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The Great Earnings Screenshot Scam

June 21st, 2012 : · 4 Comments ·

How many great launches have you seen where the sales page shows some amazing Clickbank or Paypal screenshots, showing earnings almost anyone would love to have?

There are two general reactions that most people have.

One is, people fall for it and buy the product.
Two, they just believe the screenshots are faked.

But in most cases the reality is option #3.

And that is.. the earnings are real, but only tell a part of the story.

The next time you see a sales page with amazing earnings screenshots, just contact them and ask them this simple question.

Why don’t you show your tax return online?
No need to show private info.

See, what they are showing you is revenue.

And as any business owner knows revenue does not equal money in your pocket.

I can almost guarantee you, most sales pages that are showing you really high revenue, may indeed actually be earning that amount of revenue, but there are almost always substantial expenses that go along with earning that kind of money.

As some of you know, I am the owner of Articlez.com. In the last couple years we have paid our writers close to 2 MILLION dollars.

Of course the business made that money, did that money go into my pocket? Hell No.

It was on my tax returns, but as an EXPENSE.

I could put some crazy screenshot online showing you revenue totals that would make your eyes dazzle, but guess what, I have a business to run and paying my writers is only a part of my cost of running a business.

Someone with a lot of revenue COULD actually make a lot of money, money that is in their pocket, but they could also make NO money.

Here’s a little marketing secret.


You create product XYZ… you have no track record of making money online, have no connections in the IM world at all. No way to make it.. Right? WRONG.

This is the trick.

You buy advertising, and sell your product. There are all kinds of paid advertising you can use from Adwords and Adcenter to a whole lot of others.  The goal being, that you generate substantial revenue for your product, with the financial goal of breaking even. If you take a loss, it’s not a big deal as long as it isn’t a major loss.

Then after a period of time, you’ve got a Clickbank account or Paypal account that can show some really impressive numbers for you to use as your screenshots for your next product, which will be one of those products that tell people how to make money. Of course you won’t ever tell anyone the real way you did it. You usually just regurgitate info that has been around for years. And the reality is, despite those impressive screenshots, you didn’t make ANY money.

But by contacting other marketers and showing them screenshots or even giving them access to your accounts to see the earnings are real, you create credibility, and what do you know, those big name affiliates are now promoting you. So you get a nice sales page created, and get every affiliate marketer under the sun to promote your product.

You’ve got a great story. I’m sure you’ve seen this type of headline on sales letters or promo emails a hundred times or more:

“Homeless, 18 year old, from Somewhere USA, shows how he made 1.5 million in 6 months using public Internet hot spots and a 10 year old piece of junk laptop he found in a dumpster “

How many times have you seen ads like that?

So this time you actually do make money as your expenses are much lower, maybe nothing other than a copy writer.

And then you have more screenshots of earnings that are pretty impressive, but never will you tell you how those first screenshots ever came to be.

And then you release your next product that is basically the same product in a different wrapper, and on and on it goes.

Is this legal? Yep. Is it ethical? You have to decide that for yourself. Does it work? Yep.

Will it help your online reputation? Not a chance. But it’s done and done a lot, and is how a lot of people get started.

There are a whole lot of products that operate this way. But you’ll never learn how it all got started from them.

So are their screenshots bogus? ummmm, no. But revenue is only part of the story.

I just gave you one of the secrets to making lots of money. Use it if you want. But you might want to consider using a pseudonym. Most people that do this do.

- Dave -

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • BulletProofBodyArmorHQ

    LOL Great info Dave, I am the later, I always say that those screen shots are a load of crap..lmao You just confirmed my superstitions!
    Thanks! ;)

  • Ben

    Great post. Like always, telling it as it is. Still, it’s amazing how these guys get away with selling crap like that.

    Guess there’s one born every minute.. (or second)

  • Dale D

    It’s so nice having someone on the inside that reveals everything. Sometimes when I read your stuff my eyes pop out and my mouth drops open, and sometimes you simply confirm what we all know at some level anyway. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

  • William

    After seeing so many amazing looking screen shots and people logging in their accounts live during the sales pitch I knew there was something I was missing.

    I did suspect a few scenarios including photoshoping the images bu the above is more realistic and I can see how it can easily be done :)

    very clever indeed and almost no one ever wonders how they manage to sale so many widgets in so little time when almost everybody else is struggling plus the numerous Mr.X gurus who seem to explode into existence from no where.

    Thanks for giving us some perspective view on this angle of internet marketing :)

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