Top Rakeback Website Trends of 2009

I’ve recently done a survey of some of the larger players in the rakeback industry and I’m a bit disgusted with the lack of creativity on display. It’s very natural for there to be pervasive trends in web design, and that’s OK. Trends can indicate progress and may be a sign of competition catching up to a surge of rapid development.Trends can also be harbingers of staleness and monotony. Some design concepts have ended up grossly over-saturating the market (that Web 2.0 look, or shiny… everything) and become the latest and most sought after fashions. Such surges of pop design tend to produce consistently mediocre products. Sure many, even most, of these designs look OK, but very few stand out or dare to try a novel and aggressive approach.It seems that this problem is especially piquant in our industry, where a persistent game of follow-the-leader seems to be taking place. Not all the currently hot trends are bad, and many simply reflect the larger environment in which design changes and advancements take place. They do, however, chime a particular note that should catch your ear. When the competition all starts to look the same, it is quite likely that no one is innovating. When this happens, cracks appear, allowing small, agile players to shoot through.There is always room in a crowded industry for new comers, especially when the establishment seems to have become really good at doing all the same things all the same way. There is plenty of new ground to be broken in the affiliate industry and now may be a better time then ever to start digging.Some of 2009’s Biggest TrendsThe Sidebar The Trend – Having a sidebar with offers on it is nothing new, but the current trend is to have US and/or EU flags on it and to organize by network.How Played Out? – This is getting pretty common, it’s a popular solution to a common problem – organizing growing lists of rooms in ways that are meaningful to users. At some point this takes up a lot of space and new strategies will be needed. It certainly adds to the feeling that a given site has basically the same product as any other competing site.Bonus Trend – There seems to be an industry wide competition to see who can cram the most stuff in their sidebars. Half a dozen categories each with half a dozen or so links seem to be the norm.The Rotating BannerThe Trend– Placing a flash or jQuery powered rotating banner on the front page. These are almost always links to on-site promotions.How Played Out? – A Year ago just a few sites were doing this, now it’s everywhere. Too many slides can really slow down load times, and most viewers are only likely to look at the first slide. This technique probably isn’t very affective unless you have a captive audience and really well done designs for your banners. In addition to relatively talented developers, these take time to maintain. Use with caution.Explanatory GraphicsThe Trend – Some sort of info graphic to demonstrate what rakeback is and how it works.How Played Out – I saw more of these pop up in 2009, they are picking up steam but arent as hot as some of the other trends. This is another one that needs some design talent applied to it, if not really done well these just add to the confusion.Comprehensive Front Page Offers ListingsThe Trend – 2008 saw more sites using a “Featured Offers” model than 2009. Sites seem to be going back to large tables that included promotions, sign up bonuses, countries of eligibility and oodles of other fine print.How Played Out – It’s defiantly catching, but isn’t nearly universal. Those sites that are trending this way seem to all have nearly identical presentations.

PAS Rakeback site 101

Hey all, my name is Tim and I am the new affiliate manager alongside Tony here at Poker Affiliate Solutions. I have been a rakeback affiliate since 2004 and in the spring of 2008 I became a Poker Affiliate Solutions publisher. Once I familiarized myself with the CMS there were a few things I did right away to make my site stand out from the crowd. These are tips that every PAS publisher should abide by.1.) Introduce your site. PAS rakeback sites have a single sentence of content on their homepages by default. Take some time to write your homepage, as it is the most important page on your site.2.) Write original poker room reviews. Our rakeback sites start out with placeholder reviews for you to build on. Write a review for each poker room and give it your own voice. Share your opinion with your visitors, and be honest.3.) Perform basic SEO on your site. Write your meta data, title your pages, etc. Checkout The Magic of Meta-Data on Hubspot.Here are a few good resources for improving your poker affiliate marketing:Poker Affiliate Forum – Become a member of the PAS forum communityDigital Point – One of the premier traditional affiliate marketing forumsPokerSEO.org – Randy Rays poker seo blogI hope you enjoyed my very first blog post here at PAS. Feel free to drop me an email if you would like to discuss some of your poker affiliate marketing ideas.Tim PokerAffiliateSolutions dotcom

A home for Fresh Ideas

Chances are that rakeback isn’t your passion. Poker might be your passion and rakeback might even be your favorite or predominant source of income, but do you love it?It’s hard for most to rise above the pack without being self driven, and it’s hard to get that kind of motivation if your not passionate about what it is that you’re doing.So why not start fresh? Make a website about fishing, skateboarding or collecting the world’s largest ball of chewed bubble gum. Install a wordpress blog – there’s many free themes and plugins and thousands of pages of well written documentation.Write about what you love, and create a community for people who share your interest. Be enthusiastic and have fun, learn to become more proficient and knowledgeable about this thing you love.THEN tell your new friends about rakeback. How the smart and hardworking player can profit and how the recreational player can get more mileage out of his leisure budget. Add some helpful links to explanations and articles on your PAS rakeback site. Remember, most people have never heard of rakeback and will never search it out.You can’t reach the whole world, but you can share your passion for poker with an audience who shares another passion of yours, and you can enjoy doing it!