By: Steven Rich, Web Developer, SEM, Internet Strategist, 15 years online
My brother emailed me the other day and asked whether an infomercial web page, you know the ones that scroll forever, was a valuable purchase. I checked out the page and knew instantly it wasn't. How did I know?
The “Be an Instant Millionaire" Title
If I see titles containing phrases like these I know it's probably a con:
- Adsense Riches
The reality is that 1% of Internet sites make money with Adsense. 99% of that 1% is Google.
- Massive Passive Income Streams
For the seller, maybe, but then why would they be selling their own product? No one sells a money making business to individuals who come across their web pages by chance. If they did they would dilute their own earnings potential; meaning they make more money selling the dud system, product or service, than they do utilizing it themselves.
- How To Make Mini Sites
Mini sites never make more than $1 per week. So you’ll need around 2000 of them to make a good living.
- 100+ Adsense Ready Web Sites
Google penalizes duplicate content and keyword enhanced sites with little content.
Set and forget what? That you paid $97 for a dead site or product? The web is ever evolving and anything set and forgot last year is history.
- Massive Amounts Of Laser-Targeted Traffic
Not without massive amounts of organic search engine optimization, which takes massive amounts of time and expertise, or bucket loads of burning cash on pay per click advertising campaigns.
- Instant Money Affiliate
There is no such thing as instant money from affiliate programs. Even the most dedicated affiliate marketing companies (let alone individuals) make money from around only twenty top affiliate programs. Most of those are from Commission Junction.
- Skyrocket Your Adsense
With duplicate content, phony cloaking and black hat tricks? Even a dedicated SEO cannot manufacture traffic for a cheap site. People need a reason to come to your site and laser targeted ad campaigns do not work without spending money. If they promise you 5000 or 10000 etc visitors a day it’s probably a lie. They can easily ping your site from a cloaked URL to make it look like you received a visitor.
- Cracked The Adsense Code
Yes, Google cracked it! Google owns the code and are the only company that makes 99% of their profits from the Adwords/Adsense Empire. Even the top social bookmarking sites would have no value if it were not for their database of users.
- Instantly Build Your Own Google Adsense Empire
There is no such thing as ‘instantly' in relation to business, let alone online business.
- Killer Sales Copy
A good copywriter will earn thousands of dollars. I don't know of a single way to generate killer sales copy for less. Duplicated killer sales copy is useless.
- Instant Commission Collectors
True, 5% of $1 = 5c x 10 000 visitors per month (if you're good) = $500/month. What they mean is “Instantly work every single day from 9am to 10pm to get 10 000 people to visit your web site for $500”. What an excellent deal!
- Paid Surveys
If you sit at your PC every single day for a week you can make around $200. Just about enough to cover your electricity, broadband connection, and payments on your Notebook.
- Buy/Sell Domain Names
All the really great domains have gone. Big companies specialize in this sort of activity and have long thought of all the obvious domain names. But let's say you know of a new movie being released titled “conmeaffiliates”. If you buy the domain name “conmeaffiliates.com” it will be valueless within a few months. Unless of course the movie is a hit, in which case the people who make money out of it will be the producers, not you.
- Make over $3000 per week doing nothing
If there's nothing to do then no money will be earned. Simple rule of life isn't it?
- Become a Millionaire
I know of no individual, though there may be a handful, who became a millionaire by buying an ebook or signing up to an affiliate marketing program. The people who make money are the ones that show YOU how to make money by conning you into the belief that it's possible. Of the millions of ebooks created, only a handful has made any significant amount of money and none of them have made millions from a single book. There have been a few successes here and there but it's the tiniest fraction of people who attempt it. You have to be honest with yourself about this.
- Secret Decoded or Why am I revealing my secrets
There are no secrets. You can Google anything.
- Instant Niche Web Site
Every single niche worth creating has already been created. Most of the sub-niches have also been created. It's nearly impossible to compete with the top blogs. And if you wanted to give it a go there would be nothing instant about it. You're going to be working hard at creating rich content, or your blog will die.
- Converting All The Way To The Bank
Please take your bank manager your web traffic statistics and put a dollar sign before each line. You still won't get a loan.
- Never work again
Unless it's a lotto site, by chance.
- Give up your day job
Yes yes yes, so you can work all night, ignore your family, become addicted to getting traffic for your white elephant, and believe believe believe you are going to make it.
- Money Machine
You really need to be quite a clever programmer to make a money machine, to a point. If you do not add new features, keep up with competitors, or build links every day, you're out. If you are considering buying a so called “money machine” make sure you research who made money with it. Your search could take around 12 seconds.
- Prints Non-Stop Profits For You Automatically or The Easiest Money You'll Ever Make!
My $100 colour printer can print low-quality non-stop counterfeit.
- Now With Google/Yahoo Tracking!
Tracking is free. It always has been, and always will be. If an infomercial offers you tracking, don’t believe their statistics. Get your own free tracking.
- Big Money Maker
No web site of an individual is a big money maker unless the individual is a programmer, has special skill that can be sold as a service, or has something unique to offer, or say in a Blog. Money making programs such as ‘PPC-direct-to-affiliate-landing-pages’, require truck loads of cash to make around 8%. And that's after generating literally hundreds of thousands of long tail keywords. Serious keyword research software will cost you around $20 000. Affiliate programs can change their policies in an instant without notifying you of your impending loss.
- The Lazy Way!
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
- ….insert another few hundred here…
The Infomercial Web Page as a 'sales tool' is untrustworthy.
Just look out for the six signs of influence to gauge how much selling is involved in getting you to buy:
- Reciprocation, the old give and take
- Commitment and Consistency, the old I'm here to help you
- Social Proof, the old recommendations by more losers
- Liking, the old photo and signature and boring rags to riches story
- Authority, the old ‘doctor said' so trick
- Scarcity, there is no such thing in a world of abundance
The Staggering Statistics and Earnings Graphic
Whenever an infomercial web page produces a graphic of earnings statistics it's probably not true. If these people were making money from the thing they are selling to you then there's no money in the product itself. Otherwise they would be focused on utilizing the widget themselves.
If you ever see the “Do You Want Proof?” question followed by an earnings graphic, consider the implication of clicking the Back button in your browser. Anyone can use Excel and Photoshop. What kind of proof is a graphic? I would insist the seller send their complete bank statement to me before I buy and see what sort of response I get.
The Time Limited Offer
Quick - Only 193 left before we sell this one out!
The seller will most likely create a new template (which is really no better than the previous one, for they are all always so simplistic) and slap it on their old product. Then they change some landing page design elements, or the domain and product name, and set off again in search of new suckers.
Too Many Recommendations
95% of those recommendations are from Partner affiliates i.e. other Partners selling other junk. The other 5% are usually the hipnotees.
The Email Address Request
If you have to give your email address away to a stranger to get to page two you already know it's a con. They're using the web page as email bait. They don't care about the product. They want your email so they can send you offers using their Autoresponder system. Their Autoresponders are laden with scheduled email offers. It gets worse. If you opt out of their email subscription they have confirmed your email address is real and you are using it.
The Phony Free Giveaways Valued at Hundreds of Dollars
None of these so called giveaways are worth anything. Affiliate marketers can easily acquire White Label Rights (the right to use their own branding) on junk ebooks. There are literally thousands available. Also, affiliate marketers will partner together and share digital products on each other's web sites.
Pictures of the site owner’s Ferrari, mansion, jet, boat, and the cartoon of a man with US$ in hand, are all a lie.
The Adsense Con
The only people who make money out of Adsense are those that work tirelessly every single day to add value to the web through meaningful and in-depth web pages and sites. These potentially profitable sites are high profile blogs, some top article directories, and industry specific, niche, or vertical forums.
Sites that make worthwhile money from Adsense will probably:
- be rated in the top 25 000 on Alexa.com
- receive over 10 000 unique visitors per day > 30 000 page views
- be social media hubs or portals with massive databases of users
- have quality SEO with extensive quality inbound link networks
- add value to a product or service greatly in demand
- be MP3, software download, or other digital media hubs
- be Google
Brother, please apply my points above to every web-infomercial landing page you come across. Alternatively, if you're feeling charitable, just send me the $97. You know I'll never pay you back but you will feel a lot better than being ripped off by a stranger.
Lots of love,
PS: A picture is worth a thousand words. This one is worth around $97, the average cost of an infomercial web page scam.
DISCLAIMER: THERE IS NO QUICK WAY TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE. YOU CAN MAKE MONEY ONLINE BUT LIKE ANYTHING ITS HARD WORK. THESE TIPS ARE A GUIDE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SERIOUS ABOUT ONLINE MARKETING AS A BUSINESS AND WANT TO LEARN HOW TO AVOID SCAMS. IN NO WAY IS THIS GUIDE INTENDED TO MAKE YOU BELIEVE OR THINK YOU ARE OR ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE AND IN NO WAY DOES THIS GUIDE COVER ALL OPTIONS OR OFFERINGS.