Paid Traffic vs Free Traffic - How YOU should approach CPA...my opinions at least

65 replies
Hey Warriors :p

So far this week I have received the same question 4 times so I decided to write a post to let you know my thoughts.

DISCLAIMER: The following are just my opinions from being in the industry and seeing many people struggle and many people succeed. From members of my membership site, customers of my WSOs, discussions with people on WF, and from going to conferences and seminars, I have been around hundreds of success stories and hundreds of failure stories. So these are just a few of my opinions.

Also, if you asked me this same question 2 years ago I would have had a much different opinion. First, the paid traffic space has become tougher in the last two years as many PPC platforms have made it more difficult for affiliate marketers and the ones that have been more favorable have therefore had more marketers (competition). Secondly, as I have become more public through products and such, I have witnessed firsthand how the majority of marketers progress, which is much different than hwo my journey progressed.

So the question...

Should I start with Paid Traffic or Free Traffic?

My answer is simple, Free Traffic. But let me justify my opinion.

Paid traffic is great. In fact, much of my income stems from paid traffic sources and a majority of my large campaigns have been from paid traffic. So, though the paid traffic space (most notably PPC) is becoming more competitive and tougher, there is still opportunity. The traffic is abundant so if you can find and scale a campaign with a positive margin, the results can be fantastic. A tiny profit margin with a boatload of traffic is still a big number! That's the good news.

But the bad news is that PPC is a tough game to learn. I have been there and have witnessed countless new marketers lose their budgets and walk away from IM altogether. For the marketer who hasn't made a dime online, going into PPC a majority of times means you will lose money to start. How much you will lose before/if you start making money is different for each person but for the vast majority of people there are many more down days than up days when first starting out. This But then again most businesses lost money at first, but it's problematic in IM because a lot of people have very little budget when they are starting...sometimes people only have $20 or $100 to 'invest'. Here is an analogy:

Let's say you want to play soccer as a goalie. You have seen soccer on TV and are familiar with the game but have never played in goal as the goalie. You say to yourself, "all the big earners in the game of soccer play for a premier league team like Manchester United". So you decide to go to the Manchester United tryouts. They put you in goal for a scrimmage and being that you have never been a goalie you generally know what you should be doing, but you are playing with all professional players so you can barely stop from flinching, never mind blocking a shot. The players of course are amazing and are whipping shots at you... you are getting hit in the face and you can barely stand your ground. Chances are after the scrimmage (if you are still alive) you will never want to play soccer as a goalie again. Just because the best goalies in the world play for a premier league team, does that mean you should try out for Manchester United as your first time attempt? That doesn't make a lot of sense.

A better and more logical route to take is to start by playing for your local team to learn the fundamentals, then work your way up to travel and then tryout for a premier league team.

Well, this is a lot like trying to get into paid traffic like PPC. There is a lot of potential and some marketers are pulling gigantic numbers, just like the players for Liverpool are making millions. In fact, there are some newbies that happen to hit big right from the start. But, PPC is tough to get into if you don't have a good foundation of CPA knowledge and don't have a budget to keep you afloat as you learn and make mistakes, which everybody does.

Now there are exceptions and I would say that if you have a mentor/coach or have a VERY detailed course and a budget, then it can make sense to dive into PPC as your first venture, but for the majority of new marketers, this isn't the case.

I see people all the time spending money on Google Adwords PPC traffic and never have built a landing page before. Do you think these people will see a good quality score or any resemblance of a good conversion rate...nope.

So what's so great about free traffic?

Well, it's free. That means as you learn, as you make mistakes, you aren't losing money. You can learn how to build and optimize a landing page on a small and free scale. Most marketers have more time than money to devote at first and the internet and CPA is great because time can be just as valuable as money. You can start building income streams of $5, $20, $50, $100 or whatever a day that you can then invest into paid traffic.

The other great thing is that free traffic can be just as lucrative. If you get good at SEO, you can pull huge numbers. Think about this...if you get 10,000 visitors a day on your sites and convert 2% at a $30 payout, that is $6,000 per day revenue. Since this is through SEO your revenue is your profit, $6,000. However, if you buy 10,000 clicks on a PPC campaign at $0.50 per click and get the same 2% conversion, that would be $6,000 in revenue, but $5,000 in cost, meaning profit is only $1,000.

Now of course getting good at SEO is difficult and just as hard as getting good at PPC, but the point is that big numbers are very possible in the free traffic space as well.

FOR THE AVERAGE NEW MARKETER, they will be doing things like video marketing, press release marketing, article marketing, forum marketing, bum marketing, etc. There is still a lot of money that can be made here as well, I've been there and done it.

Getting good at video marketing or article marketing is easier than getting good at PPC, so why not stick with those and build a small set up passive income streams. You will learn a lot, you will mitigate much of your downside risk, and you will still make money.

Conclusion...

So, the paid traffic space has its place. It's lucrative, its sexy, it's great, but for new marketers it doesn't always make sense. My advice:

Step 1: Get a good foundation of CPA and how the industry works through this forum, a product, blogs, whatever.

Step 2: Begin learning about the different traffic directions you can take and find one that fits you based on what you like to do and what you are good at

Step 3: Pick a direction and stick with it. I can tell you that almost every (if not all) traffic sources work if you get good at them and do them long enough.

Step 4: As you continue to learn and build income streams in that traffic strategy, then diversify and explore the paid traffic space.


IMPORTANT: Throughout each of the steps and throughout your journey, program yourself to work your butt off. The only reason I got anywhere in this industry is because I worked harder than 99% of the other marketers.

At the end of the day, I only give you these opinions because I want to see you succeed. If you have the budget, confidence, mentor/coach, or good solid product to lean on, then by all means, go for it. If you don't have one of the above, then I strongly urge you to consider my advice.


No man can become rich without himself enriching others -Andrew Carnegie

PS: I simplified parts of the argument to illustrate general concepts. For example, yes, there are some costs associated with building a major SEO campaign. Etc.
PPS: This mainly applies to marketers who haven't made money online yet.
PPPS: YES, there are ways to approach PPC and other paid traffic to minimize risk as a newbie, I am not discounting that.

To your success and prosperity in your personal and professional endeavors.

-Ken :p
#free #opinions #paid #traffic
  • Profile picture of the author visimedia
    good read! Love to be here. Let me tell you about my opinion.

    I think free traffic costs too much on the opportunity cost, moreover SEO, but however the value that you'll get from you effort will be paid off once you see the result.

    You can use either free or paid traffic once you know what you do.

    My old mistake was not to think very seriously about free traffic generation and how to monetize them, because in online business there's almost no risk (just waste of time), not like in offline business. All will costs you money in promotion.

    From that particular time, I always think seriously about all my online promotion, in very detail on what I do online.

    I think that's the most important aspect on getting free or paid traffic --> what you do next after the traffic is generated!


    Regards
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  • Profile picture of the author essex14
    Thanks very much this goes deep into why one is better than the other...
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinDupre
    Good post and nice insights on free and paid traffic. Well said about hard work..The steps at conclusion are clear and easy to follow. NO wonder you are doing quiet well Ken.
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  • Profile picture of the author mtmjohn
    Solid post Ken, very valuable information. I do agree that starting with Free Traffic is more appropriate for newbies. Thanks for sharing.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeMorgan
      Hey Ken, As usual , it is solid post and I am sure it would help lots of warriors .

      Now, let me put my advice ...


      In general I believe (it is based on my experience) that ...


      The most effective and lucrative ways to make money online is through paid traffic sources like PPC, PPV, Media Buys and others.

      Therefore, if you want to be the next super affiliate, study and master paid traffic sources. Period!

      On the other hand, if you don't know what you are doing paid traffic is very risky.

      What if Your Are New To CPA?


      My advice is if you completely new to CPA marketing , I recommend that you start with free traffic sources .

      This would allow you to get started safely. At the same time, you would be able to get know-how about the critical components of CPA marketing. More important, you would be able to get money which will be reinvested into paid traffic.

      Once you become familiar with all the critical elements of CPA marketing, and make money, you can start Paid Traffic Sources like PPC, PPV, etc.

      But, if you decide to start the paid traffic way, there are certain important points that you need to be aware:
      1. Unless you fully understand and master any paid traffic source , don't use it

      2. Every time you use any paid advertisement platform, start with a small budget - test, track and optimize it until you come up with a winning formula. Once you find winning campaign , you need to massively scale it based on your winning formula

      3. If you really want to succeed with any paid traffic source or channel, you have to be ready to lose money for testing. This is in a must in any paid traffic business model

      4. If you are completely new to the game, make sure that you focus only on a single source of traffic at a time. Stick with one traffic source until you completely master the traffic source. Once you master the traffic source, you can expand your reach with other traffic sources or channels.
      Hope it helps .

      Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author rain21
      Originally Posted by mtmjohn View Post

      Solid post Ken, very valuable information. I do agree that starting with Free Traffic is more appropriate for newbies. Thanks for sharing.
      me too think the same, starting with free traffic is more better
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  • Profile picture of the author bytecoder
    Great post, I'm totally supporting your opinion, before and of-course after reading this!

    Free traffic is the base, by paid traffic is a great increase of power.
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  • Profile picture of the author jordanberg2311
    Nice post there Ken,
    Wish to read this like 6 months ago. Free vs Paid always the debate out there. But all I can say if you master any of them, perhaps any of the traffic available, you are going to make loads of money.
    1 traffic and 1 vertical
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    • Profile picture of the author Kenster
      Originally Posted by jordanberg2311 View Post

      Nice post there Ken,
      Wish to read this like 6 months ago. Free vs Paid always the debate out there. But all I can say if you master any of them, perhaps any of the traffic available, you are going to make loads of money.
      1 traffic and 1 vertical

      Yes, that's what most people say. In fact, a lot of the successful people I know started with paid traffic, lost money, reverted to free traffic, and only then switched back to paid traffic.

      My theory is that while you are learning the basics...

      copywriting 101
      landing pages 101
      tracking 101
      split testing 101
      cpa networks 101

      ...it just doesnt make sense to throw money at paid traffic.


      My primary point is that people need to understand that being successful in IM is a process. Want and believer in yourself that you will be a superstar but approach it in a systematic and gradual manner. Like a pro soccer player starting out and working their way through the system to eventually become a Premier League player, I think its very wise to do the same with CPA. Start by first making that $10 day. Then move up. Then reinvest and start looking into paid traffic.

      And lastly, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Not that everybody else needs to do this, but I literally walked streets and parking garages and apartment complexes for 10+ hour days for many days in a row putting up flyers. I replied to hundreds of individual craigslist emails for many days in a row. I started at the very bottom and really treaded through some garbage to work my way up. I had my eye on the $1,000 days from the moment I started but I knew I had to reach the $5 and $20 days first and was willing to do what it took to achieve it.

      That's all I'm suggesting. Think big but do what it takes to reach those first initial hurdles. Most people who try to hit a grand slam right out of the gates fall on their faces.
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      • Profile picture of the author jordanberg2311
        Originally Posted by Kenster View Post

        Yes, that's what most people say. In fact, a lot of the successful people I know started with paid traffic, lost money, reverted to free traffic, and only then switched back to paid traffic.
        I definitely agree with this sentence. Paid -> free -> paid.
        I'm on a transition to free traffic at the moment to be honest. Of course still doing a little paid traffic there.

        Why am i switching from paid to free. First of all I started making money with my 9-5 job and save some cash (i gave up my gadgets I wanted in my wishlist) I funded my PPCs (with 's' behind) campaign then jump on to PoF...etc
        Thought of making some quick bucks there. Since people said if you want some result fast, go for paid traffic. Then I lost a lot, not losing completely all of the money. Well I didnt break even.

        I really learnt A LOT. I guess I gotta slow down a bit and start thinking and why am I losing money while others are killing offers out there. At the same time I'm opting for some article + seo marketing for long term.
        So I now focus more on free method instead. Working on a constant cashflow before moving back to paid
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeMorgan
          Originally Posted by jordanberg2311 View Post

          I guess I gotta slow down a bit and start thinking and why am I losing money while others are killing offers out there.
          This how you should manage things .

          Always , if you fail , analyze why your campaign failed . This would help you to identify your weak points .
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        • Profile picture of the author Kenster
          Originally Posted by jordanberg2311 View Post

          I definitely agree with this sentence. Paid -> free -> paid.
          I'm on a transition to free traffic at the moment to be honest. Of course still doing a little paid traffic there.

          Why am i switching from paid to free. First of all I started making money with my 9-5 job and save some cash (i gave up my gadgets I wanted in my wishlist) I funded my PPCs (with 's' behind) campaign then jump on to PoF...etc
          Thought of making some quick bucks there. Since people said if you want some result fast, go for paid traffic. Then I lost a lot, not losing completely all of the money. Well I didnt break even.

          I really learnt A LOT. I guess I gotta slow down a bit and start thinking and why am I losing money while others are killing offers out there. At the same time I'm opting for some article + seo marketing for long term.
          So I now focus more on free method instead. Working on a constant cashflow before moving back to paid

          I can't tell you how many people i know that went the Paid -- Free -- Paid/Free route. Lot's of people blow through money on paid traffic and are forced to explore free traffic and they then learn how awesome it is and then they continue doing that and start investing some of their earnings in some more paid.

          Where exactly are you headed in the free space?
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      • Profile picture of the author neverendcash
        Originally Posted by Kenster View Post

        Yes, that's what most people say. In fact, a lot of the successful people I know started with paid traffic, lost money, reverted to free traffic, and only then switched back to paid traffic.

        My theory is that while you are learning the basics...

        copywriting 101
        landing pages 101
        tracking 101
        split testing 101
        cpa networks 101

        ...it just doesnt make sense to throw money at paid traffic.


        My primary point is that people need to understand that being successful in IM is a process. Want and believer in yourself that you will be a superstar but approach it in a systematic and gradual manner. Like a pro soccer player starting out and working their way through the system to eventually become a Premier League player, I think its very wise to do the same with CPA. Start by first making that $10 day. Then move up. Then reinvest and start looking into paid traffic.

        And lastly, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Not that everybody else needs to do this, but I literally walked streets and parking garages and apartment complexes for 10+ hour days for many days in a row putting up flyers. I replied to hundreds of individual craigslist emails for many days in a row. I started at the very bottom and really treaded through some garbage to work my way up. I had my eye on the $1,000 days from the moment I started but I knew I had to reach the $5 and $20 days first and was willing to do what it took to achieve it.

        That's all I'm suggesting. Think big but do what it takes to reach those first initial hurdles. Most people who try to hit a grand slam right out of the gates fall on their faces.
        thanks, thats very inspiring , did you make any profits from your offline campaigns?
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  • Profile picture of the author williamrs
    Nice post, Kenster!

    I personally think that both free and paid traffic sources have their space. I have used both, made much more money with the paid ones, but still can see the value of the free traffic sources.

    The fact is that I think that this discussion (free or paid) doesn't make a lot of sense. First, because it's so easy to make this choice, people just need to answer one single question: what should I spend, time or money? This answer isn't the same for everybody, so we can't say what route they should take.

    IMO, what stops beginners from making money isn't the traffic sources, affiliate managers, networks, offers, etc... It's their lack of persistence. People want to get rich overnight, and even after reading on this forum that this is impossible, they still keep a small hope alive and create campaigns thinking that maybe they will make a killing right from the first day.

    The fact is that no one creates a campaign to fail, but they should. People should always expect to fail and learn, fail and learn, fail and learn... Never expect to make money, just expect to make your campaign better than previous one. Do it, and one day you will get profitable.

    People get frustrated with PPC because they spend a few hundred dollars and don't start making consistent money. However, they also get frustrated after spending 2 months trying to rank for 10 keywords and failing with all of them.

    People get frustrated when they don't succeed, and it stops them from going through all their learning curve. Therefore, IM never becomes a real, solid business for them.

    So I think that you can choose both free and paid traffic sources, you just have to decide on what to spend, time or money. And then, be prepared to fail and actually spend a lot of time or money, depending on your choice.


    William
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    • Profile picture of the author KDS360
      Well Said!
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  • Profile picture of the author yuviplays
    man you always deliver great posts .. i love reading your posts and methods ..
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  • Profile picture of the author sexymarieldon
    i refer free traffic..

    you can do it all by yourself..

    after doing the result of free traffic, you can then use paid traffic to earn some money online.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeMorgan
      Originally Posted by sexymarieldon View Post

      i refer free traffic..

      you can do it all by yourself..

      after doing the result of free traffic, you can then use paid traffic to earn some money online.
      I agree , for the most of majority of newbies free traffic is the best option to get started .
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  • Profile picture of the author John David
    I agree with Kenster that free traffic source like SEO are best way to start for newbies .I am doing it for the past few months and getting nice results . From , my exprince in the last few months , I have come to conlusion that there is huge opportunity to be made with SEO . So , I am working hard on it .I am also studying paid traffic sources and I hope to get the same result.
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  • Profile picture of the author KevScarb
    Have to agree with you Ken. Anyone starting now with only a small budget, should not start with paid traffic.

    I would also say that going the slower, but cheaper route of free traffic also gives the marketer a chance to learn about how to convert offers, because at the end of the day, you can have all the traffic you want, but if you don't know how to convert that traffic , you still don't make money.

    Kev.
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  • Profile picture of the author Smokin Joe
    I have been using free traffic since I got started. I am just about ready to step off of the porch and start reinvesting some of my profits.

    Got my fingers crossed!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author NormanHalim
      Has anyone use allinclusiveads for CPA campaign? Do you think their service is reliable? Can we trust them? They offer an advertising co-op and they spend $40,000 per month in real online and offline advertising to their member sites. Any experience with their service?
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeMorgan
        Originally Posted by NormanHalim View Post

        Has anyone use allinclusiveads for CPA campaign? Do you think their service is reliable? Can we trust them? They offer an advertising co-op and they spend $40,000 per month in real online and offline advertising to their member sites. Any experience with their service?
        It is better to check the trustworthiness of the network based on the rating given at CPA rating sites like affiliatepaying.com ( if available ).
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      • Profile picture of the author alledwin
        Originally Posted by NormanHalim View Post

        Has anyone use allinclusiveads for CPA campaign? Do you think their service is reliable? Can we trust them? They offer an advertising co-op and they spend $40,000 per month in real online and offline advertising to their member sites. Any experience with their service?
        Hi NormanHalim, I have the same question. Did you ever get an answer to this? I don't understand how they can say they are going to keep it to 200 members which equals $6K per month and spend $40K per month advertising.
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  • Profile picture of the author Drewry_Media
    I think I'll stick to free traffic, because they are more likely to return. And, free traffic is more likely to give you online referrals from others to come to your site, because word of mouth advertising on the world wide web is more powerful than offline traditional advertising.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    I like this! Another quality post by the Kenster!
    I do agree that starting with free traffic can have it's benefits and it also provides you with some financial help to build your paid traffic.

    But everyone learns and excels differently. Personally I started with paid and then added some free traffic and now do both. IMO, as long as your diversifying you are good!
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  • Profile picture of the author inspiredguy
    Another cool thing about free traffic is that in terms of articles, videos, blog posts, etc. they float around in the ether for a long time generating traffic or income, while paid traffic stops once the funds stop (more or less).
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    • Profile picture of the author Kenster
      Originally Posted by inspiredguy View Post

      Another cool thing about free traffic is that in terms of articles, videos, blog posts, etc. they float around in the ether for a long time generating traffic or income, while paid traffic stops once the funds stop (more or less).

      Yep, it's always nice receiving CPA or Clickbank commission checks and not knowing where they even came from

      (I didnt track very well when I was starting out haha)
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  • Profile picture of the author masterofinternate
    Good discussion and nice putting on both traffic. Yap paid traffic is faster but I prefer free traffic more as It's easier to start for a beginner and costs nothing. After establishing our site using free traffic method we can apply some paid method as free traffic earns gradually and slowly.
    Anyways Thanks a lot for this great post.
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  • Profile picture of the author CarlosG
    Originally Posted by Kenster View Post


    IMPORTANT: Throughout each of the steps and throughout your journey, program yourself to work your butt off. The only reason I got anywhere in this industry is because I worked harder than 99% of the other marketers.
    This is so damn true man! you hit it right in the head here. When i show people what to do EXACTLY what to do, I even show them some of my campaigns, they just don't do it! it amazes me..

    If you work hard in this business it will pay off, learn and work.. so many people are so busy learning that they never put in the work.

    I love this quote that says "knowledge is power" well that's not entirely true -- "applied knowledge is power" now get to work!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kenster
      Originally Posted by CarlosG View Post

      This is so damn true man! you hit it right in the head here. When i show people what to do EXACTLY what to do, I even show them some of my campaigns, they just don't do it! it amazes me..

      If you work hard in this business it will pay off, learn and work.. so many people are so busy learning that they never put in the work.

      I love this quote that says "knowledge is power" well that's not entirely true -- "applied knowledge is power" now get to work!


      Haha, I know exactly what you mean. I have literally let people watch me build a small campaign every step of the way in the most methodical and formulaic way possible, and they still don't have the personality/mindset/dedication to replicate it.

      Making money and being entrepreneurial isn't in everybody...but I sure as heck love it!
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      • Profile picture of the author jayalaxmi
        Banned
        if you go with paid ones then you can test with more campaigns fast which can save your time.time is more precious than money
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  • Profile picture of the author CarlosG
    Our business has been Free traffic since early 2005.. just recently we started to use paid traffic. It's a very large learning curve for both however they will both pay off IF you put in the work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nulli Secundus
    When I first started IM around a year ago I only tried PPC and that was a great way to blow through the only start up money I had. Now I'm only using free traffic until I have the money to explore the other options
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  • Profile picture of the author Lilwarrior
    Thanks - Your article really helped my rethink a strategy for one of my business ventures!
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  • Profile picture of the author sameerjoad
    for me free traffic with incentive cpa offers seems to be converting quite well. I did try paid traffic via facebook once, had good CTR but unfortunately not enough conversions to meet the money spent. Also played with adwords using a coupon i got from them, it din't work out that well either.

    I am sure if you are good with ppc then you can make lots of money, but free traffic is always the way to go!
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny1980
    Not bad statement you have
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  • Profile picture of the author myagi007
    Great post to start with. This is just my two cents. I was listening to a webinar (Charles Kirkland) and something he said has really stuck in my mind: You need to find the quickest route of getting from A to B. Now this is probably a really obvious thing to most people (I know I kicked myself) however just look at it like this - You want to get free traffic as quick as possible (Point B) so you need to look at SEO, however this can be time consuming and difficult (Point A) so what's the quickest way to get to that - well out source. So my thoughts are take as much of the work that you possibly can and outsource it to someone for relatively cheap, and that doesn't necessarily mean buying 10,000 forum profile links for $20 which only work for a short period for most people however getting 25 articles for $50-60 is cheap if you imagine how long it would take to write them, use that time time to build decent high profile links, or build relationships within a social field.... etc... It may seem like rubbish but it's my thought...
    PS I would also recommend that aanyone starting tries to do everything themsleves for a period of time to understand what works and what doesn't. Hope it makes sense.
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    • Profile picture of the author ukcarl
      I found out on my own journey in IM over the last 2 years that in the end paid traffic was better for me, however, this took me around 1 year of messing around with free traffic where I did make some money but more importantly I learnt lots.

      The best things about taking this route were:

      • I learnt how to build websites wordpress and basic HTML
      • I learnt about important things to do with content like preselling and writing good copy
      • I learnt about how to use calls to action
      • I tried and tested many different verticles and as a result found the 2 that I mainly focus on now
      • Overall I learnt a lot, in many different areas, almost like an apprentice learns their trade.

      As a result of this when I got in to paid traffic I had a large skillset and lots of general IM knowledge that I could use in my paid marketing efforts.

      hope this helps
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeMorgan
        Originally Posted by ukcarl View Post

        I found out on my own journey in IM over the last 2 years that in the end paid traffic was better for me, however, this took me around 1 year of messing around with free traffic where I did make some money but more importantly I learnt lots.

        The best things about taking this route were:

        • I learnt how to build websites wordpress and basic HTML
        • I learnt about important things to do with content like preselling and writing good copy
        • I learnt about how to use calls to action
        • I tried and tested many different verticles and as a result found the 2 that I mainly focus on now
        • Overall I learnt a lot, in many different areas, almost like an apprentice learns their trade.

        As a result of this when I got in to paid traffic I had a large skillset and lots of general IM knowledge that I could use in my paid marketing efforts.

        hope this helps
        You have gone through the right way .

        I am sure your experience would help lots of newbies who are confused on how to start .
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  • Profile picture of the author Keen creations
    Honeslty I love every single thread you make...they are all very helpful and inspiring. I dont wanna get akward or anything but if I didn't find some of your threads to start with...I probably wouldn't even be attempting CPA.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kenster
      Originally Posted by Keen creations View Post

      Honeslty I love every single thread you make...they are all very helpful and inspiring. I dont wanna get akward or anything but if I didn't find some of your threads to start with...I probably wouldn't even be attempting CPA.


      That's amazing!!! Let me know if I can help in any other way!

      And nice work getting into CPA...its a good place!
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  • Profile picture of the author Toby.T
    Agreed, I started with the free route, helps you learn the ropes and the nature of the beast.

    Then steadily shifted to paid traffic sources. That being said, I still bank from free sources daily, good traffic is good traffic (paid or free)
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeMorgan
      Originally Posted by Toby.T View Post

      Agreed, I started with the free route, helps you learn the ropes and the nature of the beast.

      Then steadily shifted to paid traffic sources. That being said, I still bank from free sources daily, good traffic is good traffic (paid or free)
      Well said , Toby .
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  • Profile picture of the author Easy Cash
    I agree that free traffic will teach you a lot that you can then apply to paid traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Caper224
    Its all personal preference, neither is better or easier than the other. Its just which one you put the time into perfecting that will determine your success. I prefer paid because its instant gratification but its con is it can become a nightmare very easily if you don't know how to test properly. I just don't have the patience for seo personally but if you do an you got the discipline to focus on backlinking for 60 - 90 days(if ur good) without pay til you break the top 3 then it can be just as lucrative.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kenster
      Originally Posted by Caper224 View Post

      Its all personal preference, neither is better or easier than the other. Its just which one you put the time into perfecting that will determine your success. I prefer paid because its instant gratification but its con is it can become a nightmare very easily if you don't know how to test properly. I just don't have the patience for seo personally but if you do an you got the discipline to focus on backlinking for 60 - 90 days(if ur good) without pay til you break the top 3 then it can be just as lucrative.

      Everybody, please pay particular attention to the sentence I highlighted above
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  • Profile picture of the author profitprint
    learning... Thanks Kenster.
    I am going to build the basic blocks
    copywriting 101
    landing pages 101
    tracking 101
    split testing 101
    cpa networks 101
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  • Profile picture of the author jugnu
    nice ken, it'a awesome advice
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Willy
    I strongly agree with you Kenster. Most of the CPA marketers always starts with free traffic before moving on to the paid one.

    Free Traffic = Slow Traffic But Long Term Results
    Paid Traffic = Fast Traffic But Short Term Results

    Until now, I still earn most of my CPA income through free traffic. Cheers!

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author outwest
    I disagree that CPA paid traffic takes longer to learn than SEO
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    Tech article writing .Native English Speaker(with Proof)
    specializing in SmartPhones , Internet security, high tech gadgets, search engines, tech shows, digital cameras.

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  • Profile picture of the author jamhot
    If I can add to this despite the age of the thread now. I also started out with seo because I ran a company that needed a more effective form of advertising. With that thought in mind I went about building myself a web site with pages specifically targeting different area's around my location. It took me around a year to rank around 20 cities for my target keywords and did the job really quite well. I was getting new customers calling several times a week and making a pretty penny from it. From the knowledge I had taken in the process I decided to apply it to affiliate marketing and built a few content rich blogs to pump with various ads and CPA. Was actually getting somewhere with it and making a small income but, and the big BUT with seo is trying to keep up with google. The last update they did ruined every site I built and destroyed my existing services company by taking away my new customers. It is for this reason I have decided to go the route of paid traffic, ppv specifically. Reason being is that you at least get predictability and measurable results from what I already am aware of. This is something that you will never get relying on search engines. The goal post will always move trying to keep up with search engines. You could waste a great deal of time, as I did tying to get free traffic and be left with a even bigger hole than when you started. At least with paid you are able to "pay as you go" and minimise the losses in the short term. The opportunity to apply immediate tweaks to a campaign on paid traffic and see quick results is far more reliable in my opinion despite the short term losses.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kenster
      Originally Posted by jamhot View Post

      If I can add to this despite the age of the thread now. I also started out with seo because I ran a company that needed a more effective form of advertising. With that thought in mind I went about building myself a web site with pages specifically targeting different area's around my location. It took me around a year to rank around 20 cities for my target keywords and did the job really quite well. I was getting new customers calling several times a week and making a pretty penny from it. From the knowledge I had taken in the process I decided to apply it to affiliate marketing and built a few content rich blogs to pump with various ads and CPA. Was actually getting somewhere with it and making a small income but, and the big BUT with seo is trying to keep up with google. The last update they did ruined every site I built and destroyed my existing services company by taking away my new customers. It is for this reason I have decided to go the route of paid traffic, ppv specifically. Reason being is that you at least get predictability and measurable results from what I already am aware of. This is something that you will never get relying on search engines. The goal post will always move trying to keep up with search engines. You could waste a great deal of time, as I did tying to get free traffic and be left with a even bigger hole than when you started. At least with paid you are able to "pay as you go" and minimise the losses in the short term. The opportunity to apply immediate tweaks to a campaign on paid traffic and see quick results is far more reliable in my opinion despite the short term losses.
      Very good points here and you are absolutely correct with the challenge of working with natural algorithm based traffic. There are plenty of people who enjoy SEO and do very well with the SEO to CPA model but it certainly doesn't come without its downsides...but then again, I suppose you can say that about every single traffic source out there.

      So the key is to just pick a a traffic source (any source) and start hacking away at it!
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  • Profile picture of the author samkap
    CPA paid is instant. you either make or lose, but if you profit it's instant
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  • Profile picture of the author jackie8k
    I agree that for the most of majority of newbies free traffic is the best option to get started.

    Thanks for sharing such a great post.
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  • Profile picture of the author mlmmentors
    Yes, free traffic to test your offers then invest in paid advertising. I don't do ppc anymore. I do solo ads in newsletters and ezines and this has worked for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kenster
      Originally Posted by mlmmentors View Post

      Yes, free traffic to test your offers then invest in paid advertising. I don't do ppc anymore. I do solo ads in newsletters and ezines and this has worked for me.

      And that is exactly what CPA is all about..finding what you are good at and sticking with it. Whether it's solo ads in newsletter and ezines or PPC and media buying, just stick with something and get good at it.

      Props to you buddy!
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeMorgan
        Originally Posted by Kenster View Post

        And that is exactly what CPA is all about..finding what you are good at and sticking with it. Whether it's solo ads in newsletter and ezines or PPC and media buying, just stick with something and get good at it.

        Props to you buddy!
        Well said Ken .

        I would also like to add that it very important that you master other traffic sources or channels so as to diversify your traffic source and stay safe.
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  • Profile picture of the author thisisraz65
    How much stratup budget you recommend for cpa newbie for ppc traffic. Thanks.
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  • Ken I agree with you 100%!

    It is advised that newbies start off with free traffic sources so they can get the hang of what cpa marketing is and learn the basics. Once you have the basics down moving onto paid traffic and start testing is the best way to go about advancing in the field of cpa marketing!
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    • Profile picture of the author wesd22
      Kenster your OP is misleading to newbies.

      10k visitors a day to a site from SEO? Do you realize how difficult that is?? SEO takes a LONG time. SEO is a whole world in itself: write content, promote content, build backlinks, create social media presence to boost SEO, etc. Each of those require a lot of time. And time costs money.

      Not to mention a lot of traffic from SEO is low quality.

      And not to mention an algorithm change by Google can wipe a person out.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kenster
        Originally Posted by wesd22 View Post

        Kenster your OP is misleading to newbies.

        10k visitors a day to a site from SEO? Do you realize how difficult that is?? SEO takes a LONG time. SEO is a whole world in itself: write content, promote content, build backlinks, create social media presence to boost SEO, etc. Each of those require a lot of time. And time costs money.

        Not to mention a lot of traffic from SEO is low quality.

        And not to mention an algorithm change by Google can wipe a person out.

        I was demonstrating the difference between generating the same number of traffic via SEO or a free traffic source versus a paid traffic source. Whether it was 10,000 visitors or 10 visitors, the concept I am trying to explain is the same!

        And yes, 10,000 visitors a day is hard as I do say...you need to get really good at it to drive that much traffic with ANY traffic source
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  • Profile picture of the author Al amin
    It was nice to read
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  • Profile picture of the author apollo rala
    this one is a solid information I like the comparison but if your tight budget you will go with free traffic
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  • Profile picture of the author 3wCorner
    I always go with free traffic until I achieve my good results.
    As well as with freebies like when you sign up with a web hosting service then you get free yahoo, bing and google ad credits then I use it to promote my site also.
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