The “Online Marketing Classroom” owned by Aidan Booth and Steven Clayton claims to be a lot: The ultimate all-in-one platform for all your online-solopreneur needs. It claims to be the ultimate education and online course collection for all kinds of online business models, a cutting-edge software collection, and a community of like-minded individuals. But how does the “OMC” live up to these high expectations? And what is Online Marketing Classroom, for real?
I used to be a member of the Online Marketing Classroom myself back in 2018. Hence, I can provide you with my personal, first-hand experience. In this brutally honest review of Online Marketing Classroom, I want to give you all the insights you need to make an educated decision and see if the Online Marketing Classroom is right for you – or not!?
Why Should You Care About THIS Review?
Whenever I write a review for a product or service, I try to make a point why YOU, my readers and visitors, should care about MY opinion, in particular. After all, I am just some random dude you found via a google search, right? So, what is it that sets my review apart from the reviews of oh so many other bloggers out there?
I know, from personal experience with Steve’s and Aidan’s affiliate programs, that many reviewers out there are incentivized to write glowing 5-star reviews of their products, just because they pay pretty good commissions to their reviewers for each and every sale their review has contributed to (that is called affiliate marketing, and you can learn more about it here).
What I Am Trying To Say
If I was the guy who would write a convincing (but not necessarily honest) review of OMC that would push people over the edge to buy into the program and make that sale, I would get paid for that. That incentivizes many online marketers to write good reviews, even if they have never seen the product themselves, or even if they believe the opposite is true…
But This Review Is Different
I was a member of the Online Marketing Classroom myself personally back in 2018. I have seen the entire product from the customer’s perspective. I know what being a member feels like. I remember how good the training material was, what quality the software was, and if the support was any good.
Hence, I think you should take my opinion into your consideration when you think about signing up for Online Marketing Classroom. And that is why you should care about THIS review!
What Is Online Marketing Classroom: A Quick Product Overview
The Online Marketing Classroom is an “online business school” that promises to turn any paying customer into an online marketing mastermind. That’s a tough claim!
The OMC, therefore, contains a lot of training materials on different online business models. Dropshipping, Amazon FBA, Affiliate Marketing, Ebook-Publishing… You name it, they have some training on the topic. And the sheer amount of training is really impressive, to be honest. We’ll have to talk about the quality of that training, though, and we’ll get to that…
It is (or wants to be) an all-in-one solution for the ambitious online entrepreneur by providing
- training and challenges
- software solutions
- support and
- a community of likeminded individuals
We’ll look at these individual components in more detail below. For now, let’s sum this “introductory overview” up by taking a look at the “data sheet” of Online Marketing Classroom and a preview of my final verdict:
- Product Name: Online Marketing Classroom
- Product Type: eLearning Platform and Community
- Owners: Aidan Booth and Steven Clayton
- Website: onlinemarketingclassroom.com
- Training: 60 / 100
- Software: 30 / 100
- Community: 55 / 100
- Support: 60 / 100
- Ease of Use: 75 / 100
- Business Models (Quality): 40 / 100
- Business Models (Quantity): 80 / 100
- Motivation and Fun Factor: 70 / 100
- Price: $97,- / mth or $1497,- / 2yrs
- Overall Rank: 59 / 100
The Better Alternative
As you can see by looking at the overall rank above, I am not as convinced of Online Marketing Classroom as other reviewers might be. We’ll get into the why below.
But if that sneak peek at my final verdict has turned you off already, you may probably want to take a look at my alternative recommendation for just-starting-out online solopreneurs, which is the Wealthy Affiliate Training Platform and Community.
Wealthy Affiliate is FREE to join, has tons of great training to offer, is more focused and therefore less distracting for newcomers, and has the most helpful community I have ever seen in any online business platform so far!
Who Online Marketing Classroom Is For
Great! So with these “basic facts” out of the way, let’s see who Online Marketing Classroom is for, then.
If I had to compare OMC to the various “online business schools” that I have seen over the years, I would say that it tries to be the Jack of All Trades. It can, in theory, teach you about any topic of online solopreneurship that you can imagine.
The hefty price tag of $1497,- for a two-year-membership aside, it can be a pretty valuable resource when you are just getting starting because it offers you a pretty good overview of what online business models are out there.
The target audience of OMC is a bit “blurry” to me. While on the one hand, they claim to teach newcomers to build the online business of their dreams from scratch, they on the other hand promise members with existing online businesses (“no matter what service or product you sell”) to double or even triple (basically put in any multiplier that sounds attractive to you) their revenue.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Other platforms (such as Wealthy Affiliate, for example) promise the same. If you buy into a platform, especially with such a high price tag, you want some perspective for your long-term business development. And OMC offers that. The downside is that with the way OMC is structured internally, it can become overwhelming especially for beginners…
Who Online Marketing Classroom Is NOT For…
I’d say that if you are a total beginner, looking into making your first baby steps in building an online business, OMC is NOT for you, despite what the owners of the platform claim, and that is for two reasons:
- The price tag is way too hefty for a two-year membership, especially when you are just starting out. Those 1497 bucks can be better invested elsewhere.
- Even more critical: OMC will most likely rather distract you than teach you how to focus on one business model. I know, from my own experience, that once you start dipping your toe into that sea of online-business-opportunities, it is very easy to fall prone to “SOS”! That is the Shiny Object Syndrome. I fell for it and I bet that 95% of people who are starting out did… Every new business model you see, every opportunity you stumble across seems to be the next big thing, the one that will undoubtedly make you rich. But instead of getting rich, you get distracted. That is what the sheer amount of different business models that OMC offers to teach you does: It will distract you!
That’s why I encourage newcomers to focus on one single business model at a time and not get distracted by SOS…
What’s In The Box?
Quality of the training aside, the sheer quantity of training that comes with Online Marketing Classroom is impressive. And Aidan and Steve also work hard to keep their students engaged. Every now and then they will announce challenges or new software products that they include as part of the Online Marketing Classroom without an additional premium.
If you were to “virtually unbox” the Online MArketing Classroom package you would find
- a truckload of training programs (video and ebooks etc.) on different online business models
- occasional challenges to keep the community engaged and motivated
- several custom-made software products to support your individual online business efforts
- technical support
- access to their Facebook community
Let’s take a look at each component in detail.
Online Marketing Classroom – Training And Challenges
While the quantity of training is great, I’d argue that quality cannot keep up.
From my personal experience, the training is designed to take you by the hand and guide you along all those tiny baby steps in the early stages of building your business (which is great), but then very often leaves you alone when it really matters and when you really need some more in-depth knowledge. Especially when something doesn’t work as planned, I felt left alone quite often.
For example, I remember how I tried to build a dropshipping store back in 2017. Everything worked great until I started running my first ads, trying to find that first “winning”, profitable product… When I wasn’t able to find one and had already spent several hundred dollars in Facebook ads, all advice the training would give me was: “Finding a winner isn’t a matter of IF, it’s just a matter of WHEN.” – Yeah, thank you fortune cookie! Not exactly helpful…
To be fair, though, I’ve also read a bunch of success stories in the OMC Facebook community back then. So the training certainly seems to work for some people… Maybe it just wasn’t a good match for me!?
Business models that OMC has training on include:
- Content and Affiliate Marketing
- Amazon FBA
- Email Marketing
- Kindle Self-Publishing
- … and more!
The Online Marketing Classroom also offers occasional, pretty motivating challenges to its members, where everyone who’s participating tries out a new business model over a given period of time, say 60 days of dropshipping for example.
That is something that I did really enjoy, as these challenges were quite motivating and encouraged me to try out something new. They also brought some “gamification” to the otherwise pretty tough and competitive “game” of building an online business.
Challenges, at least back in 2018 when I was a member, were also accompanied by weekly live workshops and pretty active discussions in the Facebook community, which is something that I also liked.
A Word About Ethical Implications
When you start an online business, the ethical implications of your doing are probably not the number 1 priority you are worried about; at least it’s highly likely that it is somewhere below “making money” on your list of priorities. I get that, it was the same for me when I started out. I just wanted to play the game the way “they all” played it…
But in my opinion, building an online business is also about building something that YOU can be proud of. At least in the long term. Your business is something that you want to show to your friends and family and maybe also want to put on your resume. Bear that in mind with everything you learn inside OMC…
Here’s the thing, though: Many of the business models taught inside OMC, like dropshipping as an example, use some very shady marketing and business strategies at their very core. One example? Dropshippers, for example, depend heavily on creating false scarcity and false discounts in their stores. They blatantly lie to their prospective customers. And the training in OMC teaches and encourages you to do exactly that. Because it drives sales. Is it honest, though? No! Is that the relationship you, as a serious business owner want to have with your customers?
For me, that was the final nail in the coffin that made me personally turn away from Online Marketing Classroom…
Affiliate Links. Affiliate Links Everywhere!
The other thing that really shocked me was the sheer amount of affiliate links that Aidan and Steve have sprinkled all across their course material. What I mean by that is that, despite your already behind a paywall, Aidan and Steve keep recommending products and services that you should buy to build your business and financially profit from those recommendations.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing or a crime. But it feels a bit shady: They just sold you a two-year-membership for a whopping $1.5k already. And the next thing you see is that you’re supposed to sign up to some email-autoresponder, for example. Instead of suggesting a free alternative to get you started, they encourage you to sign up to a paid premium provider “to keep you motivated” (and to earn a quick buck in commissions in doing so).
If you suggest someone THE BEST product that solves their problem: Fine, take a commission! That’s fair, because you helped them, right? But if there are free alternatives, then do not take more money out of your already paying customer’s wallet for your personal enrichment… Especially not if they are just beginners.
That’s a big ethical no-no! And something that never felt quite right to me…
Online Marketing Classroom – Software And Tools
OMC also includes a variety of tools, such as a web app for designing simple ad graphics, automation tools for dropshippers, keyword and niche research tools, and the likes. They are included in your membership, custom-built for OMC and, to my knowledge, not available anywhere else.
There are (often better) alternatives available, but they usually come with their own price tag attached, obviously.
The problem with the included OMC-software is the quality, though. My assumption is that these tools have been outsourced to some software developers with little to no experience in quality assurance and testing, and hence you, the end-user, will encounter bugs and issues everywhere (Don’t look at your browsers developer tools while using them; The error and log messages there that the devs forgot to fix and remove will make your eyes bleed!)
Personally, these tools seem to be more of a marketing instrument to me than something that is really helpful for building your business. When someone is trying to sell you access to their platform, it’s always good when they can tell you as the potential customer that you’ll get access to a bazillion bonus tools when you sign up in the next five minutes…
Online Marketing Classroom – Support
The support of Online Marketing Classroom is managed quite professionally, to be honest. They use a ticket system to respond to your questions and they do so within a fair amount of time. Usually, you should expect an answer within 24 to 48 hours.
Those answers will usually be written by a virtual assistant or one of Aidan’s and Steve’s team members. I can’t remember a direct response from one of the two owners, but I think I heard from other members back then that they heard from the two personally.
The quality of the support messages varies from okay-ish to good, as far as I remember. Sometimes it took some back and forth to get to the point and really get a response that would help me out with my problems.
Suggestions for improvement, feature requests, or bug reports I filed during the time as a member were usually accepted, but I’ve never seen them implemented into the software or website itself. Hence, I assume they were disregarded by either the owners or the developers that build the software.
Online Marketing Classroom – Community
The Community is a big part of the Online Marketing Classroom experience. I know that many people don’t get the idea of being a member of a paid community, especially as there are so many free communities out there on Facebook, Reddit, and the likes. The difference, in my experience, is that in a paid community you will find the people that are really serious about their business efforts. Like-minded, highly motivated individuals like yourself that want to push their business to the next level. The Online Marketing Classroom community is no different than other paid communities in that regard.
However, one thing that I always felt a bit weird in the OMC community is the spirit of competition. Most of the people that I met were kind and motivated people, but most were more concerned about their own success than about helping others. On the one hand that is totally understandable, as they do not want to give away their individual key success. On the other hand: Well, it’s hard to explain… If you have ever experienced a truly “pay-it-forward”-minded community like the one over at Wealthy Affiliate, for example, where members really care for each other and try to help to be successful together as a community, you will now what I mean. It’s just a different spirit. To me, personally, OMC always felt like a place for “lonely warriors”. A bit selfish, maybe?
It may very well be a personal thing. Maybe it’s just me! And you want to try it yourself. Feel free to do so. You may make a totally different experience.
The Good & The Bad Of Online Marketing Classroom
Before we wrap this review up with my final opinion about OMC, let’s sum up the pros and cons of the platform.
- Lots of Content: While many other online courses and communities focus on only one business model, Online Marketing Classroom tries to cover pretty much everything. That’s great, especially to get a first overview and see what fits you best. But on the other hand, it can easily overwhelm you and distract you…
- Lots of Formats: The content comes in many different formats. Video-on-demand, live workshops, ebooks, cheatsheets. You name it, they have it!
- Challenges: The challenges that happen from time to time are fun and the idea of “gamification” really resonated with me.
- “Salesy” and Not Upfront With Their Pricing: You can join OMC for either $1497,- for a 2-years-subscription or for $97,- per month. But they won’t tell you unless you’ve “ignored” their $1497,- hard enough. Only then, their fourth and final follow-up email will tell you that they also offer a monthly plan. I don’t know… It’s not illegal, but it feels a little strange to me…
- Too Expensive: $1497,- for a two-year membership is a lot of money. I’d argue that there are better and cheaper options, especially for beginners. Wealthy Affiliate would be one of them and the one that I personally would recommend!
- Poor Software Quality: As pointed out above, it is pretty cool that the platform offers more than just the training and the community, but also custom-tailored software that you won’t find anywhere else. But the quality isn’t very high. You’ll encounter many bugs and issues, and bug reports aren’t given high priority. That makes some of the software useless.
- Affiliate Links Everywhere: Many of the products and services that OMC teaches you about are paid products. And by linking to the corresponding websites, Aidan and Steven get paid commissions. Nothing wrong with that, but in many cases, there are free alternatives, especially for people just getting started. You do not need a paid Aweber account from day one. There are many free alternatives, as long as your mailing list has not reached a certain limit, and **I** would always suggest getting started with something like that! But then you obviously don’t get paid commissions from day one… I get that!
- The Page Is Not Secure: This may not be a big one for you. But for me as a Computer Scientist, it’s a pretty big no-no. When you access the OMC website, modern browsers will point out that the site is not secure. They do not use an SSL encrypted connection, i.e. HTTP instead of HTTPS, which means that your communication with the website is not encrypted and therefore not secure.
My Final Opinion Of Online Marketing Classroom
Plain and simple: I do not recommend Online Marketing Classroom. I know, many of you will say I’m stupid, passing on giving it a glowing 5-star-review and taking those delicious 50% commission on a $1497,- sale…
But I’m not that guy!
I was a member myself. And I think I made clear what I like and what I don’t like about OMC and the way Aidan and Steven promote and sell their products. And even if the amount of training is impressive, the content itself, as well as the included software lack quality, in my opinion. The entire platform has a “salesy” character, and that is not something that I personally like.
From my experience, Online Marketing Classroom as a platform does not put YOU, the customer (or even its community) first, but rather their own success and wealth.
The Golden Bullet?
The way Steven and Aidan market their products, especially the Online Marketing Classroom, is a promise to quick success and quick money. That’s something that will always sell, especially in times of crisis. And I’m not going to say that you cannot be successful with OMC. Chances are you will be successful. But “get rich quick” schemes are always a gamble, and they are ethically doubtful. Be it dropshipping or kindle self-publishing (at least the way it is taught here).
OMC is NOT the golden bullet. It’s a very comprehensive collection of online business courses. And I understand that this and the claims for quick money that the Online Marketing Classroom makes are very tempting, despite the price tag it comes with.
If my reasoning above did not convince you, then go ahead and give it a try. There’s nothing (besides those $1497,-) to lose!
But I personally would go for a more focused approach…
What’s The Alternative?
With a total of 10 years of online business experience in different niches and business models, I argue that especially beginners are better off by taken a very focused approach when building their first online business and not get distracted by all the shiny objects and promising short-term business opportunities along the way. It’s very easy to fall for the promises that “get-rich-quick-schemes” offer…
Most of them don’t work, though. And while those success stories you may hear sound impressive, they represent only a fraction of those who tried and failed.
A more robust, long term approach is offered by a platform and community named Wealthy Affiliate. As the name suggests, they focus on the business model of affiliate marketing; and nothing more. It won’t make you rich overnight. But it will help you build a rock-solid, long-term online business around topics and niches that YOU are excited about.
Online Marketing Classroom$97/mth or $1497/2yrs
Ease of Use7.5/10
Business Models (Quality)4.0/10
Business Models (Quantity)8.0/10
Motivation and Fun Factor7.0/10
- Lots of Content
- Lots of Formats
- Fun Challenges
- "Salesy" and Not Upfront With Their Pricing
- Too Expensive
- Poor Software Quality
- Affiliate Links Everywhere
- The Page Is Not Secure