Updated for 2018 - My Advice for All New Members

Last Update: May 28, 2018

It’s been two years since I originally posted my standard advice for all new members. Things really haven’t changed all that much, but I think we should revisit the topic.

Be careful who you take advice from. Many of the members here are just as new as you are and their advice isn't always accurate. Check to see how long they've been a member. Reach out to your Premium Coach (located in the Help Center). Otherwise, you're actually better off searching the topic bar on the WA main page, visiting the Help Center on the left sidebar, or Googling your question.

Think for yourself. This is YOUR business, success or failure rests solely on your shoulders. Don’t make excuses like ‘but so and so told me to do it that way.’

Don’t try to recreate the wheel. Stick with what Kyle/Carson/Jay present. Someday, when you have more experience, you can begin to tinker with your methodologies.

Choose either ‘Online Certification’ - for niches other than WA OR ‘Affiliate Bootcamp’ - to promote Wealthy Affiliate - don’t try to do both at the same time. Focus your energies.

Whatever training you choose, take it in order. Do not wander all over the course. Take a lesson, do the tasks, then move to the next lesson. Don’t read ahead.

Our community has rules that encompass far more than the title of this post implies. Familiarixe yourself with them here:

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/training/wealthy-affiliate-t...

When will you be profitable? Kyle has some great advice in these two posts::

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/kyle/blog/expectations-of-on...

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/kyle/blog/if-i-work-at-this-...

I took flak for this two years ago, but I still stand by this recommendation. When you begin to make money, hire both a lawyer and an accountant. If you had an offline business, you’d have to do this. DO NOT take legal advice from anyone who is not certified to practice law in your jurisdiction (aka, your state or country). Very few members on this site are lawyers or accountants, following their advice could land you in a lot of hot water.

The Terms & Conditions for every site you do business with are important. It doesn’t matter if you’re a customer or an affiliate partner. Reading and complying with them are not optional. If you don’t understand what they mean, that’s why you hired a lawyer. They can help you understand your rights and obligations.

Get Grammarly, it’s free. I’ve been an editor for 40 years and I still use it to check myself. This is definitely a must if English is not your primary language.

You can determine your SERP (search engine ranking position) by using an INCOGNITO browsing session to search for your relevant keyword. If your page isn’t in the top 2 or 3, keep working.

You’ve got this. No one is a better you than you. Trust your instincts.

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Recent messages
christinewar Premium
Thank you for that I have read every word, I am going to move forward using my instincts and intuition,, but good advice is always welcome from someone like you who has been in the business for a while, if I need I will certainly ask you, I have a lot of messages to get through this morning.
Being on a different time zone from some of you guys is a little difficult as I live in Cyprus, but I am English spoken, so no problem with the grammer, but keep in touch please do.
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onmyownterms Premium
You're welcome.
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Mhillabold Premium
Thank you this information was very informative. I’m new to WA, when I start making money I will definitely get a lawyer. I’m going strictly by my classes and what Kyle says. I sometimes have have to retake the class so I get everything and understand it. Thank you again.
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onmyownterms Premium
You're welcome.
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partnering Premium
Thanks for the great information, my ownly caution is be careful with Grammarly, it can seriously stuff up other web based tools you may be using, something to do with the script of the app conflicting. Had a lot of problems with Confluence and Microsoft previously and it was disabled. Thanks Michelle
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onmyownterms Premium
You're welcome, and thanks for the info on Grammarly, I haven' had any such issues.
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greenlitdeal Premium
Always take responsiblity for your own. Blaming someone else never solves anything. Own it..like you said your business. Any advice given should be taken as a favor. Learning is key to growing always and I never want to stop learning or I will be bored to death. thanks for the post
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onmyownterms Premium
You're welcome.
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Alisia33 Premium
Would you be willing to help me get started until i am familiar with how this actually work cause I’m so confused and I have reached out to Kyle and I haven’t got a reply and it’s been over a day ago since I reached out to him.
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Ricargon Premium
Hi Fransine

First off I'd like to say welcome to WA and congratulations on becoming a premium member.

I know that it can get frustrating at times not being able to figure things out right away, but you have the support of many members who are willing to help you.

With that said, we all go through the same process of watching the videos and work on the tasks so that we can apply the skill that we learn to build our own business.

All members have their own responsibility to go through the tasks in order to apply the skills they've learned. If a member gets stuck in anything that seems to not make sense or isn't working properly on the site, the support is there for all members.

This is not a one on one mentoring or coaching system. There are many experienced entrepreneurs that can guide you to where you need to be in case your not clear on where to start, but they are not here to hold your hand if you will.

You're a parent and so am I. Here's an analogy, what if we always held our babies when they tried to walk. They'd be dependent on us to always be there for them. So what do we do, we sit across the room and reach out our arms to them and they build up the confidence knowing that mama or daddy will be there for them WHEN they need us. Not at every single move they make.

Everyone here has either started from the bottom or has come in as an experienced online marketer. We will be more than happy to assist you and guide you in the areas that you are having problems in.

Do what you can on your part and come back to the live chat or some other chat platform to get your question in.

Be as specific as you can when you describe the issue you're having so that we may have an understanding of where you are, in the lesson, in order to guide you in the right direction.

Kyle is one guy who can only do so much, don't rely on him to be the only one to answer your questions. Again, you have hundreds of thousands of members ready to help. Just make your question clear and concise and you'll get an answer Fransine.

Forgive me if I came across like your dad or pastor giving you a lecture, but the truth is hon, there ain't nobody that's gonna give us anything unless we do for ourselves, right?

Francine, you've got to believe in yourself girl. You've already made a commitment to becoming a premium member. You have our help. We're reaching out to you girl, it's up to you to build that confidence in you and do it.

Congratulations on making that decision to make your life different. Only you can make that happen.

Be safe and God bless

Rick
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onmyownterms Premium
I'm available to help in LiveChat several hours a day, but I believe you already got a fantastic response.
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PhilipC1 Premium
Hey,

why do we need Grammarly when Site Content has the spell/grammar/punctuation etc checker already part of the WA Premium Package?

I am just curious. I been using Site Content since day one and its working and and all my posts hit page 1 - is there an advantage to Grammarly I don't know about?

Thanks Mel,

Philip.
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Ricargon Premium
I have Grammarly and love it, but it isn't perfect either. Most of the suggestions made by Site Content are spot on, just like Grammarly, but again, they're not perfect.

You still have to do your own proofreading and make sure it sounds and flows correctly.

Grammarly is also something I wanted to try and use so that I can give a personal review on it and not simply take one's opinion and give a review of their opinion. I see a lot of that going on YouTube.

Grammarly works in my word documents, chat boxes, I can copy and paste articles and study them for grammar errors. I can also save them and create my own documents within Grammarly to save for later use should I decide to use as an article.

It's the convenience and for the yearly price, you can't beat it if you're constantly going to be writing and practicing writing. it' s a big help indeed.

It's right here on my chat box as I'm typing you this comment. I tend to type very quickly and overlook many errors that Grammarly picks up and once I'm done I scan my comment and change the error it if it needs changing or not.

But you're right, Site Content is the bomb and is a biiiiiig plus when writing content. Grammarly just picked up an "error" on the word "biiiiiig" but this is what I'm talking about when I say that Grammarly doesn't understand that I'm emphasizing and expressing the word.

Anyway, there's my take on Grammarly. Is it better than Site Content? I think not. They're both equally as good in my eyes. Grammarly just gives you the convenience of having it outside of WA so that you can continue to practice your grammar and punctuation as you communicate with others outside of WA.

Hope that helps ya out.

Rick
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Felini Premium
Great article - thank you for your time and to make it available, so that many people can see it right in the beginning of the journey. In my first business, I made some mistakes that could have been avoided. Wish you all the best! Benita

PS: really like the image of this post and the nickname! :)
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onmyownterms Premium
You're welcome. Thanks for the compliments - that is my arm in the picture.
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Felini Premium
I will impress this tattoo in my mind, and remember it. Have a great day! :)
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shoaibmkd Premium
By the way sir as a starter member i finished 7 lessons from beginning.bjt still i didn't got any niche website which is really interesting and build up that.
I choose a niche "digital camera and accessories" but i don't have any idea about this niche.
Sir if help me to find a niche
Best regards
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johnmullins7 Premium
Many thanks for the wonderful advise.. I just published my first site
in its infancy but im very pleased I will wait to see what Google does with it. Your article is a study subject and im printing it to preserve it for the future .. I am from Ireland and a retired Old Cop
so determination is my middle name. The tatoo on your arm is my Bye word .. I spent 37 years assisting and serving..will continue to do so while I live.. I retired 16 years ago and have been studying spiritual philosophy since so that is the goal I have set myself on my first Site if I do ever make a return I intend it for a very special reason which I wont go into..but suffice it to say not for my pocket...
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onmyownterms Premium
Thank you so much for commenting. FYI, my left arm says 'How may I serve?"
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Calvinator63 Premium
Thanks Mel,
Great food for thought!
Many of us have an illusion that an online business is different from a brick and mortar business. In many ways that might be true, but then again both have many similarities: popularity, patrons, and profitability all come with a price of time, hard work, and knowledge.
This reminds me of something my mentor used to always tell me:

“The highway to success is a toll road. There is no success at bargain basement prices, success is earned not bought.”

I don’t know where he found that saying at, but it has stuck in my head for years and it makes good logical sense.

Thanks again,

Calvin
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onmyownterms Premium
You're welcome, Calvin. Great insights.
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Toddzilla Premium
Do appreciate the info and vote of confidence at the end. I'm starting here bruised and tattered so I'm taking the experiences that I've learned and trying this with a new outlook on how i do things.
"Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own." Bruce Lee
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BruceSCW Premium
Thank you for the awesome advice and I immediately installed Grammarly - it has an awesome Chrome extension and also integrates with MS Outlook and Word. I just had to set mine to the UK English language, as it is closer to our English in South Africa and it works like a bomb - I can't believe that it still picks up on so many mistakes after I did a spell check. The best free tool ever!
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tmonc143 Premium
Thank you & as you go back and see I am in error, in application....I only ask two things:
Patience , because I am a work in progress...and
Do not chasten me in hot displeasure.
Sure you are acquainted with these terms, as well as how to apply. Otherwise you would not be in a position of leadership.
Thank you in advance.
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BridgeB21 Premium
Thanks for the advice appreciated. I'm in the process of doing my training at the moment and I am going to stick with this method. I was seeking some advice elsewhere and I was spending more time going from one link to another and trying to absorb so much information in one go. so now I am just going to follow the training pattern and work from there on in. Onwards and upwards.
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Kettei Premium
Hi Mel - I love your no-bull posts!

I'm not a new member by any means but I thought I'd read your tips as I believe you can always learn something from other people... and that last one is pure gold.

I'd never thought to search for my keywords in incognito mode... even though I use it for so many other things!

Thanks! :)
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patersu05 Premium
This is very good advice for me. It is straight forward and will save me a lot of time. I have dipped around and have read some of what you were speaking about with different websites and I myself, questioned that, so thank you very much.
I want to do well with my website and earn honestly and within my budget and understanding.
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HeidiY Premium
Brilliant post. I’m now a few months in on this journey and very thankful that I followed the path well travelled.

I diligently followed the training and did every step in order. Writing content when told to, setting the SEO parameters of my site as directed and once I’d finished the Certification course started checking other training and doing the live seminars with Jay.

I think this has set my site up for long term success, and even then as I learnt more I had to go back and tweek a few things here and there. And I expect this will continue as my knowledge grows.

This is a wonderful platform and as you say if you don’t try to reinvent the wheel, do the work and have faith you will succeed, as others have who have gone before us.
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matthook Premium
Thank you for this advice. Especially about following the training and not trying to do both certifications.

I started out doing the bootcamp. Another member convinced me that I was making a mistake and that I should do the certification. That led to me trying to do two things at once.

To correct this I have been attempting to use the certification course to learn how to promote WA. I just completed Level two of the certification course.

I wonder if it would be wiser for me to go back to the bootcamp since I am still trying to promote WA as my niche?

What would you do if you were me?

Thanks- Matt
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onmyownterms Premium
I would absolutely go back to Bootcamp - start over (some lessons will be ultra quick for you). I'm sorry you received poor advice, that's why one of the admonitions above says to be careful who you take advice from.
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matthook Premium
Thanks- I saw what you said about being careful. Even with getting sidetracked- I learned a lot anyway.
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gjshawk Premium
I agree with your post, and you said it all better than I could have. No need for a lawyer or accountant for me yet, not making anything, but it's only been a year. Maybe I'm slower than most, but I'm focusing on the SWAG challenge and I know that MMO is very competitive. I'm not anxious about it yet, I'm just working the best that I can.
Grant
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sharon22 Premium
Thank you so much for the useful information and advice, Mel.
I have been here for more than 1 year but still at Level 5. I am slow but never skip a lesson. An untick task box makes me feel uncomfortable. Yes, Grammarly helps me a lot. More confident in my writing now.
Thanks again for this great post.
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Zarina Premium
When I read the first part I was like "oh wow, agree 100000%", then when I reached the second part that was something new for me - thank you!

Accountant and lawyer is something I've been thinking about but wasn't sure when should I hire then. I am making money now but pretty little income (in my mind, not enough to hire anyone just yet). What do you think should be the minimum income before I hire them?

I assume if I need to hire a lawyer for terms and conditions, it probably isn't the same as privacy policy page... ?

Thank you for such a useful post, Mel!
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onmyownterms Premium
It is difficult for me to quantify the 'when' for people. I also happen to be a certified para-legal (obtained my certification back in the mid-08s). I have also been employed as a full-charge bookkeeper all the way through doing corporate tax filings. In many ways, I *am* my own advice. I do have a full-fledged attorney on retainer, but only use him for things I can't legally do myself. I have been freelancing since 1976, most of the time while working one or more other jobs. I was doing the side hustle before the side hustle was cool.

That being said, this has always been my rule for business - 50% of revenue goes back into the business (your attorney fees would be covered by this), 10% of revenue goes to charity, and the remaining 40% goes in my pocket. Initially, that 40% is not budgeted until the amount becomes stabilized/reliable - at that point, it becomes part of budget calculations.

I have used this business 'formula' countless times for my own businesses and when consulting with small business owners. It is a tried and true way of investing in your success.
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Zarina Premium
Thank you veery much for such detailed response! Maybe I will start looking for one when I break $1000 a month, or something like that. I think in Ontario over $12,000/year is being taxed, I may be wrong with this #. I am pretty sure I am confusing it with something else and thats why it annoys me - not knowing such an important aspect of online business (taxes).
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Igor13 Premium
Hi Zarina!
WA education is covering all the field needed to succeed, All the hacks and "tricks", although, actually there are no tricks.

Just follow the whole training and you will be equipped with enough skills and knowledge.

Best success!
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LindaF Premium
this information is priceless Always a better way Linda
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