CPA marketing wasn’t my first choice. I confess.
I wasn’t sure, I could sell online and wanted to try something easy and quick. At the time CPA marketing wasn’t even on my radar.
My first attempt was monetization with Adsense. It was easy to set-up and it involved no selling, the best option. Or so I thought.
And I was really excited when money started trickling in almost immediately.
But the CPCs were disappointingly low, and I had no control over where my ads showed up. So I decided to try promoting affiliate products on my site. And it seemed like the perfect solution!
I could churn out a bunch of content about things I wanted to talk about anyway, and get a percentage off everything that someone bought after clicking one of my links.
I didn’t have to bother with selling, fulfillment, customer support and refunds.
But soon I found there was too much competition and the payout rates were abysmal.
Next, I created a YouTube channel, but discovered that unless your videos are extremely engaging, people don't watch them in large numbers.
Finally, I tried Bitcoin mining and found it to be a solid way for me to earn money passively while browsing my phone all day.
There was a problem with mining bitcoins.
The amount of computer power needed to mine Bitcoins was increasing and the payouts were getting smaller. I found my expenses rising while my earnings did not.
And that’s when I turned to CPA marketing.
What is CPA Marketing?
Cost Per Action (CPA) Marketing is an outsourced lead generation model where commissions, or fees, are paid when a user takes a pre-specified action.
These actions include filling out a form (could be to download a lead magnet or survey) , requesting a quotation for a job or purchase, installing a trial-version of a software/ game, or sometimes even making a purchase.
Why CPA Marketing?
There are three main reasons that I prefer CPA over other modes of earning online.
Fast set-up and start
The whole idea behind the cpa part of this cost-per-action is that you're trying to get people who come to your website to click on a link.
All you need to start is a web-page, a CPA Offer to promote and you’re all set. Ready to start earning in a matter of minutes!
Hands-off model with low involvement
It's just a heck of a lot easier to get someone to perform some sort of an action. There's no customer support you need to worry about. No physical products to inventory, pack and ship.
No need to talk to customers.
No fulfillment and tracking. No need to create your own products. No need to worry about licenses, reselling certificates, etc.
No worrying about sales tax, dealing with suppliers…
Higher in the marketing value-chain
The marketing value-chain looks something like this… selling your own product is way up in the value-chain.
Next comes consulting and training. Whereas Adsense and advertising revenue, earned through display ads, is right at the bottom of the value-chain.
Minimally intrusive on online assets
Another drawback of Adsense is that it tampers with the layout and feel of your webpage. Ugly blocks of advertisements appear on your page, and that affects the beauty you worked so hard on.
With CPA marketing you avoid such issues. You just place the links where you want and drive targeted traffic to the link. That’s it.
How to Make an Extra $1,000 a Month with CPA Marketing
A. Finding a CPA Offer
Before you can start marketing you need to find an offer that you like and can promote.
Where do you look for them?
These are the perfect places to find a great offer to promote. You can search by category, keyword, payout or country. And it’s easy to use.
The best part? It's free!
Example: Let’s say you’re interested in the weightloss niche.
So, you visit ODigger and enter “weightloss” in the search field.
You will see results like this.
Go through the list of cpa marketing offers and click on the ones that you like. Go through the details of the offer.
On this page you will find what you need to do in order to earn your payout. As you will see on this page, this offer only accepts leads from the US and they pay $93.50 per action taker. But you’ll also see other mandatory requirements: You need to be a member of GuruMedia to promote this offer.
If you find all the terms acceptable and worth working for, click to see their landing page.
This is the page you will be driving your visitors to. So make sure it’s attractive and compelling enough to get people to take action.
- Is it clean and attractive?
- Is it focussed on getting the action you want to drive people to take?
- Is it distracting people’s attention? If you find it distractive, chances are your visitors will find it distractive too.
How many fields of information are required to be filled by the visitor? Remember, the more the information asked, the less chances that people will be inclined to take action.
Also, more information that is required, higher the payout companies are prepared to pay.
B. Joining a CPA Marketplace
If you find offers worth promoting then the next step is joining the network. Click on the “Join GuruMedia” button to proceed.
Please note that when you give out your information, be prepared to be contacted on the contact details you mention in the registration process. For example, in some cases, you will be asked to mention your phone number, in most such cases the network will call you.
Wait! Did I not say that CPA marketing doesn’t require you to speak to anyone?
Was I joking?
I still stand by my statement. The only time you may be asked to speak with anyone is when you join a network. But you still do not need to speak to customers.
This is their process to weed out undesirable applicants. So, don’t worry.
Also, don’t try to impress them with big numbers, they aren’t looking for established members only. In fact, many networks do accept new start-ups. So don’t worry in that respect.
If you’re new to the cpa marketing scene, share how you plan to make it work. That is actually what the networks are looking for.
C. A Website to Fit CPA Marketing Offers
So far we have identified the offer that makes sense to our audience and our business and joined the network that is making the offer.
You now need to display the CPA offer on your website. Make sure you portray the offer in a legit and honest manner.
Now, you can still have a sleek landing page that looks like a million bucks, but believe me, it’s not required. You only need a simple page where you put in your CPA offer link that people can see and click.
To increase the probability of your visitors clicking on the link, you may make the content on the page related to the offer you're promoting just to give the offer a context.
But do not ignore design totally. It’s your brand after all and you want it to be good.
A great example of a website killing it in the CPA marketing world is nerdwallet.com.
They have positioned their website so well that they don’t appear to be promoting CPA marketing offers at all. All their offers are integrated with their content and tools.
It becomes a logical progression from consuming their content to using their tools and then clicking on the links.
D. Getting People to Visit Your Offer Page
Once you have your offer integrated into your website and ready, you need to send visitors to the offer. There are many ways you can generate traffic to your offer page. But some most commonly used are
This is the most common method. But it is also the most time-consuming one. For new websites, it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year for Google to actually start showing their pages in the first few pages.
But the bright side is, once you start ranking you continue to get ongoing traffic with minimal effort.
YouTube has become the second most popular search engine, after Google.
Many cpa marketers create videos and rank them on YouTube to generate traffic to their offers. Just make sure you’re targeting the problems areas of your audience and not making the videos salesy.
Social media is another popular channel of CPA marketers. It has great reach and amazing targeting capabilities. You can create a dedicated business page and group where you can get your audience together so that you can pitch your offers.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all popular channels. And if your content is more visual then Pinterest is also a good option to try out.
Make your posts engaging and share-worthy. This drives your marketing spends down and sky-rockets reach.
E. Getting Commission Raises
If you maintain a good rapport with your Affiliate Manager (AM) and have a decent track-record with the network, you can actually ask for a bigger commission and, in most cases, get it.
If your AM doesn’t give in easily you can always play one network against the other and bargain a better commission.
To do this effectively, you need to keep checking if rival networks carry the same CPA offer you are promoting.
If you find that a competing network is carrying the same offer at a higher commission, you email your AM and ask to match their commission, or if you have a good track record, better it.
In most cases, your AM will be reluctant to lose you and agree to your request.
And you have effectively given yourself a raise!
A Word of Caution
While CPA marketing seems a great option for beginners who do not want to “sell” anything online, there’s a word of caution to heed
It is always a good idea to check out a network before joining. Read the reviews on ODigger
If many people have reported that they had difficulty getting paid by the network, it should be a red flag for you. Check out the star ratings as well the comments in the reviews.
CPA marketing is one of the easiest ways to earn money online.
It is easy to start and scale. It doesn’t involve actual selling.
It doesn’t need you to create a product, invest in customer support, handle deliveries, manage inventories, interact with suppliers or even handle refunds.
Only you need to be careful while choosing the network to work with.
Check the reviews before signing up.
That's it. Now it's your turn. All the best!