a successful website is most certainly achievable Site Build It! can only assist in your endeavor. You must have the drive, determination, and (most importantly) patience to see it reach whatever goal you have set forth.
Looking ahead with American-Rails.com, as it becomes more successful with every passing day I'm still rather amazed at what I have created with just a little hard work and drive. The joy, accomplishment, and self-reliance this type of work brings is simply unparalleled. I absolutely love being able to commute right to my computer every morning to begin my day. I truly feel fortunate to have found Sitesell and SBI! It is still hard to believe I can do something I so thoroughly enjoy and earn a living at the same time. Whatever your career may be I wish you the very best with your success and most importantly, may it bring you great joy and accomplishment in your life.