GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 14 - October 2010

How did you become interested in the online gambling industry and why did you decide to get involved in affiliate marketing? My business partner, Adam, and I have been friends since I was 15 or 16 and we both always wanted to become millionaires. He was investing in the stock market, but he had also figured out how to make Web sites rank well in Google and had spotted a gap in the market for an af- filiate business (not gambling related), which he had paid someone to make for him. I said, “What are you paying her for? I could do that.” Technically, I couldn’t, but I had been able to program as a kid so I figured I could pick it up fast. It wasn’t long before we spotted that casinos paid more on Google for pay-per-click ads than any of the terms we ranked for (andwe had some stonkers), so I created a casino site and soon we started making more money from gambling-related sites than from any of our other sites. Not long after that we sold off our other sites and focused on gambling portals, and the rest is history. How long did it take before you started earning money? We generated some in- come in our first month—awhopping $25. Our income at least doubled every month for the first seven months so it didn’t take long before we could both work full time on the new business. You operate more than 130 casino, bingo and poker sites. Which is the most suc- cessful of the bunch? is the most successful of the bunch. We worked on it full time for six months before we launched the site and there is a now a small army of people involved in running it. The slots reviews on the site are second to none. For every review one of our re- viewers plays the slot long enough to get into all the bonus features at least once before writing a review. That makes our reviews expensive, but it also helps ensure they are factually correct. Players can read a slots review on, look at the screen shots and have a really good idea about whether they would like the game or not before they even download a casino to play it, and I think they appreciate that. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry? Ask lots of questions and be persistent. If you do not know something, ask. The only stupid question is the one you do not ask. If you had to pick five keys to success as an affiliate, what would they be? Know how to get large amounts of good quality traffic. Funnel or filter traffic so visitors end up at a place that offers a product they want or are looking for. Ensure that the venue you send a visi- tor to converts well, so if it is a casino keep an eye on how well it converts visitors to players. Constantly work to improve all three of the above aspects. Do not work with companies that do anything you disagree with from a mor- al viewpoint. You cannot afford to lose the trust of your visitors. What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? Be available on MSM. Be easy to communicate with: This is the most important trait by far! Have a fast turnaround on banners. Do not request (or demand) that your casino’s banners be put on the affiliate’s main page. Instead ask what you can do to earn more exposure. Everything is in place on our sites for a reason. If you understand those reasons you might be able to get yourself more exposure. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. A lot of the affiliate managers I work with I consider good friends. We don’t just talk about work-related things and I will often ask their advice about things that will not even benefit their specific casinos and they give it freely. In return I make sure I give their casinos good exposure. What features do you look for in an affili- ate program? Be GPWA, APCW or Affiliate Guard Dog approved. Have no negative carryover. Have campaign ID trackers you can set up to see how well banners and links are doing from individual sites (or even specific locations on the sites). Clear, comprehensive stats. A decent LONG-TERM commission rate, not a silly high intro offer after which you’re dropped down to nothing. How long do you give yourself for re- sponding to e-mail? And what e-mail management tips can you offer? Some- times I can spend all day doing e-mails and other days I can get away with 20minutes. My top tip is to use Spam Arrest to get rid of all of that crap you get sent every day. How do you manage your “to-do” lists? Do you use any special software to help you out? I love to-do lists; it is a bit of a stand- ing joke, in fact. I really do have lists for everything. The method I prefer is writing things inmy diary for the day I intend to do that task. I actually have a to-do lists book where I write any jobs or ideas I have that I cannot schedule in for any time in the next week or two. Then whenever I am short of something to do (a very rare occasion) I can take a look in my to-do lists book. How much time does it take to keep your sites updated? A lot of time! Some of our sites have full-time webmasters working on them. In terms of time required, updat- ing is the monster and has a number of people working on it to ensure its information is always up to date. Some of our sites have Joomla! We have a couple with WordPress, too, but most are Web sites we have developed in Dreamweaver. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. With over 130 sites, he’s a very happy camper Andy Beach casinogod AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES SAluting Our Global Community “I love to-do lists; it is a bit of a standing joke, in fact. I really do have lists for everything.” 46 GPWA Affiliate Interview Series