This is a guest post from Adam. Several months ago we were in contact and Adam has decided to share with readers of Successful Affiliate his story of being a relatively new online affiliate. Adam runs MosesBet.com, and I’d like to thank him for taking the time to share his story.
My name is Adam, and I’m currently in my last month of university at Manchester UK studying Economics and Politics.
Just a newbie, I’ve been in the online poker affiliate business for about 7-8 months. My story is outlined below.
How I First Got into Poker Affiliating While at University
During summer 2009 after finishing my 2nd year I started applying for internships in investment banking, asset management, finance – the typical “I’m an economics student and need an internship” type of thing. It’s what everyone did, does, and will probably continue to do until bank bonuses are legally unsubscribed by the government, or new laws or raise income tax in the industry to bedlamite proportions (hmm 80%?).
In either case, I failed to get an internship because I was too late in the game. I had an interview in London with RBS but failed – not the interview (I aced that). I failed the maths component.
Thinking what the hell I was going to do with myself that summer, I was speaking to my friend sam who told me he was getting paid to write poker news for a small website (one of these was in fact aintluck.com – now a popular member of PAL’s website). Now, I did enjoy playing poker and was quite experienced at the time, so I too went looking for writing work and earning a little money on the side from being at home.
However after weeks of looking for work, emailing every website I could find in google for “poker news”, I could’t get a response. I was even looking for football writing work, tennis reporting on Wimbledon; I couldn’t find anything.
Finally, in what was probably the 100th email I sent out, I got a reply from someone saying that I could probably get some business at a forum called PAL if I was offering my rate of $10 per 500 words.
I signed up to PAL, got a writing job making about $500/month from one guy – and that was how I ended up in the poker affiliate industry. After a week or so I received more writing work from members of PAL – writing reviews, strategy articles, I even worked for Greg helping him with his Bingo content (though at the time I had literally no idea who he was).
The pinnacle of my success in poker writing was probably represented by the few articles I wrote for uk.pokernews about student poker. The editor was considering marketing more to students, and from my cold-call email for work he got back to me. I wrote a couple articles on student poker which were published on the website.
In total made around $2.5k from writing in the space of just 2 months (only working around 2 hours per day – the best of which was when I made $140 from just 7 hours work in a single day). All this was from the comfort of my own home, whilst playing tennis, golf, and going out with my friends. I was happy, my parents didn’t understand how I was making the money, but nonetheless the coinage was nice, and I had some interesting things on my CV.
Starting My Own Website – MosesBet.com
Towards the end of the holidays (by about September) one of my employers asked why I didn’t start my own poker affiliate site. I literally had no clue where to start, had no knowledge of html, domain purchasing, choosing a server, using CMS or wordpress etc. However, I was encourage to do so by my employer (who consequently I signed up as a sub-affiliate for); and before you know it MosesBet student poker and forum was built!
What was my niche? Student Poker.
Unfortunately this didn’t really work out. I had no knowledge of being an affiliate, didn’t have much guidance, so I just thought student poker would be a good niche to target. I am a student, and I play poker, and so do others. I thought it would be good. I managed to get onto the top spots for “student poker” in google, however I was never making money (Even with traffic of around ~70 users per day).
After reading the lexicon of knowledge form the amazing resource that is PAL, I soon realised I needed to regroup myself, get real, and target a new niche. I looked around and decided to target poker tournament strategy. The birth of MosesBet: MTT Strategy and Tournament Tips was born.
After a few months (by the beginning of January 2010) I had a reasonable collection of MTT articles, with about 25 strategy articles and 10 other pages for finding different online tournaments. At this moment I was still not making any money, however I became educated and soon realised this was because I had no CTAs. Again, my rookie self was still wildly evident, and I was basically sticking up content onto a site that had no direction, meaning or monetizing potential. I knew about poker, but knew nothing about affiliating.
Making Money – Getting Players and Starting to See Figures in my Affiliate Accounts
Traffic ~ 100 Per Day
I had signed up one or two players a month before this, but by March 2010 I had started to really learn how to monetise my site effectively, putting in relevant CTAs here and there, and trying to convert users by directing traffic to my best converting pages. I started learning more about my market, listening to PAL radio shows, reading existing threads in PAL about signups, about how to market online effective. DealerDan’s website and many others were incredible help. I eventually started asking myself how I should be monetising my site better. What were poker tournament players were really looking for?
I started producing pages on the best overlay tournaments, best beginner poker tournaments, the best original games. I began writing reviews of the best tournaments at poker sites, reasons to play there. I was actively targeting each one of the visitors on my site. A new wordpress theme, courtesy of Tom at Flytonic, went a long way to helping me achieve this, and making my amateur newbie website begin to look more professional and attractive to viewers. I prominently displayed recommended tournament poker sites on my site-wide sidebars which inevitably helped pick up players.
So, by this time in March my site, approximately 5-6 months old was starting to get at least 1 sign up per week – they usually deposited. Across Carbon, Full Tilt Poker and Titan I was beginning to pick up players for myself, and as I increased and reproved the content on my site, my conversions increased to perhaps 2-3 signups per week. I wasn’t making a lot (possibly $20/week), but at least my site was converting players, and I was never too stupid to underestimate the value of incremental income i.e. converting players every week will eventually lead to something in the big picture.
Future of MosesBet – Adding a New Section for the Latest Tournament Promotions
Traffic ~ 150 – 200 Per Day
My latest website updates which I just implemented today, involve adding a new tournament promotions/news section for players to find the latest online MTT promotions and events. This will hopefully be a massive converting section for me. I have a big enough tournament strategy section (over 65 MTT strategy articles), and I have enough traffic, but I feel I needed something fresh and more dynamic to add to my site and give players searching specific tournament strategy terms something to stick around for (add-value).
Now, I have MosesBet: The best tournament poker strategy, promotions and reviews.
I want to turn this site into something useful, unique, and value-adding to everyone one of my visitors – not just the beginners. Indeed, this was a mistake I think I made up until this point. I was just a one-way tournament poker strategy site trying to recommend users to poker sites and convert them. However for the 90% of traffic I was getting that already had accounts they were happy with at Full Tilt and Stars, they were clearly a lost opportunity to me.
However, now the visitors on my site can learn strategy, read reviews of the best tournaments, and sign up and view the latest MTT promotions in online poker. Hopefully this new promotions section will even be converting alot of the more experienced players that end up on my site through the serps (90% of traffic).
My goal at the moment is to get 10 signups in a single week. It’s quite a big challenge at the moment for me, but in my opinion, the bigger the dream and the higher your expectations, the more likely you are to really succeed.
Incidentally I should add I have 3 other website generating income since 2010. I am not a full-time affiliate, and I am looking for graduate jobs at the moment, however perhaps one day I will be successful enough in the industry to make a modest income from this work.