You will find a lot of positive ClickBank reviews out there because most affiliates probably made their first commission promoting a ClickBank product. But which ClickBank review is accurate?
ClickBank outs itself as the largest affiliate marketplace for digital products, having paid out over US1.7 billion in affiliate commissions since it’s inception more than 13 years ago. Right from the start, ClickBank has received it’s fair share of praises and loyal fans. However, it has also been the subject of controversy, with some people going as far as referring to it as a “scam”.
In this ClickBank review, I hope to cover as much as possible about how ClickBank really works, and why it’s worth your time.
ClickBank Review: Advantages of the ClickBank Network
Overall, ClickBank is a great place for affiliates. Here’s some of it’s strongest advantages:
- Anyone can register. You’re not required to have a website or a track record before you’re accepted into the ClickBank network. Registration is easy, and this is why a lot of newbies go to ClickBank first. Unfortunately, if your country is not in the registration list, you cannot get in.
- You’re free to promote any merchant. Unlike typical networks where the merchant or affiliate network manager can reject your application to promote a particular offer, ClickBank merchants have no say in affiliate selection.
- Tons of products to promote. You have more than 46,000 digital product to promote as an affiliate. Even if you assume that 50% of the products are crap, that’s still a huge number.
- Supports recurring commissions. One of the few affiliate networks that support recurring payment products, and as a result, can pay you recurring commissions.
- Less promotional restrictions. Besides blatant spam, Clickbank does not impose much restrictions on how you can promote. You’re free to use email marketing, review websites, paid ad traffic and other methods not usually loved by affiliate networks. You can even get away with bidding on the product name keywords on Google AdWords.
ClickBank Review: Disadvantages of the ClickBank Network
However, ClickBank also has some alarming disadvantages. Most affiliate never find out about them, so read these carefully about my ClickBank review:
- Affiliates are allowed (and encouraged) to buy with their own affiliate link. This means that you’re losing a great deal of your commissions. ClickBank doesn’t really care about this, since their fees are based on the total sale amount. This is the one thing about ClickBank I hate the most, but it seems to work and no one seems to be complaining much.
- Affiliates are charged a portion of fees. They are the only affiliate network I know of so far, that splits the fees between the vendor and the affiliate. This is perhaps another reason why they encourage affiliates to buy with their own affiliate link.
- Insufficient affiliate promotional tools. ClickBank does not serve affiliate banners, or provide any useful conversion tracking tool other than TID conversion tracking. This is a major letdown, considering networks like SellHealth even allow you to use your own Google AdWords tracking code. Although ClickBank does have an ad builder, you’ll need to get other tools from third-party vendors like CBMall (ClickBank stores). Banner linking codes are provided by the merchants on their own websites.
- Tons of “Get rich quick” products. Interestingly enough, most of the get-rich-quick products are about making money from ClickBank itself. Although ClickBank provides a 60-day money back guarantee, the sheer number of these products today can ruin ClickBank’s reputation in the long run.
- Tons of inactive merchants. ClickBank does not track merchants sites for compliance once the initial approval process is completed. As a result, you may be promoting a ClickBank product that is no longer active without even realizing it. Since they don’t track which offer you’ve been accepted to, there’s no way for them to warn you when a merchant is removed.
Useful ClickBank Affiliate Resources
- Affilorama – One of the best sites to learn about ClickBank and affiliate marketing. Tons of free tools, paid tools, and valuable resources
- CBMall – Create a ClickBank affiliate storefront easily. One of the oldest third-party tools for ClickBank affiliates.
- CBEngine – ClickBank product analysis membership site. Make up for the lack of tools and reporting by ClickBank themselves.
- CB Affiliate Shield – Tracks your ClickBank hoplinks and alerts you when the merchant site is down or inaccessible. Very useful if you’re promoting via PPC or other paid advertising methods.
- CB List Automator – ClickBank affiliate tool that allows you to offer bonuses to your buyers, and deliver them automatically. At the same time, you’ll also be building your list.
- LinkTrackr – Shameless self promotion. But hey, it’s pretty useful to cloak your ClickBank hoplinks!
Useful ClickBank Merchant Resources
- EasyClickMate – This is actually a tool designed for ClickBank merchants. It gives you better product management, more linking options, and a banner management system. It also helps you keep track of your ClickBank affiliates and communicate easily with them.
- EasyClickGuard – Protect your digital products from illegal downloaders and refunders. Allows you to control your and track your product download links.
Interesting Blog Posts About ClickBank
- Negative ClickBank Review – Five Reasons ClickBank STINKS For Affiliates! – Covers some one the Clickbank downfalls mentioned here, and more. Slightly older content.
- Negative ClickBank Review – Why ClickBank is Tarnishing Its Own Image – A rant about ClickBank’s partnership with Mark Ostrofsky to promote a get-rick-quick product.
- Positive ClickBank Review – ProBlogger Review of ClickBank – A similar but shorter review of ClickBank by Darren Rowse
- Positive ClickBank Review – Why ClickBank is Great for Newbies – An extremely positive review of ClickBank, also explains the basics of how ClickBank works.
- Promote ClickBank Products on FaceBook – Our article on how to use ClickBank’s new social media integration to promote affiliate products