Product Name: Commission Buddy
Product Owner: Alan Magliocca
Price: Free + $109.65 in hosting and domain fees
Upsells: Many different upsells for increased hosting length, protection and other aspects
What Is It?
A ‘free’ website tailored for affiliate marketing, including various tools and approaches to increase traffic and automate some aspects of the site.
What to Expect:
Commission Buddy is a relatively new program, launched in October, 2013 and there has been considerable debate amount whether the program is actually any good or not.
The product was created by Alan Magliocca, and provides users with a ‘free’ website that they can use to earn profits through affiliate marketing. This website makes use of a WordPress theme that is optimized for affiliate marketing. The product includes various tools and a basic affiliate marketing guide, although this does not provide much information for people new to the field.
On a side note, I have seen that there are several other themes that are marketed as giving affiliate marketers special advantages or helping them make more money.
One such theme is AffiloTheme. These claims are nothing more than marketing tactics designed to appeal to those dollar signs flashing in your eyes. Many of the tools included in these themes designed for affiliate marketers are either harmful to your website, or can be obtained for free/cheap from a third party developer.
Despite the potential of this product, it is largely ineffective due to the large fees and lack of training. These factors make the product useless to people new to online marketing, while it does not offer enough for experienced marketers to gain anything from.
What I Liked:
The main thing that I liked about this product was the Amazon theme that was part of it. I can see the advantages to using this type of theme for some internet marketers. However, there are similar themes available elsewhere.
Note from Nathaniell: I have personally used a plugin similar to the one advertised for the “Azon Theme” shown in Commission Buddy.
Plugins or themes like this are designed to “grab” or copy data from Amazon and put it on your site. Though it seems like a good idea, and like it can make your job easier, it doesn't The content doesn't rank because it's been published on Amazon already, and there is not reason for someone to buy from YOUR website instead of Amazon because the information is exactly the same.
What I Didn’t Like:
Selling the Owner, Not the Product
Like most product owners, Alan focuses on enticing viewers and selling his product idea by selling his own reputation. Personally, this is an approach that has always annoyed me, because a person’s success is not an indication of whether they can teach others or even whether their system is any good.
One example of this approach that is particularly annoying is this:
Honestly, I have no idea whether or not there upwards of 50,000 sites out there promoting Alan and his products, but it wouldn’t surprise me. The thing is, like many online marketers, Alan is running an affiliate program. This means that many of the websites that are ‘raving’ about his products are doing so because they make profits from sales. Honestly, I don’t think a positive review from a salesman means anything. If I’m going to buy something, I want to know what people who don’t profit from it think.
In fact, I noticed that a number of the review sites appeared to be little more than fronts for Commission Buddy and ways of drawing more traffic. Take the site below for example.
Like most sites of its type, this review site only has a few pages, and all they talk about is how wonderful the product is and Alan as an internet marketer. This is a relatively common approach, and a lot of affiliates do this, but what is really annoying is that if you leave the site open long enough, it redirects directly to the Commission Buddy website. To me, this is a pretty big indication that the review isn’t legitimate.
Hidden and Unrealistic Costs
The hook for Commission Buddy is that users are given a free website, giving them a leg-up in making money online.
In reality, what Alan is offering isn’t a ‘ready-made digital product’ at all, in fact, it is a WordPress theme that is specifically designed around the needs of an affiliate marketer. Additionally, Alan also provides a few other items, including graphics, tips and sources for traffic.
My biggest issue with Commission Buddy is that the website that Alan promotes as a free product actually comes with considerable strings attached.
In particular, users get the website for free, but the only way to use it is to sign up for a specific domain and hosting package from Host Zilla. This package isn’t cheap, and the lowest cost option is $89.70 for hosting, plus another $19.95 for setup fee, and this only covers six months of hosting.
There are many people out there still under the false impression that it is difficult to set up a website and that this costs a lot of money. Alan takes advantage of this perspective in Commission Buddy, making it sound like he is offering a good deal.
In reality, the prices that are being charged are incredibly expensive and don’t offer anything more than you would get from a much lower priced service.
In general, the cost of buying a domain name is around $10 a year, if not less, and hosting can range from around $5 to $10 each month. If you are going to use a theme from WordPress, there are many free ones that you can use, but you can also purchase themes for a fraction of the cost that Alan is charging for his.
Article Spinner and Autoresponder
The website itself is the main product that is offered in Commission Buddy, but there are other components also. One of the elements that is promoted through Commission Buddy is the idea that money can be made passively, without much effort by the owner.
These claims are surprisingly common among the products that I review, and honestly, they always make me laugh a little bit. There are very few ways to make income passively, and these are very special circumstances and not available to everyday people. Can you imagine what the economy would be like if it was possible to earn money in this way? The technique would become highly popular and this would probably get to the point where it wouldn’t even work anymore.
The two main ‘automatic’ components of Commission Buddy are the article spinner and the autoresponder. Honestly, I’m surprised that an article spinner was even included in a product this new, because article spinning is not a good way to get content anymore and can have very negative impacts for a website.
An autoresponder is a tool that some people swear by, while others avoid entirely. Honestly, whether you think an autoresponder is a good tool for internet marketing really depends on your individual perspective. Regardless, if you really want an autoresponder, there are better ways of getting one than through Commission Buddy. Aweber is an independent and trusted service that many legit companies use to send out emails to their subscribers.
Hyped and Unrealistic
Alan makes big claims about how fantastic Commission Buddy is and how much profits people can expect from it. In reality there is very little that Alan offers that isn’t easily obtained elsewhere. For example, Alan makes a big deal about how the ‘free’ site he offers is worth $3,800, but really, this value is entirely meaningless, and there isn’t much of particular value in the site to begin with.
At the end of the day, a website is only the first step in making money online, and Commission Buddy entirely skips over the rest of the process. It would be very difficult for a person new to online business to get anywhere with just the information provided in Commission Buddy, and someone experienced wouldn’t need anything that is offered.
Another example of the amount of hype that Alan has for the product is his suggestion that users will be making a large amount of income just days from purchasing the product.
This is an incredibly unrealistic goal, and there are very few people who would be able to make this amount of money simply from purchasing a product. In reality, Commission Buddy still largely relies on affiliate marketing approaches, and people can just as effectively make money through standard affiliate marketing as they can through Commission Buddy.
Who Is This Product For?
I can’t think of anyone who would want to use this product. Not only is it expensive, but it doesn’t offer users anything they can’t get elsewhere.
This product might seem appealing because it provides a quick start to the field of internet marketing and online business, but honestly, it is an expensive way of getting started and provides no help for beginners.
If you are simply looking for a website to start off with, I recommend looking at the websites offered by Siterubix. These websites are completely free and are associated with a community that can help you to learn how to make money online from the ground up, without breaking your account in the process.
If you are looking for training, I highly recommend Wealthy Affiliate. It's where I learned how to build my own websites and eventually quit my job.