Publisher Spotlight: SloRakeback

I started with affiliating some 4 years ago, that were times when Party Poker was prevailing the poker market. I signed up a few friend and also dropped some offline material in the biggest card room in Europe (at this time, not sure if it still is). The results were nothing special but I noticed that here is money to be made. When I was first introduced to rakeback I was amazed that I can get money back from playing poker, it was 15% on party though J. After this it got my interest and I started to offer rakeback mostly to my poker friends. I also made a first Slovenian poker forum that didn’t last long, because of inexperience and new competitive forum that lured its clients from the biggest underground card room at this time.I was persuaded that I have to make a rakeback web site, and as many starting affiliates I was sure it is a simple thing to do. Well I hired a guy that promised me to build a site on joomla, in the middle of work he just stopped to answer to my mail, phone calls etc. So I was desperate in seeking new solution. The big rakeback sites at this time already had the statistics and other features, so I wanted to have them on my site as well. I didn’t want to make crapy site just to stand there. I noticed a guy selling rakeback software on PAP and I got in contact with him, it took a long time to actually have the talk with him, and the price was something like 1,5k$ per month. Something I couldn’t afford at this time. I don’t remember exactly when I got in touch with Chris (PAS), but this is when the things started moving.I hired a new developer via getafreelancer.com that finished my site. At the beginning there were many problems since I didn’t have the access to server where the site was placed and I had no idea what to do by myself and what the PAS tech would do. It was financially and mentally exhausting period, luckily most of this problems are fixed now days. When the site was standing and (mostly) everything was working, I thought the clients will start coming by themselves, of course I put some banners on poker sites in my country but it wasn’t much of success. Afterwards I was introduced to SEO which was again something new to me and investing time and money in it was good thing to do. At the moment I am on 3rd place on Google.si for »rakeback« and I am quite happy about it. I like the nature of this job. It is evolving constantly and it is not such a routine as other jobs are. It gives you the freedom to be your own boss and to work as much as you want and whenever you want. Now I am working almost totally as affiliate and my second site CroRakeback on PAS is basically finished. I am moving to other parts of affiliating as casino, bingo etc as well.Working now is much easier than it was before but as everywhere else the beginnings are always the hardest, but the learning never ends and there are still so many things to conquer. It would be great if PAS would be here 3 years ago, it would make the whole path much easier.- GuljoSlovenian RakebackCroatian Rakeback

Monday Sales Call: A Breath of Fresh Change

We moved office spaces over the weekend and I find myself in a new work setting. I generally despise change of any kind and I have a fairly strict schedule that I rarely deviate from . I find myself uncomfortable when confronted with change at work or at home. It took me months to get used to the apartment I am in now. It is hard to put a finger on why I have such a hard time adjusting to change. Over the years I stopped trying to figure out why I react to certain things. Instead, I concentrate my efforts on HOW I react to situations.Change is inevitable, especially in business. Adapting to the ebb and flow of your industry is a key ingredient to a successful firm or company. Many companies get frustrated when the game changes and fail to adapt. Others see the change as an opportunity to target a new segment of the market or better serve their existing customer base. Either way, those who acclimate to the variance of their industry find sustainability and those who don’t fail. Are you proactively adjusting to the climate shift in your industry?My experience with change today has been positive. Our new office space has give me a spark of energy and fervor that I desperately needed (the winters in Minnesota can be quite draining). This transition has given me the chance to re-evaluate my workday, workspace set up, and time management. So I guess you could say I turned a once dreaded occurrence, change, into an opportunity!I will post some pictures of the new office space sometime this week.Tony

Monday Sales Call: Putting Out Fires

When I was 15 I worked at a local pizza parlor. There were a few times when the oven broke and I remember the managers freaking out. They would run around frantically screaming at the cooks, asking how this could have possibly happened. Honestly, I could have cared less. I didn’t really like my job and definitely wasn’t a “company man”. I wasn’t invested in the companies’ brand nor did I concern myself with their long term success. Suffice it to say, I was young and immature.I spent a good portion of this past weekend dealing with the server issues here at PAS. It really sucks when things are completely out of your hands and other people are counting on you. I truly love my job, my co-workers, and working with our Publishers. I think this is why the situation was so frustrating. I knew our Publishers were counting on us to fix the problem. Putting out fires is a common task of running a business. Your clients look to you when things go haywire and expect fast results.Placing blame on someone else is the easiest, but NOT the best way to handle situations which are out of our control. We see politicians do this all the time. I can sit behind my computer cursing at my keyboard, or I can develop a plan and be proactive. I like to make mental notes, separating aspects of the situation which are out my control from areas in which I can work towards a solution. If need be, I can delegate a few of the tasks to my co-workers. Whether its a broken oven or a server crash, dilemmas will undoubtedly occur when running a business. So instead of dwelling on the problem, concentrate your time and effort on the solution!Tony

Monday Sales Call: Competition in the Rakeback Industry

Last week I had the pleasure to be a guest on Affiliate Life Radio. On the show we discussed the current rakeback market and how the industry has changed through self-regulation. PAS , RaketheRake, and a few other major players in the rakeback industry played a major role in the implementation of rakeback “caps”, thus changing the environment of the industry.Rakeback caps were extremely important for the future of the industry. At the time, rakeback affiliates mainly competed on percentages and the competition was cut-throat. The industry turned into a bidding war among affiliates and the players were worried about whom they could trust. If caps were not created, rakeback affiliates would have been operating at such a low margin that they never could have sustained as a profitable business. As a result, rakeback would have eventually become extinct.Now that price points have been set on a level playing field, rakeback affiliates are forced to compete through promotions, coaching services, customer support, and referral programs. Rake races are used to market to the serious poker player. Freerolls are an added bonus to a site’s promotion program which targets the beginning/micro stakes player. Freerolls are often over looked by rakeback affiliates because they do not appeal to the high raking grinder. However, freerolls can pad a new player’s bankroll and he or she could one day become a high earning player for an affiliate.Poor player support is a deal breaker for many of the rakeback players I know. Players want their payments on time and accurate. Customer support is really another form of sales. Furthermore, as a result of rakeback caps, customer support is really the service/product you are selling as a rakeback affiliate. There are only a handful of reputable affiliates who provide the customer support needed to obtain the trust of a potential player.Rakeback caps, while limiting a player’s return on rake, essentially saved our industry. Caps forced affiliates to provide top notch support and promotions to their players. We will see this trend increase over the years to come. PAS is currently working on new player promotions and would love to hear your suggestions. Feel free to post your suggestions here or via email: publishers (at) pokeraffiliatesolutions dot com.Tony

LuckyAce Poker Now Offered on PAS

LuckyAce Poker, a member of the 888 Network, has been added to the PAS offerings. LuckyAce Poker is a bonus only offer as rakeback is not allowed on the 888 Network at this time. The bonus is a great offer for players though as it is is 100% up to $400 and 25% of it is paid to the player instantly. You can add LuckyAce Poker by going to your admin and moderating your offer.

Monday Sales Call: Coffee Is For Closers

I was sick last Monday and was unable to make my weekly post on Monday Sales Call. I hate being sick mainly because I dread laying on my couch, wasting brain cells watching TV. However, I was fortunate enough to catch three of my favorite movies while out sick. These films, and the following quotes, have taught me a great deal about the business world and life in general.“But the leads are weak!”-Glengarry Glen RossA lead is what you make of it. You can look at a sales lead and think “Oh man, this is a waste of time”. Or you can develop a plan (always have a plan!) and turn that weak lead into a serious prospect. In lieu of passing on future business, treat the weak lead like it is a possible whale. Worse case scenario: you are more prepared to pitch future whales. Several times I have come across what I thought to be a “weak lead” and ended up being introduced to a whale. Leads have friends in the industry who might have a need for the service/product you provide.“You want vacation time…go teach 3rd Grade public school”-Boiler RoomContrary to popular belief, online marketing is not a walk in the park with trash bags full of cash. The low barrier to entry in our industry produces fierce competition. While you may not have a guru coder or designer on your staff, you do have work ethic. If you can’t compete in marketing or ad spends then outwork your competition. Contact your current client base and make sure they are pleased with the service you are providing. Remember, the Internet is never closed. While you are sleeping someone overseas is busy trying to grab your market share.“What you see is a guy who never measured a man’s success by the size of his wallet”– Wall StreetSure, we all want to be the next Mark Cuban or Neil Patel. But at the end of the day we have an overwhelming desire to be happy with our lives. Many of us got into Internet marketing because we were bored or unhappy with our previous career. All the money in the world can’t buy the feeling of accomplishment. Do what you do best, and do it because you love it.Tony