I’m just going to get right to the point – Wealthy Affiliate is not a scam. It has its pros and cons, just like many other services, but they’re not trying to rope you in with a ‘too good to be true’ bullshiz story, then milk you for everything you have. I have a fair amount of experience in the online marketing industry and I’ve learned a lot from the courses they offer. If you’re genuinely interested in making money online, this will be a good starting point for you.
There are tens-of-thousands of ‘get rich quick’ and ‘make money’ schemes out there. Some are legit, but most of them are scams. There is a very good way to identify the difference between a scam website and one that is not. If the headline of the website says something like this:
Make Hundreds in Commissions TODAY using this simple trick!!
It’s a fraud. Look – if it were really that easy to make money online, we’d all be doing it. If someone is trying to lure you in by claiming that you can make tons of cash right now – run for the hills. I promise you, you won’t regret it. The legit folks out there are not making outlandish claims they can’t possibly back up in any legal way. I’m on a bit of a soapbox here, I know, but I felt that it was necessary to illustrate this very important point.
- It is very possible to make a lot of money online – but it’s going to take time, education, effort, patience, and persistence.
Level set with yourself and try to understand that some investment (in time, money, or both) is going to be required if you really want to earn a living working for yourself. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing worth having comes easily” (Insert reference, date).
Having said that, this doesn’t mean you automatically have to hate what you’re doing. This doesn’t have to be a chore that you dread doing every day. If it is, you’re most likely going to fail at it. You should love what you’re doing – it should make you feel like you’re contributing to something meaningful, or make you feel like you have a purpose outside of making a few bucks.
“If I could make a livin’ from turning in Bass, I’d never have to worry about the price of gas”
– Luke Bryan
Love what you do. It’s an absolutely necessary ingredient in the recipe for success. Now – on with the full review.
What is the Wealthy Affiliate?
In short, The Wealthy Affiliate is a community based, online business education resource. They provide all kinds of training to help you get your new business off the ground. They also have a variety of other features including, but not limited to;
- An Online Entrepreneur Social Media Site – They have a very large community of successful business owners that are active and willing to provide support to newer members of the community. They currently boast over 800,000 members, but I imagine only a percentage of those are actually active and making money. Even if that number were fairly small – say 5%, that still gives you access to over 40,000 members who have successfully made money with their online business. Experience is far and wide the best educator, so this resource has a great deal of potential.
- An Educational Website–They provide access to hundreds of training modules meant to teach you step-by-step methods to build and market a website. Their initial training module, “Online Entrepreneur Certification – Getting Started,” is a ten-lesson course designed to give you all of the education necessary to get you started. You could easily apply the lessons learned in this course and start making money. In addition, they offer four more in-depth courses designed to help you start generating a sizable income, as well as a seven-course boot camp that really takes you into the depths of the online marketing world.
- A Web Hosting Service – They offer their own web hosting service called SiteRubix. Their free Starter Membership includes 2 free websites and access to purchase your own domain. The domain name cost is typically around $13.99/yr, and it includes several features (like SSL) that other services charge as much as $100/yr for.
My intent here is to give you a really frank, straightforward assessment of this program. I am currently a paying member of this program, and I’ve had the opportunity to really put their claims to the test over the last several weeks.
The Pros of Wealthy Affiliate
This website/community has been active since its launch in 2005. Their longevity alone speaks to the value of the services they provide, in my opinion. The fact is businesses that don’t offer anything of value, don’t stand the test of time. Some of the highlights of their service are:
Their Training Program
This is where the Wealthy Affiliate really shines. If this was the only service they offered, it would be well worth the money. Most training and educational program costs can easily extend into the thousands, and which is a great investment if you apply the training. Tips and techniques taught throughout their program are out of the box, unique and effective. They take you to step by step – from ground zero to a revenue-generating business – through a series of articles, videos, and hands-on tasks that will give you the exposure you need to advance and grow in your business. The information they provide is constantly updated to stay ahead of industry changes and trends. Additionally, the offer supplemental training through their classroom feature on a variety of hot topics.
There are thousands of successful entrepreneurs on this website who have demonstrated a willingness to help and mentor others who are committed to their own success. The service offers a live chat where you can interact with other members of the community in real-time, providing you quick responses to pressing questions. It’s a great place to build strong relationships with other like-minded folks. As you venture out and start building your social media presence, you will have very quick access to hundreds of people who are willing to connect with you outside of Wealthy Affiliate as well. There are many members who have had a premium status for years on this program. During that time, they have shared what they’ve learned with that community, helping newer members reach income-generating status faster than ever.
The Hosting Service
This service is every bit as good as some of the major players out there like iPage or GoDaddy. Their free service offers all of the tools that you have to pay for with those services, like SSL encryption, WordPress integration, free templates, free email addresses, etc. The tools they offer in the dashboard to assess the health of your site are second to none. At a glance, you are able to monitor:
- Back-end database health
- Status of Virus and Malware
- File System Health
- Hacking and Intrusion Detection
- Over Site Performance
This is all included with their free service. I was really taken back by the functionality of their hosting service. Couple that with the fact that it’s integrated with thousands of other people within the community who are ready and willing to provide you with some really insightful comments on your site, and you’ve really got yourself something special. (Comments and community engagement are key to strong search rankings)
The Cons of Wealthy Affiliate
Even though this website has been in business for the last twelve years, it’s certainly not without its challenges. Nobody’s perfect. Here are some of the issues I’ve experienced while using their service
The strength of the Wealthy Affiliate comes with a few inherent problems, which are evident to some degree in their classrooms. I love this concept. It’s supposed to be a centralized resource, organized by topic, which offers training modules from the community’s most well-respected members on a variety of topics. The top-level menu is well organized into a series of enticing topics. Except, once you get into your category of choice, you can quickly get lost in the flood of information. Some of it is really useful information, and some of it is not of the same quality. You really have to dig to find what you’re looking for, at times. For example – the ‘Everything WordPress’ classroom has nearly 17,000 questions and answer articles as of writing this. Navigating through all of that can get very frustrating at times. The concept is not without its potential, though. Witha little tweaking to better categorize and filter the Q&A section, and this could be gold.
The Keyword Tool
They offer a free keyword research tool that is loosely based on their Jaaxy keyword research tool. For the most part, it does the job, but I have questioned its accuracy on occasion. There have been a couple of times when I’ve refreshed the page on a recent search, and the results are different than they were 30 seconds prior. I also had to dig in order to understand what some of the terms meant. It’s not a huge deal, but I prefer to stick with the Jaaxy tool. It’s quicker and quite a bit more insightful.
There is this really cool ‘sticky-menu’ on the left-hand side of the screen which gives you quick access to some of the more important features of the website, like your certification courses and website builder. The trouble is, this pesky little thing sometimes gets in the way of some of the other tools I would like to make use of. I might be nit-picking here, I know. Although – its refusal to get the hell out of the way has, on occasion, made me want to pull my hair out. A quick page refresh will usually fix the problem, temporarily. As handy as the menu is, I’d sure like it if it would mind the rules and do what it’s supposed to.
I gave you my verdict at the start of this article, as I figured one of two scenarios would go down as you read through this. Either –
- I would lose you by now. If so, you wouldn’t care much about this section, but at least you would know where I stand on this.
- My riveting review would actually keep you engaged this long, so I would take the opportunity to make a couple of closing points.
These guys are not trying to sell you some miracle technique to help you make millions overnight for little to no effort. They’re open about the fact that you will need to commit time and effort into building your business in order to make it successful. With that said, they show you ways that you can turn your hobby and passion into a money-generating business. The fact is, you are ten times more likely to succeed in business (or otherwise!) if you have a passion for what you are doing. They give you the tools, training, and access to countless resources that will help you and encourage you as you work towards your goals.
Summary and Additional Information
Again – remember that you could easily invest thousands in your online marketing education and I would still recommend it – if you are willing to apply the training you received. This service does not require anywhere near that level of investment, but it does offer all of the value.
At the very least, I recommend trying out the free training and service they offer to see if it will benefit you.
Name: Wealthy Affiliate
Price: Starter Membership, $0 (Join Here)
Premium Membership, $49/mo or $359/yr (Join Here)
Overall Score: 4.38 out of 5 stars
Expertise: Beginning to Expert
If you have a personal experience with Wealthy Affiliate that you would like to share or have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below. Your opinions are valuable and I would love to hear them!