Casino blogs are a great entry way into the affiliate marketing business for anyone with basic technical, writing and marketing skills. Sites like these can be run from anywhere with reliable internet service and don’t involve a lot of start-up costs.
So what’s the catch?
Casino affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Success gaming affiliates devote plenty of hard work and time to their businesses and usually don’t expect to see for many months after launching their sites. That’s because building web traffic is a long, involved process. (And you can only expect to about 3%-5% of your visitors to make you any money.)
Here’s what you need to know to get started on your own casino blog.
How Casino Affiliate Marketing Works
Casino blogs operate on a very simple premise: online casinos pay their affiliate partners for sending them customers. There are two ways you can expect to get paid, revenue share and cost per acquisition (CPA).
Revenue share programs pay their partners based on player losses. You can expect to earn anywhere from 20%-50%, depending on the affiliate program. (Don’t expect to earn 50% until you’ve signed up a lot of players.)
There is a catch here, too. Some programs have what are called negative carryovers. That means that if your players are winning more than they’re losing, the difference comes out of your end and you may start out the month with a negative balance.
CPA programs are a little bit different because they pay a flat fee for every player who signs up. This type of payment plan doesn’t offer a lifetime revenue stream, but it’s a good deal for risk averse affiliates.
Choosing a Gaming Affiliate Program
One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a casino affiliate marketing partner is which affiliate programs to work with. (Yes, you can work with multiple programs.)
Unfortunately, not all gambling affiliate programs are created equally. There are plenty of Rogue Affiliate Programs that engage in some very nasty predatory practices. So how can you avoid these rogue programs?
Before getting too involved with an affiliate operator, check out their reputation in sites like CAP and Affiliate Watch Dog. In fact, even a simple Google search combining the company name and the word rogue will get you all the information you need about almost any specific program.
Casino Blogging Platforms
Most casino blogs are created using the open source WordPress blogging platform because it’s free and easy-to-use. And because it’s an open source product, there are thousands of plug-ins and templates that make WordPress sites highly customizable.
Using WordPress, and other open source programs like Joomla, doesn’t require heavy technical skills, but a working knowledge of HTML is a big help.
SEO for Casino Blogs
What’s the first thing you would do if you were looking for information about online casinos? If you’re like most of us, you’ll start searching keywords on search engines like Google. So it makes sense that websites should be designed with those search engines in mind.
That’s search engine optimization (SEO) and if you want to run a successful casino affiliate blog, it’s a subject you’ll want to familiarize yourself with. SEO best practices are constantly changing so regular visits to SEO blogs like SEOMoz, SearchEngineland and CAP are well worth your time.
Content for Your Casino Blog
A well-designed site won’t be able to attract players unless there’s something for them to actually read once they get there; and it’s not just your readers who appreciate high quality content. Google has been penalizing websites with low quality content with lower page rankings.
If you’re not comfortable coming up with content for your casino blog on your own on a regular basis, you might want to consider hiring a freelance writer to do it for you. Websites like Odesk and even Craigslist are a great place to start your search.
Show Some Patience
As we said at the beginning of this guide, running a casino blog is anything but a get-rich-quick scheme. Casino bloggers should expect a long, dry spell before ever seeing a return on their work. But once you’ve learned the business and invested the time, you’ll find that it’s very rewarding.