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.

Check out my full Wealthy Affiliate success story. 

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…

Table Of Contents

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 🙂 


  1. Mary Starr 01/13/2020
    • Simon Crowe 01/14/2020
  2. Kenny Tang 12/14/2018
  3. Hollie Rose 12/13/2018
    • Simon Crowe 12/13/2018
  4. Chas 12/13/2018
    • Simon Crowe 12/13/2018
  5. Nuttanee 12/13/2018
    • Simon Crowe 12/13/2018
  6. Maria 12/13/2018
    • Simon Crowe 12/13/2018
  7. Maureen 12/13/2018
    • Simon Crowe 12/13/2018
  8. Rob S. 12/13/2018
    • Simon Crowe 12/13/2018

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