John Chow is a successful Internet entrepreneur. So is Michael Kwan, author of this review on John Chow’s website.
The review highlights an affiliate program for a product called HerbalBiz. But you have to pay to join the program – $1.95. If you pay more then you can have your own website. One of the commentators on John’s blog asked the question, “Who controls the content? Is it proprietary or does my $49 investment give me the right to write my own content?” That’s a good question considering the $49 includes the cost of your own domain name.
Why is that a good question? Because if you and someone else both pay the $49 for your own domain names, but you have to agree to use content provided by the company then you’re both using duplicate content. That won’t help you in the search engines. In fact, it will hurt you. And the person who gets to use the content first – HerbalBiz – is the one that will benefit. In essence, you’ll be paying $49 for nothing but an 800 toll free number. That’s fine if you plan to spend your time on the phone taking orders after you pay the bid prices on your PPC campaigns.
Plus, I know that John Chow charges to write reviews on his website. Is Michael Kwan’s review a paid review? I don’t know. There’s nothing there that says it is or isn’t. My conjecture is that it is either a paid review or Michael gets a paycheck for every new affiliate he sends to HerbalBiz. Nothing wrong with that, but if you don’t get to write your own original content then the only winners in this deal are Michael and HerbalBiz. Sounds fishy to me.