The gaming space could become very interesting again soon if the United States starts to allow online gambling in a more open fashion

I HAVE ALWAYS been a proponent of taking advantage of co-op affiliate marketing. I understand the fear of losing that tenuous connection to your down-the-line versus short-term profits, however the two do not have to be mutually exclusive. If you develop relationships with products and services vendors that your audience want yet do not directly compete with your own services, you have the chance to broaden your revenue streams. This is real added money in your pocket. Here are some examples:

1. The direct related products

Poker, roulette and other casino games have items like chips and cards; bingo has those big markers and they all have odds charts and handicapping and tip sources.

You know your space (or should to be truly successful), so find the ones that apply to your people and add them to the confirmation emails of deposits or other converted response letters or landing pages. Test them this way first; those that prove really profitable can then be added to your website pages and developed into a solid secondary income stream. Don’t forget to add them to a separate list and include your main product offering in that ‘thank you’ email.

2. Start affiliate programs

When you look around for those complimentary industries and do not find any with affiliate programs, you can approach one or two of them and offer to start and run an affiliate program for them. The advantages here are that they will cover the expenses and many of the cost points that you would pick up if you tried starting a business like theirs by yourself. Just make sure you are paid to develop the network and then take commissions on the sales; if they want a ‘no compete’ you want an equitable contract given the specialised knowledge that you bring to the joint venture.

Affiliate marketing is undergoing a resurgence, so many industries would love to start a program but neither have the requisite understanding nor the in¬house people to implement it. Ask... the worse you can be told is ‘no’. Some maybe building a program and you could beta test and work a better commission for being there at the start.

3. Profiting from offline versions

Online gaming has offline equivalents and unless you are one of the taxi drivers getting commissions for delivering drunks (players), you need to look at little broader. Have you written reviews of all the casinos you have visited, or information pages of every land-based venue in your niche? You can join programs with airlines to sell travel. You can join one of the hotel affiliate programs to add accommodation bookings.

You can also go through your email lists and group by geography and offer trips - package together and go along and provide tutorials as part of your add-ons.

Books and signed collectibles can also act as incentives (or related products available online from an offline source)...

4. Build your own PR list

The de-indexing of blog networks, that many people were using to improve their rankings, has most scurrying to find new sources for links. Press releases have always been a solid way to get links, especially if members of the press refer to them online. But the press is inundated with them and unless you have a personal relationship, you are usually overlooked. So how to overcome this? Build relationships. There is a great resource for that called HARO'.

HARO allows you the opportunity to become a source and get quoted and linked to in news stories. Here, you can build your own direct contact press sources - help them and you make a friend (one who can come to you when they research stories in your niche). The other way to use this resource is to reach out to the sources and use them to help build original content in your space.

When the US passes online gaming laws, you will be in a good place to get press and feature in new content.

5. Become much more social

No doubt you are working the social media, but how much and what are you measuring? Do you have Pinterest in the mix? Have you asked what are the best online and offline casinos on Quora? Have you started a Linkedln group, or a local Meetup group offering gambling tips?

Twitter has been driving successful affiliate marketing programs for quite some time; do you have one? Have you built followers to a recurring feed of specials being offered by your programs? Do you get ‘retweets’ and referral traffic from your use of Twitter? Building ‘real’ followers is the name of this game, not just numbers.

Engagement is what you need to succeed with social networking. I have seen a cute poker player use Facebook to get people to join online tournaments with her followers... smart use of flirting! If you want an alternative, how about Google Hangouts? Offer lessons in real-time to develop that connection and record the event and add to your YouTube channel.
Good content and smart placement can help build longevity.

6. Forums and guest blogging

True, these are old-school methods used in the early days of affiliate marketing, yet they are coming back; those who have been there from the outset may be dreading the fact their source is coming under scrutiny again. With the loss of other methods of link building, these old-school ways have that as an added benefit. Do not look at this as a link building exercise.

Forums that have an active community offer you the opportunity to add to the conversations and build your personal brand. Once established, you will start to notice people visiting your site and joining through you as a ‘thank you’ for the information. Similarly, guest blogging gives you the chance to develop as an information source. Just as people like to read my marketing tips and try new products I write about, you can do the same with new features of products you offer.

With the ups and downs of the affiliate gaming space, having multiple streams of income from your efforts is crucial to long-term success. I hope this article gives you a few ideas.
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