When you begin blogging your book with the intention of becoming a published author, don’t think your book or blog will pay all our bills. Immediately, start looking at other ways to generate passive income. For many bloggers, affiliate programs help achieve that goal.
Creating and marketing your own course to showcase your expertise may be part of your long-term plans. Still, when you’re writing a book in installments, it’s challenging to focus on the time-consuming task of creating course content.
Signing Up for Udemy’s Affiliate Program
Sign up to become an Udemy affiliate, and you can choose from thousands of courses and select different link tracking assets, including course-specific links. As an affiliate, you’ll have access to affiliate-exclusive coupons, discounts, and unique content. And it usually takes only about three to four business days to get approved, which means you can start making commission almost immediately.
You’ll need to set up your account through LinkShare, the middle-man between a great many merchants and their affiliates. It has about 6,000 sites in its network. That means you can explore other affiliate programs, and Udemy can be just one company within your stable of trusted referral companies.
Choosing Courses to Promote
With the number of Udemy courses available, choosing which courses to feature can feel challenging. Here are four different options for determining which courses to promote:
- Pay and complete a course yourself.
- Solicit recommendations from your inner circle.
- Choose courses from trusted experts within your niche.
- Ask the host for a review copy of their course.
Let’s look more closely at each option.
1. Pay and complete a course yourself.
The optimal approach is to promote courses you’ve taken. That way, you have first-hand knowledge of the depth and breadth of content and the effectiveness of the teaching style and methodology. This gives your course review or recommendation a higher degree of validity.
2. Gather recommendations from your inner circle.
People within your inner circle are another reputable source for affiliate options, as long as you trust their judgment and they operate within the same niche. You can even use this as an opportunity to do a guest interview with them (either a written post or podcast). The person can share the course’s benefits and use real-world examples about how they applied their learnings.
3. Choose courses from trusted experts within your niche.
There are usually a handful of experts in every niche that everyone else holds in high regard. You can leverage that name-association by including mention that they recommend the course and why. You can reach out to an expert and ask for a personal quote, which has the added benefit of raising awareness as a collaborator within your niche.
4. Ask the host for a review copy of their course.
Another option is to reach out to the course host and ask them to share a review copy of the course with you in return for an honest review on your blog. You can let them know that you’re planning on adding their course to your list of approved courses. Send them an overview of your social reach (e.g., how many followers or the level of engagement you get on your posts and your blog stats).
They’re ultimately going to benefit from your recommendation of their course. If they’re savvy collaborators, they’ll realize that giving you a review copy is in their best interest. The worst they can do is decline to do so or ignore your email. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
How to Promote Courses
You’ve become an Udemy affiliate and picked out a course or two to promote. Now what? There are multiple ways of promoting an online course: on your blog or podcast, your social media channels, or your mailing list.
Using Your Blog:
Write a blog post, which includes the keywords related to the course and a summary of the course benefits, what people will learn, and the problems or struggles it will help them to overcome.
If you’re promoting multiple courses on your blog, make sure they have their own detailed page and include a link to it from a cornerstone page listing all the courses.
Using Your Podcast:
Create a podcast episode to talk about the course or invite somebody who has taken the course to discuss it with you.
Using Your Social Media:
You can publicize your blog post and pages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Also, create additional social media images to add to your scheduler to remind people about these courses.
Additionally, have these courses front and center when you’re interacting on different groups and Facebook pages. People often post about the troubles and challenges their having. If a course could be a solution, you can make sure they’re aware of the course.
Don’t include an affiliate link in your response. Instead, drop a link to your detailed course summary blog post. If they’re interested in the course, they can click on your affiliate link from your post. (The post or your site should include an affiliate disclaimer that explains that you use affiliate links).
Using Your Mailing List:
Avoid broadcasting course recommendations with the sole intent of earning affiliate income. Yes, you want to earn affiliate income, but your mailing list is hallowed ground. You need to put your audience’s needs first.
What help do they need? What struggles are they having? If you don’t know, just ask them. Then use one of your newsletter updates to showcase the courses you’re recommending.
Affiliate Income Depends on Integrity and Trust
The bottom line is that affiliate relationships will only work if they’re based on a foundation of integrity and trust. You have to put your audience first and use their needs as the guiding principles to determine the courses you promote.
Later, when you’re ready to create your own course, you will already have established a reputation as a quality course promotor.
Are you an Udemy affiliate? If not, I hope this post has inspired you to investigate this revenue stream in closer detail. Please share this post to encourage your network to discover this opportunity, too.
About the Author
Jay Artale abandoned her corporate career to become a digital nomad and full-time writer. She’s an avid blogger and a nonfiction author helping travel writers and travel bloggers achieve their self-publishing goals. Join her at Birds of a Feather Press where she shares tips, advice, and inspiration to writers with an independent spirit.
Photo courtesy of rawpixel.