Last updated on February 15, 2021
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Udemy is a global marketplace for e-learning and teaching online. Students master new skills by learning from an extensive library of courses in 15 main categories and 100+ subcategories. Its bestselling categories include web, mobile, and app development, IT and software, business, marketing, and personal growth. A few instructors have made millions of dollars on Udemy (mostly due to internal marketing support and partnerships).
- Founded by Gagan Biyani, Oktay Caglar, and Eren Bali in 2010
- CEO: Gregg Coccari
- Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA
- 35 million learners
- 57,000 + instructors
- 130,000+ online courses in 65+ languages
- Pay per course and subscription pricing (Udemy for Business)
Udemy Affiliate Program
Udemy has an affiliate program. Multiple affiliate networks host it, including Rakuten Advertising, FlexOffers, Impact, and Awin. Let’s review the benefits, drawbacks, commission rate, cookie duration, and program details. Here’s a snapshot.
- Cost per action (CPA): Cost per sale
- Commission rate: Up to 15%
- Commission type: Single payment, nonrecurring
- Cookie duration: 7 days
- Payout threshold: $50
- Payment options: PayPal
- Affiliate software/network: Rakuten Advertising, FlexOffers, Impact, and Awin
The commission payment threshold is low. Affiliate networks typically have a commission threshold of $50. Once you meet that amount, you’ll receive your approved commissions during the next payment cycle. Affiliates receive payments to their bank and PayPal accounts.
Deep linking is available, and it’s how an affiliate creates a link to a specific page on the merchant’s site. Instead of using a standard homepage affiliate link, you can link to an article or product that relates to your content to increase relevance and conversion rates. Publishers can create links and direct traffic to courses and pages of their choosing.
All four affiliate networks offer satisfactory reporting to monitor your activities, including clicks, impressions, sales, and commissions.
Udemy provides excellent creative assets, and affiliates can access an assortment of banners of varying sizes. Additionally, Udemy is timely and efficient regarding one-off banners for special and seasonal events. Category banners are available too, for instance, promotional banners for business courses.
There’s a full-time affiliate marketing manager. When a merchant has the staff to support publishers, it quickens processes and shows commitment.
Udemy is a popular e-learning website. It has a sizeable market share, robust brand, and millions of enrollments to outshine its closest competitors. You can appreciate its popularity by the countless unofficial Facebook pages and groups bearing its name.
Increasing demand for online learning equates to ample sales opportunities. Online education is affordable, convenient, flexible, and efficient. Millions of learners are gravitating toward platforms like Udemy to take free and paid courses. All those advantages create potentially high conversions and commissions.
Udemy has an extensive course catalog and something for everyone. Tens of thousands of classes, 10+ main categories, and over 100 subcategories give affiliates plenty of promotional opportunities. Also, Udemy offers many in-demand disciplines, such as web development, entrepreneurship, marketing, design, and personal growth.
The affiliate program landing page needs work. An affiliate landing page is supposed to be informative, but Udemy misses the mark. It hasn’t updated its landing page in at least three years. I presume nobody on their team appreciates the benefits of an informative landing page, which is surprising because Udemy is in the teaching/information industry.
Udemy uses vague statements to describe its program; for example, it offers “Very competitive commission rates.” Publishers would be better of with exact details about the commission rate, conversion period, and policies.
Udemy pays a low commission rate. Gone are the days when it paid affiliates 40 to 50 percent per sale. It has since lowered its commission rate to 15 percent, which makes the program less appealing than before. Programs that pay less than 20 percent don’t grab my attention or warrant active participation.
Udemy offers a subpar seven-day cookie duration (it was previously 30 days). Thirty to 90-day conversion periods are common, but Udemy has chosen to buck industry standards. Giving seven days to convert a sale benefits Udemy and produces a win-lose proposition.
Udemy is a sales and discount-driven marketplace. When sales events and promotions slowdown, so do affiliate conversions. Secondly, Udemy has created an environment whereby users wait for deals to avoid paying full price for courses, which results in lower commissions.
Courses on Udemy can be hit or miss. That allows for many viable alternatives, many of which have affiliate programs.
Can you make $1,000 a month as a Udemy affiliate? It’s unlikely that you will make that amount or a significant income. While Udemy is a leader in e-learning, it has become a laggard in the affiliate marketing space. A dwindling commission rate and a 7-day cookie will constrain your earnings and conversions.
Where should Udemy rank in your marketing activities? It should be a low priority. If you join the affiliate program, temper your expectations. On the flip side, there is money to be made in promoting online courses. Also, Udemy provides affiliates with an extensive course catalog and many marketing opportunities.
I reluctantly recommend joining Udemy’s affiliate program because robust commission rates and better terms are available with other e-learning companies, including Coursera, Skillshare, edX, and LinkedIn Learning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Udemy pays affiliates 10 to 15 percent, depending on the affiliate network.
The cookie is seven days.