You made an online course on WordPress and are using LearnDash? GREAT! You are probably already planning different strategies to make your digital presence big – but have you thought of selling courses through affiliate programs?

In normal terms, affiliate programs, also known as associate programs, is a type of arrangement in which your website pays affiliate websites a commission to direct traffic. To make it simpler, it means that someone refers a customer to you and you pay them a certain percentage for their services. Affiliate Marketing is based on revenue sharing. It is the process of earning a commission by promoting products of other websites.

This type of marketing is a simple and popular way to drive sales and generate traffic online for your website.

Since you are already in the business, how about you add a referral or affiliate program for your online courses? When you give others an incentive, they tend to share your course with the world!

learndash dashboard

There are several WordPress affiliate plugins that can help you monetize the monetary endorsements.
There are many ways to sell LearrnDash courses like using Learndash inbuild checkout system and integrating Payment gateway Addons like Stripe, PayPal, etc. Let check out other methods.

LearnDash and Membership plugins Integrations

A membership plugin helps you create paid memberships and then give members access to course content. It makes it easy for you to create an email list, Charge for access to members, share free content, or create membership levels. etc. LearnDash can be directly integrated with the following WordPress membership plugins MemberPress, PaidMembershipsPro, Restrict Content Pro, UltimateMember, iMember360.

There are some best affiliate plugins available in the market which can be easily integrated with PaidMembershipsPro.
Lightweight Affiliate Tracking

With WooCommerce Integration

WooCommerce plugin setup the store commonly used for physical products like this one (
and with  LearnDash we simply set up online courses
The integration addon we integrate both and list courses as a product.
You can find it here

All the WooCommerce Affiliate plugins provide a lot more features which is best for tracking, offering discount coupon and more. Here are some of the plugins

  • AffiliateWP
  • YITH WooCommerce Affiliates
  • ReferralCandy
  • Affiliates Pro
  • WordPress and WooCommerce Affiliate Program
  • SUMO Affiliates

LearnDash EDD Integration

Similarly, there is another plugin EDD commonly used for selling digital products like software with an integration of EDD Addon we sell these courses as EDD downloads.

For Referral Programs you need to integrate Affiliate Plugins with LeanDash, which should be compatible with EDD Addons.There are many affiliate plugins available in the market for EDD
Affiliates Pro for Easy Digital Downloads
WordPress Affiliate Manager
AffiliateWP for WordPress and EDD

How does it work?

Affiliate marketing consists of 3 parties: the seller, the affiliate (advertiser) and the customer. The affiliate makes the products of the seller appealing to potential customers. If the customer ends up signing up for the online course, the affiliate is paid a portion of the revenue that the seller has made. The payment can be pay per sale, pay per lead or pay per click.


Referral Programs:

Your students can refer your online course to others. When you provide an unforgettable service, it is more likely that they will share this positive experience with their friends and family. This also makes way for authenticity. Referrals are valuable. It is gaining prominence as a form of marketing. All you have to do is ensure that you are providing value to your customers – explain the benefits you are willing to share, make it easy to understand, provide them with a call to action and voila! You cannot go wrong with referral and affiliate marketing techniques!

Affiliate plugins:

Affiliation works with the help of affiliate plugins. For your marketing strategy to work, you must use a referral plugin that works best with your online courses. The end goal of adding plugins is to create a sea of endless leads. Any affiliate plugin should have the following features:

a) Affiliate Management – to track commissions
b) Conversion Reporting – to track the number of sales
c) Link Generator – to create referral links

Before we start, we have hand-picked 12 best affiliate plugins for you.
You can check them out here!

How to design an epic referral strategy for your online course?

1. Focus on communication:

Personalize your brand. Make your online course a safe space for all your users. Encourage communication. Allow your students to provide you with organic feedback and suggestions. All this helps you understand what a user expects from your online course and gives you a chance to improve your website for the better.

You need to make an impression. Nowadays, people prefer organizations and brands that feel ‘human’ to them. Break the barrier and communicate! Customers want to feel important. They want to be heard. Make communication simple between you and your students. This will ensure that they recommend you in the future!

Good communication will lead to customer retention. Your students will come back for more or refer you to everyone around them. By listening to what your audience wants and providing them with their needs, you take the first step in satisfying your customers.

2. Enhance your Brand Image:

Branding is extremely important. You have to make efforts in promoting your online course. If you have a strong brand, it becomes easier to connect with affiliates. Think about how you want your business to look online. You should not only focus on your current users, but also your potential users. The way you behave online when a customer shows up makes a whole lot of difference. Be authentic.

One way to do this is by encouraging students to provide testimonials of their experience with you. Feedbacks go a long way. The audience tends to focus more on reviews and take decisions based on what others have to say about you.

Also, there may be times when someone posts a negative review of your online course. Instead of wallowing, take it in your stride and do everything to make it right – respond as soon as you can, take responsibility, offer solutions and stay in touch with them till the problem is resolved. When you take your customers seriously, you give a professional touch to your brand.

LearnDash Shortcodes

3. Importance of Social Media:

Never forget that the entire world is living online. Social media is an ideal place for communicating with the world. Interact with your followers, answer their queries regularly, share your work and keep them updated about your online course. Having a strong social media presence is one of the easiest ways of gathering referrals about your course.

Social media promotes the engagement of the audience with your brand. Engagement is how your brand comes to life. It puts you on the digital map. Therefore, you must maintain your social media accounts wisely and aim to provide value to your users.

No matter how big or small your online website for courses is, you need advertising. We hope you have understood the importance of referrals and affiliate programs! Increase your revenue on your WordPress site with these techniques and plugins. Help your online courses stand out from all the other available courses online! With effective usage, you will soon see a difference in your website engagement.

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A WordPress enthusiast, Shashank is a writer, reader and loves exploring places worldwide. He believes in gathering knowledge and bringing it to constructive use. His motto in life is YOLO, You Only Live Once. Reach out to him via Gmail:

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