If you’re looking for a way to get started as an online entrepreneur without making a big investment, you’ve probably explored the idea of affiliate marketing. This is one of the best ways to stop trading your time for money and start earning passive income.
However, if you want to be successful, you’ll need to do some research so you can find the best affiliate marketing programs for your business. ClickBank is one option you’re sure to come across. The mixed reviews will inevitably lead you to ask – is this platform a good option or a scam?
The following ClickBank review will tell you everything you need to know so you can decide for yourself.
What Is ClickBank?
In case you don’t already know, ClickBank is an affiliate network where you can find a huge variety of products with affiliate programs. This network was founded all the way back in 1998 and remains hugely popular today. It can be an excellent option for online entrepreneurs and digital marketers who enjoy promoting a variety of products related to industries like:
- Digital products and software
- Health and fitness
- Cooking, food, and wine
- Home and garden
- And more
When you sign up as an affiliate, you can immediately start browsing through products, create your own unique links, and start promoting! You can also track your earnings in real-time using the program’s platform.
A ClickBank Review: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
It sounds pretty great, right? As with most things, there’s more to it than that. Here’s a completely honest rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to using ClickBank for your affiliate marketing business.
First, we want to start off by saying that there are a lot of good things about using ClickBank! It’s different from many other affiliate networks out there and is great for people who are just starting out with affiliate marketing.
1. It’s Easy to Get Started
First, the sign-up process is very simple and straightforward. It only takes a few minutes to get set up and there isn’t a background check or a lot of administrative hoops to jump through. Once you get signed up, you can start making money right away.
It’s also completely free to join! If you’re new to affiliate marketing, this platform is a great way to learn the ropes without having to make a financial investment.
2. There’s a Wide Variety of Products
There are tens of thousands of products available, so you’ll have plenty of flexibility. With this many options, you’re sure to find plenty of products that will fit well within your chosen niche.
Many of the products are subscription-based, so they’ll earn you recurring income for months or even years after the original sale. You can also search for products that offer upsells during checkout. This gives you the chance to earn even more commissions.
3. You Can Earn High Commissions
One of the best things about ClickBank is the high commission structure. While many affiliate programs pay between 5 and 30 percent, ClickBank commissions can go as high as 75 percent! The company also pays its affiliates fast, which is really helpful when you’re trying to manage your business cash flow.
You can choose to be paid once a week and there are several different payout options, including direct deposit, wire transfer, check, or through the Payoneer platform.
4. There Are Some Great Reporting Options
The platform also offers advanced reporting options so you can track details about things like impressions, clicks, and sales. This information will help you make adjustments to your affiliate marketing plan so you can increase your earnings even further.
There are a lot of good things about ClickBank, but there are some definite issues that they could improve as well.
1. Poor Customer Service
One of the most often cited problems is that their customer service is incredibly slow. If you run into a problem, there’s a chance you might have to wait up to a full week before you finally hear back. This is well-documented through Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints.
ClickBank’s website is also decidedly outdated and doesn’t provide the best possible user experience.
2. 60-Day Return Policy
ClickBank also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on any of the products they sell. While this is great for end consumers, it’s not so exciting for affiliates. If the customer ends up returning the product, you’ll also lose the commission. There are few things more dejecting than making a ton of affiliate sales, then waking up a week later to find that 10 to 30 percent of those sales have been refunded.
If you’re relying on this income to run your business and pay your bills, it’s easy to see how this policy can have a serious negative impact. It also makes it almost impossible to make accurate profitability calculations.
We wish we could say that’s the end of the potential issues with ClickBank, but, unfortunately, this isn’t the case. There are several flaws that we think definitely fall under the “ugly” category.
1. Low-Quality Products
The first, and most obvious, is the high number of no-value, spammy products on the platform. Even products that are somewhat worthwhile have scammy-looking promotional products and banners that you would never want to put on your website. There are some great products on the platform, but to find them, you’ll have to sort through far too many terrible ones.
2. Chargebacks on Dormant Accounts
Another serious issue is the platform’s practice of levying chargebacks on dormant accounts. If you fail to earn any income for 90 days in a row, ClickBank will begin charging you $1 per day. After 180 days of inactivity, this charge goes up to $5 per day.
Leave your account inactive for a full 360 days and you’ll see a hefty charge of $50 per day! If you don’t have a plan for actively soliciting sales over the long-term, this is obviously a serious potential drawback.
3. Poor User Reviews
There are many negative reviews of the platform on the Consumer Affairs website. Independent reviews also place ClickBank solidly in the average to negative category. While a few unhappy users are easy to ignore, you have to worry a bit when there are so many reports about unfavorable experiences.
So, Is ClickBank a Scam?
If you’ve read everything up to this point, you’re probably wondering, “Is ClickBank a scam?”
The answer is no. Although it’s full of low-quality junk products, there are also some solid options for earning real money. If you have the time to wade through oceans of garbage products, then you’re likely to find a few that can help you make real money.
Millions of online entrepreneurs use this platform, and some have been using the program for decades. They can’t all be wrong.
When it comes down to it, though, any time you choose to work with an affiliate product, your reputation is on the line. If you’re not comfortable, then you’re probably better off exploring other options.
Feeling like you might want to give it a try? Check out these tips to help ensure you have the best possible experience using ClickBank.
ClickBank Best Practices for Affiliates
Taking a few simple precautions before you start using ClickBank can help you confirm that you’re representing quality products that you can feel good about sharing with your followers.
1. Check Out Product Reviews
Don’t waste your time promoting sub-par products. Before you consider being an affiliate for a product, do as much research as you can. This starts with reading through the product reviews.
Make sure you’re not just reading reviews from other affiliates, as these can often be biased. Go outside of the affiliate platform and check other sites, like Trustpilot, where you can find fair and honest reviews. Also Google the product and browse through the first few pages of results to see what kinds of coverage it’s getting.
2. Try the Product First-Hand
A really good affiliate marketer comes from a place of actually wanting to help people. This means that you really shouldn’t promote a product that you haven’t (or wouldn’t) use yourself.
Before you decide to promote a product, reach out to the company and see if they will provide you with a free sample. This will allow you to test it and make sure it’s of high quality.
If they won’t, consider buying it! This is the only way that you can truly be confident about the product you’re promoting.
This is important for several reasons. First, if you end up recommending a sub-par product, you’ll lose the trust of your followers. Once that happens, there’s a good chance that you’ll never get it back.
Secondly, if the product doesn’t meet the user’s expectations, there’s a good chance that they’ll return it for a refund. In this case, you’ll lose the commission anyway.
3. Check Out Gravity Scores
A gravity score reflects the number of affiliates who have sold the product within the past 12 weeks. The higher this number is, the better the product is likely to be. Each gravity point is essentially an endorsement of the product from other sellers.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to make sure that you only promote products that have a gravity score of 50 or higher.
4. Check Out the Program’s Affiliate Page
If you think the product looks good after the research you’ve done, it’s time to take a look at their affiliate page. This is where you’ll find out whether the company is providing you with any sales support.
If the affiliate page includes promotion tools, this is a good sign. It usually means that the vendor is serious about their product and that they care enough about their affiliates to do some of the heavy lifting for them.
5. Beware of Overblown Claims
Always remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. “Get Rich Quick” products that promise to make you millions of dollars overnight are scams that you should avoid at all costs.
6. Make Sure the Product Is Relevant
Even if you find the perfect product, if it’s not relevant to your audience, you won’t make many sales and you’ll confuse your followers. You’ll also want to make sure that the price-point for the product you choose is within your followers’ budget.
While high-ticket-price affiliate items will often help you earn higher commissions, they’re only appropriate in certain situations. Keep offering products that aren’t right for your audience, and it will eventually wear them out.
7. Vet the Vendors
In addition to researching the products, you should also check out the vendors themselves. If you can’t find information about the vendor you’re considering, this is a MAJOR red flag. Good vendors have a solid online reputation and will never hide in the shadows.
If you don’t feel one hundred percent confident about the product, or the vendor, keep looking! There’s no amount of money that’s worth risking your reputation.
The Bottom Line
Can you make money with ClickBank? Sure!
Just make sure you take the time to do your research and ensure that you’re only promoting high-quality products that you would use yourself.
Want to learn about even more ways to grow your online business? There are many options beyond ClickBank and even beyond affiliate marketing.
If you’ve enjoyed this ClickBank review, take some time to browse through more of our blog posts for some inspiration. We have plenty of great ideas to help you successfully build your online empire.