Avoid Online Marketing Scams

Avoid Online Marketing Scams

A Review

The Circle of Profit vs Wealthy Affiliate

(Scam or not? –you be the judge)

Avoid Online Marketing Scams

So how does the average small business owner, entrepreneur or new online marketer avoid online marketing scams?  I say follow your gut. It always knows. And when it does not seem to be working, research, research and research some more  before you put any money out there. In my entrepreneurial journey I have fallen for a few scams, but there would have been a whole lot more if there were not some caring people that dared to write a review and tell the world about possible scammers. In an effort to pay it forward I decided to follow suit.  

Truthfully, I am just really over people that try to get over on other innocent and honest people in this whole marketing game. Now I am not naive enough not to think that we are all in the game to make money, but at the end of the day, I want my clients and customers to say that I am honest and fair. I want my legacy to be that I gave people good information, good service and they feel that whatever they get, they got it at a great value. I want them to feel that whatever they received was valuable and worth the time and money. So that’s the reason why I am writing this review. I am writing this review for the little people, the small businesses, the entrepreneurs, the online marketers that are often taken advantage of  in this world of scams and scammers.

My Online Marketing Story

Let me back up a bit. I am an entrepreneur. I left my full-time job back in 2013 to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. Like most people I knew enough to come up with an idea and start a website so that I can provide great information and or products.  The problem was I didn’t understand the many avenues that could come from providing great content. I always thought it was just about selling my products and services. I had no clue about affiliate marketing. I didn’t understand how my website could be a one-stop shop for customers. That not only would they get great content. They could also find other deals and items that they needed while browsing around and getting good information. In a nutshell and in laymen speak this is what affiliate marketing is all about. It’s about giving people what they need and want wherever they are on the internet.

Since I am also an author, one of my first ventures was  my first book. Words of Inspiration Sister to Sister: So Then I Learned!
I wanted to have a platform to allow people to come and check out my website. Offer great inspirational thoughts and my book for sale.

That’s a good plan, right? Of course, it is. So I did it! It was like crickets. After the initial rush of my family and friends telling me what a great website it was. There was nothing. Thankfully, my book was also on amazon, so I did see some traction. The problem was I didn’t know how to bring customers that were in my niche to my website. I didn’t know how to get organic traffic to my website based on search engine optimization, keywords for my niche market, etc.

My next venture was Exclusively You Fashions, my little online women’s boutique that sells  both resale and new clothing for women. I had some success with that because by sheer luck people do happen to look for things like clothes, and dresses and skirts and all of the stuff  I was selling. While it was getting some traction, it was not nearly enough. I was not making the money I needed to make to stop doing some of the other stuff I do to bring income.

The Circle of Profit (scam or not)? You be the judge


At this point, I am getting frustrated, but I am not giving up because that’s just not in my nature. I do realize I need to learn more about SEO and online marketing, so I start looking for information. On my Facebook page, I see a celebrity, whom I admire, Les Brown, someone that I follow,  giving kudos to an online marketing guru, Anik Singal. I stopped to tune in. This is exactly what I am looking for. The message was quite compelling, so I clicked on the link to learn more.  For a limited time (don’t you just love that phrase), Anik Singal offered a free book on how to effectively market your business online. Essentially, how to make money on line. I was super excited, and I have to say his enthusiasm was very contagious.
The book is called The Circle of Profit. Now let me just say for the record. The circle of profit offers some great information and advice. And the premise of the book, staying with what works is absolutely great. I also have to mention that had it not been for this book I wouldn’t be on the right track now. So I am forever grateful. I did receive my free book in the mail as well as a digital download. I was so excited to finally have some knowledge on what I had been attempting to do for years that I read this book all 200 + pages in one day. It was quite engaging. The digital download comes with videos and other interactive lessons that allow you to be actively engaged in what you are learning.

I was enjoying what I was reading, but some things didn’t quite sit right with me. My gut was saying in all capital letters Avoid Online Marketing Scams! Some of the methods he spoke of made sense and I saw how companies used these methods on a daily basis,  but I still didn’t like it.  Some things just didn’t feel right. For example, He likened the “sales funnel” to McDonalds that upsells you at the counter. Would you like fries with that? Would you like a drink with that? Ok, I get it. I was okay with that part. Because you could just be doing the customer a service. They may drive off and think, why didn’t I get fries with that right?

The Sales Funnel Scam

This is the part that I have a problem with. In the sales funnel. There are three levels. At the first level you sell the customer an item for say $47, then you try to upsell another item for $127, if the customer says yes, then you try to sell them an even higher priced item. This is where it get’s a little scammish. If the customer says no at the $127 item, then you down sell that same item for $77 so that you don’t lose the customer. Did you get it? I hope I didn’t lose you there. It’s brilliant, but wrong. My question is. Is the item worth $77 or $127(with some profit)? If they are a valued customer why not give them the item at $77 in the beginning.  This whole sales funnel did not sit right with me.

I thought it was quite ironic, but not so funny that while he was teaching us, this upsell (sales funnel) method,  he was doing it to us as well. We would click on a link to something in the next lesson, and then he would try to sell us something else and when I said no, down come the price. I was like wow, you are going to show us how to do this and then do it to us as well? Very interesting!

Mind you I have the book, and I will keep it because it has some valuable information in it, but I found other disturbing things as well. I think the impression that was left was that he had come up with all of these ideas, and now I know that every idea presented has already been here. These are all marketing techniques that have been around for ages. Most effective marketers know all of these techniques. But I do have to give credit because as he stated it might take someone a long time putting all of the pieces together, and he had brought it all together and put it in a book. So yes, I think he gets credit for that.

The Lurn Academy: Scam or not? 

So here’s where another scam comes in. The circle of profit book was free for a limited time, but to get even more information and to really learn the ins and outs of online marketing and to have a coach at our beck and call to help us build our business we would need to enroll in this academy. This is what I have a problem with. To enroll in the Profit Academy is $2997. By the way I just checked and the profit academy is no longer there. What’s up with that? The Publish Academy, which is supposedly different, is $2, 997. Now who has $3,000 just laying around? 

And while no gun was put to our head to enroll I have been able to find the same information if not more in an organization called Wealthy Affiliate.  Because I am always on the lookout for scams and my gut just felt like something was wrong,  and because I was on the verge of purchasing some of the other resources he shared , when I finished the book, I decided to google Anik Singal and the circle of profit. In that same search, I typed the words online scam. Well, wouldn’t you know it? All kinds of reviews and information started popping up about the many companies Mr. Singal has had over the years and how they only last for a couple of years and then he is on to the next. I’m thinking if you have a good thing  and it is of value, why do you dump the company and come up with something different?  Why not keep the same company and just enhance it. Well, the answer is, changing the name makes it something different and now you can charge a much higher premium. After reading more and more reviews, I was thoroughly disgusted and grateful that I had not put any money into this program.

My Saving Grace

Wealthy Affiliate Avoid online scams

Then I came across this one website where someone was giving a review of the Profit Academy with its hefty price tag. Now what I liked is that the review was honest and not degrading. They gave the pros and cons, and you could tell that the reviewer was slightly slanted and a bit disgusted with the whole profit academy, but they were still somewhat objective. The reviewer was comparing Wealthy Affiliate to this new academy. I happened to click on the wealthy affiliate link, poked around, did some more research but was pretty much sold at hello. 

Wealthy affiliate had a free seven day trial period that I could  gain knowledge and ask questions to the community and get free training. I was also given two free websites. I could forever be a free member and allowed to use the basic training videos and lessons and could use the two free websites. If I wanted to I could stay a free member forever. Of course, I would not have access to premium training, but I could stay in the community and read all of the information that was being put out there for community members. I just wouldn’t be able to ask any questions because I wasn’t a member.
I liked that idea. I have to tell you what I learned in one week with wealthy affiliate I have not learned in 3 years on my own, searching the internet, etc. Everything that I had read in the circle of profit book was also discussed in the wealthy affiliate community. The only thing is that they did not approve of certain things that I had already had a problem with as I was reading circle of profit.
They did not encourage and approve of the sales funnel. Thank God! They also did not necessarily approve of investing money in email media. They encourage affiliates to seek for more organic traffic. It may take a bit longer but that way you will know that the people that follow you and subscribe to your sites really want what you are offering. Also, you learn how to write really good content for your website that draws your niche. I kind of like the idea of teaching me how to fish instead of giving me a fish for a hefty price. 

Find your domain and create your site at Weebly.com!

So while the circle of profit is a great book and I actually suggest you get it. I also think you have to go with your gut and take some things with a grain of salt. Use the good and throw away the bad.  Anik Singal’s personal story of  despair to triumph a couple of times is very powerful and motivating.  I can’t say for sure if the book is a scam, but what I do know is that the same information you would get in an academy for $3000 you can  also get at  wealthy affiliate $47 a month when you upgrade to premium.

So you be the judge. Check out the circle of profit and then come back and try out wealthy affiliate for a while and see just how much value you get from both. I wouldn’t even suggest you try out the profit academy or the publish academy , I  just don’t think it’s worth it. In the wealthy affiliate community, I have at any time of the day or night thousands of marketing affiliates with loads of experience at my beck and call. I ask a question and someone is answering within minutes, sometimes seconds. I have a question about my website. Support is right there within minutes helping me figure out the problems.

I have been with Wealthy Affiliate for approximately two weeks now. I have two websites that looks great, indexed in google and actually getting some traffic. I even learned WordPress with the help of the WA community and was able to get rid of some of my websites that were hosted on other platforms.  When you upgrade to premium with wealthy affiliates you can have up to 25 websites all hosted on one platform and no extra fees. Now that was a deal within itself.  So yes, I am stuck on wealthy affiliates. Check them out. I think you will be too. Here are a few more their features and benefits. 


If you would like to share your online marketing experience w would love to hear it. Here at Empowered-lifestyles.com we are helpers one to another. We empower each other!

Stay empowered,

Much Love,

Tonya, founder of www.empowered-lifestyles.com and www. howtofindyourcareer.com 

Looking for a great gift idea. Try an Amazon gift card. They will love you for it. I promise! 

5 Reasons to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar: What I Know for Sure

Reasons to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

Reasons to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

Reasons to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

I  am sure if you live on planet earth you have heard of reasons to drink Apple Cider Vinegar. But who could imagine that apple cider vinegar would be the key to revitalized life and health? Certainly not me. And not because I didn’t believe the hype. I just didn’t think I would need revitalizing, especially not this soon. That was before I turned 45 and stuff started happening. Not good stuff. Weird stuff. Painful stuff. Thankfully, a nutritionist friend of mine suggested I start drinking an ounce or more a day. Now, I have ACV in my refrigerator and on the counter, just in case I run out.  I made a vow not ever to be without it again. 

There are numerous studies and research that touts the healing power of ACV. Now, I am a researcher, but I don’t necessarily like just taking what everyone says at face value. I am also one of those people that don’t like to take prescribed medicines and other man-made remedies unless I absolutely have no choice. So as I started to get older, I wanted to know more about natural remedies and how to take better care of myself. I am not exactly a fanatic, but I do see and understand the importance of taking care of your body so it will take care of you later. It’s all a part of my self-empowerment. I call it empowered health. I am taking control of my health, of my well-being. After all, no one else is responsible for my health but me.

I guess I should start at the beginning. The beginning I alluded to earlier. Last year I turned 45. There, I said it out loud and for the world to hear and read. I am 45 soon to be 46. Why is this a big deal? People turn 45 every day right? True! But I had never been 45. I assumed 45 would come and go just like 44 or 40 or even 35; Boy was I wrong!
Age 45 came and so did a slew of other issues, seemingly. While I’m in utter disbelief at my body everyone keeps telling me its age. That’s what happens when you get that age. Well, I don’t just take people’s word at face value either. You have to prove it to me. But something certainly happened in my 40’s. So I guess maybe they are right. But that still doesn’t mean I have to take it lying down. I’m fighting all the way. I aim to take back my power and age gracefully.

In the meantime here are all of these 40 something symptoms that’s happening to me. My metabolism seemed like it completely stopped. I think it was probably at zero if that’s possible. I felt myself gaining weight regardless of my morning walk/jogs, and no matter how much I starved myself, not one pound would drop. Now, my husband, on the other hand, would walk around the house and lose weight. That’s another article. This is not the worst of it So, I’m gaining weight. That’s a big issue in and of itself. I also live in Florida and my head is starting to feel heavy and weighted down and behind my eyes start to ache. My nose is running, and I am constantly sniffling.

I am sure you probably already know what was happening but I didn’t. It had never happened to me before. For me, this was the worst feeling. Fatigue and aching eyes. I thought I was dying. Well, come to find out I have a newfound allergy. I don’t know if its pollen or dust or just to everything. So, I am wondering how have I have lived in Florida for 40+ years and never had an allergy and now I have allergies, not just one, multiple. Yes, so the doctor says oh yeah, sometimes that happens with age. Here we go again everybody is bringing up that age thing.

And as if that wasn’t enough my body is starting to ache. I mean literally hurt. Mind you I’ve never in my life felt these kind of symptoms before so I’m thinking there’s something seriously wrong with me.

This is where the Apple Cider Vinegar come in. Not just any ACV. My nutritionist friend told me it needed to be Braggs Organic with the Mother. I am not a technical writer. I am more like a story teller, so I can’t tell you why it needs to be organic and why it needs to have the mother. Yes, I did ask, but I don’t remember the reasons. At the time, they were good enough for me. I just wanted to feel better

I have a hard time following exact instructions so of course I took a little bit more than an ounce a day. Probably like four or five ounces throughout the day. I would drink it by itself or put in water with lemon. I also found this other recipe for a detox with the ACV that included lemon, and cayenne pepper, with honey. That was great as well.

Anyway, now that you know why I needed it, here are some of the Apple Cider Vinegar benefits I have found. I am sure there are more, but these are the issues I had so that I can say without a doubt, ACV works for these issues.

reasons to drink apple cider vinegar

Relieves Sinus/Nasal Congestion

I don’t think I can explain how bad I was feeling. My head was exploding, and I thought I was going blind. I am not one to get in bed when I am not feeling well. So I kept going just like a soldier, but there were days when I just felt so awful. I just wanted to crawl into a ball and cry. I had started to purchase Claritin-D and other allergy medicines, but I did not really start to feel better until I was combining the ACV and the allergy medicine. Then there were some days I didn’t have to take the Claritin-D at all. I would have a swig of ACV, and I felt brand new. So I absolutely recommend ACV for clearing your sinus and nasal passages.


Somehow I found the detox recipe of ACV, cayenne pepper, water and lemon, with honey if needed and I started to drink it every morning. I also begin to give it to my husband. Well, let me tell it most certainly will detox you. If you are looking for a good detox? Let’s just say we were detoxing like clockwork. 🙂 No doubt about it Apple Cider Vinegar is a detox.

Energy Boost

Now the energy boost was a bonus for me. I hadn’t really expected that. But if you recall I was saying earlier how fatigued I was. And perhaps it was due to the allergies because I have heard that sinus infections and allergies can drain you. Whatever it was I noticed the immediate energy boost after I drank an ounce or two of ACV. Even today I still take it first thing in the mornings and the evenings when I know I am going to stay up late. Which turns out to be almost every night. But yes, Apple cider vinegar is an energy booster.

Relieves Joint Pain

Yes, this was an added bonus for me as well. One morning I got up and I had no pain No stiffness or weird feeling in my body. My arms were not hurting. My leg was not hurting. Now I had also started juicing as well so it could be a combination but I noticed that even after I stop juicing for a while, I was just taking the ACV I still had/have no pain. So yes, Apple Cider Vinegar relieves joint aches and pain.

Curbs Hunger

While I can’t speak to the weight lost benefits. Not yet anyway. I have to say that it does curb hunger. When I drink it first thing in the morning, whether alone or with the water and lemon detox I find that I am not hungry for hours. It also helps when I take it in the evening. I don’t feel the need to snack. So yes, I can definitely say that ACV curbs hunger as well. 

Now I am sure with just a little research you can find all kinds of scientific studies and other articles and blogs about the health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. In fact, I am pretty sure there are a lot more health benefits. But I can only share with you what I know to be true for me. I believe those studies, but this is what I know for sure.

I hope you have enjoyed my testimony of how Apple Cider Vinegar have helped me take back my health. I plan to share a lot more with you as we go on this journey of empowered health. If you have some ACV testimonies or any testimonies for that matter we love to hear more about them. Please feel free to leave a comment.
God bless you and take care of you. Remember we only get one chance to get it right. There are no do-overs. So let’s live our best life now.

If you are like me and just have to do your own research. This is one of the most comprehensive books out there on the healing powers of ACV.  Its also great to have in your home library for those “what ails you” moments.  For more information just click on the book link

Be empowered,
Tonya, founder of www.empowered-lifestyles.com and www.howtofindyourcareer.com