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  1. #1
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series -- Antoine T -- casinoranking

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    For casinoranking, webmastering’s a stepping-stone to the future.


    Age: 29

    Hometown: Edmonton, AB, Canada

    Currently residing in: Caribbean

    Favorite food: Lasagna

    One book everyone must read: Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela

    Main sites:
    casinoranking.com
    realonlineblackjack.com
    bingohalls.net

    You state in your GPWA profile that you’re not a gambler yourself, but started promoting online casinos due to the high profitability involved. Take us through the entire process.
    I lived in Fort McMurray, which is a small city in the northernmost part of Alberta, Canada. I was doing carpet cleaning and I was miserable. I hated the location. I was five hours away from the nearest city and I felt trapped. I made just enough money to get by month to month. I could have been like everyone else and worked the oil rigs, but that didn’t look appealing.

    I had a computer for less than a year and it dawned on me that I should try to make money using the Internet. I initially started purchasing discount books at local bookstores. The books were hardcovers in the bargain bin. I would buy them for $1 or $2 and resell them on auction Web sites like Yahoo for $10 or more. The auctions were making good money but it felt like it was limited and it was not life-changing money. I then stumbled onto this thing called affiliate marketing when looking at business opportunities. I tried making a Web site for Amazon and had no luck. One day I saw a casino banner advertise a free bonus offer. I clicked on it to see what it was about. I thought the idea of an online casino was insane, that the owners were probably raking it in. I then saw the words “webmasters click here,” and that’s how I got into the industry.

    I was lucky that I started earning money within three months. After one month, I earned 40 cents; month 2, $8; and for month 3 it was 4 figures. I have been doing this full time since then.

    Looking back I would have focused more on the Web sites that were earning me good money versus trying so hard to diversify. I would have also relocated to a tax-friendly jurisdiction far sooner.

    You run a large variety of affiliate sites that target all aspects of the gambling industry, including sportsbooks, casinos, rummy, and poker rooms. What are the key differences in marketing these different products?
    I’ve had great luck promoting casinos and sportsbooks. For those types of markets I think people want Web sites that are direct and to the point. They want to know where the best and safest places to play are, and they might not necessarily care about the small details such as who the software provider is, number of games, etc. Recently I’ve been doing well with bingo and I think the reason is the same. Rummy has done all right considering how little time I’ve devoted towards it.

    Meanwhile I never did very well with poker. I think the reason behind this is people who are searching for poker are more savvy and want a ton of information. They live and breathe poker, versus casinos where you are targeting more of a casual gambler.

    How do you find time to update all of your sites?
    I will be honest. Most of my sites are small, and I keep them that way because it’s faster to get them up and running… and it takes a lot less time to update. I am not exactly great at offering a lot of unique and outstanding content. I also have hundreds of sites in other markets, such as finance and health. I would say that five pages per Web site is my average. I usually update all my sites in a certain market at the same time.

    You also run some sites that target audiences in specific countries. What prompted you to start those sites?
    I was trying to target markets that everyone else was ignoring. My success has been moderate, but considering how little effort it has taken me it’s been worthwhile.

    Your dog is featured in your current avatar. What kind of dog is it?

    She is a Great Pyrenees crossed. She was a rescue dog, so I have no idea what the dad was but I would guess Elkhound by her markings. I actually got her for my ex-girlfriend’s birthday so she doesn’t live with me anymore, but whenever I visit Canada I spend a lot of time with her.

    By anyone’s definition, you’re a self-made man. In the forums, you’ve said that, growing up, your parents were often out of work, your father struggled with substance abuse, you had a tough time in school, and you hung out with the wrong crowd. Please share some of those experiences with us, and talk about how you got from where you were as a child/teen to where you are today.
    My dad was very much into drugs and alcohol. When I had friends over he would get high with them. I think it was genetic, as my uncle was an alcoholic and eventually committed suicide because of it. If anything they were negative role models, and I think it is important to have positive role models. I learned early on what I didn’t want to emulate. Because of them I have avoided touching drugs, smoking, or even drinking (which some people find extreme). I avoid it because addiction is probably genetic on the male side of the family and it honestly does not look that exciting to me.

    When I was a kid we moved quite frequently in search for work. In one year we relocated to five different towns which were all French, and after having lived only in the English part of Canada it took some adjusting.

    I did hang out with the wrong crowds at times. Looking back, a lot of the people I hung out with are in jail or have spent time there. I do have some friends whom I keep in touch with, and they are also doing well for themselves.

    What’s the most difficult thing about operating your sites, and what annoys or distracts you the most when you’re trying to get work done?
    The payment issue is very annoying, figuring out who pays you and how to get paid. I get easily distracted as I hate updating Web sites, so if there is something more appealing to do I am likely to do it. If it is sunny out I don’t want to work!

    What are some of the rewards of running your own sites?

    The flexibility to work when and where you want or however little you want. I love the fact that I can work from anywhere in the world.

    In the forums recently you said that, in order to fulfill the rest of your dreams, you’ll have to look “outside the Internet.” What do you have in mind?
    I am in the wrong business as I am not a big fan of computers. I have no programming skills. I can’t even write HTML. But the money is tough to resist. What I want to do is make it so I only have to work a couple of days a month and then the rest of the time I can do what I am more passionate about.

    I would like to start a nonprofit one day and I am going back to writing, which is what I was initially into. I have always wanted to do something for wildlife; I am just not sure what yet. This business just doesn't reflect who I am or where I want to be, so I view it more as a stepping stone. It's been very good to me and it’s given me a lot of opportunities, so I am grateful for that. I just think it's time that I move on. I am giving myself until I am 30, and afterwards I am not allowing myself to build any more Web sites. I can update what I have, but that’s it – no new projects.


    What advice would you give someone starting out in the business, especially when it comes to promoting one’s sites?

    It’s all about SEO. Also, keep it simple. If you look at the top earning and top ranking Web sites, for the most part they are simple. There are exceptions like Casino City and PokerListings, but they have dedicated staffs.


    Do you still have time to read as many books as you did when you were growing up? Have you read anything good lately?

    I always make time to read. The Brain That Changes Itself is the last nonfiction I read. It’s on neuroplasticity and how the brain rewires itself. For fiction I’ve been reading novels in the “Tales of Alvin Maker” series, by Orson Scott Card.

    How has being a GPWA member helped you?

    It has helped tremendously. The GPWA contains a wealth of information.
    Any question you can think of has most likely been asked before… and answered. You just have to search the forums.

    You recently moved from Canada to the Caribbean. What prompted the move? What do you miss about Canada?
    I love Canada in the summer, but unfortunately summers there are much too short. It can even snow there in April and May, which goes to show how short the nice season is. I don’t miss living in Alberta but I do miss living near Vancouver. The mountains and the rain forest there are quite amazing. I miss being able to hop into the car and go exploring an entirely different mountain and trail whenever I feel like it. On an island you’ve seen everything after a very short period of time.

    You’re an avid snorkeler and hiker. What are some of your favorite spots for pursuing these pastimes?
    Australia has amazing places for both pursuits. Barbados was great for snorkeling with turtles; it’s unbelievable how they glide underneath you. Turtles seem slow and clumsy on land but in the water they are majestic.

    Canada has some awesome hiking spots, from Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta to the Stewamus Chief in BC. Central America is also great. I would love to explore New Zealand and Brazil, as well as the tiny island of Dominica in the Caribbean. I am going to the Big Island in Hawaii at the end of March, so I am looking forward to the trails and the snorkeling there.

    If you could change one thing about the online gaming industry, what would it be, and why?
    I would change it so that all markets were like the U.K. market. It’s a relief when you can promote trusted brands like Virgin and not have to worry about getting paid or having players get scammed.

    You’re known for having strong opinions on oceanic degradation and other problems surrounding global climate change. If you could have 15 minutes alone with the new U.S. President, what advice would you give him as he sets his environmental agenda?
    I would tell him that I think climate change is part of a larger problem. The larger problem is that we are simply not being good stewards of our land and we are living non- sustainable lifestyles. This is why I get frustrated with people who argue that global warming is a hoax. Even if it were a hoax the problems still need to be addressed.

    We’re polluting our air, rivers, lakes, oceans, and we are exterminating wildlife. Changes need to be made even if just for health reasons. If you look at the rates of cancer they’ve increased by over 50 percent in the past 45 years. Asthma rates have jumped even more. Having people sick from cancers and a polluted food supply is not good for the economy. What you spend to save the environment you will save in money in healthcare-related expenses.


    If you were one of the last two people on the planet, who would you want the other person to be? And why?
    I am a bit worried because this could lead to inbreeding in a couple of generations. Baywatch babes could be good but they might not like me, so I would have to say a good female friend.

  2. #2
    Renee's Avatar
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    I was considering buying "The Brain That Changes Itself" and now I think I will.. I LOVE that kinda stuff..

    Antoine get your ass back down to Oz! It misses you
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    Great interview by the way. I like to Orson Scott Card as well. The last one I read of his was "Ender's Game".

    Thanks for sharing.

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    Topboss is offline Private Member
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    Great interview Antoine.
    I love reading about how people first started out.
    For a person as young as yourself - you can be very proud about your achievements considering you didn't have the best start in life and have had to do everything yourself.
    Well Done!
    I take my hat off to you

  6. #6
    Renee's Avatar
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    Well, I purchased the book last night...

    As soon as I read the book I'm currently reading (running with scissors) I will get to it

    Thanks for the recommendation!
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  7. #7
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    Ender's game is one of my favorite science fiction books, I'd recommend it to anyone. If you liked it you should pick up Ender's Shadow. (the story from beans point of view) There's 10 books in that series but those are the best two.

    Glad you picked up that brain book Renee it's one of the better ones that I've read. It has a couple of wow moments.

    My trip to oz has been delayed time after time. I'm thinking of going there around the time of my 30 birthday which is in nov but that's kind of in the air. This winter for sure (north american winter)

    Antoine
    Read about how I made millions from affiliate programs at: http://www.dotaffiliate.com
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    Website for Canadians: http://www.onlinecasinocanada.com

  8. #8
    Renee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by casinoranking View Post
    Ender's game is one of my favorite science fiction books, I'd recommend it to anyone. If you liked it you should pick up Ender's Shadow. (the story from beans point of view) There's 10 books in that series but those are the best two.

    Glad you picked up that brain book Renee it's one of the better ones that I've read. It has a couple of wow moments.

    My trip to oz has been delayed time after time. I'm thinking of going there around the time of my 30 birthday which is in nov but that's kind of in the air. This winter for sure (north american winter)

    Antoine
    That makes me even more keen to get started on it... I love the wow moments.. Have had a lot of them learning about the brain and the human body over the last couple of years.

    Bummer about the delayed trip... Nov is a great time to be here because its not too hot like in Feb... but its still warm. And the silly season has started by November.. Everyone is getting ready to holiday for Christmas and there are parties all over the place.

    Let me know when you decide to come down
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