Our grandmas knew it – it takes hundreds of baby steps to learn how to walk. And it’s not just steps – all the falls, bruises, bumps and scars are an indispensable part of the learning process. Many of us still find this truth difficult to implement, which is why we fall prey to get-rich-quick schemes so often. If such a hope brought you here, this is not an article (or a website) for you. We’re here to talk about affiliate marketing as a long-term business project. And this Wealthy Affiliate review will cover one of the most popular online educational hubs for those who aim to build a sustainable, legit online business.
But first, let me point out that I am not a member of their affiliate program. In other words, I won’t get a single coin from your decision whether to sign up or not through my link. The sole reason I am writing this review is to provide a helpful, honest insight into this knowledge base.
So what exactly is Wealthy Affiliate? Think of it as an all-in-one solution for budding entrepreneurs. When you sign up, what you get is an interactive classroom with copious amounts of resources and training programs. Even more importantly, you’ll get all the basic tools to get your website up and running. The communal aspect is also worthy of attention, as you’ll see many success stories, but also various inquiries and dilemmas from people who are in the same boat as you. On the surface, it seems just the place to be if you’re only starting to learn about marketing. But we have yet to see whether it (still) lives up to its reputation.
Wealthy Affiliate Review and Overview – Who Are These Guys?
Let’s start with what they’ve given us on their website. Wealthy Affiliate was born back in 2005. It was a decisive moment for digital marketing pioneers. Even though the concept of affiliate marketing was developed in the 1990s, very few people were familiar with the term at the beginning of the new millennium. Even less knew how to take advantage of it.
Kyle Loudoun and Carson Lim, the founders of Wealthy Affiliate, were two college students who poked around the web trying to make a buck. They learned a lot in the process and realized that mentoring and helping out other people is equally (if not more) rewarding as achieving one’s own goals. Naturally, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so it made perfect sense that they decided to monetize their own success story by selling subscriptions to their service, and having other people promote it further for a commission.
So far, the platform has had over two million registered users. Impressive – but is this buzz overinflated?
At this point, I will only say that WA is definitely not a scam. But before making the final verdict about the value of what it offers, let’s see how it works.
How Does It Work?
As soon as you register with a free account, their inclusive credo will greet you, reassuring you that anyone can build a successful online business. You need no technical or marketing knowledge at all. And that is absolutely true – this course is a gradual, self-explanatory walkthrough. You will learn how to build your own site and generate traffic, how to monetize and promote it, create great content, get conversions, create PPC campaigns, and more.
But even though they do promise success, they refrain from claiming that it’s going to be a quick and easy triumph. Success is a journey rather than a goal, but you don’t have to walk alone down that path. On the contrary, it’s way better and easier with a bit of hand-holding from a community, which is very active – for better or worse, as we’re about to see.
From your dashboard, you will have access to the feed (similar to a social media feed, with various threads and blog posts), classroom, website builder, keyword research tool, affiliate programs, live chat, and more. With everything in one place, WA eliminates the need to roam around the web hunting for bits and pieces of information. Whatever you need, chances are someone else needed it before. If not, you can always ask. The community is from all around the world, so that you can always find help within minutes, around the clock.
Starter Vs. Premium Pack
Here’s what you’ll get within your free 7-day trial:
- Live chat with 24/7 help, both with their customer support team and other users
- Site Rubix website hosting and builder, security package and SSL
- Installs for two websites
- 50 training modules (out of over 1,000)
- Access to two out of 13 training classrooms
- Jaaxy keyword research tool (limited to 30 searches)
To get full access with unlimited support, networking with experts including the founders themselves, and live webinars, you will have to pay $49 per month – that’s $588 per year. Or you can get 40% off if you pay $359 upfront for a one-year membership. It may sound quite a lot if you’re a broke student who’s only dreaming about entrepreneurship.
Here’s what Kyle had to say about the advantages of premium membership.
The course certainly isn’t cheap, but you can get discounts around Black Friday, paying as low as $299 per year. That’s about $25 per month, which sounds like a nice bargain.
If you can’t wait for the next Black Friday, make sure to go premium before your free 7-day trial draws to an end. That way, you’ll save $30 on your first month. Keep in mind that the rest of your billing will still go at $49 every following month. Or they may offer you a six-month membership for $234 flat. But that’s only if you pay the whole sum upfront.
How Can I Make Money With Wealthy Affiliate?
There are two basic ways to monetize this program. The bread and butter for both are niche websites:
- Create a site about making money online / affiliate marketing / blogging and promote Wealthy Affiliate course. Even though this solution may be the most obvious, I would argue against it. But doesn’t that sound a bit hypocritical, given that this very site belongs to the make money online niche? Not in the least! SurveyCool was created back in 2013, when this niche wasn’t nearly as competitive as it is today. If I wanted to create such a site today, I would definitely think twice! Should you decide to give this option a shot after all, here’s a bit of motivation. If you manage to sell 300 premium referrals within a year, you’ll get invited to the exclusive, all-paid WA Las Vegas Super Affiliate Conference.
- Create just about any niche website and promote anything you want. Instead of opting for a heavily saturated mainstream niche, you would fare better with a micro niche, with far less traffic but far more conversions and potential for nurturing loyal customers. The course will give you just enough ammunition to carry out affiliate marketing in whichever niche works best for you. Just make sure not to waste it by only promoting the course itself.
Wealthy Affiliate Pros
- An all-round solution for those who don’t have time or patience (or either) for all the baby steps that it takes to learn affiliate marketing from scratch. That is not to say that you’re not in for some serious tribulations down the path of countless trials and errors. But at least you’ll be spared of bustling about setting up your website, hosting, and other technicalities. Not to mention keyword research and on- and off-page SEO, all of which take some serious grinding!
- The free trial gives you a taste of it, which is great if you’re an absolute newcomer to the world of online business. Maybe you aren’t even sure you have it in you – well, in that case, you don’t have to shell out a significant sum before you’re positive that you want it.
- The system gets updated quite regularly. With the fast-paced changes going on daily, many affiliate networks tend to go obsolete. This one isn’t immune to it either, but it compensates for it by releasing fresh info regularly. If their resources from last year got run over by new marketing trends, don’t worry – they release new live training videos every Friday, with the option to watch them on demand.
- It will save you tons of time you would otherwise spend on sifting through all the online garbage to find what’s really useful. The Internet is a treasure trove of free resources, true; but it takes serious time and patience to tell the wheat from the chaff, let alone separate it.
- You aren’t limited to only promoting the Wealthy Affiliate platform itself. They will teach you how to promote and earn off of anything you want.
Wealthy Affiliate Cons
- They do seem to suggest that promoting the course is the best path for successful online business. Which couldn’t be further from the truth! I suspect that’s the sole reason why you’ll surely find so many overtly positive and partial reviews. Most of those were written with the hope of getting that commission, rather than informing people objectively about the pros and cons of this program.
- Just like with any other one-stop shop, you can’t exactly hope to get the best quality of everything. At the beginning, you will be grateful to have all the tools in one place. But who’s to say that you won’t regret it three months later? Maybe you’d fare better with a keyword research tool other than Jaaxy. Or a hosting of your choice, which brings us to our next point…
- Integrated website hosting, installation and site builder tool is a double-edged sword. Sure it’s very handy if you’ve never before made a WordPress website. But it means you’ll have to let go of the control over your own project. When it comes to long-term business planning, it’s best to rely on as few third parties as possible.
- Even though it’s cheaper than some alternatives, it just doesn’t seem to offer enough value for the price. Especially when you compare it to some more expensive but much more comprehensive and detailed alternatives such as Authority Hacker.
- There’s (too) much fluff in the blog posts, comments and live chat. No community is perfect, but I’m really having trouble with blanket messages that are obviously copy-pasted and sent out to all members. Not to mention the innumerable worthless comments that add zero value and call for some serious moderation effort.
- They neglect some very important areas such as email marketing and link building. They could do well with a bit more focus on advanced affiliate marketing tactiques. The resources mainly ace it when it comes to rookies or intermediate users. However, they leave much to be desired for users who have already reached higher levels of affiliate marketing.
- Don’t expect results within the first month! To be 100% honest, you shouldn’t expect them even in the first six months. And even then, money won’t be raining on you. This isn’t a real con since there’s no such thing as easy yet considerable income. It’s just to say that this platform just isn’t adequate for people who hope to get a magic wand that will make them rich in no time.
Bottom Line – Beware of Setting Your Expectations Too High!
During the past few years, I’ve seen many an article making brazen promises if you’d only sign up to Wealthy Affiliate through their link. According to them, it’s a number one affiliate marketing course. Many success stories circulating through the community corroborate this view, telling you how they made it to six figures within months.
I’m not saying they are lying. Wealthy Affiliate is a decent course. It may still be one of the most convenient tools for beginners – but that’s all it is. Is it good enough for you? It entirely depends on what you need and where you are in your learning process! But instead of drooling over the six-figure affirmations, it might be more realistic to listen to people who’ve earned their first $50 after five months of grinding, and maybe made it to $1,000 after a couple years.
If you hope to make a highly scalable business that has true potential for profits, I’m afraid WA won’t be good enough for you. Like I said above – if you’re an advanced marketer or in need of more detailed strategies, you should definitely check the Authority Hacker course. Even though its price sounds like a total ripoff, you won’t regret a single dollar invested in this ginormous knowledge base! And once you pay for Authority Hacker, you will have it for as long as you want – no renewal or additional fees unless you decide to buy another tier. Which, in all likelihood, you won’t ever need to do.