One of the more appealing qualities of the Internet is its ability to harness the power of organic online communities. For sports bettors, websites like sportsbookreview.com offer a chance to interact with likeminded enthusiasts to share tips and advice. Sites like these also operate as a watchdog and player advocate in the same vein as CAP or Casinomeister.

But sports betting communities aren’t just a good deal for the betting public; they’re an incredibly valuable resource for web masters, too. Sports betting affiliates who aren’t already using these sites to establish their reputations; peer into the mind of  bettors; or just drive traffic are missing out on a great opportunity to create successful sports sites.

Building a Reputation

Player forums at most sports betting communities are very lively, especially as the big weekend games approach. Web masters with specific sports knowledge should take advantage of these message boards to establish themselves as experts, while promoting their sites.

This doesn’t mean that affiliates should be posting game picks every week. In fact, straight ahead predictions should be avoided at all costs. But a poster who contributes meaningful posts to a discussion is going to get noticed. So don’t be afraid of opening up new discussions based on breaking sports news like injuries or coaching changes.

Just try and keep the overall tone of your posts fairly neutral. Advocating for a particular team or instigating flame wars won’t win you any fans. But well thought out posts that offer good information will stick in readers’ heads when they click through to your sites. After all, no one wants to do business with the opinionated loud mouth at the end of the bar.

Market Research

There’s a famous anecdote about a bank robber who tells authorities he robs banks, “because that’s where the money is at.” Well that same line of thinking applies to sports betting communities. Affiliates should establish themselves at these sites because that’s where the sports bettors are hanging out.

Whether you’re comfortable posting or not, affiliates should at least be reading the forums at sports betting communities to find out what their target market is discussing. Bettors use message boards to share strategies, complain about online sports books, and just plain vent their spleens. Every one of these posts is a valuable piece of marketing research for affiliates.

The better you know your target market, the better you’ll be able to serve them. Keeping up with message boards gives web masters an invaluable look inside the hive mind of the average sports bettor. They’ll let their fellow punters know in no uncertain terms what they think of specific sports books, their daily odds and various promotions. You really couldn’t ask for more when it comes to straight forward market research.

Driving Traffic

If done correctly, establishing yourself as a regular, level-headed, contributor at a sports betting community can drive a good deal of traffic to your sites. It’s also a critical piece of a sports focused SEO effort.  But making this work requires affiliates walk a fine line between web master and community member.

Sports betting aficionados do not suffer fools gladly and will send blatant self-promoters packing in a heartbeat. That means affiliates should only post links to high quality content that offers some value to the community at large. A regular poster who is providing fellow members with useful information will quickly gain a good reputation.

And while links to good content are a great way of driving traffic to your site, simply getting your links out there in as many places as possible is useful, too. That’s because many sports betting communities are well established sites with tons of content. Remember, that’s exactly the type of authority site Google’s mysterious algorithms favor. The more linked up with authority sites you are, the high page ranks you’ll see over time.

Communities Offer Value

Sports bettors prize value above almost anything else. They love feeling like they’ve got some inside information that will give them that slight winning edge and that’s why they flock to sports betting communities. Affiliates who take advantage of this opportunity by contributing posts with links to high value content will be rewarded in increased site traffic and player conversions.

How do you leverage sports betting communities in your marketing efforts? Tell us about it in our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Forum.


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