Starting your Online Gambling Business


The beginner's guide for new online gambling affiliates - how to get started.


AS AN AFFILIATE COACH, I come across many people that either want to start their own website or specifically become an online gambling affiliate. Each prospect is different in their requisite skill sets and I have to find out what level this person is at to find a good path for them to take. Overall, I typically ran into the same challenges regardless of the person and usually have to start from scratch. This article will represent a guide to help new webmasters or new gambling affiliates get off the ground and make the first steps.

This article is broken down into two parts. Part one will focus on the skills and information needed to start your own website regardless if you want to become a gambling portal or a website of any topic outside of gambling. Part two will focus on getting yourself up-to-date with the knowledge and skills you need to work in the online gambling industry. If you don't know much about online gambling, then the second part will have assignments that will quickly build your knowledge base of the industry in the shortest time possible. Of course, it always helps to ask questions because you never get what you don't ask for.

Part one: how to start your own website

Identifying skill sets

Not everyone is computer-sawy and this makes for a big challenge for someone who wants to start their own website. The bottom line is that no matter how bad one could be at computers, anything is possible and everything can be learned. For new webmasters, this is a good first step in weeding out timewasters or aspiring webmasters that have no work ethic. If they can't spend the time to understand computers, the Internet and basic HTML then they certainly will not become a successful afhHate.

I get asked all sorts of questions that sometimes make my eyes roll, but these questions usually repeat themselves and the answers usually involve the Google search engine. I typically get my answers to these questions by doing a search and finding articles or YouTube videos of someone else who has already solved that problem. You would be surprised at how many people don't understand how to use a search engine effectively. For example, if you are searching for information but you keep finding websites that want to sell you something else, you can add '-buy' or '-free' to remove keywords that will improve your results. Another example is finding exact phrases like 'free WordPress templates' that will usually get more accurate results than without using quotes inside the search query. Before my clients ask me a question, I ask them if they have looked for their answer in a search engine first. This saves me a lot of time, helps the webmaster find better information in the future and prevents them from asking me ten questions a day when they could find the answers for themselves.

Computer security and maintenance

First question: do you use the same password for everything such as online banking, emails and Facebook? If the answer is 'yes' or 'sometimes' then I try to teach my clients to keep their computer clean of viruses, spyware and malware. This first step should be done before anything else gets started. You really don't need your FTP, emails or CMS login details to be compromised and ruining all your future hard work. Next is using secure passwords. Some people hate the inconvenience of needing a program to acquire their passwords when they are switching computers or devices but trust me, it is far worth enduring the hassle than realising one day that your PayPal, Moneybookers or neteller accounts, your bank accounts and your online poker accounts have all been drained in a single day. If you don't catch this in time you could say goodbye to a lot of money. On top of this, imagine having all your affiliate accounts updated with new payment information and your password changed, or even worse, your domain has been transferred to someone else!

My solution to this problem is either KeepassX for Mac, Linux and Windows users or Roboform for Windows users.

HTML basics

Many people use the Internet for entertainment and communication but rarely move beyond that. However. I am referring to website creation and working with HTML code. At first, this could seem intimidating but in 2011. there have never been more resources and help for starting your own website. If you have no programming skills whatsoever then you just need to learn basic HTML and get comfortable working with WordPress. The truth is, if you can write a document, write an email and add pictures to it, then you can make your own website- It truly is that easy.

Learning HTML Code

There are many websites and videos dedicated to teaching people how to work with HTML and. best of all. this stuff is free. Even- rookie webmaster just needs to spend some time with an HTML sandbox or a free hosted website to mess around and experiment with their pages. YouTube, of course, has great resources for this.

Using WordPress as a sandbox for training

WordPress is probably the most user-friendly Content Management System (CMS) around aa well as the most popular to boot The selection of plug-ins and free templates make it a recommended choice for starting a new website, especially on a low budget.

First assignment create a new account at Wordpress.com and get your own subdomain. Create a few pages, some blog posts, test run a few free WordPress templates at wordpress.org and install some free WordPress plug-ins. This assignment can also be done with other management systems such as Drupal and Joomla.

Identifying topics of interest - work on something you're passionate about

Too many people want to make a website strictly for the money and have this fantasy that they will be instant millionaires and won't have to work. The truth is, money is only a part of the equation, but if you cannot find a topic of interest that you enjoy writing about or working on. then you are following the path of failure. Most successful webmasters, whether they work on poker, sportsbetting, bingo, selling watches or any other website, enjoy their line of work. When you play and have a passion for poker, doing 16 hours in a day working on your poker affiliate site just doesn't seem like work at all.

After identifying your topics of interest, the next thing to do is to discuss them with other people. Always research your topic and use this to brainstorm the things your website will focus on. And remember one last important point about your website's focus: ensure the website offers a value to the visitor. If you copy the same content from someone else or don't do anything new, then you will find your conversions and rankings will suffer.

Part two: guide to the online gambling industry - how it works

There are many misconceptions about the online gambling industry with a few of them being that it is illegal everywhere or that it is too late to get involved and that the opportunity to make billions has long since passed. The truth is that it seems inevitable that the gambling industry will become regulated throughout all countries as governments realise the ineffectiveness of prohibition and that it is proven only to drive the outlawed business underground. Many politicians are eager to get involved to ensure their country/region/state gets their cut of the gambling revenues.

To get you up to speed here are some references to the online gambling industry featuring resources and information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_gambling

Affiliate, operator and B2B forums and guides
• casinoaffiliateprograms.com
• gpwa.org
• pokeraffiliatelistings.com
• affiliateguarddog.com
• gamblingaffiliateplace.com
• gamblingindustryassociation.com
• apcw.org
• affiatebible.com

Gambling industry magazines
• iGaming Business Magazine
• iGB Affiliate Magazine
• GPWA Magazine
• eGaming Review Magazine

Online gambling industry conferences
• iGaming Business Events (BAC, LAC, iGaming Super Show)
• G2E Events
• eGaming Review Events
• Clarion Events

Successful online gambling affiliates
• askgamblers.com
• latestcasinobonuses.com
• streakgaming.com
• casinoanswers.com
• bingoport.co.uk
• bingostreet.com
• whichbingo.com
• pokerstrategy.com
• pokernews.com
• rakeback.com
• pokerlistings.com
• nbatips.net
• superbetting.com
• betbrain.com
• bettingpro.com
• gamesandcasino.com

Gambling addiction help and resources
• GamCare.org.uk
• GamblersAnonymous.org
• GambleAware.co.uk

Gambling assignments, homework and training course

The following assignments can help you get inside the mind of the customer. You truly must know your customer when it comes to gambling affiliate websites. These gambling assignments require you to feel what it is like to be the player. Create a new email address that will be used to sign up to many gambling sites, newsletters and ewallets or online payment methods. This email will receive many offers so it is recommended you use a dedicated email address for this purpose. Keep in mind when you join these programs that you will also receive many CDs and various promotional materials in the post. You can choose to make deposits or play for free where appropriate. If you deposit, you will fully understand how online gambling works but keep in mind that you don't want to gamble too much money as this is an investment in your education, not an excuse to mess around.

1. Join as many ewallets as you can. (Signup to Neteller.com, Moneybookers. com, EcoCard.com, Click2Pay.c0m, Gold-Pay.com, Ukash.com, PayPal.com)
2. Join as many casinos as you can.
3. Join as many poker rooms as you can.
4. Join as many sportsbooks as you can.
5. Join as many bingo rooms as you can.
6. Join affiliate newsletters.
7. Last assignment is to join all the affiliate programs in the gaffg.com directories.

What will you learn from this process? You might find that some gambling sites cater to different markets and not all payment processing methods are available. You might find out which gambling websites you personally like, which could be an indicator that your customers would like the same. You will just understand some obstacles your users may face and you can write content to help them through the process. Also, when you join the affiliate programs you will quickly see which ones have faster affiliate support and better tools.

Conclusions

Other affiliates in this business can be more helpful than you think. If you find a good affiliate coach you can save yourself a lot of time and be able to access help with any questions you have along the way. The affiliate-based forums can also be a great source of information as to your more detailed questions. Get the industry magazines, as most of these are free and contain unique information. Consider attending a conference where you can meet other affiliates and, of course, affiliate managers. The iGaming Business events are the most popular and are free for affiliates to attend. You can ask more questions in person and it helps to put faces to your affiliate managers' names.

My last words of advice: hard work is the key to success. Most new affiliates don't earn anything in the first three months and sometimes the first year. Pace yourself and create a small business plan listing your short-term and long-term goals.
 
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