Wealthy Affiliate Case Study
Affiliate Marketing Training, Tools and Support For Begginers.
Wealthy Affiliate Review
Affiliate marketing training, tools and support all in-one-place.
The time varies but on average 3-6 months of consistent effort.
Free Membership $0 and $47/month or $359/year.
Excellent support from 800k members & 24/7 Live Chat.
Summary: Here at AffiliateLaboratory.com we join programs, test them and report on findings. In this honest review of Wealthy Affiliate, will take you behind the scenes and reveal what happened after l joined the program 3 years ago as a total newbie. How l created my first website, how long it took me to earn my first $ and finally how l sold the website for $38 479. Includes screenshots of proof of payments and links to information shared on my live blog inside the community.
- Training, tools and support on a single platform.
- Live chat support is great for beginners.
- Lessons are presented in a variety of forms; video, live classes and webinars.
- It is free to get started and you can explore the Premium features before making any commitments.
- The training can be overwhelming for begginers.
- Training on other important aspects such as email marketing and SEO link building is scarce.
- May take a relatively a long time before your start earning consistent income.
Free Membership $0. Premium Membership $47/month or $359/year.
After reading so many positive reviews about this program, l decided to join it to find out how it works. l joined the program in April, 2014 (username OnlineGeek). and upgraded to Premium Membership in December the same year. Since this is a case study, it will make it easier for you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of this affiliate marketing training for beginners. Better still, it will assist you in determining if the program is for you before joining. I believe the case study will be more helpful than just listing program features and pointing you to the positives.
During the course of the case study, l will reveal;
- How l selected my niche, carried out keyword research and the structure of my review articles.
- I will also reveal the name of theme that l used, plugins that l installed and their purpose.
- The main differences between Wealthy Affiliate Free vs Premium Membership. (The differences in training, tools and support that you receive with each package).
- The good and the bad of this affiliate marketing platform that no Wealthy Affiliate will ever tell you.
- In the end, l will tell you why, where and how l sold the website for $38 479.
Throughout this case study, l will reveal some tips, tricks and tools that will help you succeed in building your online business.Above all, l will share some pitfalls that you must avoid when building your first affiliate website. There are certain blunders that l made which are ingredients for total failure.
(P/S: Note that these results are not typical. This is building a real business online and there are no guaranteed results. Besides, l am a busy parent with 3 demanding kids to take care of. As part of the sale agreement, l will not reveal the name of the website).
Let's get started;
What Is Wealthy Affiliate?
It is a brain child of two gentlemen called Kyle and Carson, in 2005. These are not fly by night affiliate marketers, they are here to stay. They created a unique platform on which you find affiliate marketing training, essential tools and support all in one place.
The platform is unique because of its live chat feature and how the founders are involved inside the community.Currently, Wealthy Affiliate boasts of 800 k members although l am not sure of the percentage of active users.
Other similar programs include Affilorama, SBI and Bring the Fresh.
How Do You Make Money With Wealthy Affiliate?
The business model is simple as indicated by the diagram above. Identify what you're passionate about (or an opportunity in the market place). Create a website around your niche or target audience and get it ranked in search engines such as Google. Once your website is ranked on the first page of Google, you start getting visitors to your website. Turn the visitors to customers by offering them products to buy when they click on your unique affiliate links.
You earn commissions. In real life it is more complicated than this though as there is almost break neck competition in almost every other niche. Gurus also use black hat rank and burn methods of arm twisting Google's search algorithms.
- There is great potential to earn 'semi passive' income as people visit your website 24/7.
- You own your business and even if Wealthy Affiliate sinks, you keep your website for life.
- There is almost break neck competition in almost every other niche.
- Google's ever changing ranking factors can ruin your business overnight.
This is a proven method of earning money online which has withstood the test of time.
Now let's get our feet wet with the case study.
Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership?
After moving to Sweden in 2011, struggling with learning a new language and the unforgiving winter, l decided to earn money online. Started as a freelancer and l got burnt along the way.
However, I knew somehow that there was a legit way of making money online. In April, 2014, l joined Wealthy Affiliate on Free Membership. (you can check the dates on my profile, user name 'Online Geek'.
I was skeptical at first, but l trusted my gut after realizing that there were no account details were required to get started. After joining, l was asked to write a brief introduction about myself and choose a profile picture - l chose an Emoji.
During the first 7 days, l had an opportunity to explore everything that WA has to offer including all Premium features (to be discussed below). Unfortunately, once the opportunity to explore the Premium features expired l lost access to live chat support. I had to rely on searching for answers to questions already answered inside the community.
While negative reviews can work in the short term, they tend to tarnish the whole industry. People end up thinking you’re flagging other programs as scams and then promoting your bigger scam to them.
- Letting new members explore what the Premium Membership has to offer for free makes the program a no-brainer.
- 7 Days is too short a period for anyone to have adequately explored and tested all the Premium features.
- You can not access the live chat thread when you need it most.
Concentrate on exploring all the Premium features during the first 7 days so that when you need to upgrade your membership, you can make an informed decision. Due to the complexity of changes that occur in the background during the process of upgrading membership, you can not revert to Free Membership. You will however get 30 days grace period to source funds and pay up or move your websites to another platform of your choice.
First SiteRubix Website.
I created my free siterubix.com website back in April 2014 soon after joining Wealthy Affiliate. Let's go through the process as illustrated in the screen shot above.
Choose A Passion;
l had a passion of wrist watches but with the advent of the cellphones l knew the market is shrinking. So, l abandoned the idea and chose to go for an opportunity rather than passion. I knew there were many people who wanted to make money online like me so l selected that niche.
Wealthy Affiliate's free membership has got two distinct programs. You can either go through the General Affiliate Marketing Training if you have a passion in any other niche or the Affiliate Bootcamp if you want to promote online business opportunities. I switched to the boot camp and started my training on how to create affiliate program review websites.
Kyle showed me through videos how to set up my website that's; Activating plugins, adding a logo and customization of it for search engines (SEO). The training also provides templates of the important pages such as the Private Policy page.
After 6 Months, I had posted less than 20 articles. My free website was indexed and a few pages were now on page 5 and 6 of Google. Through research, l learned that since my website was on a sub domain .siterubix.com, just like .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com it is difficult to rank higher in search engines. I knew it was time to purchase my own .com website. I have never liked a .net or .org websites although others say there are no differences. This is true in theory but when searching for a website people are likely to enter the suffix .com.
- There are so many existing and new niches to choose from.
- Some niches are too super competitive for newbies such as weight loss.
Be realistic, some passions suck and some hobbies won't pay your bills. You will rather go for an opportunity in the market than a passion. People are making a killing in new niches such as the drones niche.
Build A Website?
The free Wealthy Affiliate website builder makes the process very easy. My website was created within 1-minute. l just needed to enter the website address which appears in the URL, name of my website, chose a theme and click on 'l am ready to build my website'. It is that easy!
Omega Theme - this is one of my favorite free themes. It's easy to customize and it easily ranks tags faster than keywords which are in body text.
All In One SEO - it will assist you to optimize your websites according to search engines best practices. Some people prefer Yoast plugin because it has got more features. You can also fetch new posts as Google to reduce the indexing period.
Catche 3 - improves website loading speed when someone is revisiting a particular page.
Notification bar - can be used to funnel customers to specific website pages e.g Amazon seasonal offers or your recommend affiliate program.
Counts number of visitors and post or page comments. You can use the widget to show the statistics and rank them according to visits or comments. It reduced the site's bounce rate as people visited popular posts and took time to read comments.
Allows visitors to effortlessly leave comments without the annoying capture. As you can on the screenshot, the website received more than 1k comments including my replies of course. Encouraging people to leave their opinions and experience with a particular program improved commenting rates.
- The free website comes with pre-installed plugins.
- Once you upgrade your membership you have access to more than 2 000k themes.
- When you are on Free Membership you can not add plugins to your website.
- You can only choose one of the 10 free themes if you are on free membership.
Do not upload plugins that you don't need. They will slow down your website. If you want to check what theme is used on a WordPress website including installed plugins use the WP Theme detector.
How To Get Traffic To A New Website.
Whatever effort you put on building your website, it will take at most 6 months for your website to get of Google sandbox. This is the time Google will be evaluating if your business is not a fly by night scam. Below is a screenshot of a website that l created, posted 8 posts then l let it marinate and get out of the sandbox.
As you can see in June it started receiving traffic and sales, because it was out of the sandbox.Since l was aware of the dreaded Google sandbox, l had to find ways to send traffic to my website.
Quora - is one of the great places to post posts, answer people's questions and drop a link once in a while. I got a lot of targeted traffic and a few sign ups for Wealthy Affiliate which led to some sale (see next section). Just ensure that the name of your website is inside the visible part of your profile bio. Something like;... found of Affiliatelaboratory.com, l test affiliate marketing programs and tools. You can include long tail keywords in your answers so that they get ranked in search engines.
Facebook - most of my friends were from my home country and they couldn't create WA free accounts so l didn't bother sharing my posts on my personal page. Instead l created a fan page and wrote posts using FB pages which rank better than a new website.
Linklden - same with Quora l just tweaked my my profile.
Tumblr - posted a few shot reviews and referred traffic to my website to read full review. I also got some link juice from the links.There are other forums such as ... which also helped me get some clicks and visitors.
- There is a lot of training inside the community on how to improve your website traffic using various platforms.
- There is no dedicated link building training inside WA... the method is frowned upon yet it is one of the most important ranking factors.
Keep on adding content to your website while you leverage the power of established social platforms and forums. The links will bring perpetual traffic.
How To Write Product Reviews?
1) Affiliate Link Clicks But No Conversions - I noticed that my WA affiliate links were receiving clicks but l was getting no conversions. After a long period of research, l couldn't break the code. That was until someone left a comment saying the free Membership was not available in his country. That was it, l was reviewing programs popular in countries where WA Free Membership was not available. Now l use a free tool called Similarweb.com to get an idea of the sources of traffic to the website. I don't write reviews whose traffic sources do not qualify to join Wealthy Affiliate.
Don't waste time reviewing products or programs that bring the 'wrong' people to your website.The good news about reviewing make money online programs, there's also one in the prelaunch, recently launched or take of stage. These are programs to target.There an underground platform where anyone can promote their businesses or opportunities for free. You just need to join the community and get updates whenever someone has posted a review of their opportunity.Tip: Don't waste time writing expert articles such as: how to increase traffic to your website? You will never rank for such generic topics in a life time.
2- Keyword research- if you are on WA's free membership, you can use the free searches offered through the off site keyword research tools. Use reverse engineering, to go for the easy to rank long tail keywords instead of competitive high search volume keywords. I would rather get 10 visitors to my website that write a review that no one would ever lay eyes on.Google will NOT rank a website because you wrote epic content about nothing specific. A cat blog will not be ranked in the first position because it has got epic content than a dog blog when someone searches for 'dog food'. Unless you have other traffic sources, do not take the 'content is king' cliche too far. Of course, l am not saying staff keywords in your content.Google bots read keywords then show your content to humans. You must please both masters.
3. Carry out in-depth research and understand how the program operates before writing a review.Most often people ignore a rich source of information about any program or products! Comments by users either condemning or supporting the opportunity. You can easily come up with pros and cons of the program easily just from comments. Most of the information in comments may point to weaknesses of the review in question and point to program strategy changes. Avoid calling other programs scams to remain credible and let commenters do the bad mouthing.Let your main keyword in the title, H1 tag and sprinkle similar words throughout your article. Use the WA tutorial on how to write reviews as a guide and substitute titles with keywords. Instead of just writing Pros and Cons, write 'Wealthy Affiliate Complaints'.
- Affiliates are encouraged to write quality content which is helpful to visitors.
- There is lack of emphasis on using keywords to ranking websites.
After getting tired and annoyed by reading ‘fake’ affiliate, Multilevel and Network Marketing reviews, l decided to do something about it. You know what l am talking about, those ‘this is a scam join my opportunity type of reviews’.
Can You Make Money With Wealthy Affiliate?
Once the website started getting some traffic, l decide to start monetizing it. I included some Wealthy Affiliate links below some of my reviews. I also added Google Adsense to my monetization methods.In the first 6 months, my website generated from both Wealthy Affiliate and Google Adsense (the TOS don't allow me to share how much l earned). So l will just bunch the earnings together.I continued adding reviews and the website traffic continued to increase.
When the traffic reached 30k + a month yet there was no proportional increase in earnings, l knew it's time to introduce a new monetization method.I realized that even though my website was in the make money online niche, most of the actual or related products promoted by the programs were inside Amazon. So, l joined the Amazon associate program and added 'recommended' products to a few reviews.
This was the most rewarding decision l have ever made in my life. Earnings from Amazon where as follows;April: $May: $June: $I started replacing Google Ads with Amazon recommended products and earnings continued to increase. Every month l would get a cheque in the post. (You can also tell Amazon to hold your payments until they reach a certain amount).
- There is quite a number of affiliate programs to promote as affiliate recommended inside WA.
- Conversion optimization training is a bit lacking inside WA so is email marketing. The later is portrayed as a Guru method yet it is useful in bringing back visitors and repeat buyers to your website.
Test different monetization products. Imagine how much l was losing because l thought l could not promote Amazon products on a website in the make money online niche.