The key to making money online is understanding the size of the marketplace and what it takes to compete in a virtual world. When you’re playing World of Warcraft or any of the other popular MMORPG games, there is no “last page“. You never come to the end or completely conquer the game because you’re playing in a “virtual” world – it goes on into infinity. The Internet marketplace is the same concept. If you want to make money online you need to do it by building a business that competes in this never-ending virtual world.
In some ways, competing in the virtual world is very similar to competing in the brick-and-mortar world. In the brick-and-mortar world you need to have a storefront, you need something to sell and you need to make buyers aware of your existence. All you really need to do is get the word out locally and then provide a good service or product and take care of your customers so they keep coming back. Of course, when competing on the Internet, your website becomes your storefront.
If you’re smart, you’ve chosen a business and a business location with little local competition. Brick-and-mortar business owners understand that not everyone who walks by their store that day is going to come in and buy something. But they also know they can improve those odds if there is a need for their service or product and if there is little or no competition in the area.
The big difference between a brick-and-mortar store and a business in the virtual world is the size of the marketplace. You can clearly define your marketing area in the physical world. It may be your neighborhood, it might be your whole town, it might include visitors and tourists, but you know exactly where your customers are going to come from. You also know there’s a limit to how many people you can expect to physically walk through your door, no matter what you do to attract them, simply because of your physical location.
But it’s impossible to define the size of the Internet Marketplace. You have no physical limitations at all which means two things:
- Everyone in the entire world is a potential customer
- Every business in the entire world is a potential competitor
If you really stop to think about it, the Internet Marketing arena is frighteningly huge! Every single person on the planet is a potential customer because your storefront is right there on their computer or mobile device. Yet, they also have access to the storefronts of every other business on the planet. And how many of those other businesses are in direct competition with yours? The big question is –
How do you build a successful business in a marketplace as vast as the virtual world of the Internet?
Every successful business person, whether they work online or off, will tell you that the key to their success was diversity. In the online world, that means having multiple websites and income streams.
You know the old saying – Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket? Well, that’s especially true with Internet Marketing. This virtual marketplace changes so rapidly and you have no control over most of those changes. Just look at what happened during the Panda debacle.
But all kinds of changes affect the Internet marketplace – economic conditions, buying habits, seasons, new products, etc. just like the brick-and-mortar world. The difference is, in the virtual marketplace, people aren’t forced to buy from you just because you’re the only business in town. Now they can buy from anyone in the world.
You always have to keep in mind that no matter what product you’re promoting there are only a certain number of people who will ever be interested in buying it. And, on the Web, you have many more competitors, each looking for a piece of that pie. The pie appears to be larger because the world is your marketplace, but it still has a limited number of pieces.
That’s why successful Internet Marketers have more than one website. They have hundreds, or even thousands of niche sites scattered all over the spectrum. And they’re constantly setting up more. In most niches there’s so much competition and the marketplace is so huge that you’re only going to get a very small piece of that pie. So the answer is to make up for it with multiple storefronts or websites.
And that’s the big difference between brick-and-mortar stores and the Internet Marketplace. In the offline world the average person wouldn’t dream of building up a hundred different storefronts, each selling a different product or service. Who has that kind of money? Besides, if you do it right, you can be very successful with one or two stores.
But it costs next to nothing to set up a blog or a website. Think of your websites as virtual sales people. How many more sales would you make if you sent 100 sales people, each with his own product to sell, into that crowded mall, than if you went in by yourself and tried to sell all 100 products at the same time?
You’re always going to have competition. If you build the biggest, best website ever, someone will eventually come along and build something bigger and better and all of your eggs will be spoiled when that basket drops. The key to making money online is to build a diverse business that can compete across the entire virtual world.