Don’t Shoot The Messenger

Searching for information online leaves us with thousands of potential sources to choose from. So exactly how do we know which link to choose from…how do we tell who is the real authority on a particular subject? Some criteria may be whether the person authoring a given link has actually done the particular thing being inquired about, but then again how can we even be sure of that?

Shoot the messengerEventually we end up going with our “gut feeling” then click on it to see if the content therein satisfies our appetite. And if it does tantalize our information-seeking taste buds what happens if you hear a rumor that the author does not have REAL knowledge of the subject or even worse he merely copied it from somewhere else? This sort of thing tends to blow your high even though the content resulted in what you were looking for.

What an interesting phenomena this is considering how often you hear such and such person is a fake especially in the internet marketing and make money online niche. In order to illustrate this phenomenon more elaborately I will use three metaphorical references to get to the bottom of who is real versus who is fake:

  1. Lets take the average college professor who teaches investment banking. Now here is a guy who can answer almost any question involving the economy along with the ins and outs of investing in the stock market, yet none times out of ten he has never made a dime on the stock market! Does this make him a fake? I mean afterall he can provide intelligent scholarly answers to your questions and has spent years studying this stuff and if you pass his course you get qualified to work in the respective fields of investment banking and stock brokerage. This MUST prove that his information was at least on point even if he never actually done the job himself.
  2. How about a basketball coach promising enthusiastic players that if they follow his instructions they will make it to the playoffs and win a championship, yet the coach has never been in a single playoff himself. But nevertheless the players put their trust in him and end up winning the championship! His information must have been on point :)
  3. Now take the little guy who runs a blog entitled “Learning How People Make Money Online” who has not averaged at least four figures a month online, yet others continue to thank him commenting on how much his content has helped them out. And on top of that he manages to maintain first page rankings on Google for the popular phrase “make money online tips”…is he a fake? Though he may not be making millions, he has to be on point about SOMETHING!

Did you notice a common thread here? It is the information itself that was on point…this is the ultimate qualifier. If the information given is not useful, then nothing else really matters. Conversely, there are many people out there who do make millions online and they publish worthless information that helps no one so do not be overly persuaded or dissuaded by the publisher of a particular content piece. You have to fully test out the information they put out and if it does not pan out then move on! in other words:

Don’t shoot the messenger, shoot the message..

By the way, that “little guy” in the third example just happens to be yours truly :) I run the MarketSecrets Blog where I basically study howย other people make money online, test things out, then share it all with you. This is essentially what the professor and the coach above did while in the same vein building experiences of their own.

And now it is time for you to be the messenger and tell me what you think on all this and I promise not to shoot you :)


Join William "Caleb" Rodgers the MarketSecretsBlogger as he continues sharing How People Make Money Online at ... and if you hurry right NOW you can get instant access to the top money making Clickbank products for FREE!


  1. Very interesting points you mentioned here, William. It further stresses the importance of writing quality content for your blogs. Thanks for sharing this

  2. Hi William,

    You’re right here. Try to grab good information which is helpful for you, no matters who is actually giving it. Like yours one example from my side if you don’t mind ๐Ÿ˜‰

    One good player may not become good coach but a average player may become good coach, so it’s you who have to judge what’s good for you.

  3. I agree that some people gain a lot on internet marketing and yet they only share some things that work (a little or not worthy at all), I don’t think we can blame them for that right? It all ends up on the reader on how he/she will pursue the article.

    • You are definitely right about it all ending up on the reader…it is their choice as to how they view it, but as for “we can’t blame them for that” it Is a bit difficult to judge because we’re not fully aware of their motives. They could be purposely holding back information in order to draw you to subscribe to more detailed content, or they may not want you to know their “secrets” at all, or it might be that they just are not talented enough writers to put information in a comprehensible way.

      Thanks for your thoughts Sanjay!

  4. The key is to always test out the information that you learn about and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s never a good idea to jump blindly in. However, I would say that if you run into a situation where someone is perpetually passing on bad information, you also have to be careful about future information that the same person gives out. In that sense, the messenger does get a back mark as well.

    • That’s it! You have to test because even if it did work out for the author and others it may not work out for you..

      ..and although the term “bad” is relative to the one judging it, if someone does earn such a reputation it will be extremely difficult for them to turn that arounf and be seen as someone who puts out “good” information so it is better to get things right at the start ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thanks for the insight Richard!

  5. Hi William,
    You make very good points here. Good advice is and always will be good advice – the difference comes at the action point. People who learn to take advice and put it into action are the ones who succeed. You may not be making the four figures you want right now, but if you continue helping others succeed, your rewards will come.

    • It’s like that old saying: you got to put something in in order to get something out!

      ..another one just came to me that I haven’t heard anywhere else except in my own head, “a car can get you where you need to go, but only if you put some gas in it”… I think I might have to expound on that one in a seperate post ๐Ÿ’ก

  6. I guess it really depends on your niche and what you are doing. I wouldn’t want to get surgical advice from someone who just read a bout it and had never been to medical school for example. That could be dangerous.

    But, I agree with what you are saying. I ran a successful “how to save your marriage” site for over 2 years before I sold it, and I was a divorced single guy who wasn’t even trying to date!

    • Yes it would be wise to learn from someone with hands-on experience when it comes to things that require a physical or manual type of skill. For example when I was in welding school were given thick text books that taught everything there is to know about welding yet nothing compared to havimg that instructor with over twenty years of experience standing next to me in the booth physically demonstrating how to properly hold my whip and rod along with positioning my body in order to weld a pipe bent at a forty-five degree angle. In the virtual online world the physics are a bit different.

  7. William, there is that other guy who proved that he can make 6-figures money online and doesn’t know squat about business or any theories behind it. Does that make him fake? After all, he was able to make 6-figures, yea?

    I personally meet those on daily basis, not only in the context of “making money”, but what they call themselves “network guru”, “network expert”, “php expert”, “IT guru”, etc. Here is my take on that type of person, it may have worked with her/him once, but without knowing “why” s/he was able to make that money, good luck in sustaining the business or duplicating that model somewhere else.

    IMO, you have to have the inner-workings behind it (the theory) and back that up with practical proof, having only one of these, doesn’t prove anything and doesn’t say anything and certainly doesn’t answer your question on whether s/he is fake or not. But having both or having none definitely answers your question :)

    • I hear you loud and clear… it’s just that most of us online don’t personally know these “gurus” and other information authors so there are not many ways of verifying their credibility of having both qualifiers you mentioned other than to go with our gut feeling and just test out the information they give.

      So in the eyes of the average online knowledge seeker what matters most is how well the information helped them out.

      This is a main reason why I tried to be as clear and transparent as ppssible on my About Page at MSB. This all falls in line with something Marc Zuckerberg of facebook said in his beginning days:
      “It may not make you comfortable to hear me saying this, but i’m sort of learning on the job here ๐Ÿ˜‰ ”

  8. I guess some people are just good at the theoretical stuff but have a few flaws when it comes to implementation. The lecturer may not have the work, the coach may not have the fitness, and so on. Nevertheless, they may still be able to provide a lot of value… then it’s up to the recipient to take it to the next level

  9. Cristian Balau

    Don’t know about you guys but I can figure out in a couple of seconds if a specific content would turn out to be helpful or not. If I smell something fishy I just bounce to another source right away, till I find exactly what I was looking for. As far as money goes, if you earn, your on the right track, means you are doing some thing right and I think this applies to everybody.

  10. Do you prefer William or Caleb? Either way, thanks for promising not to shoot us! You’re right that the internet has a bevy of information and that some of it is credible while some isn’t so much… I think the best thing to do to tell which are which is to just keep up with homework, check and double check everything. Can’t be too careful, right?? :)

  11. Hi, William,
    You are right, it can be hard to recognize if someone is an authority on what he is writing about. However, I think it can be revealed soon if the person just took the information from somewhere or he actually knows what he is talking about. I do not even mind if the person made an article or an explanation based on researches done on the net, without being an actual expert on the topic. If what he has to share can be helpful and the research is well done, I am happy with it.
    Of course, best answers come from personal experience and observation.

  12. I’m sure is totally up to the message. Either if its good or bad, its the message that we should be concerned about.

    I like the third little guy :) LOL

  13. Nice Info thank for sharing.

    Every body wants to write good content for his/her blog post and some body can do easily and on other side some body can’t do this tactics so there they are failed and after some time when they see status of their blog post at that time they are n0t happy due to some mistakes.

    So i think this is the nice information for them and they should follow some simple rules for achieve success for there blog post.

  14. Craig Sowerby

    Hey William,

    The content and information can come from anybody. If it works then it is good, but also you have to remember that the person reading the content has to actually test it out fully.

    You could coach, teach or show someone what to do but if they are not willing to put the work in then they say that information is rubbish, where really it is down to the consumer not really taking the necessary actions.

    Also I believe that if you have a good following, readers and subscribers then they will prefer your content from someone else ‘s even if it is the same. It’s all about the relationships.

    I think Kristina came up with the best solution

    “Of course, best answers come from personal experience and observation.”


    • Building a following in order receive that “special preference” from information seekers is key to becoming an authority on a particular subject because of the sheer power of word of mouth referrals…this is something all serious bloggers want but get frustrated with trying to accomplish it..

      However as Richard pointed out earlier, just like perpetually publishing bad information causes ppl to stay away from you if you consistently publish good information ppl will follow and recommend you ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Hmmm I guess the old internet marketing adage of “Build It And They Will Come” is true afterall…its just that the things which have to built is not just an attractive website, it is also about building quality content and targeted backlinks they will start coming like bees to honey :)

  15. While it might not always be “instantly” apparent whether someone is credible or not, I think it becomes apparent with a little bit of time.

    People who are credible over time will show real life examples. Additionally they will show tips that at specific and actionable, rather than being vague sort of, “rah rah” tips that fall in and out of vogue. (like the generic “5 reasons to [blog comment, guest post, use email marketing, write great content])

    One article may not always make the real knowledge apparent for or against, but if you look at a series of posts, it is usually clear.

    • Absolutely true Steve, I believe it is Abraham Lincoln who once said, “you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time” :)

    • Unfortunately nowadays with advanced photoshop techniques even “real life examples” can be faked.

      And although studying a publishers content overtime would eventually pierce the veil of authenticity as long as “actionable advice” in any of their content is given I won’t knock a content provider because I am usually just looking for something that positively works which I won’t know until I test it out myself.

  16. First off, most of the top blogs (you should know who they are), ask yourself – is their post more quality then the post you read in “Basic Blog Tips”?
    I dare to say “none” and I don’t give a shit for that because most top blogs are posting about their personal life, and worst… promoting products “THEY HAD YET TO EVEN USE” trust me, top blogger like to promote products for their join venture and all they want is the commission out of it because they knew they had the traffic and also their position in the market.
    I do not know about you but most top bloggers who got famous because of certain media had bullshit knowledge about “making money online” I had seen too many blogs that talk about their personal life style and got famous, especially “female” bloggers who use beauty to path the way to the top.
    But this is what the online world are being made, no one can blame who is wrong and who is right, everyone had a choice.

  17. Nice examples. They really solidify that it’s not necessarily the person, or how much experience the person has that makes the information good, but the information itself. It’s the information that makes the person an expert, not the expert that makes the information.

  18. Of course, I will expect to get more reliable answer from somebody who is actually doing something right (and has something to show for), but I am not to judge people who “teach” or coach something without the same success that they are talking about.

    Those are two separate things – the knowledge and the skill to do something, and the talent to pass on the knowledge or the skill to somebody else.

    Otherwise, teachers would all be the Renaissance scholars, right?

  19. hah.. nice dude… You’re totally right, people need to learn how to evaluate online information in a more critical manner… if you can’t even figure out what if fact and what is BS, internet marketing is not for you! you make some great points!

    • Some ppl don’t even bother taking the time to investigate the validity of a awarch, but you got to think of this thing like being in school: just because a teacher says “2+2=4” doesn’t make it so, it is only when you verify by holding up two fingers on one hand then two more fingers on the other then count it all together that you get 4 ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Copy from one, it’s plagiarism; copy from two, it’s research. There is a reason why content is king. The more useful your content is, the better you are perceived even if you are just rehashing and putting your own spin on something that has been said by another person.

  21. I agree that the ultimate judge of someone’s authority is their ability to provide content that covers the necessary steps to achieve the outcome they claim to be able to achieve. Like if Shoemoney didn’t everyone once in a while give his inside information of making money online, he would lose readers and authority in the industry.

    • We can even take it from a Biblical perspective, the different messengers were given messages to deliver but they themselves were NOT the owners of the messages nor did they have the POWER to make good on those messages –at least at first until they grew into that POWER-…for this was the mistake Moses made!

  22. Hey Caleb! These are nice points that you’ve mentioned out here! The best part was the way you wrote it – “Don’t shoot the messenger, shoot the message!”