So you want to make money through affiliate marketing, huh?
You can smell the moolah.
And among hundreds of affiliate marketing networks out there, all promising you a piece of the scrumptious $12 billion pie, one has caught your fancy.
But there’s a problem.
You’ve heard a lot of good things about ClickBank.
You’ve also heard many bad things.
What’s true? What’s fiction? Can you really make money on ClickBank? How can you successfully navigate the rich but perilous ClickBank waters?
That’s what this step-by-step guide is all about.
An unvarnished look at ClickBank, warts and all.
Let’s get to it.
What is ClickBank?
Founded in 1998 in a garage in San Diego California, ClickBank is one of the granddaddies of affiliate marketing networks.
You can make money with ClickBank as a product vendor or affiliate marketer without working like a frazzled cubicle slave.
Here are some staggering numbers about the ClickBank marketplace:
- 200 million customers spread across 190 countries
- 87th largest Internet retailer in North America
- 276 categories and 21562 product listings
- 6 million entrepreneurs on the platform
- Over 200 million dollars in annual sales
In short: you can make a killing on the network.
The best part?
ClickBank is a good option for bloggers and entrepreneurs who wish to promote digital and lifestyle products.
How is ClickBank Different From Other Affiliate Networks?
ClickBank is not your typical traditional affiliate network.
Five good things stand out:
- Simplicity. The sign-up process is straightforward. You can sign-up within a few minutes and start trading without complicated paperwork to fill or administrative hoops to jump through.
- Inclusivity. Anyone can join the network for free. It’s perfect for beginners who want to learn the ropes of affiliate marketing.
- Duality. On most affiliate marketing networks you go in either as a vendor or an affiliate. ClickBank allows you to enter the fray both as a vendor and a marketer so you maximize your earnings.
- Large Selection. With thousands of dazzling affiliate products in every conceivable niche to choose from, your affiliate program choices are numerous.
- Good Commission Rates. ClickBank pays high commissions of up to 75% or even 100%. Plus, they pay fast so you won’t have to wait long to splurge on that you-know-what you’ve had your eye on.
However, there are cons as well:
- Slow Customer Service. Some reports from the Better Business Bureau claim ClickBank may take up to 7 days to respond to customer emails.
- Charges on Dormant ClickBank Accounts. You are charged $1 per day after 90 days of no earnings, $5 per day after 180 days of inactivity, and a hefty $50 per day after 360 days of no sales.
- Some Junk Products. More about how to overcome this in a bit.
- Fierce Competition for Quality Programs. A good problem to have, if you ask me.
What are the Sign Up Requirements for ClickBank?
ClickBank is free for anyone, both new affiliates and old, to join.
All you need to join is:
- Live in an eligible country (United States, Canada, etc.)
- Enable cookies in your browser
- Have a Tax ID or Social Security number (if you live in the U.S.)
If you plan to register as a vendor, you must pay a one-time activation fee of $49.95. You pay only $29.95 for any additional accounts.
What Affiliate Programs are Available with ClickBank?
Whether you are a tentative newbie who wants to dip a toe into this make-money-online thing or a veteran who wants to grow her earnings, ClickBank has got you covered.
There are many affiliate programs and product categories to choose from:
- Arts & Entertainment
- As Seen on TV
- Betting Systems
- Cooking, Food, & Wine
- E-Business & E-Marketing (Internet Marketing)
- Employment & Jobs
- Green Products
- Health & Fitness
- Home & Garden
- Parenting & Families
- Politics/Current Events
- Software & Services
- New Age & Alternative Beliefs
Not sure where to start? No worries.
Dan Brock, of Deadbeat Super Affiliate, reveals seven hot niches you can try in this video.
What are ClickBank’s Payment Methods?
With ClickBank, you can receive payments in four different ways:
Payment Method #1: Check
The good old paper check is the default payment option. It’s mailed to the address listed in your account.
Payment Method #2: Direct Deposit
ClickBank offers direct deposit in the U.S. and other select countries at no extra charge. Direct deposits take 1-2 business days to reach your account.
Payment Method #3: Wire Transfer
You can receive payments by wire transfer. This option is for countries not covered by international direct deposit. Payments take up to 5 days (depending on where you live).
Payment Method #4: Payoneer
You can also get paid using the Payoneer Mastercard, an international money transfer service you can get for free. Payoneer allows you to open a U.S bank account where your money is deposited.
As you see, ClickBank gives you a lot of options. Plus:
ClickBank doesn’t tie you to the payment method you’ve chosen.
You can change your payment method at any time. It’s your money, so you receive it your way. But, it may take up to seven days for the new payment method to work.
Whenever you change your email address or password, you can’t switch payment methods for a week. This protects you from fraudsters.
You can set the payment threshold as low as $10.
Is ClickBank a Scam? Or, as the Kids Would Say, is ClickBank Legit?
Is ClickBank an elaborate racket or a genuine online business?
Yes, it’s true. Some ClickBank affiliate programs are of low quality. Overhyped junk products are a dime a dozen. But that’s half the story.
There are solid programs on there too.
ClickBank’s like a mega supermarket packed with assorted goods.
Don’t like what’s on the shelf? No problem. Move to another aisle. You’ll soon find what you want.
With a seemingly infinite number of digital products from entrepreneurs all over the world to choose from, your perfect product awaits.
That’s why millions of entrepreneurs are on the platform. Some ClickBank affiliates and vendors have been with them for decades.
But, ultimately, it’s your reputation on the line. You owe it to yourself and your audience to double-check every program before you join it.
Here are some tips to help:
5 Smart Ways Not To Get Burned on ClickBank
To weed out the garbage and uncover the gemstones, follow these tips when choosing a product:
1. Try the product first
You genuinely want to help people, right? Then why not ask for a review sample product from the vendor to see if it’s the real deal. If they say no, buy the product yourself. This way, you’ll be sure of the product’s authenticity.
2. Check the product reviews
Scour through customers’ feedback about the product you intend to sell. Not just reviews by other affiliates because those may be biased. Look for reviews on trusted review sites like Trust Pilot. If the product is popular, it’s likely to have been reviewed somewhere on the web.
3. Check the product’s gravity score
Gravity is the number of affiliates who have sold a vendor’s product in the last 12 weeks. The higher the gravity, the higher the product’s trustworthiness. Each gravity point is an endorsement of the product.
4. Watch out for overblown claims
While it’s possible to make money on ClickBank, it’s not magic. If a program promises you a million dollars overnight while you binge-watch Friends on Netflix, stay away.
They’re fake. They’re tricksters. And they’re out to get you.
Run, and never look back.
5. Be on the lookout for shadowy vendors
Cheats lurk in the shadows. They don’t want to show their faces.
Google vendors that interest you.
Can’t find them? Think twice.
Good vendors have a traceable online history.
How Do I Sign Up for ClickBank?
Let’s go through the step-by-step process.
To sign up for an account, go to clickbank.com and click on ‘create account’ on the top right side of the menu.
Step 1: Fill in your personal info
Make sure you complete all fields otherwise you won’t be able to move to the next step.
Click on ‘next step.’
Step 2: Provide your bank details
Remember to check the small box to acknowledge that you’ve read the terms and conditions.
If you want to be paid through your company enter your business name in the Payee field instead of your personal name.
Your bank info is not used to send payments. That’s why they don’t ask for your account number, just the name of your primary bank.
You pick a payment method after your account is created.
Click on ‘next step’ to move on to the last step.
Step 3: Create your account
You’ll then be asked to create a nickname.
Your nickname is your user ID. It’s visible to all customers, so don’t make it too personal.
Affiliate marketing strategy expert Warren Wheeler shares a little-known but powerful secret you can use when creating your ClickBank user ID.
The last step is creating your password. Once you’ve chosen a strong password, click ‘create account’ to finalize your account.
You’ll see a customer survey page. Once you see it, know that your account is now active.
You’re now ready to do business on one of the biggest affiliate marketplaces in the world.
How Does ClickBank Work? Crucial Code Terms To Master
Before you begin choosing ClickBank affiliate programs, be sure to familiarize yourself with the language used on the platform.
Here are some key ClickBank terms to master:
- Gravity – This figure tells you how many affiliates have successfully sold the product in the past 12 weeks. The higher the gravity the greater your chances of succeeding with that program. It’s updated daily and can go up to 600+. A product with a gravity score of at least 50 is a safe bet.
- Initial $/Sale – This number portrays the average dollar value of an initial sale, excluding rebills, credited to the affiliate.
- Avg %/Sale – Represents the average affiliate commission percentage for a sale, including both initial and rebill commissions.
- Avg %/Rebill – Represents the average total affiliate commission percentage for a sale, including only rebill commission, for a recurring billing product.
Your true north? The one metric that should guide you?
Because it shows you what’s selling now.
All other metrics are secondary.
Most affiliate marketers rush headlong, look for the product with the biggest commission and highest gravity.
That’s the wrong way to go about it.
Here’s how to do it right…
How To Make Money With ClickBank: Unearthing Gem Programs And Sidestepping Rubble
Let’s say you want to sell a health and fitness product.
First, click on the affiliate marketplace on the menu and then choose your category on the left:
You’ll then see a list of products displayed. You can choose how the results are sorted: popularity, Ave $/Sale, Initial $/Sale, Ave %/Sale, Gravity, and so on.
Results are sorted according to a program’s popularity by default. Zoom into the product that meets your predetermined metrics. Two crucial metrics to consider are gravity and Average $/Sale aka your cut.
Here’s a product with potential:
With a high gravity of 137 and a fine commission of $66, this program can be a moneymaker. Now that you’ve found a good product, it’s time to click promote and enjoy the delightful ka-ching cash register sound, right?
Not so fast, my friend.
Go to the program’s affiliate page to find out more about the product.
Always be on the lookout for vendors with affiliate promotion tools pages. These are serious vendors who have done the heavy lifting for you to make your work easier.
Typical tools you’ll find include:
- Product images
- Pre-sell content
- Swipes for email marketing campaigns
- Press releases
- Landing pages / sales pages
- Opt-in rates
- Customer demographics
Here’s an example:
Surely with all these materials on hand, even a slacker like you can make this work. 🙂 Remember, these tools are tried and tested. Use them as they are. Only tweak them if you are double sure the change will make them a better fit for your audience.
Another cool tip is to search for discounts on the affiliate program page so you get a bigger cut.
When you’re done, click promote, fill in your account details, and grab the affiliate links you’ll use to promote the product:
That’s how you join a solid program.
Now, want to explode your profits?
How To Make Money On ClickBank: 4 Top Tips to Rake In Big Bucks
I won’t lie to you.
Making money on ClickBank, like anything worthwhile, won’t be smooth sailing, especially at the beginning.
It’ll take creativity, trial and error, a jumbo size coffee urn for that much-needed caffeine fix — and loads of patience.
Here are 4 tips to help get you started:
1. Don’t be obsessed with high gravity and $/Sale
It’s not necessarily the product with the highest gravity or Ave$/Sale you should focus on.
Programs with a very high Av$/Sale have stiffer competition.
And, they usually have lower conversions.
Those in the middle have higher conversions.
Find the right balance.
2. Wrap up your offer in relevant content
Successful affiliate offers hinge on context. You can put the offer on your newsletter, a high-performing blog post, or on a ‘products we recommend’ page.
Here’s a little case study of this tactic right here on Smart Blogger. Click on ‘Tools We Recommend’ on the menu and you’ll see this:
What I love about this is that they don’t just provide a bare shopping list of resources like many WordPress sites do. They package their recommendations in the form of a post. This way the endorsements look natural, not forced.
The result? More sales.
You can craft a special piece of content for specific offers.
Think of it like a jigsaw puzzle. Your free content provides a piece that can only be completed by the offer.
3. Get the product/audience fit right
With thousands of flashy products on show, the temptation to promote any top-selling program to your audience is strong.
- If your offers aren’t a good fit for your audience, you won’t make money, period. Eventually, you’ll get discouraged and curse the ClickBank gurus for ‘misleading’ you.
- Offers that don’t resonate with your audience will wear them down. They’ll develop ‘offer blindness’. They won’t respond to future offers. Ultimately, they’ll stop trusting you.
Only join programs that add value to your audience.
It’s best for everyone.
Your audience will adore you for proposing great products to them.
You’ll make more money.
4. Create an evergreen YouTube funnel
Most ClickBank affiliate marketing strategies focus on email marketing (sending emails to your list), social media promotion (tweeting or sharing your affiliate links), or SEO (creating top-notch content around your affiliate product and getting it to rank on Google).
But there’s another area most e-commerce gurus ignore: video. Specifically, YouTube.
Smart marketers take advantage of the powers of YouTube, the second largest search engine, to set up a high-converting ClickBank funnel.
- Find the right product to promote
- Search for popular content related to the product on YouTube
- Dissect the content to see why it’s popular
- Produce similar content in your own YouTube channel
Link to the product in your video. Watch the money come in like clockwork.
Need a real-life example? Check out this review of a popular ClickBank product, The Flat Belly Fix.
ClickBank Review Verdict: Boo or Bravo?
Let me ask again.
Can you make money on ClickBank?
Just be sure to do your homework.
If you thoroughly vet the programs, you’ll cash in.
Many folks like you make $50-$100 a day on ClickBank. That’s a yummy $1500+ passive monthly income made while you catch some Z’s.
You can do it too. Hop over to ClickBank and get started now.