A Clickbank marketplace search is often the first stop for finding digital products, but any affiliate marketer who has attempted to find decent programs to promote via the Clickbank directory search interface knows this is not an ideal (or time efficient) method.
Those familiar with the Clickbank directory search know that the sort and search capabilities are very limited, and the results are sometimes not reflective of the query submitted. So, what are the alternatives to using the Clickbank marketplace search interface?
If we look at the basics, all the information we need is stored in Clickbank’s database. We simply need a way of extracting that data so it can be organised and searched according to the criteria we set. Luckily, Clickbank are good enough to produce an XML feed of all their marketplace data for use by third parties. The trick is to turn this into a format that can be used by ‘average Joe marketer’
Method 1: Clickbank Directory Search Using a Spreadsheet
If you have access to Microsoft Excel 2003 or later, you can simply download the marketplace feed from Clickbank, then import the XML file as a new sheet. If you only have use of other spreadsheet programs, then you might need to convert the XML file to something compatible (like CSV) first – there are numerous applications available to do this, but most of the ones suitable for use by those who are not ‘tech savvy’ cost between $50 and $150. Whichever spreadsheet you use, it is likely that the data will need some manipulation before you can even begin to analyze it. The information may be duplicated and headings often contain additional characters, but once you have deleted the columns you don’t require and renamed the headings, you are ready to go. Once in a spreadsheet, you can use filters to narrow down the selection criteria and use the find command to search for relevant keywords within that selection. This is a relatively cheap option if you already have the software, but can be time consuming and needs to be repeated each time the feed file is updated.
Method 2: Clickbank Marketplace Search Via a Web Based Interface
PHP scripts are available which carry out a clickbank directory search from the XML feed and present the results in a web browser for analysis. If you have one of these installed on your own server, then a lot of the problems encountered in method 1 are automated (the script can be set to automatically update the feed file, and XML conversion is done in the background, as the data is parsed into tabular form).
Some sites offer this kind of interface to registered users. Limited search capabilities are offered for free and the more advanced options are offered on a subscription basis (either pay per query or a time limited subscription). Free options are usually based on data which is already a couple of weeks old, so unless you are happy to pay an ongoing subscription, the other methods are more suitable for those looking for hot new products that have not yet saturated the market.
Method 3: Clickbank Directory Search Using Purpose Built Software
This is the easiest method I have found for conducting a Clickbank marketplace search. Software is available for between $60 and $100 and completely automates the process. You are not tied to installing scripts on a server or paying a subscription. All the search options available in the spreadsheet method (and more besides) can be accessed from one simple to use interface. The better quality programs can also automatically create the relevant hoplinks (higher end software will also create an html file with the link encrypted to help you fend off commission thieves). Some are even capable of creating ‘contextual’ ads, based on your own Clickbank directory search criteria, that look similar to adsense, but with the added bonus of much greater earning potential.
This article should have provided you with enough information to successfully search the Clickbank marketplace for the best products to promote. A video showing all 3 methods in action can be found by following the author’s link.
Source by Darren Gibson