1. I’ve always liked the idea of growing my own niche site because it means I get to work for myself and I don’t have to worry about losing work.

    I’m in no hurry to grow a business, because I understand it takes time and hard work, but I’m really excited to have found WA because it’s breaking everything down into chunks I can digest so I’m not overwhelmed.

    This is a great reminder or reality check for those tempted to fall for the scams that make empty promises just to get your money.

    • Kyle

      Absolutely. There is a natural tendency to want to make money, and make it now. It is the lottery mentality and I think we all have a bit of that in us.

      However, when it comes to the online business and the affiliate marketing world, it is critical that people give themselves adequate time to achieve results. The time and energy you invest in your business now doesn’t pay off immediately (like an hourly job), it pays dividends down the road and often times forever.

  2. Cinderella

    I found this article very informative, and As I read through I am interested in learning more about Creating Digital Products and how to leverage that? I would be very grateful if you can Help me understand more about Creating Digital Products.

    I love the 5 Ways to be successful online, opened my eyes. Thank you.

    • Kyle

      There are many ways in which you can create digital products, but before you do I would recommend that you consider WHO your audience is and that you actually build a brand and a following before you attempt to create a digital product.

      At the core of every successful digital product is a means to get traffic, a way to build yourself as a trusted authority (nobody is going to buy your book, your membership, your product without trust) and an understanding as to how to market to people within your given niche/industry. So these should be the first focuses with your business and we can help you learn all about this at Wealthy Affiliate.

  3. Steve

    Kyle, this is excellent content. And I must say ‘about time’ that someone with actual, organic success writes about how it it possible to succeed online while being totally ethical. So many don’t realize that or think it’s not possible. I’ve been working on a similar article, and you’ve given me some great food for thought and I just might be linking to this post, if you don’t mind.

    • Kyle

      It is quite problematic that the “norm” in the industry has become promoting instant success, just to sell your product/service. This is not the reality of creating a business online, it takes time and it takes hard work. But those selling the koolaid are very convincing and often times the moment they have your money, they are running for the hills.

      And feel free to share this, I have no problems with that Steve.

      • V. Samuel Stokes III

        Kyle- The more I read your writings the respect I gain for you. I know we’re not supposed to talk politics but I just want to make a connection for you and your readers. You said, “It is quite problematic that the “norm” in the industry has become promoting instant success, just to sell your product/service.” In a very real way, that’s how we got our President-Elect, Donald J. Trump. And it goes deeper when you look at the overall acceptance of lying in our society today. The word is that Canada won’t even let Fox news on their air waves because of the shoddy reporting and,at times, outright lies being told there. OK. I just had to get that off my chest. I hope it isn’t too borderline. Thanks again for what you do.

        • Kyle

          Lying online has become OK and acceptable. It is almost as if you are not hiding upsells, downsells or the actual costs of a program, then you don’t fit in with what is going on in the industry.

          There are many products that are less than $50, some even $1 to join where you end up getting inside of them only to realize that if you truly want to benefit from the program there are upwards of $50,000-$100,000 in fees. This is not OK and this is what these so called “businesses” are doing with trusting customers, thus adversely impacting the reputation of the online business world as a whole.

          I hope that this article alone can bring some sense to people. You shouldn’t be spending $1,000’s to start a business online, if you are, you are more than likely overpaying or worse yet, being scammed.

  4. Claire Schneeberger

    After 12 years as a software tester I found myself to be a stay-at-home mom. This was never the plan, I had worked hard in those 12 years to achieve success, but due to a change in circumstance I had no alternative but to give up on my career. For a few months I enjoyed the time at home but eventually I grew restless, I needed to be doing something of substance and I wanted the ability to earn an income.

    I started looking around for something to do from home (online) and at my own time. Fortunately, I never fell for a scam but unfortunately I also didn’t find what I was looking for. Selling beauty products from home wasn’t an option (for me) and neither was online freelancing. With freelancing I found that the competition from lower income countries generally brought down the remuneration rates too much.

    Eventually I settled on looking for a data capturing job that I could do from home. My word, if ever you want to see a scam do a search for “work-from-home-data-capturing- jobs”.

    I had previously heard of affiliate marketing and thought this would be my next pursuit. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what tools, such as WordPress, were at my disposal. I went off the deep-end and started learning PHP (programming). I was going to create my own website and figure out the marketing bit later. I soon realized it would take forever before I knew enough about programming to actually get a web site up and running!

    At the point of giving up on my web site I came upon Wealthy Affiliate. They offered all the tools I needed to do what I had wanted to do, but didn’t know how to do. I was immediately impressed by their training videos and was able to recognize the value and quality of their product. At no stage did I get the impression that it was a scam. They made it clear that my success would depend on how hard I was willing to work. I liked the idea of choosing a niche, something that was of interest to me, being my own boss, working my own hours and making my own money.

    I have so much faith in the program that I have taken out a premium membership with Wealthy Affiliate. I have my first website up and running and I am in the process of getting the traffic going. Once I have traffic I am confident that I will have an income. The Wealthy Affiliate model makes 100% sense and I can absolutely see it working.

    • Kyle

      Your story sounds so familiar to many others that have worked with over the years. It is easy to be pulled in so many directions as there truly is so many programs out there claiming that they can teach you to make money fast through their latest and greatest technique.

      The problem is this. 99% of them don’t work in the way they say they do or they can only work if you already have a business or a huge mailing list in place, thus deeming them as very deceptive (and that is the only reason they sell well). Many of these programs are also sold on “ideologies” and “theories” that are untested and work well when shown on paper, but for all practical purposes the techniques don’t work in the real life.

      There is a model that simply works online. It is based on helping people. It is based on ethical marketing. And it is based on what works, not theory. Building authority websites is by far the best long term model to creating a sustainable business online and creating a business that can scale to any level online. What many people tend to forget is that there are over 3 billion people online, the most incredible audience that we have ever had access to (and that we all can leverage as internet business owners)

  5. blubutterfly

    Thanks Kyle this is all so true, I for one am one of those suckers that got scammed by my own stupidity, but things have changed now thanks to Wealthy Affiliate and the wonderful training and community I now have. I have 2 websites now running and one has been around a little bit longer than the other. My first site is doing really well considering I never knew a thing about website building or affiliate marketing before I started. I feel very lucky to have found you guys, thanks a million for all your support. 🙂

    • Kyle

      It happens to the best of us. INSTANT anything is alluring. The lottery system wouldn’t be so popular if there wasn’t people that wanted to strike it rich, without having to do anything for it other than outlay a fraction of the overall pot.

      The same goes with the online world and the problem is that this attitude and ideology is exaggerated by those companies pushing products/services on the premise that they will make you money overnight, make money quick, and do so without much effort. The reality is that these don’t exist and the ones where you do make money quick, you are in essence having to steal from the next person that joins into the scheme.

      So glad you did find us and it has been wonderful working with you thus far. You have a bright future ahead of you now that you understand the process of making money online the ethical (and moral way), but also with a great focus on efficiency! 🙂

  6. Garrick Breaux

    With so many get rich quick guru’s, you are hard press to locate a credible community. I’ve been in and out of internet marketing over the years and up until I found WA, I was at dead ends.

    Most online marketing communities just simply up sell you on more and more product without the support.

    I can honesty say that WA is the most supportive forum I’ve encountered in my years of trying to build an online business.

    I thank want to thank you for this great article. This information you composed should be share on all social media networks.

    • Kyle

      Thanks for your kind words and yes, I concur. There are a huge number of “gurus” out there that are in the business of taking your money, not offering a quality and fairly valued service in exchange for your money.

      One thing that we learned early on in business and principles we have stuck with for the last 11 years is that in order to build a successful business online in any niche, you must focus on helping people not making money off of people. They way you perceive the path to success can really dictate whether or not it actually happens and whether or not it is done in an ethical way.

  7. Gary

    I know I should be more patient but I really wish I could make money online fast.

    It seems that many people think of the internet as a magic ATM machine. If we just knew the secret we could make money come out of it. Sadly, that’s not the case.

    I made money for years as a freelancer and eventually burned out. As you mentioned, a freelancer is trading time for dollars. That’s why I was determined to find a way to use the power of the internet to make money.

    Fortunately, I found Wealthy Affiliate and learned to treat my online efforts as a business. It took four months before I earned my first dollar. I almost gave up and I’m so glad I didn’t. It’s been 18 months now and every month I earn more than the previous month.

    Kyle, just between you and me, if there was a secret way to make money fast, you’d tell me wouldn’t you?

    • Kyle

      Yeah, they do view it as a magic ATM machine. The reality is this. If you want to create a business, offline or online, it is going to take some work. Fortunately though, within the online world the costs and startup is next to nothing compared to the offline world and you have the freedom to create and grow your business from anywhere that you have access to the Internet (which is truly a beautiful thing).

      Those that want to make money fast will probably want to continue buying lottery tickets. The alternative is ripping people off, which can come with some serious repercussions (as many of these types of companies online are getting shut down and in some cases, those involved/operating it are going to jail).

      And yeah, if there was a secret to overnight success I would tell you. It wouldn’t be nearly as gratifying as building an actual business, but I would let you know!

  8. Gary

    In a recent episode of Whiteboard Friday, Rand was discussing methods for designing a blog that can rank in the search engines.

    He ended his speech with the comment that the blogging process typically is repeated up to 70 or more times before there is any real success. Even hundreds of times before you should expect a high hit rate.

    So many bloggers that I know were not prepared to put in that level of effort.

    It takes time, lots of it.

    • Kyle

      I definitely wouldn’t say it takes 70 blog posts to see results or reach success, but the more content you create and the higher the quality content, the more authority you are going to naturally attract within Google and other search engines.

      I tend to see the breakthrough for a given website around the 3 month mark (this goes for pretty much any business). You will start to see more and more results as you continue to build out content, help people, gain expertise in your respective niche, and get engagement and dialogue within your content. Through time the REVENUE just becomes a natural byproduct of what you have created.

      Rand and the guys over at Moz are good dudes and they share the same principles and vision we do. Creating brands and authority within a given niche.

  9. Cathy

    Hi there Kyle,

    I did some research on Fiverr and assuming that your gig sell for $5, you are only taking home about $3.58 after sharing some of your earnings with Fiverr and PayPal (about 20% cut). That’s something to consider from a seller’s perspective, how much are you willing to work to earn $3.5 for every single gig.

    Also, there’s a growing population of scammers ‘for hire’ within Fiverr itself – making fake video testimonials, sending high traffic to website for $5 and etc. The fact that Fiverr allows this type of listing to be published and earn commission from it, makes me question their business legitimacy as well.

    • Kyle

      Doing “gigs” is definitely working with the employee model, your hard work and efforts are being bought by someone else who is taking advantage of them to earn more money. In the case of content, they are likely using that content to get further rankings in search engines and subsequently more traffic.

      I would recommend using platforms like fiverr.com to get “seed money” for your campaigns, but I wouldn’t recommend that you try to make a business out of it. You can earn much more money by utilizing your own writing efforts to build out your own websites and scale your business that way.

    • I agree with that Cathy. That is something I point out on my website when I review some of the binary options scams.

      They seem to employ fiverr actors to sell their scams!

  10. Robert

    This article is what brought myself to WA to begin with. I have spent years selling online via eBay and overstock and at times it is highly profitable when buying and selling collectables but I have hit a road block now that things have kind of dried up in my area. Drop shippers there is very little profit margin and I have found not worth my while the amount of work I put into listing. keeping up with fee’s and other issues. Why I am pursuing internet marketing thru Wealthy Affiliate.


    • Kyle

      There are many ways in which one can make money online, some are better than others but the unfortunate thing is the fact that some are deemed “ethical” when in fact they are not. Also, some ideas and strategies are sold in “theory”, one of these being the massive profits that people claim within the dropshipping space.

      There are very few people that I have ever met that have earned decent money through drop shipping, albeit it viable, the competition is rife and the overhead and the time in which you need to run your operating compared to affiliate marketing is much more (with less return). Most of the profits in dropshipping these days are those doing arbitrage (selling on eBay, shipping from their Amazon account).

  11. adrian sawyer

    Your post is correct. There are a lot “opportunities” out there putting out very unrealistic numbers with regard to how fast money can be made.

    Even some of those who eventually make it work have seen a sudden halt to their income when the company shuts down. It is better to have your own business.

    • Kyle

      That happens more often than people think. They get involved within a “scheme”, the invest an incredible amount of time and money into the given scheme and they shut their doors either because people stop joining (which means they don’t have the funds to continue) or they get down by the FTC, SEC or legal authorities.

      This has happened more times than I can count in the last few years and it is my belief that there are many companies right that are either being investigated or on the verge of being investigated for how their scheme operates.

      At the end of the day, before you decide to choose a path to make money online (because there are many), you have to ask yourself what are you going to be doing, are you doing something that is ethical or is it something that could get shut down, and is the premise of your venture making money or is it helping people. If you can answer these questions and the business direction you have chosen doesn’t reside on activities that are unethical or activities that have the sole focus on MONEY and nothing else, you should reconsider.

  12. Cynthia

    I enjoyed reading this article. I have tried on and off with different programs. Each one only wanted me to buy buy buy and not offer much help. I am so glad I came across wealthy affiliate. I think I can finally really learn how to do this. I am glad I won’t be falling for any more scams.

    • Kyle

      Yeah, far too me programs implement this tactic. They get you in the doors, turn you into a customer at a low ticket price and then usually strap you with many purchases, often times in the $1,000’s.

      Good to hear you have smartened to this concept and this tactic used by others and I can now assure you that you are in a safe have now that you have found WA!

  13. Sheer Julious Network

    I love how you explain how one must work towards success Kyle, in comparison to “I want it now” concept. It is realistic and I believe it really gives the customer the opportunity to make an educated decision on how to build a business in a way where you are making money, but doing so in a way that has more vision.

    I hope to have a website one day that follows these exact principles.

    • Kyle

      Unfortunately as more and more products out there show people they can making $10,000 overnight or be driving a ferrari in a week, the more that people will desire instant success. This is the lottery mentality that is being evoked by this radical spineless sales pitches taking place in the industry and it is unfortunate that the way people approach success is changing as a result.

      To build a business and to make money in business, one must approach it LIKE a business.

      • Frank Ledbetter

        Yes I believe hard work and honesty is the proper direction to success. At the end of the day you want to feel good about what you accomplished. You tend to sleep a little better knowing that it was honest and legit.

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