As far as using WA as a registrar and web host, that is not advisable. As the old saying goes, you never want to have all of your eggs in one basket, and it’s extremely important that you retain complete control over all of the moving parts involved with running an online business, i.e., hosting, domain, dns, email, etc. WA’s hosting services are very canned and restrictive – negating a lot of the flexibility and extensibility which is the beauty of WordPress. As a beginner, you may not recognize these limitations early on, but if you begin to succeed and start looking at ways to improve your online presence, you will undoubtedly realize that WA’s hosting services are less-than-mediocre. Those who are using WA’s hosting and are running successful sites are members who’ve been online for probably 6-8 yrs or more and are deeply indexed.
It sounds like you are a very savvy internet marketer Craig so now I have real suspicions as to why you with all your experience could only get one referral. I have to wonder what Carson is doing working with 25 Information Techies on a daily basis are they stealing their customers referrals? I am aware that IT professionals know how to create backlinks etc and my next question is what else do they do with peoples sites that have been left because their premier memberships were not updated.
You can read about it in the ripoff reports or on SBI site or in the public record. They lost the lawsuit and waiting for the judge to rule on damages. Probably a hefty award of cash to the damaged party and an order to remove all the fake reviews. Since training people write fake reviews bashing products and programs they never used is the gist of their marketing plan (just dirty) they will likely lose alot of members. SBI they had some actual studies done with interesting results that totally debunk WA claims. I think those are on the site
Affilorama – While I promoted Affilorama in the past, I no longer do for many reasons. It has simply become too outdated. Affilorama also lacks in some of the training. Instead, they focus on helping you get started quickly by designing a site for you and seeding it with content. Some of the optional training courses they sell are quite expensive and compares to an entire annual membership at Wealthy Affiliate, so that’s why I no longer promote them. Again, they are worth checking out, but I think Wealthy Affiliate is a much better buy.
The problem with affiliate marketing, like many other home business options, are the so-called gurus and get-rich-quick programs that suggest affiliate marketing can be done fast and with little effort. Odds are you've read claims of affiliate marketing programs that say you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing almost nothing ("Three clicks to rich!"). Or, they suggest you can set up your affiliate site, and then forget it, except to check your bank deposits.

3) Established members who have not yet achieved the success they want but have not yet woken up to the possibility that they are wasting their time, and they treat it like a paid version of Facebook, forever posting personal and motivational updates to fill their day so they can lie to themselves that they are actually doing something productive with their time.
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