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10 Of The Best (And Free!) Online Courses For Marketers


If you think your education stopped in college, think again.

As a digital marketing professional, it’s your duty to continue your education, whether you’re a copywriter, coder or graphic designer. This industry is always evolving and you must keep up.

But since we live in a digital world, you don’t necessarily have to hit the school books to learn something new.

Today, there’s a bevy of low-cost and even free online courses to further your education. And you can take them in the comforts of your own home and on your own time.

Here are 10 free or cheap online courses and certifications to continue your marketing education, many of which ROI Online has personally used. 

1. Inbound Marketing Certification - HubSpot

HubSpot is a leader in inbound marketing and this free certification provides an excellent foundation for the fundamentals of the inbound marketing methodology. From blogging and landing pages, to SEO and reporting, to lead nurturing and conversion, you will learn the latest digital marketing best practices.

Cost: Free

Length: 5 hours / 12 classes 

2. Social Media Marketing Training - Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media management tools, so it makes perfect sense they would have their own academy. Hootsuite offers five free social media courses and three industry-recognized social media certifications.

We recommend the free Social Media Marketing Training as it’s not Hootsuite-specific and offers a strong social media foundation for beginner marketers.

Cost: Free

Length: 7 courses

3. Growth-Driven Design Training Course

Don’t underestimate the power of growth-driven design, a “fusion of site redesign and marketing.” Growthdrivendesign.com offers a free deep dive course in how to implement this new strategy. It's designed for marketers working internally at B2B or B2C companies. You’ll learn a step-by-step process, the best tools to use, and which data to track. You’ll also receive free templates.

This course, along with the GDD Agency Certification (which is also free), gives you access to the GDD Community Slack and Community Wiki. 

*The Deep Drive is a high-demand class, so you may be put on a waiting list.

Cost: Free

Length: 7 hours / 7 classes

4. HTML & CSS: Part 1 - CodeAcademy

At CodeAcademy, you can become a coding ninja for free. There are a number of courses, from basic HTML and CSS, to Python, to learning how to make an interactive website.

We recommend starting with the Learn HTML & CSS: Part 1 in order to gain the fundamentals of code.

Cost: Free

Length: Estimated 10 hours

5. Diploma in Photography - Shaw Academy

The Shaw Academy offers a variety of photography courses. If you sign up at the time this blog was published, the introduction course is free!

This foundational course offers on-demand and live classes. It teaches you how to take control of your DSLR camera, which basically means weaning yourself off of automatic and semi-automatic modes. The course covers several concepts, from the history of photography and how cameras work to depth of field and exposure.

Using your own photos rather than relying on stock photos will really up your marketing game, whether you use them for a website, a blog or social media.

Cost: Free

Length: 8 weeks / 10 classes 

6. Beginners Adobe PhotoShop

Once you master photography, you’re going to want to master photo editing. Even if you aren’t interested in photography, developing basic photo editing skills can strengthen your social media and design skills.

Many people claim they are “adept” or “proficient” in PhotoShop on their resumes. After you take this course, you’ll be able to say that without a tinge of guilt.  

Cost: Free

Length: 13.5 minutes / 26 classes

7. Writing Marketing Copy - LinkedIn Learning

If you’re a marketer, you have to know how to write. Every day, you write emails, social media posts, blogs and analytical reports. Whether you like it or not, you’re a writer in some way, shape or form.

This free course from LinkedIn Learning will teach you how to create copy that sells your product and tells your story. You’ll learn everything from writing first drafts and headlines to writing copy for online and social media.

Cost: Free

Length: Approximately 90 minutes

8. Fundamentals of Google Docs

Google Drive is a beautiful labyrinth. But if you can’t navigate that labyrinth, you’ll never discover all the benefits Drive has to offer.

This free Google Docs certification from ALISON teaches you how to use this popular cloud-based tool. You will learn how to create, edit and share Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Forms and Google Presentations.

Cost: Free

Length: 1 hour

9. Hemingway App

Has your writing just become blah? The Hemingway App will fix that. This proofreading tool’s primary goal is to make your writing more clear. You can use a free online version or pay $20 for the standalone program for PC or Mac.

The Hemingway App highlights common problems that muddle your writing, such as lengthy or overly complex sentences, weak phrases, superfluous adverbs and passive voice, in your text. It color codes each error type so you can correct it accordingly. In addition to editing, you can compose new content in the tool.

Cost: Free online / $20 program

Length: Varies

We know there are heaps of online educational tools out there, and this list just skims the surface. If you have a favorite free or low-cost online course for marketers, please share with us in the comments section below! 


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