How To Make Money Using ClickBank, A Detailed Affiliates Review

Heard of ClickBank? Following on from my initial look at affiliate marketing I have had some absolutely inspiring feedback. There has however been one prevalent question which hasn’t really gone away and that is people asking how to get involved with affiliate marketing.

More specifically, people have asked me about Clickbank and Amazon. They have also asked me about setting a website up.

Now I could easily lump this into a single article, rehash what I have talked about and get on with my life but that isn’t how I am as a person or a writer. So with that in mind I have decided to break down affiliate marketing even more and look at each topic individually.

clickbank-logo

In keeping with this series’ aims, I don’t want to let this descend into a step by step tutorial. If you are reading this, then you are smart enough to know how to sign up with a website and follow their own tutorials. What I do want to do however is to look at each aspect of affiliate marketing in more depth.

For the purposes of this particular article, I will be looking at Clickbank as this is a website that I feel most people are (perhaps inadvertently) familiar with. Furthermore, it is much easier to get started with Clickbank as an affiliate as it is much easier to get accepted and link up with people whose products you wish to market.

What Is Clickbank?

You probably haven’t ever heard of Clickbank and yet they are one of the top 100 online retailers in the world servicing 200 million customers. On their website, they say that they sell “lifestyle products”, created by “passionate entrepreneurs”.

These however have a number of different names within the affiliate marketing world. The one that I have encountered most often and that I use is information product.

Truthfully, there are a massive number of different examples of information products however I feel that they all have one thing in common. They are a product that provide information (hence my choice of name). These information products can cover a vast number of topics and as I will explore over the course of this article, they are available in every niche.

Moving back to Clickbank, it is probably the biggest marketplace in the world for this type of product and it is without a shadow of a doubt amongst the most diverse.

The company was started in 1998 and has grown exponentially in the following years to a company with over $3 billion in sales across 190 countries. This is not a small company and for many, they are considered the premiere destination for affiliate marketers.

Who Uses Clickbank?

There are three types of users of Clickbank and it is important to understand the relationship that exists between them if you want to start making money as an affiliate marketer.

The first group of people that you need to know about are product creators. These are hugely important and truth be told, without them, Clickbank wouldn’t really exist as it does. As the title suggests, content creators do just that. They create the content that you will be selling. These are usually people who have a very specific knowledge of something and wish to make money from this knowledge.Clickbank Affiliates

Product creators will create things like ebooks, audio books and even instructional videos based around their interests. Truthfully, this can be on anything from a cookbook to a workout regime to a spiritual guidance book. Content on Clickbank can be in almost any niche (something that I will explore in full below) and I am rather of the opinion that you can find information on almost anything.

With a reported 6 million content creators in place, it is pretty easy to see how there is an almost unlimited well from which to draw products to market.

This leads me onto the next group of people who use Clickbank and they are customers. There isn’t a lot to say about customers on Clickbank. They are like customers anywhere in the world who are looking for a service or product. Mostly with Clickbank, these are people who are looking for information on how to do something and are ultimately, the people that are most important to you as an affiliate marketer.

Finally, there are marketers. These are people that like you, wish to make an income through putting other people’s products in front of the correct eyes. As an affiliate marketer selling Clickbank products, there are a number of different things for you to consider however. The biggest of these however (in my opinion) is understanding which products it is that you should be selling.

Finding the right kind of product can range from simple common sense thinking (people are more likely to want to learn how to improve their sporting prowess or improve their bodies in summer) to using some of the multitude of tools that Clickbank themselves provide to help you find products that are selling well. This brings me neatly onto my next topic which is in many ways the heart of Clickbank.

The Clickbank Marketplace and How to Use It

In many ways, I feel like the marketplace is both the heart and mind of Clickbank when you are an affiliate marketer. It is here that you will come to look at what is selling well and what the newest products on the market. If I hold my hands up, actually getting to grips with the marketplace can be one of the more difficult aspects of using Clickbank as your main source of content to market on an affiliate basis.

Once you have learned to navigate these rather treacherous oceans however, you will find that you are able to tell quickly and easily what will and won’t be profitable. There are two main ways that you can look at which products are available which are to search for a term or to browse based on category. The method that you use will more likely than not be determined by where you are as an affiliate.

If you are starting out, I would recommend browsing based on a category or niche that you are interested in. This way, you can look at products that are available and start to build your marketing campaign around this. Whilst this may sound difficult, the truth is that it is actually a pretty straightforward process.

clickbank marketplace

For example, you choose a product that is a recipe book for a vegan diet. The website that you build could be based around the health benefits of a vegan diet. You could also write about losing weight through a vegan diet and of course, tasty vegan recipes. You would possibly want to run an Instagram marketing campaign alongside this in which you post pictures of vegan food, inspirational quotes on health and eating etc.

In this circumstance you have started with a product and built your marketing around it. From here, it is easy to look at the marketplace from the other side of the tracks. You have an existing marketing network which is based around vegan recipes, so you would search for things related to vegan eating.

Really, whether you are browsing or searching, you are still looking to get to the same destination. The only difference is that you set off from slightly different starting points.

What Niches are Available in the Clickbank Marketplace?

To say that the Clickbank marketplace is a diverse place is something of an understatement. There are 22 different categories available on the marketplace, each of which is broken down into multiple different sub categories. Most of my experience with affiliate marketing has been in the category of making money online as it is what I know best, however this broad niche is composed of several Clickbank categories.

When you are deciding on what niche you want to be involved with, it is best to try and think broadly initially. This means that you can cover a large number of products through your marketing network (I will explore the concept of this in a different article).

product niches

For example, you want to be involved in health and fitness. More specifically, you want to promote a product that is based around body building. There is a whole section dedicated to strength training on Clickbank (admittedly with just a few products), however there are products in other categories that relate to this.

Furthermore, people who you are selling products on muscle building to may also be interested in a paleo diet which is high in protein and encourages eating natural foods. This can then lead to low fat diet books for those who are looking to lose body fat once they have built up muscle. All of these are in different categories on Clickbank however there is a synergy to their promotion.

In terms of making money online, there are a massive number of products. They can be gambling products, online trading, selling products on eBay, affiliate marketing, home businesses. All of these are very different things however they all really fall under the same niche.

I think that the thing to really take away from this is that your niche should be as wide as possible, however your marketing for a particular product needs to be very specific. This can be a little bit confusing at first however once you understand the principle, you will find that it is a very easy premise.

What Are the Clickbank Stats and What Do They Mean?

Irrespective of how you look for products, you will have to get to grips with the various metrics that Clickbank use when they rank and report on how a product has performed. Initially, this looks complicated and confusing and it is easy to feel overwhelmed when you are first looking at products. What I want to do here is break down what the different stats mean and how you can use them to make the best decisions on what to sell.

Under the stats, there are 5 figures that you will need to pay attention to in order to determine whether or not there is profit to be made in marketing a given product. These are Initial $/sale, Avg %/sale, Avg Rebill Total Avg %/rebill and arguably most importantly, Grav (which I will explore in its own section).

  • The Initial $/sale – This is the average amount that you will earn as an affiliate when you make a sale of a product. This is definitely an important figure as it ultimately defines how much money you can expect to make for each sale that you generate. It is worth keeping in mind that this figure takes into account things like refunds and chargebacks etc. It is important to keep in mind that this number is only an average and there may be some variance.
  • The Avg %/Sale – This is a much simpler number than the above and shows the average commission rate that is earned for sales of a vendors products. As with the Initial $/sale, this is an average figure and so there may be some variation.
  • The Avg Rebill Total – This number is only shown on products where the vendor offers a recurring billing cycle. It shows you what the average amount that an affiliate makes on all rebilled sales, not simply the initial sale.
  • This kind of subscription based product can produce a better long term product for you as an affiliate, however you should consider how long it takes for the average rebill total to come in (for example, a $10 per month product with an average rebill of total of $100 may not prove as lucrative as pursuing something that makes $75 in 3 months).
  • The Avg %/Rebill – This is the equivalent of the Avg %/Sale however it shows the average commission rate on all rebills. Again, this is an average so your numbers may differ slightly from those published.

The final statistic that Clickbank use is Grav, short for Gravity. This is something that I was initially going to summarise but truth be told it is so easy to overlook despite the importance that I want to dedicate a full section to it. For those who are skimming through this article however, the higher the gravity, the more in demand a product is (i.e. it is recording more sales.

What is Gravity in Clickbank?

Gravity on Clickbank is a very important and often oversimplified concept. Many people presume that the highest number is the best to go for however this isn’t always the case. This is mostly down to the very unique way that Clickbank calculate this figure. Essentially, the gravity for a product shows how the affiliates selling a product are doing with values assigned to sales based on how recent they are.

The more recent the sale, the higher the value of said sale when calculating the gravity.

clickbank gravity

For example, if you look at the two products above, if you were to compare them both for potential resale, then circled in red are obvious reasons why the second product would be far more advantageous, and profitable – because the stats show that good sales are already being made by other affiliates, plus the fact that there is a generous ‘rebill’ included, which is always a very nice bonus.

There is in fact a very precise formula that Clickbank use however this hasn’t been released to the public for obvious reasons. There are however some people who have attempted to reverse engineer the process and from my extensive research, there is one widely agreed upon pattern.

Each affiliate (A) is assigned a value of 1 for each sale they made yesterday. For each subsequent day that a sale isn’t made, this value of 1 drops. The formula for this is 0.96^(n-1) where n is the number of days since the last sale.

Using this formula, we can calculate that if the last sale from an affiliate was 30 days ago, they would add gravity of just 0.3 to a products overall score.

So what does all of this mean in the real world for you when you are searching for a product?

If a product has a very high gravity, then there are plenty of affiliates selling it. In fact, the “whole” number demonstrates that there is a minimum of that many affiliates marketing a product (for example a gravity of 70.85 would mean there are at least 70 affiliates marketing a product). This allows you to get a pretty good sense of whether or not a market is over saturated.

The general rule is that the higher the gravity, the more people selling a product, and the more people selling a product, the harder it is to sell.

The problem with gravity as a number is that it doesn’t tell you a lot. It can provide some insight however using a gravity of 70.85 again as an example. This could mean that 500 affiliates haven’t made a sale for 30 days, or it could mean 70 affiliates are selling it every day. The answer is inevitably somewhere between the two, but which one could mean you making no money or a small fortune.

Using Gravity for Research Purposes

So you’ve decided on a niche, looked at the gravity for products in said niche and you are now as confused as ever (I certainly would be). There are two options open to you really. The first is to join a site that charts Clickbank products and their gravity movements etc. This is undoubtedly the easy way to do things however these websites generally charge a subscription fee.

For this however you get up to date information and graphs which allow you to see the sales pattern in a much better light.

Truthfully, this is the method that I would explore, especially if I were aiming to make a proper go of affiliate marketing. The information is much more accurate than anything that you can research yourself and frankly, if you value your time, you can save yourself hours of work.

clickbank filtering

As you can see from above, you can filter the stats based on your preferences.

If however you are budget conscious (which I know that a lot of people starting out can be), then you can always carry out research the old fashioned way. This involves a lot of searching and trying to identify where the product is being marketed.

This can however lead to some false results however as people will be marketing in a number of ways that aren’t reliant on having a website (for example I can receive 30 emails per day about a newly launched tipster service).

What are the Pros and Cons of Using Clickbank as a Platform For Affiliate Marketing?

Clickbank is something of a divisive topic when it comes to affiliate marketers. I think that the majority seem them for what they are which is probably the largest affiliate network in the world. The truth is that it is difficult to avoid Clickbank if you are an affiliate marketer as at some point or another, there will be something on their marketplace that you can sell.

Truthfully, there aren’t too many criticisms of Clickbank from affiliate marketers. In my experience they are prompt with payments and make good on what they promise. This is probably the most important thing to your new business. It is certainly easier than some stories that I have heard about verbal agreements made with content creators who down the line don’t like to pay up for your hard work.

One of the biggest problems that you can face as an affiliate with Clickbank however stems from something that I am personally very supportive of when looking at products. This is their money back guarantee policy.

Clickbank offer a blanket 60 day money back guarantee on any product that is sold through their network. This has led to some unscrupulous users signing up for a service, downloading the content and claiming a refund. As an affiliate this is massively frustrating however it is part and parcel of the industry.

My feelings are that having that 60 day money back guarantee in place generates more sales than it leads to in refunds. The thing with any online retailer is that they are only as good as consumer confidence. This is why Amazon are such a big company, because their refund policy and customer service is second to none. People have much less of a problem taking a risk when they know that they can always claim a refund if something isn’t as advertised.

60 day guarantee

Please note though, that if you are a successful vendor, then you can instruct Clickbank to use your own refund terms, and stipulate your own rules, so not always will you gain a refund from every vendor, just make sure to actually read each vendors rules on refunds.

One of the biggest downsides of Clickbank doesn’t even come from the company themselves. It instead comes from content creators who are putting out less than stellar products. You can find something that you think is a fantastic product only to find that it is absolute crap and you have wasted a lot of time and money.

I’ve looked at enough Clickbank products in my time to know that it happens all too often and whilst a lot of sites will encourage you to check out a sales page, I would be inclined to go one step farther.

If you have any doubts about a product that you are marketing, it can be well worth making the purchase for yourself. That 60 day money back guarantee can work for you as a customer as well as an affiliate (although you should avoid doing this too often as it can lead to account closures). Generally speaking, if you are vigilant and avoid what is obviously crap, you will be OK. Especially if you use Gravity as one of your metrics.

My Own Results and Profits

Some fantastic money can be made using Clickbank, and just to show you that I know what I am talking about…

I don’t use Clickbank as much as I used to, but just take a look at some of the commissions I have personally generated in the past promoting a variety of different products using the market place, on an array of specific websites I used to promote from:

profits

Last year I made over $90,000+ using Clickbank:
Clickbank

The last screenshot above was taken at the end of May when I was planning this review. I am sure you would agree, that is some pretty decent money coming in on a weekly basis. The $’s get converted to £’s when it hits your bank account, and Clickbank pay weekly without fail, providing you have hit the threshold that you set.

As you can see, on one of my Clickbank accounts I made well over $90,000+ in 2016, and I have scaled back this year due to other commitments I have, but it definitely highlights that some very good money can be made when you are committed.

Downsides to Clickbank

It isn’t all roses however. Truth be told, Clickbank can have some major downsides as well. A prime example of this is the competition that exists on products that are selling a large number of units. We have looked at gravity extensively and if you consider the fact that there are some products which have gravity into the hundreds, you can start to get an idea of just how many people use Clickbank.

One of the other issues that I have is that you can struggle to sell products simply because people expect information products to be a “scam”. Whilst the truth is that many products created for Clickbank are genuine and written by people who understand their chosen subject well, there are the occasional efforts from fraudsters who are also looking to make a quick buck. I know that I have certainly had more than my fair share of crap in my time.

People have an inherent distrust of products of the nature Clickbank deal with and when you throw in the fact that the authors are rarely household names, you can have a melting pot for customer resistance. Of course as a marketer and sales person, you should be able to bypass these objections however I think that it would be naïve of me to ignore that they ca be a problem.

Conclusion on Using ClickBank as an Affiliate

The biggest challenge for any new business starting out is getting a decent revenue stream up and running. In fact, if you believe the old oft quoted statistic, it can take a business 3 years before it starts making a profit. This is rarely the case with online money making simply because your overheads are much lower, however that doesn’t mean that you can ignore the importance of having a steady cash stream.

Clickbank is probably the quickest and easiest way to start trying to monetise your marketing network. There is something for everybody and truthfully, the company don’t make you jump through hoops to get involved. This is unlike some affiliate networks that I have looked at before now where your whole marketing set up has to be approved by a product vendor before you can sell their products.

As I said in my original article about affiliate marketing, it isn’t easy and when I write in length about how to set a marketing network, you should be able to understand how much work can be involved. That doesn’t however mean that it isn’t worthwhile.

Clickbank also have a YouTube Channel

 


Returning my focus to Clickbank, one of the main reasons that I feel that it is so worthwhile to pursue as an option for affiliates starting out is how easy it is to use. From a logistical standpoint, all that you need to start making money through Clickbank is a link and this can be used anywhere.

I have talked a lot about a marketing network and if you want to build a sustainable business, then this is something that you will want to do. If however you are simply trying to earn a quick buck, then the structure of Clickbank and its simplicity allows you to try your hand at that. As a prime example, the best selling video game products on the Marketplace are World of Warcraft guides.

A simple and easy way of trying to sell this would be to look on relevant forums for people looking for advice and trying to sell them the product directly.

Likewise, you could choose any niche and begin discussing a product in a Facebook group that is related to the topic. Clickbank as a network are really as flexible as you are and that is one of the reasons that they have grown so exponentially.

All things considered, I am a fan of Clickbank, especially as an affiliate. It is a place that can provide anybody with a foot in the door of affiliate marketing and there is nothing trying to hold you back. The company are always prompt with the important things like payment and if you are new to Clickbank and affiliate marketing, they have a whole training section on the website that shows you what you need to do in order to trade successfully.

One of the things that I really appreciate about Clickbank is that the whole operation is set up in such a way that it allows you to grow with your own marketing brand. There are plenty of cross selling opportunities as your business and customer base increases and this of course means more money.

Whilst there are other (and in some ways, better) affiliate networks out there I hold with the fact that Clickbank is one of the easiest to get involved with. This is something that when you are starting out is a godsend. I also like that Clickbank operates in such a way that you can build a multi-million pound business from your bedroom or alternatively, you can make a little bit of going out money for next month. This flexibility is key to the appeal in my eyes, and as such I have no problem in recommending Clickbank for new affiliates and experienced alike.

Related Content and Resources:

How to Make Money Online From Affiliate Marketing – The Reality

 

What is an Amazon Associate, and Starting as an online Affiliate

 

Structured Data, Review
Title: How To Make Money Using ClickBank, A Detailed Affiliates Review
Reviewed by Daniel Carter on Jun 10
Rating: 4.5
Summary: My Clickbank results, and review of the marketplace
Description: I have used Clickbank for many years, and must have made well over £100,000+ in the process of marketing a variety of different products and services.

Clickbank allows literally anybody to start an online business without the expense associated with general businesses.

Basically you are making profits with other people’s products, which they allow you to promote for a split commission, and this has very many uses.

3 Comments

  • Si says:

    brilliant post dan I have been trying click bank for years trying to make headway your post was very helpful Si

    • Daniel says:

      Hello Si, It is certainly do-able with the right products and marketing. You need to evaluate your chosen product well and see what is happening online in that niche and the move forward from there. I have a fair few websites where I target particular niches, and then build authority around them.

      It definitely takes time to do, but once you have put the leg work in and start making sales using the Clickbank products and have chosen the right markets then you get the momentum needed.

      Then it is a case of keeping that ball moving and continually building towards more traffic with external targeting.

      Best Wishes,

      Dan

  • Barney says:

    Great write up there. I have been trying to make some extra money with click bank for ages and not doing too badly, but reading everything I can, so thanks

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