Last time I tried to explain affiliate marketing in basic terms. Affiliate marketing is a huge topic! Here's more…
PPC, CPM, CPA…huh?
When we're talking about ads and affiliate links, there are different types of ads and sometimes, getting paid depends on which type of ad your site has. You will inevitably encounter a whole host of acronyms as you delve into the world of making money online — it's enough to drive one batty! Let's break it down…
CPA = Cost-Per-Action (sometimes referred to as CPL = Cost-Per-Lead)
Much of what I talked about previously would fall into this category. It works like this:
- You put a CPA ad on your site. A reader clicks on it and is asked to complete some sort of action such as purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, providing an email address, printing a coupon or subscribing to something. You get paid when the reader completes the required action.
PPC = Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Pay-Per-Click is different. As the name suggests, Pay-Per-Click works like this:
- Each time one of your readers clicks on a PPC ad on your site, you get paid. The amount you are paid (CPC, or, the Cost-Per-Click) largely depends on your keywords and how much advertisers are paying for those keywords.
The most popular PPC program is Google Adsense which is a cinch to set up and use. You simply sign up, walk through the setup process and paste the provided snippet of code onto your site. That's pretty much all that's required from you. Google will then "read" your site, match the keywords it finds in your posts with advertisers that want to target those keywords and then ads will automatically pop up on your site accordingly.
Chitika is another one PPC program. It automatically provides relevant ads according to your content.
CPM = Cost-Per-Mille or Cost-Per-Impression (sometimes CPI)
The "mille" here is Latin for 1000 and "M" is the Roman numeral for the same. So, some refer to this as Cost-Per-Thousand — thousand impressions or pageviews that is. It works like this:
- You put an ad on your site and you get paid a predetermined amount for every 1000 pageviews on your site. So, for example, let's say you are working with an ad network that pays $2 CPM. Every time their ad is shown 1000 times on your site, they pay you $2. Pretend your site gets 50,000 pageviews a month (and a particular ad shows up on every one of those pages because it's in your sidebar). That means you will be paid $100 that month for that ad because $2 for 50 thousands (times it is "viewed") is $100. Make sense?
When is PPC, CPM & CPA right for me?
Perhaps it's obvious, but all of these advertising options work best for sites with high traffic since they are all dependent on lots of eyeballs seeing the ads and either clicking or completing actions. Then again, that's the way it is with all advertising I guess.
Having said that, don't be discouraged. My recommendation is to try all kinds and see which works best for you. All blogs are different and all bloggers have different levels of success when it comes to the types of ads they use.
What if I don't have a lot of traffic?
Well, you have a few options:
- Increase your traffic. I've talked about it quite a bit.
- Use PPC, CPM and CPA ads as one of your many streams of income. Even if you don't get a whole lot of money, a little is better than none. There's nothing that says you can't start advertising now, even if your traffic isn't huge. In fact, it might be even better so you can work the kinks out of your system while your blog is still small.
- Do some research and find the campaigns which pay the most. For example, some CPC ads pay $.05 per click while others pay $10 per click. If you capitalize on the bigger ones, you'll obviously make more.
How do I maximize my profit from affiliate marketing?
I hate to sound like a broken record, but again, it's all going to be unique to you and your blog. But if you're stumped and truly aren't sure where to start, take a look at the bigger blogs in your niche. How are they utilizing advertising? What types of ads do they use? Where are they placed on the page?
Claire (author of Saving Money Plan and A Blog Job) reminded me to tell you to include affiliate links in your posts, not just in your sidebar. (This is especially true for you deal bloggers.) Write a meaty, helpful (!) post which includes your affiliate links and you'll get a much better response in general.
Ask around. In my experience, if you establish a good relationship with other bloggers (and especially if you are giving more than you are taking in that relationship), most are more than willing to share tips and hints about what has and has not worked for them.
As I said last time, never stop trying new things. For example, sign up with Google Adsense as I mentioned above. Then check out the Official AdSense Channel on YouTube for great tips, tutorials and info. Try other ad types as well. If you do, google "[name or type of ad] tips" or something similar and see what you can find.
For you seasoned affiliate marketers, what'd I miss?
Other posts in this series
- How to Make Money Blogging: Affiliate Marketing Explained
- How to Make Money Blogging: Affiliate Marketing Explained, Part 2