We met Ermin Rajic from Media Clever Sweden AB, who is taking part in Affiliate Grand Slam in Tallinn this April.
Hello Ermin, how are you? Are you ready for the Tallinn Affiliate Grand Slam 2017?
Hi Marius, im great thank you for asking. Actually no, i would love to be there but i want be able to this time.
How did you come to enter the online casino space and set up your company?
Well, i live in small town where the opportunities are not that big and i wanted to start my own business so at that time it seemed that internet was the best choice to make good money plus you could start with small investment.
Anyway i tried a lot of niches and when i finally tried casino i feel in love with it. Everything is different for an affiliate when you work with casino. The people are great, there is always big news and of course the commission is the best. So since then its been all about casino for me!
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
Well its quiet simply really. I built the company on my own so i did everything from SEO, websites and so on. Nowadays i use content writers, website developers and sometimes some SEO services which i buy as a service. Also the accountant of course who takes care of all the paperwork.
With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?
Well I’m not surprised actually, i have been in this industry for a while so i know its growing and everything is constantly changing. I can for example work with one manger this week and next with somebody else cause the first changed to a different casino. The acquisitions of affiliate sites are not a surprise either i always thought that the best thing the big guys could do is acquisition good affiliate sites so for me it was only a mater of when. I also think its a good thing with all the changes in the industry cause changes mostly means that something is developing.
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?
No i haven’t! I have been close to a couple of times you just out of curiosity but it always ended with me realizing it was actually better to be an affiliate then a brand owner. Just to be clear here, i mean better for me!
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
Well first of all there is going to be a lot of focus in improvement on content like for example casinopro.se which we in the end of this month (hopefully) will launch as a completely new site and this means as well we have to change and improve all content on it. What exactly that means is make it more readable, have better information + right information and simply write the best possible content.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets ?
I think “casino” is no longer just one market but can be divided in many. Like for example mobile casino is one market now, new brands are one market, live casino, betting and so on and since many brands nowadays offer many of these products i se it as i am in just one market which is gambling online. With that said i focus mostly on casino but if you are asking me if i have sites that are not focused on casino then yes i have lotto online, betting, scratch, bingo, virtual sport and so on. Yes i see a lot of potential in this industry, and the acquisitions of so many affiliate sites feels like a good sign from other affiliates believing it as well. One market that is small compared to casino in Sweden which i believe will become really big in future is lotto online.
How do you find Scandic & UK markets and competition?
To be honest i never saw competition! It sounds cocky but i do not mean like that. What I’m trying to say is i started this so i could get a better life for me and my family and to that i had to get good result in Google. So i do not think so much of the competition or if somebody ranks better i only think about my business. Because of that i can not say so much about other Scandinavian affiliates more then that everybody i spoked to or met is really nice people with different strategies and technics. Uk market is still new for me but in the short period of time i have been working with the Uk market i found it much easier to work with then the Scandinavian market. Im not sure if Scandinavian affiliates are harder competition or if the UK market has much many words to rank for and therefor easier to get visibility but I’m pretty sure i will be working much more with the UK market in future.
How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?
To start with i have not been affected negatively by any of Googles updates so for me this means im doing something good and that’s what i will continue to do but just as mentioned before when you asked me about content – i will continue improve as much i can. One thing i had to do with old sites recently is to make them mobile friendly.
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
Actually there is =). I already mentioned it above but just in case you missed it we are developing a completely new casinopro.se which we hope will be live in a month or less. Also we are building ElitCasinon.com which is meant to be one of the best casino guides in Sweden where only the best Swedish brands are listed.
What is the main thing that you’d like Sigma readers to know about your sites?
They are created with love! I never think about making money when i build or work with a site. Its always about improvements. How can i make it more interesting, how can i help the reader or how can i get others to trust my site.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
Going mobile has been a problem for me for some of my older sites, but not a to big problem. Just a problem that took some time i could have spent on much funnier things. Opportunities – well yes a lot of the traffic comes from mobile nowadays and Google focusing more on mobile friendly sites made me to make my sites more mobile friendly which resulted in better results.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
The biggest challenge i think will be quality. Until now quality has played a big role in SEO but im getting the feeling that quality is going to be even more important in 2017. So to create the best quality site takes both time, resources, and knowledge. It is a challenge i think google created to make us create the best sites possible.
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
Work every day and focus on writing good content.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
Yes of course i do sometimes. I like playing NetEnt slots like Jack and the Beanstalk, Mega Fortune Dreams and Twin Spin. However, i must admit videopoker is my absolutely favourite game in all casinos. I would probably take the whole family on a nice vacation plus give some of it to each member of my family.
Ermin Rajic runs the affiliate company Media Clever Sweden AB, which started in 2015 with sites like www.casinopro.se, www.elitcasinon.com and www.freespins24h.se in its portfolio.