Strange Conspiracy: Marketing Gurus Want Me to Shut Up

Maybe I’m just paranoid.

But I get the feeling certain people have approached me or hired me simply to buy my silence.

Let me explain…

I’ve written some unflattering things about certain Internet marketing “gurus” and other online business people here on my blog.

I’ve also written about some companies that engage in what I feel is unethical behavior (*cough* Getty Images *cough*).

So I’ve developed a bit of a reputation.

Some people (mainly consumers) may think well of me. Others (mainly online marketers) may think poorly of me.

At least that’s my impression based on feedback I’ve gotten both publicly and privately.

Anyway, I’ve had a few different well-connected marketers reach out to me over the summer about copywriting. At least one small project I hesitantly accepted, and others I’ve either turned down or have never materialized.

But each time I’ve gotten this funny feeling that the primary motive in hiring me was not for my talent or the copy that I’d write, but rather to “throw me a bone” so I would feel constrained to never say anything negative about said client on my blog.

In hindsight, it seems these clients never intended to use my copy… or… never intended to hire me again. The projects were merely cover for an ulterior motive: Keep Ryan quiet.

In at least three specific circumstances over the summer, I felt like the person on the other end of the phone was trying to manipulate me.

Of course, I could be over-thinking these particular interactions.

But my suspicions seem plausible.

Whistle blowers nearly always become magnets for bribes.

It gets a bit trickier when you’re offered bribes disguised as legitimate projects.

-Ryan M. Healy

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

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