GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 19 - February 2012

All of your sites provide players with information on current bonus opportu- nities – and they all pull in a lot of traf- fic. Tell us about how you conceived and developed the sites and what you do to keep players coming back. When I created the first site (LCB) in late 2006 I looked for an opportunity and gap in the market that needed to be filled and found the need for an honest casino bonus com- parison site. I achieved this by listing bonuses of all shapes and sizes and ranking them from most attractive bonus to least. Also as the site progressed I was also able to capture a large portion of the no-deposit market. The mission statement for the website is to provide the best possible bonuses for players; no matter what game they like to play they have a choice for everything. The forum plays a huge role in retention and we have an awesome and dedicated team that update bonuses, provide ex- clusive offers and communicate with our members and visitors continuously. Your sites all have the same“brand.”How important has that brand been in driving existing players to new gaming market sectors? Should all affiliates build sites that have a similar look and feel to build their brands? Or is it okay for affiliates to build sites that look and feel completely different and have separate brands? We started on the casino comparison site and after finding success in that area we found a need for the other gamblingmarkets (bingo, poker and sports) in the same bonus com- parison capacity. Because the casino brand and ourmascot hadbecome known andnow resonated with members in our particular target market it was best to stick to the same brand and branch out. Players would then be familiar and take to the poker, sports and bingo sites more easily, as they would trust and understand the purpose of the site. We were able to reinvent the LCB mascot to fit the other gaming sectors quite easily. The four sites together enable us to sus- tain and grow our brand equity. However, if an affiliate has a slots-focused website with a slots logo, then it would not work for a poker or sports website. How long have you been involved in the industry? What drew you to the business? I started in late 2006 because I wanted to earn a little extra money while working in my current web consulting capacity. Having looked at a couple of affiliate sites from different in- dustries I made the conclusion that the gambling industry seemed to have good return on traffic. Are you a full-time online gambling af- filiate, or do you hold down another job as well? Full-time with over 20 people involved in the sites. What do you like about the industry? I like the flexibility it gives me to work when and where I want. I like being my own boss and I never want to be working in an office from 9 to 5 again. I also like the low overhead related to being an affili- ate with no products to deliver or inven- tory to house. What don’t you like about the industry? The unregulated nature of the industry with many shady operations and unreli- able operators, which leaves both affiliates and players at risk. What surprised you most about the industry? The biggest surprise was the non-corporate nature and the Wild West feel to such a large global industry. A couple of years ago, a GPWA mem- ber launched a site that was almost entirely lifted from one of your sites. Are you satisfied with the effort this member made to remove your content from his site? Are you comfortable with his being a GPWA member to- day? I do recall a site but I have not kept a follow-up as many people have made somewhat clones of my site. It is an ongo- ing task to ensure the content and images are not stolen. I guess it’s the highest form of flattery. I haven’t really put much thought into it and not even sure who he/ she is, to be honest. You recently experienced a payment problem ($10k+) with an Asia-based program whose Terms and Conditions were subsequently termed predatory by Affiliate Guard Dog. Was the pay- ment issue resolved? Do you currently do business with this program? I have been paid around 30 percent of what was owed but still the terms remain predatory whereby a minimum number of new de- positors need to be delivered per month. I do continue to work with them to get the 70 percent owed. To be honest, affiliate programs like this are being very shortsighted, losing out on the majority of affiliate business as I can- not recommend the program and promote them any further on my other ventures. How long do you give yourself for re- sponding to e-mail? And what e-mail tips can you offer? I usually turn around my e-mail within a day or two. I prioritize my responses in regards to urgency and importance. Personally, I respond in a short and concise manner to deal with the volume of e-mail received. How do you manage your “to-do” lists? Do you use any special software to help you out? I have no “to-do” lists. I have de- centralized the work involved in running the website and do not micromanage the people working on the site. Time management is one of the biggest issues facing affiliates.What time-man- agement tips can you offer your fellow webmasters? Again, do not be afraid to employ or partner with capable people and trust that they will manage their re- sponsibilities. It is the only way to grow. Howmuch time does it take to keep your sites updated? The man hours are con- siderable with over 12 full-time employees. How much time do you devote to social networking to drive more traffic to your site? We do employ a social networking person for Facebook and Twitter as well as a team of forum moderators to build the forum community, which has been inte- gral to the success of the site. GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES Josh joshac Find a gap in the market – then fill it GPWA Affiliate Interview Series