It is exactly a year since I joined Wealthy Affiliate in March 2015.
In effect, I had tried other affiliate programs in the past and only succeeded in being fleeced and scammed. This discouraged me from engaging in any online work.
But the review I fell on online about Wealthy Affiliate was so convincing that I overcame my reticence and signed up to join the program. Maybe I joined Wealthy Affiliate because I was destined to succeed in online home work. But I signed up principally because Wealthy Affiliate was free to join. But I didn’t hesitate to upgrade to premium on realizing that the affiliate training could take me where I wanted to be.
The various episodes in my attempts to succeed online can be found in my Getting started page.
What has made me stick with the Wealthy Affiliate program up to now?
Let me tell you about some of the most important things I learnt and you will understand why I wrote this earlier piece about how you can be successful with Wealthy Affiliate if you gave yourself a year to learn.
Creating a professional site
While I had learnt to create and run a website on blogspot.com with Web Colleagues through a short online training, I knew little about WordPress, the most used website platform in the world. Of course I had had WordPress websites with IMGlobal, Empower Network, PIPS, and Blogging with John Chow, these were largely done-for-you sites. One struggle I had with these sites was how to embed an affiliate link or an image.
With Wealthy Affiliate I was taught in small and detailed steps to create a site on WordPress.
I had to start with the basic training to create a site based on my passions. But thinking the Bootcamp training would be easier to follow because it was based on what already existed (affiliate training using Wealthy Affiliate), I switched over to it after finishing only one of the six lessons in the other. But don’t do that when you come to Wealthy Affiliate.
Choosing a theme
The first lesson was how to choose a theme. This was in stark contrast to the others where the theme was chosen for me. Wealthy Affiliate gave me the latitude to choose not only a theme which pleased me but also one which was adapted to my needs.
Writing quality content
I was a published writer and a teacher of business English before joining Wealthy Affiliate. My training prepared me for writing mainstream articles and stories for children, adolescents and adults and for teaching economic and business English.
Wealthy Affiliate taught me affiliate marketing through what makes a text readable, using small paragraphs, separating paragraphs by h texts, using conversational language, captivating headline and appropriate images. (Much more on content later).
Backing up my website
How would you feel if something happened and you lost the information on your website? I had never given this the slightest thought, believing that the Internet was infallible. Now I back up my site before undertaking any major act like cleaning up my site.
Site clean up
I learnt to create (drop down) menus, to order theme locations (primary and secondary website navigation) to choose my top menu, side menu, footer and custom links. Then I ordered my pages and especially posts into the appropriate menus.
I must admit I admire the ease with which one can reorder the menu on blogspot. I wonder if any WP theme beats it.
While creating my blogspot site, I was taught to use keywords in the website description, but I don’t remember going farther than that.
Wealthy Affiliate taught me how to target people using keywords and even offered me a tool for keyword research, to check my site and page rankings in Google, and how to find unlimited amount of keywords, using the alphabet soup technique, to write content.
Getting more content
Once your content is posted, it’s finished, isn’t it? No. I learnt you can link to it, or even to its parts. You can also use parts of your post to write other posts. For example, if I wrote about Wealthy Affiliate, this can be used to write about Affiliate marketing and link it to the earlier post. This made coming up with new content ideas a breeze.
Installing social plugins
A visit to my blogspot site would show that I had installed social plugins to post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the other major social platforms. But I never had social plugins on my earlier WordPress websites. It was with Wealthy Affiliate that I learnt to install social plugins on WordPress.
Creating a socially engaging content
I learnt to create such a content using a headline (to attract people to my article), being visual, avoiding a sea of text and asking people to comment on the post as a final engagement boost.
Adding Google Analytics to my site
This was one of the things I thought was only available to gurus or big affiliate marketers. With the training, I added Google Analytics to my site in no time. Now I can analyze my site, know the type of people who visit it, how they use the site and make corrections to it to attract not only more but also quality traffic.
How to improve an old content
Content is king and any idea to let it make my site attractive was welcome. That is why I was thrilled to learn that comments can improve my contents and make them thorough. I can use screen capture or imagery to make sure that every page of my post has an image as I scroll down. I can also use graphs and charts, something I haven’t been doing, unfortunately.
Incorporating videos into posts
People now consume more video than raw content, thus the phenomenal success of YouTube and other video sites. Add video to content and you have a winning duo. I learnt not only to add video to my existing content (in this case, my Wealthy Affiliate Review), but also to centre the video, to add text to it and to resize the video image.
Creating logos and images
Inserting logo into my theme
I had difficulty inserting the logo into my “ares” theme. Then I learnt from the Wealthy Affiliate community that not all themes permit inserting logos. Mine unfortunately was one of them. I still whine at not having a header which could let my homepage have a personal touch.
Wealthy Affiliate community
That is one good thing about the Wealthy Affiliate program. Should you have any problem with the training, you just have to submit it to the community and before you can say “Aha,” knowledgeable answers are pouring in. This has helped me overcome all sorts of technical hitches which, with other program, would simply retard your progress or force you to abandon the project.
The training insists a lot on the writing of product reviews. Credibility is very important in online marketing. People therefore buy products based on recommendations. If you can therefore write well-balanced and unbiased reviews and drive traffic to it, you can be sure of making sales.
This was an eye-opener. On my blogspot site, I mainly posted information from product sites generously sprinkled with raw affiliate links, both actions frowned on by Google.
Using the template suggested by the training, my next major review was about Jaaxy, the Wealthy Affiliate keyword research tool.
This time I learnt three new techniques to find keywords to promote Jaaxy.
The first was the alphabet soup technique which consists in trying variations of the found keyword until I had a bunch. The second was using Question and Answer and How to Sites. I used Yahoo! Answers which gives answers to all sorts of questions people are asking about things. I chose my keywords and plugged them into Jaaxy to find those with little competition. I also went on ehow.com for “how to” keywords. Then I put the five best together and wrote the review.
The result was outstanding. My Jaaxy review still continues to pull in traffic like no other post on the site. Also it brings in lots of spam comments! 811 up to now.
Creating your own videos
I had never tried to create videos so this part of the course got me excited. But it soon made me apprehensive because the Internet connection in my part of the world was very slow. I had rarely been able to watch videos let alone create them with such a connection. Despite suggestions from community members, this delayed my progress in the course.
Fortuitously somebody sent me information about EasyVsl in a newsletter. It made making videos a child’s play.
But then I had to add voice. My African accent could jar American ears, so it was out of question reading the script myself.
I tried finding freelancers on elance and the others. You are told you could have any service from $5. I couldn’t. The only person interested in that price could not even deliver.
A community member did a video for me free but I couldn’t load it to YouTube. Not wishing to trouble him further, I parked the video somewhere on my computer.
Searching on Google brought me to Natural Reader, software which could read text scripts. It costs me $70 for half a year. But the voice left much to be desired in certain parts of the video. I realized the software couldn’t read abbreviated words like “don’t”, so I had to rewrite them in full. Still, one could feel a robot reading. But half a loan is better than none. Recently I have been using 2nd Speech Center which is cheaper (cost me $19.97 for life) and maybe better, although some robot effect is still there.
I tell myself I will continue using these tools and when I become successful pay freelancers at their prices for professional videos.
The other problem I faced with video creation was YouTube’s community rules. I managed to post two videos without any problems. But from there any video I posted was removed because somebody flagged my video as breaking some community rule and my channel received a 6-month suspension. When this happened thrice, a community member advised me to use Vimeo which is far more lenient. But is it as effective as YouTube? Time will tell.
Lesson on customer perspective
Content is more than king at Wealthy Affiliate. This is attested by the number of lessons dedicated to it.
In this lesson I learnt to write from a blog visitor’s perspective. People are extremely wary when looking for an online business because of the scams and other unsavory experiences they have gone through. Since we have been there before, we can relate to them and be able to calm their fears. (Birds of a feather flock together).
Writing with intent
If the lesson on customer perspective was an eye-opener, this one was more so as it touched on the use of video, the ability to connect with your audience and convert them. It taught me to write quality, helpful content which helps with ranking and encourages people to take action you suggest.
The ultimate referral tool
What else can an affiliate marketer wish for more than a referral tool? This tool was a custom sign-up form (URL) in text and video for Wealthy Affiliate which you could adapt for any other affiliate product. This gives a personal touch to what you are promoting and thus enables you win customers over more quickly.
An introduction to Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
This lesson gave me a very solid understanding of what PPC is, when to use it and the many benefits for my business.
The lesson concentrates on Yahoo! and BingAds because they are easier to do than Google using Google Adwords.
I submitted my site to Bing and was surprised the next day to find it on the first page of a Bing search. But then this was normal since I have a unique name. The other results were related searches.
Then I set up Bing Webmaster Tools and verified my site. But when it came to creating a Bing ads account, I came up against a snag.
I have a Paypal account and a Prepaid Visa Credit Card. But Bing accepts them only from customers based in America. The other options available to me, especially bank transfer was out of the question because of the high bank charges. I’m thinking of letting a friend in America pay for me (but I’m hesitant about abusing his kindness) so the only option left for me is the Wealthy Affiliate community. Someone might just have the right answer.
Up to here, I have completed 5 phases of the training with 10 lessons each and 3 lessons of phase 6. I could have gone faster but my internet connection and teaching work haven’t helped me much. I’m giving myself two or three months to finish the remaining 7 lessons of phase 6 and the 10 of phase 7. Then I will concentrate on building my site with more and regular posts and getting traffic to them with various traffic techniques.
I feel feverish already!
Does this all sound exciting to you?
Yes, it is.
The courses are easy to follow, being based largely on video teaching. You move at your own pace, and even you are told at places to take a break and do some work for your website.
So if you are serious about affiliate marketing, there can be no better place to learn than Wealthy Affiliate.
Come join and spread the word for others to profit too. It will be your way of giving to the world and the world can only be grateful to you.
Maybe you have some comments to make? I urge you to go down to the comments box and leave them there. Thanks for your time.
Your personal guide to securing your future online