Is Wealthy Affiliate A Pyramid Scheme?
No. Wealthy Affiliate is not a pyramid scheme and is not a multi-level-marketing (MLM) system.
This is one of the most frequently asked questions about this platform and many people are confusing WA to be an MLM or pyramid scheme due to the fact that there’s a training inside it about how to promote the platform itself, which is why many people think that the only purpose of the training inside Wealthy Affiliate platform is to “recruit” other people in order to also promote the “system”.
But that’s a misconception about the platform that provides way more than the “Bootcamp” that is designed to help promote the platform.
I will explain below the main six reasons why Wealthy Affiliate is NOT a Pyramid Scheme or MLM.
What Is A Pyramid Scheme And What Is An MLM?
As per Wikipedia:
A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products. As recruiting multiplies, recruiting becomes quickly impossible, and most members are unable to profit; as such, pyramided schemes are unsustainable and often illegal.
And as per Wikipedia also:
Multi-level marketing (MLM), also called pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing, is a marketing strategy for the sale of products or services where the revenue of the MLM company is derived from a non-salaried workforce selling the company’s products/services, while the earnings of the participants are derived from a pyramid-shaped or binary compensation commission system.
And the MLM model goes further into getting the recruit two kinds of payment/revenue streams: the first comes from getting customers (recruits) directly to buy the promoted product or service, and the second comes from the customers that your recruits bring to buy the product/service (second tier).
And in many cases, the products or services being sold through the MLM schemes are overpriced and are used just to make the model look legitimate, while as per the FTC in one of their studies, it was announced that around 99% of participants in the MLM models lost money. Therefore, many MLM systems are actually pyramided schemes in disguise as the main promise of making money is by recruiting others to do the same.
These definitions are important to clarify why Wealthy Affiliate is neither a pyramid scheme nor an MLM (multi-level marketing) system as you will see in the next section.
Six Reasons Why Wealthy Affiliate Is NOT A Pyramid Scheme
Here are the six reasons that make Wealthy Affiliate not to be considered as a Pyramid Scheme nor as an MLM:
1 – No Need To Promote It In Order To Make Money
Different from pyramid schemes, with Wealthy Affiliate, you don’t have to promote the platform itself in order to make money.
The training you get inside the members’ area at WA is intended to teach you how to make money with affiliate marketing in any niche you choose, and you can promote almost any product that provides an affiliate program.
As you can see, there’s are actual lessons inside the step-by-step training on how to research the market and choose the niche you want to work on.
You could work on a niche that is based on one of your hobbies, on a passion you have, a skill you learned during your career, …etc.
While in many programs that operate like a pyramid scheme, even if partially, such as: The Super Affiliate Network, The Profit Shortcut and Earn Easy Commissions, the main purpose of their training is to promote the programs themselves, and they don’t teach you enough about how to research the marketing and choose a niche for your affiliate marketing business.
2 – There Are Many Actual Products & Multiple Services Inside The Members’ Area
Unlike pyramided schemes where you join for no product or services in return, there are many products, tools and services inside the members’ area at WA, such as:
- The step-by-step training on affiliate marketing in particular and int3ernet marketing in general.
- The weekly live webinars on the different strategies and tools in the online marketing world.
- The keyword research tool for SEO, Jaaxy.
- The content editing tool, SiteContent.
- An access to over 1,000,000 free, royalty free images through the SiteContent platform.
- An advanced web hosting for upto 50 websites with free SSL certificate, SiteSpeed, anti-spam protection and daily backups, in addition to the world-class technical support.
- The one-on-one mentoring and direct messaging possibility between the members.
- The affiliate programs research tool.
- Live chat between the members.
- And many other services and learning resources.
And if you calculate the real cost of purchasing these services, tools and resources from different providers, then you will find out that the total cost that you pay at Wealthy Affiliate is much lower than the actual cost of each comparable tool or service that is sold individually.
The web hosting with the SSL certificate, anti-spam protection, SiteSpeed and support is worth much more than the membership fee, lol.
You can learn more about the products and services and their cost through my Wealthy Affiliate review here.
While if you join a pyramid scheme, the only purpose would be to promote the scheme itself without an actual product, or maybe there would be a training on how to promote it solely without learning how to research the market and promote something else.
And even some programs that pretend to be based on the multi-level marketing model, many of them use very cheap products (normal cost is $2-$3) and sell them at very high prices (+$50) just to make it look that they are legitimate systems selling useful products, which is untrue.
3 – You Make Money On Every Sale & Not On A Minimum Number
With the pyramided schemes for example, you need to hire a certain number of people, and not on every person you hire individually.
For example, a certain pyramid scheme might require you to hire a minimum number of seven people so that you get the commission, and if you hire only six people, then you don’t get paid.
While in a legitimate affiliate marketing business like the one taught at WA, you make commission on every sale you bring, there’s no minimum number of sales you have to bring before you make before you deserve a commission.
And this applies on any item you promote as an affiliate, and also it applies to promoting Wealthy Affiliate itself.
4 – No Need To Pay In Order To Join It
Unlike the pyramid and shady MLM programs, you can join WA for free and enjoy many of their training resources, products and services.
Of course, you don’t get all the services you would get if you join the paid membership, but you get part of each service that together would be enough to help you build your first affiliate website for free.
And there’s no limited time for your free membership, you can stay as a free member for as long as you want, and you can upgrade to the paid membership whenever you want in order to unlock the advanced training resources, tools and support.
5 – No Need To Pay In Order To Promote It
Unlike the pyramid scams where you have to pay in order to be allowed to promote them to others and make commissions when you recruit new members in the system, you don’t have to be a paid member in order to promote WA as an affiliate.
You can choose to promote Wealthy Affiliate as one of the programs/products you want to promote as an affiliate if it fits to your chosen niche, even if you are a free member.
Important to note that as a paid member, you get double the commission you would on every referral compared to a free member promoting Wealthy Affiliate.
And if you choose to promote WA as one of the programs you promote, then the points 4 & 5 above apply to your referrals as well. They don’t have to go for the paid membership in order to benefit from the training and tools provided, and they don’t have to be paid members in order to promote WA if they wish to.
6 – No 2nd Tier Commissions
Normally, in pyramided schemes and in multi-level marketing structures, there’s a multi-tier based commission structure where you make money not only from hiring people directly into the system, but also you get a second tier commission from the referrals that your referrals recruit.
And sometimes, you are promised with a third or even fourth tier depending on the system, and usually, the commission from each tier is lower than the commission from the previous one.
And while this makes these systems look lucrative and promising, but the truth is that these commissions are usually difficult to get due to the unsustainable nature of the pyramid schemes and shady MLM systems that makes it more difficult with time to hire more people into the system as described in the first section above.
I know that it might be a little complicated to think of all of the above mentioned points at once in order to decide if Wealthy Affiliate is a multi-level or pyramid scheme or not, but it is easier than it might seem.
If you want to kill any doubt about it, remember that you can join Wealthy Affiliate for free and you don’ have to promote it in order to make money with what you get inside the members’ area, and these two things are not possible in the regular pyramid and MLM scams.
Conclusion – Is Wealthy Affiliate A Pyramid Scheme?
No. Wealthy Affiliate Is not a pyramid scheme and it is not a multi-level marketing model. WA is a platform that provides training and many tools that help affiliate marketers in building their business in any niche promoting any product as affiliates.
The main reason that some people confuse Wealthy Affiliate to be a pyramid scheme is that its members have the ability to promote it as affiliates and get paid commissions on the referrals they bring.
However, what differentiates WA from pyramided schemes is that you don’t have to promote the platform itself in order to make money, that’s just an option. The training inside WA teaches you how to start a successful affiliate marketing business in any niche and promote any product you want to promote.
Also, whether you want to promote WA to others or not, you can do join Wealthy Affiliate for free, which is not possible with multi-level marketing and pyramid scams.
Therefore, if you want to learn how to build a real and successful business as an affiliate marketer, then I can say that it is safe to join Wealthy Affiliate and start even with the 100% FREE starter membership in order to learn more about the platform from the inside before you put in any money. No Credit Card Required. 100% Risk FREE!
And if you still have doubts about Wealthy Affiliate being a pyramid scheme or a multi-level marketing scam, or if you have any question or comment regarding this post, leave it in the comments’ section below and I will be coming back to you asap 🙂