So you’re thinking of making your affiliate marketing fortune through Clickbank?
Clickbank was one of the first affiliate networks I came across when I stumbled into this amazing business model a few years ago.
But I quickly learned that it’s one you really want to avoid if you want to promote great products and earn high affiliate commissions.
You see, Clickbank is populated with tons of low-quality, low-paying affiliate programs that kinda make you cringe.
You know those shady make money online hyped up products that are all talk and no trousers?
Yeah, it’s full of those ones.
Not something you’d be proud to put your name behind.
So in this post, I’ll outline reasons why you want to avoid using Clickbank for affiliate marketing and offer some better alternatives (not Amazon Associates).
Let’s get cracking!
1. The Vast Majority of Affiliate Programs are Awful
If you take a few minutes to browse through the Clickbank marketplace, you’ll quickly discover that the platform is teeming with low-quality affiliate programs.
Even some of the most popular programs in certain categories are for products that seem like total trash.
Case in point:
The “AZ Code” is the number one product in the E-business/E-marketing section of the affiliate marketplace.
Number one in popularity!
Yet it’s full of hyped of claims of making thousands of dollars in a matter of DAYS.
We’ve all heard the saying “When it sounds too good to be true” it probably is. And even if the program was totally legit — I’m not fond of the “get rich quick” vibe it portrays.
Crypto Currency Codex is the top product in the Business/Investing category. Another one that immediately strikes me as hyped up garbage.
They claim that their students have turned $20 into $100,000 in just 3 months…
Are these guys for real?
They use some classic terms to draw the “get rich quick” crowd into the product like “weird” “low-risk” and “loophole”.
Last time I checked, Cryptocurrency was one of the most volatile markets in existence — certainly not something that’s low-risk.
And little things like the green screen video background just screams stereotypical sleaze-ball internet marketing program.
2. The People That Promote Clickbank Are Trash
Clickbank seems to attract certain types of people to their marketplace. These people don’t strike me as human beings that value traits such as honesty and integrity.
You know the ones I’m talking about:
“Make $3000 a day within 2 weeks working less 30 minutes every single day”
Pie in the sky promises of wealth and riches along with a supposedly simple, easy and straightforward system you can use to get it.
These snake-oil sleaze-balls make their money by selling overpriced programs and products that are full of fluff and lacking in substance to lazy wantrepreneurs.
The push-button solution is all a lie.
3. The Best Products Are Teeming With Competition
Because the majority of products in the Clickbank marketplace are bottom of the barrel junk — the stuff that’s half-decent is promoted by the lion share of affiliates on the platform.
This means there’s ultra-stiff competition for anything worth promoting on there.
So you may have a hard time driving traffic to the products as so many other affiliates are already doing the same thing.
The one exception is if you manage to find a traffic source that’s relatively untapped (which is rare) but certainly possible.
4. The UI is Like Something out of the 90’s
Clickbank really hasn’t put much effort into upgrading their user interface on the affiliate marketplace side.
It honestly looks like something out of the 90’s!
Check it out:
And while the dated UI may not be a dealbreaker for you, it just worsens the experience on the platform.
What’s more, it makes it harder for you to filter through the affiliate programs that are actually worth a second look.
Clickbank has taken the time to upgrade the retail side of the platform but has neglected the affiliate marketplace.
5. The Vetting Process is Worryingly Basic
The quality of published affiliate programs in the Clickbank marketplace is a testament to the weak process for approving products on the platform.
Practically anyone can write an ebook and get it published within a few days.
The guys at Clickbank seem to be really keen to get as many products on their platform as possible.
But this mantra has clearly backfired as they’ve ended up with a marketplace full of sub-standard products that don’t offer much value.
6. They charge you for having a dormant account
That’s exactly right.
They take your money if you leave it in your account for a certain period of time.
This rule is so strange — when I first came across this, I really struggled to understand why they chose to do this to their affiliates.
So here’s the gist:
As stated in their knowledgebase article, having a positive balance for an extended period of time will lead to “dormancy fees” being deducted from your account.
They reserve the right to deduct up to $100 a month from accounts that haven’t seen any activity for a few months.
This has obviously led to some people losing money from their Clickbank accounts — who reads T’s and C’s anyway?
Imagine busting your balls to successfully promote a product, only for Clickbank to remove your hard-earned cash from your account a few months later.
7. The customer service and refund policy is questionable
Alarm bells are ringing.
Because Clickbank has a 1-star rating on Consumer Affairs with plenty of people complaining about products they’ve bought through the marketplace.
Let’s have a look at what some of these people are saying:
Laura had some issues with unauthorised payments…
Nicky received a totally different product from the one he purchased…
And Ilona had some good ol’ fashioned horrible customer service…
Does this surprise you?
It shouldn’t. Looking at some of the products they’ve allowed in their marketplace, it’s no shock that people have had trouble with refunds and customer support.
A superior alternative to Clickbank
So you’ve probably gathered that Clickbank really isn’t the best affiliate network to find awesome products to promote.
So where do you find the best affiliate programs?
Here’s the rub:
Most people don’t know about high-ticket affiliate programs. These are products/services that pay upwards of $1000 per sale — exactly the type of stuff you want to be promoting.
So instead of selling hundreds of e-books for a handful of dollars, you can focus on promoting quality goods and services for much more money.
I’ve written an extensive post that outlines these concepts and reveals some awesome affiliate programs that pay really well, you can check it out here.
Aside from that, you must do your own research. Examine your areas of interest and look for people creating great courses/products that you can promote in that space.
Many of the best affiliate programs aren’t part of an affiliate network.
And if you’re new to affiliate marketing, make sure you get educated so you have the best chance of making this work.
Related Content: How to start a blog: the ultimate guide
Bringing it all together
So you now know what to avoid when it comes to affiliate marketing. That being said, nothing is black and white because exceptions always exist. Some products on Clickbank are great — but all thing considered, there are far better alternatives out there when it comes to sourcing and promoting high-quality products as an affiliate.
So take the time to empower yourself with the right affiliate skills and align yourself with quality products that you’re proud to promote. This will help you maximize your chances of success!
I’m a London-born lover of technology, obsessed with online business, passive income and the digital economy. I love learning, researching and curating the most valuable resources to save you time, money and help you discover the truth on what it actually takes to achieve your goals.
Thank you so much
What do suggest as an alternative money maker Bengu?
So if ClickBank is trash and I’m a Canadian looking to get into e-commerce or some type of online program to start making money online what do you suggest I use or look more into?
I suggest you research your chosen area of business so for e-commerce, I know that Amazing Selling Machine and Foundr both have awesome courses. Trying to go it alone is 100x harder than having a proven framework to follow. Also, the best courses offer expert mentorship, a great community and unmatched high-quality training material. Hope this helps
Absolutely brilliantly written and expertly crafted. Your content immediately resonates with sincerity and empathy. Your SEO is so strategically planned and executed that you appear, as in my case, right under ClickBank. Now I have a better understanding of the composition of an effective landing page. And I have the standard to shoot for when I create a landing page. Thank you.
Here is my email address and I will click thru
thank you for this!
what if you plan on using clickbank as a platform for a product sales page. To have affiliates promote your product or do you think clickfunnels is better and you drive your own trafic.
Thanks Bengu! excellent info. good looking out my man…
Thank you so much!
I had never heard of Clickbank until I ordered a product that was or seemed a scam. I immediately cancelled, a refund was promised that was on /20/19. Yesterday my Amex folks said there was a pending charge by clickbooks on my account. I chattered with a “Lourdes” this morning who said I have to cancel the Amex charge and gave me a reference number. She/it was very rude at the end failing to give me a reference name of the company official name…is the name really clickbook ?( Lower case intended).I asked. She/it did not like that. I terminated… Read more »
Awesome read. Great honest review. Appreciate the warning, I was close to buying the hype.
I was too.
It really depends on the product not all are bad products. I’ve purchased a few of them some are just not for me and had refunded with zero issue as long as you do it during the refund period which usually 60 days. It’s stated in the checkout process if the bother to read it. If you miss it that’s really on the user. There are good programs in there as well to promote as an affiliate but it’s really up to affiliate to do their research. This is true in any platform. Sounds like you were burned as for… Read more »
Do you use clickbank
Haha no otherwise I wouldn’t have written this post
Great post Ahmad. I’ve been going through a tough time actually finding good products to promote. It’s freaking hard as heck, cause it seems like only the most hyped up products (at any given moment) EVER sell, whereas it feels like you have to go above and beyond, to have the better products stand out.
Will be checking out your recommended affiliate programs, hope to find some gold!
This is just another great landing page smh
Well, that’s an awesome and very informative post Ahmad! It sounds like you are a very good teacher, who does his homework before getting involved with anything. Are you offering any suggestions, in regards to what product you would promote?
Thanks this was very helpful. I always found CB products complete trash. And as someone who is in the cannabis vertical they never had any products I could effectively promote anyways. However this post definitely solidified that. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, I appreciate your values!
Honest is nice , like how you wrote this thank you
I knew it! Ugh! And there website is just as you say…shady..! Thank you ! Its bs! But I can stop wasting my time
Haha no worries — glad I saved you some time Julie
What a scam to trash a good company to promote your weak offering. I’d bet Donald Trump is your role model.
Let’s make America great again! ;-)
Thanks sooo much bro. What about their funnels?
Thanks, well done.
Good article,there are some good offers on clickbank but i prefer other networks
Yes, I found majority of the program is purely for money just designing courses to grab and go.
Yes, I love relating
Yes — hilarious without the bullshit ;-)
Question; so what is the best platform to sell your digital products? Options would be good? I don’t like hype or big promises. I give more to my clients than they expect.
Great content! You should take a look at ExoFunnels when you have a minute. They’re similar to ClickBank, JVZoo, WarriorPlus, etc. But they have a ton of ways they help affiliates and vendors generate more revenue. For example, whenever a customer purchases a product, they start promoting additional products to them and use your affiliate link. So, if your the affiliate or vendor that’s associated with a specific purchase, your affiliate link will be used to promote other products instead of them just taking the credit for those sales like other networks do. Also, you can earn money by referring… Read more »
Thanks Ahmad I really appreciate your honesty. Not to mention this is not the first time I have heard of clickbank not being all that great! Thanks again for the heads up.
Totally agree with every single paragraph. Moreover, I get a restriction during the first days. Why? Because I’m from Russia! Lolwut? ¨”We no longer allow accounts from Russia. ” they said.
It is a real junk, the biggest part of affiliate programs looks like spam or even scam. Highly disappointed.
Thank you for the good message.
Saying that all people that promote Clickbank products are questionable really dude. What kind of person are you for saying shit like that? Come on seriously, I agree there are a lot of people that are shady but not all. You shouldn’t be so generalized because that’s shady as well. It’s your opinion I get that but I promote a product from Clickbank and it’s an amazing product which I actually use daily. So I’m actually knowledgeable on the product and give real consumer feedback with no hype and fake shit. Anyhow I just wanted you to know that we… Read more »
Hi Rich — you have a fair point. Not all products on Clickbank are questionable — as I said at the end of the post, nothing is black and white. But all things considered, Clickbank has allowed their marketplace to become littered with low-quality programs that sound like pie in the sky nonsense. Too many superior alternatives exist to make Clickbank worth your time.
Thank you so much for the great insight to clickbank. But my challenge is how do I get an high ticket affiliate program that I can be part of as someone living in Nigeria.
Thanks for the valueable article