Clickbank As A Side Hustle?

THE IDEA

Clickbank is an affiliate network that specializes in digital products (think eBooks, software, video courses). And one way to earn a side income is to monetize your traffic by promoting digital products, as an affiliate, from the Clickbank Marketplace.

PROS

  • It’s free to join. Plus, you won’t have to go through an approval process like many other affiliate networks.
  • Their affiliate cookies last for 60 days. So if a visitor clicks your link and doesn’t decide to buy until day 60 you’ll still be credited for the sale. Compare that to Amazon’s affiliate cookie, which only lasts 24 hours.
  • High commissions. Typically, most Clickbank vendors offer 50% or more in commissions. Some even as high as 75%. Because Clickbank specializes in digital products, vendors can offer much higher commissions than other affiliate networks. Again, Amazon’s commissions are in the 4% or less range.
  • Clickbank also offers a large selection of products that provide commissions on upsells, downsells, and recurring billings. This helps to increase your earnings per click and overall income.
  • You can easily browse through products to see the product’s average earning per sale, which are being sold successfully by other affiliates, etc.
  • Tons of products. There are so many product categories that it’s likely there’s a relevant product in your niche to promote to your audience.
  • Clickbank has been around since 1998. And they have a solid reputation for paying affiliates and for paying on time. After you hit the initial threshold, you can set up weekly payouts.

CONS

  • Tons of competition. Clickbank has been around for 20+ years. Nearly every beginning affiliate has heard of it. And because there’s no approval process practically everyone can join.
  • And if you decide to promote a Clickbank product it’s likely there are hundreds of other affiliates promoting it, too. Look, there are literally thousands (if not, millions) of products to promote. All you need to do is join the affiliate network that offers that product. Clickbank is just one affiliate network. My advice: Find the group of people you want to serve first, then find the perfect product to solve their problems (it may not even be on Clickbank). If it is, you have an advantage because you understand the audience more deeply. 
  • Money-focused metrics. Let me explain. Most newbie affiliates will see the high earnings per sale, the high gravity, and all the recurring billing commissions offered for each product. The problem with this is they become focused on the potential money they can earn. But this approach actually repels them from earning money. Why? Because they’re not focused on the problems they’re solving and whether or not that problem will actually solve it. Again, see my advice in the previous bullet.
  • I don’t have anything much else to say. Clickbank is a solid, reputable affiliate network. Heck, I even made my first sale online as an affiliate promoting one of their health offers. The only downside I see is that most beginners will see Clickbank as the end-all solution to their money problems. Instead, they should be focusing on the fundamentals. And remember, Clickbank is just one affiliate network that you can use to provide a solution that helps your audience.

VS Digital Flipping

  • I believe promoting digital products from Clickbank is much harder than Digital Flipping. With Clickbank, you’re still going to have to invest a lot of time to build an audience. Or you may have to invest money upfront to pay for ads. I don’t think this makes it beginner-friendly. With Digital Flipping, you don’t have to invest a lot of time to build an audience. You simply go straight to the buyer who will tell you exactly how much he will pay you. Plus, you don’t have to pay any money upfront to advertise. There’s no upfront costs. This makes it easier for a beginner to earn a side hustle income online.
  • Secondly, I think it’s harder for a beginner to sell an informational product vs. a tangible product. Now, with Digital Flipping, you’re not selling a physical product, either. However, it’s more “tangible” in the sense that it’s a service or easily measured. For example, with Digital Flipping, you may find a buyer that wants a logo done for $100. Even though it’s still a digital product it’s much more “tangible” and measurable. But with Clickbank, if you have an audience that wants to lose fat you’d be trying to sell them an eBook about it. This can make it harder especially if that audience is used to buying supplements or you don’t have the skills to communicate this value (more on this in a bit).
  • Now, I like both approaches because they don’t involve product creation. With Clickbank, you’re simply promoting someone else’s offer. And with Digital Flipping, you’re outsourcing the work to someone else. This makes both approaches beginner-friendly.
  • But, information products can be harder to demonstrate their value and sell. For example, with Digital Flipping, you can easily show off past logos your outsourcer has created. But can you show off an eBook from Clickbank to get someone else to buy? Again, for a beginner, it’s harder. In order to sell information products, beginners will need to develop more skills like direct response marketing, copywriting, and traffic generation. This takes time and experience (money) to develop.
  • In closing, I’m all for promoting affiliate products from Clickbank. However, I don’t think it’s the most beginner-friendly option to start with. I recommend starting with something less time-consuming and low-risk, like Digital Flipping. Then, once you build up your funds and experience, you should definitely branch out into affiliate marketing. In fact, I’ll be creating more courses that involve more advanced strategies like driving traffic to affiliate offers. But remember, before you can make $1,000 per day you must learn how to make $1,000 per month. And Digital Flipping is one great way to start.