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Internet Marketing - The New Gold Rush?

Updated on July 31, 2009
Modern prospector: looking for Garnets, Gemtree, Northern Territory Australia: Photo: Lissie
Modern prospector: looking for Garnets, Gemtree, Northern Territory Australia: Photo: Lissie

Gold Rush: Internet Marketing?

Basically the traditional gold rush sees a huge a number of people moving to and staking a claim in a new area. Famous gold rushes such as America's California Gold rush or Australia's Victorian gold rush had serious long-term economic and social consequences for their countries. As a result of Victoria's gold rush convict transportation was stopped and the Australian Labor Party was born from the miner's Eureka Stockade rebellion.

In 1851 Melbourne, the only town near the initial gold discoveries in Victoria had a population of around 29,000. In July of that year gold was discovered. By 1854 the population was 129,000: within 3 years Melbourne's population had doubled and then doubled again. In an era when the sailing clipper was the fastest way to travel, and Australia was at the end of the civilized world.

A small free-settler town was suddenly inundated by gold seekers: men literally abandoned their families and walked to Melbourne and the gold fields. They weren't miners: they didn't know how to pan for gold, but they had heard about the fortunes to be made in the gold fields.

Another town built on mining: Trades Hall, Broken Hill, NSW, Australia Photo:Lissie
Another town built on mining: Trades Hall, Broken Hill, NSW, Australia Photo:Lissie

Internet Entrepreneurs join the rush

So today's Internet entrepreneurs aren't dropping their families and walking hundred's kilometres to the gold fields? Not at all; they stay at home and spend countless hours and possibly thousands of dollars chasing the elusive on-line (US) dollar - that's different, isn't it?

What drove those old-time gold rush pioneers: did they go to build a new colony or learn new skills. No, they went to make a quick buck. Today's Internet wannabes are different, aren't they?

According to Wikipedia: Gold rushes were typically marked by a general buoyant feeling of a "free for all" in income mobility, in which any single individual might become abundantly wealthy almost instantly ... it is now applied generally to denote any capitalist economic activity in which the participants aspire to race each other in common pursuit of a new and apparently highly lucrative market, often precipitated by an advance in technology

That sounds like the "make money online" industry to me.

  • Everyone is very excited about the chance to make 10,000's, of dollars, a week - check!

  • Everyone expects to be making at least 1,000 in the first week or two - check!

  • There are heaps of stories in the media about the 12 year olds who have already made a fortune - check!

  • Its a once in a life-time opportunity, act now, avoid missing out - check!

What are the Economics of a Gold Rush?

During the gold rush Victoria had few banks, less law and order and absolutely no infra-structure to support this huge population influx. Melbourne would have struggled to deal with the new comers, accommodation would have been stretched to the limit.

What happens to an economy when demand suddenly increases: the shortages and price rises. Who wins that economic game? The prospectors flooding in to find their gold or those who are supplying the services they need? I

n the gold fields men died from dangerous working conditions, disease and suicide. Most gave up and went home. A few found their nugget: their stories became part of the country's folklore, in turn encouraging new punters to chase their own piece of the action. Some people did however make a fortune and set themselves up for life.

The best chance of making a fortune on the gold fields wasn't by chasing gold. The winners were those who supplied the prospectors. The people who make real money in a gold rush are the ones who supply services which are suddenly in huge demand In Australia and California they were the publicans, the blacksmiths (for those picks and pans), the vegetable growers, the water supply contractors, the brothel owners.

Guess which prospectors paid the most for their tools, bought unnecessary equipment and paid over the odds for inferior workmanship - yes the one's just arrived at the gold fields

Surviving the On-line Gold Rush

How to survive this modern day gold rush? Unless you happen to already be an on-line marketer or SEO expert then you probably one of the vulnerable prospectors: seeking that holy grail: a fortune beyond imagining: or at least a work from home opportunity which can give them thousands of dollars income for a 30 minutes work a day.

Should you give up now knowing that most most prospectors fail - not at all, at least you don' t have to risk everything on this venture: unlike most off-line businesses you don't need significant capital to make money on-line, you don't even have to give up your day job. Unlike the old-time gold prospectors your life isn't on the line here.

Know who will exploit you in the Internet Marketing Boom

Realise that in the middle of a gold rush: you are at the bottom and you are the one most vulnerable to being sold the left handed hammer to go with that shoddy pick: or the up-sell on the membership-only site for $29.95 a month when all you thought you were buying was the $9.95 E-Book (normal price $39.95).

Be cynical: be very cynical: if someone offers you something too good to be true: it is: he's the guy telling you that the streets in California are paved with gold.

If you are told you have to act NOW to secure this "once only special price just for you": walk away. Don't be bullied.

Don't believe that it's easy, that anyone can do it: it will take time to learn new skills and time to apply those skills: if you decided to become a plumber how long would it take? Why should internet marketing take any less time?

What's more valuable than Gold?

Remember things change very quickly in gold rush. Kalgoorlie is a mining town west of Perth, Western Australia. When gold was discovered in the 1890's., it was lacking something very important, water, there is no water there. As the prospectors came the price of water was more than its weight in gold.

A far-sighted engineer persuaded the government to back a crazy scheme to pipe water from Perth: over 530km (330 miles) and 400m BELOW Kalgoorile. They said it couldn't be done, it was and that pipeline still supplies Kalgoorlie's water. What happened when that first water flowed: the price of water dropped from 3 pounds / 1000 gallons to 3 shillings and 6 pence. What happened to the man with the contract to ship the water into town on the railway? I suspect he went broke.

That pipeline took over 6 years to build - on the Interent techniques that worked 6 months ago can be obsolete by the time you discover them: don't be conned into buying shares in the water supply business while the pipeline is under construction!


Do people make money online ? Definitly. Do people make a good living online? Yes but far fewer. Can you make a living online - I have no idea but I don't see why not if you are prepared to put some work in to learn the ropes.

Should you buy the $99.95 E-Book to tell you how to do it - DEFINITLY NOT.

What's your experience of the new wild west : drop me a comment below I'd love to here from you. If you enjoyed this article please give me a "thumbs up" below too!


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    • profile image

      Jen Levine - Web Traffic 

      11 years ago

      Awesome hub I have to agree with Johnnyboy business takes time. Success comes to those who are willing to spend effort to their work.

    • flread45 profile image


      11 years ago from Montana

      Read it on Dale's blog.

      It is hard to make a pay out but I have made two in 2 years.LOL

    • Dale Mazurek profile image

      Dale Mazurek 

      11 years ago from Canada

      What a great hub. You lay it out the way it is. As a marketer I cam most definatly relate to what you are talking about.

      The hub is now up on my blog and hopefully others see it.



    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I agree with you Lissie. Even if you've just started as small company, Your earnings will really boost in no time.

    • Johnyboy profile image


      12 years ago

      You definitely don't need significant capital to make money online, but that only applies if you know what you're doing. Otherwise you can easily lose your shirt.

      "Do people make a good living online? Yes but far fewer." The problem is usually laziness. Most of internet entrepreneurs are so darn lazy that even if someone would promise them money, they will still be skeptical and desire those money in their hand.

      My suggestion would be not to follow whatever ebook or program out there, but actually put something to practical work for yourself. Reverse engineer what other successful marketers do. Not what they sell. After all, a business needs time, implication and investments, with lots of sacrifice. And those which are not willing give all this will probably never have their own business online.

      PS: I would not consider "making $1000 one month and then quit" a business.

    • Stephen Beck profile image

      Stephen Beck 

      12 years ago

      Great job on this hub! You paint a very realistic picture of what it takes to be successful at internet marketing. I especially enjoyed the "gold rush" analogy.

    • SEO Resources profile image

      SEO Resources 

      12 years ago

      Remember: When there's a gold rush but not much gold. You can always make money selling shovels.

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      13 years ago from New Zealand

      LOL dutch: I believe you! You have the same problem as I had - you have an odd mixture of old mining claims and internet marketing adsense showing. I took Adsense off this hub in the end because I was worried about the conversion rate: Google cant handle allegory and comparision!

    • dutch84 profile image


      13 years ago

    • Mike Goodchild profile image

      Mike Goodchild 

      13 years ago from Dartford

      Exellent Hub Lissie

      Although i thought it was the streets of london were paved with gold - maybe a different version in the uk. lol

      I am an internet marketeer and i agree with what you say - Its not about making a quick buck - For most people its about learing a whole new skill set which they inevitably don't learn quick enough to earn them the quick money they were looking for.

      Fact - 97% of people fail in MLM - You need a good teacher to succeed - This industry is more like teaching if you do it properly.

    • Evolving1 profile image


      13 years ago from United States

      Great job, Lissie!

      I appreciate the more realistic context you've presented for making money on net. Thanks for taking the time to share this important information.

    • shesagogetter profile image


      13 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great hub Lissie. Internet business is no different than any other type of business. Don't expect to make a full-time income without working full-time hours. There is plenty of money to be made, but not without the work involved. No product will make you rich overnight or with working half hour a day. Nothing ever comes for free LOL

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      13 years ago from New Zealand

      Sally I am just trying to keep up with the mountain of info out there - now way I am going to be far sighted until the smoke clears!

      Thanks for visiting vinny and lamach - may the contest begin soon!

    • vinnylingo profile image


      13 years ago

      Excellent article. Spot on in your analysis of the Internet Marketing industry. More people need to read this, and understand that to make it here takes a lot.

    • profile image

      Paul Lamach 

      13 years ago

      Anyone need a used left-handed ax? Its very lucky!

    • donnaleemason profile image


      13 years ago from North Dakota, USA

      Excellent Lissie. I learnt early on to keep my credit card locked up.


    • Sally's Trove profile image


      13 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Lissie, another wonderful article, packed with good information, well-laid out, and a breeze to read.

      Key for me in your hub is this: A far-sighted engineer persuaded the government to back a crazy scheme to pipe water...

      I'd like to be far-sighted about internet marketing one day, maybe to be in the life-support system for the rushes of the future. Right now, I'm learning. Excellent articles such as yours are propelling me forward along a daunting learning curve. Thanks so much!

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      13 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for your comment Angela - yeah its a business like any other - it takes time!

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 

      13 years ago from Around the USA

      Whaddyaknow, an honest look at internet marketing. The gold rush comparison is spot on. Hopefully, some get rich quick internet wannabes will read this and heed the warning. Making a living on the internet is like anything else, it takes time, work, commitment, money if available, and a little luck.

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      13 years ago from New Zealand

      @caregiver Ithink I disagree with you on this one Caregiver: I think earning an income from affilate sales or Adsense or other PPC is a business in the same way the a realator makes a living from getting a commission by putting a buyer and seller together.

      @Frank & Marisa its odd how one's areas of interest sometimes overlap :-)

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      13 years ago from Sydney

      " are the one most vulnerable to being sold the left handed hammer". Exactly! Great Hub as usual, the analogy is so true.

    • Frank Lee Blunt profile image

      Frank Lee Blunt 

      13 years ago from USA

      Thanks Lissie, as always your Hub is entertaining and informative. An interesting and accurate analogy is used here for sure. Great work!

    • Caregiver-007 profile image

      Margaret Hampton 

      13 years ago from Florida

      Full of wise caution, Lissie, as we have come to expect and rely upon. I must add that the shouting from the rooftops of "Yowsa, yowsa, make millions online!" is getting old, and it has claimed many funds that the desperate could ill afford to lose.

      There is some great information out there, though, and there are some wonderful, intelligent, successful people from whom we can learn much - valuable coaches, worth every penny. But too much information with conflicting sources only leads to being overwhelmed, frustrated, thwarted in forward movement...failure. You have to know to whom to listen on what topic and when... at the very time when you can use it to reach your own goals.

      The most important thing for people to realize is that internet marketing is NOT A BUSINESS (unless you are selling training in that area). It is a TOOL. We see more and more companies, large and small, as well as authors, consultants, and John Doe's using the internet as a TOOL - a delivery mechanism - for branding, gaining visibility, reaching a wider audience, delivering valuable information to niche audiences, teaching, networking and learning. Many in the IM community have been a blessing to me there.

      And Hubpages is part of that delivery mechanism.... where to be successful, you must be about content, quality, adding value to the conversation... So if you have a valuable product or service to sell, you need to learn the 21st Century's primary avenue of communicating that... you need to learn about internet marketing, blogging, podcasting, social networking...

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      13 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Great hub as usual :)

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      13 years ago from New Zealand

      I only went away for 2.5 days and my inbox and comments are a mess! Thanks everyone for visiting!

      @MrM and Jenny - I had no idea that I was talking about MLM - I don't know anything about he off line version except being uncomfortable when a friend or relative wants to sell me Avon cosmetics or Tupperwear. The tupperwear one particularly bermuses me - how can you make money selling a product that is so ood that Iam still using my MOTHER's contains (30+ years old) - its not like their function/form changes! I guees I don't get marketing of consumer products because having gone thru the first couple of years of well-paid jobs I got bored wtih buying "stuff". I mean I can spend money: travel, wine (just came back from the Margaret River wine growing area of WA), food; but nicknacks just don't do it for me! So how could I sell it to someone else?

      @Jenny: some of MrK's stuff I like - but he is terribly sales orientated and I don't think I'd been sane or solvent if I did 5 years in MLM! I do think it was him that made me understand the concept of selling your skills e.g. copyrighting which can't scale as wells as making near passive income via things like affiliate sales because you can take the month off and the money will still come thru.

      @Amanda: we drove Perth/Kalgoorlie return recently: the pipeline story deserves to be better known - perhaps 1 of us should write the hub!

      @ragan Ihear what are saying: yes people are making money but its no easier than any small business - hang in there :-)

      @mungus, yes please leave that credit card locked up! Check out my other hub on the topic of scams

      @C.S: and we don't even have a coin less than 5c in Australia so you can enver spend the pennies :-)

      @stressrelief - I sent you an emial via hubpages!

    • stressrelief profile image


      13 years ago from Nevada & Maryland

      Another extremely enjoyable, and informative, read! Thanks! Also send you a personal email asking you a "stupid" question :)

    • C.S.Alexis profile image


      13 years ago from NW Indiana

      Nice honest hub. Making pennies for countless hours hit the nail on the had.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      Golden words Lissie. I have now spent more than 2 years watching the internet evolve faster than I can keep up. I have made about $5 and spent a fair bit more, most of which is far out of date. Probably the biggest lesson I have learnt is to put the credit card in the safe and forget the combination. There are though, as with anything, a few nuggets but it takes a long time to recognise them and interrestingly they don't fleece you for their knowledge unlike some with 'explosive names' and nothing to back it up.

      Well done, as a newcomer I find your work refreshing, honest, entertaining and inciteful. A very big thumbs UP!!!

    • rajans68 profile image


      13 years ago from SECUNDERABAD , INDIA

      God only knows how much money I have spent on these Internet Get rich schemes without receiving a cent back in return . Perhaps there are people who have earned a lot of money there . Not me .

    • Amanda Kendle profile image

      Amanda Kendle 

      13 years ago from Perth

      Lissie, I loved your analogy to the Kalgoorlie pipeline! My husband is working on a project to refurbish that - they get about 15km a year done. Slowly does it - wouldn't work at internet speed ...

    • Inspirepub profile image


      13 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      MLM was the internet gold rush before everyone got on the internet!

      As a psychologist and marketing consultant, I found the whole MLM industry fascinating - I should write a Hub on the topic one day.

      I agree with Robert Kiyosaki, though - if you want to be wealthy, and you don't reach age 18 with your people management/persuasion/listening/consulting and positive mental attitude/goal-setting skills already in place, then 5 years in MLM is the cheapest and easiest way to bring them up to scratch.

      Beware anyone selling a quick-fix or instant riches. You won't get wealthy until YOU are ready to be wealthy, and only 1% luck in to being ready by accident.

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      13 years ago from Sydney


      Here are a few facts!

      Bought a down line of 10,000 people. One was a 70 year old guy who was making $10,000 plus per month and a young lady on his down line was making $7,500 per month.

      I know these figures as I received written verifcation every month.

      The content is not in what your downline is.... It is what sits on your top line.

      In my MLM team I needed 15 names on the top line. Commencing with one; in 12 months, I had achieved 13 good people. Not enough to catch Paul who was 10 down.

      Anyway after a lot of hard work and away from home more often than not, I arrived at 13 on the top line and another 1,800 signed up below or downline.

      I got sick spent some time in hospital, perhaps a little disheartened. Sold to a gentlman, who was a cupboard drinker. He managed to achieve the other three members on the top line within four months. Then he he became an alcoholic.

      He died with 12 months.

      I am still alive.

      Things you must remember Down line is not what makes you the money it is top line, Some Companies have strict requirements. As you say Lissie, they were there first and they make the rules. Abide or die.

      Incidentally your trained water supplier saw the Writing on the wall and put his money into 15 people on the top line of a MLM company and became richer still.

      MLM is not for the people who think they will get rich very quick nor for those who do not know what hard work or long hours at meetings or driving a Car

      Great hub

      Thank you 

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      13 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks everyone for your kind comments!

      @Topstuff I am not sure if I will earn anything on this one: Adsense is showing minining jobs - I thought that might happen!

      @ Solar - I must admit I thought of the man selling water as I wrote this - I really should research him: the true Australian way to have invested his money would have been to buy a pub of course!

      @Shaur - yes 1 think the new prospector defiinitly shouldn't be doing is writing the book on where to find gold!

      @Steve - very true - and I will check out the book I don't know it!

    • stevemark122000 profile image


      13 years ago from Southern California

      Very good information. Great Job! You make an excellent point when you say "unlike most off-line businesses you don't need significant capital to make money on-line, you don't even have to give up your day job". The only thing you need is patience and perserverence to gain and apply knowledge and skills. There is no such thing as get rich quick if you want to make money in an honest way. I think that many people feel like they are a failure if they do not see huge success in the first 6 months in business. It takes years to build knowlegde, skills and credibility. Something that most people do not have the patience for. This is something I have had to work on myself. A book that really helped me change the way I think is called The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen.

    • Shaur online profile image

      Shaur online 

      13 years ago from Kansas City, Ks

      Love this hub Lissie. It puts just the right perspective on all the hype. I actually know people who make a few good bucks on the internet, but they are hawking their own wares at the big e-store in the sky. A friend told me that she thought internet marketing without a product to sell was just a way to lick stamps for someone else. Well, don't know but if you came up with a product for 99.95, I think I would try to come up with the price. You're worth it.

    • Passionatepurpose profile image


      13 years ago from T.X.

      Bravo Lissie!

      Most Internet marketers are selling information to other "wanna-be" Internet marketers, who are trying to learn how to sell information to other "wanna be" Internet marketers. Can anybody see a dog chasing it's tail? As J.D. Salinger says,"So it goes."

    • solarshingles profile image


      13 years ago from london

      As always, Lissie, you are the real Queen of writing very interesting, very trendy and educational hubs!

      Your quote: 'What happened to the man with the contract to ship the water into town on the railway? I suspect he went broke.'

      I think, he'd made more than enough profit from its past business activities of selling water. He'd invested that cash into gold reserve, and he lived happily, ever after...

    • topstuff profile image


      13 years ago

      Definitely i liked the hub with a thumbs up,actually a good example is made between the two markets.Id suggest others who has not joined hubpages,signup right now and start earning like you.Isn't it cool?


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