Back in the summer I lost my Wealthy Affiliate write access. So, this is what I now see when I log into Wealthy Affiliate:
If I try to post on WA, this is what I see:
I can still read anything posted on Wealthy Affiliate, and I can still receive private messages, but if I try to comment or reply to anything, I get the same message.
Even if I try to submit a technical support ticket about my website I get a message saying “Your hosting ticket privileges have been revoked by admin. You may not post a hosting ticket at this time.”
So, I’m completely locked out from communicating with anyone on there.
At first I was frustrated and annoyed, but soon I started to realise that it was good that it happened. Why? Because I had been feeling for a while that Wealthy Affiliate may not be suitable for me anymore, so it forced me to move away from something I was no longer happy with.
How did I lose my Wealthy Affiliate write access?
It happened after I posted a link on Wealthy Affiliate to an external website containing some additional training. I was genuinely just trying to help someone who was struggling, but I quickly realised that it was a stupid mistake and clearly against the rules.
I sent a message via the “Contact Us” form on the WA website asking to have my write access back:
(I can’t remember what my exact words were, but they were something like this)
…and quickly got a reply saying I would get my write access back. But I didn’t get it back, and all further messages went ignored.
I don’t know this for certain, but I think what happened was that after that first reply they saw something I wrote on my website about Wealthy Affiliate and realised how I was now feeling about WA. They probably realised I was being too honest and was no longer a good fit for Wealthy Affiliate. From their point of view, since I had started being totally honest on my website, what would happen if I started telling other members within WA how I really felt?
But how did I get to this point?
To put this in some kind of context, allow me to give you a quick run-through of my history with Wealthy Affiliate:
- In 2008 I first started trying to make money online, buying various guides and trying various methods.
- In 2009 I first joined WA.
- Over several months at WA I set up a few websites in different niches.
- After a while I realised I wasn’t getting anywhere, so I quit WA.
- I continued trying to make money online for a few more years. I did make some money, but not a full-time income.
- In 2012 I gave up affiliate marketing for a while.
- In January 2015 I decided to give affiliate marketing another try, so I rejoined Wealthy Affiliate.
- I did the Affiliate Bootcamp Course, which shows you how to earn money by promoting Wealthy Affiliate itself.
- I spent many months writing reviews of other products, calling them scams, and successfully referring people to WA instead. This method does work, which is why they teach it in the Bootcamp course. It’s a genius way for Wealthy Affiliate to get their own paying members to do their marketing for them.
- I also set up a few other websites in other niches, but didn’t have much success.
Then things started to change…
Towards the end of 2016 and into 2017 I started to move away from my approach of just saying everything else was a scam and saying that Wealthy Affiliate is #1. This resulted in two main changes:
- I started to be more honest in my reviews of these other products. If I thought something looked good, I would say so.
- I re-wrote my Wealthy Affiliate review to make it more balanced. While I still thought WA was good, I also included a bunch of things I was unhappy about.
But then I went further in that direction. I made a decision that I wanted to be 100% completely honest from now on. This meant that I started buying products to review them, rather than just writing reviews based on my impressions of the sales pages and what I had read in other people’s reviews.
I became totally open to all possibilities. I wanted to try various money making schemes and see where it took me. I wanted to find out for myself whether Wealthy Affiliate really was the best out of all the options available, all while documenting my journey on this website.
And then something really big happened…
A competitor did an in-depth study of Wealthy Affiliate. I actually first heard about this on WA itself. Everyone on WA seemed to be outraged by what this competitor had written, and they were all saying it was a load of nonsense.
(I later discovered that not everyone at WA was against this study. It just seemed that way because most of the comments that were positive towards the study, and therefore negative towards WA, had been hidden. More on this issue later…)
I announced that I was going to read through the study and then write honestly about what I discovered. I even told WA’s owner Kyle this was my intention, and he seemed fine with this. I was fully expecting the study to be full of utter nonsense (after all the negative comments about it I saw from other WA members), but that wasn’t the case at all. Instead, it was full of many valid criticisms of Wealthy Affiliate.
The whole process of reading through the extremely long 3-part study and then writing about it somehow did something to me. It was like it removed a veil from in front of my eyes. Now I could see clearly what Wealthy Affiliate really was.
I wrote about this at length here:
You may find that some of the most interesting information is found in the comments section. Ken, the owner of SiteSell, actually engaged with me at great length via the comments. He tried to convince me to join his website instead.
By the time I had finished writing that post, I was starting to feel like I didn’t want to be part of Wealthy Affiliate anymore. And by the time I had finished discussing things in the comments section, I was starting to feel like I’d had enough of affiliate marketing altogether. So Ken’s plan had only half worked on me. It succeeded in turning me away from WA, but failed in getting me to sign up to SiteSell’s SoloBuildIt scheme.
So, what do I now think about Wealthy Affiliate?
Whether you don’t have time to read my in-depth article I linked to above, or you just want to get an update on what I now think, here are my latest thoughts about WA.
Listen, I don’t totally hate Wealthy Affiliate and I don’t think it’s a total scam. It’s just that I no longer think it’s great either. In my opinion, there are good and bad things about Wealthy Affiliate.
So here is a list of things I like and dislike about Wealthy Affiliate. This is not a definitive exhaustive list of everything that could be considered good or bad, these are just the things that come to my mind while writing this.
Things I still like about Wealthy Affiliate
It’s super easy to get started. Anyone can build a website very quickly and easily with just the click of a few buttons. No technical knowledge required. Of course, you still need to then fill your website with useful information, but at least the framework of your website is up very quickly and easily.
Great step-by-step training. I still believe that the training at WA is some of the best I have come across. I’m talking about the style of the training, not whether or not it will actually lead to great financial success. I really like the step-by-step nature of the lessons, with clear video tutorials and actionable tasks at the end of each lesson that push you to take action and get things moving. In fact, most other training I have come across seems lacking in their step-by-step actionable approach when compared to Wealthy Affiliate.
I have learned a lot. It’s fair to say that I have learned many things from Wealthy Affiliate in the two times I have been a member. It’s difficult to be specific about everything I have learned there because it includes many little things I picked up along the way. Perhaps the biggest thing I learned were how to write good quality content, including product reviews. Generally I have an overall feeling that I have gained a lot of knowledge and skills from being a member of WA twice. I am truly grateful for that.
Things I DON’T like about Wealthy Affiliate
There aren’t any company contact details. Most other online companies display a company address and a contact telephone number so that if you have any problems you can easily get in touch. Not Wealthy Affiliate.
Of course, most of the time it’s not a problem because if you have a technical problem with your website you can submit a support ticket within WA, and if you have any other problems you can send a private message within WA to the owners Kyle or Carson.
However, if you do something wrong and end up with your write access revoked, you’re totally and utterly stuck. Then you can’t send support tickets if you have a problem with your website, which could potentially be a disaster if something goes wrong with your site. This is why I’ve since transferred my websites to other web hosting.
The active community. You were probably expecting me to list this as a positive, and for beginners it probably feels like it is, but in all honesty I eventually felt like the community at WA often wasted my time. It’s very easy to fall into the habit of keeping yourself busy just by reading and responding to posts and messages within WA, without actually getting much work done. Many people seem to use it like a paid version of Facebook, posting motivational memes and personal updates.
Also, many people give advice on things they don’t really know much about. Basically, the owners of WA are encouraging the members to help each other so that they don’t have to do it as much themselves. This is understandable because the owners are so busy working on the WA platform itself, but unfortunately it means that there is the high chance of people being given bad advice by other beginners.
The niche advice is too experimental. It’s too much a case of hit the ball and see where it lands. Just make a website about whatever you are most interested in and maybe it will make money. It seems that very often these websites just end up being hobby websites that maybe earn a small bit of change rather than a full-time business.
The name Wealthy Affiliate is misleading. To me it seemed like discussion of earnings was frowned upon within the WA community, and I suspect this is because most people aren’t earning very much. Yet the very name of the website, Wealthy Affiliate, suggests people will get rich there. In case you hadn’t noticed, WEALTHY is a synonym of RICH, which implies that this website will show you how to get rich from affiliate marketing. Sure, some people do, but I think those are very much in the minority.
I reckon if you were to ask the most active people at Wealthy Affiliate how much they earned from their websites, many of them would not tell you, and out of those that did tell you, only a minority would be earning a full-time income. This is just my educated guess from what I observed in my 2.5 years there, though. I can’t prove it.
But why is it such a touchy subject there? And why do so many members not seem to mind if they are not running full-time businesses? Never mind actually being WEALTHY from AFFILIATE marketing as the name suggests. Let’s not forget, Wealthy Affiliate is marketed by those promoting it as the #1 way to Make Money Online. Yet, once you get there, not many of the members actually seem to be rich.
I mean, if you take a look at the “Success” feed on the WA dashboard, you typically won’t see many claims of high earnings. Sure, I understand that there are many minor successes on the way towards that bit goal. But with the number of members WA claims it has after 12 years of existence, surely there must be plenty of long time members who are RICH from AFFILIATE marketing who want to brag about it? If not, doesn’t it mean that Wealthy Affiliate fails to live up to its name?
Everyone will have their own limit for how long they give it before they realise that they should have succeeded by now. But if you have been there for several years and you’re still not WEALTHY from AFFILIATE marketing, something has gone wrong, right? Either affiliate marketing is not such a good business model after all, or WA is teaching it wrong. Or perhaps most new businesses fail anyway, regardless of whether they are affiliate marketing or something else. I don’t know. I’m just thinking through the various possibilities…
But imagine if the website was called Super Fit Athletes, and the aim of being a member was to become super fit. You pay to join, but after 2 years of following their training you’re only slightly less unfit than you were before, and you realise most of the other members aren’t super fit either. It’s not lived up to its name has it?
It’s too easy to make websites. Although it’s great that anyone can quickly and easily make a website about their chosen hobby, I wonder if it’s TOO easy. Members aren’t being taught much about how websites work, so they are not learning how to be website experts, merely experts in blogging about their favourite subject. Members are only being trained to succeed WITHIN Wealthy Affiliate, not in the big world wide web as a whole. The very nature of the way it is set up means that members come to rely on WA too much for everything. More on this in my next point.
WA is providing too much in one place. Although it can be considered a great benefit that Wealthy Affiliate provides all the essentials all in one membership, I believe there is a downside to this. It ties the members into the web hosting and community there so it’s difficult for them to leave if they later feel they have outgrown it or they want to take an approach to their business that doesn’t quite fit with Wealthy Affiliate’s taught methods. You’re not being taught how to be a successful independent business owner. You’re being taught how to be a (dare I say it, possibly brainwashed) Wealthy Affiliate member.
Discussion of other money making methods seems to be discouraged. This follows on from the above point. Because WA teaches a specific way to make money (build a website about an interest, write blog posts on the topic, rank in Google for low competition keywords, then make money through affiliate links to products), this kind of restricts members just to that particular way of making money online. But there are multiple legit ways to make money online, not just from affiliate marketing via blogging.
Let’s consider just some of the other legit ways of making money online:
- eBay selling;
- Amazon selling (FBA);
- Web design/development, including creating WordPress themes and plugins;
- Managing websites for people/companies;
- Freelance jobs, including:
- article writing,
- image editing,
- video creation,
- social media management,
- and many more.
But if you want to discuss these other methods, it’s not really allowed because it would draw members away from what WA is offering. So, if you’re a member of Wealthy Affiliate, you need to tow the party line that affiliate marketing through blogging is the best way to make money online. It becomes a bit like a cult or religion where everyone must more or less believe the same thing and questioning those beliefs is discouraged.
And although the methods I listed above are not easy, neither is affiliate marketing. It’s hard to make a real success of affiliate marketing, or at least it always has been for me. Once you’ve setup your website, you will likely have several months of hard work blogging before you even start to see a small amount of affiliate income. Then it could be a lot longer before you really know whether your website is likely to be a big success.
Negativity is suppressed. If you have a complaint about Wealthy Affiliate and you mention it within Wealthy Affiliate itself, it will likely get hidden from other members. I can understand why they do this – the owners are just protecting their own business. However, it means that you never really get a true picture of how the members of WA feel. Half of them might be really dissatisfied but you would never know because all those posts and comments get hidden. The result is that WA appears to be filled mostly with people all delighted with how wonderful WA is.
The affiliate bootcamp is a newbie trap. Not sure what niche to go into? It’s okay, you can just create a website that reviews other money making websites and then says that Wealthy Affiliate is a better option, even though you’ve not been at WA long enough to actually know whether that’s really the case.
It’s really ironic that the web is so crammed full of Wealthy Affiliate reviews all saying that WA is, in their experience, the #1 best way to make money online, even though they themselves have not made much money with it yet (or no money at all if their bootcamp website has only just been created). It’s a case of “fake it till you make it”. If you keep saying WA is the best way to make money online long enough, eventually you may have referred enough new members to WA for it to actually end up true for you. And all this just because the owner of WA told you it was the best.
I fell into this bootcamp trap myself, even though it was my 2nd go at joining Wealthy Affiliate. For a while I did actually believe it myself, until I eventually realised WA hadn’t earned me as much money as I’d hoped and there might actually be other avenues out there that would bring in more money.
They can dish it out but they can’t take it. Internet marketer Jeff Lenney used Wealthy Affiliate’s own technique on them. He wrote a negative review of WA, saying it was a scam. He got taken to court and had to remove the review. But all he was doing to Wealthy Affiliate was exactly what many WA bootcampers do to other websites/products – write negative reviews without trying them.
Okay, I know the bootcamp course doesn’t actually explicitly state that members should write reviews without trying the products, but inevitably that’s what tends to happen. The vast majority of newbies simply cannot possibly afford to buy every product they review (they would quickly get into debt if they did), so they have to write the reviews without trying the products. Yes, I know people can get refunds, but if you ask for refunds too often you might get banned from affiliate networks like ClickBank and JVZoo, which many of WA’s competitors are sold through.
I know the bootcamp course doesn’t explicitly instruct WA members to write fake reviews, but it’s inevitable that it will happen much of the time under the circumstances. The way the bootcamp is structured creates a situation where it is just likely to happen. And the owners of Wealthy Affiliate must know this and let it happen. Yet as soon as someone uses the same technique on them, they go ape shit.
Yeah, welcome to Wealthy Affiliate. We’re the number 1 way to make money online, simply because we say so and we’ve gagged anyone who says otherwise, even though many of our members actually aren’t WEALTHY from AFFILIATE marketing. But that’s okay, once you are a member you will love it here and realise that money doesn’t really matter anyway. You can actually feel rich in spirit just by being active in the community and helping other people even if you’re a newbie and you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Okay, so what’s next for me?
Since I lost my Wealthy Affiliate write access probably due to being too honest about how WA hadn’t actually made me wealthy from affiliate marketing, I have moved all my websites out of WA to separate hosting. I have also decided to step away from affiliate marketing and SEO, at least for a while. I may return to it again at a later date, once I have tried other things for a while.
Even before I lost my Wealthy Affiliate write access, I had started to feel a bit like that and had started to investigate other money making methods. In fact, that was what I was doing – trying other money making products and writing honest reviews of them. But since then, since I came to the realisation that I was never going to get my WA write access back ever, I have felt like I wanted to get away from the whole thing.
One thing I’ve been looking at for a while is arbitrage, and I ended up taking an in-depth look into eBay-Amazon arbitrage. This is where you buy products on Amazon and sell them on eBay for more money. Ever bought something from eBay and had it arrive in Amazon packaging? Yeah, you bought from someone doing eBay-Amazon arbitrage.
Of course, to do this you really need some type of software to automate most of it. After much research I decided to try Profit Scraper. It’s early days still, but it looks hopeful. I’ve been doing it about 2 months and have made about £500 in profit after expenses. That’s not loads, but I think it’s a great start. In fact, I think it all looks very promising, so the whole issue of my Wealthy Affiliate write access won’t even matter eventually.
Here is a video from 3 years ago showing Profit Scraper in action. The interface actually looks a lot better now, and it can now bulk upload to eBay itself without using another tool.
They restrict themselves to just 500 members, and I think they are currently at their 500 member limit. However, you can join their waiting list to be informed when there is a new space available. Click here to join the waiting list.
I will probably write a full review of Profit Scraper soon. I will try to make it 100% honest, including both the good and the bad things.
I intend to keep this website going and to use it to document my journey to make money online. No, I’m not rich yet, not even close. If that puts you off reading this website because I’ve not made loads of money yet, that’s fine. I’m not going to lie to keep you here or trick you into buying something.
I’m being 100% honest with what I write here, so if one day you see me write that I have made some good money, you will know it’s legit. I’m not just going to say something is great just because it’s an opportunity to get someone to click an affiliate link.
Okay, so that’s my big update on what’s been happening with me lately. If you read all the way down this far, well done, you have a good attention span.
Have you also lost your Wealthy Affiliate write access? Or are you currently an active member and you think it’s amazing? No matter what your opinion is, I would love to hear from you. I will approve most comments as long as they are genuine and not spam or about anything illegal.
All the best,