CPA networks are marketplaces where companies allow affiliate marketers to promote their products and services. The counterpart is a commission per action.
The reward is always tempting. At a level to push some individuals to lie and deceive to get the prize.
You will find on the Internet a lot of people claiming that CPA networks are an easy money-making activity, even for new web marketers.
A word of advice, don’t take their words as granted.
I’m here to give you the ugly truth about CPA and maybe convince you to rethink your options before getting involved in something that may cost you more than money if you venture into it.
Just in case we didn't meet before, I'm David, and I'm known for my intense opposition to the so-called CPA networks. I believe that CPA networks are deceiving people to buy overpriced crappy products and services. Check out the dedicated section for my fight against that particular matter: This war of mine (vs. scams).
I will give you a couple of reasons to rethink your intent to promote any CPA offer.
CPA is for seasoned web marketers
This particular detail is what no one will bother to tell you. EVER.
You just can’t hope to make a profit out of the box. CPA is a web marketing activity. The later is more of a science than a lucky guess.
You need to understand what is web marketing first, how it works, how to build campaigns, target the right audience, use the best traffic sources and more importantly, have a consequent testing budget.
A specific knowledge that doesn’t come from just talks. You need a real-world experience.
CPA is highly competitive
Advertising, in general, is a very competitive field. When it comes to CPA networks, the competition becomes utterly ferocious. The first wall that you hit if you are new to CPA is you get to compete with the elite right away. They have proven methods to get on the game quickly, and they won’t exclude any lucrative offer.
The second an even more challenging wall is: trained CPA publishers cheat massively. And they use very expensive tools that newbies can’t afford like The most used Ad spying tools. They don’t only produce high converting materials and use the most accurate sources of traffic, but they also keep an eye on the market and copy ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING that makes a profit.
Most CPA offers need a landing page
Not all CPA offers will require a landing page. Most of them do, though.
Ideally, you need web design skills to build a convincing and converting landing pages. Some will argue and say that the crappy, flat sales pages still work perfectly. They are not. Maybe it was a hit ten years ago. But right now, if you don’t have a shiny landing page, you’re wasting your time and money for nothing.
If you don’t have any design skill, you can replace that by using the right themes/plugins for WordPress. But this time around, you will need to have a minimum knowledge to control those tools and structure the content efficiently. You can still use a web service facilitating that particular aspect as a last resort.
Ultimately, you can hire someone to do that for you on Fiverr for example for $5 or $10 tops. Just keep in mind that the more you ask for help, you more your charges will be.
To test a campaign, you will need something between 3 – 5 landing pages for the split-test. That’s $50 investment, and you are not yet even started.
Offers are most likely rubbish if not scams
For web marketers, CPA Networks is a permanent offers store. You’ll always find something to promote out there, and there’s an obvious reason why it’s so.
CPA networks were created to give a marketplace for skilled marketers to promote a set of products in counterpart of a commission.
A decade or so passed, and things are now entirely different from what they used to be. You won’t find any reasonable offer out there. At least, none that will make you a positive ROI if you pick and promote it.
Even worst, most of them are known scams and worthless schemes.
At the end of the day, you will find yourself promoting total crap and will probably make more enemies than satisfied customers.
CPA might be a quick money maker, but with a twist
If you are a skilled marketer and can manage to build stunning landing pages, CPA might help you get a quick money stream.
But keep in mind that each sale you do mean 99.99% of the time that you fooled somebody else.
It is up to you if you can live with that or not.
Before venturing in anything suspicious in my life, I always ask myself: how will I feel if somebody does the same thing for me? And depending on my answer, I choose to go with that particular thing or not.
I don’t want to be fooled. And any reasonable person will probably feel the same.
Worst investment you could make
People tend to forget that CPA is a highly competitive field.
All CPA offers are revealed on multiple CPA marketplaces. You are unlikely to find a lucrative offer that will be promoted solely by you.
And to make things even more challenging, you might even compete with the offer holder with some crazy restrictions like not using their brand name, keywords, and visuals. In other words, you are left to find something beyond the easiest road possible, and that costs a lot and have even slimmer chances to convert.
It doesn’t stop there. When venturing into CPA, consider yourself as a target or prey for all service providers surrounding the CPA industry.
Training programs and traffic sources are the worst.
CPA is not guaranteed. It’s a bet you take against anyone promoting the same offer.
Don’t be recruited for affiliation purposes
All CPA networks have their affiliation programs with a reward for the recruiter and a bait for the recruited.
Don’t be fooled by all the guaranteed plans, blueprints, methods and similar. Anyone promoting a particular affiliate network is most likely hiring you to get a commission. They get you into CPA knowing that you can’t pull the strings yourself without experience or a specific knowledge that they will never reveal.
Never forget that a CPA web marketer will do pretty much anything imaginable to get a commission. And that includes lying and deceiving newcomers.
I will release later how to spot those bastards.
More to come
I’m not done with my reasons to get away from CPA networks. All the above reasons come from experience, so, I’m sure that more will come with time.
I will update this article whenever I got something new to share.
You are welcome to share your reasons too. I’ll add them up if they are reasonable