One question I get asked often is “is gambling affiliation dead?”. And honestly – it’s a very fair question.
If you look at everything that has happened in the gambling world over the last few years, it would be easy to come to the conclusion that it is dead. I mean we have had so many issues with legislation and regulation. We’ve watched the poker traffic drop considerably. Google has been bloodthirsty lately in terms of algorithm changes that are affecting online business – particularly for affiliate marketers – drastically.
Hell, look on any affiliate forum and you’ll see in terms of domains and websites it is a buyers market. People are offloading their domains by the truckload. One of the most popular buzz words on forums is “diversification”, with more and more affiliates looking outside gambling when it comes to market.
It’s very fair to come to the assumption that gambling affiliation is “dead” or close to it.
But that’s wrong.
I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass by saying “this is the best time to be a gambling affiliate” or any crap like that. It’s not. Believe me. 2013 will be the 9th year that I have been a gambling affiliate. These last few years have been BRUTAL compared to 2004-2008.
But there’s still a lot of money to be had by being a gambling affiliate. Honestly one of the biggest differences I see – which is a positive – is that hard work actually pays off now. There were a few gambling websites I built or improved in 2012 where I worked my ass off, and you know what? I got rewarded for them. And the great thing is most affiliates are lazy! If you spend your time building actual quality sites, I have no doubt that you’re able to succeed as a gambling affiliate in 2013.
In the last week I’ve been doing research and planning for 2013. While I have diversified a lot the last couple of years, and plan on building more non-gambling sites this year – I’m still planning on focusing a large percentage of my work on building new gambling sites. I thought I would share with you guys the websites I am planning to start, as well as websites that I’m not going to touch with a 10 foot bargepole.
Let’s get the “10 foot bargepole” websites out of the way first. Even thinking about them fills me full of emo negativity.
3 Gambling Affiliate Websites I’m Avoiding in 2013
(1) Big Brandable Sites:
What’s that? Everyone and their mother is going on and on about building brandable sites, and I’m going to avoid them?
Brandable sites are tough, man. It can be a long process. I already have a couple of brandable sites already which is part of the reason – but there’s just so much you need to do with these big, brandable websites. There’s so much you need to upkeep and maintain. And more often than not, the first couple of years you’ll be relying purely on longtail traffic.
Now that’s not always a bad thing – many times I’ve struck gold with traffic that way. Some random longtail that no-one thought about ends up being great for bringing in visitors AND converting. But it’s a lot of work. And the fact that most affiliates, new and experienced, will be competing with me – as everyone is building brandable websites now – just isn’t really my cup of tea.
I know there are some affiliates sitting out there, with their big brandable websites, shaking their head right now. But for every 1 of those, there’s 9 others nodding their head in agreement.
(2) Rakeback Websites:
It almost brings a tear to my eye saying that.
I was one of the first rakeback affiliates back in 2004. Not only is it one of the most competitive areas of online poker – but man, it’s dead, and it’s people fighting over scraps now.
You’d make more money starting a website dedicated to Full Tilt than you would starting a rakeback site in 2013.
(3) Brand Name Domain Websites:
Another one that is mostly dead – PartyPokerBonusCode.com, FullTiltDownload.com – all of those types of sites.
For one, most rooms don’t allow it these days. Or the ones that do are starting to wisen up and realize that these types of affiliate sites are just costing them money. So your options for gambling sites to build these sort of websites around are limited – and even the ones you DO build around have the risk of being closed after a ton of hard work.
Another reason is the competition – everyone is still going for these sort of websites as they’re the “easiest” sites to build. You can never rely on rankings with these types of sites – you can jump around like crazy. Plus these are the types of sites the search engines are out to “get” – even if you build a website of the highest possible quality it may not save you in the next Google update.
And you know the real reason? A lot of people have never actually understood how to REALLY make these sites work. It’s all about taking risks on new poker rooms. Starting up domains targeted towards a variation of “Party Poker Bonus Code” is useless because there’s already a million established sites out there – some of them EMDs, some brandable sites.
To REALLY make money from these type of sites – you need to analyze all the new poker rooms opening up. You have to guess what new poker room is going to be a roaring success, so you can piggyback off them and capitalize on it.
Are YOU going to put your chips on a new poker room opening up in 2013 and being a massive success?
With all the doom and gloom out of the way – let’s get into the more positive outlook for 2013.
6 Gambling Affiliate Websites I’m Building in 2013
(1) Special Event Websites.
These are websites dedicated to specific events, such as the World Cup 2014. I built a website dedicated to Euro 2012(beteuro2012.org) and I had a lot of success with it. Niche websites still work in this day and age.
However to really profit from these websites, you need to aim for quality. I know some affiliates who ran websites for Euro 2012 or the Olympics and made absolutely nothing. Their websites were patched together crap clearly built with the number one goal “to make money”. My Euro 2012 website was built with the visitor in mind. I offered betting previews on every game. I offered betting analysis and tips on many betting markets. I provided live betting odds.
I created a quality website with the user in mind, and I got rewarded for it.
The numbers don’t lie – here were the visitor stats from June 1st to July 1st, 2012:
And I averaged MORE than a buck a visitor with that.
(2) Mobile Gambling:
I’m sure this is nothing groundbreaking. Everyone is always looking for the “next big thing” and mobile gambling has been touted for the last few years as exactly that. The adaption rate of mobile gambling had some pretty high projections – I remember seeing extremely high projections in studies conducted in 2010 and 2011, and from talking to a few sportsbooks and casinos it’s not as successful as they had hoped.
Hell in all honesty, talking to a lot of affiliate managers about mobile gambling is like talking to an online bingo affiliate manager. However I’m extremely passionate about mobile gambling – particularly mobile betting. It’s something I personally do on a daily basis. And currently, I don’t actually have a horse in this race – I have some websites with mobile gambling sections – but I don’t have a specific mobile gambling website.
I’m building a website on mobile gambling for precisely two reasons:
(a) Despite it being a competitive market, I have the time and resources to dedicate to a website to the potential “next big thing”. If it doesn’t reach the projections, or if the competition is too strong – then I’m able to accept that.
(b) It’s something I am passionate about, and will really enjoy building a website on that topic – especially when it has the potential to make money.
Please note that here I am not telling you “Go out and build a mobile betting website” – I’m telling you to go out and build a website that fall under (a) and (b).
(3) Non-English Websites:
There are still quite a lot of unsaturated niche when it comes to markets outside of the English language. Find phrases that you know make money, then search for them in another language and often, you’ll see only a few websites that you’d consider “real competition”.
Pick a language, pick a topic, hire a professional translator and roll those dice.
(4) A Website Dedicated to US Poker Players:
This has to be a joke entry, right?
I can see why it would be classed as that. However I’ve talked to a lot of US poker players – not the guys who go to all the WSOP events and are on 2+2 every day – but the more casual players. People who play just online, people who play both online and offline, and people who just play offline.
Their education of the online poker scene in the US is rather horrific – it’s amazing how uneducated many people are when it comes to online poker in the USA. I feel there’s a website idea there – a website that really educates these players and breaks it all down in layman terms for them. Maybe it’s been done before – but it’s clearly not working as it should, based on the incomprehension so many people have about the US poker scene.
A website like this isn’t your typical affiliate website. It’s going to rely a lot less on search engine traffic and a hell of a lot more on social marketing. But I think it will end up being a fantastic resource for the casual US poker player, with long-term potential in regard to income.
(5) Niche Sports Betting Tips Websites:
I’ve been doing niche sports betting websites for years, and making a bundle. I’m going to continue to do this simply because the competition is still not there. And when there IS competition? The competition still doesn’t know how to actually convert visitors and make money from them when it comes to sports betting tips.
Google phrases like “[sport] betting picks/tips” or “[sport] picks/tips”. Within the first few pages for most results you’ll find a series of graveyard websites – websites that have been dead for a year. Affiliates try and make money from these types of sites – but many fail, as they just don’t know how to convert. Which makes a quality website pop up the rankings with relative ease.
I’ll probably build at least 10 of those sites in 2013.
(6) Longtail Sports Betting Websites:
Following along from (5), I still feel the sports betting area of affiliate marketing is relatively untapped – especially compared to casino and poker.
These types of websites are three to four word phrase domains. And yeah yeah – Google hates all EMDs and there’s no point and it’s all brands, all the time. Or is it? In theory, Google hates low-quality EMD websites. So as long as I build high-quality sites I should be fine. Right?
I already have quite a few sports betting websites. I know quite a few keywords that convert well and bring in a fair amount of traffic yet the competition is weak. Here’s one for free: “where to bet”.
And you know – maybe all 6 of these website ideas will fail. You just never know. You can never guarantee success.
You can only try.