The role of an online casino affiliate
From a player’s perspective, if you are referred to an online casino by an online casino affiliate, any money that they earn from your custom is paid by the online casino and not by the player. So a player should be happy to support affiliates who offer valuable, honest information, but should as the same time be aware of affiliate websites that share only raving reviews and zero of the bad stuff. Because really, no online casino is perfect. However, online casinos are notorious for offering good commissions to affiliates and it’s inevitable that affiliates will sometimes “overlook” the shortcomings of an online casino as a result of greediness. That’s why a player should always look out for honest information and reviews and try not to get blindsided by flashy banners and Bonus offers. Of course there are affiliates out there that are simply in it for the money. But some do definitely take pride in making sure that the provided information is accurate, trustworthy and helpful. The key is to learn how to spot the good ones. Affiliate websites that are run by actual online casino players tend to share their honest opinions. Perhaps they blacklist casinos or they mention that their support is lacking or that the cashouts are way too slow. All of this is very important information, since the games tend to be fairly similar anyway. “Honesty Pays”, but “Money Talks”, so just be careful and don’t take everything you read for the truth and perhaps do some more online researching if you feel like they’re holding back on information. And whenever in doubt, just don’t sign up.
How to become an online casino affiliate
Becoming an online casino affiliate and to get something up and running is fairly easy. What’s hard is to KEEP it up and running and to actually be able to earn your daily bread with it. It’s not impossible though, and while it’s become a very competitive market, opportunities certainly still exist for the dedicated online casino affiliates.
Firstly, the key element to becoming a successful casino affiliate is to be an experienced player. If you are aiming for valuable online casino players following your recommendations, you will need to know the ins and outs of the industry. If you can make it clear to potential players that you know what you’re talking about, you won’t just be attracting one-hit Bonus hunters. If you’ve played a dozen or so different online casinos, on different types of software, you’re probably in a good starting position.
Secondly, it’s important to know the basics of putting a website together. It really helps if you know enough to make your website maintenance easy. Online casinos are constantly changing, improving and innovating, and generally keeping you on your toes, so you’ll need to keep your eye on things and make changes fairly regularly. The online casinos will help you with this of course. The affiliate programs and affiliate managers are there to assist you and make sure that you are on top of your game. If you know a bit more about programming, it makes sense to have a website running from a database so one change will reflect across the whole website. A good sense of design helps too. This has become very essential. Your information needs to be well laid out, easy to read and your website needs to look sharp. Web design is definitely part of a continuously developing and evolving trend. Certain styles, fonts, colors and graphics could possibly make or break your website.
Thirdly, and this is the most challenging aspect, is getting your website noticed. Which means that you are going to need targeted traffic in reasonable quantities. Which means that you will have to know about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and be aware of Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) before you get started. Google is the main search engine for online gambling traffic, but don’t even think about targeting the keywords “online casino” until you are established. It will take months, maybe even years to get strong Google placements on competitive terms, but your knowledge as a player should help you identify some “niche” search terms that you could aim for to rank high. Take time to research or follow an (online) course or tutorial before you even think about starting to write your own website content. It will save you a lot of time later.
Finally, the online content. Good, strong, honest (!) information is definitely the way to go. Please avoid stuffing your pages with flashy banners and glittery Bonus offers, as it will harm your website ranking over time and attract the wrong type of online casino players. Plus, signing up for a Bonus is not the best advice to give to a player since the T&C’s are so restrictive these days. Aside from which, Bonuses are constantly changing anyway and staying on top and keeping track of them can be a total nightmare. Try the publish quality, unique info, based on your own online casino experiences and flag the good AND the bad. Above all, don’t promote online casinos that you either wouldn’t play yourself or that have a bad reputation on the forums. Make sure to do your research before you publish something! Aside from the ethical standpoint, if players don’t like where you send them, they’ll move on and you’ve lost them, most likely forever. Keep in mind that you often only get one chance to get your players onboard, so you don’t want to waste that opportunity. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
What to expect when becoming an online casino affiliate
So what to expect once you have decided to become an online casino affiliate. If you’re starting a website from scratch it’s important to buy a memorable or preferably keyword rich domain and try to keep it short. You have to prepare yourself for not seeing much of an income for at least the first six months, unless you get really lucky or you are extremely unique and good at what you do. You’re most likely not going to see your website indexed well in Google for 6-9 months minimum and you’re not going to see a lot of sustainable traffic for a similar period unless you can get good strong incoming (back)links in place.
Actually, many online casino affiliates buy links, especially to get started, but if you decide to follow this route, please make sure to get links from actual relevant sources such as other online gambling websites. Always avoid free linking exchange programs and do it the hard way. Google and Yahoo can see right through “unnatural” linking methods simply to improve ranking, yet backlinking plays a very important factor in how search engines rank websites.
For more information and to see the community in action, the best place for online casino affiliates to check out is the GPWA forum which is a pretty active and helpful place to be. If you want a list of affiliate programs for decent casinos to get started, along with plug-in Bonus information then check out Affcaff.