When we think about affiliate marketing, our minds may automatically go to MLM companies that use direct sales to stay in business. However, affiliate marketing is a much broader industry that includes social media influencers, bloggers who use paid advertising on their websites, and more.
Affiliate marketing has generated quite a bit of buzz for both entrepreneurs and businesses. In fact, 81% of businesses now use affiliate marketing for at least a portion of their marketing campaign.
So, how does Wealthy Affiliate fit into all of this? There's a lot of confusion surrounding this company. Is it a scam, an MLM, or something else entirely?
At Legendary Marketer, we provide industry information and resources for those who are new to the online business world. Now, we're going to take a closer look at Wealthy Affiliate to get to the bottom of your pressing questions about what it is and if it's worth it.
What Is Wealthy Affiliate?
First and foremost, Wealthy Affiliate is a platform and resource that claims to be a sort of one-stop-shop for budding affiliate marketers. It was founded in 2005 by Canadian affiliate marketers, Carson Lim and Kyle Loudon.
What Wealthy Affiliate offers are courses designed to teach people the in's and out's of online affiliate marketing in any niche. They also provide a website-building platform that is purportedly beginner-friendly and they allow you to purchase your own domain name. They also offer tools like their keyword search engine, JAAXY, which they claim is the number one keyword generator on the web.
In addition to these resources and tools, Wealthy Affiliate is meant to operate as a sort of digital community. Through Wealthy Affiliate, you can connect with other affiliate marketers who also use the Wealthy Affiliate platform. Some users can also access an online “coach” who will answer questions and talk you through issues with your website and more.
The idea is a good one. After all, we know better than anyone that when you're starting out in the digital marketing world, you need to learn the ropes to avoid costly failure after costly failure. So, where does all of the confusion come from and why do people wonder if Wealthy Affiliate is some kind of scam?
Is Wealthy Affiliate an MLM?
A big source of the Wealthy Affiliate confusion is that it's hard to discern whether or not the educational platform is also somehow an MLM. If you're unfamiliar, an MLM (multi-level marketing company) is a company that sells products but uses direct sellers (affiliates) to complete sales and bring in recruits. If you ask us, the recruitment process is a big part of what makes an MLM, well, an MLM.
Wealthy Affiliate exists in a sort of grey zone here. What we mean by that is that when you build your affiliate brand and website through Wealthy Affiliate, you're allowed to promote just about any business. In other words, you're not restricted to pushing Wealthy Affiliate memberships–you're not even required to.
That being said, Wealthy Affiliate members who do bring new members in through the referral system are rewarded for doing so. As a result, a lot of Wealthy Affiliate members, while they may be promoting a variety of brands, are also recruiting new Wealthy Affiliate members.
Is it an MLM? We'll leave that up to you to decide, but there are signs that point to “yes.”
How Much Do Users Have to Pay to Use Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate does offer a free subscription, but the access to their tools and resources is so limited that most people end up opting in for a premium membership. (In fact, the free membership is referred to as a “Starter” membership–the implication that you'll go premium is built right in.)
The free membership will get you:
- Limited access to training materials and courses
- 7 days of access to the Wealthy Affiliate community
- Limited access to website building tools
The premium membership, on the other hand, allows you to use any and all Wealthy Affiliate resources. The first month costs $30. After that, you can pay $49 per month or pay for a discounted 6 month or year long membership, which come out to the equivalent of $30 a month.
Is the Training Worthwhile?
The real question is, is it all worth it?
Some users have noted that the training materials aren't quite up to date anymore. The truth about any kind of digital marketing is that you can never stop learning, because the internet is constantly evolving. If Wealthy Affiliate resource creators aren't updating their materials, you're paying for advice that best case is no longer relevant and worst case can actually harm your business.
That said, are you going to make money using Wealthy Affiliate?
Will You Make Money With Wealthy Affiliate?
This question is not easy to answer. Because Wealthy Affiliate doesn't require members to focus on recruitment-based commissions, they're not really responsible for how you make your money–or how much you make.
According to their website, you won't fail. They promise. Unless you quit.
In other words, Wealthy Affiliate isn't really beholden to you or your success. As far as they're concerned, if you aren't making money yet, you will eventually. If you decide that their products and platform aren't worth the monthly fee, you've failed only because you “quit.”
Get Updated Marketing Resources and Courses With Legendary Marketer
Wealthy Affiliate does tout a number of success stories, and we're certain that many people have learned the ropes of affiliate marketing using their resources and tools. That being said, you'll have to invest on a regular basis to retain your access to Wealthy Affiliate, and it may not be the most affordable option–or the most updated.
In order for you to develop your skills, you should consider taking a free or paid marketing course. There are a variety of digital marketing courses you can take from businesses that can help you enhance your skills. As of writing this, over 80,000 new marketers have taken the Online Business Builder Challenge (only $7), and that might be a good starting place for you as well.