CLICK “MAKE MONEY” to Make Money on Clickbank
Many people consider Clickbank just another affiliate network. But unlike traditional affiliate platforms, Clickbank serves as a marketplace for both people who create products and affiliates, so they can make money together without complex paperwork or agreements.
How Does It Work?
In other words, Clickbank is the middleman between creators of digital products, such as ebooks, video, music and so on, and people who can sell those products, i.e. affiliate marketers.
Clickbank fulfills one of the two functions:
1. Marketplace For Affiliates
As an affiliate marketer, you can jump right in, create your unique affiliate links for thousands of products (more on that later) and start to drive traffic right away to start making money. You will also see your earnings in real-time.
It’s free to join and there’s no screening process. No cap or complicated metrics. It’s basically a simplified affiliate network, open to anyone that wants to give it a shot.
2. E-Commerce Platform For Product Owners
As a product owner, you can add your product to the database and ClickBank will take care of all the checkout and e-commerce part, as well as offering an affiliate program for it.
You will be charged $49.95 one time activation fee, for becoming a seller on Clickbank. I believe this fee does a good job of keeping some low-quality vendors out of the platform.
This is great if you don’t want to handle the technical part of things but you have to know that the platform will take quite a bit of money off your sales ($1 + 7.5% of the sales).
In addition to % of sales, you’re charged $2.5 dollars payment processing fee, every time you take out the money. Clickbank can also approve customer refunds and charge you $0.50 or $1 for that.
As an affiliate marketer you might ask yourself, why sell ebooks and online courses from unknown producers, if you can just sign up with say CJ or Amazon Affiliates and sell reputable products.
Firstly, online education is a huge market and Clickbank itself generates close to a quarter-billion dollars in sales revenue each year.
Secondly, there’s a beauty to digital products. That beauty is the highest margins possible. Because, to make a copy of a video and sell it, costs nothing.
100% of the revenue can be considered the profit (outside of marketing costs).
High profits = high affiliate commissions. And Clickbank pays up to 75%.
Pros & Cons Of ClickBank
I really like ClickBank and I think it’s a fantastic place for new affiliate marketers to get started and earn money online without the hassle of more advanced affiliate networks. There’s no cap, you don’t need to be approved for 90% of the offers and you can start selling straight away.
How To Make Money With Clickbank
To make money with Clickbank, you have to follow the same formula as any successful venture.
You need a solid product that customers want and create a funnel to convert the traffic, to begin with. Then you build up your traffic, optimize your funnel, and once you know you’re profitable (i.e. you convert $ more than you invest), you scale the whole thing.
How To Pick The Right Product To Promote
One of the best ways to make money on Clickbank is to start as an affiliate, promoting pages that have already been optimized, in order to build your sales funnels.
Much like keyword research for SEO, picking the right product to promote on ClickBank is extremely important. No matter how good you are at promoting if you drive traffic to a sales page that doesn’t sell, you will not make much money.
What Is A Great Product To Promote
Screening offers is a big part of knowing how to make money with Clickbank. Here are the things we look for when it comes to screening offers to promote:
- Low-cost initial offer with up to 3 up-sales
- Video sales pages & “native” sales pages (pages that feel like content)
- Products with good reviews online (low refunds = more money and less list burnout)
- Gravity above 20 (means that the page converts fairly well)
How Everyone Tries To Make Money From ClickBank
If you read on other affiliate marketing blogs, you’ll see a ton of “tactics” on how to make money with ClickBank. Some of them work and some of them clearly don’t work.
The issue most of these tactics have, apart from the last one, is that they have very limited preselling. People are thrown to sales pages without knowing exactly why they are there or who is this guy trying to sell them an information product.
Direct Linking / Banners
This one is the most common and very often least profitable. The tactic is simple. Find a somewhat related article on your site and slap a banner on the sidebar or in the middle of the article, without any form of pre-selling the product specifically.
In content, links are usually in line recommendations that are embedded directly in the text. The recommendation often comes from the voice of the author and if they’ve done a good job building trust throughout the article/post, the conversion rates will be decent.
This is one tactic we still use to this day and for good reason: it works! Review traffic is extremely targeted and people landing on your page have a very high chance to buy.
If your review doesn’t look completely biased, there’s a good chance they’ll trust you and click through your affiliate link to buy the product.
A Value-Oriented Media Funnel
All the methods we talked about before tend to work to some extent but they’re usually worn out and overused by everyone in the industry making it very competitive and hard to scale unless you have a site with hundreds and hundreds of reviews.
Plus, nobody links or shares any of the content above because it sells and people tend to hate linking or sharing stuff that sells something to its readers. It’s just the way it is.
Not being sharable or linkable is a huge handicap in today’s social web. This means you will have to pay or produce all of your traffic and if you ever want to have a chance to show up in Google, you’ll have to spend hours doing tedious link building. Not fun, not scalable, not economical.
So how do you remain shareable while making sales? Simple, give free stuff and add value.
But how to make money with Clickbank then? You sell to the people that wanted more free stuff and gave you their email for it.
You basically keep your front end clean of ANY sales pitch. You run it like a media company offering free content to the readers.
You then offer lead magnets through content upgrades, opt-in pop-ups and retargeting. The lead magnet offers more free stuff to those who are interested enough to trade their contact information for it.
You can THEN start linking to the offer from the thank you page and start emailing people about the offer so you make sure they don’t miss out on it.
1. Traffic & Content
This one is pretty straight forward. If you create value only content, getting links using these tactics and getting shares is fairly easy. There are 3 main ways I recommend you to go after traffic:
- SEO: If you’re going to create content, you might as well optimize it for search engines. If you want more info on implementing SEO for your authority site I recommend our free authority SEO course (see what I’m doing here?).
- Facebook: Pretty much all audiences are on Facebook and you can get very cheap traffic. I recommend this method by Digital marketer or to build a big fan page, engage it and drive traffic through organic reach (case study coming soon on that one).
- Content distribution networks: I don’t have a ton of experience with these but judging by the number of people running this tactic across networks like taboola and outbrain I imagine this must be fairly successful. This works especially well if you’re covering a widespread issue.
Remember these rules. Keep the content clean of promotions (apart from your opt-in), give value, establish yourself as an authority and don’t be greedy. That will really set you apart from 99% of affiliates.
Create a complementary piece of content to the article. For example, if the article is a list of tips, create 3 more tips that people can download. This can be more recipes or anything that is a continuation of the content. This way, the people that were engaged enough to read until the end will most likely want to trade their email for more.
To distribute this lead magnet I recommend you look into:
- Opt-in pop-ups – They just do wonders for us, with up to 6% opt-in rate on this very site and 5.5% on Health Ambition. We collect hundreds of emails daily with those.
- Content upgrades – They’re a great final call to action at the end of your content, hard to miss along with the pop-up. It’s also very inexpensive to set up.
- Retargeting + Opt-in page – If people didn’t take your offer on the site, maybe they got busy. Add them to a retargeting list on Facebook and send them to an opt-in page to download the bonuses.
To create all of these, so far the best tool is still Thrive Leads But if you are going to be using Elementor PRO as a site builder they also have a great pop-up / opt-in builder baked in.
3. Thank You Page & Offer
Now that people have opted-in, you need to redirect them to a thank you page where you can (finally) promote your offer.
This is where things start to be fun. As opposed to people trying to throw traffic to a sales page once and then have no chance to see those visitors again, you have their contact details!
Note: If you don’t have an email marketing service yet, I recommend Getresponse for affiliate marketers, it’s far superior to Aweber and offers great automation for the exact same price and has a free trial for you to see if you like it.
That means you can expose them to the offer again in case they didn’t buy and take your time to convince them that it’s what they need (and you know it is because they downloaded the related lead magnet).
When you get started, I recommend to only set up a 3 part autoresponder. It’s enough to know if the offer is going to convert or not. Here’s how I break it down:
Email 1 – Features & Logic
In the first email, I first send them the link to the lead magnet a second time (the excuse to email them) and ask them if they saw the offer (affiliate link).
I then go on and give a bullet point list of why I think they should get it as well as maybe 1 testimonial to give it credibility and start easing into the emotional realm. I’ll usually finish with a question, opening a loop making them want to open the next email.
Email 2 – Emotions
In the second email, you email them to answer the question you asked in the previous email and start (excuse for the email).
Then you go on and help them visualize themselves having solved the problem and all the things they could do when it is solved.
In the case of weight loss, for example, it could be:
- Being more attractive and finding the love of your life
- Not being ashamed when people look at you anymore
- Having more energy / being able to do more
- Not dying early
Simply elicit positive emotions of all the great things that could happen and link it back to your product.
Email 3 – Scarcity
In the final email of the series, you want to push people to take action right now. This is when you use a mixture of limited time offers (discounts, bonuses etc if available with the offer) and guilt people for not taking action.
You can use sentences like: “Einstein defined insanity as the fact of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” or “You need something new if you really want to change your life”.
This is when you want to make sure the product actually delivers. If I guilt someone into buying a product that actually helps them lose 20lbs and live a better life, I’m happy I did it. If you guilt low-income overweight people to buy a crappy pseudoscience product and they lose both money and hope, you’re not a great person.
These sales tactics are powerful and work but you have to have ethics when using them. Remember, we want to sell MANY things to our prospects so the first product better deliver! Really helping people makes you more money.
Now that you’ve built the initial funnel, let it run for a little bit. Perhaps start building a second one and after a while, decide if it’s worth spending more time on it.
If it’s making some sales and you want to expand it, all you need to do is pick one area and expand it. These include:
- Creating more SEO content around more keywords related to the product you’re selling.
- Link building your existing content to improve its rankings.
- Using paid social to grow the traffic to your content.
- Expanding your autoresponder from 3 to 12-15 emails to increase sales.
- A/B test your pop-ups and opt-ins to increase the opt-in rate.
Owning The Offer
When you’ve reached a certain scale, you should already be making several thousand dollars per month. At this point, it’s time to start considering swapping the affiliate offer with your own offer.
This will allow you to keep all the money coming in and control things such as:
- The up-sales
- The sales page
- Being able to buy traffic directly to your sales pages
- Have affiliates make money for you by promoting your product
How To Start Making Money With Clickbank
Niche research with Clickbank can start in two ways:
You can look at research the Clickbank marketplace OR you can do good ol’ keyword research.
I prefer the second way of doing keyword research, however, you need to also understand the Clickbank marketplace too. It all works together. Dom’s first successful site was actually a Clickbank one. Which he eventually sold.
Starting Clickbank Marketplace Research
When you first enter the Clickbank marketplace, you’re instantly asked to shift yourself into a specific category
Don’t go into a category that you don’t want to learn anything about. Just like an Amazon site, you need to be at least interested in learning more about the topic. This helps you refine your marketing so you appear as a subject matter expert. You probably won’t become an expert unless you are at least interested in it.
Once you choose a category to browse, you’ll notice these metrics in the results and also in the search bar (available in the advanced search too):
What Makes a Good Clickbank Product To Promote?
It’s hard to narrow down the perfect product because often times the vendor is missing one or two of the following qualities, but here are some good guidelines to stick with: