GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 8 - April 2009

48 GPWA Times | For casinoranking, webmastering’s a stepping-stone to the future. You state in your GPWA profile that you’re not agambler yourself,but startedpromot- ing online casinos due to the high profit- ability involved.Take us through the entire process. I lived in Fort McMurray, which is a small city in the northernmost part of Al- berta, Canada. I was doing carpet cleaning and I was miserable. I hated the location. I was five hours away from the nearest city and I felt trapped. I made just enoughmon- ey to get by month to month. I could have been like everyone else and worked the oil rigs, but that didn’t look appealing. I had a computer for less than a year and it dawned on me that I should try to make money using the Internet. I initially started purchasing discount books at local bookstores. The books were hardcovers in the bargain bin. I would buy them for $1 or $2 and resell them on auction Web sites like Yahoo for $10 or more. The auctions were making good money but it felt like it was limited and it was not life-changing money. I then stumbled onto this thing called af- filiate marketing when looking at business opportunities. I tried making a Web site for Amazon and had no luck. One day I saw a casino banner advertise a free bonus of- fer. I clicked on it to see what it was about. I thought the idea of an online casino was insane, that the owners were probably rak- ing it in. I then saw the words “webmasters click here,” and that’s how I got into the in- dustry. I was lucky that I started earning money within three months. After one month, I earned 40 cents; month 2, $8; and for month 3 it was 4 figures. I have been doing this full time since then. Looking back I would have focused more on theWeb sites that were earningme good money versus trying so hard to diversify. I would have also relocated to a tax-friendly jurisdiction far sooner. You run a large variety of affiliate sites that target all aspects of the gambling industry, including sportsbooks, casinos, rummy, and poker rooms. What are the key differences in marketing these differ- ent products? I’ve had great luck promot- ing casinos and sportsbooks. For those types of markets I think people want Web sites that are direct and to the point. They want to know where the best and safest places to play are, and they might not nec- essarily care about the small details such as who the software provider is, number of games, etc. Recently I’ve been doing well with bingo and I think the reason is the same. Rummy has done all right consider- ing how little time I’ve devoted towards it. Meanwhile, I never did very well with poker. I think the reason behind this is people who are searching for poker are more savvy and want a ton of informa- tion. They live and breathe poker, versus casinos where you are targeting more of a casual gambler. How do you find time to update all of your sites? I will be honest. Most of my sites are small, and I keep them that way because it’s faster to get them up and run- ning… and it takes a lot less time to up- date. I am not exactly great at offering a lot of unique and outstanding content. I also have hundreds of sites in other mar- kets, such as finance and health. I would say that five pages per Web site is my av- erage. I usually update all my sites in a certain market at the same time. By anyone’s definition, you’re a self-made man. In the forums, you’ve said that, growing up, your parents were often out of work, your father struggled with sub- stance abuse, you had a tough time in school, and you hung out with the wrong crowd. Please share some of those expe- riences with us, and talk about how you got from where you were as a child/teen to where you are today. My dad was very much into drugs and alcohol. When I had friends over he would get high with them. I think it was genetic, as my uncle was an alcoholic and eventually commit- ted suicide because of it. If anything they were negative role models, and I think it is important to have positive role models. I learned early on what I didn’t want to emulate. Because of them I have avoided touching drugs, smoking, or even drinking (which some people find extreme). I avoid it because addiction is probably genetic on the male side of the family and it honestly does not look that exciting to me. When I was a kid we moved quite fre- quently in search for work. In one year we relocated to five different towns which were all French, and after having lived only in the English part of Canada it took some adjusting. I did hang out with the wrong crowds at times. Looking back, a lot of the people I hung out with are in jail or have spent time there. I do have some friends whom I keep in touch with, and they are also do- ing well for themselves. What’s the most difficult thing about op- erating your sites, and what annoys or distracts you the most when you’re trying to get work done? The payment issue is very annoying, figuring out who pays you and how to get paid. I get easily distracted as I hate updating Web sites, so if there is something more appealing to do I am likely to do it. If it is sunny out I don’t want to work! What are some of the rewards of running your own sites? The flexibility to work when and where you want or however little you want. I love the fact that I can work from anywhere in the world. In the forums recently you said that, in or- der to fulfill the rest of your dreams, you’ll have to look “outside the Internet.” What do you have in mind? I am in the wrong business as I amnot a big fan of computers. I have no programming skills. I can’t even write HTML. But the money is tough to re- sist. What I want to do is make it so I only have to work a couple of days a month and then the rest of the time I can do what I am more passionate about. I would like to start a nonprofit one day and I am going back to writing, which is what I was initially into. I have always wanted to do something for wildlife; I am just not sure what yet. This business just doesn’t reflect who I am or where I want to be, so I view INTERVIEW WITH Antoine T | casinoranking GPWA Affiliate Interview Series