In this review, I will be taking an in-depth look at an online training platform and community named Wealthy Affiliate University (Aff). I have been a member of Wealthy Affiliate University (I'll be referring to it as “WA” from now on…mostly) for over two years now and am writing this review based on my personal experience. I'll be elaborating on how it has helped me build my own profit-producing online business and why it gets my #1 Recommendation for anyone looking to build their own!
The first thing I'll do is give a quick review for all of you people that are in a hurry! I'll then start telling you all of the things I like and, to keep it honest, the things I don't. I'll follow that up by discussing the who might be interested in what WA has to offer, customer support you can expect to receive, the prices of membership (hint: you can get started completely for free), and my final verdict! After all of this, I'll finish up with extremely in-depth rundown of exactly what WA consists of: tools, training, and other resources. As far as I can tell, this is the most in-depth Wealthy Affiliate review you'll find on the web!
Of course, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below this post!
Affiliate Disclaimer: You will find a few links to Wealthy Affiliate University throughout this review. According to my Core Principles and in order to comply with FTC Compliance Standards, if the link is an affiliate link, meaning I’ll make a commission if you sign up for a membership, it will be followed by “(Aff)”. Don’t worry, I’m not taking advantage of you. I only affiliate myself and earn money from products I would recommend to my closest friends and family. In fact, most websites online are making money from you, they just aren’t disclosing it to you!
Wealthy Affiliate University Ratings
Product Name: Wealthy Affiliate University
Overall Rank: 9.4/10
Price: FREE, $47/month, or $359/year
Owners: Kyle & Carson
Wealthy Affiliate University is an all-encompassing community focused on providing you will all of the resources, training, support, and community elenebts you need to build a successful online business. Inside WA, you will have access to multiple, in-depth training modules, covering every aspect of building your own website and many of the various ways to promote your business, both online and off. You can also, literally, build your entire business without leaving the WA platform! In addition to the training and support aspect of building a business, they also offer domain name purchasing, hosting, a free website builder, free and paid keyword research tools, among other essential tools.
Given this, Wealthy Affiliate University has the potential to be your one-stop shop for building an online business…no matter your passions or skill level. Whether you're a complete beginner or an experienced internet marketer, WA will be an indispensable resource as long as you're willing to put in the time and effort it takes to build out your ideas and business goals!
If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, I'd encourage you to sign up for the Free Membership (Aff) and give it a shot! You don't even need to enter any credit card information and can remain a free member for as long as you like, so you've really got nothing to lose. Once you test it out you can consider upgrading to the Premium Membership for full access to all of the resources, or not, it's completely up to you! I hope to see you inside!
Dustin “Kirby” Garness
You better go get your drink, put your slippers on, and get comfortable because now it's time for the in-depth review of Wealthy Affiliate University! Whether or not you've been researching WA for days or this is the first you've heard of it, my goal is to make sure you know EXACTLY what it is, what you will get upon signing up, and how it can benefit you so you can make your own, well-informed decision as to whether or not it is something you should consider!
As I mentioned above, I'll start by talking about what I like about WA, what I don't like, who should consider joining, the customer service you can expect, the pricing options available, and my final recommendation. I'll finish up with a complete product overview. Let's get started!
What I Like About Wealthy Affiliate University
I think one of the greatest things about WA is simply the fact that just about anyone can benefit from it in one way or another! If you're a complete beginner, that's ok. If you're an internet marketing expert, that's ok too! There are members of all levels actively involved in the community. That being said, the courses are very solid in every aspect of the word, so even if you have had some experience, I think it would probably be beneficial for you to start at the beginning, at least, to refresh what you already know and fill in any gaps you may have in your knowledge or technique.
What initially turned me on to WA was the fact that their sales page (Aff) and the message it gave to its readers didn't seem to be built off of the typical “Get-Rich-Quick” type of material and language. In fact, it was quite the opposite in that it was stressing how, in order to be successful online, you must invest much time and energy. They said it was highly unlikely I would be earning money in the next week, month, or even three months! That was so different from everything else I was reading that I had to check it out. What I found was that even on the inside, the same principles applied. Nowhere does any of the training claim you'll be making riches before instantly…or even quickly.
In fact, WA is based on the principle that they are providing you with the information and resources you need to build your business and it's up to you to apply them and actually do it! If you don't do it, you won't be successful. If you do, there's a good chance you will be successful. Just look at my situation…it took me 7 months before I made my first dollar online. At month three I was thinking of giving up but, Kyle (one of the owners of WA) told me I was near my “turning point” and I just needed to keep pushing along.
Completely Free & Unlimited Trial
Building off of the idea of honesty, a huge motivating factor for me to check WA out initially was the fact that I could do so completely for free, without even entering any sort of credit card/payment information! This is something largely unseen in the world of internet marketing and is a testament to the fact that WA is such a great place and resource they're confident it will sell itself as long as people are able to see it.
On top of this, the Free Trial is unlimited, so you can continue to be a participating member for as long as you'd like without ever upgrading to the Premium Membership. Obviously, at some point, you'd probably want to upgrade to get access to more advanced training, but it wouldn't be necessary.
The level of training available within the WA platform stands alone when compared to any other training platforms I have come across in my day, especially considering the price (see “Pricing” section below). Literally, just about every topic relevant to internet marketing has a classroom built for the specific purpose of making you an expert in that field, even if you're starting from scratch!
There are two types of training created within WA: official training and community created training. The official training is created by the owners (Kyle & Carson) and other highly respected members of the community and community training is just that, created by the community at large. The community training must be approved before it is made available to ensure its quality.
The official training courses typically consist of high-quality, over-the-shoulder style video training along with textual material. Each course is broken down into lessons and each lesson has a series of tasks to be completed. In addition, some lessons have specified discussion forums where you can bounce ideas off of other members, update everyone on your progress, ask for feedback and critiques, and keep yourself accountable.
Here is a list of all of the classrooms in WA (I'll go into much more detail and break each classroom down in the “Product Overview” section below:
- Getting Started
- WA Affiliate Program
- Keyword, Niche and Market Research
- Everything WordPress
- Authoring & Writing Content
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Engagement & Marketing
- Website Development & Programming
- Local Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Email Marketing
- The Wealthy Affiliate Platform
- Pay Per Click Marketing
In addition to the regular classrooms and lessons, there is also a weekly Live Training session (Webinar) available to all Premium Members. This is usually hosted by Jay (Magistudios) who covers a variety of topics. Sometimes he'll actually build out a site as we all follow along, sometimes he'll give a live site critique of a member's actual site, and other times he is strictly teaching a new concept or technique.
Additional Tools & Resources
In addition to exemplary training material, WA also has a plethora of other resources designed to make your experience as easy and technical-free as possible. Literally, with their latest updates, you'll never have to do anything outside of the WA platform to get your site up and running. Here is a brief overview of some of the additional resources you will have access to (again, I'll go into much more detail for each one of these below):
- Websites & Hosting: you can do everything from purchase a domain name, host it, and install WordPress with just a few clicks of your mouse.
- Keyword Research Tools: you have access to both free and paid keyword research tools as well as a keyword list management tool.
- Writing Tools: there are tools to help you with your writing, keyword placement, etc.
- Link Tracking: This is a tool that allows you to track any link you desire so you can see just how well it is performing/converting.
Takes Away The Technical Aspects Of Website Building
Building off of the last section, a HUGE benefit of building your website and online business through the WA platform is that EVERY aspect of building your website is streamlined and taken care of! I'm not even kidding when I tell you that you can go from purchasing your very own domain name to installing WordPress and having your website live on the internet in a matter of minutes….all without having to write a single line of code, deal with confusing hosting companies, pointing DNS servers to the right places, installing WordPress manually, or any other comlicated tasks.
Heck, they even have standard recommended plugins pre-installed on any WordPress site built through their Site Manager feature…so you don't even have to deal with that!
Built-in Site Feedback and Comment System
Another benefit of using the WA platform to host your website is their built-in Site Feedback and Site Comments features. Essentially, WA has created an “economy” based on a credit system whereby you are able to have other WA members critique your website and give you constructive feedback and advice or leave relevant, high-quality comments on specific posts on your site in exchange for doing so yourself.
This is a relatively new feature in the WA platform, so they're still working out the kinks and improving the features, but it's off to a great start and I can only imagine these features growing in their quality and functionality as time goes on.
The credit system within WA is basically an internal currency that can be used for a variety of “purchases” within the WA platform. You can either purchase these credits, earn them by participating in the community, or earn them by referring new members to the community. You can use credits for Site Comments, Site Feedback, and Site Domains. All of the credits you earn can be used within the community or cashed out, which means you'll be paid for them! I'll go into more details regarding this system in the “Product Overview” section at the end of this review.
Vibrant and Active Community
One of the primary draws of Wealthy Affiliate to many people is its vibrant and active community. You can choose to get involved and participate or, if it's not for you, you can avoid it completely…but for those who are looking for a community of like-minded individuals who are working towards building an online business and financial freedom, then you're in luck with WA!
Members are encouraged to document their progress, ideas, and struggles through WA's own blogging platform. You can also comment on other people's blogs, respond to comments on your own, ask questions to the community (even the owners), or participate in Live Chat with whoever else happens to be online at that time! Those who are super active within the community are even recognized with an “Ambassador” status!
Building off of the idea of a vibrant community, Wealthy Affiliate University also provides you with a huge level of accountability if you choose to participate in the lesson tasks and the overall community. There are many members, myself included, who write regular updates and post goals for everyone to see for the sole purpose of keeping themselves (myself) accountable.
This is something you don't see every day…or ever! The fact that the founders and owners of WA are actually on the ground with the members, responding to questions, giving feedback, and encouraging everyone on their journeys. I've had multiple interactions with both Kyle and Carson in which they have treated me with respect and professionalism and helped me get my problems solved and questions answered.
In fact, if it wasn't for Kyle's personal engagement when I reached out to him as a relatively new member because I was feeling stuck, I probably would've given up and never achieved the success I have so far. Just the other day I asked him about filing taxes with income generated from internet marketing (a great problem to have) and he got back to me in a matter of hours!
For the amount of material you are getting, plus the addition tools and resources, plus the community all make the price of WA a HUGE bargain! Literally, for around a dollar a day (depends on whether or not you go monthly or yearly), you have access to ALL of this.
There are many programs out there that charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the amount of high-quality material you get in just one of the classrooms in WA….and there you get 13 official classrooms plus endless amounts of standalone courses and lessons!
If you get stuck, whether it be early in the morning or in the middle of the night, you can seek out help and expect quick answers, or, at least, someone to point you in the right direction! There are essentially three ways you can seek out help and support in the WA platform:
- Post questions to the community: Your best bet for a quick answer to your problem is to post the question directly to the community either as a blog post tagged as question or directly into the live chat window! If you ask the question in a blog post format and it's tagged as a question, anyone who is following you will receive an email notification showing them your question. If you ask in the Live Chat anyone who is online at the time will see it. In both cases, you can expect a response relatively quickly…if no one knows the answer at that exact moment, they can at least get you started down the right path towards a solution.
- Search previously asked questions: Whenever someone posts a question to the community, that question and all of the following discussion is saved and easily filtered through as you type your question. This allows you to easily see if your question has already been asked and adequately answered. If it has, you're set to go! If not, you get to be the first!
- Contact support team: If all this fails, you can send a message directly to the support teams working behind the scenes to make sure WA is running smoothly. Obviously, you can't expect to get answers as quickly using this method, but you can rest assured they will do their best to help you with whatever your issue is!
Constantly Improving Platform & Training Material
Nothing within WA is stagnant. It is constantly being updated with the latest information as well as an ever-growing number of additional tools and resources. Even the training is updated regularly to ensure it is up-to-date and consistent with the latest trends and technical aspects of internet marketing (aka…what Google wants).
As I was writing this review, I had to add a whole new section to the product overview portion because they just came out with a huge new release!
What I Don't Like
Since I've built my business around writing honest reviews, I'd be remiss if I didn't say some things I don't necessarily like about Wealthy Affiliate (even though it is my most highly recommended product) because, as we all know, nothing is perfect!
Overwhelming At First
I remember being very overwhelmed when I first joined WA simply because there were so many resources and tools available to me that I didn't know what to do! There are many moving parts and things going on at any given time, but after a couple days, you get it figured out. Really, all you need to do is follow the steps given to you when you first join and things shouldn't be too confusing. They literally tell you to click on the big green “Get Started Here” button.
Lots of “Experts”
Because a large aspect of WA is the idea of an active and helpful community, you get some members who believe they are experts on everything, or, at least, act like they know what they talk about when they really don't have any practical experience in the subject matter. I often find myself checking up on people's profiles and websites to see if it looks like they'd actually be a trustworthy source of information. This obviously isn't a huge problem, but you'll just need to be aware of taking what people say with a small grain of salt and always be sure to do your own research as well!
One feature to help combat this is the “Ambassador” program set up to recognize individuals who are very involved in the community. However, I'm not so sure this has exactly had the desired effect because it seems like people can manipulate the system simply by being very involved in the community. Once you've been around a while, you start to learn whose advice to listen to over others.
Beginner & Intermediate Level Focused
If you are already a super-successful or advanced internet marketer, you may struggle to find training at your level since most of the training and members at WA are the beginner to intermediate level. Once you get the advanced levels your role within the community will likely morph into more of a teacher-like position rather than a student-like position.
That being said, I do still think advanced internet marketers have a place within the community as I'm sure they don't know everything about every topic covered. Also, it might provide a good community of like-minded people to bounce ideas off and build your confidence.
SOME Community Created Training
I've found that SOME of the training created and submitted by the regular members to be a bit lacking in detail and applicability. This again goes off of the fact that any member can create a training module, with the approval of the administrators of course, and when there are a lot of people who are still learning and haven't been successful but are wanting to create training, the quality diminishes.
Self-Improvement Mumbo Jumbo
Additionally, there are a lot of self-improvement blog posts and ideas that are constantly being posted and blogged about. This is, obviously, completely a personal preference, but all of that stuff gets annoying. I'm here to build my business, not to listen to someone else write a blog post to make themselves feel better! Anyways, this isn't a major thing at all, just a personal preference so don't let this, or any of the other points in this section, turn you off to checking it out (aff)!
Who Is It For?
There are a wide variety of people who could find their place at Wealthy Affiliate. Primarily, those of you who are looking for all of the resources you need to get your very own online business up and running should definitely take a look at all Wealthy Affiliate has to offer.
If you are a complete beginner and know absolutely nothing about the world of internet marketing or online business, then Wealthy Affiliate University is without-a-doubt the best place for you to get started. You will learn everything you need to know, starting with the very basics!
In addition, even if you have somewhat of a background in internet marketing, maybe you consider yourself an intermediately skilled marketer, you'll still benefit greatly from all WA has to offer. Also, if you're looking for a one-stop-shop for all of your internet/website needs, then WA is definitely the place for you as it has built in website builders, hosting services, domain name purchasing, keyword tools, etc.
Also, if you've been in the business of internet marketing for a while and are stuck or just looking for a community of like-minded individuals who can support and encourage you along the way, then you must look no further than the community at WA!
This is where I usually include my product overview, but since WA is such an immense platform, I am going to include this at the end of this review and get through all of these other sections first for those of you in a hurry! So, if you'd like to see exactly what you'll be getting when you join WA, continue down a few more sections to the “In-Depth Product Review” section”!
Wealthy Affiliate has a few methods of customer support available to all of its members. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on your inquiry. The first two methods I will discuss are primarily community-based support and the third actually involves contacting the actual staff of Wealthy Affiliate.
Live Chat Support
The first place you can take your question or concern is to the live chat on the WA website. This is an area where many members of WA go when looking for answers to their questions or just advice in general. Anyone who is a member of WA can participate in the live chat and because there are so many active members you are likely to get any questions you ask to the community answered within a few minutes!
Generally, I've had a good experience using the Live Chat feature when I needed help. However, you never know who is going to be on at any particular time. If there isn't anyone actively chatting that knows how to answer your question, then you might be out of luck with this method. Also, if you're online late at night there are generally fewer people participating in the live chat area.
If you can't get your concern answered in the Live Chat, then you can move on to the next option:
Posting A Question
Posting a question basically consists of writing a blog post within the WA blogging platform and tagging it as a question. When you do this, it will show up in the unanswered questions area until it is adequately responded to and answered. It will also be sent out via email to various members of the community who might be able to help you out. This method may take a little longer to generate an adequate response, but it will be seen by more people and allows for continued conversation and discussion over an infinite period of time.
I've always had great success with this method of seeking support and have usually gotten my issues figured out within a day or two. Posting a question on your blog makes it permanent…so it won't get buried in the conversation like it will if you ask it in Live Chat.
Submitting A Support Ticket
The third option to you is to submit a support ticket directly to the customer support department at WA. You can do this using a couple different methods, but you'll usually get a response from one of the owners, Kyle or Carson, or other representative within 24 hours. This is generally used as a last resort since members can typically get their issues resolved using the other two means, but it doesn't have to be.
In my experience, I have always received very prompt, friendly, and helpful responses when submitting support tickets through this system. Overall, each of these three methods has its place and taking them all into consideration means you won't go long with unsolved problems or unanswered questions!
Prices + Membership Options
Wealthy Affiliate University has two different membership options available to everyone: Starter & Premium.
The Starter Membership (Aff) is ideal for everyone who is first checking out Wealthy Affiliate. In fact, I wouldn't recommend signing up for the Premium Membership until you've been a Starter Member for a few days to make sure it will be a good fit. Obviously, the Starter Membership doesn't come with all of the features WA has to offer, but it does have enough to get you started and well on your way to building a successful online business, including two free websites through their SiteRubix platform (Aff).
If you have tried out the Starter Membership and like what you see and want to dive in even deeper, then I would suggest upgrading to the Premium Membership. If you do this within the first 7 days, you'll get a nice discount and receive your first month of membership for only $19. After that, it will cost $47 per month if you choose the monthly plan. If you choose to go yearly, which really is a far better deal, it will cost you a yearly fee of $359.
The Premium Membership option comes with all of the features and perks Wealthy Affiliate has to offer. You will have access to every training resource in every classroom, the Live Chat, the weekly Webinars, as well as a plethora of other resources. It seems spendy at first, but if you consider all you will be getting, especially including unlimited site hosting, it really is a steal of a deal.
Is Wealthy Affiliate A Scam?
If you are worried about Wealthy Affiliate being a scam, please consult my post: 5 Questions To Recognize An Online Money Making Scam. You will see that a key method of recognizing a scam is that the product or service will not let you “try before you buy“. Wealthy Affiliate offers many of their resources for free. You could learn more than you ever needed to know without ever paying a single penny.
Also, please note that another tell-tale sign of a scam is the promise of instant income and/or ridiculously large sums of easy money. Not once in this review or anywhere else on this website have I mentioned the promise of easy and quick money. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Wealthy Affiliate is simply a place for you to learn how to do the HARD WORK to build your online business the right way and a place to connect and build a network of similar people. If you are not willing to invest time and money, then you will not be successful.
My final point on this topic is to consider my post: 4 Steps To Determine If An Online Offer Is Legit. You will see that Wealthy Affiliate passes all of these tests with flying colors. All of this being said, it is ultimately up to you to decide if WA is actually what I claim it is in this review!
What is YOUR final verdict?
Ok…so you've made it through this entire review. You can now determine for yourself what you think of the Wealthy Affiliate University platform and community. So, what do you think?
I hope you have seen that it is an excellent place for a variety of people with a variety of interests who all have one thing in common, building a successful online business! If this sounds like you, then I think you should definitely give WA a shot, especially since you don't have to pay for anything to get started or, forever, if you don't feel like it.
If you can't tell from this review, I have tried to be as honest as possible regarding the good and bad aspects of Wealthy Affiliate. Even so, WA comes out as a shining community that I would not hesitate to recommend to my closest friends and family…as long as it's something they were interested in, of course! This is why I can wholeheartedly recommend Wealthy Affiliate University (Aff) to you, my readers, with a clean conscience based on my own personal experience with the product!
If you aren't yet convinced, please read some real testimonials (Aff) from actual Wealthy Affiliate members.
Product Overview + Tools
Now that we've gotten through the actual review, I will give you a rundown of just what exactly Wealthy Affiliate has to offer you! There is nothing I hate more than not knowing exactly what you'll be getting when you purchase a new product or service, so my goal by the end of this section is to make sure that is not the case with you! I'll first start by going over all of the training resources you will have available to you, then I'll walk you through the community aspects of WA, the brand new Credit system recently launched, and I'll end by giving you a rundown of all of the tools you will have available to you within the WA platform.
Note: Not all of what is mentioned below will be available to Starter Members. However, it is all available to Premium Members.
The training resources available to you as a member of WA are extensive indeed. All of the training is divided up into different classrooms, each focusing on a different topic. I will give a descriptive summary of each classroom and go into even more detail on the first one! Also, each classroom contains a series of “official” training courses which are created by the founders of WA (Kyle & Carson) as well as multiple courses created by members of the community. Each community created training must be approved by the WA staff to ensure it is up to the standard of the WA platform.
Also, each lesson contains a set of tasks to be completed as you progress through them. This is a really nice feature as it allows you to ensure you are completing and learning all of the necessary skills it takes to become a successful online marketer. It also keeps you accountable and makes it a lot harder on your conscience to skip steps as you progress!
Getting Started/Certification Course
This classroom is focused on getting you started on the right foundation. Its goal is to take you from knowing absolutely nothing about internet marketing or building an online business to being well on your way to a successful business! By the time you finish you'll be able to purchase domain names, create quality content, get your website ranked in the search engines, monetize your website, build a social media following, and much, much more.
Each course is taught either by video + corresponding text or by text alone. There are also many graphics included when relevant and necessary as well as a discussion area at the end of each lesson where you can discuss with other students the topics of the lessons or complete specific tasks called for in the lesson.
Here are the official courses within this platform:
Course 1: Online Entrepreneur Certification – Getting Started (Level 1)
This course consists of ten lessons and 34 tasks. By the end of this course you will have learned how to better utilize the resources within WA, create realistic long-term and short-term goals, narrow down your niche ideas, optimize your WordPress website, create high-quality and engaging content for your website, brainstorm and develop high-quality keyword lists, learn the basics of website monetization, build your first niche website, and learn the basics of keyword research and search engine optimization.
- Lesson 1: Getting Rolling
- Lesson 2: Understanding How to Make Money Online
- Lesson 3: Choose a Niche
- Lesson 4: Building Your OWN Website
- Lesson 5: Setting Up Your Website
- Lesson 6: Getting Your Site Ready for SEO
- Lesson 7: Finding Content Ideas from Keywords
- Lesson 8: Understand Website Pages & Creating Your First 3
- Lesson 9: Creating Quality Website Content
- Lesson 10: Congratulations and Your Next Steps
Course 2: Online Entrepreneur Certification – Building Your Own Traffic Producing Website (Level 2)
This course is all about traffic, traffic, traffic and all of the ways to generate targeted, focused, and free traffic to your site! You will learn how to set up some more basic features on your blog, learn the specific types of traffic and how to get them to your site, adding quality graphics, learning how to use the WordPress editor, some more keyword research, and simply making your content as friendly as possible…all with the focus on getting organic traffic to your site!
- Lesson 1: Your Own Domain, Your Brand. TRAFFIC
- Lesson 2: Building Out Your Website Theme-Based Content
- Lesson 3: Setting Up a Domain Specific Email Account
- Lesson 4: The Traffic Breakdown
- Lesson 5: Making Use of Visuals
- Lesson 6: Getting Crafty With the WordPress Editor
- Lesson 7: Understanding the Low Hanging Fruit
- Lesson 8: Making Face as a REAL PERSON
- Lesson 9: Amplifying Your Google Love with Google…
- Lesson 10: Boosting Your WA Ranks!
Course 3: Online Entrepreneur Certification – Making Money! (Level 3)
In this course, you will be given a crash course in making money with your website! You will learn about your customers and their typical motivations and actions, how to navigate the complicated world of affiliate networks, how best to use affiliate products and links, doing the math in terms of potential revenue your website opens you up to, how to write and monetize product reviews, learning about the use of Google AdSense to generate revenue from your site, how to incorporate affiliate links and other affiliate resources into your content, and a few other objectives.
- Lesson 1: Understanding the MONEY in Online Business
- Lesson 2: Understanding Affiliate Programs & Networks
- Lesson 3: Relevant Affiliate Programs are Everywhere
- Lesson 4: Adding Affiliate Links to Your Pages
- Lesson 5: Instant Access to a MILLION Products
- Lesson 6: Leveraging Product Reviews
- Lesson 7: Getting Paid for Ads on Your Site
- Lesson 8: Earning Pennies OR Dollars?
- Lesson 9: A Brilliant Way to Track & Understand Your Traffic
- Lesson 10: With Help Comes Financial Success
Course 4: Online Entrepreneur Certification – Mastering Social Engagement (Level 4)
As you might be able to tell from the title of this course, it is focused primarily on all things social media! By the time you make your way through this course you'll have a much better understanding of what exactly social media means for your online business, how to make your website conducive to social engagement, using high-quality visuals to increase the shareability of your content, the basics of the major social media platforms, utilizing Google Authorship to enhance your image to your readers, and much, much more.
- Lesson 1: What Does Social Media Mean to Your Business
- Lesson 2: Making Your Website a Place to Engage
- Lesson 3: Using Facebook the Right Way
- Lesson 4: Pinterest & the Visual Social Hemisphere
- Lesson 5: Incorporating a Sound Tweeting Campaign
- Lesson 6: Google Plus or Minus?
- Lesson 7: The Benefit of Being Social at WA
- Lesson 8: Make Your Campaigns Social Branding Animals
- Lesson 9: Using the Wealthy Affiliate Social Community
- Lesson 10: You Cannot Be a Master of Everything
Course 5: Seven Steps to Building a Successful Niche Website
This is the final course in the official “Getting Started” classroom. This course builds off of everything you've learned so far and will teach you to implement additional steps to make your niche website successful! By the end, you'll have a great understanding of building email lists, integrating affiliate offers into your content, optimizing your site for converting readers into paying customers, building your knowledge of tracking traffic and statistics, and much, much more.
- Lesson 1: Setting Up Shop
- Lesson 2: Install Tracking Codes (and why they're so important)
- Lesson 3: Mail Subscriptions
- Lesson 4: Powerful, Helpful Content
- Lesson 5: Lace Your Content with Affiliate Offers
- Lesson 6: EARNING Traffic
- Lesson 7: Stages of Testing, Tweaking, Optimizing and Improving
Well, that about wraps up the Getting Started Classroom. I hope it gives you a level of understanding of what each classroom looks like and how much detail each course goes into! Once you complete all of the courses, lessons, and tasks included in this classroom, you'll have a pretty fantastic website up and running! It probably won't be making significant amounts of money yet at this point, but it will be well on its way!
In addition to the five courses in the Getting Started Classroom, there are also 13 video lessons, 11 more tutorials, and over 15,500 questions and answers for you to take advantage of!
Now I'll give a rundown of the rest of the classrooms, albeit, not on an individual lesson level. However, they all have just as much valuable information and resources as the Certification Classroom I just walked you through!
The Affiliate Bootcamp Classroom is focused on developing your affiliate skills by learning how to promote WA to your audience. While promoting WA is the point of learning throughout this classroom, the skills and techniques you will be learning can be applied to any and every niche, product, and affiliate program out there!
Here are the 7 Phases available to you within the Affiliate Bootcamp (each of these phases has 10 individual lessons each with their own tasks to complete):
- Starting Your Foundation (Phase 1)
- Content, Keywords, and Conversions (Phase 2)
- Giving Your Site Social Value (Phase 3)
- Get Visual. Get Aesthetic. Get a Brand Through Media (Phase 4)
- Knowing Your Audiences & Catapulting Your Referrals (Phase 5)
- Bing, Yahoo, & the Power of PPC (Phase 6)
- How to Scale Successful PPC Campaigns (Phase 7)
Questions & Answers: 6,600+
Keyword, Niche and Market Research
The primary focus of this classroom is to ensure you are performing the best possible research when it comes to choosing keywords, figuring out which niche/s you are going to pursue, and doing good market research. You will get training regarding specific keyword research software, free and paid, which will help you in just about everything mentioned in the previous sentence. The principles learned in this classroom are essential to producing quality and relevant content for the rest of your online career!
Some of the most popular tutorials focus on Keyword Research (By Carson), understanding the customer purchase cycle (By Kyle), how to reveal thousands of potential niches (By Kyle), and many more.
Questions & Answers: 3,400+
As the title states, this is your one-stop-shop classroom for everything WordPress related! There are almost 100 training videos and 60 tutorials in this classroom covering just about every aspect of WordPress you could think of…not to mention the 10,000+ questions and answers that have been contributed! You can learn anything from as simple as adding images to as complex as editing behind the scenes settings and everything in-between.
Questions & Answers: 10,500+
Authoring and Writing Content
This classroom is where you will find all of the skills, ideas, and motivation you need to develop your writing skills. You will learn how to develop new and exciting content ideas and turn them into high-quality content. There are also lessons regarding outsourcing your content creation to pay others to do the work for you, monetizing your content so it can begin to earn money for you, and writing Search Engine Optimization friendly content.
Questions & Answers: 3,500+
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is probably one of the best ways to get traffic to your site because it is free; however, it is one of the most difficult methods because it involves getting your content ranked highly in the search engines, particularly Google. To get ranked your site needs to meet certain expectations and requirements as well as being full of really great, original content and that is what this classroom is here to teach you!
There are huge companies that charge businesses thousands and thousands of dollars to do for them what you are learning how to do in this classroom!
Questions & Answers: 2,900+
Social Engagement & Marketing
This classroom focuses on getting you and your site to be as social as possible. This includes on social media as well as the social aspects of your very websites. In today's day-in-age, the world of social media is rapidly changing and expanding, so it is important to always be up to date on the latest tools, resources, and strategies and this classroom exists to do just that. If you're good at it, social media can drive thousands upon thousands of visitors to your site!
Questions & Answers: 2,400+
Website Development & Programming
This is the technical classroom for anyone who is interested in learning the “behind-the-scenes” aspects of their websites, plugins, themes, or web applications. A lot of you may not think you'd be interested in too much of the content in this classroom (and that is ok since Wealthy Affiliate will take care of 99% of the technical stuff for you), but everything here is good to know and will only increase your understanding of how all of this stuff works and develop your skills as you build your business!
Questions & Answers: 5,600+
Local marketing is, for me, one of the most exciting spaces of internet marketing because it allows you to take everything you're learning here in WA and sell your skills to local businesses! Not all of internet marketing needs to be focused on the entire internet, but can be focused on a single geographic area! In fact, if you're good at local marketing, you'll be amazed at the money you can make and the clients you can pick-up! You can charge a lot of money for the simple things you're learning how to do at WA, whether it be content creation, website creation, or simply social media marketing. Either way, this classroom is focused on teaching you all of the techniques and skills you will need to build your business around local marketing!
Questions & Answers: 275+
If you ask any experienced internet marketer, they will likely tell you this: “The money is in the list!”. So far, that is completely my experience as well because building an email list gives you a direct link to your potential customers, allows you to create ongoing contact between you and your subscribers, and allows you to build an amazing amount of trust with them. Once this trust is established and your subscribers know you put out a good product, then selling to them will be a breeze! This classroom is all about that. If you can become good, nay…even just decent, at email marketing, you're well on your way to becoming a financially successful internet marketer!
Questions & Answers: 450+
The Wealthy Affiliate Platform
Wealthy Affiliate is a fairly complex community with a lot of moving parts and tons of resources at your disposal. This makes for a somewhat confusing experience, especially when you first get started. That being said, after a few days you'll start to figure it out and that is exactly what this classroom is for as well: to help you get a handle on just exactly what all is available for your benefit within the WA platform! If you spend some time poking around this classroom, you'll probably discover some aspects of WA you didn't even know existed!
Questions & Answers: 1,800+
Pay Per Click Marketing
Pay Per Click marketing, or “PPC” for short, is where you pay to advertise your site and have people click links that will bring them to your content. If you have efficient and well-performing content with great conversion rates, this type of marketing has the potential to be super lucrative as it allows you to scale up your profits. However, it can also be quite risky and could potentially lose a lot of money for you (I know from experience) if you don't know what you're doing! That's why this classroom exists, to teach you the best practices in PPC as well as making sure you don't pour your hard earned money down the drain!
Questions & Answers: 500+
One of the best aspects of Wealthy Affiliate, in my opinion, is its vibrant and active community. There are many aspects of the community and I will try to cover most of them here. However, don't feel like you would need to participate in every aspect to be successful. In fact, you wouldn't need to participate in any of them if you didn't want to and would still be successful, as long as you were making your way through the training courses!
Each member at Wealthy Affiliate University has their own profile. You are able to upload a picture of yourself, or whatever you want, and write a personal description about yourself. (Check out my profile (Aff)) There are no requirements as to how long it needs to be. Some people don't write anything, some write a few sentences, and some write their entire life stories, it really is all up to you!
When you are on someone's personal profile page you are also able to see all of the blogs they have written, the training they have created, and the websites they choose to display to other members of the community!
Blogging is also another important community aspect of WA. Again, it's not necessary to use this feature, but many people use it as a form of accountability by putting their goals out there in front of the rest of the community. You can also ask questions, run ideas by the community, or just get your thoughts on a particular subject down for all to read. Members are allowed to comment on blogs so, often times, in-depth and interesting conversations happen because of certain blog posts!
One aspect of the WA homepage that I really appreciate is the “Top 10”, which is a summary of the ten most popular blog posts at any given time. I'm not exactly sure how these are calculated, but it has something to do with how many people read, comment, and like your blogs. Anyways, I usually stop by the top ten daily just to make sure I don't miss any important developments or discussions!
Private messaging is only available to Premium Members (Aff) but basically acts as an internal email platform for communicating with other members of the community. It's an important method of communication, especially if you have questions you'd like to ask or business proposals to put forth that you don't want out there in public for all to see!
Asking questions is probably the most important thing you can do when you're building your online business because, without a doubt, you will reach a point or challenge that you're not quite sure how to get past. That is why it is an integral part of being a member of WA and is made super easy.
All you have to do is type a question and click “Ask Your Question” and your question will be published for all of the members to see. You can usually expect a fairly quick response and hopefully a quick resolution to your problem!
Live Chat is available to anyone who would like to have a live conversation with anyone else within the WA community. Sometimes there are a lot of people participating in the conversation and sometimes there aren't many at all…it really just depends on the time of day you're on. This is a great place to ask questions to the community or to just chat and discuss whatever is on your mind at that particular time.
Ambassadorship is a way of recognizing the most active and helpful members of the community with the title of Ambassador. This title can be earned by helping people answer their questions, create new blog posts and training material, and just being all around active within the community.
The top 25 members at any given time within the community are considered Ambassadors. As far as I know, this title doesn't come with any sort of monetary or material rewards but is simply a way of recognizing the most active members.
Cash credits are the “internal currency” that can be used to purchase certain services within the WA platform. Each credit a cash value of $0.50 and can be earned through the Affiliate program, cash credit opportunities, and purchasing them yourself.
You are able to use Cash Credits for three functions within the WA platform: Site Comments, Site Feedback, and Site Domains. The way this typically works, especially for Site Comments and Site Feedback is that you use credits in exchange for comments or feedback on your websites. If you use one credit you will be allowed to request one comment or one feedback opportunity.
Earning cash credits can be done in a variety of ways. The first method is by creating your own training resources within the WA Classrooms. Obviously, these need to be high-quality training materials and must be approved before they are allowed to be published. Also, your earnings from these are based on how many people view the training and interact with it.
You can also earn credits when any of the members you have referred to WA purchase a new domain name through the Site Domains portion of WA. When they do this you will earn 2 Credits. The last method by which you can earn credits is by offering your critiques on the Site Feedback platform or a comment through the Site Comments platform.
If you don't want to put in the time or effort to earn credits, you can simply purchase them as well. They will cost you $0.50 per credit and you must purchase at least $10 worth at a time and can get as many as $100 worth per purchase.
If you earn enough credits or decide you don't want to use the credits you have already purchased, you can exchange them out at $0.50 per credit. The payments will be made through PayPal using the email address you have attached to your account and there will be no fees attached.
Affiliate Credits are earned through your affiliate activity within WA. They are slightly different than Cash Credits because they are earned and not purchased.
You are able to use Community Credits in similar ways as Cash Credits within the WA platform; i.e. Site Comments and Site Feedback. Again, they can be exchanged for comments and feedback.
You are able to earn community credits simple by offering your comments on other members' websites through the Site Comments platform and/or giving site feedback to other members through the Site Comments platform.
Website Creation and Management
Within the “Websites & Hosting” page of WA you have access to everything website and hosted related (imagine that)! This is where you can build new websites, buy new domains, request feedback on your site, ask for comments, manage your emails, and ask for support! I'll go into more detail of each aspect now.
Site Manager is where you are able to manage all of the websites you have hosted with WA. It allows you to simply build a new website in a matter of seconds through its Website Builder. If you'd like to see how to do that you can read this tutorial: 4 Simple Steps To Build Your WordPress Website.
For all of the websites you have active you are able to see vital statistics regarding when it was last backed up, what version of WordPress it's running, what aspects are being monitored, server performance, number of pages and posts, approved and pending comments, when it was last updated, and whether or not it is indexed in Google.
You are also able to log into your WP Dashboard directly from this page without even needing to enter your password…this is extremely convenient! On top of this all, you can request comments and feedback for any specific website directly from this page, move the website to a new or existing domain, view even more details, and delete the site from the face of the earth (as a last resort, of course!).
Site Health is an amazingly helpful feature within the Site Manager page that allows you to see just exactly how healthy your site is, where it has problems and the best way to go about fixing those problems!
The health of your website is determined by 8 different factors, including publishing frequency, visitor engagement, plugins, google ranked, content quality & variety, your engagement with visitors, site trust, and website feedback.
This is where you manage every aspect of your domain names: purchasing, hosting, and renewal.
To purchase a domain name all you have to do is search for available domains, choose how many years you want to purchase the license for, update all of your contact details (required for WHOIS protection and other government stuff), and choose your payment details (either by credit/debit card, PayPal, or using Cash Credits). It's as simple as that! Once your domain is purchased, it will be automatically hosted on the WA platform unless otherwise directed by you.
For the domains registered at WA, you are able to determine whether or not you would like to auto-renew them, where to direct their name servers, update contact and privacy details, redirect them, access FTP systems, and change your payment preferences.
You are also able to point domains that you have purchased through other exchanges at the WA Nameservers to have them hosted at WA as well.
This is where you can give feedback on others' websites and receive feedback on your own. It works on a 2 to one system, meaning you have to provide quality feedback on two other sites before you can request feedback on your own. Each time you give good feedback you earn one Cash Credit and it costs 2 Cash Credits to request feedback on your own. Each piece of feedback you give needs to be at least 250 characters. It's also important to leave high-quality feedback so you will get equally high-quality feedback in return!
This system is a relatively new aspect of Wealthy Affiliate and the kinks are still being worked out. However, it is a unique idea and I'm confident that as time goes on it will become a powerful tool for every online business owner!
This is where you can give and request comments on your very own website! This is an ingenious idea that is still relatively new within WA, so the bugs are still being worked out, but overall it's a great tool and will only become better.
It may seem at face value that this method of generating comments might be a little bit sketchy, but when you actually understand how it works there is nothing sketchy about it. Essentially, because your website is hosted at WA (that means Site Comments can only be used with sites hosted at WA) they have direct access to your WP Dashboard. Once a comment is submitted and approved, they post it directly to your site as a regular comment. So, once it's on your site it is submitted and viewed as a completely normal comment. This platform at WA simply creates a network to find people to comment on your site, then allows the normal process to happen. Once a comment is approved it can be responded to like normal!
When requesting comments, you are able to specify exactly what page or post you would like to receive comments and how many you would like. You can even make it so you will receive comments over a set period of time to keep your new content fresh! On top of this, each comment is checked for plagiarism before it is submitted for your approval to ensure you are getting the most high-quality, original content out there.
When offering comments, you are given a page/post to read and comment on. Once you have read that specific piece of content you enter your email address and write your comment. Each comment needs to be over 50 words long, unique, and original. Also, the website owner has the power to approve or disapprove of any comment they receive before it's put on their site. Your comment approval percentage is tracked so you know how well your comments are being received.
There are many settings you can manipulate to ensure you are given content you are actually interested in commenting on as well as ensuring those who comment on your content are interested in what you're writing about! You are also able to change how your name, gravatar, and email address will appear when giving comments.
This is where you can either set up an inbox using the emailm addresses attached to your domain names hosted at WA or have them forwarded to another email address hosted on other email clients (Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, etc.) This is all pretty self-explanatory, but I just wanted to make sure you knew this was available to you.
If you ever run into any problems or have any questions regarding anything to do with your website/s hosted at WA, then this is where you can go to get them taken care of. All you have to do is submit a support ticket with your question/concern and it will be addressed as soon as possible.
You are able to specifically select which domain you're having trouble with and the exact category your problem would fall into as well as your actual message. You can also upload images to aid in the troubleshooting that might take place.
This is a simple platform for solving your problems, but it's really efficient and generally gets this sorted quickly and easily!
In addition to all of the training and community aspects, there are even more additional tools you can take advantage of to further your online business creation! Most of these are free, but not all of them. I'll be sure to indicate if it will cost additional money as we go on!
Jaaxy + WA Keyword Tool
Jaaxy is a Premium keyword tool created by the creators of WA. It is a great tool that is comparable to any of the other major keyword research tools out there. I'm not going to go into too much detail here because I have already written a unique in-depth review of Jaaxy.
If you don't want to or aren't able to, pay for a Jaaxy membership, WA also has its own keyword tool built into the WA platform. The Keyword Tool is basically a simplified version of Jaaxy. This means it still offers quality and accurate results, but just doesn't come with as many features as Jaaxy.
That being said, it's more than enough for the average user! It will give you keyword suggestions, tell you information regarding searches, traffic, competition, article power, PPC power, and will allow you to “Dig” deeper with any keyword. You can also create keyword lists to save your research for later reference.
Rapid Writer is a tool designed to help you become efficient at writing new content as well as managing your keyword density to ensure you're not keyword stuffing your posts which will allow you to achieve the best SEO possible with every piece of content you write! This is a pretty simple, but easy to use and helpful tool!
This is an amazing tool you can utilize to track the conversion percentages for your links. You are able to create specific campaigns to each have specific links all based on your unique business set up. On top of this, you are able to integrate your Google Conversion ID, Yahoo Conversion ID, and MSN DomainID to allow for the most accurate statistics possible.
If you are tracking links that have to do with affiliate products you can also sync Link Tracking up with your specific affiliate programs, enter how much the program pays, and how they pay. This allows you to calculate how much each click is worth! This tool will become extremely important once you venture into the world of PPC!
Wow…if you've made it this far, then you must really be interested in what Wealthy Affiliate University has to offer! If that is the case, please, please, please, I beg you to check it out by clicking HERE (Aff) and creating your FREE starter membership. I'll see you inside!
If you have ANY questions or comments whatsoever regarding WA, my own journey, or anything else, please leave me a comment below (or better yet within WA), and I'll be sure to get back to you in as much detail as possible!
Dustin “Kirby” Garness
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