If you’re looking to enter the digital marketing field as a career, then there are plenty of places online that you can learn for free. Some of the best known institutions that provide online digital marketing degrees are the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Virginia, and Pennsylvania State University. The good news is that even if you don’t intend to pursue a career in digital marketing, the knowledge that you gain from these courses will still be valuable to you.
Here, we’ve listed 10 free online digital marketing courses that you can learn from. Read on to discover more about each of them.
Digital Marketing: A Quick Primer
Before you start your digital marketing journey, it’s important to understand what it means. Essentially, digital marketing is the practice of marketing a brand or product online. It typically focuses on marketing to consumers through various digital platforms such as social media and websites. This form of marketing is sometimes called search engine marketing or SEO (search engine optimization).
You’ll learn all about SEO in Hannah Brocklehurst’s SEO and Digital Marketing Course from the University of Texas at Austin. This 21-day free digital marketing course will teach you the fundamentals of SEO so that you can effectively implement strategies to boost your website’s organic traffic. You’ll also learn about paid advertising, which isn’t free, but a marketing discipline that focuses on getting your product or service in front of the right audience at the right time.
1. Get a Degree
If you want to enter the field of digital marketing, then the first step is to get a degree. There are plenty of accredited programs out there that can help you get started. The key is to find a program that fits your schedule and allows you to continue pursuing your education while working. You should also do your research before you make a choice, as not all accredited programs are created equal. Your first priority should be to enroll in a reputable institution, and then, you can look for the right program.
2. Build a Portfolio
The next step in your journey to becoming a digital marketer is to build a portfolio. This is a collection of your work that you’ve produced that is representative of your skills. It could include anything from blog posts to webinar slides to social media content. The important thing is that it shows what you can do and showcases your skills. You can find freelancing opportunities in all areas of digital marketing, so you can continue building your portfolio while you learn the ropes.
Now that you have a glimpse of what a digital marketer does, it’s time to start educating yourself on the subject. To do this, you’ll need to dive into the literature of digital marketing. There are plenty of books that you can read on the subject, both from traditional publishers and independent authors. You can also listen to lots of podcast interviews with experts in the field. Be sure to look for books that interest you, and that offer a good mix of theory and practical application.
After you’ve read several books on the subject and amassed a respectable collection of online resources, it’s time to study. The best approach to learning is through structured study programs. Fortunately, the internet has made it easier for us to find the courses that we need. There are plenty of free lecture notes and course summaries available online, too. If you’ve never studied online, then this could be a good opportunity for you to try something new and improve your knowledge.
After you’ve studied for a while and tested your knowledge with lots of practice, it’s time to network. This is where you’ll find experienced professionals who can guide you in your career. Through networking, you’ll be able to introduce yourself to companies and individuals who can help you get your foot in the door. Even if you don’t intend to work in the field of digital marketing, it’s never wrong to network. Who knows – maybe someone you’ve connected with will become a future employer
6. Build a Website
As we mentioned above, SEO is a major component of digital marketing. One of the first steps in getting started with SEO is to build a website. The key is to pick a domain name that accurately reflects your business and then build a small portfolio website around that. What you want to avoid is picking a generic.com or.net domain and then using Google Webmaster Tools to build your site. This won’t help you at all because Google considers Webmaster Tools a free service and won’t treat you any differently than they would with a regular Google search.
7. Get Qualified
Once you’ve built a small portfolio website or blog, it’s time to get qualified. This is where you can start applying for jobs within the field of digital marketing. You might consider doing some volunteer work for a non-profit organization or marketing agency that’s aligned with the type of work you’d perform as a digital marketer. If you’re new to the field, then start by getting a quality portfolio website or blog going. Once you’ve gotten that, then apply for qualifications. You might not be able to get all of them, but at least you can get the ones that you need to get started.
Even if you’ve read all of the above and are now anxious to get started with your career in digital marketing, it’s important to remember that this is a field that continues to evolve. What may be considered best practice now might not be considered so in a few months. You can get a head start by being proactive and learning from other professionals in the field. Look for webinars, attend conferences, and get involved in the community. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to progress in your career.
All told, above you’ll learn the basics of digital marketing and how to get started with SEO. To prepare for your journey, you’ll need to get a degree, build a portfolio, study, network, and finally, you’ll need to get qualified. The internet makes it easy for us to learn just about anything, so if you’ve been thinking about entering the field of digital marketing, then now may be the right time to do so. Good luck out there.