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Author Topic: Is my industry "cheap" ?  (Read 3266 times)

Gif

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Is my industry "cheap" ?
« on: April 16, 2012, 11:30:33 AM »
How do you know if you will ever make money with an industry?  I've heard many times from other site owners and bloggers that the rock climbing industry is composed of a bunch of cheap people who don't spend any money.  It seems like many are just concerned about saving money for gas to go on trips, not about buying any content on the internet.

Are these guys just saying this because they haven't figured out a good revenue model?  Or am I fighting a losing battle?  Also, so you know, I haven't tried to make money yet.  I'm still trying to drive traffic and get a lot of free content out there.  However I don't know if I'll ever reach Jack's recommendations of x (something around 500-1000) number of visits a day before you worry about making money.  Any advise would be welcome. 

Josh

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Re: Is my industry "cheap" ?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 12:12:21 PM »
Quote
Are these guys just saying this because they haven't figured out a good revenue model?

Your audience may not buy stuff online. But they buy stuff. I've never seen anyone climb in the nude.
They go places. Eat stuff. Some workout.

You may not be able to retire on affiliate sales. But affiliate sales with ads with sponsored reviews with sponsored trips to climbing spot X with site sponsors with ebooks with what-the-hell-ever, you should be able to make a decent living.

A key to success is attracting the right audience. People who are unwilling/unable to spend money are not your target audience.

I don't remember Jack's recommendation for the number of visits.

JakeR

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Re: Is my industry "cheap" ?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 07:42:48 PM »
How do you know if you will ever make money with an industry?  I've heard many times from other site owners and bloggers that the rock climbing industry is composed of a bunch of cheap people who don't spend any money.  It seems like many are just concerned about saving money for gas to go on trips, not about buying any content on the internet.

Are these guys just saying this because they haven't figured out a good revenue model?  Or am I fighting a losing battle?  Also, so you know, I haven't tried to make money yet.  I'm still trying to drive traffic and get a lot of free content out there.  However I don't know if I'll ever reach Jack's recommendations of x (something around 500-1000) number of visits a day before you worry about making money.  Any advise would be welcome.

I almost did a fitness website with a friend, but he bailed.  Rock climbing = active = fitness.

Look for some affiliate programs and promote the shit out of them via the method Jack suggests in one of his episodes (pretty sure its this one) http://www.jackspirko.com/episode-83-effectively-selling-via-affiliate-programs  Recommend the products like Jack does with the survival podcast (today's post is sponsored by x)

Here's a couple ideas to get you started.

http://www.elementbars.com/  - Look into their affiliate program and wholesale program

http://cleanbottle.com/ - doesn't have an affiliate program from what I can see, but it is on amazon.com

How about the premium stuff?  Rock climbing equipment, REI yuppie stuff (not to offend, but this is the opinion I have of most extreme sport athletes :p )

Maybe you could write a guide a month on areas of the country and feature the best rock climbing areas. Cover a state a month or block it off to 12 regions and you'd have the U.S. covered in a year.

Maybe you could target general hikers too?  Do rock climbers camp?  Backpack? 

Just some thoughts.
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Jesse2004

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Re: Is my industry "cheap" ?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 09:22:15 PM »
There are a bunch of very poor folks who live to climb, scrounge meals, bum rides, camp by the cliffs and generally don't spend much cash on anything.  I'm guessing those hard core cheap folks aren't likely to spend a lot of time on your site. 

While the el cheapo person may be the stereotype of the rock climbers, there are also a whole bunch of the yuppies who started later, climb a lot in gyms and are looking for your site to be their vicarious outlet into a climbing life that they fantasize about.  Those folks spend lots of time on line and have some money to spend on movies, gear, books, etc.  Also, a lot of them don't want to waste time stumbling around, so they don't mind hiring a local guide when they climb, and don't mind shelling out extra for a guide book that helps them find the routes they are looking for and tells them what type of pro they need on their rack to protect each pitch of the climb.

BTW - the answer to your question is "The way you know if you will ever make money with an industry is to start - and see how it goes..."
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SPayne

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Re: Is my industry "cheap" ?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 07:59:09 PM »
I wouldn't say cheap, I have a buddy at work that him and his daughter both climb, of course they had to buy some equipment to start with. He has also built a rock wall at his house, made his own holds put it all together and learned to map out his routes. I don't climb, but I can see lots of different ways climbers can spend money.

I believe the reference to the visits was actually about subscribers, someone has to be visiting and reading your content and you don't want to turn off leads with ads and things before there is activity.

Gif

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Re: Is my industry "cheap" ?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2012, 06:17:45 AM »
Thanks everyone.  I think you guys are right, climbers obviously buy stuff.  I have to cater to the weekend warrior yuppie climber.  The dirtbags that live in their van aren't visiting my site anyhow...like you said.  Good point there.

I think the guys who complain about the climbing culture being cheap either have never tried to sell anything or are trying to sell media like climbing videos, which the market is super saturated with free content on Youtube and Vimeo. 

Josh

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Re: Is my industry "cheap" ?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 02:53:07 PM »
Thanks everyone.  I think you guys are right, climbers obviously buy stuff.  I have to cater to the weekend warrior yuppie climber.  The dirtbags that live in their van aren't visiting my site anyhow...like you said.  Good point there.

I think the guys who complain about the climbing culture being cheap either have never tried to sell anything or are trying to sell media like climbing videos, which the market is super saturated with free content on Youtube and Vimeo.

2 quick thoughts
1. YouTube isn't saturated with videos by you.
2. Don't discount the "poor" viewers. They can be a huge part of the community. But you can't forget who you serve and who is paying your bills.

UFAB

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Re: Is my industry "cheap" ?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 10:38:39 AM »
There's definitely people in rock climbing circles that will pay. I once attended a clinic taught by Arno Ilgner who wrote The Rock Warrior's Way. It wasn't free, and there were about a dozen of us.

Also, Chris Sharma and Steph Davis seem to make a living from rock climbing, and even though they are names, they must be getting sponsorships from somewhere.

JakeR

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Re: Is my industry "cheap" ?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 10:24:03 PM »
Thanks everyone.  I think you guys are right, climbers obviously buy stuff.  I have to cater to the weekend warrior yuppie climber.  The dirtbags that live in their van aren't visiting my site anyhow...like you said.  Good point there.

I think the guys who complain about the climbing culture being cheap either have never tried to sell anything or are trying to sell media like climbing videos, which the market is super saturated with free content on Youtube and Vimeo.

2 quick thoughts
1. YouTube isn't saturated with videos by you.
2. Don't discount the "poor" viewers. They can be a huge part of the community. But you can't forget who you serve and who is paying your bills.

Man I love that, "They aren't saturated with videos by you"  We have to remember, part of this journey is selling ourselves. Er, not in a bad way.  My niche is saturated by people doing the personal development thing, but not by me.
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Gif

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Re: Is my industry "cheap" ?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 06:03:39 AM »
Good point on not saturated by me.  Guess I'll have to work on my saturation level!   :)

dkwest

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Re: Is my industry "cheap" ?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2012, 10:14:15 AM »
I know this is an old thread, but I'll share my 2 cents in case it's helpful. 

Consider me: Back when I had more time to climb, and was younger and took more risks ;), I didn't have as much money for the gear.  The gear is definitely expensive, so there's a data point to consider... same w/ skiing. 

But, now, money is less of an issue.  Time is important, and quality of experience.  If I want to go climbing again, beyond a climbing gym, I'll be much more likely to go with a guide or if it's facilitated in some way.  Eg. good place to climb, pro placed by a pro (or bolts that I know are good), and where I can either take my young son with me or at least know I'm likely to come home to him again. 

So, I've kind of become a different market than when I was younger. 

Think also of people who've read "Into Thin Air" and have a dream, but know zip about it, and don't know how to take the first step, leave alone commit to a year-long Mountaineers course.  Also, the climbing scene is like the weightlifting scene in that there are a lot of young, fit people who intimidate (intentionally or not) newbies. 

(Honestly, you could also try to market aspects of climbing to non-climbers or occasional folks... Think of the huge market for poser stuff out there in outdoors, tactical, etc... This doesn't sound very High Road but it could be done in a positive, ethical way... Think about how rare carabiner keychains used to be, now they're ubiquitous).

How about climbing guides with GPS-tagged photos and videos from different vantage points?  Navigation of details can be a challenge in new areas.  How about rating climbs for busy-ness? 

I'll bet if you had guided 3-day few-pitch rope climbs that were beginner-friendly in some beautiful areas you'd be able to charge reasonable trip fees (work with a good local restaurant or caterer, make it gourmet?).  Just a thought. 

Anyhow, I wish you luck, and hope you're still at it. 

David

Jesse2004

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Re: Is my industry "cheap" ?
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2012, 12:53:17 PM »
I'll bet if you had guided 3-day few-pitch rope climbs that were beginner-friendly in some beautiful areas you'd be able to charge reasonable trip fees (work with a good local restaurant or caterer, make it gourmet?).  Just a thought. 

I'm another one who used to climb a lot, but not in a while.  I'm trying to get my kids into it, so I can do some more too.  Meanwhile hiring a guide is definitely something I'd consider.  I had a trip to New York a while back (for my life partner's work - she had a conference), so I traveled with her and hired a guide for the day to climb some easy stuff in the Gunks - great day.  Then the next day, I was able to climb some of the same stuff with her.   I'd definitely do that again. 

The guide I picked was really at random - through the local guide service.  I'd much rather climb with someone I followed on a blog site - or at least someone who when I considered climbing with them had an active blog to give me a good idea of what they are about.
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