Wealthy Affiliate Online Entrepreneur Cert. vs WA Bootcamp

Wealthy Affiliate Online Entrepreneur Cert. vs WA Bootcamp

By Ian | Internet Marketing Advice

Wealthy Affiliate logo

I’ve noticed a trend in my comments and emails lately regarding the training at Wealthy Affiliate.

It seems that people increasingly believe that the only thing Wealthy Affiliate does is teach you to bash other products in order to promote their premium membership (which is partially true, but not entirely – I’ll explain in detail below). I’ve had fellow affiliates for WA reach out and tell me they’re no longer going to promote the product because they think it’s headed in the wrong direction thanks to Bootcamp.

I’ve also been spending more and more of my time encouraging my followers to NOT promote Wealthy Affiliate, and instead build a site based around a passion, interest, or expertise they have (as overwhelming as that can seem right now). All of their training is very powerful if you know how to use it, and all of it can play a role in your success online as long as you have the right roadmap.

This post is designed to explain who I recommend WA Bootcamp for, who I recommend Wealthy Affiliate’s Online Entrepreneur Certification for, and what you can potentially expect following either of those paths. By the end of this article, you should have a very clear idea of which path is best for you.

Wealthy Affiliate logo

Full Disclosure: WA Bootcamp Is My #1 Complaint at Wealthy Affiliate

WA is still the #1 best product I’ve reviewed for beginners out of 150+ products, but it’s not perfect. WA Bootcamp is its biggest flaw in my opinion. It was a great opportunity when Kyle initially began teaching it, but an incredible amount of competition is increasingly making it difficult for beginners to succeed with.

WA Affiliate Bootcamp Phase 1 Overview

Phase 1 Overview – Click to zoom

I started an internet marketing review site about a year before WA Bootcamp was launched. There wasn’t a lot of competition at that time (maybe 2-3 authority sites) and it was something I’d thought about for years as I pursued other affiliate marketing projects. I finally took the leap, built the site, and was able to get it established fairly quickly.

That’s far from possible these days.

I’ll go into great detail later in this post, but due to many factors working against new internet marketers, the internet marketing review niche is extremely tough to succeed in. Wealthy Affiliate’s training is good, but in this particular case, a lot more factors into the situation than how good the training is.

Picking a Niche Can Be REALLY Difficult

When you’re new to internet/affiliate marketing, I’m not sure there’s anything more confusing, intimidating, and stressful than picking a niche. It’s a big decision, and it influences your internet business for at least the next several months significantly. That’s why a lot of people default to Bootcamp – it’s kind of handed to them on a platter in one of the most frustrating stages of becoming an internet marketer.

how to pick a niche training

Don’t default to WA Affiliate Bootcamp just because you’re overwhelmed by picking a niche. This could end up being a fatal flaw that derails your otherwise successful online business. It’s tough, I know, but stick it out – you’ll be much more successful and profitable in the long run for it.

Your most likely path to success in internet or affiliate marketing is pursuing the niche you can help the most people in. The more people you help, the more successful you’ll be and the more money you’ll make over time.

I know it’s hard to take money out of the decision-making process, but it’s an important thing to do at this stage. You can make money from virtually any niche in this industry. Instead, focus on picking the niche that balances how many people you’ll be able to help with a topic you’re really interested in. You’ll be producing content for this site for months, if not years, to come – it better not be something you don’t understand well or have zero interest in.

bricks of money

How much is your opinion worth?

Your financial worth is directly tied to how much value you bring to the world. The more people you help, the larger market you serve, and the more money you’ll make. If you’ve never worked on a car a day in your life, how can you build a successful niche site that competes against professional mechanics? If you’ve never turned a wooden pen or heard of a lathe, how do you expect to compete against people like me in the pen turning niche?

Similarly, if you’ve never made a living online, it’s probably a bad idea to enter a niche where people will look to you for training and direction on how they can make a living from an internet business.

Pick a niche that plays to your strengths. Later, after that’s successful thanks to WA’s training, you’ll have an incredible amount of value to offer people researching the product.

If Choosing Bootcamp, Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into

As I’ve already mentioned, the internet marketing product review space is extraordinarily competitive, and it’s only getting fiercer with the dozens of new WA Bootcampers entering the niche each month. There’s still plenty of room for more authority sites, but it’s a tough road to get there. If you’re planning on promoting WA through WA Affiliate Bootcamp, you should know what the road ahead looks like.

a long desert road

The road ahead for Bootcampers

Since there’s a lot of competition, you’ll likely need to post a minimum of 2-3 times per week for at least 6-8 months without seeing many positive indicators at all. That might get you up to about 30-50 visitors per day unless you catch an unforeseen lucky break.

Once you begin getting comments and emails, you’ll have a lot of people asking for advice and feedback on their sites. How does it look? Will it make money? What should they change or do differently if they want to be successful?

These are just a handful of the most common questions I get asked, and they get much more complex too (ranging from paid advertising to email marketing to analytics and beyond). I’ve had multiple people reach out to me for help after pursuing Bootcamp because they didn’t know how to properly support and guide their referrals.

Alternatively, if you enter a different niche based on a passion, interest, or expertise you have, you’ll be much less likely to burn out (writing internet marketing product reviews week in and week out isn’t an easy grind) and you’ll truly be able to help the people that reach out to you upon finding your site.

What I Personally Recommend to My Referrals

Wealthy Affiliate is packed with incredible training, which is why I still recommend the product despite my feelings towards WA Bootcamp. A Starter (free) or Premium ($47 monthly) membership at Wealthy Affiliate is still very valuable – you just need to know how to leverage the training correctly.

Instead of building an internet marketing product review site, there are two paths you can take that are much lower competition in most cases and have a much higher chance of success:

1) Picking a Niche Based on Passion, Interest, or Expertise

Where to find the right training within Wealthy Affiliate

Click to zoom

I’ve spent a lot of this review emphasizing this as the best path to take, and you can find the training for it by clicking the “Get Started Here” button towards the top of Wealthy Affiliate’s left navigation panel. That’ll take you to Wealthy Affiliate’s Online Entrepreneur Certification.

It can be intimidating to pick your own niche, but if I’m the person that referred you to WA don’t hesitate to run your ideas past me and get some feedback. I’m much better at picking niches now than I was for the first 2-3 years I was doing this, mainly due to the fact that I picked so many bad ones early on.

2) Use the WA Affiliate Bootcamp Training, but Not for Promoting WA

The WA Affiliate Bootcamp training is really, really good. I’ve had many referrals follow it with a lot of success, but no one that I’ve personally referred has used it to promote WA with much success. There are a couple of people making $100-$200/month after building their site for about a year, and I want you to be much more successful than that if you put that much time into building your business.

The people that are most successful using WA’s Bootcamp training are taking the same business model (writing reviews) and applying it to much lower competition niches that they’re knowledgeable and passionate about. This is a great approach to breaking into this industry. You’re getting great training and a proven business model, but applying it to a niche with significantly less competition.

Your Success Is My #1 Concern

Above all else, I want your online business to be successful. What I’ve outlined above is the best possible way I can think to set you up for success within Wealthy Affiliate, and since it’s my #1 rated product for beginners, it’s the the best way I can set you up for success within internet/affiliate marketing overall.

If you’re willing to see it all of the way through, you can build an internet marketing product review site that’s bringing in a decent amount of income within 1 to 1.5 years (conservatively). It’ll take a lot of work and dozens of reviews, but it’s a proven niche that many people are succeeding in.

Alternatively, you can apply the business model to lower competition niches and start seeing results a lot faster in most cases, or you can follow WA’s Online Entrepreneur Certification to build a business around a passion or interest you have.

They’re all good options, but one road is significantly harder than the others. I’d recommend following WA’s Online Entrepreneur Certification or applying the review model to a different niche until you have at least one site making money. You’ll learn so much the first time around that you’ll significantly increase your chances of succeeding in such a competitive niche, and you’ll have an incredible amount of valuable information and insight to provide to your followers based on your own experiences.

Thanks for Reading – Let Me Know You Stopped By!

I hope you’ve found all of the information above helpful. I know it was detailed and possibly longwinded at times, but I can’t emphasize how important it is to me that I give you all of the right tools to succeed, and I think all of the information above is essential to your success at Wealthy Affiliate.

If you’ve taken the time to read all of the way to the end here, please leave a comment below with your thoughts or questions. I’d love to know what’s on your mind.

About the Author

I've been in internet marketing for over 10 years, and I've purchased dozens of illegitimate products for the sole purpose of evaluating them and exposing the truth about these products to anyone who's thinking about purchasing it. I never let money influence my rating of a product and your success/safety is my absolute highest priority. Don't want to buy a product? Register for one of my 100% free internet marketing training courses>>

Leave a Comment:

(228) comments

Kathy March 10, 2015

Hi Ian, thank you for this very insightful information. I agree with everything you’ve said in regards to finding a niche that plays to your strengths. I’ve been struggling with my niche. Like most newbies who joined Wealthy Affiliate, I started with WA Bootcamp and was promoting network marketing. I like you believe in helping others.However it’s difficult to help others when you can’t help yourself? It’s like the blind leading the blind! :} The information you’ve provided really helped with my decision to find a niche that I’m more knowledgeable about. I don’t feel like I wasted anytime because I’ve learned so much and will simply apply the steps suggested by Kyle and(your advice) to promote something I’m interested in, passionate about and have the knowledge so I can truly help provide value to others. Thanks again! Kathy :}

    Ian March 11, 2015

    I’m so happy to hear that, Kathy! Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and experiences, and if I can help you with anything down the road (as always) feel free to reach out!

Amel March 12, 2015

Hi! I have to say, you scared me and at the same time, you opened my eyes. Thanks a lot. I think I found the best mentor to join WA. Again, thank a lot for all your unconditional support!

    Ian March 12, 2015

    Thank you for such a wonderful complement, Amel! Your success is the absolute most important thing to me, so if there’s anything I can help with as you work to build your online business don’t hesitate to reach out!

Adam March 13, 2015

Wow, this is just what I needed. I was going through the entrepreneur certification courses until I realized that my niche “health” was way too broad. Giving up on that niche I just decided to go with the bootcamp because the niche was already chosen for you. But how could I have been soo naive to think that I could help people make money online if I had never made any myself!? I love the idea of using the bootcamp business model for a less competitive niche that one actually has knowledge in.
What a great post Ian.
Thanks a lot for the insight, this has really cleared up a lot for me.
I just had one question.
If I am starting a new site, can I use content from my old site? If so how can I go about doing that?

    Ian March 16, 2015

    Hey Adam! No problem at all – I’m really glad you found it useful and that it resonated with where you’re at in your online business. Is the content from the old site penalized or tainted in any way? If not, you should be able to use it – just make sure you set everything up correctly as though you were transferring the site completely to a new domain name (at least for the content that you’re transferring). Here’s a really good tutorial on how to do that: http://moz.com/blog/seo-guide-how-to-properly-move-domains

Tim Burton March 14, 2015

Thank you Ian. This is a very good article and I will take the advice. If you’ve viewed my website, then you have probably guessed that I am going to market a Clickbank product. However, I don’t want to bash other products. I want to set up the Clickbank affiliation and their landing page for the product. I like the fact that WA orients the learning to tasks. I haven’t started the 2nd course and I may look at applying the information of promoting WA to promoting my choice Clickbank product.

    Ian March 16, 2015

    Let me know if I can help you with anything as you continue building your online business, Tim 🙂

Laura March 17, 2015

This was just what I needed to help me think straight. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with us, Ian.

    Ian March 19, 2015

    No problem at all, Laura! I’m very happy that I could help!

Jaime Zaldivar April 4, 2015

I stopped by…regards, Jaime

    Ian April 6, 2015

    Thanks for taking a sec to let me know, Jaime! Let me know if I can help with anything.

Rich April 15, 2015

Thanks for the info, Ian. Very good insight.

    Ian April 16, 2015

    No problem at all, Rich! I’m very glad you found it helpful.

Dori Sigurdson April 26, 2015

Ian, I like your style..I just happen to read your reviews a week or so ago starting with MOBE …. I did sign up with Wealthy Affiliate from your Post… By the way I may have usee my other email address [email removed for user’s privacy] …. I am starting the Niche training today but let me try to explain my point… We have been in the WordPress Web Site development & Digital Marketing for 4 years or so …I want very badly get into the affiliate market or Direct Sales Market to create a very residual income me be 65 and I want the wife, my partner to slow down and enjoy life…I thought that the Wealthy Affiliate might be a fine tool System to sell to our Business community for the $47 and build this up to 300-500-1000 sales.. .. also as I go through thee system (I may have seen) where we can use the systems for our selves as Training Systems for our local Businesses…We have done MasterMind / Training in the field of Social Media Courses but the $$ did not prove out I would like to stay in touch with you as time goes by I am starting on the Niche training …. If you find this Post worth it I would like to hear back from you. Dori

    Ian April 27, 2015

    Hey Dori, I think the training should apply very well to selling your own membership if that’s how you choose to leverage it and apply it to your business! It will take a great deal of consistent effort and persistence, though, in the niche you’re talking about. Expect at least a year of hard work before beginning to see it pay off.

Oscar April 28, 2015

Hi Ian,

As I mentioned before, I am so glad I came across your NMBSreviews videos. It has finally taken off the veil I refused to remove in my effort to succeed at IM. You are a great inspiration to all the people at WA and especially to your followers as is “yours truly”. I’ve been promoting clickbank products for a few years now with information from course, after course, after course and a few hundred…if not thousands of $$$ spent, and have all of 2 (two) sales under my belt (pretty depressing!). I knew that the potential was there, so I would go on with the next WSO or JVzoo product, I knew I just had to keep digging to uncover the secret. Now I’m convinced I found the recipe and it is at my finger tips, I just have to work at it. Thank you for your wisdom and honesty.

    Ian April 29, 2015

    Thank you for such a thoughtful and heartfelt comment, Oscar! I’m just glad that I was able to help keep you safe in this dog-eat-dog industry. If I can help with anything else down the road, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Joy May 1, 2015

Thanks Ian,
Looks like there is a lot of info everywhere. I’m glad to see there are people looking out for us newbies. Really appreciate your insights.


    Ian May 1, 2015

    No problem at all, Joy! I’m very happy to help. Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment 🙂

Helen May 6, 2015

Thank you for this post!
It is such a blessing to receive quality advice, especially when starting a brand new venture. It’s so reassuring to have came across you in the start of my affiliate marketing journey, I know that I am building the correct fundamental skills to this new business. Being a newbie there are bound to be hurdles but coming across people like you who dedicate their time to help to beginners get further, faster is really amazing!
I will begin implementing the strategies you have laid out here and start fresh with the Online Entrepreneur Certification.


    Ian May 7, 2015

    Hey Helen! I’m really glad you found the article to be helpful. If I can help with anything else down the road, don’t hesitate to reach out. Best of luck!

Werner May 7, 2015

I see that you’re a member (which makes you an affiliate) of Wealthy Affiliate.

    Ian May 7, 2015

    Yes, I’ve also be in internet marketing for over 10 years. I don’t NOT recommend promoting Wealthy Affiliate, I just think that new internet marketers should seriously evaluate whether they’re up for the challenge and interested enough in the niche to proceed. I’ve never made an investment in real estate investing, so I wouldn’t start a review site about real estate investment opportunities/programs. My content would be fairly low quality and not as in-depth compared to others in the industry. I think, given how saturated and competitive the market is (many authorities of which have been in internet marketing as long as I have, if not longer) it’s not as good of a fit for new internet marketers as picking a niche site they’re knowledgeable/passionate about and promoting Wealthy Affiliate after they’ve seen some success thanks to the program. I hope that makes sense and clears things up!

Oscar May 11, 2015

Hi Ian, Again thanks for a great article filled with your best and honest advise. I had read it before on 4/29 and enjoyed it just as much. I understand it’s hard for you to keep up with the many people you advise and I appreciate you taking the time to keep encouraging each one of us to succeed.

Thank you,

    Ian May 11, 2015

    No problem at all, Oscar. I’m very happy to be able to help.

Yisroel May 12, 2015

Thanks! I hadn’t looked yet a bootcamp or entrepreneurship within WA.
I would like to add a million life-years to diabetics through liv-a-betes,com, but is that enough of a niche? Diabetes, with a special focus on longevity? Too creepy for diabetics?
I’m guessing eventually I’d like to turn it into a membership site with contests (losing weight, good tips, positive changes, helping a fellow diabetic, etc.), a forum, a buddy system, etc.
An example of my quirky humor & writing style: http://liv-a-betes.com/2015/05/11/i-think-therefore-i-can/

I’m not sure if it was brilliant or dumb, but I borrowed money & bought rights to a WP plug-in from IM marketers, which is taking up lots of time & causing anxiety. (I have a 38-hour-a-week job too.) So, it puts me in the middle of a group of top marketers, BUT I’ll also have to get up to speed FAST on things like building long funnels with upsells & downsells around this plug-in. It’s been a steep learning curve for a 56-year-old. (I have a decade of traditional biz experience, tho.) Thanks for all your honest help!

    Ian May 12, 2015

    Hey Yisroel – it sounds like a perfectly fine niche. Just like anything else, it could take a decent amount of time and consistent effort to breakthrough, but it looks like you’re very passionate about it which should be enough “gas in the tank” to keep you going. I wouldn’t spend so much time worrying about upsells, downsells, how to monetize, etc… just yet. It’s good that you have some ideas in your mind, that’s important, but until you start getting a decent amount of traffic, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Focus on creating high quality content and promotion – the rest can be focused on later when it actually produces results. Many people spend hours and hours worrying about these things up front and begin to feel like they’re not seeing enough results for how much time they’re putting in – and they’re right. Focus on these things once traffic is actually coming in and they can have some impact.

Carolyn May 19, 2015

Hi Ian,

I enjoyed reading your article and found it to be very helpful in that I’ll go back to the certification training instead of Bootcamp. I was going to promote WA, but didn’t and don’t have enough info to write good content, so at this point, I don’t have a niche, and no prospect of making any money soon. I’m a baby boomer that has worked many jobs, and therefore know a little bit about a lot of subject. But not enough passion about any of it to build and maintain a website. Everyone has been commenting to help, and I really appreciate that, but unless they’re me, they don’t know where I’m coming from.

Hope this wasn’t too much of a downer, but I’m still sticking with it.

Thanks Ian!

    Ian May 20, 2015

    No problem at all, Carolyn! What you’re experiencing is extremely normal and the first (as well as one of the hardest) obstacles to overcome when trying to create a successful online business. If you need any help fleshing out your niche ideas once you’ve gone through the training and have a few to run by me, don’t hesitate to PM me. I’m happy to offer any guidance and insight I can.

Bryan Ashe May 21, 2015

Thank you Ian! Your internet marketing advice, “Wealthy Affiliate Online Entrepreneur Cert. vs WA Bootcamp” is extremely relevant . I’ll admit I was attracted initially to the WA Bootcamp, however after thinking on it I like the idea of using the review model on a different niche that interests me and that I have experience in. I’m in brainstorm mode!


    Ian May 22, 2015

    Awesome, Bryan! I’m really glad that I could help. Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment, I’m really happy to know that this post is helping so many people 🙂

Dee Molina May 24, 2015

Hi Ian,
Just read “WAOE Cert versus WA Bootcamp” – thanks for writing about a subject that was definitely on my mind – now comes the kinda sorta hard part where I need to decide which one to do… I have lots of interests and the only thing that is stumping me at this time is what Niche(s) to pick and go from there.

    Ian May 25, 2015

    Hey Dee. That’s definitely the hardest part overall when getting started in this industry. I’m glad you found this post before making a decision, however. Even picking a not-so-good niche is much better in my opinion than going into a fully saturated, very competitive niche like a lot of people following the path of WA Bootcamp.

Mike June 2, 2015

Hi Ian, thanks for the advice it has totally changed my outlook as I was going to try the bootcamp first.



    Ian June 2, 2015

    No problem at all, Mike! I think that’s a pretty common misstep, which is why I created this post. I’m glad you found it in time and that you found it helpful – don’t hesitate to reach out if I can help you with anything else as you continue on your journey!

Thiha Min June 25, 2015

Hello Ian,

I’ve been thinking this topic for a long time. Now, I have a very clear plan.

This is a very insightful, very informative and A Painfully TRUE Reality. I have nothing against with WA.WA is the best place for everyone who really want to learn about internet marketing and many more things.

Most of us ( including me ) have a big issue with choosing a Niche like you said above which is totally true. I am amazed how hard to choose a niche ( let alone to be able to choose profitable niche ) and generally we understand that it should be a hobby, a passion etc.

But choosing a niche is more than that, I think. I could be wrong because I don’t have enough experiences to make a point.

Anyhow, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me every step of my internet marketing career. You have been very HONEST, HELPFUL AND SUPPORTIVE for me and other people I know.

This is a very valuable post for me. Thanks again Ian.

Kindest Regards,
Thiha Min

    Ian June 25, 2015

    No problem at all, Thiha! I’m more than happy to help any way that I can 🙂 Thanks for giving it a read and never hesitate to reach out if I can help with anything.

Dave Sweney June 28, 2015

Hi Ian,

Appreciate the note referring me to this honest evaluation of this aspect of the WA site…

I am going into this whole online marketing segment having carefully thought through my desired outcome overall.

This includes focusing on a tight group of niches that I am somewhat familiar with and can offer something of value to those who choose to join my list./team…

Your point is well taken that the road to success for recruitment to educational resource sites as WA is (and so much more) is a challenging one. There is a huge amount of competition.

It will be a pillar (niche) of the overall platform (brand Dave) however, and as I gain credibility in each of the other pillars I am developing, it can contribute to the residual income that my brand provides.

If one were to count solely on this site or niche I fully agree likely one is setting themselves up for disappointment and failure.

How to best get attention and separate yourself from the pack in the online training/program niche however is key, to an extent moreso in this niche compared to some of the other ones that I am focusing on…

Rather than focusing on the negative I will focus on the positive… Certainly your methodology will bring in visitors, and I do appreciate that you really do review the products and services that are not good, and that offers real value…

What I have seen to often is a bait and switch used, where the title draws you in, the articles are clearly not objective, only intended to deliver the prospective customer to their funnel campaign, and conversion…

I have seen this time and time again… I will certainly likely review the competition, but focus on the points of difference as opposed to smashing them without a lot of thought or backing up with facts…

Thanks for taking the time and having the concern to offer your insight with this article… As others have said, I am glad that the two of us managed to connect. It will be interesting for me and hopefully for you as I move along…

Cheers to you!

Dave. 🙂