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Can the Internet make you rich?

by Archives March 26, 2003

Imagine making money while you sleep. Imagine waking up richer every morning than when you went to bed the night before. Imagine receiving streams of money from people all over the world.

Imagine a business that operates on automatic pilot – whether you show up or not. Imagine if you will, low overhead and high profits and you can run the show from exotic worldwide locations – from a cell phone on the beach in Trinidad or from your laptop in a restaurant atop the Eiffel Tower.

Well Robert Allen, author of Multiple Streams of Internet Income, wants you to imagine and achieve all these things via the Internet. He is so excited about helping you, that if you faithfully follow the strategies and techniques in his book, he guarantees that you will be well on your way to Internet riches and a lifestyle that will be envied by almost everyone you meet.

If this doesn’t interest you, you better check your pulse because according to Allen, you may be dead.

Allen, a well-known and successful entrepreneur and author, came out with his first book in 1990, Nothing Down, which became the largest-selling Real Estate investment book in history. Now he’s sharing his expert advice on Internet wealth building with his second book, Multiple Streams of Internet Income.

But when I put the book down I had one thing to say – give me a break!

Okay so you, me and millions of others are forced from our homes by this awful thing called work. Most of us get back home nine hours later to prepare supper, do homework, and maybe squeeze in an hour of relaxation. It would be nice, no terrific, if we could take those ungodly eight hours and actually spend some quality time with our loved ones, maybe write a novel or poem, enroll in a tai chi class, or get another degree? Allen says we can do that.

So after slugging my way through 277 pages of how great a salesman this guy Allen is, I decided to take some of his knowledge and apply it to my own Internet scam-plan. One piece of advice was to learn from the best. Obviously that meant learn from Allen himself; buy Allen’s secrets, and become Allen, but this is a free country so why not test out Cory Rudl, author of The Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet.

Rudl boasts that he gets over 6 million visitors on his websites yearly, does $5.2 million in sales online each year, and personally makes hundreds of thousands of dollars from his online businesses – all from his one small office.

So on his page, one very long page, Rudl tells me that he is going to give me the same secrets he used to balloon his one-man operation into a $5.2 million Internet company – on a shoestring budget, or maybe nothing at all! That is, of course, if I want to skip the hurdles, snowball my profits, and get the exact techniques everyone is looking for. Oh yeah, I can subscribe to his Internet Online Marketing newsletter and have access to his web pages filled with success secrets for a $397 value.

Do I really want to do this? Of course Not! Well, maybe? So I track this guy Rudl down and after a week of leaving phone messages I decide to use the e-mail and lo and behold he responds. I cut to the chase.

Why should I pay you and not someone else I ask him.

“I spent literally 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week trying different techniques, different sales copy, and different ideas online,” says Rudl. “Now that I know most every trick and tip there is, I can literally take almost any business online and make it turn a very healthy profit in a few months.”

Oh? So then what would your advice be to a newbie like me?

“Your basic promotional technique is simple: offer useful information. Give some of your experience away and help people reach their goals. In doing so, leave information on where they can find additional resources and other information about your products and services. I am big on free search engines. It’s all there in my package for $397. I will show you how easy it is. It isn’t that much work.”

The work, according to Allen’s advice, is registering my Internet site in as many search engines as possible, get a mass e-mailer (for all the people who are now waiting to click on my site and order my product), an auto responder that works even when you sleep, an e-zine program, and create a free listing page for others to advertise (you get their e-mails that way).

You can get much of what you need off the Internet for free, but only for a 30 to 45 day limit. Eventually you will have to pay for it all. The free search engines that Rudl boasts about bring you a few hits but usually after a few days your listing gets buried. Unless you pay for the service you get very little traffic.

“I only received 20 hits to my site,” Concordia student Cezar Brumeanu says, who even paid $89 Canadian for a two month subscription to a search engine that guaranteed 5,000 hits every seven days. “Almost two years ago I paid $320 for the secrets from Rudl and have not made a cent.”

This isn’t unusual. According to Integrated Resources, an Internet Research company, a whopping 92 per cent of these Internet businesses fail. Those that do find success report that their earnings are relatively normal, ranging from $25,000 to $40,000 U.S. funds.

“Those free advertising pages and e-zines create more junk mail than they do revenues,” adds Brumeanu. “I kept calling Rudl but he never got back to me.”

“There is no doubt about it,” says Christopher Wicks, a Marketing Consultant for Samson Belair in Montreal and Toronto. “Internet business is like any other business. You have start up expenses and have to keep working at it. You have competition and you have to try new things. Like many ventures only a few end up successful.”

Or as the Paper Chase commercials used to say about money: you have to earn it the old fashion way.

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