Clickbank university sealThis is the ultimate ClickBank University review for 2019.

We recently spent 20+ hours reviewing the premium training materials for the popular affiliate marketing course known as ClickBank University.

If you want to know:

  • How much the course REALLY costs
  • The dirty tricks they use to sell it
  • ClickBank’s fundamental flaw
  • Why so many students complain about CBU
  • The only two good things about the program

Then you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s get started.

ClickBank University – Key Points
  About

ClickBank’s official training program to help affiliates and vendors succeed on the platform.

💰  Price

Starts at $47/month (upsell and discount info)

😍  Pros

They honor their refund policy and donate a portion of profits to charity.

😩  Cons

Practically everything else. (Seriously, this course sucks.)

  Verdict

The worst affiliate marketing course we’ve seen, and a borderline scam.

Overall Rating
0.5/5

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
  • Advertising
  • Online courses
  • Ebooks

At the end of 2018, I decided to focus on affiliate marketing.

Several months later – when I began writing this review – I was already earning more than $1000/month in affiliate commissions.

Affiliate Payments may oct
Total affiliate payments received in six months (May-Oct 2019). See my finance reports for latest earnings.

All that to say: I already knew a thing or two about making money online and affiliate marketing when I signed up to ClickBank University.

Table Of Contents

This review is a joint effort between Niall Doherty of eBiz Facts and Conor Walsh of Nomad Africa.

Our process:

  1. We joined ClickBank University in October 2019.
  2. We went through the course materials and took more than 170 pages of notes (seriously)
  3. Niall looked through the CBU community, and tested out the live support chat.
  4. We discussed our impressions of the course, what we liked, what we didn’t like, etc.
  5. We agreed that ClickBank University was NOT a good course and we would NOT recommend it to others.
  6. Niall searched online for other reviews of the course to see if there were any key points we missed.
  7. Niall wrote a first draft of this review.
  8. We sent the draft to our Freedom Business Builder community and asked for feedback.
  9. We made our final edits and published the review.
  10. We sent the review to ClickBank University and asked if they had any comments or corrections.

Note: We may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through referral links in this review. Read our full disclosure here.

What is ClickBank?

ClickBank is an oft-criticized online marketplace where you can find digital products to promote as an affiliate, or list your own digital products for other affiliates to find and promote.

ClickBank homepage

ClickBank has been around since the early days of the internet.

Per Wikipedia:

ClickBank wikipedia history

However, it looks like ClickBank has been on the decline in recent years – more on this below – and Wikipedia notes that the company has received quite a lot of criticism:

ClickBank wikipedia criticism

What is ClickBank University?

“ClickBank University is ClickBank’s own high converting offer to help customers find more success with our platform as both an affiliate and as a vendor.”

That description comes from an affiliate sign-up page for ClickBank University.

ClikBank university logo dark

Best I can tell, CBU was first released in March of 2014. 3

ClickBank University 2.0 seems to have been released in 2016. 4

Is ClickBank University legit or a scam?

We found that ClickBank University 2.0 failed to live up to the hype, so we do not consider it a legit training program for people who want to make money online.

However, we’ll stop short of calling CBU an outright scam, for one primary reason: they do give refunds to unhappy students.

Here at eBiz Facts, we’re on a mission to review all the top affiliate marketing courses.

Our progress so far:

Course Rating Review
Authority Hacker’s TASS 4.5/5 Authority Hacker review
Income School’s Project 24 4/5 Project 24 review
Udemy affiliate marketing courses 2/5 Udemy affiliate marketing courses 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
ClickBank University 0.5/5 ClickBank University review
See all the affiliate marketing courses we’ve reviewed (best free training included) »

I’ll detail the main problems with CBU below, and you’ll find details on how to request a refund here.

How much does it cost to join ClickBank University?

The only price mentioned on the ClickBank University sales page is $47 per month, but the true cost of CBU is more like $215 per month.

That’s because of the many hidden costs of ClickBank University, detailed below.

Additional info related to the price of the course:

  • Is ClickBank University free?
    No, there is no free version of ClickBank University. You can only get access to the training by paying $47 per month.
  • Is there a ClickBank University discount?
    I’ve searched high and low for a discount or coupon code but have yet to find mention of one anywhere, and there’s no place to enter a discount code on the CBU checkout.​

If you’re looking to save money on CBU, I’d suggest you simply not buy it.

Because it’s really not good.

Justin Atlan, Adam Horwitz, Milana Kalimullova

The three main “faces” you’ll see inside ClickBank University are Justin Atlan, Adam Horwitz, and Milana Kalimullova.

ClickBank university Justin Adam Milana

Justin Atlan

Justin is one of the founders of ClickBank University and teaches the Vendor track inside the program.

Here he is introducing himself on YouTube:

That video highlights two BIG issues with Justin:

  • He often makes claims without citing sources
  • Many of his claims can’t be verified

For example, there was no citation for this quote:

Justin Atlan obscure quote

I googled the quote and it seems to originate from esharktech.com, a website so obscure that Alexa.com has no data for it and Ahrefs reports it as having ZERO organic traffic.

In other words, the quote comes from the online equivalent of a smelly homeless dude who has no friends.

Justin also says in that video:

“My company’s been able to generate 8 figures on ClickBank.”

This may well be true, but I’ve never seen any evidence to confirm it. No earnings screenshots, nothing.

“We were written up in Business Insider, Yahoo! Finance, CNN Money, and a bunch more.”

I’ve searched long and hard for a “write up” of Justin Atlan or his company – SJA Media, according to his LinkedIn profile – on those websites.

All I’ve found is one neutral mention of him on a subsite of Business Insider:

Justin Atlan business insider mention
Source: Megan Mann Appointed Director, General Manager of ClickBank University

Another claim from Justin in the video:

”Probably the coolest thing is being flown out to the White House and named as the top 100 young entrepreneur in the USA by the Impact 100 Awards. That was quite an experience.”

Turns out the Impact 100 Awards are a thing, but I haven’t been able to find ANY confirmation that Justin ever received such an award, or that he was named as a top 100 young entrepreneur in the USA.

Indeed, Justin is very much an enigma online, and what little information you can gather about him seems to come from the man himself, either directly, or via CBU affiliates repeating his unsubstantiated claims.

Justin has been active on his personal Instagram account and YouTube channel over the years, but less so since 2016.

Justin Atlan instragram
Justin’s Instagram

Overall, the impression I get is that Justin Atlan has made himself a lot of money online, mainly through affiliate marketing on ClickBank and by selling ClickBank University and associated products.

But I’ve yet to find any credible person or organization outside of ClickBank to vouch for him 😕

(If you know of one, please share a link in the comments.)

Adam Horwitz

Adam is another co-founder of ClickBank University and teaches the Affiliate track inside the program.

Adam also makes many lofty claims, but his are easier to verify…

Adam Horwitz cnn money
May 2011 feature on Adam at CNN Money (source)
Adam Horwitz business insider
September 2010 mention of Adam at Business Insider (source)
Adam Howitz
May 2013 feature of Adam at Inc (source)

According to one interview, Adam first started making money online selling chicken coops as an affiliate…

Adam Horwitz chicken coops
Source: Adam Horwitz Interview, 6 Figure Secrets Of A Teenage Affiliate Marketer (Income Diary)

In Week 1 of the CBU Affiliate training, Adam mentions that he was 15 years old “about nine years ago,” which would mark him at about 24 years of age when he recorded the ClickBank University 2.0 training videos.

From what I’ve been able to piece together, Adam’s career progression has gone like this:

  • He first started making money online at age 15, selling chicken coops as an affiliate.
  • In his late teens, Adam started creating and selling online courses teaching people how to make money online. The most profitable of these was called Mobile Monopoly, which apparently earned him $1.5 million in 3 days.
Mobile monopoly homepage
How the now-defunct MobileMonopoly.com looked soon after launch in August 2010 (via the Wayback Machine).
  • Other such courses released by Adam around that time include Tycoon Cashflow, CellPhone Treasure, and Dude I Hate My Job. As of this writing, none of them seem to be available anymore.
  • Adam co-founded and released the first version of ClickBank University in 2014, followed by CBU 2.0 in 2016.
  • Adam has built up a significant following on Instagram over the years. His account features scenes of tropical locations and female body parts…
Adam Horwitz insagram
Adam’s Instagram
  • As of 2019, Adam seems to have turned all his attention to marketing a venture called Wolves Talent, aimed at helping influencers monetize their content. Here’s a promo video for a free “Wolves Workshop”…

Given all the above, Adam seems much more credible than Justin.

However, when you search for reviews of the courses that Adam has created in the past – Mobile Monopoly, etc. – they’re mostly negative 😕

Mobile monopoly review
Source: StoppingScams.com review of Mobile Monopoly 2.0
Cell phone treasure review
Source: Warrior Forum

This hints at something that became apparent to me as I went through ClickBank University:

Adam and Justin are both excellent salespeople, adept at convincing you to sign up for their programs. But once you’ve paid for entry, their training tends to fall flat.

Milana Kalimullova / Milana Atlan

You’ll see Milana in the sales and welcome videos for ClickBank University.

She also presents a module inside the training called Market & Customer Research, where she introduces herself as working “behind the scenes on both the product and user experience” at CBU.

Here she is in a public video on CBU’s YouTube channel:

I haven’t found much info about Milana online outside of her Instagram and LinkedIn accounts.

Some highlights:

  • She graduated with a BA in Economics from UC Irvine (2009-2012).
  • Milana’s been employed as a marketing research intern, a business development intern, and an affiliate manager, most recently in October 2012.
  • She and Justin were married in 2018:
Milana Kalimullova instagram
Source: instagram.com/milanahhh

How is ClickBank University structured?

ClickBank University consists of two core training tracks – Affiliate and Vendor – and several bonus sections.

Once you’ve signed up for ClickBank University, you get access to a library of training materials:

ClickBank university library

You’ll find the core training listed under “CBU 2.0”

That core training is divided into two tracks: Affiliate and Vendor.

Affiliate Track

  • Taught by Adam
  • 8 weeks of training
  • For people who want to learn affiliate marketing (ie how to earn money by promoting other people’s products).

Vendor Track

  • Taught by Justin
  • 12 weeks of training
  • For people who want to create and sell their own digital products.

Important note: this ClickBank University review is primarily a review of the Affiliate Track, but you’ll see some notes on the Vendor Track below as well.

Justin says in the sales video for CBU that 90% of students choose the Affiliate Track, and that the Affiliate Track is the easier of the two.

Here’s how the Affiliate Track is laid out:

ClickBank university affiliate track

CLICKBANK UNIVERSITY REVIEW – Reasons Why CBU Sucks

Same Day? No Way.

Three times in the sales video you are told that you can make money on ClickBank the same day you sign up for CBU – the same claim is written on the sales page – but this is practically impossible.

Here are the three relevant snippets from the ClickBank University sales video:

And here’s the text from the sales page:

ClickBank university affiliate same day

Having gone through the training, I can’t see how this is possible, short of students getting extremely lucky, or having lots of affiliate marketing experience prior to joining CBU.

And here’s why: as soon as you sign up for CBU, you’re strongly advised to “pace yourself” and go through the training one week at a time.

Follow that advice, and by the end of week 3 you’ll have learned how to “pick the perfect product” to sell as an affiliate, but you won’t have received ANY training on how to promote that product.

Of course, you could do what I did and speed through all 8 weeks of the affiliate training in a single day – it’s less than 3 hours to watch all the videos, back-to-back – but even after all that you’re STILL left ill-equipped to actually go and earn money on ClickBank.

Because, as you’ll see below, the CBU training is incredibly vague and full of holes.

Bait and Switch

The only price mentioned on the ClickBank University sales page is $47 per month, but as soon as you sign up and pay that much, you’re immediately told you need to spend another $594 for a product essential to the training.

It’s actually worse than that, because you’re told EXPLICITLY in the CBU sales video that access to the program WON’T cost you hundreds of dollars, and that there are “virtually no technical barriers” to your success…

Then, literally right after you’ve gone through the checkout and paid your $47, you’re hit with an upsell page for something called the ClickBank Builder.

ClickBank university upsell
(You can see the above upsell page via this link without having to go through the checkout.)

And guess what?

You’re told in the video on that upsell page that the tech barrier “destroys so many dreams and ambitions,” but hey, no worries, because they’ve got a handy $594 solution for you…

That’s a blatant, disgusting and despicable bait and switch right there.

But hey, you can simply choose NOT to buy the Builder and move on the training you already paid for, right?

Yes, you can, by clicking the teeny-tiny “no thanks” link on the upsell page, as highlighted below:

ClickBank university upsell skip link

But here’s the thing:

If you DON’T buy the ClickBank Builder, you can’t follow the core training.

Because the only way they teach you how to set up a squeeze page in the Affiliate track is with the ClickBank Builder.

Inevitably, this causes students to post confused and angry comments within the course:

ClickBank university complaint

ClickBank university complaint 2

ClickBank university complaint 3

(Tellingly, the CBU team never responded to any of those comments within the course, nor dozens more like them.)

They Try To Upsell You 3 Times

You’ll be subjected to three separate upsells after joining ClickBank University.

You’ve seen the first above. It’s an upsell for ClickBank Builder.

Click the tiny “no thanks” link on that upsell and you’re offered the same product again, but with different payment options:

ClickBank university upsell 2
(You can see the above upsell page via this link without having to go through the checkout.)

Justin tells you in the video on that page that they can’t lower the price for the Builder, but they can do you a great big generous favor and “split up the cost.”

Paraphrasing:

Normally you can get the Builder for 2 payments of $297, but now you can get it for 7 payments of only $97!

Let’s do the math:

  • $297 x 2 = $594
  • $97 x 7 = $679

So if you take them up on that oh-so-generous offer, it’ll cost you even more.

Skip past that ruse and you’ll land on a third upsell page:

Clickbank university upsell 3
(You can see the above upsell page via this link without having to go through the checkout.)

This final upsell is for “advanced training” that’ll cost you an extra $97.

But, of course, they claim it’s worth far more than that…

ClickBank university price anchoring

Which reminds me of that unspecified time a whole crowd of unspecified people at an unspecified location told me I was at least as handsome as Brad Pitt.

Honest 🤞

More Shady Marketing Tactics

It’s not hard to find examples of CBU teaching and using other shady marketing tactics, such as fake scarcity, misleading subject lines, and “exclusive” offers and discounts that aren’t exclusive at all.

On that first upsell page for the ClickBank Builder, you’re told the product is only available to new students…

  • FALSE

I googled ClickBank Builder and found I could buy it here at any time.

They also tell you that the regular price of the product is $797 per year, and the $594 price is exclusive to CBU students…

  • FALSE

On the sales page I found via Google, you can buy ClickBank Builder for the same “exclusive” price offered to CBU students:

ClicBank builder regular price

To create a sense of urgency and pressure you into signing up, the CBU crew use fake countdown timers on their checkout pages.

Here’s one on the ClickBank University checkout that starts counting down from ten minutes, but I was still able to sign up long after the timer reached zero…

ClicBank university checkout countdown
I completed the checkout long after this countdown timer had expired.

This seems to be standard practice for ClickBank University.

Here’s another bundle promotion that was STILL available able to buy MORE THAN 48 HOURS after the countdown timer had expired…

ClicBank university webinar fake scarcity
Oh, the irony: Justin saying “this isn’t some sort of false scarcity” on a sales page that’s using false scarcity.

One more example of shady marketing tactics:

in Week 6 of the Affiliate training inside CBU, Adam recommends several techniques to get people to open your emails:

ClicBank unviersity subject line recommendation
Screenshot from the PDF that accompanies Adam’s video lesson

That “Re:” trick is considered a “nasty dark pattern” by Jason Fried of Basecamp:

Jason Fried tweet email subject line
Source: twitter.com/jasonfried

Unfortunately, “tricking and misleading people” seems to be CBU’s modus operandi.

Not only do they trick and mislead their students, but they happily teach those same students how to trick and mislead others.

A nasty dark pattern indeed.

Vague Content + Half-Assed Action Items

The core training videos inside ClickBank University are quite short – about 5-10 minutes each – and yet they somehow feel far too long and packed with fluff. You come away from many of them feeling like you haven’t learned anything new, specific or actionable.

For example, here’s Adam showing you how to use “a tool called Google” to learn about a topic so you can write your own content…

Here he is ending a training video with incredibly vague instructions…

In case you missed it, here’s what Adam asked you – the paying student who entrusted CBU to teach you how to build an online business – to do at the end of that core lesson:

  1. just kinda go over what we talked about this week
  2. take some notes down
  3. do some exercises
  4. play around with it

He may as well have said:

So that’s the end of this video. Now just go do whatever and I’ll see you in the next one.

Adam does this repeatedly throughout the training.

Here he is in another video telling you in 16 seconds how to create a piece of content and send it to your email list as a PDF:

I’m not cherry-picking with these examples: the vast majority of the core training is like this.

Super vague with no clear instructions for what you should do next.

Lots Of Telling, Little Showing

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Show me what you can do; don’t tell me what you can do.” Unfortunately, ClickBank University got this backwards.

The CBU Affiliate track has less than 3 hours of video training spread out over 8 weeks, which is paltry enough in itself.

But the bigger issue is that ~80% of those videos are just Adam talking to the camera.

As a result, many actions and concepts that could be easily explained with a quick screencast are explained (poorly) with words and hand gestures.

Here’s a prime example:

As a result of this tell-don’t-show teaching, many students are left frustrated and confused:

ClickBank university student complaints

Come to think of it, ClickBank University is actually a fitting name for the course.

Because much like a traditional university, they focus far more on theory than practical application 🤔

Here’s the basic overview of the “system” that Adam teaches in the Affiliate track:

  • Find a product on ClickBank that you’d like to promote
  • Start an email list
  • Create a landing page to get people signed up to your email list
  • Create content for your list
  • Use paid traffic to drive people to your landing page
  • Email your list regularly (2 non-promotional emails for every 1 promotional)

Unfortunately, nowhere in the 8-week training are you shown REAL examples of landing pages, mailing list content, or ad campaigns.

I found the same issue in some of the bonus lessons, like this one about Facebook ads:

ClickBank university facebook ads

I went through that entire 90-minute lesson and saw exactly ZERO examples of REAL Facebook campaigns and their results.

That’s the CBU way.

  • An affiliate marketing course that does the complete opposite of this – ie they actually SHOW you with screencasts how to do every little thing – is The Authority Site System by Authority Hacker, reviewed here.

So. Many. Hidden. Costs.

The ClickBank University sales page leads you to believe that the program costs only $47 per month, but you’ll find many hidden costs after signing up. The true cost of CBU is more like $215 per month.

The hidden costs of ClickBank University include:

  • ClickBank Builder
    This costs $594 – or $679 total if you “split up the cost” – and you can’t follow some of the core training if you don’t have it.
ClickBank university complaint
A frustrated member of CBU commenting on a lesson about building squeeze pages, where students are only shown how to do it with ClickBank Builder.
  • Products you want to promote
    Adam notes in a Week 3 video that, “it’s not a bad idea for you to actually buy the product” you plan to promote on ClickBank.
  • Aweber
    In week 7 you are advised to sign up for Aweber, a premium email marketing software that will cost you at least $19 per month (see our Aweber pricing comparison here)
ClickBank university student mailchimp
A CBU member commenting that they’d rather use Mailchimp, an alternative to Aweber which has a forever free plan. Adam never mentions Mailchimp as an option.
  • Your own domain
    As you’ll see in the video below, students are told in week 4 of the training that part of the reason ClickBank Builder is so awesome is that you don’t need to buy a domain. Then, in week 7, you’re told you need your own domain name to use Aweber 🤦‍♀️
  • Paid Traffic
    The CBU sales page promises to teach you “how to generate almost unlimited traffic and clicks, practically on demand.” What they neglect to mention is that ALL the traffic generation methods they teach require payment 😕
ClickBank university paid traffic training
Screenshot from the CBU’s Traffic section, showing the four primary methods they recommend for generating traffic. All of them require you to spend more money.
  • Additional Tools
    You’ll see Adam, Justin and guest trainers recommending other paid products and services in the bonus sections of CBU. For example…
ClickBank university sweeny daniel
CBU bonus video training from Sweeney Daniel, entitled “A Step-By-Step Overview of How To Use Scarcity & Urgency Driven Product Launch.” Here he recommends you sign up for Timerlay ($250 per year) and Email Countdown (now called Deadline Funnel, $37/month)

In week 5, Adam also mentions the optional cost of outsourcing content creation instead of doing it all yourself. If you want to go that route, he says it will cost you about $20 for “a full one-page great article.”

Let’s say you only pay for the bare minimum you’d need to follow and execute on the core CBU affiliate training.

In one year, you’d end up spending:

  • $564 for the basic CBU membership ($47 x 12)
  • $594 for ClickBank Builder
  • $20 approx for whatever ClickBank product you want to promote
  • $194 for Aweber (annual plan, works out cheaper)
  • $10 approx for your own domain
  • $1200 for traffic (bare minimum, $100/month)

Add all that together and you’re closer to the true cost of ClickBank University: $2,582 for the year, or $215 per month.

That’s 4.5x the price ClickBank University would have you believe on their primary sales page.

And again, that’s the bare minimum!

If you want to outsource content, buy more traffic, or use additional premium tools recommended inside CBU, it’s going to cost you a lot more.

And yeah, I get it: you gotta spend money to make money.

But the folks at CBU should at least have the decency to give people a heads up about this before joining. It’s not that hard…

authority hacker additional costs
Screenshot from the sales page of The Authority Site System, a far superior affiliate marketing course (reviewed here)

Locked Contente

When you sign up for ClickBank University, you only get access to the first 3 weeks of the core training by default. You get access to the rest of the core training one week at a time, starting 3 weeks after you signed up.

Here’s Milana explaining why CBU is set up like this:

In short:

  • So you pace yourself and don’t get overwhelmed
  • So you take consistent action instead of just watching a bunch of videos

Hmm.

If that were true, then why do they give you access to ALL the bonus materials as soon as you sign up?

Consider this:

  • Weeks 4-8 of the core Affiliate training = 2 hours of video training
  • Mini “pro courses” in CBU = 13 hours of video training
  • Expert interviews in CBU = 7+ hours of video

Yet access to the first of those is held back so you can pace yourself and don’t get overwhelmed?

Riiiight 🙄

You can watch ALL the videos in the first 3 weeks of the Affiliate training in about an hour – so 20 minutes per week if you need to “pace yourself.”

By the end of those 3 weeks, you’re supposed to have decided which product from the ClickBank marketplace you want to promote.

Nothing more.

Then, if you’re like 99% of students who don’t want to wait needlessly for the rest of the training to be unlocked, you have to go and fill out this silly form:

ClickBank university unlock form

Fill that out, and you’re immediately and automatically granted access to the rest of the training.

Yeah, it’s that simple.

Which begs the question: why do they even bother locking the content in the first place?

Their stated reasons for doing so makes NO sense, and you can unlock everything with a few clicks anyway.

So what the hell is the point?

Here’s my theory:

  • Students pay $47 per month for access to the course, and CBU have probably discovered that holding back some of the content by default increases the likelihood that people will stick around and pay for at least two months.

In other words, the people behind CBU are either completely clueless 🤪 or completely devious 😈

Which do you think is more likely?

Let me know in the comments.

Outdated Training

Most of the core training in ClickBank University 2.0 was created in 2016. Students complain about outdated teaching and recommendations, but those complaints are ignored.

In the world of digital marketing, things evolve fast.

And the CBU training does not keep up.

In one video in the Affiliate track, Adam recommends using Elance.com to outsource content creation, and notes that Elance.com recently became Upwork.com, something which happened back in 2015-2016 (source).

As of 2019, CBU hadn’t even bothered updating the PDF that accompanies that lesson:

ClickBank university elance

In week 7 of the core training, Adam does a quick walk-through of Aweber’s email marketing software:

ClickBank university aweber

As you can see from the screenshot, the video was recorded back in 2016.

Aweber have updated their software literally dozens of times since then, making Adam’s walk-through essentially useless.

Not that it was all that useful to begin with, as the comments for the lesson reveal:

ClickBank university aweber training complaints

Here’s a comment on some CBU bonus training that looks to have been added in 2019, but also quickly became outdated:

ClickBank university outdated training

(By the way, NONE of the comments I’ve included in this review ever received a response from CBU support.)

Abandoned Community

As a member of CBU, you get access to the “exclusive ClickBank community,” so you’ll never have to “go it alone.” But upon signing up you’ll find that the community has been abandoned by the CBU staff for several months.

Here’s how the community is described on the CBU sales page:

ClickBank university community sales

A couple of things wrong with that.

First, the community is not on Facebook.

Maybe it was at one point, but now it’s privately hosted and looks like this:

ClickBank university community

Second, the CBU community is pretty much a ghost town.

This is everything you need to know:

ClickBank university community abandoned
A long-time member of ClickBank University posting in the community that he hasn’t seen any participation from the CBU staff for several months.

ClickBank Breaks The Internet (Worst Webinar I’ve Ever Seen)

A CBU-run webinar called “ClickBank Breaks The Internet” promised to show “how we generated up to $252k in 24 hours,” but the webinar shared no proof of those earnings or explained how they accomplished such a feat.

I was a few days deep into ClickBank University so I should have known not to get my hopes up when I received an email promoting this webinar:

ClickBank university webinar cuntdown

I jumped on that webinar and sat through 2 hours and 15 minutes of Justin Atlan waffling on about his dad, making endless unsubstantiated claims, and crawling through a few dozen typo-filled slides…

…waiting patiently for the proof and explanation of how they generated that $252k in 24 hours.

  • But no proof was ever provided
  • No explanation was ever given

Instead, I was subjected to a very long sales pitch on some very high-priced webinar software:

Two other things to note about that webinar:

  • The chat was hidden, so when Justin says in the above video that other people are commenting “yes, yes, yes” in the chat, there’s no way to know if that’s true.
  • Justin said the price noted on the webinar was only available that day, which was strange because I visited the sales page more than 48 hours later and saw that I could still buy the product at the same price:

ClicBank university webinar fake scarcity

I didn’t buy the software, so I can’t tell you if it’s good or not, but I can tell you this:

  • The marketing is shady (as usual).
  • Given the incredibly low quality of the CBU training, I have little faith that anything Justin Atlan promotes is actually worth buying.

ClickBank University’s Fundamental Flaw

Even if ClickBank University was a good training program, it has a fundamental flaw: it only shows you how to find and promote products from the ClickBank marketplace, and the ClickBank marketplace a) appears to be dying, and b) is full of very questionable products.

Here’s Adam within the CBU training saying that there are over 10,000 products on ClickBank, then immediately contradicting himself by showing search results for only 6,601 products:

That was presumably back in 2016.

When I did the same search in 2019, only 4,088 products were listed on ClickBank:

ClickBank marketplance

A week after I took the above screenshot, the same search brought back only 4,065 results. So it seems ~20 products are disappearing from the CB marketplace each week.

Maybe that’s because many of the products traditionally found on ClickBank are problematic.

Like this one, which was ranked the #3 most popular product on ClickBank when I checked:

ClickBank marketplace product

An actual diabetes expert with a masters in nutrition education reviewed that product and found it severely lacking:

ClickBank product negative review

Here’s another product I found listed in the top 20 of the ClickBank marketplace:

ClickBank marketplace product 2

That one is so infamous it gets a special mention on ClickBank’s Wikipedia page:

ClickBank product negative review 2

And good old numerology.com also appears as one of most popular products on the CB marketplace:

ClickBank marketplace product 3

I made a whole video exposing that scam:

To summarize:

  • The ClickBank marketplace lost 50% of its products in only three years, and there are fewer and fewer products listed on there each week.
  • Many of the products that remain are highly controversial, and some are considered outright scams.

Is that really the type of marketplace you want to be a part of?

Unfortunately, that’s the ONLY marketplace ClickBank University recommends you use, despite the fact that there are many alternative – and I would say, superior – marketplaces out there for affiliate marketers.

Tons Of Unanswered Comments

Regardless of whether you post a comment in the private CBU community, or in the comments below each lesson, you’re unlikely to ever get a response from CBU support.

Prime example: here’s a whole month’s worth of comments from students on a Week 4 lesson in the Affiliate track, and ZERO responses from CBU support…

ClickBank university comments no replies

Useless PDFs

Most of the core training lessons inside ClickBank University are accompanied by a PDF download. These PDFs are almost entirely useless.

You can download each PDF from the sidebar:

ClickBank university pdf download

After downloading a few, you’ll find yourself asking:

Why don’t they just put this info underneath the video instead of making me download a PDF every time?

Because, really, does this kind of “information” warrant a special PDF download?

ClickBank university pdf example 3

Here’s another great example:

ClickBank university pdf example 2

But this one takes the cake:

ClickBank university pdf example 3

At first, I thought:

Maybe they offer these as PDFs so people can download and print and then write their notes on there.

But would anyone actually do that?

  • Arrive on the lesson page
  • Download the PDF
  • Open the PDF
  • Send it to print
  • Wait for it to print
  • Grab the page from the printer
  • Start watching the video for the lesson
  • Grab a pen and jot down notes on the page

No.

Nobody is going to do that.

Dumbest thing ever.

Member Complaints

As you go through the ClickBank University training, you’ll see countless complaints from students.

Examples:

ClickBank university student complaint 1

ClickBank university student complaint 2

ClickBank university student complaint 3

ClickBank university student complaint 4

ClickBank university student complaint 5

ClickBank university student complaint 6

I’ve yet to see ANY such comments receiving a response from CBU support.

Worthless Certification

One of the selling points of ClickBank University is that you receive a certification upon completion of the course, thereby proving your “expertise in digital marketing essentials.” But the certification is laughably easy to achieve and ultimately worthless.

Here’s how the certification is described in the CBU sales video:

This was my journey to certification:

  • Day 1
    Signed up for ClickBank University.
  • Day 2
    Spent 3 hours watching videos in the course, learned essentially nothing, and scored 9 out of 10 on a silly certification quiz with questions like this:
ClickBank university certification exam
(You can take the quiz yourself here and see how ridiculous it is.)
  • Day 3
    Received a “diploma for Expertise in Digital Marketing Essentials”

ClickBank university Niall Doherty certification

Who needs a diploma from a real university when CBU is giving them away like free samples at Costco?

Outdated Testimonials

It’s not just ClickBank University’s training that’s outdated: their testimonials are, too. It seems ALL of them are from 2017 or earlier.

All the screenshots I’ve seen from CBU students showing off their earnings are from 2016 or 2017…

ClickBank university dated testimonials 1

ClickBank university dated testimonials 2

ClickBank university dated testimonials 3

And the video testimonials they show you all look like they were recorded on old, low-resolution cameras several years ago…

It’s almost like CBU hasn’t had any successful students since 2017, so they keep flashing up old earnings screenshots and hope nobody notices 🙈

They Really Don’t Care

As if all the above wasn’t enough, there are other clues that the folks behind ClickBank University really don’t care about their product or their students.

Why else would they post “real comments from inside ClickBank University” on their checkout page, with the names Ronnie Biggs and Joe Bloggs right underneath?

ClickBank university checkout fake testimonials

How else can you explain all the comment spam within the course that has been there for months…

ClickBank university spam comment

ClickBank university spam comment 2

ClickBank university spam comment 3

I mean, they haven’t even bothered to update the copyright date at the bottom of their website since 2017…

ClickBank university copyright

And here’s Adam telling you it’s totally cool to buy the ClickBank product you want to review with your own affiliate link…

That’s something ClickBank themselves consider an ABUSE of their marketplace…

ClickBank support
The reply I received from ClickBank support when I asked about buying a product through my own affiliate link.

Given that Adam is supposed to be a ClickBank expert, I have to assume he knows about this.

But he clearly doesn’t care.

The Vendor Training Also Sucks

This review has mostly been about the Affiliate training inside ClickBank University. But make no mistake: the Vendor training – presented by Justin Atlan – is just as bad.

My co-reviewer (Conor) spent some time going through the Vendor training.

Some highlights from his notes:

  • This is all super vague and intangible. No examples/case studies or quantifiable metrics yet.
  • If I have to download a PDF for every lesson, that is madness.
  • He’s promoting creating addiction recovery & mental health products as equivalent to home & gardening. This is reckless and irresponsible
  • All this “Research” lacks any structural or actionable outcomes. It seems completely random.
  • 3rd video, keeps pointing below the video and referencing a tool that isn’t there

Conor’s summary after spending 2 hours reviewing the material:

I’ve gone through the first 3 weeks of lessons.

I need to request All Access to move forward and, well, this course kinda sucks. My first impression was it’s super confusing and poorly designed/laid out. From there, it just got worse.

BOTTOM LINE

Not everything’s a scam…

Back in 2010, Adam Horwitz was quoted as saying:

If someone says, “There’s no way, you’ll never make money online, everything’s a scam online, blah blah blah,” they’re lying. (source)

Adam’s right: not everything is a scam online.

But ClickBank University sure comes close.

I won’t call CBU an outright scam because I was able to get a refund upon request.

But I will say this…

ClickBank University is the WORST affiliate marketing course I’ve seen

If Adam, Justin, and Milana worked as hard on their paid training as they do on their sales pitch, ClickBank University might actually be a decent course.

Unfortunately, they seem to invest the majority of their resources into shady marketing tactics and misleading sales pages, all designed to convince you that their product is way better than it actually is.

There are really only two good things I can say about ClickBank University:

  • They honor their 30-day refund policy.
  • They do actually donate a portion of their profits to Pencils of Promise:
ClickBank university pencils of promise
Source: pencilsofpromise.org

But the one thing ClickBank University claims to do best…

You know: teach you how to make money online.

… that’s something they truly suck at.

Better alternatives to ClickBank University

I’m on a mission to review all the top affiliate marketing courses.

Here’s my progress so far:

Course Rating Review
Authority Hacker’s TASS 4.5/5 Authority Hacker review
Income School’s Project 24 4/5 Project 24 review
Udemy affiliate marketing courses 2/5 Udemy affiliate marketing courses 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
ClickBank University 0.5/5 ClickBank University review
See all the affiliate marketing courses we’ve reviewed (best free training included) »

How to cancel ClickBank University and get a refund

Thankfully, ClickBank University honor their 30-day money-back guarantee. Here’s what I had to do to cancel my CBU account and get a refund…

First, I emailed cbu@clickbank.com asking for a refund, specifying the email address I used to sign up for the course.

I received this reply only three hours later:

ClickBank University refund request

I confirmed that I did indeed want the refund, and received this email 17 hours later:

ClickBank University refund confirmation

So the main thing to note is that you’ll have to ask them twice for the refund.

  • The first time you ask, they’ll cancel the recurring monthly payment and say you can keep access to most of the training for what you’ve already paid.
  • Confirm that you do still want the refund, and they’ll process it pretty quick (mine was processed within 24 hours).

Then you can go put that refund towards a better affiliate marketing course, if you so choose.

Related: check out our curated list of affiliate marketing websites, complete with details of how much money they make 💰💰💰

Your ClickBank University review

Have you ever signed up for ClickBank University?

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!