AffiliateBible.com discusses poker, ethics and affiliate tips
AffiliateBible.com is an affiliate coaching website and they share valuable webmaster tips in this article.You recently published an article at affiliatebible.com answering a common question you seem to get which is what poker room should you promote. If you had to pick just 1 poker affiliate program to promote, which one?
That's a very tough call to make, because there are so many factors to take in. In that specific article I mentioned Victory Poker are one of the best at this moment - however would you really put all your eggs in a basket with a poker program that have already changed networks, and have no idea their longevity?
If I was going to promote one poker affiliate program it would be Full Tilt Poker. They've been in the business for years, and have proven to be very trustworthy. Their retention is the best in the business as is their conversion, and they're always coming up with unique and amazing promotions to keep players playing, and also show that their players are valued.
Furthermore, they've shown that they are a poker room that can adapt. Whether it be the UIEGA or all the payment processor issues - Full Tilt have adapted better than any other online poker room, and with the future being so hazy I'd be comfortable putting all my eggs in the basket of Phil Ivey & co.It seems that most of your sites have unique content and original value, how often do you find other sites copy your content?
Not too often, thankfully. I run various checks every week, but I've been lucky in that my content has only been copied a few times.When someone does copy or scrape your content, what do you do about it?
My first two methods are to contact their hosting company, and contact any affiliate programs they are promoting. The hosting companies are usually quick to respond and one of the benefits of being a super affiliate is affiliate programs are more likely to take immediate action in contacting this affiliate and getting it resolved. I usually never have to do anything beyond that as it is always dealt with promptly.If you weren't building online gambling sites what would you be doing?
Well I build more than online gambling websites - however I assume you mean if I wasn't doing internet marketing, what I would be doing? Probably working a boring 9-5 office job, dealing with inter-office politics and relying on my good friend Dr. McGillicudy and his Fireball Whiskey to get me through the day.
I'd also love to write fiction novels and I have a million ideas however I feel I have a rather limited vocabulary so I can't see that ever happening.Let's talk religion and ethics for a moment since you run an Affiliate Bible that promotes gambling. Do you ever get questions or challenges from religious people about your site perhaps that gambling is a sin and that it is not an ethical business? What do you say to people who might challenge what you do from an ethical point of view?
I do get it at times. Actually one of my old co-workers from back when I worked a 9-5 job e-mails my wife on occasion, to tell me that she prays for me every night and that gambling is a sin.
What's funny is she didn't realize I was an affiliate actually promoting gambling - she thought I just played poker for a living. She recently found out that I make a living off other people gambling and went absolutely nuts - she e-mailed my wife a scathing e-mail stating that she won't pray for me any more and that I am Satan himself.
I just laugh at things like that. People are going to want to gamble. I actually do them a service by sending them to trustworthy poker rooms or casinos, so that if they actually do win money then they'll actually get paid. I have absolutely no problem with the ethics in what I do, and if people do have problems then tough shit for them - life is too short to get all upset and worried about what other people think.They say that the top 5% of affiliates earn 95% of the money in affiliate marketing. If this is true give me 1 thing you could suggest to those 95% of affiliates that they could see the best improvements.
Bring something of value.
There's a lot that affiliates do wrong - but the main thing for me is that many affiliates just don't bring a website with any value to it. They throw up these generic websites with absolutely nothing new to the table. Affiliates never think about the player, or the visitor. All they think about is earnings, money and how to manipulate the search engines.
Thankfully, people never think like that. When they build a website they just think about how it will make them money, and not how it will bring value. That's why so many websites are outdated, and just sitting there stagnant. Because the affiliate brought no value to the visitor, and in return didn't make money, and because of that has given up.
Take my most recent project - CasinoAnswers.com We launched that website on December 31st, 2009 and have over 1000 articles all approximately 1000 words in length.
We're working on a news section for it just now, however we aren't just throwing up a news section overnight, and doing whatever we can to get into Google News.
Instead we've been evaluating all the other gambling news websites, looking at what is out there, and looking at what we can bring to the table news wise that will be a real value to web surfers. By the time we launch the news section it will be at least 6-7 months since we originally decided on launching the news section. Yet it will work out very well for us, because we'll be coming out swinging right from the get-go.So you work from home as a successful affiliate. Does your friends and family chalk it up to luck and assume you sit around all day doing nothing?
Yep. No-one understands the work an affiliate does, or just how much work we actually do. I'll go out with friends for beer and wings, and talk about how much I need this after a hard couple of days and they'll just laugh because hey, I work at home and am my own boss, how hard can my job be?
Yet as any (good) affiliate would know - it's very hard. I used to work 18 hours per day, every day including weekends for at least a year. Even now while I am in a more relaxed schedule which I'm calling "semi-retirement", there are still days where I have ended up working 12 hours straight to get things done, eating at my desk and never leaving except to pee.
In saying that - there are a lot of amazing benefits to working from home that I am thankful for every day. Being able to spend so much time with my family is amazing. Having my kids come home from school and want to go outside to build a snowman at 2:30pm? Sure no problem! Hopefully everyone that works from home truly appreciates the freedom and benefits that we have, even if we don't get the appreciation we should for the work we do.Revenue Share or CPA?
Well you can't just say Rev Share or CPA - you really need to think about Hybrid deals and Media Buys too. I'm a big believer in revenue share - when I work with an affiliate program I consider it a partnership. I want both me and the affiliate program to make money working together.
However I'd never do CPA. I'd be sick in my stomach if I sent a $10k a month casino whale to an affiliate program and got paid $75 CPA for it. And if I send a $10 player to that same program - are the casino really going to give me $75 for the $5 that they made? More often than not - no.
If I didn't do revenue share I'd do media buys, and I've actually been doing a combination of media buys and revenue share more and more lately, due to how weak some programs retention methods are.Let's talk affiliate statistics. You offer affiliate coaching and say you have 1000 leads. On average how many of these affiliates are going to turn into successful full time affiliates?
Actually I have about 2500-3000 affiliate bible subscribers in total and about 6000 sub-affiliate accounts opened under me. Based on all the information, I'd say 1/100 affiliates will make up to $5,000 per month for themselves, and 1/1000 will make $10k+ a month.Common affiliate SEO mistakes that make you cringe
The worst mistake affiliate makes are ignoring the basics. You have no idea how many sub-affiliates send me a website for review and the homepage title is "Homepage", and the sub-pages are "Page 1" etc. Unbelievable.
However I'd say the most common mistake is webmasters focusing on SEO and not at all on visitor optimization. So many 1000 word articles which do well with the keywords, but have literally no call to actions.
I actually had one sub-affiliate who was #2 in Google for "Bwin Bonus" and related terms and got 20+ hits per day, but didn't even get a click-thru. I went to his website and noticed the problem immediately. I decided to challenge his intellect and tell him that the "problem was obvious" and he should be able to see it within seconds.
Well I never heard from him for a month and I e-mailed and asked if his stats were improved. He said nope and he couldn't figure it out and had given up on being an affiliate because it was just too frustrating. I pointed out to him the problem: none of his links to bwin actually worked - they gave 404 errors.
Haven't heard from him since.What are your goals for 2011?
To semi-retire. I turn 30 on January 23rd and I plan on having a joint birthday/semi-retirement party. By semi-retire I mean I'll get up every day and I'll do what I have to do work wise - which should take about an hour at most, and then the day is free to do whatever I want.
I tested this out in 2010 by doing semi-retirement for 4 months in the Summer and it was excellent. I was able to spend a lot more time with my family, take up more hobbies, go on various trips etc. It was amazing, and I'm looking forward to switching to that lifestyle on a permanent basis.