Affiliate Marketing Done Wrong: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

affiliate marketing don't reinvent the wheel

So I had a chat with a friend that is looking to partner up with someone on their relatively new casino affiliate portal. He was looking for a partner and since I’ve done a lot of affiliate coaching, I thought I could at least take a look and give him some advice. The chat went something like this:

Me: Just chatting with a friend about you doing an affiliate site. Wanna hear more about it to see if there is something I can help with.

Affiliate bro: Site is __________.com, worked on it for almost a year, has 300+ pages of content and am looking to partner with an SEO for __% as a deal.

Me: Site is not bad but needs to have a more diverse USP to really grow. When you do the standard site talking about games, casino reviews, there are just way too many out there that have high quality designs, bigger link budgets so trying to penetrate these rankings in just English is brutal.

Affiliate bro: but it also has these unique features that players will like.

Me: Too many sites have those very same features.

Affiliate bro: Over the years I’ve seen worse looking sites do ok.

Me: Those days are long gone and even the bigger affiliate groups are launching large networks of smaller sites. The deal on paper looks appealing but any good SEO sees this, they would be better off making their own site, similar idea and be 100% of the business. I personally would prefer to invest more time or money into a newer niche site than this to get some smaller wins early on. You’re swimming against a strong current doing a standard casino portal.

Affiliate bro: but my friend made some money last month on a shitty website __________.com so maybe I can do.

Me: [looks up ahrefs.com data] … this site has pure spam links. It might work for 1 or 2 months but this won’t last and nobody is going to buy this site. Not worth the effort.

ahrefs.com SEO tools
ahrefs.com report of CommissionMagazine.com

So from reading that short and edited version of the conversation I gave my advice but suspect it is falling on deaf ears. I think this is the easiest dream to sell anybody that you can just make a shitty website, hire some cheap people to do some work and voila, money happens. My friend has some experience in affiliate marketing so I thought they would know better. There are so many analogies I can compare this story to like it would always be easier for me to sell weight loss pills than a gym membership or that someone could just open up a burger restaurant right next to McDonalds and that it is just gonna work and make money because it exists.

Affiliate Marketing is Getting Competitive – Be Different

ahrefs keyword research
ahrefs keyword research tool for online casinos

It is getting tougher to find niches in affiliate marketing that haven’t been exploited by affiliate marketers. This is why it helps to be different and ask yourself the tough question: “is what I’m doing unique and if I were a visitor to my own website, would I care?”. People are quick to criticize other websites but when it comes to their own, they don’t want to hear that their baby is ugly or just keep thinking their shit don’t stink.

Get Your Affiliate Website Critiqued

It helps to get peer review of your websites and ideally is better to get that peer feedback from people you don’t know. You can go on many affiliate forums and ask strangers to rip your site apart. It might come with some good and bad criticism but it is best to be open minded about any feedback. The problem with getting feedback from friends is that they either might hold back on being honest for fear or hurting your feelings or they might not hold back and you might be the one that can’t stand hearing their criticisms and taking them personally.