Business: Wealthy Affiliate
Company Information: Founded by Kyle Loudoun & Carson Lim, Canada back in 2005
Price: Free, $49 per month, or $495 annually
What is Wealthy Affiliate
Wealthy Affiliate is an online platform and community of people who all desire to build a website and profit from their website. They sell the idea that you can create your own online affiliate marketing business.
Affiliate marketing is defined as marketing others’ products or services on the website you create using links that earn you a commission when someone buys that product or service, at no cost to them.
With that said, I’m an affiliate of Wealthy Affiliate, so if you use the links in this post, I’ll get a bonus to help Not Quite Retirement keep going (and to possibly keep our local brewery going), at no cost to you. As always, I only write about things I’m truly passionate about. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have regarding anything you’ve read here.
This isn’t what I use Wealthy Affiliate for and I find that they are doing themselves a disservice by focusing solely on selling the idea of affiliate marketing. You can do so much more than just build an affiliate marketing business with what they have to offer.
Uses of a Wealthy Affiliate Membership (Free or Paid)
Yes, you can definitely set up an affiliate marketing website with the training and community provided at Wealthy Affiliate. But you can also set up a blog – like yours truly – if you like to write. Or you can create a website to sell a product or service, or to complement a brick and mortar business like a restaurant.
Let’s face it, these days every business should have a website for online marketing. And platforms like Wealthy Affiliate’s not only make it easy to create one, but the training walks you through how to set up a website, how to get people to your site, and how to market on social media as well.
As a blogger, I want to help people with particular problems. I can’t help them if they don’t know that my site exists. I need to get the word out about my site and what I have to offer. Enter Wealthy Affiliate and their trainings.
Or let’s pretend you own a landscaping company, a restaurant or a boutique clothing store. A website not only lets people see what you have to offer, but it gives your business a personal touch that your competitors might not have. And it looks much more professional and credible if a Google search returns your website as opposed to a generic listing on yellowpages.com.
And Wealthy Affiliate can help you get to the top of those Google search results.
So if you decide to try out Wealthy Affiliate keep in mind that what you will learn can be applied to so much more than just quick monetization of a website.
(If you are already pretty tech-savvy and have experience with coding or websites, I would suggest you definitely start with their free membership, as their trainings are geared more toward those with medium to no experience with websites.)
The Benefits of Wealthy Affiliate
The Quick Pros/Cons
Uses – Useful for affiliate marketers, business owners, bloggers, and any other person who wants to start a website
Trainings – Live webinars and two self-paced training programs focus on site creation, driving traffic, social media marketing, and much more
Community – A forum of mentors, colleagues, and newbies offer an opportunity to broaden your network, help others, and receive guidance from those who have been through the ropes already
One-Stop-Shop – (my favorite) A platform that offers domains, hosting, security, backup sites, 24/7 support, and anything else tech-wise you may not want to worry about as a business owner
Free Memberships – with no credit card needed! Of course, the free membership will not give you full access to what they have to offer, but it’s a great way to check out the site and trainings.
Trainings – A large focus is on creating an affiliate marketing site, though the information is applicable to many other uses. The self paced training programs are also a bit dated and contain typos which affects the lesson’s credibility and professionalism
Self-Promotion – There is a push for every member to promote Wealthy Affiliate’s own affiliate program (particularly through their Affiliate Bootcamp Training. I’ve found that this saturates the internet with “Is Wealthy Affiliate a Scam?” type reviews that actually drive people away from joining simply due to the sheer quantity of these kinds of reviews (pure opinion on that last point, but a thought through opinion).
First off, let me say that the best training Wealthy Affiliate has to offer is the weekly “Live Events” put together by Jay from Magistudios. And each session is archived so you can watch the hour-ish long webinar at your convenience.
I cannot tout Jay enough for his simple explanations, techniques, and comprehensiveness. He is literally the main reason why I stay with my Wealthy Affiliate membership.
Unfortunately, his classes are not available with the free membership, but if you choose to give the paid membership a shot do a search for “Case Study” in the video archive and start your training there. Jay will walk you through setting up your site, and next steps and a bit of marketing too.
There are two other trainings that can be accessed via either the free or paid membership. Wealthy Affiliate offers two structured training programs that you do at your own pace. They both have actionable steps that accompany each lesson so it’s easy to keep progressing through creating your site.
My personal issue with these training sessions is that you have to do them both to really get a grip on the tips and tricks of getting people to your website. There are tips in one training that are not in the other, and vice versa. They both also seem a bit dated and desperately need someone to check them for typos. (I’m a daughter of an elementary school teacher – typos drive me nuts. Please give me a hard time for every typo you may see!)
And these two training programs seem to speed through the setup and content creation, and go straight into monetization. Yes, we all want to make money, but you have to build credibility before you go slapping Google Ads or affiliate links onto your site.
Which brings me to a criticism of Wealthy Affiliate that I often see. They push their own affiliate program pretty hard. That is actually what the second structure training program is geared toward, you promoting their website.
Yes, Wealthy Affiliate is a business and they need to make money, but creating a training around promoting their program has had a bit of a backlash. There are now a ton of reviews on Wealthy Affiliate. And they are not always accurate or helpful reviews. A few of them are the only thing on the site itself. Just an entire site with one page reviewing Wealthy Affiliate.
In my opinion, this kills credibility. It makes the site look like a scam. And it took me a long time to actually give it a try (and then review them making me like a bit of a hypocrite). Which brings me to my next point and what gave me the final push to give them a try.
Hosting and Security – The Techie Stuff
Wealthy Affiliate offers all the techie stuff in a one-stop-shop type solution. This is great for people like me. I do not understand computers at all. If I run into a computer problem and turning the machine off and then back on doesn’t solve it, I’m screwed.
I don’t understand all the hosting specs, security needs, or coding anythings that are important when maintaining a website. I don’t understand them, and I don’t want to.
And that’s where Wealthy Affiliate steps in. They take care of most things technology so I can focus on writing, getting information to my readers, and getting more readers.
With that said, here are a few of the specs that I find are important (as a non-tech person), but that I would rather delegate to others who know so much more than I do:
- Website Security – they stay on top of any updates and latest trends so you don’t have to
- Website Speed – they host on the “latest and most powerful servers”
- Website Redundancy and Backups – they make sure that if your site goes down, there’s a backup (I’m sure there’s a plug-in for that, but I have no desire to spend time looking it up)
- Keyword Research Tool – to help with Google and other search engine rankings.
- Plug-ins, Email Addresses, Domains – and on and on. These are all included, along with the ability to save writing templates.
Like I said, they take care of the tech side of your business. If you want to focus on creating or growing your business, then the thought of learning all that you need to know is probably very overwhelming. It was for me. So outsource the techie stuff.
(I’ve included a list of what all is included in each membership at the bottom of the post. Feel free to skip down to the bottom to take a closer look at the technical perks that are included.)
A Community for Just About Everything
One of the best things about becoming a member of Wealthy Affiliate is the community that comes with it. There is a mass of people online willing to help you out or give you a bit of encouragement. And that’s not even counting the technical support that is provided.
I’m talking about real people who know what it is like to be in your shoes. To be struggling with creating a website and not knowing what the next step is. And they are amazingly willing to answer any questions if you reach out to the community.
My Personal Recommendation and Strategy Regarding Wealthy Affiliate’s Membership
I started with Wealthy Affiliate’s free membership a few years ago. I knew that I wasn’t going to have a lot of time to spend on any kind of web-based business, but I wanted to learn more about what I needed to start a blog.
After freeing up some time (aka fixing up a good portion of our house), I made the leap to the paid membership. Call it a way to show commitment to writing. I honestly do not plan on staying with Wealthy Affiliate for the rest of my writing days, but I love that I get to focus on my blog, while learning (ever so slowly) all the things that come tech-wise.
I honestly love the live trainings Wealthy Affiliate has to offer (seriously check them out!), and that they provide the tech support that I just don’t want to spend time on. They got me up and writing very quickly.
So if this sounds like something you want to check out, here is what I recommend you do:
If you just want to see what they offer: check out the free membership or try building a free website on them. It’s free and there is no credit card required! I’ll say that again, the membership is free and you don’t need to give them any 16 digit number to sign up.
If you want to give the full membership a go: they offer a month-to-month membership for $49 each month. Or you can make a commitment to yourself and go with the annual membership for $495.
I know $495 is a lot, but if you think that you will stick with this for at least 10 months, then the annual is the way to go. It basically gets you 2 months free. And $100-ish is a good amount to save.
Remember, you can cancel your membership anytime. Or you can just stick with the free membership and learn what you can, while building your website elsewhere if the money commitment is too steep.
Do whatever is best for you, just know that Wealthy Affiliate – no matter the membership option – has a lot to offer. You will learn a ton and hopefully expand your network as well.
Please let me know if you have any questions. And in the meantime, Click Here to see everything else Wealthy Affiliate has to offer.
As promised above, here is what each membership has to offer. Check them both out to see which is the best fit for you!
Give Wealthy Affiliate a try. Click Here to create a free account and see if either membership is right for you.