Affiliate Interviews: Jaume Lopez of Rahapelit-Netissa.com (Epicorns)
GAV: Hello Jaume, could you fill out the short form below so our readers can imagine your profile?
Name: Jaume Lopez
Hometown: Viladecans, Barcelona – Spain
Living in: Andorra la Vella – Andorra
Favorite Food: Spanish cusine
Must Read Book: I won’t recommend any since I am not into reading books
Profession/Job title: Online Marketing/CEO at Epicorns
GAV: Hi Jaume, first of all tell us and our readers as well a little bit about yourself, we want to know who Jaume really is? How did your career start in the industry? Since when are you active at rahapelit-netissa.com?
JL: I am born in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, where I studied and got the title of Senior Technician in Administration and Finance. Afterwards I started studying online but at the age of 23 the crisis hit very hard in Spain and it was very difficult to get a good job. I then decided to move to Malta and there is where I started working in the Igaming industry. First, I started working for a very well-known poker/casino affiliate within the Spanish market. 2 years after that, I moved to Cyprus to work as a Head of SEO, where I was working and living for almost 2 years. In Cyprus, I met my better half and we decided to move to Andorra, where we then started doing consultancy and creating affiliate sites, and that’s how our company started.
GAV: We know that you also have an international online marketing company, tell us all about it?
JL: At Epicorns we do a lot of services like SEO, web development, content writing.., but we don’t focus much into selling the services, since our main income nowadays is affiliate marketing and lead generation. We currently have over 150 websites in 11 different languages.
We are growing fast, and now we are in total 9 employees, plus more or less same number of freelancers (mainly for content). All of us work from home in different locations: India, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Andorra, Colombia..
GAV: Since there are thousands of websites and portals in this niche out there, where do you think rahapelit-netissa.com stands now and what is that plus that the other portals don’t have?
JL: With no doubt, I will say the variety of the content, we talk about betting, lotteries, casinos, poker and basically whatever that is considered gambling. That makes rahapelit-netissa.com a site for all kind of gamblers.
GAV: Which markets do you target with your site and why?
JL: We target mainly Finland since the site is just in Finnish at the moment.
We created the site since we saw that there was a gap. The market either targets betting, poker or casino.. all by separate. Since Finnish people are “gamblers by design” they basically like all kinds of games, and that’s where rahapelit-netissa.com stands out.
GAV: How do you see the online casino market/industry at this moment?
JL: It is still a quite new industry, especially in some locations and markets. In places like UK or Sweden the market is more mature and you can see that the game is very different.
What I noticed, is that there is a lot of new casinos, every time more, which is making the value player way lower and the quality of the support, CRM.. it’s every time lower and lower.
I think that this is happening because the big players in the industry makes money from TV ads, sponsors and so on, and they don’t take care much about the affiliates, that’s why so many new casinos are coming to fill this gap.
GAV: In your opinion what are the strong points of rahapelit-netissa.com and what makes it stand out from the other niche websites?
JL: The variety, you can find everything in one place and that makes it unique.
GAV: We have surfed your website and found some great quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or do you have a team of people writing for you?
JL: Thanks for noticing! Yes, we have a small team of freelance content writers, in addition to that my partner Nina Sparv is also writing and over checking that all content is properly written and placed in the website.
GAV: How about the online marketing and SEO of your websites, how many team members do you have, let us in on a new trend that you guys are following?
JL: In the marketing part of the company we are 3 people, and we basically divide our job by markets or countries. We don’t follow any strategy, we´re just focusing on to keep growing the sites with good content and get links from reliable sources. Like this you will always grow progressive, and with less risk than when using more aggressive techniques.
GAV: How do you manage to keep all the websites fresh and relevant, when a lot of fluffy and nonsense appear on the Internet non-stop?
JL: We have content writers. Before they were not experts in the area, but after writing tons of content about our industry they already became experts. Which is very important to keep the site fresh and with interesting content.
GAV: We are pretty convinced that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. You, of course select them by the brands they work with. What are your thoughts on how a real Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship should be built, and how not?!
JL: In here I think the volume and the size of the affiliate influences a lot. It´s not the same, a relationship with a startup than with a big corporation.
In our case, we love the affiliate managers that help us grow, check how to improve conversions, how we can bring more traffic…
GAV: How do you see the future of the online casino/gambling industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon?
JL: I think it will always exist, and every time I think it will be more regulated in the countries.
Regarding global.. I think it is already, and most of the world still didn’t even start gambling online, so in few decades I am sure it’s going to be truly a global business.
GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the online casino industry?!
JL: There are a lot of things, especially regarding the regulations. But the one I am going to say, is “trust”. Nobody trusts the business fully yet, we look like a bunch of scammers that do weird things, banks don’t give you credits, countries check what you are doing because it can be “suspicious”, most of online casinos are located in countries where gambling is illegal so you have to hide that you work on that…
I don’t think our business is what the rest of the world thinks, but that will take a lot of time to change.
GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer to newbies who are looking to venture into this majestic industry!?
JL: Take it easy and learn on the way. At the beginning invest in time, not in money and when you have a better understanding, then start investing in it. It’s not rocket science, but it needs patience and knowledge.
GAV: How about iGaming/online casino or affiliate conferences, do you attend any of them? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?
JL: I start going to conferences last year, so I didn’t go much. Since I don’t have much experience I can’t say which one is the best, probably in 1-2 years I will be able to answer that question better.
GAV: What do you think the chances are for Eastern Europe to become a potential gaming hotspot in the near future? Where do you think the region must improve upon?
JL: I think it will become a gaming hotspot, now everybody is in the Nordics and UK, once these markets are completely saturated, people will start looking more and more into the opportunities in other countries, especially in Europe.
GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, any favorite country or region?
JL: I would like to travel to Romania since I’ve never been there. My favorite country (from where I´ve been before) would be Poland, and my favorite city is Budapest.
GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe 🙂 ?
JL: Since I love travelling I would love to travel everywhere!
GAV: How about a favorite celebrity or a mentor, do you have one?
JL: I don’t have a favorite celebrity, but mentors fortunately I had a lot, so I can’t mention just one.
GAV: Tell us your opinion about the Gambling Affiliate Voice?
JL: I think it’s a great online magazine, the industry is growing and we need more sources to be aware of what’s going on in the market and thanks to GAV we are always updated.
GAV: Jaume, thank you for your time and interest, we wish you guys all the best!
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