Making Money On The Internet Is A Big Fat Scam

Pounding NailsI’ve been hearing this ridiculous commercial on talk radio in our area lately from beach bum Ty Coughlin of the Reverse Funnel System (sorry dude, no link) and it’s beginning to make me ill. The radio spot starts out with Ty laughing like some big shot, bragging about making a bunch of money on the Internet and then going into his spiel about how a group of his students just passed the $10 million mark with his system and they’re now ready to take on another group of students.

Some time back I had someone ask me to do a review of this system and I asked to actually see it before I did the review, and guess what the answer was…Sorry, I can’t do that. This kind of nonsense should raise red flags, make the hair on the back of your neck stand up and alert your Spidey Sense, or if you’re normal it should just make you want to flee like the bad guys you see on COPS. Don’t ask questions, just run!

I think to get into this deal, you have to pay $50 up front just to turn in your “application” and find out what it’s all about and then it’s another higher monetary commitment after that. Remember, don’t ask, just run.

This is where the Internet gurus get you to believe you can “make money on the internet” just like they did and to play nice I’ll just call it a misconception instead of what it really is, propaganda. Telling people they will make money on the net is a flat out scam. It gets you to believe that all you need is the cyberforce of the web and a computer and you can be rich too. The terminology is used to deflect the desperate into thinking they don’t have to work and do what it really takes to succeed online, build a business.

Gurus claiming they make money from the net or whatever line they’re using is like saying the guy we buy produce from at the flea market is “making money from the flea market”. No, he has a business at the flea market and he busts his tail setting up shop, ordering produce, doing paperwork, stacking watermelons, sweeping the floor, unpacking his truck and so on. The flea market has no magic, it’s the work that John does in his produce business that puts food on his table and pays his bills.

The Internet has no Luke-Skywalker-magic-use-the-force-power either, it’s just a tool like a hammer, it ain’t going to work unless you use some elbow grease and swing it or get really smart and get one of those powered ones where all you have to do is pull the trigger. But nothing’s going to happen unless you have something to put nails into.

Set up shop and use the Internet as a tool to build a business and stay away from the guys that tell you you can build a building without getting sweaty and pounding some nails.

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38 Responses to “Making Money On The Internet Is A Big Fat Scam”

  1. Making Money On The Internet Is A Big Fat Scam…

    New here?  Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed so you don’t miss anything!Love this post by Alan today.  Here’s my favorite part:
    Gurus claiming they make money from the net or whatever line they’re using is like saying the guy we buy produc…

  2. Reminds of something Elijah posted over at his AtHomeCouple site a few weeks ago about Affiliate Marketers being insomniacs.

    If you pay attention to the ads late at night on TV, its a bunch of snake-oil salespeople trying to get that $99 out of the non-sleepers, with a promise of 30 days riches!

    This sounds no different!

  3. Hey Alan.

    Every time I hear that or see reverse funnel, I think of the ponzi scheme(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme). That guy is a clown and his name alone makes me think “scammer”.

  4. Good post! I coulnd’t agree more.

    I do think there are some magic bullets out there occasionally – but you’ll only find them on your own and by trying many many different things. All the things I’ve made money on are things no one else is talking about… and once people do start talking about it, it usually dries up in a hurry because it gets too saturated.

    The moment you start seeing people selling “systems” about how to make money at something it means it’s over saturated and it’s time to move on. The people who find ways to make money are too busy making money with their system to want to sell it – once they start selling it, it’s means it’s past the tipping point and probably no longer works.

  5. It’s sad! Just too many self-proclaimed gurus are peddling their “secrets to internet riches” and as many desperados believe them.

    The truth is – there’s hardly any secret to internet money success. Put lots of efforts into learning & doing, then rinse and repeat.

    Those who preach on “secrets” actually want you to buy their wares be it ebook, ecourse, video, seminar, coaching, whatever.

  6. Funny thing. I just saw, the other day, on a local news station about a company going around doing those seminars telling people they can have their own online business. We do all of the work, you just pay $3K/year to have this site up and then other fees if you want more.

    It was quite comical and then at the end this business has had almost 200 complaints to the better business bureau.

  7. Wonderful post Alan, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    If they say it’s “Easy with no work” run the other way with your checkbook and don’t look back. If you are really looking to make money online be prepared to bust your butt, especially at first.

  8. When I get emails with claims like these people make I instinctively hit the delete key.

    I certainly have to work hard for every penny I make. Periodically I make some big bucks all at one time and I do my happy dance but 95% of the money I make I earn by sticking to it day after day.

    I have a couple of friends that fell for an online scam to make thousands a day and after they had spent $8000.00 they still had not made a dime. Eventually they took them to court but accomplished nothing more than spending more of the money they didn’t have.

    By the way they won their case and to-date have collected absolutely nothing.

    I find it’s just better to start an online business doing something you love and know about to make money. I personally love sharing my hobbies and that works for me.

  9. The funny part is, people actually fall for these type of scams. It’s funny how people are always willing to travel the path of least resistance, even if it means potentially losing their money.

    But, I guess if the guy on the radio said its real… then it must be, right?

  10. Even the A-Listers that get reviewed and recommended by other A-List bloggers are slightly scammy. They flaunt their ABestWeb, ShareASale, ClickBank, AdSense screenshots and get people all hot and bothered to sign up for their “Make Money Blogging” classes and while they certainly have some students that make money online, the majority don’t.

    I think it’s just a way to capitalize on their affiliate success and nothing more. While some of these “classes” have genuinely spent a lot of time organizing their information, you can find all the same information everywhere online. They tout their “community” formed around their class – yet these same communities can be found in many other free or reasonably priced forums.

    It’s like the person that pays every month for guitar lessons but never practices or tries to do anything with what they’ve learned. Lessons alone won’t do it. You actually have to sit down and write, find your voice, find a niche, and become an authority.

    And like I said, that’s available aplenty in much less expensive books and forums.

  11. The flea market analogy was right on point…this is a real business. I notice when sharing MMO knowledge with those in the offline world they quickly lose interest once they find out about the various tedious tasks they’ll have to perform.

  12. I agree totally about the RFS, it just smells of scam and alot of newbies fall straight into it. $300 a month will burn out the richest marketers but a newbie has no chance

  13. I looked at the “Reverse Funnel” six months ago. For memory it was very expensive to fully go into. Thankfully I gave it a miss. There are cheaper ways to get scammed.


  14. Not trying to plug it, but I wrote a similar post a while back. The get rich quick idea probably attracted us all into this. When you realize that it takes hard work and a lot of dedication, you either give up or keep plugging away. It’s not easy and it upsets me when I hear these goofs talk about the internet like it’s a pot of gold…


  15. @Tom yeah a-lot of us, but for me, what got me here is a little longer story. I had a friend who was a web designer ask me if I could do SEO, as he had quite a few people looking for it. So, I started to learn it and quickly realized the guys I were learning fro, such as Aaron Wall, were making “easier” money SEOing their own niche sites.

    What truly helped me to learn affiliate marketing was by commenting on and reading other blogs(networking), and following Alan back here to his site.

  16. @ Brian, I started off learning web development and caught on to the SEO craze during the early Aaron Wall days as well. That is probably what helped me out the most when looking for jobs as as self-taught web developer. I actually ended up securing a good position in an e-commerce company and an advertising agency, just selling the fact that I could not only develop websites, but develop websites that rank well and achieve objectives. The affiliate space opened my eyes up a bit too. I’ve been at it for a while but never full time, I left my job recently to pursue this full time, but I have a hard time turning down paying development work so the transition is going to be interesting :). Either way, I still believe that I dove into the web because I saw people making tons of money during the dot com boom and it really did seem like any idiot could make money online. I still think that false promise was my initial motivation, I won’t deny that :).

  17. Good stuff. If it keeps one person from signing up for that crap, it was worth your time!

  18. The allure of the MMO space for me is that – even though I have to work hard for affiliate revenue – I get to keep all of it. I get to work at home and spend more time with my kids.

    It doesn’t mean less work. The successful MMO guys eat sleep and breathe the stuff. Even some unsuccessful MMO guys eat sleep and breathe the stuff.

    If you work hard and are successful at a Fortune 500 company (which I was) you get nothing but more work, responsibilities, stress. Additionally you have to be part of mind numbing “staff meetings”. And finally, you are making someone else rich – not you.

    Make Money Online stuff is not LESS work. In fact, many times it’s MORE work. The difference is it’s on YOUR terms.

    To me the value of that is almost immeasurable.

  19. Alan, I agree with you. Those scammers make people believed that they will make $200/day from the start.

    I written a $3 report but I don’t oversell the result. I tell them they will make $50-100/month. I guest I’m too honest. But the same method can be reproduce with other subjects but the person need the time for that.

    Like DM mentioned, it take some work but it’s simple once you know how.

  20. Totally agree – hear this guy on the radio all the time. He keeps say something about not being able to make money on the internet in two years…. Anyway, I looked into this thing a while back – yeah, $50 to submit an application and several grand from there to open up what amounts to a website that you can sell vacations on for deep discounts. Hmm, Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, and Joe’s Internet Travel Shack. Yeah, which one am I going to look at??? You can make money online, but it ain’t push button.

  21. The worst of all is that all of us know these scams but fresh Internet users don’t. Discount coal from Nigeria, cheap \/1agr4 and make money online scams – everybody knows it but new Internet users fall for it every day. Good for you that these kind of posts appear.

  22. Excellent post! This message needs to be heard by more people. There is an impression that getting a web business has some magic success, but like you said, the web is merely a tool on which a business can operate.

    I have met many people who fell prey to the latest get rich quick schemes, which are often web businesses. Thanks for raising this warning.

  23. Hey Allen,

    You are saying it exactly as it is and that is good to see.
    I can say from experience that building my internet business has been (and continues to be) a lot of hard work.

    Fortunately, this most of this hard work is kind of fun.

  24. LMAO, great post Alan. I totally agree, there is so much bullshit out there, one of my faves from the “run for your life” collection is the Data Entry scam, “Make Millions filling in Ads, which we all know is just a a useless $100 book about G Adwords and PPC… Too bad that many people fall for this crap!

  25. I think it’s just a way to capitalize on their affiliate success and nothing more. While some of these “classes” have genuinely spent a lot of time organizing their information, you can find all the same information everywhere online.

  26. Abhishek,

    Like I mentioned above, I did write my own $3 ebook and it does take more time. I had to setup a site so it could be ordered at 2am, create an ecover, write the salesletter…Plus, of course, write the 37 pages for it. So, yes, it does take time. In my case, I even give a blueprint thus that part can’t be found elsewhere.

    I agree, most will capitalize. Since I give 100% commissions to affiliates, I have to get something from it too. The same can be said for bloggers who use their affiliate links. I don’t have any problem with that part.

    Even for the information that can be found everywhere, how much time will it take newbies to gather all of the right information? Time is money!

  27. I looked there is Ty Coughlin on tags, that’s funnel system, can anyone tell me how that funnel systems work, is it something like multiple mainstream income?

  28. Although I do not know about the Reverse funnel system, I agree with a lot of points in this article. People easily get into scams when they want to earn without working. If we come across any such thing as “money without work”, we should always ignore it.

    Nice article. Have bookmarked it in my delicious a/c.

  29. I wish there was a Snopes for internet get-rich-quick scams. Have any of you ever seen a list of online marketing scams? I haven’t. Maybe someone should start one—could be very popular.

  30. It’s impossible to tell anybody that ANYTHING will make them guaranteed income. Period.

    You cannot click buttons and make money – generating a sustainable income online is no different than any other business. In the beginning you will not sleep much, you will spend money before you make money, and you must adapt with the market to stay above water.

    A lot of these guru’s prey on people from foreign locations to be honest…

  31. In any business, in my opinion there is no guarantee even in this business also not an exception.I only believe that we have to learn day by day and work hard to gain our knowledge and improve better, that way the persistence one day will pay.

  32. Yeah, when I hear you only need a computer and an Internet connection, I don’t walk, I run!

    What they forget is that a real online business requires
    skills, money, time, investment, contacts, etc… this takes time, testing, trial and error.

    If you just want to get paid filling out surveys or making cents with adsense, then you don’t need all this.

  33. FOF, thanks for this shaker. I agree totally about the Reverse Funnel System , it just smells of scam and a lot of newbies fall straight into it. $300 a month will burn out the richest marketers but a newbie has no chance of survival.

  34. Normally I will just hit the top right cross button when I go to such sites..

    They are actually easy to be spotted though, just from their claims.. It’s simply too good to be true..

  35. Wonderful. At least some one got paid for the copy. I like your blog by the way. First time here.

    There is no hack for common sense.

  36. The deal is making money online is work!
    Its about strategizing about what your website is trying to do or make. Is it the brand or just to sell a sink?

    Much deep thoughts are involved in the equation then implemented into the biz plan for action with best practices on the internet.

    Obviously, these guidelines are no guarantees just guidelines to follow and “listen to your clients on what they want”!!

  37. Excellent post! This message needs to be heard by more people. There is an impression that getting a web business has some magic success, but like you said, the web is merely a tool on which a business can operate.

    I have met many people who fell prey to the latest get rich quick schemes, which are often web businesses. Thanks for raising this warning.

  38. It takes around 5 years minimum to do any kind of business, to know suceed or not.There is no short cut

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