Got a passion for life-long learning? Interested in developing your skills (and recommending the products that helped you out along the way)? Education affiliate programs could be the perfect way for you to earn a bunch of affiliate income.
Turns out there’s a ton of money in online learning. In 2020, the global e-learning market was worth more than $250 billion, and it’s expected to exceed a cool $1 trillion by 2027.
In short, this feels like a great time to hitch your metaphorical wagon to the online learning platform horse.
Still, just because the education industry is booming, there are no guarantees. You still need to know what you’re doing — including finding the best education affiliate programs.
Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you by rounding up the 12 highest-paying, best-converting, most unmissable affiliate programs in the education niche.
Our track record proves that we know a thing or two about making money in the affiliate marketing game…
…so whether you’re a total affiliate marketing beginner or a seasoned pro looking to branch into education, these are the programs you need to join:
Education Affiliate Programs
- LinkedIn Learning
- Rocket Languages
- Rosetta Stone
- The Princeton Review
Udemy is one of the biggest names in the world of online learning, offering instructional videos from over 64,000 instructors across more than 185,000 courses in 75 languages.
Want some more impressive-sounding numbers? Sure you do. The online learning platform has signed up more than 49 million learners and generated over 680 million course enrollments.
Oh, and it also has over 10,000 enterprise-level customers — and in case you didn’t know, anything with the word “enterprise” in it roughly translates as “massive earning potential”.
Every Udemy instructor is a bona fide subject matter expert with bags of hands-on experience and a love of passing on their knowledge to others, which is no doubt part of the reason for its impressive 4.5-star rating on G2 (from close to 500 reviews).
The Udemy education affiliate program offers “competitive” commission rates that increase the more you promote. To help you out, the platform gives you access to all the marketing tools you could ever need, including tracking links and tons of creative assets.
Like the sound of Udemy? Sign up and your application will be reviewed within three to four business days.
Commission rate: Undisclosed
Cookie duration: Undisclosed
It doesn’t quite have Udemy’s sheer wealth of course offerings, but Coursera is still a big deal in the world of educational products, with over 5,000 courses, degrees, and professional certifications from some of the world’s biggest brands and educational institutions — including Amazon, Google, IBM, and Carnegie Mellon University.
If that sounds good to you, you’re not the only one. Some 82 million learners and more than 100 Fortune 500 companies have signed up to Coursera. That’s pretty legit.
Coursera also runs one of the most popular education affiliate programs. And by “popular”, we mean “high-paying”. Its affiliate program pays from 10% – 45% on all eligible purchases made within 30 days of hitting your referral link, while there are bonuses on offer for strong performance.
Unlike a lot of other affiliate programs, Coursera also allows you to earn commissions from sales to existing members. That gives you a big opportunity to generate multiple sales from the same customer.
If we were being insanely critical, we could maybe say it’d be nice if the commissions were recurring rather than a one-off bounty payment. But then, lifetime commissions aren’t commonplace in the world of education affiliate programs, so it’s a pretty low blow.
Commission rate: 10% – 45% per sale
Cookie duration: 30 days
For the uninitiated, MasterClass is a streaming service that allows the likes of you and me to learn new skills from genuine elites in their field.
We’re not just talking about your common-and-garden “highly qualified instructors” here — we’re talking about Gordon Ramsey teaching you how to cook, Serena Williams giving you tips to improve your service game, and Shonda Rhimes giving you tips on how to nail your next pitch.
Sure, it’s not one-on-one tuition, but it’s pretty damn impressive nonetheless. And you get unlimited access to all of its online education materials for an annual membership starting at $180.
MasterClass is available on mobile, Roku devices, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV, so members can access it whether they’re chilling in their lounge or on their way to the office.
Pleasingly, there are plenty of affiliate commissions to be made here too, with MasterClass paying 25% per sale. Given that all plans are billed annually, that’s some solid earning potential.
Affiliate marketers can access all the support they need from the dedicated account management team, while MasterClass also sends twice-monthly newsletters including course updates, banners, and text.
Commission rate: 25% per sale
Cookie duration: 30 days
Teachable’s target audience is budding entrepreneurs who want to create (and sell) their own online courses.
It’s apparently pretty good at doing that, because more than 100,000 creators have used the platform to sell over $1 billion worth of courses and coaching.
The idea for Teachable was formed a decade ago, when founder Ankur Nagpal was instructing a course on marketing via a different platform. He spotted an opportunity to build something better, with more customization tools and a more profitable payment system — and just a couple years later, his company was valued at $8 million.
Unlike your typical B2C affiliate program, with Teachable, it’s your job as an affiliate marketer to attract new course creators. Affiliates promoting this program earn an average of $450 a month thanks to its tiered commission structure, which pays 30% – 50% per sale, once certain monthly thresholds are reached.
Pleasingly, Teachable is one of the few education affiliate programs to offer recurring commissions — so as long as your referrals keep paying for the service, you keep earning.
Commission rate: Up to 50% per sale
Cookie duration: 90 days
Pluralsight describes itself as “the technology learning platform”, allowing members to evaluable their technical skills and find courses that align with their learning objectives.
However, it’s not just targeted at individuals. Pluralsight also targets businesses looking to upskill their workforces, and it clearly does a good job, having signed up big-name clients including Adobe, Fujitsu, Nasdaq, and VMware. According to the company, 70% of Fortune 500 organizations trust Pluralsight.
As you’d expect, its courses are in decidedly techy fields — think web development, data, security, and cloud computing. Courses cost $29 per month or $299 per year for individuals, while team-level subscriptions start at $399 per year.
Interestingly, Pluralsight’s affiliate program pays $5 for free trial referrals, so you don’t actually need to sell anything to earn a commission.
Unsurprisingly, there are much higher payouts for driving actual sales. Specifically, you’ll earn 50% on one-off (i.e. monthly) purchases and a solid 15% on annual subscriptions, so you definitely want to gear your affiliate marketing strategy to promote those long-term plans.
As if that wasn’t enough, you get access to Pluralsight’s monthly newsletter, which is packed full of useful tips and insights to help you drive sales.
Commission rate: Up to 15% on annual subscriptions
Cookie duration: 60 days
LinkedIn has fantastic brand awareness and a huge professional audience, which makes this affiliate program especially attractive.
Not familiar with LinkedIn Learning? It’s a learning platform with more than 16,000 business, design, and tech-related online courses in seven languages, leveraging data and insights from the social media company’s 770+ million members.
Part of the appeal of LinkedIn Learning lies in its personalized recommendations, analyzing the skills that people want to possess to help them find the appropriate course. And when they do, they can learn at their own pace. Simple!
Like Pluralsight, the LinkedIn Learning affiliate program pays a small commission — in this case, $10 — for every referral who signs up for a free trial. However, the real money is made from driving sales: affiliate marketers earn 35% on individual course purchases and up to $40 per monthly subscription.
LinkedIn provides all the banners, text links, and free trial offers you’ll need to help turn your affiliate website visitors into fully fledged LinkedIn Learning customers.
Commission rate: Up to $40 per subscription
Cookie duration: 30 days
As you can probably guess, Rocket Languages offers language training courses.
Co-founder Jason Oxenham launched the company with his friend Mark Ling back in the mid-noughties after struggling to learn a foreign language through “traditional” education methods. Its first two products were Rocket French and Rocket Spanish, but it now offers courses in over a dozen languages.
More than 1.2 million people have used the site to learn a new language, and it seems the majority have been extremely happy with the experience, as demonstrated by its 1,400 five-star reviews.
Okay, let’s talk benefits of the Rocket Languages affiliate program. First and foremost, you’ll earn a generous 40% base commission. With an average order value of $145, that’s definitely not to be sniffed at.
But that’s not all, because the company also offers a mammoth 120-day cookie window — comfortably longer than any of the other affiliate programs on this list.
Factor in automatic bonus tier levels, a diverse selection of creative banners and links, plus exclusive deals and regular promo coupons, and there’s a lot to like about Rocket Languages.
Commission rate: 40% per sale
Cookie duration: 120 days
You probably know the Rosetta Stone is a stone tablet discovered by French troops during Napoleon’s 18th-century invasion of Egypt that gave archaeologists the linguistic key to decipher the country’s ancient hieroglyphics.
And you might also know that Rosetta Stone is one of the biggest names in foreign language learning, offering language training courses in 24 languages.
While a lot of language courses depend upon hours of boring repetition, Rosetta Stone’s methodology is based on showing learners an image, and then the word associated with that image.
This highly effective strategy for teaching people a new language is simple enough for elementary school students, yet advanced enough for those in higher education (or above).
In terms of affiliate commissions, Rosetta Stone pays a flat 7% on each customer you refer, as long as they convert within the 30-day cookie window.
As an extremely well-known brand, Rosetta Stone shouldn’t require a whole lot of “selling” on your part — but if you need a little leverage, your visitors can save money by signing up for a free trial. That’s always a helpful way to close the deal.
Commission: 7% per sale
Cookie duration: 30 days
Udacity started out as an online learning experiment, when Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig — both instructors at Stanford — opened up their Introduction to Artificial Intelligence course to anyone, anywhere, free of charge.
It’s fair to say their offer was well received, with more than 160,000 students in over 190 countries signing up.
In keeping with Thrun and Norvig’s areas of expertise, Udacity is very much focused on helping learners acquire skills that are highly sought after by so many leading tech companies — think cloud computing, data science, AI, and more.
Udacity’s so-called nanodegree programs are priced from $399 per month, so this definitely isn’t the most affordable option on the market. However, it’s popular with a bunch of government agencies and enterprise clients, including Accenture, Shell, and the US Air Force.
As for affiliate commissions, you’ll get $25 for every person you refer to Udacity via your affiliate website.
Commission: $25 per signup
Cookie duration: 30 days
Skillshare is an online education website that helps everyone from prospective college students to life-long learners acquire valuable skills in creative fields like illustration, design, and photography.
The platform offers more than 42,000 online classes and video lessons, so if your audience is interested in anything creative-related, they’re sure to find an option that suits.
Unusually, Skillshare doesn’t actually pay affiliates for signing up fully fledged customer accounts. Instead, its affiliate program is all about generating free trials.
For every signup you refer, you’ll bag yourself $7. So we’re not talking huge earning potential here, but on the plus side, your referrals don’t need to pay anything and you’ll still pick up a commission.
Affiliate payouts are made on the 16th of every month for the previous month’s referrals, as attributed via the Impact Radius network.
Commission rate: $7 per free trial signup
Cookie duration: 30 days
The Princeton Review
Princeton is one of the world’s best-known educational institutions. But it’s not just a university; it also helps would-be college students get into their desired school — including medical and law schools — through the Princeton Review.
Students can choose the online education route, or they can sign up for one-on-one guidance from an experienced instructor.
While there are plenty of websites and tutors out there offering test prep, Princeton is definitely one of the most prestigious. And it’s evidently one of the best at preparing students, with 96% of members going on to improve their grades, and four-fifths getting into their first choice of school.
Princeton Review’s 8% commission rate might not sound too impressive, but its affiliate program offers an EPC of over $900 and an average payout of $108 per transaction, so affiliates are clearly making bank here.
So if you’re looking for pure earning potential, this could be the education affiliate program for you.
Commission: 8% per sale
Cookie duration: 45 days
Similar to Teachable, Thinkific is aimed at people who want to create and sell online courses and membership sites.
From creating high-converting landing pages to validating students’ efforts through in-depth reporting, Thinkific offers all the tools you could ever need to build an online training program.
And it clearly works, with more than 50,000 creators using the platform to generate more than $650 million in sales.
Revenue sharing is at the heart of Thinkific’s education affiliate program. Each time you refer a paying customer, you’ll receive a 30% recurring commission on their monthly or annual paid plans for as long as they keep paying.
To put that into context, that means you could be earning as much as $1,700 a year per referral. Not bad, eh?
Commission rate: Up to $1,700 per referral per year
Cookie duration: 90 days
Conclusion: Are Education Affiliate Programs Right For You?
Online education can be a tricky niche to master.
For one thing, a lot of courses are pretty expensive, which can make it tough convincing your audience to convert.
For another, you’ll be targeting a highly professional audience, so if your affiliate website doesn’t look (and sound) the part, don’t expect to drive many sales.
However, the rewards are definitely worth it, because there are some big commissions to be earned here — like four figures a year from a single customer.
Give yourself the best chance of success by signing up for our free training, where we’ll reveal seven secrets to make new websites 83% more successful.
See you there. And until then, class dismissed!