Wealthy Affiliate Program Review – Pros, Cons, Costs and Benefits

Wealthy Affiliate Program Review - Affiliate Marketing Graphic

What can Wealthy Affiliate do for you?

It will give you a rock-solid base from which to build a long-term business online:

  • The most comprehensive training available
  • Free websites from which to run your business
  • Free hosting for your websites
  • Personal coaching
  • The tools you need in order to succeed (many of them free)
  • Two plans: Starter (free, no credit card required) and Premium

Let’s take a closer look:

Key facts of the program:

Program: Wealthy Affiliate – online affiliate marketing training program
What it is: The tools, systems, training and support you need to succeed at Affiliate Marketing, all in one place.
Rating: 4.99/5.00
Where to sign up: Wealthy Affiliate

Two plans:

  • Free (no need for a credit card)
  • Premium: US$49/month (See below for a bonus)

I believe in being open and transparent

Please assume any links on this page are affiliate links. An affiliate link means I will get a small commission if you decide to buy the product, but it will not affect the price you pay. The price you pay is the same, whether you buy it through my link or go directly to the site.

This is an extensive review of the systems, training and support provided by the Wealthy Affiliate program. It’s pretty detailed so if you’d prefer to jump to specific sections here are the links:

Hi! Let me introduce myself. . .

My name is Martin – welcome!

Martin MaldenI assume you’re looking for affiliate marketing training, and I’m also guessing you’ve probably looked at a number of different programs, right?

And if (like me) you’ve spotted some of the bait and switch tactics out there, I’m guessing you have some questions..!

I certainly did – and here’s why: I’ve been working online since 2006 and, since then, I’ve seen a good number of the scams, and bait and switch tactics that have been used.

And back in 2006, I fell for, and got burnt by, a few of them. I lost a lot of money.

So here are some of the things I had in mind when I first looked at Wealthy Affiliate:

  1. Is this a scam?
  2. Is this a bait and switch?
  3. Will I be trapped into paying for a ton of upsells before I get any good quality training?
  4. Will I be locked into some long-term commitment?
  5. Will I own the websites I set up and can I move them if I want to?
  6. Can I start this on the side while I continue my day job?
  7. Can I do this without needing to know any technical stuff?

You probably have other questions too.

Well, please relax.

Wealthy Affiliate no risk badgeThis is not a scam and you don’t need to know any technical stuff.

Plus, there’s no risk because you can join the free Starter plan – and you do not need to hand over any credit card details.

So there’s no risk of being unexpectedly billed for something, and you can walk away at any time.

As you’ll see further down the page, you will have direct access to me (if you join by clicking one of the links on this page). You will be able to ask me anything, at any time – or shout at me if you’re frustrated..!

My commitment to you is that I will personally respond to any questions or contacts from you within 24 hours. I live in Hong Kong, so the time difference may mean that I’m sleeping while you’re asking your questions, which is why my answer may not come immediately.

So let’s get into it. . .

Affiliate marketing – four steps to earning an income online

Here is how you make money online with affiliate marketing – there are four stages:

  1. You set up a website, which you can do in less than 2 minutes with a few clicks. (You get the tools and systems to do that – watch the video lower down the page).
  2. You select products you like (you’re shown where to find them – thousands of affiliate programs are listed, categorised and analysed, from which can can choose).
  3. You put your chosen products on your website (you’re taken through this process step-by-step).
  4. You promote your website in order to get visitors (you’re shown many different ways to get website visitors).

If your website visitors click the links on one of the products you’re promoting and buy the product, you earn a commission (and you’ll get training on how to write copy that sells).

It’s a simple and highly effective business model but, as I said at the top, it does require work and time for you to realise the full potential.

Does affiliate marketing work?

Yes. I’ve been promoting different products as an affiliate since 2006 and I’ve made good money.

But don’t listen to me, see what others have to say:

“. . .Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires. . .” – Bo Bennet, PhD, Business Consultant

“. . . Approximately 15% of all digital media industry’s revenue comes from affiliate marketing. . .” – Business Insider Intelligence

And Wealthy Affiliate members are having success with affiliate marketing, thanks to the systems, tools and training it provides:

Wealthy Affiliate testimonial
Wealthy Affiliate testimonial 2

Affiliate marketing is a huge and growing industry.

How to start an affiliate marketing business

Wealthy Affiliate is a membership site that will take you by the hand and show you how to set up and grow an affiliate marketing business, starting from scratch.

If you have a specialist skill or a passion that you’d like to turn into a business that’s great.

If not, no problem. Wealthy Affiliate will take you through a process that will find a business niche for you. It’s the first part of the training.

From there you have all the tools, training and support you need to take yourself all the way through to earning a long-term, regular income from affiliate marketing.

What does the Wealthy Affiliate program offer you?

Here’s what is available to you:

  • Tools to help you choose and find the perfect domain (your web address)
  • A website builder that enables you to build beautiful websites in minutes with just a few clicks
  • Hosting automatically set up for your website (up to 50 websites for Premium members)
  • An extensive library of training videos and tutorials, with new ones being released each week
  • Weekly live training webinars (recorded so you can view at any time)
  • An article writing platform that includes a grammar and spelling checker and thousands of stock images
  • Keyword research tools to help you write articles that do well in the search engines
  • Two separate step-by-step training courses on affiliate marketing – 120 lessons in all
  • Tools to help you track your earnings
  • Personal mentoring (from me if you join us by clicking one of the links on this page)
  • An affiliate program so you can earn money from day 1 (details below)
  • Top class support for any problems that may arise with your website

The Wealthy Affiliate program provides absolutely everything you need in order to set up, develop and run a successful affiliate marketing business – whether or not you have done any work online before.

The systems and tools you get

Wealthy Affiliate has specially designed systems and tools that enable you to do absolutely everything you need to get going with affiliate marketing and develop a long-term income.

They take you by the hand and enable you to:

  • Register domains
  • Build websites in less than 2 minutes (based on WordPress, and hosting is set up automatically)
  • Research keywords for your articles
  • Write and publish articles
  • Get feedback and support

As an example, let me show you how quick and easy it is to build a website within your Wealthy Affiliate membership:

Your website is automatically hosted by Wealthy Affiliate (on top class hosting – all included in your membership), and they take care of all technical support.

Everything you need to do to set up and run an affiliate marketing business is contained in one place.

The training you get

The breadth and depth of training available is, quite simply, greater than any similar membership site in which I’ve been a member.

A testimonial from a Wealthy Affiliate memberThere are 2 detailed, structured courses, focused on different aspects of affiliate marketing – a total of 120 lessons.

There is detailed, comprehensive training on:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Pay Per Click marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Local marketing
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Market and keyword research
  • Writing content for the web
  • Making videos for the web

In addition to those, there are 13 different forums (called classrooms) where you can ask any question on any subject and get answers quickly.

Further, there is a weekly live training webinar, run every Friday afternoon. These are recorded and permanently stored in the training area so you can watch them in your own time.

Finally, there are literally thousands of tutorials produced by experienced Wealthy Affiliate members that are available to you.

Everything is provided as part of your Wealthy Affiliate membership. No up-sells, no bait and switch.

Your personal mentor

Hi, I’m back – I hope you’re getting the information you need!

Martin MaldenIf you join by clicking one of the links on this page you will automatically be linked to me, which means I will become your personal mentor.

Whenever you ask questions in the forums I am notified and I can check in to see what you’ve asked and what answers you’ve received. If you’ve received the information you need that’s great but, if not, I will make sure you get it.

And, of course, you can contact me direct at any time – for example if you just need some help or advice on how to approach something (or if you’re frustrated and want to shout at me!).

Shortly after joining you will receive a message from me. It invites you to contact me and explains how to do so.

Do please take up my invitation. That will enable me to help you get settled in as quickly as possible, and stay with you as you get your business up and running.

I’ve been promoting different products through affiliate marketing since 2006 and I’ve made good money. I’m also a WordPress designer and developer, so I can give you experienced help in both the process of building your website and promoting it online.

The Wealthy Affiliate culture – experts that care

The culture that Wealthy Affiliate’s owners have been able to create is one of the most supportive I’ve experienced – and I’ve joined a number of other membership training programs over the years. The Wealthy Affiliate culture is built on mutual support, integrity and honesty.

Everybody is willing to chip in and help – if you ask a question anywhere you will get lots of answers, very quickly, from experienced members. The average time is currently 8 minutes.

Image of people holding hands in a team support gestureWith well over 350,000 active members, who have been through the same process as you’re going through, there will always be quick and ready answers to any questions you have.

One of the reasons the culture is so supportive is that spamming of any kind is an absolute ‘no-no’ in Wealthy Affiliate.

The usual ‘visit my website’ or ‘try my product’ type posts, that pop up regularly in my experience of other similar membership sites, just don’t appear anywhere in Wealthy Affiliate. This removes the element of self-interest and contributes strongly to a ‘team’ environment.

Whether it’s the complete ban on spam of any kind, or the example set by the owners, the culture they have created in Wealthy Affiliate is incredibly supportive.

If you’re just starting out and feeling your way, this is a tremendous benefit.

No one is in competition – everyone is working together, helping each other, to make their businesses as successful as possible.

Money – how much does it cost

Cost – Free, or US$0.98 a day for the Premium Plan

There are just two plans:

  1. Free
  2. Premium

One price for the Premium plan. Everything included. No up-sells.

Money in a bag with a dollar signThe free plan gives you a solid taste of everything that’s available – more than enough to set up your website, go through some training, find and add products to your website and start earning money.

With the Premium plan you get full access to everything. For example, the free plan gives you 2 websites, the Premium plan gives you 50. The free plan gives you 7 days of personal coaching, with the premium plan it’s unlimited.

And you do not need to hand over your credit card details to join the free plan – so there’s no chance of being unexpectedly billed for anything.

This gives you the chance to test-drive the system while you decide whether the Premium plan is right for you.

There’s no pressure to upgrade, and you retain all the benefits for as long as you’re a member.

Upgrade options

The base Premium plan costs US$49 a month (a good deal because everything is included – up to 50 websites, hosting, training, support, etc.), but there’s a special bonus price of US$19 for the first month if you decide to upgrade within your first 7 days of free membership.

Outside that bonus offer there are 2 upgrade options that give you a better deal:

  1. 6-monthly billing that will save you US$60 a year over the monthly billing option
  2. Yearly billing that will save you US$229 a year (making the investment equivalent to US$0.98 a day)
Wealthy Affiliate upgrade payment options

Premium unlocks the rest of the benefits. For example, it gives you up to 50 websites (including hosting), a website security package, automated website backups, access to the full affiliate bootcamp and online entrepreneur certificate courses, and many other features.

To see a full comparison of the two plans click here.

But it’s not all about cost – there’s income potential from day 1

How much money can you make with Wealthy Affiliate?

You can also earn while you learn with Wealthy Affiliate, which is excellent.

As a free member you’re eligible for the affiliate program from the day you join.

Lifetime earnings stampFree members get a recurring commission of 25% of the monthly fee paid by anyone who signs up to the Premium plan through your affiliate link.

Recurring commissions means that every month you get 25% of the monthly membership fee paid by every Premium member who signed up through your link, for as long as they remain members.

As a Premium member, that goes to 50%.

This currently works out at an average of US$121 per sale for existing affiliates. (Note: that is an average, it is not a guarantee..!).

Given that the Affiliate Bootcamp course is designed to teach you how to sign up people in the most effective way possible (remember: as a free member you get the first 10 lessons in this course), this represents an excellent earning potential from day 1.

Basically – if you’re a Premium member your monthly fee is covered once you’ve signed up 2 new members. As a free member it’s all profit.

The bottom line – pros and cons

1. Pros

It goes without saying that, if you’re interested in learning how to develop another income stream, I recommend Wealthy Affiliate.

While there are some things that could be better, which I’ve covered below, in my experience Wealthy Affiliate is the most comprehensive program out there.

It is a complete one-stop-shop for everything you need to set up, operate and grow an online business.

Probably more importantly, at least for me, is the fact that integrity, honesty and transparency are the key culture characteristics that have been baked in by the owners, and these permeate the entire program.

The tools and systems, allied with the breadth and depth of training that’s available, means that you can become a member with absolutely no experience of working online, and take yourself all the way up to earning a steady income from affiliate marketing.

Your monthly fee provides you with absolutely everything you need. No up-sells. No bait and switch.

A mature couple looking happily at a computerThe two certificated courses, the personal mentoring and guidance, the tools and resources, and the training mean that as long as you put in the work, you will succeed sooner or later.

I emphasised that phrase ‘as long as you put in the work’ on purpose.

There are no silver bullets!

Any and every business requires hard work and persistence.

But, if you put in the work, Wealthy Affiliate has the tools and resources you need to succeed.

On the money side, you can join for free (with no need for a credit card) and stay as a free member for as long as you like. There’s no pressure to upgrade until (or if) you want to, but remember the bonus that’s available if you upgrade within your first 7 days.

On the income side, the affiliate program is one of the best I’ve ever come across and you’re eligible from the day you join, either as a free or premium member.

Overall, the supportive culture, the integrity, the training, the systems and the tools make for a very powerful membership site.

2. Cons

I said earlier that there are some things that could be better – so let’s look at those.

The flip side of there being so much training material available is that it’s a massive task keeping it all up to date – and in a number of places within the formalised training modules this has not happened.

Some of the training videos date back to 2013 – several ages in Internet terms.

A person thinking about thingsSo when you’re going through the courses, be sure to check the date on which the material you’re studying was produced.

The good news is that, because members are able to create and add their own training documents and videos (once they’ve qualified), in every area where I’ve come across older training sessions I’ve always found an up-to-date module that covers the subject.

As your personal mentor, I’m always here to help too – whenever you ask a question anywhere in the forums I am notified. I will check in to see what you’ve asked and make sure you’ve received the information you need. And, of course, get it to you if you don’t already have it!

The Site Manager platform that Wealthy Affiliate has developed enables you to install and manage your website, and add content, without any need to log in to WordPress itself.

However, this does mean that you do not get access to the full range of features that WordPress offers, particularly in terms of content layout. I quickly stopped using the Site Manager modules and logged into WordPress directly to do what I needed to do.

While the Site Manager platform is fantastic for people who have never done anything online before, I do recommend that, once you’ve settled in, you take some time to become familiar with WordPress itself.

I am a WordPress designer and developer so, as your mentor, I will help and guide you through this process.

Finally, the complete ban on linking to your pre-existing website (if you have one!) is something I was frustrated with initially.

I do understand that it’s easier to impose, and police, a complete ban on that, rather than leaving it to judgement on individual cases, but it does sometimes mean that information that could be useful to the community is blocked.

None-the-less, I can see that this ban is one of the things that contributes to the welcoming, supportive culture.

Everything you need to set up and build your new income stream. . .

All the training, all the systems, all the resources and all the tools – all in one place.

Hi, I’m back (again!). . .

Martin MaldenWealthy Affiliate has been in business and growing consistently since 2003 – that is 17 years at the time of writing.

That, alone, is testament to the quality of the systems, tools and training that it offers.

But it also shows that it has evolved and grown as the industry has changed, and that it’s here for the long haul.

You can get in for free with the Starter plan and stay as a free member as long as you like – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And since you do not need to hand over any credit card details there’s no risk of being unexpectedly billed for anything.

But please remember what I said right up front: affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme!

If you need money quickly, affiliate marketing is not the way to go.

But, if you’re serious about learning affiliate marketing, and you’re ready to put in the time and effort, I do recommend you join me. I look forward to helping you achieve your income goals – remember: you can join the Starter plan for free and I will be your personal mentor.


Martin Malden

Martin Malden
Owner – WealthyDragon.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Linda 25 February, 2019, 1:54 pm

    Wow. Thank you for this detailed review!

    It is so true, Wealthy Affiliate has the best mentorship, training, tools, resources and 24/7 support on the web. Thank you for sharing these details and helping many folks out there to achieve their goal of running their own business.

    • Martin Malden 25 February, 2019, 2:14 pm

      Hi Linda,

      You’re very welcome – glad you found it useful 🙂



  • Norman Richards 25 February, 2019, 6:51 pm

    Wealthy Affiliate has the best training on the planet in my opinion when it comes to this line of work.

    When you look at the training, the tools and the community you know that you are a part of something great. Wealthy Affiliate is helping to empower people to have online success and to help make their dreams a reality.

    • Martin Malden 25 February, 2019, 7:15 pm

      Hi Norman,

      Absolutely – and it has been doing that since 2003!

      One thing that amazes and impresses me is that Kyle and Carson have as much enthusiasm and drive to continually grow and develop the platform as they had when they first started – truly remarkable people, both of them.



  • Bushra 26 February, 2019, 7:15 am

    Hi Martin,

    There are so many benefits to starting an online business with WA. The training and the resources available are the best I have found on the internet. There are so many things, apart from the affiliate marketing itself, that you learn from Wealthy Affiliate that will benefit your online business – like how to use video, how to optimise websites, and so on.

    Website building, training, SEO and the other skills you learn at Wealthy Affiliate can open up other freelance opportunities that you can earn additional income from as well.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Martin Malden 26 February, 2019, 8:27 am

      Hi there,

      I agree – the potential for people to create an additional income stream by offering training and consultancy is demonstrated by the training classes and videos that members put up in Wealthy Affiliate.

      There’s a huge market outside Wealthy Affiliate where people are looking for the kind of training that WA members are creating within Wealthy Affiliate. Hopefully members realise that opportunity and take advantage of it 🙂