Keep Your Money, Honey: Which Internet Marketing Products Are Not Worth Their Salt

Keep Your Money, Honey: Which Internet Marketing Products Are Not Worth Their Salt

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internet marketing tools keep money imageCan you make money blogging without spending money?

Theoretically, yes.

But if you don’t want to wait for years to develop your blog all on your own with nothing by sweat and tears, then sooner or later you’ll start seeking out some help in the form of ebooks, courses, plugins, software, etc.

Patience is not my virtue when it comes down to my business and I’ve become a sucker for great products that truly benefit me in my business.

My criteria for a perfect tool are simple:

  1. It has to save me time
  2. Or save me money
  3. Or both
  4. AND it has to bring me more profit than it costs

However, in one of my new “Sunday Coffee with Ana” posts I mentioned that there were plenty of products I tried in the past and would never recommend.

That hit the cord with many of you.

Don’t we all wish that somebody had the guts to tell us up front that a certain product sucks rather than shove their affiliate links down our throats whatever the negatives?

Well, I am more than happy to share what my top picks for “You’d better keep your money” products of 2010 were.

Here they are in no particular order:

1.   RentAnEdu.com

This product by Russel Brunson sounded like a break-through in link building.

What if you could rent an .EDU domain and offer the links from that domain to any webmaster you wish on the condition of them linking to one of your sites?

Sounded like great premises; alas, it wasn’t everything they set it out to be.

What I didn’t like about it:

  • They obviously rushed the product; their membership has a lot of problems they need to work out. I lost a day of their 7-day trial just trying to set everything up instead of promised 2-3 minutes.
  • Their “how-to” videos don’t appear to tell the whole story. I am sure the creators are holding back some very important pieces of the puzzle to truly make it work – that’s no way to sell the product. You either tell it all or keep it to yourself.
  • Because of the lack of true disclaimer of how the process should work, you are left to your own devices figuring out the missing pieces.
  • After spending several days and $95, I got one link – not good ROI.
  • You have to continue spending $95 per month to keep the links live.

Conclusion:

If you want to build links, you still need to do it the old-fashioned way.

This product resulted in a $95 loss and a cancellation of the membership.

2.   Unique Article Wizard

If you read my recent Link Building: What’s Naughty, What’s Nice? post, you know what my problem with article spinners in general and this one specifically is.

The way it basically works is it submits your spun articles to a multitude of member-blogs, thus creating backlinks to your site.

What I didn’t like about it:

Other than the fact that article spinning is EXTREMELY time-consuming, most of the blogs that your article will end up on are low-quality ones. Many of them are even automated.

I also tried their “guest post” feature – I forgot what it was really called. That’s when you choose to accept articles submitted by other members in your niche. I ended up with a slew of poorly written content that even at the worst of my blogging days I wouldn’t publish on my blog.

Conclusion:

My website ended up slipping down in ranking due to UAW.

Eventually, I was $67 X by 3 months out of pocket and having to manually rebuilt some quality links to get my site back to the first page.

3.   MLMLeadSystemPro

I still see the members “doing their thing”, trying to get traffic to their affiliate MLM Lead System Pro page.

You know how I know?

Because they all market it the same way, the way they are taught.

And that’s precisely why it’s not working for them. It’s a system and no “out of the box” thinking is required.

To be fair to MLM Lead System Pro, they do (or at least used to) provide some good basic training for internet marketing newbies. And that’s the only reason I would ever try them if you really desperately have to: for training. But stay with them for a month, learn all you can, and cancel your membership.

What I didn’t like about it:

  • “one size fits all” mentality
  • promote our business first and you might get a lead or two for your primary business – rarely happens
  • everything is based on a multitude of affiliate offers they try to get you into during each training seminar
  • there is no growth in the level of training
  • it got too big

Conclusion:

You can get some good marketing training out of it, if you are willing to grow tough skin to the many offers they’ll put you through.

There are plenty of better programs out there.

4.   YouTube Secret Weapon

If you are into video marketing at all, you must’ve heard about Julie Perry and Paul Colligan’s video marketing product.

It really does go in-depth as far as the basics of setting up a great channel, driving traffic to it, getting your videos seen, etc is concerned.

However…

What I didn’t like about it:

  • You can learn EVERYTHING they are selling for $197 for free on their blog. As soon as you opt in to get more information, you will get a link to it. THAT information is priceless if you are planning on using YouTube as a part of your overall marketing strategy.
  • The quality of videos was awful – I could make out half of the audio even though headphones.
  • The entire course is very outdated even with their last update – YouTube has changed a lot since the course was recorded.

Also, I have a personal problem with Julie: I made a YouTube video teaching a couple of tricks from the course hoping to get some affiliate sales through it. However, Julie perceived it as me “scraping” her content and got my video banned from YouTube. As you can imagine, we are not too fond of each other.

Even despite that, I wouldn’t have recommended the course.

Conclusion:

I should’ve asked for refund, but missed the deadline. I am $197 out.

5.   SEO Link Vine

This one is by Brad Callen and is similar to Unique Article Wizard.

I wouldn’t use it for all the reasons I mentioned above.

6.   StomperNet

This one I had huge hopes for, but I think it reached its expiration date.

StomperNet is an SEO membership community that provides all sorts of SEO training.

It was very powerful back in the day when a lot of big SEO names were actively involved in it. But no more.

Now it’s just running out its course, still collecting money from some members who don’t know any better.

Here are some potentially good points about it:

  • it DOES offer some incredible training, even though it might be just a bit outdated by now
  • it does offer access to some tools you can use in your business, like Market Samurai, Traffic Geyser, etc

However…

What I didn’t like about it:

  • the membership is a cool $197 – WAY more than I’d be willing to pay for it.
  • yes, it does offer access to tools like Market Samurai. However, they claim that Market Samurai costs $147/MONTH, but in truth it’s $147 one time fee, plus you can get 35% off. So their numbers don’t add up. On top of that, once you cancel your membership, you won’t have access to Market Samurai any longer.

I recently got some of their Christmas offers and thought to myself “Why not try them out again; see if they spruced it up to make it worthwhile. Unfortunately, not.

Another reason I decided to try it one more time as a promise of a blog audit, valued at $297!

As you know I do very detailed audits on this blogs each Friday, so naturally I wanted to “check out the competition”, plus it’s always great to have another pair of eyes and ears.

What it turned out to be was a half-hour long conversation with a guy who didn’t have any particular qualifications other than that fact that he owned a website. Although very nice, he told me upfront that he didn’t know anything about blogging or my niche, but told me everything there was to know about his site.

What a waste of time.

Conclusion:

Good thing I am writing this now, since it reminded me that I still need to request a refund for this miserable failure of an audit and the membership.

Here are also some products that weren’t necessarily bad in any specific way; they just didn’t work for me:

1.  ShoeMoney System

This system by Jeremy Shoemaker was simply too basic and my expectations were a lot higher for $497.

2.  Keyword Elite and SEO Elite

Both by Brad Callen. I found there wasn’t anything special about them; plenty of other tools that do the same job better.

Marketing Takeaway

Well, and now you know. :)

I am sure I forgot a product or two; I will let you know if anything comes to mind.

If you want to know what I DO recommend, check out my Top of the Crop: Best Internet Marketing Tools Best Marketers Use page.

I update the page regularly with new products I use and recommend and remove the ones I don’t feel are worth their money any longer – like I did with StomperNet.

I am sure you know by now that you can fully trust my recommendations as I am not out for a quick dollar, rather an honest one.

Are their any products you’d like for me to check out?

I’d love to know what they are!

I am always on the lookout for new ways to help me grow a stronger business faster and I certainly don’t mind sharing with you the results of my findings on ANY products.

One condition though: if I make myself a marketing product guinea-pig, you need to promise me that you would buy the products I recommend and you find a need and a budget for through my affiliate links. Deal? :)

Now go down to the comments to let me know your thoughts and suggest products you would like me to test before you buy.

ana hoffman internet marketing tools

traffic generation cafe comment below

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114 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. I’ve kind of been on the fence about Unique Article Wizard but after reading what you have to say I think I’ll pass, I’ve also heard from a few other marketers that it’s not worth the $67 a month they charge for.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Definitely a good decision, Tyronne; especially in light of all the latest Google updates.

  2. Thanx 4 the advice on MLM Systems Pro. I attended one of their seminars, which seemed way too sale-sy. I was thinking I might invest in them at some point in time, but now I know to look at other venues. Thanx again for the time and money saved.

  3. Indeed, Daniel – this kind of stories are plentiful, unfortunately.

    Sure there are several key tools that I recommend every website owner should have, but they are really far and few between.

    Thanks for letting me know which ones you prefer.

  4. Love your honesty on the systems and I haven’t tried any of them, I spend some money but not on buying programs, most of my money is spent on paying my writing staff with some of it to run promotional programs and others to test new systems like JustRetweet and Triberr (spent $20+ on each). Regarding .edu backlinks I have seen no evidence from testing and from others that .edu and .gov links provided enormous benefit, however you can find .edu and .gov links to comment on for free by using dropmylink.com which I highly recommend to other bloggers to build backlinks from comments and is 100% free.

    • No such thing as silver bullet, huh? lol

      I am with you, Justin – the biggest chunk of my monthly expenses are for the blog upkeep (hosting, etc) and some Fiverr gigs for simple jobs; that’s about it.

      Edu links? Not so sure myself.

      Interestingly though every single backlink checking tool out there still counts them separately.

      • Did you write a post about what Fiverr gigs you outsources, I am curious to see what you find effective and pay for on Fiverr. I did about $40 in Fiverr gigs last month for the 1st time in a while and I am very curious where you spend your budget dollars for maximum efficiency.

        What I am looking for now is why my frigging Alexa rating keeps slipping even while my traffic is great, my Alexa lost 11k in 3 months while my traffic goes up. Sites with way less traffic have so much better Alexa, I think it is because of backlinks to their sites vs mine. I need to build more backlinks to unique domains instead of commenting on my favorite sites all the time where Alexa only counts 1 link from 1 unique domain not from multiple posts on same domain.

        • I know Alexa is notoriously unreliable, Justin.

          As you pointed out, you get 3 times my traffic, yet my ranking is so much lower…

          As far as Fiverr is concerned, I outsource some of the tedious link building tasks I don’t have time for.

  5. I love your brutal honesty, Ana :) I did see Raven Tools mentioned in one of the comments and that was highly recommended to me by one of my friends in Nebraska. Right now, I look to reviews and recommendations by Ryan, Mavis and yourself first.

    • I’ve heard good things about Raven Tools, Steve, but never used them myself.

      One thing I heard about them though is that they are way too overpriced for what you can do with them.

      I am exploring different tools right now to see which one I like the best.

  6. Hey Ana,

    Well you got my attention with your brief review about MLSP and the conversation you had in the comment thread about it.

    I’ve never been in an MLM scheme before (that if you don’t consider something like SFI -Strong Future International- as an MLM scheme) but I remember being on a live training about Twitter.

    They were talking about how to use twitter with Tweet Adder and to be honest, the training was top notch.

    I have been in a few Internet Marketing training courses in the past and I understood that every “business in a box” is a waste of time.

    However I was looking forward to try them out for a month just to learn everything I could and get out of there but you say it’s basic stuff.

    I may join just to take a look and then get out.

    Not really interested in promoting pre-made sales funnels or getting brain washed in that is not the system and that it is me about getting results.

    I already have common sense! ;-)

    Sergio

    • Ana Hoffman

      I haven’t been to their site in over a year, Sergio – who knows, maybe they changed for the better.

  7. Thanks for this. I trust your judgement so will keep as far away from these product as possible. The thing that strikes me odd, is that some of these people are asking for soooo much for their product. What cheek!

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’ve read it somewhere (probably from one of the “gurus”) that they recommend to overcharge for products because if you charge just right (i.e. too little as far as they are concerned), people will think that the product is not good enough and won’t buy it at a lower price.

      What a load of….!

  8. Hey Ana!

    Thanks for the tips on what to avoid. I am tempted by new product that promise to make IM easier as well, so it’s good to know what to avoid. I personally tried Fast Cash Commissions and recommend staying away from it. It has some value for a brand new person but the creators have no problem with lying about what they are doing. This is the biggest problem I had with them.
    They also try to sell you something new everyday and call it training. Thanks again Ana.

  9. Ana, I laughed out loud when I read “You can learn EVERYTHING they are selling for $197 for free on their blog.” That statement [insert the price YOU paid for whatever] can be applied to WAY TOO MANY “offers” out there on the net! There seems to be an abundance of “secret weapons” and “systems” for sale – most are worth NOTHING – many have information / tips you could have Googled or otherwise figured out for yourself!

    Blog On, Ana! I love your presentations!

  10. After chasing the next greatest tool since I started working online in 2005, I have decided to just use the powerful Thesis WordPress theme that I won in your contest and use Comment Luv Premium to build powerful websites that bring targeted prospects to me.

    I have tried many of the products you mentioned above. I decided this year to focus on building content on my sites and using the telephone t0 speak with my list ( so old fashioned in 2012 ) is the best way for me to grow my wellness business. Thanks for your review Ana!

    • Ana Hoffman

      In most cases, we already have all the knowledge we need to succeed, Danielle.

      I am with you – getting down to business is what I am planning on doing the following year.

  11. Lots of choices for stuff that doesn’t work very well — that’s my experience at least. I think — as you said in one of your other posts — that the bottom line is it takes time and effort to get traffic into a site AND to make money from it. I don’t think that there are shortcuts but there are effective tools that can help make the process easier. I’m wondering if you got some pushback over the UAW thumbs-down. A lot of people swear by that particular service.

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are right, Thomas – in the end, it always takes time and work; the tools are there just to help us do our work more efficiently, but they won’t make it or break it for us.

      UAW? Some of my blogger friends used to love it, but recently dropped it. I guess they’ve come to the same conclusions on it.

  12. Ana, I have to tell you that this website is becoming addictive. I read one post and it leads to another that is even more informative. Keep it coming! I read the entire post on the various tools that you use for SEO, etc and didn’t see one of the SEO tools that I use for keyword research, and wonder if you have tried it? It’s called Micro Niche Finder and I really like it. I also have a copy of Market Samurai, but seldom use it any more. I also tried the Callen’s tool and I think its way over rated. If I posted this on the wrong page, my apologies.

    • Ana Hoffman

      No, I’ve never tried Micro Niche Finder, Gustav, but will take a look at it; thanks for the suggestion.

      I use Market Samurai on a daily basis almost, can’t write a post without it, LOL.

  13. Raven Tools – by far one of the best online marketing tools available today. You can manage SEO, PPC, Social Media, Analytics from one dashboard.

    It pulls data from majesticseo, semrush, seomoz, google analytics etc…

    Cheers,
    L

  14. This is a great article Ana thanks for sharing. I hadn’t heard of half of those products but there are an unlimited number out there and I will stay away from the ones you mentioned. I can’t wait to read the products that you do recommend at http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/internet-marketing-tools/
    It can be hard to find good quality reviews because if you just type in XYZ Product Review, the majority of the websites are actually promoting the product with their bonuses. I can’t blame them for that as it is a legit way to get buyers for that specific product, but it is just hard to get an honest review then.

    • Yes, you never know who wrote a review posted on a review site. I always buy on recommendations from people I know and trust. Thanks for visiting, Chris.

  15. I think that affiliate products has to be selected according to the specificity of an online resource and its targeted audience. Before to choose the right affiliate products for a website you have to perform the detailed research of targeted users. You should understand, who your users are and what products they need. Then just offer them the right products.

    • Terje, you are absolutely right. Offering the wrong (or too many) programs will be off-putting. It has to be in context with your niche.

  16. Good idea, Dan.

    The only problem is your link is broken; you should probably come back and fix it, otherwise, no one will make it over to our blog.

  17. Wow, very strong opinion, Richard, and I can’t help but agree with it.

    One this for sure though: those products keep popping up because we keep buying them hoping that the next one will definitely make our business a success.

  18. Ana,
    Thanks for the insights! I was especially interested in UAW and Brad Callen’s products – they both draw raves on some of the forums I’ve been on. I’ve been quite tempted by them – you’ve just saved me quite a bit of money.

    I’m off to see what products you DO recommend.

    • Definitely, Camden.

      Some people talk up a storm about some of these for different reasons: affiliate sales, lack of knowledge, etc.

      Welcome to my blog!

  19. Ha ha Ann,

    Where did you come from? You are freaking awesomely great! Too much value!

    The honesty in calling things as they are is so admirable. No wonder you have a bunch of loyal readers who are always expectant everytime they come to your site and again… you overdeliver. Thanks Ann!

    The time and money you save us by revealing these info is invaluable, and I’d better be wise to steer clear of these hyped-products.

    Sometimes, I feel I deserve to pay when I read some of your content, because of what is therein. That’s what makes this site a favourite. Thanks Ann!

    Let me ask this question: I’m not involved in MLSP because when i started I just didnt have the cashflow to get involved. You are in fact the first person I’ve seen tell the not-too-good side of MLSP. What system do you recommend that can help out?

    Thanks again, Ann, for all you do! (((huggs)))

    Tosin
    …fear is the passion of slaves!

    • Thank you so much, Tosin, for enthusiastic thumbs up – this is exactly why I am in blogging!

      I don’t have a good recommendation for an overall internet marketing training; I am actually doing some research into it.

      The only course I know is good is on blogging and how to make money blogging. It’s called “Income Blogging Guide” by Andrew Rondeau. See what I like about it here: http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/best-internet-marketing-tools/

      Ana

  20. Hey Ana,

    Thanks for the heads up. This post will save many people a lot of time and money. Well done, girl! :)

    I was also with MLSP, as you know. I followed everything they taught, no results. Yes, there are very few people who a getting results with MLSP. I think it’s ideal for newbies, just to get the basic internet marketing training.

    As for the other products, I have never tried them and I have no intention to do so.

    Great job! Keep rocking!

    All the best,
    Mavis

    • I definitely agree that MLSP can be a good initial training tool – short-term, in and out.

      Thanks for coming by, Mavis. :)

  21. Smuze

    Thank you very much for your article! I have wondered about several of the tools / services that you reviewed and was always scarred to pay them because I didn’t know if they will be worth the money.

    As for article spinning software, in my experience, if you have good English and you can type fast, you can write your self a 300 word article in under 20 minutes…

    • It’s not necessarily about writing – that’s the easy part, but spinning might take you an hour or two. Plus, according to my observations, it’s too good for your SEO – too many junk links.

  22. Well, at least you got something out of it, Dan. :)

    Don’t feel bad; I considered autoblogging before I knew any better as well. Thankfully, I never acted upon it.

    Thanks for the heads up on the product; will add it to my list.

    Ana

  23. Tomas Kirk

    Hey Ana,
    Appreciate your insight on the sites listed above. I have not any subscribed to any except one. For that one, I am getting my moneys worth so that is the benefit for me. More importantly, you do address whether or not the product is giving the education and value it says it will.

    Tomas

    • You are very welcome, Tomas – I am glad at least one of them is actually working for you. And thanks for coming by!

  24. It is almost like we think that buying products miraculously save us from doing the work.
    In fact, I am sure that anyone can make it without spending too much money, just believing in yourself, finding your niche and your passion and having a lot of discipline to work and write on a regular basis!
    I am talking to myself right now! lol
    ;-)
    Thanks for your post Anna
    Cat

    • You are sooooo right, Catherine!

      Products are just tools, they won’t make or break our business; only we will.

      Ana

  25. Ana,

    It’s great that more people are talking about this aspect of the IM world. The biggest scandal IMO is the number of courses sold at the 2K price point, where the justification for this price point is mainly that the course consists of ‘video training.

    Video is a fabulous medium for teaching some topics – but it is not the best medium for every topic. News Flash for those who put out these kind of course: talking on camera and then writing ‘bullet points’ on a white board is not effective video training. What these guys seem to be doing is taking information that if packaged in eBook form would sell for around $97, converting that information to ‘videos’ that don’t actually take advantage of the video medium, and then charging 2K.

    Keep being honest Ana – it’s a rare and highly needed commodity in the IM world.

    Paul

    • I so agree, Peter. I recently purchased a $2K course and a $197 course from the same person and they both contained the same material; just packaged differently.

      If I ever created my own product, it will be value, value, value… Maybe I should start working on that. :)

  26. A very interesting blog Ana – thanks for the info. I was a bit surprised about your including the Callen Bros products – but your reasons are valid I suspect. I have promoted some of those you mention – now I think I will re-consider. Mind you, never made a sale anyway!
    I did join the freebie bit of SEO Link Vine and found that it was fairly useless as my blogs wouldn’t accept the generated articles etc.
    Shoe Money was useless too. Ditto Exitfire
    I just don’t believe that paying monthly fees for software really pays off, so I don’t! In the long run, unless you have a big list to promote to then the revenue is not there to cover monthly fees. And, you I you think raise some serious ethical issues so I need to look at my products.
    I have a copy of Market Samurai – and it is worth an investment – one of the few that are.

    When push comes to shove, I think following blogs like this are far more value – both for learning the basics and getting great tips for “how to”

    • Callen products simply don’t provide enough value, Peter – you can do all the same things without spending a dime.

      I am definitely reconsidering any monthly-fee products as well – do they really provide enough value to cover the cost?

  27. Hi Ana, Thanks for this post. I have used some of the same products you have and frankly feel quite proud of myself for forming the same conclusion. I too tried MLSP (my lead system pro I think it is now) – and while my hats go off to the fellas… and I believe they do provide some good basic marketing, I found it got too sales like. I also ALWAYS know who’s using the system as the capture pages are all the same and the ‘favicon’ is the same so a person does not stand out.

    I was also very disappointed with Keyword elite.

    Thanks for your suggestions against some of the other products. Some I had ‘seen’ but not tried.

    I find it a shame when some of the marketers start lowering their standards to flog anything to unsuspecting newcomers. I have heard a one or two positives about Russell Brunson. but I get the impression that many of these fellows start out valuable and then start to market anything with a possible affiliate commission attached to it. It’s too bad.

    Thanks Ana, ~Jayne~

    • I found that MLSP was like another network marketing business you had to market before you can market your primary one. Defeats the purpose.

      Product standards have definitely gone down lately. It seems like some marketers come up with a product every couple of months and don’t even take their time to make sure everything works.

      Thanks for coming by, Jane!

  28. Wow, this was a post I really enjoyed reading. I have not bought any of the products you mention, but I almost bought three of them, and especially StomperNet.

    I believe posts like this is more important than the reviews, that always ends up selling the product (because that’s why most people are writing the reviews).

    It’s so hard to stay away from products you mention above. Because they all have the professional sales pages and testimonials from well-known marketers, and they’re using all sorts of marketing tricks to make us buy it (like increasing the price after a certain amount of products are sold or at a specific time).

    Thanks a lot for sharing this.

    • Testimonials are what irritates me the most about those sales letters, Jens.

      All those “big name” seem to stand by each other and scratch each other’s back at a moment’s notice, leaving the end consumer out of money and out of luck at the end.

  29. Hi Ana,

    This post was FANTASTIC!
    I’m a fairly new subscriber (wish I found you sooner) and love your content.

    LOVE the honesty here (direct & diplomatic). Other than StomperNet (not a member anymore), I haven’t purchased any of the products you mentioned. I’ve bought from Russell Brunson before and get a little tired of the 22 upsells you get when you try to check out.

    I’ve started unsubscribing from quite a few ‘marketers’ and have found that bloggers who are also marketers tend to provide WAY more value and are actually interested in building a relationship with their subscribers. If the only time I hear from someone is when they’re selling- I’m unsubscribing.
    GREAT post! Thanks!
    Kim

    • You are so very welcome, Kim, and pleasure to see a fresh face on my blog! :)

      I am definitely tired of all the product marketing as well; they don’t even pretend any longer that they want to provide straight value, they just sell, sell, sell.

      Have a blessed day!

  30. The only one that rang a bell for me was the ShoeMoney one, never heard of the rest. At least I now know which ones to stay clear from.

    I could never understand why people promote stuff they’ve never used and so have no idea to their true worth. They don’t seem to understand that whilest they make a sale their credibily suffers.

    As for those that buy it, try and then promote it, even though they don’t like it, well they’re fools.

    • Money, money, money… Money makes the world go around?

      It’s definitely no my style, wouldn’t be able to sleep with myself. :)

      Thanks for coming by, Sire.

  31. Funny how some of the same names keep popping up with “less than good” product offerings that they, and the rest of their JV clan, make a killing from (at the expense of struggling marketers). They are like a little Internet Band of Thieves. I caught shrapnel from another Brunson junk-bomb, “ExitFire”. The only thing that became heated was me ….

    Best to you Ana,
    Scott

    • I am embarrassed for them; how come they are not? It’s sickening how much money they make off our backs…

      Thanks for another addition, Scott; will include in the list.

      Aba

  32. Thanks for your honest reviews – it’s great for those of us newer in this big bad world of Blogging to know that someone like you is watching our back!

    Ana, have you thought of producing a product or membership site yourself (Am I right is saying you don’t have a product?) I’m sure there’d be many people interested in being guided through the internet jungle by you.

    • You are so welcome, Caroline.

      And yes, I am considering something like that. Problem is – it has to be the best, and the best takes time. :)

  33. Great post Ana! I was in MLSP for a couple of months, and as a newbie to IM, I found it very valuable. However, I felt it wasn’t for me and I also felt like I was paying too much for just a website that wasn’t even hosted. The training was good, but the turn-key system didn’t seem that turn-key.

    Also, I wanted to take a break from MLSP for a while, and you still have to pay to take a break ($10 / month). I thought that was sort of ridiculous because you’re not receiving any services whatsoever, so why should you have to pay? After a month on break, I finally canceled my membership and got my account deleted.

    I know that a lot of people have found success with MLSP, so I am not calling it a scam like others do, I’m just pointing out that it may not be for everyone. No business is ever for everyone anyway.

    Even though I generally don’t like negativity, sometimes the truth needs to be told! Some products don’t do everything they promise to, and it takes a lot of cajones for someone to expose these products, no matter how popular they are. That way, the person who has only seen ads for those products can get a second unbiased opinion on the product and make their own decision.

    Thanks!
    Rasheed

  34. You got no balls, that’s for sure. I admire you for being straight forward and honest in your opinion about this products, and look forward for more post like this in the future from you. By the way, I bought Thesis Theme and Thesis Awesome because of you and the reason was your review and recommendation about those products. Thank you. I love your blog.

  35. I agree about SEO linkvine,, I tried this and couldn’t have been more disappointed! The amount of low quality sites and articles was amazing!
    Nothing is easy, hard work is what pays off! No shortcuts!

  36. Lou

    Hi Ana:

    This is a very good post. Thanks for you hard work and taking the time to write about your experience with these products. You have saved me both time and money.

    VERY much appreciated on my end of cyberspace !!!

    Lou

  37. Hi, Ana –

    I’ve had great results with spinning and submitting, but currently one of my sites, my best in terms of profit, is getting the run around from Google. Hard to say why, seems to be going around in my circles with thinner sites for IMers.

    Anyhow – UAW worked well for me. I do have theory that’s not easy to prove that it might have resulted in getting my site sandboxed – i just have a hard time believing it seeing other sites and friends sites ranking well with much less in terms of link quality (if you can imagine).

    Oh, I did want to tell you it’s Brad Callen, not Brad Fallon, who owns SEO Elite and SEO Linkvine – the latter runs StomperNet.

    Altogether, though – I keep coming back because you do have ideas that are in large part much safer than the linking methodology I’ve been using (although we seem to have reached different conclusions about their efficacy).

    A’ight. Enough picking on Ana. Work to do. :)

    • Always great to see you, James.

      Thanks for correcting me on Fallon – Callen; I can’t believe I confused them…again.

      My link building methodology definitely works and it’s much less time consuming than any automatic submission of any kind. Plus, it’s a lot less dubious.

  38. Very well said, Oliver – I felt very much the same.

    Our attention is always best focused on our own business first and foremost.

  39. Hi Ana,

    Great to see a round up of to counter some of the sales hype out there.

    I’m particularly interested to see your and Ray’s discussion about MLSP, since I still use it myself. Although I have nothing like the results of the top referrers, I find that it’s definitely worth my while as a system, and I found the training utterly invaluable when first setting myself up online. So I disagree with your verdict on that one…

    Nonetheless I’ve learned to value your opinion so I’ll bear in mind your words on all the above, although I’m a great believer in checking things out for oneself despite the reviews!

    Thanks for investigating all these products and sharing your conclusions. Maybe you could get some commission from their competitors?

    Jym

    • My verdict on MLSP was based on actually promoting is as your primary income source and making your primary business secondary to that.

      Ray’s team definitely had some incredible results, no question about it. However, those results are not typical at all.

      I am not denying that MLSP can still provide a good training platform. I did use it as such without promoting it, just for pure knowledge.

      However, there are better places to get great knowledge without taking emphasis off your primary business.

      Commission from competitors… there’s an idea! :)

      • Jonathan Sweeting

        I like lead pro for one big reason, if You can make a high level, You get a very high status as a leader because everyone knows about it. However I Am not biased, Am curious, which program do You recommend as an alternative to MLSP…

        • Unfortunately, not too many people do make it big, Jonathan.

          I am currently looking into some worth membership sites; will report when come up with definite conclusions.

          Ana

  40. James M

    Check out the Article Submission Helper: articlesubmissionhelper dot com

    It’s free to use, available on multiple platforms, and will get your article submitted to over a hundred directories. You can input the key words, title, main link page, and enter a signature with HTML. I haven’t been keeping track of my page rankings since I’m not even going to appear on a ranking, but maybe some people will find it of use.

    • I am not in favor of using article submission software of any kind, James – I find that it can actually have negative effect on rankings.

  41. I gotta tell you Ana, I love your brutal honesty and style in all you do and say. I’ve been reading your stuff for a couple of weeks now and I knew you were doing things right from initial impressions (just based on comments and Alexa alone), but your content is top notch and original as heck.

    Thanks for being dang awesome.

  42. Hey Ana, great post, I considered purchasing MLSP awhile ago and I am so glad I didn’t. They just want you to become an affiliate for them and their products.

    I did find a good training site that is free of charge and has most of the training that you will find in these monthly membership systems.

    I also offer free training, for Internet Network Marketing, on my blog as well. If you look hard enough and find people like you Ana, you can learn on your own, it just might take a little longer.

    I didn’t want to put a link in my comment, but anyone who wants more info on the free training, go to my blog and comment, or contact me(my contact info is on the about page of my blog, in the bottom paragraph). I will help you get the answers you need. Thanks again Ana, I am truly greatful for what you do!

    • You are right, Ian – most of the things can be learned for free.

      However, it’s not the most efficient way of doing things, plus you still might be missing out on important pieces of information that might make or break your business.

      I definitely recommend online business owners invest in their education and tools to help them; my point is to choose wisely.

  43. Ana:

    This post is the epitome of why you are so valuable to the community. I can appreciate the amount if money you spend on education and proceed to give us that knowledge as well…free of charge might I add. Therefore, anyone reading your blog should know that whether it’s good or bad…we’re gonna hear it like it is. It’s that russian charm of yours!

    have a good day,
    Lisa

  44. I’ve bought a few products myself, some of which are truly awful.

    I hadn’t specifically heard of any of these but I had been reading about article spinning and came to the same conclusion you did in that it was too time-consuming and the articles ended up at low-value sites anyway.

    At least now I’ll know not to invest in any of these other systems. Yikes, some are quite steep!

    Thanks for going through this, it seemed like quite an ordeal. I also can’t see how you could be “Scraping” when you paid for the course, but I guess she didn’t see that logic.

    Thanks for the post, I’ll retweet so hopefully others are spared…

    • Thanks for spreading the word, John – I am sure there is a great number of internet marketers who would greatly benefit from this info.

  45. I’ve tried a few of Mike Filsaime’s products – don’t remember what they were at this point, but I do remember I wasn’t blown away. Fairly generic.

  46. Robert Dempsey

    This post is freaking awesome. I can’t even count the number of IM products I purchased in the past that all spouted some “ninja tactic” that ended up being crap and not worth the money. While I stopped buying a bulk of products I did recently buy Mass Money Makers for $37 as I want to get more into affiliate marketing this year. Long story short on that is it’s an interesting technique of article marketing, but nothing new past the blogs I read.

  47. Ana, this may be the Year of the Rabbit, but someone must have told you and me that it is the Year of the Disclosure.

    I think it is fantastic that you are calling out what you think are poor products. I’ve only seen one dissenting comment, so far, but I have to wonder how many people are willing to step up and admit that they’re blowing wads of money each month, in the hopes that “things will get better soon!”

    There is one site that I would put into my own “It’s not necessarily bad” column.
    Kyle and Carson’s WealthyAffiliate membership site. I learned a lot in the three months that I kept my membership. I was also distracted by all of the “experts” pitching their systems. I mean, if WA was supposed to be the bee’s knees why did I need another system?

    Anyway, your post validates a lot of my conclusions about Internet Marketing products. It makes it tougher for the legitimate marketers but, maybe not. If a legitimate marketer simply markets her products well, she will reach enough people to sustain her business. She just might not reach those who never learn the definition of “insanity”.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • Year of Disclosure – I love that, Mitch! You are right, I am bound to get some disgruntled readers, maybe even very upset product creators.

      However, the positive feedback far outweighs the negative. Plus, I am pretty sure my readers trust just went through the roof. :)

      Thanks for mentioning WA; will add to the post.

  48. Excellent collection worthy to keep! But you will make a lot of enemies :)

    Good that I have not tried any of them; I’ll stay away from them. Thanks for the concrete stuff.

    Jane.

    • I think making enemies online is pretty much inevitable, Jane. :) We’ll see if I can grow thick skin…

      No regrets I did it and I will continue to post more as I find them.

  49. Hi Ana,
    I was a member of StomperNet, yes they have had good training causes at that time (2009). Keyword Elite and SEO Elite both by Brad Callen, I think?!?!?
    I spent some money on some SEO softwares in the pass just to found out later that there are free & better performing tools such as SeoQuake, or Google adwords keywords tool which I feel it work quite well for me.

    • It seems like every good system, however good it is, has its expiration date, Rose.

      Looks like StomperNet reached theirs, although there’s still a lot of great information in the back office. I am just not sure it’s worth $197/per month.

  50. I am grateful to @MrBenWan for introducing me to your site. Coming to your site is like going to an encyclopedia. You provide so much valuable information and you give so generously that no wonder you have a trustworthy reputation. Thank you for this blog too, Ana, great to have someone like you simply – tell the truth:) By exposing the sub standard products you have saved not just $$$ for unsuspecting consumers , but also preserved many a dignity because when something like this happens or we fall prey to some scam, often it is the victim that feels anger, shame and guilt. I used to be very naive and trusting so I speak from experience. Thanks again.

    • So are so very welcome, Olivia, and glad you found your way to my blog – thanks, @MrBenWan!

      I wish somebody saved me my money back in the day… At least, now I can do for someone else.

  51. Cindy Bidar

    Well that’s refreshing! It’s nice to see someone talk about what doesn’t work for a change, rather than the usual “Rah-Rah! This is great!” affiliate-link-laden post.

    I don’t buy a lot of IM tools myself, and have been disappointed with some of those I have – most notably those of the link-building variety. I don’t believe there’s any shortcut to link-building. It just takes work. But then that’s not what people want to hear, is it?

    Thanks for the great list. I’m off to check out the list of things you DO recommend, now. I’m sure there will be some “must have” tools there.

    • Transparency is the key and that goes for both good and bad. :)

      I agree with you, Cindy – link building needs to be done by hand and it’s really not that difficult to accomplish.

  52. I completely disagree with your valuation of my lead system pro (it hasn’t been called mlm lead system pro in over a year). There is more training in that system than any other system I have ever seen and it grows weekly. The valuation you gave it is, in my opinion, one easy to give from an outsiders point of view that has never gone through it or perhaps went through it when they were first getting started 1-2 years ago.

    I know so many people, friends of mine, of course including myself, that has had a lot of success with that system. I don’t say that lightly as there are a dozen systems that are infinitely worst than mlsp out there.

    Usually I am right with you on your opinion, in complete disagreement on this one! But hey, that’s what makes the world go round right?

    Take care Ana

    • Wow, I am enjoying a little discussion coming from you, Ray! :)

      I’ve been through MLM Lead System Pro twice – first when they just started, and the second time past summer to see if anything changed.

      I don’t discount its value as a training tool for the newcomers to the business. A lot can be learned from it.

      However, as a “system” it’s quite useless.

      How many sales do you generate for MLM Lead System Pro? And how many sales of your primary business came about through it?

      Will we have to agree to disagree?

      • I have generated 98 sales through mlsp on auto-pilot, that is, without picking up the phone for them.

        I have made about 40 sales by prospecting people and sold them mlsp when they said no to my primary.

        I have generated 46 sales for my primary business as well. As the #1 income earner in my primary, I pay close attention to where each sale comes from. I am very grateful for what they have taught me.

        I guess that isn’t bad for a system =)

          • You are right, that’s pretty good, Ray.

            I suppose now that the readers have 2 opposing opinions, they can make their choices accordingly. :)

            I really appreciate your input, Ray!

            • My two top guys in my team that made over $200,000 in 2010 also use mlsp, that being said, that does NOT mean I recommend it to everyone. Like anything that works, it takes time, I ask people what they expect it to do before I suggest they join. There are too many people staying in the library in mlm and attempting to become internet guru’s…instead of focusing on the easy to duplicate ways of really making money. So, is mlsp for everyone? No, no way, but, if you follow what they teach and have clear expectations and continue to prospect rather than think of it as a magical bean, then Yes, I highly suggest it. =)

              Good chatting with you Ana =)