About a month ago I came across Vick Strizheus and his High Traffic Academy. This post contains my thoughts on the course since I’ve gone threw nearly all the modules so far. Here are some initial thoughts:
Overall, I think the course is worth the $500 I paid. It is a paid traffic course by which I mean it’s not an all-encompassing course teaching all manner of traffic, conversion, selecting a product, copywriting, etc. It is specifically a paid traffic course that overviews how to use about a dozen traffic methods. As long as you expect that, it’s worth the money. If you’re looking for a mega-course, this isn’t it.
The biggest value in this course, by far, actually isn’t Vick. It’s Frank Kern teaching the 3rd Stage about how to build a relationship with your list as you build one. In case you didn’t know, Frank Kern is THE master at that in the industry and has since semi-retired. His part of the course was worth the $500 alone. He brings a lot of experience to the table, so it’s a bit harder to just Google that type of information.
So on with the course review. The course is broken down into 3 levels of training as follows:
- Development – Stage 1
- Traffic – Stage 2
- List Control – Stage 3
Since I’ve been using WordPress for years, I skimmed through the first stage pretty quickly and didn’t bother going through all of the tutorials. If you’re an absolute beginner, that stage will be helpful since it goes through the ins and outs of getting a domain name, hosting, and using FTP and what not to get your site up. There isn’t really anything new in this stage, but it seemed pretty thorough. The biggest benefit was that Vick throws in an HTML template and a WordPress theme that allows you to quickly and easily create a capture page using whatever auto-responder you’d like.
As a quick note though… the WordPress theme is a little buggy. It works fine, but it has some trouble saving your settings, so you have to refresh the settings page after you save it if you want to make an additional change. So just a heads up. It’s still quicker than making your own though.
This is the meat of the course where Vick goes over 8 traffic strategies – Offline traffic, Penny Traffic, Underground PPC, Secret GIA (Google Image Ads) Traffic, E-mail Media Traffic, Banner Media Traffic, Ad Swap Traffic, and CPA Backdoor Traffic. Truth be told, you can probably find out about all of these strategies by Googling them, but Vick brings his experience about some things that do and don’t work for him that help to shortcut the process. I won’t give his secrets away since that wouldn’t be fair, but his insights are what make the modules worth it.
For example, I had just started running some ads when I got to his method on banners and he said that I shouldn’t use the ad size I was using. Had I watched the video before I ran the ad, I probably would have done much better with that campaign then I did. And that’s what you’re paying for with this course, you’re paying for a list of what NOT to do with each method rather than what to do.
Frank Kern is a boss. He talks about how to care for a list of subscribers and be really cool to them so that they actually like you and want to buy your stuff instead of you just stuffing it down their throats. He’s done it so many times himself you can tell he has the process down very well, and he doesn’t leave anything out. Again, this was by far the most valuable portion of the course.
Vick has put together a few tools that can help people with their campaigns which include a URL scarper, a link tracker, and a landing page maker. I haven’t used any other services of this type so I can’t really do a comparison at this point. I’ve found the tracker helpful since it allows you to rotate URLs so that you can split test. I use it for co-op campaigns so I can divvy the traffic up.
The site also has a list of places to go to get everything you need to run the campaigns Vick talks about – sites, autoresponders, banners, solo ads, etc. Much of it’s useful, some of it just isn’t the best value for us customers.
Stuff that Sucks about HTA
It’s not all gold. As I went through the course, got the emails, etc. I got the impression that there was an alternative motive for the course… which there is/was depending on when you’re reading this. The whole course is somewhat of a set up for Vick’s Big Idea Mastermind which is getting a bunch of people to join the EmpowerNetwork with him. The EN is sweet and I promote it myself, so I don’t have a problem with him doing it, but it seems as if hardly anyone is actually using the course for the things he taught. Nearly everyone, at least those that are a part of the Facebook group, are only talking about BIM when I’d really like to know what’s working for them in their advertising which is why I bought the course.
As I already mentioned, the WP theme didn’t work perfectly and the links for some of the resources are definitely not the most bang for your buck. Why pay $20-$35 for a banner when you can get one on Fiverr for $5? Come on Vick really? Oh wait, one of the two has an affiliate program… and it isn’t Fiverr. This stuff rubbed me the wrong way when added to the fact that it appears as if High Traffic Academy was initially launched as Instant Traffic Media so Vick mentions that name instead of HTA in almost every video. It’s just weird to watch a course that isn’t exactly the course you bought… you konw? But once I got passed them I realized the info is still good and Kern’s stuff is great, so I didn’t get a refund.
One last thing though, if you do get it, don’t sign up for the continuity program, it doesn’t exist anymore so you’ll waste your dollar : )
Additional Thoughts and Conclusion
Overall, I’ve learned a lot and am starting to implement some of the methods I’ve learned. I’ll keep you posted on how things turn out.
In case you’re wondering, you can still purchase the course for $500 (instead of $2,000) if you are interested. I’d say it’s worth the money for someone looking to dive into paid advertising and doesn’t know much about it. That’s where I was, and that’s why I bought it.
If you have any questions you want to ask me first, go ahead.