How did you get in the affiliate business? What is your experience?
It was actually by chance. In 2015, an old friend of mine was putting a team together for his new job and offered me to try something new. I had no experience in SEO and in gambling in general. He showed me the potential of this job and this niche, so I decided to give it a go. I started as a junior SEO and link-builder, and we had several websites for the most popular and challenging European markets. I eventually became a SEO Team Lead. Having spent almost 5 years in that company, I needed a breath of fresh air. That’s when I was offered a position of Project Manager at Poker.ua. It was an old project that needed improvements and attention. This was a very timely offer, since the legalization of gambling in Ukraine was almost certain, and that opened some truly amazing opportunities for the market. Working in the new GEO, running a website where I understand the language, trying my hand on a regulated market; that was the fresh air I needed!
Tell us a bit more about your business model, concept, and culture.
At Poker.ua, we mainly focus on newcomers, the people who are just starting their path in online poker. We want to present online poker to as many people as possible. We show our visitors different sides of online poker. On one hand, online poker is a sport, a form of entertainment. On the other hand, it isn’t about pure luck, like in the casino; it’s a skill that you have to train. Should you want to find out about some rules of a specific poker type or read more about certain card combinations, we will give you the theory with some suitable examples. Should you want to play by yourself or with your friends, we will provide thorough reviews of the best poker rooms for you to decide where to apply your knowledge. We also provide a huge list of free-rolls (including exclusive ones for our visitors), where the players can try their hand without putting any money into it. And if players want to make some money on online poker, they have to take it seriously, learn, study the strategies, read specific books, as well as use some software to become a pro. We cover all of that information in an easy-to-understand, yet very professional language.
What sets you apart from other affiliates? What helps make your performance successful? What makes your traffic unique?
Content is king! It always was and it always will be. We have a professional team of writers and editors. What sets us apart and what I think is a key here is that all of the editorial office members are poker players. From a SEO point of view, you always struggle to find suitable writers who really understand what they are writing about. Your technical requirements for the article may be perfect, but if you give it to a regular writer who isn’t familiar with the niche, the content will be just a watery text with some keywords in it. The visitors feel that and Google feels it too. In my opinion, professional and easy-to-use content sets us apart from the others.
Which markets do you focus on? Are you targeting any new markets? Do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
As the domain may suggest, we focus on Ukraine. The website is in Russian, so we do have quite a lot of traffic from Russian-speaking countries. However, our main target market is Ukraine. The competition is not as tough as in Russian and European markets. It is a regulated market now, and that puts us in great position. We are currently looking for media partners (sports, news, etc.) to cooperate with, so we could show online poker to as many potential players as possible. Our main goal is to become the number one online poker website in Ukraine.
This is part of an exclusive interview of SiGMA Affiliate Grand Slam that G&M News is sharing with its global readers. If you want to access for free to the full interview, just click on this link.