Over the past nine years, I watched literally hundreds of people getting ripped-off online. It IS a big problem. As I watched I had two questions:
1) Why is it happening?
2) What can I do about it?
I answered the second question to my satisfaction first. I just decided to share accurate information with as many people as would listen. When I set out to do that, I also got part of the answer to the first question.
So many people get ripped off on-line because they want to!
I know that's a bold statement but it's true. When you choose to ignore obvious facts, then that's the only logical conclusion that one can reach.
One of the FACTS that many choose to ignore is that, at-least in a free-market economy, where there's an easy way to make lots of money, everybody soon finds out about it... and then the "excess profits" dry up. In economic terms, "the market seeks equilibrium."
Enough other people enter that marketplace to FORCE profits in that marketplace to where they would be if the same resources were used elsewhere. The only time this doesn't happen is when government regulation and other sanctioned barriers-to-entry prevent this from happening. An example of this is when a patent is granted, or steep licensing restrictions are imposed in an industry.
Ok, enough economic jargon... anywhere money is very easy to earn, lots of others soon find out, and things balance out! So making money online isn't easier than making money offline. It does often require less money to start a business online :-)
Another fact that many choose to ignore is that others have tried the exact same thing they're contemplating and proven it's not a profitable idea. Yes, circumstances change. However, when you have hundreds of people telling you that they tried building a business in a certain way, and that it wasn't profitable, it's usually foolish to think that it will be different for you!
Ok, let's look at one of the biggest rip-offs I've observed in the Internet marketing arena. That rip-off occurs when a beginner comes online and looks for the easiest way to get up-and-running. Noticing that all of the "successful" people are making money teaching other how to do it, that "newbie" decides this is the way that they'll to do it too. Mistake number 1...
Don't choose to enter such a competitive niche. It's like deciding you want to wrestle sharks - without any protective equipment. The shark is destined to win - if for no other reason than that he's in his own environment.
Looking at all of the "stuff" they probably need to learn, these newbie then decides that the easiest road to a quick fortune is to hire others to set everything up for them, and then take over the reins. So they order a complete plug-and-play website business package. They want something with traffic already flowing, sales already flowing... something where they can just take over the reins.
I personally haven't seen very many such packages. It generally takes a while to get a web business to this point. So if this is going to be the beginner's approach, he should look at buying an ongoing, proven website where the existing owner is ready to move on to something else.
Such packages do exist! They're not cheap. The web business owner generally sells it for some multiple of what the business is already generating each year. They can provide all of the financial records to PROVE to the buyer that they're buying a proven, viable business.
The rip-off packages I've personally observed a number of people buy were "pretty webpages," selling 5-year-old, rehashed products that thousands of other were GIVING away. These people were led to believe that all they needed to do was put up the webpages, plug in a payment processor, and everything would be gravy.
Now don't get me wrong! Some of these packages do have very good products, but there are others selling pure JUNK. Usually a good warning sign is that the package contains so many product titles that you never even finish reading the list. This huge list of "valuable" products simply overwhelms the newbie with dollar signs in his eyes.
The "savvy newbie" recognizes that even if some of these products were "winner," they couldn't make any sales without traffic. This is where the rip-off artists often commit the second "heinous crime." I've seen unsuspecting newbies spend literally THOUSANDS of dollars on guaranteed traffic to their new websites.
I've seen retirees squander a big portion of their retirement savings on these deals! They often put themselves in a situation where they "had" to make money, but were trying to sell something that had no market!
"But you DO have to have traffic don't you Willie?" the newbie would counter.
Yes, you have to have traffic, and there are proven ways of getting it. It generally takes time AND money. It also has to be targeted traffic which means traffic generated in a way where the prospect is already somewhat interested in what you have BEFORE they click on a link - or see your site through some forced method.
I've seen people go through hundreds of thousand of "visitors" and not make a single sale! They spent thousands for this worthless traffic.
I've just described for you two of the numerous rip-offs I've seen. I won't describe others because I don't want to give you nightmares. I will say you'll avoid most mistakes if you don't think you've discovered something the rest of the world missed.
You discovered it because someone was shouting about it to you.
Consequently, others who've been around a lot longer than you probably also know about it. If most of those "old-timers" are ignoring it, that should be your first warning sign.
So how do you avoid these rip-offs anyway? You use common sense, and trust your intuition. You remember that you can do very well online but it does take time, effort, and money. If you have less of one of these three resources, then by default you should expect to invest more of the others to build a successful business.
Another thing you must do is "due diligence." That means take the time to thoroughly investigate whatever you're considering. Use the search engines to see what others are saying about it. Visit discussion boards and see what people there are saying about it. Get to actually know a few online people and bounce your ideas off of them. Hire a coach or mentor and let them guide you through unfamiliar territory.
In getting to know others, and bouncing ideas off of them, I personally recommend two things:
1) Attend seminar and conferences where you actually get to know people "eyeball-to-eyeball." We humans are electromagnetic creatures, and so we can "sense" when someone is genuine. A majority of our communications is also through body language... something you can't sense over the internet.
These seminars may seem expensive at first but you can often find one for only a few hundred dollars. Compared to what you learn at them, and the horror stories I've described above, they are all a bargain.
For a comprehensive listing of seminars in a variety of locationsb and on a variety of business building topics, frequently visit my website at: http://InternetMarketingSeminarSchedule.com
2) Look for local organizations, or mastermind groups, that you can join. Too many Internet marketers operate in a vacuum. They don't have, or seek, anyone to bounce their ideas off of. Anyone who only listens to himself will never benefit from the knowledge and experiences of others - a big and unnecessary mistake.
Think about what we've just covered and I'll leave you with one final point. When you look at building your online business, market something that people are already looking for and b
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Contact the AuthorWillie Crawford
Internet and Homebased Businesses
Willie Crawford's web site
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