Starting a Poker Website
Building Your Poker Website
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Web Business Basics and Terminology
Before we get started, it’s important to understand the basic business practices and terms used throughout this
website. If you are totally new to building a web business, this article should help you.
First of all, if you are interested in building a profitable poker website, you will probably participate in “affiliate”
marketing and programs. By joining an affiliate program, you are not storing inventory of a product, selling
the product directly, or distributing that product to the consumer’s door. As an affiliate, you are driving
traffic to the website that will ultimately sell and ship the product, and you will get some kind of commission
for your service.
Let’s say I’m interested in joining the Best Buy affiliate program. I would register
with Best Buy, fill out the questionnaire, become an approved affiliate of Best Buy, and Best Buy would send me a special link to
use on my website when referring traffic to Best Buy. This special link would have a code built into the
link that distinguishes my website and my traffic from all others. Now, if Joe visits my website and
clicks on my special Best Buy link to go shopping at BestBuy.com, Best Buy now recognizes Joe as a vistor from my website and anything
he buys at BestBuy.com, I would receive some sort of commission.
There are many different types of affiliate programs, some vendors will pay you for each person that clicks on your
your affiliate link and visits the vendor’s website. Some vendors will pay you a commission for every real sale made
to a visitor that came from your website.
In the world of online poker rooms, it works two ways. The online poker room will pay their affiliate (you)
either a flat amount for every real money poker player that the affiliate refers, or the online poker room will
pay the affiliate a percentage of everything the poker room makes off that player. The flat amount,
often referred to as CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), ranges between $50-$150 per real money poker player.
The percentage programs, often referred to as rake programs – usually offer affiliate payouts in the range of 20-40% of
what the house makes off the player referred by the affiliate website (your website).
Online poker room affiliate programs are a great way to get compensated for a popular poker website. However,
there are other ways to make money from a poker website. You can also set up affiliate programs with merchandisers
and pick up a percentage of any sales you refer. Your website could recommend
various poker books, or other poker related merchandise, and then refer your visitors to Amazon.com, Ebay, etc.
and receive a commission through those affiliate programs. Later on, I will discuss some of the better
poker related online merchandisers and their affiliate programs.
Finally, you could also open up your own online poker room! This will take some investment, but there are
online poker room “franchises” that you can purchase and operate. There are turn-key solutions that offer
all the logistics of payment processing, software, etc. Your poker room could be a part of a network of
poker rooms, so you could share the player base and traffic, or be it’s own poker room (with no players!).
I won’t be going into details of this because I have not actually done this yet, but I have researched this
option, and I’m undecided whether it’s worth trying or not.
Ok, so hopefully now you understand the basics of the poker affiliate programs out there, and how you
can make money by developing your own poker website. But setting up these affiliate programs and writing
a few poker related articles will not generate anything. The next crucial step for creating a profitable
online poker business is to now generate traffic. If no one visits your site, no one will click on your
affiliate links and purchase something. So, throughout this site, I will be discussing SEO – Search Engine
Optimization. This is my preferred method of attracting new visitors to my websites. The practice of SEO
involves optimizing your website so that Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines find your website
when a user performs a search. If your website is all about poker movies, then if someone types in
“poker movies” in Google, you want your site to show up at the top of the list. The resulting list from
a search performed on a search engine is called SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages). SEO is all about
putting your website at the top of the SERP’s.
There are other ways to attract traffic such as conventional advertising via
TV, radio, print, and direct mail, email campaigns, banner ads on other websites, and PPC (Pay Per Click) programs
where you pay search engines to list your website based on the search terms. This PPC method still puts you on
the result pages of the search engines, but you are paying the search engine to place you there, as opposed
to the free, “organic” result of the search engine naturally finding your website and placing you on the
I like to focus on SEO and the organic search engine results because (1) it’s FREE!! and (2) I believe visitors
trust the results of the search engines to be relevant. If someone is shopping for poker chips and performs
a search on Google, that person believes that Google will find popular websites that sell poker chips,
and that person will probably prefer to click on those links as opposed to the links that are
paid for by advertisers that may not be as relevant.
Ok, so I’ve touched upon affiliate marketing, search engine optimization, and organic search results. I think
we can now move on to some other topics.
The Poker Affiliate Guide – How to Build and Promote a Better Poker Website