I typically trash Clickbank as a low-quality trash bin for discount digital products worth very little money, and even less of your time. But the website is still alive and well, and as we see with products like Google Sniper 2.0 and Freedom Formula 8, people are still touting it as a great place to find things to promote for your online business. I decided to investigate further to see if it's actually possible to make honest money on Clickbank.
1) Are there any quality products on Clickbank worth promoting?
Yes, but you really need to dig. And I mean really dig deep. There is a lot of crap on Clickbank. In fact, lots of it is from several years ago, and there's no way to really tell when the product released, unless you look at the gravity of the product. Remember, “gravity” is a number that represents how many affiliates have made commissions lately. It's not a 1/1 ratio (they don't give the exact math), but the higher the better. I've seen high gravity being 50+ and low gravity as low as less than 10.
How do you tell the good products from the bad? This is a matter of judgement, taste, and personal bias, but here are a few pointers.
- Up front and honest sales pitch
- Short and to-the-point product description
- Informative with little or no hype
- Up to date information
Here are some examples of good and bad products I found in various niches.
2) How much money can you make by promoting stuff from the CB marketplace?
This is the question that gets asked the most, but it's the one with really no answer. It depends on a lot of variables, so you can make anything from zero to tens of thousands of dollars per month. For me personally, I don't make that much from Clickbank, and never have. I take in about $100 per month. It isn't impressive, but I'll explain more about my stats below.
Other people swear by CB, and a lot of “how to make money” products are based solely on using Clickbank. To them, Clickbank is the foundation of their business despite the fact that there are thousands of other affiliate programs out there. Also, keep in mind that many of these guys don't even look at what's offered! They only care about
- What the sales page looks like
- How the offer is converting
- What competition is like
- How much money they make per sale
3) How to find high converting, high paying items with low return rates
You can find this information right on the little blurb about each product.
- Initial $/sale: How much money you make for each sale
- Avg %/sale: The percent commission you make of total cost
- Avg Rebill Total: If there is a recurring payment, the average total of all rebilled commissions
- Avg %/rebill: If there is a recurring payment, the percent commission you make
- Grav: How many affiliates have made commissions in the last 12 days
A high commission, recurring payments, and a high gravity is what you want to look for. Be sure to watch out for that gravity! I found more that one product with HUGE commissions and rebills, but a super low gravity. It was several years old and obviously no longer popular.
This will also depend on your niche of course, and your particular audience. You are the expert, so think about what your audience wants, and find a product to match them. Here is a a popular product that can be used for many niches.
Your Work Isn't Done Yet! (Further Product Research)
Even with all these combined factors, you still need to know if this product is worth promoting. You need to investigate a few things.
- General competition in this niche
- Competition from other affiliate marketers in this niche
- Other people promoting this specific product
- Keyword stats
- The product itself (is it good)
Very often you'll find fake reviews from other affiliates that make a product sound awesome, but it will probably be clear that they never tried it. Look for normal folks that may have bought it and mention it on their blog, YouTube, or in a forum.
There are many factors that can influence your success in a specific niche, with a specific product. There are a lot of smart marketers out there, and just going by these simple metrics, you're going to run into at least SOME competition.
Don't be afraid of it, but learn to assess it correctly. If most people are using EMDs, don't use one. If most people have tiny websites with crappy content, put in the extra effort and blow them out of the water. If there's a lot of negative reviews from people, avoid it even if the payout looks good.
I know that reading all that stuff above can be a lot of information to take in, so I've made a short video about how to choose a good product from Clickbank to start promoting. Using CB can be a great introduction to affiliate marketing, if you do it right!
4) What does the future of Clickbank look like?
I think Clickbank is going to be around for a while. Digital information products, membership sites, PDF guides and other information that can be bought and sold on the internet is only going to grow. I give CB a hard time because I work in the internet marketing industry so I see horribly hyped and misleading products all the time, but there were a few goodies I found in my research for this article. I'm not recommending you promote these, but I just thought that they looked like high-value products for the right niche audience.
There are other marketplaces out there, but they are in a lot worse shape that CB. Clicksure and JVZoo are two examples of sites where I would not recommend promoting anything from their marketplace. Update 2018: JVZoo is looking pretty attractive compared to Clickbank. It's pretty active!
Bonus: An inside look into my Clickbank earnings
Don't laugh, but below I'll show you my Clickbank earnings from a few weeks in 2013. When I started out in affiliate marketing, I did a bit better, pulling in about $600 for half of 2011 (my first year at CB), and $1500 for the year 2012. 2013 looks like it's going to be less than $1200 for the year.
I started promoting these products in 2010/2011 when I was still a newbie. I don't work on these sites any more, but they are still making me money
two 4 years later. I learned a lot since then, and I definitely would NOT choose the same products again! But I do absolutely zero work on these websites except to update them, which means I make about $1200 per hour promoting Clickbank products!
Don't take that as a green light to rush over to CB. Though you can still make money on Clickbank as I have demonstrated here today, it's not any easier than any other affiliate marketing setup. There's a lot of useless stuff on CB, and if you're not sure what to promote, it can be hard to find exactly what you want. Part of why I don't promote CB products anymore is because many of them are junk and I've never found a good one that's in a niche I'm interested in.
In fact, if you are looking for something to promote, check out my post about finding good affiliate programs. In fact, I recently started a whole series of affiliate program reviews, and affiliate program research based on topic. Get website ideas here.
What Now? (How To Start Making Money ANY Products Online)
I know my Clickbank earnings were pretty poor, but I actually make a full time income promoting other affiliate programs. I just found that most of what was on CB wasn't my style, and there was too much junk to sort through. Don't be limited by what you find in their marketplace.
There are literally thousands of other affiliate programs out there with physical and/or digital products for you to promote. CB is just one affiliate network, and has a very limited number of things to promote.
I started out as a newbie in 2010, and quit my job in 2012. Now I spend my days helping other people on their own businesses. If you want to start a new online business or have an existing one you need help with, you can get 1-on-1 support from ME! All you need to do is join the same online business training center where I learned to build my first business.