The Anatomy of the Internet Marketing Gold Rush (And Why The Next Wave Could be Starting Now)

Internet marketing is a term often used for the industry that teaches people how to make money online. I was thinking about internet marketing today as I was putting the polish on a private blog network for DCers. A lot of my friends have been encouraging me to sell the networks outright. The value proposition is clear: not only could our customers use the network’s immediate value to build up their own site portfolio, but they’d be buying an out of the box cash flow positive business. That’s pretty cool!

That’s when it occurred to me why I’ve been raving so much lately about the AdsenseFlippers. What they are building could be a “next wave” internet marketing company (so far there have been 3 waves). This new wave is one in which there is a ton of opportunity, and relatively low barrier to entry.

If you buy a site from Joe and Justin, you not only get comprehensive training about how to run a successful business, but you get the business too. Where’s the kitchen sink!?

Is this the make money online equivalent of a Y-Combinator style incubator?

Today I laid out what I see to be the 4 “waves” of make money online sites and programs. I think there is a huge opportunity in the 4th wave right now, and the guys at AdsenseFlippers are showing us what it might look like.

A few caveats about my categorization of internet marketing businesses:

  • Most marketers use elements of all categories in their materials.
  • The categories are all amoral– the distinctions I’m making refer to the form of the content in each wave. No one category is more “valuable” or better than the rest.

First wave: “Business Opportunity Gurus”

  • Examples: Frank Kern, Jeff Walker.
  • Characteristics: Highly tuned sales pitches, majority of product cost in marketing, very little useful information outside their paywalls. Focus on list building, sharing, and promotion.
  • Teach: Core transformation and broad persuasion techniques.
  • Sell: The dream.
  • Braggable: “Last month I had a million dollar launch.”

Second wave: “Social Media Salesmasters”

  • Influential marketers: Internet Business Mastery, Clay Collins.
  • Characteristics: Lot’s of useful tips, motivational information, and broad strategic concepts. The majority of nuts and bolts information and case studies are behind paywalls.
  • Teach: How to implement high level marketing and sales techniques in any business.
  • Sell: Direct access to seminars, training, feedback, and coaching.
  • Braggable: “Got an email from one of our previous customers that said they built a six-figure business after buying our products.” 

Third wave: “Transparent Business”

  • Influential marketers: Pat Flynn, Spencer Haws.
  • Characteristics: 3rd wave marketers share a wide range of specific personal experience, screenshots, data, income reports, and case studies of actions they took. They name URLs, and regularly share wins and losses.
  • Teach: Case studies of precise actions taken online. “I did x, and y happened.”
  • Sell: The tools required to duplicate the effort.
  • Braggable: “I’m not trying to brag here people, I show you how much money I made and let you judge for yourself.” 

Fourth wave: “Purchase a Cash Flowing Business” (?)

  • Influential marketers: Adsenseflippers, ???
  • Characteristics: Selling simple cash flowing businesses to investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs, while providing a wealth of information and a robust community to help improve the profitability and scale of the acquired properties.
  • Teach: The precise actions required to build a cash flow business.
  • Sell: Examples of that cash flow business, or could potentially take equity stake in start-up if they took broader lessons from incubators.
  • Braggable: “I can’t create the inventory fast enough.” 

Trends from wave one to wave four.

  • General—> specialized.
  • High customer acquisition costs —> lower customer acquisition costs.
  • Larger overall market scope (i.e., anyone is your customer) —> smaller market scope.
  • Mystery —> Transparency
  • Difficult to get followers —> easier to get followers.
  • Most content behind paywall –> most content free.
  • Marketing is primary focus of investment —> product is primary focus of investment.
  • Content about ‘why’ —> content about ‘how’.
  • High barrier to entry —> low barrier to entry.
  • Product = experience —> product = asset.
  • Value is intangible –> value is measurable.

If you want to help people make money on the internet, why not set up small internet businesses and sell them at a great price? Sounds like a good deal to me. Can you think of any opportunities here?



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