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    GPWA Gary's Avatar
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series -- Martin -- BetPartners

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    As an affiliate, it looks like you focus on the sports betting market. And your two sites take two distinct approaches to attracting players. Why did you add the second site?

    Footylatest.com came before the forum, which incidentally I have now closed down, I added the forum because I felt that with Footylatest.com being a news site it would create a ready market for a forum in which to discuss the relevant news stories, and so my initial thinking was that they would be very complementary to each other. It just never worked out that way.

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

    It is very hard work and time-consuming, much more than one realizes. It is one thing when a forum is well populated, and can take on a life of its own, but for a new forum new topics have to be added constantly to keep it fresh, and you are constantly having to ask people to respond. Thereís nothing worse than an inactive forum to put people off.

    Whatís the most difficult thing about administering forums?

    Spam, without a doubt. It comes out of the woodwork no matter what anti-spam procedures you put in place, and this is when time becomes an issue. You simply must keep an eye on the forum 24 hours a day. I canít tell you how many times I wake up in the morning to find a load of porn links or Viagra links or whatever they are peddling these days.
    Of course you can manually activate accounts to stop this to some degree, but when people join they want immediate access and if they cannot have it itís hard to expect them to contribute once you have activated them. And as stated above another difficult thing with forums is keeping them active with fresh posts and so forth.

    How long does it take for you to gather sports news for your site every day?

    It is rare that I personally gather the info. This is usually left down to the siteís contributors, but when I have done it, it can take hours. We try to post news that is more European-based as opposed to U.K.-based, so we look at sources in Spain, Italy, Germany, etc., and this brings its own time issues: translations are required, news needs to be verified, and even something as simple as verifying a playerís age consumes valuable time.
    Make one clear error and we then receive numerous e-mails; put up one piece of news that is viewed as biased and the abusive emails follow.
    It is easy to rush stories, but I have found that this has a negative effect. You need to take time to get the news right or you end up wasting more time answering complaints and even doing retractions.
    I would say that to get up 10 stories in one day Ė stories of decent length that have been verified Ė can take a good four to six hours. Some can put up 10 stories in one hour, but then you will find that these quick stories are basically copy and paste jobs and we donít do that.

    Do you bet on sports yourself? If so, whatís the best win youíve ever had?

    I do bet. Mainly I trade on Betfair, but Iím not a big gambler. I donít have the confidence to put large sums down. My best win? I think that would be on the spreads actually a few years ago. I backed a footballer called Rio Ferdinand to score a goal and his minutes were something like 4 minutes and he scored in the 90th so I had 86 times my stake, which I believe was £30, so I won in excess of £3000. For me that is a large win as I am not a big gambler at all.

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

    They still donít, really, to this day. If anything they cost me money, what with dedicated servers and DDOS protection, paying writers and so on, but my affiliate accounts are increasing by the day and I fully expect to turn a profit via the sites quite shortly. My main affiliate earnings come from me basically running competitions and buying ad space myself in which to place affiliate banners.

    How did you find your way into the online gambling industry?

    I became a tipster. I would write tips for Web sites and for one site in particular, asianhandicap.com, and simply put I started speaking with the owner at the end of each month when it came to collecting a prize and I just made an offhand comment to him that if he gave me a job I would move to Norway, where his sites were based.

    He never gave me a job. What he did do was allow me to find advertisers for his Web sites in return for a commission and for some reason I managed to get a lot of advertisers from the word go. Six months after I started I was living in Norway, and the rest is history.

    In addition to running your affiliate sites, you also operate a business called BetPartners. The slogan/motto for BetPartners is ďbridging the gap between bookies and Web sites.Ē What does that mean? And what exactly does BetPartners do?

    The slogan means exactly what it says in the sense that we bring sportsbooks and Web sites together. The biggest issue I found when I started BetPartners was that it was so difficult to get to the right person. Affiliate managers are not always the ones who make the decisions; marketing managers are in place with a lot of sportsbooks, and in addition a lot of sportsbooks have a myriad of global and country affiliate managers.
    What we have developed over the last three years is a comprehensive contact list and relationships with the people who count at most sportsbooks.

    If a Web site operator needs to sell ad space, typically all he can do is mass e-mail all affiliate managers or go through contact forms on the sportsbooks Web sites. I can in most cases just pick up the telephone and make a direct call to the person who can say yes or no.

    Affiliate managers and marketing managers receive proposals every day. They donít have the time or patience to go through them all, and so for Web sites, while they may have an xcellent product they may well find that the pitching of their proposal goes to the wrong person, or when it does reach the right person it is one of 50 that the sportsbook has received that day.

    My contacts know that I will not waste their time with anything that I know is of no interest to them. If I contact them it is usually because I have something that may interest them. Also, we donít do just advertising. We do all sorts of transactions Ė hybrid deals, competitions, online and offline campaigns Ė and we also look out for the interests of the Web sites as much as the sportsbooks, if not more so. We look for the best deals for all sides, and with our experience we can see when a Web site is either pricing itself out of the market or undervaluing its product.

    With so many lines of businesses, time management looks like it would be of critical importance for you. Could you please offer us three time management tips?

    Iím not sure Iím the best person to advise on this as I am a victim of time mismanagement. It is so easy to preach rather than practice, but what I can do is list the things that have made it easier for me on occasions.
    The most obvious tip is to stay organized at all times. Iíve learned the hard way what can happen if you are not organized. A missed deadline, a misplaced e-mail can be critical. As long as you get the organization right you will find it easier to manage your day.

    Secondly, react immediately to e-mails and requests. Putting a job off, not answering e-mails quickly, not sending out a proposal Ė it all adds up. The number of times I found myself in the past sending out e-mails at three in the morning or doing proposals at that time is ridiculous. If someone asks for a rate card or asks about your services, respond straightaway and then you will find that you are no longer working stupid hours.

    Finally, and this one sounds strange, take a break, take time out for lunch, go for a pint, spend time with the family, whatever suits you, but take that time away. It is proven that you are more productive if you are not tired. Mistakes happen when you are tired or have been on the telephone or PC all day.

    A little break at regular intervals in the long run will be a benefit. Though like I always say, it is easier said than done.

    You recently asked this question on the forums: ďHave you achieved the lifestyle you want by being involved in gambling, be it as an affiliate, a gambler or whatever it is related to the industry?Ē How would you answer your own question?

    Not sure, really. I think so, in the sense that I work for myself in a job that I love doing. I earn OK, provide a certain standard of living for my family, get to watch sports as part of my work, and so in a job sense, yes, I would say I have achieved that part. But in other respects, no, I have not. I still have to find that ideal location for my family and deal with the same old problem of wanting to spend more time with them. But all things being equal and on balance I am happy with the lifestyle I have created for myself and my family.

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

    Well, I would certainly advise them to be professional at all times and be prepared to work hard. Nothing comes easy and you simply have to put the time and effort in to get results.

    You have to think outside the box all the time. Just sticking a site online and doing some SEO and link exchanges will not work; everyone does that. Be creative in your thinking, think offline as well as online, be selective in your targeting Ė no point advertising European sportsbooks in the U.S. as an example. We have placed ads in foreign-language newspapers in the U.K., worked on campaigns that involved TV advertising in Scandinavia, done billboards at stadiums, advised on a scratch card campaign in hundreds of local newspapers and so on.

    Doing whatever everyone else does just puts you in a pool with many other fish, and competition is very hard. Find that niche market; do something that others have not thought of. Yes, you will make mistakes and maybe lose money, but when you get it right then all of a sudden you find that you are the dominant player in that sector, be it Polish newspapers in the U.K. or even English newspapers in Sweden.

    Before we stop, tell us three things that nobody knows about you.

    Wow, thatís not easy. Itís not just what people do not know, but whatís interesting. I could say I have a birthmark on my thigh but thatís hardly interesting, is it? OK:
    (1) I brought into the West one of the very first Rubikís Cubes ever. I brought mine back from Hungary, where it was invented in 1980, before anyone even knew what a Rubikís Cube was.

    (2) I have unblocked drains/sewers in four separate countries in my previous work years ago as a sewer repairman.

    (3) I have nine children and three grandchildren and I am just 42 Ė and yes, I do have a TV. Thatís the best I can do, really.

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  3. #2
    Shaun O'neill is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Great interview BP, always good to get insight into partners that i am working with.

    Who did Rio play for when you backed him?

    Shaun
    Shaun O'Neill
    skype: oneillshaun

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    Holy Crap....9 Kids!!! Where did you find the time to start an online business? LOL

    Great Stuff BP, thanks for letting us in and sharing. And i have to ask, a sewer man? Did you show your half moon to everyone all the time??

    LOLLL

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    Quote Originally Posted by giggles7p View Post
    Holy Crap....9 Kids!!! Where did you find the time to start an online business? LOL
    LOL That caught my eye as well giggles! Large families are cool when you get older! hehe

    Nice read Martyn. Thanks for sharing.

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    Nice read...
    Simon Eaton - Online marketing consultancy with 20 years experience

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    Great interview Martin. Interesting. I don't know much about the sports end.

    I didn't know you had NINE kids!

    and yes, I do have a TV.
    LOL!


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    Very interesting interview Martin and thanx for letting us all into your life.......what 9 offspring..............lol

    Have a quite weekend

    Keith
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    9 Kids and you're so young!

    OK, I'm thinking you must have multiple same aged children right? Like twins, triplets etc? Or maybe you started really young?

    Very interesting mate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun O'neill View Post
    Great interview BP, always good to get insight into partners that i am working with.

    Who did Rio play for when you backed him?

    Shaun
    That would be Man Utd mate and i think it was against Liverpool
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    Quote Originally Posted by giggles7p View Post
    Holy Crap....9 Kids!!! Where did you find the time to start an online business? LOL

    Great Stuff BP, thanks for letting us in and sharing. And i have to ask, a sewer man? Did you show your half moon to everyone all the time??

    LOLLL

    Cheers
    Pat
    Prefered showing me pigs tail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renee View Post
    9 Kids and you're so young!

    OK, I'm thinking you must have multiple same aged children right? Like twins, triplets etc? Or maybe you started really young?

    Very interesting mate
    Nope not multiple and yes started very young, what can i say i was eager
    Arthritis Care

    To find true bravery and courage all one need do is look in to the eyes of a sick child - A humble parent

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    Great interview. Nice to get a bit of background of some of the posters on here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doolally View Post
    Great interview. Nice to get a bit of background of some of the posters on here.
    I agree and PM'ed Michael to ask if we could possibly have them all (affiliate/manager) placed together in a spot on the forum. Not sure if that has been done yet, but it would nice to have.

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