In this post, I’ll show you how to make long-term, consistent passive income with Clickbank affiliate marketing.
This method can be scaled up pretty much forever, and if you do it right, you’ll eventually see a nice snowball effect when it comes to your sales.
Even if you’re a complete beginner, these 8 simple steps will get you started on the right path.
Although it will take some time to really ramp up, once it gets going it will keep on going for a long time.
And, as you scale up with this strategy, your income streams will begin to stack on top of each other.
Well, then, let’s get into it.
Step 1. Creating Your Account
First off, if you haven’t already, create a Clickbank account.
Just make sure you pick a subtle username, since it will sometimes show up in the destination link after the “hop” part, like this:
If you pick a silly nickname, like “bananaman”, it will look really unprofessional to those who notice the URL, and may even put them off buying altogether.
So, keep it subtle, like a few random letters and numbers.
If you want to be a bit sneaky, you can choose a name that looks like a part of a URL, like “index2” or “pagemain” (I don’t know if those are taken, but you get my point).
Step 2: Finding A Good Product To Promote
After you’ve signed up to Clickbank, go to the “marketplace”.
Here, we want to find a product with a decently-high “average sale” number.
I usually choose 50 dollars or above, and never below 20 dollars — it’s just not worth my time, especially with this method.
Besides the average sale number, you’ll also want to check out the “gravity” score.
The higher the gravity, the more affiliates are currently getting sales from that product.
You can sell products with low gravity — the score doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad product or has a bad presentation.
However, for most beginners, I recommend going with a product that has a gravity of 20 and up, since it’s likely that it’s easier to sell.
Narrowing Your Search
You can filter products by doing a blank “find products search” and using the sliders on the left sidebar.
Then, you can sort the results by gravity or average sale to find products that fit your criteria.
As an example, I’ll choose the “Unlock Your Hip Flexors” program.
You may notice an “affiliate page” URL in the description of the product.
Not all vendors on Clickbank have this, but when they do, it can be really helpful.
Let’s check it out:
On the left side, you can see a number of links under “Promotional Tools”.
Autoresponder sequence is basically a series of emails you send out to promote the product.
They have pre-written ones you can copy-paste or edit if you want to.
They also provide you with a bunch of banners and product images you can use.
This vendor even has a bunch of helpful videos you can share with your audience to warm them up for the sale.
All in all, really good stuff.
Again, remember to bookmark pages like these.
Step 3: Finding An Angle
After you’ve chosen your product, you have to come up with a way to get traffic (meaning people) to the Clickbank offer.
Like it says in the title of this post, we want this to be passive income, and we want it to last a good while.
Because of this, we don’t want to use other popular methods like solo ads, Facebook group posting, or Google Adwords.
To get consistent passive income, the name of the game is:
We have to build a system that gets people from somewhere (mostly search engines) and puts them through a sales process.
And because we want passive income, we have to make it as hands-off as possible.
The best way to achieve this, bar none, is by creating a website.
In this case, it has to be in a niche relevant to the whole hip flexor issue.
Now, there are multiple angles you could approach this from.
You could be really specific and create a website about only hip flexor health.
Or, as I recommend, you could broaden it a bit.
In that case, you could go for mobility training related to a specific sport, like climbing.
Whatever angle you choose, the topic of your site has to lend itself well to the product you’ll be promoting.
Step 4: Setting Up Your Site
Creating a website doesn’t have to be hard or expensive!
To get started, you only really need to pay for a domain and some hosting.
A dot com domain will be around $9 a year if you use Namecheap.
For the hosting, I’ve used both WPengine and Bluehost before but moved my sites to Siteground last year.
It’s simply the best value for money in my experience and really affordable ($4 a month for the startup plan).
So, anyway, there are some more details I’d like share about setting up your site, but you can get that from my free quick-start guide here.
For this post, I want to focus on Clickbank, so grab that PDF if you want, and let’s move on.
Step 5: Planning The Content
Once you’ve got your basic site up, you’ll want to create one or more articles that will sell the affiliate product you’ve picked earlier.
This is most effectively done with two methods:
- Writing a review or comparison article about the product.
- Writing one or more articles based on a problem the product will provide the solution to.
Method 1 is pretty straightforward, but also more competitive usually, because it’s a no-brainer, basically.
The second method is generally less competitive but requires a bit more research and effort.
But this is good since it raises the barrier of entry — filtering out less serious people.
Anyway, let’s go with method 2 for this example.
One quick way to get some ideas for articles is to check out the sales page of the product.
Let’s look at the “Unlock Your Hip Flexors” page as an example.
Here you can see a bunch of good content ideas:
Step 6: Keyword Research
Ok, we got our potential content.
But now we have to make sure it’s actually viable in terms of search rankings.
We have to ensure that we can use good keywords that fit 3 criteria:
1. The keywords need to target the right types of people — namely, people who are likely to buy, so you get affiliate commissions.
For example, think of what people who have problems with their hip flexors would type into Google.
2. The keywords need to bring in enough traffic to warrant their use.
In other words, there has to be plenty of monthly searches.
3. You have to have a good chance of actually ranking for them.
There’s no use in having your content on page 8, 5, or even 2 of Google.
You need it to be at least on page 1, preferably among the top 4 results.
The Power of the Autosuggest
To find potential keywords, take one of the content ideas you found on the sales page and start typing into Google.
By watching the autosuggest fill in, look for viable search terms that people are typing in regularly.
Let’s try “hip mobility for” and then type in one letter at a time after that phrase.
As you can see, we’ll get lists of potential keywords we can look into:
Now you have to know the general search volume of these different search terms.
You can plug each of them into the Google keyword planner if you want.
However, I prefer using the Keywords Everywhere tool, which gives you search volumes right here on the same page — saves you a lot of time.
Understanding Search Volume
Note that the numbers aren’t necessarily correct, even though they’re taken straight from Google.
I’ve ranked posts for keywords that supposedly had 100 searches or less each month according to Google, yet they end up getting 1000!
So, just take these numbers as a very rough estimation of search volume.
Even if they show you 0, don’t worry.
Sure, the keyword probably gets fewer searches than the one with 1000 volume.
But I can tell you that if they show up in Google autosuggest, there’s most likely worthwhile traffic to be had.
Also, even if it ends up bringing in just a little traffic, you can always write other posts later as well.
You don’t have to get all your action from just one, remember that.
Anyways, I’m going to go with “hip mobility for seniors”.
It shows me 0 volume right now, supposedly, but whatever, I know there’s at least some demand there, and it’ll be easy to create content for it.
Now that we’ve found a viable topic and keyword, we have to check the competition.
Since your website is new, it will likely have a low domain authority (unless you bought an expiring one with a good track record).
Basically, since it doesn’t have a lot of links and good user data built up yet, Google doesn’t prioritize your rankings as much as more established sites’.
With that in mind, we need to make sure that there’s not a ton of high-authority sites on the first page for our chosen keyword.
A quick way to check for this is by using the Moz bar — a chrome extension you can download.
Don’t worry — we don’t need the paid version for this. The free version will do.
Once it’s installed and activated, we’ll check our chosen keyword in Google once again.
Now you can see two colored bars under each search result:
The green “PA” bar signifies the estimated Page Authority, and the blue “DA” bar indicates the Domain Authority.
If the domain authority of the top results is between 0 and 30 (especially if they don’t tackle the keyword directly), you’ll have a good chance of ranking on the first page if you create great, specific, helpful content.
As you can see in the image above, the results are rather low in domain authority and they don’t use the targeted keyword directly.
In other words, bingo.
Step 7: Content Creation
After you’ve got your content idea and keyword nailed down, it’s time to start writing your article.
Remember to make it helpful for the reader.
Put yourself mentally in their shoes — what would you hope to find if you searched for this specific keyword in Google?
It’s also very useful to look through your competitor’s posts and write down some notes about their content.
Once you have a good overview of the first 3-4 posts that are ranking, think about what you could improve upon:
- Is there any info that’s missing?
- How is their formatting?
- Are they using any helpful images?
- Is their text easy to read, or could it be made more understandable?
And so on.
Analyze them until you have your answers, then start writing.
Remember, there’s a reason why Google has put these pages on top of the front page.
So, if they don’t have a really high DA and you make something better, you’ll have a great chance at ranking there after a while.
Ideal Post Length
When it comes to length, I’d say go for at least 1500 words, ideally over 2000.
There are a number of reasons for this that I won’t go into here (LSI keywords, perceived value, etc.), but just keep that in mind.
At last 1500, ideally over 2000.
It also depends on your competitors’ content.
Copy-paste them into a word counter, like wordcounter.io, to check how long they are.
Ideally, you want to have the most in-depth content around.
Making Sure You Get Paid
Finally, don’t forget to incorporate your affiliate link into your article.
A few times in the text where it’s appropriate, and then one or two buttons (or more, depending on article length) that say something like “check it out here” or “get *insert product* here”.
Don’t overdo it, though — only add as many links as seems natural.
If it comes off as spammy, you risk scaring away both your readers and Google.
Additionally, you can place a banner ad on your site (sourced from the affiliate page we talked about earlier, or you could make your own).
This is a much better option than having Adsense there, check out this post to see why.
Step 8: Fleshing Out Your Site
To help your money posts rank, it’s a must to write supporting content on your site to make it more whole.
You can also make additional, related categories to really flesh it out.
This will make it more legitimate in the eyes of Google and your visitors — increasing your domain authority, as well as getting you more shares and organic search traffic over time.
Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about, it’s about senior fitness in general:
If your site was in this niche, you could start writing about specifics like joint health.
Then, you could keep on going to other related topics having to do with fitness for seniors.
You can see on the sidebar there that they’re selling a product.
They also have a free offer (also called a lead magnet) there.
This helps build their email list — another great way you can do affiliate marketing.
And that’s it!
Now you know how to make passive income with Clickbank — long term.
There are more details I could add, but I don’t want to stretch this post out forever — all the fundamentals you need to get started are here.
If you follow these 8 steps and give an honest effort, you could start earning consistent money from Clickbank sooner than you’d expect.
Try out the model until you’ve got it nailed down, and then continue scaling it up until you get the income you want.