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Affiliate Programs – Clickbank

Clickbank-LogoThis post is part of a series on Affiliate Programs for Blogs

Clickbank is another affiliate program that I know quite a few bloggers use. I’ve used it myself to promote a small selection of products with moderate success.

The product I’ve seen the most success with is Joel Comm’s What Google Never Told You About Making Money with Adsense (affiliate link) which I reviewed here. I think I had some good results with this product because I’d personally read and used it and gave an honest appraisal with it for my readers. Personal recommendations are important with all affiliate sales – but especially with Clickbank as some of their products have a pretty average reputation.

Many of Clickbank’s products are e-books and software products – which are broken down into the categories of Business to Business, Computing & Internet, Fun & Entertainment, Health & Fitness, Money & Employment, Sports & Recreation, Home & Family, Marketing & Ads, Society & Culture.

As I note below – while the money can be good with Clickbank – you might pay for it with the ‘cheap and nasty’ feel that many of it’s products have. I would strongly recommend that you carefully consider which products you link to and suggest that you (or someone you trust) has personal experience of them before recommending them to readers.

Clickbank Pros

• it is pretty easy to use Clickbank. Once registered you just need to insert your affiliate name into a URL to be activated for the product

• commissions are very good. Some pay out up to 70% of the value of the product. I’ve made commissions of up to $50 on some sales and know of people who make quite good money from them.

Clickbank Cons

• many of Clickbank’s products are quite quite cheap (although expensive) and nasty. You get a lot of get rich quick programs, dodgy e-books etc. There are some quality products in the mix – but they don’t have the best reputation among many people.

• the Clickbank affiliate interface is pretty basic. In comparison to the stats you get from programs like Amazon and Adsense it’s not very helpful.

• there are no inbuilt options for creating links automatically as there are with many other affiliate programs. I’ve heard of a variety of clickbank tools that can help with this but if you just use their provided interface all you can really create is text links.

What experience have you had with Clickbank? Would/do you use it? Which products have you had success with? What works best in your Clickbank strategy?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Mike says:

    I have tried it, but get little interest. I suppose you have to buy the product yourself before you recommend it to someone.

    A lot of ebooks are just collections of info from the web which you could probably find the info out for yourself if you are keen enough to look for it.

    Adsense is changing all the time, so I doubt that anyone could write a relevant book about it. Jensense is one great source – and it’s free!

  2. duncan says:

    I’ll chime in in support of Darren on the book, although I honestly forgot it had been reviewed here, first class book, although its not cheap. I suppose to some extent yes, you can find a lot of it online but put it together in an easy resource with real word examples and it makes the world of difference

  3. ClickBank has an awful interface for trying to find relevant products to promote. There’s no search function, so you just have to page through hundreds of products looking for something interesting. You also have to hope the author listed their product under the topic you’d expect to find it – I often find things in very strange categories.

    It’s frustrating – a tiny bit of work on ClickBank’s part would increase their usefulness (and presumably their profits!) many times.

  4. Athomemama says:

    I have the book too. I thought it was helpful and I appreciated it. $97? Yeah, I guess it was worth it, but wish it was half that.

  5. I had a bad experience with this bank or better one of their ‘customers’ which sent emailoffers pretending they are Norton products which actually are freeware things such as spydoctor. I think this gives the clickbank a bad reputation. This week I got the email again from this ‘company’ (somewhere in Belize) supported by clickbank.

  6. Dustin says:

    I’ve used it off and on, and like you, I haven’t had much success from it. A good friend of mine sells his product through clickbank and makes pretty good money. He makes the majority of his income selling other peoples products through clickbank.

    I’ve tried being a click bank merchant myself without much success. Linkcloak.com was my first attempt, which I ended up making a free service anyway. The only product I have that makes an occasional sale is my Super Affiliate Link Manager.

    I while back I wrote a script to download all their products so I could search them better. Since I’ve got all this information, I decided to try and put it to good use. I’ve created a site at ZuSHOP.com to search for products and generally get more information on each product. I have loftly goals for the site, like adding ranking history, user reviews, etc. Plus, I want to throw in a lot of affiliate tools. Ultimately I think an affiliate could set up their clickbank affiliate links through ZuSHOP and I could help track hits & stuff. I don’t know if it is worth my investment of time though.

  7. Kalen says:

    Darren,

    Would you recommend marketing clickbank products purely through adwords campaigns? I don’t have a site with a lot of traffic, although I’m working on building up traffic on my blog.

    Until then, since I have some experience creating adwords campaigns and seemed to get a decent conversion rate, albeit a small campaign, I thought I might be able to make some money selling affiliate products.

    Way I see it, lets say I’m trying to market a product that when all is said and done I get $30 commission if I sell it. Well, that allows me a WHOLE lot of adwords clicks. Even if the clicks cost $.50 each, I could afford 50 clicks for one conversion (that’s low) and still get a small profit on the operation.

    What do you think about that?

  8. The best results I have had with Clickbank was from an ebook that I had read, which I didn’t give a glowing review. I was honest, and said it was definitely for beginners – and I went a little further by saying that I thought the writer didn’t have an awful lot of experience in the subject they had written on.

    I suppose my honesty must have paid off. I did a search on reviews on the ebook myself, and all I found were a load of rubbishy “this will make you a millionaire” reviews, by affiliates desperate to sell the book. With so many false reviews like that on the internet, I think you anyone will do well by reviewing the product properly and giving honest reviews.

    A few years ago, I wrote a short informational guide, and sold it on ebay. It wasn’t internet marketing related, but someone who was quite experienced on the subject emailed me and asked if it was worth her buying it. I wrote back straight away and told her it was just for beginners. There is no point in selling people something basic and pretending it is the newest, most inspirational thing ever invented – you’ll only make enemies that way.

  9. markus says:

    I bought a product ( via your affiliate link I think )and wrote a small review. Within the first week I got two people to use my affili-link to buy the same product. Each 50% for me means one free copy for me within a week.

    I’m looking forward to sell some more to buy the next product ( or ebook ) to write the next review, to sell even more products. Might work. I will see.

  10. Ravi says:

    I think i am going to try it out on my site…can you have both Clickbank and Adsense?

  11. stas bekman says:

    Yes, Ravi, you can. Clickbank is not contextual advertising.

  12. The trick is to find a Clickbank ebook which is very closely related to your website topic. And of course, the ebook should have an appealing sales page.

  13. chris says:

    You can add a FREE ClickBank search engine to your site, and earn commission on any product the user purchases from their search. As you’ll also see on my site, another option allows you to only show products paying over $x.xx commission. Or generate some Virtual Real Estate pages, and feature only products YOU wish to display on the pages.

    Please remember, the code for the BASIC Search Box you can display on your website is FREE.

  14. Darin says:

    I’ve been working with adwords and Clickbank for several months now. I did have some success with one program on their site, Satellite TV to PC (made over $1,000). But I found the interface at Clickbank to be clunky and they have hundreds of, shall we shall, inferior products.

    To increase quality product selection, and make proper sales from those quality selections, I created a website that promotes only the top programs. I have moderate success with the website, and I have much more control over what products get seen by the consumer. As was stated in prior comments, there are quality products there. I’ve done the mining and sifted the diamonds from all the coal.

  15. Chetan says:

    I Tried it.
    But not at all impressed

    This is the first program i hated till today.
    Darren, good luck with your sales, i might never use them again.

  16. ivan walsh says:

    Hi Folks,

    FWIW Clickbank has updated the site with a new interface. It’s still not perfect but is a little friendlier with more FAQs and a better search engine.

    Some products are definitely worth exploring – just do a bit of research before you choose one and then focus your content around it.

    Might be worth a quick look.

    Ivan

  17. Nikolai says:

    Well, clickbank is working fine for me. I really like how simple it is to use it. I went a couple of steps forward and created a clickbank products trends tracking system. It is totally free and you can use it to see the performance history of ALL clickbank products. The address of the system is under my name (just hover your mouse over my name and you will have it :-) )

  18. Mike says:

    I want to promote my clickbank affiliate programs in subdirectories on my site. Is it ok to save or copy the merchants complete webpage and then insert my clickbank hoplinks into all the order links?

    I see lots of people that have sites like that but was wondering how they do it and do they need permission.

    Thanks, Mike.

  19. FREE Clickbank Portal
    Thought I had seen it all until I came across this gem!
    Do yourself a favor. Lighten your work load and increase you Clickbank profits. Check it out you”ll be glad you did!
    http://tinyurl.com/yb5adx

  20. Ricky says:

    I agree with you on the part that ClickBank carries lots of get rich quick programs, but ClickBank has 9 total categories of products, which offer opportunists as follows:

    * You could work from anywhere in the world, provided a computer and Internet connection.
    * You could chose your own working hours.
    * You don’t have ANY inventory.
    * You don’t have to deal with ANY customer hassles.
    * No shipping and handling – all products are digital goods or services.
    * You spend a minimal up-front investment to get your business going.
    * Your dedication, desire and actions set your earning potential… you are in control!

    What is better opportunity than that?

    http://www.google-clickbank.com

  21. David says:

    The nice thing about Clickbank is that they handle both the sale and the affiliate tracking. So there is less chance of fraud.

  22. I just ran into a issue where a vendor ranked lower for his product name than my site in the Google results. The end result: they deleted my account.

    Watch who you do business with.

  23. Amish says:

    Hello,

    I am looking for adsense alternative, if any one have any idea about any program which is as capable as adsense for amount of earning.

    please let me know

  24. ReviewFX says:

    I know people that make hundreds of dollars a day on Clickbank, both the people that create the product and the affiliates that work for them.

  25. Sandip says:

    I am affiliated to clickbank.

    The biggest problem I face is creating links.

    Its difficult to find good products, really.

  26. rQuiz says:

    We have only recently started using Clickbank to sell an ebook that we have published on Vedic Mathematics and we are already witnessing heartening sales through Clickbank.

    @Sandip, you could take a look at this product since we have devoted a lot of time and effort towards the development of this ebook and the feedback from readers has been very encouraging.

    @Darren, it would be great if you could throw some light on which affiliate programmers are the best ones for people like me who have ebooks to sell. I’m sure this would also be relevant to your other readers who are bloggers on specialized topics and may develop an ebook themselves.

  27. Java Rocker says:

    even i am affiliate to clickbank…….but dont know whether i can earn money from these programs coz im just wondering how many ppl will buy those products from click bank……..

  28. Tipster says:

    I’m an Clickbank affiliate and promote one of their products on my gambling site. As well as their affiliate interface being very basic, as aready mentioned. Another aspect is affiliate commission. They only pay it in the form of a cheque for US$, no other options are available, so if you are in the UK, like me you incur additonal costs in getting the cheque processed.
    I don’t why a large compby like Clickbank can’t offer non-US affiliates other payment options like Clixgalore, for example.

  29. Reena Sommer says:

    As a compliment to my consulting services, I’ve been selling a variety of divorce & relationship related information products through Clickbank for a number of years. Since these are niche markets, there is a steady stream of people looking for good information. In the past years, my affiliate sales dropped off because I ran into some technical glitches with my site. Now, things are corrected and I am looking to attract affiliates once again.

    The key to doing well on Clickbank is to maintain a portfolio of products in niche markets, market them efficiently and to monitor them regularly. Please check out my products at http://www.drreenasommer.com/affairs.html (drreena) and wwww.divorcingmistakes.com (divmis).

  30. You may find this website helpful to research historical performance of every ClickBank product. This way you can get an idea about product quality before you start sending traffic.

  31. Tipster says:

    Another negative aspect of Clickbank is the way commission is paid.
    They only pay commission in the form a of a cheque in US$, no other payment options are available. Which is not too great, if like me, you are in the UK or anywhere outside the US.

  32. Christopher says:

    Most Clickbank products are crap. I wouldn’t sleep well at night promoting ANY of them.

    Why not promote products using a good Affiliate network like ShareASale or Avantlink?

  33. Leo says:

    Really good point Tipster. I have lost money on click bank

  34. Beesoy says:

    I was about to try Clickbank but decided otherwise after reading this page.

    Thanks!

    -Beesoy
    http://mylss.blogspot.com

  35. absba says:

    hi,
    any one here can tell me about CbGlobe the clickbank free portal??
    thankyou

  36. ilse says:

    Hi All,

    The biggest problem with clickbank is their refunds. Get loads of them up to 30% which is very frustrating. I would think twice before you spend a dime on Adwords if you want to promote clickbank products that way.

  37. I know people that make hundreds of dollars a day on Clickbank, both the people that create the product and the affiliates that work for them.

  38. wilson says:

    Clickbank has come a long over the past few years, if only they could do something about those refunds. It is still my main revenue earner though

  39. yes, refunds are a big problem. I’m trying to target many different niches to reduce the number of refunds and it works. Found out to stay away from niches suchs as forex, stocks and working from home. Niches such as fitness has less refunds.

  40. Josh says:

    Great clickbank tips. I’ve been doing article marketing for a bit and have made close to a thousand dollars. I wrote a list of tips here for BUM marketers of the major do’s and dont’s that i picked up after reading many many aritcles – both good and bad ones.

    I’ve been doucmenting my online earnings here from article marketing.

    http://www.projectpaydaymentor.com/2008/05/12-clickbank-article-writing-tips.html

  41. I only joined them because of an e-book that I bought and found to be of high value to me, therefore I *wanted* to promote it to my friends and everyone else.

    Then I don’t have to get behind the crap offerings that are in their mega-mall…. FWIW.

  42. Clickbank is one of the easiest tools for publishers. THe built in affiliate program is bar none the best part.

  43. SEO Genius says:

    I use clickbank quite a lot but i do have to admit that many of their products are cheap and nasty so you have to watch out.

  44. Talia says:

    I signed up for clickbank today to sell some digital products and I’m hoping that the poor reporting and other issues people have described are improved since the post was written.

  45. “it is pretty easy to use Clickbank.”
    That’s true. Clickbank is very easy to use as a affiliate. Also they offer wide arrange of payment options which is also cool.

  46. SEO Software says:

    The main problem with Clickbank products is that they do have high refund rates. So the sale cannot be treated as standard till its refund period.

  47. Dan Smith says:

    One concern I have when promoting affiliate products through clickbank is that people can change the affiliate code so they purchase the product through their own link. One way to encourage people to buy through your link is to create a bonus product that complements the affiliate product. You might find an area where the product is lacking and you could develop a bonus product that fills the gap.
    A great site to find inspiration in using this method is:
    http://www.killyourjob.com/
    Take note of the method used here.
    Cheers
    Dan

  48. WColes says:

    Clickbank is very easy to use. I tried some of the product and I have no regrets. Clickbank is also a great way of making money. This is cool.

  49. Subbu says:

    Hi Friends,

    It is really a good thread.. because it’s been since 2005…
    I am new to clickbank affiliate program. I want to sell any product from clickbank. Can u guide me which one is good product? I have seen commission blueprint in clickbank.. Is this product is good to promote? plz tell me ur openios? Or if u had any success with clickbank products.. plz share ur views with me……

  50. Harris says:

    Great post! Right information for the clickbank newbie publishers. Thank you!

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  1. [...] This series continues at – Amazon Associates Program, Clickbank Affiliate Program and Commission Junction Affiliate Program. Filed under Affiliate Programs, 31 Days to Building a Better Blog | Get the Free ProBlogger Newsletter [...]

  2. [...] Commission Junction is another affiliate program mega store (like clickbank) that offers thousands of products from different industries for you to get commissions from. [...]