Clickbank : Affiliates and Vendors
The affiliate world is filled with suggestions on how to earn commission from products being sold on Clickbank, but have you ever thought of turning the tables and becoming the vendor?
As an affiliate, you may have had great success with selling other people’s products, but someone else ultimately has control. If the vendor of the product that you have had your success with suddenly withdraws it, a large part of your profit and income can disappear overnight. If your entire affiliate income relies on one source, your income will zero out quicker than you can say ‘Jack Robinson’.
An affiliate marketer making money from Clickbank should also think about becoming a Vendor too, selling their own product(s) on the platform. This adds another income stream which may surpass the commission being made from selling other vendors’ stuff.
The process of becoming a Vendor at Clickbank is relatively simple and the success boils down to following a business model which turns your own knowledge and expertise into a profitable business.
Vendors and Digital Information Products
Many of the vendors who are marketing their digital products on Clickbank are offering ‘How To’ guides, teaching and helping others how to do something better, solving a problem or letting them do things in a more efficient way. The Clickbank marketplace allows vendors to package up their knowledge into a digital product and that product can then be sold repeatedly.
Here are some examples of typical digital products
- How to play the guitar or another musical instrument.
- How to have a better love life.
- How to market your business.
- How to stay fit and healthy as you get older.
- How to house train your dog.
- How to coach a football team to success.
Virtually any topic you can think of can become the subject of a digital product on Clickbank.
Capturing your knowledge and information to sell as digital products
There are now umpteen different ways you can capture your knowledge so it can be sold over and over again. Historically, information products were text-based products that were primarily delivered in books, reports, or manuals. However, one of the great things about becoming an information product vendor today is that you have a lot more options available to you.
Today, you not only can sell text-based books, you can also create simple audio and video products, sell product or site subscriptions, or even offer physical products to accompany your digital offerings.
And, thanks to the Internet, people all over the world can buy your products. Today, customers can order your product online and get access to a digital version of the product immediately, or order a physical version, according to their personal preference. This is a win-win situation for you and the customer.
When you’re selling a digital information product online, you really can build a business that runs mostly on autopilot, creating a passive revenue stream for yourself. If your reach and scalability are good, and your pricing is correct, you can make a good deal of money as a Digital Author.
You might be thinking… Why would somebody pay for my knowledge?
Don’t Disregard the Value of Your Knowledge and Expertise
A big mistake people often make is thinking that whatever they know or have learned is common knowledge and not worth anything to anybody. Wrong!
Have you ever purchased an information product? At some point in your life you have probably purchased a “how to” book or video to help save you time, money or hassle. This is exactly why other people would pay good money for YOUR knowledge. People are eager to learn from someone who has been there and done that.
Think about it this way. You’ve spent years gaining your knowledge and experience. Someone could save a ton of time, money, or hassle by learning from you! You could help people avoid costly mistakes, while helping them accomplish something new. Here is a real vendor example:
Let’s say you’ve built a successful, part-time janitorial business that cleans office complexes in the evenings and on weekends. Maybe after some years of struggling you learned the ins and outs of getting clients, pricing your services, hiring and managing workers, or even where to buy the best supplies.
What if you then captured your hard-earned experience and knowledge into a series of “how to” manuals and videos? This product would be great for people who want to start their own part-time janitorial business because it would save them time, money, and hassle. Essentially, they would be paying to learn what you have already spend years figuring out! And that’s worth something. In this case, it’s been worth over $600,000 in total sales.
Comparing Vendors to Traditional Authors
You might be thinking that there’s really not much of a difference between a ClickBank vendor and a non-fiction author. However, this is completely false. The information product vendor’s approach is very different, and offers unique advantages not available to traditional authors.
There is a reason most good ClickBank vendors make more money than most authors. This is because the underlying business model for Clickbank vendors is very different and far more effective, due to a handful of very powerful concepts.
The first concept has to do with the nature of the relationship with the customer. Traditional authors don’t have a clue who are buying their books. When selling through a traditional bookstore or typical online retailer you’ll know how many books you sold, but you do not know who your customer actually is. This is because the retailer doesn’t share customer information with the author.
And what about potential customers – the people who are interested in your product, but are not yet ready to buy? Typical retailers don’t even have this information, so there is no chance the author is going to get it.
However, with the business model offered by ClickBank, you can establish a direct connection with both your customers and your prospects because you’ll have their contact information. This direct connection is the cornerstone of the Clickbank approach and leads directly to the next powerful concept: the concept of selling to your customers again and again.
An author typically has to think in terms of one-time sales. They write a book and hope people buy it. Some of these customers might buy the author’s next book when it’s available, but it can be quite hit-or-miss and the author has little control. As a vendor, however, you know who your customers are and how to contact them – so you can actively promote and sell additional information products to the same customers over time.
Typical authors also have to appeal to the masses. They can’t sell to the same customers over and over, so they need a lot of one-time sales to make any money. For a vendor, highly-specialized topics have a ton of potential. Even with a specialized topic, a ClickBank vendor can sell more and deeper information to relatively small base of customers, over time.
And while an author only has one option – the book – a vendor has a number of options. This concept is known as stair-stepping.
Stair-stepping is giving prospects and customers the opportunity to step their way through increasing levels of engagement and investment – because people have different wants and needs at different times. For prospects who are interested in the topic but not ready to buy, the vendor may offer a free email newsletter or downloadable report as a way to get the customer engaged and comfortable with the product offerings.
Then, the vendor might offer the prospect a $10-20 basic “how to” product. From there, the customer might be able to buy a more expensive series of videos that goes beyond the basics and provides in-depth training. Or, they might offer a subscription for a monthly fee, providing the customer with access to all the latest and greatest information on a regular basis.
In summary, a Clickbank vendor typically has a range of options at different price points, because many of their customers will want more information over time.
Recap of the major differences:
- Authors don’t know who their customers are. Clickbank Vendors have a direct connection to their customers and prospects.
- Authors typically sell to their customers one time. Clickbank Vendors want to sell to their customers again and again over time.
- Authors must try to appeal to the masses, while a Clickbank vendor can be very successful in a highly specialized niche.
- Authors typically have one relatively low-dollar option (a book). Clickbank Vendors will have a range of options and price points.
- Authors are limited to the written word. Clickbank Vendors can also leverage audio and video formats to deliver their information.
- The ClickBank vendor approach is far more profitable and effective when compared to traditional authorship.
Advantages of Selling Information Products on Clickbank
- You will be able to connect and communicate with your customers directly.
- Your goal is to sell to the same customers over and over again.
- You can have deeper content on specialized topics.
- You can offer various product levels for stair-stepping.
- You can leverage many product form factors like audio, text, and video.
To see the different products available to promote at Clickbank, I recommend looking at CB Engine which will allow you to see what is selling, what has the highest Gravity, whether interest is growing or declining and many more handy evaluation parameters that aren’t available on the standard Clickbank site. You should then look to Clickbank University, which is Clickbank’s own training resource for Vendors and Affiliates.
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Dave O’Hara is an Internet Marketer and Property Investor from North East England. He is an active member and promoter of Wealthy Affiliate, an Educational Portal for Affiliate Marketers of all experiences.