AWOL Academy is an online training platform by Kaela Kanae that teaches students how to start an affiliate marketing business using Facebook ads & other PPC paid advertising to drive traffic to landing pages where you collect email addresses and promote offers to them using email marketing.
AWOL also gives students the option to promote AWOL Academy as an affiliate, which I have mixed feelings about because I feel it can lead to a business model that’s similar to a MLM or Network Marketing where Kaela makes money on his courses not because they’re the best but because his customers are selling it as a business opportunity.
It really makes you wonder if the actual business they are coaching you on which is affiliate marketing using paid ads really works or not?
Is Kaela really making money with affiliate marketing? or does he make money selling a course on it?
I’ll give you my unbiased review on this course (I’m not promoting it)
What I think about affiliate marketing in general, compared to other online business opportunities.
How does affiliate marketing compare with local lead generation, which is my #1 online biz pick?
I also share a little insight about making money online, some golden nuggets I learned along my entrepreneurial journey of going from making $35K per year at a job that I hated to be able to quit that job for good in 2015 at age 25, after building my own six-figure lead generation business.
Most people settle for the quick & easy path.
I’ll explain how that’s preventing them from their breakthroughs.
AWOL Course Overview, What you learn inside AWOL
- Pro Academy – $99
- Internet Income Explained – $49
- Inbox Academy – $447
- Conversion Academy – $1797
- Traffic Academy – $2,997
- Master’s Academy – $5,497
Basically, the business model that AWOL teaches you is affiliate marketing using paid advertising.
Affiliate marketing is making money online by promoting other people’s products. You earn a commission everytime someone purchases from your link.
Commission range from 10-40% usually and conversion rate is quite low so you have to be able to drive a lot of traffic to make any decent income with affiliate marketing.
AWOL teaches you how to drive traffic using paid advertising (Facebook ads) the problem here is you have to pay upfront for traffic, requires a decent amount of budget like at least be willing to spend $100 to $300 per day.
And you have to hope that you’re getting an ROI on that but it’s not guaranteed by any means.
Facebook will spend your daily budget regardless of your conversion rates, whether you’re making money or not. They will spend your money.
In the course, you are taught to use landing pages to collect people’s emails so that you can email them different offers over time and do upsells.
Yea I’m sure you’ve clicked on a Facebook ad and it took you to similar kinds landing pages & email sequences before.
Yes the core strategy itself works.
Heck I do it myself with this blog.
However, the problem with AWOL strategy is relying on paid traffic.
Paid traffic means you have to convert at a certain percentage or you’re losing money.
I’ve spent a lot of money trying to make affiliate marketing work with paid traffic before and its simply a big pain in the butt because facebook ads fluctuate a lot in performance and you can go from making a profit to losing money on a day to day, week by week basis.
If you spend $35 per conversion and you’re only making $20 per sale, then you’re losing money even though you are getting some sales.
My AWOL Course Complaint
I feel like their training is a bit too broad at times.
It teaches you the mechanics of how to run an affiliate marketing business using Paid Ads & Email Marketing but fails to get very specific as to what niches to target, what kinds of ads work for that niche, & how to make sure your ads get shown to premium traffic?
I feel like AWOL tries to teach you how to market any product/offer under the sun.
I don’t think that’s a good approach for newbies, especially when it comes to affiliate marketing.
Because every niche requires great attention to the smallest details to make it work, if you don’t you end up spending more on ads than you’re making from the sales.
Let me give you an example.
Last year, I hired a super affiliate to teach me affiliate marketing using Facebook paid ads and even with 1 on 1 mentorship and him telling me exactly what kind of ads to use, it was still very difficult, even though I made some money from it, my best month being $5000 net profit, I still had to spend so much time every day, managing ads that it just wasn’t worth it for me.
Here’s an example of one of the weight loss offer ads we used.
There’s quite a few things going on here that made this ad profitable.
To increase the CTR (Click through rate) of an ad, its all about the image, all of these following factors increase CTR
- Image having bit sexual undertone
- Ambiguous Image to where you can’t quite figure out what’s going on so it makes you wanna click through
- Sciencey image also makes you wanna click through to quench people’s desire to learn something new
- Green background seems to slightly increase CTR
- Image that tells a story increases CTR because people get curious about the story
All of these factors are in play with the image I created above and it produced pretty high CTR at 9-12%
for a weight loss ad, that’s really good.
So there are just a lot more skills that you have to master to be successful running affiliate offers on Facebook Ads than what is provided with AWOL training in my opinion.
Ultimately even though I know I can make money with affiliate marketing using paid ads, I quit doing it because I know I can make more money building online businesses that run completely on free traffic. More on that later.
Become an AWOL Affiliate?
Another red flag for me is that their courses eventually teach you to promote the AWOL course as an affiliate.
Which raises the question, is Keala Kanae making a good living because his coaching material is just that good?
Or is he able to sell more courses because he’s allowing all his students to promote it?
For me, you lose a lot of credibility as a coach if you offer your coaching program as an affiliate opportunity to all the students.
Because you’re going to foster a situation where you have students that don’t even know fo themselves if what is taught in the course actually works or not, yet they’ll be out there promoting it like its the best thing since slice bread.
Also when you join our lead gen coaching program, you are actually taught to build the lead gen business not turn around and promote the coaching program, which isn’t even possible for the student.
WIth myself included, there’s only like 3 of us that are even allowed to promote to lead gen coaching program. We were hand picked by Dan (our mentor) because we became successful and built a relationship with him over time.
We would make more money probably if we allowed every student to turn around and promote the coaching program as well but that would hurt the integrity of the course because then we would have students peddling the coaching program instead of actually building their own business.
This is my big issue with affiliate marketing.
Most people get into it not because they are passionate or know a lot about the product or subject, they simply want to get a sale.
So you get all these ingenuine affiliate marketers putting up really low-quality content, making a video or writing about something they haven’t got a clue on, just hoping that they get a sale.
This is the kind of marketing strategy that is taught inside AWOL
Which is why you see so many low-quality AWOL academy review pages or youtube videos out there.
This kind of affiliate marketing feels more like MLM to me.
Where people use a lot more hype to promote the product because they don’t have anything real or any tangible value that they can share that’ll actually benefit me.
Guys/Gal don’t seek for the quick fixes or fall for the hype that promises all the riches without ever explaining to you in simple to understand manner how it’s done.
The number 1 question you have to ask yourself when hiring a mentor
Dan Lok breaks it down easily…
Dan Lok is the real deal, multiple millionaire serial entrepreneur.
According to him, the number 1 thing you have to ask yourself before you hire a mentor is, are they actually doing the things they teach to make money themselves?
This is why I openly show my lead generation company site: lppei Leads
In fact my lead generation business is still my bread & butter, my #1 income source by far. And I still have a team of 5, hired full time working day in and day out building this business.
I just reached a certain point where I wanted to try something new so I started this blog so that I can share with other this business opportunity that I have 100% confidence in because I am doing it everyday.
I can’t say quite the same for Mr. Kanae.
I’m just not too sure if he’s actually making money with affiliate marketing.
After going through his course, which I felt was quite basic & not detailed enough to produce great results in most affiliate niches, my gut tells me that this is someone that’s making most of his money selling his coaching program.
Making Money Online is Not Easy But It is Simple
This whole journey of living the laptop lifestyle can get quite confusing to people
because every day there’s new gurus that pop up in your news feed or youtube video ads that promise you the life with their new secret formula, opt-in for free eBook training!
How often are we bombarded with these ads these days?
Making money online isn’t easy or else everybody will be doing it.
But its actually quite simple.
Let me explain.
Being able to make money on your own without working for someone else, all comes down to how much value are you able to deliver to the marketplace.
The value you can bring to the marketplace is determined by your skills.
People get stuck reading one self-development book after another and wonder why their bank account is still empty.
Mindset is only part of the equation. After you got your head screwed on right, now its time to develop your skills.
At the end of the day, this is why I don’t recommend affiliate marketing because everything you learn inside AWOL is something that anyone can do so easily, being able to create landing pages & drive traffic using paid traffic is not really a high-level skill in my opinion, at least in 2018.
It might have been something more special several years ago but now with all these platforms that allow you to build landing pages so easily like click funnels, most business owners out there can figure out how to do these kinds of things on their own.
You know what’s harder to do on the internet?
Being able to drive free traffic of targetted buyers.
Now that’s a lot more lucrative, high-level skill because it brings higher quality customers to a business and guarantee increase in profits because you’re not dumping money on paid ads.
Seek to Develop High-Income Skills First Before You Jump into a Business
Think of multi-millionaire business gurus like Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, Dan Lok, etc
Are they promoting affiliate products for measly 10-20% margins?
They got their own products & services that they offer where the profit margins are like 80% and up.
Because these guys have actually took the time to develop their skills so that now they have something valuable to share.
Through their own entrepreneurial journey of hustling & hiring their own mentors and learning more skills, they’ve become a person of high value that’s capable of delivering tremendous value to the marketplace.
So the first step to getting rich is to focus on developing high-income skills. Watch Dan Lok explain this
Lead generation is an example of a high-income skill. Because its a repeatable skill that produces very predictable & measurable results that’s highly valuable to other businesses.
I’m not too sure if I could consider affiliate marketing as that because most people that do it don’t even come close to making $1-2K per month let alone $10K per month.
Especially affiliate marketers that rely on paid advertising, because that’s a business model with no real consistency.
You can make $10K per month 1 month and make $2k profit, and then next month you can make $10K again but only make $1K profit or some months you might break even or lose money.
Too much of it is outside your control, you’re at the whim of Facebook algorithm and so how can you really call that a high-income skill that you can count on?
Because I’ve made money with affiliate marketing as recent as just a few months ago, I know what works in 2018 and what doesn’t. When going through the AWOL course I couldn’t help but think most of the training was too basic for anyone to really produce great results with it.
Since the course teaches you to use paid advertising to generate traffic, a student must have some budget put aside for that but just because you spend money on Facebook ads, doesn’t mean you’ll make money because its very easy to spend more money on ads than what you make in sales if every single detail is not finely tuned to perfection. Very challenging, to pull it off requires much further training in my opinion.
Even then I don’t think affiliate marketing using paid traffic is that great of a business model.
Also the fact that AWOL members are allowed to turn around and promote the course itself to others is a red flag for me, because now we don’t know if people are raving about this course because they genuinely got results from it or they’re simply trying to sell the course themselves.
This type of incentive leads to bunch of people peddling the product that they themselves don’t have any results with, very similar to MLM/Network Marketing.
The integrity of the course & the coach goes down IMO.
Just based on what I can tell, Kaela Kanae may not be an expert affiliate marketer but he is someone that developed very good skills in being able to sell courses. His compelling video ads that employ a multitude of psychological triggers is just one example that displays his skills. (There’s nothing wrong with that btw, you should do whatever produces the maximum results as a skilled marketer)
I can see why people would buy from him, he appears pretty confident & charismatic in his videos, the mansion in the backdrop, offering entry point products at a low cost and then selling his higher ticket items on the backend, these are all tried & tested marketing techniques that he has learned from people like Dan Kennedy.
All I’m saying is that his skills seem disproportionately greater at selling courses than actually doing the business that he teaches which is affiliate marketing, judging by the lacking training of high-level tactics that other super affiliates are employing these days.
It could be that he was successful with affiliate marketing several years ago when it was much easier and since then he stopped doing affiliate marketing and just sells courses now.
Which might explain a lot.
Unfortunately, the landscape of what can work in affiliate marketing changes fast & rapidly.
Ultimately I urge people to build their online business using free traffic because that’s actually the longterm strategy where you can produce consistent results.
Yeah the results can take some time to build but this is why impatient mother fuckers don’t succeed in business.
Yea you can make quick sale here and there if you use paid advertising but at the end of the day, Facebook is going to take big portions of your money and you’ll end up working harder and making less with this business model… trust me on that.
Not only are you promoting someone else’s product for a small commission, because you don’t have enough value yourself yet to make your own product.
But you are also using Facebook’s paid advertising for your traffic because you don’t have enough skills to go out and generate your own traffic.
So your efforts are making Facebook & Owners of the affiliate products a lot of money while you take on all the risks for an opportunity to make some money, no guarantee.
Why not just work on developing your skills so that you can become that valuable person in the marketplace so that money will come find you.
In this past week, I received 4 new inquiries from business owners across the US wondering what my prices are for my lead generation service.
When you know how to increase sales & drive high-quality customers using free traffic, you’re not just any other internet marketer.
Turning on a Facebook ad campaign is quite easy to do and train, which is why so many online courses out there are teaching this as their go-to traffic source.
Learning how to generate free traffic is the more rare skill set, most people don’t know how to do it, which is why our students inside our lead generation coaching program do so well, because you actually learn a skill that not too many people have therefore you become someone that’s in high demand in the marketplace.
When you become a specialist, it’s much easier to get paid & get paid well.
Get yo skillz up!