It’s easy to create sharable content for vanilla niches. But how can iGaming sites produce kick-ass pieces of link bait?
There are tons of online guides showing how to build content and links to websites in niches like health & fitness, pet care and self-improvement. If you are in those niches, then your job as a content creator is a relatively easy one.
You just need to identify your competitors, see what content is getting backlinks and then skyscraper the hell out of it.
However, you will struggle to find much usable advice on how to write engaging, link-worthy content for more traditionally ‘spammy’ niches like casino or sportsbooks.
And oh boy – does this lack of inspiration show.
Check out the articles on most major casino sites and learn EXACTLY how many paylines Gonzo’s Quest has.
Let’s face it – this content is boring.
Now look – I am not saying you don’t need these kind of standard online casino articles. You probably do, if only to show Google’s algorithm that you are a casino site. But which decent external domain is going to link to these pieces of content?
Probably nobody, which is why most casinos and casino affiliates depend purely on low-quality, obvious PBN’s for backlinks.
But you don’t have to resort to JUST these tired old articles for your content strategy.
No matter how much your niche is seen as being spammy, and how difficult it might seem to build content which is interesting enough to get backlinks to it, you can do better.
Let me prove it to you.
I am going to list 5 proven strategies (with real-life examples) of how to create engaging content for any niche.
If you apply some imagination, these content tactics will skyrocket user interest and give you the opportunity to pick up some free, quality backlinks.
Let’s dive right in…
Create a case study and pitch it to a digital marketing website
Digital marketing websites like Moz or Search Engine Journal might not be particularly relevant for iGaming niches, but picking up a link from them can offer three big advantages:
1) These sites tend to have high authority SEO metrics (however you choose to measure those). Just a small amount of that link juice pointing to your site can really help boost your overall authority (especially if you get a link to your homepage).
2) Very few of your competitors will have such links. And as so many iGaming sites just copy each other’s backlink profiles, a link from the Ahrefs or SEMRush blogs can really set you apart.
3) If you can create some kind of case study around your site, and then get a big digital marketing blog to post it, then you should get both a follow backlink and some SEO-positive user behaviour. When readers of the study click on your link, they will likely spend a good amount of time studying your site, trying to work out how you made it so amazing. They might even click to other pages to see what other tricks you have up your sleeve. High dwell time, low bounce rate – nice!
So there are some good reasons to get such a link.
However, to get accepted by these kinds of sites, you do need to offer something genuinely worthwhile. A case study is probably the best way to go, where you use your site as an example of what to do, and what not to do.
You could present a before-and-after study of a site redesign, with data to back it up. If you can offer potential insights into search engine or user behaviour, then you will have a higher chance of getting your article published and picking up that all-important backlink.
I have done this a few times with clients, and in my experience, there are a few things to keep in mind before going down this road:
- These sites tend to have a long pipeline of content in the queue, so don’t expect to pitch them on the Monday and have it published by the Wednesday.
- Send them a synopsis of your content idea first and pick up some feedback on the subject matter. Don’t write a 3000-word dissertation then send it in. You want to know if your idea has some merit first.
- Pitch as many sites as possible, and if you get multiple yeses, then try to repackage the same article in different formats, or from different angles.
- Copy the tone and structure of other case study articles on these sites but make the content as original and helpful as possible.
- Try to make the case study apply to your whole site, which would then justify a link to your homepage.
Example of how to apply this strategy
Vegasslotsonline.com is a slot review portal which appears on the front page of most slot-themed organic searches.
At first glance, it’s hard to see why this should be the case, as the site looks pretty generic, and the info isn’t always 100% up-to-date.
But a look at their backlink profile hints at the Vegas Slots secret. They have (wisely) gone for a quality-over-quantity approach, building a small(ish) number of decent backlinks from relevant niches.
And Vegas Slots Online have also managed to pick up a link from Moz.com, using the case study strategy outlined above.
This casino affiliate site created an interesting experiment into how changes in the design of their CTA buttons affected user behaviour.
The user Bearodactyl presented the experiment in a professional way, with just the right tone, and successfully got that much sought-after follow link from a high authority site.
What’s more, the link points to the home page, adding authority to the whole website.
Well done to Vegas Slots Online and Bearodactyl!
Present visitor data in a fun way
This strategy is quite similar to the case study method but can have a broader appeal, and thus pick up a wider range of backlinks.
If you can present (anonymized) data about what your users are most interested in, or what times of the day they like to use your website’s services, then this could make an interesting piece of content.
This works best as a combination of images and text. If you can make a pretty infographic which gets the point across fast, then this strategy can work well.
Example of how to apply this strategy
The adult niche is probably the most difficult one to build free, quality backlinks. For obvious reasons, very few websites will want to give a follow link for free to a porn site. If you think it’s tough build links to a casino site, then say a prayer for those asked to do it for an adult one.
And yet, PornHub pick up tens of thousands of organic backlinks each year, including from some of the most authoritative news sites on the planet.
How does PornHub do it?
They collect visitor data, package it up in a fun way, do a small amount of outreach, and then watch the content go viral.
For example, every December the site presents insights on what kinds of adult entertainment were most popular in the previous 12 months. Online portals like Buzzfeed go crazy for this kind of content, especially on a slow news week.
Right now, the website’s Insights page lets you discover what kind of niches Scottish porn users are searching for (SPOILER ALERT: Kilts).
And PornHub also produces ad hoc reports based around current or recent events, which also pick up free backlinks from high-authority domains.
The fake nuclear war alert in Hawaii in January 2018 led to some rather…. interesting data, shall we say…
PornHub presented the Hawaii user data in graph form and so far, that piece of content has picked up no less than 383 backlinks (now they have 384 – see, I told you this stuff was viral!)
How could iGaming websites take advantage of this strategy?
OK, so maybe Mega Moolah isn’t as interesting as MILFs. But there are plenty of potential ways iGaming sites could use visitor data for publicity purposes.
In fact, bingo websites regularly pick up quality backlinks trumpeting the fact that 85% of bingo players are female (this percentage never seems to change, but news sites still love to quote it).
But I see big potential for casino sites (particularly affiliates) to use visitor data from restricted markets like Netherlands and Finland.
You could use visitor data to answer questions including:
Which kinds of slot games are Dutch players most interested in?
How many visitors from Finland visit your site, and from which cities?
You already have this information stored in your Google Analytics account – so why not use it?
You could package the data up in a pretty infographic form and use it to pick up backlinks (or at least, brand name citations) from local news sites which otherwise would avoid you.
If you write to Helsingin Sanomat and ask for a link to your top Finnish casino bonuses page, they won’t even reply back (trust me, I know).
But send them an infographic about how many Finns play at online casinos where they shouldn’t, which cities they live in, and what times of the day they like to play, and you might just have a chance.
Create (or order) a survey and present the data
A user survey can give you access to information which your Google Analytics data won’t tell you.
If you get your users to answer three or four short questions, you can then present the data in an interesting format and use it as link bait from a variety of high authority sites.
What’s more, the survey doesn’t necessarily even have to relate directly to your niche.
How about asking your visitors which Game of Thrones character they want to see sat on the Iron Throne in the final season? Since there is a GoT slot, you even have a useful hook to your overall casino niche.
You can even bypass your user base entirely, commission a survey from a professional polling company, and present it as your own.
The example below shows how iGaming businesses can ‘buy’ a survey and use it as a link-worthy piece of content.
Example of how to apply this strategy
Casino.org commissioned a survey of 1000 UK residents, asking them about their tattoos – where they have them, whether they regretted getting them, and various other data points.
This piece of content is marvellous. It ticks so many boxes:
- The subject matter is a divisive one (people tend to either love or hate tattoos) so it will definitely get interest, but it’s not too controversial (so that nobody will link to it).
- It includes an infographic with semi-naked people in it, and is therefore tabloid-friendly
- They managed to convince a University professor (who specialises in tattoos) to add his name to the study, instantly giving more authority to the piece of content.
- It breaks the data down by region, allowing their link-building team to have a better chance of picking up some backlinks from local news sites
- It combines data and text to produce a long-form article which is easy to read. The user metrics must be great!
What’s more, Ahrefs, SEMRUsh and Majestic all confirm that this article has performed exceptionally well in terms of picking up backlinks.
My pick of the backlinks is from the UK’s Guardian newspaper, who gave it a follow link. That’s one tough place to get even a nofollow link from, but thanks to this stellar piece of content, Casino.org managed it!
Approach your niche from a related, but slightly different angle
Affiliate websites in niches like sportsbook, casino and FX convert by persuading visitors that one provider is better than another.
But too many of them focus only on this kind of cookie-cutter review content.
This has two effects
- The only people who visit your site are people who want to be converted (GOOD)
- It leaves very little scope for any kind of viral link-building, so you need to either buy poor-quality links or invest in a PBN (BAD)
We have already seen how Casino.org created a poll on a completely different subject (tattooing) to pick up backlinks.
It has to be said though, that this method does have the disadvantage of attracting visitors who have no interest in casino offers at all. You will get a lot of traffic who will go no further in your conversion funnel.
If nothing else, your server better be able to cope with the spike in visitors, most of whom will never click on your affiliate links.
It’s not a huge problem to have, and if you get quality backlinks, then overall, it’s definitely worth it.
But there are also plenty of ways to create articles (or even start an entirely new site) from a related angle, so you receive more qualified visitors, sent from more relevant backlinks.
You just need to approach your subject matter in an interesting way – and that’s not going to be a discussion of why Bonus 1 is better than Bonus 2.
Let’s look at some real-life examples of sites in the iGaming (and other similar niches) already doing this.
Examples of how to apply this strategy
The SackRace.com is an ingenious and massively entertaining sports niche website.
Its single focus is on the chances of British and foreign football managers losing their jobs and then showing users where to bet on that (as well as anything else).
They have invested in journalist-level content, plenty of fun and useful graphics, and are always up-to-date with the current news. Once you know about the site, as soon as you think about a football manager being fired, you head over to get the latest stats and odds.
The Sack Race scores well in the SERPs for search terms like “Next Manchester United Manager” and is now listed on Google News, which obviously helps its high proportion of traffic from organic search (according to similarweb.com, they get 72% of traffic through this channel).
The site also seems to get a fair amount of traffic from football club discussion forums i.e. they are welcoming highly qualified and engaged visitors who will be likely to convert, as well as picking up relevant backlinks.
Getting listed on Google News shows what can be done if you have the right focus (and have the time/resources to update content on an up-to-the-minute basis).
Meanwhile, MessivsRonaldo.net is even more niche than The Sack Race. As the name suggests, this website is dedicated to the rivalry between Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
According to this explanation by the site owner, the website started out as a simple development project, but 4 years ago started making some decent revenue through Adwords.
It’s certainly doing well now, with half a million visits a month, over 20,000 Facebook likes, and has even picked up a follow link from the BBC website.
If these two players weren’t going to retire soon, then I could see a super-affiliate paying good money for this domain. Or maybe they already have?
There are still opportunities in the Messi vs. Ronaldo topic for great content. These two players are threatening to knock Josef Bican off top spot as the Greatest Goalscorer of All Time (GGOAT?) and there should be growing media interest in this subject in the coming years.
Moving away from sportsbooks, credit card offers are one of the most spammy niches of all, but the high payouts attract finance affiliates like moths to a flame.
This is a super-competitive niche with thousands of sites trying to rank for the big keywords, but Google’s MEDIC update has killed off the rankings of many websites in the last 12 months.
While there are ripe opportunities in this space, it’s still pretty tough to make credit card content pieces interesting.
However, the example of https://thepointsguy.com/ (TPG) shows it’s possible.
In fact, the content of TPG has very little to do with credit cards, focusing instead on the travel niche. They produce fantastically entertaining articles about the best way to use and earn frequent flyer points travelling from (for example) San Francisco to London. And yet TPG’s only income stream is credit card affiliate programs.
If you are in a competitive, spammy niche where it’s difficult to create interesting content, then why not think about how you can approach promoting your end product from a different angle?
The Sack Race, Messi vs Ronaldo and The Points Guy show the possibilities of taking a different approach.
Jump on a trend
The best ideas for creating link worthy content come from keeping an eye on current trends, either in popular culture, or by watching the news.
Some of this content can be planned months in advance, for example the around a new season of a TV show, or political elections.
Other news events come from nowhere, and you will need to move fast to have your content online and start some outreach.
Help a reporter out (HARO) is a service you can sign up with that connects you with journalists in need of an informed source. If you have a good content piece already online, it makes it easier for them to link to you.
The strategy of jumping on a trend can get you very high-quality backlinks and social media shares.
Examples of how to apply this strategy
Much of Paddy Power’s marketing depends on hijacking current news events and building a bet around it.
Right now, it’s all about Brexit. Paddy Power is offering odds on which country the Queen will be evacuated to in the event of a No-Deal Brexit, as well as whether the UK will run out of milk, fuel and avocados.
You can even bet on a repeat of the UK’s KFC shutdowns.
How many people actually bet on this stuff? It’s probably small, but the interest generated has gained Paddy Power tens of thousands of backlinks.
If you are running a sportsbook then you should be following this marketing strategy, as it is so cost-effective.
The best way for online casinos to hijack current news events is probably related to themed-slots. Game of Thrones comes back in April, and most casinos have the Microgaming slot on offer.
But even affiliates can take advantage of news events.
In fact, casino.org are using the Game of Thrones season 8 for a news piece.
As for Brexit, Latest Betting Offers have a great article on this subject, which is scoring well in Google.
Clearly, jumping on a news trend has a lot of potential, especially for the top of any sales funnel.
You don’t need to just rely on the same boring old content which doesn’t pick up backlinks. You can supplement your content strategy with interesting articles which can get very high-quality backlinks and significantly boost your SEO.