To anyone who is even remotely up-to-date in the internet and affiliate marketing world, this will be "old news" already.
But I thought I’d post about it anyway because despite it being announced close to a month ago, it’s really fairly big news:
IMGrind is now completely free.
IMGrind is a training and discussion forum for affiliate marketers that up to now, used to be a private forum with a monthly membership cost of $77/month.
It is a large community of internet marketers (mostly affiliate marketers) who discuss, share, teach, and learn from one another.
I did a thorough review of them a year and a half ago in case you’re looking for more information.
Here’s a video from Ruck (one of the co-founders) announcing the change from paid to free:
(Note: You may need to visit the post directly at TylerCruz.com if you’re reading this via e-mail or RSS in order to see it.)
I was pretty surprised when I first saw the e-mail in my inbox from IMGrind stating that it was becoming free. After all, they’ve made millions from the forum, and it has only grown over time.
Personally, I have mixed feelings on it.
On the bright side, the obvious benefit is that those looking to learn affiliate marketing now can do so even cheaper; the ones that were on the fence of having to fork out $77/month now have complete access for free. It opens up a lot of knowledge and access to those seeking to learn.
But there’s a big downside. I feel that, over time, opening up the forum like this will inevitably lead to the quality of the forum dropping considerably. Being private and charging members a membership fee weeds out the "tire-kickers", trolls, spammers, and "talkers". I feel like it will become a lot more like WarriorForum, with a lot more "dreamers" and a lot less pro-active "do-ers".
In addition, it’s not so beneficial to share all the secrets and gems out there with everyone. I don’t really want more people to know how to improve their CTR or know about X or Y network as it only creates more competition for you and me.
Now, hopefully I’m wrong and IMGrind will continue to stay informative, relevant, and on point, but one of the main reasons I feel it was so successful to begin with is from having quality control on its members.
Lastly, there’s the question as to why to make it free at all. Only Ryan and Ruck know the real answer to this – they "claim" that they made it free because they already have other multi-million dollar businesses and don’t really need/want to charge members anymore, but I personally think that’s complete bullshit .
They’re obvious major capitalists (their job is to make money!) and this is, in my opinion, an obvious strategical business decision. They probably feel that they can make more money with a larger user base over time, driving traffic to their seminars and workshops, networks, etc.
Whatever the reason, the fact is that they are now free. It also means those of you who are still thinking about trying affiliate marketing but don’t know where to start have yet one less excuse as there is an enormous amount of information on IMGrind.
Missing the Private Factor?
If you’re like me and really miss the exclusivity and private factor of a membership-based training forum, there’s still StackThatMoney.
Be sure to check out the comprehensive review I wrote (and recorded in a 20-minute screencast) almost exactly 1 year ago today.
I guess in the end, this is kind of the best of both worlds. Those who don’t want to pay a monthly membership fee now have IMGrind, and those who enjoy the private factor can use StackThatMoney.
I’m a member at both forums, so I’ll see you there!