Interview with Richard Moffat of Online Betting Guide (OLBG)

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Richard Moffat is what one might refer to as an ‘old hat’ in the iGaming affiliate scene. He has been around for more than six years, and in the time that he has spent in the business as a marketer, he has become very well-known and respected.

As one of the top tipsters over at the Online Betting Guide (OLBG), Richard has helped many a would-be punter to cash in. One of the greatest parts of OLBG is that it lets players help each other, and as such, has become a great community of punters.

With all of Richard’s experience, we had been hoping for a long time to be able to have him find the time to sit down for an interview with us, and we finally managed to do just that. Here’s what we found out about Richard, and his thoughts on affiliate marketing.Mark John Hiemstra: What is your background, and how did you come to work as an affiliate?Richard Moffat: OLBG was launched in 2002 by Antony Portno. I joined the site as a user around the start of 2004 and loved playing the tipster competition and chatting on the forum when that arrived a bit later. I was working as a financial adviser at the time, although I think people made more money from my horse racing tips than my investment advice! I got to know Antony and joined as an employee in 2005.MJH: You have a great community of members at OLBG. What do you think is the importance of venues like this one and what value does your forum offer to players?RM: We are really proud of our community and are fortunate to have a great number of very knowledgeable members. The forum has been a lot of hard work as we are a lot stricter than most forums out there, but the focus for us has always been to build a friendly environment where our members can work together.

Our members learn a huge amount from one another and are free to communicate without the threat of abuse, spam, swearing etc. We also learn a great deal from our users and many parts of the site (including the forum itself!) were built following member suggestions.MJH: What’s happening in affiliate marketing these days that you think should change?RM: Programs have to become stricter about the partners which they work with. They have thrown tons of cash away on partnerships which aren’t profitable, mainly because they have been over focused on generating acquisition numbers. I have been amazed to watch programs buying worthless accounts from cash back sites, bonus abuse sites, arbster sites and paying huge amounts to greedy “media” sites. Some are finally crunching the numbers now and realising they don’t add up.

The big worry is how they react when they discover their mistakes. Some seem to be looking to punish all affiliates with across the board retroactive changes to terms. Hopefully programs will realise that some affiliates can help with retention, reactivation and improved monetisation.MJH: What do you think is the next big thing for affiliate marketing?RM: As more operators understand that 10% of their affiliates are driving 90% of the profitability, there will be a lot of changes. Bigger, better, more partnership-focused affiliates will benefit and the grab-what-they-can affiliates will suffer. Some operators and many affiliates could disappear; the mistakes really have been that bad.MJH: What should affiliates be looking for and paying attention to?RM: If affiliates want to stick around long term then they have to look at ways to help operators earn good income from their acquisitions whilst helping to keep the operators costs low. Being an affiliate partner is no longer just about sending traffic, demanding high payments and leaving the rest to the operator.

Affiliates should be concentrating on promoting the best products as it’s the operators with the best products which will be able to afford to carry on working with and paying affiliates long term. These operators won’t need to make retroactive changes to their terms!MJH: How do you think mobile devices, including smart phones and tablet devices, will affect the iGaming industry in the future?RM: I like to look at it this way: the World Wide Web is dying but the Internet is growing. The way we access the Internet is changing for sure and we will spending more time accessing it via apps on mobile devices and TVs rather than by typing website addresses into the browser on our PCs or laptops.

So, yes there are definitely different marketing opportunities, and for affiliates, promoting operators with good apps makes a lot of sense!MJH: Will you get involved in mobile?RM: We have been involved in mobile for a long time. A large number of our users already access our sites via mobile devices but we haven’t needed to change anything or build apps to achieve that so far. This is because mobile has advanced to accommodate our sites before we have needed to change to accommodate it. If enough of our users say they need an app to help them access our site more easily then sure we will build one for them.

And there you have it. OLBG is part of Invendium Ltd who run a number of other sites including ValueChecker Affiliates. For those of you who are interested, ValueChecker Affiliates allows any site to display live odds within or next to their content.

The live odds boxes are highly customisable and allow affiliates to generate accounts via their own tracking links. Free to use, easy to set up, sites of any size can now show the best odds (from the bookies they want to promote!) for the markets related to their content.

Showing live odds stops traffic from leaving your site just before a bet is placed. For more info on this free service, see here.