ClickBank 2020: How To Make Money With ClickBank Affiliate Marketing
If you're wondering how to make money with ClickBank affiliate marketing, this detailed guide has all the answers for you.
ClickBank has been around for more than two decades in the affiliate marketing business.
But it still divides popular opinion like few other affiliate programs.
You might've heard great things about it from some marketers.
But you've also probably heard people say it's a scam, a rip-off, a waste of time, etc.
I've even heard a popular speaker say it's a database of crappy products no one wants to buy.
But he's also wrong.
So what exactly is ClickBank, and is it still a viable affiliate platform for marketers like you?
That's what this guide is all about.
Even if you're a total newbie, don't worry.
I'll tell you precisely what ClickBank is, how to make it work for you, and generate a consistent stream of affiliate commissions from it.
What You'll Learn In This Article
- How to get started with ClickBank as an affiliate marketer
- The one thing that'll help you differentiate between high-quality and low-quality products
- The key success factor for ClickBank affiliates
- The biggest mistake newbies make when promoting ClickBank products
- The proven way to consistently drive affiliate sales on ClickBank
In a hurry? Jump to the section you're most interested in learning about.
ClickBank Affiliate Program Table of Contents:
What is ClickBank? - A Beginner's Intro to Understanding The Top Affiliate Network for Digital Marketers
ClickBank is among the leading affiliate networks for digital products like eBooks, video tutorials, and software. It has been around since 1998, has more than 200 million customers around the globe, and claims to have created more than 1000 millionaires through its platform.
In easier words, ClickBank connects digital product creators with affiliate marketers.
ClickBank doesn't own the products listed on its marketplace. It only provides a platform for thousands of product owners to connect with affiliate marketers who wish to promote their products.
Why product creators use it?
To gain access to thousands of influential affiliate marketers who have their dedicated subscribers and followers. It's an easy and quick way to market your product to hundreds of thousands of people even if you have no following of your own.
Why do affiliates use ClickBank?
To find high-quality products, promote them to their website visitors and subscribers, and earn a commission for every sale.
It's classic affiliate marketing just like any other leading affiliate marketing platform. But unlike Amazon Associates, ClickBank is a platform for digital products only.
Can you make money with ClickBank in 2020? Definitely yes!
The online education industry (most digital products fall into this category) is booming and is worth well over $100 billion across the globe since people are consuming more digital info content on their smartphones than ever before.
Plus, the affiliate marketing industry is also growing steadily. In the U.S alone, affiliate marketing spending will exceed $8 billion by 2022.
All this means that there has never been a better time to promote digital products as an affiliate marketer.
Does that mean you can pick any product from ClickBank, start posting your affiliate links everywhere, and become a successful affiliate marketer?
Promoting products from ClickBank, or any other affiliate network requires careful planning and a long-term strategy.
Otherwise, you'll end up like the thousands of other wannabe affiliate marketers who think ClickBank is a useless platform.
I'll explain the strategy part later in this post.
For now, let's look at some of the main advantages ClickBank offers over other affiliate networks.
The Major Pros and Cons of ClickBank for Affiliate Marketers
As I've already mentioned, ClickBank has its share of supporters and haters.
It does offer you some significant advantages over other affiliate networks, but it also has several weaknesses that you should know about.
Let's quickly look at the major pros and cons of ClickBank.
- A Reliable Affiliate Network
ClickBank is not a new name in the affiliate marketing space. It has been around for more than two decades and is a proven platform when it comes to connecting product creators with affiliates.
As an affiliate marketer on ClickBank, you'll consistently come across high-quality products that you can promote, knowing that you'll get paid for every sale you make.
- A Wide Range of Products in Every Niche
No matter what niche you're in or what hobbies you have, you'll find relevant products to promote on ClickBank.
Just look at the number of product categories they have on their affiliate marketplace.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Cooking & Food
- Health & Fitness
- Home & Garden
- Software & Services
.......and many other categories with dozens of products.
To get an idea of the product variety, let's explore the category "Parenting & Families" and see what's on sale.
This isn't the most popular category in the digital product space, but it still has 57 products that you can promote as an affiliate right now.
The more popular categories like E-Business, Health & Fitness, Self-Help, etc. have hundreds of products at any given time.
All this means you'll never be short of products to promote as a ClickBank affiliate.
- Attractive Commission Structure for Affiliates
Most ClickBank products offer generous commission rates ranging from 50% to 75% and even 100% in some cases.
To make it even better, there are tons of recurring commission programs on offer as well, which means you sell them once but keep earning monthly commissions as long as your referral is an active customer.
As the screenshot shows, you can find recurring commission programs using the search filter on the affiliate marketplace page.
Although recurring commissions sound more attractive, one-time commission programs are also worth exploring if they offer a healthy commission rate.
- Easy To Get Started
Getting started on ClickBank as an affiliate is pretty simple.
There's no complex documentation or upfront fee required. You need to be from an eligible country, have cookies enabled in your browser, and have a valid tax id if you're in the U.S.
Here's the list of countries from where ClickBank accepts affiliates.
- The United States of America
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Cape Verde
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Diego Garcia
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- French Polynesia
- French Southern Terr
- The Gambia
- Georgian Republic
- Hong Kong
- Isle Of Man
- Korea, South
- Netherlands Antilles
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn Is
- Puerto Rico
- Reunion Islands
- Russian Federation
- Samoa, East
- Samoa, West
- San Marino
- Sao Tome & Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Slovak Republic
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- St Helena
- St Kitts & Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Pierre & Miquelon
- St Vincent & Grenadines
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Western Sahara
Unlike some other affiliate networks, you can sign up both as an affiliate and a vendor on Clickbank at the same time. However, vendors are charged a one-time sign-up fee of $49.95.
- Quick Payout Cycle
You've done the hard work, made the sale, and earned the commission you were promised.
But now it's stuck with the affiliate portal, and they're not releasing the funds because they have a quarterly payment cycle or some insane requirement before you get paid.
This does happen on some affiliate platforms.
But not ClickBank.
The payouts are done weekly and bi-weekly, depending on your payment mode. You can find the full details here.
- Comprehensive Training in ClickBank University
ClickBank has a detailed knowledge base that gives you all the basic information about using the platform.
But they also have a premium training program called ClickBank University that's taught by a couple of 7 and 8 figure ClickBank vendors and affiliates.
The course costs $49 and shares the best practices affiliates, and product creators can follow to make a fortune on ClickBank.
We've already hyped up ClickBank by listing all these advantages.
But it's not all rosy.
Here are some of the weaknesses of ClickBank.
- Lots of Crappy Products
ClickBank has a pretty low entry barrier for product creators and affiliates. As a result, lots of crappy and overhyped products make it through to its marketplace listing.
This is one of the reasons why ClickBank gets such bad publicity.
As an affiliate, you need to research a product before promoting it to ensure it's a genuine product.
Otherwise, your credibility can take a hit.
- Slow Customer Support
ClickBank has thousands of customers, but their customer support isn't great.
Email tickets can take as long as seven working days to get a response.
Not very impressive.
- Negative Impact of Other Affiliates
Dozens of affiliates promote the same ClickBank products by publishing blog content, YouTube videos, and social media posts.
Most of it can be classified as desperate sales content that sings endless praises of a product instead of objectively reviewing it.
As a result, even genuinely useful products can look suspicious when potential buyers research them on the internet.
- Penalty On Dormant Accounts
ClickBank charges you a $1/day penalty after 90 days of no earnings, $5/day after 180 days, and $50/day after 360 days of no sales.
With this quick overview of ClickBank's pros and cons, let's move on to the sign-up process.
Steps To Sign-Up As A ClickBank Affiliate
ClickBank has recently changed its account creation process and made it much simpler and faster.
Click on the "Create Account" link on the top of your screen to go to the sign-up page.
There's nothing fancy on this page, just a simple sign-up form that you can fill in less than a minute.
Before you can submit the form, you also need to accept the terms and conditions agreement.
Next up, ClickBank will ask you if you're interested in their training content.
This is a pitch for their paid ClickBank University program. You can watch the free videos if you want, but I don't recommend spending on the paid program just yet.
This completes the basic account setup.
But before you get started, you need to complete your profile and payment information.
Again, you'll be taken to a basic information form where you need to submit your full address, payee name, etc.
If you're in the US, you'd also need to enter a valid Tax ID to get paid.
At the bottom of this form, there's a dropdown menu where you need to choose your account type.
Since you're joining ClickBank to promote products as an affiliate, choose the relevant option.
This takes you to your account dashboard where you're again asked to create an account. This step allows you to link your existing ClickBank accounts together (in case you already have one).
But since you want to start a new account, just choose the Create Account option under "I'm new here."
Again, choose "Affiliate" in account type and enter any nickname you'd like to use on ClickBank.
Keep in mind that your nickname will also become your username and cannot be changed later. So choose it carefully.
Once you complete this step, you'll get an account confirmation email with a verification link you need to click to activate your account.
Congratulations! You're now ready to promote ClickBank products as an affiliate marketer.
Ways To Get Paid on ClickBank
ClickBank supports four different payment modes.
- Check: ClickBank mails a paper check to your mailing address to the payee name you've entered in your account.
- Direct Deposit: ClickBank deposits the payment directly to your bank account (not available for all countries)
- Wire Transfer: For countries where payment via direct deposit isn't available, ClickBank offers wire transfer payments.
- Payoneer: Payoneer is an international payment service that gives you a virtual US or EU bank account where you can receive ACH transfer payments. You can also directly link your Payoneer account with ClickBank to receive funds. You can configure your payment settings in the Account Settings tab on your main dashboard page.
To set up payment by direct deposit, wire transfer, or Payoneer, you need to enter your bank account details.
Check, as I've already mentioned, are delivered to the mailing address you entered at the time of sign up.
Popular Question: Is ClickBank a Scam?
Is ClickBank a legit affiliate program? Is it a scam? Is it a rip-off?
I've seen this question repeatedly on different forums and social networks.
Here's your answer.
ClickBank is NOT an affiliate program itself. It's an affiliate platform that CONNECTS product creators with affiliate marketers.
Every product listed on ClickBank is a separate affiliate program that independently recruits affiliates.
ClickBank has some basic product quality guidelines and quality filters to ensure that every product listed on its marketplace is legit.
It also routinely bans low-quality/scam programs that somehow make it through to its listing.
But ultimately, it's your responsibility as an affiliate to research a product and the reputation of its creator to determine whether it is worth promoting.
Because at the end of the day, the products you promote will shape your reputation. If you're not careful and start promoting low-quality products, people will stop trusting you, and your sales numbers will go down even when you promote a genuinely useful product.
So here's your answer in simple words: Clickbank is not a scam, they won't cheat you, and won't keep your money. But not every product listed on its marketplace is worth promoting.
This brings me to the next logical question - how do you find high quality and profitable affiliate programs on ClickBank?
To get your answer, you first need to understand how the ClickBank Affiliate Program works.
ClickBank Affiliate Program - How Does It Work?
Once you sign up as an affiliate on ClickBank, you can immediately start promoting products to your audience.
But to identify the right products, you need to understand the different terminologies used on the platform.
Let me start with some basic terminologies.
- Initial/Front-End Offer: This is the product offer that you originally promote to a customer. It is usually a low priced product designed to turn a stranger into a customer so that more products can be pitched to them.
- Upsell: This is the higher-priced product that is pitched after a customer purchases your front-end offer.
- One-Time Commission: This is a commission tye in which the affiliate is paid only once when the initial sale is made.
- Recurring/Rebilling: This is a commission type in which an affiliate keeps getting monthly or quarterly commissions for selling a membership product.
Pretty simple, right?
Let's move to the product listings now.
For example, here's an affiliate product from the ClickBank marketplace.
Different sections within this listing will help you determine the potential of this offer.
Let me quickly describe them to you.
- Initial $/sale: This is the average commission amount an affiliate earns for selling a ClickBank product. This also includes payments for any upsells that result from the initial sale. But it does NOT include recurring commission amount.
- Avg Rebill Total: This is the average amount an affiliate makes from recurring commissions of a product. In the ClickBank affiliate marketplace, this amount is only displayed for subscription products.
- Avg $/sale: This is the average amount of commission an affiliate earns for promoting a ClickBank product (initial+recurring commissions).
- Avg %/sale: This is the average commission percentage an affiliate earns for a product, including initial and recurring commissions, plus any upsells.
- Avg %/Rebill: This is the average recurring commission earned only on rebills.
- Grav: This particular stat is essential. Grav is the short form of Gravity, which is a unique ClickBank score that shows you the sales potential of a product by taking into account the number of affiliates who've earned a commission in the last 12 weeks promoting a product. A high Gravity score means the product is selling well, but it also means lots of affiliates are promoting it.
- Cat: This is the industry category of a product on ClickBank
- Affiliate Page: This is the URL of the affiliate page of the product, where you'll find the affiliate recruitment details plus promotional material for the product.
- Affiliate Support Contact: The email to contact the product owner
That's a lot to digest and can be a bit confusing, I know.
The two main things to look in a product are it's Ave $/sale and Grav score, plus if it offers one-time or recurring commissions.
With this info out of the way, let's see how you can find profitable ClickBank affiliate products.
How to Find Profitable Affiliate Products on ClickBank?
There are a lot of trash products on ClickBank.
But there are some real gems listed there as well.
How do you find them?
Head over to the Clickbank Affiliate Marketplace and choose the industry in which you want to search for products.
Let's explore the Self-Help industry.
Here's what you'll see inside.
Here's the list of products in this category sorted by product popularity.
Here are a few things you need to do.
1. Check The Product's Gravity Score and Ave $/sale
Sort the product list by Gravity score to see the products that are
- Selling well which means they have a landing page with a high conversion rate
- Being promoted by many other affiliates in your niche and making them good money
What gravity score should you target?
There are varying opinions on this. But in general, a gravity score of above 50 is a good starting point (the higher, the better).
But that's not the only thing to consider.
Also, keep a close eye on the Avg $/sale because that's the average amount of commissions you can make by promoting a product.
Try finding a product with a reasonably high Avg $/sale number and a 50+ gravity score.
You can also add another filter to find only recurring commission programs if you want.
Once you're done with this, move to the next point.
2. Analyze The Product's Landing Page
This is a crucial step.
The quality of a product's landing page tells you a lot about its real value, the problems it solves, and if its a product worth promoting.
There are a couple of important landing pages for every affiliate product - one is the sales landing page for the customers, and the other is the affiliate landing page where the marketers are recruited.
You'll sign up as an affiliate from the product's Joint Venture (JV) or affiliate page.
In most cases, you'll be routing traffic from your site and email list to the product's landing page.
Are you comfortable doing it? Or do you think the landing page has a scammy look to it?
Is it making promises that are too good to be true?
On the contrary, a high-quality landing page is a strong indicator of a solid product.
The other thing you need to see is the promotional material that the product vendor is offering.
For example, here's the affiliate page of a popular ClickBank product. Look at the ready to use promotional material they're offering to their affiliates.
Apart from offering complete email swipe files for your affiliate email campaign, this affiliate even offers images for your Facebook Ad campaigns and the sales copy to use with it.
The affiliates just need to copy/paste and start promoting the product.
This shows that the vendor is well-prepared and serious about product marketing.
It's also a solid indicator of product quality.
3. Research the Product's Sales Funnel
Most ClickBank offers are made up of several product tiers.
The initial front-end offer is usually a low priced product that is used to suck customers into the sales funnel. Once inside, a customer is redirected from one upsell offer to another to sell higher-priced products.
This is done via website redirections and email follow-ups.
For example, here's the sales sequence of the same product I shared in the previous point.
As you can see, initially, the traffic is directed to a Video Sales Letter (VSL) landing page or a simple text landing page that pitches the front-end offer at a low price.
Once the customers purchase the front-end offer, they're taken to an upsell offer. If the customer declines it, they're taken to a down-sell offer.
Next, they're taken to another offer. In case they decline, they'll get follow up emails with more offers.
That's how most ClickBank products make money - by milking the customers until they buy the main product.
Before promoting a product as an affiliate, study its sales sequence and the number of upsells in it because it will have an impact on your earnings as well as the conversion rate of the offer.
4. Research The Product Creator
If the product's landing page and affiliate pages look good, make a quick Google search about the product creator as well.
Find the products they've launched in the past, and see the general sentiment about them online.
This often gives you a good idea of whether products by a particular vendor are reliable or not.
5. Check Online Reviews And Customer Feedback
Product reviews come next.
Search the product online and see what the reviews are saying.
But you have to be careful about this because most of the reviews are either going to be full of praise for the product (by the affiliates) or full of hatred (by the competitors).
Look for genuine reviews and feedback to get an idea of the product's performance.
Plus, pay special attention to forum discussions and Reddit threads because that's where most of the dissatisfied customers vent out their frustration.
6. Buy The Product You Want To Promote
If the product does well on all the points I've mentioned above, it's time to buy it yourself.
Yes, you heard that right.
Most front-end products aren't very expensive, and buying them will tell you exactly how useful they are.
If you're in the affiliate marketing business for the long-term, always promote the products that you're confident about.
You can even try asking the product vendor for free access before promoting the product. Some will agree, some won't.
This is an additional step but one that'll not only help you find reliable products but also promote them with much better and high-quality content.
If you think the product is worth promoting, sign-up on its affiliate page, grab your affiliate link, and start promoting.
Following the steps I've listed will help you filter through all the over-hyped products and find the real gems that are worth promoting.
But how do you promote a ClickBank product as an affiliate marketer?
I'll explain this in the next section.
Make Money With ClickBank - The Right Way To Promote An Affiliate Product
What's the right way to promote an affiliate product?
Create a product-focused niche site that sings endless praises of the product and does everything to sell it?
Whether you're selling a product yourself or promoting one as an affiliate (from any platform), you need to build trust with your target audience before you can persuade them to take action.
Here's how you should go about it.
1. Build A Long-Term Site Based on Well-Defined Needs
The first step of promoting an affiliate product has nothing to do with affiliate marketing.
It's about building a platform, a blog, a website, a social media profile, or a YouTube channel that targets a set of problems, not a set of products.
Let me explain.
Most affiliates just grab affiliate links, publish product reviews on their sites and YouTube channels, and wait for the customers to come.
They never arrive.
Some of them directly promote affiliate links via Google or Facebook Ads.
Again, it rarely works.
Serious affiliates take the longer route.
They build a blog or a YouTube channel where they provide genuinely useful content to their audience. People start trusting them and take their recommendations seriously.
Their content is not always about products or sales. Most of it targets different customer needs and answer the most common questions of the target audience.
This is the authority site model that we always advocate here on NicheHacks.
Once you build such a site, you're not limited to one or two products.
For example, here's a screenshot from Matthew Woodward's blog. Look at the number of products he's promoting on his blog (and making a lot of money from them) WITHOUT publishing any hard sales content.
Once you've built authority, you can pick any relevant product from ClickBank, start promoting it to your audience, and people will buy it because they trust you.
Creating such a platform takes time, but the ROI is MUCH higher than a short-term one-page product-focused site that's created only to sell a certain product.
2. Choose Products That Solve The Right Problems
How do you sell an affiliate product in you're new to a niche?
Again, you need to think long-term understand the needs of your audience and list down the problems you want to solve to become an expert.
After that, you go to the ClickBank affiliate marketplace and find 3-4 products that are genuinely useful and connect directly with the needs of your audience.
This is important.
You can't start promoting every product that's offering a good commission rate.
The products must be relevant.
Once you find such products, sign up as an affiliate, grab your links and move to the next step.
3. Create A Lead Magnet To Attract Relevant Subscribers
Newbie affiliates directly start posting their affiliate links everywhere.
Most of them never make any sales.
And even if they do, it's mostly one-time sales with no prospects.
But the real money is in repeat sales.
Research shows that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% as compared to a new customer who is just 5-20%
This is why experienced affiliate marketers first drive traffic to a lead magnet landing page to turn strangers into email subscribers.
I've explained the whole process in detail in another article.
This approach has several benefits.
- It turns cold traffic into email subscribers (a huge business asset)
- Offering a free high-value lead magnet builds trust and authority with your subscribers.
- An email list allows you to repeatedly reach out with new offers without having to invest in any new traffic sources.
But here's a crucial point to keep in mind.
Your lead magnet has to be directly aligned with the products you plan to promote.
For example, if you plan to promote a weight loss program from ClickBank, you can offer a free eBook of high-nutrition but low-fat recipes that encourage healthy living and helps people lose weight.
That's just one example.
The focus of your lead magnet should be on the core problem of your target audience because this prepares them for future sales pitches.
You can find many more lead magnet examples in this article.
4. Create An Engaging Email Auto-Responder Series
Once you have the subscribers on your list, it's time to start building ground for the products you want to promote.
Remember, getting people on your email list is the easy part.
Retaining them is hard.
If you don't want them to unsubscribe from your list, make sure you don't bombard them with one product offer after the other.
What's the right approach?
Create an autoresponder series that consists of 6-7 emails spread across 10-12 days.
The initial emails should give be all about free value.
Share knowledge, tips, and different techniques that they can immediately start applying.
After the first 2-3 emails, start introducing the products you want t to promote.
Position them as solutions to the main problems of your subscribers.
Once you send the initial pitch, share success stories, incentives, extra bonuses, etc. to make the sale more attractive.
Increase the momentum until you reach the final email of the sequence that closes the series with a final pitch.
This is just a sample autoresponder in which you can promote multiple products that are relevant to your subscribers.
Every new subscriber will receive these emails.
If you get it right, this can turn into an automated revenue cycle that keeps driving sales even when you're sleeping.
You can learn more about using automated email sequences for affiliate launches in this detailed article.
5. Drive Traffic To Your Lead Magnet With Facebook Ads
Your lead magnet and autoresponder sequence are ready.
But how do you get subscribers fast?
By promoting your lead magnet with Facebook Ads.
6. Publish High-Quality Content, Product Reviews, and YouTube Videos
There's no better way to build authority and sell products without coming across as a desperate salesman than creating useful, high-quality and evergreen content.
The most successful affiliate marketers sell products within their regular informational content without ever appearing desperate.
This not only drives sales but also helps them rank for high traffic long-tail keywords in search results because their content always targets genuine customer problems, needs, and questions.
How do you build a content marketing strategy that drives sales? I've described the whole process in detail here.
Plus, don't forget to add YouTube videos to your content mix.
Video content is booming right now, and customers prefer watching videos over other content types.
Plus, YouTube is the world's second-largest search engine after Google Search where millions of people look for product reviews and helpful content.
Overall, your success or failure as a ClickBank affiliate will be determined by how quickly you can build an audience that trusts you because of high-quality content.
Once that happens, selling any product becomes much easier.