Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    GPWA Abby is offline Former Staff Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    38
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 85 Times in 29 Posts

    Default Affiliate Interview Series - Christiaan Bollen - Christiaan

    Name:  AIS_Christiaan.jpg
Views: 276
Size:  18.4 KB

    (This interview was originally published in the November 2017 issue of the GPWA Times Magazine.)

    How did you first get into the iGaming business? What did you do before becoming an affiliate?
    As a kid, I was already creating websites as a hobby. At university, informatics was the obvious choice and I started working as a software developer. While working, I was looking for a challenge for after work hours. At the time, the Belgian gambling market became legalized, and I saw an opportunity to start in this new market, although it was unexpected that it would go so well.

    Tell us about your sites. Which site came first? When did you launch it? How long did it take your first site to start making money? When and why did you decide to launch others?
    The first site was www.goedgekeurdegoksites.be, which launched in early 2012. This is a website focusing on the Dutch-speaking people in Belgium. After probably three months, it got the first conversions. After six months, it started making some nice extra revenue on top of my salary.

    Since Belgium has three official languages, I decided to also make an additional website for the French-speaking people in Belgium, so www.jeuxdecasinoapprouves.be was born. I started translating the reviews of www.goedgekeurdegoksites.be and later the news articles.

    Now they are both still my biggest websites. They are copies of each other in their own language.

    Are you a full-time or part-time affiliate?
    Full-time – I realized that it was better to stop my job and focus on this. In the end, it made me grow more and make more money.
    In the years as affiliate, I went to many conferences and focused on SEO. My experience in SEO grew, and it became my specialty. Now I also do consultancy for SEO and paid advertising.

    Do you have employees, or do you run your sites by yourself?
    I run the sites by myself and make use of freelancers. Sometimes I think about hiring extra people, but that would also take away part of my freedom. Maybe I will start hiring employees in some time.

    Your sites target Belgium. Why did you target this particular market? What do you do to localize your sites?
    My main websites target Belgium. As I am from Belgium, it was an obvious choice to start there. Later there was www.gamblingsider.dk, which focused on Denmark. I chose Denmark because, like Belgium, it was legalized. This website was not going so well, and as I don’t speak Danish, it was very difficult to check the text myself. I stopped putting effort into that website. It is still there, but doesn’t get updated much.

    To localize my websites, my biggest difference is to only put the casinos that are legal in that market. People that come to Goedgekeurde Goksites or Jeux de Casino Approuvés can be sure that they only get reviews and news for casinos that are legal to play at in Belgium.

    Do you have plans for additional sites? Why or why not?
    Last year I moved to Barcelona, in Spain. I am learning Spanish and started to look into the Spanish market. Some small sites are launched, but these are still tryout projects. Soon I hope to grow in this market. As it is also regulated, like in Belgium, there are many similarities.

    For the Spanish websites, there are more possibilities. It will target the legalized market in Spain, but in the future the South American markets will also be possible.

    What makes your sites unique? How do you help them stand out from the competition?
    As mentioned before, my websites focus on the legalized market. The direct translation of “Goedgekeurde Goksites” is “Approved Gamblingsites” – people that come to my website can be sure that all the reviews, news and promotions are for casinos that are legal in Belgium.

    People can get fines for playing on illegal casinos in Belgium, and it does scare them. I want to help them find a place where they can gamble knowing they aren't doing anything against Belgian law.

    How do you decide what casinos to promote?
    The legalized market in Belgium is not so big for the A license casinos. Most of them I promote. What is important is, of course, the deal they offer me. But also the affiliate manager makes a difference. If they are quick with giving me answers, delivering banners and sending me news, it is much easier to promote them. Also how they treat me – some are very friendly, while others think they are the king of the world.

    I hate it when they change affiliate managers every six months. It is difficult to get a relationship with your affiliate manager and be able to work well together. Affiliate managers I work with for a long time know what I want, and I know what I can expect from them.

    What other traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
    Good communication is important. And they have to be reachable. I don’t like it if it takes a week or longer before they send an answer to my question.

    The affiliate program should not change affiliate managers every six months. They should also keep their promises and not change their deals.

    What's your preferred method of communication with affiliate managers?
    A face-to-face meeting is my preferred method, but that is only possible at conferences or with affiliate managers who live close by. Otherwise, e-mail or Skype.

    Do you gamble online? What about in brick-and-mortar casinos?
    From time to time I do play online, just for fun; I don’t expect to make money. It is also helpful for writing articles and to get knowledge about the things you promote. On top of that, I have to play the games to make screenshots.

    When I am at a conference, I like going to the local casinos to see the different venues. I prefer playing blackjack in land-based casinos. It is also good for my websites, as I can write reviews about these venues.

    How often do you get to see and interact with other people in the industry? Have you attended any conferences?
    Most of the iGB affiliate conferences I attend. Also, ICE is on my yearly list. It is always fun hanging out with the people in the industry.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA?
    The GPWA was at the London Affiliate Conference in 2013, my first conference. That was the first time I came in contact with the GPWA.

    On the forum, people are always very helpful, and I try to be helpful to others too. In the beginning of my career as affiliate, it helped me a lot.

    The GPWA Times magazine is my favorite industry magazine. It is very informative and the first magazine I collect at conferences. Usually Michael is at the booth and we have a chat.

    What do you like about the industry?
    It is all very casual. People are relaxed and having fun.

    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
    Fraudsters. You always find casinos who cheat. Or casinos that suddenly say the deal we have stops.

    I had a casino that I was promoting for years. They threatened to close my affiliate account if I did not put them in the top position on my website, although that was never agreed. Now I've lost all my revenue from them. They closed my account, and all the players I’d sent them over the years are lost!

    What do you think the industry will look like in five years?
    More legalization than there already is. The countries that haven't regulated yet will do it. The ones that are regulated already will put in more rules.

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?
    They are amazed at what I do. It all started so small, and now I travel around to conferences all over the world. I work wherever I want and moved to Barcelona.

    How do you manage your to-do lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?
    Asana is a good tool for this. It has my to-do lists, but the tasks for my regular freelancers are also on there.

    How much time do you devote to social networking for your site?
    Not so much. Social networks are hard on gambling. I also have the feeling that it is taboo to profile yourself as a gambler on social media. People don’t like or share a post about gambling so easily.

    What's the most difficult thing about running your site?
    Fighting Google in the SEO battle.

    What's the best thing about running your site?
    Freedom. I earn good money and can work as long as I have an internet connection. I really like traveling to conferences, meeting new people and seeing new cities.

    What do you do to stay in shape – both physically and mentally?
    Physically, when I am home in Barcelona I go to the gym. When I am at a conference, it is more difficult – usually, you go to the conference and hang out with the people of the conference afterwards. If I have the time, I like to walk through the city the conference is in.

    Mentally, I keep learning new things, like new techniques in web development and SEO.

    What do you do with your spare time?
    Go to the beach, spend time with friends and travel.

    If someone from out of town were visiting you, what’s the one place you'd definitely take them to see?
    It depends on who comes to visit. Barcelona has so many great things: culture, beach, clubs, great restaurants, sports. . .

    When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?
    I can’t; it's always in my head. A good workout at the gym can help.

    What's your all-time favorite movie?
    Difficult to say – there are so many. As a kid, the first big movie I really liked was The Lord of the Rings. I had posters of it in my room, and it was my first DVD.

    Name three things that people reading this magazine don't know about you.
    1. I live in Barcelona, but travel to Belgium almost every month, both for business and to visit friends and family.
    2. Besides going to affiliate conferences, I go to a lot of SEO conferences.
    3. I am one of the attendees of SEOktoberfest, an exclusive SEO conference in Munich with only experts in the SEO industry. As the name says, it is during Oktoberfest.

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to GPWA Abby For This Useful Post:

    BestBonusBets (28 March 2018), Cash Bonus (28 March 2018), GPWA Maria (3 July 2018), luckyga (28 March 2018), WBM (5 April 2018)

  3. #2
    BestBonusBets's Avatar
    BestBonusBets is offline Private Member
    Join Date
    October 2016
    Posts
    215
    Thanks
    3,027
    Thanked 89 Times in 65 Posts

    Default

    Thanks for the interview man, good to see someone out there enjoying the affiliate life! Good job!

  4. #3
    luckyga's Avatar
    luckyga is offline Public Member
    Join Date
    March 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    129
    Thanks
    70
    Thanked 92 Times in 63 Posts

    Default

    Have to say I'm a bit of fan of the interviews, it's good to get a perspective on other affiliates.

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to luckyga For This Useful Post:

    BestBonusBets (28 March 2018), Cash Bonus (28 March 2018)

  6. #4
    Ladiepre's Avatar
    Ladiepre is offline Public Member
    Join Date
    November 2016
    Location
    That place called 'there'
    Posts
    53
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 27 Times in 19 Posts

    Default

    I enjoyed reading this interview. It is as insightful as it is intriguing. I have a followup question, what does Christiaan mean when he says the most difficult thing about running his site is fighting Google SEO?
    Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about unbecoming everything that really isn't you...so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place."-Unknown

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Ladiepre For This Useful Post:

    BestBonusBets (29 March 2018)

  8. #5
    Cash Bonus's Avatar
    Cash Bonus is offline Private Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    2,905
    Thanks
    8,185
    Thanked 2,042 Times in 1,394 Posts

    Default

    Well done and great interview. I can certainly take a leaf out of your book.

  9. #6
    Breakout Ewa is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
    Join Date
    October 2017
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    38
    Thanks
    57
    Thanked 27 Times in 21 Posts

    Default

    I'm liking this series! Good interview.

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Breakout Ewa For This Useful Post:

    BestBonusBets (29 March 2018), Cash Bonus (31 March 2018)

  11. #7
    Breakout Affiliates's Avatar
    Breakout Affiliates is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    195
    Thanks
    34
    Thanked 137 Times in 99 Posts

    Default

    Thanks for taking the time to do an interview!
    Mandy Goldberg
    Head of Affiliates
    Breakout Affiliates powered by 4KingMedia

    Skype: mandy.goldberg.affiliation
    https://breakoutaffiliates.com/
    https://breakoutcasino.com/
    https://breakoutpoker.com/
    https://breakoutgaming.com/

  12. #8
    WBM's Avatar
    WBM
    WBM is offline Public Member
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    287
    Thanks
    24
    Thanked 75 Times in 54 Posts

    Default

    loving the idea & the interviews.. keep em coming
    Dream Car Competition

    TrackThePots.com - Coming Soon !

  13. #9
    sweetbet's Avatar
    sweetbet is offline Private Member
    Join Date
    November 2012
    Posts
    2,625
    Blog Entries
    5
    Thanks
    810
    Thanked 1,461 Times in 1,014 Posts

    Default

    I totally agree with you. Fighting Google in the SEO battle is one of the toughest things in this industry.
    Sweet Bet - Reviews of reputable online casinos, poker sites, sportsbooks & bingo halls
    USA Online Casinos | Canadian Online Casinos | Bitcoin Casinos | Live Dealer Casinos | Free Spin Casinos | US Online Casino Guide

  14. #10
    sportsbookh is offline Public Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    15
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 13 Times in 8 Posts

    Default

    Thank you for the interview, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by GPWA Abby View Post
    Name:  AIS_Christiaan.jpg
Views: 276
Size:  18.4 KB
    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
    Fraudsters. You always find casinos who cheat. Or casinos that suddenly say the deal we have stops.

    I had a casino that I was promoting for years. They threatened to close my affiliate account if I did not put them in the top position on my website, although that was never agreed. Now I've lost all my revenue from them. They closed my account, and all the players I’d sent them over the years are lost!
    Why isn't the casino outed here? Why protect them?

  15. #11
    jowiedowie's Avatar
    jowiedowie is offline Private Member
    Join Date
    April 2010
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Nice interview Christiaan!
    We only promote regulated brands in Belgium and the Netherlands
    Legale online casino's Nederland - iGaming4u.nl
    Onlinecasinos.vlaanderen - Legale online casino's België

  16. #12
    WBM's Avatar
    WBM
    WBM is offline Public Member
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    287
    Thanks
    24
    Thanked 75 Times in 54 Posts

    Default

    Another insightful interview into the affiliates who
    make this sector what it is.

    Love these interviews.. can’t wait for the next one to land in my inbox ��
    Dream Car Competition

    TrackThePots.com - Coming Soon !

  17. #13
    Triple7 is offline Private Member
    Join Date
    January 2015
    Posts
    2,633
    Thanks
    1,984
    Thanked 2,324 Times in 1,247 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sportsbookh View Post
    Thank you for the interview, but...


    Why isn't the casino outed here? Why protect them?
    It's GoldenPalace(.be, not .com).

  18. #14
    Progger's Avatar
    Progger is offline Public Member
    Join Date
    November 2014
    Posts
    1,421
    Blog Entries
    5
    Thanks
    283
    Thanked 935 Times in 585 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbet View Post
    I totally agree with you. Fighting Google in the SEO battle is one of the toughest things in this industry.
    I totally agree with you. Avoiding scams and thieves is one of the toughest things in this industry.

    Now i can totally agree with you

  19. The Following User Says Thank You to Progger For This Useful Post:

    Triple7 (26 July 2018)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •