Affiliate income - megabucks or not?

thelawnet

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Apr 4, 2005
Location
UK
The affiliate business is clearly an appealing one for many people, including many current and ex-players on here - compared with other online revenue opportunities, such as banner ads at 1 cent for 10, getting paid $200 for getting a player to sign up at a casino looks a much better choice.

Of course the reality might not live up to the appealing numbers, and reality is what we have to live with.

So can anyone share their experiences as an affiliate?

How easy is it to make something worthwhile (say $1000/month), an income (say $10,000/month), or a small fortune (say $100,000/month)?

I could come up with some numbers on the users you'd need to get this, but actual experiences would be more interesting.
 

Webzcas

Winter is Coming!
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Mar 31, 2005
Location
Block S25, South Stand, Ashton Gate, BS3
I registered my first site which is still my main site on the 18th August 2004 whilst I was still working for Ladbrokes in Gibraltar. I had been working for Ladbrokes for four years at the time, having joined them a couple of weeks before they launched Ladbrokes Casino in October 2000.

My former manager at Ladbrokes who is one of my best friends who incidentally employed me in my previous job in the UK prior to Ladbrokes, convinced me to try my hand at becoming an affiliate. He left Ladbrokes in 2002 to setup 32Red with Ed and a few others. Ed was also my Managing Director when I started work at Ladbrokes.

I had at the time and still do a political forum which I started back in 2003. By August 2004 it was getting some great results in google and Graham convinced me that I should try and achieve the same in the casino industry, particulary as I had at that time 4 years experience working on the other side for an operator.

When I launched Online Casino Reviewer, I bought an off the shelf template and only promoted a few affiliate programs. This was also compounded by the fact that everyone in the industry knows everyone in Gibraltar, so I had to be careful not to promote properties managed and run by companies located in the same office building as Ladbrokes, due to conflict of interest in my role with them.

I spent pretty much all my spare time for the next nine months working on Online Casino Reviewer. From starting out as a very basic and not very pretty looking site it slowly started to take shape. But traffic was low, partly thanks to the google sandbox applied to new sites and revenue was non existant during this period.

Then in June 2005 Online Casino Reviewer started to achieve some good serps in google and I earnt my first paycheck as an affiliate. It was at this point that I realised now I was earning money albeit much smaller than my salary with Ladbrokes, I had a tough decision to make.

Do I continue working with Ladbrokes in a secure position in a secure environment or do I take the gamble and strike out as a fully fledged affiliate. So as you can guess I handed my notice in, which due to my contract and position was three months.

By the time I left at the end of August 2005, Online Casino Reviewer had reached it's first birthday and I made around 1000 that month. Quite a drop from what I was used to getting paid from my employment with Ladbrokes. But the fact my website was starting to earn money was all the incentive I needed to continue working on it, to achieve better results.

Fast forward four years and I am still doing the job I love. Being a successful affiliate whereby you do not require an additional paid revenue source takes a lot of hard work. But if you enjoy the industry then you will enjoy putting the time and effort in.

The UIGEA has affected us as it has all affiliates and obviously we are currently in the middle of a global economic crisis. But we get by to the extent that when we moved back to the UK from Gibraltar, my wife stopped work. Well she does, she works for our company. But like me she is now also self employed.

We are by no means Big Affiliates, but our revenue has consistently been higher than what our former salaries combined were when we were working for someone else.

By planning long term and running your site from a players perspective is the best way IMO to be successful as an affiliate. That is why I still to this day only promote a few select casinos, whereby I am happy to play at.
 

dominique

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Location
The Boonies
The vast majority of affiliates are in and out of the business within 6 months and have nothing to show for it. That's the reality. When you look at the number of affiliate sites produced by a google search, it's in the millions. Only the ones on the first 10 pages or so make any money.

The ones you see here regularly have been working at it for years and built something up for themselves. They are usually also players and understand what people are looking for.

If you have no experience playing yourself, the learning curve is quite large.

Then you have to deal with the search engines and with making a site that is both good for visitors and good for search engine bots.

It took me about a year to see any income, and all of that went back into growing the site.

In the course of 8 years I have built a site with some 8000 pages and support several families. Some months are better than others, some months I don't make any profit at all ( paying those who contribute always comes first) and others I do well. It's a gamble.

Also, affiliate programs don't always keep their contracts and I have incurred some major losses because I didn't get paid what I was owed. If I don't get paid, I still owe my staff all the same.

Being an affiliate is not much different from gambling yourself - and it's a lot of hard work and not as much fun. But you are dealing with the same gambling outfits, need to avoid rogues the same way and depend on luck as well.

If you work hard, grow a site that has value for players, stay on top of current events in both the player world and in the affiliate world as well as the search engine world, you can grow a profitable business.

It's not easy money, but it can be good money if you are willing to apply yourself. Just like anything else, really...
 

lots0

Banned User - troll posts - flaming
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Location
Hell on Earth
The business has grown much much more difficult to make any real money after UGIEA. I can safely say that the UGIEA has cost me well over 70% of my total gambling aff income.

Most new affs currently make far less than $500 a month and that is after a year or so of development during which they make very little or no money at all.

<added>
If you want to be an aff... there are venues in search marketing other than gambling that currently make me far far more money than gambling does.
 

love2winalot

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Feb 10, 2009
Location
Philippines/Visiting Las vegas
Hiya: Here is the perspective from someone who had no idea what they were doing. It was many years ago, with Captain Cooks Casino. Here is the sequence of events for me, and the results.

1. I played about 5-6 times a week at the Casino, and took bonus money several times, and other times did not.

2. After several months of playing, and understanding their bonus terms, and how to deposit into, and get the money out of the Casino, i signed up as an affiliate. The Casino had no chargebacks, and paid %30.

3. I made a free web site using Tripod. I pasted my affiliate link on the site, and joined a few gambling message boards.

4. I made flyers up, directing people to the Tripod site, and to click on the Captain Cooks link. I put these flyers on windsheilds of cars at a bunch of local casino's here in vegas.

5. I promoted playing Roulette, and Sic Bo on my web site.

I ended up having a few players sign up, and was making between $100-$300 a month. This was as far as i got. I still have no idea how search engines actually work, and outside of spamming how to reach a larger portion of players. I will try it again in a few months when i move to the Philippines, so the more information you experts post, the more the rest of us will like it.......:thumbsup:
 

mojo

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East Coast
I started out as a player. I met other players and then some webmasters. Started figuring out how things work. I remember looking for online casinos that were based in the usa. I didn't know there weren't any. :p

With the help of another webmaster, who is now my fiance, I got my first site up in 2005. But I really didn't have time for it with a job and kids. It wasn't until the last couple years that I really put any time in it. I quit my boring office job a little over a year ago now. It was the scariest thing because you really don't know whats going to happen in this biz. I am not a big affiliate by any means but I am ok and holding my own and very happy I took the risk. I really like that I am working for me and the success depends on only me.

It's a ton of work and definately not a get rich quick scheme. You have to commit and put in the time to keep up with the competition on a daily basis. Otherwise you will be left behind pretty quickly. I think this is where many fail, it's a commitment. It helps if you enjoy it. I do, this biz is constantly changing and evolving.

It can be done. If I can do it, anyone can. I didn't know a thing about html let alone running a website. Some of it is very tedious, like anything I suppose. It's pretty much self taught by reading, reading and more reading.
 

JHV

<a href="http://www.casinomeister.com/meister_awar
Joined
Jun 2, 2005
Location
Perennial Traveler
When I read thelawnet's OP, I thought to myself "oh god, there's going to be a string of replies from people talking about how hard it is and how little they make" etc. I was pleasantly surprised to read the responses thus far, which are very balanced and quite accurate.

The answer to the question is a bit like when people (who don't play poker) ask me "How much money can you make playing poker?"

I mean, that a tough question to answer. The correct answer is probably something like:

"Between negative 10 million to positive 10 million per year." (is what you can make - it depends on how skilled / lucky you are)

But in reality, 90-95% of online poker players are losers lifetime. If a friend was asking me if I'd recommend it as a career, I would scream "HELL NO!" (for about 117 reasons that spring to mind, and probably another 500 reasons that don't)

It would be the same for the affiliate industry. The vast majority of affiliates make next to nothing. If you don't really know what you're doing, it's a very steep learning curve. There are literally millions of affiliates all competing with you. The top SERPs (i.e. any that are going to bring you nice search engine traffic) are all owned by people who spend millions on linkbuys or who use Black Hat - or...are held by websites like this one that have been established for years and have thousands or tens of thousands of incoming links and tens of thousands of pages of content. But if you are starting from scratch, you won't be able to "work" your way into high ranking online gambling keyword SERPs for a very long time unless you SPEND or BLACK HAT. (at least, this is what the smartest SEO guys I've met have effectively said re: the current algorithms)

$200 CPA is a bit lol. I honestly don't know what is 'taboo' to discuss regarding this industry as I've never really been interested in the affiliate forums - they're depressing more often than not, from what I've seen (if you're wondering what I mean by 'depressing', I refer you to the locked thread regarding the Affiliate Union). And I'm not bagging affiliates (I'm a poker affiliate myself, although rakeback is a kind of different thing altogether and not comparable with what this thread is discussing) - it's just that the industry attracts a lot of "bad apples", and people start out with good intentions more often than not, and I know a lot get disillusioned along the way or get corrupted by the $.

But anyway, screw it if it's taboo...I know some affiliates who are getting $400 CPA or even higher, in some cases. I guess it comes down to your connections and networks, but Rev Share %'s can go as high as 60% or even higher for short term promos etc.

But whilst the numbers above might make someone think "OMG!" - the truth is really what dominique said, it can be great money if you really apply yourself or if you have the right connections or some original ideas (like providing a niche service or other marketing opportunities).

--------

I set up my rakeback site for poker with absolutely no intention of building it into a big money-spinner. I was already reasonably wealthy from poker, but I was burned out and the thought of opening my poker clients to play made me nauseous. So for a couple months, I was posting on a lot of poker forums and not playing - and I was just getting more and more tilted reading about unprofessional, unethical, (in some cases, just pure thieving) rakeback affiliates - and when friends of mine started to tell me stories of how much they'd had stolen from them (added to my own experiences which involved large amounts stolen), I decided I'd had enough and set up my site paying out players in advance daily for their protection, full transparency in all aspects of data reporting, etc.

I really only set it up to protect my friends and because I had nothing better to do at the time - I had 0 intention of even bothering with SEO as I knew one of the world's biggest rakeback providers was spending a fortune trying to compete for SERPs and getting owned for a variety of reasons. I had no marketing avenues apart from word-of-mouth. Within a year, my players were doing 2-3million MGR annually (obv rakeback affiliates work on very small margins).

But then the hits started coming. In Feb, a site defaulted on $150,000 payment owed (I'd paid almost all that out to players in advance, obv). Other smaller sites went bankrupt or otherwise defaulted. The internal systems of some major online poker affiliate departments are....just shockingly bad. Admin is an endless nightmare chasing up late payments, chasing up player complaints regarding data given to us by the poker rooms, a lot of interacting with jokers who I wouldn't hire for a CS low-level position (but they're the head of the affiliate department for an online poker room). I could write books about the insanity, but I'll settle for saying absolutely nothing surprises me about this industry anymore.

Baron Acton said "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

This is so true for $ as well. Every successful online poker player I know, and every successful online affiliate I know - if they were being honest, would admit it's just a world of madness. Friends who've been close for 10 years want to kill each other now. I'm owed a 6 figure amount by friends I would have considered to be ethical beyond reproach prior.

Yes, you can make huge amounts of money in this industry. But you can lose your mind and your faith in humanity also - when you inevitably combat the endless scams (often by close friends or people you mistakenly thought were close friends) or be corrupted yourself and end up miserable in the process.

It's just all very...disillusioning.
 

WagerWitch

Dormant account
webmeister
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Location
Alaska
I have made 3,000.00 in one month - and nothing for 8 months straight.

It truly depends on the contracts you have - and the casinos you operate with.

Personally I'm not sure it's worth the work - and my affiliate business took a major hit when I got sick...

I haven't seen any increase lately - regardless of the time I put into it - so I kind of weaned myself away from it - to step back - take a look and see if there is anything else that I can do to improve it.

Currently I am not employed - and while I never expected affiliate work to pay the bills - it would be nice if there was something there. LOL!

But right now I have 4.00 in one place - 36.00 in another - and no one - regardless of my traffic and placement in Google (Top 10 for quite a few decent keywords) has actually deposited lately.

The trend seems to be to locate FREEBIES only - and not pursuing the Repeat and Bonus Deposit deals.

Either that or the casinos who I'm affiliated with are not telling the truth - because I can tell how many people are clicking on links daily - and have statistics daily to prove it.

Anywho - unless the agencies I have are lying - then the current trend is NON-DEPOSITing Players and downloaders.

I dunno - it is a hit and miss operation I think.

I could probably be doing more - and would certainly not mind hearing some suggestions that ALL affiliates could use - BESIDES GOOGLE placement - cause that does NOT always work.
 

KasinoKing

WebMeister & Slotaholic..
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CAG
MM
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Aug 25, 2004
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Bexhill on sea, England
Well for my experience just go back up & re-read the posts from Webzcas, Dominique (though I started after them and my "business" is much smaller) and in particular Mojo - I could have written her post myself!
(Except the bit about having a fianc & kids :p)

This bit is absolutely spot on:-
It's a ton of work and definitely not a get rich quick scheme. You have to commit and put in the time to keep up with the competition on a daily basis. Otherwise you will be left behind pretty quickly. I think this is where many fail, it's a commitment. It helps if you enjoy it. I do, this biz is constantly changing and evolving.

It can be done. If I can do it, anyone can. I didn't know a thing about html let alone running a website. Some of it is very tedious, like anything I suppose. It's pretty much self taught by reading, reading and more reading
.
{Edited to add}
Sorry, I forgot to say MASSIVE kudos to Webzcas :notworthy who invited me to my first affiliate conference back in 2007, and introduced me to Bryan, Simmo, and many other familiar names around this forum.
And a similarly HUGE kudos to Simmo! :notworthy who encouraged and inspired me to carry on with my website after a fairly slow start.
Without these two guys I probably wouldn't be where I am today. :thumbsup:



Either that or the casinos who I'm affiliated with are not telling the truth - because I can tell how many people are clicking on links daily - and have statistics daily to prove it.
This is one thing I think many players (and maybe some affiliates) don't consider; there is absolutely no way to tell if a casino is ripping you off by stealing your players. You have to trust them 100%.
e.g.
About 6-months back I was very excited about a new casino and created a special website just to promote that one brand. They had a very generous sign-up bonus and well-known B&M games which no other online casinos had!
But their affiliate system does not record impressions or clicks... :eek2:
Now in 6 weeks I know for a fact my website had well over 50,000 visits, yet according to the casino I did not get even one player registration...
Several days work & lots of 's spent for nothing.
That leaves a bad taste in your mouth I can tell you! :mad:

Another case;
I had 2 or 3 regular players at an MG casino. There was activity and/or income nearly every month from Nov 2006. I guess I could say at least one of them was a high-roller because this casino produced my single biggest source of income 4-months straight, from Oct'08 to Jan'09. Then BAM! Nothing. Not a peep.
OK this player could have quit and moved on, or the casino could have got greedy and just severed my affiliate income from him. There is no way I can EVER find out what happened.

So players, please remember that affiliates have to trust casinos just as much as you do!
(In fact, more so. If you deposit & they steal your money you would know you've been ripped off. Affiliates do not know when they get ripped-off).

KK
 
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WagerWitch

Dormant account
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Location
Alaska
Another case;
I had 2 or 3 regular players at an MG casino. There was activity and/or income nearly every month from Nov 2006. I guess I could say at least one of them was a high-roller because this casino produced my single biggest source of income 4-months straight, from Oct'08 to Jan'09. Then BAM! Nothing. Not a peep.
OK this player could have quit and moved on, or the casino could have got greedy and just severed my affiliate income from him. There is no way I can EVER find out what happened.

So players, please remember that affiliates have to trust casinos just as much as you do!
(In fact, more so. If you deposit & they steal your money you would know you've been ripped off. Affiliates do not know when they get ripped-off).

KK
Correct - that is WHERE my problem lies.

I had a decent player for 2 months. Which then stopped.

Yet this player still goes to my website... However - no signs of any playing (edited to add:) FROM THE CASINO SIDE.

I don't know how ETHICAL it is to ask a player if they are still playing at a casino - but I WOULD LOVE TO...

I mean - WHO is watching the casino affiliate sites - and how do we TRUST them when things like this happen?

I mean - I'm serious - I went from 3000.00 one month to ZERO the next with 5 players. I just cannot believe ALL five chose to quit depositing at the same time.

But that is what the reports said.

So - although this wasn't the trend of the discussion - I'm not sure how to combat this issue.

And it isn't something I've seen discussed anywhere openly before...

I'm not willing to name names - not yet any way - but I'd like to know if OTHER affiliates have noticed a trend like this recently?
 
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WagerWitch

Dormant account
webmeister
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Location
Alaska
Wrong place for this thread.. :rolleyes:
Possibly - but it is a point to consider if you are an affiliate - or if you are thinking about becoming an affiliate.

It is indeed a money issue - and whether or not you are actually earning the money you should be.

In other words:

Let's say I think I should be making "XX" amount
But casino says I only made "XX" amount

yanno?
 

lots0

Banned User - troll posts - flaming
Joined
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Location
Hell on Earth
There are ways to tell if a casino has ripped you off as an affiliate.

For one... have some one you know make a small deposit through your aff links... If the deposit don't show up, you know your getting screwed.

I've caught several well known casinos cheating this way.

<added> after more than a decade in this business.. I start out with the idea that any casino I don't already know are a bunch crooks... they have to prove to me that they are not before I'll do business with them.

Sometimes they still fool me though... cough.. rome.. cough..
 

WagerWitch

Dormant account
webmeister
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Location
Alaska
There are ways to tell if a casino has ripped you off as an affiliate.

For one... have some one you know make a small deposit through your aff links... If the deposit don't show up, you know your getting screwed.

I've caught several well known casinos cheating this way.

<added> after 14 years in this business.. I start out with the idea that any casino I don't already know are a bunch crooks... they have to prove to me that they are not before I'll do business with them.
Well ANYONE is welcome to PLEASE deposit through my links...

:lolup:

No - seriously - If anyone wants to test it out - I'll take it - but other than you guys online in the small groups (here and GG) - I don't know very many people who gamble online to go out and ask...

I did just post a post that asked my players to comment if they use the promos - but all in all - most of my players don't hang around to come back and comment...

But lotso - if you ever want to share which groups (look at my site - and the last 2 months of posts) I have and let me know if any of those were on your list - PLEASE let me know... IF you're in the mood to do that. Otherwise - no worries.

I'm still a major newbie getting my feet wet in the affiliate stuff. Been in a long time - just figuring it out. LOL!
 

lots0

Banned User - troll posts - flaming
Joined
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Location
Hell on Earth
Actually, I ask one of my monkeys to register and deposit $100.00 (from a unique IP) and I provide the cash.

I usually do 100 and then only play 20 because that way you can play a few games, get a feel for the casino and get a really good idea about their CS, deposit, withdrawal and time frames.

But beware, some casinos don't like this kind of thing very much... for obvious reasons.

<added> Reading two months worth of forum posts sounds like work... ;)
I'll take a look when I get time, but it might be a while.
 

zebedy

No!!!! Im Spartacus
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Up a Tree
There was a poll over at AGD about how much affiliates make a month, id sure like to know the secret to making $150.000 a month,

$0 - $500 - 4
$500 - $1000 - 3
$1000 - $5000 - 6
$5000 - $10,000 - 7
$10,000 - $20,000 - 4
$20,000 - $50,000 - 4
$50,000 - $75,000 - 2
$75,000 - $100,000 - 0
$100,000 - $150,000- 0
$150,000+ - 1
 

WagerWitch

Dormant account
webmeister
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Location
Alaska
There was a poll over at AGD about how much affiliates make a month, id sure like to know the secret to making $150.000 a month,
WOW - no kidding. Please... Share info.. LOL!

Lotso - only if you feel like glancing at them - I'm set up as a blog - and each post has a "promo" or something interesting in it - You can pretty much skim it to get an idea of what I have...

It would be pretty easy. LOL!

But - I can see what advantage that would have and why the casinos would NOT like that.

DO WE HAVE ANY CASINO AFFILIATE REPS here on CM?
 

lots0

Banned User - troll posts - flaming
Joined
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Location
Hell on Earth
I'd like to make one other point about becoming a gambling affiliate.

Casino Affs are fast becoming a thing of the past.

When the UGIEA goes away.. the big boys will come back and when online gambling is legal in the US they won't NEED affiliates anymore.

888 and Harrahs have already teamed up and are waiting for the UGIEA to be over turned.. they are both anti affiliate in a big way and looking to control online gaming inside the US.

The way I see it, when online gambling becomes totally and completely legal in the US it will be the end of casino affiliates, at least as we know them.
 

4 of a kind

Repeated violations of forum rule 1.16 - troll
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Location
New York
I found this thread very interesting, and not surprised to find it somewhat depressing. I would guess like any other business some people end up fairing pretty well while most fall to the way side.

But after taking into consideration what actually takes place with online casinos and poker rooms, why would anyone seriously consider getting involved investing their time and money with such a group of proven crooks?

Of course just like accredited casinos that pay their winners, more then likely their are accredited ones that also pay their affiliates. Yet, based on what I could tell, maybe 5% are straight up with 95% bad in one way or another. You also run the risk of being involved with a good place to play today, but rogue tomorrow.

When you consider all the legitimate problems and bullshit we read about day in and day out about online casinos and poker rooms, why should it be any different for affiliates.

I couldn't even imagine my income being based on trusting an online casino being forthcoming about who signed on and deposited thanks to me. I'd feel safer getting a shopping cart and walking around picking up deposit bottles.

Based on the posts I read up to this point on this subject, it sounds like you might have a better chance investing your time and money actually playing at one of the accredited casinos, and hope you get a cash out.

I'm certain a small percentage of people might fair okay with this program today but tomorrow sure looks scary. It seems to be safe to say that your hard work and what appears to be long hours invested, might be better spent on another idea.
 

Webzcas

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Location
Block S25, South Stand, Ashton Gate, BS3
Based on the posts I read up to this point on this subject, it sounds like you might have a better chance investing your time and money actually playing at one of the accredited casinos, and hope you get a cash out.

I'm certain a small percentage of people might fair okay with this program, but it also appears that your hard work and what appears to be long hours invested, might be better spent on another idea.
Many affiliates are players and started off as players. It was their enthusiasm playing that made them decide to become affiliates in the first place.

You can make a living from being an affiliate in this industry and a pretty good one too for that matter. It is certainly not as lucrative as it was in the past, but the opportunities are there and will be even more so once the UIGEA becomes a thing of the past.
 

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