Key facts (the full details are below the table):
|Product name:||Wealthy Affiliate – Affiliate marketing university|
|Where to sign up:||Wealthy Affiliate|
|What it is:||Complete platform to set up, grow and run an affiliate marketing business. Training, domain names, website hosting, content platform, technical support, website performance monitoring, personal mentoring, affiliate program. Details below.|
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.
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There are several million reviews of Wealthy Affiliate online. In order to do something different, therefore, I decided to include a bit about Wealthy Affiliate’s history so you get an appreciation of just how far it has come since it was first set up in 2003.
And keep in mind: very few affiliate marketing training businesses have lasted as long as Wealthy Affiliate – 15 years at the time of writing, and still growing.
Affiliate Marketing is a great business model: low start-up cost, and no inventory or support details to worry about.
I’ve made money by promoting various products as an affiliate over the years, so I can tell you from experience that it’s a great way to add an income stream to whatever you’re earning now – whether that’s a regular payment from employment or your retirement plans.
How am I qualified to talk about affiliate marketing and Wealthy Affiliate?
I first joined Wealthy Affiliate in 2006.
At that time it was possible to set up an Adwords account, find an affiliate program and route traffic to it with Adwords advertisements, with no need for a website.
I became quite good at that, and made some money, thanks to an eBook called Beating Adwords. Beating Adwords was written and produced by two Canadians – the founders and owners of Wealthy Affiliate.
But things change (very quickly!) and it wasn’t long before Google insisted that, in order to add value, affiliate marketers would not only have to have a website, but they should provide useful insights on the products they were promoting.
Today, this is the area in which Wealthy Affiliate excels: teaching you to create good websites and write high quality content. It also provides all the tools you need.
But back in 2006 things were different: it became very clear to me that if I was to realise my goal of earning my living online I had better learn how to create good websites.
So I put my affiliate marketing aspirations on hold and went off to learn how to build websites based on WordPress, which in those days was pretty basic as it was only 3 years old!
Fast forward to August 2018: I was staying with a friend in Bangkok and he turned round and asked me if I had heard of Wealthy Affiliate.
I chuckled, because I had completely forgotten about it. After all, it had been 12 years since my first membership and the Beating Adwords book.
So I took another look.
How has it changed?
The thing that impressed me most was how Kyle and Carson, the founders and owners, have evolved and grown it over the years.
Back in 2006, they had a series of eBooks (in addition to Beating Adwords) and offered personal coaching. But that’s pretty much where it stopped.
Today there are no eBooks.
Instead there is:
- An extensive library of training videos and tutorials, with new ones being released each week
- Weekly live training
- A homegrown IT platform that enables complete newbies to set up and manage websites with no coding knowledge
- Keyword research tools
- Website hosting (up to 50 websites for Premium members)
- Domain name registration
- Two separate step-by-step, 50-lesson training courses on affiliate marketing
- Website performance monitoring tools
- A blog post and page writing platform that checks for duplicate content as well as grammar and spelling
- Personal mentoring
- An affiliate program
- A post commenting system to grow engagement
- Top class support for website problems
Today it 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.
Technology that creates the ultimate one-stop-shop
The biggest change is in the technology they have developed.
What they offer (apart from the training, which I’ll come back to) is a platform that enables you to register a domain, set up a website, do keyword research, write blog posts and pages, grow website engagement and promote your website – all from one free user login (for free plan members).
This platform is called SiteRubix and the image below shows the menu options for the website functions:
SiteRubix has its own user interface that takes you by the hand and enables you to register domains, build websites (based on WordPress), publish posts and pages, get feedback and support, without ever needing to access the native WordPress backend.
There are templates for different types of posts, stock images, a duplicate content checker and a spelling and grammar checker.
And when you’ve finished writing, inserting images in and checking your content, you just need to push the button and SiteRubix will publish your post (or page) on the WordPress-based website.
Complementing this, you are able to register domain names and host up to 50 websites (if you go Premium) – all through the SiteRubix user interface and all within your monthly fee.
Domains and hosting
When you set up a domain in Wealthy Affiliate it comes as a subdomain of SiteRubix, so your web address is
While this is good for a sandbox website it’s not that great for good search engine rankings.
So when you’re ready to branch out you can buy your own domain (either elsewhere or through Wealthy Affiliate) and push just one button to migrate your siterubix.com-based website to your own primary domain, still hosted by Wealthy Affiliate.
I went through that process when I re-joined a couple of months ago and I was impressed.
When I migrate websites from one domain to another as part of my agency business it takes me around 30 minutes (depending on how big the website is that I need to upload).
On Wealthy Affiliate it worked flawlessly in about 5 minutes (although they did have the benefit of not having to move the website files in the process!).
The hosting is top class – their servers are with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and they have a 25-person development and support team dedicated specifically to Wealthy Affiliate members.
This technology platform wasn’t even a twinkle in anyone’s eye in 2006, but today it provides a true one-stop-shop. It enables you to join, register a domain, set up hosting, create a website, write and publish posts and pages and promote your site, all within one regular monthly fee.
But to get the best out of all this technology we need to look at the training offered by Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate training
The original Wealthy Affiliate (2003 version!) was all about training, so it’s not a surprise that the training on offer today is, in my view, the most comprehensive of any membership site I’ve been part of.
This image shows the sections that are available within the Training area:
Those menu options break down into a number of categories:
- Two fully structured training courses
- The Online Entrepreneur Certificate: A fully structured training course (50 lessons) that takes you from identifying a niche, selecting a target market, setting up a website, doing keyword research and finding a focus keyword, writing articles based on your keyword(s) (with a specific focus on how to place your keywords and write product reviews), checking your article for uniqueness, spelling and grammar, publishing it and promoting it
- Affiliate Bootcamp: A fully structured training course (70 lessons) that takes you step-by-step through similar steps to the Online Entrepreneur Certificate but with a specific focus on Affiliate Marketing in the same sector as Wealthy Affiliate. It focuses strongly on content creation, how to use keywords, proper placement of affiliate links, designing a site layout that maximises site visitors’ experience, internal linking to keep visitors on your site longer and introduce them to more content, introduction to and effective use of PPC advertising,
- A training and reference library
- Training HQ: All the modules in the Online Entrepreneur Certificate and Affiliate Bootcamp courses so you can go back and review specific modules
- Classrooms: 13 separate forums you can enter to ask specific questions on different subjects – e.g. Search Engine Optimisation, WordPress, website development and programming, local marketing, video marketing, pay per click marketing, social engagement and marketing – 13 in all
- Weekly live classes
- Every Friday a new webinar is run for members. You can register to join the webinar (all included in your monthly fee) where you can obviously ask questions and make comments as the webinar progresses, or if the time zone doesn’t work for you, then you can watch the replay at any time of your choosing. The current replays available in the Training HQ go back to 2013, so you’re not short of material..! I would caution, though, that the web has changed so much since 2013 that many of those recordings may well be providing out-dated and possibly incorrect information, so you should review the older ones with care
The amount and range of training available is quite simply greater than I’ve seen in any other education or training membership site – and I’ve been doing this stuff since 2006.
In addition to the formalised training there are some very experienced members in both the online marketing and the website design and build disciplines, and they are very happy to come forward and answer specific questions to help where they can.
Wealthy Affiliate culture
The culture that Kyle and Carson have been able to create is one of the most supportive I’ve experienced. Everybody is willing to chip in and help – if you ask a question anywhere you will get lots of answers from other members.
The answers may vary a bit, and some may not be the best way of achieving whatever you asked, but you certainly won’t be short of things to try!
One of the reasons the culture is so supportive is because Wealthy Affiliate takes a very hard line indeed against what they class as spam.
The usual ‘visit my website’/’try my product’ type posts just don’t appear anywhere.
I fell foul of the spam rules very early in my second-time-around membership by linking to an article on one of my websites that gave a detailed response to someone’s question.
I was quickly told that linking to my website was spam and if I did it again I would be banned.
I was a little aggrieved at the time because I was genuinely trying to provide a detailed response to a question.
But, after some reflection, I did see the point: it’s better to enforce a blanket ban of ‘no linking to your external website’ than to leave it up to interpretation as to whether the page you’re linking to is promotional or not.
In this case, it meant I had to write out the detailed answer that was required from scratch, rather than link to a detailed post that included diagrams and graphics and was, therefore, a more complete answer.
Whether it’s the complete ban on spam of any kind, or the example set by Kyle and Carson, 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.
Money – how much does it cost
You can join Wealthy Affiliate for free, and stay as a free member for as long as you like.
This gives you the chance to test-drive the system, enabling you to set up 2 websites, get live help for a week, go through phase 1 of the affiliate boot camp, get access to 2 classrooms and join the affiliate program.
Upgrading to Premium will cost you US$19 in the first month and US$49 a month thereafter.
If you like Wealthy Affiliate, and decide to hang in there for the long term, you can switch to annual billing (US$359 a year). This will save you around US$220 a year.
Premium unlocks the rest of the benefits. For example, it de-restricts the 7-day time limit on live help and personal training, gives you up to 50 websites, a website security package, access to the full affiliate bootcamp and online entrepreneur certificate courses, and many other features.
Importantly, there are no fixed terms – if you’re on monthly billing you can cancel your Premium membership at any time.
To see a full comparison of the two packages click here.
Affiliate program – you’re eligible from day 1
You can also earn while you learn with the Wealthy Affiliate affiliate program, which is excellent.
As a Premium member affiliate, you get recurring 50% commissions on each new member who signs up to the Premium plan via your affiliate link, for as long as they are members.
Recurring commissions means that every month you get 50% of the monthly membership fee paid by every Premium member who signs up through your affiliate link.
If you’re a free member, you get 25% of the monthly fee paid by anyone who signs up to the Premium plan through your affiliate link.
Given that the Affiliate Bootcamp course is designed to teach you how to sign up people in the most effective way possible this represents a very good earning potential.
My overall view – pros and cons
It goes without saying that, if you’re interested in learning how to develop another income stream, I recommend Wealthy Affiliate without reservation.
The SiteRubix platform, 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.
The two certificated courses, the personal mentoring and guidance, and the training resources 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!
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.
If you do upgrade the first month of premium membership is US$19 and then it’s US$49/month from then on.
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 training and the technology make for a very powerful membership site.
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 this has not happened.
So when you’re going through the courses, or selecting videos to watch, be sure to check the date on which the material was produced.
If it’s any older than a year or 18 months (and some date back to 2013) make a note to ask in the forums for updated information.
The technology side, too, does have some limitations – as you would expect when you’re operating a platform as complex as SiteRubix, supporting a user base of some 350,000 active members.
For me, the Site Content Creator did not have enough flexibility to enable me to layout my posts as I wanted to, so I quickly reverted to adding and publishing my content through the WordPress backend.
But remember: I am a WordPress designer and developer, so I work in the ‘Text’ view, using HTML and CSS to lay out and format my posts. This gives me infinite flexibility!
For the vast majority of Wealthy Affiliate members, and anyone who’s just starting out, the WYSIWYG editor in the Site Content Creator does a fantastic job.
Basically – you have the best of both worlds: if you want to use the Site Content Creator it does a great job, and if you want to use the WordPress editor you just need to log in.
The choice is yours.
The hosting too, was a bit restrictive in the plugins I could use (my backup plugin really struggled to do its job because of the server configuration) and so I eventually migrated my site back to my own hosting.
Again, the choice is yours.
The fact is, though, I didn’t really need to have my own backup plugin because the SiteRubix team do backups each night. But I have a well-developed process and routine for managing WordPress websites (I manage my own and my clients’ sites) and I wanted to keep everything consistent with that routine because it’s more efficient for me.
But if you’re starting out and you’re not a WordPress developer, these points really don’t matter – you can do everything you need to do to build a professional website, publish content and start attracting visitor traffic.
The technology platform and training are absolutely top class and, if you are a developer wanting to pander to your own idiosyncratic wishes, you can do exactly as I have done..!
As I said at the outset, Wealthy Affiliate has been in business and growing consistently since 2003 – 15 years at the time of writing.
That, alone, is testament to the quality of the technology and training that it offers.
You can get in for free, and if you do join you will automatically be linked to me so I can help you as and when you need.
So I do recommend you join us and take the platform for a test drive:
If you have any questions please leave a comment below 🙂