Pay Per Click (PPC) is a form of traffic generation where the person paying for the traffic only pays when their link is clicked on. The most popular method is Google AdWords which is that line of ads you see in search results on the right side of your screen.
PPC can certainly be beneficial if you know what youre doing. But when you go into it blind and uneducated about the strategy, youll lose a lot of money and have nothing to show for it in return.
Basically, youll be targeting keywords and phrases and trying to pay the lowest cost per click possible. The ads have specific criteria for length and some networks are picky about what you can and cannot say or link to, so you need to read all of the rules carefully so that you dont have your account shut down quickly.
You can target broad keywords, but the competition is going to be very stiff for those and very expensive to you. A better way to go would be to make up the traffic in volume and by using a few filters and additions.
For example, you want to include a list of negative keywords that will exclude your ad from being shown to certain groups. For example, the word free or download might mean someone is not willing to pay for the item.
Another group to target is the group where all of the words are misspelled. That might be brand names, niches, etc. You may have to dig around a bit, but this can be profitable because most affiliates dont go after misspellings.
Make sure you set a realistic budget for your affiliate efforts. Dont approve a certain daily budget that you know you cant pay. Remember that many affiliate programs take 60 days to pay out, so dont expect to use the profits to pay for past advertising.
When you do begin using pay per click ads, make sure you keep a careful watch over their conversion rates and tweak small elements of them to see if anything helps or hurts your click throughs.
You might want to initially begin using free traffic strategies while you educate yourself about the paid traffic possibilities. Sometimes new affiliates begin daydreaming about the possible commissions and lose sight of the fact that theyre competing against people who are well-versed in this type of promotion.