ClickBank University Review – Scam or Legit? Exposed!

ClickBank University is ClickBank’s own digital program to help you achieve success with the platform as both an affiliate and a vendor. You might have heard of this program if you want to make money online

However, since ClickBank doesn’t have a good reputation, you may wonder if it is a scam.

As an Internet entrepreneur, I’m in a good position to share with you everything I know about the program. Over the years, I’ve reviewed hundreds of online courses, software, and even MLMs. 

As a disclaimer, I’m not affiliated with ClickBank University. It means I’m not paid to write this review. So you can rest assured that you will get an honest and unbiased review from me.

Key Takeaways: ClickBank University Review

  • About: ClickBank’s official affiliate and vendor training program.
  • Price: Starts at $47/month (upsell and discount info)
  • Pros: 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Cons: Training materials are specific to Clickbank and not applicable to other affiliate networks; Free traffic isn’t mentioned; the advanced training is overpriced.
  • Verdict: Probably the worst affiliate marketing course we’ve found.

In this review, I’ll cover the following topics:

What is ClickBank?

Clickbank is a platform that serves as both an affiliate marketplace and an e-commerce site for digital content creators.

If you’re a content owner, you can add your product to the Clickbank database and they’ll handle the sales and checkout. Plus, their network of affiliate marketers will get to promote your stuff!

Joining as an affiliate marketer is a breeze – it’s free, there’s no verification process, and you can start promoting links right away. Here are some interesting stats about Clickbank:

  • They have 200 million customers from 190 countries
  • They’re the 87th largest Internet retailer in North America
  • They have 276 categories and 21562 product listings
  • 6 million entrepreneurs are registered on the platform
  • They have an annual turnover of over 200 million dollars

And the best part? Joining a juicy affiliate program on Clickbank doesn’t take as much time as writing for a living or making money with a blog.

If you’re a blogger, entrepreneur, or digital content creator looking to promote digital and lifestyle products on your niche website, you should definitely check out Clickbank. And if you’re tired of being just another “Amazon affiliate”, Clickbank is an excellent alternative.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

What is ClickBank University?

Clickbank University (CBU) is a digital course that promises to help you make money on ClickBank. It’s a step-by-step guide by Adam Horwitz and Justin Atlan, who show you how to be a successful vendor and affiliate on the ClickBank platform.

At first, CBU was created for vendors, but now it has an affiliate marketing section too! You’ll learn how to build an affiliate website, find a profitable niche, and bring in customers with affiliate marketing. And even if you don’t finish the course, you can still make money as an affiliate marketer.

CBU also focuses on helping individuals create digital products for online commerce, like e-books, video lectures, and online courses. And guess what? CBU just got an upgrade in July 2021. The creators, Justin and Adam, wanted to improve the program to keep up with the ever-changing online commerce world.

The Founders of Clickbank University

ClickBank University was founded by Justin Atlan and Adam Horwitz. Justin Atlan holds a degree in economics from UC Berkeley and has built a successful career in the Internet business world through affiliate marketing and selling products on ClickBank. He started making money online at 18 and has continued to grow his audience. Founders of ClickBank University

Together with Adam Horwitz, he founded ClickBank University to educate people in the areas of online advertising and sales. 

Adam Horwitz is also a young entrepreneur who has been making money online since he was 18 through his work as a YouTuber and Instagrammer. 

His Mobile Monopoly course, which focuses on earning money through phone and Instagram, was popular before he joined forces with Justin Atlan to create ClickBank University. The two document their experiences as digital nomads on their YouTube channel.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

What’s inside ClickBank University 2.0?

In ClickBank University 2.0 you will find two programs. One for sellers and one for affiliates.

The full course includes an 8-Week Affiliate Marketing class as well as a 12-Week Vendor Class and includes the following:

  • Expert Classes Bi-Weekly
  • Curated Add-on Trainings
  • CBU Toolkit and Traffic Center

Two training tracks are available: Affiliate Mastery and How to Become a Vendor.

Here’s a closer look at the course outlines and products.

Affiliate Training on ClickBank

In this program, you will learn how to build your own online business and make money by marketing other people’s products. 

ClickBank 2.0 training, on the other hand, is designed to teach you how to promote and sell items created specifically by ClickBank providers.

The Affiliate section is 8 weeks and can be broken down as follows:

Week 1 — Affiliate Marketing on ClickBank

  • Affiliate Profit Plan
  • Setting Up for Success
  • Goal Setting

Week 2 — Understanding Affiliate Marketing

  • Affiliate Basics
  • Navigating Through the ClickBank Marketplace
  • Secrets of the Top ClickBank Products

Week 3 — Finding Your Passion

  • Discovering Your Passion
  • Researching in Your Niche
  • Picking the Perfect Product

Week 4 — The Ultimate Affiliate Marketing Funnel

  • The Truth About Traffic
  • Affiliate Funnel 101
  • Building Squeeze Pages

Week 5 — Always Over Deliver

  • Building a Relationship with Your List
  • Different Ways to Deliver Free Content
  • Outsourcing Your Content

Week 6 — Writing the Perfect Swipe

  • Getting Them to Open the Email
  • Making Sure They Click
  • Offering Bonuses

Week 7 — The Email Blueprint

  • Using Broadcasts
  • Automating Your Emails
  • The Perfect Balance

Week 8 — Scaling and Expanding

  • Toolkit Traffic Area
  • Opening the Flood Gates
  • Creating a Product

The program includes additional resources available for download to assist with maximizing its potential and achieving affiliate marketing objectives. 

The video content is diverse and ranges in length from 5 to 15 minutes, allowing for easier focus on specific information. The video lesson summaries, including titles and subtitles, are available for download as a helpful tool for learning. 

It is important to carefully consider the potential outcomes of the program and allocate sufficient time for thorough learning when budgeting for it.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Vendor Training on ClickBank

The course outlines the process of creating and launching a successful product on the ClickBank marketplace, including planning a sales funnel, identifying a profitable niche, and attracting affiliates to promote the product. The program is divided into 12 weeks, covering topics from A to Z.

Week 1 — How It Works

Here you’ll learn the overall goal of the 12-week plan for success.

Week 2 — Discovering Your Ideal Product

Blend your passion and experience with what’s profitable on ClickBank and will you get the exact insight needed to find your perfect product.

Week 3 — Creating Your Avatar

Your avatar is your customer, and in order to give your customer exactly what they need, you need to understand their mindset.

It’s time to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

What are his interests? What are his demographics? But most importantly, what is his problem and how will your product solve it? Once you know the problem, you can develop a product that solves it.

Week 4 — Creating Your Product

You know exactly how to format your product, e.g. as videos or as an e-book. You know the proven blueprint that successful products use on ClickBank. 

You’ll even learn how to outsource the creation of your product so you do not even have to write it yourself.

Week 5 — Creating the Ideal Upsell

Maximize the value of each customer by offering upsells.

These upsell add value to your customers by helping them solve their problems.

This is very important to attract affiliates. The more money they can earn per sale, the more they will love to promote your product!

Week 6 — Sales Copy & Conversion Maximization

Learn the secrets of successful sales copy from our experienced copywriter.

Remember, you can have the best product in the world, but if you do not have a good sales pitch, you will not be successful.

Week 7 — The Simple Video Sales Letter

Learn the secrets of creating a high-quality and effective video sales letter as used by the experts. Do not spend thousands of dollars on video production.

Week 8 — Product Finishing

Let us put the finishing touches on your product. We will correct all errors and make sure that all elements of your product are flawless.

Week 9 — Getting Your Product on ClickBank

Learn how to get your product onto the ClickBank marketplace. Here you will be guided step by step.

Week 10 — Attracting & Managing JV Relationships

Attracting affiliates is one of the easiest ways to succeed at ClickBank, but you need to know what they want first.

Learn how to convince them of your product.

Week 11 — Split Testing

Learn how to dramatically increase conversion rates by testing different languages, ads, and funnels.

Week 12 —Extending your Success

Learn how to build on initial sales and successes by generating more and more traffic to achieve massive success.

Bonus: Selling High Ticket Products through Webinars 

The training is all-inclusive and takes you from brainstorming to marketing your product online.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Traffic Generation Training

Clickbank University offers a course that teaches methods of driving traffic online, but it focuses primarily on paid strategies such as Facebook ads and Instagram influencer marketing. 

Other methods of attracting visitors, such as social media, blogging, and search engine optimization, are not covered in depth. 

The targeting options for Facebook ads, including retargeting, are highlighted as a strength. Instagram influencer marketing is also discussed as a way to leverage the reach of popular accounts. 

However, the training does not cover other methods such as banner ads, search engine ads, or solo emails.

The Clickbank University Website Builder

A website builder is offered as an upsell after purchasing Clickbank University. The website builder can be purchased in two payments of $297 or in seven installments of $97 each. The website builder includes a drag-and-drop editor and is almost $600 or $680 if spread over seven payments.

The cost of this website builder is substantial compared to other options available, such as hosting with providers like Bluehost or Siteground, which can cost a few dollars per month. WordPress, an open-source platform, has its own drag-and-drop website builder, and there are other programs available for $30-$100 with more advanced features.

Purchasing the website builder from Clickbank University is not a good idea because the same features can be obtained elsewhere for less money and because tying the website to the Clickbank Website Builder limits flexibility and control.

Advanced Training

An additional upsell will cost you $97, and this is not the Website Builder itself, but more advanced training. If you decline this, you will be given the option to buy it in two installments of $49.

There are some helpful data in the advanced training and it covers a lot of topics the basic training didn’t cover. It fills some gaps in the basic training, like banner advertising tutorials.

You’ll also learn how to launch a product and integrate webinars into your sales funnel. 

Clickbank University Affiliate Program

One of the features of Clickbank University 2.0 is an affiliate program. There is a 50% commission on all upsells.

There is a 75% initial sales commission on the primary membership and a 25% monthly recurring commission.

Email swipes and other promotional materials are provided to you.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Are students getting any results?

ClickBank University is a popular online course, but there’s a catch. All of their testimonials are outdated and from 2017 or earlier. And the earnings screenshots from students? All from 2016 or 2017. 

Even the video testimonials look like they were recorded on old cameras a long time ago. It’s like they haven’t had any successful students in the past few years and they’re just using old stuff to impress people. Something to think about, right?

How much does Clickbank University cost?

While ClickBank University’s sales page makes it appear that monthly fees are only $47, you end up paying much more for access to the full curriculum.

The true cost of CBU is $215 per month!

ClickBank University has the following hidden costs:

ClickBank Builder: $594 – or $679 if you “split the fee” – and it’s required for part of the training.

Products that you wish to promote: In week three’s video, it’s suggested that you “consider buying the product” you wish to promote.

Aweber: In the fourth week of the course, students learn that one of the many great features of ClickBank Builder is that they do not have to buy a domain. However, in the seventh week, students learn that they need their own domain name to use Aweber, a premium email marketing platform that costs them at least $19 per month.

Fee-based Traffic: You’ll learn “how to produce nearly endless traffic and clicks basically on demand,” as the CBU sales page says. They do not tell you that everything they teach you to generate traffic costs money.

Additional Resources: All faculty in the CBU supplemental materials recommend one or another paid resource.

The CBU bonus video, for example, introduces itself as an introduction to the “Scarcity and Urgency in Product Launch” training program. Here, the use of Email Countdown (now called Deadline Funnel, $37 per month) or Timerlay ($250 per year) is recommended.

In week five, we discuss the potential costs of hiring a third party rather than doing the content creation yourself. If you decide to go this route, “a complete one-page fantastic story” will cost you about $20.

Let us assume you spend the bare minimum to become a CBU member and complete all required training.

  • $564 for the standard CBU membership ($47 x 12)
  • ClickBank Builder costs $594
  • $20 for every ClickBank product you want to promote
  • Aweber costs $194 (The annual plan works out cheaper)
  • $10 for your own domain
  • $1200 for traffic (minimum of $100 each month)

When you add up the costs, you’ll find that ClickBank University costs $2,582 a year, or about $215 a month.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Refund Policy

If you’re a member of ClickBank University and want a refund, they’ve got you covered with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Just shoot them an email and they’ll take care of the rest.

A heads up, you’ll need to ask twice just to make sure. The first time you reach out, they’ll cancel your recurring payment and let you keep access to the training you’ve already paid for.

If you’re still set on getting a refund, just confirm it with them and they’ll process it quickly. In fact, some folks have reported getting their refund processed within 24 hours!

Green Lights

1. Risk-Free Trial

If you’re on the fence about trying ClickBank University, here’s a pro that might ease your worries: they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, if you’re not happy with the program, you can simply request a refund and get your money back.

2. Easy Site Building

Another perk of ClickBank University is the platform they use – ClickBank. With this, you can create your own affiliate sites without having to worry about hosting costs. They have their own site builders, such as the Weebly builder, that come with pre-made landing page templates to save you time. All you need to do is purchase your domain name.

Red Flags

1. Impossible Earnings Claims

The sales material for ClickBank University (CBU) claims that you can make money the same day you sign up for the program. However, this is not possible without prior experience or luck.

The program recommends taking the training one week at a time and by the end of week 3, you will only have learned how to pick the perfect product to sell. The training does not provide adequate guidance on how to promote the product.

2. Hidden Costs

The cost mentioned on the CBU sales page is $47 per month, but students are soon informed they need to spend an additional $594 on an essential product. The sales video explicitly states that access to the program won’t cost hundreds of dollars and there will be no technical barriers.

However, this is a deceptive bait-and-switch, as the only way to follow the core training is to purchase the ClickBank Builder.

3. Multiple Upsells

After joining CBU, students will be subjected to three separate upsells. The first is for the ClickBank Builder, the second is for the same product with different payment options, and the final upsell is for advanced training costing an extra $97. Each upsell claims to be worth more than the cost.

4. Deceptive Marketing Tactics

It looks like ClickBank University isn’t above using questionable marketing tactics, such as fake scarcity, misleading subject lines, and so-called “exclusive” deals that aren’t actually exclusive. A quick Google search shows that you can buy the ClickBank Builder product anytime, and the $594 price they advertise as exclusive to CBU students is available to anyone. 

They even use fake countdown timers on their checkout pages to create a sense of urgency. It seems like misleading and tricking people is standard practice for CBU, and they even teach their students to do the same. This is a nasty dark pattern that raises some serious red flags.

5. Vague Training Videos

The training videos inside ClickBank University are short but lack specificity. You often come away from them feeling like you didn’t learn anything new or actionable. Adam’s instructions for each lesson are vague, leaving you to just “play around” with what you learned.

6. Theoretical Over Practical

The Affiliate track of CBU has limited video training and most of it is just Adam talking to the camera. The focus is on theory rather than practical application, and there are few real-life examples provided. The entire 8-week training lacks examples of real landing pages, mailing list content, or ad campaigns.

7. Limited Access to Core Training

Upon signing up for ClickBank University, you only get access to the first three weeks of the core training. The rest of the core training is released one week at a time, starting three weeks after you signed up. 

The reason behind this is unclear, as they provide access to all bonus materials right away. The weeks 4-8 of the core Affiliate training alone amount to 2 hours of video training, while the mini “pro courses” and expert interviews in CBU total to 20 hours of video. 

You can finish watching the first three weeks of Affiliate training in an hour, yet access to the rest is limited. To unlock the content, you have to fill out a form, which raises the question of why they lock it in the first place. 

It’s possible that the creators have found that holding back content increases the chances of people sticking around and paying for more months.

8. Abandoned Community

As a member of CBU, you get access to an “exclusive ClickBank community,” but upon signing up, you’ll find that the community has been abandoned by the CBU staff for several months. The community is privately hosted and looks like a ghost town, with no activity from the CBU staff in several months.

9. Questionable Webinar

A CBU-run webinar called “ClickBank Breaks The Internet” promised to show “how they generated up to $252k in 24 hours,” but no proof or explanation was provided. 

The webinar, which was 2 hours and 15 minutes long, was filled with unsubstantiated claims and typos and turned out to be a long sales pitch for high-priced webinar software. The chat was hidden, and the claimed discount was still available 48 hours later. 

The overall marketing of the webinar seems shady, and given the low quality of the CBU training, it raises doubt about the worth of anything else they promote.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Is ClickBank University 2.0 a scam or legit?

ClickBank University is not a scam, but it is definitely not a good place for affiliate marketing tutorials. You can always find an affiliate marketing course better than CBU 2.0. 

The constant emails from CBU affiliates can get overwhelming, and the constant upsells can be a real pain. The guidelines are a bit too strict and there aren’t enough examples of how to apply them. The toolkit also lacks data. The course seems to be more geared toward product developers, not affiliate marketers.

The videos are oversimplified and low quality, so it’s hard to tell if they’re credible. It’s basically just one guy giving vague instructions on different tasks. 

There are only 3 hours of video training spread out over 8 weeks, and 80% of it is just one guy talking to the camera. That’s pretty underwhelming.

The sales page says CBU 2.0 costs $47 a month, but in reality, it’s more like $215 a month with all the hidden costs. You only get access to the first 3 weeks of training when you sign up, and the rest comes one week at a time.

I attended a few webinars but didn’t really learn much. To be honest, I felt a bit disorganized. They seemed more focused on getting people to sign up or promote the university to others. Creating info products and landing pages isn’t enough to be successful on Clickbank. The program also fails to cover important factors that contribute to product success or failure.

Most of the core training was created in 2016, and there have been complaints from students about outdated teaching and recommendations, but they’re ignored. So, there you have it. That’s my take on ClickBank University 2.0.

Is there a better alternative to ClickBank University?

I agree that affiliate marketing is a great business model for novices in online business. But using ClickBank University’s approach to do affiliate marketing requires spending a lot of money or using some expensive tools to drive traffic.

In affiliate marketing, you can actually run your business almost with zero cost and achieve a steady passive income without any trouble with paid ads. This is the approach that I like. Of course, you can disagree with me. It’s a matter of preference.

If you want to learn affiliate marketing and make money with the lowest risk, I’d recommend you to get started with the best training platform Wealthy Affiliate.

It offers you a free account (including a free website) with comprehensive training on SEO (free traffic methods) which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.

But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?

A 21-year-old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while using free traffic methods.

Wealthy Affiliate Testimonial

Wealthy Affiliate has existed for more than 10 years and there are many success stories over the years.

To give you more examples, here are some of the other inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.

Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate has a very simple pricing scheme. It has a free and premium membership.

If you want to feel about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for the starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member with no time limit.

And as a starter member, you can get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, and access to the keyword tool.

You can enjoy all these values without paying a penny.

So I strongly recommend you register a free account and see it yourself.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Interested in receiving one-on-one mentorship for building an online business? Join my online business coaching program.

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