I’ve written what is probably the most comprehensive Wealthy Affiliate review out there, by an affiliate marketer in Australia. Through this scam evaluation, you’ll be able to make an informed decision as to whether this is right for you, and I’ll also propose some alternatives.
Please note: I am NOT someone promoting Wealthy Affiliate. Therefore, you won’t get the “Wow it’s great…sign up now!!!!!” response here. You’ll just get some wise words, direct from someone who has 8+ years industry experience. I wish more people were as honest as I am.
Ever wondered why people are so positive about this company? I’ll let you in on that secret in this blog post. Also, ever read a negative review about a company…only to be pitched on Wealthy Affiliate?
Reason: Because their students are taught to attack other companies to pitch the Wealthy Affiliate system. I’m not a fan of this. Not a good, sustainable and long term business model.
Now, if I were an affiliate of this system, I’d definitely declare it, as I have done with other courses. Most affiliates don’t do this, which is why they’re not taken seriously. Thousands of people value the integrity and openness that I bring to the table. It’s time to be more legit folks!
Background on me
I thought it’s wise to start with myself, my experiences and the journey. Therefore, you know where I’m coming from. The results might actually shock you…
It took me 7 years to earn a full time income through affiliate marketing. Yes – 7 long years. There were many times I wanted to quit, but I’m glad I stayed on the journey. The laptop lifestyle is epic, and I hope you’ll get the opportunity to enjoy this, as I currently am.
At least I won’t give you unrealistic claims “You can make millions tomorrow!” – no, not at all. This isn’t what my blog is about. It’s about building sustainable online businesses, as I’ve done. Twice.
It took me 2 years to earn a full time income through selling on Amazon FBA. Yes – as an Australian, selling on Amazon USA. The process is relatively easy, once you’re paired with the right course to take you all the way. Selling on Amazon requires some capital though, so understandably, this barrier to entry keeps many beginners away.
I own a range of affiliate marketing websites. They pay me mostly passive income, month after month. I’m paid almost exclusively in US dollars, generally into my PayPal account. I don’t do MLM schemes or the like.
So let’s get into it…
What is Wealthy Affiliate?
The simple answer is that Wealthy Affiliate is an affiliate marketing course. It helps people learn about affiliate marketing, through lessons, videos and other content.
It’s paired with a thriving community of those also on the journey. One prime benefit for members is that you’re able to sell the program to other people for a 50% commission, as others are doing through their blogs on Google.
They’ve been around for quite a number of years, and now thousands of people have joined. They’re a community, but also a business. It’s really a case of trying to bring as many people into the course as possible, and the commissions are lucrative for the newbie to get started.
You can really make money in 1 of 2 ways, or both if you want.
- Build your own affiliate websites which have lots of information content as I have, and drive that traffic to offers such as products on Amazon.
- Build a blog and promote the Wealthy Affiliate program to other beginners, with the hope to make 50% commissions on each sale.
Personally, there’s a lot of competition for the 2nd option. I’d advise you go the 1st option. I have a range of informational websites with minimal competition.
Is the training any good?
Yes – it’s good. Sort of. It’s not great, and at times feels a little outdated. Especially with their SEO strategies. But at the core, it will get you started as a beginner.
You’ll be learning:
- Launching your 1st website and/or blog
- How to bring visitors to your own site
- Choosing the right niches to enter into
- Branding yourself as the true authority
- Finding traffic through creative SEO strategies
- Building out to a range of websites (My favorite)
- Discovering unique ways to monetize
- Selling your website(s) for profit online
- How to outsource most of the steps to others
There’s plenty of other content too in their course, as other bloggers have covered too.
They’ve got a support system and team for their students to lend a helping hand. You’ll be getting a bunch of website templates, plus hosting for your websites. They’ll also give you some feedback on your site, plus offer some good security and backup.
Is Wealthy Affiliate a scam?
Ok – let’s get this out of the way. There’s always people who are curious or simply critics. It comes in every industry, but certainly in the make money online gigs.
Let me outline this for you:
The best answer is that Wealthy Affiliate isn’t a scam. They’re not a fraud. They’re an online training company which teaches internet marketing. Some people promote them unethically, with ridiculous income claims. The truth is that their training program is marketed too heavily as a get rich quick scheme.
Truth be told: There’s no one in Wealthy Affiliate who is ‘Wealthy’ apart from the company owners. Ouch! With 800,000 members, there’s very few actually making good money here.
There’s a lot of low grade people in this space. Shysters and sharks. Those wishing to make a quick buck. It’s those who don’t have a long term vision who are going to fail.
I started this blog in 2011, I’m still here today, and I’ll still be here in 10 years. That’s a long term vision my friend. I hope this is making sense to you. As my mentor once said – most people overestimate what they can do in 1 year, but underestimate what they can do in 10 years.
Today I still start affiliate marketing websites focused around content. I start a new one every 3 months. January > April > July > October. I start with great content, and I eventually monetize them.
It’s not exciting, but it pays the bills. Wealthy Affiliate teaches a similar methodology. Everything takes a lot of work, regardless of what you do.
How much does Wealthy Affiliate cost?
The pricing for the membership is quite low. This is good as it allows a lot of people to get started without the huge expense.
They’ve got 2 membership options, which I’ll cover here with this answer:
- FREE membership to Wealthy Affiliate. You won’t be able to download anything, but there’s some basic training on building affiliate websites and traffic generation
- Premium Membership which is $49 per month or $359 per 12 months. This is the complete package, and includes all the normal training content.
I’d highly recommend the 2nd option, so that you can start properly. If you’re looking to make money promoting Wealthy Affiliate, then the Free Membership will pay you 15%, whilst the Premium Membership pays you 50% which is quite a difference.
Most of their 800,000 members are on the FREE membership. So it’s a little exaggerated, effectively meaning that they only have a small portion of Premium paying members. That’s one big complaint I have about Wealthy Affiliate.
It seems that promoting Wealthy Affiliate is one that is very competitive on Google. So use their training to create your own unique websites, such as dog training, yoga, office products, gardening, technology and similar less competitive niches.
Is their training still effective today?
Yes – it is. But the space is more competitive now. When this program launched, it was way easier to launch and rank a website. Today it’s much harder, though not impossible. It will just take some time. You need to be patient, young padawan.
The training does need to be updated in some sections to reflect changes. After all, the program was launched over 5 years ago. A lot has changed online since. It’s wise to be in front of the changes, as opposed to behind.
Again – the training is good. It will get you a start. But I recommend purchasing another more updated course to compliment Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate alternatives
As noted in the title and introduction, I am going to give you some alternatives, which are mostly direct competitors to Wealthy Affiliate. Some of these alternatives are cheaper.
The main competitor to Wealthy Affiliate is Income School. They give 90% of their content away for FREE on YouTube. It’s crazy! I believe that Jim and Ricky were previous students of this program, though I’m not 100% sure. Certainly they share the same concepts.
Their program is called Project24. It’s a simple system where you’ll follow along with the goal of building out to a full time income within 24 months.
They don’t have any wild claims of income. In fact – they’ll state that you’re unlikely to make any money in your 1st year online. Certainly, they’re not looking for the person with the get rich quick mindset.
Some Wealthy Affiliate members make false complaints about this company to sell people in WA. Which is the better of the two? Project24.
You’ll find other competitors to both Wealthy Affiliate and Income School online. Some of these will be on Udemy, others on Linda and some you’ll even find more free content on YouTube. That said – it is always wise to actually invest in a program, as free content is always minimal.
Once you’ve got some knowledge and experience, then jump into the Advanced SEO course by Robbie Richards. He’s a fellow Australian. There’s no affiliate link for this course.
Alternative business models
Wealthy Affiliate isn’t the only way to make money on the internet. Allow me to open your eyes to more opportunities.
Other business models include:
- MLM schemes (just not recommended / sustainable in 2019)
- Sourcing from thrift stores and selling online which I’ve done
- Build your own Shopify store and brand (another good idea)
- Starting your own Amazon FBA business (personal favorite!)
- Creating unique lead generation websites for business owners
- Managing social media accounts for offline business owners
- Doing online contract jobs through Upwork and freelancing
There’s a few more, but this is the core. I’ve done all of these. Affiliate marketing and Amazon FBA are my favorite choices.
I choose affiliate marketing for income. Today I make a full time income through my sites, and I don’t promote Wealthy Affiliate. The training there is average.
I choose Amazon FBA to build 7 figure businesses that I can eventually sell. But I still take a good full time income through Amazon.
Both models are online. I enjoy the laptop lifestyle. I believe that traditional businesses are too challenging to start in 2019.
Most people that join Wealthy Affiliate, simply wake up to other opportunities. Then they eventually purchase other courses, and often choose another strategy. It does take time to get any type of business off the ground, so don’t be so quick to invest into other courses, until you’ve really put the 1st one to the test.
Is Wealthy Affiliate an MLM company?
I had this question myself. The truth is, they’re not a network marketing company. This is because the commissions are only paid on one level. That is, if John signs up through your link, does the program, then promotes it to David who joins, you won’t earn anything from David. Only John.
If this was an MLM company, then it would actually mean that Wealthy Affiliate is a pyramid / ponzi scheme. It would then be shutdown quite soon by the Government, which has been the case with My Online Business Empire (Matt Lloyd) and the famous Empower Network (Dave and Dave). Pyramid schemes don’t sell products, they simply sell dreams.
In fact, I don’t like the network marketing industry at all. It’s tough to make any money online through MLM schemes in 2019. I mean – sure, every business has its challenges. But with that particular business model, you’re really up for a tough climb to the top. Approximately 99% of people never make it, and more people do find success in both affiliate marketing and Amazon.
Conclusion of this program
What you’ll learn is sort of good quality. It’s only $49 per month, so it’s reasonably affordable for most people. Plus – I think there’s still a refund policy in place if you’re not happy. You’re probably under someone’s affiliate link currently.
There are better training materials out there, in some cases costing less. Income School provides a lot of the same content for FREE on their YouTube channel for instance. Another good one is Wholesale TED, though I don’t recommend drop shipping at all. Her videos are just simply informative.
Selling on Amazon is an easier way to generate income online. You can help others manage their Amazon listings, so you don’t have to put any money into the deal yourself. You can charge a nominal monthly amount, or simply work on a profit-share arrangement. The choice is yours.
If you’ve got a 7-year time frame, then affiliate marketing is the right idea. If 2 years is preferred, go the Amazon route. That is, if you’re prepared to work, be committed and learn how to do this properly.
Thousands of people have chosen the Amazon route to build a sustainable online income. One that has less competition than affiliate marketing. And certainly, one where the business is on-trend.
I’ve written a range of FREE online guides as well to assist beginners through the process. They’re all available in the navigation bars above.
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I’ve voted these factors for the beginner student, the person who wants to learn how to make money on the internet.