Sleuthing Out the Pretenders

There's a saying in the money-making world, "Fake It Until You Make It!"

Essentially, this means that you pretend to be successful to get people to buy your stuff or to sign up to your newsletter, or whatever you are trying to get them to do.

I don't know about you, but following this advice seems a bit underhanded and sneaky to me. It's deceptive. I get that people have to start somewhere to build up their reputation and authority. But, does it have to be with deception?

The motivation is the classic chicken vs. egg dilemma. How do you sell when you are not an expert? If you are not able to say, how are you going to ever gain the credibility to eventually to sell.

I get it! But, I believe there are better ways to go about it.

My Credentials

Okay, so if I am going to extol the virtues of flushing out the pretenders, then I should have at least some credential to back me up, right?

Yes, absolutely! I am not yet a blogger of the status of the likes of Neil Patel, Seth Godin, and others. I am working on it though. However, I have successfully sold through my websites and continue to do so and I am a published author who makes a steady income from my books.

So, while you may not see my name or my blog posts immediately appear when you search on Google, I am taking legitimate steps to grow my business and reputation.

I created GetPaidBootCamp.com from the perspective of a beginner back in 2009. I did let it run idle for several years as I had other commitments that got in the way at the time. However, When I started up again a few years ago, it was with the commitment to help people make money online.​

My efforts have been working. Again, I am not completely where I want to be yet, but I have no doubt I will be there soon. And, the knowledge I have gained is now allowing me to feel confident that I can call myself an authority.

What to Look For When Evaluating Others

Suppose you receive an offer in an email that states this person can help you become a bestselling author. Great! You are stoked up thinking that your ship has come in and you're going to enter the big leagues, right?

Not so fast. Don't you think the person teaching how to do this should have at least one bestselling book? In fact, if they have a great and successful method, shouldn't they have several bestselling books?

When a blogger tells you he can supercharge your traffic and make your blog become influential, are they showing you the various websites they have made that are influential?

The point is, always look beyond the sales pitch to make sure the seller is walking the walk and not just talking the talk. Otherwise, how you can you trust the material you are buying is going work? And how will the seller possibly answer any question you may have in a credible fashion?

What if Your Not an Expert or Influential?

The one lesson I have learned in the several years I have been doing this is to be honest. If you are new, then set up your blog in a way that is an experiment in learning about what you are blogging about. Then, as you gain credibility and authority, you can start incorporating those skills into our blogs.

Using this way of blogging can actually be used to your benefit. You will show your readers that it's possible for someone new to learn and do. By blogging about your experience, they can use what you've learned as a road map to succeed. This immediately increases your credibility over time while allowing you to build your blog presence.

Reviewing Products You Have Not Used or Purchased

I know of colleagues who will cal me out on this one. But, I firmly believe that you should not review products that you haven't at least tried yourself. It's another deceptive practice. How can you tout the benefits of product and pass it off as if you are the one who received those benefits?

You'll see plenty of advice floating around on the web that you can use what others have written as the basis for your review. That is NOT a review. That is a research report.

​By the way, I do believe you can gather other people's reviews and other value-added information about a product and pass it off as research. You can state that you have not bought this product yourself but based on your extensive research, you would be comfortable buying this product, etc. Your viewers will appreciate the honesty and they still will buy from you since they often don't have time to do this research themselves.

Another option is to buy the products you are going to review and use them. See if they benefits derived match with what is said in the sales page. Add your insights about what you liked and didn't like. When you have legitimately bought the product, you can feel good about writing a review.

A Note of Caution: If you receive a product for free in exchange for a review, you should disclose this fact in your review. This is per FTC guidelines and they are cracking down on people who don't disclose.

False Testimonials

Don't even think about including testimonials that are fabricated. This is something the FTC is going full force to combat. It too is deceptive. Also, don't make claims about products that cannot be verified through studies. Acai berries were the source of major complaints during their popularity.

Piggyback Off of the Success of Others​

Another way to gain credibility is to align yourself with people who already have it. If you can get influential people to endorse what you are doing, this can go a long way into building up your status.

Also, if there is a service that you belong to that contains people who have succeeded with the service, you can use that influence to prop up your blog. You have proof that others have made it work in that network. If you use this method, it's not a bad idea to ask some of those experienced and successful members if you can name drop. Most will let you do it.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If you get a money making offer, does the seller make himself accessible? You can use this as a litmus test to see if they are willing to answer questions. Ask them to see websites that are successful or books that they have published, etc. Be fair though. If they aren't making outrageous claims and they can show success in certain areas, consider that when making your decision.

Honesty Truly Is the Best Policy

No one likes to be deceived. So, don't do it. By being honest with your readers you will build trust with them. They will find it refreshing that you rise above other who are using deceptive practices. You will stand out because of it.

Find a way to use what you know or don't know in a way that will help readers. They will get a kick out of keeping track of your progress and watch you as you grow.


Hi, my name is Jim. I am here to help you learn how to create your own online business. Never before has it been as easy as it is to do so. I will give you access to the necessary training to make it all happen. Just follow the training and perform the tasks as the come up and at the end of the training you will have a fully working framework with which to start earning money from your online business.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Tim - 8 months ago

Hi Jim

Your article is a walk up call. An eye opener. You mentioned the saying fake it till you make it. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that I would be rich. You mentioned fake testimonies too. This drives me nuts too. Honesty is my best policy too.

Jim - 8 months ago

Hey Tim, thanks for the comment. Yeah, I agree that term is overused and it’s bad advice. What happens if someone who uses that kind of advice gets called out for not being experienced? Once a reputation is tainted like that it’s hard to overcome. People who are new can still build a business. They just need to do it the right way.

Best Regards,


Forest BB Clem - 8 months ago


This a beautiful site full of wisdom and class. I try to go by this same motto because I don’t like being deceived therefore I won’t do it either. Just basic golden rule stuff.

As a consumer of ideas and ways to make money, I too look for the puddin. Where is it? If it’s so good, Show the bag!

I appreciate this post because it makes me feel good about my practices that may cause me to be a little slower getting there but I know I’ve done good to others. I then expect the same treatment.

I hope to find more of your posts.

Keep it up PLEASE,

F. BB. Clem

Jim - 8 months ago

Hey Forest,

Thanks for your comment. When you keep quality in your posts and maintain your integrity, you cannot go wrong. It’s all about building trust with people.

Best Regards,


Rob S. - a couple of months ago

It’s so hard to weed out the bad from the good. I totally agree with you about being honest. If you’re not, it comes around to bite you. If you’re looking to start an internet business, you have to be upfront with yourself and everyone else. It’s a shame that there are so many pretenders and phonies out there. I’ve seen so many over the ears. Some just weren’t as easy to spot. Keep your eyes and ears open for your way to success.

Jim - a couple of months ago

Hey Rob, thanks for your comment. I totally agree with you. Unfortunately, there are the self-proclaimed experts who will feed people the advice to be a pretender (for a fee of course).

Best Regards,



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