$400 Per Month ClickBank Blog - Success After Years of Failing!

43 replies
I have to say I've studied the IM arena on and off for a long time. I knew what to do to make money online but could never apply myself to do it.

I then broke it down (chunked it down to be précise) into a set of steps that I would follow. When I had these steps (really - they're goals) completed I felt that I should start making money.

I want to share with you guys how I did it.


Step 1 - Pick a Niche and a Product


I selected a ClickBank product with a HIGH price tag. This particular one costs upwards of $100 and has a steady gravity that seems to hover in the low to high 20s.

Why did I select this kind of product? I figured the competition isn't much, the niche isn't super competitive and there were about 100+ searches for the product name every month (exact match searches - don't be fooled by the broad match ones!!).

Well, I'm starting out here and I don't have the budget to do high PPC style campaigns. I researched traffic options and figured my best bets would be SEO & forum traffic. The niche I selected had a nice selection of forums which weren't being advertised on.


Step 2 - Setup my Blog

Good God - talk about information overload and losing focus. Picking a niche and product was EASY. Finding a worthwhile wordpress template was a nightmare. I ended up buying a $99 theme and probably wasted TOO much time trying to figure out Wordpress.

Lesson learned for the newbies - save yourself a lot of time and just stick with the default 2011 theme or download Cordobo Green Parks. Both are free, both are great for blogging and you dont' want to get distracted.

1) I published a total of 5 articles on the blog around my niche and one of them was a straight up product review of my ClickBank product.

2) Each article is about 1,000 words wrong. The product review article was over 1,200 words. I did this with no distractions and was very careful with grammar, writing style and all that. I credit Alexa Smith's posts around here on article length (although she's writing from the standpoint of syndication) to push me to write longer articles.

Step 3 - Get Traffic

I then started getting backlinks. My backlinks were exclusively the following:

- Social Bookmarking packages
- High PR blog comment packages
- Publish to EZA

I purchased the link packages off the Warrior Forum and another Internet Marketing forum.

I published to EZA in hopes that I would get syndicated. I largely got syndicated by auto-blogs. I had two legit websites pick me up which was nice!

Step 4 - Ignore the Warrior Forum!

I don't post here too often but it's too addictive and I'm a sucker for WSO's. Thankfully, Internet forum addiction worked to my benefit here. Why? Because my niche actually had 2 very high traffic forums that I could start posting on.

So I also started posting on a few forums in my niche every day. After I built up a few a friends and added some value I added a link back to my blog (not an affiliate link!! just a link back to my blog in my signature file).

This was the best part - if I had downtime at work I'd just socialize on forums. Simply chatting away online was a purely 100% whitehat link building method for me.

Step 5 - Test, Test & More Testing

In about two weeks my site was indexed and ranking on page 1 of google for a few of the terms. The product term (which is where most of my money comes in from) was on the 2nd page.

I paid for more links until I was in the top 3.

I watched Google Analytics very carefully and WebMaster tools. I noticed I was ranking for a few other terms that I hadn't thought about and so I started linking for those too.


Step 6 - Revise, Revise Revise! It's All About the Pre-Sell!!!

I noticed finally I was getting about 5 hops a day even though my site was getting much more traffic than that!

- I went out to the product site's affiliate tools page and grabbed some of the smaller banner ad sizes and embedded them into each of the five blog posts.

- I created a few more obvious text based call to actions (see my signature file for an example) also on the site.

- I added a big fat side banner.

All in all my site didn't look spammy but it became more obvious that I was advertising something.

I started getting more hops. I literally went from 3-5 hops a day to 30+ with these changes.

All along I was still tweaking my rankings and doing more forum posting while I was at work.

Within a 1,000 hops I made 1 sale! I know that sucks as far as conversion goes - but it was my $$ online.

I emailed the product owner and he was kind enough to review my site. He quickly pointed out that my pre-sell was crappy. I was selling very hard and even he was a little annoyed with me with my approach. He felt I should be converting at least 5x, possibly more if I had been building a list.

That's when I realized it's all about the pre-sell.

This is an expensive product and people want an excellent review. I looked at my review and actually made it more grounded in reality. I took out all the hype and instead wrote a more in-depth review (now up to 1,500 words).

My review pointed out the following:

- product weaknesses
- product caveats
- strengths of the product
- who sells it, who the payment processor is
- i even disclosed i'm an affiliate for the product!!

In Summary

Right now I'm sending about 6-700 hops a month and closing about 5-7 sales per month. This is a high priced product and it's get a one time offer so I'm making between $3-$500 a month.

And this is without a list (guess what I'm doing next!).

Anyway - this is my thanks to the forum.

I hope this information helps people.

If you've been failing at Internet Marketing for a long time just write down your plan and model your plan of attack against what I've got in this post. It just might do the trick.
#$400 #blog #clickbank #failing #month #success #years
  • Profile picture of the author shazzs
    I have to say, you really are successful. Throughout reading, I've notice that you talk about alot of your failures, and even have been scolded by the product developer on how you handled your blog, but that did not stop you didn't you

    That is some great motivation there mate. And to have success without a list is a very good achievement. Now we all know what we should do to convert more sales, "build a list". Some really great tips there. I hope for more successes for you in the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author feliciayapsl
    Thanks for the post and congrats on your success.
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  • Profile picture of the author ProScribe
    Thanks william that was a nice breakdown of your methodology.

    I totally agree that when you write your reviews you should not oversell, I heard from a conversion expert that testimonials that are not entirely flattering increase conversions more than testimonials which are completely over the top. It makes sense too because when people are on line looking for a review that is what they want a real review. Something that is completely one sided doesn't provide any real social proof.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vikram73
    That's awesome. Have you thought about how you're going to start list building? Meaning how and where to place the opt in pages?
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  • Profile picture of the author williamstraus
    You know - I am totally confused by email marketing. I have an aweber account and am thinking about getting either popup domination or wpoptins.

    But the thing is - do I put this on every page?

    Do I setup a landing page?

    I don't want to screw this up. I know the pop-ups work best but I hate them. My wife hates them too!

    ;-)

    LOL

    -Will
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    Promote my ClickBank Product - The Gut Health Solution - 75% Commissions. Converts 1-2% on PPC traffic. Acid Reflux, Heartburn and Digestive Distress Remedy from a Legit Doctor!.

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  • Profile picture of the author howimakemony
    Clickbank isnt what it used to be ...atleast to me $ wise
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  • Profile picture of the author williamstraus
    howimakemoney,

    I've learned with CB it's best to avoid the IM niche altogether. It's really crowded and very difficult.

    I'm actually going to start going into the gardening niche. Low traffic, nice commissions and all that.

    With CB you have to think outta the box.
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  • Profile picture of the author Duy Nguyen
    Nothing sucks here William, you're going on the right path

    Everything can be adjusted and I know it's best to learn through our mistakes! Way to go buddy, your story is truly inspiring!
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    Failure Is Temporary, Giving Up Makes It Permanent
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  • Profile picture of the author Vikram73
    So why do you question the Law? What's changed for you between now and then is a little bit of knowledge and a lot of m
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  • Profile picture of the author Vikram73
    Will

    What changed between now and when you first started? Sounds like a bit of knowledge gained and a lot of mindset change.

    Don't think too much about the list. Just grab pop up domination and Integrate it with your blog. Give your readers a lot of value. That's it!!
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  • Profile picture of the author 3000
    Wow that's pretty cool thank you! When I first started IMing I started with ClickBank but didn't really follow through with it. Once I get my Adsense income stream where I want it to be I'm going to back to ClickBank and make it work.

    Thanks again !
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  • Profile picture of the author williamstraus
    @Vikram - yes, not much more knowledge than what I picked up in the first few months. Then a few years of just screwing around and lurking on some IM blogs and online communitites. It was just mindset that changed really.

    @3000 - I like ClickBank. It suits my personality but I think it's a much different animal than Adsense.

    With Adsense your goal (I think) is to get people to click the ad and then you're done. With Clickbank it's an eBook, software or audio/video. Basically you have to sell digital information so the goal of a ClickBank blog is to keep them engaged in your content and then let their only option be to click off via your hoplink.

    Different approaches to blogging altogether between ClickBank and AdSense.

    The only links on my CB blog is to other articles or to my hoplink.

    They can't go anywhere else unless the hit the back button a few times.
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  • Profile picture of the author williamstraus
    @Vikram - yes, not much more knowledge than what I picked up in the first few months. Then a few years of just screwing around and lurking on some IM blogs and online communitites. It was just mindset that changed really.

    @3000 - I like ClickBank. It suits my personality but I think it's a much different animal than Adsense.

    With Adsense your goal (I think) is to get people to click the ad and then you're done. With Clickbank it's an eBook, software or audio/video. Basically you have to sell digital information so the goal of a ClickBank blog is to keep them engaged in your content and then let their only option be to click off via your hoplink.

    Different approaches to blogging altogether between ClickBank and AdSense.

    The only links on my CB blog is to other articles or to my hoplink.

    They can't go anywhere else unless the hit the back button a few times.
    Signature

    Promote my ClickBank Product - The Gut Health Solution - 75% Commissions. Converts 1-2% on PPC traffic. Acid Reflux, Heartburn and Digestive Distress Remedy from a Legit Doctor!.

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  • Profile picture of the author TiffLee
    This may be one of the best posts on the WF ... shame many people won't see it because it is in this certain sub-forum. I happened across it through another thread (in the review section) where you mentioned this.

    It seems you are stuck between being doing straight affiliate marketing and article syndication. That being said, let me tell you this: if you can build a list, and continue to work on your pre-sell through your high-quality articles, the sky is the absolute limit.

    Good job so far.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Monroe
    I would actually call this a success story. I'm glad I read it actually, it's just give me the motivation to concentrate on my failing blog lol. But first (and lastly) congratulations on actually taking action.
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  • Profile picture of the author williamstraus
    @TiffLee - Wow - thank you for the kind words!

    I know this part of the forum doesn't get as much traffic but I've found myself more productive browsing through here then getting sucked into other parts of the WF.

    @jgeeked - why is your blog failing? Is it traffic? I think I setup a dozen blogs before figuring out what I wanted to do and focusing on it. It's really funny - I see emails from GoDaddy warning me that a dozen or so domains are near expiration - I just get a grin out of it. Those are all 1/2 started, poorly finished websites that went nowhere.

    This isn't my site but it's a good example of a ClickBank review blog Kidney Diet Secrets?.
    It's from Kelly Felix of Bring the Fresh.

    My approach is somewhat different - my articles are MUCH longer and my keyword was more competitive.

    But it's basically the same approach - write a review, put up your affiliate link and get some traffic (SEO, Article Syndication).

    My site is more content rich than the one I just linked to and my back linking is different (ie. cheaper than his approach) but it's the same thing.



    -Will
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  • Profile picture of the author crgargan
    Congratulations. I am a little behind you but I am starting to get a few hops but I plan to change things around and see what I can do to improve my site.
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  • Profile picture of the author markgranados
    thats great!!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author williamstraus
    @Terry - I didn't do that. I've read some of Alexa Smith's articles on this and I think she makes a small tweak so she can figure out who syndicated her. Makes it more search engine friendly.

    At the time I used Yahoo Site Explorer and just went through all my backlinks to see who was syndicating me. Now that that is gone we'll have to rely on Market Samurai.

    My backlink profile is

    - articles
    - press releases
    - social bookmarks (paid)
    - high pr blog comments (paid)

    I also tried some other stuff that just didn't work so well for me like profile blasts. I also have gotten an email or two for a guest blog post that I followed up on.

    I don't believe in getting too caught up on SEO debates (syndication vs spinning vs etc.). Just got a diverse set of backlinks to your main page, your inner pages and have good on-page SEO and the traffic will come in.

    I also rely heavily on Google Analytics and tracked how long people stay on the site.
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  • Profile picture of the author JoeDRL
    Thank you for your share man,
    and congrats on that money getting.

    There is not only a IM lesson in this but a life lesson also: Never give up.
    You never know when you are just seconds from succeeding, giving up guarantees you failure.

    I like your idea of choosing higher priced items.
    ~ JoeDRL
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  • Profile picture of the author TomHarvey
    Congratulations! Nothing like those first $$ and feeling like you have broken through the wall.

    Really useful system which people should follow to make money. No. 4 is particularly pertinent as thats an issue I struggled with as do many others (the famous info overload!).

    Well done and good luck taking it to the next level - my suggestion would be to try and build a list of buyers and browsers - not sure on how your site is structured and if its possible to get buyers details before they complete the sale (nb. try offering a bonus so you can have an AR they submit to so you email them out the bonus, thus capturing your buyer lead who is a proven spender!!), but a buyers list is much more powerful as these are people who have spent money and probably will again!
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    • Profile picture of the author williamstraus
      Originally Posted by TomHarvey View Post

      Well done and good luck taking it to the next level - my suggestion would be to try and build a list of buyers and browsers - not sure on how your site is structured and if its possible to get buyers details before they complete the sale (nb. try offering a bonus so you can have an AR they submit to so you email them out the bonus, thus capturing your buyer lead who is a proven spender!!), but a buyers list is much more powerful as these are people who have spent money and probably will again!
      Yes - I'm buying popup domination and setting up a list and assembling an auto-responder sequence.

      You know - I think the bonus tactic works well in the "make money" niche but I'm not that in niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheTruth2011
    Very comprehensive yet easy to follow "to-do" list. This is the sort of thing that can cut down you learning curve by a lot. On top of having guidance such as you outlined, if you can get a mentor along the way... well you are probably golden lol.

    Thx for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author Hackbridge
    Thanks for posting your success with this William. I find that I want to do it all and Clickbank is one of the areas where I'd like to make some $$.

    The only other thing I could suggest is rinse and repeat. Perhaps there's another product which is similar to this one that you could devote some time to promoting also?

    Thanks again

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author williamstraus
    @Terry - Yes. I'd write the articles and publish them to my blog. I would then publish the same articles word for word to EZA.

    They did get picked up for syndication - I cannot claim the same success with syndication as other warriors (MyOB, TPW, Alexa Smith) have and also credit some of the success directly to backlinking campaigns.

    While I think syndication AND guest blogging is really powerful it works if you write a lot of high quality content to go along with it!
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  • Profile picture of the author Tess D
    Thanks for posting an excellent rundown of your experience. Clickbank promotions has been one area which I can not get traction, even though I've done well selling physical products online. Congratulations on your success and I hope to follow your "outline" soon : )
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    • Profile picture of the author williamstraus
      Originally Posted by AnneHouse View Post

      Thanks for posting an excellent rundown of your experience. Clickbank promotions has been one area which I can not get traction, even though I've done well selling physical products online. Congratulations on your success and I hope to follow your "outline" soon : )
      You're welcome! BTW - as I said in my original post I did have a bit of luck with syndication via EZA but not that much. In the last 2 weeks I stumbled across something pretty cool (probably one of those nuggets mentioned a 1,000x in these forums and we overlook it).

      I found that my niche actually has a lot of sites listed in DMOZ & Yahoo Directory. These are sites in my niche and there was an 'ezine' section there. I've been getting my articles placed on sites in my niche very easily.

      It might be worth trying out for yourself.

      I was surprised to see a established websites that just wanted content published them to and were looking for writers. I've gotten a few people to pick up my articles now.

      Too soon to see if this turns into money in the bank though but it does look promising!
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      • Profile picture of the author namktqs
        Thanks for the post and congrats you, you really are successful. Throughout reading, I've notice that you got 5-7 sales per month per one website. And I look a guru do same. That is some great motivation there mate. Also I like free traffic, I will done it in future I'm try Market Samurai trial, but not cool with me, I'm follow tool of google and look around other people work well in my niche give me idea for start. I you have suggest, please talk more. And I think you will keep doing with that you accomplish and grow it, don't confused by things you know less. Keep move up, hope here your more success soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author kathyflynn
    Banned
    thanks man, not success yet with clickbank
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  • Profile picture of the author mge
    Thanks for sharing your CB business in so much detail.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roan
    wow nice one! Thanks for sharing your success
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  • Profile picture of the author shabash_23
    I am very happy for you William. I am also in your situation but did not taste success still.

    But I will never never give up, as i know that success is just around the corner and i have to be persistent with my work.
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  • Profile picture of the author BridgetSielicki
    Nice work! Its always good to hear from people who are succeeding. Thanks for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author quickmarketing
    Thanks for sharing. I was the same...I did really well in the beginning then it slows down for no reason and it's really nice that I was able to found this thread in WF.

    Nothing will ever come without effort and dedication, but taking the right steps you'll be able to succeed. Keep in mind realistic expectations and gather the will to make the best out of everything you're involved in.
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  • Profile picture of the author jimmy55419
    nice info.
    thanks for giving such a impressive knowledge.
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  • Profile picture of the author cyberzolo
    $400 per month is impressive but it took you years to get there?
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  • Profile picture of the author wayneh
    This is a great story. It's great to see someone making a success on affiliate marketing. It's great to see your approach laid out like that. Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonthewebmaster
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    Originally Posted by williamstraus View Post

    I have to say I've studied the IM arena on and off for a long time. I knew what to do to make money online but could never apply myself to do it.
    Awesome example of PROOF that this method does work if done properly and diligently!! Now any naysers preaching that backlinks dont work, review blogs dont work, article writing and syndication doesnt work, seo doesnt work, etc etc... they cannot deny reality any longer, there is a way if done correctly!

    Thanks for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author forekast
    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I've heard of this method before, and have wanted to put it into action for a while now. I think I even picked up a WSO that explained a sort of "review site" method pertaining to one specific CB product, or perhaps several in a smaller niche.

    I guess I always overlooked it, but this has given me a great push towards starting my affiliate blog this upcoming week. I will be returning to this thread to refer to your steps and "blueprint" while I pick products and build my own site or sites.

    Thanks again for sharing. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors and keep up the great work.
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  • Profile picture of the author mraltotox
    slow plan regarding traffic but definitely worth to learn...thank you for the share
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    • Profile picture of the author jeaniepig
      Really valuable sharing! Thanks so much!
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  • Profile picture of the author vinness
    congrats on your success and thanks for being an inspiration!
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  • Profile picture of the author skorpyo33
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