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PSA: ‘Make Money Online’ Is A Scammy Scammer’s Scam

I — and I’m fairly certain that this is true of many if not most reasonably-priced Internet Marketing companies — get regular inquiries from people who are absolutely desperate to make money online. The vast majority of them are ordinary folks who clicked on a banner ad or opened a marketing email and got hooked on the dream of low-effort, high-yield online money making. Unfortunately, that’s all it is — a dream. And I tell them, time and time again, that unless you have enough cash on hand to pay for:

  • A domain name and hosting,
  • A web designer with on-page SEO cred,
  • A content creator with content marketing and off-page SEO cred,
  • An outreach coordinator/social media influence engineer, and
  • A paid-marketing (PPC, email marketing, and online advertising) specialist.

at minimum, you’re going to have to put more hours into your ‘low-effort’ attempt to make money online than you do into your actual job.

So why do so many people think that the magical realm of the Internet can turn them into millionaires? Because there’s a massive industry that has built up around exploiting people’s desperation and desire to get more money for less effort. The fake ‘gurus’ are a dime a dozen, and they all have one thing in common: if they could actually use the methods they’re selling to make millions, they wouldn’t be wasting their time packaging the information up to sell to a bunch of broke web surfers.

Products that are designed to teach actual Internet marketing techniques aren’t interested in selling you a dream — they don’t offer “strategies,” “tactics,” “shortcuts,” “hacks,” or in fact any form of “money.” What the legitimate experts and their products offer is knowledge about how to do a job. Because in the real world, Internet marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme — it’s a job.

Now, are there people who actually make money online using the strategies and tactics and hacks? Probably. Michael, our content guy, tells me he once paid his rent using one of the ‘tactics’ he learned on an Internet Marketing message board — but as he put it, “it was the seventeenth ‘tactic’ I’d tried. The first sixteen were flops. I realized that at that rate, by the time I found another good one, it would be next month and I’d still owe every other bill from this month that went unpaid.”

For the Truly Desperate
I’m not one of those romantic types who is going to tell you to “do what you love, and the money will follow.”  But I’m also not coldblooded enough to think for a second that sacrificing your character for the purpose of paying your bills is a wise decision. It’s not. If you’re truly desperate, try humility: tell your story honestly and forthrightly, ask for help, and look for a chance to work your way out of it. It sucks, but it’s way better than wasting all your time and money chasing a fiction.

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