The AWOL Academy Review – Is Keala Kanae Legit?
Although my wife and I have very stable, and decent-paying jobs, we are still anxious about the future. We have retirement funds salted away. We have a rough idea of what our Social Security pensions are going to be like when we retire. In short, we know that we will have a decent amount of monthly pension when we reach our full retirement age of 67.
The problem is, we do not plan on waiting until we are 67 years old before we finally retire. Ideally, we would want to be able to quit our present jobs while we’re still fairly young enough to enjoy our life together, our children, and the company of our friends, and be able to squeeze in some traveling from time to time. But we did not want to touch our pensions until they’ve properly matured.
This means a stream of income coming from a source other than our current jobs.
September of last year. Our 10 year old son, who knows more about computers than my wife and I combined, saw something on YouTube that he really wanted us to watch.
It was a video from one of AWOL Academy’s founders, Keala Kanae. He was talking about the company he co-founded with his friend, Kameron George in 2015 called AWOL Academy. AWOL stands for “Another Way Of Life.” They’ve billed it as “The world’s most comprehensive internet marketing education and mentorship platform. Period.”
At first, we thought it was another one of those get rich on the internet schemes, and while it essentially was that, it was so much more. They were talking about having an online presence, and using that as a platform for hosting any number of affiliate program links from companies like Amazon and Walmart, and earn commissions off of any sale that results from those links that are unique to you!
And they were going to teach you the ins and outs of the business, for a mere $99!
What is AWOL Academy About?
The entry-level training starts with this $99 fee for beginners. The whole program of training and mentorship is entirely online, composed of webinars that were billed as “live.” And it moves you through the intricacies of affiliate marketing.
Now, Affiliate Marketing is a scheme where online retailers, like Amazon, pays you a commission for every sale or traffic generated from referrals from your website. Commissions may be as small as a few cents, to a couple of hundred dollars, depending on what is being sold. But the idea is to get more than one referral to go to their website, from yours, and that deluge of referrals, hopefully, will generate enough conversions that taken in total, could mean a substantial amount of passive income.
So, it’s a stay-at-home business model, where you can essentially be anywhere, taking care of your website, as long as there is an internet connection. Once set-up properly, you should have a stream of income, from anywhere in the world!
So, we watched this YouTube video. It was Keala Kanae. He was very persuasive! So much so that we did sign up for that $99 beginners program. Mind you, we do not fall for such things lightly. Especially not my wife! But we both saw the potential of this business for us. We were convinced that they were legitimate.
A Bargain at $10,000 ?
The $99 package was called AWOL Pro Academy. It walked you through four steps that were essentially motivational. They were revving you up to start your own online business, and ends up with the fourth step, which is arranging your first coaching call with one of their affiliates.
One thing you learn right away is that in order to progress with the training, you will need to continue purchasing follow-up packages, each one costing progressively more expensive than the one before it. And if you are motivated enough to pursue this, you have no other choice but to do it. And you will continually receive email and phone messages to motivate you to move forward.
There’s the Inbox Academy, which teaches you how to utilize email to generate traffic and sales. This package costs $447. The next package is the Conversion Academy. At $1,797, it teaches you all about increasing conversion. The higher your rate of conversion, the greater your profit. Then there’s the Traffic Academy package. This training is to increase targeted traffic. It teaches you how to use Facebook and other platforms to increase traffic to your site, and cost $2,997.
Then there’s the Masters Academy. At this point, they assume, you should already be making money online, using the training that you have received up to this point. This module is more continued motivation, to keep you focused on your goal of online wealth generation, and becoming your own boss. The course is preparing to transition your mindset from being a solo entrepreneur to your own company’s CEO. The ultimate goal is to boost your existing success, and make it even bigger. This module costs $5,497!
Finally, there’s the AWOL Elite. This guarantees you access to a weekly 2-hour webinar and mentoring within their private FB group, where you can communicate with all their successful graduates, and the owners, themselves. Here, you can get to ask questions, pick their minds, listen to their strategies for success. This package, as of last quarter of 2017, costs $9,997! All the packages total close to $21,000. BUT…they were offering access to all those packages for a one-time cost of $10,000!!
Add to that other services that you also need to purchase in order to maximize your email tracking. There’s the LeadPages Landing page builder starting at $37/month. Then there’s GetResponse Email Autoresponder starting at $15.month. And ClickMagick Tracking system for $12/month.
You can see how it all adds up to one huge cost!
As they were ending their pitch to us to sign up for the next level of training packages, they said that the entire program actually cost close to $100K! But because they believed in the product, and they wanted to share this with as many people as possible, they decided to bring the price down to $10K! And they believed that that’s enough to motivate people to sign up. Still, not very many people can afford even that discounted price! No matter how motivated they become.
Is Keala Kanae Legit?
Is it a scam? I don’t think so.
There are numerous success stories that you can Google online. As with everything else, though, there are also detractors.
They are open about their entire business model. The training modules and their prices are given to you up front. And the information they imparted, even at the beginners’ level, is enough to motivate you to move forward with this business concept, even if it’s no longer through AWOL Academy.
Affiliate Marketing, as a concept, is a viable and lucrative option for people who are interested in generating a stream of income from the internet. And this is more so now that many traditional sales are transitioning to the web. There are literally millions of transactions happening online that there is no reason why anyone cannot grab some of that business for themselves.
Keala Kanae is a convincing, and forceful motivational speaker. And he comes equipped with numbers and facts that you can readily check. In fact, he’s so good that he has convinced us, and many others, to look to the web for their own opportunities for creating a stream of income that they can depend on for years to come. A business model that is so portable, you can literally take it anywhere in the world, and spend only a few hours a day managing.
But most of all, it’s a business model that makes you your own boss. You get out of it exactly what you put in. It still takes a lot of work, especially when you’re setting your own business up. But that’s part of the process when you’re building your own business. The old chant of “no pain, no gain,” continues to apply.
However, there are some things that ultimately made us decide that AWOL Academy was not the platform we wanted to use, even as we decided to pursue this business.
While we owe Keala Kanae for motivating us to pursue our dream to have an online business, there are some turn-offs that we encountered through their training that ultimately pushed us to look for training elsewhere.
The most glaring one is the cost!
People who ultimately turn to affiliate marketing are looking for an avenue by which they can earn some money that will either supplement their income, or someday, even replacing it. Some, like us, may be able to afford the overall cost for these very informative training modules. But a lot more will not be able to shelve out the $10K it will cost to fully benefit from all their trainings and motivational assistance.
And while the monthly membership cost of $39.95 may be affordable for many, it still limits your access to all other trainings that will be the fuel that will drive your business engine. You are gently reminded, therefore, that if you wish to learn more, you will have to pay more.
You also get regular reminders to book your phone call with your coach, to move on to the next training module, to purchase the next module. And normally, that’s okay. But they all felt too pushy for my taste. It felt like I was being nagged into making a decision. To say that I felt coerced at times, is not an exaggeration. There’s just too much “hard selling” going on.
And those “live” webinars, well, they just did not feel live to me, at all. There were glitches that made me suspect. Like the instant chat messages during the training, Mine never really registered right away, but there were conversations and threads that appear almost instantly during the training, while my responses took longer to register. And the conversations looked too upbeat and generic that at times, I wondered if we were watching the same training at all!
Then there was the attempt to up sell the new recruits to ultimately sell AWOL Academy. Essentially, in order to guarantee immediate flow of income, instead to coming up with your own niche, they tried mightily to convince people that the best way to move forward is to sell AWOL Academy. And frankly, I did not want to end up as just another one of their online affiliates. I wanted to learn from them in order to use that knowledge to build my own brand online. And while there is that, I got the impression that that was not the direction they preferred you to take.
Great Idea, Different Platform
The concept of affiliate marketing is sound. I’ve seen enough online to understand and believe that this is a reality, and that people can build a viable business with this. The one problem is finding the proper vehicle to take in order to get your training. And AWOL Academy was not that vehicle for us.
We researched AWOL Academy and other alternatives as extensively as we could, and while there are numerous scams out there, there are legitimate options as well.
One such platform we bumped into during our searches is Wealty Affiliate (WA).
We did a review of this platform a month or two ago, and you can still read that review here. They offer the same mentorship programs, and modules for learning the trade. Ultimately, the thing that attracted us the most was the one affordable price that allowed you access to all their trainings and modules. There were no added costs for getting added information. You only had to finish each training module to move on to the next. You train at your own pace.
You can opt for a free membership or a Premium membership of $49/month, which opens up the whole training program to you. The free membership gets you two free websites that are hosted on SiteRubix.com. You will have access to the first of five levels of certification courses. Your Premium membership, however, will get you access to all five certificate courses, the Boot Camp, for those who might want to promote WA, and 25 free websites and 25 free domains hosted on SiteRubix.com! Plus, you get access to the free version of Jaaxy, the industry’s leading keyword and niche research tool. And that’s it! You won’t get that feeling that you’re being pushed to take the next step.
There are other paid memberships for apps and platforms that will help you with your business, but each has a free component to them, like Jaaxy, and these free versions are enough to help you build and manage your websites.
One thing to keep in mind is that this is still a business. And while the endpoint may be great, which is a stream of income for a lot less work, the front end always demands a lot of elbow grease. So you need to work at it. You need to sit down and learn the basics. You need to listen to the experts walk you through building your own websites and train you to be effective writers and online marketers.
But what’s more, it’s fun! You get to write about things that interest you. Your niche. You get to write about things that help other people. And by adding affiliate links in your posts, you passively earn money from online advertisers by referring your readers to their products.
That, my friends, is how you take your first steps towards retiring from your current jobs and become your own boss! We highly recommend Wealthy Affiliate if you are serious at learning and creating an online business.
They truly mean business, and if you stay with it, they will take you by the hand to success. You will find many success stories in this supportive, learning community of online educators, learners, and earners.