Welcome to my Newsletter Academy review. I put together 2 videos for you that go inside the members area so you can get an idea of what is in this affiliate marketing training. In addition, I go more in detail in the article about what you can expect from each module.
Now I would like to go into more detail into each module of the course. The following is for people who prefer to read as opposed to watching videos as well as for those who would like more detail than I can provide in a 10 minute video.
This email marketing course has 8 modules and 5 case studies.
What is the Newsletter Academy all About?
This course is all about niche affiliate marketing and getting paid to build a list of like minded people with similar interests and provide those people with information that is of benefit to them. You get paid as an affiliate by recommending quality Clickbank products in your niche or you can also recommend physical products as well.
Later in the course, he shows a really cool trick to make money with Amazon that I never even thought of.
Duston, the creator of the course, explains how they tried scaling their business into a big time production by getting office space, selling physical items, and by hiring employees.
He has since filed that plan in the trash and says he makes far more money just running this simple business from his laptop and promoting digital items with no office space and no employees(and headaches).
Since he simplified his business, he works about an hour a day answering questions and sending out an email…and he makes 6 figures OUTSIDE the Internet Marketing Niche.
“What Do I Need to Get Started?”
If you are looking for a course on getting started with affiliate marketing, I think this is a good approach because this business model is bare bones simple in that you only need a simple two page website that can be built very quickly with some of the page builders on the market. Because of this, I feel this is a solid affiliate marketing course for beginners as well as for more advanced marketers.
You will also need hosting account and an autoresponder. I use Aweber. These are necessary for any online business.
For the website, I happen to use Instabuilder.
I’ve tried Optimize press…and I absolutely hated it so I stuck with html pages until I found Instabuilder.
The page builders aren’t necessary as you can use free HTML templates here…but that requires a learning curve and you have to upload the page every time you make a change. Its a hassle. But if you are on a budget, you can start there. Like I said, I used HTML pages to make a lot of money before I stumbled upon Instabuilder.
Module 1-Choosing a Niche
In my experience, people really get stuck at this stage and they overanalyze things to death and never get anything off the ground. Here is what Duston says about this:
“The cool thing about the newsletter business is niche selection is just not that important. Because when you step back and look at what you’re actually doing, it’s simple…you’re sending good, usable content to folks who truly appreciate what you do.”
He then says that you are basically just a trusted advisor who sends them quality content on a regular basis. The side effect is that they will trust your recommendation and buy the affiliate products you promote.
If you are saying you don’t know enough to be a trusted advisor in your niche, he shows you how to become an expert in your niche very quickly in a later module as well as how to get expertly written content for your newsletter.
With that said, he shows you how to pick an Evergreen niche…and gives you a list of 129 Evergreen niches.
After the niche list, he then shows the 3 essentials things a Super Niche must have.
If you have ever worried about choosing the right niche, this section will be particularly helpful to you.
In addition, he goes on to say you don’t need to pick a “Super niche” and that hobby niche’s like snorkeling, quilting, saltwater fishing, running, and… gardening can be extremely profitable.
He is in the gardening niche and here is a screenshot of his 2016 earnings:
Module 2-Become an Expert in Your Niche in 2 Hours or Less
This module is where you can easily separate yourself from your competition by spending a little time up front getting to know your niche. If you don’t want to do this up front work, I recommend getting his done for you packages which I discuss in video 2 above.
With that said, I still recommend going through this step as it is an invaluable exercise.
He calls this process subconscious seduction which is a simple way to learn how to persuade your readers to take action. In order to do this, you need to know your prospects inside and out.
This is high level marketing intel that you won’t see at courses priced at this level. He makes this an easy process to complete with his “Subconscious Seduction Cheatsheet”.
By knowing your prospect inside an out, you will be able to communicate with them and gain their trust far more easily.
Again, don’t skip this section. Your competition doesn’t do this and it will give you a massive advantage in your niche.
Module 3-Becoming an Expert in Your Niche Part 2
This module is a continuation of the intel you gathered in the previous module using the cheat sheets and putting them to action. If you get to know your prospect and can speak their language, you are way ahead of your competition.
This is exactly the process multi-million dollar companies who use direct marketing to market their products use.
These two modules aren’t sexy, but it is only a one time process per niche and should only take 2 hours or so to do upfront to bring your prospects into your “circle of trust”
He gives an example of this process going through his men’s weight training niche. To be honest, these two modules on becoming an expert in your niche is what seperates it from the other courses and makes it some of the best affiliate marketing training around.
Module 4-Setting Up The Machine
This module is all about how start affiliate marketing and set things up the right way. He starts off by showing him working at two of his vacation spots. I can verify the fact that this business brings location freedom. You can work anywhere in the world with these affiliate marketing strategies as long as there is an internet connection.
Once you set this system up, you basically just drive traffic(shown in a later module) and send emails. That’s it. No need to add extra steps to the process which is where a lot of people go wrong when they are just getting started with affiliate marketing.
As for the setup, Duston is vehemently against the complicated funnels you hear about all the time. And I happen to agree. First off, it is entirely unnecessary. You make your money in this system by sending emails. That is where the money is. You don’t need anything other than an optin page(aka squeeze page) and a Thank You page.In addition to being able to work from anywhere, you can actually set things up to where your newsletters go out while you are on vacation if you don’t want to be in front of a computer. It is very easy to login and schedule your emails to go out for a week or two…or even a month while you are away from your computer.
Second, having a complicated funnel just prevents people from taking action as it is too intimidating. For someone who just wants to make a good living being a one man or one woman shop, keep it simple.
In fact, in this course, he doesn’t even recommend having a OTO(one time offer) for new subscribers…and he makes a really good case for this. I think it is good to have them if you are actually selling a product and have a related product to sell…but not when you are getting people to sign up to your newsletter.
**Creating an Effective Squeeze Page**
In this section, he goes over the psychology behind why an effective squeeze page is working. Building the actual squeeze page can be done in 5 minutes with the page builders on the market such as Lead Pages and Instabuilder.
Again, I prefer the later because it is easy to use and a one time fee as opposed to Lead Pages.
You then get examples of high converting squeeze pages in various niches as well as his #1 converting squeeze page.
Module 5-Choosing a Model and Getting Content
With this business model, you create content for your subscribers one piece at a time. To me, this is really the whole key of this system. This module then shows how to take that content and create a traffic snowball effect like he has done in his niche.
There are two different models you can choose from for your newsletter. Live or automated. Depending on what your niche is(ie is it seasonal etc) will determine the best model for you… and he goes into this in the course. You can actually combine elements of both.
For example, in my business, I usually write my emails as I go along but I could also load up my autoresponder in advance.
As far as content for your newsletter goes, there are several way he shows how you can get content. And you can mix and match as you see fit.
You can create the content yourself, you can outsource it(and he shows you how to do this for cheap), or you can curate it which is basically other people’s content which has some of your notes. He shows how to do this if you have never curated content before.
I only recommend curating content from time to time in order to give something valuable to your subscribers. Don’t rely on it exclusively. You want to give them unique content that you either write or have written most of the time.
Speaking of getting content written, here are the stats for one piece of his content using the strategy he recommends:
He got this article written in August of 2013 and check out the traffic. This article brought in almost 71k visitors in 2016 alone!
And we haven’t even gotten to the traffic module yet.
You will be able to see one of his actual newsletters in the fitness niche to get an idea of how to do things.
He ends this section with “How to Get Unlimited Content Ideas for your Newsletter”. This won’t take you much time at all if you need to generate more content ideas.
Module 6-How to Get Free Traffic to Your Website
If you have more time on your hands than money, you’ll want to check out this section. Earlier, I have already given you a clue as to one of the ways Duston goes about getting a ton of traffic…and that is by creating your newsletter and then re-purposing it.
Make sure you do that even if you opt for the paid strategies because you still need content for your newsletters and you might as well use that content to get extra traffic. In fact, that strategy has been responsible for the bulk of his free traffic…and he gets a lot of it.
In this section, he shows you his gardening site and how he got an extra 60k visitors in 2016 without any additional work.
Module 7-Explode Your Newsletter Business with Paid Traffic
This section starts out with PPC best practices and the underlying principles on which they are based(hint: Its all about the CTR or Click thru rate). It makes sense to keep these principles in the back of your mind when doing your campaigns.
He recommends Bing for beginners as they are more lenient than Google or Facebook. In case studies 2 and 3 shows you how get got Facebook traffic for as low as $0.0064 per click in one niche and as low as $0.0164 in another niche.
After this, he goes into Native ads and why you should promote content over a squeeze page.
Then he gets into his favorite paid traffic which is Email Traffic.
There are tons of niche ezines that you can pay to email their list..kinda like a solo ad. I know several marketers who make a killing with this type of traffic. I haven’t tried it, but it’s on my bucket list.
He shows a really cool trick to find tons of lists to advertise on so you won’t have a lack of traffic sources anytime soon.
My recommendation is that if you are new, stick to the content strategy and keep producing(or get written) content for your subscribers. Then you can always pour your profits back into paid advertising to scale your business. This is the best way to learn affiliate marketing in my opinion as I think it is a mistake to start with paid traffic before gaining the necessary experience. Also, one good piece of content can get you paid over and over and you only do the work once.
Module 8-Monetizing Your Newsletter
Here you are shown how to get people to buy the affiliate products that your recommend in your newsletter.
I know this can be intimidating for some, but it is actually very simple. Duston cites the philosophy from the popular book Influence by Robert Cialdini and shows you his fitness newsletter how he does it.
You will also see a live example of this affiliate marketing strategy in action in his Paleo niche example.
Of course, you can also create your own products which is always a best practice…and you’ll have instant traffic once you get your list built up.
In addition to all of the above, you’ll get 5 case studies showing real world application.
This is affiliate marketing step by step. In my opinion, Newsletter Academy is one of the best affiliate marketing courses around due to the fact it is an Evergreen business model and he teaches really high level marketing concepts in the becoming an expert section of the course that you would expect to find at an expensive Dan Kennedy seminar.
About the only con I can think of is that the course is all text based. That didn’t bother me at all but I thought I would point it out.