Free Internet Marketing Project (FIMP) Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives

If you’re looking for a thorough Free Internet Marketing Project review, you’re in the right place.

If you’ve been online looking for an honest way to make money online or to start an online business, it’s likely, you may have come across Ian Pribyl’s Free Internet Marketing Program thru StoppingScams.com. I came across this program while I was doing research on internet marketing programs in effort to protect consumers online.

When I went thru his program, I was actually infuriated by the funnel, and this review will tell you why. Later, I was able to meet with Ian (after the dialogue you’ll see in the comments section below) by virtual conference. I told him about my frustrations with FIMP, and he was very receptive about the suggestions I made.

As a result of his professionalism, humility, and willingness to improve his program, I’ve added an update you’ll see at the bottom of the review.

As a disclaimer, I normally don’t “lash out” on product creators like I did with Ian, and I can openly admit, I was wrong for how I originally perceived him. I’ve editted this post to focus on the product (like it always should have) rather than my previous version where I believe I could have been more tactful. He showed a lot of maturity with how he handled the situation, and I’m appreciative to him for that.

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If you’re here, you’re probably wondering is Free Internet Marketing Project legit? I plan to answer your questions, and lay out the facts about FIMP in this post here. In this Free Internet Marketing Project review, I will give you:

  • What it is
  • How it works
  • Pros and Cons
  • What it does well and what it does not
  • What others are saying (good and bad)
  • My Recommendation
  • And, Alternatives (in case you want to do some comparison shopping)

What is Free Internet Marketing Project? An Overview

Free Internet Marketing Project (FIMP) is an online course program created by Ian Pribyl where he teaches internet marketing. Ian goes over many of the core competencies required to start a business and grow a successful online marketing empire.

free internet marketing project review

How Does Free Internet Marketing Project Work?

FIMP is split into 8 lessons which are taught in alot of depth. The lessons break down like this:

free internet marketing project review

Lesson 1: Getting Started

Ian explains what to expect in FIMP.

Lesson 2: Essential Mindset Training

He explains the mindset you have to have to achieve success. This module was very good because it helps reprogram people from the common misconception that internet business is easy and quick.

Lesson 3: Picking a Niche

In this lesson, Ian goes very in depth to explain a good niche vs. a bad niche. He talks about how to know your niche is too broad, how to take a broad website and hone in to get traction, and more.

Lesson 4: Build Your Website

Ian helps FIMPers to build their own websites using Godaddy or Namecheap as a Registrar, and Bluehost as a web host.

Lesson 5: Keyword Research

Although FIMP says it’s 100% free, once you get halfway thru the 4th lesson, it requires a purchase from an affiliate of FIMP or a $147 donation to continue in the program. Ian does an over-the-shoulder walk-thru of keyword research using Longtail Pro.

Lesson 6: Content that Gets Ranked

This lesson teaches you how to create content that’s suitable for search engine ranking and visitor usability.

Lesson 7: Website Promotion & Traffic

Early on in the training, Ian mentioned he would be teaching paid and free traffic methods (including video marketing). In the website and promotion sections, he talks mostly about search engine optimization, but later in the paid internet marketing project, he goes into much more depth on paid advertising thru Facebook ads.

Lesson 8: How do I Make Money?

Within lessons 1-4, Ian talked about how there are three general options for making money online: the content marketing track, the service based track, and the e-commerce track. He didn’t give enough practical details that would enable a viewer to get started making money without additional surfing or piling pieces of information together. In this lesson, you learn various options for website monetization.

How Do I Get Started with Free Internet Marketing Project?

To get started with FIMP, you would visit the FIMP website, and begin taking the training. If you decide you like the training, you donate $147 or make an affiliate purchase (using their affiliate links) to continue after lesson 4.

Who is Free Internet Marketing Project For?

  • Those who have a small budget to start an online business and are looking for a roadmap
  • Those who have at least enough monthly income to afford hosting and a domain name (as a bare minimum) – about $50/year to start and increasing as your content grows, or as you want more of the recommended tools.
  • Those who have more than 10 hours/week starting off to invest in doing tasks to grow their business

Free Internet Marketing Project Tools & Training

Free Internet Marketing Training gives you access to 4 lessons of free training, 4 lessons of paid training, and a Facebook group.

Free Internet Marketing Project Support

FIMP has a free Facebook group for members to join. If you have a personal matter to communicate about, Ian has given his personal email address inside the members area where you can reach him.

What Does Free Internet Marketing Project Do Well

  • They create high-quality video content
  • Ian says he’s active in his Facebook group daily
  • They’ve compiled a good Internet marketing curriculum that could enable success online
  • There are positive customer reviews (even from customers of competing products)

What Doesn’t Free Internet Marketing Project Do Well

  • The training doesn’t let you skip lessons
  • Although it’s free, there are several times where you’ll hear that “it’s unsustainable” and be requested to buy affiliate products to keep the program going, or to “give a donation of $147 or more”.
  • Not a standalone program — It says it’s a free program, but after lesson 4.4.1, it requires you to donate, purchase Bluehost, or purchase Thrive Themes annual membership before you get to the pertinent lessons that would be required to make money

Free Internet Marketing Project Roundup

Common Positive Feedback

Many customers show appreciation for Ian compiling his training

They say things like:

  • This training is so thorough
  • This could be worth much more–even more than $1000
  • The video quality is very good
  • Ian is very knowledgeable

Common Negative Feedback

  • Some students still believe other courses are better (Wealthy Affiliate is a common comparison)

Most Helpful Positive Free Internet Marketing Project Review

FIMP is for the beginner affiliate marketer, but I would suggest you spend some time on it even if you are mid-level to advanced.

I personally will be going through this course entirely over the next weeks, even though I already know and understand most of the lessons he shares.

Ian is obviously a successful affiliate marketer in his own right so it would be good to see how a pro-affiliate marketer goes about building a business.

3Hundred.com

Most Helpful Negative Free Internet Marketing Project Review

There are currently no negative reviews of FIMP. If you see any other pros or cons to joining this program, please leave them in the comments section below.

Free Internet Marketing Project Price

FIMP is free for lessons 1-4.4.1

If you want to learn about traffic generation, website monetization, and other topics that you really can’t make money without, then you have to purchase one of their affiliate offers or donate $147.

My Final Opinion of Free Internet Marketing Project

Overall, Ian at FIMP gives great training, very valuable lessons, and adds in some great personal experiences into his lessons, however, the funding model isn’t my favorite. FIMP would definitely be on my list of top recommendations for those who live in countries banned by Wealthy Affiliate, but for others, I still choose my #1 recommendation. The program is compiled into 8 lessons, but halfway thru the 4th lesson is where you have to buy an affiliate product or pay to unlock the remainder of the training. Prior to lesson 4, you learn overviews of how to make money online, but without a clear enough explanation that someone new to the industry could take the information and apply it. There is no explanation of:

  • How to sell services from a website
  • How to set up e-commerce
  • How or what affiliate marketing is
  • How to set up ads
  • No information on sponsorships or other styles of monetization
  • and, No traffic generation training

As a result, it’s my opinion that FIMP can’t live up to the claims of empowering you to make a 5-6 figure income 100% for free. How can you make an income without knowing how to get traffic or how to monetize a website?

You’d have to pay $147 or buy hosting, themes, or other products from FIMP in order to continue. For those who already have hosting or for those who don’t prefer the recommended products, the course would cost $147 as a “donation”. Instead of saying it’s free then requiring backend payment, I’ve seen other free business models who either charge advertisers or who have sponsors or grants, so they can live up to their promise of being free to the end user–this program seemed like false advertisement (in my opinion).

My Thoughts on FIMP Tool Recommendations

When added up, the tools he recommends costs upwards of $300/mo (much more than the tools Wealthy Affiliate offers/recommends which are $49/mo) and many of the tools are less user-friendly (when comparing customer reviews). As a baseline, he recommends hosting and a domain name, but once if you want a better experience, he recommends:

Regarding the payment methods, I would prefer to pay up front to ensure the business is sustainable and can continually be updated, rather than be told it’s free, but hard-sold on donations or purchasing tools (that I may not prefer for my business). There are various business models out there and while Bluehost, Longtail Pro, Aweber, Clickfunnels, Thrive Themes and his other recommendations work well for some, they aren’t for everyone.

Is FIMP Really 100% Free? No.

While he may be well-intentioned, and genuinely want to offer a better solution at a lower cost than others, there’s an inherent cost to running a business, and people who are serious will be willing to pay that. Internet Marketing businesses require hosting, keyword research, training, and mindset/support at the bare minimum, and Wealthy Affiliate over-delivers on those components and more. Advertising something as free, then realizing later that it can’t be free, or hard selling affiliate offers or donations just comes off as not being 100% honest.

At least, Wealthy Affiliate does offer a 100% free option where no payment information is required AND you don’t even have to buy a domain or hosting! While I still recommend FIMP, if you’re expecting it to be 100% free (like the claims say), you’re going to be disappointed.

Top Alternatives

If you’d like to enroll in a training program that has a:

  • Huge community
  • Lots of success stories and proof their training works
  • Hosting and keyword research tools included
  • No upsells
  • and, That allows you to try before you buy (without asking for billing info)

What’s Included with Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate vs. Free Internet Marketing Project

  • FIMP says it’s free, but requires you to “donate” before unlocking the most important components of the training about Traffic generation and Website monetization. Can you really make money online without knowing how to get traffic or monetize?
  • While upgrading to a premium membership is recommended, Wealthy Affiliate gives you enough training to make money for free (without upgrading)
  • FIMP requires you to be a Facebook user to participate in their community
  • Wealthy Affiliate has a proprietary system that has several in-depth algorithms and makes Wealthy Affiliate operate like a social media platform
  • FIMP requires you to buy a website and some of the other referenced tools are paid tools. Wealthy Affiliate recommends you to buy a domain, but offers you two free websites (on a subdomain) totest out first.
  • FIMP is owner-created training (all contributed by Ian Pribyl)
  • Wealthy Affiliate has owner-created training as well as 1000s of hours of member-contributed training (that’s very valuable)
  • FIMP does not offer comment or feedback exchanges as an embed and organized feature of the platform
  • Wealthy Affiliate has proprietary comment and feedback platforms where it’s a very organized method for you to get on-demand comments and feedback
  • FIMP relies on Bluehost, GoDaddy, and Hostgator hosting and customer support (which are three companies that have lots of third party customer support complaints on sites like TrustPilot, G2Crowd where customers give reviews.
  • Wealthy manages their own hosting servers and offers very prompt and thorough customer support for hosting and other matters
  • For FIMP, high-quality customer service (or even the entire program) may not be sustainable
  • Wealthy Affiliate has provided high quality customer service for 15 years and is still going strong!
  • and, the list can go on and on…..Wealthy Affiliate is definitely a better platform than FIMP, however, FIMP can provide good supplementary content (as long as you won’t be confused by the contradicting recommendations)

Here are some other differences between Wealthy Affiliate and FIMP

VERDICT: Recommended


But, Try My #1 Recommendation 1st and Supplement with FIMP

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UPDATE AFTER SPEAKING WITH IAN PRIBYL THRU VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

After writing my review, Ian Pribyl, the product creator reached out via comment. You can read the dialogue below. After the comments, we were able to meet virtually by conference video, and we discussed FIMP and process improvements. He said he didn’t intentionally mean to advertise deceptively, but he mentioned that he hadn’t formed the business in a sustainable way.

When he created FIMP, he wanted to make free internet marketing project an option for people who want to learn internet marketing to learn for free, however, he didn’t realize the costs that would be associated with providing the support for that. He thought more students would self-elect to donate or pay thru affiliate programs, and it didn’t work out that way. In effort to continue offering even a portion of his free content, he decided to change the model of FIMP and make half of the lessons paid and half free.

He gave me access to the remainder of the course, and I can say, it’s a very well done and high-quality course worth paying for, but I feel the pricing should be confronted up front to prevent confusion and disappointment. Also, I found that although the subject matter and content is similar to Wealthy Affiliate, Ian doesn’t want to compete with Wealthy Affiliate. In fact, he recommended them in lesson 8.

Overall, the theories that were different between Wealthy Affiliate and FIMP are minor (in my opinion), and mostly relate to link-building and which tools to use, but that’s up to you to test each, and decide which you like best. After having tried the recommended tools at FIMP, I have chosen which ones work best for me, and I’ve given detailed reviews to help you decide which ones might work for you here:

We discussed options for making the payment of the course more upfront rather than the repetition of statements like “this is 100% free training”, and we discussed separating the free vs. paid content to make it very clear what you’ll get for free. We also discussed curriculum changes to make the free membership more usable to students (like adding some traffic or monetization techniques up front).

I’m happy to say it seems Ian is considering all of the recommended changes, and it speaks volumes about his ethics (which I questioned before), and the potential of FIMP going forward. The really exciting part of what Ian is doing is his Paid Internet Marketing Project, which deserves it’s own separate review. He goes into so much detail on Facebook ads, Conversion Optimization, and other topics. I’d say that’s the program that sticks out to me, and the one I’d highly recommend. As for FIMP, I’d still say Wealthy Affiliate is my favorite budget-friendly option for teaching people to start an online business, but if you’d like to further supplement your learning, give FIMP a try.

Hopefully, the changes with the pricing transparency will be in effect when you get there. To check, you can see what it’s like at Lesson 4. I am hoping this review and update are helpful for you. So long!

Free Internet Marketing Project

6.2

Reliability

6.0/10

Pricing

6.0/10

User Friendly

7.0/10

Support

6.0/10

Features

6.0/10

Pros

  • High quality video training
  • A credible instructor
  • Great curriculum
  • Access to the Instructor and community is included in the Free Facebook group

Cons

  • The founder is saying it's "unsustainable" so it may not be around for long
  • No Software as a Service tools (like what's available in other comparable (free & paid) programs (like my #1 recommendation)
  • You may not get the best customer support or continued updating of the platform (because it's free)
  • It's strictly a training platform--You have to purchase other tools elsewhere
  • The way it's marketed as 100% free is a little deceiving because you would assume you wouldn't have to pay, but once you get to a certain point in the training, a donation or affiliate offer is required. Also, it seems like "he's biting the hand that fed him" by promoting Wealthy Affiliate for 6 years (even keeping his membership there to this day), but not crediting them (or anyone else) for any ideas in his training

10 thoughts on “Free Internet Marketing Project (FIMP) Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives”

  1. I loved the video you included in your review that overviews wealthy affiliate and how the website helps you out. The information provided is factual and gives an overview of a competing program called FIMP. It is interesting how a person goes from wealthy affiliate to making his own competing program. I find wealthy affiliate to have helped me the most of anything out there.

    1. Tiffany Domena

      You’re welcome Jon! I really love that video because it shows how fun Vegas can be for those who are affiliates of WA. I agree that Wealthy Affiliate has been most helpful for me also, but I do love the content Ian’s produced over at FIMP. I just think it should serve as a supplement (especially since the tools he recommends are sub par in my opinion).

  2. Hello Tiffany, thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding FIMP. If you had sent me your concerns directly, I assure you — you’d have received a much more holistic and up-to-date perspective than what you’ve concluded here.

    I think much of the FIMP community and, frankly, my personal journey as an online marketer, has been taken out of context and mischaracterized in your review.

    My most pressing concern as I type this comment is that you’ve simply reviewed FIMP negatively to piggyback on the its Google search volume to promote Wealthy Affiliate — something that’s been happening substantially more over the years, and is one of the main reasons I created FIMP and transitioned away from promoting WA in the first place (a sacrifice that cost me a six-figure stream of affiliate revenue from WA, after being a top affiliate for five years running).

    Most WA Bootcampers don’t write unbiased reviews — they write negative reviews to push other products down and prop up Wealthy Affiliate in hopes of making affiliate commissions. In most instances, if the same product they were reviewing paid equally (or better) than Wealthy Affiliate, they’d be eager to rate it positively.

    At this stage, given that FIMP is a free community, that’s unfortunately not possible for us. We can’t pay reviewers anywhere close to the commissions that WA does.

    There are, however, multiple other Wealthy Affiliate members who gave FIMP an unbiased and resoundingly positive review despite their affiliation with WA:

    Neil (a fantastic FIMP member who I’ve enjoyed getting to know and help): https://zerotoaffiliatehero.com/free-internet-marketing-project-rocks-reviewed

    3hundrd, who promotes WA but was honest and forthright about FIMP’s strengths over their usual top recommendation: https://3hundrd.com/fimp-review

    Lisa, who was a WA member for months, but has had multiple breakthroughs at FIMP that she did not get at WA (and as of today, has a very exciting budding website!): https://teesbyleese.com/free-internet-marketing-project-review/

    All of the above-linked reviews are from former (and current) WA members.

    WA Bootcamp is, in my opinion and 15+ years of experience, a remarkably oversaturated path that leads the vast majority of WA members down a months-long struggle with very little return (if any). For every, “I made it to Vegas!!!!” post that you read on WA, there are hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of others who have followed the training closely with lackluster results.

    I wouldn’t have left behind $100K+ per year in Wealthy Affiliate commissions if I didn’t feel very strongly about that. If you’d reached out to me when compiling this review, rather than referencing years-old content of mine about WA and pulling quotes out of context, you would have been able to share this fact with your readers.

    If you believe I make more from FIMP than I made from WA (as I think you’re suggesting by accusing me of launching a “competing product”), you’re sorely mistaken. The commissions we receive from Supporters at FIMP largely go to pay the project’s expenses and full-time staff who help keep the community supported, safe, and spam-free.

    Even though I did everything to steer my referrals away from WA Bootcamp for the last couple of years that I was an affiliate, I can’t tell you the countless messages I received from referrals following Bootcamp who worked hard for months upon months with zero to show for it, due to how competitive that particular niche is. We have FIMP members who have followed Bootcamp strictly for over a year without results, and who are now learning why thanks to what they’re studying at FIMP.

    We also have many members at FIMP who have studied Wealthy Affiliate’s OEC material as well as FIMP’s, and not a single time has an unbiased FIMP member finished all eight core modules of video training and stated that WA comes out on top (particularly considering the ongoing monthly expense of $49 per month, which is significantly steeper than FIMP regardless of what method of support a person chooses).

    There were many years that WA was by-far-and-away the best and safest community that had everyone’s best interests as priority #1 (hence some of my content you’ve linked in this review), but I feel those years have passed, and it’s one of the main reasons FIMP was created.

    Even if you took issue with the support required to unlock the second free phase of FIMP training, which is a structure that’s very transparently disclosed in FIMP’s introduction, you could have instead recommended the eBook version of FIMP on Amazon (“From Nothing”) that’s less than $10 USD (as opposed to WA’s $49/month).

    Literally everything someone needs to build a profitable internet business is in that book (one reviewer referred to it as the Internet Marketing “Bible”), at significantly greater depth than Wealthy Affiliate’s training.

    Ever since Bootcamp has been, in my opinion, a “black hole” for the vast majority of budding internet entrepreneurs who wander into it, the community has become less safe than it was when I spent years recommending it. And that’s ultimately what motivated me to create FIMP.

    Naturally, when you pull quotes (some of which are missing serious context) and videos from years ago when Bootcamp didn’t exist or FIMP wasn’t yet created, my opinion was different.

    Although WA’s OEC is still a path I’d feel comfortable recommending, it’s not remotely as in-depth or fleshed out as FIMP (Level 1 OEC of niche selection: https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/training/online-entrepreneur-certification-getting-started-level-1/choosing-a-niche vs. the 3.5 hours of step-by-step video training at FIMP).

    One 17-minute lesson (WA) vs. 3.5 hours of much clearer, step-by-step, criteria-based training (FIMP).

    My question at the end of the day — a question I would truly like to ask **every** WA Bootcamper out there — is: Would you recommend the most affordable path to internet marketing success over Wealthy Affiliate, even if you didn’t receive a commission?

    In other words, would you do what’s undeniably in your readers’ best interest, even if you didn’t stand to gain from that recommendation financially?

    Or would you create a negative review to position WA alongside it, in hopes that people will click and purchase through your affiliate link?

    The answer for most, if they were being honest, is recommending WA to make a commission vs. making nothing by recommending a more affordable, more helpful alternative.

    I believe many of the 10,000+ members who have benefited from FIMP’s free training would say that about this review.

    Despite what I feel is a biased, unfair review of FIMP — if there’s ever anything I can do to help you on your journey, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’ve looked up your account and seen that you’re truly a member of the “FIMP fam,” which means I’m always one message away from being able to help.

    I started FIMP to help people above all else, and countless WA members have discovered that as they’ve dug into the training, posted questions in the community, and filled in the “blanks” that they had from previous training.

    That offer for help extends to you all the same, regardless of the answer to my questions above.

    I’ll check back in a couple of days to see if you published this comment for all to see. I sincerely hope you do.

    1. Tiffany Domena

      Hello Ian! Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your response to this post, and I’m not the type of person that only publishes posts that “make me look good”. I want the readers and visitors to my website to have an accurate perspective of products and services I review, which is why I approve posts that agree and some that disagree. With that said, it didn’t cross my mind not to publish your post–it’s not how I operate here. I don’t tolerate turning my comments section into a spam fest, but having a different perspective is completely acceptable.

      In response to your post, the first thing that sticks out is your generalizations. I don’t think you should generalize “Wealthy Affiliate members” or those who take the Bootcamp training as you do. The “what’s in it for me” ethical stance isn’t unique to Wealthy Affiliate.

      There are people all over the world who would promote the product that pays them better over the product that doesn’t. I try my best here to promote the product that offers the highest value to the end user, and my review went to great lengths to prove why I believe Wealthy Affiliate is better than FIMP and commissions aren’t the main factor at all.

      It looks like you only see “unbiased” FIMP reviews as “unbiased” reviews when they’re positive. When you really think about reviews, they’re opinions, so they’re all biased. Some people will have positive things to say, and some will have negative things to say. Your program made me very upset because you say it’s free (even in the comment) and it’s not free. You also say yours is better than Wealthy Affiliate, and you probably haven’t taken all that’s available (the Bootcamp and Online Entrepreneur Certification isn’t even the majority of what’s there). It’s a little arrogant to say your training is better than the hundreds of trainers at Wealthy Affiliate considering you haven’t taken all of it.

      It’s actually not necessary to say anything negative about another product in order to sell a competing product and I’ve demonstrated that several times here. Sometimes, customers choose based on the differences rather than based on one being bad and one being good–the market doesn’t always been a “bad” and a “good” to make a sale. Other big business demonstrate this as well. Take Walmart for an example, they have several good products in many verticals. They don’t say one is bad to prop another. I use the same philosophy. Instead, I like to point out the advantages and differences in each when there are two good products to give the customer what they would need to make the best choice for THEM.

      The way you market FIMP makes it seem that the “Propping up” and “tearing down” philosophy you’ve stereotyped of Wealthy Affiliate reviewers is something you practice. Your generalization and accusatory statements about how we write negative reviews simply for a commission is not reflective of the actions of many of us (like me). If you took some time to read or study some of the reviews I’ve written, you’d find quite a few where my commissions are much higher for the program I’ve said was not as good. Some examples include:

      Legendary Marketer – Where my commissions are 50% of products going up to $15k, but I clearly mentioned Wealthy Affiliate is better in my opinion, and their commission is $23.50 per month (significantly less). I’ve done this repeatedly here because I value my customers and my reputation above commissions. I’ve been asked several times to promote a product as being the “best”, but I refused if it’s not being honest. As a result, I think your generalization is inaccurate when you mention people who take the Bootcamp training write negative reviews simply for the commissions.

      I could also accuse you of the same thing. Wealthy Affiliate is $23.50 commission per month with an average retention of 8 months, but requires initiative on the part of the affiliate to sustain that. I could accuse you of choosing the option you thought was more lucrative since FIMP technically isn’t free. Customers have to buy something valued at about $150 in commissions or donations to you in order to gain access to the entire training.

      Aside from those accusations you mentioned, you said I should have reached out to you before publishing this post and I did. On March 18, 2019 at 4:48PM (to be specific), I wrote this post to your Wealthy Affiliate private inbox:

      “I took your FIMP training today. I think it’s very high quality and good. I wrote a review about it. My only major con is why do you promote it the way you do? As a premium member here, you promote many competing products and you haven’t (at the least) credited Wealthy Affiliate as an inspiration for any ideas. Many of the topics are comparable to what the core training or contributed training gives, but you’ve promoted your training like a competing product. It seems ethically questionable to me. Why do you do that?”

      I genuinely wanted to understand, and I was/am more than willing to change the slant of my review if:

      1. Your program offered a higher value to the end user (which I haven’t seen)
      2. Your program said it was free and truly was free (no backend changes to pricing)
      3. Or, if you mentioned that you tried to tell the Wealthy Affiliate owners their program doesn’t work and recommend changes, but they ignored you. Doing comments like this and telling their students their program doesn’t work behind their backs (while they’re still paying you and being good to you) is ethically questionable to me, and your comment hasn’t made things any better. In fact, your comment makes it worse.

      In my case, I don’t mind saying the limits of Wealthy Affiliate and when there is a superior product–I know it’s not the best for everybody. I genuinely believe it’s a great product suite, the owners are very responsive to customers, and they operate very ethically–that’s why I choose to recommend them. Added to that, their training is 1000’s of hours of training. You have the Online Entrepreneur Certification, the Affiliate Bootcamp, the live Weekly Training, and the member contributed training, so what exactly are you referring to when you say “it doesn’t work”? The fact you’re on my website right now writing comments is a testament that the training works because they’ve taught how to write content that invokes action, how to rank it, and how to attract people to you using the search engines. Added to that, they’re my hosting service and my website was live for you, I wouldn’t know the search volume of your name (without their keyword tools), and overall, we wouldn’t be having this conversation if it didn’t work. You probably still use things they taught you regularly, so it’s a shame you’ve decided to speak against them to prop up your own.

      Watching the owners and their responsiveness to customer feedback (especially their Super Affiliates) made it even more confusing why you would’ve approached the FIMP situation the way you have. You said you “sacirificed a 6-figure income”, but you charge $147 in donations or a purchase of similar end commission for your program, so it doesn’t make sense. Was it the commission for you or what? Saying the students weren’t having success stories and so on you mentioned isn’t an excuse I’m buying because Wealthy Affiliate’s affiliates are coaches, so you should’ve been helping them, and WA also is a training platform (that pays you), so you could’ve created training to clear up the confusion of your referrals if it was really about the students. What’s even more compelling is you still have referrals there, you still get paid there, and you’re still a member there! That doesn’t make any sense if it doesn’t work!

      You mentioned I should’ve reached out to you before publishing this (which I did), but did you reach out to them to let them know you think their program no longer works? Did you suggest to them process improvements that they ignored, or did you backhandedly create a product (that comes off as borderline copyright infringement), and decide to take commissions and income from both?

      I could see how you would think the review mischaracterized you, but that’s my current perception. I write good reviews about products that I get no commission on when it’s deserving, so we can put that accusation to the side. This post is questioning the ethics. I didn’t have anything negative to say about the quality of your training or videos. It’s high quality and you’re a very good teacher–that’s not the point.

      I appreciate your offer to help. I’m hoping you’ll genuinely consider what you’re doing and the ethics of it. It looks bad.

      1. Hello again Tiffany,

        First of all — I owe you an apology. Even though I have an active membership on Wealthy Affiliate (I’m an annual member, and paid up for several more months), I am no longer active on their platform. I never saw your message.

        I still wish, however, that you had made a slightly more serious attempt to contact me (it’s not difficult through FIMP or my website) before writing a lengthy review which serves to, largely, call my ethics and intentions into question.

        Secondly, I sincerely appreciate you publishing my comment and opening this dialogue. I’m “once bitten, twice shy” when it comes to Bootcampers (as are many veterans in this industry these days), as I’ve had some go as far as editing my comments to better suit their narrative.

        This is clearly not the case for how you operate, and therefore I owe you yet another apology for assuming the worst.

        I’m going to jump straight to your questions, if that’s alright:

        You stated, “I genuinely wanted to understand, and I was/am more than willing to change the slant of my review if…”

        ==========
        1. Your program offered a higher value to the end user (which I haven’t seen)
        ==========

        Response: I have granted you access to all eight core sections of training (Supporter-level access, which I will address momentarily) at FIMP so that you can pick up where you left off. I sincerely appreciate that you studied all of the way up through Lesson 4.4.1 (better than most reviewers, once again), and I hope at some point you’ll find the time to dig back in and continue your studies (ideally, not just hopping around, but following the course sequentially as it was intended).

        I believe you will find that the essentials outlined in those core eight sections (similar to OEC, but with much greater depth and clarity) to be at least comparable to what’s offered at Wealthy Affiliate.

        100% truthfully, every member who has studied both and shared an opinion within the FIMP community has stated that they found FIMP’s training to be easier to follow, more in-depth, and with a much lower barrier to entry.

        ==========
        2. Your program said it was free and truly was free (no backend changes to pricing)
        ==========

        Response: I disclose 100% transparently and in great detail within the introduction at FIMP that Support will be required should a student want to keep studying. I still see this as free training (referred to in the introduction as “Phase 2” of the free training) because nobody builds an internet business without investing in hosting, at the very least. We’re simply requesting that they support our staff and project by doing it through our link — which is at no extra cost to them.

        An annual hosting account can be purchased for as little as $60 for the first year, meaning that a FIMP member can get access to **EVERYTHING** they need to start making money online for $70 in startup capital ($60.00 hosting + $10.00 domain @ NameCheap), as opposed to $49 recurring monthly at WA and $15/year for a .com domain.

        Premium keyword tools are explicitly disclosed as optional, and highly effective free keyword research methods are taught as an alternative for anyone who can’t afford a premium tool.

        I used to recommend Jaaxy (which pays better than LTP), but their search volume and competition metrics are WAYYYY off compared to the industry’s other leading tools, which is why I changed my recommendation (but again, I still teach 100% free alternatives in-depth, and make abundantly clear that no investment in a keyword tool is required).

        The average person would likely need a premium WA membership for a **minimum** of 3-4 months to get fully up-to-speed, so we’re talking about a minimum of $162 vs. $70.

        This review has been written from the perspective of, “Ian created FIMP to compete with Wealthy Affiliate,” which could not possibly be a larger miscategorization of my intentions when creating FIMP. I’m still friends with both Kyle and Carson to this day — I think they’re STILL two of the most honest people in this industry, despite my disagreements with WA Bootcamp. I still recommend WA very openly and publicly (more on that in a moment).

        I love both of those guys immensely and consider them very dear friends, which is why there’s **nothing** present on my websites that says, “Don’t join WA — join FIMP instead.” This is an approach I’ve never taken, nor do I have any plans to.

        My intentions with FIMP were PURELY to give people a lower-cost, fully comprehensive and step-by-step path to building a profitable internet business. When FIMP launched, all Sections 1-8 were completely public and open, but the project wasn’t getting the financial backing required to keep my staff paid and keep FIMP alive (this is not something I just said in the training for show).

        The main form of financial support at FIMP, by far, is Bluehost. FIMP received $55,325 in Bluehost commissions during all of 2018. This number would have been in the range of $120,000 – $150,000 at Wealthy Affiliate if I’d just pressed on promoting them instead of developing the platform I wish someone had given me when I was getting my start.

        We have three full-time team members working at FIMP right now, so believe me, that $55,325 from Bluehost plus the odd $2 commissions from NameCheap and $8 commissions from LTP don’t go very far. And we only receive a handful of Supporter donations at FIMP per month (typically in the range of 3-5), which was not intended as a “money grab,” but as an alternative for people who didn’t want to support using a lower-cost method of support. It was requested often enough that I finally added it as an option.

        This operation is FAR from “raking in cash,” and that’s fine by me! That was never the intention. I have several other sources of income outside of FIMP, one of which is as the marketing co-founder of an optometry/optical startup here in the U.S. (currently my main project and where the majority of my net worth lies).

        But FIMP is at least breaking even now, which means my staff members have long-term employment and I can continue sharing what I’ve learned over 15 years in this industry to people the way I wish someone had shared with me.

        One final related note: I was not “brought up” as an internet marketer at Wealthy Affiliate — far from it, actually.

        Although some people have written articles at WA implying that, it’s far from true. I began promoting WA in approximately 2011 or 2012. I began studying internet marketing in 2003, and was first profitable in 2007 (years before finding WA).

        So although I recommended them as the safest community I found once I discovered them, calling my ethics into question for “being trained by this community and then turning around to compete against it” is remarkably unfair and inaccurate. I’ve spent well over six figures developing my marketing skills, and the vast majority of what I know is not from WA’s teachings.

        I’m not saying that I haven’t learned anything there (that would be an unfair categorization as well), but the HUGE majority of what I know comes from my own experiences over the years as a superaffiliate with multiple companies, an SEO agency owner, an eCommerce website owner, and more.

        ==========
        3. Or, if you mentioned that you tried to tell the Wealthy Affiliate owners their program doesn’t work and recommend changes, but they ignored you. Doing comments like this and telling their students their program doesn’t work behind their backs (while they’re still paying you and being good to you) is ethically questionable to me, and your comment hasn’t made things any better. In fact, your comment makes it worse.
        ==========

        Response: I directly vocalized my concerns about WA Bootcamp in Las Vegas around the “Super Affiliate Roundtable” in 2015. I spent an hour getting railroaded publicly in front of all other super affiliates (with a handful of them chiming in to also disagree with me) and was told that WA had a right to promote their program however they saw fit (accurate), and that I was welcome to steer my personal referrals away from WA Bootcamp if I felt it didn’t set them up for success.

        Soon thereafter, I published this post: https://stoppingscams.com/wealthy-affiliate-online-entrepreneur-cert-vs-wa-bootcamp/

        This was published on March 10, 2015 — within a month and a half of returning from that roundtable discussion. I worked it into multiple automatic follow-up messages within WA’s platform, and it still wasn’t enough to keep my referrals completely safe from what I strongly felt was a path that didn’t set them up for success as well as possible.

        So Kyle and Carson are both keenly aware of my disagreements with their pivot to WA Bootcamp. I am not the only affiliate of theirs that feels this way, but I am the one who’s been most straightforward and vocal about my disagreements.

        If this had been addressed in a way I felt was adequate, it’s distinctly possible that I wouldn’t have ever changed my opinion of Wealthy Affiliate, and I’d gladly be promoting them as my main community to this day (and making more money as a result!).

        They have no obligation to cater to me, I understand that. It does, however, very strongly affect how I feel about their community.

        Ultimately, I took a stand for what I felt was right, and created FIMP to be a non-monthly, lower-cost solution.

        ===

        There are many other points that could be discussed, and I’m happy to setup a call to do so if you’d like. But for now, I wanted to directly address the three points you mentioned would lead you to consider seeing FIMP from a different perspective.

        What you read above is the correct characterization of FIMP, and what my intentions were in starting the project. Whether or not you believe that to be the case is 100% up to you. Again, I’m happy to continue this discussion, I’d just ask that it be done through a more efficient medium time-wise (I’m not sure I can continue taking the time away from my startup to respond with in-depth text comments, but a phone call would be possible).

        I still recommend WA to community members with the above caveats and cautions (you’ll see this if you decide to dig back in and finish the core eight sections of training at FIMP).

        Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to discuss further (my email is included with my comments, of course).

        If anything I’ve written above comes across as hostile or aggressive, I assure you that’s not my intention (nor would it be my tonality over the phone). I’m passionate about what we’re doing at FIMP, and I’m 100% confident that anyone who knows me personally would tell you that this review of FIMP, and your description of me as a person, isn’t remotely fair or accurate.

        1. Tiffany Domena

          I respect your perspective Ian. I don’t know why you’re expecting reviewers to go to such length to contact you if they have a negative review. I did reach out.

          I will review the remainder of the program, and I’m open to further discussion if you’d like to address the other things you left out. I can be cordial and respectful–that’s how I try to handle matters of this sort.

          To be honest, the funnel in your program made me upset, and I’m sure you can feel that vibe in my post. I understand businesses have to make money to survive, but I’d prefer you not call it free if it’s not free. I understand what you’re doing, and I highly respect your intentions–it sounds great. When I see “free”, it typically means there’s a plan that’s free and another that’s paid or they’re supported by grants or some other means. I understand what you’re trying to do, and how you’re assuming students would need the tools anyway, but if you didn’t know, your program appeals to people who might already have those tools, now you do. To people who already have the tools, you’d be clearly mandating payment. Maybe you could consider having payment plans or funding FIMP in a more clear way so the project can continue doing what you’ve intended. Maybe consider alternative funding options or separate plans? The current approach is still misleading in my opinion.

          I’m glad to hear that you’ve voiced your concerns to Kyle and Carson, and I’m surprised that you all didn’t resolve this in private, but those circumstances are between you and them. It’s still shocking how you speak of them publicly despite being friends.

          You may not say it verbatim “don’t join WA, join FIMP instead”, but there is a negative connotation associated with your marketing, and it doesn’t say “WA is great and the owners are great too”. Instead, it says “WA was good and now, FIMP is better”–that’s my perception at least.

          I’m willing to call both programs good (if I can say that in complete honesty) and to identify how they’re different–where one is better and where the other is better, and I can do that in an update after I finish taking a look at the remainder of your course. I’ll make sure to let you know the status. To set up a call or follow-up, you can email me at tiffany@kohainc.org. Thanks again for stopping by Ian!

  3. Valuable reviews come from users that go through the program, use what they to sell products and service other than the program as an affiliate.

    What was the result.

    Just like Yelp.

    That is a true review without agenda.

    I am going through FIMP/IMP. I paid and it looks like it is only for 1 year which I did not read the fine print. 6 months gone by and still working at it. We’ll see… nothing to say as it is not fair to Ian at this point.

    I would like to see real testimony on any program of results as an affiliate selling product and services not related to this sort of bait and switch review that we see all the time. Especially with WA members.

    1. Tiffany Domena

      Thanks for sharing your opinion. I did go thru the program, and shared my experience in the review. Many WA members have also gone thru the program, have enjoyed it, and shared that. I shared why I didn’t have the best experience, but I was also able to talk to Ian, and it looks like he’ll be making changes in a positive direction. This review isn’t “bait and switch” at all–it’s my genuine 100% opinion based on facts. You’re entitled to your opinion. Have a great day!

  4. Hey Tiffany! Ian here again.

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve popped by and read the update — thank you for revisiting everything after our meeting.

    I also wanted you to know: we’re implementing a lot of changes to improve transparency at FIMP and overhauling our structure dramatically. You telling me during our virtual conference that I was among the most knowledgable publishers you’ve reviewed, and that I had a significant advantage over many of their teaching styles, made me realize VERY clearly that we need to change a lot at FIMP, and that we should be unapologetic regarding those changes (even though they’re not what I had originally envisioned for the project).

    Your feedback and openness in sharing your frustrations about the program helped TREMENDOUSLY as I sought clarity on what to do next at FIMP in order to:

    1) Make the project more sustainable.
    2) Help as many people as possible.
    3) Truly compete against the publishers who are constantly scamming people in this industry (who have very deep pockets).
    4) While also returning to the “roots” of the project in many ways (helping people start-to-finish rather trying to force them to support the project to gain complete access).

    It’s going to take a few weeks to transition everything, but the team and I are hard at work. I think you’ll be pleased with the changes we make, and I hope we might even have you as an affiliate whenever the dust settles and we’ve ironed out our new funnel 🙂

    Thank you again for your time, humility, and honesty! I assure you: it did not fall on deaf ears.

    1. Tiffany Domena

      Hey Ian! I’m impressed with you and FIMP and how you’ve handled this situation. Not all product or service creators can receive feedback that isn’t optimal. Even worse, I can look back and see I was a little out of line. I let the way you advertised tarnish my perception of your character, and I learned from the situation that I shouldn’t let it go that far. Thanks for being so forgiving about that and for the learning lesson from this. It’ll make me a much better reviewer going forward. After the meeting, I could tell the advertising clarity wasn’t intentional, it just hadn’t been pointed out. I’ve been meaning to reach out after our chat because the dust has settled from my vantage point. I’ll definitely stop by and check out what you’ve been working on!

      Even though I wasn’t that fond of FIMP (not your training but the marketing messaging), I loved the paid internet marketing project! Hahaha. I really look forward to the evolution of FIMP and what it can offer the industry! I meant what I said about how knowledgeable you are, and I’m all for promoting a high-quality product. I’ll have to shoot you a message after I’ve looked at the updates. Thanks for stopping by again!

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