I no longer recommend Wealthy Affiliate as default go-to for myself to learn and build passive income internet businesses; they have very strong support, robust discussion/forums, strong fundamental online business training programs, and best of all, there is a free-for-life basic membership program where you can learn the basics of online business, get 2 free websites and webhosting too.
Yes, one of their strong points is that you can stay as a free basic member for life if you want to, or once you’ve learnt as much as you can from the basic level and want to level up, you can opt to upgrade to be a premium member at $49 per month or $359 per year (the yearly option is much cheaper).
The reason why I changed my mind is because they do not provide a refund if you pre-paid for their yearly membership; instead you have to wait out your membership – I disagree with this approach. They also call themselves “the only online business platform you ever need”, which isn't true. Read my sharings on that here. Instead, I am very comfortable recommending you AffiloJetPack, which I'm a student of and Solo Build It, which I've used since 2010, check them out for your online success.
To begin building and living the passive income lifestyle, unless you already have a lot of cash reserves to invest in dividend stocks, I recommend you to learn how to build Passive Income Internet Businesses (PIIB) on the side, and build up multiple streams of online passive income first without quitting your job.
Quit only when your PIIB income has reached/surpassed your day job, but even that is optional. And that brings me to:
A Review of Wealthy Affiliate University
I chanced upon Wealthy Affiliate quite some time back, around 2011, and even then I dismissed it because I was heavily reliant on another program then, called Site Build It (SBI) that worked very, very well, going on to becoming a 6-figure lead generation website for my private physiotherapy business in Singapore.
SBI is great for very static, authoritative websites for brick and mortar professional companies in my opinion, but Wealthy Affiliate carries its own weight in the online business and entrepreneurship world.
The program has evolved and grown a lot since then, and you can check it out completely free. The starter account is $0, with no catch, and no credit card required – so you can take your time to try and then decide if it’s right for you without risking a single cent of your hard earned money.
I'm pretty sure that you would agree that losing money and being scammed or cheated is really a terrible experience – I've lost and wasted more than $25,000 during my journey to find out ways to make money online and earn money from home, legitimately, and doing things I love.
Unfortunately for me, I bought many hyped-up products that I came across, been cheated by “gurus” that promised to make me rich. And as an obvious result, I because very cautious, negative and even cynical of the whole idea of making money on the internet.
This is why when I found Wealthy Affiliate, it was actually at the back of my mind that “this is the last one to try” because frankly…I'm upset, disappointed and embarrassed to keep showing my wife and family how I keep getting cheated, scammed and lied to of my hard-earned monies.
What is Wealthy Affiliate?
So whenever I share with someone about WA, I almost always start by saying that it's not a money-making-scheme, it's not an easy passive way to becoming rich and neither is it a pyramid scam.
So what is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate University is first and foremost an online business community as well as a marketing centre. Please, if you think you will start minting/making/printing money by simply joining WA – think again, OR just walk away – it doesn't work that way.
This is likely the biggest difference between Wealthy Affiliate and all the other make money online programs – WA doesn't sell hype and false promises; WA doesn't promise to make you rich with a few clicks or overnight, and they definitely don't promise you a shortcut to overnight thousands of dollars.
And I'm glad for that.
They instead promise to teach, train, educate, support and show you how to build your online business. If you are willing to start, learn, refine, grow and run a successful business, please keep reading.
Wealthy Affiliate Pros VS Cons
- Very Clear Action Plan
- Different levels of training based on your experience – Beginner and Advanced
- Video training provided, including Step-by-step Tutorials and Courses
- 10,000′s of community members
- 10+ Full, Interactive Classrooms with tasks to complete
- Live & Interactive Help from WA members, ambassadors, owners and expert members
- 2 Free Easy-to-Build Websites (you will also learn what to do with these sites)
- State of the Art Hosting and more importantly to me, strong defenses against hackers/spammers
- A strict spam free environment (it is not allowed to advertise/sell within WA; great as warning to spammers who want to join WA just to sell something to other members)
- No up-sells, ever. (except Premium, of course)
- $0 Membership. Yes, completely FREE!
- Too much information in the beginning that can be overwhelming
- I notice that it is very easy and addictive to spend time on Live Chat
- Starter membership is great but you’ll have to upgrade to premium in order to access advanced training
A Better Question: Is Wealthy Affiliate For You?
WA is not for everyone – since 2005, they have been teaching individuals with success how to build an online business, how to grow and expand businesses and how to level up their businesses. In a nutshell, it teaches you marketing. BUT if you aren't open, keen or willing to learn and take action, then the whole idea of making money online isn't suitable for you.
In that case, who then can really benefit from this program? Generally, they are individuals or groups/organizations who wants to make an extra income to supplement their salary or support their causes.
These people include:
- Stay at home moms (SAHMs) who have some free time and are willing to spend it in front of the computer.
- Students who want to make money to help them pay for their tuition, and some college students has built 6-figure businesses from their dorm, using Wealthy Affiliate.
- Business owners who want to get more visibility and leads online.
- Retirees who have free time and want to supplement their pension or who would like to continuously learn, reach out to help others and connect with like-minded people
- People who are fed up of their 9-to-5 jobs and want to start their own business. Many Wealthy Affiliate members have been able to quit their “day job” to do online marketing full time. On the flip side, there are also many WA members who have “made it online” but still keep their day job at a much lower stress level, and to purely enjoy the work and connection with people at the workplace – more options and fun.
As you can tell, WA is good choice for everyone who is seeking to earn money from home, BUT you must understand that you will have to invest your time and effort to learn, execute, refine, test and keep taking action in order to make it work.
This program will teach you HOW TO BUILD a business – and like any business, online or offline, it requires a solid and consistent investment of time, effort and usually money. The big difference between starting an online business instead of a traditional brick and mortar business is that you do not need much start-up capital to get started online.
This really hits home because for my physical business today, my monthly expenditures are about S$60,000+ per month (ok, my business is bit larger than a small start up), but the difference is staggering, and the online world gives you global reach and global customers, unlike mine which is very limited geographically.
You do not even need any money to join Wealthy Affiliate, the basic free membership gives you all you need to get started: including 2 free hosted websites, training and all the support you need. What Exactly Do You Get Inside?
Wealthy Affiliate only costs $49/month. Update: Wealthy Affiliate is now FREE to join! WA has two (2) different membership levels: the basic and the premium.
This is really good because you can join first without spending a single penny, look around, meet and connect with some people, create your own 2 free websites (hosting included) and see how it goes. Then and only then, if you love it like I do – you will join Premium for even more benefits or you can still stick to building an online business using your free starter membership, with no strings attached.
This alone makes WA so much better than any other make money online programs or opportunities – there is no risk of losing money to something that might not work. You don't even need your credit card and still get a free membership!
What you get with your 0$ starter membership:
- Instant access to over 500 training modules
- 2 free websites along with free hosting
- Access to 3 classrooms
- Live support from the owners for the first 7 days and support from many experts inside WA!
- 30 keyword searches a month
- Phase 1 of the Boot camp course, teaching you how to build an authority website.
On the upside, what you get with your Premium membership:
- Live Video Classes
- Instant access to over 500 training modules
- Unlimited free websites along with free hosting (great cost savings)
- Website Backup and Website Security Package (important to me)
- Access to all 12 classrooms
- Unlimited Live support from the owners and support from many experts inside WA!
- Unlimited keyword searches
- All phases of the Boot camp course
- 100% higher commissions.
- Private access to my support.
- … and much much more!
To me, the most valuable and important benefits of Wealthy Affiliate University, is really the step-by-step approach to building an online business from the group up, the support from Kyle, Carson and many expert members. Sadly, most of the other online programs lack the support and the clear action plan (even sadder is that many of them claim to have support but when I email them, I only hear crickets – meaning nothing back. Feels like I'm just a number to those scams).
I have tested dozens of different programs since 2003 and nothing comes close to the quality of WA.
Overall this training ranks at a very respectable 98%. Most paid programs can’t even reach or offer that amount of value but here in WA: you can get it without spending a dime.
Training 98% + Support 96% + Value 100% = Overall 98% Score
Wealthy Affiliate Earning Potential
The next question from new WA members and people who hadn't joined yet:
What is the earning potential with Wealthy Affiliate?
How much money can I really make in a year?
Unfortunately for you, there is no real specifics to this question, because truly it's open ended. Some make a few dollars here and there, some make $1,000+ per month, and some reach the six and even seven figures – it depends on your niche, industry and the amount effort and consistency you put in.
The amount of money you can earn is 100% directly related to what you do, how you do it and how consistent you are with your action plans. The ones who are highly successful all have one thing in common:
Follow the training to the dot and keep taking massive consistent action.
Yes, learning how to do something is super but you need to apply the knowledge and actually build the online business to actually start earning – the knowledge is a good start, but how many of us know that action is what brings home the bacon and get things done.
Go through the WA training and build your online business the way WA teaches you and don't deviate or get distracted, and I don't see why you can't make $12,000 your first year (that's $1,000 per month in extra pocket money), and double that amount every year.
Sadly, why most beginner internet marketers fail online is because they either:
- do not follow an action plan
- get distracted and deviated by the next shiny program/product that promises $$$$ overnight
- do not take enough action
- do not take enough action consistently and patiently
Wealthy Affiliate will help you with all of the above: Provide you with a realistic plan of action, courses that you need to follow and tasks you need to complete. Stay focused and you will be successful.
Make Money Doing What You Love
Even though Wealthy Affiliate will teach you different marketing strategies that are very helpful for any kind of online business, they do focus and concentrate much on affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing means that you get paid a commission whenever someone buys a product that you recommend, and most of the time, it's someone else' product. Most companies offer affiliate programs (think Amazon, eBay, Target, Airlines companies, credit card companies, etc.).
As more and more people start to buy things online instead of going to traditional stores (for obvious reasons) it’s makes sense to get involved and claim your share of these online sales . What I always liked about WA is that they encourage you to do what you love – this makes running and growing a business a lot more fun and profitable.
For example, say you're like me, and you like natural health supplements (or gardening or playing games) and you make a website on natural health supplements that help people make a purchasing decision. If you like gardening, you can start a website that talks about gardening tools, sheds, DIY, how to make your garden better.
On these websites, you can tell people about all those super products and tell them where they can buy those products (be it from Amazon, Target etc), and whenever these people buy the products through your link, you get a commission (affiliate marketing in a nutshell).
You don't have to deal with inventory, shipping, payments, customer service – all you do is to connect people to find the products they want/need and you get rewarded by the merchant for it who loves you because you find them customers at a paid-for-performance basis – EVERYONE WINS! This is single handedly my favorite way of business offline and online.
Ok, please don't read the words above and start saying that it's too difficult, or too foreign, or what – Wealthy Affiliate WILL PROVIDE you step by step details that you need to know to do all of this properly. Again, its a follow the step-by-step training and ask questions whenever you're unsure – the WA community is always there to help.
Wealthy Affiliate Keeps Me (and you) Updated
Earlier I mentioned that I run a private physiotherapy practice in Singapore since 2008, and one of the most important things that specialist physiotherapists needs to do is to keep updated, and this process is called “Continuous Professional Development (CPD)” and “Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)”.
Likewise, a big benefit of Wealthy Affiliate University is that they stay updated and keep refining and growing. You see, the online world changes very, very fast. Kyle and Carson are very good and talented at keeping up with these updates and providing the most recent news, and updated strategies that work. Research any successful millionaire/billionaire entrepreneurs and you will find that they constantly learn new things. They attend seminars, hire coaches, read books, meet experts in their field – they stay updated and learn something new every single day. Every timeI login to my Wealthy Affiliate account, I learn something new.
Perhaps this will be the reason I am still a member and still excited every time I log into my account.
“Be Hungry, Be Foolish – Steve Jobs”
Wealthy Affiliate Community and Support
WA community is something that I really respect and appreciate, and also something other programs fail to provide.
If you find yourself struggling with anything, most of the time many members who are live will be able to help you instantly in the WA Live Chat and even through your sharing in WA. What I like even more is that people share their experiences, ideas and breakthroughs – this is invaluable, and is similar to being in a mastermind group where you can listen to these experiences to teach and motivate you, you can learn from others' mistakes as well as discuss and brainstorm with others.
Whenever I need an opinion or input on a challenge or new website or article I am working on, WA members are always there to share their opinions, and very fast. Even when I first joined, the way the community welcomed me – this is out of the world – the whole feel of such an active community is truly amazing and Wealth Affiliate is by far the only place where I have experienced this.
There are many, many online forums and programs out that that discusses the topic of making money online and online businesses, but you may have personally experienced or seen when someone ask a seemingly “simple newbie” question, they may get shot/flamed with:
- hey, that question has been asked many times before, google it
- you're ______
- and many more
You will not get this kinds of replies on WA. Wealthy Affiliate is a learning center so they pride themselves on there are no stupid questions, and that every question is important and people will try to answer it as well and thorough as they can. BUT of course if you do not feel comfortable asking a question (really, don’t be shy, just ask – and be amazed by their thoughtfulness and hospitality) instead you could also simply look through the resources and questions other people asked – I can almost guarantee you will find your answer within minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Wealthy Affiliate
Here are the most frequently asked questions about Wealthy Affiliate and their answers, and if you've got a question please don't be shy or afraid to ask using the comment form below and I'll add it to the FAQ.
Q: I am not very technical/tech-savvy and I’ve never built a website. Can I still use Wealthy Affiliate?
A: Of course! One of the greatest things about Wealthy Affiliate is the fact that it’s built with people like yourself. Every single step of online business building is explained with specifics and details, as well as with both text and video tutorials. This training makes Wealthy Affiliate very easy to use even for complete beginners.
Q: Do I have to promote Wealthy Affiliate to Make Money?
A: Nope, you don't. And though Wealthy Affiliate does have an amazing affiliate program but you don't need to to promote it to make money. Instead, WA teaches you how to setup a real and profitable online business where you can market/sell any service or products that you like or can find. The WA affiliate program can be taken as optional program if you love WA, but WA doesn't force you to push friends and family into being your clients or downline, rest assured.
Q: I don’t have any products to sell. How can Wealthy Affiliate help me?
A: So Wealthy Affiliate teaches you how to build on online business, and you can choose the route of selling your own products and services OR you can opt to sell other people's services and products, and this is known as affiliate marketing. You can partner with giants such as Lazada, Amazon, Target and many other companies to earn commissions on products that they already have/sell.
Q: Ok, so Wealthy Affiliate is Free to join BUT what’s the catch?
A: Yup, it's fair to be cautious and skeptical when you're offered/given something valuable for free. So the catch when it comes to Wealthy Affiliate is that the free membership is a basic membership program that gives you access to a limited part of WA, and in order to get more advanced training, you will have to upgrade to premium membership – that's the catch.
I do recommend you start with the free membership program so that you can have a feel of this WA platform, connect with other WA users, start up to 2 free hosted websites and then decide if you wanna stay basic/free member or upgrade to premium. Free membership is enough to start an online business.
Q: What if I build my websites with WA and then decide to leave, will I lose my websites?
A: Nope – you get to keep your websites for as long as you want. Yes, this is a good question and a common fear BECAUSE many online programs don’t allow you to take your website with you if you decide to leave them. Wealthy Affiliate will never take your website away from you even if you cancel your membership. In fact, you will be given a full 30 days after cancellation to transfer your websites to whichever webhost you prefer
Q: How long would it take to start making money online
A: We all ask this question, and unfortunately there is no real answer to it because truly there are so many variables that it’s very very difficult to estimate the timeline of success. Much of it depends on your commitment/work ethics, you taking consistent massive action, the industry (or niche) your business is in, the amount of effort you’re willing to put in as well as many other factors. I have seen people start making money with their online business in their first week, I have seen many others who took 6 to 18 months to see their first sale.
Q: Why is Wealthy Affiliate not available in my country?
A: Wealthy Affiliate Premium is available to everyone in every country. This being said, Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership is not available to 4 countries at the moment: India, Nigeria, Philippines and Pakistan. I'm sorry I do not have the details why and how this decision was made, but if you live in one of these 4 countries you can still join WA premium membership anytime.
Q: Does Wealthy Affiliate work in Canada?
A: Yes, definitely. In fact, it works in every country (I'm in Singapore, and works well in Singapore and Asia too). WA is a learning platform teaching you how to build an online business, and as long as you have access to internet you can start building your own business.
Q: How do I know Wealthy Affiliate is not a scam?
A: Yes, much of the online business and internet marketing world has earned itself quite a bad, negative and scammy reputation – I was scammed and cheated many times too =(
This happens because of conmen/scammers who cheat people by promising to reveal a secret shortcut/technique/whatever lies to earns thousands and millions of dollars for a simple fee of $47, $97, $197, $1497 or more. As I've shared in my blogs and teachings, there is no quick way to riches.
What makes WA very strong is because of their free starter membership program which you can access limited part of WA training but it’s definitely more than enough to show you the high quality value you will get inside, without risking a single cent of your hard-earned money. The simple fact of that people can try for free and people staying for 5+ years as members eliminates any possibility of Wealthy Affiliate being a scam.
Q: I am trying to create a starter account on Wealthy Affiliate but it’s telling me I already have one.
Hmm – there could be several reasons for this error.
- Did you create an account with them but had forgotten?
- Someone may have created an account using your email?
- Someone may have created an account using a computer in your house/IP, leading to Wealthy Affiliate thinking its from the same IP hence duplicate
Please contact WA support as they'd be the best people to ask for this.
Wealthy Affiliate Negative Reviews and Complaints
Ok, if you spend much time researching Wealthy Affiliate, you possibly will find that there is very little to no bad/negative reviews about WA online.
Interestingly, if you think about it, whenever any customers are unhappy, where is the place they go to complain and rant? Yup, online. This is true for any industry and most definitely for online training programs. To date, more than 100,000 people have joined Wealthy Affiliate since 2005, and from the lack of rants and complaints about WA, it is fairly safe to say that most of them are quite happy with WA and what WA has to offer.
This is why it's very hard to impossible to find any bad rants, reviews or press about WA online.
In fact, WA members are openly welcomed to review the program, unlike MLM companies that forces MLM members to sign non-disclosure and nothing MLM is allowed to go online…meaning that these unhappy MLM people are legally disallowed to publicly review the MLM company and expose their bad practices.
This being said, I actually manage to find some complaints about WA:
- very detailed + informative can lead to information overload/overwhelm
- basic members only get 7 days of live support
- members being too preoccupied with WA rankings
- some countries cannot enjoy the free starter membership program
These being said, are not large deal-breaking issues and to me, the focus is “Does WA does what it said it'd do? The success stories speak for themselves” – and that's all that matters to me.
I also disclose that I will receive a small affiliate commission if someone decides to join WA premium using my affiliate link. There is no monetary compensation for basic membership. I often share with people that they are free to join WA without using my link but they are encouraged to use my link if they like and benefited from my review and the effort that I put into explaining what WA is and does. If someone for some reason don't think I deserve being compensated, they can join directly through WA main site without going through my links.
If you’re a student, stay at home mum (SAHM), working full time or part time, or retired: you must build an online business on the side. Please don’t quit your job yet, build it on the side until it’s profitable enough to replace your salary, then you have more options.
It’s not a luxury but truly a necessity for your future.
I’ve built multiple businesses (and lost multiple too) and I can tell you frankly that building a business on the internet is the cheapest/most cost-effective way to business. There are thousands of people who do so sharing on topics that they’re passionate about (like how NigelChua.com shares on passive income and online business, which is my passion…for years now).
I know I am making some money online (see my income reports), and I know my financial future is getting better and better. But it is not easy, and takes a lot of time to learn and apply but I am building my passive income internet businesses that will work for me day in, day out; serving readers and customers profitably and delivering value 24/7.
To learn how I to make money online, join my mailing list and visit my resources page to see all the tools I use actively to build money making online businesses.