Additional income…everyone could use it, but how do you find it. The options available on the internet are endless, but where can you go that you can trust? This post is meant to explain the Wealthy Affiliate scam, or more importantly, how Wealthy Affiliate was the first site I found that I could trust.
Let me quickly summarize what you will get as you read through this review:
- My ranking relative to what I would consider “ideal”
- Some reasoning behind my rankings
- The benefits of using Wealthy Affiliate
- Any issues I have seen with Wealthy Affiliate
- Finally, I will end with how Wealthy Affiliate can (or can’t) help you to improve your current economic standing
Wealthy Affiliate vs My “Ideal” World
Name: Wealthy Affiliate
Training: 4.0 out of 5.0
Support: 4.5 out of 5.0
Cost: 5.0 out of 5.0
Ease of Use: 4.8 out of 5.0
Time Commitment: 3.2 out of 5.0
Profitability: 3.5 out of 5.0
Overall: 4.2 out of 5.0
Training to Get You Going, Even If You Don’t Know Where To
The first step in generating additional income is to learn how. I came to Wealthy Affiliate as an engineer with no interest in blogging or knowledge of website building…now you are reading a blog on a website I built. How did I get here?
Wealthy Affiliate offers two types of training for those that sign up:
- Online Entrepreneur Certification – For those that are interested in building a website about a niche they are passionate about
- Affiliate Bootcamp – This covers building a website around the “niche related to the promotion of Wealthy Affiliate”
Both trainings will start by explaining the process of affiliate marketing. You learn how to create a website and add content. The only skill you will need to bring is the ability to write, but there are tools to even help you with that (I will discuss in a bit).
Online Entrepreneur Certification (OEC) Breakdown
There are 5 levels of the training that help you to build a website around a niche of your choosing:
- Getting Started
- Building Your Own Traffic Producing Website
- Making Money!
- Mastering Social Engagement
- Achieving Maximum Success Through Content Creation
Before you get too excited, the “Making Money!” training shows you the ways you can profit off of your website. It will take time and patience to start making money, but we will review that below.
Overall, each level contains 10 lessons. Under each lesson you will have some actions to complete in order to move on. You are on the honor system as you “complete” the tasks by checking a box, but you want to complete the tasks to build your website.
Affiliate Bootcamp Overview
This one is more based on the promotion of Wealthy Affiliate. It does not limit you to promoting Wealthy Affiliate, but it guides you through building a niche website around affiliate marketing. Only because you are starting at Wealthy Affiliate will you be promoting it.
For this training, there are 7 levels with 10 lessons each:
- Getting Your Business Rolling
- Content, Keywords and Conversions
- Giving Your Site Social Value
- Get Visual. Get Aesthetic. Get a Brand Through Media
- Knowing Your Audience & Catapulting Your Referrals
- Bing, Yahoo, & The Power of PPC
- How to Scale Successful PPC Campaigns
You will navigate through this training the same way you do for the OEC. The difference here is you will be learning more marketing pointers.
My issue with the training was it isn’t as up-to-date as the rest of the website. I understand that the internet moves fast and there are always upgrades and updates being made, but there were some times that training did not reflect the real world.
There is a saving grace though, the platform allows users to upload their own trainings. Many of the questions I had were easily found so that I could keep progressing.
In general, there is enough information to create a quality website using the two different training courses. There are more trainings available to improve your website and build something you are proud of.
Training Is Nice, But What If I Have Questions?
One of the benefits of using Wealthy Affiliate is the support you have available. It starts with Site Support; they are available 24/7 and can help answer your technical questions about your website. They respond quickly and have resolved my issues within the day.
While Site Support is extremely helpful with your technical questions, I have found the most value from the community within Wealthy Affiliate. There are thousands of people using the platform to build their own niche websites and they all follow the pay-it-forward mentality of the founders.
There is a Live Chat feature that allows members to talk through any questions they may have. Wealthy Affiliate has members in many countries so there is almost always someone there to talk to. As an example, I do my best work between 10:00 pm and 2:00 am so I usually find people from Australia answering my questions
Training, Support, Community…Sounds Expensive
The cost is what brought me to Wealthy Affiliate. You can begin your website as a starter member for the grand sum of $0.00! You will miss out on some of the features I have listed above, but you will still be able to build a site with your own domain.
As the above shows, you will only get the community aspect in Live Chat for the first 7 days as a starter. You will still have access to comment on your profile and can always email questions to contact you have made (I am always glad to help). You are also limited to only the first level of each training course, but that will give you a good start.
Once you have your free website, you may decide you want to have your own “brand”. For around $15 you can purchase a domain and have it hosted on Wealthy Affiliate. This will remove the “.siterubix” from your free website which will make it look all that more official.
You can also upgrade to Premium and, as the graphic above shows, open up more features of the Wealthy Affiliate platform. There are a few ways to upgrade (and the site claims they haven’t raised their prices since inception):
- Monthly: $49 each month ($19 if you upgrade within the first week)
- Every 6 Months: $234 ($39 per month average)
- Annually: $359 ($29.92 per month average)
Depending on your situation, each is a great option. I will add one note of caution, the $19 first month is a deal but it will charge $49 at the start of the second month. If this isn’t something you can cover, I would hesitate as you cannot go back to be a starter member once you go premium. There are benefits to each Premium level, but you will get the most benefit from the platform by upgrading.
Now we have covered training, support and the community, and the cost to build your own business. After doing my research before joining, those were the easy answers to find. There was still one big issue holding me back.
I Don’t Know How to Build A Website (And Don’t Program)
Probably the most surprising part of the journey so far was the ease of the process. In college, I researched how to build a website and it required programming that I wasn’t about to learn. Turns out, technology has advanced to the point that it is simple to build your website.
The training walks you through, but it is really a simple process to create your website:
- Decide a domain name (like leavethemiddleclass.com)
- Choose a theme (design of your website)
- Type a post (they will start you with an about me page)
- Spell and Grammar check (it is built in and simple to use)
- Press publish (and follow the training details)
- Done! It is on your website
There are some other changes you will make, but once you publish the post it shows up on your website. The other changes (like menus) are done with a mouse.
So I Can Build A Website…But How Fast?
Going in to Wealthy Affiliate, I did not know what to expect. Once I learned I had to blog I became hesitant (as an engineer I am allergic to writing), but I kept going anyways. I found a niche I was excited about (beer brewing) and away I went.
It usually takes me a couple of days to create a blog (I usually spend a couple hours a night). I start by writing what I know and then look around for anything that I can add to give my blog more substance. The OEC training will walk you through this and it will all make perfect sense.
Where the system becomes time-consuming is the other parts that the training covers. Once you create a blog you have to tell the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) that you have it out there. Then, as a way to generate traffic, you can post your newly created post to social media. Each part doesn’t take long, but it does add up.
At the end of the day, you will get out what you are willing to put in.
So I Will Spend Time, But Will I Make Money?
The whole reason you have read this far is to find out if you will profit from affiliate marketing. The concept of affiliate marketing is why I started doing it. Here is the general idea:
- You build a website around something people are interested in
- Add some (the training will cover the appropriate amount) links to products where people can buy them
- The people buy something and you get commission (amount varies significantly)
Seems straight forward, but you have to get traffic on your website for the system to work. If you are looking to get rich quickly, this is not the path you will want to take. The general consensus is it takes 3 to 6 months to start getting traffic on your website. Only then do you begin to see traffic from your site to the ones you have linked.
See, There Is No Such Thing As The Wealthy Affiliate Scam
There are so many benefits that I have found at Wealthy Affiliate and I haven’t yet started earning significantly. Here is what you will learn:
- How to blog (seemed simple in concept, but was tougher than I thought)
- The benefit of planning and creating a vision
- How to budget your time
- Methods to get found by search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.)
- Ways to generate income from a website
Within the Weathly Affiliate community, I have interacted with people of all ages. Whether it be the retired members (some over 80) using it for the social interaction and as a way to stay active or the young members (as young as 14) that can apply the time management and planning to their coursework and life, everyone can get something out of affiliate marketing.
So what is the benefit for those of us in the middle? Everyone needs to carve out their own niche. If your website doesn’t generate a ton of traffic, but you are proud of what it looks like then you have a skill set that not many have. You can use your new-found skill set to help others build websites (for a fee of course) or keep trying with new sites of your own.
On The Other Hand, Does It Work?
The downside of affiliate marketing is that you aren’t guaranteed to make money. Since our goal is to generate income to improve our lives, making money is the goal we all shoot for when trying something new. You will put in time and some money in order to build an online business with the hope that it will work.
I would say the biggest issue with Wealthy Affiliate (and affiliate marketing in general) is the lack of a guarantee. Your time is valuable and to spend upwards of 6 months working before finally seeing traffic pick up (you hope) can be frustrating. Some cannot afford that time and will need to look elsewhere for the elusive income growth we all aspire for.
Remember Why We Are Here
The purpose of this website is to help people improve their economic status. Wealthy Affiliate is a tool to help people to build a business that generates income. Time and money should be the biggest determining factor for you to start with Wealthy Affiliate.
My recommendation is, if you can afford the time, you start a membership at Wealthy Affiliate. You can get started for no cost and then determine if you agree the system will work. Your next choice is to decide if you can afford the cost of a Premium membership. After that, continue to grow your business.
If you have any questions or want to share your experience, comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.