Content writing is an underrated skill. But it’s so useful. Bloggers, influencers, and entrepreneurs can all benefit from improving it. The accessibility of online courses makes them a top choice for anyone just starting out or wanting to brush up on their knowledge.
But the best content writing courses focus on so much more than you’d think. It’s not just about proofreading a well-formatted article. You want to learn how to be persuasive, tell a story, and use keyword research to help your target audience find you.
The courses I’ve chosen are the top-rated on some of the biggest platforms. And they’ll give you all the content writing skills you need to become better than the rest. After that, only constant practice will get and keep you there.
All 10 of these are English, online courses too. So, you can learn from wherever you’re based:
- Get certified in content marketing (HubSpot)
- Complete copywriting (Udemy)
- Introduction to SEO (Skillshare)
- Margaret Atwood teaches creative writing (Masterclass)
- Advertising and creativity (Masterclass)
- Conversational copywriting (Nick Usborne)
- Persuasive business writing (Udemy)
- Writing with flair (LinkedIn Learning)
- Blogging and content writing for more website traffic (Udemy)
- Promote a business with content (Google Digital Garage)
1. Get certified in content marketing (HubSpot)
HubSpot is one of the biggest names in the content marketing world. And this free certification course is a great place to start for new marketers and business owners.
There are no prerequisites. You’ll learn how to:
- Build a creation framework for producing consistently high-quality content
- Create, update, and repurpose content for both humans and search engines
- Become a more strategic content marketer
This online marketing course will take around 7½ hours to complete and includes:
- 12 lessons
- 54 videos
- 11 quizzes
Each lesson is made up of several videos with modules that cover:
- The power of storytelling
- How HubSpot uses blogging to rank #1 on Google
- Creating topic clusters and pillar pages
- How to promote different types of content effectively
It’s super in-depth for a free course. Learners get lifetime access and it can be the first step toward creating a long-lasting content marketing strategy.
Plus, the certification is globally-recognized, so it’ll look great on your resume too.
2. Complete copywriting course (Udemy)
The content writing vs. copywriting argument isn’t as clear-cut as you’d think. There are far more similarities than differences between the two. To get good at one, you need to improve your skills in the other. And this complete copywriting course covers it all.
You need downloads, subscriptions, and conversions. And your copy can be the final hurdle for these. So, learn how to write in a way that gets people over the line.
The focus is on how to sell more of whatever you’re selling by giving value upfront. You’ll also learn hacks and secrets from the world’s most successful copywriters. Plus, a dive into sales and marketing psychology to apply to your readers (and yourself.)
You can check out some sample videos before you sign up to get a feel for it:
This 3-hour course condenses the most important copywriting formulas into bite-sized chunks. It also includes:
- Reusable strategies and sales psychology tactics
- Scientifically-proven confidence boosters
- Interactive missions to help you retain the lessons
- Free writing tools and handy templates you can overwrite
According to the creator:
“This course is about fresh actionable lessons, delivered succinctly. (Just like good copy!)”
With tons of 5-star reviews, it’s worth giving it a try.
Though usually around $65, Udemy courses are frequently discounted. (It was $17 at the time of writing.) So, either wait for a sale to save money or get started now if you’re keen.
3. Introduction to SEO (Skillshare)
Search engine optimization (SEO) should be part of every content writer’s arsenal. Because you want to give everything you create the best chance of ranking. So, who better to learn from than (former) Moz legend Rand Fishkin?
His 90-minute introduction to SEO course shares his favorite insights and tactics for optimizing your online content writing. Plus, organically raising your brand awareness level.
You don’t need any experience or skills to get started. You’ll learn:
- How to build an SEO strategy that “moves the needle”
- Content optimization fundamentals
- How to audit your posts (and full site) from walk-through demos
Technical writing for SEO content sounds scary. But if I can do it, anyone can. There are lots of basics to learn, but they’re easy to get your head round and implement once you do.
At the end, you’ll use your new knowledge to optimize a piece of content with keyword research. This way, you’ll see you can apply the tactics to any site or niche.
So, how much does it cost? Well, you get unlimited classes with a Skillshare membership. And your first month is free to try it out. After that, you’re billed annually.
This membership gives you access to expert-taught classes from art and design to business skills and personal growth. So, while it might seem expensive, plenty of value makes it worth it.
4. Margaret Atwood teaches creative writing (Masterclass)
If you’re into fiction writing or reading, you’ll likely have heard of Margaret Atwood. Or at least her best-seller (and now Hulu series) ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. She’s the leader of this Masterclass course which teaches how she crafts “vivid prose and hooks readers with her timeless approach to storytelling.”
“But content writing isn’t anything like storytelling?” I hear you say. Well, that’s not quite true. The best writing tells a story in any format:
- Non-fiction short stories
- Blog post articles
- Landing pages
- Email newsletters
- Social media posts
If you can turn each of these into an engaging story, you’ll keep your audience onboard. Freelance writer or entrepreneur—it doesn’t matter. We can all benefit from learning how to craft compelling content.
Sure, some of it may not be as relevant. But Margaret Atwood places focus on “strong structures and nuanced characters”. So, learn how to format your writing and make your reader the main character in 23 video lessons (3 hours 43 minutes).
Masterclass works the same as Skillshare in that you buy a membership to access all classes. You can find out anything else you need to know in their FAQ section.
Annual membership costs $180 ($15 a month) and gives you unlimited access to all classes until you cancel. If you have other interests and hobbies outside content writing, there’s probably a Masterclass course for that too.
5. Advertising and creativity (Masterclass)
Remember the ad campaign, “Got milk?” Then you’ll have unknowingly heard of Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein. The powerhouses behind some of the most memorable pop culture ads:
We know about the overlaps between copy and content writing. So, this advertising and creativity course is your chance to learn how to come up with great ideas that grab people’s attention. (Especially useful if you’re in eCommerce.)
It’s broken down into 18 video lessons (2 hours 25 minutes). So, you can binge them all one afternoon or spread out your learning.
The pair know a lot of folks believe that advertising is getting audiences to believe something that isn’t true. But that’s not the case. You won’t be right all the time. But you should always “put your heart into something you feel good about”.
Goodby and Silverstein teach you to be fearless with your writing. Instead of trying to make people feel something, let them respond naturally to what you create.
In case you skipped the last section, annual membership for Masterclass costs $180 ($15 a month). And that gives you unlimited access to all classes until you cancel. You could even sign up just for the one class then cancel.
So, why not learn how the brightest minds in advertising think for $15?
6. Conversational copywriting (Nick Usborne)
Editing is something all writers can improve. But it’s not easy. It’s much easier to ramble on for sentences and sentences, hardly taking a breath between points because, that way, you feel you’re explaining yourself fully. (See what I mean?)
It’s actually a lot tougher to stick to the point. Now, you might think because you’re in a complex industry or specialization, you have to stick to jargon and academic writing. But this isn’t the case.
If you can make even the most complicated subjects understandable, it’s obvious you know what you’re talking about. And that makes people trust you.
Conversational copywriting stops you sounding like a pushy salesperson. And expert Nick Usborne’s content writing course teaches you how to connect with people in the age of ad-blockers and email filters.
The course includes:
- The foundational skills of conversational copy
- Real before-and-after examples
- 18 video lectures (plus bonus materials)
- 6 homework assignments
This isn’t book or screen learning. It’s learning by doing. And after completing the course, you’ll know how to:
- Create sales pages that convert
- Write emails that feel human
- Craft blog posts and social media updates that connect and build trust
- Build open and warm homepages and landing pages
Writing conversationally is a struggle for everyone. Even native English language speakers. Because you have to forget everything you’ve been taught in school. And break the rules. But it’s worth it once you do.
7. Persuasive business writing skills (Udemy)
Great copy and content writing should do one thing: persuade the reader to take action. Even those educational blog posts are meant to nudge potential customers to (eventually) buy or sign up.
This “Better Business Writing Skills” course from Udemy is taught by a professional speechwriter with 15+ years of writing for senior politicians. It covers the ancient secrets of persuasive writing that’ll help you create clear content that achieves your goals.
You’ll learn the big questions you need to ask yourself every time before you start writing. Then how to structure the main body for maximum impact and properly edit your content after.
The course includes:
- 3.5 hours on-demand video
- 11 articles
- 17 downloadable resources
- 32-page book with exercises and printable resources
- A certificate when you complete
It’s broken down into 3 sections:
- Planning – work out your objective and voice
- Writing – choose the right words and put them in the best order
- Editing – sharpen and smooth your first draft
All you need to start is a basic understanding of the English language, a pen and pad, and the desire to succeed. According to the creator, “This course will teach you how to use the power of words to change the way people think, feel and act.” If that doesn’t convince you to give it a go, I don’t know what will.
This usually costs around $65, but (as mentioned above) Udemy courses get discounted a lot. So, you can hold off for a sale or get stuck in.
8. Writing with flair (LinkedIn Learning)
How do you write with flair? Pizazz? (Anyone else hungry for pizza?) Like something you’ve read that’s so wonderfully written, you wish you’d done it yourself?
Shani Raja (former editor for the Wall Street Journal) shares his top tips in this LinkedIn learning course for “making your writing sparkle.” In his own words, it’ll help you “stand out massively from anyone else in your field.” Interested? How could you not be?
You’ll learn how to:
- Create content with purpose that’s enjoyable to read
- Avoid common mistakes that weaken your writing (e.g. sloppy repetition and vague information)
- Craft stylish paragraphs and transitions
- Keep your writing fresh
There are 6 chapters broken down into short (less than 10-minute) lessons covering:
- The world of elite writing
- The mindset of an elite writer
Each finishing with a quick quiz to make sure you’ve absorbed the information.
You can sign up for a 1-month free trial of LinkedIn Learning for access to all courses ($39.99/month or $323.88/year, which works out at $26.99/month after that.) Or buy this course separately for around $27.
(This course sounded so good I’ve bookmarked it to sign up myself.)
Why do most people get into content writing? Because they want more website traffic and conversions. So, how about a Udemy course that’ll improve your writing to get your web content more traffic, leads, and sales? I’ll take two, please.
You need a site of your own to reap the benefits here (head to WordPress and sign up if you haven’t got one already.) Then you’re ready to get started with:
- 6.5 hours on-demand video
- 9 articles
- 31 downloadable resources
- A certificate once finished
The creators (Robin and Jesper) have also added some sample videos to give you a better idea of the course’s contents and their teaching styles before you sign up.
On completion, you’ll be able to start your own blog with copy that converts. Plus, improve your copywriting techniques on your webpages and optimize text to rank higher on Google.
The skills you’ll be taught to master are:
- Creating professional and converting blogging content
- Monetizing content writing with ads
- Business writing and copywriting mastery
- SEO fundamentals (keyword research, backlinks, etc.)
If you’re low on time and need a course that’s a mix of everything, try this one. Otherwise, it could be a great starter to lead into more in-depth specializations of some of the others. It’s fairly new, but the reviews are already really positive.
Like the other Udemy courses, this usually costs around $65. But the site has frequent sales, so keep an eye out.
10. Promote a business with content (Google Digital Garage)
Your content strategy should focus on making humans happy. But search engines a close second. So, taking a content writing course by Google should be invaluable, right? Especially when it’s free.
This Google Digital Garage course teaches you how to get your business noticed through:
- Social media marketing
- Video strategy
- Content creation
They include video tutorials, end-of-topic assessments and tips to implement straight away. It’s a 3-hour course for beginners split into 4 modules:
- Get noticed with social media
- Deep dive into social media
- Make the most of video
- Get started with content marketing
Now, you might wonder what social media and video have to do with content writing. But these are two of the biggest subsections of digital marketing. And Google wants to focus on them for a reason.
Everything you post on social media counts as digital content. So, you need to get good at writing catchy social media posts. But it doesn’t just stop once you hit “share”. You’ll find out how to measure success and avoid common mistakes.
Plus, learn about the rise of online video and how that fits into your strategy. (Because visual content needs writing alongside it too.) Then finish with Google’s take on content marketing.
Each module takes 30-60 mins to complete. So, you should be able to fit it into even the busiest of days. Then compare Google’s tips with everything else you’ve learned so far.
The best content writing courses hit you from all angles. They encourage you to think about storytelling, catchy one-liners, writing for humans, and creating a unique style. There are enough free versions to get started. But you’ll probably want to invest to progress.
None of this works if you just read about it, though. The only way to improve is to practice. So, take notes as you go. Try writing your own examples to make sure you’ve understood. Use Twitter as a sounding board. Share with others and be each other’s editors.
You’ll never stop working on your writing skills. But that’s what makes it so exciting. How good you become is down to you. And only you. So, start your journey to greatness today.
Have you tried a content writing course before? What was your experience with it? Are there any that should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments below!