I’ve been involved in CPA marketing since 2012, and after experiencing the highs and lows, I want to teach you how to make money with CPA. Here is my ultimate guide..

The beauty of making money through CPA is that you can earn money creating content that you’re interested in. And you earn it while you sleep.

It’s relatively easy to get started in CPA. And this guide will take you through the process step-by-step. In a month from now you will have money in sitting in your bank account!

I must stress before we start: don’t skip content unless you already know the content that I’m discussing.

What is CPA Marketing

CPA Marketing is a simple system where you get paid for getting someone to complete an “action”. CPA stands for “cost per action”.

An action could be anything, but they tend to be simple tasks such as:

  • Entering a competition. Such as an Amazon Gift-card giveaway.
  • Downloading an app. Clash of clans, or another popular mobile game.
  • Completing a survey.
  • Signing up for a freebie.

The Best CPA Networks for Beginners & Advanced Users

Now that you have the basic gist of how CPA works, it’s best you signup to a CPA Network.

A CPA network is the company that connects you to the advertisers. They handle the hard work and the also provide the content lockers that I was talking about.

Most of them require an application process, to get ahead quickly you should sign up to one as soon as possible, be truthful and fill it out to the best of your ability. Hopefully you’ll be accepted by the time you’ve read this tutorial!

cpagrip application
CPAGrip’s application is pretty straight-forward..

I’ve got a more up-to date list of the best CPA networks out there. Although, this tutorial is aimed at CPAGrip.

#1 CPAGrip (most personal favourite)

I’ve been with CPAGrip for at least 2-3 years now. They’ve never missed a payment, they give highly competitive rates on their offers and have a super-user-friendly dashboard.

If you’re not the most tech-savvy I would strongly recommend this network simply on the basis that the dashboard is so easy to use. Additionally, I’ve got a video tutorial on how to install CPAGrip’s content locker on WordPress, that would do you nicely.


They have a chat-room-style facility in the dashboard once you’ve signed up where you can ask questions, contact the affiliate and discuss CPA marketing content with the rest of the community. This is a very powerful tool that you should that advantage of.

Main features

  • Page lockers
  • URL/File lockers
  • Offer Walls
  • Virtual Currency lockers
  • Referral program

#2 AdWorkMedia

AWM is a network definitely deserves a place in the top 3. It has the same features as CPAGrip but has a lot more pre-set lockers, a product checkout locker for multiple offer completion and some other more advanced features.

The only notable downside, is the slightly more complex dashboard, but don’t let that deter you. The payouts are incredible.

#3 CPALead

The guys at CPALead proudly state that they “invented content-locking”, they also offer the opportunity to lock adult content, something that other networks rarely offer. They have about the same features as CPAGrip and AWM. The dashboard is fairly straight-forward.

Now that you’ve chosen a network, you need to start considering a niche, a section of the market that you’re going to providing content for.

How Content Locking Works

Lets say that I run a YouTube channel devoted to gaming. I would make a video giving away some sort of mod or hack for a game. But to profit on this, I would lock the download.

So, when one of my viewers goes to download this file they would be asked to complete an offer.

I would then be paid anywhere between $1-20+ per download–this is obviously dependent on the offers available on the network at the time. But for a single download, you can’t go wrong.

The trick to increase your downloads, and your general exposure to more people, is to find a popular niche. An area of the market. For example Gaming, or Cooking tutorials, or Oceanic Wallpapers.

Most people go for the ever-green niches when they first start out. Unless your a natural, it’s unlikely that you’re going to outplay the weight-loss, dieting and acne-treatment tutorial heavyweights.

Ever-green niches are niches such as weight-loss, investment strategies, relationship advice or ache treatment. Niches that basically don’t die.

To make your life easier, and more profitable, you should target trending niches. These are easier to find than you might think! In fact, there are some white-hat CPA methods you can use in an article I wrote.

Trending niches that 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.

Google Trends

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.

#2 How to research your niche, so you know there’s demand for your future content

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 the 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.

adwords keyword planner

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

If you’d like a tutorial on how to use the Keyword Planner tool to find strong niches then here’s a great tutorial by eCommerceFuel.

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

Start A Website, It’s Easy

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

Scary concept? Hopefully not, but thankfully I’m going to show the easiest way to start a website. Without learning any programming or web-design.

A little web-design knowledge and experience with WordPress will help but it’s not really not essential.

Once you’ve started making money from CPA you’ll probably want to make more, in which case you’ll probably find yourself interested in learning HTML and CSS. That’s a little while off yet though.

#1 So Firstly You Need Hosting And A Domain Name

  • Hosting – A “rented” place on a server somewhere for your website to live on–it sounds more complex than it is, just read on.
  • Domain Name – Your .com-style name for your website, for example truemiller.wpmudev.host is the domain name for my blog.

HostgatorHostGator is the most popular hosting provider on the internet. Fortunately for you they offer domains along with their hosting packages.

Use the HostGator Coupon code: TRUEMILLER

This will get your first month of hosting for $0.01.

I would recommend purchasing the Baby Package. It has unlimited add-on domains (for when you make more sites), unlimited disk-space, unlimited bandwidth, a shared SSL certificate (keeps your website secure), and it makes it super easy to install WordPress.

I cannot stress how important it is to consider a good niche-relevant domain.

Buying the domain “BlueBabyToys.com” will be an utter waste of time and money if your going to be creating content about “The Cabbage Diet”.

So remember, make your domain niche-relevant. Or at least make catchy and unspecific, like Tumblr, Twitter or Google.

#2 Next You Install WordPress

WordPress is the most popular content management system used on the web.

A content management system is basically software that runs your website for you; it means you don’t need to know how to program, handles all the difficult stuff and is ready to work of the box.

The best part is that it’s free and it’s super easy to install once you’ve purchased your HostGator hosting package.

To cut a long story short, here’s a tutorial offered by HostGator on how to install WordPress to your site using the QuickInstall feature in your hosting panel.

Quickly get to grips with WordPress

It’s not difficult at all to use. You have a posts section, plugins, themes and a handful of other relevantly named sections.

I’m not going to write out a huge WordPress tutorial, so once again here’s WordPress playlist that will take you through every aspect of it.

It’s important to make your site look attractive. This is easily achieved by using the free themes from the WordPress themes library.

Now you’re going to need to create some content for your site.

Simple & Effective Method To Create Content That You Can Lock

Read this if you don’t know how to lock your files with CPAGrip yet.

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

  • eBooks
  • Video Guides
  • Audiobooks

You can distribute anything, software, videos, music, art, but for now I’ll recommend information products. The same concepts can be applied to anything.

Now 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:

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

If it were a chore, Freelancer.com 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.

#1 How To Make An Attractive Information Product With Ease

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 “JoshsSuperDiet.com”. 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.

how to get ripped google results

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.

#2 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 CPA 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.

#1 Search engine submissions

First of all, you need to submit your site the search engines. Otherwise people can’t find you. Here’s a list of 5.

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.

#2 Get 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.

#3 Make videos, and post them on YouTube

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

Videos are great marketing tools. 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 to a simple offer. People love free stuff, right? Right.

If you’ve never made a video before, then pick one up for $5 from Fiverr.com. $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 WDS_LINK_PLACEHOLDER_91937e268cde961ad04ee3539de9bb80 quickly and effectively.

#4 Boost your YouTube Videos, and also your website if you like

This is the most important part of getting traffic to your locked content.

You need to boost it. You need to increase views. Increase the subscribers and likes. Increase the comments, good comments. The best place for this is SEOClerks. Click the link to the left and you’ll see what I mean first hand.

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 CPA Offers, Earnings

Once your traffic starts rolling and you start making some money, then you need optimize your offers.

You don’t want to end-up being paid pennies when you could be earning dollars for each download.

Scaling Up CPA

Once you’ve put all of this into practice, you need to repeat. Β£1000 a month means you need approx 500 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.

And that’s all…

Of course now, you’ll want to put this in to practice. Bookmark this page, or check out some more make money tutorials written by me.

If you have any questions feel free to ask! Remember to share this super-tutorial with friends and family.

Until next time, Josh

  1. 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

  2. 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 other.so what is the best idea to build a cpa site..? combine all of them in one or one for each??

  3. 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 πŸ™‚


    1. 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!

  4. 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.

    1. 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!

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

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