Caleb Maddix is a 18-year-old 8 figure entrepreneur, author, international keynote speaker, and social media influencer.
He is the co-founder and leader of Apex 4 Kids, which is the world's first-ever relatable, entertaining and powerful personal growth for kids!
He has influenced thousands of people on social media by having dozens of viral videos including a single motivational video on FB that reached thousands and thousands of people.
He has rubbed elbows with proper gurus like Tony Robbins, Russell Brunson, Gary V. and Grant Cardone, and all have given him the kudos he deserves from having achieved so much at such a young age.
His father Matt is his closest companion, and since a very young age he taught Caleb to be motivated and go after his dreams.
He actually wrote his son motivational letters when Caleb went to kindergarten so he could read them during the lunch break!
All of this discipline has obviously paid off, and now Caleb is part of that new wave of entrepreneurs, like the WiFi Bosses and others, who are reaping the benefits of his work at an insanely young age.
Caleb Maddix made his first $100,000 by age 14, and his Apex 4 Kids is valued between $15-$30 million dollars. He gets paid $25,000+ per speaking gig...
Talk about a successful kid!
An inspiration since his earliest motivational videos...
In 2020 Caleb launched a course with his colleague Ryan O'Donnel, following the successes of a YouTuber called Devon:
We don't really get to know much about Devon, but he is very much present throughout the course and teaches you what he taught Caleb before he launched the course.
Caleb had to pay $100k in order for Devon to convince him to spill the beans and actually help out with creating the course.
The moment you join you will get access to every module and the community.
And you’ll have access to everything for life.
So you can go through the course at your pace.
If you need to stop for a few weeks for any reason, you can pick up right where you left off.
Caleb Maddix is a hugely divisive person:
The ones who like him, really really like him, and follow him on all of his social media platforms.
The ones who like him less, well, let's just say that they don't go soft on him.
Some famous fake guru content creators have focused on Caleb's way of being an entrepreneur, but more on that later.
After having quite a few people asking me to review this courses in my comments, I thought it would be only fair to my readers to go through the course, dive in it and give a very honest opinion.
As you will see, I don't have an affiliate link to Caleb's course.
If you end up buying them, I will not be making a dime, but since the reviews out there are either extremely positive or extremely negative, I thought I'd try and be more balanced than others.
Is Caleb Maddix a savvy entrepreneur, an 18 y/o wise kid, or a bit of both?
In the following review, I'm going to go into extreme detail and be answering the questions that you really want to know the answer to.
But before I start this in-depth review that will cover every module of the course, a little bit about me...
Here's my rags to riches story, for those of you who don't know me
Until 2014 I was working in a corporate job from 9 to 5.
Not only was it soul-crushing, but it didn't give me any time to pursue my bigger goals, and by did I have a bigger lifestyle in mind.
That was until I discovered a method to rank sites organically, generating free leads for my clients.
That website you see above, for the tree care company, I created that site in 2015, and since then I haven't had to touch or update it:
It has gained me a passive income of $2000 a month.
That's more than $100,000 for one site, in 5 years.
That's the magic of the Lead Generation business, it's by far the best model to generate passive income.
If you want to know more, just hop over here!
But enough about me: time for an in-depth review of the YTA Masterclass!
YTA Masterclass Review
The YTA is an insanely detailed course, where you will literally learn every thing to do with YT automated channels
From grounding your basic niche idea, to creating the thumbnails, titles, voiceover & script, to launching your channel, to finally only doing what you do best and outsource the rest.
Caleb, Ryan & Devon will be in the thriving FB community to celebrate your victories and help you make your automated YT creation go viral
Sounds like a something you'd love to do? Let's see how it really works.
Week 1 - Home
Like most first modules in online courses, this one can be easily skipped.
It is a replay of the webinar that got you to buy the course in the first play, so 99% of the chances are that you have already seen it.
The small intro before the webinar shows Caleb pumping you up, congratulating you for buying the course, and promising to get you results.
I'd be if he didn't want to get me good results, after buying his course!
I guess rewatching the webinar is just a way to get you super excited, alleviate buyer's doubt, and convince you you've made what Caleb calls 'the best choice of an era'.
I must admit that the webinar is very convincing, and I can imagine a lot of people, especially of Caleb's age, liking the prerequisites to make this work that Caleb talks about throughout the presentation:
- You never have to step in front of a camera.
- You never have to work insane hours.
- You don't have to have a crazy personality.
- You don't have to edit a single video.
- You don't have to be behind a mic.
- You don't have to be a tech geek.
- You don't have to learn graphic design to create thumbnails.
- You don't have to own expensive equipment.
I can imagine this message capturing the attention of a lot of people.
If you don't need to do any of the things above and you will be working with YT channels, what is it exactly that you will have to do?
Find out by carrying on reading.
Week 2 - The Foundation of YTA
Like with many other courses dealing with online businesses, one of the first lessons will be that of choosing a niche that your channel will focus on.
The YTA Masterclass has a very hands on structure, encouraging you to finish one step before moving on to the next.
That's why the niche is the vital choice that can make or break your early days as a youtubepreneur.
Thankfully, Devon provides you with a list of profitable niches, and even the amount of money you will get once your channel will be monetized!
Some examples of the top performing niches include:
Make Money Online/ Business
Flight & Airline Reviews
$ 10 CPM
$ 10 CPM
$ 10 CPM
$ 10 CPM
$ 9 CPM
$ 8.5 CPM
$ 8 CPM
$ 7.5 CPM
CPM simply stands for cost per 1000 impressions, and is a metric that represents how much money advertisers are spending to show ads on a particular subject.
After having chosen your niche, Caleb goes through the other steps that await you along the journey to full automation.
There are seven steps that have been isolated, and C&D will be walking you through them hand in hand.
- How to find the team that will do the work for you.
- How to hire them with legally binding contracts.
- How to train your team to create viral videos.
- How to create and assembly line just how Devon did.
- How to upload the first video in the proper way, with tags and description
- How to repeat the process, uploading a video every single day, having 365 in a year.
- How to take your first profitable channel and transform it into a network with an SOP to Scale
What's more, Caleb highlights that there are three distinct types of people who will be going through the program, so make sure you belong in one of these categories, or get ready to hit that refund button.
The three types of students are:
- You are doing the upfront work, going through the course and then hiring the team.
- You are going to have it done for you, giving it to a team member going through YTA.
- You want to be the face of the channel, no faceless videos with voice-over.
If you recognize yourself into one of these three categories and have always wanted to have a YT channel of your own, then read on!
Week 3 - The Science of Virality
This is really when the rubber starts hitting the road and you will begin to learn how YT really works and what are its secrets.
Caleb talks about how anticipating which video the YT algorithm will favor is key when wanting to automate your YT channel and profit from it.
It's like learning a science, and that is why both Caleb and Devon don't really like it when people say that a video's virality is only down to luck.
Devon has developed a science behind this and has taught Caleb, and everything is explained in clear detail.
Once you'll have learned these basics, you'll be looking at YT in the same way as Neo from the Matrix looked at the fake world, and you'll see what's really behind it all!
Caleb really boils down the reasons for videos going viral to two main assets:
CTR stands for Click Through Rate and essentially a ratio showing how often people who see your ad end up clicking it.
AVD means Average View Duration is the total watch time of your video divided by the total number of video plays, including replays. This metric measures your video's ability to engage viewers.
So it's as simple as this..
Make a video that lure the audience in with a kickass thumbnail and a winning title, and keep them engaged with good editing and scripting once they are watching your vid.
That is what YT likes:
For people to stay on their platform for as long as possible, consuming their videos and watching their ads.
The more you will comply to these two parameters, the easier it will be for you to go viral.
But is that really it?
Of course not.. there are plenty of videos that teach you how to make this happen, how to increase CTR and AVD.
As far as CTR is concerned you will learn:
- How to strive for a 20%-25% CTR for a video to go viral.
- How to master the thumbnails and the titles for enhanced CTR.
- The psychology behind the click (the importance of presentation).
- How to put the thumbnail ahead of anything else, the visual element.
- How to use the sustainability hack, creating evergreen content for your vids.
- How to cook up virality: split testing, tweaking, rehash, produce more of the same.
By the end of the CTR section, you will be asked to come up with the first 7 ideas for your first 7 videos.
I really appreciate this 'getting your hands dirty' approach.
As you progress with the course, you'll be getting stuff done, and by the end of it you'll be running your YT channel with your outsourced team like a pro!
When it comes to AVD, the most important section is without a doubt the one titled 'The Dopamine Framework'.
Caleb created this framework after having studied Devon's videos, his friends' videos who regularly go viral.
The Dopamine Framework is devised to make the viewers stuck to your channel and watch your video until the end, regardless of all distractions they may have.
Hooks, cliffhangers, climaxes all fire dopamine in your brain and create pleasure within you.
This is how the Framework works:
- The hook/title recap (Opening statement that captivates and keeps you there).
- Welcome to the channel (Beginning the Top 10 channel/Your Name).
- Tease the climax, that is going to happen at the very end.
- Fluff once the climax has been teased, since viewer is already hooked.
- Put the best content here even if you've teased it for the climax to retain views.
- Create hook for the climax again.
- Put in the rest of the content.
- Finish with the second-best piece of content right at the end.
- Recap and ask questions that will prompt comments and subs on your channel.
The guys really seem to know what they are doing here: both Devon and Caleb have clearly spent a lot of time analyzing YT videos to find recurring patterns in the viral ones.
They really have done all the leg-work and all you have to do is take notes and follow!
Week 4 - Setting Up Your Channel
Now you are really ready to set up your channel, and the first thing that C&D do is to link the YT guidelines, so that you don't start on the wrong foot.
For the sake of convenience the guidelines can be summarized in 5 main groups:
- Best practices for the creators (issues with ethics and children's content).
- Spam and deceptive practices.
- Sensitive content (nudity, sex or self-harm).
- Violent or dangerous content.
- Regulated goods (what is and what is not allowed on YT: ie. firearms).
After that, the first thing you will want to think of is monetization.
Everyone wants a slice of the YT pie, and you won't be able to do that without monetization.
There are two ways of getting to monetization:
- Organically, once you have 1000 subs and 4000 hours of watch time.
- If you buy an already monetized site, although C&D don't recommend it.
Organically you just need to activate monetization once you reach those parameters with your first videos.
To start with, and to learn the ropes, Caleb and Devon suggest you start organically, since you wouldn't really know what to do with a monetized channel.
Also, the first fans you make are going to stick there and comment more, creating engagement in the comment section.
Another fundamental part is scouting your competition right from the beginning, subscribing to all the competition channels and see what in your niche is going viral.
That way you can get inspiration daily and see what is trending in the subject you've chosen to focus on.
Your homepage from now on is going to be crowded with the best videos belonging to your niche.
Once you figure out what is making millions of views, you should model the winning formula and create your own vids, that will have a chance of going viral.
Study the thumbnails and the titles of the videos that have received millions of views and you will never run out of ideas!
One of the most important videos in this section has to do with copyright.
How do you know what kind of material you can use and what will get you a strike from YT?
To be honest, I had no idea, so I'm glad Devon came to the rescue.
Apparently there are two main copyright violations:
- Content ID violation: this happens when you upload the exact same file of your favorite program, but it has already been uploaded by the creators. YT will notice this and it's fury and vengeance are going to be terrible!
- Being reported by a viewer for manual copyright claim.
You need to avoid the automated system by YT, in theory, by rearranging the pixels on the screen, by flipping the image, create a lens on the video, make the audio slower or faster, increase or decrease pitch.
D&C of course suggest that you use copyright free material both in the video and audio.
I'm not entirely sure how channels like top 10 cinema channels can avoid using copyrighted material, but to be fair I only went through the course and didn't really implement every aspect myself.
The last video in this week is fundamental.
Devon breaks down YT analytics in a way that is understandable even for complete newbs.
These are the metrics and numbers that you want to keep tabs on.
- Ranking by views (top ten of your best videos).
- Subscribers in the last 28 days.
- Your estimated revenue.
- Impressions / click through rate.
- Unique viewers.
- Traffic source types.
- Watch time (hours).
- Average view duration (AVD).
- Unique viewers.
- Average views per viewer.
- Estimated revenue.
- Estimated monetized playbacks.
- Playback based CPM.
Thia may all seem pretty overwhelming at first, but Devon really digs deep into every metric, and if you watch and rewatch this particular video, you are definitely going to make sense of it too.
Week 5 - Automating Your Team
This is the week that puts the automation in YouTube Automation.
Automation is part of the new way of creating YouTube video:
You won't need expensive equipment or snazzy copy or photoshop skills.
It's time to outsource and create YouTube videos the new way.
You can create a team by employing:
- A thumbnail artist
- A script writer
- A video editor
- A voice over artist
Obviously, to keep it on the cheap, you will have to hire a team from abroad, train them, make them obsess over your very niche, and have others creating you viral videos.
The outsourced team is going to be like an assembly line, where you will first dump your ideas on a shareable chart like those you can create on Trello.
Then the script writer will write out your idea, the voice over artist will record a wav file, the video editor will then build a video around the audio, and the thumbnail creator will create the most viral looking thumbnail.
You can of course review every passage of the process, make sure that everything is cool, and then move it over to the next person working on the video.
The more you will get to know your team, and viceversa, the less you will have to communicate and you will learn to trust the people who work for you.
The website that Caleb suggests you use is onlinejobs.ph, a site obviously based in the Philippines, where hiring members for your team is not going to be as expensive as in the US.
Caleb provides you with all the templates for the four different jobs and his acquisition manager, Noah Lenz, will guide you through the nitty gritty of going through the acquisition phase.
The rest of the module is pretty boring, and deals with the technicalities of hiring people abroad.
Templates of the contracts are provided and Caleb has really gone out of his way to provide you with everything needed.
Once you do have a team, they will have all the capacities to create YT videos, but there are also training sections for your team:
People at Apex will teach your team all they need to know to create viral qualities that they will be able to implement.
Pretty crazy, huh?
Once your theme has gone through their part of their course, they will be as obsessed as you are about your niche.
For Caleb and Devon, this is by far the most important thing to outsource: obsession.
Week 6 - Uploading Your First Video
You now have your very first video and feeling pretty antsy about putting it out there, huh?
Not so fast, cowboy.
Caleb suggests that you have some videos stacked and ready to be uploaded all together, to avoid rushing putting out videos the next days.
Create yourself a time cushion so that your team won't be working at breakneck speed, and so that you'll easily be uploading one video per day.
Ideally, you want to work a week in advance, having all the videos for week 1 ready to post while your team is working on the week 2 ones..
Only then will you be ready to attack with a stack of videos, and go viral.
One of the questions I had never asked myself, but that Caleb and Devon actually made worthwhile asking is, what is the golden hour to drop your video?
It all depends on the target audience:
If your avatar is a 9 to 5er, then dropping the video at 8 pm so you'll be able to catch him while he's on YT.
If your content is for kids, then an hour after school hours is really the time you're going to be looking for.
In the US, Devon says that 3pm PST is his golden hour, but what is going to be useful is checking out Google Analytics and seeing what time of the day your video is most viewed.
Another piece of advice by Devon is that once you have built your fanbase, you should get them to turn the notifications on your channel, so they can easily know when you are going live.
But what happens once you've uploaded your first video?
How do you drive initial traffic to it, when the algorithm doesn't know you exist?
Your first fans are going to be the most loyal, but you need a way to grab them.
That's where the YTA community is going to help you out.
You'll have hundreds of members of the community watch it all the way through, comment on it, share it and create interaction.
It's a pretty solid technique, which will also get you feedback from your peers.
But there must be something else you can do?
Sure there is:
- Share it on your social media and get anybody to watch it.
- Comment on other people's video in your niche and engage on their comments.
- If you can reach other creators, you can have them sell posts to shout you out.
- Going on FB and find groups with your niche as specialization and 50k members.
- Once you have multiple channels, have different channels promote different vids.
It's all about getting that first momentum to catch YT's attention, then you will be pushed up by the algorithm, and if your content is good, you're on your way to going viral!
Week 7 - SOPs To Scale
Scaling really means that you've made it with your first channels.
There are some caveats though, before using standard operating procedures to scale.
The exact timing of your scaling is fundamental:
It's time to scale once your channel is automated and producing a good number of viral videos.
The idea is to have one channel that works perfectly without you touching it and is making you money, and then you can create your second stream of income.
The only thing you should be doing is coming up with ideas for videos and leaving all the rest to your well oiled engine-team that you have hired.
Another concept that captivated my interest is the key hiring you will have to make while scaling.
This is the figure of the YTA manager, and basically this figure will have to take over your role, so you can step back and focus on creating new channels.
Then it's just rinse and repeat and creating a YTA manager so that you really don't have to do nothing else on the channel.
The YTA manager is going to be doing 2 things:
- Supervising the dedication of your team.
- Supervising the quality of the final product.
He will also be responsible to do research, to find out how to improve in the niche, and obsessed with your niche.
Obsession with the niche you give to your YTA manager is the key point, since he will have to keep the moral and the standards of your team for a long time.
You will let the YTA manager go through the YTA course and you will be outsourcing your ideas and market research, so the level of trust really has to be phenomenal.
But once you have a good manager, then you'll sleep soundly at night, knowing that your channel will still continue to grow!
There are mistakes that you risk making while scaling your YTA empire.
Two especially spring to mind:
- Scaling by subtracting: you don't want to cut down the cost of the video making, but create new channels so you can earn more and be hit less by the cost of the team.
- Getting stuck at a cap: don't stop at 10, or 15, or 20 channels.. if the process is totally automated the sky is a limit, and you shouldn't stop because you're content with a certain amount.
If you avoid these two mistakes, the Caleb is sure that your YTA empire is going to grow and grow.
Week 8 - The Maximum Wage Mentality
The last module of the course is a course in itself and was offered before the YTA course even existed.
It's all about creating the right mentality to become a millionaire.
Caleb and Ryan O'Donnell basically break down mindset problems, to go from the minimum wage lifestyle to the maximum wage life.
So we're not talking about real wages here, but mental development that will allow you to earn more.
I'm not really sure about the utility of all of this in order to create automated YT channels, but here goes.
Some of the videos in this course tend to drag on a bit.
It's things that every entrepreneur has heard a million times before.
For example, in Controlling the Conveyor belt, Caleb and Ryan make the argument that what you input in your life is what you are going to receive as an output.
The right input is putting the work in.
Everything is not up to chance, but in the end everything depends on you.
Heard that before?
Yeah, me too.
Some of the videos are actually cringeworthy..
'Ethically Hacking Capitalism', for example.
There's something to be said about learning about how to play the capitalist game from 18 year olds.
According to C&R, the school way we are taught of working 9 to 5 is an inefficient system.
Nothing new under the sun.
What is their way of winning at this game?
Start a business that makes you money even while you sleep.
You've heard this one too?
Yeah, me too.
At the end of the day, I find the inclusion of this module, especially at the end, quite puzzling.
It's a mix of young kids flexing their achievements and waxing lyrical on capitalism, and has very little to do with the rest of the course.
Maybe a shorter mindset module at the beginning of the course would have done the trick, but this seemed a bit like overkill to me.
You can tell this is part of another course just slapped there at the end as a bonus, as the whole feel and message of the videos doesn't really gel too well with the rest of the material.
The Verdict: The Good & The Bad
Before I go on and look at the pros and cons of Caleb and Devon's course, I want to reply to those early questions I'd set down, and that anyone reading a review wants to know immediately.
As far as YT courses go, the YTA is pretty unique, and it really captures and angle of making money on YT that I had never experienced before.
It seems to be a proven method of success, and the testimonials are solid in this.
The course, aside from the last module, really provides excellent material and walks you hand in hand through the whole creative progress, through to the automation experiment.
I'd say it totally delivers on what it promises, and more.
I don't know how easy it is to get a video to go viral, but the impression I've gotten is that if you really stick to the process, which is detailed to a crazy extreme, you'll be able to profit from this.
When it comes to Caleb Maddix I have mixed feelings.
He talks too fast, and is sometimes bordering on the too cocky for my tastes, but I think his heart is in the right place.
There have been various guru-busters who have been on his case, and his hour-long chat with Coffeezilla has become a classic in this genre, but I really do feel that, through his books aimed at creating a mindshift in children, he is doing something good.
I would not say he is a scam, and I don't think the course is a scam.
If you're a younger person, you'll probably enjoy his Red Bull fuelled monologues more than I did, but he really puts his heart in what he does, and you can tell that.
When it comes to the pricing of the course, the price is $997 and will grant you a lifetime access to the course and the FB private group.
The price isn't too shabby, and if you're interested in making money off YT, you should definitely at least give it a shot:
You do have a 30 day guarantee if you go through the course and you still don't like it.
If you want to start a YT channel and make money off it, Caleb's course could be the right one for you. Or it could be another more affordable course like Gareth Lamb's Channel Profits.
However, these days I don't really recommend going down the path of building a business like Caleb is teaching.
Lead Generation, where you rank your own website, is a far superior model to monetize your skills.
Let me explain, keep reading...
Why I Only Use My YT To Talk About My Businss... Lead Generation Proved to be a Much Better Biz Model, Here's Why...
I run a $50K per month lead generation business but all of my leads are generating through free traffic or SEO, not through anything YT Automation related.
So it's pretty much passive income, I don’t have to worry about the performance of any videos, or ads, or anything.
The website I create ranks on the first page of Google, in the so-called map pack, and the leads just start pouring in.
Once my site ranks it generally keeps its rank with very little to no maintenance.
Don’t get me wrong you can still make a living creating an automated YT channel, but it's a hard route and very challenging to do so.
The problem with creating these channels is that you are constantly looking at your CTR and AVD, trying to understand what went wrong and what worked.
How many people are clicking on your channel, and out of those people, how many actually watch your video until the end?
If things go wrong, it's back to contacting your team, spending more money, trying a different approach.
This is why I still recommend people look into doing lead generation with free traffic
Caleb Maddix's YTA course is well executed, everything is there to learn how to create your YT channel and try make it go viral.
Let me tell you, there are niches that work with this kind of method, but the problem is there are many niches that really struggle too.
Unlike creating videos in your niche everyday, if you know how to generate leads with free traffic, you can go into any niche and create an incredible level of results for clients.
That’s how 90% of my multiple 6 figure income is generated.
And I should add that it's passive income: see free traffic never stops.
In 2020, even during Covid-19, I continue to build more lead gen sites and I write at least 1 blog post a day for this site, because I’ve come to realize that these are the high-income producing activities because it directly increases my free traffic every month.
Click here if you want to know more about my Lead Gen method.