If you’re here, it’s likely you’ve been hearing this buzzword “Wealthy Affiliate” and you want a balanced perspective, so you’re looking for Wealthy Affiliate complaints. If so, you’re in the right place.
You’ve probably seen reviews all over the internet, and the volume of positive reviews may have you thinking “this is too good to be true”. Added to that, there are negative reviews, but very few of them come from people who have actually given Wealthy Affiliate a fair shake, so you’re probably here a little confused about whether the platform is really good or not, right?
The Honeymoon Phase and the Competition
To be honest, there is a honeymoon phase with Wealthy Affiliate because many people who join have come from other programs that charge substantially more. Some are high-ticket and charge thousands of dollars to learn internet marketing! Others, have come from pure scams where “gurus” and supposed “experts” made very steap promises to them, and either gave them low quality, or outright walked away with their money.
As a result, many people who join Wealthy Affiliate and see the quality of the training and community are amazed, and see no imperfections–it’s just like being brought your favorite meal platter. When you get it, you’re overwhelmed by the smell and the taste, so you don’t notice some of the intricate details that might be missing, but I see them…
My Background with Wealthy Affiliate
I was like many other members at Wealthy Affiliate who genuinely wanted to learn internet marketing. For me, I started looking while in the military. I had written 15 books during my final enlistment, and I wanted to learn how to sell my books online.
I started scouring everywhere for information on how to market my books online, and I had pieced information together, but wasn’t making money I wanted to. I wanted to separate from the military and settle down with my family, but I wanted to have a good career and income lined up, so I was turning more and more attention to internet marketing. At that time, I was a newlywed and I’d had a 4-year old, so deploying wasn’t something I wanted to continue doing.
Unfortunately, like many others, I kept finding programs that promised alot and delivered very little. It was very frustrating for years! Finally, I had amassed so much knowledge and skill in areas like graphic design, web design, and social media marketing that I started a digital agency and started offering those services.
I was making a decent middle class income selling my services, but when “life happened” and my son got very sick, my priorities shifted again. His heart rate had dropped down to 30 beats per minute when it’s supposed to be more than 70 or so! I wanted to focus on his health, but taking time away from my clients meant upset people and less income. At that time, I decided I needed to learn another way to leverage my time to build an income, and my mind took me back to a long time interest in affiliate marketing.
I started looking for ways to learn affiliate marketing and came across programs like:
- Michelle Shroeder Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
- Create and Go’s Make Money Blogging program (which I bought)
- Paul Scrivs Dare to Conquer (which I bought)
But, the icing on the cake didn’t come until I joined Wealthy Affiliate.
When I joined Wealthy Affiliate, it seemed like all of the fragmented information I’d compiled over the years had finally started coming together, and I went thru the honeymoon phase too. I had absolutely no complaints, and one year later, I still have very few.
If you’re wondering how other programs worked out for me, or why I continued looking, you can check out my reviews (by clicking the links above) or take a look at my video walkthrus of other training programs here:
Some People Have Legitimate Wealthy Affiliate Complaints
Despite it being the best platform to learn internet marketing in my opinion, there are some legitimate complaints, and I’d be dishonest or ill informed if I didn’t say that. It’s such a huge community with over 1.4 million+ people there, so there are complaints nearly every day. It’s like any other social media or software tool, you’ll hear people saying:
- I don’t know how to work this
- I don’t know how to find…
- My…isn’t working
- And, often times, it’s just a part of learning new skills and using new tools.
Most of the Wealthy Affiliate complaints seem so minor, I used to overlook them and almost forget they were there–that’s what the “honeymoon phase” does to you. Haha.
Now that I’ve been a member for more than 1 year, I can be more balanced in my perspective and give a more accurate analysis of the complaints for you. With that said, here are some of the most common Wealthy Affiliate complaints I’ve seen, and if you know of others, please leave them in the comments section below.
The goal of being transparent about these complaints is so you can have realistic expectations. No training program, person or platform is perfect, so it’s best to go to Wealthy Affiliate aware of what the gamechangers (or even dealbreakers) have been for others.
1. Wealthy Affiliate Costs!
There is a lifetime free membership at Wealthy Affiliate, but of course, there are limits to that. It’s a superior value to many competing paid programs, but the premium membership is WHERE IT’S REALLY AT.
The free membership gives you lots of value, but the premium membership is much more exhaustive. I’m sure some affiliates are probably not as transparent about the free versus the paid options, but that’s not because their taught that way. In fact, Affiliates are given this banner to make it clear what the differences are between the free and the paid plans:
I’ll be honest and take responsibility that sometimes, people have false expectations, and it’s our (the affiliates’) fault. Despite the tools we’re given by the owners and Wealthy Affiliate staff to promote the program with integrity and clarity, some affiliates are programmed to sell by exaggerating, and they may not even realize it. Some do and some don’t.
As a result, some people are misled–that’s the case sometimes.
There are many more times where I’ve seen people who simply have unrealistic expectations about the cost to start an online business from presuppositions set somewhere else, and they come to Wealthy Affiliate with the expectation that everything will be free, so when they find out there is a paid plan, they’re upset.
2. The Ranking System Needs to Change
Wealthy Affiliate has a ranking system that rewards members for being helpful in the community. When you help by:
- Answering another member’s questions
- Writing a helpful blog post there
- Creating training
- Commenting on other’s blog posts
- Or, increasing in followers on the platform…
It affects your rank at Wealthy Affiliate. Some people spend long periods of time on the Wealthy Affiliate platform similar to how people use Facebook or other social media platforms, they focus on improving their rank, and their income doesn’t improve because they’re not building their businesses. Wealthy Affiliate teaches lessons on time management, but there are still members who are more focused on their rank than their businesses, and some of the Wealthy Affiliate complaints are because people are bothered by it.
They think the high-ranking Wealthy Affiliate members should be the highest paid or something like that because then the members who are new can seek the highest ranking members for insight. Instead, they may seek high-ranking members, but find that not all of them are able to teach them how to make good money–they may be helpful but not profitable yet.
3. People are Starting in the MMO niche too Early
Another common series of Wealthy Affiliate complaints you’ll hear about is “people are starting in the make money online niche before they know how to make money online, so how can they be effective?”. Wealthy Affiliate offers two training paths: the Online Entrepreneur Certification and the Affiliate Bootcamp.
Long-time members like:
- Ian Pribs from Stopping Scams wrote about how he dislikes new members starting in the Affiliate Bootcamp
- Or, Mike at Affiliate Marketer Training also says the push to be in the Affiliate Bootcamp is too strong
That’s their opinions, and I understand why they say that. Many people who are first learning how to make money online have trouble finding a niche, so since their curious about how to do internet marketing, they tend to lean towards that route, and there’s no prohibitions at Wealthy Affiliate that stop them.
The make money online, affiliate marketing, and internet marketing niches are quite competitive, so new internet marketers with little to no experience may be shocked by how much work needs to be done to get results. Added to that, new referrals expect to get help from their referrers, so new people would be expected to be at a higher knowledge level than those coming in, which could be a challenge.
Some of the older members are trying to be protective of the newer people coming into the industry, so they feel they should choose an easier route first by choosing a passion or problem niche, build their skills then help others by doing a site in the internet marketing niche.
In the Online Entrepreneur Certification, you learn how to make money online by choosing a topic you’re passionate about, creating a website, getting traffic, and monetizing that. Most people don’t complain about the merit of the Online Entrepreneur Certification.
The affiliate bootcamp is the route where you’d learn how to make money by referring others to Wealthy Affiliate, and you’d likely be in the affiliate marketing or make money online niches. The affiliate bootcamp is a tough route because the make money online niche is very very competitive, and it requires quite a bit of effort to be successful pursuing that path.
Many experts think people who are new to the internet marketing industry should focus most on another niche that’s easier to break into, then go back into the internet marketing niche once they thoroughly understand how it goes.
4. You can’t go back to the free plan once you’ve switched to become a premium member
Wealthy Affiliate enables members to join 100% free with no billing information requested. With the free membership, you get two free websites on a SiteRubix subdomain and ten free training lessons. You can maintain the free membership for life, and I recommend starting members who are experiencing financial constraints to maximize their use of the free membership until they can afford to upgrade to premium.
Unfortunately, many of the new members jump into the premium membership, then don’t reorganize their finances enough to afford it. When they realize they can’t afford the membership, and they want to go back into the free membership, it’s no longer available to them.
As a warning, if you decide to go to Wealthy Affiliate, and you’re in a financial crisis, settle with the free membership until you can afford to upgrade. They give you ten free training lessons that will teach you the basics and give you months of work. Take action on what you’re given in the free lessons on your free websites. You can get Google rankings, traffic, and sales on the free websites, and other members have proven that.
5. There’s no formal written refund policy
Wealthy Affiliate gives the members complete control of their billing. You can cancel your account at any point from within the membership dashboard, and many people don’t have any trouble with that.
With that said, if you do forget to cancel the membership and the payment is drafted, then you have to contact Kyle or Carson (the owners) to be issued a refund. The policy isn’t formal or written, but I’ve seen many people who have been issued refunds of their monthly or annual refunds for various reasons. It’s on a case-by-case basis right now with no formal document (that I know of) stating the rules.
6. There’s some countries who are banned due to previous misuse
Some countries have been known to have many members who participate in high volumes of spam, fraud, or other criminal practices. Also, there are countries where Paypal isn’t used. As a result, some countries are banned from being able to join Wealthy Affiliate. The primary payment method for sending and recieving payments to/from Wealthy Affiliate is Paypal, so of members can’t access it, it makes things difficult. These countries include:
7. I prefer other tools
Some people know Wealthy Affiliate is a popular platform with lots of ongoing search volume, so they bid on the keywords with paid ads or try to rank with the keywords in search results, so they can get a position and pitch a competing product (possibly for the sake of higher commissions or otherwise). Then, there’s others who legitimately have tried the platform, but prefer other tool or resources over time.
Typically, beginners love the platform, but the intermediate to advanced users are the ones that veer off a little over time. Similar to kids becoming teenagers, over time, many internet marketers just want to do things their own unique way, and that’s encouraged.
There are several other internet marketing training programs, hosting companies, keyword research tools, and internet communities. You’ll find the alternative preferences much more within the intermediate to advanced internet marketers because they’ve probably started making some money, and are experimenting, or getting more established with a series of tools. They may no longer want to use free WordPress themes, one market research tool, or they may even want to learn alternative strategies to see what can help their growth–this is normal.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion about how they compare. Some people come to Wealthy Affiliate and favor a different solution for various reasons. Some common reasons people favor another program include:
- They feel more comfortable using something else
- They trust alternative solutions more (for various personal preference reasons)
- They get paid a higher commission somewhere else
- They’re in an environment that predominately uses something else
- Or, they found something that’s more suitable for a season of their business growth
It’s okay for people to have various preferences. Wealthy Affiliate doesn’t mandate exclusivity. In fact, the owners and general community consensus is that you should be a life long learner–this means pursue other programs and tools to master your skills. The only time members are cautioned away from pursuing alternative education platforms or tools is:
- When they have a pattern of jumping around without taking action
- When it seems the person is looking for a solution to give a “quick result” without effort
- Or, when they haven’t given one strategy the time it needs to work
Other than those three reasons, the general consensus at Wealthy Affiliate is slanted towards lifelong learning, which means trying tools and training that helps your business to grow.
8. I Disagree with Certain Philosophies
Some common controversial philosophies within Wealthy Affiliate are:
Their stance on backlinking – They teach you to create high-quality content that people are genuinely interested in, and backlinks will come. Some internet marketing experts believe you should be more intentional if you want serious website growth.
Thier spam policies – WA wants their website to be a “safe” place for students to learn without being upsold or distracted by things to buy. As a result, they require members to come there and engage without posting links to their websites and so on. You have your profile where you can post links for people to follow you, but you can’t hyperlink your website information inside of posts and things like that.
SEO as a primary content strategy – Wealthy Affiliate has created a step by step strategy that works for people of various budgets and interests. They offer two free websites and training, so even if you don’t have ANY money, you can really get started with your online business–it’s unheard of.
They also teach the lowest overhead methods of starting an online business, but the lowest overhead method takes additional work ethic to really see results. Search engine optimization takes in the ranges of 6 months to 2 years (and sometimes more) to see a full-time income when you’re focused on publishing aggressively (even in some non-competitive niches!)
The reasons it takes time for the traction to build is because it’s a learning curve to learn:
- Keyword research
- Creating high-quality content (copywriting, buyer’s psychology, sales, grammar and punctuation, video marketing, photography, graphic design, podcasting, etc.)
- WordPress Technical skills (web design, etc.)
- Email marketing
- and the other pertinent skills
Added to the learning curve required to master the skills, it also takes some time for search engines to recognize your site as an authority. There are experts all over that tell you Google doesn’t recognize a site and give rankings for approximately 6 months, and it doesn’t matter how high quality it is.
Wealthy Affiliate teaches paid advertising as well (mostly in the premium membership), but they strongly encourage members to learn what converts using search engine optimization FIRST before considering paid ads. Some experts teach the opposite and tell new online entrepreneurs to jump into Facebook ads, Google ads, or other advertising platforms, so there’s conflicting opinions in the internet marketing circles.
I want to use Solo Ads – Wealthy Affiliate doesn’t endorse the use of solo ads. There are several members who have tried them and who share their experiences, but it’s not a formalized strategy that’s taught mainstream there.
Wealthy Affiliate is overemphasizing comments – Wealthy Affiliate has a comment platform and they teach that comments help to show updates on your posts, increase the word count on your posts, demonstrate engagement on your site, and overall help with rankings. Some experts disagree with the importance of comments.
9. The Tools Need Tweaks or Updates
As with any Saas company, they’re constantly evolving–Wealthy Affiliate is no different. They have several proprietary tools that can’t be found anywhere else. Despite that, many of the members have their own expectations. For example, they offer a Sitecomment platform that pays members for giving comments. Some new people were joining Wealthy Affiliate to make money commenting, and were creating very low-quality comments.
There is an internal algorithm that will ban accounts who create low-quality comments if comment recipients would disapprove their comments. Some of the members don’t disapprove out of kindness, and later complain when the comments aren’t the quality they wanted.
Added to that, I’ve seen other members who compare the keyword research data to competing tools and see conflicting data. As a result, they believe either Jaaxy doesn’t work, or they believe all keyword research tools don’t work–when neither extreme is accurate. Instead, it’s important to take keyword data (from any provider) with a grain of salt and add more steps into your keyword research to ensure: you’re choosing a good keyword, and you’re able to outpace the competing content written on it.
The list can go on and on of the various complaints people have made over the years about updates that need to be made, and the exciting thing is…they’re constantly listening and making the requested updates.
My Opinion of Wealthy Affiliate with all the User Complaints in Mind
With all of these complaints out in the open, you’re probably wondering what’s my final opinion of Wealthy Affiliate, right? I’m well aware of all of the complaints. In fact, I’ve watched most of the videos and read most of the blog posts that say negative things about the platform (even though they’re hard to find).
After reading all of the complaints, and evaluating several competing programs, I still feel that Wealthy Affiliate is the best place to learn internet marketing online.
People go to Wealthy Affiliate for a sense of belonging as well as to build professional skills and it works as a solution for both.
I see people who go to Wealthy Affiliate for more than just money and business. Instead, they go to be a part of a vibrant community of people who help one another out like no other I’ve seen online. They share their business and personal success as well as their obstacles and life challenges, and the community rallies around as supporters in the good and the bad. Facebook groups, Slack channels, or even social media platforms don’t compare to the helpful culture that’s there at Wealthy Affiliate.
Even though there are people there in various ranges of expertise, you can feel that out once you’re there, and find people who can give sound advice. Once you know the ranking system doesn’t award people based on Internet Marketing knowledge, it’s up to you to do your due diligence, and request advice from the right people.
The MMO niche isn’t the only route, but when people express interest in the Affiliate Bootcamp, it’s best for fellow mentors to direct them to realistic expectations.
Some new people will truly be passionate about the make money online niche, and it’s nothing wrong with that. Rather than focusing on selling their results, they should focus on mastering product knowledge in their reviews and disclosing pros and cons. In my opinion based on seeing many sales professionals over the years, I don’t think you need to purchase every product in order to give a good recommendation. If that were the case, Best Buy wouldn’t have many sales reps or Apple either, right?
It’s helpful to have a sound understanding of how to make money online before going into the make money online niche, but I’ve watched people pursue the Bootcamp route as their first niche and succeed, which is proof it works. It’s not easy, but it can be done.
Do I think people should be able to go back into the free membership?
No. I think it’s fair to set a limit on what’s free versus what’s paid. Many companies give a free trial and you can’t go back to that, so Wealthy Affiliate isn’t the first to do that. Business costs, so people who want to start an online business shouldn’t expect anyone else to bear the costs for them. They have to break the freebie mentality if they really want to be serious business owners.
With that said…
For the referrals I’ve had that are having financial crises or express concern about being able to pay for the premium membership, I try my best to emphasize the free option available to them. Still, some people will be very excited to jump into the premium version, and that’s really up to them. I’m very upfront that they cannot go back to the free membership after upgrading, and there are many members who try to emphasize that as well.
Should members use other tools or are Wealthy Affiliate tools the best?
I personally use Wealthy Affiliate tools primarily in my business, but I also use other tools in addition to that. Online businesses are like any other business where you have vendors for various things to make YOUR business operate with the most ease for YOU–these are preferences and everyone has them. Wealthy Affiliate tools are great to start with, and once you learn what additional preferences you have, you can add more tools as you go.
Are Wealthy Affiliate philosophies the best?
Based on my observations, Wealthy Affiliate has sound philosophies that work. There are variations that also work, and you can experiment and try those variations for yourself. You have to decide the most comfortable strategies for you, and take massive action. I don’t foresee controversy from ceasing within the Internet marketing industry, however, not all of the alternative methods have as much proof, so I tend to stay away from many of those.
What Should you do now that you know all of these Wealthy Affiliate Complaints?
Despite all of the complaints, I still consider Wealthy Affiliate to be the #1 place to learn internet marketing online. I’ve seen hundreds (if not thousands) of success stories since I’ve joined 25 January 2018, and I haven’t seen another place as helpful and saturated with successful online entrepreneurs as they are. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself! It’s 100% free with no billing information required.
Plus, I’ll give you a bonus 7-hr free course and my coaching free for 7 days when you try it out.
Want to see more of the features? Check out my Wealthy Affiliate review and demo here.