Are you a digitally savvy entrepreneur with a limited budget, but an I-can-DIY attitude? Then, now, (or always) is the right time to get the best free online business courses!
Across the world, founders and small business owners are DIYing blogging, website creation, social media marketing, SEO and so much more. Not just because it’s more cost-effective, but also because it’s possible.
As business owners the desire to be lean with your capital and resources is natural. Whether we tackle a task ourselves or outsource it, a working knowledge of a vital business skill or tool is always a plus. Even more when times are tough, revenues are down and many are struggling to balance their sheets.
If you are just getting started with business or want to take it to the next level, we’ve got great resources for you.
Check out these top FREE online courses for your business right now!
Enhance your critical business skills, and help your business succeed by pursuing the ones relevant to your current needs.
As a business owner, the better you are at digital marketing, the stronger your online brand. Digital marketing encompasses all marketing touch points that you leverage through online channels. It includes web based marketing, email, video, social media, digital ads and more.
Created by Google trainers, this is a free certification with practical exercises, and real-world examples to help you turn knowledge into action.
CXL is offering this mini degree for free, to people whose livelihoods are affected by COVID-19.
Here are some niche digital marketing categories you can further explore:
1a. Social Media Marketing
This course on Class Central by University of Pennsylvania illustrates successful strategies for creating virality so that your campaigns become more shareable on social media and elsewhere.
With this course by Northwestern University on Coursera, you will learn how to manage your social strategies, expand your online audience and establish your social brand.
This course on Udemy covers how to use Social Media Strategy and Marketing.
For coaches, freelancers and start-ups, this 50 minute course on Udemy teaches how to use Facebook groups, niche forums, and YouTube to pick up coaching and consulting clients.
With free 5 minute lessons, they cover the gamut from Facebook Advertising to using Instagram for business, selecting the right ad objective to the right visuals and more.
Get the best tips & How-tos for Social Media
1b. Email marketing/ Marketing Funnels
One of the most effective, cost-efficient ways to nurture warm prospects is Email marketing which is great for brand awareness to drive leads and sales.
This course by eMarketing Institute is a good option for beginners. It will show you the basics of email marketing and what starting with it really involves.
Learn about an email marketing strategy that grows your business. This certification by Hubspot Academy covers everything from contact management and segmentation to email deliverability and more.
One of the most effective tools to attract and convert is SEO – from visitors to prospects and ultimately, as customers!
This 2.5 hour tutorial on Udemy will help you increase the search rank of your corporate website, your blog or Linkedin profile. Which means better searchability on Google and increased site traffic.
Even better, for now, Moz’s courses are free with the code “wegotthis.”
1d. Affiliate Marketing
If you are ready to get paid for selling or promoting someone else’s product or service, then affiliate marketing is a good business avenue to explore.
This course on Udemy offers you a gist of how to get started with affiliate marketing and how it can work for you.
Another course from Udemy, this covers building, utilizing, and remarketing to targeted email lists as well as how to find profitable Affiliate Marketing products.
eMarketing Institute offers a comprehensive certification.
1e. Content Marketing
When used right and marketed well, content is a powerful tool for business owners for generating organic leads. Coming up with content ideas for business is simply a beginning. The real work is promoting that content to make it reach the right audience.
This course offered by Coursera is created by Copyblogger and UC Davis Extension in partnership. Learn how to develop, organize and implement a content marketing strategy, analyze and measure its effectiveness and write compelling copy. If you opt out of the certification component, you can access the course materials for free.
Hubspot’s course teaches a content creation framework for producing effective and consistent content as well as how to effectively create and repurpose content.
Design is the first impression in business and boy do we all hope for love at first sight. From your branding colors and logo design to your social media ad copy and an attractive website layout, visual storytelling is especially important in a digital context.
You can start with this course on Alison that will guide you through the graphic design process as well as its fundamentals.
Making design accessible for everyone, you can head here for everything from graphic design basics to social media design mastery, plus how to design in Canva.
This practical course on Coursera gives you the tools to create professional looking Powerpoints, reports, resumes, and presentations.
If you want to ensure that your website is intuitive to use and looks appealing, this free course from Career Foundry can help improve the User interface on your website.
Get insights on website, content and logo design!
Use this 2.5 hour video course on Udemy to learn the step by step instructions on how to build a profitable blog without writing a single line of code.
Ahrefs course teaches “how to grow your blog past 100K monthly visitors and turn thousands of your readers into paying customers.”
You can also check out some more great, free resources and freebies on getting started with blogging.
Want to start with WordPress and build your website? With this course on Udemy, you can, in about 2 hours.
Learn how to maximize Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. This course teaches you to use cloud-based tools to effectively collaborate online, and create and share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and files.
They offer several free courses to help you learn about Google’s measurement tools, and grow your business through intelligent data collection and analysis.
In this course from eMarketing Institute, discover some of the web analytics tools and software you could use, and the metrics you need to track your website’s activity and success.
7. Content Writing
Every online channel – email, social media, websites, blog etc. requires a different, strategic writing approach. You need to keep the specific audience in mind and the action your content hopes to elicit.
This course from Berkeley University on edX provides a framework for focusing on purpose, content and audiences,
Also check out this course on Coursera. It focuses on writing effective business communications, persuasive writing, presentations, emails, business reports and press releases. Plus, how to edit and proofread business documents.
This course by Gymnasium is for designers, developers, marketing folks, copywriters, and product/project managers to take a data-driven approach to their content decision-making.
Are you a Copywriter, VA, Blogger, Designer, Marketer?
8. eCommerce/ Ecommerce Management
If you are contemplating starting an eCommerce business or moving your inventory online, you can start with this course from the eMarketing Institute.
This course from Alison shows you how to take e-Commerce to the next level and truly compete in the world of online retail.
Before you proceed with starting an ecommerce business, ask yourself these 6 questions first.
9.Online Bookkeeping/ Accounting/ Finance
A course by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania on Coursera, this one helps you read and interpret common financial statements.
This course comes with hundreds of practice quizzes and detailed video explanations.
Your work is the top tool to showcase your many skills. So it’s important to create an amazing Freelance Portfolio.
This short tutorial on Udemy guides you on how to create a portfolio website using WordPress.
11.Starting an online business as a Virtual Professional
The Virtual Savvy offers a pre-recorded training to start as a Virtual Assistant.
Whether you want to explore being an Online Business Manager or jumpstart your VA business, find more free resources on this Business Tools & Freebies Marketplace.
Skilling up and learning more about business is the best investment one can make for the sake of their business and future growth. While you contemplate this extensive list of free opportunities to learn & grow, don’t forget the most important one- self care. Fortunately, this popular course on The Science of Well-being offered by Yale on Coursera is now free.
Whether it’s working on your mindset, business growth or even work from home balance, your physical and mental wellness will drive your business forward, the most.
While the information above is believed to be accurate and recent, readers are advised to do their own fact-finding before making any decisions. Maroon Oak does not endorse or recommend any specific learning institution. Nor has the company been compensated in any way for listing the names above.
You can’t use up creativity. The more you create, the more you have.
A Designer and Entrepreneur, Aditi graduated from a top design school and subsequently started her own design and merchandising business. Co-founder at Maroon Oak, she has over 17 years of business experience with Two Dotts, her design consulting company and an Etsy store which serves as an outlet for her gifts and patented product designs.
A mother with two teens, she enjoys running, dancing and raising her baby, a Bichon named Miltie.