success harderHere’s another question that came in from a subscriber recently…

“Is starting out today harder or easier than it was way back in 1996 when you first got started?”

That’s a tough one.

On the technical side, it’s MUCH easier today than it was 16 years ago.

Most web hosts have an automatic install for WordPress with just a few clicks.  That’s a full blown content management system for all the content you create.

You can then customize your site with thousands of free themes and excellent premium ones go for under $100.

You can plugin a theme like Optimizepress that makes designing sales pages and squeeze pages easy to do even without any HTML knowledge.

In 1996, I had to learn how to code in HTML and use dinosaur programs like Frontpage.

You can start taking payments and credit cards almost immediately through Paypal and other processors.

When I started, you had to go through all kinds of contracts to get your own merchant account.  And my first account required offline manual processing for each order inside their software.

Let’s not even get started on handling your email list.  Now you have dozens of high quality services like Aweber who handle all the email management for you.

I almost feel like a grandpa telling stories here about how we had to walk 5 miles to school uphill both ways!

But on the marketing side, it has gotten tougher for someone starting from scratch.

Newbies are always looking for the holy grail of a “wide open market” with no competition.  It doesn’t exist anymore.  You will have competition in your market.

The winner is the person who can consistently share a message which resonates with their audience.

This means you need to get know your audience.

What are the biggest problems customers are willing to pay to solve?

Who are the top competitors in the marketplace and what gaps have they left?

What is a growing trend and or frustration you can capitalize on?

Do you have a personal story to identify with the audience and separate you from competitors?

What are your personal, product, or company advantages in this marketplace?

If you don’t know what your competitive advantages are, then you’re working at a disadvantage.

Technically it’s easier to run a business today, but it requires more thought and focus on your customers, your message, and your advantages.

Turn off many of the voices you hear.  Zero in on your customers and their desires.  And then develop a consistent message that flows through everything you do.

The problem is that many people aren’t willing to ask themselves the tough questions.

Success online requires hard work, and it always has.  But at least it’s not delivering pizzas or working on roofs in 100 degree Florida sun.

If you’re not happy with the results you’re achieving so far, check out the

Each month I cover a specific strategy and technique to improve your profits in depth.

And one of your shameless bonuses just for giving it a try is my “The Thousand Dollar Marketing Makeover Guide” which guides you through 57 questions designed to help you discover the right strategy and path for your success online.  Check it out today:

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Terry Dean
Terry Dean

Terry Dean has been in full-time internet business since 1996 and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs get started online through his articles and products. He lives in Ocala, Florida with his wife and 2 dogs. Find out more about how his step-by-step courses can help you today.