I’ve spent years trying to find ways to work at home and make money online, and as a result, I’ve come across (and fallen for!) many (many, many, many) of the scams out there. So is Wealthy Affiliate a scam or what? I will explain to you in detail whether I believe Wealthy Affiliate is a scam or not, but first, let me share with you what I’ve found.
Some are an all-out scam.
This is where someone is offering something that sounds too good to be true and it turns out to be just that. Those are the worst cases – where someone actually takes your money and gives you nothing of value in return.
Some aren’t technically a scam, but…
Others make offers that aren’t actually false or fraudulent, but not exactly honest either. Those are the guys who only give you part of the story – the ones who make a bunch of promises and make things sound easy, when really you’d have to have a magic wand to actually accomplish making one dime with their program.
Some fail to tell you what’s really involved.
Other programs make promises that you’ll make money, but they fail to tell you just how little you’ll be paid for your work. The survey-answering scams come to mind on this one. Yes, you can actually be paid for answering surveys online – but they take HOURS and you get only pennies for doing it.
Some are legit but not worthwhile.
I believe that affiliate marketing is no doubt an honest, realistic way to make money online, but there are scams for this out there too. I signed up for an affiliate marketing training course a few years ago and I got so excited! I thought the training was awesome and I was excited about what I was learning. I was convinced I’d soon be rich! But what I didn’t realize at the time, because I was brand new at affiliate marketing and knew absolutely nothing about it at that point, was that the training they were giving me was far from thorough. I was able to set up a website that looked cool. They even showed me how to become an affiliate for companies I liked. They gave me some training about how to insert affiliate links and banners on my website. Wah-la, right? I honestly thought that once my website went live, the money would start pouring in! Sounds stupid, I know – but in my defense, I thought that because it’s what they were leading me to believe. In actuality, no one ever visited my website because I was doing absolutely nothing to make that happen. They left out the most important part of the training – how to actually get people to come to your website! There’s absolutely no way I could’ve been successful just with the training they were offering.
But I’m not upset…I’m actually thankful for those guys because they’re the ones that helped me get my feet wet in affiliate marketing. They’re the ones that showed me what it was, and at least gave me an idea of how it worked and what it could be. I wish they would’ve made good on their promise to actually show me how to make money with it – but at least they opened the door.
Wealthy Affiliate is NOT a Scam. It’s the real deal.
Wealthy Affiliate, the company I finally ended up with (and who helped me create this website, is a legit, actual, real training program for how to become an affiliate marketer. It covers absolutely everything you could possibly need to know to be successful. Everything from setting up a website, to learning how to get traffic. And all the stuff in between – simple stuff like how to add pictures to your website, how to set it up so it looks good and is easy to read. And harder stuff like Search Engine Optimization, setting up a Google Analytics account. I’m getting tons of traffic on my website. People share my pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn. There are dozens of conversations going on at any given moment on or about MY website – either via comments and discussions on the website itself, or comments on social media. I cannot express how exciting it is to actually have people coming to my website. Seeing my work. Visitors…Customers! Now there’s a concept! LOL! That’s what the other guys never taught me. This is the difference between the scams and Wealthy Affiliate.
Starting with Wealthy Affiliate is absolutely free. You can set up your own website, go through tons of how-to classes. Actually build a successful website, learn how to be an affiliate marketer, be successful, and go on for the rest of your life earning a full time income from the website you’ve built with their free help.
OK, so…What’s the Catch?
Let’s get right to it.
I might actually be the only person on the internet who is going to tell you upfront exactly what to expect and what “the catch” is with this program. The truth is, there is not only one “catch” with Wealthy Affiliate, there are two!
What does “Going Premium” mean? During the first 20 (Free) training classes, the trainer (owner, Kyle) repeatedly encourages you to “Go Premium.” What this means is that there are two memberships with Wealthy Affiliate. The Starter Membership is absolutely free and includes everything I’ve talked about. The upgraded membership is called, “Premium.” I am currently a Premium Member with Wealthy Affiliate. BUT I WENT THROUGH ALL OF THE FREE TRAINING CLASSES FIRST! I honestly didn’t have to go Premium. I could’ve easily just kept right on working with everything they taught me. The only reason I upgraded was to get these added benefits:
The most important added benefits for me
After doing the 20 free classes and being well on my way and actually knowing my way around this a bit, I realized going Premium would benefit me because I was ready to keep going. I wanted access to the remaining 6 phases of the Affiliate Bootcamp Training (I’ll tell you more about this in a sec), I wanted to be able to start more websites and with the free membership I could only have two, whereas with the Premium Membership I can have 50. I wanted the live video classes. Honestly, I can’t express this enough – the video classes are awesome! I also wanted the double commission if I had anyone join Wealthy Affiliate because of me. I was already excited and telling people about it so I figured why not get paid twice the commission if someone signs up? Also so very important is the benefit of having the Comment Platform and the Feedback Platform. You’ll understand this better once you get a few classes under your belt, but comments are super important to your website’s ranking with Google. Wealthy Affiliate can help you get comments super fast and easy. And the website Feedback Platform is priceless – this is where experienced members of Wealthy Affiliate actually look at your work and give you feedback. I’ve learned so much from these people. It’s unbelievable.
The cost of the Premium Membership is $49 per month. Well worth it, in my opinion, to basically have a teacher in your office with you 24/7!
So there’s the first catch. Wealthy affiliate is absolutely free to start. And you can absolutely use the free training to build a website, learn to be an affiliate marketer, work and earn money the rest of your life without ever paying a dime – without ever becoming a premium member. But I personally am a premium member. I feel the fee is worth it all over the place.
Second Catch: Promoting Wealthy Affiliate
The second catch is that not only does Wealthy Affiliate teach you how to start your own website on a topic that YOU love – mine happens to be about animals – but they also include free training called Affiliate Bootcamp where they teach you how to promote Wealthy Affiliate! Brilliant, don’t you agree? These guys really had a fantastic idea when they came up with this. It’s like they said, “Let’s start a free website where we teach people step-by-step how to become awesome, super effective affiliate marketers – then encourage them to market….US!”
And what I love about this is that you don’t have to do it. You can join for free and get all the training you need to start your own website on any subject you love, and be successful at it. You can even become a Premium Member to keep on going with that – just focusing on the website (or up to 50 websites) you choose to create and promote.
I wasn’t sure in the beginning if I’d end up promoting Wealthy Affiliate or not. At first I was so nervous about the training, about starting something new – that I couldn’t even think about that. For me, I had to take just one step at a time. Open my first website. But after a while, when I started to feel more confident and realized I can actually do this, I really wanted to promote Wealthy Affiliate. These guys have changed my life. I honestly couldn’t feel right about myself if I didn’t share it with people. So many people out there – from single moms to people who couldn’t go to college – executives who got fired due to downsizing after slaving for 30 years…so many people in every category of life can benefit from working at home and making money online. And most importantly, if I can teach even one person how to do something they love for a living then, well…it’s worth it. So I decided to start this website and promote Wealthy Affiliate – and they pay me to do that (twice as much since I’m a Premium Member) – so why not? So there’s the second catch.
What They Don’t Tell You
Here’s another example of my being the only person on the internet who will tell you the whole truth. Maybe I should just keep this stuff to myself so it doesn’t scare you away…so you’ll get excited about everything I’ve told you and go ahead and sign up with Wealthy Affiliate. Then you’ll go through the classes, move along steadily, and find these things out for yourself. But I decided when I started this article that I wanted to answer every question you might have. That I wanted to be perfectly and completely honest. And most of all, I wanted to include “what I wish they would’ve told me” when I first signed up. So here’s the stuff they don’t tell you:
It will likely take 3 to 6 months before you start making money. This is a big one, and I have to be honest and say that I wish someone had told me that right from the start. The fact is, websites take time. They take time to open, to build. It takes time to add content to your website and make it a place where people can actually get valuable information. It takes time to go through your training classes and even learn how to do this, you know? And most importantly, it takes 3 to 6 months for Google to rank you. When you start a new website, Google doesn’t take you seriously at all. Any Joe Blow can open a website. What they want to see is whether it’s a valuable website. They want to see commitment from you in the form of adding valuable content regularly. They want to make sure you’re not just trying to earn money, but actually posting stuff that helps people. They want to make sure you’re not going to be gone in three weeks. Do you see what I mean? It takes a while before Google will put you on the first page of a search when someone is looking for the information you’re putting on your website. So it takes a while to get traffic, to build an audience, and to start making money.
You have to write content. Don’t get nervous – if you think you’re not a good writer, it’s OK. They’ll teach you how to do this. But by content I mean articles. Look around this website. See all those posts/articles? That’s content. Me writing articles on different subjects that educate and inform and help people. And if you click into any of my articles, you’ll see links to the places I’m an affiliate for. This is where the money comes from. If you’re confused about this, don’t worry about it. They’ll teach you. During the free training classes, they’ll teach you exactly how to do this. And I can tell you that once you get the hang of it, not only is it FUN, but if you’ve chosen a subject you’re passionate about, you’re also learning as you write!
You have to work regularly. Contrary to what some scams might try to tell you, you can’t just set up your website, walk away, then sit on a beach somewhere while the money pours in. Actually, it’s a little like that – I mean, you will have pages on your website that are self-sufficient. Once posted, they will actually bring in money month after month, year after year, with little or no effort from you. But your website must remain active. You must be adding valuable content to it on a regular basis (at least twice a week or so, so I’ve learned).
You have to reply to comments. People will visit your site. And they will make comments. And you have to reply. This isn’t hard because it takes only a few minutes a day, plus it’s fun and exciting to interact with the visitors on your website. Comments/engagement/discussions are super important for your website to be ranked highly with Google. So you have to sign in every day and reply to your comments.
You have to do the training classes! It’s no lie, this is a lot of work. Each of the 50 initial free training classes takes about an hour to get through. I have a yellow legal pad full of the notes I took from these classes. You have to open the class, read the lesson, watch the video, then do the tasks they give you for that class. It’s work.
How much money can you make?
I think the best way to answer this is to show you some of the success blogs that actual Wealthy Affiliate members have posted. Check these out:
This one’s from Colton. This kid’s straight out of college!
Gawwwwdddd, I wish I knew at his age what he’s learned from Wealthy Affiliate! It would’ve saved me 30+ years of working for someone else! I watch Colton continuously. I’m so inspired by this guy! By the way, his newest post was in December, 2015, where he reports he’s had his first $10,000 month!
This one’s from one of the trainers. I love this guy. He does a lot of the live video trainings I told you about. He’s funny and a fantastic teacher.
Here’s George, just a regular Joe Blow like us who’s quietly working, making progress. You go, George!
If you’d like to read more actual blogs like this, click here. The success stories are endless at Wealthy Affiliate.
The Free Starter Membership includes:
10 FREE Beginner Classes
10 FREE Affiliate Bootcamp Classes
Endless training posts and articles
Countless live training webinars that you can either watch live or watch on your own time (they’re recorded in case you can’t watch when they’re live)
Instant Friends. I mean it – the people at Wealthy Affiliate are so kind and helpful. I knew as soon as I joined that I wasn’t alone!
Wealthy Affiliate can be a part time job, or a full time job – the choice is yours.
So there it is.
I hope you realize now that you’ve finished this article that I’m being completely honest about what I’m promoting. I believe in Wealthy Affiliate. I’m a member and I have no doubt this will be my job for the rest of my life. I won’t ever work for anyone else again – I’ll never have a J.O.B. again. I’m self-employed now, I’m an online entrepreneur – I set my own hours, I’m my own boss. And it’s all because of Wealthy Affiliate. I’m sold. Absolutely. But I wanted people to know EXACTLY what to expect – and more important, what NOT to expect.
Don’t be scared. I’ve revealed all the catches here. You now know exactly what you’re getting into. Just go for it. You won’t regret it!
Go ahead…ask me any question you want 🙂
Comment below with questions (I’ll respond!) Debra
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