Yesterday I found a spreadsheet with my first ever purchases for my online business, along with my first ever sales...
Yes! This means it's coming up to 9 years since I first started my online business.
It was a humble beginning - using my Dad's chunky desktop computer and slow dial-up Internet, while studying at college and working a part-time job at a grocery store (called Morrisons) here in the UK.
But is it more difficult to make a profit online nowadays? Or easier?
When I first got started, there wasn't anything like LeadPages, OptimizePress or ClickFunnels around to help you build web pages.
Heck, even WordPress was still finding its feet.
This meant the only two options were to hire somebody else to create the web pages for you OR learn how to code yourself.
At first I took a part-time class at college to learn HTML coding, because it was a necessity if you wanted to become successful online back then.
But even then, that wasn't enough to make my web pages look as professional as I'd like - so I hired a web design company to create my sales page template.
That's the £187 (roughly $237) transaction you can see in the screenshot above.
Just for ONE web page!
But since then, technology has advanced like crazy.
You can now use software drag and drop elements on the screen to create your web pages without any kind of coding knowledge, with the software even linking the pages together for you.
This means it's cheaper and easier than ever to get your website online.
An important part of starting any business is learning about the business model and the audience you're marketing to.
This is made SO much easier when there are good products around to learn from, otherwise you end up floundering in the dark.
Back when I got started, there seemed to be an abundance of knowledge available - most of it good!
Even ebooks were filled with hundreds of pages of actionable advice you could follow along with.
But nowadays, most products aren't as good as there were when I got started.
The invention of the "tripwire" offer has made most marketers water down their content to do more pre-selling than actual teaching.
This means you usually need to a pay a good deal of money just to get something you can actually follow along with.
Not only that, but there are a lot more scams around from people who think it's totally acceptable to screw their customers over with fake identities or old, rehashed information.
So it is more difficult to learn the basics, but not if you know where to look.
That's why our dedicated mission is to deliver the highest quality products which inspire, teach and help 1,000 entrepreneurs to achieve financial freedom. We're taking things back to the good old days.
3) Profit Generation
Up until recently, the main way you would make a profit with your online business would be to create a new product, do a fancy product launch, then repeat the same process a few months later.
It was easy to have your marketing buddies supporting you by promoting your stuff, as there were only a few launches happening every week. So their schedule was wide open.
But the downside to this was that your income would go up and down like a rollercoaster ride.
Some months you'd be making tens of thousands of dollars in sales (or more, if you had the right connections), whereas other months would leave your bank account covered in cobwebs due to not launching anything for a while.
Nowadays, there are tons of launches happening every single day. Just take a look at any popular launch calendar to see what I mean...
This means it's nearly impossible to get a large crowd of affiliates supporting you, unless you're able to make them a ton of sales and have a lot of history together.
The result? A launch that completely flops and only makes a few sales for your months of hard work.
That's why an evergreen marketing strategy has become the best way to make sales.
Instead of creating a new product every month, you can create a suite of products once and then sell the same products for many years to come, keeping them updated every so often.
Instead of relying on other people to drive traffic to your offer, you can be in control of your own traffic and sales using free sources (like Quora, content marketing, forum marketing, etc) and paid sources (like Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, solo ads, etc).
Instead of having to give away tens of thousands of dollars in affiliate prizes, you get to keep a lot more of the money you earn.
Overall it's a much easier strategy which doesn't burn you out.
4) Saturation & Competition
With new marketers joining a new niche every day, most beginners' first thought is, "isn't the market getting saturated?".
And and the answer is... No!
A popular niche is actually a good thing, as it shows there is money to be made there.
The reason new marketers can join a niche profitably is because there are also more prospects joining that same niche.
If things were saturated, the businesses in the popular niches wouldn't be able to support themselves and they'd disappear off the face of the Internet.
The population has grown by over 38 million people so far this year, and it's still growing at an alarming rate.
So just as there are more marketers joining the information marketing world, there are also a lot more prospects seeking help.
Not only that, but more competitors means:
- More people to buy traffic from.
- More ideas you can model.
- More JV partnerships to forge (e.g. interviews, cross-promotions, etc).
So overall the increased popularity of most niches is actually a good thing.
This brings me to the ultimate question...
"If I was starting again from scratch TODAY, would I still get started, knowing what I know now?"
The answer is YES!
It's easier to create good-looking websites.
It's easier to create a long-term, evergreen, dependable income (instead of crossing your fingers and hoping your affiliates will promote your stuff).
And it's easier to get ahead of the other procrastinating beginners who bury themselves in poor quality products, if you're committed enough.
All you need to do is get started.
Onwards and upwards!
- James Francis.
Founder & CEO, Digital Prosperity.
P.S. What do you think? Do you think it's gotten easier? Or more difficult? Leave a comment below! 🙂