Can I Learn from ‘The Gurus’ Selling their Secrets?

by Jeremy Schoemaker on November 26, 2007 · 87 comments

Interesting question was posted by user ceear in the shoemoney forums:

Hi shoemoney,
Nowadays we can see that every so called millionaires/jerks/winners are selling their secret money making projects for $10 – $2000. I am a beginner, can you point me to a right start?
Thanx in advance.
Ceear

I think this is a great question… and I can really only answer from my own experiences. I have purchased many ebooks over the last 4 years… nothing over like $150. All of them were well worth their value. Even if I did not agree with what their views on things they got my wheels turning why I did’nt and that gave me direction. The most value I get out of these ebooks is really the tools they use. I cant tell you how many tools I never knew existed (mostly for free) from some of the ebooks.

Recently I made a post about Google Docs and happen to mention I was working on the ShoeMoney Playbook

From Tyler Dewitt:

Are you going to hint around on how to do stuff? Get my drift…. such as hinting around on how you’ve been so much money I think you should and any one that catches on has the mind for it, but any one that doesn’t catch on apparently is not putting enough effort into it.

That question really bothered me… Like most misconceptions about me or any of our businesses =(. The shoemoney playbook is just the process we go through in building a online/offline business. I have been trying to make money with my own businesses for over 15 years (10 online) and in those 15 years I have only found success in the last 4 years. Each time I failed I added something new I needed to think about that is incorporated into the shoemoney playbook. Its a guide we follow and I feel is a pretty unique in that it gives you everything you need to think about from the very conception phase to the end when you need to put managementi n place (and realizing when you need to move steps). So is it a get rich over night book? Absolutely not. Will it improve your chance for building a successful business? Absolutely.

Some ebooks I HIGHLY recommend :

Aaron Walls SEO BOOK – First of all Aaron offers a money back guarantee. 2nd of all this is THE SEO book. He updates it all the time.

Eric G’s – Make Easy Money With Google Adsense – one of the real gems and sleepers. I have purchased over 50 copies of this book which I gave away to friends and family. I also sent out copies as prizes on the radio show. Its a excellent guide from very basic how to get started to some pretty cool more advanced tools… and its really inexpensive ($16.00 USD) (although not really a ebook).

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2854 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.


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{ 86 comments }

1 Portal Feeder Member

I completely agree. I recently wrote a post covering this topic as well. When I first started I was very against the idea of buying these Make Money Online guides and would hunt out the free info.

Yes there is free info out there but the quality is highly variable and mixed in with a lot of mis-information. It is much better to buy an eBook from an expert to get this information.

- If you want to learn about SEO get Aaron Wall’s SEO Book.
- If you want to learn how to drive sales from your visitors then get the ButterflyManuscript
- If you want tools and strategies for making a solid SEO site then join PortalFeeder.
- If you want to learn how to diversify & maximize your website revenue then get the SiteSalary Guide – maybe I’m biased here :)
- If you want to learn PPC then get PayPerClickFormula.com

2 Portal Feeder Member

Oh and there is also Blog Mastermind by Yaro for anyone who wants to learn about blogging.

3 Seo Smarty

I agree, there is no resource which will tell you how to become rich “overnight.” There are a few which can give you food for thought but not the step-by-step guide for easy money.

4 Blog Contests

Good to know there are some books out there at least worth purchasing

5 john_loch

Visit a forum.

No one is going to publish their so called ‘secrets’. It’s common sense.. would YOU publish yours, or would you publish something thats going to build on your business without undermining your own competitive advantage..

The answer *should* be obvious.

6 Failure Sucks!

So many people are looking for the “magic ticket” that will let them make money without doing any work. They hop from ebook to ebook or course to course and continue to fail.

NO ONE is going to say, “here’s all my profitable projects and niches- go ahead and steal them”. Ebooks and other training are about learning tools and processes that you can then apply to your own projects.

If you aren’t willing to put in smart work or do your own research though-nothing will help you.

While there is a lot of crap out there, most ebooks get a bad rap from lazy people that buy them and bash them for no reason.

These people shouldn’t be buying business books, they should go buy tabloids- because all they really want is entertainment.

7 Failure Sucks!

I’ve learned a ton from books and courses, some as cheap as $10 and some courses nearing $2000.

As I said below it’s not about people giving away their business info- that’s an unreasonable expectation. It’s about learning processes. For example, what color web pages convert more and what autoresponder interval brings in more backend sales.

Forums are often the WORST place to get info because the newbs are all posing as masters giving out advice and there’s no real accountability. People like to feel important and talk about things they have no experience in. Doesn’t mean forums are bad- just take in everything with skepticism.

8 John Loch

I was being sarcastic about the forum. Although they are more informative than 99% of the ebooks out there if only because they’re a dynamic medium.

The reason I referred to people giving away their business secrets is because thats what they all claim to be doing – hence the title of the post !

At the end of the day there’s very little to be offered by way of an ebook that cant be found elsewhere in a more objective environment.

The only advantage to an ebook is it’s a local chronological or ‘linear’ commentary on the subject matter.

Blah. I dont even know why I bother – this discourse is getting waaaay too old.

9 Matthew Crist

It’s all about generating new ideas. Sometimes reading these eBooks simply throws in a cog that you never knew about. This can lead to new ideas and more successes.

Can’t wait for the Playbook.

10 CatherineL

Hi Shoe – ditto on SEO book – it’s great.

Looking forward to reading your book, but I was hoping you were going to be writing something more autobiographical. Or will that come later?

11 $1000 Dollar Project

Nice to see positive reviews about ebooks, people dismiss some too easy!

12 Gecko Tales

I think your point about only making money in the last four of 15 years should be taken to heart. It takes time to make money online, or with almost anything else. The Internet is not a get rich quick place, but it is a great place for entrepreneurs that had trouble with the boundaries of brick & mortar businesses. You can get started with much less money online that in the b&m world, but it still takes time, hard work, and good ideas.

13 Reverse Funnel System Blog

I really recommend SEO Book, I bought it and it provided me some useful informations about SEO.

14 Testing Amazon

Is Amazon SmartPricing me? I see the Eric G. book as $18.24.

Anyone else see a different price?

15 Razer

I have spent a lot of money on internet marketing education including over $10,000 on one course that lated over a year. The information was worth it but it required a lot on continous work along with the education.

Now,when I visit various forums there is very little that I see and hear that I am not already aware of because of that intense education and a lot of work.

While my success so far in terms of money made is moderate,I feel very confident about going on to the next project.

I have not read the SEO book but it has gotten high praise from people I respect in internet marketing.

16

I have been trying to make money with my own businesses for over 15 years (10 online) and in those 15 years I have only found success in the last 4 years.

Nice advice. I have slowly discovered this throughout my 12 years in business. Talent and genius ideas do not make up for persistence and hard work.

Everyone thinks success comes in months when you’re a genius. But Einstein got that one right too : “Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% transpiration”.

Thanks for you giving back some of your experience. Best wishes once more from Brazil. Regards, Zé

17 JoeTech.com

Those are a couple books I will be buying. I had seen SEOBook a few times, but always passed on it, as that purchase page looks like that of so many other ebooks, I did buy a pretty cheap ebook recently detailing how to build and sell small niche web sites for profit. Most of the contents I already knew, but the few bits I didn’t know were gems and worth the money.

18 Making The Money

SEO Book is the only e-book I’ve ever read that I would recommend anyone else buying. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on reading and reviewing many of these products and almost all are just large text, low content crap.

19 tyler dewitt

Hmm interesting post, Jeremy out of all respect I didn’t mean to offend you or bother you in any way let me rephrase that what I’m basically asking is your book going to cover affiliate marketing that will give us some insight on your approach on how you have been successful with affiliates and etc.

A lot of people know me and know I’ve very good with organic rankings I have put clients into some of the most competitive markets out there and I have only been at this for a short time well offering it as a production service, but thats basically alls I’m asking is what type of insight you are going to give us I didn’t technically mean anything by it which every one knows there is no ebook out there thats going to get your rich over night, but if someone has a great concept and understanding of search they can most certainly learn a lot from reading someones books if they go over things such as in there out look and there approach to what they do.

Now there again don’t take me wrong no ones going to spill there trade secrets, but if a book covers certain things a lot of people can learn from it and get them going. Such as there approach on how they would start and etc.

20 nickycakes

There’s no real information worth buying in e-books. They’re primarily there to make money from idiots who think they will find easy answers. 99% of the information in all e-books can be found on forums. Don’t waste your money. This post is a great demonstration on how to make a profit marketing something worthless like e-books by talking them up and then adding your affiliate url when linking to them =)

21 tyler dewitt

Just want to say Great post Jeremy and like I said no disrespect, thanks for opening up though and sharing your thoughts thats a great thing to do. I think you kind of took it the wrong way I really had no intension to you revealing your trade secrets of course, but like I said in the last comment people can learn a lot by reading someone elses ebook if they cover there approach, when I was stating if they don’t have the mind for it what I’m saying is that apparently they haven’t put that much effort into it if they don’t understand what your trying to say.

For example Kris Jones you know who he is, he said he stated something at a conference one time that could of helped a lot of people out, but he said when he left he got to thinking of what he said and he didn’t think anybody really acknowledge what he said and he even stated it could help help a lot of people, but he didn’t think no one really clicked into what he was saying.

It was written on a blog post somewhere I can’t remember, but I do remember what it said.

22 Credit Score

Thanks for the recommendations, I will have to check out the Adsense book. Look forward to yours

23 Michael Woo

I guess the only way to find out whether this is good or not is to buy it and based on your reputation as well…

24 scott neumyer

Great advice. It seems everyone wants that “magic pill” to get rich quick, and not many people have the patience to stick it out and go for the long haul.

25 Hustle Strategy

Thx for the recommendations. I know a lot of people want to make money, most probably don’t mind putting in the time. They just don’t know where to start. There is no reason to waste 10 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars if a few books will help.

26 bloggernoob

i always thought ebooks were a waste of money. if you look you’ll find free information all over the net. of course you get bombarded with ads but ebooks have just as much useless/generalized information as useful ones

27 William Montanaro

I found the SEO book pretty good, but its a bit bloated I reckon…

28 deepali

I really recommend SEO Book, I bought it and it provided me some useful informations about SEO.
Here you can take the look of my blog.

http://web-mantra.blogspot.com

29 commandos

yeah it say 18.24 but there is other available for less :

44 used & new available from $13.70

30 commandos

I buy e-books sometime just to save time , because most of the info is available online , in the e-books it just in some way gathered for you …

31 SonicReducer

I have never bought an ebook. Everything I needed to become successful I found freely, or figured out myself pretty quickly. If they help some people thats cool, just not my style.

32 Affiliate Unleashed

It really is great to see books that you have purchased before. Thanks Shoe!

33 Affiliate Unleashed

Good point.

I cant wait for the ebook also! :D:D

34 Affiliate Unleashed

Just curious if the $10,000 course was with Brad Fallon like my dad took?

35 Link Snitch

Agree. I have bought many myself. Not all are worth it, but if you don’t own them all they have real value.

36 Jason Brailow

Information overload, it’s so easy to get caught up looking for that silver e-bullet, which is what those ebooks are selling. Research, make website, promote, observe results, profit? and repeat. Theres my ebook…

37 Dave

Most ebooks are complete and utter crap. I wouldn’t call SEO Book a bad book, but it’s SEO 101 basically. So if you don’t know squat, i would buy it. But if you know basic onpage/offpage SEO it will be a waste. I think the problem is that most people are lookng for a quick/effective technique that will make them money. If you learn fundementals and then execute like crazy, you’ll be successful. SEO Book is a good resource, but there’s no secrets in there.

38 Mike Huang

A lot of these big guns do write good eBooks, but I simply think of it as a “marketing technique” to gain the spotlight.

-Mike

39 jim

It’s big but has a lot of valuable information in it, i totally recommend it

40 Viral Electronics

I would have to recomind Aarron Wall’s SEO Book a very good read and everybody can learn something from it.

41 Viral Electronics

Wow you make it sound so simple I should already be a Millionare.

42 King Jacob

Im not a fan of paying for ebooks it just feels odd to not have a physical book. Is the Shoemoney playbook going to be a real book?

43 Chris

Speaking of learning from the gurus–I wanted to say thanks for opening my eyes to webmasterradio–I got there from one of your links. This is a great resource for anyone trying to make money online or create a popular website.

In response to this post, I wanted to weigh in here. I think that you can generally find a few golden nuggets of information in many of the popular ebooks out there. A lot of them are maybe not that great, but you can still usually get something out of them. Sometimes you have to take a risk and buy something you think might be helpful.

If you look at the author’s track record that can help you see if he or she is legitimate and may be able to provide some good information. Or, you may want to go in 50/50 with a friend on the purchase. The fact of the matter is information is key and often information is expensive.

44 Matthew

I am no guru but I am willing to hook anyone up, that post a comment in this post , with a complimentary, merry frickin’ christmas, copy of my ebook. On the house!

45 DefogMyBlog

It is difficult at times to know what to buy with so much stuff coming at us. A friend of mine is doing an intensive. I think it is with Perry Marshall and he seems to be pleased.

46 AutoX

I find most ebooks were worth the money spent. It really depends on what your looking for in the ebook and how much you are willing to spend for the information. Ebooks can save you allot of time researching and some may only have that one key idea that you need to take it to the next level.

47 Eric Giguere

I’ve never claimed to given away any “secrets”… I don’t think there are many “secrets” anyhow, just things that are perhaps not as widely-known as they could. Certainly there’s a lot of misinformation out there.

For example, I have in some sense completely explained the AdSense business model in my post The AdSense Crapshoot. If you do what I say you will make a lot of money from AdSense. But are you willing to put in the work?

A lot of gurus focus on the “build the tools” side of AdSense as opposed to the “build the sites” aspect. They sell complete sites that are ready for deployment… it’s really easy to build those kinds of sites if you have a few tools. The hard part, which I think is what a lot of gurus leave out, is getting traffic to those sites. No traffic, no clicks, no Google paycheque.

People write about making money online for different reasons. I wrote my book so that people like my non-techie sister could understand what AdSense is about. The unofficial AdSense blog I run is a labour of love, not a money-maker, just like this blog is Shoemoney’s labour of love. As with him, it’s the other sites I own (which I don’t publicize generally speaking) that make me my “real” money. But MEMWG is in some ways the most enjoyable property I own.

Use your common sense when you think about purchasing a book or some software. That’s the best advice I can give…

Eric

48 Jon Symons

It’s amazing that we all want to believe that success, or even improved odds of success, can be found in an eBook. Jeremy gives the real secret right here:

I have been trying to make money with my own businesses for over 15 years (10 online) and in those 15 years I have only found success in the last 4 years

11 years of sticking at it and all of sudden he was a star!

Nobody likes the reality that it takes consistent hard work , determination and creativity, so we buy eBooks to try and get an edge or a shortcut.

The Guru eBook sellers can of course give away all their best secrets, because they know that even with all the best information in the world, 99.9% won’t make any decent money anyways, and the other .1% will make money with or without their secrets.

49 Dave

The whole ‘if I get one good idea, it pays for the book’ is something that ebook sellers love to put out there to justiy the cost of their book. I can give you one good idea that could make you a boatload of money, stop reading ebooks and get to work.

50 Henrik Blunck

Some gurus will recommend anything as I have said on my videopodcast which is shared here on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTm_ocQeles

51 Tim

Looking forward to the Playbook. Bound to be an internet bestseller. I hope there is a step-by-step of how to make $133 grand in a month using AdSense and an appendix on UFC betting strategies :)

52 Common Sense

I can understand how some doubt when it comes to people “selling advice,” as TV is flooded with “buy my kit to learn my secrets to get rich.” I will say that Shoemoney is a great resource, not only for his input and links to services, but the experiences others share on here as well. Now, I might not make $10K on AdSense any time soon (let alone $100K), but I have doubled my total AdSense income in the last month simply by adding EntreCard to my site … a service I probably wouldn’t have found if it wasn’t for Shoe. :)

53 bmunch

The time you spend looking for quality information online and then filter out all the fluff and spam is not worthwhile. Spending a few bucks to buy a recommended ebook with good information is definitely more effective.

54 commandos

simple ? dident u see the part where he say he has been working for like 14-15 years and he only got sucess in the last 4 ?

the lesson : Never give up and try to learn from your previous errors ..

55 Brian

If you’re going to buy a book to help with Adsense, that’s definitely the right one. Not so much a fan of ebooks either, although there are a few that a very, very good. That’s a problem with all books, though, not just ebooks.

56 Affiliate Unleashed

Registered for your forum By the way. :)

57 賃貸 大阪

SEO Book is worth it. It is full of good information.

58 賃貸 大阪

I am looking forward to your book. It would be cool if it was done, you could have a booth at Pubcon selling it.

I will check out the adsense book too. Thanks for the tip.

59 lyricsreg

I have never purchased an ebook. Maybe it’s time I start buying them

60 lyricsreg

Did you have a bad experience with ebooks ?

61 lyricsreg

How much did your income increase after reading the ebook ?

62 axa

the main reason is i dont have any time to read ebook… :’(

63 Volcanic Buck

I have owned SEO Book about three years ago and love it. Aaron knows what is going on in SEO. Based on your recommendation I just bought Make Easy Money With Google Adsense. I have been following Shoemoney for about two years and know that this will pay off.

Thanks

64 bochgoch

Not sure what transpiration is, sounds painful … ;)

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”

65 Rich Sage

Thanks very much… These are some real gems to help in SEO and Adsense.

66 John Loch

I’ve a sneaking suspicion you’re correct. In fact, common sense should tell us that the information we seek (if we must find it in ebooks) can be found not via pages full of bullshit testimonials and sales pitches, but in completely free ebooks such as those featured in mashables TOP 10 FREE EBOOKS FOR BLOGGERS. I think the best way to apply common sense is to proceed with a broader, diverse array of freely available resources, informed by multiple perspectives over one driven by the dollars you JUST SPENT demonstrating how gullible you are. Now then.. if you’re wondering how to make money from FREE EBOOKS, just check out my latest title, The Ebook Crapshoot.. and remember: If you do what I say you will save a lot of money. But are you willing to put in the work? :)

67 serge

I have noticed there are many bloggers that aspire to be better, but not able to for a number of reasons. Here are some of mine: no real topic to blog about (at least not one that I am an expert or knowledgeable in), not sure how to do things like: web design, putting in ads, or driving traffic to blog, and I am too busy reading how other people are making money online with their blogs. I have been neglecting my real offline business by commenting and reading blogs all day long. If I spent that same effort in my own ventures, both offline and online, who knows where I would be right now.

68 Hans Muster

I think it’s a great idea to write his own expiriences in a book or some memories.

69 CatherineL

True – whilst some ebooks are garbage – there’s also some great ones out there. They are especially useful on the internet, because if you went through a traditional publisher the info would be most likely out of date by the time the book was published.

70 Joeychgo

Aaron wall’s book is great for those new to SEO. It explains the basics in an easy to understand manner.

71 Michel Zieleman

I love to read Aaron Wall’s SEO BOOK and heard many people talking good about it, but wished his book was also available in hard copy. Personally, I don’t like to sit behind my labtop and read a book and prefer to read a book in the toilet or bedroom instead! Hopefully one day Aaron Wall’s book is also available as a hard copy. By the way, I am wondering if more people want to see a hard copy of his book as well!?

72 Neon

i think the SEO Book is good. most others are just compilation of stuff found on internet or plagiarise each other ebook.

73 Neon

it is true that no one will publish their niche of earning online. but they will not mind to educate others ways or the concept of making money online.

74 jim

If you didn’t know it beforehand, then wasn’t it a secret from your perspective? Sure it could’ve been read off a forum but you didn’t…

75 Jason Brailow

You could have gotten the same lessons free by reading he major SEO forums..

76 mike

I’ll have to purchase the SEO book by Aaron as I need to build my SEO a bit better on my site.

77 youfoundjake

I think that when your book is being sold on amazon, I’ll but an amazon ad on my site, just for you!

78 James B.

I think most of those are scams but thats just me.

79 Secret Classroom

Nine times out of ten the Gurus are not selling their secrets, they are selling a product ;-) There is only one example recently that will be different and that is going to be Joel Comm’s Secret Classroom DVD set.

80 Tony Smith

I’ve been looking for a good book to make sense of out AdSense. Thanks!

81 Scott Weaver

Exactly. Making serious money is never easy unless you are born into wealth or something of that nature. You just have to treat it like a game and beat down the bosses (in this case, search engines).

82 How To Build A Website

From what I have seen online, is a new trend, and it is based on very high priced products with information overload.

The content is so much, that the student or beginners can’t grasp the teachings. It is a shame, but, you have to learn by making your own mistakes and taking small steps.

Leave the high priced products alone until you can figure out what it takes to make this marketing thing work for you. The name says it all, a guru, is a high priced sales man.

83 CodeFreedom

The best thing I ever learnt from buying marketing info from a ‘guru’ as that if you want to be successful in IM you need to stop buying and start selling. Be the advertiser, not the buyer.

84 Jason Craft

I think almost all the internet success ebooks out there just provide basic tips, mostly they contain content you already know of, the best seo is to create great content step by step and by trial and error, you already know the concept, now it’s time to walk the concept

85 Dilan D

Hey

I agree with some of the comments here, There is no way these giuys are giving away anything for just $47.00.
It’s very frustrating as a newbie to get in to any kind of internet marketing at the moment, All programs I have seen or sent to does not work or can not implement sometimes,

86 Jimothy

Hello, i arrived to this blog whilst trying to find something else, but to my joy i found this website. Keep doing what you might be doing, its excellent.

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