I realize my bias is already showing through, so I’ll get to what I DON’T like about Wealthy Affiliate below. But, as I’ve already stated, overall I don’t know of any other place that is better for new affiliate marketers to get started than Wealthy Affiliate. If you take a look around my site, you’ll notice I’ve spent a TON of time on it. I’ve spent years of my life building this site, and there are currently almost 500 posts here, all for free, for everyone. It is in my best interest to promote only the best training course and that training course is Wealthy Affiliate.
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.
Often, what happens is that we run into unscrupulous Internet Marketers (IMs) who have less-than altruistic intentions of extracting money from you rather than helping you to make it. However, this isn't something new. People have been falling for networking marketing, pyramid schemes, and affiliate marketing scams since before the start of the net.
When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.
However…if you want to be a successful affiliate, don’t pick a broad and flooded vertical like ‘make money online’; instead, choose a niche you’re passionate about. This can be something you already know a lot about, or it can be a topic or product which you’d like to pursue. Either way, it has to be something you’re excited to work on and it has to offer value.
Most of the useful teachings for affiliates are lessons you need to uncover through diligent search, trial, error and first-hand experience. A few of the resources I leveraged the most were Warrior Forum and the EPN community. There were a few blogs I used to follow as well, but most of what I found that worked was by way of focusing on building great sites, not on ‘how to make money’.
If you've developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet and then use my guide to crafting an effective cold email to convince them to hire you.
With that being said, I think that anyone who joins WA with the expectation they will make it big overnight is destined to fail. But, can we hang all of that on WA? Maybe, you don’t recall, but within the early training, the co-founder explains that your success will depend on you completing the training and putting forth the needed effort. I have seen many fall be the wayside because they do not put forth the effort and don’t complete the training. The want to move forward doing things ‘their way’ and they hardly put in any time working to build their business.
This is the bait-and-switch that Wealthy Affiliate pulls on new members. It is called WEALTHY Affiliate, wealthy being a synonym of RICH. So, everyone who signs up is indeed hoping to be shown how to make a lot of money, then they get told: sorry, don’t expect to get rich any time soon. It’s kind of like signing up to Weight Watchers and then being told, “It’s going to take you ages to lose weight. You’ll probably stay overweight for a long time. But since you’re here, why don’t you pass the time by chatting to the other overweight people.”
The audiobook industry is booming, yet only 5% of books ever get made into audio format. If you’ve got a background in acting, or if people have said you’ve got a voice made for the radio, you can make extra money recording audio versions of independent and popular books. Sites like ACX connect authors with audiobook performers. So, whether you’re an author looking for more ways to sell your book, or an actor/voice actor looking to make some extra income, you can sell your services online.
Like talking to people and helping walk them through problems? You can bring in extra income as a contract customer support superstar for companies all over the world. Due to the 24/7 nature of online businesses, companies are looking for people in different time zones to help deal with issues that their users are having. Better yet, if you have experience in service or retail you’ll be perfectly suited. Check out indeed or the other remote job boards I listed earlier to find opportunities.
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.
I only ever used Wayback Machine to download and copy odd files and photos that I no longer have. I’m not sure if you can copy/download the whole site but maybe possible with something like HTTrack. In any case, I think you would be better off just saving the stuff that you no longer have and build an updated version of the site on a new server. It shouldn’t take long unless you have hundreds of pages.
If you don’t like to write, do not sign up for Wealthy Affiliate. The business model that Wealthy Affiliate teaches revolves around producing lots of great content to attract website visitors from search engines. This means, as you build your business, you’ll be writing just about every day, just like I do on this very blog you’re reading. I’ve already written almost 4,000 words in this one post alone, and it’s not even close to being finished yet. Affiliate marketing takes work, and if you are unable or unwilling to write a TON of content, don’t even consider getting into this. Being a writer will end up being your main job.
This is the standard affiliate marketing structure. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must actually get the investor to invest in the product before they are compensated.
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.
Wealthy Affiliate is also very strict on spam, which in the end is a GOOD thing, but I have to be careful sometimes about promoting my sites or referencing them. Sometimes I do have valuable information on my site that I think could help people during live chat sessions or Q&A’s, but I don’t share because I don’t want it to look like I’m spamming. They do allow people to promote their sites in certain areas, but in order to keep the community from filling up with self-promotion spam, there are times when it is best not to share certain information from outside sources, especially my own sites.
It’s a very clever con: Tell all members that WA is the best way to make money online, tell them to tell the whole world that too, get them to all help each other in the hope of some kind of reward, and suppress any negativity. What you end up with then is a site that appears on first look to be the best thing that has ever happened to anyone wanting to make lots of money online, but which in reality turns out to be a big disappointment.
One big difference between SkimLinks and VigLinks, however, is that once you’re approved by the company, you can choose to work with any merchant or program on its platform. SkimLinks has also published a white paper discussing its partnership with Buzzfeed, giving SkimLinks a lot of credibility. SkimLinks also has a higher tier of vetted merchants called “Preferred Partner” and “VIP” that both pay higher commissions than standard merchants.
The name Wealthy Affiliate is misleading. It makes it sound like you are going to get rich from affiliate marketing. Yet they say it’s not a get rich scheme, so they contradict themselves there. WEALTHY means RICH. You can’t call your website Wealthy Affiliate and then tell your members that they won’t get rich from it. That’s like having a website called Slim Athlete and then telling your members you probably won’t lose much weight or get too fit.
If you do decide to promote Wealthy Affiliate, there are additional perks. For example, anyone who sells 299 subscriptions from January to December gets invited to the Wealthy Affiliate Super Affiliate Conference. There is no way to get into this conference unless you make 299 sales. Absolutely everything is paid for from the flight to the hotel room to entertainment and AMAZING food. Here’s a quick video I made showing some of the highlights.
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.
As the years passed they moved more towards the blogging model and the concept that anyone can build a business by blogging about whatever they are most interested in. This approach is far more long-winded and very hit-and-miss in terms of how likely people are to succeed. Sure, some people will eventually find great success if their chosen topic happens to be a profitable niche and they are good at writing and stick it out for long enough. For many others it will not go beyond being a hobby site that pays a bit of spare change. No need to sign up to Wealthy Affiliate to do that. Just throw up a free blog at Blogspot.com, write about what you’re interested in, and throw in some affiliate links here and there. It’s not rocket science, folks.
Set up the site. Choose a website building platform, such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. Next, choose a domain name and web hosting for your site. The domain name is your web address. Web hosting is a service that connects your site to the internet. Once you have your domain name and web hosting, go to the control panel of your hosting account and install your website platform. Design your website by choosing and installing a theme.
If you have a fondness and talent for taking pictures you can make extra money online by becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
Let’s say you have a promotions page where you’re promoting a product via affiliate links. If you currently get 5,000 visits/month at a 2% conversion rate, you have 100 referrals. To get to 200 referrals, you can either focus on getting 5,000 more visitors, or simply increasing the conversion rate to 4%. Which sounds easier? Instead of spending months building domain authority with blogging and guest posts to get more organic traffic, you just have to increase the conversion rate by 2%. This can include landing page optimization, testing your calls-to-action, and having a conversion rate optimization strategy in place. By testing and optimizing your site, you’ll get far better results with much less effort.