One of the most popular ways to make money online is through what are called CPA offers. or click per action offers. If you are not familiar with these offers, here’s how the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, defines them, “Cost Per Action or CPA (sometimes known as Pay Per Action or PPA) is an online pricing model, where the advertiser pays for each specified action (a purchase, a form submission, and so on) linked to the advertisement.”

You’ve probably done one

Have you ever filled out a simple online questionnaire, participated in a poll or gave your name and email address in the hope of winning something? Then the odds are that you’ve been part of one of these offers and some Webmaster earned anywhere from a dollar to as much as $25 as a result of your “action.”

Should your promote a CPA offer?

While an offer involving CPA can be a good way to earn money on your website, you need to make sure you evaluate these offers carefully before you choose one. The space on the home page of your website or blog (or any other page) is valuable real estate and you need to treat it accordingly. You could use that space to promote an affiliate product, to make money with AdSense or with a CPA offer. As a rule, these offers pay better than Google’s AdSense – but only if you choose the right one.

Evaluating CPA offers

The first step in choosing a CPA offer is to find a network that specializes in them. Next, you’ll want to determine how much commission you would earn per sale (or action) and the offer’s conversion rate. This is the average number of visitors who typically click on the offer out of every 100 people who visit a website. This is expressed as a percentage so if the click rate is 1%, this means that out of every 100 people who visit a website, you can expect one to click on the offer. As you might guess, the higher the commission and the higher the conversion rate the better.

Will you use AdWords?

Most webmasters who promote CPA offers, use Google’s AdWords to drive visitors to their websites. AdWords are pay-per-click advertising meaning that you must have a budget, create a campaign and then pay Google every time someone clicks on your ad and goes to your CPA offer. If you’re not familiar with AdWords, Google has some great information that will help you understand how use them effectively. Most webmasters who host CPA offers use AdWords as they represent a more reliable way to get traffic to a website than relying on a combination of on-page and off-page SEO.

Do the math

If you elect to use AdWords, you’ll need to do some math to make sure that you will get a decent return on your advertising investment. Google has a neat tool called Return of Investment Calculation Tool that can help you determine this. The net/net of this is that you need to know what are the odds that you will earn more with the CPA offer then you would have to pay Google.

Does it fit?

It’s also important to consider when checking out a CPA offer how well it fits with your website and its content. For example, you might find an offer related to, say, debt relief that pays $25 per qualified lead but if your website is all about indoor gardening, that offer would stick out like a goldfish in a punch bowl. In this case, it might be better to choose an offer that paid less but was a better fit.