The Dark Side Of Internet Marketing

Posted by Ian Douglas on Feb 21, 2011 in My Journey |

As dawn broke I awoke from a deep and peaceful sleep but, after having a good stretch, remained laying in bed as the events of yesterday started to run again through my head. I looked around the room. Although the sun was starting to rise it was still fairly dark and I could just about see the faint outline of my Guardian’s wings spread above me.

My thoughts turned to him. I only saw him in his full glory for a few minutes while the Ancient Of Days was telling me about The Bottle of Tears. Sadly I was concentrating so much on what the old man was saying, and on the bottle, I didn’t pay much attention to my Guardian. I desperately tried to recall what my Guardian looked like. Then it suddenly struck me that, although I keep referring to my Guardian as “he”, I didn’t really have any idea whether “he” is male or female. Come to think of it; I know so little about angels I have no idea if they have a gender at all! I remember he was dressed in a pure white robe and sandals and carried a large sword and seemed trained in combat so I assumed he was a male warrior… but I also remember he had long, flowing, blonde hair.

My Guardian had only been with me for a day yet I was already starting to become sensitive to his presence and he always seemed with me. “Do angels ever need to have a lunch break, or go to the toilet, or sleep?” I wondered as I felt myself drifting back off to sleep.

A short time later I became aware of the soft touch of a hand stroking my brow and awoke in a fright to discover my Spirit Guide sitting on the bed beside me.

“You must awake my child and quickly have your breakfast.” she said.

“I sensed evil in the sunrise this morning and when I came in to wake you I noticed your Guardian looked uncharacteristically nervous and was diligently sharpening his sword as if your life would depend on it!” she added.

“You must pay special attention to everything I teach you today” my Spirit Guide said; her voice having an uncharacteristically nervous quiver.

I started to feel uneasy. I had only experienced these spiritual beings for a day but had come to the conclusion they were invincible. To suddenly realise that there were things which even they were afraid of, and that I, myself, may encounter these things today, was rather unnerving.

I quickly got dressed and gulped down my breakfast. Soon my Spirit Guide was showing me visions of the mystical land of Twitter and teaching me the steps I must carry out today to gain citizenship. As I was listening and watching it seemed to me that it was a lot easier to obtain citizenship of the mystical land of Twitter than of the land of FaceBook to which I travelled yesterday… yet all the time my Spirit Guide was speaking she kept nervously glancing at me and stopping to ask me questions to make sure I had understood everything.

As soon as my Spirit Guide had finished she, in an uncharacteristic act of affection, softly put her trembling hands around mine and told me to be especially vigilant today, to be strong and remain true to myself. Then, in an instant, she disappeared.

I started to feel butterflies in my stomach. Why was everyone so worried about me today? What were they expecting to happen to me?

I grabbed my trusty laptop and put it in my rucksack then looked out of the window. It looked like it was going to be a nice warm sunny day but I thought I had better pack my coat just in case.

I set out of the door and began my journey to the mystical land of Twitter following the directions my Sprit Guide had given me.

It was not long before I could see the mystical land of Twitter in the distance and soon I found myself standing at it’s gates. I made my way to immigration and was presented with a short form to fill in to obtain citizenship. It seemed a much simpler form than the one I had to complete to obtain citizenship of the land of FaceBook and soon my citizenship was granted and I was allowed through the gates.

As I walked through the gates the first thing that stuck me was how everyone seemed to talk in single, short sentences.

It was not long before strangers started following me and I, as my Spirit Guide had instructed, started following them back.

Everything seemed to go smoothly but the more people I started following the more difficult it became to keep track of individual conversations amongst all the noise.

As I stood watching the people around me my mind started to wonder why my Guardian and Spirit Guide seemed so nervous about today. Everything seemed to have gone smoothly; even the weather had remained warm and sunny all day.

“Oh no! I spoke too soon” I thought to myself as a dark cloud seemed to appear from nowhere and drift across the sun.

“Brrrrr” I thought to myself as I felt the temperature plummet and was surprised to be able to see my breath it had become so cold.

“It is a good job I packed that coat” I said as I bent down and started to unzip my haversack ready to take out my coat.

“Hey buddy; wanna earn 75% of $97?” suddenly said a voice in front of me.

I looked up and saw the most amazing sight. Most of the people in the land of Twitter were wearing at least a T-Shirt and jeans with many also wearing jackets but standing in front of me was a guy in just sandals and beach shorts. He was covered in so much spray on tan he looked almost orange and wearing so much fake gold jewellery, rings and neckchains I was amazed he had the strength to stand upright.

I stood up and looked at him.

“You wanna earn 75% of $97” he said again.

“My Sales Page converts like crazy. Just pump my offer to your list and tweet it to your followers and watch the commission flood in”.

“What is your offer about?” I asked.

He looked confused.

“What do you mean what is my offer about?” He said

“Who cares what trash I am pumping? I will give you 75% of every sale… what more do you need to know?”

“I would like to check that it is suitable for my subscribers” I said.

“You wanna what?” he said amazed.

“Can I see you Sales Page and product first?” I politely asked.

“OK son, I can tell you’re a newbie. Here, take a look then start pumping!” he said impatiently.

I looked at his Sales Page. It was filled with photos of this guy on a beach surrounded by women in bikinis, a photo of him beside his luxury cars, his boat and plane and had loads of screenshots showing vast amounts of Clickbank sales. It was a slick and compelling Sales Page with promises of overnight riches to anyone who brought his product.

But when I looked at his product my heart sank. It was an outdated dozen paged rehashed PLR eBook about Google Adwords. He hadn’t even bothered to create a nice cover for it.

“Sorry, Adwords is too risky for my subscribers” I said.

“OK Looser, your loss” he said. Then looking at me through the corner of his eye said “Tell you what; seeing as you sound like a newbie and I like the look of you how about I sell you the email addresses of 100 red hot prospects to add to your Mailing List?”

“Sorry, but no” I said.

“Your loss” he said as he suddenly noticed another couple of new people who had just entered the gates and strolled off to present them with his offer.

I bent back down again ready to get my coat out of my haversack but as I did so the dark cloud drifted away from the sun and I started to warm up again.

“That’s better” I thought.

“Who is that guy?” I asked a group of people near to me.

“That’s Mike” one of them replied. “Rumour has it he makes over $500,000 a month from Clickbank. He comes here now and again. Newbies worship him”.

I watched the guy with beach shorts as he moved among the crowd. The newbies seemed so overwhelmed that a Big Shot Guru like Mike was prepared to talk to them and let them promote his product and where eagerly getting out their laptops and sending him loads of PayPal payments to buy some of his packages of “red-hot” subscribers to boost their small Mailing Lists.

“Perhaps I was being too judgemental of him” I thought to myself.

“Even although I don’t like his product perhaps I should have taken him up on his offer of those extra subscribers” I thought.

I remained in the mystical land of Twitter for about another half-hour then decided to start making my way home.

I was walking quietly along the lane watching the playful fun of two young doves chasing each other from tree to tree above me cooing happily and enjoying the warm sunshine when suddenly, in the cloudless, warm, deep blue sky high above me, a dark cloud seemed to appear from nowhere and drift across the sun. The two doves suddenly stopped chasing each other and let out a high pitched call and hastily hid high in the branches of an ancient oak tree. Suddenly the lane, so full of life and innocence a few moments ago became deathly silent as every living creature scurried and ran back to the safety of their burrows or nest. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as the temperature seemed to suddenly plummet and I heard the sound of steel against leather as I felt the Guardian draw his sword out of its sheath ready for combat. I looked around but could see nothing unusual, then, in the distance I heard a rhythmic thump, thump, thump; at first soft and distant but slowly becoming louder and nearer…

As the sound grew louder I noticed it was not just a thump, thump but the sound of girls chanting “Squeeze ‘Em!, Pump ‘Em, Churn ‘Em, Dump ‘Em!”.

The sound seemed to be coming from something yellow. As it got closer and closer I noticed it was a bright yellow high performance sports car with a guy in the front and 3 girls swaying side to side and waving their hands in the air chanting in the back.

I stepped to the side on the lane and, as the car came closer, one of the girls in the back screamed out “Hey Mike! Isn’t that the newbie guy you told us you met in the land of Twitter?”

The guy screeched the car to a halt beside me and I noticed that it was indeed the guy with the fake tan and beach shorts I had met in the land of Twitter.

“Hey son! Say hello to the girls!” shouted Mike.

I glanced at them. They were covered with the same fake tan as Mike, were wearing the tiniest bikinis I had ever seen, and were giggling like crazy.

Mike noticed me looking at the girls and removed his sunglasses.

“You like my girls?” he asked.

I blushed profusely.

“Hmm… Tell you what. How about I take a photo of you surrounded by my angels for $97 so you can brighten up your Sales Page” suggested Mike.

I blushed again.

“Ok. How about a photo of yourself, my 3 angels and my sports car for $247?”

“I would rather not.” I replied.

“No problem… How about a photo of yourself with just 2 of my angels and no car for $47?”

“Errr, no thanks.” I replied.

“Well how about a photo of yourself and just one of my angels for just $27?”

“Sorry no.” I replied.

“No problem. How about a photo of just one of my angels without you for $7?”

“No thanks” I replied starting to sound a bit annoyed.

“… I will throw in resell rights so you can share the photo of my angel with your friends for an extra $17?” added Mike.

“No” I said sounding increasingly annoyed.

“OK” said Mike. “How about signing up to my Mailing List in return for a photo of you sitting in my car?”

“No, no, no!” I replied.

“No need to get annoyed son! I am just doing what you should do!”

“What am I doing girls?” Mike shouted.

“Squeeze ‘Em, Squeeze ‘Em, Squeeze ‘Em, Squeeze ‘Em” the girls chanted in unison.

“You’ve got it my angels!” shouted Mike excitedly.

“Listen son: Anyone who lands on your Sales Page or Squeeze Page belongs to you. They are yours. Your mission is to blast them with offer after offer after offer until they submit. Blast their computer screen with pop-up window after pop-up window after pop-up window. Be relentless. Have fade in boxes, slide in boxes, peel down ads, pop overs and pop unders. You want their fingers to be so sore from clicking on “close window” box after “close window” box that their blistered fingers start dripping blood onto their keyboard. That’s your aim son; for them to type their email address into your Squeeze Page with fingers dripping in blood. Once they have done that their soul, their email account, and more importantly, their wallet, belong to you for eternity.”

“What do we do with our subscribers girls?” shouted Mike.

“Pump ‘Em, Pump ‘Em, Pump ‘Em, Pump ‘Em,” chanted back the girls.

“You’ve got it my angels!” shouted back Mike excitedly.

“Listen son, any looser who is stupid enough to sign up to an offer of mine obviously isn’t going to make it online. They are like racehorses with a broken leg. It is cruel to watch them suffer. The kindest thing is to extract every cent from their wallet as quickly as possible. To get them to max out all their Credit Cards and drive them into bankruptcy as fast as you can. Think of it as doing them a favour. There is no way anyone stupid enough to sign up to your mailing list is going to be successful online so put them out of their misery as quickly as possible. Pump them with offers for trash product after trash product. So long as the product creator offers you at least 50% commission who cares their product is outdated and useless; just keep pumping! Email your loosers false promise after false promise. Tell them there is no way they will succeed unless they buy every product you recommend. Make them believe it is their fault they are not making money online. Pump ‘em, pump ‘em, pump ‘em. Pump them a trash offer at least once a day, preferably twice a day!”

“Surely if you ‘pump them’ that hard won’t they unsubscribe?” I asked in innocence.

“Typical newbie!” Snorted Mike.

“Listen boy; your level of unsubscriptions and product refunds are a measure of your success NOT your failure! The losers who sign up to your list are not people; they are statistics! You start thinking of them as people and it will rot your brain and guarantee you will never succeed online! If you are only getting a low level of losers unsubscribing and asking for refunds then it means you are not pumping them hard enough and that you also need to stuff your Sales Page and Squeeze Page with more false promises and fake ClickBank screenshots. If only a few losers are unsubscribing them pump them harder; start sending them emails promoting trash products more often. You want to aim for at least one email a day. If that doesn’t get enough people attempting to unsubscribe then bundle a load of trash onto a physical CD and offer it to them for just a tiny $1 shipping fee. It doesn’t matter what is on the CD; the aim is to get them to give you their telephone number. That way, as well as pumping them through email you can hire a Call Centre to pump them by phone as well. Tell them to call your losers at least 2 or 3 times a week. Never, ever, make the newbie mistake of thinking of your subscribers as people; it will rot your brain!”

“Think of it logically son; anyone stupid enough to take an interest in one of my trash products is bound to fail online. Like I said; they are like a racehorse with a broken leg. It is cruel to let them suffer. The humane thing to do is to empty their wallets and drive them into bankruptcy as fast as possible. You are doing them a favour by persuading them to buy every trash product you promote. You want them to empty their wallets as fast as possible rather than let them suffer.”

“But if they unsubscribe how can you ‘pump them’?” I innocently asked.

“Let me tell you a secret son: never use one of those legit autoresponder services like AWeber. Instead ALWAYS use Mailing List software you can install in your own webspace. That way you can control it and hire a Wizard programmer to recode it so that the unsubscribe link actually subscribes them to a load more of your Mailing Lists. Just make sure you capture their IP Address and the exact time they clicked the link so you have ‘proof’ they opted-in.”

Mike turned and looked at the girls in the back of his sports car.

“What do we do with losers who unsubscribe?” he shouted.

“Churn ‘em, churn ‘em, churn ‘em, churn ‘em” chanted back the girls in unison giggling and waving their hands in the air.

“You got it my angels!” shouted back Mike.

“Listen son. When you’ve got a heap of unsubscribers then this is where newbies become useful. Newbies don’t know a thing about building a list and are always desperate for subscribers. Your mission is to milk these newbies for all their worth. Hunt out a forum where newbies hang out then join it and every time a newbie asks a question you ridicule them. You tell them there is no way they will succeed online if they ask stupid questions like that. You humiliate them and make them feel dumb. Treat them rough and they will love it. Criticise and humiliate them and they will think you are some big hot-shot successful guru and before long they will bow down at your feet and worship you. That’s where you want them… worshiping at your feet. You then tell them a story: How your Mailing List is so huge that you crash your autoresponder’s servers every time you send out a mailshot. Tell those newbie losers that the president of your autoresponder service personally rings you daily pleading with you to get rid of some of your subscribers as you have too many for them to handle. Then tell those newbie losers that you want to do them all an enormous favour and sell them some of your subscribers. Tell them you will sell them say 100 smoking hot, responsive, email addresses for $97, or a bargain 600 email addresses for $497. Then bundle up everyone who has unsubscribed from your mailing lists into groups and sell them to those stupid newbies.”

“But how can you claim your unsubscribers are “smoking hot and responsive”? I asked in innocence.

“Look son; those losers who try to unsubscribe are furious at me so that makes them smoking hot, and they have unsubscribed just a short time ago so they are responsive!” Mike replied looking at me as if I was an idiot.

“Tell you what son. You have a lot to learn but I think I can see some potential. Why not step into my car and travel with me for a while and I will help you clear all those dumb newbie thoughts from your head before they rot your brain. Become my companion and I will show you how to make more money in a week than most losers earn in a year. Together we would be a great team.”

I paused and thought.

Perhaps I had been too harsh in my judgement of Mike.

He certainly seems be a successful Internet Marketer. Perhaps, even although I don’t like his products and techniques there may be some things I could learn from him.

He opened the passenger door of his sports car and beckoned me to step in and sit beside him.

“Why not travel with me for just a couple of days and see how we get on?” he asked in a sly voice.

I put my hand in my jacket pocket and took out the Bottle of Tears and looked at it. I have only had it a few days and had made so little progress in my online business. I hadn’t gained a single newsletter subscriber nor made a single cent online. Perhaps, even if I don’t agree with Mike, he may be able to help me get started.

“Hey, Mike!” screamed one of the girls. “Your newbie guy has one of those bottles” she said laughing.

“You don’t want to carry trash like that around with you boy” said Mike “Carrying stuff like that will hold you back. Get rid of it son. Throw it against that rock and smash it to pieces. Get it out of your life; it will just hold you back and confuse your brain!”

“Smash it! Smash it! Smash it! Smash it!” chanted the girls in unison.

I looked down at the bottle. Perhaps it was holding me back and stopping me becoming successful online.

Suddenly I became aware that every living thing in the lane was watching me, from the eyes of the two doves in the treetops above me, right down to the family of field mice in the bank beside me.

There was complete silence.

It was if I had reached a crossroads and the decision I was about to make would impact my entire future.

I looked at Mike and the girls in the sports car as he once again beckoned me to sit beside him.

“Come travel with me for a few days” said Mike again. “I am off to see a Photoshop Wizard friend of mine. He can conjure up amazing fake ClickBank income screenshots that look so realistic even ClickBank themselves cannot tell they are fake.”

“Come with me son and I will introduce you to him. Just promise to write a glowing testimony for the next trash product he pumps and he will conjure up any fake screenshot you desire. Newbies are spellbound by ‘em and they will skyrocket your conversions!” he added.

“My Sales Page really could do with a makeover” I thought to myself. “I am really useless at graphics!” I confessed to Mike.

“Perhaps I do need help to make it online and Mike’s Wizard friend could help me” I wondered to myself.

I looked down again at the bottle in my hand and the nearby rock.

“Smash it! Smash it! Smash it! Smash it!” chanted the girls again.

Once again I felt the eyes of every living creature in the lane still watching me.

Then, in the silence, I heard the soft swish of steel against leather as I sensed my Guardian draw his sword. Then, to my amazement, felt a cold, sharp, steel blade resting against the side of my neck.

Suddenly I realised I had given my Guardian a heart wrenching paradox. His sworn duty was to protect both the bottle and myself and yet I had put him in the difficult position of having to make a choice who to protect and he had chosen the bottle. This spiritual being dedicated to protecting my life now found itself in the difficult situation of potentially having to kill me in order to protect the bottle!

All of a sudden the impact of the decision I was about to make hit me.

“I am sorry Mike” I said. “I appreciate your offer but will have to turn down your kind invitation for the moment.”

“No worries!” replied Mike. “I gotta get going to see the Wizard but I have a feeling our paths will cross again many times in the future. My offer to join me still stands as I can see you’ve got potential. See ya around son!”

With that he shut the car door, revved up the engine and moved off with the girls in the back waving their arms in the air and blowing kisses to me while once again swaying sides to side starting their chant of “Squeeze ‘Em, Pump ‘Em, Churn ‘Em, Dump ‘Em!” in unison to the rhythm of the boom, boom, boom beat blearing out from the car radio.

I put the bottle back in my jacket pocket and felt the steel bade taken away from my neck.

As I watched Mike and his angels ride off into the distance the dark cloud drifted away from the sun allowing it’s warm, bright, rays to once again fill the lane as all the animals started to emerge once more from their burrows and nests.

I slumped to my knees mentally and emotionally drained.

I seemed to feel the soft hand of my Spirit Guide against my cheek and hear her say that she was proud of me, then sensed the protecting wings of my Guardian once again around me before I collapsed into an exhausted sleep.

The next thing I recall was waking up in my bed. I have no idea how I got home, nor how long I had been asleep, but it was good to be back home!

I looked towards the window and it was dark outside.

“I must get some sleep” I thought to myself “As tomorrow my Spirit Guide is due to teach me how to become a citizen of the mystical land of YouTube”.

And with that thought I drifted into a deep sleep.

I wonder what adventures tomorrow will bring?


Gary Simpson
Feb 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm


BRILLIANT mate. I LOVED it. Laughed my OO’s off quite a few times.

Very well scripted and written.

Gary Simpson


Ken Abbott
Feb 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Love it, love it, love it.
It made me smile, made me laugh, it made me think, it made me remember, it made me mentally put more than one face to “Mike” – it also made me reach for my own “Bottle of Tears” as well as my Crucifix and my Garlic Bulbs!!!
Great article, I really enjoyed reading it – every Newbie should read it.

All the best



Nigel Yip
Feb 23, 2011 at 12:27 am

Hi Ian

Fantastic blog post you have here and the characters you have created in the story reminded me of a few certain characters in real life who exhibits such charateristics traits – lol. I also admire you dedication, the time and the immense effort you probably had to go in order to craft such a beautifully written piece, that will certainly not just help a lot of newbies out there, but also help serve to provide existing marketers, both… a different perspective and to also help remind them what their own core values are, how they first started and what they should be doing instead, rather than taking advantage of others or completely losing their touch with reality and their own roots.

Anyway, keep up the blogging and I look forward to your next update
Best wishes and regards
Nigel Yip recently posted..Time to recharge my batteries!


Nikki (Purple Minxy Witch)
Feb 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Hey Ian,

For some reason the Lord of the Rings kept popping into my head as I read your post – specifically when Frodo has to go through the lair of the spider, and he has the light from Galadrial.

Ok, so I may not be making much sense – I’ve just eaten some caramel shortbread & I’m having a sugar rush at the moment!

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your story / analogy above. A very well-illustrated example of the situations that many (if not all) newbies find themselves in.

Speak soon,

Nikki / Purple Minxy Witch
Nikki (Purple Minxy Witch) recently posted..How do you know where your skills lie


Bolaji O |
Feb 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Well done Ian – very creative!

An enjoyable read. As a fellow fiction-writer, I doff my hat to thee. 🙂

Looking forward to the sequel!
Bolaji O | recently posted..Story The 4 Minutes Before the End of the World


Ron Barrett
Feb 24, 2011 at 9:50 pm



The character name kept bringing me to images of a few un-named marketers who use the specific tools you mention and if they drive me crazy, they probably drive everyone else crazy.

I’d like to meet the graphics guy who does the clickbank images 🙂



Feb 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Great story, Ian. Congratulations.

Ah, those days of newbie innocence, gullibilty and ease of credit card use. Followed by weeks of cynicism and sneering. Will the months of wisdom ever arrive?

I can see the IM Arcadia trilogy springing from this source.

I look forward to your sequel.

Max recently posted..Life – Fail – Risk


Mar 1, 2011 at 12:05 am

Hey Ian

Sorry it took so long for me to pop over, but I have been on some travels of my own 😉

There, you just transformed me away from the dreary IM stuff I had been focusing on for the best part of 10 hrs today and gave me a refeshing little rest.

Seriously though, what a CRAZEEEEEEEE story!

I think it’s terrible that people use FAKE screenshots just to get a sale, I really pity those people, how they sleep at nite I will never know, but most of them say they sleep very well in a big comfy bed surrounded by a wad of cash!

Just a shame newbies seem to fall for all their false promises.

Looking forward to the next part of your journey, Sally 🙂
Sally recently posted..38 Year Old Webinar Virgin Seeks Experienced Partner


Mar 3, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Hi Ian,

WOW – I met someone who can ramble as much as me….yay 🙂

However – is that a blog post?… OR should it be the frist part in a PDF

“Temptations From The Dark Side Of IM – & How To Cloak Youself In LightForce For Success!”

As a branded report with a few brandable links to reputable products along with some links back to build your list…..etc.

P.S. Wanna buy some graphics for that…lol

Have fun Ian .. now what you gonna do 😉

RandySmith@InternetMarketingRambles recently posted..Catch Up- Freebie- Meet Up News!


Terry Conti
Sep 12, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Hi Ian,

So glad to hear from you again. You sure have a great spirit guide. Your spirit guide truly brings out your good qualities. You have many gifts that need to come out, never turn your back on your spirit guide.

Keep on keeping on Ian,

Terry Conti


Donna Morrow
Mar 2, 2013 at 9:01 am

Hey Ian,

Somehow, I got here from the Warrior Forum. Initially, I started to comment only on your really great theme, and then decided to read this article. Man, I’m so glad I did! Talk about lessons in story form! Such fun you gave us with this! I’ll be back often to enjoy more of your talent and read your other offerings. Thanks for the smiles and the pleasure of your words.

You know what I’d like to see you try? A story written entirely in cliches. Maybe you could sponser a contest. Or start a…I don’t know…like a chain letter that stays on this site, or a guest book, or something, where visitors get to add a cliche to continue the story line. Something like that. Or something written as much as possible in hyperbole. Invite ol’ Mikey the Tan to start with the first paragraph ;))

Anyway, thanks! It’s been fun.

Donna Morrow




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