This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase
It’s not surprising that Udemy, the world's largest online learning platform, has an affiliate program.
Udemy has over 100,000 courses in more than 100 different categories. This creates a lot of opportunities for promotion as it is very likely that you cover one of the topics on your website or other online channels.
You will learn everything you need to know about the Udemy affiliate program in this article to decide whether the program is worth joining.
If you create an account via a link on the Udemy affiliate landing page, you automatically apply for the Udemy affiliate program. If you create an account directly from the Rakuten LinkShare website, then you will have to find the Udemy affiliate program on the network and apply for it.
While registering at the Rakuten LinkShare network is immediate, the approval to join the Udemy program takes a few business days.
What’s the Program Commission?
The landing page for the Udemy affiliate program doesn’t contain any information about the program. The important information, like commission and the referral period, can be found on the Udemy page on the Rakuten LinkShare network.
So, what’s the Udemy commission? Well, it’s not much. You get a 15% commission for each course which may seem like a lot but given the fact that people are used to buying Udemy courses for discounted prices, which often are as low as $10, it’s not that much.
The referral period is very short. The standard referral period is 30 days, but the Udemy affiliate program offers just 7 days. If someone clicks on your affiliate link and doesn’t buy right away, but in 8 days, then you don’t earn any commission.
The program allows the creation of deep links which means you don’t have to send people to just the Udemy homepage; you can create links to specific Udemy courses.
Udemy provides you with banners and sometimes also with coupon codes.
How Much Can You Earn?
How much money can you make with the Udemy affiliate program? Is it really possible to make $1,000 a month promoting Udemy courses?
It’s possible, of course, but it is not easy. On average, courses on Udemy cost $10-$15. A course that costs $15 will earn you commission of just $2,25.
So, if you wanted to earn $1,000 a month, you would need around 430 people to buy a $15 course through your affiliate link.
If we were optimistic and you would have a 5% conversion rate, you would need to have around 8,000 clicks to your affiliate links.
If you don’t have an established blog with a lot of traffic or YouTube videos with a lot of views, making $1,000 a month with a Udemy affiliate program will be very hard.
How to Make Money with the Udemy Affiliate Program
Udemy commission is low and the referral period is short; thus I would not recommend using paid ads. It’s very unlikely that you would be profitable.
If you decide to try to make money promoting Udemy courses, you should have your own website.
Since there are 100 course categories on Udemy, the chances are that whatever your niche is, you will find related courses for it.
There is really no point in searching for more expensive courses to make your commission bigger as most people on Udemy are waiting for special deals, which Udemy has a lot.
Find relevant and quality courses that match the topics of your blog and write beginner articles that touch on some of the lessons included in your selected courses.
People who land on your article will often be interested in learning more about the given topic and will click on your affiliate link.
If you don’t have a website, you can promote Udemy courses through video on YouTube. You can shoot short tutorials on a given topic and then link in the video description to more in-depth Udemy courses.
You can also approach promoting Udemy solely through their free courses and promo codes.
People search a lot for phrases like "free course udemy". If you take this phrase and input it into a keyword explorer SEO tool, you will discover that this one phrase alone has a volume of 8,100 searches a month, which is quite a lot. If you manage to rank for this and similar keywords and put together lists of the most popular free courses for various categories on Udemy, then you can get a lot of people clicking on your affiliate links.
Obviously, you will not earn a commission for someone enrolling on a free course, but there is a chance that these people will want to continue learning more once they finish a free course, which will be most likely very basic.
It’s unfortunate that Udemy has just a 7-day referral period. If it had the standard 30-day referral period, this promoting method would work much better as some free courses can be basic but still quite lengthy, which is not in your favor.
Should You Join the Udemy Affiliate Program?
Personally, I think that the Udemy affiliate program is not worth joining. The 15% commission from low-priced courses will earn you only a few dollars per referral. If you don’t have decent website traffic, you cannot expect to earn much.
Even if you have a website with decent traffic, I still recommend not to join the program. Instead, create a course yourself and sell it on your website. You can earn much more selling your courses than promoting courses on Udemy.