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Your Secret, Official Guide To Internet Marketing Gurus

It’s obvious that the web presents a great way to make money for quite a few people. I buy stuff on the web all the time, and have done a lot of business with some of the well-known sites like Amazon.com and Newegg.com. My experience with both these sites has been very good, and I will continue to do business with them as long as they continue to treat me right.

On the other hand, there is also an endless supply of scammers and other crooks loose on the net that want to extract money from your wallet without providing you with anything of value in return.

When I think of scammers using the Internet, the first things that come to mind are the infamous 419 scams and the all-too-common phishing scams. We all know what those guys are up to, and their tactics are blatantly engineered to rip you off.

The scammers I want to talk about today are a lot more subtle with their tactics, and actually do provide you with a product or service in return for your payment. It is the quality and usefulness of the product or service I am questioning here today.

I’m not going to mention any names here, but with a small amount of effort you can locate the web sites and names of some of these Internet marketing gurus. They make their money by selling information that is supposed to guide you through the process of starting up your own Internet business. Work from the comfort of your own home, of course!

I have not personally purchased packages from any Internet marketing gurus since they tend to be on the expensive side, and the amount of information I would expect to actually use from one of these products would probably be limited. I’ve seen and heard enough regarding these products to know that many of them are simply a course that instructs you on how to set up your own Internet marketing guru business and try selling the same type of stuff they sold to you. Can you say Amway, or perhaps MLM?

Many of these products come in the form of DVDs and training manuals and as I said, can be quite expensive ‘ often $1000 or more. But they justify it by telling you how valuable the information is and how much money you can make by using it to set up your own Internet business. And they are probably right!

I don’t doubt that some people probably do make a great deal of money by selling this Internet marketing material. However, I wonder how easy it is for an honest person to do this and still be able to sleep at night.

It’s quite common for these gurus to use what I consider to be very questionable tactics to market their wares. For example, one of their common tricks is to say something like ‘I’m only going to sell 500 copies of this system and then it’s over!’ Their intent is obvious. They want to create a sense of urgency for potential buyers who begin to think that they are going to ‘miss out’ if they don’t order that product right away!

Are the gurus really selling only 500 copies and then refusing to take any more orders? Maybe they are. There’s no way for me to know. I can well imagine, however, how difficult it must be to stop after selling 500 copies of something that might cost $1000 or more, and then refusing to accept the next batch of 500 orders that may come in!

Or, perhaps they have done enough Internet marketing, and studied it enough to know that they can expect only 500 orders for a product like that and really don’t limit their profits all that much by using a tactic like that.

As much as I am knocking the gurus here, I also want to make the point that some of them really are experts at Internet marketing, and really know their stuff. And what is really interesting (and useful) is that many of these gurus also share a lot of their expertise for free. As a matter-of-fact, I have taken advantage of so much of their free material, that I feel I am hardly missing anything by not buying their high-priced ‘systems.’

Obviously, I don’t approve of many of their methods, and I question their ethics in general. Therefore, much of their material has no value to me. However, I have discovered many little gems buried in the material they give away for free, and some of these little gems have been extremely helpful in my own online businesses.

A lot of the free material the gurus give away comes in the form of recorded conference calls that you can listen to on the Internet or download to your own computer in the form of an MP3 file. Most of these conference calls are free for anyone to listen to, but chances are good that it will require a long-distance call than can last an hour or more. There are also a limited number of callers allowed into the conference call, so it can be difficult to get in on it if thousands of people are competing for the same slots, which is quite common.

I’ve never called into one of these conference calls myself, but I’ve downloaded and listened to quite a few of them. As I said, much of the information is of no value to me, since I am not interested in selling the same kind of material the gurus are selling, but more often than not, I pick up an excellent tip or two from the call.

I have very mixed feelings about some of these gurus, since some of them seem like genuinely nice guys. After all, they are marketing gurus, so they know how to write e-mail messages that make it sound like you are their best buddy. And they do that a lot!

But there’s also the fact that I have seen a few of them do certain things that they had previously claimed they would never do. I guess when you spend so much of your time blabbing about your business on the Internet, you are bound to slip up from time to time.

There’s no question that the Internet can be a great place to do business. But what disturbs me, and prompted me to write this, is the fact that some of these gurus are encouraging people to start up Internet businesses using questionable ethics.

Although I find the questionable ethics the most disturbing aspect of this subject, there’s also an increasing irritation factor on my part due to the amount of garbage that is being spewed all around the net.

A significant portion of this garbage is made up of sites like computer-generated web directories and sites that are commonly referred to as ‘mini sites.’ You have probably come across some of these mini sites yourself. They all look pretty much the same. Here’s a pretty typical (but fictional) example.

The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was a site I visited this morning. It was so poorly-conceived and written that I could hardly believe my eyes. It was centered around a man by the name of Cory Rudl. He was one of the best-known Internet marketing gurus and was well-known by almost everyone in the Internet marketing world.

I mention him in the past tense because he was killed in an automobile accident a few months back while riding in a very expensive, high-performance car on a race track. When I saw an advertisement featuring his name on a web site this morning, I clicked on the ad to see what it was all about.

It’s clear that the author of the ad and the web page the ad led me to is a product of yet another aspiring Internet marketing guru. His pitch was focused mainly around the claim that he is not a typical Internet marketing guru, and is just an honest guy wanting to share his opinion of the Internet marketing guru material he himself had purchased.

Overall, he did not feel like he got a very good deal (surprise, surprise!) and was mainly provided with a lot of material that was primarily designed to sell him more material. He singled out Cory Rudl as a guru that sold him this type of material, and although he questioned the usefulness of it, there was one particular package he valued greatly, and supposedly had used very successfully himself.

I think you know where this is going now. Yes, as you might expect, clicking the link for more information on this one package he considers useful takes you off to a lengthy page where he does his best to sell the package to you!

But the thing that really got me was how he includes this paragraph near the beginning of the original page that the advertisement led me to:

‘Looking back, my opinion of Cory has changed a lot. I now think he was a very good marketer. I say “Was” because Cory has recently passed away in an automobile racing accident. ‘

And then, at the very end of the page he writes:

‘This is called doing something without getting paid, and I think Cory Rudl needs to apply this idea to his writing more often.’

Huh? I thought you said the guy was dead! This is the kind of garbage I am talking about. Was this wanna-be Internet marketing guru even AWAKE when he wrote this? And to think he is paying for an advertisement on the Internet that leads people to that page!

This is the kind of garbage that also tends to create a bad impression in people’s minds about anything being sold on the Internet. Like everything else in life, when you have something good (the net), there are always plenty of people lining up trying to ruin it for everyone else. What else is new?

I’m hoping the vast majority of the Internet-surfing public has, or soon will, be able to recognize this crap for what it really is. It seems like we’re getting to the point now where everyone and their grandmother is coming up with an e-book about something and trying to hawk it on the net. I mean how many OfficialNosePicking.com and SquareDancingSecrets.com sites do we need?

Are there really an adequate number of people out there gullible enough to fall for the same kind of crap they used back in the 1950’s in those junk mail letters they used to sell the latest-and-greatest new widget via mail order?

One rather striking example is a couple of marketers who happen to be working in the same small niche market one of my sites is focused on. Before I lambaste them, first let me say that I don’t use these ‘standard’ Internet marketing guru methods. I take a much more straight-forward approach and provide as much information as I can about my products and conduct my business in an honest manner. No “secrets” and no white lies. Period.

Two of these other sites that I am talking about use methods that I consider a bit more questionable. There is one of them that incorporates the word ‘secrets’ in the name of their product and their web site, and of course, another that uses the word ‘official.’

Now I’m talking about a subject that is considered a hobby by most people, and has been around for hundreds or perhaps even thousands of years. How anyone could believe there are any ‘secrets’ to an ancient and enduring pastime like this is beyond me.

As for ‘official,’ well, I have to wonder who the governing body is that could possibly bestow such a lofty title on any product. Quite an ego at work there, apparently.

No matter what the medium, whether it’s the door-to-door magazine salesman or a web site selling a product that claims to provide you with ‘secrets’ you can use to make a fortune on the net, just be careful and always remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

[If you are interested in getting some free material from some of these gurus, go to this site, and you’ll find a gold mine of guru names. Go to one of the guru’s web sites (they often have many!) and sign up for information on one of their offers.

This usually involves putting in your name and e-mail address. Hint: They’ll never know if the name you put in is your real name, and you might want to set up a dedicated e-mail account to use first, for all the spam that may be coming your way.]

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