(This post is part of the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge – Today’s post is brought to you by the letter M)
When you’re new to blogging, there’s a whole lot of lingo you have to learn, and some of it can be kind of confusing. Figuring out how to monetize your blog can also be confusing, and then they start throwing all these words and abbreviations at you until it can just stop you in your tracks because you don’t understand any of it.
Well, I’m going to try to explain it a little better for you today, and help you get on the road to earning money with your blog.
One of the acronyms you’ll hear a lot of is CPA, as in a CPA network or offer. It stands for “cost per action”. It’s a kind of affiliate marketing that many bloggers use to monetize, and can be an awesome income source if you use the right offer for your audience. There are several different ways it can work.
PPC or Pay per click: PPC programs are one of the easiest to do, but you typically get the lowest pay per action. All you need to do is get someone to click on the link on your blog, and you’ll get paid – usually a few pennies each original click.
Pay per lead: PPL means you get paid when someone clicks the link on your site and signs up for something with the merchant. A lot of affiliate programs (like ShareASale) offer PPL programs – you send your best friend blogger over there and she signs up for an account, and you get paid. She didn’t have to buy anything, but they know they stand to make quite a bit of money from her if she’s a good affiliate, so they pay you just for being the door way.
Pay per action: This is very similar to pay per lead, but they want the person to take a specific action. Often, it’s something like requesting an estimate for a service like roofing, or getting a credit check to see if they’re eligible for a loan or credit card.
Pay per sale: This one is pretty simple to understand – when you make a sale, you get paid. In some cases, you may have to wait until certain requirements are satisfied. For example, I’m an affiliate with HostGator. When someone signs up, they pay me a specific dollar amount – but they don’t pay me until that person actually starts using the account and paying their monthly fee.
A lot of people like PPS programs, because the payouts are often quite substantial in comparison with PPL or PPA programs. But it’s much easier to get leads than it is to complete sales, so even though the PPL payout may seem smaller, you could end up earning more in the long run.
So, why should you even bother monetizing with a CPA affiliate program?
Well, it can be an easy way to start making money on your site once you start getting a little traffic. For example, if you have a health blog, you can have a CPA offer on your site to a monthly healthy meal plan program. It’s important to offer programs that are relevant to your audience – something that interests them or solves a problem for them.
Finally, remember that this is the internet – there are products and programs popping up like weeds every minute. Avoid offers that seem too good to be true – you should know and trust anything that you promote on your site. Never get affiliated with a merchant that may harm your blog’s reputation.