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AFFILIATE MARKETING

How One Industry Made Me a Millionaire

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How One Industry Made Me a Millionaire

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There’s a tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea where many young entrepreneurs go to make millions. These young millionaires often have similar characteristics like being risk-takers, hustlers and innovators, but they also share something else: They’re casino affiliates.

The online casino and gambling industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, and many of the most successful affiliates in this industry (myself included) made their name on the tiny island of Malta.

This country of fewer than 500,000 people has taken on the role of “Las Vegas” for the online casino industry and it’s the headquarters of huge gaming companies and affiliates. While you don’t need to live in Malta to be an online casino mogul, most of the great ones do.

I spent 10 years of my life in Malta, and built one of the largest gaming affiliates in the world, Catena Media, while earning more than $50 million before turning 30.

So, what’s so interesting about being a gambling affiliate?

The appeal of being an online affiliate

Many entrepreneurs are drawn to the affiliate industry because of its low barriers to entry. Every business has hurdles to overcome before you can launch, and some of those hurdles are shorter or taller than others.

No matter how much you like space or understand rockets, you’re not going to easily compete with Elon Musk and SpaceX. The barriers to entry into that industry are huge. Not only would you need hundreds of millions of dollars, but you’d need licensing, expertise and other non-financial assets that are difficult to acquire.

However, the hurdles to becoming an online affiliate are relatively small. You simply need to sign-up as an affiliate for a company, purchase a domain and hosting service, create a website and begin posting content with affiliate links. Most savvy entrepreneurs could create and launch an online affiliate site in one day for under $20.

What’s appealing about the online casino space?

The online casino and the entire online gambling industry in the United States is one of the more promising sectors at the moment. In fact, the U.S. online gambling industry was valued at $1.978 billion in 2020 and has an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.3% over the next 5 years.

As more states begin to legalize online gambling and sports betting, you can expect to see this sector grow exponentially. This opportunity is what makes the online casino and gambling industry so appealing to young entrepreneurs.

What type of skills do you need?

When I launched my first online casino affiliate website, my partner and I had to build the website from scratch — which required some level of web development competency. However, today’s landscape is much different and anyone can launch a clean, optimized affiliate website with little to no knowledge of coding or web design.

Platforms like WordPress, Wix and Squarespace are built around making it simple for anyone to create a professional-looking website, and their tools help you do just that.

While you don’t need a complex website to make money, you will want to create an optimized website — which is what really separates you from other casino affiliates.

Getting started with website optimization

While many industries are built around pay-to-play marketing tactics like Google Ads, Facebook Ads and other paid advertising, the online gambling industry is very much built around organic search — specifically, on Google.

For example, if someone lived in a state with legal online gambling like New Jersey and decided they wanted to gamble from home, they might search for “best online casino in New Jersey”, which would display a list of web pages related to that search.

As an affiliate, your goal is to be the top result for a given search term, which typically has a 31.7% click-through rate. The higher up your result on the page, the more traffic your website gets, and the more traffic your website gets, the more affiliate revenue.

Fortunately, there are several easy tips to practice good on your casino affiliate site.

Write quality content, often

In the world of SEO, content is king. But, more important than just creating good content is posting content regularly. Google is yearning for compelling, relevant content because its entire model is built around displaying searchers with the best result for their queries.

If you can consistently deliver better quality content than your competition as it relates to casino reviews, gambling news or sports betting insights, Google will eventually realize this and display your content higher in its results.

Zig while others zag

A lot of online casino affiliates go after the same main search terms. While these might be some of the most searched, they are often the most competitive, which makes it hard for new casino affiliates to rank highly.

Fortunately, there are millions of terms people search and you don’t have to always compete for the hardest search terms. If you want, you can optimize your website for more specific searches like branded and long-tail keywords.

While the market for secondary or long-tail search terms might be smaller, they are less competitive. This gives you a better chance of earning the top result.

Don’t neglect technical SEO

Creating ideas and content are great ways to improve your SEO, but there are other technical areas of your site that must also be optimized if you want the best chance for success. From your page load speed to mobile optimization, don’t neglect to build a technically sound website.

Related: 8 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting Affiliate Marketing

Know your target audience

The goal of any online affiliate is to attract specific people to your website so that they can click your affiliate links. Therefore, casino affiliates should understand their target market intimately to deliver the best results.

In most cases, casino players land on an affiliate site for a few main reasons.

  1. They are looking for the best casino: Since “best” is subjective, a good affiliate will provide rankings of online casinos based on different measurements like promotions, game library, customer service and reliability.

  2. They are looking for the best bonuses: Online casinos use bonuses to attract new players or entice more gambling on their platform. Players might visit an affiliate because they want to quickly and easily see active casino promotions.

  3. They are looking for entertainment or information: Someone might land on a casino affiliate website if they are looking for more information or because they are interested in a specific topic. For example, if someone wants to learn how to play slots, they might visit an affiliate’s resource on playing slots.

Not only should casino affiliates better understand their target audience, but they should also coordinate their site so that players who visit for different reasons can quickly and easily navigate to the information they want.

Related: This Is Why Teenagers Are the Affiliate-Marketing Experts

How do casino affiliates make money?

Making money as an online casino affiliate is pretty straightforward. In fact, most online casinos have a seamless process for becoming an affiliate that can be done in a single day.

The process is basically:

  1. Create a website or digital asset (social media page could suffice)

  2. Apply for an online casino affiliate program from the casino’s website

  3. Get accepted into the program and receive a tracking link

  4. Use this tracking link on your site or social asset

  5. Someone clicks your link and signs up at that casino

  6. They make a deposit and begin playing

  7. You receive a commission based on the agreement

The process is structured so that affiliates only earn money when they are successful at sending active players to the casino. This relationship benefits both parties and is low-risk for everyone. The casino gets more players and the affiliate earns money by sending players to that casino. The affiliate can work as hard as they would like and the casino only pays when results are positive.

How do casino affiliates get paid?

Casino affiliate software will ask you to input your bank account information for direct deposit payments or they may send you a check in the mail. These commission payments are based on how the affiliate deal is structured between you and the casino.

Generally speaking, there are two main payment structures:

  • Revenue Share: You earn a percentage of your registered players’ losings.
  • Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA): You earn a set price per depositing player.

Should you become an online casino affiliate?

The online gambling industry is one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors today. In the coming years, more and more states will legalize online gambling and new casinos and technologies will enter the space. It’s not hard to see why so many entrepreneurs are considering becoming online casino affiliates.

There’s definitely money to be made in this industry, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. However, if you can stay focused and commit yourself to delivering quality to your visitors, you might be the next young millionaire looking at condos in Malta.

Related: 3 Tips to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing


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7 Best Mailgun Alternatives to Boost Your Email Marketing Success in 2023

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7 Best Mailgun Alternatives to Boost Your Email Marketing Success in 2023

Are you an entrepreneur looking for a reliable email delivery solution? Tired of dealing with the hassles and limitations of Mailgun? We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the seven best Mailgun alternatives to revolutionize your email marketing efforts.

From robust analytics to automation capabilities, these solutions offer powerful features that can take your business communication to the next level. So read on and find the perfect fit for you!

7 Great Mailgun Alternatives for Your Business

1. Sendinblue

Sendinblue is our top pick among Mailgun alternatives and is a perfect marketing solution for any SMB or enterprise-level business. You can send transactional emails and SMS to the desired recipient and track their effectiveness. The Detailed Analytics reports will help you fix any potential problems in email delivery or click performance.

You can use this all-in-one tool to create:

  • Email marketing campaigns – design emails with the drag-and-drop editor or ready-made templates to send user-friendly emails
  • Marketing automation – send responsive emails that are triggered once a condition in the workflow is fulfilled
  • SMS marketing – communicate with customers on a more personal level
  • Push notifications – send reminders for abandoned carts

Pricing

Sendinblue provides users with four plans to kickstart their business. The platform charges based on emails sent rather than on the size of your contact list.

Additionally, with the free plan, you can send 300 emails/day, along with the added features of SMS and Whatsapp campaigns.

The business plan is the most popular amongst entrepreneurs. You can send 20,000 emails/day for $40 a month. You will also gain access to a number of bonus features, making it a perfect choice for marketing managers and professionals.

Pros


  • User-friendly interface
  • Forever-free plan
  • Access services in more than 6 languages

Cons


  • Lower free email sending limit compared to some of the other alternatives

2. Amazon SES

Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) is one of the cloud-based Mailgun alternatives used to send bulk marketing and transactional emails to customers. Small to large-scale businesses can use the platform to send emails through different methods. These include Amazon SES API, SMTP relay, and Amazon SES Console.

Amazon SES also provides support for owned, shared, or dedicated IP addresses to provide security and fast deliverability.

You can use the platform to send automated emails based on triggers and gain insights into their performance. Amazon SES is also known for its:

  • Mailbox Stimulator – test how different scenarios will affect your application
  • Email receiving – complete control over which emails to accept based on IP address and domain of the sender
  • Reputation Dashboard – track issues of email performance such as bounce rate and feedback loops

Pricing

Amazon SES offers a pay-as-you-go scheme for sending emails. However, users hosting their applications on Amazon EC2 can send 62,000 emails a month for free.

You can also use the platform to receive up to 1000 emails for free and use pay-as-you-go to receive any additional emails.

Pros


  • Increased sender security through multi-factor authentication
  • Affordable rates for sending and receiving emails
  • Generous forever free plan

Cons


  • You’ll have to buy separate plans for inbound emails and outbound emails

3. MailerSend

MailerSend is another alternative to Mailgun that provides a transactional email service along with a transactional SMS service.

You can use the platform to send and receive emails with SMTP relay and get hold of the following features:

  • Multiple domains – manage multiple products and domains with just one MailerSend account
  • Email verification – advanced verification process to ensure messages are received in the intended inbox and avoid landing in spam
  • Dynamic email templates – send bulk emails that are tailored to suit different customers
  • IP allowlist – make your account more secure by adding IP addresses to a whitelist

Pricing

MailerSend offers a forever free plan with 12000 emails/month. It is best suited for startups or SMBs to benefit from bulk emailing, a drag-and-drop builder, and analytics tools.

The paid plan includes a Premium plan and an Enterprise plan. The Enterprise plan is specifically designed for large enterprises and offers unlimited domains and templates along with 30-day data retention.

Pros


  • Bulk email sending
  • Effortlessly integrate sending transactional emails with your technology
  • Efficient sender reputation management using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC security protocols
  • Provides resources to get you started

Cons


  • No SMS marketing service available in the free plan

4. Postmark

Postmark is an email delivery service platform that differentiates itself from other Mailgun alternatives with its email deliverability.

It uses a separate but similar infrastructure to send promotional and transactional emails. The latter is delivered through a secure and faster network.

Other features of Postmark include:

  • Analytics tools – 45 days of data retention that ensures you don’t miss any detail
  • Email templates – choose layouts for common transactional emails
  • Webhooks – get notifications on important events such as bounces, clicks, or any spam complaints

Postmark offers a forever-free plan that includes 100 emails per month. However, more is needed for growing organizations.

The paid plans start with 10,000 emails at $15/month. Any additional emails sent in the month are charged with pay-as-you-go. You can also add dedicated IPs at $50 a month to any package.

Pros


  • Complete email marketing software to send transactional and broadcasted messages
  • Free expert advice
  • Fast and reliable email delivery
  • Email and application security

Cons

 


  • No SMS support
  • Marketing automation and segmentation features are not available
  • Pricey for the number of emails allowed

5. SendGrid

SendGrid is a marketing and transactional email service provider that uses web API and SMTP relay to send emails. It is trusted by startups, enterprises, developers, and high-volume senders to increase customer engagement and experience.

Other than sending transactional emails, you’ll also get access to:

  • Email marketing campaigns – send crafted automated messages to build meaningful relationships with customers
  • Email testing – spam test and create flawless emails that look perfect in every inbox
  • Deliverability insights – scalable email delivery measured using primary metrics and trends to improve the health of your email programs
  • Email templates

Pricing

SendGrid allows users to choose between Email API plans and Marketing Campaign Plans. Both categories offer forever free plans, with the email API plan starting at 100 emails/day.

Additionally, The Marketing Campaign Plans offers a free plan where you can send up to 6000 emails/day along with segmentation, email automation, and design & code editors.

However, you need to upgrade to the Advanced Plan to get access to a dedicated IP address. It will provide you with faster site speed and a secure sender reputation.

Pros


  • Forever free plan
  • Free resources to initiate the correct email program
  • The platform supports different programming languages

Cons


  • You can not receive Email API plans and Marketing Campaigns Plans under one package

6. SocketLabs

SocketLabs is an email delivery solution for IT pros, developers, and high-volume senders. It offers SMTP relay service and transactional email APIs. It’s one of the best Mailgun alternatives on the market because it offers many of the same features.

Users can trust the platform to deliver bulk emails that are fully verified and passed through strict anti-spam processes. With a tedious job cut out, the marketing teams can focus on using SocketLabs to create tailored solutions for priority accounts.

If you like SocketLabs for its ability to forward a high volume of emails, check out these best email forwarding services for even more options. 

Pricing

SocketLabs offers a 30-day free trial for the Core plan. Then you can send 40,000 emails/month for $39.95.

The more expensive plans include the Pro Plan and the Concierge Plan. You can send 100,000 emails per month starting from $79.95.

You’ll also get access to “Insight History” and “Performance History” reports with all plans.

Pros


  • Useful resources and code libraries to easily set up sending emails
  • Integrate with any application
  • Useful analytics tool to improve email performance

Cons


  • No SMS marketing service
  • No forever free plan
  • Ongoing training and email performance review are not available for low-tier plans

7. SparkPost

SparkPost is a reliable platform for brands to send and deliver emails. You can use advice from high-level industry experts to create email programs that engage and retain customers.

SparkPost is not just like any other Mailgun alternative. It goes beyond the basic deliverability of emails to provide an all-in-one marketing tool that increases customer engagement through:

  • SparkPost signals – track email health and recipient behavior to improve email performance and reduce the risk of hitting spam traps
  • Taxi for email – use segmentation and personalization to create powerful email campaigns
  • Recipient validation – verify email addresses before you send them
  • Inbox tracker – receive a higher return on email ROI by reaching more subscribers

Pricing

SparkPost has a free test account that limits the sending volume of emails but gives unrestricted access to API or SMTP relay.

Also, as a new sender, you can choose the Starter plan that offers 50,000 emails at $30 a month. This includes alerts to increase engagement and email health.

With a Premier plan, you can send 100,000 emails at $75/month and also get access to advanced templates and snippets, AB testing, prioritized support, and a dedicated IP address.

Pros


  • Easily track how consumers are responding to competitors’ email campaigns
  • Affordable plans for sending transactional emails
  • Integrates with different apps and websites to fit user’s needs

Cons


  • Limited volume for sending emails with free test accounts

Bottom Line: What’s The Best Mailgun Alternative For Your Business?

All in all, there are a host of excellent Mailgun substitutes that can completely transform your email delivery process. 

Selecting the right alternative depends on your organization’s specific needs and requirements. So be sure to do some research before making a final decision. But in general, we believe that Sendinblue is a very excellent choice for most cases.

Hope this guide helps make it easier for you to find the best Mailgun alternatives for your entrepreneurial needs! 



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4 Gen Z side hustle and passive income ideas

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4 Gen Z side hustle and passive income ideas

Everyone is getting in on the side hustle craze. More than a third of Gen Xers, 36%, currently have a side gig, according to a May 2022 Zapier survey of 2,032 U.S. adults. And nearly two thirds of both Gen Zers and millennials have one, 59% and 61%, respectively. Gen Zers, specifically, make an average of $9,537 per year on their side hustles.

If you’re a member of that younger generation and are looking to cash in on the trend, there are plenty of hustles for you to consider. “Think about what stage in life you’re in,” says side hustle expert Kevin Ha. “You’ve got more time, probably, you’ve got the ability to live unconventionally because you’re probably by yourself.”

Here are four side hustles for Gen Z to consider.

Affiliate marketing

If social media is already second nature, you may have wondered or looked into how to monetize it.

“According to Instagram’s Trend Report, two thirds of Gen Z plan to use social media to make money this year,” says Jen Glantz, founder of Bridesmaid for Hire and the creator of the Monday Pick-Me-Up and Odd Jobs newsletter. “And the best part about that is you don’t need to be an influencer or have a million followers.”

One way to do this is through affiliate marketing. “What that means is that you promote products with a special link and if people click that link and buy, you make money,” says Glantz. You can apply to Amazon’s affiliate marketing program for example, or log onto your favorite brands’ site to see if they offer affiliate options.

Influencer Shannon Smith makes $8,600 per month in passive income from affiliate marketing on her social media posts. She suggests taking note of how other people are creating popular content and focusing on a niche subject matter and product.

Virtual assisting

Secret shopping

If you’re a fan of buying things or eating out, you might consider secret shopping.

Sites like Secret Shopper or BestMark pay or reimburse shoppers for checking the customer experience of retailers, restaurants and other business, usually between $10 to $25 per shop, according to Sidehus.com. Reviewers have been sent to a salon to see if they honored a free first visit coupon and to a video game store to see if they’d sell a game for mature audiences to an underage kid.

When it comes to restaurant assignments, “for Gen Z, it’s a good option because it’s free food,” says Ha, adding that at a young age, “you probably have more flexibility to go out to eat.” Ha himself says he made $1,700 in 2022 using secret shopping website Market Force.

Food delivery

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Exploring the Latest Trends in Digital Marketing Technology

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Exploring the Latest Trends in Digital Marketing Technology

 

With technology constantly evolving, the world of digital marketing is experiencing a rapid and ever-changing landscape. It’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding and utilizing the latest trends in digital marketing technology.

From using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to working with a local digital marketing agency, there are plenty of exciting trends that marketers need to be aware of if they want to remain competitive in today’s market.

What tools and resources are available for creating effective digital marketing campaigns?

There are a variety of tools and resources available for creating effective digital marketing campaigns. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer powerful advertising capabilities that can be used to reach target audiences. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important tool for improving visibility in organic search results. Content marketing is also essential for driving traffic to websites and increasing brand awareness.

Other useful tools include email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, video marketing, influencer marketing, and more. It’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each tool before deciding which ones to use in your digital marketing campaigns. Data-driven analytics tools can be used to measure the success of campaigns and optimize future efforts.

What strategies are used in digital marketing?

Digital marketing is a broad term that encompasses many different strategies and tactics. Some of the most popular digital marketing strategies include search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, influencer marketing, and affiliate marketing.

SEO involves optimizing your website for organic search engine rankings by using keywords and other techniques to make it easier for people to find you online. Content marketing involves creating valuable content such as blog posts, videos, infographics, ebooks, etc., to attract potential customers and build relationships with them. Social media marketing involves leveraging various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc., to promote your business or products. PPC advertising is a form of paid advertising where you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Email marketing involves sending emails to potential customers in order to build relationships with them and encourage them to purchase from you.

Influencer Marketing is when businesses partner with influential people in their industry who have large followings on social media in order to promote their products or services. Affiliate Marketing is when businesses reward affiliates for referring customers through special links or codes they provide them with.

How can digital marketing help to reach a wider audience?

Digital marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to reach a wider audience. With the right strategies, you can target potential customers who are interested in your products or services. You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to create content that resonates with your target audience. You can also use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to ensure that your website appears at the top of search engine results pages when people search for relevant keywords. You can also leverage email marketing campaigns to send personalized messages directly to potential customers.

You can use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Google and other search engines to drive more traffic to your website and increase conversions. By utilizing these digital marketing strategies, you will be able to reach a larger audience and grow your business.

In conclusion, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in digital marketing technology to keep your business competitive and successful.

 

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