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  1. #1
    GPWA Daniel is offline GPWA Associate Editor
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series - Oren A.

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

    It's been eight years since we last interviewed you for the GPWA Times Magazine (Issue 30, October 2014) and at that time you had been an iGaming affiliate for 17 years. If our math is correct, you've now been in this game for 25 years. Please tell us how you have managed to adapt and survive all these years.

    After all these years, I can say with confidence that being an affiliate in the online gambling industry these days is not an easy task. It requires attention to detail, knowledge of the laws in the countries in which we operate, making sure as much as possible is updated and, most importantly, always having our hand on the pulse of all that concerns innovation and new developments in the field.

    So, I can ultimately connect to the word "survival" in this context because our existence depends, to a large extent, on so many external factors, such as Google, new regulations, the partnerships we choose for the long term and other risks so that we often find ourselves faced with various problems, that force us to make necessary changes to survive in the business. The key is to react in time.

    When you started your affiliate site way back in 1997, did you ever think it would be a “project” that you would dedicate a quarter century to and make a living?

    I was very young at the time and had a lot of thoughts at the time, but I reckon if you had asked me then if I thought I was going to be around the 25-year mark, then I would probably have chuckled and said, “No way!”

    Back in 2014, you had a nine-person team and you mentioned that the success of your sites was due, in part, to the dedication of those people. How has your team changed since then?

    Our company’s activity has grown significantly since 2014. We also launched GamblersPick.com in 2018, which received a design facelift in May 2022, but the number of employees has not changed. We mainly work with external suppliers on demand per project. We used to mostly do things inhouse, today there are dozens of different external suppliers in every field that we are in regular cooperation with. We discovered over time that it is much more convenient, effective and saves a lot of time and money in the long run.

    What is your managing style when it comes to employees and freelancers?

    We always believe in teamwork, even with our outsource suppliers, with some working with us for many years, so they are like family now.

    What do your family and friends think about this journey for you over the last 25 years?

    My family was always supportive. I always balance my time between work and family. The work in our industry never ends. I can work for 20 hours a day, and still, things are left to do. So balancing time became an issue, especially in the last few years after I got married and have three amazing kids with whom I enjoy spending time so much.

    Back in 2006, after UIEGA threw the industry into turmoil in the U.S., you created more than 50 additional sites that were localized versions of your main site (onlinecasinoreports.com). Tell us more about this. Do you still maintain all of those sites and how do you manage to do so?

    Well, it was long ago, but looking back, it was one of the best and most important business decisions we have made over 20 years of operation in the industry. We recognized the opportunity, the American market was hermetically sealed, and there was no chance of surviving in this business while relying on one market, so it was decided to expand the activity to Europe, Asia and Latin American countries.

    Today, the network has over 70 sites with countries we have added over the years, including countries in Africa and Eastern Europe. In addition, in 2016, we received a Class II license to operate in Romania.

    Tell us about your experience with SEO, how it has changed over the years and how much time you and your staff dedicate to it on a daily basis.

    The whole topic of SEO is one of the most fascinating and mysterious topics in our industry and one of the items that we're dealing with on a daily basis. SEO has changed so much over the years, but it is one of the core areas of the business.

    We invest over 50% of our resources and time on this topic in research and implementation. Every affiliate whose traffic source relies mainly on search engines invests more or less the same in SEO. One of the main conclusions we realized a few years ago is that, first of all, the quality of the content is important above all other factors. We believe that if you have up-to-date and comprehensive content and you present it in a matter-of-fact and user-friendly way, everything else will take care of itself.

    You have made nearly 6,000 posts in the GPWA forums since becoming a member in 2009. What do you enjoy most about being so active in the forums and how do you manage to stay so engaged over such a long period of time?

    First, I love what I do, which makes me want to be active in the forum and help share as much as possible on the forum. In addition, the GPWA forum is an excellent place to learn and enrich yourself with up-to-date knowledge about what is happening in the industry.

    There are a lot of affiliates like me (on the forums) that I can learn a lot from, ask questions, and help each other. Secondly, I also like the weekly videos of J. Todd from APCW, which help me a lot to stay updated on different and diverse topics.

    If a 25-year-old friend with no iGaming experience told you he or she was going to try and launch an iGaming affiliate site, what would your advice be?

    The friend needs to know what he is getting into. Because I still believe that it is possible to succeed in this business if you do it right, by focusing on a specific market or several individual markets, and manage your budget wisely. If you are prepared in advance for that, you'll also need to have a lot of patience because at the beginning there are a lot of expenses and it takes time to see a real profit.

    What is the key to a successful working relationship between an affiliate webmaster and an affiliate program manager?

    The key is that the partnership should, first of all, be genuine. If the person standing in front of you treats you like his employee, then there is no room for successful cooperation. But in the end, it is about people, and if we manage to create an atmosphere of a common goal, because we all want to succeed and make a profit, then we can know that we are in the right direction.

    Unfortunately, there are many cases where there is no communication and there is no understanding of the unique needs of the affiliate, which very quickly leads to a lack of trust.

    The best thing is to set all the rules and terms in advance; before starting to work. Explain your expectations for this partnership, the manager, and the company he represents, put the summaries in writing, and only then get going.

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

    I have three little kids so most of the free time is just being with them, playing with them and doing what they want. The rest of the time is left to playing the guitar, listening to history podcasts and watching TV series like “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” and “House of the Dragon.”

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

    I would invite only one person – King Solomon. He is known to be the
    wisest man in history, so he has all the answers I need.

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  3. #2
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    dannyx is offline Public Member
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    Good interview GamblerPick very nice site graphically.

    Very enjoyable to read interviews with GPWA users

  4. #3
    jowel is offline Public Member
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