ClickBank Affiliate Review 2021: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly!

Last Updated on January 25, 2021 by Fabrizio Van Marciano

After almost 10 years of using ClickBank, I thought it was high time to write my own personal review of this 'once' top-rated affiliate network. Here's what you need to know about ClickBank in 2021.

Welcome to my unbiased review of ClickBank! In this post, I'll talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of using ClickBank. No bull, just pure honesty.

I'll also share my thoughts on whether I think ClickBank is worth your time and energy as an affiliate marketer or not.

I signed up to ClickBank about a month after my blogging venture began in August of 2010.

ClickBank review 2021
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I discovered ClickBank, actually, through a book I was reading at the time called How To Make Money Online - The Roadmap Of A Dot Com Mogul, by John Chow. If you're interested in checking out this book, you can find it here on Amazon.

By the way, John Chow is one of the most successful and highly respected bloggers globally. From what I can remember, using ClickBank was a big part of his blog monetization strategy.

Anyhow, getting back to ClickBank. Over the last ten years, I've not only promoted digital products hosted in the ClickBank Marketplace, but I've also purchased a few of them.

Some of these purchases have been valuable, but sadly most of them have been pretty useless, and I'll explain why and how in just a short while.

Here's what we're going to cover in this ClickBank affiliate review:

  1. What is ClickBank?
  2. What kind of products are hosted on the ClickBank Marketplace?
  3. Are the products good quality, or is everything on ClickBank just a scam?
  4. Getting paid as an affiliate.
  5. What's so good about ClickBank? (The Good)
  6. What's not so good? (The Bad)
  7. What is really, really bad? (The Ugly)
  8. Should you use ClickBank to monetize your blog?

OK, let's get started!

Note: Please keep in mind that I'm reviewing ClickBank as a publisher/affiliate and not a vendor. Vendors use ClickBank to host, promote, and upsell digital 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 back in 1998 by entrepreneurs and has over 200 million customers worldwide.

ClickBank Review 2021: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly!
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ClickBank has built up a strong reputation with bloggers, entrepreneurs, and digital marketers over the years.

Whilst they've been in the game for some time, a proportion of their reputation and credibility has somewhat been tarnished in ways I will explain later on in this review.

You can signup as a Vendor on ClickBank to host, promote, and sell your digital goods. Or, you can signup as an affiliate and earn passive income by promoting the range of digital and info-based products on your website or blog.

Recommended reading: Bloggers: How To Boost Your Affiliate Marketing Sales

Using ClickBank as a vendor

As I mentioned earlier, I won't be reviewing ClickBank as a vendor. That said, here are some of the benefits of selling your digital products using the platform -

  1. It's a popular eCommerce platform that has been around for over 20 years.
  2. ClickBank provides all the necessary eCommerce tools, sales funnels for driving traffic to your product sales pages.
  3. You can offer peace of mind to your customers with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
  4. It's the ideal platform for hosting low-cost digital products with upsells.

What kind of products are hosted on ClickBank?

Vendors sell a wide range of digital products, from information-based eBooks, software, website templates, apps, courses, webinars, games, guides, and much more.

These products can be found in various niches and industries, including health and fitness, home and garden, cooking, food, wine, software, services, etc.

This means that the ClickBank marketplace is a great site to explore products to promote as an affiliate in almost any niche. Great, right?

Click here to learn more about ClickBank or to signup for a free affiliate/vendor account.

Are the products good quality or is everything on ClickBank just a scam?

You're probably wondering why I'm using the word 'scam' in this review, so let me explain.

While many digital products are genuinely good, there's always been a problem with ClickBank allowing low-end, poor quality, and sometimes scammy looking products to flourish in the marketplace.

What kind of scammy products am I talking about?

Those "Money Making" and "Get Rich Fast" schemes. These are often promoted through tacky banner ads, aggressive sales videos, copy-and-paste sales email templates, endless upsells, and more.

Yep, there is still plenty of that kind of trash visible on ClickBank, even today, sadly. You just have to be vigilant and thorough in your research to filter past the trash.

Now, I'm not saying all the systems sold through ClickBank are scams, but I'm always dubious about wasting my money on any false claims when I know first-hand how tough it is to build a real online business. I'm sure you would agree.

For the genuine digital products that are available to promote through ClickBank, there's still reason to use the site as an affiliate marketer to make money!

So, here is a list of the products that I've purchased and promoted as an affiliate through ClickBank over the last 10 years. There aren't many of them -

  1. SEOPressor Connect (World-class WordPress SEO Plugin).
  2. Affilorama - Affiliate marketing training for beginners.
  3. ClickBank University (Strategy training for successfully promoting ClickBank and other affiliate products).
  4. Viddyoze - Powerful animations and intro creation tool for your videos.
  5. Fotor (Powerful online photo editor)

Disclaimer: The links above are affiliate links, which means if you use one of these links to make a purchase of a digital product or service on Clickbank, I will be paid a small commission at no extra charge to you.

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. I live in the UK, by the way.

Times have changed, thankfully, as these days you can get paid either by check or directly into your bank account.

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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 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.

  1. Well established affiliate network - They've been around for a long time, since 1998. Although some parts of the site still look like 1998...
  2. Largest network online - ClickBank is one of the largest affiliate network sites online, with thousands of digital products to choose from in almost every niche.
  3. Thousands of digital products - There are plenty of trusted products, however, finding them takes a bit of time and research.
  4. Documentation - Well-documented knowledge base for both vendors and affiliates.
  5. Reliable payments - Regular direct payments to affiliates. Payments are always made on time.
  6. Payment control - Set your own payment threshold.
  7. Insight tools - ClickBank provides a range of powerful and useful product insight, research, and reporting tools.
  8. Money-Back guarantee - 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.
  9. ClickBank University is available for complete training on how to be successful with ClickBank and generally as an affiliate marketer.
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What's so bad about ClickBank (The Bad)

Now for the things I dislike about ClickBank.

  1. Parts of the site look like 2005 - ClickBank's website has finally been updated to a more modern and cleaner layout. Or at least the homepage has, I should say. The admin user-area, however, still looks and feels well and truly dated.
  2. Risk of finding scammy products - Sadly, many of the product's promotional material and marketing content come with scammy looking banner advertisements and dated email marketing templates. Personally, I would never place a ClickBank hosted product banner advertisement on my blog. ClickBank banners are just awful to look at.

And now, the ugly

  1. Plagued with trashy products - Far too many valueless, poor-quality, and trashy looking products hosted on ClickBank. Too many make money fast and get rich quick schemes are on this site!
  2. Forceful sales tactics - 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 that could drive customers away. 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.
  3. Negative reviews - There seems to be a high number of negative reviews of ClickBank online. In fact, there are quite a few of them on ConsumerAffairs.com.
  4. More negative reviews - There are many independent reviews of ClickBank with average to negative conclusions.
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Dated looking sales landing pages! Smells like a scam, right?
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ClickBank reviews in the last 12 months

Investing in bad products from ClickBank

As a paying customer, I must also mention I've made a few bad purchases through ClickBank over the years.

But on every occasion, I was able to get a full refund for those bad purchases.

As an affiliate, I've never had any problems with the products I've promoted. I've never had a reader or subscriber of my blog come back and say, hey Fabrizio, this product you recommended on ClickBank was trash!

That's because before I promote anything from ClickBank, I do my research very, very carefully.

I've used ClickBank since 2010, and I would still recommend using them today. However, 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 and unbias review of the product, 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 many years, and so there will be thousands of elite affiliates to compete against when finding and promoting the best and high-value, and profitable products.

Should you use ClickBank to monetize your blog?

After learning about the good, the bad, and the ugly about ClickBank, should you really use this marketplace to find products to promote on your blog or website? Or should you avoid it like the plague.

Well, yes and no.

Here's the thing:

There are some genuinely reputable products on ClickBank. But these products sit among the thousands of trashy looking products. ClickBank's problem is that its marketplace focuses on quantity rather than quality.

Also, ClickBank's reputation and credibility aren't great by any means, which can be quite worrying for anyone interested in using the network site.

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.

This has 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.

If you're a blogger or an affiliate marketer promoting ClickBank hosted products, this can hurt your audience's trust in you and your blog. If you value your reputation and credibility greatly, tread lightly with ClickBank.

What I mean by this is -

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.

The final word?

If ClickBank sounds like a 'minefield' rather than an 'opportunity,' there are plenty of other reliable affiliate networks you can sign up. Here's a quick list of those alternatives for you -

  1. Shareasale (Aff)
  2. Commission Junction
  3. Amazon Associates
  4. eBay Partner Network

OK, that's it. I hope you enjoyed reading through this ClickBank review. Again, I'm not a vendor, only an affiliate, and this review was based entirely on my personal experience with ClickBank over the last 10 years. Best of luck.

Recommended Posts

  1. Bloggers: How To Make Money With ClickBank
  2. How To Make $1,000 Per Month From Your Blog
  3. 13 Best Affiliate Programs For Bloggers

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