eBiz Facts is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn More

The Ultimate Wealthy Affiliate Review

27 Things To Know Before You Buy

Wealthy Affiliate logoThis is the definitive guide to Wealthy Affiliate in 2020.

I spent 40+ hours reviewing all the free and premium training materials, so you don’t have to.

If you want to know:

  • How much money Wealthy Affiliate makes
  • If the training is still effective in 2020 (hint: it’s not)
  • The common complaints people have about WA
  • If the whole thing is legit or a scam
  • What Robert De Niro has got to do with all of this 🤔

Then you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s get started.

Wealthy Affiliate Review – Key Points
  About

Wealthy Affiliate is a course and community that promises to teach you how to make money online with affiliate marketing.

💰  Price

Some lessons free. $19 first month Premium. $30-49/month thereafter.

😍  Pros

Decent training on the fundamentals.

😩  Cons

Full of outdated, misleading info and bad advice.

  Verdict

The WA training may have been effective several years ago, but it’s essentially useless in 2020.

Overall Rating
1.0/5

About the Author

Niall DohertyHey, I’m Niall Doherty.

I quit my 9-to-5 job almost a decade ago, back in 2010.

Since then, I’ve earned my living online doing a variety of things:

  • Blogging
  • Web design
  • Advertising
  • Online courses
  • Ebooks

At the end of 2018, I decided to focus on affiliate marketing.

Several months later, I was already earning more than $1000/month in affiliate commissions.

Affiliate Payments may oct
Total affiliate payments received in six months (May-Oct 2019). See my finance reports for latest earnings.

But Wealthy Affiliate didn’t have anything to do with that.

Table Of Contents

This review is a joint effort between Niall Doherty (founder of eBiz Facts) and Conor Monahgan (founder of One Minute English).

Our process:

  1. We both went through the free WA training.
  2. We paid $19 each for the first month of Premium access.
  3. We both went through the core Premium training and took notes (320 pages combined!)
  4. Niall also spent several hours reviewing material outside of the core training (Training HQ, Classrooms, Live Events, etc.)
  5. Overall, we spent ~50 combined hours reviewing the program.
  6. We jumped on a call and discussed our impressions of WA, what we liked, what we didn’t like, etc.
  7. We agreed that the course left a lot to be desired and deserved a low rating.
  8. We searched online for other reviews of WA to see if there were any key points we missed.
  9. We wrote a first draft of this review.
  10. We sent the draft to our Freedom Business Builder community and asked for feedback.
  11. Niall posted a summary of his main complaints within the WA community and received some responses. (Update: that post was allowed stand for a week or two, then was deleted without notice by the WA moderators. Here’s a PDF version.)
  12. We made our final edits and published the review.

Note: We earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through referral links in this review. Read our full disclosure here.

What is Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate is a course and community that promises to teach you how to make money online with affiliate marketing.

Here’s a nice illustration from their free training showing you how affiliate marketing works.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Wealthy Affiliate is owned by Canadian entrepreneurs Carson Lim and Kyle Loudon.

Carson Lim and Kyle Loudon

They have been in business since 2005 under the corporation name Niche Marketing, Inc.

As of 2020, Wealthy Affiliate claims to have helped more than 1.4 million students, making it the most popular affiliate marketing course in the world.

No experience necessary
Above: words from the WA website

I’d heard about Wealthy Affiliate many times over the years.

But I only joined in August 2019, as part of my mission to review all of the top affiliate marketing courses.

Given its popularity, I had high hopes for Wealthy Affiliate.

And I ended up extremely disappointed ☹️

Why you should NOT join Wealthy Affiliate

Having spent 40+ hours going through the WA training materials, I can’t in good conscience recommend anyone sign up for it.

Simply put, the odds are low that you will succeed as an affiliate marketer with WA alone.

  • At best, the training is unhelpful.
  • At worst, it will actually reduce your chances of success.

Here’s how my experience with Wealthy Affiliate unfolded:

My impression of Wealthy Affiliate, comic book style.

A quick summary of my main complaints with Wealthy Affiliate (more on each later):

  • Much of the core training material hasn’t been updated since 2015.
  • Neither of the main trainers – Kyle Loudon and Jay Neill – appear to have had much success with affiliate marketing since 2016.
  • The core training is filled with misleading claims.
  • The core training is riddled with bad advice.
  • The core training is missing crucial info.
  • The core training is very poorly organized.
  • The internal ranking system is ridiculous.

I cover those seven problems in this video:

As mentioned, I’m on a mission to review all the top affiliate marketing courses.

It’s still early days, but thankfully it looks like there are plenty of alternatives to WA available…

🏆 Best Affiliate Marketing Courses 🏆

Course Rating Review
Authority Hacker’s TASS 4.5/5 Authority Hacker review
Income School’s Project 24 4/5 Project 24 review
Udemy affiliate marketing courses 2/5 Udemy affiliate marketing courses review
Affilorama 1.5/5 Affilorama review
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing 1.5/5 Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review
Wealthy Affiliate 1/5 Wealthy Affiliate review
ClickBank University 0.5/5 ClickBank University review
See all the affiliate marketing courses we’ve reviewed (best free training included) »

MONEY

How much does Wealthy Affiliate cost?

There are two membership levels and multiple payment options in WA.

Membership Cost Access
Starter Free 20 core lessons *
2 training classrooms *
Access to WA community (first 7 days only)
2 websites hosted at .siterubix.com
30 keyword searches per month in Jaaxy
Premium First Month † $19 Everything in WA ‡
Premium Monthly $49 every month
= $588 per year
Premium 6 Months $234 every 6 months
= $39 per month / $468 per year
Premium Yearly $359 per year
= $29.92 per month

* Accessible without ever signing up for a WA account.
† Special offer for Starter members if they upgrade within 7 days.
‡ You still have to pay WA separately for non .siterubix.com domains, which cost $14-16 each.

The free training in Wealthy Affiliate is a decent introduction to affiliate marketing, and the content is mostly up to date.

But be warned!

It’s nowhere near enough to help you build a successful affiliate site, and everything in there is geared towards converting you to a paid membership.

How much money can you make with Wealthy Affiliate?

You will most likely earn $0 as a Starter member. And upgrading to Premium won’t serve you much better. Wealthy Affiliate members seemed to make decent money until 2016, but there have been fewer and fewer success stories since.

As a Starter member of Wealthy Affiliate, you can build a website on a free SiteRubix domain.

Here are some examples:

These sites are touted as “fully operational,” “profit ready” and capable of generating 💰💰💰

Apparently it takes less than 30 seconds to build a website
Above: screenshot from the free training

What you aren’t told during the free training is that your website is practically useless until you sign up for WA Premium and move it to your own domain.

Here’s lead trainer Kyle stating explicitly that SiteRubix domains are NOT sufficient for building a successful website.

Kyle writes
Above: Kyle writes in a Premium-only lesson that “you are dead” if you keep your site on a free SiteRubix domain.

Several Premium members give their opinion of WA’s free SiteRubix hosting in this thread (no login needed).

Among them:

Members of Wealthy Affiliate don't rate the free hosting very highly

Fair enough.

But surely you can earn money with everything they teach you in WA Premium, right?

Well, maybe.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that the Premium training in Wealthy Affiliate was quite effective several years ago, but not so much in 2020.

It’s not hard to find WA members from 2015-2016 sharing screenshots of big affiliate earnings.

But it’s harder to find WA members having that kind of success in the years since.

See the “success stories” section below for a full list

How much money does Wealthy Affiliate make?

Approximately $10,000,000 in revenue in 2019.

How did I come up with that number?

First I noticed that everyone who signs up for a free WA account automatically “follows” Kyle.

So I checked how many followers he had on two occasions, exactly one week apart.

1,488,169 followers one week

1,494,172 followers exactly a week later

That works out to 5,303 new members in one week.

The WA affiliates page tells us how many of those folks are likely to sign up for a Premium account…

The WA affiliate page says that 12% of free members upgrade to Premium

So that’s about 636 new Premium members each week.

Or 90 every day.

The same page tells us the average affiliate commission per sale…

Average commission is $121 per sign up

According to WA, affiliates are paid 22-45% of every sale.

Let’s say the average is 40%.

That would put the lifetime value of each sale at about $300.

90 sales per day = $27,000.

WA’s monthly revenue is therefore $821,250.

Or $9.85 MILLION per year!

Keep in mind:

  • 40% might be too high an average. Meaning each sale could be worth more than $300.
  • I’ve only counted revenue from memberships. WA also generates $ in other ways (eg domain registrations).

Given that, I feel confident saying that Wealthy Affiliate generated at least $10 million in revenue in 2019.

Kyle and Carson be like…

Scrooge McDuck diving into his money pit

What is the Wealthy Affiliate refund policy?

Wealthy Affiliate does not give refunds.

As per the WA Terms of Service:

The WA terms of service page specifies no refunds

Given that, if you are tempted to try Wealthy Affiliate for yourself, I recommend you sign up for a monthly membership and test it out for a few weeks.

But be very hesitant to upgrade to the yearly membership option.

Focus on yearly upgrades
Above: Kyle writes in a Premium-only lesson that affiliates should encourage other members to upgrade to yearly.

The Wealthy Affiliate affiliate program

Wealthy Affiliate has one of the best affiliate programs online, paying out a reported $121 per sale (lifetime commission).

Details of the affiliate program displayed to Premium members inside WA:

WA affiliate program details

Additional info:

  • Commissions are $8 for the first month $19 special offer, then $23.50 thereafter.”
  • You only get the above rates if you remain a Premium member of WA. “Starter Members earn $4 for special offer referrals, then $11.75 monthly and $87.50 yearly commissions.”
  • WA offers “lifetime commissions and lifetime cookies, which is truly unheard of in the industry. If you refer someone to WA, they are your referral FOREVER.”
  • Perhaps the most unique – and some might say genius – part of the WA affiliate program is that Premium members can communicate with their referrals within WA, welcome them to the program, offer support, and encourage them to upgrade to Premium. There’s even an autoresponder functionality that allows you to message your referrals automatically when they take (or neglect to take) specific actions.
Automated messages can be sent to your referrals in WA
Above: Sample automated messages within WA, from Phase 2, Lesson 10 of the Affiliate Bootcamp.
  • You can create a public training or blog post at my.wealthyaffiliate.com. If anyone discovers WA through that content and signs up, you are credited with the referral.
  • “If you are a Premium Member here at Wealthy Affiliate […] you also get to take part in our $1 credit program, which allows you to earn from free members you sign-up that set-up their accounts. You also earn money with each domain your referrals buy.”
  • As a member, you’ll see an affiliate link button on almost every page of WA, so you can affiliate link directly to anything you want.
Example of an affiliate link on a lesson inside WA
Above: Example of an affiliate link button at the top of a lesson within Wealthy Affiliate.

More info on the Wealthy Affiliate affiliate program is available here

WEALTHY AFFILIATE COMPLAINTS

Is Wealthy Affiliate legit? Is it a scam?

WA has offered solid affiliate marketing training for much of its existence. But more people have been calling Wealthy Affiliate a scam in recent years as its teachings have become increasingly outdated and ineffective.

I’m hesitant to declare Wealthy an outright scam, because clearly a few people are still having success with it (examples).

But consider:

  • Much of the core training material hasn’t been updated since 2015 (examples)
  • The core training is riddled with bad advice (examples)
  • The core training is filled with misleading claims (examples)
  • The core training is very poorly organized (examples)
  • The lead trainers – Kyle Loudon and Jay Neill – appear to have had little success with their own affiliate sites since 2016 (read more)
  • Wealthy Affiliate offers no refunds (read more)
  • Members are explicitly encouraged and instructed to recruit other paying members to WA (almost 60% of the core training is devoted to this)
  • The most “successful” students of WA seem to earn most of their money from referring other people to WA.

Is Wealthy Affiliate a pyramid scheme? Is it MLM?

Wealthy Affiliate cannot be considered a strict pyramid or Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) scheme, but it does have elements of both.

According to money.howstuffworks.com:

The main characteristic of a pyramid scheme is that participants only make money by recruiting more members.

Investopedia defines MLM like so:

Multilevel marketing is a strategy some direct sales companies use to encourage existing distributors to recruit new distributors who are paid a percentage of their recruits’ sales.

By those definitions, at first glance Wealthy Affiliate would qualify as both a pyramid and MLM scheme.

But let’s try give them the benefit of the doubt.

A WA member named Jerry Huang wrote a post at my.wealthyaffiliate.com explaining why he doesn’t consider Wealthy Affiliate to be multi-level marketing.

Member blog post inside Wealthy Affiliate
Member blog post inside Wealthy Affiliate

To summarize Jerry’s points, WA can’t be considered MLM because:

  • WA doesn’t restrict you to only promoting WA itself.
  • WA doesn’t require you to recruit your friends or family members.
  • WA doesn’t require you to do any face-to-face selling.
  • WA has one one level of referrals (ie not multi-level).
  • WA members don’t “recruit” people. They “invite” people.

Okay, some fair distinctions.

(Except for the last one. That’s just silly.)

But before we give WA a pass here, let’s see what founder Kyle Loudon had to say about MLM’s in this 2015 blog post:

Kyle's blog post about MLMs

Some excerpts from that article, followed by my comments…

Excerpt from Kyle's article about MLMs

There are two core training series inside Wealthy Affiliate:

Online Entrepreneur Certification
Above: WA’s description of the Online Entrepreneur Certification
Affiliate Bootcamp
Above: WA’s description of the Affiliate Bootcamp

If you choose door number two above – the Affiliate Bootcamp series – you are, in fact, always trying to “suck in that next person to your downline.”

And while you are not required to pay continuously for WA in order to promote it, you do receive double commissions on your referrals as a paying member.

Back to Kyle:

Excerpt from Kyle's article about MLMs

Gee, that’s a little awkward.

Because all WA members are ranked according to their contributions to the WA community (details here), and the top 25 are referred to as “Ambassadors.”

They even have a leaderboard:

Wealthy Affiliate Ambassador leaderboard
Above: The top of the Ambassador leaderboard inside WA.

Kyle again:

Excerpt from Kyle's article about MLMs

Hmm.

Did you see the bit above where I calculated that WA generates revenues of $10 million per year?

And the bit below where I went through 50+ recent WA “success stories” and discovered that very few of them could actually be considered successful?

🤔

Back to Kyle:

Excerpt from Kyle's article about MLMs

By that definition, anyone who follows the Affiliate Bootcamp training inside WA is part of an MLM scheme.

What else you got, Kyle?

Excerpt from Kyle's article about MLMs

And that, my friends, is EXACTLY my impression of Wealthy Affiliate in 2020.

An impression strengthened by a public blog post by WA member TDomena – #8 on the Ambassador leaderboard above, btw – in August 2019:

A blog post by TDomena inside Wealthy Affiliate

Did you catch that?

It seems TDomena is finally making good money as an affiliate marketer… by promoting Wealthy Affiliate!

And remember Jerry Huang from earlier?

It’s the same story with him:

Jerry Huang Wealthy Affiliate
Screenshot from Jerry’s website – which I’m not going to link to – where Jerry happily shows how 85% of his affiliate commissions came from referring other people to Wealthy Affiliate.

This is what most success stories look like in WA nowadays.

Moving on…

Unsubstantiated claims in Wealthy Affiliate

You’ll find many dubious claims within Wealthy Affiliate. These claims are either impossible to prove, or easily contradicted with a quick Google search.​

Examples…

Highest Success Rate

From the first lesson of the Online Entrepreneur Certification:

WA claiming that their members succeed at a higher rate than any other program online

And how is that measured, exactly?

You Won’t Fail

From the so-called WA Success page:

You Won't Fail. We Promise.

Only quitters fail.

Everyone else simply hasn’t succeeded… yet.

Riiiight.

Flip that around and it’s just as meaningless…

Success is just failure that hasn't happened yet

Dream Research Platform

From the eighth lesson of the Affiliate Bootcamp, referring to WA’s keyword tool:

Jaaxy is described as a dream research platform

This would seem to contradict the findings of a recent survey of 137 search marketing experts, none of whom mentioned Jaaxy when asked which tool is best for keyword research.

Funny that.

WA Cost $15 Million

From Kyle’s welcome message after signing up to WA Premium:

Kyle claiming that they've spent $15 million developing Wealthy Affiliate
Above: Kyle’s words in a blog post entitled, Your Road Ahead is Bright!

Sure, the WA platform is impressive in some ways.

But $15 million?

Methinks you got ripped off there, Kyle.

The Best Domain Names

In a Premium-only video entitled, How to Become an Expert in Any Niche, Kyle says at the 19:30 mark:

“I recommend a .com or a .org domain name, simply because they rank better. They tend to stick in Google a lot longer too once you do get ranked, so they are definitely the best domain names.”

To the contrary, Google themselves have stated that, when it comes to SEO, all TLDs are treated the same, and both SEMRush and Internet.com have found that to be true.

WA Members OWN Google Rankings

From the WA homepage:

Copy from the WA homepage saying that members own Google rankings

No, that is not a fact.

That is meaningless marketing speak.

Top Affiliate Marketing Platform

Mosey on over to wealthyaffiliate.com/affiliates and you’ll see the following:

The top affiliate marketing platform, apparently.

It’s a safe bet that only the WA founders were invited to vote on this.

Misleading claims in Wealthy Affiliate

Peruse the WA training or marketing materials, and you’ll find numerous promises and statements that turn out to be false.

Examples…

Build a profit ready website in less than 30 seconds

From the free training:

WA says you can build a profit ready website in 30 seconds.

I’ll let a WA member respond to that:

A WA member commenting that the 30-second claim is clearly nonsense.
Above: A member of WA commenting publicly that the 30 second website claim is “clearly nonsense”

WA members benefit from every Google update

From a Premium-only lesson inside WA:

Kyle claiming that WA members benefit from every Google update.
Above: Kyle’s words in Lesson 2 of The Diamond Traffic Program.

Strangely, WA members report otherwise:

You could easily scale a campaign to make over $1 MILLION per year

From a public blog post by Kyle:

Kyle claiming you can easily scale a campaign to $1 million

Easily?

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Install 20,000 plugins on your Starter website

After you sign up for a free (Starter) account, Kyle writes in an email:

Install 20,000 plugins on your WA Starter website.

Then, in lesson 5 of the Affiliate Bootcamp, Kyle says at the 1:15 mark of the video:

“I think there are over 45,000 different plugins that you can use within WordPress now. And as a Premium member you’re going to have access to all of these. As a Starter member you’re just going to have access to the first two.”

😔

WA’s website hosting is unbeatable

You’ll hear a variation of this claim dozens of times within WA.

The most sophisticated platform, apparently.
Above: Screenshot from an automated email from Carson, after joining WA
The most advanced platform, they say.
Above: Screenshot from Lesson 3 of the Affiliate Bootcamp
Powerful hosting, supposedly.
Above: Screenshot from Lesson 4 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification

I picked a random WA SiteRubix site and ran a couple of speed tests (with Google):

Speed test scores of 55 and 51

And a security test (with Sucuri):

Medium security risk

Ouch!

But that’s just a free site for a Standard WA member.

Surely a Premium WA site would get better results…

Speed test results of 56 and 87
Above: Mixed speed test results for a Premium WA site.
Medium security risk
Above: Medium security risk and outdated PHP on a Premium WA site.

State of the art?

Industry leaders?

Unparalleled?

Hardly.

Oh, and should you cancel your Premium account at any point, you’ll receive an email with a ridiculous claim about the value of WA’s hosting:

Wealthy Affiliate hosting comparison

$250 per month!?

Sounds like they plucked that number out of thin air. You can get solid hosting with the likes of Dreamhost and SiteGround for less than $30/month.

Poorly organized material in Wealthy Affiliate

Within the core WA training, lessons often appear scattered, disjointed, and repetitive. It seems the entire course was not planned out in advance, but rather pieced together haphazardly over the years.

Examples…

Sign up for Google Adsense…

In Level 3, Lesson 7 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification, Kyle walks you through setting up a Google Adsense account:

Sign up for Google Adsense

Then, in the very next lesson, he tells you that actually Google Adsense is a waste of time and you should focus your efforts on affiliate marketing instead:

Forget about Google Adsense

Psych!

Sign up for multiple social media platforms…

In Level 4, Lesson 1 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification, you’re advised to sign up for 3 social media accounts:

Sign up for 3 social media accounts

Several lessons later – after lots of advice and instruction related to each social media platform – Kyle tells you that actually no, wait, maybe you should be more selective…

Maybe don't sign up for every social media account

Gotcha again, suckers!

How to create a video (twice)

From Level 4, Lesson 9 of the Affiliate Bootcamp:

First lesson in WA about video

Five lessons later, Kyle has apparently had a memory lapse because he covers video again as if for the first time:

Another lesson in WA about video

By the way, you’ve been writing all your articles wrong…

It’s not until the 46th lesson of the Online Entrepreneur Certification that you receive instructions on how to plan out an article before you start writing it…

How to plan your article before you write it

Which wouldn’t be so bad… if you hadn’t already been advised to write 20+ articles throughout the previous 45 lessons!

Sorry, kids.

Those are all kinda useless now.

Content → Email → Content

Level 2, Lesson 3 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification is about creating content:

A lesson in WA about creating content

The very next lesson is about setting up an email address:

A lesson in WA about setting up an email address

Next lesson, we’re back talking about content again:

Another lesson in WA about creating content

Smooth transitions there, Kyle.

Take a break, do what you like

There are a handful of lessons within WA where you are either told to take a break, or to do whatever you like.

Perhaps they’re trying to avoid being a helicopter parent here, but given everything else wrong with Wealthy Affiliate, I’m more inclined to think it’s simply laziness on their part.

Examples…

A
Above: Affiliate Bootcamp – Phase 2: Lesson 5
A
Above: Affiliate Bootcamp – Phase 2: Lesson 10
A
Above: Affiliate Bootcamp – Phase 3: Lesson 10
A
Above: Affiliate Bootcamp – Phase 5: Lesson 5

WEALTHY AFFILIATE TRAINING

What does Wealthy Affiliate actually teach?

  • WA’s Affiliate Bootcamp promises to teach people how to create a website promoting Wealthy Affiliate.
  • WA’s Online Entrepreneur Certification promises to teach people how to create an affiliate website in a non-MMO niche. For example, your site could be about dog training, pool cleaning, or website hosting.

Inside Wealthy Affiliate, the core training series are described as follows.

Online Entrepreneur Certification

Affiliate Bootcamp

What doesn’t Wealthy Affiliate teach?

Wealthy Affiliate fails to teach many theories, strategies and tactics that are important for affiliate marketers to know about in 2020.

Going through all 120 core training lessons in WA, I noticed that there was no – or in some cases, grossly insufficient – training on the following topics:

  • Nofollow
  • Building backlinks
  • Affiliate disclosures
  • Google Adsense
  • Alternatives to Google Adsense
  • Caching
  • Updating content
  • External linking to authority sites
  • Citing sources
  • Outsourcing content
  • Schema markup
  • Featured snippets
  • Video (no training in OEC series)
  • YouTube SEO
  • Alternatives to Jaaxy
  • Which sources of traffic are best and why
  • Email marketing
  • Instagram
  • WordPress page builders

To be clear: most of these topics are addressed – with varying levels of proficiency – within Wealthy Affiliate.

The issue is that they are not addressed within the core WA training material!

You can use the search bar in WA to find loads of training and blog posts on something like nofollow, for example…

Searching for training on nofollow inside WA

… but to search for nofollow in the first place you’d need to know it’s a thing.

And newbie WA students won’t know it’s a thing because the core training literally never mentions it.

Sure, some of the items in the above list aren’t a big deal.

But many of them are absolutely crucial to affiliate marketing success.

For example:

These are big, important things you might never know as a member of WA.

UPDATE

I found this video of Google’s Matt Cutts saying you don’t need to worry so much about nofollowing affiliate links…

So it’s not such a big deal after all that nofollow isn’t mentioned in the core WA training.

Everything else they neglect to cover is still a problem.

Bad advice in Wealthy Affiliate

At best, the core training in Wealthy Affiliate is unhelpful. At worst, it will actually reduce your chances of success, due to numerous recommendations and instructions that no affiliate marketer should follow.

Examples…

“There is NO SUCH THING as choosing the wrong niche.”

WA says there is no such thing as picking the wrong niche
Above: Online Entrepreneur Certification – Level 1: Lesson 3

Lead trainer Kyle hammers on this point several times throughout the core WA training, saying things like:

“You can create a lucrative business within absolutely any niche online.”

And if you fail in a particular niche?

Well, that’s totally your fault, buddy…

WA says that you are responsible for making your niche successful

Oh, and don’t worry about competition when choosing your niche…

WA says no niche is too competitive
Above: Screenshot from Kyle’s blog post, A Niche is A Group of People Looking for Stuff

Kyle also says in a video for Premium members:

“Never think that you’re too targeted. More often the case is that you’re too broad with your niche’s starting point.”

Okay, great.

I guess I’ll go start my “Tiddlywinks for African American amputees” affiliate site then.

Tiddlywinks + African American + Amputee = totally awesome niche!

I’m sure that’ll do well.

🙄

Also:

Despite Kyle’s claims that there’s no such thing as choosing the wrong niche, many WA members end up – you guessed it – choosing the wrong niche…

Searching for
Above: Searching for “wrong niche” inside WA brings back plenty of results.

Use H3 or H4 tags instead of H2 tags

Kyle says an amazing thing at the 7:15 mark of this video within WA:

Screenshot of the video
Above: Screenshot of the video from Affiliate Bootcamp – Phase 2: Lesson 1

His exact words:

“If I wanted to make this a heading tag, I would simply go up here and I’d scroll down to the Heading 3 or the Heading 4 tag. I find the Heading 1 and Heading 2 tags a little bit too big, so I usually try to keep it to an H3 or an H4 tag.”

He repeats this horrible advice several more times throughout the core training.

Apparently, he has little understanding of what Yoast refers to as a basic part of SEO, or how to style headings using CSS.

Use the Site Content platform

WA teaches you how to set up a WordPress website and fill it with content.

Unfortunately, instead of adding content directly via the WordPress admin, students are taught to use WA’s “Site Content” platform instead.

Screenshot from a video of Kyle showing how to use the Site Content platform
Above: Screenshot from a video of Kyle using the Site Content platform in Level 1: Lesson 7 of the OEC.

This is essentially a layer on top of WordPress, the purpose of which is to simplify the process of creating content.

And that’s great.

Until you realize that you can’t do the following basic things via Site Content:

  • Edit posts you’ve already published
  • Add tags or categories
  • View source / edit the HTML

No, for any of that you need to use the WordPress editor.

Which begs the question:

Why bother using Site Content at all??

Sure, it might make it easier for newbies to get started, and it does have a couple of features – eg grammar check, stock image search – that you’d need plugins for in WordPress.

But here’s what happens:

  • WA members have to learn their way around two content editors (SC + WP) instead of one (WP).
  • WA members end up confused because it’s never made clear when you should use one editor vs the other.

If you’re reading this and you’re a member of WA, trust me: skip the Site Content thingy and create all your content via the WordPress editor.

You’ll thank me in the long run.

List the price in your Amazon reviews

In May 2019, a WA member noted some bad advice within the core training:

Member blog post: outdated WA training could get you banned

When I checked 4 months later, the training had yet to be updated, and new students were still being taught to list prices in their Amazon reviews.

smh

Pay writers $5 per post

Premium members have access to Kyle’s “Diamond Traffic Program,” which was last updated in February 2019.

The Diamond Traffic Program

In it, Kyle casually mentions that you can pay writers $5 per post and end up with “a ton of traffic” and “A LOT of revenue”…

Screenshot from The Diamond Traffic Program

Anyone who has ever outsourced content creation knows what $5 will get you.

It ain’t a ton of traffic.

And it ain’t a lot of revenue.

As the saying goes, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Simpsons monkey writers
Above: An affiliate marketer checks on his $5 writing team.

Manually backup your WordPress site every week

From Phase 2, Lesson 6 of the Affiliate Bootcamp:

Instructions on how to manually backup your WordPress website each week

I guess Kyle doesn’t know that there are plugins that can do this for you automatically.

There have been for many years now.

Web hosts like Dreamhost and SiteGround also include daily site backups on all their basic plans.

Outdated training in Wealthy Affiliate

The free training in Wealthy Affiliate is mostly up to date, but the deeper you go into the Premium (ie paid) training, the more you encounter lessons that haven’t been updated for several years, rendering many of them confusing and/or useless.

You’ll see many questions and blog posts in WA regarding outdated training…

Searching for

Here are a few examples.

Google+

Google+ was an ill-fated social media network that was shut down in April 2019.

There was a core lesson in WA devoted to Google+, which now appears like so:

An old Google+ lesson inside WA

I took that screenshot 4 months after the “last update” date shown, so I guess “very soon” doesn’t mean much at WA.

You can still find mention of Google+ in many other parts of the core training…

Google+ mentioned inside WA
Above: Screenshot from Phase 4, Lesson 6 of the Affiliate Bootcamp
Google+ mentioned inside WA
Above: Screenshot from Phase 5, Lesson 1 of the Affiliate Bootcamp
Google+ mentioned inside WA
Above: Screenshot from Level 5, Lesson 3 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification

Search engine market share

From a Premium lesson that was apparently updated in April 2018:

A lesson saying that Bing and Yahoo have a 33% share of all search engine traffic

I have no idea where Kyle is pulling that 33% number from.

As per statcounter.com, Google has held a ~90% market share since as far back as 2009.

But Kyle believes so thoroughly in the power of Bing and Yahoo, that he devotes 10 whole lessons of training to such in the Affiliate Bootcamp…

10 whole lessons on Bing and Yahoo PPC inside Wealthy Affiliate

Worse still, those 10 lessons come BEFORE any training on Google PPC.

🤯

Everything related to social media

I’ve mentioned the Google+ stuff already, but it’s not a stretch to say that nearly ALL the social media training within WA is outdated.

For example, here’s Kyle talking about Pinterest, which has been around since 2010:

Kyle saying that there might still be a waiting list for Pinterest

Meanwhile, videos showing Facebook in the core training appear to have been recorded in December 2012.

Video about Facebook that appears to have been recorded in 2012
Above: Screenshot from a video in the Online Entrepreneur Certification entitled, Using Facebook the Right Way

You’ll also hear Kyle throwing out numbers like 12% for organic reach on Facebook, even though it hasn’t been that high since 2013.

Design your content in the default WordPress editor

Pretty much every video related to creating content in WA was recorded before the rise of WordPress page builders such as Elementor and Thrive Architect, and the native Gutenberg block editor.

Which is why you’ll always see Kyle fumbling around the old WordPress editor, underlining his headings and trying to highlight his CTAs ==> like this <==

Video showing how to add a basic CTA in the WordPress editor
Above: Screenshot from a video in Level 5, Lesson 7 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification.

The end result is a very bland blog post belonging to the dark ages of the Internet.

The CTA in Kyle's finished blog post

You can see the full blog post here on one of Kyle’s websites

(Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

MEET THE TRAINERS

Kyle Loudon

Kyle Loudon is one of the owners of Wealthy Affiliate and the primary trainer. He’s responsible for the vast majority of the core lessons and videos inside WA.

Kyle Loudon of Wealthy Affiliate

If you’d like to get a feel for Kyle’s teaching style, check this video:

Kyle seems like a nice guy, and he’s clearly seen success as an affiliate marketer.

The trouble is, that success appears to be far behind him.

Kyle reveals three of his affiliate sites throughout the WA training. Here’s how those sites have fared over time, as per Ahrefs:

Organic traffic data for waystoavoidscamsonline.com

Organic traffic data for howtolosebellyfattoday.com

Organic traffic data for mybasketballskills.com

That’s a combined 92 visits and $70 traffic value per month, folks.

From the lead trainer of the most popular affiliate marketing course in the world.

Scarlett Johansson looking shocked

I know, Scarlett.

Unbelievable.

I also found it somewhat incredible that Kyle does a whole lesson inside WA on how to create socially engaging content…

A lesson on how to create socially engaging content

…and demonstrates with an article that didn’t prove very socially engaging at all…

Very few shares on Kyle's article

And I haven’t even mentioned his design skills…

An example of Kyle's design choices
Apparently Kyle’s definition of “cool text” hasn’t changed since 2005.

Probably what happened is this:

  • Kyle knew enough about SEO and affiliate marketing back in 2005-2015 to build some profitable sites.
  • He shared his knowledge in WA and students started getting good results, too.
  • WA blew up and started earning a ton of money, way more than Kyle ever earned from his affiliate sites.
  • Since then, Kyle’s been so busy buying yachts (or whatever) that he’s had to abandon his affiliate sites and can’t find time to update the WA training.

So you see, it’s not like he’s a scammer or anything.

Which is more than I can say for the other lead trainer in WA…

Jay Neill

Jay Neill runs the weekly live training webinars for members of WA Premium. A member of the program himself since 2007, Jay describes himself as “The World’s First Wealthy Affiliate Influencer.”

Which is appropriate, since he’s likely earning big $$$ by misleading convincing people to join WA.

From the Wealthy Affiliate about page:

Jay Neill's bio on the Wealthy Affiliate website

Jay sounds like quite the expert, doesn’t he?

Let’s do a little digging…

AffiliateResources.org

Organic traffic data for AffiliateResources.org
Above: Site data from Ahrefs

This appears to be Jay’s primary website.

It was registered in 2010 – three years after he joined Wealthy Affiliate.

Gotta say, the traffic numbers are quite low considering it’s the main site of someone who’s supposed to be an expert affiliate marketer, but Jay is quite likely earning a decent living from that site.

Because the whole thing is essentially a funnel to get visitors signed up to WA as his referral.

Stay on the site long enough and this pop-up will appear:

Email capture pop up on Jay's website

Or this one:

Email capture pop up on Jay's website

Wow, $300 a day!?

$9,300 a month!?

Let’s take a closer look at the site he’s referring to…

FootballSnackHelmets.com

It’s a fairly simple affiliate site that looks like this:

Football Snack Helmets

Here’s the organic traffic data for that site via Ahrefs:

Organic traffic data for FootballSnackHelmets.com

SimilarWeb estimates that the site gets 91% of its traffic from search.

Combined with the Ahrefs estimate above, that would mean ~400 people visit the site each month.

But let’s be generous and call it 500.

Let’s be even more generous and say that:

  • 100% of those visitors click on an Amazon affiliate link (this never happens)
  • 50% of those clickers purchase a football snack helmet on Amazon (also unheard of)
  • They all buy the most expensive helmet available ($65.91)

Football Snack Helmets on Amazon

  • And Jay earns an 8% commission per sale (actually not possible anymore, but we’ll get to that)

By my (generous) calculations, that works out to $1,318.20 in commissions each month.

Which is pretty good.

But Jay is claiming the site earns 7x that amount!

On Day 9 of his email series, Jay reveals his “proof”…

Day 9 of Jay's email series
Above: An excerpt from Day 9 of Jay Neill’s email course.

The attached screenshot:

The Amazon earnings for Football Snack Helmets

See anything wrong with that?

I’ll make it more clear…

Highlighted issues with Jay's screenshot

It doesn’t add up, does it?

So I jumped on WA and shot Jay a private message…

My conversation with Jay on Wealthy Affiliate

It seems I was indeed asking for too much, because I never heard back from Jay after that ☹️

Probably what’s happening is this:

  • Jay had an amazing 3-day stretch as an Amazon affiliate in February 2016 – you know, back when the WA training was still fairly effective.
  • Jay hasn’t been able to replicate that success in all the months and years since.
  • But he’s still using – and exaggerating – his February 2016 earnings as “proof” that his tiny niche site earns $9,300 a month.
  • And he’s using that “proof” to convince people to sign up for WA as his referral…
Jay's Day 9 email
Above: An excerpt from Day 9 of Jay’s email course.
(The case study he links to is from 2015, btw)
  • All those WA referrals are making Jay rich.
  • To the point that he felt compelled to change his Facebook profile photo to this…

Jay's profile photo on Facebook

SUPPORT + COMMUNITY

Wealthy Affiliate support

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the support inside WA.

The good news is that you’re likely to get an answer to whatever question you may have.

Often co-owner Kyle is the one responding:

Kyle responding to a member asking for help in WA

The bad news is that the answer you get might not be great…

Kyle telling a WA member to pick any niche they like.
The very next day, MALXVRM launched his “Ping Pong for Pygmies” niche site.

(You can check Kyle’s responses to scores more member questions in the comments of his profile here, no login needed.)

You can also get feedback on your website inside Wealthy Affiliate.

It works on a credit system, so you need to give before you get.

The website feedback instructions inside WA.

Unfortunately, the first two times I tried to offer feedback – four days apart – I got the same error message…

Website feedback error message.

Oh well.

UPDATE

After I wrote this review, a member of WA contacted me to note that Kyle isn’t always so responsive:

I have emailed Kyle several times with no response, despite the “email me anytime” mantra form letter that everyone gets when they sign up. Very misleading.

Wealthy Affiliate community

Much like WA support, there’s good news and bad news when it comes to the WA community.

The good news is that the community is super active.

Partly because the WA platform is built like a social media network and optimized for engagement.

The WA member homepage
Above: Screenshot of my WA member homepage, featuring notifications, news feeds, and a friend (network) count.

The bad news is that much of the community activity in WA seems utterly pointless, and will probably just distract you from building a successful affiliate website.

For example, when I signed up for WA Premium, 18 other members saw fit to drop by my profile and leave generic comments welcoming me to the cult club.

Welcome messages from other members after signing up for Premium.
Above: 4 of those 18 messages.

Many WA members also like to leave pointless comments after each training…

Pointless comments from WA members

While others reserve their ramblings for blog posts within WA…

Tracy blogs notes to herself.
Note to Tracy: just because it pops into your head doesn’t mean you should blog about it.

Community moderation also appears to be lacking:

A WA member asking for money
The same member posted several other requests for money in his profile comments. Last I checked, his account was still active.

Rankings and Ambassadors

All WA members are ranked according to their contributions to the WA community (details here), and the top 25 are referred to as “Ambassadors.”

This is all completely meaningless.

Wealthy Affiliate Ambassador leaderboard
Above: The top of the Ambassador leaderboard inside WA.

This explains why you see so many people posting so many generic messages and comments within WA: they’re all trying to improve their ranking!

And what’s the reward for achieving Ambassador status within WA?

You know, intangible stuff…

A blog post about the intangible benefits Ambassadorship
Above: part of a member blog post entitled, Ambassadorship.

And yeah, sure, there’s something to all that.

But here’s the thing:

It’s entirely possible to rank high in Wealthy Affiliate and still suck at affiliate marketing!

For example, Cld111 is #12 on the leaderboard above. She’s been a member of WA since 2009.

Here she is blogging in 2019:

Cld111's blog post

In case you missed that:

  • This lady joined Wealthy Affiliate more than a decade ago
  • She’s ranked #12 on the WA leaderboard
  • And she’s only getting 30 visits a day to a site she’s been working on for 11 months

Just wow.

UPDATE

That WA member found my video review and left a comment, which turned into a bit of a back and forth.

You can see the full discussion here on YouTube

That discussion highlights something I’ve noticed about many long-term WA members: they passionately defend the program despite never having earned very much money from it.

Baffling.

Wealthy Affiliate success stories

Most of the success stories you hear from WA students and affiliates are from 2016 or earlier, back when the WA training was still effective. It’s difficult to find students of Wealthy Affiliate who are earning a good living from affiliate marketing in 2019 and 2020.

There’s a public blog post on the WA website, written by a well-known affiliate of WA…

A blog post listing WA member success stories

As the title would suggest, it purports to list proof and examples of successful WA students, particularly those who are not earning money from promoting Wealthy Affiliate itself.

Which sounds great, but let’s take a closer look at the first 50+ examples listed and color code them according to their actual level of success.

GREEN = great results
ORANGE = decent results / not enough info provided
RED = poor results

  Report How Long In WA? 1 Earnings 2
1 Officially a Six Figure Business - 2018 Year End Report 2 years, 3 months $110,184 in 2018
2 December 2018 Income Report - 540% increase in revenue Same as #30 below
3 Year End Report, Made $1,000 profit Same as #31 below
4 December 2018 - $1,738 Dollars & Growing! 1 year, 9 months $1,738 in December
5 My 2018 Travel Niche Results and the Year Ahead, Bring on 2019! 2 years, 5 months $8,000 in 2018
6 Blog Income Report 2018 - over 5K Online 3 years, 2 months $345 in 2018 3
7 My Blogs Earned Over $100k Part-Time in 2018 11 years, 7 months $3,745 in 2018
8 First Pay Cheque! 1 year, 8 months $105 in 2018
9 Over 60 and achieving online success! 4 years, 5 months "enough to pay for my WA subscription each year and support my online habit"
10 3 Years at Wealthy Affiliate - paving the way to success Same as #6 above
11 528 People Had a Party on My Site Over the Weekend! 2 years, 6 months $285 in one week
12 $3,700+ in 1 day from Affiliate Earnings 3 years, 9 months $3,700 in one day
13 $3.875 K for the month of January. Life Just Got Better again all Down to Wealthy Affiliate. 2 years, 3 months $3,875 in January
14 Just launched my 2nd ebook. $7,500 in profit in 2 months for the combo 3 months Was blogging and monetizing for years before joining WA
15 5 Years On, I Reached My *Ecstatic* Income Goal! (2x $1.2K Days) 4 years, 11 months $2,338 in one week
16 A Joint Venture, A Christmas Website and $550 in Sales in 3 days! 2 years, 1 month Reported value of sales, not commissions.
17 $1000 + A Month: 8 Things That Have Helped Grow My Success 3 years, 8 months $1,000 per month
18 Yes, I Did It! $1,174.09 In One Day 7 months Post deleted
19 Two years at Wealthy Affiliate! 2 years Not provided
20 My First $3,000 Sale! 4 years, 9 months $1,500 commission on one sale
21 WA Helps Me Make 5 Figure Income in 2019! 4 years, 3 months Earning 5 figures from contract work.
22 I Will Hit My First $1000 month on Amazon in 2019 3 years, 1 month $709 in January
23 Increase Your Earnings By 5000% In One Year! 2 years, 5 months $500 in February
24 6 More Sales. Yes! 6! 1 year, 6 months Reported value of sales, not commissions.
25 Highest Affiliate Commissions - New Record Today! ($6,582+) Same as #12 above
26 Website Sold For $30,000 Same as #51 below
27 I Failed at Affiliate Marketing until I Found Wealthy Affiliate 4 months Not provided
28 Yes I Made it! 6 months in. Hard work Pays off! 6 months Not provided
29 My First $30,000 Month - Well Almost $29,330.68 To Be Exact 1 year, 7 months $29,331 per month (about $3,000/month from blog)
30 $4,197 Deposited in Q1 2019 2 years $4,197 in 3 months
31 My Highest Single Day Commissions on Amazon 3 years, 3 months $28 in one day
32 So YouTube Just Paid Me $2,053.47 2 years Not affiliate income, not related to WA training.
33 Milestone Month: $1000+ commissions (FINALLY!) 2 years, 9 months $1,763 in April
34 $1,170 On One Sale! 2 years, 8 months Reported value of sale, not commission.
35 I Passed The $100 Mark This Month 3 years, 11 months $150 in May
36 Wealthy Affiliate Paid for my LAMBORGHINI ! Same as #5 above. And he only rented the lambo for 24 hours.
37 This Is Real Passive Income 7 months $140 in two weeks
38 A $5,000 Sale Thanks to Wealthy Affiliate Same as #20 above
39 Amazon Sales Update - WA Training Works! 7 months $20 commission on one sale
40 5 Year WA anniversary, a journey that has just started. 5 years Approx $500,000 in sales per year (commissions unknown)
41 My 3rd Year so far and my Regular Income! Same as #16 above
42 My 12 Year Old Son Made His First $190 Online 5 years, 4 months Not related to WA
43 I am officially unemployed. Same as #32 above
44 Random commissions ya gotta love it 5 years, 9 months Reporting commissions earned from promoting WA
45 Making money while I sleep 1 year, 1 month Not provided
46 $2,158.76 In July from (Just) Ad Revenue - Yes It Works! 2 years, 10 months $6,500 in July
47 What an Awesome Coincidence! New Sales Record. Same as #31 above
48 How Shopify and Dropshipping are Making Me Money 2 years, 11 months Not related to WA
49 My Amazon Site Paid for My Trip to Washington DC! (And I Met Nomadic Matt) 3 years, 11 months Not provided
50 What is Freedom to You? WA is Helping Me Achieve Mine! 2 years, 9 months "I am making a full-time income online and I have been for a while."
51 4 Years At Wealthy Affiliate: What A Ride! 4 years "In 4 years at Wealthy Affiliate I nearly made $100,000"

Excluding the 10 duplicates, we’re left with:

9 GREEN = great results
24 ORANGE = decent results / not enough info provided
8 RED = poor results

Keep in mind:

  • Those are the BEST results a big-time WA affiliate was able to find in the community
  • Wealthy Affiliate is the most popular affiliate marketing course in the world
  • 636 people join the Premium training every single week
  • All combined, members paid WA approximately $10 million in 2019 (as calculated here)

Perhaps it’s just me, but if the Wealthy Affiliate training is truly still effective these days, I would expect to see a lot more GREEN in the above table.

Jennifer Love Hewitt: I'm just sayin!

The problem with 99% of Wealthy Affiliate reviews

The vast majority of WA reviews are overly positive and optimistic in an attempt to get you signed up via an affiliate link. Each referral is apparently worth $121, so there’s a strong incentive for folks to promote WA by any means necessary.

Only three lessons into the free training at Wealthy Affiliate, you’ll see this:

WA tells you what to do if you're stuck
Above: Screenshot from Level 1, Lesson 3 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification.

Combine that with a generous affiliate program, and it’s no wonder the internet is filled with positive reviews of WA.

Plus, there are literally 70 core lessons teaching people how to promote the damn thing. Compared to only 50 lessons for folks who are not interested in the make money/affiliate marketing niche 🤔

Several affiliates show off income reports in their reviews.

Like this:

Earnings screenshot from another Wealthy Affiliate review
Above: Screenshot of WA earnings from another Wealthy Affiliate review.

These people are literally bragging that they make money from Wealthy Affiliate…

…BY PROMOTING WEALTHY AFFILIATE!

Major chutzpah right there.

Next time you see a WA review, ask yourself two questions:

  • Does this person show any proof of affiliate earnings from the past two years?
  • Are they earning significant income promoting something other than Wealthy Affiliate?

If the answer is NO to either question, slowly back away.

WRAP UP

Positives of Wealthy Affiliate

Wealthy Affiliate is a bit like Tony Soprano: generally not a good human being, but he does have some redeeming qualities.

Tony Soprano: bad bing bada boom

Here are five things I actually like about WA…

Decent training on the fundamentals

If you’re completely new to affiliate marketing or online business, you will learn some worthwhile things going through the free WA training.

Such as:

  • What affiliate marketing is and how it works
  • The basics of WordPress
  • Basic keyword research

Just be warned that the further you go into the core training, the worse it gets.

(It’s almost like they made the free stuff good enough to convince folks to sign up for Premium… and stopped caring after that 🤔)

Sense of progress

The WA training is broken up into bite-size chunks and you are given manageable tasks at the end of each lesson.

Tasks at the end of a lesson in WA
Above: Tasks for Level 1, Lesson 5 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification

With that, it’s easy to feel a sense of progress and stay motivated, even if you’re not actually accomplishing much.

Write honest reviews

Lead trainer Kyle repeatedly advises students to write honest reviews of whatever products or services they choose to promote.

One such example:

No false statements
Above: Screenshot from Phase 2, Lesson 4 of the Affiliate Bootcamp

It’s just unfortunate that most WA affiliates don’t follow this advice 😕

White hat throughout

I didn’t see any grey or black hat SEO techniques promoted in the 120 core lessons of Wealthy Affiliate, and Kyle states explicitly in a (rare) 2019 update that it’s best to play by the rules:

An example of Kyle advocating white hat SEO in Wealthy Affiliate.

Text + video content

Almost every core training lesson in WA comes with video and text, so it’s quite easy to find and refer back to material later on.

Almost every lesson in WA has text and video content.
Above: You’ll find text and video instruction in nearly every core lesson within WA.

Is Wealthy Affiliate worth it?

No.

Despite the few positives listed above, Wealthy Affiliate is definitely not worth your time or money.

Sure, you can go through 20 training lessons for free, then sign up for the $19 special offer, slog through all the Premium material in a month, and then cancel your account before you get charged again.

As a newbie doing that, you’ll learn a lot in a few short weeks.

But, as you’ve seen throughout this review, the majority of what you learn in WA is either outdated, misleading, or flat-out wrong.

If your goal is to become a successful affiliate marketer, you’d be much better off spending your time and money on a better alternative.

For the same reason you’ll probably watch that new Robert De Niro movie.

Here’s what Robert De Niro’s career looks like (via Reddit):

Robert De Niro's career plotted on a graph

As you can see, early on in his career, he mostly made great movies and people enjoyed watching them.

Then, at a certain point, Bob stopped caring and people quit enjoying.

And yet many of those same people will still give a new De Niro movie a chance.

Robert De Niro saying

Even though the man’s been laying turds for years, he keeps cashing in on his early success and reputation.

The same can be said of Wealthy Affiliate.

Better alternatives to Wealthy Affiliate

I’m on a mission to review all the top affiliate marketing courses.

Here’s my progress…

🏆 Best Affiliate Marketing Courses 🏆

Course Rating Review
Authority Hacker’s TASS 4.5/5 Authority Hacker review
Income School’s Project 24 4/5 Project 24 review
Udemy affiliate marketing courses 2/5 Udemy affiliate marketing courses review
Affilorama 1.5/5 Affilorama review
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing 1.5/5 Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review
Wealthy Affiliate 1/5 Wealthy Affiliate review
ClickBank University 0.5/5 ClickBank University review
See all the affiliate marketing courses we’ve reviewed (best free training included) »

Your Wealthy Affiliate review

Are you a member of Wealthy Affiliate, or have you been in the past?

Please consider leaving a review below – good or bad – doesn’t matter so long as it’s helpful to our visitors.

Thanks for your support!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

50 Comments

  1. Thank you!
    Finally, someone telling it like it is. WA is pure garbage. I bought into it at the end of 2018 when I was just stumbling around the “how to make money online” world and was a complete newbie, and back then all I could come across were positive reviews of WA, but now looking back it’s pure garbage and I don’t recommend it at all! It’s like a cult.
    The only reason why I’m not totally bitter is because it pointed me in another direction of actually learning SEO and actually learning other business models to make money online.
    I think the only reason it has so many positive reviews is because of their Affiliate program which basically has LOTS of people making full-time income solely through recommending WA. They make a living telling people how to make money online and that’s all they’ve done.
    ANyway, the whole thing is morally flawed if you ask me.
    As for the training its pure “write about your passions” gargabe. They don’t introduce people to SEO and they don’t even mention backlinks to ranking in Google lol.
    Thanks for this.

  2. Hi Niall,
    Thank you for this honest review on WA, I joined WA premium 5 days ago with the $19 offer as the free training seemed great me (an affiliate marketing newbie) so I decided to upgrade. However I soon started having concerns and many things struck me as odd on WA.
    First of all I realised the training videos got older as you progress and also lack good quality information.
    Secondly, the amount of unrealistic positive comments that endless people posted on my page was eerie and just weird.
    That was what mainly pushed me to do further research on WA and I came across your review, which accurately summed up my experience with WA.
    So glad I was saved! But also disappointed…
    Thanks once again
    Ash

    1. Hey Ash,

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

      the amount of unrealistic positive comments that endless people posted on my page was eerie and just weird.

      Yeah, it started to feel like a cult to me, so many people blindly praising and encouraging despite seeing very few positive results themselves.

      So glad I was saved! But also disappointed…

      I’ve listed some better alternatives to Wealthy Affiliate here, including several free training resources.

  3. That was a great save, Niall. I just became a premium member at WA about a week ago (paid the 19.99 for the first month). I started as a complete novice, and indeed in the beginning the material seems very legit. The lesson about keywords (9th lesson in the first phase, so it’s still in the free section) blew my mind (in a positive way), so I decided to give the premium membership a shot.

    But it always felt that something doesn’t add up. It was like traveling back in time: the more you progress in the course, the earlier the lessons seem to be recorded at. All those “welcome” messages from different WA members did feel a bit like a cult of too-friendly people, who don’t really care who you are. My ranking on the site kept going up and down for no apparent reason – I was ranked around 171,000 yesterday, and now I’m ranked 149,025. I thought to myself – there are more than 1.5 million people here, how am I ranked so high so fast without really doing anything besides the training? Where are all the other million people?

    There is also a “site feedback”, where you need to leave 2 feedbacks to other people in order to get one yourself. Those websites were so badly designed and written, most of them either promote (very poorly) WA, or promote miches that Kyle suggests in his videos, like losing belly fat or hair loss. It’s like people there have no imagination or passions. It was even a bit creepy.

    Anyway, when I realized that the course is just glued together from different times I started having my doubts, despite my original enthusiasm, and then I googled some criticism about WA and thankfully found your post. That was a hell of an eye-opener. I’m lucky I paid only 19.99 once. I’ll cancel my membership and look into other programs. So thanks a lot!

    A question: I built a website through WA (a paid domain, I add it here – no WA promoting intended, honestly. It’s about learning Hebrew). Does this website by any means belong to WA or is it entirely mine? I posted only one post there (besides the “About me”, which also took me time to write), and if I need to build a new website I’d do it, but I prefer to keep working on the one I’ve already built.

    Thanks and have a lovely 2020!

    Ori

    1. Hi Ori,

      Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you found my review helpful.

      I thought to myself – there are more than 1.5 million people here, how am I ranked so high so fast without really doing anything besides the training? Where are all the other million people?

      Good point!

      Most of those 1.5 million people just have free WA accounts. There are probably a few thousand Premium members (which adds up to major $$$ for WA).

      All those “welcome” messages from different WA members did feel a bit like a cult of too-friendly people, who don’t really care who you are.

      That felt creepy to me as well, although apparently some people love this kind of “community” and stick with WA because of it.

      Does this website by any means belong to WA or is it entirely mine?

      Oh, it’s yours. But WA doesn’t make it easy for you to transfer the site elsewhere. They have lots of information about how to transfer a website TO their hosting, but nothing about how to transfer a website AWAY.

      Log into your WordPress installation on WA and look for Tools > Export. That would be the easiest way to download all your content. Then you can use Tools > Import on a new WordPress installation on a different host. You’d still have to configure the theme and settings though.

      An alternative is to use a complete WordPress migration plugin like this one. That should transfer all your themes and plugins as well, so you’d end up with an exact copy of your site on a different host. I haven’t used that plugin myself but the reviews look good.

      Let me know how it goes for you!

      1. Thanks for your reply, Niall. That means a lot. I’m going through your website and rethink all my online business ideas.
        I guess I’ll try the plugin, if I still think that going on with that website is a good idea.

  4. Holy Crap, this is by far THE Best Wealthy Affiliate Review online – you need to be WAY past page 3 of Google for Wealthy Affiliate. Throw some internal links at this review if you haven’t yet, and get a few good external links going to help it rank better. Shoot me an email if you want help with that (no cost, just good advice if you need it).

    More people need to be aware of the Wealthy Affiliate Scam, and unfortunately pages 1-2 in Google are just one giant circle jerk of “join my #1 free training”, or “join the #1 affiliate marketing training program (according to me, who’s made zilch online!)”

    Great stuff

    Thanks (can’t share my real name, please don’t use it if you respond),

    Jason

  5. I am a sucker but thanks to your video Niall not any longer. Kyle’s lessons are so boring with his weak, soft voice and lack of enthusiasm or variety…. Favorite with a “u”? He certainly covered that one. 🙂 Great accent Niall and great review!!

    Best regards

  6. Hello Nial my name is Lori and it is 1:10 am Sunday December 1st of 2019. I am here to notify you that I have officially DEBUNKED your video review of Wealthy Affiliate. With all of the half-truths and lies on the video that I have debunked I ask you now to take down your video review and remove all content from your written review that pertains to the video. Of course you can always leave them where they are and know that my website has debunked you. Here is the link to the article https://whywealthyaffiliats.com/4jgc
    Do be aware that this is the internet and my review is already beginning to circulate. Thank You.

    1. Hi Lori,

      Thank you for the comment, and for taking the time to respond to my review on your own site. I think it will be helpful for people to click through and see what the website and content of a passionate WA member looks like.

      All the best.

      Update: it might also be interesting for people to check out Lori’s public profile on Wealthy Affiliate, and see how she progresses with the training.

    2. Lori, your passion is admirable but unfortunately your response is terribly written and fails to address the vast majority of Niall’s points. Also I don’t think I have ever seen so many spelling and grammatical errors in one article before. In fact even your URL has a spelling error in it.

      You have to remember that people will be reading a thoroughly researched, well written article on a good looking website (eBiz facts) and clicking through to your website and reading a reply full of errors, that looks basic at best. It might be an idea to fill out your response and correct all the errors first as it is likely to do more harm than good for Wealthy Affiliate

    3. Hi Lori,

      I have to agree with Niall and Jim K’s points here and ask what you’re hoping to achieve with your ‘debunking’. If you’re trying to de-legitimatize Niall’s review of WA to the outside world, I’m afraid you’re most likely going to fail. If you’re hoping to reinforce the positive feedback loop/echo chamber within the WA community, then maybe you’ll succeed.

      For context, I’ve never joined WA, but I work professionally as a writer covering online tech and the internet for a website that has 4 million+ monthly visitors and generates $100,000s in annual revenue. So take the following points as constructive criticism.

      It’s difficult to take seriously an affiliate review website that spells ‘affiliate’ wrong in the domain name, and is so clearly biased towards WA. Likewise the incredible number of basic grammar and syntax errors in your text. I suggest using free tools like Grammarly and Hemingway App to review the errors and fix them before too many people read your post.

      I’d also take into account that Niall has been working online for many years, while you’ve been doing so for about 4 months. you may want to take his insights into consideration. If not, ignore the comments from your fellow WA members and take a look at the former WA members commenting on their negative experiences below.

      I could go on, but I think if you actually took time to consider the replies to your comment from people unbiased and more experienced than you (and the POV of former WA members), you may rethink your hastily written reaction to Niall’s well thought out and researched review.

      I wish you luck in your online journey and hope that WA doesn’t hold you back from achieving your goals.

    4. Do bE aWaRe!!!11!!

      LOL what a crock – her “review is beginning to circulate”, meaning she posted it on her Wealthy Affiliate Profile, so other WA members can see what a bad person you are for badmouthing their lord and saviour, Kyle.

  7. I was interested in WA only for the fact that they provide so many tools and hosting for up to 50 web sites– if I am not interested in their courses because I just want to have so many web sites, is their premium plan a good deal or where should I go for this kind of low cost package for multiple web sites? Maybe their tools and hosting are not worth the premium price? Like I said, the course aside, what about the rest– (even though the course is their main product)?

    1. Hi AB,

      No, I don’t think that’s a good idea.

      For one thing, 25 of those 50 websites are on .siterubix.com subdomains, and you’re not going to rank those sites easily so they’re essentially worthless.

      For the remaining 25, you’re still going to have to pay for the domains, and WA’s prices for domains aren’t the cheapest ($14-16 each).

      Say you did create 25 websites on WA’s platform. That would cost you $350/year for the domains, and you’d also be paying at least $359/year for your WA subscription. SO that’s more than $700/year for hosting + domains for 25 sites.

      That wouldn’t be a bad deal if WA’s hosting was actually “world class” like they claim it to be. But in reality, their hosting is nothing special.

      Oh, and they don’t make it easy for you to transfer sites away from their platform, as mentioned in my review.

      All that considered, I think you’re way better off buying your hosting and domains from a company that does hosting and domains as their main thing (not as a side business). I’ve heard great things about Siteground, though I’m not sure how their pricing compares.

      You can probably get a better deal and better service using Dreamhost though. I’ve used them happily for years.

    2. Their hosting, in my experience, is very poor.

      I moved my sites to Hostinger and pay $4.50 a month for unlimited site hosting, SSL, Cloudflare and mailboxes, etc, and the hosting and support there is ten times better than I experience at WA.

  8. Hi Niall
    I spent the whole day (not literally) on your WA review! The result is a massive headache. It got me thinking because there are some issues you highlighted that are so true and disturbing on my part.
    Been there over a year. I won’t say it is time wasted because I came in as a complete beginner with absolutely no direction whatsoever.
    Didn’t have a niche idea, didn’t know what the heck is a niche. I went for the suggested Bootcamp. I regret massively! Stupid, stupid, stupid me!
    Well, I learned a lesson, for that I’m glad.
    Now I’m at the crossroads.
    See, I’m not one to be easily swayed but this time I need to do something because I don’t have money or time to waste. My life is almost a mess and I must get up and start earning real money.
    What on earth should I do???
    Niall,

    1. Hi Jane,
      Sorry about the headache! And don’t blame yourself for WA. They’re very persuasive and hide their flaws well. I’m sure there are thousands of people out there who feel the same way you do after spending several months in WA.

      What on earth should I do???

      If you need to earn money ASAP, forget about online for now. Just go get a regular offline job. Even if it’s a crappy job, at least it gives you a regular income. Once you have some stability, you can go back to building an online business.

  9. I wasted 18 months here and I wish I had this review before I joined.
    From day 1 to day 63 I had an issue with my account which no one helped me with and I lost my free month, my $19 month and it wasn’t until I became a paid member that my website starting working properly. I gave it a benefit of a doubt as I was new to this making a website and affiliate marketing. I even joined annually as I felt I was getting the hang of it. Long story short I spent over $1000CAD and I made, not one cent but I did make my rank up to position 18!!! Whoppie F@#*£#%@!!!!
    I went on to opening my own ecomm site. With hard work for 3 months straight, by the end of my Q2 I had made almost $12K and my my next 2 quarters looks to double that. I don’t want to say affiliate marketing is dead because ppl are making a 6 figure income (it takes Time to reach that figure) but I can surely say if you like throwing your money, join wealthy piece of crap!!

    1. Hey Floyd, thanks for sharing your experience.

      That sucks that you spent so much on WA ☹️

      But congrats on the ecomm success! If you’d ever like to share your story in an interview here on this site, let me know!

  10. I just completed the free training and the idea of signing up for premium was so enticing but there was something off about the whole thing. When you mentioned how rank was determined by commenting and not actual sales I finally understood what it was that was bothering me about WA. I was taking advice from people who had a very basic grasp of affiliate marketing, but they only gave that advice because they were like kids that got a gold star sticker for doing their homework.
    As a total beginner would you advise against going premium for a month to learn the basics and then finding another place to learn or is it so outdated that its not even worth one month? Thank you for your review.

    1. Hey Eric,

      Yes, I would advise going against premium even for a month. The best part of the WA training is the free stuff. It goes rapidly downhill in the later (premium) modules.

      Also, as I found out, if you sign up for Premium for one month and then cancel, they completely lock you out of your account. You don’t just revert back to having the same access as a free member. So your account is useless if you start paying and then stop.

      I’ve reviewed two other big affiliate marketing courses since WA – TASS and Project 24 – and they are both much better. I also listed some quality free affiliate training resources in this article.

  11. Hi Niall,
    Thanks for making this detailed review for us about W.A. Finally, someone is willing to tell the world the truth about WA. BTW, will you look at other companies that provide Done-For-You affiliate niche site? I’m looking at Human Proof Designs, they look legit but their price is too high. Look for other alternatives…

    1. Hey Ted, thanks for the comment.

      Finally, someone is willing to tell the world the truth about WA.

      I know, it’s ridiculous how biased most other reviews are. Clearly a lot of people are happy to overlook all of WA’s serious flaws to try make a quick buck by recommending other people sign up for it. That really pisses me off.

      BTW, will you look at other companies that provide Done-For-You affiliate niche site? I’m looking at Human Proof Designs, they look legit but their price is too high.

      Yes, I hope to review them all eventually. HPD is on my list. I don’t know anything about it yet, but in general I’m wary of “done-for-you” sites. They sound way too good to be true!

    2. Hey Ted, you might want to check out this interview done by Doug Cunnington.
      https://nichesiteproject.com/debate-done-for-you-sites-vs-building-niche-sites/

      If you know nothing about building a niche site and affiliate marketing, it’s better to learn the fundamentals and build one from scratch to experiment with the process first hand IMO.

      Well, unless you have a big budget and very limited time to spend. In that case, you might want to consider buying a more established website that’s already getting traffic and making some money. But niche sites like that is definitely going to cost a lot more.

      Regardless of what, you’ll have to know the fundamentals to make your HPD site works (getting traffic, monetizing etc). HPD might speed up your first two steps, but you will have to have a strategy to grow it afterward.

      I believe Doug Cunnington and Miles Beckler bought sites from HPD, and they are (quite) openly sharing their plans on their websites. It might be a good idea to see how they do it if this is your first time.

      Miles: https://www.milesbeckler.com/affiliate-marketing-website-example-month-001/

      Doug: https://nichesiteproject.com/amazon-affiliate/aged-site-case-study/

  12. Another Unhappy WA Member

    Great review Niall and it is pretty much spot on.

    I think at one point WA was a leader in affiliate marketing training, but basically they seemed to have rested on their laurels and forgotten about what made them successful in the first place – good training! The training is hugely outdated and there seems to be little or no inclination to update it.

    The basic knowledge I acquired when I joined in 2016 was fine and I am grateful for that, but the longer I have been there the more and more unhappy I have been.

    Initially this stemmed from terrible experiences with Site Support. I bought a premium theme (one of the most popular around) and as soon as I installed it on my WA hosted site I had massive problems. The theme wasn’t displaying properly, it would take ages to load the WordPress Editor, then after doing some editing it wouldn’t save and I would get a message saying: “Site Support cannot fulfill that request” and I would lose all my work.

    Site Support were no help at all and continually blamed it on the theme/plugins, and even on occasions deactivated plugins without telling me which messed with my site even more.

    Now I know it was because WA hosting has massively outdated PHP but at the time I wasn’t aware of this.

    Eventually I went to the theme developers and they told me, essentially that the hosting was terrible (see PHP issue above).

    I moved the site to a new host and it immediately started working properly and a lot quicker and without issue.

    At that time a number of other people were posting blogs/questions on WA with similar issues – so whenever I saw them I always backed the person up and explained I had had massive problems with hosting and no help from Site Support.

    All of a sudden I was logged into WA and had a message saying: “Your write access have been revoked”. I couldn’t post blogs, answer questions, reply to PMs, I couldn’t do anything, except just read and watch everything going on.

    Most shockingly I couldn’t contact Site Support!

    I still have three sites hosted with WA and whenever they have gone down I can’t contact Site Support to let them know. Which I think is pretty disgraceful.

    Thankfully my main site is hosted elsewhere and these three sites aren’t hugely important to me.

    And guess what I contacted Kyle and Carson 27 TIMES (no exaggeration) about this and never got a reply. I still have my write access revoked but when my subscription expires in November I will be leaving WA (and moving hosting for my three other sites elsewhere as well).

    Someone once wrote that WA members have a “toxic positivity” and I have to agree. When I log in I read so many pointles blog posts and then numerous replies from other members extolling the wonders of the post and saying how incredible it is.

    I honestly think the platform is dying a slow death, especially as the MMO niche becomes more difficult to crack, and unless WA do something drastic I am not sure where they will be in 3 to 4 years.

    1. Wow, that’s a damning indictment of WA’s hosting right there. I knew it wasn’t as good as they claimed but I didn’t realize it was that bad!

      basically they seemed to have rested on their laurels and forgotten about what made them successful in the first place

      I think that about sums it up.

      WA have built themselves a big oil tanker and it’s increasingly in need of a complete overhaul, but it’s moving so fast that it takes a long time to turn it around. It’ll be interesting to see if they do manage to redeem themselves or if WA’s best days are behind it.

  13. Another WA Member

    This review is epic! And, from my personal experience with WA, entirely spot-on.

    I joined WA a year and a half ago having tinkered with a few blogs and knowing nothing about affiliate marketing. So I will acknowledge that I did learn some basics and, initially, I was caught up in what I now refer to as “the hype of possibility” championed by the community. But it didn’t take long for a whole lot of things to stop adding up, and you have covered in detail so many of the issues that one would think any intelligent WA member would find concerning.

    From my personal experience, I have had a legitimate customer service issue go unanswered and unresolved because “messaging Kyle” doesn’t get the results so many claim that it does. I have also witnessed first-hand a Live Chat comment being “held and altered” to eliminate some details (about the lack of PHP updates) before it was posted (Big Brother, anyone?!). And I have seen the quality of WA blogs devolve from legitimately helpful business-building posts by knowledgeable internet marketers to predominantly posts of personal nature more suited to Facebook than a platform devoted (supposedly) to creating a profitable online business.

    One practice I don’t see addressed in your review is WA’s ability to ban members from participating in the community at their discretion. To an extent this is understandable because some people don’t know how to behave like decent human beings from behind their keyboards. But WA uses this power to silence anyone who brings up a legitimate issue that WA wants to keep under wraps.

    Having one’s “write access revoked” means one can’t ask questions of the community, participate in Live Chat, answer Private Messages, blog withing WA. Given the quality of the community, these aren’t maybe such big concerns. One can’t communicate with one’s own referrals, though, and I know that would make me pretty angry were I busying myself building my business around promoting WA.

    But that’s not even the worst of it. The real kicker is that, once writing privileges are revoked, ONE CAN NO LONGER CONTACT SITE SUPPORT FOR LEGITIMATE TECHNICAL ISSUES AFFECTING ONE’S OWN WEBSITE!

    WA holds your very business hostage if you don’t hold your tongue.

    I cannot comprehend why anyone would think their hosting company deserves that kind of power over their website(s). But the problem, of course, is that most members have no clue this can even happen.

    I feel fortunate that I have successfully moved my few domains and sites away from WA, and I will be cancelling my WA membership when it comes up for renewal in November. Like I mentioned, I did learn a few things, so I don’t feel totally duped, but I am far from a happy member. I guess I’m just old-fashioned, but when I’m paying for a service, I expect training that’s kept current, responsive customer service, and transparent business practices. Obviously there are an awful lot of people who no longer value such things, so they are quite happy at WA.

    1. Hey, thanks for the comment!

      posts of personal nature more suited to Facebook than a platform devoted (supposedly) to creating a profitable online business.

      Well said! I got that impression as well. I’ve seen a lot of WA members – especially older members – who seem content just to be part of the community and learn a few basic things about WordPress. If they make any money from affiliate marketing, well, that’s just a bonus.

      One practice I don’t see addressed in your review is WA’s ability to ban members from participating in the community at their discretion.

      Personally, I haven’t noticed this during my time in WA.

      I thought I’d surely get banned when I wrote this very critical blog post in WA but was pleasantly surprised to see it stand, and it even got a response from Kyle – albeit an empty one.

      I do agree it’s unwise to host a website on WA though.

      Aside from the fact that their hosting is nowhere near as “unparalleled” as claimed, there is a dangerous “lock in” effect. Lots of members feel like hosting on WA is the only option when they begin, and then WA provides no guidance on how to move your site to a different host later. That leaves a lot of people feeling like they have to keep paying WA membership fees or else lose their website.

      1. Another WA Member

        I, too, am shocked that your WA post was allowed to stand. I have seen many other similar posts and comments disappear from the platform without a trace. I guess Kyle felt he had much to gain by replying to you, but all I see is more of his typical dodging, finger-pointing, and whining. And the usual comments from his adoring fans. I got a good chuckle out of more than one of those! haha

        As for the hosting, I was, thankfully, able to migrate my sites away from WA without issue (and without needing assistance from WA tech support), but I made sure to do this while my WA membership was active. I’ve come across too many posts by past members warning that it’s a fatal mistake to think WA will work with you after you cancel membership despite the claim that you “have 30 days” to move your site(s). Resolution seems to be a choice of either coughing up money for another month of membership to regain the access necessary to transfer hosting or walking away from the site(s) you’ve created. I feel for any unsuspecting member who gets caught up in that B.S.

  14. Hi Niall,
    Brilliant! that is all I can say about your review.

    You were literally like a sherlock holmes while doing
    this review 🙂
    The framework you used to put all this data together
    and collect all the data is a real masterpiece.

    You have put so much hard work into this. I really doubt
    if anyone can create a better review of Wealthy affiliate
    than yours.
    I am 100% sure there will be no other review of Wealthy affiliate
    which is honest and detailed like this, anywhere on the internet.

    I know because I have seen a lots of them-either by affiliates of
    Wealthy affiliates or by competitors of WA-both of them are not
    honest and only shows one side of the coin.

    Your review on the other hand is really transparent and honest.
    I have been saying these through chats and comments in Wealthy affiliate
    for a while.

    Although Kyle says some updates are coming, I haven’t seen anything yet.
    I also got some hatred from some Wealthy affiliate addicts for pointing out
    the defects in Wealthy affiliate system.

    The thing is most of the Wealthy affilate members have no clue about the
    make money online niche and other affilate marketing courses.

    So they can’t see how much better and advanced are the other courses in
    the market.

    With that said, I am an yearly member in Wealthy affiliate. Wealthy affiliate
    is good in the sense that, it is helpful for someone without the basic knowledge
    of affiliate marketing, wordpress niche sites, creating content and SEO.

    I think there is no other “All in one” solution-training+hosting+keyword tool
    for affiliate marketing than Wealthy affiliate.

    But what Wealthy affiliate is good updated training. The core training teaches
    fundamentals of affiliate marketing and the weekly webinars dive deep into
    them + other advanced things.

    Compared to other courses Wealthy affiliate doesn’t teach more advanced stuff,
    also there are no recent case studies of niche websites earning decent profits.

    If they can update the core training or hire other good affiliate marketers to
    teach the lessons, then Wealthy affiliate will be really amazing.

    When it comes to success of niche sites, it comes down to choosing a profitable
    niche, doing good keyword research and publishing helpful content.

    Someone following the Wealthy affiliate training do learn these basic things
    and I believe that it will help them to build a profitable niche site.

    I can say this, because I have read so many success stories in Wealthy affiliate
    by just sticking to these fundamentals.

    Even though link building is helpful, there are so many new case studies
    showing that we can rank and profit from niche sites even without links.

    I guess that is the reason Wealthy affiliate is not teaching link building.
    They believe that getting natural links is penalty proof compared to
    manual link building.

    Once again, Niall, I really appreciate you for your hard work in putting
    together this great review.

    I am looking forward to your review of Income school and Authority site system.
    I believe these are the two best affiliate marketing courses available in the
    market now.

    Both have a different take on building a niche site. As far as I know both
    courses have got results for their students.

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      Always good to hear from actual WA students.

      I get the appeal of the “all in one platform” that WA tries to be, but I’d argue that it actually makes people overly dependent on WA, and they sell their hosting and keyword tool as the best in the industry, which simply isn’t true.

      You mentioned as well that a fundamental part of success is choosing a profitable niche, but Kyle says many times in the core training that it doesn’t matter which niche you pick, which is baffling. He even doubled down on that when I mentioned it in my WA blog post a couple of weeks ago.

      I really don’t see why they can’t hire some AM’s who have proven success in 2019. Given all the money WA makes, they should easily be able to afford better training and faster updates. The fact that those things aren’t happening tells me that the owners have gotten too comfortable.

      As for the success stories in WA, I’ve seen very few that pass the smell test. Almost every time I dig deeper into them, it turns out they’re only successful referring other people to WA, or their “success” amounts to a few hundred dollars per month after years of trying.

      What legit success stories there are have usually done significant study outside of WA to achieve their results.

      As for link building, I agree that it’s not always necessary, but given the strong correlation between links and rankings, it seems crazy that WA would ignore the topic completely. Based on Kyle’s comment on my WA blog post, I get the impression that he considers link building to be black hat SEO, but I’d disagree with that. Link building can be done in a white hat way, and if you’re in a competitive niche I’d consider it essential.

      Anyway, thanks again for leaving such a thoughtful comment. I really appreciate it!

      1. Hey Niall,

        I agree with you on all the points you have
        mentioned above.

        What makes you stand out from all other
        bloggers is that, you are really intelligent,
        thoughtful and really honest with your reviews.

        You see things as it rather than twisting the review
        for your own benefit.

        I really respect you.

        I am excited about all your upcoming reviews on the
        “best affiliate marketing courses”.

  15. This is a kind of mother of all bombs. I was also a member of wealthy affiliate and quit it in 3 months. And I joined them back in 2017. Their advices and teachings are not only outdated then but also they were lies. Affilorama is also like that, I would say it’s even worse. It upsells products once you sign in and you kind of gets sucked in to purchasing lot of things that won’t even make you a dime. I think on the internet there’s a big scam going on when it comes to affiliate marketing. Every week one kind of guru pops up claiming to take you to a promised Land. Affiliate marketing works, but not in the way these gurus claim. The only thing that these gurus want is your money .

    1. Thanks for the comment, Lok.

      I’ve heard from a few people now who tried WA years ago that it wasn’t actually much better before, so perhaps my Robert De Niro analogy isn’t quite appropriate!

  16. Good review.
    Have you considered reviewing affiliate marketing mastery from projectlifemastery.com?
    Curious to know your candid thoughts and whether it’s worth such a high ticket price.

    1. I wasn’t familiar with that one but just took a quick look. The guy behind it has quite a large following, but no idea how legit he is.
      I’ll add his course to my list, but it will be a few months before I get a chance to look at it properly.

  17. You really did your research! Thanks for saving me the hassle of a program that clearly is very outdated, poorly managed, and overall not helpful.

  18. I am currently a Premium member of WA. I found WA by accident through a site that was promoting WA. I didn’t sign up right away. A few days passed and I went to the WA site to see what they were talking about. Everything sounded good (naturally) so I signed up for the free membership. It didn’t take long before I realized that the “golden tickets” were hidden in the Premium membership.

    Like a drug dealer trying to get a new customer, WA offers the first month of Premium for $19 (after which it’s $49 per month). I took the snort to see how good the “high” would be. Even though I’m fairly new to affiliate marketing, it didn’t take long before I came crashing down and realized the “training” was, overall, ineffective. I found it disturbing that Kyle’s videos referenced things on the WA website that no longer existed. With each progressive video, I found myself wondering why Kyle didn’t explain the reason behind doing X, Y, Z.

    To me, WA is the affiliate marketer’s Facebook – a place to socialize under the guise of building a profitable website. It seems Kyle, Carson, and Jay have left the “guidance” to the WA community and the only Wealth Affiliates are Kyle, Carson, and Jay.

    And, yes, I will be leaving before the $49 rate kicks in.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Nikki.

      Good point about the WA videos referencing old stuff in the program. The interface is completely different in a lot of them, and you can no longer find things where Kyle says you can.

      I’ll also be canceling my subscription before the $49 rate kicks in.

  19. A comprehensive, thorough and well thought out review! The sheer effort Niall put into this shows how committed he is to this business.

  20. Yeah, I’ve been a member of Wealthy Affiliate since 2015. It’s great if you are a complete totally new beginner to online marketing. It’s an all in one platform with training, blog posts, live chat, kw tool etc… Oh and hosting 🙂

    Training wise, I agree with the previous comment that the TASS course is much more valuable as it goes deeper in stuff like niche research.

    1. Yeah, there’s some value in it for complete beginners, but since WA doesn’t sufficiently teach much beyond the basics these days, people are unlikely to actually earn any money from affiliate sites they build through that training.

      Which kind of defeats the whole purpose.

  21. It was great when I joined in 2012.

    They have slowly put more emphasis on teaching people how to refer others to WA though, and that’s compounded negatively over the years to the point where the whole thing feels a bit like an MLM. The founders don’t live and breathe niche sites anymore so their training is somewhat dated. Also, as most people review scams and MLMs as a way of suggesting WA as a better alternative, the majority of members are MLM rejects with a “duplicate everything” mentality. Most of them have reviewed The Authority Site System at some point without actually buying it, for example. They just copy each other’s reviews.

    WA has a place to some extent because it does teach you the basics in a legit way, so despite its failings, it has a purpose to serve.

    That said, when I joined it was full of members who were making money as niche leaders and sharing their experiences with the WA community, whereas now there’s little value in the crap people share. I left a few months ago after being subbed for 6 years.

    1. Hey WD, thanks for the comment.

      A member for 6 years and left a few months ago… that about says it all. I think the only way WA can be valuable to serious affiliate marketers these days is if you own a time machine 😛