Internet Income University (IIU) claims to help you learn affiliate and internet marketing, boasting over 4000 members in their community and numerous income streams.
Lets start with the basics, though they call themselves an university, they are not – according to the US Department of Education’s University Accreditation system, they are not listed.
IIU is also not BBB accredited though they have a rating of A-, which for me sums up why the BBB can’t be fully relied on in cases like this.
An Internet Income University Review
Trying to sign up for this “university” is also an interesting process. There is no sales pitch. I know, sounds pretty good, but with no sales pitch you really have no clue what you are signing up for.
Instead of the usual $47 per month or $97 for lifetime type offers, you have the option of getting access by signing up by to trials of products they are affiliated with (unrelated but normal seeming things like Inkclub, Norton, Hotels.com etc) before you can get your log in details. Either that or pay $30 for a lifetime membership.
Further investigation led me to a video explaining why they do this, why they force people to sign up to ’free’ trials and purchases. Apparently they do this to keep the information free.
Not really free when you have to pay for it though is it?
Trying to even sign up was a nightmare, as per their video there should be some free options in the trial periods, but everything I was shown was purchase or purchase, no free trials at all (though it may be different for people in America or other parts of the world). Whichever trial I picked I ended up having to pay something out.
Once more, not really free is it guys?
With no other option, I paid the $30 to sign up and take a look around and what I found wasn’t exactly pretty.
“Where Education… Meets Opportunity”, but opportunity for who?
Once inside there are numerous opportunities to learn but even more to spend. That’s right spend, not earn. IIU feels very much like the typical MLM (Multi Level Marketing) schemes out there.
Their main content revolves around the F.A.S.T. income plan, this stands for:
Fast Website Setup
Affiliate Income Streams
Training & Support
So lets go through them.
Fast Website Setup
They will get you set up with a website, for $20 a month with hosting owned by IIU, which is expensive for shared hosting (check out Hostgator, hosting from 4 buck a month, bit of a difference) and the sites are basic WordPress sites with preloaded content including adverts. To qualify for the “free” website setup you must purchase a domain and hosting via them. The link to their hosting is mentioned, not once, not twice but 10 times on that page.
Affiliate Income Streams
OK so that’s maybe not too bad, what about how you can make money? Well IIU suggest that you promote 1 or more of their Top 5 affiliate programs. IIU itself has the number one choice spot, followed by four other products fully owned by the makers of IIU.
Not only that but in order to be able to promote these products you have to pay first, you have to pay a fee or buy/subscribe to the product:
IIU – this one is free to promote.
Their hosting service – a $14.95 one off fee to be able to promote this
Keyword tool – $97 to get this and be able to promote it.
Personal development plan – $177!
Weight loss program – you need to be a member of the program itself at $49/month.
So far, you have paid to get in one way or another, paid over the top for a website, and now paid to be able to promote their products…
Now to be fair, you don’t have to buy these things, but for the uninitiated, for the inexperienced, it can seem like you must get these things, that paying out $97 will definitely get you some money in return, this time and maybe the next time, or the next. There are just too many shiny things and not enough material there to teach you the things that you need to know to actually succeed with an online career.
All about advertising and SEO. Information? No. Sales page? Yes.
This time to get you to spend money on SEO services to improve your websites ranking: $97, $296 or $497 “EASY” payments a month.
When you begin internet marketing, not only should you not be spending money on this, as lets face it your first few sites are likely to be pretty bad (mine were!) and you need to learn the basics of SEO. OK maybe later you can outsource the SEO, but not to begin with and what this implies is that it is necessary to succeed.
Training & Support
This didn’t actually tell me anything, except to head over to their community.
I also want to talk about their secondary menus, as I really wanted to get to grips with their training and community.
You get a Free PDF! A 13 page slideshow that doesn’t explain much of anything and contains numbers to buy their coaching help and other affiliate links.
From Start to Money
Wow, so after battling through the sales pages I finally find some training.
It consists of 7 hour long videos. I skipped through these videos and from what I can see the information is useful but basic. Take the backlinks video for example, it goes through what they are how to make them, article marketing and it does cover some of the Google Penguin updates, though it was still pushing some of the link building systems that are a big no-no nowadays, but there are no updates to advise this.
You can learn all this online with a little perseverance without having to be subjected to all the sales pages.
Short blog posts, pictures of babies, motivational videos linked from YouTube, a generic forum with mixed bag of posts on average 2-3 posts a week. In other words not much.
So is Internet Income University a scam?
Not as such, but it is one to be very wary of, one where you could easily start spending more than you start earning.
I thought that it would be bad, but maybe the training would outweigh the blatant cross promotion, upsells, and MLM-feel, but no luck
Getting people to sign up to IIU is at least part of the game, thus perpetuating the MLM feeling in that yes it earns you money from the initial sign ups but who earns from the hosting? From the affiliate channels? IIU does.
There are numerous reviews of Internet Income University across the internet, a very mixed bag indeed. Not only that but very polarized, there seems to be no middle ground, it’s a love or hate affair.
The Bottom Line
The information they offer does not outweigh the deluge of sales sent your way. Their claim that the information is free is warped at best, what with having to pay or sign up to trials to even get in. There are distinct elements of an MLM system in play.
While I get it that they need as a business to promote their own products, it is blatant upselling. There are plenty of decent communities and learning systems out there, ones which don’t try to suck so much out of you. Within an hour or two my cell phone was buzzing with “Restricted” numbers calling. They left generic promotional messages. I have a hunch that some sort of professional mentoring (read: expensive) was behind those calls.
At the end of the day, my $30 membership felt like nothing more than me paying to be told to buy more products. It just didn’t feel right. My stance on Internet Income University? AVOID!