Meet Roman Doroshenko, Owner of SlotsUp.com

“Do more networking – that’s how you will get more info about the niche. Work hard and be patient, all truly great results need time (like a good wine).” We met Roman Doroshenko, Owner of SlotsUp.com.

Hello Roman, hope you are well in this festive season?  

Hello Marius, I’m really good, thanks for asking. Summer is the time when I feel work/life balance the most.

How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company ?

I was working as an SEO specialist and 4 years ago I was hired to try myself in gambling niche. After a great success of my projects, I wanted to launch my own project, but the company’s policies were against own projects in the same niche. So, after I quit my job I launched SlotsUp.com to repeat my previous success and I did just in one year. Along with my own projects, I also got a full time job where I’m a co-owner of such projects as OnlineCasinoHEX.ca, OnlineCasinoHEX.de, and other affiliate projects dedicated to specific countries.

Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?

Yes, easy one 🙂 There only 3 key people in this structure and a few copywriters on freelance. I’m doing all the design, SEO, affiliate deals, testing, ideas generation, etc. My girlfriend and partner Marina is responsible for the social medias, content and copywriters management. My developer Max is handling all the tech side, manages servers, develops all backend and frontend.

With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?

Even though I’m only 4 years in this niche, I’m not surprised at all. Big fish eats small fish, I guess that happens in any business. But for the past year I was more surprised with the price of those acquisitions.

A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?

No, I didn’t. Maybe I will in the future (I guess that is hard, but interesting experience), but for now I’m more than happy to be an affiliate.

Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?

Regarding the content, it’s not enough to have it unique anymore. Now it’s even more complicated, as you should get a golden mean of all the criteria that content should match. As for my focus, I think I’ll be doing more media partnerships, more testings on my sites and more development of new cool features.

Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets ?

I want to conquer most of them. For now I have a great success in US, UK, Canada and all other english-speaking countries, followed by Germany, Netherlands & Finland. Next in the list are Sweden and Norway, obviously 🙂 Also, this year I plan to go after Brazil, Japan and maybe a few more exotic countries.

How do you find UK market and competition?

One of the best markets, but the competition there is just crazy. I worked with many markets over the last 8 years, but this one is one of the strongest.

How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?

I’d rather say that Google is helping me, as he fights all the rubbish sites and spammy webmasters. As for the SEO and content, for the last year I had a chance to sharpen my knowledge even more, so now it’s easier for me to create something Google wants to see in his top 10.

Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?

I guess the most exciting plans are to launch projects in exotic markets, because I’ve never worked with them before.

What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your sites?

My sites like huge icebergs, everyone is seeing just a tip of them, but there are many algorithms, functions, tests and other things underneath. All of present and ,what’s more important, future things are developed to deliver the maximum value to the player in the first place.

What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?

Not much, as we try to make every site mobile-ready from the start. Back in 2009 when I was working with the huge diamond/jewelry US brand and we launched the mobile version of the site, that was the first time I realized that in a few years it’s gonna be a crucial for any business online.

What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?

Winning in new markets. Mobile app development. New algorithms and content for my websites to deliver even better value for my visitors.

What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?

Do more networking, that’s how you will get more info about the niche. Work hard and be patient, all truly great results need time (like a good wine).

Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?

I have a few thousands free slot games on my websites, and I’m pretty sure I played more than 1000 games already, to experience them and know them better. Sometimes I play them for real money.

If I win 1 million Euro, I guess I would buy a house in Italy for my mom, some money I would invest in business and some I would give to the charity.

Are you ready for Affiliate Grand Slam and SiGMA17?

I was born ready 😀

Relive the highlights and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Meet Haris Cejvan from Casivo

“I believe that affiliates will get more careful when selecting which partners to work with. Simply a consequence of a paradigm shift where several affiliates strive to create brands rather than simple sites.” Meet Haris Cejvan – an affiliate currently working on two websites: casivo.co.uk and casivo.se.

Hello Haris, hope you are well in this festive season?

Hi Marius, I’m great, visiting some family and friends across Europe at the moment!

How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?

I’ve been working within the industry for a few years and all of a sudden, it felt like we’ve found the perfect team and had enough knowledge to win this race.

Haris Cejvan

Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?

At the moment we are only three people putting all the effort into building two quality sites, one for the UK market casivo.co.uk and one for the SE market, casivo.se. I’m a firm believer of quality over quantity which is the foundation for the entire company.

With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers, and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?

Not at all. As competition is getting tougher, it is obvious that larger companies can benefit from their scale, creating synergies with anything from their link building, sales to staffing.

A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?

When people think it is a gold rush, I prefer to be the one selling shovels.

Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?

First, I want to emphasize that quality is much more than just unique content. Regarding content, the focus is set upon providing the visitors with information that actually help them to become better players, making wiser choices and get a better understanding when playing.

Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?

There are a lot of interesting markets emerging, but I also believe that to become the best, you really must know your market. At the moment, we are looking for someone with experience from the South American market that can help us.

How do you find Scandic and UK markets and competition?

The main difference is that the share of traffic from organic SEO affiliates is less in the UK due to competition from more TV-commercials, social media affiliates, PPC affiliates, etc. Something that the Swedish market will experience rather soon.

How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO, and content at your company?

As a new affiliate, we welcome changes in Google’s algorithm as we believe we can adapt to changes much faster than the older ones.

Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?

Let’s just say that I’m certain that changed market conditions and a smarter Google will surprise a lot of affiliates.

What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your sites?

That we are rather careful by selecting our partners. This also breaks down to quality as we believe in creating a real customer value for our visitors, something you won’t be able to do if promoting the wrong brands.

What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?

The year is 2017; mobile searches accounts for more than 50%  which is why our sites are built with a “mobile first approach” to be as good as possible on all devices. For us, this is a huge opportunity as older affiliates (still) need to rebuild their sites.

What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?

Two main things. At first, I believe that affiliates will get more careful when selecting which partners to work with. Simply a consequence of a paradigm shift where several affiliates strive to create brands rather than simple sites. Additionally, I believe a lot of affiliates will start looking into more channels than just organic SEO.

What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?

Do not give up. It takes time to learn the industry, it takes time to rank in Google, and it takes time to learn about what’s working and what’s not. Also, be nice to people.

Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?

There is a Beer festival every year in Sarajevo. I’d like to bring all my friends within the gaming industry to have a party over there. Beer is cheap in Bosnia, so I’m sure 1 million euros would be enough.

Are you ready for Affiliate Grand Slam and SiGMA17?

Always. The best thing with the Affiliate Grand Slam is that you get an opportunity to come closer to current partners and find new ones under better conditions than the other conferences that too often gets too busy.

Relive the highlights and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Interview with TYS Marketing team

“We have found out that networking with the right people could deliver for great results later, for both sides.” We met TYS Marketing team to talk about how they see the iGaming industry and how they operate in it.

Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?

Our company started as a one-man team in the last few years and today we are 3 partners, each one is responsible to do what he is good at. We focus mainly on paid campaigns and SEO marketing to our gambling portals but we are always looking also for more verticals to get involved in.

TYS Marketing

How do you think technology is driving business forward? What are the little secrets that help TYS Marketing in innovating yet again?

We are trying to build some different sites, with high-level of design and content. We are aware to the fact many others are doing the same but we are putting big efforts on creating unique and better sites and portals, something that the users haven’t seen before in terms of design and structure (Look and feel).

What make TYS Marketing unique? What do you have that will make you succeed that some of the other companies maybe don’t have?

There are many talented guys outside, no doubt at all. But in order to succeed you don’t need to be afraid from failures. We know it sounds like a cliché but that’s the truth. You must be consistent, persistent and keep doing what you like to do. We are very passionate on what we are doing, and with the proper knowledge, experience and passion, we can do a lot of great things together.

Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?

We have focused in the last few years on the Nordics and DACH countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). We have also started to work on Portugal and we are looking to get into more and more regulated markets. For us, each market is an opportunity for revenues and a new challenge, so definitely we are looking into other markets including Brazil, Japan, Colombia and more.

What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?

It’s not a secret, but mobile is much more dominant nowadays sometimes even more than desktops/laptops. We always put big efforts on customizing our websites to be mobile friendly and mobile responsive. You can’t ignore mobile traffic at all!

Are there any other exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?

We are looking all the time for new projects and new challenges. Our next projects will be dedicated to Spanish and Italian audiences, while we are planning also to do some re-design to our sites.

What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your business?

We are very open-minded people and we have found out that networking with the right people could deliver for great results later, for both sides. We truly believe in honesty, something that is not so common unfortunately in our industry.

What two pieces of advice would you give to any entrepreneur starting today?

There is a lot of competition but there is enough place for almost everyone (; You need to find the right niche and invest there. Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t afraid to take some risks. Oh and you have to be patient, don’t expect to earn millions in your first month (: Read on forums, get involved with people and see who is the bad guys and who is the good guys around.

Are you ready for SiGMA17?

Always! We were there for the 1st time at SiGMA conference last November and it was a very good event so we are sure that this year it’s going to be even more amazing. We were with you guys also in Tallinn and soon in Bucharest, and you are very talented in what are you doing. All the team, and of course Eman, the star!

Relive the highlights and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Meet Carsten, Owner of Poker-apps.net

“Start in a small niche and try to create the best website in this sector. Grow from there.” We met Carsten, the Owner of poker-apps.net.

Hello Carsten, how are you?

Hey Marius, I’m great, thanks.

How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?

I started my first WordPress blog a few years ago. It was quite successful, so I looked out for a niche where I can make some money with my new hobby. I played a lot of poker on my iPad back then, so I started blogging about poker apps in 2011. I started some more sites in different niches and it’s a full time job now. Slots express is my latest casino project.

Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?

My company has been a one man show for a couple of years. But lately I began to outsource a few things to freelance writers and editors.

With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?

No, not at all. In Germany, Axel Springer and Burda started sports betting projects a few months ago. I’ve expected that big non-gambling media companies would enter the market sooner or later. And I guess you have to be a big company if you want to compete with these players. So the mergers made perfectly sense to me. However, I’m quite sure that small affiliates can still find a niche to survive in.

A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?

Nope, and I’m not planning to either.

Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?

With the recent Fred update and even earlier in December I’ve seen some sites drop in organic search that have been solid for years. My conclusion is: I will spend more energy in optimizing existing content than in creating tons of new content.

Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets ?

I focus on the German speaking countries because writing German content is what I am really good at.

How do you find German market and competition?

The competition is quite hard in Germany. With the big brands like Bild and Focus joining the market, it is getting even tougher. But it’s worth the effort so far.

How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?

Most of my traffic comes via SEO. In my opinion, with the latest updates it’s even more important to offer excellent content to succeed here. Write less but better content and keep it up to date. And don’t over-optimize it. That’s what I’m currently sticking to.

Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?

Hm, I’ve been thinking about a lottery site for a while now, but so far I haven’t found the time to develop the idea. My other projects are keeping me busy.

What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your sites?

Well, I guess that every webmaster claims he has good content. But to me this is really the most important thing. I worked for a newspaper for many years. And even if I don’t write every single piece of content by myself anymore, I’m still editing every single article by myself to make sure the quality is top-notch.

What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?

Poker-apps.net has always been a pure mobile project. Mobile was a big opportunity and I’m happy that I was one of the first affiliates to focus on this niche. I guess that’s why I was successful although I never invested much time or money in link building. The only downside from my point of view is mobile tracking. This is still an issue at some operators.

What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?

Besides the daily struggles like creating outstanding content, dealing with Google updates, spam and negative SEO campaigns? For the German market the legal and regulatory changes seem to be the biggest challenge.

What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?

1. Don’t go big unless you have lots of resources. Start in a small niche and try to create the best website in this sector. Grow from there.

2. Don’t expect quick success. You have to be patient and keep up the good work for a long time.

Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?

Yes, I play slots sometimes. But not too often and only with low stakes or in play money mode. If I would win the jackpot, I might open a small cocktail bar with really good drinks. And I’d love to have my own ski lodge in Austria. A classic Porsche would be a good investment, too.

Are you ready for SiGMA17?

I’m already looking forward to SIGMA 2017. I really liked the event last year.

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?