Udemy affiliate program review
In this Udemy affiliate program review, you should learn whether it is worth your time trying to promote courses on the Udemy platform. As a bonus there are also some ways to promote it should you decide to.
- what is Udemy
- features of the affiliate program
- how to promote
- is it worth your time?
What is Udemy
Udemy is an online course hosting platform that features both free and paid courses.
Founded in 2010, Udemy is currently taking advantage of the massive growth in online learning which has been further boosted by the covid-19 pandemic. It is currently home to more than 130000 courses in more than 60 languages.
The global online learning market is forecast to grow from $187 billion to $319 billion between 2019 and 20251. This figure was estimated before the pandemic and so the potential growth of this market is likely to be even greater over the next few years.
From a course creator point of view, Udemy offers an excellent solution. The uploading of course materials is relatively painless and payment processing is integrated into the platform.
In addition, Udemy is one of the leading online learning platforms which makes it that much more likely that someone will purchase the course that you have uploaded to the system. Udemy does a lot of self-promotion so brand awareness is good.
As an affiliate for Udemy, you have an abundance of courses to promote. You could probably add a complementary Udemy course to any other affiliate offers you are running in order to double-dip such is the range of courses on offer.
Features of the affiliate program
Udemy’s affiliate program is administered on the Rakuten or Awin networks2. so if you don’t already have an account with one of those networks you’ll need to go through that process before applying to Udemy. It can take up to 4 days for your application to be approved which isn’t ideal.
The initial commission is rather low at only 15%. However, this is likely to increase if you manage to send a large amount of traffic to Udemy.
Should you increase the volume of purchases to more than $5,000 per month then you may be in a position to negotiate a personalised commission structure with Udemy. You would need to contact them directly with details of your promotional methods.
The cookie length is an issue. At only 7 days this doesn’t give you that much time to convert your audience. Whilst better than Amazon, it is not exactly generous as many, many affiliate programs give you a 30-day cookie window or more.
If you join the program it sounds like the only promotional materials are banners but you can create your own should the provided banners not be a suitable size for your website.
You can become an affiliate even if you don’t have a website but you would need some form of social media following for Udemy to approve the application. Note that someone who was attempting to promote only Udemy and nothing else would not be approved.
The restrictions on promotional methods are fairly standard, you are not allowed to bid on trademarked terms such as Udemy, you can’t use a domain where Udemy forms part of that domain name, you can’t bid on competitors brand names, etc.
Whether you are the creator or an affiliate, an annoying aspect of Udemy is that they may unilaterally decide to reduce the price of your course thus limiting your profit or commission.
- Enormous library of courses.
- Courses can be inexpensive.
- 7-day cookie
- 15% commission
Here are some different online tutoring platforms with their own affiliate offers:
Teachable. One of the better-known e-learning platforms. Teachable’s affiliate program offers an excellent 30% commission along with a 90-day cookie. That commission is also recurring which makes it even better. Probably the one disadvantage is the price of the courses. They won’t qualify as impulse purchases!
Simplilearn. Offering only a 10% commission but the courses must range up to as much as $2900. As an affiliate, you get a free trial so you can better promote the courses. A lot of technical courses leading to recognised accreditations. Not one for the hobbyist!
CreateLive. As the name suggests this site tends to focus on courses for creative types in areas such as photography, video, art and music. Their affiliate program is a bit confusing as it suggests a 30% commission on new users but also shows a 20% commission plus 10% for returning customers on another page. You would need to double-check that with CreativeLive when you join. They offer a 30-day cookie.
Coursera. A more generous cookie window of 30 days and commissions starting at 20%, with the potential to achieve up to 45%. You would receive commissions even if the customer was already signed up with Coursera as long as they followed one of your links. Only a small library of courses in comparison with Udemy (4500). They have an impressive list of partnerships with world-renowned universities and companies.
How to promote
The route a lot of people would take is having created some form of niche blog is to promote courses related to that blog. In an ideal world though you would want to develop your own courses since that would mean you are getting a much bigger slice of the pie.
Course reviews. Create some articles reviewing courses in your niche and associated niches.
YouTube videos/Social Media. You could try and promote courses via YouTube or your social media channels, using the review model.
Create a press release on PR.web highlighting your favourite courses along with your affiliate links.
Host a contest. Promote some form of contest with a Udemy course as the prize (you would have to pay for it). This should highlight Udemy in general to your audience. You would then hopefully get enough conversions to turn a profit.
Try to find a social media influencer in the right niche who will either partner with you or do a paid shoutout.
Udemy affiliate program review: Conclusion
Like most affiliate offers, the question of whether to promote really comes down to the type of traffic that visits your website. If you have the sort of audience that is likely to benefit from courses on the Udemy platform then a small amount of effort on your part to create some promotional content would probably be a good use of your time.
Given the relatively low commission rate and the generally low price of the courses though, you would need a decent-sized audience who are engaged with your content to make a significant income.
For example, if you received 10000 visitors per month and you managed to convert 1% of them on courses with an average price of $20 then that would be $2000 of sales and at 15% that means $300 for you.
This is just an example. Any income you can produce would depend on your traffic level and your skills at conversion. It would also have a lot to do with the price of the courses you are trying to promote. Do you go for more expensive ones or try to sell a larger quantity of lower priced courses?
My own opinion is that the commission level and cookie length mean it wouldn’t be at the top of my list to promote. Some of the sites listed in the alternatives section above might prove to be a better bet.
Final Conclusion: No Thanks.