Hobbs and Hutchings’ Home Business Academy Review: 5 Advantages of Using Funnels for Affiliate Marketing

March 15, 2024

Home Business Academy is an online program that bundles funnel training and building, premium coaching, done-for-you funnel page templates, and tools. The goal of this virtual academy is to help online entrepreneurs, small business owners, and internet-based professionals create automated funnels with ease through an all-in-one platform. With the Funnel Builder, users access done-for-you templates for creating landing pages, membership pages, campaign management, and more. 

HBA Funnel Builder and HBA Premium teach effective methods of building successful funnels for affiliate marketing and online selling. Though it's a good course to take if you want to learn funnel-building and lead generation, their method is still pretty basic. So, we're not sure if you can generate quality leads from their process. 

Building funnels is just one (of the many ways) you can generate leads online. Funnels are not that easy to set up even with done-for-you templates. There's a lot of thought, strategy, and analysis that goes into building successful funnels. Don't just aim for quantity when generating leads, you need quality ones with high conversion potential. A local lead generation training will give you better understanding of the lead gen process and learn the different ways you can earn from it. 

Home Business Academy Pros and Cons

Home Business Academy Pros

Genuine Course: HBA is not a rip-off, they provide genuine learning and earning opportunities through an effective process. 

Self-Paced Learning: This course gives you the flexibility to learn at your own time and pace. 

For All Levels: Anyone can enroll in this course, whether you’re an experienced affiliate marketer or a complete beginner. 

Community Access: After signing up, you’ll be added to a private Facebook group. Grow in a leadership-driven community with other affiliate marketers. 

Easy to Understand: The course gives a step-by-step guide on how to make money online based on a proven funnel-building process and business model. 

Not A Scam: Home Business Academy is 100% legit. It teaches real processes, tools, and lessons. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

Valuable Course: There’s lots of value in the course. They don't just give generic content. 

Affiliate Program: HBA has an affiliate program that gives 80% commission on qualified referrals. 

Done-for-you templates: The Funnel Builder Tool is complete with ready-to-use templates for creating link pages, about us, product pages, terms of use, and more. 

Home Business Academy Cons

Bit Pricey: It is a bit more pricey compared to its competitors. Some say the content is like Wealthy Affiliate, but WA is just half the price of this course. 

Upsells: You’ll have to pay an extra fee to access tools and other resources. 

Affiliate Marketing is Expensive: To start will affiliate marketing, you’ll have to invest a substantial amount for coaching and setting up. 

Highly Technical: Funnel-building is not for everyone. To build successful funnels, the creator must have an excellent understanding of the process and marketing touchpoints. 


$125 monthly plus upsells

Refund Policy

3 days money-back guarantee (refund is forfeited after 72 hours)

No refund on trial memberships. 


Founded in June 2016


The company has a good reputation online and offline. They comply with federal laws and follow ethical practices. 

What is Home Business Academy?

Home Business Academy is an online platform that offers self-paced modules where the students learn how to create funnels, use blogging for traffic, and use funnels for network marketing and affiliate marketing. HBA Funnel Builder, the flagship product of the company, lets users create lead capture pages, sales pages, websites, calendar pages, and membership sites. It also teaches how to create a digital product that you can sell. Besides these features, the course also teaches SEO, Facebook, and YouTube marketing. 

The Home Business Academy Product Line and Business Model

  • HBA Funnel Builder teaches aspiring digital marketers how to capture leads, and set up sales pages, checkout pages, membership sites, and thank you pages. In this course, students will also learn about the different digital products they can explore to make money online. This program is recommended for affiliate marketers and MLM.

    Subscription to the HBA Funnel Builder Plan gives you access to the Funnel Builder Academy, a digital course on lead generation using funnels. 

    What's Inside HBA Funnel Builder? 

    •  Step-by-step instructions on how you can build successful funnels. 
    •   Pages are easy to load and edit, and the URLs can be customized.
    •   Complete with done-for-you templates that you can edit with your brand, info, name, and photos.  
    •  Create thank you pages, terms and privacy pages, links pages, about us, product pages, webinars and events, courses, link trees, coming soon, and digital products, and set up an online payment page. 

    The course price is $25 monthly with a 14-day free trial. 

  • HBA Premium (Traffic and Conversions Academy) is an online membership platform designed for small businesses. Lessons in this program include how to generate leads and traffic online, how to find quality customers, and how to convert leads into sales. Members also get live daily and weekly coaching with Mike, Paul, and other community leaders.

    What’s Inside HBA Premium (Traffic and Conversions Academy)?

    • 11 different masterminds weekly, including Monday Night Market Mastermind (every 8pm EST), Daily Grow Rich Call (9 am EST), T&C Action Mastermind (11 am EST)
    •  Setting up bookmarks and browser
    •  Target marketing and lead magnet 
    •  Getting free traffic (irresistible invitations, YouTube ranking, basics of Podcasting, private blog network, Facebook Ads, and Facebook Live mastery course)
    •  Getting sales through conversions and the 13-point conversion formula 
    •  Closing online deals and conversion secrets 
    •  Membership Recruitment 

    The course price is $25 monthly with a 1-week free trial. 

  •  Financial Literacy Academy is co-created with world-famous attorney and CPA Mark J Kohler. Financial literacy academy includes courses on debt elimination, tax strategies for US business owners, record keeping and bookkeeping with QuickBooks, and business entity setup and maintenance. The course also covers strategies for retirement planning, property management, and asset protection.
  • What's in the Financial Literacy Academy?
    • Retirement Planning Strategies
    • Truth About Money- Lessons on common money myths and half-truths, wealth priorities, why money is important, savings & investments, and truths about financial freedom.  
    • Why the Rich Get Richer?- Lessons on understanding profit and loss, balance sheet, assets and liabilities, wealth trampoline, poverty toilet, financial literacy on taxes, and the real-life "golden eggs".
    • Priceless Distinctions for Freedom Crusaders- Lessons on tax deduction illusion, sell at a profit illusion, identifying financial toilets, financial plumbing blocks, money machines, and having the right money mindset.  
    •  How to Buy Your Way to Freedom- Golden question for purchase decisions, two definitions of wealth, what is net worth, and integrity lessons in making money.
    • Illusions of Wealth- The high-income illusion, big homes & nice cars, the millionaire discovery, the 3Fs of financial freedom, an abundance of thinking, savers are not losers, and how to avoid theft through inflation.
    •  Words from the Wise- Lessons include the 50% rule, freedom philosophy, module review, simple 36% return, strategies for a prime financial position, and your 2 biggest expenses.
    The course price is a $1,000, onetime payment.

Who is Home Business Academy For? 

This online learning and funnel builder platform is for online entrepreneurs, business owners, new and experienced digital marketers, and home business professionals. The tools, training, and learning resources are designed for someone who wants to start a digital marketing business, affiliate marketing, and others. 

Home Business Academy VS. Wealthy Affiliate 

Some articles say that Home Business Academy has a similar structure to Wealthy Affiliate. We'll compare the two courses in the table below.

Home Business Academy


Home Business Academy is more than twice the price of Wealthy Affiliate at $125 monthly. 

Wealthy Affiliate's pricing is cheaper. They have a free plan, a premium plan at $49 monthly, and a premium plus plan at $99 monthly. 

What is the course about?

An online learning platform that bundles self-paced online learning, premium coaching, and tools for funnel building.

An affiliate marketing course, online community, affiliate program, and platform. It gives training on how to generate free and paid traffic, plus access to tools. 


Funnel-building and affiliate marketing 

Affiliate marketing

Refund Policy

HBA offers three days full refund if you are not satisfied with your purchase. Refund requests are done through email. 

No refund. 


Mike Hobbs and Paul Hutching

Kyle Loudon and Caron Lim

Launch Date

Launched in June 2016

Launched in September 2005 



14-day free trial on HBA Funnel Builder, and 1 week free trial on HBA Premium 

Wealthy Affiliate Bootcamp is free. The course includes 5 modules with 10 lessons each. That's 50 lessons of free learning material in total. 

Affiliate Compensation Plan: 

1-tier structure where qualified affiliates can earn up to 80% commission. 

Offers three compensation plans for affiliates. $11.75 monthly for the free Starter Membership, $23.50 per referral for members of the Premium Plan, and $46.50 for every referral for Premium Plus Members. 

Online Community

Yes, a leadership-driven community. The population size of members is not disclosed.

Yes, a forum-style community with over 1 million members.

Lawsuits and Controversies

There are no published lawsuits and controversies on Mike Hobbs, Paul Hutchings, or Home Business Academy LLC.

Kyle Loudoun, the co-founder of Wealthy Affiliate, was served a lawsuit in 2015 by MOBE, a multi-level company. This was after Kyle wrote an article that MOBE claims to have led to losses in the business. Wealthy Affiliate spent over half a million, but won the lawsuit in the end. 

Who Are the Founders?

Mike Hobbs and Paul Hutchings are the founders of the home business academy. Both have been engaged in online business for over 10 years. Mike Hobbs is a certified funnel builder instructor, while Paul is active in HBA’s marketing and other social engagements. 

Paul Hutchings is an affiliate marketer from Idaho, U.S.A. An expert in network marketing and owner of Hutchings Marketing, LLC, who graduated Summa Cum Laude from DeVry University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (2003). His first job was as a regional sales manager for Melaleuca, a wellness company that manufactures and distributes nutritional and pharmaceutical products. After that, he briefly worked as a sales executive for East Idaho Auto Auction, and then started Hutchings Marketing LLC in Feb 2009. 

Mike Hobbs is a digital marketer, social media marketer, affiliate marketer, and proud co-founder of Home Business Academy LLC. He graduated from Dixie State University in 2007 and worked briefly as a loan officer for Affordable Mortgage Solutions. In 2007, he took a huge leap and quit his Walmart job to start his own business. Unlike many internet hustlers, Mike’s success story was not a “get-rich-quick” one. He worked his way up a 100K debt, and after 5 years of hard work, he finally earned his first 6-figure income. From this, he retired from the military early, after 13 long years of service. In 2016, he co-founded Home Business Academy with Paul and the rest is history.

What Is the Home Business Academy Affiliate Program?

Home Business Academy gives up to 80% commissions to qualified affiliate marketers. Exclusive affiliates get the privilege to promote the program and earn weekly commissions paid every Friday. The best part is, the HBA's affiliate program is 1-tier structure, so you are not required to recruit more members to qualify for commissions. 

Potential Earnings From HBA Affiliate Program

Sample computation:

Course price $125 x 80%= $100 

Qualified affiliate marketers can earn $100 for every successful referral to the HBA Funnel Builder and HBA Premium programs. 

Affiliate marketer Donovan Spear shows his earnings in a video he posted on YouTube. 

How To Start As A Home Business Academy Affiliate?

To start as an HBA affiliate, get your link in SamCart, start earning through the Quick Launch strategy, set up your funnel, get traffic, and apply the Freedom Four daily. 

Step 1- Set Up Your Affiliate Log-In

All the affiliate log-ins are through SamCart (get your affiliate link here). 

Step 2- Quick Launch Strategy

Sell the products and start earning even before you complete setting up your affiliate account. Log in to the SamCart back office, copy the link, and send people your affiliate links. 

Step 3- Set Up Your Funnel

Done-for-you funnel (especially the All in One Business) is recommended for new affiliates. 

All in One Business is the newest one with the highest converting potential, 3x more than the other funnels. Give your funnel a custom domain name and your home business academy autoresponder. 

Step 4- Getting Traffic To Your Funnel

With HBA, you get access to all traffic and conversion training. 

Step 5- The Freedom Four

The Freedom Four are the core values of HBA for building the business. 

4 daily activities for growing your online business: 

  • Building your audience- drive traffic, get leads, build a network, etc 
  • Build knowledge and skills 
  • Build your business- converting traffic and leads to sales 
  • Building your community 

HBA Affiliate Log-In Page

What is a Funnel Builder? 

A funnel builder is a software or tool that lets users design funnel pages to generate free leads for the business. Funnels are chains of web pages strategically set up so traffic can flow from the unawareness/awareness stage to the action stage. The goal of a funnel is to generate free traffic that triggers favorable customer actions, like a purchase, download, or subscription. 

A funnel builder can also be a person who creates a series of interrelated web pages. They strategically design touch points for every stage of the funnel to optimize the customer’s experience. Funnel builders write catchy copies and design the pages to make them look attractive. 

5 Advantages of Using Funnels for Affiliate Marketing

The 5 advantages of using funnels for affiliate marketing are wider reach, increased repeat purchases, buyer list building, better conversions, and higher affiliate commissions

  • Wider Reach- Google processes over 8.5B searches every day, and studies show that 72% of buyers turn to Google for answers. By creating informative free content online through your links to blog posts and tutorials, you generate more leads through organic Google searches. 
  •  Encourage Repeat Purchases- Through funnels, you can build stronger customer loyalty by showing you are a trusted source of information. Customers that go through excellent funnels are likely to trust brands associated with them. 
  •  Build a Buyer’s List- Another advantage of using funnels for affiliate marketing is that you can build an optimized list of potential customers who have shown interest in your product. So, you can focus your marketing efforts on nurturing these leads in your buyer's list and push them through your affiliate links.
  •   Increase Conversion Rates- Using funnels in affiliate marketing increases conversion. A funnel creates a customer journey that aims to educate customers about your product and service offerings. This process of nurturing leads proves to yield better conversion.
  • Earn Higher Commissions- Affiliate marketers who consistently deliver quality leads are often eligible for higher commissions. Many businesses will pay higher commissions for great leads with lower return/refund rates.

How to Make Money with Funnels? 

To make money with funnels, create enough brand awareness, stimulate customer interest with your offerings, develop a desire to purchase through free training and tutorials, have a strong call to action to encourage favorable responses, and guide leads through the funnel through enticing promotions. Profitable funnels repeat the same process until it reaches the highest conversion possible. 

Marketing strategies for each level of the funnel:

  • Awareness is the exploratory stage of the customer. This stage aims to increase brand awareness and get the customer to trust you. 
  • Interest is the next stage of the funnel. In this stage, your goal is to qualify leads. Only those that fit the profile of your ideal customer will be nurtured to develop a healthy and converting sales pipeline. 
  • Desire is the third stage of the funnel and the most crucial one. At this stage, you put your best foot forward by giving your customers your best offerings. Negotiation also happens at this stage.
  • Action is the final stage of the sales funnel. At this stage, the buyer either buys from you or ignores you entirely. 

What is the Funnel Success Rate?

A good funnel has a success rate of 3% to 8%. Anything over 2% is generally a good number across all industries. The funnel's success rate can be further improved by using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Use Google Analytics to see what your target customers are asking and what products/services they are looking for. The success rate can also be improved by capitalizing on social proof, using data-driven funnels, creating real-time engagements, and conducting split testing. Alternatively, beginners can try done-for-you funnel and traffic like the Easiest System Ever.

Why Do Funnels Fail?

Funnels fail because the marketing strategies are not aligned with the goals of the target customers, bad SEO practices, offers are not catchy enough, and the copywriting is not convincing. Funnels only work if the marketing materials are targeted to address the needs/pain points and you bring in enough traffic. 

To improve traffic, maximize your use of SEO tools that increase the visibility of your content. Use social media marketing to promote your blogs on Facebook groups, Instagram, and other platforms. Ensure you address the needs and goals of your target audience by conducting surveys and identifying the profile of your ideal customers by creating a customer avatar. Know what customer needs you are addressing with your offers and maintain consistent messaging throughout your campaign.

Are Funnels and Affiliate Marketing the Best Way to Make Passive Income? 

Building funnels for sales or for affiliate links offers excellent opportunities for making money online. But, income from funnels and affiliate marketing is not passive. You need constant work and effort to grow the business. 

If you think about it, affiliate marketing does not differ much from a 9 to 5 job. All you do is drive traffic for companies and sell other people's products/services. When you run out of ways to generate traffic, they can fire you anytime. Driving people to your website is the hardest soft skill to master. Learning funnels is just one method of generating traffic. A lead gen training will teach you more ways of sourcing leads like how to build lead gen websites, fundamentals of local SEO, and how to maximize the use of local paid advertising. 

Learn my top recommendation for making passive income online in this local lead generation training. This business model is #1 for me because it has better opportunities for earning and scaling. Once your website is on top of Google, you'll own valuable digital properties where you earn passively from.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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