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    GPWA Aaron is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series | Adel - sweetbet

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    Age: 45
    Hometown: Canberra, Australia
    Living in: Canberra
    Favorite Food: I love spicy Thai food like Tom Yum Soup, Green Papaya Salad and Thai Chicken Green Curry.
    Must Read Book: The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren, by Gerald Brittle
    Site: sweetbet.com

    When did you launch your site?
    I launched Sweet Bet back in 2006, but it wasn’t my first site.

    How did you become involved in the industry?
    I was initially involved in the dating affiliate business. I had many dating affiliate sites, and was also running a few personals sites myself. Then one day I was comparing my traffic, number of sites, working hours and income to that of a casino affiliate. The casino affiliate had far less traffic, worked shorter hours, had a couple of sites and was consistently generating a significantly larger income than myself. That’s when I decided to exit the dating affiliate business and enter the gambling affiliate business.

    How long did it take for you to start earning money?
    I earned my first commission payment back in January 2001, only a few months after I built and starting promoting my first site in October 2000. Back then, everything was easier. There was less affiliate competition, it was easier to rank in the search engines and the casinos didn’t have as many country or banking restrictions.

    Any plans to launch additional sites, or is sweetbet.com – a general gambling portal with sections that promote particular niches – comprehensive enough to suit your personal time-commitment preferences for maintaining, updating and promoting the site?
    I have a number of general gambling portals, and a number of niche-specific sites. The sites range from 10+ pages to 15,000+ pages. I try not to put all my eggs in one basket by having one main site or by promoting one sponsor ahead of everyone else on all of the sites. Each site is also promoted a little bit differently. Some sites have a strong social media presence, some are promoted with purchased ads and traffic, others are promoted via link building, etc. I believe that it’s more advantageous to spread everything out as much as possible, and not rely on one or two similar sites that are promoted in more or less the same way.

    Do you write all the sites reviews for Sweet Bet? How long does it take to review an online casino? What steps do you follow in the review process? And how often do you update your reviews?
    I wrote a small number of the reviews, but the bulk were written by a freelance writer I found through the GPWA. Writing reviews is very time consuming, so I prefer to give the work to someone else while I focus on other aspects of the business. The reviews are generally updated every three months, unless there is something that requires my immediate attention such as a bonus offer change or a linking code change.

    Back in March, you started promoting Bitcoin casinos. How’s that been working out for you so far?
    I started off promoting a number of Bitcoin casinos on one portal. After a few months of promoting them, I found one sponsor had a number of signups and depositors, while the others didn’t have any signups. So I am currently only promoting one sponsor, and am so far satisfied with its performance. The problem with promoting Bitcoin casinos is that it is very difficult to know which casinos to promote and which ones to avoid.

    Would you say that you're one of Bitcoin's most ardent supporters? Or is this just something that you're dabbling in? Or are you somewhere in between?
    I’m just testing the Bitcoin casino affiliate programs for now. If promoting Bitcoin casinos eventually results in a decent-sized player base and a steady and growing income stream, then I will take them more seriously, and promote them more heavily.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
    You recently posted that a good program should offer decent rev share commission rates, no negative carryovers, no bundling and 30+ day cookies. Anything else you’d add to the list? I think that an affiliate manager needs to be available and responsive. An affiliate manager who gets to know me, my business, my traffic, and can offer advice on how to increase my conversions and improve my business would gain my trust and confidence. Additionally, an affiliate program should also have reasonable payment thresholds, offer numerous payment methods, abide by its own terms and conditions, and pay in a timely manner.

    Does seeing a program's AMs active on forums like the GPWA influence your decision on whether or not to promote a program?
    Definitely! Operating and promoting an affiliate site is a very costly and time-consuming business. Most affiliates, and especially experienced affiliates, will not require any assistance to join and promote a sponsor. However, if an affiliate should experience any issues that require the attention of an affiliate manager, then the affiliate needs to know that there is someone there who is able to assist and resolve the issue. It is in the affiliate program’s best interest to have an active AM on the forums who can resolve affiliate-related issues in a fast and professional manner. This could make the difference between a program getting positive reviews that will encourage other affiliates to promote it, and a program getting negative reviews that will discourage other affiliates from promoting it.

    Are you a one-person shop or are you part of a larger organization?
    I’m a one-man band. Having worked in this industry for 14 years, I’m fairly experienced in most aspects of running an online affiliate business. However, I do tend to outsource a great deal of work such as creating graphics, Web design, article writing, video production and any other jobs that I’m unable to do, or don’t have time to complete.

    Describe your work environment. Do you work from home or in an office? How often do you get to see and interact with other people in the industry?
    I work from a home office so unless I’m attending a conference or have plans to meet up with someone who is in the area or in a nearby city, I rarely get to see anyone in the industry. For this reason, the forums and e-mail are my primary means of interaction with fellow affiliates and affiliate managers.

    What’s your preferred method of communication with affiliate managers? Do you like to talk on the phone, by e-mail or via Skype?
    I personally prefer to communicate via e-mail for two main reasons. First, I keep very irregular and strange office hours. Sometimes I work from early morning to midday, and take the rest of the day off, while at other times I might work from midday to midnight. Second, if an affiliate manager would like me to promote a particular affiliate program or give a particular brand more exposure, then I would need time to research the affiliate program or brand, and think carefully about the offer before I reply. For these two reasons, I find e-mail to be a very convenient means of communication.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?
    I really wanted to be part of an online community that keeps me up to date with all of the latest news and developments in the industry, where I can interact with and learn from some of the industry’s top affiliates and that puts me in touch with some of the top affiliate programs in the industry. The GPWA is definitely that community.

    You've been fairly active on the GPWA forums since joining the GPWA about a year and a half ago. What advice can you give to our many "lurkers" who read the forums but don't get involved in the conversations?
    If you are serious about improving your online business, then join the GPWA. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. The GPWA forums are full of very experienced and knowledgeable people who can give you some great advice on anything from Web hosting services to affiliate programs, marketing and much more.

    What do you like about the industry?
    There are many factors that I like about this industry. I love the huge variety of brands, games and promotions that, as an affiliate, I can offer to my visitors. I enjoy recommending reputable online properties to my visitors, while trying to steer them away from disreputable ones. I would also have to say that this is, by far, one of the most lucrative and financially rewarding industries online.

    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
    I’d like to see more nations legalizing and regulating it. Apart from the tax benefits that the governing bodies would gain, online players would also benefit by having access to legal, and safer, online gambling sites.

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?
    All of my family members, including my brothers, mother and wife, are affiliates themselves. It’s great because we regularly discuss which sponsors have the best conversions, new SEO techniques, the latest search engine updates, etc. Sometimes when a sponsor is late to send payment, I’ll call up my mother and ask her if she’s received payment yet.

    Do you gamble online? If so, what do you play?
    I enjoy placing the odd sports bet whenever there’s a big sporting event. However, when it comes to casino games, I prefer to visit a land casino and place a few bets on the roulette table.

    How long do you give yourself for answering e-mail? What e-mail tips can you offer?
    It depends upon whom the e-mail is from, and what it relates to. I answer e-mail from persons that I know within 24 hours of receiving them, while ignoring e-mail from unknowns who are trying to exchange links, sell me a domain or asking me to join a new affiliate program. The e-mail tips that I can offer would be to (1) add important and trusted e-mail addresses to your contact list so that they are not sent to the junk folder, (2) never reply to spam, (3) be wary of phishing and scam e-mail/offers and (4) use a throw-away free e-mail account to sign up for some things such as social networking accounts.

    How do you manage your “to-do” lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?
    My “to-do” list is a very basic system. I have a list of things that I need to do on a daily basis, and a list of “once-off” tasks that I need to complete by a specific date. My daily “to-do” list includes things like “reading the forums, answering e-mail, checking the statistical reports, etc.” My “once-off” tasks might include things like “changing a Web host or removing a non-converting sponsor.” I keep the lists on a Notepad file on my desktop, and work my way down the lists in systematic order every day.

    How much time do you devote to SEO and/or social networking in order to drive more traffic to your sites?
    I tend to devote more time to SEO because I believe that search engine traffic is more valuable and more targeted than social media traffic. I prefer the visitor who found my site by typing a specific search term in a search engine to the visitor who found my site by clicking on an eye-catching image, headline or tweet that is posted on a social media site. I do promote my portals on social networking sites because they are important, if only to give the portals more exposure, but I do believe that search engine traffic is more valuable. However, having content is not something that should be overlooked if the affiliate wants to generate more sales and encourage repeat visits. No amount of promotional work can make a site successful if it lacks quality content.

    What’s the most difficult thing about running your sites?
    The most difficult thing would be keeping the sites up to date. If I only had one site, and I had to update something like a set of linking codes for a particular sponsor, then that would be no problem. However, this is not a simple request for affiliates who are running multiple sites.

    What’s the best thing about running your sites?
    I love the freedom of deciding whom to work with, when to work, how often to work, and being my own boss.

    What do you do to stay in shape – both physically and mentally?
    I enjoy running and doing the occasional push-ups and sit-ups to stay in shape. I also enjoy spending some quiet time alone every day or so, just to relax and read a book.

    If someone were visiting you, what’s the one place you’d definitely take them to see?
    In Canberra, the most prominent tourist attraction would have to be the Australian Parliament House, which is built on a 32 hectare site, has 4,500 rooms and is a very impressive structure.

    When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?
    I take the family for a long drive to a nearby city like Sydney and stay somewhere nice, like Darling Harbour, for a few days. However, I can never totally get away from work, because I can never stop myself from checking one thing or another on my phone or iPad.

    What’s your favorite vacation spot?
    I would have to say Phuket, Thailand. The last time I took the family there, we stayed in a holiday resort that was a one-minute walk from Patong Beach. We all loved the island so much that we didn’t really want to go home. The restaurants were great, the beaches were amazing, the shopping was very cheap and there was so much to see and do.

    What’s your all-time favorite movie?
    I don’t have an all-time favorite movie. I generally lean toward comedy movies starring Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell or Owen Wilson. There’s nothing like a good laugh to let off some stress, and beat the blues of life.

    If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?

    1. Elvis Presley. I’ve always been an Elvis fan and have watched all his movies and heard all his songs.
    2. Saint Padre Pio. He’s a very famous 20th-century Italian Stigmatist priest who performed many miracles and had many mystical abilities.
    3. Bill Gates. I would love to see one of his bank statements. That would be an experience in itself.
    4. Jim Carrey. He’s hilarious and would be just as funny and entertaining off camera as he is on camera.
    5. Miley Cyrus. I’d like to ask her what she was thinking during some of her performances.


    What are three things that nobody knows about you?

    1. I purchased a house back in 2001 that turned out to be haunted.
    2. I went bareback elephant riding in Thailand a few years ago.
    3. I was a substitute high school teacher before I became a full-time gambling affiliate.

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  3. #2
    AE-Martyn is offline Former AM
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    Good interview, I'd like to hear more on the haunted house!

    What kind of stuff went on?

    Things like that intrigue me, although I'd be running out of there at speed unknown to man if something happened while I was there. Properly scared.

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    Maria F is offline Former AM
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    Great interview, thank you for sharing

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    Quote Originally Posted by AE-Martyn View Post
    Good interview, I'd like to hear more on the haunted house!

    What kind of stuff went on?

    Things like that intrigue me, although I'd be running out of there at speed unknown to man if something happened while I was there. Properly scared.
    At first, I thought it was just my imagination. I thought that maybe I had too many beers or was over tired. There would be things like footsteps, or something has been moved, and then one day I sat on the edge of my bed, and there was a compression on the mattress, as if someone just sat next to me. I rubbed my eyes and shook my head, and looked again. Yep, part of the mattress was moving right next to me, like someone was sitting and moving there. That freaked me out and I left the room and slept on the sofa in the lounge room.

    A few years after I sold the house, the owner of the house asked me if any strange things ever happened there. That's when I finally believed that there was something living there, and it wasn't my imagination. Some of the things that the new owner experienced was the sound of doors slamming, activity in the kitchen in the middle of the night, footsteps, and at one stage, his dog woke up in the middle of the night, started barking at something unseen and jumped into bed with him and wouldn't leave.
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    Daisy Hoek is offline Former AM
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    Thank you for this interview! It's nice to read your story and to read about how you got into the industry. Keep up the good work

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbet View Post
    At first, I thought it was just my imagination. I thought that maybe I had too many beers or was over tired. There would be things like footsteps, or something has been moved, and then one day I sat on the edge of my bed, and there was a compression on the mattress, as if someone just sat next to me. I rubbed my eyes and shook my head, and looked again. Yep, part of the mattress was moving right next to me, like someone was sitting and moving there. That freaked me out and I left the room and slept on the sofa in the lounge room.

    A few years after I sold the house, the owner of the house asked me if any strange things ever happened there. That's when I finally believed that there was something living there, and it wasn't my imagination. Some of the things that the new owner experienced was the sound of doors slamming, activity in the kitchen in the middle of the night, footsteps, and at one stage, his dog woke up in the middle of the night, started barking at something unseen and jumped into bed with him and wouldn't leave.
    I was about to ask the same thing as Martyn!

    That is really spooky. I'd never have stayed there either.
    Did anything happen that wasn't so spooky? Has the person who bought the house ever gotten anyone in there to check it out?
    These are the times we need ghost hunters to come to oz!
    I've seen stuff like this before and whenever I tell people they just think I'm crazy!

    When I lived with my ex I saw someone walking in my loungeroom once, and I went outside and sat there until he got home. Then every time I would walk past the stairwell I could see someone standing at the top of the stairs. Was so glad not to live there anymore when we broke up!

    Jim Carrey is someone I think I would like to have dinner with. He is one of the funniest guys on the planet and if you have ever listened to his speech about following your dreams, you'd also know how soft he is too. I really just think he is an amazing man and very inspiring.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renee View Post
    I was about to ask the same thing as Martyn!

    That is really spooky. I'd never have stayed there either.
    Did anything happen that wasn't so spooky? Has the person who bought the house ever gotten anyone in there to check it out?
    These are the times we need ghost hunters to come to oz!
    I've seen stuff like this before and whenever I tell people they just think I'm crazy!

    When I lived with my ex I saw someone walking in my loungeroom once, and I went outside and sat there until he got home. Then every time I would walk past the stairwell I could see someone standing at the top of the stairs. Was so glad not to live there anymore when we broke up!

    Jim Carrey is someone I think I would like to have dinner with. He is one of the funniest guys on the planet and if you have ever listened to his speech about following your dreams, you'd also know how soft he is too. I really just think he is an amazing man and very inspiring.



    That's nuts, before you buy a house you can use the site diedinhouse.com. Ifor 12 dollars it runs all people w oh lived at said address and where they passed on.



    Congrats on interview sweetbet

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    Quote Originally Posted by edgarf76 View Post
    That's nuts, before you buy a house you can use the site diedinhouse.com. Ifor 12 dollars it runs all people w oh lived at said address and where they passed on.



    Congrats on interview sweetbet
    I think that site only works in the US though
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    After what I experienced in that house, I read a few books about haunted houses, and demonology. Very interesting subjects.

    Basically, when you study a haunted house, you need to find out if the spirit haunting it is human or inhuman. A human spirit is usually someone who has died, but isn't ready to move on, so they are stuck between worlds. Or they might not even know that they have died because everything looks and feels the same to them. Or they have some unfinished business that they feel they must complete. It could be anything. They are usually nothing to worry about.

    Then there are malevolent inhuman spirits. These are demoniacs and are the ones that you really do need to worry about. You might have heard of the Amityville Horror which is a great example of what these demoniacs can do when they take over a house
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Amityville_Horror

    Luckily the house that I was living in wasn't quite as bad as some of the haunted house that I've read about
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renee View Post
    I was about to ask the same thing as Martyn!

    That is really spooky. I'd never have stayed there either.
    Did anything happen that wasn't so spooky? Has the person who bought the house ever gotten anyone in there to check it out?
    These are the times we need ghost hunters to come to oz!
    I've seen stuff like this before and whenever I tell people they just think I'm crazy!

    When I lived with my ex I saw someone walking in my loungeroom once, and I went outside and sat there until he got home. Then every time I would walk past the stairwell I could see someone standing at the top of the stairs. Was so glad not to live there anymore when we broke up!

    Jim Carrey is someone I think I would like to have dinner with. He is one of the funniest guys on the planet and if you have ever listened to his speech about following your dreams, you'd also know how soft he is too. I really just think he is an amazing man and very inspiring.
    Sorry Renée, I forgot to reply to your post

    The only thing that happened that wasn't spooky is the front security screen door would lock by itself. This started happening to my former house, and my mother's house around the same time, shortly after my father passed away. I think it was my father, because it only started happening after he died, and he was always the one who would lock up the family house at night before he went to bed. I think it was his way of saying that he is still around to watch over us. That wasn't scarey, but you'd want to make sure you have your keys on you when you venture outside the house, just in case. My mother even changed the door lock, but it kept happening anyway. The other spooky stuff that I mentioned in the previous posts started happening before my father passed away, so it couldn't have been him.

    The new house owner never asked anyone to check it out. After reading so many books about the subject, one day I gave him some holy water, blessed salt, blessed Saint Benedict medals and blessed rosaries. I told him to put them in THAT room were IT was staying. The plan was to make it uncomfortable enough, so it would leave. Within a few weeks of doing that, all activity died down. I'm not sure if it actually left, or is just keeping a low profile.

    The way that I understand it is that blessed or holy objects have a positive energy that repels negative inhuman spirits, while cursed objects, or objects that have been used in the dark arts carry negative energy that will attract these dark spirits.

    I wonder who the man was that you saw in the house. If he didn't do anything to deliberately try to frighten you, then it was probably someone who sensed that you would be sensitive to his presence and wanted to reach out to you. But you were definitely right to not try to talk to him. Sometimes, demons can take on the appearance of a human to make you lower your guard.
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    I dislike spicy.
    I love such interviews. Everything looks sweety and fresh.
    Then, after one year or so, comes another affiliate manager and people do not get paid.
    Ehhh ... sweet life

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    Good interview i always read these on flights back from affiliate conferences love them.
    New Projects. Lets see how the 3rd Journey goes.
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    Great interview, great to read about the fact you've been in the business since 2001 and that it was much easier then.

    I often beat myself up about the fact that I knew enough to probably be an affiliate as far back as 2008, but fear to take the plunge and a bit of laziness, being a bit too young, sleepwalking through life a bit and in the pub a bit too much - those things stopped me.

    I would have loved to be an affiliate in the days when SEO was easier, when you could get a hundred quality links on keywords like 'free bets' or 'casino bonus' and get high in the search engines.

    I now feel like it's a much more difficult time to be an affiliate and it's getting more difficult every few months seemingly. We now need to be more and more innovative and hard working, the really easy money is quite probably a thing of the past .

    e.g. I look at some of the professional affiliate outfits now mentioned in other threads e.g. oddschecker, OLBG, Footy Accumulators. Those guys have several staff members at the very least, with who knows how many at Oddschecker. Us small lone-rangers are having to get more and more clever to find little angles and niches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbet View Post
    Sorry Renée, I forgot to reply to your post

    The only thing that happened that wasn't spooky is the front security screen door would lock by itself. This started happening to my former house, and my mother's house around the same time, shortly after my father passed away. I think it was my father, because it only started happening after he died, and he was always the one who would lock up the family house at night before he went to bed. I think it was his way of saying that he is still around to watch over us. That wasn't scarey, but you'd want to make sure you have your keys on you when you venture outside the house, just in case. My mother even changed the door lock, but it kept happening anyway. The other spooky stuff that I mentioned in the previous posts started happening before my father passed away, so it couldn't have been him.

    The new house owner never asked anyone to check it out. After reading so many books about the subject, one day I gave him some holy water, blessed salt, blessed Saint Benedict medals and blessed rosaries. I told him to put them in THAT room were IT was staying. The plan was to make it uncomfortable enough, so it would leave. Within a few weeks of doing that, all activity died down. I'm not sure if it actually left, or is just keeping a low profile.

    The way that I understand it is that blessed or holy objects have a positive energy that repels negative inhuman spirits, while cursed objects, or objects that have been used in the dark arts carry negative energy that will attract these dark spirits.

    I wonder who the man was that you saw in the house. If he didn't do anything to deliberately try to frighten you, then it was probably someone who sensed that you would be sensitive to his presence and wanted to reach out to you. But you were definitely right to not try to talk to him. Sometimes, demons can take on the appearance of a human to make you lower your guard.
    The door locking on its own is kinda nice. The other stuff is a little creepy though.

    It all freaks me out to be honest. My ex had the priest come in and bless the house. There was always sage burning around too, but neither actually got rid of it. I remember one night I woke up and opened my eyes and it looked like someone was standing next to my bed. I couldn't really make out who it was because I was so scared I closed my eyes again straight away. But to this day I am still scared of the dark. I keep my eyes closed most of the time in the dark and just feel my way around with my hands. It's ridiculous actually. I'm getting better but sometimes I just feel like I should keep my eyes closed.

    Ever since that experience I've stayed away from horror films so I haven't seen Amityville horror. I watched "IT" again a couple of years ago thinking at my age now it wouldn't scare me but it scared me just as much as the first time I saw the movie.

    If I happened to live in a place that had weird things happening like yours, I think they'd have to put me in an asylum.
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    Great interview Adel

    I've never been in a haunted house before but I'll always remember something really creepy that happened to my dad when I was a baby.

    He was watching the first Dracula movie alone when everyone went to bed. Because it was summer he left the glass doors open to get a breeze rolling into the house. When the movie finished and the credits started rolling a bat flew into our house, flying straight towards my dad sitting in his lazy boy couch. For a second he thought "this is it, Dracula is here and he's going to kill me". Haha He quickly snapped out of it and realized how perfect the silly bats timing was so he grabbed a broom and chased the bat out of the house. Still gets a chuckle out of him when we mention it.

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    That's hilarious. What a funny thing to happen after watching such a movie. Thank you for the laugh
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