Jack, my hat is off to you for your online success. I had heard about Wealthy Affiliate a few years ago, but never pursued it due to the need for more immediate income at the time. I had forgotten all about it until I recently became interested in affiliate marketing again. After finding a few scammers in the space, I came across Wealthy Affiliate again. Right away, I knew WA was the real deal and a great choice, so I proceeded to give it a test drive by signing up for the free account. I totally expected to upgrade quickly, but wanted to have a look around to be absolutely sure before upgrading to a premium account. After signing in, I was shocked to read the following statement on the next page, “Free Starter accounts are not available in your country, but we would love to have you as a Premium Member!”. Please understand that I am not sharing this to trash WA in any way, but I feel that others should be aware that there are exceptions to the free trial. I am an American who happens to be traveling abroad, so unfortunately due to geo-tracking, the country I am currently visiting is being blocked from their free trial offer. I’m not a “Cheap Charlie” and not just looking for freebies, but this experience has caused me to reconsider whether I should join WA as a premium paid member without trying it before I buy it. It should also be noted that I was brought to the checkout page to pay first and the only option I was given was the annual payment @ $359.
In the long-term, it affects your versatility, functionality, and, of course, your brand. In the short term, it can certainly add/take away a lot of headaches. That said, just like choosing a physical house or office, there is no such thing as an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only the right choice relative to your goals, experience, and circumstances.