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    GPWA Abby is offline Former Staff Member
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    May 2015
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series - Atanas Tanev - Synthetic

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    (This interview was originally published in the November 2017 issue of the GPWA Times Magazine.)

    How did you first get into the iGaming business? What did you do before becoming an affiliate?
    I was doing SEO for a client's website that is in this business, and that's how I got acquainted with it and its specifics. Later, I decided to create my own project in this niche. Before that, I was working two jobs. I was a freelancer, doing web design, SEO and other stuff, and my full-time job was in a company where I was processing the orders. The last one was entirely offline and had nothing to do with online marketing.

    Tell us about your sites. When did you launch your first site? How long did it take for it to start making money?
    I launched my first website on 13 August 2014, and I started earning money from it three or four months later. The rest of the sites were developed after that, and my team and I are taking care of their support.

    Are you a full-time or part-time affiliate?
    I am full-time affiliate!

    Do you have employees, or do you run your site by yourself?
    My number of employees is officially four, but I am also working with three or four freelancers. I work with a leading SEO agency in Bulgaria, and together we are developing the presence of our brands in Google.

    Three of your sites are in Bulgarian, and one is in English, Bulgarian and Russian. How does the Bulgarian-language sports betting market differ from the English-language market?
    The Bulgarian market is characterized by less traffic, but players deposit on a regular basis and they love gambling games, especially sports betting ones. A Bulgarian-language site can be ranked much more easily than an English-language one, and, needless to say, the English market is denser and more competitive.

    Do you have plans for additional sites? Why or why not?
    I have plans to start other projects, but I'm not going to rush it because I believe in quality over quantity. So far, it is a priority for me to fill up my websites with more reviews for casino, poker, bingo and other verticals. The rest depends on the resources that we have.

    Do you have plans to translate your sites into other languages? Why or why not?
    I have plans to translate the sites into more languages so that we can attract traffic from other countries. We are currently translating and The advantages are that we can get many registrations from more unrecognized bookmakers, and thus the overall brand of the site will get stronger. The drawback of the whole process is that it is difficult to find people who can translate or write high-quality reviews in a particular language.

    Sports betting can be a tough sector, especially when players are doing well. How volatile are your revenues from month to month?
    My experience shows that even if I lose a lot of my commissions and I am at a loss, players lose profits in the long run. In most cases, I'm recovering from my losses pretty quickly. As they say, the casino is always profitable. This is the case with sports betting, in my opinion. In order to keep my finances stable and to grow, I'm trying to generate more sign-ups.

    What makes your sites unique? How do you help them stand out from the competition?
    Our sites offer unbiased reviews written by experts in the field. I count myself as such an expert because I have experienced the things I am writing about. The reviews are very detailed, and below each one we have a comment section where our visitors can write. At our websites you can find betting strategies, beginners’ guides and other useful information. Our websites also have very popular Facebook pages, where we regularly share football predictions. Another important element that contributes to the success of our sites is the SEO, which sticks entirely to the rules of Google. The speed of our sites is also very good, and we are currently implementing AMP (accelerated mobile pages) technology.

    How do you decide what sportsbooks to promote?
    At first we started with more commercial bookmakers, but we know from experience that they are far from being the best. Over time, we found other sites where we tried betting options, casino games and bonuses. We are mainly interested in bookmakers that meet the following criteria: Good customer support and care, good initial bonuses, more betting markets, high odds and convenient payment methods.

    Do you bet on sports yourself?
    Personally, I do not bet often, and in the rare cases I do, I bet small amounts of money. I prefer online betting, because the odds are higher. I am a fan of PFC Botev 1912 – a team from my hometown, Plovdiv.

    How often do you get to see and interact with other people in the industry? Have you attended any conferences?
    Most of my contacts are online, with people from other countries. I do not keep in touch with affiliates from Bulgaria. I found the GPWA forum, through which I manage to get in touch with a lot of people. The conferences I visit are on the topics of SEO, WordPress and marketing. This year I plan to visit more international affiliate conferences.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
    For a manager, I look for a person who maintains regular contact with us and informs us about the innovations introduced into their system. For affiliate programs, we prefer programs that are proven and do not lie to their partners. We always check what's on the internet before we join a program. We work with different brands, and their proposals are usually percentage of revenue share, progressive commission and CPA offers.

    What's your preferred method of communication with affiliate managers?
    I prefer using Skype or e-mail, but when there is an issue we also communicate on the phone.

    You're relatively new to our forums. What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?
    The truth is that I learned about this forum a few years ago. I was registered, but I forgot my password and e-mail. I recently needed a registration for the Seal of Approval, and I did not think I'd like this forum so much. Things changed the same day I found out that there are hundreds of topics discussed that I'm quite competent in, and I'm pleased to help other affiliates. I've contacted some companies, and I've learned a lot of new things about the affiliate business.

    What do you like about the industry?
    The main plus in the industry is that it is mainly online. I like that the market is immense and the number of bettors never diminishes, but on the contrary, it increases at a fast pace. In addition, in this business you have the opportunity to get lifetime commissions, work from home and be financially independent.

    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
    I would put more control over compliance with the licenses received. Many bookmakers abuse their clients, and in the most cases, customers are helpless.

    What do you think the industry will look like in five years?
    I think there will be more sports, meaning there will be a number of new betting markets. Also, there will be new features like cash-out, live stream and multi-view, as well as many new payment methods, like cryptocurrency, for instance.

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?
    My family fully supports me, and they are all happy to see me developing in this sphere. Most of my friends think that I'm doing something cool and easy from which I am taking commissions, but this is not the case, and only I know how much effort I put in and what the costs of all this are.

    How do you manage your to-do lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?
    Most things on my to-do list are written on paper notes that stand in front of me. I love this old-school method, although with colleagues we use platforms like Asana and Trello.

    How much time do you devote to social networking for your sites?
    Personally, I do not devote much time to social networking, but part of my team posts all the football predictions and news in our social media profiles. We try to be extremely active on social media.

    What's the most difficult thing about running your sites?
    The most difficult thing is to find the right people who have the skills that we are searching for. Writing quality content, updating and editing is also a part of this.

    What's the best thing about running your sites?
    It is a pleasure to give thousands of people information that helps them. The feeling of seeing how a project has started from scratch and has developed into an authoritative site is amazing.

    What do you do to stay in shape – both physically and mentally?
    To keep my body in good physical shape, I do sports every day from Monday to Friday – I go to the gym and ride a bike. To keep my mentality in good shape, I read articles about online marketing and I watch videos of Dr. Eric Thomas.

    What do you do with your spare time?
    I love being in nature. Here in Bulgaria, we have many beautiful mountains and a sea. I have two dogs and I love walking them. I often go out with friends and visit places I haven’t been to before. I also have a few drones with which I take pictures and videos of interesting places.

    What did you dream of doing, both professionally and personally, when you were a kid?
    When I was a kid I imagined that I would do something that satisfies me. I did not know what it would be, but now I'm sure I've found it. I also had ambitions to be a good athlete, which actually happened, but at some point I stopped my sports career.

    If someone from out of town were visiting you, what’s the one place you'd definitely take them to see?
    Plovdiv has a rich history, and I would definitely take them to the Old Town, the ancient theater and the city park.

    When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?
    Greece – I know some wonderful and tranquil beaches there.

    What's your all-time favorite movie?
    Blow, with Johnny Depp.

    If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?
    Elon Musk, Jack Ma, Sergey Brin, Richard Stallman and Albert Einstein.

    Name three things that people reading this magazine don't know about you.
    1. Despite being a betting affiliate, I rarely watch matches or other sports on the TV.
    2. I am very tall, about 2 meters (6 foot 5).
    3. I've got a top secret talisman that brings me luck, haha.

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