GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 6 - September 2008

GPWA Affiliate Interview Series 33 | GPWA Times INTERVIEWWITH Andrew Mason | masontech >> Continued on page 66 City currently residing in: Leeds, U.K. Age: 35 Favorite food: Thai/Indian/Chinese One book everyone must read: Getting Things Done, by David Allen Site: Search engines love blogs, and so does masontech You’ve been buildingWeb sites, including ones that have dealt with e-commerce, since 1995. How do gambling affiliate sites differ from the sites you were work- ing on? I started out my working life as a developer and then moved over to desk- top and servers before making the move to networking and security. I launched my first e-commerce site in 1995 and I have had websites of sorts ever since. I am really into all things Web 2.0 and so- cial networking with sites such as Face- book and Twitter. I therefore find the technical aspects of running a site very easy. The differences with a gambling site over other sites are the competition and the difficulty in at- tracting traffic. Your SEO skills have to be very sharp in our industry to succeed as there are a lot of very established sites already out on the Internet. I have built other sites recently in markets where the competition are not very SEO aware and thus have been able to dominate the or- ganic results very quickly. If only I could do this in the gambling industry! What prompted you to join the online gambling industry? Do you gamble on- line? If so, what games do you play? And why? I have a good friend who is a tele- coms super-affiliate in the U.K. It was he who introduced me to affiliate marketing and as I had always been intrigued by on- line gambling, I sought out and bought the domain, which had al- ready been registered for a few years and had inbound links, etc. I then attended a few A4U events and met other gambling affiliates and I liked the challenge of mak- ing it in one of the hardest sectors. I do dabble with online poker and casinos but I would not really class myself as a gam- bler. The occasional bet on large sporting events is about my limit. You’re a network security engineer in your “day job.” What skills from that job have really helped you as an affiliate? How do you find time to work on your af- filiate business? Being a network security engineer does not directly contribute to affiliate marketing although I do know how to ensure my sites are secure. Timemanagement is a pretty hot topic forme. One of my other blogs is a productivity and motivational blog at It follows the Getting Things Done meth- odology from David Allen. I am married with four young children and I work a lot of hours keeping my main business up and running. I am also the published au- thor of seven books on Internet Security, and in addition I keep three blogs up to date. Being productive and organized is essential for me to operate. It is so important to have a system that you can trust, and for myself, I find that leveraging technology really helps me with staying organized and productive. I have a system that utilizes a GTD ap- plication called OmniFocus both on my Mac and my iPhone. Everything gets re- corded into there and then processed. I also carry around a Moleskine notebook so that I can always collect my tasks as they come to mind to reduce what we call “Open Loops.” I have found GTD to be a great methodology for productivity that works with whatever system you like to implement. I also rely quite heavily on Mind Maps. All my promotions, providers, and links are mapped out in this way so that I can keep abreast of the information I need to run the site. It is all quite a neat little sys- tem that keeps me focused on the task at hand rather than wasting needless time fathoming out where things are or what to do next. It is not normally a lack of time that is the problem but a lack of preparation. You promote poker, casinos, sportsbooks and bingo sites. Why did you choose to promote a broad range rather than focus on a specific niche? I guess I like a chal- lenge. It is kind of a scattergun approach to see what works and what doesn’t. I agree that it does dilute focus and I am working out ways to automate as much of the updating of the site as possible. It is a smart move to get technology to do the hard work, leaving you free for the tasks that cannot be automated. I am looking