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    GPWA Aaron is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series: Paruyr | paruyr123

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    Age: 34
    Hometown: Yerevan
    Living in: Moscow
    Favorite Food: Dolma
    Must Read Book: The Devil's Elixirs, by E. T. A. Hoffmann
    Site: bookmakersrating.ru

    When did you launch your site?
    I started to work on it in summer 2011. The launch was in late October.

    Tell us about your site. How do you keep it "objective and unbiased"?
    As simple as not taking money for rankings. We listen to our readers. While it is a fact that getting positive feedback is sometimes very hard in the gaming industry, at least it is possible to achieve not getting negative feedback. I always advise my partners to pay if there's any uncertainty in a dispute. People more and more are counting on reviews by other players, especially in Russia, where the word "bookie" for 90 percent of the population is similar to the words "cheat" or "crook."

    How often do you and your team update/refresh content?
    Hourly. We act as a newspaper or a magazine dedicated to sports betting. We have two editors and nine journalists on our team who regularly produce quality content.

    Where does most of your traffic come from?
    Russia.

    Any plans to launch additional sites? If so, what will be the primary focus?
    Yes, I do plan to launch sites in English and Chinese.

    What are the top sports Russians like to bet on?
    Football, tennis and ice hockey are the most popular sports.

    What's the latest news in the Russian Internet gambling market?
    Unfortunately there's no stability in the market. Formally Internet gambling is illegal in Russia, but authorities are tolerant to sports betting and mainly block casino websites. From time to time, though, you can hear stories about some local court ruling based on which a sports betting operator has been blocked locally. It looks like everyone is happy with the current situation, but it is still unpleasant to not know what will happen tomorrow. Sometimes I think that it would be better if authorities banned everyone. That would result in a consolidation and consequently a lobby for regulation laws.

    How did you assemble your team of forecasters? How successful have they been in picking winners?
    All of our forecasters are well-known TV commentators. And in August we signed up a football legend, six-time champion Egor Titov. In terms of picking winners, our forecasters are in a positive zone all together I'd say around +11 percent.

    If the forecasters' picks are good, your players win and you lose out on revenue share. If the picks don't perform well over time, you'll lose credibility with your visitors. How do you balance those two competing forces?
    Although all of them are pretty good at predicting the results, I wish they performed much better than they do already. And I'm not worried about winning players. In February two of our forecasters (at that time we had three) showed +53 percent and +41 percent. After we published the results traffic quadrupled and revenues grew, too. I assume that no one has the patience to wait for a forecast. If there's money in the balance players place their own bets.

    You rate just five bookmakers with a 5/5 rating. What does it take to earn a top rating from bookmakersrating.ru?
    We take into consideration many factors, but most important are: stability, reputation, great customer service and user experience. Also it is mandatory for the company to accept us as an intermediate between players and itself in case of disputes. By the way, one of them is about to be dropped down for not listening to us.

    How did you become involved in the industry?
    I started as a player in the early 2000s, then got into arbitrage betting. When arbs started to bring less revenue (around 2006) I started to work as an agent for Betfair in Armenia. At the same time I opened a betting shop, and then grew it into a small network. The one I am proud of is http://vivarocafe.com/en/

    How long did it take for you to start earning money?
    Approximately a year.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
    I like when people react fast and are not afraid to take risks for the sake of a good idea. Only constant progress and innovations can bring you success, and if your partner is not ready to support that, that's a shame.

    What advice can you offer people who are just starting up in the industry?
    Do not look for secret buttons, just do your job.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?
    I met Steven Corfman at the LAC and he told me about the GPWA. Of course it helps; people do recognize the authority of GPWA. It helps us to build trust with our new visitors.

    You are one of our many "lurkers," folks who visit the GPWA but rarely post in the forums. While we certainly welcome lurkers, we always like to know why they haven't jumped into any of the conversations on the forums yet. So what's holding you back? Anything we can do to get you to be a more active participant?
    I guess because I work too much, but I promise I'll try.

    What do you like about the industry?
    I feel that I can change something, make it more transparent and liable. When I was just starting, people laughed at my idea to make an honest rating of bookmakers. Now, everyone thinks differently. That's what I like.

    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
    In terms of Russia I'd like to change how the government treats the industry in whole. Like all unpopular governments this one is also using populist moves like: "Gambling harms? Then ban it. What? Tax money? We've got gas and oil, we don't need tax money from gambling." Does this kind of politics solve gambling addiction problems? Of course not. But it makes them look like they want to solve it.

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?
    I never asked them about that. I think everyone is happy ...

    Do you gamble online? If so, what do you play?
    I used to, but now it has become kind of boring. I almost fell asleep at the blackjack table in a casino in Amsterdam. I always place a bet when I attend a football game, though.

    How long do you give yourself for answering e-mail?
    I answer as soon I see it.

    What e-mail tips can you offer?
    You have to be in the middle, not too short and not too long in order to get the wanted attention.

    How do you manage your "to-do" lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?
    I use iPhone reminders as a basic tool and Evernote for more complicated tasks.

    How much time do you devote to SEO and/or social networking in order to drive more traffic to your sites?
    We concentrate more on producing interesting content and publish news in time, so people like it and link to it. We do have a full-time social media manager on our team who takes care of our Twitter, Facebook and Vk.com (that's Russian Facebook).

    What's the most difficult thing about running your site?
    Getting the right techies! They either are too expensive or too slow.

    What's the best thing about running your site?
    You never stop; there's always new and interesting stuff to make.

    If someone were visiting you, what's the one place you'd definitely take them to see?
    Can't imagine anything special. I don't like crowded cities like Moscow.

    When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?
    I ride a bicycle in a nearby park. It's relaxing and healthy ... I enjoy my work so far; I don't feel the need to get too far from it.

    What's your favorite vacation spot?
    Rome, for the culture.

    What's your all-time favorite movie?
    No Country for Old Men, because of the mixed emotions that this movie brings up. You want to go outside and smoke after you watch it, even if you have quit smoking for several years.

    If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?
    Matt Cutts ha ha, I'm kidding! Honestly, I don't know. I'll think about that later.

    If you were one of the last two people on the planet, who would you want the other person to be?
    My wife. God created us that way.

    What are three things that nobody knows about you?
    If you mean society at large, hardly anyone knows anything about me. And if you mean my environment, everyone knows everything about me. I'm not a secret person.

  2. #2
    louie.wilson's Avatar
    louie.wilson is offline Former AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPWA Aaron View Post
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    What's the most difficult thing about running your site?
    Getting the right techies! They either are too expensive or too slow.
    Gotcha!

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