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Wealthy Affiliate Review 2021 (Scam? Read this first!)

April 29, 2021


Alright so you've heard all the buzz about WA and now you wanna know if it's legit, right?? 

Well, you've come to the right place.

Here's the deal:

In this detailed, meticulous shakedown of the Wealthy Affiliate program, I keep it real. I've made money with all sorts of online biz models, affiliate marketing being just one of them. 

I also did some MLM way back in 2013, and I saw people making some bold claims about what Wealthy Affiliate is and what it can do. Then there are people wondering, is Wealthy Affiliate worth it?

Here's the problem, tho: These days, there's a little too much of the blind leading the blind out here in the online business world. People offering opinions and advice when they don't know the first thing about building a sustainable online business themselves.

So if I were you, I'd probably be wondering, "who is this guy?"

Well, allow me to introduce myself:

Hi. My name is Ippei...

Basic outline of my experience:

  • Worked 9-5 for 3 years after graduatin with a marketing degree from MSU (2011 to 2014)
  • Joined lead gen coaching program, built income to $35K a month in 2 years (2014 to 2016)
  • Added some affiliate marketing in the mix in 2017, didn't make a dime for 6 months, then got a little trickle
  • Hit $49K a month with lead gen in mid 2018, affiliate was steadily making a few K a month up til bout April of 2020, when Amazon sliced their affiliate commissions in half. 
  • Now doing $52K a month with lead gen, a grand or 2 a month with affiliate offers, and sold fba biz at the end of 2019. 


This is something that I really care about you knowing if you're going to read any of my reviews.

You're not going to find any affiliate links for Wealthy Affiliate anywhere in this article.

If you do decide to participate in their program, I'm not going to receive any type of compensation whatsoever. There are way too many people out there writing reviews "just to help people," when really they're trying to get you to make a purchase so that they line their own pockets.

Rest assured that I don't play that game. 

Now let's finally get into...

My Wealthy Affiliate Unbiased Review

Here's one of their star players (from a couple years ago.)

Take a look at the screenshot below, and I would like you to notice how long she's worked on her site and how much traffic she's gotten.

Keep this in your back pocket, cuz we'll come back to it later.

As I mentioned earlier, I've been ranking websites on Big Daddy G(oogle) for over 6 years now, so one could say that I know my stuff. And I have some thoughts on this.

Anyway, to write a quality Wealthy Affiliate review in 2021, I had to go through their system.

So I bought their course. 

I dove deep into the Wealthy Affiliate training to see if it really is legit and viable for affiliate marketers today in 2021.

Not 2012.

Need proof that I bought the program? 

Check this:

That's the welcome email I got when I used my Wealthy Affiliate login:

And yes we got the premium membership.

(if you came here looking for a review of the free version, I can give it you my free wealthy affiliate review plain and simple right now: The free package is pretty much worthless imo)

Now back to the stuff that's actually worth talking about...

So what does buying into the upper tier get you?

You'll get their "robust" training. 

(I leave it in quotes because it was obvious that it hadn't been updated in a long time)

But you'll also get access to the community, and honestly, that's the real asset of WA.

Here's how their forum works:

Dashboard: Predictably, the blue house icon brings you to the main "home page," which is basically your portal where you can access all things WA.

Training: When you want to watch WA's edu, hit the green "play" button

Websites: This is where you can buy domains & hosting from WA (this is where they really get your $$$ by the way.) I gotta say, though, I like how they take care of the tech, so WA members don't have to set up the DNS and sh*t like that.

Live Events: The "live events" tab is basically a lotta videos that WA members have made over time. Some provide a few laughs, while others drop some higher-level hacks.

Research: Enter "Jaaxy Lite," WA's affiliate keyword research tool. Def not as robust as Ahrefs, but handy for sure. 

Affiliate Programs: They've got a few affiliate offers primed and ready for you, but the biggest offer is to just promote the WA program itself. Personally, I hit up places like JVZoo, the tried and true Clickbank, but not Amz anymore. 

Live Chat:  This is WA's version of FB messenger, which allows for talk between group members as well as support (but more on that later)

And finally! You'll see the Help Center.

Help Center: This is where you can request help for things like technical support for the domains you've bought within the Wealthy Affiliate platform, ask a question within the community, open up a live chat for quick help, and even private message another Wealthy Affiliate member.

Quick question:

Which is Better for Affiliates: Wix or WA?
Trick Question: Wix doesn't allow affiliate links, so clearly WA. The real question is between WA or WP (wordpress for the newbies)

Wealthy Affiliate Course Overview

Ranked #4 out of 4 affiliate marketing courses (See full list here)
16 hours 6 minutes (160 "lessons" from 2017)
LOTS of repetitive content, great community.
2.0/5 - Not a very helpful course. Lacking in quality, up-to-date content.
$49 per month (yeah, another subscription)
founder of wa is Kyle Loudoun who started wealthy affiliate in 2005

Course Creator: Kyle Loudoun

For people who like to see how things get started, here's how WA got going:

It pretty much begins with Kyle Loudoun.

He combined his love for travel and his tech prowess when he got into affiliate marketing about 18 years back ('03, I think?)

But anyone who's been around for long enough will notice that the "gurus" out there are making their money from teaching folks (and let's face it, he has a heart, so he probably wanted to help some folks out too) so he made a course with a partner, Carson Lim.

(this is the kind of info people find out when they're searching for Kyle and Carson Wealthy Affiliate reviews.)

A few years later, as they grew, they added a few feature: Jaaxy, their keyword research tool. 

And that was the start of WA. 

Now let's see what their training is like these days:

Word of advice: Set Your Expectations for WA low for the education...but high for the community

So what is Wealthy Affiliate and how does it work? This course is primarily presented by Kyle Loudoun, whereas Carson Lim runs more of the backend of the group. He has a very simple to follow teaching style that makes it easy to ease into the world of understanding more complicated aspects of digital marketing such as Google Webmaster tools.

Here's some quick facts about Wealthy Affiliate:

  • Repetitive training: the basics, again, and again and again 
  • Is Wealthy Affiliate free? No, but you can actually try seven days for free
  •  There's a very supportive and active community
  • You learn where to find affiliate offers
  • You're taught how frequently to place affiliate links and make offers to your readers

The Meat of the WA Course (All 5 Levels)

Level 1- Getting Started

Here you'll learn to navigate the community, complete your account setup, and take a look at what you get from upgrading to a Premium account. You'll learn to:

  • Vision: Create your money goals
  • Focus: Choose your niche
  • Build: Create your website
  • Optimize: Make your site SEO-friendly
  • Write: Create engaging website content
  • Organize: Set up your site's menus
  • Study: Research "low hanging fruit" keywords

This first level of the training is fast and furious, and if you follow it step by step, you'll get your first website up and running with lightning speed.

Total Video Time: 2 Hours & 51 Minutes

Level 2- Getting Traffic

Here you learn to start getting guests to come take a look at your site and what it offers. By the end of this lesson you'll be able to:

  • Pick and purchase a brandable domain name
  • Transfer your site to your new domain name
  • Learn more about targeting SEO keywords
  • Pick relevant images to support your content
  • Post your website in the WA community to get comments and constructive criticism
  • Set up your domain-specific email account
  • Increase your productivity and produce MORE blog posts
  • Learn to sell the Wealthy Affiliate course and post on their blog.

This is basically building on the first lesson, sort of repeating some of the points, and simultaneously going into more detail.

Total Video Time: 2 Hours & 27 Minutes

Level 3- Generating An Income

Now that you've got traffic going to your website, You've got to monetize that traffic. These are the ways that you'll achieve just that.

  • Learn about the "customer purchase lifecycle"
  • Locate affiliate offers and find the right ones
  • Learn to promote Amazon products
  • Add affiliate links to your pages
  • Learn to leverage the power of product reviews
  • Get paid to display Google Ads on your site
  • Learn to use Google Analytics

This is basically the most technical and crucial part of the entire training, because it pertains to slapping dollar signs on your web pages.

Total Video Time: 1 Hour & 22 Minutes

Level 4- Leverage Social Media

Here you'll learn other ways to maximize the traffic to your site so more eyeballs get glued to your affiliate offers and Google Ads. The training includes the following:

  • Using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to share your blog posts
  • Managing your blog comments
  • Utilizing Facebook intelligently to create a discussion
  • Find trending topics on Twitter to harness in your posts
  • Use Google Plus to share your posts (This has since been outmoded)
  • Learn to use the WA social community
  • Learn which social media to use and when

This section is pretty important, though most of your traffic should probably be coming through Google keyword searches.

Total Video Time: 50 Minutes

Level 5- Improve Your Content Writing

Effective content writing is essential to this business model. Product reviews and engaging information are they way to get a loyal fanbase that buys your products.

This level will teach you how to:

  • How to write content efficiently
  • Converting your traffic into more sales
  • Making sure people read and engage with your content
  • An analysis of conversions from a successful website
  • Strategies for longer term success
  • Scaling up your business
  • Making sure your content is visually appealing
  • Use webmaster tools to track your site
  • Setting a yearly plan for your content creation
  • Getting indexed and ranked in Bing and Yahoo
  • Look into ways for outsouring your content

Some of this level seems a little bit repetitive, but there are nonetheless some important pieces of training here.

Total Video Time: 2 Hours & 11 Minutes

Bonus 1: Selling WA as an Affiliate

There are a whopping 7 phases about this aspect of Wealthy Affiliate alone. The focus on selling WA as a new student definitely raises a red flag for me, but either way this is still a good course.

Bizarrely, many very similar lessons are repeated again, with some tweaks to teach you how to push WA's community with your own affiliate offer.

This bonus teaches you how to:

Phase 1: Build Your Own Website

This closely mirrors the first "Getting Started" module. There are 8 videos, for a total of 2 hours and 33 minutes.

Phase 2: Organize Your Content & Keywords

This also is very similar to the 2nd level of the training, but it goes into a little more depth and talk specifically about marketing the WA training itself. It includes 6 videos, totaling 1 hour and 22 hours.

Phase 3: Use Social Media

Almost verbatim the same training that you went through in the 3rd level, there are some tweaks here. Six videos are here, totaling 54 minutes and 14 seconds.

Phase 4: Get Visual

Here, they talk about the importance of reviews, and how you can improve your reviews specifically about the WA platform. Graphs and charts are also a main feature of this phase. Something pretty cool about this phase is that they teach you how to make simple text-based graphics for your sites.

Phase 5: Getting More Referrals

Content creation is discussed yet again, specifically concerning the "intent" of your writing. He also talks about using a content framework to simplify the process of writing an article. Writing with the idea of promoting engagement and comments is discussed here, as well as getting your commenters to convert into sales.

Kyle also discusses using Youtube as an additional source of traffic, and teaches you how to do your keyword research specifically for this platform. After that, Kyle teaches you to create and upload your video to Youtube in such a way that it gets indexed quickly and shows up on Google for others to click.

Phase 6: Bing, Yahoo, & PPC

This is actually a very good lesson that teaches you about PPC for Bing Ads, as well as getting indexed quickly on Bing and Yahoo which are known for taking a little more time to identify new content so it can be found by the public. An interesting revelation is that the rankings in Bing and Yahoo are often exactly the same!

Also discussed here is Bing's Webmaster Tools which is the driving force in allowing Bing to access and show your content to the public. 

Phase 7: Scaling Up Your PPC Campaigns

As the name implies, this part of the training teaches you to further use PPC to double down on keywords that are already converting into sales.

They also mention that you can target keywords with too much competition for you to beat with SEO. This feels a little bit like a cop out on SEO techniques, but I can definitely see PPC being used as a temporary stopgap while you get your SEO power pack charged up and ready.

Bonus 2: Customer Purchase Lifecycle

Note 1


This is actually pretty interesting, as it talks about the three main phases of how people make purchases online. This enables you to target your customers at just the right step in the process so they're ready to buy.

The use of keywords that have big names included is also explained. This enables you to scrape up some of the traffic that might otherwise go directly to the source.

Kyle also talks about putting yourself in the customer's shoes as well as how to make somebody turn into a long-term customer. Overall pretty informative stuff.

Is Wealthy Affiliate a Pyramid Scheme? MLM?

What makes businesses a pyramid scheme?

Pyramid schemes occurs usually in a multi-level marketing company where people are mostly getting paid to recruit people, and those recruits go on to recruit more, while the actual product being sold is not providing any real results.

As the business gets saturated in the marketplace, people that join the MLM later on, end up simply losing money because the recruiting has become exponentially more difficult and the product is sort of bogus.

Now Wealthy Affiliate is not multi-tier commission structure like a traditional MLM, it does offer commission (affiliate) opportunities, and because the training focuses a lot on dated affiliate marketing tactics like creating Facebook pages & commenting on other posts, what ends up happening is that the best opportunity in WA is to actually turn around and promote WA.

That gets a lil' hairy because who's ultimately benefiting in that structure the most is simply the course creators, and of course they want everyone inside WA to promote WA.

Some tough questions...

WA has been around for a while...

  • Why isn't there any high-level SEO training?
  • Why isn't there any training on backlinking?

It is impossible to rank in Google today without backlinks. And that's just Facts.

When the program's best money making opportunity is to promote the program itself, it becomes closer and closer to simply a referral / recruit business like a MLM.

Fortunately, they make is easy to cancel your membership.

Wealthy Affiliate Top Success Case Study

(why lead generation out performs affiliate marketing)

Here's the top ranked success testimonial inside their platform, with 465 comments.

When she says 358 referrals, that's selling Wealthy Affiliate and as you can see by the breakdown she provided, its her main money maker.

I'm happy for her success but here's my issue with these statistics.

She spent 20 months, almost 2 years of grinding 420 blog posts for a site to make $1,642 in a month.

Going after long tail keywords, which btw is a strategy that really doesn't work well in 2021.  "Blogging daily" did work in 2012, but that was before the Penguin algorithm update.

The crazy thing is that this seems like the best route when considering how to make money with wealthy affiliate.

420 blog posts to make $1,642... is exactly the reason why I do not recommend affiliate marketing today for anybody starting out online.

It is just way too saturated.

To have 420 blog posts and only $1,642 to show for it tells me that most of those blog posts are not ranking and therefore not generating ANY traffic.

And this, my friends, is why I will go down into the grave proclaiming the superiority of the Lead Generation business model.

Local is much easier to rank, and providing leads for small businesses will actually get you paid good money versus the small commission from being an affiliate marketer.

For example this tree service site of mine::

Makes me $2,000 per month because my clients are happy paying me 10% of closed business, and an average tree removal job goes anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. 

And this site generates 300 phone calls per month, for my client paying me $2,000 is nothing compared to the revenue I'm bringing him.

Here's a key difference between the lead generation business and affiliate marketing.

And it should begin to become more and more clear why I recommend this lead generation coaching program over WA.

I made this site in 2015. Only took me 6 hours to build.

Maybe another 15 hours spread out over 4 months to get it to page 1 of Google for "tree service Grand Rapids" (you can Google it yourself)

That site was already making me $1000 per month.

3 months later it got to the top of page 1, and the site has been making me $2000 per month since. (from 2015 to now 2019)

I'm still building & ranking lead-gen sites like these all over the world to increase my passive income.

Why Affiliate Marketing is Not Feasible for a Beginner

To play affiliate marketing today and actually make decent income ($10K per month or more), you need to invest so much money to create a massive authority site like mine ( on top of that it will take 2-3 years.

I was able to do it, because I have passive income from my lead-gen sites that's funding this project.

AND I only did because I'm not an affiliate for our lead generation coaching program, I'm actually Dan's partner now so its not a small affiliate commission.

Blogging daily and targeting long-tail keywords ain't gonna make u whole lot of cash today, it just isn't. You need massive amounts of backlinks which costs money. Unfortunately, WA doesn't teach I'm not surprised that after 2 years of grinding her site is at that level of income.

It's just not feasible for a beginner.

With local lead generation, you can build & rank much faster (3-6 months) and get these sites to crank $500 to $2000 per month of profits.

Local is easier to rank. So many cities you can get into so its not saturated.  And leads for small businesses are far more lucrative than affiliate commissions.

Since 2014, while I'm building my lead generation business, I've started several affiliate sites just because I like trying different biz models, and all those sites took at least 1 year to see any traffic and still under performed against lead gen sites that ranked in half the time or less.

Kudos to lilmama for her dedication & grind, but I also feel for her in a way, because with her work ethic I know in my heart she would be earning six figures in lead gen income by now.

And that's just the beginning.

Another issue.

Selling WA (or getting referrals) is becoming mostly too difficult for beginners now.

Only legit way to continually promote WA is through ranking in Google for "Wealthy Affiliate Review" or on Youtube. Problem is there's only 10 spots on the first page of Google.

Once those 10 spots are filled with savy SEO's.

Then the new members are not able to get the life changing results they desire.

You are not going to make real income by promoting FB pages manually by commenting, I'm sorry its just not gonna work today. Maybe back in 2012.

While affiliates of WA are promoting this program like it's the best thing since sliced bread. That's the problem of creating a coaching program with affiliate options, you get a lot of misleading advertising by inexperienced affiliates.

You're gonna flood the market with disingenuous reviews and members that promote the program for the sake of getting that commission not necessarily because they believe that the program actually teaches highly effective skills.

But I will say that I do not think Wealthy Affiliate can be classified as a pyramid scheme.

Because you do get some real training on setting up sites, hosting, finding affiliate offers, and some traffic tactics, although in my opinion it's not the best out there but the training is still there.

Wealthy Affiliate Lawsuit with MOBE

Back in 2015, Wealthy Affiliate was served with a lawsuit by a MLM company called MOBE, because the creator of WA, Kyle wrote an article claiming MOBE to be a Scam in 2014. This article was backed with research and facts.

MOBE came after them aggressively with lawsuits claiming Kyle's article defamed their company leading to loss in revenue.

Well, this was nothing more than MOBE's attempt to use lawsuits to bankrupt Wealthy Affiliate with court fees it would take to defend against the claims. It costed WA, half a million dollars to defend against the lawsuits.

They did and they prevailed.

Ya see, MOBE was like a wolf backed into a corner, desperate and aggressive because they knew their days were numbered.

MOBE was facing serious allegations from the FTC that they were running a fraudulent business of a real pyramid scheme, duping members into joining an opportunity that provided no real tangible value for spending the money to join the opportunity, resulting in only people losing money and people higher in the pyramid profiting off of recruits.

So MOBE was shut down by the FTC, meaning they didn't proceed with their accusations against WA.

And the lawsuit was over.

I admire WA's strong stance on protecting freedom of speech as they were getting accused of not just their content but the content put out by WA members, which is crazy.

This thorough review should provide enough evidence that WA is not a pyramid scheme because there's actual valuable training inside WA that you get for joining.

This company is not a ponzi scheme that prays on recruiting people without giving any value. 

In this way, we don't have to look at WA in terms of it being a MLM or not, let's simply look at the training inside it, if its relevant for affiliate marketing today and if affiliate marketing really is right for you or not?

Wealthy Affiliate BBB Rating

A quick search did show some Wealthy Affiliate reviews with complaints, but they all seemed to have been resolved so I definitely give respect to them for that.

Something about business is that you're inevitably going to run into somebody that isn't happy with your service, especially when you're dealing with a product as cheap as this.

Here's a screenshot of what I found:

It's probably because of this active resolution of complaints that they've been able to keep a decent BBB rating.

But here's another interesting fact: WA is listed as a HOSTING business, not an educational company. 

Reminds me of Ray Crock's McDonalds--everybody thinks that McDonald's is in the burger business (and oooh, those tasty, golden fries...) but in reality, they are in the real estate biz.

That's what makes them absolute geniuses.

Only thing is, WA being seen as a web hosting platform and not an educational platform doesn't seem nearly as genius, if you ask me...

Wealthy Affiliate Reviews on Reddit

I can always count on my peeps at Reddit to tell it like it is. 

(I mean, isn't that why everybody loves Reddit?)

Let's dive right in.

The Good

This reviewer has nothing but good things to say about Wealthy Affiliate. And it's always nice to hear that someone's gotten some value out of a program that they've invested their hard-earned money in. 

The Bad

I like this guy (or gal.) You can tell that they're a pretty experienced businessperson, because they get that signing up for a platform like this is a huge risk. Let's say you really did strike gold with your affiliate business and you were raking in tens of thousands of dollars every month. If you sign up with a "platform" like Wealthy Affiliate and they go belly up (and let's be real, this happens to businesses all the time for all sorts of reasons) well....there goes your business.

The Ugly

The last thing you want to hear when you're thinking about spending money on a course or a program is the word "scam."

And I'll be honest, I've heard that word a lot in conjunction with WA. This particular complaint has to do with Wealthy Affiliate pricing structure, but I get their beef. They might seem at first like they're just trying to help people gain control of their lives and financial freedom through affiliate marketing, but you really won't get too far before the truth comes out.

And this truth comes in the form of you opening up your wallet again.

The Biggest Issue I have with Wealthy Affiliate Training

Listen, I've made money with affiliate marketing not 10 years ago, but from 2017. So I know just how difficult it is, especially consistent income with affiliate marketing requires tons of consistent traffic.

Traffic is the hardest thing to get consistently on the internet, and its only getting harder year after year

I hate to sound like a hater here, but I feel a lot of Wealthy Affiliate training on traffic generation is very basic and just plain outdated.

Let me explain.

Affiliate marketing is the most saturated online business model out there because even people in the Philippines or India can compete with you since there's no client work.

And the business model has been around the longest, since as far back as I can remember honestly, so there's so many giants now that are dominating niches with their HUMONGOUS websites.

A lot of what's taught in Wealthy Affiliate is creating fan pages in Facebook and promoting the page by commenting on other pages.... really?

So you're taught to be a spammer?

To me this is not a real business model, this is digital ditch digging.

Sure you might make a sale here & there, but this is not gonna allow you to create the lifestyle of your dreams. The only way to do that is to actually develop high-level skills that solve big problems like lead generation, not spam commenting on Facebook which anyone can do.

As far as Wealthy Affiliate alternatives, that's what I recommend.

Also remember:

You also need tons of traffic to make decent income with affiliate marketing because commissions are not that high 8-10% in most cases, high-paying affiliate offers are few and far between.

Where to get big traffic?

Well only few places really where majority of people visit on the internet: Google, Facebook, Youtube & now emerging Instagram

Only way to really get massive attention on Facebook is to actually spend some $$$ and run paid ads.

But the problem...

Paid ads are almost impossible to consistently make decent money with affiliate offers, and trust me I've tried for almost 2 years to figure this out.


Above was the ad that produced some results but in the end, paid traffic is way too expensive for affiliate marketing.

Remember when you're paying for every click and your commission is only a certain percentage, you're playing a very risky game. You just don't have enough room to work with.

Ad costs fluctuate greatly even from day to day, so when you're paying out the ass for ads and the margin is so slim, you can be running ads but losing money at the same time.

The only way to make affiliate offer ads work really is to create an ad that's more on the inflamatory side, that dig into people's negative emotions.

And a large enough niche, which is weight loss & romance. 

And sell products you don't really believe in.

It just felt scuzzy for me.

Even then Facebook doesn't really like affiliate offers like weight loss being promoted especially an ad that's a bit inflamatory so get ready to get your FB ad accounts shut down over and over again.

Anyway, this means in affiliate marketing, the only way to really make it work is by being able to generate high volume of consistent organic, free traffic.

One guy that's really killing it with affiliate marketing are M. Brownlee

He's got a massive channel on Youtube with a big following, btw MKBHD makes a killing because as he reviews tech products, he can send people to his affiliate links. but he's been making videos since he was a lil' kid.

Option 1
Daily Action on YouTube

1. Becoming big enough on youtube to make decent income takes 2-3 years of hard work & dedication, which means you really have to be passionate about the subject or you won't last.

Option 2
Gangster SEO

2. You need to be a gangster at SEO and create a powerful site that ranks organically in Google. The problem with this is that in 2019, there's already 1000's of affiliate marketers that have already tried to rank sites before you for every affiliate marketing niche you can think of.

Short History Lesson:

Back in 2012, you could still make small niche sites that rank for as many long-tail keywords as possible, but ever since the Penguin update and other Google algorithm updates since then when it comes to national / global level keywords Google is now preferring big authority sites, for example. 

The here's the biggest issue I see with the wealth affiliate training:

I call it my "best survival knife" revelation

My "Best Survival Knife" Revelation

Check out this example:

I googled "best survival knife"

To see what kind of affiliate sites you have to compete with, what's in the red box (RD) stands for Referring Domains, that's how many different sites are linking to these sites.

Anytime another site links to your site, its called a backlink, think of each backlink as a vote in the eyes of Google and getting to the top is like a popularity contest.

With sites like this now having hundreds of backlinks, those days of creating new wordpress blog sites and just writing blog post after blog post, crossing your fingers and hoping to rank?

yea those days are over.

You need some serious skills to do real SEO, which is the art of acquiring high quality backlinks.

And guess what.

Why that Revelation Makes WA Obsolete

Wealthy Affiliate offers no training on backlinking.

What Wealthy Affiliate appears to me to be 100% honest is a program that continues on the back of WA affiliates continuing to promote it for that commission.

Not necessarily because the training is stellar and producing results for real affiliate marketers today.

I just have yet to see someone earning mid 6 figures as a real affiliate marketer using the tactics taught in WA, without selling WA.

The problem lies in the business model of affiliate marketing as well, in 2019 it has become far harder than what WA makes it seem.

Therefore I'm not crazy about recommending affiliate marketing in general to newbies that are still working a job.

The good news is there's local lead generation that offers a faster route to real income.

Pros And Cons of WA

The Good and Bad of Wealth Affiliate

What we liked
  • CTA Advice: You’ve gotta listen closely, but he tells you in one lesson that you don’t want to use more than one or two calls to action per product review.

  • Direction: He gives you some good pieces of info such as the fact that "go here to learn about this," or "go here if you're interested in buying this product" are two of the biggest types of call to action that lead to a better click-through-rate
  • Clicks: The training is good about breaking down the number of clicks that you can expect.
  • Passion: As long as you take an active interest in the products and services you promote, you can actually make an income by helping people.
  • Cheap: This training is also highly affordable, as well as letting you try it free for 7 days before you decide to buy. 
What we didn't like
  • Sets False Expectations: He suggests that you post only three times per week, and there's even a suggestion to take a twenty day break at some point in the training. I think this sets a false expectation.
  • Endless EDU: You have to learn about endless amounts of products and programs in order to make a compelling offer.
  • Echoes of MLM: There's a huge training devoted to selling the Wealthy Affiliate course to others. This part is especially strange, since it's in the training for beginners.
  • Become a Scribe: You have to constantly write more and more articles just to make money, stopping you from scaling rapidly. Also just writing articles alone doesn't produce results today, you need high-level SEO skills for affiliate marketing.
  • No Passivity: Social media posts also have to become a daily part of your business, which means you're having to put manual work and the business at that point is not passive. The whole point of business is something that can scale and run on its own.
  • Repetitive Education: A lot of the training seems really repetitive, specifically about how to write your articles and how to select your keywords.
  • Advanced SEO Tractics Absent: There is no info about advanced SEO techniques like backlinking or anchor text, only basic keyword research. They actually tell you that backlinking is a bad thing, which is definitely not the case.
  • Constant Blog Monitoring: You have to constantly respond to comments on your blogs, as well as delete spammy comments that might try to steal your customers or promote another offer on your dime.
  • Relentless Selling in Training: During the training, they constantly keep pushing their yearly membership and premium program which kinda makes me feel like they're more concerned with bringing in money than giving value to their students.

Conclusion: Why Lead Generation is Better Than Affiliate Marketing

Local lead generation still provides the best opportunity for newbies to make real 6 figure incomes online and be able to quit your job for good.

The BIG reason that makes local lead generation so much better than affiliate marketing is that you're only competing with 15 car mechanics (or plumbers, etc.) in a space instead of having to compete against 15,000 affiliate marketers going for the same niches.

This is because Google emphasizes locally ranked websites over nationwide or worldwide results.

Here's exactly why lead gen is better than affiliate marketing in 2021.

 Affiliate Marketing vs Lead Generation 

Google presents a huge opportunity in 2021, as it dominates the planet as the largest search engine out there, taking up 95% of the market. 

And while you can make a trickle of money being an affiliate, with local lead generation it's way simpler to generate streams of cash.

Here's  a few reasons why:

1. Control 

Do You Own Your Topline or does your Supplier?

Affiliate: No Control

If you are an affiliate of any product, the producer  can choose not to pay you what they want or choose to stop making that product all together, all without your say.

Lead Generation: Full Control

With lead generation, you own the website (it's your online property), no one can take it away from you. It's just that simple.

2. Entry

How Easy is it to Get into Business?

Affiliate: Too Easy

With YouTube affiliate marketing, anyone can get started simply by making videos, recommending their favorite products and posting their links in the video's description.

Lead Generation: Difficult

With Lead Generation, the barrier of entry is much higher, as you must have the skills to build a website and then move that website to the top of the rankings to start getting calls for local businesses.

3. Need

How Essential are You?

Affiliate: Dime a Dozen

If you are creating video product reviews through which people buy products from amazon or another supplier, at the end of the day, there's a ton of product reviewers out there reviewing similar products

Lead Generation: Needed

With local lead generation, your service is needed by the local business to keep a steady stream of customers heading their way, or else they'd go under. #bankruptcy

What's nice about lead generation is that compared to Affiliate Marketing is you can make consistent "mailbox money."

Rather than a few dollars here and there, imagine opening your mailbox each month and having checks inside, written out to you. 

$300, $500, $1200, 2000 dollars

Every. Single. Month. 

That's how my journey with lead gen ramped up

Don't get me wrong, it takes consistent, focused effort to get started in lead generation.

If it were super easy, then everyone would do it. 

But there are 6 main steps for local lead gen. 

All things considered, that what I'd call a pretty darn simple business model. 

And I can tell you (from experience.)

When I got my first lead with this business model, it was like a switch turned on inside me.

I knew if I was successful in doing it once, I could be successful over and over and over again.

It finally hit me what was truly possible, and then I was more motivated than ever to double down on the lead gen business model. 

So even if you want to experiment with Affiliate Marketing, that's all it should be if you're really interested in building a successful online business--an experiment.

The local lead gen business is so passive once its set up, it's worth giving it a try imo.

Click here to get started with lead generation.

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Ippei Kanehara
Founder/CEO Ippei Leads

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2021, is to build your own 6-figure lead gen biz. You can learn more here.

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  1. OK I’m completely computer illiterate and have absolutely no skills at it…but I feel there’s a lot of potential for the local businesses in my area…but again, I feel so confused when I try to grasp the concept of how this all works..and every site just wants my money and all the “training sites” I’ve reviewed and researched have been scams or outdated..isn’t there anywhere I can get an actual legit mentor. 1 on 1..with maybe a handful of other people this mentor helps…not overbooked with a ton of people and no time or its like sitting in a class with too many students.. I just feel I could be really good at this but have no outlet to it..anyways sorry for probably wasting your time. Have a wonderful day!

  2. Hey man! That was a very eye opening! Thank you so much for the insight. Keep up the good work. Thanks for being honest!

  3. So are you saying in a nutshell that I’m not going to make money from my Niche under WA. I need to know before I pay for a year. I’m using my income tax and it’s not a lot. I’m doing this because I don’t want monthly payments. But if you are saying that I won’t make money off my Niche then to me all this training won’t be worth it. And I’m canceling. I need to know please before I invest in something that really doesn’t work. Plus I see daily these guys are making money just off $19.00. They killin it. When I really started paying attention to the people signed up it’s making rethink. Plus I have a Niche that I can’t do anything with because it’s locked up with WA. I’m feeling frustrated and about to go get a 2nd again. I’m new at this stuff and to old to be working 2 jobs again.

  4. so just like ranking back in 2012 was less competitive than now in 2019, you started in 2014 so it only makes sense that this too would be just as hard without the right skills. wouldn’t it?

  5. Well done on a great honest review! Agree completely that WA is more or less an MLM site!
    It also amazes me how so many of these WA monkeys get away with the whole clickbait model, “review” or pretend to have reviewed an online training course, tell everyone how much of a scam it is and how the creators are assholes and crooks then shove WA down your throat.
    I dont know of anyone outside of WA that has a good word to say about them.
    The sooner they are gone the better!

  6. Hi Ippei. I agree with your review. When I first started researching online business I was intrigued by lead generation for small businesses. It’s something I really want to do , I just don’t understand why it has to be so expensive. One opportunity I pursued wanted thousands of $ upfront. WA won me over with an opportunity to get entry level basic online training for much less.While it’s not my ultimate plan,one has to start somewhere

  7. Hello!! So basically you are doing CPA marketing like Max Bounty correct? I just joined WA and I don’t want to waste my time. I would love to know more please. Thanks!!

  8. Hi Ippei,
    I read your post patiently since I want to make money online. If I am allowed to use your terms ” I want to make money fast ,sustainable and ethical”. I do not want to recruit too ,for I am an introvert one . I tried to join one of the MLM and lost my hard got money some 6 months ago. A lot of secrecy there that could not give me peace of heart and walked out with out a refund . I am not as such a tech savvy but teachable…after all I spent my 2/3 time around my laptop 🙂
    For I do not have much to invest this time I want to ask a question. What is the minimum investment that is expected from a person who wants to join your team…if you have one ?

  9. OMG…Listened to so many “Affliate Marketing” webinars. Sick and tired already. Your review was very helpful. Looked into Lead Generation. I am not tech savvy and it seemed too much for me to digest but I will take a second look at it. Thanks again for comprehensive review….opened my eyes to what Affliate Marketing is about in 2019.

  10. Thank you so much for writing this article. I’m currently a WA member but am considering backing out since I think the potential for my success is elsewhere, particularly after reading this. But I’m a complete newbie to the IT and wordpress stuff so it has been a great learning experience. All the best!

  11. I need to talk to you! I’m a single parent to a young child, working everyday, barely seeing my child and living on a very tight budget. How tight? I don’t have internet or tv, but recently purchased internet in hopes of finding a home – based job or any job in my field that doesn’t require me to be gone ALL the time. I’m 38 and never taken a vacation. I’m well educated and multifaceted. I think i just steered myself somewhere in the wrong direction or people make assumptions about my skills and expertise before I’m able to apply them – so I’m turned away a lot (I think its because I look at least 12 years younger ha). Anyway, I’m highly motivated but I need some expert advice. Because I’m the sole provider, I can’t take sudden risks, but willing to be trained and start small, get the hang of SEO, And then jump full time. The flip side though is that i don’t have a lot of extra time, so if i had the resources, I would jump for a better life for my child and our bond. I’m an entrepreneur at heart because I had to be in a formal biz I was in for a long time at an early age. What would your advice be without having to spend too much more with maybe little give back?

    1. Hey Angela,
      I find this blog to be the most honest opinion and good information so far. This is the second time his very informative articles have pulled up while looking to start my own online business. I couldn’t help but have compassion on your situation. I was already thinking about lead generation. I have been debating affiliate marketing and lead generation. All the people I know who have started their own business are endlessly tied to their business. They work extreme long hours and leads is what they live off of. It is a skill that once you learn you can take with you as long as you update your skills with the times. Something that business owners will always need. When looking at skill sets you have to make sure they don’t become obsolete. For instance going to school for IT. By the time you get out, the information is obsolete and technology has moved on. Lead generation is like gold to a business and business owner. If you can provide a service to make their lives easier they will be willing to pay you a good salary. I hope you find something so you can be with your kids. Like you I am mulling it over. I’m looking for something giving me the freedom to work over seas during the summer to be with my child. Good luck!

    2. I just signed up on wealth affiliate, i’m finding it quite good. You can sign up for free for 7 days then decide. I just signed up because i learnt quite a bit on the free one. You have a lot of tools on there where you would be paying money else where. A lot of people help you too. Email me if you want any info or want to sign up. Bless you.

      1. Yeah a lot of people who have never made a dollar themselves. Just interested in increasing their own rank which has no monetary value. It’s a weird place.

  12. It really depends on what you’re passionate about. I agree WA is a decent product but it’s not for everyone and like you said you’re definitely competing with 10,000 other affiliates with affiliate marketing. Like Jeff said, most premium members don’t actively promote the affiliate program either.

  13. Well, I only partially agree with you. I have multiple hosting accounts, and I’ve always struggled with some issues. Siteground or Bluehost services give me so many headaches like the inability to access my sites or any other technical challenges. Wealthy Affiliate is made that process so easy for me. All I have to do is to write articles, and everything else has been taken care of. I never have any issue with Wealthy affiliate hosting account, and I think it provides an excellent service for its members.

  14. This was an excellent review.

    I also became full-time online through local lead gen…and oddly enough in 2014 as well =).

    Thank you for making it clear to people that having good content is NOT enough to rank. I see this B.S. being spewed for so called experts too much and it’s really not fair for people just starting out.

  15. I was in WA and recently terminated my membership. I forgot to get my log in information for my website. I don’t know why cause I write down EVERYTHING!!!

    I have been emailing them 3x per day for the last 3 days and no one – NO. ONE. is responding to my request to give me the login info.

    So unprofessional! So it seems the only way I can get this information is to rejoin for a month $49.00 just to get this information.

    Really Kyle and Carson?? Are you that hungry for a buck with all you make?

  16. I joined and started my training only to get called away on my 2nd as my father was rushed to the hospital. I spent the next few days living at the hospital which I sure everyone knows the drill as life stops. When things got settled down I logged into my email and have large amount of emails from Kyle which were not too inviting because I wasn’t around too upgrade.
    When I tried to go to WA and logged in was I was able to do all communication was block because I didn’t upgrade nor was the able to start back on my training. I could not even contact support to leave a message to explain.
    Therefore I cannot say much about the training or the features of the upgrade, heck I never even got to meet my sponsor. I was able to find a way to pass my situation on to the owners about my absence but the response wasn’t good . I am glad my father is recovering and grateful for the experience . I hope everyone else’s experience is better than mine and all succeed with their future ventures!

  17. WA is good for beginner who like to learn how to build a decent website, the members group chat can be very sticky and you waste a lot of time chatting then doing the right thing. Build your site and promotion.

    I have same experience as Judy above, rest for sometime decide to look for alternative and lost the premium and the only way I can take my info is paid a premium member fee. Thought it said drop back to free member.?

    You also do not have direct access to your member like building your own list, everything is within WA, that is something I felt uncomfortable with.

  18. Hi

    Thank you for your post, i was looking into WF so that I could share it with others and help them with their learning curve.

    Your article has helped me so I thank you


  19. I had a WA membership years ago. The basic training is solidly OK, but just OK. Essentially, you start a blog, write reviews of products and magically get traffic. Some of the basic concepts taught are pretty good, but there’s a lot of theory.

    Unless something has changed drastically in the last few years, I can’t recommend WA right now. I’m with you.

  20. OK, I actually learned quite a lot about local marketing at WA. It’s not in the base training, it’s within their archived live training modules and individual member training. What more can I expect to learn through Lead Gen Biz?

    1. everything from how to prospect for new clients most effectively and local link building strategies that allow our sites to get to the top of page 1 that’s not taught inside WA

  21. I will tell you I’m in the 3rd level of Bootcamp completed almost all the get started training. it’s like the training can’t keep up with me.

    I was told to use a social media plugin in my training that almost took my site out. Then was told yeah I need to take that out of the training do you think? I said,

    I’m 59 years old and disabled but I think very fast and for my age and the way it’s going I will never see my first penny online.

    I’m and have been spending around 12 to 15 hours a day with WA learning all I can.
    Like I said the training can’t keep up with me other than needing to post another product review.

    So I have been trying to find something anything to generate some traffic and tired of being told to go yearly. If I did that I would be homeless don’t have that kind of money.

    I see no end in sight don’t get me wrong I knew absolutely nothing about building a website or posting any kind of content or even writing it.

    I have learned a lot and thought at first getting indexed was something but that doesn’t pay the bills. I was in a terrible construction accident in 09 falling 22ft making 98000 that year to bringing home less than a thousand a month now.

    Life is very hard, to say the least. You have really opened my eyes to many things I already probably knew just didn’t want to face the reality of it.

    Thanks for sharing with all of us, unfortunately, I can’t afford to do much else I don’t know just don’t know what else to say but thanks.

  22. What is the legality of your business model? The “company” website you are creating doesn’t exist. Isn’t that fraud? I ask because the business model makes sense but seems a bit off.

    1. any company is allowed to have more than one website, so you can completely tailor your site for your client eventually, you’re simply creating more billboards, think of how any media company can create a story about a celebrity like a TMZ, its completely legal for them to create content

  23. I have seen something new here and am very delighted, May I know if this can work for a beginner like me here in Africa (Uganda)?

  24. WA or Wealthy Affiliate is nothing but fraudundefinedscam, cult sort of speaking “community” that will give you fake sense of “helpful community vibe” and at the end steal your hard earned money.
    Back in early 2018 I was, as most of people, trying to look for a way to get some extra earnings online from my home and I found WA. Sadly I didn’t do that much review checking as they had free registration and later some “promotional deal” for premium membership, which as per them will give you so much insight into best ways to make money, assistance from their owners etc.
    What I got to see was quite opposite, very few or NO answers or help from their “great business owners” as well as this cult sort of speak community that will trick you into continuing with your “premium membership”. When I realized this is 100% fraud I was like ok, I gave it a shoot and I failed lost some money but its fine it was just a trial.
    Of course they will not state clearly that their subscription will be extended automatically unless specified differently so I was charged with their FULL prices and lost a lot more money for nothing. I tried complaining but of course I didn’t got my money back. I learned my lesson in very hard way.
    During these past 3 years I was receiving their special WA membership offers via email (for black Friday new year and all other holidays, although I unsubscribed) and finally when I got another email for this past black Friday I decided to go on that cheating website and delete my account.
    Now to my big surprise when I logged in I had ZERO RIGHTS in doing anything on MY ACCOUNT. If I wanted to access my personal message history with their owners or any other WA member I first need to pay for another premium membership. Same thing for any other clickable option on their fraud website (from accessing your own account settings in order to delete my account or to even change my profile photo). I made huge mistake and I posted on profile photo myself and my son (why don’t ask me, stupid, dumb mistake). I wanted to delete that photo but I was not able. Now to my surprise as they recently changed their website I was able to go to public chat. And I started blasting them how they are cheating, taking money from people and not even let them delete the account without PAYING to do that. Moments later their “cult members” or money stealing members started how this is not possible, how WA is great for all their members, but what mostly interested them was why I am able to write in the chat and I’m not paying member. That it is a glitch, and must be fixed. They kept assuring me that if I write to Kyle owner I should be able to access my account settings and change my photo. Of course the only thing that happened is that I got the message that my chat privileges are revoked or terminated and now the only thing that I can see on WA when I log in is to PAY in order to do anything.
    I explained to their “customer support” that I want to access my account settings (all in order to delete account and profile photo with it) and “kyle” or leader of this cult contacted me via email saying this “You don't have write access because your account is current NOT live. When you resubscribe, you will regain access to your accountundefinedsettingsundefinedetc.”
    You cannot even delete your own photo, you cannot log in to your account settings, and you cannot delete account. All you can do is pay again for premium membership. This is disaster and one of worst fraud sites that I have ever seen, and trust me anyone that come and tell you different don’t mean well to you. They have multiple accounts that they are posting from, reassuring people that what people like me is “evil and not correct”, and if you want trust them and not the person that paid for their “services”.
    To summarize DO NOT pay for anything on this platform as this is 100% fraud.
    P.s they will have several "review platforms" created by themselves through which they will remove any realistic but negative reviews of their platform and keep convincing you that they are the next best thing that will happen to you

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