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Be careful who you listen to ON THE INTERNET

When you use the web to market your business, there’s no shortage of people who will give you unsolicited advice.

And man, sometimes this advice is HORRIBLE.

I run Facebook ads regularly. One guy wrote, “DONT OPT IN! Yes he will give you free content, but he will also try and sell you stuff!”


So I put together a tongue in cheek comic strip – you might have remembered my first one about business cards – that tells you how I feel about the whole entire thing.

And then, what I’d like to hear from you:

What’s one of the worst pieces of unsolicited advice you received from someone on the internet?

Leave a comment.

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33 comments Leave a comment

I find that it sad that how cold-hearted people have seemingly become hiding behind the internet. I guess it’s so much easier to let the true colors show.
Asus router customer service

Demetria Zinga

It’s so funny when people say “You can’t make money online” or they make comments like, “You should consider getting a ‘real’ job.” If they only knew πŸ˜‰

David Boozer

You can’t make money online with that niche.


Worst piece of advice……..My upline sent me many, many, many ways to make money by going to his webinars. His webinars were about how we could pay him for almost everything. Big dollars,. This was in conflict with the Company that I had applied to and they had products that the Affiliates purchased in order to properly brand their businesses.
I finally had to block him permanently. Sigh


I have yet to get any attention. I will be re-launching in the not to distant future.


The worst piece of advice I got was pre-internet. A former employer tried to discourage me from going into business for myself. He said to me, “You wouldn’t last 6 months.” That was 37 years ago. I’m still in business. Over the years, I have bought 2 houses. I’m in the process of buying two more houses – One to live in and the other to use as a getaway. I live in Moody, Alabama, but am in Memphis now. I went to the NCSA South Regional semi-finals last night and saw North Carolina beat Butler, and Kentucky beat UCLA. I’ve been to 4 final 4’s, 2 World Series and 3 Super Bowls. Not bad for a guy who can’t run a business for more than 6 months.

Amit Patel

One unsolicited advice I got on Quora was someone telling me not to add a link back to my website because it is considered spam.

In that article, I had solved the problem of someone asking a question. That article also got me many upvotes and few decent traffic back to my website.

And this guy, wanted to pull me down just because I added a link. Whereas on the other side people with real problems were finding my advice genuine.

So I did respond to him in his own language. Politely but sternly emphasising that there are people out there who need my advice and I would be delighted to show them how to find it with ease.

He never wrote back.


My worst predates the Internet:).
The editor of the Houston Chronicle told me my business idea would not work.
My business will be 20 years old in August.


More comic strips, please! Also cheesie sauce.

Danielle Ford

More comic strips, please! Also cheesie sauce.

Shivanand Sharma

I’m a WordPress developer and have been following you for years. I got “that bit of advice” today.

“I have seen your listed reviews that could be by your own hand or by the hand of your client it is impossible to know. I have seen your website links – they are simple sites. I have seen your WP bio, your plugins which have 6000 sales and 400 sales but only 5 reviews.”

Poof. Can’t do anything about it bro πŸ˜‰


    Shivanand, you can ask your clients to review you. Some people even do a little “thank you” gift or a contest with a drawing. Clearly, you’re a success – let the world know!

Aira Bongco @BoostBlogger.com

So many people write complaints like that simply because they can hide behind their computer screens. Sometimes, it is just the habit of putting other people down. Other times, it is because they want to feel like experts so they give unsolicited advice. Either way, I agree that it’s terrible.


I’m just here for the comic strip, and Derek Halpern’s charm.


I have an website so here the things i was told:

At the begining: “no one will read your website”

Now: “You are using your audience to make money! Shame on you! How can you look in the mirror?”

Remember: “Build an audience, sell them somenthing”.

God bless you all!


My most recent employer wanted me to go full time (at $12/hr, no benefits) instead of part time (which was where I’d been so I’d have half the week to work on my business) and told me that self employment wouldn’t be any kind of future for me and I wouldn’t be able to support my family with it.

This coming from a guy who hadn’t been able to make ends meet in his business for years and rarely actually was able to pay himself because it was always in the red. Oooookay buddy.

I’m now full time self employed about 6 weeks and have already increased my online income to replace about 75% of my income from that job.

Also with Brian above – “You can’t do that, too many people are doing that already!

Well yeah, but they are all generic copycats of each other and I’m doing something totally my own style! Seems to be working and I even price myself quite a bit higher than most πŸ™‚


“You don’t need a service like NewinSweden.com – ask me and I’ll tell you what you need to know.” said a random person on *someone else’s* blog πŸ™‚


I was told that i had wasted my degree and confined my kids to a life of poverty…yeah thanks buddy now move on!


I was told “you shouldn’t talk about poop and digestion so openly as you do because it makes people uncomfortable and will turn them away.” My response was “good, those are not my people.” I’m a nutrition, lifestyle, Ayurveda is my speciality.

Russ Howe

I decided to take my PT business away from conventional methods (i.e. gym all day, every day) and start a blog, website and hopefully selling my plans to people around the whole world. That as a few years back, and the one thing I have consistently been told is “Nobody will pay for your workout programs! You can get workout programs for free on the internet!”

This advice always came from either:

1) people who were not in (nor interested in) fitness at all, or
2) trainers I’d worked with who weren’t familiar with running a business online

I mean, I’d easily get some pop music for free via the internet, but I’d happily pay for Michael Jackson or any artist I loved. So I set about trying to brand myself, gain my reader’s trust, following tons of Derek’s tips, and I personally found that that was the key to selling my work to more people.


Simple. Worst piece of advice I ever heard? When I told my business coach my plan, he said BE REALISTIC. Every time someone utters those words a fairy falls down and dies. I told my coach I would have to find someone who didn’t see realistic. I then achieved what I was planning on achieving!!!


Worst advice I consistently see online:

“Don’t pay for anything! Paying for stuff is a scam!”
“People should accept you for who you are.”
“Sure, max out all your credit cards. What’re they gonna do, take blood from a stone?”
“You’ll never make money doing X.” (Always said by people who’ve either never worked in that field or haven’t done any networking whatsoever. The latter are usually shocked when they hear how much they’re underpaid.)
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” (Platitudes, no specifics. Everybody wants to talk but no one wants to make a plan.)


First, thanks for this post Derek. I trust you and your business so if you’re saying you’re getting ridiculous “advice,” then it makes me feel better about the stuff I get all the time.
My worse piece of advice? Someone told me no one is going to pay for my info products because the information is already out there for free on the Web. I have customers so clearly they were wrong.


    I work in the fitness industry, and THIS is the one I’ve been hearing since day 1 (almost 5 years ago) of taking my business in an online direction.


Hmmmm I can’t tell if you’re being part of the comic or not?!


How come the guy in the 3rd pic has no arms? Do you have something against people with no arms? πŸ˜‰


    The guy in the 3rd panel has an arm showing on one side. There’s a line to define it in addition to the outline. The other arm fell off due to the mean internet comment. It just melted away! Somehow he mysteriously grew it back in the 4th panel and just in time to hand out corndogs!



Lol. To stop swearing


I still dont understand but yes my grama is bad and evthing I apologize for be mean to all throughs who i have hurt and i lashed out when i should not i know better you learn from thing i did answer right away because i still dont understand but that’s something i have to learn how to do what i can say is reading all the comments i know that i just need to learn to be a better person and i will do so i just need time please so please give me time because one can not change overnight that is what I’m asking I’m probably totally off and i don’t know what else to do i can not change overnight I’m trying I just truly don’t know what to how to say or how to wright it sincerely Lisa
P.S. Thank you for all the help you have been try to get me to understand but I cant i know all I’m talking is about me but i dont know proper words and to put them in gramma


In Facebook groups I think people want to show others in the group they’re “expertise” by commenting and critiquing something like a blog post or freebie that wasn’t posted to be reviewed or critiqued, but for helpfulness or pure value. Instead of saying thanks, or really taking a look at the post, they feel the need to assert their views or opposing thoughts and why they’re “better.”

I recently shared a blog post on how to make your website or blog more profitable, specifically excluding the idea of placing ads on a site, which I don’t believe is a profitable strategy.

Someone decided to comment on my post and tell me my ideas were good but that I didn’t really cover better strategies like ads or affiliate marketing, because “that’s where the money is.” Also how getting traffic to the site was a better plan than what I had covered in my blog post.

I’ve had numerous people tell me plastering ads on my site is the way to go – but in my eyes it just creates distraction and leads people away from your website after you worked so hard to get them there in the first place. On top of it, ads dont make tons of money unless you’re already getting an insane amount of traffic. When I replied to this particular person with this perspective they didn’t have much to say and quickly stopped commenting.

Not the worst advice in the world, but definitely unsolicited.

Jordan M.

Good stuff man!


That I should stop painting on paper and only use canvas, because “real” art is on canvas. I did that for a while and it killed my cash flow. Canvases are heavy, big and hard to ship, paper just rolls up and off it goes. Digital is even easier, just send a file and get paid. This advice was from a horse trainer (i.e NOT even an artist). That’s like saying all the books we illustrate now digitally aren’t valuable. I regret that decision. People also often tell me to start “cheap” and work my way up on platforms like Fiverr. Nope! I am now confidently systematic about pricing and it brings every artist up when we hold to our work having value. Love the comic, thanks!


“Too many other people are already doing that.” Yeah, but NO ONE is doing it how *I’M* doing it!!

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