Fakers and Cheats

October 26, 2012

So its 3 am here and I am writing a rant post. Why you may ask. Well, that is an excellent question. We all work online (blogging by definition is working online) and most of us make a dollar of two doing so.

That is not what my issue is. My issue, ladies and gentlemen, is with those who creates products, packages, and posts about things that they have no idea about. I have come across way too many people who are far too trusting and are easy prey for those online. I have seen hard working people get conned in by people website’s and fork over money for something that vendor can’t provide.

I have seen people write ebooks that are useless. Going on Google for 3 minutes would net you better results.

Let’s face it, ladies and gentlemen, we, as bloggers, can be anything that we want to be online. The sad truth behind that statement is some of us do create a different identity. Having a fashion site does not qualify one to give marketing advice, nor does it make one a social media specialist. Believe it or not, there is a whole lot of marketing in play there. And as much as people think that blogging is the way of the future, they don’t understand the amount of time and hard work it takes to grow your traffic, market yourself  and your brand, and build relationships with companies. Writing pitch letters for free stuff does not make you special. Heck I did a case study on writing pitch letters and gaged the percentage of replies. Nearly 80% got back to me. 80%!!  The key thing now is to be a relationship with these brands and make it a mutually beneficial relationship, and that is very hard to do. As an advisor who works closely with Brand Managers, the “Fake it till you make it” attitude doesn’t work. They can tell. If you have very little engagement and are selling your “Klout” people will notice.

Heck, I was helping put together a marketing plan for one of the companies that I work with and the amount of creativity and talent on that team blew my mind. Building a brand is hard work, and unless you have an innate understanding of that world, do not con other people.

Which brings me to my next point. I understand that we all want to write about different topics and be well rounded, but unless you actually understand what the heck you’re talking about, don’t post it, or you better have done a ton of research. Like a ton. For example, say you want to write about working for a non-profit, but have never worked for one, and  researching or talking to anyone about it didn’t appeal to you. Well, you will sound like a jackass. Not only that, but it will be extremely insulting for those who do work in that sector.

I’m not claiming that I’m perfect. Heck, half the time I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to a lot of things, but if there is one thing my mom taught me it was that you never give advice to others about things you’re not sure of yourself.

That and I don’t want to look like a jackass.

Also, friends, buyers, readers, please do your research before you buy anything. Look at stats, engagement levels, ask for contact info for previous clients, and always trust your gut. Or spend a few minutes on google. You can find the answers to anything on there.

End Rant!



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  • Jason @ WSL October 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I hope you feel better! We can all use a good rant from time-to-time.

    • Marissa October 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      I do. Thanks for putting up with it. 🙂

  • Andy Hough October 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I’d be interested to know what specific product/website inspired this rant. I suppose you don’t want to give them any more publicity though.

    • Marissa October 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      I have a few examples, but mostly its a trend that I’ve noticed over the last few months.

  • John S @ Frugal Rules October 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks for the rant, I whole heartedly agree!

    • Marissa October 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      I just hope that people are smart enough to recognize whats going on.

  • Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin October 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    We all need to rant sometimes and in this case it looks like the rant was justified. I fortunately haven’t run into any of the cases you mentioned but I have had a similar experience with “Wen” by Chaz Dean. My wife and I have sworn off ordering from infomercials forever.

    • Marissa October 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Don’t even get me started on infomercials.

  • Mo' Money Mo' Houses October 26, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I hear ya! Totally agree!

  • AverageJoe October 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    You talk about building a brand….I think these bloggers you’re referring to forget that they also are building a brand–or ruining one.

    • Marissa October 28, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      Its all about credibility, and some people forget about that.

  • Boss' Assistant October 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Too bad more people don’t learn this lesson! I agree completely.

    • Marissa October 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Glad to hear it, A!

  • Vanessa October 27, 2012 at 12:01 am

    I’m glad you wrote this 🙂 A was so upset about it last night and wanted to stay positive but it had to be said

    • Marissa October 28, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      I know! That was one of the examples.

  • Tahnya Kristina October 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Marissa I couldn’t agree more. I hope you feel better now that you got it off your chest. Feel better.

    • Marissa October 28, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      I do feel better. I hope people take it with a grain of salt.

  • The College Investor October 28, 2012 at 6:58 am

    I was reading a blog last week about a guy that was pitching an eBook on how to make money using things like HubSpot. Then, he had an income report where he made a whopping $1.21. WTF?

    • Marissa October 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Stuff like that makes my head explode. On the bright side, people are smart enough to know that Hubspot stopped making money a long time ago.

  • Dominique Brown October 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Whew… I would hate to get on your bad side! However, I absolutely agree with you. There are a lot of “fake” bloggers out there who doesn’t have the slightest idea on what they are writing about. It is very important to research or read forums first before you buy their products or follow their recommendations.

    • Marissa October 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      The sad reality is the most don’t take the time to do that.

  • Lauren @ LBee and the Money Tree October 28, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    I agree! I hate successful bloggers who then package “life coaching” sessions. It makes me want to vom. Just because you are a good writer and know how to market yourself on the internet does not make you a life coach.

    I would be so ashamed to do something like that.

    • Marissa October 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      People want to make money, and that forces them to leave their integrity somewhere down the road.

  • Thomas S. Moore October 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    You may call it a rant but at least you speak the truth. Its funny how many products you see for people saying they can help you make money online but they aren’t making money or they are just rehashing the same info that is free. Marketing is key but its the internet and you have to have some sense of thing for yourself as well.

  • Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals October 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    This was one of my big issues with the news industry. Back when I worked in local TV news, we would send our reporters into the field to report on an education story one day, then on crime the next, and local politics the next. They were “jacks of all trades, masters of none” and I felt it really corrupted our product because there was no depth to anything they did. Your rant applies perfectly to how I felt about that situation.

  • Vangile Makwakwa November 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I agree but I also see how the Internet can attract people that are less than honest. Everyone wants a short cut to greatness or money. The only problem with shortcuts is that they never last in the long run, and it costs you your reputation.

  • JT November 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Not sure that I know what inspired this rant specifically, but I do agree that long term success means having integrity and behaving ethically at all times.

    • Marissa November 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Its a long story, but yeah, thats what it comes down to.

  • My Money Design November 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Good rant! I’m also getting tired seeing advice that barely scratches the surface and eBooks that do nothing but promote egos. Its getting harder to find something that will actually teach me what I need to know!