The problem with finding an honest opinion about Clickbank is that everyone has a strong motive to oppose or encourage using Clickbank as an affiliate network.
For those who say Clickbank is a scam, they say this because they couldn’t sell a single product and many of the product’s landing pages look familiar in a sense that they are always trying to sell you rather than help you. And… they also are trying to promote their own affiliate product.
And for those who say Clickbank can make you rich… it can but it takes a lot of time and effort. These people are also trying to sell you Clickbank products.
Personally, I think that Clickbank is NOT a scam. BUT, those digital products are a bit harder to sell. You NEED a strong brand and an online presence to sell these products. I can SEE why some people think it’s a scam.
So what I’ll do in this write is this:
I’ll address each side of the debate’s (“Is Clickbank a scam?”) most compelling arguments and you yourself can decide whether Clickbank is truly a scam or not.
What is Clickbank?
Clickbank is an affiliate network where vendors and affiliate marketers come together to promote digital products.
They are ranked as the top 100 online retailers in the world with over 200 million customers worldwide. They’ve done over $3 billion in sales and started off in a garage in San Diego, California in 1998.
This is all good and dandy but why do we (as affiliate marketers) care?
Because the more popular the affiliate network is, the more likely our products will sell and we’ll get paid. If you worked with direct affiliate offers (dealing with just the company), you might come across one that is sketchy and untrustworthy.
It’s important to note that the most alluring aspect of Clickbank is that they offer 50% to 90% commission. Just how are they able to do that?
Because most of their products are digital. Meaning it doesn’t take much effort or money to “mass” produce their products. It is more like infinite because all they need to is copy and paste their digital product (maybe in PDF form) or create another login to their SaaS product.
But Clickbank is not without a downside. These products are usually way harder to sell than tangible goods. Consumers tend to be gratified when they receive physical things they can feel in exchange for their hard-earned money.
Is Clickbank a Scam (Let’s cover the bad first)?
Some marketers are extremely against Clickbank.
These marketers present quite a strong argument. However, to say it’s a scam is not quite accurate. I’ll go through some of the best supporting arguments I’ve seen as to why Clickbank might not be worth it for you.
They think vast majority of the products on Clickbank are garbage
While some of it is definitely harder to sell and the landing pages make it seem like they give out false promises…
If you think about the businesses that go on SharkTank, you’ll understand that most of them have odd ideas that need support from the investors to promote them. After all, if they had a bullet proof business model why would they be there in the first place?
Similarly, the reason most vendors put their product on Clickbank is because they need support of affiliate marketers to sell it. If they didn’t need anyone to sell their product, it probably wouldn’t be on the platform to begin with.
So by definition, some of the digital products are inherently harder to find value in. Does it mean it’s a scam? Certainly not. Could I make money from a course that I bought for $1000? I certainly can. In fact, I bought my education (intangible good) for $30,000 and I got a job that paid me 80k a year for 5 years.
There are a lot of negative reviews on Clickbank, especially ConsumerAffairs.com.
There’s no denying that there are a lot of negative views on Clickbank. There is also no denying that there are a lot of positive reviews on Clickbank.
The credibility of review sites that bash Clickbank also have their own motive as well:
Review sites like ConsumerAffairs.com isn’t a non-profit or governmental agency. They are for-profit, so they benefit by presenting super biased reviews that appeal to both extreme ends.
A lot of these negative reviews are written by people who are not successful with Clickbank, or quite frankly, their entire online marketing career.
Public figures like Dan Lok, Franklin Hatchett, and even small Youtube channels like Clickbank Success, have made life-changing money from Clickbank. In 7 to 8 figures, to be precise.
And just like the odds of success, there are way many losers in the game of entrepreneurship than winners. And unfortunately, the losers tend to be more vocal because the winners are busy working hard.
Keep in mind that it took me 3 months to sell my first Clickbank product that made me $450:
Was I tempted to call Clickbank a scam? Absolutely. Dismissing something as impossible is somewhat a human nature. We gravitate toward beliefs that give us less work to do. But I didn’t. I worked hard and then I finally made sales.
Remember, insecurity speaks the loudest.
They think the interface sucks and is outdated.
There’s no denying that the UI and the entire website is outdated. It does look like it was something that was built in the 90’s (well that’s because it was).
However, I can argue that two points to this argument:
They are on the verge of updating their UI. Recently (in 2020, they have updated their sign up process and their login UI). So they have just started updating their interface and design.
The other counterargument is much more simpler: does it matter? Most of your traffic and prospective customers will likely never visit the website. The website is mainly for the marketers and vendors.
Furthermore, nice UI is not indicative of success or trust. Have you seen Craigslist? It looks super old but it does a lot more in transactions than the new kids on the block including Letgo and Offerup. Also, they generate over $700 million dollars a year with a 80% profit margin, just on paid job posts.
Here’s what I’m trying to get at: when evaluating an affiliate network like Clickbank, it’s hard to judge it by the way it looks, especially since they are currently updating it anyways.
Other Bad Stuff
There are some other few bad stuff that isn’t worth it’s own heading so we put it all here.
- Customer service is not the best.
- Fees taken for idle accounts. $1 per after 90 days of no earnings, $5 per day after 180 days of no earnings, and $50 per day after 360 days of no earnings.
- A lot of competition for good programs.
Now, for the good stuff.
Can you make millions of dollars with Clickbank? Is it Worth Promoting?
The short answer is yes, you can. But the longwinded, truthful answer is that it will take a some time (years of working HARD).
A lot of people on the internet are looking for fast gains. That’s why there is so much popularity in get rich quick schemes.
Clickbank is not a get rich quick scheme. In fact, it might take you a while to get your first sale (unless you use ads which may result you a net negative and quite possibly get you banned from ad networks like Facebook).
Here are a list of things that make promoting products on Clickbank worth it:
High Commission Rates
If you ever watched the movie “Wolf of the Wallstreet” there’s a scene where Leonardo Dicaprio walks into a penny stock brokerage. The guy that owns the place says brokers get 50% commission on penny stocks. Leo drops his jaw.
Well, that’s the kind of reaction we had when affiliate marketers first heard about Clickbank’s commission rates which range between 50% – 90%.
Granted, these are harder to sell and like penny stocks, many of them have underlying assets that are not valuable as blue chip stocks or in our case, tangle goods from affiliate network like Amazon.
The key to selling on Clickbank is having a loyal following. If you really like someone, it’s easier to buy the product rather than say a stranger. Building a personal connection and trust with your fan base will make all the difference.
So, while 50% – 90% commission is really high, keep in mind that these digital products are generally hard to sell.
Huge Affiliate Network
Clickbank is huge. It’s served over 200 million customers worldwide.
It’s often overlooked how expansive an affiliate network is.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you don’t appreciate this fact. So let me put this to perspective.
I worked with a direct affiliate offer and it reaches MAYBE 50,000 people.
Now, I get a higher commission but there’s a lot of downsides working with smaller networks:
- Their entire system is always less reliable. After all, there isn’t much traffic so they don’t care to update the software.
- They can cancel the affiliate program in a whim. I had a product I was promoting for $300 and the guy just decided to make it free one day. Needless to say I was not happy.
- It just doesn’t have the clout and the reach. The less it is known, the more work a marketer has to put to sell it.
They have over 24 categories and subcategories for each.
Overall, it’s nice to be part of a network that has a wide range of niches and audience. As of this writing, there are more than 3700 products.
Sleep easy at night knowing that they make their payments… on time.
I worked as a freelance programmer and know how much of a headache it is to keep sending invoices to a client who refuses to pay on time.
Because Clickbank is humongous they have to have a very well-oiled system for paying out their affiliate marketers.
Their reporting system is there and gives some useful information on metrics, like order form impressions. If your traffic isn’t getting to the order form, you know you have to do a better job of selling the product.
Another cool thing about Clickbank is that you can make money as marketer or a vendor. This is what many successful Youtuber’s like Robby Blanchard and John Crestani do.
If you’re successful of both sides, you’ll make insane amount of money like in the screenshot above.
Can you imagine what making $30k a day would feel like?
Also, It’s good to know that they have a money-back guarantee for all their products by Clickbank. So many of your traffic can get a refund if they are not satisfied with their product. Make sure to read the requirements for refund because it varies across products.
There’s also a lot of support for marketers. Unlike Amazon, who only gives you a system to sell their products, Clickbank’s vendors are much more willing to work with you to sell their products. They will usually put their support email and have a dedicate page just for the affiliates.
To wrap it all up, Clickbank is worth promoting. However, you should do it in a genuine way to help people find value, not to make money for yourself.
The more you are able to help others, the more you will succeed as an affiliate marketer, especially on Clickbank.
Hi! My name is Kenta. I’m an internet marketer. I love business and programming. I hope that you’ll join me on this journey to internet success. If you have questions or just want to say hi, feel free to reach out via the contact form!