I’m going to focus on the affiliate Clickbank payment proof here because the vendor program is set up differently and I plan to write a post explaining how that works in the future. All CB affiliates get paid every 2 weeks and this is my latest check in the amount of $153.53
Making money with Clickbank is mostly about matching the right product to your audience. I recently wrote a related post about website monetization that is relevant here as well. Basically, you want to find something to promote in the Clickbank marketplace that your own website visitors will WANT to buy. This is important! Get it wrong and you WILL fail!
For example, I’ve noticed some sites that are very poorly monetized lately. One was a site about depression that had ads for hosting on it (do depressed people suddenly have the desire to build a website?). Another was a site with baby products that had an ad banner for a CB ebook about forex! Unbelievable! Repeat after me: MATCH YOUR NICHE!!!
I’ll admit that when I started in affiliate marketing years ago I made the same mistakes, so let’s chaulk it up to newbie inexperience. I made NO sales at all until I finally got smart and put up a popular game strategy guide on one of my arcade sites and finally made my first sale. I found out game guides sell VERY well, but I also learned the number one lesson about making sure you spend some time finding the right product to promote. It’s well worth the effort.
For those of you getting started with Clickbank, it’s important to be aware of the biggest issue that faces all CB newbies: the dreaded “CDR”. It stands for Customer Distribution Requirement and states that you must have sales from at least 2 sources (Paypal, Mastercard, Visa) AND 5 different credit card numbers BEFORE you get paid! For some people who only get an occassional sale, this can be a daunting task, esp. when you consider that most sales online come from Paypal and that’s not even included as part of the 5 number requirement!
You could actually have 10 sales broken down into, let’s say, 6 from PP, 3 from Visa, 1 from MC and STILL not get paid. At a sale a month average it would take you almost a year to earn about $200 and yet have nothing to show for it. I’ve read people complaining that this was a deal breaker for them and they gave up using Clickbank because of it.
One “trick” that many affiliates do is to simply buy through their own link as an easy way to meet the CDR. If you already have sales and you need that last one to come in to make up the fifth CC number and you’re tired of waiting, then just find a product in the marketplace that is dirt cheap (the lowest is 3 bucks) and create your own hoplink for it. Then simply purchase the product through your link using your own credit card. A few dollars is a small price to pay to get all your earnings released to you after meeting the full requirements, if you have over $100 or so tied up there. Consider it like an extra 3% fee to get your check. I personally don’t think the CDR is fair, but it is what it is, so it’s best just to find a solution around it, since you can’t change it.
They also hold back 10% of each check as a “return allowance” to cover any refunds or chargebacks. That rule isn’t much fun either, but it’s needed when dealing with some products that have a high refund rate, so they have to cover that possibility.
A final word of advice: mask your hoplinks! Some affiliates will attempt to steal your commissions, so it’s good practice not to leave your affiliate ID “out in the open”. It became such a problem that now Clickbank provides encrypted links in the form of a “hoplink shield”, but it wasn’t always that easy. Protect your links!