How To Start A Casino Affiliate Business
So, you’re thinking of becoming a gaming affiliate. All you need to do is set up a website, incorporate links and banners to funnel traffic to online casinos and the money will just roll in, right? Well, not exactly. Although it’s very possible to make a full time living with affiliate marketing, 95% of affiliates don’t turn profits right away and give up shortly after getting started.
If you are serious about becoming successful in the gaming affiliate business, here is a behind the scenes look at some things you should know.
Most casino partners want an affiliate program to be a win-win for everyone involved, but there are some companies who may try to take advantage of newbies who don’t have a lot of knowledge or experience on how affiliate marketing works. So to clarify:
- You should never be charged start-up fees or other costs associated with joining an affiliate program
- You should have a written contract stating when and how you will be paid
- You do not have to have a website to become an affiliate (although you should)
- You do not have to spend a lot of money to get your business started, but
- You will need to invest a lot of time and dedication to be successful
Finding Trustworthy Partners
Affiliate marketing is a business that’s built almost entirely on trust, but like in every other industry, not every gaming company operates in a trustworthy manner. Rogue casinos, as they’re known in the industry, use a number of methods to avoid paying affiliates money that they’ve rightfully earned—even to go as far as completely shutting down their operation.
There are dozens of great, reputable casinos available for you to promote. Some great programs to start with are bet365, Pafpartners and 888affiliates. Check out the reviews here on CAP in our affiliate program directory to help you find a program that will be a perfect fit.
Commissions and Getting Paid
Although commissions vary, 25-30% of a player’s bets is usually the average for a gaming affiliate. However, high volume affiliates (those who refer a lot of customers and generate a lot of revenue) have been known to earn 50-60% commissions. In addition, you will earn a percentage if “your” players continue to play at that casino in the future. Check with your affiliate partners to find out the specific commission available, as well as their performance tiers.
Most partners will aggregate your commissions and then send you a check or make a direct deposit somewhere in the middle of the month for the previous month’s sales.
Here’s some advice on how to handle missed payments from partners.
Website and Social Networking
Although you don’t have to own a website to be an affiliate—you can create text links or e-mail links—you really should if you want to make the most out of your business. Even if you’re not the tech type, hiring freelance designers is inexpensive and they can do most of the work for you. Once you have your site up and running, it’s important that you’re optimizing for SEO by using fresh and relevant content, interactive navigation and opt-in subscription links.
You’ll also want to setup your social media networks to tie into your business. Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and LinkedIn can generate pools of traffic to your business and vastly increase your online visibility.
Tip: Although you can hire industry folks to build your website, you need to be familiar with basic technology such as HTML in order to copy and paste banners and links from your partners. If you’re completely uncomfortable with online technology, this industry is not for you.
Here is how to get the most out of social media marketing.
Marketing for Success
Once you have all the elements of your business setup – it’s now a matter of getting your name/business out there. Create email campaigns, mobile marketing campaigns, post in blogs and forums, use all of the social media networks available to you, host webinars, upload podcasts and videos. To establish an online presence takes time and patience, but with hard work, your affiliate business can be personally and financially rewarding for years to come.
Want to learn more? There are plenty of great resources (such as the CAP blog) that will educate you on the best practices and secrets of gaming affiliates.