People who are searching for opportunities to make money online will come across Clickbank at some point. As a platform that prides itself for creating millionaires, it’s interesting that they have set up a learning center, called CBU, to teach others about running successful businesses online. But, is Clickbank University worth it?
In this review, I am going to show what goes inside the training, how much it will cost you and why I DON’T recommend this training for affiliates.
Clickbank University at a Glance
The program started in 2013 and it’s conducted by two internet marketers, Justin Atlan, and Adam Horwitz, with the purpose of teaching people how to sell or promote digital products in the Clickbank marketplace. So if you are interested to become a vendor, selling eBooks, training courses and etc. OR become an affiliate by promoting other people’s products, their modules might offer some valuable insights.
The latest version is called CBU 2.0 and for $47/month, you’ll get access to all the courses (vendors and affiliates), weekly live training, online tool demonstrations, and a community forum. As mentioned before, the focus here is on the affiliate section since I find that this is the easier route to start an online business without the complexity of creating your own products.
What Is Inside The Affiliate Training
There is a total of 8 modules (plus one bonus) in this section whereby Adam will walk you through the basics of affiliate marketing, niche selection and the advance techniques of traffic funneling. Even though the topics are tagged to a weekly schedule, you can actually view them at your own paced and if you are a fast learner, completing all the modules in a day isn’t impossible.
Each module comes with several subtopics that are delivered solely through Adam’s video presentations and accompanied by downloadable notes. Below the videos is where you’ll find comments/ feedback from other students who are also taking the training.
Features That I Like About The Training
I managed to cover all 8 modules in three days and here are my positive thoughts about them.
1) The video quality, in terms of audio and visual, is notably good. I’ve always been a fan of learning through videos as I find that they are easier to understand versus an all-text type of classes. Having said that, there’s an exception and I’ll get to that momentarily.
2) One of the topics that I benefited from was the Clickbank marketplace walk-through. The video explained some of the vendors’ statistics such as Gravity and Average Rebill Toll, terms that have always puzzled me. The way that vendors are being categorized and promoted to attract affiliates within the marketplace also became clearer to me, so that was quite helpful.
3) Besides the training, what I do like as an extra boost is the ‘Interviews’ section that they hold, twice a month, engaging with some successful online entrepreneurs. It’s nice to see these type of talks sometimes, just to get an idea of how big the digital industry is and what it really takes to succeed in one’s venture. At the point of writing this article, there are only 13 guests featured in the interview, so I am guessing that they just started this feature not too long ago.
4) Another section that I feel was also helpful is the Toolkit feature. It explains some of the common online tools that one would use to create the foundation for his/her affiliate business. Things like getting a custom domain, using Canva for designing, operating Camtasia for video recording – these are some of the tools that beginners could use some help with.
Features That I Am Not Impressed
For a course that has been so-called ‘upgraded’ to a better version (hence CBU 2.0), I expected the pros to outweigh the cons. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case for this training product.
1) In most of the videos, Adam spent a lot of time telling you what to do INSTEAD OF showing you how to do a certain thing and that indirectly creates a few problems. First, he took 3 modules (that’s 3 weeks long) to describe finding one’s passion and explaining what affiliate marketing is all about BEFORE he actually gets into the gist of the content.
Honestly, most of this information can be found online and I find those videos to be long-winded and redundant. Come on, I didn’t sign up for a motivational pep talk, so cut the chase and show me something practical.
Second, when members asked questions in the comment area provided, there’s hardly any response from anyone and Adam obviously doesn’t seem interested in answering them too. After a while, it has actually become a space for members to rant about CBU’s training quality. The comments below pretty much speak for themselves.
2) The only time they ever do a thorough walk-through is to show you how to use the Clickbank Builder, which is another proprietary platform used for creating product funnels (for vendors) and optin pages (for collecting emails). That’s all fine, but in order to use the software, you need to spend an additional $297 on top of the monthly membership fee.
Since there’s no free trial, you can’t test the editor or the support system to find out if you’ll like it or not. Yet you are expected to pay that kind of money simply because the training said so. If you asked me, that’s a total upsell and a pricey one too.
3) Remember the part about the training notes? Well, this is one of the notes for Week 4 and as you can see, it’s pretty brief. In fact, all the notes are like that; one-pager with just a few paragraphs leaving another half completely blank. Just like the videos, they are nothing comprehensive to read about and again, redundant in my opinion.
4) The core training actually emphasizes one to find a profitable niche and monetize through squeeze pages. While this is a common marketing strategy, it involves a bit of copywriting skills and a lot of money in online advertising in order to drive traffic to those pages.
And it’s not by coincidence that they advocate using social media to target this traffic either. Facebook ads and Instagram shoutout can easily cost between $30-$200 per campaign and the number can quickly if you are actively paying for traffic.
5) Towards the end of the modules, the training takes a sharp turn, diverting one from the affiliate marketing pathway to becoming a vendor. Now, you will need to learn how to create and sell your own digital product in the Clickbank marketplace and the best place to learn the process (for obvious reason) is to take the Vendor’s Training that comes with the membership.
I find that the change of the training direction under a short period of time, to be very abrupt and will certainly cause a lot of confusion among inexperienced beginners. It’s not a wrong thing to do, but when the foundation of affiliate marketing is not covered properly, people are bound to make hasty and risky decisions when they become vendors. Unfortunately, this will only result in more failures than success.
Demystifying Affiliate Marketing
After going through all the modules, it’s evident that the affiliate training is NOT newbie friendly because you are expected to spend so much just to get started. There’s the monthly membership ($47/month), the content builder platform ($297) and most importantly, paid traffic (price varies). For the first year, you need to invest $861 and that excludes ad campaigns.
However, do you know that you can halve the cost through leveraging from Google’s free traffic source? Yup, by using targeted keywords and the free WordPress platform, there’s equally as much opportunity to make a profit without having all the fancy stuff. It makes me wonder why such important information isn’t included in the CBU training in the first place.
The modern consumer trends have allowed many niches to become profitable. It doesn’t always have to be something that’s popular on Clickbank or digital products for that matter. But if you really want to promote something online, article content that offers helpful information (instead of push selling) will serve more values over the long term as compared to squeeze pages.
THAT is something you need to know before becoming an affiliate for any brands or products.
So, Is Clickbank University Worth Your Time
Simply because it bears the brand name of a popular digital marketplace, it doesn’t mean that CBU emulates the kind of quality that you can learn from. It feels more like they are taking you for a twirl around general topics and not showing the bigger picture on how to implement things from the ground up.
If you already have some experience and looking to level up, their email funneling topics might be worth checking out. But if you are entirely new to the realm of affiliate marketing, this training will not provide a clear step-by-step guide or show you how to bootstrap.
For more reliable tools and resources, I would recommend you to check out my recommended training below. Here are just some of the features that you can benefit from this program.
Took a look inside and I’ll personally give you a hand in starting your own affiliate business from scratch. Hope to talk to you soon.