Is Clickbank The Real Deal? A Thorough Review.

Is Clickbank a Scam

There are a whole host of things to take into consideration when you are looking to choose an affiliate network or product to promote. Clickbank is one of the major players in the industry and has been over the years. It is one of the affiliate networks that has really had staying power, however, there are a few issues with the platform that should be highlighted and I will shine a light on these in order to uncover whether Clickbank is truly a legit network or a scam.

I hope this article will give you clarity and also an impartial insight into the Clickbank platform, allowing you to decide whether this network is right for you.

My Own Introduction to Clickbank.

I began my affiliate marketing journey back in the early 2000s when Clickbank was quite clearly at the top of digital product networks, and still arguably is today.

It was over the next few years that information marketing products began to rise in popularity. The concept that people would pay for information was something that typically fell under the jurisdiction of our Universities and Colleges, however, when the layman person like you or I realised that actually, we could package information up and sell it for a substantial amount of money, the popularity of Clickbank truly began to explode.

Everything from dieting products to software programmes became the rage online, and then around 2005 came a massive surge in ‘how to make money’ products which were effectively ‘teaching people how to make money online’ and they were for sale on the Clickbank network.

A merchant (essentially the person that owns the digital product), could amplify their sales through Clickbank’s large network of affiliates. Rather than trying to market and promote their information completely on their own and using their own money to do so, they could literally have 1,000’s of affiliates promoting the product for them.

One of the greatest and most high profile successes in the ‘make money’ industry of that time period was The Rich Jerk, written by Kellly Felix.

The Rich Jerk

This book had a similar impact to that of the ‘4 Hour Work Week’ written by Timothy Ferris. People lapped it up and were buzzing from what he had to say. The ideas were innovative and forward thinking. This was a new era and a new world that we were entering into and people were really embracing it. The Rich Jerk had some fantastic ideas such as arbitrage and although it didn’t cover anything I was doing at the time, I would say for many people this book within the online world and for affiliate/internet marketers had a great impact and caused great excitement.

I think Kelly was able to generate a $1,000,000 dollars or so in sales within his first week, which a big deal at the time or any time for that matter. I have promoted a variety of product and services on Clickbank over the years with varying degrees of success. These ranged from diet products to ‘make money online’ guides.

 

So, what’s so good about ClickBank? (The Good)

ClickBank really does have some great things to offer…

  1. Well established affiliate network – The network has been around for a long time, since 1998. However, some parts of the site still look like quite dated…
  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.

What are the problems with ClickBank? (The Bad)

There are a few issues with Clickbank that should be highlighted.

  1. Parts of the site look very dated – 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. Scam products – Unfortunately, many of the product’s promotional material and marketing content have scammy looking banner advertisements and dated email marketing templates. This really isn’t a good look.
dated cb landing

  • Save

Dated looking sales landing pages! Smells like a scam, right?

clickbank reviewsClickBank reviews in the last 12 months

I’ve spoken about the good and bad points of Clickbank- Here is

One About Frustration.

So, all in all, Clicbank is a pretty easy platform to use. You don’t have to be approved for every single affiliate programme, and the commission rates are typically very high because it is a digital product network.

So what are the downfalls of Clickbank?

Well, several years ago, refund rates started to spin out of control on Clickbank because they were allowing (knowingly or unknowingly) some of the biggest con-artists online to churn out digital e-books and sell them on their network.

They were supporting their sales schemes by allowing them to offer all sorts of OTO (one time offers) in their sales processes, this meant that people were buying a relatively low ticket item ($19-$49) and then being pressured into spending much more within the up sell process, often times $100’s. This led to unhappy and disgruntled customers, which lead to people contacting Clickbank and demanding refunds.

Clickbank was very understanding about making these refunds, in fact they were probably too understanding. Some products were being refunded by up to 10-30%, and for an affiliate that is potentially paying for traffic to promote a product, that is unacceptable. This led to many affiliates ending up frustrated, losing money, and leaving Clickbank for other platforms.

Clickbank began to boot low performing and high refund products from their network. This was a brilliant move, however, it also alienated all the “gurus” pushing their nonsense and as a result they have moved onto other platforms that have looser rules and policies about product quality like Clicksure and JVZoo.

Clickbank has certainly gotten over this and begun to obtain and maintain a higher quality on their network since, however, there is still a major issue with the way in which they are operating as a business. Allow me to fill in the blanks.

Is Clickbank Leveraging Its Merchants Traffic?

In the early days, Clickbank gained a lot of success from just a certain segment of products.

This happened to be the ‘make money online’ group of people’. Whether it was a drop shipping program like SaleHoo, a keyword research platform like Long Tail Pro, or a make money book like the Rich Jerk, the Internet Marketing crowd and product categories were most definitely responsible for driving a good deal of business and success to Clickbank.

Furthermore, those people in the industry that blogged about affiliate marketing would often recommend Clickbank as one of the top networks out there. However, several years ago Clickbank introduced its own programme called Clickbank University, which had an unbelievably detrimental effect on anyone trying to co-exist in the make money world and this can and did have a phenomenally negative impact on al those who were attempting to co-exist in the ‘make money’ industry at that point in time.

It became flawed! After all, why would you actively choose to send your traffic to Clickbank when they have created a competing product that they will then promote to the VERY people that you have referred to their network? It really didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. It would be detrimental to your business model and would most definitely affect your sales.

Therefore, many internet marketers who had built up reputable businesses with healthy incomes that were sustainable within this space, chose not to promote Clickbank as a network. It simply isn’t a wise, profitable or even affordable thing to do to basically hand over traffic to another company that is creating a competing product.

No-one in their right mind who has done the hard graft as a marketer would drive traffic to Clickbank, nor would ethically recommend them under this premise.

FINAL SUMMARY! Clickbank is Legit, With Some Minor Issues.

So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Clickbank. Generally speaking, there are plenty of great things to say about Clickbank, however, by the same token it’s also possible to list some little issues that aren’t quite so great about Clickbank as a platform.

Pros of Clickbank

  • They have great affiliate technology
  • They pay on time (and offer many types of payment)
  • Their programs tend to offer higher commissions
  • They have a large network of products
  • Auto-approval on products (don’t discriminate against new affiliates)
  • Have both tangible (physical) and info products (digital)

Cons of Clickbank

    • They try to up sell you on services like Clickbank University
    • Some lower quality products
    • Doesn’t allow certain countries to join
    • Have to make commissions from several countries to get paid

 

 

Clickbank is a LEGITIMATE affiliate network, take a look and jump right in if you like it!

So, when all is said and done, if Clickbank has a product/service that you think would have a good fit with your given audience, then you could certainly try to promote it.

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      • So, when all is said and done, if Clickbank has a product/service that you think would have a good fit with your given audience, then you could certainly try to promote it.

Clickbank is a LEGITIMATE affiliate network, take a look and jump right in if you like it!

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