I like learning new things; it helps to keep life interesting, and it’s good exercise for the brain. There are a lot of great free courses out there online, and I thought I would pull together a collection of links to some of the ones I’ve come across that relate to somewhat blog-ish activities.
Coding: CSS & HTML
Knowing a bit of HTML can come in handy if you want to make some minor tweaks in your blog posts. In the block editor, when you look at the horizontal menu of options above the currently selected block, you can click on the three vertical dots and then select “Edit as HTML” from the dropdown menu. If, for example, you wanted to make a section of text blue but your theme doesn’t give you a handy way to do this, you could do it with HTML. There’s also a custom HTML block that you can use to add in little bits of HTML.
Self-hosted blogs and blogs that are on the WordPress.com premium plan or higher can use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to make a lot of different changes in the way your site looks. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s a really powerful tool for getting your site to look exactly the way you want it.
These are some good options for learning some basic HTML and CSS:
- Udacity: Intro to HTML and CSS
If you want more stats than what WordPress’s built-in stats give you, you can set up Google Analytics with your site, although only if your blog is self-hosted or on the WordPress.com premium plan or above. Google Analytics is a pretty massive beast, and figuring out how to actually use all of the data it gives you isn’t going to happen right away. Here are a couple of resources that can help:
I tried using Google Analytics a while back, and I found that I just didn’t need most of the information that it was giving me. It does slow down your site a bit, so it’s probably not worth delving into unless you actually do care about getting all the data it can give you.
While I’ve learned how to create graphics in Canva, I’m clueless about the principles of graphic design. There are courses that can help remedy that situation, but I don’t care quite enough to actually get into it. I also don’t have a natural eye for aesthetics, and I don’t think my own visual preferences are very transferable beyond my own idiosyncratic taste.
If you’re more motivated than I am, here are a few options for you:
- Beginning Graphic Design from GCF Global (they also have a Canva tutorial)
- Canva Design School
- Fundamentals of Graphic Design from CalArts on Coursera
- Graphic Design on Alison.com
- Graphic Design Course from Hubspot Academy
I’ve taken several digital marketing courses, yet it’s still an area where I feel clueless. I think the biggest barrier is that I don’t want to feel like I’m bugging people, and that’s what marketing feels like to me. Still, if you’re trying to put yourself or your blog/brand/whatever out there into the world, it may be helpful to learn a bit about marketing. Here are some options:
- Google Digital Garage: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
- Hubspot Academy
- SkillUp digital marketing courses
Thinking of self-publishing a book? Here are some courses to help you get started:
- DIY Publishing Course for Beginners
- IngramSpark Academy
- Reedsy Learning email courses
- Scribe Book School How to Publish a Book Course
If you want more people to make their way to your blog via search engine, search engine optimization (SEO) is worth learning about, and there are some really good resources available to help. I’ve definitely noticed increases in my search engine traffic to correspond with my own learning about SEO, so it’s an area where you really can see a tangible benefit.
- Ahrefs Academy has a free Complete SEO Training course
- Google SEO Fundamentals course on Coursera
- Hubspot SEO certification course
- OpenClassrooms: Drive Traffic to Your Website With Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- SEMRush Academy offers free courses on SEO-related topics
- SkillUp SEO course
- WordPress.com Courses: Introduction to Search Engine Optimization
- Yoast SEO Academy
I don’t like social media, so I’m fairly content to steer clear of this area for my own learning ventures, but here are a few options for you to consider:
- Coursera: What Is Social?: social media marketing course
- OpenClassrooms: Develop a Social Media Strategy
- Pulse Academy by AgoraPulse: courses on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter
- SkillUp: Social Media Foundations and Advanced Social Media Program
If you’d like to learn more about using WP, here are some options for you:
- free WordPress courses on Udemy
- WordPress.org has a variety of Learn WordPress tutorials
- WP Apprentice: WordPress Quick Start
General Assembly offers free online workshops on a variety of tech-related topics
Are there any good free courses that you’ve taken that you’d like to share?