The “Internet Marketing Advantage” or IM-Advantage is a membership site run by Steve Clayton and Tim Godfrey. They are two marketers who have been hugely successful with a series of products ranging from the original Commission Blueprint to their recent big launch of Info Prodigy. They are among the few marketers who actually create high-quality products (and not just fluff) and have amassed quite a following and gained a lot of respect in the community.
So, what is their membership about and is it worth the price of admission? Read on to find out.
The IM-Advantage Overview:
|Creators:||Tim Godfrey, Steve Clayton|
|Price:||$147/month / $97/month as upsell|
As an IM-Advantage member, you get access to a lot of material, including tools, resources and info-products. In the words of the creators themselves, you’ll also be on the bleeding edge of development in online marketing, as they alledgedly share all of their new discoveries etc. with the members. I personally doubt that’s entirely true, but I can confirm that you get access to some valuable resources not available outside the membership.
Here’s a list of (almost) everything you get access to in the IM Advantage:
- Bookmark Blueprint (Automated social bookmarking tool)
- Blog Blueprint (High-PR blog network, comparable to Linkvana)
- Link Blueprint (Link-exchange system for all the members)
- Article Blueprint (Low-quality article distribution service)
- Authority Hub Finder (Finds common backlink sources for competing websites)
- Keyword Blueprint (Keyword research tool)
- Offer Evaluator (Evaluate earnings potential for PPC keywords/offers)
PPC Ad Optimizer (Split-testing setup for PPC campaigns)
- Peel Away Ad Software (Peel-away ad script for your websites)
- Hippojaw (Click tracking and PPC optimization tool)
- Free Hosting
- Keyword Databases (Specified for AdSense, PPC, SEO and more)
- Backlink Database (Huge database of high-PR sites where you can get a link)
- Landing Pages and Site Templates (Including PPV landers, CPA templates, AdSense site templates and more)
- Videos and Articles on Various IM Topics
IM-Advantage Info Products:
- Commission Blueprint 1.0 (Note: This is not the current “2.0″ version of Commission Blueprint)
- Project Archimedes (Site Flipping Course by Ben Shaffer)
- Automated Traffic Blueprints (Traffic Generation Course by Ben Shaffer)
- SEM Business Blueprint (Steve Clayton’s “Offline Marketing” Product)
- Mining Money Online (Beginner IM Course)
- Domain Flipping Theorem (Domain Flipping Course by Zach Booker)
- Get More Buyers (List-Building Course by Michael Rasmussen)
- Unnamed Facebook Marketing Course
As you can clearly see, the “quantity” part of the equation is pretty much covered, so the main question is: Is this stuff any good?
More About the Resources
The resources and info-products in IM-Advantage are generally high-quality stuff. Obviously, I didn’t go through each and every one of the products in detail (I do have other things to do…), but from what I saw, the courses are solid and useful. The site templates are also a very nice addition and can be used 1 to 1 or just serve as inspiration for your own sites and campaigns.
The keyword databases are interesting, but they are selected using questionable criteria. For example, the big SEO keyword list consists of keywords with high broad match search volume and a low number of phrase search results. If you’ve gone through my free keyword research guide, or if you just have any experience and know anything about keyword research, you’ll know that this makes the list next to useless. There are some interesting keywords in there (almost by default, I guess), but it’s not the goldmine of opportunities it’s made out to be.
All in all, though, the resources and info products are nothing to be frowned at.
More About the Tools and Services
At first glance, the collection of tools is nothing short of incredible. Quite a few of them focus on PPC and since I have very limited experience with PPC, I can’t really make a good judgement about how useful or valuable they are. I can say that a click-tracking solution such as Hippojaw can be very valuable, especially when you’re using paid traffic sources.
The link-building tools are all slightly disappointing upon closer inspection. I’m not saying they’re horrible, just that they don’t quite live up to the claims made about them. For example, Bookmark Blueprint only submits to five bookmarking sites. It’s supposed to be expanded and growing, but nothing has happened for several months. Considering that it doesn’t have the most intuitive interface ever and doesn’t have any special twists (e.g. members bookmarking each other’s sites), that makes it the weakest bookmarking tool I know.
Another example: Article Blueprint used to submit to a collection of article directories as well as Steve and Tim’s own network of almost 500 sites. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, since the last update it no longer submits to the article directories and if you go and find the sites where your articles are submitted in the private network, you’ll find that they are “hidden away” on the sites and have absolutely no on-page optimization going for them. This means that the links you get from the articles could hardly be weaker if they tried. As a concrete example, here’s one of the Article Blueprint articles. For a test-page, I submitted five articles to the network and out of the more than 2.000 links this should produce, only about 160 were picked up by Yahoo. That’s not epically bad, but it’s not great, either, considering these are very low quality links.
Worth the Price?
Maybe you’re wondering why I’m harping on about a few of the tools in the membership when there’s so much more on offer, so let me explain: First, we need to consider the price. If you purchase the membership in the front-end, it will cost you $147 a month. If you get it as an upsell to one of their products (including some of their free ones), it will cost you $97 a month. In the former case, it’s one heck of an expensive membership and in the latter case, it’s still not exactly cheap.
The SEO tools in particular are the main element in the membership that really warrant a monthly cost. Sure, there are a lot of resources and products in the membership, but chances are that not all of them are interesting/relevant/useful to you and if you would pick and choose the “good” products and buy them publicly, that would probably cost you a few hundred dollars, as a one-off cost.
Those few hundred dollars will only get you a couple of months worth of the IM-Advantage membership, so there needs to be more there, to justify the price. Unfortunately, updates and new additions are relatively sparse. There’s generally one update per month and while they sometimes throw in another info-product or two, sometimes it’s also just a minor update to a tool or a small resource (in one case it was actually a promotion disguised as a resource).
So, it’s really up to the link-building tools in the IM-Advantage to keep you coming back for more. Are they good enough to do that? Just barely, yes. At the higher, public price, I have to say that IM-Advantage is not worth it. You can easily get in for the lower price, though and at 100 bucks a month, with all the resources and the link-building tools, I’d say it’s still a good deal. Certainly good enough to sign up, grab some valuable resources, give the tools a go and then make an assessment about whether it’s worth it for you or not. The stuff in the IM Advantage is definitely worth money, it’s just that it’s only barely worth as much as they’re asking for, in my opinion (and as you may know, I always have something to nag about).