As online technologies continue to develop, more and more users prefer to work in a format that is convenient for them, without wasting time commuting to the office. Nowadays, there are many ways to make money online, so everyone can choose the field that interests them the most.
Particularly popular in recent years has been affiliate marketing – a collaboration format in which affiliates promote the products and services of advertisers. This is especially effective when the affiliate has their own website or blog with a large audience that can be interested in the client’s products.
It is important to consider that working with an affiliate program has many peculiarities and nuances, the lack of knowledge of which can lead to poor promotion results. To not get lost among the vast number of CPA affiliate programs and choose the best one, it is worth learning in advance all the details about the specifics of this collaboration format.
How the affiliate program works
If you are just starting your journey in affiliate marketing, you need to understand how a CPA network typically operates. Usually, three parties are involved in this mechanism:
- Advertiser is a client whose products or services need to be advertised.
- affiliate is a specialist who promotes the products of the advertiser’s company.
- Affiliate program is an intermediary company that facilitates interaction between advertisers and affiliates.
The essence of working in an affiliate program is that the affiliate uses various tools and communication channels to reach as wide an audience as possible and attract customers to the website or landing page of the client’s company.
To achieve this, a affiliate can, for example, place special links on platforms with high traffic volumes, create landing pages, run advertising campaigns on search engines or social networks, send newsletters, or use their own website to display information about the advertiser’s product.
Thanks to the referral link, the client will be able to track the amount of traffic that was attracted by a specific marketing specialist. Often, as a reward, the affiliate receives a percentage of the sale of each product or service by the client, but there are also other payment models.
If you work with a commodity CPA network, you will have access to convenient and transparent statistics that will provide all the information about the effectiveness of a particular advertising campaign. Such statistics help to avoid fraud and monitor sales in real-time.
Many affiliates prefer to work with advertisers through affiliate programs, as this provides them with several important advantages:
- The number of offers. In affiliate programs, a vast amount of goods and services are presented, so a affiliate can choose the category that interests them the most for promotion.
- Support from managers. A affiliate can always turn to experienced affiliate program managers for support, who will answer difficult questions, help choose the most effective tools, and provide assistance in challenging situations.
- User-friendly interface. CPA affiliate programs ensure that the platform is as comfortable as possible for affiliates to use, and all information about advertising campaigns is accompanied by convenient statistics.
- Risk minimization. Working directly with an advertiser is associated with many risks, while an affiliate program with a good reputation can guarantee honest cooperation and regular payouts to affiliates.
Like any other field, affiliate marketing also has some disadvantages:
- Start-up investment. If a affiliate does not have their own website, some communication channels may require start-up investments to promote advertiser’s offers.
- Unstable income. Sometimes it is difficult to predict how effective a particular advertising tool will be for promoting a specific product or service, and since a affiliate’s income depends on the traffic attracted, earnings can be unstable.
- High competition. The popularity of affiliate marketing is growing, and more and more affiliates are trying to promote advertisers’ products and services using popular traffic sources, which leads to increased competition in this field.
What affiliate programs are there?
The income of a affiliate directly depends on the payment model used by the CPA network. Depending on this model, the following types of affiliate programs are distinguished:
- CPV (Cost per View). The affiliate receives payment for each view of the target page or client’s website. Typically, this payment model is used when the advertiser needs to increase brand awareness or convey important information to the target audience, and the billing is done per thousand impressions.
- CPC (Cost per Click). Payment is provided for each click on the referral link that the affiliate places on various platforms. The client’s goal in this case is to attract as many users as possible to their website or landing page.
- CPS (Cost per Sale). The affiliate is rewarded for each purchase made by the user attracted by them. This model is one of the most popular in commodity CPA networks, and the payment often consists of a percentage of the cost of the sold product or service.
- CPA (Cost per Action). In this model, the advertiser pays for each target action performed by the user attracted by the affiliate. The target action depends on the goals of the advertising campaign. For example, it could be form submission, comment publication, website registration, phone call, or app download.
Most often, newcomers are interested in where to start in order to build a successful career in affiliate marketing. It will be easier for you to navigate and find a suitable affiliate program if you follow several key steps:
1. Looking for an affiliate program.
The choice of an affiliate program is a very important decision that requires preliminary analysis and comparison of companies based on various parameters. In order to make the right choice, it is necessary to pay attention to the following criteria:
- The amount of information about the network available in the public domain.
- The reputation of the company, reviews from other affiliates.
- The vertical in which the affiliate program operates.
- The number of offers available.
- The availability of qualified support from managers.
- User-friendly platform interface.
- The size and frequency of payouts.
- Bonuses and special offers for affiliates.
After you have chosen an affiliate program that meets your expectations, it’s time to register on the platform and obtain referral links for promotion. Typically, after creating an account, you will gain access to available offers. Keep in mind that the advertiser may have requirements for promotion conditions, such as specifying the target audience, required geographic location, and a list of allowed or prohibited traffic sources.
Taking into account the client’s requirements, you may commence promoting products and services. Typically, in a commodity CPA network, a variety of traffic sources are allowed, such as advertising on social networks or search engines, banners, forum announcements, email campaigns, native advertising in media or thematic blogs.
As you already know, the affiliate’s reward depends on the payment model used by the affiliate program and the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. Most often, the affiliate receives a percentage of the total value of goods and services sold, but sometimes the advertiser and contractor can agree on a fixed rate for a specific period. The frequency of payments may vary in different affiliate programs and depends on the internal rules of the company.
The aspiring affiliate needs to know that often it is necessary to wait for confirmation of a sale in order to receive payment. If the CPA network operates on a COD model, a sale will be considered confirmed for the product that has already been delivered to the buyer and paid for by them. There are many options for withdrawing funds: you can use a bank card, an e-wallet, or another payment method to receive payment.
How to make money on an affiliate program without a website
Many inexperienced affiliates worry that they won’t be able to start their journey in affiliate marketing without their own website. In reality, there’s nothing to worry about, as it’s possible to promote an advertiser’s products using other tools.
The most popular ones include:
- Reviews. You can leave personal reviews on thematic websites and community pages, promoting products and services using referral links.
- Personal recommendations. If your initial budget is very limited, you can start promoting products by recommending them to friends and acquaintances, but don’t forget to add a special tracking link to measure the results.
- Social media. Promote the advertiser’s product or services on your personal social media page, thematic groups, or create a separate brand page.
- Forums can also be a good platform for spreading information about the promoted product: use them to subtly recommend the product to other visitors of such websites.
- Paid advertising. If you have a starting budget for promotion, you can take advantage of paid advertising. There are many communication channels that enhance the effectiveness of paid advertising, such as social media, contextual advertising, banners, and other types of promotions.
- Email newsletters. If you have a relevant database of email addresses, create an email newsletter to convey information about the advertiser’s product to as many people as possible.
- Native advertising. Learn about the possibility of placing materials in authoritative media, opinion leader blogs, or thematic resources. Keep in mind that authenticity and relevance are very important in such materials.
Affiliate marketing opens up opportunities for earning money online not only for professional marketers, but also for newcomers. It’s best to start your journey in this field with an affiliate program, but in order to choose the best one, it’s worth conducting a thorough analysis and comparing the conditions in different affiliate networks.
Pay attention to the specifics of the advertised product, allowed and prohibited sources of traffic, effectiveness of different communication channels, geo-specific features, behavior of the target audience, and other details. This will help you create an effective advertising campaign and start earning money with affiliate marketing.