Affiliate marketing for beginners

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Clickbank Guide for beginners - part 1

What is Clickbank?

If you are not familiar with Clickbank, that company is the payment processor, at the same time, product reseller, with large base of affiliates promoting "digital" products. Digital products are e-books (usually PDF format), software and memberships. Advantage of digital products is that they could be downloaded and used instantly after payment, without any additional expenses like shipping and handling.

Clickbank vs. other affiliate networks

Clickbank is the payment processor. What means, all payments are going through payment form on clickbank website, and you can see commission almost instantly after sale occurred. There is no waiting for final reports from merchants, there is no cheatings with tracking codes on Thank You pages... Affiliates can promote any vendor instantly, without need to be approved from every vendor. And, the best feature is that affiliate can check vendor just clicking on order form link from their page. On bottom of payment form is affiliate nickname displayed. No need to make test sale to see if link is working.

Bad side? Yes, there is. Affiliate links are simple and easy to hack (replacing nickname), and sometimes payment form is not working as expected. Also, there is no tools for communication between affiliates and vendors. And, small number of affiliates is promoting vendors using spyware, cookie stuffing and other unacceptable ways. Thanks to the transparent tracking, they can be spotted easy (hop=nickname on landing page, affiliate nickname on payment form), and banned from clickbank.

But, comparing with an other affiliate networks, Clickbank is exteremly easy to use, for vendors and for affiliates.

Where to signup for Clickbank?

Not Clickbank affiliate yet? Link to Clickbank affiliate signup form is here (new window).
Signup is free. Two hints if you decide to join.
First, choose nickname carefully, because your nickname is displayed in browser address bar as addition to vendor's domain name, in format "". Choose nickname what is looking like part of vendor's site url (thispage,toppage...).
Many Vendors are now using simple redirection, where "hop=nickname" is removed. However, choose some nickname what will not look as affiliate code in case when it is displayed in browser address bar.
Second, url of your site added during signup (CB says for vendors only, but...). That site can be reached using hoplink, just adding your nickname instead of any vendor. Who will visit your submitted site using hoplink? Other affiliates and vendors. So, make one site for them, and don't forget to include contact information there.

New affiliates

If you are new affiliate of Clickbank and beginner in affiliate programs, please, read this mini-guide carefully, it could help you to get better results in clickbank products promotion.

However, new ClickBank help section is now here. This link is leading to ClicBank Help Central where you can find links for all kinds of FAQs, including FAQs for vendors and accounts. Some tools for affiliates and vendors are also added recently.

Now, here is link to most important page for affiliates: Dos and Donts. Read this first.

Clickbank hoplink

Hoplink is your affiliate link supplied from clickbank. It is in format "". Any other affiliate link supplied from some vendors is not official, but it helps to hide hoplink on your site. There is a tool on ClickBank help section used to encrypt hoplink. Do it, in case that you are displaying hoplink on your website without some kind of cloaking, it is reccommended to use that tool.

Clickbank sales tracking

Visitors are normally tracked using browser cookies. New clickbank supplemental tracking (tracking without cookies) was introduced in April/May 2007. This helps when clickbank cookie is blocked or not accepted from web browser (disabled).

Clickbank Marketplace

Clickbank Marketplace is part of Clickbank site where affiliates can find vendors (products) to promote . With newest Clickbank interface and marketplace search added (Sep 2006, updated Jan 2010), it is possible to search and sort listings as you wish. Clickbank Marketplace is only for affiliates. Do not send your visitors there. Sponsored listings on the right side, looking like AdSense ads, are stuff to avoid. Although you can find some products to promote, most of them are traps from listbuilders and affiliate links.

Products on the top of main categories are most popular (default listing, ranked by popularity), it means that they are heavily promoted and there is a lot of competition. Easy to confirm that when you are looking at the "Gravity" number. Gravity is number of affiliates (with sales). Higher number, more affiliate sales.

All numbers and percents listed below vendor's title and description are for information only. For precise calculation of refund rate (cancelled sales), what is one of the most important factors, we need to know reasons of refunds. It is not written there. More about statistics - later.

If there is no statistics, those are new vendors or they don't have any sales in time period used for calculation.

Products not listed on MarketPlace

Sometimes, you can find sites not listed at MarketPlace, but using Clickbank as payment processor.

Be careful if you plan to promote those sites. It could be that vendor is not accepting affiliates at all, or affiliate program is opened only for those who bought that product. So, stick to the products listed at Clickbank MarketPlace

Vendor is allowed to set commission to 0% only if he don't want to be listed in MarketPlace. Minimum commission for Vendors listed in MarketPlace is 1%. If you find some Vendor and he is not listed on MarketPlace, check affiliate page there, or contact that Vendor to be sure there is affiliate commission. Do not promote without checking it.

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