ClickBank University 2.0 Review: A Different Affiliate Marketing Course
Today’ we’ll go on a rather lengthy review of CBU 2.0. Today, we’ll decide whether or not this course by Matt Hulett, Adam Howitz, and Justin Atlan is worth the $47 monthly subscription.
At that price, it’s definitely not the most expensive monthly subscription, and there seems to be enough content to make up for it. However, does the value meet the expectations created by the marketing department?
Let’s find out.
Reviewing Elite Affiliate Pro
This course isn’t like most affiliate marketing course, because it’s more of a ClickBank course than strictly affiliate marketing.
As such, you have to training programs: becoming a vendor, creating and selling your products, or becoming an affiliate, selling and promoting other people’s offers.
You can choose to do the 2 programs if you want, but I’d recommend starting with the first one, selling others’ products. It’s probably why you’re here, anyways, and if you’re interested in becoming a vendor, then you can fund that venture with the money from affiliate marketing.
Having your own products requires time and money, a lot of both. Besides, you also need to sell them, so the affiliate marketing training will benefit you anyways.
Let’s get the upsells out of the way
If you find upsells annoying, then I have bad news for you: there’s a couple here, and they aren’t particularly good.
The first one is a landing page software called the ClickBank Builder 2.0. It’s priced at a whopping $594 when you can use better software for less money. For example, Thrive Architect is my favorite builder, and it’s just $67 for a single license.
The other upsell is “advanced” training with extra content for $97. Now, I’d understand if you were paying a one-off course. However, your $47 are charged monthly, if you stay here for a year, that’s over $480. Why can’t they offer the extra training since you’re paying for it anyways?
I mean, a lot of people will likely just cancel their subscription after finishing the course they wanted, so adding the extra content would make them stay for at least another month (or 2, depending on how busy they are) and pay for it longer.
It’s even smarter. One could finish both programs in a single month if they really get into it, so adding the content means at least an extra subscription. That’s $94 in 2 months. By upselling it, they’re just pissing me off and they’re stuck with just $47.
OK, I let it all out. Let’s move on.
The members’ area
After you get to the course’s main page, you’re welcomed by Adam and Justin in a video detailing how to navigate the course, getting started, etc.
It’s at this point where you decide if you want to be an affiliate or vendor. Adam covers affiliate marketing and Justin teaches you how to be a vendor.
You also have a few menu options. Besides the 2 main sections, there’s also sections on traffic, recommended tools, webinars, and the forum.
The affiliate training
This section is an 8-week program conducted by Adam. You need to enter your email and name into a form if you want access to all weeks at once (you should be prepared for email promotions, just in case). Otherwise, each module unlocks weekly.
Marketing on ClickBank
The first week is fairly short, just 3 videos totaling around 18 minutes. It goes through how to plan your business, preparing yourself, and how to set specific goals and mindset (of course).
Affiliate marketing overview
Week 2 is about 25 minutes long. It’s also a redundant section if you already have some knowledge on affiliate marketing, ClickBank, or both.
You have an intro to the business, the basics, how to navigate Cb, and “secrets” to find products, which is just combining your passions with what’s selling.
Finding what you like
Week 3 builds on that foundation. It explains why it’s good to promote products you can feel passionate about.
You learn about product research and selection. It mentions health and fitness among the niche, but these niches are usually extremely competitive. In that case, you should find a niche’s niche; for instance, find items to fix posture issues on older adults or weight loss products for women over 40.
This week lasts 25 minutes again, and it’s about moving traffic through sales funnels. Adam explains that you should send your traffic to a landing page that collects their emails so that you can market to them repeatedly. This is a good strategy for the long-term, and you should avoid sending your traffic straight to the offer.
There’s an affiliate funnel 101 video that talks about offering free value for their emails, which is also what you should be doing. The next video about squeeze pages goes into how to build them, but Adam recommends their ClickBank Builder, so try not to fall for it.
Week 5 covers what the title suggests; it’s basically providing lots of free value.
There’s a video about how you can interact and build relationships with the emails in your list. If you skip that step, you’ll need a lot of luck to get a sale from them.
There’s a video on how you can deliver this free content, and you learn about PDFs, videos, broadcast, tips, etc. The last video builds on this concept by teaching you how to outsource that task.
Here, you’ll probably noticed something off: Adam talks about Elance. Elance became Upwork several years ago, so it makes you wonder when was the last time this training got any updates.
This is yet another week you’ll finish in 20 minutes. You’re starting to see why I said you could finish the entire thing in less than a month, aren’t you?
You learn about what are email swipes, and Adam touches on how to increase your chances of customers opening your email and clicking the link. You learn about trigger words that move your customers towards wanting to click. However, this is still very random.
While you can increase the possibility of someone clicking, there’s really no way to ensure it. Some niches offer higher chances, but there isn’t a 100% surefire technique, so this module is more theory than anything else.
Nevertheless, the biggest issue is that Adam suggest you use clickbait text on your links that, instead of increasing the chance of them clicking, increases your chances of ending in a spam box.
Week 6 lasts a bit more than 25 minutes, and it’s about making your emails. Adam recommends you use AWeber here, but I can’t really give you my insight on it since I prefer Getresponse.
The longest video is an over-the-shoulder walkthrough of how Adam sends broadcast emails to his subscribers. However, that’s a very old method for automating your emails. Adam also talks about how you can use autoresponders to send emails at set intervals, which is also really old.
Today, most affiliate marketers use workflows for tracking the actions of their customers and use commands to follow those specific actions. For instance, you can resend an email after a couple of hours if it wasn’t opened the first time with another headline; if a customer does click into one, you can offer them more products based on the original click.
Adam falls back into revealing how outdated this course is by teaching a technique that’s been used practically since the creation of emailing.
It starts off with a brief intro into traffic and focusing in a single method. After that, Adam invites you to go to the traffic section, and that’s pretty much the entire content in this module.
There are other videos briefly touching on how to get traffic, but the most substantial content here is Adam mentioning you can use different channels for your Traffic like Facebook and YouTube.
The last video is titled “creating a product”, but again, it’s just an invitation to the vendors’ side of CBU.
Affiliate training summarized
If you read the weeks’ summary, you already know what I’m going to say here. The content is too light and shallow for you to learn something useful. It’s also a lot more theory than training, which is pretty much non-existent.
However, the real shocker here was how mind-numbingly outdated the content in this course is right now. You can see other reviewers talk about how amazing the content here is, but you can finish the entire section in a day if you binge-watch everything.
You know what? You don’t even have to binge-watch it. You can watch an hour in the morning, an hour in the afternoon, and an hour before going to bed, and you’ll probably be done with it.
You’ll soon see that’s the case with most of the course.
At least I can give CBU props for being original by adding this. This section goes into how you can sell products you created instead of promoting others’. Let’s see if it’s actually worth the subscription or if it replicates the errors of the previous section.
Here, you’ll learn how you can create digital products building on your passions. It won’t be too complex, more about recipe books, guides, etc. You’ll basically work on providing educational resources based on what you know.
Now, if you have no experience as an affiliate marketing, you shouldn’t start this. You want to learn how to sell before spending more money, and selling someone else’s work gives you more of a sandbox environment to try out new things.
You can also build an audience around your affiliate marketing, which you can then integrate into your own business as a vendor. Even Adam recommends you to that. You can also keep all profits since you know how to market it, but you can always have other affiliates behind you to scale even further.
The first week works as an intro, talking about why creating your products is a good idea. The second video is about mindset, and while it’s often filler content, the video is just 6-and-a-half minutes and about creating personal habits and methods, so it’s a nice watch. It’s also a good way to start taking action towards your business.
There’s another video about planning your product, and it combines 3 important elements: what you like, real profitability, and your own experience. It’s a good triad to have as a principle, and it requires thinking.
The week closes with how to set goals, and it’s more about mindset. It’s not bad, but it could’ve been merged with the other mindset video to save time.
Week 2 goes into how to materialize the 3 elements from week 1 into a product: one that you like and understand completely, but which you also know will sell.
There’s a video on how to discover what’s your passion, and Justin takes you through different ClickBank lists. It’s a nice way to find something you didn’t know interested you or could make you money.
There’s another video about analyzing potential markets to find out whether you should plunge into it. There are also 3 elements that you want to ensure from your product: an emotional need, (if that fails) solutions to a problem several people have, and a reason to buy it from you instead of others. It’s a 25-minute video, which also explains how to create additional value for the 3rd factor.
The last video goes into how you can study your competition to come up with a successful formula.
Creating an avatar
Now, this isn’t really about creating an avatar to represent yourself; it’s about creating an avatar of your audience. In other words, it’s the archetype of your customer: who they are, their preference, their needs, habits, etc. Justin explains how you make your product match that avatar.
The 2nd video is about discovering your avatar’s demographics: gender, age, language, income, level of education, etc. It’ll help you form a marketing approach that catches them.
The 3rd video is about a method Justin calls “elevator pitch”, and it’s just a single-minute pitch to entice your customers to buy from you.
The longest video is the last one, and you learn how to find a good domain and name for your offer. He uses GoDaddy on the videos, but you should look for other options to find the one that suits you best.
Week 4 finally shows you how to put all the theory and ideas you’ve formed into a tangible product. That content you’re going to create will be your product.
You have a video on how to you can break down your offer, from start to end, so that your buyers will feel satisfied and achieved after going through your product.
The 3rd video goes into the different formats you can use for your product. Basically, after outlining your product, you’ll learn how to decide which format fits it best. You can go with audio, text, video, or combine the 3.
The last video is a blueprint for structuring your content. It’s the same formula that Justin uses for delivering his content.
This is the module where you’ll understand why people use upsells and why they’re OK. You’ll learn how to create upsells of your own to increase the money you make from each purchase from your product.
You first learn how you can even triple how much money you make over time thanks to using upsells. Basically, upsells are smaller products that compliment your main offer and add more value. You also learn how to improve your upsells and make the easier with a formula from Justin.
Finally, you learn how to write good copy for your upsells and pricing them properly
Week 6 comes from Matt O’Connor, and since it seems he worked on the copywriting for CBU, he’s in charge of giving you the copywriting week of the course.
You learn about how to make VSL (video sales letters), writing effective copy, targeting your audiences, coming up with ideas, how to structure your sales letter, etc.
It’s an important module since good copywriting can make or break your business, and Matt doesn’t really do a bad job at explaining it.
Video sales letter
Justin comes back to teach a week focused solely on VSL’s, which is an element presented in most ClickBank products, so you shouldn’t leave them out.
You learn how to make a text VSL; it’s basically a narrated video with moving text, so you don’t have to worry about practicing in front on a camera or getting nervous.
The setup here is PowerPoint and editing with Camtasia. As with Adam’s content, this is a really outdated way to make VSL. First off, Camtasia is a great platform, but it’s expensive and not the best solution for VSL. Also, PowerPoint is unnecessarily old for this section. You have far better tools for making presentations like Prezi and dozens others you can find just by typing on Google.
Don’t worry, not everything is lost. You can still apply the same concepts and format you learned here. You just want to find better tools to make the process easier and the results better.
There’s a final video on how you can outsource all this process.
Finishing your product with the ClickBank Builder, “etc.”
This week closes with how to finalize your offer. Of course, Justin promotes the ClickBank Builder, but you can use a program of your choice.
You’ll see how to shape your customers’ experience so that they’re prone to buying from you, and it’s a method that requires you to wear their shoes, think like them, and merging all these elements into an experience that guarantees sales.
The entire module focuses on this flow, and the last 2 videos are just how to create your sales and product pages with this principle in mind.
Week 9 teaches you how to create your account and get ready for the platform’s marketplace.
You also have some lessons about setting up your website and products as well as integrating both with your ClickBank profile. Finally, you learn how to make a test purchase for ensuring everything works the way it should.
This is a pretty entertaining section on how to get your own JV’s and affiliate marketers to promote your stuff. ClickBank offers over 100,000 marketers waiting to sell products, so you definitely want to profit from that. Justin goes to the right approach to expose your product to your future partners.
He goes into the right mindset when you’re trying to find affiliates to market your product, which is a different type of mindset video. There’s another video about “affiliate tools” that tells you how you can employ your ClickBank Builder to make things easier for your affiliates. However, it’s just a 4-minute video, and you can use the same knowledge with another tool, so nothing’s lost here.
The last video talks about how you can get into the affiliates’ circle. Basically, there are several groups of affiliates who know each other and often share strategies, methods, and products to promote as a group. If you can get into them, you’re pretty much set yourself for a good while. However, Justin does clarify that you need to work quite a bit, but if you came all the way here, you’re probably ready for that.
Week 11 covers how to split test your different pages requiring any interaction. It’s a strategy that helps you find the best-performing pages for your website.
There’s a video with a blueprint breaking down Justin’s strategy. One of his suggestions is to not rush these tests; you want to get some sales and generate sufficient data if you want accuracy.
He then goes into different tools you can use for this task. He recommends VWO.com, but my favorite is Thrive through WordPress. VWO costs $149 every month, and Thrive is just $19 monthly, and you get far more tools than just split testing.
The final video is quite cool: it’s a case study about a previous version of the CBU website where they performed an A/B test with the current one to give you an idea.
The final week teaches you how to scale your business. Obviously, one of the paths is to increase your traffic, and Justin invites you to the traffic content of the course. Don’t worry, we’ll get to it.
The strategy he discuses is to use your customers to promote other products related to your offer. He recommends a funnel combined with an email marketing approach that helps you generate more in the long-term. He also recommends you scale by creating other product lines.
The week (and main course) closes with Justin talking about coaching, consulting, and speaking at events. This is a nice approach you can use with webinars to promote higher-tier products. I know some of you might not enjoy this approach, but Justin does give a good explanation of how you do it.
While technically an extra module, it still expands on the concepts you’ve already been taught. You’ll learn how to create your webinars, basically. You can use them for selling live to your audience, and a huge amount of marketers are using them, so it’s definitely working.
You have a 13-minute lesson from another guy explaining how to do your webinars. You also learn about different sales funnels you can use and how to carry out a successful webinar.
Again, this approach definitely isn’t for everyone, but I’d definitely recommend you do it if you feel confident when speaking. If you’re not sure, then just record mock webinars and watch them by yourself; it’s a great way to spot your strengths and what you need to improve.
Conclusion on vendors’ section
It’s funny how I came to this course looking for solid affiliate marketing, but I discovered instead that the section opposite to what I expected completely blew it away. If you’re interested (and have the funds) in creating your products, then you’ll definitely find more success with this section. It’s good training, and all the relevant aspects were covered.
While it’s ClickBank-focused, you can still apply the same concepts in other platforms. Even with the VSL week offering outdated tools, you can still apply the same knowledge with better programs.
The only issue with this training is how it’s more theory than practice. I’ll always advocate for over-the-shoulder training instead of just people talking.
The problem here is that you’re left on your own to figure out how to actually apply the knowledge. Still, creating your own product does include the phrase “your own product”, so you still have to work by yourself. In that sense, you can definitely execute the lessons taught to you.
Sure, you should do some additional research, especially if you don’t know where to start with your pages, but you can find that content for free. This training covers the fundamentals you need.
This was a nice way to forget about the affiliate marketing section. It does contain all the knowledge you’ll need to launch a product.
This section is supposed to show you the most successful methods used by the course’s authors. The problem here is how they say they don’t really list all the methods they know, and they focus solely on the ones they work for them to prevent overwhelming their students.
That just a cheap way to skip work in my opinion. Getting traffic is the toughest part of any type of online business, so you definitely want to learn as many methods as you can. Besides, this is called “University”, not “Blueprint”. You’re not following their methods; you’re supposed to learn a holistic approach to the business.
Compare it with courses like Savage Affiliates, which is a single $197 payment and has dozens of traffic methods, both free and paid.
To make themselves look even lazier, they outsourced the entire training to other marketers. If they don’t have to do this work themselves, and you’re supposed to pay a monthly fee, then why not add more methods? You’re still going to improve and want to learn more as you keep paying for the “University”.
Will Flynn introduces you to YouTube Ads. There really isn’t much to say about this lesson; you just learn how you set up your YouTube channel and use paid ads to move traffic towards your video.
Intro to Facebook Ads
This module is just hilarious. J.R. Fisher is supposed to give you the intro to Facebook Ads, yet he jumps straight into mindset concepts like how to move yourself to do things, how your brain is your first enemy, and, read here, how you must convince it that everything is OK.
You then learn how to set goals before going into FB Ads. He explains why you should use it, comments on how to set up your budgets, and hits you with another curveball by talking about dropshipping.
This module was a wild ride.
Facebook Ads setup
Robby Blanchard is the man in charge of how to set up your FB Ads, and it’s nice to see him since he’s one of the best sellers on the platform. He even has his own course!
No, wait, that’s never a good sign.
Anyways, here, you learn how you set up an account on the platform as well as your pixel, create your ads, using adsets, etc. It’s a single video, and honestly, it looks like a recorded webinar from the guy. It’s about an hour and a half, but still doesn’t make up for the training in other courses like, again, Savage Affiliates.
This one comes from a serial course creator named Fred Lam, and we’ve gone through his work before, so you probably know the man.
He takes care of explaining how to run paid ads with Google and Bing. Not only it’s another recorded webinar, but it’s also really outdated, and even members call that out in the comments. I wonder if it’s already updated.
Finally, you go back to Adam, explaining how you can use Instagram influencers to shout out your offers.
It’s a nice way to capitalize on the huge followings behind many of these guys, and you can even find influencers focused on your niche, so your targeting is also taken care off.
Basically, the approach here is creating a squeeze page to collect emails for your list. Adam also teaches you how you should contact influencers and what to do after they reply. However, keep in mind that you have to pay them for each post, and the prices can quickly escalate to hundreds of dollars per post depending on what you want and how famous they are.
Conclusion on traffic section
The methods are good, and they can definitely work, but the webinars are noticeably outdated, and watching hours of videos can put off beginners.
Besides, it’s really limited. It doesn’t even mention how to get traffic from SEO, which is by far the best approach for affiliate marketers, especially when combined with a solid content marketing plan.
It’s also, again, lazy as all hell: they just recorded webinars and left them there. Speaking of lazy, I’ll call them out again on copping out by saying that they didn’t want to overwhelm you by overstuffing a course in which you’re paying a monthly subscription anyways!
Well, it recommends GoDaddy, but that isn’t really a tool, so I don’t know why it’s so recommended over other domain sellers that work pretty much the same. Also from their course, they recommend Camtasia for editing your videos; you already know it’s definitely not cheap.
They recommend for your split testing Visual Website Optimizer one more time. And one more time, it’s an unnecessarily expensive platform, especially when you can get the full Thrive suite for WordPress at $19, which includes A/B testing. Finally, they give another mention to AWeber, but I can’t really comment on whether or not it’s good since I don’t really need anything other than Getresponse.
Now, into the new mentions.
They offer APowersoft as an option if you can’t pay for Camtasia, but you can only use it to record your screens, but I guess you can make do with it for your VSL. You can also use the free version of Jing if you’re fine with 5-minute videos tops.
They also recommend Canva, and it’s one of the few times I can agree with them. The platform has a free version, and while it also has a paid membership, the free features will be enough for you for a good while.
The last tool they mention is HootSuite for running your accounts on social media and keep your activity going. It’s a good enough platform, so I have nothing to complaint about here; it has both free and paid versions.
Conclusion on tools
As you can see, it’s not a tool kit from the course developers but just some recommended tools for you.
They offer a quick intro to each mention, and while some are useful, they have some needlessly expensive recommendations.
I really liked the section on how to become a vendor. It has enough training for you to release your own product into the market, and it’s by far the only section I can say it’s worth paying a month in this course.
The rest of the training is just… a mess. It’s filled with outdated information, which is still pure theory and really shallow. You’ll definitely won’t become a successful affiliate marketer with just the content in this course.
In other words, this is a course for aspiring vendors.
I hope you found this review useful and if you have any questions, please comment down below. I’ll be more than happy to assist you.
Once again, thanks for reading my ClickBank University 2.0 Review and I wish you the best of luck.