Why Pay Per Click Affiliate Programs Are Costing You Money

And the exact 3 things you can do to start earning more immediately

Years ago, the standard affiliate marketing model was pay per click affiliate programs (PPC).

This meant that affiliates would get paid from certain actions that visitors on their websites took. Clicks, impressions — things very easy to replicate inauthentically.

And that’s exactly what happened.

This made PPC affiliate marketing super competitive. Any dork with a keyboard and a pulse could run fraudulent campaigns and get bot traffic to perform those payable actions on their sites.

And advertisers would pay them for those fraudulent conversions.

Eventually, things tightened up and advertisers got better at catching these people. However, a lot of damage had already been done.

Nowadays, some people are still clinging to PPC because breaking into other kinds of affiliate marketing is intimidating.

Since PPC affiliates get paid for actions that aren’t related solely to conversions, they can put in less effort into optimizing and testing. 

But, here’s the thing.

You cannot build a long-term business with pay per click affiliate marketing programs. It’s full of low-quality traffic. Sometimes, only the affiliate themselves makes money, so the advertiser has no incentive to help the affiliate out. Or help them build an actual business.

It’s a place to build short-term relationships, not a sustainable source of income.

That’s why, when PPC was still all the rage, AdCenter went a completely different direction. 

Performance-based, cost per action (CPA) marketing. 

This means that an affiliate only makes money if the advertiser does.

On the surface, this sounds like a worse deal for the affiliate… but is it?

AdCenter account exec Jeff T. says:

Affiliates actually see higher payouts and higher earning potential. Both the publisher and advertiser are working towards the same goal, so it builds a really strong relationship that lasts. We’ve had some affs making money consistently for years with no signs of stopping”

If you’re struggling with PPC campaigns and aren’t sure where to start with CPA, here are our tips for transitioning into performance-based marketing.

You’ll learn:

  • Why goofy “follow your heart” advice is actually the best damn thing you can do as an affiliate.
  • The exact combination of skills every successful affiliate possesses and how to get them in a single day.
  • The single metric to focus so you can make sure shady CPA networks aren’t scamming you.

1. Pick the right niche.

You can save yourself a ton of time by choosing a niche that you’re already interested in.

Part of becoming a successful CPA affiliate marketing expert is knowing your market inside out. This way, you know exactly how to promote the offers in a way that resonates with your audience.

This is how you build a loyal base of customers instead of one-time buyers.

If you’ve never gambled in your life and you decide to get into the casino vertical, you’ll have to do tons of research to figure out how poker players think, what interests them, the problems they have and the things they want. That’ll take ages, and unless you immerse yourself completely in the gambling world, you’ll have a hard time selling to those people.

However, if you’re a total bookworm, you’ll have great success in the books niche. You know how to create a desire in people to read the latest thriller, you’ll know which authors have cult following and where to go to reach them. It’ll all be so much easier, more natural, and more likely for you to start earning quickly.

Plus, you’re way less likely to experience burnout because you’re actually interested in what you’re learning.

Pick a niche on a topic you love and that’ll show through in you sales.

2. Learn basic SEO and copywriting skills.

The thing about performance-based marketing is that it does take some skill to get right. Especially when compared with pay per click affiliate marketing programs. But that’s exactly what we love about it.

It tends to attract people who are serious about making money and not afraid of a little book learnin’. 

That said, our most successful affiliates have a good understanding of basic SEO and copywritng skills. 

They’re super important because good SEO skills will get free, red-hot traffic visiting your site consistently. Paired with good copywriting skills, you’ll be able to convert those visitors with ease and get industry-defying conversion rates.

And build a loyal following who evangelizes your offers to their friends. 

Which brings more free traffic to your site, which boosts your authority, which helps your SEO…

You see what I mean?

The trouble is that these are massive subjects that take years to master. 

Where do you start? And how do you know what you’re learning is still current?

That’s where being in a performance-based network will help you.

To be blunt, we only make money if our affiliates do. So, we’re super invested in helping them build the skills they need to make a ton of money in a sustainable way.

As result, we’ve built out easy-to-understand courses and content for them that specialize in both SEO and copywriting.

The cherry on top is they’re geared specifically towards performance-based affiliate marketers. who want to earn consistently.

Our exclusive SEO 101 course is designed to be taken in a single afternoon, and gives you the exact strategies you need to start ranking on Google ASAP — and the secrets to finding high-converting traffic who can’t wait to buy from you.

The Beginner’s Quick-Start Guide to Mastering the Basics and Getting More Traffic for Free

Learn from a specialized SEO copywriter who has over 12 years of experience and has written campaigns so high-converting, they smash the standards set in even hard-to-convert industries.

We share exactly why writing high-converting copy has absolutely nothing to do with being a good writer. And how you can write phenomenal ads, landing pages, email campaigns, and web copy that gets results in any language. 

How to Write Affiliate Marketing Copy Even if Your First Language Isn’t English

3. Keep optimizing and adjusting.

It’s gonna take some work to get your site or blog set up so you can start CPA marketing when you switch over from pay per click affiliate programs.

The last thing you wanna do is think your site isn’t effective and start all over from scratch. Or, wanting to change everything the second you discover some new strategy.

You can avoid having to do all this by staying on top of your numbers. 

In this way, it’s easy to keep upgrading the work and keep profiting from that initial effort you put into your business. 

That said, it can be really overwhelming to know exactly what to look for in your analytics, or how to tell if your numbers are even good at all. 

Is a 4% click through rate okay? I dunno, 4% sounds like a really small number…

Let’s demystify your analytics and look at the top three metrics that’ll show you the health of your site and campaigns in a quick glance. 

Conversion rate (CR)
This is the percentage of users who take the desired action you want them to on your site. It’ll vary based on what your advertiser wants you to achieve, but generally it’s a sale.

Conversion rates vary wildly depending on your niche, so it’s all going to be relative to your particular offer.

Generally, across every industry, the average landing page CR is 2.35%, with the top 25%  converting at 5.31% or more.

Use that as your benchmark until you get a feel for your niche and keep refining your content to increase it. 

Click through rate (CTR)
This metric shows how many people click your ad after seeing it. It’ll tell you whether or not your copy is working well and resonating with your audience. A high click through rate shows that you’ve nailed your messaging and created desire in your audience.

This is what you want.

If it’s low, try changing up your messaging or finding a new angle for your offer. 

Another way you can optimize your CTR that isn’t copy-related is to look at your targeting. The juiciest, most irresistible copy will never resonate if you’re targeting the wrong people with it. 

So, make sure you’re refining your audience and showing your ad to people who have a good chance of being interested in your offer. 

Again, specific metrics are gonna be relevant to your niche… a good rule of thumb for looking at say, paid AdWords campaigns is about 2%. Anything higher than that and you’re killing it. 

Earnings per conversion (EPC)
This is a no brainer. This is your single most valuable metric as a performance-based affiliate marketer. 

We really stress the importance of this metric because a lot of CPA networks use it to trick newbie affiliates. 

First, you need to know how to calculate your EPC:

Total earnings over a period ÷ Number of clicks for that same period

You can use this metric to ensure you’re making the most money possible instead of switching to a network that doesn’t get you the same thing. It’ll make an earnings expert out of you and make it easy for you to spot BS offers.

For example, what if you find a network who’s got the same offer you’re running except it promises a much higher payout?

Well, because you know your EPC, you can calculate if it’s worth it to switch.

If the conversion rate on that much higher payout network is way lower than the one you’re currently running, you could actually lose money by switching, even though the payout is technically higher.

All you need to do is perform a small test to make sure your EPC Is higher on the new network to see if it’s worth it to switch.

We believe in our offers and don’t use this shady tactic to win new affiliates over to AdCenter, so now you know exactly what to look for when you’re shopping around for a network.

So, there you have it. 

Now you know exactly how to switch over to CPA, performance-based marketing from outdated pay per click affiliate programs. That’s the first step to creating a long-term and profitable affiliate marketing business.

You’ve learned the exact skills you need to make it happen, and the metrics to make sure you’re on the right track. 

Of course, we’re calling you to action at the end of this article. What kind of marketers would we be, otherwise?

See if you’ve got what it takes to be an AdCenter affiliate.

We’re a long running (10 years in the biz) CPA network who is looking for exactly the kind of person who would read an article like this. 

Apply to become one of our elite affiliates here:


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