21+ Free Content Writing Courses to Kickstart Your Freelance Career | Pepper Content

21+ Free Content Writing Courses to Kickstart Your Freelance Career

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 5/09/2110 min read
21+ Free Content Writing Courses to Kickstart Your Freelance Career

Content writing is a broad term that can refer to the creation of any written work under the sun. The requirement of content permeates across industries. With the ever-increasing demand for content development, a career in content writing is a promising one. However, such demand is for high-quality content. Thus, aspiring to have a thriving… Continue reading 21+ Free Content Writing Courses to Kickstart Your Freelance Career

Content writing is a broad term that can refer to the creation of any written work under the sun. The requirement of content permeates across industries. With the ever-increasing demand for content development, a career in content writing is a promising one. However, such demand is for high-quality content. Thus, aspiring to have a thriving content writing career must be matched with equally high skills. Has a lack of writing skills impeded your freelance career? Or do the vast digital intricacies bog you down? Worry no more. Wherever you are in your career, there are several ways to improve your writing skills. Here, we’ve listed great online content writing courses, most of which you can try for free.  

Source

Types of Content

Before you head over to the list of online content writing courses, it’ll help to know what exactly you are looking for. The extensive arm of content writing covers, but is not limited to the following: 

  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Ad and sales copy
  • Expert or industry writing
  • Journalistic/news writing
  • Creative writing

Offline or Online?

This post deals with online content writing courses that can help you become a successful digital freelancer. You could be into marketing or interested in the details of content writing. Many courses are available for every kind of digital content requirement. While deciding on whether to opt for an online or offline course, consider the following:

  1. Time: How much time do you want to invest in a course, and how much can you actually spare?
  2. Commute: Are you okay with a long commute to offline class? Do you have alternative commuting options?
  3. Budget: Factor in the time and expense you’ll incur for an offline course; compare the same with online options.
  4. Which mode of learning works better for you – offline or online? 

Free Content Writing Courses

1. Content Marketing Course by Semrush

This online free content writing course, offered by Semrush, is designed to help improve your content marketing skills. You’ll get tips and guidance from experts in the field. It’s a series of simple video lessons supplemented with materials for further studies. The lessons are followed by evaluation in the form of quizzes and tests. 

You can take an exam after the course to obtain a certificate, or straightaway takes the exam without going through the course. 

Duration: 3 hours

Instructor: Ashley Segura Ward

Skill level: Beginners to intermediate

What you’ll learn: 

  • Optimizing content to make it search engine-friendly; in-depth knowledge of analytical and optimization tools to create a strong content strategy 
  • Leveraging free content writing tools for your content topic ideation; research methods that’ll help you come up with relevant content titles which address your audience’s challenges 
  • Techniques and practices to enhance the reach and discovery of your content 
  • Monitoring content performance; you’ll be able to better evaluate preferences and trends among the target audience; tips on managing your content schedule with the use of a marketing calendar.

2. Technical Writing Course by Coursera

This course, offered by the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology via Coursera, is for those who want to develop necessary skills in technical writing. It will take you through the degree and concepts of language technicality. It’s designed to help you write various technical content reports and address issues that come up in technical writing. The course has video lectures complemented with references. A certificate will be provided upon completion of the course.

Duration: 19 hours, self-paced

Instructor: Elena Bazanova 

Skill level: Intermediate

What you’ll learn:

  • Technical writing knowledge and planning
  • Sorting of the relevant and best information 
  • Understanding and evaluation of technical documents
  • Technical communication
  • Use of graphical and visual tools for efficient communication of bulky information
  • Dealing with issues around workplace and academic research 
  • Web of Science: information discovery tool
  • Patent data navigation

3. Content Marketing: Blogging for Business by LinkedIn

The free content writing course provided by LinkedIn teaches the fine points of blogging. It teaches the detailed process involved in blogging, including optimized and strong content creation. 

Duration: About 50 minutes

Level: Beginner

Instructor: Martin Waxman

What you’ll learn:

  • SEO optimization of your post
  • Content marketing
  • Social media content promotion
  • B2B/B2C marketing
  • Evaluation metrics
  • Blog design and development

Related courses provided by LinkedIn: Learning Conversion Copywriting, Writing with Impact, Writing Articles

4. English for Research Publication Purposes 

This is a specialization course provided via Coursera by MIPT. The specialization has a set of 5 courses that provide essential knowledge and skill for scientific writing. It’s perfect for anyone interested in writing for research publications. 

Duration: About 5 months, self-paced

Level: Intermediate

Instructors: Elena Bazanova and Varvara Sosedova

What you’ll learn: 

  • Developing scientific writing expertise, and editing skills
  • Writing skill on a par with modern standard research publications requirement 
  • Practical tools and techniques compelling grant proposals and requests 
  • Technical/experimental communication information and demonstration skill
  • Immersive understanding of scientific writing trends 

5. Content Strategy Course by Hubspot

This online content writing training by HubSpot Academy will teach you all the essentials of a successful content strategy for consistent audience engagement.

Duration: 3 hours approximate

Level: Beginners to advance

Instructors: Lindsay Thibeault, AJ Beltis, Justin Champion, Corey Braccialini, Sujan Patel

What you’ll learn:

  • Conceptualization of your content subject; weaving content based on your purpose and interest
  • A long-term realistic content-creation plan
  • Identifying content requirements relevant to the target audience
  • Working with industry influencers to maximize content reach 
  • Content optimization for search engines and users with a focus on clusters and pillar pages
  • Effective content promotions strategy
  • Measure ROI, track efforts performance, conversions
  • Acquiring a creative, opportunistic, and adaptive outlook 
  • Manage growth funnel in the dynamic world of digital media

6. Course on Generating Content Ideas

This super-short free lesson by HubSpot is designed to help you develop a system to produce quality content ideas. 

Instructor: Guillaume Delloue

What you’ll learn: 

  • Research techniques for idea generation
  • Expansion and building up of weakly formed idea into a properly crafted topic   
  • Consistency in content initiation 

7. Course on Building a Content Creation Framework

This is a sub-part of the content marketing course provided by HubSpot. This short course is designed to enable smooth sailing of your content creation roadmap from planning to evaluation. 

Duration: 23 min

Instructor: Abigael Donahue 

What you’ll learn: 

  • Formulating an organized, repeatable, and elegant framework for content creation
  • The process to keep your content creation efforts smoothly running
  • Building content creation framework
  • Going beyond content writing and publishing 

8. Writing Quality and Engaging Blog Content

This short HubSpot course is designed to help you create blog content that is compelling and useful for the audience.

Duration: 40 min

Level: Beginner

Instructors: Justin Champion Jami Oetting Jorie Munroe, Beth Dunn, Juanita Moreno, Tiphaine Amblard, Laura Stehl

What you’ll learn:  

  • Importance of blog post structure
  • Choosing topic/title for blog posts
  • Structuring an outline of a blog post 
  • Effective tips on blog writing

9. Editing and Proofreading Masterclass by SkillShare

This 2-in-1 course, provided by SkillShare, shares expertise on proofreading and editing. The course consists of a series of time-saving videos.

Duration: 3 hours, flexible

Instructor: Nitay L

Level: Beginner

What you’ll learn:

  • Proofreading and editing techniques and tips from professionals
  • Tips on getting gigs in the freelance job market 

10. What You Need to Know as a Freelance Writer by Skillshare

This short course from SkillShare covers the basics of freelance content writing. It consists of lessons on how to thrive in the industry as a freelancer. This is one of the best online content writing courses.

Duration: 49 min

Instructor: Marisa Donnelly

What you’ll learn:

  • Everything you need to know from creating your portfolio to establishing your own brand
  • Crafting resumes   
  • Skills to land clients 
  • Writing compelling work
  • Pitching to clients
  • Networking 

11. The Strategy of Content Marketing by University of California

This course is offered by the University of California, Davis, and is accessible online through Coursera. It is designed to familiarize you with the indispensable practices and integral action plan for successful content marketing. The course consists of video lectures, along with assignments and discussion forums. This is a free content writing course with a certification option available.

Duration: 20 hours (about 5 weeks), self-paced

Level: Intermediate 

Instructor: Sonia Simone, founding partner of Rainmaker Digital

What you’ll learn:

  • Profitable strategies from acquiring to retaining customers in the content market 
  • A comprehensive mapping of your content marketing strategy from ideation, development, organization to execution
  • Analysis and measurement of the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts 
  • Strategic techniques for powerful writing and strong content 
  • Brand building, including personal branding 

12. Good with Words: Writing and Editing Specialization via University of Michigan 

The University of Michigan offers this series of four courses via Coursera. It has everything you need to become a good writer. It’s designed to help you gain writing and editing skills, explore your creativity, learn time management, and hone persuasion skills for effective communication. This is one of the best online content writing courses.

Duration: 4 months, flexible schedule

Level: Beginner

Instructor: Patrick Barry

What you’ll learn:

  • Creative sentence construction and crafting slogans
  • Strong concept and practical nuances of punctuations and paragraph formation
  • How to meet deadlines; time management practices
  • Developing persuasive writing skill
  • Storytelling skill
  • Access to a wide collection of books on excellent writing
  • Strategies to get started
  • Revision tips and techniques; editing and proofreading skills 
  • Working with stats and data in writing
  • Feedback management 

13. Secret Sauce of Great Writing

Offered by Udemy, this short course teaches the essentials of great writing. This is one of the most popular online content writing courses.

Duration: About 40 minutes

Instructor: Shani Raja

What you’ll learn:

• How to incorporate simplicity, clarity, elegance, and evocativeness in your content to develop great writing

• How to write content that stands out

• Establishing a firm grasp on elements of great writing 

• Self-evaluation techniques for enhanced improvement

14. Content Marketing Masterclass by Brad Merrill

This course offers comprehensive knowledge of content creation, promotion, and much more. It is designed to help you come up with high-value content. 

Duration: 3.5 hours 

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Created by: Brad Merrill 

What you’ll learn: 

  • Increasing sales, driving traffic, building brand through digital content
  • Starting from scratch or developing a strategy to scale an existing business 
  • Understanding cognitive buying, smarter approach to audience consumption behavior
  • Website optimization 
  • Content generation
  • Effective and better writing skill
  • Knowing about best content types 
  • Reusing and repurposing old content
  • SEO optimization to enhance traffic
  • Content promotion 
  • Building sales funnel, growing email list
  • External marketing channels
  • Data collection and analysis for evaluation and learning

15. Essentials of Writing Content by Girijan Raghvan

Created by Girijan Raghvan, this short course from Udemy expounds on the characteristics needed to become a content writer. This course is for those trying to begin their professional writing journey. This is one of the best online content writing courses for beginners.

Duration: 1hr 2min

Level: Beginner

What you’ll learn: 

  • Understanding basic attributes of a content writer
  • Determining your writing potential
  • Getting a sense of the polishable aspect of your writing capability 
  • Enhancing writing skill

16. How To Make a Living Writing Articles – Make Money Online

Created by Mohammad Tahir Taous, this course teaches ways to earn income from online writing.

Duration: 2hr 7min 

Level: Beginner

What you’ll learn:

  • Making a freelance writing career
  • Finding websites that pay well
  • Generating articles ideas
  • Article types and their market value 
  • Ideal article format and  length
  • Article submission tips 
  • Things to know about receiving payments

17. Writing Business From Home

This Udemy course dispels common myths about writing that stop you from starting a great career at home. The lessons are designed to help freelance writers thrive without the need to be published authors.

Duration: 1hr 55min

What you’ll learn:

  •  Three common myths about writing
  •  How to get started as a freelancer
  •  Creating a writing business from your home
  • Seldom-talked-about aka secret niche to choose
  • Landing clients 
  • Avoiding the economic cycles of the freelancing industry

18. Creating Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages

This course by Udemy offers lessons on enabling the audience to find your content.

Duration: 42 minutes

Instructor: Justin Champion

What you’ll learn:

  • Incorporation of latest updates in content creation with the evolution of search engines
  • Creation and organization in sync with latest SEO and user trends

19. Copywriting secrets – How to write copy that sells

This course by Udemy provides the essentials and secrets of copywriting with a focus on the oft-ignored  B2B copywriting.

Duration: 3 hours

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Instructor: Moha Abira

What you’ll learn:

  • Structuring and writing  powerful sales copy
  • Engaging writing for B2B
  • Crafting  compelling CTA (calls to action)
  • Crafting well-formulated press releases
  • Being heard in the industry
  • Media relations with the press as well as  bloggers
  • How to interview end customers to create sound case studies
  • Using the power of words to enhance lead generation
  • Real-life examples
  • Mastering white papers 

20. Get Paid to Write Online 

This is a free email course offered by Elna Cain on practical ways to land online writing jobs.  

Duration: 6 days

Instructor: Elna Cain

Level: Beginner

What you’ll learn:

  • Turning passion into income as a writer
  • Writing samples from scratch
  • Ways to have consistent writing work as a freelancer 
  • Places to get freelance writing jobs
  • How to land multiple writing projects in an instant 

21. Course on Finding Paid Work As A Freelance Copywriter

This course from SkillShare shows freelance writers the various ways in which you can find paid work online. The lessons will also benefit existing copywriters who may find new approaches in seeking well-paid freelance jobs.

Duration: 12 min

Level: Beginner

Instructor: Kirsty Wood

As you’ve seen, by now, there are many avenues from where you can acquire or upgrade your writing skills. Don’t forget the other factors in a successful freelance writing career: patience, effort, and passion. But to get a toehold in the world of content writing, pick any of the online content writing courses mentioned above.

Skills of a Content Writer

No matter what niche you choose, there are several characteristics you should develop as a content writer if you want to be really good at the game. One obvious skill that you’ll need is the one involving writing. Let’s take a look at the desirable skill-sets of a content writer:

1. Adaptability

There are many project types like blogs, marketing copies, articles, press releases, whitepapers, academics, research, etc. One writer cannot master it all. But a content writer must be flexible enough to work on unfamiliar topics. 

In terms of incorporating opinions and vision, you should also be capable of adjusting to various situations. The ‘various situations’ could be pertaining to a new team, workplace, technology/digital platforms, etc. 

2. Research

Strive to produce the best content. You could be writing from scratch or using relevant sources for references; the aim is to build your content based on reliable sources. Make it as complete and helpful as possible for the readers. 

How do you research? There is no hard and fast rule there, but the best method is usually to go to credible sites and cross-refer multiple sources. 

Always look for points that aren’t widely strewn across in those credible sites but are nevertheless noteworthy. That’s because your content shouldn’t just be a paraphrased version of popular blogs. Try to add pointers based on experience or inferences made from your research. 

3. Originality 

Plagiarism is a big taboo in the world of content. Since most freelancers are bound to gather their content info from some source or the other, you may think it’s impossible to stay original. Did you know that 58% of marketers (according to a survey by Neil Patel) feel that original written content is the most vital type of content, surpassing visuals and videos?

A good content writer is expected to present content that has been crafted with an original voice. So, gather ideas, tips, methods and theories that would go into developing good content. Just make sure you formulate and put them together in your own style (and words). 

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

Once you’ve crafted really good content, you want to get the most out of it. With 68% of online experiences starting with a search engine, according to Ahrefs, good content loses the chance of being seen if these engines ignore it. Search engines are guided by algorithmic systems that keep an index of everything available on its web. So, come up with SEO-friendly content.

5. Time Management

Time management is necessary for a freelance content creator. It makes a lot of difference in your productivity and overall well-being. Be it jotting down a ‘to-do list’ or laying out an elaborate schedule, the key is to stick to the plan. 

6. Editing

No content is perfect. A good writer knows that and keeps improving wherever possible. Editing skill is an indispensable part of a writer’s career.  

7. Social Media Knowledge

A large part of your audience is on social media, considering that there are as many as 3.78 billion social media users worldwide, according to an Oberlo report. It’s crucial to know the ins and outs of such platforms where audience engagement is high. Know what style of content works and what doesn’t, including the length, word usage, language, etc. For example, Instagram post captions will differ from blog post titles. 

FAQs

1. Which online course is best for content writing?

Ninja Writing: The Four Levels Of Writing Mastery
IIM Skills Content writing master course
The Complete Content Writing Course for 2020 
The Strategy of Content Marketing
Ultimate Web Content Writing Masterclass+Power words
Content is King: Writing Killer Content for Web & MarketingHow can I learn content writing online?
Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google
Become a Better Blogger by Skillshare
Content Writing Certification by Hubspot
SEO Training by Udemy
Writing for the Web by Open2Study

2. How can I learn content writing at home?

Use excellent images
Find better, relevant, and verified stats and facts 
Add appealing infographics 
Publish a case study
Write consistently 
Analyze your headlines 
Find out popular reading topics 

3. How do I start writing content?

Write a compelling headline
Make your content readable 
Focus on the topic and relevant keywords 
Optimize the word count
Proofread 
Practice a lot 

4. What is SEO content writing?

SEO content writing is the incorporation of keywords and key phrases within web content. 

5. What are hacks for creating catchy headlines? 

Here are some:
Research about your niche 
Experiment a lot with your content 
Try Peppertype.ai for creating headlines within seconds

6. How can you engage your audience effectively in social media marketing?

Create and distribute content to strengthen relationships with existing and potential readers. Your online presence and brand recognition will skyrocket.

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