Whether it be parenting, gaming, business tips or food – a blog’s conception often begins with the author’s passion. Whatever topic he or she chooses, a lot of time and effort goes into making a blog successful, and after establishing a niche and populating it with content, bloggers often find they’ve established a steady readership. Some may realize the potential to capitalize on this popularity, but too often bloggers are left scratching their heads, wondering how to best earn revenue from all of their hard work.

While traditional advertising is an option, it may take some time to see the desired revenue. One of the most popular approaches is Cost Per Mille (CPM), or Cost Per Thousand Impressions, where the blogger earns about $.25 for every 1,000 impressions. Paywalls are another choice, but if you’re not a powerhouse like the New York Times, you risk losing visitors who are unwilling to pay for a subscription. In fact, a Harris poll of more than 2,000 U.S. adults found that 80 percent of respondents are not willing to pay to read a daily newspaper’s online content, and this is certainly indicative of the sentiment toward paying for content on specific blogs as well.

What’s an avid blogger to do? The answer could be as simple as an affiliate marketing avenue called content locking which is based on the cost-per-action (CPA) model. The concept is simple. When a person visits a blog, they complete a brief survey, quiz or game, unlocking the content they want to view. Additionally, a CPA showcase path could be utilized, where a series of CPA advertisements are presented to the user before they move on. Think of it as a quick commercial break, only one that engages users with targeted and relevant advertising.

Visitors don’t have to deal with a paywall or commit to a subscription, and are much more likely to stay and browse the blog. The surveys or games that the viewers complete are sponsored by advertisers who then pay the blogger for each one that is completed. For example, if traffic volume averages about 60,000 clicks per day, the blogger has the potential to receive up to roughly $9,000 that day. Additionally, the right CPA solution can outperform CPM by x25-35. So, where a blogger would earn about $.25 per every 1,000 impressions, they can earn up to $1 for the same number of impressions with CPA. In this way, bloggers can turn site traffic into realized revenue, generating money where they might not have thought possible.

With media consumption methods constantly evolving, bloggers need to be aware of the ways in which their readers prefer to view content, as it can influence bloggers’ monetization strategy. Consumers want quick and easy access to content, and they want it without a cost. There’s almost nothing quite as frustrating as when a website forces you to either “pay up” or “get out”, and chances are most consumers will choose the latter. Using a CPA model allows consumers the freedom to view content for free, while providing bloggers with a new source of income.

By Peter Tarr, Chief Global Strategist, CPAlead