Affiliate marketing is a bit like a Zen riddle. On first glance it all seems so simple but when you start peeling back the layers, you find something that’s considerably more complicated.

Plenty of experienced affiliates will readily admit that there’s plenty they can still learn about casino affiliate marketing, so don’t feel bad if you need a refresher from time to time. To help you get the most out of your business, here are 50 things that every affiliate needs to know.

1. Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Getting rich takes a long time…if it happens at all.

2. Hang on to your day job. Exchanging your corporate life for life as an Internet cowboy looks good on paper, but…

3. If you must quit your day job, have a nice nest egg to soften the blow of months without revenue…

4. …And when we say, “nice nest egg,” we really mean, “about a year’s worth of living expenses.

5. Be ready to watch for traffic that’s just not coming.

6. Don’t be too disappointed when click-throughs fail to turn into players. Just try to figure out what you did to get them that far and replicate it as much as possible.

7. Obsess over the details of your site and the content you’re putting on it.

8. Don’t be afraid to let an article sit overnight so you can proofread it with fresh eyes.

9. Try not to freak out too much when you see a glaring typo on an e-mail newsletter or Tweet.

10. Get familiar with the basics of AP Style so your content can look as consistent and professional as possible.

11. Be prepared to pay for content when you start getting underwater and can’t write another sentence without losing your mind completely.

12. Expect to pay through the nose for quality content.

13. Expect freelance writers to regularly flake out and disappear completely, no matter how much you’re paying them.

14. Avoid falling for big promises for small prices…Fiverr, we’re looking you.

15. Social media drives traffic, so expect to be spending plenty of time making new friends on Facebook and Twitter.

16. Try to maintain some composure on social media. If you fly off the handle too many times, no one is going to want to follow you.

17. LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still post up content there.

18. Post up your links on every quality site that will have them.

19. Spend some time figuring out how Google defines the term, quality site.

20. Dig deep in the Google Webmaster forums…but don’t forget that most of the answers come from volunteers, not Google employees.

21. Post up your site on affiliate marketing forums (like the CAP Forum) to get an honest assessment of how you did.

22. Try not to be insulted when old forum hands rip your site to shreds.

23. Take advice from others, but don’t be afraid to follow your gut.

24. Spend lots of time researching affiliate programs before devoting too many resources to them.

25. Spend just as much time reading the terms and conditions for each program. If there’s one time you want to read the fine print, this is it.

26. Watch for the phrases like, negative carryover. While this isn’t always a deal-breaker, it can definitely be a day-wrecker.

27. Get familiar with the term, Rogue Affiliate.

28. Set a Google Alert for that term, and maybe add another for the phrase, Retroactive changes to terms and conditions.

29. Don’t be shocked if one (or more) of your affiliate partners just doesn’t pay you as much as you think you should be paid.

30. Start out with a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) program that pays out a flat fee for every player you send who deposits. This doesn’t always pay as much as revenue share plans, but it’s a better deal for newbies who don’t generate a lot of traffic.

31. Master the basics of search engine optimization by reading, The Beginner’s Guide to SEO, over at SEOMoz.

32. Understand the fact that SEO practices change on a regular basis so older, printed material might be desperately out of date, even if it’s just a couple years old.

33. Be prepared to see all your hard-earned Page Rank gains go up in smoke thanks to Google updates like Penguin and Panda.

34. If you’re thinking about targeting American players, go ahead and Google terms like, “Black Friday,” and “Legends Sports,” to help you decide whether that’s a good idea or not.

35. Target your preferred demographics carefully. There are all kinds of players out there, and plenty of other folks targeting them, too.

36. Get to know the competition in your niche. (No matter how niche-oriented you are, you’ll still have competition.)

37. Try not to be surprised when some sleazy, fly-by-night competitor steals your cotent, your players, and maybe even your whole site design.

38. Get to know your affiliate managers and find out how they can help you increase conversions.

39. Take a look at resources like the CAP Network that give you access to a whole range of programs and deals from a single dashboard.

40. Diversify your affiliate portfolio with other industries to help keep the revenue flowing during lean times.

41. Look very closely at complimentary industries like FOREX and binary options because they draw on the same demographics as gambling.

42. Keep an eye out for blogs that might provide guest blogging opportunities and introduce your content to new audiences.

43. Don’t obsess over keywords at the expense of good content.

44. Write what you know. You may think that online poker is a cash cow, but if you’re not a poker expert, no one is going to want to read your content.

45. Stay out of bad neighborhoods!

46. Keep an eye on the gambling politics in your preferred markets. Regulated gaming is a growing business, but it’s still subject to some serious highs and lows.

47. Speaking of highs and lows, you’ll also want to know when the busy seasons are for every niche you’re looking to promote.

48. Network like crazy. There’s room on the Internet for everyone which is why most affiliates are happy to share tips and tricks with their colleagues. Even better, these informal connections can turn into valuable business contacts down the line.

49. Don’t be afraid to fail. In fact, you’d better be prepared to fail a few times or you’ll never really succeed in this business.

50. Take a deep breath, and enjoy the ride.

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