The Blogger’s Guide to Cost Per Action(CPA)

Dec 7, 2021
4 min

Most bloggers are used to being paid for posts. But trends are changing, and the CPA model is becoming a more profitable form of cooperation between brands and influencers. Why? Continue reading to find out.

What is CPA

Cost per action (CPA) is a model where an advertiser only pays for completed actions. With it, a brand doesn’t have to acquire customers or look for relevant ad spaces. An intermediary—a CPA platform that directly interacts with bloggers—handles these matters.

The CPA model is profitable for its participants because a brand or store only pays if a user performs a target action. This could be registering on a website, subscribing to a newsletter, filling out a form, or purchasing a product or service.

Under this model, the blogger is the performer and responsible person. The CPA model lets bloggers who want to make money here and now pick a brand from the CPA platform’s catalog. This drastically simplifies the task and saves the blogger time because they don’t have to look for interested brands and negotiate terms with them.

How CPA works

The CPA model revolves around 3 parties: a store/brand, a referral program, and a blogger (content creator).

The referral platform creates a catalog of brands it currently cooperates with on set terms.

The platform’s goal is to find brands that will interest bloggers. These brands need to offer a wide variety of products and be popular enough for bloggers’ followers to know what they are.

The blogger’s goal is to provide users who will perform target actions—orders or purchases—on the brand’s website.

CPA Marketing Explained

Here’s an illustrative example of how the CPA pricing model works.

After a blogger chooses a brand on the platform, they tell their followers about its products and services. The blogger gets paid every time any of their followers click on a referral link and make a purchase or order. Some brands also offer discounts through promo codes. To use them, users go to the brand site following the link they found on the blogger’s profile.

Depending on the brand the blogger cooperates with, their ultimate earnings may vary. If the program terms offer a $15 reward per user who applied a promo code when placing an order and 50 users do that, the blogger earns $750.

The key advantage of the CPA pricing model is that a blogger only has to create a post once and then maintain their followers’ interest in it to earn on purchases and orders made through the referral link.

Why CPA is becoming increasingly popular

The CPA market is only at its early stage of development, and this stage has its own rules. Though bloggers are more familiar with the pay-for-post principle, brands are increasingly starting to see CPA as the only model for buying promotion from influencers. The reason behind this is that when a blogger is paid just for publishing something, they assume no responsibility for the final performance, often leaving brands to lose money without getting their desired result.

Another reason why CPA is becoming a dominant model is the emergence of new, respected bloggers with active, engaged audiences. They’re ready to offer advertising services and get paid for what they deliver. Opinion leaders are confident in their recommendations and know what products and services their followers may need. Vice versa, blogs with fake activity and audiences aren’t likely to agree to take responsibility for the campaign’s outcome.

It should be noted that running a blog is often hard work that the blogger needs to learn how to do. In fact, a brand pays not just for publishing a post but for the blogger’s ability to attract potential customers by creating quality content.

What metrics and skills a blogger needs to earn on CPA

  • Social media reach. This is the number of users who will see a post.
  • Engagement rate. The higher engagement is, the higher the chances are that the post will deliver profit.
  • The ability to present a product or service to the audience.

Even if an influencer has a small audience, they can start using the CPA pricing model now. Moreover, small-scale bloggers usually enjoy more trust from their followers than superstars. When a blogger has only a few thousand followers, their recommendations are perceived as a friend’s tips rather than advertising, which can be a sales driver.

Referral programs

A brand and a blogger can work together using the CPA model either directly or via referral programs. The second option is more convenient for both parties because it’s easier for the brand to find bloggers willing to work on the specified terms. Bloggers, in their turn, don’t have to waste time searching for relevant brands and limit their creativity with contractual terms.

The most popular platform that acts as a single point where bloggers and influencers can access ad offers of brands from all over the world is Admitad ConvertSocial. It unlocks advertising budgets from brands like SONY, Mango, NIKE, AliExpress, iHerb, and other stores and services that pay for every order made through a blogger’s recommendation.

It’s really easy to earn on recommendations. To do so, bloggers just need to sign up on the platform and pick the brands that will be interesting for their audience. Once they add referral links to their content, they wait for users to follow them and place orders. The blogger gets paid every time a user buys something after following a referral link. Moreover, CPA helps bloggers avoid seasonal sales drops and secure a stable income.


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