7 ways to turn your gaming site into an e-commerce powerhouse
If you’ve been reading the CAP Blog, you know how important it is to diversify your affiliate marketing portfolio. Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked about how you shouldn’t have all of your eggs in one basket, suggesting sources of potential income that can add to what you’re already earning from gaming and poker ads.
As we continue this discussion, it’s now time to focus on how you can take your gambling site – poker, casino, bingo, or whatever – and turn it into an e-commerce website.
This transition – from casino affiliate to e-commerce website – is relatively easy. If you have traffic and an audience of repeat visitors, you’ve already crossed two of the biggest hurdles. Now you just have to find something you can offer to make your visitors slow down and purchase from your site.
1) Become an expert. Like most online games, there can be a lot of search traffic based around “how to’s” and instructional terms people search when they’re trying to master online gambling. Use these terms as inspiration for content on your site that helps your visitors educate themselves and become better gamblers. Don’t just be a portal, be an educator.
2) Sell Amazon products. Amazon is a great company to associate yourself with. Even though the commission rate is low, you’ll still make good money because everyone (yes, everyone) has an Amazon account. And that means you’ll convert buyers like crazy. The best way to make money from Amazon is to find a handful of bestselling products related to your niche (start with 5-10) and write 350-400 word reviews of them. If you use the product name in the page title, you’ll get traffic, especially if it’s a popular product.
Just don’t waste your time with Amazon’s widgets. They don’t convert nearly as well as product reviews.
3) Write an ebook. Find a “how to” topic in your niche and write and ebook. You could write something like “Become a better online gambler in five days” or “Learn to dominate online poker in a week.” Sell it on your website for a modest amount and see how you do. If you get traffic, it’s likely you’ll get some interest. If you have a list, send an offer to your list and see how it sells there.
4) Shoot some videos. Videos are a great way to deliver “how-to” information. Take the content from your ebook and turn it into a video, mixing shots of yourself with screenshots that demonstrate the techniques you’re talking about. You can use short snippets of your videos to tease people into buying the longer, unabridged versions.
5) Make a deluxe information product. Once you’ve established yourself enough to have created a couple of ebooks or videos, it’s time to consider creating a more complex product. When you create a product that’s geared towards advanced users, you can also charge more. Think about how you can bundle text, video and audio content in a physical package. Users will definitely pay a premium if you’re sending them an instructional kit with workbooks, discs and multimedia tools.
6) Create a directory of casinos. An online directory can be a terrific way to attract the search traffic that occurs when people are looking for physical casinos. You can also allow people to review these casinos on your site, sharing tips that makes them more informed gamblers. So in addition to attracting a lot of search traffic, a directory site can be a great way to create sticky, user-generated content. They’re a great way to have users coming back for multiple visits without having to create the content yourself!
7) Build a membership site. When you’ve established traffic and when your visitors trust you, it might be time to put up a paywall and charge for portions of your site. Your pricing will be determined by the level of your content. If you’re targeting beginners, you’ll want to use a lower price point. But if you’re targeting intermediate or advanced users, you’ll certainly be able to charge more.
Have you tried to turn your casino affiliate site into an e-commerce website? If so, leave your thoughts in the comments to let us know what worked best, and what your biggest challenges were.