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  1. #1
    GPWA Aaron is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series | Oren - ocreditor

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    Age: 35
    Hometown: Tel Aviv, Israel
    Living in: Tel Aviv
    Favorite Food: Pasta!
    Must Read Book: The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge, MD
    Sites:
    onlinecasinoreports.com
    and 54 other sites

    When did you launch your first site?
    The first version of Online Casino Reports (OCR) was launched in 1997. However, the "official" OCR news site was launched two years later after a lot of modifications.

    To what do you attribute this site’s success? What in your mind makes it unique?
    I attribute the site's success mainly to the dedication of my team. From my experience, friendship is the best way to succeed in any field, and our company believes in doing things in the best way possible.

    What makes us unique is the quality of our content. We focus on bringing fresh ideas to our site, such as always looking for unique news stories. We have very close connections with our affiliate programs, and often ask for specific information for special reports that will be of interest to our readers. We are constantly upgrading and revamping our site so that it is technologically up to date and presents the information in the clearest way to our visitors.

    Describe the reasoning and the process that led to launching more than 50 additional sites.
    Back in 2006 when the USA market closed we experienced a big drop in traffic and income. We needed to think outside the box and decided to explore other markets. The 54 other sites are actually localized versions of OCR. Each local site is dedicated to the players in that specific country and in the local language.

    How did you become involved in the industry?
    I've always been a computer freak! When the Internet first launched, my friends and I recognized the opportunity to start a business together.

    How long did it take for you to start earning money?
    Since launching a website over 15 years ago was not an easy task, we had to learn a lot very quickly. I believe it only took us a year to turn a profit.

    Are you a one-person shop or are you part of a larger organization?
    We are a small team of nine friends managing OCR. Almost our entire team has been with us since the start – very rare in this day and age. I think it says a lot about how we work and the environment we create.

    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? We work from an office overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Naturally, work is often taken home or is done after hours, as needed. I constantly interact with my colleagues in the industry through Skype, e-mail, phone calls, and of course, events.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager?
    How about in an affiliate program? After so many years in the industry, the main trait I expect from every affiliate manager is the ability to understand the affiliate's needs. This of course reflects on the affiliate program.

    With so many affiliates out there, each one brings a different approach and has different needs. This is where the affiliate manager comes in. If he can recognize and prioritize the needs of each affiliate, the affiliate will trust him and the collaboration will work well.

    I don't think I can separate the affiliate program from the affiliate manager. If the affiliate manager possesses the above-mentioned qualities, then the affiliate program will be successful.

    What’s your preferred method of communication with affiliate managers? Do you like to talk on the phone, by e-mail or via Skype?
    I have no special preferences, really. Whatever works best. If I need someone I pick up the phone or Skype. If I'm able to meet managers in person it's always better, but if not, e-mail also plays an important role.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?
    I joined the GPWA mainly to be involved in what’s going on in the industry. By being a member of the GPWA, I know I'm always the first to know what's going on. The forum is also a great way to share ideas and information with my colleagues.

    You’re a very active GPWA member, with over 1,400 forum posts under your belt. What motivates you to stay so involved in the GPWA community?
    I actually wasn’t so active at first, but after years of witnessing the rapid growth of the industry, I felt it was time to share my knowledge, help and get help/support from other affiliates.

    Your site has lots of content – typically four to five news stories each and every day. How do you keep up with all the news in the industry? And how important is this fresh content to the success of your site?
    We actually post about triple that amount! We stay in the loop through our extensive connections. Many of our news ideas are sent to us by PR and marketing agencies, but we also closely monitor various worldwide news sources. Our close contact with so many companies is a great source of inside information about new developments before they launch. Fresh content is extremely important to our site and we believe this is what sets us apart. As I mentioned earlier, we initiate special news based on our experience and what we think will interest players.

    What do you like about the industry?
    I like gambling and I’m keen to push the idea that gambling is a way of entertainment that should be legal everywhere, but of course controlled for the safety of the players. Personally, I also like the people in the industry and feel this business keeps us together.

    It's nice to be a part of shaping public opinion about something that most people think of as negative. I try to see the good side of everything and not judge.

    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
    Hard question, I really don’t know . . .

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?
    My family supports me; if I’m happy, then they are happy. As for my friends — well, they are right here beside me!

    Do you gamble online? If so, what do you play?
    I gamble and I really like to play but I always play for fun. Blackjack is my game of choice.

    How long do you give yourself for answering e-mail? What e-mail tips can you offer?
    I do not put a time limit on e-mail. Behind every e-mail there is a person and it's important to give each e-mail the time necessary. Personal connections are extremely important and the basis of this industry, and therefore it sometimes takes me an hour to answer an e-mail and sometimes a minute. Answering e-mail really is done on a case-by-case basis so it's hard to set a time frame in advance.

    My advice is to maintain relationships! A good tip I can give: Don’t think of answering e-mail as “work” which must be done. Take the time to answer and if details are needed, then add them. Make sure the person on the other side understands exactly what you mean/need because it's often easy to misunderstand people through electronic communication.

    How do you manage your “to-do” lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?
    I use a pencil and notebook for my daily "to-do" lists. However, for team projects we use project management software. This makes it much easier to manage the workflow and tasks for more than three people.

    How much time do you devote to SEO and/or social networking in order to drive more traffic to your sites?
    Not enough. We are so focused on content and news stories that we always run out of time to focus on SEO.

    You posted recently that it’s harder to convert a real casino player to a social player than it is to convert a social player to a casino player. Why do you think this is the case?
    Yes, I remember that post well. I believe there are two reasons for this phenomenon:

    1. Achievement vs. money: I look at myself, for example. I like blackjack a lot but I don’t feel I need to bet money in order to play. I believe that the majority of social players are more or less the same; they are interested in the achievement and not the money.
    2. Social circles: In the social world, there is another main factor. People like to play against/with their friends. It’s the social vibe that makes the thrill of the game.

    What’s the most difficult thing about running your sites?
    Keeping them up to date! With so many sites and tons of content, we are constantly changing and adding information.

    What’s the best thing about running your sites?
    Our uniqueness — we provide fresh stories and daily news. We always try to find exclusive news, and this makes running the site very exciting. We always try to stay ahead in the industry, and changing things up all the time is always exciting.

    If we didn't change our content, our sites would be boring and our readers would stop coming back. Our constant search for new stories and ways to improve makes the user experience worthwhile and interesting.

    What do you do to stay in shape – both physically and mentally?
    It’s quite hard for me to separate physical and mental; both are connected in one way or another no matter how I look at it. I swim a lot and I like inviting friends on weekends. I also enjoy watching movies and I like to cook.

    If someone were visiting you, what’s the one place you’d definitely take them to see?
    Well, that's a hard one! For me, it's less the destination than the company. Spending time with friends is more important than the actual activity or place we are visiting.

    When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?
    On vacation, of course! Thailand is my preferred destination, or maybe the Philippines. Anywhere tropical is my favorite destination!

    What’s your all-time favorite movie?
    The Lord of the Rings because it’s a perfect movie. It combines everything, from a good story and great actors to the perfect production. That this movie reached so many audiences worldwide only backs up my belief. It's not by chance that it was so popular.

    If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?
    #1 is the one and only – Larry David! Following in any order: Jerry Seinfeld, Robert De Niro, Jim Carrey and Barack Obama. I would prefer to invite them one at a time, not all five together.

    What are three things that nobody knows about you?
    I try not to keep secrets, but even if I did, I wouldn't tell! I believe secrets are meant to stay that way – secret!

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  3. #2
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    Excellent interview. I've always loved OCR. It's one of the most comprehensive online casino portals out there. A really outstanding site.
    Sweet Bet - Reviews of reputable online casinos, poker sites, sportsbooks & bingo halls
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    Nice interview and great site!

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    Great interview Oren!

    The brain that changes itself is also my favourite book.

    I like your selection of people you'd invite to dinner too. Jim Carrey is definitely on my list!
    __________________
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    offshoreodds is offline Public Member
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    Great interview, Oren is a great guy. It's nice to hear more about the people in which I do business.

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  11. #6
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    Interesting interview and great site, indeed.
    How you can manage 54 sites?????? Amazing! I have hard time to manage just two.
    Suppose, some of them are "make it and drop it".
    Anyay, Good Luck in your business. Cheers!

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  13. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renee View Post
    Great interview Oren!

    The brain that changes itself is also my favourite book.

    I like your selection of people you'd invite to dinner too. Jim Carrey is definitely on my list!
    Amazing book ha? changed my entire perspective about what we are really capable of doing.


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    Great interview! Oren it's a great person and is a pleasure to work with him and team OCR.
    Industry needs more affiliates like Oren.

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  17. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bringit_adm View Post
    Great interview! Oren it's a great person and is a pleasure to work with him and team OCR.
    Industry needs more affiliates like Oren.
    Much appreciated guys!

  18. #10
    ocreditor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer View Post
    Interesting interview and great site, indeed.
    How you can manage 54 sites?????? Amazing! I have hard time to manage just two.
    Suppose, some of them are "make it and drop it".
    Anyay, Good Luck in your business. Cheers!
    Very hard and demanding work.

    We're focusing on OCR only and aiming high for it to be worldwide online gambling portal, not an easy task !

  19. #11
    Maria F is offline Former AM
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    Great interview Oren!

    You made me take a trip down memory lane to the time when the US market closed down; it seems like such a long time ago.

    Have a great 2015

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria Florides View Post
    Great interview Oren!

    You made me take a trip down memory lane to the time when the US market closed down; it seems like such a long time ago.

    Have a great 2015
    Yeahhh the good old days of the wild west

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    Maria F is offline Former AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocreditor View Post
    Yeahhh the good old days of the wild west
    OMG I feel ancient now LOL

    I started around one or two years before the US market closed down. I totally agree that those were the good old days

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria Florides View Post
    OMG I feel ancient now LOL

    I started around one or two years before the US market closed down. I totally agree that those were the good old days
    Wow Maria you are almost ancient as I'm, we are actually as ancient as anyone can be... so ancient that no more room left for candles on our cake

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    Maria F is offline Former AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocreditor View Post
    Wow Maria you are almost ancient as I'm, we are actually as ancient as anyone can be... so ancient that no more room left for candles on our cake
    LOL Well, I am a young 44 year old cowgirl. That cake is too small for my candles

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria Florides View Post
    LOL Well, I am a young 44 year old cowgirl. That cake is too small for my candles
    You should do what I'm doing, moving to one candle to rule them all !!!

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    Maria F is offline Former AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocreditor View Post
    You should do what I'm doing, moving to one candle to rule them all !!!
    I like that policy, from now on only one candle

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria Florides View Post
    LOL Well, I am a young 44 year old cowgirl. That cake is too small for my candles
    I thought the rule was that once you hit 30, you're 30 forever?

    I'm doing it wrong.

    It's 10 years for me this year in August. I can remember clearly the day I walked into the office and they told me the bill got passed. Noone ever thought it would happen.

    They really were the days.

    In any case, after 10 years here at Rewards that long service leave is going to be really nice

    Amazing book ha? changed my entire perspective about what we are really capable of doing.
    Yep. I like to test some of the theories out every now and then, especially on the brain mapping for languages.
    I wanted to do neuro when I left school but my marks were not high enough to get in. Such a shame. When I read books like that I think I could have been so happy studying brains LOL
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  33. #19
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    Wow! That was a nice (and long) interview.. Interesting read

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    Nice read, I like your email advice in particular. I've also just purchased The Brain That Changes Itself so thanks for the recommendations. It sounds very thought provoking which I always like and the Amazon ratings/reviews are impressive.

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