If you're doing research into how to make money online, it's pretty hard to avoid Wealthy Affiliate. It's one of the longest running, and most popular programs out there. Though there are many ways to start an online business, Wealthy Affiliate focuses on affiliate marketing. Specifically, they teach you how to start a blog-style website, rank in Google, and earn money from affiliate commissions.
However, there are a lot of scams in the learn how to earn space, so naturally, people are skeptical. One of the main criticisms of the programs is that “the only people who make money are the ones who promote them”, essentially equating it to a pyramid scheme.
I already debunked that myth here, but in this post I wanted to highlight some Wealthy Affiliate success stories from people not in the make money online niche to prove a point.
Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories
How much money you can make from an affiliate website really spans the spectrum. Some people earn nothing and give up, while others go on to earn $100,000 or more from their blog.
I've chosen to highlight a variety of earnings here just to show you what's possible. Also, I tried to investigate what the niche of the website was, or how the person actually earned that money, so you can see the different ways to earn money with your website.
Success Story #1: $500/month + $12,500 Baseball Site Flip
Honestly, baseball would be my last choice for a niche website, but that just goes to show you that affiliate marketing has enough room for everyone to talk about what they are interested in. Brandon was able to build and flip a website about Baseball on the Flippa marketplace for a decent profit.
This is an excellent post to read because he provides a lot of detail about his website stats, including the fact that he made a total of $22,252.24 over the lifetime of the blog, and only had 50 articles up, meaning he made over $400 per article written. He also highlights that one of the affiliate programs he promoted has a 1-year cookie life, meaning that people who clicked his link can sign up for services any time within a year of clicking a link and he'll still get credit.
Personally, I think he let the site go for too little, but I don't know the details of what condition the site was in. A 24x multiple (very low) form his $500/month earnings would yield a sale price of $12,000, but .a 40x multiple (max) on an affiliate website would fetch up to $20,000.
However, he got the deal done, and money in his bank, so good for him! Now he's using that money to travel the world and start a new affiliate website.
Success Story #2: $1k/month Baby Blog
Babies usually cost money, but in Sarah's case, her baby is helping her turn a profit! LOL. This is another great post with lots of tips on how to choose a niche, pick products with good commissions, optimize your commissions, do SEO, and promote your site on Pinterest.
Mom blogs are always popular on Pinterest, as are things like cooking blogs, fashion blogs, and other visual niches.
From the sounds of it, Sarah also had a health and wellness site on the topic of water that suffered in a Google algorithm update, but lucky for her, she the mom blog was doing well so she was able to double down efforts on that site to reach over $1000 per month.
Though I always recommend starting out focusing on just ONE website so that you can make progress fast, when you gain some experience, branching out to multiple niche sites is a great way to build a safety net for yourself.
Success Story #3: Month 7, $4550 From An Amazon Review Site
Dylan is a rockstar. He's built and sold multiple websites, and is actively running a couple affiliate websites on top of all that. He's got his own keyword strategy which he links to in the article above which has brought him a lot of success with his Amazon websites. You can click over to read the full details, but the gist of it is that he reviews products based on the year, so [Best PRODUCT 2019].
These types of product reviews get huge click through rates and rank well in Google because they are time relevant.
Of course, some people abuse this and install plugins to automatically update the post and title dates, but most automation is usually cracked down on by a Google algorithm update. That being said, if you actually do review the top products in your niche for the year, your conversion rates will skyrocket.
That's just one strategy he highlights, and he also includes other effective tips like “focus on making money”, which basically means that you should write more product reviews instead of just trying to rank for keywords that won't convert. Think about what's going to make money. Traffic is nice, but money is nicer!
He doesn't reveal the topic of the website in the blog post, but we know it's not MMO because it's an Amazon site.
Success Story #4: $2000 + $400/month From A Local Marketing Gig
Though Wealthy Affiliate focuses on affiliate marketing for their main training, the webinar host, Jay, is actually a local SEO expert and runs his own successful local SEO business. There are multiple recorded webinars on the topic, and even some training modules.
What's more, you can also use standard SEO practices to build and rank websites, no matter what you promote.
Marcus leveraged these training modules and videos to start his own local SEO company and just landed his first gig. The client made a down payment of $1000, and from the context of his blog, it sounds like another $1000 is due on completion, and he'll receive $400/month recurring fees for maintaining and growing the website.
Pretty good deal, right?
With this kind of setup, you'd just need to get one new client a month, and by the end of the year you'd be making $4,000 in recurring commissions just by maintaining a small local business website.
This is a good reminder that even if your affiliate website takes longer to gain traction that you want, you'll be simultaneously learning important skills for earning money online. Writing, rankings, troubleshooting, and even something as simple as building a WordPress website can be a great way to earn money online.
Success Story #5: $1000 Check Sent To Norway
A question I get a lot is whether or not you can earn money in affiliate marketing if you don't live in the USA. The answer is – absolutely. People earn affiliate commissions all over the world!
Andreas is a perfect example of this. He lives in Norway, and in 2016, he received his first Amazon check of over $1000. Norway is a pretty expensive country, so that money might not go very far there, but if you live in a developing country like China or the Philippines, that could easily pay the rent and food bills, with some left over!
If you are not in the USA, you have the choice to build your website in English or your native language. The analogy I like to use is a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond. What do you want to be? There are way more internet searches in English, so more money to be made, but it's also more competitive. In your native language, the competition is greatly reduced, but there are also fewer affiliate programs to promote, and fewer customers to convert.
I always recommend starting off in English if you can. Learn the basics. Make some money. Then dominate your native country, and you could even start your own “how to make money” course in your native language.
Success Story #6: $28,000 Competitor Buyout After 13 Months
I always tell people to soften their expectations for how fast and how much money they will earn. Sometimes, people just take naturally to all this stuff and do really well with their first website.
Stephanie was able to sell her first website for $28,000, which is amazing! A competitor offered to buy her out, and based on the sale price compared to number articles written, she earned over $600 per article. Wow! How'd you like to get paid six hundred dollars to write a thousand words!?
What's also interesting here is that many comments were asking what her “secret” methods were for building and selling a website so fast.
Her answer? She said she just followed the Wealthy Affiliate training. More proof that their training really works, and teaches real people like you and I how to generate income online.
Success Story #7: $525 In 10 Months, Then $14,000 In 3 Months
Here's a double-feature from shirtless Jesse LOL. I like to highlight success stories like this because it shows how your progress can snowball.
Trust me – I know how frustrating it can be to work on a site day after day and not see results. This is the typical experience for someone building their first affiliate website. Once you get past that initial hurdle however, things tend to start moving quickly (assuming you're still putting in the work!)
It took Jesse 10 months to earn $525/month from his blog. In the next few years, he was able to grow his site to $14,000 per quarter, which works out to about $5,000 per month. That's $60 grand per year, which is a decent income in the USA.
Where else in the world can you double, triple, or quadruple your income? What other type of business can you be profitable in 10 months and run a full time 60k/year business as a single person performing the day to day operations?
Success Story #8: $100 Day From Amazon Sales
The $100 day is one of my favorite milestones. First sales are great, but the $100 mark is when you really start raking in income. That's $3,000 per month, or $36k/year! (After that, I like to celebrate $200/day, then $500/day, and though I don't get them often, sometimes I'll have $1,000+ day).
Zarina is a very active WA member, and posts a lot about her journey through online marketing. This is fantastic, because we can see what a real entrepreneur's journey looks like, rather than just seeing the end-result, and thinking it's an over night success story.
I love this particular blog post because she addresses the problem of friends and family being naysays, or haters during your journey.
It can be really hard to justify to your family why you are working so hard for “$0.40 vs $200 in 5 months”, but if you stick to your guns and keep working every day, you'll hit your first $100/day milestone as well. Then they'll really start believing, and maybe even asking you to show them how to do it!
There will be a lot of critics the first time you tell them you're starting an online business trying to make money online, but don't listen to them.
Success Story #9: 2,158.76 From Just Ad Revenue
So you want to earn passive income? Adsense and display ads are the way to do it. In fact, Jay uses the same ad network I do (MediaVine), so I can confirm that display ads can earn some really good revenue if you have enough traffic.
Once you write your articles and they rank, you basically don't have to do anything at all to earn money. My blog here earns $3k-$4k/month from ads. Jay's eanring over $2k/month from ads. That's $24,000-$48,000 per year for doing nothing (kind of…you have to write the articles at first). Pretty amazing, right?
For full disclosure, Jay's website is actually in the MMO niche, but I featured it here on this non-MMO list because the revenue he's talking about is not promoting make-money-online style programs. You can put ads on any type of website. In fact, food blogs and tech blogs do extremely well with ad revenue!
Success Story #10: Zero To Hero In 2 Years
Craig started out in 2017 with zero experience in affiliate marketing other than having read a few short blog posts. In less than 2 years he was able to start generating more than a thousand of dollars per month from his website. Who does he credit for this? Other than his hard work, he says he used Wealthy Affiliate training in conjunction with the popular SEO blog Backlinko (I also like Backlinko!)
He's in the pet niche, so it's cool to know that even newbies can make good money in this super competitive industry. Something I've learned over the years is that if an industry is competitive, that means people are making money, so why not join the fun! You don't have to be a “dog website”. You can be a website just for Boston Terriers, or a website just for natural cures for pets.
In other words, dig deep, find a niche, and go for it even if you think the competition is “too tough”.
Craig had to write 200 blog posts to get to this point, so it's another example of how everyone's journey is different. Some success stories I featured here were able to get a big payday from just 50-60 blog posts. For me? I usually see traction around the 50-100 blog post mark. Craig was probably seeing some good results before he hit 200, but since he continued to write, his income continued to grow!
Success Story #11: $15,765.97 Per MONTH From A Fitness Website
Ralph is seeing some crazy good results with his finance website. I don't know exactly which niche it's in, but it's something to do with investing I think, just based on what I could gather from his posting.
Regardless, his success story is one that can't be ignored. In 2016 he simply celebrated that his first website was indexed. Actually, if you go read the full post, you can still see that blog post with a single comment still listed in his blog roll. By 2018, this dude started raking in $15,000+ per month!
How many college kids do you know that start making 15 grand after just two years of education? Most people go to school for 4-6 years, then start out at the bottom of the totem pole. Success stories like this are very impressive, and just go to show you that if yo put in the work, you'll see massive results.
@RD40 doesn't hold back, and shows a lot of graphs about where his website has been, and how his earnings growth have grown over the years. It's definitely worth your time to read all of his blog posts!
Success Story #12: $3,000+ Per Month From A Travel Blog
OK, so this one is a bit of a clickbait title, but let's call it “tasteful” clickbait. Wealthy Affiliate didn't buy him a Lamborghini. However, they did teach him how to build his successful travel website, and he did use those profits to rent a Lambo in Vegas.
You see what he did there?
Anyway, this car is no joke, so it's worth reading the post above just to gawk at the pictures. Plus, he's a travel blogger, so he took some really nice photos.
Travel blogging is an extremely lucrative industry to get into, and there are many ways to niche down your audience. RV traveling, traveling Europe, traveling SE Asia, traveling with kids, or even highlighting local spots could be good travel niches to get into.
People spend money when they travel.
- plane tickets
- car rental
- leisure activities
- …and more
I'm pretty sure that his earning $3,000 per month from his travel site is just the beginning . Stephen is primed and ready for $30,000 per month and beyond!
Success Story #13: Daily Sales From A Cat Site
Sure, the big success stories are fun to report on, but they don't tell the whole picture of what it's like to build an online business. It's important count the small successes too!
Jessica is celebrating having multiple sales from Amazon.com on her cat niche site for the past 11 days. That's awesome! In fact, this is exactly how I remember feeling when I was making my first sales too.
The very first conversion is unbelievable. You can't actually believe you did it. But the adrenaline rush keeps you focused on doing more work on your site. Once regular sales start rolling in, the prospect of real, reliable income becomes a reality, and from that point, the focus is on growth.
I'll be following her journey and celebrating her successes right alongside her. I know those daily Amazon sales will grow into massive monthly paydays because she's very active in the community and not afraid of hard work!
Success Story #14: $3000-$7600 Per Month & Three Years Reliable Income
Another testament to using Wealthy Affiliate training in an unconventional way, 3-year member Darren used the online skills he learned in the community to build a couple different cash-generating websites. In other words, he's not writing product reviews or how-to tutorials for affiliate commissions!
First, he did a join venture with someone to build a stock forecasting service. He was able to leverage keyword research techniques to find interested clients.
Secondly, he started an employment recruiting service. He finds job openings, then matches potential job seekers to these positions. Social media and keyword research are part of his toolkit, but he also credits learning the concept of writing with intent as helping him write effective articles.
Though you might not have thought about it until now, learning how to build an affiliate website is something that could help you launch your own business ventures outside of the affiliate space. According to his blog post, he's earning up to $7600/month from these business ventures. Nice!
Success Story #15: $8 Website Sold For $3,000
One of the great things about being an active Wealthy Affiliate member is that I get to see the huge variety of ways that people become successful online. To a lot of people, including some people reading this blog post right now, it would seem impossible that a “love of movies” could be a profitable business venture.
Well, Asen is proof that it can be. He built and sold a movie blog, then flipped it for $3,000.
The interesting thing about this success story is that the website had only earned $8 total! As you can see, even websites that earn nothing at all can be sold for a profit, as long as they are getting traffic. In fact, you can sell domains for profit too, but this is a much more competitive industry IMO, and not worth getting into unless you want to go all in on reselling domains.
Still, three grand for a website with just 20k visits/month and virtually no earnings is pretty good. With the traffic training inside Wealthy Affiliate, you could build and flip websites like this all day. If movies can make money, what else can you think of? Video games is what comes to my mind first, but there are thousands of other entertainment niches you could get into.
Personally, I think that sharing these excellent examples of Wealthy Affiliate success stories should be enough to squash any doubt that their training works, and there are many satisfied members seeing results. What do you think?
Of course, there are many ways to make money online that are not covered in the WA training modules. Ecommerce, drop shipping, retail arbitrage, and Amazon FBA are four popular methods that you resonate with you more than blogging for affiliate commissions. You'll have to decide whether or not what Wealthy Affiliate teaches is how you want to build your business.
However, they are definitely still my #1 recommendation for someone to start a business with no previous experience. They teach affiliate blogging in a way that's simple to understand, and starting a business this way is super inexpensive by nature. Once your website is set up, your only cost is the domain and hosting. Everything else can be done by you, for free, and the majority of your work is going to be reading and writing, which is a universal skillset in the modern world.
In other words, if you can read and write, you can make money with an affiliate website, which I think is pretty dang cool.
What's up ladies and dudes! Great to finally meet you, and I hope you enjoyed this post. My name is Nathaniell and I'm the owner of One More Cup of Coffee. I started my first online business in 2010 promoting computer software and now I help newbies start their own businesses. Sign up for my #1 recommended training course and learn how to start your business for FREE!
I found what you mentioned about writing in other languages very interesting.
As a native Spanish speaker I´d assume that even if there isn´t as much potential as in English, we´re still talking about 20 countries. So my question is: would you go for a blog in English in a not-so-competitive niche or a blog in Spanish in a highly competitive niche?
I´m sure there are tools to find out but I am just getting started on this.
Thanks in advance.
This was a very informative article
My advice would be to start in English. It’s a much bigger audience. More chances to pick up some traffic scraps here and there. Your English sounds great, just judging by the small paragraph you wrote, so you’ll probably be fine. Learn your chops on an English website, then when you want to do a Spanish one, you’ll blow everyone out of the water.
There are definitely Spanish-focused affiliate programs, and it’s one of the largest languages in the world, so plenty of internet traffic (just not as big and diverse as English).