“Diversify” is the big buzz word of the last couple of years amongst gambling affiliates. Some are going outside the gambling stratosphere while others are staying within it, but getting into new areas. I’m seeing a lot of new sportsbook affiliates start up, with the majority of them getting into sports betting tips.
Sports betting tips sites are easy to run. You don’t need to think about the content that you’re going to write – like a news site, it practically writes itself. Depending on the sport that you are providing tips for, you can have lots of regular content. 1-5 articles per day during the NBA season, 1-16 articles per week during the NFL season.
And the traffic is there. Tons of people every day are searching for tips, and there’s so much variation in traffic too. You can go for the primary keywords like “NFL Picks” or “Free NFL Betting Tips”, or Secondary keywords like “Week 15 NFL Betting Tips”, “October 18th NFL Betting Picks”, “Cardinals vs Vikings Betting Tips”.
Yep – running a tips site is extremely easy when it comes to producing content and getting traffic. So why is it that the majority of niche tips websites end up completely dead?
That’s 3 random tips sites I found within 5 minutes, all for different sports. All of them were Page 1 on Google for their target keywords. Those are the last updates on the site. If you spend some time researching you’ll find MANY sites like this. They’ll start off great with lots of content, and then poof – one day the updates just stop, and the site will lay dormant for months or years.
Why is this? For one main reason:
Sports Betting Tips Sites Aren’t Just About The Tips.
Should you be running a sports betting tips website which is JUST about the tips? Let’s do a quiz:
Are you a proven sports bettor? By proven sports bettor I don’t mean “I once correctly predicted who would win the Superbowl” or someone who “watches a lot of NBA so I have a lot of knowledge about it”. Have you been betting sports for a couple of years, successfully making profit from it, and long-term know for a fact that you are able to provide consistent winning tips? If I tell you “You’ll be lucky to win 65% of your tips” and your first thought is “That percentage is actually too high”.
Are you a great marketer? Have the ability to go above and beyond actual search engine marketing? Great at people marketing? Have the ability to bullshit your way through 500 word betting tips articles, while really having no idea what some of the terminology you’re using means, or why you’re saying it, but still sound knowledgeable? Then do you have the ability to bullshit your way out of losses? Where despite the fact that you’ve lost your mailing list 40 units, you’re able to BS your way into convincing them to pay and follow the tips the next season in a way a car salesman would be proud of?
And that’s not an insult. Despite their reputation, car salesmen are some of the best talkers and marketers out there. And if you want to see someone who falls into that category as an example, just check out BrandonLang.com.
If you fall into those two categories then congrats – you can make a website all about sports betting tips, and won’t have to worry.
For the 98% of you who don’t fall under those categories, let’s talk about you.
Your plan is simple. You own a domain which has “NHL” or “NBA” or “NFL” or similar in it. Also your primary keyword like “Betting” or “Betting Picks” or something, and you plan on launching UFCBettingTips.com or NBAFreeBettingPicks.net or whatever.
Your plan is to write articles every day providing tips for specific games right? You’re going to write a 400+ word article on certain games, providing tips. And your plan to make money is simple – you’ll tell the people where to bet. You’ll tell them to bet this bet at Bodog because of the odds. You’ll tell them to hit up Bet365 and take advantage of their free bet. Or head on over to Betfair where you can do live in-play betting.
That won’t work.
The graveyard of sites I displayed at the top of this article? That was their plan too. Remember – if it seems too easy, it IS too easy. Starting up a tips website and providing regular content? Easy. Getting traffic to that website? Easy. Getting subscribers to a mailing list? Easy.
Making money from that website? Hard. Very, very hard.
See – you’re going to get lots of traffic. But the majority – and I mean the MAJORITY – of the traffic just isn’t going to convert. That’s why you need to fall into the two categories above if it’s going to be all about the tips – because your whole business plan involves the long-term and selling picks. You barely focus on affiliate marketing as it is – your main focus is getting them to subscribe to your mailing list.
This is usually easy to do – sports betters are just BEGGING for someone to do the hard work for them, and will eagerly and blindly follow websites all the time. It’s even better if they have to pay for it – because the majority of them think buying picks = instant money. Sad, but true.
Then you build up trust over the long-term, either via legitimate results or “car salesmen” marketing BS, and sell them picks. If they trust you, you can EASILY market sportsbooks to them too, convincing them a little bit more each day as to why they should move to 5Dimes or Bodog or whomever.
But you don’t fall into those categories, and that’s A-Ok.
See – there’s other ways to make money from sports betting tips websites, and it’s not about the tips. Before we go any further though I feel I need to explain a bit more to you about the traffic you’re going to get. Because you’re going to launch that sports betting tips website, get 100 visitors within your first week or two, start getting 50+ uniques per day and think “Wow, this is easy”.
Here’s the main demographics and visitor types that is searching for sports betting tips:
(1) Casual punters looking for sports betting tips. They are comfortable wherever they bet, and convincing them to a switch to another sportsbook can be extremely hard. They could be betting $10 to win $30 at their sportsbook. You could link them to a sportsbook where that $10 will get them $60 in winnings and they STILL won’t switch. Why? Because they’re comfortable where they are. They don’t really have any long-term plans – the idea of “winning money” is good enough for them, and they don’t understand what “the big deal” is between a -5 line and a -4.5 line.
(2) Skeptical punters. They’re just jumping along looking for someone to trust….up until they lose money, then they declare that your site sucks and move along. You can deliver 7 winning tips in a row to these people – then you give them 2 losing tips and they e-mail you with every curse word in the book, and a few new ones you won’t have heard of. Then they move on.
(3) Punters who “think they’re smart”. They will follow 6-10 tips websites, and focus on their free tips with the theory “their free tips have to be their best so they can sell on me”. They compare the sites but don’t build any long-term relationship with the site. These people CAN be converted but it’s long-term and over a mailing list.
There’s a few more – but let’s wrap up the list with the biggest demographic of all:
(4) People who want winning tips. That’s what they want. They want TIPS. They don’t want free bets. They don’t care about bonuses. They don’t care about odds. All they want is tips, and winning tips at that. Consistently. They’re not going to look twice at your banners or at your CTAs. They’re not going to read that paragraph explaining why someone should switch to Bet365 to make this bet. They’re just wanting TIPS. They get the tip, MAYBE skim the write-up, then move on.
Ever visit a news site? The last time you visited ESPN or CNN – how often did you stop to look at the ads? How about a poker news site? When was the last time you went to a poker news site to read about the WSOP rankings, and was convinced to start playing at an online poker room? Never, right?
That’s the exact type of traffic that is going to be visiting sports betting tips websites. Just like the poker strategy demographic – they’re looking for tips and for strategy and they have absolutely no intention of dropping everything to sign up at a sportsbook just because the odds are marginally better.
Now I’ve broken it down – does any of that traffic sound appealing to you? If your business plan is to focus on your mailing list and sell picks, and you fall in the aforementioned categories above then that’s great – the traffic is appealing to you.
But if your plan is to provide sports betting tips and via those tips convert people to online sportsbooks – be sure to send me your URL, so I can add you to my “sports betting tips graveyard” collection in 6 months.
That’s why sports betting tips websites aren’t always about the tips. If anything, tips should be the LEAST important section on the site in terms of conversion to affiliate sportsbooks.
This is a two part article. Part 2 is available here.