Online Business Scams, Shady Tactics & Half Truths

When it comes to making money online, you’ll find there are a lot of claims floating around out there.  Thankfully there aren’t too many outright scams, and most of those that are can be fairly easy to identify.  The real problems lie with outrageous claims of overnight fortunes, questionable “business opportunities”, and half truths.

Scams can range from ponzi schemes to modern versions of mail fraud. Once you’re looking for ways to make money online for a little while, you’re sure to come across some of these:

Gifting Schemes – It’s not illegal to give an individual a gift of money but it IS illegal to try and make money with gifting schemes. Any kind of gifting “system” or “business opportunity” is something to stay miles away from, because people get arrested and jailed for these types of scams frequently.

Money Collections – These types of scams are disguised in many forms, but the basic setup usually claims to be a job offer. The “company” needs workers in the U.S. to collect money from their clients, and forward that money onto them. The “worker” unfortunately sends the company money from their own bank account, only to find out later that the client payments or deposits were fraudulent.

There are hundreds more scams and illegal “opportunities” online, but the two above are quite common and they should help you to start being able to easily identify others you may come across in the future.

Shady Tactics and Half Truths are more difficult to identify, and they’re much easier to fall for. Some people continue to fall for these types of “opportunities” many times. Let’s look at a couple of examples…

Data Entry Jobs – There are valid data entry jobs online but they’re not nearly as prolific as some of the advertisements would have you believe. And unfortunately many say that all you have to do is type ads into a form on Google, and you’ll earn x dollars per ad. The truth of the matter is,  you have to pay for the ads you place on Google, and not every ad you place will actually earn money. Because after placing the ads, people have to click on your ad and actually make some sort of purchase before you’ll earn anything.

The actual process is a bit complicated and it takes quite awhile for most people to learn. If you’re interested in understanding more about how this works, search the web for “Google AdWords” and you will find thousands of pages of information available about it. Do not however, pay for a service, book, job, or opportunity which claims you can make money doing “data entry” like this on Google, or any of the other online advertising sites for that matter.

Survey Jobs – There are also many places online where you can legitimately make money taking surveys and filling out opinion polls. The legitimate forms of these opportunities are few and far between, but many products and services want you to believe you can make hundreds of dollars each week online doing surveys… if you just pay them $49.95 first.

It is quite possible to be paid for doing surveys, and there are many sites you can sign up for online which give you the information for free. Usually however, you receive very few surveys to fill out regularly. In fact, getting just one each month is rare. There are also many places which will send you many surveys each month, but after spending 10-15 minutes or more filling out each one you find that you’re not qualified for that survey, thus they aren’t going to pay you anything for it.

Last but not least, there are sales letters which are designed to make you believe you can become a millionaire overnight, or claim to have the “secret” to making easy money with your computer, and so on and so forth. These claims are usually based on some level of truth, but they often leave out some critical details, or they gloss over the fact that it could take years to reach a certain income level.

For example, one money making opportunity may claim that you can make $1000 every day following their business model. What you may not realize however – and they don’t always reveal – is they spent $995 to make that $1000. Or they were able to make $1000 once in the last 5 years.

You also need to be aware that many people will make claims, then provide “proof” of their claims with pictures of income screen shots or checks they’ve received. Be aware that it’s very easy to edit pictures with software, so the amounts of money stated in those “proof” pictures may be, and often times is,  falsified.

Use common sense when looking for online businesses. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.


Until next time,



Can You Make Money Online With No Money?

“You have to spend money to make money”

This is a favorite quote tossed around by most people when someone starts talking about starting or growing a business. And while this is definitely true for offline brick and mortar businesses, it’s not always the case when you start a home business online.

It’s important to understand something though. While you can start making money online without spending any money, success will come to you much more quickly if you DO spend a bit of money from the start.

Making money online without spending any money is very possible to do. In fact, hundreds of new people start doing so each and every day. When you start an online business from home with absolutely no money to invest however, you usually have to make up for the money shortage by investing a lot of time and effort.

The three primary ways of making money online with no money are all similar techniques and they often overlap in several ways.

1. Affiliate Marketing. As an affiliate marketer you can simply promote someone else’s product and each time a sale is made through your promotional efforts, you earn money in the form of a sales commission.

Making money as an affiliate is an excellent way to get started without having to invest your own money, because you can take very simple promotional steps such as placing advertisements at free online classified sites. You can also set up a free website or blog and create content designed to attract people’s interest in the product you’re promoting.

If you have a knack for writing you can also create articles about the product or related to the product, and distribute those to various article sites around the web. There is no cost for distributing your articles as long as you follow the site’s rules about what’s allowed to be posted. With articles, you could start generating traffic and sales to the affiliate product, thereby earning a percentage of each sale in commissions.

2. Advertising Revenue.  Another excellent way to start making money online without spending any is by generating advertising revenue. Probably the easiest to start with is the Google AdSense program, but there are hundreds of other websites which will pay you to place advertising on your website. And sometimes you can even find companies who are willing to pay you for advertising space directly, but usually you have to have a popular website with a lot of visitors coming to it each day before this can happen.

Using ready made advertising systems such as the Google AdSense program allows you to start making money even when your website is still small, and your traffic levels are low. You can start completely free by using a site such as Blogger or Squidoo, and creating content around a specific topic.

Making money from advertisements is not usually a quick way to start making lots of money online. Because the amount of money you earn depends on how much traffic you can generate to a given website, this type of online money making generally starts slow and builds up over time with a lot of effort. You can make money the first day of getting started, but it’s often just a few pennies at best. Putting the time and effort into this online business model can reap great rewards however, and eventually you may find yourself earning $50, $100, or even $200 or more every day.

3. Giving Things Away.  This method of making money online is quite popular, because you don’t have to convince people to spend money in order to make money yourself. Instead, you offer people a free sample product, coupons, or even information such as car insurance quotes. Each time someone takes advantage of what you’re offering, you’ll earn a specific amount of money.

Using this technique is as easy and free as the previous ones mentioned. You can place advertisements at free classified sites, create free websites, and write articles to help get the word out about the item you’re giving away.

You can make money without spending money in the online world, but be prepared to invest a lot of time to make it happen.


Until next time…

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Promote Your Local Business with Social Media

Shama Hyder of  recorded this video as an answer to a reader’s question regarding marketing a local business with Social Media.

Another rapidly growing resource (other than social media) for promoting a local business is with the Power of LocalAdLink.

LocalAdLink is an online advertising service that enables local businesses to reach local customers. is a local search directory and acts as the central hub for the LocalAdLink technology. When a customer visits, proprietary geo-targeting technology identifies their location and serves up local businesses in their zip code. Once there, a customer can perform additional searches for local businesses and services across a complete selection of categories and get the information they require.

Currently LocalAdLink has over 40,000 independent representatives selling advertisements in every zip code across the nation.  Learn more about LocalAdLink.


Until next time,

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CNN = Constant Negative News

I don’t know about you, but I have stopped turning on CNN these days.  All you have to do is turn on the news and listen to one of the so-called “Commentators” or “News Anchors” telling us all how bad things are, and you then begin listening more intently to those ads that run for anti-depressants!

Even our new President is causing wide spread panic every time he opens his mouth and tells the world what a crisis we’re in. 😥

First, the media tells us about 15 people being gunned down, then they show us some cute video human interest story, and just keep smiling the whole time.

C’mon here folks! Are we REALLY going to determine the future of our business and families based on what these bozo’s in the media tell us and how we should be acting and thinking? Our government is casting us into a debt situation this country may never get out of with all these billions in bailouts. Layoffs are going through the roof, and everyone is sitting on their hands waiting to see what happens next.

Every time one of these morons starts spewing off about more bad news for the economy, it makes me realize that we’re not really hearing news… we’re hearing carefully orchestrated bits of information designed to achieve a predetermined response. The media tells us what they want to tell us, and we listen, and respond. Right now, we’re being fed negative in huge junks, not just little bits and pieces.

I’m not saying we aren’t in a recession.  Heck, I said the “R” word over a year ago on another blog when no one else was even HINTING that our economy was in trouble. I said then, “Folks, whether you realize it or not, this country is IN A RECESSION.” We’re all feeling the pain, myself included.

But what I’m warning you of is this: If you succumb to all the news reporters telling you about how bad things are, you’ll have a hard time ever recovering from this down time, and depending on what you do with the bad news you’re being fed, you may NEVER climb out of the cellar.

Many fortunes have been made during bad economic times… and I’m here to tell you, this time will be no different. The question is, will you be one of the ones making fortunes, or kissing yours goodbye? The decision is really yours!

I’ve run a business through a recession, and I know what I’m talking about. (I survived two before this one, and I’ll not only survive this one, I’ll thrive.)

The key is to make changes RIGHT NOW in your business strategy. I’m making them in mine, I suggest you do the same!

Here is what I suggest you do:

1 – Shut off the news for 30 days. Stop listening to these morons telling you how bad the economy is. Stop reading the negative in the newspapers. Put your head to the grind and stay focused on your business and your profits.  Who gives a rip about which bank failed this week, or which of the automakers is going to buy out the other one? Does that REALLY affect what you’re doing in your business?

Stop believing the hype!


2 – Increase Your Marketing. I know this does not exactly fall under the category of “Cutting Back during Down Times” like many of us have been brainwashed into thinking we should do, but it’s the absolute BEST MOVE you can make right now. 

While everyone else is shrinking their business because that’s what they’ve been told they should do to survive, you should be growing yours. I’m not saying you should make irresponsible decisions and spend more than you have and hire 3 people that you can’t afford to hire, but this is a HUGE chance for you to grab a sizable chunk of your niche and marketplace by pushing ahead with an aggressive marketing plan. When the dust settles and those news reports FINALLY start telling us “things appear to be turning around” ( and you KNOW they will turn around ) then you’ll be solidly in control of the top spot in your market… everyone else will THEN start to try and claw their way back into the game… you’ll be looking back and smiling. 🙂

For the first time in over 7 years, I am ramping up my own business’ advertising budget – SUBSTANTIALLY. Because I know, when the storm settles, I’m going to be in a better position than I’ve been in since I started in business for myself in 1989. No question in my mind.


3 – Listen to Winners. Let’s face it, most of us have not been through a depression. Many haven’t actually tried to survive a business through a major recession. So knowing what to do, and when, is not always easy. For many, it’s a guessing game. And if you’ve ever tried to “Guess” when the best time to buy a stock is, you already know, it’s usually too late by the time you made up your mind to buy something. It’s already started going up.

So who do you listen to when it seems everything is going from bad to worse? Listen to positive news… not the garbage these idots on the news channels are spitting out every day.

I’m not a big advocate of the “Rah Rah, You Can Do It” tapes and listening to speakers who make you think that everything is in your mind. But there is some merit to turning off the negative and focusing only on the positive.

I made a personal decision when Barrack Obama got elected that I was going to ignore his platform and just build my business in spite of him. Not that I’m against him personally, I just don’t believe what he is doing with all this porkulus spending is good for anyone, and it’s going to take a long time for this country to dig out from the debt he’s putting us in right now. The question is, will you and your business survive it all?

I am reading only positive “how to build my business bigger and better” news these days and have stopped reading the garbage. The old computer saying “Garbage In – Garbage Out” applies to your brain ESPECIALLY in bad economic times like these.

For some, you may not even have a business. You may be thinking of starting one. Trust me when I say, “There is no better time to start a business than during a bad economy…”  I know that doesn’t make sense to some, but to those who understand how and when most fortunes get made, you’re probably looking for more ways to expand your business umbrella right now.

Take a look at this list — do you recognize any of these companies?

  • Hewlett-Packard
  • General Electric
  • Sports Illustrated
  • MTV
  • CNN
  • Federal Express
  • Burger King
  • IHOP

What do these companies have in common? That’s right – they were all STARTED during a recession!
Remember, spending doesn’t just “stop” during economic downturns. People are more selective, and they work harder at getting value for their money — but they’re still spending.

So you want to make sure you’re out there where they can see you, and that you offer a superior value to them.

So let the doom-and-gloomers carry on, but don’t listen to them! Instead of waiting for the politicians to ‘spend’ us out of trouble, focus on how you can make more money! That’s exactly what I’m doing. I hope you’ll be doing the same.

Until next time!



Ed Hudson

P.S.  Are you as fed up as I am with all the negative news? Have any other suggestions for growing a business during these down times? Click the comment link and leave your ideas. Would love to see other view points.