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Affiliate Marketing Mastery Review 2020

15 things to know about Stefan James' affiliate marketing course

stefan james laptop

Welcome to my Affiliate Marketing Mastery review for 2020.

I recently spent 10+ hours researching Stefan James’ premium affiliate marketing training, so you don’t have to.

If you want to know:

  • What Affiliate Marketing Mastery is all about
  • If it’s legit or a scam
  • How to get the best price
  • If students are actually getting results
  • What skeletons are in Stefan James’ closet

Then you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s get started.

Affiliate Marketing Mastery – Key Points
  About

A popular affiliate marketing course from Stefan James of Project Life Mastery.

💰  Price

One payment of $997 or three payments of $397 (discount info)

😍  Pros

Seems like a decent intro to digital marketing, 30-day refund policy.

😩  Cons

Few successful students, skeletons in Stefan’s closet, questionable marketing.

  Verdict

Possibly of value to big Stefan James fans, but likely overpriced and underwhelming for everyone else.

Overall Rating
1.5/5

About the Author

Niall Doherty

Hey, I’m Niall Doherty.

I quit my last 9-to-5 job back in 2010.

Since then, I’ve earned my living online doing a variety of things:

  • Blogging
  • Web design
  • Online courses
  • Advertising
  • Ebooks
  • Affiliate marketing

I’ve bought and reviewed many online courses over the years, ranging in price from free to $3600.

Some of those courses were excellent (see my top picks here).

And some were not so great.

Unfortunately, I have to put Affiliate Marketing Mastery in the latter category

Table Of Contents

What is Affiliate Marketing Mastery?

Affiliate Marketing Mastery is an online course by Stefan James that promises to teach you how to make money online via affiliate marketing.

affiliate marketing master box art

Affiliate Marketing Mastery was created in 2016.

Here’s how the course is described on a sales page:

affiliate marketing mastery description

While that sales page makes some big promises, it seems the course itself struggles to live up to them 😕

How can you make money with Affiliate Marketing Mastery?

You don’t make money directly from Affiliate Marketing Mastery. Instead, the program lays out a system you can use to make money online. Specifically, it teaches you how to:

  • Find other people’s products that you can promote
  • Market those products in a variety of ways
  • Convert those marketing leads into sales
  • Collect a commission for each sale

Selling other people’s products and collecting a commission is called affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing can be done with organic (free) or paid traffic.

Affiliate Marketing Mastery has training for both methods.

When successful, affiliate marketing with free traffic looks like this, using the Amazon affiliate program as an example:

How Affiliate marketing works

And here’s an example of affiliate marketing using paid traffic:

how affiliate marketing works

It seems AMM mostly teaches you free traffic generation…

…but there is paid traffic training within the course also (eg. Facebook ads training).

Here’s a video from Stefan James that provides a good overview of the approach to affiliate marketing he teaches within AMM…

Who is Stefan James?

Stefan James – full name Stefan James Pylarinos – is an entrepreneur from Vancouver, Canada and the creator of Affiliate Marketing Mastery.

Stefan’s primary brand and business is Project Life Mastery, which has more than a million combined followers on social media.

It seems Stefan has built quite a successful business over the years.

This article on Entrepreneur.com notes that he earns millions of dollars per year:

stefan james entrepreneur earnings net worth
Note that the above article from Entrepreneur.com appears to be sponsored content.
It’s possible that Stefan James commissioned the piece himself, a la Tai Lopez.

As of this writing, Stefan is living in a fancy apartment in Panama City:

Best I can piece together, Stefan’s first business was as a dating coach, and he’s been making significant income online since at least 2013…

stefan james 2013 income
Source: $10,000 per month! (WarriorForum.com)

Stefan has also reported earning significant income over the years from ecommerce and online courses…

While Stefan James does have a large and adoring fan base, he’s also been the target of significant criticism, most notably regarding his Kindle publishing business.

More on that below.

Is Affiliate Marketing Mastery legit or a scam?

Affiliate Marketing Mastery looks to be a genuine course with tons of content, an active community, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. In that sense, it certainly isn’t a scam.

You’ll find the occasional student of AMM writing positive things about the course:

affiliate marketing mastery testimonial
Source: youtube.com

That said, I did find some noteworthy issues with the training, such as:

I cover those problems and more below.

But here’s the main reason I’ve given Affiliate Marketing Mastery such a low rating for this review: it seems very few AMM students actually go on to become successful affiliate marketers.

There are notable exceptions, of course, but I would have expected to see far more success stories given the popularity of the program and the high price point.

Here’s how Affiliate Marketing Mastery compares to other popular affiliate marketing courses I’ve reviewed…

Course Rating Review
Authority Hacker's TASS 4.6/5 Authority Hacker review
Income School's Project 24 4/5 Project 24 review
Commission Hero 2.6/5 Commission Hero review
Udemy affiliate marketing courses 2/5 Udemy affiliate marketing courses review
Affiliate Marketing Mastery 1.5/5 Affiliate Marketing Mastery review
Affilorama 1.5/5 Affilorama review
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing 1.5/5 Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review
Wealthy Affiliate 1/5 Wealthy Affiliate review
Six Figure Mentors 0.7/5 Six Figure Mentors review
ClickBank University 0.5/5 ClickBank University review
Super Affiliate System 0.5/5 Super Affiliate System review
See all the affiliate marketing courses we've reviewed »

Affiliate Marketing Mastery Price + Discount Info

Affiliate Marketing Mastery usually costs $997. There is also a payment plan option, where you can buy the course for 3 monthly payments of $397.

I’ve read numerous reports that AMM cost $1997 when it was first released in 2016, so the price has been cut in half since then.

Note that with the payment plan you’ll end up spending $194 more for the same thing.

So if you do want to sign up, the one-time payment is the better way to go.

Affiliate Marketing Mastery Discount

Stefan James does occasionally run special offers on his courses.

For example, here’s one he ran at the end of 2019 for an additional $247 discount on AMM…

affiliate marketing mastery discount
Source: Boxing Week Sale (projectlifemastery.com)

That discount was only supposed to last a few days, but as of this writing it looks like the offer is still good so you might be in luck.

(If you find that the above discount isn’t available anymore, please drop a comment below so I can update this review.)

PRAISE FOR AFFILIATE MARKETING MASTERY 👍

Stefan James seems to have genuinely helped many people

Stefan James has built a large fanbase online, and it’s not hard to find comments from his followers saying they find his content to be hugely inspirational and motivational.

Here’s a popular video on Stefan’s YouTube channel:

You’ll find comments such as the following in response to that video:

stefan james praise 1
stefan james praise 2
stefan james praise 3
stefan james praise 4

Here’s another video from Stefan, this one about overcoming social anxiety…

Typical comments in response to that:

stefan james praise 5
stefan james praise 6
stefan james priase 7

Go to any of the 1000+ videos Stefan has posted on his YouTube channel and you’re likely to find similar comments.

Given that, it’s clear that Stefan regularly offers tips and strategies that many people find useful for living a better life.

He seems especially adept at motivating and inspiring his audience…

stefan james praise 8

Stefan has also used his success to help fund charity projects, like this one where he helped build a school in Kenya…

Decent introduction to digital marketing

If you’re looking for a broad introduction to digital marketing, Stefan’s AMM course will likely serve you well.

Note that I wrote digital marketing rather than affiliate marketing.

That’s because the course covers a wide variety of topics, many of them beyond what I’d expect to find in an affiliate marketing course.

Overall, the impression I get is that the AMM training is broad rather than deep.

As a student, you’re likely to come away having learned the basics of many different topics related to digital marketing.

Given that, perhaps a better name for the program would be Digital Marketing Competency.

(Also: I’m not convinced the price of the program justifies the level of training. More on that below.)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Affiliate Marketing Mastery has a 30-day refund policy, and I’ve found no reports of students being unable to get a refund.

Some affiliate marketing courses I’ve reviewed don’t give refunds – eg. Income School’s Project 24 – and others make it difficult to claim a refund – eg. Commission Hero – but AMM seems solid in this regard.

As far as I can tell, you just need to ask for the refund within 30 days of your purchase and they’ll give it to you, no questions asked.

CRITICISMS OF AFFILIATE MARKETING MASTERY 👎

Underwhelming Testimonials

A handful of AMM students seem to be making very good money doing affiliate marketing, but the vast majority of the testimonials for the course inspire little confidence that the training is effective.

At least 1,700 people have signed up for Affiliate Marketing Mastery over the years, but I’ve only managed to find 6 graduates who I’d consider successful affiliate marketers:

(I’ve seen screenshot proof of earnings from only one of those six, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.)

Every other student testimonial or earnings screenshot I’ve seen has been underwhelming.

For example, Stefan shows several screenshots throughout his AMM promo webinar, none of which can be considered impressive…

affiliate marketing mastery testimonials 2
Forgive the poor quality of these screenshots: this is how they appear on Stefan’s webinar, even while watching in HD.
affiliate marketing mastery testimonials 3
affiliate marketing mastery testimonials 4

Upon close inspection of those low-quality images, you find students reporting such accomplishments as:

  • First $50 commission
  • $5000 commissions in 3 years (about $138 per month)
  • About to launch something, but no earnings yet.
  • First $1 in affiliate income
  • Starting to get traffic to their website
  • Affiliate earnings of about $1400 after a year
  • Earnings of $300 in one month via YouTube
  • First few dollars earned on Amazon

Hey, I like to celebrate small wins as much as the next guy, but are those really the best success stories Stefan has to show from his students??

Apparently so, because he hardly shows any better on the sales page for Affiliate Marketing Mastery

affiliate marketing mastery testimonials 5

I found 16 testimonial videos on that sales page and researched them all.

My findings:

  • 3 are testimonials from non-students (Dan Lok, John Crestani, Mike Thomas)
  • 2 are from students who could be considered successful (Steve Raiken, Victoria Strong)
  • And 11 are from students who apparently haven’t had much success online.

Take Philip, for example:

Seems like a nice guy, but he recorded that testimonial back in 2016 and four years later I found his website almost empty and saw he had only 58 total followers across 4 social media accounts.

Then there’s Jenine:

She also seems nice, and her testimonial was also recorded back in 2016, but it looks like her website was abandoned that same year and the only social media account I found for her (Twitter) had a grand total of 5 followers.

Not sure about you, but the #1 thing I want to know about a course is if many students are achieving success with it.

Unfortunately, judging by the testimonials and screenshots Stefan James highlights in his webinar and on the course sales page, the vast majority of Affiliate Marketing Mastery students end up achieving very little.

This is in stark contrast to affiliate marketing courses like The Authority Site System, Project 24 and Commission Hero, all of which show far more – and far more impressive – examples of students succeeding with their training.

Skeletons in Stefan’s Closet

In December 2019 a series of YouTube videos claimed that Stefan James has a history of selling fake medical cures online. Stefan seems to be aware of the criticism but has yet to address it.

The first video:

The video description on YouTube:

Recently an anonymous tip led me to discover Stefan James of Project Life Mastery’s start in ecommerce / making money online. He sold dubious cure systems through a network of pen names and marketed them as 3-day cures. He claimed to be a 5 year medical researcher of these diseases, some of them incurable and all but promised results to desperate sick people for the low price of $37.

The second video:

The claims made in those videos are pretty shocking on their own.

But perhaps even more shocking was Stefan James’ response…

In short, instead of actually addressing the criticism, Stefan brushed it off as “a few haters out there… spreading false information and attempting to defame me.”

Meanwhile, the creator of the videos (Coffeezilla) has stated multiple times that James is welcome to correct the record if any of the claims are untrue…

coffezilla stefan james invitation

I take Coffeezilla at his word there, since he did acknowledge and correct multiple errors I alerted him to in a video he made about Sam Ovens (see here).

Regardless, to the best of my knowledge, Stefan James STILL hasn’t addressed the criticism.

It looks like he even deleted this popular comment from his YouTube channel…

stefan james youtube explanation request
Source: screenshot from the 6:38 mark of the 3rd Coffeezilla video above.
This comment can no longer be found below Stefan’s YouTube post alluding to the criticism.

I fact-checked Coffeezilla’s evidence myself and couldn’t find any holes in it.

During my research I even found this old forum post by Stefan showing that a Google Adwords account for his “remedy website” had been flagged and disabled for “unacceptable business practices”…

But Stefan’s silence on this matter is the main reason I’m inclined to believe the accusations are true – if it was simply a big misunderstanding, surely he’d be able to prove so easily.

All that said, you could argue that none of the above criticisms should be a knock on Stefan’s AMM course. Maybe he did make a lot of money selling bad information in the past, but then decided to change his ways and produced a legit affiliate marketing training program.

Are you willing to give him the benefit of the doubt?

Or does all the above leave you hesitant to buy anything Stefan James is selling?

Let me know via the comments below.

Questionable Marketing

While Stefan James comes across very likeable and genuine in his videos, there are some questionable elements to the way he markets AMM and other programs.

Three examples…

“Affiliate marketing is the easiest and simplest way to make money online”

Stefan makes this claim about 30 minutes into his promo webinar for Affiliate Marketing Mastery:

stefan james affiliate marketing simple easy 1

As of this writing, I’ve been working online for 10 years myself and have been doing affiliate marketing for 1.5 years.

And while my affiliate earnings are now up to $4000/month, it certainly hasn’t been easy to achieve. I’ve worked harder the past 18 months than I did at any previous business or 9-to-5 job.

Regardless, later in his webinar, Stefan gives an example of how “easy” affiliate marketing is:

stefan james affiliate marketing simple easy 2

What he downplays here is that he was sending that email to almost 60,000 subscribers and had more than 2000 of them click through to see the offer he was promoting.

Make no mistake: building that big an email list, and gaining that much trust from your subscribers, takes a TON of work!

Only AFTER you’ve done that immense amount of work might you be able to sit on a beach, knock out an email in five minutes, and see $1000’s in affiliate commissions pour in.

Later still in Stefan’s webinar, he shows the following on-screen while saying, “that’s not that hard to do.”

stefan james affiliate marketing simple easy 3

Actually, that is hard to do.

Collecting a $500 commission usually means selling a $1000 product, and selling a $1000 product over the internet ain’t easy.

(I managed to do it only four times in my first 18 months as an affiliate marketer.)

So when Stefan tells you that affiliate marketing is an easy way to make money online, be skeptical.

You should also be skeptical when he tells you it only takes 3-5 hours per week to build a successful affiliate business:

In reality:

Stefan’s 60-second quiz

You’ll find this quiz on Stefan’s website:

stefan james online business quiz 1

I took the quiz four times.

Despite selecting different answers each time through, three times my result looked like this:

stefan james online business quiz 2

And a fourth time my result looked like this:

stefan james online business quiz 3

A commenter on YouTube experienced similar:

stefan james online business quiz 4
Source: youtube.com

It seems everybody gets recommended one of those two business models no matter what, even though there are many more options available.

But what I found especially interesting about the quiz was that it recommended either Affiliate Marketing or Amazon FBA for me even when I specified that I was desperate to earn money as soon as possible…

stefan james online business quiz 5

Despite that, Stefan ended up recommending that I pursue online business models that (a) are unlikely to earn me any significant income for SEVERAL MONTHS and (b) require that I actually SPEND a significant amount of money to get started.

His Affiliate Marketing recommendation points you towards his Masterclass webinar, where he pitches you his $997 course.

And his Amazon FBA recommendation points you towards a $4997 program that he’s an affiliate for:

Amazing Selling Machine checkout price

In general, I take no issue with Stefan promoting expensive products.

But recommending those products to people who explicitly state that they are “broke, desperate and impatient” is insensitive at best.

At worst, it’s highly unethical.

The Affiliate Marketing Mastery “Masterclass”

Stefan regularly recommends people check out his free affiliate marketing “Masterclass”…

stefan james affiliate marketing webinar promise

He often refers to this as a “live” Masterclass.

On the registration page it says “Only Available For A Limited Time,” and after registration you’re told that there will be no recordings…

stefan james affiliate marketing webinar no recordings

The truth is that the video you end up watching is pre-recorded – the version I watched was more than a year old – and repeated automatically every 15 minutes using a software called WebinarJam.

Oh, and Stefan emails you the recording 48 hours later 🙄

stefan james affiliate marketing webinar replay

But that’s not really a big deal: so many internet marketers use evergreen webinars these days that it’s par for the course.

What bothered me was that the “Masterclass” ran for almost 3.5 hours and contained very little practical information to help you get started with affiliate marketing.

Instead, Stefan spends most of the webinar showcasing his own success and the success of a few other big-time affiliate marketers, then pitching you his $997 affiliate marketing course.

stefan james affiliate marketing webinar start pitch
Start of the pitch for Stefan’s course during his free “Masterclass”

Sitting through that 3.5 hour webinar is not a bad way to spend your time if you really like listening to Stefan James and want to know a little more about his course.

But if it’s free training you’re after, you’re better off checking out this list of free affiliate marketing resources.

Overpriced Training

Given the above issues with Stefan James and his course, a price of $997 for Affiliate Marketing Mastery seems quite steep.

This is the criticism I’ve heard most often about the course, and the price of AMM doesn’t compare favorably to popular alternatives.

Even students who like the program think it costs too much…

affiliate marketing mastery testimonial
Source: youtube.com

It’s also worth noting that students are advised to spend more money on various tools and services after they’ve signed up for Affiliate Marketing Mastery.

But this isn’t made clear on the course sales page:

affiliate marketing mastery extra cost

There’s no mention there of paid tools like Aweber ($29/month) and Leadpages ($25/month) that Stefan recommends in the training.

And of course you’ll need to buy hosting and a domain if you want to set up your own website.

Pretty much every affiliate marketing course will advise you to invest money in similar products and services, but it’s nice when they tell you that BEFORE you buy the program. 

Like Authority Hacker do on the sales page for their affiliate marketing course (reviewed here):

WRAP UP

What exactly is included in the course?

You’ll find 7 core modules and 50+ video lessons inside Affiliate Marketing Mastery, as well as ~30 bonus lessons. You also get access to a private Facebook group when you join.

From the 6:00 mark of this video, one of Stefan’s students shows us the inside of the program:

(Btw, I researched the creator of that video and he doesn’t appear to have had much success as an affiliate marketer. So best take his super-positive recommendation of AMM with a pinch of salt.)

Lesson pages inside the course look like this:

affiliate marketing mastery lesson page 1

I’ve seen six of the video lessons inside Affiliate Marketing Mastery. The lessons seem to range from 10-40 minutes and the content is decent.

When you join AMM you also get access to a private Facebook group:

affiliate marketing mastery facebook group 1

The group looks to be quite active and almost 3 new people are joining each day…

affiliate marketing mastery facebook group 1

Are Stefan’s students actually getting results?

I’ve found little evidence that Affiliate Marketing Mastery regularly produces successful students.

As noted above, during my research I found only 6 students of the course who I would consider to be successful affiliate marketers.

Given that more than 1,700 people have joined the program, I would have expected to see way more success stories if the training was truly effective.

Instead, the majority of Stefan’s testimonials seem to be from students who just started his course and have yet to earn any affiliate income.

Like Meghan here:

Key quote:

“I’m super happy I got the course. I haven’t started monetizing yet…”

And most of the screenshots Stefan shows you from AMM students depict accomplishments that are either minor or unrelated to affiliate marketing.

For example:

affiliate marketing mastery testimonials 3
Screenshot from Stefan’s AMM promo webinar. Forgive the low quality, but that’s how the images appear on the webinar, even while watching in HD.

Best I can make out, those students are reporting the following accomplishments:

  • $46k earned in two years from selling their own ebook (not affiliate income)
  • Announcing a new website launching in 7 days
  • First ever affiliate commission (amount unknown)
  • First $1 earned as an affiliate
  • Starting to get organic traffic to blog and YouTube channel

I don’t mean to belittle the accomplishments of those students – fair play to them for making progress – but I’d expect Stefan to have far better “success stories” to show us if his training was truly effective.

Who should join Affiliate Marketing Mastery?

I’d only recommend joining this program if you’re a big fan of Stefan James and would like him to teach you the basics of digital marketing.

Personally though, I think there are too many red flags with this program to justify investing any significant time or money in it.

Especially when there are so many better and cheaper options available…

Better Alternatives To Affiliate Marketing Mastery

I’ve reviewed several other affiliate marketing courses that I’d consider better alternatives to AMM.

You can see the full list in the table below.

Two courses in particular are likely to be of interest to readers of this review:

Here’s the full list of affiliate marketing courses I’ve reviewed to date:

Course Rating Review
Authority Hacker's TASS 4.6/5 Authority Hacker review
Income School's Project 24 4/5 Project 24 review
Commission Hero 2.6/5 Commission Hero review
Udemy affiliate marketing courses 2/5 Udemy affiliate marketing courses review
Affiliate Marketing Mastery 1.5/5 Affiliate Marketing Mastery review
Affilorama 1.5/5 Affilorama review
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing 1.5/5 Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review
Wealthy Affiliate 1/5 Wealthy Affiliate review
Six Figure Mentors 0.7/5 Six Figure Mentors review
ClickBank University 0.5/5 ClickBank University review
Super Affiliate System 0.5/5 Super Affiliate System review
See all the affiliate marketing courses we've reviewed »

Your Affiliate Marketing Mastery Review

Have you ever signed up for the Stefan James’ affiliate marketing course?

Please consider leaving a review below – good or bad – doesn’t matter so long as it’s helpful to our readers.

Thanks for your support!

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks Niall. Possibly the most detailed review I have ever read. For me another red flag is the brand itself. When I see someone with a brand that is way too diversified, i.e, wider rather than deeper (like PLM), it is immediately a sign of a course creator who is trying their hand at many things instead of focusing on one. Any good instructor knows the importance of a well defined niche and with PLM I always feel Stefan is a bit confused himself. I like some of his videos on self development but his lack of real expertise in a particular subject will always be something that dissuades me from buying his courses.

  2. Hey Niall, I remember when the course was released in 2016, I was new to this whole MMO thing and very naive. Spent all my money on that course lol, only to get cold feet and regret it.

    Luckily he refunded me, albeit reluctantly.

    I have to say, the guy is very shady. Quite the con artist. After the course incident I was very involved in the Kindle publishing scene and there its’ widely known that Stefans ”K Money Mastery” course, which he still pushes, doesn’t work.

    He may be good with self-dev but make money online advice, not so much.

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