For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


How to Get Approved for Affiliate Programs and CPA Networks

July 26th, 2009

approved-affiliate-cpa.jpgEarlier this week, someone who found my page on getting approved with Panthera sent in an inquiry via the Contact page regarding how to get approved for CPA (Cost Per Action) networks. The visitor was wanting to know what kind of questions might be asked by the program owners and whether or not a website would be needed for approval. As often happens with my email replies, I ended up writing enough content in my answer to make a separate article out of it. Since there are many of you who are probably looking for the same kind of information as my curious visitor, I might as well post it here so that others can benefit from my experience. Included in my reply is the standard site description that I use for applications to affiliate programs, CPA networks, and other online venues where this information is required. You can use this as a template for your applications — just remember to change the site name, topics, and numbers to reflect your own site statistics!

Q: I have been doing research on CPA networks because I am contemplating opening a paid online survey website. I have read Panthera provides daily online surveys. I was wondering if you can help me understand the process of signing up. Is it best to sign up once you have your site ready? Also, I heard these networks ask you questions. How do you recommend answering them?

A: I would definitely recommend having your site set up and established before applying to the CPA networks. It is also a good idea to have at least a minimal amount of traffic coming in so that you can compile some basic information about your site and its audience; most CPA networks and affiliate programs will ask you questions about this.

For the most part, signing up to these types of programs involves filling out an online form with your basic demographic information such as name, address, phone number, and the URL of your website. For the phone number, you will need to use your real number here for the CPA networks because many of them are using some type of phone verification now, so you won’t be able to get away with faking this. With Panthera, I was fortunate enough to avoid having to go through a phone interview because the person who reviews the applications was out of town for a few weeks and when he/she returned, my application was approved based on the completeness of the information I had provided in the online form during signup.

If you do need to go through a phone interview, however, be prepared to answer some basic questions about your site regarding its topic(s), the type of site (content-based, incentivized, e-commerce, etc.), how much traffic it gets (number of visitors per day or per month), traffic sources (search engines, referring sites, direct traffic), and the geographic location of your visitors (most of these programs like to see significant traffic coming from countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, or Australia because these countries have higher paying leads and advertisers).

In order to help you with the signup process, I can provide you with the standard site description that I use for registering with CPA networks and affiliate programs. It has had a generally high approval rate because it tells the program owners all of the basic information they want to know about my site. You can use this as a template for your signups by simply replacing the topics and numbers with your own site data. For most programs, you will be filling this in under the “site description” or “tell us about your site” field of the form. I have this information saved in a text file on my computer’s desktop so that I can quickly retrieve it whenever I need to sign up for another program. Even if my site statistics change, all I have to do is edit a few numbers and copy/paste the text into the appropriate online form field.

Here is the current version of the official site description for Karlonia.com, which is submitted to most affiliate programs and advertisers:

Karlonia.com is dedicated to helping people achieve greater personal and economic freedom. Topics include Internet marketing, SEO strategies, product reviews, English usage tips, informative articles, and relevant news reports from around the world.

The site receives an average of 900 to 1000 unique visitors per day, or 27,000 to 30,000 per month (page impressions are about twice this amount). According to Google Analytics, approximately 75% of the traffic comes from the United States, and about 90% comes from search engines.

This is a content-based site with a current total of 845 articles spanning a variety of topics, many of which are keyword targeted. The average article length is 700 to 800 words. New articles are posted to the site at a current rate of once per day.

Occasionally there will be times when your application is rejected even if you provide all of the correct information about you and your site. Some programs are very picky about the types of sites they will accept, while others are looking for a certain minimum traffic level or amount of content. Such rejections are very frustrating because it is often difficult to ascertain exactly what the particular program’s criteria are before applying, and their rejection letters rarely provide specific or actionable reasons for their non-acceptance of your site. If you suspect that you are not being approved simply because of low traffic, this can be remedied by publishing more content, using good SEO practices, and doing some basic advertising. You can then re-apply to the program and have a better chance for approval.

If you encounter repeated rejections over a long period of time (more than one year) and the program still refuses to provide you with specific reasons or suggestions for improvement, it’s probably time to move on and find another program. Fortunately, affiliate programs and even CPA networks are pretty much “a dime a dozen” as the saying goes, meaning that there are many alternatives to choose from in this particular genre. If a program proves to be too stubborn or gives me too much hassle, I can simply write it off as “their loss” and find several others that will approve me rather quickly.

In fact, if you join certain networks such as Commission Junction or Google’s affilate network and have a reasonably established site, many programs will actually send applications TO YOU instead of the other way around and you will be able to decide whether or not to accept their program for promotion and use on your site. Meanwhile, if you can manage to get into Panthera, this will probably be a good match for your category because I have noticed that many of Panthera’s offers tend to focus on paid survey leads and registrations.

Post Your Comments, Opinions, or Suggestions Here:


Email (optional)

Website (optional)