Book Review: Get Rich Click!

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One of my goals at Boost My Budget is to educate myself about personal finance. So, I’ve set myself a challenge: to read one personal finance book every month.

Perhaps I’ve fallen at the first hurdle, because my first choice of book isn’t strictly personal finance related – but it IS all about making money on the internet, so how could I resist?!

This month’s book is Get Rich Click: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money on the Internet. Yes, the exclamation mark is in the book’s title. The book is subtitled ‘The Ultimate Guide to Making Money on the Internet’ and promises to teach you ‘hundreds of unique ways to make money online’.

There is something counterintuitive about reading a physical book about the internet. Shouldn’t all the information be available online? Well, yes. There is a huge amount of information online – and most of it is free. I’ve spent the past few months researching ways of making money online, and I have literally hundreds of saved links, articles and pins to get through.

The main thing that attracted me to this book is that there is almost too much information online. It’s overwhelming and can be difficult to know where to start, especially for a newbie like me. I liked the idea of having a number of strategies condensed into one small paperback, with a finite number of pages.

As it turns out, I should have trusted my intuition. Get Rich Click! turned out to be a huge waste of time.

Firstly, and most importantly, the book is just embarrassingly dated. My edition was published in 2011. This is aons ago at the rate internet marketing is developing, but even still, I get the impression that this book was out-of-touch even when it was hot off the press.

For someone who has apparently made tens of millions online, Ostrofsky comes across as ridiculously out of touch with online culture – or even popular culture in general. He refers to MySpace and videotapes – yes, the book is five years old, but were people using these even then?! He helpfully lists the URL for hip new website, and teaches the oldies how to get down with the kids on Facebook – which is weirdly written as FACEbook at one point. Apps are referred to as APPs in all caps, and the book is full of QR codes and awkward tweet-worthy pull-out quotes. It’s just trying too hard.

Ostrovsky also loves to put absolutely anything vaguely technical in inverted commas, which strongly adds to the impression that he’s still not entirely confident with the “online world” (as he might say), despite making his millions from it.

Extract from Get Rich Click!
“the geeks”… how hard are you cringing?

To his credit, the author does acknowledge right at the end of the book that the content could be out of date very quickly, but that only begs the question, why put it this in a book to start with and why not reinforce the importance of doing your own research throughout?

Awkwardness aside, Get Rich Click! is poorly structured and conceptualised. I’m still not clear exactly who the intended audience is.

The book claims it can teach you how to profit ‘no matter [your] skills, knowledge, or experience’. It flips between overly simplified explanations of basic terms, to indecipherable jargon. At one point, it goes to great pains to explain what a ‘link’ is (‘”Link” is short for “hyperlink”. A hyperlink is a reference or a navigation element that, when you click on it, takes you to a point within your website or anywhere else on the Internet. Most commonly, links are blue, underlined bits of text…’) but yet on the very next page talks about <alt> tags and metatags with no explanation whatsoever.

The nail in the coffin for me is that some information is downright inaccurate. In a couple of places Ostrofsky plugs the Amazon affiliate program. I’m no expert on this program, but I have read about it on a handful of blogs recently, and even I could tell that he is spouting ‘advice’ that would get you kicked off the scheme in a hot second.

On page 97 he suggests emulating an entrepreneur who bought a domain name, set up an auto-redirect to Amazon (no website and no content of his own!) and paid for Google ads to trick web users into going to Amazon via his redirect. He also suggests simply sending your Amazon affiliate link via email to all your friends.

According to Amazon affiliate’s operating agreement, as well as this fine blog post here, these actions would have had you banned from the program several times over.

I wanted to love Get Rich Click!- or at the very least, find something useful to take away – but after spotting such a massive error, I frankly couldn’t take anything else in the book seriously. When it comes to internet-related content where freshness is key, I’ll stick to the many brilliant blogs and websites out there for now.

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Give this one a miss.

Despite my disappointing first read, I’m still committed to reading a book each month! Here are some of the personal finance and money related titles on my reading list. Have you read any of these? Any more recommendations for me?

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