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    GPWA Daniel is online now GPWA Associate Editor
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    June 2018
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series - Robert K.

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

    Tell us about your background and how you managed to become an iGaming affiliate webmaster.

    Iíve studied IT engineering and marketing, and started betting when I was working as a junior manager in retail, sneaking off to the storeroom to make my soccer pool picks. From there, I did a career switch after a work injury and thought Iíd try to get into the betting industry.

    I started as a call center agent for one of the big brands (there were six of us and one telephone!) and from there I moved into sports betting content marketing for a few years with the same brand. Weíd all heard the affiliate stories and thatís where I started seeing the insane amounts of money the affiliates were making (these were different times).

    Eventually, I ended up on the dev team and we were servicing quite a few affiliate sites, and I was doing functional QA work. The work was somewhat dull and taxing, and thatís when I thought Iíd run a QA process on some of the betting sites I personally used, and ended up with a few reviews, which I published on a blog.

    It grew from there and after that, I was given the opportunity to go full time, and then go into affiliate marketing with the site, that was around 6-7 years ago.

    So, did it eventually turn into a full-time gig for you?

    Itís been full time for the last few years, and has been a work-from-home position, so not much changed when COVID struck. We are a small operation, a few full-time employees and a handful of good freelancers. Finding quality people is very difficult, as it needs a unique mix of skills.

    What is the South African market like for iGaming? How has it changed Ė if at all Ė in recent years?

    South Africa is a very interesting market, the interest is huge, but the player spend is very low. Itís still to hit maturity, and the last few years have seen the introduction of legal casino games and slots, which has been a huge pivot for many of the operators. It can be frustrating at times as each province has different regulations, while some are not too strict, which makes new offers such a pain to get approved.

    Instead of a niche-based strategy, your site has content for sports betting, casino games and slots. Why did you decide to work in multiple verticals rather than a single vertical?

    We did a big pivot in our focus when COVID hit. The local operators did too, and they started getting more and more casino and slots games approved.

    Thereís a huge appetite for casino games in SA, and the shift to a more balanced content offering has been great. We also launched, which is going to be more focused on general betting content. Another benefit is that many different operators have exclusive games, so players need multiple accounts, which is what you want as an affiliate.

    Do you see a lot of crossover between casino games/slot players and sports bettors?

    Yes and no. The sports players generally donít trust the casino games, in my experience, and donít spend too much on them. However, casino players we find are happy to cross over and play horses and soccer. Itís already hard enough to convert a SA player to an online sports account, so getting them to play casino too is a tough problem.

    You and your ďsidekickĒ Simon host a Best Sports Betting podcast that can also be seen on YouTube where your BSBZA page has a strong following of more than 21,000 subscribers. How did you build up such a strong following?

    Thanks! Yes, the channel has been a big focus. Initially, it started as a traffic-driving tool, but then it started to grow a following due to some of the slots and casino videos I did. Next thing I know, Iíve done over 20 two-hour live streams, and have an amazing community there. I think some of my biggest videos have close to 200k views, which I never imagined possible.

    Simon runs the site, and we enjoy making the podcast as itís been going for a few years, and is a blast to make. The podcast following is very small though, and we only make it for the enjoyment.

    The YouTube experience has been interesting, and Iíve learned so much along the way. Iíd like to take it up a level, but itís tough to find the time, as well as justify the time investment as itís much more work than one thinks.

    How much does the podcast help attract traffic to your site?

    Not much. The casino and slots YouTube content drives a fair bit, though. The problem on YouTube is itís a risk to leave links to any gambling in the videos, as you could lose your channel. Fortunately, the channel generates a decent income through ads, which makes up for this.

    You also supply visitors to your site a regular dose of soccer picks. Does providing picks help build repeat visitors and players who will actually deposit?

    Itís not something that I honestly enjoy doing, but weíve been doing it for so long itís just routine now! I make the picks in the morning. Iím not a great tipster as the audience wants long odd accumulators, but we hit a few. Iíll put a few minutes of research into the picks, unfortunately, the visitors are repeat as you mentioned, but it does allow the opportunity to showcase other operators that they might sign up with.

    What are your promotional plans for the World Cup in November?

    The World Cup is an interesting time. Itís going to be very difficult to compete, so weíre just going to be optimizing some content around the event, and hopefully working with a few key partners for some exclusive offers.

    We went a little crazy with content in 2018, and it didnít give the best results (looking back the campaign was still very sound on paper). I love the World Cup, and itís also a busy time for us, but no special plans this year.

    What is your approach to SEO? How much time do you specifically spend on SEO for your sites on weekly basis?

    SEO is our core business and is what everything we do is based on. I spend a fair chunk of time every week absorbing information, I love data and I have a few out-of-the-box methods that have paid dividends. The majority of my time is spent doing projections and forecasting.

    How do you decide what affiliate programs to work with?

    We work with any brand that has a valid license in SA; we donít touch brands without a local license. We like the big brands as they are trustworthy and have been amazing to work with. Outside of those, itís a bit of a Wild West, and some hard lessons have been learned. For us, a working relationship is important, as is honesty, and being paid, something which, unfortunately, is a rare quality with local operators.

    If a 23-year-old friend of yours told you he or she wanted to start an iGaming affiliate website tomorrow, what advice would you give to them?

    Funny that you ask! Iím actually helping a 21-year-old with some advice and tips at the moment, and Iíve also helped another young man build a $3,000 a month income from his sites. Iím always open to helping others, I donít see them as competitors, rather as someone looking for a chance to get into the industry.

    My advice is donít stress the details. Donít be scared to ask for advice, and start publishing content. Once youíve got a few under your belt you can worry about more of the technical things like design, optimization and so on. The first year is the hardest, but once youíve started and put the work in you should see success. Thereís an old proverb, ďThe best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.Ē

    Tell us about your GPWA member name, Theratman. Where did it originate? Is there a story behind it?

    I once wrestled a wild rat with my bare hands . . . kidding!

    It was from my youth, we were sitting at a lake (not quite sober) and a friend was telling the group a story in the dark about the complex rat social structures and such, like a campfire ghost story scene. It ended with him shouting thereís a rat right there, pointing in my general direction, which made me jump and fall over. There was no rat, and after that, I was called Ratman. Fortunately, itís no longer in use!

    What are your hobbies? What takes up your time when you are not working?

    Listening to audio books. My Audible app gets a lot of use, and I enjoy listening to history and I go through a book or two a month. Watching sport is also a hobby, I guess. I need more hobbies that take me out of the house.

    I travel to Germany and stay there for several months a year as my son lives there. So, itís tough to find a hobby that I can do consistently. I love fishing, the ocean, food, and wine. Iím trying to get back into photography, too.

    If someone were visiting you for 24 hours and had never been to South Africa, where would you bring them and why?

    Theyíd have to visit Cape Town during summer. Iíd recommend a morning trip to the Winelands, followed by a trip up Table Mountain, and then dinner at the V&A Waterfront. Thereís so much to do, and every city has something different to offer.

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

    Iím going with some characters I find interesting from history, not because I admire them, Obama, Roosevelt, Mandela, Napoleon, Einstein. Quite a strange mix.

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

    1. I have two cats, two dogs, and a lot of messed-up furniture.
    2. I think pineapple on pizza is OK.
    3. Iím a long-suffering Newcastle United fan.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to GPWA Daniel For This Useful Post:

    DaftDog (22 December 2022), Theratman (6 March 2023)

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