Are The Glory Days Over?

by Ryan David 136 replies
A few years back (2006), I heard Rich Schefren say to Stompernet guests that the internet is going to turn out to be just like 900 numbers or infomercials (Dan Kennedy says the same thing). Since he was talking to an SEO audience, his advice was to bootstrap the business through any means possible but to make sure you build a viable business that is not reliant on cheap/free traffic to sustain itself.

Do you think it is harder or easier for newbies these days? To me, it looks harder overall. The tools are better and there is more training. But back when I started in 2005, SEO was much easier, PPC was easier, you can get by with a crappy looking site, etc. I started with $30, built my site, and kept upping my investments as time went on. Eventually, my sites were doing near 7 figures per year. Now I’ve noticed that any new competitor has to come in at a much higher level than when I started. I wonder if I would be able to replicate that success if I was starting today.

What do you think? Are the barriers to entry larger now?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #days #glory
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  • Profile picture of the author Young Financier
    I haven't been in the game that long, but I'll stick around to see what the veteran IMers think. I wanna hear about this....
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      I've been at this for over 9 years. Yes, it's much harder, even for myself. Things
      that used to work are now near useless. Google has made article marketing a
      shell of what it once was. Article directories are near worthless except for
      syndication, and you now have to write minimum 1,000 word articles to even
      have a prayer to be syndicated.

      If I had to start all over now, I'd probably just go out and get a job. Seriously.
      To truly startup an Internet business worth spit, you need to invest mega bucks
      because the cheapo methods of old no longer work.

      God, I'm glad I'm reaching retirement age soon.
    • Profile picture of the author myob
      For those with a myopic view of only using SEO or PPC, then I agree that the glory days of yore are perhaps over for them. :p

      But there are always new products, new markets, and more marketing channels with lower barriers to entry than ever before.

      The fundamental principles of sales and marketing never change, and sources of cheap/free traffic are actually far more abundant now.
  • Profile picture of the author Anurag96
    Yeah, It is difficult now to make a website popular than it is 5 - 10 years ago as Google's new thinking is changing the game always. You never know on which reason Google will penalize your website. And due to Smart Google, crappy looking site are considered as SPAM. But if you have dedication towards your website than even Google can't stop your from your website's success. Right??
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
    Depends on what your market is. SEO and PPC is more difficult, but IM as a whole is easier IMO.
  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Are the glory days over? Man, the glory days haven't even arrived yet.

    99.999999 percent of our customers are not even online yet.

    We have 2 jobs to do. Number 1 get them online and number 2 help them.

    George Wright
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveFinch
    It is definately harder these days than a few years ago, but still worth having a go.
    Several years ago I built sites and sold them on a ebay for a few hundred each and not one of them had any income. I was selling quite a few a week as well.

    I also had a membership site, that bought in approx £1000 a month. And looking back on it, I really didn't have to a lot to make that money. It provided hosting, a forum and site templates.

    These days I still build sites, but hang on to them, and try to get them to have some kind of brand and a following. As Frank said, these days you have to look at a long term model, rather than the fast cash model.
  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    Yes it was easier in those days. Do you remember people use to build up huge networks of sites just to give their main sites a link back from them and it use to work? You can get link of anything - web directories, completely irrelevant sites, and the more the better. Getting search rankings was so much easier in those days. There even use to be a time when people use to promote affiliate banners on completely non-related sites and still use to get clicks and conversions. The problem is that I was pretty awful when I stated out in 2006 and then missed 3 years through depression. Thankfully, my sites are ranking pretty well and and I am making enough to get by, but I really need to latch on to eBook marketing and lists, and when i have mastered them to some extent, I think I can get by pretty well. I am also going to try dabble into dropshipping in a more serious way because I feel eCommerce stores are probably the most immune to changes and fluctuations that happen in IM - if can do PPC well, that is.

    I am going to save very astutely the income and only reinvest 25% in any given month. If it goes all pear shaped 4-5 years down the line you got to have something to show for it. The savings will be what have to show for the hard work.
    • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
      If by "Glory Days" you mean when it was easier to game the system - to get your crappy sites artificially ranked high in the search engines by bulk purchasing from link farms and filling your pages with keyword-stuffed nonsense of little value to any actual human visitor or creating worthless Made-for-Adsense sites or upselling your subscribers to highly-priced "coaching" aggressively sold in by employees sitting in Utah call centers...
      No, that's actually not what I was referring to at all.

      I have websites that have doubled in value every year since I originally built them and are likely to continue that way for the foreseeable future. The best property in London doesn't provide that kind of return.
      Well that's kind of my point. I started in 2005 with a minimal investment and kept growing the business year after year. And it sounds like you did the same, but you already were building the business. Do you think it's the same for someone starting with no experience right now?
  • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Jonbones
    There's no doubt that it is harder for someone just starting out now as opposed to a few years ago--the landscape has changed, not to mention the population of people trying to make a living in SEO has exploded. The more mouths there are to feed, the less food that any one mouth gets
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Here's an example:

    If you take a look at product reviews online.....A few years ago no one knew about this kind of strategy to make money. The people who started with it made a ton of money. These days, there is so much competition for reviews that even if you wrote close to 1000 product reviews, there is no guarantee that you will even make $1.

    I have written close to 1000 of them in a matter of a few weeks last year and it has not done so well for me. If you take a look at the competition out there, it is not even worth it to start with this single strategy.

    Articles:

    You have a small chance to get little traffic if you wrote a lot of them on a daily basis.

    Videos:

    That can work out for you but for the internet marketing niche and make money online niche, a lot of videos and channels are being ERASED and BLOCKED from doing business this way.

    PPC:

    That still works for many people.

    Forum Marketing:

    Still works too if you work it well and don't spam the forums that you are involved in.

    SEO:

    bad idea in my view.
  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    You know the deal. Whatever you think it is, it will be. For some, like me, the glory days are here and will only get better.

    It's up to you, as always.

    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by KenThompson View Post

      You know the deal. Whatever you think it is, it will be. For some, like me, the glory days are here and will only get better.

      It's up to you, as always.

      Ken, I don't buy into the "drink the Kool Aid" power of positive thinking crap. I
      had the most optimistic view of this business that you can possibly have. But
      when something goes down that drastically changes the way things work,
      something that is entirely out of your control, you can drink all the Kool Aid you
      want and it won't change the reality of certain things.

      I can insist that I can still write quality crafted articles with real content that
      REALLY help people, and that those articles will be read and loved and
      responded to. But if Google says, "Um, no, you can't because we won't let
      anybody see them anymore" there isn't a hell of a lot I can do about that
      other than look for OTHER means of driving traffic to my site.

      And I am in no way suggesting that there aren't ways to do that. There are
      plenty of ways to drive traffic to your site. Some are free and time consuming
      and some are expensive and fast.

      I'm not sinking money into a PPC or ad buy campaign. That isn't for me.

      SEO in MY niche is a nightmare. The competition is off the charts. I'd
      virtually have to gut my domain and start over. No thanks. I'll take retirement
      instead.

      Point is, this isn't just a "head games" thing. Real and drastic changes have
      come about. They have, in some cases, literally destroyed businesses. And
      I'm not talking about just rinky dink little crap sites. I'm talking about major
      companies spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each month on Adwords
      only to be told that their business wasn't wanted anymore.

      I agree that if you want something bad enough, you'll find a way to get it,
      just like I did when I first started.

      But to suggest that "whatever you THINK it will be, will be" is just nonsense.

      But then again, some people really DO believe in the power of positive
      thinking. I don't. I believe that you earn everything you get and sometimes
      that means working very hard to get it, like when I was working 14 hour days
      7 days a week for years.

      Well, I'm too old for that shit now. I have better things to do with my life.

      For everybody else, yeah, if you want it, you can get it.

      Just don't expect it to come easy.
  • Profile picture of the author KaplanT4
    The glory days will always be alive for those who craft the right message to the right audience. It really is that simple. It's business 101 - yet many who get into internet marketing don't have that 101 understanding. The internet is just a medium. Just gotta know how to use it.
    • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
      Paul talks about all these "avenues." Man, I wish he'd pass along some of them in this thread.
      Yeah, I still can't believe how much this topic comes up. I think people understand the overall concept of it and have seen it in action, but I still think everything is fuzzy around these “avenues” and how it’s applicable to most websites.

      I know many writers that would be considered very successful syndicators, but…

      1) It is like anything else. The easier it is to place articles, the less effective they are. The big payoff relationships have taken years for them to develop.
      2) Even though they are good at getting their articles out there, it is not the major source of traffic/sales/profits.

      But that’s not what you’d believe if you read the WF.

      Steve found out firsthand that it is possible to get a penalty by putting articles on your site AND elsewhere. Yet if you read back 1-2 years, you’d see people saying that was a good idea.

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