I was a paying member of Wealthy Affiliate for a while. Since I am no longer a paying member I can speak freely whereas before I probably would have had my account shut down at WealthyAffiliate for putting together this website.
First off you need to watch out because quite a few members have contacted this website and said their “write access” at Wealthy Affiliate had been revoked and they were never informed why. When your “write access” is revoked you cannot blog, post to forums, PM others on the site or even PM the owners of WA to find out why your write access was revoked. Basically from what others tell me they are left high and dry and can’t contact anyone from WA to help restore their “write access”. I had a person email me in June 2013 and tell me they paid for their subscription for a year and that their account has been limited because he did something he was unaware of that would cause him to lose his “write access privilege”. The person now cannot participate in most of the sites great features and he cannot contact any from the site because he can’t PM Kyle or Carson the owners of the site. I recommended he said a certified letter to their office in Canada because that is the only chance he has to regain :write access”. This is something you need to be very aware of. I would be reluctant to pay more than one months subscription at a time because if you pay for an entire year and your account becomes limited then you won’t really have any fun or be able to meet new friends or ask for help in the forums or even blog.
On November 13, 2013 I just got a message from a paying members of WealthyAffiliate.com and he said his write access was revoked and he can no longer participate in any of WealthyAffiliate forums or blogs. This is another reason not to join Wealthy Affiliate except on a month to month basis. John is just another victim and example of how members pay for their service and are not allowed to fully participate in the site. If you can’t participate then you basically are screwed because making friends and asking questions to get help or helping others in need is what WA is all about. I personally made many friends there myself but I quit the site when I kept getting threatened to be booted out of WA when i was trying to help others by giving my opinion even if it conflicted with what they taught. Lets face it, there is usually more than one way to do something and achieve the same results or even better. It seemed to me because I was an experienced internet marketer before joining WA my opinion must have seemed threatening to the owners or something and I would often find forum posts that I spent a great deal of my time writing to help others and answer their questions suddenly disappear the next day. Wealthy Affiliate is all about interaction and they encourage it but they also believe in censorship which goes against the very core of my being since I am an American. If I wanted censorship I would move to China. Freedom of Speech is a right in our country but as a member of WA it seems my advice to others because I wanted to help them seemed to only amount to censorship and I quit the site because of this and other reasons. It seems to me that they only like newbies because they want to teach them their way and make it sound like they have all the answers. Sure the owners of WA have produced some quality content but 80% of the quality content on the site was produced by members themselves and not the owners of the site so don’t let Kyle and Carson fool you, it is the members who make WA fun and productive and not the owners of the site.
What I think are the scammy / shady parts of the site is how the site tries to push new members to become affiliate marketers of the WealthyAffiliate.com affiliate program. All members of Wealthy Affiliate get 50% recurring commission for every person who signs up for WealthyAffiliate using their affiliate link and only WA members can promote WA. This is why you see so much positive feedback about WA online because every member wants your 50% recurring commission if you join through their affiliate link. Of course they will not say something negative about the site if they expect you to click their link so they can set their cookie in your browser so if you join they get credit for the sale. Have you noticed the internet is loaded with positive things about WA? This is by no accident. The owners of WA are very smart. They know that the average person will spend only 3 months at WA as a paid member before dropping out of the site. They real push people to become part of their super affiliate program in some of the training. They teach new members how to write articles about WA and publish them online, then those articles go into syndication and may bring in new members for years to come, long after the members who wrote them leave the site. VERY CLEVER! I believe many members drop out because they are mainly taught how to promote WA and there is a lot of competition, so many members give up and quit the site because of it. After a member quits WA they no longer get commissions for all those articles they wrote, all those commissions go directly to the top of the pyramid and into the pockets of Niche Marketing, the company that owns WA.. What this means is that many members paid WA to learn how to promote the site by example and after they quit the site only WA benefits by getting a bunch or new members on the backs of old members work.
Don’t get me wrong because the site does have a lot of valuable information if you have hundreds or even thousands of hours to wade though it all. Wealthy Affiliate is very overwhelming to the average person. But do you have tons of time to spend wading through the info to learn about internet marketing? If you do have a lot of time on your hands then i say join but if you don’t and want a simpler approach to internet marketing just to get you started then may I recommend One Week Marketing as a great alternative. Then as you become familiar with the whole online marketing gig and want to learn more then joining Wealthy affiliate may not seem so overwhelming because you will know what info you want to learn and not waste a lot of time on the site learning things that will not help you in the direction you want to take your internet marketing career. Check out One Week Marketing because it may be just what you are looking for.