A Beginner's Guide to Clickbank
Clickbank can be a very lucrative affiliate program because the commissions are incredibly high. Some are as high as 75%.
Because the products are digital (ebooks, digital products, etc.), there are no distribution costs, so that's one reason Clickbank can afford to offer such a large share to their affiliates.
Here is a screenshot of my earnings as posted on the sales page of my eBook Niche Website Success...
If you want to make more with Clickbank and affiliate marketing in general, here's a coupon to get my very revealing course. It goes into far more detail than my ebook above.
In my opinion, Clickbank is far better than most book affiliate programs because the commissions are much higher. And because the products are digital, there is no shipping and handling, so they can offer higher commission to us affiliates.
Below I'm going to show you how to get started with Clickbank and understand a bit more about the interface so you can get the most out of your efforts.
Just don't be fooled. I don't care what anyone tells you or how inspired you may be by someone's earnings, making money online takes time, effort and lots of patience. This is not something you can do in a few weeks.
How to Join ClickBank
Joining is easy and it's free. Just click the Sign-Up link from the top of the Clickbank homepage. Once your account has been created, you can begin promoting the products on your website.
Searching For Products to Promote
To search for products, click the Marketplace link at the top of the ClickBank homepage.
From here, you can search for products by either category or the search feature.
So for example if you search for "stocks", this is one of the products that appears in the results...
To view the sales page of the product, just click the red title.
This particular product pays $11.78 per sale on average. Now, it's important to note that the amount you earn per sale may not match that number exactly due to upsells, sales tax, chargebacks, etc. However, this will give you an idea of what you can earn.
Check out the Stats information at the bottom of the result. This provides more details about what you can earn.
Notice the Initial $/sale stat is much lower than the average $/sale. This particular vendor offers several products, which is why the initial sale stat and average sale prices differ.
Average %/sale means the average commission for this product is 45% per sale.
The Avg Rebill Total of $8.09, indicates this is a recurring billing product and that's the average amount the affiliate earns. So not only can you earn for one sale, but you will also earn for any customer re-bills. This is how your income can really add up over time.
Obtaining Your Affiliate Link (Hoplink)
Once you decide on a product you want to promote, click the green Promote button alongside the listing. You will be presented with this form.
In the Account Nickname box, enter the ClickBank ID you created when you setup your ClickBank account, and add a Tracking ID if you want to keep track of where the sale is coming from.
For example, if you are promoting a specific product in a newsletter, you could use newsOct2013. ClickBank will add this ID to your affiliate URL so you can track how many sales came from this specific link.
So now when you go to the Reporting section at the top of the page, you can view your sales by Tracking ID to see how effective your campaign was.
After you've entered your account nickname and optional tracking ID, click Create and Clickbank will give you the link to promote on your website.
Best Ways to Promote ClickBank
There's no doubt that a niche website is the best way to promote Clickbank products because you will know more about your audience and you targeted traffic converts much better.
Then explain how the product has worked for you and why you readers would love it.
As I teach in my affiliate marketing course, when you can show that you actually use the product, it adds to your credibility and will increase your conversion rate.
Email marketing is also an effective way of promoting products. Be careful, though. You don't want to continually pitch products to your subscribers. That's not a good strategy.
Just like with your website, you should aim to provide nothing but quality, and promote products on occasion.
Use your list to inform your audience of important site updates, special news and provide exclusive offers. Weave in relevant product links every so often.
If you have a large following (especially if it's very niche), you can also make money promoting products via social media.
Just remember, you can turn your followers way off by being overly aggressive with affiliate links. However, a casual, relevant mention here and there is fine.
And you don't even need a website to promote Clickbank products. You can just promote the hoplink I showed you how to create above.
However, I've always found it to be more effective to mention products within articles rather than just promoting affiliate links by themselves.
So instead of just tweeting a link to a product you are promoting, tweet a link that provides a relevant how-to article that includes a link to the product in the copy. That's a much better strategy.
What About Article Marketing?
ClickBank recommends article marketing on their tips page, but I honestly don't think this is a very effective way of marketing today.
Not only has it lost much of its SEO value, but most people who go to article marketing sites are not looking for information, they're marketers looking to get traffic to their own articles.
I'm not saying there is absolutely no value in article marketing, because there may be some -- especially with very tight/defined niches. However, I believe it is an expiring marketing strategy.
Using Banners to Promote The Products
If the product you are promoting has banners you can use, there is usually a link to the affiliate program located at the bottom of the main sales page. This is where you can often find banners for your website.
For example, for my ebook, Niche Website Success, there is a link to the affiliate page at the bottom of the landing page. That's where I provide the code for affiliates to add banners/links into their sites.
I personally haven't had as much success with banners as I have with contextual links. Banners seem too promotional to people. I find that casually mentioning a product via a link in an article is much more effective.
Don't Promote Crap!
Because ClickBank has no screening process for the products people can sell, you can run into a lot of low-quality products that were thrown together.
It may be tempting to focus on the amount you will earn per sale, but don't put greed over quality because it will hurt your reputation.
I only promote products that I have personally purchased myself. While the commission amount is something I pay attention to, the actual quality of the product comes first.
Selling Your Own Digital Goods on ClickBank
Clickbank makes it incredibly easy to sell your own products. So if you've been thinking of creating an ebook, for example, you can use Clickbank as the vendor.
All you do is upload your product to your website, create your sales page and sign up to be a vendor. The cost is a one-time fee of $49 and they take 7% of every sale you make.
You can set your price and choose what percentage you want to offer for your affiliates. Once your product is live in the Clickbank marketplace, your affiliate links are automatically created for you.
eJunkie is another egoods marketplace that you also may want to consider. I believe Clickbank has the better overall affiliate system, but eJunkie lets you create discount codes and does not take any money per sale. However, they do charge $5/month. So eJunkie and Clickbank both have their pluses and minuses.
How to Create an eBook
Creating eBook Covers
Creating Sales Pages for Your eBook
If you're a WordPress user, there are some pretty cool plugins out there to help you create stylish landing pages to sell your product.
OptimizePress is a quite popular, and it was specifically designed to create sales pages and increase conversions. I've never used this plugin, but plan on trying it out for future projects.
Clickbank is Not a Scam
I've heard people say that Clickbank is a scam because they don't ever make any money, but here's the deal. No matter what program you join, it takes work to convert your traffic into sales.
I have been an affiliate for Clickbank since 2000 and have never had any problems getting paid. They pay every month like clockwork and it goes directly into my checking account.
Clickbank is Not a 9 to 5 Gig
The biggest misconception about making money with a website is you can estimate your earnings based on hours invested.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. How well you do directly depends on how much targeted traffic you have (people who are searching or interested in your topic). And that could take weeks or months depending on how efficient you are.
You could put 30 hours into your site marketing it on Twitter, but if you don't learn how to use social media effectively, those 30 hours could be a total waste.
So it's not about estimating how much you can earn based on hours spent. Understand this is a business and it's about working smart, not necessarily the amount of hours you put into it.
Everyone's results will vary so don't get caught up in how long this will take. It's impossible to estimate that.
I hope this was a helpful overview for those of you who are new to Clickbank. As you probably see now, it's by no means a get-rich-quick program. You need targeted traffic to convert sales, and always promote products you know, like and trust.
Download My eBook or Take My Course
Check out my guide Niche Website Success. It provides a comprehensive overview of how to make money with a content niche website. Great for beginners! Or you can enroll in my affiliate marketing course if you prefer video.
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