Market Saturation: Is It Too Late For You To Make Money Online?

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The concept of making money online through websites and blogs is no longer new, but only to those that have been exposed to this industry for some time now.

The last time I checked, there are somewhere around five websites and blogs created every two minutes, which equates to millions more with each passing year. Google has been around since the nineties and the web is ultra saturated today, so it must be true that the train has left the platform, and it is too late for you to seize the lost opportunity to make money online – right?

Absolutely not. The facts remain the facts, and there is no denying that, but the good news is that for the vast majority of humans that live on this planet, the internet, and thus making money online is still an “industry” in its infancy. I am a practical example of this statement. I have several niche websites in all kinds of niche markets, which are all making very good money for me on a passive and residual basis.

That said, for those of us who are exposed to the internet in a way not many others are (from an income generation perspective that is), many of us may initially feel that the web is super saturated with blogs and websites that teach us internet marketing and how to make money online. Because of this saturation, it is natural for many aspiring webpreneurs to have doubts and second thoughts of making money online, often thinking that there must be tons of others who are doing the same thing.

As a reminder, we (the ones who think of the internet from an income generation perspective) have a slightly skewed view of the broader macrocosm. Truth is, the majority of people, who are web surfers, do not view the web as an income generating platform. These hundreds of millions of web surfers still have a need to be fulfilled, and the internet is the best channel available today in terms of reach, ease of entry and low cost experimentation for an aspiring entrepreneur to fulfill that need.

The Key To Success With Online Business

Given the (what seems like) apparent saturation in the online space, the simplest key to success in my experience has been to stray away from the “make money online” and “internet marketing” niche. You will find one guru after another preaching the next best hidden secret, which does not exist. Rather, spend your time pursuing a niche where you can successfully fill in a void in the marketplace.

“But Sunil, you have a blog on entrepreneurship and personal finance that teaches how to make money online as well.” That statement is true, but my blog is not my bread and butter. In fact, I am brand new to blogging and thus my blog is merely an experiment that makes me less than a couple hundred bucks a month. It totally sucks from a profitability perspective.

“What a failure,” you might think? Not necessarily, because income is not the motive behind my blog, at least not right now. My blog is a journal recollecting my accomplishments, failures, experiences in entrepreneurship and lessons learned throughout the processes and my overall journey. It is also a place where I can rant and rave openly and freely, while entertaining and helping others at the same time.

So how do I make the bulk of my money online? I created 16 profitable niche websites and an ecommerce website, which I sold back in 2007 for $250,000 before I started my Extra Money Blog. I did exactly as I propose in this article – I stayed AWAY from the make money online niche.

Consider this: My blog generates the least traffic of all my websites, as well as the least amount of income. My highest traffic generating and most profitable websites have nothing to do with making money online. My website on Rotator Cuff Exercises is one such example. Have a look at this screenshot showing revenues from book sales:

I know these numbers are not monster figures by any means, but they represent a consistent stream of income from a niche that has nothing to do with making money online. Add to that the advertisement revenue generated from ads that look like this:

. . . and commissions from sales of affiliate products that my visitors purchase either directly from the website or from a recommendation proposed to them through the free newsletter series (also boxed in red in the image above).

Also consider the fact that this is a niche website that was built with a fixed number of hours (no ongoing work involved). Because the website provides value, and is built on a “set it and forget it” business model platform, I can leave it alone and still profit from it over time.

The website also has several methods of monetization incorporated into it, and as traffic further grows over time, several more are on my “to do” list. For example, I am starting to get offers for private placement ads.

I am contemplating implementing a discussion forum where people can share stories, resources and help each other in the process, thus further increasing traffic. I am also contemplating including a paid directory of qualified practitioners who can help those who are suffering from rotator cuff pain. As you can imagine, the possibilities to make money online from just one niche website are endless.

Differentiation Factors To Beat Saturation

You must be thinking that rotator cuff treatment is also a super saturated niche. You are absolutely correct. It is, but not nearly as much as the internet marketing or make money online niche. That said, there are some things you can do to differentiate your website and value proposition from the rest.

For example, you can write the content of your website from a fresh, practical and first-hand perspective. You can write in active voice and talk to your reader, rather than at the reader. This allows you, the author, to build a relationship with your reader. There are many commercial websites out there that are built just to sell sell sell. A fresh perspective in my experience is always welcomed by web surfers.

Offer a free incentive such as a free tips newsletter to further build and hone relationships with your readers. When your readers like you, trust you and are warmed up to you (a tactic called pre selling), you can soft sell them products and services that they will gladly pay for.

Your individual style itself can be your unique proposition that earns you a place in a saturated environment. People want relate-ability, people want to connect to you as an individual, so don’t be afraid to try this new approach if you haven’t yet.

The success of these methods mentioned is predicated on your ability to effectively execute search engine optimization, as well as internet marketing strategies that help give your website or blog a place on search engine rankings. Though it is advisable to learn how to execute these, you can easily outsource this work in today’s environment.

Concluding Thoughts

Saturation is relative to time. The web is certainly more saturated today compared to yesterday, and will be tomorrow compared to today. The bottom line is that as saturated as the online space looks, there is still a ton of opportunity for webpreneurs to make money online.

The folks that visit my rotator cuff therapy website know nothing about making money online, nor are they interested. They do know how to use the internet, however, to search for answers to their questions. They clearly have a need.

So as long as you fulfill a need, financial success should follow providing you execute adequately and appropriately. The internet is just another channel to do business in the modern day, and fortunately for people like you and I, it allows us to operate globally at a cost next to nothing.

Get out there and let the market dictate your direction. There is absolutely no doubt that you can still make money online despite the apparent saturation of websites and blogs on the internet.

Do you agree or disagree? What are the biggest barriers to entry today? What is stopping you from capturing a piece of that profit pie?

Sunil
Still Making Money Online

About Sunil

Sunil is the author of the Extra Money Blog, a platform that discusses expedited wealth building through multiple streams of active and passive income where you can download his FREE report on How to Establish a $1,000 a Month Passive Income Stream in Your Spare Time in Less Than 180 Days. He was a CPA in his previous life and has also authored the CPA Requirements portal which guides CPA candidates in passing the CPA exam and expediting their career success.

Read more from Sunil »

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63 Comments

  • If its too late to make money online, then they should just shut down the Internet now because their are still niches that needs to be discovered.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • most certainly there are niches yet to be tapped into, but it is definitely a lot more challenging to generate money online today relative to just a few years back

  • I think it is never late to make money and the article is great.

  • The good thing about the web is that it’s progressive. This means there is always something new going on and there will be all the time. I don’t deny that i had my suspicions too about the saturation of the web. But i realized that hundreds of niches are coming to the web everyday with a need that has to be fulfilled, so don’t worry.

    • good and valid point David. in addition, there is a younger generation following an older one, therefore there will always be someone who will need information on something – providing that the topic and content are still relevant

  • Don’t let the market dictate your direction, it would be like letting another person dictate your destiny. When you have an abundant consciousness there are no shortages. Besides the Internet is still in it’s infancy, saturation isn’t even in the equation. These are the good times, it’s like catching the stock market at the beginning of a huge trend up.

    I used to be a futures trader, and in this case the market would dictate direction. I would catch a position and then know when to get out before the market changed trend. The internet is different, we get to decide, find a niche and take off with it in a different direction then the norm. That’s what makes for a successful career on the internet. Be different and find your direction.

    Tony

    Tony

    • Tony – I agree to a certain extent, but I wouldn’t enter a niche without knowing what the market demand is for what I have to offer. If I offer what I want to offer, I don’t know if there will be takers. But if I offer what others have a need for, there I know there will be takers.

      • Suni, sometimes you have to create the need by offering something that no one else offers. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you can tweak it a million times. Sometimes people don’t know what they need until it’s offered to them. At that point they realize this is something they can use.

        Every year the internet offers more opportunities to make money. It doesn’t get harder, the challenges are just different. We have to become open to the changes. With change there are new opportunities. With opportunities there is that probability of success.

        Tony

  • Great post and I agree.. It seems you and Glen from Viperchill are on the same page.. Great stuff.

  • Yes, at times it seems to me it’s impossible to make money online because somebody has already created the business you’re going to start. But on another hand it’s not important because besides the value all you need is your site to look nicer and be higher in the search results. The internet is crowded but still many people don’t know who is guru and who isn’t.

    • That is also a good point Anastasia. Moreover, not everyone knows how to own page 1. Before I enter a niche, I am constantly amazed to see the sites on page 1 that I know I can surpass just by doing some preliminary research.

  • i have watched the social network film. in that film, i get any marketing strategy. what is it? yes, we must make branding of our product.
    if we applicable in blog, we must bulid a good branding at first. i think that it’s very funny and shame if we monetize our blog, but our blog in zero or low in quaity.
    at least, we keep our blog’s quality go on to be better. and then, we can monetizing our blog to make money online when our blog have good quality, such as have good google pagerank and good alexa traffic rank. ;)

    • Panduan, I have read countless stories of successful bloggers (Yaro’s buddy for one) that in retrospect were amazed how anyone visited their site based on how barbaric it was presented at the time. My site is only two months old and I am constantly tweaking and monetizing it.

      I was recently introduced to personal branding. I think it is imperative to brand yourself for good customer relations. Here is a link http://www.cashinonyou.com/video-1/ I’m not going to buy anything, but her story and her energy is good and inspiring.

      Tony

  • Sid

    People tend to forget that there are also millions of NEW internet users being added to the already existing network each year. All these new users have their own needs and thus there will always be a lot of new areas to look into. The internet isn’t saturated until everyone has access to it. Even then, as the marketplace changes, so will the needs which present new opportunities.
    Nice article, btw.

    • You are right Sid, and that is exactly what I mean when I say newer/younger generations are coming up and chances are they will need some or all of the information available online so as long as the material is still relevant.

  • Let us not forget that the Internet is constantly growing as well as the human population on Earth. Like any business, there is always room for more competition assuming you have the “right skills” to take on that particular marketplace.

    • totally – and if may I add it is also unreasonable to expect that the majority of the population will be playing in this space. in fact, a small percentage likely will, therefore increasing the supply incrementally, but also increasing the demand side of the equation tremendously.

  • Hey Sunlil,
    Great article. What did you do with the 250 k from the website that you sold?

    I was thinking about creating a static website but I don’t have a particular niche yet. I like the set it and forget it model.

    • Justin – you should read my free book on 0 to $1,0000 in 180 days as it walks you through the process of setting up and profiting from a static website. I also talk about this concept heavily on my blog as you likely already know.

      the $250 was split three ways – uncle Sam, some helpful souls that made the venture possible and paying off several real estate investments

  • It is definitely never too late, just look back at Google’s own history, back in the day it was thought that Yahoo was the dominant King and no one could topple them in the search engines. But lo and behold here comes tiny Google, and now here we are Google is the dominant Giant and Yahoo is a small time player compared to where Google stands in the Search engine share percentage.

    -Jean

    • Google has surpassed Yahoo and the rest because of its perceived/actual product – quality of search results, as well as the tangents it has gone off too. if your website can consistently improvise and provide a good product for the market, it is inevitable that you will succeed over time. that said, it is far more difficult to do that today than it was yesterday, and will be tougher tomorrow. That is the point the article is partly trying to make

      • For sure Sunil the difficulty level will continue to increase, your website in a way has to keep up with the changes and that level of difficulty, otherwise its like you are on a sinking ship without direction.

        -Jean

  • Let us not forget that the Internet is constantly growing as well as the human population on Earth. Like any business, there is always room for more competition assuming you have the “right skills” to take on that particular marketplace.

  • Online businesses are becoming a main source of income for indivivduals and many large corporations are now dwelling in this direction. Great guide, read it and the tips are resourceful.

    • George, many more are certainly making a living online today. But for large corporates, the trend is the exact reverse. Giants like BestBuy for example used to view ecommerce as a separate “store”. Now, they are using the web to drive traffic to stores / provide a comprehensive catalog, etc (realizing stronger synergies). The sites are still selling a good volume, but the focus is no longer driving every dollar of sales possible through the web channel.

    • I agree and just imagine the huge population depending on the web especially income. Online Business will continue grow and it will continue producing opportunities for everyone.

    • I agree and just imagine the huge population depending on the web especially for income. Online business will continue to grow and it will continue to produce opportunities for everyone.

  • Market will never be saturated. We just need to differentiate our self against the competitors. There will be always new products using new cutting edge technologies to attract buyers.

  • Excellent article, Sunil.

    I have been thinking more and more about building a few static websites lately as, like Justin, I really like the “set-it-and-forget-it” model. I’ve never made anything other than WordPress sites but I bet I could make one similar to your Rotator Cuff site with WordPress. Gonna have to investigate it a bit.

    • totally – although I don’t use WordPress for my niche sites (I really should), I believe WP can further expedite and enhance the experience. You should have a read at my 0 to 1k in 180 days report. Niche sites is how I predominantly generate revenues online.

  • There will always be space for online businesses, in the same way that there will always be place for businesses on the physical world!

  • [...] Market Saturation: Is It Too Late For You To Make Money Online? My Take: Though I do not believe in making all of your money online, I like the views and tips in this post on niche targeting. (Note: if you do not get this post (Page not found) – then try later. Good article, just seems to be missing for a moment) [...]

  • Great post Sunil. By the way, I downloaded your ebook after reading your post on Lisa’s blog. It is excellent.

    Making money online is something that just takes an investment of time. The more you create on the Internet-the more money you make.

    This is not a “short-term” adventure. It takes dedication to being in for the long haul.

    If I had given up on Adsense in that first year that it took me to reach $100-I would have never reached the thousands that I make every year now on auto pilot.

    Adsense, Clickbank, Infolinks, Linkshare and Commissions Junction are all profitable income streams for me today.

    At the rate the Internet is growing there is room for people to make money online, It’s only the “focused” ones who really succeed through.

    • Thank you Jordy and I am glad you enjoyed it. You are right – despite the hype causing everyone and their pet to jump on the bandwagon, although there may be more entering the space, only the focused ones like yourself will make it to the point where the efforts pay off. Would love to hear more about your ventures. Congratulations.

  • Great tips Sunil. I definetly will download your e-book. I’m just starting my online business and I realize I will need more pateint than I thought I will.
    tahnk you again.
    Jo

    • the easiest way to overcome the patience barrier is by starting with a niche that you are personally interested in. I did the same. once you provide out the process and know what it takes and that it works indeed, you can start exploring niches based on profitability – providing that you are equally as motivated by the process rather than the subject matter.

  • I don’t think it is so much saturation that you have to worry about I think you just need to find new ways to attack whatever vertical you are in. With the new updates Goolge has made it is now more imperative than ever to find better ways of driving traffic and getting those clicks. Sometimes all you need to do is think outside the box a bit.

    • would love to hear more about those “new ways” that are working for you in your business. can you share?

      • Wish I could, but then we wouldn’t have a job. We are setting up a blog so things will be discussed there. But for now, I am keeping a tight lip.

    • Agreed! Saturation should not be a blockage to success. All though the niche you want to pursue is extremely saturated, you can still conquer your objectives through different angles. Google’s new Google +1 tool for example can be an opportunity to formulate fresh strategies. Moreover, there are more people who go online to find information than people who go online to make money through sharing information and it’s the blogger’s style of informing that can drive heavy traffic to your site.

      • Thanks for sharing Google + 1 John – I did not know such tool existed.

        • Sure! Google +1 is a newly launched tool by Google which allows bloggers to embed a Google +1 button on their blog sites. Works pretty much that of the Facebook like button but has some great potentials for increasing traffic for your site. :) See this video by Google for more info. :)

      • Your right about that. The +1 is a new way to get good quality juice, right from google.

  • Hello,

    No I don’t think that there is over saturation. The internet is in it’s infancy. There are millions of new products and millions of new users to sell them too.

    You have to do your research, pick a niche and fight the fights you can win. There is plenty of room for new marketers.

  • It’s so nice to come here and read positive things. I’m trying to make my blog into a profitable venture and looking for all the tips and hints I can find. I’m off to check out your blog and download that ebook! Thanks for sharing!

  • I think there is no such thing as “late” in making money online. Everyday, a new opportunity is at stake. Believing in one’s self can be the best capital you can have to make money online.

  • The good thing is in everyday development, I’m sure that soon there’ll apear dozens of new ways how to earn monsy.

  • ian

    hello sunil, hello guys..
    i am a new on this internet marketing industry (maybe im to late, very late LOL). after read this article, i just pray “God please give me a chance to make money from the internet marketing” :) .
    what is still a chance? or its too late? for some people answer “yeah your right, This market saturation has occurred, no more chance” but some people said ” no, i am not disagree with this situation. there is still chance to make money”.
    and i personally, including one who had a belief there are still other opportunities. i believe, internet marketing gurus (like YS and the other) still trying to make a new wave on this industry. how can survive if we not trying to survive? “the mindset of a businessman”.
    long as there are people looking for information on the Internet, there is always a chance for it.

  • Nice inspiring post. It is certainly not too late to get started! Opportunity abounds on the internet.

  • [...] Market Saturation: Is It Too Late For You To Make Money Online? (entrepreneurs-journey.com) [...]

  • Great article, this is the barrier that held me down for some time, definitely can relate to this.
    One thing to remember is, maybe there are tons of website for every niche, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do better, it’s human nature to give up when it’s tough, be the one that gives that push to go beyond mediocrity and provide real value!

  • Thanks Sunil. Your post came at a time when thoughts of ‘saturation’ keep recurring in my mind. I am planning to start a blog and the thought of every topic under the sun has been exhaustively covered hold me back. Your post has however encouraged me to go on with my research and come up with a unique blog that will be of interest and value to my blog visitors

  • Hello Sunil, I’ve read your article… and I must admit that I think often that Internet is saturated..but I’m still trying to make some niche sites.
    For me, it’s a more step complicated because I’m not an English spoken person..
    In Italy, there’re no so many infoproduct about people’s problems, so it’s not so easy to make a niche site.
    But, this is my dream (to make a decent passive income) so I’ll do everything to accomplish it :D
    Bye, and thank you for this ispirational article!
    Massimo Previato

    • Massimo, many in your shoes are making it happen every day! You don’t realize how big of an advantage you have! Address a market in its infancy now. When the waive comes you will surely be surfing on top.

  • That is good to know. I just started my website selling Premier Seiko Watches, and I was a little worried. I haven;t made much yet, and I was beginning to get frustrated with the whole e-commerce deal. I thought about starting a blog, but your article helped me decide to tough it out. We’ll see what happens in the next few months.

  • [...] giant announced the Google 1 functionality. Thanks to “Extreme John” who commented on my guest post on Yaro’s blog, I was first introduced to Google 1 just a few days [...]

  • I heard on the financial news that this year may not be a good year to start any business – but I beg to differ. As your article states, as long as you fulfill a need (even though the need may only be a “want”), and if you are somewhat business savvy, your business is bound to succeed.

  • Great article Sunil. We need to focus more on sub-sub-niches rather than a huge parent niche. Market research is highly essential before entering any niche or sub niche.

  • As long as you provide great value and consistently do the marketing you could make money in any niche, with so many people trying to make money in the IM niche very few of them provide really valuable content, same goes for any other niche if your message/content delivers great value and results you have the opportunity to stand out in any market and gain authority and fellowship and therefore successfully make money.

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