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

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    Age: 25
    Hometown: Albay, Philippines
    Living in: Manila, Philippines
    Favorite Foods: Adobo and spaghetti
    Must Read Book: The One, by Nick Smith
    Site: pokercasinonow.com

    How did you become involved in the industry, and what did you do prior to becoming involved in online gaming?
    After I graduated from college, I immediately looked for IT-related jobs and was hired as an SEO specialist with a start-up web development company in my country. I became interested in the Internet marketing industry and managed to discover more about different kinds of businesses available online including Internet gaming.

    One of our clients had an online gaming portal and they assigned our team to work on its SEO. As we worked on the website, I learned little by little how to achieve the best Internet marketing strategy for the niche, including but not limited to the traditional SEO/SEM. I then bought some online gaming related domains for my own use and paid some basic hosting plans to develop their content and marketing potential. Some of the domains were intended for buying and selling, but I tried using pokercasinonow.com to make money out of affiliate accounts.

    When did you launch your site?
    I launched the website portal in August 2009. It was a dry run, just using my own SEO skills and SEM ideas.

    How has your work as an SEO specialist and your expertise in social media marketing helped you develop and grow your site?
    Knowing how SEO works for a website, I easily managed to effectively optimize the pages and content of the gaming portal. Though I don’t have enough time to completely optimize the site because of my other job, the resulting product was deemed feasible to promote with an Internet marketing campaign. I used social media and online communities to attract reviews and returning visitors.

    How long did it take for you to start earning money?
    It took me four months before the site actually gave me additional revenue, mostly from affiliates but also from advertisers and link buyers.

    A couple of years ago you were considering selling your site. What changed your mind?
    The reason I wanted to sell the website was that I practically had no time to maintain the contents and marketing campaign of the website then. I was having a hard time finding new, stable work after I resigned at my first company.

    How has your site changed, and how have your players changed, over the past few years?
    Knowing more of the industry and the known affiliate leaders, I discovered which of them I could work with to drive mutual revenue growth. I conducted researched with the players using my portal and learned from them which casinos/gaming sites they preferred playing with as repeat customers. Some of the players were basically influenced by attractive ads and also by their experience with the gaming sites. Over time, they shared more information, telling me that they also chose gaming sites based on trends they read about in online communities or heard about from their online peers.

    What do you think about creating Facebook pages for a casino or poker room you represent? Is this a good idea?
    Facebook pages promote either an exclusive social environment or a public awareness community which followers can rely on for information that is relevant to the enhancement of their own gaming experience. It would be a good idea to have a Casino page the users could interact with for questions, offer feeds and provide customer feedback.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
    Affiliate managers should know how to cope with the trends and changes in the online affiliate marketing industry. They should be flexible and easily able to adjust to how the market evolves online. A good affiliate program should always be aligned with the limits and potential of their target market.

    How do you choose which sites to work with and promote?
    I usually work with sites that already have a positive reputation or have very positive user feedback trends, especially for newly developed sites.

    Mobile gaming and social gaming are attracting legions of new players to online gaming. What if anything are you doing to bring these people to your site?
    Sites that can expand to mobile gaming and social gaming are also very attractive to work with; they know how the growth of technology directly affects market behavior and preferences. Using direct sms affiliate marketing in mobile gaming makes an attractive success rate, based on my experience and statistical research.

    How much time do you devote to SEO and/or social networking in order to drive more traffic to your site?
    About 70 percent of my time is devoted to SEO or organic marketing, with 30 percent for social media and other possible referrals.

    Which skills did you need as an affiliate that were the most difficult to acquire? Which skills did you already have when you entered the business?
    I’m weak when it comes to personally persuading people one on one, which is a great trait I’m still trying to develop. I’m good at writing and formulating marketing ideas to drive players to my website.

    If you had to pick five keys to success as an affiliate, what would they be?
    Affiliates should:
    1. Know about their market
    2. Know how the industry works worst and best
    3. Know all the types of people they will encounter in the industry
    4. Be able to formulate innovative, unique marketing ideas and effectively implement them
    5. Know both their limits and their potential to grow


    You’ve been a GPWA member for almost four years. How has it helped you?
    The GPWA is beneficial for those who are new to the industry because of their very accommodating environment and members. In fact, the GPWA often gives new affiliates the motivation they’ll need to grow and thrive in the industry.

    What surprised you most about the industry?
    I’m surprised at the way the industry can be up one day and down the next.

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?
    My family is actually very supportive of what I do partly because they know I make money out of it. For others it’s too complicated to understand, but they think it’s an extraordinary thing to be doing.

    How long do you give yourself for answering e-mail? What e-mail tips can you offer?
    Depending on the urgency of the e-mail, I usually put more effort into replying to business-related queries. Researching additional stuff for your responses can help you make a better impression on your recipients.

    How do you manage your “to-do” lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?
    My to-do lists are in both my organizer and sticky notes so I can easily see them, especially if it’s urgent.

    What’s the hardest thing about operating your site, and what annoys or distracts the most when you’re trying to get some work done?
    I’m poor with design so I basically rely on my web designer friends’ advice to pimp my websites. When my Internet or working resources are not on my wavelength regarding some job, I tend to back out and do other stuff instead.

    If someone were visiting you, what’s one place you’d definitely take them to see?
    I’d take them to my house since I find it very fulfilling to have any visitor/s feel comfortable and entertained at my own place.

    What’s your favorite vacation spot?
    The beach because the sea is the most calming scene. I could stare at the sea all day and be completely relaxed mentally with it.

    You’re producing, directing and starring in a movie. You need a costar, and your significant other is either unable or unwilling to participate. Who should share top billing with you?
    Possibly Jessica Alba. Not only is she my Hollywood crush, she’s also comfortable making many different kinds of movies.

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

    Oprah for a nice conversation about all kinds of interesting stuff; Steve Jobs for business-related ideas and innovation; Abraham Lincoln for leadership, patriotism and societal ideals; Jessica Alba, just for a nice eye-candy while I talk to the other guests; and my girlfriend, to share with her this great moment and opportunity.

    What are three things that nobody knows about you?
    1. I control myself not to show disappointment when I get a very lame or nonsensical answer to a great question or during a conversation.
    2. I always have a funny, witty response ready for people I talk with.
    3. Deep inside, I’m kind of hard to impress, especially if I partly know what to expect of things.

  2. #2
    Maria F is offline Former AM
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    Nice interview!

    I feel the same way you feel about the sea

  3. #3
    Marit VS's Avatar
    Marit VS is offline Private Member
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    Nice interview! Interesting that you spend so much time on SEO, which tactics do you find work best? From what I hear from everyone, it seems that everyone is focusing EVEN MORE on content.
    Marit von Stedingk

    "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams

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