GPWA Times Magazine - Issue30 - October 2014

Remember: All that glitters is not gold When did you launch your sites? In 2000. You’ve said that you’ve been a web- master since 1999. How did you become involved in the industry? How has it changed since 1999? I started in the adult industry, and was rolling in traffic, but not making any money. After investing in paid hosting and building a very success- ful porn star site, I started making a good living, and was introduced to online casi- nos. In the early days I got $1 per casino download, but never got paid, so I almost gave up. One day Referback came along and I put their brands on onlinecasino4u and that is when things took off for me. I started buying PPC traffic, and because I had no competition, I was getting lots of cheap traffic, and lots of players. Things were really good for a few years, and I became a very successful affiliate, which enabled me to pay off all my debts. Since 1999 a lot of things have changed. Traffic is harder than ever to get, PPC traf- fic sucks, competition is fierce, and there are less countries to target. Fortunately there is always opportunity for those looking for a challenge, the current one being mobile gaming. As ever, the indus- try evolves, and affiliates have to adapt. How do you stay up to date with the lat- est trends in both the industry and web design? I spend a lot of time reading fo- rums and news sites, and I also get a lot of industry news and information sent to me by e-mail (thanks, GPWA). For web design I still build sites the old-fashioned way in Notepad, so I am a bit behind with the latest web design techniques for build- ing responsive sites. Hopefully I can catch up soon, or at least find someone reliable to build some stuff for me. How long did it take for you to start earning money? It took me eight months to receive my first affiliate check. Thank- fully, I have made money every single month ever since. What criteria do you use in compiling your lists of recommended and trusted online casinos? I check blacklists and read forums, and I always do a good online search when an affiliate program launches a new casino brand. Are you a one-person shop or are you part of a larger organization? I have al- ways worked on my own and done my own site building and promotion. I did, however, work for Betsafe as a consultant for a couple of years. Describe your work environment. Do you work from home or in an office? How of- ten do you get to see and interact with other people in the industry? I work from home in my lounge, so my work area is quite small as I only need a lap- top, and somewhere to keep millions of bits of paper and stacks of pens. At least I can watch TV all day while I work, and if I turn round and look out of my window, I have a stunning view to enjoy. Because I live in Thailand these days, I don't get to interact with anybody in the industry in person, so I rely on Skype for that. What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate pro- gram? A good affiliate manager should be approachable, proactive and mean what he or she says. When I look at an affiliate program, I make sure they have good brands and a good reputation. I then check terms and conditions to make sure they are fair and that they don't have sneaky clauses. Affiliate programs should also be able to provide as much advertis- ing material as possible, work with affili- ates closely and reply to any questions in a timely manner. Then they have to be able to accurately track and convert my traffic, and more importantly keep cus- tomers happy! What’s your preferred method of com- munication with affiliate managers? Do you like to talk on the phone, by e-mail or via Skype? I prefer to use e-mail, as it is easy to keep records of conversations. I do talk to managers on Skype when it is con- venient, and occasionally I may speak on the phone – if they can afford the mobile phone rates to Thailand! What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you? I originally joined the GPWA in 2000 in order to avoid promoting bad casinos and rogue affiliate programs. I also wanted to share my experiences with like-minded peo- ple. I happily rejoined recently for the same reasons. What do you like about the industry? The hours, and the opportunities that it brings to those who are willing to work hard, think out of the box and be creative. If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be? Retroactive terms and conditions. . . . This is the one thing that makes my blood boil! When I sign up to an affiliate program (on rev share) that tells me I will get lifetime commission in exchange for sending them traffic, I agree, and the deal is sealed for life as far as I am concerned. Now we are faced with a growing number of affiliate programs telling affiliates that if they don't send “X” amount of FTDs (first-time de- positors) a month, they will not get paid, or they will receive a reduced amount of commission. This is blatantly wrong and is tantamount to theft. Affiliates still send hard-earned traffic to these programs, and they provide valuable branding. Affiliates should not be accountable for conversions in any way! This is killing a lot of affiliates including myself, and it needs to stop! What do your friends think of your work as an affiliate? In the early days my friends thought I was mad, and that I GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES ANDY AndyBonus GPWA Affiliate Interview Series