Is the Internet Marketing Niche a Giant Scam?

Updated on | By | Under the Category Making Money

There are many internet marketing forums and each forum has its own personality. However, as diverse as these forums may be, there are always threads that indicate an underlying disappointment or disenchantment with internet marketing. Many people express doubt and skepticism regarding the internet marketing niche. Many people say that it’s just a scam. Many people say that it’s just a money-making  scheme for people who know a couple of things to trick people who are completely clueless.

So, what’s the real deal? Is internet marketing, as a whole, a giant scam? Is it just like the multi-billion-dollar weight loss industry in the United States? Is it heavy on promises and very light on results? Is it a giant conspiracy theory that is fuelled by people selling dreams that they know that buyers really cannot attain? What is the real deal? 

Hype Claims

If you’re reading this blog post, you are probably already aware that there are a lot of hype claims regarding internet marketing. This cannot be denied. This cannot be disputed. You only need to go to the top online marketing forum to know exactly what I’m talking about. There are all sorts on income claims. There are all sorts of stories of people making a shockingly huge amount of money in a disturbingly short period of time.

“How I made Over $295,543.50 in Only 22 Days with 2 Hours Work a Day”

You know the sort of stuff I’m talking about…

The main reason why there are so many hype claims out there, which tarnishes the rest of the industry is very simple. The underlying force pushing these people to make more and more outlandish claims is the fact that there are a lot of competition. If somebody says, “I can make you a thousand dollars in three months,” somebody will come along and say, “well, I can make you a thousand dollars in one month.” Another person would then come along and say, “I can make you ten thousand dollars in one week.” Where does it end? It really becomes quite ridiculous after a while.

As easy as it is to roll your eyes on these hype claims, you have to understand that it is driven by competition. It’s always one-upmanship. However, don’t let this distract you from the fact that there are legitimate internet marketing offers out there. There are legitimate internet marketing books out there. Keep in mind that internet marketing is a skill set. And just like any skill set, there is a lot of validity there. You really have to hold your nose  sometimes when looking at the claims made by people just so you can get to the gems of truth that they offer.

Internet Marketing Hype

Selling Dreams

Since there are so many hype claims in the market for internet marketing, it is too easy to dismiss the whole niche as really scammers trying to sell dreams. They’re basically trying to sell smoke. Own this car. Buy that house. Cruise in this yacht. Hang out at that club.

While this is true to the extent that it explains the mindset of the people that really push the envelope in regard to salesmanship, this summary is unfair to those who are selling real products. You have to understand, internet marketing is a discipline. It’s a set of tools. It is a set of solutions and to say that all of it doesn’t work, it really does a big disservice to the huge part that does work.

I can list a fair number of people who are the complete opposite to these so called ‘dream-sellers’ and are what I would call some of the most respectable internet marketers going: Neil Patel (QuickSprout, KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg), Brian Clark (CopyBlogger) and Rand Fishkin (Moz).

The reality is that if you buy a book that tells you how to do something, and you don’t have the energy or the time, or you come up with reasons not to do it, it’s not the authors fault that you did not achieve the results that the book says you can achieve. Do you see how this works? Now compare that with a person who writes a book knowing that you won’t take action on it, basically, this person is just manipulating and pimping your dreams then in this particular situation the criticism against scammers is definitely well deserved.

Internet Marketing Really is Legitimate?

Internet marketing, again as I have repeated before both in this post, and other blog posts a tool set. It is a set of solutions. It is also a body of knowledge. If people can make a lot of money with internet marketing, there’s really nothing preventing you from achieving the same kind of success. The only thing that you need is of course knowledge and experience. This is the equation that many people lose sight of. As a result,  easy for them to look at the whole internet marketing niche as a scam. But really if you look at it from its core fundamental parts, if you have the proper motivation, the proper energy levels, the proper capital as well as the proper knowledge, internet marketing can put money in your pocket.

What Internet marketing has Morphed into…

The problem with internet marketing is that so many marketers try to sell the allure and the lifestyle of internet marketing that it has become its own product. Seriously, how many times have you come across the phrase “internet lifestyle?” Well, if you come across this phrase at a blog that is trying to sell you stuff, run away as fast as you can in the opposite direction. They are trying to sell you internet marketing as a product in of itself instead of a tool set or set of solutions.

Make no mistake about it, real internet marketing is a discipline (like the sort of stuff we have here at Marketing Bees). It’s a set of knowledge. It’s a set of information that you can use along with your personal effort and resources to turn your time into cash. It works. It worked in the past. It’s working now, and it will work in the future. The problem is when you buy into the commercial product that internet marketing has morphed into, it’s very easy to get disappointed. I don’t blame you for being disappointed when you get sold e-books, and you sign up for a mailing list, all trying to hype internet marketing into its own product.

The 4 Hour Work Week

One of the huge dreams that is sold as a part of this internet lifestyle is the so-called 4 hour work week… These so-called internet marketers try to sell you a system, method or set of tasks that will allow you to make a huge chunk of money by working just 4 hours a week.

Ponzi/Pyramid Schemes

Oh… And don’t get sucked into these. There’s some internet marketers that tell you you’ll get rich selling a guide, that tells people to sell the guide which tells people to sell the guide and so on… Eventually, it turns into a giant pyramid that makes one person money, the man at the top… The original internet marketer who sold you the system.

Gym Memberships Versus Guaranteed Results

One way to really get a clear understanding of what interest marketing is and isn’t is to compare it with gym memberships versus guaranteed results. When you sign up for a gym membership, you are given the opportunity to go to that gym to work out. Unfortunately, most people who sign up for gym memberships no longer work out after a few weeks. This is why many gyms overbook their membership. They know that a certain percentage will never be back. That’s how they make money. Does this make them evil? No. They just know that that’s how it works. This is perfectly fine. You don’t see gyms being closed by the federal government for fraud.

Compare this with guaranteed results. Sadly, this is the direction many people in the internet marketing niche are headed. They guarantee results. They guarantee traffic. They guarantee money. They guarantee success. Well, this is fraud (and maybe if they include the odd earning disclaimer and my favourite “results are NOT common” line it’s not completely fraudulent in the eyes of the law).

Nobody can guarantee success because there are so many variables out there. I can tell you how to do something, but I cannot guarantee that you will do that something Why? You still have to put in the energy. You still have to be focused enough to do what I tell you in the right way and in the right sequence. Otherwise, it’s not gonna pan out. Do you see the difference?

So before you become part of the pact that moans about the internet marketing niche, just understand there’s a small little corner of the niche that’s a little dodgy, but as a whole, it’s completely legitimate.

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About the Author: Lewis Crutch

As the administrator of Marketing Bees, Lewis Crutch manages all of the free advice and tips available here on the Marketing Bees blog as well as spending time putting together in-depth marketing related courses covering a wide range of topics including email, content and social media marketing.

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