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The Gears that Turn Clickbank

Venturing into the world of the Clickbank marketplace requires that we start
from a fresh slate and not go in with any presumptions. The two presumptions
that seem to slow people up the most is that Clickbank is for internet guru
types who know every trick of the trade of internet technology and marketing to
be successful.

But Clickbank isn't a marketplace that requires that you have tremendous
technical knowledge to use. The designers of Clickbank have made most of the
functions you need to operate either as a merchant or as an affiliate in the
system fairly easy to use. That is one of the keys to why Clickbank is so
successful. So to smooth your entrance into using Clickbank, it pays to look at
the inner workings of the gears of Clickbank to get a feel for what you should
expect when you sign up and want to get going fast making money there.

Like a lot of successful online markets, Clickbank doesn't make anything and it
doesn't sell anything. The value Clickbank adds to the world of internet
commerce is that it provides a "place" for vendors of digital products can
place their goods for sale and for people skilled in marketing to take those
products and sell them to a large internet community. Clickbank has cashed in
on two basic principles which are (1) people who make things don't like to do
marketing and (2) people who love to do marketing don't like to make things. By
getting these two groups together, merchants, affiliates and Clickbank all take
away a nice profit because each makes the other successful.

Clickbank then at its core is a clearing house that works as a meeting gourd
for merchants, affiliates and customers who can order the product, pay for it
and download it or receive it by some other digital delivery system. It is very
important to understand that Clickbank ONLY DEALS IN DIGITAL PRODUCTS. So you
cannot sell clock radios, salt shakers or children's clothing through
Clickbank. If you were looking at Clickbank for any other than a digital
product, look elsewhere for market such as eBay. The kinds of products
Clickbank will allow to be sold include ebooks, computer courses, digital music
and software programs and games.

Clickbank also offers real value to both merchants and affiliates because they
handle all of the financial details and take a lot of the administrative work
off of its members. Clickbank operates a fully functional merchant account so
there is no need to use PayPal, 2co or any other funds management system. The
handling of money is secure so when a sale is made, the money goes to Clickbank
who then pays the affiliate his or her commission, keeps what is deserves by way
of commission for the sale and delivers the balance to the merchant efficiently
and without fail.

The "gears" of selling on Clickbank are simple and straightforward. To get set
up, you step through the registration procedure as you would with any
membership service online. For a merchant, there is a one time set up fee of
$50 which should be easy to make back because Clickbank can get your product
into the hands of over 150,000 affiliates which represent a customer base that
numbers in the millions.

Once you have you account, you begin listing your digital products in the
marketplace. You don't need many accounts for more than one product as
Clickbank can be used to sell up to 50 products under one account identity.
Once you have completed setting up the product on the service, you then take a
link that is given to you which can be used to direct customers to your
Clickbank product listing and you put it on your web site. When affiliates pass
customers to Clickbank to sell them the product, Clickbank will take them to
your web site to use that link to complete the ordering process. It is a truly
collaborate process and yet entirely seamless because Clickbank has taken care
of the details.

You have a little more information to give to Clickbank such as the commission
you will give to affiliates who sell your products and the URL for the "Thank
You" web page that you will use to assist the customer in downloading what they
bought.

And with those simple steps, you are a Clickbank merchant. It's as easy as that.

The Data Entry Clickbank Product Category

When you get started on Clickbank, any guide to success in this marketplace
will tell you to quickly get product out there. The good thing about the
process of introducing product to Clickbank is that they make it easy. There
are tens of thousands of digital products on Clickbank so to be able to get
your product noticed, the categorization system they have in place is important
and you will be glad its there.

Of course, you probably don't pick a category and just like that have product
ready to put out there. Unless you are brokering other people's product, there
is a niche which is your skill and the product you will offer to the world
through Clickbank. Because Clickbank deals with all forms of digital products,
you would expect every legal category to be represented. But if your product
falls under the umbrella of an "data entry product", you will find no category
to fit it. That is because Clickbank eliminated it which makes this the largest
internet marketplace in the world, not a good place for you to market your
product.

While we don't have a publicized reason why Clickbank doesn't support the data
entry category anymore but we know that the product line historically had a
very high rate of people asking for refunds. This means one of two things.
Either a lot of people were putting scam products or shoddy merchandise out on
the Clickbank market and it was getting returned by unhappy customers or this
category was one most prone to Clickbank "shoplifting" which is easy to pull
off when downloading a digital product from a service that offers an iron clan
return policy as Clickbank does.

It seems that part of the problem is not so much that data entry products
themselves are scams but that they offer a false expectation. When a program is
advertised as a way to "get rich" just doing data entry and the software will
give you the tools to do that, this can lead to an expectation by the customer
that its just that easy. But then when the real road to prosperity is far more
than just data entry but includes an ability to do affiliate level marketing on
the internet to get those riches, that is discouraging to people so they want,
and get, a refund from Chickbank.

By definition data entry is just that. It is typing known data into a form to
build content. A typical data entry job offered freelance on the internet
involves something like visiting 1000 web sites and filling out a form about
the web site owners or working with an online data entry format to help the
owner's bulk up a database. Data entry is actually a fairly old job in the
world of data processing but it is not as prevalent now that data can be
captured digitally and the need for human data entry is less common.

Marketing a data entry product on Clickbank or anywhere might involve creating
a product name and marketing text that gives the wrong impression. Your program
might be a very good program to help the buyer get his or her feet down in the
field of affiliate marketing but there will be some need to go through a
learning curve and the path to revenue flow will be filled with a lot of trial
and error. But this is not to say that the data entry programs you have to
offer are not solid products of real value to the customer.

The fault lies with those who have gone before you on Clickbank and advertised
deceptively causing such a high refund rate. Now Clickbank is "snake bit" and
has closed the product category entirely. And that is a real shame.

Some Seriously Profitable Clickbank Tips

The "buzz" about Clickbank could convince you that you can virtually fall
backward into money using this service. And while Clickbank does do all it can
to make the major functions of buying and selling easy to do, it does take some
savvy to know the insider tips to really make big money in this marketplace.
There is no disputing that Clickbank is the largest marketplace of its kind in
the world and one of the biggest hot trends of this decade in terms of internet
marketing and money making opportunities. But success has a price which means
that many of the big deals are pretty much played out and you have to go in
knowing how to look for the good deals that have yet to be tapped. So a few
seriously profitable Clickbank tips can help your profitability in this big
marketplace along nicely.

Your Clickbank ID is a central code you must have to put into your link. That
is the one step that must happen for money to come your way. But you can be a
bit savvy how you create that ID in the first place. One clever way to keep
your ID from broadcasting that you are a Clickbank citizen is to use a more
critic ID code. Something like research4u2 or profits2008 and excellent
choices. These have the feel of an internet business and less of one person out
on Clickbank trolling for profits.

Having a website is a great step to maximize your Clickbank listings. By adding
links to Clickbank so your website visitors can go there and use the marketplace
to buy your products, Clickbank can virtually replace your catalog pages and
your shopping cart with a much smoother operation that is easy to keep up to
date and that puts your products into a broader affiliate market with no work
from you as well. Keep in mind your niche markets addressed by your site. You
might have a wide variety of products out on Clickbank but not all of them fit
with the theme of your web site. So if your web site is devoted to musical
instruments, focus the way you add links and don't include links to products
that don't fit there. If you have products that have no home to be promoted on
any of your websites, it's easy enough to set up a new one.

If you are thinking about selecting a product as an affiliate on Clickbank and
you want to promote it, you want to know that product is doing well in its home
setting so you can capture some of that momentum. So do a little research on the
websites that support the products you are thinking about. It's easy enough to
run some keyword searches and to find the page rank of those web sites. That
will give you an idea if the website owner who is behind this product is
putting time and money into SEO on the site which would help it generate bigger
profits.

Never stop learning how to make your product listings on Clickbank more
successful or how to become a successful affiliate. Make it a private study to
learn how to spot products that are on the verge of a boom of success. This
will take some intuition and some watching the market so you learn where
different products, product groups or categories are going. Like a stock market
at any time some products will be surging in sales potential while others are
tapering off.

It will take some dedication, creativity and even some courage to make bold
moves to keep on top of your accounts and keep them profitable week to week.
But if you treat your Clickbank management as part of your larger job of
becoming successful on the internet, these efforts will pay off.

Some Clickbank Basics

You have to be somewhat in the know to even have heard the name "Clickbank"
much less know what it is. This is funny because the truth is that Clickbank is
far and away the largest internet marketplace for digital products and
affiliates who want to sell them in the entire internet. That puts Clickbank in
its niche on a par with Amazon or Ebay and yet few have heard of Clickbank. It
just keeps running smoothly serving the internet community without fanfare.

When Clickbank came along, it really stepped into a nightmare scenario of
online marketing and smoothed out the rough edges. In the infancy of internet
marketing getting set up as an online marketer meant you had to find someone to
handle credit card payments. To do this you had to have what was called a
"merchant account" with an actual credit card company and the requirements to
qualify for such an account were out of reach for most new internet merchants
just trying to get established.

As an example, if you got your internet business up and running, you could not
get a merchant account unless you were running a minimum of $1000 a month
through your business. Of course it was almost impossible to get that kind of
business moving through your site if you could not offer credit card payment so
you were stuck. But from the credit card company's point of view, they were
protecting themselves if you sold something online and there were a lot of
refunds to be processed which made the entire relationship unprofitable for
them. So it was a lose lose situation for the credit companies and even more so
for the new internet marketer just trying to catch a break in the business.

ClickBank responded to this market need with the business goal of creating a
marketplace where sellers and buyers could work together selling digital
products with greater ease to benefit everybody. And considering that since
then Clickbank has grown to represent over 10,000 products and serve the needs
of over 100,000 partner affiliates, they certainly have been a success in their
business mission in life. They even stepped in and solved the merchant account
problem by handling all the money movement collecting sales for the products
they represent and distributing it to vendors easily and with no fuss so a
vendor can quickly get a product out on the marketplace with very little cost
or effort and see that product begin to return profits very quickly.

ClickBank knows that to continue to be a success they have to make doing
business through their marketplace simple and profitable for vendors with
products and affiliates who want to sell those products. They offer a
smorgasbord of tools especially to affiliates to study products to see which
ones to broker and to see statistically which ones are already a success or on
a trend toward greater success soon.

For the affiliate this means a lot of help figuring out how to be a success and
then tracking that success every step of the way and making adjustments to your
product mix quickly and easily. For the vendor this means that affiliates have
a natural mechanism to pick up their product and get it out on the internet
markets quickly. That means quick sales with little or no effort in the
marketing process for the vendor.

This is not to say that ClickBank is internet marking for idiots and it
certainly is no place for scam artists. The regulations for both affiliates and
vendors are complicated and you need to understand them. So take some time when
getting signed up with Clickbank to understand what is expected of you. Make no
mistake, Clickbank is a marketplace like any other. Your product will stand and
fall on its own value so you will have to offer something of value to
customers. But as a genuine market its one of the best the internet has to
offer and the huge success in terms of products sold and satisfied affiliates
attests to that.

Clickbank is About More than Just the Stuff

Most of us think of Clickbank as a service dedicated entirely to digital
products. A digital product by definition is a something you sell. It might be
an e-book about anything from children's stories to an analysis of clinical
depression to a guidebook to how to play a great game of golf. It might be a
software package that makes life easier or a really cool game you invented. But
by definition, it is "something". Which means that in that context, Clickbank is
all about the stuff.

One of ClickBank's rules of living for merchants lines up with the product only
approach to the marketplace because you are expected to deliver the product
within 24 hours of payment and preferably immediately by download. The method
of delivery might vary. It can be by download, by email or by directing the
customer to a membership site to download the product. Clickbank doesn't get
into the details as long as the customer gets his product inside of the time
window.

While the variety of predicts that can be sold through the Clickbank
marketplace is unlimited, Clickbank does not have any provision for selling
services using their terrific marketplace tools. That 24 hour rule which is
entirely reasonable for a digital product is really problematic if the nature
of your internet business is a service you provide, even if the outcome is a
product. A service is delivered based on a lot of variables that the merchant
cannot necessarily dictate. Some services are continuous with periodic payments
either based on milestones or on deliverables. In either case, a specified
delivery date is questionable and to limit that time frame to 24 hours
virtually out of the question.

So many merchants have found ways to take advantage of the excellent
marketplace infrastructure and the merchant account services of Clickbank to do
business with clients that work within the 24 hour product delivery restriction.
A good example is ghostwriting. A customer can contact a merchant using
ClickBank's communication resources to make arrangements for the creation of a
series of articles. But the actual "product" would not be created within the
Clickbank merchandising system until the product is complete and ready for
delivery. Then the customer and buy the product which is an outcome of the
service and use Clickbank's systems to work with the ghostwriter.

Whether you organize your service to be moved through Clickbank in advance or
after you complete the service, the key is for the price to be well understood
before logging the project into Clickbank. This is healthy for the business
relationship between seller and buyer and keeps your nose clean with Clickbank
as well. It might take some work to convert your hourly billed service into a
fixed price product. But simply focus on the outcome. So if you work by the
hour to produce a requirements document for a project, you can set the fixed
price when the project is near the end and you set up the payment vehicle as a
Clickbank digital service.

Also keep in mind that Clickbank expects to see delivery. Your service may have
consisted of a series of 15 phone calls where you offer expert guidance and
advance in your field of expertise. So to create a deliverable, keep your notes
per session and prepare a summary at the end that captures the results of your
sessions as well as your conclusions and you can "sell" that to your client for
the price of the total consulting charges for the 15 sessions.

It really just takes some creativity and ability to not just think outside the
box to work within the Clickbank box to offer your services as a digital
product. But as an internet entrepreneur, being innovative is second nature to
you.

The Infamous Clickbank Refund Policy

Getting a new product out on Clickbank is always a moment of supreme optimism.
What we envision is getting a product out there on the marketplace that truly
takes it by storm and is one of those big sellers people write books about. And
there is not reason to believe that any one product on Clickbank might just get
there.

It's good to go into this kind of situation with your eyes wide open though and
be aware that one thing can put a monkey wrench into the best marketing plan for
a product. And that is the Clickbank refund policy. Now a good refund policy has
to be at the very heart of a marketplace like Clickbank so people can buy with
confidence knowing they can get a refund if the time comes. And since Clickbank
is a full fledged merchant account in its own right, they can handle refunds
directly.

Unfortunately a refund policy that is iron clad is also an open door for people
trying to scam the system. Even for the best of products with a huge army of
happy and satisfied customers, you will be asked for a refund from time to
time. That is to be expected. But when what is happening is someone is trying
to get your product for free milking the refund policy from Clickbank, that's
just wrong.

The Clickbank extensive tracking system tells us that five percent of sales in
their marketplace come back as refund requests. When you give a buyer a refund,
you might hear any sort of complaint. Some of them are legitimate and others are
bizarre. And others just won't offer an explanation for why they want the
refund. For many of these refund requests, the odds are you are dealing with an
unethical buyer.

The problem is that all of ClickBank's products are digital products. That
means your e-book, your software product or your music can be downloaded and
paid for and then the buyer can ask for a refund, no questions asked. And
because the product is digital, it's pretty silly to ask for the product back
as they have a copy on their computer and perhaps copied to other computers.
You can paint it like you want, its just plain theft no mater how you cut it.

This is a tough problem to solve. Even if the entire Clickbank community banned
together to fight the problem, about the only possible solution is pretty weak.
A reference system could be created that recorded users who were habitual
customers of the refund policy. Then if that reference system actually worked,
you could conceivably refuse service to a refund policy abuser who had been
"busted". But this is a system fraught with holes at best. A refund abuser is
intestinally stealing product so they are going to be one step ahead of your
tracking list. It simply is not that hard to come back into Clickbank as a
customer with a new ID and new credit and your tracking system is out the
window.

It would be nice to come to the end of our discussion with an announcement that
the problem has been solved. But that is not the case yet. Clickbank is aware of
the problem and is putting time and effort against it. But for now we will have
to wait until Clickbank comes up with a solution. But its still worth
supporting a strong refund policy because that is what makes Clickbank a solid
marketplace. And if you do have to entire a 5% refund but keep 95% of the sales
Clickbank delivers to you, that still is not too shabby.

More Than One Way to Wealth on Clickbank

As is true in any marketplace, the potential for money making is diverse and
always new in a place where merchants and buyers are always coming together to
negotiate and make deals happen. So as an entrepreneur it's a good idea to have
a fix on the various approaches to profitability in what is the largest internet
marketplace in the world -- Clickbank.

Clickbank at any given time represents over 10,000 products that any affiliate
with the proper Clickbank account can promote and sell. So by becoming an
affiliate, that huge catalog is entirely at your disposal to sell without the
need for you to request permission or any formality whatsoever. This is the
Clickbank agreement with the sellers which is one of the real secrets to
success in the marketplace.

Signing up to become an affiliate on Clickbank is shockingly easy and you can
have an account. Simply log into clickbank.com and step through the process in
a matter of moments. And you are ready to go. Now just proceed to the products
catalog and work through the categories to find the niche you want to promote
and the products that you feel have the best potential for profits.

Next to selling as an affiliate, putting your own products into the Clickbank
marketplace is an outstanding means to make big money. And setting up a product
is almost as easy as becoming an affiliate. Your merchant account on Clickbank
is a one time fee of $50 which you can make back quickly on the sale of one
product that moves well. And the economy of Clickbank is you can sell 50
products at a time from the same account for that same set up fee. You are sure
to make at least $1 per product to pay back that set up fee.

Once you get your products set up and some sales logged, there is an army of
over 150,000 marketers really to take your product and get it out there into
the sale stream. That means that after you do the basic set up steps, you are
out of the internet marketing game and you can hand off that little problem to
experts who are skilled at selling literally thousands of units of your
product. You don't have to do a thing. Just set a commission level which is a
percentage the affiliate will make for his hard work and then just sit back and
let that army of skilled internet marketers do their stuff. The money can just
roll in while you focus on creating new product.

Of course you can get proactive and not wait for strangers to promote your
product. If you have a sales team, put them to work as Clickbank affiliates and
they can focus exclusively on your products. Clickbank provides their
outstanding marketplace structure and one of the best run merchant accounts on
the internet to assure your money is collected and accounted for correctly and
safely and delivered to you on time.

There are other ways to pick up additional revenue as Clickbank rewards any
kind of behavior that benefits the market. If you send Clickbank customers of
the service itself, that referral gets a reward. There are also specialty
Clickbank promotional concepts being created and promoted all the time like the
Clickbank storefront. So keep your eye on the Clickbank newsletters and "What's
New?" web pages because it is such a fast moving marketplace that you may find
a new moneymaking opportunity out there ready for you to jump into and pull yet
more profits your way through Clickbank.

Minimum Overhead -- Maximum Sales

There is an old phrase about technology that goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix
it". That principle may be true of one of the many great features about the
Clickbank marketplace and how they set you up to put product into their
markets. When you want to sell in Clickbank, the process is pretty simple. You
create an account like you do on any other website. And there is a $50 fee to
become a valid vendor to sell product through the Clickbank affiliate
membership. But when you consider that Clickbank has over 150,000 affiliates
ready to pick up your digital product and sell it and that many of these
affiliates are some of the most accomplished internet marketers in cyberspace,
you are probably going to make that $50 back on your first product into the
system.

A mistake some new merchant make is to see a Clickbank account as a single
product account. So if you want to put several products out into the system,
the assumption is you need several dozen accounts. This simply is not the
Clickbank operating philosophy. They want you to put as much product as is
reasonable into the system so everybody makes plenty of money. After all, not
only do the affiliates make money on each sale, you prosper and Clickbank takes
a little commission as well. That those little commissions add up to big bucks
for the people who run this very large marketplace. They know they are not
going to get rich on those $50 start up fees.

The fact that Clickbank by policy encourages you to offer many products with
only one account set up is reflected in the way your account is structured. You
can sell up to fifty digital products on Clickbank and do it all under a single
account. This gives you the chance to take full advantage of your $50
application fee (which represents $1 per product being sold if you take full
advantage of Clickbank). But it is also much easier to manage and the more
products you sell under one umbrella, the better your ranking in the Clickbank
marketplace will be. These are pretty compelling motivations to use one account
to handle all of your product offerings.

To fully take advantage of Clickbank's resources to sell a lot of products
under one account, you should plan to organize the products to step around the
Clickbank landing page facility. The landing page is your home base for your
product which the affiliates who grab your products and sell them across the
internet must have to link their customers to your product.

Now in the past even though Clickbank encourages you to sell many products
under one account, they only supported one landing page per account. This
problem is being worked out within Clickbank but it has been a weakness of the
Clickbank infrastructure worth avoiding. So to step around using Clickbank's
landing page entirely, simply set up a landing page for each product outside of
Clickbank. This way you also have all the flexibility in the world to make that
small web site as elaborate as you want to and to expand and modify it because
you are doing so outside of the Clickbank system. Your sales page is
independent of the system so you can make it part of your overall internet
marketing program which may include other approaches to the internet market
such as MySpace and YouTube.

There are resources both sold commercially and within Clickbank to intercept
incoming traffic for a product and send it to the landing page you have set up
externally to sell the product. But work with the system so your affiliates get
the sale and are energized to create more sales so they make you successful.
They are a group well worth taking care of.

The Highs and Lows of Clickbank

There has been a lot said and written about Clickbank and most of it is glowing
about what a great organization it is and a great marketplace. But there is no
company or even internet service that is perfect. So as you study getting
involved with the Clickbank "movement", it is good to know the great things
that this, the largest internet marketplace ahs to offer. But it is also to
know the weaknesses of Clickbank as well. That way you don't have any surprises
and nothing comes up to surprise you once you are an active member of the
community.

Clickbank definitely puts their best foot forward in taking good care of their
merchants and their affiliates. And that is as it should be because these two
large communities are the very reason why the service is such a smashing
success. So without question the ease at which you can sign onto Clickbank, set
up an account as a merchant or as an affiliate and be right into the middle of
the marketplace makes this one of Clickbank's greatest advantages.

The only negative about not only the ease of getting started on Clickbank but
of the hundreds or thousands of glowing reviews and articles about the service
is that it is easy for a "newbie" to come to Clickbank thinking that with 20
minutes of signup, they will be making big money in the Clickbank marketplace.
Of course, seasoned Clickbank veterans know that the laws of economics have not
been suspended in the world of Clickbank and the law that says "you only get
back what you put into something" still is in full force even here on the
internet. So there is work to be done to become really prosperous on Clickbank.
But because the potential return on the investment is so huge, that effort is
likely to pay you back handsomely.

The customer service side of the ClickBank corporate culture is both their
strongest hand to play and their Achilles Heal in many respects. Clickbank has
done a superior job of setting up policies and an approach to customer service
that is clear to the customer and easy to take advantage of. The language of
their help pages is well done and Clickbank maintains a live help desk so there
is never a time when a customer cannot get help to move to the next phase. So
this is one business area that Clickbank truly shines at.

The Achilles Heal which also comes form their zeal to offer world class
customer service is the Clickbank refund policy which while certainly a great
policy for the customer, it is one that causes endless problems for Clickbank,
its merchants and affiliates. In context all products sold in Clickbank are
digital products. That means a digital copy is delivered after the sale. But
this also means that the very idea of a "return" is absurd. And yet Clickbank
has an iron clad, no questions asked refund policy.

This policy opens the door for massive problems because there really is no way
to check customers who are buying digital products and then filing for a
refund. That means that this refund policy is basically open season for
shoplifting or theft on Clickbank. Any customer that wishes to can purchase a
product, pay for it and download it or acquire the product and any product keys
or codes needed to use it. Then it is
just as easy to get a refund as there is that "no questions asked" policy. So
that customer can virtually continue to get products, pay for them and then
cash in on the refund. Since there really is no such thing as a "return", they
get to keep the product free of charge.

It's a virtual authorized and legal method of getting free products from
Clickbank. It's a problem that Clickbank is addressing as best they can. One
possible solution that will only work on some products is a follow up usage
code. You can issue a temporary code to enable the product to work for the
timeframe of the refund period. Then you can implement internal timings into
the software so the customer must receive a permanent code after the trial or
refund period passes. In that way if customers "steal" your digital product,
it's only for a few weeks. But obviously this solution won't work for every
product.

Taking Clickbank to the Next Level

The thing that is so great for you when you sign on to be an affiliate in
Clickbank is also the thing that can be so frustrating about the marketplace
and that is how big it is. With over 10,000 products available for you to
promote, just the task of discovering them all and then selecting and
organizing them, can be a real challenge. And if you have wrestled with how to
get as much Clickbank product in front of your customers and still keep an
orderly system you can work with and your customers can use, a little help goes
a long way.

As with a lot of marketing needs though, Clickbank has a way to help you kick
your management of the huge Clickbank catalog to another level. The resource
they give you is the Clickbank Mall which is a tool you can have for free that
is a great way to organize product. It can also be a huge boost to your sales
and profitability as well. There are extra profits to be made using the
Clickbank Mall and promoting the Clickbank products using the mall concept. So
this one tool can create various streams of income for you just doing what you
already do well, marketing products on Clickbank.

Because you can use the Clickbank Mall concept to organize the better products
on Clickbank into understandable categories, you make it a lot easier for your
customers to find the things they want to buy through you. The potential for
commissions becomes quite lucrative as many Clickbank affiliates have reported
up to 75% commissions and the ability to market thousands of Clickbank products
because of the organizational power of the Clickbank Mall.

One way that the Clickbank Mall is so profitable is that it can serve as a way
to centralize the use of some powerful internet marketing tools that Clickbank
makes available. When you set up a Clickbank marketplace, you can provide
webmasters with a free Clickbank search box that will bring customers right to
your mall to make purchases. Then whenever a customer uses that search box, you
get a commission on top of your existing Clickbank commission as a direct
Clickbank affiliate. It is yet another layer of profitability for you.

On top of these benefits, Clickbank has an advertising mechanism that works
much like the Google Adsense approach but it far more profitable because it is
targeted at the Clickbank affiliate team and enhancing your profitability,
which of course makes them and the merchants on Clickbank more profitable as
well. You can use the Clickbank Ads free and they even better than Adsense
because you earn a commission by the sale rather than just by the click so your
take per sale is far greater than the tiny amounts pay per click can generate.

The beauty of the Clickbank mall is that once you step through the process of
creating your own free mall, it really will become your marketing presence that
you can use as your total front end for your affiliate business. In laymen's
terms that means that if you have been looking for a way to make a lot of money
through internet marketing using affiliate sales but you don't want the overhead
and fuss of your own web site with all the cost and technical effort that takes,
the Clickbank Mall is the perfect solution. You can of course use your existing
web property and expand the marketing value with the search bar and links that
will make the Clickbank Mall work virtually as another page of your web site.

But if you have been looking to get into internet marketing in a big way
without the burden of a web site, this is the perfect solution for you also.
The Clickbank Mall will generate a fully functional marketplace web site that
can provide the front end for your sales and generate large volumes of
Clickbank sales but still be presented to your customers as your web site and
your marketplace.

When you begin to get moving using this powerful feature of Clickbank, the
money making functions that are still to discover will continue to convince you
that this is a great way to go. And the more you exploit this resource, the more
money you make for yourself and your partners. That's why this is such a great
tool that Clickbank provides to its affiliates.

Driving the Customers to Clickbank

Clickbank is a great marketplace and it's worth the work and small expense to
get your digital product out there because of the huge exposure it can get to a
very large army of affiliates. But just putting your product into the market and
letting it go at that to wait for the affiliates to do their job not only
doesn't seem to be enough, there is a lot more you can do to make the sales of
your Clickbank entries take off. So its just smart business to find the best
internet marketing techniques that will pay the most rewards in terms of sales
through Clickbank.

Learning to advertise your Clickbank affiliate is just as much a big priority
as it was to learn to market your website or products you sell there via
internet marketing methods. And how to be a success marketing on the internet
is something that is changing all the time as the internet changes and evolves.
It's a living place and each year we have to stay on top of what works to bring
the customers in. And in our case we adapt that knowledge to specifically
promote our Clickbank campaigns combines the power of Clickbank with your own
marketing talents for that one two punch to wealth.

When you add Clickbank to your marketing plan, you have put a powerful resource
in your corner. But because you are now listing on what is hands down the
largest internet marketplace in the world, its best to go back and evaluate
your entire internet marketing plan in light of what you are doing on
Clickbank. That is because when you were driving customers to your web site to
make a sale, it was pretty much a one customer at a time approach to sales
which takes a long time to see real progress. But since there are over 150,000
affiliates on Clickbank, the more you do to make your product successful and
drive customers to Clickbank, the more you can see the return on that
investment come by in multiples of hundreds or thousands.

It's not a bad idea to approach your internet marketing research from square
one looking for advice and tools that are focused specifically on how to use
your web site to create traffic to your Clickbank products. If the person
behind a web site that is promoting training or tools in marketing for
Clickbank knows their stuff, they can take your sales to the next level. As
with anything else, networking with your friends who also are learning the
ropes of internet marketing in a Clickbank environment is a great way to sort
out the good tools and experts from those who are not going to benefit your
business.

In fact, if you are already involved in affiliate marketing directly with other
internet merchants, you can pick their brains about Clickbank training and tools
for moving product through that market place. That same body of affiliates may
be your first Clickbank representatives because they know the good of your
product line and they will want to see your efforts to drive traffic their way
work out well.

When you first learned internet marketing before you stepped into the Clickbank
world, it took some work, some false starts and some real life experiences
before you got good at it. This is natural and sadly your early internet
marketing programs are not as successful until you get an understanding for
what really drives traffic and what doesn't. But you are not alone in your
objectives or your desires to learn to become an expert internet marketer and
make the top ranks of sellers on Clickbank. And while those who have real world
knowledge and advice to offer to help you get over your learning curve to become
a Clickbank big money affiliate are probably selling that knowledge, maybe even
through Clickbank, if that knowledge comes from real experience with the
marketplace and grounded in both success and failure in Clickbank internet
marketing efforts, you can learn a lot from the trial and error of others.

But be sure the source you are taking advantage of is credible in that way
before you plop down your hard earned money to get your moneys worth in
knowledge that will more than pay you back for the work you are doing to learn
to market on Clickbank.

A Little Bragging Goes a Long Way

Its one thing to have a great product and it's quite another to make sure
customers know about it. And that principle is even more vitally true when you
list your product on the Clickbank marketplace. There are literally tens of
thousands of products available for affiliates to pick up and sell within
Clickbank. And even though there are over 150,000 affiliates, that is a huge
marketing environment.

The literature about Clickbank would give you the impression that all you have
to do is set up your account on Clickbank and get your digital product out
there into the Clickbank market and, presto, you will see massive sales by the
weekend. But if it was that easy, there would be millions of people on
Clickbank. The laws of economics still prevail and this is a marketplace so
even after you get your product out there, there are some basic things you must
be prepared to do.

For one thing, to make it in any marketplace and Clickbank is no exception, you
have to offer a product that gives value to the consumer. For one thing, one of
the most notorious problems in Clickbank is also one of its strongest customer
service features which is the iron clad money back guarantee. So the one thing
you can do to keep that well known Clickbank issue from taking away the good
sales you do get is to make sure your product is rock solid quality and that
the customer gets more than he expects from the purchase.

Another very basic principle of marketing but its worth bring back up here
because it is even more applicable in the virtual marketplace of Clickbank is
originality. For your product to stand out, it has to have something to offer
the customer that nobody else offers. That can be tough because the categories
of digital products, which are all that Clickbank sells, are somewhat limited.
You cannot sell a product that requires a physical delivery. It must be
entirely digital which means you are talking about ebooks, digital music,
online courses and software and games for the most part.

Clickbank does a good job of providing a categorization system so people
looking for types of product can get to it and then for a special kind of
product in your niche can find you. But even with that, you are going to be "on
the shelf" with a lot of other products that look and seem very much like your
product. Finding a way to make your product unique and one that touches a need
in the consumer that nobody else touches is the goal of any business. So look
at the competition even when you are designing your product and long before you
put it out there into the Clickbank to find that "hook" that will make the
affiliate pick up your product rather than others like it and for customers
want to buy it for its unique twist as well.

But even if you have the most unique and highly needed product there is, its
not going anywhere unless you shout about it. A little bragging goes a lot way
in the word of marketing and on the internet, getting attention to your
Clickbank product calls for a lot of bragging. It starts with your product name
and the marketing description you use to make the product shout out right from
the Clickbank marketplace product pages.

Make sure the uniqueness of your product is highlighted in the title and every
aspect of your description and marketing of the product. Never stop thinking of
ways to promote your product. By making sure the world knows how great it is,
you are also make sure that more people get to use it and your Clickbank sales
are rewarding and profitable for you.




Tools Clickbank Gives You

Before the world of the internet, you made money by offering services to
customers. And part of what made you a success was a great set of tools. So to
be a great car mechanic, you need outstanding wrenches and a good shop. A
dentist has his drills and a stone mason his trowel. So we should not be too
surprised that to be a success in the world of internet marketing, good tools
will make or break you here too.

Clickbank is clearly one of the real hot online resources to make big profits
from affiliate sales but you still have to know your tools and know your stuff
to make it work. Anyone who takes advantage of Clickbank wants to become one of
the great affiliates using the system. So like that smart mechanism, dentist or
stone mason, using the tools that Clickbank gives you to become a success will
make or break you in this virtual world of sales and marketing.

The ClickBank calculator is a powerful tool because knowing how to use it makes
enables you to compute your commission on each product without having to have a
degree in math. You can access the calculator at
http://www.clickbankguide.com/calculator.htm/ Along with the calculator itself,
this is where Clickbank lays out a table of most used prices so you can
understand how the tool functions. With these starter tools, you can create
your own price tables that will be your roadmap to success.

At "template" is a common format that you can use over and over again in any
setting to save you from constantly coming up with a layout for a letter, a
survey or some other form of communications. Often webmasters use one template
for all the web pages on a site they are creating. It's a great tool for
standardizing what works and sticking with it. The tool set that ClickBank
provides is a great source of such templates for you to supply to your
affiliates or for you to use for your own internet marketing and merchandising.

Mass mailing through email is the backbone of any successful internet marketing
campaign. While in this day and age, avoiding becoming a spammer is a science in
itself, that doesn't eliminate the need for a good mass mailing tool to add to
your arsenal of tools you will use to reduce the work of running your online
business. But because ClickBank knows that a tool to send out large amounts of
emails to customers or prospective customers, they are there to give you a
group email tool.

One problem that can become a nightmare to keep straight is what affiliates are
to be considered future partners and which ones are future competition or "the
enemy". So a tool to organize your affiliate contact list can be gold when you
get a large affiliate list which will happen when you become successful. In
addition to keeping tabs who are already onboard with you as an affiliate
ClickBank's tools helps you track potential partners so you can contact them
before they become "the enemy". Better to join up with successful internet
marketers and everyone work together to get rich than work against each other
and lose.

Keyword optimization may be one of the hottest internet marketing tricks of the
trade to really drive traffic to your website. Keywords are what Google and
search engines use to rank web sites so if you have your keywords "optimized"
that means your web site will perform well on Google or Yahoo or one of the
other big search engines. ClickBank can help with finding the right keywords to
optimize so as you build up your online content and article base, you are
naturally driving traffic online to generate revenue from your site marketing
tools. Using this tool well is just smart merchandising online.

This is just a sampling of the types of tools that ClickBank provides to make
you a success. When you are a success, they are a success so take the time to
learn to use these tools well and to discover the vast array of other tools out
there from ClickBank so you can use convert this knowledge into online gold for
your internet business.

The Wizard of Clickbank

If you are attracted to the huge money making possibilities of Clickbank, you
are not alone. The affiliate marketing profit potential on Clickbank are huge
and. But like any new market, you have to learn how to work the system to your
advantage. The quicker become a wizard of Clickbank, the faster you will make
some real money in the digital marketplace.

Clickbank is in every way a real marketplace. As such it is a place where
legitimate vendors offer real products that add value to customer's lives and
purchases are made. Too many people see the internet as one big scam artist
paradise. But you are not a scam artist and you just want to make a good return
on your product and make a good living like anyone else. That is what Clickbank
is all about.

From a merchant standpoint, you will have achieved "wizard" status when you are
selling a wide variety of product consistently. So to get started, shoot for
putting five products into the marketplace. Examine the product categories to
find niches that fit your product catalog. Don't be drawn to the categories
that promote money making schemes as they are just that -- schemes which you
don't want to be associated with by your long term customers on Clickbank.

After you have your start up products to put onto Clickbank, waste no time in
finding good keywords that will draw traffic to those items to get sales
moving. Keyword selection is a science in its own right but you can use
internet tools to find good keywords that have a track record of pulling
traffic historically. Don't be afraid to buy or use such keyword optimizers as
any tool that can help you legally make money in your business is worth using.

If you can come up with twenty or thirty solid keywords that you can build your
Clickbank marketing plan around, that's a solid starting place. With the
keywords captured, now create articles around those keywords. Now we are not
all writers but there are good ghostwriters on services like Rent-a-Coder that
can kick out these articles for you at a reasonable rate. The writer may know
keyword optimization rules but they are not that hard to get used to. Basically
if the keyword is in the article title and then 3-4 times per 500 word article,
that's pretty good optimization.

There are a lot of good article sites you can use to put your articles into
internet circulation and that will drive traffic to your products well if your
keywords do their job for you. When you first are setting up for Clickbank,
establish accounts on these article sites because you will use them a lot.
Don't just rest with a few articles but try to get an initial set of four or
five per product out there and then follow up over the next week or two, try to
kick out two or three a day around each product using those keywords and get
them into circulation.

There are always new ways for you to get awareness of your product raised
through various internet methods of promotion and you should explore them all.
You can place ads on popular internet services to build traffic to your
Clickbank items. RSS feeds and ads on related internet sites are also well
proven methods of creating more sales for you.

You can see that the "set up" for these various services has to be a part of
your entrance into the Clickbank system. But once you are rolling, you will use
them over and over and get plenty of good from your membership fees. And you
will have a system you can repeat with new products as well and build your
Clickbank catalog and build profits along the way as well.

The Breakdown on What Clickbank Can do for You

There are a lot of reasons that Clickbank has been a successful gateway to
internet profitability for so many people. But two big reasons so many find
success with the Clickbank system is that it is simple to understand and get
started on quickly and everything in the Clickbank system works. It is such a
well run internet marketing resource that a lot of people have turned to it as
a payment gateway rather than PayPal or one of the other more well known funds
processing agencies on the web.

Clickbank does an outstanding job of handling third party credit card
transactions. It really is a critical park of why their business works because
Clickbank lists well over ten thousand products and is used by over one hundred
thousand partner affiliates so that kind of marketplace has to handle money
reliably and safely to survive. And because everything about Clickbank is
digital including all products and the means of delivery, the accountability
for handling payments has to be absolutely rock solid dependable and
trustworthy.

The ability for any internet marketer to quickly and easily become a Clickbank
affiliate is another reason it is such a stunning success. It's simplistic to
select a product from the Clickbank marketplace once you have a free account on
the service which you can easily set up on their web site. And once you have
that account, Clickbank generates tracking codes so it can tell when you have
selected a digital product and started promoting it online. This means with the
simple step of creating an account, the door is open for you to sell ten
thousand products on your internet marketing web presence with little more work
than that. Suddenly you go from a newcomer to cyberspace to the owner of a
Wal-Mart of the web.

Any marketplace in cyberspace or not relies on the meeting of sellers and
buyers. And to be a success Clickbank also has to make it easy for creators of
digital products to sell their goods through their marketplace too. For a
seller, there is a fee to get started on Clickbank but considering that by
putting their product into this marketer, it could get picked up by an army of
100,000 sellers, a $50 start up fee and a small percentage commission to
Clickbank is entirely reasonable. And since Clickbank is replacing your routine
credit card processor and handling all of those transaction fees, their
commission is pretty much a wash.

Now you just get your product into the Clickbank library. You might have to
hold your breath to get a sale because you need one sale to get noticed by the
marketing software in Clickbank. But once you are listed, the odds are somebody
is going to pick up your product and begin to sell it. Clickbank tracks and
records those sales scrupulously so other affiliates will start to pay
attention as your sales pick up and before long you are making tons of sales
being promoted by this sales army you never met and have no idea who they are.
You don't have to know. They are making you rich and getting a handsome
commission for themselves in the process. It's a beautiful partnership between
strangers where everybody wins.

Clickbank is a full service marketplace for the seller because you don't have
to find affiliates or even promote your product. Just get it out there and once
the momentum of sales picks up, it can snowball into a huge seller for you. The
profits roll into your Clickbank account and on your regular distribution
cycles you established when you set up the account, Clickbank sends the money
to your bank account. It's just that simple and just that quick.

Clickbank Refunds and What You Can Do About It

The internet is not the only place that refunds is an issue to a retailer. From
the perspective of the internet merchant, customer satisfaction is of the
highest priority. Because competition for customer loyalty is fierce, you know
that keeping repeat customers coming back is the fastest and best way to long
term financial success in sales. So offering an iron clan refund guarantee if
the customer is not satisfied sends a message to the consumer that their
happiness is top priority to you and that they can shop with you in confidence.

As customers, we like to know that there is a return or refund policy in place.
We come to expect that when we get home with a product that it will be to our
satisfaction of the store will stand behind the product and give us a refund no
questions asked. Sadly even outside the internet, refund fraud happens all the
time. People bring back stolen merchandise for refund to exchange what they
took for money. There are so many scams like this that one solution the
non-internet retail world has turned to is store credits so the money never
leaves the store.

Within the world of Clickbank marketing, we are faced with a similar dilemma.
Except because our products are digital, the problem is compounded
significantly. Clickbank offers an iron clad refund guarantee. But unlike more
wary merchants, there is no "store credit" to protect store funds. And because
both Clickbank merchants and affiliates must abide by the policies of the
marketplace, if Clickbank gives a refund, so do you.

The problem is there really is no such thing as a "return" when it comes to a
digital product. Because you download the product to the customer, once they
have a digital copy, they have it and there is no way to make sure they are not
keeping it. And that little quirk of digital sales means that the Clickbank
policy is pretty much open season for internet thieves and shoplifters if they
chose to buy and download products, cash in on the policy and just keep getting
their money back.

While Clickbank is working to solve this problem, we need to know what we can
do until it is solved to cut down on Clickbank refunds taking profits out of
our accounts which we very much deserve to keep. The first line of defense, of
course, is legitimate refunds because of customer dissatisfaction. Put extra
work and effort into putting onto Clickbank only products of the highest
quality so there is little room for complaint. That is part of it. But the
other part is making sure customer perception of the product is accurate.

On the internet, overselling a product is almost a way of life. We all seem to
turn into infomercial merchants and we sometimes give the impression our
product might be something it isn't. So go back to your web site and
specifically your sales language. It's ok to use good marketing language on
those pages. But be sure you are telling the customer the truth so there is no
reason for them to have a case to say that you sold them something that was not
up to what was claimed. Have others read your marketing copy and get to know the
product so they can confirm that what is being sold is what the customer gets.

By building strong customer relationships and building a community of repeat
customers, you are more secure not to have to give refunds constantly. It's an
old adage of business but the best defense against lost business is satisfying
the customer. Other than that we can only trust that Clickbank will eventually
solve the problem and just keep on selling and doing the best we can.

Ebook Publication is a Breeze on Clickbank

A lot has changed in the world because of the internet and nowhere is that more
noticeable than the publishing industry. At one time the big publishing houses
ruled the land like wizards from stone castles and any fledgling author who
wanted to have a prayer to get a book published had to scale those walls. That
meant a lot of talented writers and some excellent books never saw the light of
day because the executives in those companies did not see a profit margin in it
for them.

Just as in the music industry where music distributing has been completely
overhauled by the internet, publishing has gone through a similar revolution.
It's a people's revolution too because no longer is it the large publishing
houses that tell the public what they can or cannot read. Now good authors can
get their works out there simply by producing an ebook. And merchandising
services like Clickbank have completed the cycle by making merchandising,
marketing and distribution a breeze as well.

There was a time that the term "self publishing" created the image of some
pitiful quack with an axe to grind paying one of those do it yourself companies
to put his book into prepaid print to be sold out of the back seat of his car.
But there is a new respectability to self publishing because so many ebooks
have reached the public that were of just as high a quality anything the big
publishers could have put out. And for the aspiring author, moving to an
internet based business model when it comes to publishing your book makes a lot
of sense.

It is the ability of even writers just starting out to be a big success with
online publishing that has made this revolution possible. And there is no doubt
that the reason for that ability becoming so easy for writers to access is due
in a large part to Clickbank. Clickbank being an internet marketplace devoted
100% to digital product sales and distribution is an ideal place for an ebook
writer to find success. And by simply going through the well known steps for
merchandising their works, an author doesn't have to become an "expert"
internet marketer at all, just be good at following directions.

Step one is simply to write your book. You, the author know how to do this and
the merchandiser doesn't need to teach you your craft. A word processor any
sort is a fine tool for the composition and you can put the finished product
together as a PDF file or as a compiled ebook using a commercially available
ebook compiler.

Now to give Clickbank what they need to merchandise your ebook, you will need a
very simple web site. This doesn't have to have dancing babies on it, just
basically two pages of html that can respond to internet traffic flow when
Clickbank sends it your way. After setting up the web site, just follow
ClickBank's instructions to set up the ecommerce software on the site which
will also make possible the payment for the book. That's all you need and you
have the means to make a lot of money selling your ebook on Clickbank.

Now you are free to play with that web site and make it as elaborate as you
wish. But the beauty of the simplicity of the basic Clickbank system is it can
work at the barebones level just fine and let you go back to do what you are
good at doing and what you love to do which is to write. As you compose your
next masterpiece, things will be happening in the marketing of your existing
book on the market that you don't have to do a thing to help along.

The 150,000 affiliates on Clickbank will get wind of this new exciting ebook
product and they can quickly link it into their sales mechanism without even
telling you it happened. That means that a virtual internet marketing army will
be able to sell your book with complete liberty taking their small commission
and bulging out your bank account while you never know who they are and you
never will know. All you know is the market value of your book will be fully
realized on Clickbank which means financial stability for you. And for a
creative soul, that is a highly prized commodity.

Picking Products on Clickbank

When you are setting yourself up to be an affiliate on Clickbank, you almost go
through overload. Clickbank offers 10,000 products that you can pick from to
sell online, each of which usually offers a pretty generous commission. The
problem is how to go about picking just the right products to represent. You
don't have to worry about the merchants because under the Clickbank system, you
can select a product and immediately start selling it and Clickbank handles all
the commissions and interaction with the merchant entirely.

The anxiety comes because there are just so many products on Clickbank to pick
from that you could make it a full time job evaluating all of these products.
So developing a system to "drill down" into that massive catalog to products
that not only make sense for you to sell but that will represent maximum
profitability to you is essential.

It will be a system that will help you narrow down catalog of products you will
be excited about and a system that you can refine and improve as you get more
familiar not only with the Clickbank products but with the tools they give you
to evaluate those products.

The first and probably best way to "cut out from the herd" products that will
work for you as a Clickbank affiliate is category. Clickbank has it's merchants
assign specific categories to all of the products that are in the marketplace.
That way if you only want to sell adventure games, you can find that category
of product and then get more specific about the particular products that appeal
to you. There are two reasons category will be a big measure of your success
selling Clickbank products.

One is that you know your niche market. You are going to take these products to
a body of customers you know well. You know their tastes and they come to you to
get products to fit their specific interests and the area of specialized
knowledge that you share with your customer base. The second reason is that you
know what you like to sell and what you are good at selling. You might flounder
trying to sell self help courses in auto repair but be really good at selling
ebooks about business. And the more you can combine the products you are going
to sell with your particular market and your skills and interests, the better
chance you are going to sell a lot of units and make yourself and the Clickbank
merchant wealthy. That way everybody wins.

Using keywords similar to what your customers might use to find the products
you are selling, you can narrow down the selection of products to just those
you would want to sell. But Clickbank gives you a wealth of information that
can be analyzed to make the decisions of which ones make the final cut. You can
sort the product list you have developed by popularity to find out which of
these products is selling well for a large number of affiliates on Clickbank
already. It might be easy to want to pick the ones that are big sellers for
lots of affiliates but use some judgment here. Remember also that if a lot of
affiliates have picked up those products, the internet may be saturated with
offerings of that product and you might have a lot of competition for selling
the same Clickbank product offering. Look at trends of sales and see if you can
find products that are increasing in popularity but not peaked yet. Those will
be your money makers.

Popularity is not the only variable that can point you toward Clickbank
products that will bring a good return on your effort to sell them from
Clickbank. Note the commission level. As a rule only pick up products that
offer a 25% or better commission. That means the merchant wants to share the
wealth with and you will see a very healthy profit from the sales you make.
Other variable limits should be that the product should have a percent of total
sale of at least thirteen dollars or better, a 70% or better referral rate, low
return numbers and a gravity of 50 or higher. By developing an evaluation
system that combines all of these variables about the product under
consideration, you have a great chance of picking winners and money makers from
the Clickbank product library every time.

Selling Everyday on Clickbank

There is a prevailing mythology about the Clickbank marketplace that it is
virtually an effort free profit machine. Its easy to get the wrong idea because
it is a marketplace where if you get your product out there into the Clickbank
marketplace, there are over 150,000 eager affiliates ready to pick up your
product and begin to sell it. Those affiliates don't need to tell you that they
are going to sell your product or get your permission. Just by virtue of being
in the Clickbank community gives them liberty to sell your product. So in
theory you could put a product out there and see its sales soar with no more
effort than that.

But even if you get some marginal or good sales from your products using that
approach, you don't want to settle for marginal or good. You want to get the
maximum sales potential you can from your listings on Clickbank. And that means
you don't just sell one day and put your product on auto pilot. You sell every
day on Clickbank and you reap the rewards in terms of higher sales, higher
profits and a better rating because you are being aggressive about your sales.
And when your products rise in the sales numbers, they get noticed by more
successful affiliates in Clickbank and you get to a larger audience. It's all
about establishing momentum and then keeping it.

One way to raise your profits on your product has more to do with production
than it does promotion. If you own the product you put out there so you are not
selling someone else's product, 100% of what you get from Clickbank after the
affiliate cut and Clickbank's fees are yours. You can either have the product
made for you and buy the rights to it completely or make it yourself.

A good example of this approach is in the marketing of an ebook. If you write
it entirely yourself, you have complete ownership over it and all of the
profits are yours. But even if you have a killer idea for an ebook that will
sell like hotcakes, not all of us are writers. But there are starving artists
out there on the internet job services who for a few hundred dollars will put
together an ebook that will read well and deliver a great concept to your
customers. And by having the book ghostwritten, you purchase complete ownership
of the rights to the book and you can market it and reap all of the rewards all
for yourself.

Within Clickbank, there are a wealth of tools that you can use to keep tabs not
only on how well your products are moving but on the relationship of advertising
to product movement and how your commissions look to be sure they are healthy
and not undergoing any form of commission theft that is sometimes possible in
Clickbank. So part of selling every day isn't so much just paying attention to
sales but to the variables of sales such as the success of specific affiliates
and the level your product is reaching as a desirable product to promote.

There is something to be said for simple positioning and learning to help your
product move up so more affiliates pick it up. So after you get your product
into the system, make it a major ambition to get familiar with all of the
Clickbank tracking and reporting systems. These reports can let you stay on top
of your product's performance on a daily basis and if you see change happening,
you can adjust accordingly.

That is the kind of dynamic product management that will result in stronger
sales. If you see your product take a turn in the statistics that is not
healthy, you have the chance to intervene and make adjustments or even pull the
product if it's a serious enough situation. On the other hand, if you see a
sudden surge in popularity and sales and a greater participation in the
product, you can do your part to make sure the affiliates are enabled to jump
on the band wagon and make your product successful. And while the subtle
changes to how you position your product and manage advertising is not exactly
selling every day, it is making sales work better for you every day and the
outcome of greater profits is the same.

Safe Selling on Clickbank

In the non-internet world, retailers are always fighting a war with shoplifters
and people who would take your product without paying for it. You would think
that this kind of thing would not be a problem in an online world. But in
Clickbank which is the largest internet marketplace in the world, one of the
biggest problems is stopping people from downloading a digital product and then
not following through with payment.

Like any other retail setting there are security weaknesses in Clickbank as
there are with any software environment. But with some proper caution on the
part of the vendor at the individual level, you can find ways to plug those
security holes and keep your product secure so every time it gets downloaded,
you get paid.

In reality we sometimes are our own worst enemies when we become Clickbank
merchants because we do some things that undermine the security Clickbank
already has in place. The first thing to recognize when you market on Clickbank
is that it is off limits to put links to your product files on Clickbank on one
of your other website pages. Don't try to extend the marketing by driving
traffic to your Clickbank pages in this way. For proper security, the only way
your customers should be able to download your product is after going through
the normal Clickbank payment pages which enforce that payment is made before
delivery. This is one very simple precaution to keep someone from getting to
your content and bypassing the payment procedure.

Another good reason not to put links to your product on your web site is that
it will cause this back door to your products to appear on the search engines
as links others can use. Google will find the links and index them and they
could appear fairly high in search engine rankings and that is very dangerous
for the security of your product.

Some risks that your product page could get leaked are outside of your control.
There are internet thieves who would collect your thank you page and product URL
where and post them on newsgroups and forums devoted to underground theft of
online products. The actual amount of thefts you might have from that happening
is fairly small. The real problem is if those postings get picked up and listed
on a search engine. Then you could have a serious security risk.

There is one step that will eliminate the search engine problem which is the
bigger risk of your thank you or product pages for Clickbank getting "out
there". That is to contact your web hosting provider. They have a way at the
server level to build a customized security file that is checked by the search
engines to exclude certain files form becoming indexed. By adding the URL for
your products page on Clickbank as well as your thank you page, even if those
links get listed, you stop the bleeding in its place so the amount of losses
will be quite minimal.

However this approach must be used with extreme caution. The file that many web
hosting servers used is called the robots.txt file. The problem is that hackers
are very aware of that file as much as search engines are. And if a hacker can
find that file, and they can, that opens the door for the locations of your
product files to be stolen and then posted on another web site which opens the
whole can of worms all over again.

The best thing is not to reference those locations at all so if there is going
to be any leakage of their location, it will be through hackers whose influence
is minimal at best. That way at least you are living a clean life and doing what
you can. And by watching the Clickbank FAQ and updates notices so you are always
up to date on any new security updates they are putting in place.

Sorting Out Clickbank

The problem that comes up sometimes when creating an online business using the
Clickbank marketplace is that Clickbank almost is drowning in its own success.
For many people, sorting through his vast marketplace to figure out what
product to promote can be a nightmare. Because Clickbank is the virtual
marketplace of choice for any digital product that can be bought and delivered
exclusive through the internet, at any given time there may be over ten
thousand products you can pick from to promote in the huge Clickbank products
catalog.

Just going through that vast catalog can become your second life all by itself.
And if you did try to sort, catalog and understand every product, your brain
would be so muddled it would not be able to figure out which products are the
winners for you to promote and get big money from. But at the same time, anyone
who has been successful with the Clickbank system has done it by being a smart
marketer and learning first how to pick the product that is choice for the
market right now and then how to promote it to land big sales from the system.

The first order of business is to set yourself up as an affiliate on the
Clickbank web site. This is just getting your foot in the door but it's an
essential step. It's easy to do and free at the Clickbank web site so take the
few minutes you need to get yourself set up in the system and step through the
easy sign up form and become an affiliate citizen of Clickbank.

The first thing that will jump out at you when you start looking for a product
to promote is that there is a small elite group of products that are clearly
the most popular sellers in the catalog. You might be drawn to those on the
idea that if they are popular now, why not cash in on the wave and get some of
the revenue from all those sales. But keep in mind that a popular product also
is one that is probably being merchandised by hundreds or thousands of other
Clickbank affiliates. So the internet customer base is being bombarded with
sales pitches for that product. Why join the flood when it may be already
dwindling down to a trickle?

This doesn't mean you pick a product that is not selling well just because it
isn't on a lot of other affiliate web sites. The skill is to pick a product
that there is a good market out there in cyberspace for that product but it is
a market that has not been heavily "tapped" yet. Its tricky business and give
yourself permission to experiment. You may not hit pay dirt with the first
product you select. But you will make some money and you can experiment and
learn how to select the right product over time. There is an "intuition" to any
kind of market and getting a gut feel for what the internet market is going to
want can happen but it's a gut feel that is developed, it doesn't just come
naturally to you.

There are some other factors of how a product is positioned and how it is
already performing that can help with your decision. Look at the sales copy for
the product to see if it is the kind of marketing tool that is likely to work.
Read through it and see if it creates a desire in your to buy the product. If
they can't convince you, it's probably a poorly crafted sales page and you
would be wise to steer clear of the product.

But another variable about the products you pick other than popularity or
movement numbers is far more important to your profitability. You should pick
products that pay outstanding commissions. A commission on the sale of a
product on Clickbank can run from 1% to 75%. That's a pretty huge variation in
profitability. A good guideline is never promote a product that pays less than
50% commission. That way even if your sales are not through the roof, you still
make a decent return on your investment for promoting the product and the
product owner makes money too. That's what this partnership is all about.

Pricing your Product to Move

In any marketplace finding the price to ask for your product or service that
appeals to customers but doesn't cut you out of profits is a tough balancing
act to pull off. Pricing at what you think you deserve for your work may suit
your self image but it might mean your product or service will not sell. A big
factor is the competition because if someone else comes into the market with a
similar product for a little less, they can steal your market share. But on the
other hand selling too low means losing margin which means at some point you
lose money so why be in the marketplace at all?

This dilemma is just as much of a challenge when selling your product online in
a digital marketplace like Clickbank as it is outside of cyberspace. Clickbank
doesn't set your prices and you will live or die in their market based on the
quality of your product, how well known what you have to offer is and the
relationship between price and value. All of these things are age old market
principles that are unchanged just because our marketplace and our product has
all gone digital.

One school of thought calls for you to come in with as low a price as you can
so you can capture larger sales numbers. Within the context of Clickbank, this
does have some solid business thinking behind it. The Clickbank tracking system
reflects the movement of your product quantitatively and that is reported to
existing or new affiliates. So simply put, the more product your sell, the
better it looks to new affiliates. This means more affiliates pick up your
product out of the Clickbank marketplace and your sales continue to go up which
is a delightful momentum to see happen. That kind of market behavior can offset
setting your price low fairly easily.

The other school of thought calls for you to set your price higher to reflect a
higher quality product and realize a greater profit per unit on each sale. This
may result in fewer affiliates picking up your product on Clickbank but the
sales they do generate give you a higher return per unit. It's possible the
outcome could be a wash so deciding which approach to you can be intuitive and
may be an area worth some experimentation to see which business model works
best for you.

Much of the beauty of becoming an internet marketer in the first place is that
you have so much more price leverage than a traditional merchant outside of
cyberspace. Because your product is entirely digital, you operate at basically
zero overhead. Once you produce the software or the e-book, production is
nothing more than generating another digital copy which costs nothing. You may
have some software costs for specific formatting software but once your
infrastructure is in place, your only cost is the time it takes you to make
more product. There is no manufacturing, no cost of goods sold, no distribution
costs and with the Clickbank system, virtually no advertising cost either.

This means you can afford to price your product competitively because you will
always make a profit of some sort. Now the shelf life on digital products is
not very long so you want to milk as much profitability out of each product
during the months when it is "hot" and then pump more product into the
Clickbank marketplace. But you still have the leverage to experiment with price
to see where the proper price level for your product might lie.

You do have to beware of adjusting your price too much on a single product. If
customers see your price moving around, they lose faith in you as a merchant.
The best way to "experiment" with pricing is to set a price on a product, track
its sales and then sell a very similar product at a different product and
continue to track and compare the results. While other factors influence sales,
you can eventually develop a model which will serve as a solid pricing strategy.
And once you have that, you are ready to compete in the Clickbank marketplace
successfully for the long term.

Making Clickbank Affiliates Your Own

One thing many merchants love about putting product out on the Clickbank market
is they really don't have to recruit affiliates to sell the product. Clickbank
has some 150,000 affiliates scanning the product listings every day and picking
up new digital products to sell. Among this army are some of the top names in
internet marketing who could be looking at your product and picking it up to
sell to their very large customer base.

You would think that with this huge number of affiliates that you would be
guaranteed some good sales if you put virtually any product out there. But
believe it or not, it's still possible to list your digital product in the
Clickbank marketplace and for it to just "sit there". For one thing, your
product is competing for attention with some 10,000 other products. And the
products that already have strong sales and good affiliate association are the
ones that are in high demand. If your product enters at a dead stop, it's a
hard to path to get it into the "fast lane" so the good affiliates take notice
of it.

Moreover, among those 150,000 eager sales people, there is a fair share of bad
ones. And if your product gets picked up by rookie affiliates or those in the
market but who are not skilled at what they do, your product can just "lay
there" making you wonder what went wrong. So anything can do to draw affiliates
to your product and to even recruit your own affiliates is entirely justified to
get your sales moving in Clickbank.

Many merchants remain satisfied to just allow the nature of Clickbank to bring
affiliates their way. But to get aggressive and actually get out there and draw
affiliates to you gives you some ownership of the process. Not only do you
accelerate the process of becoming successful within the Clickbank environment,
you develop relationships with affiliates and work more in partnership with
recruited affiliates than you would if you simply relied entirely on "random"
affiliates picking up your product and beginning to make the sales you need.

Identifying new affiliates and making them part of your affiliate network takes
some creative thinking but in many ways you already have all the resources you
need at your disposal. Your primary objective is to build lines of
communications which would not exist if you simply left the Clickbank affiliate
arrangement operate as it is. The assumption of the Clickbank culture is that
merchants and affiliates do better if they do not have to communicate because
you can focus on creating more product and affiliates can focus on sales and
not having to be accountable to dozens of merchants if they are promoting a lot
of product.

Of course, this formula does work in a lot of cases, particularly if your
product becomes part of a catalog of hundreds of thousands of products for some
very large affiliates who move a lot of digital products under the Clickbank
system. But that doesn't mean there is not plenty of room within the Clickbank
system for a partnership relationship between affiliate and merchant. You
already may be in such relationships outside of Clickbank with affiliates you
work with through your web site. That body of sales people is a natural place
to go to recruit affiliates to sell for you in Clickbank. By approaching them
to consider becoming part of Clickbank and selling your product there, you can
sweeten the deal by offering a higher commission and the lure of such a large
catalog of products there that they can become more prosperous selling in the
Clickbank marketplace.

The ideal situation is to cultivate a large body of affiliates, some of whom do
sell your products "anonymously" and others with whom you are in relationship.
You can recruit affiliates for future product announcements and by simply
thanking affiliates who made your last product offering a success and offering
to keep them in the loop when you put more products into the marketplace. By
building a mailing list of successful Clickbank affiliates who like your work
and want to know when you have something new to offer in Clickbank, you will
slowly build a "team" of sales people with a good focus on your marketing
approach and how they can join in your success as a merchant by seeking you out
when you have something new to offer.

Heaven For Small Business

Starting a small business has to be one of the most courageous things a person
can do. There are a lot of unknowns that can strike fear into the heart of any
small business owner. Issues of labor, supply and demand and the market always
are a concern. And even if you do all of your market studies and prepare
intensively, launching that business is sometimes an act of faith.

The modern era has opened up a new frontier for small business owners and that
is the internet. But even there, risks exist and if anything the unknowns are
even more exotic. Because the online marketplace is vastly distributed,
estimating the market need as well as the potential demand for a product can
seem like a cryptic exercise. In the early days of the internet, the costs of
handling money and the resources to help small business succeed were few and
far between and hard to use at best. That is why by comparison the modern
internet marketing world is a relative heaven for small business due in no
small part to online marketplaces and resources such as Clickbank.

One of the ways Clickbank and other online merchant accounts smooth the road
out a small business to get started is by making it possible to accept payments
online even when you are just getting started out. Most online purchases are
done with credit card. But, especially at first, to do business directly with
credit card companies to accept payments online was a nightmare. They required
a lot of capital and proof of the health of the business both of which are in
short supply when you are just starting out.

Clickbank puts all of that at your disposal for an amazingly low investment.
You can join Clickbank for a simple one time fee of $50 and a small commission
on each sale. For that they operate virtually as your online banker accepting
payments, managing the credit card transactions and the relationship with the
credit card companies and faithfully handling the money to be passed to you on
a routine basis. If you are selling products through Clickbank, you might have
hundreds or thousands of transactions per day from just as many customers. But
all of that financial management and customer interaction is handled by
Clickbank so you just offer your product and then sit back and collect the
returns on your sales.

The marketplace dynamic on the internet is as different from the traditional
business model as night and day. Small business people must already be light on
their feet and able to adapt to change and new things quickly in any market.
This requirement of an online entrepreneur is even more crucial. The business
model for running a business with Clickbank at the heart of what you are doing
does require a massive paradigm shift in how you do business. But most of the
ways you change your approach to small business mean giving up some of the
aspects of small business that you probably won't mind giving up.

For one thing, while you can always be actively involved in sales, it is
entirely possible to run a healthy and very active and prosperous small
business selling digital products to a huge customer base and completely give
up the sales side of the business model entirely. That is because on Clickbank,
as a merchant, your primary responsibility is to put product on the market. Once
your product or products is "out there", there is an army of sales people called
affiliates who are ready to pick up your product and promote it to their large
existing customer base. By army we mean that a staggering 150,000 internet
marketers are on Clickbank and every one of them can sell your product if they
wish. There is no risk to you and Clickbank manages the relationships with this
marketing army and the collection and distribution of their commissions.

To take advantage of this army, you will have to grant a slice of profit in the
form of a commission to the affiliate as his reward for doing your sales for
you. You can consider it a business expense and even record it to deduct it as
such. But because that commission will draw this huge and highly specialized
mob of internet marketing gurus to your product, that is a pretty good use of a
commission.

Alternatives to Clickbank

In a lot of areas of technology, there is a dominant player. We know about how
Microsoft pretty much dominates every aspect of PC technology. There are
smaller companies that dominate application areas to like Adobe for PDF file or
Photoshop for photo editing. And when it comes to the internet and online
marketplaces, the dominant power there is no doubt Clickbank. But it's good to
know what alternatives are out there for comparison purposes. And possibly the
biggest real threat to the dominance of Clickbank is a site called PayDotCom.

Each of these fine alternatives has things to offer and some drawbacks too. But
it is worth knowing what to look for so you can make an intelligent decision.
There is just no question that Clickbank dominates the field for good reasons.
Clickbank is far and away the largest affiliate marketplace in the world. So by
putting your product on Clickbank, you could potentially see it picked up for
over 150,000 affiliates if they notice you. That is quite a sales army to cash
in on.

An added benefit of utilizing Clickbank that makes it stand out versus
PayDotCom is you can get this army of affiliates to sell your products far and
wide and you don't have to pay them a dime. That is handled by the commission
system which means you only see any money go to the ones that are successful
and its part of the financial structure of the site. That's a brilliant way to
organize their service and it has paid off for Clickbank and for the rest of us
beautifully.

A few of the policy decisions Clickbank has made are not so brilliant and put
them in the negative side of the evaluation. The policy that is beneficial to
Clickbank customers but causes a lot of problems is their iron clan refund
policy. This is an outstanding customer relationship approach because it sends
the message that Clickbank stand behind the products sold on the service. But
in a world such as Clickbank's where the entire transaction and all products
are digital, it pretty much leaves an open door to thieves and shoplifters who
download products and then file for refund without explanation.

PayDotCom is an alterative to Clickbank that has not been able to capture as
much of the market. The commissions issue may be one reason their growth is
slower. Because Clickbank pays the affiliates and keeps that burden off of the
merchants who come to the marketplace, the transactions are clean and more
merchants feel freedom to participate in Clickbank. And then because Clickbank
has become the premier marketplace for digital products, more affiliates want
to be involved which only continues to add to the momentum of the site to
dominate this market.

From the other side of the transaction, when a merchant wants to put a product
into a marketplace and then go through the support steps of linking to it from
a web site and adding keyword optimized articles to drive traffic to the
products, that merchant wants to know the largest affiliate base is out there
to take it from there and really get that product into broad distribution and
sales. There simply is no better way to do that than to go with Clickbank.

In a way, Clickbank succeeds by its success. And even though PayDotCom is a
viable alternative, it's difficult to capture enough market to interest
merchants and affiliates to switch. And until Clickbank makes some major
mistake, which they probably wont do, that situation is probably not going to
change.






Peace
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