We met John Wright from GaffG.com for an interview to ask few questions about his business and the work as an affiliate.
Hi Marius, I am very well thanks for asking buddy. If I was in Europe I’d be in Tallinn in a heartbeat for AGS but if it returns to the same place next year, Estonia would be a cool place to visit. SiGMA 2017 of course but lets hope for the sunny weather I hear about and see on Facebook.
What was your impression of SiGMA 2016?
I was surprised at how big it was and how many people there were there. Of course Malta is the capital of gaming so that certainly helps. It was nice to see all the companies located there and visit their offices, it gives you a sense of what goes on behind the scenes for some operators.
How did you come to enter the online casino space and set up your company?
It’s too long of a story, it started with professional gambling but I knew the future of the business was the marketing side of things. I tell people that content and websites are like virtual currency, maybe the outside world had a hard time understanding it’s true value but we all know it’s real. I’ve been working mostly with gaffg.com for 7 years and have a network of casino and sportsbetting portals.
With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?
I’m not entirely surprised other than the rapid acceleration of M&A happening as it went from zero to max and now it seems every few months there is a major acquisition happening. There are good and bad aspects to this situation where the good aspects of this are that affiliates are getting offers to sell their sites and cash out. The good part of this is that you can quickly sell a site, cash out and retire early or move onto the next project. The downsides of this trend are that these companies doing the buying are getting bigger and using their size to leverage better deals for themselves. It makes it more challenging for smaller affiliates to compete against bigger companies that have every resource in their arsenal.
It all leads to a complicated situation where these bigger groups are able to swallow up smaller affiliates and operators are starting to see these bigger groups representing more of the affiliate marketing base which gives them more power. I think one of the biggest issues at hand is that it is going to make it even more challenging for new affiliates to enter into the markets.
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
I have been quietly working on adventures.io which is I think a unique site and service. I have done consulting work in design and SEO along with affiliate coaching and adventures.io is combining all of this to offer these services in the form of partnerships for other affiliates that are looking to accelerate their business whether they are new in gaming or existing and wanting to get to the next level. As much as I say it is possible to be successful launching a site on the smallest budget, it’s better to launch with a custom design and custom backend to have a unique website. Our job is to focus on the SEO, design, programming and aspects of marketing while the other partner can focus on doing their job which is all about content.
Every year I like to make changes and see what I can do different to get better both in terms of skill set as well as improve my websites. I think 2017 will be filled with the most change to date.
I have another project that I’m working on which is top secret and you’ll hear about it very soon.
What advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
I think it’s becoming harder and harder for new affiliates to break through without any help on their own. It is still possible to go from rags to riches in this industry but just know there are not any get rich quick schemes going on. Finding mentors isn’t easy as most affiliates don’t really want to help their competitors get stronger without anything in return.
Aside from that I recommend any new affiliate put together any type of business plan whether short and simple or one with further detail. You can ask other affiliates for their opinion but if you feel your ideas are unique then maybe you don’t want to share them. Experienced affiliate managers will give you the honest feedback you need and give you an idea if your business plan will work or not. Create a plan, focus on results and track your progress. Keep yourself on a tight budget and don’t think you need to buy your way into success. Write down notes of what you want to accomplish in a day, week or month and make sure almost every day you are contributing something to your project.
John Wright is an iGaming veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. He is the founder of adventures.io which is an agency offering UX design, custom backends and affiliate partnerships.