The “secret” to making money online is becoming a ClickBank affiliate. It’s not even really a secret – but people are more than willing to use your curiosity to part you and your money, so they’ll try to make the process sound mysterious and sell you the information that you can easily get for free if you look hard enough.
The basic process is this: find a way to get people to click on a link that you wrote, and then, once they get to the page they clicked-through to, buy the product that’s being sold on the other end. That breaks down into five steps: setting up your ClickBank affiliate account, choosing a product to write links to, writing the link, getting people to look at the link, and getting people to click on the link.
Setting up your ClickBank affiliate account isn’t difficult – the folks at ClickBank make it pretty easy. Just go to ClickBank.com and sign up. They provide instructions. Once you’re set up, click on “Marketplace”, and check out all of the products you could be selling. Pick one that you think people will need, and run with it.
Writing your link is the part people get lost on. There are a few easy ways to do it: USFreeAds.com and GoArticles.com. They are easy, but they aren’t great. The great ways to write your links require more work, but the improved traffic is obvious. The great ways are to start a blog at WordPress or to start a Squidoo lens and write articles for them. Of course, online consumers aren’t stupid, and they’ll expect a blog or a lens to be well-written. The ‘easy’ sites don’t have to be as well-written, but really, your link is less likely to be clicked on if it’s in an ad or a crappy article. So dedicate yourself to writing well right off the bat.
Getting people to look at your link is a two-part process: first, you have to center your article around a phrase that’s highly relevant to your target audience. For example, this article has the phrase “ClickBank Affiliate” a dozen or so times, because I want people who are searching “ClickBank Affiliate” to see this. Putting your subject phrase throughout your article makes search engines more likely to put your article close to the top. Second, you have to make your link something that naturally flows out of your article. If it looks out-of-place or hype-y, it won’t get any attention.
Getting people to click on your link is as easy as provoking interest in it. You can do that by making it mysterious (Think you know everything about X?) or vital (This information could save you thousands of dollars!) or to-the-point (To learn more about Y, click here.) There are a thousand ways to get people’s dander up, and that’s the goal.
Once someone has clicked on the link, they’ll be taken to the sales page for whatever product you’re promoting, and if they choose to buy the product, then you’ve just made yourself some money! Of course, only 1-10% of people who click through to a sales page actually buy from it, so you’re not going to make massive bank off of one article. The good thing is that, once an article is in place, it’s going to stick around, driving traffic to the sales page, for a long, long time. That gives you time to go write more articles! After you’ve got a few hundred articles written (might take a year or more if you’re not focused about it), you should start regularly pulling in some passable side income.
Are there shortcuts? Kind of. Every method requires time, money, or both. There is lots of software out there that can help you out with plans, tools, and templates if you’re serious about trying to make some money as a ClickBank affiliate. It all requires some investment, but the best are really worth it. I’ve found that From The Inside (link below) does a great job of actually telling you what the good and bad parts are about each product, and the guy that runs it isn’t at all ashamed to tell you that he’ll make money if you buy from the links in his reviews – it doesn’t make him hold any punches, though.