Seven dealdy sins signpostThe seven deadly sins are a teaching tools used to instruct Christians on how not to behave. They can also be used as a teaching tool for what not to do as a poker affiliate. The seven deadly sins include a single defining characteristic: excess. I’ve included a list of the seven deadly sins here, and a look at how they apply to being a poker affiliate.

This discussion seems to be about morals and/or ethics, but I’m actually taking a pragmatic, practical approach to the subject. My aim is to point out how avoiding the seven deadly sins while running a poker site can make your more money with less stress. In this way, I hope for this post to be as practical and useful as the one about how to run a poker blog network or the one about how to build one way links to your poker site.

Deadly Sin #1 – Lust

From a poker webmaster perspective, this is one of the least harmful sins. But I’ll share a story about a site I operated once, a gambling news blog. I hired a manager to post to and operate the site, and he posted there several times daily for 18 months. I paid him to do this, mind you. He eventually started posting a “babe of the day” in order to build traffic and interest to the site. It worked too. We got lots of traffic to the site. But the site made no money, maybe $300 in its best month. Even though the site got 500-1000 visitors a day. The point? Lust doesn’t convert gambling traffic into sales.

And it goes without saying that if you blow all your money chasing sex, you won’t have any money to reinvest in your business.

Deadly Sin #2 – Gluttony

Gluttony means to overconsume anything to the point of being wasteful. Most people think of gluttony as being applied to food and eating, which is a common use, but it can also apply to more applicable poker webmaste behaviors like buying links, for example. Buying a link or two here or there might not destroy your rankings or your business. But being a link buying glutton can have drastic consequences. Ask someone who ranked #1 for an extremely important phrase who got Google-slapped for being a link buying glutton how it feels to rank no higher than 51 in the results for even the most obscure phrase, then think about whether or not you want to be a link glutton.

Moderation is key when building links. Your goal should be to have “enough” links. Most poker webmasters are link gluttons, because they think they can never have enough links.

Deadly Sin #3 – Greed

I think most poker webmasters would agree with Gordon Gekko that “Greed is good.” I agree with that too.

But just like gluttony, it’s the “excess” aspect that makes it a sin. Greedy webmasters don’t want to help other webmasters, and eventually they destroy all the friendships and working relationships they might have in the industry. Greedy poker webmasters won’t link to other sites without getting paid back in some way, either via money, or via links in return. Greedy poker webmasters always have to get the better end of every deal. That kind of greed doesn’t make you more profitable, not in the long run, anyway.

Deadly Sin #4 – Sloth

Sloth means excessive laziness. This one seems obvious; if you never work on your website, then you won’t make money. But some slothful webmasters also steal other people’s content, or they use some kind of automated content generator to post to their blogs, or they run scripts which insert their links into signatures in forums or blogs somewhere. None of those “strategies” result in a long term profitable poker website.

Deadly Sin #5 – Wrath

Wrath is excessive anger, and I see this sin all the time in the poker community. Being angry enough to warn people about doing business with a company you find distasteful isn’t a sin. Being angry about getting screwed over on a deal and trying to get the situation made right isn’t a sin either.

Anger is a sin when it becomes excessive. If you become so wrathful that you’re calling people names like “fatass”, “dumb”, “dweeb”, or “idiot” then you’re ruining your credibility as a professional. And it hurts your credibility even when the name-calling is accurate. And worst of all, it increases the likelihood that you won’t solve whatever problem you’re angry about.

Most decent affiliate programs don’t want to deal with people who are constantly angry. There will always be something to get mad about in this industry, but if you spend all your time on forums working out that anger by trying to gun down other people, your own success is going to suffer. Look at how much time and effort some people put into threads about affiliate programs who have terms and conditions they don’t agree with. That’s wrath.

Wrath isn’t constructive.

Wrath isn’t profitable.

Wrath doesn’t solve problems.

Deadly Sin #6 – Envy

It’s one thing to look at someone’s website and say to yourself, “Gosh, I wish my site were doing that well, and I wish my business were that strong.” and to look at someone else’s site or business and say to yourself, “If I can’t be as successful as they are, I’m going to bring them down.” People who spend all their time complaining about corruption in certain volunteer-edited directories are envious of the people listed there. And rather than do the work involved in gettting their listings, like becoming a volunteer themselves, or doing the work on their site to make it listable, they’d rather try to tear down someone else’s hard work. Webmasters who try to “Googlebowl” their competitors out of the SERP’s also demonstrate envy in amazing amounts.

All of that time and energy should be used to try to improve your own website instead.

Deadly Sin #7 – Pride

I’m amazed at the amount of pride that some people in this industry demonstrate. I see webmasters who have no contact information and no about us information on their websites complaining about other webmasters’ lack of “transparency”. I see people who have no problem buying their way to the top of the search engine results complaining about the business ethics of other webmasters. I read a story in the Bible somewhere where Jesus told the person without sin to cast the first stone. I’m sure He’d be impressed with the state of our industry right now. Plenty of people are proud as can be of their roles in judging others right now.

I’d rather spend my time trying to help someone new who’s having trouble getting started in the industry. Or writing content that someone somewhere might find useful or helpful. Or coordinating a sensible solution to a problem.

Excess, Moderation, Profits, and Stress

Refusing to do business with a company when you disagree with their business practices is sensible. Being so proud that you think you can judge other people and try to destroy them and their livelihood is something else entirely.

Being angry if you feel like you’ve been wronged is natural. Being so wrathful that you start denigrating people with vicious namecalling and constant attacks is something else entirely.

All of the seven deadly sins are about excess. Everyone who gets penalized by a search engine gets penalized for doing something “excessive”.

The opposite of “excess” is moderation. Avoiding extremes and avoiding intensity tends to make poker webmasters more profitable and less stressful. If you’re a “sinner”, then give moderation a try sometime, and see if you don’t make money money with less stress.