If you're one of the estimated 18.9 million women who, according to a 2012 "Forbes" article, runs her own blog, then you may want to monetize your content. One way to do this for a blog, or a company website, is to use CPA, or cost per action, marketing. You may find this works best if you match a vertical and then a niche sector to the subject focus and audience demographics of your site.
CPA Marketing Overview
CPA marketing pays you when a visitor to your site takes a specific action. For example, if someone clicks on an advert on the page or follows a link in an article or email and then buys something, fills in a form or takes a survey, you get a payment. This may be a fixed fee or a percentage of a purchase, depending on the action involved. Like any marketing strategy, CPA programs are more successful if they’re targeted and focused to the needs and desires of your site's visitors. This is where verticals come in.
CPA Marketing Verticals
Verticals are industry sectors. Ideally, the stuff you write about on your site will match at least one of them. Common verticals include finance, gaming, travel, fashion, health and entertainment. If you're monetizing a site, then your aim is to match your campaigns to a relevant industry sector. For example, if you're running a fashion site, it makes most sense to run campaigns from the fashion vertical. The premise here is that your visitors come in with an established interest, and they'll hopefully click on an ad or a link because it appeals to this interest.
Verticals and Niches
Just to confuse things, some people call CPA marketing sectors niches rather than verticals. This isn't strictly accurate. A vertical sector is quite broad and, as you might expect, each one contains its own specialty areas -- these are niches. For example, the finance vertical might contain insurance, banking, loans and mortgage niches. If your site is all about mortgages, then it makes sense to look for advertisers in this niche. General finance campaigns might work for you; targeted mortgage ones are likely to do better.
Finding Vertical CPA Campaigns
If you don't have experience setting up vertical marketing campaigns, then the easiest way to get up and running is to join an affiliate network. These companies hook you up with businesses with CPA and other opportunities; the network usually tracks actions and pays you. Typically, the network will want to look at your site, and it may ask for information on traffic volume and visitor demographics before you can join. If a network accepts you, you'll get access to its client list. You'll usually have to apply to individual companies before you can work with them, and they'll also check your site out before they accept you.
Carol Finch has been writing technology, careers, business and finance articles since 2000, tapping into her experience in sales, marketing and technology consulting. She has a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages, a Chartered Institute of Marketing.certificate and unofficial tech and gaming geek status with her long-suffering friends and family.