Affilorama By Mark Ling, is it Just Another Scam?
Price: 30 day trial is just $1.00 / $67 monthly / $497 for three years + upsells
Owner: Mark Ling
Overall Grade: C+ / B
Affilorama: The Membership Overview
Mark Ling, in 2005, created a community dedicated to affiliate training, Affilorama. He had some success with other products, such as ‘Jamorama’ and ‘Rocket Piano’. He wanted to create a platform that will facilitate affiliate training, something that had been woefully inadequate to that point.
The various levels of Affilorama membership include different products from the basic entry level one to the advanced choice, that incorporates several plug-in tools. This offering,
There are several levels of the system and different products to choose from including the very basic entry level to a more advanced choice that features several plug-in tools. Affilorama, not like other programs that will not evolve and grow, they do keep up, not necessarily perfectly, but what is? (I’ll get to that later!) I do want to walk you through this program so we can see, together what is available, possible and what ‘upsells’ there are in this Affiliate Marketing training product.
Let’s begin this close look with a few of the Pros and Cons of this program, then we can discuss the different elements of membership for an all around approach to this subject.
- You will have access to one of the largest affiliate marketing communities in which to chat, communicate and learn from
- The educational resources are fairly easy to access and follow, including software applications
- You can take advantage of the free option to allow you to explore without investing to ensure you this is the way to go.
- When you have decided to pay for the premium option, a three-year membership makes it all convenient.
- A well-respected owner and administrator within the Affiliate Marketing industry.
- The basic plan is very limited compared to the ‘upgrade’, paid program
- There are too many membership options and getting ‘lost’ is easy
- There are a few pieces of ‘misinformation’, any of which can be harmful to your business
- With the number of ‘upsells’ and additional ‘offerings’, it can get very expensive
- The ‘support’ team does not have the Owner (Mark Ling) on it
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Continuing with the review of Affilorama: What type of marketer is this program intended to help?
Since there are several levels of membership with training at each level, the program attempts to gear the training to basic affiliate marketing through the most advanced techniques, including promoting of your efforts. This includes fundamental website set up through a functioning system that should make you some money.
All of this can be approached by anyone, regardless of skill sets and experience. The training is designed based on the marketing experience of the owner of the program, Mark Ling. He is still involved in the marketing of his own products and service, which says a lot of good things about him.
Let’s break down the training within Affilorama:
The very basic training has videos and some online tools that should be followed step by step. There are also several software apps, such as those used for site ranking and analytic tools that are extremely helpful.
The Premium level has additional training, combined with interviews with known Internet ‘GURUs’ along with an interesting Bootcamp video series. There is also content created for the particular niche you have chosen.
There will be a more detailed discussion about these later.
A great question is: How much support can you expect, and from whom, within the Affilorama website?
At every level of membership, you have the support of a very large community of members, through the forum space. Many of them will, of course, be free members and brand new people to the field, possibly, like yourself. This very fact can be a very good thing and, unsurprisingly, a bad thing. There will just about always be someone there with which to converse.
Unfortunately, the nature of the forum makes it possible that a day or two will pass between you asking a question and receiving an answer. This ‘delayed support’ can become bothersome depending on what you are ‘stuck’ on. A ‘chat room’ or telephone consultation system would fix this, of course!
All of the many discussions, present on the forums, are available for every member to see and address. Mark Ling does show up, but do not expect to hear from him as he is quite busy on many projects at all times.
So, How much does Affiorama Cost?
This part of it can become confusing, even complicated, because there are many levels of membership including several ‘upsells’! I do not agree with very many levels, all costing additional money in order to access EVERYTHING the program has to offer. All of the products and services offered represent quality, but certainly not the quality and availability my number 1 ranked program provides with only two levels (Free and Premium) and NO upsells.
Let’s take a quick look at the various products (levels) and their respective price points:
Affilorama Premium ($67 per month)
This is the basic membership, billing at $67.00 per month. As the core offering, it includes access to training, limited hosting, software and, of course, forum participation.
The ‘tabs’ on the membership main page lists the following items:
Website Hosting, and
The vast majority of the training, at this point in time, is excellent, however, there are flaws that could spell trouble for your new business venture.
One of those, not to put too fine a line on it, is in the Bootcamp lessons. There is an inordinately large percentage of the training (25%) emphasizing ‘Backlinks’. This is a problem because of the way Google ( and other Search Engines reads, considers and treats backlinks.)
Backlinks can really get you in trouble with the largest search engine in the world. Backlinks worked and were a great idea, if done properly, in 2012. Now it can make your rankings drop precipitously and that is NOT what you will be doing all of this work for! This is something, along with other things the search engines don’t really like that can get you ‘lost’ in the search results. The Google Panda and Penguin updates that come out every once in a while take more and more websites off of the search results when presenting information to the average surfer.
Another fail, as far as quality training and products is concerned, is the promotion of PLR content, or Private Label Rights content. You get access to 30 of these each month. A marketing strategy that depends on PLR content is outdated stratagem and will more often than not, result in marketing failure.
The reason this is very dangerous to you and your website is if you post this material on your site, you will probably lose any rank that you have in the search engines. That is because all of the PLR articles are offered to everyone in this membership level and those above it. Many marketers will simply post PLR articles as is, which are duplicates to many others and Google does not know who wrote it and placed it where first. Since you are trying to create an authority website, the material must be yours, written in your voice, not by someone that puts this material out by the hundreds every month.
So, the Affilorama Premium tools…
This premium membership includes 15 tools. Some of them are useful land others, it seems are simply there to make it look like your getting some valuable information that really isn’t. As an example the Trusted Site Tool analyzes page rank within Google (or the PR number.) This is not a significantly important piece of information you need to know because it does not truly represent what Google thinks about your site. There is also a tool called “social Snoop” which finds social sites that are nice to get backlinks to. Again, the backlinks have outlived their usefulness at this point, so this tool finds things that you may or may not need.
The last one to look at is an article spinner. This piece of software takes an article you submit to it and ‘rewrites’ it as many times as you ask it to and all of them will actually let the search engines know that you took this time and effort saver and they really look terrible.
All of the tools that are available for the members are interesting to look through and some of them are OK to use, however, the problem with most of them is the lack of updating when the industry we call Internet Marketing moves on, as it always does! If Affilorama would update their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools to reflect current rules and the way search engines actually work, this could be a much better program.
A program that is always kept up to date is Wealthy Affiliate and it does not require money to get started!
And now come the upsells…
It might not surprise you to think I do not approve of all of the ‘upsells’ that many programs use to get you to pay more for something that they could go ahead and give you with the first paid position. $67.00 per month for the first level should be enough, but you can look through all of the material and see if you want to pay more and whether the price structure is appropriate.
Upsell #1: The AffiloBlueprint 3.0 membership is priced at $197, and THEN $67.00 per month.
It does include 13 lessons, complete with 85 videos and cover topics dealing with affiliate marketing, niche marketing, free traffic methods (SEO, PPC through Google and six WordPress themes that are geared for (pay Per Click) than SEO.
The AffiloBlueprint ($197) does not come with any support, so the $67.00/month is necessary for this.
Upsell #2: AffiloJetpack Membership ($497)
The AffiloJetPack is the high ticket niche marketing system that will help you in promoting his products and the services he offers. There is quite a bit of good information and will assist you in marketing:
Your choice of 5 (of the 10 available) niche packages.
15 newsletter email series for followups
3 e-books per niche to offer as free reports to your customers.
Access to Affilotheme
Graphics for each of the niches. (Not a bad set of graphics that can cost a lot if outsourced somewhere else!) and, of course,
20 PLR articles for promotional purposes.
This is a very good way for Mark to train you to make more money for him. This should be included as in the membership as the motive for him is to help you in this effort. This I say because the price point is so high… It is, because of the foregoing, highly overpriced for this reason.
This $497, although for information that can be helpful if redirected to your own niche offerings, could be spent on other things and, of course, can be saved when joining a program that will help you promote your passions, not someone else’s.
Upsell #3: Affilotheme ($97)
This last upsell is a WordPress theme and the training that will assist you in using it properly. It also comes with one year of free hosting, which is not the cheapest expense in the world, so good. It also comes with a lot of encouragement to join the premium membership to maintain the hosting. I do give him Kudos fro using WordPress, just about the best platform out there.
What is included in this package is:
The WordPress theme
The special training videos for it.
A private members Forum
A Graphics creation tool
One year of hosting
With the initial offering and all of the other upsells, you could be spending $791,00 and $67.00 per month. You need to carefully consider this when you are reading the offer on their main website.
This is my final opinion of the totality of the Affilorama program as currently offered:
A great product that offers a lot of tools, training, and support. There are quite a few things that are not totally up to speed, but they are certainly not a scam of any kind. There are things that can be considered ‘misinformation’ or ‘outdated’, however, this is only because it has not been kept up to date. A state of the art program, such as Wealthy Affiliate is a much better value as there are only two levels and everything is uncovered in the second (Premium) level.
Sales Page: www.affilorama.com
Owner: Mark Ling
Overall Grade score: C+ / B
VERDICT: It is Legit with overall quality training and a few flaws Plus expensive upsells