We are bringing you an interview with one of the greatest Clickbank super-affiliates, Robby Blanchard who has generated over 8 figures in affiliate commissions on Clickbank. He was named Clickbank’s top affiliate marketer in 2019, and he still maintains his track record.
Robby focuses on Facebook advertising and is also known for having one of the biggest affiliate marketing training programs, Commission Hero.
Follow along with this interview held by the team at Clickbank, as he shares with us his journey in affiliate marketing, from when he got started to when he became Clickbanks’ top affiliate, and beyond. He also shares a bunch of tips for affiliate marketers and his views on the state of the industry.
Robby, walk us through a little bit from where you got started, how you found yourself in this world of buying ads, and how you got to where you are today?
I started out as a personal trainer, with a personal training business, then I turned to owning a Bootcamp business, then I turned to owning a CrossFit gym. At one point in time, my CrossFit gym wasn't doing that well because I was really good at getting people in shape but I was bad at getting them into the door. So it was not until I finally figured out how to use Facebook ads to get people in the door, that I started to have success in my gym.
About 5-6 years ago, I really wanted to go fully online because it was like the people that were having success had online businesses. So I joined a mastermind by my mentors, Bedros Keuilian and Craig Ballantyne that taught, how to get started online with Clickbank, how to have your product on Clickbank, and promoting it.
So I created a fitness program called "Dominate Your Double Unders". In the CrossFit world, a double under is a jump rope movement using two swings per jump with a jump rope. So I put this product together because I saw that a lot of people in my gym were struggling with it because they weren't practicing it.
I put this program together and I remember going to a mastermind in Miami with this product done and I was so excited because I knew I was going to get affiliates to promote it via email. I went to different people in the mastermind and asked, "Hey, can you promote my product?" Everybody said "No". They said no because they all had email lists that were focused on weight loss and my product was not a weight loss program. So I got discouraged because I had paid all that money to get into the mastermind and I wasn’t having success right away.
So I got into the hotel after the event in Miami and I was like, "You know what, maybe I'll just try running some ads since it worked for my gym — maybe it will work for this product too". I remember setting up my ads that night. I had no idea what I was doing on Facebook but I set up the ads and the next day I woke up in the morning and I had 3 sales. I couldn't believe it, because someone in the world who I don't know literally saw my ad, clicked on it, bought the product and I made money. So that changed my life forever.
I also started promoting other people's products as an affiliate because there were other Clickbank products by people who were much better at creating products than I was. So that turned into making $100/ day to $1 000/ day to $10 000s/ day. It got to the point in January 2019, when Clickbank had a contest and someone messaged me and said "Hey Robby, Congratulations, you're in 3rd place right now".
At the time I was starting to put together a course on affiliate marketing explaining what I'm doing with Facebook ads, but I hadn't released it. So I made a deal with myself that if I were to win the Clickbank contest by becoming number 1, then I would release the course. I ended up winning it and I beat a lot of the big names on the platform.
From there, I released my course Commission Hero in April 2019 and now to date, we have over 8 000 people in the course. It's been unbelievable seeing the results of people having success and a lot of people are making life-changing income which is awesome, and that's literally why I created it.
That’s super exciting and what an amazing journey! How long did it take you to reach 8 000 students?
Just under 18 months and the numbers keep getting better and better. I think that the reason why Commission Hero has been so successful is that, my number one goal is to help people get results. I don't care about the money, the main thing is to help get people results and everything else will take care of itself. I’m a big believer that if you want to get something in life, help as many people as you can to get what they want, and that's just gonna come back to you.
Let’s go to the negative side. So what was one of the biggest headaches that you wish you would have known about when you were first getting started with online marketing?
I think time would be the big headache because at first, I was like, "I’m gonna do this", and in my head, it's like smooth sailing in a straight line to success. It's all good until you find out that it is not like that. My first year when I started online was a grind. I would have setbacks from ad accounts getting shut down on Facebook, to broken links, and so on. All those things would really be setbacks that in most cases could cause frustration. Sometimes they make you want to quit but luckily for me, I had my goal in mind and I didn’t care how many setbacks I’d have. I was like if I fall down 8 times I’m gonna get up 9 times. Most people overestimate where they'll be in 1 year and they underestimate where they’ll be in 5 years. I think that's so true when it comes to business and in anything you do.
The other big roadblock for me was learning how to say "No" to a lot of things. When you first start out in the online business, there are so many different paths to choose in order to have success and they're all good. But you have to stick to one and dial in on it until you have success with it. I could have done youtube, Instagram, or Snapchat ads but my success has been through focusing on Facebook regardless of all its quirks.
Let's talk about the Tier-2 affiliate marketing you are doing at Commission Hero. Can you explain what you do with those offers that you recommend to your tribe of over 8 000 Commission Hero students?
It’s pretty simple. Essentially, what we do inside Commission Hero is to recommend good Clickbank products to our students. These are products that I have personally tested and had success with. So once I know they convert really well, I work out deals with the product owners and vendors whereby I make myself a tier-2 affiliate. We basically set up a JV contract and then I let all my students go ahead and promote this particular product and obviously I make a little commission on the side when they make a sale. That’s how I’ve done it. It’s worked out really well because product owners pay more attention and they are incentivized to put more time and effort into you since you're sending them over 8 000 affiliates to push their products.
My students also trust me because most of the time I send them the top offers that I’ve had early access to. You know the advantage of being a top affiliate on Clickbank is that I get to know the inside scoop and many top product owners who have new upcoming offers. They always come to me and say, “Hey, this offer is coming on the marketplace or it’s really low in the marketplace but I think it's gonna be a home run”. I then look at it, test it, and then once it works out well, I let my guys in the course know. That's how we have achieved that advantage of getting in there first.
Was this something that you aimed for while developing the program or did the opportunity happen afterwards?
It happened afterwards. As an entrepreneur, you build the airplane while you're taking off and that's what I’ve done. At first, when starting the program I had 5-6 offers that I had tested out and without thinking of tier-2, I didn't even know about the tier-2 method. Afterwards when I found out about it, I went ahead with it and it worked really well. It's good because we drive a lot of traffic and last year alone, 1 600 students from Commission Hero generated $22 000 000 altogether on Clickbank. And that’s just a small fraction of the 8 000 students.
How do you go about testing new offers that product owners recommend to you?
I test them over a 2-3 week period and if I can reach the $1 000/ day level personally, then that’s a good offer. When I first started, I would do 1 or 2 months of testing but now I do it quicker because we release monthly offers as part of our inner circle coaching program.
What type of Clickbank vendors or offer owners do you prefer to work with?
One thing that I look out for is common names that have released many top products. So if it's somebody that has ever had a home run with some offers in the past, I’m probably going to give his new product a good shot. Such people know exactly what they're doing and they literally have a formula that they follow to get their products up and running.
The second thing is to make sure that it's in a category that is big. I usually focus on health, wealth, and relationships because it's these categories that I sometimes find to be recession-proof. They also have huge audiences which prevents saturation when my 8 000 students start to promote these offers.
The last kind of prerequisite as I look at is the average order value. I think the average order value is important and nowadays it's unbelievably high compared to when I started out.
Looking back to the year when I won the Clickbank contest, I had an average order value of $40 as an affiliate. Nowadays the AOVs of the same kind of offers go up to $150, which is incredible because I made lots of profit while the AOVs were at $40, and now they are even higher. It’s like getting paid triple which is amazing. I think nowadays there's so much opportunity and that's why I kept telling people that 2021 is going to be like a monster year for online marketing. This is because payouts in networks like Clickbank are getting twice higher which gives more cushion to make profits regardless of the increase of Facebook CPMs.
You have mentioned offers in broad categories, but are there some categories where you feel their offers are not being well presented and you wish someone could take on the opportunity to change something?
One thing that I do notice is aside from the weight loss and relationship categories, the rest of the offers in other categories aren’t much updated in terms of having new formats.
In the weight loss space, every year there are probably 5 or 6 new offers with new formats that become absolute home runs. As an affiliate, I think it's important to create changes in offer formats because even something as simple as switching the offer in the back can supercharge the results.
I think the DIY niche is a huge niche and it's a lot more friendly on Facebook. So I wish people could create some more offers in the DIY space and also the survival space.
Are there any tactics you use to deal with buyer uncertainty that’s caused by economic uncertainty especially during the covid era?
That’s a great question. So that's why I really focus on those 3 big categories; weight loss niche, relationship niche, and the money niche. For example with weight loss, even when you don't have a job, you can cancel your gym membership but the chances that you're going to buy a supplement so you can lose weight is still probably high. The same with relationships, people are always going to look for a significant other. With the money niche, obviously when there is economic uncertainty people are going to be looking for more business opportunities that will allow them to work from home and make more money.
That's why I really think that you need to stick to those niches initially until you see what's going on in some other niches. However, most niches apart from these 3 aren’t that recession-proof.
Apart from Facebook which you obviously do, are there any traffic sources that are tempting you to try out, or maybe you suggest others should go and try out?
Snapchat was promising but it disappointed me last year, so I really haven't focused too much on it. Youtube is big and it amazes me how people are not doing Youtube right now. Actually, we are updating Commission Hero and we have a whole section on Youtube Ads coming up. It’s gonna be pretty cool because I think that's such an untapped spot. It’s so massive, and I think the cool thing about Youtube isn’t that it’s a new traffic source, but the thing is people who go there are so conditioned to sit down and watch a video. Now when you take that person who's been sitting down and watching a video on Youtube to a 38-minute VSL landing page, the chances of them actually watching the whole thing is going to be a lot greater because they're already conditioned to do so.
But for me I’m always doubling down on Facebook, even with all its quirks that drive me crazy, there's nothing out there that can scale fast. Even low-budget tests can crush it with Facebook. Youtube is promising but the creatives are a little bit of a challenge because they need an upfront investment bigger than what you’d use on Facebook.
Thank you so much, Robby, we appreciate your time, and to sum this interview can you share with the audience your social media handles where they can follow you? Especially those who are interested in Facebook and Clickbank.
I spend quite a bit of time on Instagram. You can find me with my handle which is @robbyblanchard
That's it for this interview and special thanks to you for reading to the end. Be sure to follow up for more upcoming interviews with more amazing individuals like Robby Blanchard who earn real money from online marketing.