He did it again! Seth Layton has written another post for this blog, and it turns out to be very apropos as you will see, and, YES, a very hot one too. So, enjoy…
I don’t know if any of you have heard about Empower Network or the recent incident with the Empower Network Facebook group. What I do know is when you do something, you need to heavily think about it before it’s done. I mean, don’t let me scare you, but sometimes you just have to use your noggin a little. You know what I mean?
By no means am I promoting Empower Network, but I would like to use Empower Network as an example of what can happen to you with your own article marketing endeavors if you don’t plan thoroughly in advance or at least have a back-up plan of action.
What is Empower Network all about and what does it do?
I’m really not a huge advocator for them or anything partly since I started out in another online program that was built way back in 2005, although I still have grown to respect them somewhat none the less.
Empower Network involves teaching people about how to do Internet Marketing. Although they teach people how Internet Marketing works, I have seen comments by some of the top members that the full price for all the guides to buy in Empower Network is a total of $1600, even though it only costs $25 to be part of their built in blogging system that allows you to advertise for them. Insane, right? Even so… I have no doubt there are some people who might disagree with me here, especially the seemingly vast amount of advocators for Empower Network.
Empower Network currently has an impressive 40,000 + bloggers who continuously blog on their built-in blogging platform. The two owners, David Woods and David Sharpe, originally fixed the site up to where if people can pay the one-time fee of $25, people had the ability to advertise for the site and make 100% commissions for themselves on whomever they referred.
Well, if you use your head a little, you’ll probably figure out that a certain percentage of people affiliates end up referring end up straying to the main page anyway due to how it’s setup despite how I’ve heard of how people are paid decent money anyway. Still and yet, this is the only explanation for offering 100% commissions.
Empower Networks Creation
Since Empower Networks Creation back about last year, they have grown very quickly. Obviously the owner had the bright idea he’d setup his own server and allow people to setup their own free sub-directory with the whole built in theme for advertising Empower Network, after of course paying the $25 fee. Doing this would allow people to advertise the ‘full set’ of internet marketing guides they offered, which apparently is a little over $1600 worth.
This seems all fine and dandy. Smart man. Now he makes a lot of money and apparently even talks about how he’s madly in love with his wife on Empower Network along with showcasing a sexy picture of him and his wife on his Facebook cover photo. Well, here’s the bugger. If you know much about sub-directories, you’ll know sub-directories are considered as on the same URL path as the main domain.
Obviously when you have 100’s of new bloggers signing up on sub-directories, you’re going to have A LOT of people to contend with. Not only that, but you’re possibly causing yourself some problems in the long run. Here’s why.
When random people sign up to Empower Network, you WILL have your weirdos and your nerds use tacky and spammy ways of advertising. I don’t care how you look at it. This WILL happen. So now, David Woods and David Sharpe have 100’s of nerds sitting at home in their underwear spamming it away on Facebook with naked pictures of people all linking back to their own special little Empower Network sub-directory blog.
So people report this to Facebook and in response, Facebook takes action. Now Facebook has officially taken down the Empower Network Facebook Group and flagged any Empower Network link as inappropriate and child abusive. (uh oh, somebody’s gonna get raped. Watch out!) – no humor intended for victims of bullying.
Now we have David Sharpe, one of the two owners, apparently taking it as a personal attack on their whole network. (Maybe they’re not as smart as we thought they were???) or maybe… he was just a little dis-oriented and totally in awe that all the apples he put into Facebook just turned sour. This is what he sends as a personal message to a friend of his named Steve:
I woke up this morning, and Facebook was blocking our links. Occasionally, something like this happens because we’re growing so fast, and have so many people moving and doing things at once – that something breaks temporarily.
“Move fast, and break things” has ALWAYS been our motto. So if you get blocked posting an Empower Network link – there are two things to do – FIRST, realize you can STILL post links from our Empower Network Facebook app, that you can use here:
SECOND, realize that most of our sign ups are coming from email marketing – and keep marketing. We’ll be posting marketing assignments via email, in our public updates, and on the blog for the next 5-10 days as we’re resolving this issue.
THIRD, do me a favor – and until they unblock our domain, file a ‘block appeal’ on Facebook every single time they block an action related to Empower Network. Here’s a message I just posted on my wall, at: https://www.facebook.com/empowernetwork
I’ll be putting a video out later today explaining a workaround in addition to the Facebook app, and in the meantime – just realize…we will NOT be stopped – or slowed down, or hindered by even Facebook.
Appreciate you, and let’s rock this out this week!
“The Guru Slayer”
What’s quoted is copied content from another blog I found on EmpowerNetwork.com directly
Well… guess what? They can grow just as fast using sub-domains and not sub-directories. Sub-domains are viewed as completely separate URL’s, and would not be considered as part of the main URL. To play it even safer, David Woods and David Sharpe could have bought another domain that was similar to empowernetwork.com, created sub-directories or sub-domains on that other domain instead, and THEN use a 301 redirect to their main website. Who knows, I guess they tried to obliterate the search engines by having massive inbound link juice or equity going on between all the sub-directory sites.
Talk about little red-hiding hood. That’s like the big bad wolf going superman and using his kryptonite powers to blow the house down with a massive Tsunami. Talk about overkill!?
What’s worse is it doesn’t stop there. They even based there whole commenting platform around just Facebook. We all know Facebook is the main social medium used, but basing your whole commenting platform especially while letting people have access to their sub-directory path is a pretty bold move. Now people can’t even comment on their website anymore due to how the whole commenting platform is Facebook oriented due to Facebook blocking there main URL from being accessed. Using a plugin like Disqus would have allowed them to manipulate many social mediums rather than just Facebook, although using Facebook does about ensure that is used more often instead.
So what does this mean?
Who knows, maybe it was an honest mistake. I really don’t know and kind of don’t really care either. But that’s a very good example of why you should plan accordingly before you put something big to action. MAYBE they can change their whole commenting platform to a program like Disqus, but if they can’t or mess something in the process, that’ll be a HUGE loss to all the social signals received on that site. If you know much about social signals, it’s actually a fairly decent factor that somewhat determines the rank of a page or post on your website.
The more social signals or IP address variation received on your site, the better it looks to search engines including Google. I know I’ve personally gone from 3rd and 4th page results all the way to the bottom of 1st page or top of 2nd page results just because of social signals.
So I think the thesis that is explained here is to think before you leap. Yes, it’s pretty obvious they made a lot of important decisions with the establishment of that site due to its obvious success, but you still need to weigh in everything instead of putting all your apples in inbound link equity, inbound link juice, or Facebook.
Online Marketing is seriously not that hard, although it may seem somewhat hard to many, and made even harder by others. This really is pretty easy if you allow it to be. Just take slow breathes.. You can do it!
As long as you use your head and be weary of other types of people on the web, I think we can all come to the agreement that you will be OK.
I hope you enjoyed Seth post. Now, that is one of those post that should bring on lot of responses, no? Let’s see how you do in the comment area below! Sylviane.
35 thoughts on “Empower Network Facebook Group – What in Carnation!?”
I found it kinda strange when fb blocked the Empower Network domain, however i never knew the reason why. The company is great though, especially with the live calls, webinars and training. When you are a new business, you’re going to go through some ups and downs, you just have to stay strong and work through it.
Hello there and welcome here. Yes, I know that lot of people with Empower Network are successful, but the owner should definitely have more than just one platform for their blog’s comments.
All the success to you!
Yeah, it surprised me too. I actually follow of the top people in the Empower Network place named Tracey Walker. She’s from Georgia just like Jennifer Ledbetter & a few other very successful I.M’ers I know of are from. One of the things that Tracey Walker said was how she woke up one morning and noticed how they blocked there whole site. They’ve apparently been putting out all the stops to get them back on Facebook. With what they have to contend with, it just seems like a huge hassle. If it happened once, that means there’s a good chance it’ll happen again. I believe they aren’t blocked now.
Interesting post Seth, as well as quite informative. Maybe you could answer a nagging question I have running around in my head. I have a cloud hosting account, on which, I let my daughter run her sub-domain.
I recall reading something wrt google ranking and was left wondering if there was something I needed to do to insure she gets all the “juice” she would if she had her own host.
Hi Jim and welcome here. I am sure that Seth can answer that questions better than me. Thanks for coming though!
If she wants maximum juice, it’s as simple as putting everything on her domain. Inbound linking is powerful, but of course you want to go about it in a way that doesn’t hurt yourself kind of like Empower Network have there site set up (in my opinion). 1 thing you can try doing is creating an intricate footer section that list off all the pages, or at least main pages and link all them like that. I do that myself on my big gaming blog with over 300 pages. Don’t get me wrong… I don’t sit there and link all the pages, but I do link at least all the major important ones. That increases link juice alone.
Then if she wanted to create like 1 or 2 more sub-sites within her own sub-domain, you can actually create sub-directories on her sub-domain for her. So for example: if her site was jimsdaughter.example.com, 2 sites she could maybe setup are:
Doing this increases its inbound link equity on that sub-domain making it a stronger domain by itself. I wouldn’t worry about this much though. Having great content & getting your site out there is really the main thing.Be sure you don’t like put the same massive footer or widget section on each site either. Google picks up on black hat methods like that and they’ll quickly black list you if they catch it.
Great article Sylvaine. You definitely speak the truth here. It just goes to show we cannot put our eggs all in one basket in internet marketing because as the wind blows, something in technology or just every business will change and knock out the sails. People do seem to be recuperating from the FB blow but some people are still floundering. I wish them all luck in their endeavors.
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Hi Barbara, that’s right, putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea. Just want to specify that this post was written by Seth Layton, though. Don’t want to take credit for it!
Thanks for coming by.
Yeah, it’s smart to put your eggs in a lot of baskets (while working to get more eggs. 😉 ) Usually the bigger a social medium or website is, the more rules & guidelines they’re going to have, much like Google and the 100’s of algorithms they use to rank content. I think keeping this in mind but still putting many of your eggs in smaller sites that gain great traffic (for example: http://jobs.problogger.net/) is the best way to go here. Disqus leverages many of the social platforms out there as well.
Hi Sylviane, Thank you for having Seth as your guest!
This was a wonderful article Seth. I was in empower for a short time, but it didn’t work for me. It was a business decision I had to make. When things shut down, my friends were frightened. They were mostly newbies. I encouraged them to keep on full speed ahead, and they are signing up people to this day.
It is a funny thing what facebook did, but I do believe that Dave and Dave are excellent leaders in their field and this shall be overcome.
Thanks for the explanation,
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Yes, I think that was an excellent post that tells it what it is. However, I have no doubt that the two David(s) are good at what they do, but anyone can learn from their mistakes.
Thanks for coming, Donna 🙂
I have no doubt that most of the people who regularly blog for them don’t make much money. But of course I’m sure that’s how it goes with most other blogs out there as well. There was a pretty big list that was shown from one of the people I follow (Tracey Walker) and only about 30 people are seriously making any money from it. The rest of everybody else are making less than $4000 to $0 a month. In all honestly, you seriously need to know what you’re doing to really make money from something like that.
Having your own website and advertising your own things perhaps even with Empower Network can be more ideal. I know that I prefer to advertise mainly Wealthy Affiliate since I know what they’re about and they’ve put in 64 million dollars in that site since 2005, but Empower Network seems like a good place to advertise as like a “2nd place” type of product under Wealthy Affiliate to try out. It’ll be something later for me if I do that.
Thanks for the compliment Donna
Hi Seth and Sylviane
Unlike you Seth I am in Empower Network and have been pretty much since the beginning so I understand the issues, advantages and disadvantages well.
I just want to say first that while they lead with the $25 sale for the blog platform there is as you state other products to the tune of $1600. No one can sell them or be paid unless they have purchased them.
There is also a fee of just under $20 a month to be an affiliate. This gives the Daves some revenue which was not there in the beginning.
I have my own blog and believe in branding yourself. However like Donna I thought EN would be a good place for newcomers to the online world. I still believe it is that.
There are many top internet marketers in EN. Someone else has named Tracy Walker and I will add Rob Fore, Mike Hobbs, Aaron and Sophia Rashkin, Lawrence Tam and many more. So they see something good in it.
Now I agree with you about them building their commenting platform around Facebook only. It was always going to be a problem because of the reasons you say.
I am Australian so we had a whole bunch more problems with merchant accounts (or lack of) in the beginning. Their servers crashed and we all lost our blog posts. Oh it was horrid.
But you know what these two guys rose and fixed problem after problem.
I got grandfathered into their expensive product because of hassles so that was a sweetner. The training in that product is awesome.
Are they here to stay. Not sure but they have a lot of followers.
Yes Sylviane and Seth it is a controversial one.
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Ah, once in a while I love to have those “I know not everyone will agree with” posts, but I also seen lots of things that I had to agree with Seth on this post. However, I have no doubt that it has helped lots of people and continue to do so.
Since you have your own blog I didn’t know you were part of Empower Network. It’s just that no tool is perfect, of course and this one is no different.
Thanks for your comment, Sue.
I didn’t mean to come across as biased if I did a little. I have no doubt Empower Network is a great place. I just know $1600 for a full set of Internet Marketing guides is a bit pricey and from my perspective, it seems most of the affiliates they teach orient them to advertise for Empower Network. As both you and me already know, it takes a little more knowledge and ability to really be successful with something like that.
That’s crazy your blog crashed. I never heard of that. I think it’s important to keep in mind having your own website, your own clients, and building upon something you actually own is smarter than jumping on the Band Wagon as Empower Network, despite how they’re great and everything. Wealthy Affiliate actually did something similar about 3 years ago or whatever for there own built in blog funnel, but they stopped it for spam reasons.
Wish you the best,
Very great article for empowering network.so i think here is good info this.here are thousands of words which increase our credibility as name of Facebook.I think this would work good for me now.
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It’s definitely important to keep in mind our credibility with social medias out there. Leveraging more than just Facebook is only inevitable.
empower network is a very interesting tool wherever i heard and observe that it will be benefit to me and also for those who want to take interest in this because of earning and traffic.
glad to read your blog……
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I’ve heard it can help you quite a bit with traffic. One of my less experienced friends created his own blog with them and he apparently got like 17 leads out of nowhere with 1 or 2 sales. A seasoned marketer will leverage something like this to advertise for both Empower Network and other products along with his site as well.
I really was quite surprised that both Dave’s would put all their trust in the Facebook commenting system with this venture but I also know that they felt Facebook could take them much further for what they wanted to accomplish.
I find it odd though that like you said, you’re going to get those nerds and spammers no matter what you’re doing. You just can’t get around that so there are those who do not follow the training and do not do what they’re taught in order to have success.
I have no doubt they’ll come back from this because they definitely have the means and the finances to correct this issue. I personally don’t support this program myself I think it’s rather misleading to the newbie but what do I know right! I’m no millionaire in this business.
Great guest post Sylviane and sorry I’m a day late in getting here. You guys have a great week.
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Don’t worry for being a day late, you don’t own me anything, dear 🙂 and it’s always a pleasure to read your great feedbacks whenever you have the time.
I like the fact that you are saying that the system is a little misleading for newbies, because I found that to be the case for lots of systems, even a couple I’ve been in. That is the only way I would use that phrase that I don’t like “if it’s sound too good to be true …” The too good part is that they’re saying all they’ll do for you and then, you found out that they don’t do as much. It usually truns a lot aound this type of issue.
Using ONLY facebook as a comment platform I think is a big mistake as well.
I hope you had a nice resting day, yesterday, Adrienne and ready to go for a terrific week!
They already came back from it. What they did was tell all there affiliates to report to Facebook that it was a legitimate link and they got it back online with them. The thing is, they’re going to have to keep on doing this because there will be people spamming there blog no matter what. They’re already in the hole with how they structured there site since it would pretty ruin there whole site changing to sub-domains or whatever, so they’ll just have to deal with it.
I know that if I ran a blog like that, I would not want a bunch of people creating sub-directories to rank on Google… Wealthy Affiliate’s 1st pages on there trainings & Blogs are ranked on Google via the 1st page on there own special affiliate link, but Kyle/Carson check those blogs & Trainings on a daily basis for spam or copied content, and they’ll remove people if they catch people doing it outright or constantly. It seriously does seem like an honest mistake though. I mean… sub-directories is just you know, simply trying to setup sites. And if you use the basic mindset that Facebook has the most people with them, then yeah… use Facebook. Nothing against them at all, I have no doubt they’re great people & marketing leaders.
I’m heavily debating on joining them and trying them out myself (while paying the $25 monthly fee) along paying the yearly fee for Wealthy Affiliate, perhaps Jaaxy, and services from GoDaddy. Something to keep in mind I guess.
I can only speak as an outsider because I have never been part of this network. I have seen it in about a million places though, and heard of it for a while, I guess because it’s popular. I have also checked it out a few times out of curiosity and to be honest I could never figure out what the heck it was about.
So here is my opinion: you don’t need it. In fact, you’d be better off building your OWN blog on your OWN domain and doing some actual networking with other bloggers and tribes to build your presence, your authority and your brand.
One commenter here named a bunch of successful people in the network. Every network is going to have its successful people so that’s not particularly impressive. And I’ve never heard of any of them. But I bet people inside and outside the network have heard of people like Chris brogan. Seth Godin. Michael Stelzner. Amy Porterfield. Those people are successful and credible and I’m pretty sure they didn’t spend two seconds thinking about Empower (or any) network.
There are plenty of opportunities for affiliate marketing and growing an online business. I just think that you do yourself a better service by standing as an individual and not a cog in the wheel of someone else’s site and success.
I also don’t buy the “it’s good for new people” excuse. Actually, I think it’s bad for new people because they learn from a very finite set of “experts” who all have the exact same goal and information to sell. When you’re “new” it’s easy to get sucked into something that sounds good on the surface, then end up spending money so you can get in on the “good stuff” and not learn anything else.
Have you ever listened to Pat Flynn? Check out his blog or podcast if you really want to learn and be inspired to make money online.
As for the Facebook thing, well, anyone who puts that many eggs in one basket loses a few credibility points. I mean, we all make mistakes, I’ve made those kinds of mistakes, but for some network that is allegedly so awesome and smart? Those aren’t the kinds of mistakes it should be making anymore.
Well, that was my two cents! I know plenty of good bloggers and networkers (some right here!) and they are individuals who are building their own businesses, and that’s when you really learn and become successful.
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Awesome response. You relayed a ton of points. I think I’ll just point out that it’s good to leverage many mediums across the net. Obviously since there are so many people on it and the activity on Empower Network is pretty high, using that alongside your Internet Marketing campaigns can be ideal. I totally agree about standing more alone and creating your own site. There’s a big different between trying to accomplish Internet Marketing and working for somebody.
By the way I hope that didn’t come across as mean, I wasn’t accusing anyone of being “bad” at what they do and certainly nothing I said was in any way directed personally at you. I realize I say “you” a lot but I mean that in the third-person sense of “everyone”. I see people work very hard to produce for someone else and that flies in the face of the idea of internet marketing as being something freeing. So I guess I just hope that people will judge the value of what they give and receive!
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I so agree with Seth, AWESOME comment! And thank you for writing another post right under Seth’s and my blog is rolling all without my help at all 🙂
I love your response, Carol, and I wish I had said all that myself. I don’t care how new and lost you are, build your own machine. At the end of the day, those people may be helping you some, but it’s them that take the biggest piece of the cake, not you.
And it’s true that starting this way has a double edge, it prevents you from creating your own brand and make your own mistakes that you will learn bunches from.
Thank you so much for another great feeback, Carol!
That was about the most informative post on the Empower Network issue I have found online. I am active in Empower, and very disappointed at this point because the comment issue hasn’t been resolved. You can’t run a blog platform with no comments. It makes no sense.
I love the whole idea of Empower Network making it easy for people to get started in the blogging world (including an easy way to make a few bucks while doing it)…
The fact that the problem isn’t resolved yet, and that I can’t find anyone trying to fix it really bugs me. I have found it very hard to even promote it all because of the lack of confidence in it right now.
It’s blogging! It needs to be more individualized.
Love the David’s, but man it needs to be fixed and fast.
Also, I have gone through looking at the blogs of some of the more ‘successful’ marketers that are using Empower, and i’m not impressed at all.
Honestly, are we teaching people to just blog garbage. Ugh…
Anyway, thanks for the great post! Got me thinking, that is what its all about.
Hi Jeff, Thank for coming and welcome,
While we don’t want to put down Empower Network, it’s interesting to hear the comment of a person who is a member himself.
I understand that new people have some fears and lack of confidence so, they feel more secure with a system that is going to help them, but frankly, if they had their own blog, they would be able to join all the facebook comment groups under the sun, as we speak, and build their social proof.
As you know all to well, you are a bit stuck until they find a solution. I really hope they will soon for you guys sake.
Like Sylviane said, I’m not trying to put down Empower Network or anything. I think the owners are highly intelligent and were smart for building there blog as it is now. But I’d have to agree with you. A lot of what’s posted on that site consists a lot about ‘dreaming big’, ‘taking action’, and all that other stuff. Creating your own “machine”, or rather website, ensures your own success and isn’t dependent solely on another person’s website.
Yes, it is a little harder operating your own website but it holds many advantages to it. I could say a lot more but I wish you the best.
I have run blogs of my own for years so I did not see the need to join the Empower Network. For more exposure there are plenty of free resources available for writing blog posts and articles. You can also add your links to your own Facebook profile and pages. $25 is not a bad price to pay for having a blog set up for you though especially if you do not want to learn how to do so via a personal domain.
I had read about the Facebook block but I now understand it more fully because of this thorough article. Thank you Seth.
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I felt the need to write it when it happened. I might’ve been a tad over on the biased end towards them, but letting people know what’s going on is important. I see a lot of people blindly following them and I’m like WOW, Empower Network definitely have some luring sales people running it. I wrote a new post over creating .gif images, but it won’t be published till October.
I agree, there are plenty of information for free. I actually discovered that few years ago, after I myself had joined a paid program. I don’t regret it, I learned a lot there, but frankly, if you can build a list of few blogs that teach you all that and some, it might cost you more search, but really it’s all there!
Thank you for coming, Sue!
A great post!! A good detailed post on empower network. Empower network is one of the enticing tool to enhance the traffic to a website. Thanks for disseminating this great information.
I’ve been reading and posting on Larry Rivera’s blog for a long time and saw all his promotion for Empowered and always wondered what it actually was, what it was offering and now I know. Larry seems to be doing quite well out of it according to his posts and I’ve no way of knowing if it’s good or bad, it’s just good to know what he’s going on about next time I read one of his posts!
As to web-design, you guys are way out there compared to me and I’m not sure what sub-domains are, but what you have described is an eggs in one basket scenario and that is definitely not a good strategy for anything.
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Hey Sylviane, Well I never liked Empower Network, I dont like the leaders simply for the language they use in their marketing…I feel it is not very professional whatsoever and it makes networking look allot less than it really is. They no doubt have put allot of thought into inventing empower network, however there is always a new marketing way right around the corner. 1600 is Pricey for sure. I came to this post myself and I’m glad I did. thanks
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