by Galen Anderson

      If you’re new to Internet Marketing, perhaps you are overwhelmed at all the opportunities, many requiring an investment. Well, that in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, since most offline businesses do require some sort of investment.

      If you want to get started online with no investment, the affiliate program at Clickbank may be just what you’re looking for. Clickbank, at , is a digital products website that offers some 10,000 plus digital products for instant download, after purchase. The “vendors” on Clickbank are the people who offer the digital products, and the “affiliates” are those who help promote the products.

      The vendor goes through an application process, and must pay a fee of $49.95 for the opportunity to sell their first digital product. Then, the next product, and the next, and the next after that costs them nothing. They, however, must follow the strict guidelines to sell each and every product that they offer in the future.

      The affiliate, on the other hand, promotes one, or more, vendor’s products, with no cost whatsoever. To go to the affiliate’s signup page, go to this link, , and the first block you see is the ‘country’, which by default is set to “UNITED STATES”. (If you are from another country outside of the USA, scroll through the dropdown menu and select your country from 150 possibilities). The next box is ‘payee name’, which is how you want your checks made out to. (Notice the red asterisk next to a field means that that field is “required”). You are required to get your first 2 payments by check, then you can have your payments electronically transferred.

      You are required to have an email address and a telephone number, so Clickbank can contact you. Those boxes are required, but you are not required to have a website. However, a website or blog might be a good idea from which to promote products from.

      Your next required field is your ‘Clickbank ID’, which they describe as “5-10 letters & digits”. They explain that the Clickbank ID cannot be changed “once your account is opened”. Give this some thought, and choose carefully, as this ID will be with you forever.

      Other than that, be sure to carefully read the Clickbank “terms and conditions”, and check the box that affirms that you have read, and accepted.

      Once you have your affiliate account and ID, it’s time to start promoting a product, or products, on Clickbank. You’ll use your Clickbank ID for your user name, and you’ll receive your password that has been generated by Clickbank, via email, to sign in with. Write down your password! You can change it after login, but I don’t recommend it.

      Go to the marketplace, and scroll through the vendor ads. I believe that those who advertise are a good bet, and always choose vendors that pay 50% to 75% at least on commissions. However, you can just look through the products that peek your own interests, and choose a product that way, whether they advertise or not. You’ll use what’s known as a “hoplink”, and it is a digital website address that, when clicked on, will take you to the vendor’s ‘sales page’, with information about the product. I suggest you read a Clickbank article on how to build, and use, hoplinks. Check the article out at, and absorb the information, since the hoplinks that you use will have your Clickbank ID embedded in it. When you find a product to your liking, you will also need to know the vendor’s Clickbank ID, or “nickname”, as well as your own. When you have this information, use this format to create a website address that links the customer to the vendor’s “pitch page” or product page: .

      To use another format, a “cloaked” version of a hoplink is available,  one where the Clickbank IDs are hidden in a long series of numbers and letters. This is to insure that unscrupulous affiliates or vendors won’t be able to replace your ID with their own. After logging in to your account, click on “promote products”, or “marketplace”, then click on the product you want to promote, and then click on “Promote”.

      This brings up a box that is titled “Affiliate Program: Promote Product for ‘PRODUCT NAME’. (The name of the product you’re promoting). Next, you’ll see a box that says “Account Nickname”, and of course you fill in your Clickbank ID. Below that you’ll see a box that says “Tracking ID :Optional). This is filled in with, let’s say you advertised your affiliate product on Craigslist, then you would put that in the box, so you will know where that hoplink ran. Next, click the “create” button, and that brings up your “cloaked” hoplink, which you’ll copy and paste to use.

      That brings up where to promote your products. As I said above, Craigslist is a good free website, where you can post an ad, with, of course, your hoplink. Many product vendors provide advertising items including ‘banner ads’, ’email ads’, and ‘radio spot scripts’. When you make a sale or two, you can put up your own website or blog, and advertise your affiliate product. Go to free forums and put your product and hoplink there.

      If you decide you want to spend some money on advertising, try your local newspaper classifieds, or your local free shopper paper, and consider it an investment. Whatever you decide, promoting Clickbank products is an excellent way to get started in internet marketing, or expand your IM business if you’re not familiar with Clickbank. Whatever you decide, just get started!




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