Scam: to swindle someone by means of a trick
It takes a certain kind of person to get interested in Internet Marketing. Most of us are opportunity seekers looking to make lots of money as quickly as possible. I wouldn’t say we’re a greedy bunch, rather that we’re highly money motivated.
Unfortunately that makes Internet Marketers the perfect target for make-money-online scams.
Many of these scams masquerade as helpful tools or IM courses, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the person who created the tool or course is tricking you to get money.
While the FTC is cracking down on those telling outright lies, there’s still plenty of grey area and ‘flexibility’ in marketing.
The key is to be able to quickly identify and dismiss the latest scam product that some IM Guru just emailed you, and avoid wasting your hard-earned money.
Identifying IM Scams
Almost all ‘scam’ sales pages (squeeze pages) have the following things in common:
- The creator tells their story, which invariably involves being broke or in debt, living on the street or in a van, and working for pennies in an unsatisfying job. This part of the presentation is designed to connect with you and says, I’ve been where you are.
- Next they show their current wealth. This was traditionally done with pictures of mansions, sports cars, and boats (easily faked), and now is commonly done with screen shots of Clickbank or other affiliate accounts full of hundreds of thousands of dollars (even easier to fake). This is the part where they get you excited by the possibilities.
- Then they reveal that there was one specific tool that they discovered or created that was the difference between living on the streets and banking millions – and you can get access to the tool for only $49.97! This is the part where they lie. The tool they’re selling you may or may not be helpful, but it was their internet marketing knowledge that allowed them to make money – not some push-button software.
- This is then followed up with more earnings screen shots and testimonials (solicited or fabricated) to reinforce the sale.
- Then they close the presentation with some kind of scarcity – “only available for a limited time!”, or “price is going to double tomorrow!”, or my favorite “only 7 copies left before we close the doors forever!” This is BS, however scarcity is a powerful motivator.
- Finally they seal the deal with a no-questions asked money-back guarantee. This is critical as it makes you feel more comfortable buying and is protection against fraud complaints. For the record they do honor the guarantee. I’ve asked for my money back on several products and services and received it every time.
This format is used because it works – and it works well. Even though I’ve seen literally hundreds of these sales pages or sales videos, when I read a good one it still make me want to buy!
[yellow_box]You should know that the creators of these sales pages are professional writers who get paid thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. It’s rare that the sales or squeeze page was written by the actual creator of the product.[/yellow_box]
The truth is, some of the content on these sales pages may be true – but the vast majority of it is exaggerated, half-truths, or outright lies.
Don’t fall for it!
The surprising thing is the number of people that are lured into buying this stuff with the promise that they can use ‘push-button software’ or ’10-minute mini sites’ to make a fortune while doing next to no work.
This is all lies. If it were really that easy to make money online then everyone would do it.
It takes time, know how, and some money to do this business right – and your best use for that money is on things like web hosting, domain registration, keyword research, and SEO outsourcing or tools.
People advertising ‘push button software’ and overnight millions are liars that are trying to make an easy buck.
The worst part about these web scams is they give the rest of us a bad name and make the public that much more cautious of the internet. Oh, they also waste a ton of your time!
How to Really Get Started Making Money
So if the latest Internet Marketing course or program is a waste of money, then how are you supposed to learn this business?
First, it’s important that you understand that making money online takes time.
Sure, if you know what you’re doing and have money to work with you can make money online pretty quickly, but if you’re just starting out then don’t expect to make any money for a while.
It could take 3 months to make your first sale, and 6 months or more to make a regular income.
While some people make a full-time income within a year of starting their business, they are the exception to the rule and make up well under 1% of people in this business.
I’m not trying to discourage you, but I think it’s important to start out with realistic expectations.
Second, You can literally get a free education in Internet Marketing.
The internet is full of great information, and a lot of what I know I learned from the following websites:
Smart Passive Income – One of the better IM blogs. Pat updates his site every couple days, and has a getting started guide to help new IMers.
ViperChill – Another good IM blog, however ViperChill is written for more intermediate to advanced IMers.
The Warrior Forum – Like most web forums, you’ll have to wade through a ton of junk to find the gems, but there are some real gems on the Warrior Forum. A good place to start is this list of the best Warrior Forum threads.
I’d recommend avoiding the WSO – Warrior Special Offer – section, as this is full of the scams I was talking about above. There are some quality WSOs too, but until you’ve started making money online I’d stay away.
These are the sites I use the most often, however there are plenty of others.
That said – Don’t read too many different websites! Information overload is one of the top causes of IM failure. Also, it’s easy to spend hours just on the sites I list above, and if you’re not applying what you learn then you won’t make any money.
Are All IM Products Scams?
That isn’t to say that every product or service targeted toward Internet Marketers is a scam. I’ve used many excellent products and read more than my fair share of eBooks that were full of great information.
If you’re looking for a solid online program that can really teach you how to make money online then checkout Affilorama by Mark Ling. <- Yes that's an affiliate link, however Mark's site has tons of free information on how to make money online, so even if you never spend a dime it’s still well worth your time to check it out.
Mark also has weekly free webinars that are worth checking out. Most of them have sales pitches at the end, but they’re still packed full of valuable content, and you can listen to them for free.
That’s it for this week – remember, don’t waste your money on Internet Marketing Scams!