Affiliate marketing for beginners

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Clickbank Guide for beginners - part 2

How to choose and promote Clickbank products

Personalized Clickbank Marketplace?

This below is a link to your personalized marketplace.

After last updates on Clickbank MarketPlace (Jan, 2010) this link becomes only shortcut to marketplace, without any real value, since there are no more hoplinks, instead there were direct links to websites (landing pages). In Feb/March, this is corrected, and links (hoplinks) of listed products are again coded with your nickname. What means, when above marketplace hoplink is used, you don't need to generate hoplink for every vendor, they are already there.

Marketplace hoplink above is leading to "buy products" version of MarketPlace. It is different from version for affiliates, there are no stats for listed products.

To find products on MarketPlace (version for affiliates) to promote, and to see statistic for every vendor, including posted updates for that product, once at ClickBank website, click on "Promote products" link, and, on the next page, "Marketplace " link .

How to choose clickbank product

For successful promotion of chosen product, it is advised that you know something about that niche, (i.e. that is something what is interesting for you too). Only then you can choose good product and present it better to potential buyers.

Now, if you know what kind of product could fit your website content, go to the clickbank marketplace, choose category and start to check vendors.

Check vendors? Yes, it is necessary to CHECK vendors. Vendors on Clickbank (in most cases) are not merchants. They are marketers. Small number of vendors is still trying to cheat affiliates to get bigger piece of cake. There are traffic leaks, sneaky scripts and redirections, payment processor switching, nicknames switching...

Once at vendor's site, take a look at the sales page. It is assumed that product is interesting for you too, so, would you buy from that page? Is it order link visible? Any adsense ads on that page? Any affiliate link there? Link to affiliate program exposed more than it is necessary?

All this details could show you something about that vendor and what you could expect from him.

Now, test order link. On Clickbank payment page, scroll to the bottom, and look at "affiliate=nickname". If correct hoplink was used, your nickname will be displayed there. If it is not your nickname, or nickname is "none" there is problem with cookies or your cookie is overwritten.

This above is the basic check only. Examples and possible solutions if clickbank cookie is not set or it is overwritten are shown on clickbank commission theft page

Also, details about products statistics shown on marketplace, will be explained in the next part. Just something about marketplace listing. If product is listed near the bottom of category, it doesn't mean that product is bad. Example is one popular product now, long time listed on bottom of particular category, until picked by affiliate who knows where and how to promote a product.

How to promote Clickbank products

It is (not) easy to get sales promoting Clickbank products. Advantage of this kind of "product" is that it could be delivered immediately after payment, without waiting and "out of stock" messages. If not presented correctly, product could be refunded also immediately.

So, correct promotion is necessary. If you are promoting using AdWords, now you need to have landing page on your site. You are an affiliate, and you need to pre-sell product. So, it is not important if you are promoting product using adwords, mailing list or using any other method to get traffic, it is important that your page is made to pre-sell product, to prepare visitor for vendor's site.

Your product (or group of products) page must give info about main features of product(s) to visitor and encourage visitor to visit vendor's site. If vendor's sale page is good, you can expect sale, if it is not, you have a two choices: or add information what is lacking on vendor's site in your description of product, or make your own sales page for that product and use direct link to payment form.

Direct link to the clickbank order form vs. Hoplink

One problem with hoplink is that is not possible to add additional url at the end, to direct visitor to some other page on vendor's site. Some vendors don't care about product sales, they are trying to collect visitor's email and sell other products to them. Some of them are going so far that visitor can't order from landing page, even can't see second page without signup for their "newsletter" or free chapter. For affiliate, in most cases, this is not good, even when cookie is set, it could be overwritten before the next visit. Visitors don't like to leave emails everywhere, and when there is no option to order without signup, sale lost. This is one example of bad landing page.

Do you think that you can make better sales page than that what is on vendor's site? Yes? First, ask permission from that vendor. You may not use direct link to the payment form without merchant permission.

When using direct link to clickbank order page (affiliate nickname hardcoded in url), cookie is not set. If visitor was "cookied" from another affiliate before, you will not get commission. Only way to be sure that direct link will bring you a commission is to set cookie in invisible way using hoplink. And, that is not permitted.

Your own clickbank mall!

In most cases, "Clickbank malls", advertised everywhere, are nothing other than repackaged Clickbank MarketPlace. And, titles and descriptions on clickbank marketplace are targeted to affiliates, not to buyers. Enough said.
Same is with adsense looklike ads. Without editing almost every title and description there, to target visitors, not affiliates, you can forget effective clickbank mall.

Example of personalized ClickBank Marketplace (Catalog) is removed from here due to latest Marketplace changes (Jan 2010). Example of link leading to customized ClickBank catalog what was published here is not working due to latest Marketplace changes. You can use marketplace hoplink (on the top) to send visitors, but, as said above, product descriptions are for affiliates, not for buyers.

Here is the latest direct link to personalized Clickbank Marketplace - for example.

Note: For recommended Clickbank Malls visit CbMall or 1stpromotion . This two I can recommend if you want to promote Clickbank (or additional networks) products on this way.

Product life

If you choose to promote clickbank products, one thing more you need to know. Information is not always "hot". Say, products in "make money" categories. Products are promoted everywhere, and thanks to the affiliates, who are buying using their affiliate link, product is pushed to the top in a very short time. After that, thanks to the high gravity, it stays there for the some time, enough to attract other affiliates to jump into the train, thinking that high gravity means popular product.

"Make money" categories are over saturated, there is a high risk of link hijacking, they are not recommended for beginners, what doesn't mean that you cannot try.

Now about product life. Some clickbank products can be promoted for a few years, some for a few months. It always depends of demand for that kind of information. Say, if Ipod is popular, than software and info products about Ipod are popular. If Ipod is no more popular, there is no more demand for that kind of products. On the other side, if there is no enough free information about something in particular, info ebook about that matter will always find buyers. When free info appears somewhere, product is harder to sell. Product quality is very important in that case.

Why these examples? To show you importance of research about niche where you plan to promote product. No demand, no sales. Narrow niche - high conversion, small volume, longer life of product. Popular product - high demand, high conversion, HUGE competition, shorter life of product. Choose.

Let's see one example in "Water for Gas" subniche. There was only one product, "Hydrostar plans" with bad sales page, and affiliate link to mp3 site. Not popular, few sales here and there. We need to keep in mind, that most people interested for this kind of product have some kind of technical skills, what means that they are more (let's say) intelligent than an average buyer. Others want a proof that plans are effective. What further means that you can't sell to them repackaged plans freely available on an other places.

Then appeared "Water4Gas", with good sales page (kind of - I did it, you can too). Long story short, that product becomes popular, and shortly after, more similar products appeared on marketplace. "Hydrostar plans" didn't change sales page to fight competition and use that hype. What more, he/she added more leaks (affiliate links to competitors! and additional nonpaying product). Wrong move in the wrong time. It sinks.

This little story can show importance to recognize potential popular product, jump into the train early to use growing demand, and jump out when demand starts to dying due to overloading of similar products and high competition. What means that you need to track products (niche) trends, and learn to use higher demand to make profit faster.

So, how to choose that product?

For successful promotion, choose clickbank product with gravity (grav) between 10 and 20, or even less, if you like testing, with referred (%refd) sales between 70% and 90% (not less than 50%). In the next part is explained how to calculate your real commission ($/sale), what is an important factor too. It shows possible refunds, means quality of product.

However, if you are beginner in affiliate marketing, avoid to promote clickbank product from "make money" categories (business/marketing), choose products from your niche (you know about), collect what is possible more details about that product, buy it if you can. You can promote product successfully only if you believe that product is good.

O.K., frame this: Research your niche, identify problems (lack of info), look for solutions at MarketPlace, and sell that product(s) to group(s) who have a problem(s). There is always some problem somewhere, and you can cash on it.

Clickbank referral program

ClickBank referral program for new affiliates was discounted long time ago. Why? When you see all that Ebooks about "How to earn money with Clickbank" or "how to earn money promoting clickbank products", sounds logically, is it?

There is still active program for referring new vendors. Looking at ClickBank XML file size, it is more than doubled in one year (2007/2008). Clickbank marketplace is overloaded with new vendors and "vendors". Due to popularity of Clickbank, it is hard to refer new vendor. My advice - don't bother with referral programs. Choose niche, find a few good products and promote them.

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