It has recently been called to my attention that there is an increasing number of phony bloggers typing away on their keyboards in an effort to make some money online. By “phony blogger,” I mean that these people claim to have a lot of revenue but lack the proof, they don’t offer any “real” tips in the blogging world, they are only interested in self gain, and so on. These phonies are essentially liars that truly believe people are listening to them. However, there are people like me who can see between the lies and even prove the fact that they’re lying with every keystroke… And so I’m here to show you how to recognise these bloggers.

Phony Blogger

They Don’t Give Any “Real” Blogging Tips

Have you ever been to a blog (or read an eBook) claiming to have all of the secrets to blogging but instead just rambled on about nothing? Chances are, you were reading the work of a phony. For example, a blogger may be offering an eBook that will “help you earn $1,000 with Google AdSense in just 30 days.” Interested in making a bit more money from AdSense, you decide to sign up for their email list to get the eBook. Once you download it, however, it’s full of loose tips like “Keep blogging and the money will come in,” “The trick is to monetize your traffic,” or “You have to make your readers see the ads,” etc. These aren’t the tips that you were looking for; they are simply well-known facts reworded to appear like “tips.”

They Provide No Proof of Their Income

I never believe anyone on the Internet unless they can provide proof in some way. Too often have I seen bloggers claiming to have revenue as much as $2,000 a month just from AdSense and affiliate sales. Although it seems they are rolling in cash from their blog, they lack one thing – proof. Professional bloggers like Darren from always post screenshots of their AdSense or Clickbank dashboards to prove they really are making $2,000 a month. Without proof, they just have an empty statement.

They Are Only Interested In Personal Gain

I follow my fair share of bloggers on Twitter and Facebook and I tend to notice trends among different groups. The good, ethical bloggers share posts written by all kinds of people – not just themselves. In addition, ethical bloggers post links to their pages manually or use a non-spammy service like Hootsuite. Bloggers who use programs like Tweet Adder to promote their own blog with the same updates every 10 minutes are most likely trying to spam people into viewing their site. These people become annoying very quickly and should be avoided at all costs.

You Can Catch Them Delivering Deliberate Lies

Perhaps the best way to catch phony bloggers is to catch them putting deliberate lies in their blog posts, comments, Facebook updates, etc. For example, if a questionable blogger claims that they have been blogging for two years and have a lot of experience, look up their domain name’s WHOIS (using This will show what date the domain name was registered and it should confirm or falsify their story. So if you look up the domain’s WHOIS and it says it was registered March 2012 and it’s currently December 2012, it’s obvious they have not had that blog for two years.

They Claim To Use Services Just To Get Affiliate Sales

I’ve mentioned this before in another post, but I’ll go ahead and say it again… Bloggers who claim to use a certain web host or service just to gain some affiliate sales should not be believed. For example, if a blog publishes a review about HostGator’s web hosting saying that they use the service and it’s really great, you should make sure they really do use HostGator. Once again, check their domain WHOIS and see where the name servers point. If they point to HostGator, the review has more credibility, but if they point to GoDaddy, you just caught them in a lie.

Do You Know Any Phonies?

After reading this post, do any bloggers you follow come to mind? Let us know in the comments!

Image Source: Sync Blog


28 Responses to How To Recognize a Phony Blogger

  • I know a lot of phonies or have come across a lot of people that their statements just don’t add up. For instance, people that read an eBook and pretty much rewrite it, and try to pass themselves off as a guru.

    That and in the SEO world I have seen people use Blackhat like crazy charge their customers a ton and run out the door when Google knocks all there stuff down. If it looks to good to be true it probably is.

    I don’t know why people want to put on a fake self image so badly over the Internet.

    • I think the main reason people are fake and lie on their blogs is to come across as an authority. They think it looks better if they say their eBook has been downloaded 2,500 times when in reality it has been downloaded only 50 times. However, some of these tactics do work – if you make something look popular, people will go for it.

    • Really, very true! I’ve seen people do this too – shamelessly. From my perspective, they lose reputation. At least I don’t prefer to work with them, neither recommend them to anyone.

  • This post really makes you wonder about all of the self professed SEO, blogging, and internet marketing experts. It seems like there are lots of sites out there about all of the above, but so many of them are just plain junk. It all goes back to making yourself look successful, and people will believe it. Not sure if I can name any phony bloggers right now, but I’m sure there are tons of them.

    • I’ve watched my fair share of tutorials for SEO, marketing, and blogging and if I see an expensive car or something, I automatically close out of the video and ignore the “expert” advice they gave. These people show off their BMWs and stuff just to make people believe that they can make enough money from blogging that they can buy themselves a BMW too.

      In the United States, it’s a couple hundred dollars to rent a BMW for a day or two. This is enough time to record the video, show off the car “you made enough money from blogging to buy” and then publish the video. Charge people $20 to learn the “secrets” and you just need 10 people to buy it and your rental car investment is paid off… That’s how they do it.

  • To be honest, I fell into the traps of online phonies way too often. I downloaded “super-useful” guides which didn’t give any practical hints and didn’t actually add any value. At a certain point, I was so disappointed that I thought that there was no such thing as a free lunch on the web. Thank you for your guidance. You gave us really useful tips.

    • The problem with the Internet is that it’s too open. Anyone can log on, purchase cheap web hosting, and put up a blog about anything they want – and say anything they want… This is where you are fooled.

      Yes, you can make money on the Internet with blogging. However, the only ones who will probably ever make $100,000 or more a year are already doing it.

  • I have noted there are many blogging hubs stole content from different blogs.
    I do not know why they are using this trick, they waste our time.

    Your post really make sense.


  • Honestly, most blogging articles or SEO tips articles are guest posts and just rehashing from the same information that has been churned a thousand times before. It is rare that you read anything truly innovative or a new suggestion, tactic. I almost never even bother to look for any blogging tips related articles myself anymore, even the non-phony bloggers who share information like myself can’t guarantee if you follow my steps they will work as well or better for you. I don’t sell any products that I create to tell you how to blog, until I can figure out how to get 6 figures myself from it, I am no expert, I have no business telling others do what I do and you will make money or be successful. It is all about being original, authentic, passionate about what you write about and with some luck you will be discovered by people who share your enthusiasm, enjoy your writing style and you will grow a following from there.

    • That’s pretty much what I concluded about most of the SEO articles too. Mainly there really isn’t too much to SEO – people overthink it. The main key to search engine success is to make your blog easy to index with site maps and followable links. Other than that, I let Google do the rest 🙂

  • Never gave it a thought. So I guess, I could not recognize one, if I ever came across one. Now that I know, I will be able to identify one as soon as I see. Thanks for sharing Ian! these phony bloggers should not be allowed t blog because they waste our time.

  • This aware me as beginner. Thanks for this share Ian. I like your info about WHOIS.

  • Great post this, but the point here is – what can be done with it? The world is full of phonies huh? So does that mean one must stop blogging?

  • AdSense or Clickbank dashboards screenshots can be faked – just my two bits. Season’s Greetings to you and all on this awesome blog. Best wishes and regards.

  • Examples of things to look out for are “Laser-guided traffic”, “You can now learn this super secret technique the whales don’t want you to know about”,… The warrior forum is full of these kinds of snake oil salesmen. Some time ago I had to LOL when someone used the “we hired the best programmers from Europe” line… as if they have magical powers that will rub off on you if you buy their software.

  • Hi, I have recently purchased and I’m thinking about writing an ebook to sell on this website. I want to get your feedback on how much you think I could charge and if you think it would be of interest.

    I believe I have quite a lot of knowledge in this fat head of mine to share with everyone as I’ve been building and promoting websites as a freelancer for over 15 years now and started out from scratch. Now I make about $6,000 per month, so I thought why not share what works and what I’d avoid. I’m sure if I had a similar book when I was starting out it would have saved me years of work.

    The book would cover things like:

    How to get your first client, creating an effective website with a blog, how to correctly optimize your website, keyword research, dealing with clients, invoicing clients, bookkeeping, how to find more leads, how to get leads from the very beginning without being fully established, how to build a portfolio before you have clients and more.

    Please let me know if you think this would be of use still, and how much would be a fair price?

    • Robert,

      A book like that would be invaluable to newbies; but it would have to be affordable.

      The thing is to teach them methods that will stand the test of time.

      I was taught “short cuts” that worked for a time; but after Panda and Penguin; not so much.

      Maybe you should consider a membership site that is constantly updated according to current Google conditions and offer that.

      Low cost; lots of monthly members.

      Finding leads is as easy as keyword research (UGG!); as for invoicing there are a few programs out there that will give you two or three customers for free, optimizing the site on page is easy; off page not so much.

      Good luck; if I can help; I will.

  • So now I know how to recognize phoney bloggers..hheheh.
    On a serious note…great post you have here and it is very true that many bloggers are just phoney.
    Great post you have here. So how many leads are you getting per day and what techniques are you using?

    Take care.

    Veena Furtado

  • “How to become a millionaire”

    First – get a million dollars…

    After Hurricane Katrina I was out of work for the first time in my adult life. I wound up taking a job making a third of what I was accustomed to just to have a job. I was desperate to gain some income and I turned to the internet.

    My Lord at the bogus claims bolstered by pictures of fancy cars, big houses, yachts and scores of beautiful women!

    I didn’t fall for any of that, “too good to be true” IS too good to be true.

    I did discover affiliate marketing and thought, “This could work.”

    I joined some programs and put up a few sites – made just a little money. Eventually I joined a couple of “learn how to sell on the web” type membership sites; and I did learn some useful stuff about creating sites that will rank well in Google.

    The trouble was that these guys are teaching you how to “game” Google.

    Keyword stuffing, automated comments for back links, exact match domain names – on and on the list goes; and it worked for a while. You could put up a “thin” site properly optimized and be on page one pretty quickly.

    I’m ashamed to admit that I became a “phony”; the indoctrination that I received led me to think that these were “smart” tactics for quick and easy rankings; that this is how it should be done.

    I never lied about stuff; but it was all about my needs and not those of my visitors.
    I once had two sales back to back for the same product within minutes of each other from a woman in Scotland; I immediately emailed her with instructions on how to get a refund for one or both sales; her grateful and gracious thanks for pointing out her mistake is still one of my favorite emails.

    Y’all can take comfort in the fact that I never promoted any BS products; and that I really didn’t make any money doing it; but I recently had a moment of clarity and have come full circle – don’t try to game Google – give them what they are looking for – a quality site full of useful information that will be of service to the people who land on that site looking for a solution to a problem or a need.

    That’s working well – no shortcuts; just hard effort and proper intentions.

    Sorry for the long ramble; I had no idea that I was going to write an article here; but this has been part of my journey down the road of internet marketing.

  • Nice tips to get away from phony bloggers, there are higher chances of frauds on Internet than in a real world..

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