Start from scratch, buy or don't bother

Discussion in 'New Casino Affiliates Questions' started by Tom, Feb 5, 2019.

  1.  
    Tom

    Tom New Member

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    Hi All,

    I’ve been a lurker here for a while, and have learnt a lot by reading all of your quality content.

    Bit about me – late 20s marketer with a steady job. I’m a seasoned sports gambler and have an account with all major exchange/bookmakers. I’m in the incredibly fortunate position where I have a small saving to deploy in the affiliate space. This was raised by a small side hustle being an affiliate for a fashion business.

    I have around £15,000k upfront to either purchase an aged domain/established website or start building from scratch. From that point on I can spend a further £1,000/month + any affiliate income on content, backlinks, outsourcing, ppc, etc.

    I really want the site to be as organic/whitelist as much as possible.

    This is where you guys come in to tell me I am being naïve and it is a rubbish idea so don’t bother trying in an already saturated UK market... I envisaged the site being a sports only bookmaker review site. Well designed with quality content targeting long tail keywords.

    I’m interested to hear peoples views however negative they may be
     
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    nibnab

    nibnab Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Hey Tom,

    I think you have a good budget to start building something. When we started working on our site we had about same kind of budget and for us it worked out, but then again we were 3 people and we dedicated all of our waking hours for the project.

    So the real question is, how much you really dedicated time on this? It is very competitive field and getting sites ranked requires lots of hard work.
    I'm not saying you cannot do it as a side hustle, but it does require lots of heavy lifting.
     
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    KasinoKing

    KasinoKing Player turned affiliate.

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    My 2p worth - buy an existing site if you can.

    Although I have never tried running a sports betting site myself, I think the hurdles must be ginormous...
    You would have to put in VAST amounts of work, including daily updates to keep up with the ever changing sports events.
    The market - especially in the UK - is massively swamped and ensuring you stick to UKGC regulations could be a full-time job in itself.
    On top of that, you would have to work as an affiliate for bookmaker sites, 95% of which have pretty terrible affiliate T&Cs :(

    Not trying to put you off, just be aware that it is going to be FAR from easy.

    KK
     
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    Frank

    Frank Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I would never tell anyone not to bother.. you are going into something you are passionate in so, there is a strong chance you will make it if you can take a little pain and be patient.. start from scratch that way you mold the brand into what you want.. 1k per month is low spend but once you start making turnover you can increase that, with sports you will need a lot of $ to compete..
     
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    the_dave

    the_dave Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    If you do decide to start from scratch and you're relying on search traffic initially don't expect anything exciting to happen for at least 12 months. You have to go into it with a long term approach - almost like an investor. People might post that you need to find your niche and dominate it but 99% of niches in gambling have been found and 'dominated' in the English speaking market (outside of Africa and some other different countries).

    I've been an affiliate targetting the UK market since 2008 and I'm not looking to start new UK facing projects right now. I have two sites which launched 12 and 24 months ago and whilst there is growth it's nothing like what was possible in previous times and the investment to drive that growth has been much higher.

    I'm currently launching sites outside the gambling sector but maybe include a couple of projects which serve different markets towards the middle of this year.

    I'm certainly not saying it can't be done, or you shouldn't do it... but adjust your expectations accordingly and don't dump the £15k into a project and give up 12-18 months down the line through a lack of progress. Also please don't spend a high proportion of that on design and development (one of the biggest mistakes possible when starting out imo). Bulk of your spend should be content and links - there's plenty of wordpress themes which can be modded for what you need initially.
     
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    NDG

    NDG Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Do as much research as you can before jumping in. The biggest mistake is that people get excited about the
    possibilities, jump into the game.. and then they end up making many mistakes that cost time and money.

    Most affiliates end up quitting before they make any money.. because in the beginning, it takes a lot of research,
    hard work, sleepless nights, etc.. to get things going.. and then patience while you wait months for some revenue.

    Money can help to speed things up, or at least cut back on the time it takes to develop a good web site.. but, the
    most important thing is not money.. its the drive, the passion for this industry, and the determination to succeed.
     
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    AussieDave

    AussieDave 18 years & still going!

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    I don't promote sportbooks, but been doing the casino affiliate gig for literally years on end. Having the knowledge as a punter, your miles head right there. You could look around and buy a site for £5K, leaving you £10K as a buffer. But, you'd need to make sure your purchasing dollars are well spent. A marketable Brand (aged domain) which is easy to remember, is optimal.

    Least going this way, you've got traffic straight away. From there you can put your own passion into the site, and grow it. Though, as other members have said, it take a LOT of work. Long hours, weekends, times when you just have say: sorry but I can't go out this weekend etc., etc. It really is a project where you have to live, eat and breath work.
     
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    TheGooner

    TheGooner Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Sounds like me in 1999 - although I'd substitute "marketer" with coder.

    Back in 1999 - I decided to build my own site following that specific niche the Gooners Guide (https://www.goonersguide.com) and it's been twenty years well spent writing code, and writing and editing about sports events and earning way above my previous financial transaction coding job (which was very well paid).

    However in the last 2-3 years I am aware that I have been living off the benefits of previous years signups continuing to pay revenue-share earnings, rather than new signups which seem to have dried up to a bare trickle. These days the number of new signups and players are close to zero - and about 5% of the good old days from 2000 to 2012.

    To dispense with rhetoric and put it in plain english - it's tough out there.
    How tough? Well we used to get 200 signups a month - now it would be 20 - and only a small fraction of those actually deposit.

    What's caused it? The move to mobile is a big cause as mobile tracking is definitely flawed and most programs fail badly, so is the move to VPNs an issue, and browser add-ons that are cookie munchers cause problems, and basic privacy settings that remove affiliate referral tags are an issue.

    Basically these days affiliates get paid for about 10%-20% of the traffic that they send.

    You are keen. So I'd suggest that you try to get in - because maybe (just maybe) you have the drive and talent to appeal to people and succeed in creating a niche following. But if you are not a coder then I'd definitely buy into an existing project that has the basics that you are looking for.
     
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    KasinoKing

    KasinoKing Player turned affiliate.

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    Jeeeze that's some doom & gloom reading... :(

    That is EXACTLY what has happened to my traffic - there was me thinking I was the only one...
    Looks like I'd better start planning my early retirement :mad:

    KK
     
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    bettingappguide

    bettingappguide Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    100% agree with everything said so far. It is a lot lot harder these days to make good money as a gambling affiliate. Down to lots of factors like those mentioned and the big boys buying up everyone else then having huge budgets to spend.

    All is not lost though. Find a niche, work stupidly hard, expect to earn next to nothing for ages and hey presto. You may be better buying an established site but for 15k I don't think you would get one making a lot of revenue or why would they sell for a relatively small amount.
     
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    Aeternus

    Aeternus Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I can relate to TheGooner, altough I started up much later (2012). About 1.5 years ago things really started to change and the big companies started buying up pages left and right in my my main market. Today I get under 10% of the traffic I used to get and all the top positions in my niche are now controlled by the likes of Catena Media.

    I would say it is still doable, but it has gotten a lot harder after the big affiliate companies entered the scene.
     
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    Biti

    Biti Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I'd first do some research and think about what will be the idea of your website. I do not give a very generic website, started in 2019, with not loads of resources any chance to score.

    1.000 / month is not too much when you want to do PPC, buying backlinks, buy content and outsource other things.

    With a very generic website without any outstanding content, you will have no chance against super affiliates do the same but with a factor 100 and have complete SEO-teams that balance on the edge to spam SERPs.

    I'd say with a good idea or a good niche, it's still possible to earn a good income, even in the UK market. It must just not be a website like 100's of others already are having years. Hence a niche or a different market.

    Once you've done research and have an idea, I think the best is looking if there's some website to buy that fits with the idea. If it has some age, a clean backlink profile and ok content, it's a good basic. Otherwise, start from scratch on.
     
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    Casinoer Danmark

    Casinoer Danmark Member

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    Exactly. Research long tail keywords and go for the long tails. I even recommend that you narrow down to a certain sport for your sport book reviews. In that case, you can build authority within your field; niche competence is usually something the super affiliates do not have.

    I'd spend all of your 15k on links.
     
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