Are you considering signing up for ClickBank University, but you’re not sure if it’s a good idea?
ClickBank University is one of the most controversial aspects of this affiliate marketing platform. There are plenty of reviews online, but the quality of the University seems to be a divisive topic. Many marketers are calling it catastrophic, while others are quick to sing its praises. The question we want to answer is — what’s the truth?
ClickBank is an affiliate marketing network aimed at:
Vendors — entrepreneurs and companies without in-house marketing that want to advertise via a network of affiliates
Affiliates — online marketers that market physical and digital products to online audiences
ClickBank University is its online course platform. Its primary purpose is to provide two distinct courses:
Digital entrepreneurship course
Affiliate marketing course
The first one teaches people how to become online infopreneurs and market their digital products to a global audience. Someone selling video series, novels, or other e-books would learn how to create and format their product, and then how to market it on the Internet.
The second course is there to provide people with the know-how required to earn money as an affiliate marketer. In contrast to the digital entrepreneurship course, this also contains information on marketing — but not of your products.
It is worth noting that ClickBank is one of the longest-running affiliate marketing platforms on the Internet. Its developers can boast with multiple decades’ worth of experience in the industry — but that doesn’t seem to translate well to their educational capabilities.
ClickBank University provides a decent amount of affiliate training. The problem is that their program cannot hold a candle to newer competing courses. There isn’t enough detail on reselling information products to warrant paying a ClickBank University membership.
This platform gives you some training on creating and marketing digital products, but it’s not up to date for 2020 — while simultaneously maintaining a price that’s on par with some of the best courses on the Internet.
ClickBank was a top-rated network for affiliates some ten years ago, and there's a feeling like ClickBank University hasn't moved on and modernized since then.
ClickBank University Landing Page
The first encounter you will have with ClickBank University is its sales page. It's not a complicated sales pitch, and they don't beat around the bush in regards to how the course is structured and what you'll receive for your membership fee.
Unfortunately, what they're selling isn't worth its price. This learning platform offers three different products that you can use in concurrence:
ClickBank University Basic
$47 per month
$594 in two payments
$97 in one payment
ClickBank University Funnel
ClickBank University's initial offer is a monthly membership of almost fifty bucks for their "training sessions." This isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but their training consists of:
A forum that no-one uses anymore
The quality of these educational videos is a point of contention among online marketers, though more views seem to be negative overall. Any objective reviewer would note that this kind of monthly fee is too steep for an abandoned community platform and a couple of educational videos.
When it comes to competing affiliate courses, there isn't a standard price to speak of. You can find both classes with a $1,000 price tag and courses way cheaper than ClickBank University. The real question here is whether the content you receive is worthy of the price tag — and with this platform, that's a definite no.
The biggest gripe we have with ClickBank University is that selling course materials doesn't seem to be its primary intent. It's easy to get the impression that the ClickBank Builder is the main product here, and everything else is just a marketing upsell ploy.
That wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if the product itself were of a high enough quality — but it isn't.
In 2020, specialized software is a necessity for any serious digital marketing effort. There are plenty of diverse software solutions for each task related to online marketing — from lead generation software to product remarketing tools.
What ClickBank University wants to sell is you a landing page builder. There are a couple of problems with this ClickBank builder:
Landing page builders have become increasingly more and more popular in the past half-decade. Their selling point is streamlining the process of creating a sales website, or at least the landing page, which is essential for conversion. A quick search for competing landing page builders will give you plenty of alternatives, such as:
Landing Page Builder Prices
$97 per month
$48 per month
$49.9 per month
$600 in two payments
The ClickBank builder asks you to pay a lot of money upfront. You can either pay $600 at once or over two installments. This wouldn't be a big issue if the product warranted such a steep price, but it simply doesn't.
It seems that ClickBank made a rookie mistake in the creation of landing page software — they went outside their niche and range of expertise. ClickBank is an excellent affiliate marketing platform that's been around since the late 1990s, but its developers don't have the experience needed to create a landing page builder.
Even ClickFunnels offers more value for your money, and its cost surpasses that of ClickBank!
It's crucial to note that the ClickBank Builder doesn't offer you any other tools for digital marketing. Most of the other competing software solutions provide you with a wide array of options for easier online marketing in general.
The worst thing about the Builder is its lack of versatility. It doesn't support exporting to WordPress or migrating your landing pages to other content management systems. This means that you can't stop using ClickBank University to manage your sales website if you've already created a landing page there unless you want to start all over again.
You will have access to the ClickBank University course website once you sign up for a membership. There are a couple of different tabs on the site, each containing lesson segments. You don't get all of the lessons at once. Instead, they're delivered via a schedule.
Most people who have used the course were able to go through the material faster than the course schedule intended them to — there is a lot of filler. That's why the newest course version allows you to obtain all lessons at once and go over them at your own pace.
There's a request form on the website for this, whose purpose seems to be lead generation — everyone who's a member gets approved anyway. The meat of the course is found in the lengthy vendor training for the ClickBank affiliate platform.
This segment contains lessons of varying lengths — some of them are short instructional videos that last for a couple of minutes, while the longer ones go up to half an hour. While we haven't been overly positive about the overall ClickBank University experience, this part does contain some useful information.
It will teach you how to make your customer avatar through extensive profiling. Then, the course goes on to provide tutorials on making sales funnels and landing pages. There is a lot of specific information tied to ClickBank as well, like tips for the ClickBank Marketplace.
The lecturers on the platform — including the ClickBank founders — are visibility knowledgeable on the topic, but the execution of their schooling is far from perfect. This is an excellent course for those who want to learn the basics of affiliate marketing.
Unfortunately, the course mostly contains interface tutorials for ClickBank and general education about affiliate networks — it doesn’t provide any meaningful strategies that students can apply to real-world situations.
The part of the ClickBank University experience that pertains to product creation is far more usable. Entrepreneurs who become computer software resellers through rebranding can earn huge passive incomes through product creation. People who learn how to use their knowledge and skills to come up with a great product can become moderately prosperous, as long as they know how to provide their website with enough traffic.
A combination of the right email marketing strategies and affiliate marketing can be all the advertising you’d ever need. ClickBank University teaches you a lot about what you need to get started on both. Again, the lectures focus more on general knowledge than most experienced marketers would like — but the rookies are the target audience here anyway.
You get a lot of additional reading materials as a ClickBank member. Luckily, these books and links are more instructional and real-world useful than their video lessons. This is a great thing for beginners, seeing as they get a structured knowledge base before entering the world of affiliate marketing.
Experienced and low-intermediate marketers don’t have a lot to chew on here. The information found here will probably seem like general knowledge to them. Some of the advanced training modules do provide exercises, but these aren’t enough to warrant a subscription.
The ClickBank University experience isn’t awful across the board. The mediocre landing page builder isn’t a necessity, meaning you can pay solely for the ClickBank lessons. These offer some value, such as:
Solid production quality
When you get into the weeds of the ClickBank lesson plan, you will realize that the lessons are incredibly well-produced. That's not as important as the utility of the experiences — but many otherwise decent online courses have been unsuccessful due to subpar production qualities. Think of all the classes you've stopped following because they consisted of one person speaking into a hazy microphone with a monotonous voice.
The ClickBank University offers face-to-face lessons, as well as screen-shared lessons that show you how to navigate their platform practically. You can download PDFs with lesson summaries and other materials for each segment.
ClickBank University drops the ball when it comes to attendee and alumni management. They created a University forum when it was first launched, but it has since fallen into disrepair. The website is dead, with only a couple of new members showing up to ask questions that remain unanswered.
The community members have set up private Facebook groups and email chains. If you decide to use the platform and have any questions, you'll have better luck searching for those than scouring the official forum.
There are many downsides to the ClickBank University platform. We have gone over some of them, but others require a closer examination.
The ClickBank University staff and lecturers organize regular webinars. Their students can email questions beforehand and hear the answers during the webinar sessions. They are a mixed bag. The lecturers and guests are experts, and they can provide a lot of useful insights. However, the organization of the format leaves a lot to be desired.
The hosts tend to answer random questions instead of organizing them by topic and addressing one category each week. In its current state, it seems to be more like a general ClickBank podcast than a webinar — it’s mostly in audio form.
They also have no tagging systems that would allow people to look for the relevant topics without listening to the whole thing, or at least a searchable transcript. People with more online experience don't want to sift through a half an hour of lecturing to hear an answer they're looking for.
Most of the people posing the questions are beginner-level students. If you’re an experienced marketer, you won’t have much luck hearing something interesting or relevant to your work here. The same goes for most of the ClickBank University platform — it doesn’t offer a lot of content for more experienced professionals.
ClickBank University is almost weirdly upfront about the fact that they're upselling you on the Builder and additional courses. The sign-up page explicitly shows this as an example of a funnel you could create with their builder.
One of the issues with the upsell bonus content is that there is no quality support for it. The ClickBank Builder is supposed to be the pillar of the platform and the main product, but ClickBank does a lousy job of updating it and fixing bugs.
It’s also not intuitive enough to warrant such a high price, and the visual editor is rudimentary and clunky. There’s no value to be found here with the existence of third-party alternatives that we’ve already discussed.
Most people who have finished the ClickBank University courses have complained about the drip-fed lessons. No-one was happy with the locked part of the courses that required you to use the ClickBank module schedule.
If there were less filler content, the schedule would be realistic. As things stand now, there are a lot of videos that even beginners could happily skip without missing anything important. There is a form you can submit that gives you access to everything at once, but it’s an unnecessary extra step.
This is an improvement on the way ClickBank University handled things before their last major update. Before 2019, users would have to pay for a yearly membership to get access to all materials at once. Such a money-grabbing ploy was appreciated by no-one, forcing the devs to change it after much public outcry.
Considering everything that we’ve outlined above, is ClickBank University your best option among affiliate marketing courses?
Not by a long shot.
There have been minuscule improvements made to the platform, but not even close at a level that would warrant someone paying $50 each month to use it. It was always a mediocre learning platform, and it did not become sufficiently better over time.
ClickBank itself is a decent platform for affiliate marketers, but their online "Learning Platform" ends up being nothing more than a sales funnel for landing page software. This is disingenuous at best and fraud at worst — it all depends on your point of view. We wouldn't go as far as stating the latter, because there is some genuine knowledge to gain from the training courses.
Unfortunately, it’s not worth anyone’s monthly subscription compared to the plethora of high-quality courses available online. Dedicated learning platforms such as Coursera or Udemy have much cheaper courses on affiliate marketing that also offer more value.
Become CEO of your own lead generation software company, just follow our battle-tested guidelines and rake in the profits.