There is no doubt that one of the best online income opportunities today is ‘Affiliate Marketing’. Affiliate marketing is not Network Marketing (although in some cases you can combine them together), and it is not “get-rich-quick” program. Although at some point it does generate passive income, when starting, you need to put some hard work into it before you can become passive.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
In a nutshell – affiliate marketing is a type of referral marketing. You are getting compensated for every lead that you send to the supplier website which converts into a sale. It is getting paid for what every one of us are doing every day from age 5 – recommending and promoting things that we like. The most known program of affiliate marketing is the Amazon program. When you register with Amazon to become one of their affiliates, you receive a special code which you use when promoting the different products which are sold on their site. This way Amazon can track which leads are your referrals and compensate you when a sale is made.
Let me clear out a common mistake – you do not need to buy the product and sell it, you don’t need to deal with the logistics and billing. All you need to do is send leads to the supplier website.
So how do you do that?
The most common way is to start a blog and write reviews about the products you are promoting. In those posts, you embed your affiliate link to the products and services you are promoting. And then you wait, a very important ingredient is patience. 🙂
It seems like a simple task – just open a blog and write some posts…
But there are some challenges:
First – you need to set up a blogging system and configure it properly.
Second – you need to write in a way that both Google loves you and put your post on their first page when someone is searching for your topic. And you also need to write in a way that your reader will enjoy, will stay engaged, and needless to say… Click on your affiliate links. This is where ‘Wealthy Affiliate’ step in.
What is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate (WA) is a comprehensive solution for affiliate marketing. It includes a lot of parts and tools, but in order to make it simple, in this review I’ll consolidate them into 4 major parts.
Part One – Training
First of all, Wealthy Affiliate is an online university packed with a huge amount of training materials, teaching how to do affiliate marketing correctly. They have training for the absolute beginner with no technology background, in which they will walk you step by step how to set up your blog, how to choose a niche, how to choose a title for a post, what to pay attention to when writing your post, and more. And they also have more advanced training for the veteran affiliate marketers.
In each lesson, you can find a reading part, a short video and most important – a list of tasks to complete. Here is a list of the training materials you can find in WA:
- A complete ‘Online Entrepreneur Certification‘ which leads you step by step to set up your own online affiliate business. This certification includes 5 classes and each class has 10 lessons. Starting from the basics for the absolute beginner and moving to the more advanced stuff. Click on the following links for more details on each class:
- Level 1 – Getting Started
- Level 2 – Building Your Own Traffic Producing Website
- Level 3 – Making Money!
- Level 4 – Mastering Social Engagement
- Level 5 – Achieving Maximum Success Through Content Creation
- Classrooms for advanced training. Classrooms are an aggregation of articles, videos, training, Q&A and a forum about a specific topic. As for writing, this post here is the list of the available classrooms:
- Getting Started
- WA Affiliate Program
- Keyword Niche and Market Research
- Everything WordPress
- Authoring & Writing Content
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Engagement & Marketing
- Website Development & Programming
- Local Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Email Marketing
- The Wealthy Affiliate Platform
- Pay Per Click Marketing
- Live Video Classes, which include my favorite – ‘Case Studies’. How many times you wished you were able to take a peek over the shoulder of an expert veteran working. Hearing him/her explaining each move he/she makes and getting to do this LIVE! and not just hearing a recorded webinar…meaning you can ask questions while watching!
Part Two – Website building and hosting tools
WA provides a robust platform for setting up, managing and monitoring your blogs. There are a lot of other resources for learning affiliate marketing and there are other platforms for blogging. But WA is one of the fewest that have put these two together on one platform, and certainly the most comprehensive one. Why is it so important to have both training and hosting from the same vendor? Because you don’t want to find out, just after you have completed your training, that the platform is slightly different from what you have seen in the training…or even does not support some features you learned about.
Here is a list of what is provided on the WA platform:
Websites managing and monitoring dashboard
One place to manage and monitor all your websites. On the main dashboard you can check how ‘healthy’ is your site, Is it indexed by Google? Do you have comments waiting for your reply? etc.
When it comes to choosing the right keywords to be used in your post content and the post title, this tool can make the difference between a huge success and miserable failure…
As I’ve already mentioned, it is not enough just to write a post. You have to use the correct words in order to be ranked on the first page on Google. This tool will not only show you the level of competition for a chosen keywords (helping you to avoid very competitive keywords) but it will also show you what is the potential traffic that you’ll get for the chosen keywords, and will even suggest alternatives keywords.
When it comes to the tech stuff of building and configuring your blog this tool can make your life much easier. Especially if you are a newbie and/or not a tech savvy. It’ll populate your WordPress blog for you, setting most of the configuration automatically, with no need from your side to do complicated installations of different software (which you need to do on other hosting services). Please note that although some other hosting services also started to offer a “managed WordPress blog” services lately, where they set it up for you. They will charge you for that service PER BLOG! (approximately $35/month for each blog). While WA give this service at no extra cost for up to 50! blogs.
With the basic free membership, you will receive hosting for up to two websites for free. If you like to get more websites and/or use more advanced hosting features, that will cost $49/month (but there is a large annual discount, more on pricing later on this post). It might look a bit pricey comparing to other hosting services but pay attention while comparing. Make sure that you are indeed comparing “apples to apples”… In all the other hosting services the basic fee (usually $5-$10/month) is only for the very basic services and every extra feature that you add increases the monthly fee significantly. While in WA the $49/month (before annual discount) includes EVERYTHING! It includes hosting for 50 websites, emails, domain protection, SSL for ALL your websites and more. For example, in other services just adding SSL can cost more than $50/month for EACH SITE! For the complete comparison click here.
How does wealthy affiliate work? What should I expect?
If you are a newbie in affiliate marketing or someone that have tried affiliate marketing in the past but didn’t manage to achieve satisfactory results, I’ll suggest starting with the ‘Online Entrepreneur Certification’ courses. This training is a task-oriented training which will lead you step by step to set up your own online income business. You probably wonder how this training differ from all the other training platform out there that you have tried already?…That leads me to the third major part of WA – ‘The Community’.
Part Three – The Community
You might think that a ‘community’ is ‘nice to have’ feature and not so important while learning to set up your blog. This is a very wrong assumption! Let me explain why – I’ve tried a lot of different resources before WA. Starting from free ones like YouTube and free eBooks and I’ve also paid hundreds and thousands! of dollars for “systems” and “solutions” which didn’t work for me… Please note that I didn’t say They don’t work, I said ‘FOR ME’. And the reason for that (in my case) is that I was doing something wrong probably, but I had no one watching my work and giving me feedback, I had no one to consult with. In some programs, I was able to submit a question to the owners, but it took some time until (and if) I received an answer. When I’ve joined WA and submitted a question, I was blown away when one of the two founders reached out and suggested an answer and this site is more than 10 years old with 100,000’s of users! Few other times when I submitted a question to the forum in WA I didn’t have to wait more than few minutes until someone from the community (and usually more then one person) reached out and suggested an answer. This is a HUGE advantage over other online income opportunities training solutions.
How much does it cost?
It is free to join! and no credit card is needed!
Your free membership will give you access to the first course (which includes 10 lessons) of the ‘Online Entrepreneur Certification’ courses, and to the first phase (9 lessons) of the ‘Affiliate Bootcamp‘ (more on that later in the post). As a starter member (free membership) you can build and host on the platform up to 2 websites for free.
There is only one level of upgrade for your membership (with no any other up sales). You can upgrade to the premium membership which will give you access to all the training and all the tools, you will also be able to build and host up to 50 websites on the platform. The cost is $19 for the first month and then $49 for each month. There is an annual discounted subscription of $359 (a 39% discount).
My suggestion is to start with the FREE membership (click here), check the platform and then decide if it suite you or not. If it does, only then upgrade to the premium membership. With that said there is one exception… Which leads me to the 4th major part of WA – The WA affiliate program.
*For a full comparison between the free membership and the premium membership click here.
Part Four – The WA affiliate program
If you are impressed by what you have read so far, and if you are an online entrepreneur who is looking to build an online business as an affiliate marketer, you probably ask yourself does WA have it owns affiliate program? And the answer is – Yes it does! which is great for us affiliate marketers 🙂
And it is a very generous program – you can receive up to 50%! commissions, and more important – those are recurring commissions!
Let me explain to the ones who are new to affiliate marketing – when you drive a lead to a website and a sale is made you receive a commission for that. But you receive it ONLY ONCE! Which means you need to drive NEW leads in order to receive commissions. With the WA affiliate program, you will keep receiving your commission EVERY MONTH for your “old” leads as long as they are keeping their premium membership. Which with time, can lead to a true online passive income!
You can even take part in this affiliate program as a FREE member and receive commissions! no need to upgrade to premium membership for that. But, if you are considering promoting this program it will be worthwhile for you to upgrade to premium BEFORE starting to promote since as a premium member your commissions will be doubled!
Here is an example (assuming you drove 10 customers to WA):
As a starter (free membership) member you will receive:
- For their first month, you’ll receive a commission of $4 per member -> $40 for 10 members.
- For every successor month, you’ll receive a recurring commission of $11.25 per member per month -> $112.5 for 10 members per month.
- If they will choose to subscribe to the annual program ($359/year), you’ll receive a recurring commission of $87.50 per member per year -> $875 for 10 members per year.
As a premium member you will receive:
- Credits: when they complete the set-up of their account you’ll receive a credit of $1 per member -> $10 for 10 members.
- Domain Purchases: for each domain purchase you’ll receive $1 per member -> $10 for 10 members.
- For their first month, you’ll receive a commission of $8 per member -> $80 for 10 members.
- For every successor month, you’ll receive a recurring commission of $23.5 per member per month -> $235 for 10 members per month.
- If they will choose to subscribe to the annual program ($359/year), you’ll receive a recurring commission of $175 per member per year -> $1750 for 10 members per year.
And what if you can get 100 members over 1 year (that is less then 10 members a month)…
How? simple, follow the training provided in the training section on WA 🙂
There is even a dedicated set of lessons, called Affiliate Bootcamp which is tailored for people who want to promote WA as their affiliate program.
For the complete affiliate program details click here.
And there is another perk :)…
If you can manage to get 300 members to register as premium in a year you will receive a full paid travel to Vegas to participate in a 4 days marketing seminar!
Obviously, if you join now (September 2017) this challenge might be a bit high, especially for newbies…
Hence, the founders have decided to take it down to 100! for 2017. Which means you need to get only 100 members in order to win your full paid trip to Vegas. For the complete details click here.
Who is WA for?
Let me first clear out who is it NOT for:
- If you thought it is some kind of investment where you put your money and don’t need to do any additional work, this is not for you. In this online income opportunity, you’ll need to put some hard work at least at the beginning in order to generate money. Yet, it might become an online passive income down the road.
- If you are looking for “get-rich-quick” program, this is not for you. It takes time to complete the training, builds your blog, write and publish posts to your blog and then you also need to wait until Google will rank you and promote your page to a meaningful place on their searching results.
- If you are a network marketer or a direct seller looking to promote your products and/or business, please note that you are not allowed to do that inside the community. You can learn how to generate leads online for your network marketing products or business and build a blog dedicated to that. But you are not allowed to promote them inside the community.
Who is it for:
- If you are a newbie to affiliate marketing and looking for a complete ‘end-to-end’ solution for an online income opportunity, starting from training up to a working website, this is for you.
- If you have some experience in affiliate marketing but haven’t achieved the results you wished for, this is for you. Due to it comprehensive support you will be able to receive feedback to understand what you are missing, why what you have done so far isn’t giving your expected results.
- If you are already a successful affiliate marketer you might want to take advantage of the low hosting fees and also the WA affiliate program due to it generous recurring commissions.
- Great comprehensive training materials. Cover almost every topic that you need in order to succeed in affiliate marketing. The training is provided in numerous formats – read posts, watch short clips, join live and recorded webinars.
- Great community support and responsiveness.
- Great set of tools for building and maintain your websites.
- Very generous affiliate program with recurring! commissions even as a free starter member.
- Due to the huge amount of training you can easily lose yourself if you are not staying focus and sticking with the guided program for certification.
- The Community feature is quite addictive! beware not to be sucked into it for too long…
- The user interface can be improved. Although most of the site is working fine on iPad, some parts are not quite comfortable when working on a tablet.
From all the training programs I’ve checked so far for building your online income business, this is my #1 recommended platform. Not only because of the quantity and quality of the training but mainly because the option to start implementing and building your blogs immediately using the platform tools and enjoying a huge community support for every question that you have.
Training Quantity: 10/10
Training Quality: 10/10
Tools for site building and hosting: 8/10 (adding an autoresponder will definitely raise it to 10/10)
Community quality and responsiveness: 9/10
Overall Score: 9/10
Join Wealthy Affiliate with the free (this is $0) membership, using the link above (or this link) and get the following bonuses:
- Three Skype calls/chats of 45 minutes each for any question/support request you have regarding the tech side or the marketing side of your business. Including (but not limited to) where do you start, identifying your target audience, setting a marketing plan, translating this plan to actionable activities online and offline, setting your website, etc. (being a consultant to international companies for the last 20 years, this bonus worth more than $600)
- 56 minutes recorded webinar of ‘How to Become an Expert in Any Niche’.
- Unlimited email support.
Upgrade to the premium membership in your first 7 days, and get even more bonuses:
- 61%! discount for your first month.
- 7! More private Skype calls/chats.
- A series of 4 chapters recorded webinar by one of the experts in the affiliate marketing industry. This is a live case study of building a niche site, where you get the chance to pick over the shoulder of an expert while he is working on his sites and explaining every step he is doing.
If you have any question please ask in the comments below. I’ve done my best to give an accurate review. If you are familiar with the platform and found some mistake or think I’ve omitted an important part please share in the comment below.
And some final words… No platform is perfect, but I think this platform has what is needed in order for the newbie to succeed in building an online income business even if you don’t have money (it is free to join). If you have registered please share in the comments below and reach out to me. I’ll be happy to assists you with any question that you might have.