“There seems to be more and more operators buying into affiliate sites only to produce mediocre cookie cutter content with limitless SEO finances. Luckily, I am seeing Google changing this route – content with real value seems to be coming up at the top, wiping out some big players.” We met Mark Taylor, Owner of Casino Whizz, for an interview on the recent market trends and what it takes to become a successful affiliate.
Hello Mark, how are you?
Hi Marius, I’m feeling amazing right now, and why not? I’m in the best business around!
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
Since a child I always had a strong obsession with computers and tech, living outside the UK for many years I had to find a way to earn a income = The internet fulfilled that need and it’s something I love. I initially started in the weight loss industry whilst in Costa Rica I came across the I-gaming industry and had seen first hand the opportunities available in this age of technology.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
Right now I have my hands full, by that I mean I do 10 different things from construction of sites, SEO, Finances, Etc, I also have a great team working with me one of which is Otto Bergstrom my right hand man in this business and by far one of the best content creators I have had the pleasure to work with. We also have various writers in the USA, UK and South Africa.
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 am surprised, it looks like it’s being monopolised fast. Just goes to show how lucrative being an affiliate can be.
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?
I prefer the affiliate side of things, however if I did decide to go down that route in the future it would be directly with my own brand.
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
Our focus has been purely player focused, a high level of quality content that stands out from the rest. I like to compare how top gear is for car reviews compared to the competition. Every thing we focus on is designed for the regular casino player in a similar fashion IGN targeted game players we do the same but in the gambling arena.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets ?
We target all markets but UK is probably our biggest. Right now Germany seems to be coming along well and we have also branched out into building a Spanish version of our site that market is extremely lacking good information for online casino players.
How do you find UK market and competition?
The competition is fierce but with regards to what we do there is only a handful of good competitors “Non cookie cutter sites” and every week we seem to be gaining and surpassing in similar subjects to the biggest authority sites
How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?
It’s worked in our favour, from the start I wanted to adhere to googles policies and although it’s taken time with the recent updates we have been boosted to hold some good positions
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
Right now I am building the site out in various languages, I want all countries to be able to read our content in mother tongue written by their fellow countrymen(women).
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your sites?
The best part of the site: Content, we build our site for the player and not fill it with thousands of casinos pushing the latest bonus, we limit to just a few casinos per software/country but our main focus is to draw in repeat visitors.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
There are still quite a few sites not optimised for mobile, then also the tracking issues if somebody reads via mobile but launches a window via desktop without clicking. Also I wish some operators could design a simple registration form for mobile users and speed up mobile sites… those are my biggest gripes though some sites have handled this well.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
There seems to be more and more operators buying into affiliate sites only to produce mediocre cookie cutter content with limitless SEO finances, luckily I am seeing Google changing this route and content with real value seems to be coming up at the top wiping out some big players that have extremely thing no value pages “Like just a heading and image of slot?”
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
Be prepared to work hard, I mean real hard produce the best content you can and keep going, if it doesn’t work change tactics… Give yourself at least a year to see good results, don’t get lazy and think 10 page cookie cutter with fiver links.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
I don’t gamble much, when I do it’s roulette… Otto is my man for that his eyes are always glued to the reels. If I did win a million euro jackpot it would most likely go into even more growth a million euros nowadays doesn’t go far.
Are you ready for Affiliate Grand Slam Bucharest and SiGMA17?
Yes Im very ready… See you there!
|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.
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