An affiliate marketing program is a lot of work, and in most situations there's a lot of competition so you're not going to be bringing in money immediately. Business owners and entrepreneurs suppose that all you need do is setup a site and choose an affiliate to associate with and then just let it run its course. But according to Three Ladders Marketing, only 0.6% of affiliate marketers surveyed have been in the game since 2013. That means that affiliate marketing takes time and effort to build and make money.
I don’t think that WA should promote the training platform by stating that one can have their business up and running in 3 minutes. However, I recognize that is a marketing ploy. I consistently tell my readers that affiliate marketing is NOT easy and requires a lot of motivation, determination and patience because earning substantial passive income will not happen over night.
The key is to first validate your niche by looking at search trends, analyzing the competition and making sure it’s something that can be monetized. Once you’ve got that, start building it out and producing great content. Focus on nothing but the rankings for at least 6-12 months. During this time I would advise putting nothing on the site except for maybe a simple adsense ad. Adsense is not a profitable way to go per se, but it’s an easy way to get started, plus Google must continually sniff your site in order to serve up relevant ads. Site visitors generally find adsense to be less invasive since the ads shown to them are usually relevant anyway.
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.
WA is a bull shit program and I totally agreed with crajun.com. Most people are misled with WA pitch as Starter to make a crappy website in 30 seconds of going thru 10 lessons of training level # 1…. Then you have to buy the premium membership to have access to the lessons in training level 2 to continue in finishing your crappy website without any affiliate links added to it… to fill it with affiliate links from Amazon, Nike, Adidas… etc, you have to sign up for their affiliate programs, then wait and see if you get approved and most likely you will not get approved because your website has no traffic and has no links to your what they call a Niche. Because your niche is based on affiliate links… I am so glad I did not go for the premium…. it’s a waste of time and money….
It’s not the sort of online money making opportunity that’s covered in glory, but everyone needs a set of eyes to make sure the numbers add up at the end of the year. Every business and most individuals need someone to help prepare tax returns, especially time or resource-strapped small business owners. The Income Tax School provides an array of training programs that'll certify you with tax prep in as little as 10 weeks, and once tax season rolls around you'll be able to charge an average of $229 per return as a freelance tax preparer with this side business idea, reports CNBC.
Affiliates were among the earliest adopters of pay per click advertising when the first pay-per-click search engines emerged during the end of the 1990s. Later in 2000 Google launched its pay per click service, Google AdWords, which is responsible for the widespread use and acceptance of pay per click as an advertising channel. An increasing number of merchants engaged in pay per click advertising, either directly or via a search marketing agency, and realized that this space was already occupied by their affiliates. Although this situation alone created advertising channel conflicts and debates between advertisers and affiliates, the largest issue concerned affiliates bidding on advertisers names, brands, and trademarks.[39] Several advertisers began to adjust their affiliate program terms to prohibit their affiliates from bidding on those type of keywords. Some advertisers, however, did and still do embrace this behavior, going so far as to allow, or even encourage, affiliates to bid on any term, including the advertiser's trademarks.

Now, if you don’t know people who might want your coaching services, there are a number of online tools and communities that make it incredibly easy to find clients and teach, on just about any topic area you can think of. Community driven platforms like Savvy.is, Clarity.fm, and Coach.me provide you with a network of potential clients to interact with, as well an integrated payment solution.
If you add up all the services you get, the premium membership is a steal. For example, you’ll notice they include unlimited keyword research with a membership. Other paid keyword research tools sell for $49 or more just by themselves. Add in website hosting, and there’s another $10 / mo. Add on the website security package, and there’s another $10 per month (I’ve paid as much as $29 / mo just for website security). Just based on those things alone, Wealthy Affiliate is a great deal with all of the resources and tools you need in one convenient place. Not to mention all of the training, tutorials, and support that is included with the membership.
My second question is this; who gets my 49 bucks every month? If this isn’t a form of MLM, what would YOU call it? If it quacks like a duck… I suspect my recruiter gets a piece, his/her recruiter gets a piece, and so on up the line, but you try billing ( bulling?) yourselves as affiliates, so you claim that, as an affiliate, WA is one of the niche markets you are promoting. Only your “commission” is really residual income, because you’re gonna get it from me month after month until I wise up and decide to join under you to get my own little spot in your pyramid. Sorry for the long rant. If you’d just answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to begin with, my fingers wouldn’t be so tired…and that is a half hour of my life that I will never get back! 

You'll also need ecommerce software, fulfillment software, worry about warehousing, customer service and refunds. But that's not all. You'll also need traffic. Think search engine optimization, Facebook ads, and other social media campaigns. It is hard work, especially on your own. You could opt for Amazon's platform, which might be the easier route. But, then again, at the end of the day, this is a serious business, which could produce significant profits. So you're either all in or you're not. 
It was a bit of fun fo a while Marcus but I must admit that I got bored with “The Community” and deliberately engineered my ejection from it. The whole process took a matter of minutes after I got into a live chat and dared them to chuck me out. It was then that I had my wrist slapped for disrespecting a so called “Ambassador”. What a joke! I stated that I have no respect for authority in the real world so that little group meant nothing to me and I would say whatever I like. Didn’t take long for one of them to report me to their god and I then got an on screen message to inform me that Admin had revoked my write access. Really did me a favour as I don’t think it would’ve taken long for real insults to start flying. Some of the long term members there seem to be badly infected with the WA bug and have serious delusions of grandeur. I noticed that a lot have psychological problems and other illnesses which prevent them from having a “proper job” and are not shy to share their personal problems with fellow members.
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