Make sure to read part one of this two-part series on Free Online Courses for Small Business Owners to see five more awesome free courses that will help you grow your business.


Why are these the best free online courses for small business owners?

Well, first because they are free! And you’ll find these courses offer actionable insight but only require a small investment of your time and commitment to learning the skills and activities that build better companies.  You’ll gain technical knowledge you can apply to your business today, as well as tips, resources and case studies that show you how it all works.

These expert-led courses are tailored for small businesses and teach you the essentials in short, easy to absorb lessons. If you can find 10 minutes a day to dedicate to a lesson, you could finish a handful of courses in the next month and set out a plan for a successful new year.

Note: These are truly No Cost courses you can view with free accounts on sites like SkillShare and Facebook – no need to create paid accounts for these free courses.

Free Online Courses for Small Business Owners – Pt 2

Context is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World

By Gary Vaynerchuk

Context is Key Gary V Best Free Online CourseDon’t just tell your brand’s story, tell it right. Learn to develop a results-driven social media strategy perfectly adapted to each major social media platform—a strategy that guarantees your brand is telling the right story in the right context. Gary will break down the right story for every relevant platform—Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest—all in under 90 minutes. These are the same tactics Gary’s used to grow brands like GE, PepsiCo, and the NY Jets. Any opportunity to enter Gary’s brain is an exciting one, and this class is no exception. Don’t miss it.

Watch 23 video lessons. 

  • Winning Combinations of Jabs and Right Hooks. How to balance your knock out punches with building long-term relationships with your customers.
  • Tailoring Your Social Media Content. Techniques for customizing your content for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr.
  • Learning from Case Studies. Real-world examples of social media wins and losses you can apply to your own campaigns.

Learn by doing.

Create your own platform-specific social media strategy to apply to your brand immediately. No brand? Not a problem. Create a social media strategy for your favorite brand or just follow along.


Introduction to SEO: Tactics and Strategy for Entrepreneurs

By Rand Fishkin

Intro to SEO Free Online Course Best Free Online CourseJoin “Wizard of Moz” Rand Fishkin for a dive into the heart of SEO. This 90-minute class shares actionable insights and tactics for optimizing your content and organically raising the online presence of your business and brand.

Bite-sized, easy-to-follow lessons cover

  • crafting an SEO strategy that “moves the needle”
  • granular fundamentals for content optimization
  • walk-through demos auditing a full site & specific posts

This class is perfect for entrepreneurs, small business owners, startups, freelancers, junior marketers, web designers, and copywriters eager to do SEO that matters! No prior experience or skills required.

How do you know this is the class for you? The best thing about SEO is that it’s not different for every type of site. The fundamentals covered in this class can be applied universally.

By the end, students are all invited to work on a project that can put all their learnings into action: sharing their SEO strategy and optimizing a piece of content based on keyword research.


Email 1 K – 30 Day Double Your Email List Course

By Noah Kagan

Email 1K Noah Kagan Best Free Online CourseA free 30-day course to DOUBLE YOUR EMAIL LIST. Learn from experts who’ve grown email lists to
over 10 million subscribers. Email is *still* the single most effective marketing tool. Where would your business be if you doubled your email subscribers? AppSumo is a 7-figure business with over 90% of our revenue generated by our email list. This course consolidates the exact tactics and tools we’ve used. Rather than bore you to death with theory, my expert friends and I will show you firsthand how to double your email list within 30 days.

This FREE Course includes an Email Marketing Toolkit worth over $300 of special hook-ups if you send a tweet or refer two friends.   Some of the expert lessons:

Lesson 1: Optimizing your homepage

Lesson 2: Reverse Engineering Great Content

Lesson 3: Syndication/Large Site Guest Posts

Lesson 4: Content Upgrades

Lesson 5: Conversion Optimization

Lesson 6: Giveaways


Quick Sprout Marketing University


Quick Sprout Marketing University Best Free Online CourseIs it me or is it hard to learn online marketing? You read a few blog posts that teach you a cool new marketing tactic, but because these blog posts aren’t visual, it’s hard to take that knowledge and apply it to your site.

So, in the end, you’re left with understanding marketing strategies from a high level, but you become lost on a tactical level.

Neil Patel wanted to do something about that, so he developed a free online educational course called Quick Sprout University. With the help of Brian Dean, 107 online marketing videos were produced that will show you step by step what you need to do.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn from Quick Sprout University:

  • Search engine optimization – from optimizing your on-page code to speeding up your site and even dealing with Panda penalties, 32 videos will show you how to make your site search engine friendly.
  • Link building – 22 link building videos that will show you how to build links to your site and even recover from a Penguin penalty.
  • Content marketing – from creating infographics to writing blog posts that go viral, learn everything you need to know about content marketing through 28 videos.
  • Social media marketing – if you want more social shares and traffic, these 9 videos will show you how to become the center of attention on the social web.
  • Paid advertising – although we would all prefer free organic traffic, paid traffic is a quick way to scale. Plus, it can be profitable too. See how to set up paid advertising campaigns on AdWords and YouTube as well as how to use a few other channels for paid advertising such as remarketing inside 11 videos on paid marketing.
  • Email marketing – if you want to collect emails from your site or even set up an autoresponder sequence, you’ll be able to learn how to do so through two simple videos.
  • Reputation management – are you worried about what people are saying about you? Do you want to control the SERPs for your branded terms? Just by watching two videos, you’ll be able to learn how to control your reputation.
  • Conversion optimization – getting traffic to your site is only half the battle. The other half is converting your visitors into customers.


The New Business Toolbox: Help Your New Business Do It Right The First Time  SKILLSHARE HAS REMOVED THIS CLASS

By Seth Godin

New Business Toolbox Best Free Online CourseTransform your new business by understanding the opportunities (and pitfalls) that are right around the corner. Seth Godin has learned these lessons the hard way, and in this entertaining (and useful) class, he’ll share what he knows. Save time and avoid dead ends as you organize and grow your small business.

This fast-moving class features hands-on, strategic and practical tactics every small businessperson ought to consider as she sets out to grow her business.

If you’re going to put in the time and the money and the energy to turn your project into a business that matters, it pays to get these seven things right.

Author Seth Godin doesn’t often get the chance to share this sort of nuts and bolts practical advice, and you’re invited to join in…

  • The Business Model. This isn’t a tool; it’s the entire backbone of the project. What is the process that turns your resources and your effort into value and profit?
  • Freelancing vs. Entrepreneurship. Are you trying to build something bigger than yourself?  The problem with hiring the cheapest, smartest person to work for you is that you end up with two jobs, and you won’t be good at either.
  • Funding. Is there a way to raise money for your kind of project? Explore the obvious options but emphasize effective (but rarely talked about) alternatives. Learn about equity, debt, royalties, and perhaps best of all, bootstrapping.
  • Hiring. Who to look for and how to find and retain them. For many entrepreneurs, outsourcing isn’t a way just to save money; it’s a new way to grow and thrive.
  • Naming. A simple and powerful approach to picking a name that works. Learn about domains, scalability, and trademarks.
  • Partnerships.  We’ll go into detail about how to split the pie while thinking hard about the long run.
  • Cash Flow. This is the essence of small-business security. More than just about anything else, the idea of funding your business with your customers’ support is completely transformative.
  • Positioning and Storytelling. The power of stories that stick. How your story changes your strategy, your marketing, your pricing, as well as understanding the X/Y analysis.

The theme of this class is simple but surprising: You should build your business around ideas that work, as opposed to building a business and then insisting that the universe cooperates in helping you succeed. Seven simple concepts well understood can change everything.

What You’ll Do

By the time you’re done with this class, you’ll have created a seven-part leverage plan. Not a boring business plan, this is your focused, detailed plan on how things that already work in the world will be put to work by you on your business.

This isn’t a complete MBA, and it’s not focused on art or the resistance. What it is: a ready-to-roll 7-part top-level course for smart entrepreneurs and those that aspire to be.

 READ PART 1 – Best Free Online Courses for Small Business Owners

Learning to be More Effective and Make Informed Decisions is the Greatest Investment in Your Business

I picked these courses because they allow you to learn how to do something that will make you a better business owner without spending a lot of money or dragging through business basics you’ve already mastered.  Learn how to better manage and grow your business without cutting corners because you are learning from some of the most famous experts and top instructors in the realm of small business success.


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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.