Is the Online Gold Rush Over?

At the height of the great Gold Rush of 1896, the population in the arctic Klondike region suddenly swelled to 40,000 souls.

The promise of incredible wealth (and more than that, a legendary adventure) was too compelling to ignore.

Kind of sounds like the web 1.0 and 2.0 booms.

With little more than a great idea, a few bucks for hosting, and some hard work, a single person can change their life using the internet-as-lever.

Question is: is too late for you?

In this episode Brian Clark and I discuss:

  • Is it too late to start online? Have you missed the boat entirely?
  • How to quit prospecting and make deals come to you
  • The most important aspect of business online that hasn’t — and will never — change
  • Why right now might even be a better time to start than 5 years ago
  • The one thing that drives the success of every online business models
  • Brian’s very best advice for those starting online (from zero) today

Hit the flash player below to listen now:

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About the Author: Robert Bruce is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter and Resident Recluse.

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Comments

  1. That was certainly worth a listen (or two). Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I figured there was a lot of opportunity out there, and it was great to hear someone with *authority* confirm it. :-D

  2. Haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but whenever I hear the question of “Isn’t it too late to get started online?” I have to answer “NO!!!” Realistically, mobile marketing is still in its infancy and who knows what’s coming next?! There’s always going to be opportunity for those who are willing to find it :)

  3. I look forward to this podcast every week.

  4. Very interesting, good for small businesses like mine. My clients like the idea of 2-3 minute podcasts (they are younger and have short attention spans).

  5. Really inspiring for a newbie to hear this.

  6. I’m restarting right now. Not really from zero, more like pivoting off current content.

    So it’s starting over, but with a head start. I’ve created my own unfair advantage.

  7. I definitely don’t think it’s passed by, it’s just different than it used to be.

    The days of 2 cent clicks for “weight loss pills” is way gone (sadly I missed those days!)

    But also, a lot more people trust the internet now than ever before. And as someone mentioned earlier, mobile marketing still has a ways to go and is likely to be the “next internet marketing”.

    Plus, think about how few people are using Facebook and Twitter correctly.

    Great podcast- definitely agree that there’s unlimited opportunity right now!

    • I agree with that — those wild west “deadwood” days had some advantages, along with the disadvantages. :)

      But yes, focus on the amazing opportunity today, rather than mourning those lovely cheap clicks. :)

  8. I think the sheer size and momentum of what is coming down the pipe is what many find intimidating. And yet that is where the opportunities are.

    I’d like to get some feedback on how the people feel about the ‘ flip page’ magazines. I see more and more of them and the print publishing industry is in turmoil with diminishing advertising revenues and printing cost. (Let’s not mention the cost to our environment!).

    I can see the benefit to advertisers by making their ads more interactive but will people embrace this technology and read magazines online using the traditional format of ‘pages’ instead of scrolling?

    • I think we’re seeing something like what happened in the 1950s, when story media exploded simultaneously — not just TV, but radio, serialized novels, comic books, etc. They all started earlier, but really took off that decade, to the extent we still view those “retro” incarnations with affection.

      I personally enjoy flip magazines. They’ll have their place. We’re a visual culture and they appeal to that part of our make-up.

  9. To some extent it might be over because I think the next stage of the web is going to be about data, apps and other applications that the man in the street can’t really build or make himself. The thing is websites and building communities is already as easy as can be so not sure what more can be done there. Don’t forget the fact that most of the planet doesn’t have great internet or smart phones means that the real gold rush is yet to start!!

  10. Hi,
    Enjoyed it and agree to focus on new opportunities today. Thank you for sharing

  11. Word of the day “schlock”, haven’t heard that in awhile, or ever.

    I need to really put in some serious work and effort to get out of that category.
    Hey, I’m a realist. ;)

    That was inspiring and insightful to listen to, definitely got me doing some thinking.

    There’s no way the “Online Gold Rush is Over”. I think it’s still just the beginning. Give the internet another 10 years and see what it’s become.

  12. ‘apple make what people want in an outrageously desirable way’… this is the key to success.

  13. Thanks for the insight. I totally agree that it is just the beginning of the Fourth Revolution and that we’ll have a few decades trying to figure out what to do with the power of collaboration. That might be painful for some but for sure that’ll lead to lots of opportunities to build new things

  14. I love starting my Saturday listening to your radio show. Thanks for this.

    Although there are no barriers to entry to starting an online business, the fact is many people don’t succeed (I’d say more often due to quitting too early). Therefore cream can certainly still rise to the top if you (1) produce quality content, (2) persist, and (3) approach your content from your own perspective or a unique twist.

    Bryan, I found your comment about partnering with local businesses very interesting. I’m exploring this presently and am in talks with some local companies.

    I’m curious, are you specifically referring to building sites and building traffic for them or managing their social media, or both? Maybe you mean something else. My thought is about helping local businesses with local SEO. My only reluctance is becoming a service provider.

  15. the internet gold rush is far from over. There’s a myriad of opportunities online.

    Nevertheless, it takes a lot more than just an idea and a domain name. There’s so many different variables you have to master to win online, from design to traffic. great post!

  16. love the podcast. I think anyone can succeed in anything regardless when they start, how old they are, or how much money they have. The best companies started during the great recession when everyone was talking about failure. However, doing something consistently, purposefully, and with great amount of persistence will bring extraordinary results. Online marketing is one of those things that takes great amount of work. Even a simple addsense site needs thousands of visitors to get a little income. Keep working on it guys and results will follow.

  17. Very informative chat!

    It seems most young entrepreneurs do not take that important first step because they feel the market for their site is just too competitive. When in reality the best tools that hit the market currently are, to quote Brian, just “satisfying an existing desire in a better way.”

    Take Mark Zuckerberg for example. In 2004 when he launched Facebook, he was going against powerhouses such as Myspace and Friendster. It just goes to show you the power a quality online service can have even in an already competitive market.

    Brian, do you feel that there’s a certain guideline or recipe that most popular blogs and sites follow with in their site in order to be successful? Or can we agree that success is based solely on the quality of the content?

    Again, very good talk.

  18. New niches pop up everyday, but certain niches like weight loss do have websites with 100s of thousands of backlinks.