Scams, and schemes, and tripwires! Oh, my!
The truth about online money making opportunities.
The truth about online money making opportunities is a cautionary tale. I subscribe to many blogs, spend time in Facebook groups and other forums. Attend webinars, listen to podcasts, watch YouTube and try to keep up with other social media sites including Twitter.
They all contain a lot of interesting “opportunities” presented with promises to show you how to make money online. Some say quick and fast while others temper it to a short amount of time if you are serious and dedicated enough.
You can make money online, but it depends on what you are willing and have the skills to do. As well as, your level of patience and resources.
Are you willing to invest your time and money in an MLM program where you must recruit others including your friends and family to make money? Hey, I am not knocking MLM. Sometimes it is a good fit for people, but do your research and read my post How About MLM?.
Are you willing to fork out $1,000 or more on coaching with a blogger that is going to show you how to create webinars to offer to coach others on how to do the same? This might be for you if you are willing to really commit, learn and see it through. You will need a website and an email list so it is not quick to develop if you are starting from scratch.
Do you have money to risk in Bitcoin investments and Forex trading? Do you understand how they operate? Are you willing to do the research? Personally, I am not willing to invest money in a fund that could be wiped out overnight and where the investment value fluctuates 50% on a regular basis. See page 2 of this article from Forbes Getting Rich Quickly in 2014 Is It Possible? and Spot a Forex Scam from Investopedia.
Are you willing to sell diet programs and supplements that are at best ineffective and possibly unsafe? The thing about these programs is they are either repackaged products of the same old stuff or they are fads that have not been proven to work over time. Also, there are a variety of reasons why people have weight gain including complex medical issues. This is a tough niche that requires education. A lot of the information is inaccurate sales hype. I’m just sayin’.
About Online Money Making Opportunities
Scams seem to be quite obvious right? Not always.
If it is a free trial offer, why do they need your credit card information? You could be signing up for monthly fees and if an item is being shipped exorbitant shipping charges. Make sure you read the fine print. Sometimes terms are in colors to closely match the background so they do not stand out and dollar amounts are written in text instead of numerals.
I fell for this one with a language course. Fortunately, I caught it early and terminated my account with them before there were additional charges.
“A fraudulent scheme performed by a dishonest individual, group, or company in an attempt obtain money or something else of value. Scams traditionally resided in confidence tricks, where an individual would misrepresent themselves as someone with skill or authority, i.e. a doctor, lawyer, investor. After the internet became widely used, new forms of scams emerged such as lottery scams, scam baiting, email spoofing, phishing, or request for helps. These are considered to be email fraud.” -businessdictionary.com
Then there are websites dedicated to helping you identify scams. Some of these websites are exceptionally good and written by experienced people that have researched, and/or tried products and programs. If you read past the hype, you can tell if they really know what they are talking about.
Some are there to lure you to their own batch of scams. For example, there is a site that warns people against scams and rightly so, but then they promote a program they are affiliated with to get you to sign up for offers that you do not have to pay for if you cancel in time. You then make money by referring the offers to others to do the same. If it is not an outright scam, it is certainly scammy.
Read more about what to watch out for in my post Say No to Scamsters!.
You need to evaluate who you are listening to.
In my niche, there are many websites that look reputable and professional on the surface. The author bios are impressive with histories of long experience, education, and accolades. Depending on your interests, they may be for you.
I can tell you my experience has been mixed. By subscribing to these blogs and attending webinars, I have learned a lot about how they operate and what I am not ready or willing to do. Moreover, some of these bloggers lie, scheme and use aggressive sales tactics.
You know how there are cliques in different areas of life, like the social clique at church or a group of friends you consider a clique? Well, there are blogger cliques too. A group of bloggers banned together that promote and sell for each other through their blogs and email subscriber lists. They also provide blog comments and guest blogging for each other.
Sounds great right? It is for them. It gives you the impression they are successful. In terms of earning money, some of them may be, but is learning from them right for you or me?
Take webinars, for example, recently I attended two webinars from bloggers in a particular clique.
The first was a webinar to learn how to make money with your blog. The email said “Oh, and did I mention there is NOTHING for sale? This is 100% pure, actionable CONTENT.” Of course, about halfway through it, there was the sales pitch about their highly valued under priced coaching package.
Fine, I expected a sales pitch, but why be deceptive? I would have attended the call anyway and considered paying for coaching from this ‘respected’ blogger. Not now and by the way, how successful are they if they need to scheme to get people on their webinar? It makes me wonder what other shady things they do.
The second was a webinar on how to create and sell courses and it was clear there would be a sales pitch. Then about halfway into the webinar, the blogger was blatantly rude and said “If you are not serious about making money, get off this webinar now. I don’t want you here.”
Of course, I had to stay on after that out of pure curiosity. Is it a coaching or let me pay you to be bullied program? At the end of the pitch, there was the promise if the course is not right for you, just prove you have made the effort and they would refund your money. What are the odds you would get your money back from a person like that?
These are sales tactics commonly used. The first is, I just want to give back and help you. The other shames you by implying you are lazy and not willing to work. They are the kind of tactics you should be on the look out for and avoid buying into.
Look, no-one is working on the Internet out of the goodness of their sweet little pea pickin’ heart. Having a website is a lot of work and we all do it with the desire to earn money.
Also, you are not lazy, you might not know where to start, what to do, or who to trust. Marketers use reverse psychology to get you to act on their offers. You are right to remain skeptical and do your research.
Tripwire marketing is a legitimate and time tested method that began long before the Internet to lead potential customers into a sales funnel.
For example, Walgreen’s has a cough syrup on sale, they advertise it in their flyer. They know it is allergy season and there are many people with a cough. They also know you need tissues, vitamin c, milk, and crackers.
While you are checking out they make sure you are signed up with them to get discounts. Now they know how to reach you and you have an incentive to shop there. Their hope is you will return to buy more items and also become a customer of their pharmacy and health clinic.
This is also a marketing tool also used by Internet marketers. They offer you a product for $8.00 and hope you will buy more from them in the way of up-sells.
There is nothing wrong with it really except that it seems shady. Yes, when you clicked on the “Buy Now” button you knew what you were getting for $8.00, but soon it becomes clear that small product is a part of a larger system and is pretty much unusable without buying into their other, often multiple, products. Now they know how to reach you and you are flooded relentlessly with emails.
The emails start out with a thank you, then they want to help you, then there is a webinar, then they want to coach you. When you do not buy into the rest of their products, then you get emails suggesting you are not serious, maybe you are lazy, maybe you should unsubscribe if you really don’t want to do what it takes to make money. (The negative emails are ‘reverse psychology marketing’ and are an attempt to challenge you to buy.)
As if they are actually sending these emails to you one by one. Really it is an automated email they copied from a guy they took a coaching course from.
You should avoid tripwires unless you want to be blasted with non-stop sales pitches. If you are an Internet marketer, maybe you should consider being transparent about your sales process. Read this article The Death of the “Tripwire”. The blogger seems like a good guy. I will probably subscribe.
How do you know who you can trust?
Well, it takes time and research. The research itself is a learning process. For example, when you look up a review for an information product, you will be presented with a slew of ‘honest reviews.’ Really many of these reviewers are promoting the product and a sure tell is if they are offering a bonus if you purchase through them.
“I think the biggest mistake that salespeople make today is that they try to pretend they’re not salespeople.” — Irreverent Sales Girl, Speaker, Sales Expert
About Online Money Making Opportunities
Make sure there is a 30 or 60-day money back guarantee with no questions asked for information (digital) products.
Avoid programs that say you can get your money back if you prove to them you have thoroughly tried their program and it hasn’t worked.
If they say, get off the call if you are not serious, get off of it. They are baiting you.
If they send you an email to unsubscribe from their email list, unsubscribe.
If they tell you that you are lazy, do not read their garbage anymore.
If they want to ship something to you, check the small print for excessive shipping charges and membership fees.
Try the free trial at Wealthy Affiliate. No credit card is required to fully examine the training for 7-days of premium membership. It is truly a no risk, scam free, scheme free, and tripwire free program. Read my post-What About Wealthy Affiliate? for a detailed review.
Thank you for reading About Online Money Making Opportunities. Do you have a question or an experience to share? Leave a comment below!