I was a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate for over six years. Their affiliate marketing training is not current. They do have a lot of content. Their training does not reflect recent developments nor do they build websites from scratch on a continuous basis to ensure that all the steps are included and to ensure that those approaches are still effective today.
When I became an Ex-Premium member of Wealthy Affiliate, I looked around at other affiliate marketing training resources. I learned real useful practical solid information from these free resources on the internet rather than the expensive wishy washy information from Wealthy Affiliate.
I felt let down greatly by Wealthy Affiliate after paying for Premium member for over six years. They do a lot of things every well but some things they do not so well. In my opinion, they do not teach current key affiliate marketing principles well.
Their solution to not getting more traffic is to write more articles. But no real advice is provided on how to improve your content, mainly your writing, from the point of view of persuading the search engines to include you in the top results and of ensuring that your content is good from the reader’s viewpoint.
Their niche selection training is poor. What you need to know: All niches are not created equal. Some niches are competitive. Don’t bother with health niche.
Why? Because new affiliate marketing websites in the health niche are extremely difficult to rank.
I was a Premium member of Wealthy Affiliate for over six years, from February 2015 to March 2021. I make the mistake of accepting that their content is mainly one hundred per cent good as they said that they have loads of experience in affiliate marketing. I expected it to be up to date and top notch. It’s not.
The problem is that they may have been successful themselves in affiliate marketing back in the day. People like me want affiliate marketing approaches that work today. And need affiliate marketing training provided by people actually doing the taught tactics today on new websites which are expected to be successful within a predictable timescale.
Affiliate marketing is changing all the time. However Wealthy Affiliate are not teaching actionable tactics that work today. Saying stuff like “write content that people and search engines love” is all very well. However people need a lot more detail on how to actually do that. And that detail over time will change.
They do not build up new affiliate marketing websites and test out their teachings to be sure that they are still applicable today.
I no longer recommend Wealthy Affiliate. They in my opinion way oversell their offerings.
Their marketing creates the impression that becoming a success in affiliate marketing is easy. All you have to do is implement their affiliate marketing training.
In this particular post I discuss why implementing some of the cornerstone Wealthy Affiliate tactics may not work now for you. These are things that Wealthy Affiliate have known for years.
Or if they do not or did not, that raises more questions. These are things that Wealthy Affiliate should have resolved years ago. In other words, I shouldn’t have found out about these problems because they should have simply taught cornerstone affiliate marketing tactics that work today and removed the ones that do not work today.
Aspects of their cornerstone affiliate marketing training are now out of date and no longer fit for purpose. This has been the case for some time.
Those tactics in my opinion are unlikely to produce meaningful financial success for you today. Their cornerstone training involves you writing posts so that your content ranks high in Google.
Well, What’s the Problem with That?
Well, at first glance, nothing. However Google is a third party. They change their search engine algorithms on a continuous basis. This affects how your individual posts are ranked in Google.
However Google keeps improving their algorithms from the search users viewpoint. This is based on their ongoing continuous understanding of the “search intent” behind the search query.
Some of the previously high rated content is no longer high rated in Google because their search engine algorithms have changed. This makes some of the cornerstone tactics taught by Wealthy Affiliate in their cornerstone affiliate marketing training to be just plain wrong now.
You following cornerstone tactics taught by Wealthy Affiliate are expecting your individual posts to be ranked highly by Google. The major problem is that Google does not do this for you because the approaches you are using are no longer effective.
Wealthy Affiliate have not updated the cornerstone Wealthy Affiliate training when Google changed their search engine algorithms, when those Google changes affected negatively the tactics taught by Wealthy Affiliate.
Knowledge is Power
For instance, Wealthy Affiliate cornerstone training does not say “it’s extremely difficult for a new affiliate marketing website to rank in the health niche”.
Well I wonder what percentage of Wealthy Affiliate members have selected a health niche.
If they know upfront that it is extremely difficult for a health niche, that should mean that they discard the health niche and continue looking for an easier niche.
That saves them time and effort. And a lot of frustation when their health related blog does not rank in Google and does not have reasonable financial success.
Knowing this upfront means that the member skips the health niche and looks for an easier niche.
Niche selection is a key strategic task and needs a lot more research and way more due diligence than what the Wealthy Affiliate cornerstone Affiliate Marketing training suggests.
If you do those outdated Wealthy Affiliate tactics today, that will most likely be a total waste of your time and effort.
They have very little practical training within the Wealthy Affiliate cornerstone affiliate marketing training that covers changes implemented by Google’s search algorithm over the last while.
I mean any actionable training that members would find of great value. Some niches are hard to Google rank due to various reasons.
Knowing these niches and the various reasons why they are hard would give people a competitive edge when researching which niche to go into. And more importantly which niches to avoid.
Wealthy Affiliate Niche Selection Training Poor
Wealthy Affiliate does offer training about selecting niches. This in my opinion is poor. Selecting a niche is a strategic activity. However they don’t give it the importance I feel that it should have.
They do not provide objective ways to determine if a certain niche is profitable. They give the impression that all niches are profitable. According to them, you are doing something wrong if a certain niche is not profitable for you.
One, you selected your niche. Two, you wrote a lot of content as suggested in the Wealthy Affiliate training. Three, you followed their cornerstone affiliate marketing training to the letter. Four, you are not getting meaningful financial results within a reasonable time frame.
You are just looking initially for job replacement income. They say you are doing something wrong if you don’t get meaningful financial results.
You might become a Premium member of Wealthy Affiliate to get affiliate marketing training. You expect that if you follow this to the latter that you will achieve financial success within a reasonable time frame.
As far as I know, it is not possible to determine what percentage of their over 2,300,000 member base (using their figures) are successful in affiliate marketing due to Wealthy Affiliate.
They have some success stories however with over 2,300,000 members I expect to hear a lot more. A lot more.
All Niches are Not Created Equal
However, all niches are not created equal. Some niches get hit harder with Google updates. Some niches are extremely competitive. New affiliate marketing websites in the health niche are extremely difficult to rank due to many factors. Factors include the Google algorithm updates over the last while.
But Wealthy Affiliate cornerstone affiliate marketing training does not tell you this. I just did, if you did not know this before you just read it. 🙂
Generous Commission Rates
Furthermore, a lot of people recommend them all over the internet. This could have something to do with their associated affiliate program:
No doubt about it, these are generous affiliate commission rates.
Especially when you consider the affiliate commission rates offered by other well known companies.
I want you to be more informed than most and go in with both your eyes open. They have some good points however are not as good as their marketing would suggest. And some of their cornerstone affiliate marketing training is out-dated, wrong and no longer fit for purpose.
I was Premium for over six years mainly due to their hosting offering.
However I found a better priced quality hosting solution which ticks all the important boxes for me.
I could not justify the price difference to myself, so I stopped my Wealthy Affiliate Premium payment. That was done inside of my Wealthy Affiliate dashboard.
I assume that one of the main reasons why you want to become an affiliate marketer is to have meaningful financial success. Wealthy Affiliate way oversells itself. In my experience, they do not live up to the expectations it sets itself on their site. I find that they raise expectations in the content that they create on their site.
Just look at the expectations raised on their logon page. And in my opinion, Wealthy Affiliate does not truly deliver on their promises for many of their over 2,300,000 members.
Where did I get this 2,300,000 members figure?
Good question. From the current Wealthy Affiliate members log in page as noted in the following screenshot:
I wonder how many of their members became truly wealthy using Wealthy Affiliate and affiliate marketing.
Take this figure with a grain of salt
One, this figure includes the total number of unique email signups to their Free Starter membership offer.
Two, a person may have signed up for this multiple times using different email addresses.
Three as far as I know, they do not reveal the number of current Premium members and current Premium Plus members who are currently paying for their membership.
Four, I would assume their is a huge number of starter members who have never even logged in once into their Wealthy Affiliate account or who have not logged into Wealthy Affiliate in the last 180 days. Yet these people are included in this 2,300,000 member figure.
For these four reasons, I recommend very strongly taking the 2,300,000 members figure with a grain of salt. When companies quote membership figures, statistics and the like, I expect that information to be correct, true and accurate in every detail.
That 2,300,000 member figure is clearly a marketing figure. They define a member one way. I define a member another way. If you define a member my way, it is important that you understand how they define a member.
Yes, it is great that their are over 2,300,000 unique email signups for the starter membership package or whatever.
However in my opinion they have nowhere near this number of real unique people who are currently active members of Wealthy Affiliate right now.
To be clear, I define a currently active member as a starter member who logged into Wealthy Affiliate at least once in the last 180 days or a current member who is currently paying for their membership.
Is Wealthy Affiliate truly changing/updating their training with the times?
In my opinion, no. Loads of things have happened since when some of their cornerstone affiliate marketing training made sense. This may have been good advice back in 2015. However this is now 2021. And guess what? Some of that advice is now wrong in 2021. And some has been wrong for at least a few years.
They have had more than enough time for them to update their cornerstone affiliate marketing training. This is sold on a paid for recurring “Training as a service” subscription basis. I just expect the training to be reasonably up to date.
I reasonably expect content to be continuously updated. Members are paying for Premium membership (at about $50 a month) or for Premium Plus membership (at about $100 a month).
With this type of pricing, I think my expectation of their “training as a service” should be continuously updated. Or at the very least, reviewed regularly by a current successful expert in that area and updated properly when appropriate.
If I go to a specialist in any field, I expect that person to be up to date and current in that field today as some of the more recent developments may help me today.
Likewise, when I do Wealthy Affiliate affiliate marketing training, I expect that training to be up to date and current. I just don’t expect to be taught affiliate marketing techniques that no longer work or are just plain wrong or are no longer fit for purpose.
Many affiliates start part time and take it from there
Many affiliate marketers start part time. They do not have the time to learn about affiliate marketing tactics that don’t work today.
By the same token, they are also not going to know that these tactics don’t work today. They become members of Wealthy Affiliate expecting that the tractics they provide work today.
Backlinks and SEO
This is what Wealthy Affiliate say in their core Affiliate Bootcamp Training: You don’t need backlinks. That Wealthy Affiliate training had been last updated in March 2021.
Different affiliate marketers have different opinions on this subject. Some actively go to great lengths costing both time and money to build links.
Others prefer to spend that time and money creating more rankable content. I personally opt for the second option as that is safer from a potential search engine hit however that takes more time to get results.
Brian Dean, a well known SEO specialist, talks about over 200 factors that affect Google’s search engine algorithm.
47 of these are in the Backlink Factors section where he lists and talks briefy about factors 86 to 132. This is almost a quarter of the factors.
If you don’t need backlinks, Brain would have simply said “you don’t need backlinks”. Backlinks are important however they must be done right.
Do it in a white-hat way and a natural way else you may trigger Google’s algorithm the wrong way. In my opinion, buying backlinks is also not a good idea, because you risk triggering Google’s algorithm the wrong way.
Better to rank without using backlinks?
Some people think it is better to rank without using backlinks at all. Remember that time spent building links is time when you are not producing content.
Some non white-hat link building tactics cost time and money to actually implement. As some of them are very complicated and/or costly to actually do, so the argument goes, spend that time producing content that ranks, rather than trying to game the system.
If you are trying to game Google’s backlink algorithm, it may catch you at some point. Some successful affiliate marketers don’t do this backlink building process and just write good content that in turn gets ranked.
Other affiliate marketers see it as a game and have multiple websites hosted with numerous webhosts. They hope that if Google detects this that it will only impact a small percentage of their online presence. They would have to be extremely well organised in order to ensure that Google does not realise that they are the same person.
Google looks at loads of stuff. I think that trying to outsmart Google over the long term is not going to work and consider using black-hat tactics as unproductive.
Does Their Core Affiliate Marketing Training Work Now?
Wealthy Affiliate provide online affiliate marketing training and education. They use a mixture of text and video materials to show you different affiliate marketing concepts. You are recommended to do the associated tasks to reinforce this training and education.
This is the learn and do approach. This approach allows you to build up your affiliate marketing skills. This includes building a WordPress website from scratch.
They also include training on using some WordPress plugins. They recommend one of the extremely popular Search Engine Optimization WordPress Plugins.
As it happens I have looked at some of the other WordPress Plugins that have Search Engine Optimization functionally. I even installed and implemented some of them.
Wealthy Affiliate are right. The free version of the Search Engine Optimization WordPress plugin they recommend has enough functionally for many affiliate marketers.
Just bear in mind that things change quickly so this may not be true when you read this.
Video Training Issues When Software Changes
They have loads of video training showing how to use various WordPress Plugins, usually from an affiliate viewpoint with the minimum amount of configuration changes.
This is good. However WordPress Plugins change their looks, their user interface and their functionally over time.
And Wealthy Affiliate’s training on using various WordPress Plugins becomes out of date over time. Wealthy Affiliate give the impression that the training content is up to date, whereas it is not always up to date.
People using the training then get confused because they were expecting their screen layouts to look the same as per the applicable Wealthy Affiliate video that they are looking at.
Wealthy Affiliate market the training in their materials as step by step training. You are supposed to be able to replicate what their trainer is doing within the video.
However when the user interface and functionally changes, this is not always possible. Wealthy Affiliate have too much such step by step training that has needed updating for way too long.
To be honest it would be difficult for Wealthy Affiliate videos to be always up to date especially with third parties changing WordPress, WordPress Themes, WordPress Plugins and so on all the time.
However this is back to expectation levels being raised high by Wealthy Affiliate in the first place.
Wealthy Affiliate in my opinion need to look at seriously addressing this shortfall.
Nothing annoys a trainee more that outdated training materials, especially when they find out that Wealthy Affiliate have known about this problem for years and have not addressed it properly.
Does Wealthy Affiliate really work on their Affiliate Marketing Training as a service concept?
The short version is no, if you are looking to implement the training in order to build your affiliate marketing business. This is because some of the keystone content is outdated and no longer works.
Good System for Delivering Training
However, they do have a good structure for delivering their training. It would require from their side a good solid overview of what works today in the affiliate marketing world and putting that content in. And removing content that no longer works.
This is information that I would expect Wealthy Affiliate to know. If they do not, then WTF? Remember they are selling the Wealthy Affiliate trainers as current successful people in affiliate marketing in the first place.
Training Content not up to date
If I was getting say some Microsoft Word training where I attended a training facility for a few days, I would expect that training to be on the current Microsoft Word product, not on a Microsoft Word product released five years.
I don’t expect that training to include old information that is not relevant to the current Microsoft Word product. I expect the same from any training provider including Wealthy Affiliate.
Microsoft Word was first released in 1981. It has been improved, upgraded and updated numerous times since then to the current version.
Recurring Subscription Model for Training and Services
Wealthy Affiliate use a recurring subscription membership model for their training and services. Once your Premium membership expires, you can’t access anything meaningful within Wealthy Affiliate.
Starter members who never paid for services with them are treated better. To say that this does not impress me would be putting it mildly.
Their training is provided online. You can not download any of their training videos and training materials for later viewing. This is “training as a service”.
As such I expect it to be up to date. I expect “old uneffective” techniques to be dropped and replaced with “new effective” techniques. I expect this to happen on an ongoing basis.
This simply does not happen to the level I expect. Making minor adjustments and tweaks does not cut it.
Kyle, one of the two co-founders does a lot of the core Affiliate Marketing training.
However some websites estimate that Wealthy Affiliate is taking in at least $10 million dollars a year. Rather this is true or not, surely Wealthy Affiliate can hire professional trainers to get their affiliate marketing training up to date and ensure that their affiliate marketing training is kept up to date (within a reasonable time frame)?
They have very little official training on the WordPress Block Editor
WordPress back in December 2018 came out with the WordPress Block Editor.
Wealthy Affiliate at the time promised to provide training on this. It took Jay, their chief trainer over two years before he provided some training on this.
My problem is that they promised training on this and then did not deliver that quickly. They oversell themselves and then don’t deliver those oversold services.
If I was starting to learn about the WordPress editor today for the first time, I would expect to be taught about the WordPress Block Editor.
Two Core Affiliate Marketing Courses
Wealthy Affiliate have two core affiliate marketing courses.
One is split into five levels and each of those five levels consists of ten lessons each, making fifty lessons in total. Starter members have access to level one of this course consisting of ten lessons.
The second course is split into seven levels and each of those seven levels consists of ten lessons each, making seventy lessons in total. Starter members also have access to level one of this course consisting of ten lessons.
Members who actually complete level one of one or both of these courses should have a good basic understanding of Affiliate Marketing along with some useful practical experience, assuming that they do the associated tasks.
However, some of this content in my opinion is outdated, wrong and no longer fit for purpose. So beware.
However they may not get the expected results as main keystone affiliate marketing tactics taught by Wealthy Affiliate are outdated.
A learner doing the training today should not have to determine if the tactic works today.
It should be a given that any training tactics provided by Wealthy Affiliate in cornerstone training works today.
In the end, Wealthy Affiliate do offer something if you are looking at affiliate marketing. However as some of the cornerstone affiliate marketing training is wrong today in my opinion, you would be well advised not to implement those tactics.
But how do you know which of their tactics are wrong today or are no longer fit for purpose, that is the question.
However, all niches are not created equal. Some niches get hit harder with Google updates. Some niches are extremely competitive. New affiliate marketing websites in the health niche are extremely difficult to rank due to many factors. Factors include the Google algorithm updates over the last while.Quoted from earlier on in this post.
I just feel strongly that the cornerstone affiliate marketing training should be updated continuously by Wealthy Affiliate to only include tactics that work today.
In my opinion, that is clearly supposed to be Wealthy Affiliate’s job seeing as they provide “Affiliate Marketing Training As a Service” at about $50 a month for Premium members and at about $100 a month for Premium Plus members.
I no longer think that Wealthy Affiliate deserve my money.
Looking for Affiliate Marketing Training?
When looking for affiliate marketing training, look for people who are currently successful doing this who are teaching their current proven successful approaches and who are not teaching outdated or ineffective appoaches. Look for proof of this recent success from independent well-known trustworthy sources.
If you are looking for affiliate marketing training I do suggest that you look at a number of companies in the teaching affiliate marketing space. Funny enough all the ones I started following recently also have active YouTube channels.
Most of them also have courses which may hit the sweat spot for you. Some of these courses are not cheap so you do need to do a lot of due diligence yourself to be sure that they actually fulfill your needs.
For the moment anyway I am reading their blogs and following them on YouTube. I have already subsribed to their email newsletters. Of course, if you decide to buy anything from those emails be sure to do your own due diligence as well.
I am finding that this approach is working for me. It may also work for you.
Here is my current list as in September 2021.
These are not affiliate links. I do not earn anything if you purchase at these websites.
I think if you are interested in affiliate marketing, you should get an overall view provided by different people who are currently doing affiliate marketing today before spending money on affiliate marketing training if you ever do. If you ever go ahead and spend money with them, be sure to do your own due diligence as well.
Here’s my current list in no particular order as in September 2021:
Their website and YouTube channel are full of useful information. Their videos are entertaining and full of good information. Their information is based on their real world recent experiences doing affiliate marketing. Their approaches that I am aware off make sense to me.
They change their recommendations and approaches over time in response to the changing world. They do testing and experimentation on their own websites. They regularly start off new websites from scratch.
For instance, they used to recommend three different types of post along with recommended word counts. Since about May 2021 they now recommend two different types of posts along with recommended word counts. These recommendations are based on them doing different experiments on their own websites and what they recently found out. They do that on an ongoing basis. They also recently changed their keywork research process which they call search analyis.
Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko provides a lot of actionable information mainly about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you are doing affiliate marketing, you need to know and do good Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you look around in his blog you will find a lot of affiliate marketing related resources.
Their website and YouTube channel are full of useful information. Their videos are entertaining and full of good information. Their information is based on their real world recent experiences in building authority websites.Their approaches that I am aware off make sense to me.
They are data driven and scientific driven. They recommend using a $99 a month keyword research tool in their approach. They don’t earn commissions from that recommendation. In their eyes, that happens to be the best tool for the job. Their idea is to be very smart about deciding what to do (or not do) based in part on figures that this tool provides.
They change their recommendations and approaches over time in response to the changing world. They do testing and experimentation on their own websites. They regularly start off new websites from scratch.
Matt Diggity, the founder of Diggity Marketing provides a lot of actionable information mainly about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). His information is mainly based on tests he has done. He’s not into theory stuff.
Matt also usually blogs near the end of the month with a “News roundup of what is happening in the search engine world, in the google search world and in the SEO world in general”. That blog post usually contains useful timely information.
My Affiliate Marketing Training Conclusion
These are the people and organisations I feel comfortable sharing with you at the present time. I have learned not to be totally dependent on one source of affiliate marketing / search engine optimization information.
Some of them on occasion disagree with others in approach. So knowing that and maybe knowing when they have their opinion and maybe knowing why they have different opinions leads me to form my own opinion.
I hope that you find the above information useful in your affiliate marketing adventures. If you ever go ahead and spend money with any of them or with anyone else on the internet, be sure to do your own very detailed due diligence as well.
Here Are Some Recommendations
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful. Here are some recommendations that I hope you’ll also find helpful. Of course, I may earn commissions if you buy using my links.
Domain Registrations, Renewals and Transfers
I use Domain Cost Club for domain registrations, renewals and transfers. I been using them now for over six years. I find that they do the job and do it very cost effectively. You can read my review of them by clicking here.
A good WordPress Hosting webhost is Bluehost. They have a good interface and they have 24/7 support. I wrote a short post outlining some of the packages Bluehost have available. Click here to read that post.
If you are more technical and already have practical cPanel Hosting expertise, you might find the cPanel Hosting solution I currently use hits the sweet spot for you. Just know this solution does not have 24/7 support.
I wrote a post explaining my definition of managed WordPress hosting which includes a pricing comparison at the bottom of that article. You can read that by clicking here.