Wealthy Affiliate University Review
Today, we're going to be reviewing Wealthy Affiliate, an online, entrepreneurial training community designed to teach and provide the tools, resources and educational infrastructure that people need to create successful online businesses.
Founded in 2005 by Kyle Loudon and Carson Lim, the pair designed the community to help anyone who was serious about becoming financially independent and successful in your entrepreneurial pursuits.
With that said, I do want to emphasize some critical points. Fact is, Wealthy Affiliate is not for everyone. In fact, I can honestly admit that it was not for me. I will explain a few reasons why later, but I have to stress that they do not claim to be a one-size-fits-all program.
However, Wealthy Affiliate holds credibility, value and an approach to online marketing and business strategy that, to this day, is largely absent from the world of internet marketing. To give you an idea of why it is, let me share with you a little history about the shady beginnings of online marketing.
A Brief History of Online Marketing
To give you an idea of why Wealthy Affiliate is so revolutionary, I want to take you back to the time when they launched, which was September of 2005. I was 17 at the time, but I was already familiar with the idea of internet entrepreneurship.
My older brother was heavily into it, and we knew there was a way to be able to get in to internet business and become financially free. However, in 2005, revolutionary changes in internet communications and facilitation would completely reshape not only the way we use the internet, but the way we conduct our lives as a whole. The list of these critical factors includes:
These 8 factors worked in a way that allowed for commercial advantages that were never available before. More importantly, these commercial advantages could be utilized not only by established, institutional entities, but also by the average, every-day individual.
Due to this commercial potential, a frantic current of interest surrounding the internet's commercial potential began to surge at a pace that is still extremely high. Now average people were finally beginning to feel like their dreams of financial freedom, of being rich, wealthy and maybe even famous, could finally come true.
However, like many new opportunities, this mad-dash for the "secrets" to online wealth gave birth to A LOT of negative consequences.
The Dark Side of Internet Marketing: Get-Rich-Quick Schemes on Steroids
To be fair, independent entrepreneurship has always been sullied with unethical practices, marketing schemes and ideas. None of these unethical ideas is more prevalent than the "get-rich-quick" mentality.
Most of you are all familiar with it, the idea that just by joining a "magic" system or agreeing to sell a "magic" product that you will easily, quickly, and effortlessly generate wealth and riches. Let me give you an example:
Do you wanna know how an average, 21-year-old broke, nobody went from living in his mom's house to owning 6 sports cars and 2 dream homes on the BAHAMAS?!!?!
What if I told you that you could make $100K/month with no experience, no money, and with less than 2 hours a day!
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Fact is, if you've been interested in or have tried online business at all, you are almost guaranteed to have seen at least 100 of these type of lines before.
This is not the internet's fault, nor does it mean that online business is a scam. However, the advances that we talked about allowed for marketers and online business users to perpetuate unethical mindsets, practices, and procedures at a rapid pace.
The result is that not only does online business get a bad name, but it flooded the internet with excessive amounts of misleading and conflicting information about how to properly establish profitable online endeavors.
Wealthy Affiliate: A Learning Community Focused on Ethical Marketing and Honest Business
It's clear that, even today, the world of online marketing and online entrepreneurship needs a massive dose of ethical honesty. It has improved since the 2005, with many courses straying away from get-rich-quick promises.
However, up until 2014, it was rare to find a consistent source of information online marketing and business that placed honesty, consistency, and practicality as its virtues.
Wealthy Affiliate, however, was the rare exception to the very unfortunate norm. They formed, and has since centered itself around helping people who are rather beginners with online business or who have been unsuccessful with only business in the past.
It is a community-based, online business platform that is designed to offer aspiring entrepreneurs the tools, education, and support they need to consistently create, maintain and grow an online business. It focuses on offering key features that set it apart from anyone else:
One of WA's key features is it's community-based structure. The community is filled with several online marketers just like you, who are there to offer help, inspiration, and share success with one another.
It's not the only community-based platform I have seen. IBOToolbox is another one, but in honesty WA is quite a bit different. Communities like IBOToolbox is all about self-promotion, and often fall victim to people just making posts to advertise products.
They don't allow for direct self-promotion, and community is generated as a learning tool rather than a tool to draw in clients FROM the community. This doesn't mean that you can't provide services to members in the community, but this is more likely to result from creating individual relationships instead advertising to people.
Wealthy Affiliate: Strengths and Weaknesses
I could go on and give you a long list of WA features, but honestly the list is so long that it's best you review them yourself. They have the option to be a Free Member or Premium Member, and all free members start with a 7-Day Trial of the Premium Membership.
Often time, "free" is often a blanket term for "shady upsell". However, WA is very upfront about the difference between the free and premium memberships, and emphasizes that you will get the most with Premium.
Free memberships are really meant to give you enough exposure to see if you want to continue with them or try something else. I really appreciate that, because they never actually try to guarantee that the free membership is all you need. They make it clear that the bread-and-butter of WA is in the Premium Membership.
That being said, Premium is pretty affordable. The introductory month for Premium Membership is $19, and the subsequent months are $49 each. This might not seem like a steal, but I must stress to you a few important factors.
First, the Premium membership give you unlimited access to the founder Kyle and Carson. This alone can be worth thousands of dollars per hour, but it's available with the membership. Hosting and purchasing domains can also be ridiculously expensive, but Wealthy Affiliate not only supplies both, but also all the tracking and analysis toolds you need for those websites.
On top of this, you have a 300+ hour library of training videos that is constantly updated. When it comes to other training platforms, the largest library I've heard of was 40+ hours. This is over 7.5x larger than that, and you also get guaranteed 1-on-1 mentorship from someone who knows how to succeed with WA already.
They are focused on teaching people how to have the skills they need to thrive online. Even if you are a complete beginner, the community is designed so that you will learn and implement all the skills you need to become financially independent.
Moreover, there are a lot of skills that you learn in Wealthy Affiliate that you can monetize in different ways. Your skills in internet advertising, web design, and social media management are all highly profitable and in-demand skills. You can use them to learn all these tools so that you can provide them as a business service.
With all this, you might be asking yourself, "If Wealthy Affiliate is as good as you say it is, then why didn't YOU go forward?!" It's a good question to ask, and I will clear this up for you right now.
As I mentioned before, I did not go forward using them because it was not for me. The primary reason for this is due to the fact that, despite what I wanted, WA's approach to marketing was not as efficient as I wanted.
They primarily focus on teaching people how to build commercially viable websites based on high-quality content creation and optimized search-engine viability. Don't get me wrong, this is a very sound way to build online infrastructure. However, it's also a very timely way of doing so.
I wanted a way of making money online that I could at least feed myself and pay my bills while I was learning. I didn't want to be rich instantly, but if I could not at least take care of monetary essentials, then I couldn't afford much time to online business.
It requires time and consistent application in order to be successful. I'm not saying that you cannot reach financial fortune in a short amount of time with WA, but you need to be aware of where your experience level is and what you need to be successful.
If you are not prepared to put in work for a substantial amount of time before seeing profits, then Wealthy Affiliate is not a good option. This isn't just because the results take time to manifest, but you have to give yourself time to actually learn these things.
The second big drawback is actually in the same place as one of its strengths: the community. As I mentioned before, the get-rich-quick mentality is a common plague for any entrepreneurial community. However, when it comes to the internet entrepreneurial community, it's an epidemic.
They are primed to help many of these people, and it has the infrastructure to do so. However, there are two primary problems. First, in order to appeal to these people enough to help them they must find a way to attract these people. Secondly, that mentality is very hard to break.
I can't accuse them as a company for falling into a trap of get-rich-quick activities. However, many people work with WA as an affiliate still resort to those tactics to publicize it.
Many people who advertise WA almost come off like zealots. Often times, they create blogs that review online business and monetary opportunities or marketing services.
However, I kid you not when I say that you can tell when this review is written by a WA affiliate. The review will almost certainly find a way to fault the program as faulty or dangerous, and then find a way to emphasize that WA is superior.
It's one thing when these reviews are being truthful. However, I have seen many reviews like these with products, services and work opportunities that are not only inaccurate, but downright false. I've seen articles flaming opportunities like ZipNadaZilch and Textbroker that do legitimately pay and operate ethically and responsibly.
There are many ways to write these reviews truthfully and honestly and still publicize WA as a complement or alternative to people. Instead, many of these individuals fall into the trap of sell-sell-sell!!
I can understand why people are frantic, because a lot of these WA affiliates see how WA brings a legitimacy that is sorely lacking from a great deal of online business opportunities and training platforms. Many do legitimately want other business owners or aspiring business owners to know about Wealthy Affiliate.
But they often resort to the same tactics that they want to solve. Moreover, the community often doesn't seem to focus on implementing things that could increase the efficiency of results. I can see why they would avoid it for focus reasons, but many seem to perpetuate this focus to the detriment of their growth.
My honest opinion of Wealthy Affiliate is based on a number of things. First, I would say to anyone trying it that they should not quit their day jobs just yet. The process that they teach is designed for long-term success.
You can get short-term, immediate success, but it's ultimately there for you to learn from the ground up, step-by-step. This would really be good for people who have an interest, skill or product that they are really passionate about and love to talk about.
A lot of people tell you that you should be working in the field you are passionate about. However, to be completely honest with you, that's not always great advice. In fact, many people learn to hate their passions because they are relying on it to make money.
I know too many teachers who were passionate about working in schools, only to be dead miserable after their first 3 years. If you are someone who loves something so much that you want to share it with people, then working with Wealthy Affiliate can help you turn that passion into financial freedom.
However, if you are looking into online entrepreneurship just for the money, I would not suggest them for those purposes. Instead, I would suggest that you think differently about what you can gain from WA other than what most are doing it for.
Most people are looking to apply WA training to starting their own product-based business, be it selling their own goods or selling others. However, the skills you learn will be desirable to already established businesses who are willing to pay you for that skill.
When you eventually master these skills, the ability to implement increases quite substantially. What may have taken a few days or weeks to construct at the beginning can be done in just a few hours after you've learned to master it.
You can be an online marketer, ad manager, graphic designer and content producer who has highly profitable skills that can produce great results for companies in very little time.
The reason I did not go through with Wealthy Affiliate was due to my focus on using it to sell my own goods. But I needed something more efficient, and I found that I could still get the freedom I needed writing articles online for content sites, but I was guaranteed to get paid for it.
If I would've looked at it differently, I would've chosen them to learn these skills while I was writing so that I could gain the skills, but I wasn't relying on them to feed me. I could take my time, and eventually start to publicize my skills to local and internet-based businesses.
I eventually learned those skills somewhere else with other programs, but it's honestly because I forgot about WA. If I had a different mindset, I probably would've saved about $250 on my training courses.
With all that said, I would recommend that you give them a shot. Even though I didn't get a premium membership, I still have a free one to this day. If you are a beginner, you aren't going to find more value than what is available at Wealthy Affiliate.
If you're experienced, there is still likely to be valuable resources that they offer. Primarily, the web hosting and tracking materials are all available in one place, and would normally all be separate expenses by themselves. To get them all with WA is tough to beat.
Lastly, you can check out its features to see if its the right fit for you. With nothing to risk but possibly a few minutes of your time, I would recommend taking a look at Wealthy Affiliate right now!