Strong Partnerships Lead to Success
New gambling affiliates often start out in this business with a big dream. While they have the heart in the right place, the problem with most new affiliates is that they have no clue what they’re getting into. Once you start to actively promote poker rooms and casinos, you quickly realize that things aren’t as easy as you thought they’d be. That’s actually a good thing. If it was too easy, then everybody would do it. Being a successful affiliate takes a lot of hard work. You’ve been warned!
Like many new gambling affiliates, I woke up one day and told myself I wanted to get involved in the industry and make a quick buck. I started out by putting together a website and which focused solely on Texas Hold’em strategy. Having played the game for years, I figured my knowledge and experience could be shared and benefit other players. The site eventually evolved to something much bigger and I ended up creating more sites, but my first challenge as a marketer was to build a traffic base. You can have the greatest site on the web, but if no one knows about it, it’s completely worthless.
The very first valuable lesson I learned was that I could never succeed on my own. Initially, I was reluctant to link to other sites thinking they would “steal” my potential gamblers away. I didn’t understand how search engines worked and clearly, I was starting off on the wrong foot. While other affiliates are considered your main competition, they are also your greatest allies. To be successful, you’ll want to establish long term relationships with them. Trading link is one thing, partnerships are quit different however.
What you really want to do is take advantage of someone else’s success. Find a website that will help you get traffic in exchange for something else. And remember, your long term goal is to get traffic from search engines, not necessarily from other sites. So the deals you make have to make the search engines notice you so that they send you loads of traffic. When working with your affiliate peers, remember that it’s not about the quantity of links, but about their quality. That’s really the strategy you want to go for. I assume you know about search engine optimization (SEO) so I won’t talk about it here, but if you don’t’ know what I am talking about, search for SEO tips, SEO tutorials, or something like it. You’ll need to align your strategy with the SEO methodologies.
The second lesson I have learned was that I would get different results from people depending on how I approached them, or presented myself. I want you to remember one thing: You don’t have to be big to make big deals. Webmasters are busy people, and when you start to get some traffic, you’ll quickly experience this yourself. People will e-mail you every day because they want something from you. They want you to join their affiliate program, they want you to sell their products, and they you to purchase Viagra by the case. Yes, spam does increase when you get popular! The point is that when you contact another webmaster, you have to compete for their attention so what you’re asking for has to include a benefit for them. You can be to the point, but you can’t be rude or appear to be demanding. The idea is that you want to start by offering them something they could be interested in. If that grabs their interest, then they’ll consider giving you something back. It’s simple really, but so many people just don’t get that concept.
Also keep in mind that you can’t do business with everyone, and you probably don’t want to anyway. Many webmasters will not respond to your original e-mail. Don’t take it personally. Give them a week or two, and then send them a polite follow up e-mail. As a webmaster, I tend to pay more attention to someone who makes the effort to track their messages and send me a follow up e-mail because it shows they legitimately want to do business with me without being pushy about it. I also get e-mails from other people which I totally disregard because you can tell they are so generic. It’s a copy and past/spam the poker affiliates kind of approach which I hate. Don’t be stupid like that because you will not succeed. I remember loosing my cool once, after receiving 10 e-mails from the same company in a week. My response was certainly not pleasant, but I assure you it was very clear. If you piss off webmasters, you will never get anywhere.
Once you establish a good contact with a successful webmaster, work at maintaining that relationship. Be sensitive to their needs, not just your own. Be reasonable and accommodating. At then end of the day, you want to earn trust and respect from others so that you can build and develop your business further with them. Get known, and get to know other webmasters because it’s always easier to work develop partnerships. Also remember that contacts can be made by joining existing affiliate communities, via forums or other means.
How you present yourself is very important. Image is everything online. I have a full time job and I work on my affiliate business part time, like most affiliates in fact. But I present myself as a serious business entity. I don’t mislead others, I will deliver on what ever I agree to do, but I do work at emulating a professional impression. That means try not to use hotmail accounts or free hosting to do business. Get your own domain, and setup multiple e-mail accounts (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc). I will use my personal e-mail account sometimes, but only when I have some familiarity with the person I am dealing with. You can get a domain for a year for less than $10, and web hosting can be as low as $5 a month to start out. We’re not talking big expenses. Giving that professional impression gives you credibility, and credibility gets you deals.
Having a website that is professionally designed and doesn’t look amateurish also inspires confidence. Work hard at establishing and maintaining your image so that you can take advantage of it, just like in poker. I recently reached a deal with a poker room where I am providing them with gambling content in exchange for links. Writing for other sites is a great way to start getting free links. In my case, I won’t name which room it is, but my point is this: You can be someone with who works on his affiliate business part time as a hobby and you could end up writing content for a room like Carbon Poker for instance. It’s possible. I don’t have a big business, but I’m doing it. The sky is the limit, and the only thing that is stopping you from reaching your goals is yourself.
Think big no matter how big or small your business is. Think big, but have a plan because delusions won’t get you anywhere. Associate yourself with successful people and learn from them. Remember that a business relationship is like a personal relationship: it requires care and involves some give and take. When you have that relationship in place, you can make big things happen. You have room to negotiate, favors to all in, etc. Most important of all, recognize that gambling affiliates form a community and once you start to be successful, consider giving back and helping out less experienced affiliates. Good luck!
Courtesy of MyPokerCorner.com