If you’re looking for a genuine Wealthy Affiliate review, I’d really like to share my perspective as someone who has experienced success from the training.
I don’t really want to leave anything unturned, so I’m going to just go all-in. You may have heard a lot of hype and overly positive reviews, so I want to make this one as honest and transparent as possible. I’m even going to talk about my 4 BIGGEST complaints about Wealthy Affiliate, (#4 especially) and the things you should really take into consideration before you sign-up.
This review contains affiliate links. If you sign up for Wealthy Affiliate my page, I will receive a commission if you decide to upgrade your membership (at no extra charge to you). You’ll also get my mentorship as an added bonus!
Before I get started though, I just want to tell you all that Wealthy Affiliate costs $0 to join at the starter level to access the platform and test it out. I think the best way to really know if it’s right for you is to just join for yourself and see what it’s like on the inside.
Worst case, it’s not for you. I understand you probably want to know more though, so definitely keep reading and I’ll get into all the details.
What is Wealthy Affiliate, anyway?
Wealthy Affiliate is an educational platform for anyone to learn how to make money through a website. More specifically, they focus on teaching you how to make money through affiliate marketing, although it’s certainly not the only way you can make money!
The program was launched back in 2005 by Kyle and Carson and has since had over 1.4 million budding entrepreneurs come through its doors.
This isn’t just some static pdf guide you download – it’s a complete all-in-one interactive community that includes training, tools, web hosting, and even support.
While it’s certainly not going to make you rich overnight (or maybe not at all) it can give you a pretty good grasp of how to build out a solid website foundation if you want to make money online.
Hi, my name is Wendy! My introduction to making money online happened through Wealthy Affiliate back in 2012.
I had stumbled upon the website looking for legit ways to earn money, and decided to give their $0 starter membership a try. What could it hurt?
There was just something about it that gave me a good feeling.
I was soon finding myself totally immersed in this whole affiliate marketing thing, and how incredibly powerful the model was. And how people were making tons of money online this way. The members were really nice. Everyone was so encouraging.
I just had one tiny little problem.
You see, in order to start actually doing anything with their training, you need to find a niche. Your niche is essentially the subject matter of your website.
They encourage you to select something you’re passionate about or some type of hobby you have. For example, if you’re really into beekeeping, that could totally be your niche.
Or it could be something like vegan cooking, or dating after divorce, or gardening, or caring for your cat, or horseback riding, the possibilities are kind of endless here.
My problem was I had ABSOLUTELY no clue what niche to choose. I don’t know if it was from a lack of confidence, or because I still didn’t truly understand how the whole thing worked, but I just froze. (Looking back, I just want to kick myself for this)
So that was that. I didn’t upgrade my membership. I just decided to log out and forget the whole thing. I could never be one of those people that did something like this, it just didn’t fit.
Only I didn’t really forget about it. It sat at the back of my mind and bothered me for months.
I had recently lost my sub-par job and felt stuck. I had a useless college degree and no direction. I needed to do SOMETHING.
So I came back to WA. I finally had enough confidence to run with a niche idea.
I signed up premium, created my first website, and got to work.
It wasn’t easy for me. I ran into a ton of technical issues when I was first starting out that bogged me down and delayed my progress. (Wealthy Affiliate has made a ton of improvements since then, so if I were starting today, I would have NOT had any of these problems whatsoever – lucky you, future WA member!)
Despite that, I reached my first milestone of $1,000 within my first 6 months. By the end of my first year, I had earned just under $4,000.
Looking at those numbers may not sound impressive. So be forewarned -if you’re looking for something that’ll get you rich quick, Wealthy Affiliate is not for you.
It may seem like you’re putting in endless hours for no reward, but it can really pay off down the road. The income I was able to make really skyrocketed in the following years doing less work than I had initially put forth.
The way Wealthy Affiliate teaches you how to make money online really does work, you just have to be OK with putting in a lot of hard work for delayed gratification.
How Wealthy Affiliate works
There’s a specific 4-step process you will follow with the Wealthy Affiliate training – Choose a niche (your interest), build a website (on WordPress), attract visitors (bring in traffic), and earn money (through affiliate marketing, and other methods).
Let’s just go over each of these steps in more detail to give you a clearer image of the entire process.
Step 1: Choose an Interest
The interest you choose will be what your website is focused on, also referred to as a niche.
This is key. Don’t try to be like Walmart or Amazon and try to broadly include every category under the sun.
Your website is going to work better when it’s focused on a topic, which lets you turn into an expert and ultimately, the authority.
Breaking down topics into niches
Let me break down a few categories into more specific niches so you can get a better idea of what it all means.
- Taking care of a cat
- Dog training
- Organic pet food
- Backyard chickens
Topic: Outdoor activities
- Rustic camping
- Growing your own food
Giving you these examples, I can tell you that they’re all still quite large niches with endless opportunities.
Each one of these examples could even be broken down into sub-niches if you wanted to get more specific. You could start a website entirely focused on growing your own potatoes or something. I know it seems too small, but even tiny niches have been proven to be quite profitable if there’s a high enough interest.
Want a more specific example? Check out thetallgirlsguidetofashion.com, which focuses on fashion and finding clothing for tall girls (this was the first website I started with the Wealthy Affiliate training, the one I was able to make $1,000 with within my first 6 months).
Instead of trying to just blog about “women’s fashion” or “fashion” in general, I wanted to dive into a more specific topic that I could connect with.
If you want another example of a very specific niche, check out succulentsandsunshine.com, a website that is entirely focused all around succulents (a type of flower). The owner of the website did not follow Wealthy Affiliate’s training but it’s an example of what is possible with even the smallest of niches.
The possibilities are ENDLESS for niches. You can even check out my 6 step process for selecting a good niche if you want to get more help and ideas!
Step 2: Build a Website
So this will be your first step after you find a good niche. Wealthy Affiliate actually makes it incredibly foolproof and easy to build your first website.
If you decide to sign up with their premium membership, you’re going to get hosting for all your domains included with your membership cost. This is a pretty good deal considering you won’t have to purchase hosting from an external provider and spend more money.
You can even test out their website platform with your own free website if you want to.
The process of building a website is definitely easy, but it’s going to take a lot of work to get your site built out properly and off the ground running!
Step 3: Attract Visitors
After you have your website, you’ll need to get traffic. Many people want to immediately skip to the make money part, but bringing visitors to your website is actually your number one priority at this point.
Creating keyword-focused content
But you can’t bring traffic to an empty website, you’re going to have to create content. Lots of content!
The way Wealthy Affiliate teaches you how to do this is by writing keyword-focused content so you can rank in search engines like Google to drive traffic.
Search engine traffic is a great way to bring in traffic because it allows you to target an audience that is already looking for the content you’re providing.
It can also be a powerful, passive way to drive traffic.
Take this example of a particular article I wrote back in 2014. It’s a review of Long Tall Sally, which is a specialty clothing store for tall women.
It’s ranked #2 in Google for “Long Tall Sally Reviews” for the past 5 years and continually drives traffic and sales.
This particular article brings in conversions multiple times per week. That is traffic and sales for ONE article and ONE keyword!
Here’s another example:
People searching for “tall junior clothing” will find my list of places to shop. This is one of the higher trafficked articles on this site. I wrote it back in 2013 and it has been ranking in Google ever since (I’ve had to updated it since, but it’s relatively low maintenance)
But it’s not just “tall junior clothing” that brings in traffic. People searching for related terms also can find my site in search engines too.
There are thousands of keywords that drive traffic to that website, and most of them weren’t intentionally targeted either.
Here’s just one example of a different keyword that could bring traffic to that article “pants for tall skinny teenage girl”
Hopefully, this helps you understand just how powerful this model of driving traffic can be. You’re going to have hundreds and potentially even thousands of articles on your site that can be driving traffic.
The work you put in will pay over and over again later. It’s kind of hard to grasp just how much passive income you can actually pull in this way (and this is where step #4 comes in)
Step 4: Earn Revenue
So once you have some traffic coming to your site, you will then be able to monetize it.
Wealthy Affiliate specifically teaches the affiliate marketing method, but as you go along you’ll discover other ways you can monetize your site.
Affiliate marketing lets you partner with companies to help sell their products. It’s an attractive way to advertise since it’s performance-based, so the company only has to pay the affiliate a commission if they make sales.
Basically all major brands have affiliate programs, even huge superstores like Walmart, Target, and Amazon. But there are tons of affiliate programs out there for any niche you can think of.
Once you create your website and build out your brand a little bit, you’ll be able to apply for these affiliate networks and start being able to promote their products for commission-based revenue.
It’s a good monetization method for beginners because you don’t have to develop and create your own product or service (or worry about customer service, or inventory, or shipping).
Are you ready? Try it here
A look inside Wealthy Affiliate
The basic, step by step training you’ll first want to follow is called “Online Entrepreneur Certification” and is 5 levels, each with 10 lessons.
You’ll get access to the first 10 lessons for free, but you’ll need to upgrade to premium for the complete training courses.
You can go ahead and get started with the first 10 lessons for free here if you want to.
They also have an alternate step-by-step training called “Bootcamp” which is focusing around the “make money online” niche and promotion of Wealthy Affiliate.
This is my #1 complaint about Wealthy Affiliate is they suggest this route to complete newbies who can’t figure out their own niche, and I don’t agree with it.
I think this is better suited for people who already have experience making money online, even if they may be new to Wealthy Affiliate. For people who know nothing about it, it’s going to be really difficult to break into this niche.
Weekly video training
Jay hosts live videos every Friday night that cover all sorts of topics.
If you’re a premium member, you’re going to be able to watch as many of these as you want. Jay is a really cool guy. I met him in person and he’s very down to earth and likable.
The webinars can be fun to attend and have a pretty laid-back atmosphere but he does teach some really valuable stuff. The downside is they can be kind of slow sometimes. Typically I’ll just watch the recordings and skip through to the parts I want to see.
It’s still a really great resource to have on hand.
This is what really makes the training at Wealthy Affiliate incredibly valuable and unique…
Now, the step-by-step lessons will provide you with the solid foundation you need to get your site up and running and the weekly webinars are great.
But there’s this incredible value that lies within training added by the members themselves.
I don’t even think the average member is even fully aware of the vast amount of material that lies inside of Wealthy Affiliate.
And this brings me to major complaint #2 – there are all these great training materials added by members, but there’s no library of them! Unless somebody links you to them, or you specifically search them out, they’re kind of just hidden inside the platform.
I’ve pulled a few examples, but there’s an incredible amount of these. You just have to know where to find them.
Now some are better than others. I think the only requirement is you need to be a premium member for at least 3 months before you’re allowed to add your own training.
However, many of these people have a decade or more of experience online so you’re really going to get offered up different perspectives here.
Another aspect of Wealthy Affiliate is their hosting. This isn’t just a bunch of training, you’re going to get hosting for up to 25 domains you own (plus 25 free domains).
The hosting is included with your membership cost so you don’t have to worry about an extra expense.
They also include a free SSL certificate with EVERY domain which is not industry standard. Many hosts make you pay for them separately and they aren’t cheap.
In this day and age, you NEED an SSL certificate on your website even if you aren’t actually selling anything yourself.
The storage (30 GB) and monthly visitor limit (500K visitors/month) are more than enough for most people.
They also have recently included their own domain registrar within the platform as well. You can buy a domain there and have it hosted within a few minutes and not have to wait for the transfer.
Jaaxy is the keyword tool that Wealthy Affiliate will teach you how to use.
They’ve recently included this in the premium membership itself. This used to be a separate $19/month fee if you wanted to use it, but now the lite version comes with your membership.
Jaaxy is a good tool, but it has limitations. Something that might be confusing for beginners is learning the ins and outs of Jaaxy, because if you’re not experienced it can definitely misguide you.
You’re going to have 13 interactive classrooms where you can ask questions about any topic you need to.
There’s a lot of members ready to help you out. I know I relied on the classrooms and even the live chat a lot when I was a total newbie. I don’t think I would have ever been able to be successful if it wasn’t for the help I got within Wealthy Affiliate.
Another aspect of Wealthy Affiliate that makes it really cool is it’s an entire community. Every member has their own profile space (you can see mine below) so you can meet and connect with others. You’ll also be able to write blogs, add training, chat in live chat, send private messages and ask questions in the classrooms.
You definitely don’t want to get too caught up in the social aspect, but it’s a really great place to get support, help, and to network with other online business owners.
My top Wealthy Affiliate complaints
Now that I’ve addressed all the cool stuff about this program, I will admit that Wealthy Affiliate has its faults. Here are a few of my biggest issues with them.
#1. The platform has been redesigned many times and in my opinion, isn’t super intuitive anymore.
The latest redesign really made it a bit difficult to locate certain things within the community. I have a difficult time finding things sometimes and I’ve been a member since 2012.
#2. There’s a ton of member-added training materials but no library where you can search for them.
You either have to be linked to the training, specifically search for it, or scan the training materials on member’s profiles.
#3. You might get bad (or conflicting) advice – you kind of just have to learn who to listen to.
Because there are SO MANY members, you’re going to get different answers. Sometimes members join and get super excited about helping other people, or they get too obsessive about increasing their rank, but they don’t spend any time actually building their own business and getting results. Therefore, they give advice trying to be helpful, but it’s not very good advice because they don’t really know what they’re doing themselves.
It’s kind of a process of learning to listen to the right people, which you’ll pick up on pretty quickly after you’ve been around for any length of time.
#4. Members who can’t think of a niche are guided towards Bootcamp training to go into the “make money online” niche
I just don’t personally agree that it’s the best niche for new people. It’s really competitive and difficult if you have no experience making money online yourself.
It can be great for those who have the experience, even if they are completely new to WA. But I caution anyone who is a total beginner – you’re probably going to give up if you try to go into that niche. Consider starting a website in something less competitive around a topic you actually enjoy.
Things to consider before signing up for Wealthy Affiliate
#1. You need to be able to commit your time to this
It’s going to take a pretty large time investment on your end to really follow what the training truly teaches and build out your website.
I’ve had a lot of questions from people asking if they can dedicate just an hour a week to this, or they can only do it one day a month. Just know if that’s the case, it’ll take you so long you’ll probably want to give up before you even see any results.
If you simply have NO time to commit to the training and building a website, it might not be your best option right now.
#2. You’ll need to transfer your website if you leave Wealthy Affiliate
I want to talk a minute about this because there are a lot of people who are confused and don’t really understand how it works.
If you want to keep a website live on the internet, you’re going to have to keep it hosted somewhere. If you decide to cancel your membership but have your website hosted with Wealthy Affiliate, it’s critical that you get it transferred to another hosting provider BEFORE your membership period ends (assuming you want to keep your site).
At the very least, you’re going to want the complete backup files so you can restore it again in the future.
It’s not necessarily an easy process, so it’s important to understand that before going in.
By all means, I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t use their hosting. It’s actually pretty decent and very secure. I just want you to be aware of this fact before going in. (You don’t HAVE to use there hosting if you don’t want to)
#3. It’s not a get rich quick system, it’s an educational platform
The last thing you should know is that you’re not going to make money overnight. You probably won’t make money in your first month or two, or even three.
If you’re looking for something that’ll make you money TODAY, this isn’t for you. If you’re expecting to earn $10,000 in your first month, you might want to look elsewhere.
Realistically, it’s going to take you several months to really see any money at all. It took me 6 entire months to even earn $1,000 in total. Some people are able to earn more than that, others take longer.
There’s not really a definite answer for how fast you’ll make money because there are just too many factors to consider.
Wealthy Affiliate provides you with the process and tools, but it’s up to you to put in the effort.
There are 2 membership options – starter and premium.
Starter – $0 – create your starter account here
This is great for testing it out and seeing if it’s the right place for you. No credit card, no commitment.
Premium – $49/month, or $359/year
If you love what you see within the starter membership, you can upgrade and get full access to all features. Once you go premium, there are no upsells!
The Bottom Line
So is Wealthy Affiliate right for everyone? No. If you need money right now, this isn’t a great option. If you’re looking to pull in 10 grand in a month, you probably won’t.
There was a quote I heard somewhere when I was first starting out that really inspired me. “If you’re willing to do for a year what others won’t, you can spend a lifetime doing what they can’t.”
It really sums it up perfectly. It takes a pretty big time commitment and some patience to get results with this training, but once you establish yourself within your niche you’re going to get to hopefully experience what it’s like earning passive income.
I never would have imagined this for myself, but I am so glad I made the decision to go back to Wealthy Affiliate and upgrade my membership. I have never regretted it for a second.
Bill Cooper says
Hi Wendy. Your blog is very honest, informative and inspirational. My name is Bill Cooper and I live in British Columbia, Canada. I have to admit I have been putting off joining for awhile because of all the scams out there and there are plenty of them. I joined the ‘Four Percent Group’ and after investing money I realized that it was a scam. I’ve been licking my wounds for too long now and I think I should give WA a try. I was very surprised when I found out that WA is from Canada. I thought that was based in the US. Anyway I thought I would contact you this way first and have you email me one of your fresh links. Thanks Wendy.
For some reason I’m just seeing this comment now! I already responded to your email 🙂