CPA Marketing for Beginners: A 2021 step-by-step guide

Are you a newbie into CPA and looking for a CPA marketing guide? If yes, then this article is the right match for you. In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about CPA marketing from the ground level.

First things first, let’s thoroughly go through the following key points and begin your journey of learning CPA marketing.

  • What is CPA marketing?

  • The difference between affiliate marketing and CPA marketing

  • Reasons to choose CPA marketing

  • Pros and cons of CPA marketing

  • How does CPA marketing work?

  • Top CPA networks for beginners

  • How to get paid?

  • Final thoughts

What is CPA marketing?

When it comes to monetization, CPA marketing is one of the most profitable ways to make money online. CPA or "Cost Per Action" marketing falls under the affiliate marketing category. In this business model, you get paid for every action taken by your audience. These actions could be filling out forms, downloading an application, signing up for a trial account, or purchasing a product or a service.

Learning CPA marketing is easy. In the initial stage, you need to put into application the right techniques in the right place to get out maximum benefits. If you do everything correctly, you can earn from $0.50 to $20 per action as a beginner. However, some offers do pay you up to $750 or even more per action!

Let’s take the following example to help you understand CPA marketing in a more clear and precise way.

Imagine that you have a friend named Alex, who runs a gaming blog in which he shares his thoughts on gaming and new released games describing their features. After gaining a massive audience for his blog, he went ahead and created a YouTube channel in which he documents his gaming journey and communicates with his followers.

Meanwhile, a new company named “One Plus Gaming” which has just developed a new game and is looking for influencers to promote it and increase sales and awareness of their business. 

At this stage, Alex and One Plus Gaming are linked and connected through one of those CPA marketing networks. 

Alex, then, went ahead and started promoting their game through his blog and his YouTube channel. He, consequently, makes a commission from each sale or lead made by his audience. Users can also sign up for a free trial of the game. Thus, the “One Plus Gaming” company will have more sales generated through Alex’s referral links.

This method is called CPA marketing and is very beneficial to both parties. It’s a win-win business model. 

The difference between affiliate marketing and CPA marketing

In affiliate marketing, you only make profits when you sell a product or a service of another person or company. In other words, if someone from your audience clicks on your referral link and completes the purchase of some product of the particular company that you are recommending. You then get paid a commission. 

In CPA or the "cost per action" marketing, you get paid a commission for every action taken by your referrals. You don't need to make sales to get a profit. And that's the beauty of CPA, you actually get paid faster in the CPA model without putting in much effort. 

Therefore, compared to affiliate marketing, the cost per action marketing is much convenient for beginners who are not ready to go through the selling and convincing process. 

Reasons to choose CPA marketing

Now that you understand the difference between the two marketing models, you may wonder why you should choose CPA over the affiliate marketing model. Well, simply, because CPA marketing is :

        1. Easy to set up

You only need a website or any other platform with high traffic and a network to start CPA marketing. Finding the network and the offers is relatively easy. You'll find below everything about networks in detail. If you manage to have these two basic requirements, then you are ready to go!

        2. A High revenue model 

CPA marketing stands above the AdSense, banner ads, and cost per click on the value chain. So, it’s very clear that you will earn better with CPA marketing.

        3. A trending marketing model in 2021

Every business tries to increase sales and awareness of their product or service. So, companies tend to use many marketing models. It’s no doubt that the CPA model will remain the trendy marketing model in 2021 as well. Yet, what's good about CPA marketing is that you don’t need to fill your blog with repellent banner ads. You can maintain a cool blog while still linking offers to it. With that said, CPA marketing will continue to be a trending method or model in 2021.

Pros and Cons of CPA marketing

Before jumping into the next step, let’s first look into the Pros and Cons of the CPA marketing. 

Since we already discussed the advantages of CPA marketing. And in addition to the previously stated benefits, these are the pros of this model. 

    Pros :

        1. Offers for any niche

One good thing about CPA marketing is that there are offers available for any niche. No matter what your blog is about, whether it's about fashion, culinary, pets, travel, or anything else. You still can find offers out there to promote without any difficulty.

        2. No investment needed

You can begin CPA marketing with little to no upfront investment. In the initial stage, most people are reluctant to invest in a project without knowing the outcome first. So, this method enables them to start marketing without taking any risks in terms of investment.

        3. Sales are not required.

As we already stated, it’s not mandatory to make sales in CPA marketing. Thus, it is one of the most significant factors in this model. You will have no regrets failing to sell through your referrals.

        4. Unbelievable pay rates

You may be surprised to hear that you literally can earn up to $750 or even more through CPA marketing. If we take as an example, the leads of casinos, or bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges that give you the highest pay rates.

    Cons :

So, those were the pros of the Cost Per Action marketing. Now let’s see the cons of this model. Though, it's better not to discourage yourself by reading the cons since the beginning of every project is not always easy. However,  this guide will, for sure, direct you to overcome these eventual difficulties :

        1. Difficult at the beginning

At first, you might need to get accepted by some CPA Networks before you can start promoting their available offers. And as a beginner, it will not be easy for you to get accepted by top CPA networks.

        2. Higher competitiveness.. 

Since CPA marketing has become one of the most popular methods to make money online, there actually is an enormous competition in this marketplace. You will have to focus more on creativity to promote your chosen product. There should be something attractive and unique in the way you promote the offer.

        3. Limited offers

It’s a bit disappointing for some countries when it comes to CPA marketing. The reason behind it, is that the majority of offers are available for 1st world countries like the US and UK. However, the CPA marketing model is, currently, being wide-spread around the world. Hopefully, CPA offers will be available for every country in the near future. 

How does CPA marketing work?

Now, we reached the most crucial stage of this CPA marketing guide. So in this part, we'll focus on three main steps. We summed up the lengthy process into three steps to make it easier and understandable to you. 

        1. How to find offers and networks?

There mainly are two ways to find offers. With the first method, you can directly access the desired network website to find available offers and their referral programs. Hence, you have to check on each website separately to find the offers that match with your niche: Maxbounty, Clickbooth, AdWorkMedia are some few popular networks.

Compared to the previous method, this second method is easy. If you’re a beginner, we recommend you try this one because it’s much more efficient. What you will have to do is to check two biggest networks that collect all CPA offers and allow you to search and find the best offer according to your niche. 

These two biggest and most-popular CPA networks are: oDigger and OfferVault.com.  

You can filter your search based on keywords, price, category, or network. For instance, if you have a gaming blog or channel, you can select the gaming category to get the most relevant offers. The word “lead” in the screenshot above refers to the most common action taken by the users. For instance, filling out a form or answering a questionnaire etc..

        2. How to join a Network?

After finding your best offer, the next step for you is to join the matching CPA network :

You need to click the “join network” button to get full access to the offer. Then, you have to fill out a form. Please note that you should provide factual and correct information to get accepted by the CPA network. Be honest when you fill in the details as CPA networks are very serious about their offers not to be used fraudulently. They do track your conversions and if they find out that you misused their business. They simply ban your account. 

        3. How to integrate CPA offers into your website?

In this step, you have to be a little bit more creative as you’re going to add CPA offers to your blog or any other channel. Always remember to add your chosen offers in a more attractive way. For instance, some websites or blogs tend to promote their chosen CPA offers in their blog descriptions as being their relating useful tools. Consequently, their visitors tend to try them out quickly in order to check their features. And that’s exactly how you too can begin your profit-making journey.

Upon designing your website, you can then start promoting offers and eventually attract more visitors. You can either go with social media marketing, run PPC ads, or focus on SEO to increase organic traffic. 

Top CPA networks for beginners

Here is a list of the CPA networks that do admit newbies in 2021. Although it’s so hard to get accepted into those top-rated CPA networks, you can try out one of the following networks in an initial phase.

        1. CPALead

Since 2006, over 350,000 members have joined CPALead and the amount that has been paid to their affiliates is around one billion dollars. CPALead supports valuable offers for both web and mobile. It also has been ranked as the 40th fastest growing company in America by INC500. The special thing about CPALead is that you don’t have to wait for account approval. If you would like to try CPALead, remember that you only have to create an account and start promoting offers.

        2. FireAds 

FireAds is another network where you can create a free account. They provide offers from top-rated business companies like allegro, AliExpress, Zarabiam.com, GearBest, etc. What distinguishes FireAds is that they have a handy dashboard to track all your marketing campaigns. They have over 220,000 registered publishers. If you are looking for the best CPA network, FireAds is one of the best options.

        3. Adscend Media

Adscend Media was founded in 2009 and is based in the United States. Currently, they have offers for more than 180 countries. Adscend Media is a world-famous network as their offers are not limited to fewer countries. They, also, do not require anything to join as an affiliate. Adscend Media is one of the best options for beginners as well.

        4. Advendor

Advendor is another best CPA network for beginners in CPA marketing. They have over 300 exclusive and direct offers. They recognize themselves as a fast-growing affiliate network that has been operating since 2015. The company features winning situations for both affiliates and companies. And they also have a referral program to earn a 5% commission.

        5. Mobidea

Mobidea is one of the most used platforms in CPA marketing. More than 800 advertisers and 130K affiliates have joined Mobidea. They have a worldwide coverage that includes more than 200 countries. What sets Mobidea apart is that it’s a mobile affiliate network. They run subscription offers, pin submits, and app install offers. Mobidea is for sure one of the best CPA networks available for beginners.

How to get paid in CPA marketing?

We, now, have reached the most interesting part of this guide which is getting paid. As a CPA affiliate, it is quite easy for you to get paid by CPA networks. You can choose from different methods of payment such as bank transfers, PayPal, Payoneer, WebMoney, Skrill, Western Union, etc..

You are free to select the most convenient method for you. Yet, sometimes selecting a payment method depends on the CPA Network you chose to work with. Most of the networks have a wide range of payment methods. However, some others have only a few options.


Throughout this CPA affiliate guide, we tried our best putting emphasis on everything that a beginner should know about CPA marketing. With that said, it's now time for you to set your own goals and start cashing out some CPA commissions. Let us know in the comments below your experience with CPA, and we hope this guide is kind of a game-changer for you to make money online.

            Also check out this guide about Affiliate Marketing : Click here

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