How I Lost $2,300 On A Profitable Clickbank Campaign

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Different sides of affiliate marketing

Different people have different assessments of what affiliate marketing is. To some people it is putting a bunch of ads on a website they own with the hopes of getting enough traffic to make a ton of money from commission.

That method is more long-term as many that pursue it don’t want to spend money on advertising.

Due to that, it takes a while to get the traffic volume necessary to make high volumes of money from ads.

To others affiliate marketing is buying traffic and sending that traffic directly to affiliate offers with the hopes of making more in commission than they spend on advertising.

This is mainly direct response advertising. You have to get the lead or sale right away or you won’t get it at all.

That is a more scalable approach to affiliate marketing because their is so much traffic available for purchase.

If you know what you are doing you can easily make a few thousand a day.

Here’s what you’ll learn from this post:

  • How you can make a profit with your affiliate campaigns and still lose money.
  • Why you should create your own products and why you probably won’t
  • Multiple methods to build a list and create an assets while promoting products you don’t own.

No matter which route you take, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online because you can promote other companies products and services for commission.

Here are some pretty simple and straight forward examples:

  1. If you have the skills to generate tons of dating leads, you don’t have to start your own dating website, you can just promote someone else’s. It is less risky and you can still make a lot of money.
  2. If you have the skills to generate thousands of insurance leads, you don’t have to start your own insurance business, you just generate leads for other companies.

Even though generating leads and sales for people can make you a lot of money, don’t overlook the fact that even if you make money in affiliate marketing, you are still losing money by not controlling the offers you promote.

You are still making someone else richer, as many of the companies you promote will make more on the backend.

The Details Of My Loss!

My experience profiting on a Clickbank product but still losing $2300 should give you more insight into what I am talking about.

If you do not know Clickbank is the world’s largest digital marketplace.

Affiliate marketers can pretty much find digital products to promote in any niche from fitness to seduction to video game guides.

The product I promoted was a men’s health guide which was in Spanish. It cost $47 when purchased.

That usually left me with a commission of around $25. Sometimes my commission would be $29 if people bought the upsell.
I promoted this product on several advertising networks over a few months. In some cases I linked directly to the product in other instances I used a multi offer landing page similar to the one below.

landing page screenshotThis was a campaign in which people would either purchase the item right away or not at all. Their was no retargeting or list building or opportunities to make the sale later.

Over my time promoting the offer I spent $1473.44 on advertising and I made $2126.75 in commission for a profit of $653.32.

My return on investment (ROI) of 43.3%. Many people would be happy to have a successful campaign that made a profit, but not me!

A deeper look reveals the that I lost out on the chance to make an additional $2300 by not owning the product.

Lets say I created a similar product and could get it to convert just as well.

Based on Clickbank vendor fees which subtracts 7.5% plus $1 from the product price, I would make $42.48 commission for each sale I make.

Now lets adjust the numbers from the paragraph above.

If I made those same 104 sales instead of making a measly $2126.75 in revenue I would instead have made $4417.92 which would have increased my profit to $2944.48 and increased my ROI to 100%.

So I lost $2300 on a campaign that I made money on because I didn’t own the product.

This doesn’t even take into account the sales affiliates could be making for me or the money I could make on the backend via supplements or cross promoting health products from other vendors.clickbank screenshot

Why Didn’t I Make My Own Product?

It is easy to say I could have made more if I owned the product I was promoting, but for the most part it is not actually all that easy.

You are talking about writing a script, taking or buying unique pictures, creating and setting up sales pages, shooting and editing sales videos, hiring translators and much more.

On top of that is all the testing that has to be done to find out a whole different aspect of the greater picture…

Which colors work? Which video is better? Which sales letter performs best?

It is a lot of hassle I did not want to go through, especially for a product in a language I do not speak.

I am sure many of you will feel the same way when you have the choice between promoting someone else’s product or creating your own.

Even though we know the hard way is more profitable, the majority of us will still do it the easy way.

Other Promotional Methods

If you want to avoid creating your own products and stick to promoting affiliate offer, you should do it in a different way.

To do that you need to create a content site and build a list in a specific niche.

Below are a few methods that can be used to build a list while promoting your content site and Clickbank offers.

  • Send people to a quiz on your website. At the end of the quiz you show them a results page and offer them a special video related to the topic if they join your list. When they enter their email in your autoresponder form you should immediately send them to a Clickbank offer that has a sales video. Most won’t buy right away, but having their email gives you the chance to try to make the sale later.
  • Another method is to send people right to a squeeze page and ask for their email in exchange for a video that can help them solve their problem. Once they enter their email send them to a Clickbank offer with a video sales letter.
  • Send people to a good article on your content website. That content website should have an aggressive auto responder that pops up and offers them a special video that can help them solve a problem. Once they enter their email they should be redirected to the Clickbank video sales letter.

In these instances you may not own the products you promote, but having that content website and email list is a great alternative as you can still make money off them in future emails or in return visits to your website.


This should be a wake up call to those that are doing affiliate marketing that even if you are making money, you could be making more.

Make sure you use your affiliate campaigns as a stepping stone to more profitable ventures.

Identify what you are good at promoting and try to get into that niche with your own products and services. If you are not willing to step up and create your own products and services, at least build an email list so you can have multiple attempts to make a sale.

guest post by andreAndre, has been making money online for 10 years with the majority of his earnings coming from direct response affiliate marketing. Visit to read his affiliate marketing case studies and tips. His blog will also allow you to follow him as he attempts to expand his business more toward list building and product creation.


  1. I am also trying to make money online through affiliate programs, and I have put a lot of work into my site. I don`t yet publish my website but before I start adding affiliate links, I want to be shure of what is best for me as far as getting revenue goes. So looking at this post has offered me some ideas I didn`t know of, like the quizzes or the video advertising.

    • Hi Nahim,

      Can I ask why you haven’t published your website yet? If you put a lot of work into it you might as well publish it and just add affiliate links when appropriate. The older your site gets the more value and traffic it will reach. So you can continuously build it and put work into it whilst it’s published.
      Making money online isn’t an overnight process. It’s almost like growing a Tree. You need to water a small seed first let it grow and over time combined with taking good care, it will blossom and grow into a strong tree!


  2. It looks like you have learned from your mistakes. I hope that by me reading this I do not make the same mistakes. As for what you were saying most affiliate marketers do not want to spend money on advertising as for me that is very true. I do not have the resources to be spending money on advertising campaigns without knowing I will convert and actually profit. How did you know you would profit from your campaigns?

  3. If your offer can solve the problems of your target ad campaign list, then the likelihood of profit is there. The right offer to the right target is the key.
    Best of Luck,
    F. Mobo

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