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  1. #1
    GPWA Dan is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series | David Kalifa - VegasMaster

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    Age: 34

    Hometown: Brussels

    Living in: Central Israel

    Favorite Food: Italian/French

    Must-Read Book: PoussiŤres díťtoiles (Translates to "Stardust"), by Hubert Reeves

    Ö and several more language-specific sites

    How did you become involved in the online gambling industry? What did you do before joining the online gambling affiliate world?

    I spent six or seven years building and managing websites in Europe until I started to focus more on SEO, which I did for the gambling industry. That was about seven years ago. Prior to VegasMaster, I had the chance to work on a variety of SEO projects for different markets, languages and strategies.

    Describe your role with VegasMaster. What do you do in a typical day?

    I built VegasMaster from scratch with an excellent team. That was about two years ago. As you may imagine, itís been a big and demanding project consisting of content ideas, marketing strategies, reporting, optimizing, etc. Iím very lucky to be surrounded by a great group of people who help me every day in the best way they can.

    Where are VegasMaster's headquarters? Do all your employees work in the same office? Or do some work remotely?

    Our headquarters are in Malta but our research and development is located in Tel Aviv, Israel. That is where most of the team is currently located. We have both in-house and outsourced people carrying out different tasks, such as content, promotion, database and development.

    Perhaps the most impressive thing about the VegasMaster family of sites is the breadth of reach, in terms of markets. The site has English, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Danish and Dutch versions. (Did I miss any?) How do you translate all of your content into so many languages?

    There are 12 sites, including English and 11 other languages. Great job listing our sites! The only one you missed is our Polish site.

    In regard to translation, very little of the content on our sites is actually translated. Most of it is 100% unique content. Using our reviews as an example, the largest portion of our reviews are written by as many different writers as there are languages on the site. Since our reviewers experience the casino or game or platform differently, the reviews differ based on the writerís own personal experience.

    One of the promotions running at VegasMaster in mid-July was a quiz with questions about movies that featured the casino industry, with a grand prize of a Google Chromecast. How important are incentives like this to driving traffic to the site?

    We began hosting contests, quizzes and giveaways a few months back. So far, we have experienced very positive feedback about our promotions. However, not all of our events are open to all markets due to some limitations.

    To help make it easier for our members to keep track of past and future promotions at VegasMaster, we have created a calendar of events, which has been successful.

    How often do you get to see and interact with other people in the industry?

    There is always a lot to do, which can make it difficult to meet with people at the best of times, but I manage to make it happen. In fact, last week I met with two different partners, and I will be meeting with others soon to develop certain markets and projects.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?

    I look for what most people would expect: trust, from both the affiliate manager and program. It can be difficult to find this in any field, and it can be particularly challenging in ours. Communication and creativity are also very important.

    Whatís your preferred method of communication with affiliate managers?

    Generally, I prefer e-mail or Skype. Of course, itís always best to meet face to face, but it isnít always practical or possible.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?

    The GPWA is essential for serious sites. VegasMaster is the first site for which we applied (for the GPWA Seal of Approval), and we were surprised that it wasnít that easy or fast to obtain approval.

    Itís hard to determine the impact, but I think that some consumers and businesses understand that it is a sign of quality.

    What do you like about the industry?

    I love the dynamism. I love how things change and how quickly these changes occur. Our industry is also full of very different and interesting people, which often makes things very enjoyable.

    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?

    Although I just said that I love how things change, one of the drawbacks of a fast-changing industry is that sometimes changes can occur too frequently and all at once. At these times, it can be a challenge to stay ahead of the game.

    Another change I would love to see is evolution in the games. Online casinos have become incredibly popular in recent years and have attracted people who would likely never have set foot in a land-based casino. Each one of these people has a different vision and expectation. I feel that more could be done here.

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?

    Iím still not sure that they fully understand what I do. When they ask me about my work itís more like, ďWhat exactly do you do, son?Ē and ďOh! Internet! Itís good work on the Internet,Ē and ďCasinos? You donít do anything dangerous, no?Ē

    How long do you give yourself to answer e-mail? What e-mail tips can you offer?

    I spend much of my day answering e-mail, as managing people and resources demand a lot of communication. E-mail is also the best way to keep records.

    I would recommend trying the Inbox app by the Gmail team. It takes a few days to get used to it, but I think it is the future of e-mail. Currently, I only use Inbox for my private e-mail, but I hope I will also be able to use it for my professional e-mail in the future.

    How do you manage your to-do lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?

    In most cases, I use the old-school method: a notebook!

    How much time do you devote to SEO or social networking to drive more traffic to your sites?

    SEO was and is still one of our main focuses. Yet, on VegasMaster, for example, it is more about content marketing than it is about pure SEO. I think social media is still a weak support for our industry.

    Whatís the most difficult thing about running your sites?

    I would have to say prioritizing. SEO and online gambling are probably some of the most dynamic fields to work in. Opportunities come and go very fast. Therefore, decisions need to be made quickly and this is not always easy to do. We canít work on everything at the same time, and at our most hectic times, making the best decision can be challenging.

    Whatís the best thing about running your sites?

    VegasMaster is very different from your typical SEO casino site. Itís an online magazine. Itís creativity in content and marketing, and the contests and promotions are all very different from other sites I ran in the past. Itís both challenging and thrilling.

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

    I would probably take them to the Ramon Crater (in Israel's Negev desert). For most people, I imagine it would be quite the experience. The desert is not common for westerners, and seeing such a crater even less so.

    When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?

    Itís not always easy to go very far with responsibilities and family, but I love to travel with my camera and take pictures whenever I can.

    Whatís your favorite vacation spot?

    I donít have a favorite, yet. The earth is vast and full of so many beautiful places to discover. That being said, good food and wine in the beautiful landscapes of Toscana or the south of France are hard to beat!

    Whatís your all-time favorite movie?

    Although criticized by purists, I loved the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit series.

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

    Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Robin Williams and Hayao Miyazaki.

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

    I enjoy photography, manga and astronomy.

  2. #2
    Miles_FTA's Avatar
    Miles_FTA is offline No longer with Fast Track
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    So So True

    What do you like about the industry?

    I love the dynamism. I love how things change and how quickly these changes occur. Our industry is also full of very different and interesting people, which often makes things very enjoyable.

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  4. #3
    drslot26's Avatar
    drslot26 is offline Public Member
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    Interesting interview and very nice sites! Keep up the good work.

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  6. #4
    sweetbet's Avatar
    sweetbet is offline Public Member
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    Great interview, and a very impressive site I must say !!

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