You can learn how to build a profitable online business from a good quality affiliate marketing course. On the other hand, the affiliate marketing industry is full of dishonest and misleading promotions. Some of them are total scams, while others are inferior or outdated tutorials that are of no use. They essentially steal money from the consumers.
In order to avoid becoming a dishonest affiliate, it’s important that you learn the right way of promoting the right products. Then you'd better know how to select the most suitable course for you. Before deciding on an affiliate marketing course, look out for the following things you should keep your eyes open for.
How Much You Want To Learn
When it comes to affiliate marketing courses, most of them are aimed at beginners with no experience in the field. Some of them even start with the definition of the term “affiliate marketing” (teach you what it means), or teach you the recent market statistics, while others teach you how to motivate yourself since most students are looking to work alone from home. The question is, how far do you want to learn? The types of affiliate marketing courses are, for example,
- All-done-for-you platform: You will learn how to use the ready-made sales funnel so you can start your affiliate marketing promotion within a very short period (or even on the first day). But that’s as far as you learn and you will not gain in-depth techniques.
- Intermediate to Advanced level: A course that’s also suitable for those who are already in the business, wishing to take their level of income to the next level. Towards the end of the course, you will learn insider techniques. The course fee will be hefty accordingly, or there may be a monthly recurring membership fee.
- Hybrid / Beyond Advance: On top of all the affiliate marketing skills, some courses also teach you how to become a coach or event speaker (for you to be able to teach affiliate marketing.) Usually the course fees are very high.
Choosing the right course will ultimately determine how successful you want to be in the medium to long term.
How Much You Want To Pay (The Course Fee)
How much should you pay for an affiliate marketing course? Well, it’s really hard to justify the value of a course and there’s no straightforward answer. Because it’s so subjective, depending on a variety of factors, for example;
- The Cost - It depends on how much it’s costing the course creator. If a course has multiple tutors, they have to get paid so it’s pricier. A course fee may include some essential tools such as a website builder or SEO analysis tool, in which case it also becomes pricier.
- The Brand - Just like the prices of any product, some people pay for the name, while others don’t. But “you get what you pay for” doesn’t necessarily apply - a no-brand cheap mayonnaise can taste better than a brand mayonnaise. Some people want to learn skills from a well-known millionaire marketer who isn’t necessarily the best teacher.
- The Business Model - The value of a course is determined by the creator. In other words, they can decide whatever price they want to sell it for! Some tutors are simply proud of the course content they provide, so they decide to charge what they think they deserve. Others provide a course for a low price or even for free, but make money in other ways instead. For example, sell a premium, in-depth course, or provide tools and charge for them.
Often people criticize expensive courses solely on the basis of their charges, but as you can see, that shouldn’t always be the case.
Having said that, I wouldn’t personally pay thousands of dollars for training mainly for two reasons.
One is because it’s “only” affiliate marketing - millions of people have already tried the business model worldwide (the exact number is unknown), there’s nothing new.
The other reason is that the training market has already been saturated for some time now. You never find a brand new, innovative marketing method that nobody else knows. Trends are trends. As soon as something new is introduced, others will follow. In other words, regardless of how much money you're willing to spend, magic cannot be bought anywhere as far as affiliate marketing is concerned.
Who You Want To Learn It From
Who will teach you is probably one of the key factors when you choose an affiliate marketing course. I think there are mainly three things that you should consider when choosing your tutor. (1) Real or Fake, (2) Personality, and (3) Their profile.
(1) Real or Fake
The first thing you want to quickly check is whether anyone who appears on the sales page of a course actually exists or not. If they introduce themselves, or if there’s an “About Us/Me” page, google that name. Search for “xxx xxx (name) affiliate marketing” and see how well known they are.
You can also often tell from the way they speak on the sales video. Real coaches have a kind of “coaching” voice, or “natural someone next door” voice. A perfect narrator is just a hired voice actor, they’re not the one who’s going to teach you.
If you can’t find any name on the site, then it has no credibility, you shouldn’t be paying a penny for that. The creator may genuinely want to teach but for some reason they don’t want to reveal their identity. In which case the quality of the course doesn’t necessarily low, but quite likely. They may have duplicated someone else’s course content and decided to sell it. You never know. Don’t trust anyone incognito, no matter how their story (=sales technique!) sounds convincing.
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When it comes to a video or audio tutorial, a tutor’s personality, or teaching style, is important, because you should be comfortably digesting what you’re hearing throughout the course. For example, there are a lot of tutors who are loud and full of themselves. They’re extremely friendly and give you positive vibes. You may love it, or feel intimidated. Personally, I’m not so keen - I’d rather learn from someone soft-spoken and geeky, and that’s totally my personal preference.
Their spoken accent may also be a factor. I’m from the UK and strangely I feel more comfortable listening to British entrepreneurs talk. It may not be the actual accent but perhaps because you feel familiar if they’re from the same country? You may say, the training content is nothing to do with where the tutor comes from, and that’s so true. I happily learned all my affiliate basics from Canadian guys. It's just one tiny factor that may or may not match your learning style.
(3) The Tutor’s Profile
Why do those people want to teach? What made them decide to create an affiliate marketing course?
Do they really genuinely want to help others, or did they turn to teaching for extra money and recognition?
Or is it none of your business?
Affiliate marketing is, after all, just one way to make a living and your ultimate goal is financial freedom, right? You work for yourself, so you’ll never get promoted like an employee. You don’t have your own product to sell, so you’ll hardly become a brand as a sole trader. So it’s only natural that many successful affiliate marketers start to develop their own service such as a training course so they can grow.
My point is...it’s worth checking their teaching experience as well as proof of their current success in affiliate marketing. Because some of the training programs that I’ve seen in the past but unfortunately I wasn’t happy with were run by either of the following two types;
- Tutors with long years of experience but no longer seem to make money as affiliates themselves. It means that the techniques they teach may be outdated (e.g. teaching black hat SEO)
- Very successful 6-7 figure affiliate marketers sharing their skills for the first time. Their “step by step” is difficult to comprehend.
How To Choose The Best Affiliate Marketing Course For You
You might want to keep the following few points in mind so that you don't waste time and money on the wrong type of training course.
#1 Do a Quick Mindset Check
First of all, ask yourself what kind of affiliate marketer you want to be. As you already know, there’s no quick fix, no magic formula. If you want to start making profits, you’ll have to invest a lot of money. If you don’t want to spend much money, it’ll take time before you achieve your goals. I’m sure what you want is a sustainable marketing method that brings you passive income for years to come. Keep that in mind, so that you won’t fall for sales pitches that seem too good to be true.
#2 Avoid ADFY Sales Funnel
I think you should avoid a training course that provides ADFY (all-done-for-you) sales funnel. I don’t mean sales funnels in general. If a course fee includes funnel usage and web hosting fees, that’s great. What I mean is the one that only requires you “a few clicks to customize” so you don’t have to learn anything. Because you should be learning something. You should be continuously learning a lot!
A done-for-you platform means all the other students are using it. It’s boring, and audiences have already been exposed to it many times before.
ALL the current sales funnels and website builders are designed for non-technical users. You just have to learn the basic how-tos, like drag & drop features, sales copy technique, how to optimize images, which are common sense among all online marketers. You want to be able to build these skills, take them away and apply them elsewhere when needed in the future. So don’t go for ADFYs.
#3 Think Twice Before You Pay $$$
Like I mentioned earlier, thousands of affiliate marketing training courses are available and many of them are available at a low cost or even free. Success doesn't necessarily come from taking an expensive course. Plus, there are so many courses that I don’t think you should pay a high fee in advance all at once, because who knows what new will come up in 6 months' time (better courses, new strategies, etc.)?
Instead, if you want to ask for advice from your mentor or experts, via a forum community or live chat, then I would strongly recommend you to choose a course that takes a monthly membership fee (definitely less than $100 per month). Because you’ll be learning over time, your payment should be accrued accordingly. This way, you can stop the payment and leave the course whenever you feel confident with your affiliate marketing skills.
If you find a course that costs a lot and you really like it, ask yourself again why you think it’s worth the money.
#4 Free Trial Is Essential
There’s no better way to discover if a course is right for you than to try some of it for free. Make sure that the course you’re interested in provides you with a free trial opportunity, for example;
- 14-day free trial access to the training platform.
- The first 10 lessons are free.
- Free ebook - if written by the tutor, it will allow you to see how thorough the content is. Is every paragraph meaningful, or does it drag on?
- Check the tutor’s YouTube channel - many of them already provide online marketing tutorials accessible by anyone. They’ll help you decide if their paid course will be worth it. You’ll also get to know their teaching style.
#5 Check Refund Policy Carefully
A "no conditional, no question asked” 30-day money back guarantee will be great. But in general, refund policies have some conditions. You have to show your progress and prove that you followed all the steps taught by the course but didn’t work out for you, for example.
“What Is Affiliate Marketing?” Do You Need To Know?
It’s hard to find out the exact course content as not many tutors reveal it on the invitation (sales) pages. I get pretty disappointed when I see information that isn't directly related to the marketing method... For example, a whole chapter is dedicated to explaining what "affiliate marketing" is. I guess for someone who is completely unfamiliar with online businesses, the very basics may be useful. A little bit of it may help them, if they really need to know so much in detail, thousands of general guides to affiliate marketing can be found just by googling. What students need to know is the principle of it (e.g. how to be transparent and not mislead or deceive the audience), not the definition of it.
What You DON’T Want From Your Affiliate Marketing Course
- In-depth affiliate marketing general guides and history - nothing actionable.
- How billionaires built their business successfully (e.g. Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, McDonald’s burger chain) - it may be motivational but barely relevant.
- “The world is changing”, “digital age”, “remote work”, “the pandemic and job loss” sagas - the world has always been changing, you don’t need to be told all that by a course tutor.
What You DO Want From Your Affiliate Marketing Course
Your Budget Planning Support
You’ll be running an affiliate marketing business, and businesses cannot succeed without investing money. You are likely to continuously spend money on tools and traffic.
But very few course tutors honestly tell you how much extra it will cost you to follow their method. Instead, they simply tell you to use premium web tools and traffic services that they’re affiliated with.
The main reason is, when it comes to paid traffic, you can spend as much or as little as you wish. There’s no “ideal” or “average” amount to spend. Tutors are not financial advisors. They cannot, and should not give you advice unless they’re qualified. But still, they could be helpful enough to give you some rough ideas. The best and the worst case scenarios, for instance.
What you can do is to ask the tutor (or support desk) the straightforward question before you join - how much extra you should have in your bank account in order to use all the services that they recommend.
No matter how comprehensive the Q&A/Knowledge base section may be, sometimes you really get stuck during the learning process and just cannot seem to find the answer. Your affiliate marketing course should be equipped with 2-way communication facilities, such as;
- Live chat.
- Community forum or closed Facebook group.
- Support desk that comes back to your question within minutes/hours.
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