Clickbank for the Affiliate

Clickbank is an appealing monetization method for website owners for one good reason, they pay high commissions on sales you refer. Clickbank only deal with digital products, so the publishers have very little expenses to cover and can therefore pay commissions as high as 75%. The products tend to cost on average about $40 and with an average commission of 50% or 75% the average commission is $25. To make $25 through the Adsense program you will need anywhere from 25 clicks to 1000 clicks, with Clickbank you can make $25 in as little as 1 click although it could also take 1000 clicks to make a conversion if you have not optimized well.

How to Make Money with Clickbank

  1. Find a category of products to promote.

    When deciding which category of products to promote you should start at the Clickbank Marketplace. On this page is a search form, we will only be using the category and sub-category drop-downs for now. How you choose your category depends on your circumstances; if you have a website and want to monetize the traffic choose the category your visitors would most likely purchase from, and if you have NO existing website but want to break into affiliate sales choose the category you would enjoy writing about.
  2. Decide on a single product to promote.

    In the sub-category you decided on there might be 40 products to choose from, choosing a good one to promote is very important (although you can always change later). The best product can be found by the following factors:
    • Suitability – The most important factor in choosing a product is how suitable it is to your visitors. Put yourself in your visitors shoes and think “would I buy this product?”.
    • Commission (total and percentage) – The second most important factor after suitability is how much you will be payed per sale, the commission. Under each product is a $/sale and Future $ figure, the $/sale is the lump sum you will receive for each sale you make and Future $ is any extra recurring money you will receive from selling products with ongoing payment plans such as web hosting. When deciding on the product higher commissions are generally better for the obvious reason of receiving more money, but be careful not to choose a product with such a high commission that the sale price is too expensive for your visitors to purchase.
    • Grav – The grav (aka gravity) of a product signifies the amount of affiliates who have earned a commission from the product, having a decent gravity means that their sales page is probably good and if you send the visitors quite a lot will convert into sales. You should look for a product with at least 5 gravity but this is not mandatory.
  3. Display your affiliate link.

    You have 4 options for where you display your affiliate link; on an existing website with traffic, on a brand new website, in an opt-in email, or on other people’s websites. Each have advantages and disadvantages so I will discuss each.
    • Existing Website – Adding a Clickbank product to an existing website is an easy to make a sale here and there. Some examples of how you could place the product are; a sub-page selling the product, a blog post advertising the product, or a banner ad (example). This method tends to not convert well, but it is very easy to get started if you have a website with traffic.
    • New Website / Sales Page – A sales page is a website for the sole purpose of selling a product (example). The hops tend to convert very well since most visitors who click through have already decided to purchase, but gaining traffic to a sales page is not easy. Most websites are unwilling to link to a sales page so you will have to be creative in your traffic generation to a page such as this.
    • Opt-In Email – You can build a list of opt-in email subscribers and advertise your products to them (example). How well this method converts depends a lot on how you created your opt-in email list, for example if you collect emails while giving out freebies they will likely not convert to sales as they are more interested in freebies that purchasing.
    • Other People’s Websites – You can purchase private advertising space on other people’s websites, this could be a text link or banner ad. Because this method requires financial investment to be profitable you will need to track your conversions and hop sources to find out which websites advertising on is profitable. Rather than pay for private ads you can also add your affiliate link to your signature at any forums you participate in.
  4. Build Traffic to Your Pages

    The amount of hops and conversions you make depends mainly on the amount of people who see your advertisement, so building traffic is a very important step. Sales pages tend not to accumulate backlinks naturally so other traffic generation and link building techniques must be implemented. Here is some of the techniques you can use –
    • StumbleUpon and Stumble Exchanges (and other social bookmarking)
    • Forum Signatures
    • Private Ad Purchases
    • Adwords
    • Article Marketing
    For any other website I would focus on SEO but as sales pages tend not to get backlinks ranking highly in the search engines is not easy.
  5. Track your Hops and Conversions

    Clickbank provides a reasonably good tracking system, click My Account then Reporting then Analytics to see it.

    Clickbank Analytics


    There is two sections to the analytics system, ‘Publisher Reporting’ and ‘Affiliate Reporting’, since you are an affiliate you only need to use the ‘Affiliate Reporting’ section. All three of the ‘Report By’ options are very useful, here’s a summary of each –
    • Tracking Codes – If you set up tracking codes while creating your affiliate links you can track them here, you could use tracking codes to track different websites if you have more than one.
    • Publishers – This section shows the sales you are making by product, so if you try out multiple products on your websites this section can help you to find out which converts best for you.
    • Hour of Day – This section is the least useful of the three, it lets you track your hops and conversions by hour of the day, but even if you find that you make more sales in the morning it doesn’t do you much good since you can’t use this knowledge to increase sales.
  6. Any secrets?

    Sorry, but there are no big secrets. The sure-fire way to increase your Clickbank revenue is to increase traffic to your websites, and also to test out which products are most profitable for you. The one secret I do have however, is that traffic sources matter; if you are selling marketing books, search engine traffic searching for ‘Buy Marketing Books’ will convert far better than traffic from a link exchange with a games website, so if you can get search engine traffic take advantage of it.

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