An internet marketer promoting their latest CPAGrip download.

I’ve been involved in CPA content locking since 2012. It’s a simple and effective business model, that works out of the box.

The key attraction to this is the freedom to work on what you’re interested in–provided you have a little creativity.

This guide will take you through the whole process, step-by-step. But there a few things you need understand.

What is CPA?

CPA (cost per action) is a form of internet marketing. Marketing products and services, on the internet. It’s easier than it sounds.

To put it simply:

There are four components.

  • CPA networks. Where advertisers and publishers come together.
  • Advertisers. They pay for promotion of their products and services.
  • Publishers. They earn money by promoting advertiser’s products and services
  • Leads. People that buy into–or complete some action towards buying into–a product or service.

Great, how do I start?

Firstly you need to sign-up to a CPA network. A CPA network is a site that matches CPA offers with publishers willing to promote them. My favourite is CPAGrip.

Sign up to CPAGrip. Click the link–I earn a referral commission as a reward for teaching you. There is no loss to you. I will support you as thanks; message me whenever or leave a comment.

WTF are CPA offers and actions?

CPA offers are come in multiple forms: Giveaways, products, downloadables, services.

Advertisers pay for actions to be complete on their offer. Publishers drive people to the offers, and get paid when people complete an action.

Actions are simple tasks:

  • Entering a giveaway
  • Downloading a mobile app
  • Completing a survey
  • Signing up for a freebie
  • Inputting an email address

Action completed = Offer completed

Offer completed = You (the publisher) get paid.

For example:

An app developer pays $10 for each install of a mobile application. You share the link with your friends. They like mobile apps. You earn $10 for each one that downloads it. Simple.
image 20
A screenshot of the category filter on CPAGrip. This filter allows you to search for offers based on the action required to complete it.

How does the content locking part work?

CPA content locking is a way of promoting offers.

Publishers create content. Then they lock it with tools provided by a CPA network.

The locked content is then shared with people through various means: social media, video marketing, email marketing, paid ads, etc. Its a form of incentivised marketing.

People are prompted to complete the offers because they will unlock the content they’re looking for; there is incentive to complete the offers.


You write an article. And it’s titled: “5 Sites where you can watch ‘The Wolf of Wall Street'”.

You post the article on a blog that you’ve set up. Takes 5 minutes–simple blog, simple content.

Then, you use a content locker to “lock” the page.

Future readers must then unlock the page to watch the movie; you’ve probably come across similar sites before.

To unlock the page, they complete an offer. They opt to join a free sweepstake, the page unlocks; you earn $3, they get to watch their movie.


Diving deeper into content lockers

Content lockers are really easy to use.

If you joined CPAGrip, it’s even easier. They’ve got loads of free, premade content lockers that you can use.

The lockers tend take the shape of a popover. But, more recently, many content lockers are entire pages.

image 47
Generating a content locker on CPAGrip. This locker will pop-over web content I’ve created.
  • To lock an entire page: you copy and paste some JavaScript code.
  • To lock a link: you can simply link to a locked landing page–easiest route. I prefer this.

What is the best CPA content locking network?

If you’re a beginner, and you’re looking to get into CPA content locking, I would suggest you join CPAGrip.

I’ve mentioned it at least 9000 times.

They’re one of the best CPA content locking networks around.

They have a whole host features. File lockers, URL lockers, offer walls and more.

CPAGrip review

When you think “content locking”, you should be thinking CPAGrip. You can use them for direct offers too, but we won’t cover that in this.

I would strongly recommend this network simply on the basis that the site is simple and intuitive.

At some point you’re going to use them for the first time. And you’re not going to understand everything. So having a simple interface is critical. Fortunately CPAGrip does.

Is CPAGrip legit?

Yes, I’ve been with CPAGrip since 2014. They’ve never missed a payment.

They have highly competitive rates on their offers and have a super-user-friendly dashboard.

CPAGrip payment proof

CPAGrip payment proof showing multiple received PayPal payments.

Okay it’s not millions but it’s proof. Paid, by PayPal, withdrawn, to bank account, repeatedly.

You can easily exceed these numbers.

What features does CPAGrip have?

  • Page lockers. Locks full pages, articles, sites.
  • URL/File lockers. Perfect for downloads and sharing links.
  • Offer Walls. Non-incentivised offers. Just because the giveaways are good.
  • Virtual Currency lockers. For getting people to complete multiple offers; great for trading effort for content you’d otherwise sell.
  • Referral program. You can earn commissions by teaching your friends to make money with CPAGrip (as I am doing in this guide).
  • Chat room. Once you’ve signed up, you can: ask questions, contact others publishers, discuss CPA marketing content with the rest of the community. This is a very powerful tool that you should that advantage of.

How to make money with CPA content locking?

This is the juicy bit.


Let’s say that start a YouTube channel devoted to gaming content.

You make a video giving away some sort of mod or hack for a game. A minecraft plugin. It makes Pokemon spawn, or something similar.

To profit from this, you lock the link required to get it, and put the newly locked link into the video description.

You’re then paid anywhere between $1-20+ per download.

Dependent on the offers available on the network at the time. You could earn more. But generally, expect to earn around $2-5. Most people opt for email submits, which pay in this region.

The trend is your friend

Make sure you read this part. I’ll save you a months of wasted time.

Avoid evergreen niches. Most people go for evergreen niches when they first start out in CPA content locking. But unless you’re a natural, it’s unlikely that you’re going to outplay the weight-loss, dieting, and acne-treatment tutorial heavyweights with your CPA geared content.

Evergreen niches are hard, they’re extremely saturated.

Evergreen niches are niches such as weight-loss, relationship advice, acne treatment. Niches that basically don’t die.

To make your life easier, and more profitable, you should target trending niches instead.

Trending niches are easier to find. They’ll pull huge traffic initially, but will drop off over time. This is okay though, as beginner you should churn and burn to learn.

Finding trending niches

Trending niches are topics/products that are really popular at present, such as things in the news, on TV, or season-specific.

The News provides a fantastic source of trending niches, keep your eyes on the news and when breaking news comes out about some software, concept, or person, then create some relevant content, this could be: an eBook on how to get, achieve or create the content; a set of artwork you’ve created; a competition page to win the item; absolutely anything that you could potentially lock.

If you want to find the very hottest content on the internet, then you should check out Google Trends, it highlights the most searched for content each and every day, and it has a tonne of statistics to.

Research the demand

There’s no point entering a niche if there’s no demand (traffic) for it, unless of course, you’re going to create the demand (which is hard).

It’s better to use tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner to decide how many people are searching for content on the internet. This tool allows you to type in a certain keyword and it will show you how many people are searching for it per month.

I’ll discuss later on how you’ll rank your website on Google so that you can start feeding that traffic to your lockers.

Once you’ve got a good idea for a niche that you want to enter, you’re going to need somewhere to start putting your content.

Start a WordPress site

Once you’ve found yourself a killer niche that’s got some obvious demand and great potential gap for traffic, you can set up a simple blog.

This isn’t vital to CPA content locking, but I strongly advise it.

Check out NameCheap; they offer a really cheap, quick to set up service that’ll have you running in the next 5 minutes.

A simple, effective method to create lockable content

Read this if you don’t know how to lock your files with CPAGrip yet. You can’t do CPA content locking if you don’t know how to lock your content.

Information products are that easiest things for you to start distributing and locking.

  • eBooks
  • Video Guides
  • Audiobooks

You can distribute anything: software, videos, music, art, but for now, I’ll recommend information products.

You’re probably thinking “I don’t know how to write an eBook” or “I don’t anything about weight-loss”. Writing an e-book is simple. You can write-up a document in Microsoft Word–or any word processing alternative–and export the file as a .pdf file.

And there you have it, your e-book is ready to go. The majority of the content you need to create an eBook is readily available on the internet.

For example, if were to create the eBook I’d simply pull information from sources such as:

  • 16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast –
  • Drop 5 Pounds in a Week –
  • How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science –

These sources are all reputable sources and most people would have no problem rewriting some of the given points.

If it were a chore, provides a great platform for you to pay expert freelancers to do the writing for you. A 1000-2000 word passage would only cost in the region of $10-30 tops.

How to make an attractive information product

The trick to CPA content locking is making a product look likes it worthwhile. People love information products; there’s a proven dopamine boost that occurs when learning something new. Make an attractive product.

I mentioned earlier that you can make an eBook by writing a Word document and saving it as a pdf … It really is as simple as that. Let’s theorize that you’ve start a diet website. And you call it “”. Now you need to create a product with a catchy name.

“How To Get Ripped: 9 Simple Expert-Verified Methods”.

Next I’ll Google “how to get ripped”, and I’ll open the top few articles. Each article will have a few methods on how to get ripped.

Grab your 9 favorite methods, and rewrite them into your word document. Throw in a copyright disclaimer so you can sue anyone that distributes your eBook without your consent. Here’s some copy and paste copyright disclaimers.

Finally, save your product as a .pdf. Upload your book to a file-host such as Zippyshare or Mega. Make sure that you set your upload to Private so that your link isn’t put onto Google.

Find hot content within your niche

The same way you found your trending niche, you need to use Google Trends to find what’s hot. If you’ve started a dieting site, you could look for celebrities in the news that look especially attractive. Using their name as the selling point, you could then put out a new eBook could “5 Ways To Get Slim: Like Kim K at VMAs” or something like that!

Driving Traffic to your locked content

So you’ve got your site up, you’ve written a little information about your product and you’ve locked the download link for people who want it.

Next, you need some traffic. This is hard for many. But there are good methods.

Submit your content to search engines

First of all, you need to submit your site the search engines. Otherwise, people can’t find you. Here’s a list you should use when CPA content locking!

  • Google Submit URL
  • Bing Submit URL
  • Yandex Submit URL

If you go through each search engines’ webmasters dashboard then you’ll also be able to submit your sitemap, this has a number of benefits.

Share your content on social media

Create pages on social media. Most people are on Social Media. So put yourself out here. Simple.

Now, the first obvious few are: Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. However, Pinterest is fantastic too. It’s great for pictures especially.

Any good site or reputable business will have a social media account, it’s an incredibly overlooked SEO indicator. This is a great tool for keeping in touch with your customers, they can follow you, share your content and it helps you to rank better on search engines.

Beware that CPA content locking may not be looked upon favorably by social media sites; so create a website with lockers; don’t direct link a locked file or URL.

Post videos on YouTube

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It’s bigger than AOL, Bing and Yahoo.

Videos are great tools for CPA marketers. You can influence your viewers. Influence them to buy things. More importantly, you can tell them about how your fantastic diet e-book is available for free when they sign-up for a simple offer. People love free stuff, right? Right.

If you’ve never made a video before, then pick one up for $5 from $5 is pennies to pay for a high-quality video with a voice-over. Especially when you could make more than that after one download!

It’s important that you optimize your YouTube videos. Read this article I wrote on how to rank YouTube videos quickly and effectively.

Boost your YouTube views, build social proof

This is the most important part of getting traffic when CPA content locking.

Boost your social signals.

You need to increase views, boost your subscribers and likes, and increase the number of comments. The best place for this is SEOClerks.

You can get YouTube packages including a few 1000 views, 100s of subscribers, 100s of comments, and likes for $1-5. A measly investment to rank your YouTube videos #1 for the keyword that you’re aiming to tackle.

There are also other services available where the sellers will boost your site to the first page of Google, this obviously presents a very strong possibility to make money.

Optimizing your earnings

Once your traffic starts rolling and you start making some money, then you need optimize your offers. With CPA content locking, the money is earned whenever your user completes. Make sure you’re getting the most money for each unlock. You don’t want to end-up being paid pennies when you could be earning dollars for each download.

Scale up

Once you’ve put all of this into practice, you need to repeat. £1000 a month means you need approx 500 CPA leads per month (at $2 per lead). That’s just over 10 per day. If you have 10 CPA sites that only convert one person per day, you’re on the right track.


  1. Nice article but be honest, NOBODY is going through a survey for crappy content (*and i mean your niches) that they can get for free anywere else, lockers are ONLY good for blackhat niches…

    I have been doing content lockers for a while now, and if you don’t have something really really special (like illegal downloads, game generators and such) people will just move on, there is so much free stuff out there in these niches you mention that traffic wil not convert into leads…. they just don’t

    Ow btw one content locker in an article is more then enough, 3 lockers is really getting annoying, just saying.

    • That’s where you are very very wrong. If you provide quality, market your content, and push good traffic, people will do your surveys.

      You should try building something reputable and content locking that content. Instead of aiming for blackhat content.

      And it only takes one unlock to unlock all the lockers on my website. Read the locker. They’ll be less annoying if you reciprocate!

      • I am not talking theory here, i have tried content lockers in mainstream niches, it doesn’t work, you lose so many visitors with forcing them to do survey before they get your content.

        You’re better of just locking it for an email then a survey, i have tested this rigorously and i can tell you that if you use surveys on your mainstream content you are losing 80% of your business, because people will not unlock the content…. They will give you an email address but they will not do the surveys because you can get the content on any subject for free without having to jumps through hoops.

        Content lockers only work in blackhat niches, saying that this isn’t true is diluting yourself and steering your readers wrong imho.

        • Rita, I understand that you might not have succeeded in content locking. But take a look at any network where you can view other people’s earnings. People are earning 4-5 figures a day. Networks have terms against “black-hat” promotions. Yet these people earn this day-in-day-out, without the networks giving them the boot. Infact their affiliate managers fly out and spend the day with them.

          Of course, you can opt for a mailing list. Of course you can. But I refer to my previous comment; “You should try building something reputable and content locking that content. Instead of aiming for blackhat content.”.

          If you aim for “mainstream niches” of course you’re going to struggle. But create something that isn’t easily accessible. Be creative. It’s not about being blackhat, breaking the rules nor breaking the laws.

          If you can provide attractive content and motivate your viewer base to desire it, you can get them to submit an email to a CPA link.

          I agree with your statement about the traffic, whether the figures are figures of speech or not. If you provide crap content, and lock it, you have no hope. But it’s about providing good content, then locking the better content. The content they can’t find elsewhere.

          I’m not steering my readers in any poor direction at all. I’m teaching people methods that have potential, methods that only require a little innovation at best. Methods that other people are making more than anyone working a 9-5 could earn in years.

  2. Hi Josh,
    Nice article. Based on my experience, putting content locker within the whitehat content website is not very converting. The better way is just to lock the file (ebook,video,etc) that your visitors want to download. It may look like this :

    Google search -> Website -> Link to locked file

    I love reading your blog, please write more about utilizing paid traffic on CPA campaign 🙂


    • I completely agree. And sure I’ll look into do that for you!
      You should also note that content lockers aren’t only for downloadable software. You lock sweepstakes, competitions, submission forms.. Anything!

  3. I am following your blog for quiet some time now i have a question “to drive traffic from search engines we should be doing an authority cpa site. we have so many topics like you mentioned coupons/vouchers/gift cards, giveaways, password files, pdfs, latest software releases, popular music files, game beta codes/hacks. they are absolutely different from each what is the best idea to build a cpa site..? combine all of them in one or one for each??

  4. Use incentives! For example, if you could with CPAGrip, you get content lockers. You can lock downloads and content that you users want in return for offer completion 🙂

  5. Hi True Miller,
    Nice article and thanks for the info, I just got a question? Have you promoted CPAgrip offers with PPV platforms like 50onred,Propelmedia or LeadImpact, is that possible to make some money, and if yes what is the way to that? Thanks


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