Being an affiliate is a tough ‘sport’ nowadays. There are so many active networks in this niche and competition is fierce too. So, what’s the key to making a difference According to Fotios Gkotsoulias, Founder of the established sports betting portal Bookmakers.bet, the difference lies in being honest with players rather than going for the quick buck.
We sat down with Fotios to talk about what has made the site such a big success. He also revealed his future goals and predictions.
Affiliate Industry Review: Let’s start with some brief background info about the parent company, FS Media Marketing, and some of your most important betting projects.
Fotios Gkotsoulias: FS Media Group was created with the intention to form an expanding network of affiliate portals. These would review online operators and casinos with a 100% player-first approach, conducted by people with years of experience.
Our two most significant websites are Bookmakers.bet and Foxbet.gr. Bookmakers.bet is our ‘first child’ internationally, and so far the most successful one. It’s a betting portal which focuses on reviews of the world’s top betting operators.
Meanwhile, Foxbet.gr is our biggest success in Greece and has been met with huge appreciation from local players. In general, our goal isn’t to lure players to register with bookmakers using misleading methods. Instead, it’s to show them the whole picture about each of our partners.
We’re aware that bettors really know their stuff, which is why they demand facts rather than marketing tricks. We recently decided to expand our reach internationally with our first .com casino affiliate portal, Best50Casino. But the flagship of our network remains Betting Affiliate and Bookmakers.bet.
AI: Bookmakers.bet was your first international big step. It was also shortlisted in two categories for the 2020 iGB Awards. What has been the recipe to this project’s success?
FG: The two recent nominations have been a prime reminder to all of us that we need to keep doing what we’re doing – it just works!
The secret recipe was a mix of elements, really. We have a motto at the office which we ‘bow to’: Research, research, research. Before we produce any type of content, we confirm the validity of information that we plan to use. The site has geo-targeting on, targeting close to 60 regions already. So, you can imagine how challenging it is to avoid sharing outdated information. We need to be super precise, especially when dealing with subjects such as local gambling legislation.
We also have our own comment and complaint system, where players can leave their feedback. Their input on brands is critical for the image that each operator has in the gambling world.
We’ve also intervened with many dispute cases between players and operators. This approach practically obliges us not to promote shady brands, going hand-in-hand with our player-first policy.
Finally, our site is SEO-focused and has managed to rank highly for many competitive terms in different locations. This has led to impressive organic traffic figures, following by a good number of returning visitors too.
AI: What are some of the innovations that Bookmakers.bet has implemented?
FG: We’ve got a dedicated team which is constantly optimising our website and keeping it up-to-date. Our team also searches for the best exclusive deals from operators, since these can sway a player’s decision to choose one affiliate over another.
Moreover, we’ve introduced a bookmaker comparison system. We also have a unique bookie finder feature, which allows players to source their ideal brand by providing specific criteria. These include languages offered, available deposit methods and so on. Thus, players can narrow down their options to a great extent.
AI: Bookmaker reviews are the core of what you offer to the betting community. How are these different from what most of your competition offers?
FG: Where we most take a different path to our competition is the neutrality of our reviews. We don’t try to persuade or discourage players from picking a certain sportsbook. Our goal is to present the facts in the most objective way possible, once we’ve conducted thorough research of each brand.
Each review has a section called ‘Book Spy‘, which holds no criticism back! This is The section is written by a person working for a well-known operator, hence the anonymity. This is where we go hard and do not sugarcoat the weaknesses of the brands, especially for markets that are very competitive like the one on Best UK Bookmakers. If the book has major drawbacks, Book Spy will address them right away! This method actually presents a great risk for our relationships with operators and our revenue too, but we prefer to stay true to our values and help players first.
AI: What are the your goals for the site in 2020, and how do you see the betting affiliate niche evolving as a whole?
Our first goal is to create our very own mobile app and further expand our reach on this channel. We are also well on our way to launching a German version of the site, and targeting this market in an even more localised manner. Upon completion and evaluation of the results of this move, we might later translate the site to other languages.
As for my industry predictions, there are new challenges that make our job more and more difficult. The constant Google updates and ranking fluctuations that sometimes follow indicates the need to search for alternative channels to approach players, and not rely on organic traffic solely.
Aside from the technical aspect, we shouldn’t forget challenges brought by the changing gambling landscape. The regulation of certain markets like Ukraine can bring new investment opportunities for us, while the implementation of stricter guidelines in online gambling legislation of countries like the Netherlands tests our betting affiliate ‘reflexes’.