Coursera Affiliate Program Review

If you run a blog or website about education or feel that recommending courses and other similar materials to your audience might be a good option for your niche, you should consider joining the Coursera affiliate program. 

Lots of affiliate marketers are seeing a lot of success with it, and in case you didn’t know, education is one of the most profitable niches for this type of marketing. 

In today’s article, we’re looking at everything you should ever want to know about the affiliate program for Coursera, from how much you can expect to earn to what types of materials you can recommend to your readers. 

Coursera Affiliate Program Review

What is Coursera?

Coursera is one of the best-known and also one of the oldest platforms that makes it possible for people to study for a degree or just for a new skill or a hobby online.

The service was put together by two professors. While most courses that you will come across on the platform are completely free to watch, all of the certifications come at a price, whether that be $29 or more. 

People can also get actual degrees and specializations through Coursera, all of which are now recognized by most universities and employers across the world. 

What we wanted to say with this introduction is that when you are recommending Coursera products to your audience, you will actually be doing it a service since the materials are varied and crafted very well. 

The sky’s the limit when it comes to what individuals can opt for, as there are courses for each and every type of skill. 

How does the affiliate program work?

If you want to become a Coursera affiliate, you will need to use a different network. The reason for that is that LinkShare, which is what the company now uses for its affiliate marketing, can be utilized for creating affiliate links and tracking absolutely everything you might want to know in terms of your statistics. 

Joining the network is very easy, so you can expect to get an answer in a matter of a couple of days. One thing we do have to note is that your blog or website needs to have an audience of at least 1,000 unique visitors per month. 

Fortunately, that limit shouldn’t be off-putting for anyone since even the smallest blogs usually get more than a thousand visitors every month. 

And if you’ve worked on link building and practiced good on-page optimization, and perfected your silos, too, chances are that you’re receiving even more organic traffic in that sense. 

Coursera affiliate marketing is very easy to work with both because you can use the marketing materials that are available to you through LinkShare and because you are also allowed to create your custom ones. 

You might also want to know that deep linking is also available and that Coursera also manages a referral program, where you can invite people to start a course, and they will be able to get a 50% discount on that. 

And finally, one other reason why this is one of the most popular education affiliate marketing programs out there is the fact that you get to work with a Coursera affiliate marketing manager. So, in case you run into any type of problem, there will be someone out there to assist you. 

How much can you expect to be paid?

It goes without saying that the first reason you want to become an affiliate marketer is to create a steady stream of income, whether that be fully passive or not. 

Well, the Coursera affiliate program can pay you up to 45% out of the value of courses or degrees. There are some differences that we have to note here, in that if you get someone to join a standalone course, you’ll benefit from a rate of just 20%. 

Specializations and professional courses complete with their own certifications will make you 45%, but guided projects are going to make you a commission of just 20%. The lowest rate you can expect is from Coursera Plus, a program that will get you an earning of just 10%. 

What about the tracking cookie? Well, it’s considerably better than what we have seen in other programs, especially Amazon Associates (with their 24-hour tracking cookie, they are now becoming less and less popular with affiliate marketers). 

The cookie lasts for 30 days. Whether that is good or bad, only you can say, but we would like to add that this is pretty much the industry standard. A longer one would have been better, but it’s still decent after all. 

While almost all blogs and websites can be accepted into the program, if you tend to heavily rely on content that relates to cashback, coupons, or paid search, you might not be able to join or might be booted out later on. 

You will also have to provide some proof that you recommended another educational product to your audience in the past year. Still, these are not significant restrictions, so becoming a Coursera affiliate should be pretty easy. 

How much money will you be able to make? The answer to this question can vary depending on the exact types of courses or subscriptions your audience picks. 

For example, the average cost of a Professional Certificate is anything between $39 to $99 per month. There’s also a free trial that lasts for one week. 

Other online certificate programs are priced much higher. Take the MasterTrack Certificate Program, which can cost anything from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the exact specialization. 

Therefore, the exact earnings that you can expect can vary a lot depending on your readership choices. If they get the $99 plan per month, you’ll make almost $50 when they join, but there is no recurring commission, unfortunately, so you are not going to make any more money for the duration of their subscription. 

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Pros and cons of being a Coursera affiliate

As is the case with any other program that we have reviewed in the past, there are both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to using it. 

We would like to add that you do not have to rely on Coursera as your sole way of making some money with your website or blog, so you can definitely use a mix of this platform and others in the same niche. 

When it comes to the pros, the Coursera affiliate commission rate is one of the first that we can mention. There are not a lot of similar services that can pay you a 45% rate. The 30-day cookie is another reason to join the program. 

On top of everything, you will be able to be paid either through direct deposit even with international bank accounts, but you can also get your earnings right in your PayPal account. 

The payment threshold is also $50, which we have found to be lower compared to other networks and affiliate programs. 

This can be particularly convenient for affiliate marketers who are not based in North America and who might not own a bank account in either the United States or Canada. 

The ability to communicate with an affiliate marketing manager can be considered another advantage, and so can the fact that everything works through Rakuten LinkShare. This network is quite effective and user-friendly, and once you join, you’ll find that you will feel tempted to join other programs just because of the simplicity of everything. 

Finally, the fact that Coursera is so well-known across the globe is another pro that you need to take into account. It will be far easier for you to suggest that your readers join Coursera programs than it would be if you were to recommend less reputable services. 

The main drawback would be the fact that the most expensive courses aren’t really going to make you a lot of money. We mentioned the MasterTrack certifications above, but the truth is that when it comes to affiliate marketing, Coursera manages it very closely, so you are not going to make thousands of dollars off the bat every month (unless you, of course, have a massive blog audience). 

How does the Coursera affiliate program compare to others?

If you are still having trouble making up your mind about whether you should become a Coursera affiliate or not, the next section might be useful to read. 

We decided to compare some of the main features of similar programs to the ones that Coursera has so that you can pick the one that would best suit your expectations and readership. 

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This is another company that has seen a considerable increase in popularity over the past decade or so. It specializes in online skills, particularly programming, marketing, and everything related to digital, so you are not going to find the same materials here as you would on Coursera. 

The Udemy affiliate program seems a poorer choice when compared to the Coursera one, and the reason for that is that with Udemy, the tracking cookie lasts for just seven days. The rate can go up to 15%, but it can vary depending on the network you use. 

To date, Udemy works through Rakuten LinkShare (so you can even use the same platform as you would with Coursera), Sovrn, AdmitAd, and Awin. In a nutshell, although this is a world-known brand, it might be a good choice only for diversifying your income streams. 

Neither the tracking cookie nor commission rate is better than the one you can expect with Coursera. 

LinkedIn Learning Affiliate Program

This one is fairly new compared to some of the other big names that we are going to mention here, but because it is so easy to use and work with, it’s slowly picking up the pace in terms of popularity. 

In terms of cookie duration, the LinkedIn affiliate program has the same exact one as Coursera, meaning 30 days. 

The commission rate is different, though. Individual courses can make you up to 35% out of their value, while you can make up to $40 for monthly subscriptions. We didn’t find any info as to whether this would be a recurring rate or just a single-time one, so we suggest doing a bit more research in this sense. 


Although it is also in the education niche, the Teachable affiliate program is quite different. With it, you can help people build their own websites containing courses, so the whole model is unique. 

There’s also the option of you promoting actual Teachable courses, as those are available, too. The commission rate you can expect with this one is decent in that you can make anything from 30% to 70% depending on the course. 

What we also have to add with regard to Teachable is that the company manages its own affiliate program, so you are going to be able to join or manage it through a separate network. 

It can also be quite frustrating to try and tell what tracking cookie you can expect as it also depends on the course. 

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This streaming service is another that you should consider recommending to your audience if they might be interested in learning new skills, particularly creative ones. 

Most of the membership plans for this website start at a minimum of $180, and since the standard commission is 25%, that is a quite winning combination for you. 

The cookie lasts for the same 30 days you might already have become accustomed to if you’ve been using affiliate marketing as a way of making some money for a while. 

You can join and manage everything with regard to the MasterClass affiliate program with ShareASale, one of the oldest and best-performing networks out there. 


Although it might seem a little less popular compared to other websites in the same category, Udacity is definitely appreciated by some of the largest corporations in the world right now, whether that be Accenture or Shell. 

Most of the courses here are very expensive, but that’s not necessarily an advantage for you as an affiliate marketer. And the reason we’re saying that is that the commission is a fixed $25 rate per each sign-up. 

The cookie lasts for 30 days, but there are no recurring earnings that you can expect in this case. 

So, all in all, being a Coursera affiliate might actually be better if you’re trying to choose a limited number of services to suggest to your audience. 

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Final thoughts

Whether you decide to use Coursera as a part of your affiliate marketing plan or not, that is a choice that’s only up to you. From what we have seen by comparing it to other programs, it is a more than decent option, so you might at least want to consider it. 

The fact that you can work with an affiliate manager along with the fact that everything works through Rakuten LinkShare, are two factors that clearly make the Coursera affiliate program worth joining. 

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