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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    December 20th, 2011
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    Alternative to Affiliate Ads?
    I have a small monthly audience (400-500 unique visitors) for my new gambling information site for the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, but I have not had any luck with affiliate ads. Is there data out there (preferably free) that I can tap to see how to select ads that work for a small, blogging site such as mine?

    The broadshot, one side fits all ad approach of amazon and groupon affiliate ads is not working for me so I am interested in trying other approaches, perhaps more targeted. Advice on how to pick better ads? Thanks!

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    April 5th, 2005
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    Park City Utah
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    Matt, I am not an affiliate so all of my marketing has been on the merchant side. That said I have worked with my dad for years and he had the same frustration with an affiliate site. His is vacation information for Branson Missouri which is a regional Nashville for country music and entertainment. He tried affiliate ads for years with little success and made his money on AdSense but only $100/$150 a month. The problem is that people were coming to his site to look for information on the area. Many of the shows/attractions had no way to book via affiliate links so it was just pass through traffic.

    I sense that you have the same problem as the casino doesn't offer an affiliate program. Do you have analytics on your site? See what people are searching on and landing on your site. If you can't offer them something that commissions you then its difficult to make any money. The other option is to do a direct deal with the casino marketing office, maybe they could provide a direct discount, member sign-up that could be tracked back to you.

  3. #3
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Boston
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    You might try promoting air and hotel offers. If you are getting targetted traffic from users who are not in your area, chances are a handful of them are the kind of folks who fly to Las Vegas or other gambling destinations once or twice a year.
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  4. #4
    Newbie
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    December 20th, 2011
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    Thanks
    Thanks. Good marketing suggestions. I appreciate your ideas.

  5. #5
    Moderator
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    April 6th, 2006
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    2,689
    Groupon would definitely be too vague - if I'm interested in a casino, I'm not sure a cupcake offer would float my boat

    Plus, I'm guessing Groupon conversion would be higher on a deals-related site.. unless you can narrow the focus to the exact region..? So you would be showing restaurant & other deals within an 'x' mile radius. I'm not a Groupon affiliate, not sure how specific you can get..

    I'm with davidh, it sounds like you're an ideal candidate for travel information!

  6. #6
    Newbie
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    December 20th, 2011
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    5
    Travel/Hotel Affiliates and Back Links Strategy
    Thanks to all! I can't tell you how much I appreciate these inputs. It really helps to hear from experienced marketing people. Two followups...

    1. I like the travel/hotel focus. If I was to place ads on my site for Travel and Hotels, would you suggest I seek out an marketing affiliate group that specializes in these businesses? Or should I just comb through the possible hotel and travel chains and make ad arrangements individually?

    2. On a separate topic, is there a good resource you would recommend to build a back links strategy to my site? It seems there are quite a few "dubious" back link solutions that are offered and I do not want to waste time/money on those.

  7. #7
    Moderator
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    October 16th, 2007
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    There are a lot of online casinos with decent affiliate programs. You could send them traffic by writing reviews about these casinos and/or their specific games.

    I'd definitely recommend using text links(deep link when appropriate) instead of posting banner ads.

  8. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    April 5th, 2005
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    Park City Utah
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    I think Matt's site and emphasis is toward the local casino which isn't online. As in my example consumers may be searching for info on that specific casino, daily deals, member rewards, entertainment. Offering alternative local lodging and restaurants may be of interest but I expect that most looking for information are local people or could be regional visiting plus looking for something to do. Matt what percentage of your visitors are from Illinois or other?

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