Management & Finance

15 Free Learning Resources for Ecommerce Merchants

Looking to explore a new technology or learn from industry experts? Online educational resources can help you develop new skills for your business or career at little or no cost. Learn from short tutorials or multi-year programs — on the go and at your own pace.

Here is a list of online educational resources to explore in 2020. There are platforms to master technologies, such as inbound marketing and video production. There are also courses and programs in business, technology, web development, and more. Most of these resources are free, though several also offer premium versions.

Online Learning Resources

Skillshare is an online learning community with more than 28,000 classes taught by practitioners for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and more. Skillshare offers thousands of free courses, including “E-Commerce Essentials,” “Introduction to SEO,” “Productivity Habits That Stick,” “How to Make a Podcast,” and “Introduction to Video Marketing.” Premium membership is $14.99 per month.

Skillshare

Skillshare

Google Skillshop is a new resource for free product training and certification. Develop skills and strategies across Google’s suite of tools and programs, including Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, Analytics Academy, Google My Business, Google Ad Manager, Google AdMob, Authorized Buyers, YouTube, and Waze. Earn Google certifications to showcase your expertise.

Amazon Small Business Academy is a program of in-person seminars, community college courses, and webinars to help small businesses harness the internet to reach more customers and build their brand. The program includes eight free webinars, each with an interactive Q&A session. Classes from the Academy cover the fundamentals of online business strategies, marketing, merchandising, and inventory management — through 16 hours of beginner, intermediate, and advanced content — created in collaboration with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.

edX, founded by Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, provides a stackable learning experience from over 120 education partners. edX offers MicroBachelors, MicroMasters, professional certificates, and Master’s degrees from leading universities. edX also offers XSeries programs to provide a deep understanding of in-demand fields, as well as Global Freshman Academy from Arizona State University. See programs for pricing.

edX

edX

LinkedIn Learning, formerly Lynda.com, helps develop business, technology, and creative skills through expert-led videos. Choose from over 15,000 courses, with new content added weekly. Get personalized course recommendations, watch anytime from a computer or phone, use project files to practice, and more. If you’re using LinkedIn’s premium career features, Learning can expand your skillset. LinkedIn Learning offers a 14-day free trial, and then it’s $29.99 per month.

HubSpot Academy is a free training resource for HubSpot’s inbound marketing tools and strategies. From quick, practical courses to comprehensive certifications, users can learn the latest digital strategies. New courses include “The Search Insights Report,” “Fanocracy,” “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Marketing,” and “Developing an End-to-End Instagram Marketing Strategy For Your Business.”

Coursera offers online courses, specializations, certificates, and degrees from roughly 190 universities and companies, including Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Google, IBM, and more. Choose from 3,500 online courses across 10 topics, including entrepreneurship, marketing, and programming. Stream video lectures from anywhere or download them for offline viewing. Free courses include video lectures and reading materials. Paid courses unlock quizzes and projects and award certificates. Courses start at $39 for full access.

Coursera

Coursera

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of free course content from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. OCW is open and a permanent MIT activity, offering materials from over 2,400 courses, including classes in entrepreneurship. According to an MIT report, living MIT alumni have launched more than 30,000 active companies, generating nearly $2 trillion in annual revenue. See website for pricing.

Udemy is an online learning platform aimed at professional adults. Choose from over 100,000 video courses, with new editions published monthly. The platform has more than 50 million students and 57,000 instructors teaching courses in over 65 languages. Access courses in business, design, development, marketing, software, and more. Download the smartphone apps and, also, courses to watch or listen to offline. See website for pricing.

Udacity was started by two Stanford instructors who offered “Intro to Artificial Intelligence” as a free online course and 160,000 students enrolled. Udacity focuses on growing careers through tech education. It has six schools (programming, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, data science, business, and autonomous systems), and offers 30 “nanodegree” programs, for beginner to expert in areas such as digital marketing and user-experience design. Nanodegree programs include real-world projects built through industry partnerships, a one-on-one technical mentor, career coaching, interview prep, and resume and profile reviews. See website for pricing.

Codecademy is an online interactive platform of free coding courses in 13 programming languages, including JavaScript, Ruby, Python, and markup languages HTML and CSS. Codecademy has partnered with Google to launch a new free course on Go (or Golang), Google’s new open-source language that powers much of Google’s cloud platform. The course’s first four modules include nine hours of content. Basic is free. Pro account, which includes peer support and real-world projects, is $19 per month.

Codecademy

Codecademy

Facebook Blueprint eLearning is a series of free, self-paced online courses to learn more about advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Choose from many topics, and select learning paths that align with your business goals. All that’s required is a Facebook account. Learn to target the right audience, build awareness, generate leads, and more. New courses include “Optimizing Video for Mobile,” “Align KPIs with Business Goals,” “Develop a Hypothesis to Test,” and “Define a Measurable Business Goal.”

YouTube Creator Academy is a resource to learn how to publish engaging video content on YouTube and grow your audience. Explore courses under Getting Started, Content Strategy, Production, Channel Optimization, Money & Business, and Policies & Guidelines. Learn how to produce compelling videos, grow your channel, and effectively monetize your content.

Alison offers over 1,000 free online courses across nine categories, including business, marketing, and information technology. New courses are added weekly. Allison offers certificate courses, diploma courses, and learning paths. Premium account removes ads and gives full access to CV Builder.

SBA Learning Center is a free resource from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help aspiring entrepreneurs. Access online courses to help you start and run your business as well as courses on SBA programs, such as government contracting, the SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protégé program, and more.

SBA Learning Center

SBA Learning Center

Sig Ueland

Sig Ueland

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