Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching online where students are mastering new skills by learning from an extensive library of over 80,000 courses in 15 main categories and 100+ subcategories. Their bestselling categories include web, mobile, and app development, IT and software, business, marketing, and personal development. A few instructors have made hundreds of thousands of dollars (mostly through internal marketing support from Udemy).
- Founded in 2010
- Based in the San Francisco, California with offices in Ireland, Turkey, and Brazil.
- 80,000 online courses in 50 different languages
- 24 million students
- 35,000 instructors
- Pay per course and subscription pricing (Udemy for Business)
Udemy Affiliate Program
When I discovered Udemy a few years ago, my focus was to create online courses, share knowledge, build my brand, and make money online. Soon after, I noticed they had an in-house affiliate program that appealed to hundreds of affiliate marketers. However, by the time I joined, they were in the midst of diluting their program and moving it to LinkShare.
Changes to Udemy’s affiliate program caused quite an uproar and signaled that huge paychecks were over. However, their program remains attractive given their competitive advantages, continued growth, and brand recognition.
Increasing demand for online learning equates to ample sales opportunities. Online learning is affordable, convenient, flexible, and efficient. Millions of learners are gravitating toward platforms like Udemy to take free and paid courses.
Udemy is a top-ranked website. They have a sizeable market share, robust brand, and have attracted millions of students, which is far more than many of their competitors. Udemy’s popularity can be appreciated by the countless unofficial Facebook pages and groups bearing their name including my Free Udemy Courses Facebook group.
Udemy has an extensive catalog of courses and has something for everyone. Eighty thousand courses, fifteen main categories, and over 100 subcategories give affiliates plenty of options. Also, Udemy offers many in-demand disciplines such as web development, entrepreneurship, marketing, design, and personal development.
Udemy’s affiliate program is high-paying. I only join affiliate programs that pay high commission rates, for example, a minimum of 30 percent. With a 40 percent commission rate, Udemy exceeds my standard.
Deep linking is available. Deep linking is the practice by which an affiliate creates a link to a specific page on a merchant’s site. Publishers can create links and direct traffic to courses and pages of their choosing.
They have an excellent affiliate program team in place. Udemy’s previous affiliate team had no clue what they were doing or how to treat affiliates. However, they’ve been replaced by a new group of highly engaged, communicative, and supportive individuals who want to grow Udemy’s affiliate marketing line of business.
The most significant drawback of Udemy’s program is their seven-day conversion window (it was previously 30 days before the transition to LinkShare). Thirty-day conversion windows are standard industry practice, but Udemy has chosen to buck fairness and sensibility.
Udemy has an excellent affiliate team that we hope doesn’t stumble. I pray to the universe the team they have in place doesn’t change anytime soon. If it does and their habits regress, affiliates will run.
When sales events and promotions slow, so do affiliate commissions. Udemy is running many promotions under the current chief but they had dried up and were infrequent under the previous executive. A change in marketing or sales strategy can dimish an affiliate’s earning significantly.
Update: While Udemy’s affiliate program still carries some advantages, I’ve stopped creating courses on their platform and have ended my affiliate relationship with them. I no longer view Udemy as a viable affiliate partner.
E-Learning Affiliate Programs
If Udemy’s program isn’t to your liking or your application gets declined, you can capitalize on the burgeoning online course market through other e-learning affiliate programs.
- 360Training – 15% commission
360Training offers online courses that are suitable for a range of industries, for example, environmental health and safety, real estate, food and beverage programs, IT, software, insurance, HR, ethics, and compliance. Learn about the 360Training affiliate program.
- Coursera – Up to 45%
Coursera offers massive open online courses (MOOCs) through partnerships with top universities and organizations globally including Stanford, Yale, and Columbia. They have many attractive specializations and certifications. Students can take courses for free or pay to receive verified credits. Learn about the Coursera affiliate program.
- CreativeLive – 20%
CreativeLive focuses on creative courses, which are broadcasts live and for free to a global audience. They offer courses in multiple subjects or “channels” including photography, video, art, design, life, music, and money. Learn about the CreativeLive affiliate program.
- edX – 10%
edX‘s value proposition is similar to Coursera’s, and they boast an impressive lineup of university partnerships including Harvard and MIT. Learn about the edX affiliate program.
- The Linux Foundation – 20%
The Linux Foundation‘s training programs combine broad, foundational knowledge with networking opportunities that attendees need to thrive in their careers. Learn about the Linux Foundation affiliate program.
- MasterClass – 25%
MasterClass offers classes with the world’s best experts and practitioners. Their portfolio of instructors speaks for itself and includes Samuel L. Jackson, Gordon Ramsey, Herbie Hancock, Christina Aguilera, Serena Williams, James Patterson, Steph Curry, and others. The MasterClass affiliate program is available through ShareASale.
- Pluralsight – 15%
Pluralsight offers extensive online developer, creative, and IT courses that are taught by industry experts. They offer 4,000 courses to businesses and individuals. Learn about the Pluralsight affiliate program.
- Shaw Academy – Up to $10
Shaw Academy is a lesser-known e-learning platform, but they’re growing their presence one diploma at a time. Somewhat similar to CreativeLive, courses are taught live. Learn about the Shaw Academy affiliate program.
- Skillshare – $10
Skillshare bills itself as “a learning community for creators,” and they offer courses in thirteen subject categories. Learn about the Skillshare affiliate program.
- Treehouse – Up to 50%
Treehouse focuses on technical education. They offer more than one thousand videos created by experts on web design, coding, business, and more. Learn about the Treehouse affiliate program.
E-Learning Software Affiliate Programs
E-learning software services enable teachers to offer courses independently and create schools/academies.
- Teachable – 30% commission
Teachable allows you to create a beautiful and powerful, payment-ready course from your website without any technical knowledge. Learn about the Teachable Affiliate Program.
- Thinkific – 20%
Thinkific makes it easy for independent experts and companies to create, market, and deliver stunning courses on their sites. Learn about the Thinkific Affiliate Program.