5 Years Wealthy Affiliate Member - $8,000 Affiliate Commmissions
Last Update: Oct 17, 2022
Happy October 2022 WA peeps! And happy 5 Year Anniversary to me as a Wealthy Affiliate Member :)
The past 5 years have been interesting. Full of UPs and downs.
So, in honor of my 5 year Wealthy Affiliate anniversary, I'd like to share the Rises & Falls of my affiliate marketing journey with you.
Complete Affiliate Marketing Beginner
When I joined Wealthy Affiliate 5 years ago, I was interested in learning online marketing.
I had some understanding of online marketing in general. But I had never done it.
The reason I joined WA was so I could learn how to do it. Do the marketing steps as a real marketer.
I wanted to know how online marketing worked.
I wanted to understand common terms and strategies like landing pages, SEO, funnels, and more.
And learn how to create them.
Affiliate Marketing seemed like a perfect way to learn how to do online marketing because I did not have to create my own products.
I just had to get good at selling other people's products.
And even better, as I learned how to create all those things, I could make money from those actions too!
I did what most of us did in the beginning here.
I was very active here on Wealthy Affiliate for a few years:
- Posting WA posts
- Welcoming new members
- Answering members' questions
- Creating trainings
Then I became less active here and focused my time on another smaller affiliate community.
But I have been working and investing in my affiliate business in the background for these 5 years. I never stopped!
All of my websites are hosted here. Most of my domains too.
The Rises and Falls of My affiliate Marketing Journey
When I first joined, I had no idea that I would fail first.
Most of us think we will join, learn, and profit. (I know I had that mindset.)
I knew this wasn't going to be easy. And that it would take time.
But I wasn't prepared for how much time.
Or the UPs and downs. The HIGHS and the lows.
The reality is you have to fail before you succeed.
To win, you have to lose first.
This is a tough lesson.
But it's the truth of how a real affiliate marketing journey goes.
I failed with 2 Niches Before I succeeded with 3rd Niche
The first 2 niches I chose were not good. They were too big!
I had no idea at the time how to niche down. I bought 2 different domains. Launched 2 different websites.
I could not figure out how to find micro niches within the big niches.
That would allow me to find low-competition content opportunities I could rank for.
I struggled to write content because I had no content strategy.
My First $1000 Product Review
It took me 2 years to make money.
I made my first $1,000 from one product review.
It was ranked on page 1 of Google, Position 2 - 4 at the time.
After writing 27 other posts and product reviews.
Using the exact skills, you are taught here.
I struck gold with blog post 28.
What’s interesting about this is….
I bought another product that promised to get content on my website faster.
I thought if I got my website going faster, I would make money faster.
So I bought the product. I invested $700.
The product sucked.
I was better off saving my money and just sticking with the strategies of Wealthy Affiliate.
(Blogging, organic SEO, Google, YouTube, etc.)
So I created a helpful, tried, and true product review about it.
I recommended people NOT to buy it.
But people bought that product anyway.
I made a $300 affiliate commission for every sale.
The commissions added up pretty fast.
I Struggled to Repeat the Same Success
The next year was a complete struggle.
I struggled to repeat the same success.
To make any money with my product reviews.
As I did with that one.
Eventually, that product stopped selling.
(I don’t wonder why!)
I kept blogging.
But couldn’t get anything else to take off like that product review.
So I bought other products. (Bad idea.)
I ended up buying one particular product about YouTube.
At the time, there was some training on WA about YouTube.
But this was a simplified, all-in-one, training.
This introduced me to YouTube.
I Hired a Coach
Now, I’m not going to debate whether you need a coach or not to be successful with affiliate marketing.
Anyone can achieve success if they continue failing long enough.
But it made sense for me.
I really wanted guided direction and input on how to repeat my previous successes.
So my coach really got me into YouTube.
And YouTube is fantastic.
(Same parent company owns Google and YouTube)
No different than other WA members here who have shared their successes with YouTube.
YouTube seemed to be quicker than Google.
Where I spent months waiting for a post to rank in Google, my videos could rank on YouTube pretty much immediately.
Plus, YouTube has the whole community aspect, which works in your favor as a content creator.
It's easier to build a loyal following of fans who will immediately watch your videos when you publish.
Which can help your videos rank faster and higher in the search results.
After a couple of more years of learning to make videos consistently and executing a specific product review strategy, my channel got monetized.
I started making consistent money from ad revenue, along with low ticket affiliate sales here and there.
Next $1000 Product Review
I ended up making decent money from the Vidnami affiliate program.
I published a quality Vidnami review post on my website.
I also published helpful Vidnami videos on YouTube.
This review performed really well on Google and YouTube.
I made $1200 with Vidnami.
I had to sell more Vidnami memberships because it was a lower-priced item.
But it was recurring. (Continued payment every month for the life of the member's membership.) Which was nice.
So eventually, I was able to re-create the same success.
With all the things I had learned from the past. And the help of my coach.
Then Vidnami sold out to GoDaddy. And discontinued its service.
Vidnami was well-liked and sold well.
I eventually lost that revenue.
Pictory has tried to fill the void of Vidnami but has mixed reviews from people.
Some people like Pictory, and some people hate them.
YouTube Copyright Strike
In one of my Vidnami videos, I did something stupid.
I was trying to be helpful, but it backfired.
I had good intentions. But it was still wrong.
So, I got a legit copyright strike on a video and my YouTube channel.
That stung a bit. It was a low time in my affiliate journey.
The good news is your first copyright strike goes away when you complete copyright training.
It gets washed away like nothing ever happened.
You get forgiven.
(By YouTube, at least. By Content Creators, no, probably not.)
I learned from that mistake (aka failure).
I did not make that same mistake again.
I also used this mistake as a content opportunity.
I published about what I did wrong. And how others could avoid it.
I also learned about fake copyright claims. I published a video about that too.
That video is one of my top-performing videos today.
Acknowledging My Part Time Success
Looking back, I’ve made over $8,000 in affiliate commissions.
With multiple affiliate programs throughout the 5 years.
All while I worked a full-time job. And spending time with my family.
Some people will be appalled and maybe even discouraged that I’ve only made $8K in 5 years.
But the wins come from nights and weekends spent learning and doing and failing and sometimes succeeding.
If you're doing this full-time, you would surely expect to make more money.
But that’s not guaranteed.
5 Things Learned
I will wrap up with 5 things learned that may help you out.
1. Don’t jump around to different trainings or strategies or affiliate programs
You may get impatient.
This is when you easily get distracted.
Which can cause you to buy other trainings, thinking they will get you to your goals faster.
Referred to as Shiny Object Syndrome.
The problem with all trainings is that they teach you different strategies, different channels, etc.
So you stop working on a strategy before you give it a real chance to get good at it and see results from it.
And you learn a lot about what affiliate products sell and which don't by promoting them often.
Based on my experience, I think you will see faster results by sticking to one training and one strategy for 2 - 3 years before you jump to something else.
2. Publish More Content
I thought that I’d start making money after 20+ posts.
But that’s not reality.
The reality is that it could take 100’s of posts.
So be prepared to publish more content.
Way more than you think it will take in the beginning.
Because not all content will take off.
It may take 100’s of posts or videos before you see one take off.
Getting you traffic, leads, and sales for affiliate commissions.
Kyle even says it here.
If you haven’t seen this yet, check out this timeline from Kyle.
He shows you what a realistic affiliate journey could look like.
Just keep in mind that if you create content slower, then it may take you longer to see results.
3. 5 - 10 Years
You will hear of affiliate marketers successfully creating thousands of dollars with fewer posts and less time.
But not after they (too) spent years figuring out how to do that.
So when you hear of big numbers like mine and others, see how long they’ve been at it.
How long did it take for them to get where they are today?
How many times and years did they fail before they were able to flaunt those big numbers in front of you?
Those numbers are possible.
But NOT without learning and perfecting the skills first.
The suite spot seems to be between 5 - 10 years.
Based on my observation, most affiliates have been at it for at least 5 years before they start to see the results they want.
Although there will be cases where affiliates figure it out sooner and do it in fewer years.
4. Shortcuts Don’t Work in the Beginning
Let’s face it.
You have too many choices for anything and everything today.
So it’s easy to think you can take shortcuts by doing different things.
Buying other trainings.
Trying new strategies.
In the beginning, this usually backfires.
And can cost you more time. And money.
Shortcuts and efficiencies are great to learn. For anything.
But from my experience, you usually need to know what you doing well (and dedicate enough time to it) before you can make shortcuts work.
Assuming they are legit shortcuts, that is...
I am not talking about spammy or unrealistic claims or shortcuts.
(Those will not work regardless of how much time or money you spend.)
5. Everyone’s Journey is Different
My journey will be different than yours.
And everyone else’s.
Accept that your journey will be unique to you.
To your experience, to your time invested, to the decisions you make.
All of this stacks up to give you different results.
So don’t get discouraged if you haven’t seen results yet.
And don’t be surprised if you see better results than mine.
I personally would not change anything about my journey.
I have used every up and down, every rise and fall, as a chance to learn.
A chance to learn something valuable that will help make my next decisions better.
I hope this helps you out.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.
I feel this post should be a must read by newbies and those who are struggling. You not only tell about what worked, but also what didn't.
Congrats on the earnings you did achieve.
May I ask why have you not used the WA affiliate program in your business plan? Just curious.
I wish you increasing success.
Hey Edwin. Awesome to hear! Thanks!
I have promoted WA throughout the years. I’ve made about $500 the past 2 years from WA commissions.
For me, it takes a lot of free sign ups to find members who want to pay. And most don’t stick with the membership if they do upgrade.
Thank you for your honesty about your journey so far. I am new to affiliate marketing and am still in the process of building my website, which can be overwhelming at times. I don't expect this to be an instant success. I try to look at it as a journey with a LOT of learning along the way.
I really enjoyed your post and learned a lot from it. Keep at it girl.
Hey there Ella. Thanks! Glad to hear you learned some things here. You have the right mindset and are on the right path to learn some really useful skills. This online marketing is. It going anywhere! If you have any questions, Feel free to reach out.
I have to say it has been a real pleasure getting to know you over the years Kim. Your journey is your own unique journey, and everyone will differ. There are highs and lows in any businesses, exciting successes and moments when things really click and other times where you feel like nothing is going your way.
You have kept pushing, and your skill sets you have developed in the past 5 years are going to lead you to significant things as you move forward. I believe that for sure!
Ditto Kyle! I love how you, Carsen, and team continue to innovate Wealthy Affiliate every day and certainly every year. I've seen WA come a LONG way!
QQ: Any tips to get my H Tags to save on WA blog post publishing platform? They won't stick for me. I've tried editing, redoing all the H2 tags and saving edit. But then they disappear and convert back to a P after re-publish.
Bravo! Very well said Kim!
I love the shiny object syndrome reference, I think that catches a lot of us.
Also, being realistic with our timelines, I think that's what causes most to get discouraged and perhaps give up too soon. Instead, like you say just put your head down and keep creating content.
Thank you for sharing this great post!
Hey Kevin! Super thanks for reading and for the great comment.
I'm glad you were able to get some value out of this. I personally love reading other affiliates' stories, too for lessons learned and nuggets that help me make the most of my journey.
It's definitely been one heck of a journey. Fortunately, I've really enjoyed it over the years :)
See more comments
Hello Kim, Thanks for sharing. 😀 I’m three weeks in. It’s definitely a journey and I must admit 5 years does seem like a long time but the way I see it is the time will pass anyway. Just think how you will feel in 5 years if you never made the move and did the training. It’s an absolute mass of information and research. It all depends how badly you want it and what you are gaining from it. Your post has opened my eyes more. I’m dedicating as much time as I can to development and training. I’m setting aside time each day for different elements. It’s already starting to become a routine.. I will take your advice on board. Any failures are a step closer to success anyway. I firmly believe that.
Yes! You got it! Sounds like the commitment is coming naturally to you. Excellent.
I’m excited for your journey and where it takes you. And I look forward to your update and success posts!
Thanks Kim 😁 Yes it is! I’m even surprising myself to be honest. I’m capable of giving more than I thought.