How to Learn Marketing Online

Marketing Basics for Beginners:  How do I Learn Basic Competencies in Digital Marketing in 2020?

If you want to improve your skills, you will want to figure out how to prioritize and select which course you want to take. Do you actually need a certificate or is it just fluff and something to brag about, or will it do some good in your career or establishing your professional credibility?

Below are some of my favorite resources to learn about online marketing and related topics – some with certifications, some without, but most of these are free or have a free option.


Websites & Programming

If you need to learn about website building, design, development, coding, or programming languages, the most useful and easy-to-understand site is

Here you can learn the very basics from the beginning with their exercises, take some quizzes, and even work toward a certificate ($95 fee for certification as of this writing).

  • HTML                          
  • CSS                               
  • JavaScript                   
  • Bootstrap                   
  • jQuery   
  • SQL   
  • Python  
  • PHP
  • XML                 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Search Engine Optimization

Everything related to optimizing your website, learning about your competitor’s presence, and more can be found through SEMRush’s Academy.

Of course, their overarching goal is for you to purchase their tool so these free lessons are geared toward that, but SEMRush is a widely used, well respected, multi-purpose tool that is good to know. If you cross over to another tool, much of what you learn with this tool will be transferable. When you’re done with the self-guided course and certificate, you can read their blogs and ebooks, watch their webinars, and listen to their podcasts.

Digital Marketing Products

Let’s face it, the web IS Google. Google IS the web. If you want to have any presence online, Google is the first place to be.

You’ll need to learn as much as possible about Google’s products. Previously, they called themselves Google Institute, but they now call their online learning portal “Skillshop,” and it’s still free. Some key modules you’ll want to learn include:

Content Marketing, Personas, & CRM

Learning about Content Marketing, how to build your customer personas and track them in a Customer Relationship Management platform (CRM) is the core competency of Hubspot, and they share a wealth of information for free.

While they have many competitors with similar offerings and educational modules, the Hubspot Academy is the proof in the pudding. They know you are in the early stages of the funnel, and they want to be front and center when you’re ready to use a CRM platform. Their credibility in the marketplace adds to their certification as well because the skill sets you learn are transferable to other CRM platforms.

Social Media

So many social media platforms are available. The key is to choose a few based on where your customers are and then learn the competencies of that platform.

While I’m not a fan of Facebook anymore, this behemoth is probably going to be a significant player for years to come, so it would be good to understand how to use it to its capacity. They have Facebook Blueprint to teach you the tips and tricks of their platform.

Hootsuite is a great tool to use to organize your content calendar and have it automatically put out on social media platforms according to your schedule. It can also alert you when someone mentions your company.

Hootsuite has created their Hootsuite Academy to teach social media marketers the best practices to master these ever changing skills.

While I have not used this resource previously, I’ve been reading about Alison training courses from some top bloggers.

Shortly, I’ll be uploading some additional free resources that don’t offer certifications. Stay tuned!

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