After almost 10 years of using ClickBank, I thought it was high time that I wrote my own personal review of this 'once' very popular affiliate network. Here's what you need to know about ClickBank in 2020. I'll talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. 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 as an affiliate roughly a month after I started blogging back in August of 2010.
This August (2020), will mark my 10th year anniversary as a ClickBank affiliate and as a full-time blogger.
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.
John Chow, by the way, is one of the most successful and highly respected bloggers in the world. From what I can remember, using ClickBank was a big part of his monetization strategy.
Anyhow, getting back to this review of 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 useless, and I'll explain why and how in just a while.
Here's what we're going to cover in this ClickBank affiliate review:
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.
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 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
As I mentioned earlier, I won't be reviewing ClickBank as a vendor. That being said, here are some of the benefits of selling your digital products using the platform -
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 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 network is a great place 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.
While a lot of the digital products are genuinely good, there's always been a problem with ClickBank allowing low-end, poor quality, and sometimes scammy looking products to grace it's marketplace.
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, 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 hard 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!
Here is a list of the products that I've purchased and promoted as an affiliate through ClickBank, over the last 10 years -
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.
When I first signed up to ClickBank, the only payment method that was vailable 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.
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.
OK, so let me start with what I think is great about ClickBank.
Now for the things I dislike about ClickBank.
I must also mention, as a paying customer, I've made a few bad purchases through ClickBank over the years.
That said, I was always able to get a full refund for those bad purchases. As an affiliate, I've never had any major problems with the products I've promoted, but 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. 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 thousands of elite affiliates to compete against when finding and promoting the best and high-value, and profitable products.
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?
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.
In addition, 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. 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.
If you're a blogger or an affiliate marketer promoting ClickBank hosted products, this can have a negative impact on 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 'headache' 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 -
OK, that's it. I hope you enjoyed reading through this 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.