How to Get Started as an Affiliate Marketer with ClickBank

Getting started as an affiliate marketer isn’t easy. Affiliate marketing is not for everybody. It’s especially hard if you don’t have any focus or guidance. Or at least that’s what I learned after years of trying to get it right.

Getting Started

I got started with affiliate marketing in 2008. Back then, I had no idea was I was getting into. I tried a few things, spent a little money to gain traction, and then gave up after a day or two of effort. eBay was the first thing that worked for me.

I found people selling digital “how-to” guides on there for between $7 and $14.00. Initially, guides on how to re-wire car navigation units to allow drivers to use them while driving were what stood out to me. You see, Pioneer and many other 3rd party car navigation units would only allow drivers to use them while at a complete stop, with the parking brake on, and these guides sold like crazy!

I thought to myself “Self, you can do this!” So I decided I would.

I searched on Yahoo (remember, this was 2008) and found various ‘how-to guides’ in several car enthusiast forums. I used these as ideas and made my own. I listed on product as a test, and it worked – so I did some research. I came up with more ideas for more products I could create and sell.

I had multiple products for sale on eBay three months later. The competition was touch though. I kept my prices low to remain competitive. I sold my products for anywhere between $2.50 and $9.99. After 6 months, I made about $1,000 per month in profit–which was great. But there was a downside…

How to Make the Time

It took me 6 hours a day to create new listings, fulfill my customers orders, and manage my side hustle. This was in addition to my 9-5 job. I worked all day, then came home and worked some more. There wasn’t enough time to fit it all in. I kept this up for over a year. I was happy with the money (it was more than I expected), but my new “financial freedom” was becoming another full-time job. My girlfriend (now wife) wasn’t thrilled with me and I knew something had to change. So, I quit selling on eBay. I need to find a way to make money online that actually provided me with the freedom I wanted.

In 2010, I had to figure out what to do next. I found a guide online titled “How to Make Money with ClickBank.” I’d never heard of ClickBank. So, naturally, I was curious. I looked into it and I immediately saw the potential and possibility. I started that day. You won’t believe what happened next…

I didn’t make a dime.

That’s right. Not a single penny. The truth is, even after discovering and learning about how to get started as an affiliate marketer on ClickBank, I had no direction. I was adrift in the sea of potential. I jumped around from shiny object to shiny object. I tried all the tactics. From content grabbing to social bookmarking backlinking. I used PPC traffic and even auto blogging software. None of it worked.

Discouragement set it and I gave up. I never actually put in the time to learn the right tools and tactics that would help me focus and fine tune my process.

Then, desperately, I tried one more time.

My Breakthrough

My breakthrough came in 2010 when I stopped jumping around. I hunkered down to focus on one thing until I made it work. Back in 2010, there were quite a few ‘get rich quick’ products on the internet. For the most part, they were scams designed to make the product creator rich, and the students… well, not so much. They did not deliver on their claims to make students $56,234.54 with just 3 clicks of their mouse (no joke, I saw PLENTY of products angled just like this).

I came across a particular product and searched for reviews on YouTube because it sounded too good to be true. The problem was, there was not a single HONEST review online!  

Dishonest affiliates were making videos on YouTube. They claimed that these products made them rich, but I knew it had to be B.S. I purchased one of the products to test it out for myself.

The product was a very simple website creator (that took 3 clicks to create) and some “push button traffic” upsell that was supposed to send me “hoards of hungry buyers traffic” for “only $149 more!” But in the spirit of fairness, I went for it. I gave it a try. I made a few websites with the tool and I even paid for the traffic software.

Guess how much I made?…

If you guess a quick $0.00, you’re 100% correct.

My suspicion was correct. This product was junk. The websites it built looked like garbage; the content it created looked and read like a 5-year old came up with it. The traffic software didn’t do anything other than build a few backlinks on social bookmarking websites like Digg. And, contrary to its claims, it did not fill my affiliate accounts with thousand of dollars.

Oh and those “hordes of hungry buyers?” Nowhere to be found.

What Worked For Me

Needless to say, I was upset. All of those positive reviews were phony! Right then and there, I knew I had to do something to warn people about this product. I created my first YouTube channel and I made a video showing people how the product worked and why it was a waste of time and money.

Lucky for me, my video ranked well. A lot of people liked honest information. I did a few more videos on different scam products. I started making recommendations for good online training programs and my online income increased from $0.00 to $5,000 per month. I was blown away. I was making more than my day job and it only took a fraction of the time.

How I Kept Going

I didn’t stop with the “Make Money Online” niche. I explored other niches such as dog training, dating advice, relationship advice, and more. I created lists in various niches. I also started generating traffic with blogging and SEO. I’ve been a full-time affiliate marketer since then. I quit my day job and I don’t plan on ever working for anybody else ever again. Learning how to get started as an affiliate marketer meant figuring out how to focus and come up with a process that worked for me. Now, I’m respected and known in the industry. I get to share my knowledge in an honest and meaningful way.

ClickBank Made the Difference

If I hadn’t stumbled across that ClickBank guide, who knows how long it would have taken me to get started as an affiliate marketer. The ClickBank Affiliate Marketplace helped me find products to promote and the consistent paychecks and high commissions gave me hope. I knew I was on the right track. I was able to learn, grow, and scale. Here’s my number one piece of advice to affiliate marketers just starting out:

Stick with it and do the right thing! Don’t leave fake reviews. Don’t do scammy stuff. People will happy pay for honest information and good instructional material, so be mindful and trustworthy, and focus on figuring out and developing your own process.

Jeff Lenney is a top Clickbank affiliate and lives in Orange County, California with his wife and two kids. You can learn more about Jeff at his website,

To sign up for a ClickBank account and get started as an affiliate marketer, CLICK HERE.