What Is Wealthy Affiliate Bootcamp & Is It Worth Your Time?
There is also some confusion over the courses and training that are available.
This is likely because there are two routes that you can take when you first join Wealthy Affiliate as a free starter member.
That is – you can follow the standard free 10-part certification course, or join bootcamp, which also provides some free training.
Just to clarify, Wealthy Affiliate is a membership site & training platform, which mainly focuses on making money online via affiliate marketing.
For full details on what WA has to offer, read my in depth review here.
What Is Wealthy Affiliate Bootcamp?
Before I begin, I’m pleased to say that Wealthy Affiliate are in the process of rolling out a whole new & updated bootcamp training over the course of this year.
Although I think those changes will be a leap in the right direction, I’m still unsure that the changes will be enough for me to encourage newbies to jump into Bootcamp, (rather that starting off with the certification course).
Bootcamp introduces people to the make-money-online niche. One of the key programs you’ll promote on your bootcamp site, will usually be Wealthy Affiliate.
This is all well and good, if you had had a great experience at WA – but what if you’ve just joined?
How can you promote something that you’re not all that familiar with yet?
Wealthy Affiliate has a great affiliate program – if you’re a premium member, you earn $8 for the first month of each referral and then $23.50 per member, monthly recurring.
You can also earn a small amount for referrals that complete their profile and set up process, (who don’t go premium).
If you’re not a premium member, you can still benefit from the affiliate program, but you get half of the commissions per member.
Alongside promoting Wealthy Affiliate, you will promote various other products that are relevant to your niche.
If you do join bootcamp, you’ll be spending a lot of time researching and writing reviews.
So, Is There Anything Wrong With Bootcamp?
Wealthy Affiliate started their Bootcamp training back in 2013 and some of the people that initially went through that training, are now some of WA’s most successful affiliates.
One of those success stories is Steve, who wrote about having over 10.5 million viewers visit his site to date in 2016… I’m sure many, many more by now! You can find his website over at I’veTriedThat.com
But, behind those initial affiliates, came hundreds of other hopefuls, eagerly planning to follow in their footsteps.
The end result being, a very high number of similar websites were created, all fighting for attention and a lot of extra competition, in an already highly competitive and crowded space.
Kyle used to show what he did with his own website online within the training, in order to help others get started and give people an idea of how people should set out on their reviews and so on.
The problem with that was, he just ended up with a lot websites out there which were very similar in nature to his own.
From my experience, (and the experience learning from/hearing others stories) it seems significantly harder to start making money online via Bootcamp initially – compared with choosing your own niche.
I experienced this myself.
I started off making sales within three months of starting a regular niche site, (mainly via Amazon).
Those first sites really did not have great, or particularly unique content. The posts weren’t even ranking that well when I made those first sales.
Whereas, it took a full six months to make a sale with this current website, despite tonnes more work and effort on my part, by comparison.
While I have seen a couple of people do very well in a short space of time, (under a year) the mass majority do not.
The reason I continued on with this site and didn’t just concentrate on the niche sites was, that I simply enjoyed writing for this website much more and developed an interest in talking about making and saving money online.
I became emotionally invested in this and it was just something that worked for me. I enjoyed learning about different products and found that I found the process of writing for this site far more rewarding.
That being said, I have struggled and still do struggle with motivation and burn out.
While that comes with the territory of being a blogger in general, (especially when you’re solely responsible for writing all the content and do not hire writers) I think it can be particularly tough at times in this niche.
Sometimes, even starting to make money can not provide enough motivation to keep it up, once that burn out hits! At times, you just need a full on break to recharge your batteries.
I feel there are too many hopeful beginners, who believe they can hop their way over to Bootcamp and make a full time income within the next few months.
While some do start making reasonable money after their first year with their Bootcamp sites, I see most people struggle on for much longer than that and many more giving up before they’ve seen any success.
Why Do People Choose Bootcamp?
So, if it’s so competitive and difficult to start making money in this space, why do people choose bootcamp at all?
Well, I believe there are a couple of key reasons for this.
Firstly, WA affiliates are some of the most vocal in WA about their success.
Some WA affiliates are not so concerned about people copying them, (although that certainly DOES happen too)…
But, because they can be the most vocal about success, some see those success posts and they want the same too. They figure, this must be the easy way to get where they want to be.
They believe if they work hard and follow the training, they can replicate the same success. But few really understand the work involved.
The next reason that some may jump into bootcamp – is that people also struggle to choose a niche.
Kyle suggests in the certification training, that if you can’t think of a niche, then just head over to bootcamp….
I do not think is a good option for new people just starting out online, (although some will disagree with me on that point).
Starting in a niche of your choosing and getting those first sale gives you the opportunity to learn such a lot and you will make mistakes first time around.
People do still succeed with Bootcamp sites – one of the most recent additions to the Vegas conference, (which you’re invited to if you make 300 sales in a year) had only been working on his site for around 19 months!!
That’s really a massive achievement.
There are definitely more people coming up to the Vegas conference in 2019 that have sites under two years old as well.
So, yep – it is definitely possible, but all of those who have found success with it will tell you first hand how hard it was, (and is).
You will need to be completely committed to succeeding within the niche and continue on when most people would quit.
If you do go down the Bootcamp route, the chances are that it will take a year to 18 months or so, (creating 3,4, 5+ posts per week) before you start seeing some positive results from all your hard work, (that is, if you’re relying primarily on SEO and being found organically).
You really need to keep that in mind when your enthusiasm starts to wane, too many people just lose the motivation.
When you’re doing your research, look at some of the reviews for products that show up in the top spots of Google – can you compete with those articles and can you improve on them?
The Vegas Conference:
So, possibly another reason that people are motivated to join Bootcamp, is the Vegas incentive.
If you make 300 premium sales in a year, (so, not free sign ups) then you get invited to an expenses paid trip to Vegas and get to meet all of the other super affiliates.
You’ll notice that the group attending the Vegas conference is not a large one, which will give you some idea of how difficult it is.
Many of the affiliates who go, have also been affiliates for years – although there are always people who just cannot attend for their own reasons.
Often towards the end of the year, the 300 sales you need to make to attend often drops to 100 – to give other affiliates an extra chance of making the conference.
Affiliates always report that the event is an incredible experience.
Scam Buster Sites – Not the best route in my opinion!
Kyles original website, that he used an example in bootcamp training, was based on how to avoid scams online.
Naturally, this led to a tonne of sites created around scam-busting.
Eventually, this also gave some WA affiliates a bad reputation, as some were accused of only writing negative reviews.
In addition to this, some affiliates were accused of negatively reviewing some products that didn’t deserve it.
However, now Bootcamp is changing. Kyle now talks about a new website in bootcamp, that’s centred around the affiiliate marketing niche.
Since the WA training is all based on affiliate marketing, this fits in well too.
The problem here may be that now there will be hundreds more sites being created – all based on making money with affiliate marketing.
If you do decide to go the bootcamp route, my suggestion is really to go against the grain and do something different and certainly niche down and specialise in a specific area, or target a particular audience.
The reason I created Rags To Niches, was that (at the time) I’d planned to go into various mini niches and talk about building niche websites.
While that didn’t really happen in the way I had planned, the domain name worked out fine for me anyway; because it did give me a lot of freedom to talk about various ways to make and save money online.
The downside was, it took six months to make my first sale, as my site is pretty broad niche wise and also targets a lot of people looking to save money, rather than spend it.
The irony is, I have gone into different niches in other ways, just not so much with websites.
For example; I ventured into building a print on demand business with Amazon and Etsy… I guess you never know where this journey will take you!
In any case, I think there is no doubt that I would have been profitable more quickly, had I started with a more narrow niche in the beginning.
The risk with becoming too niche, is that you pigeon hole yourself in and run out of things to talk about in your niche.
Your niche may also not be evergreen and so, you may run the risk of it disappearing altogether.
On the plus side, it may be easier to become an authority – as long as your (already narrow) niche isn’t already crowded with large authority sites.
The great thing about the internet is, new niches are evolving all the time and if you keep your finger on the pulse, you can jump on a new niche when it starts and become an authority in an area that has very few experts!
This is why getting started is so important too. So, don’t procrastinate and spend too long deciding on a niche.
Your first, second, third, or fourth website may not be successful – but if you keep learning and keep your eyes open, something will come along and you’ll be far more experienced by then to make a real go of it.
From listening to podcasts and reading other blogs, this is something I do see time and time again.
Having A Review Based Site, It Can Be Repetitive!
Most bootcampers will be creating review based sites of some sort, because reviews rank very well in google and by targeting reviews, you can also attract visitors that are already looking to purchase something.
Even though I do enjoy writing reviews on my site, I think the reality of just how many poor products and blatant scams are out there can get quite depressing after a while….
Some days can seem like groundhog day, seeing one scam after another.
My suggestion to ALL newbies online is to not join bootcamp. Start your own niche site first, based on an interest of your choosing first.
If you already have some experience online prior to joining WA, then that’s a different situation and you may consider going down the bootcamp route if you want.
Do not spend forever thinking about it, or think that this is the website you’ll be working on for the rest of your life – just think of it as a potential learning curve.
If your first website is successful, brilliant.
If it starts to bore you – so what, you could potentially sell it for a profit.
Whatever happens, it’s highly unlikely that your first niche will be your last.
If you’re worried about “wasting time,” in the wrong niche, then you’re probably in the wrong industry altogether.
Making money online will take trial and error, it does involve making mistakes, learning from them and taking chances.
Everything you do now, every wrong turn and every mistake, is really important. You will learn so much from this.
Most importantly of all, it does take time. If you just presume that you’re in this for the long haul and won’t be profitable right away, you’ll feel much more relaxed about the journey.
Bootcamp Training Without Promoting WA:
Some people still do the Bootcamp training, even if they have no intention of promoting WA and this is also a good idea.
Both the certification training and bootcamp training provide some of the same information, but much of it is also unique and useful for anyone trying to make money with affiliate marketing.
I recommend you start with the 10-part certification program – but you should check out the bootcamp training too, because it’s still great training.
If you DO want to go into the internet marketing/make-money-online niche, just expect a difficult journey and potentially a minimum of six months before your first sales.
Yes, some people certainly get them before that time, but six months is pretty normal.
All the best,