Between marketing, social media, ads, writing, and book formatting, there are a million and one skills authors and other creators need to learn over the course of their career. And to make matters worse, sometimes we don't even realize we need to learn a skill or that there are free resources which can teach us that skill.
For example, I taught myself how to make blog graphics one brutal, error-filled, frustrating step at a time because I didn't know there was a free course that could have saved me a lot of time and effort.
In the interest of saving you from repeating my mistakes, I have pulled together a list of courses that authors and other creatives can take for free. I actually came across a few of these courses earlier this week and found them so useful that I wanted to share my good fortune.
All of the courses listed here are free, and I will continue to add courses over time. If you want to recommend a course for inclusion please fill out the form at the end of this post. (This goes double if it's your course; one other reason for this post is that I wanted to give experts who teach these courses a reason to reach out to me.)
For the most part these are video courses, and that may present accessibility problems. (Reedsy is the exception; most/all of their courses are text-based.)
Let's start with the course platforms. If you can't find the course you need in this post there is a chance you'll find it on one of these sites.
|Udemy||Along with Pluralsight, Udemy is a leading online learning platform. Udemy has an extensive catalog of free courses, including nearly 500 just in the marketing category.|
|Reedsy||Reedsy is a services marketplace where authors can hire freelancers, and it also hosts a number of free courses.|
|MIT Open Courseware||MIT maintains an extensive listing of free online courses. Alas, it is organized like an academic catalog, and thus frustrating to navigate.|
|The Open University||Over 900 free courses, including one on how to start writing fiction.|
|Coursera||From what I can see this is primarily a paid courses platform, but I found a bunch of courses where you can audit a course for free.|
|EDX||an aggregator of courses from dozens of schools|
|Owl (Online Writing Lab)||Purdue University offers the writing resources and instructional material from its writing lab as a free service.|
I will add more online course platforms as I come across them, but for now here are the free courses you came here to find.
|Pinterest Power||Summer Tannhauser||An intro course on how to market on Pinterest.|
|The Roadmap to Writing Successs||Rebecca Hamilton, Author Grow||Planning Your Author Career||an overview course|
|Lead Magnet Challenge||Maya, Blog Brand Hustle||better lead magnets for mailing lists||N\A|
|Graphic Design Mini Course||Kristin, AppleCart Lane||Beginner graphics mistakes||a great course on how not to design graphics|
|Amazon Adverts for Books||Dave Chesson, Kindlepreneur||AMS||N\A|
|Plan Your Novel||Rachelle Rea Cobb||developing a roadmap for your first novel||a course for bloggers who want to transition to book-length writing|
|The Perfect Year||J A Huss||book launches||subtitled "a successful book release strategy for authors"|
|Build a Brand Style Guide||Sarah Crosley, The Creative Boss||how to develop a style guide||N\A|
|Self-Publishing Mastery||Iain Rob Wright||Intro to book publishing||N\A|
|How To Build An Email List That Sells More Books||Chris Syme, Smart Marketing for Authors||building a mailing list||a 45-minute class|
|The Free Email Course||Kirsten Oliphant||building a mailing list||a 7-video course|
|Advanced Writer's Toolkit||Susie May, Novel Academy||topic||details|
|Thriller Story Structure 101||Mike Dickson, Fiction Formula||plotting, writing||N\A|
|Thriller Outlining 101||Mike Dickson, Fiction Formula||outlines, wriitng||N\A|
|Pinterest for Business||Trina Krug||Pintrest marketing||An intro course on how to market on Pinterest.|
|Get Started as a Speaker||Grant Baldwin||public speaking||N\A|
|Take Better Pictures||Image Maven||photography||N\A|
|Why You Should Turn Your Facts into Fiction||Jessica Lourey||writing||N\A|
|The Art of Writing Authentically||Jessica Lourey||writing||N\A|
|How to Get More Twitter Followers||Kelsye Nelson, Gutsy Creative||details|
|Master the Lost Art of Keyword Research||Authority Labs||website SEO||N\A|
|How to Write an Email Sequence and Sell More Stuff||Abbi Friedman Perets, Successful Freelance Mom||mailing list||N\A|
|Focus for Writers||Pauline Wiles||Productivity & Focus||Would you like your writing to flow, not flounder? Is your lack of focus holding you back? Join this free, 5-part mini course, delivered in bite-size email lessons.|
I'd like to thank the many people who suggested courses on Facebook, as well as Kirsten of Create If for pointing me to her post on free courses.
If you know of a course not listed above, please let me know!
Fill out the form below, and I'll add the course to the list.