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Why Promoting Clickbank On HubPages Will Cost You

Updated on August 17, 2010
The Clickbank way of doing business.
The Clickbank way of doing business.

One of the most important things a new affiliate must do is sign up with several ad networks. This may include Clickbank for information products, Commission Junction for retail goods and CPA networks.

It’s a catch 22 situation as it is crucial to success but it also creates challenges. As a new affiliate you need a lot of offers at your disposal so you can figure out what works for you. The only way to get that is to jump around from network to network and test how each one performs. Even the exact same offer on Copeac, for example, may have a higher conversion rate or payout elsewhere.

Problematically those just getting started can’t work up much clout with each individual network. Any company will focus on top earners, not rookies. You may be earning commissions though various channels, and not quite hitting the payment threshold because you are spread thin.

When You Stop Promoting, Clickbank Starts Stealing

Any network wants all your traffic, not just some of it. Clickbank is a worst offender when it comes to attempts to force loyalty among affiliates. If you take a break from promoting Clickbank, the system will steal earnings in your account bi-weekly, until you are left with nothing. It’s the most systematically cut-throat and downright sleazy policy I’ve encountered yet in the industry.

After putting hard work into SEO, writing content and massaging the look of my hubs, it’s tough to communicate how frustrating it is to see Clickbank non- nonchalantly rip me off in an automated fashion.

My stats on Clickbank. The deductions raise my blood pressure.
My stats on Clickbank. The deductions raise my blood pressure.

As shown in the screenshot, I started promoting Clickbank offers in November 2009 and managed to make $60.87 in commissions. Having better opportunities elsewhere I stopped spending time on Clickbank experiments. I found that although I got a good cut of the action per sale, conversion rates tended to be horrid compared to the offers I’ve promoted in the past: CPA and physical products.

Starting in February Clickbank started deducting $1 bi-weekly from my account. The theft escalated in May when the deductions were raised to $5 bi-weekly. So the account balance that started as $60.87 is now $19.87.

You may be wondering why I’m allowing this to happen. Firstly, I can’t protest, its part of Clickbank policies and when I signed up I agreed to their terms and conditions. Secondly, Clickbank has shown me the company’s true colours. Even if I start earning commissions again to avoid the deductions I can be sure there will be other shady practices going on that are less transparent. I’ll willing to take a small hit on commissions now so I don’t get swindled for thousands in stolen commissions down the line.

High conversion rates have this effect.
High conversion rates have this effect.

CPA Networks Destroy Clickbank

By default Adsense is optimised on your hubs automatically. Nearly every hubber then adds Amazon or eBay modules for additional affiliate earnings. You may have read that adding Clickbank hoplinks is a great way to further supplement the income streams on your hubs. For some that may be true, however many of the hubbers pushing Clickbank haven’t done CPA marketing.

Most of the affiliates doing CPA marketing today started with Clickbank. While CPA networks screen applicants, Clickbank will accept anyone. Since most usually take the path of least resistance, Clickbank seems like the logical place to start. Unfortunately, some fail to realize that you usually need to get past gatekeepers in order to brush shoulders with professionals. If you bypass Clickbank altogether, you’ll probably be better off.

In my case, I started with CPA networks first. A number of my sites were pulling in earnings strictly from SEO so naturally I felt CPA marketing would work just as well on HubPages. That hunch has proven to be true. While AdSense and Amazon are a great match on nearly any hub, there are occasions when CPA links have far more earning potential than either. Of course it can take some experimentation to find the right offer, and the traffic has to be there.

Free stuff from AzoogleAds (now Epic Direct).
Free stuff from AzoogleAds (now Epic Direct).

My Favourite CPA Networks

How CPA is Different

CPA stands for cost per action. When the user completes the desired action, you get paid. Like AdSense the user doesn’t necessary have to buy anything, although some CPA offers are based on sales. Most of the time you’ll be generating leads for the advertiser. This can be anything ranging from users creating profiles on dating sites to surfers filling in their details to get quotes on auto insurance.

Trustworthy CPA Networks

Within the last few years tons of tiny CPA networks have popped up. Some are literally run by immature brats barely out of high school. Unfortunately I’ve heard numerous sob stories (see mine above, haha) from affiliates that haven’t been paid by rinky-dink CPA networks.

Naturally I only recommend working with larger networks that have been around for five years or more and have a good reputation among the CPA marketers I talk to. The two I feel are the best are Epic Direct (formerly AzoogleAds) and Neverblue. Both have paid me on time, every time. Between the two, you’ll have access to some of the best CPA offers out there.

Getting Approved

Once you sign up, someone at the network will review your application. If satisfactory, your future affiliate manager will call you up and ask about your experience in affiliate marketing. If not, call them and remember to not be intimidated. Basically they need to ensure you aren’t an actor hired by offshore frauders. It may sound bizarre but this has become a huge problem for ad networks in the last few years. You’ll probably be better off talking about your own sites rather than HubPages. Any experience in PPC (AdWords) or Social Advertising (Facebook Ads, MySpace) is a huge plus.

Go For It!

Now is the best time to step up your game and get your feet wet in CPA advertising. If you work with Clickbank and have been happy with the results, don’t let that stop you from going for better results with an established network like Epic Direct. The more options you can add to your bag of tricks, the better.

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    • profile image

      Benjamin King 6 years ago

      Sure Clickbank does charge you $5 for inactive accounts not bringing them in any money, but in my experience I have never been charged this fee because even at my worst times I have always been able to get sales here and there. I am one of those people who doesn't like to put all my eggs in the same basket so I will use different affiliate networks to bring in my sales, but Clickbank is definately worth using. My 2 favourite affiliate programs are both Clickbank and Paydotcom.

    • s82a84 profile image

      s82a84 6 years ago from Olympia

      You can promote CPA on hubpage? That's sweet! What the hell, I thought they are strict about promotional link on articles.

    • ma45frost profile image

      ma45frost 5 years ago from USA

      Wow... found your page minutes after I signed up with Clickbank. I had no idea Clickbank does this to its affiliate. I don't think I like that.

      Is there anyway you can take your money out if you want to take a break from promoting their products?

      Very useful information. Thanks for sharing. Vote up!

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 5 years ago from Aurora

      Most riff-off companies fail, without fail.

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