GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 16 - May 2011

Both of your sites are dedicated exclusive- ly to bingo.Why bingo? Well, I am an SEO and other SEOs I’d talked to before said that they had various affiliate sites as kind of a side project, so I thought I would set up my own as well. My mum plays online bingo, so I know how the game is played, and it developed from there, really. How did the domain name Love to Play Bingo come to be? I bought the domain name around a year ago and I just left it for a few months without doing anything to it. I was planning to, but I never got around to it. I bought a cheap template to start with and uploaded a few bingo reviews and the odd article, but not that much. I then did some basic SEO and I got the odd visitor after a few months. This motivated me to change the layout of the site and update it more often. The site is far from complete, and I have ideas to make it bigger and better in the future. How long was it before you started making money? It was around six months before I got my first lead after buying the domain name. I am still in the early days as far as making money is concerned, but you have to be persistent to be in the gambling game. Most people believe that you can throw a site up and make money the next day. Without a big budget, this is not possible. At age 22, you’re still very young. What did you do before getting into online gaming? I used to do the odd job through an agency before I turned online to look for job opportunities. I read up on SEO and started to get clients. I’ve been doing SEO ever since. How did you become interested in online gaming,andhowdidthatleadtobecoming a gambling webmaster? I got into online gaming after I’d heard other SEOs talking about the affiliate sites that they had. I own a bass lessons website also [play-], so I have been a webmaster for a while. Once you set up one site you can use the same techniques and transfer them to another domain name. Do you have a “day job”? Or do you consider running your sites a full-time job? My main income is through SEO but I would like to make my Love to Play Bingo site a full-time thing and work on that. There is a lot that can be done to make the site bigger, but it is just budget that is stopping me. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry? Just keep with it, really. If you have any design skills, programming skills or know anything about SEO then you have a plus and you can save yourself a lot of money. If you don’t, I would highly recommend that you know at least some basics before you take on a website. Also, try offering users something compelling anddifferent. There is no point in making a site that looks and offers the exact same information as 100 other websites. Do you still see yourself working as an affiliate 10 years from now? I hope so. I have big plans for the site in the future and as more money comes in I will continue to grow the site and make it bigger and better. I am trying to steer the site towards being more user friendly and thinking about the users rather than getting greedy with commission rates. Do you ever play bingo yourself, either online or at your local bingo hall? If yes, what’s the most you’ve ever won? I have never played at a bingo hall but I have played online a few times. I haven’t won anything worth shouting about; probably around £20 was my most. Do you expect to see significant growth in online bingo in the next year or two? I think gambling will keep continuing to grow in general, not just bingo. Bingo does seem to be more popular in the U.K. but with access to the Internet there is no reason why more people wouldn’t turn online to play. Why trek all the way to a bingo hall when you can turn on your computer and play in the comfort of your own home? Word is, you’re trying to get Jean-Claude Van Damme to do Love to Play Bingo promos for you. Is that all it would take to drive more men to the site? Oh man, I did not expect this question. Believe it or not, I wasn’t thinking about whether getting Van Damme to promote bingo would persuade more people to sign up or not. I would not care just as long as he was doing it. Now you mention it, I bet more men would play bingo. . . . What do your friends and family think of your work as an affiliate? I haven’t really mentioned it too much to them. No one has said it is a stupid idea, anyway. I would like to see more money coming in before I start mentioning it more. What’s the most difficult thing about operating your sites? At the moment I am struggling with the design. I change it and then look at it and change it again. I amnot quite happy yet with how the site looks. I am going to look more into learning how to code, which will be a challenge. Don’tplaybingo?Jean-ClaudeVan Damme has a message for you CRAIG CROSSLAND craig96 GPWA Affiliate Interview Series