CAP Community Member of the Month Spotlight: January 2014
We are excited to spotlight CAP’s Community Member of the Month for January 2014… Congratulations, cardplayerlifestyle aka Robbie Strazynski.
Robbie has been a member of CAP since 2011, and is definitely an active engager in the forums! He is either engaging in useful discussions, posting great questions, and also contributing articles for the CAP blog! Please join me in thanking Robbie! Many members in this community appreciate you doing your part!
We caught up with him to learn more about his career in the business!
How did you get started as being an affiliate in iGaming?
Back in late 2009, a good friend of mine who knows about SEO, WordPress, and website building suggested the idea to me and that we become partners as our skill sets complemented each other, since I was a professional writer, knew a lot about poker, and already followed the industry closely anyhow. We chose the domain name Cardplayerlifestyle.com since it was available and we felt it had a nice ring to it.
In mid-2011, I bought out my partner and have been running the site solo ever since – it’s my only site. I’ve been working on it “one brick at a time” for 4 years now pretty much exclusively on nights and weekends.
My full-time job is as the Casino Writer for the Euro Partners affiliate program, so naturally I’ve learned a lot about the industry in that capacity as well over the years.
What are your top traffic drivers, and how did you learn them?
Content is king, and then Twitter, Twitter, and some more Twitter, with a little Facebook and Google+ for good measure.
I’m a professionally trained writer with an MA in English Linguistics. I’ve been interested in poker since I was a little kid and am a die-hard poker fan. I only have one site but I produce 99% of the content myself and I love doing it. I work hard on each and every article and blog post to ensure it’s something that other poker players and fans of the game would want to read and share. If you do enough of this and ensure the content is evergreen, then more people will keep on coming to visit your site as well as returning back again and again for more.
As much as traffic is also about SEO and Google (Authorship certainly helps a lot), I believe it’s a “people thing” above all. Though I have search terms in mind, I don’t write for Google; I write for people. It’s PEOPLE who read what I publish and people who will decide if they like it enough to share it with their friends and social circles. Link building isn’t just about connecting one site to another via anchor text, it’s about connecting with other people and then strengthening those personal bonds. The best way to do that is via social media.
Case in point, one of my most successful articles of 2013 was an interview of Daniel Negreanu’s personal assistant Patty Landis. We connected via Twitter in February and we’ve been in touch ever since – she’s become one of my top fans and supporters, and that’s translated into lots of traffic for my site via her social shares – thanks Patty!
What factors do you look at when deciding on an operator?
Quite frankly, I’m not a traditional affiliate in that sense. I don’t currently work to refer players to any operators, as that would somewhat come at odds with my full-time occupation. As I wrote last year here on CAP, I monetize my poker blog in other ways.
That said, there’s a reason I’m happy to work at Euro Partners. They’ve got an excellent reputation in the industry and always have since their inception. Many affiliates only “know what they see”, in the form of the affiliate managers at the big semi-annual conferences. Working on the back end of things, I can tell you that hundreds of people really put their all into making the affiliate program something special – from the affiliate managers to the graphic designers to the finance people to the translators to the support staff to the marketers… and of course the content writers too J. What all have in common is the belief that when we work hard to give our affiliates the marketing tools they need to succeed, then they in turn will work hard to ensure that our brands will succeed.
What are your thoughts on legal standing of the online gambling industry?
In an ideal world, every federal, state, and local government would either opt in or out of an international charter of rules and regulations to allow legal gambling. The charter would mandate that gambling would be taxed at a uniform rate, worldwide, with each jurisdiction benefitting equally percentage-wise, on the basis of where each player has their official residence.
That would sure as hell make things a lot easier and better for the players, the operators, the affiliates, and the governments, eh?
Sadly, we don’t live in an ideal world. Greed for tax monies will unfortunately continue to motivate governments in precisely the opposite ways that would have been good for everyone actually involved in the industry. Until there can be cooperation across borders and until legislative representatives actually give more of a damn about the will of people who want to gamble online rather than the tax revenues said gambling will generate, the status quo will continue.
What was the biggest lesson you learned in your years of being in this business?
With enough passion, determination, persistence, belief in yourself, and support from your network of friends (personal and professional), success is possible even in the face of the most overwhelming odds. And when that success finally comes, it’s just as much of a positive motivator to keep on climbing higher as it is gratifying to experience.