Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    GPWA Daniel is offline Associate Editor
    Join Date
    June 2018
    Posts
    44
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 145 Times in 36 Posts

    Default Affiliate Interview Series - Thomas B.

    Name:  AIS_thomas_b.jpg
Views: 80
Size:  18.2 KB

    (This interview was originally published in the July 2020 edition of the GPWA Times Magazine)

    Your site YourPokerDream.com has been up and running for over 10 years. How did you get started as an online gambling affiliate?

    Yes, YourPokerDream.com has existed for 10 years, but was founded by some other guys. I took over the site a bit later with my business partner and I am quite happy with it.
    I never had anything to do with online gambling before; in fact, I actually came from the financial sector. By coincidence, the thing with YourPokerDream.com just came up since I was looking for new projects and challenges back then. The project has been successful so far.

    Why did you decide to focus on poker and rakebacks?

    Honestly, it was not my decision. When I joined YourPokerDream.com, the site was already focused on poker and rakebacks, and I decided to take it up from there.
    Poker sites earn so much money and the rake/fees for players are very high. We try our best to give our community rakebacks as much as possible to make poker games more profitable for them. It is a win-win situation for everybody and this what I like so much about YourPokerDream.
    Every single player matters and there are lots of benefits for them if they sign up at any of our partners.

    What did you do before getting into the industry?

    I studied operational economics and later worked for a big German company. It was the usual boring office job, nothing special. Before I joined the online gambling industry, I was very active in the stock market for a few years.

    What are the biggest changes you've seen in the industry since you started?

    Definitely the regulations in different countries. Online poker, especially, has suffered a lot from regulations. There is nothing bad if a market is officially regulated, but it should be in a normal, smart way that will be helpful to everybody. Unfortunately, some countries do not understand this, therefore making decisions that make no sense at all.
    In the past, the poker industry was easier, and you could promote every brand all over the world without any problem. Most operators paid a higher commission to affiliates because they didnít have so many taxes Ė everything is different now!
    (In November), we received a piece of information that one of our biggest partner sites decided to exclude players from 13 countries due to regulatory issues. The decision was a sudden one and it hit us really hard.

    What advice would you give to a new iGaming affiliate just getting started in the business?

    To be very patient and not to expect too much in the beginning. It takes some time to become successful and the competition is tremendous.
    Even if someone is doing a great job and all is right, the results can be very frustrating. The need for patience and to have a realistic expectation is essential.

    What makes your site unique? How do you try to stand out from the competition?

    Our site offers 24/7 customer service in four different languages: German, English, Spanish and Russian. We operate even on holidays, and we are always available to help anyone.
    Our site is focused on online poker and we try to include people who have been playing online poker by themselves, or have been the industry for quite some time. So we assure you that our service, promotions and support is always the best.
    We are also very open, and we don't hide anything to earn money or to give players less than 100% correct information. Transparency is crucial for us!

    How do you decide what casinos to promote?

    For my team and me, it is vital to work only with big and serious companies together. Trust, transparency, and respect are critical, but unfortunately, not everyone has these.
    It may be hard to believe for some people, but we are not only focused on money. We wouldn't promote a casino or poker site if we noticed their activities arenít right.
    Again, before we decide to work with any casino and promote them, we test the site first as a normal client. We also check the functionality of the siteís software, the service, the promotions, and how long it takes to withdraw money. These are the first few steps.

    If all is fine, we contact someone from the affiliate team to put up a good deal with us through email. But we are also mindful on how fast we receive a response. If it takes, for example, one week to answer an email, it is already a bad sign.
    For me, it is very important that we always have a contact person who is reachable ó in the best case by Skype.

    How big is your operation?

    Altogether, we are seven people, but only five are working actively on YourPokerDream at the moment.

    Do you gamble online? What about in brick-and-mortar casinos?

    Never online, but very rarely in a normal live casino while on vacation, for example.

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

    I am in touch with a few guys that Iíve known for many years. We keep in touch through Skype and meet maybe one or two times a year because we live in different countries.
    Usually, I donĎt attend affiliate conferences anymore. I participated in the one that took place in London (last year), but only because I was also on vacation there.
    It is always the same and nothing really new. In my opinion, a lot of people and affiliate programs talk too much during these conferences. When you speak with them at a conference, everything is so good and perfect; they will promise you a million things, but in reality, nothing is done.
    Of course, not everybody is like this, and it depends on the affiliate program and the people who work there.

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

    Honesty and respect! Nobody expects you to be perfect. We are all humans and nobody is perfect ó we can make mistakes. What is important is to talk about it and to show character. You would not imagine how often some affiliate managers lie and are always searching for new excuses.
    For the affiliate program, it is the same. It is essential to know that there is nothing hidden. There should be a good relationship for both parties and of course, a long term partnership.
    I hate it when affiliate programs don't respect deals that were made in the past and just change it without any real reason, only because they can do it if they want. An affiliate program should respect a deal that was made in the past and value every customer that came through an affiliate, even if the amount of monthly new deposits by players reduced for some reason.
    Other important aspects are punctuality and reliable payments. It should be the standard, but unfortunately not everyone abides by these aspects. The most necessary thing is to inform all affiliates if there are any delays. Unfortunately, this is also not the standard for most affiliate programs nowadays.

    You have been a GPWA member for seven years? How has being a part of our community helped you and your business?

    The best thing about the GPWA is that it is possible to share your experiences with other affiliates, while getting both positive and negative feedback about things from different affiliate programs.
    There are a lot of black sheep in our industry today, and it is essential to have a community like GPWA to help and protect each other.
    It happened a few times with my colleagues. I was not sure about some affiliate programs. I took on GPWA and was reading the different feedbacks and after this, my decision was clear. If one or two people write something negative in a forum, you can never be sure, but if 19 out of 20 people write something negative, then they must have a reason.

    What do you like about the industry?

    Meeting a lot of people from all over the world. Our industry is international, and for me personally, it is exciting to meet a lot of new people and maybe work with them together.

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

    It is to make everything more transparent and do more against unserious affiliate programs that think they can do what they want.

    What do you think the industry will look like in five years?

    That's a good question. Honestly, I don't see any significant changes in the next five years in our industry. But you never can tell, as it is hard to predict the future, especially in our industry ó anything is possible.

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

    In the beginning, they were a bit, let me say, skeptical because ďonline gambling affiliateĒ sounds a bit unusual for people who donít know anything about it. Gambling, to many people, is something negative. People donít take it seriously.
    With time it has changed because I told them different things about our business; how we run things, and how people can win money. It does not matter if they play casino games, poker or sports bets. Most of my friends initially thought the gambling industry was all fraudulent.

    What's your approach to SEO and drawing traffic to your site? How much time do you spend on SEO specifically?

    All that we are doing every day is based on SEO, and it is the most important thing. About 90% of our traffic comes from SEO.
    We create a lot of new unique content in different languages every day. We edit existing articles and ensure everything is up-to-date. Our admin and site manager are always informed about all rank changes and monitor all. As we all know, SEO is a very complicated and sensitive topic. Everything can be going smoothly for three months, but it may go bad later after a new Google update, thatís how it is with SEO and Google rankings. I would say we spend around ten hours daily on SEO.

    How much time do you devote to social networking for your site?

    Almost nothing. In the past, we were a bit active on Facebook, but then they started to block gambling-related sites. All these social network things were never helpful and they brought minimal results. Because of this, we invest a maximum of two to three hours per week to social networks.

    What's the most difficult thing about running your site?

    To take care of four different languages and make sure that all is up-to-date; to be informed about any changes, laws, promotions. I speak German and English, but no Spanish or Russian and I have to trust our guys that take care of this part to put all into place.

    What's the best thing about running your site?

    I would say flexibility because I am not forced to stay at the same place, and I can work from all over the world.

    What do you do to stay in shape Ė both physically and mentally?

    I try to play tennis and golf very often; to be active and not always sit in front of the computer.

    What did you dream of doing, both professionally and personally, when you were a kid?

    My dream was to be a football star. To play for a big football club like Real Madrid or Manchester United.

    If you won $10 million playing the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?

    I definitely would work less, but I would continue working. I would buy a beautiful big house and give my family some money.

    If someone from out of town were visiting you, whatís the one place you'd definitely take them to see?

    It depends on where I stay. I live in Munich and there are many exciting places to see if you donít know them. I would say the Hofbršuhaus. Everyone loves to see this place at least once if they come to Munich.

    If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you and why?

    I would say a satellite mobile phone to be in touch with the rest of the world, a nice girl so as not to be alone, and my laptop to watch movies on Netflix.

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

    Frank Sinatra, Albert Einstein, Angelina Jolie, Robert de Niro, Dieter Bohlen

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

    1. Iíve never smoked even one cigarette in my life
    2. I like to watch Walt Disney cartoons
    3. That I once made Ä10,000 through betting on a tennis game

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

    GPWA Maria (22 October 2020), TonyMartins (28 October 2020)

  3. #2
    TonyMartins is offline Brand New Member
    Join Date
    October 2020
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Interesting interview! Thanks for posting!
    Waiting for more!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •