Looking for a REAL Wealthy Affiliate Review? Unfortunately Most “Reviews” You’ll read aren’t honest, that’s why I give a No-B.S look at what you can expect!
Most reviews of Wealthy Affiliate promise you the world if you buy it. This is NOT one of those reviews. In fact, it might actually hurt your feelings. But if you want the REAL scoop on Wealthy Affiliate – keep reading.
A mixed bag of good advice and outdated advice.
Monthly costs can add up, but website hosting is included and training is constantly being updated.
Ease Of Use
Not very easy to navigate, and a lot of training is text based instead of video.
Active community and lots of support available from WA staff and other WA members. But not all of it is quality.
What I liked
What I didn't like
Updated September 20, 2019: Another day, another Wealthy Affiliate review… If you have been looking for ways to make money online, I am sure you have come across one of the thousands of Wealthy Affiliate reviews that recommend it as the #1 way to make money online….
*Please note this article contains affiliate links
Well, this is one Wealthy Affiliate review that ISN’T going to say that it is the best way to make money online. To find out why, keep reading…
My Story Before Wealthy Affiliate
My name is Jeremy Harrison, I am in my 30’s and before a couple years ago I knew NOTHING about affiliate marketing. I was in a job that I didn’t like, was $20,000 in debt and has a wedding that I needed to pay for. You can read more about me here.
Today I run dozens of websites, some profitable, some not so profitable – but after LOTS of trial and error I make thousands of dollars a month from affiliate websites.
And while I do promote Wealthy Affiliate, it makes just a small fraction of my income and doesn’t affect my true opinion of the program. Heck, if you take a quick look at the top 10 reviews of Wealthy Affiliate on Google you will see that I have given it the lowest score:
That’s not because I don’t think its a good program, but because I have high expectations for affiliate marketing courses – especially because I have taken so many. I know what its like not to have a lot of money but to take a risk and buy something online. That’s why I take giving honest reviews seriously.
I started my affiliate marketing journey back in 2016. I took a course called affiliate marketing revolution and I though I had it all figured out.
“Man this stuff looks easy” I thought
“I am going to make a killing!”
Flashes of working on the beach and driving fancy cars rolled through my imagination.
I then came up with an catchy (at least I thought) alter ego, and purchased my first domain: thelazyplumber.com and got to work!
At first I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, I did some review blog posts, posted some YouTube videos and hoped for the best!
My blog struggled – I got no traffic. I was stuck!
So I bought another course, Deadbeat Super Affiliate.
I learned a bit more, but the course was pretty dated. But I learned the importance of links to ranking in Google and I purchased some cheap Fiverr links.
I knew heard about Wealthy Affiliate before, but I read a bunch of negative reviews on it so I wrote it off as a scam.
But I was desperate and had already taken some terrible affiliate marketing courses on Udemy. So I bought Wealthy Affiliate and gave it a spin.
Even though I wasn’t a total newbie, I found a lot of things very useful. Understanding the customer purchasing lifecycle, writing great content, keyword research, on page SEO and the Jaxxy keyword research tool are just some of the things that helped me propel my affiliate websites.
I just wished I started with Wealthy Affiliate from the beginners. Especially since website hosting is included in the package, it could have reduced both my costs and my learning curve from the start.
Key Take Away
Being successful in affiliate marketing requires persistance and a willingness to learn. I could have easily given up at the beginning when I had spent a bunch of time and money and was not seeing any results.
I knew money could be made doing affiliate marketing, so it was up to me to find out what tools I was missing.
Being successful in anything is an ongoing process, so if you think that you will learn everything all in one spot – you have to be more realistic.
I watched Youtube videos, joined Facebook groups and kept taking courses. Slowly, I started getting small wins, and those small wins became big wins.
Things To Consider When Buying An Affiliate Marketing Course
Deciding on which affiliate marketing course to take is a pretty big decision. Getting started on the wrong foot can lead to wasted time, money and motivation.
However, taking a good affiliate marketing course can cut down dramatically on the learning curve of building your own website. There is only so much you can learn from watching Youtube videos, its hard to know if what you learning is even correct.
Becoming a good affiliate marketing requires quite a bit of time and commitment to become good at. So if you are one of the following, affiliate marketing is NOT for you:
- Looking to get rich quick
- check Don’t have some disposable income to invest
- check Don’t have time / work too many jobs
- check Get discouraged easily
- check Hate to problem solve
You have to be 100% honest with yourself here, because the simple truth is affiliate marketing is not for everyone. However, if I haven’t scared you off (yet) let’s take a look at the things you need to consider when choosing an affiliate marketing course:
If you are starting a website, it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of SEO. This includes setting up a website, creating pages/posts, on-page optimization and keyword research.
While on-page SEO is like the body of car, off-page SEO is like the engine. Without a solid foundational body, the entire site will fall apart. But with no off-page SEO, the beautiful website will just sit there going unnoticed. Despite what you might have heard, links are still one of the biggest factor to getting your site ranked high in Google.
Thing’s to look out for when it comes to off-page SEO is what sort of tactics are being taught? Is it basic – such as opening social profiles, leaving blog comments and being active on forums?
Or is it more advanced white hat/gray hat stuff – such as guest posting, outreach, Private Blog Networks, automatic link generators like money robot and GSA?
Since links are becoming less relevant than they were before. Google is also getting better at detecting linkbuilding, so focusing on creating quality content is very important.
Some affiliate marketing courses skip this part altogether and focus mostly on off-page SEO. So this is an important factor to consider when choosing the right course for you.
What Tools Are Included / What Do You Need To Buy?
Before you drop big bucks on a course, it’s important to know your costs ahead of time. Does the course come with all the tools you need, or are you going to have to dish out additional money every month for various subscription fees?
Some courses like Wealthy Affiliate try to be a one stop shop and include things like web hosting and access to their keyword research tool in their total cost. This could be a bonus if you are just starting out, but it might not even matter if you are already paying for hosting.
Social Media Marketing
The days where you could just rank a website and watch the cash roll in are coming to an end. While it is still very possible to do this, you could be leaving cash on the table by not having things such as en email list, or facebook group set up so that people engage with your site even when they are not on it.
Having access to a great community could be worth the price of admission alone. Course creator’s that take pride in their work will be in their communities constantly try to drive engagement.
Some things to consider when choosing an affiliate marketing course are: Is the community active? Do experts help out, or is it a bunch of newbs pretending they’re experts? Do the course creator(s) interact regularly?
I have have learned that one sure sign of a bad course is seeing little to no interaction in their comunities.
Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories + Income Proof
One of the reasons I like Wealthy Affiliate is because it got me started in the right direction when I was learning about affiliate marketing. So I consider myself to be a Wealthy Affiliate success story. Here are a few of my latest results:
As you can see I make a good income as a result of affiliate marketing, and part of that is in thanks to WA.
“That’s great”, you might be thinking “but how much is this guy making from promoting Wealthy Affiliate?” Well let me show you…
As you can see, it is not a whole lot (compared to my other revenue streams) so that’s why unlike many other reviewers – I can give you an honest review of Wealthy Affiliate.
Although I do make money with Wealthy Affiliate, it is not a whole lot. This is why I DON’T recommend people to start off their first website in online marketing and promote WA. It is just not as lucrative as you might think and super competitive.
I don’t promote Wealthy Affiliate in any of my other articles, I don’t write fake reviews just to get more sales. I just tell people what I think, and let YOU decide.
September 4, 2019 Update: Yes these screen shots are outdated, and while my success with affiliate marketing has grown – my feelings for Wealthy Affiliate have not. They have still not updated their training in forever in a real way, and there are much better affiliate marketing courses out there now.
Here are some people who have found success with WA:
What is Wealthy Affiliate University (WA)?
Wealthy Affiliate is a combination of training, software and website hosting all in one package. It is meant to be a one-stop shop destination for people looking to get into affiliate marketing.
The big draw of being an affiliate marketer is that you don’t have to actually manufacture the items you promote.
Instead, you’ll be “partnering up” with a company and drive traffic to their products or services from your website. For each customer that goes through you and buys something, you get a commission.
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. It the same thought process I go through whenever I hear claims of passive income…
Is Wealthy Affiliate a Scam?
Wealthy Affiliate doesn’t make any bold promises in its advertising. It simply promises to give you a host of tools and training to help get you started on starting on making an affiliate marketing business.
There’s is lots to learn in order to be a successful affiliate marketing, from building up a website to SEO to selecting the right niche. Wealthy Affiliate gives you a blueprint and the tools you need to get started, but it’s up to you to put in the time and effort to be successful.
The good news is that there’s no limit to what you can do once you grasp the basic concepts of affiliate marketing.
BIG Secret For Why People Think Wealthy Affiliate Is A Scam…
The reason why people may think Wealthy Affiliate is a scam is that so many people promote Wealthy Affiliate as the #1 way to make money online!
You see, other inexperienced affiliate marketers think that the only way to promote something is by making it seem like it is the ABSOLUTE #1 BEST THING IN THE WORLD AND IT WILL 100% MAKE U RICH OVERNITE!
Sure that approach may get some people to buy, but in the end, it causes unrealistic expectations and it attracts the wrong people!
For me, I don’t care if telling you that turns you off. If you want to get rich quick, DON’T BUY WEALTHY AFFILIATE!
Also if you have 10 kids, can’t work and no money – FOR GOD SAKES DON’T BUY!
If it comes down to either getting Wealthy Affiliate or getting groceries for your kids – GET GROCERIES! Your kids will thank you later.
To be successful in affiliate marketing you’re going to need some money.
Affiliate marketing takes time, effort and lots of learning – JUST LIKE ANY OTHER BUSINESS!
In short:Wealthy Affiliate is not a scam – but it is marketed by other affiliates as a get rich quick scheme – WHICH IT’S NOT!
Let’s take a look at what you can expect when you sign up to Wealthy Affiliate:
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.
The Certification Courses
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.
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.
Wealthy Affiliate Community
Wealthy Affiliate has a very activate and vibrant community. There are many people posting questions and some helpful people that try to answer those questions.
However, since there are so many people that are just beginners you sometimes run into a case of the blind leading the blind. So if you are asking questions in the community make sure that you take advice from people that know what they are talking about.
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.
Site Rubix – Wealthy Affiliate’s Hosting Solution
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 might not fully understand as you’re making them, and this will be the first one.
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.
However, for most beginners, Rubix is a great option as part of your membership includes website hosting. That’s right, you don’t have to worry about signing up with another hosting company as website hosting is free with Wealthy Affiliate.
Does it include WordPress Themes?
No Wealthy Affiliate does not include WordPress themes, to see my recommended theme check out this Thrive Themes review.
My Wealthy Affiliate Complaints
Nothing is without its flaws, and neither is Wealthy Affiliate. A 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.
Another common point of contention is the amount of learning one needs to do. YES, THERE’S A LOT TO LEARN. Take this as a positive because when you’re starting out you want to be a sponge and take in as much information as you can.
Lacks E-mail Marketing Strategy
Wealthy Affiliate touches on e-mail marketing briefly, but it lacks real in-depth discussion. E-mail marketing can simply not be overlooked and can generate people a lot of money just by sending e-mails!
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.
Promotion of Review Articles
One of my biggest complaints with Wealthy Affiliate is that in their training, they encourage users to write reviews on other online marketing products in order to drive people to buy Wealthy Affiliate.
What ends up happening is people take this to mean that they must write negative review articles on competition so that they can encourage people to buy Wealthy Affiliate.
I think this is a bad look for Wealthy Affiliate, because even though they encourage people to write truthful reviews – the reviews turn out to be negative in nature and tend to exaggerate how good Wealthy Affiliate actually is.
WA doesn’t really teach you how to get links to your site, other than some very basic ones that involve Google. This is a real issue that I hope Wealthy Affiliate addresses this in the future.
No Real Content Strategy and No Real Direction
This is a big one – I see so many people start of with Wealthy Affiliate and have no clear sense of direction for their site. They post random articles all over the place and wonder why they don’t get any traffic… Shit, I was 100% guilty of this too when I first started.
The big reason why nothing is ranking is because Google doesn’t know what the hell your site is about. Is it about health and wellness, or is it about promoting Wealthy Affiliate? Google wants a clear guide of what your site is about, and if you make it hard for them, it won’t rank.
This I believe is a problem not for the students who use this method, but a problem with how Wealthy Affiliate teaches and pushes their affiliate program.
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:
- Level 1: Online Entrepreneur Certification – A 10-lesson course that is part of the Wealthy Affiliate Online Entrepreneur Certification. It will walk you through the steps of creating a successful online business that generates revenue.
- Level 2: Building Your Own Traffic Producing Website – 10 lesson training that walks you through no-cost traffic generation techniques that will allow you to capture highly relevant traffic in any niche.
- Level 3: Making Money – 10 Training lessons that walk you through a number of ways you can earn money through your site.
- check Level 4: Mastery Social Engagement – This course is dedicated to all aspects of social. From social media, social marketing, and social networks. Ultimately any success within the social world is the result of social engagement.
- check Level 5: Achieving Maximum Success Through Content Creation – 10 lessons on creating high engagement through your content, effective techniques for boosting conversions, and scaling your content through proper goal setting and outsourcing.
All of these lessons are proven white-hat strategies for making a successful website. The main focus in Wealthy Affiliate is on keyword research and creating engaging content that will rank you higher in search engines.
There are also many additional training lessons available that are made by other Wealthy Affiliate members, so it can sometimes be information overload when going through the training.
I recommend sticking to the official training modules at first and be careful who you listen to in the forums.
Does It Teach Local SEO?
One thing that surprised me about the Wealthy Affiliate community is the number of people that are local business owners. I guess the owners of WA saw this as well and have put together a webinar called Local SEO 2018: Local Business Listings.
How Does Wealthy Affiliate Compare To Affiliate Marketing Courses?
To get a sense of real value WA offers you have to compare it to other courses on affiliate marketing. Thankfully over many YEARS of research, I have a good idea of what courses work and what courses are complete rip-offs.
So let’s take a look at some affiliate marketing courses and see how they compare to Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate vs Income School Project 24
Income School’s Project 24 is made by Jim Harmer & Ricky Kesler who have a huge Youtube channel and Podcast, which I definitely recommend checking out.
Income School’s Project 24 is a lot different than Wealthy Affiliate because it is a course only, and they don’t provide website hosting.
Project 24 is comparable to Wealthy Affiliate as it made for beginners with not a lot of experience in online marketing. However Project 24 is a more complete affiliate marketing course than Wealthy Affiliate as the course is constantly being updated and they give you a step by step blueprint to building a website over the course of 24 months.
Project 24 focuses on building affiliate sites on creating great content, but like Wealthy Affiliate, it ignores building links.
However if you are just starting out and getting into a low competition niche, you will not have to build any links anyway.
To learn more, check my Income School Project 24 review
Wealthy Affiliate vs Authority Hacker
The Authority Hacker course is an excellent system by Gael Brenton and Mark Webster that does a lot of what Wealthy Affiliate promises, but in a much more sophisticated way.
It can be a little intimidating for those that haven’t built a website before, but it covers a lot of topics in MUCH more detail than in Wealthy Affiliate.
Authority Hacker is constantly being updated, and has real actionable advice on how to select niches and how to get links back to your website so you can rank higher in Google.
Authority Hacker for me is my #1 overall choice for people looking to start building affiliate sites because they keep the course updated constantly, giving you all the latest tips and tricks for keep your sites at the top of Google.
The only downside to Authority Hacker is that it is $997 for the basic course. But if your serious about making affiliate sites, and are comfortable with technology, I would strongly suggest you check out my Authority Hacker review
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. However in 2019 Deadbeat Super Affiliate is a completely outdated course filled with shit that will get your site penalized.
Avoid the Deadbeat Super Affiliate at all costs if you were thinking about it.
SEO Affiliate Domination Vs Wealthy Affiliate
reg Jeffries SEO Affiliate Domination is quite a bit different than Wealthy Affiliate.
For one thing SEO Affiliate Domination focuses on back linking much more than Wealthy Affiliate. It also teaches more “gray hat” SEO techniques. What this means is that you get results much quicker than with Wealthy Affiliate alone.
SEO Affiliate Domination also teaches techniques that can help you chose profitable niches and gain valuable insights which is a huge part of being successful in affiliate marketing.
However SEO Affiliate Domination costs quite a bit more than Wealthy Affiliate at $97 per month for a year or a $997 one-time fee. Wealthy Affiliate costs $49 per month and comes with web hosting included.
If you are looking for advanced affiliate marketing strategies, I recommend checking out SEO Affiliate Domination
Is Wealthy Affiliate Worth It?
Wealthy Affiliate is a great stepping stone for beginners and people who already know more than some of the basics.
This is because Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one package. When you pay for your membership you pay for much more than just training. You pay for fast website hosting, a network of other affiliate marketers, updated training and keyword research tools.
So even if you don’t find the training really mind-blowing, you get a a good amount of value in your membership with website hosting and their keyword research tool.
One Of The Big Keys To Success: Mindset
If you are looking at this Wealthy Affiliate review as a get rich quick scheme, stop right here and close the article. This isn’t the right program for you.
I see a lot of people look at Wealthy Affiliate as the ultimate way to earn lots of money and quit their day job. While that is a good goal, you must have a realistic expectation going into the program.
Having the right mindset is one of the most important things a good affiliate marketing can have. As the entrepreneur and author Marta Magdalena say’s in her excellent book Lifestyle Business Playbook:
I see people who buy an online course and hope that it will help them get rich right off the bat. They want a complete A-Z. In reality, it’s always going to be a process of trying numerous courses, filtering information, testing things for yourself and seeing what works for you. Courses and mentors will get you there faster, but you will need to put in the work and think for yourself.
For this site and all my affiliate websites I use Thrive, check out my Thrive Theme review. On top of that I use the Thrive Architect content builder to make the cool graphics. Its drag and drop and really easy to use!
You have to do some work to earn the money you want. The people at Wealthy Affiliate do not promise anyone that they will make a fortune. They do offer all the components and training that you need to launch marketable websites and promote them so that you do earn commissions. It is up to you to do the work to see the money you hope for.
They offer you the basic concepts that you need to succeed at affiliate marketing. One aspect of it is that you can choose to market items that you have a true passion for. The more you enjoy what you are promoting, the more successful you are likely to be when you sign up.
It varies. It depends on the type of commission the company you become an affiliate with offers. Typically, more expensive items like skis or exercise equipment will take longer to sell. You get lower commissions on items like clothing or health supplements, but you will likely earn money more frequently.
Besides all of the training online at Wealthy Affiliate that you can get, you have access to lots of support from people who have already succeeded. One of the best parts of this program is you have access to working with highly successful individuals like yourself just by entering into a chat with them from your Dashboard. Anytime you need any help, just ask. When you work with successful people you are more likely to succeed yourself.
Absolutely none. While some people have experience designing and building simple websites, you really do not even need to know how to do more than post a social media message to succeed. You will get all the help you need on the platform and you will learn as you go.
As you may know, you can get a free or Basic account. You can also opt for Premium access which costs $49 a month. There are perks to joining with Premium access because you can get much more from the program in terms of training and opportunity. For example, with the $49 a month subscription you get 50 websites rather than just two. You also get more training and the one-on-one coaching is unlimited.
That is a good question to ask especially if you are familiar with marketing websites and SEO. The answer is no. Wealthy Affiliate does not teach blackhat techniques or those SEO techniques that can get your websites banned from Google or penalized.
What this does mean, though, is that because you will learn whitehat techniques you have to do the work to see the results. This makes it harder to rank any of your websites on Google, but this is a good thing. This just points more to the fact that Wealthy Affiliate is not a scam. What they teach you are real SEO techniques that even professionals use.
It is very easy and fun. You just click the lessons you want and follow along. The program keeps track of your completed lessons giving you more of a sense of accomplishment.
Think of the types of products you would be happy to be part of selling. Next, using your account on Wealthy Affiliate, you can scan for available domains in a matter of minutes. Your domains are fully protected, they come with e-mail accounts and you will not get bombarded with upsells.
Just about every subject you need to build a website and get it the traffic it needs to bring in affiliate cash. You get online entrepreneur certification which will teach you how to create a successful online business. Then you can learn how to build your traffic-generating website. After this, you will learn how to make money on that website.
One course that will really help you is the course of mastering social engagement. Social media is the best way to succeed in affiliate sales. Once you take this course, you will learn how to get the most success by creating great content and conversions. You will also learn how to keep scaling your content so that it continues to bring in engaged visitors.