Wealthy Affiliate Free vs Premium – How do I Choose?

I’ve been a member at Wealthy Affiliate for a year now, and I’m often asked which plan offers the best value – the Starter (free) Plan or the Premium Plan.

The answer actually depends on a number of things:

  1. Your current level of Internet Marketing knowledge and experience
  2. The amount of money you have available to invest in learning affiliate marketing
  3. Whether or not you already own and operate a website
  4. Your level of commitment to affiliate marketing as a long term business

I’ll address these points in turn in a moment, but first . . .

A Summary of the Differences

Before addressing each of those points above let me summarise the main difference:

With the Starter plan you get a lot of what is available in the Premium plan but, in many cases, only a limited portion of each and, sometimes, only for a limited period. What is not available at all in the Starter Plan is a range of powerful tools and services that will help you take your website and your content to the next level.

The Starter plan is good for getting started with affiliate marketing and ‘dipping your toe’ to see what’s available in Wealthy Affiliate, while the Premium plan is good for those who are committed to growing their affiliate marketing business over the long term.

At the bottom of this article is a comparison table that sets out the specific features of each plan. But first I’ll set out some things to think about as you consider the options.

So which plan is right for you?

As I said at the top, it depends on your individual situation.

In some situations, the ‘Starter plan’ may seem a better fit and in others the ‘Premium plan’ will. I’m not going to give you a specific recommendation for either plan here. Instead, I’m going to set out some things to think about as you weigh the two.

So let’s look at each of those points I raised and see which may suit your situation the best, based on your current situation:

Your current level of Internet Marketing knowledge and experience

If you’re a newbie. . .

If you are new to working online there is a lot to learn. In many ways it is very different to marketing off line, but in other ways it is the same.

If you’ve done off-line marketing that will definitely help, but you need to understand the differences as well as the similarities.

If you’re in this position, and especially if you have not done any marketing in the real world, then you’re probably unsure of what is involved.

If this is the case the Starter plan would be the best choice.

It costs you nothing (you don’t even need to hand over a credit card), you can remain on the Starter plan for ever and it will give you a good introduction to working and marketing online.

If you’re an old hand. . .

If you’ve been working online for a while and you’re familiar with marketing online, but you want to sharpen your skills and raise your game in different promotional techniques such as PPC marketing, SEO, email marketing and social media marketing, then the Premium plan would be better.

With the Premium plan you also get individual personalised coaching where one of the coaches will analyse your web pages, or your campaigns, and explain how to make them more effective.

So the Premium plan is better for the ‘older marketing hands’.

The amount of money you have to invest

This one is pretty straightforward!

If your funds are limited choose the Starter plan.

With the Starter plan you get 1 website (along with hosting) and enough training material to get you started to the point where you can see the potential of the business. You may even earn some commissions.

At that point you can decide whether or not to make savings elsewhere in order to spring for the Premium plan and move your business up a gear.

One thing I would urge, though: be sure to get your spending priorities right. Don’t go hungry because money you could have spent on food went to the Premium plan..!

That said, you usually need to spend money to make money, so investing early in the Premium plan may be a good move if your situation in other cases indicates that the Premium plan would be the better fit.

Do you already own and operate a website?

If you already own and operate a website (and especially if you have more than one). . .

If you already own and operate a website there’s a good chance that you’re reasonably experienced at working and marketing online.

If this is the case then you should seriously consider the Premium plan. Not necessarily for the training, as good as that is, but because you may be able to save yourself some hosting fees.

The easiest way to start your home business!

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Yes – you read that right: you may be able to save yourself some hosting fees.

With the Premium plan you get hosting for up to 10 websites. Half of those will be subdomains on siterubix.com but the other half will be your own domains

The Wealthy Affiliate hosting is done on Amazon servers and offers the same features that any of the mainstream hosting companies do:

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Security
  • Caching
  • Daily backups
  • Mirrored sites

The support is top class, fast and available 24/7.

In addition to the hosting, of course, you get access to the full suite of products and services Wealthy Affiliate offers.

Depending on your current hosting costs, especially if you’re paying for an SSL certificate, the Premium plan may offer a better deal on hosting alone, let alone the training and resources.

If you’re already operating a website the Premium plan is worth considering – but look at the entire offering, not just the training.

If you do not already own and operate a website. . .

With the Starter plan you get one free website, along with hosting. You also get a Site Manager platform that enables you to set up a website quickly and easily – no techy knowledge required.

This video shows you how:

If this is your first foray into owning and operating a website, the Starter plan gives you everything you need to know in order to get a website set up and running – and that’s the one you should go for.

If you do not already own and operate a website then you should go for the Starter plan.

With your Starter plan you can gain experience at operating a website and then decide later whether to upgrade to the Premium plan.

Your level of commitment to affiliate marketing as a long-term business

If you’re committed and gung-ho. . !

Please remember: affiliate marketing will not make you rich quickly!

As with any business, you need to put in time, effort and money to see good and consistent returns. However, if you put in that commitment then, over time, you will build a highly sustainable business that will, quite likely, insulate you from the worst of the ups and downs of the economy.

After all, the only person who would be able to downsize you would be yourself!

So before you make a decision to go with the Premium plan, spend some time researching the process of affiliate marketing and its potential. Then reach a decision on the level of commitment you’re ready to put in.

But if you’ve already reached that decision, and you’re ready to commit, then go for the Premium plan.

If you’re not too sure about affiliate marketing, but it looks interesting. . .

Taking the point I made above, affiliate marketing requires time, effort and money to see a good return.

Before jumping right in you should make sure you’re ready to put in that level of commitment. The Starter plan is a good way to experience how affiliate marketing works, to see some of the potential and to help you decide whether or not this is for you.

So if it looks interesting but you’re still not sure, go for the Starter plan.

To sum up. . .

I’ve not given you a specific answer to the question ‘which plan is best for you’ – and that’s because everyone’s situation is different.

But I hope I’ve been able to give you some things to think about as you consider the options!

For some more detail, the table below compares exactly what you get with the Starter and Premium plans. If you’re viewing this on a mobile device and the image is too small you can also see the plans here.

Wealthy Affiliate membership comparison table

If you’re looking for some more detail on the program, what it offers, what it costs, pros, cons and the potential income, I have written a detailed review of wealthy affiliate.

Finally, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below!


Martin Malden

Martin Malden
Owner – WealthyDragon

About the author: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.

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