I agree with all the points you have mentioned. Talking about zero upsells, for instance, the best thing online, is setting aside a budget, and being able to respect that budget without exploding it. This is the amazing part about Wealthy Affiliate. You can plan 2,3,or even 4 years in advance and that budget will still be very relevant and applicable.
Just a slight correction, Eurgene. I didn’t actually cancel my membership, I just simply had my write access taken away. Technically I am still a member and I still receive monthly commissions for the small number of Premium referrals I still have, which has been steadily declining and is now at just two members. I am on a yearly membership, though, and that runs out soon, so I might cancel then.
I’m sure there are people making lots of money from affiliate marketing, but these probably tend to be people doing launch jacking. If you have no conscience and you want to earn lots of money, go for it. I’m sure it’s not actually that difficult to learn. Jeff Lenney has a blog post all about it. By the way, he’s the guy who got taken to court by WA for daring to write a negative review [Craig, feel free to remove that bit if you want].
With some of the more popular social media planes no longer favoring affiliate links...I needed a website to house my affiliate program. Also, the help to know how to manage it as well. Turns out they were giving 2 free (hosted) siterubix websites which was exactly what I needed. I can see how this will work for my other things I like to do own my own, like promoting my poetry and crafts.
With Wealthy Affiliate they have so many multiple streams of income to where their money comes in from- the hosting, the referral program, jaaxy, the premium accounts, the illusions of all the community help that is spectacular, the writing of reviews that will promote WA and make them stand out in search engines, and social media, etc. I mean, the goal is to first help people and then make money in the process, but many of these people fail at #2. What the heck should I be writing content for to just make it a hobby and never get payed for? It’s more so a waste of my time, and I’d be crazy.
As far as using WA as a registrar and web host, that is not advisable. As the old saying goes, you never want to have all of your eggs in one basket, and it’s extremely important that you retain complete control over all of the moving parts involved with running an online business, i.e., hosting, domain, dns, email, etc. WA’s hosting services are very canned and restrictive – negating a lot of the flexibility and extensibility which is the beauty of WordPress. As a beginner, you may not recognize these limitations early on, but if you begin to succeed and start looking at ways to improve your online presence, you will undoubtedly realize that WA’s hosting services are less-than-mediocre. Those who are using WA’s hosting and are running successful sites are members who’ve been online for probably 6-8 yrs or more and are deeply indexed.
Promoting WA is a tired and oversaturated niche. They have funneled users into this niche to further their own SEO and to turn their customers into their marketing team, but I believe WA’s best days are far behind them. The lessons they provide are alright, but the tools they give you to work with are pretty bad. For example, there is no way you can use their hosting platform and WordPress installer to set up a successful site. There may be sites which are doing well on their platform, but they were built 6-8 years ago and are well indexed by now. Removing this from the equation significantly lessens the value of their membership.