Hey there, and welcome to my post where I will discuss all things affiliate marketing and introduce you to Wealthy Affiliate (WA). As I outlined in a previous post, one of the biggest hurdles to undertaking that sea change is funding. I.E. How are you going to fund your lifestyle once you sell up and move to the beach (or wherever). There are obviously a number of ways to do this and one of them – the one that this site will in general cover – is via affiliate marketing. It is not a difficult process but one that does take commitment and work, which I will discuss at length in this post.
When I started down this road, I had a little knowledge about the world of websites and online selling, but it was limited at best. Then I joined Wealthy Affiliate on the advice of another very successful affiliate marketer and have not looked back since. So today I will provide you with a complete review of the Wealthy Affiliate platform and I how I honestly believe it can help you on the road to affiliate marketing success. So whether you are looking to change careers, want to work for your self, want to start your sea change with wealthy affiliate or just have an interest in what affiliate marketing in general then sit back, grab a coffee or a nice cold beverage and read on…
Oh, and there is a lot to cover here so I have included a table of contents below so that you can jump around as you see fit.
What is affiliate marketing?
In simple terms, affiliate marketing is the process of making commissions from online shopping sales. In most cases, the ‘thing’ that you are selling is not owned by you and you do not actually process the sale. Your commissions are made by referring visitors of your site to other sites who process the sale. Your referral links contain codes that relate to you so that the seller of the item can pay you a commission. For example:
Say you have a passion for horses so you create a website where you write all about horses. You know that a problem that people have is saddle sores for horses. You write a blog post on how to manage saddle sores and offer recommendations for some under-saddle blankets. Your readers, because they trust you, will click on the sales links for those recommendations and purchase the blankets from the third party who pays you a commission for the sale. The third party processes the sale, deliver the product and make their profit – minus the commission they pay you.
Wow – you wouldn’t know that I am actually scared of horses would you? I am sure there is some Freudian explanation as to why I chose this subject as my example, but we can discuss that another time…
Sound easy, well it can be… here is how it works.
How does affiliate marketing work?
The entire process is again, quite simple and once you understand it all, not really that hard to set up. The image below provides an outline of the process:
1. The customer, a horse rider has a problem with saddle sores on their horses so they go online and undertake a search on how to remedy them (Google, Bing or on social media for example).
2. They find and select your website to read all about your suggested remedies for saddle sores.
3. You make recommendations on solutions and provide links for items they can purchase to solve their problems (you could be referring them to Amazon, Walmart, E-Bay or any number of specialised horse type stores that have affiliate programs).
4. They purchase their products and you get paid a commission on the sale.
Is affiliate marketing a scam?
If it is done correctly, no. Companies love it as they see their commissions as effectively paying foradvertising that they don’t have to do any of the work to get. Unfortunately however, the internet is choc full of scammers and get-rich-quick schemes that give the whole industry a bad name. We have all seen the picture of the rich looking dude standing in front of a Ferrari telling you how he can show you how to make a million dollars in just three weeks…
If you are ethical in your workings, you will succeed in setting up a long term income stream. This is not to say that you can’t eventually get your Ferrari – many affiliate marketers have – but you will have to work for it. If you are looking to make quick money or to scam, then you should probably try somewhere else.
How do I start?
This is where the hard work begins. And whilst it sounds simple to run, it is sadly not a “build it and they will come” scenario. There are many moving parts such as website development and hosting, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), keyword choices (this is where you preempt what people will search for), writing techniques, social media sharing and so on. Don’t worry if this sounds like another language to you at the moment, I will explain more about it below – just think of it as the start of a journey to learning new things – or, sit down and cry for a few minutes like I did when I first read about all this stuff and then come back to me when you are ready.
So, how did I do it with my limited knowledge in all things websites? I joined Wealthy Affiliate. Read on and I will explain all.
Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I am a paying member of Wealthy Affiliate and I believe I could not have got to where I am without it. I also make commissions from anyone who clicks on the links within this post to access their own free starter membership. You are under no obligation to join on the free option or upgrade to the premium membership and if you plan to use another program or go it alone, absolutely go for it but please read on as I have included information here that I hope will be helpful to you regardless of whether you click the link or not.
What is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate is a one-stop-shop platform that provides:
- Complete training programs to assist with the development of your own affiliate marketing website in your own niche
- Website creation and publishing tools including access to word press editors and themes
- Domain name purchasing
- Website hosting
- Online help and chat forums
- Weekly live training events
- 24/7 support
- Keyword access tools
- SEO assistance
The platform has been active for just under 14 years with the original developers and owners, Kyle and Carson, still extremely active in its day to day operations. Membership options include the free starter membership – which provides limited access to the platform but definitely enough to create a money making website without ever having to upgrade – or the Premium option with total access for as little as USD $29 per month (paid yearly). See some of the stats below:
Who Is Wealthy Affiliate For?
Wealthy Affiliate is obviously aimed at affiliate marketers but in reality is suitable for anybody who is looking to make an income in an online world such as :
- Those looking to fund a sea change (obviously)
- Manufacturers/writers looking to sell their own products or services online
- Bloggers and Vloggers looking to increase traffic to their sites
- ‘Brick and Mortar’ business owners looking to increase their online presence
- Anybody who is looking for ways to make money from home
- Retirees looking for a little extra income
- People who want to earn money to fund travel etc.
Who is Wealthy Affiliate NOT For?
If you are one of the following, you should probably avoid singing up at this stage
- Scammers and spammers
- Those looking for a get-rich-quick program
And in all honesty, if your current life situation is one that necessitates the need to earn an income straight away for whatever reason, then I would probably recommend trying to get a more traditional role in the short term. The steps undertaken in the WA training program will absolutely earn you an income, just not in the near future. A good sustainable income can take up to 12 months to 2 years to achieve. There are however many members of WA that work at their sites around their normal 9 to 5 roles.
Getting started with Wealthy Affiliate training
As you start your journey, Wealthy Affiliate is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And I have used a few in my professional career trust me. Earlier in this post we discussed the need to set up a website and mature it until you get enough traffic to the site to make an income. The Wealthy Affiliate Online Entrepreneur Certification program breaks this down into 5 parts, or phases as follows:
Each of these phases then breaks down to 10 sections.
Each section then contains a video, training notes, discussion pages and action items to get you up and running
This training is comprehensive and as I can fully attest to, really works. It is simple, easy to follow and I could not believe how quickly I got my site up and running in the beginning.
Do you want to start your first website to promote WA instead? Then you are in luck as WA has you covered with its 7 phase Affiliate bootcamp training included in all memberships (two phases only for starter members).
How does the training work?
As you follow the training, each section will run you through step by step on the creation of your very own website and the theory behind it. When I did my training, I spent about 2 hours per day on it and had a working website that was ranked in Google – meaning it could be found – within the first week.
Note: We discuss the term “ranked in Google” a lot within this page and within Wealthy Affiliate. This phrase does not mean that your website is necessarily on the first page, rather that it can be found in the search. This may mean that it is on page 365. Don’t fret though, the whole purpose of this process is to get your site and posts onto page 1 so that your horse loving saddle sore sufferers can find it and purchase from you. As the training will explain, this comes from the consistent posting of high quality, helpful content to your site. For my first site for example, I had my first post on page 1 after 4 months and roughly 35 posts. It takes time.
The main foundation for the development and maintenance of your website is covered in the training as follows (and for those of you not planning to go to WA, then this is just helpful information for your own journey):
Step 1: Choose an Interest
This is where you choose what it is that you want to write about and what you are going to sell. You do not have to be an expert in the field, but it should be one that interests you – it can be a mistake to choose something that you think will make money but know nothing about or find boring as you will quickly lose interest in writing your blog posts. The training will help you with this by covering the following:
- How to choose a niche
- Looking at the competition
- Who you will be serving
- What their problems are
- How you can solve those problems
Let’s revisit our horse example from earlier. Our niche might be horses, or show riding horses, or horse paraphernalia, or horse management and so on… As you can see, the choices are really endless.
Step 2 – Build a Website
This can be very daunting. I know I did procrastinate on this section with a lot of “What? I am really going to build and publish my site… What if I get it wrong?”. Essentially you cannot get it wrong and the training really does guide you through step by step covering:
- Website domain and name setup
- WordPress themes
- Editing and customisation – Initial setup
- Writing your first post
You really will be shocked at how simple this is and how little time it takes.
Step 3 – Attract Visitors
I could say really that this is the basic premise for the rest of the training as that is what it is all about – getting traffic to your website. This was the most complex part of the training and honestly, there is a bit to do here, but you are guided the whole way including:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) configuration
- Keyword searches
- Writing posts that will rank highly
- Registering with Google and Bing
- Social Media
- Graphics and Video
And so much more…
Step 4 – Earn Revenue
After all, this is what it is all about – making money. The training continues this theme right through with areas such as:
- Affiliate programs
- How to target particular products
- Tracking traffic, sales and customer behavior
- Website statistics
By the time you have finished the training – It took me about 2 months – you will be well on your way to getting your website to where it needs to be. Again, and I cannot highlight this enough, this takes work and time – most people do not start to see any income until at least the 6-month mark – some even longer depending on the niche.
I have mentioned a number of times in this post that Wealthy Affiliate gives you access to some of the best affiliate marketing minds on the planet. As it turns out, there are also some very smart technical cookies amongst them as well. Wealthy Affiliate give them the opportunity to post their own training programs to assist other members. Some examples include:
Every Friday afternoon (U.S. Time which is Saturday Morning where I live) Jay – WA account name Magistudios – runs conducts live online training in all manner of subjects which are a great way to get more information in regards to best practices when it comes to affiliate marketing. Jay has over 14 years experience in this space and these sessions are priceless whether you are commencing your affiliate marketing journey or an experienced player. See below for examples of some of the subjects covered:
The real beauty of this training is that it is fully interactive meaning that if you have a question, you can ask it in the live chat and Jay will answer as he goes.
One of the most impressive and important features of the Wealthy Affiliate platform is it support functions. The training takes you to a point obviously, but it is not until you start to do some of these things in ‘anger’ that the real questions come up. When these issues arise, the Wealthy Affiliate Help Center can provide support in a number of ways including:
Site Support – Something not working within your website as it should? You can send a message to site support for assistance. They are available 24/7 and always answer within minutes to get your problem sorted and website back on track.
Live Chat – Have a question on the fly? Jump onto Live chat and ask away – there are some very smart people in there and you are usually answered instantly.
Ask a Question – This one is my favourite. If your question is a little too complex for live chat or need assistance, this is the way to go. Not only can you ask your question but you are able to search through previous questions that have been asked by other users.
Private Message – You have access to some of the best affiliate marketers in the world – if you have a question about something that they do – send them a private message and ask them.
What else is there?
On top of the training, there are many other tools and services that Wealthy Affiliate contains. I will not run through them all completely here as there is just so much – but here is a list:
- Site content creator – Allows you to create and publish blog posts within WA.
- Website hosting – your websites are hosted within WA as part of your membership options.
- Internal Blogging – write blogs for other members about your progress, learning, achievements or anything else that takes your fancy
- Jaaxy Keyword search – as part of your membership you have access to Jaaxy – WA’s keyword search tool that gives you the absolute best chance possible to get your posts ranked highly in search engines.
What are the membership options?
Wealthy Affiliate has two membership options:
Most people who join Wealthy Affiliate do so via the Free Starter Membership. It certainly gives you enough access to the platform to get a website started and, in time, make some money. Some members stay on the starter for a while and some for ever. There is no time limit to the starter membership.
What do you get?
- The first phase of the either the Online Entrepreneur Certification and/or Affiliate bootcamp training – 10 lessons
- Access to 2 out of 12 Member Training Classrooms
- 2 free websites
- Web hosting for your free websites
- Access to the WA SiteBuilder to build and manage your websites
- Limited access to Jaaxy – WA’s keyword research tool
- Access to Site Content – WA’s post writing and publishing tool
- Limited use of the Live Chat
- Access to Site Support.
Note: The free starter membership is not available in all countries.
Once you have accessed WA and had a look around, you have the option to then upgrade to the Premium Membership.
- $49 USD per month (first month is $19 USD)
- Pay six monthly for USD $234
- Pay yearly for USD $359
What do you get?
- All phases of the Online Entrepreneur Certification or Affiliate bootcamp training (120 Lessons)
- Access to all 12 member training Classrooms
- 25 free and 25 custom domain websites = 50 sites!
- Super fast and secured web hosting for your websites, fastest in the industry
- Web hosting for all websites
- Access to the WA SiteBuilder to build and manage your websites
- Unlimited access to Jaaxy keyword searches
- Access to Site Content – WA’s post writing and publishing tool and all templates
- Unlimited use of the Live Chat
- Access to Site Support.
- Private Message for 1-on-1 Coaching
- Access to Jay’s Weekly Live training and webinars
- SiteComment – get comments and engagement on your website
- SiteFeedback – get feedback on how your work is thus far
- SiteSpeed – makes your websites super fast to load, a ranking factor
- SiteProtect – amazing spam protection
- SSL Certificates
- Access to the Wealthy Affiliate profile blog
- Ability to make money on Wealthy Affiliate by creating your own training
- Access to founders Kyle & Carson via the yearly Super Affiliate Challenge
Basically, you get complete access to everything that the site has to offer – all for only $49 per month!
Do I recommend it?
Absolutely I do – In fact, I could not believe my luck when I came across this site and got myself set up with a website so quickly. Me previous experiences in this space gave me the basics but there was so much I had to learn on my own. The support alone here is worth it on its own – and at the very least, $49 per month is a steal to have your website hosted compared to other hosting sites.
Are there any cons?
As with all platforms there abound to be areas that could be improved. I find it hard to call them cons as I am obviously an unabashed fan. However, I can pass on some of the comments I have seen within the system in regards to things to look out for:
- The premium starter membership does not give full access – this is true but there is enough there to create and publish your own website
- There are spammers and scammers – yep! they are everywhere – I have seen a few charlatans in the mix but they are weeded out fairly quickly
- You can be subject to abusive comments – I have seen this happen but it is often a language or cultural thing – and at the end of the day, there are people like that everywhere and if they persist, they are usually banned from the system.
- People are just in WA to make money from it – Yes, again unfortunately there are some there just to make money from internal programs such as comments. They are however easily avoided.
That is what I have seen to date – I will keep this section updated obviously but in my honest experience, there is nothing there that has stopped me using the tools involved to successfully build my websites.
So there you have it – the magnitude that is Wealthy Affiliate broken down into just a few words. If you are at all interested in affiliate marketing, or building a website for any other reason, I strongly recommend giving Wealthy Affiliate a try. After all, you can sign up for free, build a site and see how you go – with all the support you need to get it to rank on google and attract visitors.
What more could you ask for?
Anyway, have a website to maintain so I am off but this post is a living breathing beast which I will update as new functionality or changes are made within Wealthy Affiliate so remember to check back every now and then.
Alternatively, if you wish to see Wealthy Affiliate in action, click on the link below to watch me build a website from scratch in just 7 days.
Oh, and if you join on the free start membership and decide to sign to premium within the first 7 days, then guess what? You get your first month for only $19. No pressure, I just thought I would let you know…
Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price.Follow me on Social Media