One of the most common type of poker affiliate websites is a poker strategy website. This is usually because a lot of new poker affiliates are also poker players who want to write about a topic they feel they are experts at: poker strategy.
Unfortunately one of the most common trends of poker strategy websites is that they don’t make money. Affiliates just aren’t sure how to monetize a poker strategy website.
To paraphrase an old saying – “it’s a marathon AND a race”. When you’re building a poker strategy website, you are really building a website for the long-term, one that should be making you a lot of money down the road. However you should still be able to make money in the short-term as well.
Let’s assume you have a poker strategy website which covers a wide variety of strategy, be it cash games or tournaments, with beginner, intermediate and advanced knowledge articles.
5 Monetization Methods In the Short Term:
There are a few basic things you should be doing with your poker strategy website in the short term, and a few optional methods of monetizing your strategy website that I want to quickly cover. Some of these may sound ridiculously obvious, but you have no idea how bad some of the strategy websites I have seen are when it comes to actually converting players.
- Referring Players To Rooms: Okay this one should be obvious – but it’s more HOW you do it. Ideally people will be reading every word you write if they want to become a better poker player. Therefore, you have them hooked on your written word. Use that to your advantage. Use specific calls to actions based on the content that you are writing. For example, if you are writing an article on how to beat turbo SNGs, tell the audience the best place to play these SNGs, and even dedicate some paragraphs to explaining why that is.
If you tell a player that the turbo SNGs are more exploitable at Carbon Poker than Full Tilt Poker and that player doesn’t already play at Carbon – then there’s a good chance of a conversion there. If they are a Full Tilt player, then the chances of a conversion are much higher.
- Think About Your Audience: You need to think about your audience and who they are, and tailor your calls to action around that. If you have a player reading up on basic strategy or even basic poker rules, then that is a player that is more likely to be converted by a strong brand name like Full Tilt, or the promise of a cash bonus or poker freerolls.
- Promote Poker Tools: These guys want to get better at their game, right? That’s the reason they’re reading your website. So promote poker tools to them to help better their game. Promote different poker tools based on what sort of article they are reading. Texas Calculatem would be a solid tool for beginners, while the more intermediate/advanced readers would see the benefit of Poker Table Ratings.
- Promote Poker Training Websites: There are a lot of poker training websites that offer an affiliate program, like Poker VT. In this day and age sitting back and watching a video is a lot easier than reading text for the majority of people, so these can be a great sell. Again – promote different people depending on the audience. Negreanu would be ideal for the beginners, while Paul Wasicka or similar would be more recogniseable and respected to the intermediate/advanced players.
- Promote an eBook/Build a Mailing List: I wouldn’t advocate selling an ebook – at least not at this stage. Instead I would have my own ebook which I offer for free to people. They either have to subscribe to the mailing list to get it(and you can them market to them in the future) or they have to sign up to a poker room to get the ebook. I find the latter actually works out very well if you offer multiple poker rooms to choose from while listing the benefits of those rooms, and have seen a healthy percentage of real money players using this method.
Those are options in the short term. However when you run a poker strategy website you really have to make a commitment to it, because to really reap the rewards it’s going to be in the long term. It’s very likely that you won’t make money today, or tomorrow, or for many months.
However it is much like running your own forum – eventually(if you do it right) you’ll see all your hard work pay off.
So what’s the “top secret” when it comes to running a poker strategy website?
Trust & Personalization
Two simple words that can make you thousands of dollars overnight. Trust. And Personalization.
The perfect example of this is: me. Me, and Affiliate Bible, because when it comes down to it Affiliate Bible is a strategy website, just for affiliates, not players.
Over the years, I’ve given the best advice I possibly could on Affiliate Bible. I’ve been open and honest, and I’ve never led anyone in the wrong direction. I’ve also spent many years helping out people on poker affiliate forums. I’ve spent hours upon hours dissecting peoples websites for them and ultimately helping my competition, when I could be working on my own websites. I’m also always at the affiliate conferences, meeting new people and networking with them.
Wherever I go, I’m personalizing and becoming recognizable to people. Here on Affiliate Bible you see the “Dealer Dan” branding wherever you go. When I’m on the affiliate forums, I have the Dealer Dan avatar. And when I’m at the affiliate conferences, I’m handing out business cards with the Dealer Dan image on them. And not just any business card either – these are top class, expensive plastic cards that have the same feel as a credit card. The type of business card that people will actually keep, as it stands out from the crowd.
So over the years I’ve been personalizing – and in return I get the trust of my peers. Affiliates are contacting me every day, asking for advice, and I’m always happy to give it. It doesn’t matter how much people make – I’ve had affiliates who make over $50k per month make huge changes on their website based on a brief telephone call with me.
Why? Because they trust me.
Because they know I won’t lead them astray, and that I’m always going to give them the best advice I possibly can.
And in return for offering the best advice, in the long-term I reap the benefits of it.
Having earned this trust, I can recommend programs to affiliates, and see hundreds of affiliates sign up at that poker room or program overnight to start promoting it. If you’re looking to start your own rakeback website and I suggest the guys over at Rakeback Engine – well you’re most likely going to click through and check Rakeback Engine out.
Because you trust me. Because you know I’m not recommending Rakeback Engine just to make a quick buck. Because reputation is everything to me, and you know that if I’m recommending Rakeback Engine then I have researched it thoroughly, and am very happy with the product that they are offering.
That’s how you make money from a poker strategy website.
First of all, you personalize it. You let the reader know who you are. Get your picture up there. Have your biography up there, with some family pictures for good measure. Post your stats from Pokertracker or PokerTableRatings or whatever, and keep them updated on a regular basis. Let people know you are who you say you are.
Start a blog on the website. Write about your life. Write about the poker games you’re playing, sessions you’ve had, new games you’re learning, anything you can.
Join poker strategy forums. Get your picture as your avatar, a link to your website in your signature, and start posting. Post helpful advice, and do everything you can to help your fellow poker players.
Because when you do that, you build trust. Then months down the road, when you have a solid reputation and people trust you, your words mean that much more. Your calls to action mean that much more.
If I google “poker strategy” and find some random, generic, faceless website telling players how to play pocket jacks, it’s very unlikely I’m going to stick around that website, let alone click any of their banners or links.
However, if I’ve been reading articles from a poker player for 6 months, had discussions with him over forums, and feel he really knows what he talks about, and suddenly that poker player suggests I try out Poker Table Ratings, or start playing tournaments at Sun Poker due to the overlay, am I not more likely to convert?
Trust and Personalization are the two key ingredients to making money from a poker strategy website.
Trust good ol’ Dealer Dan on that 😉