Black Friday, Affiliates and Other Stuff with Jeremy Enke Part II

I’m continuing my conversation with Jeremy Enke. Jeremy is the founder of the largest poker affiliate forum in the industry at Jeremy has been a poker affiliate and consultant within the online poker industry since 2004.

Check out Part I of Black Friday, Affiliates and Other Stuff with Jeremy Enke

Do you recommend diversifying across the gambling sector (i.e. casino, sports betting, etc) or would you advise affiliates to diversify across maybe less lucrative industries like Amazon, Clickbank, and other affiliate programs?

Although many of the more traditional affiliate programs are indeed less lucrative than poker, there is a much larger demographic affiliates can market too than gambling. Likewise there are greater opportunities to expand your marketing efforts with strategies generally not practiced in gaming such as PPC, Re-targeting, & Facebook Ads.

While I think it would be a mistake for affiliates to abandon the gambling sector altogether, I highly recommend affiliates attempt to parlay their skills into other affiliate verticals. With gambling being such a highly competitive affiliate market; many affiliates who have seen success promoting online poker will undoubtedly see equal successes in other verticals.

How have you, personally, been staying sane during all of this? Any websites, podcasts, or news sources that have been your comfort blanket over the last couple of weeks?

To be honest it’s been a good kick in the ass for me! I’ve had a few projects outside of gaming on my whiteboard that I have been putting off for a while. After Black Friday, for obvious reasons, I decided to fast track these and get them in development.

It’s also been fun building a new player base and working with U.S. facing rooms such as CarbonPoker that I had not done as much with in the past.

In regards to news, it seems like both in and out of gaming it all sucks right now. To stay sane though I have been spending more time on the mainstream affiliate forums and blogs discovering strategies and new ways to drive traffic. Since I’ve gone through this type of scenario once already in the industry, I feel better mentally equipped to deal with the changes. With that said I have also been spending more time at the golf course and driving range!

What is the one most valuable piece of advice someone has given you that has helped you get to where you are today?

Hmmmm, that’s a tough one. I’ve had so much help and advice along the way. Primarily though in affiliate marketing, I would say it was some of my earliest mentors who instilled in me that in order to be successful, I had to surround myself with other successful affiliates.

Also this is not really advice from a specific person. But not enough can be said about general “work ethic” in the affiliate marketing world. Too many affiliates expect to work 20 hours a week and make millions. Throughout my tenure in the industry it has been very transparent that those affiliate who always seem to be online or on skype, working ridiculous hours, always launching new sites, or consistently publishing new content are the ones that rise to the top and become super affiliates.

To sum it up and give some advice; Work Hard, Play Hard!

What’s the biggest mistake you think you’ve made in the gambling affiliate business and how much do you think it cost you?

Well, that’s an easy one. I’ve made a ton of stupid moves throughout my career, sold too many companies prematurely, and generally just thought the grass would be greener on the other side.

There’s only one word I can come up with to describe my thoughts on selling PAW or even moving the forums a few different times……oops! Before 2008, I also did a terrible job at diversifying my overall business. I would imagine all the mistakes I have made collectively probably cost me in the 7 figure range if I were to add it all up.

Fast forward to 2011 though, and I have to say even looking back at missed opportunities, acquisitions, good times, bad times, and the overall roller coaster ride the gaming industry has taken me on; I’ve never been happier. I have a great business, a great family, and I’m healthy. What more can you really ask for in life?

Any final words for poker affiliates and/or players out there?

I’m the wrong guy to give any advice to players! For affiliates though, use this time in our industry to diversify your businesses. Also keep up on the current developments and trends that will allow you to be ahead of the curve when new legislation or news comes out in respect to online poker.

The old timers will tell you, the sky is not falling, and online poker will continue being played in the U.S. However as a poker affiliate, one of the best attributes you can have is the ability to adapt to change. There is no doubt that the online poker landscape will look remarkably different two years from now. While many affiliates will choose to simply leave the industry, there will be a handful that will become new millionaires because they embraced the changes and capitalized on the new normal for online poker.

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.