Interview: Yevgenia Zubkova

Interview: Yevgenia Zubkova


Ladies and gentlemen, today our guest is a publisher who says they cannot drive paid traffic from contextual or targeted ads, but who has made SEO their main source of power. Yevgenia Zubkova has achieved great results in the financial niche precisely because of big competition in the field. This beautiful smart woman has agreed to be interviewed by us. She’ll be talking about SEO, so get comfortable, it’s quite interesting.

Hello! Please tell a little bit about yourself, so our followers get to know you.

Hi! My name is Yevgenia, I build websites and do SEO for lead generation in various fields. I would like to highlight that I can’t drive paid traffic (targeted, contextual and other types of ads), all of my traffic is somewhat free, it comes from search engines. I only work with Russian and CIS GEOs. Financial niche specifically brings me very decent income for a woman my age, it is where I get to find creative solutions for website promotion, considering this area’s huge competition. 

How did you start your career? Many people find lead generation after already having some other kinds of jobs, what about you?

It happened randomly 4.5 years ago when I learned about someone at second hand who was working in a company promoting websites. I got enough inspiration for starting my path just by hearing about this sphere once, so I dived into all the information I could find and made my first good money within 2-3 months. My first websites were in the medical field, I used to monetize them with nutra offers.

It’s not easy to find info about teams in the affiliate marketing Financial vertical. Have you ever thought about joining a team or even making your own? Or have you maybe already been a part of one? What do you think, what are the pros and cons of team-ups in affiliate marketing?

I know I'm not the one to be good at teamplay or lead a team even. Although obviously a team of publishers may give much better results, than just a single one, whose resources are limited. By resources, I mean time, money, energy, ideas, etc.

Maybe one day I will be working in a team, but for now, I’m comfortable working on my own or with other experts episodically, when I need to. 

What kind of offers do you work with? What’s relevant these days, MFO or bank products, and why?

In the Financial vertical I mostly work with MFO offers. I couldn’t get enough profit with credit cards or consumer loans. First of all, MFO loans are accessible to more people than bank loans, and this makes my target audience wider. And then, approval rates for MFO leads are higher than for banks.

Have you ever worked with any advertisers directly or with affiliate programs only? If you have, please tell us about your experience. 

I’ve never cooperated straight with advertisers, I don’t have a vast amount of leads, so that difference in payouts would’ve been insignificant. Affiliate networks are simpler and more convenient for me.

Have you ever stumbled upon shaving from advertisers or affiliate networks? It’s way easier to shave traffic in finance than, for example, nutra. How do you fight it?

I don’t think I’ve ever come across shaving, not that I know of. It’s nearly impossible to check for it and prove something like this in my case, so for me, it’s just about trusting certain networks.

How do you handle technical aspects of the job? Do you hire other people to do that or do everything yourself, and if so, how did you manage to learn to do it?

I have no problems with this. I have basic coding skills, I can work with common CMSs. If anything ever goes further than that, I bring other experts in.

It’s no problem for an MFO offer to be a victim of fraud.  How do you feel about scammers?

I believe that whatever comes around, goes around and that you have to follow the stated rules. The hit-and-run strategy may lead to big difficulties in the future. 

What source do you think is the most relevant for financial lead generation? Why?

Whatever floats your boat, it depends on the level of competence. Targeted and contextual ads are not easy for me, along with all kinds of newsletters. It’s ideal to work with all of the sources at once, to get the most out of your lead. 

What skills and knowledge should a beginner publisher have to become a successful financial affiliate? And the main question is, how much money must they have to get the first results?

First of all, they must be patient and hardworking. You shouldn't think great results will come fast and easy. Finance isn’t the best sphere for beginners without any experience in other fields. I don’t know how much money one has to have to get a start in affiliate marketing, but for SEO it’s almost none if you start by yourself. Although you have to understand that no investment will slow your pace when promoting a website. 

What benefits should an affiliate network have for publishers to want to work with it? How do you pick your networks?

Many people base their decisions on rates and payouts. I myself like to consider a network’s reputation and its overall time on the market. Managers’ competence, account interface, methods, and frequency of payouts are also important. 

How much did the last fall financial market crisis affect you personally? Please, give more numbers on it. And what is your forecast for the market today?

My income decreased by more than 50%, and I still haven’t been able to get to my previous results. I mostly blame myself for that, since I couldn’t adapt to the changes, and so that crisis is more of an excuse for me. I can’t make any predictions, I believe I don’t attain enough knowledge for it. I’m constantly trying to make up new ways for lead generation, test my ideas out, and maybe sooner or later some of it will lead me to new progress. 

What are the distinct advantages of the Financial vertical, comparing it to Nutra, Gambling, Betting, and E-Commerce?

I have experience working with all of these spheres. The financial advantage is mostly its lawfulness, it’s a fully transparent area where you don’t have to hope that people you work with have common sense. 

This means you get your payouts peacefully on your current account or card, while gambling and betting websites are always getting banned. I’ve always doubted Nutra and its efficacy. E-Commerce is just consumer goods from China that people sell for higher prices. And I don’t mean to say that any of these fields are bad, you can make money with all of them.

And what about growth? You can grow in the Nutra field by multiplying accounts, budget, and other things, but how can you do this in finance and how hard would it be?

In the Financial niche in SEO, I see 2 possible ways to grow: it’s either increasing the number of websites or a thorough development of one quality project and extending the amount of traffic sources for it. Is it hard to do? Yes! But nothing is impossible. 

Can you give some complementary advice for those who read this whole article?

My main advice is to never stop growing. The market and its conditions change constantly, so you have to be quick to react to any shifts. A lot of website building methods, as well as affiliate marketing strategies, get old in just a couple of months. And the people who change their approaches on time are the ones winning the prize. 

Thank you for your attention!