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  1. #1
    GPWA Dan is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series: Arthur Ė BillyBoy

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    Age: 34
    Hometown: Saint Petersburg, Russia
    Currently residing in: Saint Petersburg, Russia
    Favorite food: Peremech (Tatar cuisine Ė Peremech is a round-shaped minced meat pie, fried and served hot, sprinkled with melted butter)
    One book everyone must read: 1984, by George Orwell

    How did you become interested in the online gambling industry and why did you decide to get involved in affiliate marketing?

    I have been interested in gambling theory and the gambling business for a long time. It had been a hobby of mine but I never worked in the gambling industry until two years ago. My other passion is Web design and in 2008 they converged.

    When did you launch your site, and how long did it take you to get your first depositing player?

    I started my first site on November 28, 2008. I got my first payment in March of 2009.

    How is the effort to attract English-language players to your site progressing?

    Currently, I only have sites in Russian, but I plan on creating English-language sites in the future.

    What are the key differences between the Russian-language markets and the English-language markets in the online gambling industry?

    Even though all my players are from Russian-speaking countries, many of my fellow webmasters are from the EU and the U.S. They have been kind enough to provide me with statistical data on players from those countries, which I have been researching. They key difference between Russian- and English-speaking players is the average deposit size. Deposits from U.S. players are many times larger than deposits from Russian-speaking players. It makes sense because the former Eastern Bloc countries still have a much lower standard of living than the U.S. An average salary here is about $400 to $500 a month; some people only make $200 to $300 a month. The credit-card network is in the early stages of development here and only 25 percent of the people have access to broadband Internet. All these factors work against the Russian gambling market. Essentially the only reason I create Web sites in Russian is because itís my native tongue and itís easier to create content. Iím trying to save up enough funds so I can start an English-language site.

    What do you wish you knew when you started in the industry that you know now?

    I learned a lot about SEO and PPC advertising. When I first started, I had some idea about Web design, but was totally clueless about SEO issues. Only now am I starting to get a handle on this difficult art.

    What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry?

    Iím still very green and I doubt Iím qualified to give advice to anyone. Having said that, this business is an art; you canít treat it as strictly a commercial venture. Then there are the technical issues; you need to know html and be relatively proficient in PHP and MYSQL, and it helps to know something about SEO. And of course you have to have intimate knowledge of the various gambling games.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager and what features do you look for in an affiliate program?

    Currently Iím only working with Mark Bedock from Euro Partners. He has made a great impression on me because he deals with any issues that come up in a quick and professional manner. In my opinion he is a shining example of what an affiliate manager should be. As far as future affiliate programs go, Iíd like things to stay the way they are for a while. Expansion doesnít always mean greater profit.

    Recently you have had some issues with Euro Partners Ė old stats vs. new stats, availability of Russian-language Flash games, availability of a Russian-language version of their sportsbook TitanBet, wire-transfer payment problems, etc. Any progress yet?

    As far as new stats, I brought it up because the stats didnít work well. That issue has been more or less resolved at this point. The Flash games problem was quickly resolved by my manager, Mark Bedock. I got codes for all the games in Russian including the new Marvel Super Hero series. I plan to deal with the TitanBet issue by starting a forum for Russian players that would list all the operators who can take their bets. I will have Unibet as the main sponsor and their ad will appear in the header. Iíd prefer TitanBet because Iím better connected to Euro Partners, but unfortunately TitanBet doesnít have a Russian-language option. In my experience itís futile to send Russian-speaking players to an English-language site. It would be a different situation if I were dealing with players from Sweden or Finland because 80 percent of the population speaks English. I really hope that TitanBet eventually makes a Russian-language option. Andy yes, the wire-transfer issue was resolved to my full satisfaction.

    How do you budget the time you put into your site? What percentage goes to marketing, updating content, checking your stats and other tasks?

    Thatís a bit of a sore subject for me. I feel like because of my own laziness Iím not using my time effectively. If I worked harder, I would probably get more done.

    One thing that is definitely true about most affiliates is their e-mail inboxes are always full. How long do you give yourself for responding to e-mail? And what e-mail management tips can you offer?

    I use ICQ instead of e-mail to solve that problem.

    How much time does it take to keep your site updated? Do you use a content management system to manage your site?

    I write most of the articles myself. A lot depends on my mood. Sometimes, I can write a long article in a few hours, sometimes I spend several days on a small blurb. In reality, quality content doesnít always translate into high player conversion rates. To offset this, I plan to build a few sites with extremely simple content and very aggressive advertising.

    What does your family think about your chosen profession?

    I donít go into details of my job with them.

    How did you discover the GPWA? How has it helped you and why is it important to you?

    I found the GPWA on Google. The GPWA is very important to me because it facilitates communication among webmasters from all over the world. Itís also a great motivator because you see how much revenue the more experienced webmasters are able to generate. Before I joined the GPWA, I knew that gambling was a lucrative business, but I was shocked when I found out just what kind of revenue is possible.

    What one thing would you change about the online gambling industry, and why?

    I think it would be a good idea to create a charitable fund to which webmasters and affiliate programs would be able to make voluntary contributions to help prevent gambling addiction. It would be great if the GPWA spearheaded that initiative. A lot of people have a negative view of the gambling business, and the number-one reason for that is gambling addiction. Thatís pretty much the whole reason why webmasters canít fully enjoy their work, and the reason the U.S. population isnít protesting the adoption of UIGEA. There is an old Russian saying that goes, ďYou canít keep all the money.Ē A charitable fund that helped children, for example, would be a way to improve the image of the gambling industry among the general public and lessen the moral burden that everyone in the industry carries.

    You once told us that your favorite hobby is . . . vodka! Whatís your preferred brand? Do you like it straight up, in martinis, or some other way? Please enlighten us.

    LOL! My favorite vodka is ďpepper gorilka,Ē which is a Ukrainian vodka with pepper. Dilution of vodka with anything is a mockery of the very idea of the consumption of vodka. Drinking vodka is a part of Russian culture, which when done correctly has nothing to do with intemperate use of alcohol. Correct consumption involves the following rules: First of all, donít drink often. Also, you need at least three people whose company you enjoy. The vodka must be chilled in the freezer, consumed from shot glasses and never be diluted by ice or anything else. You should never drink on an empty stomach, but only with a meal or some kind of snack. Hot boiled potatoes, black bread, pickles and coleslaw are ideal (the last two are essential because they help with the hangover). You drink the vodka in one shot, unlike cognac or whiskey. All participants take the shots simultaneously. Itís considered very bad etiquette to leave any vodka in the glass or the bottle. Itís hard to convey the full experience in a paragraph because there are more rules to drinking vodka than there are in a Japanese tea ceremony.

    Whatís your favorite vacation spot, and why?

    My apartment. Only here can I immerse myself in my favorite pastime Ė reading books.

    Whatís your favorite movie, and why?

    I have a lot of favorite movies; itís hard to name all of them. Here are a few: "Once Upon a Time in America" (USA, 1984); "Runaway Train" (USA, 1985); "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring" (South Korea, 2003); "Farewell My Concubine" (Hong Kong, 1993); "1984" (U.K., 1984). Iím not sure why I like them, I just do.

    If someone were visiting you, whatís the one place you would definitely take them to see, and why?

    Peterhoff Ė a park near Saint Petersburg that used to be a royal palace with architecture reminiscent of Versailles.

    If you could visit any five places in the world, what would they be, and why?

    New York Ė I was there for three days many years ago. Iíve wanted to go back ever since.
    Las Vegas Ė Iíd love to see the capital of gambling.
    Singapore Ė Iíd like to see this city-state, which made its way from an impoverished island to a thriving country.
    Beijing Ė Iíd like to see the capital of this ancient nation.
    South Pole Ė just curious.

    And last but not least, what are three things that nobody knows about you?

    Sorry, but this is secret.

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    ALEX777 (16 December 2010)

  3. #2
    ALEX777 is offline Private Member
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    Well done! Nice interview!

  4. #3
    Topboss is offline Private Member
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  5. #4
    Louis - Income Access's Avatar
    Louis - Income Access is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Sounds like Russians take vodka as seriously as Colombians take aguardiente. Being caught mixing aguardiente with juice, soda or anything here would be political suicide.

  6. #5
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    wagerjunction is offline Public Member
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    Great interview!

    I especially liked the part about vodka etiquette
    Affiliate Manager
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  7. #6
    aksana's Avatar
    aksana is offline Private Member
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    Excellent interview, BillyBoy!!! My husband's favorite movie is also "Once Upon a Time in America".

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    Moonlight Cat (30 May 2016)

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