If you’re looking for a thorough Free Internet Marketing Project review, you’re in the right place.
After becoming a Super Affiliate at Wealthy Affiliate and a premium member for 6+ years (and still counting), Ian Pribyl from StoppingScams.com went off to create a competing online community that he claims is “the best training he’s seen”. A few short years back he was an avid Wealthy Affiliate advocate, referring over 3000 members to the platform, and who even said he would create monthly content at Wealthy Affiliate (which didn’t come true). What happened? Will he be consistent this time?
See his comments for yourself:
“I spend the vast majority of my working hours growing my business. I’m either managing my team of content creators, planning ways to expand my business and grow my affiliate revenue, or calling on prospects that I could manage SEO for in exchange for a monthly fee.
But this year I’m committed to giving more of myself and my time to this community, which I value so much and recommend to everyone early in their internet marketing journey.
In 2016, I’m going to make an active effort to blog once a month here at WA to share the biggest lesson I learned over the last ~30 days. The one thing that, when I sit down and examine myself and the month I’ve just finished, I identify as my #1 opportunity for growth. These might be lessons in motivation, lessons in perspective, or just straight-up internet marketing strategies that I need to focus on more closely.
I hope you all find it helpful, and that even if it’s not relevant to your business right as you’re reading it, that it comes back to help you down the road.
I hope each and every person reading this makes 2016 your best year online yet. Thank you for being a member of this community, and for making it the place that we all love.”
A post written on his WA blog
To those of you spreading the good word about WA and referring people to the safest internet marketing community online, I hope to meet you next year!
Another post written on his WA blog
Or, you can even see a video he did of Wealthy Affiliate here:
If you’re here, you’re probably wondering is Free Internet Marketing Project legit? And, how did Ian go from being a hardcore supporter of Wealthy Affiliate to being a competitor that doesn’t credit the platform at all? Will he be consistent with FIMP or will he be here today and gone tomorrow like at Wealthy Affiliate? Is he “biting the hand that fed him” or is he competing ethically?
I plan to answer your questions, and lay out the facts about FIMP in this post here. To be completely transparent, I’ve taken both training programs: FIMP (the free version) and Wealthy Affiliate (the free and premium versions).
I’m able to compare them both objectively based on the core skills you’ll be able to learn in both, and I can assess for you which would be the lowest budget option and which would be the best overall value for you to start and grow an online business. 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)
- 1 What is Free Internet Marketing Project? An Overview
- 2 How Does Free Internet Marketing Project Work?
- 3 How Do I Get Started with Free Internet Marketing Project?
- 4 Who is Free Internet Marketing Project For?
- 5 Free Internet Marketing Project Tools & Training
- 6 Free Internet Marketing Project Support
- 7 What Does Free Internet Marketing Project Do Well
- 8 What Doesn’t Free Internet Marketing Project Do Well
- 9 Free Internet Marketing Project Roundup
- 10 Free Internet Marketing Project Price
- 11 My Final Opinion of Free Internet Marketing Project
- 12 Top Alternatives
- 13 VERDICT: Recommended
- 14 Free Internet Marketing Project
- 15 Pros
- 16 Cons
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.
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:
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 pruchase from an affiliate of FIMP or a $147 donation to continue in the program. (I did not take this lesson), however, I did see that he teaches members to use Longtail Pro for keyword research.
Lesson 6: Content that Gets Ranked
(I did not take this lesson), but I can safely assume this lesson would have to do with search engine optimization.
Lesson 7: Website Promotion & Traffic
Early on in the training, Ian mentioned he would be teaching paid and free traffic methods (including video marketing). I can only assume (since I didn’t take the lesson) that he speaks about Website Promotion & Traffic in this lesson.
Lesson 8: How do I Make Money?
Within lessons 1-4, Ian talked about how there are three general options for makin 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, I would assume you would 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 and rightfully so since Ian is a member there whose created a competing product)
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.
Most Helpful Negative Free Internet Marketing Project Review
There are currently no negative reviews of FIMP. If you see any 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, and it seems that he bites those who have helped him climb the success ladder by the way he promotes his own products and recommends competing products.
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, 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).
Why Did Ian Turn Away From Wealthy Affiliate?
FIMP is clearly inspired by Wealthy Affiliate. In fact, it seems like a “Jesus and Judas” case (for all those who read the Bible out there). At one point, Ian was a diehard Wealthy Affiliate fan and the owners even flew him to Vegas for free, then one day, he decided to promote competing products. Even worse, he created a “non-sustainable business model” where he has to hard sell affiliate products rather than encourage customers to buy from the community he is still a part of!
He has several posts and videos about Wealthy Affiliate saying its “the best online community”, “the best training for new entrepreneurs”, and “the safest internet marketing community online”, which is still on his Wealthy Affiliate review post and Youtube channel (as of this writing), but he created a product (FIMP) that competes, doesn’t credit Wealthy Affiliate for inspiring any ideas in his training, and, in my opinion, FIMP doesn’t even offer the same price, value, or community advantages to the end user.
You’d pay a $147 donation plus the cost of the tools or $147 for 6 months of Wealthy Affiliate membership with the hosting, keyword research, ongoing live training, and community included.
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:
- Thrive Themes annual membership
- LongTail Pro
- and more…
Analyzing this product made me ask myself time and time again, “Why do people turn on those that have helped them?” I can’t guess on his intentions, but the mixed messages and “for it one day-against it another day” behavior I observed “rubbed me the wrong way”. Loyalty is a great quality to have and to empower those that helped him rather than to compete or not give credit to them made his ethics questionable (in my opinion).
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 Wealthy Affiliate or others), there is an ethical way of going about it where you would credit them for the ideas contributed from their community, and explain the competitive advantages of the alternative recommendations objectively: fact against fact.
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 overdelivers 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.
You’ve heard me mention Wealthy Affiliate several times throughout this post because Ian has been a member for 6 years, has hung out with the owners, and made good friends with many of the leaders. I can assure you, they’ve been very influential in his Internet marketing career path (at the least). It looks like he’s taken alot of the things taught in Wealthy Affiliate and made his own version of it, which is fine (if he credited them and others for their inspiration to him). If you’d like to see what I mean or 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 promotes Bluehost hosting which is sub par in comparison to Wealthy Affiliate managed cloud hosting. You can see my comparison of Bluehost and Wealthy Affiliate hosting here.
- 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, two free websites (on a subdomain).
- 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
But, Try My #1 Recommendation 1st and Supplement with FIMP
Free Internet Marketing Project
- High quality video training
- A credible instructor
- Great curriculum
- Access to the Instructor and community is included in the Free Facebook group
- 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