This is a sponsored post. However, the expressed opinions are the true and genuine opinions of the author.
Today we take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to tackle something a bit different. I’m talking about the ever popular online business training course called Wealthy Affiliate. Some people like to refer to it as the Wealthy Affiliate scam, but this is an honest Wealthy Affiliate review. Many of you may have heard of this program. I have known of this site for many years. I was lucky enough to have a chance to look around the site and experience everything that it has to offer. This isn’t going to be like most of the Wealthy Affiliate reviews that are floating around online. This isn’t going to be raving review that paints the online business course in a glowing light of utter perfection. We’ll cover the pros and the cons, the good and the bad, and whether it is the right move for would be online entrepreneurs. Is Wealthy Affiliate a scam? Let’s find out!
What Wealthy Affiliate Has to Offer
When you first join Wealthy Affiliate, you will likely be greeted by Kyle and Carson (the owners) as well as maybe a few other members. You see, in Wealthy Affiliate, members have rankings. The more they engage in the community (such as by welcoming you), the better their rank becomes. This creates some positives and negatives, as I will explain later in the review.
The first step towards beginning the program, as Kyle and Carson will tell you in their message, is to click on the ‘Get Started Here’ button on the left of the home page. That will take you to their Online Entrepreneur Certification Course: Lesson 1.
There are a total of 5 levels of training in Wealthy Affiliate’s Online Entrepreneur Certification Course, each featuring 10 lessons, for a total of 50 lessons. Much of this revolves around picking a ‘niche’ for your website, which is a sort of category that your website specializes in. You are then trained to sell products related to that category through affiliate marketing. The training expands from there, but that’s the basic premise.
There is also an alternative training course known as Affiliate Bootcamp, which consists of a total of 7 levels of training, each featuring 10 lessons for a total of 70 lessons. This training was created because there is a common problem among new Wealthy Affiliate members: they can’t decide on a niche. Affiliate Bootcamp is targeted at those who cannot decide on a niche. Here they teach these members to join the make ‘money online niche’ and promote Wealthy Affiliate itself. Things get a bit dubious here, as it is a very risky and competitive niche that I wouldn’t advise for beginners. However, I’ll save more of my opinions for later.
However, with a free membership, you can only go up to lesson 10 in both of these courses, and you only get to create 2 free SiteRubix subdomain websites. To continue on, you have to invest in a paid Premium membership. You’ll unlock all of the lessons and you’ll be allowed 25 SiteRubix subdomain websites as well as 25 unique domains, for a total of 50 websites that you can create on your Premium account. Once you join, you’ll have 7 days to join Premium at a 59% discount, meaning $19. If you decide to join Wealthy Affiliate, I HIGHLY recommend that you join premium. I firmly believe that the free membership just does not offer enough to be of any serious use. Here are more of the differences between the free and premium memberships:
Things To Like About Wealthy Affiliate
- It is an all-in-one solution. It in includes training of all kinds, such as affiliate marketing, eCommerce, email marketing, social media advertising, influencer marketing, video marketing, and more.
- It includes built in anonymous WordPress website hosting, with an included SSL, and site speed optimizing software – all features that other hosts charge for.
- It features a variety of free tools that you would otherwise have to purchase or find separately such as Jaaxy, an advanced keyword research tool; SiteContent, a writing platform that tracks various important attributes about your content as you write it; SiteComments/SiteFeedback, which allows you to solicit comments/feedback for other members about your site in order to boost your site’s Google rankings; and their latest system, Affiliate Programs, which allows you to have direct access to affiliate programs that meet your particular needs as well as the managers of those programs.
- There’s a free 7 day trial.
- It has an active, and often helpful community with a 24/7 live chat that even the millionaire owners Kyle and Carson, as well as the live training coach, Jay, often participate in. You can network, learn, and grow alongside other new and even veteran entrepreneurs.
- Training is constantly updated, and new training is released weekly, providing you with a constant source to help you keep up with the latest marketing trends.
- You are not allowed to promote your websites directly on Wealthy Affiliate, however there is a ‘links’ section on your profile page where you can link to them if you so choose. This cuts back on members spamming and scamming each other, and allows the community to be a generally positive place.
Things Not to Like About Wealthy Affiliate
- The training is mostly geared towards beginner and intermediate internet marketers. There are less resources there for advanced online entrepreneurs.
- Monthly costs can add up.
- Many of the tools are not best in class. Jaaxy is fantastic, but SiteContent, for example, doesn’t track as many metrics as some other writing platforms, although it is fine for beginners. SiteComments and, especially, SiteFeedback are often ghost towns with nothing listed for comments/feedback. The Affiliate Manager program shows great promise, but it is still very new, having been introduced in May, 2019. It still has a long way to go before it is fully ready to deliver on its promises. Still, Wealthy Affiliate is the only site where you can find so many tools in one place.
- The SiteRubix hosting is OK at best. While most good WordPress hosts run with 256+ MB of PHP memory using PHP version 7.2+ with 99.9% uptime, WA runs with low uptime, 40 MB of PHP memory using PHP version 5.6, which is so old, that it’s borderline obsolete and many plugins no longer support it. You’d be better off hosting with Hostinger (which I highly recommend) or SiteGround. Beginners can get by with Wealthy Affiliate’s WordPress hosting, though.
- After the 7-day trial, you can no longer participate in the community. Also, if you cancel your premium membership, you can no longer use the site at all.
- There is a community ranking incentive. The more you participate, the better your rank. The top 25 ranked members are known as Ambassadors. While this is good for encouraging community engagement, unfortunately, many people focus more on spamming blog posts, and leaving careless replies to improve their rank rather than actually being helpful. The top among them, I like to call ‘SPAMbassadors’.
Does Wealthy Affiliate Work
I’ll let the results speak for themselves:
These are not the best results either. These are just some of the ones that were the quickest to get pictures for. However, the question isn’t really whether Wealthy Affiliate works. The question is will Wealthy Affiliate work for you? I’m hopeful that the next section will help you find an answer to that question.
Who Should Join Wealthy Affiliate?
You should ONLY join Wealthy Affiliate if you have money to invest in Premium, time to invest in taking the training, commitment to see things through for the long term, and the drive to get things done. If you’re expecting a get-rich-quick scheme, don’t bother. If you’re struggling financially to the point where you can’t afford Premium, don’t bother. If you’re expecting to make enough money to cover the first month’s membership, don’t bother. You won’t make money your first week. You won’t make money your first month. In fact, it takes most people at least 6 months of effort before the money really starts to roll in.
With that in mind, I would suggest investing in the yearly Premium plan at $359. This puts the monthly price at $29, which is a massive 40% discount off of the standard monthly price of $49. Not only that, but investing in the year long package shows that you are in it for the long haul, and it makes it so that you no longer have any excuses not to build a successful business. A yearly Premium subscription gives you the time, tools, and resources to make it happen. The rest is up to you.
The Wealthy Affiliate Scam
Now’s the part where I clear the air and address the title. What is the Wealthy Affiliate scam? Well, I think we’ve clarified that Wealthy Affiliate platform that can work as advertised in many ways. I believe that the Wealthy Affiliate scam is in certain aspects of its promotion, most notably, the assertion that it is free. Some could argue that you get the 7-day trial, and that you get to build and work on 2 sites for free even after the trial is up, but what money will those websites realistically generate? You can’t add any plugins, and you are forced to use a SiteRubix sub domain instead of your own original domain. This all but destroy any chance of you gaining traction and making a name for yourself. You MUST invest in premium, or you are doomed to fail on their platform.
In addition, building a website (even on WordPress) isn’t easy for many people. Not everyone knows their way around a computer. While building WordPress sites is undoubtedly easier than hand coding a site from scratch, it still takes some time to come to grips with, and the hosting doesn’t make things any easier. WA is often touted as the best or one of the best managed shared hosting providers in their own marketing and in the marketing of their affiliates. As I can attest firsthand, and have addressed above, that that is simply NOT true. The hosting leaves a lot to be desired.
With so many affiliates promoting Wealthy Affiliate as if it is complete and utter perfection, it’s no wonder so many people are constantly asking if Wealthy Affiliate is a scam. All in all, these things are what I believe to be the true Wealthy Affiliate scam. Sure, Wealthy Affiliate has many praiseworthy positives, but let’s be a bit more honest about its flaws as well, folks. It isn’t perfect. Nor does it have to be.
Don’t let the Wealthy Affiliate scam section scare you away. Yes, the platform isn’t perfect, however, it has created enough results and changed enough lives to warrant respect for what the owners, Kyle and Carson, have accomplished. People have gone on to do great things because of what they learned at Wealthy Affiliate. We all have humble beginnings and Wealthy Affiliate, for all its flaws, is a good place to start.
If you’d like to join Wealthy Affiliate, feel free to sign up below, but ONLY if you meet the criteria outlined above in the ‘Who Should Join Wealthy Affiliate?’ section. If not, you’ll just be wasting your time. Well, that’s everything I have to say. What are your thoughts? Are you joining Wealthy Affiliate? Have you found something better? Sound off below in the comments.
Your pledge: I will invest in Premium, and commit to at least 6 months of effort to give my online business the time it needs to grow!