Welcome to my SUPER in-depth My Online Startup review for 2020.
I’ve spent 17+ hours going through all 25 lessons of Chuck Nguyen’s My Online Startup training, so if you want to know:
- What My Online Startup is about
- If it’s legit or a scam
- If Chuck’s money-making methods really work
- If students are actually getting results
Then you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s get started.
I’ve signed up to and reviewed dozens of affiliate marketing courses over the years, ranging in price from free all the way up to $3,600.
Some of those courses were just plain awful and made no money whatsoever (like Affiliate Millionaire Club, Easy Retired Millionaire and Click Wealth System).
Then there were others which were high-quality, legit and gave me a great return on investment (see my top picks here).
My Online Startup falls somewhere between the two. I think the free course will give you a decent enough grasp of the fundamentals of affiliate marketing, but don’t bother paying out for Chuck’s Partner Program unless you want to make money promoting the program itself.
What We’ll Cover In This Review:
What Is My Online Startup?
My Online Startup is a free 8-module course created by Chuck Nguyen designed to walk you through the steps of starting an affiliate marketing business.
Here’s how the program is described on the sales page:
That same sales page makes some pretty big claims:
- They’ll show you how to build a 6-figure online business and become an authority super affiliate
- They’ll show you the easiest, fastest and simplest way to build multiple passive income streams
- This will work even if you’ve never made a cent online and can only work a few hours per week
- Chuck GUARANTEES you WILL make money with his ‘earn to learn’ program
We’ll examine these claims and more in this review.
Who Is Chuck Nguyen?
Chuck Nguyen is the guy behind My Online Startup with who is based in Melbourne, Australia and started with internet marketing in 2004.
According to Chuck, he started My Online Startup to help millions aroudn the world build a successful online business:
In 2017 he created the Digital Elites course and ran that until he started Earn Easy Commissions in 2018 and ranamed it My Online Startup in March 2019.
Chuck has a fairly successful YouTube channel covering topics related to affiliate marketing like keyword research, building an email list and productivity, though there hasn’t been any new videos uploaded in the last 2 years or so.
Here is one of Chuck’s most popular videos on the topic of how to make money with Clickbank as an affiliate marketer:
Can You Make Money With My Online Startup?
Yes you can. Invest the time to go through the My Online Startup course, apply every action step along the way and you’ll end up with an online business that’s generating a full-time income for you month after month.
It won’t happen overnight, but put in the effort consistently over time to create the best quality content you can muster and the traffic and sales will follow.
Essentially, you’re going to learn how to build an affiliate marketing business where you make money recommending other people’s products and services so you don’t have to create any products yourself and all of the payment processing, customer service and shipping is done for you.
READ: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To How Affiliate Marketing Works
The earning potential really is limitless but how much money you’ll actually go on to make will depend entirely on how much time you can put in, your work ethic and how far you want to go.
Here’s a video I made recently where I show 3 affiliate earning examples and what you need to do to get there:
How Much Does My Online Startup Cost?
Sign up for free and you get access to the full training course which will give you a decent introduction to affiliate marketing. However, everything inside the members’ area is geared towards converting you to the Partner upgrade which costs $7 for a 7-day trial then $49/month or $497/year.
But that’s not all!
What they don’t tell you on the sales page is you need to pay considerable costs upfront to be able to apply the training. I’m going to show you exactly what those costs are and offer free alternatives.
My Online Startup’s Free Training
The My Online startup training gives you 9 modules with 38 video lessons totalling 2 hours 14 minutes.
Overall, Chuck does a great job of explaining everything in an easy-to-understand way.
This video gives you a sneak peek inside My Online Startup:
Here’s a module-by-module breakdown of the training:
Getting Started (1 Lesson)
Chuck gives a personal introduction and demonstrates how to navigate around the members’ area.
Step 1: The Gameplan (1 Lesson)
In this video he gives an brief overview of what will be covered in the rest of the course.
Step 2: Success Mindset (7 Lessons)
Step 2 is all about having the right kind of mindset that’s going to set you up for success within the online world.
These lessons cover everything from knowing your ‘big why’ and setting the right kind of income goals to how to have self-confidence and what hacks you can use to boost your productivity.
Step 3: Affiliate Marketing (5 Lessons)
This is the module where Chuck really gets into the nitty gritty of how affiliate marketing works, how to choose the best niche and the right kind of products to promote to maximise commissions.
Step 4: Lead Generation (6 Lessons)
What Chucks calls his “Super Affiliate Formula” where he explains why creating a capture page and offering a high value lead magnet to collect emails is so important.
He says email marketing is the way to build multiple income streams and the biggest asset to any online business and he’s not wrong. 80% of your affiliate income will come from your email list.
What I really appreciate about this training is he starts off by giving you the big picture of how it all works but then dives deep and goes through things like how to set up a capture page, what kind of lead magnet to create and how to track your conversions step-by-step in a way that anyone can follow to see results.
Step 5: Authority Platform (7 Lessons)
Any affiliate marketer worth one’s salt knows that to build a profitable and reliable income stream for the long-term you NEED to build a website.
In Step 5 you’re going to be walked through the entire process of how to create and set up your very first affiliate marketing website and start the process of creating the right kind of high-quality and relevant content that’s going to attract those all-important visitors and start generating you commissions.
In my experience, getting your website ranked in Google is the best way to generate high-qualuity, converting traffic so it was really reassuring to hear Chuck emphasise this throughout the training as this is what is going to give you a proven path to follow that’s going to lead you to success.
Step 6: YouTube Marketing (6 Lessons)
In this module you’re going to learn why having a YouTube channel is such a great way to expand your reach, how to get your first channel set up, how to shoot and edit videos and how to choose the best keywords to target to get those all-important views which hopefully turn into sales.
I’ve been running affiliate marketing websites for 5+ years but I’ve only started doing YouTube in the last few months and I regret not doing it sooner because once you get over the initial nerves of standing in front of a camera it really does start to get easier and more fun, not to mention the earning potential is HUGE!
Step 7: Forum Marketing (1 Lesson)
In this video, Chuck recommends signing up to the Warrior Forum and start answering digital marketing related questions as a way to generate traffic to your offers, with an emphasis on promoting My Online Startup.
I’ve seen a lot of people follow the same technqiue using Quora.and while it can work really well, it is very time-consuming and labour intensive and not something I would waste too much time on personally.
Step 8: Targeted Solo Ads (4 Lessons)
In this final module, Chuck advocates paying for solo ads through sites like Udimi as they are the “easiest and fastest ways to generate sales”.
This is terrible advice for affiliate marketing beginners and you’re better off sticking to the building a blog and YouTube channel modules.
Because solo ads are expensive, ineffective and it hard to find solo ad vendors you can trust. That’s been my experience anyway. If you’ve ever had success with solo ads then let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!
My Online Startup’s Support
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to My Online Startup’s support.
You’re promised a members’-only community where you’ll always get your questions answered, where you’re always motivated and supported, but the comments section within the training area is a ghost town.
You can ask a question alright, just don’t expect to ever get a reply…
There’s clearly no moderating going on either as I came across a fair number of spammy posts like this:
At least you can join Chuck’s Mastermind Facebook Group with 79K members where you’re much more likely to get your questions answered, though it’s unlikely you’ll get help from Chuck himself.
It’s mainly a group of members left to help each other with occasional input from Josh Becker, a My Online Startup staff member who’s main job it is to promote Chuck’s Lifetime Partner Program:
The group looks to be quite active, with dozens of posts each day and hundreds of new members joining each month.
Is My Online Startup Legit? Is It A Scam?
My Online Startup looks to be a legit course overall and many students appear to be achieving success with it. However, there are some questionable methods taught within the training.
My Online Startup can’t be considered a scam because you do get free training lessons when you sign up and there are a number of credible success stories from students making money:
However, there are a couple of noteworthy issues with the training, such as:
I cover those problems and more later in this review.
However, in spite of those issues, My Online Startup is still a decent affiliate marketing course that will help give beginners a strong start to their online career.
If you’re looking for affiliate marketing training with unparalleled expert and community support without the hidden costs then check out my top recommendation here.
Is My Online Startup A Pyramid Scheme Or MLM?
My Online Startup is not a strict pyramid scheme or a multi-level marketing (MLM) company, though it does have elements of both as the majority of students go on to promote the same program to others.
According to Wikipedia:
“A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme.”
Investopedia describes an MLM as:
“A strategy used to encourage existing distributors to recruit new distributors who are paid a percentage of their recruits’ sales.”
As most of the My Online Startup success stories I’ve seen are from students making money referring other students to the program, it would seem My Online Startup could in fact qualify as both a pyramid scheme and MLM.
At the very least, this is a done-for-you sales funnel where the vast majority of students upgrade in order to earn more commissions promoting the Partner Program.
In sharp contrast, better affiliate marketing courses I’ve reviewed show students achieving financial success promoting any of the 600 million+ affiliate products available out there.
My Online Startup Cons
1. You’ll Be Given Some Really Bad Advice
Choosing a niche is one of the first decisions you’ll have to make and choosing the right one is critical to your success.
Pick a topic for your website that’s too narrow and you’ll limit how much you can earn. Pick a topic that’s too broad or competitive and you’ll have no chance of getting those all-important rankings and sales. At the same time, you want to pick a niche you know something about and are interested in.
In lesson 3.2 you’ll hear Chuck pushing people towards the affiliate marketing niche because he wants you to promote My Online Startup, saying things like:
- “The bigger the competition, the bigger the market which means more money for you to tap into.”
- “You can choose affiliate marketing as your niche. Trust me, it’s very profitable and easy, especially if you follow this course.”
- “I recommend, if you’re stressing about what niche to tap into, just tap into the affiliate marketing niche guys because you will become an affiliate marketer and it just makes life a lot easier.”
In my view, this is terrible advice to give anyone just starting out, for a couple of reasons:
Firstly, if you’ve never made a cent in affiliate commissions then it’s probably a bad idea to start advising others on how to do it. If you’ve never been in a gym in your life then how can you create a site that helps people lose weight or build muscle that competes against qualified personal trainers who actually know what they’re talking about?
Secondly, the sheer amount of competition is making it increasingly difficult for beginners to break through. You’d be far better off getting your feet wet in a less saturated niche first then come back to the affiliate marketing niche with some experience and success under your belt.
Alternatively, choose a niche based on a passion, interest, or expertise you have and content creation will be less of a grind and you’re much more likely to stick it out in the long term.
Then there’s the final module where Chuck recommends using paid solo ads to generate traffic…
Please don’t do this and if you do, never spend more than you’re able to afford and willing to lose.
At best, module 8 of the training is unhelpful. At worst, it will dramatically reduce your chances of success due to the high costs, low quality traffic and ineffective methods no newbie affiliate marketer should follow.
2. This Won’t Work In Every Country
Since this is a course about how to make money with Clickbank, you’re going to need to set up an affiliate account which is only available as an option in certain countries like:
- United Kingdom
- United States
- New Zealand
If you’re from Kenya or Nigeria you will most likely not be able to join Clickbank’s affiliate program.
If you’re from any other country you can contact Clickbank directly to confirm.
3. Chuck’s Not Upfront About The Real Costs Involved
Yes, the My Online Startup training is free but nowhere on the sales page are you told you have to rack up a ton of expenses to actually be able to apply the training and achieve success.
But truth be told, you don’t need most of these. And yet under every lesson is a list of ‘must-buy’ memberships and subscriptions you need to sign up to.
So why give you so many unnecesary upsells and cross sells?
Because, like any done-for-you sales funnel, it entices people to join Chuck’s Partner Program so they can add their affiliate links to earn commissions on any product you buy, versus just earning commissions on the Partner Program fees as a non-member.
The hidden additional costs within My Online Startup can be broken down into 3 categories:
- Chuck’s Partner Program
- Paid Ads
Several tools, membership sites and resources are recommended under each training video and according to Chuck and his team, these are the tools you’ll need to actually be able to take action and apply the My Online Startup training, but don’t worry because I’m going to give you some free alternatives:
ClickFunnels: $97/month after 14-day free trial
Software to help you create landing pages and sales funnels.
GetResponse: $15/month after 30-day free trial
Gives you the ability to start building an email subscriber list and automate your email marketing.
ClickMagick: $37/month after 14-day free trial
Tracking software that enables you to see where your clicks are coming from and which traffic sources convert the highest.
Thrive Leads: $67/year
A premium WordPress plugin that aims to increase your email opt-in rate.
Software that supposedly helps you easily create eBooks you can use as lead magnets to build your email list.
Affiliate Swipe Email Profits: $9.95
427 done-for-you email swipes you can copy and paste into your email campaigns.
Domain registration and web hosting for your affiliate marketing website.
Longtail Pro – $25/month
Similar to Jaxxy, this keyword research tool will give you data on monthly keyword searches and how your website is ranking.
All In One SEO Pro: $49.50/year
Another premium WordPress plugin for creating sitemaps and inserting your posts’ meta title and description.
All the full-time affiliate marketers I know do fine on the free version so there’s really no need to sign up for this.
Easy Social Share: $22
This is a premium social sharing plugin that’ll give you social sharing buttons for your website to make it easier for people to share your content online. Again, there are 100s of perfectly good free options so save your money.
Snappa: Free then go Pro for $120/year
Snappa is a graphics and photo design suite but just use Canva instead. They have a free version which is more than adequate to start creating logos, blog post images and YouTube thumbnails.
Grammarly: Free then $11.66/month
I use and have only ever used the free version of Grammarly without any issues.
Headline Analyzer: Analyze 3 headlines for free then $19/month
This is a tool to help you create more captivating headlines to increase your click-through rate and ultimately, views and sales. I’ve never used this personally, though I could see some benefit in using it.
Helps protect your website from cyber attacks and hacking.
Video Maker FX: $27
This video creation software lets you make animated videos for your affiliate marketing efforts on YouTube.
There could be some value in buying this say, if you’re not keen on showing your face, but in the end, if you really want to be successful on YouTube then it’s all about creating that personal connection and letting people know the real you.
So grab your phone and start talking – that’s exactly how I started so don’t be camera shy!
Thumbnail Blaster: $27.75
This is design software you can use to create YouTube thumbnails but again, it’s not necessary and you’re better of just using the free version of Canva.
Camtasia: Free then $249.99
Camtasia comes highly recommended if you have the budget for it. It’s one of the most popular video editing software suites out there. Alternatively, you can use Windows Movie Maker or iMovie if you’re just starting out.
That’s a gigantuan 17 extra tools you’re told you need ot buy to be able to apply the training. Buy them all and you’re looking at an additional cost of $3,223.04 in your first 12 months!
But as I say, you don’t necessarily NEED these tools to succeed with Your Online Startup as most of them are just thrown in there to help push up the profit margins of those promoting My Online Startup.
2. Chuck’s Partner Program: $7 7-day trial then $49/month or $497/year
If you want to cash in all those extra commissions from the additional memberships and subscriptions your referrals are buying then you’re going to want to become a Partner.
It’s a mentorship program where you get group coaching from Chuck Nguyen where you get access to:
- The Partner’s Inner Circle
- 100+ affiliate income streams
- Done-for-you email marketing campaigns
- Partner-only training modules
3. Paid Ads
Step 8 of the training recommends using solo ads as a way to generate traffic to your landing pages through Udimi and Traffic For Me; sites promising “quality traffic” at 55¢ a click:
Given all these additional costs, I cannot in good faith recommend you sign up for My Online Startup if you’re on a tight budget. If this is you then check out these lower-priced alternatives instead:
My Online Startup Pros
1. You Get A High-Quality, Structured Course For Free!
Chuck is a serious professional with a ton of experience under his belt. I spent over 17 hours watching every video lesson and he’s got a very engaging teaching style.
I’ve been doing affiliate marketing for 5+ years now and I got a lot from his lessons on productivity and time-mamnagement lessons. Chuck also does a great job of breaking down the whole digital marketing process in an easy to understand and practical way.
Even if you’re an absolute beginner going into this, you’re going come out the other end knowing exactly how affiliate marketing works, how to create income-generating websites and YouTube channels, as well as how to run effective email marketing campaigns if you so wish.
The training area is also super easy to navigate and the modules are structured in such a way that you can track your progress as you’re working your way through the course.
And I hear Chuck’s been busily working behind the scenes on some pretty major developments to the training platform heading into 2021 so clearly he’s just getting started and the best is still yet to come!
2. A Lot Of Members Are Already Achieving Success
I’ve been a member of the My Online Startup Facebook group for a couple of months now and not a day has gone by where I haven’t seen people celebrate making their first ever sales online within days of signing up.
I’ll let the success stories speak for themselves:
There’s no doubt you can make money with this…
Even if it is solely by promoting My Online Startup!
But even if you don’t want to promote My Online Startup, you could take the principles, strategies and methods laid out in the free training and apply it to your own business to take advantage of any of the 1,000s of affiliate products that are available out there for you promote.
So when Chuck claims that My Online Startup can help you earn $1000’s per week, he’s telling the truth because clearly a good number of his students are doing just that.
Who Should Join My Online Startup?
I’d recommend taking the course if you’re brand new to affiliate marketing AND…
- You’re willing and able to invest at least another $1,000 to apply the course
- You can devote at least 10 hours a week into building your business
- You don’t expect to get rich from this thing overnight
If that sounds like you then click here to sign up and get started.
A Better My Online Startup Alternative?
While Wealthy Affiliate is by no means perfect, it remains the best affiliate marketing course I’ve found, by a landslide.
If you’re looking for a full step-by-step on how to get your first affiliate marketing venture off the ground then join as a free Starter member to experience the platform and community.
If you like what you see then it’s only $49 a month to get full and unlimited access to everything you could possibly need to launch a very successful business online, including website builders, hosting, keyword tools, training and support all under one roof. You’ll not need to pay for ads either as you’ll learn how to attract 100% free traffic.
Your My Online Startup Review
That’s it for this My Online Startup review. This turned out a lot longer than I thought it would be, so I appreciate you sticking with me! I just know if I were in your shoes then I’d want to get all the details before jumping in head-first.
Are you a member of Chuck Nguyen’s My Online Startup, or have you been in the past?
If so, tell us about your experience in the comments – good or bad – we’d love to hear what you have to say!
Thanks for your support! 🙂
Simon Crowe is the founder of The Make Money Online Blog and is on a mission to help as many people as possible kiss their bosses goodbye.
Get his free Affiliate Marketing Guide For Newbies to learn exactly how to build a real income online and make your dream business a reality.