Hi, I am Keith Rickman of Hudson Rickman
I am retired from full time employment and have been working with Wealthy Affiliate for six years. I wrote my first review in 2013 and felt it was time to share my amazing experiences over this long time period with you. I want this to be a post that you can use to help you decide whether to join us at Wealthy Affiliate.To do this I have gone back to my working experience to ask how you would decide, and to compare Wealthy Affiliate now with what it was when I started six years ago.
Here’s what I found.
My corporate career included a fair amount of time (years) working with teams of people to purchase systems for banks and implementing them and managing the department(s) who were to use them because I worked for the bank. This meant that there were a number of factors which we always looked at when we were looking at a new system. The reason I’m saying this is because the same criteria apply to looking for an affiliate marketing learning system such as wealthy affiliate (WA) and as you will know from my previous review I looked at a lot before I come to WA.
The reason I am now writing this review is because I think it makes sense to tell people who are looking for an online learning system that you should ask the questions which apply both to the corporate world (where we looked at systems costing up to US$10 million) and the world in which the system is much smaller and less costly, like WA because the same questions apply.
How do you know what you are getting into?
How to decide on whether YOU should join us at WA?
See how well or otherwise the Wealthy Affiliate system stands up over time to these questions based on my actual usage of this online learning system.
So what were the criteria that we used in my working life?
Value for money – does this product give you value for your money, in other words are you getting a fair or even good return on the money you are paying out?
Sustainability – in terms of it being a system that would last over a number of years, and a vendor who would update the system to keep in touch with current trends,
Ease of use meaning that people in our bank would get used to it very easily and it could be taught very easily, and in every day use it was easy to use.
Training capabilities from the vendor , do they exist and how good are they
Ability to communicate with other users to understand whether they thought it was a good system or not.
Finally is it delivering to those users the benefit we were looking for.
Only if the system we were looking for passed all these tests did we recommend it.
Does WA pass these tests so that I can honestly recommend it to you after six years?
Value for money – how do you look at this question? I look at the amount of money I pay out to WA each year and the value of the Wealthy Affiliate contribution to my business. Let’s look at the money pay out. It can be zero if you stay with the free Starter pack and some people do and make money. If you go to premium and expand your business further you pay either a monthly charge of $49/$1.63 per day, (with the first month being a one off $19.00), or if you pay six months you get this for $39 per month ($1.3 per day and save $60) or if you go for annual billing you pay $29.92 per month ($0.99 per day and save $229!)
I can think of no other online learning system for business that gives you such value for money. If you look again at the daily cost of Wealthy Affiliate on a top premium package annually paid it works out at less than a dollar per day on a 30 day month and the value that you get is that you can conduct all of your online business creation, training and launching from a single package. Going further I also think that the ability to do the free starter package is excellent and in line with most SaaS packages in the Global Market place at this time.
Furthermore if you think about it the maximum at risk cost for you is $19.00 Why do I say this? Simple – the free Starter package is a taster for you to see if you want to go further. If you decide to go further but are not really sure then you can try premium after you’ve tried the free starter package for $49. This means you have one month to explore the whole of the premium area and this is indeed a significant increase in the amount of facilities over and above the free starter package and if you don’t like it then you can stop. So your most highest risk at getting started really is US$49 let’s be clear about that. This amount is much smaller than other packages out there. My thoughts on this are that if you can try WA out on a graded basis like this with the maximum risk of $49 this has to be a significant offering.
In terms of cost overall I can tell you that this has not changed in six years – I pay the same now as I did six years ago. There is no indication either that this is likely to change.
So a tick on this one then!
Sustainability – In the case of WA this is a big yes because not only has the product been maintained at the level it was six years ago but it is been improved significantly since then. if you look at the last 12 months (2018), at least 10 major improvements have been to the system, not that they were particularly needed but that it made the system more efficient for the users. Let me give you an example. In the previous years putting images into a blog post like this post meant that I had to go outside to somewhere like Pixabay, find an image, crop it until I got the right size and then bring it into my post in WA. Last year WA brought all of those facilities into the WA system such that I can when I’m creating a post now look at a library of 1 million images often from places like Pixabay, which I used to use anyway; I can now crop them inside WA and stick them straight into my post – how good is that?
Another tick in the box?
Ease-of-use – this is an interesting one because different people will see the package in a different light based on their ability to understand the system. However let me say straightaway there is no need to understand a system. All you need to understand is where your interests lie and why and where you think you’re going with your business because the training that is provided by wealthy affiliate is extremely clear and almost always incorporates you making choices from menus of available options rather than having to learn complicated approaches. This applies specifically to building a website which can be seriously done in a very short time. I looked at the system again today just to check this out and even though I am used to it 1 to 2 minutes is all you need and for sure you don’t need to know anything other than to choose from a list on each of the stages. Could not be simpler.
Big tick in the box
Training capabilities from the vendor – this is absolutely paramount for anyone who wants to use the WA system. Recently I decided to update myself and go through the whole of the training system once again, having originally been through it some several years previously. So I went back to square one and I went through the training with one eye on this review thinking okay what happens if I’m a very new person to the system – would I be able to cope with it? I have to say that the answer is a resounding yes because the training is written for the user on the assumption that he or she knows nothing when they come into WA. I think this is a superb approach which I have used when I have taught courses within banks and also allows the user to feel comfortable that they are not expected or assumed to have certain knowledge.
Communication with current users – right from day one when you start the free package with wealthy affiliate you have access to the WA Community . This allows you to ask any questions you like of either the community as a whole or private people such as myself and believe it or not even the two guys that own and run WA will respond to your questions if you ask them. This is a clear advantage because no matter how good training sessions are the ability to ask that question fills any gap in your understanding. The other thing that happens in WA which I really like are the weekly webinars which are posted by a WA employee and take areas of knowledge that you need for your business too a much greater depth. These are very well attended within the community.
Is it delivering the Benefits YOU are looking for? I think this can be judged by the growth of the WA business since 2013 and also the growing number of people who have built and grown significant businesses as evidenced by their blog posts in WA. There is one other point which I think is important. Where is it possible for you to get the one on one attention whilst you get started. Many of the gurus in WA like me are offering for free to hold new users hands whilst they get started on a one on one basis. If we don’t know the answer to your question we will go find it for you.
Going back to does it deliver – the number of WA members has grown from around 150,000 in 2013 to 1.6 million today – this is an amazing growth rate, clearly showing how good the product is and that it delivers. Obviously this also contributes to them being able to keep their fees at such a low level and constant for such a long time. There are also a growing number of business owners in WA who are earning US$8000 to $10000 per month which is not small by any stretch of the imagination.
My biggest tick
One final point.
The support that you can obtain from the technical support group. I have nothing but admiration for the way they turn around the tickets which you can write when you have an issue and which is not answered by either the community or a Guru within the community such as myself. I recently had an issue with one of my websites which I had not used for some period of time. For a reason which I did not understand I couldn’t log into it any more and I tried all sorts of things to get round it and got nowhere. So raised a ticket to support and they got back to me within minutes giving me options for going forward. We chose one and they installed it within an hour. The website now works perfectly. This is not an isolated incident where I needed help on a few occasions that I have asked for it this level of response time has been the standard. In my corporate experience responses of this time magnitude are rare.
I would like to offer the following as conclusions from this comparison
1. If you are prepared to put in hard work Wealthy Affiliate is the place to be to build your online business and make money.
2. My experience over six years has confirmed my recommendation to you.
3. There is no risk to you in joining Wealthy Affiliate as the starter pack is free.
4. If you decide to go further the risk is only the first month at $19.00
5 I am here to help you at all times as are many other Wealthy Affiliate gurus.
Why not join us at Wealthy Affiliate and see for yourself?