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The hype around the “viral blogging system” that was Empower Network had been unrelenting since they launched in 2011.
Everywhere I turned online, I kept hearing about this amazing blogging system that paid you 100% commissions when you signed up someone to use their system.
Naturally, I did my due diligence and uncovered the dark truth about this MLM which everyone who was thinking about joining should know.
In the following review originally written in early 2013, which looks back at the failed Empower Network, I’m going to tell you why it was best that people stay away from this hot mess.
Why You Need This Retrospect
The reason we’re looking back at Empower Network is because Dave Sharpe, one of the founders of the now defunct MLM, has started an online marketing training membership called Legendary Marketer.
I haven’t tried Legendary Marketer but it seems to be a more legitimate offering that is more focused on training instead of “promotional opportunity”.
Much like Empower Network, there are different products available with different pricing ranging from $7 to a whopping $30,000.
Based on Dave Sharpe’s past offerings, I wouldn’t recommend that you try Legendary Marketer and this is what I aim to show in this retrospect for anyone who may have not been online when the Empower Network was experiencing their popularity.
The Empower Network Opportunity
First, before I go into the reasons why Empower Network should have been avoided, let’s take a look at what was offered at the Empower Network.
This is what prospects saw when they were first introduced to the opportunity and it actually looked like they were getting something of value. You’ll see below in the pros & cons section why this was not so.
Viral Blogging System ($25 / month)
Your introduction to EN would be the “viral blogging system” which you paid $25/month for access to. This enabled you to set up a WordPress blog that you couldn’t do much more customization to than adding your picture, your bio and a few banner ads.
You could then blog about anything you liked and hopefully got search engine traffic (providing you knew how to keyword optimize your posts).
As a basic member (paying $25/month), you had the opportunity to promote Empower Network and receive 100% commissions.
In order to get paid though, you had to pay an additional $20/ month to get an ewallet account. So in order for you to take advantage of EN, it would have cost you a minimum of $45/month.
But EN didn’t want you to stop there. The training (8 Core Commitment videos), basically tried to upsell you to much more expensive products in the system starting with the…
Inner Circle Mastermind Training ($100 /month)
This was a series of ongoing audio training that you would pay $100 per month to access on top of the $45 you’re already paying.
In the sales letter for this upgrade, they encouraged you to get the training with a few choice words that I like to call empowering:
“So what’s your decision?
Success, or no success.
Be a wussie, or be a top gun marketer.
You are choosing one of the two based on what you do right now. Just remember, when you do what successful people do, you get similar results.”
Apparently, a lot of the “pushing” to upgrade used this type of language.
The Costa Rica Intensive ($500.00)
This training promised to “take you to the 7-figure level” and cost $500 one time charge.
13 people gathered for a mastermind session in Costa Rica to basically show you how to promote Empower Network to others.
$15K Month Formula ($1000)
Then for $1000 one time charge you got some overpriced training that should help you succeed online.
The training showed you strategies you could use to get traffic, like using Facebook which ironically had blacklisted the domain. This meant that Facebook saw any EN link as spam and protected users from viewing the site.
Other training was also irrelevant or of little value and could be found elsewhere online for much, much cheaper.
Costa Rica Masters ($3500)
Then there was the course you had to pay $3500 for. There are people that were buying into these overpriced courses that had little value when they could be building a solid business for themselves with much superior training that cost only a fraction of what EN charged.
The Empower Network Compensation Plan
The EN compensation plan was confusing. From what I could understand is that you get paid 100% on your referrals so you should get $25 when you signed up someone on the Viral Blogging System.
For you to get compensated for the upgrades, you had to upgrade yourself. So say for example, you were at the $25/month level and you referred someone who ended up getting the $500 Costa Rica Intensive, you would not get the commission. One of your uplines who already brought this course would get the $500 commission.
Your hard work, someone else got paid. This was just a ploy to get you to upgrade and spend more and more money.
There weren’t a lot of pros to speak of when it came to the Empower Network as you can probably tell from this review. However there were quite a bit of cons (reasons why you should just stay away).
- Access to a network of people who wanted to make money online (if you’re familiar with niche marketing then you know why this is a pro).
- Paying $25/month for something that you can got freely elsewhere on the internet
- Paying $20/month just to get paid
- Multitude of upsells that you MUST get in order to succeed
- You did not own what you’re paying for
- Training was of little value for the money you paid
- No direct access to David and David
- Other members actions affected the entire system (eg. Facebook spam issue)
- Misleading sales messages
- Others got paid for your hard work.
Why Empower Network Had To Be Avoided
I’ve already laid out more than a handful of cons above that should give you just enough reason to stay away from the Empower Network. However, some people needed a bit more convincing. Here are some more details with some reasons why EN should have been avoided.
1. They were lying to you about how online business works…
Right in the sales letter for the very basic membership (the $25/month viral blogging system), they told you that you “have to have your OWN blog.”
Then they had you believe that getting a blog was a headache and it was going to cost you about $383 to get a blog up and running. Truth is you can start a blog for under $50 (hosting and domain included) and sometimes even less (Free).
Then they had you believe that you needed their system otherwise it’s going to cost you thousands of dollars for programmers when things went wrong. Unbelievable. When you use WordPress (the same blogging system they used), you don’t need programmers or designers or anyone else.
2. You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get paid
Well sure, you’re running your own business so you should have a payment processor right? Well, why wasn’t this included in the basic membership?
You can sign up for $25/month but unless you get an eWallet account, you won’t get paid any commissions. So if you were going to work the system then you were going to have to spend $19.99 every month for a payment processor. This was how you got paid your commissions.
The system didn’t use Paypal for some reason so that option was out.
3. You didn’t own anything
This was a big one. They say that you should got your own blog but when you signed up to get your blog, you were actually getting a page on David and David’s Empower Network site.
It’s their site and their brand and you were building it for them.
Not for yourself. For them.
You could not do much customization outside of adding your picture and bio and adding a few banners. You couldn’t change the theme or add functionality to the blog.
If you do decided to cancel, the content was theirs and they didn’t delete your blog with your name, picture and bio on it. Instead they used the funnel (your hard work) to sign up more people.
4. It’s all an elaborate scam
It seemed to make sense – there are products and a compensation plan. So it was legit, right?
Well there were no real products. If you didn’t own anything but rather you were building their brand, then there was no product. Most of the training just taught you how to promote Empower Network so it was just a big scheme to get people to sign up and earn commissions with blogging as their promotional method.
How long did Empower Network last?
Facebook and YouTube were two social networks that had already implemented bans on Empower Network. Users on Facebook were protected from Empower Network links and YouTube was banning all channels that were EN affiliated.
And, EN was based in Costa Rica. If they were based in the United States, then they would probably have been shut down by US Law Enforcement.
David Sharpe abruptly left Empower Network in 2015 and his troubled partner, David Wood announced the shutdown of Empower Network in 2017 after the MLM’s popularity started to wane and ultimately collapsed.
There Are Much Better Opportunities Online
It goes without saying that Empower Network, with all their overpriced training, was not the ideal place for anyone to learn how to start an online business.
It was not the place to learn how to blog.
It was not the place to earn money online.
Legendary Marketer seems like a more legit offer but with similar pricing structures with different products including an affiliate marketing blueprint for $2400, it brings back memories of Empower Network.
If you’re looking for training on how to start an online business then there are some sites online that would offer that training for a fee and even for free.
Here’s a review of my top pick.
There is no reason why you should take a $2400 course in affiliate marketing when you can learn the same skills and get the same knowledge for under $500 a year.
You can learn how to make thousands online without emptying your bank account.
Empower Network was just another internet scam that managed to fool a lot of people. I warned people to stay away to which some EN disciples didn’t take kindly. I ended up having the last laugh.
If you had experience with Empower Network, or have tried Sharpe’s Legendary Marketer, I would like to know about it in the comment section below.