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Thepichi: Better-educated players demand better affiliates

Full name: Diana Sterling
Current hometown: Sydney, Australia
Age: 29
Favorite food: Sushi
One book everyone must read: The Little Prince

How long have you been working in the online gaming industry?
3 years.

What first drew you to the business?
I started as a player and then I realized I could earn some money and still have fun.

Is working as a gaming affiliate a full-time occupation for you? Or
do you have another job? If so, what is it?
Itís full time. Thatís the best way to be successful.

Do you run your sites as a solo operation? Or do you work with some others? And if so, how many people work with you? And what's the job duty breakdown like?
I have two more partners. I am in charge of the marketing, they do the programming.

You are based in Australia, yet your site makes a clear point of distinguishing between casinos that accept U.S. play and those that don't. Why is this important for your business? What is the balance of traffic for this site between U.S. and Australia visitors? What are the differences between marketing to U.S. and Aussie players?
Internet is a global media. It doesn't matter where you are. You can be lying on Bondi Beach, with a laptop, trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Gambling Gazette receives about 83% USA traffic. We are working on developing smaller niche markets but we all know that the USA is the biggest yet competitive market.

How much time does it take to keep your site updated? Do you use a content management system to manage your site? And if yes, what is it Ė and what would you change about it?
Itís a time-consuming task; it takes me like 8 hours daily to update all my sites. I use my own content management software.

Why did you choose thepichi for your screename at the GPWA? Does it mean anything or hold any special significance?
My nickname from childhood.

In an ideal world, how would you divide the efforts you put into your sites? What percentage would go to marketing, updating content, managing your books and other tasks (please list the tasks, include a % and an explanation)?
  • Marketing 30%. Primarily looking for new links, partners and new marketing ideas.
  • Update Content 50%. This is the most important task, and you have to work every day.
  • Manage Books 20%. The information doesnít change so often, but anyway itís really important to keep in touch with them.
How long did it take for you to start earning money?
Almost a year.

How (besides UIGEA) has the industry changed from when you first started in 2001 to now?
I think players are more educated. They won't click on the first pop up like ten years ago. They know what affiliates are and they know that 'better' affiliates will get them better bonuses and they will make sure they get paid.
What advice would you offer someone who has just started in the industry?
This is a long race.It can be profitable but you have to be patient. Constant work is the key.

If you had to pick 3 keys to success as an affiliate, what would they be and why?
  • Work hard, and put all your heart and time into it. The effort will be well paid.
  • Be honest with players and affiliates. They will return if they trust you.
  • Choose only good and trustworthy affiliate programs. It doesnít really matter if you donít advertise too many, but advertise the good ones.
What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
I look for a personal relationship. Affiliate managers are my support. I'd like my emails answered and having them on MSN contact list.

I don't promote the programs that give me higher revenue share but the programs I respect and those that have affiliate managers I like.

You joined GPWA in late September 2006. What prompted you to join? And how has it helped you so far?
For me you are the number one gambling site on the Web. From your forum I always get great advice and information. Also, GPWA is an excellent place to meet other webmasters and affiliate managers.

What was your favorite subject in school? And why was it your favorite subject?
Math. Iíve always loved Math. Not sure why.

Do you gamble online? If so, what's your favorite game and why?
I used to gamble a lot. My favorite game is Poker, any kind. Because there is not only luck involved, you also have to think and plan what makes it very interesting and challenging.

If you could change one thing about the online gaming industry, what would it be, and why?
Allow online gambling everywhere. There are real casinos in almost every country. Why donít they close them down, too, do you know?? What is the difference between online and offline gambling?? None. I donít think itís a moral issue. So, let people choose.

What is your favorite movie? And why?
ďLife Is Beautiful,Ē an Italian movie. It shows what innocence is. You go from laughing to crying in just one second.

If you could have one "super power," what would it be? And why?
Bring people back to life. Because there are so many good and beloved people who have died. Some people donít deserve to have died too soon.