My recent attack on ViperChill (and his actions after that) just provoked me to write a more broader post on the topic of building a reputation online and cash it in by selling books or consultations. When do reality and lies mix up together to form the best sales strategy?

We've all met them - people that boast themselves for succeeding online, claiming how they made thousands/ millions online with their strategies and offering us their book or costly hourly coaching so we can replicate their success. The vast part of those people fall into the category of people who "get rich by teaching others how to get rich". Sure there's honest ones that really achieved something first, before offering their services to others (shoemoney is a good example) but most of them are typical salesmen - they say what you want to hear in order to purchase from them.

The first and most important requirement for such scheme to work is your popularity - obviously no one would pay for advice to unknown person that hasn't proven his methods first. And what is the easiest way of creating a buzz around your name - lying of course. Let me present you my version of how things happen.

1) You build a site - easy and cheap.
2) You write few articles with titles like "How I made $1k in 2 days" or "My way to get 500,000 visitors to one of my sites in just 2 months"

So far so good. The trap is setup. Now you need gain some traffic so you can spread the word. And you go

3) You enter a community where you know your target customers spend time
4) You start offering free advice or help based on your "success"
5) You start threads like "How I made 1k in 2 days" or "Case study: my 2 weeks quest to $5k profit"
6) You update the case study daily to show your progress (people like this, you know)
7) At the end you claim you nearly reached the target, making just $100 less (this would make you trustworthy because many people didn't believe you anyway. Now you won them too, by showing you're not that good)
8) You continue posting on your site more and more faked data. However you never mention how exactly things happened or provide any reasonable proof. This is hidden behind the comfortable screen of "If I tell you everything you'll go and enter the same business thus increasing the competition" - how convenient.
9) Now you release your own ebook (might not be written by you though).
10) Continue dumping "success" stories
11) Offer pricey personal consultations
12) Congratulations! You're now rich.

This is exactly what I suspect ViperChill in doing the last 3 years. By the way some of the sites I mentioned in my previous post were deleted the next day. The reason? The were complete crap and totally amateurish. If someone saw them how could they trust his professionalism.