Well I gave it another shot recently as I launched a product on Clickbank. One that didn't do so hot. Here's what went wrong, and what I learned:
1. The CTRs and optins were both good, but the affiliates didn't promote: Advertising on click bank got a CTR like nowhere else, except some campaigns I've done on Facebook for highly targeted segments.
In general the media buys that I have worked on (mostly for clients) have gotten below 1% CTR, usually below 0.5%. In Clickbank's case, I was getting above 2% and the sign-ups were about 30%. Granted they charge $25 CPM (not cheap) but worth it if your affiliates like what you have and sell.
The problem is nobody promoted. You often hear about most affiliates being a waste of time, I think that language is kind of harsh, but they haven't sold anything outside a couple test sales by 1 of them. I don't blame them though, which leads me to point 2:
2. Being an explorer is expensive. I didn't start out planning to promote my product on Clickbank. But as I refocused away from my blog and social media into affiliate recruitment, it just happened that way. This necessarily meant promoting a niche that was not popular on clickbank, which is would (likely) lead to the product launch's failure.
Turns out the opportunity filled landscape was barren for reason. It was actually a graveyard.
3. Competing is easier, it's just a question of what level of competition is "right." I have a couple of powerful contacts on my Skype list, one of them with a click bank product with a gravity score over 100, the leader in his niche. Another one is a former client with several successful products on Clickbank of his own.
There is agreement that a competition is a good thing because it proves the niche. One guy says it's easier to compete in a big niche and get quality affiliates from a pool of 100,000 rather than 10. The other says the opposite, don't compete with Google Sniper and Venus Factor because all the affiliates will crowd into that niche.
Who is right? I don't know.
So I'm thinking of splitting down the middle. I won't totally avoid a huge niche, but I'll try and create a thin sliced offer out of something bigger. For example "dating for divorced people," or "making money at home for mommies." My thoughts are that you want a product that can be run on to a generic list like weight loss or make money, but not directly competitive.
We'll see if the Clickbank affiliates agree on round 2.