There are tons of free online courses out there to help improve your content. Here are a few author favorites.
Increasing online competition and advancements in search technologies mean that writing content is about more than just having a solid grasp of the English language.
Great content that performs well takes into account a variety of marketing factors that not even the most seasoned writers are necessarily familiar with.
Before beginning to write content, you’ll want to consider:
- How you’re going to optimize the piece with keywords, topical relevance, internal linking, and more.
- How you’ll write for a diverse audience.
- How you’ll ensure all of the writing has a consistent tone and style.
- Whether you should hire writers who are experts in the subject matter, or writers who are experts at writing online content. In certain industries, it can be tough to find both.
- How much will you pay your writers?
- How many articles you are able to write and publish per week.
- Who is going to manage the content when it comes to responding to comments, making sure links are not broken, etc.
- In terms of marketing, which analytics reports you are going to use to make conclusions about the success or failure of each piece.
- How you will incorporate different content types – video, infographics, ebooks, polls, reviews, interviews, etc.
It’s safe to say that if you want to write successful content that gets a lot of attention, it’s probably a good idea to get some training on both writing and marketing.
Fortunately, getting the training you need doesn’t have to mean shelling out a lot of money from your budget.
There are tons of free online courses that can help you learn everything you need to know to get the links and shares your business needs.
Read on for some favorites from myself and friends!
Top 8 Free Online Courses On Content Marketing & Writing
Disclaimer: I have not taken all of the courses listed below, but I have taken a few, and I know at least one person who has recommended the others.
They’ve also received numerous positive reviews from the hundreds of others who have taken the courses.
Without further ado, below are some of the best 8 Free Courses For Writers & Content Marketers out there.
Skillshare allows you to start free for 14 days, and then after that, it is a yearly fee of $96.00.
Once you pay for the membership, all of the classes are free within Skillshare.
If you don’t want to purchase a membership, the courses below can be purchased separately for anywhere from $10-20.
Still, I’ve added them to the list because you can get quite a few courses done for free during your 14-day trial.
This course is taught by Eric Siu, CEO of Single Grain and Founder at Growth Everywhere.
This 80-minute class will teach you various blog-writing styles, how to brainstorm a topic, and then develop your notes from a brainstorming session to a full-on blog post. He even goes into detail on how to create an engaging headline and feature image.
This is a beginner course perfect for business owners and marketers, and it has a 95% positive review rate.
At the end of the course, you’ll have written an original blog post to share, which hopefully will be the first in a successful content marketing strategy!
This is a course by Andrea Goulet Ford of Corgibytes, a team of expert developers who not only offer maintenance services, but courses to boot!
Ford was an unknown name to me, but her loyal followers seem to swear by her advice, so I gave the course a try and was very impressed.
She has worked with government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and many more across the board.
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This subject matter seems fairly simple, but planning can be very intricate. She helps you create a resource library to refer back to in the future, AND she makes sure that you walk away with three months’ worth of online content all planned out.
Udemy is probably the most popular avenue for online marketers when it comes to taking free classes.
They have free options (all mentioned below) as well as paid options and offer more than 32,000 courses, 18,000 instructors, and 80+ course languages.
This course is best for B2B companies, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s one of the few good Udemy classes that are free.
The course is by William Flanagan, CEO and Founder of Audienti, and it’s great because it uses actual scenarios that Flanagan has dealt with in his own business as well as of his clients.
There are six sections to the class, including Creating Interesting Relevant Content, Publishing Content for Conversion, and Getting Content in front of Your Audience.
This might seem unconventional, but part of content marketing is knowing how to take advantage of all WordPress has to offer.
This is important for SEO as well as user experience.
The course covers posts vs. pages, the Content Editor, media files, categories and tags, content widgets, and more confusing little options you have.
It’s a basic course and best for beginners, but necessary if you have any questions about what WordPress can offer.
Coursera courses are on the rise.
The education platform partners with top universities and organizations worldwide and makes it easy for anyone to sign up (similarly to Udemy, except it’s a bit pricier and works with colleges and universities).
Coursera also has one of the largest libraries of classes in all different categories, so this is one of my favorite platforms.
There are four parts to this course: “Engaging Audiences,” “Managing Content,” “Expanding your Content’s Reach,” and “Ensuring your Content’s Impact.”
The course ends with a final capstone project where you use the knowledge you’ve gained in the prior four courses to design a content strategy package.
The course says that it is designed for entry-level, for-profit, non-profit, volunteer, and government enterprises, and it’s a great way to learn some of the basics of content marketing and how it can relate to a business strategy as a whole.
It’s a beginner-level course, and if you spend approximately two hours per week on the classes, you will finish in about four months.
The best part is it’s completely free, although you do have the option of getting a Verified Certificate from Northwestern University for completing the course for $49.00.
This is the only course on the list that isn’t free, but it’s only $35 for eight hours of videos, readings, and quizzes, which is pretty inexpensive for a Coursera course from the University of California, Irvine.
This course is unique because it’s one of the few options that put a heavy focus on the actual act of writing as opposed to content marketing.
It teaches you how to write and communicate effectively in the business world.
Naturally, a lot of this is writing for an online audience and online publications (although it does get into writing business proposals, memos, etc.). If polishing up your writing skills is what you’re after, this single-course is a great option.
This course is part of a 10-course series called Career Success Specialization, which you can opt to take from the link above.
General Website Courses
If you keep an eye out, you’ll notice different agencies and businesses around the web oftentimes offer courses taught by their professionals. Below are two of my favorites:
This course doesn’t focus on writing or content marketing specifically, but it’s worth mentioning if you’re interested in how those two areas help an online strategy as a whole.
You learn everything from creating landing pages, closing sales, and more.
HubSpot is one of the leading marketing resources on the web with some of the best content featured on their five blogs, so their course is no doubt top-notch.
Once you pass the course, you get a personalized badge and certificate that you can display on your website, email signature, LinkedIn profiles, etc.
Much like Skillshare, the Online Marketing Institute offers a free trial that allows you to try any courses you wish.
They have 70 different content marketing classes to choose from all sorted by Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced level.
The Content Storytelling class is pretty unique because it helps you understand storytelling fundamentals and how you can get creative so your content is more engaging.
Creativity is something that many businesses are lacking, so this is a cool course if you’re looking to step outside of your comfort zone.
Good content writers are in high demand, and we don’t see that changing any time soon.
It’s even possible to make a full-time income just through content writing if you take the time to learn the ins and out of the business.
The list above is a great starting point if you’re looking to expand your content writing skills, but it’s by no means an all-inclusive list.