Wealthy Affiliate Review (Updated 2020) Dirty Secrets Revealed

Wealthy Affiliate Review

My honest Wealthy Affiliate review will give you an insight into why Wealthy Affiliate is not worthy of 5 Stars. But it comes pretty darn close. 

Wealthy Affiliate gives its members comprehensive affiliate marketing training along with hosting and tech support for WordPress websites. But is it right for you? If you're looking for a push-button, done for you, get rich quick scheme this is not it. But, let's face it, if it was that easy then everyone would be rich. 

Welcome to my honest Wealthy Affiliate Review

What Is Wealthy Affiliate? The Best Affiliate Marketing School!

As the owner of this website I've tracked down special deals and discounts for some of the products and services mentioned herein. When you use the links on this page to make a purchase I may get a small commission and you may get a great bargain. It's a win-win all around. Full disclosure.

Can you become a wealthy affiliate marketer? It's not going to be easy and it's not going to happen overnight. This Wealthy Affiliate review will introduce you to the pros and cons of this online learning platform so you can decide if affiliate marketing could be your stepping stone to the laptop lifestyle.

As always, I’m going to be completely honest and transparent in this Wealthy Affiliate review. I'll tell you about the good and not so good aspects of Wealthy Affiliate so you can decide for yourself if Wealthy Affiliate is a scam or not.

What is Wealthy Affiliate About?

So what exactly is Wealthy Affiliate? It’s an online learning platform that gives its members comprehensive training in affiliate marketing and building out a WordPress website. And it provides the necessary tools needed to become successful online. 

But they’re not going to do the work for you. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme nor is it suited for everyone. Please read the rest of this comprehensive review before you make any decisions.


Name: Wealthy Affiliate
Founders/Owners: Carson Lim and Kyle Loudoun
Website: WealthyAffiliate.com
Product/Service Type: Online Affiliate Marketing Training
Price: Starter Member free (no credit card required) 
  Premium Membership $49/month, or $495/year
 (Use the links on this page to get the discounts and my special bonuses.)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Recommended: Yes

Start an Online Business Free in 10 Easy Steps and Work From Home 2020

What I Like About Wealthy Affiliate

There's a lot to like about Wealthy Affiliate and I recommend their training to all budding affiliate marketers as it's the best training platform out there in its price range (in my opinion).

You may find more comprehensive training at a much higher price but some of the offerings out there don't offer value for money. Wealthy Affiliate definitely offers value for money, keep reading to find out why.

Online Affiliate Marketing Training

Whether you prefer to read, look at pictures, or watch videos, you'll find plenty of training to suit your style of learning.

The core niche affiliate marketing course comprises 5 levels, each with 10 lessons utilizing walk-through videos plus text and images.

The first 10 lessons are included in the starter membership. You will learn how to choose a niche, build a website, write informative and engaging content, and earn revenue.

You'll even get a free website as a starter member so you can see if blogging for profit is the right vehicle for you.

Affiliate Marketing Overview

The lessons are step-by-step with tasks to do for each lesson. As you progress through the courses you will realize that each lesson builds on the knowledge that you gleaned from the previous classes.

My advice here is to take your time with the lessons to make sure you fully absorb the new knowledge and put it into practice. People who rush through the training or jump about in their learning can quickly become overwhelmed.

Got questions?

There's always a comments section under each class so you can read other people's questions and the answers they've been given. And if your question hasn't been covered thoroughly then just leave a comment/question of your own. Because the community is so active you're sure to get a quick response.

There is also a live chat area where old and new members hang out, make friends, and help each other.

If your questions are not easily resolved by the community then, as a premium member, you can get private access to the founders, Kyle and Carson. 

If you join Wealthy Affiliate through one of the links on this page you'll also have access to my one-on-one coaching.

When you've been a member for a while and you see a question from someone who is less knowledgeable than you have become you can answer other peoples questions. I find helping other people is such a rewarding experience.

If you want to promote the Wealthy Affiliate platform itself there's another 70 lessons in the Bootcamp course to teach you how to do just that. The first 10 lessons in Bootcamp are also included in the free starter member package. More on the affiliate program a bit later.

But promoting Wealthy Affiliate is not the main thrust of the platform. The core training is to teach you how to become a successful affiliate marketer for many products and services in any niche of your choosing.

Take a Sneak Peek Inside Wealthy Affiliate

Weekly Live Video Webinars

Premium members of wealthy affiliate have access to weekly live video webinars. These are recorded so you can access the past sessions at your own convenience. The webinars mainly cover SEO (search engine optimization).

Each webinar lasts for around an hour and there's a question and answer section at the end.

If you miss the live class then you can catch up later using the recorded version. There's heaps of recorded classes in the archives. Live video classes and recordings are exclusive to premium members.

I sometimes find the live classes take a bit too long and I may get interruptions at home so I wait until the recordings are available. Then I can use the pause button.

WordPress Training

But it's not all about affiliate marketing. It's also about building a WordPress website; writing interesting, engaging, informative content; and making that website attractive to visitors.

You'll learn how to build a brand-new website in a matter of minutes. Yes, I know, they say 30 seconds. But by the time you choose the name of your website and read the instructions it's going to take a little bit longer. Let's keep it real.

If you want to learn about WordPress there are lots of options available on the internet. Many of them more up-to-date than the lessons at Wealthy Affiliate. 

The WordPress content management system is constantly evolving and Wealthy Affiliate is lagging behind. Even so, learning step-by-step in a structured way is better than trying to learn ad hoc on YouTube.

Wealthy Affiliate training is more about affiliate marketing and content writing for the long-term. They'll teach you best practices which will keep working long after each SEO fad of the moment has faded away.

Membership Options

Building a website is the start of your journey. You need training, website hosting, technical support, community support, and my coaching. All of these are included in the premium membership. Starter members get a taste of some of the premium features during the first 7 days.

Premium Membership Pricing Options

Monthly - $49/month ($19 First Month Special Offer, Rebills at $49/month)
Yearly - $495/year (Virtually 2 months free)

Wealthy Affiliate's Affiliate Program

Wealthy Affiliate has a generous affiliate program whereby you can earn revenue by referring people to WA.

This is recurring income. For each premium member you refer you can earn up to $23.50 per month for as long as they remain a premium member. 2 premium member referrals can just about cover your own membership fees.

Free starter members earn half the amount that premium members enjoy. Yes, you can earn money as a starter member.

Super affiliates who attract 300 new premium members during the year get an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas. They get to hang out with Kyle and Carson (the owners of Wealthy Affiliate), and other super affiliates on an all paid private conference. And yes, they cover the cost of your flight from anywhere in the world.

But you don't need to promote Wealthy Affiliate to benefit from the lessons.

The main thrust is for you to learn how to make money in any niche that you are interested in. Whether that's dog training, golf, health, beauty, or anything else under the sun which you find interesting. If it's your passion, then there's sure to be a market for it. 

Research Tools

Wealthy Affiliate started life as a keyword list back in 2005. Keywords have always been an integral part of the business and Kyle and Carson created a keyword research tool, as a separate business, called Jaaxy . There's now a Lite version of Jaaxy which is included in the Wealthy Affiliate premium membership package.

Every affiliate marketer needs to research keywords to improve their search engine results. So if your goal is to become a successful affiliate marketer then you'll love Jaaxy.

As a new user, you can get your first 30 searches for free. Check out this tool:

Starter members at Wealthy Affiliate get 30 free searches using Jaaxy. Premium members get unlimited searches using Jaaxy Lite version. There are premium levels of Jaaxy but most members find the Lite version to be more than adequate for their needs.

Domain Names

Wealthy Affiliate is also a domain name registrar for top level domain names. Their current price for a .com is $13.99 including privacy, which many registrars charge extra for. And the original price is locked in for subsequent years.

Most other registrars charge a lot extra for privacy and the cost of the domain name usually increases after the first year.

I have all my domain names registered at Wealthy Affiliate because the renewals are cheaper there than anywhere else that I've found.

Site Content

Site Content is a relatively new editor app, exclusive to Wealthy Affiliate, but it still has a lot of teething problems. Members are encouraged to use Site Content instead of the regular WordPress editor. Personally I prefer to go straight to my website and use the regular WordPress editor.

The best part about Site Content is the built-in image library of over 1,000,000 free, and free to use, images gleaned from a number of sources around the internet. Even though I don’t use Site Content as an editor, I can take advantage of the free images.

Site Comments and Feedback

Members can give and receive comments from each other on their individual website posts using a 2:1 exchange system. For people who are short on time comments can also be purchased.

Only websites which are hosted at Wealthy Affiliate can receive comments through this system.

Wealthy Affiliate also has a feedback exchange system. Feedback should not be confused with comments. While comments are intended to be published on the website and thus visible to the entire world, feedback is meant to be private.

New members who are unsure of themselves and their website can find out what other members think about their entire website. Feedback covers things like layout, design, and site navigation (menus). All the things you'd like to know about your website but don't want the world to see.

Community Support 

Wealthy Affiliate has a very active community which has attracted over a million members over the years. I'm not sure how many members are currently active but I'm sure that there are many thousands with some being a lot more active than others.

Whatever time of day or night you're on the website there will be someone else there too. Just pop into Live Chat and say "hello", there will be someone there to converse with.

Live chat is unlimited for premium members but only available during the first 7 days for starter members. In Live Chat you can ask questions, make friends, hang out, and have a bit of fun.

Wealthy Affiliate is a Spam Free Zone

No promotions of any kind are permitted within the Wealthy Affiliate platform. This is not negotiable and is strictly enforced. There are plenty of places on the Internet to promote whatever you're selling but the Wealthy Affiliate platform is not one of them.

This policy is to protect all members, and anyone who disregards this rule may have their Wealthy Affiliate platform privileges suspended. This means absolutely no contact within the entire platform. From what I've heard, this is not a fun situation to be in.

Site Manager

Wealthy Affiliate members can log into their websites, without leaving the WA platform, through Site Manager. Or they can just type example.com/wp-admin into their browser to log in the same way as most other WordPress bloggers.

Also included in Site Manager are server-side caching, free SSL certificates, website security, and a comment spam blocker. Free SSL certificates and comment spam blocker are available even for starter members.

How Many Sites Can You Host at Wealthy Affiliate?

Starter members can have 1 website as a Siterubix subdomain e.g. example.siterubix.com

And premium members can have up to 10 websites using their own purchased domain names or Siterubix subdomains. 

Most people will not need that many sites. Even one website can be a full-time job. 

Tech Support

Premium members using Wealthy Affiliate hosting have access to Site Support should something go wrong with their website. 

And how often do people have problems with their websites? When you consider that most Wealthy Affiliate members are fairly new to this whole shebang, problems can occur often. Newbie mistakes abound and Site Support comes to the rescue to solve those problems, usually within minutes.

However, it's only reasonable that free starter members don't have access to premium support.

But not all the problems are rookie mistakes. 

What I Don't Like About WA (the dirty secrets revealed)

OK, this is where I tell you about the parts of Wealthy Affiliate I don't like. 

Website Hosting 

Website hosting and tech support are included in the premium membership. It makes Wealthy Affiliate a one-stop-shop for newbie affiliate marketers but as you become more experienced you'll want a better hosting solution.

While the tech support is great, the hosting is just OK for new website owners. Because the shared servers are somewhat overcrowded, sites can be slow to load and other server-side problems can occur.

It's shared hosting with no option to upgrade to VPS or dedicated servers. The hosting is fine for newbies to learn how to use a website without getting involved in all the techie stuff. But serious affiliate marketers will soon outgrow the hosting limitations.

Most sites hosted at Wealthy Affiliate are on old servers running an outdated version of PHP. If you need the latest version of PHP to make some of your plugins work properly then you'll need to ask for your site to be moved to a newer server. 

Wealthy Affiliate hosting has enough bells and whistles to suit new bloggers but more seasoned affiliate marketers will no doubt be looking for something better.

At the moment Wealthy Affiliate doesn't have separate hosting packages for non-members. But a little bird told me that stand alone hosting is coming soon. So, let's hope it's better than the current offering.

As I've said before, Wealthy Affiliate's primary purpose is to provide top-notch affiliate marketing training. The affiliate marketing training is excellent but the hosting is crap. 

Out of Date WordPress Training

While the affiliate marketing training is comprehensive and teaches evergreen best practices, the WordPress training is sadly out of date. 

WordPress is constantly evolving and things look different now from what you’ll see in the training videos. This can be very confusing for new members, especially with regular updates to WordPress which now incorporates the Block Editor as the standard editor.

Instead of embracing the changes to WordPress when the Block Editor was introduced they chose to install the Classic Editor plugin on all new websites. Obviously that was much easier than revising the old training videos. But, I've been assured that some of the training will be updated soon... I'm still waiting.

Carson on Gutenberg

Members' Tutorials and Videos

Apart from the official training there are thousands of supplementary tutorials and videos created by some of the premium members. You'll even find over 100 of my own videos and tutorials there. Just look for training by Marion Black.

I feel it’s only fair to warn you that the member contributions vary in quality and even in accuracy. WA provides a showcase for budding trainers to share their work and get feedback. So take everything produced by the members with a grain of salt.

This is how I got my start with teaching online. Even though I’ve been an instructor for many years I discovered that teaching online is very different.

First I created some written tutorials which were well received by the members. Then I experimented with video. Video turned out to be much more fun than written tutorials so they’ve been my main focus ever since. Thanks to the feedback and encouragement I got from the WA members I’ve gone on to publish videos and courses on YouTube and Udemy as well as on my own websites.

Wealthy Affiliate encourages its members to contribute to the training. For which they pay out a small amount if the training meets with enough other members' approval. 

But there's very little quality control over this. Most of the member contributed training is good, but sometimes the contributors get it wrong. Sometimes they get it really wrong.

I’ve personally contributed over 100 videos and tutorials. Of course, my contributions are perfect in every way.  WTF? ?

Use your own discretion when it comes to community contributed training.

Can a Free Starter Member Make Money Online?

Theoretically yes. As a starter member, you get one website as a SiteRubix subdomain e.g. example.siterubix.com. And you get 2 classrooms with 10 lessons in each.

So if you already know what you're doing you can make money.

But if you're inexperienced you really need the extra classes that only premium members can access.

Wealthy Affiliate is primarily a learning platform. If you don't need to learn about affiliate marketing and best SEO practices there's no point in being there.

But many affiliate programs require proof of ownership of a website before approving new applicants. Wealthy Affiliate owns the SiteRubix subdomains, not the starter members. So you either need to be a premium member of wealthy affiliate with your own domain name or have your own website hosted somewhere else.

As I said, Wealthy affiliate is primarily an online learning platform. If you are looking for somewhere to host a free domain which is not going to earn money then try wordpress.com or blogger.com.

If you really want to make money and don't need the lessons then check out my recommendations for excellent hosting packages at competitive prices.

Who is Wealthy Affiliate For (and Not For)?

What do a retired grandmother in Australia, a busy mom in the Netherlands, a stay at home dad in Thailand, and a college dropout in Singapore have in common? Affiliate marketing and Wealthy Affiliate training. 

We're all long-term premium members at Wealthy Affiliate. And, even though we've achieved financial successes, we're going to stay members for a long time yet. We've learned a lot but there's still (always) more to learn.

Affiliate marketing is for anyone who is willing to do what it takes, for as long as it takes, to become successful. And the best place to learn affiliate marketing is at Wealthy Affiliate.

If you're unemployed, struggling to pay the rent, and put food on the table, then Wealthy Affiliate is not for you. At least not right now. Spend your time looking for a regular job which will bring in money quickly.

Affiliate marketing is not a job, it's a real business. And real businesses take time to build. Any business, online or offline, is not going to be profitable straight away (unless you buy into something like a fast food franchise). 

But affiliate marketing doesn't require a huge outlay of cash. All you need is a domain name (about $14 a year), website hosting, and the time and knowledge to turn that website into profit. And to get that knowledge you need training. 

Sure, you can probably find all the info you need for free by searching Google and YouTube, but you would waste a lot of time and effort doing it the hard way. And you would also find a lot of outdated information and useless misconceptions along the way.

It's so much easier to have the training all planned out for you with easy step-by-step instructions. Training that's been proven to work time after time by people from all over the world and from many different backgrounds. People like me and my online friends in USA, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Thailand, Singapore, and all around the world.

It’s a Wrap

6 thoughts on “Wealthy Affiliate Review (Updated 2020) Dirty Secrets Revealed”

  1. Great review Marion. I don’t think there was a single thing I disagreed with, good or bad.

    You do excellent work within the WA platform. I’ve pointed numerous newbies to your videos.

    Cheers to your continued success.


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