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“But wait! There’s more!” | Letters From Home “But wait! There’s more!” | Letters From Home

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“But wait! There’s more!”

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I’ve gotten on a few mailing lists put out by people who want to tell you how to make money on the internet.  Most of it was due to simple curiosity.  Those guys know how to write a great sales pitch and make their products look like…  well, in most cases like something they’re not.

All the gimme pages look pretty much the same.  I don’t know who came up with the format (one long, long, long, long, LONG column down the center of the page with lots of white space on both sides) but it seems like nobody can do it any other way now.  Most of them don’t mention the price of their item or service till you’ve wearily scrolled all the way to the bottom.  You’d think they’d realize that the savvy consumer will just press firmly on the PageDown key and skip all the inanities in the middle.  Of course, it’s likely those guys don’t plan on marketing to the savvy consumer to begin with.

Then, the price of the item always ends in a 7.  It’s $147 or $97 or $67 or $47 or $27.  Is there some kind of psychological advantage to this?  They certainly must think so.

Even the freebies want your name and your email address.  I have a fake name and email address I use to sign up for these things on the rare occasion I decide to go for a freebie (I’m not sending these guys any money, believe me).  Once you’ve coughed that up, you get several more pages trying to hustle you to pay for “better” products.  After you’ve clicked on “no thanks” a couple times you get whatever it was you went there for, and invariably it turns out to be “you get what you pay for.”  It is amusing, however, to see how many sites will offer you the same product for a reduced price once you’ve clicked on “no thanks” once.

Today I read emails from several people pushing the same “here’s a bazillion freebies” offer.  I checked that out, and not only do they want your name and email address to enter the site, before they’ll let you check out what’s there they want your first name, last name, email address and phone number.  Just how dumb do they think we are?  Oh sure, I could sign up as Fat Chance at infmom.net, and give them, oh, the White House public phone number.  But I’m not willing to waste my time doing even that.

And that’s another thing–these purveyors of internet-riches schemes all seem to be in collusion with each other.  Why, here’s Joe Blow offering his surefire scheme, and here’s Paul Whizzer offering a link to Joe Blow’s scheme plus maybe a Paul Whizzer tidbit or two (and isn’t it nice that you’ll be earining old Paul a fat commission from Joe if you click on his link).  You see these guys patting each other’s backs all the time.  Well, no wonder.  They’re all picking each other’s pockets for the big bucks at the same time.

The latest whizbang concept is video.  Sit in your chair and watch some guru blathering away on YouTube or something similar.  You don’t get a transcript or any kind of written material, just the video.  So if there is any worthwhile information at all in the presentation, you have to write it down yourself.  And of course for most people it takes a lot longer to listen to something than to read it.  Ye gods.  Do they really think we’ve got all day?

Even the usually worthwhile gurus are doing this now.  Joel Comm, whose AdSense book I purchased (and would recommend to anyone) and who has generally provided good advice, is now not only asking people to watch him on YouTube but to do free PR work for him.  Hey, digg this, write a press release, tell your friends about my new “Internet Millionaire” show and maybe I’ll give you a free iPod if you work hard enough for me for free.  Wowie Zowie, Joel.  It’s a great way to get plenty of PR work done for no money at all–but at what cost to one’s reputation as a legitimate source of good information?  What good is a fabulous rating if it’s motivated by payola?

In the beginning, I thought I might actually learn something from these people.  Oh, I learned something all right, but not what they intended, that’s for darn sure.  By now I’m just reading these internet-money things as a source of amusement.  I subscribe and unsubscribe to the various lists to see if anyone, anywhere, is offering anything new or worthwhile.  So far it looks like “The Rich Jerk” is the only one who’s honest about what he’s up to.  That’s a pretty sad commentary on how long-lasting the legacy of P.T. Barnum really is.

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Author: infmom

Otherwise known as Infamous Mom.

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