We all know that there are many scams out there when it comes to making money online and setting up an affiliate marketing business, and I’ll admit that I’ve fallen for some of them!
So when I found a program that billed itself as one of the most advanced and popular platforms you can join today–Wealthy Affiliate–I was still all set to believe the worst.
But what I found was a community based upon the principle of Learning+Working Hard=Success, and it didn’t take long to realize that there was no scam here.
I’ll share my experience in this review as thoroughly as possible so you can decide for yourself, “Is Wealthy Affiliate real or a scam?”
What is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate is the largest affiliate marketing community in the world. Their system is designed to be an all-inclusive platform where you can create and grow a successful online business.
They accomplish this through a community effort of nearly 1,000,000 members worldwide who are also creating and managing their own affiliate marketing businesses.
The program includes thousands of training modules, which include live and video training, and expert support from those who have made a success of this program.
How Does the Program Work?
You start Wealthy Affiliate by signing up for their free membership. Now I expected this membership to basically be a way to get your email address, they tell you how wonderful it is with their sales pitch, and then I’d spend a lot of time reading emails urging me to sign up for their paid membership.
However, what I found was that I had access to the first phase of their Certification Course training program, the ability to set up 2 websites, 2 training classrooms, live help, and 1-on-1 coaching, all without spending a penny!
While the live help and 1-on-1 coaching are only available for 7 days, there is no time limit for accessing any of the other information or training.
This means that there is no high pressure selling to upgrade to their premium membership because I can take my time and experience their platform at my own pace, another huge plus in my book!
The community spirit became very apparent as I had members welcoming me to the program and offering to help with any questions I had. I started the lessons and was amazed at the details in their tutorials and videos!
Here is what you’re going to learn in Level 1 training with the FREE membership:
- Everything that Wealthy Affiliate has to offer and just how much guidance and help you’ll receive from this community
- An understanding of how to make money online
- How to choose a niche and you will pick one that works for you
- You will build and set up your website based upon the niche you’ve chosen
- You will get your site ready for search engines
- You will create your initial website content
- You will create custom menus for your website
- You will understand what keywords are and how to use them to create rich content
The comprehensive education and support you get with Wealthy Affiliate’s free membership was not something I was prepared for, and you can stay at this level indefinitely!
Here is a video that walks you through the entire Wealthy Affiliate platform. You can find out how to utilize this amazing system to start your online business and decide if it’s right for you!
Website Hosting Service
The Wealthy Affiliate hosting service is called SiteRubix. It’s a powerful system that uses WordPress websites, and there are people running million dollar businesses with this platform.
The speed and security are excellent, and your site is backed up every 24 hours. If you make a mistake, Site Support can have the latest version of your site back up and running quickly.
One of the best features is their double hosting, which is a mirror of your website running at all times. If your site goes down for any reason, this mirror site gets swapped in instantly. So the downtime is minimized, resulting in no lost visitors or sales for you!
For more information about their website hosting, you can read Who Has The Best Website Hosting Services For Your Online Business?
UPDATE: Wealthy Affiliate has made some changes to their hosting service in 2020. Starting in March, starter members will receive 1 free website instead of 2, and premium members will be able to create up to 10 websites instead of 25 free and 25 with their own domain.
Does this change how I look at the value of the Wealthy Affiliate membership platform? After comparing what you would receive from other hosting services of the same caliber, Wealthy Affiliate still offers the best value for $49 per month. Check out these:
- Pagely (5 Websites) = $199 per month
- WPEngine (10 Websites) = $115 per month
- Kinsta (10 Websites) = $200 per month
As you can see, when you look at what full service hosting platforms offer and compare apples to apples, Wealthy Affiliate just can’t be beat for value.
Community Forum and Site Support–Getting Answers Fast
I think the features of Wealthy Affiliate that I’m most impressed with are their Community Forum and Site Support. It’s extremely easy to put in a Site Support Ticket, and you usually get an answer within 10 minutes. They understand that every minute your site is down or having problems, you could be losing sales, and they respond with urgency.
The Community Forum is the most active that I’ve found by far, which means that when you ask a question, you’re going to get an answer. If you have a question, it goes to everyone who follows you as well as to all members’ Dashboard.
There are WA members from all over the world, so it’s rare not to get an answer quickly. When you’re a beginner, you don’t know what you don’t know about many things. But you can get a lot of information just by seeing other’s questions and the answers they get from experienced marketers.
Wealthy Affiliate has a no spam rule for all of it’s members. No one can post affiliate links to try and promote to or make money from other members.
What this means is that you will get a safe place to learn. You don’t have to worry that someone answering a question or helping you in some way is trying to sell you something. Those who join in order to promote products to other members quickly find out that it is not allowed!
Premium Membership–Is It Worth It?
After you’ve completed Level 1 training, you are encouraged to join the community with a premium membership. You can continue to work on your business under the free membership, but there are some great advantages to being a Premium member:
***UPDATE*** I was excited to learn that Wealthy Affiliate has now included their security package with all free starter memberships!
So when creating your free website, you will receive an SSL certified secure site without having to sign up for the premium membership. To me this shows that security and quality are huge priorities at Wealthy Affiliate, and it’s just one more reason why it is my #1 recommendation!
Best Keyword Tool–Jaaxy
Wealthy Affiliate recently added access to my #1 recommended keyword tool–Jaaxy! You can read my review of Jaaxy, but I’ll highlight the great features:
- First and foremost, a Keyword Search that includes average number of searches each month, traffic of 1st ranked site, number of competing websites, keyword quality indicator, and SEO score
- Site Ranking will find your site’s rank in Google, Bing, and Yahoo
- Search Analysis that will show you details of the top ranked sites for a keyword
- Domain Name Search for those looking for the perfect domain name for their niche
- Affiliate Program search to help find quality programs to monetize your site
With access to Jaaxy, the value you get with Wealthy Affiliate has definitely increased, but the price didn’t go up at all–another plus!
No platform is perfect, and Wealthy Affiliate is no exception. Here are a few negatives:
1. Some people have expressed that seven days is not long enough for a trial period for the live chat and 1-on-1 coaching, especially if they don’t have a lot of time during those days. However, you have access to your lessons and website indefinitely. So you can take your time, work on your website, and still have a community of people to help you.
2. While communication is great, I do find that I get a lot of emails letting me know that people have commented on my profile or liked something I commented on. It took me awhile to find where I could change my email preferences so that my Inbox didn’t get flooded with notifications that I didn’t want.
3. Participation in the community is the backbone of the program, and members are ranked by how much they participate. The only negative for me in this area is that some people seem to focus more on member rankings than on building their business.
This can confuse some new people who may think that these rankings have some bearing on the success of their site, which it doesn’t. It’s perfectly OK to concentrate on building your business and participate in the community platform when you want to or if you need feedback and advice.
4. You do have to make sure you’re not following the advice from someone blindly just because they’re a high ranking member. The majority of the ambassadors and top 50 members are very experienced and give excellent advice. But there are those who achieve a high rank just due to how much they participate in the forum, not because they have more experience.
So Is Wealthy Affiliate Real or a Scam?
There’s an enormous amount of scams on the internet today that are more than willing to take hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars out of your pocket for very little in return.
But my experience with Wealthy Affiliate has shown me that this is a legitimate company that offers a great deal of value for a very low price. I base my assessment on the following:
1. There was no upfront payment that needed to be paid in order to see what I was getting myself into with the promise of a refund later. The owners of this company, Kyle and Carson, are very confident about the value their community platform offers, evidenced by the fact that you get to experience it all without paying one dime. That is a very strong sign of a legitimate company.
2. When you create your website with Wealthy Affiliate, everything you need to make your site run well and run securely is all there. There are only 2 memberships, free and premium, and no pushes to upsell to bigger and better features or constant requests to buy more and more.
For your $49 a month, you have everything you need to grow and improve your business and can even create up to 10 websites! In fact, at times I was advised in training that I didn’t need upgrades that are available with some of the plugins for optimizing my site.
3. The training and content is continually updating, and there is always someone there to answer a question. Many times, there is no one right way to do something. Because so many people are adding their training to the site, you are going to get an answer you understand when trying to find out how to do a task.
4. Lastly, Wealthy Affiliate doesn’t promise that you’ll get rich quick or that you’ll be a millionaire lying on your yacht working an hour a day. In fact, they make it very clear that they provide the tools, the support, and a community to help you, but you’ll get out of it what you put into it.
It will take work, and you’ll need to take the time to write informative, relevant posts about your niche that offer your readers a quality experience. Time, effort, and commitment are what you need to be successful, and they don’t sugarcoat it and make false promises to get you to join.
For me these are all signs of a legitimate company that offers a valuable product to enable anyone to succeed at affiliate marketing. So, in the opinion of Build Your Early Retirement, Wealthy Affiliate is definitely real and not a scam!
Still having doubts? I was so impressed with the quality that I saw with the Wealthy Affiliate platform that I upgraded to a premium membership just 5 days after joining.
I now have 6 websites as part of my online business and have no intention of leaving this program. Why? Because I’m still learning new things every day, and I still get inspired to push myself to the next level from all of the great members there. You can check out my profile by clicking below:
I am so confident about the ability of Wealthy Affiliate to help you make your online business a success, that I will promise you my personal 1-on-1 help if you sign up and create an account with a FREE membership!
Build Your Early Retirement’s Rating
Here at Build Your Early Retirement we will give Wealthy Affiliate a 4.8 out of 5. Despite the few negatives, this program can enable anyone to build their online affiliate marketing business, no matter how little experience they have.
Give it a try, and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. I’d love to hear from you!