GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 25 - June 2013

GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES If you want something bad enough, you will get it When did you launch your sites? It all started in 2004, with a steady stream since. Which of your sites draws the most traf- fic? Why is that the case, in your opin- ion? draws the most traffic, and I launched that two years ago. Our best day to date was 90,000 visitors in one day; the site is very sticky with a large number of returning visitors who have adopted the site as their resource for football results and scores. We also have a blog with the latest news from every Premier League football club; the news section also reports any ma- jor breaking news such as transfers and match reports. The site has been in the number-one spot on Google for football scores and currently fluctuates among the top four positions, while we also rank very well for similar keywords. We also advertise at many U.K. football grounds up and down the coun- try including Watford, Huddersfield, Car- lisle, Tranmere, Bolton and Morecambe. Finally, we also do regular LED pitch ad- vertising in the Premier League and at England Internationals. We last featured in the Poland vs. England game. How did you become involved in the industry? I always had an interest in bet- ting and have been successful in sales and marketing from an early age. I have been a financial adviser, have run my own in- surance brokerage and have worked as an estate agent and sales director. I set up my first site back in 2004 as a sideline using Microsoft FrontPage. As I had no computer skills, the site was a bit of a banner farm but I found it was quite easy to rank for good keywords. In addi- tion, the cost per click on AdWords was also very cheap compared to what it is to- day. I took a few risks and tried different things, some of which did not work and cost me money (a bit like learning poker). I reinvested all of my profit and more as I could see there was money to be made. I then invested in domain names for future projects, some of which are in use today and some of which are great assets. How long did it take for you to start earning money? I made money pretty much from day one, as my commissions were more than my advertising costs be- cause I was getting paid by cost per acqui- sition. When I moved to revenue share, this was not the case and I traded in the red for a couple of years before the com- missions started to overtake my expendi- tures. While it took time to make a profit, the way to build your business has to be revenue share. Affiliates are always on the lookout for exclusive deals with programs. How important are exclusives to you? Exclu- sives are very important as they provide a unique selling point. I also place empha- sis on good landing pages which convert better as they confirm for the user any of- fers and bonuses and also include a call to action. offers match fix- tures and results from European soccer leagues. How much does it cost to ob- tain the rights to publish those fixtures on your sites? Do you ever wish that you didn’t have to pay rights fees (as is the case with sports in the United States, where schedules are not seen as copy- righted material)? Or does that barrier to entry actually give you a competi- tive advantage? The scores are available through a third-party provider and the costs are fairly minimal. At the moment, it seems like a small monthly price to pay considering the site has generated a solid volume of traffic. Launching a success- ful scores website requires a few things to be in place including the likelihood of decent ranking. offers information on all the free bets that are available to play- ers. Is it harder to make money on a free bets site? What are the keys to success in this niche? My free bets sites convert much better than as most visitors coming to the site are buy- ers whereas FootballScores is more of an information site. is well advertised at U.K. horse racing tracks (winning line po- sitions) including Wolverhampton, Ling- field and Southwell, which are the most televised racecourses in the U.K., while we also advertise at U.K. football matches on the LED advertising. Sites that we advertise convert so much better than just SEO or PPC-driven sales as users who find us via advertising al- ready have a preconception that we are a site that can be trusted because they have seen our advert at a football ground or racetrack. We have caught quite a few big players via these means. I can remember we had a board once at an FA Cup televised game between Preston and Chelsea, and we had a player go through to a well-known bet- ting exchange and lose over £50,000 in a week at the casino. He had seen our advert at the ground, visited the site and opened his account with them. What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate pro- gram? I expect an affiliate manager to be in regular contact, especially during busy times of the year – e.g., the Cheltenham Festival, Aintree, U.S. Masters, Wimble- don, etc. The more communication we get from affiliate managers, the more we will promote, as we know they can be depend- ed upon to turn things around quickly. ANDY 4ndy Age: 44 Hometown: Carlisle, U.K. Living in: Carlisle Favorite Food: Indian Must Read Book: Losing My Virginity , Richard Branson’s autobiography Sites: GPWA Affiliate Interview Series