In the Wealthy Affiliate review 2018 article that follows, I’ll be assessing whether Wealthy Affiliate is all it’s cracked up to be.
I’ll be looking at their training, tools, support, credibility and value for money.
Let’s admit it, as much as blogging can be lot of fun, it also requires a huge amount of effort.
There’s no such thing as an easy, push button, make money overnight system. I looked for one for years and so have many thousands of others.
Just to be upfront, I’m an active premium member at Wealthy Affiliate. Does this make me biased? Definitely, however if this platform wasn’t as good as I believe it is, I would have moved on.
Everybody who searches discovers the truth – it’s a BIG LIE!
There are easier ways to do things and that’s what I believe the Wealthy Affiliate offers to anybody ready to do the work.
Overwhelmed blogger finds Wealthy Affiliate
When I started my blogging journey I fell into that familiar overwhelm abyss pretty fast – blogging platforms, website builders, domains, hosting, themes, keyword tools, plugins…. blah blah blah, the list seemed to go on and on like a bad soap opera!
Then I came across a service which appeared to have everything I needed in one place, Wealthy Affiliate. I was curious to find out if I’d found my own online business superhero so I dived right in. I’ve been been there ever since.
I want to show you why I believe Wealthy Affiliate is one of the best blogger help sites available and why it’s my number one recommendation to anybody, who not only wants to know how to blog for a living but anybody who wants to learn how to make money online.
But I want to be a blogger not an affiliate
Now don’t be put off by the name either. Just because it’s not called “Banging Blogging Magic”, does not mean it’s not perfect for bloggers. It is, as I’ll show you.
In case you’re not familiar with the word, ‘affiliate’, let me explain: Being an affiliate means you’re affiliated with or officially connected with something.
Affiliate marketers are officially connected with someone else’s product or service which they promote and for which they are paid a sales commission when someone buys via their promotional content.
Affiliate marketers use various ways to market their offers, one being blogging. Smart bloggers also know that, hands down, being an affiliate is one of the easiest ways to start earning money as a blogger.
Personally I do think there’s a difference between bloggers and affiliate marketers. True bloggers and aware affiliate marketers know that the secret to success lies in building an authentic relationship with your audience to help them, rather than just pushing affiliate links under their noses.
But whether you identify as an affiliate marketer or regard yourself as a blogger, as I do, you’ll still find everything you need at Wealthy Affiliate.
Let’s start with numero uno – training!
1. Wealthy Affiliate training
If you’re a blogger and your goal is to make money, you must learn:
- how to identify money spending audiences within your target niches,
- how to set your blog up the right way from the start,
- how to create quality content and, most importantly,
- how to become an online marketer so you can make money.
All of the above is covered in-depth by Wealthy Affiliate’s step-by-step training programs.
There are two certifications available. You can start with either and even do both, but don’t try do both at the same time. Remember ‘fox wisdom’… ‘A fox who chases two rabbits at the same, stays hungry.’… or something to that effect
The Online Entrepreneur Certification shows you how to set a blog up and market to an audience in any niche.
For example your passion might be travel, so you could create you blog around some aspect of travel like ‘Adventure Vacations on a Budget’.
Or you might be a French Bulldog fanatic and decide to blog about how to train the little critters as puppies. Or, you might opt for, Making Green Juices from the Amazon, Sourcing Antique Wedding Veils… blah blah blah.
You get the point?
This is about creating a business around you and your interests and passions. There are 50 self directed lessons which consist of text and videos as well as tick off tasks as you progress.
The Affiliate Bootcamp Certification shows you how to set a blog up in a specific niche – ‘online business’.
By the end of this certification you’ll know how to promote Wealthy Affiliate specifically. There are 70 self directed lessons which consist of text and videos and tick off tasks as you progress.
Apart from the two certifications, there are also additional training classrooms covering every subject to do with online business you could possibly require.
Most of the official training has been developed by owner, Kyle, but there is plenty of other training which has been created by fellow members, some of whom operate multi million dollar businesses. So they have a great deal of experience and wisdom to share especially when it comes to the marketing side of things.
One of the founding members, Jay, is responsible for running live weekly interactive webinars covering the latest cutting edge tools and techniques. These sessions are very popular with WA members, especially due to the interactive approach used.
Unlike most other webinars online, you get pure content. What a relief it is to know you’re never going to have some “must have” product thrust at you at the end of the session.
Another plus is that all webinars are recorded and stored in a library for you to access whenever suits you if you can’t attend the live training.
Here are the reasons why I think Wealthy Affiliate training rocks:
- Training is step by step and self directed which means you can work at your own pace whenever suits you.
- The initial and ongoing training is comprehensive and up to date which means you get to find out what’s working right now, not what worked last year.
- You can choose either a text based or video option which means the training caters for the learning style that best suits you.
- The training is task based so you apply what you learn on your own website as you go. This is done by way of tick off tasks which consolidates everything you learn in a practical way.
Disclosure: Links in this post might be affiliate links, meaning I could earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link. Please note there is no additional cost to you & I only recommend what I use personally.
DATE STARTED: 2005
OWNERS: Kyle and Carson
BEST SUITED FOR: Beginners to Advanced
PRICE: Starter level $0, Premium level $29 – $49 per month
>>> MORE HERE
2. Wealthy affiliate Tools
Just as a hairdresser, carpenter or artist requires tools to do what they do, bloggers also require tools. Wealthy Affiliate offers an impressive suite of these as part of their different membership levels.
As a blogger you will continually be doing research to:
- Uncover blogging niches and ideas
- Identify keywords for blog posts
- Analyze your competition
- Find affiliate partners
- Monitor your blog’s ranking and progress
In 2017, Wealthy Affiliate integrated the use of Jaaxy, for all their members, a stand alone product, also owned by Wealthy Affiliate founders, Jay and Carson.
As a research tool, Jaaxy is fast becoming the ‘go to’ technology for any successful online blogging entrepreneur.
It is far more than just a keyword tool. Jaaxy is better described as a complete research platform.
For Wealthy Affiliate members four levels are available:
- Jaaxy Starter is free for all members
- Jaaxy Lite is free for premium members
- Jaaxy Pro and Jaaxy Enterprise incur additional monthly costs.
The top levels offer more features and capability, however the included levels for WA members are totally sufficient.
It’s interesting to note that non Wealthy Affiliate members pay 50% to 60% more for the two top levels.
The Wealthy Affiliate membership also includes a number of handy website creation and management tools, perfect for the professional blogger.
As a starter member you will get two free siterubix.com domains.
A domain is the ‘www address’ for your website. Premium members get 25 free siterubix domains. These are all hosted by Wealthy Affiliate at no extra cost to you.
However, since these domain names belong to Wealthy Affiliate I strongly suggest you buy your own independent domains. This means that if you ever decide to leave Wealthy Affiliate you can take your websites with you. Makes sense doesn’t it?
So why even bother with free domains? They are a great way to start a blog, to test whether it’s going to be successful, before spending money on your own domain. If at some point you decide it’s a profitable venture you can transfer the content to your own domain.
There is an additional cost to buy your own domains, approximately US$15 per domain name, per year.
Wealthy Affiliate makes buying these easy with their ‘Site Domains’ tool, which you can use to find, purchase and manage all the domains you own.
What’s also important is that you’ll get absolutely everything included for the price, whereas a lot of other providers market theirs like discount airlines.
The initial price looks impressive but by the time you’ve added on all the extras which in effect are all necessary, you end needing a second mortgage!
Your blog has to be hosted which means it needs a home where all your website files are stored.
Your Wealthy Affiliate membership includes hosting for your two free domains as a starter member and as a premium member they will host your 25 free domains and 50 of your own domains.
So that’s a whopping 50 websites in total! Frankly I don’t know who has the time to operate that many websites but clearly there’s potential to run a multi million dollar empire at Wealthy Affiliate if you’re capable of doing so.
By the way to host the same number of sites with most other reputable hosting companies will cost more than your WA membership and that’s just for hosting.
Website Creation and Management
Your membership also includes a number of very useful and sophisticated tools to help you create and manage your websites.
- SiteBuilder – This automation tool helps you build websites in 30 seconds. Sounds impossible but take it from me, it’s true. That means you can have new blogs up and running in lightning speed. You also get access to hundreds of website themes to design your blog exactly as you desire.
- SiteManager – This is an interface that helps manage all your wesbites in one place. It also monitors the health of each site, advising what you need to do to improve the health of your site.
- SiteContent – A writing platform with built in templates to help you create content for your bog posts and pages, making the whole process of writing blog posts very easy. You can also search for and download royalty free images as you create your content. When these are added they are also automatically optimized to be the best size for your blog.
As a premium member you also get access to the following tools:
- SiteSpeed – Designed to speed up your WordPress Website without plugins or clunky software. Having a fast loading blog is critical otherwise people just leave your site and miss your great content.
- SiteProtect – Protects your sites from from hackers, spammers, and all forms of erroneous attacks.
- SiteSSL – Serves your website over 256-bit Encrypted Connections favoured by search engines and which keeps visitor data safe. This alone usually costs a lot more when you buy hosting on its own elsewhere.
- SiteComments – A website engagement platform designed to help you get comments from other Wealthy Affiliate members on your blog posts, which helps your ranking in search engines.
- SiteFeedback – A tool assisting you to get feedback on your websites from other Wealthy Affiliate members.
Here are the reasons why I think Wealthy Affiliate tools rock:
- When you join WA you get access to all the tools required to create and manage a successful online blogging business in one place. This means you don’t have to waste time looking for tools separately, saving you time.
- The tools are easy to use which means you can create and run your business effectively, making your job a whole lot easier than if you didn’t have them.
- If you were to purchase all the tools you get, the cost would be considerably more than what you pay for a monthly WA membership. This means you’re saving a lot of money which is especially important when your first start.
You can have the best training and tools in the world but unless you can get help when you need it, you won’t be able to progress very far. Let’s see what Wealthy Affiliate offers in this area.
3. wealthy AFFILIATE support
Wealthy Affiliate offers a well developed support structure which uses the site’s professional staff as well as its many active members, many of whom are experienced and successful marketers, and who have been with the platform for many years.
- Live Chat 24/7 – Need a question answered or just want to have a chat to other members? Live chat is always rolling.
- Comments – All lessons and internal blog posts have a comment section where you can ask a question 24/7
- WA Blog Posts – Members can create their own WA blog posts where you can also ask a question and have members respond, 24/7.
- Private Messaging – You can private message any member with a question and they will get back to you as soon as they can.
- Mentoring – It’s possilbe to join mentoring groups where you can get support from fellow group members and leaders.
- SiteSupport – Technical support for all your sites 24 /7
- Direct Access to Owners – You can private message Kyle or Carson at any time and subject to their availability they will respond.
Here are the reasons why I think Wealthy Affiliate support rocks:
- Wealthy Affiliate is a 24/7 global platform which means no matter where you live and no matter the time, there will always be someone around to help you, which means there’s no waiting around feeling stuck for hours on end.
- The few times I have had technical problems, the WA tech team have solved my issues within minutes which means you can be rest assured you’ll get the answers you need from committed specialists who know what they’re doing.
- Being able to access the owners directly is not something I have seen offered by other big business platforms. Both Kyle and Carsson are also active in the community, answering questions and offering advice. This level of involvement from owners when a business is as large as Wealthy Affiliate, is very uncommon and says a great deal about them and their purpose,which is to genuinely help others be successful.
4. Wealthy Affiliate Credibility
If you’re going to invest your money and time in a product or service, you want to be sure it’s trustworthy, reliable and a solid player in the market place.
In assessing credibility I evaluate three areas – time on the market as well as complaints and success stories during the life of the product.
Time on the Market
In this Internet and advanced technology age, things are constantly changing; here today and gone tomorrow.
The fact that Wealthy Affiliate has been around for 13 years means it has firmly established itself as a trusted brand in the industry. If the program hadn’t been any good, it’s unlikely it would have lasted as long as it has.
No product or program ever escapes complaints since nothing suits everybody and no product is ever perfect.
Most complaints leveled against Wealthy Affiliate are from those who were unsuccessful using the platform themselves or from opposition marketers who don’t want you to sign up as members.
Three of the most common complaints I have come across are:
- It takes too long to make money – If you’re after a get rich quick scheme then Wealthy Affiliate won’t be for you. How long it will take for you to make money depends on a number of factors, the most important of which is how much work you’re willing to put into your business. What’s on offer is a practical, step by step way to create a solid sustainable blogging business. The rest is up to you.
- You have to pay to be a premium member – All worthwhile businesses require financial investment. Show me any offline business where the owner is provided free training, support and tools. It doesn’t exist. If you’re not willing to invest a modest sum in your own business then perhaps you should consider doing something else, like getting a job.
- You have to pay extra for Jaaxy and to buy your own domains – This is incorrect. Starter members get access to the first level of Jaaxy and two SiteRubix domains for free. Should you decide to get serious about your business, then like everybody else, you’ll have to purchase at least one domain. Again if you’re not prepared to invest in your business it’s unlikely you’ll be successful anyway. Where have you ever heard of a store owner not paying rent ? At US$15 a year I’d say it’s the cheapest rent you’re going to find anywhere.
When it comes to serious complaints involving litigation and scam investigations, Wealthy Affiliate comes up pretty clean.
Having a track record like this after so many years in the industry is testament itself to the company’s credibility.
If a product or program has no success stories then in my opinion it would not be a very credible option to consider.
Wealthy Affiliate has thousands of members. Not everybody is successful but there are plenty of success stories that have been shared over the years, far to many to feature here.
If you want to read about some of these please click on the link below where you can check out some member successes over a seven year period – 7 Years of Success Stories 2010 – 2017
Here are the reasons why I think Wealthy Affiliate’s credibility rocks:
- They’ve been around for over tean proving that they’re a credible service.
- With thousands of members and more joining each and every day they must be doing something right.
- With no major complaints and heaps of successful member testimonies, they’ve proven their trustworthiness.
5. Wealthy Affiliate Value
Now you know what you get when you join Wealthy Affiliate so what does all of this cost and is it value for money?
There are two price points:
Unlike some other programs, this is not a free trial for a limited number of days after which you’re automatically slugged with a membership cost.
The starter membership is free for as long as you choose.
This in itself provides value since you can take as much time as you like looking over the platform to decide whether you want to upgrade or not.
It’s important to note that you don’t get access to all areas of the platform at this level, and some features are only be available for you to trial for the first 7 days. However, there’s more than enough to get you started and to give you a taste of what you can expect at the full membership level.
I also don’t advise sticking at the free level if you’re serious about building a successful and sustainable online blogging business. The free entry point is merely a way for you to have a look around and make a decision about whether you want to stay or not.
I joined at this level and upgraded three days later.
This is the full membership level and there are two price points:
$29 per month when you pay annually ($359) or $49 per month when you pay month by month.
If you’re in this for the long-term and your budget allows, there’s further value to be had by choosing the annual subscription, a saving of 40%.
Also WA frequently runs a special promotion where the first month of the premium membership is discounted so you end up only paying around $19 for the first month.
Here are the reasons why I think Wealthy Affiliate offers incredible value:
- If you were to purchase all the features offered separately you would pay two or three times as much as the monthly cost at WA.
- You need the training, tools and support they offer so why not pay less and get it all bundled in one place for your convenience?
The Wealthy Affiliate Review 2018 wrap up
All good products and services evolve over time with the intention of improving.
Wealthy Affiliate has done just that over the years and there’s no reason to believe they won’t continue to do so well into the future.
Is the platform perfect?
Of course not, but it comes as close to perfect as I’ve found.
I do think it’s perfect for any professional blogger because of what you get as a total package.
I believe most beginner bloggers are best starting off promoting someone else’s products first while you learn the craft of blogging. This is what
Wealthy Affiliate Review
There’s no doubt about it, if you’re looking for a solid online marketing business platform where you can create a long term sustainable business around what interests you then you owe it to yourself to check out Wealthy Affiliate. What have you got to lose?
Wealthy Affiliate specializes in. You can always add your own products and services later once you have got yourself a good online marketing education, which is what you’ll get at Wealthy Affiliate.
Got Questions? Something to say? Leave a comment. Let’s chat
Hey... I'm Mark! If you want to know how to blog for a living, you're in the right place. One of the ways I make money blogging, is as an affiliate. Meaning, if you buy something via a link on this site I could earn a commission, at no extra cost to you. It's how you can make money too. Ready? Let's do this!
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