We continue the Affiliate Interviews series, with another online gambling affiliate sharing his own story about his journey into the industry. Today we catch up with Philip, of Madaboutcasinos.com a really great online casino comparison site.
Name: Phil Goulding
Hometown: Widnes, Cheshire
Living in: Widnes
Favorite Food: A spicy curry
Must Read Book: Bravo Two Zero
Profession/Job title: Account Manager
GAV: Hi Philip, first of all tell us and our readers, a little bit about yourself, we want to know who Philip really is! How did your career start in the industry? Since when are you active at Madaboutcasinos.com (Madabout Media Limited)?
Philip: As my bio says, I’m Phil, I’m 34 from Widnes, Cheshire UK and I started in the iGaming industry back in 2011. MadAbout Media is owned by my friend of many years, Andrew Edwards. Having qualifications and background in I.T Hardware, software & networking, when we discussed me joining the company I was excited to see the other side of things, including website development/optimisation, social media marketing and SEO.
GAV: Since there are thousands of websites and portals in this niche out there, where do you think Madaboutcasinos.com stands now and what is that plus that the other portals don’t have?
Philip: At the moment madaboutcasinos.com is just plodding a long in the rankings but still sending quality traffic to the brands we advertise. Other the next few weeks/months the site will have a major overhaul, a new design, easier usability and better optimised for mobile traffic.
GAV: How do you see the online casino market/industry at this moment? How about sports betting or online bingo?!?
Philip: I think the casino market is still very strong, as previously mentioned madaboutcasinos.com is still sending traffic, as does our other casino portal; Mobileslotsites.com. We don’t really advertise sports betting apart from a small sports section on madaboutcasinos.com so couldn’t really answer that. Bingo, we are mostly and well know for madaboutbingo.com, and just like madaboutcasinos that site will also have major overhaul in the coming months.
GAV: In your opinion what are the strong points of Madaboutcasinos.com and what makes it stand out from the other niche websites/directories?
Philip: Madaboutcasinos.com has 100% unique content and we are in daily contact with affiliate managers to try and keep our reviews fresh and as updated as possible. We also try and get unique offers to advertise to our fans/follows via our social channels.
GAV: Could you tell us a bit about the beginnings of Madaboutcasinos.com and Madabout Media Limited?! We know that you (Madaboutcasinos.com) are a very established portal. How was the portal started and most of all what difficulties you have to overcome at the beginning?
Philip: Madabout Media Ltd came about from Andy and his first portal Madaboutbingo.com. When I came onboard with Madabout Media Ltd one of my first tasks was helping with the design and build of Madaboutcasinos.com. There wasn’t really any major problems with getting madaboutcasinos.com up and running, we had a template for the design and SEO strategy that already worked for madaboutbingo.com and we implemented them into the new site.
GAV: We have surfed your website and found some great quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or do you have a team of people writing for you? How many reviews do you have on the site?!
Philip: We use 2 teams of dedicated writers who visit the sites we advertise. They sign up and visit the different rooms and play on the different games available so they can write an in-depth and unbiased review. We have over 250 reviews on Madaboutcasinos.com, over 300 on Madaboutbingo.com and almost 300 on Mobileslotsites.com. As most affiliate programs have Bingo, Casino and Vegas style Slots, we spread the brands over our sites to target specific players.
GAV: How about the online marketing and SEO of the Madabout Casinos website, do you have someone in house for that our you outsourced it?
Philip: The SEO for all of our advertising and brand sites is done in-house by Andy who is a LRT Certified Professional and another Madabout Media staff member of Keeley who is a LRT associate. SEO is non-stop and things change on a daily basis. So rather them than me haha.
GAV: How do you manage to keep all the Madabout Media Limited websites fresh and relevant, when a lot of fluffy and nonsense appear on the Internet non-stop?
Philip: As mentioned earlier we are in contact with affiliate managers on a daily basis so we can run with the latest site promotions and special offers as soon as they go Live. Our reviews are updated as soon as possible and mailers are sent out to our database. We run competitions ourselves via our social channels, but this is mostly for our brand sites as they sponsor several sports teams, including a wheelchair rugby team, a transplant football team and a professional rugby league team.
GAV: We are pretty convinced that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. You, of course select them by the brands they work with. What are your thoughts on how a real Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship should be built, and how not?!
Philip: Andy has been in this industry since 2006 and myself since 2011 and the best affiliate mangers we work with are the ones who send a professional message from day one & are always available to lend a helping hand. Over time you become friends so the relationship works on a personal level as well as professional one. On the other side you have affiliate mangers who send the same copy and paste message to our of emails in one go and almost demand to be on our site and placed in the best positions.
GAV: How do you see the future of the online casino/gambling industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon?
Philip: Online gaming will go from strength to strength, certainly since the emergence of mobile & tablet gaming. Years ago it was expensive to own a PC but mobile phones and tablet are so widely available you can literally play anywhere, anytime. I’d say its already a global phenomenon, and with new markets opening it will only get bigger.
GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the online casino industry?!
Philip: More transparency and regular payment dates would be great. It’s not really a problem but there are still some brands/affiliate programs that make it hard to access stats and see exactly what traffic you have sent and how the payment has been broken down to make the final commission total.
GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer to newbies who are looking to venture into this majestic industry!?
Philip: If you have started, then see it through! The benefits are fantastic, get to travel to some fantastic cities and meet people from all over the world. Of course you have to put the work in, you can’t just build a site and be No.1 in Google. You need to know the market, the do’s and don’ts and have a goal to aim for.
GAV: How about iGaming/online casino conferences, do you attend any of them? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?
Philip: I love the conferences, its great to catch up with affiliate managers & other affiliates i have become friends with over the years, plus there is always scope to meet new contacts & make new deals. In the 5yrs I’ve been in the industry, I’ve visited conferences in London, Dublin, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Berlin. Amsterdam is lovely city but for me, London (LAC) is the biggest and best.
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 improve upon?
Philip: Anywhere in the world has the potential to become a gaming hotspot. As long as the individual countries are regulated to the high standard set by other gaming countries, I don’t see a problem.
GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, any favorite country or region?
Philip: I would travel anywhere, mostly because i love city breaks haha. Before I started in the industry I believe there was a Budapest Affiliate Conference that got high reviews. I’ve heard good things about Prague, Bucharest and Krakow among others….but mostly from people who have been on stag do’s to them cities haha.
GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe ?
Philip: I’ve never given it much though, as long as it was safe to travel then i’d be on the plane if there was a conference
GAV: How about a favorite celebrity or a mentor, do you have one?
Philip: Favorite celebrity would have to be a sports personality. At the moment Coner McGregor or someone from the past, probably Joe Calzaghe. Two big personalities who have rose to the top of their disciplines through hard work and dedication.
GAV: Tell us your opinion about the Gambling Affiliate Voice?
Philip: I visit Gambling Affiliate Voice from time to time to check the ‘Certified Websites’ page, as an affiliate it’s great to know who the trusted brands are and that’s one thing ‘GAV’ can help me and other affiliates with.
If you would like to suggest subjects for future affiliate interviews, be sure to send your suggestions to: [email protected] .
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