GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 25 - June 2013

tough, and margins are shrinking. If a program needs to cut rates or institute some kind of quota requirement, I’m will- ing to continue working with them in all but the most extreme cases. The key is that any changes not be applied retroactively for players I have already sent. As long as a player is generating revenue, the affiliate that sent that player should be compensated according to the terms that were active at the time that player was sent. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s the only way to be fair. If you had to pick five keys to success as an affiliate, what would they be? 1. Stop researching and do something, al- ready. With so much Internet marketing advice out there, it’s all too easy to spend all your time in analysis paralysis. Just do it! 2. Be honest and straightforward – with the programs, with your visitors and with your competitors. 3. Your work ethic is key. Yes, this business can be passive income eventually, but you’ll be rewarded handsomely for hard work. 4. Deliver value. If you don’t offer some- thing that your visitors value, why would they come back? 5. Have fun! Pick an aspect of the business that you enjoy, and focus on it. Other- wise, every piece of content you write will be a job. You joined the GPWA last October – about 14 years after getting started in the industry. What finally prompted you to join? How has it helped you? Talk about procrastination! It was long over- due. In the early days, I was more familiar with some of the regulars at CAP, and par- ticipated actively there. When I decided recently to renew my efforts, it took only a cursory look at GPWA to convince me of the value. What do you like about the industry? The idea that you can work on your own schedule and from any location is a pow- erful motivator to make this business work. I love to travel, and this business lets me do that on my own schedule. If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be, and why? Would suddenly shifting terms and con- ditions appear anywhere on your list? Oh yeah. As mentioned above, that’s a big deal for me. Affiliates work hard. For all the successes a program sees, there are countless things that don’t work out. The affiliate bears all the risk of that. When something does work, and they deliver a player, the program should honor their promise to compensate the affiliate. What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate? I’ve always made a living in unusual ways. I haven’t had a regular job since I was in school. Immediately upon finishing college, I started a business. Since then I’ve been a software developer, a marketing affili- ate and a professional gambler. My family knows that one way or another, I’ll get the bills paid! How long do you give yourself for an- swering e-mail? What e-mail tips can you offer? Contrary to the Tim Ferriss idea of minimizing the time you spend on e-mail, I like to use a quick and detailed response as a way of building my tribe. Overdeliver, and do it quickly, and you’ll turn a simple question into an opportu- nity to build a long-term fan. How do you manage your “to-do” lists? Do you use any special software to help you out? I’ve tried several systems for getting stuff done, and I’m still search- ing for the holy grail of productivity tools. My flavor du jour is It’s a simple hierarchical list manager, but I like it so far. How much time does it take to keep your sites updated? I try to focus on ev- ergreen content, so I don’t get stuck on the treadmill of news posts that have to be current and updated. This year I’ve been working on a lot of behind-the-scenes changes, getting ready for some redesigns. How much time do you devote to SEO and/or social networking in order to drive more traffic to your sites? My naive approach of “build it and they will come” has been successful for me, although I re- alized after the first few years that I had been very lucky. Still, I don’t spend much time and effort on link-building or SEO. Honestly, things have changed so much in the SEO world lately that it’s tough to know the best approach. If someone were visiting you, what’s the one place you’d definitely take them to see? Why? It’s all about the food for me. Whether a bowl of Vietnamese Pho or a good Pad Thai, I’ll take you somewhere to eat! You’ve said that when you’re not playing or working on your sites, you love to trav- el. What’s your favorite destination? A trip last summer to Istanbul absolutely sur- prised and delighted me in so many ways. I posted commentary and photos to my per- sonal blog at By the time this is published, I’ll be back frommy next adventure, a trip to Ecuador and Peru, including the Galapagos and Machu Picchu. If you could have one “superpower,” what would it be? Predicting the future would be awesome, and crazy profitable! What’s your all-time favorite movie? I am a sci-fi and fantasy nerd, so I was hap- py to see The Lord of the Rings turn out to be an awesome series of films. Another quirky favorite is the cult classic RepoMan . If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be? 1. Teddy Roosevelt: Our coolest President, I think. After his presidency, he went on an amazing adventure in South America. Check out The River of Doubt , by Candice Millard. 2. Winston Churchill: A fascinating person, influential in a time of historical chaos. 3. Charles Darwin: I’m heading to the Galapagos next month, remember? 4. Philip Glass: One of the most intriguing modern composers. 5. Sonny Rollins: A great jazz saxophonist, still touring at age 82. I really need to go see him somewhere. What are three things that nobody knows about you? 1. I love the golden age of jazz, and all the Blue Note artists. 2. I once had shoulder-length long hair. Not much left now! 3. I can juggle. 47 GPWA Affiliate Interview Series