Author: Sebastian Scheplitz
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
In short, affiliate marketing is getting paid to refer customers to your partners’ products, services, and websites.
An online gambling affiliate is one who refers players to online casinos, sports betting, fantasy sports, poker, or bingo websites and earns a commission on how much those players spend on those websites.
(For the sake of simplicity, we’re including sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker in this list, too, although they are technically not games of chance but games of skill.)
And now onto the more detailed article on how you can become a successful iGaming affiliate in 2021.
Road to Becoming a Top iGaming Affiliate
Online casino affiliates essentially create valuable content, research, and share information with the communities they serve.
They play a critical role in attracting new customers and acting as intermediaries between an online casino or a sportsbook and a paying customer, aka the player or punter.
While affiliate marketing has been around for ages, and while there is a wealth of information available on how to become a casino affiliate, the first steps are easy but fine-tuning is key to success.
So, before we dive into this detailed guide on how you can be an online gambling affiliate, let’s have a quick run through of this article:
The potential is there for iGaming. It’s one of the biggest industries that has proven its resilience even during economic downturns and the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s also one of the most competitive niches, too – and you’re surely not the only one who has thought about entering the sphere.
So, how do you set yourself apart from the competition and succeed as a player in the iGaming affiliate market?
The first steps should always start with researching and figuring out what’s possible and profitable. You need to decide which direction you want to go in.
In terms of iGaming, there are many different options. You can either niche down or become a real iGaming wiki, including every possible info that’s out there.
Your potential niche could be just about sports betting bonuses, pay by phone online casinos, or live casino reviews.
The iGaming sky has no limit.
And there are plenty of ways to promote iGaming services, be it online casino, sports betting, live casino, fantasy sports, or esports betting.
Lately, some companies in that space are also venturing out into blockchain endeavors, including crypto and fintech. Looking at you AskGamblers and AskTraders…
One of the most effective ways you can do so is by running your very own online casino affiliate business or sports betting affiliate website.
And here is how you can create one by yourself:
How to Choose a Domain Name?
This could be a separate article for itself. But let’s keep it short.
Brainstorming your idea should be along with these requirements:
- It should be short enough – 3 words or fewer with a max of 20 characters would be great.
- Dot-com is the safest bet – Try to aim for a name available with the .com top-level domain (TLD) if you want your page to work for different countries since it’s still considered very trustworthy.
Otherwise, it’s also okay to choose a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) like .de if you’re aiming for Germany, for example. These domains tend to work best with local audiences since customers are already accustomed to them.
You’re still free to try your luck with domains like .buzz or .review. Even .poker and .football are possible nowadays.
- Hyphens are not the best idea – They can work. But usually, they don’t look that trustworthy.
- Make it easy to remember – Just as an example:
How to Start an iGaming Affiliate Website?
After deciding on your domain name and which iGaming vertical you want to put work in, it’s time to lay the foundation for your website.
You can hire a developer if you either don’t dare to do it yourself or want something really fancy and absolute state of the art. Or you can learn the basics and set it up yourself to see if you can gain some traction first and then build it up from there.
The most customizable website builder is WordPress. But you can also look into WordPress alternatives like Wix or Squarespace.
There are many great hosting providers out there that are reliable and affordable. We’ve tried One.com and WPX Hosting, for example, and both are great. But there are also your usual suspects such as All-Inkl.com, Bluehost, Hostgator, and Godaddy.
You might also want to look into WP Engine or GreenGeeks, with the latter being considered the “Best Eco-Friendly Hosting.”
Once your hosting is set up, install a content management system (CMS) like WordPress on your website. Most providers offer a one-click install option, so everything is ready to go in minutes.
Next on the list is picking a WordPress theme.
A WordPress theme provides you with styling options and also helps with pre-made templates. Just google for “Best Casino WordPress Theme” and choose one of the many options.
Yes, it’s just that easy.
Next up, you need to decide which operators and which affiliate systems you want to work with.
Which iGaming Affiliate System Should You Choose?
You can either work with operators directly since they all have their own affiliate programs or with affiliate networks, which combine many operators under one roof. Which one you choose is up to you. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
Working directly with operators means more work since you’ll have to deal with each one of them individually. But you can get better commission rates from them.
Affiliate networks take away the hassle of having to deal with many different contacts. But the incentives will be lower since they’ll take their share. This might be more suitable for beginners, though.
But no matter which route you’re taking, they both follow the same affiliate systems. So, read up on the following primary affiliate systems that will be of interest to you if you want to know how to become a sportsbook affiliate or online casino affiliate.
This stands for Cost Per Lead, also known as Pay Per Click (PPC), which means you will be paid when leads are further categorized as legitimate prospects before selling to them, such as when a player registers with a casino via a link on your affiliate website.
Most online casinos pay around €10/$10/£10 per signup. But since the referred traffic needs to have good quality (meaning they should be continuously-depositing players, or the casino will lose money), most of these deals come with a deposit requirement.
This stands for Cost Per Acquisition or Cost Per Action, which means you will be paid every time a customer completes a specific action – mostly it’s depositing money on the online casino or sportsbook.
This is essentially a CPL deluxe that rewards you for converted players. Since operators will only pay you for the actions those players you referred take on their platform, the payout depends on a typical life cycle, which is the time a customer uses a product or a player plays on a platform.
On average, you can expect around an average of €200/$200/£200 per referral when all “actions” are summed up.
CPA and CPL are the best deals if you’re just starting and want to make some money. However, you might want to split-test these two, in the beginning, to see what’s more profitable. This can also depend on your traffic source.
3. Revenue Share
RevShare means you’ll earn a percentage of a player’s lifetime profit if they have registered through a link on your affiliate website. This is the most common model affiliate system amongst iGaming affiliates.
This is where the real money is. If you find some real high-rollers (aka those that spend a lot of money), you will get a share of this. The percentage usually ranges from 25% to 45% (but we’ve also seen 5% and 55%) and frequently increases according to the number of players you bring in, aka Ladder-Based RevShare system.
The only issue is that you can’t control what happens on the platform. So, if the players aren’t treated well there, they will go somewhere else. Reasons could be lousy customer support, small game selection, lower odds than competitors, and so on.
As an affiliate, one strategic way around this is trying to stay in contact with your referred players so that you recommend them another sportsbook or online casino.
4. Hybrid Deals
These deals mix a CPA (or CPL) with a RevShare, which means you have the best of both worlds. For example, you could earn a CPA of €20/$20/£20 plus a 25% commission for each player.
But “the best of both worlds” doesn’t mean the best overall.
CPA plus 25% would be a pretty good deal for beginners (if you’re ever offered that) since you probably don’t know your traffic or what you want yet.
But when you’re more advanced and bring in high-net-worth players, you don’t want to miss out on a potential 45% RevShare on top of the CPA.
That’s why it’s crucial to research your options. And here’s a little help on how you can choose a model that works for you.
Choosing a Suitable iGaming Affiliate Model
We know that a RevShare sounds tempting since it will bring in the highest profits. But it takes much more work and time to see money rolling in.
So, your best bet as a beginner is a CPL or CPA model. First of all, this will keep your motivation high. And secondly, since you don’t know what type of leads you’re bringing in with your website, you could end up with low-value players.
Let’s say you bring in 100 players, and only 10 of them deposit €20.
A CPL (with a deposit requirement) of €10 per lead will earn you €100 (10 players * €10).
But a 25% RevShare will only earn you €50 (10 players * €20 deposit * 25%).
Then you need to decide whether you’re in it for the short or long-term. Do you want to make fast money? Then go with CPA/CPL or a hybrid plan.
But if you’ve decided that iGaming affiliate marketing is your thing now and you’re going to stick with it for a while, then got for the Revenue Share model.
And the third thing you need to think about is your leads’ activity. With RevShare, we’re talking about recurring sales. This means that your players need to be actively playing and playing, depositing and depositing.
Types of Affiliates in the iGaming Industry
If you are just starting out this journey, it’s important to distinguish between private individuals and big corporate affiliates.
That’s because we don’t want you to feel overwhelmed by the massive difference between you and the big shots, and instead help you strive to get to that position one day.
Corporate affiliates will often have an in-house team whose employees are dedicated to achieving maximum results for their online casino or sportsbook partners. Which, in turn, means they’re getting better deals from the operators or affiliate networks.
For individual affiliates who make a turnover above 100,000 Euros or Dollars per month, corporate affiliates can earn over 10x that amount within the same period. Granted, corporate affiliates have higher overhead, but that is made all worthwhile based on the net profit that they generate.
Speaking of which, let’s take a short detour and see how much money you can make from iGaming affiliate marketing.
What Is the Market Size, and How Profitable Can an Affiliate Business Be if Done Well?
The online gambling market generated a market size of €49.8 billion ($59 billion) in 2020 and is expected to rise all the way to a staggering €78.5 billion ($92.9 billion) by 2023. There’s a lot of action if you want it.
Affiliate websites often focus on a couple of gambling variants for maximum ROI. For instance, this can be a combination of online slots, poker, and casino games.
There is some considerable work to be done at first to build up your reputation in the iGaming affiliate industry. And for a while, it may seem as though the initial profits are just a trickle – but things will be looking up once you’ve done the heavy lifting.
That’s because if you make it to the apex of the pyramid as a top-ranked affiliate, you can earn up to six digits in a month. Industry leaders in the iGaming affiliate space can make as much as €42,200 ($50,000) a month from just one partner alone.
Now imagine you have more than one affiliate partner or more than one affiliate website.
For example, two of our happy clients and also most prominent players in the iGaming affiliate industry, Catena Media and Aspire Media Group, have annual gross revenues of around €100 million ($120 million), respectively.
So, if you make it that high up the food chain, congratulations!
(Hint: it definitely helps to rely on top-notch content by a trusted iGaming content agency 😉, but more on that below.)
As earlier mentioned, the online gambling affiliate business works under iGaming operators’ premise sharing a portion of the house’s winnings with those who brought players to them.
To be a successful iGaming affiliate, you need to focus your efforts on selecting the best industry-related keywords on Google and identify those that present a golden opportunity to get visitors to your page, convert them to your affiliate partners, and then, in turn, make profits yourself.
Likewise, it is just as crucial to pick the right iGaming partners to tie up with. It’s ideal to work with reputable casinos and sportsbooks just as much as it is worth exploring new opportunities with newer iGaming operators that may present more lucrative opportunities.
How Do iGaming Companies Identify Which Affiliates to Work With?
iGaming operators carefully weigh their moves to avoid potential issues or significant setbacks. Everything is chosen with long-term success in mind.
Thus, when selecting the affiliates they partner with, how can they be sure they’re working with the right ones?
There are plenty of ways online casinos or sportsbooks partner with reliable and top-notch affiliates for long-term engagement. Usually, they tend to choose the right affiliate with the right media to promote their services.
For instance, blogs are often used as online gambling affiliates. But with literally millions of affiliates to choose from, iGaming companies tend to be selective as to deciding which affiliates they want to partner with. Affiliates that are trustworthy, relevant, and dependable are tested before they are given the best deals.
If your website falls short of certain quality standards, iGaming operators and networks will only give you the lowest-paying deals. Which will still make you money, but depending on how high you want to soar, you have to fine-tune your strategy.
And they can and will also cancel your access to their platform if the information on your website is flat out wrong (i.e., you’re promoting a bonus that clearly doesn’t exist) or cross-promote adult content and/or alcohol.
And there are famous affiliate marketing conferences conducted in various locations all over the world every year. These conferences are held for affiliates to receive the latest developments on the iGaming sector, compliance, and best practices in running their business.
Some of the leading iGaming affiliate marketing conferences include ICE London and ICE Asia, iGB Live, and SiGMA conferences (Malta, Manila, Sao Paolo, and Cape Town). They present a perfect opportunity for both iGaming companies and potential affiliates to link up. The two Affiliate World Conferences and the four Affiliate Summits are great opportunities to check what other industries are doing, too.
And they are not only the best places to make new connections, but they are also famous for their afterparties. So, make sure to check them out.
What Should iGaming Affiliates Focus On?
iGaming affiliates should build strong relationships with online casinos and sportsbooks in order to get the latest information on any promotions, new games, press releases, and any other relevant developments so you can provide relevant information to your players.
The same is valid for working with game publishers so you can publish the latest features about their slot games and jackpot comparisons, which players will find exceptionally useful.
Additionally, doing your due diligence on your potential clients is necessary. After all, as an affiliate marketer, you first need to believe in the brands you are trying to promote before you can bring in more players.
That’s why trust is integral to online gambling affiliate marketing. Once you’ve established that trust with your partner operators and affiliate networks, they will more likely continue relying on your website (or websites if you decide to grow and branch out) to deliver the content and the experience that they desire.
In the end, the steady stream of profitable traffic that comes from creating valuable content on your sports betting and/or casino affiliate website is what makes or breaks your relationship with your partners.
And if that relationship is good, you will even get invited to special events only for the most trustworthy and most valuable affiliate partners.
How does a VIP experience at a Premier League game sound? Or how about a Michelin-starred dinner with a paid-for night at a 5-star hotel?
Yes, they’re paying for it.
If you run one of the best iGaming affiliate websites…
iGaming Affiliate Website Traffic Sources
The traffic sources for affiliate websites are just as endless as the internet itself.
Having said that, we can, of course, trim that down to some main sources. Some are better than others. Some cost more than others. Some have indirect costs, while others are very direct. And all of them work differently.
But as with every other business, it comes down to this: you want to make more money than you’re spending.
This means you need to segment your audience first and then target everyone specifically. In theory, it’s just as easy as knowing that it doesn’t make sense trying to market Lego to 50-year olds. It’s not impossible, but the target audience is only tiny.
But targeting football fans with statistics around the latest Premier League games and then throwing some Premier League betting tips and an EPL sports betting bonus into the mix works like a charm.
You get the deal…
One thing is for sure; you need to test out all different sources yourself, no matter what someone else might say. Because if it didn’t work for them, they might have just used the wrong targeting or content.
But this requires a keen understanding of what traffic sources to use to harness the power of content marketing for iGaming affiliates.
1. Organic SEO Traffic Through Google, and Smaller Search Engines Like Bing:
This is the golden standard and one of the first things to think about. It has to be your goal to write clear and concise content that your audience likes to read.
Your content needs a keyword strategy so that it ranks well on Google because nothing beats organic traffic! And your content needs to be localized to your audiences.
In other words: German, Spanish or Japanese visitors won’t read your English content. They won’t click on your affiliate links, and they won’t bring you any profit unless you provide them with error-free content in German, Spanish, or Japanese and show them your trustworthiness.
2. Google Ads
Unfortunately, Google has strict rules and regulations regarding gambling traffic.
It’s not only hard to compete for the same keywords, such as “sportsbook bonus,” in terms of SEO but doing so for Google Ads only means that you need to ramp up your budget. And for most of these high-value iGaming advertising terms, you need to get certified by Google first anyway.
Still, if you find the right content and keywords to advertise, then you struck gold – until the regulations change or your competition jumps on it as well.
As an idea, try something like “Premier League tips” for your ads so they won’t get flagged as gambling, and then convert your readers on your page.
Social Media is all about an experience, and you need to create that memorable experience for your audience. Since Facebook is a closed network, you need to be careful to adhere to their own gambling-related rules and regulations from the beginning.
But you can get around it by providing content that is related to your affiliate business.
For sports betting, you could provide player or club statistics or the Premier League tips mentioned above.
You could use pictures or videos from free-to-play slots for online casino affiliates or from experiences casino players had. Maybe you can work together with one of your partners to provide a VIP experience and shoot a video around it.
You can shoot your own sports news as well and post them here. A little creativity goes a long way.
Affiliate link cloakers, which are tools that hide the target URL, don’t work that well for gambling on Facebook since you still need to produce the content that should not get flagged.
So the most important thing is getting your followers to your website to then fully target and convert them.
4. Facebook Ads
This is the same as Google Ads and even more restrictive. Check Facebook’s Real Money Gambling Rules.
On the other hand, Facebook is a powerhouse of targeting. Your best bet is to target potential readers of your Facebook page and then take it from there.
You want to target a 25 to 35-years-old Arsenal fan living in London, who has a good income and likes to travel to away games (i.e., has been in Manchester last weekend and Liverpool the weekend before) with an article about Arsenal’s away statistics? You can!
Just produce informative content without actually advertising the betting itself.
5. Instagram and Instagram Ads
Same as with Facebook. But you can focus more on imagery and not just written content.
Or how about working with some influencers to provide betting insights or maybe a story from within a stadium (when they’re open again post-COVID-19)?
The possibilities are endless. You just need to be creative or get some creative people on board.
Same Same, But Different. If you want to dig deep into your creativity, then TikTok marketing and videos can be the way to go.
On TikTok, users can create, upload and share short videos. Those are typically between 3 and 15 seconds and can be looped up to a minute long. Users usually share dance videos, lip-sync, or comedy. But lately, there are betting tips on TikTok too.
Since you can search for hashtags, just like on Instagram, you can not only use #tipster, #gambling, #betting, #sportsbook, or #bettingtips but also come up with your own. As you can see, TikTok is less restrictive here.
Not only are esports teams joining the platform, but the NFL is pretty active on TikTok, too, with over 6.1 million fans at the time of writing this affiliate guide.
So, why not invent a dance that influencers dance when they’ve won a jackpot or hit an accu on last week’s football matches? You can even let your followers reenact these celebrations from Iceland’s Stjarnan F.C.
Or even simpler: curate videos from others and edit them into new videos like “Best Sports TikToks of February 2021” and then convert them over to your page (let us know if you need help with that).
And the amazing thing for now is: you would be one of the firsts to tap into that market.
7. Native Advertising
This type of ad matches the look, form, feel, and function of the platform they appear on. In other words: paid content.
Articles, infographics, videos, you name it! If a content producer (or content agency 😉) can produce it, websites can publish it.
It’s a small difference from an advertorial, as an advertorial often only copies the publishing platform’s look and needs a clear statement saying: “This is an advertorial.”
Native Ads are basically what an internal producer of said publishing platform would have produced themselves.
For example, we at Translation Royale have produced content like “5 Things To Do On A Cold Winter Day” for our clients. This included cuddling, drinking tea, Netflixing, reading a book, and, you guessed it right – playing online casino on your smartphone.
The mobile casino part was then linked to our affiliate client’s website from where the reader was converted to their affiliate partners.
This could be done around anything.
For example, we could produce an article for you around the “Top 10 Things To Do In Barcelona”. We’ll talk about Tapas, Sagrada Familia and so on. We’ll obviously include watching a game at Camp Nou. And what’s even better? Of course, placing a bet on that exact game. That part will be linking out to your sports betting affiliate website.
Or how about “Top 10 Things To Do In Singapore”, where we’ll include the Marina Bay Sands Casino? This experience is fun and engaging, but you can’t take it home with you. Or can you? Of course, you can! Courtesy of a link to your online casino bonus website.
Endless possibilities again!
Gambling advertising is currently not prohibited here. So, that’s a good start.
But why not try something different?
Maybe get your own sports betting news show off the ground. Like this one:
Or become a groundhopper and film your experience while placing a mobile bet on your smartphone at the stadium.
If you need help with editing your videos, let us know.
Our friends over at Sportbet.com.au are excellent at what they’ve been doing for years. They mix comedy with information – or as they say: “Betting served with a healthy side of banter.“
Just check out this short informational clip with actual basketball player Felix Von Hofe, who gives a quick rundown of the next game in the National Basketball League in Australia.
And then they follow this up by impersonating tennis players at the upcoming Australian Open.
We’re not saying that you have to copy exactly that, but learning from the best has always been a good way to improve your own sports betting content.
Next up – how should iGaming affiliates craft their content?
How Do You Create Engaging and High-Quality Content for iGaming Affiliate Sites?
Now that we’ve gone through the particularities of iGaming affiliate marketing, let’s get to the meat of the matter on how to become a casino affiliate.
This is obviously where we, Translation Royale, come into play. We will help you with creating top-notch content for your iGaming content in any language.
Because one thing is clear, if your content is dull and/or full of errors, your readers and potential customers will leave your page – resulting in your Google ranking factor “time spent on page” being super low; and you won’t make any money.
If you only provide English content, you won’t be able to get any revenue from your foreign website visitors either. This means that you need a localization strategy to attract other markets like Germany, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, or basically any other country.
The biggest question you might ask yourself is what type of content you can produce. There are basically three tried and tested options on starting an iGaming resource, news, or review site. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t come up with something new.
Much of this will also be applicable if you want to know how to become a sportsbook affiliate too.
The methods we’ll be tackling apply to practically any other affiliate markets, whether you sell a product or a service.
Here are some of the most common iGaming affiliate sites in the industry, which will demonstrate what type of content marketing works for iGaming affiliates.
1. Bonus Review and Comparison Sites
Some of the most common iGaming affiliate sites you might have already seen are the ones that provide players with information on deposit bonuses and promos.
They also provide the affiliate site owner an opportunity to earn referral commissions on their best-ranked online properties.
PPC gaming ads may no longer work for certain markets like the USA today, but this model of creating gaming comparison sites or similar services still works well and is still used very much today all over the world.
On a page like this, you will go into all the details of either casinos themselves or specific bonuses that they’re offering.
2. Individual iGaming Site Reviews
Some sites are dedicated to providing detailed reviews on online gambling sites. This is a practice that affiliate marketers from other industries are very familiar with and sometimes referred to as niche sites.
These sites focus on providing 1,000-word detailed reviews on each gambling site in the online casino/sportsbook niche, such as sportsbooks, poker sites, or slots platforms.
This content works well with converting traffic to real, repeat players because most people review sites first before joining or using them.
The key here is to create niche content for sports betting and casino affiliate websites of the highest quality.
3. How-To Guides
Every day is an opportunity for iGaming operators to bring in fresh players looking to earn smaller rewards or reel in the big win.
There is a massive demand for online gambling, and the same is true for the demand in learning the basic gambling terminologies, how to play table games, and how to place bets on online sportsbooks.
People are searching for material every day as to how to understand games better, how they can improve their bankroll management, or get a competitive advantage.
The same goes for betting tips on the Premier League or the NBA, which could also include short game review snippets with a rundown of the statistics and highlights of the games you’re covering.
If you’re able to provide top-notch information that helps your readers gain an advantage over the odds, they will be forever grateful.
Again, there is an endless fountain of content online. But, if you can find a way to make it better, make it more engaging, or get your content in front of a more receptive and appropriate audience, you might just have a winning ticket.
Creating a resource site with this information increases the chances of readers clicking on your affiliate links and playing where you need them to play.
At the same time, we want to emphasize the importance of targeting the right groups and in the right languages. Online gambling is not the same across the board for each country or region. Some countries bet differently, and some countries play their games slightly differently.
Read more about this in our free eBook “Why Germans Bet on Football and the English Love the Horses.”
A well-designed and spiffy website isn’t enough. Without relevant, attractive, and valuable content to rank on Google, and more importantly, engage your audience, you won’t draw a dime in earnings.
At Translation Royale, we are ready to help online casinos, sportsbooks, poker sites, and iGaming operators to create high-quality iGaming content or formulate a content marketing strategy for affiliates of all shapes and sizes.
Contact us with your project requirements, and we’ll see to it that you beat the odds in the competitive iGaming affiliate marketing sphere.
How did you like Sebastian Scheplitz’s blog post “Ultimate Guide on How to Become a Successful Online Gambling Affiliate in 2021”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for iGaming blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂