Subscriber VB sent me an e-mail that was just a single sentence.
Referring to a landing page for one of my information products,
“Your web site needs work.”
A simple message, but it is inappropriate and absurd on so many
Let me count the ways….
1-It violates my #1 rule of human behavior: Never give
I didn’t ask VB for a web site critique. So why give one?
Advice that is not sought or paid for is seldom valued by the
recipient. It certainly wasn’t in this case.
2-It violates the rules of good criticism, which require that
after you say something is negative, you suggest how it might be
That’s what we call “constructive criticism,” and VB’s comment
3-It is made in a vacuum.
VB does not know the marketing objective of my web site, nor
does she know the results I am getting.
To imply that it is bad without knowing whether it works is
misguided at best and ridiculous at worst.
4-It is made without demonstration of authority.
When I read VB’s short e-mail, my immediate thought was: “And
Who is VB? What are her accomplishments in Internet marketing
that qualify her to make this pronouncement about my site?
Her signature file indicates she has a 9 to 5 job with an
academic institution. If she was making hundreds of thousands of
dollars in online marketing, she wouldn’t have to work a 9 to 5
5-VB is in fact ignorant about the topic she comments on.
I asked her for clarification, and she gave this specific
criticism: “Boasting of personal income indicates you aren’t
targeting an educated demographic.”
Who said my target market is “an educated demographic”?
What VB doesn’t understand and didn’t bother to ask is whether I
am targeting prospects of any particular education level. And I
My target is people who want to make money writing and selling
simple information online – aspiring Internet entrepreneurs and
newbies. Level of education is not a selection factor.
VB also informs me: “Scroll-down page format is outdated.”
But it is a simple matter to surf the Internet and check out the
landing pages of so many successful online marketers to see that
this is absolutely not the case.
Why do I urge you not to give unsolicited advice like VB gave me?
**It is neither appreciated nor respected by the person you give
**There is a very good chance the recipient of your advice knows
more than you do, including why your advice as it pertains to
their specific situation is wrong. So you look foolish giving it.
**Surely you have work of your own to do. So do it. Why waste
your valuable time giving people advice they don’t even want?
If you really feel compelled to give advice, become a coach or
consultant so you at least get paid for it and deliver your
suggestions to people who actually want them.
BTW, VB and I had a pleasant back-and-forth exchange of e-mails.
She is a nice, intelligent person – just misguided, for the 5
reasons outlined above.