GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 14 - October 2010

What did you do before becoming an af- filiate, and what first drew you to the industry? I’ve had quite a few odd jobs: office jobs, customer service, logistics, construction, etc. As for what drew me to the industry, as a player I was looking around different poker rooms online and I kept seeing affiliate program links and just clicked one out of curiosity. Since I knew a lot about poker I figured I’d try it out and it looked like easy money at the time. Obviously I now know that it takes a lot more work than I thought. What do you like about the industry? Be- ing able to work from home is one of the top reasons I like the industry. I’ve always been into poker, too, so doing something I like rather than having a job I hate makes my life a lot less stressful. Also it’s good to be able to work at my own pace rath- er than having to cram everything into an eight-hour workday, even though the hours are much longer. What don’t you like? A lot of programs are starting to change their commission terms lately, and that’s really starting to piss me off. Over the past couple months I’ve taken a bit of a hit because of this. I wish I were able to drop these programs but they’re still the ones brining me the most income so there’s not really much that I can do about it other than complain. What surprised you most? One thing I’ve been pretty surprised about is how nice and helpful the affiliate community can be even though we’re really all competitors. It’s one of the only industries I’ve seen this generosity in. Your three sites are all dedicated to poker. Why did you decide to be poker-centric? Any plans to launch another site? If so,will it also be a poker site? I decided to stick with what I know and I really don’t know much about sports betting or casino games. I’ve been thinking of launching a few new sites but haven’t really put any work into it. I think I’m just going to stick with what I know: poker. I thought about launching a casino site awhile back but since I’ve nev- er used any of the online casinos it was a bit overwhelming from the get-go, so I gave up on it pretty quickly. I do have some poker players who play casino games at the poker rooms that offer it occasionally, though. You posted last fall that due to losing your “day job,” you were going to work harder to increase your monthly conversions. How did you tackle this issue, and how is it going so far? When I first started in the industry and up until about six months before I lost my job, my portfolio consist- ed of one free site that I never updated. It was basically a ten-page banner farm that I got a lot of my poker buddies to go sign up at. I’ve since gotten rid of that site, taken things more seriously and made ac- tual portals. Since then I went from a few hundred a month to a few thousand and I’m happy with that for now. What prompted you to join the GPWA, and how has being amember helped you? I stumbled on it through a seal on an- other affiliate’s site and started scanning through the public forums and saw a lot of useful information so I decided to join. The GPWA has helped me with basically everything. It’s great to be able to share ideas and get feedback from others, stay in contact with my affiliate managers and get all the news and updates from them. Seeing what all the other webmasters are doing has also been a good incentive for me to better my own sites. How do your family and friends feel about how you make your living? I don’t think that my family actually even knows what it is I do and friends just want to know how they can do it, too. My girlfriend thinks that sitting in front of the computer for so long is making me lazy, LOL. Timemanagement is one of the biggest is- sues facing affiliates. Do you have any tips for your fellow webmasters? I’m prob- ably the worst person you could ask about time management. I still code everything by hand, don’t use any CMS and still of- ten have to reference some of the code as I go. The only thing I do is get up early to make sure I can get everything done for the day. Most affiliateshavee-mail inboxes that are always full. How long do you give yourself to respond to e-mail? I go through all my inboxes about 20 times a day and respond to anything important as soon as I open it. There are always things that can wait a day or two, though. It just seems easier and less frustrating to me to take the 15 to 20 minutes several times a day instead of three hours all at once. If you were able to sit down to dinner with any five people, living or dead, who would they be? Dimebag Darrell (guitarist of Pantera), Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and Johnny Cash. I just think it would be cool as hell to party with these guys, and they were all great artists. I’m pretty sure we’d be doing a lot more drinking than eating, though. When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go? I like to go camping and fishing and I go as much as possible. Lately it’s only been one yearly trip up to Northern California for a week, although I sure wish I could go more often. I used to play a lot of online poker to get away from work but now it just feels like more work. I try to go to the casino and play whenever I can, though. If you had to pick five keys to success as an affiliate, what would they be? Update your content as often as pos- sible. You’ll get better search engine rankings and your visitors will be more likely to return to your site if they see something fresh. Stay up to date on the promotions for whatever you are promoting and be sure to post it on your site. If someone sees a promotion on another Web site and not yours they’ll think they’re getting a bet- ter deal even if they would have gotten the same deal from you. Stay in contact with your affiliate man- agers and other webmasters to stay up to date on promotions. 1. 2. 3. He gets up early to get it done Jason Schmuch jschmuch AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES SAluting Our Global Community 50 GPWA Affiliate Interview Series