Food is always a hot topic on the internet so I thought it would be timely to introduce the Rouxbe Online Cooking School in today’s review. Not only does the platform teach cooking skills but it also comes with an opportunity to make money with affiliate marketing. I sign up for a class and was amazed to find how it fits right into a trending culinary niche.
Let me show you what I mean.
What is Rouxbe
Rouxbe (pronounced as Roo-bee) is an online culinary school and supplementary training resource founded by chef Joe Girard and Dawn Thomas in 2005. It offers several courses, aiming to provide basic kitchen skills to the novice and professional cooking techniques for those who intend to pursue a career in the foodservice industry.
Each course syllabus comprises small learning units followed by individual lessons and are mostly delivered in the form of video and text tutorials. There are plenty of interactive activities/tasks in between to help with revision and a checklist for keeping track of your learning progress.
The only thing that you need to get on your own is cooking utensils and food ingredients to put your skills into practice. At the end of each course, you’ll be graded with a short assessment and awarded a certification of completion as long as you pass with a minimum score of 75%. There are basically two types of courses available on Rouxbe; the membership plan which is more of a foundational course and the individual courses which teach specific skills.
In this plan, you will be learning a lot of basic culinary techniques (divided into 10 courses) and one subject on food safety. These courses aim to help you manoeuvre more comfortably in the kitchen and each takes about 4 to 17 hours to complete.
- Knife Skills
- Mastering Your Fry Pan
- How to Cook and Make Pasta
- Cooking Vegetables
- Cooking Premium Steaks
- Grains and Legumes
- Egg Basics
- Art of the Wok: Stir-Frying
- Cooking Chicken and Poultry
- Steaming, Stewing and Braising
- Food Safety
The membership* also comes along with a plethora of digital recipes and the opportunity to attend live online discussions with the instructors/industry experts. The price for the plan costs $10 per month or $80 per year and it’s most suited for novice cooks and culinary students.
Rouxbe Individual Courses
These courses are a combination of casual and professional courses conducted by leading chefs. Packed with comprehensive assignments and activities, the syllabus is tailored to help students master a particular skill or cooking style and earn certifications at the end of the day. The learning duration stretches longer – some up to 200 hours of online lessons — and cost more than the membership plan.
Here are 13 interesting courses one can choose from.
- Plant-based Professional Certification* ($1,300, 6 months) – Learn the essential techniques and ingredients that make high-quality and delicious plant-based dishes from Chef Chad Sarno.
- Professional Cook Certification* ($1,000, 6 months) – Learn the different cooking skills and nutrition basics that make a variety of healthy dishes from your own home.
- The Cook’s Roadmap ($300) – Learn the foundational techniques and core cooking methods such as knife skills, roasting, pan-frying and pasta.
- Seafood Literacy* ($300) – Learn how to source, prepare, cook and serve delicious seafood dishes from Chef Barton Seaver.
- Plant-based Cooking ($300) – An introductory course to plant-based nutrition and basic cooking methods such as steaming and dry-heat cooking.
- Culinary Rx* ($40) – A cooking and nutrition program designed for healthcare professionals to prescribe to their patients who wants to transition to whole food, plant-based eating. This course is created with The Plantrician Project and stretches for 12 hours.
- Essential Vegan Dessert* ($500) – A 90-day course that teaches you how to create good quality vegan desserts such as pies, cakes, tarts and cookies – all without using eggs and dairy.
- Forks Over Knives* ($350) – A 90-day course that teaches you how to cook 100+ delicious recipes and master a wide variety of culinary techniques focusing on whole-food, plant-based meals.
- Jacques Pépin: A Legacy of Technique ($350) – Learn easy and effective cooking techniques for all kinds of ingredients and get access to over 130 recipes from Emmy Award-winning Chef, Jacques Pepin.
- Courses created in collaboration with The French Pastry School;
- Cake Baking & Decorating Arts ($700) – Learn the foundation of cake baking, techniques and access to 80+ recipes within 180 days.
- Introduction to Pastry Arts ($700) – Learn the basics of pastry, baking, and cake decorating within 120 days.
- Bread Baking Arts ($1000) – Learn how to make quick bread, artisan bread, and breakfast pastries within 180 days.
Quite an interesting list, don’t you think? These courses are definitely more elaborated and in-depth compared to the regular membership lessons.
The Rouxbe Affiliate Program
Rouxbe runs its own affiliate program in-house instead of going through networks such as ShareASale or CJ. At the bottom of the main website, click on the link that says “Become an Affiliate” and you’ll be prompted to fill out a short application form. After getting approved, you’ll be able to access tracking reports and affiliate links/banners from your dashboard. The program pays 10% per sale for promoting selected courses and it comes with a 60 days’ cookie window.
Who is your targeted audience – Seeing that this is a culinary school, the ideal audience would be culinary students, chefs and restaurateurs who’re looking to improve their cooking skills or expand the scope of their business.
The other potential audience who would love to explore different techniques of cooking are actually homemakers, food enthusiasts and even those who are doing weight loss programs. This latter group of people are everywhere, so they should definitely be on your radar because they exist in much larger numbers than pro wannabes.
I usually look at two things when highlighting a brand in this blog; what makes it appealing to customers and how it impacts your affiliate business. Here are some of my analyses.
(1) The courses are professionally curated; they’re created by experienced chefs, there’s a systematic learning approach, and the video/audio qualities are good. The syllabus is also clearly outlined so students can expect what to learn for that duration of time.
And since these courses are approved by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation and World Association of Chefs Societies, students can earn CE points and make advancements in their career choices.
(2) Rouxbe has all the criteria of a good online learning program; it has a clean user interface, the lessons are self-paced, delivered in small bite sizes and most importantly, it’s more affordable than traditional culinary schools which easily cost up to $19K+ for just one semester. In fact, they even offer a 14-day free trial for new users.
Here’s an example of a short video tutorial from Rouxbe;
Of course, this isn’t to say that online schooling is always the best. But with the pandemic still looming ahead of us, having access to a good online education can help many students pull through these challenging times. For students residing in the US, a payment plan is available.
(3) If you haven’t noticed already, the curriculum focuses a lot on plant-based nutrition which I think is great for promoting healthy eating among the community nowadays. It does change the perspective that yummy food doesn’t always have to be meat-based or fried stuff. I think many people are aware of that too, but they just don’t know how to cook tasty vegetable meals.
(4) From an affiliate’s perspective, what I like is the simple application process and fast approval. It only takes about a day, and you can begin marketing right away using the text/page/banner links provided on the dashboard.
(5) Given the price points of these courses, a 10% commission is fairly lucrative if you do the math. An annual membership referral brings in about $8 but if you promote the Plant-Based Professional Cert, for example, you can make up to $130 per sale.
There’s a lot of gold in education, and this is one of the reasons why you should include online learning resources in your marketing plan, regardless of your niche. Remember, knowledge is evergreen and people are always willing to pay for that. If you’re interested in promoting other types of online learning, check out these education sites for affiliates.
(6) Learning to cook online isn’t something new and with the recent pandemic outbreak, this trend has spiked across many channels; there are more food videos on YouTube, more recipe sharing on Pinterest and more cooking courses on other eLearning platforms like Udemy and Skillshare.
And because cooking is such a vast niche, you can cover everything from the basic to professional topics. For example, one of Rouxbe’s most popular lessons is the introduction to chef knife, a fundamental subject, right? Using the Google search technique, you can uncover many search terms aka keyword variations for the discussion of this topic.
If you like to talk about cooking methods for salmon, for example, the following keywords may interest you;
A mundane but very important topic like food safety is also widely searched on the internet so this is a topic worth talking about too.
Plant-based cooking which is the highlight of Rouxbe’s courses is a link to the healthy eating community. When targeting this group of audience, using these keywords will give you added advantage;
I could go on and on with this but you get the idea. Indeed, there’s no shortage of keywords when it comes to food, recipes and cooking style. The good news is all these keywords are relevant to promoting online cooking classes, and that’s something you will want to focus on as an affiliate.
Talking about Rouxbe online learning without addressing some of the disadvantages would seem biased so here are the less desirable aspects that caught my attention while writing this review.
(1) While the videos are nicely done, some of the narration actually sounded robotic, like some kind of AI-generated voice. It’s still clear audio nevertheless; just takes a while getting used to, so that’s not a big deal.
(2) Most of the culinary courses focus on Western-style cooking and pastry-making instead of Asian cooking. For students who’re interested in the latter subject, their choices are probably limited to the recipe boards only.
(3) Cooking classes can be found anywhere nowadays so there are going to be potential competitions up against Rouxbe. Users who fancy free streaming platforms might choose YouTube tutorials; people who are looking for budgeted options might want to learn from Udemy instead and those who prefer one-on-one coaching are likely to sign up for physical classes near their homes.
Keep in mind though that most of these courses aren’t necessarily accredited so they’re better suited for hobbyists than for culinary students.
(4) On the affiliate side, only 8 courses (including the membership plan) are credited for affiliate sales at this point of writing. They are the ones I’ve marked with an asterisk sign in the list above. So there’s going to be more focus on plant-based and seafood cooking over pastry making.
How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing?
One of the best ways to get started as a Rouxbe’s affiliate is through blogging, and this is important for two main reasons;
- A blog site is required during the application. Without that, it may be difficult to get into the program. In fact, many advertisers prefer bloggers because it shows you’re serious about committing to long-term affiliation with their brands.
- Remember all the trending keywords we talked about earlier? Using them as part of a content such as blog posts, reviews or videos makes sharing a product – in this case, Rouxbe is a digital product — more relevant to the audience. It engages with the readers and makes them want to know more. When that happens, marketing and selling become naturally easier versus posting affiliate links everywhere on social media.
Now, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a food blog, and that’s okay if you’re a food enthusiast. But let’s not forget other types of blogs that are likely to involve cooking too; a mommy blog, a lifestyle blog and of course, a culinary student blog.
If you haven’t got a blog OR your blog isn’t running on WordPress, then it’s time to get one. WordPress is great for content creators, and it ranks better on search engines too. Create a blog name using the tool below and discover what WordPress can do for you.
Meanwhile, if you like to learn more about becoming a successful affiliate with Rouxbe, do check out my recommended training program here. Remember to leave some comments down below, and I’ll see you in the next post.