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How To Really Make Money with Clickbank

written by John Chow on March 15, 2010

The Ultimate Online Profit Model

The following is the business model I use to make thousands of dollars every week with Clickbank. This is going to be long and detail post (over 2,300 words). I encourage you to read though the whole thing because this model works and has been proven over and over by myself and other affiliate marketers. While this model shows how to make money with Clickbank, the model can be applied to any other affiliate network or product (even a blog). I just happen to like Clickbank because information is one of the easiest products to promote and sell on the Internet.

Hit And Run Marketing Doesn’t Work

Most new affiliate marketers getting into the business do what I call hit and run affiliate marketing. It’s the model they’re all familiar with because it’s the one they hear about the most. The hit and run marketing steps goes something like this.

  1. Select a Clickbank (or any affiliate) product to promote
  2. Send traffic to the landing page with PPC/PPV
  3. PROFIT!

I’m sure you’ve all heard stories of affiliate marketers spending $10K a day to make $20K? It sounds great doesn’t it? The only problem is there are not many affiliate marketers who can do that. Also, those who are making a profit using the hit and run model are leaving a ton of money on the table.

Spending money on advertising to get one customer that you will never see again is one of the dumbest business move you can make. That’s like Best Buy spending $50K on a front page ad on the Wall Street Journal to have those customers buy one item and then never visit the store again. They’re go under in less than six months if that’s the case!

Another problem with the hit and run model is it’s not very stable. You have to keep spending money on advertising or the sales stop. You risk the chance of Google slapping your landing page because of a low quality score, you may run out of money tweaking the ads/keywords/landing pages, competition can drive up bids to the point where you can’t make a profit, the advertiser may pull the offer, etc.

Real Businesses Are Built On Repeat Customers

clickbank

Too many people think of Internet marketing as a game. It’s not. It’s a real business and real businesses are built on repeat customers. A restaurant can’t survive with first time customers only. The Apple Store, or any retail store, would go under in a few months if their customers visit the store once and never visit again.

If someone buys one Apple product, then he is likely to buy another product from Apple. The same thing holds true for affiliate marketing. If someone buys a Clickbank product from you, he is likely to buy another one. But that will never happen if all you do is hit and run marketing because you’ll never see that person again.

Repeat business is the key. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to market to a repeat customer than it is to acquire a new one. In fact, the average business spend seven times more in marketing cost to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. When you’re doing hit and run affiliate marketing, what you are in fact doing is spending that 7X more money to acquire a customer for SOMEONE ELSE! Can you see now why most hit and run affiliate marketers don’t make money?

A Clickbank Affiliate Model That Works

My Clickbank business model is more complex than the hit and run model. It will require more work on your part but unlike the the hit and run model, you will make way more money with it. Here are the steps.

  1. Choose a series of Clickbank products in the same niche to promote
  2. Create a free eBook about the niche to give away
  3. Create a squeeze page offering the free ebook
  4. Send traffic to the squeeze page
  5. Capture the lead coming to the squeeze page
  6. Deploy email auto responders with the Clickbank products
  7. Watch the money rack up in your Clickbank account

The main difference between my model and the hit and run model is I’m building a customer base. Instead of sending leads directly to the Clickbank landing page to buy the product and never see them again, I send them to my squeeze page to capture their emails so I can market products to them for weeks, months and years to come. This is a far more powerful marketing method.

The Money Is In The List

I’ve said many times before that the money is in the list but it bears repeating. The money really is in the list. Look at all the really big affiliate marketers. Guys like Frank Kern, John Reese, Shoemoney, etc. They all have huge mailing lists. And because they have huge lists, they don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands per month on advertising. John Reese refers to his list as his ATM. He just goes to it whenever he needs to make a withdraw.

When Shoe launched Shoemoney System on Clickbank, he built a prelaunch list of over 100,000 names. While Shoe did well with his system, that list he built is worth an extra $1 million a year in additional revenue because he’ll be able to use the list to promote other related products.

If you want to become a big Clickbank affiliate marketer (or blogger), you absolutely need an email list. That is your customer base. Without one, you’ll just be another hit and run affiliate marketer working for peanuts. Stop building other people’s customer base and start building your own.

Step 1 – Choose a Series of Clickbank Products

Clickbank Marketplace

The first step to making money from Clickbank is to decide on the niche you want to target. Ideally, the niche should be a niche that you have a knowledge of and a passion for. If that’s not the case, then you can still make money with it but you wouldn’t have as much fun and to me, having fun is even more important than making the money.

The Clickbank Marketplace list thousands of products for you to promote. You can sort search results based on commission, sales, popularity and a bunch of other criteria. I like to get a copy of the product before deciding on whether to promote it. You can either email the advertiser for a copy or buy it from them and then refund it if you don’t want to promote it. All Clickbank products are covered by a 60 day money back policy.

Step 2 – Create a Free eBook

The best way to make people give you their email address is to offer them something they find valuable for free. This is where the eBook comes in. You can write it yourself or hire Michael Kwan to write it. If you’re really cheap, you can use a PLR eBook. They’re just like PLR articles but in eBook size. Personally, I recommend you write it yourself or hire out the writing. The quality of PLR leaves a lot to be desired.

The free eBook doesn’t have to be very big, 20 to 60 pages should do, but it does need to cover the same niche as the Clickbank products you plan to promote. This is why I said you should have a knowledge of the niche you plan to deal in.

Step 3 – Create a Squeeze Page To Promote The eBook

Affiliate Marketing 101

A squeeze page is a special kind of landing page that is created solely to act as an opt in for information – primarily email addresses – from potential subscribers. When people visit my blog, I want them to subscribe to my email list. However, because there is so much to see and read, the number of sign ups isn’t as high as it could be. By creating a separate squeeze page, the email sign up rate can skyrocket. While I can capture maybe 5% of people visiting my blog, I have seen squeeze pages with conversion rate has high as 60%!

The above screen shot is the squeeze page Jonathan Volk used to capture emails. By offering his Affiliate Marketing 101 guide for free, Jonathan was able to get 50% of the people visiting that page to opt into his email list.

The easiest way to create a squeeze page is with Squeeze Theme by Unique Blog Designs. Squeeze Theme is powered by WordPress and will allow you to create custom squeeze pages in minutes. Jonathan and I both use Squeeze Theme to create all our squeeze pages.

To use Squeeze Theme, all you need to do is choose the theme you want to run, add the text, photo or video, your Aweber email codes and let Squeeze Theme do the rest. Before Squeeze Theme came along, I had a designer do all my squeeze pages. Now, Squeeze Theme does it for me in just a few minutes.

Step 4 – Send Traffic To The Squeeze Page

Once the squeeze page has been created, you need to send traffic to it. The quickest way to do that is to use pay per click or pay per view advertising. However, that’s also the most expensive way. There are tons of lower cost or free methods for traffic generation. A little creatively can go a long way.

Try to think outside the box when it comes to traffic building. Look at what Jonathan did for his eBook. Instead of using PPC to send traffic to his squeeze page, he set up a contest to give away three Apple iPads. Two iPads will go to the top two affiliates who send the most referrals. However, the the 3rd iPad will be awarded to a random affiliate on a draw based on one entry per referral. By referring a friend to download Jonathan’s eBook, you earn an entry. Refer two friends and earn two entries and so on.

The three iPads will cost Jonathan about $1,800. Not cheap but not out of the budget for someone who want to build a real affiliate marketing business. So far, Jonathan’s promotion has worked extremely well and he should have a list of over 10,000 names before the contest is over. If 100,000 names are worth $1 million a year, 10,000 names would be worth $100,000 a year. That’s not a bad return on $1,800!

Step 5 – Capture The Lead

$1 Aweber Offer

Lead capturing is the most important part of affiliate marketing. Your business is built around your list. Anything you can do to increase its size means more money for you. During the Affiliate Marketing 101 contest, Jonathan offered a 27″ iMac to anyone who can take over my 1st place spot in seven days. Nobody was able to beat me but you can bet a lot of people tried and Jonathan’s list benefited as a result.

While a squeeze page maybe the best way to get someone to give you his email address, you still need a system to handle and host the list. My recommended email service is Aweber. I’ve been using them for years and they are by far the best in the business. Aweber works seamlessly with Squeeze Theme and its web interface allows you to access it from any computer, anywhere in the world.

Aweber offers a $1 trial account for all new customers. The account is just like a normal Aweber account and includes unlimited email campaigns, newsletter, broadcasts and follow ups. It’s a great way to test drive Aweber to see what it can do for you. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you find that email marketing is not for you, contact Aweber within 30 days and they’ll give you the $1 back.

Step 6 – Deploy Auto Responders

Auto responders are emails that go out at a set date and interval. When someone subscribe to my blog, they are sent a series of auto responder emails. These emails are design to do three things.

  1. Build a relationship with the subscriber
  2. Promote my blog and brand
  3. Recommend products and services that help solve the reader’s problem

Email auto responder

Setting up the auto responder is extremely easy and is no different than sending out a normal email. If you’re using Aweber, all you have to do is click “Follow Up” in the Message tab. This will allow you to create a follow up message to be sent to your new subscriber at a later date. Aweber allows you to set up an unlimited number of auto responders.

If you check the screen shot above, you’ll see that my first auto responder email goes out the instant someone signs up to my list. The second follow up email out goes out four days after the first and the rest goes out in one week intervals until there are no more follow ups.

This is also known as a sales funnel. The first few emails helps build your relationship with the subscriber. Later emails in the funnel are used to promote the Clickbank products. This setup works far better than any hit and run system. Research has shown that most prospect won’t buy on the first visit or email. They need to be hit over and over again. This is where the auto responder comes in. The sooner you set it up, the faster you’ll be in the money.

Step 7 – Watch The Money Rack Up In The Clickbank Account

7 Day Clickbank Earnings

This step is optional but I really enjoy it. :)

You now have the formula to a make massive amounts of money with Clickbank (or any other affiliate network). It takes more work than the hit and run model but the payoffs are much higher. I hope you enjoy this post and I hope it opened your eyes to what it really takes to make money with Clickbank. Your comments are welcome. If you felt I’ve left anything out and you have a question, please post it.

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