GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 13 - June 2010

How long have you beenworking in the industry? More than two years. I started thedayafterChristmas2007. Whatfirstdrewyou to thebusiness? Like every student without a full-time job, I needed some “easy money.” I looked for a good roulette strategy to win in online casinos and I found a Web site explain- ing how to win thousands of dollars per day, 100percent guaranteed. Iwonabout $500 in twohours, thenI lost$200 inone second. I thought something was wrong with that strategy, and after a few hours I figured out this scammer was using the “Martingale” betting system just to earn commissions from players’ losses. That’s how I discovered the affiliateworld. I de- cided tomake thisworldbetter. What do you like about the industry? I like gambling; it’s easy to develop and writeabout somethingyou like. The com- petition isnow inSEO; I’maprofessional SEO consultant and I have an advantage over some of the other affiliates. Last but not least, gaming conferences are great; you get to know hundreds of people and youvisit cool cities. What don’t you like? I don’t like the un- ethical methods a lot of “webmasters” use to get highpositions in search engine results and to earn money. In an ideal world, suchpersons shouldn’t exist. Whatsurprisedyoumost? Thenumberof online casinos opened over the last two years. Every day I receive e-mails from new operators to promote their brands. I’ve been also surprised by the level of competition in thismarket. What is the current status of Italian ef- forts to regulateoffshoreonlinegaming? What is the latest information youhave? The Italian government is regulating on- line gaming sites for “fair gaming” pur- poses.Theystartedwithpokerandsports- books, and now they’re also planning to regulatebingoandcasinos. I’mnot aware of anyofficial timeline, but some say they will sell licenses starting inSeptember. It seems theywill sell licenses for hundreds of thousands of euros and will tax affili- atesandoperators. Idon’t think theycare verymuch about fair gaming, but I hope regulationwill clarifyall theproblems for Italianaffiliates. What prompted you to join the GPWA, and how has it helped you so far? After the roulette scam, I learned I couldn’t trust everyone. So I looked for informa- tion about an affiliate program I was starting to work with and I found the GPWA. At first the GPWA helpedme to choose which affiliate programs to trust. Then I startedparticipating in the forums and I discovered how big and complex this industry is. GPWA and private fo- rums helpedme to improve my market- ing skills and, best of all, to get to know some very good webmasters and make some very good friends. To summarize in a sentence:When you find theGPWA, you’re in the right place. What keywords do youfind arebringing people to your site? What kind of work did you do to boost casino2k’s popular- ity in search engines? Until September 2009 my Web sites had a lot of visitors from keywords like “free bonuses,” “free games,” etc. Tonsof visitors, noearnings. Since October 2009 my rankings have been boosted for the most competitive keywords like “online casino,” “casino bonus,” “games strategies,” etc. More visitors, higher conversion rates, visitors participating in discussion boards and spendinghourson theWebsite. I focused on SEO and decided to update my Web site every day. I thinkGoogle has flagged casino2kasanauthorityWeb siteandmy rankings (and earnings) have suddenly improved. One of your employees (Casino2k.Mem- ber) was recently approved as a GPWA member.Onhismembershipapplication he indicated that his name was “John Luke”buthe introducedhimselfas“Stefa- no”on themessageboards.Canyouclar- ify this situation for everyone? His name is not JohnLuke; he’s called Stefano. He presentedhimself with another name for anonymity because of the unclear law regulatingonlinegaming in Italy. Howdoyourfamilyandfriendsfeelabout how you make your living? My family is not aware I own gambling Web sites. Only a few people know about my life as an affiliate and they have no problems with that because they know I talk about gambling inanethicalway. Your GPWAprofile lists you as a student. Are you still attending university? If so, do you plan to stay in the affiliate busi- ness once you are finished? I missed a few exams needed to graduate, but I’m spending 99 percent of the timeworking so it’sdifficult to complete them. I’vealso opened an SEO agency because I feel the affiliateworld isveryunstable; yourearn- ings could suddenlydrop.Anyway, I’ll try togoonwithbothprojectsand,hopefully, I’ll graduate tooat somepoint! How long do you give yourself for re- sponding to e-mail? And what e-mail management tips can you offer? I check my e-mail every five minutes, but I re- spond immediatelyonly tourgent e-mail. Nonimportant e-mail is put onmy to-do list. Don’t waste time replying to spam link exchange e-mail or to affiliateopera- tors you don’t want to work with. Don’t waste time with webmail: configure e- mail clients like Thunderbird tomanage all your e-mail accounts. How do you manage your “to-do” lists? Do you use any special software to help youout? I startedwith a plain text to-do listusinga simple text editor, then it sud- denly reachedabout 100entriesand Ide- cided to give up. Now I use a simple tool for Linux (yeah, I’m a Linux geek) called GToDo. It helps a lot with managing Teo | “Whenyoufind theGPWA, you’re in the rightplace.” 54 GPWA Affiliate Interview Series