Disappointed With “Make Money Online” Products

April 26, 2010 , 4 Comments

I have a confession to make: There are several products sitting on my hard drive that I wanted to review on this blog, but never got around to it. Actually, “never got around to it” doesn’t describe the real issue. I didn’t want to review these products once I had a closer look at them.

In this post, I explain a big problem I see with “Make Money Online” guides and what I want to change on RQR because of this. Also, in case you’re wondering why I didn’t post for a long time, I’ll briefly explain at the end of this post.

All Marketing and No Content a.k.a. The Newbie Trap

As I said, I had been looking to review several products lately, but ended up not reviewing them. Why? Basically, because I was disappointed in them. I was so disappointed, that I couldn’t even be bothered to go through all of the material and if I don’t do that, then I can’t write a proper review.

Now, on the one side, I feel almost obliged to write about bad products, so that some people might be saved from buying them. On the other hand, however, I have more important things to do with my time than going through sub-par training courses just to write a review.

The problem with many of the products I looked at is the same that Banner Ad Blueprint has: They are made by pure marketers – people who know everything about creating a great offer and nothing about teaching.

This type of product is usually set up as a “Newbie Trap”: Make huge promises to an audience that doesn’t really know much about marketing and then feed them some rehashed crap once they bought the product (and fought past half a dozen upsells).

Real Marketing Products

Instead of writing a ton of negative reviews about products like these, I want to make one general recommendation: Always think twice about a “how to make money online” guide. Most of them seem to be lacking in quality. There is a separate category of products that are much more often worth an investment and these are what I call “real” marketing products.

Real marketing products are tools and services that can leverage what you’re already doing to make money. For example, the recently reviewed WP Split Test plugin for WordPress is quite such a program. It’s quite simple and it serves to split-test your WordPress posts. It doesn’t claim to make you tons of money overnight, but it actually has more money-making potential than most of the guides I’ve read lately.

Further examples of “real” marketing products include keyword research tools, automation tools and services, programs like The Best Spinner, which helps leverage article marketing, programs like Web2Mayhem to help spread content around the web and things like rank tracking and analysis software.

No Love For Info Products?

I won’t be seeking out info products and ebooks to review from now on. That doesn’t mean I’ll never review them again, just that I will be concentrating more on the “real” products mentioned above.

The question is, of course: What is a beginner to do? You have to learn the basics of Internet marketing somehow, after all. Well, for this purpose, I’ll be building a library of ebooks to cover all of the essentials. WordPress Websites Made Easy is the first in this series of guides and just like it, all of the following ones will be free.

I hope to be able to provide you with everything you need to know to make your first steps in online marketing and I want to provide all this for free. My motives aren’t entirely altruistic, either. I’ve been getting more and more questions in my inbox and I want to be able to point you to guides I’ve already written, so that I don’t have to type out long responses. ;)

Also: Pretty soon you’ll have to sign up to my list in order to download the free stuff. Then, I’ll spam you with pre-written mails for every big Internet marketing product launch that comes along. And if you believe that last sentence, you must be new here. Welcome to IM Impact!

Anyway, that’s all for now and I’d love to get some feedback from you. Do you think this is a good plan? What kinds of products do you want to see reviewed the most? Let me know in the comments!



About ​Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Yes, of curse I missed you :o)

    I have to agree with you about all these newbie marketing courses and have taken the same approach as you and now I look for services and software that helps develop and improve my sites instead of yet another ebook on how to make a million in under 10 seconds.


    • Hey Tim,
      It seems like these courses/ebooks constantly need to one-up each other as well. I think a sincerely titled “make a million in 10 seconds” can’t be too far off… :)



  • Thanks Shane.
    You are a rare specie in this digital space.
    I use thrive archy so i agree with you that ‘real marketing products’ are far better than the crappy courses out there. Eager to see your ebook library. Don’t keep us waiting for too long.


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