Other "shiny objects" needed to be successful with WA

Last Update: March 18, 2018

Dear WA-Family

I've read a post of our valued member TonyHamilton this morning. So after I started commenting and sharing my thoughts on "shiny objects" and it turned into a long answer, I realized it would probably be more courteous to transfer my thoughts to my blog (whooo-hooo it gives me the opportunity to fulfill one of my tasks of blogging too), rather than to post my lenthy answer in Tony's blog.

If you have missed Tony's post, here is the link: https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/tonyhamilton/blog/shiny-obje...

"Shiny objects"... What are they? Are they good? Are they bad? Should I unsubscribe from all other email lists? Let's see...

I have never heard that somebody refers to WA as a "Shiny Object". As far as my understanding goes, it is a term that is mostly used to describe offerings on the internet that doesn't add to the core of our knowledge on how to make money.

Are shiny objects bad?

The problem for many becomes when we are sold "shiny objects", but we don't have the knowledge or know-how to put those shiny objects to good use.

Take this as an example. Buying a car, it is the object that takes us from point A to point B. But any good car salesman will always sell us many "shiny objects" - luxury floormats, a special steeringwheel cover that stays cool even on the warmest day, an upgraded rear view mirror, nice mag wheels, long-life wiper blades, special car polish, extra-ordinary non-streaking window wash, and of course a chamois to go with it, etc. All very nice and handy items, don't you agree? Our car salesman is doing us a favor by recommending these awesome products, right?

None of those "shiny objects" are bad. The problem arise when we are ONLY sold the "shiny objects", but we don't have, and don't understand, that we need the car to use them on, or HOW to use them on our car. The luxury floor mats is not fulfilling its purpose and neither am I getting its intended value, if I just pile them in the trunk.

The "shiny objects" adds absolutely nothing, to the functionality of the car, only to my ego and the beauty or perceived value of the car (and even that is often debateable). The car is still taking me from point A to point B, regardless whether I've bought the mag wheels. the luxury floor mats and the chamois! :-) The purpose of the car is to make it possible for me to visit all the fun places where I want to go - it's purpose is not to carry the above-mentioned objects around town.

Comparing WA to the car and shiny objects

This can be compared to WA, which is the training that will take one from a newbie with no understanding of online marketing, to a knowledgeable internet marketer making money online. But if I don't have that knowledge yet, it doesn't help I buy the fancy plugins or the fancy theme builders or ... whatever the next "shiny object" it is that is being touted in our inboxes as "THE" thing to have. I simply won't have the knowledge of how to put that item to good use, in order to get its intended value.

And besides, without the extra outlay and without the "shiny objects", WA is like the "standard" car - fully capable of delivering on its promise to take us where we want to go and to help us accomplish our goals - IF we focus and do the work.

BUT, we often times get so distracted by all these "shiny objects", that we waste days and weeks, meanwhile our "car" is parked in the garage, while we chase on foot after the "luxury floor mats" and the "chamois"! And then we talk to the neighbor and he happens to just casually mentions the "long-lasting wiper blades" which is a MUST HAVE and we go wide-eyed "Oh my goodness, I didn't know that!" - and off we go on foot again in search of those as well... And meanwhile our perfectly capable and beautiful standard car, is patiently waiting for us in the garage.

And no, I believe the person who offers the "shiny object", may have sincere intentions ... it is just that many of us are not at a point in our learning where we are capable of making an informed decision yet - and neither are most newbies who joins WA.
(There are always the exceptions to the rule - I don't talk about them.)

But once we are here at WA for a while, we realize that many of the "shiny objects" are just that - glittering like gold, but it is not real gold. That is when we start to 'get it' that even though all that "eye candy": all the flashing colors and moving objects and pop-up boxes and music playing in the background, flashing screens, blinking banners and whatever else it is that tickles our fancy, may look great, but it is not necessarily what is going to make us money. Instead, it is our quality content, engaging with our visitors and delivering a great user experience, THAT is the real gold. Adding the eye candy is not that important.

But many people fall for all the "shiny objects", all the "must have's", the "can't run a business without this", the "no way of being successful without this"-objects... so they end up with the equivalent of piles of luxury floor mats, steeringwheel covers and hard drives full of long-life wiper blades ... but they don't even own a car!

Is the Law imposing its "limited thinking" on us? | Earnings Disclaimer

And I think the reason why the law requires that we state that all success stories mentioned must be accompanied by a "this is not typical" disclaimer, is because in earlier years on the internet, there were MANY false promises, getting peoples' hopes up and I personally knows people who lost lots of money, naively falling for that.

So it is not a matter of discouraging someone or imposing our "limited thinking" on them, when we tell them that it is probably going to take them 6 months to a year before they can expect to make money, but it is rather to shake them out of their irrational fairy tale day dreams of expecting to earn $10'000 by the end of next month, while twiddling their thumbs.

Yes, we see time and again people who joins WA and who makes money from their first day or week - no problem, many people do just that. But if one takes the percentage who joins and when each one starts making money, not everybody falls into the category of making it online immediately (for MANY various reasons). And to show them only the immediate success stories or to create the expectation that they will also be earning money "next week" - well, that would be deceptive, I think.

Many people turns to the internet out of desperation - having SERIOUS financial troubles. If we create the impression that they are going to make money "shortly" after they have paid their WA membership, and they don't... well, I wouldn't want to see kids go to bed hungry or peoples' financial troubles increased, because they don't make the money that they have prematurely bargained on. In that case it is better for them to know that there are "slower learners" (of which they may or may not be one) and that it can take up to a year and in some cases even longer. If they THEN make the decision to join and thereby increase their financial hardships - at least I know that it was through none of my doing.

But of course, once I've driven my standard car and it comfortably takes me from point A to all the fun places I wanted to visit, nothing stops me from adding as many "shiny objects" as I wish and can afford. ;-)

But even then we need to know that some "shiny objects" are purely "nice-to-have's" (like the chamois and the steeringwheel cover) which won't add much (if any) value to my car, and others may add some value (like the mag wheels). But it is only after being here at WA for a while and after we got a grip on what "having an online business" entails, that we learn to distinguish between which things are only "nice-to-have's" and which does add some value.

Should we unsubscribe from all other lists?

Well, my opinion is to do so until we are at least earning a steady income through what we learned here at WA. When we are new, our focus are easily lost and then we waste a lot of time, just like when our standard car is parked in the garage, but we chase on foot after the luxury floormats and the chamois. If we accept that WA is the "standard car", that already has ALL that we need to take us on luxury holidays, we won't waste time and money chasing after "shiny objects" that won't bring us any closer to our goal. We don't need a Ferrari to be able to enjoy a luxury holiday, do we? Many will even have to choose between the Ferrari and the luxury holiday, not so? Well, here's the kicker...

WA is a standard car ...
a standard Ferrari, that is!
Yes, I'm sorry, you can't buy any "extra's" for Wealthy Affiliate.
Yes, it already includes the free hosting, yes it already includes all the easy to follow training you can wish for, yes it already includes the images and the feedback and the goal setting and the mentors and the keyword research tools and the community..... whatever it is you were going to chase after. Well... almost. :-) So now it is up to us to take our Ferrari out of the garage and go have some fun with it!

What are your thoughts about it? What would YOU advise a newbie to do?

Sharlee (Chocolate IceCream)

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
buffetearns Premium
Nice Sharlee, lots said there!

I couldn't agree more.

You write with such an elegance and inspiration!

TeamIceCream Premium
Thank you for stopping by Wayne!

[blush] Much appreciated Wayne!

I just L*O*V*E that photo! ;-) Do it with passion or go home! LOL!

May you enjoy a fabulous day Wayne!
Sharlee (Chocolate IceCream)
IvyT Premium
Hi Sharlee,

I have an email towards which I’m directing so many ecomm themed emails. I also have an excel sheet where I make notes about these, as part of my research project on online business actors and behaviours.

This last weekend (having gotten the gist of what some do) I deleted a bunch of the more derivative sales pitch emailers. They all sounded like clones of each other. And they were all in the category of the ‘shiny object’.

I’ve thrown money at quite a few of these to test drive the products on offer (all are typically from $7- $30, so no sweat), and it’s all mostly repurposed material. Or clones of basic computer functions being promoted as brave new apps; copy and paste courses.

A couple of these digital product purchases have resulted in copious spam (yes sellers, I know exactly who on-sold the email because you got a unique tag). So now there are really silly emails dropping into the spam folder claiming to be giving me bitcoin, or other unidentified stuff. CLICK HERE! Each link is attached to malware.

Legit marketers with fabulous products will work hard to get your attention. You’re trying to do the same, so you understand. They will do their best to understand their audience, and to speak their language. You might not have time or money for their stuff right now, and that’s what makes even the good product offering a shiny object if you can’t use it. I know! I’ve been there.

But don’t forget that in nature, there are also all kinds of predators, who like the Angler Fish of the deep, will use the same appeals to speak to you. Big... shiny... attractive... lure.

And this is perhaps the best reason of all to become disciplined in our response to shiny things - because as the malware dropping into my test folder shows. Some ecomm offers are attached to more than just ‘products’. Because at the other end of your transaction, your details have been noted for selling on as someone with a receptivity to certain kinds of offers. A possible easy target.

So, caveat emptor.

P.S.: Yes, I realise my comments are as long as posts, too. LOL
TeamIceCream Premium
Hi Ivy

Thank you for stopping by! I always look forward to your comments! ;-)

You make a very valid point Ivy. So many of these "shiny objects" are really not worth the $7 they ask for it! And you got my drift - as newbies, we fall for all of this nonsense, because we don't have the know-how to discern that what they are selling is repurposed (I always think of it as regurgitated) or functions which we already have access to.

I was alarmed by your find of the malware attached to so many of the offers too! That is shocking! It is one thing when they sell us inferior products, but then investing our computers with malware... wow, that is a totally different story!

I think that most of us have fallen for a good sales letter or two and bought stuff that we don't need or can't use. You surely made me feel better for not having been the only sucker to have fallen for that! ;-)

LOL! Not at all - I enjoy your comments Ivy! Thank you for stopping by!

Wishing you all of the very best!

Sharlee (Chocolate IceCream)
IvyT Premium
No worries Sharlee!

And in case I accidentally misled anyone - the products I mentioned testing weren't themselves bundled with malware (although there's lots of that, too). More like this sequence:

1. Vendor offers the digital product on a well-known site
2. I say sure, why not, I purchase
3. I supply an email to which the product link will be sent
4. During the transaction there's small writing about the vendor being able to contact me on this email for future promos etc
5. The email I provide them is unique to that transaction
6. I download, am underwhelmed, take a few notes
7. Meanwhile, the email I have supplied is getting hammered by thrice a day email advertising from the vendor
8. And down in spam folder land, I have started getting unrelated spam sent to this same unique email I supplied only that vendor
9. Each is crafted in a style typical of digital product email advertising, mostly about money
10. Each has differently forged headers, but seems to come from the same probable place
11. Each carries a link to a site or document where a malicious script may be executed

So, while there are indeed many nice, useful, clever and beautiful things to buy online, some digital products are just a vehicle to grow lists of prospective malware targets.
TeamIceCream Premium
Hi Ivy

Thanks for clarifying.

I've run a scan recently and discovered that a few products (2 or 3) were infected with malware.

Although I didn't supply a unique email address, instead of putting my name, I've put the name of the website where I sign up, and I was surprised to see how many websites are onselling my email address, even after promising never to do so on their sign-up page.

May you enjoy a lovely day Ivy! Wishing you much success!
Sharlee (Chocolate IceCream)
IvyT Premium
There you go. I wish I could say that I was surprised, but that's what I'm finding a lot of too, as I gather notes. :(

Beware the digital bazaar!
IvyT Premium
A note for conscientious affiliate marketers reading this exchange between the two of us:

Can you vouch for the safety (no malware) and the ethics of the business of the digital product you're promoting?

Have you purchased a copy yourself, and scanned it, tested it to see that it does as promised? Have you formed any opinion about the seller based on their post-purchase service, or the the way in which your personal details were used?

Just a thought to hold in your mind, as you scour the web looking for affiliate promotions to share.
TeamIceCream Premium
Hi Ivy

That is a few thought provoking questions that you have thrown out there. I hope some of the others will respond as well.

I haven't started reviewing other products yet, since some of these was exactly the things that I am hesitant about. I would love to learn more from you - how you scan their items for malware for instance. Have you written a training about it? Or do you know of a training that you can recommend?

See why I love your comments? LOL! You always bring up something interesting or thought provoking! Thank you!

Sharlee (Chocolate IceCream)
IvyT Premium
Hi Sharlee,

At the most basic level, anyone downloading an executable item (an app) can just use their virus scanners to check their wares, as you’ve done.

Sometimes that will be enough. But some malware artists will dodge the scans by writing behaviours that are not initially malicious, but later connect to sites or ‘upgrades’ that are.

If you have a spare, crusty old machine you don’t mind running on a different connection, you can use it as a ‘sand box’ where you can test drive the things you buy. There are interesting apps that can help you to do this which will sniff out the packets of data coming and going from a machine, or let you know which ports are being opened for connection.

You should always take extra precautions on sites where users can upload products for sale to the ecomm market with few checks. But fact is, even the reputable app download sites have been shown to host a lot of dodgy apps. Everything should be scanned. I’m glad you’re doing that already.

Ordinary users shouldn’t be burdened with such tasks. Imagine buying a car and having to run your own crash dummy tests? And yet here we are! So many shiny things, promising so much. And you may get much more than you paid for if you jump at every new offer you see...
TeamIceCream Premium
LOL! That was so funny! Yes, I agree - getting a few "freebies" is not always that desireable after all! At least not THAT type of freebies, for sure!

Very good idea to have a separate laptop + connection to use as a sandbox - thanks for that - brilliant idea! And I agree, to keep it totally separate from the rest of ones business, is just about imperative these days.

Thanks for sharing Ivy, much appreciated!
Sharlee (Chocolate IceCream)
GBridgart Premium
You have echoed my thoughts to the letter,
I am guilty of advising someone that from my experience I had been advised by experienced WA members not to expect your traffic to increase much for first 6 months and it will be most likely 12 months before you will see any cash flow. I was encouraged by this as it managed my expectations. If Ido it faster kudos to me, if not then I know what to expect
TeamIceCream Premium
Hi Geoff

I agree, some of us had so many times burned our fingers with empty promises on the internet, that if somebody makes any statement that even vaguely sounds similar... I tend to categorize it accordingly.

But as soon as Kyle said we should budget on a year, I thought to myself: "Well THAT is refreshing to hear somebody who is talking the truth!" And yes, I have also already made money, but I'm not making money consistently yet. ;-)

We happen to bump into each other quite often here in the WA hallway and at the water cooler, and you seem to be doing quite well so far! Wishing you much success Geoff!

Sharlee (Chocolate IceCream)
Steven-A Premium
Hi Sharlee,
Well said.
TeamIceCream Premium
Hi Steven
Thank you! :-)
Steven-A Premium
you're welcome
StPaul Premium
Thanks a lot for sharing!
TeamIceCream Premium
Thank you for stopping by and commenting Paul!