Wealthy Affiliate is a Teenager. Much Has Changed.
September 10th, 2018 was the official 13th Birthday of Wealthy Affiliate! It almost feels surreal that it has been this long already, the years truly do fly by.
This is somewhat of a milestone for WA as a business, but more importantly as a platform and a community. We have officially hit our "teenage years" in business and to be honest, I couldn't have predicted where Wealthy Affiliate is today, nor can I predict what it will look like in the future. That is actually the most exciting part about business, the inherent idea of blind evolution based on "in the future" ideas.
To Completely Appreciate the Future of WA, We Need to Look at the Past
Just last week someone asked me if there were 5 particular traits that lead to success in business. I thought about this, and I thought about it respect to WA's success and how we have been able to reach our teenage years and do so while year over year community growth. A few of the main ideas that I came up with were:
- Hard Work
- Hard Work
- Ability to Fail Quick, and Learn Quicker
- Ability to Remain Flexible to Change
You are probably noticing that two of these are "hard work" and the reason for this is the fact that as I understand it, hard work is the key component to building a successful business, in any niche, online or offline.
There isn't a day that goes by where I fill all of my gaps in my day with "work". It doesn't feel this way because I enjoy what I do, but it is the reality. The same with Carson, we share the same work ethic (which is important in business partnerships) and we are very motivated to get better with every day that passes, and HARD WORK is the key component to this.
Like a wise children's book once indicated, if you want to be the lazy pig and build your house (business) with straw, it will get blown down. If you want to work hard like the third little pig and build it out of bricks (while all the others are playing), you are going to have a secure, well protected and long term business.
The other aspects that we have always believed in is our ability to handle failure. It happens more frequently than you think, things fail (or go wrong) every day. We are constantly putting out fires, not just with technology, but we are managing a lot of different relationships and human connections on a daily basis.
Things are not always going to go right, and that is how it goes. It is how you manage these failures and hiccups, is how you much success you are ultimately able to create.
And lastly, remain flexible. We see companies around us failing that aren't willing to change efficiently, sometimes without any notice. No matter how big a company gets, and how big YOUR company gets, you need to be willing to adapt to your environment and change frequently and with speed.
On this topic, let's have a quick look at the changes within WA in the past year.
Our 12th Year in Review
In the past year we have kept the foot on the pedal, probably more so than we have any other year prior. It has been a busy year though and of course, each year doesn't come without its fair share of challenges, but with effort and persistent, it has come with its fair share of success.
Let's first discuss some downfalls...
There have been things that we have invested time into that simply didn't resonate with our audience. We have tried and tested sales copy and pages that didn't convert. We have released platforms that didn't hit the mark. We have made content/training mistakes. We are human.
But guess what. These are ALL things that we can say every year. If you aren't running into challenges and making mistakes, then you have no benchmark to work from to improve your platform, service and brand.
We have also rolled out some really awesome platforms and significant advancements, not just here, but on a broad look within the technology and affiliate marketing space.
Here are some releases that have taken place in the just the last 9 months.
Video Platform Updates (January, 2018)
Full Jaaxy Integration & New Menu (February, 2018)
New WA Blogging Platform (March, 2018)
New UX Launch (May, 2018)
Brand New Homepage / Website Pages (May, 2018)
Ambassadorship Updates (June, 2018)
SSL for All (August, 2018)
Site Speed Extreme & Caching Improvements (August, 2018)
SiteComments 2.0 (September, 2018 hint hint)
Wealthy Affiliate Mobile Version (September, 2018)
Coming Soon, New Platforms! (Fall & Winter)
As you can see, we have been busy with 10 significant platform releases in 9 months, along with 100's of much smaller (and unannounced) platform, community, and technology improvements.
Expect A LOT more of the same as we move forward in the year ahead, we have some amazing stuff coming in the pipeline, much of it really close to being released.
Our BIG Year Ahead.
It is interesting to think we have reached the "teenager" status in the business world. According to plenty of statistical documentation, the odds are aligned against you to ever get this far in business. 95% of businesses FAIL at this point (apparently), and the very idea of that can be discouraging. Personally I think that if we operated with this idea in our mind, we would be much more likely to fail.
Don't listen to stats, they don't dictate your success. Your action and effort does. These are principles we have always followed and believed in, and will continue to do so.
Our effort in the year ahead is going to be apparent. We have had ideas for many years, that are going to finally come to fruition within our 13th year. I like to say every year that this is going to be our most productive yet, but our 13th year is truly going to be GROUNDBREADKING in the productivity department. There are many platforms and technologies that we have been working to implement and integrate that are just going to start "clicking" along in complete uniformity.
We have entirely new platforms coming. We have vast improvements on existing platforms. We are investing heavily in the technology and underlying infrastructure that powers not just WA, but the brains of your businesses.
And in respect to training, we are going to be making our biggest leaps we ever have within our training environment. Not just the quality and framework you have to learn here, but also the knowledge, resources, and additional types of training that you are going to get to engage within.
We have, and will always take the iterative approach to WA. We have spent the last 13 years improving the service and community here, and we will continue to incrementally improve WA with every day that passes. This avoids the concept and idea of a "one hit wonder", which this industry has become synonymous with. Rather, we have a service that has undergone 13 years of progressive, evolutionary, and innovate updates that have very much been the result of your amazing feedback.
Our 13th year will be our best yet, because we are working harder than ever to make sure of it.
With Teenagehood, Comes More Responsibility
When you turned 13, there was likely inherent pressure to mature. More responsibilities, more assumed capabilities, and hopefully as a result, more trust in your abilities. In business, it is the same thing.
Over the years we have felt the subtle pressures of responsibility within the affiliate marketing space, and entering our teenage years I know that this is going to be something we handle with more regularity and consistent focus. Since 2005, we have been operating a platform and community that lives and breathes affiliate marketing and Internet entrepreneurship, and during this 13 year tenure in the business world, we have learned a great deal.
We plan on remaining the leaders in this space and will continue to engage YOU in discussions about the state of affiliate marketing, question existing policies, best practices as well as methodologies, and present you with the best ideas and platforms to fulfill your journey within the online space moving forward.
We are going to help people in every respect based on our knowledge and understanding of the space, and are going to be leveraging our clout and relationships in the space to offer you more insights, more security, and more opportunity into your own respective affiliate marketing businesses.
Last But Not Least, Thank You.
None of this matters without YOU. We built WA for you, because of you.
We want to extend our thanks to everyone here within the community. Without you, without the constant feedback you offer, and without your ongoing support, Wealthy Affiliate wouldn't be what it is today. Our goal since day one has been to over deliver based on our promised, and drastically over deliver based on what the industry norm/standards are.
We believe we have done this, but we certainly don't feel complacent and we know there are MANY areas in which we can improve, and many completely new areas that we can explore with our services, community and platform.
So again, thank you for being you. Thank you for being part of the Wealthy Affiliate family. Exciting things to come in our teenager years...that is something we can positively guarantee.
Kyle & Carson