I’m sure a few of you have already noticed that over the weekend this site has started showing Clickbank ads that look similar to AdSense ads.
I’ve been trying out Clicksor and Chitika on another site as potential replacements for AdSense and I’ve not been impressed so far, (revenue does NOT match AdSense) so thought it was time to give Clickbank ads a try which in theory could make a lot more money than AdSense.
On Saturday I manually hacked my version Talian AdSense Ready WordPress SEO Theme (best theme on the site) to run Clickbank ads instead of AdSense ads and two days on I’ve now fully converted the theme to run Clickbank in a similar way to how the Talian theme runs AdSense (add your Clickbank username and your good to go: less than one minute to setup, any idiot could do it).
I’ve not run the Clickbank version of Talian long enough to decide if it’s going to make as much or more money than AdSense, however there’s no reason why it shouldn’t perform well.
AdSense ads vs Clickbank ads
AdSense is easy to setup, Google AdSense provides decent instructions, Clickbank ads on the other hand are a pain to setup, the code I found from Clickbank didn’t even work, so had to find a 3rd party source!!! Ignoring ease of setup when you compare potential Clickbank revenue to AdSense revenue we should see an increase for the following reasons.
Google AdSense is highly unlikely to share more than 10% of the revenue it receives (vaguely recall reading it was estimated around 8%?) from it’s advertisers. Google AdSense doesn’t publish what percentage it shares with it’s publishers, but it’s going to be relatively low.
Clickbank publishers disclose their revenue share and it can be as high as 75%, IME most products fall around the 50%+ revenue share, which from an affiliates perspective is great: most affiliate programs offer below 10%, so you have to really work your butt off to make money.
Clickbank products tend to sell for over $20 each, so a Clickbank affiliate is likely to earn at least $10 (50% revenue share) a sale on average (for the products I promote individually my average is over $25 a sale). One good Clickbank sale can easily beat a good AdSense day on a low traffic site.
This means a website owner can in theory make far more from Clickbank compared to AdSense. That’s assuming they can get sales and that’s going to depend a lot on the niche and quality of Clickbank products available :-)
WordPress Clickbank Theme Features
Like with Talian AdSense Ready SEO WordPress theme, the Clickbank version has all the search engine optimization features (it’s by far the best SEO WordPress theme online today) and offers many of the AdSense features, but for Clickbank.
If you’ve used Clickbank ads already you’ll know unlike AdSense ads the keywords Clickbank uses are NOT automated, you have to add them yourself which for most users will mean one set of keywords for an entire domain (not a good idea). I’ve solved this problem as follows.
On the home page and monthly type archive pages the Clickbank keywords used to determine which ads to show is the name of the website.
On single blog posts and static blog pages, the title of the post/page is used as the Clickbank keywords.
On category and tag pages, the category/tag name is used as the Clickbank keywords.
On search results pages, the search query is used as the Clickbank keywords.
I can probably add the ability to also include a custom field for the keywords, so if you build your own meta tags or something page by page you might be able to use those (I’ll need some feedback about what people use).
I’ve so far tested the Clickbank theme on two domains and they instantly gave very good results. Don’t know about you guys, but I was getting sick to death of seeing that loose fat cartoon like ad on all my AdSense running domains (blocked those ads!) and this sort of thing should not happen with my Clickbank theme.
With AdSense you are limited to preset ad unit sizes, with Clickbank you decide the precise size on an ad unit and how many ads to show. I’ve included a good selection of ad sizes that match some of the popular AdSense ad units and some unique ones like at the bottom of a single blog posts content (like on this page) you’ll find at the bottom of the main content a 540px wide ad unit with just one Clickbank ad within it. If you look at the category pages near the bottom there’s a 540 wide ad unit with 6 Clickbank ads, two rows of 3 ads (you’d have to use two AdSense ad units to get the same result). With Clickbank you can set the number of rows and columns, so you could have 4 rows and 4 columns (4×4) equals 16 ads in one ad unit!
With AdSense you are limited to 3 content ad units and 3 text link ad units. There are no limits with Clickbank, normally with AdSense I’ll have one sidebar ad, I currently have the new Clickbank theme to have 6 sidebar Clickbank ad units available (3 with a heading and 3 without a heading): on this site I’ve added three sidebar Clickbank ad units, one with a header “Related Products” with 6 ads on the top right menu, and two ad units with no headers, one with two ads and one with one Clickbank ad. The combinations are practically limitless other than I need to limit the options to a reasonable number (will probably have around 20 ad unit sizes available: happy to take suggestions).
Hit one issue so far with the ad unit colours, I’d like to include the option to choose from two colour sets so the sidebar ad units have a mustard colour background and the content ad units have a white background. Currently can only have one colour set.
I’d also like to be able to mix and match AdSense and Clickbank ad units, but that might be hard to achieve :-) So currently it’s one theme for AdSense and one theme for Clickbank.
Clickbank Membership Site
Rather than sell this as a single product I’m thinking about selling the new Clickbank theme via Clickbank and bundling in with all the other AdSense themes in one membership site (might stop selling themes individually). Not sold products via Clickbank before, so that’s about as far as I’ve got on what the possible options are, but the good news is others will be able to promote the theme and make affiliate revenue (I’ve had more than a few emails asking for the option :-)).
For current customers I’ll at least give them a significant discount equal to whatever they’ve already paid me off what ever fee I decide on if they choose to upgrade.
I can’t make any promises on how long it will take for me to get everything setup, I made the mistake with Talian 04 AdSense theme to say a few weeks and it took months for me to find the time to finish it, so…
Quite excited about this theme, should make more money than AdSense, so I’ll be testing it on multiple sites and post the results.
Update: Clickbank shut it’s AdSense like ads program :-(, so removed Clickbank ads from the Talian 5.5 Ad Theme.