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  1. #1
    GPWA Daniel is offline Associate Editor
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series - Aleksandr T.

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    (This interview was originally published in the July 2022 issue of the GPWA Times Magazine.)

    How long have you been involved in the iGaming affiliate business?

    Not that long, about two years now, might be slightly more than that. I was on my way to the gym one day with a friend who works at a casino and he told me, “I’m going to create a casino affiliate website.” I had a very limited understanding of what that actually meant, so I asked him some questions and thought it was generally a cool idea. At that time, I had no intention of starting one myself.

    A couple of months later, my wife had some work-related tasks with WordPress and I had the chance to mess around with some of her test sites. That’s when I thought it might be interesting to create a website and see if I can get at least one person to visit it from Google or any other search engine. The affiliate thing my friend had told me about immediately found its place then and there.

    I naturally decided to go with betting, because that is tightly related to my main job. I created a terrible site (not that my current one is state-of-the-art!) with terrible content and obviously nothing happened. For me, it was (and actually still is) sort of like a game. You can level up your character or you can level up your website. You do something, see the results, adjust, and try something else and so on. Eventually, I started getting some visitors, found the GPWA, where I learned more about the direction I should take, and to this point, I’m still trying to iteratively improve what I have.

    Previously, I’ve worked as a customer support representative at several iGaming companies and worked as a project manager and a product owner in sports tech.

    So, are you a full-time affiliate or is this a side gig?

    For me, it is a side gig, I do it mostly for fun. Everything is done by me only with no help from elsewhere. My day job is a project manager with a sports tech software development company.

    Your main site is TopBettingSites.ng and geared toward the Nigerian market. Tell us about the sports betting market there. How much does your blog help you attract and retain traffic and FTDs?

    This is the main website I am working on at the moment. The main market there is football (soccer), which is the main driver for most users. The player value in Nigeria is very low.

    Over time, as players accumulate, they will start bringing in some money, however, if you are looking for a way to go “full-time affiliate” in a relatively short time frame, this is not the GEO for you. For me, it is mostly a hobby, so as long as there is some income – I don’t really mind.

    What about your other site, Canada-Betting.com?

    I created a second site because Canada has a significantly higher player value, however, I currently don’t have the time to work on both of them. That’s why the Canadian website just “exists,” for now. Nevertheless, there are some visitors and some FTDs, yet their numbers are pretty much negligible.

    How did you decide to work in these two markets?

    Nigeria initially seemed like a region that should be relatively easy to “get into.” It didn’t turn out like that at all, but then again, I had nothing to compare it to.

    The difference in player value was the main driver for the creation of the second website, however, I don’t currently have the time to put a decent amount of effort into two sites, so I work only on my main one.

    Why did you decide to promote the sports betting vertical exclusively?

    My main line of work is directly related to sports betting, so I know a thing or two about it and it makes it easier to create content. I do understand that casinos are likely more profitable, but that’s just not my thing.

    What is your approach to SEO? How much time do you specifically spend on SEO for your sites on a weekly basis?

    Hard to tell. Most of the things I do are either related to creating new content or SEO, and that includes improving existing pages. I would say 75% goes for content creation and keeping existing stuff up to date, and 25% to other SEO related things.

    What do your family and friends think about your career as an iGaming affiliate?

    At this point I wouldn’t exactly call it a career, but everyone is supportive of it. It is worth mentioning that my family and friends are all quite distant from iGaming, in general, but they do know that I have a website and “it’s working and doing something out there.”

    If a 25-year-old friend of yours told you he or she was going to try and become a full-time iGaming affiliate, what would your reaction and advice be?

    Sounds like a good idea, it’s not quick and definitely not easy, but should be doable if the right amount of effort is put in. I’d gladly help out anywhere I can, just need to make sure that the person understands this it is going to take a considerable amount of time.

    What do you think the iGaming affiliate industry will look like in five years from now?

    I am somewhat worried about the “cookie-less” future, especially in the context of my Nigerian website. In terms of the brands you get to work with in Nigeria, you work with what you have.

    It’s often quite tricky to get a hold of somebody, things take ages to get sorted out and so on. If we get to a point where third-party cookies will be discontinued, most Nigerian bookies will likely leave only promo codes, which is less than ideal.

    How do you decide on which affiliate programs to work with? What have you learned about picking and choosing the right affiliate programs for your sites?

    With African countries, it is always a gamble. People need very specific local payment solutions, which are often hardly used elsewhere. Having that in mind, you take what is available and try to roll with it. That doesn’t mean that there are no good affiliate programs. It’s quite the opposite.

    For local betting brands, some of them do a really good job. Over time, I just made sure that I am asking all the right questions upfront and that I have the necessary contacts in place.

    How has COVID-19 affected you personally and professionally?

    I started my website right when the entire COVID thing started, so I am not sure how I would have done things pre-COVID, but I don’t see it being much different for me.

    From a personal perspective, it has affected similar to everyone else. I had COVID, it wasn’t all that pleasant, but, luckily, I was able to get back up rather quickly.

    What are your hobbies? What do you do when you are not working?

    I have a son, so a lot of my time off work I try spending together with him and my wife.

    I also enjoy martial arts. For a while I was doing different striking-based martial arts. Now, the last couple of years I am into jiu-jitsu, which I frankly enjoy a lot more.

    Reading is also one of my hobbies. I also like to play around with 3D modeling in Blender.

    Finally, I have also been skateboarding since I was a kid and am still doing it now, even though not that often. I live in Estonia and you don’t get that many dry and warm days in a year, which means not that many days for skating. Indoor parks are an option, but I just don’t have enough time or that at the moment.

    If someone were visiting you for 24 hours and had never been to Estonia, where would you bring them and why?

    This would largely depend on where the person is from, but in general, I would go for the Tallinn’s Old Town, Kadriorg and Pirita Beach. I guess people can Google these in case they are curious what they are.

    If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?

    Fyodor Dostoevsky, Jordan Peterson, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Richard Linklater, Robert C. Hunter (lyricist)
    Even if I wouldn’t be the most interesting person for these folks to talk to, it would be interesting to listen to the conversations they might have.

    Name three things that people reading this magazine don't know about you.


    1. I studied anthropology in university.
    2. I watched every single episode of every single season of Star Gate.
    3. It took me seven tries to pass the driving exam and get a driver’s license (driving exams are rough over here!).

  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to GPWA Daniel For This Useful Post:

    GPWA Gary (28 July 2022), GPWA Maria (26 July 2022), Pokerface (26 July 2022), universal4 (26 July 2022)

  3. #2
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    Pokerface is offline Public Member
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    Great article. Always interesting to read everyone's background and experience in the industry.
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    simon is offline Brand New Member
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    Good luck for Alex!

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