Updated 18 March 2020
In this article I will be reviewing Wealthy Affiliate in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and easy to understand way so that you can make an informed decision whether this platform is right for you as a way of creating additional income for your retirement.
Colette and I realized a few years ago that we did not have enough money to retire and so we consider ourselves uniquely qualified to review this program from a retiree’s perspective.
Although I have written this Wealthy Affiliate review for retirees, the information I provide will be beneficial to anyone, of any age, who is looking to either supplement their current income or create a full-time online business.
What is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate is an online training platform in Affiliate Marketing that also offers domain registration, website hosting, research tools and extensive technical and community support.
Okay, So What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is where a person or company (the Affiliate) promotes the products of another person or company (typically on the Affiliate’s own website) and then earns a commission if and when someone purchases one of those products as a result of the Affiliate’s promotion.
So, put another way, I (the Affiliate) build a website and I post to it interesting articles that then attract multiple visitors (‘customers’) to my website. Within those articles, I promote products that are relevant to the article and include links that take my visitors directly to online merchants where they can purchase those products. When they complete the purchase, I get my commission from the merchant.
Wealthy Affiliate – In a Nutshell
Name: Wealthy Affiliate
Website URL: www.wealthyaffiliate.com
Years in Business: 15 (as of 2020)
Owners: Kyle Loudon and Carson Lim
Training: 9.8 out of 10.0
Website Builder: 10.0 out of 10.0
Research Tools: 9.2 out of 10.0
Website Hosting: 9.8 out of 10.0
Support: 10.0 out of 10.0
CreateRetirementIncomeOnline.com Rating: 9.8 out of 10.0
- Starter Membership – Free
- Premium Membership
- Monthly – $49.00
- 12 Months – $495.00 ($93.00 saving on 12 monthly payments)
Two levels of membership are offered Starter and Premium. Have a look at the following chart for a comparison of the main features of the two memberships.
As a Starter Member, you pay absolutely nothing and you are NOT asked for a credit card, there is not even a charge to host your free website. As a starter member, you can continue to have your website hosted for free for up to six months. After six months, if you wish to continue with your website you will need to convert to Premium.
As a Premium Member, you have the option of paying $49.00 each month or $495.00 for 12 months, a $93.00 saving on the monthly payments. If you go the monthly route you can cancel at any time without financial penalty.
This is a brief summary of what you get as a member:
- Help coming up with your initial idea for your online business (your niche)
- Website construction, hosting and support services
- Two distinct, but complementary, training programs
- Ongoing training
- SiteContent writing tools and free images for your website(s)
- 24/7 super-fast technical support
- Community support
- Research tools
- Social media support
Want to know more? Please read on.
The All-Important “Niche” (Say what?)
As I explained earlier, the basic concept of affiliate marketing is that you promote the products and/or services of others on your own website, and then if someone purchases one of those products or services, you earn a commission.
The products or services that you promote will typically be related to a subject that holds great interest for you and that you know something about, although you do not need to be an expert. Let’s say, for example, that you are really into health and fitness. Well, health and fitness is a very broad subject, right? And you don’t want too much competition, so you might want to narrow this down to, say, ‘In-home exercise for seniors’. This, then, would be your niche, i.e. what your website is about.
From this, seemingly narrow niche you could promote a wide range of products, ranging from online exercise programs, through training equipment, fitness monitors, workout clothing, to supplements suitable for your target audience.
So, selecting the right niche is really important. All you need to do is think of something that gets you excited and motivated to write about and share with people. We all have things we love to do as a hobby or in our spare time, right? So why not turn that hobby into a business by making it your niche.
If you can’t think of one yourself, the training at Wealthy Affiliate will help you choose a niche, refine it and develop it into a successful online business.
Your Very First Website
Once you have established your niche, the next step is to create your website. For many of us, the prospect of actually constructing a website is daunting but this is a simple, 30-second process through Wealthy Affiliate’s Site Builder. The training leads you through the process with clear, easy-to-follow instructions and all you really have to think about is the name for your website. Once the website is in place, the training takes you into the ‘back office’ where you make a few adjustments and, voilà, you are done.
Your website has to have a place to live (be hosted) and this is done for you through Wealthy Affiliate at no extra charge. Starter Members can host 1 website and Premium Members up to 10 as part of the membership package.
Technical support for your website is available 24/7 and response time is, typically, measured in minutes.
Back to School
There are two formal training courses available, namely Online Entrepreneur Certification (OEC) and Bootcamp.
You would follow the OEC training if you have come up with your own niche, like ‘In-home exercise for seniors’, and Bootcamp if you are going to be marketing the Wealthy Affiliate program itself. As a member, you can do both courses although it’s not a good idea to do both at the same time, as this could be a little overwhelming, especially if you are new to Affiliate Marketing.
The OEC training has 5 Levels, each with 10, task-based lessons, giving a total of 50 lessons in all.
The Bootcamp training has 7 Levels, each with 10, task-based lessons, giving a total of 70 lessons in all.
As a Premium Member, you have access to all the lessons in both courses. As a Starter Member, you have access to the Level 1 Lessons on both courses and which takes you up to and including the creation of your website.
There is no time limit for completing either course and, indeed, you are encouraged to go at your own pace. Both courses can be reviewed or completed again at any time.
Yet More Training
At Wealthy Affiliate, there are literally thousands of articles, tutorials, and videos covering every conceivable aspect of affiliate marketing. These are available to both Starter and Premium Members and offer an incredible resource.
Also available to Premium Members are weekly Live Webinars hosted by Jay Neill, who is Wealthy Affiliate’s Live Training Coach. These interactive webinars again cover a wide range of topical subjects related to affiliate marketing with a live Q & A session at the end of each one. They typically run for between 60 and 90 minutes. The webinars are recorded and can be watched at any time and multiple times if desired.
Content is King
In order to promote products on your niche website, you need to first attract visitors there. You do this by writing interesting articles (content) and then posting them to your website for the world to see. You do not need to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning author or an English major to be successful at this. You will be writing in your own style, on topics you are familiar with, as though you were chatting with a friend or neighbor.
The Wealthy Affiliate training contains lots of advice and tips on how to write attention-grabbing and audience engaging articles. In addition, there is something called SiteContent which is where you will go to actually write your articles. Here you will find templates for the different kinds of posts you will be creating as well as an extremely useful spelling and grammar checking function.
Not a good typist?……No problem! I had typed with two fingers all my life until I got into affiliate marketing. To see how I improved my typing speed and accuracy see my Typesy Review 2019.
The single, most important aspect of any article you write is your ‘keyword’. A keyword is, for practical purposes, a word or phrase that people, looking for things or information on the web, type into a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing. Your task, as an Affiliate Marketer, is to identify those keywords that are relevant to your niche and then build your article(s) around them.
Taking our previous example of “In-home exercise for seniors” as our niche, if you can establish that people are searching on the web say, for example, “Best exercises for seniors to do at home”, then this could be a good subject for an article.
The Wealthy Affiliate training will explain how to identify the best keywords for your niche.
A good article is made great with the addition of relevant images. Within Site Content, you have direct access to over one million free images!
Friendly and Helpful Neighbors
The Wealthy Affiliate community of members is very welcoming, active, and supportive. You can go to the community to ask technical questions, share your progress through the training, or simply socialize. Furthermore, because the membership is global (193 countries and counting), there is something going on 24/7.
There is also a ‘Live Chat’ feature, again operating 24/7, where you can connect with participating members and obtain instant feedback on your questions.
Many of the members are themselves either approaching or already in retirement and therefore fully appreciate the challenges that our generation faces when entering into this line of business for the first time.
The Right Tools for the Job
Wealthy Affiliate membership includes two extremely helpful research tools.
Jaaxy is a research tool created by affiliate marketers specifically for affiliate marketers. It is actually a standalone platform that is made available to Wealthy Affiliate members.
Jaaxy offers a number of research functions but the one you will use all the time is the Keyword Research Tool. I have already explained the importance of keywords in Affiliate Marketing and what this function does is search the internet for keywords that are relevant to your niche and which you would then use to write the articles for your website. A 30-second search in Jaaxy can save you hours, if not days, in identifying relevant keywords.
A critical part of the affiliate marketing process is identifying retailers who have affiliate programs in place. Such programs can be found through the regular search engines but Wealthy Affiliate includes a search function within the platform itself. Just type in your niche (remember, that’s what your website is about) and the program will pull up dozens, if not hundreds, of retailers with affiliate programs in that niche. It will even give you the commission rates currently being offered by those retailers. One further click will take you straight to the affiliate program where you can sign up.
While harnessing the power of social media is not essential to success in Affiliate Marketing, there is no doubt that it can help you in achieving that success. If you are already hooked up with most of the more popular social media platforms then you likely won’t need much help but if like me, you have never really participated, then you will find lots of help and guidance both within the two training programs and the thousands of helpful articles, tutorials, and videos that are available to all members.
Are These Guys for Real?
Kyle and Carson started Wealthy Affiliate back in 2005 and it has grown steadily since then. Carson tends to deal more with the technical side of the business while Kyle is more involved with the training. These are real people and you will regularly find Kyle, in particular, responding to questions and participating in Live Chat.
Unlike many programs out there, that promise overnight wealth and offer ‘secret formulas’, Kyle and Carson constantly stress that this is not a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme. On the contrary, they say that your success is based on your own effort. They supply the training, tools, and support but how quickly you achieve success, and the extent of that success is dependent upon the time and ‘sweat equity’ you put into your business.
There are currently over 1.4 million members in 193 countries and many of them have been with Wealthy Affiliate for years. In my opinion, those numbers lend great credibility to the platform.
There are lots of success stories within the Wealthy Affiliate community and the members are constantly posting about that success. Now, that posting might be simply about having earned their very first commission check, their first $1000 in a month or having reached $10,000 a month. The point is, people are making money and they frequently back this up with images of their commission statements or payment checks.
As a free Starter Member, you have access to these success stories so you can see for yourself. For a sampling, and clear proof that you can make money with Wealthy Affiliate see my post It Is Possible to Make Money with Wealthy Affiliate.
Bang for Your Buck?
The $49 monthly membership fee has remained the same since Wealthy Affiliate was created in 2005. When you consider this covers not only the training, the research and website building tools, and support but also the hosting of up to 10 websites, this represents an incredible value. Additionally, the fact that you can cancel your membership at any time, means that this truly is a no-risk opportunity.
Where else would you have the opportunity to enter a program through a free membership, check everything out for yourself and then start a business for $49 a month with no risk?
So… Is Wealthy Affiliate Good for Retirees?
In my opinion, the answer to this is a resounding “yes”!
- State-of-the-art but easy-to-follow training
- No prior technical skills required
- Set up your website in minutes
- 24/7 technical support
- No physical labor involved, other than sitting at a computer
- Freedom to work from any location that has an internet connection
- Set your own schedule, work as many hours as you choose
- You are your own boss
- A welcoming and knowledgeable community, always ready to offer help
- Many members close to, or already in, retirement
- Free starter membership
- Make money, help others, and have fun doing it
Final Thoughts and Our Bonus to You
Thank you for your time in reading this review. I hope it has been of benefit to you and has given you a clearer understanding of affiliate marketing in general, and a realistic perspective on Wealthy Affiliate. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments box below and I will get back to you very quickly. I love hearing from you!
Colette and I want to help you in your quest to create additional income for yourself in retirement. As our gift to you, when you become a FREE Starter Member, by clicking on the link below, you will receive our personal help with the following:
- Setting up your account profile
- Choosing your niche
- Building your free website
In addition, if you become a Premium Member within 7 days after that you will receive:
- Your first month’s membership for $19.00 (regular price $49.00)
- Our ongoing assistance with any questions you may have. Colette and I will be your mentors at Wealthy Affiliate and your first resource for any help you may need.
All the best,
- Comprehensive and easy to follow training
- No prior technical skills required
- Free starter membership
- Free 24/7 technical support
- Helpful community with many members already in retirement
- In my opinion, none