The 10 Years Question: How Long Does It Take To Be Successful?

Last Update: February 20, 2018

Image: Daily view from my office. Not a beach, but better than a cubicle!


The question of how long it takes to earn money online and how much you can make comes up A LOT. Standard answers are "it takes time" and "you earn according to hard you work". These are true, but for some, they are not satisfying answers.

The core of what people want to know is if learning online marketing, specifically learning what Wealthy Affiliate has to teach is worth their time. Hey, no one wants to waste time on something that doesn't produce results, right?

So I want to try to break down this topic in a logical way that shows no matter how you slice it, learning affiliate marketing is worth your time and being a Wealthy Affiliate member is worth your money.

The Training Simply Works

People are getting results. Wealthy Affiliate members are making money. It doesn't matter what percentage or what unique qualities they have. The point is that the training works for anyone that applies it to their business. If it's not working, start asking why, and there will be an answer.

I wrote a post recently about success stories I've collected during just the past few months: Quiet Results Are Happening... Those are all focused on people earning money in niches NOT promote Wealthy Affiliate or the "make money online" niche.

There are members that have been here for 10 years and counting!

You Are Learning A Practical Skill

Even if you make $0 from affiliate marketing, you are still learning a marketable skill that can be used to start your own business or work for someone else's. By the end of your training here, you'll be able to:

  • build a beautiful Wordpress website
  • do minor troubleshooting of plugins, themes
  • do healthy, long term SEO
  • get pages of a website ranked in Google
  • write an article for a website/blog
  • create social media business pages
  • run a social media marketing campaign
  • research niches and find low competition pockets in competitive markets
  • understand basic marketing concepts

These skills are extremely valuable in the world of business! They can be used to:

  • help local businesses get ranked in Google
  • create websites and business pages for local businesses
  • freelance write articles for other marketers or bloggers
  • do an SEO audit and improve the SEO of a website
  • create consulting services on how to run a results-driven social media campaign
  • help a business improve their sales funnel
  • build and flip websites

...and probably a bunch of other things. For many of you, this is also just a beginning point! There are thousands of resources out there that also focus on important topics like email marketing, landing page optimization, and more.

The main point I want to make here is that online marketing is not just for weirdos that can't survive in a 9-5 and want to work from home. It's a legitimate, in-demand skill that can be used to allow you to freelance services, start your own business, or be an useful part of a team.

You Are On The Ground Floor

There's always a 'gloom and doom' person around that says all the money's been taken and there's no more opportunities online. This is simply false. Perhaps you saw Kyle's recent post about 500 million new opportunities being created every single day: 500 Million New Opportunities Per Day: That's Messed Up Dude...

I'll take it a step further!

In the US and Western World, most people have the internet. MOST. Actually, only 73% of Americans own a computer with a broadband connection. So that's tens of millions of people that don't even have internet access in the US yet, that will get internet access in the next few years.

Over 50% of people have bought more than one thing online in their lifetime. That's a lot. But it means there's about 50% of people that have NOT purchased more than one item online, that will begin to make more and more online purchases in the coming years.

KIDS. How many of them have credit cards now versus how many will get them pretty soon? A LOT. My grandparents would never order anything online. The next generation of kids will order EVERYTHING through the internet. That's a whole generation of people that will be buying online that you can look forward to selling to!

TECHNOLOGY. Right now, to buy something online, you have to sit down on your computer or phone and browse Amazon. But as technology changes, it will be easier and easier to buy online. If you start learning the basics now, you'll be able to grow with these changes and grow your business to take advantage of new technology that comes out.

THE WORLD. Don't forget, there's a whole world out there. There are entire countries with very little computer and internet access, let alone a thriving ecommerce scene. As technology gets cheaper, and the internet becomes more important, more countries will get online, and start shopping. There are literally BILLIONS of people that are not shopping online right now that will start shopping in the coming decades.

There are going to be MORE opportunities to make money online in the future, not less. Learning the basics now means you'll be in a better position to take advantage of these opportunities!

The 10 Years Question

Wealthy Affiliate has been around for more than 10 years: 10 Years of Evolution. The Best is Yet to Come.

One of my favorite questions to ask people who want to join WA is the "10 year question". When they ask me how long it takes to see results, or how many people actually succeed, I pose this question to them:


If you made $0 online for the next 10 years, but then at the end of the decade finally started making enough money to run a business from your computer would it be worth it?


Only you can answer this question, but most people say yes. Of course! If I could work hard for 10 years and enjoy another 10, 20, 30, 40+ years of working from home and being my own boss?! Yes, it would be worth it!

But people quit in weeks, months, or even after a year because they didn't get the results they wanted.

So instead, they choose to "try" making money online for 3 months, then keep doing their same job for another 10, 20, 30, 40+ years.

Now, I'm not saying it's going to take 10 years to actually reach your goals! That's just an extreme example to make the point that quitting early is selling yourself short. I think most "success" stories working from home generally see pretty good results in the first couple years, if not quicker. Some people even start generating $1,000's within the first few months.

So what if I said that you had to work 12 hour days for 3 years, but then after that you would own a six-figure business and could set your own hours. Would you do it then? A lot of people also say yes! Trading some short-term hard work in the beginning for awesome, long term payoff at the end is good tradeoff.

Your story is going to be your story. I just wanted to put the timeline into perspective and make the point that no matter how you slice it, learning about online marketing and building an online business is worth your time.

What About The Cost?! It's Only $3590

Let's look at a worst case scenario: You spend 10 years inside Wealthy Affiliate and never make a dime. That's $359 x 10 years for $3,590 for 10 years of membership. Many people spend that on a vacation every year. Some online marketing education products sell for more than that as their first payment!

What percentage of your income is that? If you make $40k per year, that's $400,000 you would make over 10 years.

$3590/$400000 = 0.9%

From a numbers perspective, you're taking on less than 1% risk of your income over a 10 year period for a very good chance of success in some way. You might not have a million dollar business or retire on your own island, but I'd be willing to be you have enough income to work from home and support yourself.

Remember, this isn't Vegas gambling. You're getting an EDUCATION. Your'e getting webinars, hosting, training updates, troubleshooting support, and live chat with successful online marketers. You're not just dumping cash and hoping for returns.


Affiliate businesses make money, and will continue to do so. You just have to figure out if you are willing to dedicate enough time and energy to get a piece of the action for yourself.

Looking forward to an awesome, productive, and profitable years ahead!

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paulmabee Premium
Thanks Nathaniell. The longterm goals are what we need to keep in mind.I hear people complain about their site not making money after only a couple mths.Ive been 3 mths and not even online yet.Just don't have much time but I'm not quitting. I will plug along till I make it. Paul.
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texasprinces Premium
Great perspective and article! I think I will even link to this Blog Post from my site. I totally agree with your points! Thanks for sharing!
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sounds good!
But we have to paid every month 47$ for the premium , which is not little!
I if you have to wait almost a year or more as you say, then you have to subtract this huge amount of money?
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nathaniell Premium
If you pay $47/month but learn how to make $1000+ per month is it worth it? Yes.

It will take time to reach that though. How long? It depends on you.

I paid $47/month for 6 months when I got started and only made $5. Was it a waste of money? No. Because I learned how to create an income eventually. What if I quit after 6 months and said, "This doesn't work. I'm spending money and making nothing!"

Even if you make $0, you still learn excellent, marketable skills that you can use to sell services online.
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If it get something is really great problem is if you do not..
Always is talking about success but I have never seen anyone write without success.(surely is a lot of people with no success )?
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nathaniell Premium
Those people just quit and leave silently. There are a few people that rant and then leave, but they are rare.
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Loes Premium
Thanks Nathaniëll, that brought me here in the first place, to get an affordable education, and I am learning on a daily base, at the moment for free, because of the earnings I have on WA and my websites. And if I manage to stay alive, I am pretty good at that, I do it now for 55 years, I'll still be here over 10 years, and learning :)
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magistudios Premium
"..online marketing is not just for weirdos that can't survive in a 9-5"

LOVE IT!
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TanjaRita Premium
Thanks Nathaniell! I know I have no plans to give up, but I want to make sure I am heading in the right direction.

Jay, I watched your Live Niche case study classes and you made a comment something like if your website isn't bringing in any money after 2-3 months you might want to look at what you are doing.

This has scared me a bit as I didn't make a penny in the first 6 months. Now my site is almost 8 months old and I have made $13. Nothing like what the football snack helmets are bringing in!

So, while I am not going to give up, I am questioning if I should be doing things differently. I devote about 4-5 hours a day on my site (I only have one).

Any thoughts?
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nathaniell Premium
Nothing wrong with questioning what you are doing! All businesses need to be looked at from time to time and reevaluated.

I recommend this training: And this training: And see if you can find any place to improve your overall site, funnel, or money pages.
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TanjaRita Premium
Thanks Nathaniell, I will check those out (I think I may have already but will go through it again).
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Luke Jr Premium
As far as I remember it took me 3 years before I started making a few hundred bucks a month with my blog. And it's getting better each year. I suppose in 2 years' time I should make at least a $1000 a month with it.
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TanjaRita Premium
Thanks for sharing Luke! Glad to hear that you did not give up. My goal is to make about $4000 to $5000 a month. I would be completely happy with that!
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