Raising the Bar in Digital Marketing Training

Online learning is growing in popularity as a way to learn. It has affected how we learn all sorts of new skills, especially in my area of digital marketing. In this article I have chosen to look at one particular example, which is an organisation that I am still closely involved with known as Wealthy Affiliate University.

Raising the bar in digital marketing

Image found on Europablog.com

In this article I have decided to analyse what makes the Wealthy Affiliate model a successful way to learn about marketing.

All whilst still working on your own digital business. I have broken the article down into the following sections;

  • On-line Education & Training
  • On-line Digital Marketing Training
  • Wealthy Affiliate – A unique model in digital marketing training
  • Digital Marketing – Model of the Future

On-Line Education & Training

Learning new skills has never been easier in this technological age and this now includes learning technical skills through online courses, such as digital marketing training.

Traditionally many of these skills would have either been taught in a classroom context or learnt as a  team member within a marketing company.

However, for a small scale business or independent marketeer, trying to learn and work on their business at the same time often proved very difficult.

On-line Education Development

There has been a lot of change in education and training over the last 10 years. The increased use of the internet has been one of these key changes, and it has changed the way people view learning courses.

digital marketing

(Image “Business People Meeting To Discuss The Situation On The Market,” by jk1991, freedigitalphotos.net)

Nowadays participating in classroom discussions, accessing course materials and submitting assignments can all be achieved from a computer space at home.

As expectations rise from potential learners, this places additional pressures on learning institutions and centres to meet these demands.

So what has actually changed in relation to business education and teaching digital marketing?

On-line Digital Marketing Training

One such organisation that has actively embraced learning through on-line platforms in digital marketing, is Wealthy Affiliate University (or WA)

They started out in 2005 as a small company in Victoria British Columbia, Canada. Initially WA offered information on keyword research but then quickly realised that they had developed a following that wanted good reliable business advice, on a regular basis.

As a result they established a community forum, which has gradually developed over the years to enable members to develop and share their own training materials.

All this can be achieved through the platform, where members can also blog about current issues as they occur linked to their progress in the marketing sector.

According to their website;

Our training platform is unique, easy to use, and truly remarkable 
in that you will learn in real-time as the Internet changes.”

The constant streaming of training and blog information is quite an achievement given that members also have to subscribe and pay to use this platform.

So what is it about the wealthy affiliate model that encourages and achieves such a high level of engagement and still charges those that produce the material for their contribution?

Wealthy Affiliate (WA) – A Unique Model in Digital Marketing Training

In order to understand how the model works it’s first necessary to analyse all the services that WA offers.

Only then is it possible to try to understand why members would continue to stay with the  platform and contribute to its further development.

Wealthy Affiliate has its own web hosting platform and encourages members to use this platform to host their own business.  You can have up to 25 own domain addresses,  and this is perhaps the first clue in their success;

  • they promote big and are aiming at retaining businesses and entrepreneurs, even after they have achieved their initial start up success.

 

JAAXY

analysing the language in keywords

An example of the WA keyword tool

The next part of their model is they have another associated company Jaaxy, which is an online keyword tool.

This means that can they teach about keyword use and also provide and have developed their own online tools at limited cost or with free versions available to support members.

Within the WA platform there is a free keyword tool as well, so members have access to multiple tools to enhance their SEO work.

Affiliate Program

Similarly the programme teaches about affiliate marking and therefore every member of the site can become an affiliate of WA.

The university provides an easy to use dashboard with easy access to your stats and banners, so you can track and earn a commission for any referrals. Members are taught how to build a site and how to use the affiliate links following a step by step tutorial.

Many members choose not to promote WA, but all the tools are there to teach you what to expect with any affiliate marketing company.

Learning program

The final component in their model is the learning programme. An online programme broken down into modules and levels that leads every member from absolute beginner through to developing an established website.

The training covers everything required to take an internet business through its start up  phase and begin earning. You can see the programme outline in this article for Module One.

 

Digital Marketing Mentoring Program

It is at this point that many training organisations would lose their clients because they have reached the end of the course. However this is not so at Wealthy Affiliate.

For many members this is almost the beginning of the next phase, which is contributing towards the ongoing development and promotion of the WA university.  But why would they do that?

Wealthy affiliate promotes an ethos of ‘pave it forwards’ in other words you assist others and someone will assist you when you are in need. There are several methods of engagement on the site;

  • a live chat feed
  • the opportunity to write blogs
  • ask questions
  • a private messaging system
  • add comments to discussions
image community support

Image found on twinbrooks.ca

Members are encouraged to participate by means of a ranking system. The more you are active the lower your rank.

The training programme operates in a similar way in that credits are earned depending on how many people viewed and engaged with your training content.

These credits are banked within your WA account and can be redeemed for cash.

Digital Marketing Model of the Future

The model at WA is worth considering because it works at many levels. It is successful in providing training, but it also offers and manages much more than that.

  1. It retains membership even when people are earning off their own sites.
  2. It encourages and manages to acquire training input from active affiliate and online entrepreneurs  on a daily basis.
  3. It has a on-line 24/7 support programme offering advice and answering questions all run voluntary in addition to their own paid staff.

As expectations continue to rise, along with the costs of online education, then future training programmes have to offer value for money.

Has Wealthy Affiliate just raised the bar in digital marketing training? As we move forwards into 2017 that is going to be a key question that the business industry and the education sector need to answer.

 

Further Reading

Other articles that may be of interest on this site are;

I hope you enjoyed the article and if so please feel free to share on your own social media sites.

 

16 thoughts on “Raising the Bar in Digital Marketing Training

  1. Chris

    The word ‘digital marketing’ or ‘internet marketing’ has always seemed a little overpowering to me but I would love to actually know more about it. The main reason being is obviously money – you hear about so many people who have actually made good money online!
    This WA platform seems cool but I’m a bit worried about how much pre-knowledge I need?

    Reply
    1. Marie

      Hi Chris, in answer to your question about digital marketing and wealthy affiliate – you don’t need any prior knowledge or experience. The training starts from the very basics and works it way upwards.

      Because it is done at your own pace you can stay at whatever level you like, for as long as you want – if you want some information on the very first module this article will explain more FREE Digital Marketing Level 1 Training Module

  2. Barry

    For an older person like myself this digital education era is amazing. I have even taken classes from accredited colleges. It’s great. You can learn anything you put your mind to.

    i may put mine to use on Wealthy Affiliate University as I have always wondered how it’s done. The fact that people remain after they finish with the courses says a lot about what kind of people are there.

    Is your website the result of the education you got at Wealthy Affiliate? How much does it cost to be a part of this kind of program.?

    I also wonder how long it would take me to have a website like yours?

    Looking forward to the answers.

    Reply
    1. Marie

      Hi Barry thanks for dropping by and your interest in Wealthy Affiliate. To answer some of your questions I agree the fact that people stay with the platform even after they have finished the training does indeed say a lot. Part of the reason I think is that members can also create their own training so there are always plenty of opportunities to keep learning and try things based on others’ experiences.

      Yes this web site was developed through WA, I followed their training and then later linked to other outside experts in my niche area for further ideas. I still go back to read other articles and trainings / reviews of different plugins and software on WA. There is another article that explains more about pricing options and what exactly you get in this article Digital Marketing at Wealthy Affiliate University (including info on their free membership option).

      And finally this website is just over 12 months old so to answer your last question not that long if you are interested and willing to put in the time. Hope that helps, Marie

  3. Alex

    Hey Marie,
    I have only been using Wealthy Affiliate for a short while, but the training there is second to none. Because it is updated so frequently, you can count on the training to be up to date and reliable. I have learned so much about the online marketing world and I could not have done so without Wealthy Affiliate training.
    -Alex

    Reply
    1. Marie

      Thanks Alex I also think it’s a great system and like you said because members can update and add their own training there is always something new to learn.

      I find many people create training in response to questions that are asked on the forum, so it really is a dynamic model.

      Thanks for adding your own experience, Marie

  4. Imad

    Hi, Marie.

    Great post. When I hear “Digital Marketing” I think of CopyBlogger training and strategies. They are great at what they do, and they help a lot of people.

    But frankly, nothing beats what Wealthy Affiliate is offering. Every kind of training inside the community is worth more than we pay. As you mentioned, online education is getting easier than before. With a couple of clicks, you can start an online business from scratch.

    I am glad to be a Wealthy Affiliate member and I hope that more people will find their way to it as well.

    Regards,
    Imad

    Reply
  5. John

    What an interesting post! I have been in search for something like this for a long time now and I am so glad I found this. Guess I didn´t know the name digital marketing, I thought the name was internet marketing. What is the difference or is it the same thing? Anyway I am gonna take a look at Wealthy Affiliate that you mentioned, sounds really great! Thanks again! /John

    Reply
    1. Marie

      Hi John and many thanks for your comment I’m glad you found the post interesting.

      Digital marketing is an interesting term which tends to encompass more of the social media promotion element as well as content marketing. You can read more about its definition and use in this article What is Digital Marketing?

      Thanks again and good luck with wealthy affiliate, don’t forget if you sign up through my link I also offer free mentoring and support when you first join.

  6. roamy

    Hello

    i enjoyed your article and was happy to know there are still people out there who could analyze a programme so thoughtfully like you did wealthy affiliates.
    lm not yet familiar with many things online so l might in the future give Wealthy Affiliates ago but nor right now..
    But,are they free to join or is there a cost l have to pay to be a member?
    And if they charge how much is it?would like to know before i sign up

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi Roamy , thanks for your questions as a quick response wealthy affiliate is free to join and they also have a premium programme for $47 a month (or less if you join annually).

      For more information I have a review on wealthy affiliate that was written especially for writers interested in establishing a writing platform which can be read in Wealthy Affiliate Review – Is it suitable for writers?and another article on the university side of WA which can be read at Digital Marketing at Wealthy Affiliate University

      Hope that helped, Marie

  7. Ehab

    Hello Marie,

    Great article & very informative , i really like wealthy affiliate & it’s training courses & tools it really helped me a lot in building my own website & starting to develop it, this review has the power to push people towards building their own career & do what they love.

    Good job & keep it up.

    Ehab

    Reply
    1. admin

      Thanks Ehab I appreciate your comments especially as you are coming from a Wealthy Affiliate perspective and have actually tried it out. It’s hard nowadays to know what exactly are genuine products and what is just a scam, I am interested in collecting genuine feedback and comments on people’s experiences of WA so if it’s OK I might quote you in another article?

  8. TheDopestMatrix

    I love it because you are so right! You can learn skills almost for free online these days, it’s awesome! Plus, you can move through life a lot quicker and get to the better parts! LOL I think that Wealthy affiliate has an excellent model for both learning and earning when it comes to online business. Great article.

    Matt TheDopestMatrix

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi Matt, thanks I really like your phrase ‘learning and earning’ because I think most online businesses need that, it isn’t an option to give up huge chunks of time to go off and study.

      You can learn many skills for free I agree, but it also takes time to research and find the best and most reliable providers. In business I hear the phrase taking a smart cut in business (rather than a short cut) and I think WA is definitely a smart cut decision, it does all that research for you and provides the materials in one easy to access place.

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