How Education Happens
- How Education Happens
- My Thoughts on education
- In This Post…
- April 4th, 2012 Was A Very Important Day
- What Is Open Education?
- Buying E-Books And Courses Are A Thing Of The Past
- Khan Academy
- Lets Use Video To Reinvent Education | TED TALK 2011 Video – Run Time: 20.27
- The One World Schoolhouse
- Getting Educated The Traditional Way
- Why I Chose The Wealthy Affiliate Platform
- Ray Dalio
- Taking The Test Drive Is Completely Free
- Listen Carefully
- Are You Sure That An Online Business Is For You?
How Education Happens…
How does Education Happen?
Confucius said: “Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”
“There is no mere metaphor, but a physical reality. The Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric R. Kandel, in his seminal book “In Search of Memory,” argues that learning is in fact neither more or less than a series of changes that take place in the individual nerve cells of which our brain cells are composed. When a given cell is involved in learning, it literally grows. The process is not exactly analogous to what happens when one exercises a muscle, but it’s pretty close.”
My Thoughts On Education…
Paul Mindra, your host and Online Guide here at The Forensic Affiliate website.
My thoughts on education are that education and knowledge are among the catalysts that can keep changing the world and leverage people with the tools and skills they need to find ‘a path out of poverty that leads to prosperity.’
Education is something that I have always been passionate about and I promote the ideas behind learning.
If we are not continuously learning, then chances are that we are not progressing. I am a big fan of everything ‘Wikipedia’ and as you will find out, I reference it a lot.
I believe that everyone should have access to at least a ‘basic level pre-tertiary education’ and that this basic level of education should be free. Basic literacy, numeracy and the ability to communicate, complete tasks and work with others are ‘Life Skills’ that are extremely important because they provide the baseline skills to survive as people in the World.
So Can this be done?
“It’ll be a great day when education gets all the money it wants, and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy bombers.” – Author Unknown.
In This Post…
I’d like to go over The Wealthy Affiliate Open Education Project, other Open Education Resources, and Traditional Education as well. I’d like to touch on Student Loans, Student Debt, why I chose The Open Education Platform here at Wealthy Affiliate and also why I promote it.
Then I would like to divert to the Wealthy Affiliate Free Training “Starter Membership” and “Bootcamp” programs and come back to which countries the program is currently not available in and why. Finally, I’d like to wrap it up by laying down some realities about what Wealthy Affiliate offers so that you can decide if going back to a Paid Open Education Platform to ‘Learn’ legitimate ways to make money online is the right thing for you to do.
Let’s get started.
April 4th, 2012 Was A Very Important Day
April 4th, 2012, marked a very special day in the history and evolution of the Wealthy Affiliate Internet Marketing Platform.
“Today we are happy to announce the most interactive, robust and powerful Internet Business training community anywhere…The Wealthy Affiliate-Open Education Project.” – Kyle Loudoun.
When Kyle Loudoun & Carson Lim founded ‘The Wealthy Affiliate’ back in 2005, it was started as a ‘Keyword List’ Membership site and nothing more.
By 2012, Wealthy Affiliate had evolved to become the best online Internet Marketing training platform anywhere in the World.
The Open Education Project, nicknamed “Where Do You Find What You Are Looking For” was now a collection of all WA and WA member ideas, experiences, and success stories from the last 7 years. It has evolved to become one of the most robust, “success creating” Internet Business training communities anywhere.
“Where do you find what you are looking for” now gave Wealthy Affiliate members the most power they had ever had to learn, to network, to interact, to engage and most important of all, to succeed. This platform further allowed the members to ‘teach‘ training courses to the community and in return receive credits to further enhance their presence online or convert the credits into cash as they pleased.
The Jaaxy Keyword research tool is included with wealthy affiliate premium membership.
So what exactly is “Open Education,” and is it a future revolution in the making?
What is Open Education?
“Open Education is a philosophy about the way people should produce, share, and build on knowledge…” – opensource dot com.
“Open education is education without academic admission requirements and is typically offered online. Open Education broadens access to the learning and training traditionally offered through formal education systems. The qualifier ‘Open’ refers to the elimination of barriers that can preclude both opportunities and recognition for participation in institutional-based learning. One aspect of openness or ‘opening up’ education is the development and adoption of open education resources.” – Source: Wikipedia.
“Open Education combines the traditions of knowledge sharing and creation with 21st Century technology to create a vast pool of openly shared educational resources while harnessing today’s collaborative spirit to develop educational approaches that are more responsive to learner’s needs.”
– Source open education week dot org.
The Only Thing On The Internet That Is Constant Is Change?
The only way to adjust to this rapid change is to be effectively involved in solid, evolving platforms of education that embrace the advancements of change.
Buying e-books, courses, support programs, and other mentorships no longer make sense, are becoming outdated, and in my opinion, are a thing of the past.
It’s like sorting through ClickBank to find the few that are legitimate, relevant and long-term.
We can take action and control into our own hands and not be reliant on the so-called push-button success programs of others.
The Wealthy Affiliate ‘Open Education Project’ might just be the only place we need to learn how to succeed online and at the same time make honest, self-earned money. Yes, money earned through our hard work, an unmatched syllabus and the education and experiences volunteered from others.
There is another side of Open Education that is purely devoted to learning traditional education in the 21st century way and I would like to bring it to your attention. Not only am I a Wealthy Affiliate student-member, but I am also an active participant, part-time student and big-time advocate of Khan Academy. It is a place for everyone, where we can learn any of the tertiary subjects and more forever and do it all for free.
Khan Academy is a not-for-profit educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan with a goal of creating an accessible place for people to be educated. Their motto is “A free world-class education for anyone, anywhere.’
Let me tell you, if this platform had been around while I was in high school (mid-seventies), I would have “breezed” through Calculus, Integration and any other challenges that I had faced within the curriculum offered back then which is probably the same curriculum being taught today.
The website also includes supplementary practise exercises for educators. All resources are available to users of the website. The website and its content are provided mainly in English but are also available in other languages like Bengali, Hindi, and Spanish.
In the video below, “Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education | TED TALK 2011,” Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the amazing Khan Academy and demonstrates how his Online School influences not only students but also educators through a pilot project implemented in the Los Altos School District in California.
Lets Use Video To Reinvent Education | TED TALK 2011
Video Run Time: 20.27
What I found kind of interesting is that towards the final portion of the video, Bill Gates, yes, Bill Gates is actually picking Salman’s mind in a manner of “Why didn’t I think Of that.” It doesn’t really matter, the Gates Foundation and Google are the two largest contributors to the Khan Academy Initiative.
Khan Academy is also an amazing source for parents that are teaching their children through ‘Home Schooling’ which is another concept that I do favour and one that is going to gain more acceptance over time.
Salman Khan is also a very accomplished writer. One of his most celebrated works is titled: “The One World Schoolhouse – Education Reimagined.”
The One World Schoolhouse
“What if we completely flipped the concept of the classroom by doing homework at school and lectures at home?”
“What if we wove subjects together so students could study at the cross-sections between history, math, science, philosophy, language arts, and social studies?”
“What if we put students of all ages together into the same classroom and still personalized every lesson to each student so they could learn at their own pace?”
“What if students mastered each skill before rushing unprepared into the next lesson?”
“What if we did away with letter grades, and deadlines, and reduced the class time to about 2 hours per day?”
“And, to cap it all off, what if we made the basic elements of that schoolhouse available for free to everyone in the world?”
Lets make learning meaningful for each and every student.
If Khan is right, this vision is closer to home than we might think …
Open Education projects like these and the one at Wealthy Affiliate University allow students to “Take Ownership of their learning.”
In Class, students will no longer say. ‘Hey teacher, I’m passive. Tell me what to do next.’ Instead, they will say ‘Hey teacher, these are my goals and I want to seek the information. Teacher, you are my coach, you are my mentor, please help me do it.’
More private programs will teach students at a level and speed that best suits the student’s own individual needs.
Khan Academy is the ‘Epitome’ of Open Education because it is offered completely for Free.
Even Google has taken great initiatives in the ‘Open Education’ movement.
Anyone can now create ‘Online Courses.’
Creating courses can be a great way to earn extra money from online activity but it can be a daunting task to get started. You can look at ‘How To’ by trying one here using ‘Open Learning.’
A long story made short…Education is essential for nearly every type of job or career, and in many cases, education makes the difference between being able to perform a job safely and accurately and being unable to perform a job at all.
But with all this technology at our disposal and more on the way, is it still necessary to get educated the ‘traditional way?’
This is a topic of many debates. Below are my thoughts on getting educated the traditional way.
Getting Educated The Traditional way
The challenges with getting educated the traditional way can be many. Probably the most prohibitive barrier is the expense. It is also extremely time-consuming and the efforts are not a guarantee of good job opportunities upon completion.
How many times have you heard students coming out of school say ‘I have a degree but right now, I’m working in a warehouse doing the shipping and receiving’ or at least something to that effect?
Don’t get me wrong…I am not against the traditional way of getting educated. In fact, I am not against any form of education because as I said earlier, ‘Education at the core level, is the leverage that provides people with the tools and skills they need to find their path out of poverty and lead a life of prosperity.’
Yes, ‘the traditional way of getting educated’ was in fact the only way to get educated and in its early days was only available to the elite.
Times changed and education became more available to the masses with the implementation of ‘loans for higher education’ in the mid-1800s. With that progress, education costs have now placed the World Economies (in particular the USA) into debt situations that may never be properly dealt with ever.
The Student Loan Debt Crisis | 1.3 Trillion Dollars and growing…
Video Run Time: 1.39
Recent reports indicate that 44.2 million Americans are carrying a total student loan debt of 1.3 Trillion Dollars Plus. That is 12 zeros after the 1: $1,300,000,000,000.00. Wow! Staggering just to think about it.
Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Programs…
“Have you ever wished your student loans would just go away? While there’s no way to snap your fingers and have your student loan debt magically disappear, there are ways to get it forgiven. There are a number of different student loan forgiveness programs out there for people who work in public service, education, health care, and other areas. Some states in the US are even helping debt-saddled graduates pay off their loans.”
If you’re struggling with debt, student loan forgiveness could save you. Read More Here.
Student Loans and Student Debt, in my opinion, are a crime. Not necessarily the loan itself, but more so the repayment schedules and Interest.
Student Loans & Student Debt
Education, in whatever form it comes in is a fundamental ‘Human Right’ and essential for the exercise of all other human rights. Student Loans and Student debt however, in my opinion, are a Crime. I’m by no means an expert in the field of student loans.
My only ‘Post Secondary’ education was a 2-year Computer Programming and Systems Analysis Course that I took through a Private Career College back in the late seventies. My Dad paid for it so I have never been a victim of ‘Student Debt.’ Thanks, Dad.
Too many people go to College or University ‘just to go’ or because they’re told ‘that’s what you have to do in order to be successful.’
That’s all well and good if you know what you want to do for a career because then you can focus on the pre-requisites that you need. These are usually high demand ‘specialized studies’ in medicine for example. Completed successfully, chances are good that you will get a good return on Investment from your very expensive University Education because you can be employed right away after graduation.
But if you go to College or University and after graduating you decide to do whatever suits your ‘whims,’ chances are that you are going to end up with a job you don’t really like and you are going to have lots of student debt to show for it.
An Example Of Student Debt
You go to school for 4 years at let’s say Michigan State (see their fees Here) and graduate with a ‘Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) undergraduate Degree’ and a student debt of say 80K. Your options are to go further with post-graduate studies to get your MBA (more debt) or start looking for a job. Please keep in mind that this is just an example of Student Debt and is probably not typical to any 1 personal situation.
So, you start looking for a job. Here are the 50 best paying careers with only a bachelor’s degree. Shortly after you start your search, the ‘Interest Clock’ on your student loans will start to tick.
You are fortunate, you get lucky, and land a good entry-level job that pays you 60K/year (I’m being optimistic). Depending on where you live, that will equate to about $45K/year take home. Is that going to be enough to pay the bills and maybe plan for a future family? I guess this will depend on your lifestyle.
Let’s say you budget 4K/year per year to pay off your student loan. Well, that’s going to take 20-25 years (if not longer because of the Interest). Do you see where this is going? See and use the Student Loan Calculator Here.
Kevin O’Leary, a very successful Canadian businessman says that 40% of your paycheck should go to paying off student debt before establishing your personal lifestyle. Watch the short video below.
Video Run Time: 1.30
“Whatever interest rate you have – it might be a student loan with a 7 per cent interest rate – if you pay off that loan, you’re making 7 per cent. That’s your immediate return, which is a lot safer than trying to pick a stock or trying to pick Real estate, or whatever it may be…” – Mark Cuban.
For those that are less fortunate, and leave school without a job, they come to the realization that it is becoming more and more commonplace for jobs to shift overseas. If companies can find more skilled labour elsewhere and at a cheaper price, they will do it.
This will mean that over time, ‘middle classes’ will become ‘lower classes’ because they are forced to work for less money in order to compete? We are already beginning to see this happen.
Why I Chose The Wealthy Affiliate Platform
I chose the Wealthy Affiliate Platform because of the education aspect of the program. Another deciding factor is that I can afford it within my current budget.
Wealthy Affiliate has a long history and are in my opinion, very transparent.
Everything that is required to get started and grow online is available all under one roof.
The gated community is safe and well run if you want to share ideas and get social.
The courses presented here at Wealthy Affiliate are presented at a level that I can understand and follow.
If you are facing some challenges in your life getting back to work or you are simply at the end of your work cycle, then Wealthy Affiliate could be a good choice for you to pursue.
I arrived at Wealthy Affiliate University in May of 2016 and have been here ever since. It has become a daily routine in my life. Thank you, WA.
If you decide that you would like to try this program, please do so because you are thinking of your plans long-term. Budget yourself for at least two to three years in order to be fair to yourself and to give the program a fair chance at the same time.
Make A Comment.
Dalio resides with his wife Barbara, a descendant of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, (married in 1976/77) in Greenwich, Connecticut, and is known to practice the Transcendental Meditation technique.
They have four sons, Devon, Paul, Matthew, and Mark.
Watch this video every day until you get it.
Choosing a User (Screen) name is important if you choose to get started at Wealthy Affiliate.
Choosing a username [Screen Name] is very important on your journey on the Internet. Here’s how-to and why from another member here at Wealthy Affiliate. Read it and then come back.
Next, watch the video below before actually getting started.
Completing Your Account Set-up at WA – Adding a Description & Image
The ‘Test Drive’ Is Completely Free.
The Wealthy Affiliate Open Education Project is an education initiative that teaches members how to prepare and set themselves up for a journey into the world of IM (Internet Marketing).
The focus of the training is affiliate marketing but by no means is it limited to just that. Wealthy Affiliate is more of a service built around a community and is not a plug and play product.
Whether you are running an offline business, an online business, or looking to start a business from new, you will need to have a home base and resource centre for your business like the one offered at Wealthy Affiliate University.
If not Wealthy Affiliate then something similar or better if there is such a thing. I am familiar with three other platforms in the Affiliate/Internet Marketing Arena that get reviewed a lot. The first is “Solo Build It” by Sitesell, the second is Affilorama, and the third is Builderall. “Project 24” from Income School looks kind of interesting too. Do some homework, read what others are saying and try to find a good fit and the best bang for your buck. They are not my ‘cup of tea.’
Whichever platform you choose, make sure it feels like ‘Home’ and comes with 24/7 help and support because the missing piece of the puzzle to online success is your storefront. Without a well-constructed Website that provides lots of useful information, quality content and value, you will not succeed.
At Wealthy Affiliate the core beliefs of the Open Education Platform Are:
- Anyone can achieve success online;
- Anything NEW can appear to be overwhelming at first;
- Very little Technical or Prior Business Experience is required because these skills can be taught and learned; and,
- Success is a Journey.
The Wealthy Affiliate Open Education community is Worldwide which means that regardless of your time-zone, there will always be members online somewhere to lend a hand or guide you in the right direction.
The ‘Free Starter” membership offered at Wealthy Affiliate is probably the best way to get a taste of what they offer and establish for yourself if they do indeed provide what you are looking for, and more importantly, decide if their platform will fit in with your existing schedule and style of life.
Here is a video from 2014 published by Ryan explaining what you get.
Video Run Time: 1.30
The Six Lesson Online “Certification Program” that Ryan talks about is actually now a 10 lesson program and yes, it is still completely free. It is designed for ‘Specific Niche Marketing’ and will serve those that have a particular business or idea already in mind very well.
On top of the Certification Program, Wealthy Affiliate has also added a “Free 10 lesson Boot Camp” course that introduces how to promote their ‘Affiliate Program’ in the “Make Money Online” (MMO) niche.
Let’s have a look at what the Free Membership has to offer for both the Online Certification and WA Boot Camp affiliate program below.
Countries Not Permitted To Receive Free Membership At This Time
Wealthy Affiliate is complete spam and fraud-free environment.
They have a ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy which is actually a really good thing to have.
It protects not only their interests but also the interests of their members here at Wealthy Affiliate. Everyone has a strong sense of security not only for themselves but also for their websites online.
Throughout their history, the wealthy affiliate like all other internet business has encountered a lot of spam, scam, and even attempts at fraud to get to the users and consumers.
Wealthy Affiliate is not only on top of it but also ahead.
This abundance of spam and misguidance was coming from the countries listed further below and as a result, the ‘Free Starter Membership’ could not be made available to them.
The list below was current as of 2018 year-end and came from Wealthy Affiliate Site Support:
Very Important Update:
April 25th, 2019.
FREE Membership Starter Kits are now available to all the countries in the world except Nigeria.
Nigeria must start at a premium from the beginning.
Are You In Nigeria?
If you are from Nigeria and want to access the 2, 10 free courses offered in the Free Starter Kit to see if this educational platform is for you, you can. It will however be limited and you will have to close some pop-ups when they appear.
You will not be able to participate or interact as you would in our regular membership classes here. You will also not be able to input/output with the modules and the community.
The takeaway however for being on this site is that you can preview the 2 free courses and actually work through them step by step and make notes with pencil and paper.
Kyle Loudoun will be your instructor in class and he will explain as you go along with him, what the program is, how it got started, where it is going, and most importantly where it can take you.
If your long term goals are to own, operate and develop your own real estate online, then you should want to feel comfortable first about paying $49.00 per month to get started and then $359.00 per year to keep going. Domain names are around $15.00 per year and include Hosting.
[All Prices are in USD and do not include applicable taxes – PayPal and credit cards accepted].
Click on the Screen Cast Below to get rolling.
[Full Disclosure: You will be prompted to fill out a pop-up that will appear from time to time. Simply close and continue. Scrolling is slow. Take your time. Try to get to the video. Good luck]
So which training should you start first?
My answer to the question is – ultimately do both because what you learn from one will only enhance your knowledge from the other, but do not try to do them both at the same time. You will lose your focus which will lead to discouragement.
If you have a niche that you are passionate about, then definitely the ‘Entrepreneur Certification Course’ should come first. If you are undecided about your direction, then ‘Boot Camp’ is for you but be careful. There are a lot of people promoting Wealthy Affiliate online in a very similar way as taught in the “Boot Camp” training. You may have to think outside the “Boot Camp training box” to get your desired results which can be done.
Since arriving here back in mid-2016, I have learned how to experience and then explain.
Wealthy Affiliate is better experienced than explained.
Try it for free here.
Free starter membership offered is the best way to see if the platform is right for you.
Wealthy Affiliate has obtained countless effective reviews from countless satisfied users.
To do anything on the Internet you have to have a website. The wealthy affiliate courses are aligned with WordPress and allow the user to create in an open educational environment.
Why Do You Want To Start A Business Online?
Ask yourself why do you want to start a business online? Do you want to start a blog? Do you want to sell your own product? Do you want to sell other people’s products? Do you want to just provide valuable information? Do you want to create a Membership Only website? What is it that you want to do? Write it down.
Is your reason solely to make money? O.K. How much money? Write it down.
Do you already have the skills required to make the amount of money you have written down? If the answer is yes, then what has kept you back? Write it down.
If the answer is no, then ask yourself if you truly have the desire and patience to build a website that people will want to visit, learn from and most importantly purchase from? Write down Yes or No.
Are you willing to build the website imaginable for your chosen niche or vertical? Do you have the skills already to do that? If not, are you willing to work hard to learn how to create quality content, master Search Engine Optimization, create videos, and do a lot of research? Yes or No? Write it down.
Would you be willing to continue working on a website for many months without ever being paid for said work? Would you be willing to write no fewer than 1000-2000 words of quality and relevant content per week ongoing? Yes or No? Write it down.
Many ‘top bloggers’ and ‘pundits’ say that it’s getting more and more difficult to become successful online, especially in the affiliate marketing (in the make money online niche) because of the competition. They say that it takes time to rank on Page 1 of Google and it takes even more time to become an authority in your chosen field so that people will listen to you. They warn that before you enter into this new world, you will want to consider some of these questions which I have raised above. I tend to agree with these top bloggers and pundits on most of their views i.e., The Make Money Online Niche is very competitive.
If you have more No’s than Yes’s in your answers, then starting a business online is probably not going to be for you. And we have not even discussed yet if you have the budget to get started. I’m not trying to discourage you. I just want to give you a few realities of what will come your way.
Budget To Get Started
I joined Wealthy Affiliate in May 2016 as a ‘FREE’ Starter Member and a complete ‘Newbie’ to The Internet.
The person that I accepted an online referral from is JohnMKs from Sweden.
I followed the directions in getting started and had my account set-up almost immediately. I started building a free site using the Siterubix platform.
It was in the MLM Ponzi Scheme environment including crypto actives.
We started Free
We Created a profile
We Followed the directions
We are doing it all
Congratulations you have gone yearly.
Great savings by locking in now. Well done.
After May 11th, the new pricing at Wealthy Affiliate will look like this:
Premium Yearly = $495 per year (NEW PRICE)
Premium Bi-Yearly = $234 per 6 months (REMOVED)
Premium Monthly = $49 per month (UNCHANGED)
First Month Premium Monthly Offer = $19 First Month (UNCHANGED)
As you can see, the monthly pricing and first-month bonuses are not impacted by this. The bi-yearly pricing is no longer available, and the yearly price has a new price structure.
If you upgrade to Premium Yearly before May 11th and 11:59 PM PST, you are going to get the Black Friday pricing on your membership. This means $299 per year for Premium, or broken down this works out to be less than $0.83 per day!
===> Get the Black Friday Pricing, Only $299 For a Year of Premium Until May 11th!
This includes absolutely everything within the premium, all future premium updates, 52 live classes in the next year, all the training updates that are going to be taking place, and the platform innovations and updates that are slated for the upcoming 12 months. We have an amazing launch schedule slated for the year ahead.
But, we wanted to spice up the deal so I am also going to be doing a Live Class discussing my thoughts on the state of the internet business world, and ultimately how to thrive within an economic crisis.
Learn more at the below link. Premium Yearly Price Change, Innovation, & An Offer.$495.00 USD is About $700.00 CAD
It used to be $359.00 USD about $500 CAD.
$299.00 USD/yr is the best membership for everyone here that is already yearly and want to stay.
Be well, my dear.
Really nice to hear from you again.
Before joining WA and while I was looking around, I knew that I would have to spend money to get my storefront online. I had budgeted about $1,000.00 USD per year for my new education. What a surprise to bring everything in at less than $400.00 per year.
It is going to cost new members less than $600.00/yr.
If you have learned anything by reading this post, I hope that you have learned the following:
- Education and knowledge are among the catalysts that can change the World and leverage people with the tools and skills they need to find ‘a path out of poverty that leads to prosperity’;
- “Open Education” is a philosophy about the way people should produce, share, and build on knowledge. Open education is education without academic admission requirements and is typically offered online;
- The Only thing on the Internet that is constant is Change;
- Starting a business online should not be a daunting task but will be one if you do not have a plan of direction to follow;
- To be successful online, you need a ‘Storefront.’ Your storefront is your website. Not just any ‘Cookie Cutter’ website but one which you can feed and nurture daily;
- All business takes time to go from start-up to prosperous;
- You must have a dedicated budget to get started;
- You must put in the time and effort required to learn, practice and apply what you are learning; and,
- You must understand that the path to success is a journey.
Getting started for ‘Free’ is the way to go. Referrals that go on to Premium are those that want to go on to financial freedom instead of living paycheck to paycheck or no paycheck at all.
If you would like to Get Started with no strings attached, do so by clicking on the image below.
I hope you have found this post to be helpful with your search online.
Up Next: How To Start A Business Online
Make A Comment, Ask A question, leave a suggestion…
How do you place a price on education?
The basic levels should be free and graded according to a global standard established as a global standard.
Your Host & Guide,
A smart way to go:
- Start free
- Set up a profile and get comfortable
- Take advantage when given the options to take advantage of the advantages that are given
The Wealthy Affiliate approach: (Basic)
Build a website on a subdomain that you can own if you proceed to premium.
Build another website on a domain that you own.
Compare and work with the two.
Add more if you like.