If you’re already familiar with what affiliate marketing and ClickBank is, you can scroll down to the “Getting Started” section to get into the nitty-gritty of how to make money with Click Bank ($300+/day goal!). Otherwise, keep reading!
One of the simplest ways to make money online is to sell other people's products. The practice is commonly referred to as affiliate marketing. In a nutshell, you find an interesting product online and agree with the vendor to give you a commission for every sale that you drive to their website.
If you’re new to this I know what you’re thinking: How do you find such products? How do you negotiate with vendors? How do they know that the sale was referred by you? How and when do they pay you and how can you trust them? And most importantly, how can you promote their products effectively and make a nice living doing it?
This is where ClickBank (and many other similar networks) chime in. Clickbank is an affiliate network known for being home to thousands of digital products like e-books, videos, and software. They’re simply middlemen between product vendors and affiliates.
How does it work?
If you’re the vendor, then you create your own product and set it up using Clickbank’s system. They then list your product in their marketplace so that tens of thousands of affiliates can see you. They handle the tracking using unique tracking links and cookies so they know exactly where the sale came from and credit the referring account accordingly.
Confused? It’ll be clearer in a moment. A lot of people start off as affiliates and then, later on, become vendors. We will focus on making money as an affiliate in this blog post, as it’s the simpler route.
As an affiliate, all you have to do is sign up for a ClickBank affiliate account and then start browsing their marketplace which lists all the available products from their partner vendors. Once you find a good product (we’ll get into that in a moment), ClickBank will give you a unique “affiliate link” that points to the vendor’s sales page. All you have to do then is make people buy through that link. You earn a commission for any sale made through your affiliate links.
Clickbank is not alone in what they do. There are many similar affiliate networks (I list some at the end of this blog post). So why and when would you choose Clickbank over others? Here’s a breakdown of the top advantages I see:
- Very high commissions: Most ClickBank products pay 70%+ commission. You read that right. So in that case, if you sell a $100 product, you earn $70. You might think that’s way too high to be real, but it is. They’re mainly able to do that because most of their products are digital, which means there are no “production” costs, “shipping” costs or any other costs that are usually associated with physical products, hence the high commissions.
- They pay fast: As often as weekly or bi-weekly. Many affiliate networks pay on a NET 30 basis, which means they keep your money for 30 days after you've earned them. This can be a huge inconvenience and create cash flow problems especially if you're running paid traffic.
- They're newbie friendly: Some affiliate networks are strict when it comes to accepting new affiliates. They're usually scared of fraudsters who can potentially jeopardize the network's relationships with their advertisers and vendors by using shady promotional techniques. While this cautiousness is generally a good thing, it also makes it hard for new affiliates to get into those networks. How can you start taking your baby steps and experimenting with things when you're not even allowed to promote any products?
- International affiliate friendly: Their direct deposit payment method works with Payoneer, a popular digital wallet that can help you easily get paid online no matter where you’re from in the world (with a few exceptions).
- Big variety of products: They have thousands of products available across about two dozen categories. That’s a lot of niches, a lot of products and a lot of opportunities.
How much money can you make?
This is a highly subjective question. The biggest factors involved are the products you choose and how you promote them. We’ll break down exactly how to do that in the next sections. But if you’re asking if it’s possible to make money with Click Bank as an affiliate in general, then the answer is yes, definitely.
It’s not uncommon to see people doing 3 figures daily on ClickBank. A typical sale earns you $15-$50 in commission. Say the average is $30. This means you need 4 sales a day to hit $100+. Seems doable, doesn’t it? Depending on your level of expertise you could hit your first sale in days or months.
But if you’re a complete newbie, it’s not unrealistic to aim for your first sale in 2-3 months. From that point onwards, once you prove to yourself that it works, things become much easier.
If you’re looking for great examples of people making good money on ClickBank, check out this post by AuthorityHackers as they detail the strategy they followed to make thousands of dollars on ClickBank every month. Warren Wheeler of AMNinjas also recently wrote case study explaining how he was able to bring a brand new affiliate website from $0 to $300+ per day in less than 3 months with ClickBank. Both of these posts discuss relatively different strategies. I’m actually going to get into both of those strategies as well as my recommended path to follow for beginners (and why I think beginners should follow it).
How to make money with Click Bank: The $300+/day Blueprint
So now on to the nitty-gritty. Here’s the breakdown of what I’ll be covering to help you get your first ClickBank sale. There are 3 major steps:
- The product/offer.
- The funnel.
- The traffic.
We’ll go into more details regarding each step but let me give you a quick overview of each. The product/offer is the ClickBank product you’ll be promoting. This might seem like it’s simple enough but screwing up this step could potentially hinder you from earning a single cent because the other steps are built on top of it. Product research has its own separate section below.
Next up is the funnel, the funnel basically represents the journey a visitor takes from the point they’re exposed to your website/ad/link for the first time, and up till the point they make a purchase through your affiliate link. There are different approaches to this and we’ll be discussing examples in the dedicated section below.
Finally, the traffic. You have the product, you’ve set up the “journey” your visitor will go through to finally get to the product, now all that’s left is to actually start driving those visitors to your funnel.
1) The Product
So before you choose a product you need to hop on the ClickBank website and sign up for an affiliate account. This is a straightforward process that you can start here. Once you’re done, it’s time to navigate to the marketplace and start browsing.
The general exploration phase
A lot of people will recommend selecting a niche/category you’re familiar with right off the bat and browsing products inside it. Although I agree with this approach for strong reasons I’ll outline later, I do not think it should be the starting point. Simply go ahead and hit the “magnifying glass” button next to the search bar without typing anything.
This will allow you to browse an aggregate list of products from all categories. You can use the “sort results by” drop-down menu to sort the results according to a number of different criteria. For our purposes, we’ll keep it set as “Popularity” for now although I also encourage you to sort by “Gravity” and browse products that way.
At this point, forget categories, niches and everything else. We simply want to identify what makes a good product. But what do these terms mean? High gravity means a lot of affiliates are making money with that product or it’s a “proven” product.
You might be thinking that’s a no-brainer, right? Simply sort by highest gravity and pick a product out of those. Well, while many advise going that route, it has its issues. The main one being: high gravity = a lot of affiliates = a lot of competition. This isn’t always a bad thing but might not be ideal for people just starting out.
Before we move on to the next section, browse through 10-20 high gravity products. Visit their sales page and their “affiliate tools” page. Notice how they sell the product to both their customers and YOU as an affiliate.
You’ll quickly start noticing patterns. The common traits you see among the top products usually have a significant contribution to their success. We want to understand these traits so we can spot them in other products that may be less competitive but can sell well.
Here are some things you might notice:
- Video Sales Pages (VSLs): These are a popular type of sales pages that convert very well because of their dependence on easily digestible, highly engaging videos.
- Strong Affiliate Tools: You’ll find that most top products have dedicated pages that help you get started quickly promoting their products. They often even create ready-to-go ads, content, and templates for you. This shows that the vendor cares about attracting and retaining affiliates.
- Social Proof: Most products will have testimonials/reviews or other types of social proof that show people using and benefiting from that product successfully.
- Strong copy and clear call to actions: If they have a written sales page you’ll likely find that it’s very convincing and keeps pulling you in to read more. They’re often story-driven as well. The buy now button will be unmissable and the whole page will be directing your attention to it to complete the purchase. It leaves no doubt in the visitor’s mind on what should be done next.
Choosing a product
At this point, you should have a general idea what a good product looks like by analyzing top gravity products across all categories. You should also have some ideas about which niches/categories you want to get into. Now it’s time to choose a product to promote.
Here’s a checklist:
- Interest in the niche. Passion/huge interest is a bonus. People really underestimate this point. You’ll be eating, drinking and breathing this product/niche for weeks, possibly months and years to come if it's successful and you start focusing on growing it. Having an interest in it makes things so much easier and helps you keep going when things get tough.
- Gravity is not a deal breaker. People will tell you to choose a product with at least 30+ gravity. This is not a rule of thumb by any means. I’ve promoted products that had a gravity of 5 and made good money, as long as the product hits other points on this checklist (and the one in the above section), you can give it a go.
- “Wow” factor and solution for niche problem. If your target market sees this and instantly thinks “I need this!”, “how have I been living without it?!”, then you’ve got yourself a potential winner. It helps to be knowledgeable/interested in this niche so you can easily judge this point.
- Great sales page. Clean, convincing and easy to complete checkout.
- Affiliate tools/support. Try getting in touch with the vendor for affiliate support. Good vendors will be prompt with affiliate support and will show you that they care because they make money when you do.
That’s about it, here’s an example product I’ve chosen:
This product has less than 10 gravity but I’d give it a go because it meets most of the criteria above. Most importantly, it focuses on an aching problem and promises to solve it.
To get your affiliate link simply click “promote” and enter your ClickBank nickname. Click submit and you'll link will come up. All you have to do is to copy/paste it and use it during promotions.
2) The Funnel
Once you’ve chosen your product, it’s time to think about the typical journey your visitor would go through till they end up buying your product. Here are some of the most popular “journeys”:
- Direct linking: This means you’ll send people directly to the vendor’s sales page. This used to work well and still does in some rare cases but most of the time, it’s not recommended to go down that route. You need to “warm up” your visitor first before sending them to the offer page. Unfortunately, because this is the lazy man’s route, a lot of people choose it.
- Lander > Offer: This is a much better approach than the above. A lander or landing page is a web page that you create and that acts as a middleman between the offer and the visitor. This could be a review of the offer, a video, an article…etc. The visitor would land on it, consume it and then click a link and get redirected to the offer. Warren Wheeler’s case study on AMNinajs.com uses a variation of this funnel.
- Lander > Opt-in > Offer: This is AuthorityHacker’s approach in the case study referred to above. You basically send your visitor to a landing page and offer them a free gift related to your offer in exchange for their email address. You then send them the offer (among other things) via email.
So what’s the recommended approach?
Although the third approach is the most complex in terms of setup, it has a major advantage: you’re building your email list. You can get in touch with everyone who filled your form and can promote offers to them again and again. This is why it’s the recommended approach.
There’s a popular saying among internet marketers, “the money is in the list”, and it really is. An email list is a long-term asset you can leverage with a click of a button with negligible cost. So how do you go about doing this?
- Step 1: Create your landing page. Whether it’s a review, article, video or otherwise, you’ll need web hosting and/or a tool to create. I recommend ThriveThemes for this (works with WordPress).
- Step 2: Create your opt-in forms. These are the forms that will capture your visitor’s email address. This is also doable with a ThriveThemes product called Thrive Leads. You might also want to check out our Thrive Leads tutorial/review.
- Step 3: Next, you’ll need an email marketing platform that allows you to manage your email list and send automated email sequences to them (promoting your Clickbank product and other content). For this my recommendation is ConvertKit. (See my full ConvertKit Review here).
- Step 4: Done! Now you have the product, a landing page (say it’s an article related to the niche/product) and a lead magnet, which is a free ebook/video…etc you’re giving away for free on the landing page in exchange for an email address.
A visitor reads the article, gets intrigued, subscribes to get the freebie, then you email them the freebie using Aweber. A couple of days or so later, you pitch them the affiliate product. A lot of vendors actually prepare email swipes for you. You can browse their affiliate tools page for inspiration.
With the funnel set up, now you’re ready to start running some traffic!
So how do you drive visitors to your website and hence your offer? When driving traffic you could either “pay” by spending effort and time or pay by actually paying for the traffic. Let me explain this by actually breaking down the recommended traffic sources.
SEO, in a nutshell, is working on making your website rank high in Google search results when people enter specific search keywords. The big pros of SEO are that it’s a very long-term strategy and could keep bringing you traffic for years with minimal effort. It's also inexpensive or almost free if you do all the work yourself manually.
The drawback is that it’s slow at first, it could take 2-3+ months to see your first sale if that is your main traffic source. It’s also tedious in the sense that it requires a lot of effort link building, especially if you’re trying to rank for highly competitive keywords. For an in-depth SEO blueprint, check out our how to rank in Google guide for beginners.
If you’re looking for a full step-by-step training on how to create a niche website and promote it from scratch, check out Niche Pursuit Insider.
If you have a budget and are willing to pay for traffic, you might want to explore investing in Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, Bing Ads or any of the other networks you can buy traffic from. Their first advantage is a double-edged sword. You can literally start receiving traffic within minutes from starting a campaign. But once you stop running the campaign, the “traffic tap” stops.
You also pay for every visitor/impression. The risks and stakes with paid traffic are higher but there are also some interesting rewards like the ability to scale crazily overnight by launching new campaigns and increasing budgets. This “on-demand” scaling is not doable with SEO.
You can also opt to use a hybrid approach which I would highly recommend. If you’re on a budget focus on SEO, and once you start seeing results reinvest everything back into more SEO and content, then start exploring paid traffic. This is how you prevent your eggs from being in one basket.
Organic Social Media
Creating Facebook pages, attracting followers and publishing content was once a lucrative practice. However, as you may already be well aware, Facebook has significantly decreased its pages’ organic reach that it’s almost impossible now to depend on organic traffic as a reliable source of income or visitors.
Thankfully though, Instagram and YouTube are still big players when it comes to organic reach. Many affiliates make a lot of money promoting products organically on these platforms.
There are a number of different approaches here. You can record a video review of the product and leave its purchase link in the description. You can create a video giving free value related to your niche and recommend the product as an “upgrade”. If you can’t do this yourself, you can always hire someone on Fiverr for a very affordable price.
We’ve recorded and published a coaching call outlining an interesting youtube marketing strategy. Check it out if you want to go that route.
Even though Facebook’s organic reach decreased significantly, Instagram is still going strong. This works especially well for visual niches like food, pets, and sports. Lots of interesting content out there to post in these niches and gain a huge following.
The basic strategy is this: Post interesting content consistently with relevant hashtags. Use a service like Hashtagify for hashtag ideas. Follow users in your niche and engage with their posts. I also know a couple of people who grew their Instagram accounts quickly solely depending on shoutouts from influencers. You can use a service like ShoutCart for that or contact influencers directly (most of them list their email addresses in their bios).
Where to from here?
I know the information in here may be overwhelming and you might be looking for an exact formula to start making money with ClickBank. The truth is, every single “option” I’ve mentioned here can make money but to sum it all up, here’s my recommended path:
- Pick a product that solves a problem, has high commissions and that you believe in its potential and importance to your audience.
- Create an article related to that product. It should add value. Do some keyword research and find some low competition long tail keywords to write about. For instance, if your product is about dog training, write an article about “top 10 dog behavioral problems and their solution” (I didn’t do keyword research for this).
- At the end of the article, give away a free guide containing more dog training tips or “8 Dangerous Foods for Dogs You Didn’t Know About”, you get the idea. Something to get your reader curious and wanting more.
- When they subscribe to your list, send them a couple of emails linking them to more articles or useful pieces of content, then pitch your dog training product after you’ve built some trust.
- Repeat this process and do some link building. If you have the budget, you can actually start running Facebook Ads and/or Adwords campaigns to the articles in parallel. Make sure your website is 15+ pages to maximize your chances of getting good traffic from Google.
The above is the basic, long-term strategy I recommend. It’s a lot of work but it pays off. You can always go the shorter route of just slapping together an opt-in page and driving paid traffic to it. However, these pages are much less likely to rank in search engines or bring you organic traffic.
Going the “valuable content creation” route allows you to utilize virtually any traffic source sequentially or in parallel and bring a strong, long-term asset that consistently brings in leads, traffic, and sales.
I hope this has been helpful, especially for beginners. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to post them in the comments section below!
Want to learn more about building a sales funnel? Read my Clickfunnels review here.