I'm just gonna be honest. I like spending money. This year, I've dropped some serious bills on expensive online marketing courses so I could do what I'm doing here today. For years I've recommended Wealthy Affiliate as my #1 product for people to join, but I made the mistake of only investing in $10 trash. No wonder it was better!
Now, I've got quite a few incredible MMO products at my fingertips, one of which is Authority SEO 2.0. Nice. Good stuff. Loved it. But which was better – Authority SEO 2.0, or Wealthy Affiliate? If you want to learn how to make money online, I highly recommend both of these products. It doesn't make sense to buy both though (unless you're loaded). So which one should you get? Let's find out.
Those full reviews cover everything in much more detail, and I don't want to rewrite everything, so this comparison of Wealthy Affiliate and RankXL's reboot called Authority SEO 2.0 is going to compare them across three main categories. Last, I've got a final breakdown for a quick look at which one you should get.
The cost of Authority SEO 2.0 and Wealthy Affiliate are pretty different in how they're structured, but I think each one is priced appropriately when you consider what they offer. Since Wealthy Affiliate is a “membership website”, you'll have ongoing costs related to that membership. A typical membership is $49/month, and with that, you get WordPress optimized hosting for 25 websites, four live webinars per month (including live Q&A with an affiliate expert), unlimited access to live chat and other support channels (explained below), plus 1-on-1 coaching with your mentor.
For $49/month you can basically run your entire business.
Authority SEO is more of a one-time deal. You pay $599 up front for access to the course, and that includes lifetime updates. Though updates are not frequent, they do happen often enough for me to mention it here. Andrej adds modules from time to time, plus he sends out some emails occasionally on internet marketing and business growth topics.
In addition to the cost of the course though, you'll also have some additional expenses for things like hosting, keyword research, and a couple other recommended tools.
Just looking at cost of membership alone, a year of Wealthy Affiliate membership will cost you about the same as the AS2.0, unless of course you take advantage of yearly pricing for $359, which means you'd get about 2 years until the costs even out (if you include hosting).
In terms of refund policy, AS2.0 has a standard 30 day guarantee, while WA simply says ‘no refunds', since they provide a 7 day free access period, plus a 61% discount on your first month. That's a lot of time to make up your mind, and the risk of $19 isn't too bad.
Neither courses engage in this BS “upsell” type stuff where they try to get you to upgrade for other products on the back end, so kudos all around. Buy a product, get a product, end of story!
Generally speaking, the quality of training in both products is top notch. It's clear that the experts behind both Wealthy Affiliate and Authority SEO know what they're doing, and do a really good job of breaking tings down into manageable chunks.
Where RankXL stumbles with Authority SEO 2.o is that most of the course is just reading (with a few images). For someone like me, that's fine. I prefer reading to video. Whatever concepts are covered, I can just look up a YouTube video for instructions if needed. Plus, reading makes skimming easy, and the way AS2.0 is organized on Teachable (an excellent learning platform), finding the information I need is super easy.
However, Wealthy Affiliate has more of an immersive experience, which leverages a variety of media. You'll get over-the-shoulder step-by-step tutorials, face-to-face and whiteboard instructions (webinars), graphics and images, plus real engagement from other members on the lessons. You get to see what other people are asking and learn from their questions, or even help out! You'd be surprised at how much even newbies can help other newbies because everyone learns at a different pace, or absorbs different kinds of information.
It's a very positive, confidence-building experience IMO.
Authority SEO 2.0 has more guidance regarding niche selection with their Niche Book, and they do cover more link building strategies. Some reviewers have complained that Wealthy Affiliate training is “outdated” because they don't cover link building, but as I explain below, it's just their philosophy on building websites, and they are not the only ones who have that mantra.
The overview of what you'll be doing inside Wealthy Affiliate looks like this:
- Pick a niche & build your site
- Research topics and write content
- Monetize your content
- Build your social media presence
- Continue researching and writing
The focus of WA's training is very much the content creation side of things. You'll jump in, and by lesson 4 (still on the freebie membership level), you'll have a website live and indexed in Google, and before your free training is done you'll have multiple articles published to your site. They want you to take action and start seeing results ASAP.
As you move through the training, the emphasis is to provide value to your readers. What's your unique perspective? What can you add to the discussion? How do you engage people in your niche? These are important questions to answer because building a business isn't just about making money, it's about helping people.
You'll learn a lot about keyword research and article writing, and how to make the stuff you publish the best in the world. This is the strategy I've adopted, and can verify that it works!
Plus, you have access to thousands of training modules (created by other members), and hundreds of hours of previous webinars from years past. There's way more training than meets the eye when you first join!
The overview of what you'll be doing in RankXL's product is this:
- Niche Selection
- On Page SEO
- Off Page SEO
- Monetization & Growth
Pretty simple to understand, right? Of course, doing the steps won't leave you with a six figure website immediately, but if you keep hammering down the strategies laid out in the training, you'll see results.
Although I don't do any link building myself, and I've been able to build many successful websites without doing it, I have considered trying it with some new projects just to experiment and see what all the fuss is about. When I do start link building, Authority SEO 2.0 will be where I go first. Their link building guide is thorough, interesting, smart, and not spammy. One of the reasons I don't do link building is that I hate link begging.
Though I wouldn't say that AS2.0 “focuses” on link building, like The Authority Site System does, it is part of the training. If you are hoping to learn to link build, then right now it's easy to tell you that you should buy AS2.0, and not WA, since there's no link building training or discussion… at all in the community.
So overall, I can't say that AS2.0 focuses on one specific thing. Instead, I'd say they have a pretty holistic view of site building, and cover all the topics you need to know.
If you've never been a member of Wealthy Affiliate, it's hard to explain how out of this world their support system is. It's really one of the top 3 reasons I recommend Wealthy Affiliate so emphatically to newbies. I just know that for myself, when I got started, having a place where I could ask questions and get friendly answers was instrumental in my success.
It really sucks to be in a forum or Facebook group where people just give rushed answers (if at all). If you get really stuck on something, it could be the straw that breaks the camel's back, and makes you quit. So the first thing that Wealthy Affiliate does right is simply to have very active ways for you to get help with your website and business.
- live chat for instant answers
- classrooms for crowdsourcing answers
- private messages for in-depth private discussions
- internal blog posting for topic discussion
- SiteSupport (official) for technical issues
- 1-on-1 mentoring with experts (depending on who refers you)
It's really incredible all the resources they offer for help. However, that's not the only thing I should mention. What's also huge inside WA is the culture of positivity and helping others. I'm actually not really sure how they established this culture, but it is what it is now, and there's nothing but good vibes in the community. Many people refer to WA as their “family”, and help out accordingly. There's a lot of “you can do it!” going around, and honestly, sometimes, that's what a lot of newbies need to get through their next set of tasks.
Building something new, you've never done before, and with probably a lot of negativity at home from people who don't believe in what you're trying to accomplish can be hard to deal with. Having a place to go where people share your goals means a lot.
By contrast, there really isn't much support for Authority SEO. Sure, you get technical support via email, and I'm sure you could probably contact Andrej with a couple of questions here or there (he's a nice guy!), but in terms of really helping you work through problems, you're out of luck. There is a Facebook group, but there's not much activity, so I would not expect to many answers there.
Of course, some people don't mind that, and there are lots of other resources out there for help. If you take the time, there's pretty much an answer to everything you might ask already existing out there on the internet. YouTube, SEO blogs, internet marketing forums…it's all out there. How to build a WordPress site and publish articles that make money isn't a “secret” any more. You just have to take the initiate to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Should You Buy Authority SEO 2.0 Or Wealthy Affiliate?
Sometimes when I do these comparisons it's a little hard to recommend one or the other, but lucky for me, it's pretty easy here. There are some clear differences between Authority SEO 2.0 and Wealthy Affiliate, and although they are both awesome products and worth every penny, I think each one appeals to a different type of person.
If you are an independent learner, and able to work on your own to achieve your goals, then AS2.0 is a better option. More importantly, if you have a bit of experience in website building, affiliate marketing, or SEO and you just want to buy a single course (no recurring fee), then get the work done, you should also get this product. Though $599 seems steep compared to stuff you might have seen on Warrior Forum or Clickbank, RankXL's amazing product is a million times better. Your goal is to make a full time business out of this, so why scrimp and save a few dollars trying to get a deal. Get something that works, and quit being a baby about it.
Last thing. If you want to learn link building as part of your strategy to build authority, then this is the course to get. In fact, even if you have successful affiliate websites right now, you should get AS2.0 just to learn what they have to offer.
On the other hand, if you're a newbie to all this stuff and want more guidance for building your first online business, then there's no better place than Wealthy Affiliate. I've been saying for 8 years now, and I'm still going to keep saying it.
Everything you need to build your business is right there in the community, including an amazing support network you can leverage to get help, learn, and network. Aside from helping my referrals, I remain a member to this day because of the networking aspect. If I can glean just one strategy from another successful marketer each year, that's enough to help me get more traffic, work more efficiently, and make more money.
Wealthy Affiliate is great for creative types as well. Rather than focus on detailed numbers trying to finagle your way into a niche you don't like and game ranking system by building backlinks, you get to focus on building a business you love, helping people on topics you think are interesting, and growing your authority naturally as you improve as a writer and marketer.