9 years later...
Whew, what a journey it has been.
Precisely 9 years ago, we went “Live”. September 10, 2005 was the day Carson and I launched our little project, WealthyAffiliate.com. The publish button was clicked, and we were off.
A simple “keyword list” site, that is what wealthy affiliate was. Nothing more, nothing less. Carson and I had a good deal of success (primarily in the PPC world) and we know that all roads of success lead back to an understanding of keywords.
We decided that $29.99 per month ($359.98 per year) would be a fair price for our monthly membership site and we initially were going to offer it to a certain number of people depending on how many keyword lists we were producing.
So, our brilliant idea was to create quality lists of keywords and to show people how to use them to create a successful business online. With a little apprehension and a little excitement, we were off!
It all started with ONE member.
To grow a flourishing tree or a forest, you first need to have a single seed planted. Not only that, you need to nurture that seed.
WA had to start with this initial seed. We welcomed the very first member into the community on September 11th, a day after our launch. Although we had a lot of success independently (this was mine and Carson’s first project together), this was pretty exciting. $29.99. The very first sale of our business and the potential that this one member could potentially be with us for several months. This particular member stuck around as a member for 6 YEARS!
As new members started joining, they began to request things like personal support, a way to communicate with others, an affiliate program, keyword tools, writing tools, websites, hosting, more training, easier ways to learn...amongst literally 1,000’s of requests for improvement over the years.
We took that feedback and we built. We built WA not out of self interest or money, rather we built it based on what our users wanted. What our users demanded. And sometimes what we knew our users need without them having to request it at all.
**If you haven’t experienced any success yet, this should validate what YOU can achieve. We once had ZERO members here at WA and it was a good deal of effort to get people to trust us. But it happened, and it happened over time and with hard work.
It has NOT only been a smooth journey…
To those that think that a path to any sort of success is predictable, I am here to tell you that it isn’t. Creating something of significance is tough.
We have validated this many times over the years and discovered truly what work ethic is when you work for yourself. We grinded our way through difficult times in our lives, through the company structuring, through tough hiring processes, and a lot of personal growing up has happened over the years in terms of our ability to approach problems with effective solutions.
We thought we knew it all. BUT we were 24. Although we have remained humble about any successes and honest about any failures over the years, there is nothing more humbling than looking back at the journey of the last 9 years here at Wealthy Affiliate.
We have learned a lot, yet we are just getting started.
One thing that most folks don’t realize is that we are constantly making mistakes. Yes, we do get things “right” a lot of the time, but projects quite often go back and forth 100’s of times before they make it to you...and sometimes they get “canned” altogether.
Look at just a few of the "face" changes that WA has gone through over the years...
Our focus is to humanize the process of building a business online. We do this through technology, through communication, and through platforms of support. This is a huge learning process for us, one that has lead to many revelations over the years.
The most important thing has been our journey into learning what YOU need and this continues to evolve. This is an ongoing learning curve as your needs are always evolving as well. In order for us to provide you with an unbelievable experience, we need to believe that there is “always more” that we can achieve.
There is much more that we can do to offer a better service. A lot more. That is what excites us and motivates us to wake up every morning with the same excitement and passion we had on September 10th, 2005.
Nothing is ever perfect. If you strive for perfection, which is impossible, you will always have something to work towards. There is always room for improvement within every aspect of the Wealthy Affiliate community. We “get” that, and this drives us to learn more and become better with each day that passes.
We owe our success to you…
Without you, we don’t exist.
The only focus we have in the upcoming 18 months (which we have already slated our for some awesome projects) is YOU and how to make the WA experience a better one for you.
This means a focus on improving absolutely every aspect of the platform here at WA, from the way we communicate, the way we build websites, the way we learn, to the way that we are able to get help and help one another.
Some of the major focuses in the year ahead...
- More concise and interactive training.
- More timely, and more specific support.
- More powerful and intuitive website/hosting platform.
- More advanced, forward thinking and powerful technology.
- More ways for YOU to succeed.
These are not specific and there is a reason for this. There are going to be 100’s of updates coming your way in the next year.
Some very subtle and not obvious, yet very meaningful in their own right. Some are going to be worthy of a launch, the first major one coming in early November of this year.
Yes, thank you. Thank you for being part of this journey. Thank you for telling us when we are good, but more so, thank you for telling us how or where we can improve. The last 9 years have been an amazing ride and we can’t wait for the next 9.
Your experience as a user, as a respected member, and as a friend is our #1 priority. Please remember that because it is only going to be more apparent than ever this year.