In my “About” page, I mentioned that I got laid off from my full-time work. It was because, in trying to make blogging work, I switched my 100% focus to make a full-time income from blogging. It, therefore, affected my performance inside the office.
In my commute to work every day, I would search for the best work from home jobs online. To cut the story short, after trying at least 3 platforms, I found Wealthy Affiliate University.
The Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform (training, hosting, domain registrar, community and support). People of any age are supposed to learn and succeed in trying to work from home by blogging. Just by having the basic computer skills, knowledge of the English language, and passion for succeeding, the affiliate marketing training inside the Wealthy Affiliate is supposed to be a sure ball winning formula to escape your 9 to 5 job, if not, provide you a passive income running in a semi-autopilot mode.
The primary purpose of this post is to tell you my story how the Wealthy Affiliate helped me to replace my full-time day job. But before you proceed reading, know that as a member of the WA community, I am an affiliate by default. Clicking on my affiliate links will give me a commission should you decide to join the platform and avail of their services.
Despite being an affiliate, I promise that I will do my best for this review to be very honest.
My Brief History
I signed up as a basic member of Wealthy Affiliate on October 18, 2015. As a free member, I was allowed to watch the Getting Started Course – all 10 Lessons for the next seven days and get unlimited communication from the rest of the Community.
The ten free lessons gave me the initial blueprint that I have been looking for on how I want to make money online. It is incomparable to countless blogs I am subscribed to about the same subject matter.
But seven days was not enough for me. I needed to ask questions and you cannot ask questions after your 7th day. And so I went premium after.
I like subscribing to services that have a money back guarantee, and although Wealthy Affiliate doesn’t have one, it was only $19 for the first month. They also give you the option to cancel anytime – so I went ahead to try it.
I rushed to read and watch the other 40 lessons (there were only a total of 50 that time), which are only available for Premium members. In my mind, if it doesn’t satisfy me, I am leaving after my first month of being a Premium member.
But no! The lessons were only the start. There’s an ocean of training that you’ll never know when you can finish. It was time to stick to one blueprint and give it a chance to work.
I committed to making it work. The weekly live classes’ replays became my new Spotify. If time permitted, I also attended live.
I blogged on my phone on the train and bus to and from work. I wrote articles after my baby slept at night. I also sometimes worked during my lunch break.
When I lost my job, I thought I had all the time to blog. But my toddler’s needs were unpredictable. Add the household chores to the daily challenge. It was tough.
What’s Inside The Wealthy Affiliate?
1 – The Dashboard Menu: This is where you will find the “Newsfeed” and the ‘Live Chat” areas.
2 – The Newsfeed: Like Facebook, you’ll see members’ posts in this area. Be careful, it can get distracting and you might just waste time reading posts instead of actual lessons. 🙂
3 – The Live Chat: I honestly have only used this once. People type so fast and my questions easily get buried, I cannot keep up. LOL.
–> The Training <–
There are four types of Training inside the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
The Official Training:
The fourth type of training is done by Premium members. When you reach your third month as a Premium member, you will have learned a massive amount of knowledge you never knew about before. It’s then the time to give back and share the knowledge.
When you share your knowledge by creating tutorials and training, you get compensated, depending on the likes, shares, comments and other metrics.
I tried writing around 5 pieces of training. See them from my Profile page.
If you are curious how much I got so far for creating them, I got paid $5 for each training. Not much, but it can help pay for something if you do it often. 🙂
You have to be extra careful when following the “unofficial” training. Some members might offer obsolete advice and you have to do your own research to verify if what you are following is sound advice.
My Review Of The Wealthy Affiliate Online Certification Course
The Online Certification Course is geared towards teaching people how to earn money by promoting Amazon products. While I managed to make an income using the basic concepts provided in the course, I did extra research on my part.
Relying on the training alone will not get you fast results. You’ll have to investigate further what other members did or are doing to achieve your desired results.
In my case, I looked at the success stories of some of the members who do Amazon affiliate marketing. I looked at their websites and see what they are doing.
When you do further investigate, that’s when you truly learn the concept provided in the certification course.
For example, one of the members I follow teaches how to build computers on a budget. I learned a lot from his website. Learning is not copying. It should never be. What you need to do is apply the same “concepts.”
Here are some of the things that I learned and realized based on observation and experience, and contrary to the training.
- Too much affiliate links will NOT kill your site. I learned and experienced that as long as it is relevant, you should not be afraid to put a lot of affiliate links in a page or post, even if you are a newbie.
- When you choose a niche, it SHOULD be something that you are interested in. That will make you write consistently with passion. When you choose a topic just because you know it’s profitable, that’s when you get stuck, lazy and end up giving up.
- You should not focus too much on pointing to an “authority site” just for the purpose of getting a backlink. When you write contents that provide value, people will be wanting to link to your site, making you the “authority site” instead.
- Amazon rules and regulations are always updated. The training should also be. A Wealthy Affiliate member was kicked out of the Amazon Associates program just because she placed a price of the Amazon product as per training, but it is against Amazon rules.
- In reference to #4, if the training is teaching something that is pertaining to the Amazon Associates program, better check blogs or training of other members about it. Most of the time, you’ll find the most recent and updated Amazon regulations. The Online Certification Course really needs to have a timely update of the training, especially when pertaining to the Amazon Associates program.
- Building a site may take a few seconds or minutes, but building a “profitable site” will all depend on your hard work, not on your hosting company, not on what community you belong to. It will all be up to you.
- Whatever the lesson states, you do not need to take it literally all the time. If they ask you to install a social sharing plugin and you find the suggestion ugly, feel free to explore alternatives that can do the same job.
Honestly, the “free lessons” in the Online Certification Course offer no value when it comes to learning how to make an income from blogging. You’ll be forced to jump to Premium should you really want to learn how to blog for a living.
My Review Of The Affiliate Bootcamp Course
The Affiliate Bootcamp course is geared towards teaching members to promote Wealthy Affiliate to other people. As a free member, you get lesser commissions when people sign up thru your affiliate link. Being a Premium member entitles you to a 50% recurring commission for every referral.
In my opinion, if you are a newbie, you cannot easily promote Wealthy Affiliate. You have yet to prove that their Online Certification training works. You need to personally achieve the level of “success” that the other official training hopes to provide.
I personally cringe at the thought of promoting a service that I haven’t tried and tested. That is why I shied away from this training for long when I was just starting out.
Little did I know that you don’t have to take it literally. When I went thru the course, I find the Affiliate Bootcamp training more extensive (for a newbie), compared to the Online Certification Course.
Again, you don’t have to take everything literally. You don’t have to promote Wealthy Affiliate if you do not feel comfortable doing it. Just apply the concepts they are teaching because it is the same concept you will need in helping other companies.
This blog is done by following the Affiliate Bootcamp course. Despite being repeatedly advised to write product reviews comparing Wealthy Affiliate to “Scams” online, it is still my choice if I’ll go to that path.
There are a lot of other possible angles that you can do to apply the Wealthy Affiliate Bootcamp lessons.
- You can review legit online jobs and compare Wealthy Affiliate to them. You will end up helping your readers in the process, and in turn, you can get commissions from whatever your readers end up doing/getting.
- You can teach bloggers-wannabe how to work from home by blogging. You don’t have to force them to avail of the training inside WA, you can write them yourself. Your earnings can come from programs and platforms that you recommend based on your experience with them.
- A lot of people are looking for the best hosting companies. You can have a niche site reviewing hosting sites. Whatever people end up utilizing, you can earn from their clicks.
- You can have a niche site comparing Premium themes.
- You can review useful blogging plugins and get earnings from promoting paid plugins.
- You can review SEO (Search Engine Optimization) training. There are a lot out there and most of them have an affiliate program.
- You can compare Keyword Research Tools. Most of them need a subscription and you can earn a recurring commission from them.
- You can create your own affiliate marketing course and sell them to people thru subscription or one-time fee.
- You can review social media automation tools that can help bloggers grow their traffic.
There are a lot of specific topics you can cover using the concepts taught in the Bootcamp Affiliate Course. It’s not just blindly teaching members to promote Wealthy Affiliate.
My Training Activity, Training HQ And Classrooms
“My Training Activity” is where you’ll find your last visited training, whether the official ones or unofficial lessons (i.e. the tutorials by the Premium members).
“Training HQ” is where you’ll find new and popular topics ranging from WordPress, Writing Content, SEO, Ranking In Google, Creating Images, Hosting, Domains and Websites. You can also see the past and future “Events” or the Live Video Training/Class Schedule and replays.
“Classrooms” is a redundant menu. You can already access it from the “Training HQ.” It can already be removed from the navigation I think, so as to reduce the “clutter.”
What Do You Get From Being A Premium Member
1. You Can Access All The Training
If you take action, the basic training as well as some of the members’ training will really give you results. Premium members also have access to Live video classes. You can watch the replay if you miss them. If the Live video classes are advanced, everything is explained in a newbie-friendly manner.
2. You Can Host Up To 25 Websites
I currently have 3 websites and I don’t think I am gonna need more. If you actually work on 1 website full-time, that would be more than enough to yield a full-time income, I think.
3. You Can Build Your Website In Seconds(okay, minutes, if you live in a place where internet speed is poor)
All you have to do is to choose between creating a free website ( .siterubix.com) or type the existing domain you have. The next two steps are as easy as typing a website name and selecting the look of the website which you can change anytime.
4. There Is A free Keyword Research Tool
It is a relevant tool so the articles you write will get the exposure it needs. You need this so your blog posts will make money.
5. You Can Have A “Personal Access” To Everyone
When I say everyone, that includes the owners and all the members, including the successful ones who can help you with your questions first hand.
I have personally sent messages and got helpful replies from members who managed to make Wealthy Affiliate training work for them. It really helped me during my initial months as a newbie.
Okay, I am not going to bore you anymore with the other technicalities that Wealthy Affiliate offers. The above-mentioned six points are what I love most about it.
What I Love About Wealthy Affiliate University
The Site Support
One of the main things I love about the Wealthy Affiliate is the technical guys – the Site Support system. Time is of the essence to me. And if there’s something technical I need help with, these guys reply and take action in minutes!
Years ago, they used to resolve my problem in an hour. Since 2018, they reply in 5 to 10 minutes and they will not stop until the problem is resolved.
In December of 2018, my favorite plugin broke my site. The Site Support guys and the plugin author were both very helpful and in less than 24 hours, my website was fixed.
Hats off to you guys!
The Ambassadors And The Community
For any question, you need immediate help with, you don’t need to Google. Just go to the top part of the page and type your question on the search bar.
If it was asked before and was already answered, you will see it on the drop-down menu. If not, you can submit it as your question which in my experience gets solved as early as five minutes after posting it.
The whole community will start to flood me with answers and options until I say thank you, it is resolved. The whole community is like my very own personal Google. I appreciate them for that.
Some will even send personal messages to answer my questions.
Ambassadors (and sometimes even newcomers) are usually very helpful when you post a question.
I remember when I was still active in different forums online. I would ask something and before you get happy with a reply, you’d encounter all sorts of unhelpful and judgmental people.
Wealthy Affiliate community is different. They will make you feel welcome. Newbie questions are not judged.
Another reason I love the Wealthy Affiliate community is that they are genuine and like-minded people. Believing in your dream is just the start. Surrounding yourself with the right people is what will get you there.
There are a lot of unbelievers, pessimists and fake people in the world and “hanging” out with them will only bring in negativity to your life.
Think about LAW OF ATTRACTION. Trying to get hold of your dream is a very long journey. While you work hard on achieving your goals, you need the right push from the right people – people who don’t see you as a competitor but as an ally, people who you can reach out to any time. People who believe that your dreams are possible.
Is Wealthy Affiliate Free?
I started as a free member of Wealthy Affiliate. I was still working in Singapore back then so I had the access to sign up for free.
You cannot sign up for free if you are located in these places – Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Vietnam. Although three years ago, Kyle, one of the owners, was kind enough to create a free starter account for my friend in the Philippines (the Philippines used to be included in the list).
How Much Does It Cost To Join Wealthy Affiliate?
To get the most savings, a yearly membership is the most ideal. You can get it for USD 359 per year or wait for the Black Friday sale which usually happens around the end of November. You can get it for a locked price of USD 299 per year then. That’s my current membership.
The Black Friday deal is not guaranteed to happen every year, though. Who knows they might not offer it again.
To start with, I highly advise that you take advantage of the $19 price for your first month as a Premium member.
For a month, finish all the lessons. It’s highly possible to finish the Online Certification Course in a month. No need to write your contents first. Just read and watch all the 165 lessons (It used to be just around 50 when I joined).
If after a month you think Wealthy Affiliate is not for you, you can cancel anytime.
I have gone Premium on my first few days of learning the training and have no intentions of leaving. 🙂
$359 per year is like $29.92 per month. Divide that by 30 days, and that’s only less than a dollar per day.
If you work in a full-time employment job, $1 will not be enough for your transportation and meals.
So, Is It Worth The Money?
I am going to tell you honestly that it is not worth the money if you are not going to take action. Wealthy Affiliate is not a get rich quick scheme. You cannot sit there waiting for the money to magically come in the next morning.
What you have to do is to go thru the official training and create contents, ask questions, check out the other members’ training, write, then repeat.
While it is not a get rich overnight program and it would need you to keep on writing and providing quality contents, it is not like iWriter where you get paid one time for every article you write. Once you come up with a review, for example, it will always be yours – and one excellent review’s possibility to earn can be endless.
It is also not like Ebay where you need to have physical products to sell.
For the year of 2016, I only earned USD 162.74 for the whole year. It was a result of not working on my website full-time, not following the training, and having lots of distractions.
The year of 2017 was when I finally saw some results. I earned a total of USD 6,482.18. Here’s a screenshot of my Amazon US earnings for 2017.
2018 was much better. I doubled my income and ⅓ of the money came from using the ASA2 plugin, a WordPress plugin I discovered thru research and not mentioned in the training.. 🙂
Here’s a screenshot of my 2018 Amazon US earnings.
December 11 of 2018, I activated my Google Ads. If you don’t know what that is, that is okay for now. I’ll teach you how to easily put that in your site, should you find it necessary. It’s currently not as good as my affiliate marketing income, so I have disabled it in my Amazon affiliate marketing blog.
What Wealthy Affiliate Hopefully Improves On
Being a free member has a lot of limitations. But it is way better than not being able to sign up for free.
Remember the above-mentioned countries? I know a lot of people who can benefit from the Wealthy Affiliate’s training but most are just skeptical to jump straight to Premium. They would want to take a peek of what they are committing themselves into.
As of writing this post, Wealthy Affiliate also does not provide a money back guarantee. Some programs give you back your money in 30 or 60 days if you are unsatisfied in any way. The lack of money back guarantee is okay though. Most members, like me, have never left Wealthy Affiliate after signing up for Premium membership.
Another new feature that needs improvement is the “Site Content” platform. It is a distraction-free writing platform inside Wealthy Affiliate that you can use to publish your articles.
I have tried to use it several times but it is currently very limited. You need to follow a checklist before you hit the publish button, and you simply cannot do everything that is in the list using the Site Content platform.
Training-wise, I hope Wealthy Affiliate take the time to create new video versions of their training. Some video guides still show old interfaces of sites which, although still applicable in terms of concept, it’s quite funny knowing that the interfaces are still from 5 years ago.
How Do You Cancel Your WA Membership?
Canceling your Wealthy Affiliate membership is possible after reading page by page sales pitch trying to stop you from canceling. Lol. It’s quite funny actually. A friend of mine used to be a member but he didn’t find an interest in affiliate marketing (he creates games and sell them). He had to cancel in the end.
When you cancel, Wealthy Affiliate owns your websites. So be careful when you host your sites inside Wealthy Affiliate. If by any reason you need to move away from Wealthy Affiliate, you’ll have to back up everything so that you can have access to all your hard work.
If you cancel without backing up, the only way to regain access to your websites is thru subscribing to the premium membership again.
Also, if you are a free member (your websites are using the .siterubix.com name), know that one of these days, you might receive an e-mail from Wealthy Affiliate saying that you have “X” number of days to upgrade to Premium so as not to lose your .siterubix.com website. If that happens and you do not intend to be a Premium member for any reason, back up your site so you can have full access and control of it.
Is Wealthy Affiliate Legit?
Wealthy Affiliate is a legitimate platform. The official training might have some outdated information, but in general, it works. I have managed to replace my full-time day job because of applying the concepts in the lessons as well as other members’ training.
If you do the math, the money I invested in the membership for the past three years is just a small amount compared to the financial results I created due to being a member. I also do not need to worry about my WA membership because my Amazon commissions are already taking care of it.
The knowledge I get from the Wealthy Affiliate platform is priceless. Who knows that a newbie like me, can also make it work, not just the big guys. And starting this blog aims to teach how to duplicate my process is something that I never thought I can do. But here I am, writing lessons, sharing information about things I didn’t know of before.
Wealthy Affiliate has hundreds of thousands of premium members who have been successful in their own ways, and we are actively giving back and helping.
Whether you already have some experience, or is a complete newbie, you will never feel left out. Wealthy Affiliate provides an endless learning opportunity.
It is not a perfect platform. You might discover a better hosting company. A better mentor. But you will never find a more supportive community like the Wealthy Affiliate community.
While I have my criticisms about the official training, it is not the only source of information. You’ll have access to a vast network of affiliate marketers who have different ways to do things effectively.
Wealthy Affiliate is the platform that educated me on how to be successfully self-employed. This is where I run to when I need timely information and help.
I hope you’ll give it a chance. It’s the best decision I have made in my professional life.
If you do sign up thru my link, I’d personally make sure to guide you, whether thru inside WA, e-mail or thru this website.
I hope to see you inside! 🙂
All The Best!