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  1. #1
    GPWA Aaron is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series: Hristo | A_Skywalker

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    Age: 29
    Hometown: Montana, Bulgaria
    Living in: Montana
    Favorite Food: I like traditional Bulgarian cuisine and sometimes I spice it up with Chinese food.
    Must Read Book: 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
    Sites:
    Betting-Forum.com
    GamblingSafe.net
    BettingWise.com

    When did you launch your sites?
    I launched my first site on free hosting. It wasnít much of a site, just some pages made with the free program KompoZer. I think it was in 2006. In 2007 I made a trip to Colombia and after my return I was bursting with new ideas. I took the next step. I used Joomla to open my first real site Ė GamblingSafe.net. It is basically a site where I post reviews of bookmakers and casinos along with some articles. Later I opened my best site, Betting-Forum.com. I used phpBB3, which is free software. In 2013 I moved to XenForo after it was recommended by some people. I am not a programmer and I always used free scripts and tried to install good add-ons for them.

    What is the primary focus of each site, and which site is the most profitable?
    As I mentioned in the previous question, GamblingSafe.net is about reviews of gambling sites, Betting-Forum.com is a place where people can discuss upcoming matches, bets, etc. I am always trying to improve this site as I know it has the most value, but it is hard as I am alone, compared to other gambling portals that are staffed with a lot of people.

    How did you become involved in the industry?
    I needed money to travel around the world and being a gambling affiliate could provide that for me. My results started to slowly to improve every month, so I decided to keep this job.

    How long did it take for you to start earning money?
    It didnít take long. In maybe five or six months, I was earning enough to live. Keep in mind that in my country $400 per month is enough. I wasnít really earning good money.

    Do you have another job, or are you a full-time gambling webmaster?
    I do not work another job, and to tell you the truth, as there is no one to control me I do not work as hard as I could. I enjoy a lot of days just going out and playing some sport.

    You posted three years ago (January 2011) that traffic to your sites had increased 50 percent over the previous year. How much has your traffic increased or decreased since then?
    Hmm, maybe not so much, 10 percent maybe. Since the Panda update, I get fewer visitors from Google, but more natural visitors.

    Are you a one-person shop or are you part of a larger organization?
    Itís only me. Maybe I will try to expand in the future. I am already looking for that. I may hire some content writers.

    Describe your work environment. Do you work from home or in an office? If you work from home, how often do you get to see and interact with other people in the industry?
    I work from home, and as I said it is very hard to discipline myself to work hard. Regarding interaction with other people from the industry, Iíve only interacted via the Internet and have never been to a conference or met other gambling webmasters. I am planning in the future to visit a conference.

    Betting Forum offers a place for punters to discuss the bets they are making, as well as the operators where they are making the bets. What is the hardest thing about running a sports betting forum?
    Definitely the spam. The registration page of the forum had only one simple question to fight the spam as I wanted to not to annoy people by making the registration too long. In February I turned on the verify e-mail option after being hit by huge wave of spam.

    What are the most rewarding aspects of running a forum?
    You get to know other people, see their opinions. The interaction with other people is always interesting.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
    When picking which site to promote I first decide whether the site is useful to the users of my sites. If I decide it is not good I just go to the next one. I donít care about the (commission rate), as long as itís not 15 percent. Anything above that is good for me.

    Whatís your preferred method of communication with affiliate managers? Do you like to talk on the phone, by e-mail or via Skype?
    I always contact them by e-mail or Skype, never on the phone. In fact, I donít have a lot of conversations with my affiliate managers.

    Youíve been a GPWA member for five years now. What prompted you to join? How has it helped you?
    I joined because I wanted to have communication with other gambling webmasters. If I have to be (honest), I also wanted to sell a few links! Being a member has helped me a lot. I receive newsletters with tips and I also get some tips in the forums.

    One of the ways you have been active on the message boards is in buying and selling links. Have you had any success in this area? And how important is buying/selling links to an affiliate business?
    I do have good success here. I consider it additional income; it is not so much, but it helps me. It is important but it lost some of its value after the Panda update. Right now I say content is more important than links.

    What do you like about the industry?
    I like that you need skill, in sports betting and poker, and in the casino games you should know when to stop. If you get too greedy you are going to lose.

    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
    I would make gambling legal in all countries. After all, itís a personís choice. We shouldnít be forced not to do something by our country.

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?
    First they were all like, ďGambling!!?? Isnít that illegal??!!Ē (They donít know the laws about that.) Now they are okay with it. I can still see they donít like it, but they know I wonít change my job soon.

    Do you gamble online? If so, what do you play?
    I was gambling before I started being a webmaster, and right now I still do it sometimes. I like to predict winners. My favorite sport is tennis and most of my bets go there.

    How do you manage your ďto-doĒ lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?
    To tell you the truth, I just make .txt docs on my desktop. Each one is a task and I delete it after I have done it. Sometimes my desktop gets really messy with lots of icons and I get confused. I know there are better ways but this is how I am used to doing it. Itís a bad habit.

    How much time do you devote to SEO and/or social networking in order to drive more traffic to your sites?
    I donít do a lot of SEO. Maybe one hour per week, but thatís why there are sites that rank better. Iím always trying to work on content more than SEO. Content is my SEO.

    Whatís the most difficult thing about running your sites?
    I donít find anything difficult about it. Itís really a simple job; you donít do anything different on a daily basis.

    Whatís the best thing about running your sites?
    Well, to be honest, weíre all here for the money and that is the best thing for me.

    What do you do to stay in shape Ė both physically and mentally?
    Physically I train in different sports and I am in very good form. I go to amateur tennis tourneys, play football with friends and swim in the summer. In the winter I train in a gym. As for the mental aspect, I just try not to tire myself. I know I have time for everything and there is no need to hurry.

    If someone were visiting you, whatís the one place youíd definitely take them to see?
    I would take them to my favorite historical city, Veliko Tarnovo. You should Google it; itís beautiful. Or maybe Rila, a mountain range in southwestern Bulgaria. There are beautiful lakes there.

    When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?
    I play sports, I get out into nature or I go out with friends. Also there is a big dam near my city, and I like to go there in the summer; itís cool and beautiful.

    Whatís your favorite vacation spot?
    Itís the sea resorts. I like to get tan and run on the beach. Sometimes I go there for two weeks and work from there.

    Whatís your all-time favorite movie?
    I am a passionate movie watcher, and I also follow a lot of shows. I watch at least one movie per day. I think there is no major one I have missed. I like The Count of Monte Cristo. Although itís a book, the 2002 movie made from the book is great.

    If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be? That is a very interesting question. I have the option to invite famous people but I will still go with members of my family. I prefer being with them to being with anyone else. I would invite them only.

    What are three things that nobody knows about you?
    I cry when watching movies alone.
    I bet on some tennis players just to jinx them.
    And the third thing . . . Iíd have to kill you if I told you!

  2. #2
    jarowe is offline Public Member
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    great interview Inspiring for people starting out as I am!

  3. #3
    sportsfreak is offline Public Member
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    nice read, thx for the interview.

  4. #4
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    moustache is offline Private Member
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    Best of luck! Nice interview!
    Make the best out of your bets - bestbet.tips
    ukbettips.co.uk is the perfect place where you can find - free betting tips

  5. #5
    Maria F is offline Former AM
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    Great interview!

  6. #6
    indepthstats is offline Public Member
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    Nice Interview.

  7. #7
    harrisrando is offline Public Member
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    What’s the best thing about running your sites?
    Well, to be honest, we’re all here for the money and that is the best thing for me.
    No fluff, just a straight and honest answer

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