Choosing an affiliate program can be hard as it can be hard to know which will convert best and which therefore in the end will earn you the most money. There are several ways of choosing an affiliate program. Some prefer to go through the different affiliate programs and see what payouts they offer and what types of games you can promote. I prefer to do it the other way around. By starting by finding a casino, poker room or bingo room or two that I truly think is good and then see what affiliate programs they offer. In the long run it is better to promote an affiliate program from a good casino even if the payout is a bit lower than it is to promote a bad casino with a better payout. There are several reasons for this.
- Trust. You want the people to visit your site to trust you, your site and the recommendations you make. If they do they are more likely to come back when they need more gambling information, when they are looking for another type of gambling site and when they are looking for another casino. People who trust you and enjoy your recommendations are also more likely to recommend your site to friends and thereby help promote your site through one of the most powerful promotion channels there are, word of mouth. If you on the other hand recommend bad casinos they are not likely to trust you again nor recommend their friends which means that you will earn less money.
- Lifetime value of your customers. There were a day when casino affiliate paid good money for clicks. These days are to a large extent over even if it is still possible to monetize your casino site through cpc, especially since google adsense started allowing gambling related content but the real money is referring gamblers who to a casino they like and where they will play a lot. This is due to the fact that most casinos will pay you based on how much the people you referred to them play in their casinos. One player who play regularly is therefore worth more than 10 that simple want to get the bonus and move on. What is more is that a happy serious gambler is likely to know more serious gamblers and might recommend them to your site if he find it useful and that it makes good recommendations.
This is why i set out to find a casino I really like and only there after try to find their affiliate program. If the casino or poker room in question do not have an affiliate program (very rare) or an affiliate program I do not like for whatever reason than i start the search all over again to find a new good casino or poker room. Doing it this way guarantees the quality of the products i recommend.
You do however as I said want to recommend a good casino with a good affiliate program. This means that you need to evaluate the affiliate program as well. To do this there are some factors that you should always consider. They are:
- The pay rate. A affiliate program that pays better will of course give you a better pay day provided that the casino or poker room that it is associated with is good. Make sure that you consider all parts of the affiliate program and the type of traffic you expect to provide before you decide whether or not the program is good for you and your site.
- How often do they pay and with what delay. Different programs have different payment conditions. Some pay net 30, some net 60 and a few net 90. This tells you how long you need to wait for the money. Generally speaking you need to get paid better to accept a longer delay. When you first get started you might need the money quicker to reinvest and it might than be important that you get paid quickly. You should also note how often they pay. Most pay once a month but some pay every 14 days and that can be better if you are in need of regular income.
- How do they pay. Make sure that the affiliate program use a payment solution that is good for you. Getting paid by check can as an example be a very bad option in many countries as it might take a long time and be expensive to cash the check. These fees can eat a lot of you income specially when you first get started.
- Do they have a good reputation for paying their affiliates. Stay away from affiliate programs that get a lot of complaints. You should however be aware that there are always someone that gets banned from an affiliate program and claim they did nothing wrong even though they broke the rules knowingly or unknowingly. You should therefore not put too much stock in a few complaints if the majority of people vouch for the program. There is a lot of people claiming that even Google adsense is a scam and that they ban people rather than paying, something that thousand upon thousand of people will vouch for not being the case.
- How do the affiliate program allow you to promote the casino or poker room. Different affiliate program have different rules as to what kind of marketing that is allowed and which are not. An example is that some programs allow you to buy advertising feature their brand names while others do not. Breaking the rules can get you banned from a program and make you forfeit any and all money you might have earned. This ties back to the previous point that people believe that the affiliate program scammed them when they in fact did break the rules. It is therefore very important to make sure that the affiliate program in question is okay with you promoting it in the manner you are planning to promote it. It can sometimes be tempting to break the rules to make some quick money but the risk in doing so are very real and in my humble opinion not worth it.
- How popular is the casino in question. This factor has two sides to it. On one hand it is usually easier to get people to join a casino they have heard about and therefore might be more likely to trust and register at. On the other hand a number of your visitors will already be a member of the most popular casinos and poker rooms. A large part of the visitors to a poker site might as an example already be a member of poker starts making it pointless to show them adds to join poker stars. Personally I think the best option is to promote a high quality up and comer. The visitor might still have heard of the casino or poker room but is a lot less likely to already be a member and hence more likely to want to try it. This is especially true if the new casino or poker room have something special or new to offer such as exciting 3d graphics, new games or big new bonus. Make sure the up and comer is good and worth promoting before you start doing so.
- Does the affiliate program allow you to promote different types of gambling, like both casino and poker gambling or will you need to find more affiliate programs to find advertising for all the sections of your site. It is more convenient to use one program for all type of gambling but it is usually better to use different as the best companies in one area seldom are the best companies in another field of gambling. Poker start is as an example one of the best poker rooms but they do not offer casino gambling and is hence not a good fit for an affiliate program for a casino section.
- Does the casino or poker room associated with the affiliate program allow players from the market your visitors come from. If you as an example have a lot of American visitors there is little point promoting a casino that do not allow American players to join and play.
- Does the program allow affiliates from your country. If they do not find another affiliate program. Do not try to lie about your whereabouts.
- Is there anything else that is important for you and your site. Try to think about anything that is important to you and see if the affiliate program offer it before you join. Email the program if you need to find out. It is always good to try to avoid any unexpected surprised down the line.
Allow the selection of a good affiliate program to take time and make sure that you choose a good program that offer a good gambling experience. Doing so will reward you over time. It is an important decision and should be treated as such.