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The Home Business Academy Reviews (2024 Update): Is This Affiliate Marketing Business For Real?

By: JosiahMar 07, 2024Affiliate Marketing
The Home Business Academy Reviews ([year] Update): Is This Affiliate Marketing Business For Real?

Introduction: The Home Business Academy Reviews

The Home Business Academy is an affiliate marketing program that captures some of the elements you often see in MLM (multi level marketing) programs. It's founded by a couple of buddies - Mike Hobbs and Paul Hutchings.

If you've spent any amount of time checking out ways to make some passive income through an online business, then it's no surprise you've stumbled onto my review. These guys are pretty good at finding potential customers/students in the algorithm and hitting them with ads all night and all day.

In fact, Home Business Academy (HBA) is just one of an increasing number of affiliate marketers who are plastering their programs all over Facebook, Instagram, YouTube - you name it! You might have run into videos from these guys a few times, or maybe someone like Zach Crawford.

The rabbit hole runs deep.

But hey, it doesn't really matter how you got here - because I know what you're looking for. You wanna know which of these Home Business Academy reviews actually knows what they're talking about. And it makes a lot of sense.

In fact, I recommend being a little suspicious. "Make some quick cash without any work! Work from the beach! Work when you want!" Now, sometimes that kind of thing is actually true, but you've got to separate the real experts from the pretenders.

Lucky for you, I've been grinding reviews for a long time and have figured out some of the red lights and green lights when it comes to earning some passive income. I actually wrote a little guide on the best affiliate marketing niches out there, so feel free to check that out after this one.

It was a little tricky to find non-fabricated (or paid) reviews on The Home Business Academy, but I was able to figure out just enough to lay things out for ya. And I'll give them credit - they are a lot more transparent than other gurus in the affiliate marketing world.

I'll take you through the program from top-to-bottom, investigating the pros and cons, seeking out a couple alternatives, and in the end we'll have to consider whether or not you can even make decent money with affiliate marketing anymore.

But for now, let's dive into our Home Business Academy review!


This Home Business Academy review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.

  • Live weekly webinars
  • Possible to make money if you recruit enough
  • MLMs have a bad rap, hard to sell these days
  • Poor refund policy

Why Listen To Us

My name is Josiah, and this is my Dad, Joel.why listen us

Together, we make up the team here at Scamrisk.

If you’ll let me bother you for two minutes, I’d like to quickly explain why I’m even here writing this review.

In early 2020, I had just graduated from college & had no real career prospects.

I knew I was destined for something more, but I had no clue how I was going to make it happen.

I had this sinking feeling in my gut all the time… like the “big man upstairs” had accidentally given me the version of life where I’d be mediocre forever, instead of the one where I was, ya know – happy & fulfilled.


I had fiddled around with some different online businesses in college:

Some random MLMs, a bit of affiliate marketing, a (failed) dropshipping store or two, all the usual suspects.

Even my dad had been involved in MLMs back in the day… selling knives & other random nonsense people (probably) didn’t need.

All I really wanted was to find something that was going to actually work for me.

Maybe those things had worked for others, but for me it all turned up a fat “0” in the bank account department.

So I searched! And searched… and searched… and searched…

And eventually, I somehow stumbled upon a program that promised to help me build an income online (read about it here if you’re curious).

I didn’t really want to be “rich”.

The thought of making a reliable $5K per month & not having to worry about clocking in to a 9-to-5 ever again was all I needed.

Sure, there were people in the program doing high-6 and low-7 figures per year… but that wasn’t what I was out for.

I just wanted to provide freedom for myself, and if I was lucky, take my family along for the ride.

Fast forward a few days and a few phone calls & I was enrolled!

Here’s the first “money making website” I put up:

why listen us gif

I built that site in 2020, and it still makes me $1,500 per month. It’s a basic 5 page website I built based on a template the program provides.

The best part to me? My dad and I get to do it all together!

So between the:

  1. Ease of reaching $5-$10K per month in income online

  2. Straightforward-ness of the system to do it

  3. Fact that I get to do it w/ my family

Is why I recommend local lead generation as my #1 business model for making money online.

Sure, it takes some work and dedication – but anyone that tells you that there’s a business out there that requires no work is selling you a lemon.

I’m not saying you need to sign up for the same program I did, but I would definitely recommend giving the business model a peek!

TLDR - Is The Home Business Academy Worth It?

the homebusinessacademy what is it

The Home Business Academy is an affiliate marketing program that also incorporates some MLM elements to its setup.

Their vision is "Freedom Through Principle Centered Leadership", or FTPCL for short...not exactly catchy, which is actually a little concerned since their job is supposed to be how to "market" things.

So, are these guys worth signing up with?

My gut feeling is probably not.

It isn't necessarily a slight against their program - although I do have some questions - but more of a problem with affiliate marketing itself. There aren't too many ways to differentiate it (like the Amazon affiliate program) so things can get pretty cut-and-dry.

Even then, you can always make cash with affiliate marketing if you work hard enough, like Mike and Paul have managed to do so far.

But one of its many issues is that the industry is very saturated now, so even if HBA has a great program, there is one major flaw...

All the students you help sign up to Home Business Academy will turn into your competition.

They may preach a "family"-like culture, but this is the cold, hard truth of it all. You should probably look out for a higher-upside industry that still has room for growth, like Digital Leasing.

If you take that path, you'll be more actively building leads and seeing huge paychecks - and not waiting months for them like with affiliate marketing.

The students seem extremely passionate about what they're doing - not just getting by, but creating their own future.

Digital Leasing Legit

That said, if you'd like to hear some more about our Home Business Academy review, let's keep on rolling.

Who Benefits From Home Business Academy...And Who Doesn't?

Time Investment2/5Posting affiliate links is pretty quick, unlike the wait for pay.
Level of Control2/5You must promote their products unless you become an "Executive Affiliate
Ease of Implementation3/5Very easy to share referral links - hard to sell most family/friends on the MLM part
Profit Potential2/5Low commissions and long waits for affiliate marketing, and a lot of hesitancy from others to join an MLM-adjacent industry

So, with all the affiliate marketing courses out there these days, how do we know who HBA is good for?

Home Business Academy might be for you if...

  • You've never done affiliate marketing before and would like to try some MLM while you're at it
  • You are very patient and don't mind waiting months to get paid
  • You've made some money after using other affiliate training (like Affiliate Marketing Mastery)

But Home Business Academy probably isn't for you if...

  • You like getting big money and getting it fast
  • Not seeing BBB and Trustpilot profiles is a big concern for you
  • You have had a bad experience with affiliate marketing or MLMs in the past

Home Business Academy At A 1,000 FT View

Home business academy logo

Affiliate marketing is a time-tested strategy, even if it might be getting old. You need to have the right level of patient mindset, and know all about driving traffic to yours sales funnel.

Or, in other words, you've gotta know how to post affiliate links in the right comment sections and social media pages. It doesn't sound so exciting when you put it like that, so a lot of these gurus will create their own hype videos that distract from how boring it can be - oh, and the fact you'll be waiting months to see any income.

HBA promotes the idea that anyone can join up with them, and this seems to be true because their student/client base all seem to be middle-aged folks or even older. The reason they can figure it out is that hitting copy/paste isn't too tricky - even if there are a couple extra steps if you really wanna do it right.

I just don't get it, though: with all the options out there, why would you want to be an affiliate marketer?

Overall, marketing is a timeless industry, but affiliate marketing offers low commissions for the most part, and will bore you to tears after a while. On the other hand, lead generation has that big stack of cash you're after, and it seems to keep folks entertained as they hunt their next monthly payment.

The right leader matters, too. You could pick the best industry in the business (which we think we've identified in our final recommendation), but even then you won't get too far with the wrong training and mindset.

Mike and Paul don't seem like terrible people at all, but I do have a concern or two.

Who Are Mike Hobbs And Paul Hutchings?

Who Owns The Home Business Academy HBA Funnel Builder

The founders of The Home Business Academy are a couple of buddies by the name of Paul Hutchings and Mike Hobbs.

They claim to have built the company out of the good of their own heart, hoping to teach students with some in-depth training, solid tools, and caring support. They really try to hit home on that last part - just a couple of decent guys who really want to help others gain a sense of financial freedom.

I will say, considering some fraudsters out there don't even reveal the actual identity of the program's owners, they are far from the worst gurus out there.

Let's dig in a little deeper into each of them on an personal level.

Mike Hobbs

Mr. Hobbs is an ex-military guy who was looking for purpose after he left the service, and first found success selling people on network marketing, or MLMs. In addition to all that, he also learned a fair share about affiliate marketing, so it's no surprise that HBA features a mix of both industries.

Mike has labeled himself the "President of Prosperity" and "Titan of Tech", which is pretty amazing. I mean, one corny nickname is fun, but two? I love it.

Paul Hutchings

I guess these guys love silly nicknames, because Paul calls himself "The Freedom Crusader".

Again, I hate that I actually like it.

Paul was a big MLM guy like Mike, and it wasn't going so well for him. He found himself living in a trailer when the two of them met, and decided to fuse their experience and create The Home Business Academy.

Again, if any of you readers came to HBA hoping for a strict-affiliate marketing diet, you may be disappointed. MLMs have a bad history with pyramid schemes, so we understand if you have some concerns making money online with these guys.

How Much Does The Home Business Academy Cost?

how much does hba funnel builder cost

On the bright side, these guys will often put on sales for their Home Business Academy Premium membership for either 0 dollars or for $1 on a 7-day or 14-day trial, depending on when you're reading this article.

However, this is probably the most slippery thing Mike and Paul do - they have some fine print that clarifies you will be charged $125 per month after the trial period, and you'll also be pitched on their $25/monthly Funnel Builder that seems pretty necessary.

So you're looking at a $1,800 fee per year, which isn't terrible on its own. I recommend you keep an eye out for upsells (gurus often charge big money for 1-on-1 time) and events, although their events don't seem terribly priced.

Extra Costs And Upsells

It didn't take me too much time to find a few upsells that'll raise your costs.

Home Business Academy‘s got some extra features, and it sounds like they're not really optional.

If you wanna access the full product, prepare for all these coming your way:

  • $25/month for the previously mentioned Funnel Builder
  • $37/month for something called Freedom Launchpad
  • $1000 for a course called Financial Literacy Academy

I really don't like that they keep these things hidden, especially when they're open about so much else on their web page.

Freedom Fest

It appears that every so often these guys have some live events - the most recent of which will set you back $111 to attend. Not a bad rate, honestly. And I do love that they claim 100% of the profits will go to starving kids in Africa.


If you see a search recommendation for "HomeBusinessAcademy" and aren't sure if it's the same program - it is, but people are just lazy.

The Home Business Academy Refund Policy

the home business academy refund policy

Okay, so I've got some good news and bad news...

...the good news is: if you pay for HBA's products and regret it later, you might be able to get a refund!

The bad news? There's only 3 days to ask for your cash back, and it might take that long for them to even reply to your email.

In fact, it also appears that they won't have too much mercy if your finger slips (or your internet glitches out) and accidentally purchase a product more than once - you're out of luck, and will have to accept store credit.

Honestly, if they didn't offer any refunds it would at least seem less sneaky than this.

There's almost no way you're going to know if the program is worth your time under 72 hours, so it's all just very misleading.

I would look elsewhere if I were you.

Is Home Business Academy Legit Or Not?

Facebook"I feel let down the system has no support."Source
Sotelus"I'm absolutely amazed!"Source

As I mentioned earlier, it was really hard to find any student reviews online. There is one site called SoTellUs, but it appears to be designed for fake or paid reviews - I can't leave a review if I try, and even though the program has a 4.2/5 rating to seem realistic, I can't find a single bad or even mixed review on the page.

One student complained on the Facebook page and the company seemed pretty mad about it.

It really seemed like HBA was a decent, honest company until we dug into the sneaky upsells and a shady refund policy. Especially with their charitable events, it was extra disappointing to see their downside like that.

That said, they're not even the biggest concern I have here - affiliate marketing is. It's easy, but that means it's oversaturated and barely offers a reward with the low paydays. You should probably look to something else if you want to see some higher upside... why are you paying for obvious information that could be found for free?

Well, that's probably why Mike and Paul emphasize their students' community so much. Going it alone can be hard on some people, so having a group to share your struggles and success with can really help sometimes.

Some people think the MLM elements make these sort of communities at risk of becoming a "cult", but that's not for us to decide.

Personally, I'm going to keep my concerns with the industry and the tactics. I recommend you keep an eye out for Digital Leasing in more stable industries like lead generation. If you do things right there, you'll finally have a taste of the financial freedom all these other guys love hyping up.

Maybe Home Business Academy gets there one day, but Digital Leasing has been at it for a while now.

Personal Opinion On Home Business Academy

home business academy are they a scam

It's not actually clear to me that Mike and Paul know how to make money with affiliate marketing. With stronger backgrounds in MLM, I do have concerns that they're more skilled at recruiting students than making a reliable income with what they teach.

...and can they really teach something they don't have a background in?

Normally I'd say that just because someone is good at doing something, doesn't mean that they know how to teach it.

This time, I think I'm stating the obvious when I say that when someone doesn't have a track record for doing something well, I'm extra skeptical that they can teach you about it.

And I'm not saying that lightly - affiliate marketing, MLM, lead generation...I've written reviews across industries for years, and have managed to figure out what the best program looks like. do we find the right affiliate marketing course for you?

  • Take your time to figure out if the expert actually has experience
  • Be sure there's a solid support community
  • Take a look at the fine print and make sure they're open with pricing/refunds

Mike and Paul are certainly not the worst gurus we've ever encountered.

In fact, here are 3 things I like about his course:

  1. They donate event funds to charity
  2. Affiliate marketing has an okay track record
  3. They seem to create a friendly community

...and, on the other hand, 3 things I don't really like:

  1. It's hard to make money with affiliate marketing
  2. The MLM elements of recruiting are not what I like to see
  3. Takes a long time to see any profits

What's Inside The Home Business Academy?

the home business academy whats inside the course

When you see all the "family" culture being promoted and the compensation plan for recruitment, you'd be forgiven for thinking The Home Business Academy was an MLM or a pyramid scheme. After all, its founders come from an MLM background.

But it's not exactly that clear, and not all MLMs are pyramid schemes, anyway.

So, what is the Home Business Academy?

They teach you all sorts of stuff about affiliate marketing, like:

  • sales funnels with their own designed tools
  • driving traffic to your website via blogs
  • SEO
  • Facebook
  • YouTube

Sounds easy, right?

It pretty much is. You post links around the internet for a seller, and you hope that a buyer gets hooked into a sale. Then, every time a customer buys one of the products you're sharing, you get a commission.

These commissions can range from 2% to a rumored 80%, but typically you're looking at the lower end of that very wide range.

And, as I mentioned at the start of this section - they have a heavy MLM influence as well. This means if you recruit other students for HBA, you get a percentage of whatever they pay to join.

It also means you're recruiting your own competition, however, and can also be very annoying to family and friends who have been through MLM problems in the past.

Now, let's dig into some of the program's main features and courses.

The HBA Funnel Builder

the home business academy funnel builder

If you want to make unlimited sales funnels or affiliate marketing pages for basically anything you can imagine, then the HBA Funnel Builder is for you.

Here's a list of what it's got:

  • Lead Capture Pages
  • Thank you Pages
  • Sales pages
  • Order/Checkout Pages
  • Digital products
  • Memberships sites

It's important to understand that this is just a tool as opposed to a real training program, which is why it's priced much cheaper.

If you're looking for a real training course to help get your business started, then you'll probably be pushed toward the HBA Premium (formerly Traffic & Conversions Academy).

HBA Premium

the home business academy premium

Let's go over some of the features offered by HBA Premium:

  • You'll learn how to generate traffic and leads online, retaining customers and closing sales
  • Marketing webinars every week from their best students
  • You'll get tips on how to gain unlimited leads from Facebook, which is hopefully a reference to SEO training
  • 7 videos on how you can make the best offer, one that attracts all the big fish and stands out in a crowd
  • 15 videos about how to get the best quality of leads on YouTube
  • They'll teach you how to make a blog that builds leads and makes you a ton of money

It's unclear how good all these features of their "digital education membership" really are, or if they deliver what they promise. But it sounds decent.

It sounds like the gurus, Mike and Paul, often meet up with their top students to host mastermind events where you can get more customized coaching.

Freedom Launchpad

Freedom Launchpad

This one's kind of weird.

A guy named Nick Bramble invented this little course on affiliate marketing funnels, but it's basically just a way to act as a high-commission affiliate for HBA.

It's a smart idea since it doesn't appear like Mike or Paul have much real affiliate marketing experience - they might just be really good at recruiting and promoting their program.

Nick Bramble also made something call the 30 Minute Workday, which is another course + eBook that will funnel customers toward the HBA website for the real training.

However, part of me wonders if Nick should have a bigger role since he's the only one who really knows what affiliate marketing is all about!

The Ultimate Email And Traffic Swipe File

This one is all about taking what HBA's competition does very well, and "borrows" their best advertising and keyword operations. They throw in over fifty email autoresponders that apparently perform really well.

Seems like a decent little throw-in.

The Financial Literacy Academy

the home business academy financial literacy

Mark J. Kohler, an author and attorney, helps co-host this course with Paul and Mike.

Here are some of the big subjects you can expect to learn about:

  • Debt Relief
  • US Business Tax Planning
  • Planned Retirement Income
  • Online Bookkeeping with Quickbooks
  • How To Generate Long-Term Cash Flow From Rental Homes
  • Management Without Stress
  • Asset Defense 101
  • Maintenance Of Business Entities

Mark J Kohler, an attorney and best-selling author co-hosts this course with Mike and Paul.

Home Business Academy Affiliate Compensation Plan

the home business academy compensation plan

As a company that uses MLM-style recruitment, it's nice that they at least prominently display their compensation structure, so no one is left guessing.

You can refer to the table above for the base numbers, but here's a little more info:

  • If you become and Executive Affiliate, you get the privileges to promote your own products and earn $100 for every referral
  • As opposed to the long waits of most affiliate marketing programs, this one pays every Friday
  • They say there are no tiers, so it's less of a "pyramid scheme", but some people debate that
  • You could keep up to 80% (up to $100) of each sale
  • They are careful to point out that all these numbers are just projections and shouldn't be taken seriously

Conclusion: Is Home Business Academy A Buy?

This was a long one! Appreciate you sticking with me, and I hope you've learned a thing or two along the way. So, it's about that time for a final verdict:

Should you join The Home Business Academy movement?

I wouldn't.

But if you're a really big fan of not only affiliate marketing, but also MLM, then it might just be the perfect fit for you. I just don't see the dollars signs in those industries - posting referral links all over the place just hoping for a couple bucks? Recruiting family and friends?

It's not something I see myself doing for a month, never mind the rest of my life.

If you're really into affiliate marketing, then there are way better, more focused courses out there for you. And if you're really into MLMs...all I can say is you can do a lot better.

After all, these guys lean more into the MLM side of things, so I question how much they can help with affiliate marketing - which is at least a realistic way to make some money.

And as much as I like their charitable events, I really dislike the way they hide their true costs and poor refund policy in the fine print.

Helping businesses build up their leads is always great, but the way affiliate marketing does it just isn't the best.

Lead generation serves a similar purpose as affiliate marketing, but it's way less dull and way more profitable. You'll have more freedom, and way more upside.

Personally, I think there is at least one company that stands out in comparison.

What's My #1 Way To Make Money In 2024?

Digital Leasing

I’ve spent years researching, reviewing, and vetting dozens of business models and thousands of programs.

While there may be no “perfect business,” the research IS conclusive:

Digital Leasing is the #1 online business model for those just starting out. 

Whether you’ve never made a dollar online or been in this space for a while but never really “made it,” Digital Leasing is for you.


1) It’s Flexible: got an hour a day? You can do this. Ready to drop everything else and dive in full-time? You can do this. Yes, the more time you put in, the faster you see results. But even with a little time each day, you can move the needle in a Digital Leasing business.

And because this system is so flexible, you don’t have to constantly be working to make more money. It’s called PASSIVE INCOME because if you stop working, the money doesn’t. 

Imagine taking 3 months off to just tour around Europe, rent a cabin in the woods to write a book, hike the Appalachian Trail, or live on the beach and surf all day. 

This is only possible if you have an income stream that’s not tied to your time.

2) You Own & Control EVERYTHING: With Home Business Academy, you don’t really own anything. 

You have no control over the quality of products. You don’t even own customers - unless you count the MLM part of their program, where in a way you really own your customers (in a bad way).

Look at the fine print for affiliate marketing terms and conditions. At any point, the company you're working with can change your commission structure, reduce your profit margins, or kick you out entirely.

With Digital Leasing, you own the assets, which means you have all the power and all the control.

3) Little To No Startup Costs: It’s possible to get into Digital Leasing with zero dollars upfront. Because, using the strategies outlined in this program, you can get a client to pay you BEFORE spending a penny out of your own pocket...even before you do any work. 

Mike and Paul's program swings way in the opposite direction - you'll have to invest a ton of time and energy before seeing a dime.

Even without getting paid in advance, you can have your first Digital Rental Property up, running, and generating profits for less than $100.

4) Easy To Duplicate: Ok, here’s the best part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up and running, you can literally DOUBLE your income with a few clicks, a couple of keystrokes, and a single phone call (and you don’t actually need the phone call).

Nothing like Home Business Academy, where it takes a long time to see any major income.

Remember: each Digital Rental Property is worth $500 to $2,000 monthly in semi-passive income (over 95% profit). Every time you decide to create another one and increase your income, it gets easier.

Because you have more knowledge, more experience, more results, and more momentum. 

If you wanted to double your income with affiliate marketing, you’d have to double your traffic, double the average order size of each customer, OR double your commission rate. And, guaranteed, that’s a lot harder than a few clicks and a few minutes of your life.

5) Make Money Helping Real People: This part is what makes it all worth it. With Mike and Paul's program, you’re selling the product with the best commission rate, NOT the one that will improve most people’s lives.

And that makes it pretty hard to sleep at night.

But with Digital Leasing, you’re actually helping people by solving your clients’ biggest problem:

Small, local businesses need more customers, and with Digital Leasing, you are unleashing a flood of happy, paying customers for these businesses. 

You make money by helping them make money. 

Not a big, faceless corporation either...a small business owner who’s using that money to put food on the table for their family, start a college fund for their kids, or take care of a sick parent. 

Once you see how Digital Leasing makes a real impact in the lives of real people, you’ll sleep like a baby with a big smile on your face.

Now, the choice is yours. You could continue browsing, looking at opportunities like Home Business Academy which could one day make you money.

You could continue researching, never making a decision. 

OR, you could take a look inside, consider what you really want, and join a program that makes your dreams a reality. At the same time, joining a community of over 2,000 successful students that are living life on their own terms, thanks to Digital Leasing.

A consistent, reliable, semi-passive stream of income that doesn’t depend on you or your time to keep producing profits. 

All while genuinely helping real people who are grateful and happy to pay for it. 

If this sounds more like what you want out of life (or if you just want some nice side income), click here to learn more about Digital Leasing.

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