If you've clicked on this review you're one of the thousands considering a becoming a Wealthy Affiliate affiliate. It is also known by the none too presumptuous title of the Wealthy Affiliate University or simply, WA.
Let me start by saying you will find no link in this review. I am not selling WA nor am selling one of its competitors. I am merely here to tell you of my experiences within the gilded walls of WA. Yes, I was a member and went through the bulk of the training they provided on Internet marketing. I am no longer a Wealthy Affiliate affiliate and decided to write a review of their services for those of you that want a first hand account; no strings attached.
By now you've seen the ads that promise a large income from working in the comfort of your home. As a marketing strategy, its genius. But what does WA actually supply to their affiliates? And do the skills they provide really make money for their members?
The Wealthy Affiliate "university" centers around an 8 week course for beginners in which each new set of lessons is delled out; one per week. The site may have a slick look to it, but wears more like a cheap suit with poor navigation, confusing lesson formats and enough typos to make a member wonder why they did not pop for a copy editor.
Kyle and Carson, the WA creators, have built a wonderful money making machine, for themselves. Under the guise of helping people make lots of money through Internet marketing, they are really just fueling their own empire by creating Wealthy Affiliate affiliates.
It starts with how the new members can promote WA. And they have made it very easy for the newbies to do just that with ready made ads and websites that promote WA and its host of peripheral products.
WA provides a taste of what is needed to make a living with Internet marketing and a big push to go round up more newbies for the cult of Wealthy Affiliate affiliates. Some say that WA is starting to sound like a pyramid scheme, but its probably closer to multi level marketing.
The sad and rarely stated truth behind Internet marketing in general is that the failure rate is close to 95%. This failure rate has more to do with the unrealistic hopes of the people signing up, all WA does is fan the fire. Regardless of what you have read in ads promoting Internet marketing there is NOTHING EASY about it.
Making money online is hard work, often times requiring more hours per week than a full time job. But that kind of information would not read well in a pay per click ad. The truth often times has little to do with good salesmanship. Internet marketers are selling a dream.
So what of joining WA? On the pro side, they do offer some helpful information and resources for their $ 30 + / month membership fee. On the con side, be prepared to be hit with a barrage of self serving promotions. They make them seem very enticing and an easy way to start off in Internet marketing. WAs turnover rate must be high as witnessed by their constant push for new members to recruit new members.
And as for giving you "the secrets" to making money online, well do not expect anything more than general information about IM. Do you honestly expect them to give up the secrets that REALLY make them money? Of course not, that's how they make their living, why would they?
According to WA records, their active membership is hovering around 12,000 as of this writing. I did an informal survey of 3000 of those so called members and found that nearly 46% of them had never posted to the WA forum once. All of these members have been with WA for at least 6 months and some as long as two years.
For a website that prides itself on its "supportive" forum and encourages new members to use it, it does not seem a bit odd that so many Wealthy Affiliate affiliates would have never used it, not even one time?
Many pocketed groups of these non posting members also joined within several minutes of each other as attested to by WAs own system of recording members join up times. I would be curious to hear Kyle and Carson explain this phenomenon.
What WA provides to its Wealthy Affiliate affiliates is a basic primer to IM, some resources that, regardless of their hype, can be found elsewhere on the internet, often for free and a forum with little tolerance of anyone asking the status quo and the smell of hype everywhere.
Let's face it, Internet marketers are salesman above all and those who run sites like WA are super salesman. Kyle and Carson discovered what PT Barnum knew long ago, there's a Wealthy Affiliate affiliate born every minute. All these two boys figured out was how to leak them on a regular and ongoing basis. If anyone was wondering where the used car salesmen of old have gone, they are right here on the internet and doing FINE.
WA and its army of Wealthy Affiliate affiliates is just one of the many, many Internet marketing creations that promise to "show you the secrets" of making money online. Its a promise that fails to mention that to become a truly successful Internet marketer takes years of hard work. The expression, "do not believe the hype" comes to mind.
So should you spend the money becoming a Wealthy Affiliate affiliate? Well if you've got around $ 100 (more if you plan to use PPC campaigns) and a few months then there are worse ways to go. You can learn some of the basics of Internet marketing being a WA member. Just go through the 8 week program and do not get sucked into all the products / services they will try to sell you along the way.
At the same time you must realize that becoming a member opens you to the often unsavory world of IM where ROI (return on investment) is king, not the customer. This is not WAs fault, they're just milking the cow. To really compete in this business, be it as a Wealthy Affiliate affiliate or not, it's best to check a healthy chuck of your ethics at the door.
A more important question is are you looking for something quick and easy by becoming a Wealthy Affiliate affiliate or something that requires dedication and hard work? If you answered "quick and easy" do not waste your money joining WA, in fact do not waste your money on Internet marketing at all.