Here’s our unbiased Wealthy Affiliate review. It’s unbiased because we don’t profit if you buy the product. Is Wealthy Affiliate legit? Is Wealthy Affiliate a scam? Either way, we’ll give you the honest answer.
In business since 2005, Wealthy Affiliate is a program comprised of an affiliate marketing training course called Wealthy Affiliate University and a website hosting platform. Affiliate marketing, which is basically getting paid to promote products, is a legitimate enterprise (most large companies have an affiliate program), but the value in joining Wealthy Affiliate is hotly debated. Devotees report making money with the program, and are happy to share their success stories. On the other hand, detractors feel they’ve paid a lot for the privilege of promoting Wealthy Affiliate itself.
The important point to remember is that Wealthy Affiliate doesn’t purport to make you wealthy in a snap. In affiliate marketing, the effort and time you put in correlates to the results you can expect.
Wealthy Affiliate breaks down four steps for getting started in affiliate marketing:
- Choose an Interest
- Build a Website
- Attract Visitors
- Earn Revenue
The program is intended to help you navigate those steps, maintain your website, and set you up for success. But does it really? We’ll take a look at the reported positive and negative elements of the Wealthy Affiliate program to see if it delivers on its promises and can be considered a legitimate business opportunity.
In This Article
The Definition of Affiliate Marketing
The Wealthy Affiliate Program Overview
Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories
Wealthy Affiliate Complaints
- Self-Promotion Pressure
- Cost Concerns
- Best Only for Beginners
- Forums May Contain Inaccuracies
- Some Countries Are Restricted
Legitimacy, Terms of Service, and BBB Rating
The Definition of Affiliate Marketing
Most large companies have an affiliate marketing program. Amazon is just one example. Others include Nike, Starbucks, Lego, and Apple.
As an affiliate marketer, your value is having an audience. That’s where your personal website comes in. Choose a niche, build your website and undertake some training on the best methods of attracting visitors. Once you have good, reliable traffic, you’re eligible to sign up with various affiliate programs and can make money by promoting products that are featured on those sites. Whenever someone buys a product as a result of your content, you get a commission.
The Wealthy Affiliate Program Overview
There are many affiliate marketing training courses available but what makes Wealthy Affiliate unique is that it integrates training, support, and website hosting into one package. The program makes it very easy to get your own site up and running. It’s run on a WordPress platform and can take as little as 30 seconds to go live.
The website boasts that “at WealthyAffiliate.com, you have access to the most advanced website and hosting platform in the world. A platform built for the most sophisticated online entrepreneurs from a technical standpoint, but from an ease of use standpoint, it is an experience that any newbie can thrive within.”
Once you have a site, you can take advantage of the hours and hours of video training modules available, visit the forums, and communicate with the mentor you’ll be assigned.
Wealthy Affiliate offers a free trial membership for seven days, during which you’ll have access to the full Premium program. After that, you have the option to remain in their Starter program. The Starter program doesn’t cost any money, either, but the training and coaching elements are removed and the number of sites you can have is limited.
Premium members are allowed up to 50 websites, have access to around-the-clock technical support, receive unlimited coaching and use of all of the training modules, and can perform unlimited searches with the included keyword research tool. Premium members also receive twice the payout through the company’s affiliate program compared to Starter members.
In contrast, Starter members are restricted to two websites, may complete only the first out of seven training modules, and do not receive live help and technical support after the seven day trial membership. Starter members are also limited to 30 keyword searches. While Starter members are able to participate in the affiliate program, their commission is half what a Premium member would earn.
Click here to see the complete list of differences between the Starter and Premium membership levels.
If you want to be a Premium member, it costs about $50 per month (the first month is $19 if you were referred by one of the company’s own affiliates), adding up to almost $600 per year.
The level of financial success that can be achieved with a program like Wealthy Affiliate depends very much on the time, energy, and effort one puts into it. People who want to make a quick buck may not find it ideal, but those who want to either augment their current income or work exclusively in this field have been successful.
Member “Ramccracken” reports that after six months, he is able to support his family so that his wife can stay home with their son.
“Scottdogg187” says that his $359 investment returned $3,500 in his first ten months and now in his second year, he works exclusively from home.
“Abigail11” made only one sale in her first two months, but in the third month netted eleven sales.
See even more success stories here.
Members are also happy to share their reviews of the site.
One member named Stefan gives advice about the effort required to succeed: “Thanks to its down-to-earth approach to online marketing, I became aware of the time scale and effort necessary to achieve my financial goals. Thus, I had the motivation to persist for more than 5 months without any traffic to my site. After five months of learning and hard work, my articles ranked higher in Google and the traffic finally took off. In the last 8 months, it increased from 2 – 5 visits/day to 300 – 400 visits/day. As a result, I have finally achieved the 3-digits in revenue mark during the last two months.”
User Robin Hudson gushes, “Wealthy Affiliate taught me to build a website that people would enjoy coming to, how to monetize that website, and most importantly, how to utilize the help of a caring community. It’s the best learning platform around, and I can’t see myself ever leaving.”
Kevin Pola says, “But the best thing is the community, there are professionals who are willing to answer your questions and guide you through tough times. Since being with Wealthy Affiliate my business has grown further than I could have imagined.”
See these and other reviews here.
Complaints About Wealthy Affiliate
There are few complaints about Wealthy Affiliate to be found online. Most members who take the time to write about it are huge fans, but remember that every one of them receives a commission if their review gets you to sign up. That makes it unlikely that they’ll say anything negative.
There is significant motivation to get others to sign up on WealthyAffiliate.com. In fact, if you do not have your own industry niche and content to promote, Wealthy Affiliate owners suggest that you just promote their company instead.
Pro-Wealthy Affiliate respondents to this complaint reported feeling no pressure to promote the company itself — only a financial incentive, which they were happy to take advantage of. According to the Wealthy Affiliate website, members can earn up to $175 every time they get someone to sign up using their affiliate link, although the average commission is $118.
Some people who started with Wealthy Affiliate but didn’t stick with it complain that it’s too expensive for the Premium package, but there is absolutely no support if you’re not a paid member, even if you get locked out of your website containing proprietary material.
The $600 annual cost covers the training, coaching and up to 50 websites. By comparison, if you go it alone and set up your own very basic website, taking advantage of free affiliate marketing forums for the training, you could be looking at a cost of about $200 per year. However, for all the security, upscale design and plug-ins you might want for your site to operate safely and look really professional, the figure does get closer to $600. The upshot: You can absolutely start small and work your way up if you handle your website yourself; Wealthy Affiliate doesn’t give you that option, but it does offer a lot of training and support for your site.
As a cost-free alternative to enrolling in the Wealthy Affiliate University, consider the fact that you don’t really need to build your own personal website to be paid as an affiliate; if you have a big enough following, you just need know which companies will pay you to promote products on social media or even in person.
Best Only for Beginners
One reviewer explained that they came to Wealthy Affiliate with an already established website and a basic understanding of affiliate marketing. Hoping to fill in gaps in knowledge, they felt that the program isn’t set up for users to find exactly what they need without proceeding through the training beginning to end, course by course. Really experienced affiliate marketers may find that they want more control over their websites than offered by the program, too.
Forums May Contain Inaccuracies
A caveat that even Wealthy Affiliate lovers will acknowledge is that guidance from community members may not be accurate. Not everyone on the site is an expert, but they have an opinion all the same. Extra attention should be given to verifying any advice you receive, before wasting time chasing down a dead end. There is also no guarantee that the mentor you receive will be a highly experienced affiliate marketer.
Some Countries Are Restricted
Though Wealthy Affiliate has a network of members from 195 countries, certain countries have different restrictions. Wealthy Affiliate does not allow people from the following countries to sign up for a free starter membership: Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Philippines, and Vietnam. Residents of these countries must go directly to a Premium membership if they wish to join.
Legitimacy, Terms of Service, and BBB Rating
Wealthy Affiliate is legitimate. It does provide the services it advertises. However, there is no absolute guarantee of success with the program. While the owners indicate that they have never seen anyone fail who didn’t quit, each individual’s ability to profit from affiliate marketing will vary based on their commitment level and their understanding of the principles.
It’s possible to see the Wealthy Affiliate terms of service before deciding to join. It is important to note that all fees are non-refundable. Members can save some money by paying for a full year’s membership at once, rather than monthly, but will not get any of that money back if they decide to cancel six months in. The majority of complaints lodged with the Better Business Bureau relate to a lack of understanding that membership fees are deducted on an automatically recurring basis.
Wealthy Affiliate University, and its parent company, Niche Marketing, Inc., has a B+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Ten complaints to the BBB have been closed within the last three years; in six of them, customers indicated that they were satisfied with the business’ response, while four more were either not satisfied or did not indicate whether they were satisfied or not.
Is Wealthy Affiliate legitimate? Yes. Because it does in fact deliver on its promise of an affiliate marketing training course and website hosting platform optimized for that purpose. It is not a scam. However, the program is also not ideal for everybody. You will have better control over the costs associated with working as an affiliate marketer by approaching it piecemeal, undertaking free training, and setting up your own website. If you are looking for a one-stop shop and are committed to investing time and energy into affiliate marketing, Wealthy Affiliate could be ideal for you.