Is Wealthy Affiliate A Pyramid Scheme? (The Truth EXPOSED!)

Is Wealthy Affiliate A Pyramid Scheme

Wealthy Affiliate is not a pyramid scheme and I'm going to prove it to you.

But first a little background:

After falling for way too many scams I joined Wealthy Affiliate as a sceptical free Starter member. A week later I decided to upgrade to the Premium membership at $49 a month and I've been a member now for 6 years.

In that time I've gone through all the training and applied it. As a result, I've built multiple online businesses that have enabled me to:

  • Kiss my old call centre job goodbye
  • Book a one-way ticket to Thailand
  • Go from living at my mum's house to living in a beautiful condo
  • Make at least $7,000 each and every month
  • Earn over $1,200 in one day
simon crowe super affiliate with kyle and carson wealthy affiliate las vegas
Me With WA Co-Founders Kyle & Carson

I qualified for the Wealthy Affiliate Super Affiliates Conference in 2020 and had a chance to meet WA co-founders Kyle and Carson in Vegas.

All this to say I know their training works – it’s been proven again and again for me and countless others and it will work for you too.

But you don’t have to take my word for it, test drive the entire platform for yourself for free.

Here's my promise to you:

I haven't got to where I am today by blagging people and I'm not here to try and pull the wool over your eyes. In this post, I'm going to be honest and upfront with you, then it's up to you to decide what you want to do next.

Sound fair enough?

Alright! Let's find out why Wealthy Affiliate is NOT a pyramid scheme…

Wealthy Affiliate Review At A Glance

About: Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one affiliate marketing platform that gives aspiring entrepreneurs the training, tools and community to succeed.

Price: Free Starter Membership. $19 First Month Premium, $49/month thereafter.

Pros: Step-by-step core training, weekly live classes, beginner-friendly website builders, awesome community support and it's free to try.

Cons: It takes time and there's a lot to learn.

Verdict: My all-time top-recommended training platform that will guide you through the steps to launching your first online business.


4.5 Star Rating NEW

First Off: What Is A Pyramid Scheme?

Wikipedia defines a pyramid scheme as:

“… a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products or services.”

I also like this definition from the US Federal Trade Commission:

“They promise consumers or investors large profits based primarily on recruiting others to join their program, not based on profits from any real investment or real sale of goods to the public.”

In other words, any program where the only way (or at least the main way) you make money is by recruiting others into the program can definitely be called a pyramid scheme.

Here's a quick 1-minute video that I think gives a really good demonstration of how pyramid schemes work (and why they're so dangerous):

I've reviewed a lot of ‘make money online' products on TheMakeMoneyOnlineBlog and I never shy away from exposing any pyramid scheme I come across.

Programs like Fearless Momma, Forsage, Profits Passport and Instant Postcard Wealth are perfect textbook examples of this – so-called ‘training products' where the only way members can make money is by promoting the product itself to others. These kinds of pyramid schemes are easy to spot.

Then there are those pyramid schemes that try and disguise themselves as multi-level-marketing companies (MLMs)…

Network marketing companies like Sisel, Nikken, Total Life Changes and Herbalife have been accused of being a pyramid scheme because they place more emphasis on earning money through recruitment rather than actually selling products.

I absolutely despise pyramid schemes, for both ethical and practical reasons…

Reason #1: Pyramid Schemes Are Illegal

And for good reason – while the top 1% cash in, the other 99% end up losing money.

As a pyramid grows there always comes a point when it becomes so big that the vast majority of people at the bottom are left struggling to recruit.

Reason #2: Pyramid Schemes Inevitably Collapse

No matter how much hype you build up around a scheme, the fact remains there are a limited number of people you can recruit so it's just a matter of time until the pyramid finally collapses.

So What About Wealthy Affiliate?

Are they a money-making program where you can only earn by selling others on the WA membership or are they an MLM in disguise?

To get all the ins and outs of how the Wealthy Affiliate platform works, check out my full 3,279-word Wealthy Affiliate review here.

But to sum WA up in a couple of paragraphs:

Wealthy Affiliate is an online training platform that teaches how to make money with affiliate marketing; where you create websites based around topics you have an interest in and make money promoting other people's products that are relevant to your audience.

what is affiliate marketing and how does it work process
The 4-Step Process Of Making Money Online

They then teach you how to rank your site in search engines to get free and daily visitors so you can promote relevant products and earn a commission.

Here's a quick video that explains affiliate marketing really well:

Wealthy Affiliate doesn't just tell you how to build profitable affiliate websites, they equip you with the website creation and keyword research tools you need too. Everything is included inside the member's area.

Is there a cost? Yes and no…

Most people start out on the free Starter membership which gives you the first 10 lesson beginner's course and free website builder. This is great because it gives you a free test drive of the program so you can see it all for yourself.

If you like what you see you can upgrade to the Premium membership which is $49 a month.

It's completely your choice as there's no time limit and you can stay a Starter as long as you like, though I personally recommend you go Premium if you like the training and decide this is the road you want to go down.

But Don't You Have To Promote Wealthy Affiliate To Make Money?

No, not at all, though you can if you want to.

Let me explain…

Some people accuse Wealthy Affiliate of being a pyramid scheme because they have an Affiliate Bootcamp course designed for people who want to make money promoting Wealthy Affiliate.

I recommend Wealthy Affiliate as the best affiliate marketing course for beginners because (after reviewing 100's of them) I honestly think they are the best platform out there in terms of the quality of the training, the helpfulness of the community and the low membership cost.

But honestly, if you are a beginner to affiliate marketing then I strongly recommend you don't promote WA. It's best to gain experience and be successful in another niche first.

Starting a website in the ‘make money online' niche is difficult because it's ultra-competitive and takes a long time. I see too many newbies take this road who get disheartened and quit before seeing any results.

Instead, I highly recommend you follow Wealthy Affiliate's core training program called the Online Entrepreneur Certification course which will show you how to promote pretty much any product you can think of by blogging about any niche or topic you like.

Wealthy Affiliate teaches affiliate marketing
A Sneak Peek Inside Wealthy Affiliate's Training

You'll find it a lot easier to succeed in a niche with lower competition based on a topic you're genuinely interested and passionate about.

You can create an online business on almost any topic imaginable.

what is a niche
Members are taught to create niche websites.

By creating a website around your personal hobby or passion, you can create useful content for your audience and promote relevant products or services that you know your readers will find helpful.

There are so many big businesses out there with 1000's of products you could potentially promote (for free) and earn an affiliate commission from.

travel blog affiliate programs

For example, you could start a travel blog to share your adventures with the world and earn money by giving hotel recommendations or link to the camera you're using.

If you're especially passionate about cooking you could start a food blog giving recipe ideas and including your links to ingredients within your posts.

Whenever someone clicks through your link to, say, you earn a commission for generating the sale.

These are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing, but the possibilities really are endless!

Is Wealthy Affiliate A Pyramid Scheme?

No, Wealthy Affiliate is not a pyramid scheme or any kind of multi-level marketing scheme. They are simply an affiliate marketing training platform with an affiliate program.

The core training modules show people how to launch their own websites based on any topic of their choice where they can make money promoting any number of products that are out there.

This is pure affiliate marketing!

Yes, some people make money by promoting Wealthy Affiliate but this is by earning an affiliate commission from direct referrals only.

There are no pyramid structure or downlines of any kind.

Is Wealthy Affiliate Right For You?

This is probably the most important question of them all which is why I want to get real with you here for a second.

You'll hear people promoting WA claiming you can build a website in 30 seconds and while this is 100% true, without investing the time and effort into creating content and building your site out, it will just sit there gathering dust.

Yes, Wealthy Affiliate has over 2 million members but in reality, I bet only a small fraction of them are actually active. Of those who are active, I bet there's an even smaller percentage who are earning a full-time income online.


Because generating an income through affiliate marketing is not easy or automatic. If you are going to go into this you need to know it will take time…

Time to go through the training to acquire the new skills you'll need to be successful at this… and time to apply what you've learned to build up your business.

Wealthy Affiliate is no get-rich-quick scheme but I promise what they teach does work. If you can bring the commitment and dedication, they'll give you the tools, training and support to get you to where you want to be.

Joining Wealthy Affiliate has been completely life-changing for me and if you're ready to build a real online business, I know it will be for you too.

So, whatever your online income goals are, instead of second-guessing whether WA is legit or not, try it yourself for free. Test drive the whole system without ever opening your wallet so you can see for yourself what it's really about.

What Do You Think?

Have I done enough to convince you Wealthy Affiliate is not a pyramid scheme? Whether you agree or disagree with me, scroll down and let us know what you think in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!

If you have any questions let me know and of course, I'll be more than happy to help 🙂 

15 thoughts on “Is Wealthy Affiliate A Pyramid Scheme? (The Truth EXPOSED!)”

  1. I did check u out a few yrs ago but someone said “No No thats a Scheme” so I backed down but my question is, I am 72 yrs. old this month of Jan 18

    I am real active I work 4-5 hours a day but am I too old to start this program. I know u can’t say for sure but just about how long does it take for a person to earn at least $150.00 a month or in that range?

    I know you cant say for sure but surely u know some people who u know put their all into this & worked hard & how long did it take them to earn a few hundred a month but what ever you can tell me would help me

    Thanks, Mary Starr

    • Hi Mary, I hope you’re doing well and thank you for the great question.

      The first thing I’d like to say if you’re never too old to start anything! There are a lot of retired pensioners inside Wealthy Affiliate who joined after realising they needed to find a way to supplement their income. If they can do it then you most definitely can too!

      On to your question – you are right, I really can’t guarantee by such and such a date you’ll be making this amount because it really does vary a lot from person to person. Some might see a trickle of income start coming in at 3-6 months, others might be 9-12 months. It really depends on what niche (website topic) you choose and how many competing websites there are in that space.

      It also depends on how much time you’ll be able to invest in the training course and to complete the action steps along the way. Of course, someone who can do this full-time is going to get ahead a lot quicker than someone who’s just got 30 mins spare each day.

      The biggest reason it can take time is because you’re building websites that attract free traffic from search engines, primarily Google. Google takes a while to trust your site. As you continue to add more content and build your site out, your website authority grows and so do your traffic numbers and sales. Typically it can take 6 months before your website starts to get any real traction.

      I hope this helps you out, hit reply if there’s anything else at all I can help you with.

      Best wishes,


  2. Thank you for the very informative and detail review about whether Wealthy Affiliate was a pyramid scheme or not. Before I joined the network, I thought the same thing too. If this program was really too good to be true. However, after reading a few other reviews and testimonials from other members. Everything seemed to checkout and it seemed legitimate. You make a very good point. 

  3. I also discovered Wealthy Affiliate and I love it. I was about to sign up to some scam when someone had written a comment saying why sign up to this when you can sign up to the real deal. That’s how I found Wealthy Affiliate and I’ve never looked back. 

    I never knew the name for such businesses are called pyramid schemes. They always sound tempting but you explain really well how in most cases people only lose from it.

    Thanks for a great post!

    • You’re welcome Hollie, it’s knowing how to spot signs like these that help people avoid scams.

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Wealthy Affiliate community, me neither – I know I’ll be a member for life! 🙂

  4. Hi Simon,

    You really do show in this article that Wealthy Affiliates is not a scam. The examples you give prove that other marketing systems that are pyramid schemes have no real products. They depend on more people constantly entering the program. Wealthy Affiliates is clearly a training program that does not depend on any recruiting. You can see they are training people for selling affiliate products, or even your own product for that matter. And heck, you can join for free, and remain a free member! How would that benefit the owners in and monetary support? 

    BTW I loved that video clip from the “Office”

    I think you definitely proved that Wealthy Affiliates is not a Pyramid Scheme.


    • Thanks for your feedback Chas, trust me if this were a pyramid scheme I would be first to call it out and I certainly wouldn’t have remained a member all these years!

      Yeah I found the clip whilst researching for this article and it made me chuckle, I just had to include it at the end! 🙂

  5. WA is definitely not a pyramid scam and not a false advertisement where they promise you that you can make 6 digits in a day. The platform is well thought out. The lesson plans are very easy to follow, perfect for a new to online marketing like me. 

    Everyone in the community hands down are so helpful. I have random people private message me to offer to help me on my journey, even offer to buy stuff on my affiliate links!! Where can you find that but here at WA? Great place to join.

    • Thanks Nuttanee, it’s great to hear about your experience. 

      I completely agree, Wealthy Affiliate is a hype-free zone which I really like. That was one of the things I found so refreshing about the site when I first joined. 

      They don’t raise false expectations about how you’ll earn $1,000’s in your sleep at the click of a mouse – instead they just give you practical step-by-steps on getting your online business off the ground.

  6. For sure Wealthy Affiliate is not a Pyramid Scheme, it is not an MLM business. 

    As you said it is a platform to learn and begin an online business. I’ve just signed up to WA and there’s a lot of training as well as a lot of possibilities, also begin for free and stay there for free the time that people need to test the system. Thank you for this post.

    • That’s great to hear Maria! I wish you every success as you start out in your online business journey! 

      There’s a lot of good times ahead of you if you stick to the training and complete every action step along the way!

  7. Well you have certainly made your point that Wealthy Affiliate is not a pyramid scheme.  You also made some other very good points.  For instance I like that you emphasized that making money online is a lot of work.  Many people have this vision of sitting behind their computer doing a little bit of this and that and raking in all kinds of money.  

    Also I do like the fact that Wealthy Affiliate offers a free membership, most programs do not do that.What do you think is the average time that a person needs to put in before they start earning money?

    Thanks for the great info and congrats on your success!

    • Thanks Maureen, I recommend Wealthy Affiliate not just because it’s where I started and I’m proof that if you follow their training you’ll get results, but they also offer the free membership so people can try it themselves and don’t have to take my word for it.

      Realistically, I’d say you need to give yourself 6 months for this to work. You could make your first sale within the first month or two (I made mine in the first 2 weeks) but it takes time for Google to rank your site in the search engines…

      By the 6 month mark you should be getting sales fairly consistently and by the 12 month mark you could well be earning a full-time income. Obviously it depends on how much work you put in but this is a good general guide. 

  8. Let me just say that you did an excellent job of reviewing just why Wealthy Affiliate is not a pyramid scheme.

    I’ve seen them and been through many myself and this isn’t even close to anything like a pyramid scheme. It’s all about building a website about something you have a passion and knowledge about.

    Wealthy Affiliate teaches you how to do this and get traffic and takes you by the hand all the way to success.They care about YOU and teach you how you should care about others and help them because that’s what Wealthy Affiliate is all about.

    I agree with you about not promoting Wealthy Affiliate at first. Get the experience with your own niche first and that should be your main focus! Wealthy Affiliate is the best legitimate program available! Wouldn’t you agree though that once your website is established, that you can still promote WA?

    • Thanks Rob, you made a great point I forgot to mention which is this: both Kyle and Carson, the owners of WA and the community as a whole really DO CARE about your success. 

      They will genuinley do whatever they can to help you out and I love that te way the WA platform is designed means you can get answers to questions instantly. You never have to feel stuck.

      This is a night and day difference from 95% of all the get rich quick scams out there that try and sell you on hype and push upsell after upsell in your face. It’s obvious these scammers don’t care if you make a dime or not, their only aim is to squeeze you for as much cash as possible.

      Re: promoting WA – sure you can do that but as I say, become successful in a less competitive niche first so you actually have some experience and knowledge to back you up. You can’t exactly have a website teaching others how to make money online when you’ve never made a dime.

      The beauty of affiliate marketing is you have a whole lifetime to create as many websites on as many topics as you like – though I strongly encourage you to start by focusing on one first until it’s generating an income. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin by trying to get 6 websites off the ground at the same time and getting nowhere.

      Hope this helps!



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