No doubt about it– blogging is a necessary digital marketing skill. Whether you’re in it because you have your own growing ecommerce operation, YouTube channel, niche website/affiliate marketing project, or online content marketing job, having a blog is a great way to connect with your readers and your clients.
If you’re looking to finally step up your blogging game, here are a few good sites where you can level up (for free!) and pick up some extra skills to be a better, more professional blogger:
- eMarketing Institute
- Google Digital Garage
- Google Skillshop
- Hubspot Academy
Stick around until the very end of this piece as we do have a few other bonus resources to share as well (to help round out your pro blogging set of skills).
Let’s go dive right into our list:
1. AHREFs’ Blogging For Business
We here at BloggingPro are big fans of AHREFs ourselves. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit us last March, AHREFs was one of the first digital marketing companies to offer free courses to folks sheltering-in-place and working from home.
The Blogging for Business course continues to be free up to today (but we don’t know for how long!). It covers ten lessons and is about five hours long. Featuring AHREFs’ very own Tim Soulo, the course also has nuggets of wisdom from folks like Noah Kagan, Bryan Harris, and Ramsay Taplin.
2. Alison.com’s “Journalism in the Digital Age”
Our opinion is that blogging and journalism go hand in hand. Having a bit more of a journalism background can only bring up your blogging game, and to this end, we recommend Alison.com’s Journalism in the Digital Age. Learn about the risks and opportunities journalists and bloggers face in this 3-hour course, which covers 14 different topics.
Once you’re done with that, feel free to peruse Alison.com’s other courses which you could use, such as YouTube Marketing: The Five Essential Steps, Build WordPress Sites That Attract Free Traffic, or work your way towards a Diploma in Social Media Strategy.
3. eMarketing Institute
Quite possibly the best entry-level set of resources available on the web right now, the eMarketing Institute is great for those who have absolutely no background knowledge about digital marketing or content creation but would certainly want to work towards getting a certificate in blogging nevertheless.
After going through the free Blogging Course and Certification, other courses you may want to check out next on eMarketing Institute might include the ones on Affiliate Marketing, Content Marketing, and eCommerce.
4. Google Digital Garage
Another great entry-level resource for digital marketing professionals of all kinds is Google Digital Garage.
Google’s own online learning platform covers digital marketing basics through the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course, which includes lessons in building your web presence, content marketing, video, search, social media– pretty much everything you need to help advance your business or career as a blogger (and all-around digital marketer).
The course covers 26 modules and would take an estimated 40 hours to complete. You do get to take home a sweet certificate when you’re done, though (assuming you pass the test, which you most likely will).
5. Google Skillshop’s Analytics Academy
Where Google Digital Garage is great for anyone interested in digital marketing, Google Skillshop is geared more towards those who want to specialize further in advertising and analytics.
For real serious blogging pros, analytics allows you to grow your blogging operation through intelligent data collection and analysis, and you can learn how to do so with the free Analytics Academy Courses.
6. HubSpot Academy
Advocates of the “inbound” way of doing digital marketing, market leader HubSpot has probably one of the most extensive learning libraries around today through their very own HubSpot Academy. Sure, there’s a tier reserved for partners and paying clients, but the free certification courses available to you are just too good to pass up.
Recommended courses for the blogging professional include the content marketing course (a little more than 6 hours) and the inbound course (almost 2 hours long). Once you’re done with those two certification courses, go ahead and take the ones for email marketing and social media as well.
7. Moz Academy’s Free SEO Training
Moz is one of the world’s top brands when it comes to search engine optimization. Just like AHREFs, Moz Academy had made their SEO courses free when we started sheltering-in-place a couple of months back.
There’s a little more than twelve hours’ worth of SEO training in the entire library, allowing you to work your way from “absolutely-no-clue-what-search-engine-optimization-is-all-about” to “confident SEO pro” in a day or two. Moz’s SEO Training will continue to be free until May 31.
8. SKILLSHARE’s Free Courses on Blogging and WordPress
SKILLSHARE is one of the internet’s most popular and most-respected online learning communities, having been around since 2011. Courses on SKILLSHARE are widely varied, ranging from business and entrepreneurship to fashion and design, with lots of courses on advertising, marketing, and tech as well.
A quick query on free courses on blogging or WordPress is really all it takes. Some of the more promising courses include James Stafford’s How To Start A Beautiful WordPress Blog For Beginners, Theresa Christine’s Blogging Basics, and How to VLOG – Complete Beginners Guide by Jeven Dovey.
9. Udemy’s Free Classes on Blogging and WordPress
You can also find free blogging and WordPress courses on Udemy, another popular online learning company. Of course some of the best online workshops/classes are available at a premium, but if you’re just starting out, Udemy has quite a few free courses that you can sign up for right now.
Check out Tyler Speegle’s 10 FREE Blogging Tools That Will Make You a Better Blogger, The 30 Day Blog Transformation Challenge by David Risley, or Martie Dread’s How To Create A Website using WordPress (Step by Step).
A blogging pro is a well-rounded pro. With that in mind, here are a few other choice online resources to help beef up your other skill sets as a professional blogger:
- Agorapulse’s Social Media Manager School. You can access the Social Media Manager School for free for 8 weeks, so go right ahead and learn the latest and best social media management best practices and techniques while you can.
- Canva’s Design School. Learn how to brand your blog even better and how to make better-looking graphics, presentations, and social media content with Canva’s own Design School.
- ClassCentral.com. There are tons more digital courses here. While not about blogging specifically, you can check out ClassCentral.com’s list of curated courses from Ivy League academies and other top learning institutions, particularly on branding, business, coding, photography, or even some data science if you feel like it.
- Le Wagon. If you’d like to get down and dirty with coding, then Le Wagon has a free web development course (about 20+ hours long) that covers the fundamentals of HTML and CSS, and walks you through each step of the creation of a website.
- LinkedIn Learning. As a way to help professionals make the transition from office working to working remotely, LinkedIn Learning had just made more than a dozen short courses for free, covering topics on productivity, managing remote teams, and better time management, among others.
A Final Word
There you have it: a ton of great online learning resources to help kickstart your career as a blogging pro.
Our recommendation? Start with the ones that might not be free for long, such as MOZ’s free SEO course and Agorapulse’s Social Media Manager School.
Then work on getting a few certifications (such as Hubspot’s or Google’s) under your belt so you can include those credentials for when you’re trying to get a new job or for including in your LinkedIn profile.
It’s always good to learn something new every day, so you should get cracking now. Which courses do you think you’d want to start working on today? Do you think there are other great online blogging courses out there that should be on this list? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Author: Renzie Baluyut
A former FM radio exec and concert producer, Renzie has been into digital marketing since 2008. Today, he helps brands and businesses with their various content marketing and other digital strategy requirements.