When browsing through the poker affiliate forums, one can’t help but notice that most affiliates are boasting 2-3 websites, if not more, in their forum signature. Why is this? One could venture out and say this is because they want to gain as much exposure in the least time possible. This is a safe assumption. Some affiliates jump on new opportunities, like when a poker room changes its bonus codes to referral or marketing codes. Others like to target specific niches separately in order to dominate that portion of the poker market in the search results. Whatever the reason may be, the fact is that most up-and-coming affiliates (and baller affiliates as well) have multiple sites which they leverage to create sign ups.
Here are some tips for new poker affiliates:
Start with One Site
If you are a new affiliate and have been itching to jump in head-first by starting five different websites, you may want to consider a few things before diving in. Running just one website can be a chore, especially if you are just getting started. So, it would be wise and beneficial to you to start with one simple site until you learn and experience everything that is required to run multiple sites (time, money, content upkeep, research, just to name a few). You have to be prepared to update sites at least every other day. Again, with just one site to update, you will be able to put all your time into making one killer site instead of starting off with five struggling websites run by a struggling affiliate. This is the reason most sites fail in the first place. They lack sufficient content and establishment. My advice to newer affiliates is to learn the ropes first. This will save you from having half a dozen stale projects six months later with no payoff and no more motivation.
Benefits of Having a Network of Sites
Once you have one well-developed and successful site, you can then start to plan your network. Having a network of sites can be good. Having a network of established, authority sites can be great. Some affiliates miss the point on the true benefit of having multiple sites in their portfolio. Just because you have the ability to throw up a skimpy ten page site every few days does not mean you have a quality network of sites. The goal should be to have a network of trusted sites, not a network of spam. Each site should be able to stand alone as a quality source of information for the user.
Of course having a few sites means you can link from one to another, but you should do this with relevance in mind. Most of us are probably guilty of interlinking our websites to increase rankings here and there. This should, however, be done with caution. Do not try to come up with some elaborate “octagonal-triangular” link scheme. Those are designed to game the search engines and can get you penalized or result in discounted links. The rule of thumb I usually go by is the value rule: “Does this link provide value to the user?” If the answer is yes then it is probably ok.
Cross promoting is another benefit of a network of sites. If your smart and you capture your visitors’ email addresses, or have them subscribe to your feeds, you can cross promote different offers to different groups of subscribers. By the way, remember that a subscriber is someone who wants to hear more from you. They subscribed for a reason.
Having multiple sites means you get different types of customers subscribed to different lists. With multiple sites you can cross promote any freerolls, tournaments, forum launches, etc., and use the different mediums to your advantage. Having different lists also allows you to test your copy and figure out what works and what doesn’t, in other words, what provides the most conversions.
The one and only drawback to having more than one website is that you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin. Sadly this happens to many affiliates, and they end up making little progress with each site. The only problem with this is that it requires a lot of progress with one site to make a decent income, and not a little progress with a lot of sites. The bottom line is, affiliate sites thrive and survive on fresh and unique content, and fresh and unique content takes time to develop. It is better to establish one site as an authority, so you have the skills to succeed, and then start working on other sites. While having an established network is great, it requires a lot of time and hard work to be successful on all fronts.
Jonathan Holloway is a contributing PAP author and successful poker affiliate. You can follow his poker affiliate blog and learn more about the overall poker affiliate industry in his updated posts