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Are You Making This Damaging WSO Mistake?

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Posted 9th December 2011 at 07:44 AM by James Kenton

I've noticed a flurry of pretty poor WSOs recently - some promoted by the gurus* on their lists. I think they've been inspired by a bunch of products that encourage newbies to make their first Internet earnings by making WSOs.

Imagine that - people who have little to no experience at making money on-line creating products that teach others how to make money on-line. Brilliant.

A few days ago I bought a WSO that contained absolutely nothing new for me. I've learned more about the topic from FREE posts on the Warrior Forum. The sales letter was brilliant. It made the product seem incredible. Apparently we were going to learn stuff that nobody else is teaching. Lots of people bought.

If this guy writes a WSO on producing sales letters, I'm buying it. He's really good at that! But for me and others his product fell short of the mark. There was grumbling on the thread and refunds were very publicly demanded.

Now I am more than happy to pay some bright newbie $17 for a two page PDF and a 6 minute video if it'll help me avoid a costly mistake or save a few hours of research time ... just don't claim it's something never seen before. Tell me the truth - I'm far more likely to buy, far more likely to give a positive review and unlikely to ask for a refund.

I know some people are broke. I know it's easy pickings to harvest cash from other desperate newbies. But why risk your reputation?

My take, for what it's worth, is that if a newbie wants to make a WSO they shouldn't start by trying to 'sell snow to Eskimos'. There are plenty of ways a newbie can produce a WSO that's genuinely valuable to the Warrior Community. Here are a few ideas:
  • Produce interviews with people who do know what they are talking about and add some well researched, time saving and high quality bonus material inspired by the interviews;
  • Research a topic that will help other Warriors like you, practically try out your findings and then, when you've had some success, realistically document what you did so others can learn from you. If all you do is save a fellow newbie some money, time or lost earnings that's really valuable! I'd happily pay for that;
  • Make some money first (however small) and teach how you did it. If you only made $1,000 in six weeks tell the truth. There are plenty of newbies who would LOVE to know how to make their first $1,000;
  • Produce some PLR material for those niches about which you are knowledgeable and sell that. There's a constant need for fresh, high quality giveaway material.
But in all cases, if you want to build a valuable, long-term reputation, keep the sales page real. It's tempting to go for fast buck by claiming more than you've got but if you have to resort to deleting upset buyers' comments to keep making sales it could take some real effort to rebuild your credibility.

To your success,


* Now I know I can't trust them I've created an Outlook 'Rule' that moves these gurus' mailings to my 'Swipe' folder - so I get their great copy but not their poor recommendations.
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Total Comments 4


  1. New Comment
    Janet Sawyer's Avatar

    Great blog post, but like most of the GURUS! you've left out bits of information that New People to this forum or Internet Marketing ( you called them newbies ) wouldn't understand.

    * Now I know I can't trust them I've created an Outlook 'Rule' that moves these gurus' mailings to my 'Swipe' folder - so I get their great copy but not their poor recommendations.
    Isn't that stealing? wanting to save their great copy. What do you intend to do with it?

    I appreciate the message you are trying to put across here.
    Posted 9th December 2011 at 07:42 PM by Janet Sawyer Janet Sawyer is offline
  2. New Comment
    James Kenton's Avatar
    Hi Janet - thank you for your kind words about my post; I'm flattered that someone's read it all the way to the end!

    I must correct you: there's no way I'm a GURU! I'm new to the forum and still finding my way with Internet marketing. I'm reading, experimenting, buying WSOs like crazy and failing to make them work more times than not! I'm not yet earning enough to leave my full-time job; which qualifies me, in my own mind at least, to be called a 'newbie'.

    You're right to pick up on my unthinking adoption of the word 'newbie'. It seems to be the accepted term here but it is a tad patronizing. What would be better? Neophyte, rookie, novice, apprentice? It would be quite an achievement for us to popularize a more supportive term - now there's a challenge

    As for the 'swipe' file: you're dead right. I'm only a few months in to the forum and already I'm forgetting what it's like to be new here. I must work on that.

    So, for the newbies, a 'SWIPE FILE' is one or more files, folders, boxes or other stores in which we keep the sales copy of other marketers. The copy could include emails, magazine ads, direct mail, business cards, a photograph of the side of a truck or leaflets from the local pizza delivery guy.

    Your Swipe File is used for study and inspiration. Like writing poems, playing sports, learning musical instruments - in fact almost any human activity - people often learn by copying and gaining inspiration from others. What it should not be used for is a source of copy in your publicly readable pages. That's plagiarism and most likely illegal in your country. Without copying the text directly you can still gain useful insights in to how a copywriter seeks to influence their prospect. You might be inspired by a premise, a strategy, a font, a headline, the use of a photo, a clever way of laying out a form and any number of things that catch your eye. Just don't copy - it's lazy, it won't help you develop your skills and it could result in an expensive legal battle!

    Thanks again Janet.
    Posted 10th December 2011 at 03:58 AM by James Kenton James Kenton is offline
  3. New Comment
    David Sneen's Avatar

    In reading Twitter posts, (I might be the only one left who still does), I come across dozens of neophytes who are spamming--make $xxxxx with this product. I know less than .00001 of them have. So, I smiled at your well-said jabs at the "gurus."

    Your alternative options are awesome. You wrote with authority--like someone who has really done it, without selling your credentials.

    Excellent post!!!
    Posted 12th December 2011 at 11:35 PM by David Sneen David Sneen is offline
  4. New Comment
    James Kenton's Avatar
    David - thank you for your support.

    One of the problems I see with Internet marketing is that we have no way of checking the credentials of most of the people who are selling. It's so easy to pretend to be someone you're not, hire/borrow the trappings of wealth and bring in an actor to play the millionaire. Plenty of hungry, easily duped people desperate for an answer are all too willing to believe the promises. I fell for plenty of those!

    The Warrior Forum is a place we come for help and support from the community we don't have in our solitary home office workplaces. I would like to be able to trust the words of those who inhabit this space - even if I get conned elsewhere.
    Posted 14th December 2011 at 03:59 AM by James Kenton James Kenton is offline

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