Introduction to ClickBank University MLM Compensation Plan
Welcome back to Notebook Crazy. I am Brad, and if you look closely, you can see that I, like my namesake in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, tremble with anticipation. We are now well into the second half of September, which means that it is only a matter of a few short weeks before I can stuff my face with beer, pretzels, and Wurst at Oktoberfest. If you have read my other posts on this blog, you know that I am a dyed in the wool couch potato. Why, then, am I so excited about going to Oktoberfest? Wouldn’t it be best to have the Germanic edibles for which the Midwest is so famous delivered to my house, so that I can gorge myself on the fruits of Oktoberfest right here on my couch? Indeed, I can think of worse ways to spend time than sitting on my keister in the company of Wurst and beer, but eating Oktoberfest food at home, while not an entirely undesirable experience, sounds like less fun than eating Oktoberfest food at Oktoberfest. The fun of Oktoberfest isn’t just the food. It’s the critical mass of Lederhosen that makes the air smell like leather. It’s the waitresses in dirndls and blond Valkyrie wigs. It’s wondering if the kid at the next picnic table, whose parents just realized that he chugged his root beer too quickly, will make it out of earshot before he pukes. It’s the accordion players who are so skilled that you wonder why they don’t spend the other 11 months of the year playing in a Weird Al tribute band. It’s the feeling of anticipation (See? I told you you can see me trembling) that maybe, just maybe, this year, the other Brad, my business partner and Notebook Crazy co-founder, will eat a pretzel, although he had not ingested a complex carb that wasn’t beer since 1998. These things have to be experienced in person. You can buy a lot of things online, but not the fun of a Midwestern Oktoberfest.
On this blog, I review every multilevel marketing (MLM) business opportunity that comes to my attention, and I have decided to start this ClickBank University review with a shout out to an eagerly anticipated (still trembling) Oktoberfest, because ClickBank University products are digital products training materials on how to market these digital products or other digital products of your own invention. I have reviewed quite a few business tools MLMs recently, and most of them are duds, even by MLM standards, but I must admit that I was skeptical of the ClickBank University business opportunity even before I visited the ClickBank University website, before I had even confirmed that ClickBank University was a business tools MLM. I was skeptical as soon as I saw the name.
Here at Notebook Crazy, the discussion has returned many times to the subject of names. I have told the stories of how several famous rock bands came to be known by their names. I have mentioned that, on account of the fact that my name is Brad, I enjoy the Rocky Horror Picture Show far less than most people my age do. In the course of researching my MLM reviews, I come across many phrases that would be suitable names for Internet trolls, and when I find such names, I make note of them in the Advantages and Disadvantages section of my reviews. (You would be surprised how many MLMs have nothing to recommend them besides the fact that their websites contain a phrase that would look good with an incendiary comment attributed to it in an online discussion forum.) My brother Brian, who esteems Guano Island Pete above all other Internet troll names (whereas I am partial to Pigeon Blood), teaches AP English, and he has taught the ”What’s in a name?” speech from Romeo and Juliet numerous times. He has been known to recite the speech from memory once his blood alcohol content reaches a certain threshold, but that is a story for another day.
So what exactly is so bad about the name ClickBank University? When I first read the word “ClickBank,” the first thing that came to my mind was the questionable business of buying clicks. Even though buying clicks has been shown repeatedly to be an unsound Internet marketing technique, there are still plenty of companies out there that sell “packages of clicks,” and plenty of Internet marketers gullible enough to buy them in the hopes of increasing the rankings of their sites. As I have mentioned before on this site, the best things an Internet marketer can pay for are things that will make people want to click on his site. The simple act of placing a computer mouse underneath a hamster wheel so that the hamster clicks the mouse each time one of its paws touches the bottom of the wheel (or however those purchased clicks are generated) does not give you a better website. It turs out that ClickBank is not about buying clicks, but you actually have to visit the ClickBank website to find that out.
Even before the word “ClickBank” caught my attention, I was already trembling in anticipation of a grouchy tirade about the word “university.” I thought about how lots of things that are not universities call themselves universities, and the result it almost always something bad. It is fairly common for MLMs to use the word “university” in the titles of their training materials programs. As part of my research for this ClickBank University review, before I even read the ClickBank website, I read articles about for-profit colleges and universities that did just as good a job as MLM business opportunities of preying on the hopes of people who were tired of living in or near poverty despite their hard work and tireless pursuit of income generating activities. I should mention here that I attended a state university and then dropped out after three semesters, at which time I decided to be the world’s most knowledgeable college dropout. You can read my other posts on this blog find out the details of that story, but what concerns us here is that, as soon as I saw the name ClickBank University, my inner grouch trembled in anticipation of pointing out that universities founded on the original mission of universities still do a fine job of ruining many people’s finances; they are at least as efficient as MLM. The difference is that, originally, universities were not supposed to make you rich. They were supposed to educate gentlemen. Sometime after the industrial revolution, the idea arose that a university education could make you a gentleman. Today, people pay six figures to be initiated as gentlemen and ladies, only to find out that being a gentleman is no more lucrative a business strategy now than it was in 1750. The Declaration of Independence does say, however, that all human beings have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, so if your idea of the pursuit of happiness is borrowing $100,000 so that you can say that you are an impoverished noble instead of just plain impoverished, that is your prerogative.
ClickBank University: The Company and Its Products
ClickBank is an ecommerce website with hundreds of thousands of members. You can use the ClickBank website to buy and sell paid web content such as e-books and instructional videos. From what I understand, if you already have content (which the ClickBank University review call “digital products”) that you want to sell, you do not have to join the ClickBank University business opportunity in order to list your products for sale on ClickBank; I think you can just buy an ordinary ClickBank membership. A ZDNet article linked to the Wikipedia page about ClickBank gave, as an example of a product sold on ClickBank, an instructional e-book to teach basketball players and ice skaters how to jump higher. (Even a couch potato like me can acknowledge that an e-book about jumping higher is a whole lot more interesting than another box of vitamin supplements or anti-aging skin creams or, Heaven forbid, fungus coffee.)
ClickBank was founded in California in 1998 and is now headquartered in Boise, Idaho. The ZDNet article says that Matt Hulett is the CEO of ClickBank, and the ClickBank University website lists Adam and Justin as the people in charge of ClickBank University. Some ClickBank University reviews give Adam and Juston’s last names, but I am trembling with too much anticipation to look them up now. ClickBank University is a series of training courses that purport to teach you to sell any kind of digital products. Of course, they will try to convince you to buy and sell ClickBank University products, with all of the upsells that entails, but if you are wise, you can let the upsell sales pitches go in one ear and out the other. For example, one of the upsell ClickBank University products is a website builder that costs $297. You and I both know that you can just use WordPress, which is free, and you can do a Google search for free troubleshooting advice or call tech support if you need help learning to use it.
The ClickBank University Compensation Plan
One very nice thing about the ClickBank University compensation plan is that it does not seem to emphasize the recruiting of new ClickBank University members at all. It really does seem to be about using the knowledge you gain from ClickBank University products to build a business. The ClickBank University reviews do not mention of a downline sales team or bonus pools. I am not even sure I can consider ClickBank University an MLM.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- ClickBank University reviewers seem to be in agreement that the ClickBank University business opportunity is superior to other MLMs opportunities based on business tools and training materials.
- Internet marketing is genuinely a flourishing industry; it has played a major role in my attainment of financial freedom. While it doesn’t cost a penny to read widely and read critically (which you should also do), I have benefited from a paid training course in Internet marketing. The one I used was not the ClickBank University business opportunity, but it would be hypocritical of me to say that paid courses in Internet marketing cannot be helpful, because I know that they can be.
- I am not saying that Notebook Crazy is the most awesome website name in the world or anything, but, as detailed earlier in this ClickBank University review, the company’s name has numerous bad connotations. The ClickBank University reviews state repeatedly that the ClickBank University business opportunity is not nearly as bad as it sounds, but the name alone will be enough to deter a lot of people including people who have had bad experiences with MLM. (Consider also that anyone who has had a good experience with MLM has also had at least one bad experience with MLM.)
- While the basic package of ClickBank University products is reasonably priced ($47 per month, less than the cost of a professional-grade LinkedIn subscription), the upsells are unnecessarily expensive and of limited value.
- I will echo the sentiment I found in several other ClickBank University reviews, namely that many ClickBank University members find it annoying that, unless you pay for upsells, the training videos and other content (the ClickBank University products) unlock at a slow pace, only a few videos per week. If you are building a new Internet marketing company, this prolongs the time before your project becomes profitable.
If there is such a thing as a good business tools MLM, ClickBank University is it.
Now that I think about it, maybe it is not just anticipation that is causing me to tremble. Maybe it’s hunger. Stomach growling isn’t usually a symptom of anticipation, is it? (Grouchiness isn’t either, but I’m always a grouch, even when I’m full.) Schedule a call with me, and if you’re local, we can make plans to grab some breakfast together.