Succeeding as an Affiliate

There are many ways to be successful as an affiliate, but this article lays out the process that we have found to be the most reliable and sustainable while still being very inexpensive. Many affiliates try to skip steps 2 & 3 and go straight from picking a product to immediately promoting it. This makes it really difficult to succeed, and doesn't set up your business for success, so make sure to implement the steps in the order they're listed here.

By reading this article, watching the videos, spending plenty of time working on each step, and taking consistent action every day, you have a much higher chance of being successful as a ClickBank affiliate.

The following subjects are covered in this article:

Step 1: Choose Your Niche

The more you focus your efforts on understanding one area, the better you will understand the needs of the customers in that area.

In this video, we share strategies and tips for picking a niche for your new affiliate business. Be sure to spend plenty of time on this step! Don't rush it when getting started.

Step 2: Build Your Platform

Building a platform gives you a means of communicating with potential customers.

In this video, we walk you through the process of developing and building your platform, which will be the basis for growing your audience and promoting products to them. 

Resources

You can buy your own web hosting and web design from a number of different providers. For a list of our recommended partners for web hosting and more, see our Partners page

We typically do not recommend using free web hosting solutions, because you don't technically own your website and can potentially lose what you've built at any time. It is worth investing a relatively small amount of money to use a paid web hosting service.

Step 3: Grow Your Audience

Attracting a larger audience means a larger pool of potential customers.

In this video, we'll share the steps you can take to start growing your audience and getting traffic to your platform. If you're not sure how to get visitors to your site, this is the video for you! Just make sure you've watched Steps 1 and 2 first.

Resources

Step 4: Promote Products

Once you've created a platform and an audience, you can begin to promote products.

In this video, we'll talk about how you can promote products to your audience in a way that will get you the most sales and make your audience love you at the same time! There are lots of great strategies and tactics in this video, but your success hinges on having done the previous steps properly, so don't jump straight into promoting products before spending time on the earlier steps.

Traffic Sources

There are many different ways to get traffic, both free and paid. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages.

Paid

Paid traffic, such as PPC or banner advertising, is usually more controllable and scalable. If what you're doing is working, you can spend more to grow your traffic. It also has the advantage of being able to start very quickly, if not immediately. The main disadvantage of paid traffic is that it can be quite expensive and requires a lot of supervision to avoid losing money. Paid advertising platforms such as Google AdWords can also have strict requirements regarding advertisers and ads, so be sure to pay close attention to all rules and warnings.

Free

Free traffic, such as organic search engine visitors, video marketing, or social media/forum traffic, can be a great way to get highly relevant visitors to your website without paying for each visitor. Building a platform that delivers free traffic can be a great long-term affiliate marketing strategy. However, the downsides of free traffic are that it can take a lot of time and effort before you start seeing results, and can be unreliable.

Conversion Rates

Your conversion rate is the percentage of order form visits that become purchases. It depends on many different factors:

  • Where is your traffic coming from? (Free vs paid, warm vs cold)
  • How well does your audience know, like, and trust you? This can have a huge impact on your conversion rate.
  • Conversion rates can vary widely, even among products in the same niche. Things like sales copy, pricing, page layout, and vendor reputation can have a big impact on how many Hops it takes to convert a sale.

Because there are so many different factors that can affect conversion, there is no way to tell how many Hops it takes to lead to a sale. For some affiliates it may only take a few Hops, whereas others may take hundreds or more.

Resources

Next Steps

Once you've gone through these videos and have a solid understanding of how to be a successful affiliate, visit our article on Using the Marketplace to start finding products to promote.

FAQ

Q: Do I need several accounts to promote different products as an affiliate?

A: No. As an affiliate, you can promote as many different products you want through a single account. You don't need to sign up for separate accounts.

Q: Do I need my own website to start as an affiliate?

A: No. You can advertise using your own website, but you don't need one. You can also promote products using online ads, email newsletters, online classifieds, or search engine advertising.

Q: Does ClickBank provide ads with images to use in product promotions?

A: No. However, many ClickBank vendors provide ads, copy, and other resources directly to affiliates through their Affiliate Tools page or through their marketplace listing.

Have more questions? Submit a request

39 Comments

  • 0
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    Bob Read

    Very helpful information thank you very much. I will watch these again, I found video 3 to be excellent info... 

    A Question. I am 69 and interested in mobile homes trailers and camping, does that sound too broad to be a niche? 

    I would like to do products that retired people would use, especially when they are traveling in their trailers or RV's. 

    Is this a good idea?

  • 0
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    Owen Allen

    Bob,

    A good strategy would be to go to the Marketplace and look at what products are there. If you see products that fall into that category and that you'd be interested in promoting, then the niche could work for you.

  • 0
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    Stephanie Werba

    do I need to put a badge on the post on my wordpress if I'm an affiliate

  • 0
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    Owen Allen

    Stephanie,

    The ClickBank Trust Badge is only required on pages that link directly to a ClickBank order form, so you don't have to put it on your pages if you're an affiliate.

  • 0
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    Megan Bester

    Hi, thank you for your videos, very helpful. I was just wondering if it's possible as an affiliate to contact vendors and ask them if they are willing to provide sample copies of their items for sale in order to then review and promote, and if yes how do I go about contacting a vendor? Thank you

  • 0
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    Owen Allen

    Megan,

    Vendors can provide contact information and other tools for affiliates in the Marketplace. If you look for vendors with an Affiliate Tools Page (which is displayed on the vendor spotlight for most vendors), that page often contains a contact email for affiliates, as well as other resources that may be helpful.

    It's up to each vendor to decide if they want to provide sample or review copies, but you are welcome to ask them.

  • 0
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    Jeff Howell

    if i promote an ad through facebook how does my ad link to my clickbank account?

  • 0
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    joão l. b. almeida

    Hi Owen. Thanks for the post. It's clarified so much about the approaches to promote a product. I am using banner ads, but now that I know that it has a low conversion I am rethinking my strategy.

    I have a doubt. Can you offer products to your audience that are not related to your niche? For example, I have a niche about boxing fights, but I promote products about fitness, diet and betting. Is that OK, or you have better suggestions?

  • 1
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    Owen Allen

    Jeff,

    The ad on Facebook should use a HopLink, which links the customer to the product pitch page and includes information about the affiliate who sent them there (you). Take a look at the Using HopLinks article for more information about creating these links.

  • 1
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    Owen Allen


    João,

    We don't put any restrictions on what products you promote. If you're familiar with products in multiple areas, then you could be successful promoting products in multiple niches.

  • 0
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    joão l. b. almeida

    Hi Owen,

    Thanks for your reply. Sorry for not being so clear on my question. My question is more about the products that you (the affiliate) is going to offer to your audience. Following these 4 steps, niche, platform, audience and products. When you are in step 4 (products), after you have already chosen your niche, which type of products would be nice to offer to your audience? Products related to your niche? For example, if your niche is fitness, you offer products about fitness. However, my niche is boxing and there are no relevant products about boxing, so Can I choose different products to offer, not related to my niche? Does this approach fit to the 4 steps "Succeeding as an Affiliate"? I know there is no magic formula, but if you know about any affiliate that has succeed this way, I would appreciate a lot your thoughts.

  • 0
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    Owen Allen

    João,

    One of the considerations that we mentioned when picking a niche is whether products are available. If you've chosen a niche and there aren't any available products in it, you could consider broadening or changing that niche.

    For example, if you're interested in boxing but no boxing-related products are available, you could broaden out into related sports, include health and fitness products that might be of interest to boxers, or choose another niche that's of interest to you.

  • 0
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    John Daugherty

    Joao,

    Hey sorry I do not know how to properly accent your name.  It sounds to me like you may want to look more toward fitness, and even bigger personal improvement.  If you are a boxer, think about the things you did to get in shape or to make your mind stronger for the fight.  Your market is people who want to be in shape and are actually motivated thinkers.  Find products down those lines to promote and you will be able to relate to them, therefore relate to your customers.  That is my humble non-millionaire, new to this world, and just trying to figure it out as well opinion.

    Edited by John Daugherty
  • 0
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    joão l. b. almeida

    Hi John and Owen,
    Thanks a lot for the support. It helped me a lot.

    It is just an observation: the video "Step 4: promote products" says "Only promente what you believe in", and check out the product beforehand. I will have to separate a time and go deeper into each product I want to promote. At the meanwhile I will just keep my strategy of banner ads, more like AdSense style. I am just sharing my thoughts.

  • 0
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    Randy Wayne Poole

    Thanks Owen
    I was one of those people wandering from spot to spot, system to system, funnel to funnel...and then I received an offer from you I couldn't refuse. Im still having trouble comprehending how all the services come together and allow an affiliate to maintain sustainability. Am example, i opened a Google Analytics account in order obtain a Tracking Code,
    UA Code, a Google profile ID for an Individual Account. Now I have a ClickBank Account which I thought would reflect any hits for sales through GIMsytems Emailing platform. I have 5000 subscribers, and Im looking for ways to send additional traffic to my page. I have an account with InBoxPro, as a necessity because its linked to GIM.
    I own a domain named smalltimelove.com, and am trying to complete the DNS process of pointing my domain to my acct with Power Lead System...so at this rate, left alone to find my way with all of the aforementioned considered, the current learning curve I've managed to hitch to should only take me 153 years to learn. Not bad if you're a turtle.
    But your videos are unique to me because I understand more after having listened to what you said, and I conclude that this is occurring at a rate which is totally unprecedented for Randy Poole. It actually feels like there is tangible momentum to go forward, or is it inspiration? Or does possessing an understanding of these components result in strength, or courage to move forward and take responsibility for this call to take action? I still need help to configure what i need, in order to save myself from wasting time signing into services which I may not yet need.

    Thanks again. Awesome Teaching.

  • 0
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    Nichelle Bogan

    Hello,
    I just watched and took notes on all of the videos posted here. They were very informative. I would like to know is there a series such as this on promoting other people's products if you do not have your own website? I am worried about trying to become a blogger or an authority. What if I don't have the proper writing talent? So, I am just wondering about the other affiliate method. Thanks.

  • 0
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    Owen Allen

    Nichelle,

    Having your own website isn't mandatory, although you want to have some way of reaching lots of people. Some affiliates have been successful with Youtube channels, podcasts, forum presences, or advertising on other people's sites.

    If you find a good niche, an area where you have expertise, then you can be successful. Writing skill is useful, but your own experience is a big part of finding a writing voice that resonates with people.

  • 0
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    Sidney Lake

    I just came onboard with CB. I have a passion about home security, safety and surveillance as a category. Would I need to narrow my niche focus down? A few of my sub-categories within this/these areas would be home surveillance, home safety or buglar deterrence and home automation. Do i need to niche down even further for example; down to motion activated outdoor lighting? How can I see more examples of actual websites or WordPress sites of actual CB affiliates?

  • 0
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    Owen Allen

    Sidney,

    If you want to see if a niche is big enough, a good strategy is to go to the Marketplace and look at what products are there. If you see products that fall into that category and that you'd be interested in promoting, then the niche could work for you.

    Once you've found a vendor in the marketplace, you can see their website by clicking the title of their marketplace entry.

  • 0
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    daniel bettoun

    hello there

    3 questions :

    1: can i promote as many products as i want? along with of course many hop links in result

    2: can i open my own website and sell your products in it? is there a limit to how many i can promote on on website?

    3: can i sell more products as well from different companies\ providers? or if i am opening a website it needs to exclusively be with only clickbank products? 

     

     

  • 0
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    Owen Allen

    Daniel,

    1. There's no limit to the number of products you can promote as an affiliate, or the number of HopLinks you can use.

    2. You can create your own website and promote products from there. As before, there's no limit.

    3. You can also sell or promote products from other companies.

  • 0
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    Bruce Johnson

    Great information. Thanks

  • 0
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    Samuel Howard

    Owen,

    Thanks for a very informative training! These principles touched on ideas I already knew and brought more light to what I have been doing incorrectly. 

    What do your recommend for new starters who just have a hard time with just where to begin with all this good information?

    You said in your videos there is no quick success turn around and this is very true but what is a realistic expectation?

    Thanks

    Samuel

  • 0
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    Owen Allen

    Samuel,

    For people who are just starting out, I'd recommend reviewing the Affiliate section of the Knowledge base before you begin, and then starting slowly. If you're doing ad purchases, you can start with smaller ones and figure out what works best for you; if you're building your own site to drive traffic, you can build an audience base over time.

    In terms of realistic expectations, I can't offer concrete numbers. If you understand your audience, then you'll have some success in advertising to them, but there are a lot of variables that impact how much you can make and how quickly.

    You can also take a look at the Other Resources article, which has a few tools outside of the Knowledge Base that might be useful for you.

    Edited by Owen Allen
  • 0
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    Ethan Robinson

    I'm new here and I am posting multiple videos on YouTube promoting products, but am still not getting any sales or money in that matter. Are there any other ways of promoting products that will really get me money and sales!

  • 0
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    Owen Allen

    Ethan,

    Make sure that you're using correctly formatted HopLinks - see the Using HopLinks article for more information.

    Keep in mind that it can also take a bit of time to build up an audience and see results from your promotions. So, give it some time to see if your promotional efforts are worthwhile.

  • 0
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    Sphesihle Khuzwayo

    When I sign in to google Adwords I am required to put email address and website, I phoned them they told me if you dont have a website you must use a landing page,beside PPC what other landing pages must i use in order to use google adword?

    Where must we get those landing pages?

  • 0
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    Owen Allen

    Sphesihle,

    You'll have to refer to Google's documentation and assistance when setting up Google Adwords. The Integrated Sales Reporting article explains how to connect Google Adwords with your ClickBank account, though.

  • 0
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    Mark Newton

    Hi Owen,

    I have a Weebly website with a paid for domain and I like the platform so before I start to learn how to set up a domain with a new host and gain experience with WordPress, I thought I'd see if there's any need to if I already have experience with the Weebly platform?

    I can buy a separate domain and establish a new blog based site easily but I don't want to go that route if you advise the Wordpress route instead.

    Regards

    Mark N

  • 0
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    Owen Allen

    Mark,

    Either platform should work fine for an affiliate business.

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