If you’re looking to make money online, and especially if you’re interested in affiliate marketing, there’s a good chance you’ve already stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate.
According to their website, marketing, and countless affiliates (yes, Wealthy Affiliate has a very mlm-like affiliate program of their own), Wealthy Affiliate is the best affiliate marketing training program and system on the internet.
But is it?
That’s what we’re going to find out in this Wealthy Affiliate Review.
We’re going to do a deep dive into the Wealthy Affiliate Training Program and determine if you can make money online with their “system”.
We’ll analyze their founders and trainers to see if they’re really as legit as they claim to be.
We’re going to review multiple WA training modules to decide if it really is the best affiliate marketing course out there.
We’ll talk about whether affiliate marketing is the right online business for you.
At the end, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding WA and affiliate marketing in general.
And most important, I’ll show you the exact system I used to build my own internet marketing business to over $50,000 a month in mostly passive income.
This system made me swear off affiliate marketing for good, because it uses some of the same skills in a much more powerful and profitable way!
What We Liked:
- There’s a free membership tier, so you don’t have to waste any money to find out WA isn’t worth your time or investment
What We Didn’t Like:
- Pretty much everything else
NOTE: Each section of this review includes multiple subsections that go deep into various elements of Wealthy Affiliate. However, only the main sections are listed in the table of contents.
Example: The “Online Entrepreneur Certification” isn’t an entire section, but I review it in Section 2: Wealthy Affiliate Membership.
What is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate is an old online training program that claims to be an all-in-one-ecosystem for affiliate marketers.
According to their website, there are over 1.4 million Wealthy Affiliate members in 193 countries.
They also boast about having more than 1,800 “expert coaches” inside the Wealthy Affiliate Community, claiming to help over 23,000 people every single day.
The company founders, Kyle and Carson, suggest that you don’t need anything outside of their platform to successfully make money online.
To keep their promise, Wealthy Affiliate offers:
- Weekly live trainings
- A content library with over 100 modules
- A website hosting platform
- A content management system for your websites
- A keyword research platform
- The ability to buy a domain name
- A social network-like community to communicate with other wa members
How Does Wealthy Affiliate Work?
In theory, Wealthy Affiliate is simply a membership platform with some courses and software tools designed to help you build, run, and scale a profitable affiliate marketing business.
You get a very limited look at the Wealthy Affiliate platform and training material as a free starter member.
Or you can upgrade to a premium membership and get full access.
But is it worth it?
That’s what we’ll find out in this Wealthy Affiliate review.
Let’s start by looking at each of the three membership tiers:
Wealthy Affiliate Membership
Like I said above, there are three membership tiers you can choose from:
Starter Member ($0):
The Starter Membership is essentially a “freemium model”, where you get access to a very limited selection of tools, training, and support.
As a Starter Member, you get to build a single website using the WA site builder software.
You get a free starter account to Jaaxy as well, a keyword research tool that I believe is also owned by Kyle and Carson.
They claim it’s a dream-come-true research tool for affiliate marketers, but I’ve literally never heard of this program anywhere else.
Regardless, with your free Jaaxy account, you get 30 keyword searches before you’re forced to upgrade.
On the training side, Wealthy Affiliate gives Starter Members the first few lessons from both their Online Entrepreneur Certification Core Training and their Affiliate Bootcamp Core Training.
You also get 7 days of what Wealthy Affiliate describes as “Limited Support”. Assume that means a chatbot constantly telling you to upgrade to a premium membership if you actually want help.
Premium Member ($49 Per Month):
If you upgrade to WA Premium within the first 7 days, you’ll get your first month for just $19.
After that, the price will increase to $49 per month.
The Premium Membership has been Wealthy Affiliate’s flagship program for years now.
At this tier, WA offer the ability to build 10 websites (at what they claim is a $100/month value…spoiler alert: it’s not).
In addition, they promise unlimited support and over 52 “Expert Classes” per year.
Plus, you get full access to all their core trainings.
That’s 50 lessons in the Online Entrepreneur Certification Core Training, and 70 lessons in the Affiliate Bootcamp. In total, that adds up to over 1,000 training modules.
Later on, we’ll get into whether this training is actually any good.
As a Premium Member, WA also offers you a Jaaxy Lite account, valued at $19/month, according to them.
But if you go on the Jaaxy website, that membership tier doesn’t exist…odd.
Premium Plus Member ($99 Per Month):
This is a relatively new offering, which is obvious considering that the thousands of Wealthy Affiliate reviews online fail to mention this at all.
That’s because most of those reviews were written in like 2015 and never updated (kind of like most of the WA training material)
Honestly, I’m having a really hard time figuring out the value-add from the WA Premium Plus membership.
They promise the ability to build and host 50 websites instead of 10 (at a $250/month value).
They offer unlimited “priority support”, but don’t explain what that means.
They offer 4 times as many “expert classes” (over 200 per year).
And finally, they offer Jaaxy Enterprise, advertised as a $99/month value.
I definitely question that, since the only people I can find who actually use Jaaxy are those writing a review in order to promote Wealthy Affiliate or Jaaxy itself.
Which Wealthy Affiliate Membership is Right for You?
Wealthy Affiliate says on their site that the Starter Membership is for those just looking to get started.
And that’s true.
You should get started, realize just how garbage their system is, and move on to a more legitimate form of making money.
Like I said above, the WA training hasn’t been updated since like 2015. As a result, everything they are training you on it outdated knowledge that no longer works in the world of affiliate marketing.
It’s filled with poor SEO strategies that have a greater chance of hurting your business than actually helping you make money online.
Not to mention their so-called “Keyword Research Tool” is a piece of junk compared to similarly priced (and even cheaper) alternatives.
So save your money and time, and find a better online business model. Like this one.
But if you really want to give Wealthy Affiliate a shot, just go with the Starter Membership. The only lessons and training material that they seem to update are the first few anyway.
Probably so that you feel like you’re getting good value and upgrade to WA premium.
But don’t. It’ll be the biggest waste of $49 per month, trust me.
Who Owns Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate was started by two Canadian entrepreneurs, Kyle Loudon and Carson Lim.
Kyle and Carson claim to have been successful affiliate marketers since 2005. While their actual success is pretty questionable, they do have a paper trail proving they’ve at least been in the space since that time.
Kyle Loudon – Co-Owner
Kyle seems to be quite active in the community, and he really does give the impression of being a good guy who wants to help WA members make money online.
Unfortunately, I personally don’t feel as though Kyle Loudon is qualified to teach affiliate marketing to anybody.
And Kyle gives us the proof himself!
Early on, Kyle talks about three different affiliate sites he built and runs. He claims they make him a ton of passive income every month. But do they really?
Here’s a quick Ahrefs analysis of each of his websites (btw, Ahrefs BLOWS Jaaxy out of the water in every conceivable way):
Does 3 whole visitors a month really sound like an affiliate marketing business that’s killing it?
Do you really believe a site that has zero traffic is really bringing in fat affiliate commissions?
Yeah, didn’t think so.
Carson Lim – Co-Owner
You don’t really see much of Carson inside Wealthy Affiliate. Right from the beginning, you’ll be introduced to Kyle and Carson in the following context:
Kyle is the “training guy,” and Carson is the “tech guy”.
So you’re basically told “Kyle is the guy you see pretty much daily, and Carson is the guy you never see.”
His Instagram is cool though…
Lots of pictures of boats, the ocean, and ski trips. Plus, the very VERY typical “entrepreneur bro” pic:
Give me a break.
Kyle and Carson Together
Here’s my theory of what’s going on. Back in 2005, Kyle and Carson had some success with their various affiliate sites.
They were making money, bringing in some decent affiliate commissions, and then started training others to do the same.
Originally, Wealthy Affiliate was a monthly keyword club. For $29.99 per month, WA members would receive a niche idea and a list of keywords for that niche each month.
However, that was just the beginning. Over the years, I think Kyle and Carson realized they could bring in way more money if they turned the Wealthy Affiliate site into a community.
So over time, they bumped the price to $49 per month, and began training people on how to profit online.
None of this is inherently bad. The issue I’m mostly running into with these two guys is that they haven’t really improved their skills much since they switched over to training.
And for a while that was ok. From the early 2000’s up to 2012 or so, affiliate marketing wasn’t that hard.
There wasn’t a lot of competition, so you could pretty easily build an authority site, get it ranking, and start bringing in affiliate commissions.
But we all know that Google’s algorithm is constantly changing. That means the state of both affiliate marketing and SEO in general are always changing too.
Your skills need to grow, and your strategies need to adapt. One of the reasons I don’t like Wealthy Affiliate and much prefer this other program that’s been a huge part of my own success is because the strategies are ALWAYS improving.
Now, that’s not to say Kyla and Carson are bad guys. I think they just realized their strength was in selling a dream as opposed to actually being successful affiliate marketers, and chose to focus more on growing their training business than improving their skills.
Jay Neill – Training Chief
This guy, on the other hand, definitely rubs me the wrong way.
He’s got a pretty nice bio on the Wealthy Affiliate site, which immediately makes you think he’s a trustworthy expert, and that you’re in good hands once you become a WA Premium Member (since Jay runs the weekly trainings for those with a premium membership).
But before getting too excited, let’s do a bit more research.
A quick Google search for “Jay Neill” doesn’t reveal too much (except the profile of a mass murderer and bank robber who killed four people back in 1984…probably just a guy with the same name. An unfortunate mistake).
So I tried “Jay Neill Wealthy Affiliate,” and that brought me to this site, which appears to be Jay’s main website:
Seems legit, like Jay’s providing resources for the reader who wants to become a successful affiliate marketer.
But that’s not quite the case.
Is Jay Neill a Successful Affiliate Marketer?
A closer look reveals the entire purpose of this website is just so Jay can promote Wealthy Affiliate.
Most of the links just lead to his WA affiliate links. Like this one:
You click on that button, and it takes you to this page:
Yeah, that’s right: Jay is promising you a blueprint to help you earn your first $1,000 in 30 days with affiliate marketing.
All you gotta do? Just click on HIS link and become a member of Wealthy Affiliate, of course!
There’s a lot of things wrong with this promise…
First, getting any meaningful amount of traffic to an affiliate site can take MONTHS, if not years.
Second, monetizing that traffic doesn’t happen overnight. You need to create a relationship with your audience, which also takes multiple visits to your site.
And third, a thousand bucks just isn’t that much money.
Yeah, that sounds like a dick thing to say, but if you’re gonna put in the amount of grueling work to become an affiliate marketer (which, trust me, isn’t easy), you might as well bring in some REAL money.
The program that helped skyrocket my online business to $50,000+ per month teaches some of the affiliate marketing skills, but shows you how to monetize them in a much, MUCH more profitable way.
Is it Worth Becoming a Premium Member to get Jay’s Training?
Here’s another problem I have with Jay specifically.
He presents himself as an affiliate marketing expert and a training genius. But is he really?
Let’s take a look at another part of Jay’s site, where he makes a VERY big claim:
You read that right…Jay claims he’s helped over 2 million people in the last ten years through his blog.
Let’s put that to the test, shall we?
I threw Jay’s domain name into Ahrefs to see just how much traffic he’s bringing in:
Now, on the surface, those numbers seem pretty good!
Until you realize Ahrefs reports everything on a MONTHLY basis. So Jay is bringing 2,300 visitors to his website per month.
Let’s assume he’s done at least this well for the past 10 years, or 120 months.
2,300 times 120 = 276,000.
So, in the very best case, Jay has had 276,000 people come to his site over the past 10 years. That’s about 10% of his big claim of 2 million.
And I’d question whether he actually “helped” any of these people, considering the site is just filled with his affiliate links to sell Wealthy Affiliate memberships.
There’s no real value on this site whatsoever. Unless, of course, you consider having shitty affiliate offers shoved down your throat “valuable”.
Just take a look:
If you click the main button on Jay’s site, what does it take you to?
Any guesses? Anyone?
Yep, a shitty, fake, Wealthy Affiliate review.
This review is just Jay telling you how great Wealthy Affiliate is…all so you can click one of his affiliate links (this page is FILLED with them), and become a member of Wealthy Affiliate.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find something super sleazy about using affiliate marketing to sell an affiliate marketing course instead of something useful.
Especially when the course itself is so outdated.
Feels kinda incestuous, but that’s just me.
When we talk about the WA affiliate program later on in this review, you’ll see my point.
How Much Does Wealthy Affiliate Cost?
I mentioned this part earlier, but let me just reiterate:
WA members don’t pay anything to get started.
You can become a Starter Member for zero dollars. Which, as I keep saying, is about all the training is worth.
And if you really want to become a Premium Member, that’ll run you $49 per month. But at this point, I’m sure you realize there are much better programs out there that can help you make A LOT more money.
Finally, if you feel like wasting even more of your hard-earned dollars on Wealthy Affiliate, you can upgrade your Premium Membership to Premium Plus, and give away double your money ($99 per month).
Does Wealthy Affiliate Make You Money?
From everything I’ve seen, there’s really only one good way to make money from Wealthy Affiliate: and that’s by becoming a WA affiliate yourself.
Yep, that’s right: the best way to actually make an affiliate commission using WA training is to join their affiliate program and sell other people on Wealthy Affiliate.
If that sounds a bit circular, like a certain other business model with a pretty sketchy reputation, you’re not far off.
Now, technically, there’s nothing stopping you from using what you learn inside WA to build an affiliate business in another niche.
Well, except for the fact the training is so outdated you’ve got almost no other chance of making money with the Wealthy Affiliate program.
Why You Should NOT Join Wealthy Affiliate
At this point in this Wealthy Affiliate review, it should be pretty obvious that I DON’T recommend becoming a WA member.
And the reason for that is obvious:
The training is outdated, there’s a good chance you will never earn money with any of the services Wealthy Affiliate offers:
The community, the websites, the hosting are all subpar.
Not to mention, the marketing AND the training are all full of misleading claims and TERRIBLE advice.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
Misleading Claims in Wealthy Affiliate
Misleading Claim #1: Build a Fully Operational, Profit Ready Website in 30 Seconds
This one’s just laughable. On the WA homepage, you’re told that it takes less than 30 seconds to build a “revenue ready website”. Give me a break.
If you could build a traffic producing website in under a minute, we’d all be millionaires.
What Wealthy Affiliate is really saying here is that they’ll show you how to build a WordPress website.
But tell me if you’ve ever seen a brand-new WordPress site that’s “revenue ready”.
No content, no images, no plugins. Nothing optimized at all.
Good luck using something like that to make any kind of affiliate commission.
Misleading Claim #2: Every Google Update Makes the Wealthy Affiliate Marketer More Money
Give me a break. Neither Jay nor Kyle have been able to show proof of an effective, highly profitable affiliate website.
I mean, if getting 2,300 visits a month is the best you can do, and you call yourself one of the best affiliate marketers on the planet, something’s very wrong.
So what would either of these guys really know about Google updates, never mind basic SEO principles?
But don’t take my word for it…check out what some other WA members have to say:
Take a close look at that last post…
The writer literally compares the last Google update to THANOS snapping his fingers.
He says he lost 30% of his traffic practically overnight.
So HOW exactly does WA consider this a “boost” in traffic and rankings?
It’s literally the exact opposite. Now, to me, that sounds like Wealthy Affiliate is literally making money by lying to its community members.
Misleading Claim #3: Easily Scale a Campaign to Over $1 MILLION Per Year
Another load of bullshit. Below are some screenshots from one of Kyle’s WA blog posts.
According to the header, this post was updated on Dec 2/2020:
Like most of the publicly available Wealthy Affiliate blog posts, this one is a poorly veiled attempt at getting you to become a WA member so you can then join the affiliate program.
In this particular post, Kyle recommends a number of ways you can be successful promoting Wealthy Affiliate.
He tells you to go after people who don’t like their jobs, people who are employed part-time, and people who are unemployed.
He also mentions a bunch of interests you can target.
Including the brilliant gem of targeting people who watch TV. And he includes examples of popular TV shows people watch, like the Apprentice and Deal or No Deal. Shows which were popular in, I don’t know, 2005?!?!?
Then, of course, Kyle makes the wonderfully misleading claim that you can “easily” scale a single campaign to over $1 million per year.
We have no proof that Kyle himself could get anywhere close to that amount.
He’s got 3 defunct sites, some very old success stories, and appears to make most of his money by convincing people to join Wealthy Affiliate just so they can turn around and sell WA to other people.
This is not the guy I’d trust to show me how to start a profitable online business.
Misleading Claim #4: Wealthy Affiliate has the Best Website Hosting Available
I’ll give the WA team props for this: they take the whole “all-in-one solution” philosophy very seriously.
Wealthy Affiliate doesn’t just offer training. They have a community, and affiliate program, and a keyword research tool.
And as a member, they also offer you their own website building and hosting platform.
So they live up to the ideal of offering all the tools you need to run a successful affiliate marketing business.
Too bad all the tools suck.
Next on the list: SiteRubix.
On the WA website, they mention their SiteRubix hosting platform. Wealthy Affiliate claims SiteRubix is an extremely fast and powerful hosting service.
They even brag about their average page load time of 1.3 seconds.
Did nobody tell the folks over at WA that 1.3 seconds isn’t something to brag about?
Let’s take a look at what’s considered a fast load time in 2021:
Notice that three of these hosting platforms (Flywheel, DreamHost, and InMotion) ALL have page load times less than HALF a second, and two (Kinsta and SiteGround) come in under a full second.
Yet WA is walking around like their 1.3 second load time is something to bge proud of.
Who are they trying to fool?
I’ll tell ya: they’re trying to fool you.
Good, honest, hardworking people just trying to figure out how to build a successful online business.
It pisses me off. The people at Wealthy Affiliate are giving internet marketers a bad name.
Misleading Claim #5: Over One Million “Lucrative” Niches to Choose From
So, this is an old marketing trick. You throw out a big number, and tell folks it’s “theoretically” possible to achieve this.
That’s what WA is doing when they say they’ll help you find a profitable niche from over a million options.
Spoiler alert: you don’t have over a million lucrative niches at your fingertips. You’ve got a handful.
We’ve entered this weird world where everyone thinks everything is a niche.
I was in one online marketing community, where someone was asking folks to answer some questions about his business in “the burger niche”.
No, man. That’s called a restaurant. You have a restaurant.
Expect this level of intelligence if you ask for niche help inside WA.
Misleading Claim #6: Access to Over 4 Billion Potential Customers
This is another marketing trick like WA used in the previous example.
They tell you you have access to over 4 billion potential customers you can share your message (and affiliate links) with.
I mean, I guess that’s technically true:
According to Statista, there are 4.66 billion people in the world who are active internet users.
So yes, they are all “potential customers”.
But, like, come on.
First off, at least a billion of those people don’t speak English.
Almost ALL of them aren’t in the US. And since Wealthy Affiliate pushes you to either promote WA or start a blog and throw up a bunch of Amazon affiliate links, your overall audience is gonna be limited.
Second, this directly contradicts the promise in Misleading Claim #5. By definition, a niche has a small group of very passionate buyers.
What kind of niche has 4 billion people in it? Give me a break.
Misleading Claim #7: WA Members Own a HUGE Share of ALL Traffic Online
Yeah, that’s the same screenshot from Claim #6. I had to break it up into two parts, because, no surprise, there were too many misleading claims in the same section.
In the bottom part, you can see that WA claims their members “own a huge share of ALL traffic online.”
Then, to drive the point home, they have the audacity to say “That is a fact.”
Well, time for a fact-check then.
According to SEMRush, these are the top 20 websites on the internet:
Facebook and Google alone control 20% of the world’s traffic. Add Netflix and Amazon to that, and you’re up to around 40%.
I don’t see WA anywhere on here, so I’m not sure how they can say their members own a HUGE share of traffic online. Unless PornHub is a Wealthy Affiliate site, I’d say this claim is clearly false.
But let’s just close the book on this once and for all. Here’s the traffic snapshot for the entire Wealthy Affiliate website, including all their subdomains:
According to Ahrefs, WA isn’t even in the top 5,000 of sites on the internet.
But wait, maybe some of their members are absolutely killing it, and making money hand over fist.
Is it possible that some folks in the WA community are doing better than WA itself?
Let’s put it to the test:
Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories
I wanted to see some of the top WA sites out there, so I could answer once and for all: “Is Wealthy Affiliate Legitimate?”
So I search for the “most successful wealthy affiliate websites,” and guess what I found?
Yep, more sites full of Wealthy Affiliate reviews.
It seems like if you want any legitimate info on WA, you’re out of luck. Most blogs with the title “Honest Wealthy Affiliate Review” are anything but.
It feels like the only thing they teach in the Affiliate Bootcamp is how to poorly sell WA to every sucker who happens to stumble upon your site.
But I kept looking, and the closest I could find was this:
Yes, if it wasn’t completely obvious, this guy is just using his site to promote WA. If you click on that button in the top right, you know exactly where it takes you.
But, since this was the best I could find, I went through these so-called “success stories”.
The first guy featured is a guy named Dom W. And according to this site, Dom did $680,000 in sales in 2016 with one site:
Ok, lots to unpack here.
First off: in the world of internet marketing, 2016, was like 3 lifetimes ago.
As I’ve said again and again, the WA training is extremely outdated. And if the best case study is from 2016, that’s the proof right there!
I took a quick look at Dom’s site, and I have three main takeaways:
- It’s just a WA affiliate site
- It took FOREVER to load
- The last blog post is from April 2020
I was actually hoping for a different website, given the domain name.
But looks like out of the 1 million+ niches they advertise, it somehow always comes down to just becoming an affiliate of WA.
That’s beside the point. Let’s see how well Dom is doing since his big 2016 when he allegedly pulled in $680,000:
Sounds about right. 1,300 visitors a month, and traffic is valued at about $1,200.
So, there’s two ways to interpret this, and neither makes WA look good.
Option 1: Dom and WA are lying about his results
The unfortunate reality of this online business world is that it’s very hard to know who to trust.
Too many shady marketers take advantage of our innate human need to trust.
We want to believe people are good and honest and have our best interests at heart. So we let them tell us what we want to hear, and we don’t demand proof.
But that’s exactly how WA can get away with sharing questionable success cases like Dom.
And it’s why I created GG Money in the first place. So you never have to fall for another tactic like this again.
Option 2: WA never updated their training, and Dom lost all his traffic
I find this theory much harder to believe.
If Dom was able to take the lessons from WA to create a business that brought him $680,000 in 2016, he has to have been smart enough to at least keep it at that level, if not grow it over the past 4 years.
Plus, with a success story like that (if it were true), Wealthy Affiliate would definitely bring him in as a coach and invest in their training so they could create even more superstars.
There’s no way anyone who had an affiliate website worth $680k would just let that go.
Is Wealthy Affiliate Worth it?
If this article was titled “Wealthy Affiliate Review 2012,” I’d say it’s probably a no-brainer.
But it’s not. This review is for the year 2021. In fact, even if it was 2017, I’d still say you’re better off spending your money on other affiliate marketing courses.
And now that it’s 2021, my warning is even louder. Wealthy Affiliate is NOT worth it.
Their Affiliate Bootcamp is not worth it.
Their Online Entrepreneur Certification is not worth it.
Their community is not worth it.
Their affiliate programs are not worth it.
Their tools and hosting are not worth it.
And the business model they teach is DEFINITELY not worth it.
Does that answer your question?
It is entirely possible to build a profitable, successful online business.
Is Wealthy Affiliate Legitimate?
Something tells me you already know the answer to this.
I’m 99.99999% sure the founders of WA make all (or at least the majority of) their money by pushing members to become affiliates and sell WA to others.
And I’m just as certain that the only people making any money from Wealthy Affiliate are those just promoting Wealthy Affiliate.
Just type #WealthyAffiliate into any social media site.
It’s full of people making spammy posts about how to make money through affiliate marketing, and trying to get you to click on their WA affiliate link.
Is Wealthy Affiliate a Scam?
For legal reasons, I can’t go that far. Theoretically, you CAN make money from their training. I wouldn’t bet on that, but since it’s technically possible, I can’t call WA a scam.
Instead, I’d just say that it’s poor value.
When it comes to building an online business, you have plenty of options.
And even if you’re dead set on becoming an affiliate marketer, you’ve got much better choices than Wealthy Affiliate.
Keep in mind, I don’t get paid to promote any of the programs I review. I personally think affiliate marketing is a terrible business model, where you end up leaving way too much money on the table.
But that link above is your best bet if that’s where you want to dedicate your valuable time and attention.
How Does Wealthy Affiliate Make Money?
Something that really irks me in this online marketing world is when someone sells a product, and then tells you the best way to succeed with that product is by selling that product to other people.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what WA does.
You become a member, and you’re told you can “earn while you learn”. Which basically means you should share your affiliate link anywhere and everywhere.
Then, if you’re lucky enough to make a sale like that, you get your first little affiliate commission, and you’re hooked.
The sales argument becomes:
“Look how easy this was. Now imagine what happens when you become a Premium Member and have access to all this training. You’ll be unstoppable!”
And if you don’t make a sale with your free membership?
Then the story changes a bit:
“Affiliate Marketing is something we at WA have been perfecting for years. As a Premium Member, you get all the training in our Online Entrepreneur Certification. Plus, you can enroll in our Affiliate Bootcamp and learn the best tips and tricks for promoting WA!”
That’s the irony of most affiliate marketing courses. They promise to teach you how to make millions as an affiliate marketer.
But it’s a bait and switch. Because once you’re in, they just want you to promote their course.
Something seems kind of sketchy about that, no?
Is Wealthy Affiliate a Pyramid Scheme?
So technically, a pyramid scheme is an illegal business or investment model where a paying member gets paid for enrolling others into the business instead of actually selling the company’s products.
However, since WA IS the product in this case, they technically aren’t a pyramid scheme. Instead, Wealthy Affiliate just comes right up to the line, but doesn’t cross it.
Since WA offers training and courses, as well as website building and hosting as part of their membership, they narrowly avoid the “pyramid scheme” label.
Is Wealthy Affiliate an MLM?
Now, there’s a better argument here.
Multi-level marketing is basically defined as a business opportunity where you get paid to bring other people into the company to also act as salespeople and recruiters.
So, that part’s true.
But, to qualify as a multi-level marketing model, there’s usually a downstream revenue model.
So you don’t just get paid on those folks YOU bring in, but also the people THEY bring in.
This distinction is the big difference between network marketing (NWM) and the multi-level kind.
And it also saves a lot of companies from being labeled a pyramid scheme by the government and targeted.
WA falls into this category. You could probably call it a network marketing company that brands itself as an affiliate marketing company. The two are extremely similar.
How to Make Money with Wealthy Affiliate
If you’ve read any part of this review, you’ll do the smart thing and stay well away from WA.
But if you’re really desperate to turn a profit with this company, here’s the easiest solution: don’t give them your money. Congrats! Now you’re making $99 per month with Wealthy Affiliate.
You’re doing better than 99.9% of people in the program by not paying the monthly membership fee.
How Much Money Can You Make With Wealthy Affiliate?
The snarky answer here is nothing, nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
But I’m sure you’re probably more curious about the Wealthy Affiliate commission structure. So let’s talk about that.
I’ll actually give props to WA here. Even though I don’t like everything else about them, I can’t fault them on their commission rates.
WA is very generous in this regard.
When someone joins WA through your affiliate link and completes their profile (uploads a profile a picture and fills in the description), you get a dollar.
It’s not much, but it’s something to incentivize you to start recruiting free members.
If one of your recruits upgrades to Wealthy Affiliate Premium within the first 7 days (for the $19 first month offer), you get an $8 commission. Basically 47%.
That’s the same rate for the $49 membership. You get $23.50, also about 47%. And yes, that’s recurring for as long as the person keeps their membership.
Now, 47% sounds really good.
But what if you could double that? And run an online business where you get to keep 90% of the profits?
And get that same recurring income month after month?
Even better, instead of selling a $49 product that someone else owns, your average sale will come in at about $1,000…PER MONTH.
So instead of bringing in $23.50 per sale, you’ll be closer to $900.
And you own and control the whole thing.
How Long Does it Take to Succeed with Wealthy Affiliate?
I really can’t answer that. It looks like all the biggest WA success stories are still struggling to succeed with their own affiliate marketing businesses.
So, is it reasonable to answer “forever”?
WA Red Flags
Like all affiliate programs, WA sells a big dream, but the reality never quite matches up.
So in this review, I want to take some time to go over some of the major red flags I’ve seen after going through their promotional material and training.
Plus, there’s a few other things I noticed while doing additional research for this review.
Random WA Red Flag #1 – Churn Rate
So, here’s something that totally threw me off:
On their affiliate program page, WA proclaims that the average commission per sign-up is $121.
That would mean the average person keeps their membership for about 5 months ($23.50 x 5 months = $117.50, just under $121).
But wait…I thought WA was THE go-to platform for affiliate marketers at ALL levels?
So how come the average member only lasts 5 months?
By my calculations, that’s just long enough to review all the WA training, realize it’s mostly useless, and cancel your membership.
It’s something to think about, if nothing else.
Random WA Red Flag #2 – 30% Conversion Rate
I always get a little suspicious when I see sky-high success rates being
On the affiliate program page, WA claim that they upgrade an average of 12% of free members to paid members.
And they go further by saying that in many cases, they see upsell conversion rates as high as 30%!
Now, all the affiliate marketers reading this just lost their minds.
The industry average conversion rate for affiliate marketing ranges from 0.5% to 1%.
So Wealthy Affiliate is claiming they get anywhere from 12 to 60 times the industry average?
Hmmm, definitely seems like a red flag to me…
Especially when posts like this are quite common inside the WA Community:
Don’t get me wrong…2% is nothing to sneeze at. But it’s a hell of a lot lower than the promised 12-30% conversion rate.
Random WA Red Flag #3 – Contradictory Info
This is a common problem inside much of the training.
I could list hundreds of examples, but since this review is getting long, I’ll just list one for now…
In one lesson, Kyle explains how and why you should set up a Google AdSense account for your affiliate site.
Because, instead of actually teaching you something useful about affiliate marketing, he instead uses this lesson as a shameless plug to – wait for it – use your site to promote WA!
His genius insights include:
- Make your entire site about affiliate marketing
- Write a fake review about a bunch of other affiliate marketing courses, then tell them why WA is better
- Write a really flattering fake review of Wealthy Affiliate, then push everyone to your affiliate link
Random WA Red Flag #4 – Poorly Organized Training Material
I could honestly fill this entire review with examples of Wealthy Affiliate’s poor organization when it comes to their “industry-leading” training.
In one of the Affiliate Bootcamp lessons, Kyle talks about how important it is to create your own videos when trying to promote WA. It gives that whole personal touch when you’re selling other people on this very questionable product.
But then, five lessons go by, Kyle hits his head or something, and he once again starts telling you why video is super important:
This is basically the same lesson twice, with just a different intro each time!
Sounds like they did a really great quality check on
this “top-of-the-line” training.
Random WA Red Flag #5 – Many Wealthy Affiliate Training Modules are Just “Breaks”
Ok, this is just weird. Again and again in Kyle’s trainings, he encourages you to “take a break” or “do what you like today”:
I mean, if this was a random, once-in-a-while thing, you could say it’s strategic or empathetic.
But then this shit happens:
A 10-day break? That’s just lazy. They clearly didn’t have enough outdated lessons in the Wealthy Affiliate vault, so they resorted to this garbage.
And if that wasn’t bad enough:
Seriously? 20 days to work on your site?! What happened to the promise of a powerful, revenue-ready website in just 30 seconds?
20 days is like a billion seconds.
Random WA Red Flag #6 – Outdated Training in Wealthy Affiliate
I’ve spent a lot of this review ranting and raving about how outdated the training is inside WA. And I’ve given a bunch of examples already, but this one is hands-down my favorite:
Come on, seriously?
Google Plus got phased out in April 2019. It’s 2021! Why is Wealthy Affiliate even talking about this at all?
Here’s another one:
Because according to StatCounter, Google owns 91.38% of search engine market share worldwide.
Bing and Yahoo! together account for 4.15%.
So give me a break with that 33% BS. That might have been true in 2012.
But it most likely wasn’t true in 2018, when the above lesson was last updated.
And it definitely isn’t true now.
Wealthy Affiliate Support
I don’t have too much to say about the support at WA. Allegedly, you can message Kyle anytime for help if you have questions.
In reality, it’s most likely a VA answering questions from their outdated knowledge base.
Here’s one example of the type of “support” you get from Wealthy Affiliate, as shared by someone else in WA:
Good luck with that.
I’m passionate about Phil Collins…not sure how much luck I’ll have building a niche site around that.
Wealthy Affiliate Community
The community is about as useful as Kyle’s “support”.
You’ve got two types of members here:
The clueless newbies who’ve completely drunk the Kool-Aid and fully believe they’re one niche away from striking it rich…
And the sketchy “elite” members who brag about their results but never provide proof or share any good advice.
So, if you were hoping for, at the very least, that “family who help each other” vibe, you’re out of luck.
Fortunately, there’s a better option with a community of folks who actually care about your success and are there to help you every step of the way.
Consider This Instead of Wealthy Affiliate…
Look, if you’re serious about building a successful online business, I’ve got three words for you:
Instead of spending your time and money building websites that are unlikely to get more than a few visitors a month, Digital Real Estate allows you to use the same resources in a more powerful and profitable way.
You won’t be building sketchy blogs and hoping to get a bunch of suckers to sign up for WA through your affiliate link.
Instead, you’ll be building real digital assets that draw customers to them like a magnet.
You won’t be selling someone else’s crappy products for a tiny commission.
Instead, you’ll own the asset, and get to keep 100% of the profits.
Digital Real Estate is all about giving clients and customers something they actually want, and it only takes a few simple steps:
Step 1: Find a local, service-based niche.
Think plumbing, fence repair, roofing.
I’m not gonna tell you there are MILLIONS of potential niches out there.
Nah, there’s maybe a good couple hundred.
Step 2: Pick a small to mid-sized town or city.
Go for somewhere between 100,000 and 500,000 residents.
That’s enough of a population to ensure demand, but not enough to draw huge amounts of competition.
Think places like Spokane, Washington.
Step 3: Build a tiny, ugly website for that service.
This isn’t a fancy web development project or anything.
This is a website you can put up in a couple of hours.
Not 30 seconds. But not a week either.
Step 4: Start drawing customers to your site.
You’ll learn all about how to do this inside the program.
And trust me when I say, it’s a lot more valuable than “write a bunch of blogs,” or “share your site on social media”.
These are powerful traffic-generating skills perfected by a veteran marketer with years of practice and millions of dollars in PROVEN RESULTS.
Step 5: Get a local business owner to “rent” these customers from you.
On your site, you’ll have two powerful weapons:
A contact form and a phone number.
You own this phone number. You control where the calls go. You control where all the form submissions go.
So when a customer comes to this website and needs the service (let’s say an emergency plumber in Spokane, Washington), they call the number or fill out the form.
And the person who gets that call or info is a plumber in Spokane.
Whichever one paid you the most.
See, it’s called Digital Real Estate because you own the website and the customers, and local business owners “rent” them from you.
Digital Real Estate in a Nutshell
Each of these “Digital Rental Properties” brings in about $500 to $2,000 per month.
They take a little while to set up, but once you’ve got ‘em going, they just crank.
And then they require almost no maintenance at all.
So the money just rolls in every single month.
Now keep in mind, you’re not limited to one niche or one city.
Across the US and Canada for sure, but it’s also possible in other countries (though this program specializes in Digital Real Estate for American companies).
Wealthy Affiliate vs. Digital Real Estate
This business makes perfect sense…
The average sale is WAAAAYYY higher than most affiliate products. With an average monthly “rental” price of $1,000, that’s like selling 20 Wealthy Affiliate memberships each month.
But instead of making 47% through WA, Digital Real Estate allows you to keep 100% of the profits!
And since the profit margins are well over 90%, there’s no competition here!
Let’s just look at the math:
If you sell 20 WA memberships per month, that brings you $470 per month in commissions.
If you sell ONE digital rental property, you make about $900 per month.
Now, don’t you think it’s easier to sell something to one person as opposed to 20?
Especially when it’s a local business owner who NEEDS what you’re selling?
And don’t you think they’ll continue to pay you month after month?
Because that $1,000 investment brings them $5,000… $10,000… even $20,000 each month.
So that 5-month turnover rate isn’t really a problem.
Especially because you can easily fill an empty digital rental property.
Let’s say your business owner stops paying. Well, in two clicks, the phone calls and form submissions stop going to them.
Then, you call their biggest competitor.
And you say “hey, [tenant name] was making $20k a month from the customers I was bringing him every month. He doesn’t want to pay for them anymore. I’ll sell them to you for $1,500 a month.”
Done. You just resold your digital rental property with one phone call, AND gave yourself a 50% raise.
And I’m telling you, that freedom is SWEET!
Digital Real Estate is one of the main reasons I now regularly bring in over $50,000 a month.
It allows me to take a month off at a time and go camping with my kids.
It’s the reason I never have to worry about taking a vacation, buying a new car, or paying a bill ever again.
You have the potential to make this your reality too.
Founder, GG Money