Tim’s Sales Claims
You’re probably already familiar with what Tim Schmidt is selling in AffiliateU, but just in case you aren’t…
Affiliate University claims to be the program you’ve always dreamed of to become a successful affiliate marketer. Tim says that he’ll give you everything you need to build a sustainable, scalable, repeatable, and portable affiliate marketing business.
He promises that this is a no-fluff, no-frills course and guarantees that if you don’t see results after following all of his training, he will personally coach you one-on-one until you’re successful. And then if you’re still not making money, he’ll process a full refund.
How much of Tim’s claims are true? I watched every minute of the training before writing this review, using my 10+ years in internet marketing to dissect every lesson, and you’ll find all of the answers you’re looking for in the review below.
Be Warned: This is a LongReview
To put it simply: I wrote this review for myself.
I’m a “details” guy. If I’m thinking about spending several hundred dollars on an affiliate marketing training course, I want every. damn. detail I can get my hands on prior to making my final purchase decision. That’s the perspective I’m writing this review from.
If I go into too much detail for you, feel free to skim to the next section. In the review below, I break Affiliate University wide open and share everything I found that sets you up for success, as well as everything in the course that might lead someone to failure.
I’ll go through AffiliateU section-by-section and give you an idea of the information each section contains but, more importantly, an idea of how likely the material in each section is to confuse you, overwhelm you, tee you up for failure, or set you up for huge success.
AffiliateU Review At-a-Glance
This course is one of the most ambitious I’ve ever seen. It’s ridiculous. At times it feels unorganized and you’ll feel overwhelmed. At other times, you’ll understand affiliate marketing more clearly than you might have thought possible, and have ideas and inspiration practically breeding with one another inside your head.
I’ll admit, when I first logged into the product and started going through some of the basic material, I was incredibly concerned. I was referred to review Tim’s product by someone I trust and respect very much (Stephen Floyd, the publisher of Bulletproof SEO) and I knew writing a negative review would not only piss Tim off at me, but possibly at Stephen too. Early in my review, I just wasn’t seeing anything that I felt was worth the price of admission.
But as I continued going through the training (and I went through literally every minute of it for you), I realized that the problem wasn’t Tim’s training. It was the fact that his teaching style was uniquely off-the-cuff and different than anything I’d seen.
Tim uses real-world examples for everything. Nothing is scripted or thoroughly planned ahead of time, so what you get in the training is years of knowledge directly from the mind of someone that’s intimately familiar with affiliate marketing. There’s a “clarity” that comes from some of his training that I’ve never experienced in other products, and I can only think to chalk it up to Tim’s years of experience.
There are times in Affiliate University that your head will feel like a jumbled, cloudy mess. But if you push through it and keep watching the training, leverage the support system when you feel stuck, and you’re willing to work your ass off, there’s a very good chance that this product has the information you need to finally “break through” and create a highly profitable – and in time, passive – affiliate marketing business.
You can find a thorough examination of the product and an expansion on these “Reader’s Digest” summarized statements in the detailed review below.
Who is this Program NOT Good For?
There are four reasons that a person should stop reading this review right now:
- If you’re looking to “get rich quick” or trying to find a copy/paste shortcut with minimal effort
- You’re looking to have your hand held every step of the way
- You’re totally new to this and have no idea how to build a WordPress website
- No matter how good the course is, there’s no way you can afford it
If #1 above describes you, I can’t help you at all. After reviewing over 200 products in the last four years, this simply does not exist. It’s a myth perpetuated by product publishers so that they can rip you off. But if you’re willing to put in the hours and work your butt off, this course could be a good fit.
If you identify closely with statement #2, I don’t think Tim Schmidt’s AffiliateU is going to be a very good fit for you. Tim’s style is very different from most courses that I review. You’re not given a clear step 1, 2, 3, etc. You’re given all of the information you need to succeed somewhat out of order, and you have a very responsive Facebook group for help if you don’t know what your next step should be.
Affiliate University is significantly more advanced and clearer than any other affiliate marketing training I’ve reviewed. It’s a very powerful product that’s likely to help go-getters succeed through brute force using the methods that Tim teaches. But if you feel the need to be “babied”and walked through everything step-by-step, Tim’s style will likely frustrate and overwhelm you immensely.
On the other hand, if you’re fired up and really excited to plow through the training as long as it makes you successful, read on.
If statements #3 or #4 describe you, AffiliateU could definitely be what you’re looking for, but it’s too advanced for the stage you’re at or simply too expensive. If that’s the case, or if you identified with statement #2, one of the courses here (Get a Free course or Free with your points if you want a premium couse) OR my Wealthy Affiliate review are likely the pages on this website that would fit your current situation better.
If you’ve made it through all of the “automatic disqualifications” above, it’s distinctly possible that Schmidt’s Affiliate University is what you’re looking for. To be 100% certain before purchasing, take an in-depth look at the product section-by-section in the review below.
Section 1: Orientation (~25 Minutes)
Every course in this industry starts with a “lay of the land”, and if you’ve bought many products in the past, you probably skip right past them these days.
Tim’s take on this section is totally different than anything you’ve seen from other internet marketing products. It’s actually somewhat entertaining, and instantly shows you that Tim thinks about things entirely differently than anyone else publishing affiliate marketing training.
You’re given the “syllabus” for the course, just like you might be on the first day of a semester in college (it is Affiliate University, after all). Tim doesn’t flash a bunch of fancy cars, vacations, and mansions to try to get you “fired up”. He sets your expectations for the course and tells you how to get the most out of his material. Unlike other “orientations”, this one is actually very much worth your time.
How well does the “Orientation” module set you up for success? Pretty darn well. It’s quick, not filled with fluff, and tells you how to get the most out of the course you’ve just paid several hundred dollars for. If that’s not worth 25 minutes of your time, I’m not sure what is.
Section 2: Choosing Your Major (~100 Minutes)
In the first real module of the course, Tim impressed me and scared the hell out of me. Early on, I thought I was going to end up giving AffiliateU a negative review.
I’ll say this first: Tim demonstrates several things exceptionally well in this module. I’ve never seen an affiliate marketing course take the time to explain private affiliate marketing programs in such great detail, and Tim makes several great points as to why they’re advantageous and why he recommends them over public affiliate programs that manage dozens or hundreds of affiliate offers (Commission Junction, PeerFly, Neverblue Media, etc.).
He also takes a fresh approach to analyzing the competition that has nothing to do with a bunch of metrics and spying tools. He analyzes competition by how strong their brand is and how good of a connection competing website owners are making with their followers. He knows that if he can do a better job on both fronts (which is what a big chunk of the other modules focus on teaching you) that his site will win out, make a lot of money, and become an authority.
This is completely unique and will be very “liberating” for a lot of people that have struggled with analyzing endless competition in a niche, only to find out that virtually EVERY niche has a bunch of really strong competitors. Using Tim’s techniques, that can actually be a good thing to piggyback on and build your own following.
But where Affiliate University really fell short in this module, compared to other products I’ve seen, is helping students pick their niche. In the first of two videos, Tim basically says, “I picked the niche Things Men Buy” and doesn’t give a whole lot of rhyme or reason as to why. He just… did.
This really bothered me, and as it’s the first real module in the course, it worried me that all of Tim’s training would be like this.
Many of you reading this review that have tried niche marketing before probably understand why this was such a big concern for me. Picking a niche is daunting, and sometimes it can be really hard. It’s one of the top struggles of most of my followers. As I write this review, my wife is getting ready to begin building her internet business and the biggest concern she’s approached me with as she thinks about it is, “How on earth do I pick a niche?”
After going through the rest of the course and spending several hours thinking about it, I can confidently say that this shouldn’t stop anyone from buying the course and learning from all of Tim’s other lessons. There are three reasons why:
- Tim’s training doesn’t rely on very small, specific niches like many niche training products I’ve seen. Picking a much larger, broad niche like Tim teaches is significantly more forgiving, therefore it’s much harder to pick a “bad niche” like many of us have done in the past.
- You have direct access to Tim and all of the other members in the Facebook group to spitball ideas and verify that your niche sets you up for success, and you’re highly encouraged to ask questions about topics like this when you’re not sure.
How well does the “Choosing Your Major” module set you up for success? On the whole, I’d say very well. At least an 8 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best.
I was highly concerned that Tim’s training on picking a niche wasn’t thorough enough compared to others I’ve seen, but it’s not a big deal thanks to the three reasons I’ve outlined above.
Additionally, Tim speaks about several topics that no course I’ve reviewed has everdiscussed, and approaches competition analysis and choosing affiliate offers to promote in a fresh and unique way that I think students will find much easier to follow.
Affiliate University is very different from any other training course in affiliate marketing, so it only makes sense that his “Choosing a Niche” training would be very different as well.
Section 3: The Library (~90 Minutes)
AffiliateU doesn’t cover anything having to do with choosing a web host, installing WordPress, updating nameservers, etc. That’s why I said at the beginning of the course that it’s probably a deal breaker if you’re totally new to this and completely unfamiliar with WordPress, although you can learn all of those things very easily online for free (YouTube alone has hundreds of helpful videos on these topics).
Think of this section as several “hacks” from Tim’s successful business that you won’t have to figure out for yourself. He shares all of his favorite plugins, shows some shortcuts and productivity hacks that will save you a lot of time over the next few months as you build your business, how to find high-quality stock images for free, and much more.
Most importantly, Tim talks about what you need to do to create a credible, relatable “voice” for your brand. This is essential for success using Tim’s strategies, and although he introduces you to the concept here, he talks about it and gives many more pointers throughout the rest of the course.
How well does “The Library” set you up for success? Very well. The only thing in this section that’s fairly “make or break” is developing a voice for your brand. Everything else is just helpful tricks of the trade that you don’t see in many courses, largely due to the fact that they just don’t go into as much detail as Tim does.
Everything leading up to this point in the course, including the next module, would likely be considered basic or intermediate-level training. You won’t get into really advanced stuff that feels like the course was worth several hundred dollars until, fittingly, the “Advanced Classes” module.
But all of this information leading up to that module sets you up for success. So don’t just go skipping to Module 5 and expect to be successful with Affiliate University.
Section 4: Off-Campus (~70 Minutes)
This section is pretty essential for your success with AffiliateU. This is where Tim finally introduces you to many of the ways you’ll generate a following, start building a community, and get visitors to your website.
YouTube plays a really big role in this. If you’re not good on camera – don’t worry. You don’t need to actually appear on camera to use YouTube for affiliate marketing purposes, which Tim discusses (and actually shares a way around completely later in the course).
This is a really underrated form of traffic that I’ve personally used a lot in my business. It’s also a great way to position yourself as an authority within a niche and connect with your audience. It’s a win-win-win, and Tim shows you how to use YouTube very effectively as an affiliate.
He also talks about other sites like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Web 2.0s. You can tell his methods actually work, because when he logs onto his computer the day after recording some of these lessons, he’s surprised by several emails and followers from the few minutes of effort he shared earlier in the lesson (see the screenshot below).
These traffic-getting methods are hugely advantageous and very unique compared to much of the affiliate marketing training you’ve probably seen in the past. No more gouging your eyes out lifelessly grinding away on content that you optimize for the search engines. Although Tim drops a ton of SEO nuggets throughout the course, he doesn’t teach his students to sit back and wait – he teaches them how to start building a following instantly through deliberate “mini-efforts” executed simultaneously while building your website out with content.
How well does the “Off-Campus” module set you up for success? Incredibly well. This is where the wheels begin turning in your mind and everything begins to “click”. You’ll start seeing the full vision and power in what Tim is teaching within AffiliateU, and understanding how your business will grow and begin generating affiliate commissions.
And just like that, once you’ve got the proper “foundation” and “frame”, Schmidt starts sharing the stuff that really sets you up for affiliate marketing success.
Section 5: Advanced Classes (~210 Minutes)
This is where Tim’s course goes from worth a couple hundred dollars to worth the several hundred dollars he’s currently charging.
It’s obvious throughout Tim’s course that he’s an experienced affiliate marketer. I can tell within minutes of watching a publisher’s training whether they’re legit or a fraud – it’s usually blatant if you’ve been successful in this industry for a while. Tim discusses all of the following topics, plus more, in great detail within this section:
- Why cost per acquisition (CPA) affiliate marketing should be implemented on your sites rather than ads, and how to implement it correctly in a way that converts visitors into commissions (rather than just linking to an affiliate offer and hoping the person converts, which is what most aspiring affiliate marketers do – that’s not good affiliate marketing).
- Using Google Alerts to get new content, engage socially, and manage your reputation.
- How to use Google News to keep tabs on offers that you’re promoting as an affiliate, which you can use to identify promotions, inspire new content, etc.
- Features and plugins you can add to your site to increase user engagement which, eventually, will help get you more visitors.
- Using SEMRush to spy on your competitors, find the most popular content in your niche, find new products to promote, get content inspiration, track your rankings, etc. Basically, Tim shows you all of the best features of SEMRush, one of the best premium subscriptions in a lot of affiliate marketers’ tool chest.
- Important legal disclaimers on your website to be FTC compliant (VERY important as of a few years ago when the FTC passed legislation very specific to the affiliate marketing industry).
- How to use rankings charts on your website to improve conversions and make more money.
- Using SelfGrowth.com to establish yourself as an expert in your niche, and more importantly, get more visitors and followers to your site.
- How to use holiday events and trends to get surges in traffic and sales. These methods also help your SEO thanks to interlinking.
- Using a specific WordPress plugin to significantly improve your opt-in rates (complete with tutorial).
- How to use seals of approval to become a top authority in your niche and, as a bonus, receive some SEO benefits and get free, highly targeted traffic.
- Creating and leveraging “welcome videos” on your site to boost your time on site which, in turn, will also boost engagement and search engine rankings.
- Using “proof of purchase” to boost credibility and earn visitors’ trust.
- How to identify and pick keywords that convert most often and will generate the most commissions; discussing “review” keywords and how to leverage them to generate sales.
- “Commission Hacking” by aligning yourself with other partners that will take care of different aspects of your business – for example, if you enjoy writing but hate video, you may partner with a couple of other people for 20% each to help with SEO and video so that you can focus exclusively on writing.
- Using “Commission Stacking” to get your competitors earning money for you (can’t go into much detail here as it’s pretty powerful and, although simple, something that I’ve never seen anyone else teach).
- How to identify trends in your content, and making sure to properly optimize content that you notice is trending.
- “Persona Hacking” to build credibility and increase conversions on your affiliate sites.
- Verifying your brand with Google to improve rankings and site authority.
- How to use posts properly on your WordPress affiliate sites; this increases your credibility, gives your readers more ground to connect with you, and keeps your website fresh.
The “Advanced Classes” module in Affiliate University is where Tim’s experience reallyshines through. He shares tools, tips, and strategies that took me years of trial/error and personal growth to figure out.
You could make money online and build a successful affiliate business with Modules 1-4 alone. It’s definitely possible to take the information you’ve learned up until this point to start generating a decent income online.
But implement everything you learn in Module 5 on top of that, and I can almost guarantee your business will make 3-4x as many commissions. Much of what Tim shares in this section has been vital in my personal affiliate marketing business to take my sites from “successful” to “highly lucrative” due to significantly improved conversion rates and personal connection with my community.
I apologize if I’m beginning to sound biased – that’s not my intention at all. But this is where AffiliateU won me over and showed me that it was worth its very hefty price tag.This is where Tim “earns his keep” and puts his money where his mouth is.
This is the section of the course that, looking back in a few months if you work your butt off, will account for at least 50%-75% of your affiliate income.
How well does the “Advanced Classes” module set you up for success? Better than any affiliate marketing course I’ve seen since beginning to study this industry 12 years ago. All of the material leading up to this module is very, very important. But this information is what will get you to full-time income and beyond if you apply it to your business and work your ass off.
Section 6: General Education (~20 Minutes)
Coming off of a section that contains over 3.5 hours of incredibly powerful and high-level training (I literally had to take a nap when I finished that section because my brain was so tired) to a section that’s only 20 minutes is quite a relief.
It’s not remotely as advanced as the classes you’ll have just finished, but it’s still helpful information. Tim talks about the affiliate lifestyle, many of the benefits of being a top affiliate (not something you really think about when setting out but, I have to admit, they’re pretty neat), how to improve and manage relationships with your affiliate managers, and how he suggests you break down your day-to-day work in order to succeed with AffiliateU.
How well does the “General Education” module set you up for success? This is the only section of Affiliate University that I’d say this question doesn’t really apply to.
The information in this section is very helpful (and Tim plans to continue adding lessons as time goes on), but at this point in the course, you have everything you need to build a successful affiliate marketing business. All of this is just icing on the cake, and helps clear up some lingering thoughts/questions you might have from other modules.
Section 7: Webinars (~62 Minutes)
Here we are 4,000 words into this review, and we’ve finally arrived at the course’s last module.
Tim is holding once-a-month webinars for AffiliateU members, and they’ll all be recorded/uploaded here. Since the product is brand new as I’m writing this review, there’s only one webinar in there right now. But in time there will be many more, and this is your chance to dig deeper into some of the strategies from the course, watch Tim’s example website grow, and participate in Q&A sessions to get personalized coaching for the topics you need help with most.
How well does the “Webinars” module set you up for success? It’s difficult to say at this stage, due to the fact that there’s so little content in here at the time I’m writing this review.
But in time it should become a helpful expansion to the rest of the course, a place for powerful guest speakers to share their best tips and tricks, and a place for you to ask questions and potentially get “live help” from Tim while he walks you through your biggest challenges step-by-step using his screencast.
Regardless, you have everything you need in modules 1-5 to build a highly profitable affiliate marketing website. All that stands between you and success at this point is time and sweat equity.
Is Affiliate University Right for You?
If you’ve read the entire review above, you can probably answer that question for yourself. This course is not intended for the faint of heart or anyone that’s not willing to work hard. But if you’re willing to give it the time and effort necessary, Tim Schmidt’s course guides you to success better than any I’ve ever seen.
It’s clear that the guy knows what he’s talking about based on the results he’s seeing too. These successes aren’t shared in the course, but Tim’s example website, ThingsMenBuy.com, is competing for some highly competitive, valuable keywords. See the search volume I pulled from Google’s Keyword Planner below:
And his rankings for “cool stuff for guys”:
He’s still got quite a ways to climb, but for such competitive terms and only being a few months in, this is great progress. Accounting for the fact that this is far from Tim’s main focus in his affiliate business, these results are even more impressive.
Couple that with several hundred Twitter followers and multiple long-tail page 1 Google rankings, and it’s clear that the strategies taught in Affiliate University produce results if you put in the work.
Very Important: Tim’s Support System
If you have technical site access or billing issues, you can email Tim and his team directly.
But after joining the course, you’re highly encouraged to ask ANY questions you have in the Facebook group:
Tim makes two things very clear within the course:
- No question is considered dumb, and EVERYTHING you want to ask can be asked in the Facebook group (no matter how simple or basic).
- Disrespect will not be tolerated. This is meant to be a healthy, helpful environment and mocking, ridicule, or treating someone disrespectfully will cause you to lose access to the Facebook group (great news unless you’re a jerk).
So this should remain an incredibly helpful, safe environment for you to use as a resource. It supplements the course very nicely, and gives you a “last resort” for help should you need it.
Tim even offers support and advice frequently, commenting on several questions even after they’ve been completely solved by another member:
AffiliateU Review – Final Rating: A
Hands-down, there’s no affiliate marketing training course out there that sets you up for success better than Tim Schmidt’s Affiliate University. I’ve founds some great courses over the years, but never one this good focusing specifically on affiliate marketing.
Tim goes well beyond the basic and intermediate-level humdrum you see in other courses and gives you replicable, high-level training using real-world examples and case studies. If you want training that gets away from “theory” and puts you face-deep into what successful affiliate marketing looks like using real websites, this is your course.
I know it’s the most expensive course I’ve ever rated positively, but it’s worth every penny. If you purchase this course and look back on a lack of success a year from now, I can almost guarantee it will be due to you not taking action, not because Tim and AffiliateU set you up for failure.
If you’re a hard worker and you’re ready to finally build a successful affiliate business (or ramp your existing affiliate business up to a whole new level) Click the link below:
Important! August 2017 Update
Tim has recently revamped his “Masters Program”at AffU, and I think it merits an update. Although it’s an upsell, admittedly, the program is for those who are looking to REALLYaccelerate their learning.
Subscribers to Tim’s Masters Program get access to high-quality SEO links (to boost your website’s rankings), one-on-one email support, and strategy consultations that Tim provides personally.
Each member gets access to two thoroughly vetted and safe Private Blog Network (PBN) sites each month. These sites can be used to promote any website you wish (even clients’ sites, for those of you who do agency SEO).
PBN links are very, very difficult to hunt down, build, and maintain on your own. If you don’t have the technical understanding (or the time) to build safe PBNs, but you still want to benefit from them, then I’d recommend taking a serious look at AffiliateU’s Masters Program.
Additionally, there is a “no format, pure value” video module that Tim updates monthly with all of the trends and “cutting edge” tips he has an impressively tuned “nose” for after years as a tremendously successful super affiliate (along with over-the-shoulder looks into his personal projects).
This is where members can learn exactly what Tim’s doing, how he’s doing it, and he even discusses the income that he’s earning. This is a very rare glimpse into the life of a super affiliate marketer.
Finally, you’ll get access to every template, plugin, and piece of code that his team owns. If you are serious about pursuing (or improving) your own affiliate marketing business, the Masters Program at AffiliateU deserves a very hard, thoughtful look.