The internet has evolved from a cyber-wonderland to an anarchistic, and treacherous, landscape where the least scrupulous amongst us are engaged in a vicious free-for-all. The Latin expression “Caveat Emptor” (let the buyer beware) is at the height of its meaning there, and no real relief seems to be coming any time soon.
You will find all of the usual players there. From tycoons who are trying to conduct a serious business of integrity and honor (like Amazon) to real thugs who will say anything with a straight face, if they think that this will buy you in.
Lack of integrity in business online is a huge problem. We have long been aware that there be monsters out there, but really, things have gone from the incredulous to the intolerable. We should have expected this. Greed has an insatiable maw, and when unchecked, we can expect it to consume everything in sight.
There really are ways to keep people honest, but you will have a learning curve before you begin to sort things out. Meanwhile though, here are some things to look out for.
Accessibility: An internet company has to be as solid an entity as any local shop, if you plan to do business with them. Scan the home web page, and look for things like a phone number that works an address in the United States, and an American owner. Yes, “Made In America” has a whole different meaning on the internet. If some African guy is making his offer out of Botswana, get out, quick – and do some more in-depth research. This is often bad news.
Claims: I know you have heard it before. I know there is little point to saying it again. But, this article would hardly be complete if I did not say this – so here it goes.
If it seems too good to be true, then really folks – it is NOT true. Yes, I’ve been taken countless times while building my online business. My inexperience, coupled with the little I did know, set me right up. I knew, for instance, that I needed back links and what should I find but an irresistible offer to get them that seems like it just can’t fail. Scam artists are tops at writing these ads, target right at the uneducated. You might ask why they don’t turn these talents to more honest pursuits, but some of us are just criminal minded, I guess.
Just look at it this way. If an offer sounds like it is the deal of a lifetime, get some facts first. Team up with a mastermind group of individuals and see if you can get better information on the deal.
Guarantees: Those are for your local merchandising outlets. You will find NONE on the net. Folks will offer to design your sites, to send you traffic, to play the ukulele and sing about your website on the street corner; all with the promise of making you rich tomorrow – but this – is NOT – going to happen.
The unwritten law is this. A job stands apart from the results. It is perfectly fair for a company to offer to raise your back links, or site performance, or whatever, but if you haven’t provided the traffic, or the funnel, or the leads, or what have you, then they did their job, and the failure is on YOU.
Your best solution here (assuming that you don’t have a mastermind group to talk to) is to go slow. If you can’t get advice from anyone, then buy the very cheapest option offered and see how things go. NEVER settle for your earnings in anything but actual dollars. It’s one thing to get a statement showing that someone owes you money, but if you can’t get to the money itself without waiting months or jumping through hoops, get out – and cut your losses!
And finally, let me just touch on a final important subject: That is advertising.
Your business will need it, to be sure – but it is disheartening to pay for an ad campaign, and have it produce a bunch of empty leads. Many of these visitors were way-laid, and aren’t synched up with what you are selling. In other cases the traffic was simply bogus, or maybe it came from China and they can’t even read your offer! The options are endless.
Your best option here is to use your hosting account stats to see where your traffic is coming from. By that I mean, JUST where it is coming from, not what page was landed on. The country and anything else that your stats can tell you is vital. Watching your traffic sourcing can help you determine if you ever even got the traffic promised you.
Again, you must start slow. Buy a sample run, and see if they really can deliver quality traffic. If they can, then the fault is yours – and your funnel needs work. Solo ads are particularly treacherous. They will promise you hot, HOT leads – and deliver NOTHING. Don’t write them off, as they can be useful, but you must test your ads with them, and even get them to write them, if you can.
That will be enough for now. Maybe I will write a follow-up on this one, but I’ll let YOU be the judge of that. Just drop a line at the site on in email, and let me know. Better yet, comment the article on site, and I will be happy to comply.
Until then, happy internet motoring and watch those cyber turns. They sneak up on you.
As for me, I just came upon an offer on the net, for a bridge in San Francisco that just went up for sale. And get this. It connects two really swell pieces of real-estate that are just being thrown in on the deal. All of this for a measly $200 bucks!
Hey, I’m on it. CU Later…