In order to become successful as an online entrepreneur and internet marketer, you will need to learn the ropes just like any profession. The learning curve can be quite steep regardless of what the “gurus” out there tell you.
This is especially so if you have little to no previous skill sets that can assist you initially, such as advertising or marketing experience or website creation knowledge.
These things and more can be learned in time, but with the help of an internet marketing community, one structured to teach and support, you can reduce the steepness and length of that learning curve.
IMPho positions itself as one of these learning and support sites, all for a low fee of $27 a month. In my opinion the current title holder for the best internet marketing community is Wealthy Affiliate (WA), so I will be comparing IMPho quite heavily against them.
An IMPho Review: Getting a Taste
Just like WA, IMPho offers a free level of membership. The free level allows you partial access to the content available, you can for example check out the forums, and navigate around the site but the detailed information is behind the monthly membership fee pay wall.
There is also a toe dipping offer for the premium membership, at $4.95 for the first 7 days, which then reverts to the $27/month.
One interesting fact though is that you can promote the community as an affiliate whilst on the free membership, and if successfully done, can recoup a 50% referral fee.
What Do You Get?
The site itself is structured into some main areas: Forums, Listings, Training, and Tools.
The mainstay of communications within the community is definitely the forums. Boasting over 4500 posts to date, it is obviously fairly active with around 250 posts per month on average.
As with any forum, the quality of posts and replies varies, within my first 30 minutes browsing a I found several useful items that I hadn’t come across before and a fair amount of PLR content posts.
(PLR stands for Private Label Rights and basically means that you can give away or resell the product free of charge, depending on the licence type. Often PLR content is heavily shared and of a poor quality).
I found this to be a really interesting concept, one not found over at WA. The members have two channels, in one of which they can sell their products to other members, often with real or faux discounts and in the other, look for joint venture partners (joint ventures are like mini partnerships for single projects).
There isn’t much on offer considering it has been around for about 7 months at the time of writing, so I feel this is an underused option within IMPho, though it is difficult to say why.
The training should be the meat of any internet marketing or online business community. It is the reason why people start there and often stay there, as learning never stops especially in the online world where what worked to make money yesterday, fails today.
IMPho offers several training resources, including:
A 30 day challenge – very similar to WA’s 30 day challenge in that it hold you by the hand guiding you towards a basic affiliate site.
A 20 week course – expanding on the 30 day challenge and building up your skill set.
The training system is quite sneaky in a way because it is unlocked over time, meaning that if you want to skip ahead because you already know something, you can’t.
It is sneaky because it locks you into the membership for at least a month to get access to entirety of the 30 day training, and 20 weeks (5 months) for another training module.
Some people may say it helps keep you on track and learn slowly, others who are perhaps more cynical like me, would say it helps keep funds flowing towards the owners via membership fees.
The quality of the training that I could access was pretty decent, though at a basic level. It is not full of hype or exaggeration and grounds you fairly well, though I noticed some areas were glossed over and could have been more detailed.
There was a few affiliate links to services like Aweber, but that is to be expected, and from what I could see they were sparse with no upsells.
Overall the training is pretty good for a new marketer.
Money Making Reports
These are activated on a monthly basis. The first report was a detailed 56 page pdf file which on a brief look (yeah I didn’t read it all) looked fairly detailed, though I wonder if sending newbies out into the fierce realm of dating is the best first option.
There was no obvious upsells which again is a good thing.
One video added every month but they are all accessible straight away thankfully. They are roughly 20-30 minutes long and cover a wide variety of topics. There are also 100 short videos how to’s for things like setting up Google Analytics, creating PDF files and using Aweber which are great for those of you that prefer seeing something done rather than reading up on it.
For the most part these are aimed at beginners, and maybe intermediate marketers.
WordPress Training Course
Here you will find 60 videos covering a variety of tasks related to WordPress.
I was expecting more than what I found here. Most of the graphics for instance were PLR stuff or things you can find on Google. Yes it’s nice to have items grouped up and accessible but I was hoping for something unique.
Most of the licences were personal use only, which is always a bit vague in my mind; can you use it for a site selling something? That is no longer personal.
I would also be wary of the WordPress themes on offer; a PLR theme just does not endear trust in me. I have seen too many “free” themes contain adware, spyware & malware. I am not saying that these themes do, as I couldn’t access the file downloads to test for some reason, however, I would say to use these themes with caution!
I’m not going to cover every tool here but there are a few thought I had.
Firstly, I want to talk about the backlink creator tool. With the storm that was Google Panda, why oh why is IMPho offering a tool like this? This is more likely to get the members sites Google Slapped than actually help them in the long run.
Other than that the other tools could be quite useful, and there is a fair amount of them available. I wouldn’t say they would replace systems like Kissmetrics or SEOMoz, but for beginners and people on low budgets having those tools available is very helpful.
PLR Worries Me
At this point, I have seen a lot in the forums and the member area to be slightly concerned. There is a lot of PLR content flying around IMPho, and whilst that isn’t strictly a bad thing, I worry that new members will use that content as is. PLR content should never be used without modification, it needs to be unique. Personally I wouldn’t even use a word of, instead I would use them as a springboard for ideas.
I didn’t find anywhere on IMPho a warning or caution over the use of PLR content, especially with it being so prolific on the site.
The Bottom Line
Is IMPHo.com a a scam? No, it is not a scam.
In fact I would say it is a fairly good value for money community site, especially for people that are new to the whole work from home concept.
As previously mentioned, there are a few areas I was not keen on, in particular the large numbers of PLR content floating around the site and also the fact that the content is drip fed to you. I feel that if I am paying for a service, I want to get access to the information when I want it, not when someone else says I can have it.
IMPho is a viable alternative to a site such as Wealthy Affiliate, however I do not see it as a better alternative, Wealthy Affiliate still gets a higher score card from me.