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Affiliate Success

Affiliate Interviews: Lena of CasinoHawks.com

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We hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season and that you’ve also managed to rest and recharge your batteries for 2017!?! In this years first affiliate success story we present you Lena of CasinoHawks.com, an expert website, which is constantly gathering the most relevant information, news, reviews of online casinos, game developers, online slot games and jackpots.

Name: Lena Sciberras
Age: 34
Hometown: Kemerovo, Russia
Living in: Sliema, Malta
Favorite Food: pepperoni pizza
Must Read Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude
Profession/Job title: Content and SEO Writer https://www.casinohawks.com/

 
GAV: Hi Lena, first of all thanks for your time and interest! Tell us and our readers a little bit about yourself. How did your career start in the industry? What was the main idea of developing this great UK focused online casino website?

LENA: I have a long background in journalism, copy-writing, editing, SEO and marketing. About 7 years ago I moved to Malta from Moscow. In Malta, the iGaming is very strong, so many expats find themselves joining this exciting industry. I did too a few years ago, and have been absolutely loving it ever since. For the last 9 months, I’ve been working on CasinoHawks.com, so it’s now nearly like a baby for me.

GAV: Since there are thousands and thousands of websites out there, and the UK market is quite ruff, where do you think Casinohawks.com stands now?

LENA: That’s very true. The UK casino affiliate market is extremely saturated, but from my perspective, there are not that many affiliate websites that combine the strong quality of writing together with the exclusive deals and offers. Casinohawks.com website is a part of Game Lounge Ltd group which has established itself as one of the strongest affiliate companies in the Nordic markets. This year Game Lounge won “Affiliate of the Year” award as a part of the first instalment of “Malta iGaming Awards”. So together as a company, we have enough know-how to build a solid and successful affiliate brand in the UK. Just give us a few more months, and we will show our full force.

GAV: How do you see the online casino industry at this moment? How about the UK market?!

LENA: As we said, the UK market is quite overloaded with affiliates of all kinds, sizes and quality levels, but we believe in high-quality content and exclusive deals with the coolest online casinos, so there is always room for us. In general, I feel like UK casino market changes in a way that players get more aware of the newer casino brands, more international casinos, that have already established themselves on, let’s say, Scandinavian markets, and now they are conquering the UK. We have a long relationship with many of these casino brands, and that’s another strength of CasinoHawks.com.

GAV: How did you start and most of all what bumps did you have to overcome in the beginning?

LENA: It’s always hard at the beginning, you have to write so much and make all those exclusive deals and offers, but you have zero return or feedback in the first few months. No results at all, which can be extremely discouraging and frustrating for many other affiliates. But we have a positive experience from the other markets and great support system from the Game Lounge affiliate group, so it was possible for CasinoHawks.com to survive that first period and now things are definitely picking up and I start seeing results, which is very rewarding.

GAV: We have analyzed Casinohawks.com and found some great online casino reviews. Are you writing it by yourself or do you have a team of people writing for you? How many reviews are there on your website? How about the news section, tell us a bit more about it?

LENA: Thank you, that’s great to hear! When it comes to Casino brands and casino websites, I review them all myself, so we have a certain uniformity and a proper system of how we go through the process to establish whether a casino is worth trying or not. Right now we work with more than 25 casino brands, but next year this number will probably grow a lot.

Game reviews, casino guides, promotions and news are a bit different, and here we have a small team of dedicated writers to make sure that there is always new fresh content for our readers to discover.

CasinoHawks

GAV: Is it hard to keep the content fresh and relevant on your website, when a lot of fluffy and nonsense appear on the Internet non-stop?

LENA: It’s true to some degree, but I feel like because the industry is booming there is always something new. New games, new casinos, new promotions, cool campaigns, etc. So I never feel that there is nothing to write about on any given day. But it’s also important to sometimes take a different look at things, maybe bring some more analytical (but still fun!) articles that show things that are trending right now. One other thing that we started lately is the exclusive video content. On CasinoHawks.com we now have a whole section of videos and interviews, all produced in-house, where we take our readers behind the scenes of the different casinos or game developers and show the people who run all those casinos and how. We feel that it’s unique content, it’s fun to watch, but it also does a fantastic job at building trust. It creates a more human approach and shows the real people, casino management that players can relate to.

 
GAV: We are pretty sure that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. What are your thoughts on how a real Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship should be built?

LENA: Yes, absolutely! There are so many casinos, and you cannot work with all of them, even if you wanted to. Naturally, we concentrate on promoting casino brands that give us a fair commission and the above average size bonuses for our readers and players, so everyone is a winner. On the other hand, it also comes down to building an actual relationship, feeling comfortable with the casino affiliate manager. There has to be some genuine personal connection, so it’s easy to work together and overcome any issues that might occur. We are lucky that we are based in Malta, where many casino brands have their headquarters as well. So we can physically meet in real life and actually get to know each other. I feel that is something that helps a lot.

GAV: How do you see the future of the online casino industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon?

LENA: It’s hard to say, but we see some markets opening up. For example, the Asian markets are becoming more viable.

GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the online casino affiliate ecosystem?!

LENA: To be honest, it’s fine as it is. Time will show which casinos and which affiliates are the strongest, most professional, consistent and have something unique to offer and those will thrive no matter what.

GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer for the newbies who are looking to venture into this great industry!?

LENA: For the affiliates – consistency, creativity, patience. For the new casinos, it’s definitely a different angle, something unique and exclusive to offer when it comes to design, overall theme and the loyalty program. Any new online casino that opens today has to stand out from the crowd to be noticed and remembered.
GAV: Do you attend any iGaming/online casino conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?

LENA: The last one was SiGMA 2016 in Malta in November, and it certainly was a lot of fun, especially because of the video-interview project that CasinoHawks / Game Lounge had going on. Our whole team really enjoyed bringing this new venture to life. And thanks to our casino partners, who all happily went along, it turned out to be a great adventure.

GAV: What do you think the chances are for Eastern Europe to become a potential gaming hotspot in the near future? Where do you think the region must still improve upon?

LENA: Some countries in Eastern Europe are embracing casino, gaming, IT and other parts of the whole process, but some others, as we know, only make it more complicated. So I don’t think we can talk about the Eastern Europe as a whole, only about particular countries with their specific views, legislation’s and attitude towards iGaming. In many countries, gaming is still a grey area, but the potential is certainly there. We just have to remember that in this region too much depends on the political decisions and not the iGaming industry efforts as such.

GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe? Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?

LENA: Being native Russian myself, I have visited quite a few countries there, and for me, it’s easier to feel more comfortable in these places. But I know many Europeans who feel a bit uneasy with the thought of it, and it’s understandable. If we are talking more about casual tourism and not business, I would love to visit Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic soon. I have a lot of friends there; and they are all beautiful places with great history, culture, architecture and lots of yummy food.

GAV: Tell us your opinion about the Gambling Affiliate Voice?

LENA: You guys are doing a great job. Your website is one of those, that I regularly visit, because you truly help to keep up with the latest news, trends and just interesting stories that all of us, affiliates, can relate to. Just keep it up!

GAV: Thanks for your time and kind words Lena, we hope that 2017 will be a great year for CasinoHawks / Game Lounge! 

 

If you have any questions or subjects for future interviews, be sure to send your suggestions to: george@gamblingaffiliatevoice.com.

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Affiliate Program News

Affiliate Survey

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GameScale and EveryMatrix

Fellow Affiliates,

We’ve been contacted by Dirk Pillow, who has been working in the iGaming Industry since 2013 as a SportsBook Trader, and currently following an academic course (Higher Diploma in Marketing and Sales Management) at The University of Malta.

As part of his dissertation, he needs to carry out some tests and would greatly appreciate if you could spare 5 minutes of your precious time to fill in and complete this survey. It will not take any longer, wanna bet on it 😉

The results of the survey will give Dirk and also to all of us a better understanding of the affiliates perception towards Online Gambling Brands and the decision process you go through when selecting an affiliate program.

Your participation in the survey is completely voluntary and all of your responses will be kept confidential.

 

Complete the: Affiliates Perception towards Online Gambling Brands and an analysis of their decision process when selecting affiliate programs survey.

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Affiliate Success

Exclusive Interview with Christoph C. Cemper Founder & CEO of LinkResearchTools and Link Detox

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Christoph Cemper LTR

We are very honored to have had the chance to interview one of the most well know Link Building Experts and SEO gurus Christoph C. Cemper. Christoph is Founder & CEO of LinkResearchTools and Link Detox.

 

GAV: First of all thanks for taking the time for the interview Christoph, we know you must be busy! Please be so kind and introduce yourself in one sentence!

Christoph C. Cemper: I’m an online marketing enthusiast, CEO, and Founder of LinkResearchTools and Link Detox doing links and SEO since 2003.

GAV: Could you fill out the short form below so our readers can imagine your profile?

Name: Christoph C. Cemper
Age: 43
Hometown: Vienna
Living in: Vienna
Favorite Food: Vietnamese
Must Read Book: The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

GAV: Tell us a bit about yourself, we want to know who Christoph Cemper is, the main person behind LinkResearchTools (LRT) and Link Detox. Where were you born? What was your first experience with the SEO world?

Christoph C. Cemper: I was born in Vienna and started a marketing blog in 2004. I started getting requests from people who wanted to have a link from my blog. They were ready to pay for it. That was the point when I started doing SEO and link building. I built links for years, then built more links, and managed a ton of affiliate sites since 2004.

In 2009, I decided to switch from the link building agency business to a SaaS business. And that’s the point when LinkResearchTools (LRT) was born.

LRT logo

GAV: We would like to know how you got started with LRT, what was the main idea/inspiration and how was the developing process?

Christoph C. Cemper: The LinkResearchTools (LRT) and Link Detox (DTOX) projects started in February 2009 at the VIP conference in SEO de Janeiro, and I can honestly say that what happened in Rio changed my business life. While sitting around in the conference venue, I discussed all sorts of SEO tricks, link pyramids, and other things with the other attendees and I showed them my own “Link Research Tool” on my notebook. This was a tool built by two part-time developers as an internal tool to help me and my team of link builders.

The tool wasn’t even close to what we have today. But the guys were all excited and couldn’t stop looking at the link data with me. They all said: “Wow, you should build a product, I would like to buy it!”

And that’s what I did.

GAV: After the first Google Penguin Update back in 2012 you launched Link Detox, a backlink audit and link risk management software, tell us about it!

Christoph C. Cemper: That’s right. Soon after Google’s first Penguin update, I created the solution for the penalties that came with Google’s algorithmic change. Link Detox soon became the industry standard for link audit and link risk management. Thousands of webmasters used it to recover their rankings. SEOs all around the world still use it to protect their websites. The great thing about Link Detox is that it works for both algorithmic penalties and Manual Actions for unnatural links pointing to your website. We’ve seen websites recover in as little as 3 days.

DTOX logo

GAV: Do you have any new projects coming up?

Christoph C. Cemper: We’ll soon bring our customers a whole new way of looking at their backlink profile, full access to the “Canonical’ed links,” full access to a highly-effective 25th link data source to *all* new LinkResearchTools Superheros and up, and amazing updates for our browser extensions.

GAV: We know you attend affiliate conferences such as LAC and BAC as a speaker, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?

Christoph C. Cemper: I enjoyed both conferences. The organization was great, and I sure had a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the BAC SEO Panel I participated in with Bastian Grimm, Fili Wiese, and Michael Caselli.

GAV: How do you see the present state of online gambling affiliation?

Christoph C. Cemper: There are certainly more online gambling affiliation programs than ever before. Now everyone can become an affiliate with the right training and the right mindset. A trend I noticed in the past year is that affiliates are using more social media platforms for promotion and I think that this is a growing trend in 2017.

GAV: Do you have clients from the online gambling industry, if so name at least two?

Christoph C. Cemper: Yes, we do have many clients from the online gambling industry. I can give you Mr. Green and Unibet as examples.

GAV: How do you see the future of the online gambling industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon shortly?

Christoph C. Cemper: The online gambling industry does have potential to become a global phenomenon.

GAV: What advice you would like to offer to the newbie SEO’s who are looking just starting?

Christoph C. Cemper: Every new SEO needs to have in mind that link risk management needs to be his top priority, alongside link building. Even Google said, “Ranking without links is really, really hard.” But these must be good links. Risky links can attract a penalty.

To make it short: a new SEO needs to focus on keeping the link detox risk low and build strong, niche-related, trustworthy links to boost the website’s rankings.

GAV: How about an advice for people who’re looking to venture into the online gambling industry as affiliates with a new website? What would you advise them?

Christoph C. Cemper: The same thing I’d advise anyone that has a new website:

  • keep the link risk low by doing weekly link audits
  • disavow risky links as often as necessary
  • monitor incoming links
  • compare the backlink profile to the ones of the competitors
  • build Penguin-friendly links (here are 20 link building tips)

GAV: Where could we catch you in the near future as a speaker, do you have some upcoming events?

Christoph C. Cemper: I’ll be speaking at SMX Munich and Campixx in March, BrightonSEO in April and September, SEOkomm and OMX in November. You can always find an updated list of the events where you can meet me or hear me speak here: http://www.linkresearchtools.com/meet-us/.

GAV: Who is your favorite celebrity?

Christoph C. Cemper: Tim Ferris and Elon Musk.

GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, some part of the region maybe that you haven’t visited yet?

Christoph C. Cemper: I know and like Prague, Budapest and Bratislava. I’d gladly like to visit Warsaw and Moscow.

GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?

Christoph C. Cemper: No idea.

GAV: What is your opinion about GAV (Gambling Affiliate Voice)?

Christoph C. Cemper: The Gambling Affiliate Voice is doing a great job at making the online gambling industry more transparent and easier to understand for everyone. A great place where fellow affiliates can share their views about online gambling and so much more.

 

 

If you would like to suggest subjects for future interviews, be sure to send your suggestions to: george@gamblingaffiliatevoice.com .

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Affiliate Success

Affiliate Interviews: Phil of ExclusiveBonus.co.uk and FootballMatchPreviews.com

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Phil

We continue the Affiliate Interviews series, with another gambling affiliate rock star sharing his own story about his journey into this great industry. Today we catch up with Phil, founder of ExclusiveBonus.co.uk and FootballmatchPreviews.com.

 

GAV: Hi Phil, first of all thanks for your time and interest! Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did your career start in the industry? What was the main idea of developing this two great sites?

PHIL: Hi GAV. I’ve been in the affiliate gambling industry almost 10 years running a variety of sites. I started in the business doing some admin work for another gambling affiliate and decided to setup my own business with the aim of promoting online casinos and sportsbooks. I decided to develop Exclusive Bonus as a way of listing the best bonus, free bets and other promotions available. With Football Match Previews the aim is to provide good analysis of European football and free betting tips.

exclusivebonus.co.uk

GAV: Since there are thousands and thousands of websites out there, and the market is quite ruff at this moment, where do you think exclusivebonus.co.uk and footballmatchpreviews.com stands now?

PHIL: It is difficult as you see sites topping the search engines that aren’t really anything more than glorified adverts. I’m really trying to do something a bit more independent and catered for gamblers. For instance with Exclusive Bonus I’m interested in exploring hidden offers and more obscure promotions. I like to list promos that are good for players, rather than just shamelessly promoting a brand who pays the most.

With Football Match Previews the commercial side is quite small and the user gets a lot of free quality football analysis without being over pressured with advertising.

GAV: How do you see the online casino industry at this moment? What about the football betting industry?

PHIL: In the UK sports betting has exploded which is what I’m more interested in. I started out in online casinos and at the time sports players were fairly worthless compared with casino players. For me at the moment my income is heavily geared towards sports. I find sports more interesting to write about. I think some online casino offers can be interesting, but I find welcome bonuses with impossible turn requirements a bit outdated and unfair on players.

GAV: How did you start and most of all what bumps did you have to overcome in the beginning?

PHIL: I was quite lucky when I was younger. I just handed my notice in at my job in a bank. Met a friend in a bar, got some admin work on a gambling site, started my own gambling site and in a year was making about four times what I made in a year.

The first year seems quite easy looking back. I think things have progressively got more difficult and competitive. So while I’m far more experienced, its not easy these days and much tougher to acquire players. The bumps you have to overcome are kind of inevitable. Main issues are really with the hard time gambling sites are given by search engines, PPC and social media. Also affiliate programs changing your deals is difficult. Generally I’m a big believer in perseverance. I have had multiple things go wrong, but enough goes right to balance that out.

GAV: We have closely analyzed Exclusivebonus.co.uk and Footballmatchpreviews.com!
On ExclusiveBonus.co.uk we found some great online casino reviews. Are you writing it by yourself or do you have a team of people writing for you? How many reviews are there on your website? How about the blog section, tell us a bit more about it?

PHIL: Sometimes I write myself, but generally I’ll outsource to a team of writers I have. I prefer the way I write as I know the industry well, but practically I don’t have the time to write as much as I would like. The blog is really where I list any offers that stand out. I find its difficult to know what each gambling firm is giving as promotions, so its nice to delve in and find the more unusual offers.

GAV: How about Football Match Previews, do you handle the site alone, let us know a bit more?!

PHIL: I have a writer who helps with the previews. I also have someone who helps with the tips. With this site I’m interested in something that is manageable to the user. We generally give two previews a week. Some of the main sites will preview every game and give hundreds of tips. Due to this in my opinion most free tips on these sites are pretty worthless. Its really a vehicle to promote bookmakers, which I’m sure works well, but I’m interested in having a small base of customers who appreciate the content you give for free and the advertising being secondary.

footballmatchpreviews.com

GAV: Do you find it hard to keep the content fresh and relevant on your websites, when a lot of fluffy and nonsense appear on the Internet non-stop?

PHIL: It can be hard as once you’ve written about a casino bonus it can get repetitive or listing yet another free bet. Fortunately a lot of gambling sites have got much more interesting in recent years with their promotions so this helps keep things fresh as every bookmaker is coming up with new and interesting things that you can write about.

GAV: We’re convinced that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. What are your thoughts on how a real Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship should be built?!?

PHIL: There is issues on both sides. Some affiliate managers can be hard to deal with or a little too pushy, but they are also under a lot of pressure to meet their targets and drive traffic. Generally I favour affiliate managers who have a long term outlook, rather than just what happens this month. A lot of problems with affiliate programs are with the terms, which are decisions usually made by management. I think changes terms and conditions does a lot of damage to a programs reputation.

GAV: How do you see the future of the online casino industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon? How about the football betting…?

PHIL: I imagine the US market will open up, which will make things more interesting with online casinos. Football is already huge, but you do have issues as a lot of bookmakers have restrictions on a lot of countries. If regulation was worked out better it improves things for affiliates as its presently difficult operating websites with a global reach, but restrictions on which countries that can actually fund your websites.

GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the online casino affiliate ecosystem and also in the tipster?!

PHIL: Affiliate programs need to think of the long term, some affiliates could be working for 50 years in this industry. Some protection for affiliates in the form of contracts would be better.

GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer for the newbies who are looking to venture into this great industry!?

PHIL: I think its tough, but I’ve seen new guys do things that explode that I thought would never work. There is always a way of doing things better. I’m not the smartest on social media, but some newer affiliates absolutely kill it. I think the best advise is just to keep going. Don’t expect to make money straight away, but with a good idea and a lot of work there is no reason why you can’t compete and make a living.

GAV: Do you attend any iGaming, sportsbetting/online casino conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?

PHIL: Sometimes I do, just because its nice to meet affiliate managers face to face. I really enjoyed the Berlin Affiliate Conference, also London Affiliate Conference is always good.

GAV: What do you think the chances are for Eastern Europe to become a potential gaming hotspot in the near future? Where do you think the region must still improve upon?

PHIL: Its not something I have a great deal of knowledge about. I don’t see why not, mostly it will be down to the countries involved regulation. If the regulation is fair to the country and the gambling firms everyone should do well.

GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe? Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?

PHIL: Prague, as my grandfather was born there. My wife speaks Russian also, so Moscow or St. Petersburg would be cool. I probably wouldn’t want to go anywhere too remote, I like my wifi too much.

GAV: Do you have a favourite football player…?

PHIL: Eric Cantona.

GAV: Tell us your opinion about the Gambling Affiliate Voice?

PHIL: I think it’s a great site and I really like the ethos of giving affiliates a voice in a industry in which often the little guys aren’t really heard or giving a platform.

GAV: Thanks for your time and appreciation Phil. We wish you all the best and let us know if you have some news to share!

 

If you would like to suggest subjects for future interviews, make sure to send your suggestions to: george@gamblingaffiliatevoice.com .

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