Internet Marketing Scams – I’m Retiring From Them

This is  it – my final word on Internet Marketing scams. Every now and then I check out yet another program – the last one I was considering was Ed Dale’s 30 Day Challenge – I even started following along – but frankly I got so bored with the leaden pace that I dropped off (to sleep). Then we got to the show down to see what they the actual up-sell was happening – it was mainly Intermediate Edge – hmmm $97 or $67/month whatever – put it on the maybe list. Then the next message to the list was all about Kajabi – WTF – where did that come from – and it wasn’t even his product … You probably thought the same.

New Plymouth, New Zealand

So why am I retiring from Internet Marketing scams? Well  frankly the competition is really too much- I’m being beaten by a robot! Oh and  it takes quite a lot of time to check out the “new” programs.  But really I am very much feeling like “been there, done that” . Those of you who thought I was a little harsh on my Third Tribe Marketing review or Scribe SEO Review – both from Brian Clark aka Copyblogger may find The Salty Droid an interesting site to check before you buy anything (more).  DISCLAIMER that site uses bad language and has incorrect punctuation!

Part of it is I kept on research latest launches hoping that I would find another program that compares with the Keyword Academy – I haven’t. Though if you want just the facts and not the support and the hand-holding kum-by-yah forum – then Nomad’s e-book will work for you too.

Recently our local news featured a lady in her late 60’s who had been scammed into paying tens of thousands of dollars for a business marketing course – which taught her – basically how to sell the course to others, on the side she should cold-call local businesses and get them to pay for her marketing plan. But she hadn’t been taught much about marketing (it was a 7 day course … ) and she felt like a fraud… so she stopped doing it. One of the reasons she wanted the money was because she had debts from property investment schemes which had gone bad … Sounded so much like every second guru launch in Internet Marketing it was scary.

A year or so ago I would have been foaming at the mouth about people who scam others – this time I wondered whether anyone held a gun to her head to sign the contract. She was reported as being treated “like royalty” when they flew her to Auckland – well of course they bloody did – after all she could have enrolled for a marketing course at somewhere like the Open Polytechnic for around $500 – and got an interest-deferred student loan to pay for it! Didn’t she smell something then … Did she not give even the slightest thought about what value she was getting – apparently not.

Fools and their money as they say… Actually the psychology is fascinating – and the behavour described in the comments on this post  about the so-called Internet Marketing Syndicate but actually talking about Ed Dale’s 30DC – are an echo of what Iread and experienced with the Site Build It review post.  I’ve even seen it in the Keyword Academy – and there it happens without the moderators encouraging and supporting it. When the owners of the site really want to do “my way or the highway” – its a frighteningly easy upsell.

Internet Marketing scams of the moment by the way:

  • SEO for local businesses
  • Video blogging
  • membership sties (never gets old that one)
  • Kajabi is particularly evil – check out Rob’s Kajabi review

My advice – as usual

  • YES you can make money online – you make it money from people who want to pay for products or services – NOT by selling get rich Make Money Online schemes
  • NO as a beginner you can’t make enough online to stop your house being foreclosed in the next month – sorry – that’s the reality
  • YES  you can really develop an online business that you can operate anywhere in the world with your laptop and a broadband connection;
  • NO trying to work on said laptop on the beach, or by the pool – is just plain stupid (try it if you are not sure …)
  • YES you can learn what you need online using low cost, legitimate programs such as the Keyword Academy.
  • NO – spending more and more money and more and more expensive courses/programs/coaching/gurus – won’t help – at the end of the day you need to do the work
  • YES – making money online is hard work and you will work for up to a year and earn very little
  • NO you won’t  earn enough to take a extended 2-month overseas trip within a year;
  • YES many people can do this – even if they know nothing about marketing – I know because I was one of them.
  • NO not everyone can make it – check out my post on Online Income Secrets

Despite the occasional panics when Google changes its algorithms – very little but detail changed in the two years I’ve been doing this. To make money online you need to:

  • choose good keywords – those that are used by those searching the Internet with money to spend
  • you need to develop a website or use someone else’s site to put some content up. Regardless of what  the above gurus say – unique content is easier to rank than duplicated crap, regardless of what the grammar purists will say the quality of that content matters very little for ranking
  • you need to get some basic On-Page SEO right
  • you need some time because a site gains authority over time (if you do it right (and page rank is practically irrelevant)
  • you need to get backlinks – the easiest way to do this build your own
  • once you rank you will get traffic – once you have traffic you can worry about monetization
  • rinse and repeat, some keywords will work, some won’t, some audiences will buy, some won’t – if you aren’t prepared to experiment and test – you won’t get far.

So that’s it from me on Internet Marketing scams – really people if its sounds too good to be true – then it probably is – you don’t need me to check it out for you! And yes everything I recommend here is a genuine recommendation – which is why I didn’t make $117,231.25  from this site last month!

31 replies on “Internet Marketing Scams – I’m Retiring From Them”

Good points Lis. I should add that I do buy shite from some of the top “gurus” but it is all a value thing for me. These guys sell stuff that is primarily marketing based and not get rich quick online based….2 separate things…

As far as the other stuff, well, they are doing what marketers do; selling stuff to people who unrealistically think that they can do nothing for something. Weight loss gurus are essentially doing the same thing as well as a wide range of other markets.

The problem is really on the other end (and no, I am not shifting blame here). First of all, the market dictates the language of the offer as well as the offer itself. If more people suddenly said, you know I don’t really care about how to get 50k twitter followers in 15 minutes, the products would dry up (or worse still, be sold as PLR for the low-rent 4th tier marketers out there to push to their lists).

The other problem has to do with whether something will fit into someone’s business model. I don’t really do pay-per-click. I do affiliate marketing. That’s my business model. So, I really would have no business purchasing informational material on how to do pay-per-click properly because it doesn’t fit into my current model.

In fact, there would be no offer that could sway me to investigate. In fact, even if my best friend came up and said “dude….I can show you how to make $xx,xxx in 6 months”, I still wouldn’t budge. NOT my business model so therefore, I could lose a lot of ground committing.

Most people don’t think that way. They don’t because they really don’t know what their objective is other to make a ton of money…..and therein lies the problem, right?

I think you are dead right there Leo – most people don’t know they are in business – so they don’t realise they need a business model. I am not a big fan of business plans, particularly in the early stages – but I think you at least need to know what you model you are doing PPC/organic affiliate/Adsense/CPA supersite/minisites listbuilding etc etc I think all of those are legit business models- but you can’t do them all, and certainly not all at one time!

Build your reputation as much as you build your links and content, and you’ll not only get followers, but targeted followers. I agree you have to invest a lot of time, particularly in the first year. And it’s not a get rich quick scheme. Nothing is unless of course, you’re in politics 0-)

Jule it depends on the niche – in MMO – yes you need a reputation – but for other niches – not so much – search traffic rules 🙂

In my experience it all boils down to:

“NO – spending more and more money and more and more expensive courses/programs/coaching/gurus – won’t help – at the end of the day you need to do the work”

People who buy in this kind of scams want to believe in ‘get quick over night schemes’ and because they want to believe that this exists, they buy in this kind of products, over and over again, making others rich, perhaps not over night, but over time.

As for quality content, I am not a native English speaker / writer, so my content is never top quality to start with on the grammar / spelling front BUT I do believe in providing top quality when it comes to things like information and well researched facts. In the end, Google’s ultimate goal is to provide the most relevant search result to a person for the keyword(s) they searched for. If we aim at giving Google what Google wants, it is far easier to rank for said content, imo. I have yet to see a Google slap because of bad spelling, but I have seen several happening because of bad content – black laptop anybody? SY

@SY your English leaves most of us native speakers for dead! And yes you’re right – most people are desperate for the magic bullet – the one that doesn’t exist

I understand why you’re retiring from showing up the internet marketing scams, and your advice at the bottom of the post is spot on. Unfortunately, a lot of these scams seem to be the first thing that newbies see. It’s not until they’ve been burned that they come across sites with real advice like this (or just give up completely).

To be honest there will always be scams in any business. It used to make me feel really bad that there are so many scammers in IM, but it’s the same anywhere. Thankfully I now concentrate my efforts on what works rather than being upset by the scammers.

yeah your’re right Ruth I can dominate the search engine rankings for some of them – but most of the big boys pay amazing commissions so there are some very good SEO’s who rank for the main keywords. The other thing too is the print and TV advertising …

Love the line about not using your laptop on the beach or by the pool just because its awkward 🙂

I have spent a lot of money on buying a lot of crap and it took quite a long time before I started to find sites like yours and Dave and now I have joined TAK because you guys rave about it. TBH it has helped me. I have setup my 1st supersite which is getting traffic and a couple of clicks (Maybe enough for a can of juice). I am beginning to get back links from people I have had nothing to do with so thats great too.

If only more people who want to earn money online would find sites like these first we would maybe get more quality information out there.

@Colin – yeah laptops on the beach is like sex on the beach -attractive as a fantasy until you actually try it – and everyone should – once 🙂 To be honest some of the people in the TKA forum seem not to have found any of the real scams – they are quite hilariously innocent at times. But innocent is better than broke and that is the issue with these scammers

LMAO this blog is sometimes not safe for drinking near your keyword – sorry – should have mentioned that … And I agree its a really bad idea to try the above suggestion in some countries – nearly got arrested for going topless in California years ago..

Hi Lis,

Thanks for that link and what a good solid post you did there, that last list is spot on advice, even if people don’t like it or believe it. 🙂

I can’t believe what a can of worms Salty is opening, busting these scammers for all it’s worth, it has to be done too.

I left comments on that blog and the syndicates minions jump in en mass to slam you down, vote comments down, sad really, they are just as bad as the scammers… they support it.

The sooner the scammers are out of business the better. 🙂

The magic bullet… I KNOW what that is, COMMON SENSE!! 😉

@Rob – I noticed his vote up/down on comments thing – its a good idea – I know how it can be a full time job moderating a huge number of comments on a popular post. yeah I am liking Salty – he’s fun!

I agree, more so if you don’t moderate comments at all, let your commenter’s do it all instead, only issue with that is like I say, the small mob mentality that goes with it, on both sides of the coin.

Easy for the scammers to get their bum-licking backslapping idiots to go vote people down, likewise same as it does for those on the other side of the fence.

If a vote counts, I try to make it only on the comments that deserve it, good or bad. 😉

Interesting idea though. 😉

I tried the 30 DC twice now. Last year it was ok, but I feel this year it was all over the place and they gave bad and incomplete information. If this is anything like the second paid part I would never ever buy it!
Plus all the info in any e-book can be found for free as well. It might take a bit more digging and looking in different places, but there is always a free blogpost on it somewhere 🙂

Yes I’d tried it before too James – this time it was really tedious and I disliked that the first week they had people signed up for a paying service just to post WordPress blogs – not cool. And they do promote Market Samurai – which I love – but yes I found the Salty Droid’s discussion really interesting about the links between all these so-called “A-listers”

Hi Lis, spot on! In the end once you get what works and what’s a shady marketing pitch, then there’s not much point in spending the money to review another scam. Everyone who falls for it attacks you, and there will still be more people looking for the silver bullet that doesn’t exist as opposed to doing the work to make a long term business model that works. Keep up the good work, and I’ll second loving the sex on the beach comparison. Not a bad drink, either, LOL. Keep up the good work!

Before I found Keyword Academy I used to have “shiny new object syndrome” and bought way too many courses and eBooks on Internet marketing. Although I never bought anything from the $1997 price point group I’m sure there are a lot of newbies that have. I don’t condone shady marketing in any niche, but the reason why these “gurus” do it is because it works. So many people are looking for a quick way to make money and I don’t care what type of job or business you are in, there is no way to make quick money (unless it is illegal). I almost don’t feel sorry for the people who get burned anymore.

I think a lot of people who try Internet marketing fail because they don’t put in the work. If you can learn the basics and build off of that, you can make money. Your advice is spot on people simply need to concentrate on working rather than buying the latest program that will make them money.

Yeah but working – how hard is that! That’s not sexy at all! – Mind you working for your self is so much better than working for anyone else

Agree Tiffany. I have made small investments or consumed too much content but never bought anything in that price range. It works. The gurus use neurolinguistic programming and online prey on a combination of naivete and greed. I wouldn’t call myself an Internet Marketer. I have been working recently as a Teacher and am looking for work again, but everything comes back to hard work, persistence and effort. In other one of Lissie’s posts someone was asking about the premium version of the TKA which I didn’t know existed. They say there is nothing like ‘being there’ and there may have been a few extras. However I figure when you are tired, frustrated, couldn’t be bothered all of the motivation you get from the ‘atomosphere’ at these bootcamp type courses is going to abandon you. Motivation is something that comes from within and is sustained, it’s what drives you to be good at anything.

As for the illegality, the first report on cybercrime was released recently showing that the percentage of victims never report cybercrime. I know there are probably various reasons for this and I don’t want to conflate the terms crime, fraud, scam and puffery. However from what I know even if someone was breaching trade practice or other consumer legislation, and the scammer is living in your local jurisdiction with a business registration and an address with lots of assets, for some reason, there is something about the MMO market that makes people reluctant to make a report to their local consumer affairs department, or file a $40 filing fee to have a claim heard in the fair trading list at VCAT.

Maybe it’s something to do with the embarrassment they feel and the fact that people will judge them as greedy because there are no limits to claimant’s imagination when buying other goods/services and filing civil claims in the Tribunal in the state I live in in Australia. No costs, no legal representation, informal, speedy etc, but rarely used for internet marketing claims which breach trade practices legislation.

Ouch Lissie! You’re gonna get these big guys hunting you down and topping you in a goodfellas kind of way! I do like what you’ve said though. I can’t remember how many times I’ve been emailed by all these ‘IM buddies’ about Kajabi! Where can it ever go next? Your list is all any newbie (I put myself in this category still) needs to get started. And for free too! Thanks

The tactics they use alienates a lot of internet users. The defamation threats don’t go down well with most internet users. It only puts money in the pockets of lawyers.
There is a place for product review sites, although big brands have infinite amounts of money to engage in all kinds of tactics.


I have been reading here for sometimes to know that you will speak the truth! I really like that, as a new to IM, I have not much money so luckily I am saved by these scams but that means other people are building links by buying and ranking higher than work by one ol me.

I heard Kajabi was dud so they are making an updates on it.

To anyone that says its the buyers fault for being so vulnerable, BS! These sharks blatantly lie in their marketing messages. That isn’t marketing, its manipulation. SD and myself (with my imminent site) will down these ****s!

I’ve been reading some of the 30 day challenge stuff – still haven’t figured out what there is to it all.

Heard Ed talking about how great Frank Kern is, and after reading the Salty Droid lately, well….

Ed Dale is a liar and a fraud, plain and simple. His latest frauduct is Magcast – thousands of dollars for advice on how to get listed in the Apple newstand app that simple doesn’t work.

Frank Kern, Ed Dale, Dan Raine – they are all the same – hopefully one day they will meet someone who they have hurt and get the shit beaten out of them – because that is truly what they deserve.

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