Yes, Craig, and it’s often a case of the blind leading the blind. Often the most active and most helpful members on WA are quite new, and they get enthusiastic about interacting with other members and all helping each other out. So you get a bunch of enthusiastic newbies all giving each other advice even though they don’t really know what they’re talking about.
It’s really advisable to register any domain outside of wealthy affiliate and also ensure that you have a full backup of your site stored somewhere else in case of any problems. It seems that members can only use WordPress to build a website which I feel is a bit limited. There is a big world outside WordPress and they could teach so much more than just building a site with one platform. There may me a few making money from their sites at wa but would certainly be a small minority. Many claim to be doing very well but if you bother to really check them out, most are doing very little and have low traffic.
There is also Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter training for those that want to get social reach. There is paid traffic training, using PPC channels like Facebook Ads, BingAds, and Google Ads. And you can even get help creating and operating VIRAL campaigns which can happen if you create your content in a specific way. This can be a powerful approach as well.
I was a member of Wealthy Affiliate for 2.5 years. I made a little bit of money through my own niches, but nowhere near enough to justify the work I put into it. I did the bootcamp course and made some money referring other people to WA, but I did so mainly by churning out fake negative reviews of competing products, which is the direction that the bootcamp course leads you in. The whole setup of the bootcamp course is bullshit. It teaches clueless newbies to shout out to the world that WA is the best way to make money online, all before they even know whether this is true or not.
After wasting a solid two hours going over their model and deciding whether or not to give it a shot, I have come to this conclusion: what they are trying to get you to believe is that all you do is click a few buttons, give ‘em access to your checking account, and you will be able to move to Belize and languish on the beach forever while your website deposits a couple grand into your bank account automatically every month. Who WOULDN’T want that job?
When I say that I love Wealthy Affiliate, I’m not just saying that because I’m an affiliate for them. I’m a very active premium member at Wealthy Affiliate and love interacting with people on a daily basis. If you join, you’ll see me posting on people’s profiles, answering questions, chatting in the live chat area, and I have private personal messaging conversations multiple times per day.
Anyway, I’m thankful that I didn’t spend too much time on creating sites there and that I didn’t put any significant content before deciding to leave. I will now peruse some free training and then try two courses that are a bit pricey but seem more useful, The Authority Site System (from the Authority Hacker site), and SEO Affiliate Domination. I’m just starting to read the SEO Affiliate Domination free crash course, and as far as Authority Hacker is concerned, I can say that I got far more useful information in their free webinar alone that in all five WA courses combined. I first learned about these courses on Jeremy Harrison’s Hustle Life site. (He also says that WA is good but not great.) If anyone has tried the two aforementioned courses, I’d like to hear about it.
I only ever used Wayback Machine to download and copy odd files and photos that I no longer have. I’m not sure if you can copy/download the whole site but maybe possible with something like HTTrack. In any case, I think you would be better off just saving the stuff that you no longer have and build an updated version of the site on a new server. It shouldn’t take long unless you have hundreds of pages.
Start a photography business and sell your photos online. If you have a nice DSLR camera and take good photos, do photography sessions or take photos of events, like parties and weddings. As another option, create fine art photos that people may want to hang on their walls, or take stock photos to sell online on sites like iStock Photo, Shutterstock, or Alamy.
Udemy.com – Udemy is an online training platform where “instructors” can create courses and sell them to “students”. There are some extremely high-quality courses on Udemy created by high-quality instructors who really have made a lot of money online, but there are a lot of very low-quality courses as well. Most of the higher quality courses are quite expensive, sometimes exceeding $100. While the training might be good, the training on Wealthy Affiliate is excellent as well, plus you get all the tools, community, and support included as well. Once again, I believe Wealthy Affiliate is the better option.
Provide excellent customer service. Answer any questions buyers post as quickly as possible. Be professional and courteous. Positive communication builds your reputation with buyers and gets you return business. Also, package your product well and ship it out quickly. Allowing an item to become damaged or taking too long to ship can negatively affect your reputation among buyers. Wrap all items, especially fragile ones, in appropriate packaging. Commit to shipping items as soon as you receive payment.
Now, it’s time to start creating and uploading content. Make sure you’re using a high-enough quality camera (most smartphones will work but I’d suggest at least having a tripod so your footage isn’t shaky), but don’t worry about being perfect at first. The beauty of YouTube is that you can continue to test out different content and styles as you find what works for you. Instead, stick to a regular schedule to build up your subscriber base.
But the main method that WA teaches these days – blogging about your favourite interest in the hope that some people will click your affiliate links and buy stuff – is a long hard road, and one that has a high chance of failure for a lot of people. But if you fail, WA will just say that you gave up too soon. What a convenient get-out clause for WA! If you succeed, WA takes the credit for showing you how to do it. But if you fail, it’s your own fault for giving up to early.
The ego is the driver making the decisions. It decides between the devil (the id) and the angel (the super-ego) on either shoulder (yes, all those cartoons you've ever seen are partly true). We have voices in our mind, and it's up to the ego to decide which one to fulfill. Its goal is to satisfy the id in some way while also attending to the super-ego.
This has become a popular business model for online entrepreneurs over the past several years, and will probably just continue to grow in popularity. The best thing about selling online courses is that once you do the up-front work in creating the course and setting up your marketing strategy, you can get paid over and over again for work you do once.
I only ask you this because you made the above comment “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.”