What is Wealthy Affiliate about: a scam or what?
This is the question I asked myself a while back when I was looking to start a legitimate online business. I am cautious of get-rich-quick schemes and monthly programs where you have to pay lots up front, or there’s a carrot and then another one, then another – all of which come at an additional cost. Or those training programs where you have to wait months and spend lots of money to get the information you really need to succeed. You are most probably in that boat too if you are reading this post. Something has caught your eye and you are wary of whether it is legitimate, a scam or what then read on and I will give you my honest opinion about Wealthy Affiliate and it’s appropriateness or not for an online business startup in 2018.
I will state my opinion clearly up front – I don’t believe Wealthy Affiliates is a scam. And I will tell you why. I used their knowledge, training and expertise to set up this and other websites I own and their help has been invaluable. However, this is really only my opinion and you are indeed free, in fact actively encouraged, to make up your own mind.
So what is Wealthy Affiliate and what is the Wealthy Affiliate scam?
Basically there is no scam! Wealthy Affiliate is just a way to help you create a legitimate online business using affiliate marketing and blogging. Affiliate marketing is a way of helping businesses attract customers, and blogging is writing interesting content for websites on a topic that interests you.
It’s a simple concept. And before you ask, yes, you can definitely learn all about it via the internet and YouTube for free, I’m certain. You just need the time it takes you to do the research and the wisdom to sort through the good from the bad content.
Basically, affiliate marketing works like this.
- You create a website in a niche area that you are interested in (e.g. baby clothes for premature babies, or branded T-shirts – you choose what interests you).
- You write some interesting content on your site and hopefully people will read it and find it useful.
- You attract visitors to your site by making use of keywords, advertising and search engine optimisation
- You add some relevant links to your site to tell your visitors about different things that they may be interested in.
- If your visitors click on the links, they are taken to the merchant’s site and if they then buy something from them, then you get a commission from the merchant for helping drive people to their site.
That’s it! Not rocket science; just another business model.
Now some people may think that affiliate marketing ‘per se’ is a scam. And obviously they are entitled to their own opinion; it is just not one that I share. If you break down what affiliate marketing is, it is nothing more than earning a commission for recommending something to others or for pointing them in the direction of a deal. But isn’t that what your insurance broker does when you phone up and ask for a car insurance quote? They will give you several options, and you are free to make your own decision. Or what about those voucher sites that we all love? Do you think they don’t get a commission?
Or what about a friend who recommends their gym club/karate club/dance club to you because they are running a promotion that month? They might get a free lesson if they recommend some new people and you get to hear about the new club. No one forces you to go along, and usually there is no obligation, but it’s a good ‘word of mouth’ marketing system.
It’s just marketing – and it’s been happening forever! Affiliate marketing is just the way the Internet does it – because instead of talking over the garden fence, Internet marketers use banners, adverts and links.
Commission is not a dirty word – in my opinion. You may have other opinions, but as a business owner, I like it. I offer incentives to my customers if they can bring in some more business. It’s not underhand, it’s not a scam – it’s just a way of reaching a new audience of people and places that I maybe cannot.
So why does affiliate marketing sometimes get a bad press?
A few years ago, I looked into affiliate marketing which promised to create amazing wealth by basically sending lots of identical articles to different sites, in the hope that some of them would produce some income – needless to say, it didn’t.
However I did believe that affiliate marketing was a legitimate online business and I have always wanted to be a writer, so I was thinking that there must be something to this, but what? Where could I start and who could help me?
At this point, I did some research and found Wealthy Affiliates. And yes, I did the “Is Wealthy Affiliates a scam?” Google search!
What I found was a lot of reviews online, with lots of information including walk-through tours of their training and approach, details of how it works, the costs and testimonials. And I took the plunge and went through to join their free program and later the monthly Premium program. I joined and was very excited about what I found. I found a one-stop-shop for starting an Internet marketing business with an amazing community of online entrepreneurs more than willing to share their knowledge. Thank you to them if they are reading this.
Is it free to join?
Yes and no – there is a free program which will give you more than enough information to get started on a website and business. You also get access to the community of other people who’ve been there and done that. And that costs nothing. You can ask as many questions as you want and there are always people willing to help. There is also a premium programme (of course there is) – there’s a meal deal at MacDonald’s isn’t there? If you pay a bit more, you get a bit more! The premium membership costs $19 for the first month and $49 thereafter for as long as you want to be a member. But there’s not obligation. Of course there are incentives and adverts but I think you are living in a dream world if you expect there not to be. Anyone who watches TV regularly will know how advertising works.
What’s the catch?
So far, I have not found one. I have just been bowled over by the positive energy and commitment everyone has online for making the Internet a place for business. Kyle and Carson (the owner’s) are real people and they promote their business for real people too; which is why I like it.
Reasons you won’t like Wealthy Affiliates
To be honest, I had to rack my brain a bit here however, I realise that not everyone has similar values, beliefs and opinions to me, so I’ve made a list of reasons why I think people might not like it.
- If you want a get-rich-quick scheme
- If you don’t want to have to do any work for your business to be successful
- If you are not prepared to give back or help others
- If you think that everyone’s hard-earned knowledge should be available free of charge without having to pay anything ever (however small) – ie. If you think you should get something for nothing forever
- If you want to promote things unscrupulously whether you personally believe in the products or not
However, I think you will like Wealthy Affiliates if you:
- Genuinely want a legitimate online business that you can run at your own pace
- Are willing to put in the work (you would expect to have to do some work starting any other business, right?)
- Are passionate about a subject or topics that you want to tell others about (and these can be anything at all?)
- Are willing to learn
- Realise this will take time and effort but the rewards are related to what you put in
But don’t just take my word for it. Have a look at the Wealthy Affiliates site and see for yourself.
Below is a list of things you get on the free and premium programs so you can compare the two.
In fact, they have just updated thins so you also get free access to the Jaaxy tool for researching keywords too which is even better.
Will I get some money for referring you?
If you click through from a link in this blog, and then join up, then yes, I will receive a small commission. There I said it – the commission word! But then again, I researched the company, I’ve joined, I’ve done my homework and I’ve spent time writing this blog to try to dispel a few myths. If you are interested and would still like to know more about Wealthy Affiliates, then click through here to find out more for yourself.
If you still believe that affiliate marketing is a scam, then Wealthy Affiliates is probably not the place for you and I wish you the best of luck in your search. Have a great day. Success is what we make it. I truly believe that and thank you for reading.
A little bit about me
I am a part-time teacher living in the UK. I teach performing arts and I love it, and even with an online business, I will continue to teach because it is part of who I am. But that’s the benefit of doing business online: I get the time to work at my own pace in my own way. I’ve built a website through WA that I love to write for at www.howtocreateyourownlife.com which I’m very proud of. I have 2 wonderful children who are my world and to be honest, I’m doing most of this for them – so that I can give them the opportunities that I didn’t always have.
I want them to have the freedom to live their lives without being worried about finding the money for day-to-day living. And I want them to have the time to pursue their dreams. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be handing it to them all on a plate one day – but I will definitely be showing them how to start their own business so they can benefit from the changes we are experiencing and will be best prepared to succeed.
All the best. Gail.