Philip Borrowman’s Taking Action Online Review: Is TAO’s $1 Course a Trap?

April 16, 2024

Taking Action Online (TAO) by Philip Borrowman is an affiliate program aiming to provide beginners a step-by-step guide to build their affiliate marketing business through YouTube or Google as their traffic source. The course covers website design, niche selection, email marketing and traffic source. TAO claims their program to be "honest" since there is no "secret" to get rich quick and it's all about patience. Taking Action Online costs $1 and its complementary course, Marketing Academy, costs $497.

By 2024, Influencer Marketing Hub projected the affiliate marketing industry to reach $15.7 billion. There is also a 15% increase in affiliate marketing investments. Investors recognize the potential of the growing industry as 74% of US internet users visit affiliate sites before making a purchase, according to Worldwide Cyber Cash.

However, a growing industry also means growing competitors with the monthly search for “affiliate marketing” doubling from 2015 to 2021 based on Google’s data. And out of all affiliates, 57.55% earn less than $10k annually. Additionally, the average website traffic for a decent affiliate marketer income is more than 50k visitors per month. So, the demand for quality is high, but the return for a decent income is slim.

In this Taking Action Online review, I’ll go through the program’s pros and cons, the actual cost needed to start a website for affiliate marketing, if the 1-dollar course is a trap and check the course creator’s background and reputation. I’ll also list the risks affiliate marketing presents before you take action online and my #1 recommendation for making money online in 2023.

Taking Action Online Review: Pros and Cons


Step by Step Process: Students will follow the step by step process to lead them to gaining free traffic either from YouTube or blogging.

Responsive Coach: Students praise Philip for always answering their questions as fast as possible.


No Tool: Taking Action Online doesn’t have a system or a tool that you can use like other courses.

Undisclosed Expenses: Everything you’ll use for your website (hosting, domain, design), you’ll have to pay on your own. So you really can’t go in with just the entry fee of $1 to start.

Possible Bias Reviews Online: Taking Action Online has an affiliate program so the reviews might be biased as they need to make the sale.

Not A Passive Income: You will have to churn out content to get your blog or videos to rank, convince your audience to click on your affiliate link and purchase in order earn money.


Taking Action Online costs $1 to access, while Marketing Academy costs $99 monthly or $487 yearly.

Refund Policy

Taking Action Online has a 30-day money-back guarantee.


Taking Action Online started in 2018.


Taking Action Online reviews are positive, especially about Philip Borrowman.

Is Taking Action Online’s 1-Dollar 7-Step Action Plan Course a Trap?

Taking Action Online’s 1-Dollar 7-Step Action Plan couse is a trap. With $1, you will get access to the lessons as promised and build your business from there. However, the 7-Step Action Plan is also an introductory course to the coaching program, Marketing Academy.

Marketing Academy is a 180-day implementation plan that guides you step by step from scheduling to automation, conversion and page optimization. It is previously a limited coaching program that accepts a limited number of students once a month at a cost of $497 a year or $97 per month.

Taking Action Online is not a scam as students get access to the 7-Step Action Plan course with $1. However, it is a major upsell to get the 180-day implementation plan upon upgrading.

Who is Taking Action Online for?

Taking Action Online is for budding affiliate marketers and people looking for a comprehensive step-by-step process of starting affiliate marketing. The program is designed to streamline the knowledge its audience needed to start and build an online business with affiliate marketing. Taking Action Online is worth it if you’re looking to get the base knowledge of website design and traffic leveraging for affiliate marketing. The course is not for expert affiliate marketers, and bloggers and YouTubers who already have a website and an audience.

How Does Taking Action Online Help You Make Money?

Taking Action Online helps you make money from affiliate marketing by guiding you on:

  • Choosing a niche
  • Setting up your site
  • Choosing your traffic source (between blogging and making YouTube videos)
  • Creating magnetic leads
  • Automating sales funnel

Taking Action Online claims you can make $100 a day based on their 180-day implementation plan. However, Amazon affiliates earn commission anywhere between 1% to 20% depending on the product. And Influencer Marketing Hub’s survey showed 55% of affiliate marketers earning less than $10,000 per year which means they are below the 2023 US poverty line of $14,580.

How Much Does Taking Action Online Cost?

Taking Action Online costs $1 to gain access to the community and the 7-step Action Plan. In the first launch of the program, it was a 20-Step Course and the first 12 modules were free while the remaining 8 were accessible at $147. Before the recent update, the Marketing Academy costs $99 per month or $487 per year.

Realistically, it costs $200 to $500 to get started as you’ll need tools to set up your website for affiliate marketing. For instance, email marketing tools will cost you anywhere between $0 to $3,600 per month, depending on how frequently you want to send email campaigns and the size of your email list.

The most used SEO tools also range from‌ $0 to $999 a month.

  • Google Analytics and Search Console are free
  • Sitechecker’s plan ranges from basic $49 to premium $249
  • Yoast SEO, a WordPress plugin, costs $99 annually
  • Semrush’s packages will cost you $119.95 to $449.95
  • Ahrefs offers a 7-day trial at the cost of $7 and an advanced plan at $999 per month

Web hosting prices depend on storage and bandwidth offered. Most of them are on a 3-year term as well.

  • Go Daddy, dubbed as the best web host, costs $5.99 per month
  • Blue Host is $2.95 per month but spikes up to $11.99 per month when you renew after a year.
  • Host Gator’s web host price is 2.75 per month but on a 3-year term. Otherwise, it costs $8.37 per month.
  • Site Ground, the web host TAO uses in their lesson demonstrations, is $3.99 per month but billed for a year. Monthly cost is $24.99.

Domain registrar’s cost is low but goes up after a year.

  • Namecheap, the domain registrar used by Taking Action Online, is $9.18 for the first year and $13.98 every year after that.
  •’s first year is $8.99 and $13.99 upon renewal
  • Go Daddy has the biggest price hike after a year, from $2.99 to $21.99.
  • Blue Host’s first year is $12.99 and goes up to $17.99 at renewal

What Will You Learn With Taking Action Online?

  • Niche Selection
  • Website Setup
  • Conversion
  • Lead Magnet Creation
  • Email Marketing Automation

Taking Action Online teaches its students to build a website for affiliate marketing. Taking Action Online's strategy is to gain free traffic from google search through blogging or YouTube and direct people to their websites. Then, earn commission from the action or purchase the customers make from the links they promoted.

What Do You Get With Taking Action Online?

You get modules, bootcamps, the community feed, technical support from Philip, 1-on-1 coaching calls, checklists for SEO practices and progress tracking with Taking Action Online.

The 1-Dollar 7-Step Action Plan includes:

  • Success Blueprint
  • Niche Simplicity
  • Rock Solid Foundation
  • Choose Your Path To Success
  • Conversion Optimized Deployment
  • Irresistible Lead Magnet
  • Email Marketing Bootcamp
  • Time To Launch

Marketing Academy Course is a 180-day implementation plan. Each course has tasks and lessons for 2 weeks with 4 coaching calls. The Marketing Academy contains:

  • Solidify Your Schedule
  • Choose Your Path
  • Conversion Productivity Development
  • Conversion Optimized Funnels
  • Traffic Optimized Processes
  • Cash Generation Begins
  • Tender Loving Care
  • Cash Automation Begins
  • Making Money Pages Simple
  • Everyone Loves a Juicy Bonus
  • The Money Is In The List
  • Customer Conversion Growth
  • Continuous Daily Commissions
  • Life As A 1% Marketer

There are also standalone courses and books you can purchase within Taking Action Online:

  • Simple Course Creation Blueprint
  • Simple Traffic Blueprint
  • The Simple SEO Blueprint
  • The Simple SEO Blueprint: Backlink Masterclass
  • Advanced Traffic Blueprint
  • Simple Profit Blueprint

Real Taking Action Online Reviews: What Are Students Saying About Taking Action Online?

Students are saying positive reviews about Taking Action Online. Most customer reviews talk about Philip and his personal support for every query the students have, along with the detailed curriculum. It is also called “honest,” “ethical” and “no bs” repeatedly for the truths that this isn’t easy money and it’ll take time which Philip establishes right away. The program has high customer satisfaction with little to no negative reviews online. 

However, TAO has an affiliate program. So, YouTube channels and other sites create a product review of the course but provide affiliate links afterwards. It makes the review biased since they need to make that conversion.

Taking Action Online Feedback from Online Review Sites

Taking Action Online has a positive reputation from online review sites. It has a 5 star rating on Trust Mate with 66 reviews and a 4.9 rating on Trustpilot with over 100 reviews.

Vincent and Yun from Trust Mate highly recommended the TAO for beginners with no knowledge of affiliate marketing. They emphasized the support Philip provides with every roadblock they encounter, and the step-by-step guide that enabled them to start their business from scratch. Although it’s also noticeable that all of TAO’s reviews in Trust Mate’s are from 2 years ago.

Glenn Stokes wrote in Trustpilot that the best benefit of Taking Action Online is you’re building your website and business during training. User R Silva recommended the course is for people with a strong desire to be an affiliate marketer.

Taking Action Online Review BBB

Taking Action Online does not have a review from Better Business Bureau (BBB). BBB is a non-profit organization that aims to build trust within the marketplace. They provide consumers with information about businesses and serve as an intermediary of complaints. The bureau rates businesses from A+ to F and paying business members are accredited.

That said, having no rating from BBB does not mean a business, like Taking Action Online, is a scam. Not rated businesses means BBB has little information about the business, there is an ongoing review on the business or the business doesn’t want to be accredited by the organization.

Taking Action Online Review YouTube

Taking Action Online reviews on YouTube walks you through the program when they joined it since it already went through a lot of changes, curriculum and price wise. Online Marketing Reviews said it’s one of the better courses on affiliate marketing out there. According to him, the only thing it lacks is the conversion of leads to sales. Suzanne emphasized on the lower barrier to entry since it only costs $1 and the honest approach of the program to affiliate marketing.

Has Anybody Had Success With Taking Action Online/Marketing Academy?

It's not clear if anyone has had major success from Taking Action Online or Marketing Academy. The course has been operating for 5 years and all the testimonies you can see from their site talks about how “good” the program is and the course creator. Very few talked about how they advanced their affiliate marketing business through the course. And it doesn't appear anyone have reached the success of reaching the average affiliate marketer income per month of $6,080 according to Zip Recruiter.

However, Philip has an ongoing case study on his YouTube channel to show the effectiveness of his 180-day implementation strategy. It was meant to show how his strategy can help you build your business from scratch, but the website he used, although dormant, is already 2 years old. According to Productive Blogger’s findings, Google recognizes older blogs to have higher authority than others and ranks them higher.

Who Is Philip Borrowman?

The creator of Taking Action Online is Philip Borrowman. He was a baker and a coffee shop owner at Edinburg, United Kingdom before settling his sights on making money online. He started his online business in 2012 and tried everything from blogging to e-commerce and paid ads. 

Before Taking Action Online, he was the founder of which is an online business dedicated to helping bloggers profit from their site. Philip Borrowman is legit since he’s showing you on Taking Action Online lessons, click by click, what you have to do to build your affiliate marketing business. 

Currently, Philip is living as a digital nomad. He visited Bulgaria and is staying in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 3 months.

Philip Borrowman’s Claims for Taking Action Online

Philip Borrowman claims he's an anti-guru guru since he doesn't do hard sells like the other gurus in the industry. According to him, there is no recipe to success, only hard work and patience. He also claims that Taking Action Online will help you reach your potential regardless of experience, knowledge or budget. It's also a step-by-step process to build a profit-ready online business using proven methods and resources.

Philip Borrowman’s Claims Debunked: 4 Ugly Truths About Taking Action Online

  • There are upsells. TAO affiliate marketing program offers courses that are only available to you if you’re a premium paying member. And these courses tackle SEO, backlinking and traffic driving which are all vital to succeeding as an affiliate marketer.
  • It takes $200 to $500 to actually start and reach your full potential. Different software offer different functions, and depending on your traffic source, you’ll be needing a screen recording software and a microphone if you choose YouTube which are additional costs. In Philip’s own case study, he spent $700 for ads to earn his first sale of $30. 
  • It is not a proven method. There is not clear if TAO’s students succeeded using its strategy. There are a lot of testimonies from TAO students, but they mostly talked about Philip’s mentorship and the affiliate program. For instance, one student who claimed to be on the road to success stopped uploading videos a year ago with 3k subscribers and a site that can’t be reached.
  • Taking Action Online has an affiliate program which makes some of the reviews biased. For example, Suzanne's YouTube "review" about the course sounds more like a promotion. She listed the reasons TAO is an excellent program, then provided an affiliate link for viewers to use.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an advertising strategy in which companies pay affiliates who promote their product or services to their audience. It is widely used across industries for B2C and B2B buyers. Affiliates receive a percentage of the sale or a fixed amount as compensation.

Affiliate Marketing Risks You Need To Know

Affiliate marketing risks you need to know include violation of laws and regulations, the disclosing of connections between brands and affiliates and fraud. 

According to The Federal Trade Commission, consumers must know about affiliate marketing in online advertisements. Some marketers may use misleading information like fake reviews to get people to click on their ads.

Affiliate marketing’s most notable risk is violation of consumer protection law. It can be tricky as different countries have different laws. And violation of these laws will result in legal action.

Affiliate fraud is an illegal activity that comes in many ways such as traffic diverting, transaction fraud in which the sales is made through stolen payment information, and fake clicks through bots or software. According to Demand Sage, marketers lost $1.4 billion in affiliate fraud last 2020 alone.

Taking Action Online Alternatives

  • Wealthy Affiliate by Kyle Loudoun - This is the most known affiliate marketing program. The program cost ranges from $0 to $99 per month and teaches you the basics of affiliate marketing. 
  • Super Affiliate System Review by John Crestani - John Crestani is an 8-figure affiliate marketer and his course covers paid ads campaigns, automation and scaling. Super Affiliate System costs $997.
  • Affiliate Lab Review by Matt Diggity - This affiliate marketing course teaches you how to build an affiliate marketing website, and flipping them. Affiliate Lab costs $997 or $597 for 2 payments.

Conclusion: My Top Recommendation for Making Money Online in 2023

My top recommendation for making money online in 2023 is local lead generation rather than affiliate marketing. The biggest hurdle to affiliate marketing is the high competition. According to Supermetric’s study, 84% of online content creators joined an affiliate marketing program. With local lead gen, your competitors are reduced to 20 companies operating locally.

Demand Sage’s report also showed there are 107,179 affiliate companies all over the world. And you’re going against them to rank on search engines and drive visitors to your affiliate page. Additionally, CPA is the top way to earn in affiliate marketing according to IAB UK, which means you’ll have to churn out consistent content that will convince your audience to click your affiliate link in order to earn.

These are problems you will not encounter at local lead gen because once you build your website and rank it on Google, it stays there for a long time. And you can do this with just 10-15 pages. It’s so much less work, and the income becomes passive once you rent your websites to small businesses.


The tree care site I’ve set up years ago consistently stays in these top spots on Google. It generates me $2k every month. And since this business model can be duplicated, all the digital real estates I own today generate me $52k per month. So, if what you’re looking for is scalable and passive online business, local lead gen is my top recommendation.

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Ippei Kanehara

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