Have you ever wondered what is it like to work as an affiliate manager and fall in love with being an affiliate? Well, our next interviewed affiliate has experienced that and as will explain in this interview, it isn’t an easy to switch especially if you are starting and growing your own business. Althought, she is a well known figure of the industry some of our audience will love to meet her and get the inspiration needed to get started in this evergreen and developing industry. Here goes our interview with Marit von Stedingk who is mostly British now and is the founder and owner of LuckyMobileSlots.com
- Name: Marit von Stedingk
- Age: 30
- Hometown: Mostly Europe 🙂
- Living in: The UK
- Favorite Food: Japanese
- Must Read Book: American Gods – Neil Gaiman
EEG: Hi Marit, firstly we would like to thank you for the opportunity to interview such a highly appreciated professional of the industry. We are really interested and I’m sure that all our readers are going to read this with huge interest.
Tell us a bit about yourself, we want to know who Marit von Stedingk really is, one of the two main people behind LuckyMobileSlots.com. Where were you born? What was the key idea of developing this great review site for top online casino slot games and reviews?
Marit: I’m a little bit of a mish-mash of cultures and origin, being Half Colombian / Half Swedish but lived most of my life in either France or the UK.
Still, I’d say I’m mostly British now, and it’s in this country that I encountered the crazy world of gambling.
I started working for iGaming Business back in 2007, helping organize the affiliate events for the online gambling industry.
Though I’d say that it wasn’t until I started working for the online casinos themselves that I started truly appreciated the games (especially slots). It was just fun to play, you know?
My husband told me I should totally write down my thoughts of all the new games as they came out, and seeing as I only played on mobile… well LuckyMobileSlots.com was born, shortly followed by LuckyMobileCasinos.com, which was where I put all the mobile casinos I was playing and testing.
Two years on, and I’m now working full time in creating honest, hopefully entertaining, slots and casino reviews.
EEG: Since there are thousands of casino game review websites out there, where do you think LuckyMobileSlots.com stands now?
Marit: For one, there’s not many sites that has the sheer number of mobile casino game reviews as we do.
And even those that do, I don’t feel give players what I always wanted to know about a slot.
It’s always “these are the symbols, these are the features, so much fun!”
When in actuality there are plenty of really crummy, or even just average, slots out there, and many that aren’t worth playing.
I actually play each one, for as many hours as it takes, and tell you my exact thoughts.
Not saying I am always right, but at least I’m rarely boring!
EEG: What are its strong points of LuckyMobileSlots.com and what makes it stand out from the niche websites?
Marit: I’d say, other than the sheer number and quality of the reviews, I think we tend to be one step ahead on gaming news and new slot releases.
I know I love hearing about the next big slot game due out, and our readers do too.
EEG: We have browsed your website and we found a lot of quality content, are you writing by yourself or you have a team of people writing the reviews? How many reviews are there on you site?
Marit: Currently there’s 488 slot reviews on LuckyMobileSlots.com alone, which basically keeps growing by a minimum of one a day.
We’ve also got about 40 game reviews on LuckyMobileCasinos.com, but that’s only because there’s less mobile roulette and video poker games than slots.
I am, pretty much, the content queen when it comes to the slot machines and the casino news. I write about what I know, and I think that shows in the casino content.
We have asked experts to help us with some of the casino guides for games that I simply do not know enough about – we’re currently adding a blackjack section for example.
And whilst I’ve dabbled in the occasional hand, being able to provide the kind of in-depth knowledge about the game requires experience.
Still, I edit and ensure the content has the same quality as the rest of the site. Which means fact checking everything that is written by a third party.
Mostly it’s easier to just do it myself!
EEG: Do you own any other websites related to the online gambling affiliate industry?
Marit: I’ve already mentioned LuckyMobileCasinos.com as the sister site of LuckyMobileSlots.com – the two fit together nicely and take up about 90% of my time, so adding any more isn’t on the cards until I learn to trust someone else with writing quality content.
We do also dabble in the financial world with BinaryOptionInsights.com, which is basically just financial betting and quite interesting when you go into the detail of it.
EEG: What can you advise new affiliates that are looking to venture in this great industry?
Marit: Be prepared to work long hours and don’t expect overnight success – unless, of course, you have the investment to do a lot of advertising.
But if not, give yourself a minimum of a year to get somewhere close to where you think you want to be.
Because it’s a hard business, with lots of competition. So think carefully about what will make you unique, and write about what you know and hopefully love.
EEG: What were the bumps in your road when you got started and how did you overcome them?
Marit: Getting some recognition from Google! It took several months before we saw any traffic, and many months after that till it got to a decent level.
Meanwhile, I was writing tons of content that no one was reading, working late nights, and was terribly afraid that maybe I was just wasting my time.
Thank-fully I have an amazing husband who didn’t let me give up (so make sure you have some great support) and realistic deadlines.
I told myself that I could build this website into something great by the end of the year, so we didn’t give up, and the commitment paid off.
EEG: You have been working as an Affiliate Manager for a while and then turned affiliate, what was the reason of this shift?
Marit: Turns out, I enjoy playing video slots for a living!
It really was just a matter that players responded well to LuckyMobileSlots.com.
Though it was a bit of a risky jump, I felt like I had to choose: keep working as an affiliate manager and my sites will just stay as they are, or jump in full steam ahead and commit myself to growing my own business.
It wasn’t an easy decision to make – I miss the people, and the team! – but it allowed me to devote all my time to my business, and the gamble paid off.
EEG: We are sure that you receive daily messages from Affiliate Managers showcasing their products. You of course select them by brands they work with, but what are your thoughts on how Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationships are built?
Marit: It’s a difficult one – having been an affiliate manager myself, I know how frustrating it can be when you get no reply, or very little commitment from an affiliate.
However, I have to very carefully pick my partners, we don’t actually work with very many programs.
Reason being, we test each casino we work with, and whilst I wouldn’t say we played on all of them equally (I have my favourites), if we add too many, it would be impossible to keep the quality in check.
It also means that we have great relationships with our main partners and work closely with them to ensure we always get the latest news and releases.
Generally my rule is: if someone contacts me who has clearly read and looked at my sites, then I will at least reply and decline politely. If they have done that, and have something different or unique to offer, I will investigate the casino a little further.
If they blank email me with thousands of other affiliates, and are of no interest, then I feel I am justified in ignoring their email. If they haven’t personally made the effort, why should I? There are only so many hours in the day.
Also a word of advice to some programs (not naming names): if you somehow have managed to get a hold of my personal phone number, which I haven’t given you, then I will consider all cold calling spam and not even look at your casino.
We have ‘contact me’ details on the websites for a reason – my personal phone is for friends and family only.
EEG: Who is your favourite celebrity?
Marit: I don’t think I have one really. I don’t really follow celebrity mags and gossip – though I am an absolute cinephile and watch far too many movies a month.
So if I had to say a favourite at the moment, Chris Pratt would probably be on my list. Loved him in Guardians of the Galaxy, awesome in Jurassic World, and rumored to be the next Indiana Jones…
That’s a triple dunk in my book.
EEG: Do you attend any igaming conferences? If so, which one and what is your most fun experience?
Marit: I generally attend at least 2 affiliate conferences a year, LAC is an absolute must for me – and then it depends on my mood of which gets my second vote.
This year I’m excited to go to BAC in Berlin in October. Never been to the German capital!
As you can tell, my most fun experience tends to be the destination. Once I’m at a conference I’m really just catching up with friends, rather than doing that much business, so part of the charm is going somewhere different and fun.
EEG: If you would just open your YouTube search bar, what would you search for?
Marit: The latest cinematic trailers for the upcoming blockbusters movies.
Or if I want to waste time, I highly recommend the How It Should Have Ended channels. Really funny videos.
EEG: Alright, here comes the fun part….favourite food, where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, some part of the region maybe that you haven’t visited yet, and your favourite destination around the world.
Marit: I could probably eat sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner – which goes nicely with my answer of where I haven’t been yet that I want to go to… Japan!
Though I’ve travelled around the world, mostly Asia is still Terra Incognita for me.
As for Eastern Europe, I’ve been to quite a few places, but always fancied discovering Croatia or Slovenia. Two little countries with lots of history and, apparently, natural beauty.
My favourite place in the world? Too many to pick from, but I lived in Barcelona for two years and love that city. I could go there time and time again.
EEG: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?
Marit: I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world I wouldn’t travel to if I could! But I suppose I know very little and never really thought of Ukraine as a holiday destination.
EEG: What is your opinion about EEG(Eastern European Gaming – eegaming.org)?
Marit: Wonderful comprehensive website for old and new affiliates alike.
The amount of information you have on your markets is truly astounding, with some genuinely useful information.
One of those sites that if you’re in the Eastern European marketplace, you can’t afford to ignore.
EEG: Thank you for this opportunity and have a great one!
EEG would like to hear your inspirational story as well, be sure to contact us for further enquiries.
Casino Hacks– the world’s first Casino Bonus & News TV!
New online casino affiliate combines the successes of MTV, Top Gear and Late-Night Talk Shows with casino games entertainment
Online casino fans now have the perfect platform for their interests in slot machines, blackjack, baccarat and roulette. Casino Hacks.comis launching the world’s first TV show for online casino players.
Targeting millions of online casino fans worldwide, and having already partnered with some of the major online casino operators and casino games suppliers, Swedish-owned Casino Hacks has been created by a tight team of former gaming operators, producers, marketing & SEO experts, including former executives at MTV, Mr Green, Bethard, Raketech, Pokerstars and Metal Casino who are also passionate online casino lovers.
Casino Hacks Founder Clas Dahlén was named ‘Sweden’s Best Marketer’ in 2014 when heading up Mr Green in Sweden, and is also the former Founder and Brand Strategist behind Metal Casino. The host of the show, Jonas Lutteman, who worked in the editing rooms of MTV in London will lead the entertainment and competitions in the CASINO HACKS show as well as manage Casino Hacks’ Twitch Program.
Even before the launch, Casino Hacks has already contracted major online casino operators and casino games suppliers to partner up on the affiliate platform and sponsor the TV show. It is a perfect platform to reach casino players and high rollers in a confined online casino games channel. Only a selection of online casinos will be partnered initially, as Casino Hacks only will work with the best online casinos offering the best casino bonuses as a trade off to a new, more beneficial, business model for the partnered online casino.
Clas Dahlén, the CEO, or ‘The Sales Guy’, as he would rather be referred to, says:
“Casino Hacks is here because we believe that online casino players, across the world deserve a higher standard of live entertainment. Looking for tips, hacks and great casinos and the best bonuses should not be like going through the Yellow Pages! We believe this part of the casino experience should reflect all the fun and action one can expect from an online casino today.
“It’s now my mission to market and sell this amazing website. I’ll be a sales-focused CEO who will introduce our outstanding service to casino players and make sure the content is entertaining. That is my full-time job for now!
“Coming from the operator side we felt it was time to do something new in the affiliate sector, creating new energy and with great design, broadcasting and all the fun entertainment that the online casino experience truly is about.
“The Show will reveal the latest online casino news, broadcasting casino reviews, new slots and interviews with interesting industry people such as the best Twitchers. The daily show will naturally run fun and rewarding competitions continuously.”
Casino Hacks is set for an international launch this week in Canada and New Zealand, followed by Australia, Iceland and six other territories in 2020.
Clas Dahlén describes their pioneering approach:
“Casino Hacks speaks out loud. We are the new kid on the block, and we don’t give a damn about our competitors’ conventional marketing or offers. Keeping our language real, trustworthy and staying true to our beliefs is something most people strive for. Few live up to it. Our members can count on us. As our brand platform describes, we are creative, honest and passionate in our communication with our members.
“We are Casino Hacks and we deliver winning Entertainment!”
Do the right thing
James Ashton from Find My UK Casino says that affiliates and operators must be responsible in their approach to engaging players over the coming months
As an online casino affiliate that prioritises responsibility and compliance above all else, I was saddened to receive emails from several of our operator partners regarding a small number of publishers that have looked to leverage the on-going global crisis to their advantage.
These emails are reminding affiliates of the terms and conditions which they agreed to when partnering with the operator, most notably that all marketing activity undertaken must be responsible and compliant at all times.
For those that are not, they risk having their accounts terminated with immediate effect. And rightly so. Professional online casino affiliates do not need to rely on a global crisis to drive traffic to their sites – if anything, they should be taking additional steps to protect their players.
Since the UK lockdown came into force last week, we have seen traffic numbers increase. This, of course, is to be expected as more people are now working from home or not working but being required to stay at home.
This is good for us and other affiliates, and equally positive for our operator partners. But we all have to take a responsible approach and ensure that we go above and beyond to provide players with the information they need to make an informed decision about if and where to play.
This includes ensuring bonus terms and conditions – significant and full – are correctly displayed while also creating explainers about wagering requirements, the tools available to help keep in control of their play and how to ensure they play at licensed and reputable brands.
We are prioritising pages such as these over high-volume ranking pages that are proven to drive players from the SERPs to our pages and ultimately to the online casino brands we recommended. As a result, we have seen retuning site visitors increase over the past two weeks.
One of the most effective ways online casino affiliates can protect players at a time when site traffic and demand is likely to increase – at least over the coming weeks and months – is to only work with the best online casino brands out there.
These are not necessarily the most established brands or those that hold multiple licences, but those that go the extra mile to educate players about responsible gambling and provide them with additional features to manage their play.
As an affiliate focussed on the UK market, we only work with those that hold a UK Gambling Commission licence. Others don’t do this and some even actively promote brands that are not UK licensed to UK players on pages about Online Casinos Not On GamStop.
This is irresponsible on many levels, but amid the current climate is putting the most vulnerable at greater risk than ever before.
We also work very closely with our operator partners to ensure that all the content we create around their brand(s) is 100% compliant, and also seek feedback on other aspects of our site to ensure we are doing everything we can to meet the highest possible standards.
This is always important but particularly right now as people find themselves with more time on their hands but perhaps with less disposable income to spend. That’s not to say they shouldn’t play online casino, but affiliates and operators must do all they can to ensure they play responsibly.
There is clearly an opportunity to target the growing number of people being confined to their homes, but affiliates and operators must do the right thing and ensure they do not take advantage of the situation and use is to their advantage.
Affiliates and operators should be investing time and resources into helping players enjoy online casino play if that is how they want to spend their time and money, but in a way that is healthy and within their means both personally and financially.
So although I was sadden to receive emails from operators stating that affiliates should not be leveraging the current global crisis and using it to their advantage, I was encourage to see that they had taken serious steps to identify, prevent and punish those that are.
That being said, it is really down to affiliates to do the right thing in the first place and it seems that despite the tremendous efforts being made by regulators, watchdogs, operators and publishers, a small minority continue to act irresponsibly, doing untold damage to the rest of the sector.
Leading betting affiliate sets sights on Virtual Sports market
In a historic shake up of the sporting calendar not seen since the Second World War, all major sporting events have been put on hold indefinitely.
With markets in turmoil, and traffic to online bookmakers and affiliate sites alike taking a significant hit, there is a lot at stake. Sporting events will eventually return, although it’s unclear exactly as to when.
It means that the iGaming community as whole needs to look to viable alternatives, although some feel that the present predicament actually provides opportunity.
“We’re aiming to turn this unique situation into one where we can adapt, learn, and hopefully come out of the other side in a much stronger position”, says Eskil Kvarnström, CEO of Leadstar Media.
Viable alternatives to sports betting
“We’re quite lucky in the fact that we’ve always set out to hold a varied portfolio of products that set their focus across sports betting, online casino and a number of international markets,” says Kvarnström.
Indeed that is the challenge for many betting affiliates and online bookmakers alike. How they act and react now could leave a pivotal mark in the immediate and distant future alike.
“One of the areas where we’re already seeing a significant upturn is in the realm of virtual sports, and that’s exactly where we’re setting part of our focus for the time being. It’s providing us with a great opportunity to improve in fields that might before have gone overlooked.”
A flagship product of Leadstar Media, BookiesBonuses.com, aims to provide the best overview of UK bookmakers for its users based in the British Isles, but also further afield.
“While Bookies Bonuses is primarily geared towards providing a great deal of information on online bookmakers, it is one of our sites where sports betting takes centre stage, although online casino does play an ancillary role in what it has to offer.”
It’s important to be reactive
Many sports betting sites are already seeking to develop their virtual sports betting products. The likes of Bet365, Betway and Coral have arguably the most advanced virtual sports packages on the market at present, while the BetVictor sign up offer has recently been updated to highlight its availability to players interested in virtual sports.
“We’re actually surprised that more online bookmakers aren’t yet seeking to promote their virtual sports packages given that we already know many of the major football leagues in Europe in particular are going to be out of action for at least another month or so. But that’s where we come in”, states Kvarnström.
The role of the affiliate
“In many respects the virtual sports market goes overlooked by many players who are interested in sports betting, simply because there is a constant availability of real-life events taking place all over the world at any given time.”
“We see our role at Leadstar Media not only to provide the best products for the consumer, but in being a key conduit of disseminating valuable information on distinctive areas of the sports betting and online gambling sector. It’s not just about what is on offer, but also how particular aspects of the market like bonuses and deposits methods fundamentally work in practice, and providing that information accordingly,” says Kvarnström.
“In many respects the virtual sports market is an untapped resource ready for development, especially in such unique times. Our company has a lot of experience in nascent markets across the world, such as Africa and India, so we feel confident we can inform and advertise to our users everything that virtual sports have to offer”.
In such unique and uncertain times, it certainly provides food for thought in how the iGaming sector as a whole will look to react, adapt and develop, and more importantly, what the landscape will look like when we come out of this period on the other side.
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