Starting crypto affiliate sites with Markus Jalmerot
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How long have you been an iGaming affiliate for?
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You guys have built fantastic tools for casino affiliates that want to save time and access the right statistics all in one place.
Going back to the beginning, my first experience in the iGaming sector was with a poker affiliate site. It was a very competitive market already back in 2008 and I didn’t have the time or patience to make it successful. It only lasted for a few years, and I had a quite long break before going into the online casino market again in around 2015. The market was growing incredibly quickly back then, and the team and I managed to sell our first major casino affiliate site to Catena Media in 2017.
After that, I had a break for a little while before starting in a rather small niche of iGaming, with low or no wagering. Since that was a very small and not a particularly popular niche, we decided to move on and work with other parts of the market, with a strong focus on crypto.
Other than iGaming, what other verticals have you built sites in?
I started creating websites, just like my business partner, around 2002-2003. Back then, it was quantity over quality since you could rank well in a matter of weeks or months – with not much work involved. I had a few hundred sites at one point, but nowadays you really need to properly focus on just one or two websites to make it work. Depending on how large a team you have, of course.
One of the first verticals that was profitable for me was health. Around 2005-2007, people in Scandinavia were doing a lot of research about diets, food, and carbs. I created a website in Swedish that can be translated as “dietitian”. Being a diabetic, this topic was beneficial to me, but also for visitors to the website too.
One of my earliest projects as an affiliate involved travel. Well, more specifically, cruises. I had a website about that topic back in 2007 that managed to get some traction. Alongside a business partner at the time, we later launched a site about commercial properties for rent or sale, such as office space.
Similarly, in the web hosting space, I also had a site focused on hosting for businesspeople with multiple websites. It can be a profitable niche, but it’s also highly competitive. When living in the UK, I also had an SEO agency for a few years with a free school about how to be found in search engines. I guess I could go on with more industries, but let’s move on to the next question.
Which non-gambling industries do you enjoy the most?
The property sector and anything related to travel since it’s fun to write about and discover for yourself. But I should point out that the travel industry is extremely competitive and hard to make a living from.
How did you setup your new site and what CMS or theme are you using?
The new crypto information site is hosted on Wordpress, like most of my websites in the past decade. Mercury is a rather popular theme for casino and gambling affiliate sites. We have customised it so both longer news post and shorter flashnews are shown.
The site's called CryptoLists.com. Like the name suggest, there are many different toplists, ranging from the best crypto casinos to funny meme coins, a comparison of 60+ blockchains, along reviews of crypto exchanges to new coins and tokens that have been launched in 2022. The section that we focus most on now is this one: https://www.cryptolists.com/casinotoplist/.
How does your past experience help you build affiliate sites today?
In some ways I guess that the more ranking issues you experience and overcome, the better positioned you are to handle any issues in the future. While my 19 years in the industry taught me quite a bit, both as a consultant, SEO agency consultant, and affiliate marketer, there are always new things to learn.
Some of the things that’re relevant for my sites is about how to make pages that matter most in the eyes of our users / visitors. At Crypto Lists, we always try our best to put the user in focus and look at what they care about and need. By connecting the blockchains to the coins and crypto exchanges in a different way from other sites, I think we've uncovered a unique selling point. In my view, you need to offer something distinctive and different to be around for the long term.
One of the main questions among affiliates and site builders right now is how Google will handle AI-written content, considering the launch of ChatGPT and other related tools, that seems to increasingly being used by affiliates.
How important do you think SEO is for any affiliate working in any industry?
Like with any business, you can always do it in multiple different ways. Ask yourself: How do you prefer to do it? What are your customers looking for? What are your own unique skills or preferences? Is this what I like to do every day?
If you prefer to focus 100% on marketing via social media, that can work too. But it’s usually a very different target group with a different goal, compared to a search engine query where people are looking for answers to specific questions. I guess that several of the main affiliates are SEO focused, while others might be excellent at TikTok, Instagram or live streaming. There's room for everyone – as long as the content is unique and delivers value for users.
What are your tips for anybody getting started?
Don't expect success over night. Be patient, keep working. To succeed, continuous efforts are required and a long-term business plan and vision. Don't do everything exactly like everybody else. Make sure to have some unique selling points in your business. In a nutshell: make your website stand out.
What kind of starting project would you recommend to give them the best experience?
Find a small and targeted niche, with decent search volume. Do extensive research of your competitors and make sure to bring more to the table than they do. Get started, implement continuous improvements, and results should come.
What are the biggest mistakes you see from new affiliate marketers when trying to rank a website?
They simply don't understand the industry enough, and what people are looking for in that niche. The better you understand customer need, the better site you can create.
Do you have any additional words of wisdom for people reading?
Don't procrastinate, just get started. Though dedicate plenty of time to reach your goals. Patience and consistency truly are virtues in this niche.
Join our affiliate interview series
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