I’ve seen so many authors share their websites via social media networks like Facebook and Twitter and do you know how many look professional? About one in ten. Seriously, it’s a low number. One in ten author websites look professional. As I’ve stated so many times – you see so many sub-domains it’s ridiculous with many more trying to use Facebook fan pages to pass as websites. Again, bad idea. So, the question arises: Does Wealthy Affiliate work for authors?
This question is asked over and over again, as Wealthy Affiliate is intended to be, well, an affiliate marketing training course, not one for people to sell their own products.
Wealthy Affiliate can work for anyone under any niche – and the fact you have your own product or products (your books) to promote and sell gives you an ADVANTAGE in this field. Sure, you’re going to learn affiliate marketing – which you can also use to market and promote your own books – and we all want to make a living as authors, right?
What puts you at an even greater advantage is that you can start affiliate marketing on the same site or even a different site.
What am I getting to?
You’re an author, and authors can and will have multiple cash flows when they join Wealthy Affiliate.
Let me show you how.
What Wealthy Affiliate is NOT
Before we get into the meat of the article on how Wealthy Affiliate will help you build your author website and other online businesses, let me explain what Wealthy Affiliate isn’t.
1. A get-rich-quick-scheme: Wealthy Affiliate is work, just like you work at a day job. You and only you can put time and effort into this and you will get out of it what you put into it.
2. A place for spam: You can exchange comments and feedback in designated areas that I’ll touch on later. But you cannot market your site to other members.
There’s something else I want to be upfront about: This is work. As I stated above, Wealthy Affiliate is work. Don’t get involved in this if you aren’t willing to work, because it’s work. Believe me, trust me, it’s work.
I hope that message has sunk in. Now, let’s talk about the goods.
All in the Niche
Okay, so obviously your niche is the genre and theme of the book series in which you write. For example, my niche for my author website is urban fantasy with anti-corruption themes.
You might be a cross-genre author – perhaps you write space operas then turn around and write action thrillers. Two different niches. Two different audiences.
Or, you might be a moderately successful author, so you can have a niche like the one on this site – showing authors and aspiring authors how to platform build either while you’re building your platform, or after you’ve built it. You can make an entire niche around author marketing, how to make a full-time living as a writer, a niche site regarding book reviews, and so many more areas out there that I haven’t covered.
Perhaps you earn a living as a freelance writer while working on your spy thriller series – there’s two niches. Freelance writing for one site and spy thrillers for another site. And perhaps a third site that reviews spy thrillers.
So, whether you’re just an author, you have three potential niches – your book genres and themes (and other sites for different genres), author marketing, and book reviews.
How Does Wealthy Affiliate Work?
You can choose two different memberships. They are the Starter Membership, which is what I started with, or the Premium Membership, which I upgraded to one week after signing up. Let’s look at these two memberships in-depth.
Starter Membership (Join Here)
Cost: Free – This is NOT a trial, so you don’t need to give ANY payment information.
Training: Level I in both the Online Entrepreneur Certification and Level I in the Affiliate Bootcamp.
Number of Sites: Two – both are in subdomain.
Access to the Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool: 30 free searches.
Live Chat: First Seven Days.
This membership is great for those who may be skeptical about paying for an online community, may’ve been burned in the past by scams, ineffective products, or if you’re just starting out and know nothing about what it means to host a truly effective blog.
Premium Membership (Join Here)
Cost: $50/Month or $359/Year.
Training: All 5 Levels of the Online Entrepreneur and all 7 Levels of the Affiliate Bootcamp.
Number of Sites: 50 – 25 subdomains and 25 domains.
Access to the Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool: Unlimited Access to Jaaxy Lite.
Live Support: Unlimited.
The Premium membership is great for those who know a thing or two about hosting a blog but if not, don’t worry. Wealthy Affiliate co-Founder Kyle will show you how to get your blog up and running within the Online Entrepreneur Training. If you’re ready to start making money a year or two from today – or sooner – the Premium membership is for you.
Now that you have an idea on which membership is right for you, let’s look ahead at WA’s features and don’t worry, I’ll be writing an in-depth article on each. Think of this article as a hub – an overview – for each feature I’m about to discuss.
Wealthy Affiliate Features at a Glance
For $359-$600/year for the Premium Membership, you’re looking at over a dozen features in a single platform. So many features that a single article can’t cover it, which is why I’m dividing this up. Let’s take a look at these features.
The first feature you’ll notice on the site is the online training – and again, you’ll be shown this feature in-depth within the coming days. The online training allows you to access one of two courses – Online Entrepreneur and Affiliate Bootcamp, as I mentioned above.
The Online Entrepreneur is for everyone starting their website from scratch. Literally a blank canvas. Here are links to each of the other sites that I created using the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
The Helmet and Jersey Stop: This was the very first niche site that I created. I started building serious content with it in March 2019, so about a year ago, and the blog took off in August 2019. I have affiliated the blog with Fanatics, FansEdge, the ’47 Brand, and Sports Memorabilia and have seen commissions here up to $160 from users clicking through my affiliate links to buy from these well-known stores.
Lord of Columbia: This is my author website that you may recognize, as I use it as an example several times here at Ditch Corporate America. Unlike The Helmet and Jersey Stop, I’m selling my own products here and yes, I started this domain on Wealthy Affiliate, which proves this is more than just an affiliate marketing platform.
Get Fit Get Lit: This site is still deep in its infancy, with about 80 articles and zero affiliates – I like to build solid content and traffic prior to reaching out to networks. Though I have researched some targets over the past few weeks. It’s my fitness site that’s niched toward the general population – healthy individuals who are looking to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Each of these sites, despite their different niches, have one thing in common – they were all once a blank canvas with nothing them. They just had their title and under the title, it stated, ‘Just Another WordPress Site.’
Through the Online Entrepreneur Certification Course, I was able to bring The Helmet and Jersey Stop up to scratch, where only today I discovered a popular sports site in New England backlinked the blog and drove me hundreds of potential customers via referral traffic.
And I’m going to use this site often to show you some numbers as to how well it performs in the search engines. I learned everything from Kyle and his training modules – 50 over the course of 5 levels. Now, I’m currently taking his Affiliate Bootcamp Course because I believe Wealthy Affiliate is the answer to all authors looking to build a legitimate website.
This is where you’re going to have access to all of your websites. So again, say if you have a site for spy thrillers and another site for historical fiction, you will access them both on the website tab, which again I’ll explain in its own article. This tab has everything to do with your websites, including:
1. Access to your site’s back office, which again I’ll explain how to operate in another article.
2. Access to the Site Content Tool, which I’m using to write this very article.
3. Access to SiteManager, where you can view each website, your site’s health, whether it’s indexed in Google, your site engagement, feedback, etc. It’s incredibly helpful when you know how well your site is performing.
4. Access to the SiteBuilder, which you will use to build a website in under thirty seconds – that’s literally all it takes.
5. Access to the SiteComments tab, allowing you to exchange comments with other users which will help your site top Google’s rankings once it’s indexed.
6. Access to SiteFeedback, which allows other members to give you honest feedback on your site while you give feedback to others.
7. Site Support, who you can call upon at any time if you have questions, comments, or concerns regarding your site.
There’s so much more than just Kyle’s training at this platform. You literally have access to live training from some of the most successful members at Wealthy Affiliate. These are live webinars, but you can watch them and take notes any time you’d like. Everything is archived here, so if you want to expand your training, this is where you go.
Okay, this is the Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool and it’s your best friend. If you’re clueless as to what to write about, Jaaxy will show you what’s popular in the search engines and how many sites you’ll be competing with. I will be writing a monster article concerning Jaaxy because there’s so much to this tool.
What does Jaaxy do for you?
1. Site Rank: This is where you can check up on your website’s authority and see where it ranks in Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
2. My Keyword Lists: This is where you can save a huge list of selected keywords to different niche sites. Say if I wanted to start a niche site on the history of the Cleveland Browns – I can type relevant keywords to the niche into the search tab at the top and save them to its own, unique list.
3. Search Analysis: Here, you can discover new keyword trends and take a look at who’s using them and how relevant sites competing against you are. I’ll show you a clear-cut example in a later article.
4. Alphabet Soup: Type in a search term, any search term, and you’ll find an A to Z listing of niche keywords you may not have known existed. This feature literally unlocks tens of thousands of keywords related to your niche.
5. Brainstorm HQ: You will find trends related to your niche that are pulled directly from Google, Bing, and Yahoo. If you’re stumped, this is another good place to go.
6. Affiliate Programs: You’ll find affiliate programs related to your niche. Just type in your niche and watch hundreds of relevant affiliate programs pop up. Again, I like to wait until my new sites have a good deal of content before I reach out to affiliates – usually after 4-5 months of posting constant content. This allows the search engines to index and rank me, allows me to collect engagement via SiteComments, and raises my chances of acceptance into the affiliate network.
And finally, we have the Affiliate Programs feature – much like the feature shown within Jaaxy – the Affiliate Programs feature will also give you a list of programs within your niche. Just type in your niche and hundreds, literally, hundreds of affiliate programs are at your disposal.
Now, being that we’re authors, we won’t be using affiliate programs for our author websites but we might be using them for our author marketing sites. For example, Grammarly has an affiliate program. So, if you decided to use Grammarly, as I do, for both my articles and for editing my works, you can write a product review on Grammarly if you decide to create an affiliate marketing site within the writing niche.
A prospective customer reads the article and decides to purchase Grammarly Premium. Guess what? You made money. So as I’ve been saying, keep an open mind when it comes to starting an affiliate site. You may not want to place something like Grammarly on your author site, as it’s incompatible with the niche – but you can put it on an author marketing site or a writing site in general.
My Honest Review at a Glance
So, what do I think of Wealthy Affiliate and its features? Here is my honest opinion regarding the platform.
1. Training: 5 Stars
2. Ease of Use: 5 Stars
3. Community: 5 Stars
4. Keyword Tool: 5 Stars
5. Affiliate Programs: 3 Stars
6. Site Support: 4 Stars
7. Affiliate Commissions: 5 Stars
8. Overall: 4.6 out of 5
You’ll notice that I didn’t have time to cover the community or WA’s own affiliate network – something that again I’ll cover in a later article. The reason I didn’t cover them here is that I wanted to touch on the features most relevant to my indie authors and as you can see, this is a long, long article – about 2,400 words.
Back to the question regarding whether this platform is good for authors to build their websites. I’m going to say YES to that, as again, we have an advantage over other marketers here is that we have our own products to sell AND we can also build affiliate websites within the writing niche. Better yet, Kyle will give us the training we need to ensure our success.
You just need to show up every day and be ready to work! Because it is work. And work isn’t easy. If it were easy we’d all be earning money online. But it’s most definitely possible.
I hope you enjoyed this little overview on Wealthy Affiliate and in the coming days you’re going to read an entire series as to how you can get started creating your own author and affiliate websites on the platform. I will cover Wealthy Affiliate’s navigation, personal profile, features that I gave an overview of today, and even how to earn money promoting Wealthy Affiliate in your own blogs.
I’ll talk to you all soon.