If you’ve been paying close attention to the home pages of all the top poker rooms, then you’ve probably noticed that in addition to the usual game, online poker, promo, and banking information these sites also all feature an affiliate section. A lot of players assume that these affiliate programs are strictly for the poker rooms’ business partners. While that assumption isn’t entirely false, the surprising truth is that online poker affiliate programs have something to offer even everyday poker players.
So what exactly is affiliate marketing? What’s in it for poker rooms, and what’s in it for you?
Affiliate marketing is basically the online version of good old fashioned word of mouth. The most popular sites have spent millions of dollars making themselves known in the poker industry, but some of their most valuable advertising has come from their satisfied customers. To facilitate the process, these poker rooms have set up affiliate programs.
Each poker room’s affiliate program works a different way. Some allow individuals to simply distribute their referral code, paying for every cash player that signs up with that code. Other poker rooms will only accept affiliates that have a website or blog. Still other programs take things a step further by offering an affiliate network wherein existing affiliates can refer not only players but other affiliates, and can earn a commission on the referrals of other affiliates in their network.
If you’re considering joining an affiliate program, here are some things you should know. First, no legitimate affiliate program should cost you money. Most of the online poker rooms even have complimentary affiliate banners and other marketing materials pre-made (including coding). Second, if you want your program to be successful then it’s important to build a following – that means marketing yourself and not just the poker room that’s sponsoring you. Third, make sure your affiliate marketing materials – whether they’re banners or entire articles – always direct your referrals through the proper channels. Even if someone follows your advice and joins your recommended poker site, if they don’t use the right link or enter your referral code when signing up you won’t get credit.
Is affiliate marketing really worth the effort? If you do it right, then definitely. In the beginning, a lot of the poker affiliate programs rewarded their partners with apparel or free play, but the payment of choice these days is cold hard cash. No matter how you cut it, the opportunity is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose by adding a link to your existing poker sites. Plus, a lot of bloggers and site owners find that banners attached to the larger poker rooms can actually add credibility.
A high traffic site or blog that knows how to attract the right crowd can offer more than just some extra cash – it can make affiliate marketing a viable career option. It’s standard for these affiliate programs to offer anywhere from $50 to $100 for an affiliate’s initial referrals, but if you prove to be a valuable asset then you can expect even larger rewards. Do the math; if you can persuade 25 friends or readers to play cash poker at your affiliate site every month, at the rate of $100 per referral you’ll be earning an extra $2500 a month.
Signing up for affiliate programs is easy and free. It may take a couple days for a poker room to approve your site or blog, but once the links and banners are up you’ll start earning. Convince friends and colleagues to join your affiliate network, and your earning potential becomes even more far-reaching. Once your affiliate account is established, you’ll receive monthly payments, no strings attached. It’s an easy way to make money off your favorite poker room, even when you’re not hitting the tables.