affiliate marketing

How To Sell Your Online Courses Through Affiliate Marketing

Looking for ways to sell your online course to a larger audience? Try affiliate marketing which is one of the most cost-effective and handy marketing tool.

Let us begin this post with a harsh reality – it takes a LOT of time to get customers for your course. You need to have tremendous reach to be successful in your course. Now, what if you can leverage the reach of another website to sell your courses? Yes, that is possible and the way to do that is through Affiliate Marketing. It is a digital marketing tactic that lets you increase your sales by leveraging the popularity of other brands targeting the same kind of audience as yours.

Your course could be strategically placed on a blog, as a social media post, or the website of your affiliate partner. Each time a sale is made through an affiliate link, the affiliate partner earns a commission. 

In this blog, we will look at all the things you need to do to leverage affiliate marketing to sell more courses for your online academy.

Why use affiliate marketing?

The following are the reasons why you should consider affiliate marketing to sell your courses – 

  • It is budget-friendly and requires little to no investment. You only pay a commission for each sale the affiliate facilitates. The affiliate should ideally have an audience who can be converted into customers for your course. Since you are not paying for clicks, impressions, or leads, there are no sunk costs involved.
  • It can help you build a brand image. This will happen even if you don’t manage to get a single sale from the affiliate marketing program. This is primarily because your affiliate will talk highly of your brand on their channels. 
  • It also helps you to save time and focus on creating better courses, expanding the business, and focusing on other marketing activities.
  • As affiliates backlink to your site, you can expect to see improvements in your SEO efforts too.
  • It also helps to build and broaden partnerships to reach industry leaders and influencers

Further Reading: Marketing your Online Course – Tips and Tricks

Popular channels to operate affiliate marketing 

You should not join hands with any random affiliate you found using a quick Google search. You have to clearly understand the type of audience your affiliate caters to. Pick the ones that have an audience very similar to yours. 

On that note, here are some of the most popular channels of affiliate marketing – 

Email Marketing

If you plan to employ email marketing, you have to be extra careful about the affiliate you choose because you don’t want your brand to be associated with spamming. That being said, email marketing has one of the highest ROIs of any digital marketing channel. 


Every day, hundreds and even thousands of bloggers are engaging with your ideal target audience. All you have to do is ask them to add a link to your course on their blogs posts.

Related post: 8 reasons why blogging is necessary for your online courses

Review sites

There are many websites that exist for the sole purpose of comparing and rating products and services. These sites enjoy the benefit of huge traffic that you can attract to your course.

Related post: 5 Best Ways to Use Students Reviews in Your Course Marketing Campaigns

Coupon sites

Though it may seem like a bad idea to sell your courses at a discount, you have to understand that given the tough times that we are all going through, people are cautious about spending their money. So, people are actively looking for discounts. If you can partner with some of the popular coupon sites, you can enjoy good traction in the coming days.

Types of Affiliate Platforms

You should always opt for an affiliate platform that has little or no downtime. There are two ways to go about this. 

You can set up your own affiliate platform and then host it on your website. The easiest way to track affiliate links is by creating a custom link with UTM Parameters using Google’s Campaign URL Builder

Affiliate Marketing

These links will appear on your Google Analytics dashboard and can be used to identify wherever your leads are being sent to. You can also use plugins and cookies to track affiliate conversions depending on the CMS and web host you are using. All you have to do is pay affiliates who have a sale tracked to them. 

The second option and the easier one is to join an affiliate marketplace. You have to find the right marketplace and list your courses together with the description and set commissions. ClickBank, Paydotcom, E-Junkie, and Commission Junction are the popular marketplaces that are very easy to join.

Affiliate Marketing

Related post: 7 Key Strategies to Run A Successful Online Community For Your Courses

How to promote your affiliate program 

Merely setting up an affiliate program is not enough. Utilize digital marketing techniques to effectively promote your affiliate program and maximize its reach and impact. Here are some ways to do it.

Social Media

Using social media to promote your affiliate program is simple, quick, and easy on your wallet. For example, use LinkedIn’s InMail feature to send personalized messages (with the link) to people outside your network to talk about your affiliate program. If you are already using social media to promote your course, you can mention somewhere that you are running an affiliate program. For example, you can put it up on your Facebook group. 


If you want to promote your affiliate program without being annoying, try chatbots. Use a simple WordPress bot that engages your audience and informs them about your affiliate program in a subtle way. Chatbots also allow you to segment and qualify visitors to later target them with personalized messages. 

Educational Conferences

The demand for online education conferences and events has skyrocketed since the pandemic began. It would be a great idea to host or sponsor an event and ask organizers to share affiliate links with participants. 

Run Google Ads

Along with the message telling people to register for your course, you can also add a tiny message on the landing page of your Ads asking people if they are interested in joining your affiliate program. 

What is Learnyst? 

We are a brand that exists solely to empower anyone who wants to be an online educator or wants to start their own online academy. Our platform is a one-stop shop to successfully build and launch online courses. Use our in-built authoring tools to build dynamic course content to your liking, and host them on a website (SEO optimized). 

How do you know we have succeeded? More than 25,000 courses have been launched using our platform and earned over INR 350 Crores in revenue.

To find out more about us and how we can help you, get in touch with us now!

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