Product Name: Affilorama
Product Owner: Mark Ling
Price: Free, then $67/month
Other Costs: $97, $197, $997
Free Account: Affilorama
What Is It?
It's a membership site designed to teach you affiliate marketing.
An honest site, good training, mostly legit info, and it provides much more value than most internet marketing products. Plus, their basic membership is free!
However, when you start buying their packages, it gets pretty expensive, especially if you buy everything they have to offer. Considering that the community is not very active, and support is very limited compared to alternatives.
Before you make a decision, take a look inside their members area and see if this is the right product for you.
Before You Buy
The first thing we need to understand is how Affilorama is actually structured. It’s gone through a number of changes in recent years, and most current reviews do not reflect these changes.
The website is set up in a slightly confusing way, dividing features into different packages, making it a little difficult to understand which one we really need to buy to get started making money. Let me try to break it down for you so it's a bit easier to understand.
A regular (free) membership Affilorama will get you access to some training videos, a members forum, and their blog. These things are updated frequently, and there's a ton of information there. I wrote my original review of Affilorama in 2014, and as of 2017, it's still active with questions, blog posts, and other updates. They are building for the long haul!
There used to be four packages, with a paid, recurring membership fee. Now there is just a free membership, plus two other things you can buy. One is basically the “DIY” version, which is $197. It's not really DIY because you have the help of the training and community, but it's not “done for you”, as with the upgraded versions which is $997.
Affilorama Premium is $67/month and is what I consider to be the “main feature” of this company. There’s a 30 day trial for $1. Only the free membership is now available Affilotheme which is a premium WordPress theme used to be available for $97, but now seems to only be available as part of the Affiloblueprint package.
AffiloBlueprint is $197 for lifetime access and this is the step-by-step training course for newbies.
Affilojetpack are pre-made niche websites with content included, email swipes, and other ready-made material. It’s $997.
AffiloTools is a one-stop shop to track things like competitors, rankings, keywords, and a few other things. It's included with your free membership.
What I Liked
Though I have a lot of criticisms of this program which I’ll discuss below, overall, I think this is a legit program. Mark Ling really lays everything out before you join, and this sets him apart from 99% of the “gurus” out there. Ling has a good reputation and his affilo-stuff has been around since 2005.
Most products in this industry don’t last more than a year.
The site is member focused, includes a somewhat-active forum, and is constantly changing over time, rather than a static PDF or video series that can stale with time.
I think the main thing I liked about Affilorama was the way many of the videos were set up, with bulleted overviews, high quality voice overs, and scripts you can download for each video. I know a lot of folks are on limited internet connections and video training isn’t always the most convenient.
There’s quite a bit available on the free membership. I joined several years ago and am still able to access the forum, all the training modules, the official blog, and quite a few other things including hour long webinar sessions.
- Navigate the lessons based on topic
2. Read The Title Summary of Each Lesson, Organized By Topic
3. Watch HD Videos & Read About Each Lesson, Including Step By Step Pictures
Since the original writing of this review, I like the way this program has restructured. Without the $67 per month membership, you can focus on absorbing what they have to offer for free. That gives you plenty of time to think about upgrading to the AffiloBlueprint or AffiloJetpack.
By offering you value up front, you can see what kind of company they are! And hey, if they provide this much stuff for free, the paid stuff must be even better 🙂
Goodies Included In Premium Offers
If you decide to go with Blueprint or Jetpack you get 1-year web hosting for 1 website. That's worth at least $100, and maybe more depending on the quality of the hosting. You also get access to their “AffiloTheme' Premium Theme. A premium theme could cost between $20 and $100, so that's a great value too!
What I Didn’t Like
“Outdated” Sections of Training
Though there's a lot of great trainings in the free membership, there are some real bombs to watch out for. While looking for information on how to build a website, I only found a section about using Adobe Dreamweaver and creating content using HTML. Sure, there are a variety of ways for building website, but the easiest and most widely used is WordPress. My #1 recommended product (see below for link) allows you to build a WordPress website in about 30 seconds.
Considering you can choose from over 10,000 different WordPress themes, including premium ones with fancy features, plus the ability to customize your website with different plugins, I don't know why you would use something like dreamweaver. WordPress is versatile, search engine friendly, and highly customizable.
Low Member Activity
One of the main appeals of joining a membership site like this is getting help. There definitely are some active members, and even some moderators to help with answering questions.
But from what I could see, there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of activity going on.
There are some instances of posts being replied to within a few hours, but most activity seems to be over several days, even weeks or months old. I was on the site one evening and saw that there were only 16 members on!
Although this is just my own personal opinion, the posts I looked at didn’t seem to be too insightful or warranting a discussion. Of course, I'm comparing this to my own experience with Wealthy Affiliate, which has thousands of active members, and a live chat scrolling 24/7 where you can ask questions and get instant answers.
Affilorama has the right idea with with a members forum, but it just doesn't have the number of active members to make this an awesome feature.
That’s A Bad Idea #1: Copied Content
A huge issue with the training that you will see discussed on other reviews of Affilorama is the use of PLR content and backlinking strategies.
Because it sounds like an “easy way” to create an online business, many people try to avoid the work of creating helpful, interesting content and just copy it from other places. True, there are legit ways to copy content, but they rarely result in a legitimate, long-term business.
One of these ways is PLR content. It stands for Private Label Rights and means that you can take content from a source labeled as PLR, change it in any way you see fit, then use it as your own.
The trouble with that is multifaceted. One, everyone has access to the same content. Two, the content is usually written in a very generalized way that is neither interesting nor helpful to the reader. Three, because it’s not unique content, it’s very hard to rank.
Many people say that you can “tweak” it to make it unique and pass Copyscape. My question to them is, as a reader, can you detect when someone is BS-ing you online? Do you like to read generalized content or highly specific and insightful content?
At the end of the day, if you are going to spend enough time to research and re-write these things so they are unique, interesting, and helpful, you might as well not use PLR and just write 100% original content.
The other way to copy content is curation. By curating, you are taking other author’s work (that allow you to do so), and providing a link back to the original source. In essence, you become an “authority” on a topic by collecting legitimate information on that topic.
However, when you copy a full article, there is little chance that you will get ranked in Google for that content. No rank means no traffic. If you copy just a small bit and write your own commentary on it (as curation should be), you still have to write unique content!
The Affilorama training makes it sound like this is easy to do and will make your job as an online marketer less difficult. That’s far from the truth. Using content in this manner adds a new level of difficultly versus just writing the damn thing yourself.
That’s A Bad Idea #2: Backlinking
Internet marketers can talk until the cows come home about backlinking strategies but at the end of the day, Google explicitly says that artificial link building is against their TOS and it will eventually get you in trouble.
Gurus went on and on about the benefits of Private Blog Networks. Countless products were released, talking about the ranking revolution, and how it was easy getting to the #1 spot with PBNs…until they were deindexed and anyone that used them was penalized. They have since recovered in popularity, but who knows when the next Google update will kill your PBN.
I have personally grown One More Cup of Coffee to 5,000 visits per day without a single backlink, so I have my own proof that links are not necessary to build a traffic generating website that produces income. It takes longer, but it also lasts longer too.
And by the age of the training on backlinks in Affilorama, I wouldn’t trust it for my own website, and can't recommend it for yours!
Considering what you get, the price of the the various packages you get are not too crazy. However, there are some things to consider!
For one, you'll need to pay an autoresponder fee in addition to whatever you buy, which could cost $20+ per month. Then, your hosting will not be free after one year of membership. Also, there is some confusion about “Affilorama Premium” and “AffiloTools”.
Premium it seems to no longer be available on the website, but it's listed as a bonus feature, specifically that you get a 1-month free trial. The previous price for premium was $67, so can we expect a $67 upsell after we sign up for Blueprint?
Regarding AffiloTools, it clearly says that it's free for Affilorama Members, but then we are told that we get a free trial as part of Blueprint. So which is it?
I was also very, very upset to get email offers from Mark Ling, cross promoting products and services from folks that I would consider scam artists. I've done a lot of reviews on my website, and am aware that many of the “gurus” hang out with each other and run promotions for one another. That's fine. It's how business is done online, and I can unsubscribe very easily.
But for me, I was just disappointed to find out that the product owner was promoting a person that I personally find terrible. This particular person often charges thousand of dollars for mentorships and exclusive programs. You know the ones – “Join a free webinar”, and then they try to sell you a $10,000 mentorship package.
Affilorama has a great free membership, and appropriately priced premium offers. They have a helpful community, and a quality product that I can proudly recommend.
However, they are not my #1 recommendation!
Comparing Wealthy Affiliate To Affilorama
I could write a whole in-depth review comparing Wealthy Affiliate to Affilorama, but I'd like to just simply things below on why WA remains my #1 recommendation after all these years
- They update the training frequently to account for changes in online marketing, Google, and affiliate marketing
- There are no major upsells. The membership costs $49/month. END. OF. STORY
- Hosting is included in your membership price, for the life of the membership
- They offer cheap domains. $15 per year (no upsells), including FREE privacy, including FREE SSL
- Live chat help for instant support, plus forum support for “slow cooked” answers.
- Proprietary website boosting technology
- SiteSpeed means no need for installing a caching plugin to make your site run fast
- SiteComments for starting engagement in the comment section of your website
- Spam filter without a need for a plugin (fewer plugins means faster website)
- Free weekly webinars on a wide variety of topics (email marketing, AMP, star ratings, SEO, etc)
- Peer Review & Feedback: Get feedback on your website so aren't working in a “newbie bubble”
There are tons more things you can read about in my full Wealthy Affiliate Review. It's really ridiculous what they offer for the flat membership fee, and no other service has been able to come even close.
But what do you think? Have you been a member of both websites? How do you think they are different or similar? Which one do you prefer?
Oh, and let's not forget that this page was supposed to be a review of Affilorama, not a comparison to Wealthy Affiliate.
- What do you think of Affilorama?
- Will you join? Why? If not…Why?
- If you tried Jetpack or Blueprint, what did you think?
I'm really curious to see what your opinions are in the comment section!
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