Affiliate marketing is everywhere….

Holy cow I bet you all thought I had retired hah!? No such luck! Sorry folks :)

So I had a recent business trip over to Europe, once again went on one of my favorite airlines Virgin Atlantic (yes even with their horrible fuel surcharges) and while flying back I saw this story in the “newspaper” (it was the Independent, my fellow Brits will understand my snobbish quotation marks around the term newspaper) that I though y’all would find interesting. I don’t think I need to add any explanation as to why this piqued my interest, other than provide the context that the comparison sites that they are talking about are web sites that compare the cost of various utility companies available (water, gas, power, cable etc)

Story

 

“The sites are accused of filtering out deals which do not earn a big commission”. Mmm, sounds like I heard this story before no?

Of course we live in the jolly good US of A – or at least most of us do, I seem to get a few hits from the UK and Canada and a whole bunch from Bulgarians entering SEO driven spam comments, but most readers are based in the USA which is a pretty capitalistic society. And frankly I have no issues with that. I think anyone using a large website needs to spend two minutes thinking to themselves who is calling the shots on that site. So take some random example like Edmunds.com. I am supposed to be able to get unbiased car reviews there right? Well just go there and see who is advertising. I get immediately hit with a Mazda “sponsored link”. Immediately I know that this site is run by the auto industry. Therefore the chances of me getting genuinely unbiased advice is slim to none. I don’t care about disclosures – disclosures are for people too stupid to make these connections themselves. I don’t think businesses need to be in the business of protecting customers from their own stupidity. In fact they are there to exploit it.

What does annoy me in this little space of ours though is the huge pretense of being there to help you. None of these bloggers are out to help you. They are in it for themselves, and themselves only. So when I see horseshit like bloggers saying that they will start selling credit cards but it “will never change the way they blog” (classic examples of this are Milevalue and View From The Wing) I find that kind of outright lie disrespectful. Those posts tend to get taken down eventually, and really they should have said “I have decided to capitalize on this site and going forward content will be concentrated around the products that I need to promote in order to earn a living”. Apparently the MMS dude – who I am sure is a nice guy and clearly a smart and entrepreneurial fellow – came up with some bullshit about not being in this for the money or words to that affect. I am not sure what is most comical – that he said that, or that this real popular Drew guy fell for that horseshit? I mean making money is absolutely fine. But pretending that you are just some altruistic saint that cares more about some crap about your mother in law is just deceitful. And now even George at TBB put up a page for CC links. I mean what kind of stupid joke is that!? Does he need the money? Does he really think he can get the real big money with the content he has!? Hell yeah George the banks are real desperate for someone who mocks them all the time when they have dozens of other puppets pimping their product all day long. I just don’t get it. I guess the financial advisory business just isn’t paying what it needs to.

When I started this blog I too fully intended to add credit card links, but I quickly saw I had missed that boat and focused instead on my day job and kept this as a hobby. If I do ever decide to go the commercial route, I will do exactly that – create a real, commercial site and make it clear it’s a for-profit venture and not me “just trying to help out friends and family”. Keep it real folks!

Meanwhile I hope to see some of you in Phoenix this weekend, I am sure it’s going to be blast!

Spring Break in Maldives – Part 6: Conrad Water Villa Review

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So after not being overly impressed with the base Beach Villa we decided to upgrade to the Water Villa. This was not cheap as we were there in peak season and so ended up paying $392 a night for this, so just shy of $2k for five nights. However I will say that it was […]

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Spring Break in Maldives – Part 5: Conrad Beach Villa Review

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When you make a booking with points at the Conrad Maldives you get access to their base room type which they call a Beach Villa. There are then options to pay to upgrade to one of their higher category rooms with cash, with prices varying depending on the season and frankly I’d guess your negotiation […]

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Reminder: New York City get together this Wednesday 6th August

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Just a reminder that we are having a get together with The Miles Professor this coming Wednesday night, and the venue has been changed to the awesome rooftop garden at 230 Fifth. This is one of New York’s largest rooftop bar areas and I have been there a couple of times as it’s very near […]

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Who doesn’t love a new month? Happy August!

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Well not only is it a new month but it’s a Friday too! How awesome is that? Remember folks that means it’s Fuck First Friday day! Yes today is the day to make sure you maximize any 5x cards across bank issuers and really put our collective middle fingers up to the banks and their […]

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Join the New York Get Together!

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Join me and The Miles Professor for some awesome summer cocktails at the Hudson Hotel at 58th and Columbus on Wednesday August 6th. This is another chance to get together with fellow mileage crazies and enthusiasts while enjoying fabulous views along with the good company!   I hope to see as many as possible of […]

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First Call! Whistler “Do” February 2015

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Hey folks so I appreciate it is right in the middle of July now so I am sure you are all thinking about skiing? Oh ok, so maybe not. But just wanted to make a first call mention on a small gathering we are planning for a “Do” in Whistler next year. The dates are […]

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$25 off $100 at Staples with Visa Checkout

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Via SlickDeals you can get $25 off of a purchase of $100 or more at Staples.com when checking out using Visa Checkout. I am thinking my readers are smarter than the average bear so I am not going to spell this out too clearly with boxes and arrows but instead post the answers – as […]

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Happy 4th July and F*uk First Friday!!!

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Happy 4th July y’all! This is the day of the year I get to watch y’all get excited about getting over us Brits having control over you for so long – just kidding lol So coincidentally this year the 4th July is the first Friday of the month – and do you know what that […]

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Discover $75 cash-back for $1k spend offer

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I received an offer in the mail yesterday for $75 in cash back for making just $1,000 in spend on my Discover card. These offers are usually targeted, though in my case I received the mailer for both my wife and I. You can see if you qualify by logging on at www.discover.com/MyOffers. Of course […]

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Spring Break in Maldives – Part 4: Transfer to Conrad Maldives

After our short but pleasant stopover in Abu Dhabi we took the relatively short flight from Abu Dhabi to Male in the Maldives. While I was able to get all four of us in business class which is a rare find on Etihad, this was a pretty ordinary flight on one of Etihad’s regionally configured […]

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