How bout a reality check on market conditions?

by DavidO
32 replies
Newbies... and even experienced marketers: Are you struggling to make a dime online? Are you feeling like a failure because other warriors are sucking in cash hand over fist? I mean, if everyone else can do it, why can't you?

Well, give yourself a break. I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Ecommerce market conditions are the toughest on record. My own experience is typical: my main product is established with over four years on the market and is a leader in its niche, but the last few months have been a massive struggle.

And it's not just me. My experiences has led me to do some checking around and I've learned from totally trustworthy sources that Adsense revenue is down by up to 80% and Clickbank sales by even more than that. Even people with their own products, like me, are finding it hard going. Behind the scenes many top marketers are hurting.

But you won't hear much of that here in the WF. Staying "positive" (or burying your head in the sand) is the imperative.

Of course there's also a financial incentive behind much of this false buoyancy as a number of warriors do good business hawking market tools and info (and you need to keep the punters' excitement levels up for that!).

Oh sure, lots of warriors will protest, swearing that things have never been better and I don't doubt them. There are always exceptions.

But I can assure you that the average IMer is facing unprecedented challenges. There's a lot of fear out there and it's showing up in our sales receipts. To present the current climate as anything other than bad is at best naive and, at worst, deceitful and manipulative.

What to do about it? I'm not suggesting we all shout "Woe is me!" and roll over dead. Recessions may be tough but in the long run they are great learning experiences. A tough market should make you work harder and be more creative. And when conditions improve you'll be in an ideal position to start sucking in that cash hand over fist.

Don't use market conditions as a scapegoat for your failure. At the same time, you should adjust your expectations to reality and don't be deceived by others talking things up for their own gain.
#bout #check #conditions #market #reality
  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    I'm genuinely surprised at your post.

    My last few months have been fantastic and I have a large membership site of internet marketers and most of the feedback there is that business is just getting better and better.

    It is possible that some niches are struggling (almost none of us use Adsense as a business model for example).

    I'm wondering what niche you're in?

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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    • Profile picture of the author DavidO
      Andrew, as I mentioned, some people will experience just the opposite and I don't dispute it. There will be many exceptions.

      I don't use Adsense myself. My source on this is someone who provides services and consultation to a lot of marketers so he hears a lot of comments from a wide range of businesses.

      I'm in the health niche... which is supposed to be recession proof!

      Frankly, I don't see how we could go through the economic upheavels of the past two years without online business being adversely affected. It wouldn't make sense otherwise.

      Those who provide marketing services are probably having a different experience. I'm sure that economic circumstances have led a lot of new people into IM and this would stimulate the niche.

      Could it be that this is what's driving the success of your members?
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        Originally Posted by DavidO View Post

        I'm in the health niche... which is supposed to be recession proof!

        Frankly, I don't see how we could go through the economic upheavels of the past two years without online business being adversely affected. It wouldn't make sense otherwise.

        Those who provide marketing services are probably having a different experience. I'm sure that economic circumstances have led a lot of new people into IM and this would stimulate the niche.

        Could it be that this is what's driving the success of your members?

        Online business has experienced increases every year in the last decade and will probably continue to do so for quite some time yet.

        Keep in mind that a decade ago most people weren't making purchases online and now most are.

        Having been in it myself I know the health niche is an incredibly difficult field.

        Markets are exceedingly fickle and it can take quite some time before you realize why a particular product or service has declined in sales.

        Also people's voluntary spending on health fluctuates quite dramatically.

        Sure if you need emergency medical you're going to get it but if you're broke you may cut back on supplements, gym membership, trips to chiropractors etc etc.

        So I would say the health industry is far from recession proof...quite the opposite for non essential health.



        You do make a good point about marketing services.

        Good marketers make great money working with businesses when times are good and many can do even better helping businesses when times are not so good.

        This talk of recession is all relative.

        If an overall recession accounts for a decrease in commerce of 10% then that should have little effect on your business...especially if you're taking constant action to significantly increase your business turnover and profits every year.

        It's very appealing to blame outside factors on our problems but usually you can find solutions if you're genuinely looking for them.

        I do have close friends who are business owners who tell me that they're having their best years ever but it's only because they're so much more sophisticated with their marketing now so that may be the real key.

        Improve what you're doing and you'll stay ahead. You might even get lucky and hit a home run somewhere.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Wise
    Interesting OP thanks for the info.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    Markets always fluctuate, its a part of life. If you go to a website like Clickbank Analytics it shows you the market trend as far as sales fluctuations for Clickbank as a whole, it goes up and down all the time.

    At the end of the day those who adapt to market changes are the ones who will persevere and survive.

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author TravisVOX
      More than 80%? An industry down more than 80% would tumble. I find that number hard to believe.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Garratt
    My own sales statistics support the OP. Visitor value has been steadily falling over the past 2 years by roughly 30%
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    • Profile picture of the author DavidO
      A long-term drop of 80% would indeed be disastrous. But any halfway healthy business should be able to survive temporary declines of this much and more.
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    The WF does have a very high positive bias compared to other webmaster forums. Morover, those who tend to be the most positive usually have a recent joined date and a low post count. This is why I am very suspicious especially since many go on to sell WSOs.

    I also know that a lot of veterans (myself included) are hurting, although this year is looking better for me than last year. Technically, it has got much more complicated than ever before, with new SEO and SEM rules appearing all the time. I think we are in a situation that actually favours newcomers because they have a clean sheet and are more adaptable.

    Derek
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    • Profile picture of the author Rockmanfl
      I agree that the market will fluctuate and just like any other business there are ups and downs, I think as things change you have to learn to adapt and how to make it work for you to really succeed. Think outside the box when you can, those are the ones that are truly successful in this business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I've managed to bring my income back up - but there were some rough times last year. Had to change and adapt and I'm working more.

      But - there is an opportunity in this market for those who keep plugging away with an eye to the future.

      Instead of trying for fast money that soars then quickly fizzles, better in my opinion to keep building on a solid platform of sites, products or services that can be ramped up in the future.

      I think new marketers following a plan will get a big boost in their business when the market conditions improve - even though it may take a couple years.

      When money does loosen up a bit and people have it to spend - they will be anxious to spend it after such a long haul of watching pennies.

      Being well positioned in the online marketplace is the way to go even though the profit may not be what you want right now.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.
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  • Profile picture of the author Russell Turner
    I agree with the OP and know a few people who are still struggling offline with a variety of businesses. Things might start to go the way of the U.S. here in the U.K. if we slash the sort of figures that the Chancellor is talking about. Double dip here we come.
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  • Profile picture of the author rondo
    Interesting thread. Personally, I haven't noticed such drastic falls in revenue. Things are down slightly.

    But I am suprised that anyone would leave Adsense on a site long enough to watch revenue drop 80%!


    Andrew
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
      I was doing an upwrite about a month ago, out of a video from 2009...

      part of the video was the analysis of the teeth whitening niche. So I went to google to bring in the present conditions (niche identification, keyword research, windows of opportunity, and the whole enchilada)...

      In April of 2009, there were over 10 pages of ads, in April of 2010 there were 8 ads. Went to insights for search to see if I was just in a bad month doing this... nope! it was a nice and steady decreasing curve.

      The teeth whitening niche is one of the niches that had a peak and is fading away... there are others.

      At the same time, other niches are growing. Psychic related, spirituality and green niches are booming right now.

      Sandra
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  • Profile picture of the author rondo
    So how is everyone else doing?


    Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author ArticlesThatRock
    I think the reason that Andrew is genuinely surprised is that he is from Australia and sells gold. The United States, Japan, and the PIIGS countries in Europe are going bankrupt in the next 10 years, so any rational person will buy gold and silver.

    Australia and Canada have resource economies and far less debt than the other rich countries. There was even a Wall Street Journal article published a week ago that described a housing bubble in Australia.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    GEE, HOW CAN THIS BE!?!?!? So many said IM is RECESSION PROOF. Of course, I say that tongue in cheek because almost nothing is. As for the health INDUSTRY being recession proof, it IS! SADLY, so many have added in so much nonsense and called it part of that niche, that it may not appear that way.

    HECK, HOSPITALs have grown to support frivilous things, etc... so even if the recession proof stuff GROWS, it may not survive because of needless things like some counseling, support, elective plastic surgery, yoga, etc...

    ALSO, there is the partitioning of costs. At my last job, a $10,000, or less, contract was practically a walk in the park. A $10,500 one may be fraught with red tape! WHY!?!?!? Because most department heads were allowed to instantly approve $10,000, but not values that were higher. Likewise, someone might go for a $250 emergency room visit rather than pay you $35 for a book, simply because insurance would pay for it.

    AND, for hospitals, the government is cutting back, and new laws have been put in place, so they will have a FAR harder time even when the economy recovers. So even a stable market doesn't mean a stable income. 8-(

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author RemingtonSteele
    Originally Posted by DavidO View Post

    Don't use market conditions as a scapegoat for your failure.
    Isn't using market conditions as a scapegoat for failure exactly what you're doing when you say, "Are you struggling to make a dime online?...Well, give yourself a break. I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Ecommerce market conditions are the toughest on record. My own experience is typical: my main product is established with over four years on the market and is a leader in its niche, but the last few months have been a massive struggle...Even people with their own products, like me, are finding it hard going. Behind the scenes many top marketers are hurting"?

    Originally Posted by DavidO View Post

    But I can assure you that the average IMer is facing unprecedented challenges. There's a lot of fear out there and it's showing up in our sales receipts. To present the current climate as anything other than bad is at best naive and, at worst, deceitful and manipulative.
    Well that's just it...the average IMer has neither the ability to adapt to changing market conditions nor the foresight and long-term vision to prepare for such changes. The "current climate" might be bad in some niches and flourishing in others. It's the exceptional IMer that will discover where to take his or her business next, and if he or she chooses to let others in on the same opportunity, how is that naive, deceitful, or manipulative? (Fair to say, there are some scammers, but there are also people who genuinely want to help others and don't need to scam people to make a living.)

    Originally Posted by DavidO View Post

    ...you should adjust your expectations to reality and don't be deceived by others talking things up for their own gain.
    Adjusting your expectations to reality is akin to becoming complacent if your "reality" is that things are "bad" and that others are out to take you for a ride. Congratulations, you ("you" in the plural sense) just closed your mind off to a world of opportunity.
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  • Profile picture of the author activetrader
    Originally Posted by DavidO View Post

    A tough market should make you work harder and be more creative. And when conditions improve you'll be in an ideal position to start sucking in that cash hand over fist.
    I keep thinking the same thing. Looking back ten years when people had a lot of disposable income I can't help but think how much more I could be selling in better economy.

    Yes, it's hard to make a millionaire in tough economy, but staying focused will get us through the tough times and when the economy improves just think about how successful you will be if you position yourself right in the current economy.
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    • Profile picture of the author phmoisan
      Just adding my 2 cents here.

      I live in Quebec, Canada.

      I have been working for the last 20 years in companies who sell software to hospitals in the Quebec province.

      Back in 1990, at the first company I worked for, we used to say that, hey, there will always be a big market, hospitals don't close down.

      2 years later, the provincial government made some important decisions about the healtcare system. Some hospitals merged, some closed their doors.

      A few years after that, the government ordered that the hospitals freeze their spending for a few months. This had an important impact on our company. No more sales. The company had to fire some people to get through.

      Ok, we adapted, and the company is still in business. But to say that the health market is recession-proof, I don't know for other countries, but in Canada, we have surprises from time to time.

      Ok, back to building my IM business.
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      • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
        some of the biggest millionaires have emerged from adverse economic conditions...

        just saying...
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        • Profile picture of the author activetrader
          Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

          some of the biggest millionaires have emerged from adverse economic conditions...

          just saying...
          True... and a lot of them did that by shorting stocks
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  • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
    Just as in real estate, stocks and the economy in general, you need to adjust your business plan for the cycle that you're on.


    There are people in AZ making a killing in real estate right now - at the markets lowest - because they've modified their business to capitalize on the downturn rather than trying to stick with the same techniques that worked in a great market.

    Real estate agents are focusing on helping homeowners do short sales instead of trying to sell on the open market... Investors are buying foreclosures at auction and renting to all the homeowners that just lost their home to foreclosure and can't buy another home... etc. etc.

    In the good ole' days, these same people were selling homes for sky high prices on the open market, making returns in a matter of months, and investors were flipping properties.

    The people that haven't adapted to the downturn are still trying to do those techniques, and failing miserably.


    Same goes for stocks.

    Same goes with marketing on the internet....


    There are ways to make money in your business no matter what the economy is doing. Often times that means flipping your business model upside down and figuring ways to leverage your current assets in ways that you might never have thought of (and wouldn't have worked) in a good market.
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    • Profile picture of the author netkid
      Reminds me the story of the bumble bee. Technically, it is not designed to fly. Their body is not aero-dynamically shaped and too big in proportion to it's wings, which is too small to carry its own weight. But the bumble bee does not know it is not supposed to fly. It's too "dumb" to know it can't!.....So it flies.

      We should go through this down economy like the "dip" isn't happening and search even more for oppotunities that are real and out there right now, in this economy. We make profit if our perception of making it is in our mind first.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Staying positive and burying your head in the sand is the key to making millions for alot of people.

    Despite all the competition in the world, and despite cald callers in office cubicles all over America giving each other "reality checks"... Millions of winners still succeed everyday selling "loser" products.

    One person can have a $10,000.00 guitar, and be "Out picked" by a guy with a piece of wood and some strings all tied together...

    The proof is in the pudding... Market conditions affect, but truly the individual is the one deciding whether they will to succeed or not, at any endeavor. There are exceptions but not many.

    I could swear up and down to the meat salesman that comes to my door "That box of meat isn't worth 15.00 at my nearest supermarket... and it may even be true... still he goes next door and sells my neighbor a box for $200.00...and he does that to every 3rd door he knocks... even while I think his bargain is a rip off.

    Reality check. Trends change, but principles never die.

    My two cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    My brother (God Bless him) was soo dumb... he just did whatever a person told him to do without alot of intellectualizing...

    well we made of fun of him for that, but today... he is the top sales man of 300 in a pest control company... and makes 10k per month in residual off an mlm program..

    If you ask him why... he said "I was just dumb enough to keep doing what I was told to do".

    Just do what you know to do, and ignore everything else. Bury your head in the sand. Garbage in garbage out.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    The people seeing great increases in income are generally the ones who were making little to nothing previously (be it business-wide or the niche with their new found money).

    In simplified terms, it's like going from a 25 cent lemonade table at your garage sale to a bigger $1 stand in the park and making more money. Whoop-de-do. That is to be expected regardless of the market conditions. But the big $4 stand that has gone from festival to festival for years is making less now because people have less to spend, and there isn't a thing they can do about it.

    The fact is, there are small online companies shutting down all over the place. Many of them had been around for a long time. This has been a very bad year for that.
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    • Profile picture of the author netkid
      @DubDubDubDot, it is just like the offline jobs that got cut by the millions last year. These jobs were "phased" out completely and will not return. It is time to reinvent ourselves and adapt to new opportunities as they arise.

      My brother was in a high paying bank job until he got "phased out" 6 years ago and was looking for a comparable position ever since. What he didn't get, is that his old job or one like it was never coming back. He never settled for less of a job or even thought about cross training into something else. So there he sits, dwelving into depression. This is happening to hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions of people.

      I choose not to accept defeat.....let's move our butts and get going and prepare for the good times to return....in the meantime, adjust your online compass for opportunties now
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      • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
        With the reference to eCommerce, being this is my main "online trade" - eCommerce is such a huge indicator of how the economy is doing. An increase in sales, or I should say, an increase in profits shows the economy is doing better. When the economy is not doing so great and people become better savers than consumers, then less sales are made online. People simply feel much more comfortable purchasing products locally than they do online, even if they saved a couple dollars more.

        Within the last 6 months, my sales/profit has increased, and has become more reliable.

        At the same time, for a reality check... understand this. I'm not going to throw out percentages, but people I would have bet was making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year were probably only making money off of the stuff they were selling, and not making money based on the methods they claimed that were making them a bunch of money. At one point, I realized I was making more money than people claiming to make thousands a month and I wasn't "selling maps to gold filled rivers." I just worked my balls off, come up with same amazing plans through trial and error, and again, worked my balls off.

        a Huge majority of people claiming to make great money online don't make a damn penny, and never have, and never will. Once you do, appreciate the fact that you aren't in that group of false wealth.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Yes the OP is right. I know from my own sales charts that conditions in the business software niche have been pretty bad since Lehman went down.

    As well as fewer sales, I'm seeing cheaper products being bought and far fewer site license sales.

    This is also supported by what we're seeing in the stock markets. Profits are up, but only because companies are slashing costs and sitting on their cash piles.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    yeah I agree......but it's funny all those emails telling me they are "swamped with orders, the interest was mind boggling, orders went out sooo fast they had to shut odwn etc..." Amazing.

    But you won't hear much of that here in the WF. Staying "positive" (or burying your head in the sand) is the imperative.
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