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A List of Free Freelance Writing Courses to Improve Writing

Shaun Connell
May 26, 2022

No matter what your job is, you naturally want to learn, grow, and excel. The better you get, the more you're worth to your employers, and the more you can charge for your services. Freelance writing is no different.

Freelance writing courses, however, come in many forms. Some are geared towards fiction writing, while others are aimed at technical writers, blog writers, or business writers. Whatever your proclivities, taking courses can improve your skills and help you build a stronger career as a writer.

As a business owner, freelance writing courses can be valuable as well. When you hire writers, you want to see them improve, so they can write more in-depth, well-written, and technically proficient content for your needs. Offering courses as training can be a beneficial way to improve the value of your writers and help them out in their careers.

Solution Below is a list of as many free writing courses as we can find. It is by no means comprehensive, of course; in fact, we rely on readers like you to help us. If you know of a free course to add to this list, let us know. If one of the courses on this list disappears or adds a paywall, likewise, let us know. We want this to be an evergreen resource, but we can't do it alone.

Before digging in, a couple of notes.

  • Entries on this list are generally free forever. We've tried to avoid putting items on the list that have a free trial before charging you, as these are often disingenuous with what they can teach you in a month. There are still a couple here from established authorities, but many have been left off the list.
  • There are several high-profile, excellent courses available online that cost money. This is by no means a comprehensive list of ways to learn freelance writing. It's just a list of free courses for those who are just starting their careers or who aren't making enough money to justify spending $300 (or more!) on a course.
  • These cover pretty much every aspect of freelance writing. Some aren't even that focused on the writing itself, but on the marketing, SEO, and technical aspects where writing can be important but not essential. After all, freelance writers need to be marketers to sell themselves, just as much as they need to sell their clients' products.
  • We've left off mention of writing fiction, poetry, songs, and essays, as well as other similar forms of writing. Freelance writers can, of course, sell their services in all of these kinds of writing, but since the majority of our audience tends to be focused on business writing, blogging, and marketing, that's where we've focused most of our course recommendations.

That said, here's our list of free writing courses to help you improve your writing, or to offer to your writers to help them improve.

Gotham Writers

Gotham Writers is an organization that has been teaching a wide variety of writing courses since 1993 and is currently one of the best resources for writers looking to hone their craft. Unfortunately, their vast course catalog is largely not free.

Gotham Writers Course Catalog

They do offer some free courses in-person in New York City, as well as the occasional free course over Zoom, but availability is limited, and there's no easy way to see which courses are available for free.

Blogging for Business by Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the top businesses in marketing today, and their expertise is top-notch. This course, hosted by Ahrefs and produced by Tim Soulo, is a four-hour crash course in everything you need to know to blog for business.

Ahrefs Blogging For Business

The landing page even has a complete breakdown of every section of the course, including the marketing techniques it uses. The course is completely free to watch at any time since it's just a video with lessons attached.

Earn More Writing's Free Workshop

Earn More Writing is a high-level organization aimed at introductory and mid-level freelancers looking to break into the career and get their legs. Most of what they offer is paid, but they offer this free workshop, primarily for newcomers to freelance writing and those who want to convert the hobby into a career.

Earn More Writing Workshop

It's not very deep or detailed, but it serves as a good overview and an introduction to the teaching style you would get if you enrolled in their paid classes.

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google

Google actually provides a lot of resources and education to anyone looking to succeed online, and this is one such resource. It's a self-paced free course with 26 modules and comes with a certificate of completion at the end of the course. It was also accredited by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Europe and The Open University.

Google Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

It's not solely focused on writing, but marketing knowledge is good for any freelance business writer to have.

Become a Better Blogger by Andrea Goulet

Andrea Goulet is the founder of Corgibytes, and provides this course via Skillshare. It's considered an intermediate-level course aimed at writers and bloggers who want to succeed with online writing.

Become a Better Blogger

Like the Google course above, it isn't solely focused on the art and craft of writing but can be very useful for freelance writers nonetheless.

HubSpot Academy

HubSpot is one of the biggest names in business and online marketing, and their software powers a huge amount of what happens in the business world online. As such, they have an immense wealth of information available for you to learn from, and they offer a variety of useful certifications to prove that you know what you're talking about.

HubSpot Academy Courses

All of their courses and certification tests are completely free and available online for your perusal. Don't sleep on this one; the link here isn't to a specific course, but to an entire academy with dozens of courses and certifications available.

SEO Training by Eric Schwartzman

Eric Schwartzman is an author and digital marketing specialist. His expertise in SEO is top-tier, and this free course on Udemy focuses on teaching you everything you need to know at a basic and intermediate level for SEO.

SEO Training Course

It doesn't go into truly advanced techniques, but truthfully, most of those aren't necessary for writers. That said, everything you can learn about SEO and integrate into your writing is worthwhile.

Writing and Editing: Revising by the University of Michigan

Revising content to improve it is one of the skills most often overlooked by freelance writers, either because they rely on editors to do it for them or because they believe their first drafts are the best they can produce.

Writing and Editing Revising Course

Often, revision is a skill that can use serious development. This course is an excellent introduction and overview on how to get better at revisions.

Writing and Editing: Structure and Organization by the University of Michigan

A key component of writing, for everything from academic essays to white papers to blog posts, is a logical structure and flow. The organization of information that you create and present to your audience is extremely important.

Structure and Organization Course

Learning how to organize and structure your writing is what separates novices from advanced writers, more than almost anything else.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn offers a variety of courses for learning about business, including several about business writing.

LinkedIn Learning

Unfortunately, they only offer a single free month of service before charging you, so take them quick.

Platforms for Learning

Many of the links above and below are courses offered on certain platforms. You can always explore those platforms and look for other courses that may interest you, as well. Alternatively, simply start here and explore these platforms without an eye for specific courses.

Platforms For Learning

These platforms include:

  • MIT Open Courseware. MIT offers a variety of courses for free, often archived versions of courses taught in person, but occasionally courses designed specifically for their online audience. Some of these courses are among the best sources of education on their specific topics you can find online.
  • SkillShare. One of several online learning platforms, SkillShare has both paid and free courses. Luckily, they offer free and unlimited access to a large portion of their class roster, many of which focus on creative pursuits, including writing, marketing, and business.
  • Udemy. Like SkillShare, Udemy offers a wide variety of classes on thousands of subjects. Many of them are paid courses, but they also offer a variety of free courses on various subjects, including the art and craft of writing.
  • Coursera. Another online learning platform, similar to Udemy and SkillShare. Most of their courses are either designed as online courses or are archived courses, all coming from universities around the world. Some of the top educational institutions globally are represented here.
  • YouTube. Did you know that tens of thousands of experts simply post video courses on YouTube for anyone to find? It can be difficult, occasionally, to tell an expert course from someone who just made a video to clickbait the top ten rules of grammar you might have missed. However, with a little digging, you can find extremely useful resources right there on YouTube.

Bear in mind that there are also other platforms out there offering excellent courses, but they cost money. For example, MasterClass is one of the top sources of online learning from established masters of the craft, but none of their courses are available for free, so they aren't on the official list.

Topic-Focused Courses

Sometimes, you might find yourself focusing on a specific industry or topic in writing. Sometimes, those don't have any special requirements beyond learning certain terminology. Other times, you might want to learn how to write about a topic appropriately.

Writing About Sports Course

The courses listed here are focused on some of those specific topics:

Some topics require extra sensitivity and awareness when covering them appropriately, especially from the outside, so these can be critical courses in certain careers.

Technical Courses

While many of the courses on this list are specifically geared towards leveraging existing writing skills and learning how to specialize as a freelance writer, it can sometimes be beneficial to go back to basics and learn from the ground up. These courses are aimed at more technical aspects of the English language, writing in general, composition, and other "basics" that are still critical to successful writing. They're great for those who want a refresher, for those who never specialized in English and want to learn how to write better, and for ESL writers who want to improve their fluency.

UCI Technical Writing Course

These courses include:

There are also many books you can find at local libraries or online digital libraries that you can check out and learn the technical aspects of the craft. Writers, after all, love teaching about the craft of writing.

Your Contributions

If you happen to know of another writing course we haven't mentioned, that's free to enroll and participate in, let us know. We'd be happy to add it to the list. Likewise, if one of the courses above has moved, been removed, or is now behind a paywall, let us know. We're here to help writers out for free, not to push $300 writing courses.

Taking a Writing Course

If you've found any of these courses useful, feel free to mention that in the comments as well. We love hearing about the ways we've been able to help our audience, no matter what your goals are with your writing career (or as a business hiring writers.) Just drop us a line, leave us a comment, or review us elsewhere on the web! Additionally, if you have any potential questions, feel free to drop those down below as well! We'd be more than happy to assist you however we can!

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Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

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