In search of ways to boost my affiliate income, I came across John Crestani, founder of the Super Affiliate System. On Youtube, I kept seeing his ads where he flaunted stacks of cash and claimed he was making $10,000 a day from affiliate marketing. I initially rolled my eyes and ignored those ads. However, after seeing them countless times curiosity got the best of me. I signed up for John Crestani’s free webinar.
The webinar was a far departure from the cringe-worthy ads. During the live session, John Crestani talked about his motives for quitting his job, his many failures as an entrepreneur, and the lessons he learned from four years of struggling to make money through affiliate marketing. He also offered a ton of value, addressing issues like the characteristics of a profitable affiliate product and why paid ads are effective for scaling your affiliate income.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links as explained in my disclosure policy
John also gave evidence to support his affiliate income claims. I found myself feverishly taking notes throughout the webinar. At the end of it, John opened the doors for his Super Affiliate System course. I was intrigued but didn’t sign up for the course. Instead, I took a few hours to scour the internet for reviews.
Why I purchased The Super Affiliate System
The reviews on the course were mixed, but I decided to take a chance and invest in the Super Affiliate System. It was different from the affiliate marketing courses, which preach chasing organic traffic. I convinced myself that this new approach, paid ads, was just what I needed to skyrocket my affiliate income. I was wrong.
I’m writing this review of the Super Affiliate System to paint a holistic picture of what you can expect from this course. While the course is informative and well-curated, the flaws outweigh the benefits. I want to show you why the Super Affiliate System is not a good investment if your goal is to grow your affiliate income. I also offer better alternatives for aspiring affiliate marketers.
What is the Super Affiliate System?
The Super Affiliate System is an online course and mentorship program that teaches online entrepreneurs how to build an affiliate marketing business from scratch. Specifically, the course focuses on how to use paid ads to grow your affiliate income. John Crestani, a 7-figure affiliate marketer from California, is the creator and teacher behind the course. This review is for the Super Affiliate System 3.0. The latest version of the course is the Super Affiliate System Pro, but the content is essentially the same.
Like many of us, John Crestani was a disgruntled employee who set out to start an online business and achieve financial freedom. However, the road to success was far from easy for him. He tried and failed at affiliate marketing for several years. The game-changer for him was learning how to use different types of paid ads – Google, Facebook, and Youtube ads – to drive affiliate sales. That, along with choosing in-demand products and using some questionable tactics that I’ll discuss later, helped him scale his affiliate marketing business to seven figures.
Is the Super Affiliate System a Scam?
When you search for the Super Affiliate System on Google, one of the top results is the question: ‘Is the Super Affiliate System a scam?’
No, the Super Affiliate System is not a scam. As much as I disliked my overall experience with this course, I would not call it a scam. The Super Affiliate System is a legitimate online course that delivers what it promises: showing students how to grow their affiliate income using paid ads.
Through video tutorials, John Crestani explains how affiliate marketing works, walks you through the steps to set up your Clickbank account, and shows you how to drive traffic to your affiliate products’ landing pages. That said, there are some serious flaws with this course that make The Super Affiliate System a bad investment, especially for new affiliate marketers. The course is not a scam, but it falls short in many areas.
Who is the Super Affiliate System for?
The Super Affiliate System is marketed as a course for online entrepreneurs who want to create an affiliate marketing business from scratch. It is described as a blueprint to start a home-based business and work from anywhere.
Based on my experience with the course, I would say that The Super Affiliate System is a course for intermediate to experienced affiliate marketers who have an ad budget. Let’s say you’re currently making a decent income ($5k+/month) from affiliate marketing on your blog/website. You drive most of your traffic organically through SEO and/or Pinterest. Now, you want to learn how to grow your affiliate income using paid ads. You would be the ideal candidate for this course.
Who is the Super Affiliate System not for?
The Super Affiliate System isn’t the right course for people who are brand new to affiliate marketing. First of all, it’s easier and more cost-effective to start out by driving organic traffic to your affiliate products. That way, you can familiarize yourself with how affiliate marketing works on a practical level. You can validate which products sell and which ones don’t without spending a dime.
To state it differently, you have to walk before you run. Jumping into Facebook, Google, or Youtube ads can be overwhelming when you’re still learning how affiliate links work. Running effective ads is an entirely new skill that takes time to master. If you’ve never used paid ads before, there’s a learning curve. When you’re still figuring out what a cookie period means and how to sign up for affiliate programs, Facebook ads should be the last thing on your mind. That’s why I recommend that beginners learn about free or low-cost ways to promote affiliate products to build up their experience before investing loads of money on ads.
Do you have an ad budget?
Before you purchase this course, you need to ask yourself whether you have a sufficient ad budget. There’s no specific number, but you should have a budget to spend on ads every month. Most brand new affiliate marketers don’t have the ad budget required to get anywhere with paid ads. What the course description doesn’t tell you upfront is that you’ll likely have to invest thousands of dollars on ads before you see any return. The reality is that running ads takes some experimentation and continuous adjustment. Even if you follow a plug-and-play system, you still have to know what you’re doing – what metrics to track, how to determine the effectiveness of an ad, when to discontinue an ad, and so on.
What do you learn inside the Super Affiliate System?
The Super Affiliate System is a 6-week course with six modules. To ensure that you take the time to digest the information you learn, John Crestani releases one new module per week up to week six. The modules start with the basics of affiliate marketing and then gradually progress into more advanced topics, like setting up ads. Here is a breakdown of what you’ll learn every week:
- Week 1: Affiliate Marketing Basics
- Week 2: An Introduction To Websites and Funnels
- Week 3: Search Advertising (Setting Up Google Ads)
- Week 4: Video Advertising (Setting Up Youtube Ads)
- Week 5: Social Advertising (Setting Up Facebook Ads)
- Week 6: Advanced Affiliate Marketing Strategies
What’s included in the course?
In addition to the video lessons, the course comes with a variety of tools and resources to help students implement the strategies they learn. They include:
- Pre-made ‘Presell’ pages (most of these landing pages use Clickfunnels. If you don’t want to pay $99/month for the service, you can create your own landing pages manually on a website.)
- Swipe files
- Ad templates
- Buyer’s data for ads
- Live weekly group coaching calls
- 24/7 Support
My experience with the Super Affiliate System
I signed up for the Super Affiliate System in June 2019. At the time, I was making about $1,000/month from affiliate marketing. I had used Facebook ads before to promote giveaways and opt-ins to grow my email list so I was familiar with them. However, I had no experience with Youtube ads and Google Adwords.
Week 1: Pure Bliss
The first week of The Super Affiliate System was phenomenal. The technical information about how affiliate marketing works was review for me. However, I gained a lot of new insights about the mindset and habits of successful affiliate marketers. I felt optimistic about continuing with the upcoming modules and implementing the strategies.
Week 2: Something’s off here
It was by module 2 that I started to notice flaws with the course. The module focuses on setting up a website or a funnel to promote your affiliate offers. John Crestani recommended signing up for Clickfunnels, a landing page builder that costs $99/month. If you weren’t ready to make that investment, he referred you to Bluehost to sign up for a domain name and create a website. You can read my review of Bluehost. It’s not pretty.
Week 3: Can I get a refund?
I already had a website so I used that to create my landing page. After completing the week 3 training on running Google ads, I realized that The Super Affiliate System was not the right course for me. At the time, I simply didn’t have the ad budget to run ads on multiple platforms. Also, I just wasn’t in a position to go through all the steps in setting up and monitoring ads. Therefore, I contacted support to request a refund.
That’s when things got tricky. The official refund policy for The Super Affiliate System is that you have to submit a request within 30 days of purchasing the course. I did that. After you submit a refund request, you still have to complete all the course goals within 60 days. Only then can you get a full refund. This is the response I got after I submitted a refund request:
What? If I don’t like the course, I still need to complete it to get my money back? It’s not like this course is just reading material and checking it off. You have to set up ads, which cost money. I knew within three weeks that I didn’t want that, but I still had to continue with the course.
Long story short, I didn’t get a refund for this course. I will admit that it was my fault. I put off completing the rest of the course, and the 60-day refund period passed. By the time I followed up with support, it was too late. I kick myself for not acting sooner, but I learned a $1,000 lesson. It’s important to know that refunds for this course come with strings attached. For a course that costs as much as this, that is seriously problematic.
Now, The Super Affiliate System wasn’t all doom and gloom. It has a few benefits, which I will outline in the next section.
What I liked most about The Super Affiliate System
The easy-to-follow video tutorials
I’m a visual learner so I like that The Super Affiliate System is a video-based course. In the videos, John Crestani stands in front of an easel pad and writes out the concepts as he discusses them. It’s almost like being in a classroom, except that your teacher is on a screen. John packs each video with valuable information and great insights on affiliate marketing strategies. I took lots of notes and got a lot of value from the modules.
The focus on learning and doing
John Crestani makes it clear at the beginning that you’re not going to get results if you try to learn everything and then take action. There’s a lot to learn so the best way to approach this course is to implement each new step you learn. Right from the beginning, you sign up for an affiliate account and set up your website or Clickfunnels account.
As you go, each step builds on the other. I like how the course emphasizes both learning and doing. You implement what you learn as you go and see it in action. That way, you reinforce what you just learned.
Releasing a new training every week makes the course manageable. A typical week’s module contains 10-15 videos that total up to two hours. The drip format of the course helps you focus on one week at a time so that you master the material before moving on to the next step. You cannot move forward until you complete each module, which helps prevent overwhelm.
The support team was responsive and helpful. I reached out to them a couple of times and received timely responses. The only time the support wasn’t helpful was when I asked for a refund.
What I didn’t like about The Super Affiliate System
The course mostly focuses on Clickbank
This entire course is centered around finding profitable products on Clickbank and running ads to them. There’s a lesson on how to find other affiliate networks and join other affiliate programs. However, from the beginning, John Crestani teaches you how to set up a Clickbank account and find Clickbank offers. Other affiliate networks and programs are secondary.
Clickbank is notoriously difficult to navigate. The user interface looks like the first version of AOL, and the site navigation is so disorganized. It will give you a headache after 10 minutes. Another issue with Clickbank is the sheer volume of junk products on there. You have to sift through so much crap to find products worth promoting.
The group coaching sessions were a waste
John Crestani doesn’t actually host the live training sessions. He hired people to do this in his place. I tuned in three times to these training sessions and got no value from them whatsoever. Every single time I asked a question, the two hosts ignored me. I left feeling annoyed and frustrated because the hosts spent an ungodly amount of time chatting to each other. They scrolled through the comments, cherry-picking questions to answer.
What’s the point of hosting these live group coaching sessions if you’re not going to take the time to actually coach students? It seems that group coaching was simply tacked on to increase the perceived value of the Super Affiliate System. The coaches don’t actually do much to help the students.
John Crestani promotes questionable tactics to drive sales
I’m all for creativity in marketing and sales, but this course takes things a tad too far. For instance, John Crestani has a list of buyers that he uses to run Facebook ads. This list of buyers is also available to students in the resources section. Instead of using old fashioned targeting, the course encourages us to simply upload the list of buyers and use that to create lookalike audiences to run ads to. That way, you are selling to proven buyers instead of doing guesswork. The only question is: where did this list of buyers come from? Does John have permission to share this list of buyers with other people? That we don’t know.
You have to track your progress with badges
After completing each week’s lesson, you’re have to submit evidence that you did the work in order to receive a badge on your ‘Hero’s Journey.’ If you don’t complete all the steps, you can’t get a refund, as I learned. This badge system just felt like grade school and detracted from the learning experience. The course becomes about getting your next badge instead of learning the material.
John Crestani encourages you to promote dubious affiliate products
One of the biggest problems I had with this course was John Crestani’s affiliate marketing philosophy. It’s all about promoting products that have proven demand, and anything is fair game. This means promoting pain relief patches, hip flexors, car battery chargers, and other random products. Sure, I want to make affiliate sales, but I also want to sleep at night. I simply didn’t feel comfortable promoting weird products I didn’t understand. I only promote products I would recommend to my sister or grandma.
If you just want to make money with affiliate marketing promoting anything, you’ll be fine with John’s approach. However, if you have a conscience and want to do business with integrity, you may cringe at some of the tactics in this course.
John Crestani encourages you to promote his course
It’s normal for course creators to ask students to become affiliates for the course. However, it’s another thing for a course creator to host a lesson specifically about how to promote his product. That’s precisely what John Crestani does in The Super Affiliate System. He also gives you access to multiple presell pages for his course in the resources section. He also uses his course as an example of a product to promote several times in the training videos.
You need a substantial ad budget to generate affiliate sales
One thing that’s left out in the marketing materials for this course is the amount of money you have to spend upfront to get sales. The $997 investment in the course is just the start. On top of that, you have to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars every month to promote your affiliate products. If you sign up for Clickfunnels, as John Crestani recommends, you will end up paying another $99/month. That’s before you make any money. This is completely fine if you’re an established affiliate marketer. If you’re new, you’ll be forking out a ton of money before you see any results. You’ll be starting out in the red.
Is the Super Affiliate System worth the money?
At $997, The Super Affiliate System can be classified as a premium course. It is definitely not worth the premium price. John Crestani might as well repackage this course as ‘How To Run Ads’ and sell it for $297. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, I would most definitely stay away from this course. You are virtually guaranteed not to make any money. Again, do not purchase The Super Affiliate System if you’re brand new to affiliate marketing,
If you’re an experienced affiliate marketer, you may find the advanced strategies useful, if you don’t mind promoting products to cure back pain. You could also just treat the course as a paid ads training and use that skill to promote the affiliate products you want. The bottom line is that there are much better affiliate marketing courses out there that cost less money. The Super Affiliate System is most certainly not worth the money for what it delivers.
The Super Affiliate System is a deeply flawed course with hidden fees and shady marketing tactics. It is definitely not for new affiliate marketers. Unless you have a sizable ad budget, I would suggest you look at other ways to promote your affiliate products.
While the lessons on setting up ads are detailed and easy to follow, John Crestani employs questionable marketing tactics, like using lists of buyers for ad targeting and promoting sketchy products. This is not the way to build a sustainable affiliate marketing business. It is a short-sighted, anything goes approach to affiliate marketing that will make you question your integrity as an entrepreneur.
Better alternatives to The Super Affiliate System
One thing I’ve learned in my entrepreneurial career is a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better course. The Super Affiliate System is a prime example of that. If you’re a new affiliate affiliate who is looking for a good course to teach you the fundamentals, I would recommend these three courses:
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing ($197)
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a comprehensive guide to affiliate marketing on the market. It is taught by personal finance blogger Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, who consistently makes $50,000/month from affiliate marketing. Michelle explains the ins and outs of affiliate marketing, from the legal aspects to the best strategies to drive conversions. This is a text-based course that comes with workbooks and actionable steps to implement what you’ve learned.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner has also shared her best affiliate marketing tips on this site. She is super approachable and also cares about her students’ success. In addition, she takes a long-term approach to affiliate marketing, focused on building trust with readers and helping them solve their problems. That’s how you build a sustainable affiliate marketing business.
Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers ($79)
Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers is a beginner level affiliate marketing course taught by mommy blogger, Carly Campbell. I’ve been following Carly for years as a subscriber to her email list, a member of her Blogging Like You Mean It Facebook group, and a student of her Pinteresting Strategies course. I also read her income reports for inspiration. As you can see, I’m a big fan of Carly. I appreciate her honesty and straightforward blogging advice.
In Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers, Carly teaches bloggers how to do affiliate marketing in two ways: through blog posts and through email. The first part of the course focuses on finding the right products to promote and writing posts that convert.
The second part of the course, Carly discusses her email marketing philosophy and includes several case studies to illustrate how to effectively sell affiliate products to your email list.
Pin To Profits: Affiliate Marketing ($47)
Pin to Profits – Affiliate Marketing is a step-by-step guide to making money with affiliate marketing on Pinterest. It is taught by mom blogger and Pinterest expert McKinzie Bean. This video-based course walks you through the process of creating and posting affiliate pins on Pinterest to generate commissions. It covers topics such as how to create click-worthy affiliate pins, what boards to post your pins to, and what types of products do well on Pinterest.
McKinzie Bean has also shared her tips for doing affiliate marketing on Pinterest without a blog on this site. She is super down-to-earth and is one of the best teachers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Her content is super easy to follow and understand!
There you have it. If you’re considering enrolling in the Super Affiliate System, I would suggest you skip that course and find an alternative, even if it’s not one of the three I’ve recommended. You’ll be glad you did.
One more thing: if you found this review helpful, please share it!