If you have been on YouTube lately, you probably saw this guy promoting “His way” of making money online. I am a very big fan of YouTube, and one day I decided to click on his ad since it has been in my face there for quite a while now and I wanted to see what he had to say.
The video starts out by showing some big mansion somewhere in the tropics, so right away I felt like “Ok this is the classic too good to be true scenario!”. They usually use these flashy objects to lure someone in. A method that has been used for years now in the Internet Marketing industry.
I decided to keep on going, just to see exactly what I was in for.
The video itself is well-made, in Keala Kanae’s beautiful home and he introduces his audience to what he calls “Freelance Digital Marketing”, which is simply “Affiliate marketing” and how it works.
He shows how big, multi-million dollars companies all have affiliate programs, and anyone can join for free and start making money by promoting their products. And showing how “easy” it is by sending an ad to a specific audience and sell to them. And he shows himself in a pile of affiliate commission cheques.
Then you are invited and being sent via a special link to a free PDF book.
Once your email is entered, you are redirected to a special master class registration landing page. I did not lose my time watching this video, I knew what I was in for, but I did check out the free PDF e-book.
Basically, the free e-book is another sales pitch, with a few graphics showing you what a sales funnel is.
What they really want is to get you to the master class webinar and cast their hook.
By now, I had enough and decided to check out their website myself.
AWOL ACADEMY what is it?
Program Name: AWOL Academy launched sometime in 2015
Price: $99 to $5,497 (depending on what level you get in)
Owners: Kameron George and Keala Kanae (the guy in the first picture)
First off, “Project AWOL” was the name of Kameron George’s team that was part of the now defunct, high ticket multi-level marketing (MLM) “Empower Network”. They had some kind of disagreement back in 2013 and I believe it led to Empower Network’s collapse.
This platform (AWOL Academy) is an offspring of the of Project AWOL, which, according to their website, now claims be a “non-profit, charitable arm” of AWOL Academy and have donated to charitable organizations.
They probably did according to the proof on their website, but it was not their initial purpose.
If you look up “Project AWOL” you will find tons of negative feedback from as early as 2013.
They were targeting new bloggers on their email list with a sales pitch to join their program and retire somewhere nice at an early age, all within anybody’s reach just by clicking a magic button.
All you would have to do is give them your email address, and they would reveal their secret formula.
Then be sent to a landing page with a 45-minute video on how much they are having fun (and you could too). Sounds familiar? We’ve all seen these sales pitches by now!
So, in reality, they changed their name to AWOL Academy and changed the website of Project AWOL to reflect a charitable side of them.
Which in any case, is not a bad thing I guess?
What bothers me a bit is the fact that they were not what they say they are today…
The platform of AWOL Academy
They have 5 different “levels” of Internet Marketing training programs:
Pro Academy – For the “newbie” at $99
Inbox Academy – Help you create an email list at $447
Conversion Academy – Convert your leads into new customers at $1,797
Traffic Academy – Converting sales funnels at 2,997
Masters Academy – Money Management, tax planning investing and more at $5,497
Elite Academy – This one is not on their website, but by doing a little research, I found that you can get all of the above, packaged into one for a whopping $14,000.
I will not go into details here, but these courses range in value and cost as you can see.
From the beginner to the advanced side of strategic marketing. Plus, you will need to buy the next level program to keep on going in your “training”.
Their system is basically a sales funnel system. They teach you how to buy traffic, collect emails on a landing page, offer a promoted product (with the obvious upsell) and keep on sending more and more emails to offer different products. Rinse and repeat.
To be honest, I learned all of that just by doing a little research, and it didn’t cost me a dime.
This platform also has an affiliate program attached to it where you will promote their own system for a commission.
So is it a scam?
Well, at first I wasn’t sure. But the more I looked into the program, the more I became convinced that they are a true business.
Their methods are legit, so I can say that this is NOT a scam.
I did, however, find some negative reviews about them for their after sales service and their prices are very expensive if you want to get more out of the program.
Their basic course is only $99 but it is a basic course
Pros and Cons
What I did find OK about this platform is the fact that they are open. They show you exactly what they provide, and the hefty price attached to it.
They have a 14-day “no questions asked” money back guarantee
They have a BBB accreditation rate of “B”
Easy to understand video training for many levels of experience and some people do make money with their program.
Personalized training (at a cost)
Provide a way to self-promote with an affiliate program
It’s not always rainbows and unicorns like they pretend. Programs like these prey on the fantastic. They show you big mansions, expensive cars, and luxury vacations. Although it is really possible to get all of this by having a business online, it is NOT the common results.
It has the designs of a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) system, especially by looking at the steep prices of their courses.
AWOL – What does it stand for? Does it mean Another way of life or is it “Another Web Of Lies”
Lots of recent (2018) negative reviews on BBB.org. One that stuck out was one person saying that they asked for $14,000 to pay for the courses, and another one said that “The training that I received by enrolling in the AWOL Academy was a lot of hype and stories about how they are making fortunes in Affiliate Marketing”
It a Sales Funnel. This is a way to make money online, of course, but there is a cost attached to this. And the traffic is not always “quality, converting traffic”. This means that there are extra costs.
The affiliate program is two-tiered meaning that marketers also earn a commission on sales generated by people they referred to the program (sub-affiliates). Although two-tiered programs are not considered an MLM or structured in that matter, they sure look like one.
I am not interested in investing over $14,000 in a program, as I am certain that there are other ways that are a lot cheaper.
They do have legit a way to do business, but it’s really NOT what I’m looking for! I think you will agree with my verdict!
My verdict is:
I don’t recommend it
You can make money online without this program, that is a certainty.
If you are tired of being pulled every way by different programs that offer all kinds of get-rich-quick methods and you have read all the way through my review, then you are ready for something different!
I have a solution for you.
I am going to tell you right away though, that this method is NOT a get-rich-quick method, but it’s a proven honest method.
If you want to start your own Online Business and are ready to put in the necessary effort to make it work, there is a platform that does just that.
AND THE BEST PART: ITS FREE!
Yes, you read it, it’s free to join and it can stay free for as long as you like. They will provide you with not one but two (2) free website, hosted on their platform, and you will have access to training to get your website ready to take on the Affiliate Marketing world.