Updated – September 15, 2017: Another day, another review of a service that all but guarantees passive income. If you have been looking for ways to make money online, I am sure you have come across one of the thousands of websites that recommend Wealthy Affiliate as the #1 way to make money online (click here for a 60% discount on your first month).
If your B.S detector isn’t going off, you better get it checked!
Well, this is one review that ISN’T going to say that it is the best way to make money online. To find out why, keep reading..
- What is The Wealthy Affiliate (WA)?
- Is Wealthy Affiliate a Scam?
- Ok So If It Isn’t a Scam, Is Wealthy Affiliate Worth It?
- Here’s How to Sign Up
- Activity Dashboard
- Certification Courses
- Live Chat
- Social Networking Baked In
- Wealthy Affiliate Complaints
- What Does The Wealthy Affiliate Teach?
- How Does Wealthy Affiliate Compare To Others?
- Deadbeat Super Affiliate Vs Wealthy Affiliate
- Affiliate Marketing Revolution Vs Wealthy Affiliate
- To Sum It All Up
What is The Wealthy Affiliate (WA)?
The basic concept is right there in the name: “wealthy” means rich and “affiliate” means partner. The idea is that you don’t have to actually manufacture socks, fidget spinners or whatever product.
Instead, you’ll be “partnering up” with a company that does and drive traffic to their point of sale through your website. For each customer that goes through you and buys something, you get a piece of the pie.
But, before you go out and buy a yacht for that trip around the world, there’s a lot of work to be done.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. because that’s the same thought process I go through whenever I hear claims of passive income…
Is Wealthy Affiliate a Scam?
You see, Wealthy Affiliate does not make any bold promises, but simply lays bare the workings of the affiliate system. There’s so much to learn here, going from SEO to website layout and all these different nuances that add up and make you a rich partner. Wealthy Affiliate gives you the blueprint and the tools: it’s up to you to figure out the best way to make money out of it.
The good news is that there’s no limit to what you can do once you grasp the basic concepts of affiliate marketing. You might have thought I was joking when I mentioned pegs, but you can actually become an associate for any conceivable product on Earth.
Of course, some are harder to sell, but the commission for them is much larger. If you’re feeling ready for a challenge, choose a niche everyone’s avoiding and try to become a super affiliate.
In short: Wealthy Affiliate is most certainly not a fraud, and you’ll be getting your money’s worth when you sign up.
Ok So If It Isn’t a Scam, Is Wealthy Affiliate Worth It?
Wealthy Affiliate is a perfect stepping stone for beginners and even for people who already know more than just the basics.
By using some of the techniques taught in WA, it has helped me significantly increase the amount of money I earn from affiliate marketing. So getting Wealthy Affiliate was definitley worth it for me. Here are a couple of my most recent dashboards:
Here’s How to Sign Up
When you start the signup process, there’s the option of making your account a Basic (free) or Premium ($49/month) one, with perks of the latter clearly outlined and described in great detail.
This kind of transparency is a great business practice and goes a long way towards building trustworthiness of the Wealthy Affiliate brand as a whole. Still not sold on the concept? Let’s make a Basic account for free and see what happens.
After filling out the form with your essential information (name, username and e-mail address), you’re taken straight to the Wealthy Affiliate control panel, with the option to take a quick tour of the site.
The majority of the action happens in the left sidebar, where you have five options, from top to bottom: Activity Dashboard, Certification Courses (green button), Live Chat, Site Rubix and Affiliate Bootcamp. Let’s go through them one by one:
This section is most akin to a forum, where you can ask questions and get answers, but mostly get reassurance about what you’re doing. At times, it will seem nothing you do brings about any results, and the most logical course would be to give up.
Instead, you should post in here and ask more experienced users for some encouragement or advice. This section of the website also has classrooms run by veteran users, which are simply forum threads centered around a particular topic.
Clicking the green “Get Started Here” button will open up an overlay with available courses. The learning process is very “gamified”, as in, everything is made to give you a sense of accomplishment you would get from beating a video game level.
By doing certain “tasks”, you progress through each course and then move on to the next. An important thing to note here is that you cannot fail these courses. They are designed to give you some basic knowledge and encourage you to stay a member of Wealthy Affiliate, not beat you over the head with a compendium of knowledge that you need to absorb within a time limit.
An important thing to note here is that you cannot fail these courses. They are designed to give you some basic knowledge and encourage you to stay a member of Wealthy Affiliate.
For example, the very first task is to watch a tutorial video on how to use Wealthy Affiliate and the second is to add a profile picture. There is a lot of text involved in these lessons. and this very first lesson has around 1,200 words with only two videos. So you better get used to a lot of reading.
This emphasizes that you’ll essentially be expected to do most of the learning on your own. You can also reach of for assistance from other community members.
Just as the name suggests, this button opens a chat box. The chat is ongoing, i.e. “live”. Isn’t technology great? Joking aside, this is where you can ask a question about a feature you don’t understand or a problem you’re having.
The Live Chat can quickly become quite hectic and is not recommended for any kind of detailed discussion as messages get pushed down the screen far too often.
Other than that, Live Chat is extremely basic and is pretty much there just to maintain the sense of community participation: pop in, say something clever and get back to building your website using…
Clicking this button will show you a few options related to making your own website. If you haven’t made a website here yet, any option will lead you to a blue button marked “Build a New Website”. Clicking that will show three options: “On a free domain”, “On a domain I own” and “Register a domain”. Here you’ll be expected to make a lot of far-reaching choices that you won’t fully understand as you’re making them, and this will be the first one.
Simply put, there is no way to succinctly explain the nuances between any of these options – it’s simply something WA expects you to figure out on your own.
My personal take on using the Wealth Affiliate Site Rubix is that it is a good option for beginners looking to get their feet wet. I know when I first started my first website (this one) it was pretty scary and I had to watch a bunch of Youtube videos just to get it live.
So the Rubix ecosystem gives you the confidence to launch a website and guides you step by step. However, if you are more technically inclined or if having more control over your property is important to you. I would recommend starting a website outside of the Wealthy Affiliate ecosystem.
Social Networking Baked In
Since the website is community-driven, make sure to fill out your profile and keep it current. If you’ve ever used any social network, you’ll understand how things work straight away, which will definitely help you with the learning process. On the other hand, if you don’t like dabbling in social networks, you’ll probably not enjoy how trendy everything is trying to be.
The website itself definitely reminds of other social networks, especially Facebook. You can even Like someone’s message, complete with an almost carbon copy of the Like icon. Be careful, though, since you can’t reverse your Likes.
There are other tiny clickable things all over the place, so take your time and explore them all. Referring 300 people to Wealthy Affiliate earns you an invitation to a Las Vegas annual private conference. That sounds great, but those 300 people have to actually become Premium users.
Wealthy Affiliate Complaints
Nothing is without its flaws, and neither is Wealthy Affiliate. The most common complaint is how difficult it is to do anything without buying Premium access.
As a Basic member, you’re restricted in all sorts of ways, including attending certain classrooms that are marked “Premium”. Also, you lose Live Chat access after 7 days of being a Basic member.
In some cases, even Premium members have had their chat privileges revoked, though this usually happens when they’re being abusive towards others or their account has been hacked.
Also, Wealthy Affiliate holds a zero-tolerance policy against promotion. If any member, Basic or Premium, comes into the community with the intent to promote a service or product, he is swiftly banned from the website.
Another common point of contention is the amount of learning one needs to do, usually on his own. Though there are plenty of community members eager to help, there’s no denying that you’ll be swamped with the training material at first.
Hit and Miss Customer Support
The quality of member support also varies wildly and you can often find yourself asking a simple question and getting a dozen of plausible but completely different answers.
There is some validity to this since there are so many different configurations that it’s impossible to get the right answer without asking an absurdly specific question, but a new member won’t know that.
And, as I mentioned previously if you happen to ask this in Live Chat, these answers will scroll off the screen faster than you can say “search engine optimization”.
Finally, people who have used the Wealthy Affiliate services say that it’s almost impossible to take your website outside their ecosystem if you decide to quit. In essence, since your website will be made using inbuilt Wealthy Affiliate tools, you’ll have a hard time separating the two.
Note that I said “almost impossible”, which means that you can technically still do it, but you’ll have to start all over again.
The same problem will arise if you decide to downgrade your Premium membership back to Basic, a process so convoluted and cumbersome that allegedly even Kyle, the site co-founder, complained about it. You do get a 30-day grace period to sort your affairs after you quit, though, but that’s about it.
What Does The Wealthy Affiliate Teach?
WA is broken down into 5 certification courses, each designed to guide you through learning the basics of building a website and driving traffic to the website. Here is the breakdown:All of these lessons are proven white-hat strategies for making a successful website. That means there is nothing sketchy being taught in WealthyAffiliate. The main focus in WA is creating engaging content that will rank you higher in search engines. So everything you learn can be used for years to come.
How Does Wealthy Affiliate Compare To Others?
To get a sense of real value WA offers you have to compare it to other courses on affiliate marketing. Thankfully over many months of research, I have a good idea of what courses work and what courses are complete rip-offs (here’s looking at you most affiliate marketing Udemy courses).
So let’s take a look at how they compare to some of the courses that actually provide some value.
Deadbeat Super Affiliate Vs Wealthy Affiliate
I loved Deadbeat Super Affiliate when I first started the course. It was engaging, funny and I felt it provided some solid actionable info. The issue I had with it was that it was made in 2015 and many of the techniques it taught were either outdated or could get your a penalty in Google.
Wealthy Affiliate doesn’t run into those problems because the content is constantly updated so you have the most up to date information. It also doesn’t teach you anything blackhat, so you won’t run into any problems with Google. However, this also means that it will be a lot tougher to rank your websites.
The content in WA isn’t as engaging as it could be, but there is a whole community built around the product. This makes it easier to stay on track and less likely to get frustrated when you hit a roadblock.
However what WA lacks that Deadbeat has is any talk on making Youtube videos. I feel like this is something that Deadbeat has a lot of valuable information on and could really give your affiliate commissions a boost.
The entry price for both products is similar with Wealthy Affiliate costing $19 for the first month and Deadbeat Super Affiliate costing $17 for the base program. Of course, WA then costs $49 per month after the first and Deadbeat has a variety of one time upsells.
Affiliate Marketing Revolution Vs Wealthy Affiliate
Luca De Stefani’s Affiliate Marketing Revolution(AMR) was the course I took that encouraged me to launch this blog and Youtube channel. Back then I gained a lot of insights from its teachings. But as with most things in life, the more I learned the more I learned what I didn’t know.
Affiliate Marketing Revolution doesn’t overlap a lot with the teachings in Wealthy Affiliate because AMR focuses mostly on creating Youtube videos. WA focuses primarily on creating a blog and making websites. Both courses specialize in different topics and excel in their own ways.
AMR also has an active user base on social media where you can get additional support from other users.To find out more read my Affiliate Marketing Revolution Review
Affiliate Marketing Revolution costs $75 per month with an option for lifetime access for $499 (plus monthly discounts) where Wealth Affiliate costs $49 per month with the first-month cost of only $19.
To Sum It All Up
So we finally come to first question…. is Wealthy Affiliate the #1 way to make money online?
No. There is no best way to make money online. It all depends on you the individual. Some people might be great artists, so making graphics be their best way to make money online. Others might be great writers so writing a book might be their best way to make money online.
So the real question should be, is Wealthy Affiliate a very good way to make money online? Yes.
You’ll learn many useful things like how to drive traffic to your site, content writing, sales copy and how to rank in search engine results.
It provides you with a lot of content and a lot of peer support to help you get started. After that it is up to you to keep working hard and try different things.
But because all the techniques you learn are “white hat” it will take more time and effort to start ranking in Google.
So if you are a beginner looking to get started, Wealthy Affiliate is a great place to start and get your feet wet. The whole WA ecosystem makes it super easy to start your journey.
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