Wealthy Affiliate Review
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Not sure what this is really all about?
As you wander around the internet you will often see reviews about Wealthy Affiliate, some positive some negative. Why is this?
The people who like Wealthy Affiliate do so because they see the website for exactly what it is, A training and hosting website full of resources intended to help people start a blog, website or market an online business. As you will see from this review, it is packed full of resources to help you.
Is it perfect? Hell no, what is life is.
Does Wealthy Affiliate promote affiliate marketing?
Yes. One of the ways that Wealthy Affiliate teaches you to monetize your website is through affiliate marketing. It is not the only monetization that is covered.
Every Wealthy Affiliate member automatically has their own affiliate link and anyone, including myself, who sends someone to this website will receive a commission. If the referral decides to become a premium member, then an ongoing commission is paid as long as both remain members.
Are you looking for an education on creating a website?
Great. Read this review and I will point out the benefits of this website so you can decide how you can benefit from this website.
Why does Wealthy Affiliate have negative reviews?
Many negative reviews are by people who have dipped their toes inside and missed the whole point of the website or expected Wealthy Affiliate would somehow make them lots of money.
Many negative reviews have been based on a misunderstanding of the website’s goals.
Some negative reviews are fair as this website is not perfect.
Some even feel disheartened because they themselves did not understand the rules. Unfortunately, when we make a mistake, we often look to blame others.
Let me explain and make up your own mind.
Some links within this post and my blog may be affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Who owns Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate is a website started by two internet marketers Kyle & Carson in 2005 who wanted to share their knowledge with others. It has now been operating for around 12 years and during this time many additional features have been added although the membership fee has remained the same.
This alone, in my view, shows that the owners are dedicated to helping others instead of just making money.
Wealthy Affiliate will never promote that you can get rich quick, but rather that any business needs time and a lot of hard work.
Yes, you can set up a website very quickly with WordPress software from within the website but after that, it takes lots of work and dedication.
If you are not prepared to work hard then I strongly suggest you do not join and try and find employment elsewhere.
Will I be encouraged to pay more?
The only extra you will ever be encouraged to buy is your own domain name. This can be purchased outside of Wealthy Affiliate.
What about upsells?
There are no internal sales funnels, simply two levels of membership.
What are the Wealthy Affiliate Membeship Levels?
Wealthy Affiliate has two levels of membership. The starter (free) membership and premium (paid) membership. Please note that the free starter membership is so named because it is designed to give people some free options at a starter level.
There are no upsells, no extras that you need to purchase to make everything work with the exception of a domain name and even this is optional, although recommended. You can purchase this domain within the website or outside Wealthy Affiliate if you choose. As an Australian, I needed to purchase my .com.au sites outside and point them to Wealthy Affiliate hosting. No problem.
You can purchase paid WordPress themes and plugins outside Wealthy Affiliate and load them to your website, but Wealthy Affiliate does not have any of its own to sell you.
Is Wealthy Affiliate MLM?
Wealthy Affiliate is not MLM. You do not need to purchase any product to sell to family and friends. You do not need to try to get friends and associates to listen to your business plan and sign up.
Wealthy Affiliate is not a get rich quick scheme.
What is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate is all about teaching you to set up, market and monetize a website (or blog). Full stop. End of story. What you do with the education and the information within the website is completely up to you.
You can take your time learning or even treat your website as a hobby. This can be done with the starter level membership. As you will see when I outline both memberships, you do not need to join as a premium member until you are ready to learn the step by step lessons and get serious about your website.
Each level has some similar features, yet the premium level offers a lot more.
Starter (Free) Membership
If you wish to take your time and log in regularly to work within the site, your Wealthy Affiliate starter membership is for life. UNLESS you upgrade. Once you take advantage of the extra training and benefits there is no returning to free membership. You are no longer a starter.
There are some features of the starter membership which are only available for a limited time.
1. 1 on 1 coaching. This coaching actually simply means help for the first 7 days with regard to assistance and understanding the teachings. This is not a hold your hand (and work through creating content) coaching.
2. Live Chat is available for 7 days. This is a premium feature where you can ask quick questions about the training from other members. It is not to replace the training lessons but to help you with any questions you may have understanding the training. This is a fast-moving “chat” feed as the name suggests.
3. Personal blog for 7 days. Again this is a premium feature where you can write longer text and add it to the dashboard feed which is similar in style to a forum.
Sometimes questions may be a little too long for chat and need more in-depth explaining, and this feature can help.
If you phrase any wording as a question, you can choose to place it into the ‘questions’ section of the dashboard. The algorithm with identify the question and ask if you wish to ask the community for help.
4. You can set up one internally hosted SiteRubix website. This will mean you can have a website like yourwebsite.SiteRubix.com. This will be hosted free of charge for 6 months only.
This is designed to give you hands-on training to apply the lessons you are learning within the level 1 training module, which is available to starter members.
You cannot have your own dot com website hosted free.
Why only 6 months? The hosting is designed to give you time to learn and build so that you can then make an informed decision about whether you feel you would like to create an online website business and move up to the next level.
If you move up, you cannot go back to starter membership so this is a reasonable amount of time to allow you to decide whether to continue with your website and find the funds to upgrade.
5. As you work through the two training sections available to starter members, the Online Entrepreneur Certification Course and Affiliate Bootcamp Course, you will be able to ask questions as mentioned above but also within the comments section in the training portion itself.
There are 10 lessons within each of these level 1 modules. You will only be able to ask questions for 7 days.
At the end of the first 7 days, the remaining features will still be available. However, you will be learning on your own without help from the community.
6. View blog posts of other members. These can be seen in the main dashboard area. You will not be able to comment, but you will be able to read. Members write about their successes, failures, and everything in between. Many members will share tactics that have worked for them to help and encourage others. Therefore many blogs, just like blogs everywhere online, are helpful and mini-learning experiences.
7. Using the search bar at the top of the dashboard you can search for earlier posts by topic and even see some free training. This is similar to a normal search, however, sometimes content is categorized with different wording and it may take a few attempts to get exactly what you require.
8. Automatic access to Wealthy Affiliate’s own affiliate program. All members automatically receive affiliate status and if you wish to promote this website you can do so and earn money by referring other members. It is completely optional but is available if you wish to use it. Remuneration is lower than for premium members and you will only receive a commission if your referral becomes premium.
9. You will be able to access the Jaaxy Keyword Tool from within the website. This tool allows you 30 free keyword searches. You can do these even without membership as it is an online tool available to anyone and is a starter option from within Jaaxy itself.
A tip – if you write any content you create in Word, Notepad or GoogleDocs and then place it within your SiteRubix free website, you won’t lose it if you need to remain a starter member longer than 6 months. Some people do have incomes or lifestyles that from time to time may require a longer period before upgrading.
Premium (Paid) Membership
When you are ready to turn a hobby into a passion and attempt to create an online business, Wealthy Affiliate premium membership is the next step. There are additional features in here and you can access the whole website for the ongoing membership fee. You can opt to pay monthly, 6 monthly or 12 monthly. Obviously, the longer the commitment is, the cheaper the investment will work out pro-rata.
1. Chat is available 24/7. As members are located all over the world there is usually someone who can help you if you have a question about a task pretty quickly.
2. Site support. When it comes to hosting and problems in the operational aspect of your hosted website (rather than questions about topics or feedback) site support is available. When I have had an issue they have been quick to respond and they solved it without fuss.
3. Personal Blog within Wealthy Affiliate. This feature is for you to share your ideas, findings, successes and failures with regard to your online business. It is not a feature used to promote your website. Spam is not tolerated within Wealthy Affiliate.
However, if you blog about a topic related to marketing, blogging, and the internet in general, it is possible that the authoritative nature of Wealthy Affiliate can cause a well-structured, search engine optimized post to rank on Google well ahead of your new website.
Therefore, as your affiliate link is automatically added to your posts, anyone who discovers your blog post through organic search and joins will automatically become your referral. Wealthy Affiliate will allow them to read the post for a short period of time and ask for their email to continue.
You can even link to these posts from within your own website. All of this is covered in the training.
4. More modules in both the Online Entrepeneur Certification and Affiliate Marketing Bootcamp courses. The former covers basic website set up, optimization and marketing. There are 4 more modules each with 10 lessons.
When this is completed, the next step is Affiliate Marketing Bootcamp. There are a further 6 modules, again each with 10 lessons. This looks at branding, marketing and overall quality of your website and takes everything up another level. The training covers videos and marketing through paid as well as social and affiliate marketing.
You can choose to promote Wealthy Affiliate but the training actually relates to whatever products you wish to promote including platforms such as Amazon, Clickbank, Share A Sale or even private companies or products.
5. Affiliate Marketplace. This feature identifies some of the better products available to promote from sites such as Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and Rakuten. It is organized into about 150 categories with some products covering many categories.
Members can follow any option for later use and leave a comment and review for other members. This excellent resource gives details of the commission paid, the payout options, payout currency, the countries it is available to and even whether it is auto-approved.
6. Weekly training webinars. A member, Jay, has a weekly live webinar and covers many topics within the internet space in general. There are some Hot Seat and Q & A webinars as well.
Each webinar is recorded and premium members can easily view earlier recordings and can search by topic or date. These webinars are for training only and do NOT promote any product or service. They are purely informational training. Remember Wealthy Affiliate is a spam-free zone.
7. Hosting for up to 10 websites. This can be any combination of SiteRubix sub-hosted websites or your own domain websites. This includes overseas domains such as .com.au.
Domain names purchased from external sites can easily be pointed to Wealthy Affiliate for hosting. Hosting includes site security, SSL certificate (https) and daily backup. Although this should not replace your own regular backups.
This feature is wonderful if you have a major issue such as a plugin that causes problems and you need to take a step back and start from an earlier version.
8. Training is created by other members. Some members provide training in order to help others to do tasks within their website and show tips and ideas for marketing and promotion. This covers a much wider training base on many topics including email marketing, YouTube, social media tips, plugin choices, WordPress tips and more.
The internet is continually changing and members share other opportunities as they arise.
Like every training, YouTube video and blog available on the internet you must remember that this is a tip or idea. Different things will work for different people, website styles, niches, and even countries. Always, consider any information you find anywhere online as a resource that you need to research and ensure it will work for you.
Recent member training will show on the dashboard. Older member training can be searched for within a separate training classroom in which the member training has been categorized for easy access. You also have the ability to bookmark training as you find it for access at a later date.
9. Jaaxy Keyword Tool. You can still access this from within Wealthy Affiliate but as a premium member, you can have unlimited keyword searches. There are some extra features you will be able to access such as making lists and scanning your site ranking for a choice of keywords. There are some restrictions, but it is still a wonderful resource. If you choose to upgrade (which I have not done) you will get a discount.
10. Private messaging. Premium members have access to an internal private message service. This can be used to privately contact other members instead of leaving messages on their profile or as a blog post. This feature is NOT used to promote yourself or products to others. Wealthy Affiliate is spam free and this also applies to the messaging system.
It is also not to be used to pester people asking for help to do your own work or for general ‘help’. There are other avenues to use as I have already covered.
You can use this feature to personally contact your referer and even the website owners.
11. Affiliate program. Access to the affiliate program includes higher referral payments. The referral is for life.
This means that as long as you remain a premium member, you will receive a % of the payment your referrals make to Wealthy Affiliate through their membership. Sounds fair to me.
This is not a pyramid scheme, as the affiliate receives about 40% and Wealthy Affiliate about 60%. There is no further payment. Any member can only have one up-line level.
12. A Reward for super affiliates. If we have a goal to aim for, we can use this for motivation. Wealthy Affiliate has a reward system in which if you refer 300 members which become premium within one year (Jan – Dec), you will qualify for an all-expenses trip to a conference in Vegas with Kyle and Carson. This includes your airfare, meals, and accommodation. You can bring a friend but their airfare is not covered.
Each year about 15 affiliates achieve this goal and many of these share their tips within the community. I guess you could say they do have some idea of what they are talking about to achieve this level of marketer. These people are often active within the community as they help their referrals and others.
13. Community. Premium membership also gives you access to the community. However, you have more freedom than a starter member. You can read the blogs, questions, and answers of others, and have access to all the training. As a premium member, you can also comment and ask questions yourself as relevant to the topic discussed. Sometimes the content creator will respond and at other times community members will respond and try to help answer your questions.
Always remember there are many ways to do each task and you will receive different responses. This is not a bad thing, it is good as it means you can have different options to consider and work with the one that best suits your niche and requirements.
All the things we do online need to be tested. Split testing means to try things different ways to see which works for you and your audience. This is why the community is an excellent resource for ideas.
14. Within the Website tab are a number of features.
a) This gives you access to your websites. You can log in to your website, check your page speed per post, link to Google page speed to get an overall feel for your website and get an overview of your site health. You can also set up domain-specific email addresses and redirect them to your personal email account.
b) Site Builder is where you can quickly build a site using the internal wizard.
c) Site Domain. If you wish, you can buy domains within Wealthy Affiliate. Domains do include privacy protection and have auto-renew to help with domain authority. This is a service that is completely optional. You can purchase domain names outside Wealthy Affiliate and point them to the website for hosting.
d) Site Content.
- This is an environment where you can write your content with an autosave feature. If you make a boo-boo or lose the internet, your data is easily retrieved. You will also have a record of every post you create for backup purposes.
- You can easily access thousands of stock images to use in your posts or upload your own. When publishing to your website, your images are well optimized
- Your content is checked so you don’t accidentally plagiarize your own content.
- You can also keep track of your writing statistics and can save templates for layout design.
- Further, this feature lets you know when the post is indexed in Google.
e) Site Comments.
This feature allows you to comment on other people’s posts and receive comments in return. It is a give and receive process and helps build back-links to your website as well as increase your word count and therefore SEO.
f) Site Feedback.
This feature allows you to receive feedback on your post or website. Again it is a give and receive feature. It is important to consider the overall idea of feedback is not to have a qualified critique but rather to see how the general public (ie your potential audience) may view your post. There is no right or wrong answer or opinion with feedback.
Additional benefits of membership.
Encouragement from all.
You are encouraged along the way. Within the community and through email sequences from Kyle and Carson and your referee. Some people like it when they receive emails and notifications from within the community. You can decide which ones you wish to receive from within your profile settings.
The options available include new followers to your profile, new comments on your profile, new blogs from people you follow, information on new training and webinars, affiliate notifications and website comment notifications as well as a few more options.
If you don’t wish to receive any emails at all, you can also choose this option.
As I have mentioned above, there is wonderful training from many different points of view across a wide range of internet-related topics. The training stresses the importance of building quality content so that you can eventually be found through organic search with Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It teaches you to promote your website through social media and other means as well as to monetize your website with advertising and affiliate marketing.
As you can see throughout this review, there is not only the formal training within Wealthy Affiliate, but an abundance of resources to help you learn, get ideas and create content.
Although other marketing and promotion topics are covered within Wealthy Affiliate it is essential training for anyone considering Affiliate Marketing.
What I don’t like about Wealthy Affiliate
Yes, there are some things. Nothing is perfect.
- Firstly the community can be like social media. It is addictive and you can waste a lot of time that could be spent building your website. It is great for research, but do take care.
- Some information is not categorized easily and finding earlier posts can sometimes be difficult unless you bookmark every good item you find. Search is not as extensive in its indexing as I would like.
- Some training is out of date from time to time. You can usually discover this when you try to do something and it doesn’t work. Sometimes this is because other websites like social media change their rules and things don’t quite work out. This is being worked on and Kyle and Carson are only human so I do understand that things take time. The website improvements are happening all the time and a continual work in progress.
- There are some steps in the training that could be a little clearer.
- Internal links between the formal training and the training updated or alternatives offered by members could be very helpful. Again, a lot of work but heck if there was absolutely nothing wrong with this website we would still find something to complain about. Isn’t that human nature?
None of these detract from the overall quality of the Wealthy Affiliate Website.
Who is Wealthy Affiliate Not For?
- Wealthy Affiliate is not for people who want to learn how to dropship or operate a Shopify Store. You can learn to market your store but not find products to fill it.
- Wealthy Affiliate is not for people looking to become third-party sellers on Amazon. You can learn to create a website and drive traffic to your product and even Amazon itself. However, it is not an Amazon training course.
- Wealthy Affiliate is not for web developers who want to do things their own way. It is for beginners to learn and others to use as a resource for improvement.
- Wealthy Affiliate is not for people chasing shiny objects and trying to make money quick. Wealthy Affiliate teaches hard work and patience.
- Wealthy Affiliate is not for people wanting coaching to teach them every step along the way by hand-holding and giving advice on content creation. This service may be available elsewhere but expect to pay $ thousands per month for this service.
- Wealthy Affiliate is not for people who are not prepared to or cannot afford to, invest any money into building their business. If you need money urgently this is not the answer for you.
Is Wealthy Affiliate the only option available in the educational and internet marketing space?
Heck No, but it does contain a lot of features and information all in one place. Unlike a lot of other information you can find such as e-books, blogs, and videos, it does not promote any products to upsell to.
What does Wealthy Affiliate Cost?
The Starter Membership is free.
The Premium membership can be paid monthly or yearly. When you first upgrade you will have your first month at $19 USD. From there you can choose to pay monthly at $49USD or annually at $495 USD.
The annual fee works out at $41.25 per calendar month and as a bonus does include one free dot com domain name.
The conclusion to my Wealthy Affiliate Review.
I have spent a lot of wasted time, (60 to 70 hours a week for a couple of years) on YouTube and downloading books looking all over the place for answers and trying to discover ways to do things but this is the best resource I have found. Yes, you can find information elsewhere, but it is all here in one place.
I have joined so many email lists it is not funny. I have read blog post after blog post. Most people are trying to sell their own product, which is fine, but they have not always been as educational and as helpful I needed them to be.
I hope that you will see from this review the extraordinary benefits of Wealthy Affiliate and will join through one of my affiliate links. See you on the inside.