Answering email is one of my least favorite tasks, simply due to the volume of messages I receive from those who want something for nothing.
I have no patience for that kind of mentality.
I’d rather spend my time helping people who genuinely want to do the work needed to succeed, not those expecting handouts.
So I was already a tad bit frustrated when I stumbled upon a message from a guy who questioned my integrity because I promote ClickBank.
His email read…
Love your work, but was quite shocked to see that you promote a program like ClickBank. I have been an affiliate for at least 5 years and have sent thousands of visitors to them and have not received one single sale. I have concluded they are a scam and removed all my links.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. In fact, my YouTube videos on ClickBank often generate the same kinds of comments.
And quite coincidentally, as I was polishing up this post yesterday, I checked my Facebook page and Clarence Middleton posted this…
First of all, I’ve got to give props to Clarence for at least admitting he may have taken a sip of the Hater-ade. 😉
But he’s not alone, and it’s not usually about hating. There’s this attitude that develops with some marketers who believe…
If I can’t make money with this program then it must be a scam.
If this sounds like something you’ve said, in reality, the real problem may be one or more of the following…
- Your marketing strategy needs adjusting
- Perhaps you are promoting products that don’t align with your reader’s needs
- You need to build more targeted traffic
- You haven’t established enough credibility to convert the sales
Now, I will say this. You have to be careful because ClickBank does have some less-than-stellar products in their marketplace. But it’s up to YOU to ensure that the products you promote meet a certain quality standard.
My ClickBank Strategy
I’ve done very well with ClickBank over the years, and for those who call it a scam, I’ve been a member since 2000 and have never had a problem getting my payments.
I don’t promote a lot of their products (no more than 2-4 per site), but I own the ones I do promote and make sure my readers know that.
For example, I’ve had pretty good success with referring Jim Edwards’ book, How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days.
Take note of my very simple strategy below…
I always make it clear that I actually purchased the book by giving specific details. Doing so will increase your conversions because it makes the review seem more believable and credible.
Knowing specific problems your audience struggles with helps too.
One reason I chose to add that last paragraph about not knowing enough to write a good book is because that’s exactly what my readers are constantly telling me via email and Jim’s book covers this issue very well.
The Concept is Actually Very Simple
As you can see, my strategy is not rocket science. And if you talk to anyone who succeeds with affiliate marketing, I bet they will tell you they do something very similar.
In fact, the affiliates who do the best promoting my two books (Niche Website Success and WP Starter Guide) often use a very similar approach.
Most of them write reviews that are very similar to what I did with Jim’s book above. They highlight specific, audience-relevant benefits they know will be valued.
When you have enough targeted traffic and find products that align with your visitors needs, affiliate marketing is actually not hard at all.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to take work and time to promote your site and figure out how to convert your audience.
To Sum it Up
ClickBank is no more a scam than Amazon’s or Commission Junction’s affiliate program. It’s simply an affiliate network of digital goods. You choose the products you want to promote and if they convert, you earn a commission.
It’s as simple as that.
In 12 years, I’ve never seen any evidence of ClickBank being a scam, and it’s not fair to use that label just because something is not working for you.
By that logic, there are a lot of things I’ve encountered in my life that I could call a scam. 😉
I never thought it’s really a scam, thanks for the information, now I know!
Marielle Morrow says
I never thought of that Click bank is a scam maybe people will say this because it is not working for them because they did not made the right thing. When all things are done properly nothing is wrong with it.
I think one of the reasons people call it a scam is because it sounds so easy in the clickbank intro. You have at least actually made it clear it takes lots of targeted traffic and hard work. Your advice about buying the book yourself is something Clickbank doesn’t mention (at least not in the quick intro). I think if you’re right about buying anything you want to promote from Clickbank. It does make it more authentic of a pitch.
And they should mention it. Heck, they’d probably make more money if they encouraged their affiliates to actually know what they are promoting.
Really It is a scam i also use it…
I just had my first click bank sale last night. It was pretty exciting! I also got my first direct affiliate sale two weeks ago. This was after about 6 months of publishing articles to promote the products, so it definitely can take some time!
Michael Belk says
I believe all things need time to work, we live in a I want it know so society. Some people refuse to do the work or they do not give the program time to work.
Need to read more about the scams and about click bank. when you fail because of scam just focus in your work don’t loss hope to succeed in your goal.
Scams are alarming but we should ready for it.and you must have a patience.people now are want to discourage the work of others…
Neil | Butterfield says
If at first you fail, try again. Too many people have made money with Clickbank for it to be a scam. Failing is not falling down, failing is about not getting back up after falling down.
Victoria Emily-Bapp says
I’ve actually just sat here and read most of these comments and have learned so much!
I am very new to all of this, as a matter-of-fact, I never knew what affiliate marketing was until I found you on Youtube. (Until now the only work I’ve done from home is customer service.)
This is another world for me, with a different language included, but I’m committed to learning more (and doing the work..I promise).
Thank you for for breaking it all down!
If it’s possible…I am a FAN.
Keep doing what you are doing.
Well just hang in there with me and I’ll show you the way, Victoria 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.
Charles Daniels says
People stumble across Click Bank from some ‘Get rich with passive income’ ebook, create garbage content that they put zero time and effort into, and then are shocked when they aren’t raking in a fortune by the end of the month. Hence, it’s just a big scam. You can tell people the secret to success is hard work a million times and they will still never believe you. Reminds me of SEO work; they tried it for a week and weren’t at the top of Google so it’s pointless. Makes you crazy.
I’ve just started earning money from clickbank so it’s definitely not a scam.
Lisa your are right absolutely.
Numbers of people think like that..
i am a blogger a beginner i want to use adsense on my blog i request to all have a look
and comment me on blog is it good for adsense? or it can get approve for adsense
my blog is
Programming Blog For Beginners
Marcelo Muszalski - Finance Success Online says
I agree so much with you… I met some people that said JUST THAT.. And they didn’t even stop to evaluate why they failed, they just gave up and left for good… a shame actually because potential and successful people leave the business with the very first rock they encounter.
Dean Saliba says
It really irritates me when people cry ‘scam’ because they have not used a product correctly. It isn’t just Clickbank, I’ve seen people state that Adsense is a scam!
Same here, Dean and I almost mentioned that about AdSense in this post.
Not sure if someone said this already, but I think that the email you got from that guy hates CB is simply because he necer sold anything, lol. Seriously, I think that whatever “bad vibe” people get from CB is not because of CB itself but rather the way affiliate marketers promote the products available on CB. Some just send emails without a clue of what they are promoting.. Oh well!
Like you said, there are good stuff and bad stuff, and they are all over the place. A careful selection combined with a quality marketing strategy can be beneficial in the long run and that applies to all networks and not just CB. For the record, I have been with CB for 3 years and selling some stuff quite well. No problems whatsoever in getting my paychecks.. so that’s that.
I agree, DiTesco. Great points and thanks for stopping by.
Kharim Tomlinson says
Clickbank does work and it has worked for me, even though I haven’t done much marketing with them. But I have some dollars in my account but not ready for my check because I am letting it add up.
In order for Clickbank to work for anybody then they have to know the audience that they are marketing to. Take time out to work on their blog’s or website’s traffic so that it makes marketing much easier for them.
It is just like any other affiliate program. You have to find the right products to market in your niche or you will never make a dime.
Great post and awesome tips, Lisa.
Thanks Kharim! Great to see you here. 🙂
Kharim Tomlinson says
You’re welcome Lisa. I’m always here on a regular basis (even though I may not comment all the time), but your articles are always great. I get them via RSS 😉
rakesh kumar says
You are right my dear friends, Whenever the people come on the internet they think join any affiliate program. Just write down a smart review and that’s it. Thus say , this is a fake.
As you mentioned in your comment right product and right audience is vital to generate money.
I would say, some people just don’t know how to fight with fail. We all fail sometimes but we should learn from it and try it again just different way.
That’s true. Failure is often hard to swallow.
Charlie the Online Income Nut::) says
We all know ClickBank is real, and does pay out commissions. The more important point is something you pointed out. The marketing strategy needs to be worked on. The copy needs to be written for that specific person so that it will strike up their emotions.
That’s why it takes research to study your target market. What makes them “tick?” What lingo do they use? If I am targeting 45 yr old women and and say they will look “beast” in these pants, they will not relate and “feel” me.
It is a skill and like all skills it takes time. We all want to make fast money, but we all know that is few and far between.
If you love the idea of making money online, you will not quit (b/c you can just “taste” the day you start making money). And if you don’t quit, you can never fail.
You will learn a lot as you plug away. I hope your emailer guy didn’t quit.
You are living proof that you CAN make it in the online money making world.
Thanks for your posts!
Great post. It makes me feel bad now that I email you and ask you questions. I won’t do that anymore, lol. Thanks for the info. I don’t think people really give Clickbank a chance. Either that, or they’re simply not working them the right way.
I wouldn’t lump you in with those who want something for nothing. Those are the emails that frustrate me the most.
I’ve been creating websites and have been online since 2007, but I only recently started promoting Clickbank products. I started using Clickbank this past February 2012. I actually have the products I promote and so that is not an issue. However, I have only made 1 Clickbank sale in the past 5 weeks. I have several different types of sites and am promoting different types of Clickbank products and so I’m not sure what is wrong, but I think it must be something about my marketing method (I just don’t know what). I do make sales via the Amazon affiliate program with no problem at all.
I don’t consider clickbank a scam.They are just a hosting conpany really.(a middle man sort of) But I do consider most “how to make money online ” products a scam.And the ones that are not are still extremely difficult if you do not already pocess certain skills or have a natural apptitude for Internet marketing.And worse a complete idiot like me LOL. But no, clickbank is no way a scam.
Agree, Joe and I think that’s what many people are referring to. For example, if you researched a “how to make money online” product and you happen to find it on Clickbank, you may think that Clickbank is the creator when they are just the middleman. So you chalk Clickbank up to being a scam instead of the book creator. A lot of people don’t realize that Clickbank didn’t create the product.
Hi Lisa, first of all if clickbank were a scam it would have been shut down a long time ago, I do not understand this attitude.
If you are an affiliate and can not make money with clickbank, then you are a bad affiliate and in the wrong game.
Clickbank is amazing. Yes it has a lot of bad products but it is our job to find the best, try them ourselves if we are going to promote them.
Also, while we are on the subject of CB, I have noticed recently a lot of vendors tricking the system and turning their CB products in to Amazon products. So a lot of people (like me) would build a whole campaign around a CB product, only for the vendor to eventually turn the product in to a Amazon book so you lose out on the whole commission. It’s a disgusting trick, and I have been in contact with CB about it so it is something to watch out for
Kenny Fabre says
clickbank does work I have made thousands on top of thousands of dollars on clickbank, as matter of fact clickbank work so well that now I’m creating my own product line to sell in my blog
and I will be creating one big traffic very soon to put on clickbank.
the key you must set up a solid system on how to sell these products
Alison Macdonald says
sorry I used my bosses e-mail in that last comment by mistake it must have been pre-filled – could you change it from alan to amac many thanks!!
Alison Macdonald says
Totally agree with what you’re saying – except when Clickbank can be a little scammy if you are promoting stuff that is in itself a little scammy.
There are products I’ve started promoting for myself or clients and sure they convert and you make a tidy sum but you have a slightly bad taste in your mouth. Then its the moral dilemma between earning and scamming your visitors – I’m talking high payout “get rich quick” type schemes, or one-click systems of which there are still many on clickbank.
That’s where clickbank is different to CJ or Affiliate Window or whatever.
Me personally, when I have a bad taste in my mouth – I let it run for a while, earn and then if refunds get above 35 percent I pull the product.
Call Tracking says
I bet many people think that when things don’t go their way or won’t work for them it must be a scam, I wonder how much this effects conversions.
Neil H. says
You mentioned CJ as not being a scam, so I thought I would mention that It is not CJ, but some of the advertisers that do the scamming. An example that I will site from personal experience are the CJ Pay Per Call programs…In one situation a friend of mine needed some advice on a particular financial problem that one of CJ’s advertisers could possibly help with. I admit that I explained the criteria to her for me to earn a commission such as the time she was to be on the phone with the sales person. She far exceeded this time. Just prior to her meeting the retired time, she was cut off after having given the rep her return call. This eliminated my commission due to the call back. This made me suspicious, so I myself decided to test the service. Because I have the gift of gab, I was able to exceed the posted time criteria, but I too was cut off in mid call.. Little did I know until I checked my stats that the initial call did not even show up! When I got the return call, I was able to keep the rep on for an extended length of time being the Arkie Hillbilly I am…lol and I was able to earn a commission. But since the deal was obviously a scam, I removed them as a vendor from my site. My commission was $35.00 of which I have not collected. I inturn am using another CJ Account for my other sites and will close the account I used for the test as not to commit fraud by actually collecting the commission. Even though I was jipped out of a commission in the first place.
Some people are shame because it could discourage other people from trying things like Clickbank out..but good for you you help people to succeed in their goals even if their are trying to discourage you…
Lisa, great article!!!! Excellent actually..even with some humor!!! God bless Clarence for his honesty and truthfulness! 🙂
I take a more “researched” approach to things as you might have guessed…before i try something I usually look into that thing and try to find credible sources of information and credible people who have demonstrated that a particular system works….if I discover that it is the case…then I make an educated assumption that that particular system works..to whatever degree and that it is indeed NOT a scam but that it just means you have to market the system or product correctly. My experience with it is irrelevant…except to me personally…which means I may not use it if it doesn’t produce enough fruit but I don’t doubt that it is a credible system if credible people use it and produce fruit from it. That’s just me…so I trust that ClickBank is credible and works…within the boundaries you mention…why? Because I have found you to be credible along with a number of other credible marketers out there. Simple Really. Blessings! 🙂
This is a great ideas, I know that this way o what they called programs scams will bring a huge to help to all on the alarming status of scams…
I have never made a sale on clickbank … but i only have tried a few product it doesnt mean it is a scam …. if it was a scam they would not get so many good reviews ….
Wow, that’s fantastic Lisa, good information. I am struggling myself, mainly because this is a part time thing for me.
I received an email from CJ the other day saying that they were going to drop me because I’ve made no sales yet.
I need to find more time and start putting all your great advice to use to turn this around!
I tried to promote clickbank product, i thought it is easy to earn from promoting their products. But because i have no idea how to promote it in a right strategy I failed.that is 1 year ago..
I think you mentioned something really important (intentionally or not): if you want to successfully sell a product, you should own it yourself. Your review/ad will always be better if you have read the ebook yourself for example. Sure, it’s a small investment, but it’s usually worth it!
Definitely, Andy. And if you don’t like the product, Clickbank will give you a refund so there’s no loss.
I have made a lot of sales through Clickbank. I helped edit a marathon program, which is really well written, and then I sell it on my running site. It’s the product your selling, not Clickbank, that matters.
Name (required) says
you know Lisa i really appreciate what you posted here about click bank as you increased my previouse self-made trust towards them, also i liked your way of helping people who needs your help and not those who want it for nothing, i know you are experienced enough to talk about your success, visit my website and give me a feedback and that will be the best help you can do for me, wish stronger students can help you find a way and wish you best of luck
I’m on about my 3rd year with CB.
My Ex wife created an amazing ebook, with after some promoting ended up with one sale, to a friend of hers.
Then we got divorced and I took it down and tried promoting other products. After a year & a half I finally sold enough products for CB to send me my first check for $205. Seemed like a lot of work for that little.
But I continued on.
I’m up to $140 balance now when I stumbled across a marketer offering to teach people how to make money online… Like I haven’t seen enough of these… But he was offering to teach people for $1 (which is going to World Teacher Aid) for 30 days of training to make money online.
So I said I’d bite, $1 what could it hurt… Well I’m 15 days into the course now and I’ve pulled in $70+ in sales already. I was kind of in shock that a course actually worked and wasn’t just another scam.
The stuff he teaches isn’t hard, it isn’t rocket-science it’s just stuff I never thought about or even knew was out there.
Yes I’m sure there are many scams out there, but for $1 for 30 days and I’ve already made $70. Doesn’t seem like a scam to me.
I hope you’ll check it out.
Thanks ==> http://dot-com-secrets-x.com
Allen Lawson says
Great post Lisa. I haven’t started REALLY using ClickBank yet, and when I try and research it the search engines are just so over-saturated with people saying it’s spam. Honestly, you are the only person I would turn to for advice on this. Also, you don’t have to be a certain age to be a vendor of CB, so that’s a big + for me!
Lincoln Wine Delivery says
We tried using clickbank on our blog, and hired an internal SEO guy to help optimize and make it work for us. What we found was that for our purposes, there was too much invested in clickbank to make it worth it, but it did in fact send us sales.
If you commit to clickbank, you can make a ton of money, its just putting in the effort, like in ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE.
Kissy Kissy Baby Clothes says
I have a blog that I use to promote organic baby clothing, and I have to say that I too feel that clickbank is a rigged system. It seems to me that my contemporaries and I cannot seem to get a single sale; however, my husband’s blog, which sells hunting gear, happens to get a ton. I’m not sure as to why this is, maybe its just industry demand, but with so many mothers looking for baby clothing, it HAS to outweigh hunters, right?
I’d approach clickbank with caution.
I love Clickbank, just got a check few days ago and I love those CB check days, lol. I learned about how to promote products from you and it applies to any program I use, same for CB. I promote products I own and like. I promote them honestly. It is actually a way better source of income for me than CJ or Amazon so should I call those two a scam? No, because I just do better with CB because I do more detailed promotion of their products.
Also some of the best stuff I promote are from CB and I love the 60 days money back guarantee which takes the risk off people who buy anything.
Anyway, obviously I am agreeing with you, lol. And as fat as HATOR-ade goes, I took a sip regarding people that don’t want to do anything but want piles of money coming in… good luck with that…
My sales are actually higher at Amazon, but my earnings are better with Clickbank just because of the high commissions. Gotta luv that. 🙂
I’ve made 1 sale from a ton of visitors. Not scam, just bad audience. I closed the site and tried with another site and things are going a lot better.
Some people expect to earn a ton of money without doing anything..
College of Content says
you should NOT have closed the site, but yet, changed up the content you’ve created and targeted another audience, also using the power of YouTube. Just a thought.
Thanks for sharing this story. I had a similar run in with this. I was an affiliate for over a year, sent over thousands of people and not one sale! However, I tried to do other promotions such as Market Samurai, sent over 12 people and got a few sales. I was shocked. I guess it really depends on the market and what you are trying to sell and how well your pitch is.
Indeed. Also, when the product is more expensive like Market Samurai you REALLY have to work hard at building up credibility and convince your readers why it’s valuable.
Michael Belk says
I am going to be honest Lisa, I have not made much money with Adsense but I still believe in the program. I believe they want me to succeed they make money when I do. I have to improve my site not blame the advertising programs.
Right on, Michael! 🙂
Sunil l Entrepreneurship & Personal Finance says
great post. Lisa, you’ve done a fair job of highlighting a very common and instinctive human behavior at play here. we are quick to blame the system when things do not work out as envisioned.
i am a big fan of clickbank. i have over 20 ebooks on their platform that are not only selling well organically, but i am a huge fan of the affiliate network because i am getting a ton of sales resulting from affiliates promoting my ebooks.
clickbank is not only a good platform to host and sell ebooks through, but also great for distribution, accounting and automated and seamless affiliate management. all that combined can be a full time job if done manually.
yes there is a cost, but it is very minimal and well worth what you get out of it. the beauty of the system is that as you create income producing assets (i.e. ebooks), the incremental work on your part (the entrepreneur) does not change much.
after setting up the product once, you have potentially established a stream of passive income (of course the marketing aspect has to be done as well which you have very nicely demonstrated in your soft sell approach).
finally, to Jordy’s point, it is important to have a product targeted to your site’s audience. relevancy is huge. though i see ebook sales come through platforms like kindle and nook, i see more success in some of my niche sites that cater to a very specific audience with a very specific product that addresses a very specific need.
great post, great reminder
Couldn’t agree more. 🙂
It took me a couple of years to actually make enough from Clickbank to meet the payout requirements.
That all changed about two years ago when I found an excellent product that fits perfectly with one of my niche sites.
I now get checks in the mail every payout period.
I learned early on from Lisa the importance of checking out the product before promoting it.
Clickbank as a company gets five out of five stars from me.
Yay, that’s awesome you’re getting checks regularly now Jordy!
Liz @ Guldkit says
People can be way too quick to proclaim that soemthing ‘doesn’t work’, when the truth is, it’s just not working for them. You see this all the time on the internet. I just think it’s a shame because it could discourage other people from trying things like Clickbank out.
College of Content says
This is very true what you said about “people can be way too quick to proclaim that something doesn’t work.” It goes to show that mulls folk at times tend to come to conclusions too quickly. some people assume things based off of what they hear from others also. What people need to do in cases like that is keep trying until they succeed, until judging an online marketing program as potentially being a sham.
College of Content says
College of Content could not imagine you failing at Internet marketing, especially with using ClickBank for making money on the World Wide Web. When you are super successful with blogging, affiliate marketing and Internet content promotion efforts, anyone’s e-mail inbox gets flooded with numerous messages they can’t answer at once. That’s the beauty and the side effects of being successful as an Internet marketer… LOL
It’s a good thing to know you are succeeding using ClickBank. College of content agrees that many Internet marketers need to change up their approach when deploying online marketing methods to make money on the web. Keep up the good work in your blogging and affiliate marketing efforts, Lisa. You are surely inspiring everyone on the web to be their own boss, and start their own Internet businesses!
Hector Cuevas says
It’s interesting how people think sometimes when things don’t go their way. We try to justify our lack of skills by calling these programs scams, and hate to admit that the problem is actually us.
But.. we’re human. It’s how we’re wired. I take the exact same approach with any product I promote. I make sure I have it, first. Then talk about my experience using it.
The good, and the bad. People appreciate that a lot.
Yeah I agree that it does seem to be the way that we’re wired. It’s much harder to say that “I messed up” and easier to point the finger somewhere else.