Well, after almost 9 years of being a ClickBank Affiliate, I thought it was about time that I wrote my own personal review of the affiliate network site. Here’s what you need to know about ClickBank, what my thoughts are on the future of the site, and whether I think signing up as an affiliate is actually worth your time, energy, and resource.
I signed up to ClickBank, as an affiliate, roughly a month after I launched my first blog back in August of 2010. So, almost 9 years ago.
Blogging was very new to me at that time, and so was affiliate marketing. I didn’t have a clue what the word meant even, nor did I know what you had to do to become an affiliate marketer.
I discovered ClickBank, actually, through a book I was reading called How To Make Money Online by John Chow. It’s an old book now, but I bought in on Amazon around that time too. Here’s the Amazon link to that book.
John Chow, by the way, is one of the most successful bloggers in the world and from what I remember, he promoted a lot of ClickBank hosted products to make money from his blog. He probably still does today I imagine.
Anyhow, getting back to using ClickBank, I’ve not only promoted digital products hosted on ClickBank over the years, but I’ve also purchased a few of them myself. Some great products, but most of them absolute garbage!
So, here’s what I’m going to cover in this personal and 100% unbiased review of ClickBank:
- What is ClickBank?
- What kind of products are hosted on the ClickBank Network?
- Are the products good quality or is everything on ClickBank just a scam?
- How do affiliates get paid, and how often?
- What’s so good about ClickBank? (The Good)
- What’s not so good? (The Bad)
- What is really, really bad? (The Ugly)
- Should you use ClickBank to monetize your blog?
OK, let’s get started!
Note: It’s important for you to keep in mind that I’m reviewing ClickBank as a publisher/affiliate, and not a vendor. Vendors use ClickBank to host, promote, and upsell their products.
What is ClickBank?
If you didn’t already know, ClickBank is one of the largest sales platforms on the web. The company was founded in 1998 by entrepreneurs and has over 200 million customers worldwide.
You can signup as a Vendor on ClickBank to host, promote, and sell your digital goods in the marketplace. Or, you can signup as an affiliate and earn an income promoting the range of digital products from the marketplace.
Click here to learn more about ClickBank or to signup for a free affiliate account.
What kind of products are hosted on ClickBank?
Vendors sell a wide range of digital products, from eBooks, software, website templates, apps, courses, webinars, games, guides, and much more. And in a variety of niches and industries, including – health and fitness, home and garden, cooking, food, and wine, software, and services, etc.
This means that the ClickBank marketplace is a great place to explore products to promote, as an affiliate.
What are the products actually like?
While a lot of the products are genuinely good, there’s always been a problem with ClickBank hosting a lot of low-end, poor quality, and sometimes scammy products.
The kinds of products I’m talking about are the notorious “Money Making Systems” and “Get Rich Fast Schemes”, often promoted through tacky banner ads, aggressive sales videos, copy-and-paste sales email templates, etc.
Yes, Sir, there is still plenty of that kind of crap hosted and sold on ClickBank, sadly, you just have to be smart and look past them, if you have the time and energy that is.
Now, I’m not saying all the systems sold through ClickBank are bad, but I’m always dubious about wasting my money on any false promises when I know first hand how hard you have to work to get real genuine results with your online business. I’m sure you would agree, right?
For the genuine stock of digital products available to promote through ClickBank, there’s still reason to use ClickBank as an affiliate.
Here is a list of the products that I’ve purchased and promoted as an affiliate through ClickBank, over the last 10 years:
- SEOPressor Connect (WordPress SEO Plugin)
- Affilorama – Affiliate marketing training.
- ClickBank University (Strategy training for successfully promoting ClickBank and other affiliate products)
- EasyAzon – Premium Amazon Affiliate WordPress Plugin.
- Fotor (Powerful online photo editor)
And yes, all of the links above are my affiliate links, but as you can see, I’m not promoting a great deal from the ClickBank marketplace.
How do affiliates get paid and how often?
When I first signed up to ClickBank, the only payment method available for overseas affiliates was via check. Times have changed, thankfully, as these days you can get paid either by check or directly into your bank account.
As for how often you get paid, well, you can set this frequency to weekly or bi-weekly, bearing in mind that whatever threshold you set is met first.
For example, if your threshold is $250 bi-weekly, and you earn over this amount in each period, you will be paid on time. If you don’t earn enough, you won’t be paid until you reach the threshold, if that makes sense.
As I said, you can change the threshold manually in your payment settings.
What’s so good about ClickBank? (The Good)
OK, so let me start with what I think is great about ClickBank.
- Well established affiliate network. They’ve been around for a long time, since 1998.
- One of the largest affiliate network sites online, with thousands of digital products to choose from in every niche imaginable.
- Plenty of trusted products, however, finding them takes a bit of time and research.
- Well-documented knowledge base for both vendors and affiliates.
- Regular direct payments to affiliates. Payments are always made on time.
- Set your own payment threshold.
- Powerful and useful product insight, research, and reporting tools.
- Most reputable products hosted on ClickBank come with a money back guarantee. This is a great selling point and can help boost your affiliate conversions.
- ClickBank University for complete training on how to be successful with ClickBank and as an affiliate marketer.
What’s so bad about ClickBank (The Bad)
Right, let’s get on with the few things that I think are bad.
- Dated looking website, account, and marketplace UI. Seriously, I could design a better website for ClickBank, it’s that bad.
- A lot of the products promotional material and content come with scammy looking banner advertisements, and email marketing templates. Personally, I would never place a ClickBank hosted product banner advertisement on my website. I don’t use many banner ads in any case.
And now, the ugly
- Far too many valueless, poor-quality, and scammy looking products hosting on ClickBank. Again, the ones I’m referring to are the obvious Make Money Fast Systems and Get Rich Quick scams.
- Those low-end products often come with aggressive sales landing pages attached to them that look like they were designed in 1995 using ClipArt. And, most of them riddled with annoying pop-ups and endless upsells. I’ve included a few screenshots of these landing pages below to give you an idea of what I mean by “dated” and “scammy” looking.
- High level of negative reviews of ClickBank online. In fact, there are quite a few of them on ConsumerAffairs.com
- Many independent reviews of ClickBank with average to negative conclusions.
Should you use ClickBank to monetize your blog?
The thing is, there are some genuinely reputable products on ClickBank among the thousands of rubbish ones. ClickBank’s problem is that its marketplace focuses on quantity rather than quality.
In addition, ClickBank’s reputation and credibility aren’t great by any measure. Over the years, they’ve managed to tarnish their rep further by allowing low-end products authored and marketed by bad business folks to grace their marketplace. What this has done is given a lot of their customers a bad overall experience with the products they’ve purchased through ClickBank, and the level of customer service received after, in some cases.
As a blogger or an affiliate marketer promoting ClickBank hosted products, this can negatively impact your own credibility and your blog or affiliate website’s reputation too. If you find something on ClickBank that sounds too good to be true, then it probably is, and gambling with the trust that you’ve built with your blog readers or affiliate customer base is not a good strategy.
I must also stress, as a paying customer, I’ve made a few bad purchases through ClickBank myself, but I was always refunded on every occasion. As an affiliate, I’ve never had any major problems with the products I’ve promoted over the years, but I do my research very, very carefully before reviewing and recommending any products on ClickBank on my blogs.
I’ve used ClickBank since 2010, I would still recommend using them but for anyone brand new to the site, please tread very carefully if you choose to signup and promote their products.
If you can trench your way through the chin high amounts of garbage, valueless products, find yourself a few good ones, purchase them, use them, contact customer service to see how effective the communication and support is, and then give your honest review of the product and its uses, I think you can make some good money with ClickBank.
I should also mention that the competition can be tough out there. ClickBank has been around for years, and so there will thousands of elite affiliates to compete against in finding and promoting the best and high-value, and profitable products.
If ClickBank sounds like as if it could be more of a headache than an opportunity, there are other plenty of reliable affiliate networks you can sign up to these days. Here’s a list of them for you.
Best of luck.