Welcome to my detailed review of the best online marketing course for beginners that I currently use. You can be the judge of whether Wealthy Affiliate a scam or legit business after going through this review.
Wealthy Affiliate is an online entrepreneurship certification course that teaches affiliate marketing skills and techniques. It is suitable for both beginners and experts alike as the courses start from the very basic concepts and progresses more advanced tools and techniques for a sustainable online business.
Ease of sign up and setup
It is easy for someone new to sign up. All that is required is basic information as in your name and email address. It does not require any additional information; more importantly, your credit card information is not required.
Click below to see how easy it is to sign up.
Once you sign up and enter the site, you need to load a profile picture and write a brief profile of yourself, which is optional. The trial period or starter membership is also a good way of test driving the features and functionality of the course. A new user can then make an informed decision before committing any funds, whether to proceed or not.
Ease of use
The site has a very simple format shown below. The different colors highlight different menu options clearly. Sub-sections are presented on selection of a menu options. The system also tracks the progress you make (green and black section on the left) and record where you left so you can continue from there next time you resume.
It is light on bandwidth as most of the content is plain text. It is also light on graphics and very brief. There are some video lessons which only contain teaching content which keeps them light on bandwidth and page load speed.
The Wealthy Affiliate ethos is based on paying it forward. Helping each other teaches you a lot about what is good and what is not. Personally I have found that doing reviews for other peopled helps me discover things that I need for my own websites. It also reveals other angles of approach that works. For example, after seeing someone else write in a way that I intended to use, I realized that it will not work for a customer. I therefore changed it to make it better.
Blogging is done in a safe environment. When you post on Wealthy Affiliate you are in a safe environment where people can applaud you for good work and advise you on how to improve.
The founders themselves, Kyle and Carson are actively involved in the community, providing encouragement and assistance to new comers and seasoned members alike. They respond to private messages one on one and also comment on posts by new and seasoned members alike.
High speed cycle of learning
You are safe to try things out. If you get stuck you can ask the community questions. The questions you ask are answered very quickly and in varied opinions. There is a live chat facility where you can converse with those currently online and get answers to questions immediately. You can also post a question which can be answered immediately or at a later stage as people come across it. My experience has been that, posted questions get three to five answers within five minutes, and live chat questions are answered immediately.
Some people will question your approach which makes you review your options and intentions in a positive way. Others will give you extra positive points for what you are doing. In the end you will have a balanced review of what you require. Sometimes even completely new ideas to explore.
At the beginning, when I was a starter member, I was stuck with moving a free website to a new domain I had just bought. Within minutes of asking, someone asked for clarification whether I needed to copy or move the site. Another member posted a link on how to do the process. Yet another one indicated that I should not delete the old site until I knew that the new site had been backed up at least twice. This was so that I had a recovery option in case I encountered issues during the transfer. I therefore set about doing this task with comfortable confidence within a few minutes. At the end of that month, a new feature was released which automatically reminds one to keep your old site active for at least 30 days in order to make sure that traffic is redirected to the new site.
You can also search for questions that have already been asked and read through the answers. This actually saves you time from trying to frame your question properly. You get more information than you were actually looking for.
You fail fast and get ahead.
The downside of Wealthy Affiliates is that there is a lot of information that one can easily get lost in it. There is so much choice to choose from that I have found a number of people confused and overwhelmed by the content, or by the massive response from the community. If you are not very focused and self disciplined you can get lost in it. Sometimes you may get discouraged by the quantity that you may end up not doing anything for fear of it taking longer than necessary.
People are always posting blogs with varied information that can be useful. You can easily get lost in the topics and discussions that come from these and neglect your training as time passes you by.
Another example is the endless list of WordPress themes. Sometimes it is tedious to try and choose a theme from the many options available. Once you choose one, it may take you some time before you get the hang of it. By then you may decide to change it and start the cycle all over again, losing precious time in the process.
Internal Ranking System
Ranking provides a good practice by rewarding activities such as helping others, creating content and being active within the community. However, there is a risk of losing focus from doing things beneficial of your business to chasing the ranking. The rank does not reflect your success on your business so it is one to be weighed carefully against your business goals.
I did a blog on the effects of the rank and to deal with it.
WHO IT IS FOR
This training is well suited for beginners as it starts from the very basic concepts of affiliate marketing and online business. The beginner receives more than adequate support to get off the ground and gain experience as they grow without feeling lost or left behind.
It is equally suitable for advanced and experienced users alike. There is enough depth and scope to add value to those already in the business. The presence of a supportive community of experienced peers also adds a lot of value to one’s business and approaches, making a worthwhile resource for the seasoned professional.
Within the community people post their success stories as and when they come. Some start seeing some activity around the 6 month mark. A few have some earlier but the average is around half year. Some may go for a year without recording money generating activity. This is a factor of the chosen niche, the persons diligence in terms of correctly applying the principles and the nature and season of the market.
I personal started getting referrals after a month, and got money paid into my PayPal account in the third month when it passed the $25 payout threshold. It was $46.50. Over the next three month I got a 67% increase in commissions
Some success stories started coming around festive season when there is a buying frenzy, of course depending on the products being promoted. Others get invited by reputable companies to review their products, which means they get the products and accessories for free in exchange for an honest opinion. This is once they have established themselves as an authority within that niche. I personally started seeing a trickle within the first three months as I took advantage of my the following within my social networks from before starting the training. So it all depends on the provident factors that may work in your favour if you choose your niche market carefully.
The training uses a very simple example oriented technique with illustrative videos. As the co-founder Kyle always says, it is better to show than to tell. So there are quite a few videos as well as real life examples to illustrate various concepts. There is also a huge emphasis on taking action immediately and getting reviews from others in the community.
There are five certification levels including a Getting Started, Generating Traffic, Monetizing your content and Mastering Social Engagement, and Achieving Maximum Success Through Content Creation. These give focused content and practical exercises that incrementally bring functionality and value to your website to bring your business into operation towards success.
The Getting Started Course covers the basic introduction to online businesses including the process itself, setting up websites and configuring plugins. Further you will receive training on specifics like using keywords to increase traffic, using social media and other tools to perform all the facets of affiliate marketing.
The Affiliate Bootcamp teaches specifics concerning affiliate marketing using the promotion of Wealthy Affiliates as an example. The learning points are transferable to any affiliate marketing niche. Using these as my first focus points, I managed to start making affiliate commission in my second month of starting the course.
There are various tools available. Once of the most useful ones is the keyword tool used to investigate traffic, competition and article effectiveness of keywords in your niche. The ratings on this tool helps one refine their niche as well as finding low competition keywords to use to write content that ranks well with search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Personal Utility Tools
The personal profile section is loaded with very useful information and dashboards to keep track of one’s progress and to utilize for effective affiliate activity. These include tools such as private messaging box, activity notifications, rank and followers dashboard, referral status and statistics, blog and question scripting shortcuts among other things.
Web Authoring and Management.
There is a comprehensive SiteRubix website management application to manage domains, website and WordPress themes, email and web content administration. It gives a comprehensive site health dashboard of useful statistics on how well you are doing in terms of frequency of updates, content quality, feedback, Google index status and site trust. The metrics are useful in order for you to focus on relevant areas to improve or maintain your status on your sites.
There is a good level of support available. Firstly you can search through the content within the environment. A lot of issues have been experienced by others so you can find solutions by searching through the articles and questions.
The second option is asking a question directly in the community and many will answer from their experience and knowledge. This gives quick answers that you can interrogate and get clarity quickly while you are online. The answers you get here then remain in the community forum and are reusable and even searchable by others as well.
The third option is the dedicated support provided on the platform. You can open a problem ticket which will then be addressed. I got a reply to one of my tickets asking about email to my new domain within an hour of raising it. After a few exchanges I had a solution to my question. Same thing happened with the ftp access to the website for me to push files from my workstation onto the website.
Finally, one has access to the founders Kyle and Carson directly when you are a premium member. As a starter member you only have access to this facility to send messages or comment on articles and profiles for the first seven days. With this access you get direct responses and advise from the founders and many other members o the platform. I often see them respond to queries as much as I do whenever I am online.
The price structure at Wealthy Affiliate is fairly simple. There are two levels of membership, i.e. Starter and Premium membership.
- Starter Membership is free of charge, and no credit card is required to sign up for it. It gives you Module 1 training, private coaching and live chat access for 7 days. It provides two free websites and a few other features. This membership and its offerings can be kept for life if one chooses to.
- Premium membership costs $49 per month. The first month comes with a discount at $19 if one upgrades from Starter to Premium membership with the first seven days.
In all my search and activity I have found that Wealthy Affiliate gives a very good value for money for the level of training they offer, the support you get and potential for success that it represents. I give it a 9/10 rating.
So if you are still asking yourself what is the best online marketing course for beginners, or for experienced people, I would recommend you to checkout Wealthy Affiliates any day with a free starter membership and judge for yourself.