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  1. #1
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    Default Some of the things that I've learned as an affiliate

    I thought that it might be interesting to start a thread about what are some of the things that you have learned as an affiliate working in this industry. It can be about almost anything from finding decent affiliate programs to work with, marketing, what not to do, etc..

    One thing that I've learned the hard way is never to put all your eggs in one basket. There were times when I sent the bulk of my traffic to one or two sponsors, only to have something go wrong with one of the sponsors (closed down, turned rogue, etc), and lose the bulk of my monthly income overnight. Never again!!

    Now it's your turn.
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    Never work with affiliate programs that are not transparent & hides stats and information from the affiliates (like Videoslots to name one).

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    Don't give up on a program if the early results aren't what you expect, particularly if it's a program that's well-respected by other affiliates. The more FTDs you get, the more stable and consistent the performance (generally) becomes - it pays to be patient.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 555 View Post
    Never work with affiliate programs that are not transparent & hides stats and information from the affiliates (like Videoslots

    That is so to name one).

    That is such an unfair comment to put here when you know as well as most of the affiliates on here that we have a well run and trustworthy business our players get looked after and get paid always. CASINOMEISTER awards as well as other industry awards DO NOT get handed out to Casinos that are shady do they ? The fact our affiliate program needs work is no secret and it is getting worked on . When there are issues far more serious going on in the affiliate world like Affiliate Edge etc. I am 100% certain that in a few months you'll eat your words regarding our program. We having nothing to hide and any affiliate is welcome to come walk into our offices in Malta and Ill take you for a guided tour if you like we even invite players to do the same nothing to hide and an open door policy .. Our affiliate team has been improved and plans put in place to do upgrades etc these are getting worked on just bear with us

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    As is evident above I've learned not to make any flippant comments about affiliate programs, especially one that Miles is part of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbet View Post
    I thought that it might be interesting to start a thread about what are some of the things that you have learned as an affiliate working in this industry...
    I would have to write a book!
    In 10+ years I have learned 100's or even 1,000's of things - and yet I STILL don't know everything.

    Top 5:
    Don't work with operators who jerk their players around.
    Don't work with operators who have NCO.
    Don't work with operators who have quotas.
    Don't work with operators who are not transparent with the stats & figures.
    Be very, VERY careful about working with any operators from Israel.

    KK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles_Videoslots View Post
    That is such an unfair comment to put here when you know as well as most of the affiliates on here that we have a well run and trustworthy business our players get looked after and get paid always. CASINOMEISTER awards as well as other industry awards DO NOT get handed out to Casinos that are shady do they ? The fact our affiliate program needs work is no secret and it is getting worked on . When there are issues far more serious going on in the affiliate world like Affiliate Edge etc. I am 100% certain that in a few months you'll eat your words regarding our program. We having nothing to hide and any affiliate is welcome to come walk into our offices in Malta and Ill take you for a guided tour if you like we even invite players to do the same nothing to hide and an open door policy .. Our affiliate team has been improved and plans put in place to do upgrades etc these are getting worked on just bear with us
    Yes, the casino players seems to be happy about your casino product. That does not mean that your affiliate program and business ethics automatically gets an A+ or that the affiliate side is working properly.

    And yes, I hope you are right about that we will see changes soon. I will be the first to give you good feedback and say that you have changed for the better. Just bear in mind that it takes twice as much effort to regain the trust of affiliates from where you are now (transarency, + hiding info). If the goal is to get to +1 in terms of trust, you are at -1 now. Not 0. You really have to go the extra mile here, Miles.

    If you have nothing to hide, why don't you just write here in the open how the fees works at your program, how the affiliates commissions are calculated? How the bonus deductions work. How is net revenue calculatede exactly? Write us an example just like the affiliate manager at MR Green did in their post last week.

    I agree, the reports about Affiliate Edge are very worrying to say the least. However, I have never worked with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles_Videoslots View Post
    That is such an unfair comment to put here when you know as well as most of the affiliates on here that we have a well run and trustworthy business our players get looked after and get paid always. CASINOMEISTER awards as well as other industry awards DO NOT get handed out to Casinos that are shady do they ? The fact our affiliate program needs work is no secret and it is getting worked on . When there are issues far more serious going on in the affiliate world like Affiliate Edge etc. I am 100% certain that in a few months you'll eat your words regarding our program. We having nothing to hide and any affiliate is welcome to come walk into our offices in Malta and Ill take you for a guided tour if you like we even invite players to do the same nothing to hide and an open door policy .. Our affiliate team has been improved and plans put in place to do upgrades etc these are getting worked on just bear with us
    I appreciate the invitation and always interested of course, but I think it's way more efficient and appreciated to just add simple and very basic data like deposits to the affiliate reports. I mean, for what reason you do not add it?

    I don't say Videoslots is hiding something, but I can imagine that people are thinking this sometimes when very basic stats are not shown.

    Ontopic:

    - always check how brands are dealing with their players and their affiliates. If they are not screwed, some day it will be your turn too.
    - always check the t&c (both for players and affiliates) very carefully. Not just literally the terms, but also the general sense. It says a lot about a program.
    - always put customised deals on a paper and don't be satisfied with "Hey, don't worry, we will honor our words, we are doing this for years, we work with all the great sites, etc"
    - don't waste time and energy on non-converting brands. Usually, they have the most annoying affiliate managers too.
    - don't put all your money on just one horse
    - spend time in optimizing your deals with legit programs, but don't work with the idea that you're having both the same goal. It's simply not the case.
    Last edited by Triple7; 28 March 2017 at 4:51 am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KasinoKing View Post
    Be very, VERY careful about working with any operators from Israel.
    This ^^^^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple7 View Post

    I don't say Videoslots is hiding something, but I can imagine that people are thinking this sometimes when very basic stats are not shown.
    But they are hiding something.. the amount of money you are making, there is no excuse. I like Miles but not even he can talk his way out of this one give us a really good reason on why an affiliate should not know the value of the traffic he is sending you and the real amount you are paying them?

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    Things I have learned:

    - One big player can wipe out your hard earned commission on the last day of the month. It is like the ground opening up and swallowing you.
    - Some affiliate managers don't have realistic expectations and think that moving a casino up a position or adding a banner will magically turn a non converting brand into a brand that generates at least 30 ndp's per month
    - Sometimes it is better to ignore spammy emails than to make the mistake of politely saying you are not interested
    - Checking stats can be very addictive
    - It can be extremely helpful to reach out to other affiliates
    - You should never sit still and be satisfied. Are my sites perfect? Hell no. Not even close. But I know I am improving them every day and adding great content.
    - Sometimes you have to let go of brands that don't convert, even if you like the brand and / or the affiliate manager a lot. You are running a business after all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfie View Post
    - Checking stats can be very addictive
    Hell yeah!
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    It s OK to have a site in your native language, but is better to have another site in english. You will never know when gambling online will be banned in your country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KasinoKing View Post
    I would have to write a book!
    In 10+ years I have learned 100's or even 1,000's of things - and yet I STILL don't know everything.

    Top 5:
    Don't work with operators who jerk their players around.
    Don't work with operators who have NCO.
    Don't work with operators who have quotas.
    Don't work with operators who are not transparent with the stats & figures.
    Be very, VERY careful about working with any operators from Israel.

    KK

    Excellent advice. I'm 18 years an affiliate and still feel I'm always playing catch-up. Let's look at your points.

    "Don't work with operators who jerk their players around." - 100% hell yeah, and I'm glad you listed this first. Money is lovely but our players HAVE to come first. I know you operate this way, KK.

    "Don't work with operators who have NCO." - this is the only recommendation I have a (tiny weeny) issue with. I get it - NCO can in theory wipe out your revenue forever in the event of a big win, but it's never happened to me. Never. I've never had such a big loss at a casino that I've been unable to work my way out of it within a few months. Okay, once, a long time ago I was $200k in the red at RWM/RichWebMaster but that occurred the same month as they sort of closed down, so it was irrelevant. Other than that, I've never been seriously affected by a NCO. Which seems weird, I realise, because I'd have expected it to have.

    "Don't work with operators who have quotas." - to repeat myself, 100% hell yeah

    "Don't work with operators who are not transparent with the stats & figures." - good advice again. I also recommend checking/comparing your stats regularly. Keep a record of your results for each page, which means creating and monitoring lots of campaigns in lots of affiliate backends, but optimising for performance is worth it in the long run. Working out what performs and doesn't can take several years for a new site and even a new page on an established site.

    "Be very, VERY careful about working with any operators from Israel." - I hate that this is true

    Apologies for the inevitable typos. Estoy muy tipsy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alin04 View Post
    It s OK to have a site in your native language, but is better to have another site in english. You will never know when gambling online will be banned in your country.
    True.

    It's good to spread your risks. Any market can be closed some day or saturated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbet View Post
    One thing that I've learned the hard way is never to put all your eggs in one basket.
    This is very true. I could lose my top three earners now and still be okay because I usually get paid by 20+ different programs every month, and probably 75+ programs throughout a year. But it took time to build up that diversity, and I don't think there is a quick route to getting there.

    So yeah, spread your risk/revenue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles_Videoslots View Post
    That is such an unfair comment to put here when you know as well as most of the affiliates on here that we have a well run and trustworthy business our players get looked after and get paid always. CASINOMEISTER awards as well as other industry awards DO NOT get handed out to Casinos that are shady do they ? The fact our affiliate program needs work is no secret and it is getting worked on . When there are issues far more serious going on in the affiliate world like Affiliate Edge etc. I am 100% certain that in a few months you'll eat your words regarding our program. We having nothing to hide and any affiliate is welcome to come walk into our offices in Malta and Ill take you for a guided tour if you like we even invite players to do the same nothing to hide and an open door policy .. Our affiliate team has been improved and plans put in place to do upgrades etc these are getting worked on just bear with us

    I've heard Malta is a really nice place! What is Malta like?

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    - Choose your hosting service carefully. A slow and unreliable hosting service will cost you in the SERPS and in your earnings.
    - Securing your site from hackers is one of the most important things that you can do.
    - Learn from other people's experiences. If every second thread about an affiliate program is about payment problems or unethical behavior, then stay far away from that program.
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    Expect the unexpected.

    - Some things I spent shitloads of time on and thought would be the key to growing the business but didnt do much in regards to making money
    - Some things I spent not much time on turned out to be the big commission earner

    Lesson learned for me is no matter what the idea (big or small) give them all a go. Who knows that one idea could crack the firewall with the money rolling in.

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    I've been doing this a while - but there are always things to learn - just look at this thread as a good example.

    Here are some general principals that we follow.

    1/ Work with "Best-of-Breed" programs.
    Choose to promote destinations that are at the top of their game - that YOU play at - and can recommend to players simply based on the player experience and player safety. Programs that look after players tend to treat their partners correctly.

    2/ Use industry resources to research current issues.
    GPWA and AFG and the APCW videos are my go to places to find out the real deal on latest issues and gossip.
    Contribute where you can - and make the resource useful for other too.

    3/ Ignore the trolls.
    However, do NOT get caught up in the negativity, the bitching, and the wild accusations.
    Forums have ignore user features - use them.

    4/ Spread the action.

    Programs grow and wane - and some of them change dramatically in unexpected fashion.
    Always try to have multiple options - try to develop several channels / partners - to spread your wealth earning widely.
    We try to work with 20 or so top programs.

    And here are some things that we don't follow at all :

    A/ Avoiding NCO programs
    Possibly the most self-damaging option to take. Our top five programs ALL have NCO.
    Good programs have good reporting. They share fairly and don't hide deductions and pay a fair percentage.

    Programs that advertise no-NCO - cannot sustain an extended run of win/lose. It's not mathematically possible.
    So they tend to have hidden things / bad things like ... hidden shaving, hidden fees, quotas and outright fraud.

    Working with top programs running fair revenue share with NCO - are far better than poor programs with a headline non-NCO promise that they can only really keep through creative accounting and high "admin" fees.

    B/ Being overly influenced by a "good" AM.
    We've worked with some good AM's, and some great AMs, but while an AM is a big part of a program - they are not the program.
    Keep your eye on the program - keep your eye on the numbers - and don't be blinded by the AM and their personality.

    AM's can (and do) leave a program - and then you realise that your business is with the program and management.

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