Is Internet Marketing Overly Saturated?

A few days ago I was talking to a good friend about work. He’s a real estate agent and is GREAT at it. He’s made a lot of money and even with the current real estate climate he’s still making money. He’s pretty interested in getting some other things

going so he was asking me quite a bit about what I do.

During the conversation, my friend asked me a question that I found interesting:

How do you make any money at that when the internet is so saturated?

It was an innocent enough question and probably one that a lot of people think about. He knows that there are a million websites out there and there are a lot of people who are trying to make money with them.

The funny thing is that my friend could have easily answered his own question. Where I live it seems like there are about 8,000,000 real estate agents in a valley that only has 500,000 people. It seems like about half of my friends had their real estate license during the last real estate boom here in Utah. The fact that my friend is still able to do well even though that market tanked and everyone else blew up says something doesn’t it?

You Either Have The Expertise Or You Don’t

My friend is able to do well with real estate because he has a legitimate edge – he’s better at it than most people. The down market didn’t make him blow up like everyone else because he has skills and talents that other people don’t have.

The answer to my friend’s question is: You develop legitimate expertise and you work hard.

Internet Marketing Actually Is Pretty Saturated

The internet is saturated in the sense that it isn’t like taking candy from a baby anymore. Back in the day you could launch a site and get a ton of traffic by simply putting a lot of words on your pages. That obviously didn’t continue working once there was more competition, not to mention the fact that search engines have gotten a lot better at getting rid of those types of results.

There’s no question that there are a batrillion-zillion websites out there and this causes a lot of people concern. My belief is that there is healthy competition – enough to make you work for it. However, there isn’t enough competition to make it so people who are willing to develop themselves and work can’t make money.

Almost everyone I know who does internet marketing is ridiculously lazy. The easiest way to gain an edge over most people who do IM is to put in more work than other people. However, this isn’t the only way to gain an edge.

It’s also pretty easy to gain a ‘tactical’ edge on the competition. Most people don’t know how to pick the right keywords and don’t know how to promote their sites well. On top of that only a tiny percentage of people who do IM know how to apply any leverage to their business. If you understand these concepts AND are willing to work really hard you won’t even notice the ‘competition’.

People Who Do Well In Life Generally Earn It

I have a great friend who does really well selling insurance. He understands that you can never learn enough and you can never work hard enough. It isn’t uncommon for my friend to work until 11:00 at night and even though he is already immensely successful by the standards of most people, it isn’t uncommon for my friend to be at workshops and/or classes on the weekends to learn more about business and insurance.

There’s Plenty Of Room For Legit People In Internet Marketing

People who are willing to work on themselves and on their businesses will ALWAYS do well with online business. Internet marketing has a lot of unique characteristics that allow you to apply a tremendous amount of leverage that simply isn’t there with most other types of business.

If you are willing to spend time every single day to get better, there’s no doubt that you will find the success that you’re looking for. Here are some of the things that I would recommend working on:

  • Keyword research
  • Writing ability
  • Persistence
  • Work ethic
  • Leadership
  • Networking
  • Friendship
  • Speaking
  • Link building skills
  • Creativity
  • Honor
  • Technical ability (design, HTML, CSS)
  • Courage

An outside factor like ‘market saturation’ is never going to determine whether you succeed or not. I have a theory that each market eventually saturates itself to about the same point – the point where only the people who are willing to develop themselves are able to make a lot of money. Almost all of my best friends have their own businesses and they are all businesses of completely different types. It isn’t shocking at all that the ones who are persistent, hard working, and driven are the ones who find the most success.

I would argue that in its current state, the internet provides more leverage than any other type of business. I would also argue that online business is actually a lot easier than businesses of other types. There’s no question that I have a lot more upside than many of my friends because of the opportunities that my business has to scale to places that other businesses can’t.

Useful Reading

I love reading. It helps me to expand my thinking and it helps me to learn a lot about myself. I have a lot of weaknesses and I try to become aware of them so that I can work on them. Books are extremely useful for that. Here are a few of the books that I would consider reading if you’re trying to develop your online skills:

  • How To Get Rich (Felix Dennis) – This book was written by a world-class magazine publisher. It’s actually a really funny book that tells about the principles required to make a lot of money. There are a lot of parallels between publishing magazines and web properties.
  • Good To Great (Jim Collins) – A must-read for anyone who is trying to establish an online business. Working with the internet can be excruciatingly slow at times and this book can help you to understand momentum as well as what it takes to develop and scale.
  • Tuesdays With Morrie (Mitch Albom) – The most amazing true story of courage and friendship I have

    ever read.

  • The Richest Man In Babylon (George S. Clason) – How to change the destructive bad habits that ruin your ability to become financially successful. I can promise that this book will make you more aware of bad financial habits. Don’t read if you don’t want to change. ;)

18 Comments »

  1. Awesome! Hey I read The Richest Man In Babylon and I thought I was the only one. It’s short and simple but interesting. I have never used any of the methods in the book though, maybe it deserves a re-read.

  2. DennisJr

    Think and grow rich- Napoleon hill.. He studied and interviewed successful people. I’ll never forget the example of he used of Andrew Carnegie walking into the lowest producing steel mill and taking an piece of chalk and writing the production amount in large numbers at the entrance of the steel shop for all shift people to see.

    The night shift beat the morning shift..and so on after learning what the number on the floor meant..

  3. As usual, great post. Almost without fail, when I talk to friends & family about the opportunity Internet Marketing provides the question about market saturation is asked. I usually answer it from the perspective of the Internet being in a stage of infancy (when you consider the world as a whole, and the emerging growth of Internet use in other countries). I appreciate your take on it, in fact, I may like it even better! (and as I’m sure you are aware, I’m pretty partial to my thought processes – lol)

    Since I have a feeling that the comments will have a thread of great reading opportunities here is one I highly recommend – Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell. I’ve read most of the books you’ve recommended & and most of the Self-Empowerment books generally recommended (Think & Grow Rich, 7 Habits, How to Win Friends & Influence People, Etc.) in this vein, but Outliers is one of my favorites of the bunch. Oh, and don’t forget “Acres of Diamonds” another great one. In this case the Internet is our backyard & it only takes 10k hours to get it to produce (you have to read both to get it ;)

  4. Darrell

    Hey Court

    I would say the one key that always keeps coming up again and again is the work ethic. People are drawn to the internet in many ways because of the crap stories promising instant riches. The reality, it takes a lot of work to get good at internet marketing.

    Good article and very applicable to the internet crowd.

    If you want to have financial freedom, their is always a price to pay. Its that 4 letter word – no, not that one (lol)….

    Its called WORK…..

    Cheers

  5. Love it Court! I heart book recommendations. Well, I’m more of a books via mp3 so i can listen at work, but same thing.

    I was just talking to a coworker today how I get the 3 year itch at my J.O.B.’s. Right around 3 years, I am no longer challenged. I’ve unfortunately fell into jobs that promised many things and produced nothing. Of course, the economy didn’t help. Regardless, at around 2 years I’ve got my position down to the point where I can do it in my sleep. I get bored. Eventually, right around 3 yrs I start getting frustrated because theres nothing challenging about it. Nothing to figure out any more. Nothing to learn.

    Thats why I turned to IM. For me, my biggest obstacle is finding the momentum after a long day at work and writing when I come home. Some days my brain is jello, but I push through it. I push through it because I tell myself everyday…THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT TO BE 5, 10, 15 YEARS FROM NOW, continuing with the 3 year itch. I want to be my own boss, have my own internet properties that produce, the ability to start new projects and anything else that comes my way. To be the creative out of the box thinker that I am.

    This is so true

    People Who Do Well In Life Generally Earn It

    So many people just want things to fall in their lap and be successful. I realize that my sites are a huge reflection of MY efforts. I can’t blame google, or the numbers. To some degree you will hit some keywords that don’t pan out, but as a whole, your internet results are a reflection of the effort you put into them. Period. If you are not learning, if you are not growing, if you are not working….you are not going to be successful.

  6. Brawnydt

    Richest Man In Babylon is a gem. One of my clients gave me a copy some time ago. I live that advice, and it pays. I’ll have to take a look at those other books as well, it’s always good to look at yourself and how you can improve.

  7. I just read “Richest Man” last weekend. It was great. I have not read any of the others, but Court, you always give great advice, so I’ll pick them up.

  8. strathy

    The Richest Man in Babylon is written in a ‘story’ style. (I’m sure there is a proper term for it, but I’ll leave that to the English Majors here…) A couple of more books like that are The Wealthy Barber (written for Canadians I think) and for Theory of Constraints (TOC) fans, The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt. Both teach by telling stories which make them more natural for us to learn and remember the lesson. (For Christians, The Bible is full of parables – same thing, stories to teach a lesson.)

  9. The internet marketing is surely over saturated but only for average marketer. :D

  10. this just the fact about IM now

  11. Which one do you think is much better? E-mail Marketing or Pay Per Click Advertising. I have tried using both E-mail marketing and PPC Advertising to advertise my products and both seems to do equally well.

  12. my PPC advertising on Google Adwords is really effective in promoting my affiliate links. my Adbrite PPC advertising cost seems to be higher than Adwords.”-;

  13. I think one of the touchest things about internet marketing is that it really is every man for himself. You get the sense that no one wants to share their secrets and increase their competition, so everything is presented behind veils and in measured doses.

  14. I agree, with anything in life you have to work hard to succeed. Internet Marketing is no different. One of the skills that you mentioned, writing, can be the factor that puts you above the rest. Writing good fresh content on your blog or website can help increase your ranking and give you the edge you need.

  15. By far the best financial book ever written was by Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover”. It took a few years, but now that we’re out of debt, it’s just so darn cool!

    Do you know how much money you can save when you don’t have debt? Imagine what you can do with your house note every month if you could pocket that money.

    Do you know how much money you can invest when you have no debt?

    Do you know how cool it is to walk up to someone selling a nearly new car (or boat) and watch their face as you pay cash for it?

    Do you know all the cool places you can afford to go when you’re not loaded down with debt?

    I do and I owe it all to Dave Ramsey!

    Also, when you’re not loaded down with debt, you don’t have to make as much money to live!

  16. ppc advertising is really an efficient way to sell affiliate products on the internet, you can really get targeted buyers ::

  17. well of course, everyone loves to get rich but not everyone would love to do hard work ,,`