Today you’re going to learn which are the best affiliate marketing courses online, so you don’t waste massive amounts of time and money on the crappy ones.

Here’s the shortlist:

🏆 Best Affiliate Marketing Course 🏆

Best Overall

Authority Hacker’s TASS

Runner-Up

Income School’s Project 24

Free Training

Multiple – see all recommendations

I didn’t pull those recommendations out of nowhere – they’re based on the 300+ hours I’ve personally spent buying, researching and testing a bunch of affiliate marketing courses.

Here are all the courses I’ve reviewed in-depth so far:

Course Rating Review
Authority Hacker's TASS 4.5/5 Authority Hacker review
Income School's Project 24 4/5 Project 24 review
Udemy affiliate marketing courses 2/5 Udemy affiliate marketing courses review
Affilorama 1.5/5 Affilorama review
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing 1.5/5 Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review
Wealthy Affiliate 1/5 Wealthy Affiliate review
ClickBank University 0.5/5 ClickBank University review

If you want to know:

  • Why popular courses like Affilorama and Wealthy Affiliate are so bad
  • How much money I make from affiliate marketing
  • Why you should avoid affiliate marketing courses on Udemy
  • The best places to learn affiliate marketing for free

Then definitely keep reading.

About the Author

Niall Doherty

Hey, I’m Niall Doherty.

I quit my last 9-to-5 job back in 2010.

Since then, I’ve earned my living online doing a variety of things:

  • Blogging
  • Web design
  • Advertising
  • Online courses
  • Ebooks

At the end of 2018, I decided to focus on affiliate marketing.

Several months later, I was already earning more than $1000/month in affiliate commissions.

Total affiliate payments received in six months (May-Oct 2019).
See my finance reports for latest earnings.

All that to say: I haven’t simply watched a bunch of affiliate marketing courses – I’ve actually TRIED and TESTED many of the tactics and strategies shared in those courses, and know from experience what works and what doesn’t.

🥇 Best Affiliate Marketing Course – Overall 🥇

The Authority Site System by Authority Hacker

The Authority Site System – Key Points
  About

An impressive affiliate marketing course that teaches you how to build authority websites and earn passive income.

💰  Price

$997 regular price, $599 with discount (discount info)

😍  Pros

Created by respected experts with proven results. Concise, step-by-step training. Regularly updated.

😩  Cons

It generally takes several months to start earning decent money from an authority site.

  Verdict

The best affiliate marketing course I’ve seen. Highly recommended.

Overall Rating
4.5/5

Read our full Authority Hacker review »

The Authority Site System isn’t just the best affiliate marketing course I’ve seen – it’s one of the best online courses I’ve seen on ANY topic.

It checks all the boxes:

  • Plenty of recent student success stories.
  • They explain WHY they advise each action, then show you HOW to actually do it, step-by-step.
  • Regularly updated.
  • No over-the-top salesy crap.
  • Totally white hat.
  • An active and helpful private community.
  • Combined text AND video lessons, making it easy to learn and refer back.
  • Loads of useful templates included in the course.
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee (no strings attached).
  • A one-time entry fee (no recurring payment).
  • Created by well-respected affiliate marketing experts who are constantly building their own successful sites (ie. they practice what they preach).

That’s not to say that the Authority Hacker course is perfect – you’ll find a list of criticisms and nitpicks in our full review – but it’s about as good as an online course can be.

Their training was the main reason I quickly began earning $1k/month as an affiliate marketer 1 … and I’ve yet to find another affiliate marketing course that packs the same punch.

Or read my full review of The Authority Site System »

🥈 Best Affiliate Marketing Course – Runner-Up 🥈

Project 24 by Income School

Project 24 – Key Points
  About

A packed course that teaches you how to build niche websites and earn passive income.

💰  Price

$449 for one year, $199 per year thereafter (discount info)

😍  Pros

Created by successful niche site builders. Several courses in one. Great community.

😩  Cons

Students tend to struggle with the workload. Late focus on monetization.

  Verdict

An unusual approach to building niche sites, but one that clearly works for many people.

Overall Rating
4/5

Read our full Project 24 review »

As you can tell from the criticisms in my full review, there are elements of the Project 24 approach to building niche sites that I find questionable, such as their extreme stance on keyword tools and link building.

But I still ended up giving the course a 4-star rating.

For two main reasons:

  • The creators of Income school have a track record of building successful niche sites, so clearly their approach works well for them.

More importantly:

  • The same approach seems to work well for many of their students.

Given that, I’m happy to recommend Project 24, and think it may actually work better than the Authority Hacker course for some people.

Or read my full review of the course »

Best Free Affiliate Marketing Training

If you can’t afford to invest in The Authority Site System or Project 24 right now, here are some free resources that will get you moving in the right direction.

Free webinars from Authority Hacker + Income School

Best affiliate marketing free webinars

Yes, both of these webinars are essentially a sales pitch for the aforementioned premium courses, but they’re packed with valuable info in their own right. 

You’ll come away from them with a high-level understanding of how affiliate sites work and how to build them.

Click the button below to watch the Authority Hacker webinar (email sign up required):

(I watched that whole webinar in about 45 minutes with this speed hack.)

You can watch the Income School webinar right here:

(Use the same speed hack to watch the above video in 20-25 minutes.)

The Authority Hacker Podcast

The guys at Authority Hacker put out a new podcast episode every week, and the reviews are excellent:

Authority Hacker podcast

Subscribe and listen wherever you usually get your podcasts.

Income School’s YouTube Channel

Income School have grown a sizeable audience on YouTube, amassing millions of views and becoming one of the most popular affiliate marketing channels on the platform.

Income School YouTube

They typically publish a few videos each month, and you’ll learn a lot from watching them.

Or click here to see all their YouTube videos sorted by popularity »

Miles Beckler’s Affiliate Marketing Video Series

Successful affiliate marketer Miles Beckler is documenting his efforts to build another affiliate site that earns at least $3000/month within a year.

Here’s the first video in the series, from July 2019:

Watch the rest of the series on YouTube, or visit Miles’s website MilesBeckler.com.

Doug Cunnington’s YouTube Channel

Doug is another successful affiliate marketer who has shared some helpful videos.

He mainly talks about monetizing sites with the Amazon affiliate program, and is perhaps best known for his KGR strategy:

Check out more affiliate marketing videos on Doug’s channel, or visit his website NicheSiteProject.com.

Best Free Affiliate Marketing Training – Honorable Mentions

A few more quality free resources that are worth your time:

  • Justin Meister’s YouTube Channel
    Justin puts out regular videos about building niche sites, sharing practical examples, and occasionally revealing his own earnings.
  • Detailed.com’s link building articles
    These three articles by Glen Allsopp are essentially a crash course in link building. Some of his methods will cost you $ to execute, but plenty of free approaches in there, too.
  • Any free training you’d add to this list?
    If I’ve missed anything, let me know in the comments below.

Best Affiliate Marketing Course On Udemy

Udemy is an online course platform that regularly offers courses for as little as $10. There are dozens of affiliate marketing courses listed on there. But having spent ~5 hours researching Udemy’s most popular affiliate marketing courses, I can’t in good faith recommend ANY of them.

You can see Udemy’s full list of affiliate marketing courses here »

Udemy affiliate marketing courses

Three primary issues I found while researching 10 affiliate marketing courses on Udemy…

Average course ratings are meaningless

Going into this, I assumed that the average rating of a course on Udemy was a reliable indicator of its quality.

Take this course, for example:

Udemy affiliate marketing course – ClickBank Success

Wow!

Average rating of 4.5 based on more than 5500 reviews – that’s gotta be a great course, right?

  • Wrong.

The course has only three hours of content, the instructor shows ZERO proof that he’s earned good money as an affiliate himself, and one of the preview videos looks like it was recorded way back in 2014.

Despite that, you still get students dropping 5-star reviews:

Notice anything strange about those reviews?

They offer generic praise for the course, with no indication that the students have successfully implemented what they’ve learned or earned ANY money from affiliate marketing.

From what I’ve seen, that’s the norm for 5-star reviews on Udemy.

Examples from other affiliate marketing courses on the platform:

Takeaway: don’t assume a Udemy course is good just because it has lots of reviews and a high average rating.

Most of the courses are outdated

This wouldn’t be an issue if it was obvious which courses are outdated and which aren’t.

But it seems a Udemy course creator need only make a tiny change to their course to have the “last updated” date change accordingly.

For example, this course is labeled as having been updated in 2019…

Udemy affiliate marketing course

But you’ll find the occasional review complaining that it actually hasn’t been updated since 2015 (which I found to be true):

Udemy affiliate marketing course reviews

It was a similar story for most of the affiliate marketing courses I researched on Udemy.

Takeaway: don’t assume a Udemy course is up to date just because the “last updated” date is recent.

Who the hell are these course creators anyway?

I researched a bunch of them and found either NO or VERY LITTLE evidence that they’ve made good money from affiliate marketing themselves.

This was the best I found:

Unfortunately, the creator of that course earned his money by (a) using cracked software to scrape email addresses, then (b) spamming thousands of people with his affiliate links.

His course shows you how to do the same 😕

Hence this review:

Udemy affiliate marketing course review

Yet somehow, the course still has an excellent overall rating:

Udemy affiliate marketing course

Here’s another Udemy affiliate marketing course with an impressive average rating:

Udemy affiliate marketing instructor

Andrew Williams: an SEO expert, eh?

Let’s check out his ezSEONews website in Ahrefs:

ezSEONews Ahrefs

Hmm, about three people visiting his site every day from search engines 🤔

Not what you’d expect from an “SEO expert.”

As he goes through his Udemy course – recorded in 2016, btw – Andrew builds a new site called Fishy Fats so you can see step-by-step how he does it.

Here’s the resulting site in Ahrefs:

Fishy Fats Ahrefs

2 visitors per month nowadays, down from a peak of 22.

Amazing.

I wish Andrew was the only fake “expert” teaching affiliate marketing on Udemy, but he seems to be the rule rather than the exception.

Out of the ten courses I researched, I failed to find a single impressive website or significant affiliate earnings proof for ANY of the instructors 😕

Takeaway: just because an instructor has a popular course on Udemy doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about.

I’ll leave it there for now, but I plan to put together a more in-depth review of Udemy in the coming months, showing you how to check if a course on there is actually worthwhile before you buy.

Best Affiliate Marketing Course On Skillshare

Skillshare doesn’t seem to offer any decent affiliate marketing training either. The several courses I researched on there all had serious issues.

I really wanted to find a good affiliate course on Skillshare because you can get two months free access with this link.

But it wasn’t to be…

Best Skillshare affiliate marketing courses

The courses on Skillshare suffer from the same issues as those on Udemy (explained above):

  • Meaningless ratings
  • Outdated training
  • No proof that the instructors are successful affiliate marketers themselves

By all means, sign up for the two free months of Skillshare and go through a few affiliate marketing courses, but I believe you’d be better off going through the other free resources I shortlisted above.

Worst Affiliate Marketing Courses + Scams

Here’s a sad fact I’ve learned after spending 300+ hours reviewing this stuff: most affiliate marketing courses aren’t good. 

And some are so bad they’re borderline scams.

Especially this one…

💩 Worst Affiliate Marketing Course – Overall 💩

ClickBank University
  About

ClickBank’s official training program to help affiliates and vendors succeed on the platform.

💰  Price

Starts at $47/month (upsell and discount info)

😍  Pros

They honor their refund policy and donate a portion of profits to charity.

😩  Cons

Practically everything else. (Seriously, this course sucks.)

  Verdict

The worst affiliate marketing course we’ve seen, and a borderline scam.

Overall Rating
0.5/5

Read our full ClickBank University review »

Here’s a quick video I made to give you a taste of ClickBank University’s many sins:

👎 Worst Courses – Dishonorable Mentions 👎

Affilorama
  About

Affilorama is a suite of courses and tools that promise to help you make money online with affiliate marketing.

💰  Price

Lots of free material. Paid products starting at $19.

😍  Pros

Some decent free and cheap training. 60-day refund policy.

😩  Cons

Largely outdated. Few practical examples. Sketchy success stories.

  Verdict

Affilorama’s tools and training might have been useful in the dark ages of the internet. Nowadays, not so much.

Overall Rating
1.5/5

Read our full Affilorama review »

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
  About

A popular affiliate marketing course from millionaire blogger Michelle Schroeder-Gardner.

💰  Price

$197, or two payments of $99 (discount info)

😍  Pros

Active and supportive community, some decent lessons.

😩  Cons

Shallow, generic training. Few practical examples. Missing crucial info.

  Verdict

A disappointing affiliate marketing course that should have been a $10 ebook.

Overall Rating
1.5/5

Read our full Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review »

Wealthy Affiliate
  About

Wealthy Affiliate is a course and community that promises to teach you how to make money online with affiliate marketing.

💰  Price

Some lessons free. $19 first month Premium. $30-49/month thereafter.

😍  Pros

Decent training on the fundamentals.

😩  Cons

Full of outdated, misleading info and bad advice.

  Verdict

The WA training may have been effective several years ago, but it’s essentially useless in 2019.

Overall Rating
1/5

Read our full wealthy Affiliate review »

Here’s my video review of Wealthy Affiliate:

6 warning signs an affiliate marketing course sucks

You can usually tell if an affiliate marketing course sucks before you buy it. 

These six things will tip you off:

  • The success stories aren’t believable
  • You see lots of generic praise but no measurable results
  • The success stories aren’t very impressive
  • The success stories aren’t recent (or can’t be dated)
  • The recommendation is overly positive
  • The whole thing sounds like a pyramid scheme

If the course you’re considering checks most or all of those boxes, don’t sign up for it.

Are the success stories believable?

ClickBank University fails this first test, with obviously fake testimonials attributed to “Ronnie Biggs” and “Joe Bloggs” on the checkout page:

You should also check the success story of whoever’s teaching the course.

Too often, you’ll find that the instructor hasn’t had much success as an affiliate marketer themselves, despite their claims to the contrary.

I found this to be especially true of the courses on Udemy.

Prime example:

Udemy affiliate marketing instructor
Source: Amazon Affiliate Marketing + SEO (udemy.com) … I researched the instructor and found nothing to back up his claims.

In contrast, the guys from Income School – creators of Project 24 (reviewed here) – proudly list the affiliate sites they’ve built over the years:

You can go check those sites and see for yourself that they’re legit.

(I also use a tool like Ahrefs to see if the traffic estimates line up with the claims being made.)

Are the success stories measurable?

These three testimonials from the Wealthy Affiliate homepage are NOT measurable:

Wealthy Affiliate generic testimonials

Those students all offer generic praise about the program, but no specifics about how much affiliate income they’ve earned thanks to the training.

Contrast that to the kind of testimonial you see on the sales page for The Authority Site System, which speaks to actual $$$ earnings:

Authority Hacker testimonial

It’s okay if you see a mix of measurable and non-measurable testimonials for a course: that’s perfectly normal.

But if the vast majority of the testimonials offer generic praise without reporting tangible results, that’s a big red flag.

Are the success stories impressive?

Here’s the instructor of a top-rated affiliate marketing course on Udemy showing off (presumably) the best results of his students:

Udemy affiliate marketing course reviews
Source: kctan.asia, website of the same guy who created this Udemy course: ClickBank Success – Affiliate Marketing Without A Website

Nice that he’s helping people get their first sales on ClickBank – albeit back in 2017 – but there’s little indication that he’s helping people earn significant or consistent affiliate income.

More like pocket money.

What you really want to see from an affiliate marketing course are reports of at least a few students absolutely crushing it.

Like this Authority Hacker student:

That’s pretty rare though.

More realistically, you should expect to see reports of students steadily growing their affiliate income.

Authority Hacker has plenty of those, too:

Authority Hacker testimonial: David Pedley
Authority Hacker testimonial: Ajay Verma

Read our full Authority Hacker review here »

Are the success stories recent?

ClickBank University will show you tons of screenshots of student earnings… from 2016 😕

ClickBank university dated testimonials 1

A few dated screenshots is no big deal. But if they’re not showing you ANYTHING from the past year or two, that’s a red flag.

Take it to mean that what they’re teaching no longer works. Or they can’t be bothered to keep their marketing materials up to date.

Either way, not a good sign.

Also, if someone shows you an earnings screenshot that DOESN’T have any date displayed, take it with a grain of salt. 

One guy who promotes Wealthy Affiliate uses this Amazon earnings screenshot as “proof” that WA’s training is legit:

Wealthy Affiliate Amazon earnings screenshot

But as far as I can tell, he’s been using that exact same screenshot since 2016 😕

Nothing I’ve seen from him since convinces me that he’s still earning those kinds of commissions from Amazon.

Is the recommendation overly positive?

No course is perfect. 

And affiliate marketing isn’t the best online business for everyone. (If you’re just getting started working online, you’re likely better off freelancing or finding a remote job.)

So if someone is telling you that a particular affiliate marketing course is flawless and anyone and their grandma can make money from it: don’t believe them.

If they’re honest, they’ll tell you where the course falls short, and who shouldn’t buy it.

But watch out for praise masked as criticism, like this:

Wealthy Affiliate fake cons

From a typical Wealthy Affiliate review I found online and have no intention of linking to.

Does it sound like a pyramid scheme?

According to money.howstuffworks.com:

The main characteristic of a pyramid scheme is that participants only make money by recruiting more members.

No other affiliate marketing course fits that description quite like Wealthy Affiliate.

Take this WA member, for example:

She reports that she earned $40,000 in one year from affiliate marketing. 

And at the 4:30 mark of the above video, she shows that a full 75% of those earnings came from referring other people to Wealthy Affiliate.

Now I have nothing against someone earning most of their affiliate income from recommending a particular affiliate marketing course.

(If this article you’re reading ranks well, I could easily end up in that situation myself!)

But Wealthy Affiliate is exceptional here because the vast majority of their “successful” students appear to be earning the bulk of their affiliate income this way.

And it’s easy to see why: as noted in my WA review, a full 60% of the core Wealthy Affiliate training is devoted to helping you successfully convince other people to join the program.

Ideally, what you want to see from an affiliate marketing course is lots of students having success in many different niches.

And NOT just students having success mainly by recruiting other students.

Quick Recap

This is how you can tell if an affiliate marketing course sucks before you buy it…

  • The success stories aren’t believable
  • You see lots of generic praise but no measurable results
  • The success stories aren’t very impressive
  • The success stories aren’t recent (or can’t be dated)
  • The recommendation is overly positive
  • The whole thing sounds like a pyramid scheme

Again: if the course you’re considering checks most or all of those boxes, don’t sign up for it.

Anything to add?

Are there any other “red flags” you look for when evaluating an affiliate marketing course?

If so, let me know via the comments below.

Affiliate Marketing Course FAQs

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when you promote other people’s products or services, and collect a commission for every successful referral.

Here’s how it typically works:

How Affiliate marketing works

The above graphic uses the Amazon affiliate program as an example. Many other ecommerce sites also have affiliate programs you can sign up for.

Such as:

  • AliExpress
  • eBay
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Almost every web hosting service (eg Bluehost)

If someone else is selling something online, chances are they have an affiliate program you can sign up for. Then it’s simply a matter of linking to their products and services from your website – or newsletter / ads / social media – and collecting a commission for every sale you refer.

Sounds easy, right?

Well, not quite.

The hard part is getting people to visit your site – or open your email, or watch your ad, etc. – and providing them with enough value that they trust your recommendation, click on your link, and make a purchase.

How much money can you make as an affiliate marketer?

The sad truth is that many people who try affiliate marketing make very little money from it. At the same time, it’s not uncommon for people to earn significant amounts of money via affiliate marketing.

For example:

  • Michelle Schroeder-Gardner consistently earns $50,000 per month in affiliate commissions from her finance and lifestyle blog.
  • A blog about house plants (Succulents and Sunshine) earns about $5,500 per month in affiliate commissions.
  • An affiliate website about personal finance (Money Saving Expert) sold for $134 million back in 2012.

For more details on those sites and many more, see my curated list of affiliate marketing website examples.

Why do so many other reviews recommend Wealthy Affiliate?

There are probably more reviews of Wealthy Affiliate online than there are reviews of all the other affiliate marketing courses combined. This is because 60% of the Wealthy Affiliate core training explicitly encourages and instructs students to recruit other paying members to WA.

At most, every other affiliate marketing course I’ve seen – even the crappy ones – has a lesson or two at the end showing you how to sign up for the affiliate program and start promoting the course to others.

But inside Wealthy Affiliate there are literally 70 core lessons teaching people how to promote the damn thing. Compared to only 50 lessons for folks who are not interested in the make money/affiliate marketing niche.

That’s insane.

And it’s the reason why the internet is now littered with overly positive reviews of WA.

I wrote more about this in my full review of Wealthy Affiliate »

Does affiliate marketing = passive income?

No. While affiliate marketing can lead to passive income, and affiliate marketing businesses tend to be quite scalable, it usually takes a TON of hard work and patience before affiliate marketers start earning a decent amount of passive income.

The journey of this Project 24 student is pretty typical:

He worked his tail off and even hired some writers, yet only earned ~$4000 in his first year as an affiliate marketer.

The good news is that his income is steadily trending upwards 📈

I wouldn’t be surprised if his site was pulling in $3000/month after another year, and far more beyond that.

As you can see from my curated list of affiliate marketing websites, it’s entirely possible for mature affiliate sites to earn $10,000’s or even $100,000’s per month. 

That’s when the passive income dream becomes real.

But it usually takes several years to get to that point.

Why haven’t you reviewed [insert name of affiliate marketing course here]?

There are many other affiliate marketing courses out there that I haven’t gotten to yet.

Quick thoughts on a few:

  • Matt Diggity’s Affiliate Lab
    I expect this is an excellent course. Matt’s a well-respected SEO and successful affiliate marketer in his own right, and his students look to be getting solid results. One student told me they prefer this course to Authority Hacker’s TASS.
  • Andrew Hansen and Sara Young’s Digital Worth Academy
    Based on the sales page and a quick scan of their site, this course looks legit. The student success stories are impressive and they’ve got a 30-day money-back guarantee. No obvious red flags that I can see.
  • Doug Cunnington’s Five Figure Niche Site
    Doug puts out quality free content, he’s built some high-performing affiliate sites himself, and his students seem to be doing well. I expect this to be a solid course.
  • Matt Giovanisci’s Affiliate Marketing Video Course
    Matt has built and still runs some very nice affiliate sites, and I enjoy his free content. (He’s also funny AF.) His course looks short and sweet and is priced accordingly. But I’ve yet to see/hear of any results from students.
  • Pat Flynn’s 123 Affiliate Marketing
    I’m skeptical of this one. No doubt Pat has earned millions as an affiliate himself, but I believe he’s done so primarily from a single site which he started way back in 2010. The testimonials on his sales page mostly offer generic praise for the course, no reports of significant results achieved by students. Plus, I’ve heard from multiple sources that he doesn’t teach anything about SEO in the course, which strikes me as odd.
  • Tai Lopez’s Cashflow System
    I’ve bought and reviewed two other Tai Lopez courses. One was good. One sucked. I’ve learned to believe only 33% of what comes out of the man’s mouth, and I’m not at all convinced that his Cashflow System produces successful students.

If you’ve taken any of the above courses yourself, I’d love to hear your impressions via the comments below.

(Also, please drop a comment if you know another affiliate marketing course that should be on my radar.)

What is the best affiliate marketing course?

Below are my picks, based on the 300+ hours I’ve personally spent buying, researching and testing a bunch of AM courses.

🏆 Best Affiliate Marketing Course 🏆

Best Overall

Authority Hacker’s TASS

Runner-Up

Income School’s Project 24

Free Training

Multiple – see all recommendations

What do YOU think is the best affiliate marketing course?

Have you taken any of the courses mentioned above?

Or another affiliate marketing course I don’t know about?

Please consider leaving a review below – good or bad – doesn’t matter so long as it’s helpful to other readers.

Thanks for your support!