If there’s one thing that will help your online business get off to a good start or help you take it to the next level, it’s solid information about how to build a successful business. You can take your best guesses and try on your own, but legitimate information is a much faster way to go.

Solid, legitimate information is hard to find. You can’t even be certain of getting good information if you buy it. There are too many scams out there.

When you see a sales page that looks appealing, don’t buy right away. Take a really good look and make sure you have a good chance of getting what you think you’re getting.

What Kind of System Are They Promoting?

An amazing number of recent product launches have made very sure that you can’t tell from the sales page just how they’re going to suggest you promote products. The techniques is promoted as completely revolutionary, and it’s not article marketing, PPC, ad swaps, etc.!

There’s often talk of a loophole.

The trouble with buying a product that promises you a new system is that you don’t know if it’s something you’ll be comfortable doing. Sometimes they involve breaking the TOS of the site you’ll be promoting products on. Other times the trick doesn’t work anymore.

The Story is About a Person Who Was Poor Just X Months Ago

This is a big storyline used on product launches right now, overused in my opinion. Sometimes they say a mysterious millionaire gave them the secret; other times it’s something they discovered on their own.

These are often really great sales pitches that appeal to the emotions, but they often aren’t legitimate. They’re far more likely to be rehashed information you can find elsewhere for free or cheaper. But by pushing your emotional buttons and promising easy wealth they get your interest.

Use your common sense instead. If the income is ridiculous, the claims extraordinary, it’s probably not real.

Beware of Automation

Automating parts of your business is wonderful. If you can do it legitimately, great.

The trouble with automation is that too often it’s used as a spam tool. Whatever you automate may not be sustainable as a business practice.

Leave the Site

Before you think about buying, leave the site. Often discounts will be offered.

If they offer over and over again, I’m inclined to say leave. If they’re trying that hard for the initial sale, offering discounts, etc., they’ll probably be at least as heavy on the upsells. Sometimes so heavy that the initial product is all but useless without a high priced upsel.

I’ve had sites interrupt my departure 5-7 times before letting me go wherever I was trying to get to when I clicked away. To me that’s not just annoying, it’s a sign that I don’t want to deal further with that site.

I’m sure it works well enough, as it’s such a common practice, but more than one, rarely two pops trying to keep me is just annoying.

Don’t Trust Testimonials Too Much

Testimonials, particularly in online marketing, are easy to get. There are people on Fiverr who are willing to write or create video testimonials for products. I’m not saying the testimonials would always be fake, but to really try a product would take longer than what $5 would probably pay for. I’d call that questionable at the very least. Paid testimonials aren’t exactly the same as spontaneous testimonials even when the person does try the product.

Not to mention how easily a written testimonial can be faked, FTC rules or no. Most people who fake it aren’t going to get caught, and they know it.

Don’t Trust Screenshots

Just as testimonials are easy to fake, so are screenshots. There are scripts that let screenshots of many popular sites be faked, or there’s your standard image manipulation. It’s all too easy to do and too many marketers have no problem with faking it.

Promises of Instant Success

Lots of products say in essence that if you do what they say, you’ll have instant success, just like the product’s creator! Even when you have a legitimately good product, that’s not likely to happen. You’re far more likely to have to work for your success.

Nothing wrong with that. You’ll understand better how you succeeded if you had to work for it. Succeed on your first attempt out of sheer luck, and you might not be able to repeat it.

What a good product can do is put you on the right path, help you speed things up some and avoid some of the pitfalls.

Product Isn’t Related to Your Focus

Don’t buy just any online marketing product. You want one that relates to how you want to do business or are doing business. Anything else is just a distraction from your current goals.

There’s a right time and a wrong time to change your focus. If you’re buying something that will take you in a new direction, know why you’re doing it. Otherwise you’re wasting your time and slowing your work down.

You”ve Bought Too Many Products You Haven’t Read or Used Yet

Lots of people buy marketing product after marketing product, and then never get around to using them. It’s a horrible habit caused by falling for slick salesletters, and many of us have that problem.

If a new product is tempting you, go back and refer to a product you’ve been meaning to read that you already own. Work on that instead.

Most products will still be there, unless they’re one of the highly limited products that may be too expensive for the budget of a new marketer anyhow. Don’t stress about getting it before the price goes up – you can save a lot of money by buying fewer products even after the price goes up rather than buying every product that catches your attention before really thinking about if you need it.

Rather than go for the big new products, I like the ones that have been around and been regularly updated for a while. No loopholes, just a push in the right direction. The Super Affiliate Handbook is one example of this. Rosalind earns a good living as an affiliate, and her book has been updated a few times to keep up with current affiliate marketing techniques. That’s more sustainable than the newest stealth tactic that probably won’t last.