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Wealthy Affiliate scam or not?

If you do a quick Google search of Wealthy Affiliate, the first conclusion that you’ll probably come to is that the topic is polarizing, to put it lightly. You will likely find just as many glowing success stories as you will burning criticisms of Wealthy Affiliate’s platform.

But, fear not. The purpose of this review is neither to warn you against Wealthy Affiliate nor do I have any particular interest in selling you on it. There’s nothing in it for me except to create some general clarity regarding why so many users love Wealthy Affiliate and so many hate it. How is it possible that the same platform can be considered a goldmine of possibilities by some and a scam by others? 

Well, after a little research, it has become clear to me that the contrast in user opinion actually has very little to do with Wealthy Affiliate itself. It pretty much is what it claims to be – a hub of information that provides resources to assist in the growth of online businesses. It’s a community where business-minded people can get together and help each other out. It’s certainly not a scam and while it hypes itself up in its sales pitch like any business is going to do, it does not make any outrageous promises. The responses to it, therefore, are based on user expectations, and how realistic these expectations are. 

User expectations Wealthy Affiliate

It is certainly arguable that those who shun Wealthy Affiliate may have had unrealistic expectations of how much money they would earn and how quickly - they believed it was some kind of get-rich-quick scheme and anyone in the adult world knows that making money takes a lot of work and investment – especially starting a business. Online businesses are no exception. 

To most reasonable people, the idea that one could simply pay for a premium account, use some resources, follow some lessons, and then set up a website that will immediately generate income, is laughable. It sounds too good to be true because it is. Developing an affiliate market business is no different than a regular business – there’s serious time and effort involved. 

It is also worth acknowledging, however, that some of these expectations may be due to Wealthy Affiliate’s sales pitch, which no doubt oversells the ease with which members can start earning revenue. So before we can gently blame the critics for being disappointed at their own unrealistic expectations, let’s first consider whether Wealthy Affiliate is deceitful in what it promises to help users achieve.

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Choose an interest

Even Wealthy Affiliate’s free membership programme assists users with finding an interest on which to base their marketing, and it gives you the option of simply marketing Wealthy Affiliate itself.  Yes, this is a bit of a shameless self-endorsement scheme but, ya know, welcome to capitalism. 

Although critics decry the reductive nature of the sales pitch and how easy it makes finding a marketable niche sound (it certainly isn’t easy), from what I can tell, the front page of the platform simply tells users to either try and monetize something they are already interested in or boost Wealthy Affiliate itself. Both would require effort and creativity, and I imagine choosing the latter option would be even more complicated since you are competing with content from many other users. 

Follow your passion

I think most of the members who end up quitting and denouncing Wealthy Affiliate are the ones who were in it for the money and not because they were dedicated to an idea. For this reason, I have to agree with this one.

Build a website

The sales pitch states unequivocally that with Wealthy Affiliate’s help, you will have a website up within seconds. This is technically true if you make use of their install wizard. 

It seems like many critics took this to mean that, within seconds, the website would start to accrue income as well. However, anyone familiar with websites, and even anyone who spends a reasonable time online, knows that it takes more than simply creating a website to start generating a web presence that can be monetised. Wealthy Affiliate does provide tools, lessons, and even a sturdy online discussion forum through which members can assist each other and give each other advice on building up their websites and accruing traffic. Frankly, I’m not sure what else people expect. 

The argument that Wealthy Affiliate’s sales pitch is a lie of omission is only really so if you have absolutely no concept of how online marketing works in the first place, and really believed that Wealthy Affiliate was some magical money-making device as opposed to a mere conduit for your efforts and dedication.

Utilize Wealthy Affiliate’s Strategies to Attract Visitors

Once again, membership with Wealthy Affiliate gives you access to lessons on how to attract visitors to your site. This is a difficult and time-consuming task, and many former members have been critical of how easy the sales pitch made it sound.

Once again, if you were planning to get rich through an online platform, you probably should have familiarised yourself with the ins and outs of website traffic and the difficulties surrounding this. The strategies purported by Wealthy Affiliate do, in fact, work. They are pretty standard methods - they just aren’t easy, and this seems to be everyone’s biggest issue. 

What Wealthy Affiliate Actually Offers To You?

Wealthy Affiliate provides training, tools, and various up-to-date resources to help members in their affiliate marketing businesses. Live training sessions and online chat and support systems create a very sturdy community through which dedicated business people can speak to like-minded individuals and seek out meaningful advice for their pursuits. 

What’s more is that the free membership account allows you to get a sense of this community without any monetary commitment, so that you can manage your expectations and become informed about what Wealthy Affiliate provides and what it does not. The free membership option allows users to make an educated decision about whether they want to pursue premium membership and invest in Wealthy Affiliate’s programme more seriously and I think that, with this in mind, there’s very little to complain about if you decide to invest and it doesn’t work out. Although some may argue that the sales pitch sugar-coats the realities of the difficulties involved in success, it seems pretty clear that there is more to it if you do your research and use the free membership tools. 

With a free membership account, users have limited access to the Wealthy Affiliate Dashboard, which gives you access to some of the training videos and also full-time access to the live chat function. You also get seven days of live assistance and 1-on-1 coaching, two websites and a website backup, a beginner training course, a personal affiliate blog, access to the first phase of affiliate boot camp training, access to video walk-throughs, 30 searches on the keyword research tool, two training classrooms, and an affiliate programme. You don’t need to provide any credit card information for this access either. 

In other words, you get quite a lot of content for free. It’s certainly not enough to start a business off of, but it really helps to give you some insight regarding what premium membership will look like. It’s difficult to argue that you were misled by the sales pitch if you take the time to familiarise yourself with the free content before fully committing. Once you decide to commit to building an online business, premium membership will give you access to daily training videos and live weekly training sessions as well. This is on top of unlimited access to all the features mentioned above and more. It costs you money but starting a business always does and, in reality, it’s normal to not see profits for months and sometimes years upon starting a business. 

Having not increased its premium fees in nearly two decades, Wealthy Affiliate is also less costly than a number of similar sites and provides more resources than others to boot. 

Wealthy Affiliate Successful Story

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