Internet Marketing on Life Support

Are Internet marketing “gurus” just a den of thieves? And is Internet marketing itself now on life support as a result of their unethical business practices?

The reason I ask these questions is because recent events have forced me to ask them.

Internet marketing “gurus” are being called out left and right, new advertising rules are going into effect, people’s merchant accounts are being terminated without notice — it’s probably the biggest shake-up to hit Internet marketing since the first big “Google slap.”

Let’s take a look at some of the “recent events” I’m talking about:

Event #1: Perry Belcher “Retires”

Here’s the short version: Perry Belcher sold fraudulent health supplements through his company called Selmedica. When it was discovered he was committing fraud, authorities seized Belcher’s assets, auctioned off his home, cars, and other possessions, and gave him a 10-year probation.

In what appears to be an attempt to side-step the terms of his probation, Belcher partnered with Ryan Deiss to promote products on the Internet again. “Get Money from Google,” “Social Media Blueprint,” and other programs followed.

But after much dogged persistence by Salty Droid, Perry Belcher pulled the plug on all his online businesses, deleted his Twitter account, and announced his “retirement” from Internet marketing. (Or, more accurately, forced retirement.)

Event #2: Eric Graham Fails to Deliver

Eric Graham and Ryan HealyEric Graham is known as the Conversion Doctor. He helps people improve the conversion rates of their web sites. In the past, I’ve been impressed with Eric, and even went to an event in Denver specifically to meet him. (That’s where I got the picture at right.)

Anyway, I was surprised to learn that over the last year or two that Eric has continued to make big promises, but — according to the testimony of multiple customers — has not delivered fully on those promises. Worse, he has denied refunds and not honored his own guarantee, which he features prominently in his sales process.

I wouldn’t even have been aware of these issues had not Fred Black written in detail about his own unsatisfactory experiences with Eric Graham. I respect Fred and his work, so I take this issue fairly seriously.

Turns out, Fred is not the only one who’s spoken out against Eric Graham. There seems to be a pattern of negligence. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.”

Event #3: StomperNet Descends into Chaos

Ken McCarthy (an Internet marketer who has my utmost respect, by the way) introduced Brad Fallon to the Internet marketing community back when I still had a job.

I bought the first “Stomping the Search Engines” program, listened to it in my car, and used what I had learned to build a site that’s been cranking out $20 to $70 a month for more than five years now. The methods described in the program worked for me, so I thought highly of Brad — at first.

Well, Brad went on to partner with Andy Jenkins and formed StomperNet. They did a big launch, claimed to make millions — and from the outside, everything looked peachy.

Here’s what I found interesting: With the exception of giving Brad Fallon his initial credibility, I don’t think Ken McCarthy ever promoted him again. I had always wondered why.

Now I don’t wonder so much.

Andy Jenkins (no saint himself) ended up suing Brad Fallon. They haven’t paid affiliates from the first StomperNet launch. And now Brad has sued his own wife (Jennifer Fallon) over ownership of their wedding favors business. (Oh, they’re getting divorced, too. No surprise there I guess.)

And just so you know I’m not making this stuff up, you can read all about the StomperNet shenanigans on Salty Droid, links to legal docs included. (Warning: Strong language.)

Event #4: New FTC Rules Go into Effect

On December 1, 2009, new FTC rules went into effect. As you may know, these new rules were a backlash caused by “flogs” — fake blogs — being created and multiplied by certain Internet marketers.

The new rules say that if you feature testimonials that include specific results, then you must also prominently describe what “typical” results are. Disclaimers like “Results not typical” are no longer sufficient.

For an in-depth review of the rules, what they mean, and how you should respond, I recommend listening to the Easy FTC Compliance Seminar posted on Robert Skrob’s blog. (There’s also a handy PDF download in case you prefer to read.)

Event #5: Visa & MasterCard Crack Down on Merchants

On January 14, 2010, I received notification from PowerPay (my merchant account provider) that Visa and MasterCard are cracking down on what they consider “brand damaging” business practices.

Behind the scenes, Visa and MasterCard provided merchant account providers with a master list of “worst offenders.” Merchant account providers were told to immediately terminate the merchant accounts of these worst offenders — or face $100,000 fines per infraction.

As you can imagine, faced with $100,000 fines, merchant account providers acted swiftly. And a client notified me on January 16 that the merchant accounts of four major Internet marketers had been terminated. (It’s probably no surprise that three of the four have been targeted by Salty Droid.)

What Does It All Mean?

First of all, let me say that I think there are many Internet marketers who’ve crossed the line and should not be followed, supported, or endorsed. Enough is enough.

Let me also say that I believe there are many ethical Internet marketers who deliver fair value for a fair price — and do not engage in high-pressure sales, deceptive marketing methods, or the outright fraud I’m now aware of.

What this means is this:

  • You must choose your mentors and teachers in the online space wisely.
  • You must be especially wary of outrageous, hyped-up claims. (If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.)
  • When possible, you should get a second opinion from someone you trust when you’re tempted to spend a large sum of money for an event, coaching program, home study course, etc.
  • And, possibly most important of all, you must protect your reputation. Because, in the end, your reputation is the most valuable asset you have.

Internet marketing is not going away. The Internet will continue to be a marketing medium. But how that medium is used will most definitely change — possibly more dramatically this year than ever before.

Ultimately, I don’t think there’s any reason to panic. But you should certainly be proactive about complying with the new rules and making sure you’re dealing with reputable online business owners. (This advice is as much for me as it is for you.)

Really, it all boils down to these three things:

  1. Guard your mind.
  2. Guard your wallet.
  3. Guard your reputation.

Simple, for sure. But as most principles go: easier said than done.

-Ryan M. Healy

P.S. So far, my 4th business prediction for 2010 — “The End of the Internet Marketing Guru as We Know Him” — is happening a LOT faster than I expected.

P.P.S. Would love to get your comments on this post. Were you already aware of these issues? How do YOU think all these changes and revelations will affect Internet marketing?

P.P.P.S. In case you are interested, here are the new merchant account terms as spelled out by Jud Smith of PowerPay:

PowerPay cannot accept merchant applications for products and/or services employing “Negative Option” enrollment, in addition to the following practices:

Marketing models that employ “Free-Trial”, “Deferred Billing” and/or “Shipping Only”. Customers must be receiving a tangible good or contracted service in exchange for charging of payment cards. Incentivized discount offers are acceptable when the cardholder is receiving something in exchange for payment, however we will be unable to support accounts engaging in hidden or delayed charges and ‘free’ offers that are not truly free.

“Cross-Selling” and “Up-selling” business practices. All sales should be directly between the business entities (merchant) processing the transaction and the cardholder, with cardholder authorization for all purchases.

Per Payment Brand guidelines, the use of multiple merchant accounts, billing descriptors and merchant processors may be viewed as an attempt to avoid chargeback monitoring programs and is prohibited. Perceived non-compliance has led to termination of processing relationships. PowerPay will review the business consideration for opening multiple merchant accounts to ensure compliance with Payment Brand guidelines.

Transactions generated from internet traffic and all other lead sources must be managed and monitored for potential fraud using an approved system. Third Party service engagement may be a requirement for account approval.

The FTC has recently published guidelines regarding “Negative Option” enrollment programs and is taking a very aggressive position against merchants utilizing/employing this business practice. Recommendations take in part from the FTC’s website may include but are not limited to the following:

Material terms should be disclosed in a clear, concise manner. Unnecessarily long or inconsistent terms are viewed as an attempt to mislead the consumer.

Terms should be disclosed in a conspicuous manner, clearly placed and labeled on websites in a location that indicates the importance and relevance to the transaction. Fonts and colors must be easy to view.

Material terms must be disclosed prior to completion of the transaction and before a financial obligation is incurred by the consumer.

Customers must provide affirmative consent to any offer, examples include a mandatory “I Agree…” statement checkbox, where the customer is acknowledging the Terms and Conditions of the offer and consents to be entered into continuity program as a result of completing the transaction. Pre-checked boxes do not qualify as affirmative consent.

Merchants must not discourage or make difficult in any way the disclosed cancellation procedures and all cancellation requests must be honored in accordance with the stated terms of the transaction.

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like,, and

--TW - January 25, 2010

Thanks Ryan!

The reason I lurk/analyze endlessly, re: IMing, is exactly that.

My mrktng 'instincts' (such as they are) latch on to things like, the gurus themselves often make their $$$ NOT via using the techniques they sell to others. Or when 'offline gold' consultants do not use online methods to get their own clients. Why is that? Because (I feel) there in a basic flaw in the IMing model (but that's a philosophical discussion for another day).

Based on your article, I guess I must *increase* my already skepticism even more — aka, looking into the mirror + saying “I TOLD YOU SO!!”


— TW

PS: I am in the process of finally jumping in — and (hopefully) making $70 *a day!* (eventually). It remains to be seen if that will take a gargantuan effort which throws the roi over the $5/hour cliff.

Mary - January 25, 2010

In my opinion you're a jerk with a capital J. Lynn Terry has done more to help people than a Jerk like you would ever know. She gives away more than most “gurus” sell. You are a pathetic little man with a very huge chip on your shoulder.

Ryan M. Healy - January 25, 2010


You must not have seen my previous comment. There has been enough mud-slinging. Please refrain from making comments like these. They are not helpful in the least. Thanks.


P.S. I have edited your comment.

John - January 25, 2010

God Bless Gary — but he ripped me off of $15,000 and he would joke to others about it.

That was my experience… I'm not saying he was a bad man. He just did NOT deliver what he promised

John - January 25, 2010

Take out taxes and they've REALLY NETTED $150,000 — then when you buy a Ferrari “for show”… The cash is GONE. Oh that means: TIME FOR A NEW LAUNCH!


-- TW - January 25, 2010

Hi Dan…

Thanks for clearing that up (apology). I'm in your “do no harm” camp (re: offline gold 'advice')!

The flaw in the IMing game, as I see it, is the inability for the marketER to send the mrktng msg to whomever he/she pleases. The fatal flaw is the insistance on 'permission' mrktng. This reduces the marketer's power by 10-fold. The 'taget' in target mrktng refers to the potential customer, not the marketER! Much of IMing has this all backwards — because the potential customer operates under the MISTAKEN notion that the initial spark that leads to the vast majority of transactions, emanates from the buyer, not the seller. That SHOULD be the case, but is not. Two words: end caps.

Anyhow — don't want to hijack the thread.

On topic — I truly question people like E.P. — who make 30-60 mil per year on their ONE site (true???), then show up hawking something that MIGHT make them 1/12 of that, but which takes 100x more effort. Makes you wonder. OR the golden boy J.R. – who set the record for making 1-mil in a day — err, did I say 1-mil — I meant 500k (after paying affiliates) — err, did I say in one day – I meant to say 5 years — doing the networking needed to be in position for that “one day.”

The 12-month millionaire (who also spent time in jail), made his $$$ by purposely IGNORING the web as a mrkting conduit. I see a lot of wisdom in that, personally. As I say, everyone tries to put IMing at the top of the list, when often it should be at the bottom.

It furthers the myth that one can ABDICATE oone's own mrktng *responsibility*

It all depends on who we choose to glorify.

I say be very, VERY careful about who you choose to glorify!

— TW

-- TW - January 25, 2010

Dan — just to emphasize that we are in the same camp — my opinions + outspoken skepticism(s) in those other forums have (almost) gotten me booted off the island a few times!


— TW

John - January 25, 2010

You also forgot “event #6: Google drops a nuclear bomb and PERMANENTLY bans hundreds of thousands of people from ever doing business with them again in this lifetime.”

KonaGirl - January 25, 2010

Quite right. Just take a little time to research what you need and usually you will find what you are looking for. Too often people think they are willing to do the work on their own without a boss leaning over their shoulder, but when it comes right down to it, they really don't. They can not seem to function unless they have someone telling them what to do, how to do it and when to do it and then they want someone to do it for them. LOL.

I downloaded a lot of Halbert's writings before he died and find myself referring back to them from time to time. Not only do they contain timeless knowledge, but they are most entertaining when I need an uplift.

Dan Sherman - January 25, 2010

–TW, I apologize. I ran my mouth before I checked my facts. That was out of line. I have had a lot of trouble with people who behave as I described above.

I took at peek at those forums after seeing your reply and I'm glad to see another person questioning what these people are doing.

I hope there are no hard feelings.

Dan Sherman - January 25, 2010

The problem with the IM model is that the vast majority of people peddling “Make Money Online” products are exactly what you described. They make their money selling the how-to products, not using them.

The biggest irony in this is that the people who have true knowledge of how to make money online do NOT charge for it. There are two reasons. First, 95% of what you need to know is so basic, there's no harm in giving it away for free, and many do on their blogs. Second, the other 5% is situational and to share that with you is to give up their niches and market research. In other words, to hand you the keys to their business with a license to steal it out from under them.

For example, the Stompernet product Ryan mentioned was just repackaged from free information around the net. It just takes knowing where to look.

Most paid products centered on affiliate marketing, traffic generation, and so on are repackaging information given away for free to those who know where to look. Or they take reasonably priced products made by reputable people and repackage them into those $xxxx.xx guru products. Ask Aaron Wall about that one. His SEO Book has been lifted nearly verbatim by shysters several times. Including, I think, by some mentioned in this very post.

chrisinprague - January 26, 2010

John, sorry to read you were ripped off by John. He certainly wasn't always 'whiter than white' ethically but, as a copywriter at the very least he was one of the greatest practical marketers plus he put a vast amount of information into the public domain (on the WWW) which, if people take the time to study it will save people many many thousands of dollars on 'guru' courses!

chrisinprague - January 26, 2010

Yes, KonaGirl, not only do Halbert's writings contain a vast amount of practical info. (that others charge thousands for) he is a very amusing writer. Anyone who recommends Gary's writings is, probably, OK!

Dan Sherman - January 26, 2010

The problem with blind accusations is there's no way to verify them. Ryan had overwhelming evidence, and merely presented facts. Others spoke up as well.

Gary's not here to defend himself, and, for all we know, you could be one of the clients he deservingly vilified in his newsletters. See, when you go down this road, remember it's a two way street. I don't think Gary was a saint (how boring), but I don't think it's fair to pick on dead men.

Denver SEO Solutions - January 27, 2010

First time at your blog, and a very insightful read. Your pretty much spot on, I started internet marketing back in 07, and as a newbie I was chasing every shining object, signed up to every newsletter, buying every product that I could. It was all BS! But a blessing in disguise.

For all the newbies, take heed, there is no overnight, money making, magic bullet. If you want to be successful at online marketing your gonna have to buckle down learn the basics and stay CONSISTENT at what your doing. Find out what works, test, if it doesn't, scrap it and move on. Ryan is right , choose your mentors and teachers wisely, I know it's hard, cause for every one that is honest and straight up there are 10+ mo fo's out there that just want to take your money without giving anything in return.

Learn the BASICS, use COMMON SENSE, stay CONSISTENT, continue to EDUCATE yourself and you'll be fine. It worked for me, I had to sort through all the BS but after I did, you know what, it all became simple and clear. Is making money online easy, no and yes. Once you get it though, it's a beautiful thing.

Best of luck to everyone and their endeavors.

Peace, Prosperity & Internet Marketing

Marc Harty - January 28, 2010


I was just made aware of this very important post by a fellow colleague, Matt Gallant.

Like others I want to applaud and acknowledge you for stepping up and speaking out.

Obviously, by the number of tweets and comments and a “who's who” of internet marketers that replied, you have hit a nerve. And with good reason.

And frankly, I'm glad you named names. I realize, that it's a personal preference in doing so as Michel and Sylvie Fortin expressed. It's also true that if we want to hold ourselves and others accountable in our industry, being specific and transparent is essential.

It's also important that the good, legitimate, high integrity marketers (and there are many) don't get painted with the same brush as those who are scammers at worst or at the least, selling inferior (or out of date material) just because they can.

My hope is your post has given others the courage to speak out. Not to get into a pissing match, but to evoke real change or at least a wake-up call.

I for one have grown disenchanted with much of what I see from Internet marketing because it has descended into a pile of biz opp crap. The good news on that front is hopefully some of the reinforced FTC regs which will limit those outlandish claims.

And you hit it on the head with those talking about million dollar paydays but fail to disclose half of that GROSS amount often goes to affiliates, and another 10-20% to operations and covering refunds.

Thanks again, not only for your initial post, but the level-headed feedback in your replies to the comments, especially when dealing with people's livelihoods and professional reputations.


HansG - January 28, 2010

–Here's how a “recommended” PPC G00-Roo is covering his tracks–

Shrewd marketers now have small-font disclaimer statements such as the following extract from Glenn Livinginston's web site:

“GLENN LIVINGSTON'S PERSONAL SUCCESS: Glenn Livingston's personal success, and in particular the financial graph presented which represents his first 19 months in information publishing after inventing his marketing formula (which is the same period referenced in Perry Marshall's testimonial where “80% of his projects succeed out of the gate”), were due at least as much to his personal background in marketing, research, statistics, psychology, and writing as they were to the market formula itself (the marketing formula put it all together and allowed him to leverage all of the above). Furthermore, this accomplishment occurred during both an earlier economic climate AND in the context of different internet marketing opportunities (for example, a lower level of competition in Google Adwords). Accordingly, you should not expect anywhere near the same results as he achieved (or continues to achieve) personally, nor as an owner of Psy Tech Inc. The same is true for his publicity obtained. The same is true for the success of other companies he has started like (which are entirely separate legal entities from Psy Tech Inc). Glenn Livingston's corporate consulting career (responsible for the long list of Fortune 100 companies in many of Psy Tech Inc's sales pages) was done through two other corporations in which he is a 50% owner (his wife owns the other half) – The Livingston Group for Marketing, Inc., and Executive Solutions, Inc. Many, but not all clients in the aforementioned list were serviced by Glenn Livingston personally. (All were serviced by one of the latter two consulting companies)

“ABOUT RESULTS FROM EARLIER ECONOMIC CLIMATES, INTERNET CONDITIONS, OR REQUIRING ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Some of the results reported on certain product pages within Psy Tech Inc. websites occurred during both an earlier economic climate and/or in the context of different internet marketing opportunities (for example, a lower level of competition in Google Adwords) and resources. For example, you may find reports of individuals who profited tremendously in a single day. These would not have been possible if the individual had not aggressively developed and nurtured a VERY large email list prior to these 24 hour events. Other customers reporting profitable results could not have achieved them had these businesses not already had significant resources already in place having nothing to do with our products and/or services, nor could many of them be repeated in today's internet climate. Accordingly you should not rely solely on these testimonials when making your purchase decision. Again, reports of specific profits should be regarded as the exception, rather than the rule. Consumers who use our products can generally expect not to see any increase in sales, leads, or profits. It is entirely possible you will lose money as a result of the advice contained in our products. Clients utilizing our services can generally expect not to see any increase in sales, leads or profits. It is entirely possible you will lose money as a result of using our services.”

Please especially note in the above the following very clear statement:

“Consumers who use our products can generally expect not to see any increase in sales, leads, or profits.”

That's not what his sales page led me to believe!

Here's the problem: I came across the disclaimer after reading his super-enticing long-form sales letter and was reaching for my credit card. His disclaimer totally brought me back to my senses after being completely seduced by his copy!

WOW–talk about a major buzz kill.

What do you think of this idea? The FTC should require the checking of a box to show having read the full disclaimer of any reputable marketer BEFORE being allowed to enter a credit card number. Yes, it would kill conversion rates (witness my example) but then the sale would be a fully informed, “eyes wide open” transaction.


Ryan M. Healy - January 28, 2010


I think Glenn is being very forthcoming here. I also think his disclaimer overstates the degree of caution you need to take — but that is what many marketers are now doing so as not to have a run-in with the FTC.

Here are the facts:

Every customer is unique. Every customer of an information product is going to get different results (except for those who don't do anything). The results may be better or worse than those advertised — but they'll never be identical to those advertised.

Even time-tested franchises produce varying degrees of success based on the franchise owner, store manager, employees, location, etc. There really is no such thing as “typical results” in business.


Ryan M. Healy - January 28, 2010

Thanks much, Marc, for contributing here. You said:

“It's also important that the good, legitimate, high integrity marketers (and there are many) don't get painted with the same brush as those who are scammers.”

I agree. It's too easy to generalize an industry based on a few outstanding cases. By self-policing and being more transparent maybe we can help prevent that from happening.


Momo - January 28, 2010

In order to become wealthy, proper marketing education is a must. A documentary film about today successful internet marketers.''The YES Movie'' made by Louis Lautman

Ryan M. Healy - January 28, 2010

Momo – Please don't shill stuff or post spam on my blog. Your link has been removed.


dhudiburg - January 28, 2010

Hmmm. That could explain a thing or two.

dhudiburg - January 28, 2010

I agree Ryan. Many tactics and strategies can be super powerful if one takes the time to do the right things, has a good business foundation, leverages his or her experience, and applies them at the right time. Most people won't, or can't do all of those things, so a super frank super cautious disclaimer is just smart. There is a *context* for everything and it always affects the outcome, I find it very interesting, from a copywriting standpoint, how Glenn crafts his disclaimer message.

I don't know Glenn or his products, but it is entirely possible that he gets *better* long term results by filtering out certain people who are pre-disposed to expect overnight results without work and building a very strong context.

If, for instance, Lance Armstrong sold you a peak performance cycling course on DVD and used the full emotion and passion he has for his techniques and the results they have brought him, would you really expect to get exactly the same results?

Would you fault him then, for stating in the fine print that he is very likely different than you and, very likely, would get much different results?

sharonvaz - January 28, 2010

Hi Ryan,
Thanks for stepping out and doing this. I think that you should add Mind Valley Labs to your list of unscrupulous companies. I purchased an Internet marketing course from them about two years ago and when I tried to login to the member's area on December 7, 2009, I got an error. So I contacted their support to fix this. With emails going back and forth and long gaps in between, it's now almost the end of January, 2010, and guess what? Still no access for a course that I paid almost $300 for. Isn't a Paypal receipt sufficient proof? (This course has been renamed Chain Reaction Marketing.)

The sad part is that Paypal doesn’t protect digital products, so I guess I have to kiss the investment good bye. What baffles me is why Mind Valley Labs puts so little emphasis on customer service. After all, isn’t it less costly to sell other products to an existing customer than to acquire a new one?

As Internet marketers, every day we have opportunities to be heroes in the eyes of our customers by helping them solve problems through compelling information products, as well as providing stellar customer service–even when giving refunds. In spite of this, I see many large, seemingly successful Internet marketing companies forsake this. It looks like customer trust is going to be one of the key attributes for the top Internet marketing enterprises in 2010.

~ Sharon

Vishen - January 29, 2010

Hi Sharon. I'm the guy behind MindValley Labs. Do email me at vishen (at) and I'll solve your situation immediately. It's not that we're not doing customer service, you just must have ordered from an old site way back in 2007. You ordered 2 years ago and then logged in after 2 years on our newer site. We changed our site platform and your login details probably changed with it. Email me, and I'll get the matter solved asap.

Tony Blake - January 29, 2010

Unfortunately Marc we sometimes HAVE to paint with a broad brush… it sometimes makes it inevitable…


Because while a marketer may themselves run a clean business you also have to look at who they associate themselves with… the old cliched adage of “when you lie with dogs you wake with fleas” lends itself heavily here… people tend to judge us by those we surround ourselves with… so, even if you're clean but promote, hang with, associate, attend events with (as in speaking at events live or not), we see tend to see you as one of “them”…

Primary are those that point fingers at others who are “bad,” saying “shame on them,” but then associate with those who are doing many of the things they are castigating them for… you can't have it both ways…

My view on a lot of this is you have to see it as pure black & white, with little or no shades of gray… either you are clean and separate yourself directly from the scum in this biz and have nothing to do with the at all or you condone what they do and will be considered as part of that group…

This is why I believe that marketers need to know where the skeletons are, need to keep an ear to the ground to hear the gossip & scuttlebutt — it gives you insight on those that are problematic and whom you want to stay away from, especially if you are working on maintaining a clean business… when you know what's going on behind the scenes, what games they are playing, the crap they are putting out, the abuses that are taking place, etc., then you can steer clear so as to not “infect” your own business and reputation…

Long ago my grandmother shared with me this — “Protect your reputation… it takes a long time to build, can be wiped out in a moment and is almost always impossible to get back… it is your life currency and you want to be careful where you spend it” — powerful words to heed when you're in business and especially in marketing… something many gamble with in the hopes of a big payday…


Marc Harty - January 29, 2010


Thanks for your additional insights. And I agree. To clarify, when I said “paint with the same brush” I meant that it's unfortunate that good, high integrity marketers can often get swept away amongst the flotsam and jetsam of of questionable integrity marketers .

Let's face it, it's easy for perception to become reality. So you are right in saying that for those of us fighting the good fight, we must remain vigilant and transparent.

And considering there is a growing business in “reputation management” I expect the marketing dynamics Ryan has spotlighted here to only become a more extensive conversation in the future.


Brandable PLR Queen - January 29, 2010 – One “savvy” IM Guru even put all those FTC rules into an eBook and used a scare tactic sales letter to try to sell it (“if you're an Affl Mkter, you will perish this year if you don't read this. . .” As if the FTC informational rules weren't all over the place!

sharonvaz - January 29, 2010

Hi Vishen, thanks for your speedy response. It is unfortunate that the only way I could see some action from MindValley Labs for such a simple matter was by posting here. I hope that you'll not get upset about this but see it as a wake up call that something is seriously wrong with your customer support process. I made a mistake in my previous message. My first support request was sent on Nov 3rd, 2009 and not Dec 7, 2009. To expect customers to wait for more than a month for an initial response is really asking for a lot. To be honest, some marriages in the US don't even last that long. If you really treasure your customers (like your Help Desk message claims), you would also make sure that when you upgrade websites, you send a courtesy email to your customers informing them of the change. I will be emailing you today to resolve this matter. Also understand that only a small percentage of angry customers take action or provide feedback. And it's the companies that dare listen to negative feedback that have an opportunity to learn more about how they are perceived by customers, as well as how they can evolve to become more credible, responsive and respected.

Renee - January 30, 2010

Ryan I think your article helped a lot of people. However my philosophy is
to stay clear of any internet offer with long sales letters, hype and high prices. Online colleges like NAIT offer classes in promoting your website. Business coaching sites and web design sites even offer free advice. Yes, it is more conservative. They don't promise you a million dollars overnight. But if you work their methods, their methods will work for you. When something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't. So perhaps articles like yours will give a wake up call. Thanks Renee

sharonvaz - February 1, 2010

Hi Vishen, I want to thank you and acknowledge your prompt response in resolving my problem. I now have the access details that I need. The updated Chain Reaction Marketing course looks great! I'm excited to check out the new content.

Roger Due - February 1, 2010

I found my way here from a comment on Rich Schefren's blog today. Even scanned through all the comments and downloaded content. All of this has been very educational, especially since I am setting up some internet based businesses and don't want to go down the wrong path. Thanks.

vamskills - February 2, 2010

Ryan, Iam so glad I found your blog. After reading this particular article I was so glad I didn't have too much money to have spent uselessly to these scumbugs. Yes in the two years that I have started my IM education, I have spent thousands of dollars in home study courses, coaching via memberships of these gurus sites, yet I have not been profitable in IM. This is despite the fact that I come from being an IT Professional for 25 years in an auto company. The money I have spent though not in the tens of thousands still blood money for me. That's why when a guru says you don't have to know anything about computers or coding to hype their product is I know a lie unless you have tons of money for capital to get your own developers. Even with that you as the business owner have to dictate to the developer what your needs are. How are you going to articulate that if you yourself don't understand at all.
Anyway thank you for this blog with this I am going back to the drawing board by stopping to be oversold on a particular product. I refuse to pay anymore dime for hype. I have all the ebooks that I need to re work my business and course of actions I should take.
Please keep doing what you are doing to save us from these scumbugs. Also in naming names who are bad apples, tell us also who we can trust.
You Ryan is now one of the IM guru I trust. I will be one of your ardent customers.

Shawn Phillips - February 3, 2010


Thanks for this… good stuff. Much more intake to do but had to say, “Why is it the scamsters always seem to go after nutritional supplements market?”

Because they can't do pharms, I guess.

Well, I just wanted to share that the unbelievable never ends…. you'll be sickened to know that Selmedica supplements are STILL available and IN STOCK on amazon! What's the deal? Known crap can't get taken off the market? Insane!

Something is broken!

In Strength,

Ryan M. Healy - February 3, 2010

Strange. Could be a distributor still has/had Selmedica products in stock…? Just a guess.

sbalger - February 14, 2010

Can you be sure (Dr.) Glen isn't being tounge in cheek? I was floored by this same disclaimer while reading Glen's highly convincing sales letter.

Then I remembered what Dan Kennedy said in an audio set I own–most customers don't USE the product! They scan over it, or read it once and NEVER apply it. Ole Dan K. even told the story of one guy buying his product after a seminar and sheepishly returning it a week later because he had an UNOPENED COPY at home on his shelf!

I think Glen is trying to protect himself from the FTC and overqualify his customers (i.e. reduce refunds/complaints). After I got over my initial shock of how strong his disclaimer was: I LAUGHED LIKE HELL.

If you want to see a great set of effective yet sarcastic disclaimers, check out Andy Jenkins “video gets more money” video. John Carlton sent it out.

So Ryan–I've just found your blog last night while doing some research on Ben Settle's “Crackerjack Selling” book. I bought the book and can't wait to get it. Even better than most free bonuses–I've found your stuff! Ka-Baam!

I'm just starting as a copywriter/marketing entrepreneur and I thank you for what I've read so far.

All the best in 2010.


Ryan M. Healy - February 15, 2010

SB – Your comment made my day. Thank you. :-)

Ryan M. Healy - February 15, 2010

SB – Your comment made my day. Thank you. :-)

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