Product: ClickBank University 2.0
Owner: Justin Atlan and Adam Horwitz
This is a platform teaching newbies how to create their own products and make money promoting other people's products within the ClickBank marketplace. This gets a thumbs up from me and it's well worth the initial cost, but there are some drawbacks to consider before joining.
What Is ClickBank University 2.0?
ClickBank University (CBU) was originally created by Adam Horwitz and Justin Atlan in 2013. Adam got into affiliate marketing from the age of 15 and has also created a number of products over the years. I don’t know much about Justin but he does seem to know a thing or two about marketing and has some good insights to share within the lessons.
I didn’t try the first version but apparently CBU 2.0 is a total upgrade and is going to help you make money doing something you are passionate about. They also say we’ll be getting our very own “certification” in making money online when the training is completed… this part is really just a marketing gimmick though.
Overall, the sales video wasn’t too overhyped like a lot of products in this space which was definitely a good starting point for me.
More Than Just An ‘Optional Upgrade’
After paying the $47 I was immediately taken to an ‘upgrade’ page for ClickBank Builder 2.0. I personally cannot stand these kinds of upsells but unfortunately they are very common. Why? They make vendors and affiliates a lot more money. It’s never a nice feeling when you’ve just paid for something only to find out there’s more stuff to buy in order for it to “really work” which they’ve conveniently left out of the sales pitch.
The CB Builder (squeeze page/ sales funnel builder) costs $594 and while it’s not 100% essential, the training is primarily geared for people who have purchased this. It’s going to be difficult for beginners to follow the training without purchasing this.
If you are new to all of this stuff then you’ll need to somehow figure out how to build your own squeeze pages and sales funnel system ‘somewhere’ else. Apart from building your sales funnel there are other key aspects of the training you’ll need to figure out on your own without buying CB Builder 2.0. Such as installing the Facebook pixel code for Facebook advertising and tracking purposes. Safe to say I wasn’t very impressed with this given there was zero mention of it on the sales video.
Overview Of The Training
There are 2 main paths you can take with this platform. The training teaches both affiliates and product creators how to make money within the CB marketplace. There is 8 weeks worth of training for affiliates and 12 weeks worth of training for those interested in creating their own products. Each ‘week’ consists of 3 bite sized videos and some downloadable content to supplement each lesson. You can also check off the lessons as you go which is useful for keeping yourself on track.
Product Creation Path
This path was created by Justin for those wanting to sell their own digital products within the CB marketplace. You are shown how to come up with an idea for an e-course from scratch or work with an idea you already have. For example, you might be passionate about health and fitness and create a digital course on “getting ripped in 30 days” or “how to lose weight quickly before summer” or any number of ideas.
You are also shown how to work with affiliate marketers who will ideally promote your product for you in time.
Justin offers real world marketing insights that can be applied to any business but he essentially takes out the stuff you don’t need and keeps the course super relevant to making money within CB as a vendor. The information is good and if you follow this training carefully and take consistent action, you will inevitably see results.
Course Summary (my words)
- Week 1 – Introduction to the concept
- Week 2 – Choosing a niche
- Week 3 – Understanding your customer & tailoring your offering to suite
- Week 4 – Creating written or video content for your course
- Week 5 – Including upsells in your funnel
- Week 6 – Writing sales copy
- Week 7 – Creating a video sales letter
- Week 8 – Making sure your product and everything you’ve done so far is tip top
- Week 9 – Selling within CB
- Week 10 – Working with affiliates
- Week 11 – Testing different elements to increase conversions
- Week 12 – Scaling your business
- Bonus – Selling high ticket products on webinars
Affiliate Marketing Path
I’m personally more interested in affiliate marketing as this is what I currently do to make money online so I spent the majority of my time here. This was created by Adam and shows you how to market existing CB marketplace products. While there is a lot of talk about doing something you are passionate about, thats not exactly how this training is geared. You are encouraged to choose a broad and popular niche like health and fitness, self help or make money online and drill down to ‘strike a healthy balance’ between that and your passion.
The reason for this is that the majority of products within the CB marketplace are focussed on these niches and this is where the most money is being made online. Competition means affiliates are making money there and the more money you make as a CB affiliate, the more money CB makes. Adam believes in the concept of taking a small slice of a large pie so to speak and tailors the training to suite this approach.
Once you’ve chosen your niche and a product to promote, the rest of this course is about creating your sales funnel, email marketing insights and then optimising and scaling your campaigns for maximum results. A capture/ squeeze page is just a webpage designed to grab a visitors email address in return for something of value, like a free report or a video. Your job is to send people to that page first and foremost and then send out automated follow up emails to build a relationship with them so you can promote your affiliate products and earn commissions.
Course Summary (my words)
- Week 1 – Introductory videos
- Week 2 – Concept of affiliate marketing & navigating CB
- Week 3 – Choosing a niche & product to promote
- Week 4 – Creating a sales funnel using capture pages
- Week 5 – Writing and outsourcing content to give to your email list
- Week 6 – Email marketing
- Week 7 – More email marketing
- Week 8 – Scaling your business
- Bonus – Affiliate promotions
Making ANY money promoting anything online requires one essential ingredient. Traffic. Without traffic you cannot make a dime online no matter what you are promoting or selling. There are 2 ways to get traffic: free and paid.
Unfortunately, the only method being shown to people within CBU is paid traffic. This can be very effective with the approach you are being shown but unless you are already familiar with running these kinds of campaigns and getting the most out of your traffic, this could end up costing you an absolute fortune.
There are many ways to drive a steady flow of quality paid traffic but with CBU you are shown 2 different approaches. Adam and Justin believe these are the 2 best paid traffic sources and explain how they only want to share what is working for them.
Method #1 FaceBook
Justin shows you how to leverage Facebook ads to drive traffic to your capture pages. I recently started mucking around with these for my websites and I can safely say it is an absolutely awesome way to go. In particular, the level of targeting and tracking makes this a super effective strategy.
Remember when I talked about installing the Facebook pixel code? This is what I was referring to. It’s not hard when you know how but installing this code could make your life very difficult as a beginner because they only show you how to install the code on CB Builder.
The best part about this is how Justin shows you exactly what is working for them within their actual campaigns. The insights being given were very worthwhile, particularly in part 3. I was able to pick up some useful tips for my own campaigns here that in reality are probably worth the $47 alone but if you are looking for a FB ads ‘how to guide’ then this is definitely not it. This is more of an overview with some great insights inside of 3 relatively short videos.
The screenshot above outlines the cost involved with this. These guys have spent between $3-$5 per conversion, a conversion in this case was getting one email subscriber. Not a paying customer. To make those kind of numbers work you really need to have a proven sales funnel in place or start really small and work your way up.
Method #2 Buying Instagram Shoutouts
This is quite an interesting traffic method and one I hadn’t heard of until now . This is simple, potentially very effective and relatively low cost for what you get in return. The idea is to offer people (with a large enough Instagram account) money to place a relevant picture on their profile page in front of their followers. A certain number of people will click through from your picture to your opt-in page where you will then be able to collect their email address and send them into your sales funnel.
Is this possibly a little spammy? Maybe, maybe not. For the most part think that as long as you are offering relevant value and not just promoting junk then it’s totally fine, but I don’t use Instagram so I have no idea how the average user would feel about it or what IG’s policies are regarding this.
I won’t go into too much detail here but this is essentially one big series of extra products you are encourage to buy mixed in with a couple of helpful and very basic trainings on using free tools. The paid tools are of a high quality though so they are not promoting junk to you which is a big plus.
Summary on the tools section:
- Buying a Godaddy domain name ($10-$14 per year)
- Basic Powerpoint training for creating sales video slides (free if you have Microsoft Office)
- Video creation with Camtasia ($99 one time)
- Creating pictures with Canva training (free)
- Visual Website Optimiser split testing software ($49 per month)
- Optimonk (free 14 day trial then starts at $29 per month)
- Hootsuite social media tool (free trial then starts at $10 per month)
- Outsourcing with upwork
- Awebber (30 day free trial then starts at $19 per month)
- Basic demographic research with Google & Twitter (free)
I don’t personally use all of these but I would happily buy almost all of them them because they are respectable products. I’m not a huge fan of Godaddy though but only because of their pricing model.
The Weekly Webinars
I didn’t go through all of these but they do seem to offer value and there are new webinars added each week which is cool. It seems as though the $47 per month is actually not for the training itself but is for these weekly Q&A webinars. I could be wrong here but I’m pretty sure this is how they have worked things. This is an opportunity to ask Adam and Justin questions and they record these so you can go back and watch them later on if you feel the need.
I guess this is a good enough reason to stick around and continue paying the monthly fee as long as they are not just glorified sales presentations. A lot of the time these webinars are designed primarily to convince you to buy more products so I recommend being a cautious with these.
They provide FaceBook support, weekly webinars and an area to post questions under the lessons. These are all ok but the last support option is absolutely useless.
There are many members with questions that simply don’t get answered, even after weeks! I have to say this really surprised me. Considering how much money this program and CB would be making, this is super lame. Bare minimum it would make a huge difference to have one dedicated staff member answering and helping people, even just for half a day 5 days a week! Nope.
My question is why even bother having this in the first place? It only serves to make the platform look bad and give new users a bad impression upon entering. In all fairness though, CBU is still WAY ahead of most ‘make money online’ products and there are other ways to get support so I don’t want to be too critical here.
Locking The Content Is Lame
The training is only unlocked to week 3 upon entry which kind of annoyed me since I just paid for the whole thing. After looking through the comments, it seems many others felt the same way. The good news is they do appear to unlock all modules if you email them, I did email them and I’m waiting to hear back.
Does it really take 8-12 weeks to get through this? From what I have seen, not even close. I really believe the average person could get through one entire ‘path’ within a full-time week of effort, including implementing. Of course, there is going to be things you may have missed so it would definitely be worthwhile going back over the training if you ripped through it that quickly.
I get the point of trying not to ‘overwhelm’ people but the training is already very clear and if people get ‘lost’ they could just go back to where they started. Simple. People aren’t silly and forcing people to take the course this slowly is only holding the majority of folks back in my opinion. I’ve seen these ‘drip fed’ modules in other programs and it really irritates me. The only saving factor here is how they’ll ‘unlock’ all the modules for you upon request.
The content was unlocked in full within 24 hours of emailing support which restored my faith somewhat. I went through all of the training videos in the affiliate section and some in the vendor section.
What I found was that the training IS good and you really do get high value insights from guys that know their stuff. The training videos took hardly any time at all to get through so I am absolutely beyond comprehending how they think it will take 8 weeks. Is it worth paying $47 to learn from these guys? I think so. Is that all you are going to need to spend? Not even close.
I was hoping to find some more training on the actual ‘how to’ of building your sales funnel outside of CB Builder 2.0. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist. When it comes to the actual implementing part you are not shown the most important part of all. Building your actual sales funnel. You are simply given 2 short demo videos on using CB Builder and that’s it. This frustrated me because so many newbies are going to be signing up to this and will have NO idea how to make this actually work without buying this addittional and quite costly product.
Is CB Builder worth paying $594 for?
As far as being a vendor is concerned I think this is a good tool. It makes building your entire sales funnel, housing your products content, including upsells and integrating with CB super easy. It really makes light work of all the technical stuff. As for affiliates, I think this is a good tool, but you are spending WAY more than you really need to be spending. For example, a free WordPress website + Thrive Landing pages combination will achieve (in my opinion) a much better result and cost you about 85% less money.
What I Liked
- Sales material is not too overhyped
- Adam and Justin seem like pretty respectable guys and definitely have good insights into online business and marketing
- Good system for using paid traffic
- CB Builder 2.0 looks simple and effective
- Step-by-step nature of the training makes it easy to consume and follow along
- Potential to make decent money
- Flexible training for affiliates and vendors
- Reasonably good support overall
- Solid refund policy from CB
What I Didn’t Like
- Massive $594 upsell that is really quite integral to making this system work
- Support under each lesson is practically non-existent
- You are only shown how to drive paid traffic to your offers
- To make this work is going to end up costing a lot more than $47 per month all things considered, that’s fine but this is not pointed out to people before joining
- Drip fed content sucks
- The tools section is pretty much a list of products they are affiliated with
Final Thoughts On CBU 2.0
After taking an in depth look at this platform there some good points and some not so great points. Overall, this is definitely legitimate and worth giving a go if you want to create your own products or become a CB affiliate without a website. There is a lot of quality information and some very actionable insights being delivered here so anyone willing to put in the effort can definitely utilise this training.
The main drawbacks are how you are only being shown how to drive paid traffic and not being told about CB Builder from the outset. These are both key elements to making this system work and following along with the training. In conclusion, this platform gets a thumbs up but it’s not my top rated program.
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