Before I share the four reasons I believe you'll likely fail at CPA marketing (and how to prove me wrong), let's start with a few of the problems that usually lead to this outcome.
If you've spent any time in the IM game, you've probably been exposed to them. They're the problems that most plague new entrants into CPA marketing (but this rings true for other types of online marketers, regardless of whether they are pursuing CPA, list building or launching information products).
In the early days of the Internet, click through rates on text ads and banners were sky high and advertising was not nearly as commonplace as it is now. As marketing on the Internet has become more common (and crowded), this high level of exposure to ads and marketing leads to a "blindness" and "resistance" to marketing efforts.
On the other side of things, current online marketers who earn their living on the Internet, do so by generating sales of either their own products or the products of others. So, over time, marketers have had to be more aggressive in their copy and generally speaking, make bolder claims, to get people to click on ads or social posts.
Internet Marketing as a niche, is filled with claims of "push button riches," and the newbie just getting started (who is in search of push button riches) is eager to buy.
So here we have the problem of expectations. Because the marketer is having to overcome marketing blindness, he has made bold claims and used aggressive sales copy to get the customer to click through his ad and to purchase his products. In turn, the purchaser now expects things to be easy, and to be able to start creating income almost overnight, with little or no work.
A story is such a fantastic tool for illustration, so let's begin with...
The Story of John, Newbie CPA Marketer:
See if some part of this story doesn't ring true for you. It goes something like this:
John decides that there must be a way to make money online. I mean, he's heard of others making money on the internet. So, he sits down in front of his computer and types into the search bar, "How to make money on the Internet!"
He sees a hundred ways to make money, and thinks, "at least one of these methods will work!" And he's right, at least one of them will work.
So, John decides to try CPA marketing (but it could be any method including Kindle publishing, niche site creation, blogging, monetizing a viral YouTube channel, etc., etc.) He begins to scour the internet for all things free, related to CPA marketing. After all, he needs free information, because he is wanting to know how to earn online. If he were flush with cash, he would probably approach it differently.
Treating Your CPA Business as a Hobby~ The First Reason You'll Likely Fail at CPA Marketing.
To be good at CPA, you need to approach it like a business. You will never be able to compete with professional marketers if you are simply "trying it out." As was once said by Tony Robbins, "one person with passion is equal to 99 with only interest."
Treating it as a business means tracking all of the important metrics that determine whether or not and to what degree, your CPA campaigns are successful. Things like, Click through rate % (CTR%), Conversion rates (CR%), Cost per Click (CPC) and many other important metrics.
Track, Only if You Are Serious About the Business of CPA
Some of these are paid trackers and some are free. Check out each one and decide which is right for you (look for an upcoming post where I review each platform!)
Every business owner with any degree of success knows his numbers. What is his ROI? What is the cost of customer acquisition? What is his profit percentage? You need to know your numbers, and that means you've got to be using tracking software.
So, before long, he has a long list of great blogs (I'll list some of my favorites for CPA at the bottom of this post), to read and he's gotten some free material and tools from each one. He is consumed with learning how to "do" performance marketing (another term for CPA).
Subsequently, he finds himself on a dozen or more email lists from CPA marketers operating a blog as a sales funnel.
He begins to see lots of headlines and sales pages that tell him he needs the "secret" methods and tools provided "exclusively" through that marketer's page.
Soon, John begins to dig into the coffers (if he has any), so to speak trying to get the money for tools, courses, and programs he believes will help him make easy work of CPA marketing. This leads to:
Misallocation of Resources~ The Second Reason You'll Likely Fail at CPA
There are tools and courses that can help you shorten the learning curve, automate certain activities and help you achieve success. However, there is simply no substitute for creating and structuring ads and optimizing campaigns in your educational journey to CPA mastery.
This is especially true in the beginning when your funds are typically more limited. Think 80/20 rule here. Invest 80% of your resources in promoting offers and conducting and optimizing campaigns and 20% of your resources in tools and courses
The power of focus is such that it needs to be singular in nature to achieve the fastest gains. John simply cannot "focus" on learning four or five methodologies in IM all at the same time, or he is almost certain to fail.
Because of the problem of expectations, mentioned above, if John doesn't have some quick successes, he will begin looking for additional tools or courses that have the "secrets" that are so often mentioned in the emails he is inundated with, or worse yet, he will begin looking at other methods of IM (eCom, product creation, etc.) as the way forward in his journey.
This likely leads to...
Loss of Focus~ The Third Reason You'll Likely Fail at CPA
Like John will, once you find yourself on a dozen lists in the CPA space, you begin to become inundated with daily emails and offers from each of them.
More than likely, most of the blogs attached to the lists you are following, are monetized through one or more of about 4 strategies (there are many variations of each, but these are the main categories):
1. Direct Sales: Includes bloggers own- information products, coaching programs, software, or membership site
2. Affiliate Sales: Includes links from bloggers site to 3rd party where you can purchase other courses, tools or memberships and the blogger will earn a commission.
3. Advertising: Includes Adsense monetization, banner advertising, advertising co-ops and various other methods of selling impressions or clicks to site visitors.
4. Email Marketing: Includes marketing of #1 and #2 through fantastic sales copy written into email campaigns that "drip" to provide ongoing (sometimes subtle and sometimes not so subtle) pressure to buy.
For most blogs that are not monetized through method #3 (advertising in its various forms), the primary purpose of the posts, the lead magnet and the site in general, is to create and engage a list. This is usually the PRIMARY method of blog monetization.
Why does all this matter? Because it's so easy to become distracted by the plethora of emails and offers in your inbox, which are frequently crafted by professional copywriters.
John begins to realize that there is real work involved and that it's not as easy as it's made out to be on all the sales pages and webinars.
He begins to lose some of the zeal he once had for the idea of CPA marketing and he begins to look at the myriad of offers and techniques that are mentioned in all of the emails he's been getting. Each one promoting "push button riches, with little to no work." Before you know it, he falls into what is affectionately called, "shiny object syndrome." Pursuing every "shiny object," that might hold more promise than the idea you are currently working on.
Shiny Object Syndrome~ The Fourth Reason You'll Likely Fail at CPA
Shiny object syndrome is perhaps the most talked about challenge that faces almost every newbie who decides to dive into the make money online space.
There are truly a thousand ways to make money online and they all work, in varying degrees for some. However, as we've discussed, you need focus and diligence to succeed in any area of the IM game.
I spoke in reason 1 about treating CPA as a hobby, rather than a business. If you went to work in a field you had little to no knowledge or training in, would you expect to just pick it up and be a top earner in that field overnight?
Of course not. Every methodology in the make money online niche has its own vocabulary and skill sets necessary for you to succeed.
Every methodology in the make money online niche has its own vocabulary and skill set necessary for you to succeed. Make a commitment to learning the business of CPA and allow yourself the time get good at it before you "jump ship," in pursuit of the next big thing.
The single greatest challenge for most is not a lack of information, but a lack of time to learn, grow and implement all the information they find out.
So how do you keep this from happening to you? Or how do you break the cycle once you've fallen into the trap of "shiny object syndrome?"
It is simple.
Do not however, confuse simple with easy.
When your emotions get involved, things can get messy and this is especially true when we add the element of money.
Here are two things you can do to overcome the vicious cycle and begin to create a sustainable, long-term Internet business.
1. Do your due diligence up front and make a decision about which method you will use to create your Internet business. Will you start a performance marketing business? Start a blog to monetize? Or, begin writing Kindle books?
The Latin root of the word decide means to "cut off from." To remove all other options. Decide which method you want to invest your time and money in. And then, pursue it with everything you've got. With Passion! (Remember the saying, 1 person with passion is equal to 99 with only interest).
Tune out, disconnect and unsubscribe from all marketing materials that are not explicitly related to the niche you are pursuing. Put the blinders on, as they say.
2. Once you have made a decision, TAKE ACTION. And keep taking action. The world goes to the action takers. How do you overcome your fear of being wrong? Simple, take action and get the feedback that will allow you to make informed decisions and adjust course to achieve your goals.
Take a rocket with a guidance system so sophisticated that can hit a target half way around the world (within a few feet). The guidance system is worthless while the rocket is sitting on the launch pad.
So, Launch! Get Busy! Do It!