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Make Money With ClickBank 2015 Affiliate Guide

By Joshua Kraus

There are only a few places on the web where you can find online fiddle lessons, guides for growing taller and juicing tutorials all under the same domain. ClickBank is one of them.

ClickBank is an online marketplace that connects digital content creators with affiliate marketers. Founded in 1998, ClickBank has grown to be the top affiliate network in the United States, and is one of the most visited sites in the world.

Anyone interested in taking up affiliate marketing should begin with ClickBank. It's easy to get started, and unlike competing platforms, ClickBank eliminates tedious paperwork and contracts. It also offers a reliable payment system.

While the profit prospect is substantial, making money with ClickBank isn’t as easy as slapping a bunch of affiliate links onto your blog and watching the money roll in. To make the most out of ClickBank, there are a few things you should know, and a few strategies you should follow.

How ClickBank Works

Digital content creators, or vendors, upload their products to ClickBank’s marketplace and set a commission percentage. The affiliate, you, chooses a product to promote and creates a unique link to that product's sales page. You can embed your unique link in a blog or website, post it on social media or include it in an email. When a customer clicks your link and buys the product, you’re rewarded with the commission. The rest goes to the vendor. It’s all pretty simple.

What’s not so simple is determining which products to promote, and how to promote them.

How To Choose A Product

If you’re reading this guide, chances are you already run a website or are planning to create one. Hopefully your website targets a specific niche. If it doesn't, read about the importance of creating a niche website here.

To find products that fit your niche, first search for related keywords using tools like Keywordtool.io. Perhaps your website is all about juicing. Searching for "juicing" brings up a number of high volume keywords, such as "juicing diet" and “juicing recipes.”

Now search for those keywords on ClickBank and find relevant products.

Once you find a product that fits your niche, you need to evaluate a few ClickBank metrics. Under each product is a series of stats, and understanding what they mean is critical in the decision making process.

Initial $/sale refers to the average amount an affiliate earns for each sale.

Avg %/sale is the average commission rate earned for all sales of a vendor’s products.

Grav is short for Gravity, which incorporates the number of different affiliates who earned a commission by promoting the product over the past 12 weeks.

Avg Rebill Total refers to the average amount of money affiliates make on commission as the result of rebills.​ Rebills are recurring products like memberships or subscriptions.

Avg %/Rebill is the average commission rate earned only on rebills.​

A general rule of thumb is to choose a product with a Grav score of at least 20. If you can find one over 50, even better. But be careful when you get into triple digits. This means that the product is enjoying some heavy competition, so make sure you’re prepared.

You also want to read product reviews to gauge public opinion. Are there a lot of complaints? Are there a lot of refunds? Ensure the answer is no.

Before choosing a product, take a look at the product’s sales page. Is it something you would read? Is it well-written and designed? There are a lot of junk sales pages, so break out your shears because you might have to cut through the weeds before finding something worth promoting.

And of course, make sure that the product sees recurring commissions.

How To Promote Products

Now comes the true test of your affiliate marketing mettle: the marketing. Marketing your product is by far the most important, and most time-consuming, step on your way to success, and because of that, many people try to take shortcuts. They focus on what they think rather than what their customers want. They prioritize loudness over intelligence. They assume shoving a product in someones face will persuade them to buy it. But that's now how it works.

Here are some tips for promoting your product.

Don’t go overboard on banners and direct links

Adverts such as these perpetrate an all too common crime: they don’t presell. Preselling is the art of fostering trust and rapport with your customers. It helps forge a relationship, and warms them up for the eventual sale. Failing to presell is the “Geez, buy me a drink first,” of marketing mistakes.

Focus on contextual text links

Contextual text links are links embedded in the text, and they're very conducive to pre-selling. If done right, they don't feel like promotions at all. They feel like recommendations.

Case in point, scroll up a few paragraphs and find the link to keywordtool.io. That's a contextual text link. Too bad I don't get paid if you click on it. I really need new shower curtains.

Write ​reviews

Product reviews are like the Ray-Bans of affiliate marketing: they never go out of style. If a customer is interested in a product, chances are they're going to search for product reviews, so might as well kill two birds with one stone.

But because reviews are so popular in affiliate marketing, competition is high, and traffic on keywords is low. Highly targeted niches help avoid this issue, but be prepared to work hard and churn out a lot of reviews before you see significant traffic, clicks, and conversions.

Build a media funnel

As affiliate marketing tactics go, a media funnel is the most involved, and the most effective. It works like this:

First you create a piece of content that complements a product you are trying to sell. For example, if the product is an e-book called The History of String Cheese, you could write a mini-guide on how to make your own string cheese, and offer it for free.

Then you use all available resources to drive traffic to the mini-guide. In order for people to access the guide, ask them for their email address.

The sales pitch for The History of String Cheese e-book comes at the end of the mini-guide. If your mini-guide has successfully whetted people’s appetite, you should see a good number of purchases.

Plus you have their emails, and can use them to alert customers of other offers.

Media funnels are also shareable. No one (hopefully) is going to post a link to a sales page on Facebook, but they might post a blog post about the mini-guide that eventually leads to the sales page. To be shareable, you want to maintain a few degrees of separation between your content and the product.

Comparing products

The more someone narrows down a purchase, the more help they need to make their final decision. That’s why people love product comparisons.

Like product reviews, product comparisons help people evaluate similar products and decide which to buy. But unlike reviews, product comparisons put multiple affiliate products in front of the customer. This multiplies your sales opportunities.

Track your products

On ClickBank, you can create a unique tracking ID with every product link. This enables you to identify where each sale came from (product review, media funnel, banner, etc.) and analyze the effectiveness of your promotion strategy.

For example, if you see that you're getting a lot of sales via product reviews, but not a lot via media funnels, you need to reevaluate your media funnel strategy. Obviously something isn't working.

To create a tracking ID, just add it in the "Tracking ID" field when creating the link. But remember, you have to create a new ID for every link.

Conclusion

ClickBank streamlines the affiliate marketing process and gives you thousands of products to choose from. It's up to you to choose the right products and promote them intelligently. Focus on establishing a relationship with the customer by providing useful content and avoiding the hard sell.

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