Waaaaaa Waaaaaa they stole my………………………

Whatever.

Doesn’t matter what, feel free to fill in your own object. Article, website, graphic, style (my personal fav). You can find someone throwing a tantrum like a two year old in some forum somewhere almost everyday. While I can almost relate, I rarely agree with it. So many affiliates waste so much time looking to see if anything they ever did has a violatation copyscape someplace out on the web.

“Oh look, I used the word “the” 6 times and so did that person.

“That site has the same ‘style’ as mine and I have been ripped off”

“OMG I have a copyright notice on my blue site and you stole the color blue”

I bet in the course of a week I look at a thousand sites and to be honest, they all look alike after a while.  I am sure somewhere in the back of my mind I may have even seen something that I liked in my years of surfing and put the idea on a site of mine with no malice intended, just the way humans are. You may remember something you liked, but not that you have seen it before. Look TT (terrible twos), if you build a site using say WordPress and say oh, 20 million other people do also and at best you have 6-8 widget spots somewhere there is going to be a few (thousand) sites that look like yours. I seriously doubt you are decended from Michaelangelo or Rembrandt and your creativity will be like the vast amount of other people out there, just plain old average.

I read a blog about this, and IT made me create this very original post :) It takes my feeling a step or 2 further. Not sure I agree with it all but I don’t disagree with it either.

Give it a read HERE and then see what a moderate I really am ;)

STATISTICS (and other Fairy Tales)

In this case, we are talking about the statistics provided by the casino affiliate program so you can track you progress, or lack thereof.

Stats will become a major part of your life. When you first start you will probably be consumed by them. Checking your stats every hour or so and wondering if they are really tracking. This will ( hopefully ) pass and after the bloom is off the rose you can go back to have a small shot at having a life. But you still need to track them. The more information they provide to you, the better you well know how you are doing. Click, downloads, conversions, deposits, fees will all become second nature. Knowledge is king and if a program has lousey stats, let them know. They may not know they do since they probably aren’t promoting other casinos.

WHY SHOULD I?

Because maybe not all programs have that ‘perfect’ backend software to capture everything, maybe the served was down for a week and they ‘forget’ to tell you, maybe they are just plain dishonest.

OH MY…..A DISHONEST AFFILIATE PROGRAM?!?

No Joe, say it ain’t so. It is. In this biz as much, no, much more than, a ‘regular’ business, there is theft, corruption, greed and dishonesty. Sorry if this bursts your bubble but life in the big city isn’t always kind.

***An odd true fact: In all the years I have been an affiliate, some 15+ years, NOT ONCE has ANY affiliate program server that was recording stats ever had any sort of failure or down time so that the click/sales/income was missed. Now I don’t know about you but that is a MIRACLE. Surely all affiliate programs are touched by the Hand Of God. With just my few servers I have at least a 1% downtime every couple/few months. So either these guys are All personal friends with the Pope or they are pissing on your leg while trying to convince you it’s raining.


‘SHAVING’ is a popular term for this. You send 100 visitors and your stats show 90 or less. It may very well be a technical glitch and it may not. A program may be short of cash and hurting so where are they going for the money first. The players? Don’t pay them and they are all over the net trashing you. The bank? Yeah, like a bank will lend an online casino cash after the dot bomb craze, not to mention they are usually on an island somewhere or well hidden behind a sea of PO Boxes. So they may, just may, shave a little from a webmaster here and there to cover this months martini bill. You don’t have to stretch your imagination to far to see this happening and you wont be in this business to long before you see it happen to you.

Tough love time… You aren’t dealing with the Sisters of Assisi here. This is a tough business and a CASH business so that breeds greed, and you are going to get taken sooner or later. DEAL WITH IT. It is part and parcel of this biz and it comes from all the money floating around in a totally unregulated environment.

See the big picture.

Are you making more then you are spending and getting a reasonable return on your effort? If so, don’t give yourself an ulcer over who is stealing from you because more often then not, it is more than one. Consider it a cost of doing business. just like hosting, advertising, etc. Vito takes his cut before you do. If you can’t hang with that, go sell Amway.

CPA, CPL, CPE, CPC, WHAT THE ….

Various affiliate payment typesSo what do they mean? Well you better learn them because that’s how you will get paid. Which is best? Whichever makes you the most money for your effort. There is no BEST way. Just try them all and find what works for you.

The alphabet in a nutshell:

CPACost Per Aquisition
You get paid X dollars for every person who clicks through from your site and signs up as a real player and deposits a certain amount. The amount will vary from program to program but $50 – $100 deposited is common. The amount you can expect will vary from $25 – $200 so make sure you sharpen your negotiation skills. You will find the first offer is not carved in stone so make sure you get what you are worth, not just what they want to pay. This is a classic case of “If Mommy said no, ask Dad”. If ‘John’ offers you $40 put him off and call/email the marketer back and ask to speak to someone (else) and see what they will give you. Don’t feel bad for them, they get paid the same whether you get short sheeted or not. And this is why.

NO

Did that hurt? Of course not. So what if they say no. It doesn’t hurt and I guarantee you they will say YES far more often.

CPLCost Per Lead
You will be paid for each LEAD that comes to the casino via your site. This could require an email form to be filled out or a much more in depth informational questionaire. The visitor will not need to sign up as a real player at the casino or make any deposits. Payment on these is generally low, in the $1 – $5 range and is not found that often any longer in the casino affiliate area. This is done by casinos so that they can market the prospect themselves and save on affiliate payments over the long haul.

CPECost Per Email
No different then the CPL above, just a different acronym. They wouldn’t want to make this easy on you now would they.

CPCCost Per Click
Just what it says. You get paid for every, usually every UNIQUE, click that comes to the casino via your site. The casino tracks the traffic and determines what click is unique and what is not. This is th elowest of th epayment plans, usually in the .02 to .25 range so if you don’t have a lot of unique traffic this will take a long time to add up. One comment on this form of payment. Casino traffic is worth FAR MORE then you will get with almost any CPC plan. Once you start paying for traffic you will hurt your sides laughing when someone offers you this ‘deal’.

GROSS
This is probably the best deal if you can get it. You get paid on all GROSS DEPOSITS into a players account. You have no concern whether or not they win or lose. If they deposit $100, you get your % no matter what the outcome of the play. Understandably these are not all that common and when found are of a lower % pay out as compared to the next, NET.

NET
This is by far the most common form of pay out for the casino affiliate today. You will receive a ‘net percentage’ of the casinos take on the play. this is not as simple as it sounds as casinos will have a different definition of just what ‘net’ is. Kind of like what the definition of ‘is’ is. Meaning they will not hesitate to use it to their advantage as shown below.

Net = Deposits minus payouts
Net = Deposits minus payouts minus bonuses
Net = Deposits minus payouts minus bonuses minus chargebacks
Net = Deposits minus payouts minus bonuses minus chargebacks minus royalty fees*
Net = Deposits minus payouts minus bonuses minus chargebacks minus royalty fees minus reserves
Net = Deposits minus payouts minus bonuses minus chargebacks minus royalty fees minus reserves minus credit card processing fees

Like life, the higher up the food chain above you are, the more you will make.

Are all these charges real?

Sure, they are the cost of doing business. Just because you don’t pay rent doesn’t mean you don’t have expenses.
Are all these charges JUSTIFIED is what you need to ask. There the answer is maybe. Depending on the way the casino set itself up and how it is managed they may very well be valid. BUT You will find casinos that are popular with affiliates and players and profitable that don’t shove you down the food chain. Why? Dunno, but it pays to look and deal with those that are run well enough and care enough about you as an affiliate to put you higher up the ladder. Respect and trust are two of the most important ideals between affiliates and affiliate programs and, based on the list above, it falls drastically the further down the list the casinos put their affiliates. READ the TERMS AND CONDITIONS of every program you look at and UNDERSTAND them. They are intentionally cryptic. If you aren’t sure what it means, send an email to support and ask. if you don’t get an answer, well then they probably weren’t going to pay you anyway, and move on. They WANT your traffic. They NEED your traffic. Far more then you need them, they need you. With about 1500 casinos online now and more opening all the time getting good placements on good sites is getting much harder for casinos of questionable character.
YOU control the market. YOU have a big say in what casinos survives and which casino fades away. Don’t forget that.

I didn’t forget…..

* Royalty Fees 101 – A casino uses a software for the games that the buy/lease/whatever. There are sometimes ongoing fees imposed by the software company that the casino has to pay. Normally this is based on total dollar played. The percent varies between software companies and casinos based on how big they are in the market ie MGS will normally charge more then Playtech and what kind of deal the casino was able to hammer out.
Not all casino pass on the fees to affiliates. Even if they use the same kind of software. Why, again, dunno, but in many cases it does seem to be just another profit center for certain casinos. if one can manage to make money and pay affiliates without charging it, or charging a very small % of it, why can’t the other. Simple question with no answer I have been able to get. With this fee, some casinos will tell you that they will pay you 40% of the net. Unfortunately the net is far down the ladder and you will really get about 14%. OUCH. Hurt, didn’t it. This is one of those ‘bend over and smile’ moments in the casino affiliates world. Ask a casino why and they will tell you all about the history of the world, but wont answer your questions. Push them for an answer, and they stop answering your emails. This is the voice of experience speaking so listen, or not, it’s up to you.

Here is a good idea.

If you are looking at your stats and the program is making money ( deposits minus payouts minus bonus ( we are being nice here) ) and your not, DUMP THEM.

Affiliate Marketing Explained

Affiliate marketing gets a fair amount of hype as a way of making money on the Internet, and with good reason.  For many people with websites it can be the perfect way of making cash – very little overheads, and if they have the buyers then some very good money can be made.

 

So what is it?  How does it work as a business model?

 

The Affiliate Marketing Business Model

 

At it’s most simple you are simply saying ‘buy from them’ (and pointing a link at a seller) and, with use of special coding, anyone who does earns you a commission based on the sale.  The amount of the commission can vary, and is usually done as a percentage of the sale.

 

This makes it very different from other business models like Adsense (where you get paid per click), or lead generation – where you get paid for people entering some details.  With affiliate marketing you the need the people to buy the item.

 

The good news is that there is often some very good money to be made – if you are selling high ticket items then 10-15% can be a lot of money!  With electronic items such as ebooks the percentage can often be far greater, even as high as 50%!

 

For many website owners this business model is perfect as it allows them to leverage what they have (readers, often interested in a specific niche), and earn money from those readers without having to lay out the capital on buying stuck.

 

It also avoids associated costs such as mailing the item, storage space etc.  More importantly it avoids risk – with no initial investment into stock there is no worry about not selling it, you are simply making money on what is sold, not losing money on what isn’t sold.

 

While there is more money to be made in selling items directly this lack of investment and lack of risk is perfect for those that run many sites, blogs and forums as it allows the site to push hundreds of different lines if needs be, without ever being concerned about space issues, cash flow or capital expenditure.

 

It allows ‘real’ people to make money online.