Tom, I think they’re business model is based upon luring in the non-internet-savvy desperate unemployed worker and the retiree. It is a shame that they’ve been able to continue extorting money from folks, but in time they’re pump and dump scheme will eventually be exhausted. More social proof of their racket will emerge on blogs and social media, and they’re ownership over the search results for ‘wealthy affiliate review’, ‘wealthy affiliate scam’, etc, etc…will begin to slip. As Google and search continues to mature and evolve, their dying business model will continue to erode.
Etsy: While Etsy's popularity has declined recently, it's still a great resource for selling handmade items online. No need for complex ecommerce sites or merchant accounts or any sort of automation. The company takes a commission of every sale and charges a small listing fee per item. But many still use Etsy as their primary source of income. The best part is that you can also sell digital products on here such as poster designs.
The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.
If you're ready to enter the ecommerce fray, you could sell your own stuff. Of course, along with selling your own stuff on your own website comes a whole slew of both responsibilities and technical configuration and requirements. For starters, you'll need a website and a hosting account. You'll also need a merchant account like ones offered by Stripe or PayPal. Then you'll need to design that site, build a sales funnel, create a lead magnet and do some email marketing.
Hi Craig – Correct me if I am wrong, but your information about not being able to access your website after going Premium is also misleading. Your domain name is your own and you can move it to any other hosting company. When you quit your hosting from any company — including Wealthy Affiliate — of course you can no longer access your site from there. You make it sound like your site is “lost” or somehow WA makes it “disappear” when in fact all you need to do is pay someone else to host it and move your domain. You will pay for hosting no matter what, it is often $25+ per month for not even as many features as are offered by Wealthy Affiliate. This means that for an additional $25 you can access on-going training on SEO updates, social media, and other necessary services. This seems like a deal to me. Yes, Wealthy Affiliate makes it sound easier than it is to get to the money, but I would rather that people figure out that they are not willing to do the work for a $49 loss than for a $300-$1000+ loss as is the cost of other programs.
In most blogs I usually skip the post to the end. But your post is one in a million, so I read it from start to finish. I was a member of Wealthy Aff (2007 – 2010, then 2013 -2014). 110% agree with you. It seems that not just the sales letter but thousands of WA members are over praising WA all over the internet, like it will make people money 100% guarantee, while in most cases that just isn’t true. The main method is SEO and thanks to G Panda and Penguin getting ranking takes months and even more time to produce first sale. While it is a good place for beginners, since they walk you through steps like WordPress and important SEO techniques, but it will take time, perhaps years to see result. Which is a problem since WA charges monthly for their training. New members could spend over $500 on WA membership before seeing their first check. Also, I agree with you with the WA Bootcamp part. It misled newbies to promoting back WA while they still fail to make the money. I tried promoting WA myself and it was very hard to make even one sale and even worse, that referral only stayed for 3 months and then cancel his membership. That time I already have experience and made money in other niches. Despite all that, over 100,000++ websites on the internet a promoting WA, especially review sites like onemorecupof-coffee. Those review sites kept bashing other legitimate products like Bring The Fresh and recommending the readers to go for WA instead.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.
I have a paranoid idea, but as a newbie to this world of WA , I have a dark feeling that there’s no reason why WA could not simply read business ideas that are posted in their free membership sites and then copy any of the feasible ideas you’ve researched through their free ‘limited trial’ research tool for keywords. The owners thereby get vast free market research, and snap up any lucrative ideas, and you have no legal ownership of the free site content. Am I paranoid? Would love to get your take, or anyones’s take on this. I didn’t buy a domain, I have as yet not signed up, and have removed my content, – but have I just potentially given my business idea away?
Posting ads on Craigslist is technically easy, but people often have fears about posting their personal information on the site. I communicate mostly through email when doing business on Craigslist, and I’ve never run into any issues. I’ve never been ripped off, nor have I been murdered or raped for using the site. It takes common sense, so use your best judgment, but don’t assume someone is a thief just because of their preferred communication method. For an extra bonus, google “funny Craigslist ads” to see some delightful examples of guerilla and grassroots marketing.
Consider your expertise. If you take the time to reflect on your experiences, you will realize that you have more knowledge about which to write than you might think. Begin by listing three assets that define you, such as your profession, a special hobby or a personality trait. Next, list three things that inspire you, such as religion, education or charity. Finally, list three of your dreams, such as getting married, traveling or spending more time with your children. These three lists should give you many ideas of topics about which you can write.
Hello Ray, DON’T leave your domain with Wealthy Affiliate. It’s not a good idea to have your host be your domain manager as well – especially those guys. You want to maintain full control over your domain and it’s best to use a dedicated registrar for this purpose. A few I would recommend are: Google Domains ($12/year and free privacy), NameCheap (free privacy), and Hover (little more expensive but the best domain management interface out there). You’ll find that you’ll likely switch services from time to time if you stick with IM, and it’s a huge benefit to not have all of your eggs in one basket.
As someone who has years of experience doing lead generation on a local blog. Getting enough “traffic” for an affiliate site is damn hard. Over the past couple of years, an injury to my foot has left me slightly disabled. Affiliate marketing makes sense for someone like me with prior blogging experience who now has limitations. I will start with one niche and add another site later. I’m hoping to see good results in within about 18 months. But that’s only because I know how to do a lot of things and I know what’s involved. You have to write consistently, work your SEO, pick your poison in social media and be engaged in it. It’s a lot of hard WORK. I feel sorry for anyone who got their site shut down because they didn’t know how to transfer their site to another host. That’s terrible.
So, I put together a free master course for you to take that spreads out all of the work involved in starting a blog, into a series of action-packed lessons. My free course breaks the entire process of starting a blog down into an incredibly simple 7-day process for going from 0 to publishing (and promoting) your first blog post in just 1 week. I can't recommend it enough.
A relative newcomer that was only founded in 2014, ConvertKit has taken the world of email marketing by storm. According to the company, they now have nearly 20,000 active customers of their email services. Their affiliate program works by paying existing customers a lifetime 30 percent commission for referrals that subsequently become ConvertKit customers or who sign up for ConvertKit webinars and other digital products.
However, like anything else truly worthwhile, apps require a significant investment of your time or money upfront. If you don't have the skills, then you have to hire someone who can assist you in creating a great app. But first you need to come up with an idea that will sell. Do the proper market research and analytics to come up with the right app.
ClickBank allows you to join for free, and the approval process is virtually automatic, so it’s a great choice for people entering the affiliated game for the first time. ClickBank has a ton of information, including FAQs, walk-throughs, and videos available, so the barrier to entry is quite low. There’s also a (paid) program called ClickBank University with courses and assistance from experienced marketers.
But the main method that WA teaches these days – blogging about your favourite interest in the hope that some people will click your affiliate links and buy stuff – is a long hard road, and one that has a high chance of failure for a lot of people. But if you fail, WA will just say that you gave up too soon. What a convenient get-out clause for WA! If you succeed, WA takes the credit for showing you how to do it. But if you fail, it’s your own fault for giving up to early.
I was a FREE member at WA for several months. I had used both of the two free domains provided. For what it’s worth, I joined the boot camp, & was promoting Wealthy Affiliate with one of the free domains. I really wish I’d have read your post – which I appreciate by the way – before embarking on that journey! I put in a ton of hours building content for each of the domains. So whereas I didn’t pay for a premium membership, I did spend lots of valuable time. I felt no sense of urgency to upgrade regardless of the constant push from WA to do so. I feel that they push you into thinking you have to rush. Logically speaking, I knew I’d be throwing money down the drain based upon the free training. I saw this as something you need to build over a length of time. So I took my time continuing to build & considered that I would finally upgrade to a yearly Premium Membership once I had something substantial.
Build your audience on a course community: If you’re just getting started building an audience for yourself and want to leverage communities already actively looking for content you can choose to host and sell your online course on a site like Skillshare or Udemy. These are easy, cost-effective ways to build an audience and test your niche to see if there’s demand for it.
It is my opinion you may be discounting the significance of your background and assuming others, with no idea as to how to even start such a journey, would easily know how to begin. So, to me, WA jumps into the fray rescuing the neophyte, is it perfect? Nope, but they are highly successful in laying an effective foundation on which further study can be obtained. From my perspective, for their concerted effort, I give them a resounding applause!!!
Cost per click was more common in the early days of affiliate marketing but has diminished in use over time due to click fraud issues very similar to the click fraud issues modern search engines are facing today. Contextual advertising programs are not considered in the statistic pertaining to the diminished use of cost per click, as it is uncertain if contextual advertising can be considered affiliate marketing.
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
These days, I think the hardest part of the SEO formula exists in the more technical aspects, i.e., good coding practices, site speed, site architecture, etc. Provided you have the desire and ability to write quality content, your time and money is better spent on learning the more technical nuances of SEO, which is why I recommend something like Treehouse over WA.
Solo Build It – As I stated earlier in this Wealthy Affiliate review, I initially learned how to start my own business with this service. Solo Build It is somewhat similar to Wealthy Affiliate as far as the training is concerned, but Solo Build It but I believe the training at Solo Build It is far superior. My favorite part about Solo Build It, however, is that they offer absolutely EVERYTHING you’ll ever need to grow your business online including domain registration, an intuitive site builder, research tools, hosting, and all the other tools you need are in one place with training on how to put it all together. You can learn a lot more about them by going through their video tour.
Can you make money with affiliate marketing? The short answer is yes, affiliate programs can earn extra money and even a full-time income from home. The long answer is a little more complicated. Like any home income venture, success comes not so much from what you choose to do to make money, but whether or not you do what needs to be done correctly and consistently.
Hey Malcolm, Why don’t you ask this, ” I an considering going premium and was told if I wanted to leave wa I would have 30 days after cancelling to move my website but I have found several people online who say they cancelled and wa immediately blocked their access to download plugins necessary to move their site. These people said they had to pay for a month of premium to actually get access to move their sites and their emails to kyle and carson were ignored. What is the exact policy on this?”
Basically, anyone who is looking to make money fast should stay away from Wealthy Affiliate. There are plenty of “make money fast” e-books and courses out there, and they are all a scam (trust me). While Wealthy Affiliate is legit, they will absolutely never claim that they teach you how to make money fast. Building a legitimate online business takes time.
The support in there is really hit and miss, which can be a bummer, as the quality of response you receive can vary greatly depending upon who replies, and it’s seldom you’ll get much from either of the head muckity mucks. They profess to be active in the community chat, but often times it’s a lot of “hey, great job…keep up the good work and you’ll be making money in no time” kind of fluff. Be prepared to do some Googling when you have a question.
Affiliate marketing has increased in prominence with the internet age. Amazon popularized the practice by creating an affiliate marketing program where websites and bloggers put links to the Amazon page for a product being reviewed or discussed in order to receive advertising fees when a purchase is made. In this sense, affiliate marketing is essentially a pay for performance marketing program where the act of selling a consumer on a product is outsourced across a potentially vast network.
I am a long-time blogger and decided to join WA premium for a month. I was looking to build an affiliate site and had no experience in that area. I figured I could get through most of the premium training within the month. But the thing that I didn’t like was the way they guided you to use their system to set up your domain. No way. I want control over my domain name and WP site. That’s where people get trapped because they don’t know how to do this on their own. But the only way I would know that is having been a blogger before registering. I’ll finishe out the month. Get what I can from the training and apply to a site I start outside their “silo”.
You may be able to convert a few Facebook friends, or your mom, but you will not succeed as a Wealthy Affiliate ‘affiliate’ if you choose their WA Bootcamp as your niche. They’ll lead you to believe that you will, and while you could . . . it’s what I consider to be a very advanced niche which only experienced or uber-motivated IM’ers should pursue.
Yes, it is like a religion or a cult. The fact that you were shot down within 24 hours just goes to show what’s really going on. Anyone who is too negative or who questions things get silenced. If WA was completely open and people were allowed to say anything, it would probably quickly get filled with disatisfied people and the whole thing would collapse under its own weight.