GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 46 - February 2020

For this issue’s Affiliate Interview Series, we sit down with a pair of webmasters with decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge about the iGaming industry. They’ve seen first-hand how dramatically life as an affiliate has evolved over the years. They have ridden the highs and lows along the way and they’ve done so while promoting a variety of different verticals. In the pages that follow, Andrew F. and Jamie G. provide to fellow GPWA members some keen pearls of wisdom about their journey, the industry as a whole, and the advice they would give to those just getting started as an iGaming affiliate. GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES Andrew F. - Fortune Palace Well, Andrew, you have been in the iGaming affiliate business for over a decade. We interviewed you for our May 2008 issue when you were a part-time affiliate and running your site as a part-time gig in addition to your full-time job. Then in 2012 you were doing well enough to go full-time as an affiliate. You took on a staff, hired freelance copy writers and things seemed to be on the right track. But, for a variety of reasons, things didn’t go as planned since that time and today you are back to being a full-time worker and part-time affili- ate. Can you please take us through what happened? Yes, 2012 was our best year. As you say, we finally earned enough to be able to go full-time. Even got invited to an awards night as a guest of Betfair. At that point, it seemed like a reward for six years of hard work. At the start of 2013, I decided to venture into different websites, looking at live dealers, Asian markets. Spent thousands on translations, etc. Looking back, I real- ly should have invested that money into Fortune Palace, as that was what had gen- erated the income, but at that point I felt diversification was a better plan. In October 2013 I got hit with a Manual Action from Google for “unnatural links,” which saw rankings and income plum- met. The issue was with links embedded in syndicated articles, which in 2006 was approved and widely used, but suddenly became against Google’s TOCs. I had never bought links, and articles were my main way to obtain them organically. I spent the next nine months trying to sal- vage rankings, disavowing links, resubmitting considerations every few weeks. I eventually got the penalty overturned, but rankings and income never really got back to the same level. Having said that, it was still earning enough to be happy with its performance. Intro image by Maxx-Studio/Shutterstock It’s been a ride for this grizzled over the , going from to , and then to part-time. roller coaster iGaming veteran last decade part-time affiliate full-time affiliate back G P W A t i m e s . o r g 48