Yesterday Steve told you about a ghost writer who was being paid to write fake testimonials for a debt consolidation company.

We could continue to shame and scold Internet sharketers who use fake testimonials, but that’s too easy. And the practice certainly isn’t new. Fake testimonials are as old as print media.

Instead, let’s see what we can learn from the practice. The fact that businesses are willing to pay professional writers to invent fake people with fake experience with a product or service emphasizes this important message: testimonials work.

Why Testimonials Work

Testimonials work because they show that regular schmoes just like you have bought or tried product x and like it or have been successful with it.

They help establish credibility because more people than just the seller or creator of a product are willing to vouch for the product.

They help move you from being a reader to being a buyer because you see that other buyers are happy.

The problem, of course, is that both quality marketers and Internet sharketers understand the power of testimonials. So both high-quality sites and scammy sites use them.

Can You Spot Fake Testimonials?

I think so. In my experience, fake testimonials are shorter than genuine ones. It’s hard to explain, but the fake ones just have a canned feel to them that you can come to recognize when you’ve read a lot of them. Maybe the best explanation is that the fake ones feel like sales copy.

For example, contrast the testimonials on the Free Grants site you’re looking at to the genuine ones at the sites listed below. How do we know they’re genuine? Because we know the people who created the products in question. We trust them. We even know some of the people who are giving the testimonials.

Genuine Testimonials at
Check out one of our favorite affiliate marketing training programs, Niche Blitzkrieg. Scroll down Michael’s sales page and you’ll see about half a dozen testimonials. Notice the full names? That’s unusual for testimonials and is one way to test their authenticity. You’ll even see a testimonial from Paul Schlegel of, one of the voices we must trust in the Internet marketing industry.

Genuine Testimonials at Blog Mastermind
This is another of our highly recommended programs. It is high quality training on how to make money from a blog. Scroll down the page and look through Yaro’s testimonials. Again, full names, including some of the biggest names in the professional blogosphere.

Genuine Testimonials at Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate is a comprehensive program for affiliate marketing training. Click on the link, then click the Testimonials tab and read some of the testimonials. No full names here, but we know they’re genuine.

So next time you’re researching a program, take a close look at the testimonials. Yes, they might be fake, so compare them to these genuine ones and see if they have the same feel of authenticity. It’s not a foolproof method, but it’s something to consider.

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