Is Wealthy Affiliate Scam or Legit?
My Insider Review on the Industry-Leading Online Marketing Platform
This Wealthy Affiliate review is a little bit outdated.
I have an updated version of Wealthy Affiliate review here!
My name is Jerry and I have been a Premium Member of Wealthy Affiliate since May 2016. I'm not going to boast to you about how much money I've earned or how many Lamborghini I've bought because I'm going to tell you the opposite.
I haven't bring in any huge fortune from Wealthy Affiliate yet. Currently, I've been able to cover my membership cost and earning some passive income every month, as of June 2017 (about a year since I joined WA), the time when this review was updated.
(By the way, I only work on my online business on weekends for the year because I'm serving full-time national service during this period. So, I'm pretty satisfied with my results at Wealthy Affiliate.)
I'm telling you this because I want to be completely honest with my Wealthy Affiliate Review. I'm not going to lie to you or show off anything just to make you join this community, like many other programs or marketers do.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a Get Rich Quick Scheme!
The very first thing I always tell people about Wealthy Affiliate is that it is NOT a Get Rich Quick Scheme! That's why I'm NOT YET rich and I'm still working hard. I have confidence in this community because I've seen many success stories from the members of the community!
WA is a very powerful place with lots of valuable tools, resources and training. I'll show you the exact details in this review. It has the potential to allow you to quit your jobs, work full-time from home, be financially free, travel around the world and live the lifestyle you desire. I've seen many WA members sharing about their success.
Anyway, I'll continue to update my progress with WA here.
For those who want to find out more about Wealthy Affiliate, I'm going to breakdown all the different aspects of WA for you as much as possible in this review.
It's going to be long and comprehensive. Take whatever information you need to make your best possible decision for yourself.
Let's get started with a Quick Navigation Menu.
What is Wealthy Affiliate About?
Wealthy Affiliate is an online PLATFORM and COMMUNITY which aims to help people learn how to make real money online through affiliate marketing.
It's a PLATFORM with tons of resourceful training materials and valuable tools to help beginners get a good head-start in this industry.
It's also a COMMUNITY with thousands of online entrepreneurs and marketers to help one another. There are members who are just starting out as well as those who are very experienced in online marketing. So, if you're just starting out, you'll not get lost in this community!
Some Background Information About Wealthy Affiliate
In September 10, 2005, 2 Canadians (Kyle Loudoun and Carson Lim) founded Wealthy Affiliate as a Keyword List Membership site, offering high searched keywords for internet marketers to run their (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns.
Since Kyle and Carson have already achieved success online prior to founding Wealthy Affiliate, they slowly turned this platform into a training portal, helping others to achieve online success in the same way they did.
It's been more than 10 years since they started WA. Over the years, a lot of training, resources and tools have been added to this platform.
Today, Wealthy Affiliate has become the industry-leading platform + community for anyone who wants to have a strong foundation in online marketing and making money online!
I'll prove to you why it's "industry-leading" in this review. Stay tuned!
The Co-Founders & Their Team
Like I've said, the Co-Founders of Wealthy Affiliate are Kyle Loudoun and Carson Lim.
Kyle mainly handles the training resources and the community while Carson mainly handles the technical stuffs behind the platform.
Both of them do participate in the community so you'll be very familiar with them as long as you're a member of WA.
The cool thing they do is that they offer direct help for ALL members. You can interact with them directly within the community. If you're a Premium member, you're able to Private Message them.
Their 3 main senior team members are KC, Aaron and Jay!
How to Make Money with Wealthy Affiliate?
Here comes the most exciting part. I'm sure many of you are most curious on the actual way to make money online, and in this case with Wealthy Affiliate.
Let me break it down for you!
Wealthy Affiliate teaches people to make money mainly through a particular type of internet marketing called "Affiliate Marketing".
Here's How Affiliate Marketing Works:
As an affiliate marketer, affiliate marketing is a process of earning commission by promoting other people's product.
In affiliate marketing, there are 3 main parties involved - the seller, the buyer and the affiliate. The affiliate is the middleman between seller and buyer. Affiliates help sellers to find buyers and buyers to find sellers. The affiliate earns a commission for each transaction he or she referred.
Take a look at this illustration:
This is the basic process of how affiliate marketing works.
There are 2 main ways to make money with Wealthy Affiliate - Building a Niche Website & Wealthy Affiliate's Affiliate Program
#1 Building a Niche Website
Above is another flowchart which illustrates the 4 steps you need to take in order to make money as an affiliate marketer. Let me explain each step to you...
Step 1: Choose an Interest/Niche
This interest you are choosing will be the topic or the niche of your website.
For example, if you have a hobby or expertise in aerial photography & filming using drones, you can create a website on this topic. The products you can promote are all the different kinds of drones, its equipment or even tutorials on using them.
It's best to choose a niche that you have some experience in it because it allows you to provide better insights to promote your affiliate products.
The training inside Wealthy Affiliate will give you more detailed guidance on how to choose a good niche.
Step 2: Build a Website
After choosing your niche, the second step is to build a website on your chosen niche. Your website is your medium where you connect buyers to sellers.
Don't worry! Building a website is very easy and can be done in a few minutes inside Wealthy Affiliate. WA's Site Builder is really powerful. You just need to go through a few simple steps and your website will be LIVE.
Step 3: Get Rankings & Visitors
This is the most difficult and time-consuming step because getting visitors (potential buyers) to your site requires a lot of work. Getting your website content to rank in Google also requires some time.
You'll find yourself spend the most amount of time at this step before you start making money.
However, once your contents are getting ranked and your website is getting some traction, more and more visitors will come to your site automatically.
That's the basis of earning a passive income - once your contents are ranked, more and more customers will come to your site automatically and this leads us to the next step...
Step 4: Earn Revenue
When you have potential customers visiting your website and you have relevant products to recommend to them, you will start making sales and commissions.
Since your customers will come to your site automatically once you set it up properly, your commission will also keep on coming in in the form of passive income.
That's basically how you earn passive income through affiliate marketing by building niche websites.
This is a very rough description on how Wealthy Affiliate and affiliate marketing works.
#2 Wealthy Affiliate's Affiliate Program: Affiliate Bootcamp
Apart from building niche websites, you can utilize Wealthy Affiliate's own affiliate program, Affiliate Bootcamp, to make money.
The 4-step process is the same. The only difference is that your step 1 is pre-decided in Affiliate Bootcamp. You are automatically in the "make money online" niche.
The way you make money from Bootcamp is by building "make money online" websites to refer people to Wealthy Affiliate.
Step 2, 3 and 4 are the same. You need to build a website, create content, get rankings, get traffic (visitors) and finally promote Wealthy Affiliate membership to them.
Here's the program details:
You'll earn $23.50 every month for each Premium referral or $175 per year for each Premium referral that pay yearly.
Similarly, Wealthy Affiliate offers a step-by-step guide for people to utilize their affiliate program and make money from it.
What Will I Get As a WA Member?
In order to succeed online with affiliate marketing, you need to have these 3 things minimally:
- Education (Relevant Training & Resources)
- Online Tools (Website Builder, Keyword Research, etc.)
- Help & Support
You need to have the necessary knowledge and tools to help you run your online business. Whenever you are stuck, this is when having a great help & support comes in handy.
Fortunately, you'll not only get all 3 of these but many more in Wealthy Affiliate because WA is really one of the best online portals in this industry!
Let's first take a look at WA's top 10 features before I dive into the details of all the training, tools and support.
Wealthy Affiliate Top 10 Features
- Various Training Resources in different forms - Video training, Tutorial training, Live Training, etc...
- A very active and supportive COMMUNITY
- Live Chat - Live and Interactive help to get your questions answered in seconds, even during midnight!
- Live Weekly Webinar - Hosted by Jay, the Training Chief
- Access to hundreds of successful entrepreneurs, including Kyle and Carson!
- A Spam Free Environment
- Fast & Secure Website Hosting
- 2 Free Websites
- Keyword Research Tool (You'll gonna need this when you start blogging for you to rank well in Google)
- Completely FREE to Get Started!
3 Levels of Training
The main purpose of joining Wealthy Affiliate for most people is to access their online marketing training.
One of the challenges in creating good training is to take into consideration for everyone's learning style. Some people prefer to learn by reading texts while some people prefer to learn by watching videos.
Wealthy Affiliate takes into all these considerations and created a training that is suitable for both visual and reading learners. There are also discussion areas below all the training for people to interact and ask questions. This helps people who learn better by interacting and asking questions.
There is also a Weekly Live Training that allows people to learn real-time from online marketing expert, Jay!
Let's take a deeper look at the 3 main types of training available in Wealthy Affiliate...
#1 Core Training
The 1st level is the core training which refers to the Online Entrepreneur Certification (OEC) Course. This course will guide you to build a successful affiliate marketing business from scratch, literally.
There are 5 Levels in this course and each course consists of 10 lessons:
- Level 1: Online Entrepreneur Certification - Getting Started
- Level 2: Building Your Own Traffic Producing Website
- Level 3: Online Entrepreneur Certification - Making Money!
- Level 4: Online Entrepreneur Certification - Mastering Social Engagement
- Level 5: The Business Content - Achieving Maximum Success Through Content Creation
(Level 2 to Level 5 are Premium courses, meaning that you need to be a Premium member of Wealthy Affiliate is access them. Level 1 is completely FREE and all Starter member can access it.)
Below is a screenshot showing the 10 Lessons in OEC Course Level 1:
This is just an example to show some of the lessons in the course. There are 10 lessons in each level teaching the different aspects of running an affiliate marketing business.
Not only that, all the lessons are assigned with specific tasks for you to complete. This really helps beginners to take action and learn faster. Just by following the tasks and complete them, you'll know you're on the right track.
As I've mentioned, there is a discussion area below each lesson.
I personally find these courses very detailed and easy-to-follow. I joined when I was a complete beginner and I learnt a lot since then. I highly recommend this course. Get access to the Level 1 course for FREE now!
#2 Live Training
Wealthy Affiliate's weekly Live Training focuses on a wide-range of topics that are related to internet marketing. Jay, the Training Chief, is the host for all the Live Training. Each week's topic are also selected by him.
(By the way, Live Training are accessible for Premium members only)
He has covered a lot of topics over the years. Here are just a few examples:
- Live Niche Site Case Study
- Hot Seats - Site Reviews
- Success Tips
- Google Ranking & Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips
- Email Marketing / Social Media Marketing / YouTube Marketing
- Keyword Research Tips
- Facebook ads / Google Adsense
2 Great Things about WA's Live Training:
#1 No Upsell
If you have attended other Live Training/Webinar before from other companies, you'll know that either the webinar itself is an upsell or there's definitely some other upsells at the end of the webinar.
Rest assured that you won't experience this in WA. The Live Training here solely focus on EDUCATION and there's absolutely no selling and promotion at all.
#2 All Live Training are Recorded
Don't worry if you miss the Live Training. All the Live Training in WA are recorded and replays are available all the time. You can watch any replay anytime you want by simply head over to the "Live Video Classes" area.
#3 Live Interactions with Jay and Other Members
During the Live Training, there's a Live Chat area where all the members watching the training can participate in the discussion as well as asking questions. Jay will be able to see all those questions and answer them in the Live Training.
#4 Q&A Sessions for Each Live Training
At the end of each Live Training, instead of having an upsell session like other companies, there's a Q&A session for members to ask any questions. Jay will normally spend around 15 to 30 minutes for the Q&A.
#3 Community Training
I really love the fact that Wealthy Affiliate has a really caring community where many people are very willing to help one another.
With such a strong community, one can learn a lot from the other members as well and Community Training is one the way members can learn from one another.
If you have been a Premium member for 3 months, you can start creating your own Community Training.
You can create anything as long as it is relevant and beneficial to the community. For example, if you have the experience in graphic design, you can create training on that to help others design good graphics for their website.
There are 2 main benefits of having Community Training:
#1 A Diverse Learning Resources
Firstly, Community Training adds the diversity of learning resources available in the community. Apart from the Core Training made by Kyle & Carson, you can find almost every information you need regarding different aspects of online marketing, thanks to this feature.
Kyle & Carson is smart. They know they are not able to create all the training to cover every single thing in this industry. So, they created this feature for members with relevant knowledge to share their expertise with other members.
#2 Help You Make Money
And the second benefit is that you have the potential to make money by creating quality Community Training.
Members who create Community Training can earn WA credits which can be converted to cash. The amount of credits you earn is determined by the amount of engagement your training receives. So this goes back to how great your training is.
If your training is awesome, you'll definitely get a lot of "likes" and discussions. All these give you the potential to earn money by simply sharing what you know!
One Thing That The Community Training Surprised Me A Lot!
Kyle and his team run frequent and efficient inspections on all the Community Training to ensure the content is helpful to the community and are not plagiarized.
There was one time when I created a Community Training based on a concept from somewhere else. I really love the concept and the information so I though it will be helpful to the community.
However, within minutes after I published the training, it was disabled by Kyle because he said that the content was not written originally by me. There are so many contents in the community so I was really surprised by how efficient they are at detecting unsuitable content.
Apart from inspecting the content, Kyle will also participate in the discussion and giving his honest opinion on the particular subject. This is really helpful. It makes the community really engaging and valuable!
4 Main Handy Tools
"Give Me Six Hours To Chop Down A Tree and I Will Spend The First Four Sharpening The Axe"
To run any business, be it online or offline, the tools you use are very crucial to your success. Rest assured that you are equipped with very effective and easy-to-use tools in Wealthy Affiliate. Let's dive into the details for these tools...
#1 SiteRubix Website Builder
As you should know by now, your website is your online asset as it is the place where you generate value for your target audience and make money.
SiteRubix Website Builder is the tool that makes building a website very simple in Wealthy Affiliate. You just need to complete 4 simple steps before a Live website is showing up in front of you.
- Choose the kind of website you want to build (Free or Paid)
- Choose the domain name of your website
- Choose a title for your website
- Choose a theme for your website (design)
It is possible to build a website within 30 seconds with SiteRubix Website Builder. You should give it a try since you have 2 Free Websites as a Free Starter Member of WA.
(Anyway, if you have questions like "What's the difference between Free and Paid site?" , "What's a domain name?", etc, head over to my Affiliate Marketing FAQ page.)
#2 Web Hosting
In order for a website to run, it needs to have a good hosting. Hosting is like the "house" of your website whereas a domain name is like the "address" of the house.
The 2 most important things about hosting is Speed and Security because these are the 2 most important thing for a website to be competitive and safe.
Let's take a look at the details of what Premium WA hosting has to offer:
The above image is a screenshot I took from my WA website manager. This is the details for Premium members to host their websites at WA. Some notable ones include:
- Fast hosting speed
- Very secured hosting (includes Free SSL Certificate for all Premium hosting)
- Daily Website Backups
- Site Health
- Site Builder
- Site Feedback
- Email & Forwards
- Website auto-login
#3 Site Domains
With Site Domains, you can directly purchase domain name inside Wealthy Affiliate and integrate seamlessly with all other website tools like Site Hosting and Site Builder.
But why choose Site Domains?
Let me quickly show you the advantages of Site Domains over other domain name providers.
If you've purchased a domain elsewhere before, you've most probably encountered a couple of upsells when buying a domain. These upsells can include WHOIS/Privacy protection, SSL Certificate, Anti-spam, Custom Email Address, Website Builder and many more.
So, the main advantage of WA Site Domains is that there's NO UPSELL at all and everything comes in one single and affordable price of $13.99 to $15.99. It's an All-in-One tool!
#4 WA Keyword Tool
If you want to succeed with online marketing, a Keyword Research Tool is a must. In order for your content to rank well in Google, you have to find out which keywords to target so that you have a better chance to stand out from the crowd.
A really common Free Keyword Research Tool is the Google Keyword Planner. It's a free service from Google but the search results are not really detailed. It only gives you a rough gauge.
Whilst, there are many Keyword Research Tools in the market that charged a premium price because it's a good way to make money for them. Some of these paid Keyword Tools include Long Tail Pro, SEMRush, Ahrefs, etc...
It's true that some of these paid tools are even more comprehensive and powerful. Having said that, the advantage of WA Keyword Tool is that it is included in your Wealthy Affiliate Membership and it offers a decent service for anyone to find good keywords and rank their contents.
5 Main Types of Helpful Support
Support is the aspect where Wealthy Affiliate really stands out from the crowd and go many more steps further than its competitors.
Running an online business requires a variety of skills and knowledge. You'll definitely have many questions along the journey especially at the start. For beginners, technical know-how is one of the biggest challenges for them but you don't need to worry about that in WA because you're well taken care of!
The best part?!
It doesn't matter what level of online marketing skills you are at, there's a support channel for everyone. Whenever you need help at any level, there will be people helping you 24/7. No kidding!
Let me break down the different support channels for you...
#1 Live Chat
Live Chat is not only a social feature, but also a Support Channel for people to get instant help 24/7.
You can get your questions answered very quickly because all Premium members have access to Live Chat 24/7 in the community and WA members are coming from all over the world in different time zones. There will always be people there to help you if you need it.
But, Live Chat can be really social so don't be addicted to chatting with other people there and forget about your main focus!
#2 Private Messaging
Private Messaging is a feature for members to get more personalized and one-on-one support. Members can PM any Premium members inside WA to ask for help, discuss training, projects, etc.
I've personally reached out to many successful members in the community for help and there are also quite a few members asking me personally for advice. This is a truly helpful and supportive community!
One of the most amazing features is that you're able to PM Kyle & Carson to consult for any issues and help. I'm sure most, if not all programs/companies out there don't offer this kind of personalized support for their members.
#3 Discussion Areas for All Resources
As I've mentioned in the Training section above, there will always be a discussion area at the end of every training. This applies to all 3 types of training - Core Training, Live Training and Community Training.
The presence of this feature allows people to directly ask for help for that particular training so that you don't need to go somewhere else and explain everything all over again.
Kyle frequently participate in the discussions as well to offer even more help and value.
#4 Website Feedback Platform
Website Feedback Platform, also known as "Site Feedback" inside Wealthy Affiliate allows members to get other people's honest feedback on their website so everyone can improve together.
How it works is through the credit system. It requires 2 credits to request for a feedback and you can earn 1 credit for every feedback you offer to other people. So basically, you offer 2 feedback to request for one feedback. You can also use the credits you earned through other means, such as by creating Community Training.
Wealthy Affiliate Classrooms are very similar to a forum. They are categorized into 13 Classrooms which mean 13 main topics for people to ask questions and get answers from.
Other than using Live Chat or other support channels, Classrooms allow you to look for answers in the topic you're looking for because other people may have asked the same question before so there are answers already available.
Even if the question you have has not been answered before, you can post questions into specific Classrooms to get help from other member, or even Kyle!
Wealthy Affiliate Membership Level: Starter V.S. Premium
WA has 2 types of membership levels - Starter and Premium. That's all!
Starter Membership is FREE and Premium Membership is $49/month. There are no upsells for the membership at all.
Many companies like to have upsells for their further training, resources or tools in order to make more money. However, Wealthy Affiliate offers all their training and tools at just one single price, which is $49/month.
In fact, there are a few more features being added to the platform after I've became a Premium Member. For example, one of the most powerful one is for all Premium Member to have FREE SSL Certificate for all their websites.
Members benefit from these additional features added to the platform at absolutely no extra cost. You get all the current and future resources at one single price!
Before you pay $49/month to get all the resources, you can try them out for FREE with the Starter Member.
Here's a comparison table between the 2 membership levels:
Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories
In order to become successful, it's important to surround yourself with successful people so that you can interact with them, learn from them and get inspired by them.
In Wealthy Affiliate, there are thousands of people who have achieved various levels of success.
Some are earning regular passive income to supplement other types of income. Some are earning full-time passive income online with Wealthy Affiliate where they can quit their jobs and live a freedom digital lifestyle.
Let me show you some of the inspiring screenshots:
(Click on the images to enlarge)
These are just a few of the success posts in WA which I randomly chose from. You can see these kinds of posts every single day in the community because there are thousands of people hustling everyday which means there are also people seeing various levels of successes everyday!
If you're interested, you can take a look at my 13 Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories post to get more inspiration and learn more about the community.
Do take note that these people did not achieve success overnight. They have put in hours and hours of hard work into their websites before they are able to enjoy and celebrate the success.
Let me emphasize this again, Wealthy Affiliate is NOT a Get Rich Quick Scheme, but it has the potential to allow you to live the lifestyle you desire in the long-run.
Some of the successful people I showed above have been in this industry and a member of WA for 10 years.
Don't expect this to solve all your financial problems quick but expect this to solve all your financial problems in the long-run, given that you put in the necessary time and effort!
Why You Should Join Wealthy Affiliate - Top 7 Reasons
Here's a post I wrote about the Top 7 Reasons to Join Wealthy Affiliate. It's all about how the platform can help you in terms of tools, resources and training.
Basically, you'll have all the necessary training and resources to start your online business the right way and have a good head-start. That's why I highly recommend Wealthy Affiliate to beginners!
Wealthy Affiliate Complaints - What I Don't Really Like About WA
There are 3 common "side-effects" WA has due to it's comprehensive contents and resources.
#1 It Can be Really Overwhelming at the Start
Wealthy Affiliate has a lot of valuable training, lessons, resources and tools. You can understand the amount of information and value you're getting once you're a member.
From this perspective, it is a good thing. But this can also be overwhelming for people who are completely new to this industry.
The good thing about their training is that they have a very step-by-step training system to help beginners quickly get get hang of it. However, by the sheer amount of information, many can experience information overload at the start.
That's why this is not a get rich quick scheme and you shouldn't rush on the training. Follow the tasks given and complete them in full. Even complete beginners can get the hang of it as long as you don't rush and you're consistent!
#2 You May be Easily Distracted
There are 2 main factors which contribute to this issue: Live Chat and the WA ranking system.
For Live Chat, it can be addictive for some people because you can get real-time responses from people in other parts of the world. You can also make new friends there. That's why many people have admitted that they tend to spend a lot of time on Live Chat and a lot of precious time are wasted.
For the WA ranking system, it encourages people to be active in the community, which is not totally a bad thing. If people constantly post good content and involve in fruitful discussions, then it's beneficial.
However, some people will spend a lot of time within the community which means they sacrifice a lot of their precious time which can be used to work on their websites.
If you wants to be successful online and earn a full-time income, your website is key. You need to consistently work on it. Spending too much time inside the WA community can slow down your progress and increase the time needed for you to reach your goals.
#3 The Platform is Too Social
WA community is a really social place for people to connect with one another and easily make friends online.
In the positive side, this helps people to learn faster because they are surrounded by other people with similar mindset and goals. However, in the negative side, it links back to the previous point of being easily distracted from their main focus.
As you can see, all these disadvantages are actually "side-effects" of other advantages. But, rest assured that Kyle and Carson are constantly working on to make the platform better every day.
These are the common ones for beginners. I have another list of 5 things I don't really like about Wealthy Affiliate for more experienced marketers.
Go and take a look if you're interested.
Some Other Minor Disadvantages Include:
- WA is not available in all countries (There are currently 8 countries that don't support Free Starter Member but support Premium Member. Check the list here.)
- Some popular WordPress Plugins are not supported such as Jetpack! (Jetpack is the only one I know for now)
- WA doesn't allow you to make money fast if you need urgent cash. (It takes minimum a month or two before you earn your first commission, given that you invested in decent amount of time and work consistently)