It’s been almost a year. A whole year of this wild, unprecedented, shocking pandemic of the ages. What have you done to make the most of it?
Sure we had lots of time for Netflix and some extra self-care, but if you’re anything like me– and most affiliate marketers out there– you can’t stop hustling. 💸
And that’s what’s great about the affiliate marketing industry: it’s all online, and despite the pandemic, completely accessible to you with just a computer & internet connection. You finally have the opportunity to delve a little deeper into the industry. There are no excuses to make the most of this extra downtime.…
Voluum to the rescue!
So that’s why, here at Voluum Tracker, we’ve compiled a list of the 🥇 Top 12 Affiliate Marketing Courses 🥇 to help you along this process. Doesn’t matter what level you’re at: just getting your feet wet, already up to your shoulders, or swimming laps in the deep-end, we’ve got you covered. Plus, since we know the internet can be a scary place, we’ve included ⛔️ 5 Signs of a Scam ⛔️ when it comes to choosing affiliate marketing courses.
And if you’re feeling uncertain, be assured, there’s never been a better time to get into affiliate marketing. This past year has brought more internet users and more time spent surfing the net than ever before. While lots of business sectors have sadly suffered and flailed this past year, affiliate marketing has largely remained untouched.
Make sure to invest your time wisely, learn from quality educational resources, and keep excelling online. Use our list to find the course that fits your experience level and interests.
Affiliate marketing vs. COVID-19
Aside from increased online traffic, coronavirus has had other effects on the affiliate marketing industry. Certain verticals have suffered losses unfortunately (*ahem* travel). However, the ever-innovative slew of digital marketers out there have discovered new niches and strategies to make up for it. New affiliate opportunities and niches have emerged and grown with this new state of the world: health, self-care, streaming, work from home, adult to name a few.
Just take a look at 2020’s Cyber Monday and Black Friday online sales numbers that grew by billions this year – as you can assume, there’s no sign of slowing. Affiliate products are flying off the shelf like never before.
But how should you situate yourself in this vast business of digital marketing? Do you know enough about all of this stuff to excel to the best of your abilities?
Fortunately for all of us living in this day and age– there’s never been more information available at our fingertips! Ever! How exciting… and overwhelming.
How do I learn affiliate marketing? 🤓
So, if you’re a total beginner looking to try out a profitable, growing industry– you’re in the right place. We’ve got the guides, materials and training for you.
No matter which course you choose, (although the best option would be our free Affiliate Academy 😉 ) basically to start out, you’ll need three basic components: an offer, an audience, and a tracker. Below is a brief outline to launching your affiliate marketing venture and how to go about obtaining these three essential elements.
- Offer: enroll in an affiliate program to find an offer that you want to advertise. Try to pick one that you have some background knowledge on and interest in. Read more about finding profitable offers here.
- Audience: next, you’ll need people who are interested in what you are selling. Use traffic sources like PropellerAds, Outbrain or Taboola to reach people. More on choosing the best traffic sources for 2021 here.
- Tracker: to put all your campaigns together and effectively optimize them you need an ad tracker like Voluum. A tracking software will enable you to minimize your costs and maximize the ROI of your campaigns. Read more about the benefits of tracking here.
This outline is simple enough to summarize the three basic steps of affiliate marketing– but this is where the real learning starts.
That’s why you’re lucky to have stumbled across this little post.
Presenting: your ultimate list of some of the best affiliate marketing courses and high quality affiliate websites necessary for your professional growth.
👉 12 Best online affiliate marketing courses🥁…
Let’s just be clear from the start: Voluum has just launched a brand new, completely free Affiliate Academy – and it’s on our list. 😉 We’ve got multiple courses available for varying levels of experience and it’s all free! So there’s no harm in trying it out either way, plus, we’re pretty confident you’ll gain real, insightful knowledge.
On the other hand, I’d be happy to tell you that every Voluum course and educational material you’ll find here will lead you to the free El Dorado of affiliate marketing knowledge, but let’s be real. We’re not looking for a magic fix here. We’re looking to help out serious players who are willing to put in the time and effort.
But time is in abundance, learning is fun, and we all love affiliate marketing so let’s get started!
💥 Top Courses for Beginners
Aside from the Affiliate Academy’s newbie course, most of our beginner courses come from UDemy. This is intentional: their platform has a ton of relatively cheap and accessible educational resources – perfect for those of you just starting out. Also, their materials have thorough reviews, content descriptions, and previews to get an idea of what the course is all about.
1. Affiliate Academy by Voluum: Course 1 & Course 2
The Affiliate Academy Course 1 and course 2 by Voluum was developed with one goal in mind: helping frustrated and newbie affiliate marketers. In our industry we’ve seen so many fall out simply because they couldn’t find understandable, comprehensive, relevant and in-depth educational content on how affiliate marketing works.
And, as an industry leader we want to find a solution to that problem. What we offer you are two courses for beginner affiliates filled with easy-to-understand videos, reading materials and quizzes to make sure you are learning. All the content is inspired by the real challenges faced by the affiliates we work with every day, so expect nothing but the most useful knowledge.
Course 1 is more focused on the industry, explaining how things work and what you need to start. We will show you how to choose your niche, find your first offer, and buy ad traffic. You will find out which ad types work best, how to track campaigns, and the overall affiliate business approach!
Course 2 is more practical, it shows you step-by-step how to create a working campaign funnel. You will learn how to register to the essential affiliate platforms, how to integrate them, and – most importantly – how to create, test & track your campaigns! The result of the course will be a working campaign set up in Voluum ad tracker, the essential affiliate marketing software.
|Description:||A thorough introductory set of 2 courses with video and reading materials plus quizzes. Professional, high-quality content from within the industry, inspired by real struggles of affiliate life. Perfect for newbies.|
|Length:||6-8 hours for both courses|
|Prerequisites:||Advertising budget to spend|
|Pros:||Fully up-to-date for 2021|
Understandable for newbies
Created by industry insiders
Wide range of materials
Partner deals & content available 💵
|Cons:||It does require some time and dedication|
In this relatively brief course you’re going to learn about one of the foundations of affiliate marketing: CPA (Cost per Action) Marketing. It’s important because it’s going to be the cost measurement technique for most of your campaigns. It’s an essential! (Udemy rating: 4.3 out of 247 reviews)
|Description:||Understand CPA marketing, the basis of most affiliate strategies, and learn how to choose the best offer, about testing, how to select profitable traffic and more.|
|Prerequisites:||Internet connection & advertising budget to spend|
|Cons:||Not fully updated|
Course instructor not very responsive/helpful
Granted, you can get into affiliate marketing without a website – but you usually need one to be a truly successful affiliate marketer. Don’t be scared off, this course can help you understand the basics of building a lander that’ll get you maximal conversions! (Udemy rating: 4.6 out of 1665 reviews)
|Description:||Learn how to build a quality website that will eventually earn you money through affiliate marketing.|
|Prerequisites:||No prior knowledge required|
Understanding of WordPress helpful
|Pros:||Concise and clear explanation|
Great for beginners
|Cons:||Some outdated portions|
One of the most popular courses on Udemy and yet another one with a high rating. With this affiliate marketing course, you get a full overview of using Facebook as your affiliate traffic source. Apart from the record number of enrolled students (136,000+ as of March 2020), it’s also the most recently updated one. Also – it’s Facebook. (Udemy rating: 4.4 out of 26402 reviews)
|Description:||Get a deep understanding of Facebook and Instagram ads. It’s hard to master affiliate marketing without Facebook.|
|Prerequisites:||Have a Facebook account|
|Pros:||Learn all the mechanics of the platforms|
Comprehensive guide from start to finish
|Cons:||The instructions tend to be robotic and redundant|
Long individual video lengths
Another Udemy’s course with a high rating, is brief but thorough. Zero-in on Clickbank, an affiliate marketing powerhouse, and get to know everything you need. What’s more, do it all without a website.
Clickbank allows you to find the most profitable affiliate programs and offers. And now, thanks to the newly introduced full integration with Voluum, you can benefit from tracking your ClickBank offers all in one place! (UDemy rating: 4.4 out of 7437 reviews)
|Description:||Guides you through every step of the way on how to become a profitable affiliate via ClickBank marketplace.|
|Prerequisites:||Some initial investment allocated for this course: around $1-$5 per day|
Supplementary tools introduced in the course that cost extra
|Pros:||Consistent Instructor responses|
Consistently updated content
|Cons:||Investment required to follow the course|
Additional tools promoted during the course
I’ve no doubts you’re well familiar with Amazon as a customer. But did you have a chance to work with them as an affiliate partner? Their affiliate policies can be controversial, and on many occasions, not very profitable – but you can’t deny their presence as the most dominant marketplace ever. Master the affiliate side of things with this course on Amazon affiliate marketing. (Udemy rating: 4.5 out of 2607 reviews)
|Description:||This course teaches you how to join the Amazon Affiliate Program, use SEO, run link building, and profit as an affiliate from one of the largest marketplaces in the world.|
|Prerequisites:||Spare time to commit to writing content|
|Pros:||Covers lots of different tools|
Good for beginners
|Cons:||Somewhat disorganized content|
Includes many paid tools
Not fully updated
💥 Best Intermediate Courses
In this section we’ve included fewer courses; content- and time-wise these are just as, if not more, extensive than the beginner ones.
And that’s why they’re ranked here; it will take more time, money, and / or commitment to complete these. But, you also have a free option so don’t be afraid to have a look at our intermediate affiliate marketing course ranking and take a deeper dive into the industry.
1. Affiliate Academy by Voluum: Course 3
The third volume of the Affiliate Academy by Voluum focuses on reaching the next level as an affiliate. It’s the way to go if you already have some experience, but need help to improve your results.
You will learn how to analyze & fine-tune campaigns to maximize the number of conversions and increase your profit. We will show you how to master many useful tricks for effective testing, bidding & targeting. You’ll discover how to write and design better ads & landing pages. You will also see how to use automation to save time and increase your ad performance.
|Description:||Learn how to work with your campaigns to make them more profitable. Get to know Voluum’s features to optimize and automate your efforts for more conversions.|
|Prerequisites:||Ad spend for testing budget|
|Pros:||Created by industry insiders|
Only practical knowledge, we show you real campaigns with traffic
Fully updated for 2021
Learn to improve campaign strategies & increase profits
Video tutorials and guides for Voluum Tracker
Exclusive deals and content from partners
|Cons:||Having a Voluum account is highly recommended|
This is a highly-acclaimed affiliate marketing course by manyyyy sources online. Though you can start this one as a beginner, it’s categorized under the intermediate section because it demands a significant amount of time and has a hefty price-tag. Unlike most of our beginner courses, Authority Site System is for those who are determined to put in the work. It comes highly recommended by industry expert Niall Doherty listing it as his #1 recommendation overall.
|Description:||Learn how to build authority sites that will eventually start earning passive income for you.|
|Prerequisites:||To truly succeed and utilize the knowledge imparted in this course, you should dedicate 10-15 hours per week to affiliate marketing|
|Pros:||Created by proven experts |
Step-by-step comprehensive training
|Cons:||Potentially overwhelming amount of information|
Course uses premium, expensive tools
This course is taught by Clickbanks #1 affiliate – Robby Blanchard. It’s another one that apparently can be used by beginners, but it requires a serious financial and time investment. Also, keep in mind that this course focuses mainly on Clickbank and Facebook. There’s a lot to learn here but if you already have lots of experience with both platforms, or for some reason can’t access them, then this course is not for you.
|Description:||Learn how to find products to promote, advertise them on Facebook, convert leads into sales, and start collecting commissions on those sales!|
|Prerequisites:||Funds to invest in campaigns|
|Price:||$997 or two payments of $597|
|Pros:||Created by a proven expert|
Lots of real success stories
Learn all about Facebook ads
Active private Facebook group
|Cons:||Focused mostly just on ClickBank |
Hidden costs within the course
Some strategies lead to banned ad accounts
Here’s another Udemy course we categorized in the intermediate section. Mesmerized by the number of offers available online and all the traffic sources promoting themselves as a unique place for your affiliate agenda, people tend to forget the basics. So, before you dive into the world of affiliate possibilities – make sure you mastered the basics of digital marketing. And there’s no better place to start than Google Ads. (Udemy rating: 4.7 out of 42311 reviews)
|Description:||Learn to get started with Google Ads, set up conversion tracking, and most of the mechanics involved in running Google Ads campaigns.|
|Prerequisites:||Should have a website/landing page/Facebook page to send traffic to|
|Pros:||Thorough and comprehensive explanation|
|Cons:||Not fully updated|
Overlapping and repetitive content
💥 Best Advanced Courses
To be honest, there are not that many strictly “advanced” affiliate marketing courses out there because if you already know everything there is to know, then you’re probably not as likely to invest in more educational resources. However, we’ve compiled two courses – well more like schools – that can provide new strategies and fresh insight for more advanced affiliate marketers.
This is another course endorsed by many on the internet as one of the best out there. It demands a lot of time, yet is slightly cheaper than other courses. You get access to a wide variety of sources that are updated regularly. Though this course has material geared towards newbies as well, overall it’s more suited for advanced affiliate marketers. This is another course highly recommended by Niall Dougherty, industry expert, coming in at #2 in his overall listings.
|Description:||A compilation of thorough courses for every level. However also includes a private podcast, a library of resources, and a very active community.|
|Prerequisites:||Be able to dedicate over 60 hours per month|
|Price:||$449 for the first year, $199 every subsequent year|
|Pros:||Created by proven experts|
Lots of real success stories
Several courses in one for various levels
Variety of content formats
Late focus on monetization
Matt Diggity is generally a well-respected and acknowledged affiliate marketer out there. In the wide range of affiliate educational materials available, this is actually super important. But not only that, Diggity’s affiliate courses are praised by the majority of reviews and have produced true success stories for students.
|Description:||An overarching but detailed guide to affiliate marketing SEO and niche-sites.|
|Prerequisites:||Some experience in SEO|
|Price:||$997 or two payments of $597|
|Pros:||Created by a proven expertHigh-quality, useful lessons|
Structured and practical lesson formats
No upsells in the course
Private Facebook group
|Cons:||Course content revolves on numerous paid tools|
Disclaimer: we’ve included costs for each program. However, prices are subject to change at the discretion of the website or instructor. Also, certain programs may have hidden costs or extra tools promoted/used in their materials. Make sure to thoroughly look into each course’s refund policy. Prices can change as well as the money back guarantee.
👉 5 Signs of the Worst Affiliate Marketing Course Scams 🤬
Does it truly come as a surprise when I say, “The internet is full of scams”? If you’re looking to invest in an affiliate marketing course, there is no doubt that you will be bombarded by tons of options and even more fake, over-enthusiastic, uber-salesy reviews. As is the case with most affiliate marketing courses, they have an army of affiliate partners promoting them online (and making commissions on your membership fees). Here’s a quick guide to what to look out for when choosing an affiliate marketing course (and hopefully avoid any scams):
1. Real affiliate success 📈
There’s no evidence that the instructor is actually a successful affiliate. Obviously, someone who has assembled and teaches an hours-long course should be good at what they preach. Some signs you can check for: genuine numbers/earnings stats, screenshots of their (recent!) profits, if they list actual sites they’ve built, use a tool like Ahrefs to see if those affiliate websites actually get traffic.
2. Fake reviews 🤩
Fake, salesy, overly-positive reviews. Nothing is perfect, so don’t let Joe the super-amazing, years-of-experience, already-made-thousands affiliate marketer on youtube tell you otherwise. What I mean here is that there will be tons of people online pretending to be so much more successful than they are in reality (we all know how easy this is on the internet) in order to promote a course and get a buck. I’m not here to condemn this, just to tell you to be extra careful when looking into feedback on certain courses. It’s useful to check reviews from multiple forums, not just Google.
3. Outdated 📺
Be wary of outdated content in courses. Sure, 10, 5, even 2 years ago a given course might have been an amazing resource. However, if that course hasn’t been updated then it’s going to be a nightmare to go through. First of all, the advice might simply be wrong or invalid at this point. Second, the screenshot, image, and video tutorials aren’t going to look like the platforms you’re seeing now. Third, if the course is only partially updated, it’s going to be a confusing mess of old, new and in-between content.
4. Student success stories 🥇
Look for genuine, real success stories from current or former students. How to tell if feedback is from a student who actually benefited from a course? Well, keep an eye out for measurable stats like how much more they made that month/year, how their campaigns improved, or how much traffic came. What’s more, if they have (dated!) screenshots to back it up, even better. Overly generic reviews don’t truly reveal the value of a course.
5. Upsells & Tools 💵
Too many upsells and expensive tools needed for the course. Of course, you have to take your budget into account here. I’m not here to tell you that extra tools can’t be useful – but if you’re already paying a large sum for a course and you’ve still got traffic and campaigns to test, then you’re not going to want to shell out hundreds more on tools.
More of the best free resources for Affiliate Marketing 📚
Now, if you’ve been paying attention, I’ve already left a bunch of useful links in the above list of the best affiliate marketing courses that will provide you with a fair share of reading material. But, not to be petty, there are plenty of sources other than Voluum that are willing to help you learn and improve as an affiliate marketer.
- Affiliate Resources: Coming with an appealing .org at the end, Affiliate Resources brings you just what the name suggests – a free useful knowledge base for any beginner affiliate. Think of it as an affiliate-marketing-101 solution for particularly work-shy students.
- Wealthy Affiliate: And if you’re not appalled by the idea of learning more in-depth strategies of kicking off your affiliate business, Affiliate Resources offer a risk-free educational plan. Imagine what you can do by both subscribing to the program and reading all the materials available online!
Influencers & Communities for Affiliate Marketers 👩💻
Keeping up with the industry and affiliate marketing experts is important. Maintaining human contact and spending time among like-minded people may become a turning point of your current lockdown. So try joining an online affiliate marketing community to share your own experiences, ask questions, and learn how to make the most of this unfortunate situation.
Fortunately for you, there are many affiliate marketing influencers who know how hard the first steps can be and who are more than willing to help you learn from their mistakes. That’s why they tend to create entire communities around their own experiences and to lead by example. But, of course, there’s much more to the social world of affiliate marketing.
Affiliate forums 🗣
Here are a few Voluum-approved affiliate forums you might like
- STM Forum – #1 premium affiliate marketing community. For 9 years STM is uniting thousands of affiliates providing guides, networking opportunities, case studies, and more.
- AffiliateFix – they claim to be “the most active and the friendliest” affiliate marketing community online. Why not join a bunch of people who could become not only valuable professional connections but also actual like-minded people.
- affLift – owned by Luke Kling, the forum offers a bunch of real-life examples of profitable campaigns, help from the seasoned affiliates, and many articles to always be on top of the latest industry trends.
If you’re not a big fan of a forum format – check out social media group. Here are some other high quality affiliate websites:
- affLift’s Facebook group
- Affiliate CPA Marketing for Beginners with Colin Dijs
- Voluum – Affiliate Marketing Community
On top of that, many affiliate marketing experts would share their knowledge for free in the form of affiliate marketing courses on YouTube. Some worthy examples include:
- Stacked Marketer hosted by Manu Cinca where you can find interviews with well-known affiliates;
- Colin Dijs runs a series of helpful and relevant tutorials on his channel;
- Liam James Kay’s Entrepreneurship and Marketing Youtube channel is a gold-mine of straightforward, proven affiliate marketing advice;
- Here at Voluum we may not be influencers, but we too try to provide valuable video content so make sure you subscribe to our Youtube
Open-access platforms, publications, and more
Even if I wanted to enumerate all affiliate marketing courses, articles, and Youtube tutorials on affiliate marketing available online – it would take me months. And there’s a thick chance no one would bother to read that monstrosity. Besides, only you know what kind of information you are looking for exactly.
There are plenty of articles on Medium published every day willing to teach you affiliate marketing for free.
There are SlideShare presentations waiting for you to look through them.
Some of the YouTubers are figuratively jumping out of their pants hoping for you to stumble across their content and click on that bell icon in the top right corner of the screen.
And so on and so forth…
The most obvious place 💜
We have our Affiliate Academy and blog at your disposal.
To sign up to our completely free Affiliate Academy, click here. Peruse, try, and even complete all three courses on affiliate marketing for all levels of experience.
The page you are currently on, Voluum Blog, is a high quality source of industry news, tips & tricks, walkthroughs and case studies. It is suited for newbies and seasoned veterans. With Voluum Blog you can learn:
- How to start in affiliate marketing without a website
- What is an affiliate tracker for anyway
- What are the best affiliate programs
- … and many more
Be sure to check our blog regularly or search existing articles. One of the greatest sources of affiliate knowledge was in front of you the whole time.
Not only *affiliate* marketing courses 📖
On top of that, think about something for a second. When starting in affiliate marketing, most people put too much emphasis on the “affiliate” part of the job description. Which can be a fatal mistake.
First and foremost, what we’re doing here is marketing. Digital marketing, if you must. Which is why, all those materials about SEO, Google Ads, eCommerce, email marketing, and every single type of advertising on social media should also have an honorable mention in your professional development plan.
You are sitting on the gold mine of possibilities. And in the foreseeable future, there will be minimum distractions for you.
So stop wasting your time. Dig in! 🚀