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  1. #1
    GPWA Gary's Avatar
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series -- Lori -- Daera

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    Age: Are you kidding? LOL
    Hometown: Sacramento, CA
    City currently residing in: Carmichael, CA
    Favorite food: Sushi
    Site: The Hodgepodge Gambling Forum

    You describe your site, Hodgepodge Gambling Forum, as ďan online gambling community with a list of recommended online casinos and poker rooms along with bonus and promotion information.Ē Describe the process that led to your setting up your site as a forum.

    The Hodgepodge was originally set up and owned by a very good friend of mine, Jim, aka ďRakpakman.Ē The forum was started January 14, 2000, on Ezboard. I helped Jim as a moderator of the forum. Somewhere about 2004, Jim gave the forum to me when he found himself too busy with his offline job. I never planned on having a forum, or being a webmaster. As a matter of fact, I had no idea what an affiliate was or that there was any money to be made as an affiliate back then. I always worked full-time offline and thought this was all for fun back then. Little did I know what a lucrative business this would be.

    For affiliates who are considering adding forums, what should they know about it before they make that decision?

    A successful forum takes a lot of time. People donít like coming to a forum that looks inactive. Be patient, and be prepared to spend a lot of time posting. Itís important to post a lot, and encourage members to post a lot. Most people are a little gun-shy to post at first. Weíve found that if you take the time to greet every new member, and respond to every memberís post, even posts that donít seem to need a response, it means a lot to the poster to be acknowledged. People are more apt to post again if they feel welcome and acknowledged.

    Whatís the most difficult thing about administering a forum site?

    Responding to people quickly and accurately at all times of the day and night. People expect you to be there when they are, regardless of the day or time of day.

    How did you first become involved in the online gambling industry? What did you do previously? Are you a full-time affiliate now, or do you also hold down another job (and if so, what do you do?)?

    About nine years ago, I found myself home bored to tears with a broken leg. That led me to searching for things I normally wouldnít have searched for, like Ö ďonline casinos.Ē I had no idea they even existed before then. So I found Microgaming Casinos and deposited my first $20. Next thing I knew I won a progressive jackpot at Royal Vegas and the rest is history! Now I am a full-time affiliate.

    I frequented a few gambling forums on Ezboard. A couple of years later one of the gambling forums I visited a lot asked me if Iíd help out as a forum moderator. I was a little skeptical at first. At that point I didnít know the first thing about forums, or moderating a forum. But I agreed. At the time it was just for fun. I had a full-time job offline running a small office for a couple of local plumbing contractors.

    I quit my offline job about four years ago and now make more money online as an affiliate than I could ever make offline at any office job. I love being an affiliate!

    Youíve posted that you tend to give affiliate managers ďa rough timeĒ when you first start working with them. What does it take for them to win you over?

    I canít give away all my secrets! Trust is earned in this industry. I look for affiliate managers with straight answers and no B.S. If I meet a new affiliate manager and they come across like a ďUsed Car SalesmanĒ (and some do!), I have little patience or time for them. Most affiliate managers are not like that, and I have very good relationships with them. Wayne from Fortune and Renee from Rewards are two of the very best!

    Regarding the programs you work with, how much of an effort do you feel they should make to provide you with splash pages, banners and promotions that are tailored to your players? Do some programs make more of an effort than others?

    Very few programs go out of their way to do this. You have to ask, though, or youíll never get these things. One thing Iíve learned is not to be shy. Ask for what you need. Some programs are definitely better than others. Rewards is one of the best in making custom banners/splash pages when requested.

    One thing that seems of critical importance to affiliates is time management. Could you please offer us three time management tips? How about some e-mail management tips?

    Outlook Express and Gmail are a must! I depend heavily on the Outlook Express mail rules to sort my incoming mail. I have a folder for every affiliate program I work with, as well as some other important contacts. When incoming mail comes through it is automatically sent to the correct mail folder and the folder name is highlighted, letting me know thereís new mail in that folder. Gmail is very effective sorting out spam and keeping the mail I want, and clearing the spam email out of my way.

    What do your friends and family think of your work as an affiliate?

    I donít think they really understand it. They think Iím just playing all the time. Many of them have asked me to ďhook them up,Ē as if itís a game. They think itís much easier than it is.

    How long was it before your site started earning you money?

    I started making some money approximately a year into it. But it was more like two years before I really saw that there was a living to be made here.

    How did you discover the GPWA? Has being a member helped you in any way?

    I found the GPWA a few years ago after seeing GPWA Approved Portal seals on some of the sites I visited a lot. Iíve seen the other end of the spectrum in affiliate forums at the GPWA. Itís refreshing and informative to be involved in a community truly respects all points of view and welcomes freedom of speech. Every day I learn something new from the GPWA. You rock!


    If you had to pick five keys to success as an affiliate, what would they be?

    1. Never stop learning.
    2. Never give up.
    3. Think outside the box.
    4. Focus on the proven programs/casinos and forget the rest.
    5. Keep up with the current news at GPWA.

    If you could visit any three places in the world, what would they be, and why?

    Hmm, just three? OK, I guess it would be Kansas, to visit my dear friend and forum partner, Rechelle (Luckyleo). Iíd also love to visit Israel, so much biblical history there. And maybe Australia, so I can finally find out what a wombat really is. LOL

    If you could change one thing about the gaming industry (besides the UIGEA), what would it be, and why?

    Iíd like to see some kind of system in place to eliminate rogue operators and fraud players. All they do is ruin things for us nice guys.

    In terms of your place in the industry, where do you see yourself two or three years down the road?

    This industry is ever-changing. I canít even see two or three months down the road, let alone years. Iíve learned to just take things as they come and be ready to adjust as needed.


    Do you use Facebook and/or other social networks to promote your sites? If so, how? If not, why not?

    I use Facebook, mostly as a place to keep all my affiliate contacts. Itís also a good way to keep up on what theyíre doing, and check the latest industry news. I donít spend too much time on Facebook trying to promote my site. I use it as more of a place to keep all of my business contacts.

    If you could have one "super power," what would it be? And why?

    Iíve always thought being a ďMind ReaderĒ would be pretty handy. Then I wouldnít have to try and translate what I *think* people mean. I donít know if thatís a super power or maybe something else I can learn through Google. You can find just about anything on Google.

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  3. #2
    thepokerkeep's Avatar
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    If you had to pick five keys to success as an affiliate, what would they be?

    1. Never stop learning.
    2. Never give up.
    3. Think outside the box.
    4. Focus on the proven programs/casinos and forget the rest.
    5. Keep up with the current news at GPWA.
    Excellent advice for every new affiliate!

    A fun read, thank you.
    Terry - The Pokerkeep
    President / CEO - Gambling Affiliates Union

    Casino Affiliate Programs
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    Email: admin @ thepokerkeep.com



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  5. #3
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    Wonderful interview Lori...............

    Keith
    KEITH WILLIAMSON | INDEPENDANT GAMING CONSULTANT

    SKYPE= ironman20001


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  7. #4
    Renee's Avatar
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    Great interview Lori!

    Thanks for the mentions

    This is a wombat btw - the bloody things can write off a truck!

    __________________
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  9. #5
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    Great interview Lori!

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  11. #6
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    Thanks for your kind words.

    Renee, are those wombats everywhere? How big are they? I'm not sure I like the way that one is looking at me!

  12. #7
    Renee's Avatar
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    LOL

    They mostly appear in places that are close to the bush... so if there are highways between large cities they can be found around there...

    They are solid.. That one in the picture is small but if you hit it with your car you can almost guarantee that it will walk away unharmed and that you will be in hospital.

    The other thing is that they attack you if they come close.. You wouldn't see one while roaming the streets... so you're pretty safe...

    In fact, most Australian native animals will attack you.. funny.

    I agree though, he is lookin at you funny
    __________________
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    Indeed a very nice interview! Thanks for the tips.. such things keep me motivated!
    Last edited by Roaldcraenen; 1 October 2009 at 12:48 am.

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  16. #9
    LapLizard is offline New Member
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    Default Great Job Lori

    Very well done Lori. Always good to read up on people. Thanks for sharing. I wish nothing but the best for you and everyone at the forum.

    Hey there Renee, give Dave a knudge and a wink for me, lol.

    Also, hi there ironman, met you on facebook.

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  18. #10
    satya is offline Private Member
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    Very inspiring interview Lori!

    You have been one of the earliest affiliates in the industry and still going pretty strong. All the best!

    Cheers!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://in.linkedin.com/in/satyamahapatra

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  20. #11
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    Nice to read more about you Lori.

    A lot has changed in the industry since early 2000 no? Time sure flies.
    Regards,

    John A. Benjamin

    Forex Affiliate marketing? Join our forex affiliate forums

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  22. #12
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    Very nice interview Lori! Time sure does fly when you are having fun huh? lol

    I remember the 'good ole days' on ezboard like they were yesterday. Can't believe it's been so long ago. Good to see the Hodgepodge and you still going strong.

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  24. #13
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    Thanks for letting us in Lori!

    I remember when first came to online gaming and started my own gambling forum, i knew nothing, and i mean nothing, and Lori sat on the computer with me through msn..etc..and talked me through some html..and how to post links and other important things that all webmasters need to know that i had no idea, and beleive me i was not a very good student!! lollllllllllllll

    So thanks Lori for your help and knowledge and patience....you helped to create the "monster" i am today! LOLLLL
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    Thanks for this interview. I really think it gives a lot of info to newbies like myself. It also gives me plenty of food for thought. Thanks

    Tooluckynow

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    Nice interview Lori.

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    absolutely amazing that you could do this interview with anyone, next time I will see myself. No.

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    I really enjoyed reading this interview Lori You have come a long way over the years and jumped over some pretty tough hurdles that would have made many just give up and call it a day! I respect you as a business women and I am happy to call you a friend

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  36. #19
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    what Judy said (I assume that's J) and (providing this doesn't offend anyone or get you in trouble) ... I want your body.

    .....

    amazing isn't it how many stories you hear both similar and yet completely different than Lori's ... I think many of us came to this point thru a series of growing levels ALL of which have their roots wrapped around having been a player whether it be one that actually likes to gamble or one that saw the free money offers and thought "what the hell?" ...

    But the starting points in terms of what we did before this ... are as different as a gangster from New York's Harlem and a Tibet Monk.

    ......

    Daera, you sweetheart. I had no idea you and Pat went back like that.

    Most times in life when you help someone out (and of course you don't expect a favor returned nor keep score but it doesn't take a genius to recognize when you are ignored) ... people you help out forget quite quickly or at least seem indifferent that the favor was ever done (if/when circumstances present themselves where it might be pertinent) ... but every once in a while when you help somebody out ... you actually happen upon someone that remembers your kindness and looks for opportunities to return the favor.

    I can honestly say that Pat would fit that description. Anybody who steps into her life ultimately benefits from it ... if any sort of opportunity presents itself to her to return a kindness. She looks for them.

    Its very neat to see how people "that think more than just of themselves" ... somehow manage to find each other in such a murky body of water as the net.

    Sorry to have led you a bit off course. I now return you to you regular scheduled program.
    Almost Here! How would you like to be able to get not just one sign up from your player, or even a couple, but every single casino they join from here on? I've a plan that can make that happen and it will likely also tell you every time the player is active within the casino.

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  38. #20
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    Steve, I can't say it enough, you are the absolute best and my life is better with you in it..[if only through this screen i look at 10 hours a day] i wish it could be more....we need to be neighbors!

    Bonustreak, you are so right about all the adversity Daera has been through and has kept strong and viable! A credit to our business and to women who take control of their lives and doesn't let anyone tell them no.

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    GamblingAffiliatePlace

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