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  1. #1
    GPWA Aaron is offline Former Staff Member
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    Needham, MA
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series | Andy - AndyBonus

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    Age: 48
    Hometown: Manchester, England
    Living in: Thailand
    Favorite Food: Roast lamb dinner or beans on toast
    Must Read Book: Awaken the Giant Within, by Anthony Robbins

    When did you launch your sites?
    In 2000.

    You’ve said that you’ve been a webmaster since 1999. How did you become involved in the industry? How has it changed since 1999?
    I started in the adult industry, and was rolling in traffic, but not making any money. After investing in paid hosting and building a very successful porn star site, I started making a good living, and was introduced to online casinos. In the early days I got $1 per casino download, but never got paid, so I almost gave up. One day Referback came along and I put their brands on onlinecasino4u and that is when things took off for me. I started buying PPC traffic, and because I had no competition, I was getting lots of cheap traffic, and lots of players. Things were really good for a few years, and I became a very successful affiliate, which enabled me to pay off all my debts.

    Since 1999 a lot of things have changed. Traffic is harder than ever to get, PPC traffic sucks, competition is fierce, and there are less countries to target. Fortunately there is always opportunity for those looking for a challenge, the current one being mobile gaming. As ever, the industry evolves, and affiliates have to adapt.

    How do you stay up to date with the latest trends in both the industry and web design?
    I spend a lot of time reading forums and news sites, I also get a lot of industry news and information sent to me by e-mail (thanks, GPWA). For web design I still build sites the old-fashioned way in Notepad, so I am a bit behind with the latest web design techniques for building responsive sites. Hopefully I can catch up soon, or at least find someone reliable to build some stuff for me.

    How long did it take for you to start earning money?
    It took me eight months to receive my first affiliate check. Thankfully, I have made money every single month ever since.

    What criteria do you use in compiling your lists of recommended and trusted online casinos?
    I check blacklists and read forums, and I always do a good online search when an affiliate program launches a new casino brand.

    Are you a one-person shop or are you part of a larger organization?
    I have always worked on my own, and done my own site building and promotion. I did, however, work for Betsafe as a consultant for a couple of years.

    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?
    I work from home in my lounge, so my work area is quite small as I only need a laptop, and somewhere to keep millions of bits of paper, and stacks of pens. At least I can watch TV all day while I work, and if I turn round and look out of my window, I have a stunning view to enjoy. Because I live in Thailand these days, I don't get to interact with anybody in the industry in person, so I rely on Skype for interacting with people in the industry.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
    A good affiliate manager should be approachable, proactive and mean what he or she says. When I look at an affiliate program, I make sure they have good brands and a good reputation. I then check terms and conditions to make sure they are fair and that they don't have sneaky clauses. Affiliate programs should also be able to provide as much advertising material as possible, work with affiliates closely and reply to any questions in a timely manner. Then they have to be able to accurately track and convert my traffic, and more importantly keep customers happy!

    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 prefer to use e-mail, as it is easy to keep records of conversations. I do talk to managers on Skype when it is convenient, and occasionally I may speak on the phone – if they can afford the mobile phone rates to Thailand!

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?
    I originally joined the GPWA in 2000 in order to avoid promoting bad casinos and rogue affiliate programs. I also wanted to share my experiences with like-minded people. I happily rejoined recently for the same reasons,

    What do you like about the industry?
    The hours, and the opportunities that it brings to those who are willing to work hard, think out of the box and be creative.

    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
    Retroactive terms and conditions; this is the one thing that makes my blood boil! When I sign up to an affiliate program (on rev share) that tells me I will get lifetime commission in exchange for sending them traffic, I agree, and the deal is sealed for life as far as I am concerned. Now we are faced with a growing number of affiliate programs telling affiliates that if they don't send “X” amount of FTDs (first-time depositors) a month, they will not get paid, or they will receive a reduced amount of commission. This is blatantly wrong and is tantamount to theft. Affiliates still send hard-earned traffic to these programs, and they provide valuable branding. Affiliates should not be accountable for conversions in any way! This is killing a lot of affiliates including myself, and it needs to stop!

    What do your friends think of your work as an affiliate?
    In the early days my friends thought I was mad, and that I would never make any money; they also thought I was wasting my time. Others would not listen to me when I told them to try the same thing. Now some of my friends are jealous of me, others are proud of what I have achieved and still others wish they had listened to me all those years ago.

    Do you gamble online? If so, what do you play?
    Unfortunately gambling is illegal in Thailand, so I no longer gamble online. Normally I play slots and video poker, but now I have to make do with playing free slot games on Facebook. My favorite is Double U Casino.

    In addition to working as an affiliate, you are also an operator, running What insights have you gained as an operator that have helped you on the affiliate side of the business?
    As an operator I have learned the value of branding. I don't have an affiliate program at this stage, but I do use tracking on my links and PPC campaigns. I have noticed that almost all of my players don't have any tracking attached to them when they sign up and play. This tells me a lot.

    What makes you more money? Your affiliate business? Or
    I make more money from my affiliate business at the moment, mainly because of the length of time I have built players up with different brands. Fabulous Casino is a long-term prospect, so I do not have to compete directly with my sponsors. I know full well that players usually spend time at more than one casino, so I am happy with the way things are at the moment.

    Have you gained a better appreciation for affiliate managers and operators since opening
    I definitely understand the challenges of being an operator. It is a really tough challenge promoting a new brand, faced with all the competition. I have found so many dead traffic deals, it is a wonder anybody can survive these days without going broke.

    What did you mean when you posted recently that land-based slot-playing in Macau is boring?
    As a slots player, I like to play as many different slot games as possible. I do not want to play Choy Sun Doa and all its clones over and over again in every single casino! There are over 30 casinos in Macau, so you would expect to be able to find every casino slot and progressive currently produced, but unfortunately that is not the case.

    How long do you give yourself for answering e-mail? What e-mail tips can you offer?
    I get so many e-mails a day that I have to filter out most of them with blacklists and SpamCop. The ones that get through usually take me the first hour of the day, and the odd few minutes here and there throughout the day. My tip for anyone who gets a lot of e-mail is to use MailWasher Pro to clean e-mail before you download it in Outlook. I also recommend setting up SpamCop at server level if you are getting spammed to death.

    How do you manage your “to-do” lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?
    The best thing I ever did was open up Excel and organize my domains, hosting, affiliate programs, passwords and logins. However, my “to-do” lists are still scrawled out over many sheets of A4, and writing pads, so I am still disorganized in that respect. I still have things to do from 10 years ago!

    How much time do you devote to SEO and/or social networking in order to drive more traffic to your sites?
    I spend as much time as possible on SEO, especially when I build a new page or site. I still think it is important to use meta tags, comment tags, alt tags and H tags where possible. I also make sure images and pages are appropriately named. I then spend a few hours submitting to directories and news sites. For existing sites, I spend a good few hours a week looking around webmasters’ forums, and traffic sites for traffic deals, content, banner spots, links buys and blog posts.

    What’s the most difficult thing about running your sites?
    Showing the latest promotions and bonuses. Having so many domains and hosting accounts, it is impossible to keep everything up to date, so it is difficult to prioritize what needs doing. I am constantly finding sites I forgot to update years ago.

    What’s the best thing about running your sites?
    Getting an e-mail telling me I have just made a chunk of money promoting something I have totally forgotten about.

    What do you do to stay in shape – both physically and mentally?
    When I was in the U.K. I did martial arts for a few years, and this was fantastic at keeping me in shape both mentally and physically. These days I do a lot of kayaking and snorkeling.

    If someone were visiting you, what’s the one place you’d definitely take them to see?
    Angthong National Marine Park, one of the most beautiful collections of islands in Thailand. It has stunning beaches, rainforests and protected marine life, and is totally un-spoilt.

    When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?
    I go have a nice lunch somewhere with one of my friends. Or I grab a kayak and paddle in the sea for a couple of hours. I also love to anchor up and go snorkeling with all the tropical fish when the sea is clear.

    What’s your favorite vacation spot?
    I practically live on holiday, so I would have to say Macau. It is only a few hours away from Bangkok, and it has some decent hotels, shops and places to eat, and of course over 30 casinos where I can get my slots fix! Mind you, I am really looking forward to Las Vegas this Christmas!

    What’s your all-time favorite movie?
    The Terminator. It is the only film I have gone to see at the cinema twice. Hasta la vista, baby!

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

    1. Anthony Robbins. One of the most influential men of all time! I can identify with him in many ways, and I have been to some of his seminars. I even built a website about him many years ago.
    2. Bill Gates. This is the guy who brought us Windows and the blue screen! He builds schools and hospitals so he can't be all that bad. Oh, and he can pay the bill for dinner.
    3. James Van Praagh. Arguably one of the top psychics in the world. Who better to have dinner with than someone who can give us all some futuristic guidance?M
    4. Michio Kaku. Definitely one of the world's best-loved physicists. I would be able to ask him lots of difficult scientific questions, and discuss string theory with him.
    5. Royce Gracie. He can duff Anthony Robbins up if he gets out of line (jk). I have the utmost respect for what he has done for martial arts. I love Brazilian jiu-jitsu but it is incredibly hard to remember all the moves and it takes years to master.

    What are three things that nobody knows about you?

    1. I owned an amusements arcade before I got involved with the Internet.
    2. I have done two fire walks.
    3. I once played the Archangel Gabriel in a school Christmas play for three nights. On the last night, no one could find the gold makeup that was used to cover up my face, so they glued glitter on me. Unfortunately it took two people over two hours to scrub it off, and I was red raw for days.

  2. #2
    Gamer's Avatar
    Gamer is offline Public Member
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    August 2014
    Thanked 198 Times in 132 Posts


    I enjoyed reading the interview very much.
    Your site 2000-2014 wow! so old - I'm impressed! You are grandfather of online affiliate marketing

    "I still have things to do from 10 years ago!"
    I suppose, this is happening to many of us, tons of emails are incoming and so little time to manage them.

    "Getting an e-mail telling me I have just made a chunk of money promoting something I have totally forgotten about."
    Yeahhh! Congratulations! Big wallet mean great mood

    Good luck with your!

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

    AndyBonus (26 September 2015)

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