SBI! vs. Wealthy Affiliate Review: WA Proof of Success… or Failure? Study
Edit/Update 5th June 2018
I have since
started to recommend again Wealthy Affiliate as a fairly-ok-to-good platform 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 (sign up for the free for life Wealthy Affiliate account here)
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
The reason why I decided to not promote Wealthy Affiliate
then was 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.
thing I disagreed on was that they also call themselves "the only
online business platform you ever need", which isn't true.
I realize that though it wouldn't be the same commercial decision I
would ever make for my businesses, but I will respect theirs. Wealthy
Affiliate is good because it is an affordable way to learn how to build
profitable affiliate marketing and Amazon associate businesses in a
very smooth and friendly environment.
Wealthy Affiliate monthly
membership is USD 49 or yearly USD 360 per premium account, and the
magic is that you can have up to 50 websites/domains (additional USD
12-14/year per domain), which allows you to try many different
businesses and topics "to find which one click and stick".
Note that I will still use Solo Build It for authority sites, especially once I've found "the money making sites" from testing and time. Eg I can have multiple websites in Wealthy Affiliate, but for those strong money making and proven sites, I will port them to Solo Build It, because of my experience with them since 2009.
Basically use Wealthy Affiliate to learn and explore, then port the winners to Solo Build It =D
Solo Build It came up with a very detailed case study comparing Solo Build It with Wealthy Affiliate, and you can read the articles here:
Super Summary On Solo Build It versus Wealthy Affiliate Study From SiteSell Blog
Not everyone has the time to read all 24,000 words that make up this meticulous study's introduction, methodology, and results. If you are willing to accept the conclusions at face-value, here they are:
Wealthy Affiliate surrogates create fake reviews of Solo Build It! (SBI!). Many disparage SBI! – a few praise it. Whatever the tactic, it is all "bait and switch." Here's why:
Wealthy Affiliate's fake reviews about SBI! are found by those searching for information about Solo Build It!
The solopreneur believes that s/he is reading a legitimate review. S/he is actually entering a Wealthy Affiliate "sales funnel."
The affiliates recommend Wealthy Affiliate as the best (without any proof of success to support the claim).
Affiliates earn a large commission for each sale.
But is the recommendation true? Does Wealthy Affiliate truly represent the best chance of building a profitable online business?
To answer that, we designed a study that is objective, rigorous, statistically significant and reproducible by anyone. It is based on data from Alexa, SimilarWeb and SEMrush.
Wealthy Affiliate has approximately 17,000 active, hosted sites while Solo Build It! has approximately 10,000. The study found that:
SBI! Sites are 33 times (33X) more likely to achieve "Outstanding – Excellent" levels of traffic than Wealthy Affiliate.
SBI! Sites are 10 times (10X) more likely to achieve "Medium" levels of traffic than Wealthy Affiliate.
The only category where Wealthy Affiliate "beats" SBI! is in the worst level of failure, "Invisible" (i.e., they get no detectable traffic). 87% of Wealthy Affiliate sites are "Invisible."
The superiority of SBI! is so high that these results will seem unbelievable to some. We repeated the study one month later with near-identical results. We invite others to repeat the test, too (see Part 2 for how).
Takeaway Conclusions & Lessons
Solo Build It! gives you a 10-33X higher chance of success. Wealthy Affiliate cuts your chances by more than 90%.
Beware of fake reviews. Watch for "Bait and switch."
SBI! has always proven success, made verifiable by including domains. This study is the ultimate in head-to-head proof.
Wealthy Affiliate provides zero proof of success – it and its affiliates claim success repeatedly, but none offer verifiable proof.
Insist on domains to verify claims. Domains allow you to:
use a whois tool to verify where a site is hosted
check traffic using Alexa, SimilarWeb and SEMrush
review the site
contact the owner
THAT is verifiability. Insist on domains – ignore claims. After all, it's your future, your vision and goals, your time that is at stake!
This summary requires your trust. If you have doubts, please read all 3 Parts.
My Point Of View On Solo Build It versus Wealthy Affiliate
I've shared openly on how:
#1 I've been a very happy user of Solo Build It (in the past it was called Site Build It) since 2009, and have had created 2 main sites which make me money: one is my physiotherapy website, which is a 6-figure lead generation website to my physical therapy business, and the other makes me little money ($10-30 per month) selling natural health supplements.
#2 I've been a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate since 2015, but have stopped actively promoting them since 2017 because mainly I disagree with their no-refund policy, because their reason to me was that "they cannot refund me since they'd already paid the referring affiliate their affiliate commission" - a philosophy that I cannot agree with though I CAN understand their commercial standpoint.
As an entrepreneur and businessman, I make my decisions based on:
value for money
return on investment
culture and philosophy of who I want to do business with
Value For Money and Return On Investment
For these two perspectives, comparing Solo Build It versus Wealthy Affiliate, it's pretty clear cut - my Solo Build It sites has given me more outcomes in terms of actual dollars and cents from leads and sales generated from my SBI-powered websites as compared to my WA ones...but let me also be frank - I hadn't and wasn't with WA long enough for my WA sites to rank well and compete.
That being said, I compare SBI vs WA/WP, where I compare Solo Build It to BOTH WA and my other WordPress sites. An example is NigelChua.com, which is a site that has been around since 2009.
Let's be objective about this - let's see my aged Nigel Chua WP site (700+ articles, around since 2009) and the traffic levels
180 days of NigelChua.com - my WP website webarchive age 2009 May
Culture and Philosophy of who I work with
Maybe it's me as I grow older and hopefully wiser and mature - I become more selective on who I want to work with or do business or invest my time, effort or money with. I have a basic philosophy when it come to this:
People I decide to work with need to be legal, ethical and moral AND have fun and passion for what they do.
This is becoming increasingly evident in all my investments, businesses, projects and life, and I choose to do so because I feel much more happy, positive and have more fun when I meet such people and do business with such people.
It's very simple.
And that's the reason why I cannot work or continue with Wealthy Affiliate.
Even though my SBI outcomes is much better when compared to my WP outcomes, I will never port NigelChua.com over to SBI, because firstly NigelChua.com is a labor of love and secondly, I want NigelChua.com to be a WordPress powered site with more social metrics. WordPress sites (and by definition, WA sites since they're WordPress driven) will be like that too.
But if I want to build any authority powerhouse sites, I will undoubtedly take Solo Build It, any time of the day (which explains my niche and authority sites).
So it'd depend on what your goals are...if you want to:
build a hobby/labour of love site, or if you primarily love WordPress because of all the diverse plugins and designs, then by all means go for a self hosted WordPress.
if you want to make a highly social WordPress site and monetize it, go with self hosted WordPress but please get mentors to show/teach you how to make money from WP (Affilorama is one of them, and I recommend them because I'm using their program and found value from them)
for very advanced users of Solo Build It, once you've built very strong and high traffic site and want to know how to monetize it better, look at Affilorama - they have 18 proven evergreen niches, proven and frequently updated products as well as a one-year's worth of pre-written autoresponders with your affiliate links in them
Learn how to build profitable passive income websites
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 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.
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