Community sites are big business no matter what the niche is. If you want to learn something, being amongst your peers is an excellent way to do it. On the flip side, if you want to make decent money, having a quality membership site is the way to go.
AffCoach.com revolves around its community of new and experienced internet marketers and its aim is to promote networking and learning enabling you to become a proficient online entrepreneur.
The site is an amalgamation of 4 older sites, with a fresh lick of paint and new content.
AffCoach has a trial period of $1 buck for 14 days which is a fairly good time to get to grips with their site and have a good look around. After that though, it is a fairly steep $67 per month.
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One surprising thing, for me at least, is that the sign up process included no upsells whatsoever.
A lot of internet marketing guides, even the monthly fee ones, lack one thing, and that is the community. AffCoach is definitely the opposite of this focusing heavily on its members.
Although at first glance it doesn’t look like it, the entire site revolves around the forum, with most of the content living there.
The site consists of 6 sections:
An activity stream of the latest forum posts, for an at a glance check of what’s going on today.
There didn’t seem to be much in the way of news here as such, but a lengthy post about getting started, outlining 9 steps, form the basics like introducing yourself, up to digging into the training.
The “heart and soul” of the site, the forum is the place to ask questions, find training and discuss aspects of the different areas within the industry.
A lot of people have said to me recently that forums are dead and that they are an archaic way of communicating in this modern world.
Well I disagree.
If the form is managed correctly and if there are other elements available to you aside from the forum, then they can make an excellent tool for learning.
Just look at how many forums exist, and look at how active a lot of them are. While forums aren’t perfect, I can’t see them disappearing any time soon.
The AffCoach site hasn’t been up that long but, as of writing, there are already 827 posts across 5 forums in just over a month of being online.
Although about half of those are by the site admin, it does show there is interest and engagement in the community.
The community is widely dispersed ranging from the States to the UK, Dubai, Singapore and beyond, meaning there will be a wealth of different view points available.
On top of that there is access to the 4 older sites, which contain thousands of posts; a rough count being over 26,700.
Of course that’s a lot of content, and most is likely to be outdated now, but it could be useful as a data mine (gathering specific information from large sources of data).
The forums posts are wide ranging of course, and the admin, Mr. Aff Coach himself, is very involved and seems to be responding quickly and with clarity.
Designed to be more of a public diary (well that was what blogs were made for!) than anything else, it is another way to communicate and discuss your hopes, fears, success and failures with the rest of the community.
As mentioned the training is also built into the forums, but this in itself isn’t a handicap as they have their own listing plus you can search for training by keyword.
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Currently there is just under 100 training resource, but only a handful of these are new, with the majority stemming from the older sites.
Obviously that is likely to change as this new site is only a month or so old.
Taking the newest training, you have a mixed bag of content:
- Facebook add an optin form
- Direct Linking with LeadImpact
- Bing Ads Mastery
- Introduction to CPA Marketing
- Mobile Media buying with Buzzcity
- Youtube Marketing
The training is a mix of PDF downloads and videos, some have obviously been made by the site owners, some are obviously brought in from outside. Either way the quality is reasonable to good.
The older content, as mentioned, can be somewhat out of date, but there are lessons to be learnt here still.
The problem is that as the articles are pulled from the old sites they haven’t been modified to mention if they are still good or not.
For example, the 8th training in the list is about Article Marketing and goes on to discuss about sending articles to places like EzineArticles, which after the Google Panda update is virtually worthless and a probable waste of your time, but there isn’t anything to tell someone new that, and to me that’s a problem.
Other content there is still viable, but you really could end up barking up the wrong tree unless you are confident enough to get on the forums and discuss the issues, which not everyone will.
Every membership site needs tools! I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but there are around 16 tools that can assist you with different things including: PPV spy tool, keyword tools, polling tools and landing site generators.
I did come across one that wasn’t working, but I’m willing to call it teething troubles.
I didn’t partake in this, but there is also 1 on 1 coaching sessions available via the forums which seem to be included in the monthly fee and are not visible to other members.
The Bottom Line: Is AffCoach.com a Scam?
Is AffCoach a scam? No, it isn’t.
It is a young site in some ways, and it can potentially offer a vibrant community with a wealth of knowledge.
I do have a few concerns with it though. Firstly is the lack of direction as although you get a 9 step introduction, there really isn’t anything that say, “OK, go here, start with getting a site” etc. As such, I’m not 100% sure this is suitable for absolute beginners, but people with some idea and intermediates may fare better.
Secondly is the older content, it just really needs someone to go through it and mark it as relevant or just delete the less relevant/potentially site damaging ones.
Thirdly is the cost. It’s expensive. There are other internet marketing training solutions out there that are more affordable with just as much content, possibly more, which is just as up to date or maybe more so.
However, AffCoach is one to watch. With some time and so long as there is more effort put into the training I think it could well become a serious contender in the internet marketing learning niche.