How to Make Money Online with CPA Marketing

Generate Online Income with CPA Marketing

Are you tired of slogging away at a traditional 9-to-5 job? Want to fire your boss and earn money from the comfort of your home? If so, it’s a good thing to learn how to make money online with CPA marketing. Trust me when I say this: it’s much easier than you think.

After all, which other business model lets you make money with startup costs as low as a few hundred dollars? All of that, while offering zero customer service and working flexible hours? Best of all, CPA marketing lets you earn money while you’re asleep.

Excited to learn more? Then jump headlong into this guide.

What is CPA Marketing?

CPA (Cost Per Action) Marketing is a type of affiliate marketing. Here the affiliate gets paid whenever they get a user to complete a specific action, such as making a purchase, signing up for an email list, downloading an app, or completing a form.

Confused? Here are a few examples to help explain CPA Marketing:

  • Lead Generation: Let’s say you have created a blog giving tips on insurance. On it, you promote an insurance company’s quote form. Whenever a visitor to your website fills out that form and requests a quote, you earn a commission.
  • Email Subscriptions: This is the most common form of EPA marketing. It involves a website offering a free guide in exchange for the user’s email. As a CPA marketer, your job is to convince users to give up their email address voluntarily.
  • App Installs:  The explanation is in the name. In this form of CPA marketing, the advertiser pays you every time someone installs their app. This can be interesting to make extra income by promoting an app related to your niche.
  • Sales: One of the most lucrative forms of CPA marketing, it involves the affiliate driving purchases for an e-commerce website. Every time someone clicks your affiliate link and buys the product/service, your commission gets due.
  • Trials and Subscriptions: Ever wondered why so many websites want you to sign up for Amazon Prime Video’s free trial? The streaming giant is paying affiliates a sizeable commission to get people to subscribe to its service. You can do the same by finding offers related to your niche.

Benefits of CPA Marketing

According to Influencer MarketingHub, affiliate marketing spending in the US alone is in the multiple billions of dollars. Look at this page for the most accurate stats for affiliate marketing.

With companies spending so much on their affiliate marketing efforts, shouldn’t you be pushing to get your share of the pie? Here are the top benefits of CPA marketing for affiliates:

1) Low Startup Costs

Compared to other businesses, the startup costs are pretty low in CPA marketing.

To get started, all you need is to build a small website that promotes a CPA offer. Next, you must invest in marketing tools that will send traffic to your website. Depending on your specialty, these tools can be related to paid advertising, social media advertising, or email marketing.

Even when combined, the cost of the above resources and tools is much lower than the startup cost of a conventional brick-and-mortar business.

2) High Return on Investment

Another good thing about CPA marketing is that it offers high returns on your investment.

Which shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, which other business lets you kick things off with a few hundred dollars, doesn’t need you to hold inventory, or saves you from spending on customer service? With some good strategies and hard work, you can quickly recoup your initial investment.

3) Flexible Working Hours

Since it’s an online business, CPA marketing lets you work from anywhere and at any time.

Additionally, you do not need to deal with customer service issues or complaints. Even if there’s a problem with the product/service you’re marketing, it’s the advertiser’s headache to resolve it. Your job starts and ends with driving traffic to the advertiser’s offer page.

4) High Conversion Rate

CPA marketing offers higher conversion rates than other forms of affiliate marketing.

That is typically because it requires a low commitment from the user, such as giving their email address, filling out a survey, or downloading an app. So, by not requiring the user to make a purchase, CPA marketing makes it relatively easy for you to generate an action and get paid from it.

5) Potential for Passive Income

Passive income isn’t a pipedream for CPA marketers.

To earn money while you’re asleep, on vacation, or doing other things, all you need is a landing page that generates consistent traffic and conversions. Provided you can do that, you can continue to earn commissions for months without doing as much as monitoring your pages and traffic.

6) Scalable Business

Compared to brick-and-mortar businesses, scaling your CPA marketing business is much easier.

Either you can increase your ad spend to drive more traffic to the advertiser’s page and earn more commission. Or you can include more marketing efforts in your campaign, such as influencer marketing or email marketing. Or you can hire virtual assistants to do the above for you.

How to Make Money Online with CPA Marketing

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making money using CPA marketing:

Step 1: Find a CPA Network

A CPA network is one that connects advertisers with affiliates. There are dozens of CPA networks out there, with Performcb, Advidi, and MaxBounty being my favorites.

Make sure to select the CPA network that is right for you. Otherwise, you may end up with payment issues, low conversion rates, and poor support. A wrong CPA network can also damage your reputation as an affiliate marketer, hurting your relationship with your audience.

Look for the following qualities when picking a CPA network:

  • An excellent reputation in the industry. How to do this? By reading reviews and testimonials from your fellow affiliate marketers. Make sure that the CPA network you’re choosing has a verifiable track record of success.
  • Boasts a wide range of offers. If you’re promoting technology-related offers, but your CPA network caters to the dog niche, you won’t generate many conversions. As such, it’s crucial to pick a CPA network that is relevant to your niche.
  • Offers competitive commission rates. Do some research and compare commission rates offered by different CPA networks in the same niche. Then pick one with a wide range of offers and a competitive commission rate.
  • Pays on time and has a reliable payment system. The CPA network you’d eventually choose must have favorable payment terms to ensure you receive timely payments. Otherwise, you won’t be able to maintain a stable income.
  • Offers a good level of support to its affiliates. While CPA marketing is mostly a seamless business, problems do arise. As such, it is crucial that the CPA network you have picked offers good support to its affiliates.

Step 2: Choose an Offer

Once you have selected the CPA network you want to work with, the next step involves choosing an offer that you wish to promote.

The success of any CPA marketing campaign hinges on the offer. If the offer is relevant to the target audience and offers a high payout, it can earn you significant money. Otherwise, if it’s poorly targeted and doesn’t offer a good enough payout, you may find it challenging to generate revenue.

Here are a few tips for selecting the right offer for you:

  • Choose an offer that is relevant to your audience. Let’s explain this with the help of an example. If you run a health and wellness website, you may want to promote offers related to supplements, workout gear, and training equipment.
  • Pick an offer with a high conversion rate. As you might guess, offers with a high conversion rate will be easier to generate revenue from. So, if you’re getting two offers with the same commission rate, start with one that converts better.
  • Look for offers with high EPC. EPC, or earnings per click, refers to how much money, on average, a marketer earns per click. If you want to scale up your revenue quickly, picking offers with high EPC is essential.
  • Always side with an advertiser of impeccable reputation. This will not only increase the likelihood of getting paid on time, all the time. It will also ensure that your audiences get high-quality products or services, strengthening your relationship with them.
  • Watch out for restrictions. Some offers may have traffic source, time, geographic or other restrictions that you must follow. Otherwise, if you violate those rules, your CPA account faces the risk of suspension or ban. Always read the terms of use.

Step 3: Create a Landing Page

Picked the CPA network and landed on an offer that resonates with your target audience? It’s time to create a landing page that convinces your audience to take action.

Here are a few tips for creating a high-converting landing page:

  • Keep it simple. In case you need a reminder, the main goal of your landing page is to promote the offer, not to wow the audience with its aesthetics. For this reason, make a landing page that is simple and effortless to navigate. I use this software to create my landing pages.
  • Opt for a clear and concise headline. Apart from being short and sweet, your headline should highlight the main benefit of the offer. For instance, if you’re promoting an AI writing tool, your headline could be “Write 10,000 words in 10 minutes with this powerful AI tool!”
  • Use high-quality images. The advertiser will usually have these pictures on the offer page. However, to stand out from other affiliates marketing the same product, use free tools (such as Canva) to make the image stand out.
  • Write persuasive copy. Want a simple tip to write engaging copy? Write for a single person. That person should be one who is knowledgeable about the product but who needs slight convincing to pull the trigger.
  • Optimize for mobile. According to MobiLoud, the share of global mobile web traffic is higher than desktop. In some markets, mobile phones accounted for 75 percent of web page views. It’s thus essential to optimize your landing page for mobile.

Step 4: Drive Traffic

Once your landing page is ready, it’s time to send traffic to it.

However, as anyone who has started a blog or made a YouTube video can tell, getting eyeballs on your content isn’t child’s play. You have to put in lots of time, effort and (depending on the method used to drive traffic) money for the same.

Here are the major methods to drive traffic to your landing page:

1) Paid Traffic

  • Who should do it? Anyone who has money to spend on ads and has knowledge of various advertising platforms
  • Who shouldn’t do it? Anyone who is on a tight budget

Paid traffic is the traffic your landing page gets through spending money on ads, such as Google Ads or Facebook ads. This method can be very beneficial if you have money to spend, as it can get you quick, targeted traffic results. However, it can be expensive.

Avoid this method if you have no prior experience generating traffic through Facebook Ads or Google Ads. Otherwise, you may end up wasting money with little results to show for it. If you want to go that route, make sure you learn on the topic before launching for first ad campaign.

2) Search Engine Optimization

  • Who should do it? Anyone who is well-versed in SEO best practices and is well-informed of changes to Google’s and Bing’s algorithm
  • Who shouldn’t do it? Anyone who is impatient or ready to put efforts into it

SEO requires optimizing your landing page to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs). You can either optimize your landing page for a specific keyword (i.e., best iron supplements for men over 40) or optimize the entire website for a broad keyword (i.e., best supplements).

While free, SEO isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Even if you have a high level of understanding of how to optimize your webpage, it would in general, still take months for results to show up.

3) Social Media Marketing

  • Who should do it? Anyone who wants to reach a large audience and has the time to engage with followers
  • Who shouldn’t do it? Anyone who cannot stay on top of the changing algorithms of social media platforms

Did you know that Facebook has billions of monthly active users? And, Instagram isn’t far behind. Twitter (X), which aims to become the world’s town square, has several hundred million of monthly active users.

Given the reach of these platforms, it makes sense to promote your offer here, right? Also, in contrast to Google Ads, advertising on social media will also help you generate a following, which you can engage down the line to generate even more conversions.

4) Email Marketing

  • Who should do it? Anyone who wants a cost-effective way to reach a highly engaged audience
  • Who shouldn’t do it? Anyone who doesn’t have the patience and/or skills to build an email list

As you might already know, email marketing requires you to send personalized emails to subscribers. This method can be as effective as search engine optimization, as it involves targeting an audience that is passionate or at least knowledgeable about your offer.

However, given the fact that building an email list can be a time taking process, many marketers opt for methods that yield quicker results. This is sad, because to this day, email marketing remains one of the most powerful ways to generate income online.

In case you want to know, I use the following email platform to send my emails.

5) Influencer Marketing

  • Who should do it? Anyone who wants to leverage the trust and credibility of an audience to market their product/service
  • Who shouldn’t do it? Anyone who doesn’t know how to find the right influencer or is incredibly picky about estimating ROI

Influencer marketing lets you leverage their trust and credibility with their followers to generate revenue. Also, since influencers can create content that showcases your product/service in a unique way, their followers will be more likely to take action.

However, in contrast to the above methods, measuring the ROI of influencer marketing is pretty trickier, but still achievable. Plus, depending on the influencer, this method can get expensive.

Here’s a website you can use as your influencer marketing platform.

Step 5: Track Your Results

Unless you’re tracking your results, you cannot be sure about the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. This is similar to throwing darts, hoping one would hit the bull’s eye!

To make sure that isn’t the case, here are some important metrics you should track:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Cost per click
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per acquisition

Different tracking tools can help you track the above metrics. For instance, Google Analytics should be on your bookmarks list if you use SEO or Google Ads to market your offer. However, if you’re marketing on Facebook, turn to Facebook Ads Manager for help.

Step 6: Optimize Your Campaigns

Once you have tracked the above metrics, use them to compare your marketing campaigns. Check out which channels are driving the most conversions before using this information to tweak your marketing strategy and enhance your ROI.

There are several ways you can optimize your campaigns, including:

  • Test different landing pages: Have you heard about split testing? It lets you test different versions of the same landing page (i.e., one with a red call-to-action and the other with a blue CTA) to determine which is more effective in generating conversions.
  • Experiment with different ad formats: Did you know that video ads are better for driving Facebook views and engagement, but images drive more clicks? It’s critical to experiment with different ad formats to know which one generates more conversions.


CPA marketing offers an excellent avenue to earn money online if you are ready to invest the time and effort needed to learn relevant skills. With lots of patience, perseverance, and a willingness to learn from your mistakes, you can build a profitable career in CPA marketing.

p.s. Remember to subscribe to my newsletter for more tips on making money online.

To your affiliate marketing success,

Patrick Viana

Online Elites