Coursera Affiliate Program Review


Last updated on October 9, 2020

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Coursera offers access to online education through partnerships with the world’s best universities and organizations, including Stanford, Yale, Penn, Intel, and Google. Coursera has online courses, specializations, and degrees in various subjects, such as business, computer and data science, social sciences, personal development, and more. Classes are available in multiple languages and with subtitles. Coursera serves individuals, businesses, campuses, and governments.

Classes provide video lectures, homework exercises, projects, and discussion forums. Paid courses include shareable completion certificates. Classes run for four to six weeks on average.

Specializations target the development of specific skills. They typically bundle four to six courses and run for four to six months. Some of Coursera’s most popular concentrations include deep learning, Python, Java programming, and data science.

Undergraduate and graduate degrees are available for business, computer science, data science, and public health. Separately, MasterTrack certificates are portions of master’s programs that have been divided into online modules. Students complete these programs over months/years.

Company Profile

  • Founded by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller in 2012
  • Headquarters: Mountain View, California
  • Valuation status: Unicorn
  • 190+ university and corporate partners
  • 40+ million students
  • 4,000+ courses
  • 400+ specializations
  • 10+ degree and certificate programs


Courses, specializations, and certificates start at $39. MasterTrack programs begin at $2,000 with the option to pay in installments. Degrees start at $15,000 with the opportunity to pay in installments. Financial aid and scholarships are available for some courses and programs.

Coursera Affiliate Program

Coursera has an affiliate program, which anyone can join. It’s hosted on the Rakuten LinkShare affiliate network. Let’s review the benefits, drawbacks, commission rate, cookie duration, and program details. Here’s a snapshot.

  • Category: E-learning, education
  • Cost per action (CPA): Cost per sale
  • Commission rate: Up to 45%
  • Commission type: Single payment, nonrecurring
  • Cookie duration: 30 days
  • Payout threshold: $50
  • Payment options: Bank account
  • Affiliate software/network: Rakuten Advertising

Program Benefits

The affiliate landing page is excellent. An affiliate landing page is supposed to be informative, and Coursera hits the mark. The only detail that’s missing is the cookie duration.

Coursera pays a high commission rate of up to 45 percent. It has a baseline commission of 20 percent, which is much better than many other education affiliate programs. For example, Udemy pays 15 percent, while edX pays 12 percent. Regarding sales attribution, the credit will be given to the publisher with the last qualified click before the purchase.

The program has a 30-day cookie. Thirty-day cookies are standard in the affiliate marketing industry. However, 60 or more days would be more advantageous.

The payout threshold is low. Affiliate networks typically have a minimum commission threshold of $50. Once you meet that amount, you’ll receive your commissions in the next payment cycle.

There are over 700 advertising text links and banners, which come in different shapes and sizes. Coursera has you covered with an assortment of advertising materials for every core subject and popular course.

Deep linking is available. Deep linking is how an affiliate creates a link to a specific page on the merchant’s site. For example, instead of using a generic homepage affiliate link, I can link to an article related to my post. Publishers can create links and direct traffic to courses and pages of their choosing.

There’s a full-time affiliate marketing manager. When a merchant has the staff to support publishers, it quickens processes and shows commitment. You can contact Coursera’s affiliate team through Rakuten Advertising.

Reporting is satisfactory. Rakuten LinkShare offers adequate reporting capabilities to monitor your activities, including clicks, impressions, sales, and commissions.

Coursera is a trusted and top-rated e-learning website. It was launched by two Stanford professors who have raised millions in funding. Coursera has academic partnerships with many elite universities and corporations worldwide. While some e-learning sites have questionable and low-grade content (Udemy), Coursera is a reputable and professional-grade online education platform.

Coursera has only one direct competitor, i.e., edX. Therefore, its unique value proposition has given it a monopoly of sorts. Although there are many alternatives to Coursera, it and edX are the only e-learning companies that offer accredited courses and degrees from multiple tier-1 schools. Accreditation also makes the approval and reimbursement processes easier for companies that support ongoing employee training and upskilling.

Coursera’s expansive course catalog and subjects mean every affiliate can find something to promote. Secondly, it’s easy to identify high-converting courses by their reviews and student enrollment figures. Publishers can also find top courses under different headings on the site, including popular free courses, most popular certificates, most popular courses, trending courses, and so forth.

Increasing demand for online learning equates to ample sales opportunities. Millions of learners signup to platforms like Coursera because online education is affordable, convenient, flexible, and efficient. All those advantages can lead to high conversion rates and commissions.

Program Drawbacks

Imagine waking up to a 45 percent commission on a purchase of a $20,000 degree. Well, don’t bother because degrees and MasterTrack certificates are ineligible for sales commissions. Unfortunately, Coursera limits qualified transactions to courses and specializations. Naturally, it would be more beneficial if every item on its site was eligible for sales commissions.

Making Money

Can you make $1,000 a month as a Coursera affiliate? You can and more. Coursera is a reputable company that has partnerships with leading schools and innovative corporations. It pays high commission rates alongside an adequate 30-day conversion period. Given that online courses are self-explanatory, customers can quickly wrap their heads around Coursera’s offerings. That increases the chances of generating regular commissions.

Where should Coursera rank in your marketing activities? It should be a mid to high priority. Online learning is a growing sector with Coursera at the forefront. Its only direct competitor is edX, which it trumps by a landslide. I’ve completed free and paid courses on the platform, for example, an Introduction to Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

Top 40 Affiliate Program 200x

I recommend joining Coursera’s affiliate program because it pays high commission rates, and I’ve made money with it. Furthermore, it’s a Digital Fodder top 40 affiliate program.


Chad Tennant

Chad is a digital marketer, consultant, and publisher. At Digital Fodder, he offers insights and strategies concerning online marketing, ecommerce, working online, YouTube, and more. At Partnercade, he helps companies grow their affiliate program revenues and partnerships. Connect or start a conversation with Chad on LinkedIn.


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