I first joined Wealthy Affiliate (WA) almost a full year ago; May 2, 2014. At that time, I was researching everything about building websites, as I was looking to build a website to accompany my YouTube channel. I was also researching how to make (more) money online, because the ad revenue from YouTube at the time was only $10 a month.
I somehow stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate. At first, I just singed up for a free account, had a quick look, but didn’t really act on it at all. I was still looking for other resources, and I wasn’t yet ready to sit down and watch 20-minute long tutorials.
A week or so later, I purchased a domain and signed up for hosting at Hostgator. I managed to install WordPress, but after that, I was left completely confused. Then I remembered where I could find tutorials; at WA. I quickly went through the free Online Entrepreneur Certification Course, which got me to set up my first WordPress website correctly. I had just, sort of, built my first website. But apparently, there was a lot more to learn. I decided to take the offer of $19 for a month of full membership, which unlocks the following courses, and more. I also really liked the ability to chat with other members, and to post questions. I knew that the training and access to others was going to save me hours of time, which would definitely make up for the membership cost, and it turned out I was right!
Also, Wealthy Affiliate introduced me to affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you promote products, software, or services for companies on your websites. When visitors click a link to the company, it’ll be tracked they came from your website. If the visitor purchases something, you’ll recieve a commission from the company you’re promoting.
I realized that it was the best opportunity to really start making money online. After building the website for my YouTube channel, I created a new niche website, in Dutch, and managed to get it to #1 in Google for it’s main keyword. This site is now, mostly passively, earning me money.
I was completely sold on the idea of building websites and making money with them, and Wealthy Affiliate is a great resource to help you do that. That’s why I’m still a member, one year later.
The advantages of joining WA
There are two types of membership at WA; the starter membership (free), and a full membership (paid).
- First course of the two main training programs. The Online Entrepreneur Certification, and the Affiliate bootcamp. These training programs are split up in different ‘courses’, with a different theme for each of them. With a free membership you get access to the first course of both of them. A course contains 10 classes, almost every class has a step-by-step video tutorial.
- Two free .siterubix.com subdomain websites. These are WordPress websites, and similar to free websites on wordpress.com. SiteRubix has one advantage though; whereas wordpress.com displays their own advertisements on your site, SiteRubix doesn’t.
- Access to all courses in the training programs. Access to all courses in the Online Entrepreneur Certification, and the Affiliate bootcamp. The Online Entrepreneur Certification has 5 seperate courses, the Affiliate Bootcamp has 7. Every course is divided into 10 seperate classes. You’ll learn about WordPress, affiliate marketing, writing content for your website, SEO, how to build up a following in social media, and more.
- Access to extra training courses created by WA members. Members at Wealthy Affiliate can create their own training modules, and they often do. These training courses can go into anything, like growing your social media following, or how to set up Email marketing.
- Access to live WAbinars. These are one hour long webinars, that take place almost every week. You can parttake in them live, and ask questions. These webinars started back in 2010, so there’s a backlog of about 200 episodes.
Websites and Email
- Unlimited free .siterubix.com websites. Once you go premium, the free .siterubix.com websites run a full WordPress installation, which means you can install plugins, and use ANY WordPress theme. This means it has more functions than a .wordpress.com website.
Eventually you’ll want to use your own domains, but .siterubix.com sites are still very useful. For instance, you can use them to test out new niche ideas. I also use them for demonstration and testing purposes. For instance, tutorial.siterubix.com is my WordPress demo website that I use for my how-to articles.
- Hosting for an unlimited amount of websites using your own domains. With the premium memberhip you can host your own domain names at Wealthy Affiliate.
- Email. You can set up an unlimited amount of Email accounts for your websites; firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s also very easy to set this up to automatically forward to any of your existing Email accounts.
- 24/7 support. Something gone wrong with your website? You can contact support their 24/7 support. I’ve had to contact support twice, and both times, I got a helpful response within 10 minutes.
Access to the WA community
- Live Chat. Live chat with other WA members, a very fast way to get help with anything you’re stuck with. Or just to discuss any ideas, get feedback, or just to talk to like-minded people. The live chat is also free the first week with your free membership.
- Blogs. Keep up with, and learn from, other WA members. A lot of them, including me, frequently blog about their progress with building and growing their websites. As a full member, you can do so too. It’s a great way to keep yourself motivated.
- Private messaging. Send private messages to other members to discuss anything. This could be very beneficial. For instance, you can discuss guestblogging on each others’ websites.
- Reach WA’s creators. You can easily reach out to the creators of Wealthy Affiliate, Kyle and Carson, both very experienced internet marketers, with any questions you may have. This will guarantee you get very good advice. Also, they’re both very active within WA, and can often be found responding to blogs, or talkin in the Live Chat.
Interested? Read this first!
I want to stress a couple of points before you join up.
- Don’t start out with the Affiliate Bootcamp. The Bootcamp is centered around promoting WA’s own affiliate program. Wealthy Affiliate suggest you do the Bootcamp if you don’t have any niche ideas. From what I’ve seen, about half of the people joining WA go straight into the Bootcamp. That means a lot of people start promoting Wealthy Affiliate when they have barely experienced it. Also, this means they are going to be in the ‘make money online’ niche, which is ironic, because most people at that point haven’t really made any money online. Also, this is a VERY competitive niche, so your chances of success are lower.
My advice is to follow the Online Entrepreneur Course, and build a website in a niche you’re interested in. You can always start the Bootcamp later, once you’ve got some more experience. Don’t get me wrong; the information in the Bootcamp classes is still very good, and most of it can actually be used for any website, regardless of what you’re promoting.
- Don’t expect to learn any ‘secrets’, or have quick successes. Building up a successful website takes a big investment of your time upfront. Once it’s successful however, you’ll keep reaping the rewards. Also, don’t forget that the skills you’ll learn are also very valuable by themselves. You’ll learn how to build and market a professional website, something that a webdesigner usually charges anywhere between $300 and $2000 for.
- If you’re planning on joining just for the training, I’d recommend to not host your websites at WA, but to use a seperate webhost (I recommend Hostgator), so you don’t have to go through the trouble of moving your sites if you decide to cancel your membership once you feel you’ve had enough training.
- I recommend using PayPal to pay for your membership. This makes it very easy to cancel membership any time you want; just cancel the recurring payment in your PayPal account anytime, and you can never be billed again. I have actually done this before, as I didn’t have much time to work on my websites for a couple of months.
My recommended use of WA
First off, start with a free membership, to just try it out.
If you like the training you get as a free member, take the $19 offer for the first month of full membership to unlock the rest of the training material. In this first month’s time, you can learn A LOT. Take the Online Entrepreneur Certification instead of the Affiliate Bootcamp. If you spend a few hours every day, you can go through the entire Online Entrepreneur Certification course material in your first month.
After that, you should have all the basic skills you need to build a successful website that makes money with affiliate marketing. The amount of step-by-step training you’ll get in that course, all at one location, for just $19, is completely worth it.
After the first month, you can decide to go your own way, using the skills you’ve learned, or stay around for $47 a month. There’s also an option to get a full year of membership, for $359 (that’s just less than $30 per month). The main advantage of staying a full member are the additional training (for instance, almost 200 one-hour-long webinars), and to keep access to the WA community. Access to the WA community means you always have a way quick way to get your questions answered, and you have people to network with.