Advice

Is Being A Tipster Easy Money?

(Last Updated On: October 26, 2014)

When I first started the Race Advisor five years ago, I made the decision to not provide tips. I chose to do this because I believed then, and still believe now, that profitable selections are only one piece of the puzzle that you need to succeed.

I’ve seen this proven time and again when punters join tipping services that make a long term profit, but lose their bankroll.

And, now that the Race Advisor is one of the largest independent tipster proofing platforms, I see it more often than ever.

So why does this happen?

It happens because, as mentioned above, profitable selections are only one piece of the puzzle to success. You need to:

 

  • Have a selection method that fits with your risk levels
  • A bankroll the right size for the selections strike rate
  • Bankroll management properly in place
  • The mindset to withstand losing streaks
  • Be prepared to stick with selections for an extended period of time even if they’re in a downswing

 

I know that, as Race Advisor readers, most of you will already know this.

But most punters don’t.

You don’t have to search far to find forum posts by punters saying that they should become a tipster because it’s easy money. Or that tipsters make money even if a selection wins or loses, so it would be easier to be one of them than trying to actually make a profit from your betting.

Through our proofing we see hundreds of tipsters selections every day here at the Race Advisor, and they come from all walks of life.

So, for the first time, we’re going to take a look at whether being a tipster is easy money.

In order for this to be a fair assessment, I want to present you with all the facts as I see them and then leave it up to you to decide whether you think being a tipster is easy money.

But, I want to make sure you know what my opinion is first.

And it’s… No, I don’t think being a tipster is easy money.

I think it’s much easier to make a profit from your own betting, if you do it correctly, than it is to run a tipster service. And here’s why…

To begin I want to look at all the elements that make up a tipster service. They include:

 

  1. Sales Page
  2. Payment Processor
  3. Contact and Terms And Conditions Pages
  4. Marketing Campaigns
  5. Membership Management (activate/cancel members etc…)
  6. Customer Support
  7. Daily Selection Finding
  8. Tip Delivery (either email, members area or both)
  9. Results Update

 

That’s nine elements that you need before you can get started as a tipster.

Admittedly some of them, once finished, won’t need updating very often. But on a daily basis you’re going to have to do everything from number four through to number nine.

And that’s a lot of work.

Let’s put some estimates of how much time you may spend on each of the regular tasks.

 

  • Marketing Campaigns – 2 hours a week
  • Membership Management – 1.5 hours a week
  • Customer Support – 1 hour a week
  • Daily Selection Finding – 1 hour a day
  • Send Tips Through Delivery System – 0.5 hours a day
  • Results Update – 1 hour a day

 

I think they’re pretty good estimates, but I’ve gone for the minimum amount of time you’re likely to spend finding selections each day.

Over the seven days of a week, this would add up to 22 hours a week.

Of course, don’t forget that the more members you have the longer you’ll spend on customer support and membership management.

So, you decide to sell the selections from one of your profitable strategies as tips. You get everything setup and you’ve just had a great winning streak so you want to launch your service while it’s doing well.

Where do you find your future members?

You might put some ads in betting forums, or ask some of the bigger websites if they’ll promote you and, if you’re lucky, you get your first 20-30 members each of whom is paying you £27 per month.

Brilliant.

You’re making £810 a month for your selections, which you were finding anyway. All you need to do is email them out to your members.

Of course, you have to pay for website hosting, member emailing facilities and payment processing. This is probably only costing you about £100 per month so you’re still making £710 profit.

Not bad.

Until you realise that you’re spending 22 hours a week running your service. That’s 88 hours per month.

You’re currently making £8.07 per hour.

That’s above minimum wage, but it’s certainly not the huge sums of money that everyone’s been mentioning tipsters make in all the forums.

And then…

You hit the inevitable downswing that affects all punters, profitable or not.

Most of your members aren’t like you, after all that’s why you’re here reading this blog ;), they think that as a tipster you should make them a profit every day, or most days at the very least.

Of course, you know this isn’t possible.

After all you only have a 25% strike rate which means you’re going to lose 75% of your bets, and you’ve clearly put all your stats on your sales page.

But that doesn’t matter.

You’re not winning now and your members start to leave until pretty soon you’re down to 10 members.

Now you’re making £270 per month, but your costs are the same at £100 so you’re only making £170 per month profit. That’s the same as £1.93 an hour over the month.

To get more members you need to do more advertising, but you can’t afford it because you’re not even making enough to cover your time.

Of course, this isn’t the case for every tipster.

Some become hugely successful and, even when they have a downswing and lose members, they have enough members who know they need to go through the downswing to come out the other side that it doesn’t affect them.

But, in my experience, this is the minority.

The majority of tipsters out there fall into the first category.

Have you ever wondered why so many tipster services start up and then disappear within a year?

Since we started proofing tipsters at the Race Advisor, we’ve seen 173 services close down.

Currently we’re proofing 123 services, which means… 58% of all services we’ve ever proofed have shut down!

Admittedly, a fair share of these didn’t make any profits for their members. And the reason for this is because the owners thought they could start a tipster service without being able to make a profit from their own betting.

But there’s a good number who closed down because they couldn’t get enough members who understood that they needed to follow them for the long run. Some of them made excellent long-term profits but within a year the tipsters realised that…

…they could make more in less time by simply betting on their own selections.

So what exactly am I saying here.

 

  • I’m not saying that there aren’t tipsters making a lot of profit from their members.
  • I’m not saying that it isn’t possible to start a very successful tipping service.

 

What I am saying is… personally, I don’t think that running a tipster service is necessarily easy money.

But I’d love to know what you think, so please leave me a comment below to let me know.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.

18 Comments

  1. Good post and something that I have been thinking about. I think it all come to how time efficiently one is able to do all the related activities. All time saved in activities other than selection finding means more (and / or better) selections.

    This post also acts as justification for various tipster management companies as they can take (against a fee) some of those activities out from your own table.

  2. I thought that I was a reasonable tipster until I started posting on a forum. Then with a few losses it was easy to become DEFENSIVE. My gambling now consists of various systems and of course MR GUT FEELING. I will vary the system if a loosing run is encountered.
    To be paid for tipping would certainly increase the PRESSURE
    cheers
    Bob

  3. It all depends on the type of money you risk on betting, if you bet small amounts, one or two pounds on bets it is daft paying out monthly fees as probably in the end on your own you will be better off. Most of the people selling systems are in it for that possible profit, I often notice sellers saying made £1000 this month but the bets are £50 or £100 a go, so most of them are really not worth bothering with in my opinion. Better to may buy programs that help you sort out your selections, again as long as there is not to costly monthly fees .
    In long term better to work on your own methods as there is no easy golden goose in anything, just my opinion.

  4. Hi micheal,

    your post on this subject is simply brilliant, i have been sitting on the fence for some time wondering wheather i should become a tipster. I have already as you have mentioned covered half the points, setting up of websites etc but was near to thinking its just not worth it. What i mean is i have found over the years that the main 98% of punters that lose is mainly down to mind set, i should know i was one of them. It took me a good 10 years of trying this method that method, god knows i must of tried hundreds and truth is i dont know if any of them worked because as soon as the losing run came…..i gave up and moved on to the next.

    Finally i picked a method which i was taught some years ago by a very well known tipster known to the racing public not too favourably, BUT saying that i have stuck to the main engine of the rules, watered down several others and the last 7 years have all been in profit ranging from my worst year of 60 points profit to my best to date being around 370. I Have to say though this comes with accepting the fact that i already put in a lot of hours form reading, accepting losing runs and over time learning to be very content with the overall picture at the end of each month be it a losing one or profitable one.

    Reading your posts on this subject to me is sound advise and one i would recommend to anyone…..happy punting all.

  5. As a punter with over 50 years of regular punting let me say that as usual Michael has ticked all the boxes and
    Bill and Bob also hit the nails on the head (and into the coffin!). I have a high regard for tipsters. Especially the lower priced end of the market. These guys have to work hard for failing and fickle punters who want a quick and cheap fix and no losing runs. However i am convinced that only the “industrial” tipsters with high bank-rolled clients (who can also sell to each other) will make money from selling tips. You get what you pay for and these outfits can afford all the costs Michael explains so succinctly. If i had the cash I’d be tempted, for i sure haven’t the time (even in retirement) for the input necessary to get round the occasional killer losing run. Best to follow the advice of Bob and Bill – who have the will….Sorry about that….Better Bill and Bob who are on the job….Even sorrier…but very old….and a Michael Wilding fan

  6. BECOMING A RACING TIPSTER IS NOT AS EASY AS IT SEEMS ESPECCIALY IF YOU ADVERTISE IN RACING PAPERS LIKE THE RACING POST,FIRSTLY YOU HAVE TO PROOF YOUR SELECTIONS TO THE PAPER FOR 28 DAYS AND IF YOU DO NOT SHOW A PROFIT ANOTHER 28 DAYS PROOFING IS REQUIRED UNTIL YOU DO SHOW A PROFIT.THEN YOU HAVE TO PLACE YOUR ADVERT WHICH CAN COST OVER £500 FOR A DECENT SIZE ADVERT WHICH REQUIRES YOU TO GET 25 PEOPLE TO REPLY AT £20 A MONTH FOR YOU TO BREAK EVEN AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE AT LEAST 10 to 20 POINTS PROFIT TO GET JUST HALF OF THESE CLIENTS TO JOIN FOR ANOTHER MONTH AS MOST OF THEM DO NOT RENEW THERE SUBSCRIPTION.i KNOW THIS BECAUSE A PAL OF MINE USED TO WORK IN THE ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT AND SAYS THAT A LOT OF THESE TIPSTERS FALL BY THE WAYSIDE AFTER A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME UNLESS YOUR LIKE ALEX GORRIE AND TOMMO WHO GET VAST DISCOUNTS AS THEY PLACE NUMEROUS ADVERTS ON A PREMIUM RATE LINE AND HOPE EVERYONE PHONES FROM THERE WORKPLACE AND LET EMPLOYERS PICK UP THE BILL.

  7. Hi Michael,you have pretty much nailed it on the head there. I do tipping and website management etc which is pretty much a full time job.
    Having said that, it isn’t a job, it is more of a passion and I don’t charge for anything I do which is probably even crazier.
    The thing is, if I can’t make a full time living out of following my own advice, then why should I charge others for it? If my advice is good enough to make me enough money, then why do I need other people’s money?
    My objective is to highlight the strategies and mindset for success and to do this through the delivery of service that are designed for creative approaches to betting.
    As a paid tipster, most people are on a hiding to nothing. They are directly in the firing line of people’s frustrations, anger and inability to rationalise for themselves.
    If people are paying for a tipping service, they also feel that gives them the right to hurl abuse when that one loser comes in.
    Personally I feel paid tipping often attracts the wrong audience. It also attracts the wrong sort of marketers, ie. those who peddle any garbage for the lure of quick paypal gratification.
    There are however many genuine people in this industry, you being one of those. The trouble is, a little dirt can spread a long way and while I do feel tipsters play an important part in betting, I personally believe just providing tips with no education value is a short term fix for cash but a long term route to nowhere 😀

    Thoughts?

    1. Great question Tony:

      If my advice is good enough to make me enough money, then why do I need other people’s money?

      In my experience this is one of a few reasons and they are:

      1. Tipster can’t get enough money on so they sell selections as well as place.
      2. The liquidity is massive and so they can sell selections to make more money as well as place their own bets (usually after placing their own bets).
      3. The tipster can find profitable selections but don’t actually have the psychological ability to place them and survive the losing streaks themselves without going off piste and placing bets they haven’t selected.

  8. Michael

    Another superb piece and ironic that I have been talking to my members about this very subject.

    With your permission can I post this on my blog page?

    Thanks

    Paul
    The Racing Horse

  9. Great article Michael, really informative. It certainly makes me realise some of the challanges tipsters face.

    My view is many people think being a tipster or probably more so a system seller is easy money because often systems and tips are rubbish, and the sellers themselves know this but don’t care. All they focus on is good marketing and sales copy to take advantage of people who don’t know better and buy such systems / subscribe to such tips.

    For example I could devise a system myself now and backfit results to make it look amazing. Write some great sales copy and setup a sales site. If you know what you are doing it doesn’t take long or cost much. Sell say 250 copies of subscriptions at £50 a pop and that’s over £12K of income for very little work. Even if you pay half of that out in affiliate marketing fees its still a decent amount. Do it 5 or 6 times a year and thats a good full-time salary for what in reality is probably only a months worth of work in total.

    I think that’s why people think being a system seller or tipster is easy.

    Genuine tipsters that follow your approach above I agree it is more involved, but i guess that is where Betfan and their sister sites have found a niche and handle the admin etc and make things easier for them for a cut of the subs.

    Anyway thanks again for writing, interesting stuff.

  10. Hi Michael

    How right you are.

    I have a site that posts 3 selections per race. Why three? I couldn’t hit a barn door from 100 feet if I was a tipster. The strike rate for the three selections is between 40% and 50%. It isn’t profitable backing all 3! I do break the selections down to four types – those between from 7/2 to under 10/1. Those above evens and below 7/2 and those 10/1 and above.

    Any selections where the favourites price is evens and below I place bet the non favourites.

    As Michael preaches – you must be objective with your betting and measure the success or otherwise of your system for at least 3 months.

    I have been producing my free selections for nearly five months. On the selections I produce those that are above evens to under 7/2 have given me a profit of 118.79 points net BSP. (Included in that figure is a loss of 45.80 points net BSP) Doesn’t this confirm Michaels philosophy?

    On my No Bet Races (ie place selections on odds-on races) I achieved a profit of 94.90 points net BSP, again this includes losses amounting to 40.72 points net BSP

    When I talk to punters in my local bookies the response i regularly get is – “I want to be told which to back!”
    Again Michaels philosophy is that you have to work if you want to be successful. Joe Punter doesn’t want to therefore he gets what he deserves.

    Incidentally my selections are free at formstats.co.uk. There are other selections (one lot could be described as tips but I produce them for Patent accumulators I back myself) Remember the Barn Door

    As Bob comments he changes his method if it has a losing run. Quite clearly I don’t believe in that as the figures above prove.

    Alan

  11. I would say you’ve got it spot on Michael. As a punter, I always check out all tips I might get to know and there are many that just don’t add up, as we know. I find your advice is based on common sense and is really worth reading and I for one would not want to be a tipster for many of the reasons you have given.

  12. IMO handicapping tipsters is at least as difficult as handicapping horses. I’ll stick with the horses. Never forget “Horses have horse sense, which is what keeps them from betting on people”.
    Appy

  13. Excellent post, Michael.

    I think the number one problem tipsters experience is the impatience and lack of discipline from their members. The dynamics of successfully profiting long-term from betting on horses are very misunderstood by the average subscriber.

    In fact I would say from experience that monthly subscription fees are absolutely pointless. It has been proven time and time again that the majority of the profits are likely to come from just a few months of the year. Therefore, what seems to happen with most tipping services is they go through good and bad periods. Winning and losing cycles don`t follow an even path. Your average subscriber really dosen`t understand this And often cancels their subscription before an actual profit is achieved.

    For example:
    A tipster makes a loss in January of 30 points, which is then followed by a profit of 70 points in February. Overall profit of 40 points For that two-month period.

    In all honesty, how many subscribers who paid monthly subscription fees would actually still be with the tipster in Febuary after January’s performance. Very few I would argue.

    Ultimately, these subscribers would have lost out on the profits. And then ended trolling the tipster on forums and suchlike. Claiming they lost a fortune And the tipster was a charlatan.

    It’s much better in my opinion to join a service for a longer period to allow for a realistic assessment of the long-term profit and loss swings. Trainers have bad months, proven systems go through losing periods, jockeys have good and bad months. Heavy rain can ruin a proven set of Micro systems, which had proven to work previously.

    The tipster cannot control the abstract nature of the sport, which is affected by so many uncontrollable variables.

    When backing horses you need to be totally steadfast, resilient and very patient. As you quite rightly pointed out with a 25% strike rate – you’ll be losing 75% of the time. Your average subscriber will have cancelled his subscription well before the profitable periods happen.

    It’s just a very unfortunate fact that sports advisory services have to deal with.

    Controversial, yes – realistic definitely!

    Definitely food for thought
    John Burgess

    1. A refreshing and accurate response regarding the average punter. My site (formstats.co.uk) rates 3 horses a race. When I posted the address of my site in an earlier reply I had a massive number of viewings. Due to the fact that I don’t tip this has now reduced to a much smaller number.

      In spite of the fact that I have an average strike rate in excess of 40% (61% yesterday) punters show no interest. If you had backed all three selections in the eligible races you would have won 16.08 points backing SP yesterday. I indicate which bets are profitable and quote 6 methods of how to use the selections yet it is too much like hard work. As Michael preaches – to succeed you have to do some work.

      Alan

  14. Hi Michael,

    Further to my previous comment above. I would like to share, an article Published by Christian Jackman. This hits the proverbial nail on the head from me. Regarding the 80/20 rule – e.g. 80% of the profits will come from 20% of the year.

    If a lot more bettors UNDERSTOOD THE PRINCIPLES explained in the article Below then they would stand a much better chanc Of generating a long-term profit.

    It can be read here: http://false-favourites.co.uk/blog/understanding-the-8020-principle-will-revolution-your-betting-why-tipsters-get-bad-press/

    thank you
    Jon Burgess

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