Product Name: Forever Affiliate
Product Owner: Andrew Hansen
Upsells: $297 (Coaching)
What Is It?
Extensive video series on how to create niche websites and make money through affiliate marketing.
Forever Affiliate contains a lot of valuable information and is appropriately priced for what you get. However, it’s clear that a lot of the information is out of date and I don’t agree with all the strategies Hansen lines out.
Before You Buy
Andrew Hansen has been featured on my site a few times in the past few weeks, some for good reasons, some not. His newer membership site called The Rankings Institute got a positive review, but I was not happy to see him trading endorsements with wannabe-guru Joshua Zamora. He also features endorsements from PotPieGirl and Ryan Moran, two famous internet marketers giving out questionable advice.
I actually came across a Forever Affiliate recommendation after reading some reviews on The Rankings Institute, and it was presented as a cheaper alternative for newbies to online marketing.
The Sales Page
I was very disappointed to see a lot of hype on the sales page for this product. There were a lot of exact dollar figures promised and time frame expectations listed. “Make X Amount of $$$ in This Amount of Time”. I dislike these type of slogans because they often set unrealistic expectations for the buyer.
The ease of and uniqueness of this program was also overemphasized. OK, so they are allowed to do some advertising, I’ll give them that, but when they say “A 3 Step System That Spits Out A $300-$3000 Passive Income Mini Site Every Time You Run it”, I believe it’s false advertising.
1. It’s not software. There’s nothing to “run”
2. It’s not passive. It takes a lot of work to do affiliate marketing
3. The system is CLEARLY more than 3 steps
4. Income is not spit out. It takes time to build
What do you think? Is this deceptive marketing?
The Members Area
When I first signed in to the members area it was pretty easy to figure out where to start: Phase 1. Actually, I started listed all the video names to include in my review here but soon realized there were more videos that expected.
Great for delivered value! Bad for my review length. Anyway, here’s a list, so you can see all the stuff you get in the members area.
- Analyzing The Size of Potential Markets
- Profitability Testing A Market
- Analyzing The Competition In A Market
- Analyzing A Merchant’s Landing Page
- Marketing Sure There’s An Affiliate Program
- Where Affiliates Like Us Really Make Money
- Follow The Trail of Market Leaders
- Looking Differently At Clickbank Offers
- Grabbing Products/Ideas From Other Smart Affiliates
- Ferreting Out Private Affiliate Programs
- Big Offervault Video Part One
- Big Offervault Video Part Two
- Lateral Thinking Niche Discover (And Technique)
- Pillaging Amazon For High End Niches
- Testing/Validation Theory
- Step 1-9 WordPress Setup (9 videos)
- Content Strategy Minisite & Authority Site
- Further Note on Authority sites
- In Content Link Cloaking/Tracking Strategy
- How To Create Affiliate Content in 2013 (Part 1)
- Laying Out & Optimizing Content On Your Site (Part 2)
- Creating Non Product Name Content
- New Site Promotion Theory
- How To Dominate Search Rankings With Blog Commenting
- Making Your Blogs List
- Hardcore Directory Submissions
- What To Look For In Google Analytics
- Forever Affiliate SEO Theory for 2013
- How, When, Why, & Where to Use Press Releases
- Using Private High PR Blog Links
- Tiered Link Building Services
- Saving Money By Creating Your Own Tiered Linking Structure
- The Truth about Social Signals
- How To Leverage Guest Posting For Maximum Backlinkings
- Starting Your Next Minisite In The Same Niche
- Adding Content Through The Expansion Phase
- Advanced: Adding Content To Lower Bounce Rates And Boost Site Quality
What I Liked
Andrew Hansen does a good job of talking about theory of everything you are doing and explaining the steps along the way. I would say this is a pretty new-friendly course. And although the audio is a bit tinny-sounding, the casual style of videos are easy to listen to and follow along.
There are plenty of good pieces of advice through the program as well. I think the best section of the course was the content creation advice, which includes some information about how to choose titles, where to put pictures, and how to structure content so that it’s easily readable.
All around, it’s a good product and worth the money. As you’ll real below there is a lot of bad advice too, but some may chalk that up to just being my opinion. Fair enough.
One feature that was pretty cool is that he has a guy that will set up WordPress for you for $15. Personally, think it’s better to dig in an learn it because it’s not that hard (and you’ll be doing it often in the future), but I know that this stumps a lot of newbies. $15 is a fair price, and you can move on with the training without getting stuck in the beginning.
What I Didn’t Like
Impression that this is an old course. Well, there’s 2013 written all over the place as if it were the “new thing”, so I have a feeling it came out early 2013. Clearly there’s some outdated advice in here.
Internet marketing is a fast-moving business and if you’re year late, you may be doing things that are hurting your site.
Where Affiliates Really Make Money
Hansen spends some time mincing around the topic of where affiliates “really make money”. I completely disagree with this topic, and firmly believe that you can make a full time income of most niches if you follow through and find the right audience.
I think this immediately puts people in a defensive position, making them afraid to choose a niche that’s ‘bad’ or won’t make them money. I would much rather see encouragement to build a site about ANYTHING you want to, make your first $1, then decide if you want to move on to another topic you think might have more long-term value for yourself.
Starting Off On The Wrong Foot
Related to that subject, I think the whole first phase was way off base. Yes, market research is very important, but for a complete newbie, this is going to be very overwhelming.
I have no doubt that many people in Forever Affiliate don’t even make it past phase one because they simply don’t understand the niche concept, or how to identify a profitable market.
Psh. Forget all that. Pick a topic you are interested and get started on your site NOW. You can make money in any niche. Making a ton of money on your first site is a rarity, so why try to hit a home run in the first inning?
I don’t do sports so I’m not really sure how to continue with that analogy, but the point I want to make is that getting stuck in the beginning because you are worried about not making money is not the right way to start. Ignore the money, build something you care about, and develop more ideas as you gain experience.
That’s what worked for me. My first 3 sites were utter failures. One More Cup of Coffee is my most recent site (started after 3 years experience in internet marketing) and is my most successful venture yet.
“where people usually make money mumbo jumbo” “never talked about before OMG” Regional, Health, Information, Tech, MMO
NOT = bad advice. Finance? Duh. Payday loans. Pets? Dogs. Insurance? Huge in CPA. Casinos? Gambling.
This was a big thing in the niche marketing community – the idea that you can create an army of mini-sites, all banking a few hundred bucks a month. You could diversify your income, or sell the sites as you needed cash.
The problem is that they never worked that well, and they pretty much don’t work any more (at least not with free traffic). A site with 5-15 pages simply doesn’t carry enough weight with Google to rank it well enough, so you end up relying on artificial link building practices, which tend to get you penalized in algorithm updates.
They can be a fun hobby, and maybe make a bit of money, but you’ll be much better off running a single 500 page website than 50 10 page websites as far as the work/reward ratio goes.
Phase 3 is essentially useless. It would be worth watching all the vids just to see what used to be done and to see if you could pick a few tactics to use at your discretion.
But most of this section seems to be about getting links from blog comments, press releases, private blog networks, and social signals. I think that blog comments and social can certainly help a site, but really, you don’t need links to establish authority in a niche. In fact, Hansen has previously endorsed and recommended PBNs, but many were deindexed by Google just last week. If you had followed his advice and gotten links from them, there's a good chance that your business would be tanking right now. It happened to me before I figured out that backlinking just wasn't for me.
You need content. Links can artificially and temporarily boost your rank, but long lasting results will come from creating high quality content that people actually want to read, share, and link to. It takes a lot longer to build, but this tactic produces real results.
Hansen does talk a lot about creating high quality content, which is awesome. So why destroy your work with link building? I know that some people LOVE to strategize and theorize on what kind or how many links a site needs and how to build links without Google knowing. But the point is that link building is against the rules, and doing it might damage your business in the long term.
Lack Of Support And Continuity
There is essentially no support available for the product, and at the end of the training you are told, “OK, that’s it! Later bro. End of story” There is a Support tab, but it looks to be outsourced, and is limited to email support tickets. It's unclear if these are internet marketing pros that can help you with your website, or if they are there just to fix bug and deal with billing.
If you do work through all the training, I’m doubtful that you’ll be making money by the end; not because the training is bad, but it just takes longer than a few weeks to start producing results.
I have a feeling that many of you would be left with the feeling of, “What next?!”
This is why I usually recommend training communities over products, because you can chat with other people, see what they’re doing, trade advice, track progress, and work out the kinks in your first business.
Perhaps in 2013 Forever Affiliate was a more valuable learning resource, but not now. There are some very valuable videos in the members area and the product is priced appropriately, but I think there are much better (and updated) alternatives.
It’s no secret that Wealthy Affiliate is my #1 rated way to learn how to make money online. Why?
- Affiliate marketing means you don’t need inventory or payment processing
- They have free hosting for premium members
- 24/7 Live Chat with other members, including experts and newbies
- 4x Live webinar trainings each month
- Focus on long-lasting website building methods
- 1-on-1 support from me
- You can start for free