Clickbank University offers TWO different training programs for TWO types of people.
Their main training is about publishing your own info-products. That means you would create an ebook or video training series, then market it online.
The other training (included in the membership), is for training affiliates to sell other people's products online. This is what I do to make money.
Clickbank University (CBU) has some pretty good affiliate training, but in comparison to newer, better courses, they just can't compete. I've been doing affiliate marketing for a decade now. If you want to be an affiliate and build affiliate websites, there are much better options for courses. In particular, my top recommendation is this affiliate training center. They've been around for 15 years, and have produced thousands of success stories (some of which I've personally mentored, since 2012).
If you want to sell your own digital products, CBU is an ok choice, but as of 2020, I find it super hard to recommend them at all. The Clickbank marketplace was super popular about 15 years ago, but I feel like Clickbank University is still stuck in that era.
Before we get started, here's a receipt to show you that I actually bought CBU 2.0!
Clickbank University 2.0 Review
What Is Clickbank University?
Clickbank University is a training center and community on how to create your own info products to sell online. You can also learn how to market other people's products via affiliate marketing.
Quick Look: Is Clickbank University Worth It?
My original review of CBU was written a few years ago, and at that time, I gave them a good rating. Many years later, they have made zero improvements to the course, and corrected none of the issues I outline in this article.
I even attempted to bring up some of these issues via email when their rep complained about my review, and they never responded back. So is Clickbank University worth it? No, not in my opinion. Their digital product creation training is decent, but their affilaite training is just plain terrible.
The #1 result when you search “Clickbank University” is their affiliate recruitment page, which shows you everything you need to know about their goals as a company IMO. The quality of training is not very good, and though the community was somewhat active when I originally joined, the forum seems to be gone now, and the official support team consistently disappoints (screenshots below).
Before You Buy CBU
Clickbank's straightforward sales page was a pleasant surprise. They are clear about what you will be doing inside the members area, and what your money will pay for.
However, there were two things about the sale page that annoyed me.
- They emphasize fear mongering. The sales pitch is basically about how Google's Deep Mind robots are going to take our jobs and to stay relevant we need to work at home. Come on guys! Selling info products online is not going to save us from the robot revolution.
- I also dislike that they try to upsell me a $600 product before I even access my first purchase (Called Builder 2.0)!
Clickbank University Price Comparison
CBU wants to charge you $47/month for some basic video training and an abandoned forum. It's clearly not worth the price you pay, but how do other, competing products compare?
About The Builder 2.0
The product they are trying to sell is a landing page building software. It's pretty pricey at $600. I mean, why should I pay $600 for this when I could buy the most popular page builder for WordPress — Thrive Architect for $67. Thrive Architect is an extremely popular landing page builder from a company dedicated to their product (not just a side project!). It integrates with WordPress as a plugin, meaning you can host your website ANYWHERE.
There are plenty of other landing page plugins for WordPress as well. With Builder 2.0, you are required to host at Clickbank, so you're stuck with them for life!
Inside Clickbank University 2.0 Members Area
Inside CBU 2.0, you'll see there are a few tabs. In order to get access to all the lessons, you have to fill out a form and request it. Otherwise, the lessons are drip-fed on a schedule. The main training is going to be the “vendor” training. You'll learn how to create a customer avatar, set up a landing/sales page and funnel, getting your product on Clickbank, then scaling your business. Each section of the training has several videos, and they range for 3-25 minutes long.
All videos that I could find were just lecture style videos, with no actual tutorials in the affiliate training. Although this is great for generally learning about the topic of affiliate marketing, I think it'll be hard to actually build a website and make money based on these videos.
There are some over-the-shoulder style tutorials in the product creation side of the course.
You'll also (maybe?) have access to the Clickbank University Forum, where you can get in contact with other members, and exchange ideas. The forum portion of the program has improved dramatically in the past 3 years. It's still not nearly as active as my #1 recommended affiliate training program, but the content is much more focused on product creators, rather than product affiliates.
Unfortunately, when I went to update this review in 2020, the forum was inaccessible. Perhaps it was down for the day, but considering nothing else in CBU has been updated for many years, I suspect that it just no longer exists.
5 Things I Liked About Clickbank University 2.0
The main training center focuses on product creation, which is different from most other “make money” systems that I review. Product creation can be a very lucrative online business if you create a high quality product(s) and can drive traffic to your site. (They did add an affiliate section, which I'm going to cover below. )
You can make even more money if you have a good email sequence for email marketing, and even MORE money if you have good incentives for affiliates to start doing the selling for you.
I didn't watch all the videos available to me, but the ones I saw were very candid, high quality, and provided real insight into how online marketing works. I saw a few about how to think of a product to sell, how to drive traffic to your website, and the basics of how affiliate marketing works on Clickbank.
There is a ton of info to read, so if you join Clickbank University, you'll have plenty to keep you busy. Beginners will definitely benefit from training, as well as low-intermediate to intermediate level online marketers. I think if you have experience and have just not found luck with your previous campaigns, you might find the info pretty standard, and might only benefit from later training modules (which I was unable to view)
1. Lots of High Quality Lessons For Product Creation
There are weeks and weeks of lessons within CBU. They are a combination of face-to-face video, plus over the shoulder video. There's also a downloadable written portion (green arrow in the image below) where you can see basic highlights from the video portion. Though I love video, written stuff is easier to review. No need to watch a 20 minute video again to just get a refresher!
2. Website Builder (Builder 2.0)
Originally I was against the Website Builder because I assumed it was just another CMS like WordPress. Too bad they really didn't make it clear in the main sales video. I skipped all the upsell junk because I really hate the upsell process that most companies force us through. However, after investigating it a bit, I think it could be beneficial for product creators. Having a pre-set funnel strategy and landing page builder could help some newbies stay on track.
It can even help you build your membership area, and other aspects of your business using a cookie-cutter style program. That will save you a lot of time, especially as a newbie!
This is a way to help you create a website for your own product that essentially integrates with Clickbank to make selling this product easier. I think this is a cool idea, and for folks looking to create their own digital product, this would be a worthwhile investment. But remember, you're now paying $47/month for CBU members area ($564 per year), PLUS $594 for the builder. Your yearly cost of business operation just jumped to over $1,000. Also, remember that this might lock your site into their builder, so if you decide to change to outside hosting at some point, I'm not sure how that process goes.
If you are serious about creating and selling your own digital products online, you need to prepare yourself for such an investment. It's still a million times cheaper than a brick and mortar business, but not as cheap as being an affiliate.
3. Active Community?
When accessible, the forum can be good source of getting your questions answered. As of 2020, I wasn't able to actually access the forum, so I'm not sure what's up with that. Will update later.
It's still not a thriving community of instant answers and fixes to problems, but it's greatly improved. You can see from screenshots below that there are new questions posted almost daily, and that there are several answers per thread. Some people respond in quite a lot of detail. Experienced members are helping newbies, and people are exchanging information to help improve each others' businesses. Awesome!
Frequency of Questions and Number of Responses
Example of In-Depth Answer
Example of Expert Helping a Newbie
3 Things Clickbank University 2.0 Could Improve
1. More Examples Of Products And Affiliate Sites
The toughest thing for someone getting started is figuring out what to sell, whether they are a product creator or affiliate. It would be great if Clickbank spent some time showing websites and products that are doing a good job. I understand this can be tough, since many product and website creators don't want their hard work copied by a bunch of students! However, examples of successful entrepreneurs doing the same thing you're doing would be good for inspiration.
2. More Traffic Examples
Traffic is the heart and soul of a business. Without traffic, you simply aren't going to make money online, regardless of what you're selling or what business model you're using. There is a completely separate tab for traffic in the members area, so I had high expectations. However, it's limited to a few videos about Facebook Advertising, then some stuff about Instagram.
- What about Facebook pages?
- What about organic search traffic through Google and Bing?
- What about paid ad spots?
- What about other social media platforms?
- What about content creation? Blogging? Keywords?
They could do a LOT more with the traffic section of their website, although I guess you could ask questions about this stuff in their weekly Q&A Webinars.
3. More Focused Webinars
The webinars are good, and it's nice that you can ask any question you want. However, they are not very organized. I listened to one from August, which was just an audio recording with a bunch of random questions. I think if they had a weekly topic that was focused on a portion of building an online business, then it would be easier to search through the topics to find things that interest you. How are we supposed to take advantage of these webinar recordings when they are all just random topics from the entire world of online marketing?
At the very least, some kind of transcript and tagging system showing which topics were covered would help, and make these webinars more useful, especially for someone like myself who has a little more experience online.
I also attended a recent webinar (Sept 2017), and much of the content was newbie questions about how to manage time and how to get started. Those will be interesting for a real newbie who's just curious about online marketing, but for someone looking to take action, I saw very little “instruction”. The vast majority of the webinar was just looking at a static screen (CBU members area).
2 Thing I Hated About CBU 2.0
I've greatly reduced the number of things I previously disliked about this product. There used to be multiple issues with upsells, lack of support, and problem with the members area. I've deleted about 1,000 words of content on this page as of late 2017 just because they fixed the problems. No product is perfect though!
Are Locked Modules Really for My Benefit?
Apparently a lot of people complained about the locked training, because it seems to be kind of unlocked now. You can work through weeks 1-3 without any special access. However, to unlock the rest of the training, you have to send them an email.
To me, this seems cumbersome. Previously, they enticed us with a yearly membership in order to unlock all the training, which was a complete insult. So their current setup is a huge improvement. Their thinking is that by locking the training you can keep people on track in the lessons and not skip ahead.
However, I still think I'm smart enough to figure out what to do myself. I'm an adult, not a 5-year-old. Just gimme the lessons man.
Is Support A Joke?
After checking in to the training in Feb 2020, I kinda had to laugh out loud at the kind of support their providing for $47/month. This is very much automated, and not helpful.
Clickbank University started off as very mediocre product. It did not live up to the hype, even though I thought it was decent. There were two particular things that pissed me off, so I want to leave them here.
#1: Their affiliate manager wrote me an email to ask me to remove criticisms from my review, including my comments about support issues and community activity. However, when I responded via email with some follow-up questions, they did not respond. OK, I guess I was right.
#2: I attended an “educational” webinar from Clickbank just to see what they were teaching and if the quality had improved. I was sorely disappointed in what I saw. The webinar was simply a promotional tool to sign up to Clickbank, and nothing was really taught at all.
In fact, they spent about the first 10 minutes of the webinar telling us how it's limited seating and if we leave we can't get back in. It really stank of the ‘false scarcity' that gurus love to use.
The most ridiculous part is that is was about setting goals for the new year, but the date they launched it was in March. Um guys, you're four full months too late.
The whole thing was really disorganized and uninformative. Horwitz and Atlan bumbled through a powerpoint (showing us their notes, removing some of the movie magic), and spit out a bunch of typical junk about “don't be a slave to the man”, and “live a life of financial freedom”. Some of these tactics were poor attempts as marketing mind control by telling us to say things to ourselves like “I need to take control of my life!”.
Really, really low quality stuff guys.
Why The Affiliate Training Just Isn't That Good
Unfortunately, the affiliate training inside Clickbank University is just not very good. It's probably worth a one-time fee, but not a recurring membership fee. There's no interaction! Why should I be paying a monthly fee for stuff that doesn't change month to month?
Plus, the kicker, is that the videos are at least several years old without updates. They reference a website called Elance, which was merged into Upwork.com at least quite a few years ago. In other words the videos are outdated.
Don't get me wrong, most of the info inside the affiliate training is great for newbies. There's lots of details about how affiliate marketing works, what an email list is, how your “funnel” coordinates with your list, and how to make sales.
Plus, there's quite a few videos. Supposedly it's an 8-week course, but I think a motivated person could finish in two weeks.
The main thing this whole section is missing is step-by-step lessons. Yes, we need a list, but how do we sign up to Aweber or Mailchimp? What are the differences? Yes, we need a squeeze page, but can you show me some examples? There's a lot of telling us how stuff works, but I wanted more showing of how stuff works.
I also noticed that they referenced the most “popular” product in Clickbank, a woodworking product which has been outed as a scam. Unfortunately, it seems that Clickbank is still a platform for selling scam products (as is its reputation).
Overall, this was not a great set of trainings. They were worth a quick listen, but there are much better affiliate training and traffic generation products out there.
Should You Buy Clickbank University 2.0?
Clickbank University is a good product for someone who wants to create a digital information product to sell online. However, if you are interested in learning how to sell other people's stuff online as an affiliate, I cannot recommend this product for you.
Best Online Education For Affiliates
Clickbank U. was seriously lacking in their affiliate training course. That's not unexpected though! Their affiliate training course seemed like a side project, instead of a main course. For serious affiliates, I recommend joining the top affiliate training center online. They've been training successful affiliates for over 15 years now, including myself (six-figure income earner).
What's included in this “better” affiliate training community?
- A FREE 7 day trial with access to hundreds of training modules and a full 10 beginner lessons
- A THRIVING community of awesome, friendly people, including live chat support
- $49 per month membership price with a 60% discount for your first month
- $359 per year discount available ($29/month!)
- No locked modules – learn at your own pace
- Monthly webinars on diverse topics like email marketing, SEO, ranking, local marketing, and more
- WordPress optimized hosting included, plus free SSL, free domain privacy, free email
All that, plus personal support from me (a full time internet marketer) is available at Wealthy Affiliate. It's where I got started in 2010 and learned to build my first online business. They're currently my #1 rated product because they're inexpensive, effective, and give you the tools you need to succeed online.