Affiliate reviews, Copywriting, Language, Psychology

The power of a negative review

Learn how bad can also be good

Continuing on the subject of affiliate reviews, I’m going to talk a little about why it’s just as important, if not more so, to have negative reviews on your site in addition to the positive ones and why your online gaming review site should not consist only of positive reviews.

Too many online gaming affiliates make the mistake of thinking that if they just stick up a site with tons of casino articles all boasting glowing reviews, they’ll stuff their pockets with a waterfall of commissions.

This goes back to a common theme of mine: we’re talking to real people here!

Your reviews are aimed at real people, right? These people are likely to be looking for a decent casino to play at. Imagine they stumble upon one of these ‘all positive’ sites, take their advice and sign up and deposit at some online casino, then discover they’re nothing but scam merchants with a terrible reputation! Not good huh? But that’s gonna have a knock-on effect on the site that recommended that casino in the first place!

And the last thing you need as an affiliate is a bad reputation. People talk, sites get slagged, etc. It’s far easier to have a good reputation to start with and build on that, than to try and put out a flame-fest that’s already all over the net!

So here’s an effective approach to help boost your reputation AND your commissions.

Review bad online casinos too.

Now you might regard this as a waste of time and/or money but think about it logically for a minute…

If readers come across a negative review on your site, they are more likely to respect your honesty and take your positive reviews way more seriously.

Just because you’ve put up some negative reviews on your site doesn’t mean you have to link to them! Just stick your affiliate links on the good ones and be sure to make it clear that you do not recommend the ones you’re classing as bad!


After all, how believable do you really expect the contents of your affiliate site to be if all you do is post one after another of all positive reviews?

This is the perfect example of where honesty will pay off for you as it gives your readers a heads-up on the dodgy casinos out there and gives far more weight to your positive reviews, resulting in more chance of sign-ups on the ones you do actually recommend!

Affiliate reviews, Copywriting, Language, Psychology

4 ways to commission-pulling affiliate online gaming reviews

How to get these right for maximum commission potential!

Affiliate reviews.

An effective approach to affiliate marketing is the production of a review site, where visitors can read about a selection of online casinos in an attempt to find one that suits them best. If the reader fancies checking out the online casino after reading the review, they’ll probably click on a link to join the casino, after which, the affiliate gets their cut.

However, something I’ve noticed a lot when checking out these reviews is they all tend to say the same thing…

‘Check out such and such casino, it’s the best online casino ever!’

Of course, that can’t be true for all online casinos out there so why is it so common to find all the reviews on one review site claiming the same thing?

With the marketplace of online casinos, bingo sites and poker rooms bursting at the seams, any edge an affiliate can get over his/her competition obviously means more commission for them.

So what can you, the affiliate, do to get that edge when it comes to your online gaming reviews, and end up with more click-thrus to the sign-up page, and more commission in your pocket?

Here are a few tips on the kind of reviews you should have on your online gaming review site and how they’ll help you pull in more sign-ups.

– Everyone wants something different

First of all, you have to realise that everyone’s looking for something slightly different from their ideal online casino and claiming that all the ones on your review site are ‘the best’ is not gonna achieve anything.

You have to go a bit deeper and think about what your visitors are looking for. It could be a massive first deposit bonus, a huge selection of games, one game in particular, better odds of winning than most, promotions that reward players of a specific game, a unique VIP program… the list goes on.

Potential online casino members know they have hundreds of online casino sites to pick from and it can be quite a daunting task sifting through them all to find one that’s just right for them.

So make this task easier for your visitors and get real about what’s really great about the casinos you promote. What makes them different? Why choose them over the thousands of others out there?

If you can make your reviews more specific in this way, you’ll be giving your visitors exactly what they’re looking for, increasing your chances of more sign-ups.

– Remember you’re talking to a real person!

I really can’t emphasise this concept enough. It’s sad to see online gaming communications of any kind that are aimed at members or potential members with absolutely no personality, no character, no style, not a scrap of human element to them at all – it’s like they’ve been borne of the computers we use themselves, complete with robot tone of voice!

Think about how you would convince a friend of yours to try dining at your favourite restaurant. Since it’s a friend of yours, you probably have a good idea about their likes and dislikes so you’d relate your dining experience to your friend in terms of things they also like. Maybe this particular restaurant has a knack for cooking the steaks to perfection and you know your friend loves a well cooked steak!

Chances are you wouldn’t be droning in monotone about something general that isn’t relevant to your friend in the slightest. How could you class that as convincing?

The point is, remember you’re talking to real people through your online gaming affiliate reviews. They have likes and dislikes, they landed on your site for a reason, they’re looking for something in particular, so tell them you have it. Don’t scare them off with corporate talk about things they don’t care about and don’t talk to them like you’re a couple of machines exchanging binary information!

Put some feeling into your reviews, give them depth and a personal touch. We’re all people and we all relate to written materials much better when we know there’s an actual person with similar tastes to ourselves behind the words.

– If you can, give visitors a special offer.

Many affiliates have at their disposal a special bonus offer they can present to visitors of their site as an extra incentive to encourage sign-ups.

If you have such an offer, make it clear in your review! Specify that it’s a special offer and that it won’t be around for long. Emphasise that now they’ve found their ideal online casino, the deal does get even sweeter with this great offer…

It could be that tiny extra nudge that makes the difference between trailing off to some other site or actually signing up. And we know what difference that can make in terms of your commission.

– Tell your visitors what they should do!

So you’ve got what you think is a pretty good review that speaks to people, specifies what’s really great about this particular online casino, puts the special offer up front and emphasises that it’s a limited offer.

So you slap it on your affiliate site and wait for the page views and click-thrus to start piling up.

The page views mount up, cos you probably already get a good amount of traffic to your site.

But those page views are just not converting into click-thrus. How come?

One vitally important addition to any review is your affiliate link, of course, but also a call to action.

A call to action is exactly what it sounds like. You’re telling your visitors what action to take now with one simple sentence, the shorter the better.

The problem is, if you don’t tell your visitors what they should do, they’re not gonna automatically know. You have to guide them in the right direction, make it clear what they should do next.

So something like ‘Click here to deposit and start playing’ would be a call to action.

That’s it for online gaming affiliate reviews for now. They can be a very useful way to direct people to an online gaming site that suits them, and something of a cash cow for those affiliates who are smart enough to do it right.

If you need reviews written for your affiliate site that actually work, get in touch and we can have a chat about what I can do for you and your commission. ;)

Copywriting, Language, Press releases, Psychology

5 ways to a more effective press release

Avoid the cobwebs, create press releases that attract attention!

Press releases.

Designed to get as much attention as possible from as many media sources as possible about you and your company’s latest developments.

Sadly, far too many press releases fail to do the job, instead lost in the mountainous pile of other laughably ridiculous PRs that someone took the time to write but never bothered to think about.

Don’t doom your next press release to the same fate…

Here are 5 tips on how to structure your press release for maximum attention and effect:

1. Make it newsworthy

This kinda goes without saying really. There’s no point sending out a press release if what you’re announcing isn’t of interest to anyone. Make it relevant, something people would want to know about. Remember, that’s not the same as something you think people should want to know about!

2. Make it current

One of the best ways to get attention with a press release is to tie it into something that’s already big news. For example, maybe you’ve just released a new version of your online casino software, which now happens to also be available to Spain residents. Angling the PR around the issue of Spanish licenses to certain players in the gaming industry will put your PR at the top of the pile. Try to find relevant articles in the news, stuff that’s going on right now, that you could tie your PR into, therefore attracting more attention to it.

3. Stick to the facts

Press releases are supposed to be informative and relevant, so don’t tangent off onto the subject of your sister’s cousin’s dog. For a start, no-one cares. For another thing, it has nothing to do with the price of fish anyway. Get straight to the point and keep it there throughout your PR.

4. Make it reader friendly

Think about who’s gonna be reading your press release. Mostly newspaper and news website publishers. They must trawl through tons of PRs before they find something they deem worthy enough to get printed or posted so do them a favour, make your PR easy to read. Forget the fancy business jargon and excessively long words, thinking it makes you and your business sound important and smart. What the reader of your PR wants to know is if there’s an interesting story in your PR. There’s not a chance in hell he’s gonna spend the next half an hour trawling through the Merriam Webster for the meanings of all the fancy words you crammed in there. As is a recurring theme when talking about effective copy: speak to people like they’re people.

5. Give it a killer headline

The most important part of your press release is the headline cos that small piece of text will determine whether your PR even gets looked at or not. The main content of your PR could be the biggest news since sliced bread but if that fact isn’t reflected in your headline, you can forget the mention of success coming anywhere near it. That doesn’t mean you need to cram all the details in there either though! An overstuffed headline will get as much attention as no headline at all – after all, where’s a reader to focus? Killer headlines come in all shapes and sizes but they all do one crucially important thing: pull the reader into the copy.

So there you have it. A brief rundown of the key elements of a successful PR.

Think about these the next time you’re writing yours.

Or better yet, have me write it instead. ;)

Copywriting, Emails, Language, Psychology

Forget features, it’s benefits that sell!

Write in terms of benefits to reach your readers

Features v Benefits.

It might not sound like much, or like there’s much in it, but really, when it comes to writing effective copy, you have to be absolutely clear on the difference between the two.

For example…

You’ve just released a new version of your online casino software. You think it’s pretty awesome if you do say so yourself. I mean, look at this…

  • HD graphics
  • Digital surround sound
  • Widescreen
  • Custom lobby
  • Multiplay options
  • Tabbed layout

…and so on.

So you send a brief through to your ever-ready marketing team with the instruction to just stick that list in an email and fire it out to the members – they’re gonna love it!

Right? Erm no.

The problem with those bullet points is there is absolutely no benefit referred to whatsoever.

You don’t want your members to have to decipher your marketing messages and translate your intra-company jargon… cos trust me, they won’t!

Write in language your members will get!

Make sure your email is in a language that your members understand and can relate to.

So the above bullet points are the FEATURES of the new casino software release. What you need to do is tell the members what that means for them… ie. turn those features into BENEFITS to the reader.

A more effective way of describing your features might be as follows…

  • Crystal clear gameplay – with top notch HD quality graphics
  • Hear the sounds of a real casino! – with digital surround sound
  • See more of the action – with widescreen
  • Design your own lobby – with customisable options
  • Play them all at once! – with multiplay games
  • Easy to find your favourites – with tabbed layout

These bullets are longer (but the bolding helps break it up) but they will be much more effective than the first set of bullets cos they talk in terms that a member can understand and relate to.

Think about what THEY want out of their casino software, not what YOU THINK they should want.

Take a feature and think about how it benefits the member. Then communicate those benefits to the member.

You’ll reach more of your members and inspire them to love your new casino software as much as you do.