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My sister is all signed up to take Anik Singal’s Profit Academy classes so that she can learn why the websites I built for her and her other old-school marketing strategies are crap, and so she can make piles upon piles of money with only about ten hours of work a week. No experience necessary; only a passion for something that Anik can help you turn into millions, like he did. Until he lost the passion, and then gained it again. I myself think the passion he has and wants to share is simply making money or screwing other people, but I really hope I’m wrong.

Anyhow, I’m hooked. Just like a lot of you, I want to make twenty times my old salary with a perfect system that mostly does the work for me. Of course, these systems are probably even more dangerous when they come with a promise from someone who has made millions of dollars, supposedly using the techniques he will now teach. I’ve watched a couple of his videos and read a bit of his book, and he’s good. Too good, I tend to think. When I search for him online, the reviews seem good. Again, too good. You know what they say about something too good to be true? I guess my sister will find out for sure, but I’ll throw a few ideas up here in anticipation.

You have seen all the get rich quick TV infomercials and emails, right? I’m not talking about the ones where someone needs your help exporting money out of a bank in some other country. That’s an obvious scam. But wait, aren’t all the other scams also scams? I don’t have stats, but I guess I assume all those infomercials I’ve watched did not result in millions of millionaires. Maybe those weren’t real people like Anik. Maybe those systems weren’t as solid as Anik’s. That’s what my sister is telling herself right now. Plus, his has a money-back guarantee. Double Plus Good, it has a double your money guarantee wherein Anik will personally buy your failing company for twice what you paid. Basically, it’s like this: Anik took EVERY gimmick in EVERY infomercial I’ve ever seen (and that’s most of them) and packed it together into one product that will allow you to do whatever you’re passionate about online for cash. And lots of it.

Now, keep in mind that my sister has had one good idea for online sales (and I built her a website she has yet to use). She also has skills as a teacher, interpreter, and life coach. However, she wants to invest in Anik’s system. Why? Well, from what I can tell, Anik makes you believe you’re going to have a lot of choice in what it is you’re passionate about. As a doubter, I think everyone who uses his system is either going to be passionate about becoming an email spammer or nothing, but maybe he can take any business idea and make it a million-dollar idea. As a control, as I write about Mr. Singal, I will be launching TWO million-dollar (potentially) business ideas of my own. If my sister can make a lot more than me in the next six months while using her passions and without breaking any laws, then I will invest what is left in my bank account into the same program. If she is not making all kinds of money without sending out spam, however, I will work diligently make sure all of my readers know what this Profit Academy system is all about.

Good Press Only?

All of the press for Anik’s class is good press. And it’s all his press. He’s good at this, and it’s what I would do if I had a lot of money to try to make more money. All of the sites you see when you type in Anik’s name are his sites or people getting paid to promote his sites. Many of them are made to look like news sites. I think it’s ironic that his buddy on the video today said to NOT get a good website, since it’s all these good-looking websites that are making people believe Anik is for real.

In some ways, he is for real. He’s rich, and he’s able to make huge money using his passion. The problem is that his passion isn’t actually inventing anything or making anything useful: it’s selling the idea of getting rich, and it’s done at least partially through email marketing. Yes, the big secret includes how to spam (or something similar). Assuming my sister goes through with the investment, I’ll be able to be more specific later, but all the signs are there. The sad part is that it probably does work and it’s probably more annoying than illegal. I hate internet marketing only because it’s never worked for me, even though I have actual ideas. I keep wanting to call my sister to tell her this system is wrong in a lot of ways, but I also kind of want her to learn these techniques so that I can benefit from them and possibly help my own legitimate marketing. Honestly, it sucks to be passionate about writing, web design, and educational resources when the masses don’t tend to share those passions. Actually, maybe they do, and maybe Anik knows how to help me. Not likely, but maybe.

Anyhow, the challenge is set: my sister and Anik versus my own good ideas and good old fashioned marketing learned in a library. For the record, I have received 0 new customers for either of my really good ideas with great websites so far in two months, but I’ve spent a long time building my web presence and online reputation, something spammers and scammers can do without. Anyhow, it’s March 6th now, so let’s say I’ll update this post by June 6th with where we’re at, with a final update on September 6th, at which point Anik claims my sister should be rich, and I will have gone through my savings if my businesses don't catch on.

Also, keep in mind that he'd promising 7-10 hours a week for my sister, whereas I have already been working about 60-70 hours a week trying to figure my own marketing out, so I can see where people want some help.

June Update

Yes, I can see how my sister's marketing plan can work. I can also see how Anik's marketing plan works. It's not just about learning email marketing, but it's also about buying into all the products and services that can make that email marketing work. I saw Bob Proctor speak mostly about being energized to do what you have to do, and I could agree with most of what he said. In fact, I was quoting him to Lisa a bit after I watched the video. But I also got suckered in to ordering his free download of a personalized relaxation recording. It was actually kind of creepy, and the audio quality was bad, but it was free. The problem (or the genius) is that I get old Bob's emails daily now. I bet he's not offering free stuff in all his new emails.

I also paid a little attention to the OMG way. I forget who the guys were promoting it, but, again, it made sense. You drive traffic, collect emails, send out content, make sales. I think they have some kind of help-each-other network set up. Join for a fee and share the power, I assume, but I didn't look into it further.

The latest one I clicked on seemed a bit more of the too-good-to-be-true realm. It's Mark Ling discussing hidden niche profits. Go from $500 a month to $10,000 a month, and then to $100,000 a month. Something like that. Same basic idea I've been seeing in some of my sister's forwards to me: grow your email list, send out ads that look like content, keep growing your list and keep sending out ads. I know it's not Spam, but it's still annoying marketing. I didn't watch the whole video, but Mark seems to want to sell people on his tool that's a simple (ugly) website made just to get emails. He then provides you with $9000 worth of emails to send out (one email a day for x-number of weeks in 15 niches). I assume it's not a free tool or setup. Of course, I can create a website that gets the email addresses and has a newsletter component, but then you'd have to actually work and write your own emails. Therefore, if you've already invested your life-savings in Anik's system, but you don't want to spend hours and hours of your time to create professionally-crafted emails about weight-loss and dating, then you either buy into Mark's part of the system or Game Over.... I watched further in the video: $20,000 worth of Mark Ling techno stuff for $750 and a year of hosting for your crappy "website." The problem is that if you don't do it, you better learn how to write and spend most of your days doing what I'm doing right now. Honestly, I can see the value in it, if it was part of the original package. AND if that passion you joined the program to promote happens to fit nicely into the marketing schemes they've created. And those include: weight loss, making money online (ironic), dating advice for men, dating advice for women, dog training, personal development, saving relationships, spirituality, nutrition, and more.

I hope my sister has navigated her way past all of the other gurus looking to cash in on Anik's system, but then again, I wonder how much of a system exists without the other gurus. Anyhow, the June update is something like this. My sister is still working on her free book, but I have created the website she needs in order to give it away and get the email addresses she needs in order to bug people. Granted, she's working full time, so I can understand the delay. On my side of things, I have gotten my name out there on all kinds of free sites as a web designer, but my best customers are still friends and family, with a few projects fermenting. My other sales (from writing) are best with my lessons, and I'm beginning to average about $75 a month on TeachersPayTeachers and maybe $30 a month on Amazon. I've made less than $500 a month on web services, but I do have four yearly, recurring hosting plans, and I should get some more in the next month or so. Let's say $50 a month in hosting for the sites by the end of summer. All told, by the end of the year, I will probably not quite average $1000 a month, assuming I continue to get a new client every two months or so and that people stay interested in my The Catcher in the Rye and Rebel Without a Cause Very Sincere Combo Pack. $10 a month from Google Adsense and $1 a month from Amazon's version won't hurt, but we're still talking traditional marketing and use of social media and other free tools to get a message out netting me between $500 and $1000 a month by year's end. Next year, more residual hosting fees and more of a sales reputation might change a few things, but not right away.

Therefore, in June, I am still ahead of my sister, mainly because I have spent almost nothing in ads while she has paid me to help her with her website. We'll check in again later to see how things are changing.