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Grow Your Content Marketing Skills with These 7 Free Online Courses

by Leigh M

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Content marketing is easy.

That is until a business tries to measure return on investment (ROI) consistently. Yikes! That’s when they realize that content strategy and digital marketing require a whole lot more than a cruise ship full of blog posts. And they begin looking for freelance writers who don’t just know how to write but also how to help them get measurable results.

Do you have what it takes to create content that directly supports your clients’ efforts to connect with customers, generate leads, make sales, and increase customer value? Do you get the big picture?

Some things work. And then there’s the stuff that’s meh. You could end up wasting a lot of time recreating the wheel if you learn as you go. But if you’re eager to get results and attract top-paying clients, it’s worth taking the time to complete free online courses.

But what to take? Hmmm. “I don’t have a ton of time and want to make the best use of it”, you say.

Check out these actionable digital marketing course courses are totally worth the time. (And come with a price tag of free ninety-nine!)

1. Content Marketing {Hubspot Academy}

Wondering what this content marketing strategy thing is all about and where a freelancer’s content creation fits in? This free course is a great place to start. It walks you through the major concepts and tools you need to develop compelling content strategies.

How do I know what kind of content to create? Can email marketing boost ROI? How do I reach the right customers? Is my content resonating with my target audience? How do I make data-driven decisions and optimize my efforts to maximize my ROI? Marketing professionals think in these terms.

And as a freelancer and/or aspiring content marketing professional, you need to think of them too.

Because I take couses like this, I can demonstrate to clients that I understand their challenges, goals, and marketing strategy. And that I have the marketing skills they need– especially if they’re a small business and a one-person show.

Online marketing training courses like this covers it all. And you’ll walk away with very actionable information you can use immediately to improve your work.

This is only one of many Hubspot Academy’s free online courses. So once you’ve completed this solid introduction, be sure to explore the bountiful resources on this website. Certification? Yes–and don’t forget to add certifications to your Writer Access profile.

And my personal recommendations? Take notes. There’s so much here. And you’ll want to refer back to it again and again.

2. Google Analytics for Beginner’s {Analytics Academy}

Google is pretty awesome if you ask me. Their goal is to make the Internet a more accessible place for the average person. They’ve really done that. And at the same time, they’ve created a ton of work for you and me because businesses need ample engaging content for search engine optimization (SEO).

To accomplish their goal of the most searchable Internet, Google created a free tool, Google Analytics, that helps website owners understand vital information like:

  • How well their website performs
  • Who it attracts
  • Where traffic comes from
  • How to track conversions
  • And more

Since you’re helping clients with their SEO and inbound marketing efforts, it’s useful to understand how they measure the value of your content to their business strategies.

Google Analytics for Beginners walks you step-by-step through the tool, helping you uncover a wealth of data you might not even have realized you have access to.

And if you’re comfortable with the basics, there’s an advanced course as well.

3. Social Media Marketing for Beginners {Udemy Academy}

This is one to take if you only have a little time and want to get the most out of it. It’s only 43 minutes long.

Modern digital marketing can’t really exist without social media. Social media platforms not only host content but they also direct traffic to more content on client websites.

So it’s vital to understand how clients use social media to meet marketing goals and where your own content fits into that equation.

Learn what makes a successful social media campaign and learn common social media mistakes that could cost your clients big.

As you explore Udemy, you’ll find other free online courses and paid ones that focus on various aspects of social media and content. So if you have a particular interest or desired focus, browse the site for courses that are relevant to your interests.

4. Personal Branding {Coursera}

So here’s the truth. It’s doesn’t matter if you’re like me and spend your workdays sitting behind a computer — at the coffee shop, in the park, in the living room, by the pool.

Clients see you. And they can develop an impression of who you are and how you work.

So completing an online course in personal branding can do two things for you.

One, it helps you understand the importance of business branding for your clients. There’s a reason they may create 2000-word guidelines and need a consistent voice. And you may balk at those instructions. But when you help them deliver the right brand image, they’ll come back to you again.

This is especially true for bloggers and other influencers. Their personal brand is all they have.

That’s repeat business and how to make the most money as a freelance writer.

And second, you’ll better understand how little things can alter how people see you. Then you can use this knowledge to work on conveying the best image for your own personal brand, which will help you generate the most clients.

5. The Strategy of Content Marketing {Coursera}

I know for myself, I always want to see the big picture. I’m not content to just follow directions. I need some context to be able to read between the lines and deliver a stellar product. And that takes a realization of how content fits into an overall content strategy.

I already recommended a similar course from HubSpot. And that one includes strategy. But this one dives deeper. From blogging to video to copywriting, this webinar-style course will help you grow your skills across the digital world.

Explore the core content strategies businesses use in content marketing. And better understand how every piece you create fits into that strategy. What you learn in this course will enable you to make helpful suggestions to business owners that you work with as a way to enhance their efforts and win big in the personal branding department.

6. Social Media Marketing {HubSpot Academy}

If you have a little more time on your hands, it’s worth your while to dig deeper into how your clients are using social media and the content you provide to reach their customers. But a word of caution. This course covers everything about social media strategy in a fun and easy-to-digest way. So you might just walk away feeling like a digital marketing expert.

And you’ll definitely have some social media marketing skills that you can put to use immediately.

Confidence isn’t a bad thing. Confidence makes you more accurate and productive, according to studies. So let’s do this.

Here are just a few of the topics explored int his free HubSpot course:

  • Social media listening
  • Building a following
  • Influencer marketing
  • Social advertising
  • Measuring your results

As a freelancer, you may also want to use some of these skills to grow your own online business. If you’re operating solely by word of mouth and not using social media marketing for your own business, then you may be missing out on a serious opportunity to attract more and better clients.

7. Email Marketing {Udemy}

Email marketing is one of the most affordable and effective channels for small business marketing campaigns. Which makes it a great topic for freelance writers to be experts in. By expanding your content marketing knowledge to include strategies for email marketing, you’re able to offer this service to clients.

This Udemy course explores email marketing as one of the essential channels for implementing your content strategy.

In this free online course, you’ll learn how to grow your professional relationships and help clients expand their presence across the Internet. The course covers multi-channel marketing principles that will help you take your content marketing skills to the next level.

More Free Online Courses

Want more? Go to the source. And get all the latest in tools, best practices, and strategies your clients are using to get results. Sign up for free access to CMC Digital Conference 2020 now through May 31, 2020.

Leigh M. is a full-time writer who specializes in Marketing, B2B, and Healthcare writing for businesses promoting their brands through engaging and informative books, articles and copy. She has an MBA level education, a strong Medical Management background as well as extensive marketing, SEO and analytics experience. She leverages advanced content optimization tools like Yoast, Grammarly Pro, Moz, Advanced Marketing Institute, Hemingway Editor and more to deliver polished content ready to meet content objectives. Leigh has the heart of a teacher and her clients appreciate that she can break down high-level topics like biology, nutrition, risk management, analytics, branding, technology, as she shares information in a friendly and informative way. She receives stellar reviews from clients for her consistent customer care, high-quality product, and dynamic creativity.


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