If you searched for Wealthy Affiliate Review in Google you came across loads of results. Some articles read like sales pages for Wealthy Affiliate, praising it. Others claimed it’s a scam and tried to sell you some other training.
The main goal of this post is to offer you the most detailed Wealthy Affiliate Review online. I will explain the good and reveal the bad. I am sure that this will be the last review you will ever need.
I want to be completely transparent with you. I could say that this is a wealthy affiliate unbiased review but it wouldn’t be 100% true. I have been a member of Wealthy Affiliate for several years. At the moment of writing this I am considering canceling my Premium Membership (and I’ll explain why in this review). I am using affiliate links in this site. This means that if you purchase anything through those links I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.
How I Got Into “Making Money Online”
The first money I ever made online was by selling a few things on eBay for my co-worker. She was an older lady who didn’t want to “deal with technology”. She brought some collectible figurines to the office and I listed them for her. Once the items sold, she gave me about 25% of the money.
This tiny success lit the entrepreneurial fire in me. I figured there must be a lot of people who want to get rid of their old junk but don’t know how. I printed out flyers and started bringing them to the local supermarkets, community centers and so on. After a few weeks of hard work I had… zero calls.
At this point I decided that there must be a better way of sourcing items to sell. I turned to Google search and typed something like: “How to sell other people’s products. This is how I stumbled upon the world of online business and affiliate marketing. Being a young and easily excitable guy you can only imagine my surprise when I came across sales pages that read: “We will show you how to make $750 per day with 3 clicks! Get access now for only $197“. I purchased that course. And then another and another and another. You guessed it, they didn’t make me rich. Their main goal was to get me excited so I buy yet another course from them.
As time passed and my bank account got much smaller – I was getting desperate. Eventually I came across Wealthy Affiliate and it got my attention because it did not promise overnight riches. Their sales page didn’t sell any hype of easy money, it was refreshing for once. But I knew there had to be a catch. The catch was that as usual, I had to pay a fee to access the training. Back then the platform didn’t have a free starter membership like they do now. Despite my previous experiences I took a leap of faith and joined Wealthy Affiliate.
Within a month I made my first commission and about 4 months later I quit my job to do affiliate marketing full time. This was several years ago and a lot has changed but I am still earning a living online, with affiliate marketing.
Wealthy Affiliate Review – The Most Detailed Review Online
It isn’t easy to find a proper Wealthy Affiliate review online for 2 main reasons. There are a lot of reviews from people who are not only using Wealthy Affiliate but who are also promoting it. Naturally, most of such reviews only show you the positive side of the platform. You have certainly also stumbled upon very negative reviews as well. Several of those reviews are written by people who are trying to sell you another program. So it’s only normal that they are mentioning only the negative sides of the platform.
In order to make an informed decision you need to hear both; the negative and the positive. This article will cover both sides.
What Is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate positions itself as an all-in-one platform that’s designed for affiliate marketers of all levels. Within this platform you will find the affiliate marketing training, support, community of like minded people, website builder, keyword research tool and quite a bit more. I will make sure to cover all their features in this article.
If I had to describe what Wealthy Affiliate really is, I would say that it’s an online platform that teaches you affiliate marketing. They touch on a few other revenue streams like ads but they mostly specialize in affiliate marketing – and you need to keep that in mind.
Affiliate Marketing is a concept that has been around since the early 1990’s. As an affiliate marketer you will promote products from other companies and get paid a commission if a sale takes place. Wealthy Affiliate teaches you how to create websites that promote these products and how to attract visitors to your website and earn your commissions. The idea of the concept is very simple, however the execution is much more complex.
Before we move on with this review I want to mention that signing up as an affiliate marketer for most companies is completely free. Companies like Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, WayFair, NewEgg and every other company in between has a free affiliate program that you can join. Most of these companies require that you have an active website or other online presence in order to join.
So far so good, right? Although affiliate marketing works very well for me and many others, it certainly doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, in might be a waste of time for many beginners and I’ll get into the details a little later.
What Is Inside Wealthy Affiliate
In order to explain why Wealthy Affiliate might or might not be a good fit for you we must look at what exactly is inside the program. Some of their “features” are actually pretty bad in my experience.
Wealthy Affiliate Training
Training inside Wealthy Affiliate is very easy to follow. In the screenshot above you see the so-called Online Entrepreneur Certification. There are 5 levels and each level has 10 lessons with actionable tasks.
As a premium member you get access to all 5 levels (50 lessons). As a starter member you only get access to the first 10 lessons within the Level 1. Here are some of the tasks that you will complete in these lessons:
- Getting Started
- Understanding How to Make Money Online
- Choosing a Niche
- Basic Website Set-up
- Creating Your Initial Content
- Customizing Your Website
- Understanding Keywords
Each lesson has a detailed explanation of the subject. As you go through the lessons you’ll need to complete some tasks (example: set up your free website within Wealthy Affiliate). When you complete all the tasks in a lesson, you’ll move on to the next lesson.
Each and every lesson has a comment/question session. If anything is unclear you can probably find an answer in those comments. If you can’t find an answer then you can ask your question as well and it will be answered.
Here is the screenshot of the lessons in Level 3, just to give you an idea:
As I already mentioned, the training is very detailed and very easy to follow. Go through a lesson, complete your tasks, move on to the next lesson. For someone as disorganized as I am this works wonders. If you enjoy step-bu-step guides then you’ll definitely like this work flow.
Wealthy Affiliate Bootcamp
Next on the menu is the affiliate bootcamp training. In these lessons you will learn how to build a blog that promotes Wealthy Affiliate. I have an issue with this.
Wealthy Affiliate pays a referral commission to its members when they bring in new Premium Members. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. However I disagree with the idea of newbies promoting such platform for a few reasons.
First of all, the “make money online” industry is incredibly competitive. If there was one single niche I would NOT recommend do beginners, it would be this one.
My second issue is that most beginners simply aren’t in the right place to give advice about making money online. Because I’ve built, sold and grew several successful websites over the years I can easily spot the bad advice on this subject and avoid it. If I was completely new to this industry I definitely wouldn’t want to come across another newbie trying to teach me how to make money if they never made money. Catch my drift?
This might sound ironic, coming from someone who also has a few blogs that help people earn money online. I only launched those blogs when I was making thousands of dollars from my affiliate sites. At that point I had several niche sites that were successful and I had even more sites that failed miserably.
Don’t get me wrong, the training is great and I am happy it’s there. However I think it shouldn’t be available to all of the beginners or at least without some sort of screening.
Wealthy Affiliate Classrooms
The training does not end with the Online Entrepreneur Certification and Affiliate Bootcamp. There are loads and loads of other training available throughout the platform.
Through Classrooms you can learn more about modifying your websites, search engine optimization (SEO), Email Marketing, Keyword research and other topics related to your online business.
Wealthy Affiliate Live Classes
Last but not least, live classes. Every single Friday there is a live training class available to Premium Members. The class topic is announced on Monday, this way you know in advance if it’s something that will interest you.
On Friday, Jay starts a class live, on video. You can call it a live webinar if you want to. During this class he goes in-depth of a specific topic and you can ask your questions in the live chat while the class is happening. I really like these classes specifically because I can ask a question if something is unclear.
Live classes cover variety of relevant subjects and you get to learn some of the most efficient online business strategies that work today. Here is a quick preview of some of the past webinars:
Live classes are recorded and at the moment of writing this wealthy affiliate review over 400 webinars are available for replay if you’re a premium member. If you missed a webinar that you really wanted to attend – you can simply watch it later.
Wealthy Affiliate Community
Wealthy Affiliate has a huge and very active community. One of the first things you will notice in the members are is the live chat. People use this chat to ask for support, advice and help. Other members use the chat to simply socialize with others.
Besides the chat, each member has its own wealthy affiliate profile. This allows you to have a personal blog, share your idea, share your success stories and rant about something that’s not working out for you.
Wealthy Affiliate also has a rank system for its members. The more you participate within the community – the higher your rankings go. I understand the idea behind it. This system encourages certain members to be a lot more active so they could get the higher rank. You need to know that the rank doesn’t really translate into any real-world value, it’s just a number within Wealthy Affiliate.
To be honest, I don’t really care about the internet points so I really don’t care about my rank within the platform. If I come across a question that I can easily answer – I would do it. If someone chats with my directly or asks for my help through a private message or through my profile – I will reply. I do it because I like the community and I like helping people, especially if I have some free time.
Having a community of like-minded people is great. Having access to a community that can help you with your online business is very valuable. However, it can also become a distraction. Since I do receive messages and comments from Wealthy Affiliate members I make time to go and reply to all of those messages. Otherwise I try to keep the distractions away. When I am working on by affiliate sites I also put my phone on silent and use a software that blocks my access to YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites.
Wealthy Affiliate Websites
Wealthy Affiliate offers a quick and easy site builder and management within their platform. In short, they install a WordPress site on their hosting and pre-install a few useful plugins. You can also purchase your domain name directly through Wealthy Affiliate and their prices are surprisingly lower than most other companies.
Their hosting seems to be very fast and reliable. I have a few hosting accounts from different providers so I can easily compare site speeds. This very blog is hosted on Wealthy Affiliate, which is a good and bad thing (more on that in just a few paragraphs).
If you host your website with Wealthy Affiliate you get free SSL which tells your visitors and the search engines that your site is encrypted and safe. Spam is controlled on the server level which makes your site load faster (and comment spam free). 24/7 technical support is provided if you need it. You get your own FTP username and password if you need FTP access to the site. There are other features that I’m forgetting. This kind of hosting would cost you $20+ per month elsewhere. A comparable hosting plan on WP Engine is a whopping $115 per month.
Although I’m claiming that Wealthy Affiliate hosting is amazing, I still host most of my websites outside of this platform. The main reason for that is being a control freak. I prefer to have as much control over every part of my business as possible.
I purchase my hosting from one company. My domain names from a different company. My themes from a third company and my plugins from a 4th. I could probably get all of that from one single place but I prefer to keep my things separated. This helps me troubleshoot if I need to. This also helps me change providers, downgrade or upgrade if I need to.
That being said, I haven’t had any issues with Wealthy Affiliate’s hosting or websites.
In the next section I will go in-depth between Wealthy Affiliate Free Starter account and Wealthy Affiliate Premium Membership.
Wealthy Affiliate Cost
Wealthy Affiliate has two membership levels: free and paid.
When I initially became a member the free option didn’t exist so I had to pay just to see what’s inside. Eventually Kyle and Carson, the founder of the platform decided to create a free level of membership. The idea behind is very simple. You join in for free, get the hang of the website and decide if it’s worth the money. In my opinion Wealthy Affiliate premium doesn’t cost that much, especially considering the fact that you get access not only to training but also to the community, support and hosting. I’ve paid a lot more for a lot less.
Offering free access to the platform is a great decision from the owners. However, free means limited. Let’s look at what exactly you’ll get as a free member and as a premium member.
Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership
- Live Help For 7 Days
- Networking With Others – First 7 Days – this includes live chat
- 1 Free Website on Wealthy Affiliate’s Subdomain
- Core Certification Course – Level 1 (First 10 Lessons)
- Affiliate Bootcamp – Level 1 (first 10 Lessons)
- Access to 2 Training Classrooms
- Access to 50 Training Modules
- Wealthy Affiliate Keyword Tool: 30 Searches
- Affiliate Program Search (Find an Affiliate Program Suitable For Your Niche)
The free starter membership is, well, free. Wealthy Affiliate does not ask you for your credit card information or your Paypal account. You don’t have to worry about an update to the premium plan without your knowledge.
I believe this is a very fair amount of training and features for the price of $0. The one I think I dislike is that you cannot connect your website to a premium domain name as a free member. Your website address will be something like: yourwebsite.siterubix.com. SiteRubix being the main domain for free websites.
Wealthy Affiliate Premium Membership
- Live Help – 24/7
- Private Coaching
- Unlimited Networking With Other Members
- Accelerated Help When You Need It
- 24/7 Website Support
- Access to Feedback Platform
- Access to Engagement Platform
- Faster Site Speed
- Daily Website Backups
- 10 Websites Installations
- Core Certification Course – All 5 Levels (50 Lessons)
- Affiliate Bootcamp – All 7 Levels (70 Lessons)
- Weekly Live Classes – Every Friday
- Access to 400+ Recorded Live Classes
- All training Modules
- 13 Training Classrooms
- Unlimited Searches With The Wealthy Affiliate Keyword Tool
- Competition Analysis – See What Others Are Doing And Improve Your Site
- SiteRank Tracking – Track Your Website Rankings in The Search Engines
- Brainstorm Engine – Get More Ideas For Content
- Keyword List Management – Generate And Save Your Keyword Lists
- Niche Keyword List – Use A Curated List of Keywords in Different Niches
- Affiliate Program Search – Find an Affiliate Program Suitable For Your Niche
- Affiliate Program Management – Apply For Affiliate Programs And Keep Track Of Them
- Training Cash Credit Program
- More New Features Being Released
The Wealthy Affiliate pricing for Premium Member is $49 USD per month. You will get a discount and only pay $19 for your first month.
You can also opt for a yearly premium membership at $495 (you’ll save $93 compared to being a monthly member). A yearly membership also comes a one free .com domain name ($14 value) and $50 worth of Wealthy Affiliate credits which can be used to buy domain names.
If you are interested in joining wealthy affiliate as a premium member, I still highly suggest signing up as a free member at first, to test the waters.
Here is something to keep in mind: once you join Premium Membership, you cannot revert to the free membership. If you cancel your premium membership, you will lose access to your account. Although Wealthy Affiliate will help you move your website and domain name for 30 days after the cancellation of the account I recommend moving your website before cancelling your premium membership. This way you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
Can You Make Money With Wealthy Affiliate ?
We are finally getting into real questions. Can you actually make money with the Wealthy Affiliate program?
Here is the the answer that you don’t want to hear: it depends. Let me elaborate on that.
Making money online is possible but it is not easy. Affiliate marketing is very profitable but because it’s so profitable it’s also very competitive. Although Wealthy Affiliate does not sell hype and doesn’t promise to make you rich overnight – they’re also not telling you how hard it will be. If you were to open a restaurant in your city, what are the chances that you would actually earn money with that restaurant?
The numbers for brick and mortar businesses are a little different but I would assume they’re not far off from online businesses.
20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% of small business fail in their second year, and 50% of small businesses fail after five years in business. Finally, 70% of small business owners fail in their 10th year in business.Source: Fundera
Many offline businesses will fail because they need to have a huge chunk of cash to invest up-front. Because they didn’t do a proper research and entered a saturated or simply wrong market. Maybe because they refuse to adapt to new trends and new demands.
Starting an affiliate website virtually doesn’t cost anything, except your hosting, domain name and a few other basic. However, you can pick a wrong niche that doesn’t have much of a buyer market. You might pick a very competitive niche where you simply can’t beat the “top guys”. You might also refuse to adapt to new reality such as new website design requirements, latest SEO rules and so on.
Can you make money with Wealthy Affiliate and affiliate marketing in general? You certainly can. Will you earn money? There is no guarantee. And whoever gives you that guarantee is straight-out lying to you.
After many years of learning, succeeding, failing and most importantly building affiliate websites in different niches I can easily scan the market, competition and decide if the niche is worth pursuing. If you’re brand new to the industry it might take you several months to do the same research. This only comes with experience. If you’re going to jump into this – you need to be ready to fail, recover and start again. If you’re thinking that you will set-up a website and start making bank within a month then affiliate marketing and online business in general is not for you.
Wealthy Affiliate Success and Earnings
Since we started talking about making money with Wealthy Affiliate, I’d like to mention some success stories. I am making earning a living online because of what I learned in the Wealthy Affiliate programs. Many others are making a decent income as well. Remember that there are also many unsuccessful people, for various reasons. Once again, this is not an easy business and you should keep that in mind.
Zarina earned $3750 for April 2020 through affiliate marketing. In her post she explains that she wasn’t consistent with her websites and that attitude prevented her from earning. Her breakthrough? Treat your website as a business and not just a hobby and be consistent.
John shares his story of earning almost $4,000 in 1 day. In his post he explains how it took him 7 months of working on his websites to earn his first commission. I am pretty sure at this point he knows it was worth the effort.
Ralph remembers when he first joined Wealthy Affiliate in 2016 his goal was to be earning $1,000 per month with affiliate marketing. In 2018 he surpassed his goal by quite a bit. He earn $24,369.30 for the month of December for a total of $110,184.01 for the year. His full post is here.
There are many other posts where members are sharing their wealthy affiliate earnings and success. If I was to point one one thing these people have in common is would be the consistency.
Wealthy Affiliate Complaints
This wealthy affiliate review wouldn’t be complete if we skipped the wealthy affiliate complaints, right? Unfortunately I have some of my own.
I think I made it pretty obvious so far that the Wealthy Affiliate program has a lot of value to offer, even if you join as a free member. However, the platform is lacking in advanced training. As a seasoned affiliate marketer, I don’t find a lot of new information in their training. It feels like I know a lot more than they have to offer at this point. The weekly Live Classes are amazing and will teach you about the newest and freshest strategies in the business. However the core training is obviously targeting complete beginners to the world of affiliate marketing.
Most of the online business related content I consume comes from outside of Wealthy Affiliate. I listen to podcasts, follow industry leaders in SEO, content creation and internet marketing in general. There is a lot of noise online as well and you need to make sure you filter out the fluff and bad advice. If Wealthy Affiliate offered more advance and new training – I’d give them a 10/10 mark, unfortunately I cannot do it at this moment.
Wealthy Affiliate Billing Complaints
While writing this wealthy affiliate review I did come across several complaints in regard of wealthy affiliate billing. It seems like most billing issues arise when customers sign up to Wealthy Affiliate without realizing that this is a subscription service. Just like Netflix, Wealthy Affiliate bills its monthly Premium Members automatically, every month. This is clearly stated on the Premium order page.
To be honest I couldn’t even imagine that this would be an issue since recurring billing payments are so common these days. All of my utility bills are paid this way. Service providers that are ties to my business also bill me automatically, every month or every year – depending on subscription model.
So to avoid future misunderstandings I’d like to clear a few things up. If you sign up to Wealthy Affiliate as a free member, they will never bill you. They don’t even have your payment details. If you sign up as a premium member, your subscription will be renewed automatically every month (or every year if you go for a yearly premium).
If you don’t want to be charged you can simply go to your account settings -> membership -> Stop Billing. It’s as simple as that.
Wealthy Affiliate Refunds
Or should I say NO REFUNDS? Wealthy Affiliate does not offer refunds once you pay for the Premium membership or other services (such as domain name). This might be the cause for a Wealthy Affiliate negative review. Although it’s clearly stated in Wealthy Affiliate terms and conditions page (who reads those anyway, right?) that Wealthy Affiliate does not offer refunds to premium members.
This is one of the reason they’re offering the free membership. You don’t have to spend a single penny in order to get a peak inside the platform. If you don’t like it – fine. If you see the value in it and want more training and more features – go for premium. I’ve seen a few complaints where people explained how they forgot they even had the subscription and you can’t blame Wealthy Affiliate for that.
Here is the thing. Do not buy something you can’t afford. $49 per month is a lot of money for some people and it might be better spent on groceries if you’re in this situation. Wealthy Affiliate is not quick way to riches. If you’re joining with your last $50 thinking that you’ll magically earn rent money in a week then I have bad news for you. It simply won’t happen. Building an online business doesn’t only require the investment of your efforts but also time.
Wealthy Affiliate Members Only Sell Wealthy Affiliate
Some folks claim that Wealthy Affiliate pushes its members to promote the platform through Wealthy Affiliate affiliate program. I’d like to say that some members do end up promoting Wealthy Affiliate. They offer a decent commission per sale so it’s only normal for people wanting to promote it.
However, I totally agree with this complaint. Earlier in this Wealthy Affiliate review I mentioned that I dislike the fact that Wealthy Affiliate encourages its brand new members promote the program. I think when a complete beginners tries to sell this program they’ll most likely fail. This will leave them with a bitter taste and maybe even a reason to give up affiliate marketing all together.
Over the years I’ve built several successful affiliate websites that sell physical products. I know of many other members who have done the same. These folks usually keep their websites a secret because they don’t want every new member launching websites in the same niche.
If you are wealthy affiliate website examples, go to Google and search for “Best drone under 250 grams”. 7 out of 10 results will be 100% pure affiliate websites. Those are the kind of websites that you will be building. I am not saying you’ll be building a website about drone, this is just an example.
Is Wealthy Affiliate Legit ?
Wealthy Affiliate is definitely legitimate. Although it might be lacking in certain areas as described in this article, wealthy affiliate does what it promises. It teaches you how to build an affiliate marketing business. Some people might think that Wealthy Affiliate is a scam but they usually change their minds when they realize there is a completely free membership available.