Digital marketing is like any other career field—it takes continuous learning and experimentation. And just like other industries, it’s important to dedicate time to your professional development. Whether it’s a degree, certification, or in-depth online course, having the tools and resources to improve is essential to advancing in this career.
As I made my own transition, I gathered all the resources and tools I could to support my journey, especially because I didn’t concentrate my degree in this field. So without further ado, here are seven of the top items on my list:
1. HubSpot Academy
HubSpot is by far one of the best platforms out there if you’re looking for free learning resources. The HubSpot blog is full of tools and guides, and HubSpot Academy has everything you need to advance your skills in digital marketing. In fact, I swear by the quality and depth HubSpot provides, and I recommend completing at least one free certification course if you’re just starting out in digital marketing.
The free certification courses are meaty, but they don’t take a long time to complete. For me, the longest course was the Content Marketing certification course, which took a good month alongside working full-time and raising a tween. Most are doable over several days, though, and I’d suggest these few as you transition:
- Digital Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Inbound Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
HubSpot Academy has many more available learning tools to support your skill development. But if you’re just getting into digital marketing, these resources make excellent foundations to build on.
2. Semrush Academy
Semrush Academy is a lot like HubSpot Academy. It offers free courses and certifications for digital and content marketing. Aside from its popular keyword research and SEO strategy tools, Semrush provides free courses to level up your game. Here are some of the courses you’ll find:
- How To Get Hired as a Digital Marketer
- Semrush SEO Crash Course
- Content Marketing and SEO Fundamentals
- Competitive Analysis and Keyword Research
- Content-Led SEO
- On-Page and Technical SEO
- Semrush SEO Toolkit
You can filter between the free Courses and Certification Exams to better prioritize what you need for your job. Semrush also features additional resources and tools through the blog and parent site, making this platform valuable for everyday use beyond skill development.
3. Ahrefs Academy
The Ahrefs Academy is another of my favorite tools. I’ve completed one course through Ahrefs so far. And, much like Semrush and HubSpot, Ahrefs offers courses on SEO, content creation, analysis, and its very own keyword research tool.
Ahrefs hasn’t quite caught up to the volume of resources that HubSpot and Semrush feature. However, the several courses it does have dive way deeper into the topics on which they focus. These are the free courses Ahrefs currently has available:
- How To Use Ahrefs
- SEO for Beginners
- Blogging for Business
- Advanced Link Building
- Ahrefs Certification Course
It’s important to note that the Ahrefs Certification Course is still in beta, and it’s only available to Ahrefs members. That said, it’s totally worth signing up for a free account if you’re looking to get certified in Ahrefs for managing SEO and content strategies. You’ll also find the Best of AhrefsTV course, which features a mix of the platform’s best tutorials as seen on the Ahrefs YouTube channel.
4. LinkedIn Learning
Do you have a LinkedIn premium membership? If so, you’re automatically granted access to the LinkedIn Learning platform. And if you haven’t checked it out yet, you really need to. This is probably, by far, the densest platform out there for “free” resources. I say “free” this way because you’ll need a premium membership to LinkedIn first, but there’s no extra charge for using the learning platform to the fullest.
LinkedIn Learning also provides courses across tons of areas, including management and leadership, communication, and skill development for a range of career fields. I’ve lost count of how many courses I’ve completed through LI Learning, but here are some of the courses I started with when I transitioned to digital marketing:
- Google Analytics 4 Essential Training
- Marketing: Conversion Rate Optimization
- Advanced Content Marketing
- Account Based Marketing Foundations
I definitely favor free resources, but if you’re going to invest money in your learning, LinkedIn is probably one of the best low-cost options out there.
5. Google Digital Garage
Google’s self-hosted Digital Garage is another valuable resource I currently use. It brings together free and paid courses from many different educational platforms, including MIT, Coursera, Harvard OpenCourseware, and The Project Management Institute.
In searching for specific courses, I filter for Google-designed resources, but you can find a whole world of tools from other places. For digital marketers, Google offers two fundamental courses that cover the foundations:
The Fundamentals course is designed for beginners, and the Promoting a Business with Content course is geared toward content marketing.
Okay, so WordPress’ learning resources made its way onto my list because of the huge range of tutorials, lesson plans, courses, and online workshops available. The platform is vast, with tons of tools and guides for using the WordPress content management system (CMS). And if you’re going to be managing content through WordPress, I highly suggest browsing what the learning platform has to offer.
You’ll also find hundreds of learning tools focusing solely on website development and the technical aspects of managing web content. That said, WordPress.org organizes its resources into several categories that you can filter to find the topics you want:
The WordPress lesson plans are excellent tools for designing and delivering your own instruction. More advanced WordPress users can combine plans and create custom tutorials for beginners they’re training.
7. MIT OpenCourseware
The MIT OpenCourseware platform provides free options to up your skills in the marketing field. While some of these courses feature materials from older and past in-person classes, they’re still great starting points for building your skills in marketing. Plus, everything on the MIT OCW platform is free.
MIT also hosts an executive learning platform, where you’ll find current and up-to-date paid online courses in marketing. The four resources below include two free courses and two lectures taken from more robust, paid courses:
- Marketing Management
- Marketing Management: Analytics, Frameworks, and Applications
- Lecture: Open API and Marketing Channels
- Lecture: How To Do Market Segmentation
These seven resources have been extremely valuable for my development, to say the least. And most, if not all, will continue updating course materials and contents to reflect the ever-changing concepts in digital marketing.
How about you? Have you used any of these? What resources would you recommend?
Thanks for the great resources there a couple I hadn’t done.
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Absolutely, enjoy! 😄
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