• FTC Disclosure Requirements and Examples for Udemy Affiliates

    In December 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the following guides concerning the use of endorsements in advertising. Udemy requires all their affiliates or partners paid-per-placements to comply with these guidelines at all times when promoting Udemy. Please note that all examples are meant as guidance only and do not, in any way, represent Udemy’s legal advice to you.

    In order for Udemy affiliates and partners paid-per-placement to comply with these guidelines, you must disclose to consumers the fact that you are receiving commissions or payment for promoting Udemy. Failure to do so may result in immediate removal from our affiliate program and cancellation of any pending commissions or payments.

    All disclosures must meet four basic requirements. They must be frequent, clear, conspicuous, and require no scrolling or other type of user action to locate.

    Below we provide more clarification for each of the four basic requirements specific to Udemy.

      • Frequent: Your disclosure must appear on any website, social media post, video, article or review that promotes Udemy using affiliate links or paid placements.
      • Clear: It must be immediately clear that you may receive compensation from Udemy for your review, promotion or recommendation. Do not promise or imply neutrality or independence where in fact a commission or compensation is driving the presentation or promotion of Udemy on your website or any other online promotion.
        • Examples of clear disclosures you can use when promoting Udemy:
          • In text form:
            • Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
            • Disclosure: We are a participant in the Udemy Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for our site to earn fees by linking to Udemy.com.
            • Disclosure: Our team writes about stuff we think you'll like. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partner, Udemy.
            • Disclosure: Our team is always looking for things we think our readers will value. If we make an affiliate partnership like the one featured in this article, then we may see a share of revenue.
            • Welcome to Our Site! Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We tested and reviewed the web hosting sites ranked here. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
          • In a social media:
            • Use hashtags commonly known to consumers such as #ad or #sponsored in any social media post that includes affiliate links
          • In video format:
            • You have to verbally state before you talk about our product that "Udemy has sponsored this video" or "I'm a Udemy Affiliate so I may receive compensation if you purchase a Udemy course after watching this video". Having an annotation or note in the description box is a plus.
            • For Youtube: Check the "video contains paid promotion" box under the "Content declaration" section when you upload the video.
        • Examples of an unclear disclosures:
          • In text form:
            • Disclosure: We are a website that needs compensation to operate like any other website on the internet. We may receive consideration for our reviews but we are totally unbiased and do not accept paid reviews or fake reviews claiming to be something they are not.
            • Clarification: this “disclosure” is omitting the most important information: that a commission is paid for purchases made through links in the post, or that commission or conversion rates are influencing the placement or content of the rankings or reviews.
            • In social media:
              • The use the hashtags #aff or #affiliate in any social media post that includes affiliate links
              • Clarification: the social media hashtags #aff or #affiliate are not proper disclosures as these terms are not familiar to the average consumer
            • In video format:
              • Just stating that you got a “sneak peek” is not sufficient as it doesn't clearly state to consumers your relationship with Udemy
              • Just having a link to an official disclosure in the description box or as an annotation is also not sufficient.
              • Disclosures can’t be placed somewhere that could be easily missed, for example at the end of your video, which is why you should always state it in your video before you talk about Udemy.
      • Conspicuous:  The disclosure must be clear and easy to see. It should begin with the word “disclosure.” No scrolling should be necessary in order to find the disclosure. For the disclosure to be considered clear, make sure you comply with the following guidelines:
        • Font should be: 
          • At least as large as the main text on the page
          • In a color other than black or gray
          • In contrast with both with its background and the main text
          • Darker than its background or the main text.
        • Video disclosure should be:
          • Mentioned in the video itself and be long enough to be noticed, read, and understood by consumers
      • Require No Action: Your disclosure must be immediately evident to a typical visitor to your site who views a review, ranking or endorsement on a PC, Mac, or mobile device. A visitor should not need to scroll, click or hover to learn that you receive compensation. If you do include a clickable link or additional information when a visitor hovers over text, the language of the link itself should reveal the fact that you receive compensation.
        • Example of a link that requires no action:
          • Disclosure: We are compensated for our reviews. Click here for details.
          • Keep this in mind: Simply telling the visitor that they can “Click/hover here to read our FTC disclosure” is not adequate. You need to signal through plain words, such as “Advertising Disclosure” that the “disclosure” is relevant to the potential for editorial bias due to commissions.

    Special guidelines for Udemy employees who are also affiliates in the Udemy Affiliate Program:

    As a Udemy employee, you need to add additional disclosures to all your affiliate promotions that clearly state your employee relationship with Udemy.

    • Examples of clear disclosures:
      • Disclosure: This site is run by a Udemy employee who are also participates in the Udemy Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for our website to earn fees by linking to Udemy.com.
      • For Social Media Posts: Use the following additional hashtags commonly known to consumers #udemyemployee #iworkforUdemy in addition to the #ad or #sponsored hashtags

    More information about the FTC Disclosure requirements is available at:

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  • Summary of Changes (Affiliate Terms & Conditions)

    Summary of changes (Effective August 1st, 2017):


    Dear Affiliate,

    Effective on August 1st, 2017, the Udemy Affiliate Team will have a new baseline commission for our affiliate program running on Rakuten Linkshare.

    The new baseline will grant the following baseline commission to affiliates who apply to the Udemy Affiliate Program on or after August 1st, 2017:

    • Commission: 20% in commissions for all paid Udemy courses; 0% for any In-app purchases of Udemy courses.
    • Return Days or Cookie Window: 7 days

    This new baseline commission does not affect any affiliate who was approved in the Udemy Affiliate Program before June 30th, 2017.

    The Udemy Affiliate Team will regularly review the commissions given to our affiliates and commissions may need to be adjusted based on type of website you run as an affiliate or based on any changes on your promotions. In that case, the Udemy Affiliate Team will notify you of any updates directly via email.

    If you are unsure how much in commissions you are currently receiving as a Udemy Affiliate, feel free to check on your Rakuten Linkshare account. To find your current commission, login to your Rakuten Linkshare account here. Then go to Programs> My Advertisers> Udemy to see the commission you are currently assigned to.

    If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us (affiliates@udemy.com)

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  • What is the Affiliate Program?

    The Udemy Affiliate Program is run in the Rakuten LinkShare network. Recently named the number one in its class, (according to The Online Advertising Blue Book, 2014), Rakuten LinkShare is an affiliate network of thousands of affiliates and advertisers like Udemy. The purpose of an affiliate network is to help facilitate relationships between affiliates and advertisers by providing the technology that manages tracking links, tracks results, sales & commissions, and sends payments.

    Affiliate Marketing: The Basics

    How does this help you?

    Imagine a world where a Udemy Affiliate is a megaphone. Now imagine a world where your course is silent. You need a megaphone! Every successful product or offering online grows and generates more of a following because of affiliate marketing. So, what does this mean for you? 

    1. We hand-pick and manually approved our affiliate partners one by one, and constantly work to grow our affiliate base. This means new views and potential new students for you. By adding your courses to our affiliate program, you are getting increased exposure to the dedication and hard work it took to create your course.
    2. You don't have to do it! Adding your course to our affiliate program takes the burden off of you! When you send an affiliate over to Udemy, they are able to promote all Udemy courses, so why not refer the affiliate, and let us optimize the relationship? 
    3. Affiliate sales represent additional and incremental revenue that you wouldn't have otherwise earned. Remember, more eyes on your course, more students and money in your pocket!

    Why do we pay affiliates? 

    We know it takes a lot of work for you as an instructor to create a course. We also know it takes our affiliate partners quite a bit of time and work to select and integrate your courses onto their websites, emails, newsletters, social media promotions, etc. For their marketing efforts, we pay our affiliates a standard commission.

    • Consider it a marketing fee. We do the work and maintain the relationships so that you don't have to.
    • Paying our affiliates increases your courses' chances for being featured in top spots on a websites, blogs, newsletters, emails, social media, etc.
    • In an effort to recruit and maintain quality affiliates to promote your courses, we offer competitive affiliate commissions.

    Why do we offer affiliate promotions, contests and discounts?

    Imagine a world without any sales or discounts. If you’re like us, a world like that is hard to imagine. Key marketing strategies for any online seller include offering their users discounts, coupons, exclusive content, etc. We support our affiliate’s marketing strategies by offering them occasional coupon codes, discounts or exclusive content. These offerings to our affiliates are also sometimes to thank them for their continued work and support of your Udemy courses. For coupon codes that you generate for your own course, please make sure to use coupon code best practices as a reference. Just like any online advertiser, setting up a coupon code means it can get picked up in search engines like Google or Bing, or any other affiliate site. For better control, set coupon code redemption limits, or vary the coupon code lifetime.

    How do you add your course to the program?

    It's easy! Simply agree to the affiliate terms and conditions in your premium instructor account. If your course is approved for the marketplace, it will appear in the marketplace and be eligible for affiliates to earn commission. Please note that you must choose to include all of your courses; we do not include courses on a one-off basis.

    Have an affiliate referral?

    Feel free to send us a note: affiliates@udemy.com. We value the affiliates you send us, and will expedite their review process as much as we can!

    Have questions comments on Udemy's Affiliate Program? Feel free to send us a note: affiliates@udemy.com - we'd love to hear from you!

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