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So how else did LCB grow out their mini-empire?

figure 1

Since launching six years ago, LCB has practically written a manual on how to expand an affiliate marketing business. That first iteration of LCB was a bare bones affair that didn’t offer much more than a few links and a Bankroll Blog (See Figure 1).

By making good use of their forums, providing continuous value to their customers and utilizing their existing assets to promote their newest ventures they’ve developed an industry leader.

Here’s how Zugic describes LCB’s build out:

LCB first started I would say as a bonus comparison website. we wanted to list all casinos and all bonuses. That’s how we started. Then we started improving and adding new sections: free slots games, casino banking, cash backs. You name it.

From the get-go LCB was tightly focused on providing a real value proposition to their audiences. Zugic and company wanted to be certain that they themselves kept on target while giving their customers a reason to come back on a regular basis.

To accomplish this goal, they only posted bonuses from casinos they were affiliated with and actively sought out exclusive offers. By sticking closely to their core competencies, they’ve been able to establish themselves as a major online brand. Not surprisingly, almost none of this happened by accident.

Building an iGaming Brand

The LCB staff undertook a conscientious effort to carve out a unique space in the iGaming by building a recognizable brand and constantly expanding into new markets. Here’s how Zugic explains the LCB brand building efforts:

What we do, and what we did to make LCB become a brand was…it’s a tricky one. When we first started we wanted to do a nice and clean design with a nice mascot and logo…Something that people will notice us by; when they see our mascot or logo they know that we’re LCB. What we did was try to make a lot of exclusive promotions to people who are going to come to our website instead of to some other website. Now LCB is known for offering an abundance of exclusive bonuses. That’s also part of our brand

Once LCB had established its brand identity with a legion of visitors they were able to leverage that brand into a host of other sites in other gaming markets. By 2009 they had added LatestBingoBonuses.com, LatestPokerBonuses.com, and LatestSportsBonuses.com; and had acquired other sites for link building. (see figure 2)

Figure 2

A big part of this strategy was interlinking their various sites to maximize the SEO value of each particular site.

Affiliate partners should take note that none of LCB’s successes happened overnight. Zugic acknowledges that breaking into more competitive markets like poker and sports betting wasn’t easy, even as an established brand.

Zugic repeatedly emphasized the value of patience and advises other affiliate partners to expect to wait a long time before finding success in these markets.

If you want to make money in a few months, it isn’t going to happen. In a year or two years time, definitely doable.

Branching Out Even Further

LCB’s core constituency has always been hardcore bonus hunters but over the years, they’ve branched out their target audience considerably. TheseĀ  to hit a number of different market segments, including whales, cash back chasers and slot bonus fans.

He’s also quick to point out that LCB generates a large, very diverse traffic flow, not just bargain hunters. According to Zugic, the combined weight of all this traffic adds up to a pretty sweet 10% average conversion rate that’s sometimes as high as 18%.

Drilling the Fundamentals

While LCB’s success is impressive, the secret to their success is hardly a secret at all. Zugic and company are drilling the fundamentals and doing everything by the book. Affiliate partners looking to emulate LCB’s success should consider the following fundamental steps the company has mastered.

  • Patience – LCB has never looked for short term success, but has always found ways to succeed over the long haul. There’s a widely quoted statistic stating that 50% of all affiliates quit before the first year is out. A lack of patience drives that number.
  • Focus and Value – Targeting bonus hunters year in and year out, and providing them with exclusive value propositions, has built the LCB brand into an empire.
  • Thoughtful Expansion – Once they’d established good traffic in the core brand, LCB began branching out to complimentary gaming markets. Using these sites as complimentary, link building entities has paid off big for the company.
  • Never Stop Improving – The LCB brand is hardly static. Their content creators, web designers and SEO specialists are constantly improving the LCB eco-system.

Finally

Zugic’s final words for affiliates are straight forward and extremely useful.

You have to expand; you have to build your website; you have to follow the trends because the moment you stop, you’re just going to go under. In a way, it’s tougher to stay on the top than get to the top.


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