By Jini Li, Jan. 2, 2017
Product Name: Wealthy Affiliate
Overall Ranking: Mindblowing!
Starter Membership Price: $0 (I want to try!)
Premium Membership Price: $49/month OR $359/year (Take me there!)
When I first joined Wealthy Affiliate (WA), I was given free access to a platform full of tools and support. The Starter Membership tools include an abundance of helpful training with step by step procedures that took me from creating a WordPress website through fleshing it out and learning how to create a money machine. I say money machine because once you put the parts in place, it’s mechanical, kind of like a Rube Goldberg machine. Help was and still is available whenever I need it. The owners have thought of all the raw materials a person would need to start from scratch and finish a winner!
WA pricing is non-prohibitive. You can join with a Starter Membership then upgrade to the Premium Membership when you are ready to take your business to the next level.
Starter Membership Option: Free
Comes with basic tools and access to training.
Premium Membership Option: $49/month
Comes with premium tools and access to complete WA platform. No surprises except good ones!
Compare Managed Hosting Plans
|Number of Domains:||25||10||25||20|
|Number of Free Websites:||25||10||0||0|
|Instant DNS Setup:||YES||NO||NO||NO|
|Hosting Speed:||Amazon c3.large |
|Amazon c3.med. |
|Bandwidth Included:||500K Visitors/month||100K Visitors/month||400K Visits/month||100K Visitors/month|
|Site Builder Included:||YES||NO||NO||NO|
|Daily Website Backups:||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|24/7 Access to Server Admins:||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|1on1 Marketing Mentorship:||YES||NO||NO||NO|
As a founder and an author of the 6-level, 3-year children’s English curriculum Little Dragon English (designed to teach English as a Second Language to children ages 2-10 marketed in China), former teacher and trainer, I have seen a lot of different training techniques and approaches. WA training uses a multi-sensory learning approach to address different learning channels. It has been especially helpful for me, because I benefit from a combination of learning styles, and I learn especially well using the “learn-a-little, do-a-little” approach that the lesson plans facilitate.
WA training includes written step-by-step instructions, video demonstrations, interactive classrooms, discussion panels, weekly live trainings and excellent support. Knowledgeable members are available to answer a plethora of questions, and they do!
Here is a list of some of the training subjects:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Blog Post and Website Page Building
- Online Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media
- Web Development and Programming
- Writing Reviews and Writing in General
- And much more!
POWERFUL TOOLS SUPPORT SUSTAINABILITY
The WA platform is rich with powerful tools available with the free version, and even more tools with premium access. With managed WordPress hosting services, you can build a website free of cost on a very interactive platform within a large network structure connecting you with each of the more than 700,000 members.
The search bar in the platform turns up information about most any question you might have as a beginning user, and if you can’t find specific information you are looking for, you can pose questions to other members. As a premium member, you can send personal messages to specific members for help, including Kyle and Carson.
Even with the free membership option, you have the option to earn money as an affiliate of the WA program. You can go through the WA Affiliate Boot Camp training and learn how to setup a website for yourself to start up in the “make money online” niche, or build a website around another market you like.
Hosting your domain on the WA platform offers so many conveniences. You can log into your domain from within the WA platform, and access the various tools you have at hand. It is so nice to have training and tools side by side in that environment.
Here is a list of some of the tools:
- Training: Classrooms, Certification Courses, Live Video Classes
- Website: Website Building, Hosting, Keyword Tool and Lists
- Reporting Tools: Link Tracking, Progress Tracking
- Communication Tools: Live Chat, Discussion Boards, Personal Messaging, Comment Platform, Feedback Platform
- And so much more!
Team support was the clincher for me and the thing that made me stay and keeps me excited. The toolset is perfect, but I love a team environment where I can brainstorm ideas and get feedback, both positive and negative. I thrive with cooperation, and I’m a builder. Believe it or not, the WA platform has a “warm” feeling to it. You can tell that the owners care about your success. They have provided the environment for growth and sustainability.
Some things in the interactive environment include:
- Comment Platform
- Discussion Boards for Everything
- Feedback Platform
- Interactive Training Courses
- Live Chat
- Personal Messaging
- Point System That Encourages Member Interaction
- Weekly Live Trainings
WA takes the cake with their incentive-based pay-it-forward interactive design. The WA program actually rewards people to be helpful and service-oriented. The approach mirrors the helping attitude of its creators, and is reflected at all levels of the platform build. To quote Kyle, “Everything you do within Wealthy Affiliate is going to serve as a contribution to your Ambassador rank and the more often you do it and the more ‘thoughtful’ you are with your interactions, the more you are going to see your rank climb.”
These are the types of behaviors that rank you in WA:
- Are you active in live chat?
- Are you asking for help?
- Are you welcoming new members?
- Do you get back to people that connect with you?
- Do you have any ideas for training that you think can fill a void and help the community out? (Must be a Premium member for 3 months before you can create training)
- How quickly do you get back to others that are asking you question or a PM?
Just to mention a few. 🙂
So far, I haven’t run into any impermeable obstacles. There is an answer for every question I have, if not by using the built-in search bar to find trainings, or from looking up past discussions, then most definitely from asking questions to the members, and even the owners themselves. The community has been highly responsive.
The drawbacks I see are as follows:
- Work is required. You might say this is a “Slugs stay off the grass” type of scenario. Okay, I’m a little bit serious, but I’m not going to say you can be a deadbeat and win the race. Yes, you can work in your sexy pajamas, but you must get in front of your computer and think. And type. Or dictate.
- Self-discipline and patience are required. If you’re a tortoise, you’re in the race, because slow and steady will get you to the finish line.
- It doesn’t work if you go off on endless tangents and chasing after shiny distractions. I have found the training format and the team to be good helping me keep focus.
- It doesn’t work if you don’t follow directions. This doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, on the contrary, there is inexhaustible room for creativity on this platform. I’ve found it helpful to read or listen to some of the training modules repeatedly until the content has sunk in to the point where I can apply it.
IS THIS FOR ME?
If you’re asking yourself whether this is something you could do, then I’d say there’s no better way than to test out the waters. WA is free to join, even though there are some valuable tools that are only available to premium members. Nonetheless, you still have access to so much training, to support and to tools you can use to get a good feel for what to expect should you decide to go premium (which is an affordable bargain for the value you get).
I can already see that this is a “forever home” for my business. There is so much space to grow into, and there are so many resources that I could never exhaust all of them. Kyle and Carson, the owners, grew this business from their own experience gained first hand over the years, so they know the kind of tools and support people need to succeed, and have provided them in the WA platform.
This is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It is a real opportunity to build a business around your passion. It will take work, and will be rewarding. Even though I am not there myself yet, the platform is grade A and will be suitable for all stages of my business as I grow. I am grateful for and amazed by the amount of support and powerful tools at my fingertips.
So, “Is this for you?” Only you have the answer to that. For me, I figured that I don’t have anything to lose by trying. The cost of going premium won’t make or break you, and if nothing else, you will learn A LOT!
Join Wealthy Affiliate with a free membership to test out the waters. Join the Premium Membership when you feel ready for more (or if you like the discounted first month)!
Also check out my Can You Make Money Blogging? page.