Although Wealthy Affiliate has proven to be an excellent platform for building an online business, people still have a lot of doubts about it.
I figured I would try to put some of those to rest, and do my best to answer the question, "Is Wealthy Affiliate a Scam?"
In this article, we'll go over some of the main "issues" people have with Wealthy Affiliate, and how you can avoid them, to make your road to success smoother.
Let's take a look.
Is Wealthy Affiliate a Scam?
What is the definition of scam? Look at this:
In other words, dishonest business practices. Getting people to pay for a service or product and running with the cash. I don't have to tell you how common scams are online, that's the main reason I created this website in the first place.
Getting back to the question, is Wealthy Affiliate a scam? The answer to that is Wealthy Affiliate is not a scam. It's one of the best online business training centers out there, comes with all the tools, training and support you need to build an online business.
And I'm not saying that because I promote it, but because that's the truth.
Just take a look at this testimonial page and see how many success stories came from Wealthy Affiliate's training material just last year. The company doesn't trick members. It tells you exactly what to expect, how much it will cost you, and you can cancel at any time. No hidden fees, no up-sells.
In other words, Wealthy Affiliate doesn't fit the definition of a scam at all. What you see is what you get. But even though it's clear Wealthy Affiliate is not a scam, people still have doubts.
Why Do People Think Wealthy Affiliate is a Scam?
Before we continue, I would like to make a quick disclaimer. I do promote Wealthy Affiliate (WA), and I think it's an excellent business platform.
On the other hand, I have my complaints too, but I would never go so far as to call Wealthy Affiliate a scam because that's not true. In other words, there are some things I don't like about the platform too.
While we're on that subject, a lot of the complaints about Wealthy Affiliate come from people having too high expectations. Or different expectations. They sign-up, see it's not exactly what they had in mind, and go on to call it a scam.
Here's why most people jump the gun to dismiss WA as a scam:
1. They Expect Quick Results:
The point is Wealthy Affiliate doesn't teach you how to make money fast. It's not that kind of business. The training takes you down the path of making money through niche websites and affiliate marketing.
Which is a process that can take some time because there are a lot of factors involved. At the same time, some students see fast results after applying WA's training.
As for me personally, it wasn't until about 9 months of taking daily WA's classes and working on my website to get me to the point where I had created a consistent income and a sustainable online business.
Most of the people who sign-up expect quick results, and end up feeling disappointed because the results don't usually come as quickly as you might like. In fact, sometimes they come when you least expect.
So what can you do?
It's simple. Think of this like any other educational program. Take it seriously like you'd take a college or trade school and you'll do fantastic.
You can even think of it as an investment, like buying stocks or sending money into a savings account to earn interest over time. Little bits add up, and if you stick to it, those results will start coming in. If you do that, you'll be much happier overall, and you won't feel anxious to see results.
If you want to see what kind of time-frame you're looking at to build a consistent online, check out this post: How Long Does it Take to Make Money Online?
Remember, Wealthy Affiliate is not a get-rich-quick scheme!
2. They Think Wealthy Affiliate is a Pyramid Scheme:
Multi-level marketing companies often have a cult following of devote fans who praise the company and products whenever they have chance. At first look, it might seem like this program has the same type of fans.
But I want to be clear, Wealthy Affiliate is not even remotely similar to a pyramid scheme or a MLM. Wealthy Affiliate has an affiliate program, and you can choose to promote the platform if you want, but earnings don't entirely depend on recruits. No weird compensation plans. No down-lines.
So, once again, Wealthy Affiliate is not a pyramid scheme or any type of mlm.
3. Members Love WA a Little Too Much:
If you have been researching the company, then you have probably arrived at this conclusion on your own. Pretty much everyone who praises the platform is promoting it, so they have an incentive to convince people to join.
You might feel that it's difficult to find anyone who talks negatively about the company, as everyone seems to be biased. And since it's one of the biggest platforms in the world, a lot of people are promoting it.
It might look a little suspicious, but you can always sign-up for free and see what the hype is about. No pressure to upgrade.
My Personal Theory is...
That most people have a similar journey when they arrived to Wealthy Affiliate. And that is they've gone through some shady programs and/or some poor training online and they feel like they've gotten scammed. Many of them have been scammed as well.
But they come into Wealthy Affiliate and openly explore the platform, sit in on their free classes, communicate with the owners and other members and can even start building a couple free websites if they like.
Then once they check out the weekly webinars and get to know people within the community and get all their questions answered about online business, they feel like they’ve found the next best thing since sliced bread.
And I think many of those people, not all, end up promoting Wealthy Affiliate and then of course the more they learn about various online marketing programs, the more they praise WA.
Because they get to see how complete their training is compared to other online business training programs out there.
4. Wealthy Affiliate Pushes People Into the Make Money Online Niche:
When you can't think of a niche to target, the training will push you towards the make money online niche, to promote the program. While the logic is good, the reality is the make money online niche is terribly saturated and competitive.
And when everyone is in the same niche, the chances of success are low for everyone involved. Granted, some people still make cash, but it's much more difficult for beginners to break into a saturated niche.
So what you end up with is a bunch of Wealthy Affiliate members creating websites in the make money online niche to promote Wealthy Affiliate, and this leads to a lot of clone websites, that offer little value.
In fact, Wealthy Affiliate has a section dedicated to finding the right affiliate program for your industry. These are other company's affiliate programs!
Take a Look:
Pretty cool, huh?
What You Need to Know:
By now you know not to expect instant results, but what should you expect from this program? Does it really work?
Yes, if you work the program. Meaning you take the classes, take action on ever task and ask for help when you need it.
Wealthy Affiliate works perfect and here's why...
1. It's Designed for Complete Newbies:
One thing to keep in mind is Wealthy Affiliate caters to the beginner crowd. In other words, it's more for people who have never made a website and need to learn the basics, such as buying a domain name, installing WordPress, Keyword Research, SEO and what not.
If you already have a basic foundation of internet marketing knowledge, the training may not be as useful to you, at least not the initial lessons. It's more like a refresher course. Personally, I feel the weekly webinars are where there's a ton of extra value.
So, remember, the program isn't for everyone. Nevertheless, the platform helps build that strong foundation you need, where you go from there is up to you.
2. Not Much Control Over Your Hosting:
Remember I mentioned the membership includes free hosting? The only problem with that is you can't upload files to the back end of the website, only through WordPress.
For most people, this won't be a problem, but if some installation files get corrupt or deleted, the only way to fix it is to contact support. Usually support will fix the issues in a matter of hours, but it's still a bit of a hassle.
3. Only WordPress Support:
For more information about Wealthy Affiliate's hosting service, read this WA hosting review.
Wealthy Affiliate uses a system called Site Rubix to create WordPress-based websites for members. The service works great, for the most part, and WordPress is basically all you need to start a website and online business.
But there are some cases where you might want to use other website-builder tools, like PhpBB or Drupal. Unfortunately, with this platform you can only create WordPress websites. So if you're thinking of making a full-scale company website, it might be best to use an actual hosting company like Siteground, read our WA vs Siteground Comparison here. .
4. Free Account is Somewhat Limited:
Although the free trial does let you take a look around, go through 1,000's of training's and tutorials, take 10 free classes and build out 2 free websites, most of the features like the webinars are locked until you upgrade to premium. And this is where you can get a ton of cool tips and tricks on Google ranking, YouTube video marketing, PPC, etc..
The good news is premium includes every service and feature - there's nothing above premium, and no hidden fees, either.
Nevertheless, I think it would be great if free members could have a bit more access to the website. Currently, if you don't have premium, almost every page will remind you to upgrade to access the member's area.
PS: You can promote the Wealthy Affiliate platform as a free member, you just get paid half the amount of the commissions as a Premium Member.
5. Wealthy Affiliate Offers Refunds:
This is important, Wealthy Affiliate is a subscription-based service. There are two payment options; annual or monthly - most people choose the monthly option. If you're not happy with the service, head over to your settings and cancel the subscription.
The good news is, if you cancel the payment, your account will still remain active until the next billing period is due. For example, if you purchase a membership on the 1st of the month, change your mind and cancel, you'll still have access until the 1st of next month. Think of it like buying chunks of time.
Now, some people buy the annual subscription, forget about it, and then wonder why, after a year, they're charged again. There will always be billing issues and every case is different. If you encounter a issue regarding billing I recommend contacting their support as soon as possible. They're super easy to deal with and can help correct the situation right away.
Billing is automatic!
Do I Recommend Wealthy Affiliate?
Although I pointed out a lot of Wealthy Affiliate's flaws in this article, I recommend the program, and this is why...
1. Structured Training - No More Chasing Tails:
Even though most veterans will feel the training is a bit basic, it is very well structured, and structured training is incredibly important.
It's actually those daily classes that push you day in and day out to build your site on a daily basis - and that made all the difference in me seeing positive financial results.
The training hands you a plan to follow, and if you follow it, the results will come in. It's like following a diet or a work out regime - it works - but you have to do the work.
2. Super Supportive Community:
Let's face it, working online is lonely. Chances are most of the people you know don't work online, and they even think the idea is a bit silly. Finding like-minded people in the real world is almost impossible.
Wealthy Affiliate's community is incredibly supportive, and they'll be your second family. You can meet all kinds of people, from all walks of life, who share the same goal. It's really a great way to network and build relationships!
3. Everything is in One Place:
No need to login to multiple websites to find the services you need, Wealthy Affiliate has it all in one place.
Hosting services, domain stores, keyword research tools, and the classrooms. One thing I really like is how you can manage multiple websites from one place, it makes things so much easier.
4. Always Updating, Changing and Improving:
The version we have today is much different than from when I joined in 2014. Every month or so new features are added, training is updated, and features are optimized. It's nothing like those online business training courses that keep repeating the same outdated information.
And Much More...
I promised I won't promote Wealthy Affiliate too heavily here, so if you want to learn more about why I recommend them, read my Wealthy Affiliate Review. Everything you need to know is in there.
How to Make The Most of Your WA Membership:
To avoid disappointment, there are a few things that you can do to make the most of your time with Wealthy Affiliate.
1. Make WA Your Home:
For starters, use the platform. I know, it sounds obvious, but you will be surprised how many people register and never even login. This is platform needs to be your new online home. Dive in to the classrooms, interact with the community, and apply what you learn.
2. Stick to The Course, Do The Work:
Secondly, follow the course, but avoid taking every example literally. I believe this is why most WA members end up creating websites in the make money online niche because that's one of the examples in the classroom. Take the ideas from the course and apply them to your own projects.
3. Lower Your Expectations of Riches:
Think of it as an investment, don't worry about making money as soon as possible. If you need fast cash, read this article on how to make money fast.
At the same time, if you're ready to roll up your sleeves and work hard, you can see solid results. Some members have developed consistent online incomes within 6 months. Don't believe me, click below...
Affiliate marketing success stories!
~ real people, real work
4 - 5 figures/month online!
Don't follow the default training advice, at least when it comes to the make money online niche. Instead, take your time to find a niche that interests you, and that's not overly saturated.
Trust me, you'll be much happier working on something you actually enjoy instead of going through the motions. Stick to the Online Entrepreneur Course that WA provides and you'll do great.
Conclusion on Wealthy Affiliate:
I hope this article cleared up some of your questions about Wealthy Affiliate being a scam or not. When it comes to online business, there will always be a minority of people who are unhappy with the product or services.
Wealthy Affiliate isn't a perfect platform, it has some issues, but it's pretty darn good. Especially considering it is an all in one package, no up-sells, and hosting included. So it has every thing that you need to start from scratch.
The best part about Wealthy Affiliate:
It doesn't cost hundreds of dollars. You won't find any features or sections that are locked behind a pay-wall. With a Premium membership you will have access to every feature and lessons. And it only costs $49/month. That's crazy cheap!
So if you are interested in creating a profitable online business, working from home, and having freedom to do what you want, I recommend checking out Wealthy Affiliate.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article, and hopefully now you know the truth about Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate is not a scam, but one of the best online business training centers that's worked for 1,000's of people just like you and me.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions!
Russ Green says
Hello Todd, I must congratulate you on what is an incredibly informative, in-depth and thorough wealthy affiliate review, it’s nothing short of excellent, I have been a member of wealthy affiliate for about three months and not only can I confirm everything you wrote in this post is true but it really is unbelievable just how far I’ve come in three short months, from a total beginner to now having my own online affiliate marketing business, thank you for sharing this review because I have picked up some tips from it and I will be bookmarking it.
Awesome Russ, that’s great feedback and that’s awesome to hear about your success. Although it doesn’t surprise me one bit at this point. If you work hard and take Wealthy Affiliate’s training seriously, you’ll get really good results.
Interesting article about the Wealthy Affiliate program. It may seem limited to only offer WordPress support, but wordpress sites are extremely common and flexible enough to build out most types of websites (blogs, marketplaces, etc). I do enjoy an all-in-one approach that can simplify all of the services that will be necessary when setting up a website.
Can you go further into detail about what type of training that you found to be helpful (was it building your website, marketing, troubleshooting, etc)?
Good question Aly,
Honestly it’s a combination of those things. I think for me what really helped was the perseverance of continually building out my website with quality content on a daily basis. It turns you into a writer and that’s an important aspect to any online business.
If you follow their training and can keep up with it on a daily basis it’s not long before you have a pretty big website built that’s bringing in free traffic and making online sales.
I do think the webinars are probably the most valuable and sometimes it’s a little bit overwhelming when you go to the webinar section because there’s years of webinars that you could go through that might apply to your business. But you should definitely spend some time there because there’s tons of training related to email marketing, YouTube marketing, pay-per-click advertising, local SEO and so forth.
The one thing I didn’t mention in here that’s a good tip is to not spend too much time on the social aspect. It is good to network and meet people within your niche and within the wealthy affiliate training program. So I don’t want to underestimate that value. But I find that many people spend way too much time on the program socializing versus working. That’s just my take on it.
This is a really beautiful post. I agree totally with you that wealthy affiliate is not a scam. I just joined the platform and I’ve had a very nice time meeting people who want to help and receiving very great training. It’ll be really bad for anyone to say it’s a scam because they think it can help the get rich immediately. With all that I have seen on WA since I joined, it helps people and I can say that anytime. I didn’t even know my money could be refunded if I cancel my subscription. That’s totally aweaome
Nice Henderson, glad the post could help out and thanks for your honest feedback about what it’s like being a relatively new WA student.
The key is just to ask for help when you need it. The training, tools and support are sufficient to get your online business rolling, but you’ve got to be passionate about it too. If you’ve got all that, then success is just a matter of time.
Having gone through so many websites that exists on the web, wealthy affiliate stands out from many that has lived up the standard required to be successful online, the training they offer is amazing, very interactive community and also with one of the best keyword search tool, although 49$ monthly is a little on the high side for mostly beginners, I will say this isn’t a scam an it’s been an awesome experience ever since I joined this platform.
Great feedback SeunJeremiah. I think when you think of WA as an education or investment in your future career (like you’d think of a college or trade school) then the cost of $49/month becomes nothing. If anything you appreciate the value of the program more.
I bought yearly after 4 months with WA cause I saw the results. That’s less than $1 dollar per day. That’s amazing for what you can create.
Thanks again for your input on WA.
Hey Todd, great article. I never tire of reading about how WA is not a scam, I’ve been with them for 2 years and I can’t say enough good things about them but I also have my complaints too. However, WA is a great platform to learn how to build your own business and I think the biggest problem with people too is that they expect WA to solve all of their money problems but it won’t. Awesome read.
Thanks RJ, great feedback on WA and the post. I think also that people expect Wealthy Affiliate to be the source of online income. And you can make money there with their credit system. That’s not the focus. WA is the source of knowledge to help you build your own online income.
Lakeisha Collins says
Great post! It is especially beneficial for someone who heard about WA through the grapevine and are not sure if they should believe the hype. I absolutely love many aspects and resources at Wealthy Affiliates. The training is precise, and detailed. The tasks are great to keep you on track. And the community is very helpful and full of like minded people who not only want to make money but want to help you be successful as well. And like I always say every business has its flaws but this program, by far, has way more benefits than flaws and I highly recommend it. Thanks
That’s great Lakeisha, sounds like you’ve got WA figured out and I think you’re right, this type of post could help someone who’s one the fence about Wealthy Affiliate and not sure if they can trust them or not.
Selenity Jade says
Excellent article! I really liked how to put your own personal “What I don’t like” features on there that is a little different with as many of these as I’ve come across. I do prefer WordPress sites anyway, so it doesn’t matter about the hosting, plus as I’m not a technical person, I don’t mind having support do some of that for me. It’s called managed hosting, I suppose? But if you are more experiences with websites, as you are definitely more experienced than I am, I could see how that would be a hassle and I’d probably host elsewhere if I outgrow their hosting. Do they have bandwidth limitations?
Anyway, I love your honesty and transparency, thank you!
Awesome feedback Selenity, thank you. WA is a shared hosting service and they do have limitations. You can get all the details in my Wealthy Affiliate Hosting Review as well as my recommended alternative SiteGround Hosting.
I’m good with WA’s hosting too and now they’ve got a new Beta program out that eventually ever site hosted at WA will use. It’s lightning fast and if you’re new to WA, you should know they’re always improving their platform. Free SSL certifications was a year ago, we’ll see what the next year brings.
I’ve read a lot of wealthy affiliate reviews, and I think this one is up there as one of the best. Mostly because it also includes a few issues that people might have with it. I also didn’t realise that the free sites don’t have as much freedom to work out site issues. I think starting out with a free account is a good starting point, but really do believe that if you are serious about making money online, it’s ideal to upgrade to be a premium. Being premium really does give you greater learning to be able to make your own money online, which will end up paying for your monthly payments to start with as you build up your website. Great post, thanks.
Absolutely, I totally agree that if you’re going to take your online business serious you need to invest in some basic tools.
Luckily, wealthy affiliate has got all those basic tools that you need to get things rolling. You can easily build out a site that brings in any amount of free traffic that you wanted that’s targeted to your specific niche using WA’s training.
And you absolutely should go premium to see the webinar and take the entire program. Even in just a couple months you can have a profitable online business up and running. Also this isn’t that hard, nothing more than taking classes and doing homework. When you think of all the people that spend so much money on programs that promise them quick riches that don’t deliver, you’d think people would at least spend $19 to try out the first month.
Thanks for your feedback on the post,