Price: $0 free membership, $1 7 day trail
Creator: Alan Payne
Impho (Internet Marketing phorum) is an internet marketing community and training center founded by Alan Payne. Initially it struck me as very similar in style to my top recommend program, so I was of particular interest and made sure to join. I spent a bit of time within the community both as a free and premium member to get a feel for what it was all about.
Impho vs. Wealthy Affiliate, a brief comparison…
The fact you can access this for entirely free is wonderful. Places like this are few and far between in the see of “gurus” and scammers, so I will give it props for being accessible to everyone and very down to earth (no crazy sales claims or promises you’ll make 1,000’s overnight). But, however great this community appears, IMPho definitely has its downsides and I will discuss them in further detail down below.
As a free starter member, you get access to their bootcamp training and all the member forums. One of the forums is called “The Training Center” and people post all sorts of tips, tricks and strategies they use – including Alan himself.
I felt as though the bootcamp training was being marketed to people who weren’t new to internet marketing – it focused entirely around setting up an email marketing campaign promoting IMPho itself. Not only that, it just jumped right into the email marketing aspect and didn’t explain how to gain an email list. If you don’t have one already, I think they’re assuming you’d be comfortable emailing and promoting to your friends and family… but would you be comfortable doing that? Personally, I wouldn’t.
As a premium paying member, you gain access to nearly 500 additional training modules. tons of additional training modules ranging everywhere from affiliate marketing and blogging, traffic generation, email marketing, social marketing and even nearly 200 wordpress tutorials.
Note – you actually do not gain access to ALL these training materials within you first month if you join as a monthly member. You will have to wait a few weeks to get more training, which is pretty annoying. I guess this is to discourage people from joining for only one month. The only way to get around this is to purchase the lifetime membership for $147.
The primary focus of the training with the IMPho community is building squeeze pages, different methods to gain traffic to your page such as video, social media PPC, and forum marketing, and then marketing to your email list. While this is still a very common strategy, certain methods and recommendations involved are outdated and honestly a little too salesy for my tastes. The fact is people in general don’t really like squeeze pages, and neither do search engines! It seems the focus here isn’t really helping anyone, just selling to them. You may not be setting yourself up for a sustainable business if you jump right into email marketing without understanding your audience.
Also, there are some outdated aspects to the training, such as emphasis on article marketing, backlinking strategies and PLR content. You also need to be careful when reading through the forums because some of the material being “recommended” is actually, in my opinion, not a good idea. For example, there is a strategy suggested by Alan Payne himself to get thousands of likes to a facebook page and market CPA offers to them. Without going into too much detail here I can tell you following that strategy will probably get you banned from Facebook. You really need to use your best judgement when sifting through the forums.
The tools are actually included within the free membership which is cool. There’s one that lets you analyze the SEO of pages within your website, another let’s you check your keyword ranking within Google. All in all they weren’t really that special and most of them were unnecessary. However I am not knocking them since they’re free – but it would be nice to have better tools included within the paid membership. (Perhaps a keyword tool?)
There are also a lot of “done 4 you” resources available – these include downloadable graphics for your webpages, newsletters and complete ready made websites. While premade websites are generally not a good idea for serious use, using them for a basic guideline as to how to make your own website is OK. However, I have to say I downloaded some of the ready made content out of curiousity’s sake, and it is absolutely some of the LOWEST quality material I have seen. Not only was it stuffed full keywords, it was full of horrendous typos and BAD “shady” recommendations.
One of the main benefits of this community is within the support. Not only are there active member forums, you have the ability to message any individual member and ask them questions. Allen is pretty active within the community too and is around to help out. There is also help desk support you can submit a ticket for technical or billing issues.
It is completely free to join IMPho as a starter member. Your access as a starter member will not expire, and you’ll have access to the forums and community for 100% free. They also offer different pricing for premium depending on what monthly level you pay for. No matter watch option you chose, you will get a $1, 7 day trail to see if you like it. If not, you can always cancel the membership before your trial is up to not get charged for the recurring payment.
Here is the complete pricing breakdown:
Starter member – $0 (lifetime)
There are 3 different options for premium members:
1 month premium – $1, 7 day trail, then $27 per month
3 month premium – $1, 7 day trail, then $67 for 3 months
Lifetime premium – $1, 7 day trail, then $147 (one time payment)
Because the training is focused primarily around squeeze pages and email marketing, and because there is a lot of outdated/low quality advice going around within the community, I wouldn’t recommend a total newbie start here. Personally I think it’s much more suited for those that already have a bit of experience and are looking for a change from all the other “products” out there.
Impho is a fresh change from most programs out there within the world of internet marketing, however it is no match for my favorite online community – Wealthy Affiliate. Actually, this program is sort of a copy cat of Wealthy Affiliate, only not nearly as good. There’s a certain vibe about it that reminds me of WA, but it seems a little off.
It seems like Allen took the idea of Wealthy Affiliate except he twisted the entire foundation. He entirely changed the focus and stripped away everything WA stands for, which is building a quality, sustainable online business, and turned it into focusing more of just what “all the other guys” focus on – lower quality sales tactics. I personally don’t feel comfortable using the methods Allen suggests within the training as they’re just a little too “salesy” for my tastes. I realize others may prefer this type of marketing and that is completely fine, to each their own. Personally, I much prefer the methods taught within WA.
If after reading my review and you’re still interested in IMPho, go ahead and sign up as a free starter member here.
Anyone a member of IMPho and care to share your experiences? Have you been a member of Wealthy Affiliate? How would you compare the two?