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  1. #1
    GPWA Dan is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series - Matija Vorgic – (buyonaut)

    Name:  Matija-Vorgic-buyonaut-Bann.jpg
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    Age: 38
    Hometown: Zagreb
    Cities currently residing in: Dubai - Zagreb
    Favorite food: Italian
    One book everyone must read: The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov
    Sites: bet2win.eu.com, kladionicasport.com

    Three years ago you posted that bet2win, while focused on the football-betting public in Europe, was starting to promote poker as well. You also said that you were looking to exchange links with Chinese and other Asian market oriented sites. How is bet2win in 2010 fulfilling your expectations?

    There have been a lot of changes in the past 3 years; I have learned a great deal about marketing and SEO and as a result have dropped the idea about poker, at least on a scale that could be called major. If you want to be a successful affiliate, the best thing is to stick to what you know – for me that is sports betting and I work on it without spending too much time on other segments of online gambling, although casino and games adverts and reviews can be found on my site. I now realize that the poker market is covered so extensively that there is very little room left – I just can’t spend too much time on it. I build everything around sports betting and whatever happens with casino or games is welcome, but that is not the base. As for Asian markets, they are very specific and require a lot of knowledge about mentality, structure and what is appealing to that market – knowledge I don’t have, to be honest. I stick to the European market, which I know the best. It is still too early to judge 2010, but if growth from 2008/09 continues it will be a year to look forward to with joy!

    Speaking of markets, my thoughts are that 2010, apart from being a huge football year – we have the World Cup coming – will be a year of cash games with significant growth in that segment. There is a whole niche that is not yet fully covered by operators and affiliates alike – Head2head games or Player2player skill games, call it what you want. People like to play games against each other, knowing that there is a real person sitting on the other end – not the computer. So, instead of playing against the house and waiting for a jackpot, people can use the skills they beleive they have and try to win some money from other players. This is a very convenient structure for operators and affiliates; there is a rake collected from winning players, so it’s a very clean, no-risk income stream. Whoever among the big operators is first to step into this market will have great success with the right marketing strategy.

    You have mentioned that you used to be a journalist. For whom did you work? What did you cover? What’s the best story you’ve covered? What didn’t you like about being a journalist? How did you move from being a journalist to an affiliate? Have those journalism skills helped you at all in your present work?

    I spent five years working as a journalist, two with major daily newspapers and three with Croatian public television, HRT. I have covered many topics – from local news to entertainment and the movie industry. Like any young journalist, I started covering local stories and moved up slowly, covering more serious stories from politics to ecology. I recall one story about a local cement factory that was heavily polluting the environment. My colleagues and I had heard about it from people living near by the factory, and we discovered a lot of bad facts: lung cancer rates in that area were 45% higher than average, asthma and other respiratory problems were serious, especially among children. We started to move the mountain with a series of daily TV news reports. The problem was that factory management wasn’t taking proper security measures; filters were not installed or cleaned for years, and so on. To cut a long story short, we managed to fix that situation: the factory was closed for six months for modernization and upgrade. The whole story was a yearlong fight with many different interests and politicians, but everybody was happy with how it ended. Today the facility is one of the least polluting cement factories in area. I think we really did a good thing there.

    What I don’t like about journalism is that whatever you cover or get into, there are politics involved; too many interests and all of them coming from only one source: human greed for money and power. However, being in journalism was a great experience and helped me a lot with my current work.

    You became an affiliate in 2006 but also worked at a day job you didn’t like until March of last year. How has your life (and your revenue stream) changed since you made the decision to be a full-time webmaster?

    Doing something you don’t like is like being in prison without bars; you are free but not free at all. You can’t escape that vicious circle called stress. Very bad. Depressing. There is constant pressure that one feels and that is reflected on your family too. An unhappy father/husband or mother/wife is the worst thing that can happen to one family.

    My affiliate career started by chance; it was a lazy summer back in 2005 and I was trying to find work as a freelance or full-time webmaster. That didn’t go very well; there were a few freelance projects, but generally it was not what I wanted. Then I thought, why should I produce Web sites for others; why not for myself? Since I always liked betting and sports, I did some research and that is how I started my affiliate career. I built up the first site for a couple of weeks and started down the long, painful path of learning the affiliate business.

    Again by chance, that same year, somewhere around Christmas I got a business offer from my friend in Dubai to move there and work in a completely different industry. The offer was too good to be rejected, so I took it. In spring 2006 I moved to Dubai and started working at the office. It goes without saying that my site was left behind since there were a lot of other priorities at the time. Anyone who has moved abroad with one’s family knows how demanding and challenging it is. New country, new job, painful administration, two little kids...

    However, I already knew that I wanted to be a gambling affiliate. I started working again on the site, when I settled in Dubai sometime around fall 2006. That is my real start-up date. Working six days a week in the office for 12 hours a day and spending another four to five hours on the site daily – that was my life for almost three years. I never left my idea, despite many problems and ups and downs, and even disapproval from many people who are close to me. However, I have had solid support from my wife and children at the most difficult times; without them I would never have been able to do it properly.

    So the site grew, income started to rise and it became serious enough to consider leaving the job I didn’t fancy at all to become a full-time affiliate. After a few sleepless nights, some nasty politics going on in the office and many discussions with my wife, I decided to pull the plug. Since March 2009 I’ve been a full-time affiliate. It was the best decision I ever made; my life has turned around 100%; I’m a stress-free man (as much as any affiliate can be stress free – ha ha ha), have plenty of time for my family and friends, and solid income is there. That income has been growing steadily each month because I now have all the time on the world to dedicate to it. What more can you want?

    You run your business on a Mac G4 you bought back in 2001. What do you say to those who insist that in our business you must use a PC?

    It is a personal choice. I stick to Mac and there is nothing that can change my mind about it. Nothing comes even close to a good Mac machine. Windows is an unstable and annoying OS that needs constant updating, reinstalling and different remedies. That is a waste of time. Mac is very simple; you start it up and it works. It never crashes and there are no annoying pop-up windows with questions and warnings about every little thing. If you appreciate your time, buy a Mac. There are software solutions for everything, so I don’t see any merit to the argument that, “Oh, that is not possible on a Mac.”

    Both of your sites display the GPWA Approved Portal seal. When and how did you discover the GPWA? Has membership helped you in any way?


    I found the GPWA when I was searching for an industry professional community. I was suprised when I saw how many people are involved in the gambling affiliate industry, either as affiliates or affiliate managers! The GPWA not only helped me to understand the industry better, but also to learn a lot from other webmasters and, most important, to spot good partners and stop wasting time with no-good sharks. I’m very happy and proud to be an approved member of such acommunity, where professionals understand each other’s problems and are willing to help. For me, the GPWA is irreplaceable!

    How much time does it take to keep your site updated? Do you use a content management system to manage your site? And if you use a content management system, which do your prefer? And why?

    Basic updates take me one to two hours per day. I run Tipster Competition on my sites so there are many matches to close once events are finished. Then another one to two hours for SEO, linking and advertising. Then, checking out my partners’ latest offers, newsletters, doing necessary changes and adding new content, and answering emails takes another two to three hours, if not more. Considering new partners, research, writing reviews – it all takes a lot of time. Being an affiliate is basically a 24-hour job, but can be adjusted as you like, depending on your short- and long-term goals.

    I do use CMS because it gives me freedom and speed while working. I’ve been using PHP-Fusion for years now, and I’m happy with it; Tipster Competition script is written for Fusion and if I change CMS, a whole lot of things should be changed and adjusted in the script itself. I’m working with my partner, www.wisepunter.com, on V3 of competition script and this time we will make it platform independent as much as possible.

    What is the one thing you wish you had known before becoming an online gaming affiliate?

    I wish I had known more about marketing – it took me a lot of time to find the right approach and really start converting. Now it is much easier since I know what people want and how to present it to them.

    Time management is one of the biggest issues facing affiliates. What time management tips can you offer your fellow webmasters?

    This depends on what is your focus at the moment. If your site is rich in content but lacks traffic, obviously you have to dedicate more time to linking and SEO, and vice versa. What I do, apart from everyday, must-do things, is make myself a “to do” list every day and try to stick to it as much as possible. Of course, this business is so volatile that priorities can change in a second, so just follow the stream.

    You’ve listed your location in your GPWA profile as Zagreb-Dubai. Do you split time between both cities? For people who have never been to Zagreb or Dubai, please describe them for us. What’s the best part of each city? And what one thing in each city should everyone see?


    Yes, at this period of my life I spend eight months a year in Dubai and four in Zagreb (Croatia). The only reason I’m in Dubai at the moment is that my wife has a business here that we can’t leave unattended, at least at this point. The plan is to relocate to Zagreb completely in 2011. By that time our house there should be built up and ready to move into and the business in Dubai should be running smoothly.

    For people living here for any length of time, Dubai is like any other city in the world: crowded, busy, polluted, dusty and hot with unbelievable traffic jams. It is stunning, however, to see what the local people here managed to build up from nothing: a massive glass and steel city with breathtaking buildings, parks and every luxury facility you can imagine. A good thing here is that there is no income tax, which makes business flourish. There are of course beaches, sun and sand! The most negative aspects are very expensive rents and very, very hot weather that limits outdoor activities throughout the year. If you like green scenery, this is not for you! Must-see places are Palm Jumeirah, the Atlantis Hotel and aquarium, and the Burj Khalifa Tower, currently the tallest building in the world. If you like shopping this is the place to be: more than 200 shopping malls, and they are all anything but small!

    Zagreb is a completely different place, a typical Middle European city, green with old architecture, much like Vienna, Budapest or Prague, with lots of lakes and parks, great cafes and restaurants. Places to see in Zagreb are Old Town, with lot of bars and restaurants; Jarun Lake, famous for nightlife; Maksimir Park, for an easy stroll through a centuries-old forest; or just visit any of the city’s many museums.

    English is your second language, but one of your Web sites is an English-language one. How difficult is it for you to produce an affiliate site in a language that is not your native tongue?

    Being a native English speaker is a tremendous advantage. It helps you understand the nuances and specifics of the language better, especially in strong markets like the U.K. and the U.S. However, these days, when everybody more or less speaks English, it is easier to get into those markets without being a native English speaker. No matter what language you use, it’s all about content; content is king,.

    Your native language is Croatian. We know you speak English. But according to your GPWA profile, you also speak Dutch. When and how did you learn Dutch?


    I learned Dutch living in Amsterdam for five years, from 1994 to 1999. I studied Multimedia and Design there in English, but picked up a lot of Dutch just living there. I consider Amsterdam my second home and always like to go there and see friends and the old canals!

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

    At first, they didn’t have a clue about what I do and there was hardly any support. The most frequent reaction I got was disbelief! I had to explain over and over again, draw schemas on paper and tell people 100 times that I’m not a bookie (ha ha ha). Now it is still vague to them but they see I’m making a living from it so they are happy and supportive. Some are so impressed by it that they want to do it, too!

    What advice can you offer people who are just starting up in the industry?

    - Stick to what you know – that is the key to success. If you don’t know, learn about it from others rather than reinventing the wheel.
    - Hard work, hard work and hard work.
    - Never give up.
    - Talk to people in the industry – they know how you feel; they’ve all been there.
    - Connect with your affiliate managers regularly.
    - Change the position of your adverts on your sites regularly, for two reasons: first, even old content will look fresh, and second, you will see what works best for you.
    - Never forget that content is king and always publish new material as frequently as you can.
    - Evaluate your partners regularly.
    - Respect your visitors, answer their mail and communicate with them.

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

    - Content – drives the people back for more.
    - Advertise good partners – those that are good to the players and to you alike – and communicate with your affiliate managers. They are great people and are there to help your business.
    - Work hard on SEO.
    - Try to give unique benefit to users visiting your site.
    - Imagine yourself as a visitor/user to the site. What are you looking for? What do you want to find when searching for something? What would make you to sign up and deposit? Find answers to these questions and you are there!

    Do you gamble online? If so, what do you play?

    Sports betting occasionally or playing Belote (card game). But not too much really since I follow the rule of Tony Montana from “Scarface”: “Don’t get high with your own supply.” However, to evaluate sites, software, etc., I do some tests, but consider this a part of the job, not gambling.

    What’s your favorite vacation spot, and why?

    The Adriatic coast, Croatian coastline. There are more than 1,000 islands in Croatia, with pine trees, crystal blue and clean sea, clean air, real laid-back Mediterrian atmosphere. I’ve been around the world and visited many tourist spots but the one I have at home is the best. Oh, yeah, I like to go to Austria for skiing, too.

    What’s your all-time favorite movie?

    More than one: “Dial M for Murder,” “Lord of the Rings Trilogy,” “Citizen Kane,” “Scarface,” “Apocalypto.”

    If you could have one “super power,” what would it be?

    To heal the sick.

    If you were able to sit down to dinner with any five people, living or dead, who would they be, and why?

    Buddha and Jesus Christ: I guess I could learn a lot from these two guys (ha ha ha). I’m not much of a religious person myself but it would be an inspiring experience for sure. Alfred Hitchcock – the best film director ever. Nikola Tesla – what would be the world without electricity? Joe Strummer – The Clash frontman, had a great influence on me.

    What are three things that nobody knows about you?

    I check my affiliate statistics three times a day, still read comic books and sing when nobody can hear me, usually in the car while driving.

  2. #2
    onlinepariuri is offline Private Member
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    honestly we have many similarities including PHP-Fusion CMS, but I'm younger and not have experience like you, my first job was on my site ...and once I got out of my country, but i appreciate you and I approve of the work and content for an affiliate site.

    Good Look

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to onlinepariuri For This Useful Post:

    buyonaut (1 July 2010)

  4. #3
    clearlyportals is offline Private Member
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    Great interview,

    Sounds like you worked really hard for what you have, so well deserved and well done.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to clearlyportals For This Useful Post:

    buyonaut (1 July 2010)

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