Learn to Do More Online: Marketing, Design, WordPress & More

the word blog repeated around a globe

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:

Google Analytics

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.

Graphic Design

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:


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:


Thinking of self-publishing a book? Here are some courses to help you get started:


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.

Social Media

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:


If you’d like to learn more about using WP, here are some options for you:

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?

Blogging toolbox: graphics of toolbox and wordpress logo

The blogging toolbox series has tips to support you in your blogging journey. It includes these posts:

35 thoughts on “Learn to Do More Online: Marketing, Design, WordPress & More”

  1. This is a fab collation of resources, so thank you for sharing them. I love (or used to love) learning, challenging myself to broaden my horizons and develop new interests and knowledge. Not so much anymore. I canโ€™t focus well and I canโ€™t even remember what I did two minutes ago. But I do want to try to branch out a little in the near future, especially with a little graphic design and some art on iPad (despite not being able to draw freehand for shit), improve my blogโ€™s crappy social media, maybe pretend to learn some CSS. I learned a lot of HTML when I was 12-13, when we first had a computer and got dial up internet. Taught myself it and made a website in tribute of Elijah Wood & Lord Of The Rings. Looking back, I wish Iโ€™d kept up with computer stuff because that – coding, SEO, graphic design, app development etc etc – is where the jobs and moolah are at. I might have been able to earn some proper money before I got sick and lost my job ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Anyway, ramble ramble. For short, light courses that are free, Iโ€™d also recommend Udemy, and OpenLearn (from the Open University). Is there anything in particular youโ€™d like to learn or focus on next, Ashley? xx

    1. My memory is craptastic, so I rely on taking copious notes on any courses I’m taking.

      Right now I’m working on coding custom Gutenberg blocks. It’s a massive pain in the ass because one little mistake will make things not work at all, and it’s hard to track down what the mistake is. I think it’s probably time to move on to something a little easier, although I’m not sure what yet.

  2. I took the course “fundamentals of graphic design” on course. It was great. I learned a lot. I also watched videos on YouTube that teach which fonts go with what and what color alleges to use. Forgot the channel name. I’ll look it up.

  3. CSS and HTML are two different types of coding languages used to create the structure and presentation of web pages. CSS is a style sheet language used to specify the look and feel of a web page, while HTML is the main content of a web page.

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