Empower Network Review: Why I Gave Empower Network Two Thumbs Down

Empower Network Review: Why I Gave Empower Network Two Thumbs Down

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Review of: Empower Network
Price:
Keep your money
Empower Network

Reviewed by:
Rating:
1
On October 8, 2012
Last modified:August 10, 2013

Summary:

Empower Network... one of the quickest ways to get someone else rich. And buy something that is available everywhere else for free. Really. Get the skinny on the company, their infamous marketing training, and more.

It’s no secret that Traffic Generation Cafe, as awesome and popular as it is, doesn’t make much money.

For some reason, cracking that whole “make money blogging” nut has been a bit too tough for my teeth.

And then I had a brilliant idea.

I think I might’ve found the hammer to crack that nut after all.

Here’s my new business plan:

I’ll sell you a sub-page at TrafficGenerationCafe.com.

I’ll make it very easy for you:

  • you won’t have to worry about setting up a new blog (since you are buying a blog within a blog);
  • you won’t have to worry about what your blog looks like (I won’t really give you any choices – there will be only one theme available);
  • you won’t have to worry about any plugins (I’ll make it easy for you – you won’t have any);
  • and I’ll let you customize your new blog with your picture and bio (of course, my picture will remain at the top of YOUR blog, and I am even thinking of taking my shirt off for that one).

I’ll even make you a deal: you’ll get all of the above for the rock-bottom price of $25/month.

Who’s in?

OK, fine; I’ll sweetened the deal – you can resell this awesome opportunity to have a subpage on my blog to your family, friends, and even total strangers.

Sounds like a win-win, don’t you think?

Empower Network Fundamentals

The following quotes come directly from various pages of Empower Network site.

What is Empower Network?

Empower Network is a direct response company, that handles front and back end sales conversions – and teaches people how to narrow their focus down to one skill: Getting Traffic.

“The fact? Getting Traffic is easy to teach if you take out the technical and management complications that drive the rest of the marketing niche . . . we’ve now existed for 140 days, and have more than 20,109 customers who have bought our blogging system.”

Source http://www.empowernetwork.com/blog/should-you-join-empower-network-objections/

With Empower Network You Will…

  • have a chance to achieve what you couldn’t before (i.e. have a successful business)

“Say goodbye to the complicated barriers that stand in the way of you and a thriving business …and hello to Automation, Viral Marketing and 100% Commissions.”

  • with ease:

“No rules. No hassles. We’ll help you build your business bigger and better so you can do more of things you want, with the people you want to do them with.”

“You can now leverage our ‘point and click‘ marketing system and leverage our ability to market, convert traffic to leads …and convert those leads to sales. This way, you can stay focused on one thing, and one thing only – getting traffic.”

“We’ve solved every problem marketers and online entrepreneurs face.”

“We’ve built our entire marketing system around a ‘plug and play’ process that members can use to generate 100% commissions into their bank account, instantly.”

“…you have a ‘done for you’ marketing system that pays you 100% commissions, directly deposited into your bank account.”

  • making more money you’ve ever made before:

“From this point on, as a member of Empower Network – you’ll never have to wait for another less than worthy commission check in the mail again, because you can now get paid instant and automatically, directly into your bank account.”

“… just blog daily, tell others …and learn to get more money in your business, faster.

“Essentially, you can make ‘guru’ moneywithout being a ‘guru’.

(all the quotes come from various pages of EmpowerNetwork.com site)

Turns out silver bullets do exist.

Silly me… choosing the “hard” way to build a business.

Who’s behind it?

1. David Wood | Co-Founder and CEO

From his personal Empower Network bio (reducted):

“…impact the world …transparent …strait forward …message of clarity, honesty and hope …#1 producer in almost every business he built …impact and influence lives all over the world …breakthrough business success.”

Side note: notice ” ‘strait forward’ ” spelling.

Either 1. those boys need to proof-read their copy, or 2. they meant to say what they said, in which case the only definition I could find was in the Urban Dictionary and it’s peculiar.

2. David Sharpe | Co-Founder and President

From his personal bio (reducted):

“…struggle and hardship …homelessness, addiction and personal defeat …he rose from the ashes to change his life, change the way he viewed the world …and change the way the world viewed him …earning more money than ever …traveling the world and living the life of his dreams.”

Two Cinderella stories indeed.

Good for them, right?

Note to self:

If I ever want to create a fanatic following that blindly buys my “simple easy solutions to every problem in life“, I need to make sure to tell my rags to riches story about alcoholic parents, no means to exist, and working for everything I ever needed/wanted.

It’s good for business.

Empower Network Products

1. Blogging platform – $25/month

For only $25 per month, you get the full monty – a customizable blog built into the wordpress platform, complete with hosting, sales videos, capture pages – and if you want, you can even capture the leads into your own auto-responders.”

Just to sum up: for $25/month, you get a blog on Empower Network (which really is a WordPress blog that’s free everywhere else), plus:

  • one theme everyone else has;
  • no additional functionalities to add (like plugins);
  • 8 “Core Commitments” videos that will try to upsell you on everything.

You do get a few lead capture templates you can drive traffic to – the same pages used by thousands of other EN members.

2. E-Wallet – $20/month

EN doesn’t accept PayPal, so unless you have your own payment processor (most marketers don’t), this is your only option if you want to be an affiliate.

3. The Inner Circle Mastermind Membership – $100/month

“For only $100 per month, you’re going to get the best ongoing audio training you’ve ever heard in your life. We’re interviewing industry Phenom’s who want nothing more than to help you make more money, have a better life, and build your marketing automation machine…

…on complete auto pilot.

$100/month is on top of $25/month, of course.

4. The Costa Rica Mastermind Intensive – $500 one time

“…which is a eleven-hour online video course shot in HD video quality – which documents in extensive detail, a live marketing seminar co-founder David Wood hosted for approximately 10 high-level entrepreneurs in mid 2011 which sold for $2,997 when it was offered as a live event to the public, and sold out quickly.”

I wonder what “approximately 10 high-level entrepreneurs” means…

Did someone not have enough fingers to count to 10?

If they are that high-level and they paid you $3K for your training, the least you could do for them is to remember they were there.

5. 15k per Month Formula – $1000 one time

See the training section below for a few notes I made on the kind of training $1,000 will buy you.

6. The “all in” option – $1625 one time

This option is consistently referred to and encourage throughout ALL the training, videos, splash pages, etc.

To Sum Up…

Empower Network has two objectives:

1. To make you “guru” money.

2. To teach you how to GET TRAFFIC.

Let’s talk about that.

But before we move on, please:

Show Me the Money

On to the fun stuff:

Making “guru” money without being a guru.

Empower Network Review: Compensation Plan

Empower Network compensation plan is very easy.

100% commissions.

Instantly.

Deposited straight to your bank.

Just like this:

John earns commission payment of $25 when Stan purchases a product, and another $25 when Kim purchases a product.

The commission payment, generated by Mary’s purchase, will go to someone else; that will be a person in John’s upline.

Stan will earn a commission of $25 when Tim and David purchase a product ($25 for each purchase).

John will earn a commission of $25 when Martin and Lara purchase a product ($25 for each purchase).

Tim will earn a commission of $25 when M1 and M3 purchase a product ($25 for each purchase).

Stan will earn a commission of $25 when M2 and M4 purchase a product ($25 for each purchase).

Martin will earn a commission of $25 when P1 and P3 purchase a product ($25 for each purchase).

John will earn a commission of $25 when P2 and P4 purchase a product ($25 for each purchase).

Lara will earn a commission of $25 when K1 and K3 purchase a product ($25 for each purchase).

John will earn a commission of $25 when K2 and K4 purchase a product ($25 for each purchase).

Please also note that:

Although Stan was referred to as a “direct sponsor” for Martin, Martin’s powerline sponsor will be John.

The “powerline sponsor” is the one that the members are sending their affiliate commission payments to.

Member M3 - his direct sponsor and powerline sponsor will be one and the same, Tim.

K2 will have a direct sponsor Lara, and powerline sponsor John.

And so on.

Easy, right?

100% commissions.

Minus the fees, of course.

On all sales.

But not your 2nd, 4th, 6th, and every fifth one after that.

Of course, that kind of makes it sound like it’s 50% commission structure in the beginning. Minus the fees, of course.

On the bright side though, when you make it to <1% of “distributors”, you’ll be raking in $30K+ per month.

And work only 20 hours. Per month.

Just like this:

en income

Source: https://www.empowernetwork.com/income.php

Would love to know how they track the hours EN members put into developing their downline…

Empower Network Review: Refund Policy

Important to remember:

en refund policy

Source: https://www.empowernetwork.com/refund.php

And Keep in Mind…

“If you cancel your monthly subscription you will lose your team and all benefits and services of Empower Network.

This also includes all future services and upgrades.”

Empower Network Review: Affiliate Cookies

Another thing I noticed while doing research for this post was the fact that Empower Network might have a cookie problem.

Generally, when anyone arrives to a product sales page via your affiliate link, their information is collected and stored as a cookie tagging them as YOUR referral.

Those cookies can last for as long or as short as the affiliate marketing program allows it.

Now I didn’t see any information on how long Empower Network cookies last, but in a week that it took me to write this post while bouncing through various pages within EN domain, I noticed that the referral ID in my URL changed 3-4 times.

Here’s what I mean:

http://www.empowernetwork.com/empower-network-welcome/?id=davidwood

The last part “davidwood” is the referrer’s ID.

That’s what the system uses to tag me as someone’s referral.

Since that ID changed several times during my research, my question is this:

If I were to sign up for EN right now, who’ll get the credit?

The first person? The last one? Someone in the middle?

This tidbit of information might greatly affect your earning potential and you might not even know it.

Learn more about choosing the best affiliate marketing platform in this post.

Have you shared it with your friends yet?

Empower Network “Get Traffic” Training

Side note: I was told that Empower Network has finally updated their training – hopefully, for the better.

I still highly doubt it that it it’s worth the kind of money they are asking for it, but I haven’t taken a look at it myself.

That’s where it gets interesting.

I don’t care how much hype there is around any given biz opportunity, program, system, etc.

If there’s VALUE behind the hype, then it might still be worth the money.

Empower Network claims to offer the best and the most exclusive marketing training to succeed in ANY online business.

As a matter of fact, as per one of the numerous videos I watched in the EN back office, David Wood actually “invented” (his word) most of these strategies.

Fine, let’s take a closer look.

Fast Start – 25/month

This is the “training” you get at $25/month level.

There’s actually not much training here at all.

You’ll see 8 videos called “Core Commitments”, like “sign up for e-wallet” ($20/month), “blog daily”, “market daily”, etc.

The main message:

This is what you should do.

If you want to learn HOW to do it, buy the whole package.

15K Formula – $1,000

This training is compiled of 6 lessons, plus 3 bonus lessons.

The average lessons length is 1-3 hours.

I took notes for 3 out of 9 lessons just to give you an idea of what kind of training $1,000 will buy you.

empower network lesson 1

This is a 3 hour webinar, and here’s what your time and money will get you teach you about:

How to get traffic to your new post

  • Email your team.

You can also write blog posts in such a way that only EN members at a certain paid level can see it.

So when you send it out to members who are below that paid level, you are giving them yet another “incentive” to upgrade, i.e. make more money for you.

When you create good content, your friends and family don’t feel like you are pitching it to them.

They will bring their warm market to you by sharing your content.

5 Key Elements of Good Content

1. Write entertaining content.

2…. (the guy who was doing this section was so monotone and boring, I had to drink lots of coffee just to pay enough attention to get some key points out of it – he lost me at “Write entertaining content”.)

How to write

1. Be authentic; write like you talk.

2. Be bold; be real.

3. Format your content well (lots of white space, short sentences, etc).

4. Use images.

5. Add call to action.

How to actually write a post in WP

  • Heading tags (H1, H2, etc) – the lower the number, the bigger the text. Revelation.
  • Have your keywords throughout your heading tags in EACH post.
  • Have an image.
  • Sprinkle your keywords throughout the content.
  • Write over 500 words per post.
  • Keywords in the title.
  • Have nofollow links within your content.

empower network lesson 2

Create Facebook group

  • Add your name/brand and pic to it.
  • Don’t allow spam.
  • blah, blah, blah (sorry, don’t have patience for rudimentary stuff).
  • Create conversations.
  • Comment frequently.
  • Demand participation.

Side note: yes, Empower Network is huge on using Facebook to promote their content.

Too bad they were banned from FB for posting too much spam…

This is what you see if you try to link to their EN site:

empower network banned on facebook

Social Media Syndication

Find a way to automate everything.

The more social media shares you get, the more links you get, the more likely you are to rank batter.

(She was reading this segment of the webinar, so it was really hard to follow.)

Lot’s of blah-blah on why you need to get more shares.

Syndication tools

Ping.fm: add a social plugin to your blog and encourage shares.

Yahoo pipes: too technical and just a brief mention of it.

TribePro

A more automated social solution – social media on steroids.

They use OnlyWire.com.

In a nutshell, this is what TribePro does:

empower network and tribepro

So you get more shares because of other people in your tribe auto-posting your content to their social accounts and vice versa.

You’ll pay for submissions with OnlyWire between $15 and $100/month, depending on how much syndication you want done.

Plus, TribePro membership prices vary from free to $80/month.

More blah-blah about all the “sneaky” ways to use Facebook

How to build brand through social media syndication:

  • Remove the desperation.
  • Have a game plan.
  • Find your voice.
  • Be consistent.
  • Promote benefits, not the business.

How to embed a YouTube video in your blog

Basic instruction on how to literally add a video to a new post, i.e. add a link and click “Publish”.

Email your team every day

(I’d hate to be on that email list).

Bring more traffic to your EN blog = the whole EN community wins (not quite sure how).

empower network lesson 7

  • How to spin articles and submit them to article directories;
  • How to use Article Marketing Robot;
  • How to mass-submit spun content with SEO Link Robot;
  • Automatically submit your RSS from the various Web 2.0 properties you create to RSS directories.

They did however say at the end that you’ll get the most benefit out of blogging more and worrying about syndicating less.

WOW…

These are the ADVANCED SEO tactics

Spam article directories with spun content, send a bunch of useless links back to your EN blog, hope that Google won’t penalize you in any way like it has been doing with thousands of other sites employing these kinds of “link building” methods, and watch your rankings, traffic, and income soar.

Yep, that makes a lot of sense…

On second thought, yes, why don’t you do exactly what EN teaches you to do, spam the heck out of it, and let Google put it out of its misery?

So What Do You Think?

Would you pay $1,000 for the training above?

Apparently, many people would and did.

And that’s while I am having hard time selling a few online tools that will cost you a whole lot less, yet will have a true impact on your business.

Go figure…

Marketing Training Alternatives

There are usually two considerations we keep in mind when looking for credible marketing training:

  • time investment
  • money investment

Usually, it has to be one or the other.

If you are on a string budget, then you can find plenty of FREE training out there, like reading blogs, but it will take some time investment.

It’s OK though; that’s how I started as well.

If you have a budget (even a small one) to spend on your marketing education and it’s more important for you to get off the ground quickly, then investing into a solid blogging course would be your best bet.

Either option won’t cost you anywhere close to $1K though.

1.   Traffic Generation Café archives – FREE

Take a couple of hours and browse Traffic Generation Café archives to learn how to REALLY get traffic.

It’s completely free, but there’s a con doing it this way:

Silver bullet is NOT included.

Here’s the link: http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/archives/

Other great blogs I personally learn from:

Of course, there are more, but this is a good start.

2.   Stay in touch via email – FREE

Being a part of Traffic Generation Café email list is your “continued education”.

I send my subscribers emails with various traffic generation ideas I come up with, alerts, exclusive blogging tips, and no fluff.

You’ll also have a direct line to me.

Join Traffic Generation Café community here.

3.   Facebook Marketing

Empower Network is heave on Facebook marketing and for a good reason: Facebook is a great traffic-driving engine if you can figure out how to stand out.

Of course, whatever EN teaches you about Facebook traffic is exactly what got them banned from Facebook to begin with.

If you really want to learn how to be banned by Facebook, I can throw in a few ideas for free or you can spend $1K to learn it from EN.

Another way to learn FB traffic generation strategies is from this excellent to-the-point infographic from AllFacebook.com:

facebook marketing infographic

There’s truly nothing much to it.

Engage, help, post incredible content, and they will come.

4. Internet Marketing Courses

Learn how to Become a Blogger

Become a Blogger 2.0

Most blogging courses don’t work.

Very few do.

This one DEFINITELY does.

Originally created by Yaro Starak (Entrepreneurs-Journey.com) and Gideon Shalwick (GideonShalwick.com) and now ran by Leslie Samuel (BecomeABlogger.com), Become a Blogger 2.0 is a blogging course with the mission of helping as many people as possible to set up Authority Blogs, and build successful businesses around those blogs.

green check markLearn how to build a successful business around your blog

corbett barr blog course

Start a Blog that Matters

Hundreds of millions of blogs are online today. Thousands more are started every day.

Anyone can start a blog in 5 minutes, but very few people will start blogs that matter.

If you think you have the creativity and dedication it takes to create a blog that matters, you should consider joining Corbett Barr in this course.

green check markStart a blog that matters with Corbett Barr

blog post promotion ebook image

Blog Post Promotion: the Ultimate Guide

by Kristi Hines – this is an ebook that is packed with actionable advice on how to promote your blog.

Kristi Hines of Kikolani.com is certainly the best expert in the field and she doesn’t hold anything back as she shares how she promotes her blog, contest entries, etc.

green check markStart promoting your blog with Kristi Hines

For more recommended tools that WILL make a difference in your business and won’t cost you an arm and a leg, like Empower Network, visit my online marketing tools page.

Why I Admire Empower Network

Yes, I truly do admire certain aspects of Empower Network or how it was built up, I should say.

Building a huge organization by selling a product you can get everywhere else for free requires creativity, a certain degree of brilliance, and great cheerleading skills.

Empower Network spread like wild fire within months.

And the fire is till burning.

And taking down many dreams with it…

Yet another thing to learn from it is this:

Great List Building

Empower Network shows some of the best list building strategies I’ve ever seen.

You basically can’t go anywhere without hitting an incentive to sign up for their list.

It’s virtually the perfect sales funnel:

  1. Get on our list to discover our secrets.
  2. Now sign up for the program to use those secrets to realize your dreams.

how en builds a list

I only wish my readers implemented this kind of clear call to action on their blogs!

That’s it, this is your call to action:

If there’s only one thing you’ll take away from this post (keep your money goes without saying, of course), I hope it’s this:

Design your site to guide your readers to your conversion goal.

How Did Empower Network Affected My Income?

No, I haven’t forgotten about my post headline and here’s a quick explanation of how Empower Network cut into my profits.

Though affiliate marketing is my main income generator at Traffic Generation Café, I also make money from paid banner advertising and occasional sponsored reviews and emails.

Just last month alone, I had to turn down several advertising offers from various members of Empower Network, which cost me several hundred dollars.

I don’t mean to blow my horn here – this was not an easy decision on my part.

Like most people, my family could definitely use the money.

However, I’ve seen enough of my readers join Empower Network as is and didn’t want to be responsible for getting any more of you buried at the bottom of a pyramid.

at the bottom of empower network pyramid

Empower Network Review: Bottom Line

Now, a week of daily research and writing and close to 4,000 words later, I hope you got my point.

For some of my readers, it’s unfortunately too late.

I saw many familiar names in Empower Network.

It might’ve been an expensive mistake to learn from, but it’s all a part of the growing pains.

Personally, I hoped to write an unbiased review of Empower Network.

However, the endless emails from people who I’ve know online for a while now keep pouring in.

They all say something like:

“You’ve always been such an incredible help in my business, Ana…

I truly appreciated everything you’ve done…

Now I’d love to give something back to you…

This opportunity has done wonders for my life…”

Telling family and friends is truly a no way to build a business.

I hope you get that by now.

There’s no way to build a solid business with “No rules. No hassles.”

There’s no such a thing as a marketing system that churns out money on demand.

traffic generation cafe empower network

PS   I’d love to see this post on the first page of Google for any Empower Network related searches and for it to become the lonely voice of reason and common sense among all the glorious reviews stuffed with affiliate links.

So please:

Share this post, link to it, tell anyone who’s thinking about jumping on the bandwagon to read it first – help me to spread the word.

traffic generation cafe comment below

Google+ Comments

282 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Fizzystar

    Hello Ana,
    Thanks for your comments about Empower Network. I have joined too, but now I think that was a big mistake. I didn’t realize it was possible there would be pyramid schemes in this kind of industry, but now I do… No matter what system you buy, it’s always you who has to put in a lot of effort… I was attracted to it EN first because of the ‘big money opportunity’. But now I know it’s probably just some kind of pyramid scheme, I’d rather take my losses (about 140 dollars) and leave. That’s a pity, but it’s better than to have invested for $ 1000 or more… So, thank you. I think I’ll never join something like EN again, ever…. Cheers…

  2. LOL great review i actually read the whole thing.

    I am not apart of empower network. However
    as a seasoned marketer my self both consulting and network marketing
    I didnt like how much crap they were selling when most of that stuff is
    already posted on many blogs for free if you jsut learn how to use google properly. All the plugins, training
    and reviews just kinda gets on my nerves. I give this stuff away for free
    to my readers and peoples on my list.

    I do have to agree though with you, they do have one of the best funnels
    I have come across and some of the sales tactics is amazing. I actually
    joined for a short period, then after I got in, i got sick quick..

    I truly am not one of those who likes to join cult like atmospheres lol.

    Empower network will fade this year.. Some better stuff is coming out
    very soon. Would love to have you do a review on my personal product
    and youtube seo service some time, when I launch it..

    thanks for the good read, happy new year.
    ~Gene

  3. Rory Singh

    Hi Ana, your post seems to be very sarcastic.

    I would never do a review using a ‘negative’ approach like you just did. I don’t market EN at the moment but I do use their products to build my primary business.

    Their products are bad ass! As a matter of fact I just watched one of the latest 15K webinars hosted by Aaron Rashkin, Awesome!

    Dave Wood tells everyone all the time on all the calls that in order to get great results that they will have to work their asses off.

    He never says that success will come easy. He just says that success can come a hell of a lot faster if you use his strategies and actually apply them.

    But wouldn’t you work your ass off if you had a chance to change your life for ever?

    Yes this is a cookie cutter system.

    Yes members are promoting the system.

    But, for the new guy or gal, if they go through all of the training and actually ‘apply’ the methods (take action), they will learn skill sets and can get results that can last a life time.

    Unfortunately most people who get involved in any system ussually quit after 3 months.

    It’s not that they aren’t able to have success. I used to think that people quit because they lacked the ‘belief’ in themselves.

    It’s not the poor belief factor. They quit when they find out how much work they have to put in in order to get the kind of results that they want.

    If you can learn to market EN by using the techniques that they teach you, you can learn how to market something more important than the company..You can learn how to market yourself (you inc).

    Systems like this one have turned ordinary people into heavy hitters – big time marketers.

    Yes I would recommend EN to someone who is just starting out.

    Ana, you seem to have quite a lot of traffic and opt ins. You have a nice website and seem to know what you are doing.

    Let me ask you this:

    Did you honestly learn how to market yourself Online all by yourself or did you first start out with some kind of cookie cutter system?

    PS: Based on the kind of traffic and optins you get, your conversion are very low. Aki was right.

    • Ana Hoffman

      1. Feel free to do reviews on your site however it suits you best.

      2. Success never comes easy. Everything I said in the post was quoted directly from various EN pages. Not my words; David Wood’s.

      3. I did learn how NOT to promote an online business from a couple of cookie-cutter systems. After a few thousands of dollars and no real knowledge, I knew one thing: what bad marketing training looks like.

      From that point on, yes – everything I learned was the hard way: reading blogs, running experiments and case studies, talking to other bloggers, going through courses.

      4. Good thing this is not a blog about conversions. It’s about traffic and I am great at generating traffic.

  4. Hi Ana, well I must say firstly that I could have used this review earlier in the piece. I managed to stay away for a while from EN, and only ended up involving myself as the $25 membership gave me access to a networking group that has proven far more beneficial.
    Taking a look for $155 may not have been the smartest decision I’ve ever made, I am at least wiser for the experience.
    As the old saying goes “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is” (unless you happen to be in the top 1% that is).
    So enough about me, I like your sass and given the value that you know you offer, I’ll definitly be checking out your blog more regularly.
    Cheers :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Your comment made me think about any VIABLE ways to use EN, Scott, and here’s what makes sense.

      If you are an experienced blogger and know what you are doing, you can use EN platform for $25 per month to write on topics you’d like to rank for in the search engines, but can’t because your own site doesn’t have enough authority to rank for them.

      As long as you are not suckered to pay a premium for their mediocre at best training.

      On the other hand, there are plenty of free article directories (the ones that haven’t been hit by the recent Google updates) that will do the same for you, but for free. Plus, that way you’ll actually redirect the traffic back to your site vs sucker it to check out EN (since their “presence” would be plastered all over your EN blog).

      Thoughts?

      • I agree on your points. Using EN just to redirect traffic is an expensive way to go about it. That said if used in conjunction with the free article directories and is generating worthwhile volumes and you’re able to convert that into an income, then it starts to make more sense.

        For me, the $25 gives me access to another membership (non EN, some of the offer structure has been built around the EN product)with valuable tools and networking (for a bit less than the actual membership as well), so any advantage I can get for backlinking is extra.

        If I was weighing up paying $25/mth just to get traffic vs free article directories, I think I could spend my money elsewhere.

  5. Joshua Reynolds

    Hey Ana-

    This is my…. 3rd week since I started looking at internet marketing. I want to make it my full time thing, and enjoy the time freedom and work at home sort of benefits. I have exceptional phone and face to face sales skills, so this is something I feel I can excel with but is out of the ordinary for me.

    I signed up for EN 3 weeks ago. I have been reading your blog for a few days now (religiously I might add) and I have learned a TON from you, so thank you very much for that. I admit, I am a little discouraged because I know now that my gut feeling to cut my own path and be original was correct and as your friends here have said, I got lost in the appeal of shortcuts and ease.

    Strangely enough, EN did pay for itself in a different way than recouping the $45 dollars it took to get in. I had a chance to tinker with WordPress and get familiar, and learn that I can get MORE with a free blog.

    I also learned again what I already knew about the Business Opportunity market… The high conversion stuff like Empower will boom and fall, as that is the structure they have chosen. There cannot be longevity without true transparency and trust, this is paramount as you have discovered.

    For that reason, I am pleased to be on your list and hope to have the pleasure of working together in cyberspace. Thanks for the solid info as always.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Definitely all good observations, Joshua.

      I paid thousands of dollars to get into similar programs as EN and don’t regret a bit. Even though it was a lot of money, it was also a lot of learning on how to do and NOT to do business.

      Traffic Generation Cafe is a result of my past explorations/failures.

      All the best to your online career, whatever turn it ends up taking.

  6. I think what people need to understand is that Ana is her own “David Wood” right here (just humor me for a second.) This is her house, whatever she says is right in her own mind, and she has every right to think as she does – right or wrong.

    Additionally, her loyal readers will support her in a committed way.

    In the same manner, those of us in EN will always stand up for David Wood, David Sharpe, and the EN leadership.

    Continued arguing won’t change anyone’s mind…and neither will insulting.

    I think the best point was made earlier that some still call Amway a scam when it’s not. People also call ALL Internet marketing a scam, too, and it is not. Ultimately, future entrepreneurs need a way to earn a living.

    Maybe if we could just recognize that we’re all in the home business industry, using different business models to earn a living, we’d be able to eliminate the us/them mindset that plagues this tiny sector of the economy.

    I hope that, after the disagreeing, we are adequately prepared to serve the marketplace what it needs when it comes to us for a solution.

    This comment thread has been my entertainment for the week. Thanks, Ana!

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s the best point anyone has made in the comment thread, Christi.

      The point of my review wasn’t to create an argument with the current members. If they are making good money, happy with the training, etc. I am all for it.

      I did however want the people who were not sure if EN was right for them to see (an arguably) unbiased review from someone who’s build an online business in the past and wasn’t affiliated with EN in any way.

  7. Ana,

    Well I must congratulate you on the most comprehensive and (more importantly) accurate review of Empower Network. I will always try to see the best in people and remain positive, which is why I live and let live as far as it’s concerned.

    However, I was a member for around 8 months and while I made money and saw the ‘benefit’ of the system, I chose to duck out. You’ll notice that I promote The Six Figure Mentors and I know a lot of people feel the same way about these guys. Well, I can’t speak for others but as far as I’m concerned I like to think I’m very clear about the pros and cons of joining communities like these. If somebody approaches me for the wrong reasons, I will refuse to sell to them.

    I didn’t feel that Empower enabled me to be completely honest about the business and continue to make money, so I had to quit. I do still know many great people making a real go of it and I wish them all the best but I do commend you for shooting straight and telling it like it is.

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s precisely what I was trying to communicate in the post, Gareth – had EN sold a solid training I could stand behind, I might’ve been the first one to sign up.

      As of right now, their training will still not teach anyone how to run a successful online business. However, it will teach the members what doesn’t work, so there’s a positive in that. Sometimes we have to learn from an expensive mistake to better our business skills.

  8. Chitraparna

    Ana, I just loved your review. Honestly, I read your blogs some times but this just gave you instant access to my personal list to hot ‘n’ favorite list of writers.

    Empower Network always sounded fishy. I came across it when a client (I am a freelance content developer) asked to write an article about it with her given materials. I did (had to!) but refrained from joining it.

    I am glad that I did.

    Thank you Ana for the review.

    BTW, I really like your way of sending a direct message to new Twitter followers. I am so copying it (not the content, just the idea :) ), I hope you won’t mind.

    ~ Chitraparna Sinha

    • Ana Hoffman

      Just came back from your site, Chitraparna; you write well! I might consider using your services to repurpose my existing content… feel free to email me, if interested.

      • Thank you Anna. I already contacted you for guest blogging. Didn’t you get my email? I would really like to work with you. Is there any other email to reach you?

        ~ Chitraparna

    • Ana Hoffman

      What a shame… Good for David Wood though; he’s the one who’ll be benefiting from his members’ hard work.

  9. Wow! Wow! Wow! Finally someone who puts out an article about this who is not trying to recruit me at the end. haha

    I’ve kept my eye on this program for a while and seen it growing at crazy rates! I’ve also seen a lot of the other marketing systems come and go, some come and stay but for the most part they resemble and smell the same.

    I use to be part of a marketing system a few years back and got a ton of leads ( I won’t mention the name, but it’s still around). The point of the system was to try to get people into my primary opportunity. But then I started to notice that most of the trainings and tools taught people to promote the system to others.

    By the time I noticed it, I was just trying to promote my “marketing system” instead of getting people to look at my actual opportunity. Sure I made money with the marketing system but it didn’t feel right. People were coming in to learn how to market their opportunity but in the end, they were going to be taught to teach people how to get their own marketing system and become a “leader” in their niche.

    There are too many so called leaders out there. Attraction marketing…lol. It’s funny. Look I strongly believe in becoming an attractive character and you must learn how to develop some crucial skills if you are in this type of business. But now it seems like the main skill people are teaching is to ACT like you are the GURU who knows all the answers without knowing them yourself.

    Now, I know I might get blasted for this and that’s fine. I’ve been around the block, seen a lot of things and made/lost a lot of money. But one thing you need to understand is…I know what I am talking about.

    Is the whole concept a scam? Nope not at all.

    They provide a service for the money you pay.

    Is it a bit cloudy as to what you will actually get, hidden fees and things like that. Yes, I think that’s obvious.

    If you can get one thing out of this entire long stupendous comment I am leaving is this…

    Learn how to become a better MARKETER. That’s all their really is to it.

    It’s all about MARKETING. Gathering leads, building a relationship with those leads, following up.

    ADVERTISING. Learn where your market hangs out. Then put your offer in front of them in a persuasive way. If your sending them to a website for your business, then you better find a way to get their names and email addresses to follow up.

    I am sure they teach these kinds of things within that whole system but when you are in the game for a while, you learn these types of things and it becomes common sense.

    It’s a numbers game but its about putting your product in FRONT of the RIGHT AUDIENCE consistently and choosing the best forms of advertising mediums to do this.

    No and I don’t mean Facebook & Twitter either. I’m talking about actual marketing methods that have withstood the test of time.

    Solo ads, Banner Ads on TARGETED WEBSITES, Newsletters with subscribers of people who will most likely be interested in your offer (probably same thing as solo ads), Guest posting on already popular blogs that have your target audience that could benefit from a quick tip you give them.

    Stuff like that.

    Wow, I just noticed I went on a rant. I hardly ever comment on other peoples blog also! But I couldn’t help myself because I’ve seen this system topic floating around everywhere.

    So to summarize everything I said.

    Become a better MARKETER for whatever it is you need to market.
    Whatever you choose to get involved with, find out where the right people hang out who might want to see what you can offer
    Generate YOUR OWN LEADS, capture their emails, names (not always needed).
    Build a relationship with them so they trust you, believe you and would love to work with you.
    Invest profits into more advertising so you can develop even more leads and keep doing it over and over again..

    Ok, I should have charged for that training..lol

    Anyway, thanks for your honest post ANA! Hope my comment wasn’t too long.

    -Omar

  10. Ana,
    I think I’ve finally found somebody on the internet I can trust — YOU!

    Your article about EN is EXACTLY what is needed to help steer the uninitiated away from “get rich click” schemes.

    Like you, I aspire to “debunk” all the hype out there (e.g. “make money online – easy peasy”, “how to create a website by registering a domain”, “buy FREE traffic – huh?”). I am currently unloading my brain from many years (since 2009) I’ve spent researching and experimenting in this internet jungle. I’ve started out modestly with my first “real” website (no, I didn’t use WordPress but not because I don’t like it or don’t believe in its power). My target audience are small/independent business owners who need help understanding all the techy/geeky stuff.

    I have signed up to receive your emails and very much look forward to reading more from you.

    Kindest regards,
    Carole.
    p.s. I found your website as a result of conducting Keyword Tool evaluations – the keyword I was researching at the time was “traffic generation”.

  11. Thank you for writing this! I’ve had people asking me about this “network” all week and just in my beginning research stages I was totally unimpressed…

    It looks like you got much farther into the research process than I have and I have to say this is looking worse than I expected. I feel like the blog post I’ve been drafting should just say, “Empower Network: RUNNNNNNNNNN!”

      • Thanks :)

        I got two more emails this morning asking me about this Empower Network thing (and FIVE inviting me to join it) … I’m just replying by sending people to this blog post now!

  12. Lori Meyer

    Ana, this is a powerful, and very accurate post about EN. As a recent member (I cancelled my subscription after several days), I can only say that I left because I chose to create an online business that I can be proud of. I can not, in good conscience, build a business on the hopes and dreams of others – who are destined to fail with EN.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours. Many blessings.
    Lori

  13. Aki Wood

    All I have to say is this. I’m a pretty good marketer, and I get WAY less traffic than you, but somehow I still make more money. I saw your published income reports.

    Your website is awesome, you teach people tons of stuff, but you don’t sell anything. Are you trying to run a business or be mother Theresa? If I modeled your thinking I would be broke for the rest of my life.

    Perhaps you should have a doctor test to see if you are allergic to money.

    -Aki

    • Ana Hoffman

      Sounds like you got confused, Aki – if you want to comment on my income, feel free to go to one of my income reports.

      • Aki Wood

        No, I’m not confused, you are. I looked at this income report before I posted this comment:

        http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/monthly-income-report-october-2012/

        With the traffic and the list size that you have, a good marketer would be making 40K per month. We are teaching the art of making money through blogging.

        You are teaching the art of poverty through blogging.

        You have a 19,000 double opt in list. A single opt-in list that size should generate an average of $1 per lead per month. You aren’t monetizing your list, and if you are teaching other people to do the same thing you are CRIPPLING their blogging career.

        Even the 3,000 you made the year before is sad with the size of your list(especially for double opt-in). 11K alexa rank, pr3 website, 19K double opt-in subscribers, and your net for October was $638. I’m not even really sure how that is possible.

  14. Seems as though people would be better off to just buy a spot on your blog for $25. The Empower Network is a hoax and they don’t do anything that they say in the “brilliant” sales pitches. Wow.

    I would rather throw money away at my cat as join Empower Network. Either way, buying a spot on your blog seems better than this. At least you have targeted traffic!

    What a jip! One question. How can a homeless man be a millionaire? If you’re homeless how are you getting access to computers and telephone’s? I call BS on that story! lol!

  15. jon

    Hmm MLM ( check)….. owner in Costa rica ( check)…. sob story of a very sad beginning ( check) have your own blog on their domain where google can one day come along and deindex it and pfff there goes the earnings.

    I havent looked into the content theft that people have mentioned in this post whether it is straight up theft or curated content. None the less Google has or will be putting into play that they will take action on sites where DMCA notices have been sent since notices are posted at chillingefects.org.

    Im staying away from this by a long shot

  16. Betty Rimes

    I got to this article from David Wood’s Facebook page. I was interested to see him in the comments. He said this statement–only 1% of people make money (after expenses) in Empower Network–was “stupid” for a variety of reasons. Part of his argument revolved around the fact that percentage includes people who join the MLM and don’t work at it, who are lazy, who are just customers, who quit etc.. Fair and accurate comment I’d say. However, since Empower’s entire compensation structure is built on the fact that you don’t make money unless the people in your downline do–isn’t that REALLY relevant? If my income was based on the efforts of others, and statistics showed 99% of them didn’t make money, how exactly do I make money in that senario? Other than recruiting a million people to get enough of the 1% below me that will make money of course.

    Looking at Empower’s income disclosure, it’s on a weekly basis, I couldn’t find one on a yearly basis and it’s my understanding they have now been around for more than a year. I’m not sure if perhaps I just couldn’t find it, or if Empower doesn’t produce one for that timeframe. The reason I ask is an income disclosure on a weekly basis doesn’t really tell you that much about your potential for long term success because of the very high turnover rate of most MLM companies (estimates range from 50-90% per year quitting depending on company, although a recent article about one MLM company showed an astronomical rate of 197% turnover per year in affiliates). 100% commissions is great (although it’s actually 50% since Empower affiliates pass up some of their sales upline), but if you don’t maintain a direct commissions recruit who is buying the same montly products you are the whole time, you don’t break even. Because people quit MLMs so much, your income can vary widely from one week to the next depending on how many leave your downline (and how many enter!), so a yearly income statement would provide a clearer picture.

    How many recruits does the average Empower Network affliate sign up and how long on average do they continue in the program? What’s Empower’s yearly income statement look like and what percentage of people quit per year? If anyone knows where Empower Network publishes that information, that would be super helpful! Thanks!

    • Chris Record

      Empower Network teaches people Internet Marketing strategies that they can apply in their own business. I’ve been with Empower for 6 months now. And I would say from first-hand experience, that the MAJORITY of people that join Empower are doing so to try to get more leads and sales for their primary business.

      That being said, of course they get turned on by the idea of the EN affiliate program and 100% commissions as well. Who wouldn’t?

      But regardless of whether they ever refer even 1 sale to Empower, they can walk away with a vast amount of knowledge and internet marketing strategies to apply in their primary business to make more money.

      I have witnessed this first hand, a countless number of times.

      For example, let’s take the network marketing industry in general. Most companies don’t teach these strategies to their reps. They teach traditional strategies like house meetings, hotel meetings, face to face, friends and family, etc.

      If these reps learned even the most basic strategies taught through Empower, like setting up an account with Aweber, create an autoresponder file with pre-written emails about their business, creating a lead capture page for their business that opts people into that list, using free advertising and paid advertising strategies to drive traffic to that lead capture page, and learning how to write personalized broadcast emails to the list to help knock them off the fence, etc.

      Those strategies are powerful to learn for reps in that industry, regardless of whether they learn it through Empower or on their own, or through another system, or guru, or here on this site. The point is simply that if they learned those strategies and applied them, that they could potentially increase their success with their primary business.

      And that is all without making a single affiliate sale with Empower.

      So as far as Empower stats are concerned, that person would should as making no money. But if you spoke with that same person, you would get a testimonial of how they successfully used the EN education to get more leads and more sales in their primary business.

      This is due to the fact that Empower Network is a DUAL income opportunity. You can make money 2 ways with Empower Network.

      1) Use the Education to Make Money through Internet Marketing with your Own Business.

      2) Make Money as an Affiliate with Empower Network.

      Some choose to do both.

      Again, from first-hand experience, everything mentioned in this comment is currently being taught at just the $25/mo level with Empower (even if someone does not pay the affiliate fee). That is because EN has tons of leaders and teams within their organization that offer their own education and training on top of EN, as an added bonus.

      And that part was overlooked in this article.

      I am a member of Team Take Massive Action with Empower Network. And out of around 1,000 paying members of the team, I have NEVER yet heard someone say that the training provided wasn’t worth the $25/mo fee. If anything, it is the exact opposite. People think that we are crazy in our team to provide so MUCH training for JUST $25/mo!

      And the business is also personalized by which leader you join with. Some leaders are the exact opposite of David Wood, while some are very similar. So if someone didn’t like David Wood, that wouldn’t make much of a difference, because they could join a team within Empower Network that has a totally different culture, and still leverage the training and affiliate opportunity.

      My point in this comment is simply to point out that no matter how you look at the numbers, there is no way that they can be completely accurate, because reps are not in a position to disclose how much they are making in their outside businesses as a result of Empower Network.

      And for what it’s worth, I agree with the part of this review that questions how EN can determine how many hours a rep puts into the business to build it (which is shown in their income disclaimer).

      The number could be completely true, but how could you actually get that information. I mean, I know that they interview reps, and also have them mention how many hours per week they are building it when they get recognition on stage, but to do it company wide seems impossible to me.

      And by the way, I am one of the biggest skeptics that you will meet. I was drawn to Empower Network just because the education was far better than most everything else that I had come across for internet marketing, and the 100% referral program allows people to reimburse the cost of their education with just one referral, so in my mind it made it worth giving it a shot.

      And I was very critical of everything, but after going through 6 months of education through Empower Network, I can honestly say that it is worth every penny and more. I know you will write that off as a biased opinion because I am a member, but in order to actually get a critical review, you would need to hear several sides to the argument, from inside, outside, etc.

      But so far none of my comments have been posted here, so perhaps I am just talking to myself :)

      • Betty Rimes

        Thanks Chris, that was informative! I think that’s a good point that many use EN for their secondary business and there’s no way to account for how their business may increase from its use. However, EN could ask people if they are using EN as their only MLM business opportunity, or use it in conjunction with another business synergistically and then account for that difference in the income disclosure (have seperate columns for example) which would be helpful for people who only wanted to focus on the income potential of EN alone.

        This is not to mention also that other MLMs–such as Visalus–have been terminating distributors for using EN, even though it could potentially increase their Visalus sales. Most MLMs have in their distributor agreements that you cannot promote another MLM at the same time as they are worried about downline poaching (which they should be), so Visalus must view EN as a competing–not complimenting–MLM. I’m sure they also don’t like the fact that EN sells MLM training products as everyone knows MLMs (and the higher level people in that MLM’s profit sharing plan), make a significant amount of their money from the sales of these products, so Visalus sees it as taking sales away in that area. I wonder how many other MLMs would agree?

        I see your point about the 100% referral making it possible to get reimbursed and I think that’s great marketing on EN’s part, but it does beg the question, how does EN make money? I would speculate they make money from a few different sources, the first being that a significant number of people who sign up either do not ever manage to recruit one person, or they don’t manage to recruit one person for each product, or don’t manage to keep that recruit the entire time they are paying the monthly fee. If EN disclosed the average number of recruits per distributor per product and the average they number of months those recruits bought product (for the monthly products), that would go a long way in helping someone decide to join or not as it’s a measure of market demand for their training. You may have found the training awesome and I don’t doubt at all that you did, but your opinion is of course, subjective, so numbers would be helpful as I’m sure you understand being a skeptic.

        • Aki Wood

          The average lifetime value of a customer right now is right around $650 for the Empower Network.

          Of course a lot of people that sign up won’t recruit anyone. “You can lead a horse to water, but can’t make them drink.

          Like Chris, I am a leader with the company, and provide tons of free training along with the $25/month. Hell, there are weekly company calls that have training that are worth more than $25/month.

          EN isn’t for everyone, so do your research, find who you want to join with, or don’t join. We don’t care.

          As leaders, we do care about the people that join, and want them to have success. The training is top notch, and it actually teaches people how to make money. That doesn’t mean that people will though. You have to apply training to make it work; that is a universal truth that works with anything.

          -Aki

          • Betty Rimes

            Thank you Aki, that is very enlightening information. The “All In” option that affiliates are encouraged to get at $1625 doesn’t sound terribly enticing if the average lifetime customer purchase is only $650. Does the “All In” option also include an unlimited length of time on the monthly charges for the website and the Inner Circle membership ($125 a month otherwise)?, if not, then cost to affiliates who stay more than one month would be more than $1625, or if it does, that makes it a better risk.

            “Of course a lot of people who sign up won’t recruit anyone.” But, doesn’t that then say something about the value of EN’s training? If you don’t recruit, you don’t make money in EN (for people just focusing on EN that is, can’t say for others). The idea is that anyone can do it with the right training–training EN will provide–correct?

            With all MLMs there are people who make money, the people at the top of the compensation plan are positioned to benefit from the high turnover in the ranks below. Not to mention MLMs generally have some type of profit sharing plan among the top people for conference ticket and tools sales. This type of income is not available to the regular person just starting out in a MLM, so it’s really important for the regular Joe to have numbers to be able to determine what kind of opportunity a business may really be outside the requisite MLM hype. Now EN at least provides an income disclosure and links to it everywhere–many MLMs don’t do that. Visalus for example, doesn’t even produce one.

    • Ana Hoffman

      It’s my general experience with network marketing, Betty – it’s like constantly filling a leaking bucket.

  17. Abraham

    Ana,
    you are the reason why I cancelled my Empower Network membership. Thanks, I really needed to see a blog post, or someone on the internet talking it like it is.
    Tried the EN for a month, and the fact that you’re building a brand for someone else, and everyone doing the same thing, is just not good business principles in the first place. And, I didn’t really get into it as much because of that.

    Thanks. You saved me a few thousand bucks I was willing 100% to invest before reading this. THANKS!

  18. Morgan Fleur DeLys

    I’m a whole lot less concerned with your negative, outsider review of Empower as I am of the fact that you have 19,000+ subscribers and made less than $700 from your blog in October.

    Instead of spending a week studying Empower Network for negative stuff to say, spend a week learning how to give value to your list AND monetize it. They’re buying stuff, but clearly, they’re not buying it from you.

  19. “… I am even thinking of taking my shirt off for that one.” Yes, Goddess! Please and thank you!

    And thank you for this: “Design your site to guide your readers to your conversion goal.” How often I forget to do the things I know to do…

    That anti-Capitalism poster on page two of this post is way off.
    http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/en-pyramid.png

    It depicts a pyramid scheme, not capitalism. Pyramid schemes are set up by individual people; not by entire economic systems.

    I hope that you do not mind if I link to my own blog from yours. I am not trying to spam you, but my comment became rather long and is related to that poster, not the Empower Network scam. So, if you do not mind…

    http://www.davidpsmith.net/response-to-anti-capitalism-poster-at-traffic-generation-cafe

    • Ana Hoffman

      Wow, that poster touched a hot button with you, David. lol

      Of course, I didn’t come up with it, just used it in my post; whether I agree with it or not, is a different issue.

      • Thank you Ana. And I just want to reiterate that my post is not about you or your website; just about that poster. And I also realize that you did not create it ;) So, I hope that my post is not taken personally.

        I did hang around at Traffic Generation Café for awhile after posting and want to thank you for the top-of-the-line, straight-to-the-point information that you share. I am one that cannot sugar-coat things (and wouldn’t if I could) so believe me when I say, I appreciate your style.

        Thanks again and you’ve got a new subscriber —it is hard to get me to subscribe; I hate being on lists ;)

  20. Hello Ana,

    On a business social network where I am a member, some people wonder how is it possible to make money with the Empower Network. I had a brilliant idea: I posted the link to this article.

    I hope they enjoy reading it. :)

    Philippe

  21. great post Ana. I used the program for a while and got some good Google rankings and quality leads but I cancelled my account for now. I would much rather build my own website & domain vs somebody else’s website. Thanks for the value you bring!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Which one sounds more crazy?

      I got access to the products just to review them, Todd. Would’ve welcomed a nice surprise of actually learning something, but alas.

        • Ana Hoffman

          Everything I actually listened to I talked about in this post; I didn’t want to invest any more of my time to look for doubtful golden nuggets in the rest of the material.

  22. Alan

    Hi Ana,

    As a new and happy EN member your roast was not too discouraging. I have really enjoyed and learned a ton from EN’s Inner Circle. Prior to EN, I have had no exposure to blogging at all…daily blogging has forced me into daily learning and discovery (that is how I landed here).

    EN is just a platform and training portal, a great launching pad for anything you want to promote. I see you are using EN and several others to ride the coattails of mass traffic by ‘Roasting’ without having to pay anything. Ana, join the dark side…you will be glad you did :)

  23. Darlene May

    Hello Ana.
    I wish I had read your report on Empower Network before I joined.
    I paid my $25.00 (no refund) monthly entrance fee. Once your in, you can go no further until you commit to an additional $19.95 (no refund)per month. Of course, now I felt stuck because I wasn’t getting my $25.00 back, so I went ahead and paid the additional $19.95, only to find out that unless you commit to an additional $100.00 per month, you are not in the inner circle and you don’t get any marketing material.

    The fact that I’m trying to supplement my meager pension means that I don’t have $100.00 to begin with.

    I try to go ahead in the program anyway and in one of the first instruction videos, David Wood states that he won’t even talk to someone that’s not “all-in”. He said that if anyone tries to get ahold of him, that is not “all-in”, he won’t answer their question or even reply. So I passed on the whole scam and lost $39.95.

    • Ana Hoffman

      So sorry to hear that, Darlene!

      Cutting your losses is sometimes the best thing to do though.

  24. I get at least 3-4 emails per month from one of their affiliate stooges trying to prospect me thru my website as a partner. Since my site ranks well for “make money online free” I guess I am a prime candidate for their crappy system.

    I actually watched their whole 45 minute video. I think i nodded off 3 or 4 times. It is pretty much the absolute definition of empty promises, cheesy sales pitch and all Hype for a “get rich quick scheme”.

    Loved your post by the way. I cracked up a few times reading it.

  25. Hello Ana,

    I can’t stop myself to write a comment here. I have no words to write. What a wonderful review you write here. It deserves the first page of google for any “Empower Network” related searches.

    I was thinking to join this system. Thank God, you wrote this true experience with them. You save my money.

    Thank you vey much.

  26. Erm . . . that whole “if it sounds too good to be true” thing . . .

    Yah – I had never even heard of this, and I would have run screaming. Thanks for the heads-up on this one, Ana. I’ll have to share this post in a few places to get the word out.

  27. It’s one of those things isn’t it – even though you know with all of your being that it’s a scam, even though every ounce of you is screaming ‘run a mile’ you somehow want to believe it – then you don’t want to miss out on a piece of the action.

    Interesting stuff (but not for me ;-))

    it’s a great exposé Ana

    take care & very best wishes,
    Alan

    • Ana Hoffman

      I suppose we can’t help it but feel that we might be missing the boat if we don’t jump into it, Alan. Alas, that feeling often overtakes any sense of reason.

  28. Ana,

    Love the blog – really beautiful.

    Shame your not a fan of Empower Network you’d make a fortune with your following.

    Anyway if you’d like to set up your blog the same, teach people properly, and take your shirt off too… I’ll pay $25 month.

    Regards
    Richard

    • Ana Hoffman

      I just don’t think it’s fair to ride on the money train while knowing that most people I sell to won’t make a dime simply because they don’t have that kind of following, Richard.

  29. Every time I attend a webinar I would rarely finish the whole event. When I watched and listened to Empower Network webinar I was a bit surprised I was able to continue up to the last minute. It got me curious to what the whole system is about.

    I didn’t join though because I couldn’t afford the fees. Also, I have several doubts. But now, Ana, as usual you cleared it all up for me with your article about Empower Network. Thanks a lot, again!

  30. Hey Ana,
    Interesting article – particularly love the “almost 10″! Would definitely like to learn more about your affiliate page offer on the TGC though! : ) Have a great day!

  31. Lisa

    All of the above PLUS Empower Network steals their content from other writers!! I just HATE content thieves!! Sending DMCA, now let’s see if I can get Google to de-index them. I’ve done it before and may just have some fun doing it again! Ugh! Little scammers!

    :)

    I don’t stop by often, but I LOVE the new pic and header :)

  32. Carl Hays

    Ana,
    Do you have any good recommendations for building good sales funnels, as you noted above as being the one thing they did well?

    • Ana Hoffman

      The only good way to build a sales funnel is to do it yourself, Carl; no other way around it.

      Any kind of “system” you can buy into will give you something replicated and most of the ones I know of are not good at all.

      • Carl Hays

        Ana,
        I suppose I wasn’t clear about what I was asking. I meant that I’m in need of some training on the subject. I can generate traffic, but I don’t know too much about how to get them signing up once they are on my site.

        I’m going to install WP Subscribers plugin, and also get Tweet Adder, but I think it comes down to writing engaging content, as well as what to offer as a freebie for signups. I was looking at that Income Blogging Guide… seems like it might be what I need?

        • Ana Hoffman

          I see what you mean, Carl.

          Here’s what I’d do if I were you.

          1. Decide what it is you want to do. Real estate investing? EN? Something else?

          Dipping into a little bit of everything won’t work.

          2. Streamline your design to fit your new niche.

          3. Yes, I’d go for the Income Blogging Guide. I just double-checked it before getting back with you and it’ll definitely teach you how to set up sales funnels, how to find products to promote or create, etc.

          4. After you’ve gone through the course, THEN decide what kind of plugins/software you might need to accomplish your goals.

      • 100% agree. Systems suck. Systems are for people looking for the easy way. But the easy way is crowded with a million losers, and anyone getting on that path is just adding to the crowd of losers. The only way to win is to be A) different, B) original, and C) better.

        • Todd

          David you say systems suck, But I bet you have your own system that you use to get the results you want. So I guess your system sucks also. Oh and Ana has a nice system here I guess you think it sucks also.

          FYI Not all systems sucks, Most that say they do just do not understand, or take the time to use the system properly.

          Very nice post Ana on EN it’s nice to see the truth come out.

          • Ana Hoffman

            I think what David was saying is the fact that success is almost impossible to duplicate, Todd.

            And if it were possible to duplicate a successful system without molding and changing it to fit a specific business, then there would be too many people succeeding in doing the same thing and the market would get saturated too quickly, which would render the system obsolete.

            In the end, every business owner needs to create their OWN system for their OWN business – then and only then, they’ve got a shot at success.

  33. Carl Hays

    Hey Ana,
    This is a great post, and all of the commentary from others was insightful as well.

    I am in Empower Network, but am also very skilled when it comes to SEO. I’m still working on traffic generation and my writing skills, but I’m sure I’ll get it all figured out over time.

    Regarding Empower Network, I have mixed feelings. I see the value for someone who needs a launching pad, but anyone I sign-up I want to help them be more successful overall, and to diversify their options.

    The training I’ve received in Empower Network has been valuable and relevant, but it is true you need to make a sizable investment to receive the training, and the privilege to make commissions from it. However, I feel I would be selling people short if I didn’t fill in the blanks, as Larry Rivera explained, “I also think empower network goes from 6th grade to 12th grade.. It really doesn’t teach kindergarden to 5th grade. That’s where having a good sponsor and mentorship comes into play.”

    I’m very open with people who want to join my team about the reasons why they shouldn’t join, and that if they are serious, they’ll need to get comfortable with the idea of doing a lot more than what is suggested at the $25 level.

    The restraints you mentioned about not being able to customize your blog or utilize plugins is an ENORMOUSLY crippling factor, IMHO. So one of the first things I mention is that once they get comfortable with blogging, they’ll need to setup a second blog; one that they control. And then I help them figure out what plugins they need, as well as how to share their posts without spamming people to death (or at all).

    Suffice it to say, both sides of the coin have been presented here by you and your audience, and I would say it’s all been a fair assessment.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for your honest feedback, Carl.

      Yes, there are some benefits to EN; unfortunately, they are more focused on building a downline and making money while it’s still hot and not building up and training their members as they should.

      Glad to hear that you, and hopefully some other EN members, feel like they need to invest some time into their team rather then just take their money.

      Since you know a few things about SEO, what do you think about their SEO training?

      • Carl Hays

        Well, the top dogs in Empower Network were for the most part top dogs elsewhere beforehand, with some notable exceptions of people who started from virtually nothing and have had great success.

        So, in the 15k Formula, and the newly released Costa Rica Master’s Retreat, where they recorded a 3-day seminar they did this past August with people who paid $5000 to attend all had some solid, quality advice on traffic generation, as well as sales psychology, the power of intent, leveraging your wins to build more credibility, excellent tips on email marketing (especially from Daegan Smith, who seems to be a master story teller), the power of authenticity (that you’ll be much more successful by being yourself), video marketing, etc. I have 20 pages of notes just from that Costa Rica Masters Retreat, and all of the content was focused on building and branding yourself… definitely not entry-level material.

        One thing was really clear regarding their position on SEO, they were in touch with what works and that people should not be spamming… but entry-level people being who they are, with limited skill-sets, don’t know any better and tend to spam without realizing it, or knowing what they should be doing instead.

        I occasionally hear from other people who have joined and I truly feel sorry for their lack of awareness of what it takes to succeed. Yes, they could get all of the knowledge they need elsewhere, and a lot of it for free. However, most of them simply don’t know what they don’t know, so they don’t know how to find what they don’t know ;-)

        There comes a point where they either need to walk away from Empower Network early-on, or plunge into it completely (along with a hefty price tag). As their model is designed in a way that you can’t make commissions unless you own the product, you’re compelled to buy into it regardless of whether you need the training or not.

        In my case, I already know a lot, and have learned it quickly, but it took me working on it for six weeks straight, at an average of 14 hours per day to get up to speed and succeed at it.

        I’m now at a point where I’ve been able to write a blog post and get it ranked in the 2nd spot in Google Search results very quickly, from my PR1 blog that until two months ago was a blank slate.

        Granted, the posts I’ve written are niche-focused. For example, a new workout program was released October 1st and I wrote a post about it and now if you search for that product, my post is #2.

        A lot of people have grumbled about the Penguin/Panda updates, but I for one am happy for it. Ironically, my timing for becoming a real estate investor was similar to my timing for entering the Internet Marketing arena.

        I got into real estate investing at the lowest point of the housing crash, specifically because it made sense to get in when so many others were driven out of business and prices were at historic lows.

        It’s not exactly the same in Internet Marketing, but I would say that the similarity is that people now have to actually work to be successful in real estate investing, and the same is evidently becoming more of a reality in Internet Marketing as well.

        • Ana Hoffman

          Well, they are certainly not in touch with SEO now – spinning articles and submitting them to directories is definitely not the way to go.

          • Carl Hays

            In their earlier material, they advocated spinning, but to my knowledge, it never came up at all in the most recent Costa Rica Masters Retreat course. I think that a lot changed in that timeframe to affect their opinion, but I think they’re doing their team a disservice by not taking a stand against it. It needs to be reinforced weekly that people should not be spinning, nor spamming.

            I have a friend who has made 248k so far with Empower Network (yes, he started with a list of about 1000 people), and he’s doing it the right way.

            The fresh people (no lists) who are succeeding right now are all pretty much just writing posts that would appeal to their “audience” and doing some paid advertising, but no spamming or spinning.

            • Ana Hoffman

              Article spinning/mass submitting them to directories is what they are currently teaching in the $1K course as an “advanced SEO technique”.

              • Carl Hays

                I don’t know why, but my reply got posted as a new comment above. This one:

                ::::shaking my head::::

                They should definitely update that material, IMHO.

  34. Matthew

    With the limitations of choice listed down right at the top…you do put forth a clear proposition for bloggers like me to ponder upon. Good post, Ana! :)

  35. Hey Ana

    Just came across your site as I love Ryan Deiss products and had to read this entry…as I’ve just joined empower network late august.

    Love that you posted exactly what is in empower.

    I’ve had my own blog for over 3 yrs and haven’t made squat…I put it in the ‘website’ part just showing how ‘sucky’ it is lol (think my alexa ranking is like 18 million) I’ve just re-vamped it and quite honestly haven’t had the time to ‘pretty it up yet’

    I’ve bought a tonne of products online trying to ‘learn’ how to make money from my blog…but I have six kids…so time is a factor for me.

    I’ve made more money in empower in one mth than I have in 3 yrs on my own site, over $450 (and yup it’s recurring)

    What I love with empower and I’m pretty sure my followers will…is that I have used just two of their ‘techniques’ to make money from my list with homepartyplan…in fact, I made over a grand selling a few of my products to my list! yahoo

    I don’t even have these products up on my site yet…am working on that today!

    So, I’m just saying that ya they have stuff that you can probably get anywhere…but I love the fact that it is in a ‘follow this’ system. I haven’t even purchased the 1k product yet…but I’m definitely going to! (from the grand they helped me earn)

    Your post was very well written…thanks so much!

    Jody in Beautiful BC

  36. It’s their sales funnels that fascinated me too as they reallly got that part down right! And I almost got in when they first came out but after listening to some of their webinars, I saw it was all about the 25 a month then 1000 dollar more with no actual product being sold.

    Now it’s debatable whether they’re selling a true service or not because on one hand you can install your Wp blog for free as long as you have your own hosting account but on the other hand they provide the whole platform for someone who doesn’t want to get boggled down with any of the technical stuff..

    As for the training, I pretty much figured I could find that stuff out for free with a bit of serious research but again, it greatly attracts someone who doesn’t want to do any research..

    One of the things that keeps ppl paying the monthly is that no refund policy you pointed out as it makes them lose everything they’ve put into it if they quit paying..

    Though sometimes it’s just better to cut your losses altogether.

    There’s actually an interesting video where a Canadian marketer shows how mathematically flawed EN’s comp plan ends up working out. It’s like that capitalist infographic you showed only more in depth. Plus he shows how EN is actually illegal in Canada.

    Good review Ana!

    BTW,
    A few ideas for increasing TGC’s income are to promote affiliate products to your email list and not just posts and try find good aff products that have recurring income that you make commissions on every month from one sale. Plus don’t forget to come out with your own product and submit it to the affiliate networks allowing ppl to get instant commish ;)

  37. Russell stewart

    Ana, You made some valid points. My comment was not directed at your candid review, it was really about the plethora of comments that seem to judge anyone who tries to make a dollar.
    I am not, as mentioned in En; but for those that outlay their initial $45 to get started surely they can determine whether to move forward with all in’ as they say.
    At least En is helping people to get their feet wet, as it were. With so many 3000 dollar courses and training for sale online I don’t think EN is asking too much. Like most businesses, very few last forever but it is what we learn and apply through our experiences of winning and losing that really count.
    If En did go belly up tomorrow something will take its place. Zeek has gone and now Bidify flys the flag of corporate ethics and governance holding its head high getting 10ks worth of bids for an iPad, now that is a scam in my book
    Great article Ana and well researched!

  38. Ileane Smith suggested I read this…. Great post. I did one a while back named “why I left the empower network” My husband and business partner thought it would be a good idea, although I didn’t. After 3 weeks, my facebook went crazy, I tried to help some folks on the $25 level who didn’t know a hoot about marketing, oh on and on I can go.

    I have many friends that are still “all in” Empower but I SMH! To sum it up, its a mess. I even went to lengths to try helping some newbies to properly blog, but they are still spamming.

    Great post!
    Donna

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for coming by, Donna.

      It seems like we hear one too many stories of raking hundreds of thousands with EN, yet very few people dare to give EN thumbs down.

  39. Hi Ana,
    You are true to the core. No one on earth has started a scheme yet to benefit others. It is better newcomers study the schemes as you did before jumping into schemes.

  40. Ana – as ever, a very interesting read. I’m going to take your advice and look at the very specific CTAs the network has and use them on ours.

    EN is in the business of ‘selling the dream’ and sadly there are many people who want that dream and are willing to take a chance that EN is the vehicle to achieve that…..

  41. Carolan Ross

    A couple of my online friends had joined Empower Network and were beginning to approach me about it, smart ladies – both of them. I started looking for online reviews not composed by affiliates, which are very hard to find. So I was thrilled to discover this post today, found a link to this page over at the Warrior Forum.

    A year or so ago I reviewed a very similar company, one who also offers a free WP replicated website loaded with their choices of affiliates and only if you buy into the entire enchilada do you earn on all sales, even on your own site. The ‘free’ replicated site, the power line & pass up commissions, lures to ‘inner circle’ training at high prices, also a highly developed communication & education automated system for members, all the same as EN.

    It bothers me that such companies take advantage of newbies to the internet by impressing them with this ‘free’ website and impressive communication system, which to someone brand new looks pretty damn awesome. The newbies do not yet realize that a replicated website will never really be ‘theirs’ nor worth much in cyberspace. They’ll have to market their ass off to get traffic and most likely end up paying for ‘leads’ and such. A hidden agenda seems to be working quite well on those new to internet marketing, one that lacks integrity in my mind.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I wouldn’t mind it so much if EN taught people who to apply all this to build their own actual business, but they don’t.

      So EN members won’t in the end have any skills to do much of anything online to succeed. Hey, they don’t even know how to set up a blog. lol

      • Carolan Ross

        Exactly, that’s just it. I value networks who teach skills where ultimately the objective is to learn how to build YOUR OWN site. Instead the emphasis here is primarily about marketing, marketing for who?

  42. Whether it be Kikolani, Mavis Nong or Amy Starr Allen amystarrallen.com/how-to-create-viral-content-on-your-blog-without-seo
    They’re all just gurus trying to make money!
    Don’t y’all get it????

  43. The empower network seems to follow more of a MLM monetization model but restricted to only the first five levels of sales. Its surprising that there is no refund.

  44. Hi Ana I actually been online marketing around 2002 ish. I really did try all types of different business models..

    …And I really did spend over $100,000 in said time.

    I haven’t made super amounts of money that some of the other affiliates have made. That’s though because I don’t spam and I don’t like hype.

    I prefer taking a realistic approach to marketing.

    Making over $5000 in affiliate commissions in empower network in September was a real eye – opener for me. Especially because I have 5 yr daughter and 9 yr old daughter + wife + house etc and etc to support.

    I think empower network is worth every penny the price of admission because if you go through it with a fine comb you will see that the:

    – Attraction marketing principles are sound

    – The marketing methods are also sound as they are used by every marketer online in one way shape or another

    I really got the most value out of the costa rica the $500 package, it was actually that product that made me realize why I wasn’t making more money.

    The 15k for $1000 wasn’t new information for me, but then again I have yet actually learned anything earth shattering lately. It could be because I love to buy and I buy most things :) I also love to learn.

    As for the Inner Circle for $100 a month. I do like downloading and listening to the audios when I am on a bike ride or driving somewhere. It’s a great way to stay plugged into what other people are doing to build their business.

    I personally believe people are full of themselves, the reality is we all need to make money.

    We make it harder to make money because we like to justify what we do then we quantify what we do.

    Empower network allows you to earn the amount of money you actually deserve. Sure your branding someone else. But I don’t think my daughters mine that.

    What matters most to me about empower network is just this.

    If I was a total newbie online would I find value with the empower network products?

    The answer is a loud and clear YES!

    More money, more time, more freedom. I am not in the top 1% I am like the top 5%, not because of my list. Rather because I do solo ads, ezine ads, blogging on several blogs , I broad cast regularly hold weekly webinars and do training videos….

    I don’t spam ever…

    It’s okay that people don’t like us or find fault with what we do. It causes controversy.

    I will say that the only people who make money in empower network are the same people who would make money in any business opportunity and the people that don’t make money in empower network are the same people who never make money in any business opportunity.

    Success and failure is a personal matter and really the companies and products really don’t matter at all.

    Feel free to check my empower network blog, I write in it as much as I write in my other 12 blogs… Though a few of my blogs are autoblogs that have been autoblogs for 3 years and still indexed in google and they still get traffic and serve there purpose.

    I am actually a blogger because I love blogging I love connecting..The blogging community loves to pick on people.

    I have decided that there is a line to be drawn

    The fact of the matter is there are tens of thousands of people failing online in all types of programs selling all types of products. They are failing because the grasp to understand the basic principles of just making money in general.

    Then when things don’t work out for them it was because it’s that scheme that failed, or some other reason..

    I have decided that there is a line to be drawn I am only interested in helping people dig out of the their financial frustration using a quality internet network marketing training system that doesn’t pay tiny weenie commissions.

    My kids thank me for that…………. And yes I still love empower network and I all guns blazing… :)

    • Simon

      Hi Larry,

      Can I ask how long you’ve been with EN? Also, how many people you’ve introduced?

      Regards,
      Simon

      • I joined in novemember but didn’t start promoting really till march…

        Over 40 people I brought in I’d have to go back and look though just to be sure..

        Ironically, I marketed a ton of products/programs online, empower has been the 1 program where i have seen “other” people make money…

        I have 1 guy who joined barely speaks english, lost $4000 in 2 years and in his 3rd week in had a $1600 day.. Another guy who is totally internet clueless is making $500 a month.. etc… It’s just cool to actually see others actually earn something.

    • Harry Fassett - Snackhealthy

      We will see how long it lasts Larry. So I guess you are only 90K in the hole now is that it? :) Anyway, hope you get what you can out of EN, because the way things are going overall, it doesn’t look very good long term, i.e. another short term year or two gimmick to suck in as many of the least savvy and most gullible 55+ crowd that has the most money to burn usually.

      Besides, what happens (God forbid) if David Wood and his partner go off to the next world in a plane crash, or car crash or something like that? E.G. Like Cory Rudl did, and I he even invited me to his wedding, but I didn’t go, and he ended up in a high speed car crash about six months after his wedding and died.

      That’s the problem with a mom & pop operation as your main bread and butter so to speak, if they go away for whatever reason, there goes your business with them. Not to mention you have a sub-page basically off their main domain name, as shaky as that is too.

      If they were like say Day 1 Global Charity Company like I’m with, they are very well funded with millions, a Corp, and if the primary guys go away for some reason, the Company still exists, and it’s not affected by them leaving.

      Anyway, just some thoughts, because you can never rely on this type of business model for the long run in most cases, and I’m not talking about the MLM/Network Marketing model (that’s very proven over time), it is the management, their reputation online overall, not just with members, and with the Search Engines too.

      In other words, you have to look at all the acute angles, and vet the company thoroughly inside and out, and before you make the all important decision, ask this question like you would ask before you decide to get married for instance; “Do I want to be married to this person for the next 30 or 40 years or more?” In this case your business. If the answer is “NO” don’t do it.

      Last thought before I have to go. Many get into a affiliate, or MLM just for timings sake, and not looking long term, thus the 100% commissions thrown in everyone’s face 24/7 for the first six months or so until they run out of steam, and then you hear crickets like now for the most part.

      The “timing” strategy is well and good, but the short term thinking and way of marketing the bizop with the mindset of 100% commissions as the only real benefit is lethal for it long term. EN isn’t a stock, and shouldn’t be marketed as one.

      Not to say marketers shouldn’t give a sense of urgency, to bring new members on-board with their offers, but the only offer I saw over and over again was; 100%!!! We pay 100% COMMISSIONS!!! Hurry while it lasts!!!

      No wonder the FCC and other agencies jump on these kinds of things, because there is no real product being promoted for the most part even if there is one, as weak as it is overall with EN.

      Again, I have to go back to ZeekRewards paying 2% on bids made right off the bat (i.e. making money on money). They are not a bank, or a stock and that’s a very huge NO NO and red flag right out the gate.

      • Over the years buddy, I figured it out so I would say I am actually in the positive when it comes to investment vs profit..

        I have sold my own products, Sold other peoples products.. Gotten 400 leads a day, gotten 2000 leads a week… Spent thousands a month on advertising..

        Sold stuff that is no longer active.. Watched my downline of 5000+ people disappear over night.

        If David Wood Died today god forbid and empower network went belly up.. I’d figure out something new to market..

        Here is why?

        We are all internet marketers, those of us who have been around a long time like over a decade… Realize that the reality is there is no security.. But you can say that about the corporate world..

        ….Also

        I don’t care much for mlmers, or network marketing other than the fact that it offers residual income . To do affiliate marketing and have to constantly drum up new customers that you are just giving away to other product owners.. Sure you make some cash but ultimately you loose the customer (unless you are the product owner)

        Which in theory simple…. I challenge you though to find something somebody wants, then pay a good graphic designer, find yourself a reliable web developer/programmer.. Then when your done that find a handful of loyal customers who do some promoting for you… Then you will start to see the true nature of people.. The real ugly truth..

        Since 2007 I have made money off of everything I sold regardless of product,compensation,niche…

        My message is very very simple… Either be a real expert, put in your dues.. Learn what works… Or go get a job…. Jobs are for people who like to conform to the norm.. Business is for people who say screw the norm… :)

        (Interestingly, i didn’t make most of my empower network sales from my list… I made most of my sales from blogging and broadcasting, kinda like how i make my sales in everything..)

        I also haven’t spent much money on advertising since about 2010. I get so much better quality traffic for free……

    • Ana Hoffman

      I remember reading somewhere on EN website that EN is NOT an attraction marketing company, Larry.

      And I am not disputing the fact that the training does have some merit to it (minus spamming Facebook and Google and stealing other people’s content, of course).

      My point was that the training Davids provide for $1k can be summed up in one simple post – and I did that, for free. That’s where my blood starts boiling.

      My post wasn’t about success and failure; it was purely an analysis of EN claims and their training in particular. Just thought some folks might actually like to hear from someone who’s been around the block once or twice and isn’t necessarily singing praises to the company.

    • Ana Hoffman

      You mean this one? empowernetwork.com/income.php

      I don’t want to actually link to it; EN is not getting any SEO benefits from this review.

      • Carrie

        It wouldn’t matter if you did or not . Their Alexa rating is 215 and yours is 5900. That is one reason you are not making money blogging and they are. These peoples blogs get high google rankings because they are using the Empower name. Also the whole point of paying for the training programs is that when someone buys it from you, you get your money back. So if you sell it to 2 people you have made a profit. You are not losing money. If you are lazy and don’t blog or promote your business of coarse the money is gone. You need to work it. There are worse things people waste their money on than a little education and the opportunity to make their dreams a reality. I personally know alot of people making good residual income with Empower network. Also if you have not bought their products then you have no idea what is taught or disclosed in their training so you have no right to discredit it either.

        • Ana Hoffman

          Of course, my link won’t make or break their business, Carrie. What I meant was I don’t link out to potentially bad neighborhoods.

          Sooner or later, Google will slap them for their link building tactics and it might spread to everyone who links to them as a ripple effect.

          Have you actually read my post, Carrie?

          I went through their $1000 training step by step and posted my notes on 3 of the module. So I know exactly what they teach in their training.

  45. Thanks for the heads up! I am constantly amazed at what people will fall for and pay a hefty price for. People just get so desperate to make money they get caught up in all the hype these sites gush out. It’s very sad.
    I have told so many people about your site and others that have all this great FREE information on it. I had to learn about them the hard way myself and hope to save others from wasting their money.
    Great article Ana!

  46. I have connected with a few people on FB who are in EN and from the post these people write congratulating other members it seems like it is the members who have been in this business a few years and had the large list to market EN too are the one’s who have made the big bucks.
    The attraction seems to me to be that it is presented as an easy way to make money and many are not paying attention to that old technique. Maximum money for minimal efforts that only works for those who strick while the iron is hot and have a large network. That is also a lot of money monthly for a cookie cutter blog no what the training available. Thanks for the post Ana

  47. Venkatesh Iyer

    Thanks, Ana, for empowering me with some knowledge. In recent days, I have been very curious, indeed, about EN. Quoth the raven, nevermore.

  48. Russell stewart

    Although I am not in EN it amazes me how critical some comments can be. Many call it a scam etc yet I have yet to hear from people who claim they have lost anything
    I know guys that have lost hundreds of thousands on franchises, bad real estate advice etc yet David offers people a $25 deal and all the do gooders come out to save the poor unsuspecting public.

    Keep going David

    • Ana Hoffman

      Well, maybe next time I’ll write about a real estate fund going bad (like that never happened before!) and then the do-gooders can criticize that.

    • Harry Fassett - Snackhealthy

      Hey Russell, what do business deals going bad in other industries have to do with whether EN is a good deal or not? Obviously you just don’t “get it”, and you said, “Keep going David” like you are endorsing his $25.00 a month racket with outrageous upgrade packages (where the real money is made along with selling merchant accounts and getting a merchant acct resellers fee/percentage every month I’m sure) along with Numis Coins too I would gather since Mr. Wood is in the overpriced coin deal too from what it appears.

      It’s an extremely high percentage chance that most people are buying the 100% commissions “HYPE”, and the fast $$$ first, and the sub-blog pages bought are just a by-product because people believe in all the “HYPE” that they are going to get rich or make big money fast with 100% commissions, because that’s the initial “hook” and what it is really about and you know it Russell, not offering real value through blogging, and training for the money per say.

      As the saying goes, “A sucker is born every minute”, and I really think it applies here in more ways than one.

      I also noticed on a blog about Numis Network this comment, “Thanks for leaving a comment on my website…. What team are you on with Numis…. I’m direct to David Wood….Let’s connect on facebook….” so it appears that David Wood is in the “way overpriced coin deal” business too, so go figure, and it all makes sense to me now. :)

      Heck, David Wood is in Costa Rica, and I wonder if even that was preplanned and contrived too for back up bail out insurance so to speak, so if all goes south and belly up and he’s accused of ripping enough people off, then it will be tough sailing for the FCC to get to him, then again I could be wrong on that, because if the Fed really wants him, they will get him eventually.

      I heard this guy Ray Higdon say once (and I’m pretty sure I saw it on his blog too), “They bought the marketing, not the product…” and too a huge extent that is true in most cases, but the product should at least match the hype for the most part, but unfortunately in EmpowerNetwork’s case, it doesn’t excluding the “over priced coin deal” they hock too apparently. Selah…

      • Russell Stewart

        “Hey Russell, what do business deals going bad in other industries have to do with whether EN is a good deal or not?”

        Good points Harry. The point I was trying to make, somewhat unsuccessfully; was that a lot of focus nowadays seems to be directed at guys like Dave Wood, small entrepreneurs. The big guys out there seem in traditional business seem to just get away without getting noticed.

        There is a difference between persuasion and manipulation. For example the EN system seems to try to persuade people that they can earn big money IF they blog and follow the system.

        My X stockbroker manipulated me into thinking that I would get a great return on trading the ‘options’ he recommended. He showed me a ton of examples and even all his TV interviews. When all the money was gone he told me to develop a stronger risk tolerance to trading and to keep going. I thought I was pretty street smart but I was, in retrospect ‘manipulated.

        I may have it wrong but when I here about people investing $25 dollars with an option to spend more if they wish I can’t imagine where the big risk is. People do have a choice just as I did when handing over $20K+ to this fine upstanding broker, highly recommended and astute as you could get.

        We live and learn. I appreciate your comments though – I do see where you are coming from. Thank you for taking time to reply.

        Russ

  49. Hi Ana, great review. Empower network looks for me like “financial pyramid scheme” and I was wonder, why it’s so popular. I see there even very experienced bloggers, and it’s also very sad for me…
    Once more thanks for sharing it with us, maybe your voice will be heard ;)
    Chris

  50. Hey Ana – awesome post!!
    Now I know you are getting upset by this but it’s no reason to lose your shirt ;)
    LOL reminds of …. ME! hehehee.
    I love the sarcastic tone throughout the post – something that only an experienced blogger(writer) can pull off.

    As for the ‘guru’ schemes you are referring to here – I have decided that next time an offer like this comes along I am going to give my money to a random passer by – kiss it goodbye and well, just cut out the middle man really.
    Strait forward…. definitely! (Just not STRAIGHT FORWARD)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Alex – of all people, I knew you’d get it (and glad you showed up for the party).

      Did you hear: my sarcasm got me banned from Warrior Forum; I bet they thought I was serious about starting my own pyramid with selling TGC sub-pages!

      • I know you’re not joking but I still feel the need to say it anyway
        Are you kidding?!
        That’s Hilarious – I give them 3 months tops before they realise who you are and randomly rerevoke (It’s a word – I just decided) your access.

  51. Great insight Ana…I think they launched a new product today. It is only $3,000. hmm? I don’t see how the model is sustainable long term. I don’t feel that it is in the same category as network marketing. Maybe some will actually get their moneys worth of training.

  52. Love him or hate him, David Wood is an extremely intelligent businessman! I know he resides in Costa Rica but I’m not sure where his citizenship is. I decided not join EN because of the funny math involved in it. 100%=50% … or less. The <1% making real money is pretty typical in the MLM world. It's a business like any other business. It takes the ability to run a business to be successful in it. Most people who join an MLM have no idea how to run a business. So it is no wonder that most people can't make money. If you don't know how to run a business then you need to find someone to show you how to. If you can't find someone to help you and lead the way, you probably shouldn't be in business and probably won't be for very long.

    But Ana, tell us how you really feel about EN and this time don't sugar coat it!

    • Ana Hoffman

      lol, Richard – I did feel like I held back a bit.

      When I first started online, in Ameriplan, I was sold into the idea that someone else is responsible for helping me to reach my dream. I think it’s very typical, and that’s how most MLM companies present their opportunities.

      “You don’t have to have an experience… Come as you are… We’ll teach you everything you need to know to become rich”.

      That kind of thinking takes the burden of feeling responsible for our failures off our shoulders. That way, we can blame the company, the product, the system, etc.

      I don’t think anyone can truly succeed in any kind of business without taking charge of their own business plan and doing the same thing that thousands of other people online are doing is not going to cut it.

      Yes, David is brilliant. Or lucky. Either way, he built something that most of us can only dream of. Good for him.

      • Harry Fassett - Snackhealthy

        He’s in Costa Rica, so if the whole thing blows up, and he has the FCC on him, they probably won’t be able to touch him in Costa Rica, so good long term strategy for him for sure. :)

  53. Ana, when I first started reading this, I thought you were serious, ha, like you were going to be giving people some kind of package deal. Bottom line though Ana, you’re busting your ass and not making a killing. You get lot’s of traffic, in hopes of selling some keyword tools, blogging tools, etc.

    It’s so many peoples dream to get online and make a fortune. The truth is that if you don’t really have a unique or valuable product or service to sell, that is your own, you won’t make it. Maybe a little here and there, but otherwise you spending tons of time for little return.

    Now MLM is not bad, it’s actually one of the best business models out there. But, the product has to be good, the company had to be stable, and no ‘get rich quick’ schemes. Even with MLM, it takes work and dedication, and a belief in the product you are representing.

    So many people think that they can start a blog, put up some ads, and that soon they will be on easy street. Well, it just doesn’t work that way, and you know it.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Why, you want to buy a sub-page from me, Tom? ;)

      You are right, the income model I’ve chosen (affiliate marketing) is one of the most difficult ones.

      However, it’s the one I enjoy the most. I’ve build a decent consulting business with TGC, but stopped doing it because I simply didn’t like it. I am willing to work harder to get to my goals by doing what I actually enjoy.

      And in theory, I do agree that MLM could be great IF the product is solid and you don’t have to lie to people to sell it.

      So far I’ve been in two MLM companies and both products failed to meet my “value” criteria.

      Maybe I should start my own… that’s the best way to make sure it’s done right. lol

  54. Dave Friant

    Hey Ana,
    I really do enjoy visiting your blog from time to time as well as being on your list. This time around though I can’t really agree with you.

    I got into EN originally for the back link and to just add another blog to my network. The training inside is quite good. Especially in the one time cost products. I’ve been getting mentored for the past year from a veteran blogger who claims he’s spent 10’s of thousands of dollars to learn those lessons that are provided for $1600 bucks. He’s actually the one who turned me onto your blog.

    Larry Rivera and his blog Profit on Knowledge, I don’t know if you are familiar with him or not.

    I can’t speak for every one but I’m actually making a little money from EN $550/month and growing.
    By the way David Wood doesn’t get any air time on my blog either for reasons mentioned above, because yes it’s a prick move. Though David doesn’t do it personally. I’m sure it’s his SEO guy, but he might do it anyway. Don’t know, don’t care. No soup for him. It’ll hurt him in the long run or at least would if he wasn’t already making millions.

    There are few inaccuracies in your post though.
    1st- Though it’s true you can’t add plug ins on the blog there are a few running in the back ground.
    2nd- The blog is customizable even if it’s a little limited. You can change the header image not the header though. You can change the back ground. You can change up the pages and menus.
    3rd- No each of the core commitment is not a up sell. We keep them somewhere else. Thanks you very much:)

    Look appreciate your point of view, but I think for some people just getting started and looking for a way make money online need something like Empower Network. It isn’t for everyone. To be honest with you I find that the blogging community can be a bit snobby.
    I love when people tell you there is right way and wrong way, but only those two ways of doing things. I like to be a little more broad minded. If you don’t like something don’t buy it.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Which part do you find is worth $1,600, Dave – the “create entertaining content” part, or “hit this button to publish a post” part, or spam the heck out of Facebook and Google part?

      Glad to hear you learned a lot.

      Hope that knowledge will help you with your business backup plan.

  55. I have to agree with most of the others who have placed comments here. MLM is a scam. Most people join these networks not to sell a product other than the MLM program itself. Of course most of the MLM people do not succeed.

    I run three blogs off of Hostgator. My cost is $100 for hosting and $35 for domain name. These blogs don’t make much, but $20 a month per blog more than pays for itself.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Up until a week ago, I ran TGC off a $10 shared account, Stan – running your own blog is definitely a bargain compared to doing it with EN.

  56. Funny, Anna.

    I just Tweeted this not 10 minutes ago-

    From @FranchiseKing

    The”Empower Network” people are starting to get on my nerves. MLM crap? (No, Joel. It’s “Network Marketing. Way different.) #riiight

    Enough said.

    We are the same page…today, huh?

    The Franchise King®

  57. Hi Ana,
    Very informative post and an interesting comments thread as well. I love that you hooked a fat ‘lying’ fish on your line. If David was so confident about his product I’m sure he wouldn’t come running over to defend himself. He must be afraid of something eh? Maybe he’s afraid of the “nice girl” he invited to return anytime to his huckster website. I guess he didn’t realize that there is an intelligent woman running the TGC. Great job!

  58. I pray that all bloggers join the scheme!
    The more of you that do, the higher my blog rises and the more credibility I have!
    PLEASE join the scheme!

        • Ana Hoffman

          What’s the fun in that, Dave? ;)

          Saw the post.

          By the way, you are brilliantly using Visibli for external links; do you do it manually? I can’t believe I haven’t thought of doing it myself…

          • Funny you should ask — there’s a long story behind that — for now, I will say that a friend wrote a little piece of code that I added to the hidden blog*spot template code that automates the process. It and LinkWithin combined are really delivering the “hits” like my little blog hasn’t seen in some time!

            And Ana, don’t let this go to your head, but I LOVE YOUR BLOG! You always drive me to think and write and post!

            • Ana Hoffman

              Too late, Dave:

              all I heard was “blah-blah-blah – I LOVE YOUR BLOG!”

              Hidden script, huh? I like it!

  59. Anonymous

    Thank you David & David and Empower Network! Because of Empower Network me and my team has made 1000s of dollars in the past 10 months.

    I have been a reader of this blog for several months and have gained so much of FREE information from Ana’s writings. It is really unfortunate that this blog owner could not make a dime out of Empower Network. But I really hope this post will.

    Over the past several days I have been coming back to this particular post and was in a dilemma if I should post a comment. Now I think I should. I am not directly an Empower Network member, but I have worked with several Empower Network affiliates and still working with more than two. Two of my clients decent top earners in Empower Network.

    I saw some YouTube Videos and some pictures of David Wood in San Diego with a check for $464,913.00 in the name of David Wood & David Sharpe dated September 20, 2012. I also saw many other top earners from Empower Network holding the same kind of check but none of those checks were as fat as David Wood’s. Lawrence Tam, the all time top earner of Empower Network had to satisfy with a check of $123,010.00.

    My question is why did the “All Time Top Earner” of Empower Network got only a check for 100k? while the Guru slayers got a check worth 400k?

    Well, it’s all planned. It’s not a coincident. Before the program was launched both the Davids handpicked the best internet marketers and placed directly under them. They only picked the best and gave them a sweet deal. These marketers didn’t mind passing up the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and every 5th one.

    Although they both claims that we are making the money as a normal affiliate like anyone else, not a single affiliate in Empower Network will make a fat check as David Wood and David Sharp.

    Empower Network Training

    Empower Network sells training materials from $100 a month up to $3,500 one time!!! Those training materials are totally worth $0. People in the right mind would ever by those stuff when 200% much better training materials are available for free on the internet.

    All these training materials are not training but instead sales pages pages for why you should buy the next level training to be successful. For example if you listen to an audio training in the Empower Network Inner Circle you will find it out. The audios are 2-3 hours long. Out of a 2 hours audio, what they really give you on the topic is for 5-10 minutes and rest of the time you would be forced to listen to the same repeated “Van man story and the Florida construction worker story”. Yes, you will be listening to the same repeated story of the van man and the construction worker. Why would anyone pay 1000s of dollars to listen to that story?

    I short, Empower Network training materials 99% BS and you pay your hard earned money when you can get better stuff for free.

    Google PR5

    When Empower Network came out last year, one of the selling point was the Google PR5. Having “your own Blog” in a PR5 domain. First of all, people with the right mind will not start a business on someone else domain. It’s like building your dream home in your neighbor’s land. Now take a look at the Page Rank of Empower Network. Wow its PR3 now and PR0 is the Best! Like Alexa ranking. I am sure you guys will reach PR0 pretty soon and sooner than that will be wiped out from the face of Google.

    If any of you are reading this comment are from Empower Network, me and my team provides marketing support. We have seen several members selling the dreams of Empower Network. I am guilty for promoting this unethical business. My best advice to you, if you have already invested your time and money, please come out of it. Stop selling someone else. There are no shortcuts in Internet.

    The people who are selling you Empower Network are not using the Empower network blog. They are selling you something that they don’t use. They are selling you Empower Network by using own domain names. The top earners know better not to invest money and not to blog in the actual Empower Network Blog. They blog about the benefits of Empower Network Blog from their personal blog or from the domain they own. They get ranked for the keyword Empower network for their own domain. They are asking you to blog everyday in your Empower Network blog while some of the top income earners’ Empower Network blog sub-page is never used for blogging.

    Empower Network Blog is not about Blogging. It’s about how you shouldn’t Blog.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Quite a “love letter”, I must say.

      For those who are reading this comment: I published the “Anonymous” comment because I’ve previously spoken to this reader and heard his concerns about the future of his business if he openly speaks up.

      Understandably.

      I, too, am facing some consequences since publishing this post; not even talking about my blood pressure going through the roof, steam coming out of my ears, and my wine fridge looking empty.

  60. Simon

    Hi Ana,

    Now I am NOT a member of EN, but many years ago tried many a MLM, so I can smell them a mile off…

    But, so far with my EN research so good. I’ve never seen any MLM pay 91% commission and certainly never come across one where you could become a cash millionaire with just 217 people!

    The norm with any MLM to reach that level was upwards of 50,000 people required…

    Research continues…!

    Simon

    • Ana Hoffman

      There are certainly many claims, Simon, but their disclaimer page speaks loud and clear: <1% earns real income from it (by “real” I mean simply earning more than they spend).

  61. Kyle Quinlan

    Awesome blog post. I looked into EN and the compensation plan seemed to complicated, and David Wood seems a little too sneaky for me to trust haha.

    I just joined Network Marketing VT which is kind of similar in the sense that it pays out 100% commissions, but the compensations plan is much less complicated. It seems pretty fair to me and I really trust and respect the people behind it. I would be curious to get you opinion on it Ana… Maybe a future blog post.

    Take Care,
    Kyle

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am usually not a big fan of network marketing whatever the company, Kyle. Most of them work of a pyramid mentality – the top earns, the bottom works.

      The only reason I did this review is because I got one too many recruiting emails from people who I thought had their head on straight, but I was wrong.

      • Hi Ana
        (I am already on your mailing list, but this is the first time I comment)
        I also thought you were serious at first — thanks for the DETAILED defrocking of a new-fangled version of the old pyramid scheme. I am old enough to have seen a pyramid scheme happen in RL — not pretty and one friend ended up with a stranger on his doorstep wielding an axe and demanding his $500 entry fee back!
        Get rich quick schemes never die — they just reappear wearing Costa Rican silk suits.

        • Ana Hoffman

          Thanks for trusting me with your email address, Holly, and thanks for the comment.

          I think my sense of humor takes a bit of time to get used to. lol

  62. I was introduced to this scheme several months back by a blogger whose list I’d been on for years.

    One look at the ridiculous claims EN was making and the fact that they were less than upfront (!) about what they were actually selling screamed pyramid to me.

    After that I unsubscribed from that person’s list and stopped following her on Twitter. She had lost all credibility in my eyes by being associated with such a thing.

    Anytime someone won’t tell you straight up what they’re selling, while offering to make all your wildest financial dreams come true without requiring any effort or intelligence, you know it’s time to click the “close” box.

  63. Hello Ana,
    I remember when EN was just starting out. You had to commit to ‘all in’ at each level. Of course the price starts out low and then keeps going up for each level you were ‘sold’.

    I have a solid business model now and do not need to go out promoting someone else’s business or product. I have plenty to do and will keep myself and a Virtual Assistant busy for many hours each week just developing my autoresponder and six domains.

    I do see a time when I will want to advertise on TGC.

  64. Haroun Kola

    I’ve come across EN often, but never felt the urge to sign up. There’ll always be suckers, and its just a pity that such horrid ideas get traction, but a blog like yours, with valuable and engaging audience struggles for income…

      • I worked doing Tech reviews for 7 years before on different media blogs. The worst thing anyone could do is to praise a product that didn’t cut it.
        Honest reviews is what made us one of the biggest sources for tech/computer related. This way you create an authority and sometimes medias can be more powerful than the own brands. That’s when you know you’ve made it, finally!

  65. I will never forget what Sonia Simone (of Copyblogger) said once when she was asked how to make money blogging, “Blogs don’t make money – businesses do.”

    This EN is not a business. It is a bunch of people playing copycat.

  66. Hi Ana,

    Great insight into EN. I have been getting lots of emails from folks promoting EN and I too checked it out.

    No thanks, MLM is a real money pit. You throw in the money and someone else (above you collects).

    Interesting point, I have started using solo ads to help my list building.
    The solo ad places will NOT accept any ads from EN.

    Wonder why?

    Thanks,
    Ray

    • Ana Hoffman

      Is it amazing that many sites are starting to ban EN, yet David Wood stands behind his “valuable training”?

      So if you want to be banned by networks, by all means, use the training David provides! lol

  67. Great post.
    I knew about this from the beginning.
    David Wood is smooth.
    It is just a money scheme.
    I hope he and the others hide their money good.
    Facebook shut them down.
    As they grow the money scheme has to grow. New higher products to
    feed those at the top.
    Watch out..The IRS and other governments will come knocking soon. Especially when all that money is being paid out and they not getting their share. There have been similar things over the years and they get shut down by the Feds.
    I have standards not to lie. Most wont make money..Just the people at the top of the pyrmamid….and they get a cut of the payment processor also. David and his partner making a killing but they better hide it , the IRS is coming.

  68. “I am even thinking of taking my shirt of for that one”. Typo in there Ana … but still, keep doing it your way, despite the hard slog. These guys are a joke, except for the people who joined, in which case, these guys are thieves.

      • Hi Ana – yes it is a new site. I have had a weird year – ill for the first 6 months and came out of that wanting to get on with some ideas I’d had for a while. That was one of them.

        • Ana Hoffman

          Good for you, Liz – making lemons into lemonade.

          Sorry to hear you weren’t doing well, but sounds like you are much better now.

  69. Thats why I never join these type of schemes. Seems too much like Amway but online. The only people making any money are those on the top or who have suffered I mean stuck with the program for any amount of time.

    I’ll stick to basic affiliate marketing and adsense and take my pennies and my sanity with me :-)

  70. If its too good to be true, it usually is. I had a client who was invited to join and pressured by a few good friends, the only thing I could say to her was why build your audience on someone else’s platform, then I found a link to Google pulling the rug from various blogging networks… then she listened.

    I’ve never truly got why people do the mlm stuff, maybe it’s because I’m a sarcastic Brit who never believes any hype she reads.

    Off to share this so you rank for this, so people can make an educated decision on whether to join or not.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think most people who are buying into it simply don’t know any better. They are newbies to the internet marketing, wanting to make some extra cash, but not knowing how to approach it.

      And here’s EN, on a white horse and all, to take your money and save the day.

      Thanks for sharing!

  71. Brian

    Thanks for the post Ana,

    I get emails from these guys all the time and never really took anytime to look in to them, so thanks for doing the leg work for the rest of us! With this theory we could setup the whole Interweb on one domain.

  72. Thank you so much Ana for taking the time to research and write this post. You have echoed my intuition which was not to join EN. I know a number of people, whom I hold in very high regard, who have joined EN and I kept thinking I must be missing something. But after reading your post, I’m glad I have not wasted any time or money on this.

    As other people have commented, Dave Wood certainly knows how to self promote and that is clearly the essence of his undeniable success. I admire him for that, but it’s a shame that it seems to be at the expense of others.
    Louise

    • Ana Hoffman

      No one likes to admit defeat, Louise.

      Most ENers would never admit that the business hasn’t been very good to them; they still cling to the hope that if they persevere and talk to enough people, they too will start making millions by selling a free product.

  73. Hi Ana. Loved the post. I’ve got a lot of emails about the Empower Network; and seen some of David Wood’s videos.

    I have to admit I’ve been intrigued by it, but I didn’t join.

    I think you summed up my subconscious, and some conscious, thoughts about it in this article.

    I think you’re the first person I’ve learned anything about the Empower Network from, who wasn’t promoting it.

    Thanks Ana.

    • Ana Hoffman

      It’s so easy for any of us to buy into the idea of finally fulfilling our dreams, Sye; yet buying into it and actually achieving it are two huge differences.

      99% of ENers get nowhere with it.

      • Blake

        That isn’t what the Earnings Disclosure says. I don’t understand the hating but each to their own. I’m a web designer by the way and don’t see any problem with it! I do sense a little jealousy that you have to do it the hard way though. Lol. There actually seems to be a bit of misinformation here. For example if you are a US citizen you must supply them with your tax details…

        Each to their own and I genuinely wish you all success with your endeavours :)

        • Ana Hoffman

          Not quite sure what the debate is about, Blake – it’s an IMAGE and it’s exactly what it says.

          I guess you don’t have to read to be a web designer… Oh, yes, jealousy; you got me!

  74. WOW
    I was just looking at this network the other day as it has a sneaky script that links out to sites that is hidden on its page.. I know because I keep getting trackbacks from them… Luckily I check out all the sites I accept trackbacks from. But I could not see the links anywhere, until I moused over a tiny link…and bang they appeared!

    If they are so big and great why do they need to do stuff like that to get backlinks? I was puzzled to say the least. :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      That was my first annoyance with them, Mitz – getting those trackbacks from David Wood.

      I contacted him several times to let him know I didn’t appreciate digging through his spam, but never got an answer…

      • Gee whiz Ana and Mitz! I was going to mention those trackbacks to Andy because I thought I did something wrong in my GASP settings. Then I thought to myself – No that can’t be the problem.
        But I never bothered to figure out what was going on. Now I feel like I should have said something!

        What kind of reputation is this David Wood trying to build? Do you think they kidnapped him and stuck an impostor in his place……nahhh!

      • I’ve been getting those freaking trackbacks too. It’s pretty ridiculous.

        I read this entire post with such joy. I hate the empower network. And this whole “100% commissions” is just a flat out lie. Isn’t that false advertising?

        Maybe that’s why they are stationed in Costa Rica, or wherever they claim they are from.

        I do appreciate the guys ability to build a huge business so fast. But I’m sure he could have come up with a different, and truthful, angle to sell people.

        And if you’re charging people that much money, why not teach them REAL marketing advice that isn’t shady and won’t get you banned.

        It just makes no sense to me.

        • Blake

          How is the 100% commissions a lie? As fas as I can see it does pay 100% commissions on all of its products There is the powerline commission structure when some of the sales pass up to your sponsor, but it is still far more lucrative than traditional MLM and it is not actually a pyramid as the 100% commissions stop at the person who receives them (it is not a pyramid where most of the percentage of the commission trickles to the top).

          Take care :)

          • Ana Hoffman

            I wasn’t a math major, but I can still tell that passing up three sales out of first six would equal to 50% commission, Blake. Since most people in EN don’t even sell that much, you do the math.

            Also, did you see that bit where David Wood talked about affiliate cookies in his comment below?

            In a nutshell, unless your referral signs up on the spot, the sale will go to someone else, most likely David or someone else at the top, unless your referral ends up clicking on another member’s referral link of course.

            Since the referral cookies changed about 5 times in a course of a week research for this post, I’d guess that the affiliate cookie lasts about 24 hours. Again, that’s a guess, but I think I might be close.

            Most people in EN have no idea what an affiliate cookie is, of course, let alone understand why they are loosing sales as a result.

          • Ana Hoffman

            Another thought for you, Blake: EN is quite popular now and many people check it out by simply typing “empower network” into their browsers.

            Guess who gets those leads and sales?

        • Ana Hoffman

          Real marketing training takes too much time and effort to put together and creates competition, Eugene, and who wants that, right?

          Good to see you around!

  75. Harry Fassett - Snackhealthy

    Where Visitors Go on Empowernetwork.com

    Subdomain

    Percent of Visitors

    empowernetwork.com

    95.97%

    coaching.empowernetwork.com

    5.09%

    wallet.empowernetwork.com

    4.98%

    support.empowernetwork.com

    4.77%
    More

    Audience Snapshot
    Top Search Queries for Empowernetwork.com

    Based on internet averages, empowernetwork.com is visited more frequently by users who are in the age range 55-64, received some college education and browse this site from home.
    Get complete site demographics.
    Query Percent of Search Traffic
    1 empower network 23.84%
    2 empowernetwork.com 1.24%
    3 empower network login 0.85%
    4 bob wick empower 0.81%
    5 bidify 0.62%
    6 empowernetwork 0.62%
    7 empowernetwork.com/scheva 0.59%

    Telling; #7
    Lets see, I want a guy with his shirt off at the top of my blog? NOT! Very HOT girl? YES! :)

  76. Chris Paulus

    The first MLM i ever joined was Excel long Distance.. Remember that one?

    I paid (if i remember correctly) a couple hundred dollars to start and earned like 2 0R 3 % on sales. The product was competitively priced. Used by most everyone. Most never even made the initial investment back.

    MLM historically feeds only a few.

    I have joined EN and I applaud a company that is trying a 100% commission product. What will the future hold? Who knows..

    I do know this… I have never heard a top income earner in any business apologize to the masses at the bottom who made very little and i don’t expect them to. If there were a perfect system that made everyone that followed the instructions rich there would still be plenty of people who would just be too lazy to follow the instructions.

    I never blogged a day in my life until EN but with or without EN I will blog and learn and learn and blog. I for one am getting what I want.

    Thank you for a great thread !

    • Ana Hoffman

      Glad to hear you got the bests out of it, Chris; who knows, maybe EN will end up steering you towards a brilliant blogging career. Wish you all the best.

  77. Hi Ana! This blog is becoming one that I am going to read on a weekly basis (at least!). This is another example of a post that many new aspiring, and some of the older folks, need to take a look at and echos what I have been telling many of my own students and associates where EN is concerned for quite some time. I like David Wood – What a brilliant self-promoter – but c’mon I don’t have time to work on my own brand and his too!

    I also would like give you a big THANK YOU for listing the other blogs that you suggested in this post and will probably check those sites out on a weekly basis as well.

      • Jacque T. Morris

        One thing I have learned in this industry is never bash another company, product or its people. If something is not for you then it simply is not for you.

        How many major multi-billion dollar company’s could we loop into this same category. Being a professional blogger, sales person, business owner etc, etc does not include reporting negatively on others and trying to throw a dark cloud over them.

        I have thoroughly enjoyed your content Ana, but of course as with all things you have the opportunity to voice your opinion. It seems to me though that you have taken the low “road” on this one and I’m very surprised because I always felt that you kept to a higher standard.

        Empower Network is a business and most businesses I know of are looking to make a profit. At the same time a person can generate a lot more income with far less people in the Empower Network versus a traditional MLM or direct sales company.

        Most company provides their reps the opportunity to create their own incomes, however at the end of the day the things that separates us all is will, desire and the commitment to be successful.

        People said and still say to this very day Amway is a Scam….well I hate to inform them that Amway is the #1 MLM company in the world with Billions in revenue each year. I could go on and on about other company’s.

        Everyone is out here be it online or offline competing for the same dollar. If your value is in helping people in a particular way then stay true to that in life. Most of us have a hard enough time worrying about ourselves, but still we valiantly try to worry unduly about others. Life is too short for that…..

        People already have a stigma about the home business/ internet marketing industry and one of those reasons is because people out of jealously, fear, spite or just down right hate put out negative reports and seek to destroy the reputations, names and images of others.

        In life we all have to be true to ourselves and our core values because when the money is gone, the internet is no more and all this glorious stuff disappears…..what’s left on the inside….who are you really….indeed what are your Core VALUES?

        Who are You because I know Who I Am? (Rhetorical Question)

        • Ana Hoffman

          Interesting point, Jacque.

          So you’d prefer for me to only post positive reviews of products/services I use and keep the negative ones hush-hush? Let my readers spend their money to find out for themselves whether it was worth it?

          I am sorry, but that’s not my idea of building trust with my readers.

          I am pretty sure most of them would expect me to be upfront and honest about EVERYTHING, not just the good things.

          • Yes I agree it just has to said. If we all speak up the world will be a better place.

            The Internet is an open place, so behave well and people will only say good things about you. :) It is just that simple.

  78. Ana,

    This is an amazing, super-detailed review. Thank you (not because I thought about joining EN, ’cause I never would), because its apparent how much work you put into R&D for this post.

    I don’t knock or judge anything people choose to do to feed their family. Personally, I can’t get with EN. It’s not my style and it comes across as shady. I know I’m speaking on it with out having tried it but its what my intuition tells me and I’ll always trust that.

    After reading your review, I see that my intuition led me in the right direction as usual. So thanks for the reassurance and confirmation of my thoughts/feelings.

    – Dewane

    • Ana Hoffman

      It certainly is an ethical dilemma for many of us, Dewane: do we stand by our morals and knowing what the right thing to do or feed our family?

      I must confess, it wasn’t an easy decision for me to turn down paid advertising and write this review instead.

      However, if we are willing to sacrifice our ethics for a paycheck, what does that make us?

      • Integrity is everything. It’s the foundation of a successful business with longevity.

        The moment to compromise that, is the moment everything begins to crumble. While I know it was difficult, it’s no doubt in my mind that you did the right thing…

  79. Ana, I love your insight and sparky reviews. I hadn’t heard of EN, but glad I did. BUT your images are to die for. I don’t know if you’ve shared your sources, or if you care to, but if you did – I would buy that information. Or you could give it away and give me one more reason to rave about TGC and Ana Hoffman. ;>

    • Ana Hoffman

      No secrets for sale here, Kater. lol

      I happen to be a big fan of fashion photography and “collect” my favorites, which I later use for my posts – with proper attribution, of course.

  80. Colin

    Hi Anna

    Nice honest post!

    Usually when you ask Empower Network for a refund all your support enquiries are ignored LOL.

    Also where do I rate your post? I see in the search engines it has 1 start rating probably from the Empower Network massive!

    Let me know so I can rate this post 5 stars!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Hi, Colin:

      The rating actually comes from me and that’s the rating I gave to the company.

      I appreciate you giving me thumbs up!

  81. Excellent write-up, thanks, Ana. I’ve always thought the site seemed too good to be true (if not downright shady at times) and your review confirms that I was right to stay far away from it.

  82. Ruan

    Gosh Ana, if ever I doubted having a guardian angel it just flew (I mean in the last 30-45mins reading the post and EVERY single comment before me) out the window!

    I just realized why I never took the step of getting in when I had (many MANY) chance. I have a very dear friend, actually the guy who wrote me the foreword for my book, who is also part of the EN-thing? I do trust his judgement in most things and I know for certain that he makes a good amount of money each and every month on EN.

    BUT…I can believe he is in that <1% making it in EN. Firstly, he got in early, since they started. Secondly, he's name is also Dave, think it might help him a little? ;)

    Since I trust his judgement as a good friend, it took a guardian angel like you to keep me from joining. Now I am not a person looking at the bad or negative things in life and I tend to see only the good in people. I also learnt that life sometimes shows you the bad and the ugly to keep you living in the good.

    I won't join EN. Not that I have anything against anyone personally in EN or anything against the system (I haven't had first-hand experience) but because I am currently busy doing something I know I have worked for and I will always be able to go to bed at night knowing exactly where my income comes from. Besides, we love what we do, right?

    Ana, the Angel-Queen Of Traffic Generation…

    Love it!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Making it big with this kind of “opportunity” requires 2 things, Ruan:

      1. Getting in early.
      2. Being able to sleep well at night knowing that most people in your pyramid will never make a dime.

  83. Spot On Ana…. Awesome! :)

    I tried Empower Network too. I got the $25 blogging system and the $100 monthly inner program, and as soon as i got in and went through them, there was just one thing that got in my mind…
    “Why the hell did I spent $125 for this absolute crap?!? …(and Thank God I didn’t bought the $1000 BS..)” ;)

    Most of the training they provide is available for free in the net. There are many awesome blogs like yours, Kim Roach’s Buzz Blogger, Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income, Josh Spaulding’s Ethical IM dot com, Matt Carter’s Marketing Blog or the blog’s by David Risley, Yaro Starak or Darren Rowse, who have got much more awesome value for free in there.
    I have seen also many internet marketing coaching membership programs with just $29 monthly charge that provide 1000 times more value than EN $100 crap.
    All EN does is give their members with some “high-pitched swipe emails files” that they say to blast all over the net.
    That’s the reason why they got blocked off Facebook! :)

    The only thing I admire is David Wood’s marketing mind. He IS a brilliant man who knows how to market for sure. He definitely knows how to present and pitch. He can sell anything and everything to anyone & everyone. The network structure is brilliant too. Basically, I was blown away by his brilliance… :)
    If anyone wants to learn something of EN, look at way how David presents his stuff and you WILL make a lot of money… That’s for sure! ;)
    I just wish David Wood would have some “real” good stuff in those high ticket items he sells, then EN would have been awesome I feel…

    Loved this honest review from you side Ana!

    Thanks and Regards

    • Ana Hoffman

      That was exactly my point, Amitav – I don’t mind paying for good training, but paying for a bunch of hot air?

      And yes, thumbs up to David Wood for being able to turn hot air into a business. Too bad he rolls over thousands of people in the process though.

  84. Sorry, Ivin…I have to disagree with you. Unless you feel it\\\’s okay to walk down a street full of dangerous potholes and not warn those who come after you? We ALL have a responsibility to speak up when things aren\\\’t Kosher — especially when hopes, dreams, and MONEY are involved. And the Internet Marketing industry continues to get a bad name from people like this. Ana, you did a bang up job of research here. Thank you for writing this article.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I agree, Tea – I so didn’t want to spend a week doing research on EN, but I’ve seen too many of my readers wasting thousands of dollars on this.

  85. Ana Hoffman

    This is the first post of the kind, Ivin – I’ve never written negative reviews before.

    However this one had to be written. And yes, it’s to warn and educate my readers.

  86. You know I’m a supporter, Ana. I’ve learned a lot from you. This post – I have to admit – has gone way over my little writer’s head. I’ve never heard of EN before. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  87. Ana, I don’t know if I want to thank you for this post or not! Not only is the blood boiling but there is actual steam coming out of my ears!

    There’s so much I have to say on this matter, but I think you have it mostly covered so I won’t rattle on…too much…
    I first became interested in the scheme when I noticed friends recruiting friends – with the one sitting at the top doing so in the full and certain knowledge that the mojority of the others were simply lining her own pockets while emptying their own.
    What ever happened to friendship, morals, ethics…..
    She now boasts earnings of over $1000 a day, so fair play to her – but at what cost? The others are still busy pissing £125 a month into the wind!
    I simply couldn’t sleep at night with that knowledge – even if it was in a privately owned villa in the Caribbean LOL.

    Next is the 100% commissions – why are they allowed to get away with this when it’s simply not true?

    I think the Dave’s are very clever marketers and take nothing away from them – if someone wanted to pay me to use my blog and watch my videos (with the shirt on) I doubt I’d refuse!

    At least now people can get an unbiased review of the system before signing up; up until recently the only results of “empower scam” thrown up by Google were actual Empower blogs, more very clever tactics!

    Well done to David Wood for exercising his right to reply, but I still don’t feel the questions you raised were answered, this is from his own site:

    “Forget Crappy Home Meetings, Dead-Dog Warm Market Lists, WordPress Blogs And Copywriting Nonsense – You Have An Opportunity To Work With David Wood Directly….”

    So is the wordpress blog concept crappy nonsense or not!?

    • Ana Hoffman

      Yes, yes, and yes, Lisa.

      I too was disappointed with David’s reply; the fact he didn’t address much of what I said makes me believe that he either knows the issues exist and doesn’t care or doesn’t know the issues exist and doesn’t care to know.

      I truly hope I’ll be able to get this post listed on the first page of Google for EN keywords – people do need to have the info to make an educated decision before throwing their money into the wind.

  88. Anna you can recover with the loss in your income through Empower network for sure.Just like Larry of “ProfitOnKnowledge” blog anyone who is serious about the business will like that network.

  89. MLM products or services are always going to cost you a lot. I have done some work with MLM Company and the business concept of MLM is very bad.
    If you want to create your own blog by paying $25 per month is too costly without your own domain. I always suggest staying away from these networks.
    Overall good post for people who want to enter into internet marketing.

  90. OK! I’ve had few clients who wanted me to write blog posts for their EN blogs. Initially I didn’t know that the blog posts I wrote for them were published in EN blogs. Later on, when I found them I went through and browsed their blogs.

    I knew very well that those clients won’t be staying for long. And yes that happened. They got posts from me for approximately 3 months and then I assume they got bankrupted.

  91. This issue I have with EN Ana is that it’s promoting David Wood and not the individual plus it’s not teaching people how to stand out from the crowd. Two very important pieces to this puzzle people keep scratching their heads over wondering how to make it online.

    If people want to take the easy way out then they’ll continue to buy into these types of services. Until they decide to take this business seriously, I think that programs like this will always exist.

    Great post though, I applaud you for telling it like it is.

    ~Adrienne

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are exactly right, Adrienne – EN is great at cookie-cutting, yet most of us who are making it online “the hard way” know that the only true way to succeed is to stand out.

      I admit that I spent over $3K before I got wiser and started TGC, but some of us just have to learn by spending an arm and a leg on programs that get us nowhere.

  92. OMG Ana, this must have taken a lot of effort to put up. But thankfully, you have shown what many probably do not not know and that is the truth about EN. I am still boggled why so many people join the network and worst of all, continue to promote it, like it is the best thing since sliced bread. Fortunately, I have never got into this and never will. Thumbs up!

  93. David Wood

    Hey Ana,

    (yes, it’s David Wood, the co-founder of Empower, not an assistant or something)

    First of all, great blog. I’ve never been to your site before, and have no clue other than this post who you are – great calls to action, high converting design, and more.

    Second – thanks for actually thinking through this before you wrote it. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the opinions here, just a couple of key areas.

    The only real question I have to answer here is the affiliate cookie thing – it’s a last touch affiliate system, to answer the question. That’s why the referral url would change 5 times in a week, because you were clicking on various people’s links.

    That’s not written in any way that gives company accounts advantages in any way.

    There is really only two things I wanted to address:

    1. The value of the products from my perspective.

    2. Personal attacks on me in the comments, from people who obviously don’t know much about our company, or why we do what we do.

    (as a side note, I don’t believe I said I invented a strategy, I did however invent a unique way of doing something, that has now worked outside of Empower Network with increasing results for three years straight)

    First – it’s fine that you didn’t think the 15k formula was worth $1,000 – here’s my perspective though:

    I judge something by the results that it creates – nothing more, nothing less.

    That product was created originally back as a bonus to people who bought all of the other products by a certain date. We had more testimonials of people creating results from using the information in that course than we had created up to that time.

    Still, people come out of the woodwork telling us stories of results they’ve created from applying that information.

    Based on that, and that alone, you can think that it’s not worth it, that’s an opinion. Value is only exchanged from what people are willing to pay based on perceived benefit versus cost.

    We also don’t tell people to pitch their family and friends, ever. We were simply mentioning how to communicate in a way that doesn’t piss them off. I.E. it’s better to create cool stuff, and get your family involved in conversation than pitch them stuff. That’s true.

    The only other thing that I want to address, is the perception that all of the money is going to the top at Empower Network. Sometimes people think that, and honestly, I think it must be from past experiences with other stuff – it’s just not the reality here.

    We just did an affiliate training event in San Diego with 3,000 people – 95% of them had earned at least one commission with us. Nobody in the room in direct sales had ever seen anything like it.

    Also, there was a gentleman in the comments who thinks that we’re here to take people’s money and run – or whatever, or that Empower Network is here to make David Sharpe and I rich.

    Not the case – we actually pay out more than 100% commissions on product sales by $10,000 to $30,000 a week. Why? Because we’re taking on processing risk via the affiliate fee, and if we refund someone and have paid a commission, we absorb that. The rest of the company money from the $19.95 per month affiliate fee pays for infrastructure, 25 full time employees, and ALL of the money that David Sharpe and I personally earn comes from marketing Empower Network, just like everyone else, with no extra special account. Every affiliate id in the system overrides the default administrative id.

    Our top people make what we make. That’s just straight numbers. In fact, we don’t even take as much money out as we earn as affiliates. It is the most ‘people balanced’ thing that I’ve ever known about, in the favor of the people.

    Truthfully, for what we’ve done for people, if someone doesn’t like it – fine, but if they’re going to make stuff up – they can go fuck themselves.

    :)

    (in good fun, of course)

    Also, a guy had an issue with income claims. Income claims are fine, as long as:

    1. They’re accurate
    2. There’s average earnings disclosures everywhere they appear.

    We have both. I’ve actually never seen a company bother to literally have a live income stats page that re-calculates averages every 24 hours on current, live averages. It’s linked to in obvious places everywhere we have claims.

    Someone compared us to Zeek – zeek was a ponzi scheme, paying people like an investment for doing nothing, artificially inflating commissions that didn’t actually exist – people in Empower Network have to create actual sales to make money, there is a big, big difference.

    Here’s the last thing that I’m going to say:

    Although I don’t have time to come back, and to defend every attack on my personality, or on my company, I took the time here because you actually thought through this. I don’t agree with it. I think that training is worth way more than $1,000 – and I’d say that it’s created results that demonstrate it’s value, regardless of your opinions.

    Here’s the big thing to toss out into the Universe – let me tell you WHY Empower Network is different, why we grow like we grow, and how we’ve done things that very few people have ever done – why the Facebook slap increased our growth (it did) and why no matter the struggle – we bounce back fighting:

    It’s our intentions and our vision. I didn’t start Empower Network for myself, I started it to help other people create extraordinary results. I created the commission model, and the system based on what I’ve been successfully doing for three years straight outside of the system on my personal sites, and solving the problems that I ran into in my marketing.

    Empower Network was built to solve 6 years of pain I had trying to do Network Marketing wrong, and 2 years of problems I had in helping people succeed at a different kind of level – I built it because I wanted anyone in the entire company to be able to out earn me, as the founder.

    I created it to be fair – to share my victories, to lift people up, to help people create income in a way that they’ve never been able to access.

    THAT is the intention that drives my vision – not making a pile of cash for myself – to do everything in my power, everything in my mind – everything that I possibly can to lift people up to new heights – that’s why it’s called:

    Empower Network.

    Because I’m here to Empower you. Now – obviously, here’s a case where apparently I failed, maybe though, there’s a background perception shift that’s already happening – maybe it will come later.

    Thanks again, and you’re welcome to come back, at any time if you want.

    -David Wood
    “Just another homeless guy who got rich online”

    P.S. If you want to chat sometime, I’m down – you have my email. You seem like a cool girl. Come down to Costa Rica sometime and we’ll talk marketing. I do think that part of the perception in this article is missing the mark – something big, that could help you in your own business.

    We’ll chat about it sometime when we meet. Looking forward to it.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for coming by, David.

      Thanks for clarifying your affiliate cookie system; I was unsure about how it’s coded and couldn’t find any information on it.

      Obviously, your company – your business, but I’d post this info for your perspective members to see.

      It’s nice to see that you have so much faith in what you’ve created, and since I don’t know you personally, I sincerely hope that you are being straightforward with your followers.

      Regardless of your sincerity or lack thereof, you and I both know that most EN members will be lucky to break even.

      You said that 95% of 3,000 people made their first commission. You mean $25? I am not sure how that’s an accomplishment.

      Of course, it’s very common for people to ignore their investment of time and money when determining their true profits, but if it took them minimally $45 investment, plus hours of work, then $25 is a loss.

      As far as your training is concerned, if you know about internet marketing as much as you claim you do, I am not sure how you can think it’s good training.

      Of course, “perceived benefit versus cost” is just that – “perceived”. Your members are not lucky enough to honestly evaluate the true value of your training since they first have to spend money without any hopes of a refund to see if it’s worth it (of course, once they spend the money, it’s hard to admit they made a mistake). Also, the majority of your members are brand new to internet marketing and anything you say to them will be an eye-opener.

      So far your Facebook training caused EN to be banned from Facebook, your SEO training will soon enough cause trouble with Google (with all the spam links you have coming to your domain), and the multiple spam emails your new members sent to me personally (don’t they know it’s against the law to send out promo emails to people who never asked for the info???) caused me to write this review.

      I don’t ever write half-baked reviews.

      I did sift through all the info I could find – most your own videos and everything I learned about EN was from those videos.

      The reason I did that was for my readers.

      You see I’ve seen the other side of the coin: all the failure stories my readers wrote to me about and asking me to do more research into the company and publish my findings.

      I have nothing personally against you – other than the fact that you do look better with the shirt on. ;)

      I don’t have a crystal ball, but judging by the outcome of so many who came before you, it’s just a matter of time before EN runs out of fresh blood to recruit.

      All the best to you, David. As I said in the post, there are certain aspects about the way you built EN that I do admire.

      • Hey Ana,

        Just stopping by again to say hello!

        I wanted to see if you had responded to my comment, keep in mind here, I haven’t read anything else on the page, and don’t have time to respond to every criticism here – I’m sure you can understand.

        By the way, so you know – if you ever have as many customers as we do, you’ll have as many, or more critics, as well – the more loyal the fans, the more intense the opposing energy becomes – it’s just the way that life is.

        There’s a couple of points I did want to respond to here, though – and then, who knows, maybe I’ll come back in a month or two – maybe not! Either way, good luck.

        Quick Points:

        1. There seems to be a recurring theme that David Sharpe and I are somehow cheating affiliates out of commissions, because we own the front blog – or because people type ‘empowernetwork.com’ into a browser. Not the case.

        Every affiliate cookie in the entire system overrides that front blog, or the ‘admin’ affiliate cookie. That position sponsors barely anyone, an average of maybe one person a day, and almost all the money made from that goes directly towards operating expenses (we have 50 full time employees now) up to this point, 100% of the income that I have actually made from Empower Network (aka, money that I’ve taken as a payout) has come from actually earning commissions selling our products, as an affiliate – a normal affiliate (not the front blog – or admin position) and I’ve done that by my own list building and marketing, outside of running the company.

        2. You keep repeating something that I find a bit surprising – to be fair, I’m not criticizing it, you can think whatever you want, you’re obviously not in our target market anyways (more on that in a minute) you keep repeating that blogging is cheaper to do on your own, and that our blog has no value – not in those exact words, but close.

        The reason I think that’s a bit crazy (hear me out) is because I build my entire businesses, for years, outside of Empower Network doing exactly what you’re doing here (I personally think my selling was a lot better – however, you’re a better ‘structure thinker’ than I am).

        Anyways – I know how much it costs, and it sure as hell isn’t $25 a month. Sure, you can get cheap, crappy hosting.

        Cheap, crappy hosting has big problems when you start getting good traffic. Also – your blog here is not a $25 blog – I know how much design costs – I know how much tools cost, I know how much everything related in this niche costs, and for what our people get for $25 a month, by the time I had something remotely as good as far as ability to just blog and make money, I had spent about $5,000 on education, spent hundreds of hours on the warrior forum, $1,600 in design, $2,400 in theme coding, about 1,000 hours of testing and manual stupidity while learning, my site crashed about 15 times, I had database issues, listbuilding issues, and didn’t know I needed to have terms of service.

        I had on my personal site, before I started ignoring it – significantly more traffic than you have on this site, and I would guess that I was making a lot more money (that might not be true – I’m talking ‘pre empower network’ days, my income was between $35,000 and $45,000 a month for 2 years blogging, selling none of my own products, I added products to the mix and my income before starting empower network was $70,000 to $100,000 a month).

        So when all was said and done, I had something that didn’t sell as well, didn’t rank as fast, didn’t pay as much commissions, didn’t load as fast, didn’t have as good technology, didn’t have as good of a sales funnel, had inferior capture pages, and it had cost me around $50,000 and $350 a month in hosting, $20 a month for aweber, $49 a month for a marketing system, and about $500 a month in various subscriptions that all together, were less than our members get for $25 a month. I still didn’t have customer service, good lawyers, or anything.

        We’ve now put over $500,000 of pure technological development into Empower Network, the selling that runs it is way smarter, we have a 3.5% lead conversion since launch – most of the money has been paid out to members (yes, MOST) and we’re still here, strong, and screaming with growth.

        Somehow, saying that’s not worth $25 a month seems pushing it. I would have paid $500 a month for what we give people for $25, if I had known then what I know now. I could have made money hands off ten times faster than I did.

        3. I like having my shirt off, because I think it’s hilarious. I know, what you’re saying is half in jest – but still, you can eat it. Lol.

        (teasing… sort of.)

        4. I think our marketing training is excellent for a specific reason – it gets massive results. Our marketing training has produced, from what I can tell from reading your blog, significantly higher conversions than you’ve ever gotten.

        That’s not a criticism – you have an EXCELLENT blog – however, I think this article is one sided, and bent entirely to the negative, based on presuppositions that aren’t accurate or fair, some of which I’ll cover in a second. Again – you’re entitled to think what you want, and I’d still look forward to meeting, and chatting marketing over a cup of coffee sometime.

        I did however, take your criticism of the 15k formula seriously, and realized that some of the stuff we taught was out dated. So, we’re spending 90 – 120 days re-making the entire thing, from start to finish, more in the style I wanted to make it in the first place.

        I still think the outdated version was worth more than $1000. Way more. The way you write some of the criticisms of it, I am honestly wondering if you were so annoyed with us, that you were looking to pull negative out.

        Some of the concepts in that training – in fact, there are a few things that I learned (keep in mind, I was already earning an enormous income relatively to the internet population for years – and I learned some stuff there that has made me an extra several hundred thousand dollars as an affiliate of Empower since we finished the course.

        (I’m not talking about owning it. ALL of the money I’ve taken out of it – ALL of it, has come from selling it myself)

        And yes – I really, really believe in what I am doing, and am straight forward with people, to my own detriment sometimes, all of the time.

        If you ever meet me, you’ll know that in about 15 minutes.

        Our Facebook strategies didn’t get us banned from Facebook, fyi. I happen to know why we got banned from Facebook, and that is specifically not the reason. We can chat about it sometime – I have to run soon, and I have some other important points.

        However, it’s worth pointing out, that:

        a. Before Empower Network, I got more traffic than you did to this site. (I actually haven’t checked recently – it was true before. My alexa score on my personal blog, before Empower was under 9,000)

        b. I also am fairly sure I sold more stuff, and made more money with my ‘not good’ training.

        c. You are not in our target market, for a variety of reasons.

        On that:

        5. You operate a different business model than ours, in a few significant ways, that makes your review and mindset here slightly skewed, in my personal opinion.

        Again, not saying that it’s not a valid opinion, I think people should be able to say whatever they want, about whoever or whatever they want, whenever they want.

        Here are the main differences:

        a. You are in blogging, like me, however, you are an affiliate marketer. I am a network marketer. There is a few fairly significant, massive differences in the way that the two industries operate. Although we combine both, we are a culture building network marketing/direct sales entity, not a traditional affiliate marketing company like Click Bank. Our training is geared at helping people be successful at that, and it does a fantastic job.

        b. From what I can tell, you’ve never been dramatically successful at Network Marketing. From what I can tell from a few comments, you were in something, or a few ‘money making’ programs, and for one or several reasons, you hated them.

        Unless you’ve ever built a sustainable team that you’ve maintained relatively hands free for several years, with a consistent growing income, I’m sorry, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. 80% of our training is about that, not traffic. Traffic is easy.

        I like network marketing. I’ve liked it since I was 12 years old, and had some friends who’s parents did it. I like Amway. I like Herbalife. I like the word ‘MLM’ and have always thought it was cool, and think it’s cool now. I also think it’s superior to normal affiliate marketing, and cooler.

        However, you probably don’t think that, and I’d never try and convince you. It’s fine, you’re not in our market. If you want your $1,000 back, I’ll happily refund you, like we do to everyone that asks.

        (we have less than a 3% refund request rate, as of writing this comment, and we have less than that while doing over $5 million a month in sales – compare that to clickbank)

        Although, if you want, you can also access the first few webinars of the new, updated 15k formula, free of charge, if you still have the product.

        The reason we have a no refund policy, is that some of our people use their own merchant accounts to process payments, and it’s not commercially practical to give refunds to people who never paid us, and we can’t control what our leaders do. Still, virtually nobody ever asks.

        Maybe it’s because they like being a part of our community, or they like the training…

        6. (I think, although maybe 5) this is my last point, and then I’ll take off – maybe I’ll come back in a few months or so.

        The whole ‘1% success rate’ thing you keep pulling in the comments…

        This is where I have to just say:

        “Really?”

        First: Lol. What’s your success rate? Do you know? We actually do know. If you don’t know yours, and I can see that you probably don’t, since you don’t disclose average earnings from applying your strategies, and probably have no way of tracking it, either – anyways, if you know yours, let’s compare.

        Second: It’s innacurate for about 100 reasons, but about five really good reasons. Here they are (the good ones):

        a. This is a common, and stupid objection to the whole Network Marketing, and affiliate marketing industry. I counts people who have just joined, people who have been in for a year, people who have been in for five minutes, people who have actually done what we recommend, people who haven’t, people who are just customers and use our training to promote other stuff, people who work 5 minutes and quit, and people who work 10 hours a day.

        A fair way of checking how many people are making money, and the percent, would be:

        1. Compare it to yours, if you’re going to criticize it, to be fair. Since you’re teaching people how to make money by blogging, and getting traffic. Unfortunately, you can’t, because you have no clue.

        2. Delete everyone who quits in their first six months, and delete all of the customers (people who aren’t even affiliates) and delete all of the people that have never even done an hour of work. They bought it, liked being a part of it, got on 5 conference calls, and got distracted with life.

        4. Delete everyone that has not been in at least six months. Marketing, and network marketing is a profession, not a lottery. There are no ‘chances of success’ because it’s not a game that’s built on chance, it’s a business.

        5. With what’s left, calculate the percentages.

        Stop saying that 1% don’t make it. It’s unbelievably stupid. (sorry, it is – it’s the one thing that I could hammer with 50 pages of criticism).

        It is stupid. It’s been a dumb criticism since the invention of Network Marketing. It’s a dumb criticism of affiliate marketing. People who persevere and keep making adjustments, work hard and get educated make money in every industry, people who work less hard, are less educated, etc don’t make money.

        This is not a game of chance, and it is not gambling. It’s a business that you have to learn.

        However, if you have your percentages, of who on your list who has ever bought any product has made money with specifically what you taught in that product (I know you don’t) but if you do – I’m more than happy to compare, only – you’ll probably feel a bit dumb after we do.

        Actually – one last point (then I’m out for now) there’s a common sentiment that people think we hand picked top affiliates to be personally connected to us, or that only the people at the top make money, or people with big lists, etc.

        Not true, anyone who says that (at least about us) doesn’t have access to the data they do, or they would never say it.

        True, a lot of people making big money with us had a list. Also true – a lot of them didn’t.

        A lot of them (about half) had never had a business online, and had no list. Also, most of the leadership in Empower Network is not personally connected to any of our company accounts – we don’t get product sales from them, or passup sales, or anything. They are paying other sponsors for literally every product they buy, and we make no affiliate income at all from most (80%) of our leadership.

        What we do is transparent and fair – we market like we teach people to market, and it works for both us and them.

        Maybe something that would be fair, would be for me to write a review that shows why a brand new affiliate, with no list, no experience, etc – has a better business model than you do, from the time that they join, and buy all of our products.

        Of course, I would need to know the actual amount that you’ve spent on education, the actual amount your site takes to run. The monthly expenses you have, your incoming revenue, your lead capture percentages, your traffic conversions, and more.

        :)

        -David Wood

        (everything I say is half in jest – you have a great site for a variety of reasons. I still think that what we give people for $25 is better, though)

        • One very quick correction – I said we have 3.5% lead conversions – what I meant was, we have 3.5% lead to customer conversions, out of over a million leads generated.

          I have another bit I’ll write in the future on the whole ‘saturation’ theme/challenge you posed, I’m not sure that I’ll bother, though, because it simply demonstrates that you either don’t know the history of Network Marketing, or are simply ignoring it. We can chat about it later – wanted to make the quick correction on the lead point, our capture pages get (usually) between 25% and 65% conversions, depending on the traffic source. Later.

          • Actually, I do have one more question here – I think that you might be kidding – but is this actionally your income from this site?

            http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/monthly-income-report-october-2012/

            If it is, I’m sorry – at the moment, you have absolutely no place to be criticizing anything that we’re doing, from even a remote business perspective, or a place to be criticizing our marketing training.

            The amount of people that I have who make more money than this blogging by using our training, both in and out of Empower Network, knowing a tiny, unrecognizable fraction of the technical skills that you have… You can’t be serious. I made more than this my second month marketing in 2009, knowing almost nothing about paid ads, working out of a spare room in my parents house, selling affiliate products that paid 20 – 50% commissions, with such a smaller amount of traffic, that my site would be completely incomparable – with a site that looked like shit, took 6 seconds to load, had database issues, and about 30 blog posts.

            If you’re open to actual critical feedback, I could probably figure out why you’re not making any money in about 30 minutes, but you might not like it.

            I’m serious – I’m not insulting you here, I’m pointing something out – your criticizing our business model, repeatedly saying yours is superior, and you don’t even generate an average adult income in North America from a blog that is in the top 10,000 most trafficked sites online. In addition to the 50 employees I have who make more money than you do from this blog, I have over 500 people in Empower Network, who are affiliates, most of them new, most of them who don’t know how to setup a wordpress site – who also make more money than you.

            I could take 10 hours, from scratch, and turn this into a $50,000 a month business. If you are serious, I literally can’t believe your criticizing our training – because that product that you bought, I promise, if you weren’t being critical would have solved that problem.

            • Ana Hoffman

              Seriously, David?

              You are making me loose the respect I had for you…

              Whatever I make off this blog, I make with uncompromised integrity. I wouldn’t have any trouble making money online if I were willing to do what so many so-called entrepreneurs do.

              I think our discussion is over.

              Lets see you tell the actual truth to your potential recruits and then we’ll see whether EN continues to flourish.

            • Betty Rimes

              Are you suggesting Mr. Wood, that Ana’s criticisms of Empower Network aren’t valid because she doesn’t make as much money as you do/did? Man, you do love the logical fallacies. This one is called the appeal to authority with a little dash of ad hominem (personal attack in attempt to deflect). Just because she isn’t making the same amount of money you are doesn’t mean anything about the points she’s brought up, they stand (or fall) on their own merits–address those like you have in prior postings if you want to discuss this in a logical fashion.

              Of course you have people in Empower who have made money, a small percentage in MLM always do, otherwise, why start one? The real question is, what kind of opportunity is Empower for those who weren’t fortunate enough to start it or get in at the beginning? It would be sure helpful for regular folks if Empower would publish an income disclosure statement based on affiliate earnings for the last year, as well as your turnover rate and the average number of recruits brought in per affiliate (again, on a yearly basis since you’ve been around now more than a year). I hope you will consider providing that information since you guys do seem concerned with being transparent and upfront, unlike other MLMs.

              • Betty Rimes

                Oh, and also, in being upfront and honest like I know Empower strives to be, if you produce a new yearly income disclosure, can you also state what percentage of affiliates recieved any commission? Right now the weekly income disclosure only includes affiliates that got a commission “in the last 30 days”, it’s important to know how many affiliates didn’t earn any commissions at all. Other MLMs provide this info on their income disclosure so I’d imagine Empower would want to match so people can compare. For example, SendOutCards says on their disclosure “72% of U.S. distributors did not earn any commissions in 2011″.

                • David Wood

                  Betty,

                  Yes, in this case, dismissing criticism of training that specifically is geared towards helping people make money – when the critic makes less than:

                  1) around 800 affiliates make more money than ana, just selling our stuff, let alone other businesses, with significantly less traffic
                  2) all of our 50 employees make significantly more than Ana
                  3) our average commission value per customer (this is taking into account passup sales) is around $650 – so one sale per month our $25 product would average a higher income than this entire blog, on an aweful lead conversion of 1 in 30 leads, a brand new person could get one lead a day, and out earn Ana’s site.

                  I think that is a valid reason to dismiss criticism of our training, because our training teaches people to make money. Our training is 99% focused on selling and building organizations in Network Marketing – something that Ana does not know how to do, and therefore can’t critic constructively.

                  What you say for the rest of the figures of the income disclosure is good feedback. When we coded the income disclosure software, we were 2 months old, and didn’t have annual stats. I’m meeting with my programmers next week and will have them program in more average statistics, thanks for the feedback. I DO like full disclosure.

                  Also, the review of the training is now innacurate, since the product is updated, and all of the modules she has been through are different.

        • Ana Hoffman

          Wow, David – for a busy guy, you surely took your time here. :)

          And yes, no matter what we do, there’s always someone to criticize it, and the bigger we get, the more blows we get. Sometimes it’s a form of flattery.

          Actually, my blog costs me $10 per month exactly. That’s what I pay for Hostgator hosting.

          I barter for design services; he designs, I promote his services. I’ve been doing it for a long time, even back when I first started.

          For $25 per month, your members get only one thing: their own blog that they actually don’t own at all. So if EN, for whatever reason, goes down tomorrow, so will their business. All your training, ewallet, “system” costs extra.

          I still think I look better shirtless than you do. :)

          You sell a dream; I sell reality – that’s why your conversions are much higher.

          I hated network marketing because I never believed in what I was selling. Very few people can actually achieve great results from it and I knew I could’ve been one of them. However, in order to succeed I had to sell something I didn’t believe in, which was “join, follow the training, and you’ll get amazing results”. It’s just not true. And I can’t put my name to anything that is half truth only.

          The truth would’ve been to say that it was extremely difficult to succeed, they had to work a lot, learn a lot, fail, get up, and do it again. You can’t make too many sales telling people the truth.

          I pulled 1% success rate from your site and commented on it exactly how I saw it – as 1% success rate. If you want me to see it differently, then post your comments on that page.

          Most of the things I pointed out in my review were facts as I saw them; I tried to be as objective as possible. I added a lot of my own opinions and interpretations to the part where I analyzed your training – that’s the main problem I have with EN. If people find your training incredible (or at least they say so to your face – I’ve gotten plenty of emails from your members telling me otherwise), it’s because they are newbies and don’t know a forest from trees.

          A few things you pointed out in your comment were actually brought up by other commentators on the post, not me; and I of course can’t help their opinions.

          Again, I admire you thinking out of the box and building a tremendously successful business, but I’d never be able to do what you do. They say that truth is relative and my bar for being honest and upfront with my readers/customers just happens to be quite high, which limits my ability to grow my business. I’d never have it any other way though.

          • David Wood

            Just a perspective here, Ana – your statements put yourself on a pedastal – like you think, for example, that I’m not being honest.

            I’m ‘honestly’ just amazed that you’re criticizing our training, on how to make money – when in reality, you don’t even make an average american income from this website.

            You said building MLM is like a leaky bucket – but don’t apply the same thing to your own business, where last year you made $3,000 in the same month where this year, you made $638.

            You question my integrity based off of your own assumptions, that are not accurate, and skewed towards beliefs that are no more valid than anyones beliefs, and accuse us of being ‘unethical’.

            This article is not ethical – you are so negative in every comment, I honestly wonder what your deal is. You say “oh, those guys don’t know what they’re buying! You don’t teach them how to build a real business!!”

            What’s a real business? One that you build for 3 years, and make no money from?

            Your site not making money has nothing to do with you being ethical or not ethical. It’s because your site has an aweful sales process, and an aweful sales mentality. Something I could fix in 10 hours, regardless of what you were selling.

            I have an extremely high bar for being honest, and direct too – and when I see something I think is horse shit, I’m going to call it out.

            This review is skewed, and horse shit.

            By the way, your review is no longer accurate, since we’ve replaced all of those modules in the 15k formula.

            I offered to help you because I feel bad for you. But don’t think you’re not making money because you’re ethical. It’s because your site sucks at selling. There’s a big difference.

            • Ana Hoffman

              Good thing I am not selling anything, David…

              This conversation is taking up too much of my time.

              When I wrote this post, I wanted to address your training mainly, since that’s what my visitors asked mostly about.

              So far you are pointing fingers at anything and everything, but your training.

              I did hear down the grapevine that you are in the process of changing it though.

              Good for you. I do hope your future members will actually learn something from it.

              Now if you don’t mind… I need to get back to my business of not selling anything.

  94. Tony Rush

    I joined Empower Network because I was in a top-tier MLM company and had just finished doing a lead-generation training call for my team….

    …and realized that I’d basically taught my team the same methods that I’d taught in 2007.

    Needless to say…if you’re marketing the way you did in 2007, you’re toast.

    So, when I saw that David Wood was launching a training company (with an SEO tool as well), I thought, “This is a guy who I once saw enroll 200+ people in a single month without a phone call….surely I can learn something.”

    So I joined. And I learned a lot about marketing that I didn’t know.

    Could I have learned it elsewhere? Maybe. Maybe not. Who cares? Where else in business do you see a product/service that’s only sold successfully by a single company?

    Anyway….my plan was to use EN like a self-liquidating offer. Run some paid ads….generate some leads….and use the $25 commissions to recoup my ad costs.

    Brilliant, right? After all, it’s targeted list (not untarged, Ana)….because they’re all people who have said they want information on making money from home and/or learning how to market better.

    Great market for my primary MLM offer.

    And my plan would have worked.

    Except, after about 2 months, I was making about $8,000/month in EN commissions from a brand new list I started from scratch……and I’d never gotten around to pitching my new list on my primary MLM.

    I thought, “Hmm…let it ride. This is more fun than calling prospects anyway.”

    My mom passed away in January so I didn’t do much of anything for 5 weeks or so. Just kept my ads running and sent a letter or two a week to my list.

    By February, I was making about $500/day on average. Still no phone calls.

    In March, I made $34,000. Still hadn’t made a phone call. And I thought, “Hmm…why would I bother pitching these people on my MLM at all?”

    Ten months later, I’ve made over $300,000 in personal income.

    But just as importantly, I’ve got customers who are sending me screenshots of their front-page-of-Google results for their particular keyword…..

    ….I’ve got lots of people who’ve never been able to generate leads who suddenly have tons of leads flowing into their Aweber accounts ….

    …and tons of people who have never made a dime doing anything who are having some success for the first time in their life. Some of them are earning thousands of dollars per week.

    Soo…..

    CAN someone get a free WordPress blog and have more bells and whistles?

    Sure. And lots of people choose that.

    But, do this: post an article on an Empower Network blog….and post the identical article on a brand new, free WordPress blog…..and see which ranks higher in the search engines.

    It’s no contest.

    And if that’s not worth $25 to someone…..well, fair enough. They can always crank up a free WordPress blog and grind it out. Lots of people do.

    Thanks for the dialogue!

    Tony

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think you might be missing the point, Tony – I am not disputing that select few are making good money selling a no-product product.

      Good for you?

      How about people who spend thousands of dollars without the kind of return you are getting, which is about 99% of anyone who joined the network?

      Sure you can say that they are not working hard enough, right? Yet you and I both know that it’s not about working hard; it’s about getting in early and ride it out until the market (i.e. people who don’t know any better) is milked for all its worth.

      • Tony Rush

        Ana, thanks for the reply.

        For someone who presumably sells information herself, I’m hard-pressed to come up with a valid reason for why you would say that EN has no product when, clearly, it has multiple products.

        The ability to get high-ranking search engine results for just $25/month? Master-level training on how to generate leads and convert sales for people who’ve never been able to do either?

        Don’t get me wrong: I can completely understand that there ARE people out there who think that something is not a “product” if you can’t touch it, feel it or taste it.

        If it doesn’t come in a box or a bottle, they think it’s not real.

        But you – Ana Hoffman – should know better. You’re not someone who just discovered the info-products industry. You didn’t just get on the Internet yesterday.

        And because of that…..if you look at EN and cannot see a “product” then it’s because, for whatever reason, you’re trying very hard not to.

        Your second point was about the financial opportunity and the number of people who succeed. Two things come to mind on this.

        We have a publicly posted income disclosure and we’re very proud of it.

        Why? One reason is because, not only is our income disclosure available to the public (which many companies won’t even do)….

        ….but ours is also updated in real-time. (Most companies that even offer an income disclosure only show information from a year ago which is pretty useless.) Plus, the number of people who are making money here is staggering compared to what’s happening in the rest of the industry.

        But, here’s what I don’t understand: is your argument that you have a low opinion of Empower Network because everyone isn’t getting the same results as the top earners?

        By that rationale, you would have to also rant and rail against every network marketing company in the world….as well as every person in the Internet Marketing industry who sells a product teaching someone how to do something.

        In fact, you’d probably have to write up an article about how baseball is a scam because most players don’t get to the World Series. Or that marriage is a scam because 50% fail.

        Or that college is a scam because most freshmen don’t graduate. Or that law school is a scam because most freshmen don’t pass the bar exam. Or that the Olympics are a scam because most people don’t win a gold medal. Or that all Internet marketing is a scam because most people don’t earn what Frank Kern earns. Or…..

        You see my reason for replying again?

        You only made two points in your succinct response to me and that was A.) to say that EN doesn’t have a product (we do) and that B.) EN wasn’t good because lots of people aren’t making thousands of dollars a week like I am.

        But there’s no way you actually live according to that standard. If you did, you couldn’t promote this website (which, by human nature, probably creates a situation where most of the people who read this blog never actually go generate lots of leads.)

        No, Ana, I think it’d be more honest if you just said, “I don’t like Empower Network because I just don’t like them” and left it at that.

        It would be a little weird but at least it would be authentic. And then you won’t have to worry about defending an illogical argument. You can just say, “I just don’t like them. That’s all.”

        And that’s okay.

        Empower Network isn’t for everyone. It’s just for people who want to use a powerful SEO platform AND/OR learn a ton about marketing AND/OR make a bunch of money AND/OR hang out with like-minded people.

        If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s okay. I don’t know you and am not familiar with your work but you’re probably a good person.

        But I think writing negative reviews puts you into a group of people online that you probably didn’t intend on joining.

        Best to you,
        Tony

        • Ana Hoffman

          Not sure whether to laugh or cry at your response, Tony.

          Very well-crafted arguments that help you sleep better at night. Good for you.

          If I wanted to sell you a pack of gum for $25 and then charge you $1,000 to teach you how to chew that gum, would you buy it? Is that a valid product?

    • Harry Fassett

      Well Tony, you must have a very large network of fish in EN right? :)

      Anyway, training and free training that is as good, or much better than EN is all over the NET these days, with free webinars, whitepapers, coaching, and even most network marketing Companies staying up with the times have great sales and marketing training for online and offline marketing. Anyway, with that…

      Everybody can get a free blog, and tons of great free marketing tools all over the place online too (just ask Ana, and I, and we will turn them on to tons of free tools, and online training that are great, IBO for example), they don’t need to go paying this David guy (finally put a shirt on I can see:)) tons of money to get ahead if they truly want to.

      Plus look at Alexa stats and some of my previous posts here, and you will see that EN is getting picked apart by google, and was banned by FB. Huge red flags when you have tons of blogs (free sub-pages off EN main domain name) with scrapped content, horribly written content, tons of sales copy on them, and ton of spam tracking back and obviously FB got tired of it and banned them.

      Anyway, it seems the very few that are making any kind of money to speak of with EN (i.e. huge vested interest) are here, because you have a investment to protect, what little you have left anyway, the overall picture of EN is not looking good by any stretch of the imagination, and the way google is making tons of changes now, EN could quite possibly tank all together within the next six months or less.

      NOTE: 96% of traffic goes to EN homepage, not to someone’s sub-page blog that’s free everywhere else. And what do you see? Some guy with his shirt off, and huge sales pitch and a login button, where 95% go to login to their sub-page, so it’s mostly member traffic and returning member traffic at EN, ie worthless traffic to EN themselves for the most part.

      Top search term “EmpowerNetwork” gee, I wonder who types that in the Major Search Engines? I can only take a very educated guess. Selah…

      • Tony Rush

        Harry, I’m cordial with Ana because I’m a guest in her home on the Net and I have no reason to be hostile to her. Plus I’m a nice guy.

        However, I have no idea who you are. Or why your opinion should be worth more than the mountain of results that EN is getting. From what I can tell, you’re not acting much different from the people who hang out at Scam.com bashing on the world because they can’t stand to see some people doing well.

        That might or might not be the case but — either way — I have no compelling reason to invest my time debating you. Why should I get into a pissing match when you are at an obvious disadvantage?

        In fact, my only purpose for replying to Ana’s post in the first place was because she friended me on Facebook and I heard she had written a negative review on our company. That’s the extent of my knowledge of this site or the people on it.

        So, if your purpose is to just bash on EN….or to make snide commentary about Wood’s personal style…..or to call attention to the idea that not all of our members are award-winning bloggers….

        …knock yourself out. I cannot imagine any situation in which I would care how you spend your time. :)

        Best to you,
        Tony

        • Harry Fassett

          Hey Tony, if you have to state you’re a nice guy, then I have to hold you suspect right there pal. :) I try to be a realistic guy Tony, how’s that grab you?

          Anyway, when some good solid evaluations are made that people haven’t considered, good, bad, or indifferent, you guys on the call it bashing and personal attacks, when within the “context of reality” it’s just a observation from very experienced Search Engine Marketing Specialists, that’s all Tony.

          I’m surprised you didn’t call me a racist or some other crap to try to shut me down. LOL! All kidding aside, let me ask you a question or two Tony. First off, were you in as a “Master Distributor?”

          In other words, did you and Simon get the top spots so to speak and everybody that comes in after that is yours to keep and you reap the commission of the whole entire EN just about.

          Again, it’s called the “Master Distributorship” and I know you guys know what that means, you get the lion’s share of the meat for the most part along with others that happen to hock EN early and often throwing 100% commissions in my face 1000+ times like it was their new religion or something.

          And the guy Simon said who claimed to have made 140K in six month minus his expenses, whatever that may be which is never disclosed usually, was he a “Master Distributor” too with EN, and had special privileges and positioned to take advantage of all the new fish that came into EN and get a commission for all of them?

          It’s very hard for me to believe otherwise, because the guy said he raked in 140K in six months! Did he spend 141K to get it, or was he “in position” to get it, and just had to sprinkle a few seeds, and prime the pump a little, because you don’t make that kind of money in six months in 95% or more of the cases unless:

          1. One has a very special agreement (“positioning”) with the owners and is positioned as a “Master Distributor” or pretty close to it to reap 90% or more of all the “action” that comes form it.

          Nothing wrong with it, however Simon says it like it was a normal everyday occurrence, and it was “no big deal”. Give me a break please. Contacts and special agreements make that kind doe Joe, and hardly ever otherwise.

          2. Simon made 140K because he spent say 130K or more to get it through PPC, SMM, and many other forms of paid advertising through tons of other marketing channels, email lists, EN sponsorship, and maybe being one of the key webinar guys possibly – I don’t know – that gets to laugh all the way to the bank afterward, and many tons of offline marketing and having dozens of people like this lady was on BN, and other sites, slobbering all over everybody 100 times a day about 100% commissions, and nothing about EN per say, and it’s benefits.

          With that Tony, I’ve been around a long time online and have nothing really changes, just the marketing pitches for this or that widget (service or otherwise) and you guys paint a nice picture, but any experienced marketing professional would laugh you guys out of the building.

          Not because you are bad guys necessarily, and don’t know pretty much what you are doing for mostly your own benefit of course, it’s because it’s a joke what you are offering overall for the money you guys charge for training over the phone, by webinar and all that.

          Heck, go to a “Big Al Schrieter” event, and he’s a legend in the Network Marketing industry, and knows a thing or two about online stuff too, and guess what he charges to show up to one of his mainly offline, and part online marketing workshops?

          20 bucks, and you can even bring it to the event with no extra charge, but you have to register in advance on his site so he knows how many people are coming that’s all.

          Big money I know, but heck, I think most people can swing that, and even afford to go to his events to boot.

          Again, I could quote a few people here that have been on your webinars/calls, and told me what they thought, but then you would call what they said, “bashing” you poor guys, and I hate to see a grown man cry for getting bashed a little by women – yes they are both women that said it – and I respect their educated assessment of EN – so I’ll spare it for now. :) Selah…

  95. Dear Ana,

    Thank you for exposing this for what it really is.

    A total sham.

    I find it really deceptive that you saw the affiliate link cookies changed over and over.

    Most people aren’t savvy as you to know they are being screwed…thankfully this post gives people the cold hard facts about how obnoxious this whole thing is.

    I have a few friends who have joined, and I have stayed away from it at all costs.

    I commend you for sticking your neck out, being bold, and really telling the truth.

    Your loyal reader,
    Scott

    P.S. For some strange reason, when I clicked over to the second page, the facebook like box bled into the post covering up some of the content. You may want to check it out.

    • Ana Hoffman

      We all want the dream, Scott, and many of us simply don’t know/want to know enough about online marketing to realize what EN is about.

      Will check out FB box.

  96. Awesome post Ana:) I love how refreshingly honest you are and also admire your business ethics.

    I have heard about Empower Network… but only through being continually spammed on Facebook about it… no other reason.

    There are NO get rich quick schemes, the ONLY people who win in these types of opportunities are the ones who create them and the handful of people at the “top”.

    It saddens me that today there are still people who believe the hype and spend their cash only to realise it’s a con… OK that’s a very harsh statement I guess, considering I know virtually nothing about this opportunity – but I’ve been around the Internet long enough to learn how to genuinely build traffic and make money from blogging… and this isn’t the way!

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s exactly how I first learned about it as well, Lilach – through continuous spam postings in my FB timeline, as well as recruiting emails from the readers.

  97. Simon Stepsys

    Interesting post Ana,

    I thought you used to be involved in online Business Opportunities, were you not a member of YourNetBiz a while ago?

    Either way I am a very happy & successful member of EmpowerNetwork, so much so that I have made more than 140K in 6 months.

    The reason I joined empowernetwork was not all about the money though, it was the product.

    Yes, as you know I have been coaching Internet Marketing for many years, and while I was coaching people to get there own blog & lead capture pages, “most” would not. Reason being they did not know how & they did not understand all that was involved in setting a blog up& capture pages. When they went to outsource the prices put them off.

    With EmpowerNetwork everything is set up for them & while its not totally customisable, it does a great job in getting traffic & building there list.

    I ranked page one number one with google with my own empowernetwork blog with good money keywords within days.

    Plus the members get the product so they can sell it themselves, just like resale rights without the high costs.

    Nobody has to go all in, you just buy the products that you want to earn 100% commissions, nothing wrong with that. Yes I am all in & yes I think the products & trainings are truly brilliant.

    So in my opinion based on product value & 100% commissions I personally think that EmpowerNetwork is an outstanding online business opportunity.

    Anyone wanting more information then please connect with me.

    Keep doing an amazing Job Ana, your blog & marketing as always is awesome.

    Keep being awesome

    Simon
    Net Millionaire

    P.S. Would love you on my success team :-)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Right you are, Simon; my first online business building efforts included an MLM company Ameriplan and then YNB.

      So I have first-hand experience with how those things work, the upsides, the downsides, etc.

      My main problem with both opportunities was the fact that sooner or later I realized that the product I was marketing (health plans with Ameriplan and a bunch of useless PLR products with YNB) was sub-par to say the least and, from that point on, I couldn’t market it to others with clear conscience.

      What you are selling with EN is a dream that can only come true if you convince enough people there’s substance behind it.

      I address most of the things you mention in your comment in the post and won’t go over them here again.

      Congrats on making it into the <1% of the EN top. Unfortunately, as you and I both know, this company is bottom-heavy.

    • Harry Fassett

      It’s a rip off Simon and you know it. EN got the 100% commissions frenzy going with tons of opportunity seeker/MLM junkie people that didn’t give a rats rump about blogging really, they just saw $$$ signs and where hocking it like Internet Marketing street hookers to put it mildly. I saw it first hand, and I won’t mention any names but I have many names Jack.

      Question simon; If EN was so legit, why did they get banned from Facebook for too many spam complaints? That’s EN’s fault 100%, because if their so called 500 training was so effective along with other materials, that would not have happened in the first place, and should have been policed better by EN themselves, but it wasn’t obviously.

      Anyway, what kind of person with any savvy pays 25 dollars a month for a blog sub-page off of a Companies main domain name with little or no functionality, when they can get a free blog with sub-domain that will do as much or more.

      Plus training for blogging is free, you learn how to use WordPress by using it, watching videos on how to use it, and going to forums and getting the information for free to move things along.

      Besides, Internet Marketing Experts, trainers and coaches are a nickle a baker’s dozen online now, and I get very “high quality” whitepapers for free, from many professional Internet Marketing websites (hubspot, infusionsoft, SearchEngineLand, WebProNews and many others), because they know I do SEO/SEM/SMM/ and mobile media marketing, so to sit there and tell Ana it’s a great deal, because you sucked tons of un-savvy people into buying and renting a practically worthless sub-page off of EN’s domain is ludicrous nonsense well spun like a polished politician.

      Question simon: What happens if or when EN’s main domain name is either deindexed by google or goes down completely, never to return? Right, all the members that invested all their valuable time and efforts into promoting EN and their blog are gone for good, i.e. sorry Charlie, no tuna.

      So you claim to have made 140K in six months, and that’s just that, a claim without proof, and anyway, it’s always the guys like you and those that have a high stake in the business already of sales funneling every new fish’s cash into your pocket (who is pretty much clueless for the most part) that can paint a pig to look like a very beautiful and seductive women.

      Well from what I’ve read from you simon, you are a very smooth operator and can shmooze with the best of them it sounds like. Anyway, big claims, smooth operator, big red flags, because 99% are not going to have the savvy to do what you have claimed to have done and you know that too, and so you roll with throwing $$$ claims at people and getting them hooked that way it seems to me with a very very good spin on EN no matter what objections come at you.

      Like ZeekRewards that went down in flames for paying 2% on bids placed (totally illegal, because they are not a bank or a securities firm) and they had guys like you a nickle a baker’s dozen with big claims of big money and how Zeeks was the best deal since the wheel and sliced bread and Apple and all of that nonsense, before they got stung big time by the FCC right in the kisser if you know what I mean. :)

      People still think ZeekRewards is coming back, but after banks accounts were froze and the FCC walked in, 99.9% of so called bizops that happens to never recover from it, and stick a fork in it, it’s done, and I’ve seen it time and time again since 1995 online.

      Maybe after the owners do about 2 – 3 years in jail if they are convicted. But then again, more than likely not because the courts will probably tell them they can no longer use a computer to do business or any wireless device to do business on the Internet period. Yes, they do that to hacks and creeps that rip people off online.

      Man, after all that, I think Simon Cowell would even be proud of me. :) Ciao. HF

  98. I don’t see anything wrong with it.

    1. Builds your own Aweber/Getresponse list
    2. Low cost front end offer
    3. Back end offers done for you

    Almost 52,000 affiliates? Several thousand people who are just customers.

    Honestly, I probably won’t join any time soon, but I can’t speak positively or negatively until I give it a go for a year or so.

    Besides, Jeff Walker consistently does million dollar launches of a product that’s given away for free when you join Kajabi.

    At this point, ethics make you poor. KIDDING, but it almost seems this way lol

    I do respect your views on it, but I also come from an Internet marketing world full of rehashed and crappy PLR products that provide people a full time living online, so I can’t bash EN for providing much better and more complete sales funnels than I’m used to.

    Plus as with any list building, you can launch your own products in the future. Just my thoughts though, of course

    Thanks for the post,
    -Gabe Johansson

    • Ana Hoffman

      1. What are you going to do with an untargeted list?
      2. Low cost front end offer of a FREE product?
      3. Back end offer of useless training that you wouldn’t touch otherwise.

      I agree with you on one thing, Gabe: EN does have great sales funnels; they wouldn’t have been successful otherwise.

      Call me silly, but I’d rather go broke, but keep my head high.

      • Aren’t we all just selling information, theories, and lines of code that we could find or create for free?

        I’m not saying to join, I won’t join, and I wouldn’t sell ads for it either, but I just don’t see it really different than anything else going on in IM. Maybe I’m blind.

    • Harry Fassett

      Gabe isn’t joining any time soon, but EN is great!? Hum? Heck, if it is that great Gabe you should be on board like yesterday and be raking in the bucks by tomorrow afternoon then right? LOL! Love these guys that tell you how great something is but they don’t use or have used it themselves.

      It’s like the wannabe who talks a good game, but can’t back it up with actions that are congruent with his mouth.

      Speaking of mouth Gabe, put your money where your mouth is, and buy all EN’s stuff and train and train some more, then come back and tell us your story on how great EN is, fair enough? :)

      • I get what you’re saying here, Harry, but I never said it was great. I simply said the sales funnels are better than the PLR funnels I’ve used in the past and what I am used to.

  99. Hi Ana,

    I heard about Empower Network when it first came out, and as soon as I heard “100% commissions”, I gave it no more thought. The old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, certainly applies here. But workhorse that you are, you went through every detail, showing your readers why it’s too good to be true. Personally, I’m very suspicious of any business that relies on selling businesses rather than products. Thanks for confirming my instincts.

    Lou

    PS Please don ‘t take your shirt off, or I’ll have to stay away from you. :)

  100. Tommy Miller

    Hey Ana, thanks for this awesome post! I love your style of writing and this is very informative and great post! I’m enjoying in your content for quite some time now, but I’ve never decide to comment… till now, since this is really an awesome post, or should I say, a review…

    I was never ever thinking about joining Empower Network because it’s pretty clear for anyone who has even a small experience online that something stinks at their “house”… Even their name was somehow suspicious to me because it sounds like some average MLM scam, at least to me…

    Anyway, I can say that I’ve learned a lot from your post, since I didn’t want to lose my time on researching something that’s not even interesting to me… but thumbs up to you for providing us with really detailed and honest review… now everyone can know how things are with this “network”…

    I hope you will provide us with more articles like this one in the future! :)

    Stay well,
    Tommy

  101. Robert Mitchell

    Great reminder of how easy it is to be drawn into a program that promises easy and quick wealth when all the “hard work” is done for you. Just write them a check or give them your credit card information.

  102. So this is just another pyramid selling scheme destined to put lots of money into the CEO’s pocket before the site is finally shut down?

    Remember Skybiz? It was similar in so many ways.

    It’s just a shame that a lot of good, hardworking individuals will lose their money on just another crap scam on the internet.

    • Kylex

      Wow! Another set of monsters on the block just to EXPLOIT your hard works and pile up insane money.

      And Steve. Yes, I too do believe the same.
      To be honest, I don’t find ANYTHING WORTH to go for a deal.
      Working under their tagline would be like SELLING YOURSELF (for $25 each month lol)

  103. Ana, awesome review. Thanks for doing all of the hard research so your readers don’t have to. But one point: unbiased doesn’t equate to endorsement. You presented the information in a very unbiased way — you simply listed some of the techniques and tools presented in the training and assumed that your readers could draw their own conclusions — you didn’t draw those conclusions for them. Or go into the process assuming they were not worth the money and then looking for evidence to support your claim. You can be unbiased and still provide a warning to your readers. Thanks again.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Lesa.

      Of course, I was boiling as I was going through their “training” and it was very hard for me to keep cool while writing this review.

      Thanks for the FB like!

  104. Great review Ana,

    I was suspicious of the platform from the beginning…it just didn’t make sense to me as a realistic tool to have thousands of sites with essentially the same root url. Google knows what is going on and will not give any weight to thousands of sites with essentially the same content.

    Anyone who has tried to create unique content on a blog and compete for searches knows there is a learning curve to making a blog work. I suspect most of the folks selling EN are doing just that…selling EN and not really using the platform. Of course not all but probably most.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I agree, Jim – their business model is to build a downline and not an actual business.

      Too bad so many naive folks think this is the best thing since sliced bread…

  105. Paul Forcey

    A good write up Ana , The money in Empower is not in running the blog, but in selling others on running a blog of their own, who then go and sell the opportunity to others..etc etc

    Facebook recently stopped Empower links from being directly posted to their site.

    I make a rule not to join anything where I don’t understand how I am getting paid..lol

    • Harry Fassett

      Straight to the point Paul, and yes, the payout is a little fuzzy but more importantly; most run with the “herd cookie cutter mentality” and that’s the last place you want to be most of the time.

      Did I spell “straight” right Ana?:0)