Affiliate marketing from Beginner to Advanced

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Intro - What is affiliate marketing and CPA marketing

CPA marketing is a branch of affiliate marketing focused on CPA offers. But first of all, what is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting specific products or services owned by other individuals or companies, helping them increase their sales and revenue and getting a commission for it.

These specific products or services are called offers and the owners are called advertisers in this space, as confusing as they might be, but basically, they are the offer owners looking for traffic to generate sales.

The process in the affiliate marketing industry can be divided into five main players generally speaking. Each one of them is responsible for an important part of the process and affiliate marketing doesn’t work when one of them is missing.

Of course, there are a few other players in between, but those are optional.

The main players are:

  1. The advertiser or offer owner
  2. The affiliate network
  3. The affiliate, also known as a publisher
  4. The traffic source
  5. Customers, also known as conversions


Advertiser/Offer owner is the individual or corporation that creates the service or product to sell and to be promoted. While many companies can grow with their sales and marketing team, many companies rely on affiliate marketing to get the word out about their products and services in exchange for a commission.

Advertisers pay on a performance basis, meaning that they only pay for results and this is why affiliate marketing is also known as performance marketing in some cases.

Every time you get them a sale, they pay you a percentage of it. Simple, right?

Affiliate network

Affiliate networks are the middle man or broker between the advertisers and the affiliates/publishers. They act as a market to handle contracts, payments, tracking, and everything in between.

While affiliates can work directly with advertisers sometimes, it’s recommended to work with an affiliate network as they will help you kickstart your campaigns without dealing with all the paper and legal stuff. They do this in exchange for a commission as well.

Golden Goose is an affiliate network.

Affiliate networks focus on getting more advertisers, great payouts, setting everything up so affiliates can focus on their marketing campaigns and getting paid.

The affiliate

That’s going to be you. Your role as an affiliate marketer or publisher, as known in many networks, is to drive traffic to the offers and generate conversions that turn into sales and revenue.

You need to understand how traffic works and how to optimize your campaigns to turn a profit from that buy-sell cycle. You are also known as a publisher because many affiliates own websites with organic traffic from search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) or Social networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) and they publish content, driving traffic and then monetizing it with affiliate offers.

Yes, that’s you looking in the mirror and working from Starbucks!

Traffic Source

As I said above, while many publishers own their traffic, many affiliates also prefer being a middle man in this industry and they end up buying traffic from publishers and sending it to affiliate offers through an affiliate network.

This is you most likely, and you need to turn a profit from the act of buying traffic from publishers that own websites and then monetizing it with affiliate offers.

Where do you buy that traffic? From a traffic source, of course. Here’s an example:

A traffic source or traffic network is a market where you can buy traffic from thousands of websites on a CPC, CPM, or CPA basis. They plug your campaigns into that traffic and give you the ability to filter and optimize the traffic to your needs.

CPM means you’re paying for impressions while CPC means you’re paying for clicks.

In this course, we’re going to learn how to buy traffic from two different ad formats, pop-under ads and push notifications, and we’ll show you how to set up campaigns in a few traffic sources to get started.


Customers are the people who take action in your affiliate campaigns to complete a sale, which results in revenue for the advertiser and commissions for the affiliate network and the affiliates.

Not all traffic converts the same and it’s up to you to make the offer stand above others and make people take action with your marketing strategies.

Now that we understand the full cycle of the affiliate marketing process, let’s talk about CPA marketing.