Empower Network decline taking its toll?
Empower Network launched on the simple idea that people would pay the affiliate who recruited them $25 a month for WordPress. Once they had their foot in the door and realised WordPress was free and not owned by Empower Network, they’d then be told to “go all in” and purchase further “training”.
Once they’d paid their thousands of dollars, they were then qualified to receive commissions by going out and telling others the same. For each person they convinced to sign up and go through the process as they themselves had done, commissions were paid.
The central problem and give-away that affiliates were simply just paying eachother based on recruitment was that Empower Network didn’t own the rights to WordPress.
a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL, which runs on a web hosting service.
WordPress is used by more than 18.9% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013.
WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites.
After it became too much to continue the facade of pretending they were selling access to WordPress for $25 a month, with the goal of eventually convincing people to pass up thousands of dollars to their affiliate uplines, Empower Network paid someone to develop their own blogging platform.
ENV2 was released in October 2013 and, despite the “WordPress-killer” marketing hype, all it did was further reduce the blogging functionality of what was already a paper-thin facade to begin with.
I suspect the handful of people who were actually paying their upline on the belief that the Empower Network domain held some SEO value, up and left.
This didn’t go unnoticed at the top and has resulted in a shift away from a focus on “just blog and earn infinity money” to tin-can style internet marketing courses.
By and large these latest attempts to convince people to continue to hand over money to their uplines each month (passed all the way up to the top, where Empower Network owners David Wood and David Sharpe sit), target traffic and lead generation.
The problem with Empower Network traffic generation is that you’re directing traffic to something that’s not as attractive to the type of people who might be convinced to part with $25 for access to WordPress and then thousands of dollars in upsells later on.
ENV2 is a flop, and no amount of hype is going to convince the world that it’s even a remote competitor to WordPress.
Case in point?
David Wood’s own personal blog site?
Wood and Sharpe are the most obvious examples of ENV2’s lack of viability, but look up any other Empower Network top-affiliate and you’ll find the same thing. Yeah they might have an Empower Network blog counter-part but their primary blog, the one they actually give a crap about and brand themselves on?
With it being harder to convince people to dip their toes into Empower Network’s ENV2 for $25, focus has now shifted to extracting as much money as possible from those who have already bought in.
For this Empower Network has tapped into its top affiliates, most of whom have extensive internet marketing backgrounds. David Wood’s latest strategy is a weekly leaderboard, which assigns points to affiliates each time they complete varying tasks. Typically these tasks involve selling Empower Network training courses, recruiting affiliates as customers and buying Empower Network event tickets.
Problem is you’re still throwing traffic and leads at a baseline blogging platform nobody cares or is passionate about.
And yeah, the days of people blindly throwing thousands of dollars on the promise of being able to receive their “all in” deposit back by recruiting others who do the same are long gone.
Looking at the bigger picture, the obvious point to make here is that none of this is even remotely sustainable.
This is evidenced by Alexa’s traffic statistics for the Empower Network domain:
What you’re looking at there is the slow realization of people at the bottom of the pass-up scheme, realizing they’re obviously not going to get their money back.
I will note however that Empower Network’s ranking number is of course nothing to be ashamed about, being in the top 1000 is a remarkable effort (despite how they got there) and my intention is not to rubbish that accomplishment.
What I will say though is that in the top 1000 websites, when we talks swings of 100 places or even 50 (or less), that translates into thousands, if not tens of thousands of pageviews. In the upper ranks we’re talking hundreds of thousands (millions higher still).
And while the decline thus far hasn’t largely seemed to affect those collecting regular payments from their downlines (at least not publicly), there are a few examples of things coming undone.
The most recent example comes from the top of the Empower Network pass-up pile. David Sharpe recently announced to the world he has Hepatitis-C. He’s known about it for a while but is only now going to seek treatment.
I certainly don’t hold a disease against the man (however he contracted it) and I wish Sharpe the fastest of recoveries.
What Sharpe’s announcement does mean in the context of this article is that he’s obviously out of the picture until his health is back ont rack. That leaves David Wood running a one-man show.
What exactly Empower Network’s newly appointed CEO actually does has yet to manifest itself. Footrubs? Coffee runs? Who knows…
As it stands, Wood’s primary income relies on a constant source of new money flowing in at the bottom of Empower Network. This keeps his top-affiliates happy and if they’re happy they keep passing up one in every five payments to him (it’s not as simple of that as everyone is passing up one in five, but that’s the gist of it).
Lower participation means less money at the bottom being passed up, which means unhappy affiliates. And everytime that happens, Wood publishes a rant or makes a video about it.
Just last month Wood ordered affiliates to go out and recruit at least two affiliates (“customers”) a day.
What I’ve observed (and I can’t be the only one), is that Wood’s rants are containing increasing markers of frustration. Such to the point that they now entirely hollow.
Don’t take my word for it though, read Wood’s words for yourself. This is his latest rant (sans waffle), published earlier today:
What’s my vision?
To create the richest possible team.
The RICHEST possible TEAM. NOT the richest possible ‘ME’.
I’m not here to ‘get rich’ – because…
…if I want to get rich, there’s a lot of things I could do with my life, that I don’t want to do. Including this —
Because I was making money before Empower Network, LLC.
Before Empower Network – I had my first $10,000 month.
Before Empower Network, I had my first $20,000 month.
Before Empower Network – I had my first $100,000 month.
I don’t need Empower Network to make money. Because if Empower Network didn’t exist – I would make money without it.
Because I can sell shit. I can sell shit DAMNED GOOD.
Occasionally – some idiot (I emphasize ‘IDIOT’ — and would like to add the language of ‘big wussy, that I’d like to punch in the face’ — to emphasize the patheticness of being a critical idiot). Anyways… some idiot thinks I’m doing this for MONEY. Because I NEED to GET RICH.
I don’t need Empower Network to make money. Because I make money selling shit.
And – “dear idiot” if you don’t join my business — I don’t give a shit. Because I don’t need idiots in my life, or sales from ‘morons’ like you to make money.
Because I understand WHY people by shit. AND it isn’t because they are idiots, like you are. People buy shit because they are SMART and want the BEST that life has to offer.
Can you BUY my position and my AUTHORITY in Empower Network?
NO. Because…you CAN’T BUY ME!!!!
Because I am: “Un-fucking buy-able”. It doesn’t matter if you give me a million dollars… or two. OR TEN.
Because when I was making only $30,000 a month (before Empower Network) — I was offered $1.7 million to join a nutritional deal.
And I said: “NO!!!!”
Because: I am NOT a sell out!
(fuck you idiots – that think I am doing this for money. You broke, poor, morons. If I see you – swing at my face. Because I would love to break you NOSE in the name of greatness.
And if you accidentally injure me in the name of FREEDOM – I can die in peace – knowing that I sacrifice my life to give to the cause of GREATNESS. And I’ll break your nose back in the process — and I’ll celebrate your broken nose… with photos on my Facebook Timeline. Thanks for being a moron.)
I do NOT do what I do for money – I DON’T need Empower Network for that.
I need ‘ME’ for that.
I need ‘Dave Wood working his ass of “giving value” for that’.
I NEED the ‘David Wood’ that has been forged in the fires of ‘Hard Work’ and ‘hypnotic, badass fucking salesmanship’.
And the ‘ME’ (Dave Wood) is forged from DAILY personal development – that has been going on ‘DAILY’ for more than 13 years (since 2002).
So those who think this is a ‘LOTTERY’ or that I preach that — go fuck yourself. Because you are a moron. And if you want – I will GLADLY punch you in the face in front of 5,000 people…
The question is:
Are you going to be full of shit — and make EXCUSES to why you can or can’t do this — or NOT?
Click ‘LIKE’ and ‘SHARE’ — and let’s stop being a God Damned wussy.
AND — are you here for a free lunch?
I punch wussies in the face — but I don’t want to punch you in the face.
BECAUSE life punches wussies in the face.
Are you willing to work for your dreams or not? Are you willing to take CRITICISM or not? Are you willing to STAND STRONG or not?
Then click the button — and god damned join.
JOIN NOW. That’s it, period.
Because I’m sick of the bullshit. Let’s lock arms — and fight the forces of evil.
YOU DOWN? Let’s rock.
IF NOT — I’d like to emphasize… Be an idiot, and be poor. Because… I’m cool with that.
Ah the internet, where lanky pasty-faced internet marketers can re-invent themselves as rogue trash-talking gangsters.
It was extremely tempting to dedicate the next few paragraphs to ridiculing Wood’s threats to punch people in the face and break their noses infront of the Empower Network affiliate collective, but I won’t. Wood’s words speak for themselves. Me poking any further fun at them just seems cruel.
Note that even with my editing there’s still a considerable amount of waffle in Wood’s theatrics, but the core message behind the rant is still obvious enough: “Join Empower Network”.
And by that of course Wood means hand over money to an Empower Network affiliate, who does the same, who does the same… and Wood gets paid. Same old schtick, only now Wood’s mixing larger doses of his personality into the mix.
And what a personality it is!
Beyond Wood’s inner-circle of “yes men”, I’m not really sure who this sort of communication style is supposed to appeal to. Even if wasn’t aware of the mechanics of Empower Network’s compensation plan, Wood’s proclamation of self-awesomeness is still painfully embarrassing to read through.
Looking to the future, apparently there’s some Empower Network event coming up and then… well there doesn’t seem to be any public game-plan going forward. And if I’m feeling the state of directionless looking in, I can only wonder what it’s like to be in the thick of it.
The bottom-line appears to be rooted in people not being able to market ENV2 because it’s a poor man’s WordPress (that costs more), but apparently that’s being addressed by just having existing affiliates pay more for marketing training.
I certainly wouldn’t expect a state of constant growth within the company but a steady decline over a six month period that is likely to only get worse should be addressed. At the very least there should be some form of retention beyond those at the top trying to get shiny gold rings.
The question that needs to be asked: Where to from here?