Wealthy Affiliate Review 2018 Most Up-To-Date: Is It Worth Joining?
In my Wealthy Affiliate review, I will try to be as unbiased as I can. I've seen, and you may have seen the reviews that are so extreme; "Is Wealthy Affiliate scam?" ...Either worshipped offhandedly by current members or savaged by those who fell out with the community and quit.
This place will help you start working from home, and that's all you need to focus on. I see it as an absolute essential tool for my business.
But it's not "all great".
Wealthy Affiliate Review - What Is It?
Price: Free, or $49 per month as a premium
Rating: I'd give 9.
The platform is made WordPress ready for everybody. So when you sign up, you can start building your own website literally within minutes. Wealthy Affiliate provides hundreds of training videos, thousands of text tutorials, questions & answers, and 5,000+ active members help each other on its community forums.
It also allows you to write blogs within your profile, which will then be indexed by search engines. It means any blogs written within WA site are visible to anyone, and good quality content will be ranked high in Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines.
Whether you are completely new to website creation, or you already have your business online but wish to expand your knowledge, it does give you an opportunity to successfully reach your ultimate goal - to make money online. Does that make sense so far?
Site Owners & the Background
Kyle and Carson from British Columbia, Canada, co-founded WA back in 2005. Kyle is an SEO/marketing expert who gives us trainings, tips & advice. Carson is a techie guy who manages all the latest technology and the site security aspects. So they've both been heavily involved in helping the members to improve our website business on a daily basis.
It's no surprise that the WA has become one of the biggest platforms in the world for online business training. As mentioned above, users within this massive community help each other out.
Free Web Hosting & WordPress
For free members, WA allows you to create up to 2 x websites and have them hosted for absolutely free. Premium members ($49 per month) can create up to mighty 50 websites, and the price includes web hosting for all your sites.
WordPress, one of the most popular content management system, is pre-installed in the WA server, SiteRubix. There are thousands of website themes (designs) to choose from. With plenty of step-by-step instructions as well as tips & tricks to use WordPress, even a complete WordPress beginner won't need to worry.
What I like about the WA (SiteRubix) web hosting service is that we're assured all our websites are monitored continuously - the database is monitored and the file system is protected from viruses & malware, also from hacking & intrusion (See "The Most Secure Web Hosting Provider")
If you go elsewhere (i.e. have your sites hosted by another company), you are normally expected to have a little more responsibility to protect your own site. You should back up your contents daily, and you need to have anti-spam comments plugin installed and monitor yourself. You don't need any of that with SiteRubix.
Spam/ virus / hacking incident is really, the last thing you want when running a website. Free from all that if you're with Wealthy Affiliate, that's great.
Upsells / Hidden Extra?
Yes and No. Wealthy Affiliate aims to have its platform "all in one". Every tool that you need for website marketing, and everything you need to know (=training) about website marketing. So inevitably, there are two essential things that you can pay optionally; (a) domain registration and (b) premium keyword tool.
(a) Domain Registration
As a free member you are supplied with a prefix ending ".siterubix.com", and you cannot use your own domain. I'll explain it later.
Wealthy Affiliate also offers a domain name service for $13.99 per year including whois (privacy) protection >>Click Here. The good news is this price is locked - once you pay this year, there'll be no price increase (...forever??? For many years, at least!)
Otherwise Namecheap.com and Godaddy.com are two of the most popular domain name providers, cost around $10 per year. You'll be able to link it to your WA hosting server. Again you'll find a very clear step-by-step instruction for this process.
(b) Keyword Tool (Jaaxy)
Previously Jaaxy was a premium service only, now a free access is granted to all the premium Wealthy Affiliate members.
Now the keyword tool is integrated with WA platform, so you can open your websites, receive training, communicate with others etc, as well as do an extensive keyword search from one dashboard.
Free Membership vs Premium Membership
The chart below compares what you can receive between as a free member and as a premium member. You can continue to be a "Starter" member after 7 days and receive training (but not live help or 1-on-1 coaching), whilst the premium member option gives you a lot more advantages.
Premium Membership $49 per month - is it worth it?
In my opinion it definitely is, especially if you're looking to make a living with your online business.
If you were to run your own website(s), decent web-hosting service will cost you $50-$300 per year, that's per site. Plus your domain name $12 per year per site. This does not include any training or tips & tricks on SEO, web trafficking and any other trends that any entrepreneurs should be constantly updated with.
With it's "University" level of training, and all your website running costs, I think $49 per month is a bargain. There are tens of thousands of premium active members, and a lot of them make a living with online and make enough returns to pay the premium subscription fee. Meaning they all agree it is worth the money.
Create Up To 50 Websites
50 websites! I couldn't keep up with 5. Let alone 50! I think I have about 7, and this is extremely useful. If you want to test something - new format, new WordPress theme, installing a plugin that you're not sure about - you can create a test website whenever you want. And if you don't like it, delete the entire site whenever you want too.
Exactly speaking, Wealthy Affiliate (SiteRubix) allows you to have up to 25 x websites with your own domain, plus 25 x websites with subdomain.
Jay is the Training chief, who provides absolutely invaluable webinar every week. It's a live webinar that you can join and ask questions to Jay real time.
Sadly to this date I've never been able to join live because of the time difference, but I make sure to watch the recording (available from the following day). Jay's webinars are packed full of tips, tricks and advice as an expert include;
- The Ultimate SEO Survival Guide
- Ways To Get Your Content Noticed
- Split Testing for Maximum Conversions
- How To Bring A Site Back To Life
- Power of Google Web Tools & Analytics
- Niche Case Study Series
- 2016 Website Ranking Blueprint
- Generating Traffic With YouTube
...and many more. Remember, the essential webinar is on broadcast each and every week.
Just to be clear, already there are Online Entrepreneur Certification Course and Affiliate Bootcamp, both created by Kyle, containing text and video tutorials. The Bootcamp has absolutely everything you need to learn about affiliate marketing. Jay's weekly webinar is provided on top of that, as the latest and hottest tips, with no extra cost.
Annual Membership Discount
You can pay your membership annually to receive 36% discount - $359 per annum, that's definitely worth considering. You can start paying monthly, and whenever you're convinced, you can pay for the next 12 months all at once to take advantage of the discount. In fact that's what I did. I paid for my first month's premium fee, and within that month I knew Wealthy Affiliate was right for me, meaning it's a good deal, and decided to go for the annual.
What You Can Do To Be Successful via Wealthy Affiliate
A lot of membership sites give you only a limited access during the free trial period. But it's not the case with WA. There are some limited access areas such as the Course Level 2 onwards, but there are so many other contents to read. What you can do when you join WA during your 7 days trial can be;
- Create your profile on WA - you can do it first or edit later.
- "Getting Started" - follow through the Level 1 course, lesson 1-10, which includes many video tutorials.
- As you follow the course, your niche idea (what kind of products you'd like to promote) will shape up. Even if you don't come up with an idea, the course will give you an imagination, e.g. what you are really passionate about, what your expertise is.
- Once you've decided your niche, start building your website. With WordPress built in, you can either publish it straight, publish it privately (not visible to anyone else) or just save the pages as a draft.
- Read other members' articles, blogs, advice or take a look at their websites.
- Post your questions and interact with other members.
How far you want to try is up to you, but hopefully by then you'll see the benefits from the WA membership.
Membership Ranking And Ambassadorship
Wealthy Affiliate has a member ranking system, and your profile is ranked as soon as you join in. As you make engagements by writing blogs within the community, asking questions, replying to other questions and on live chat, your ranking goes up. There's a great motivation factor in the ranking system, especially for new members. If you're top 25 in ranking, you'll be given a Wealthy Affiliate Ambassador title.
...which means very little, because the ranking position does not get you any money, you see? Ambassadors don't necessarily give you a technical advice but some of them only create a "buzz" by writing lots of blogs. The more blogs are written, the bigger the WA site itself will become, i.e. Wealthy Affiliate is forever-growing and continuously boosting its profile.
Don't "Drift Away" - Focus On Making Money Online
As a Wealthy Affiliate review, my "advice" is to focus on learning and to make use of the platform to build your own business... Sounds like stating the obvious, right?
Wealthy Affiliate has a great community. Trust me, you'll be so welcomed and will receive a great level of support. It's a spam-free, bitching free (!) forum space where you're constantly motivated. But it's also a fact that some members use the space to socialise.
There are all sorts of people from all over the world. Some are rich, they don't have to work. Some are there purely to enjoy the camaraderie, and maybe to learn a little bit about the internet world. It's fine with them. But some are hugely distracted - I see regular members moan that they haven't earned money, and haven't even finished Wealthy Affiliate University course. They don't know how Google Analytics work (which is clearly explained in the training course).
You see how your goal - "make money online" - can be swayed and drifted by belonging to this fabulous, genuinely helpful community. So I'd like to say, always stay focused if you want to survive in internet marketing world. Learn as much as you can and get your online income sorted first. Then return the favour by helping new members whenever you can. I believe that's what Kyle and Carson want you to do, too!
Help others if you can. But don't waste your time la-la-ing on the internet. Get busy making money online instead.
You receive a commission upon referring Wealthy Affiliate to others - receive $0.50 when your referral creates their profile, and when they become a premium member you'll receive $23.50 monthly recurring commission as long as they maintain their membership.
Wealthy Affiliate offers further discounts. If you become a premium member within the first 7 days you'll receive a 61% discount on first month's membership (=$19).
This excludes the first 7 days free trial. It means if you decide to go premium after the first day, you'll still enjoy the remaining 6 days for free but have a full access. And the $19 will be calculated pro-rata. 19 x 30 x 1/36 = $15.83...something like that. Good, isn't it.
Also as mentioned earlier, if you pay yearly (pay $359 for 12 months in one go), that works out $30 per month, further 39% discount.
How About Free (Starter) Membership - Is THAT Worth It?
Is it worth staying as a free member indefinitely? Obviously there are quite a few premium benefits that you cannot receive, as shown in the comparison chart earlier. But if you want to take things slowly, that's another option.
The "first month $19" bonus is equivalent to about 18 days free, so after the first 7 days free trial, carry on staying free for further 3 weeks before you start to pay the full membership of $49, and that will be the same thing.
As a free member, you have to use a Siterubix subdomain. But that's ok while you're staying free, keep building your site, continue to publish blog posts. And then, whenever you decided to go premium, purchase your own domain name and transfer all the contents from Siterubix to your domain. The transfer won't take a few minutes, it's very easy.
...do you see what I mean?
Wealthy Affiliate Complaints
There are a couple of complaints that are typically made by some of the existing members and/or non-members.
(1) Everyone Else Is A "Scammer"
Many online "scambusters" are Wealthy Affiliate members or its graduates. We are trained to write fair & unbiased product reviews online. If a product or a scheme is in MMO (make money online) niche, we are taught to compare it to Wealthy Affiliate itself, because it's the place we know the best. Naturally that's the best way to promote something as an affiliate.
Many (especially new) WA members are so happy with the help & support they receive, they tend to rate other MMO products lower than WA - whatever they review, nothing seems as great as Wealthy Affiliate.
Another thing is, newbie members tend to see the Wealthy Affiliate method (=content writing) the only legitimate way to make money online. As a result they tend to call MLM's or any aggressive network marketing "scams".
...which can lead others to believe that the members may be specifically instructed to label every other product a scam and only promote WA. That's not the case, that's never the case.
(2) Site Support Incompetence
This, sadly I cannot disagree, and I'm only hoping it to improve. Wealthy Affiliate site support is very quick to respond. If the help you need is simple & straightforward, they'll fix it for you very quickly. But when it's a little more technical, or the same problem occurs multiple times over a period of time, they only give you a quick solution and never explain or try to get to the bottom of it.
For example one of my sites has a loading speed problem - not the actual website speed but it's the WP-Admin (WordPress editor) that slows down intermittently. I have explained everything to the Site Support - what I think is causing the problem. Unfortunately every time, all I receive is one-sentenced robotic answer, "Ray, can to try logging in again?" So I log in, and the speed is normal. I have complained about it but have received no solution.
So if there's a simple technical problem, the support desk will fix it for you. Even if anything catastrophic happens to your site, they can restore it for you. But if there's something a little more complicated, you won't receive a sustainable solution. That I think is a problem right now.
PRO's and CON's
My Wealthy Affiliate Review - Summary
I love the fact that Kyle and Carson are constantly on board improving the site and, anything negative that the members feel about is raised, considered and answered. If the site technical support is a little more hands-on helpful, it's near perfect in my opinion.
It's up to you to decide - if you'd like to make your affiliate marketing business a success, join free, create your own stunning website, go through the training and see if this one is for you - free to join, there's nothing to lose.
Are you already a member of Wealthy Affiliate? Or you have been in the past but no longer? What's been your experience, please leave a comment below and share your thoughts. Thanks!