Online merchants need much expertise to manage all the aspects of running a business. Fortunately, new skills can be developed for little or no cost through education websites.
Here is a list of online educational resources for merchants. There are platforms to master specific subject areas, such as search engine optimization, video production, and Facebook marketing. There are also educational institutions that offer courses in business, technology, web development, and more. All of these resources offer free classes, though several offer premium coursework as well.
Free Educational Resources
Facebook Blueprint. Learn the best practices of Facebook marketing through a series of free, self-paced online courses. Blueprint offers the tools you need to learn how Facebook can help grow your business. Follow a tailored learning path made up of courses curated for your role. Establish your Facebook marketing expertise and earn verified credentials.
Google Academy for Ads. This resource offers a quick education to anyone looking to learn more about Google’s ad products. Academy for Ads covers the full range of Google Ads (Search, Display, and Shopping) to DoubleClick products (now Google Ad Manager), such as DoubleClick Campaign Manager, Bid Manager, and Ad Exchange. Academy for Ads also offers training on digital advertising concepts in general.
Google Analytics Academy. Google Analytics Academy provides a series of courses to gain mastery on Analytics — for beginners, advanced, and power users. Test your skills through short quizzes and practice exercises. Learn about Google Analytics 360 features that are not available in the standard product. Learn how you can benefit from integrations with BigQuery, Google Marketing Platform products, and Google Ad Manager.
YouTube Creators Academy. Learn to grow your channel with guided lessons and courses. To find a relevant course, select your goal in categories along with your skill level. Find out how to start your channel, run a video production, get insights with YouTube Analytics, promote and monetize your videos, and more.
HubSpot Academy. HubSpot Academy is the place to learn inbound marketing and sales education — via courses, projects, certifications, and software training. Acquire skills with short video tutorials, subscribe to live-video sessions, and take free certification courses to master subjects such as graphic design, SEO, Facebook marketing, business writing, and more. HubSpot also offers premium classroom training.
Codecademy. Codecademy is a site to learn how to code through interactive lessons with course paths to set your pace and reach your desired outcome. Learn to code for web development, data science, computer science, or code foundations. Practice projects and quizzes are available for Pro members.
MIT OpenCourseWare. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s OpenCourseWare is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. A permanent MIT activity, OCW is open and available to everyone and contains materials from 2,400 courses. Access undergraduate and graduate level courses on entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, supply chain management, and more.
Open Education Consortium. Open Education Consortium is a network of educational institutions and organizations. Its mission is to promote, support, and advance openness in education around the world. Members include MIT, City University of New York, Tufts, University of Michigan, and University of California Irvine. Access courses, syllabi, and free resources from leading educational institutions.
Moz. Moz began as a blog and online community where SEO experts shared their research and ideas. Whiteboard Friday is Moz’s entertaining series of video tutorials. Recently, Moz shifted its inbound marketing efforts back to a refocus on its core specialty: SEO. Through its SEO Learning Center, access free articles, presentations, and videos for beginners, intermediate and advanced users. Moz also offers premium classes for Pro members.
Khan Academy. The goal of Khan Academy is to provide free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. For online merchants, the site offers a range of useful courses in entrepreneurship, growth mindset, finance, and coding.
Stanford on iTunes U. Growing out of a pilot project with Apple, Stanford on iTunes U is an archive of audio and video content from schools, departments, and programs across the university on the iTunes platform. The site includes Stanford course lectures, faculty presentations, event highlights, music, and more. Recent courses include “How to Start a Startup” and “Entrepreneurship Through the Lens of Venture Capital.”
Coursera. Founded in 2012 by two Stanford computer science professors who put their courses online for anyone to take, Coursera is a platform to learn and earn credentials from top universities and technology providers, including Northwestern, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, Princeton, Google Cloud, and Palo Alto Networks. Access to courses ranges from $29 to $99. However, many courses can be audited for free, giving access to materials. To master a specific career skill, join a specialization and complete a series of courses with hands-on projects based on real business challenges.
Udemy. Udemy is a curated collection of more than 80,000 business and technical courses, including 147 courses in ecommerce alone. While premium courses start at $11.99, nearly 5,000 courses can be taken for free, including “Social Media Management,” “WordPress for Beginners,” and “Professional Logo Design in Adobe Illustrator.”
edX. Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and massive open online course (MOOC) provider, offering high-quality courses from over 120 leading universities and institutions. Access online lectures and group exercises to deepen your understanding. Ecommerce courses include “Retail Fundamentals,” “Buyer Behaviour and Analysis,” and “Customer-Centric Innovation.”