The base training is free, and that includes hosting for 2 websites. The upgraded version rises to $49 a month, but gives you access to 50 web hosting opportunities.
Ease of USe
It's easy enough to work your way around the Wealth Affiliate platform, and if you don't know much about WordPress it's pretty easy to manage your sites.
Quick and easy to set up a new site, the only 'functionality' I feel is missing or lacking is the content creator tool.
You get live chat support for the first few days with a free account, but beyond that it's email based. So not bad.
Summary: A good platform if you are completely new to Affiliate Marketing, the free training will give you more than enough information to get you started and the 2 free website hosting spots means you could start building your blog or niche site, for essentially zero cost. The upgraded version is ok, and provides more training, more tools and better website security, but it's a decision each person should make on their own.
FREE or $49 per month if you take the paying route
For anyone who has done research into affiliate marketing, or making money online, I guarantee they would have come across a paid for advertisement or probably a website that promotes or talks about Wealthy Affiliate, and there might be a good reason for that.
I first heard about Wealth Affiliate nearly 2 years ago, while looking into ways of making money online, or more importantly trying to find that true passive income. I had already explored and done well with eCommerce, but that still requires some work nearly everyday. DropShipping, or running an ecom store will always require you to do something, such as answering emails, finding new products or creating amazing new ads. Even these days I still spend a few hours a week tweaking the stores to ensure they are optimised, not so much when it comes to the affiliate marketing blogs or Amazon affiliate blogs that I run. Anyway, enough of that, lets get on with this Wealth Affiliate review, and lets see why it really is a popular platform for so many people who want to start in the world of Affiliate Marketing.
Most of the Wealthy Affiliate reviews you find, will be elaborate sales pitch, designed or written with the sole intent to sell you Wealth Affiliate. OK, they are usually not that elaborate more thinly veiled sales pitches, for this, I am trying to give an unbiased view. Now, the links inside of this review, are affiliated (obviously, this whole blog is!). But this review should give you enough information to make up your own mind.
These days, I don't have a fully paid membership, and there is a reason for that (which I will explain in a bit), but I still keep my free membership because I truly believe the free training is worth it.
I encourage you to use the quick navigation below, as there is a lot of content within this article and it may not all be relevant too you or what you are trying to find. I would also encourage you to try the free membership out to see for yourself what you get access too, it's truly free forever.
What Is Wealthy Affiliate & Why I Signed Up?
The platform itself states that it is 'The Home Of Affiliate Marketing' or 'A Platform Designed For Affiliate Marketers Of All Levels' and to an extent I would agree. I would go further and state that it is more than just a training group, it's more of a community. full of like minded individuals.
The WA platform, is a platform, designed to provide affiliate marketing newbies or those who have had some experience with it to get into the somewhat confusing and even complicated world of Affiliate Marketing, as well as offering them the ability to make money from the same platform that taught them (why do you think there are 100's of reviews and adverts for it).
They do boast some pretty impressive numbers, with probably one of the largest memberships of any type of Affiliate Marketing platform, but it's the 10k+ new 'businesses' that they quote which I believe is more impressive, and at the time one of the reasons I signed up.
As I said in the beginning, Wealthy Affiliate provides free training, it's done on the 'freemium' model, where by WA provides you with limited information and training, with the ability to then expand on that with their paid for membership.
The freemium model works, and it's how they can boast 1.4m members. They are not all paying $49 a month, else the founders would be some seriously rich people! On a side note, it's worth checking their About Us page, as it does offer a nice insight into the guys who built this platform up.
I joined based on that 'free' model as I didn't have the spare money to invest in expensive courses (this was before I learnt about more affordable one such as Savage Affiliates) and most of my money from running my stores went straight back into building and expanding that empire (plus, the company owned the money...not me directly). I needed some free training to kick start me in the right direction, and a structured way in which to do it. I had actually spent some money on 'courses' but they where unstructured and focused on old and outdated versions of making Amazon Affiliate sites (I even purchased 5 or 6 ready build sites and tried to make money by spamming adverts and links in Facebook pages... good ol' 2016 Facebook!).
Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership - What's Included & Is It Worth It?
The Free Membership is designed to give you that taste, a flavour of what's inside, and they do an amazing job of teasing you!
But that being said, the free membership is nothing to be snubbed at, I created a brand new account just to show you what someone who has never signed up or touched Wealth Affiliate will see.
Why? Because most people just show off their accounts after 1 or 2 years or they show paid accounts that have had everything done, and that doesn't give you the full picture.
Let's take a look a little more in-depth at what a brand new Free account is offered when they join the platform.
The Online Entrepreneur Certification
Such a cheese name for essentially some free online training designed to explain what affiliate marketing is and why it's so awesome.
Each lesson is broken down into an article, explaining what you should achieve by the end of the lesson, as well as takeaways, lessons learnt and a number of tasks that you have to mark off (a bit like home work).
The tasks themselves are pretty straight forward and mainly boil down to watching videos and writing a few notes down.
For free members, there are 28 tasks for you to complete, split across 10 lessons.
And if I am 100% honest, the first 9 lessons are going to teach you as much as some 'gurus' try to stuff into $7 PDFs or even $49 - $100 training courses.
Here is everything you would have learnt in lessons 1 - 9
That's tons, especially for free training and I used the first 9 lessons to create one of my first (and possibly most forgotten) blogs ever. You can and will build a pretty decent website within those 9 lessons.
The best part is you won't get pressured into buying the premium course (until the end) and even then it's not a hard sell.
The Affiliate Bootcamp
Every single tool, platform or software that has anything to do with Affiliate Marketing is going to have a bootcamp. Most of the programs I talk about or mention are either courses designed to teach you about affiliate marketing, or they are tools to help with affiliate marketing. It comes with the territory.
One of the worst bootcamps still has to be ClickFunnels own Affiliate Bootcamp and is easily trumped by Franks free training or Spencers free training, but supposedly it's getting a refire sometime soon.
Wealthy Affiliates boot-camp is kind of an extension to the standard training, and can be used alongside it.
It's there to teach you the basics of starting a whole business, or website devoted and built around promoting Wealthy Affiliate. As I hinted at before, many reviews you find out there or 'Is X a Scam, find out here!' style sites are built around the purpose of promoting WA.
A good question, and the answer is mainly because Wealthy Affiliate converts really well, and offers a reoccurring income. It's the golden ticket of affiliate marketers.
If you refer someone to WA you are going to be getting around 20% commission from them if they sign up as a premium member, and this rises to 45% if you yourself are a premium member (more on that later).
Most Affiliate bootcamps are the same, and WA version is no different, though I admit their bootcamp is more up to date and actually gives you videos that make sense for 2019, unlike others.
For a free training course, you really can't go wrong, much like the standard training. You are of course locked out of the rest of the training course unless you are a fully fledged member.
At the end of lesson 1, they do provide you with a nice looking journey that they class as 'realistic', and I actually think it's fairly accurate, but I feel you would need to do the whole bootcamp for you to really get the numbers or signups and unique views or visitors per day that they claim.
Do remember, that timeline is based on the fact you are taking action, and creating articles (a bit like this site). You need to be doing around 10 - 20 articles per month by that 6 month mark to be hitting the numbers, which can seem daunting if you are new.
The training HQ area is designed to allow you to see all the different lessons, courses and training given by both WA founders and even some other members, and I love this.
Now, to fully reap the benefits from this, you need to be a premium member, shock, but you do truly feel like you are becoming part of a community and inspires you to strive or succeed.
For example one of the popular lessons at the moment within the 'Training HQ' is a cool guide on how to write blogs for money. People charge for this type of information and you get it here for free!
As you can see it's up to date, only 2 days old from the time of writing this little review and has been created by an everyday Joe, like you and me!
And that's not all of it. To give you a really high level feel of what you get inside the classroom look below.
As you can see from the dropdown, they cover a range of topics, mainly around blogging and SEO (but that's exactly what WA teaches anyway) and there are tons of these lessons taught by everyday members.
As a free member you can't actually get to them all, and some require you to sign up to be a fully fledged member, but this potentially gives you an unlimited and up to date course every month.
An extension on the training, and then of course the Training HQ, Classrooms are places in which a number of guides and videos have been bundled together to cover a certain topic, or a number of closely related topics.
As with the Training HQ, being a free member only gives you access too a limited number of these, and it can be a little annoying finding which ones you do and don't have access to it would be great if they just marked the ones that a free member can view, it seems a little random.
Again, they seem to bundle new ones together every month and from the looks of the ones I found they add updated videos and articles or tutorials to existing ones when new knowledge comes out. That's pretty awesome.
Website Builder & Hosting
Now, let's come onto one of the reason why the free version of Wealthy Affiliate could be a good fit for you, aside from all the free training!
Wealth Affiliate allow you to host 2 websites, for free as part of the free membership.
They also give you access to their own website builder, as well as providing you access to any domains you fancy purchasing and site content, which I will explain a little more below.
The power of this, is that it means you don't need to run your own hosting, though you get a little less freedom.
Personally, I run my own hosting these days, due to the sheer number of websites that I run and run for others, so for me having this wasn't that useful, plus I was already fairly well versed in using WordPress and knew how to run, manage and upgrade my own sites.
This part was also one of the reasons I didn't keep my fully paid membership to Wealth Affiliate at the time (the upgraded version provides you with unlimited sites..which is worth the monthly payment alone, especially if you have 5+ blogs like some people...i.e me!)
Let's look at the parts within Websites a little more closely.
Wealthy Affiliate use a Content Management system on top of WordPress called SiteRubix, essentially an all in one website builder and domain manager to make it easier for people who may have zero clue about managing websites or creating posts or articles, or even how to install apps and themes.
Site manager is essentially your own in one platform for seeing the overall health of websites, and the current number of articles, visitors and other stats.
As you can see, my manager doesn't contain a lot, but it provides you with a pretty decent idea of how the website is doing.
Knowing from a high level how your website is currently doing in terms of posts, or pending comments and even if your website has been indexed by Google or not is a massively useful set of stats.
Some of the stats such as if you have any potential bugs, the sites speed and if the database is being updated or even backed up are all premium features, but at least you are provided with something, which is better than nothing.
It is also there to allow you to quickly start building up a new website with ease.
I created the website above in about 30 seconds.
As part of the package, you are given a number of plugins that Wealthy Affiliate recommend, you can always turn them off if you wanted too, but again useful for people who don't know what plugins you should use when building a blog or website.
Personally I would also install something like YoastSEO and some kind of security plugin, but you can always add them later.
The website builder is a walk through or guide to getting that website up and running. You can choose from 3 options when it comes to domains, I chose the free one, as I didn't have any spare domain names knocking about (makes a change - I usually have 1 - 5 spare at any one time!).
As you can see you can choose what theme you want to install as part of the site build, so that you don't have to go searching for themes after you have started putting posts and articles on it.
It does mean you can get WordPress, with a theme and some standard plugins installed and ready to go within about 5 minutes. Which is probably about the same time it would take for you to set one up and running with Bluehost, but this way you can see up to 2 websites in one place.
Once the website is 'installed' you now have a lovely new WordPress website ready to go!
This part is self evident, it's the area set aside for finding, buying or transferring domain names!
The pricing for domains isn't too bad to be fair, and you they also try to find domains that are semi related too the random words you decide to throw at it!
For those who struggle with writing, especially with how to create paragraphs or articles that flow nicely, then Wealthy Affiliate provide you with their in house 'Word' program, called Site Content.
I hate it, but that's just me.
I admit that the Site Content is useful for someone who is just starting out, but beyond that I find it pretty much useless, especailly if you use plugins such as Thrive Architect it just doesn't work.
If you are just using standard wordpress, then it's fine, they allow you to instantly install your articles into WordPress, and also allow you to find images for your articles, but beyond that, there are better ways. Such as Word and Grammarly or Google Docs & Grammarly.
As you can see, you will be given 4 different templates, with the ability to create your own (not sure if you can import others, but I guess you can copy and paste others if you fancy).
And this is the reason I find the Site Content completely pointless. You can get better templates elsewhere, like literally, anywhere!
The only half decent part of this is the fact it marks off 'goals' as you achieve them.
Keyword Research Tool - Jaaxy
We have looked at the training and also investigated the website side of the free membership, but there is one more thing that you get as part of the membership, and that is access to Jaaxy. Wealthy Affiliates in house keyword research tool.
A word of caution, you are only given 30 searches. That's not a lot. I also couldn't find if that was 30 per day, per month or just 30 in total.
Most of the Jaaxy tools are held behind the membership paywall, so you really are limited to just running keyword searches and nothing else.
The Jaaxy keyword tool could do with it's own review at some point, but this is a Wealthy Affiliate review, and it would make it even longer than it is already!
The information you are given is basic, but for someone who is starting out with Affiliate Marketing, it can be useful and will allow you to start targeting the keywords for your chosen niche (they explain all of this in the training).
Jaaxy will provide you with the number of searches per month that the particular keyword averages, how many searches you would need a month to get a first page ranking (I don't personally agree with this, as there are a number of metrics that determine this) , how many other websites currently rank that particular keyword and also how easy Jaaxy feels it is to rank for said keyword.
From a personal point of view, 30 searches a day is not a lot when you are trying to come up with different content for your site, and if you have 2 websites that you are writing for, that 30 searches is going to be burned through within a matter of minutes.
You are better off using a cheap Keyword research tool such as KeySearch.
Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership - Conclusion
With this Wealthy Affiliate review, I wanted to try and show exactly what you are given when you sign up as a fresh recruit.
I honestly believe the free option for Wealthy Affiliate is great for those who are just starting out in the world of Affiliate Marketing, and even those who are a year or two into their training and learning.
The training and the guides and well, everything that Wealthy Affiliate teach is geared towards blogging or vlogging, so do be prepared to write a lot, or even farm out some of that writing.
The fact that Wealthy Affiliate will host two websites for free is great. Which means you can follow their training lessons and start a niche blog in whatever niche you decide (my first ever WA blog was in the health niche because I had knowledge in it) and then you can have another blog devoted to promoting Wealthy Affiliate, or even a completely different niche.
Adding to the fact they try to provide you with extra lessons and a community that you can get some exposure too within your first couple of days provides you with a sense that there is help out there, though they do take the majority of this away unless you pay for the membership, which we will take a look at in more detail in a second.
Wealthy Affiliate Paid Membership - What's Included & Is It Worth It?
So that's the free membership area looked at, now lets look at why so many people do decide to push for the fully paid membership options, and a lttle about why I chose not too (or at least I didn't carry it on at the time)
The premium option comes in at $49 a month, or less if you pay every 6 / 12 months in advance, plus you get your first 'trial' month for just $19, which gives you the option to give it a go and see if it's for you.
The $49 per month is actually a really good deal, if you take into account the hosting alone, and for most people, that is the reason they keep paying per month, and I agree with them it's a fantastic price.
But, it was also the reason why at the time I didn't keep the upgrade. I already had my own hosting package that I was running both eCommerce stores on, client websites and even my own company website. I didn't need to pay someone else to host my new affiliate blogs.
I upgraded to the premium for around 2 - 3 months, but that was mainly so that I could finish the more advanced aspects that are covered within the premium membership modules.
So for me and my own personal situation, I didn't need it.
Now, nearly 2 years on, I still have my own hosting and I run most, though not all through that (some are run on Shopify, some on BlueHost) and I still don't need that hosting provider.
But, and its a fairly big but, after revisiting Wealthy Affiliate and looking at their training, the forums, the community and the fact you get 2x commission, it would be silly for you not to upgrade, especially if you needed the hosting as well, and most people do.
Considering that each hosting package is around $5 - $10 a month, and the majority of Affiliate Marketers that I meet these days run 5+ blogs or websites, you are already saving yourself money. Plus you get the added bonus of the security and back-ups, that some hosting companies will charge extra for.
Lastly, access too the community.
As part of helping to build the feeling that Wealthy Affiliate is about growth, community spirity and togetherness, they encourage their users to critique websites, offer support in live videos and even comment on sites (that first site that I mentioned still gets people posting comments on 2 years after I swapped it onto my own hosting).
This is great from a traffic and Google point of view, because you are usually getting 1 - 50+ hits a day just from people in the WA community looking around and helping you improve your site.
Wealthy Affiliate Paid Membership - Conclusion
After coming back to this platform after nearly 2 years and after soaking up so much knowledge from eslewhere, and seeing what other platforms charge per month, I would say that upgrading to the Premium Membership is worth it, especially if you don't have a reseller hosting account or if you are planning on running a number of niche sites and need to have one central place to keep them all under control.
With the added benefit of the community feedback, the fact you get backups, security audits and if you fancy promoting Wealthy Affiliate a nice 2x commission boost, you really can't go wrong.
Will I go back to paying for my premium membership?
Possibly, my own hosting costs are starting to rise, especially some of my niche Amazon sites and the cost of moving a majority of them over to a standard hosting account would be around $250+ a month.
What I Enjoyed About Wealthy Affiliate
I do enjoy the free training that the WA platform offers, especially as it's designed to help and teach people with little, to no experience with Affiliate Marketing.
The training gives you enough information for you to start your own blog, or website and they provide you with the tools, hosting and knowledge to start to become independent. You can start building a website, devoting as much time that you have spare to writing your articles, learn about joining networks such as Amazon Associates or ClickBank and how to then monetise that site.
I love the fact that members of the community can provide training or guidance to the other members, it shows that people are constantly learning and finding new ways to build nice looking blogs that provide information to others, or they are understanding how SEO works, or the new ways to build links. The whole community learns and becomes better together.
I have also found while re-researching into WA and Affiliate Marketing as a whole, that there are very few free platforms that give you everything to start.
Now, yes there are training courses that someone could take, such as Savage Affiliates, but that's not a platform, it's a massively in-depth course that gives you everything you need, but you could buy it and then never open it, at least with Wealthy Affiliate you are being reminded and pushed to complete goals, tasks and finish lessons. And once you are done with those lessons, and you have mastered a technique, I bet you a new one would have arrived.
What I Didn't Enjoy About Wealthy Affiliate
There are three main points that I would say I didn't enjoy about Wealthy Affiliate as a whole.
1. The free training is limited, I appreciate it's for a reason, but they fall slightly short of the basics and I feel opening up 2 of the lessons would be really beneficial. Also, the training is focused on SEO and writing, if you hate writing, you are going to want to stay away from Wealthy Affiliate and look more towards PPC or Adword Courses such as Spencers Afflliate Secrets.
2. The content builder, I feel it's just not needed. It doesn't add any value, but it's sold as this amazing free tool and it will save you time and money by giving you these set headings and structure, but in reality it doesn't. I believe that it would be more useful if the templates where decent and gave you a real structure, such as review post structures, or 1 v 1 review structures, or even the 'How To' article template that people such as Warren give away.
3. If you upgrade, you cannot then 'downgrade'. So if you have websites held on the Wealthy Affiliate platform, you will need to move them away and host them elsewhere if you decide that you no longer need the full premium membership. I find this baffling. If you are only using 2 of the web hosting opportunities, then why not allow people to downgrade, lock the training again and just give people their website access.
The side part, that isn't really WA's fault, and more because of the success of Wealthy Affiliate, is the people who promote Wealthy Affiliate, with the money that they have earned from promoting Wealthy Affiliate. Not everyone wants to go and make a website devoted to showing people what marketing training works, what keyword research tools work or even how a page builder can benefit building a blog. They want to earn their passive income from telling people about fly fishing or how to build youe dream house, and yes you will learn all that from Wealthy Affiliate, but people don't focus on that.
Some Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories
I decided to find a few success stories, that focus on people succeeding by using the training or the methods given, to promote something that wasn't Wealthy Affiliate, just to show that it's not all about promoting one platform.
For example, this guy made $51k promoting hosting companies and providing reviews and feedback to these hosting providers. It took the guy a year to get too that, but imagine that as a pay day.
Or we have this guy who has spent 3 years on the platform, made money, but then had to start all over again. But he is using the skills and the platform to come back stronger than ever. For me that's inspiring.
Every person who has a WA account can create their own WA Blog, this means you can get some really interesting reading if you are after a little bit of motivation. I found one guy who is doing a month by month update of how he is doing and also a little bit about what he is doing. The latest blog post is for May 2019 and is his Month 5 Update and he managed to get a 3-figure month, which is amazing if you do this as a side hustle.
Hopefully a few of those stories will at least give you a little bit of motivation, and show you what can be achieved if you do decide to get started in the fun world of blogging and affiliate marketing. If you want to read a few more, or read the marketing stuff from the guys, then you can read more on their Wealthy Affiliate Success Page (ooo fun!).
Who Would Benefit From Wealthy Affiliate
As I have said throughout this Wealthy Affiliate review, the platform and the training is really geared towards those you are just starting out.
So I would say that those who maybe class themselves as affiliate marketing beginners, or 'newbie affiliate marketers' will be the ones who will benefit from the training and the tools and platform itself.
The premium membership, and the training that comes with that is targeted at those who have understood the basics to affiliate marketing, or how to make money with blogging, but want to go that extra mile. Such as teaching you about alternative traffic methods and other such fun topics!
If you class yourself as an affiliate marketing expert, or even a guru, then the training may not be for you, though the community may be a good place for you to pick up the odd tip or two, or even start giving back.
Also, if you are one of those people who constantly look for the next 'get rich quick' or 'how to make $900 a day' secret systems, then this is not for you. This is a longer, slower, but at least proven method of making money online.
Alternative Training Programs
There are a ton of training platforms out there and even affiliate marketing courses, but there is one that is roughly the same price and is sold as a monthly membership option.
ClickBank University vs Wealthy Affiliate
The reason I wanted to compare the ClickBank University platform with Wealthy Affiliate, is because they are both roughly the same price per month, and both offer training around the same information, but there are a few key differences.
As you can see from the table, unfortunately the ClickBank University training program starts to lag behind the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
For example the monthly membership for CB University only gives you access too the forums and the ability to see some live training, but the community behind it is a lot smaller and you don't get the weekly or sometimes daily updates from the guys who own it, mainly because the guys who provide the training for CB University have just been employed by ClickBank, so it's just another pay cheque too them, unlike the guys who run and own WA.
You also don't get access to any hosting, a web builder or even a keyword research tool. CB University does offer you a funnel builder, but you have to pay extra for the privilege, and to be honest ClickFunnels is actually better (even BuilderAll beats the ClickBank funnel builder)
A plus side to ClickBank University, is the fact they teach you about the number of different ways of becoming an affiliate marketer such as PPC, SEO, funnel building and a little bit about vlogging.
They also teach you how to become a a vendor, so teaching you how to create your own products and how to sell them.
All in all, as I said in the CB University review, you could actually cancel after the 1st month or two, and you wouldn't miss out on anything. At least with WA you have a reason to keep paying month after month, especially if you utilise the 50 hosting opportunities as part of your membership.
With any review on this site, I try to be as balanced and as fair as possible, while trying to highlight the good and bad parts of any platform or service that I come across.
I feel that Wealthy Affiliate is a great place to start for those who are new to affiliate marketing and want to learn how to build a blog without having to spend money on hosting or other tools.
For those who want to push it a little further and feel that they have mastered the basics can upgrade for a few months, work their way through the additional training, and can then move your sites onto your own hosting and carry on with life.
James started The Online Student as a typical blog telling people about his struggles and woes with DropShipping, Amazon FBA and even Affiliate marketing. He then decided that blogging about it all would give people the skills, knowledge and apps to get up and running (while making a little extra on the side). After a few months he realised it was quite lucrative and decided to work his ass off making it a bit more than just a hobby!