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Affiliate Profiles

An interview with Evan Ankney

Who are you and what are you currently working on?

My name is Evan Ankney and I am the owner of SportsbookScout.com, a sports betting analytics and affiliate site. Sportsbook Scout provides valuable betting content, guides, reviews, and more to the budding US sports betting market. I monetize it with affiliate links when people sign up at different sportsbooks.

How did you get started in affiliate marketing? What keeps you excited about it?

I got started in affiliate marketing with Sportsbook Scout, however, I have been involved in digital marketing for nearly 10 years. The move to affiliate marketing made sense for me as it is a great way to monetize my site without having to invest a ton of time in other things like creating info products, creating a subscription model, etc.

I am excited about affiliate marketing for a few reasons. One is that it complements my content perfectly. Affiliate marketing for my site just makes sense, it isn’t forced at all. Another reason is that the US sports betting market is very competitive, so the affiliate offers from sportsbooks are constantly changing which keeps me on my toes.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to a newbie affiliate marketer? And what is one piece of advice they should ignore?

One piece of advice I would give is to focus on the most valuable niche keywords first. If SEO is a key traffic channel for you, trying to rank for highly competitive broad terms like “best sports betting sites” can be tough at the beginning. I recommend targeting derivatives of that main keyword and starting with content around that. There is much less competition for these keywords and they help you learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to content.

One piece of advice I would ignore for newbies is to build your email list from the start. While I agree this is a good idea in the long run, I don’t think it should be a primary focus for someone just starting out. You should stick to the basics and focus on converting users to start, then build an email list next. Things like intrusive email pop-ups could potentially distract users from converting in the short term. Email lists are definitely a great long term strategy, I just don’t think it should be a big focus for people just starting out.

What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress in your affiliate marketing?

My favorite mistake has been learning what is important and what is not in terms of time investment. At the start, I spent way too much time trying to perfect small things that, in the grand scheme of things, didn’t really matter. Once I realized how much time I was spending on the small things that had little to no impact, I stepped back and started to look at the big picture.

For example, I spent what felt like weeks working on creating custom product comparison tables in WordPress. While the final product was good, I spent way too much time getting to that point. I should have learned what was “good enough” and moved on.

This mistake led me to focus on what got results for me: creating new content. Rather than making one affiliate page absolutely perfect, I realized that building out new affiliate content has a much bigger impact. While it is still important to make sure you have quality content and a well-designed site, it needs to be weighed against the opportunity cost of creating new content.

What is one piece of software or a web service that allows you to be more effective as an affiliate marketer?

I am heavily into analytics, so Google Analytics is a must for me. I have everything tagged on my website, so I know when people click on affiliate links, what affiliate links they clicked on, where they came from, etc.

Having this information is critical for me as it allows me to see what is performing and what isn’t. They say what gets measured gets managed, and I have definitely found that to be true for my site.

How do you continue to educate yourself as an affiliate marketer? What are some of your favorite resources for learning?

In addition to learning from my own mistakes (of which there are many), I am constantly reading blogs and listening to podcasts on digital and affiliate marketing.

Some of my favorites:

If people wanted to connect with you, where should we point them to?

If you want to get in touch, please reach out via email at evan@sportsbookscout.com. I read every email and would be happy to connect!