I hate hyperbole, and what really infuriates me are claims that “there is nothing like this anywhere!” Oh, really.
With the modern treasure trove called search engines, there is little left in the world that can’t be found, and odds are that your original, can’t be found anywhere, is findable. Have you looked?
A few months ago, a WordPress Plugin author claimed that he had the first Plugin of this kind. I knew of three others published over the past few years that did the same thing, and two did it better. I didn’t need a search engine to find that out, but why didn’t he search first before making the claim?
A day later, a WordPress Theme designer told me that he’d designed a Theme that was such an original, he bet me I couldn’t find anything similar. I found over twenty five similar Themes with a Google search before calling it quits.
Another blogger bragged to me that he was going to hold a contest unlike any other contest. No one in the world had ever done anything like it. When I told him that two similar contests were held over the past couple years exactly like his, one was a success and the other a failure, he was really angry at me for taking the wind out of his sails. I wished him good luck anyway. Maybe his would work, but bragging about it as the “only one of its kind” isn’t the truth.
I hear ideas from bloggers and web entrepreneurs all the time with the claim that there is nothing else like this anywhere in the world and that they are the first, and it’s crap. More importantly, do you think I will trust them when they come knocking on my door the next time?
Take care when making such grandiose claims. It can often backfire.
Bragging versus Snake Oil
You can brag. You can even exaggerate. But when you make false claims, especially ones easily found in this age of instant research resources, it makes you look desperate. It opens you and your claim up to ridicule. There are rarely new ideas, just old ideas in new clothes, and fashion trends which turns everything old new again.
I’ve found that the best ideas are the ones with the solid foundation, not the exaggerated claims to exclusivity. There are better ways to get people motivated to use your product or service or participate.
Tell us that it is build on solid ground, that the people behind it are experienced experts. Show us you’ve thought the concept out. List the pros and cons – there will always be pros and cons to everything. Be the first to tell us why to use this, and why not, as well as who should, and you will have a much stronger response to your idea.
Be wary of those who make such grandiose claims. Snake oil salesmen are everywhere, including the web.
Not all snake oil websites make exaggerated claims, but many do. Trying to figure out what is a blog scam and what isn’t is getting more and more complex. Sometimes it’s hard to to see through the hype to the truth.
In an upcoming article, I’ll show you some examples of some blog scams and how they are making a huge economic impact on individuals as well as the economy, costing USD $3.2 billion a year in fraud. Are you at risk of being a victim of a blog scam?
Articles in the Series on Blog Scams
- Blog Scams: There Is Nothing Like This Anywhere
- Blog Scams: Blog Scams Are a Growing Business
- Blog Scams: Get Rich Quick and Work From Home Scams
- Blog Scams: Look Before You Click
- Blog Scams: How Do You Know If The Hype is a Scam?
Author: Lorelle VanFossen
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.