Is Wealthy Affiliate a Pyramid Scheme Or Not? Let’s Find Out The Truth!

Disclosure (full version here): Some of the links you’ll encounter are affiliate links. If you click and buy something, I may get a commission. Thank you! 

If you Google terms like “Wealthy Affiliate review” or “Wealthy Affiliate University review“, or “is Wealthy Affiliate a Scam”, you’ll see a bunch of positive reviews explaining that WA is not a scam, that it is legit AND that you should join.

When I say a bunch, I mean A LOT.

Virtually every review sings the same tune.

However, this is the internet and it’s quite normal that you’re skeptical about what you find online. In fact, I congratulate you because it means you have something between your ears, and you know how to use it.

You want to know whether or not Wealthy Affiliate is a pyramid scheme? I answer it below so stay tuned and…

Lets go!

Is Wealthy Affiliate a pyramid scheme or not?
Wealthy Affiliate University- a pyramid scheme?

What Are Pyramid Schemes Exactly?

Pyramid scheme is a “business model” that is laid out in 2 distinct parts.

First part has you buying into the product or service.

Second part has you recruiting other people to buy for themselves. Pyramid schemes are illegal and they are often disguised as a business opportunity.

For example, in December 2007 a marketing company called Wealthy Pools International started selling English and Spanish language DVD’s (remember those?) through a network of sales associates.

So, these people first bought the DVD’s, but then proceeded not to resell them for a profit, but to invite others, their friends, family, and associates to join.

They were trying to make money not by selling the DVD’s but by promoting the company that sold them. This fraud involved over 70 000 people who got scammed out of the total of 132 million dollars.

Pyramid scheme examples
Source! Click image to enlarge (opens in new tab)

4 Telltale Signs Of a Classic Pyramid Scheme

#1- You’re Required to Buy Lots Of Inventory

In a true pyramid scheme, you are the product and someone has to make money off you. So you will need to fork over a decent chunk of $$$ just to be able to join.

#2- Your Income Is Based Not On Selling The Product, But On Getting People To Buy in

Typically in a pyramid scheme, it’s far more lucrative to get other people to join the program under you, then to try and sell them the very product you’re supposed to be promoting.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, consider it a hint and a half there’s something fishy going on.

#3- Constant Upselling

Even though upsells are not unique to pyramid schemes, they are rampant among them.

In a pyramid fraud you will be taken advantage of and you’ll be forced to constantly buy stuff you don’t need to stay in good relations with the company.

#4- You’ll Be Losing money

Pyramid schemes are highly unsustainable. They crack sooner or later and almost always it catches you off guard. And, in 99.99% of the time- you won’t make a positive ROI.

6 Telltale Signs That Wealthy Affiliate Is NOT a Pyramid Scheme

#1- It’s Free To Join

In a pyramid scheme, you’re the product and someone is making money off you. This means that you have to pay and often quite a lot just to join.

Contrast that with Wealthy Affiliate where you don’t have to pay any money to become a member. Where you can stay a free member for as long as you want.

And where you can join their affiliate program and promote WA even as a Starter member.

In other words- you don’t have to give any money to WA in order to make money from it.

Crazy right?

No, it’s just pure affiliate marketing, a legit model for making money online.

Another distinction, in a classic pyramid scheme usually there is no product to promote and you’re trying to suck in others into the trap you fell into.

But with Wealthy Affiliate Platform you have a ton of features to promote: from their premium hosting services to newbie friendly site builder (SiteRubix) to an excellent keyword tool (Jaaxy); to everything else in between.

Some people have built lucrative businesses promoting Wealthy Affiliate, a genuine value packed product which is NOT a pyramid scheme or even an MLM.

Related resource- full Wealthy Affiliate review here!

#2- It’s An Affiliate Program And There’s No Face-To-Face Selling

Wealthy Affiliate operate an affiliate program you can join if you’d like.

Other people have joined and promote them as well. Including me!

I’m an affiliate for WA because I like their service, think they’re quality, and because they were the ones who introduced me to the concept of affiliate marketing. I’m sentimental I guess 🙂

So if you join through my link I will get a commission.

But I won’t be selling you a Fata Morgana. Instead you will get full access to the platform that can teach you internet marketing and change your life completely.

With a pyramid scheme you’d just be flushing your money down the drain and that’s the crucial difference.

#3- You’re Not Restricted To Only Promoting Wealthy Affiliate

Wealthy Affiliate taches you how to become an affiliate marketer and promote other people’s products for profits.

Sure, you can promote WA if you want, but it’s not a requirement and at least 90% of WA members end up picking their own niches they’re passionate about.

#4- It’s Too Cheap To Work As an Affiliate Scheme

I’ve talked about Wealthy Affiliate Pricing here, so I won’t cover it here. But basically, Pyramid schemes can only work with outrageous pricing where you have to pay thousands of dollars to join.

WA Premium is only $49/mo and if it were a pyramid scheme it’d be an extremely poorly designed one 🙂

#5- They Won The Lawsuit Against MOBE, A True Pyramid Scheme

It’s a too long of a story to divulge here, buy basically MOBE (My Online Business Education) sued Wealthy Affiliate and the owners Kyle and Carson for spreading rumors about them being a pyramid scheme.

Then the FTC got involved and determined that, YES, MOBE was an illegal pyramid scheme who scammed people out of the total of 125 million dollars.

And Wealthy Affiliate was a legit business that did nothing wrong.

If you’re curios to learn more, read about it in this blog post.

Note: even though Wealthy Affiliate is not a pyramid scheme, their affiliate program has some elements that resemble it.

Couple that with the fact that to most newbies who don’t know left from right in internet marketing, MLM schemes and affiliate marketing are almost equal;

and I see a need for a good explainer video that will clearly show the difference between the two, and why Wealthy Affiliate is not a pyramid scam of any sorts.

FAQ on Wealthy Affiliate And Making Money From it

#1- Can You Really Make Money With Wealthy Affiliate?

Yes you can.

You can either promote WA and make money that way, or you can choose a niche based on your passion and build a site in that area.

The sky is the limit because people search online more than ever, and it has never been easier to own and operate an online business.

#2- Is Wealthy Affiliate Free?

Yes and no. There is a free tier to WA called Starter membership. Is your ticket in, it’s non-expiring and you can claim it whenever you want. There are also two paid tiers:

  • Premium;
  • Premium Plus.

Learn more about Wealthy Affiliate pricing here.

#3- Is Wealthy Affiliate a Multi Level Marketing Scam?

No, Wealthy Affiliate is NOT an MLM. It’s the truth, however I recommend you read my article to learn more  about it.

Click on the link above!


Wealthy Affiliate is not a pyramid scheme and is a legit program that has turned thousand of ordinary people into successful affiliate marketers.

Do you want to become one of them?

If yes, then open a Starter (free) account today and take it from there. And if you go through my link, you’ll get my exclusive help inside the WA platform.

See you on the inside! 😀

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