GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 6 - September 2008

GPWA Affiliate Interview Series 30 GPWA Times | INTERVIEWWITH Kolbein Johnsen | bj3000 >> Continued on page 65 If you visit Ben Johnsen, there’s a fjord in your future Your Web sites are in Norwegian. In the GPWA member directory, you’re listed as a native Norwegian speaker. You appear to be a Norwegian. Yet you are located in Spain. Are you Norwegian? And if so, how did you end up in Spain? Yes, I am Nor- wegian, I came to Spain as a musician 25 years ago, and have been living here since then. I am still working as a musician (see besides doing af- filiate work. I don’t have any problem with the Spanish language, but the mar- kets in Norway are smaller and easier to handle, so I don’t have any plans about developing Spanish sites. When did you launch your gambling af- filiate sites?What prompted to you get in- volved in the online gambling industry? I started with my own pages in January of this year. I got hired to do some affiliate pages for an online casino. When I finished with that, I continued with my own pages, because I like the SEO competition in the gaming industry, plus the fact that it gives me a nice income as well. Did you gamble online before you started working as an affiliate? Do you gamble online now? And if so, where and what do you play? I have never gambled myself. I think I have bought 3 lotto tickets in my life, but I have tried to play on the casinos that I am marketing, in order to check out the tracking, but never for more than 20 dollars. How is the Norwegian market different from other European markets, like Spain? The Norwegian market is monopolized by the government. There are no land-based slots machines, for example. There are fewer people there, about 4.7 million, and 70 percent of them are on the Internet. It is illegal to do casino affiliating from Norway, so I don’t have a lot of compe- tition from others trying to tap into that market from outside the country. As we mentioned earlier, your sites are in Norwegian. But the ads/banners you run are generally in English. How problem- atic is that for you? In Norway we start to study English at school from the age of 8. I think that at least 80 percent of the pop- ulation read and write English. I have therefore never asked the affiliate manager about Norwegian banners, but when I can get them, I use them. If you had to pick 5 keys to success as an affiliate, what would they be and why? Don’t give up. You will see that one day, it will pay out. Learn SEO. It is no use making pages no- body can find. Don’t be afraid to work 24/7. Have more than one domain and register domains for the future. Do research on the keywords on your market before you register new domains. Sign up as a member of GPWA; you’ll get a lot of information there. How long did it take for you to start earn- ing money? I started to earn money the first week, because I managed to get all of my pages on the top in Google from the beginning. After two months, I could make a living out of it. What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate pro- gram? The affiliate manager should be on MSN so it is easy to get in touch with him. The affiliate programs have to offer good payout, nice banners, and a good stats tracker program. In an ideal world, how would you divide the efforts you put into your site? What percentage would go to marketing, up- dating content, managing your books and other tasks 50% making new pages and updating them. 50% researching the market and market- ing through blogs, etc. You also run a Web design and SEO busi- ness (Alfaz Media). How have the skills and experiences from that business helped you in your work as an affiliate? I don’t have to pay anybody to get the pages made, and I could get themup in the search engines from the very beginning without any problem. City currently residing in: Alir (close to Benidorm) in Spain Favorite food: Spanish tapas Sites:,,,