Safe Selling on Clickbank

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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.

Safe Selling on Clickbank

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.

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.

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