We met Alan Young, the founder of Mobile Casino Man and Mobile Slots Man, who will take part in Tallinn Affiliate Grand Slam this April.
Hello Alan, how are you? Are you ready for the Tallinn Affiliate Grand Slam 2017 or SiGMA17?
Hi Marius, I’m great thanks, life is good. I’m delighted to be attending both the Grand Slam and SiGMA this year, which is a little bit of a change from the norm for me, as I have only attended LAC previously. I’m particularly looking forward to Tallinn as I’ve never been there before and I hear good things.
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
I actually started working in the gambling industry in 2010 when I got a job at Genting, looking after their sites, and when I left there in 2014 I started work as a consultant for a bit and subsequently launched the mobilecasinoman.com site as my first foray into the affiliate space.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
Sure, it’s very simple really, I am the founder and I have a number of guys doing stuff for me including design, writing and more. I like to keep things pretty flexible so I’m in a great position that my network of freelancers is both quite large and also highly skilled.
With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?
To be honest I’m not that surprised, all industries consolidate in this, and what it really shows is that the affiliate industry in gaming is now very mature, so only the best will thrive.
A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?
It’s something that I have researched a great deal but no, I haven’t decided to go down the white label route yet, and for the moment will be concentrating on the expansion of my affiliate network.
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
Absolutely! At the end of the day great, original content is what it’s all about, both for the user, and also for SEO. I pride myself on the content on my sites and give players an accurate synopsis of casinos and games. For example, If I think a particular slot isn’t very good, then that’s what I’ll write.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
My sites are .com and only in English right now, so the markets I focus on are UK, US, CA, AU really, and once growth in those markets has been achieved I’ll be looking at translation.
How do you find UK markets and competition?
Well, the UK market is obviously very competitive and is really dominated some very old domains with great histories, so being a bit newer to the party means that it will take a little time, but I have patience, and I feel things are developing at a good pace.
How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?
I actually see being a newer affiliate in the space as not the worst thing in the world, because many of the older sites out there had link profiles that aren’t very Google friendly now. As long as you write original, fresh content that is focused on the user, and follow simple SEO rules you can’t go far wrong really.
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
Yes, the second site in the network has just gone live on mobileslotsman.com (you can see the theme already!), so that will now start to be developed and expanded as well. Then there will be another 3 or 4 sites coming in the near future.
What is the main thing that you’d like Sigma readers to know about your sites?
I think the main thing I would invite readers to do is to read some of the content on the sites, because I feel it is of a very high quality, and most importantly honest, and useful to the player.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
Obviously the main one is really tracking related, with not all mobile traffic, particularly app traffic, not being tracked properly by many operators still, which when you focus on mobile as I do, means that you are potentially missing out on revenue. It’s because of this that I have to be very picky about which operators I work with.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
I suppose the biggest challenge is that the strongest affiliate companies out there now are starting to dominate the search traffic due to their increased resources, so I think it will take a lot of hard work to try and keep up!
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
Don’t do it! I have enough competition as it is.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
Of course! It’s very important as a casino affiliate to play the slots so that you can give them a proper, honest review. If I won a €1m jackpot then rather boringly I would invest it in my affiliate business to increase the speed with which I get sites live and content production….I would probably buy a flash car and go sit on a beach for a bit as well and drink some cocktails.
Have you attended SiGMA last year? Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.