GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 38 - July 2017

GPWA Affiliate Interview Series Howdid each of you first get into the iGa- ming business?What did you do before? IMRE: I moved to sunny Spain, near Gi- braltar, for the good weather after living for five years in the rainy northeast of En- gland. I knew there were plenty of jobs available in web design and development in the iGaming industry here. My first job was a webmaster role at a large white-label gambling company, where I met Neil. Prior to this I was a freelance web consultant, and I worked in IT as well for a couple of years. NEIL : I came all the way from SouthAfrica to live in Spain, was hired as a senior web designer at the same gambling company. Prior to this I had worked in a web agency and other industries as a designer and front-end dev. When and how did you two end up deciding to go into business with each other? Why do you think you work well together? IMRE: I met Neil at a job in Gibraltar. We were on the same web team andwe quickly realized we made a good team. We had to- tally different skill sets and complemented each other’s shortcomings well. I learned a lot from Neil about design and coding. He is a starter (the “spark”); I’m the fin- isher (the “operations”) guy. We are both constant work horses – our minds never rest. Always thinking about the next idea while working mad hours on the current project. I think we are great accountability partners as well – we keep motivating each other and don’t let things get left off even when it’s hard to see a project “making it.” neil: As Imre said, it was a great fit. I’m the guy with ants in his pants, and Imre is more level-headed! We are very com- patible when it comes to skill sets, and the partnership is great. We also share a passion for entrepreneurship. Our first project together was a WordPress theme! Before you started , you had an affiliate site, . When did you start this site? How long did it take for you to start making money with it? IMRE: Yes, initially I started this site as a hobby and to learn about the affiliate side of the industry, around four years ago. I did a lot of SEO and ranked the site for very specific game keywords. Then Neil came on board and redesigned the site to make it look competitive. I think it was a full year without seeing a single pen- ny coming in. We nearly gave up. Then after one successful December, when we received the first $1,000 commission, we started to see this little niche could get us somewhere. I had had affiliate sites, in the past but they were not gambling-related. NEIL: We’d always talked about having an affiliate site, but we never had the niche to do it. Imre came to me one day and asked if I’d like to partner. At the time, my SEO experience was terrible, but after a million questions and seeing the results for myself I became hooked. After trying many methods, concepts and ideas, we learned what worked and what didn’t very quickly. focused specifical- ly on slot games with Marvel Comics themes. What drew you to such a spe- cific theme? IMRE: I am quite a superhero movie nut. You can often see me on the beach walking my dog in goofy Marvel and DC character t-shirts. It was a topic that I was interested in, and I thought the Playtech Marvel slots series were good interpretations. NEIL: I love Marvel, and when we started getting commissions from the site, I loved Marvel even more! Tell us a little more about . IMRE: We wanted to add 200+ demo games to our affiliate site once to extend the content and game keywords we cov- ered. It turned out to be a time-consuming task – it took us weeks to collect the im- ages and iframe codes and to add affili- ate links – so the idea to streamline this via a plugin came to us, and we started working on a product that you now know as the VegasHero Affiliate Plugin. We used it ourselves first, then we made it available for sale to other affiliates. The idea had to be explained to affiliates for a while, and it took a couple of months of refinements to make the plugin easy to use and to cater to the audience with the right features. We networked and talked to probably 300+ affiliates up till today who constantly provide us with feedback, so we know what functionality our plugins and themes should have in the next version. NEIL: As Imre said, it was a total pain to add just 10 games to the site. For me, it was a new experience, and I thought to myself, “This can’t be the way to source iframe URLs!” What Imre supplied me with from an operator was mind-blowing – most of the URLs didn’t work! So one day after having coffee (and a few beers) on the Costa del Sol, we started to bounce the idea around and it grew into the basic idea. The third partner in this venture is a friend of mine in SouthAfrica; I pitched the idea and he had a bigger idea of how we could manage and distribute the massive number of games. What we created was far better than what we imag- ined. Thanks to the GPWA for allowing us to ask potential customers about the idea – the feedback was mixed, but we These two webmasters switched from running their own site to helping out their fellow affiliates Neil - neilb & Imre - petimi 54 w w w . g p w a t i m e s . o r g