About J-KWest
Joined October 2016
It’s been a couple of years since I updated my profile, so here goes :-)

A couple of critical moments brought me to Wealthy Affiliate… the first was in 2015 when I was packing for another 10-day shift (in what we Canadians "fondly" refer to as the oil patch).

My youngest daughter asked me, “Daddy, are you going home tomorrow?”


I was home, or at least I thought I was.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. To a 5-year-old who rarely saw me, I was a just visitor who stopped in to visit for a few days every couple of weeks.

Talk about a transformational moment…

To her, my home was somewhere else, and in a way, she was right. Something had to change. I always knew it had to change, but that’s when I “really” knew it.

Me being away was all she knew though. My other daughter was old enough to remember when I did not work out of town. It was a lot more difficult for her, and I regret not being more aware of that.

And, of course, my incredible wife was, for the most part, raising our girls on her own. Besides the everyday stuff, there were birthdays, holidays, swimming, dance and taekwondo lessons...

You may have had a similar experience. When you knew the path you were going down had to change.

I knew I wanted to do something online, but I had no idea where to begin.

And I’m sure you know what I’m talking about when I say everything seemed so “shady” online. I checked out a few things, but in the end, decided to just figure it out on my own (aka... without risking my money).

I built my first website that summer with no idea what I was doing or how this “online thing” would eventually change my life. But it did…

That first website went nowhere, and I eventually shut it down, but my feet were finally wet, and I was learning.

To make a long story short, I found Wealthy Affiliate a year-and-a-half later (in 2016) on Google while trying to find a way to make money with this new skill I had acquired.

Of course, I also found a ton more of the shady “make-money-online” schemes, and I must admit… I was certain Wealthy Affiliate was just another one.

In some ways, I remember it like it was yesterday… the hope and excitement but also thinking it was a scam.

What I can’t remember though, are the reasons I decided to upgrade. I’m sure having access to Kyle was a big part of it. It might have been the first-month deal, but the more I think about it, maybe not... (if you’ve heard the “Alberta oil-patch” rumours of us throwing money at stupid things… they are mostly true).

Not that twenty bucks was a lot of money, or that Wealthy Affiliate was a stupid thing to throw money at, but I didn’t really know what Wealthy Affiliate was at the time.

I half-expected to see my 20 bucks disappear and a clown face pop up on the screen saying “Got You Sucker” :-D

It’s funny when I think about it now, and I feel a little stupid that I thought that way, but it’s “making money on the internet”… how can you not be skeptical, right?

What’s even crazier though (and I don't think I’ve ever written about this before), is that I was mentally prepared to spend (or risk) 10K to make money online.

That's where I was the day I sat down to seriously figure this out.

I had hit a serious wall. I hated what I was doing (and what it was doing to my family). I was burned out, depressed, and I felt trapped. The program that caught my attention was called the Six-Figure Mentors (I’ve reviewed the Six-Figure Mentors since then, and even with my 10K, I would have been another 10K to 20K short).

It seemed pretty stupid not to give Wealthy Affiliate a shot by comparison.

Anyway… here I am, 2 ½ years later. * [Update: 6 1/2 years later]

There were times I wasn’t even sure this was something I wanted to do, which also seems pretty stupid when I look back on it because I’m WAY happier doing what I do now. It’s not even in the same universe.

Of course, like just about everyone here, I can’t count how many times I wondered in the beginning if this thing would even work.

And it’s been an absolutely crazy journey. Ups and downs, a few wins, and countless losses. There were tears along the way, and people wondered when I would smarten up and quit!

At one point, I got WAY off track for the better part of a year and spent a mountain of money on shiny objects, but I’m still here, and as crazy as it is, this is now my full-time gig. There's still a long way before I reach my goals… but I’m no longer living up north in camps being a Dad-by-phone.

My next goal is to move my family back home where we're from, and for the first time in many years, it’s a real discussion.

* [Update: On June 1st, 2020 we finally realized this goal. My family and I have been happily living where we're from for almost two years now. We're close to family and to our families and have re-established our lives here./

[Also, I'm not fond of talking about money specifics (as I've mentioned in some other posts), but for perspective and insight into what an online business can do for you, the cost of our move was in the low five-figures, and I was able to pay for it with cash. I did not put it on a credit card, and I won't be spending the next few years paying it back.]

If you’re new to Wealthy Affiliate and reading this, I also want to be clear that earning enough to no longer have a boss did NOT happen overnight.

In fact, to make sure I had a decent amount of savings "just in case" and was saving money for our move home, I was working on my online business while also driving for Uber. I found the best balance was doing roughly 10 Uber rides from the airport each week.

The airport rides were great for me because I had to sit around for a couple of hours to get a ride anyway. Instead of sitting at home or in a coffee shop, I would use that time to work online.

Plus, my main site at the time was all about doing side-gigs and having multiple sources of income, so it was a way for me to practice what I preach :-)

At one point though, my online income grew enough that it no longer made sense to drive for Uber.

A few hours online became far more valuable than a few hours driving... although I must admit, there are times I miss driving. I miss meeting new people, and it was a unique era in my life that I have great memories of.

My point is this though…

… for those just joining, please don’t think this is a way to get rich quickly. I know most of you don’t expect it to be, but I also think a tiny part of us secretly hopes it’s possible.

When I joined, I thought there was an outside chance I’d be able to quit my job within a few months if I just worked at it harder than anyone has ever worked at it.


I made a few bucks in my 3rd month but not enough to retire. It was more like a coffee and a muffin at Starbucks.

I’m not saying you won’t retire within a few months, but I also haven’t met anyone who’s done it that fast.

Another question you might have (and you’ll see it asked here by others repeatedly) is this…

“Does Wealthy Affiliate work?”

My new answer to that question is to ask another question…

“Does the gym work?”

Of course, Wealthy Affiliate works. But like a gym, you get out what you put in. If you buy a gym membership and stop in for a few random workouts 3 or 4 times a month… you’re probably not going to see results.

If you hit it hard for a month or two and quit, you're probably not going to have a body like the people on Instagram you admire.

And no one can do the sets and reps for you.

Wealthy Affiliate works like that.

We're talking about full-time income from home, and that’s a really big deal.

The words “it’s worth it” don’t even come close to how crazy it feels to take a day off whenever you want. Take two or three off, a week or even a month.

I haven't stressed out about a Monday in years. I look forward to them actually because I know I'll get a lot accomplished.

You need to keep pressing forward, of course. There's no standing still, and If you're not moving forward with your online business, you will fall behind.

But it’s funny in retrospect. There was a time when I’d wake up hours before I had to be at my old "job" and think…

“Ugh, I have to write another blog post”.

Now I wake up and think (most days, not all) that “I GET TO write a blog post”.

I could be working up north on someone else’s schedule, away from my family in minus 30 (or colder) weather, twisted like a pretzel 80 feet in the air and hurting (because my body is not young anymore) but instead…

... I GET TO write a blog post.

People spend tens (even hundreds) of thousands of dollars on starting a business or going to University. And it takes them years to reach a level of success that's even close to what they aim for.

If you’re a business owner or post-secondary graduate, you know what I mean.

When I became an electrician, it was nearly 6000 hours of on-the-job training and 36 weeks of full-time school broken up over 4 years.

I don’t regret it for a second, but just to compare, it took me about 2 ½ years at Wealthy Affiliate to do this full-time.

Anyway… I didn’t expect my bio/profile to turn into an entire blog post (sorry)… but I’ll finish by saying this…

If you approach Wealthy Affiliate in the same way a business owner would approach their business or a University student would approach their studies… it’s absolutely crazy what you can accomplish here.

Thanks for reading :-)
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TomStyles Premium
Hey Jay, I was on Jaaxy last night and tried to save a search but it wouldn't allow me to and it prompted me to upgrade. I was a member here back in 2014 and noticed all my list from back then are still here. It wouldn't allow me to create a new keyword list. What's up with that?
J-KWest Premium Plus
Hi Tom, I know what you mean. I think it was last year, but it was recently that they integrated Jaaxy into Wealthy Affiliate and gave premium members access.

Before that we only had the wealthy affiliate keyword tool, which was good, but not as good as Jaaxy. Our old lists were brought over from the old keyword tool into Jaaxy so that we still have access to them, but the free version of Jaaxy (Jaaxy Lite) doesn't have the feature to save keywords.

I used to have Jaaxy Pro which has that feature, but I've since developed a habit of copying my keywords into an Excel spreadsheet because there's a lot more information I use to determine if a keyword is good.

For example, when I'm working off my list of keywords I then do SERP research (Search Engine Results Page) and I see all the posts that Google is already ranking on the first few pages.

With a spreadsheet I can make all my notes beside the keyword about the other sites and posts that are ranking. Things like the domain authority of the other sites. If the content that is already on page one is old and outdated is also important to know. Does it have broken links, is it answering the searchers query accurately and completely for example.

Information like this helps me better determine which keywords I should go after.

But anyway, back to your question, it was the integration of Jaaxy into the WA platform.
Tflex4444 Premium
Hi Jay, thank you for the review of one of those too good to be true websites so that I could find this one! I fully understand your background, I see my kids pretty much on the weekends and feel like I am missing out on so much. And the gym analogy hits the nail on the head. Thanks again, I'm pretty sure I will have questions but I'm going to spend the next few days diving into this training and get started!
J-KWest Premium Plus
Yeah, I see me kids every day now and I'm pretty sure there are some days they'd like to tell me it's too much 😀

But I totally understand where you're coming from. I grew up without a father and it was all I could do to make sure my kids didn't go through the same thing.

It sounds like you know exactly what you want and your reasons for being here couldn't be more important. I'm here to help in any way I can.
Karen117 Premium
Hello Jay, I hope it is ok to touch base with you and ask a couple of questions? I am up to the training to set up my email and then give feedback and request feedback on websites. I have a few questions about my website as there were a couple of issues that I couldn't work out as I set it up. I have posted my first blog and now been recognised by Google so I am worried that my website isn't quite right.

I have got the "Privacy Policy' in two places, on the header then just under my web site name so that looks a bit over done. I couldn't move one of them. The header one can be deleted but the lower one that I want to remove, won't budge.

Then the widgets don't show up on the main web page. The website that I chose is called mystery themes.... and it is causing a mystery to me. I have been into the edit section but the setting that I chose don't reflect on the web page. I asked the help desk but they referred my to the Mystery Themes page and I was able to work out a couple of things but not everything...

Also do I use the spelling that I am used to or default to the USA spelling because that is predominantly the market.

Also should I add pictures to my post or does that come later in the training - Just worried about what is showing on Google. When I do a google search it takes me to my edit page.

Thank you
J-KWest Premium Plus
Hi Karen, if you'd like... can you DM me your website and I'll have a look. It definitely sounds theme related. Another member was having similar issues with menus and widgets that we couldn't solve either so we had no choice but to change themes.

It definitely does sound like a mystery ;-)

As far as adding images, I know there have been some updates to the training since the last time I went through it but adding images should be there as you work your way through each module.

If you're logged into your site you will see the WP edit bar across the top of your site whenever you're viewing it. If I'm trying to view the front end of my site without the edit bar I either use an incognito window or a different browser.

You can also log out if you'd like but an incognito or private window is the easiest way.

No worries about you website not being just right even though you've been indexed on Google. Even after a couple years my website is still not right, lol. What I mean is that you'll always be tweaking and changing things throughout the entire life of your website and Google knows that. Every website is a work in progress :-)

As far as the spelling, you can go either way you want. People generally know that a website can be from anywhere in the world and most people don't pay attention it. Likewise, as content consumer, you probably don't pay too much attention either. I mean, you may notice it but it probably doesn't determine whether you stay on the site or hit the back button.

If it comes to measurements... speed for example, I'll often write the mph with kph in brackets (or vice-versa). The same goes for currency depending on the audience I'm writing to.

Generally speaking though, these are personal preferences :-)

Let me know if you'd like me to take a look at your site directly and hopefully we can solve those menu and widget issues.
WSwartz Premium
Your story is really inspirational. I have been wanting a job of my own for many years but with health problems it has been a struggle. Now being a widow I am forced to figure it out so that I can remain in my house and start to live again. I am not exactly sure I can comprehend all of this at the same pace others are doing it, but I am sure that with time and patience I will get it. I am a very determined lady.
Thank you for helping me to make up my mind to do it!
Wendy Swarrz
J-KWest Premium Plus
Hi Wendy, we all definitely progress at our own pace. Some people have more time available than others in the beginning.

Some come here from related backgrounds that give them a head start in different areas. Some might already have the technical background but not the marketing skills. Someone else might be an established writer but is starting from scratch when it comes to the technical stuff.

In my case, I struggled to focus on the training and follow a single simple path which ended up costing me a lot of time and money.

But as long you're learning something new each day (or time you sit down to learn) and make progress in some way... big or small, then your pace only matters to you. There are far too many variables to compare yourself to others and like you say, with time and patience you will get it :-)

In fact, one of the most important lessons I've learned since I started online is "patience". And a lack of patience is one of the biggest reasons (if not the biggest) many people don't make it.

You also have the community (myself included) to help you along the way :-)
Sheryl17 Premium
hello was wondering at what point in the training do you put your niche and affiliates and pictures of your niche on your web page to start get customers to start looking at you products that you are showing. me and my wife are at number ten on the starter training as of now and have been discussing go with the premium and are very nervous about it.
J-KWest Premium Plus
That's totally understandable. With Wealthy Affiliate I had no real hesitation but I have joined other programs with that same feeling so I know where you're coming from. Some I joined with regret, others have given me tremendous insight as I'm always looking to expand my skillset.

I've attached a couple screenshots showing level 2 and 3 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification course. Level 3 is when you really get into the money side of things and there's a reason for the monetary side being a little further down the road in the training.

Most people (myself included) are concerned with the "conversion" or selling part of the training. The money.

The problem is that building an online business is more like learning the guitar or playing a sport than it is assembling a puzzle so to speak.

What I mean is, you can show someone how to play the guitar or shoot a basketball into a hoop... but it takes time and practice to get good at it. And to do both of those things properly requires some foundational training.

For example, I'm a terrible guitar player because I skipped the basics. I can strum some chords and from the outside it looks like I can play, but if I were to play in a band where real technique, timing, terminology and musical knowledge were required... I'd be worse off than someone who is just picking up the guitar for the very first time.

Similarly, I made some money relatively early online but it was luck more than anything and because I didn't pay attention to much of the "basics", I couldn't repeat it. That led to frustration and a year of spending thousands of dollars on junk and trying dozens of different strategies to make money online... none of them worked (but that's a story for another day).

Eventually I came back to the basics and just focused mainly on what's taught in level 1 and level 2 of the OEC training for the better part of a year (another year). Mainly just building a traffic producing website.

I'm not saying you have to stay at level 1 and 2 for a year... that's just my journey because I became more obsessed with the practice and skills than I was about making money.

But once you have a traffic producing website it's truly life changing. For example, you can read this post I wrote from last month (and this month is even better with a couple more days to go)... But... a lot of people don't get there because like me, they skipped over the traffic producing website part and went straight to the making money part and just like learning a handful of chords on a guitar (but not the fundamentals), you just kind of bump up against a wall without the knowledge or skills to get over or around it.

I suppose that's more than what you asking about, lol. But again, the specific part about affiliate programs and products comes more into play at level 3. Hope that helps :-)
Sheryl17 Premium
thanks for your input that you gave me. When we upgrade to the premium side that will give us all the rest of the training sessions that come with WA. We are in this for the long haul so we can make a welcoming income for our family and get to a point where we will not have to work a job that puts money in the other guys pocket and they become rich and you stay at the same spot in life that you are at now. yeah we are scared but we have to jump in with both feet and get wet to make something happen in this life. we have tried other thing and they didn't pan out like we expected they would because they were all scams and just wanted your money and most of them was not like WA where when we tried to contact them they never responded back to us at all. We have sent many questions to a lot of WA Family members and have got a very good response to all our questions in a very timely manner and that is what we like so far about WA and the fact that in 9 short lessons we have had the opportunity to make a web page and all the other features that we have been taught. All the other internet based companies we have try sent us a booklet and said her this is how you do it and never heard from again and that's kinda funny if you ask me that is not good business. Well thank you for your time and God Bless you and your family. Will talk to my wife as soon as she gets home from her out of the house job lol and get the Premium package.