Is google sounding the death knell for comparison shopping finance affiliates?

Google just released a mortgage comparison shopping tool in California.

Whereas previously the search term would result in a list of indexed publishers offering comparison shopping services search results now include Google’s own site.

This is not a free service as Google is licensed as a mortgage broker in California.

I can’t help but wonder how this will affect other mortgage comparison shopping sites who now have to compete on a playing field owned by what will be the largest competitor.

It will be interesting to see whether challenge is brought claiming unfair competitive practices as clearly Google would have a distinct advantage over its competitors if they chose to place their own results higher than thoseof other  indexed or paid competitors.

Affiliate Marketing Blueprints are lies

“Why isn’t my site making any money?  I followed the blueprint!” is the question I’m most often asked by affiliates.

It saddens me that every day starry eyed new affiliates go out and buy the latest and greatest course on ‘how to become a gazamilibillionaire on the internet in under 24 hours’ only to discover after months of courses, masterminds, mentorships & exclusive coaching that they’ve now invested thousands into lining the pockets of ‘internet millionaires’ but have very little to show for it.

Unless of course they use their newly minted skills to drive more traffic to their mentor, who in turn fleeces the next victim and pays them a commission for telling the world how great the training was.

It’s no wonder affiliate marketing has a bad name.

Here’s the thing:

There is no bulletproof recipe for success.  There are however fundamentals that undperpin success in affiliate marketing.

1. Follow Your Passion

Whether you’re blogging, building a community or expanding a topic specific site, it has to be authentic. If you’re not genuinely interested in the topic it’s going to show.

2. Build a Mailing List

I CANNOT stress this enough. Your mailing list is your goldmine. It will continue to deliver returns year after year, if you nurture it, keep growing it and most importantly ensure your audience enjoys receiving mail from you.

3. Advertise

Without new visitors to your site, your business will stagnate. Figure out your audience profile and run ads on Facebook, Google and other outlets.
For bonus points measure your impact. Track the number of signups to your newsletter, so you know whether the advertising pays for itself.

4. Learn the Industry

There are a lot of scammers out there that promise you the world, but only if you take their course. Don’t fall for this.
One of my favorites right now is by Shawn Collins.

If you have the budget for it, attend the Affiliate Summit, held twice a year in the USA.  Yes, it’s pricey to get there, especially if you’re from Africa, but it’s worth it.
I’ve attended this conference at least 10 times and learn something new every visit.

5.  Choose your networks wisely.

Obviously I’m biased here, as my day job is at, and I’d love you to work with us, but there are dozens of great ad networks and hundreds of not-so-great ones out there.

Do your due diligence.  How long have they been in business?  Who’s the founder?  What did they do before?  Are the clients exclusive to them?

There are dozens of other criteria you could use to make your choice.  Not all networks are equal in all markets.  Find a couple of networks you can trust and stick to them.



What is this whole Internet Marketing Thing anyway?

Yes, we may choose to ignore it, but the vast majority of the world has no idea what we do, and that’s probably a good thing.  If everyone became a doctor overnight, we wouldn’t really need doctors any more, now would we?

Just because some of my friends ask, and I really don’t want to tell them what I do in any more detail, here’s the lowdown on Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is the use of the Internet to advertise and sell goods and services. Internet Marketing includes many different overlapping business models including:

  • Display Advertising Media Buying
  • E-mail marketing
  • Native Advertising (ads that pretend not to be an ad)
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Search engine marketing (including search engine optimization)
  • Business to business and business to consumer blog marketing
  • Article based marketing
  • Social Media marketing

OK, I know that’s not all there is to it, but at least it’s enough for you to go “oooh, ok” and change the subject.


Why you need a business strategy.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”  -Sun Tzu


My failures mostly come in the form of a sucker punch I didn’t anticipate.  It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when everything is going well.

Sailing as a young kid my dad always used to say “Keep an eye out for the freak waves.  They’re the boat killers.”  It’s funny though that even though I learned to keep my head up it was only once I got into business that I realized that the adage applies in every phase of life.


How then, do you develop a business or marketing strategy?  I’m not the authority, everyone has their own method.  I will however share some points that worked for me.

  1. Understand who your customers are.
  2. Understand your competitors
  3. Figure out what makes your product different and unique
  4. Identify the technologies or products that can kill your business
  5. Look for weaknesses in your competitors marketing, product and business.
  6. Figure out how you’re going to tell your customers why they need to buy from you.

Of course there’s tons more to say on each one the points above, but you get the idea.  Figure out who you want to sell to, why you’re better than your competition, what you can offer that your competitor can and how long you’ve got before you get disrupted.



The $11.9 Million Deceptive Marketing Judgement

Sometimes Affiliate Marketers can step too close to the line, or just blatantly stomp all over it.  In South Africa we have the Advertising Standards Authority, while the US has the Federal Trade Commission.  They  impose HEFTY fines for transgressions.

I doubt LeadClick Media would survive this…..

“A U.S. district court has ruled that LeadClick Media, an affiliate marketing network, and its parent company, CoreLogic, Inc., must turn over $11.9 million in ill-gotten gains they received from a deceptive marketing scheme that sold purported weight-loss products.

In granting the FTC’s request for summary judgment, the court ruled that LeadClick was responsible for the false claims made by affiliate marketers it recruited on behalf of LeanSpa, LLC, a company that sold acai berry and “colon cleanse” weight-loss products. According to the FTC’s complaint, LeanSpa used a “free trial” ploy to enroll consumers into its recurring purchase program that cost $79.99 a month and that was difficult to cancel.”

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