CPA vs CPS: Why I am Better than those CPS Guys

By Ian Fernando

Sunday at Affiliate Summit I spoke on a panel about something that is pretty controversial in our industry. The panel was about 2 different styles within the affiliate industry. The title of the panel "Industry Clash: Balancing CPS & CPA Marketing", a really good panel for discussion. The panel included, Jason Rubacky, Logan Thompson, Greg Hoffman as the moderator, and me. The panel discussion was a very good way to let other affiliates understand both parties and both sides.

This topic was brought up to Greg's attention by doing some sort of search on the powerful Google and an old posts and video popped up. The blog post title was "CPS affiliates why can't we be friends", it also got a lot of feedback via the comments.  From this post, Greg decided to bring me and other affiliates to balance and to bring more light to each side.

I do a lot of PPC marketing or paid traffic, while the CPS side of the industry a majority of these affiliates deal with SEO and organic rankings. Though both sides deal with both traffic sources, we on the CPA side tend to be more watchful of traffic sources. We want to know where we can advertise and how we can get prime spot on specific sites.

This thought of testing traffic sources puts us on the cutting edge of the industry because we always want new traffic sources. For example, I am always testing traffic and you can read a good amount of them on this blog. I tested LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook, Findology, AdMob, etc. I am always wanting to know how each of these traffic sources differ from one another and what similarities they have.

During our panel, there was a heated battle between me and Jason Rubacky. I brought up some points about how CPA affiliates are the ones who can turn a garage business into a corporation literally overnight. There are specific health pharmaceuticals that are now established because of CPA marketers and have yet to merge to the CPS side due to the fact they know they can not get the type of monetization a CPA marketer can bring.

Logan even stated he has done CPS marketing with paid traffic via Facebook, making it profitable. I personally was not able to make it profitable, case study here. It may have been my methodology or it just wasn't doing or performing well at all. Either way it won't discourage me from trying again.

One interesting topic I brought up is about how both sides look at traffic. An SEO CPS affiliate is all about getting traffic, as do CPA marketers. The difference is how we monetize that traffic. A SEO CPS user will get 1000 users to their website and convert only 10%, while a CPA paid traffic gen affiliate can get 100 users and convert at 10%. There is a difference on how we look at traffic and how we monetize that traffic.

The reason is the CPL space always think in terms of their traffic as money going out vs money coming in. For example if 1000 users ended up on a landing page and only 300 converted over, we ask ourselves why didn't the other 700 convert over. From there we start testing vigorously and trying to find out why that traffic didn't convert.

There are some good points to CPS and it is a reason why I am trying to learn that side of the industry. For example virtual real estate. Greg pointed out there is an affiliate who is literally on vacation everyday because of his affiliate sites that have been growing for over 10 years. Amazing, but that took time. Since we as CPA affiliates are more on the trend of traffic sources, we can make money now.

I personally am impatient, this is why I have given the SEO side of my business to someone who is good at SEO. I want to have virtual real estates and this is how I think I should grow my business especially after understanding what I have learned from the CPA/CPL side of this industry. Understanding the demographics and reactions from all the traffic sources I have tested puts me in a great spot to understand human nature when building up a virtual real estate on the interwebs.

In the end, affiliate marketing is marketing. How we monetize the traffic is really up to the marketer.

BTW here is the slide to our panel:


Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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