Are you disabled as a result of a physical impairment or chronic illness? Do you remember how long it took to get approved for disability benefits and how relieved you were when the reward letter finally arrived in the mail? But then reality set in, didn’t it?…
How am I going to live off this?
When you factor in out-of-pocket medical expenses, live-in caregivers, college debt, house mortgages, car payments, and just basic living expenses, it becomes clear that SSDI — while certainly helpful — barely covers a fraction of the average disabled person's total monthly expenses.
Like many disabled people, I faced this situation myself but even worse since I never received that reward letter! At that point I had no choice...I REALLY had to find a way to make money and it had to be online since I was mostly homebound. And so I scoured the internet, looking for opportunities and just when things couldn't get worse, they did... I fell victim to a bunch of online scams and literally lost thousands of dollars!
These were low-quality courses and products that brilliantly sold the dream of financial freedom but fell short delivering on the promise. In the end, the only people who actually made money from these so-called "opportunities" were the product creators themselves (some of the worst offenders were the Multi-Level Marketing companies).
Eventually, I wisened up and tried my hand at more legitimate business models like drop shipping and freelance writing and while I made a few dollars here and there, it wasn't consistent enough.
Around this time, I stumbled upon a blog post discussing a program called Wealthy Affiliate (also known as "WA"). My interest at the time went no further than mild curiosity. A week later, however, I returned to the post and decided to take the plunge and try out everything the program had to offer free for a week. What did I have to lose?
Not soon after signing up did it become clear that Wealthy Affiliate was NOTHING like I'd experienced before. Well, I haven't left since and I'm thrilled to say that I've found the best place to learn how to start earning income while on disability from the best people around, in the safest environment possible.
The Wealthy Affiliate University review outlined below highlights all the reasons why I've found this to be true and why I believe you will too.
WHAT'S WEALTHY AFFILIATE?
Wealthy Affiliate can best be described as an online university that teaches everything you need to know to start a successful business online regardless of whether you're a newbie or pro.
The core training is comprehensive, up-to-date, and task-based so you can start your online business at the same time while going through the training.
But where it really sets itself apart from other online programs is in the social arena — WA is a living, breathing entity where members blog, chat, post questions/answers and generally interact and support one another 24/7. The amount of activity on this platform on any given day, let alone hour, is simply staggering.
Now, as far as what Wealthy Affiliate teaches, they instruct you to build websites on topics (better known as "niches") of your choice and monetize them through a business model known as affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is terrific, especially for beginners because it's easy to learn and yields great results when done correctly. So what exactly is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate Marketing Explained
Have you ever recommended a movie to a friend? What about a doctor? Well, think of affiliate marketing kind of like a paid referral fee. Affiliate marketers offer to help sell something for a company in exchange for a commission. We basically act as "middlemen" for the company.
The company makes money...
The customer receives his/her product or service...
And YOU get a nice cut of the sale!
It's a win-win-win!
So how does all this actually work?
A Closer Look at Affiliate Marketing
When's the last time you searched for something in Google? Most likely a few moments ago when you arrived at my blog, right? Well, believe it or not, there are over 3.5 BILLION searches per day just on Google alone and a good chunk of those are from people looking to buy stuff online — things like lawnmowers, horse saddles, golf clubs, anything and everything.
As an affiliate marketer, you build websites around subcategories of these broader niches where there's less competition (e.g., "golfing tips for left-handers" instead of just "golfing") and help people make informed buying decisions through well-researched product reviews, informational guides, and other content.
Some of your articles include personalized "affiliate links" issued by the company whose product(s) you wish to sell. When blog readers click one of these links, they're automatically redirected to the company's website where the product is sold. If they end up buying the product during that time, you make a commission!
Who offers these affiliate programs? More companies than you can imagine, including big ones like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and digital marketplaces like Clickbank. There are literally thousands to choose from!
So how do people find your website in the first place? After all, if you don't have visitors, you can't make sales, right? Well, it's done by writing articles on low competition terms or "keywords" that people search for regularly in search engines like Google. It's these low competition keywords that increase your odds of ranking on page one of Google — making your blog that much more noticeable.
The more you write...
The more keywords you'll rank for...
The more visitors you'll get to your website...
The more affiliate links get clicked...
The more conversions you'll have!
And unlike a J.O.B., this business model is entirely scalable so that
Now, before moving on, I need to re-emphasize a word in that last sentence — the word "quality."
You see, long gone are the days when you could just slap up any
I know you probably have a lot of questions at this point. Just know that this entire affiliate marketing process is taught in great detail inside Wealthy Affiliate!
The Advantages of Affiliate Marketing
Aside from being relatively easy to learn and implement, affiliate marketing has several other benefits...
No Hassles with Customers
When you're a product seller, you're forced to deal with inventory, customer returns, out-of-stock items, payment processing and other concerns. Affiliate marketers don't have to contend with these issues — your only concern is to get traffic and send clicks to the product vendor and they take care of the rest.
Evergreen Business Model
If you Google around, you'll probably find people saying that affiliate marketing is saturated with too much competition. It's all nonsense. Every day there are new products released to the market, ready for you to earn commissions from. And there are always new people making their first purchase online which means another business opportunity for you.
Ultimate Passive Income
As you continue posting new articles to your website, you'll start earning passive income. This means that regardless of what time of day it is or what you're up to, you'll be notified anytime you've made a new sale through email. If that's not the ultimate freedom from "trading hours for dollars," I don't know what is!
For disabled people, this is heaven sent because YOU get to decide when you can and can't work. Try telling that to a boss!
Common Doubts About Affiliate Marketing
- "Why would anyone ever buy from me?"
In Wealthy Affiliate, you'll learn how to become a trusted source for your niche by providing helpful, valuable information to your audience which eventually results in sales.
- "I'm a terrible writer."
Did you write reports for high school? What about papers for college? Well, writing blog posts is a lot easier than that. Your writing shouldn't be any more stylized than an email to a friend — simple, colloquial, and relatable. You can handle that, right? 🙂
- "I'm technically challenged."
I know you can browse the web because you managed to land on my website and I assume you also know how to type. Those are really the only two prerequisites. Wealthy Affiliate walks you through the rest.
- "I'm still not sure whether affiliate marketing is right for me."
While affiliate marketing is the primary business model taught by Wealthy Affiliate, there's a TON of training in other areas too including eCommerce, Email Marketing, and CPA (Cost Per Action).
A Closer Look at the Wealthy Affiliate Training
The core training offered by Wealthy Affiliate is meticulously structured so that each lesson builds upon the preceding one. It's broken down into 5 levels, each consisting of 10 task-based lessons comprised of written and video tutorials:
Level 1 – Getting Started
Level 2 – Building Your Own Traffic Producing Website
Level 3 – Making Money!
Level 4 – Mastering Social Engagement
Level 5 – The Business of Content – Achieving Maximum Success Through Content Creation
That's a total of 50 core lessons to establish the foundation of your online business!
Additionally, there are over a dozen classrooms on various related topics, each containing dozens of tutorials and video training to help take you to the next level...
- Getting Started
- Keyword, Niche & Market Research
- Everything WordPress
- Authoring & Writing Content
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay Per Click Marketing
- Social Engagement & Marketing
- Website Development & Programming
- Local Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Email Marketing
- The Wealthy Affiliate Platform
- WA Affiliate Program
If some of these topics leave you scratching your head, don't worry — everything's covered in great detail inside WA.
As if the core training and classrooms weren't enough, there are also over a 1000 training modules created by members of Wealthy Affiliate (WA encourages members to share what they've learned after mastering a skill or gaining experience in a certain area).
Truth be told, the amount of training is daunting, especially for beginners. But rest assured you'll gain a clearer picture on what areas to focus on after going through the core training and applying what you've learned. And if you're ever in doubt, there are more than enough members (including myself) willing to guide you. Furthermore, you only need to know a FRACTION of this stuff to succeed at this!
What Wealthy Affiliate is NOT
Now that you have a better idea of what Wealthy Affiliate is, it's important to point out what it's not...
5 Reasons Why Wealthy Affiliate Sets You Up to Succeed
1. You're Encouraged to Build a Business You Actually Like
A major reason why people fail at affiliate marketing is because they jump into niches where they think they'll strike it big instead of pursuing what interests them. It's very difficult to succeed this way.
In contrast, Wealthy Affiliate teaches that it's not only possible to make money based around your passions, interests, and hobbies, it's likely when you follow the training. When you build websites around niches you actually enjoy, you stand a MUCH higher chance of success!
And in case you're unsure where your talents or interests lie, WA helps you discover those too.
There are literally THOUSANDS of niches to choose from. If it exists, there's a market for you to capture. Just take a look at this small sample to see what I mean...
2. The Most Up-to-Date Internet Marketing Training
The internet marketing industry is in constant flux; the tactics that work today won't tomorrow. Everything taught in Wealthy Affiliate is regularly updated so you're never wasting time learning strategies that stopped working ages ago.
Wealthy Affiliate also "plays by the rules" so that none of the techniques they teach ever land your website in trouble. This is paramount because there are countless courses that teach shortcuts and loopholes that only serve to penalize your website in the long run. Building a real, sustainable business means keeping to the straight and narrow and this is precisely Wealthy Affiliate's approach.
3. Lots of Hand-Holding
The core training is structured to make things as easy as possible for you to follow. Inevitably, you'll have questions but rest assured, they'll be answered. As I explain in a moment, the amazing Wealthy Affiliate community is always there to help you.
The step-by-step process mapped out in the core training boils down to these four points:
Let's take a concrete example to hammer this home...
Suppose we had a website about Camping Tips for Seniors. An example of an informational post for a blog in this niche could be The Best Senior RV Parks in California where the main keyword we're targeting is Senior RV Parks.
We could also review popular trailer covers selling on Amazon for our camping-related website, such as the ADCO 52244 model:
The amount of articles and products to promote are literally endless!
4. A Thriving Community
One thing I find frustrating in many online courses is that the training is the extent of the course. Sure, many times forums are also included but it only takes a quick glance to see how inactive they are. You simply don't get the support, feedback and questions answered which is so important when starting out online. This was one of the most refreshing aspects of Wealthy Affiliate when I first signed up.
WA is more than an educational platform, it's a thrilling environment where thousands of members actively engage with each other every moment of the day! There are people asking questions and receiving almost immediate answers, people writing blog posts and commenting on them, people chatting in the live chat room...the point is there's always something going on.
How does this benefit you? It means you'll NEVER feel alone while you're trying to make sense of this whole online thing and that's super important since internet marketing can be a lonely trek.
If you have naysayers in your life or even if you're the one with doubts, there are always people inside WA who'll lift your spirits and get you back on the right track. You'll feel more motivated and productive knowing that there are people who have your back each step of the way.
WA members are like-minded people striving for financial independence through an online business. When you're surrounded by people all after the same goal, you stand a greater chance of success than going at it alone.
So who are these people? Well, they're of every shape and size...from children as young as 7 years old to senior citizens over 80! From complete newbies who have never heard of WordPress or SEO to internet marketing veterans earning tens of thousands of dollars per month. And yes, even disabled people...
In short, WA has everyone imaginable!
Some of the best features of this thriving community include...
- A Blogging Platform – Hold yourself accountable by blogging about your progress while the community spurs you on!
- A Feedback System – Critique and leave comments on members' websites and get feedback about yours in return!
- Live Chat (explained in detail below)
5. No Empty Promises
As mentioned at the start of this review, I was scammed repeatedly looking for riches online and feel embarrassed admitting it. But I've since learned that there are NO shortcuts to online success.
Wealthy Affiliate doesn't fill your head with nonsense about becoming a millionaire overnight in your sleep. In an age of instant gratification, it's easy to forget that internet marketing is a business just like any other business. As such, it's going to take a good amount of steady, consistent work until your efforts start to pay off.
WA makes this abundantly clear right from the outset which I think is the right approach instead of selling you on a bunch of pie in the sky promises.
WHY SHOULD YOU TRUST WEALTHY AFFILIATE?
Wealthy Affiliate is STILL Around
The saying goes that the online world changes so fast that one year on the internet is equivalent to seven years in the "outside world." What's here today is often gone tomorrow. Consider this then...
Wealthy Affiliate was created 12 years ago in 2005. That's 84 years in internet years! (Okay, maybe that's a little far-fetched but you get the idea).
The ONLY reason WA has lasted this long is because they're a reputable company with an impeccable track record of helping HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people like you over the years. In fact, you'll find almost no complaints out of all the people who've gone through the program and that's saying something.
It's safe to say that the owners, Kyle and Carson, obviously know a thing or two about this internet marketing thing.
The Owners Are Approachable
With most online courses, the only time you ever hear from the owners is a standard greeting right after signing up, never to be heard from again. You're lucky to get your questions answered at all!
The owners of Wealthy Affiliate, Kyle and Carson, operate completely different. Instead of sitting in some
Tons of Success Stories
Thousands of Wealthy Affiliate members have seen success with their websites and many have reached their financial goals! Here are just a few examples of WA members blogging about their achievements (and no, these aren't cherry-picked, stories like these are common inside WA)...
Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories
These three people have been WA members since 2014 and they still continue as paying members because they clearly recognize the value offered by WA. If they didn't, they would have jumped ship long ago!
With just the free, Starter membership, you can achieve all of this...
- Learn how to pick the right niche for you
- Pick a brandable name for your website
- Quickly set up your first website in 30 seconds with a great looking design and layout
- Discover how to do keyword research to find easy-to-rank for terms
- Understand how to write blog posts based around good keywords to rank high in Google and get visitors coming to your website regularly
- Convert your traffic into sales
Nothing taught is theory, all training is practical for you to put into immediate action!
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN WEALTHY AFFILIATE?
As mentioned earlier, the core training offered in Wealthy Affiliate is only one component of the online university. It also includes every feature and tool you need to jumpstart your business...
- LIVE CHAT
- WEB building TOOLS
Let's take a look at these individually...
Starting your online business can be a minefield if you don't know what you're doing. It's easy to fall victim to scams, outdated information, or bad advice that can land your website in a whole heap of trouble.
Then there are the hours, if not days, wasted trying to figure out how to fix something on your website which can drive you crazy!
Stuff like this won't happen to you because you'll have access to Wealthy Affiliate's 24-hour support system. Whenever you feel stuck or unsure about something, you only have to ask and the community will point you in the right direction. Where else can you get almost immediate attention like that?
One of the best ways to take advantage of the 24-hour support system is by popping into the live chat and asking your questions there. But it's not just for Q & A. Remember, these are like-minded people so you can talk about anything related to online business or otherwise! Sometimes it's just fun to shoot the breeze with nice, easy-going folks with no other agenda than to be amongst friends.
By taking advantage of Wealthy Affiliate's "Siterubix" websites, Starter members can set up to 2 free websites in a matter of seconds while premium members can set up to 25.
All you have to do is decide on a name for your website, choose a look for it (also known as a "theme"), and click a button to set it up. It's really as simple as that! Also, these aren't flimsy websites, they're expertly made with WordPress — the premiere website creation tool used to build almost 75 million websites!
When you set up a Siterubix website, your website address will look like this:
This is a great way to get started with your first couple of websites. But if you're in this for the long haul, you're going to want to have your own registered domain which is far more professional looking:
The nice thing is that Wealthy Affiliate now handles domain registration! WA has greatly simplified a process normally complicated for beginners with just the click of a few buttons. No more dealing with 3rd party services like GoDaddy or NameCheap, WA takes care of it all!
If you search around the web, you'll come across lots of offers for cheap website hosting (just Google "cheap web hosting" to see what I mean): $10.00 per month, $5.00 per month, even as low as $2.00 per month.
Sounds great, right?
Here's what these hosting companies DON'T tell you...
This is truly an example of "you get what you pay for."
The fact of the matter is that quality hosting will normally cost you at least $25 per month. But as a member of Wealthy Affiliate, you get top of the line hosting INCLUDED with your free, Starter membership!
- 2 free Siterubix websites
- 25 Siterubix websites
- 25 privately owned domains
- WA domain registration service
- 3rd party domain registration services
Keyword Research Tool
In order for visitors to find your blog posts, you need to write articles based on frequently searched keywords with low competition.
Now, it's possible to find good keywords manually but that would take a serious amount of time. Wealthy Affiliate, however, speeds up the process considerably by offering a powerful keyword research tool — a feature you get unlimited access to when you become a Starter member.
A one-hour live training on some practical topic related to internet marketing takes place every Friday evening at 8:00 pm (EST). Here's a small sample of 10 past live training sessions:
- Creating Graphics for Social Media
- Generating Traffic with YouTube
- The Essentials of Writing for the Web
- CSS Primer - The Basics of Styling Your Website
- Learn How to Use Photoshop
- Getting Started with Facebook Ads
- The Anatomy of an Awesome Blog Post
- The Mentality of Mobile
- Commercial Keywords vs Interest Keywords
- Email Marketing Walkthrough
All live training sessions are recorded so you can watch and rewatch them whenever you'd like. There are literally HUNDREDS to choose from in the archive — an invaluable resource if there ever was one.
Some of my favorite live trainings are ones where members' websites are critiqued, which is a great way to learn how to improve your own website.
The sessions are also interactive, meaning you can ask questions during broadcasts and expect them to be answered!
PROS AND CONS OF WEALTHY AFFILIATE
- Newbie friendly; No prior experience necessary
- Legitimate/safe business opportunity
- Cloud-based; Easily accessible from anywhere, on any device
- Lifetime access to the 1st level of training as a free/Starter member
- Regularly updated training
- Over 1000 extra training tutorials created by WA members
- Weekly live training sessions covering all internet marketing topics
- 24/7, 365 day support
- Personal 1-on-1 coaching with WA owners Kyle and Carson
- Vibrant and positive social community
- Live chat
- Powerful keyword research tool
- In-house domain registration
- Exceptional web hosting
- Honest website feedback
- $0 to join (yes, really)…Get Started Here
- Abundance of information can be overwhelming at first
- Social community can distract you from your work
- User interface feels somewhat cluttered due to the amount of options available
- Inexperienced members occasionally answering questions when they lack the experience
WHY WEALTHY AFFILIATE IS IDEAL FOR PEOPLE ON SSDI
There are lots of ways you can make money online but more often than not they involve trading your time for money (e.g., freelancing, customer service, taking surveys, etc.) In this regard, online opportunities like these are no different than most "offline" jobs.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that once you get the ball rolling, you'll start earning money passively which allows you more time to concentrate on your health and general well-being. You get to work when you want (and are able to) and never have to answer to anyone's demands except yourself!
If you're going to spend time trying to make money online, you might as well build a business around something you actually enjoy instead of doing mind-numbing stuff like taking surveys.
I know what it's like when your life seems out of control due to a disability but here's an area that puts you back in the driver's seat, in control of your personal finances!
As of 2016, Social Security allows SSDI recipients to earn up to $1,130 per month to supplement disability benefits without
* Income amounting to more than $810 per month is considered a "trial work" month by the Social Security Administration. You're granted a total of 9 trial months (not necessarily consecutive but over a 60-month period) to test your ability to work while you continue to receive benefits. MAKE SURE you understand Social Security's guidelines BEFORE you start to earn money!
There's no reason why you can't earn at least a few hundred dollars each and every month when you follow Wealthy Affiliate's training and take action. And that kind of extra money can go a long way to helping you pay your monthly bills and out-of-pocket medical expenses. In fact, it's entirely possible that in less than a year you'll surpass the amount you're permitted to earn! (More about this "problem" below).
Now, if you're someone looking to get off SSDI but first want to see how you do working in some capacity again, Wealthy Affiliate's warm, no-pressure environment is the ideal place to "test the waters."
WHEN WILL YOU START TO EARN MONEY?
This is a hard question to answer because it depends on several factors:
- How much time and effort you dedicate to your website
- How competitive your chosen niche is
- How lucrative your chosen niche is
Many sub-niches in the health, wealth, and relationship categories are especially popular and thus more competitive. Generally speaking, expect a 3-6 month commitment before your efforts start to pay off in one of these sub-niches.
In regards to less competitive niches, it's very realistic to start making money in a matter of a few weeks with continued effort. And by continued effort, I don't mean writing one blog post per month. Expect to write at least 2 high-quality blog posts per week for this to work. This is the kind of dedication needed to see the results you're after
Does this timeline seem slow to you? Well, that's because building a legitimate business takes time! I've no doubt you've found courses promising instant cash while browsing the internet — they're a ruse! Most of these programs teach ways to game the system which eventually cause your website to crash and burn. You have to avoid these at all costs!
Don't Be Surprised When This Happens...
As a dedicated member of Wealthy Affiliate AND SSDI recipient, you may be confronted with an unthinkable problem down the road — making TOO MUCH money! Well, too much to continue receiving disability benefits anyway. So what should you do in this case?
Once you reach the permitted amount (currently $1,130 per month), you can shift from trying to grow your website to maintaining your website. For example, instead of publishing four blog posts per week, you could limit it to one. And the monthly residual income you'll receive will practically be on autopilot at that point — an ideal scenario for someone disabled.
MUCH DOES WEALTHY AFFILIATE COST?
Wealthy Affiliate offers two membership options: Starter Lifetime Membership and Premium Membership.
Starter Lifetime Membership
Wealthy Affiliate costs NOTHING to try out. For $0 you can jump in and see what all the fuss is about and decide whether it's something you wish to pursue.
You get 7 days to take FULL advantage of EVERYTHING Wealthy Affiliate has to offer entirely for FREE! How many programs do you know of that make that kind of offer? If you had any reservations before, this alone should ease your mind.
And if you decide not to become a premium member after your week is up, you STILL get lifetime access to the first 10 lessons of the core training. PLUS, you get to keep your 2 free Siterubix websites and WA hosting!
Best of all, no credit card is needed to become a Starter member...yes, seriously!
Once you see that Wealthy Affiliate is the real deal unlike anything you've seen before, you'll likely want to take things to the next level and you can do so for less than the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee per day.
For $49 per month or $359 per year (which brings the monthly cost down to $29 per month — a total yearly savings of $229!), you get access to EVERYTHING I described above. If you want to learn all the ins and outs of growing an online business, this is the way to go.
And unlike some college programs, the Wealthy Affiliate University won't put you into sinking debt and you'll actually learn real-world skills for you to take immediate action on! How many sustainable businesses do you know of that cost so little to get started? And here's what's also refreshing:
There's literally NO risk involved. If you fully commit yourself to this, you'll cover the cost of the WA premium membership plus MUCH more in record time.
HOW TO GET STARTED IN WEALTHY AFFILIATE
Wealthy Affiliate can be intimidating at first, no doubt about that. So to keep things simple, here's what I recommend you do to get started...
- Set up your WA account (takes less than one minute)
- Click the green "Get Started Here" button
- Go through the first 10 lessons of Course 1 (take your time!)
- Fill out your personal profile page and make sure to add an image (takes just 5 minutes)
MY PERSONAL OFFER TO YOU
Get a Super Discount
If you upgrade to premium membership in the first 7 days after signing up as a Starter member, I'll offer you a whopping 61% discount on your first monthly payment, which works out to be just $19!
And again, if for whatever reason you wish to cancel your premium membership after 30 days, you can do so at the click of a button with no hassles! In fact, I'll even show you how it's done...
- STEP 1
- STEP 2
- STEP 3
- STEP 4
Get My 1-on-1 Help
You're going to have questions after starting the core training inside Wealthy Affiliate, that's pretty much a given. As mentioned, there are a host of ways to get your questions answered but I also want to extend a PERSONAL offer to help you!
You see, I know what it's like when your only source of income is your SSDI and you need more – much more – to keep your head above water. As a disabled person, your life is probably stressful enough without having to worry about paying your bills.
I want to save you from that.
That's why I'm offering to coach you to your first sale after you set up your website. Once those first few dollars roll in, you'll be well on your way to making a regular, sustainable income.
All you have to do is send me a personal message in Wealthy Affiliate when you're ready...
- STEP 1
- STEP 2
But here's the thing...
There are only so many hours in the day so depending on how many people take me up on this, I may or may not have to suspend this offer (not to mention the limitations of my disability).
That's why you need to take action now before I'm too swamped helping others out!
Once you do, expect to receive a personal welcome from me to the Wealthy Affiliate community within 24 hours after joining.
Then after spending some time getting acquainted with Wealthy Affiliate, let me know how things are going and we can get a dialogue going. Oh, and if you have questions about the program you'd like answered now, leave a comment below and I'll be happy to help.
I look forward to seeing you inside Wealthy Affiliate!