Create Your Own Online Money Making Sites – 2018 Wealthy Affiliate Review

Have you been scammed by one of those money making, get rich quick business schemes?

I thought Wealthy Affiliate was a scam when I first saw it in 2010. How could it not be a scam since they were promoting the idea that anyone can create their own online money making site. This is my 2018 Wealthy Review to show that it is far from being a scam.

I don’t know about you, but I have been scammed a few times in the 20 years I have been marketing online. So it took me awhile to warm up to the idea of joining Wealthy Affiliate.

Seriously, I even thought the name was cheesy.

But I finally joined Wealthy Affiliate in May 2016.

Wealthy Affiliate Review for 2018 - Is Wealthy Affiliate a Scam?

After all, I had already built a number of websites and was marketing a number of affiliate programs. I didn’t think there was anything else to learn.

But, I was wrong.

Why did I join Wealthy Affiliate?

I thought I would join so I could promote their affiliate program.

Because like many people, I went online to find ways to make extra money. I wanted extra money to create a better lifestyle for my family and save for retirement.

The sad thing is that scammers know desperate people are easy to rip off. It is because they are looking for short-cuts to solve their financial problems.

Affiliate ad that appears scammyHow often do you see advertisements like the following? At least this ad has a small warning that it costs to join. In other words, you have to pay to play.

 

They make it look so easy!

But is NOT that easy!

If you want to create your own online money making business, then read on.

Before we continue…

If you are ready now, Wealthy Affiliate is my #1 RECOMMENDATION. You can start creating your own make making website for free, no credit card information required.

test drive the Wealthy Affiliate Program now

I have learned a few things from twenty years of online business building. When building an online business, you want to have:

  • focus, patience, and persistence
  • a business that makes money, not promises,
  • a complete training system that includes video, text, and hands-on learning experience,
  • a spam-free learning environment without being pitched endless upgrades, and
  • a strong member community where members can share ideas, help others, and get help 24/7.

I built a number of websites over the years trying to implement my business plan.

I also tried a bunch of tools, programs, applications, sitebuilders. I tried or used GeoCities, Joomla, Microsoft FrontPage, Wix, Weebly, Affilorama, WordPress, Wealthy Affiliate, Solo Build It! and more forgotten programs.

Of all the programs I have used, the following three stand out from the crowd.

I can say all kinds of things about all the programs I have used.

Both good and bad.

But I am going to leave that for you to decide for yourself. Because part of researching a potential business is evaluating alternatives.

Wealthy Affiliate is my #1 recommendation.

But, first…

What is Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate is an online community membership site founded in 2005. It is a community for learning, creating, and building successful online businesses. Members network with fellow members and learn from thousands of experts. 

Everyone receives websites based on the popular WordPress platform. Free members get two websites. Premium members receive 50 websites. There is enough training and daily step-by-step tasks helping members create their own online money making sites.

There are four distinct areas to Wealthy Affiliate. They are:

  • Training
  • Website Hosting
  • Community
  • Affiliate Program

Wealthy Affiliate Training

Wealthy Affiliate provides thousands of hours of proven training to members. So much so that it is often referred to as Wealthy Affiliate University. Training includes:

  • classroom,
  • live video training,
  • one-on-one training,
  • community support,
  • and more.

Training is based on a 4-Step Process to creating a successful online business. The following diagram shows how simple the process is.

Affiliate marketing process

Step 1 – Members learn to identify the niches related to their passions or interests. The idea is if members are passionate about something like their hobbies, they will be motivated to do what is needed to build a successful business. They will not be discouraged by difficulties or distracted by other opportunities. Follow your passion, not the money!

Step 2 – Members build their own websites using the Wealthy Affiliate state-of-the-art website and hosting platform. This is the foundation of a successful online business.

Step 3 – Members learn how to get the right people to their websites. The lessons first focus on free traffic and teach the various methods.

Step 4 – Members learn how to monetize their websites using any of 50+ ways to generate revenue.

So much TRAINING it is like drinking out of a fire hose

Wealthy Affiliate training courses are divided into two parts, Online Entrepreneur Certification and Affiliate Bootcamp.

The Online Entrepreneur Certification is a 5 phase (50 lesson) series of courses walking you through the process of creating and growing a business within absolutely ANY niche that you want.

Phase 1 training is available to all members including free members. Phases 2-5 are available for premium members only.

Phase 1, Lessons 1 – 10 displayed here.

Wealthy Affiliate starter training

The Affiliate Bootcamp training is an optional 7 Phase (70 lesson) series of courses for those interested in promoting Wealthy Affiliate. It walks you through the process of creating and establishing a business in a niche related to the promotion of Wealthy Affiliate.

Phase 1 training is available to all members including free members. Phases 2-7 are available for premium members only.

Other Training

Other training includes weekly live video classes which are recorded for viewing by members unable to attend the live sessions. Each week there are different current, relevant training sessions. Topics range from beginner to advanced topics, often related to internet marketing.

There is also community training developed by members who are subject matter experts in a variety of fields. The following shows just a fraction of the training available.

Training Headquarters showing all training available

Personal note: I did all the training courses, step-by-step including doing the training tasks. I suspected and confirmed I did NOT know everything. The training confirmed that I did not know what I did not know.

Wealthy Affiliate has so much training that there is enough to fit your learning style. The coaching and one-on-one mentoring is a big bonus. So many of the members contribute additional training and support to other members.

Wealthy Affiliate Website Hosting, a Hidden Gem

I think the managed WordPress website hosting provided by Wealthy Affiliate is often overlooked and underrated.

When I joined Wealthy Affiliate in May 2016, I was using HostGator, Insty.Me, and Bluehost to host five websites.

I was not seriously considering migrating my sites to Wealthy Affiliate at the time. Because I was unfamiliar with their hosting services. More about that later.

The following shows the hosting and additional services provided by Wealthy Affiliate.

WA hosting packageAdditional hosting benefits

Wealthy Affiliate really is not marketed as a website hosting company. So I am not going to bore you with a bunch of technical stuff about hosting. But I will say that Wealthy Affiliates provides you the tools you need to create and operate a very successful, secure online business.

Also, I kinda miss having cPanel functionality. (It is a control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site.) Wealthy Affiliate being a managed WordPress hosting site, non-WordPress pages must be uploaded via a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) application like FileZilla FTP Client.

One note of caution about evaluating different hosting plans.

Many hosting companies like HostGator and Bluehost offer discounted monthly pricing for basic services. Basic services are not comparable to the premium WordPress hosting services Wealthy Affiliate provides. It is important to compare their premium WordPress Hosting prices to that of Wealthy Affiliate’s pricing for an “apples-to-apples” comparison.

I decided to migrate my websites to Wealthy Affiliate hosting when I started having problems with my HostGator hosted sites. As I understood at the time, HostGator was bought out by another company. Subsequently, customer service quality declined. I did not know if this was a cause and effect situation. All I knew was the support had deteriorated. So I moved my sites to Wealthy Affiliate.

This leads me to comment about the support provided by the Wealthy Affiliate support staff.

World Class Customer Support

Their customer service response time is exceptional.

I hosted my sites with HostGator for years. And whenever I submitted a support request, it would take time, lots of time, usually measured in hours. So I would go on to do other tasks while waiting for a response.

Not so with Wealthy Affiliate. The few times I submitted support requests to the WA support team, I would go and do other tasks. And I would come back to see that they had already fixed the problem and asked that I confirm the fix.

The following graphic shows the type of help and support available to members.

Help Center is more than just customer service.

Not only does Wealthy Affiliate have great training, website hosting, and customer service, they also have some great tools. The next section shows some of the key tools to help you create your own money making websites.

Super Easy-to-Use Tools to Help Build Your Business

Every carpenter needs a great tool kit to build beautiful homes. And an online business is no different.

Besides website hosting, Wealthy Affiliate provides the following tools:

  • Keyword research tool
  • Website builder
  • Site domain name registration
  • Content creation tool

Keyword research tool – Finding the appropriate niche and keywords for you is essential to creating  money making websites. An appropriate niche is one in which you are passionate. This provides the motivation to “stick with it” regardless of challenges you face. The keyword research tool includes brainstorming functions to help find trends, popular, and lucrative ideas.

Website builder – The WordPress website builder is a Wealthy Affiliate online application to install a website quickly without of a lot of effort on your part. While you can install a website quickly, it will take time to actually “build out” a website with content (articles and blog posts). This will depend on your skill at developing content (which can be learned and is taught within the training available.)

Site domain name registration – Wealthy Affiliate enables its members to purchase and manage domain names within the Wealthy Affiliate platform. Members can search for available domain names, purchase new names, transfer domain names to Wealthy Affiliate, and point domains registered outside of Wealthy Affiliate to WA Servers and host your websites.​ Compared to domain name registration services provided by other hosting companies, WA is more convenient and cheaper. I moved my domain names from GoDaddy. WA name price is $13.99 per year and includes privacy protection. GoDaddy is $12.45 per year plus $7.99 per year. This adds up if you have multiple domains.

Content creation tool – Wealthy Affiliate has developed a content creation tool that helps members plan and develop content for their websites.This tool also includes an imaging platform with over 1 million images to help you create stunning articles and posts. The content creation tool enables members to directly publish to their websites.

The WA Community – the Most Helpful Community in the World

I have been a member of many online communities, forums, and membership sites over the last 20+ years. Sites included the Warrior Forum, the Site Build It! forum, Marketing Checkpoint, Independent Business Owner Toolbox, just to name a few.

With thousands of members from around the world, the Community is active day and night. You will see people sharing ideas, helpful tips, asking and answering questions and using Live Chat.

Wealthy Affiliate live chat function

You will not see is SPAM in the Community.

Members simply do not SPAM other members because of the Community standards and policy. Occasionally a new member will post their links contrary to policy. And once in a great while, you will see someone join to deliberately spam other members. They are dealt with appropriately.

Wealthy Affiliate Affiliate Program

Members may earn money by referring other people to Wealthy Affiliate.

The following chart shows the earning potential.

Wealthy Affiliate earning potential for sponsoring new premium members.

Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories

The following graphics show some of the success Wealthy Affiliate members are having. Not only are their websites earning money. The graphics show that members can achieve high search engine rankings as well.

Wealthy Affiliate Success Story #1WA members achieve high search engine rankings.Wealthy Affiliate success story #3Wealthy Affiliate success story #2SEMrush results page for internetscamalerts.com

Yes, there are Wealthy Affiliate Complaints

No product or company is perfect.

I have been marketing online for 20+ years. There are Wealthy Affiliate promotional material and member reviews that make it sound easy to make money online.

Truth: It is NOT easy. It takes focus, patience, and persistence. A little luck does not hurt.

It is all about managing your expectations. Too many people expect overnight success. Consequently, they rush to build their business, fail to identify their correct niche, skip through the training, fail to develop good website content, and then wonder why they are not making any money.

To make matters worse, they then decide to take the Affiliate Bootcamp training and start promoting the Wealthy Affiliate business opportunity. They don’t realize how competitive the make money online or internet marketing niches are. (I have been a Wealthy Affiliate member for 2 years and have yet to complete the Affiliate Bootcamp training.)

Even I have stated displeasure about the Wealthy Affiliate member reviews of other companies. Members promote the Wealthy Affiliate program as a way to make money. They are competing against very experienced internet marketers AND unethical marketers promoting overnight “get-rich-quick” schemes. As a consequence, there are many “fake reviews” that disparage competitors to make their products look better.

I have never felt the need to blast a competitor’s program just to make mine look better. That reflects poorly on me and the product I am promoting.

I have even heard complaints about how much Wealthy Affiliate costs. Cost is a value judgment. Comparing the three companies I mentioned earlier:

  • Affilorama – offers a 60-day money back guarantee.
  • Solo Build It! – offers a 90-day money back guarantee.
  • Wealthy Affiliate – offers a 7 day free trial period in which a member can get a first month upgrade to premium for $19.

Another issue I have with Wealthy Affiliate is that once you go Premium (upgrade), there is no going back to the free version. So, if you have a website, you will have to move it to another web hosting company.

If I were to cancel my membership today, I would backup my websites and move them to either highly rated SiteGround or Insty.Me.

So What Does Wealthy Affiliate Cost?

I thought you would never ask!

Alternative Courses of Action

I understand you may still be looking for information at this point.

It takes a commitment to build an online business. Because it takes time and effort. It is not easy or quick as so many hustlers tell you.

I suggest the following alternatives to help you gather more data.

  1. Check out and grab a free Affilorama membership. A free member gets the Affiliate Marketing Guide, the Downloadable Roadmap to Success, and 120 easy-to-follow video lessons.
  2. Sign up for the free Wealthy Affiliate Starter membership. Complete the 10 lessons of Phase 1, try out the website builder, check out the community, and chat with some members.
  3.  Do both 1 and 2.

I am here to help you

That sounds almost as bad as, “I am from the government and am here to help you.”

But, seriously, if you are committed to creating your financial success, then I am willing to help. By helping, I don’t mean doing the work you should be doing yourself.

Wealthy Affiliate plan of action to join

I hope my Wealthy Affiliate Review has provided useful information. If you have questions or comments, please fill out and submit the form below. I am looking forward to responding.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Erick - May 19, 2018 Reply

Thanks to review like yours is why I am part of the Wealthy Affiliate program, the community its really supportive, the people in there have real insight sharing their failures and success not everyone will have the same trajectory of success some might do it quicker than others but the main point is that Wealthy Affiliate will show you the fundamentals to start strong on an online business .

    Glen - May 19, 2018 Reply

    Thanks for commenting on my review, Erick. I think the community is the strongest feature of Wealthy Affiliate. There are a number of other online marketing platform suites like Wealthy Affiliate. And I have been a member of several. None have a community where members are as supportive and willing to share their experiences and tips as they are on WA.

Michael - May 24, 2018 Reply

I loved reading your review and I think that someone who is so skeptical about online programs — not eventually joined and loved wealthy affiliate speaks volume.

I too am a member and can’t say enough good things about it. This is by far the best program that truly teaches a complete beginner how to make legitimate money online — even with no prior experience or skills.

    Glen - May 24, 2018 Reply

    Thanks, Michael. I appreciate you taking time to read and comment. Wealthy Affiliate is truly a great program for beginners. That is one of the reasons I procrastinated about joining. I did not consider myself a beginner. Yet there was lots of new information for me as well.

Sylvia Guillemette - June 25, 2018 Reply

I am also with Wealthy Affiliate and agree with all that you’ve shared. I enjoy being here, meeting new people, learning new things, and more! It’s a university within a university.

    Glen - June 25, 2018 Reply

    Thanks for commenting, Sylvia. I appreciate you taking time to read and comment. With the Federal Trade Commission shutting down MOBE and Digital Altitude recently, it is heartening to see Wealthy Affiliate offer affiliate training honestly. They often state that it takes focus, having patience, and being persistence to be successful in affiliate marketing.

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