For anybody who wants to start an online business, the first thing that he does is casually type the search words “how to make money online” in the Google search bar. Likewise, for someone who wants to start a hobby blog, the search words could be “how to start a blog”. In both instances, in the search result, Google would bamboozle him with thousands of pages and websites all telling him almost the same things, all making bold statements how their method is fool-proof and is a guarantee to make millions of dollars from the comforts of his home.
Open any site and he is greeted with photographs of smiling faces of “successful” people in front of their private yachts and luxurious cars or pop-ups insisting that you click on a button on the page for an exciting trip towards a multi-million dollar online business. They might even push a sense of urgency telling that it’s a limited-time offer and unless you sign up and pay the enrollment fee immediately, the fee is going to increase in a few days. Familiar?
Does the person’s first-day search result make him sign up for an “amazing” training course from one of the pages in his search result in all his naivety? It’s possible that he signs up instantly because he thinks the offer is too good to be true and that all the testimonials from those successful people sound credible. Or it’s possible that with the money-back offer given, he feels he’s got nothing to lose in trying out the platform for a first-hand experience.
Or it’s also possible that, and it happens in a majority of the cases, the person is all confused to choose the right course for himself and is wary to sign up immediately because, after all, he’s going to invest his hard-earned money on it. He wants to be sure. Even if it says there’s a free trial or a money-back offer, he wants to be sure that it’s not going to be a time-wasting exercise. He’s heard of too many get-rich-quick schemes (scams, actually) on the Internet and therefore, he cannot let himself sign up before he does some research on it. He procrastinates.
Why do People Enter the Online Business World?
The idea that one could make money online doing the very things that one loves doing or by imparting knowledge to others from an activity that he’s truly passionate about is very alluring. And it sounds easy too. You create a website, write good content, drive traffic to it, make a sale there, which could be your own product or someone else’s, and earn money.
Different types of people venture into the online business activity.
It could be anybody.
- He could be that smart-looking executive next-door who’s with his 9-5 job. He wants to find an alternative means to earn income because his job sucks. Or he hates his boss. He wants to spend more time with his family and he feels the online business suits him.
- He could be that college-going youngster who’s fired up with an entrepreneurial streak in him and wants to start early. He wants to check out the online business thing that everybody’s talking about. He thinks it’s the best way to kill his time during the intervening months between two semesters.
- He could be the bike enthusiast cousin of yours who wants to start a blog on bikes. He’s not thinking too much into making money immediately but is extremely excited with the prospect of connecting with other bike lovers from all over the world through his blog. And if he makes some money out of it, why, that’s wonderful!
- She could be the friendly-looking housewife next-door who’s looking to do something in her spare time. She wants to start a baby-care mommy blog and earn money by imparting her knowledge of being a full-time mommy and by selling baby products there.
- He could be the retired grandpa living in your neighbourhood who’s living off his savings and wants to make some money in his free time (he has lots of free time) to pay for medical bills and house rent.
You know what is common in all these persons? They are all newbies. But they all want to learn the ways to make money online. They are all looking for a perfect platform that would teach them the basics of creating a business blog and the ways to monetise it. And they prefer something that’s hassle-free, tailor-made for beginners like themselves, not overwhelming, legitimate and easy on their pockets.
There are scores of legit Internet marketing training platforms available on the Internet. And if one looks carefully, the lessons covered are basically the same across platforms. They are what we call the fundamentals or building blocks of an Internet business. Most courses cover these basics. The difference comes in how the training is designed, the support system, the community, and the course fee.
This post is meant to shed light on one of the most popular Internet marketing platforms in the world – Wealthy Affiliate. So, let me just stick to it. This is something that I personally know thoroughly because I have been its Premium Member for more than a year now.
See, there’s no system that is 100% good and one might argue the same with Wealthy Affiliate (WA). But the training, the support and everything about Wealthy Affiliate is good value for money, especially for beginners. How? Read on.
What is Wealthy Affiliate?
Let me not dwell too much on what the system is and what are the privileges of its registered members. You can read all about them in other reviews on it found on the Internet or you can read some articles on this blog itself. They will give you a fair idea of how their system works.
I may well be accused of being biased since I’m its member. There are also reviews that call Wealthy Affiliate a scam and all that but it’s possible that the writers themselves are biased against WA because of their vested interests. In any case, most of these reviewers are trying to push their own product and, what can be more credible than comparing it to an established and popular system like Wealthy Affiliate and saying theirs is a superior product than WA!
Wealthy Affiliate is, arguably, the most popular training platform for Internet marketing available on the web today. Founded by Kyle Loudon and Carson Lim, WA has been in the business of providing training to aspiring affiliate marketers for the last 13 years. In Internet years, 13 years is a long time, and the fact that not only have they been continuing to do it but have constantly grown in all aspects is a testimony to the platform’s effectiveness in making the dreams of many people come true.
Wealthy Affiliate is seen as a complete system that is suitable not only for the beginners but also for the more experienced and successful marketers. It is almost like a natural habitat for Internet marketers of all levels – beginners, intermediate and the advanced alike – all interacting and connecting from different time zones across the globe.
Intricately-designed lessons in two different courses (Online Entrepreneur Certification and Affiliate Bootcamp), training videos, different classrooms, complete hosting solutions for your WordPress website, a library of videos on their one-hour weekly webinars, thousands of blog articles and training videos and lessons from the members, inbuilt content writing platform, free Keywords research tool, your own blog on WA, free hosting for 50 websites (25 in your own domain and 25 in WA’s SiteRubix subdomain), Live Chat, instant support and constant back-up of all your website, all included in your Premium Membership fee, Wealthy Affiliate is more than a good deal.
Having seen the platform from close, I have no doubt that Wealthy Affiliate is one of the best (if not the best) Internet marketing platforms for beginners.
Still having doubts? Well, read on.
Wealthy Affiliate is Free to Join
When I say it’s free to join, I mean WA has a Free Starter Membership for you to try it out without having to pay a single dime. And this Starter Membership has no validity. Meaning, you can continue to remain a Starter Member as long as you like without upgrading yourself to the Premium Membership. A Starter Member can host two websites for free on WA’s SiteRubix hosting servers and can get access to the first ten lessons (Level 1) in both Online Entrepreneur Certification and Affiliate Bootcamp courses. You will learn how to create a beautiful WordPress site from these lessons. You can upgrade to the paid Premium Membership to avail of the full privileges of WA when you get the hang of it and you get a glimpse of how the whole Internet marketing works.
Whatever privileges I’m going to say from here on are mostly for the Premium members.
Well-Designed Training Lessons
The lessons in both the Online Entrepreneur Certification (50 lessons) and Affiliate Bootcamp (70 lessons) are specifically designed for the beginners. The lessons in each course come in 10 levels and are arranged in a systematic order so that a beginner does not get overwhelmed with all the concepts that he has to learn. They are laid out in accordance with their relevance and importance, and when a beginner takes up the lessons in a step-by-step fashion, the linkages happen in perfect coherence.
Right from the introduction to the concept of an online business and affiliate marketing to creating your own WordPress website, from social media marketing to driving traffic, WA’s training lessons and videos cover the whole gamut of Internet marketing. Every concept is touched upon.
No Hassle for Domain Registration and Hosting
Wealthy Affiliate provides domain registration and web hosting solutions on its SiteRubix servers. Had you been taking Internet or Digital marketing training on some other platform, you would be required to buy your own domain name and register it (host it) to some other hosting company. Some registrars do provide both domain registration and hosting together. You are required to perform all these tasks including buying SSL certificates for enhanced security on your own. All these not only incur costs but are quite a hassle to a beginner.
However, when you join Wealthy Affiliate, everything’s done for you and you are ready to create your own WordPress site within minutes. It circumvents all the steps and you are given an SSL-activated website within minutes. So, what you do is buy a domain from WA (this is not included in the Premium membership fee) and get it hosted there. All within a few seconds. Want to try it out?
You Can Work at Your Own Pace
In the members’ dashboard area, in the training tab are the two course as mentioned before. It’s a smart tab actually which lets you know the lessons covered by you and clicking which lets you jump into that particular lesson where you had stopped. Each lesson has a walk-through video and tasks on the things to be learned. Everything is designed to let you work at your own pace. You can access the lessons (the already covered or the yet-to-be-covered) anytime you want as long you are its member. There’s no fixed time-frame for you to finish the lessons or the assignments. This is important if you’re a beginner because it’s easy to feel slightly overwhelmed with the heavy load of information you’re being fed with every day. Being able to work at your own pace makes the journey less arduous.
Apart from the many training videos and lessons in Online Entrepreneur Certification and Affiliate Bootcamp, there are thousands of training posts (both video and textual) from the experienced members. These lessons on various aspects of affiliate marketing are above the lessons contained in the two courses. These are all easily accessible through the search bar in the WA dashboard area. Above these are the recordings of the one-hour weekly webinars that are available for all Premium members. If you’re not able to attend the live webinars because of your work schedule or because of the odd timing for you, no problem. Just access the video library in the dashboard and you’ll find all the recordings there to let to watch them at a time of your convenience.
Free Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool
A keyword research tool is a must-have for all Internet marketers. The tool provides a glimpse of the competitiveness of a particular keyword or keyphrase. Knowing this is essential to enable you to create content with good keywords (less competitive or the low-hanging fruit kind) for easier ranking in the search engines.
The Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool is owned by WA’s owners, Kyle and Carson and the Lite version of the tool is provided FREE to the Premium members. This is a big bonus not only for the beginners but also for the more experienced marketers as well.
Blogging at WA Sharpens Your Writing Skills
Most of us are not born writers. But writing good content which is of value to the readers remain the key to your success. Writing is a skill that comes with experience. As beginners, at first, things might not be easy and the writing might sound a tad forced, stiff and listless. You are also required to write blog posts frequently. You need to have a good writing habit.
A Premium member is provided with a Personal Blog space at Wealthy Affiliate for him to post updates on his progress in the lessons as well as in his business, share his thoughts and feelings about the Internet marketing or anything related to it, to vent out his feelings, or to provide motivation and encouragement to other fellow bloggers who are at his level of experience. The Personal Blog at WA is one of its most well-loved features, and every day, hundreds of new posts are updated on it. People share their views by commenting on the posts or liking them.
For a beginner, this Personal Blog at WA is such an important space because this is where his writing ability comes to the fore. His blog here provides him a convenient practice ground for him to hone his writing skills. It is seen that the members write more freely and honestly on WA Blogs than on their business sites. Most beginners discover their writing voice while writing on WA Blogs.
Free Websites to Test Your Knowledge and Skills
As beginners, we tend to make many mistakes not only in content creation but on our WordPress website too when trying out certain things. It could be changing something, customising the theme or adding a widget. In your enthusiasm to play around with the many tools, it is probable that things could be a little messy. You could make a mess of your live website. Or it is also possible that you’re reluctant to try out anything new because of your fear of making a serious mistake somewhere. This fear could inhibit your learning.
When you are a Premium member, you are provided 25 websites under the free siterubix subdomain. This is above the 25 own-domain websites permissible under the Premium Membership. The 25 websites under the siterubix subdomain are absolutely free for you! Meaning, you can create many “test websites” for you to try out whatever customisations you want with no fear whatsoever. Many a time, when you‘re a beginner, you’re unsure of the result from making any change on your actual site. But when you have a free test site, things become easy for you. Try anything on it before implementing it on your actual site. Isn’t this good?
Millions of Copyright-free Images for Any Niche
The visual elements of a website are important to create a good first impression to the visitors. There are copyright issues involved when you use an image without prior permission from the owner. There are many websites that provide free copyright-free or royalty-free images that you can use without the fear of inviting legal issues. But searching for images to suit your content and niche from these websites is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Moreover, the images when loaded to your WordPress library for inserting them into your content tend to make your website slower when not optimised properly. The images need to be optimised for faster load speed before using them (there are plugins to optimise them even after they are loaded on your site).
WA has sourced all the royalty-free images from the Internet to be made available to you within their writing platform (they call it SiteContent) making the process a whole lot easier. They are all pre-optimised too. For a newbie, who’s just started and who’s not ready to invest money in buying stock images for his website, this SiteContent feature is extremely convenient.
Connecting with Like-Minded People
WA is a huge community with members from all across the globe. There are members from all levels of experience – complete newbies to highly experience Internet marketers all interacting in the community. For a beginner, it’s a great learning experience and an amazing way to enhance one’s knowledge of the online business just by being within the community.
If you’re a beginner, I have seen that the best way forward is to make connections with people (the newbies like yourself as well as the Pros) by following them in the community. There will be many members at the similar level of experience as yourself and by connecting with them, you can share your experiences and have the opportunity to grow together. I say this because I have been there, and done that too. The community has all types of people – WordPress experts, computer programmers, designers, SEO experts, content writers and authority figures in the affiliate marketing world. The amount and variety of knowledge shared among the members is staggering.
Have the Opportunity to Check out the Work of Other Members
Every day, hundreds of new websites are launched by members within Wealthy Affiliate. When you’re a beginner, it’s important that you understand the aesthetics of a website. I have seen that just by observing the styling elements of other people’s websites, there’s so much to learn. There’s a feature added within the WA dashboard area for the members where you could ask for feedback and comments on your website or posts. It’s a pay-it-forward credit system where you have to provide feedback or comment on two websites for you to get a credit for one feedback or comment. The system allows you to have a peek at other WA members’ websites. This is another good learning opportunity for the beginners.
Get Honest Feedback about Your Website
As a beginner, it’s important that you get to know how others find your website. Whether it’s the aesthetics, the load speed, the visual elements, the content or anything. When you’re a beginner, it’s not uncommon that you’re lost in the din of new information and opinions from all around. Plus, with all the training and the excitement of learning new things, you’re oblivious to how your website is from the end user – whether the experience is bad or if there are areas where improvement is needed. In such a situation, getting honest feedback from fellow learners is necessary to assess your own skills and the perception of your visitors. The Feedback facility for WA members is excellent for beginners.
Mentorship from Senior Members
When you’re a beginner, it is natural that the journey would be rough at the beginning with all the new information you have to absorb. That is why the community learning method is the best way to learn for beginners. In WA, there are many senior members who have been on the platform for many years. Further, the top-25 ranks in WA are held by “Ambassadors” who are people with a lot of expertise and who have attained this highly respectable position by way of their activity and the assistance provided to fellow members in the community. As a beginner, you can reach out to any of these WA Ambassadors or any person in the community for a one-on-one mentorship. You have the option to send them private messages to ask for help whenever you get stuck or want an in-depth explanation of a concept.
Get Inspired by the Success Stories
Every day there are WA members who achieve great success – new sales, new commissions, posts getting indexed, increase in traffic or any such – that are announced within the community.
Their success stories provide the necessary inspiration to the beginners to carry on. Their inspirational posts provide the much-needed morale boosters for newbies who might be feeling overwhelmed at the moment with the tasks at hand. There’s always something to learn from these success stories because many of the struggles those successful people had to face towards the beginning of their journey would resonate with you in many ways.
Making Life-Long Friends
The connections made in WA are carried forward, in many instances, to the outside of it too. Hence, it’s common to see WA friends following each other on their social media networks like Facebook to catch up on each other’s lives outside the Wealthy Affiliate. Many become life-long friends. I have many friends from WA, and we connect and chat on many non-business and mundane things on Facebook, WhatsApp, and Skype. We talk of our private lives, family and work. We also connect for other business opportunities and projects. I have come to view Wealthy Affiliate as a good ground for making personal and business connections too. As a beginner, this will be an enriching experience too, and something that will make him richer in the true sense of the term.
Highly Recommended for Beginners
Wealthy Affiliate is indeed the best platform for learning Internet marketing for beginners. I have absolutely no doubt about that. WA is constantly evolving and there’s a concerted effort by its owners to make it more useful and relevant for the learners. It is way ahead of other similar platforms in terms of the training, personal mentorship, support and the overall formula for creating success for its followers. At the membership fee, the privileges bundled are more than a good value for money. Success cannot be created solely by a training platform no matter how good it is. It has to be created by you from your own efforts and by being dedicated to achieving your goal. Online business is not an easy activity unlike many people make it out to be. You will be spending an insane amount of time in front of your computer in the beginning to make more sense of it. If you’re a beginner, Wealthy Affiliate is the best platform to be.