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.
Before digging in, a couple of notes.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
It's not solely focused on writing, but marketing knowledge is good for any freelance business writer to have.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learning how to organize and structure your writing is what separates novices from advanced writers, more than almost anything else.
LinkedIn offers a variety of courses for learning about business, including several about business writing.
Unfortunately, they only offer a single free month of service before charging you, so take them quick.
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.
These platforms include:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!