Report: #1135252

Complaint Review: Wealthy Affiliate

  • Submitted: Mon, March 31, 2014
  • Updated: Tue, April 01, 2014
  • Reported By: MeLTruthTeller — Long Island New York
  • Wealthy Affiliate

    Internet
    USA

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Well, well, well. I was thoroughly convinced that this company was legitimate. Even after I spent significant time researching them, going 10 to 20 pages deep into their google presence, I was still game. This is the ruse: 

They are a very clever marketing company, and are everything they say they're not. Beware, and please read. They are smarter than most, which is why they have so many followers. They claim to have the key to training a person on how to successfully create their own lucrative work-from-home blog sites. They do claim to be a lot of work, require a lot of patience, blah blah swoon. You almost had me. 

I was told by Nathaniell, on a pretty good site that I thought was legitimate, that I could enhance my existing site by adding marketing for products related to my already niche field of Kitchen Design, and get paid for it! Silly me! I thought it was somewhat curious that I could go to a company like Design Within Reach, and ask them if I could market for them, and have them pay me. I didn't see how this could work. There was some kind of program partnership that wasn't fully explained. So after much resistance I signed up with a backup email to try it out for 7 days, and see if I could learn as much as I could. 

I had my "Write Access Revoked by Admin" almost immediately by Kyle, one of the 'founders', eh. It turns out that a lot of the first training courses had to do with setting up a site, blah blah I already have one. So I wanted to get right to the juice of it, because I'm trying to see if this is legit, so amuse me, OK? 

I repeatedly asked, in the general forum, for help on finding out how to do what I was led there to do. I had NO interest in creating a Wordpress blog page that would promote Wealthy Affiliates. And yet, this was all they seemed to cover. I kept asking questions and received several responses to just go through the training. For what? To buy into the gimmick? Tell me EXACTLY which training of the 10 to go to so that I don't waste my time. After all, you're selling yourself to me for me to buy into your membership at some point.

I don't have time to la-dee-dah here. Just tell me where to go! If I feel that I need to take a few steps back I will. But no. Kyle HIMSELF made a rude comment to me. This girl suggested that I watch the Alphabet Soup section of the training, that it would help. I said this was for keyword help, and I don't need that. Kyle said that if I didn't know what keywords were for, then I had no business being on the internet. Excuse me??? I was simply stating that SHE did not understand, and led me somewhere I ALREADY KNEW ABOUT. He was rude. And within seconds revoked my ability to respond with his powerful finger. 

He didn't want me to write, but I just felt the need. So, here I am. No, I wasn't dumb enough to pay for it, but it seems that, unless you want to be a Wealthy Affiliate robot you are not welcome, and will be coaxed VERY tenderly into paying for it. In fact, I was told that the core of what I wanted to learn was in fact in the premium membership, lucky me! If I was some poor beginning I would've fallen, green money hard.  

The ONLY way you will make money is by creating a 'practice' blog page (which becomes your sole purpose) that markets your affiliation with Wealthy Affiliates! In fact, so MANY pages have been created for this purpose that their SEO is AMAZING! It's genius really! They made it so that even if you look up complaints you will be hard pressed to find me, and instead only sites that are cronies just promoting themselves. It's the worst case of writing reviews for yourself that I've ever seen. 

You will get paid $22.50 for every person who actually buys the monthly membership, poor souls. $147 if they buy into the annual membership! Seriously? 

ANOTHER marketing scheme for you to harrass your friends with and beg them to work-from-home and make money by blogging about what they 'love', when they will really end up monitoring one blog, the one that pays them for every fool who follows that yellow brick to Wealthy Affiliates and the dope behind the curtain. If you know anything about internet marketing already, you will see right through this. 

Brainwashing SCAM Unless you want to be a robot and lose all your friends, then enjoy. Thanks Kyle. ;) 

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/31/2014 11:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/wealthy-affiliate/internet/wealthy-affiliate-a-real-review-of-these-cons-internet-1135252. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author
18Consumer
2Employee/Owner

#1 General Comment

Wealthy Affiliate (WA) Loses Lawsuit Over Fake Reviews

AUTHOR: Mike and the SiteSell Team - (Canada)

In the original post in this thread, the author notes how difficult it is to get beyond the fake reviews of Wealthy Affiliate reviews written by its affiliates. There are so many of them that, while most don't rank, enough manage to crowd the first 2+ pages in the SERPs that it's hard to find a real review about competing products.

And in an earlier post in this thread, I noted the following

"[WA} Affiliates are given a list of 175 companies to write reviews for. Unfortunately, we found out that our product, Solo Build It!, is one of them."

Another company, MOBE, was victimized, too. They decided to sue. And a curious thing happened.

Wealthy Affiliate would not provide documents requested by the court, despite more than one order to do so. I'm pretty sure that I'm interpreting this correctly, but it seems such disrespectful behavior that it's hard to believe.

The judge ruled on the whole case, based on this refusal to submit the requested documentation. And it was harsh. Feeling that another order would not have helped, he proceeded straight to judgment - there would be no trial, given that the discovery documents were not provided.

That seems to be a rare occurrence. Just to be clear...

He awarded the defamation case to MOBE without an actual trial. Another hearing will determine damages.

We announced the ruling in our forums (link below), with more detail and some commentary, as well as with links to both the judgment (which seemed strongly worded) and an evaluation by a law firm. See...

Wealthy Affiliate and MOBE lawsuit judgment is in
forums . sitesell . com 0 /viewtopic.php?p=1385815#p1385815

The judge's wording reflected a frustrated frame of mind. Flat-out disobedience is rare indeed. What could have been in those documents and why would they risk such a severe ruling, despite more than one order to produce them?

My personal opinion is that the documents may have been incriminating. Rather than lose on the merits, which would have undermined affiliate confidence in them, it's possible that they might take a stance that they "lost on a technicality."

We hope that the judge fully comprehends the complexities and assesses more than mere financial damages. The entire program should be dismantled.

We're not the only victimized companies following this, waiting to see what the final damages will be. If it is substantial and includes an order to have affiliates remove the fake reviews, expect more lawsuits against Wealthy Affiliate fake reviews of other company's products.

Of the two possible penalties (financial and affiliate program), it's more important to have the fake reviews taken down. Hopefully, though, the judge will order the cessation of the entire program, which is really the only loophole-proof order.

--

BTW, for anyone coming in now, see our reply to the original report if you want to know just HOW fake their reviews of competing products are. There are many fake reviews of SBI!, all of which conclude that WA is the #1 recommendation.

So we performed an objective, rigorous and repeatable study (anyone can repeat it to check the results), explained in detail in our first post. Here is a summary...

Wealthy Affiliate Review: By The Numbers
sitesell . com / wealthy-affiliate-review.html

It showed that SBI! is 33X more likely to generate high-traffic websites, among other strong results for SBI! and weak WA results (e.g., 87% "Invisible").

We subsequently advised those authors of the fake reviews about this study and the disservice that they are doing to good people, would-be solopreneurs who have serious goals for their lives - it's a HUGE disservice.

Only 1 took down his fake review. The rest don't seem to care if they hurt folks if they can make money off your pain.

One word from the judgment sums all this up well...

"Reprehensible."

From Mike and the SiteSell Team

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Beware fake rebuttals like the one from "Felicia"

AUTHOR: Solo Build It! - (Canada)

The most recent rebuttal by "Felicia," a Wealthy Affiliate user who also says that she works for them, is a typical example of how they work - lots of claims, no proof. For example...

"Wealthy Affiliate saves my life and I can tell you I have been with them for 6 months and already generating income."

That sounds like some of the SBI! reviews written by actual SBIers...

http://www.sitesell.com/sbi-reviews.html

But there is one huge difference when it comes to Wealthy Affiliate reviews vs our site build it reviews ("Solo Build It!")...

SBIers include their domain name. ***That lets you verify that they actually get traffic.***

WA never includes real proof of success by its users. There is almost none, as proven in this study...

http://www.sitesell.com/wealthy-affiliate-review.html

We explain all this in another post just below, in a reply to another bogus-sounding post by "Jeff" (see "Beware Fake Rebuttals Such as Jeff's").  But they just keep on with the same fake strategies.

You'll note that no WA employee or user ever wants to talk about REAL results. They stick to general claims which cannot be checked.

That's why every Wealthy Affiliate user who rebuts NEVER wants to talk about the results of the study that we did comparing SBI! vs Wealthy Affiliate review. Instead, they'll say something like, "Well they are biased, so what do you expect!"

They are hoping that you don't read the actual study...

http://www.sitesell.com/wealthy-affiliate-review.html

Because if you did, you would understand that this study is so rigorous that we couldn't cheat it even if we wanted to. That's because the entire, exact methodology is included. ****So YOU could repeat the study if you wanted to.***

And if you did, you would get the same results.

I'd be very surprised if WA itself, and others who earn a great deal of income from WA (by misleading solopreneurs using fake reviews of SBI!, bait-and-switching readers over to WA as their "#1 recommendation"), have not actually repeated that study. They would just naturally want to to try and disprove it.

***Not one has reported different results.***

And it's results that matter.

(The results, by the way show that SBI! is 33 times (33X) more likely to generate high traffic sites. And 87% of WA sites are "Invisible." See the study for the whole story...

http://www.sitesell.com/wealthy-affiliate-review.html )

--

This most recent promo post by a WA user (?employee) feels like it was written by someone who actually does work for Wealthy Affiliate, as the title of the post says, even though the rest of it "reads like" the testimony of a WA user.

It makes you wonder if a WA employee is pretending to be a user. It's the voice of a user and makes the claims that a user would. So when you read a statement like this one (in the most recent rebuttal)...

"I referred over 80 people and they ALL love it!!"

Don't believe it. It is just another statement that can't be verified.

The majority of folks who buy it seem to leave within a few months, according to info furnished to their affiliates. And of those customers who stay longer, the vast majority get zero or near-zero traffic (as proven by the study - real, verifiable data, not empty words).

Bottom Line: There's not much to love about WA if you love high-traffic results, especially when there is so much at stake - the fee, your time and most importantly, your hopes and future

Don't believe the words - insist on verifiable proof of success instead of yet more claims that can't be checked.

 

With warm regards from the SiteSell.com staff

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#3 UPDATE Employee ..inside information

I Work for Wealthy Affiliate

AUTHOR: Felicia - (USA)

 First and foremost I do Buisness with Wealthy Affiliate and as the first time building my online business I have earned income by referring my friends, colleges and family member to WA and I had build my own sites afar from WA and selling products ALREADY!! They are NOT A SCAM!! Unlike other business like Aspire Digital Altitude or Counter Profits etc.... As my experience continues with Wealthy Affiliates they were the most inexpensive services provided and not just only that there are other people that already has online business thatg needed more training to have their business to drive more traffic through the search engines for cheaper price on the plug ins versus an outsource other than Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate saves my life and I can tell you I have been with them for 6 months and already generating income. Yes they say it does take time to work it but you have to make it work as well. Even those like myself never knew how to build a website I manage to make sells already and that's not just selling WA information, but other products I created as my own niche. The negative impacts or comments some.of you have shared about Wealthy Affiliates are wrong. You just dont give the time nor the effort to accomplish the training and materials provided. And as far as assistance online with WA, I got beyond the assistance needed. Wealthy Affiliate I referred over 80 people and they ALL love it!! So with that being said I have no issues with WA. Stop making it seem like they are SCAMMING you out of your money....

You sign up for FREE and never not once charge you a dime!! Unless you choose to upgrade that is your choice to do so! They never force or hassle money out of your pocket unlike other MLM companies online that try to make you scale up! Now that's SCAMMING ppl to not let them have the opportunity to have hands on access. WA they give you ALL ACCESS!! And people complaint about WA?? Are you kidding me!! I love Wealthy Affiliate and if some of you have issues about them them try to have myself and a million other followers and WA affiliates say anything negative... but that will suck because there is NOTHING NEGATIVE TO SAY ABOUT WEALTHY AFFILIATES. And as far as I know Kyle is NEVER rude!! Let's make that VERY CLEAR!!

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#4 General Comment

Beware Fake Rebuttals Such as "Jeff's"

AUTHOR: Solo Build It! - (Canada)

This looks like the typical anonymous plant, a strategy that Wealthy Affiliate supporters and affiliates often use. Look at it...

1) It's from "Jeff." From the USA.

No way to verify that this is even a real customer.

This note, meanwhile, is from the folks who make Solo Build It!. We are a direct competitor of Wealthy Affiliate. We are upfront about it and encourage you to interpret this in the light of "we have a dog in this fight."

We object to WA's marketing tactics, which include writing fake reviews about us. We also object to the widespread impression of success.  This study reviews Wealthy Affiliate results and compare them to SBI! - we have covered that extensively here...

http://www.sitesell.com/wealthy-affiliate-review.html

Because these fake reviews claim to be better than our product, Solo Build It! (SBI!), we performed this scientific-grade study. It is outlined in the above URL.

It shows that Solo Build It! users are 33X more likely to build high traffic sites, while 87% of WA sites are invisible. 

IMPORTANT: Like any high-grade study, you can perform it for yourself. We could not fake the results, not even if we wanted to. WA works differently...


2) The WA claims are unverifiable.

For example, "Jeff" provides no domain names, so there is no way to check his claims of success.

However, our Study shows that WA has only 53 sites that rank in the Top 1,000,000 sites at Alexa. Some folks (incorrectly) don't trust Alexa's results. In fact, some WA supporters try to attack the study for that reason.

Well, WA does even less well if you use only SimilarWeb (there are only 34 sites with high traffic) and SEMrush, which measures search traffic (only 27).

That's an average of only 38 high-traffic sites - out of almost 17,000 sites.

SBI! does 33X better on average (22X better with Alexa, 33X better with SimilarWeb and 43X better with SEMrush)

This is why there is no proof of success on Wealthy Affiliate's site, nor do their affiliates ever prove success. There is virtually none.


3) WA Forums

Jeff talks about how friendly their forums are. In fact, so much social engagement is encouraged that folks seem to forget that their top goal is to build THEIR business, not more content for WA.

And they stop being friendly if you dare to ask hard questions about WA.

When we published our study, many of the threads that were brought up in good faith at WA were deleted. Quite a few WA users lost their posting privileges.

I should add, at this point, that the Study is undeniable because, as for all of our proof (see proof.sitesell.com), we make it verifiable. We include domain names in our proof (see proof URL just above).

Domain names enable you to use tools such as the above 3 tools (see Alexa.com/siteinfo, SimilarWeb.com and SEMrush.com) to enter the domain name and see how much traffic they get.

Some WA users reply that they want to keep their domains secret. In business? If they are successful, their competitors already know them.

They hide them because very few have decent traffic. And you need traffic if you want to monetize. They are directly related.


The WA vs SBI! Study

You can even repeat our entire Study for yourself because we publish the exact methodology. It boils down to this...

• Take every active SBI! and Wealthy Affiliate site.

• Measure their traffic using 3 traffic tools.

• Tabulate and show the results.

Simple logic. And you can re-do and test the results for yourself, an important point in case you don't believe the word of a competitor.

IMPORTANT: We ONLY did this Study because of all the fake reviews that claimed WA was better than SBI!. The study conclusively shows it to be seriously inferior.

Our mission is to enable individuals. Not only is WA attacking the reputation of our product, these reviews mislead people from the best and only product of its kind to one with almost zero success.  And it gets worse...

When we informed WA affiliates (those who rank highly with their fake reviews) of the truth, only one pulled down his review, horrified that he was hurting people's lives just to make a buck.

These people are willing to hurt their own kind, people trying to build a business online.  Just to make money for themselves. This is something that we cannot allow to stand.

WA tells/trains their affiliates that they are the best (no proof) so they do their readers a favor by promoting it. This turns out not to be true.  But it turns out that, even when they know they hurt others, they keep taking your money.

The WA "Bootcamp" (affiliate) training results in all these fake reviews. In fact, WA affiliates get a list of almost 800 products to write fake reviews. SBI! is one of the most popular to fake since WA competes directly with SBI!...

The big difference in this competition is that most of their users fail, almost none have high traffic.


Challenge to "Jeff"

So, Jeff, if you want your report to mean anything, please provide the domains of your so-called successful sites so we can verify the truth.  Please comment on the Study. Do it yourself to see.

As for Jeff's claim that he does not promote WA, he's promoting it right here with untruths, trying to rebut the only web page that has been able to rank highly enough to be found for keywords related to WA.

Why is it so hard to rank? Because thousands and thousands AND thousands more (over the years) of WA users are taught to write a review for WA. It's the first page that many write. That creates a huge "moat" for those who search for reviews of WA.  They also dominate search results for many related products...

Negative reviews of WA are flooded out by the fakes. The WA users are not told that they will almost surely not rank high enough to make a penny. How could they?  There is already too much competition.

So once again, it's free labor for WA. 


It Gets Worse

WA pushes over 1/3 of their clients into "make money" niches, a depressing and hard-to-win category. They end up promoting WA. They do this by telling them to go into "make money" if they can't find a niche within 15-30 minutes.

Jeff has a site about woodworking, but our study shows that WA "non-money" sites do just as badly as, perhaps worse than, those which focus on "making money online" (which has attracted some pros to push it for the money).

This is covered in Part 3 of the detailed study, which focuses on the Study's results...

http://www.sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/wealthy-affiliate-review-part-3.html

 

A Plant? And About the "Free Trial"

When I read Jeff say this, we suspected a plan...

"People that say that the training is all about promoting the same company obviously have not gone through the training. I didn't get a sense of that."

We have studied their freemium and their paid product deeply.  There is a strong attempt to move you into promoting them. Anyone who says otherwise is not being accurate.

As for their free trial...

Wealthy Affiliate offers no refund, just a time-wasting "freemium." They say that this free trial is better than most paid programs. It is not. How could it be?

You only have access to a small part of the whole program.

The 2 free sites (that they promise) are not real sites with your own domains, just subdomains which will get little or no traffic. Much of the program, you (once again) create free content for them.

Unlike WA's crippled freemium, the goal of SBI!'s paid trial period is not to upsell but to provide FULL access to SBI! and encourage you to work their way through the process.

You do NOT receive recurrent "upgrade now" messages. You are treated the same, just like every other SBIer.

You may find that SBI! is not right for you. That's fine - it's not for everyone (no product is). We'll refund you in full during the first 90 days (monthly subscriptions, too), pro-rata after that.

So we show far more commitment to our product that they do. They offer no refund, which is a common complain of customers.

That free trial, in fact, is not so free. You lose time and that's invaluable.

Why can't you refund?  If they did do refunds, they would have to deduct commissions from affiliate checks, which would reveal the high refund rates to affilialtes. This is the only logical conclusion that we can think of - either that, or they don't actually trust their product like Jeff claims.

So the customer eats the loss (instead of the misleading affiliate who wrote the fake review).

"Busy work" (creating free content for them, which builds traffic) and pushing people into "make money" are just 2 of the policies that are good for the company but bad for the customer.


Bottom Line...

That free trial is actually a "freemium." This is just a standard sales-getting game that "upsells" you into the paid product, and then does not refund (the majority leave within months).

You will never build a serious product from it, nor is it what they claim (as good or better than "paid products").

We don't play those games.

SBI! may not be for you. But if you are serious about building a profitable business that also grows equity, you should start by doing a full review of Wealthy Affiliate vs. SBI! study. This is Part 1 if of the full 3-part study...

http://www.sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/wealthy-affiliate-review.html

We have seen other plants attacking this study, saying...

"What do you expect? They did the Study."

This only shows us that they are lying or they did not read The Study. If they repeat the study, they'll get the same results.

We would be surprised if WA did not repeat The Study. There has been no reply that these results are wrong.


There are many disgusting Get Rich Quick operators who just want to rip you off and take your money, while delivering a terrible product. They are, at least, obvious. If you have been around, they won't fool you. 

The WA program actually has some good bits to it. They seem to say the right things, getting your trust (ex., noting that it takes work). They are certainly far more believable and subtle than others.

But at the end of the day, this product does not deliver the success you seek. When only 38 out of almost 17,000 sites get high traffic and when 87% of sites are "Invisible," what left is there to say?

Jeff, if you reply, please make your domains public. And support your claims with proof. Whoever reads THIS reply can verify every word as the truth.

Only SBI! enables "everyday people" to succeed at our rates and levels. Take down all the fake reviews that mislead good people away from SBI!, people who only want to improve, and gain some freedom in, their lives.

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#5 Consumer Comment

It's Free, So Try It!

AUTHOR: Jeff - (USA)

I see a few complaints here and I actually did the same sort of research before joining Wealthy Affiliate.  I even remember reading a report like this.   What I did find is that it was easy to make a decision on whether or not to try it after reading mostly positive reviews and reading a few negative reviews on here from what appears to be competitors and those that maybe had a bad experience for one reason or another.  I see some said their write access was cut off and I think that can happen if you get reported for spamming others within the community.  There is no spam allowed at WA which is nice.

I personally am glad I tried.  I have been working within WA for 11 months now and I have built 2 websites that are both generating me consistent business (one my local brick and mortar business, the other a niche website).   The support has been on point from both Kyle and Carson.  I have personally contacted Kyle more up to this point, but I had a technical issue with my website and Carson handled this within a few hours.   I also have built friendships with others within the community, one friend that i am toying the idea of starting a business with!  Live chat can be a hoot too.

I don't promote WA and the training pushed me in a direction to promote something else. The idea is that you can create a business online working withing a category that you have passion in.  For me that is woodworking, but for others this is likely soemthing completely different.  There are lots of directions you can head.  People that say that the training is all about promoting the same company obviously have not gone through the training.  I didn't get a sense of that.  

I have looked around and I see that no other company in this industry is offering a free trial.  To me that means that other companies don't trust in their service or quality as much as WA.  Otherwise why wouldnt they give you a free look before you have to spend your hard earned $.   

To me, I would recommend Wealthy Affiliate.  It caters to all my needs and has delivered on every level up to this point.   If you want to try it go for the free starter membership.

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#6 Consumer Suggestion

How to Avoid "Make Money" Scams and Wealthy Affiliate Claims and Fake Reviews

AUTHOR: Solo Build It! - (Canada)

Hi MeLTruthTeller,

This is, in our opinion, one of the trickiest companies online.

We agree with you that they are "a very clever marketing company." We would add "brilliant" to that, even. Unfortunately, much of it seems to be for their own benefit, not to the benefit of those solopreneurs who buy into this program.

We hope this report will prove beyond all doubt how poorly ALL their sites perform. We also suggest how to avoid false claims of success, not just by this Wealthy Affiliate, but by all who claim great success.

We have studied the company, its product and its methods, as well as its affiliates, in great detail. We hope people find it to be of value

--

MeLTruthTeller, you have discovered some of their techniques such as the "busy-work" that builds Wealthy Affiliate's business through longtail search, rather than focusing their clients 100% on building THEIR own solopreneur businesses.

Another piece of self-serving advice is how they move customers into "make money"-related niches. They offer advice that if they can't find a niche within 15-30 minutes, start with "make money." People should spend days coming up with a niche that they know and LOVE.

Those niches are depressing (for anyone with a conscience), hard-to-win (due to a number of hard-nosed pros, many of whom recommend it for the money - they may own it so they can earn 100% commissions (you only get 1/2 commissions if you do not own the product), but many do not seem to actually use the system!).

Moving people into "make money" (over 1/3 of customers, which is amazingly high, out of millions of possible niches) creates a circular self-reinforcing system:

Make a make-money niche website, write about Wealthy Affiliate, sell Wealthy Affiliate on it, pull new people in. Rinse and repeat. Few make money with that.

The reason you can't find a negative review of Wealthy Affiliate to dissuade you is because their affiliates are trained to use keywords like "wealthy affiliate scam," "wealthy affiliate ripoff," or "wealthy affiliate complaints." You can go hundreds deep and finally mostly WA reviews.

So not only do their affiliates dominate positive reviews on search engines, they also dominate for "fake negative-but-they-are-really-positive" reviews. These LOOK like they are going to be negative, bait you to clicking and then - oh, it's just another positive affiliate review.

"REAL" negative WA reviews get pushed so far down, and some get strong-armed with legal letters (one of which even escalated to WA suing an individual) to be removed.

--

Wealthy Affiliate provides their affiliates with a list of 175 products to "review." WA says "Think of product reviews this way, it is easy to sell WA compared to any other product out there. Our free service typically supersedes many of the paid services out there. The Premium tends to offer WAY MORE than anything else there."

MeLTruthTeller, you know from first-hand that their free service does NOT meet those expectations. The freemium is crippled and the 2 free sites are subdomains, not real sites.

But when you're told that their free service "supersedes many of the paid services out there?" You expected a great deal.

We have studied both the freemium and the paid system. We do not believe either to be anywhere near as good as our own product. The DIFFERENCE is that we we don't just "say stuff" - we proved it.

--

Our product, "Solo Build It!," is on that list of 175 products to review. That is because we are competitors. We were horrified to find tons of reviews about our product, Solo Build it. The only goal of those reviews was to promote WA.

After reviewing their materials, we decided to find out if these "reviews" of SBI! were true (they ALL recommend Wealthy Affiliate over SBI!). So we conducted a rigorous, reproducible, and objective study.

Actually, we expected to discover that SBI! would be 4-5X better, but we were surprised:

1) SBI! sites are 33 times (33X) more likely to achieve "Outstanding - Excellent" levels of traffic than Wealthy Affiliate.

2) SBI! sites are 10 times (10X) more likely to achieve "Medium" levels of traffic than Wealthy Affiliate.

3) 87% of Wealthy Affiliate sites are "Invisible." This is the only category where Wealthy Affiliate "beats" SBI! (i.e., in the worst level of failure - "Invisible" - they get no detectable traffic).

--

You can find the full study, divided into 3 parts here:

Part 1: Background, Summary, Peek at Results http://www.sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/wealthy-affiliate-review.html

Part 2: Debunk vs De-bait, Methodology, Why Traffic?
http://www.sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/wealthy-affiliate-review-part-2.html

Part 3: Complete Results & Discussion.. http://www.sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/wealthy-affiliate-review-part-3.html

--

We encourage everyone who sees this to read the entire three parts. They are long, but you will end with a better understanding of what REALLY goes on at Wealthy Affiliate.

The strongest part of this study is that ANYONE can do it for themselves. It could not be simpler. (If you have no programming skills, go to a free-lance site - it can be done for $100 for you.)

Hoes does The Study work? We just took every one of their active sites and measured their traffic against every one of SBI!'s. (We explain "how" in The Study.)

How bad does it get?

On average, only 38 out of 17,000 Wealthy Affiliate domains have high levels of traffic (5,000 on SEMrush).

Some folks will say that traffic is not the best way to determine success. They will point out that low traffic sites can still make good money. So end of case - the Study is no good. In fact, there have been several silly criticisms of The Study, like that.

Folks like that are desperate. Those who stick with WA for more than 4-5 months (the majority leave) invest more and more of themselves into the system. It feels better to resist than to think rationally.

But here is the bottom line:

Traffic is THE best way to rate success. Yes, a Hollywood real estate agent can have low traffic and still make good money when a lead converts into a big commission.

But these are the exception that prove the rule. It's pretty simple:

Overall, the higher your traffic, the greater your income. And no traffic = no income.

Also, many high-traffic sites depend solely on passive monetization such as AdSense and affiliate marketing. Those sites need high traffic.

Anyway, we go into detail about "why traffic" in Parts 2 and 3 of The Study.

--

Bottom line: Income is proportionate to traffic. Conversely...

NO TRAFFIC (a WA problem) = NO INCOME.

Again, we could not fake The Study, not even if we wanted to. The logic is simple and the methodology can be easily repeated. We would be surprised if WA had not done it for themselves, just to be sure.

--

To a consumer who is researching Wealthy Affiliate: please know that these "reviews" you read about Wealthy Affiliate lead to one result: a ~50% affiliate commission check that gets paid to the reviewer once you join.

Many will say anything to get you to buy WA. Their fake reviews that say WA is better than Solo Build It! is proof of that - they continue to keep their reviews up *****even when we politely inform them that they hurt your chances of getting high-traffic success by 97%.*****

If you still try it and if (when) you fail (most sites do, as the study shows), you should:

1) consult a lawyer to see if you have any rights against the affiliate who made the recommendation (loss of what you paid, loss of time = opportunity cost and pain and suffering - it hurts to fail, especially when so many have goals that matter!).

They DO know about the Solo Build It! Study's report - we inform everyone in the Top 20. If you do have a case, we will be glad to confirm that they knew!

2) try SBI!. We do NOT do a "freemium" - a partial version - one where you can't use it all. You DO have to pay while you use it, BUT please note:

If you decide it's not for you, we're happy to 100% refund during the first 90 days, IN FULL (whether you paid monthly or annual rate). After that, we refund pro-rate. WA is clear in their Terms of Service - no refunds. However, some people have screamed loud enough to get a refund - it's rare.

So yes, when affiliates say they don't see refunds in their accounting, it's because refunds are not given. If they were, the affiliates would likely leave when they see how much money they would have to give back.

--

***Again, we repeat***

Beware of fake SBI! reviews by WA affiliates.

These affiliates (that rank for our search term "reviews") have been made aware of the data in The Study. They'll never tell you that your chances of success are cut by 90% with WA (97% for high traffic).

Keep the name of the affiliate if you decide to pay for WA. You may have legal recourse for this misleading action that hurts you.

But better still..

Do your due-diligence and look behind the smoke and mirrors that WA and their affiliates present. Here is a summary of the 3-part Study. It is the only head-to-head study of its kind:

http://www.sitesell.com/abc-wealthy-affiliate-review.html

And it's conclusive - their sites get very little traffic.

--

***More suggestions to avoid getting scammed by "make money" schemes:***

Ask for verifiable success stories -- a picture of Joe B. from Albuquerque, NY holding an easily-Photoshopped cheque is NOT verifiable.

Ask for proof: full name AND domain name. They claim to have over 800,000+ Internet Entrepreneurs (a claim which boils down to 17,000 active sites, according to our study)...

Demand LOTS of proof. The domain name is critical. If companies won't supply loads of proof, run, don't walk, away. They WOULD if the COULD.

Insist on truth in advertising - let them know you are NOT buying due to lack of REAL proof. Perhaps, if enough do that, it will put them out of business or force them to provide REAL domain names.

Do NOT let yourself get misled by claims of success that are made with no proof. A domain name lets you check many things:

- Whether a site really IS hosted with Wealthy affiliate
- how much traffic it has (see P.S. for example).
- email address to contact owner with questions (or use Contact Form)

***It's your future on the line.***

Don't waste hundreds of dollars, years of time, and frustration because of WA affiliate misleading reviews.

--

You can't mess with raw data. The Study is rock-solid.

Meanwhile, on our site, we shown 500 sites (our of almost 700) that rank in the Top 1,000,000:

http://results.sitesell.com

They have a teeny fraction of that even though they have 70% more sites!

SBI! shows 5 types of verifiable proof, including long-term case studies and many wonderful stories that moved us (http://proof.sitesell.com). The WA website shows none.

--

Finally, our biggest complaint. It's bad enough that they hurt OUR reputation - we are a victim, too. But when we see wonderful, HUMAN stories such as this:

sitesell.com/blog/real-life-success-lessons/

Those stories become profoundly disturbing when we think, "what if they had seen the WA reviews?"

WA and SBI! both start out with the same people with the same goals and dreams, both starting out eagerly.

SBI! enables so much joyful success. It hurts to think that 1/3 of the same people get pulled into "make money online" and that most of those who don't go into that STILL fail.

Please beware!

Warm regards,
Mike Allton for SiteSell.com

P.S. You will see a comment #12 in this thread, in support of WA. In Oct, 2014, he wrote:

"If you wish to visit one of my sites - for no other reason but to see it has nothing to do with promoting Wealthy Affiliate - here is the link ***bodybuildingformass.com***

His entire post is very convincing and that is part of the problem. Many of these people are good with words. But once he gives you a domain, you can IGNORE all that and just check out the traffic at these 3 tools:

semrush.com/info/bodybuildingformass.com - search traffic = 2
alexa.com/siteinfo/bodybuildingformass.com = >30M (undetectable)
.similarweb.com/website/bodybuildingformass.com = 12M

All three results are in the "Poor-to-Invisible" part of the Study. And yet, believe it or not, this site is probably the better 1 of his 2 (few normally report their poorer one to make a point).

Even worse, it is also better than the majority of WA sites, according to The Study (87% of sites are, on average, "Invisible").

sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/wealthy-affiliate-review-part-3.html#POORPERFORMANCE

Yes, a site that gets so little traffic is better than the majority of all sites!

This is the process that we did for all 17,000 of their sites of theirs and all 10,000 of ours. Then we added up and reported the results for ALL sites. Again, see the full story and results starting at Part 1:

sitesell.com/blog/2017/05/wealthy-affiliate-review.html

P.P.S. Our CEO has submitted a report of his own at Quora, one of the few threads where the WA "swarm" has been unable to overwhelm discussions:

quora.com/Did-you-have-any-success-at-Wealthy-Affiliate

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#7 Consumer Comment

Your site is invisible .. hardly example of success

AUTHOR: Marketing Truth - (United Kingdom)

Your example site : bodybuildingformass.com

is completely invisible on the internet and hardly an example of success 

I doesn't even show up in the top 30 million Alexa sites http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/bodybuildingformass.com ... which proves you have no traffic to speak of ... 

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#8 Consumer Comment

None of this is a "scam."

AUTHOR: Lauren - (USA)

Although I didn't get as much time as I wanted to check them out, I like what they're doing. Whether you choose to back out of it and call it a scam or actually learn from what you paid for is a completely different story.

They teach you affiliate marketing. They walk you through promoting WA. For someone completely new to marketing and web content concepts, this is a great thing. You can apply it to ANY affiliate marketing/program.

I haven't seen anywhere that they have or recommend affiliate programs related to your niche, but even so, those aren't hard to find. WA is all about marketing and they practice what they teach. Not their fault people fail to see the value in this.

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#9 General Comment

Thank Goodness I found this!

AUTHOR: Crashy1978 - (USA)

You are so right! I had a difficult time finding any real reviews about this company. Thank God I found this. I was about to make a serious mistake by joining. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!

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#10 UPDATE Employee

How you are wrong in your report

AUTHOR: MusicMan64 - (USA)

For starters they make no promises that what you will learn will be able to work on a regular site. The premise behind what they do is based on how blog-style sites work and generate traffic. Yes they do this in a completely different method. You can get traffic easier in a blog than with your web site. But since you "know what you are doing" already, you must have known that. 

2 - This is not just for beginners on the internet. There are a large amount of marketers that joined to learn more and love it. So the coaxing part you mentioned.... not really there. You can stay a free member but you just don't get the info that premium members get. You seemed to be outraged about that. Well how about you give your services away to anyone that does not want to pay and then charge the ones that think it's worth it. How soon before you are called out and you have no business at all. So that complaint is just non-sense. 

3 - You don't ONLY have to have the practice blog. I have my own server and put my blogs on it. They actually tell you in the training you should do this. They give great reasoning behind it as well. So this complaint proves you did not even get to know the trining material.

4 - You don't have to market the company at all. If you do you not only get a payment when they join but you also get one every month ( or year if they upgrade to a yearly payment ) they renew. The best part is that there is never any pressure to do anything there at all.

5 - You last paragraph would be great if you DID actually make points in the rest of your complaint. The only REAL point you made was subliminal. You proved you were out to get something for free. You were not listening to the promo information and you would not go thru the training. So you don't have to be a member but it looks like it was not for you. 

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#11 General Comment

How odd...

AUTHOR: Gretchen - (USA)

Funny thing, you seeem to have a doppleganger.. OR you are just popping in here to try and negate the negative criticism and reports of those that have been hustled or refuse to be. Truly odd. Jeff? Alex? Who knows. 

http://blog.extra-paycheck.com/wealthy-affiliate-review/

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#12 REBUTTAL Owner of company

What this guy sounds like

AUTHOR: Roy - (U.S.A.)

Really don't understand this guy. He wanted help with his site so he goes into it trying to get free help by joining the free trial meant for begginers wanting to try Wealthy Affiliate. So when he gets in there it sounded like he was rude to the people trying to give him advice pertaining to the question(s) he was asking. If he knew everything he claimed he knew he should have went for the paid membership that gave him access to much more that he could have went through himself. But because he didn't get his questions anwered he thought to make Wealthy Affiliate pay by writing it on Ripoff report. The guy sounds bendictive an imature which probably shows in his website.

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#13 Consumer Comment

Wealthy Affiliate This Is What Convinced Me To Try Them

AUTHOR: Beverly Smith - (U.S.A.)

Out of all the years, I've been online searching and reviewing reputable internet marketing companies/opportunities; Until, I decided to give Wealthy Affiliate a try, only then have I actually felt a genuine sense of relief and satisfaction. 

Usually, I'll do a thorough research and never stop at just one particular site and determine what to do. However, after discovering more pros about WA than cons during my searches, I decided in WA favor because most buddies in my social network only reported good things about them.

However, the biggest thing, that influenced my decision toward this company was the fact that,  they allow people to test drive (try them out) as a free member. As in free member for as long as one wishes. Also, they allow the more serious ones to take advantage of their premium membership which is the maximum learning, that's packed with tons of value and support.

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.

So, thank goodness, I'd already learned the hard way, that it's not wise to listen to the first few negative commentors or reviews due to the fact that some people will actualy try to bash a company due to their own personal fall outs that leads to vengence.

However, my rule of thumb is if, the vast majority complains watch out; But if a small minority complains and there's no big risk...give it a try. I've seen many people loose out on a good thing listening to a handful of people who are angry and upset about something that could have been avoided and most times, on thier part...sad but true.

I would advise anyone interested in WA or any other opportunity for that matter, to sample it first and see whether or not it's a proper fit. It may be or it may not be. Just remember, everything is not for everyone. But you're never know unless you find out. 

 

 

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#14 Consumer Comment

Um, this is a positive update, not another "rebuttal"

AUTHOR: Avera - (USA)

I entered the wrong email to get back into the account so of course I was rejected, When I corected that I was allowed in. So I can't accuse WA of locking me out because they didn't. 

I also wish I could have augmented or changed my previous critique of WA. The index is not fixed but answers depends on the question you submit, and I suppose WA would say it is equivalent. Actually I found a valuable training video after putting in a question, just after getting back in.

And maybe Kyle has blocked me, and maybe not. Don't know why he would but at any rate sorry I mentioned it.

The above remarks are amendments to my previous remarks. WA is not a rip off, just another shrewd business providing opportunities for people to test (or prove) one's own business generating skills....

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#15 Consumer Comment

I see through a lot of it too.

AUTHOR: Avera - (USA)

I also see that they are very heavy on people just re-adding for them (WA) and I see that most sites created by WA members are bland repeat-a-phones about personal health & well-being including of course working on your hobby and making money from it through ads for WA. and affiliate sales. My site was about recovering from smoking addictions through my own phone coaching (and knowledge of addictions), and after 3 months and no clients I passed out some real business cards and then cancelled my sub to WA and then discovered that I could not get back into WA even though I still have paid membership time left...and also discovered that even though the site will still show up for 30 more days, without being able to get into the administration area, I'm not sure I can even transfer the site to another host and domain name. I feel as if my intellectual property might be in the process of being stolen.

I was supposed to be able to get back into WA if I mistakenly cancelled the membership and that seemingly turns out not to be true. I can't get another "free" trial either so there's no way to get back in at all. My old PW is not being honored and I can't get a new one cause the email isn't being honored with a pw change request.

There doesn't seem to be a customer service phone number, or snail mail address from what I have seen on the internet...I hope I'm wrong about this.

Also Kyle started snubbing (blocking communication) me early in the game and I can't even get a nice friendly thankful note in to the guy...  or continue a thread he started when I was a newbie. Apparently he has his reasons but I guess I'm not supposed to know them. When I questioned other top people about this I was told "it" doesn't happen.

On WA coaching material there is no separate indexing of the "lessons".  A point missed can be found again but not by going through any master index which would be crossreferencing ideas & locations...thus depriving us of a a way to get back to where ideas are first presented in the training. Without that we are forced to stumble through videos again and again which is very frustrating & time consuming activity or we must ask people instead. This flaw in the training presentation makes me wonder if the clumsier and slower learning which might result...is as "rewarding" to the CEO (in the form of longer lasting subscriptions) as is is "punishing" to the member?

I don't mind looking repeatedly at mateial I already understand if it is to further boost such understanding. But I do mind being forced to look at inappropriate material when I can't get my original questions answered on my own and then have to ask people who often don't know what you mean.

So I am pretty disappointed with WA in spite of all the spectacular success they think they are making somehow more possible for the "rest" of us.  I also know if I start pointing out that WA is no alternative to the flaws of capitalism and enforced economic unequality, I would get in more trouble than I am willing to play with now.

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#16 General Comment

Blah Blah Blah

AUTHOR: anonymous - (USA)

Here is my advice to you:

 

Stop thinking that you know everything. It might be good to watch all the videos as a refresher, they aren't that long. Your entire post is filled with "I already know that." and "I don't need that.", and "I don't have time for that." I guess you don't need Wealthy Affiliate then, because after all, you already know everything.

You are so smart, that you've outsmarted your **** self!

Remember, you only signed up for the free membership, which only includes the first 10 lessons (that you don't need, because you know everything) and it cost you only $0. So where is the rip-off? You were ripped-off for $0.

Also, you do not have to be a Wealthy Affiliate affiliate at all. You can focus on your own niche website with out promoting the system.

What you need to know is that content creation will be the bulk of your work, but it isn't what makes you money. It's SEO and keyword targeting that makes you money. Without knowing how to use jaaxy.com you will waste your time creating a wonderful website that nobody will ever see.

Accept the fact that you don't know everything. Change your attitude, and slow down. If you already know what's in a lesson, then it should be quick and easy for you to get through it. Your report was totally unfair.

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#17 Consumer Comment

Positive side of wealthy Affiliate

AUTHOR: Jeff Burch - ()

Yes I understand your right to express your anger. Your free trial which would continue even if you did not become a member. You recieved two free websites along with free hosting. You had no use for your sites because Your a seasoned pro that was in search of free information to raise your skill level.

You could of hosted your site that was built and learnd more valuable information If you became a member. You did not like the platform and or the knowledge that, I would say is of great value. Because you knew it already.  Are there flaws in communication maybe. The person led you to the information to try to help you. If it was the wrong information im sure you would of found the right info there.

The community is positive and I see help being offered 24/7 at least she tried to help you. With that statment the readers will know we try to help with every question asked. The program is built around helping real people build a real business I am a member and I could say Im not dumb for becomming one. I Have been around  the online marketing business for eight years.

I say Wealthy Affiliate has the best business building platform that I have ever came across. Im not perfect and also need to learn more as you did. I wish you the best in your business ventures. You lost nothing and you still took your time to belittle WA and others.

This Is Ok in my mind, because it is Your right, Im glad we can express ourselves. Im also glad You took the time for yourself, to look into WA.  I hope you will Understand my comment is on the otherside of yours. Im not a robot in any shape or form. I believe with all my experiance that its a good program and we both took our time here to express ourselves. We both deserve the respect for our opinion's. I respect yours You have a great life,my best wishes to your success JB

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#18 Consumer Comment

Wealthy Affiliate A REAL REVIEW OF THIS REPORT Internet

AUTHOR: Rich Far - ()

Well, well, well...I am sorry to hear of this negative experience with WealthyAffiliate.com as I have a very different story to tell.

I do agree - they are 'a very clever marketing company'.  In fact, they are the best I have come across and I am very happy that I did.  I stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate through a review on a legitimate website by Nathaniell - onemorecupofcoffee.com 

Wealthy Affiliate offers an amazing amount of free education including being able to set up a complete Affiliate website of your choice - does not have to have anything to do with promoting Wealthy Affiliate.

After just three days into my seven day free trial (where you get to experience the full benefits of the Premier membership) I signed up for a Premier account and paid for a full year membership - Because in those three days I had accomplished more, in my online endeavours, than I had ever accomplished prior to Wealthy Affiliate.

I have now been a member of Wealthy Affiliate for six months - I joined in April 2014, incidentally the month this 'con/scam' report was filed - and my experience has been nothing short of rewarding and fulfilling.

Nathaniell has been, and still is, sending me bonus reports and support emails regularly.

Kyle (co-founder of Wealthy Affiliate) is one of the most committed, supportive and best trainers I have ever come across.  

The Wealthy Affiliate Community (Forum) is the greatest group of like minded individuals ever!  They are always supportive, always offering suggestions and training including Webinars, blog posts and Live Chat.

In the 6 months of being a member of Wealthy Affiliate, I have built two successful niche websites upon my own passion - in Health and Fitness - and have generated considerable Affiliate income already.  This is without once promoting Wealthy Affiliate.

Being a member of Wealthy Affiliate has never required me to 'harass' my friends or family or anyone else for that matter.

What it has educated me to do is build a business model, around a subject I am passionate about, and begin earning a legitimate income from creating quality content.

I do not have anything to gain from writing this rebuttal - I am not including any affiliate links (I do not actually have an affiliate link for Wealthy Affiliate or for Nathaniell's site).

I just wish to support those who have supported me and shed light where darkness may have been cast erroneously.

If you wish to visit one of my sites - for no other reason but to see it has nothing to do with promoting Wealthy Affiliate - here is the link bodybuildingformass.com

Again, I feel empathy for the individuals who may feel scammed in some way by Wealthy Affiliate.  Maybe they were unable to follow directions or possibly were not able to fully comprehend what was offered and the requirements of their input.

I recommend, and urge, anyone who has a desire to build a legitimate online business to at least give Wealthy Affiliate a go with the 7 day Free trial - and you can actually continue your free membership indefinitely, including your website, minus the Premier Membership entitlements.

Believe me - you have everything to gain and nothing to lose!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

Blessings Be,

 

- Rich Far

 

 

 

 

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#19 UPDATE Employee

You are mad due to your faults and failure

AUTHOR: layla copla - ()

Oh please, and it isn't all fairy tale blogs, brainwashing and people talking strictly positive. --->Here is a blog

Like the guy Nathaniel said above this is free, and you can make residual income with is as a FREE permanent member. So why are you complaining again? Going premium/paying for this is OPTIONAL.

Also like he said some of you in these reports are morons, and I really can't find another word for it. You DO NOT have to promote wealthy affiliate to make money. One more time You DO NOT have to promote wealthy affiliate to make money online. Wealthy affiliate is about teaching, and helping you to find your niche/passion and making money with it, and becoming successful in some way, shape or form. As well as the community and live support, you will not find many programs with random people who are not under you willing to help like this, this I can almost guarantee you. I have time in all of this as well, and you will find out what I mean why you keep searching for and joining the "next best thing" like you are probably doing right now.

Also what did you expect? when you are negative publically it drops moral and brings everyone else down. I can see by your tone/choice of words you are a negative person, hell you would be kicked out of any program talking trash to the owners, and the community.

If it was a scam it wouldn't be around for all these years and people joining it daily pal!

 

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#20 General Comment

The Other Side...

AUTHOR: Nathaniell - ()

My name is Nathaniell and you found WA through my site. I remember the comment you left, and I specifically told you to contact me within the website because the basic training did not apply to you and I could find you training that would be more suitable to your needs. I guess you didn't read the response, because you went ahead and went through the training anyway.

You are correct that not all companies have affiliate programs. Although the specific company you wanted to affiliate with was unavailable, there are many kitchen and design companies that do offer commissions for sales. Part of the training inside WA is finding appropriate programs for your niche.

I cannot comment on the specifics of why your write access was revoked, but I assume it's because you wrote an accusatory rant similar to this one. I'm not quite sure how you were 'ripped off'. You got free access to WA, you decided you didn't like it, and that's pretty much the end of the story.

Last thing: Many people within the training center make money in niches similar to yours - health, fitness, food, games, family, software, etc etc. Promoting WA is in no way required to make money from a Wordpress blog.

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