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Clickbank review | The Good, Bad & The Ugly Behind The Affiliate Program

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Are you interested in using Clickbank for Affiliate Marketing? Wondering what exactly is Clickbank and how you can make money with it?

If you are new to the online-money-making world you have probably heard the word Clickbank along with ‘affiliate marketing’, ‘ads’ and ‘landing pages’.

In this article we will review Clickbank as an affiliate network and put together all the pieces you’d need to know to start making money with it.

Clickbank Review | What is Clickbank?

Before we start our Clickbank review, let’s start by defining what Clickbank is. To put it simple Clickbank is an Affiliate Network.

This means it acts as a middleman between Merchants who want to sell their products and Affiliates who will promote such products in exchange for a commission.

Affiliate Networks are an essential part of affiliate marketing since they guarantee both parties can run their business in a safe and regulated way.

Clickbank was founded in 1998, has more than six-million clients worldwide, and has become the 87th largest Internet retailer in North America.

Contrary to other Affiliate Networks such as Shareasale, Maxbounty, and M4trix to name a few, Clickbank specializes in digital products and they are widely recognized for that.

Clickbank Review | How does Clickbank work?

As mentioned, Clickbank works as an intermediary between merchants and affiliates. Merchants can join Clickbank to list their products and Affiliates can join to find products to promote.

In this way, Clickbank retails digital items from other sellers and creators in addition to handling the affiliate program if chosen by either seller or buyer

When you join as an affiliate, you can access their marketplace where you can choose among over 10,000+ digital products readily available to make commissions on.

Clickbank Review

You can filter products per commission rate, recurring revenue, conversion rate, niche, etc.

In most cases, merchants will also give you access to marketing materials such as email swipes, social media images and demographic information of their ideal customer all of which you can use to promote the product.

You will also get access to your affiliate links which will allow you to track your sales. It will also tell Clickbank when a sale is made through your link and will automatically grant you the determined commission. Sounds good right?

ClickBank works in a really simple way. They provide you with a network of products ready for affiliate marketing and provide you with a link to earn commissions on those products.

Clickbank Review | Clickbank Benefits

1. Clickbank offers high commissions

Most of ClickBank products will pay you 60% to 70%+ commission. The more sales you make for a merchant, the bigger commissions you will be able to negotiate.

For example, if you sell a $100 product, you earn $70. They’re able to do that because most of their products are digital, which means there are no manufacturing or shipping costs.

Compared that to Amazon, who has one of the biggest affiliate programs out there and only pays 1% to 5%, and you have some solid reasons to put your efforts into promoting Clickbank offers.

2. Clickbank pays fast

While most affiliate networks will pay you a monthly basis, Clickbank will do it weekly or bi-weekly. If you are just getting started and don’t have a huge budget for ads, this can make a great difference in your cash flow.

3. Clickbank is easy to join

New affiliates can have a hard time getting accepted by some affiliate networks. They will require you to have an already established website with lots of traffic, a big social media following, or a history of proven results.

While this cautiousness does its job at keeping scammers away, it also complicates things for newbies since you need some network to accept you to start building your credibility.

4. Clickbank is international friendly

Unfortunately for non-us citizens, some network will only send payments to USA bank accounts which can make it impossible for someone with another nationality to join.

Clickbank works with Payoneer, a popular digital wallet that can help you easily get paid online no matter where you’re from in the world (with a few exceptions).

5. Clickbank has a great variety of products

Clickbank has over 10,000 products among almost every niche. While you will only be promoting one or a few, this still means you have a lot of opportunities to choose from and less competition for every product.

Clickbank Review | Is Clickbank legit?

With so many scams online nowadays, I can understand why people wonder if any way of making money online is safe.

The answer is yes, Clickbank is legit. It not a scam or a pyramid scheme. If you sell a product you will get a commission, assuming you complied with the terms of the merchant.

Now, while Clickbank isn’t a scam there are some terms in their user agreement that you want to be aware of to avoid future surprises.

Here are some of Clickbank’s terms to consider:

1. Deductions for inactive accounts

According to Clickbank agreement, if you don’t make a sale within a certain time they will deduct money from your commissions.

It is not a big amount and you wouldn’t be surprised if you read the terms but the truth is most affiliates don’t and then see this as something to complain about.

Clickbank Review

To avoid this, change your payment threshold to a lower amount (it is set on $100 as predetermined) so if you ever have an emergency and have to unexpectedly leave your business for a while, there is no money left in your account that they can deduct from.

2. Processing fees

Another factor affiliates complain about is the processing fee for withdrawing payments. Clickbank will charge you $2.50 for every time they send your money.

Again, this is a small charge and most affiliates will have no issues with it but something to keep in mind to avoid surprised.

Clickbank Review

What about Clickbank Offers? Are they ‘worth it’?

With over 10,000 offers and more being add every day, it is reasonable to expect that not all of Clickbank’s offers are great, as it is the case in every Affiliate Network. There are great offers and not-so-great offers.

Luckily, you get to chose among the many offer and promote only those you want. It is part of your job as an affiliate to select the offers you consider will sale the best and market them in ways that improve the conversion even more.

Clickbank also provides data and filters you can use to select the offer with the most potential. We will show you how to choose the right offers later on the money-making part of this article.

Clickbank Review | How much does it cost to join?

Zero dollars. Clickbank is free to join and they application process is pretty simple. Affiliates can join without having to pay a fee. Clickbank will only charge certain fees for inactive accounts and withdrawals.

Clickbank Review | Can you make money with Clickbank? How much?

To put it simply, yes! It is totally possible to make money with Clickbank. How much is totally subjective and will depend on factors like the product and your promoting strategy.

ClickBank has thousands of Affiliates earning a part or full-time income promoting their products. An average sale earns you $20-$50 in commission. If you make 4 sales a day, you can make $80 to $200 a day easily. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

But if you’re a complete newbie, it’s not unrealistic to aim for your first sale in 2-3 months. From that point onwards, once you prove to yourself that it works, things become much easier.

As a reference, ClickBank’s #1 Affiliate, Robby Blanchard, made over $1Million Dollars in a single month.

I’ll break down exactly how to get yourself started in that direction do that in the next sections, as well as my recommended strategy to follow for beginners.

So now let’s get started!

Clickbank Review | How to make money with Clickbank?

Now that we have established that Clickbank is a legit company with some great opportunities to make money online, let’s go ahead and learn how to get your commissions rolling.

There are 3 key elements to master any affiliate sale that we will explore:

  1. The offer: choosing the right product is the foundation for your success. You will learn how to differentiate a winning product and don’t waste your efforts on those who are not.
  2. The funnel: This is the journey people will follow from first coming across with your ad or offer until making a purchase and becoming a customer. There are many ways to do this and yes, there is a good and a bad one and you’ll learn them both.
  3. The traffic: Finally, you need to get eyes on your offer. We will explore the different types of traffic sources available and how to choose the best one for you.

How to make money with Clickbank?
Step 1: The Offer

Clickbank has thousands of products and naturally not all of them will be winners so picking the right one is key to make sure you begin your affiliate journey with the right food.

With the variety of products available it can be overwhelming to choose one so here are some factors I recommend considering to start filtering them down.

1. Gravity

The first filter we will use is called ‘Gravity’ and it shows how many affiliates are selling this product.

To start filtering the offers by gravity, head to the Marketplace (after joining) where you will see the following page.

Clickbank Review

Click on the search icon without typing anything and it will turn into something like this:

Clickbank Review

You will now see the offers sort by popularity and have access to the filters and attributes. The first one on the list is Gravity which according to Clickbank represents the number of affiliates who have made sales of that product in the latest calculated period.

Without previous data this number doesn’t tell us all we need to know.

For example a Gravity of 30 would mean 30 affiliates are making sales this month but we don’t know how many were doing it the month before. Maybe they stopped because it was not profitable compared to what they were spending on ads.

Still, we want to know there are people making money with this product so we use Gravity as our first filter but we want to take the results with a grain of salt.

I like to filter product with a Gravity of 30+ to begin with. A very high gravity score is also a sign or too much competition so you might want to stay away from products with a gravity of 100+.

2. Sales Page

The sales pages is the merchant’s website where you will send potential customers. This is the page in charge of ‘selling’ the offer so you want to look for a sales page that converts well.

To access it click on the top link of the offer.

Clickbank Review

It will take you straight to the sales page which might look something like this one…

Clickbank Review

Sales pages with videos usually convert really well since they are highly engaging and easy to understand.

If they have a written sales page you want it to be very convincing and keeps pulling you in to read more. Usually pages with stories have this effect.

The button to buy needs to be unmissable and the whole page will be directing your attention to it to complete the purchase leaving no doubt about what you should do next.

You can not really tell how converting a page is until you send traffic to it and start tracking the results but overall you want to look for a page that looks simple and keeps you intrigued to find out more whether it is with a video or a great written page.

If you are somewhat familiar with the niche you can use your own criteria as well and wonder if you would buy from it yourself.

3. Affiliate Tools

Affiliate Tools are the materials that merchants will put at your disposal to help you promote their products such as email swipes, images for ads, banners, templates, etc.

Clickbank Review

You can access them through the affiliate page in the description of the offer as shown above. You’ll find that most top products have dedicated pages that help you get started quickly promoting their products.

Clickbank Review

Even if you don’t plan on using them, it is a good sign that a vendor cares about attracting and retaining affiliates and will do the same for its customers.

You also don’t want to rely too heavily on these materials since there is a chance other affiliates are using them which can cause ‘ad fatigue’ (the ad stops working because the audience becomes immune to it after seeing it around so much).

3. Commission

As you are probably wondering, the commission is obviously an important factor.

You can calculate how much you would get paid for every sale by using the initial sale amount and the average % per sale.

Clickbank Review

In this case the Initial sale is $69.01 and the Average % per sale is 48.0 so:

69.01 x 48/100 = 33.12 —> your commission

The reason why it says average % is because not all affiliates receive the same amount. As a new affiliate, you will receive the basic commission but as you make more sales for one vendor you can contact them to negotiate a higher rate. They are usually very open to it.

As a filtering point you want to choose offers that pay at least $25 so it is worth your time and you have some room to test and optimize your ad spend (we’ll get to that).

4. Niche

Last but not least you want to think about the niche of the offer (the category/ market).

While you don’t need to necessarily be super passionate about it or have a lot of experience on it, it can help and give you an advantage to have some understanding of it.

For example let’s think of an offer to help people with Diabetes. You might not be passionate about it but if you have a family memeber with it, it can give you some insight on the audience’s pain point and what they’d like to hear.

Same way if you want to promote a dog training product, it’d be easier if you have a dog or at least have had one once that if you have no idea what that is like.

However, if you are not familiar with a niche at all but want to commit long-term to it and learn all about it then by all means go for it.


Once you choose a product, you can click on ‘promote’ and enter your ClickBank nickname to get your affiliate link. Now all you have to do is to copy/paste it and use it during promotions.

Clickbank Review

How to make money with Clickbank?
Step 2: The Funnel

Once you have picked your product, the next step is designing the path your future customer will follow since they become aware of your offer until they purchase it.

It might sound like a new concept but every company, product and purchase you have ever made has followed a certain funnel.

  • You see and ad on Instagram for a sweater –> go on the company’s website and buy it = funnel
  • You see an influencer eating in a new restaurant and get curious about it –> next week you decide to go to the restaurant yourself = funnel
  • You receive a promotional email about some headphones –> go to the website to check them out but don’t buy them –> next day they send you a discount code –> you go on the website and now do buy them = funnel

Makes sense? When it comes to selling your affiliate product the same applies, there are different journeys or ‘funnels’ you can guide your customer through so now let’s explore what those options are and what is the best one to guarantee your success.

Option 1: Direct Linking

As it sounds, direct linking is sending customers ‘directly‘ to the vendor’s sale page through your affiliate link. This can be from an ad or any other traffic source you decide to use.

Clickbank Review

While this might sound like a quick and easy-to-implement idea, it rarely ‘works’ meaning you rarely get to be profitable or scale your sales.

Since you have no control or data over the vendor’s sales page. This means if you are having issues getting sales you have no idea what could be the issue or where to start optmizing.

And you are paying for traffic, you are throwing your money away by letting people who didn’t buy at the first time simply leave.

Finally, most reputable traffic sources such as Facebook, instagram and Google Ads would not allow you to do this so you’ll be missing on a lot places where your audience is ‘hanging out’.

Option 2: Landing Page

This option includes your own landing page ‘in the middle’ of your traffic source and the vendor’s sales page.

In comparison to the previous option, this is a much better approach. A landing page is a simple web page that you create and exists between the traffic source and the vendor’s sale page.

The landing page could contain a review of the offer, a video, or even just a screenshot of the vendor’s video with an intriguing headline so that the visitors click on it and get redirected to the offer.

Clickbank Review

The purpose of this page is to ‘presell’ the offer in a way that increases the conversion rate. In this way, a review or testimonial can act as social proof and eliminate the potential barriers of the visitor.

Also, by having a landing page of your own, you will be able to get the data on how many people go from your landing page to the sales page.

If there is a big percentage going from your landing page to the sales page it shows that there is interest in the offer. However if very few or none of those visitors are actually buying it can be that the sales page is not very good and you can stop wasting your efforts on it.

Finally, you can use the landing page to ‘retarget’ visitors with ads. Have you ever been on a website and the next moment saw an ad for that exact product on your Facebook feed?

This is easily achieved by using a pixel from Facebook (or any other ad platform). Once you have an ad account with Facebook, you can get the pixel (that is a little piece of code) that you can copy/paste on your landing page and then retarget people who visited it with your ads.

Studies have shown that customers require 7 to 8 of being exposed to a certain offer to make a purchase so retargeting ads have a lot better conversion rate than regular ads.

Option 3: Opt-In page

Last but not least is the Opt-In Page option. It is similar to the landing page in the way that it exists in the middle of the traffic source and the vendor’s sale page.

However, an opt-in page is different because it has the main goal of getting the visitor to ‘give away’ their email. To achieve this, there is logically something being offered to motivate them to do it such as a free pdf guide, a special discount, or a video course, among other ‘freebies’ that are commonly used.

In this case you send the visitor to your opt-in page and offer them a free gift related to your offer in exchange for their email address.

After they ‘opt-in’ with their email they are redirected to the vendor’s sale page where they will or won’t purchase it.

However now you have their email which is a very valuable asset and often the decisive factor between a profitable and a non-profitable campaign, you will learn below.

Clickbank Review

After collecting your visitor’s email you can now add them to your email list and start them on your email sequence, depending on whether they bought the first offer or not.

If they bought it then great! you made a sale, but it doesn’t need to end there, you now have a valuable customer who is interested and willing to purchase offers in that niche.

You can now continue to send them emails promoting other offers in the same market. Luckily, Clickbank has lots of them so you can easily find other products in your niche and promote them via email.

On the other hand if they did not buy the first offer, you can email them a couple more times with different approaches and see if they buy it now.

If after 2 or 3 times they don’t buy the offer, you can still make money with them so don’t worry. Them not buying that particular offer doesn’t mean they won’t buy other of the products you had selected, so you can go ahead and offer them something different.

If you haven’t noticed yet, the difference of having an opt-in page is invaluable. Collecting emails and start growing your email list means you can sell to these people for months and even years to come (as long as you send them valuable content along with the offers).

Finally, having your own email list of highly targeted customers means you could even create your own digital product, promote it for free and keep all the profits.

This is a long term plan so don’t worry if you have no idea how to create a product or don’t think you’ll want to do it. It is just an extra opportunity you have when creating and nurturing your email list.


To learn How to Create a Profitable mail List for your offers, make sure to check out this article.


How to make money with Clickbank?
Step 3: The Traffic

It would be great if after creating your offer, people would spontaneously come across it right? But unfortunately, that is not the case. You need to actively choose and work on your traffic source.

There are dozens of traffic sources you could use and probably more will continue to appear but here are the main ones I recommend choosing from.

1. PPC – Pay Per Click Ads

Pay per Click Ads are a great option if you have the budget to invest and can afford to spend some time (and money) learning.

Each PPC platform such as Facebook and Google has a learning curve and you will probably need to ‘invest’ some money learning before you start mastering and seeing results.

PPC Ads are basically an ‘on-demand’ source of traffic. You can start getting visitors within minutes from starting a campaign and will also stop getting them as soon as you stop such campaign.

The great benefit of this method is that once you find the perfect audience and optimization for your funnel, you can literally scale it as much as you want (or as your cash flow allows).

Also, as I mentioned before, you will need an opt-in page or a landing page for this method since neither Facebook or Google allows you to ‘link directly’ to your affiliate URL.

2. Free Traffic Sources

If you don’t have a budget to invest on ads, don’t worry, you can still bring traffic to your offers and make money with CLickbank. In this case, since you have no money, you will need to invest in another way: with your time.

While PPC Ads require a lot less time to get started, Free or organic sources will require you put some effort and dedication but it is equally or even more rewarding.

Here are some of my favorite free traffic sources.

Facebook Groups

Facebook pages used to be the ‘go for’ method for organic traffic but Facebook didn’t find it as convenient. They wanted brands to invest in ads if they wanted to reach their audiences so…goodbye organic reach of Facebook pages.

On the other hand, Facebook Groups are still getting some pretty decent organic reach when managed correctly which you can create a Facebook group related to your niche and have a captive audience of people you can promote your offers to.

Clickbank Review
Most likely all selling affiliate or their own products

You want to keep the group interesting and non-salesy so that people are engaged and the group grows.

Once you have grown the group and the conversations are flowing without you having to moderate them so much, you can start posting about your affiliate offers sporadically.

You can also place your opt-in page in the group description so when people join they are added to your email list and boom! you can sell them forever even if Facebook ever collapses.

Recommended: Best Strategies for Facebook Affiliate Marketing

Instagram

Another platform with good organic reach is Instagram. While it does take some work and dedication to grow it and get quality followers, once you have a loyal following you can sell them on anything.

It works especially well for niches like food, pets, sports, babies, travel, decor. There is of interesting content you can use for these niches and gain a huge following.

Most likely all selling affiliate products or shout outs for affiliate products

While it is impossible to share a completely Instagram startegy in the section of a blog post, the basic strategy goes like this.

Post interesting and consistent content with relevant hashtags. You can use pages like Hashtagify ideas on the best hashtag for your niche.

Of course post content about your offers in between your regular content. One ‘sale’ post every 3-4 posts should be ok but watch out that your engagement doesn’t drop too much.

Also make sure that your ‘sale’ posts are still interesting and ‘blend’ well with the rest of your content

Follow users in your niche and engage with their posts. Also, engage with the comments people make on your posts since that helps the algorithm.

You can also contact influencers in your niche and offer them a fee of every sale you make in exchange for a shout out. You can use a service like ShoutCart for that or contact them directly.

Go for influencers with 4k-30k followers since they are much more likely to accept any type of deal.

Youtube

Youtube is a social media but it is also a search engine which means you get really targeted traffic from people who are already interested in what you have to sell.

To promote your affiliate products through Youtube, you can make it through a review video or a tutorial teaching people how to solve a problem using the product. Leave your affiliate link in the description and point people to it throughout the video.

clickbank review
Videos reviewing a Clickbank product

If you are camera shy, you have a couple of options. You could show images and graphics that support what you are saying while you do the off-camera or you can always hire someone on Fiverr to do it for a very affordable price.

Youtube videos take some time to rank but the benefit is that they will keep bringing you traffic for years after published.

Pinterest

The audience on Pinterest is mostly women so it is a great place to promote products with that target. It works great for niches such as health, fitness, cooking, crafts, pets, babies, etc.

The strategy for Pinterest is similar than for instagram. You create ‘boards’ for each topic you want to ‘pin’ about.

Inside of those boards, you’ll add ‘pins’ (which are the images you see in Pinterest as the ones shown above) and use relevant hashtags.

You can also join group boards which are meant to help people grow their following. These groups have their own rules but they are based in repinning (yes that is the correct term) each other pins with the hopes of them getting more views and clicks.


For a detailed guide on more free Free Affiliate Marketing Strategies make sure to check out this article.


To learn more about all the ways you can make money with Pinterest you don’t want to miss this article.


Takeaway

Clickbank is overall a reputable and trustworthy affiliate network. The only complaints I’ve found online were about the withdrawal and inactive account fees so if you are aware of those in advance and take the necessary precautions you should have no surprises.

There are hundreds of affiliates making full time incomes online with Clickbank products and you can do the same by following the recommended strategies.

Finally, it is good to remember that making money online is an optimization game. There is no doubt that making sales is possible so an affiliates work cis to constantly optimize all the different pieces to improve the conversion, reduce the traffic costs and in consequence, increase the profits.

Many affiliates get stuck on where to start but we have given you the exact steps to follow so don’t waste your time overthinking it and get started with your affiliate business now!

Got any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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