An Affilorama Review

affilorama1In this post I provide an Affilorama review, and my recommendations regarding this online money making program.

Affilorama
Overall Ranking: 80 out of 100
Price: $1 for 30-day trial, $67 monthly, + upsells
Owners: Mark Ling
Website: www.affilorama.com

Introduction

Affilorama is a large affiliate marketing community originated by Mark Ling in the mid-2000s.  As this program is now well established with a lot of affiliates, it is worth checking out.  This review will help you determine if this is the right decision for you.

There a number of membership options to choose from.  There is a basic entry level with few options, and more advanced levels that offer several additional tools. The program appears to be more up-t0-date than some programs, judging by the “Quick Start Affiliate Marketing Report” that is immediately offered to you upon joining the service.  This document, while very cursory relative to each topic, does a good job of touching on high level considerations that need to be understood by a beginner in affiliate marketing.  It also includes links to training offered within the Affilorama site on each topic, and gives you a good feel for the breadth of the product offerings within Affilorama.

In this review I am going to be describing the program along with the many “upsells” offered to a prospective affiliate marketer using the service.  But first, let’s have my quick take on the positives and negatives of this program.

Pros/Cons

PROS:

  • Large community of affiliate marketers
  • Well-established company (in affiliate marketing business since 2005)
  • Lots of available training resources for new marketers, including video-based training
  • Tips on basic or “traditional” affiliate marketing, plus additional areas such as email marketing, outsourcing content writing, SEO, etc.
  • High-level guides to help new marketers available immediately upon joining (The Affiliate’s Roadmap, Quick Start Affiliate Marketing Report)
  • Paid memberships include availability of the WordPress content management system
  • Free to join, then $1 upsell immediately offered to allow premium content for 30 days
  • Premium program includes a three year payment plan
  • 60-day money back guarantee on products/plans

CONS:

  • Owner produces training videos and ads but is generally not involved with affiliates
  • Complicated levels of program membership
  • At $67 per month, the basic cost of this program (before upsells) can be very expensive for new affiliates
  • Much of the free training provided focuses on generating upsells, and on tips/tricks to get traffic that are beyond the abilities of newbies without niches and websites
  • Much actual content-related training only provided in upsell products

Who Is It For?

Affilorama is designed for internet marketers of all types, from beginner to intermediate to advanced that already have a website presence.  However, the basic training is not the focus of the program – moving you into buying into the more expensive packages (see below) are.

affilorama-videosTraining/Tools Overview

Affilorama provides its affiliates with a variety of tools to build websites and to promote their websites – but in general you need at least the Premium membership to obtain them.  There are quite a few “free” training videos that are slickly produced and cover a lot of ground.

However, there is a catch (a serious catch!).

The free training includes a number of videos with accompanying text that are way beyond what a new affiliate marketer can actually use; they seem designed to entice the new affiliate to buy into their paid products and services by hitting them with many, many examples of people making lots of money using advanced techniques on fancy webpages.

Then at the bottom comes an upsell to a package of tools that offer to all but build you a site and provide all the content and traffic, all for an expensive price.

This is bewildering to the newbie, and may very well encourage them to just buy the package that will do everything for them.  However, while this might help Affilorama upsell a lot of products, this does not give the beginner a good foundation in which to enter the business.

I found the actual library of free training not related to upsells to be not obvious to find, and was about to give up on Affilorama before I finally found it.  The first beginner video I viewed was entitled “Step-by-step: Building a Basic Web Page” (so far so good).  However, it proceeds to show the user how to build an extremely simple page using Adobe Dreamweaver.

Why Dreamweaver?  The video says right up front that Dreamweaver has drawbacks in that it is expensive and complicated to use.  But, the video goes on to build a page in it, using a lot of HTML code (which would not be required in most cases for a WordPress site).  Next I went on to another video, entitled “Which website building software to use”, but that one also only gave short introductions to Dreamweaver and four other lesser-known products.  The final option was “hand coding”, and gave links to sites where you could go get “a mountain” of free information on how to code websites by hand using a text editor and HTML.  What new affiliate marketer is going to want to first learn how to code in HTML before making a penny with his website?

Still no mention of WordPress, the most-used free website builder in the world with a large support community.  Why would Affilorama do this?  I began to suspect an upsell to get WordPress capability.

Another video about “hosting websites” confirms that there is a charge for WordPress at Affilorama.

Although there are quite a few instructional videos with titles that suggest topics relevant to website building, many of them have the focus on upselling you to the premium membership, rather than actually guiding you through the process of building your site.  Two big clues to this strategy are:

  • Video presentation format – Videos consistently lead with a lot of information on topics beyond the skill level of the beginner, and without step-by-step detailed instruction to walk the beginner through the process.  The videos generally end with no resolution to help the beginner (since he/she was not ready for the topic anyway) or with promotion and links to the Premium service signup and/or other upsell packages.
  • The numerous videos are simply listed on a single webpage per topic, which doesn’t tell the new affiliate marketer what order to view them in, and doesn’t walk them through an instructional “program”, or provide any comfort on their progress in gaining knowledge of the topic.

These techniques appear to be designed to frustrate the newbie to the point that they just buy into the upsell, which packages things together to make things easier to get started.  The actual step-by-step training is provided in the upsell product Affilio Blueprint.

Support

Support beyond instructional videos (i.e., via the Affiliorama community and experts) comes with the Premium membership, which costs $67 per month.

affilorama-premiumPrice

With an Affilorama Premium membership you can host up to 15 separate domain names.  This is what you get per domain:

Disk space: 2GB
Traffic: 75GB
Subdomains: 10
Email Addresses: 10
MySQL Databases: 10
FTP Accounts: 10

You also get access to the Affilorama community support, and instructional videos that can help you convert your existing website (if you have one) to the Affilorama hosting service or HostGator.  However, with only the Premium membership, there is no access to AffiloTheme, the means by which WordPress capability is integrated into Affilorama’s offerings.

affilorama2-blueprintAffilio Blueprint is an upsell ($197) containing additional step-by-step additional video training covering topics like affiliate marketing, niche marketing and research, free traffic methods for Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-click via Google’s content network, and a number of WordPress themes.  You also get a 1-year access to the AffiloTheme website development tool (see below) using WordPress (aha!) including customizable themes, and a 1-month trial of several marketing tools ($67 per month thereafter – i.e., included the Premium membership).  You don’t get support with that, so you will need the Premium monthly membership anyway.

AffiloJetPack is a costly “niche marketing” package that Affilorama has created to help you with the promotion of their products and services.  These tools and strategies undoubtedly work because when they do they are going to make Affilorama money.  However, it is expensive ($997) for your choice of 5 of 18 pre-chosen niches, and many others promoting these same products.

AffiloTheme is a pre-packaged set of WordPress themes, graphics creator tools, training videos and 1-year of hosting.  The package sells as a standalone product for $97, but is also included in the AffiloBluePrint and AffiloJetPack packages.

affilorama2-jetpackYou have to buy into the AffiloBluePrint or AffiloJetPack packages before you get the WordPress website building tools and themes, or you can buy it standalone. The AffiloBluePrint and AffiloJetPack packages are good programs, but at this point you have spent a LOT of money.  Here’s a comparison of the only truly viable success paths:

  • Affilorama Premium membership with AffiloTheme:  $97 + $67/month ($901 first year, $804 annually thereafter)
  • Affilorama Premium membership with AffiloBluePrint:  $197 + $67/month ($1001 first year, $804 annually thereafter)
  • Affilorama Premium membership with AffiloJetPack:  $997 + $67/month ($1801 first year, $804 annually thereafter)
  • Affilorama Premium membership with AffiloBluePrint and AffiloJetPack:  $197 + $997 + $67/month ($1998 first year, $804 annually thereafter)

If you already have some money and want to buy your way into success with affiliate marketing, this may be the way to do it.  But this is not a success path for beginners.

Final Opinion/Verdict

While I don’t consider Affilorama a scam, I don’t recommend it for beginners or advanced marketers, for a number of reasons:

First – although it is billed as a program for beginners and does contain training for beginners, the site is totally devoted to upselling you from the outset and does not really get to the step by step instructions that beginners need until you “pay in” to the system.  The strategy is to keep you in a state of semi-confusion until you buy in, and then the goods are delivered.  So, while you do get some teaser information for free (the PDFs mentioned earlier) and videos that show a lot of promised money to be made, they don’t contain enough information to really get started – you have to pay extra for that.

Second – this is a very expensive program ultimately.  You don’t really get any training or support until you buy into the $67 monthly fee for the Premium membership, and at that point you still don’t get tools to help you build a website – what’s even more crazy is you get tools that help you monitor your site’s statistics and progress, but if you have no website yet, you can’t use them!

There are better ways to get on your feet with affiliate marketing far more inexpensively that include tools, a great training program and community support.  See my #1 Recommendation here.

Let me know what you think.  Post a comment below – I’ll respond!  Or, check out my Wealthy Affiliate profile page and leave me a comment there.

8 Comments:

  1. Hey Randy,

    Nice review. It sounds like they’re in it just to make the money off of beginners. Upselling WordPress sounds a bit shady, but I guess if they are offering it, it can’t be that bad.

    I’m glad, I made the right decision to invest my time and money in Wealthy Affiliate. I get all the training in a chronological order and if I’m a bit more advanced, I can always ask for help from within the WA community.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and this review. Good luck with your website.

  2. Hi Randy

    Thanks for your very informative review, it is very detailed and has left nothing up to the imagination. I have looked at this program myself and found the cost a bit too high for me and swayed towards joining Wealthy Affiliate as I felt they had better value for money.

    Great review, thanks for sharing.

    Cheers
    Jo

  3. A good detailed and balanced review; while Affilorama might suit some, I am so please that I found WA first, or I might well have been tempted. It really does look rather expensive when compared to what is available within WA.

  4. Hi, Randy. I was a member of Affilorama a few years ago. I agree with you, the program is expensive for what it offers.

    Great review, by the way.

    Keep up the good work.

    Bernard

    • Thanks for for the comments. I’m glad to hear your experience agrees with mine. Not a scam, but probably not a program to invest in now. Thanks for taking a look!

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