Remote work and online careers have gained so much traction in the last couple of years. One of the biggest careers online is blogging and its many forms – social media influencing, website blogging, and even video blogging. For each of these, a huge amount of brainstorming and writing is involved. A mere social presence on the internet requires a little bit of writing and creativity – even for writing up comments.
As we all have learned, writing isn’t just putting words on paper. Making an impact, keeping the audience engaged, and continuously producing interesting content for readers are among the biggest challenges bloggers must face. For all of these, writing skills are a must!
The great thing is, there are free online courses for writing available everywhere. Some great ones require a little subscription fee but are worth it, regardless. Here are some of the best online writing courses available for you:
Image Credit: Coursera
The University of Michigan offers the Good with Words: Writing and Editing Specialization. It consists of four courses that take approximately 4 months to complete if you take them for 4 hours a week. This course is perfect for blog writing as it helps you “to arrange a complex set of information in a reader-friendly way.”
The whole program will teach you what words to choose to effectively persuade your reader, structure and organize your sentences smoothly and draft and revise your work.
While there are completely professional blogs, some types of blogs require a touch of personal style. If it’s a blog that talks about your personal experiences, Wesleyan University’s Memoir, and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself Specialization will definitely help you.
This program will focus more on the personal narrative style. It will teach you how to develop your relationship with your work, as well as your readers. The program will also help you in writing from the first-person point of view, learn to write a personal essay, and learn elements essential in telling your story to your readers.
University of Colorado Boulder’s Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation Specialization is a business-focused program. The course will not only teach business writing but also presenting your thoughts effectively through graphics and speaking in a span of 5 months.
While blogging does not require you to speak verbally, knowing how to effectively present your thoughts will be an immense help in blogging. Great blogs are those that use mixed media: words, videos, photos, and graphics. By knowing how you want to present your message, you will also gradually know how to build your own brand.
We currently live at a time when we are limited to only a few hundred characters or a few hundred words for every post. All of our writing skills are judged with a simple slogan or a single sentence we post on social media. Even online ads and commercials have very limited words, and yet we should know how to create an impact.
Micro-blogs, social media posts, hashtags – these are the kinds of ‘literature’ we all write nowadays. These short online content must not only be bold enough to be noticed but be stylish enough to bring in the trends. Learning how to properly choose and edit words is a skill every blogger should have.
Storytelling and influencing – these are two essential skills every blogger must master. Creating an impact, helping audiences understand your platform, and making sure that all are engaged with the content. These require a little bit of storytelling and influencing. So, if you are interested in making blogging more than a hobby, try out this tutorial first.
Image Credit: edX
If you can’t devote months to an online writing course, you can choose to enroll in UC Berkeley’s The Writing Process course. By devoting 3-5 hours per week, you can finish the whole course within a month.
The Writing Process course is devoted to professional writing. You will learn how to organize your work, logically structure them while effectively delivering your message. The course will not only help you in improving your writing, but it will also help you in knowing how to write for a certain audience, drafting, and revising your work.
Writing for the web is very much different from traditional methods of writing. This is why UC Berkeley’s Writing for Social Media course is a great online class for those looking to improve their blog posts.
Unlike long narratives and essays, writing for social media means that your words need to immediately engage with your audience – and to keep their attention on what you’re saying. This course will help you to do that exactly. You will learn how to convey your message and at the same time, keep that engagement over time.
Isn’t it true that everything we know, learn, and do are all electronic? What is known as the e-lit, it is a mix of creative arts and technology. We know that our dependence on social media, computers, and mobiles has changed our perception of prose, poetry, and even art. Nowadays, we read hundreds upon hundreds of ‘content’, ‘online posts’, or articles from the internet. These are now our literature.
The course teaches us about the different challenges writers and readers experience in the face of conjoining technology and literature. Not only does technology change our perception of literature, but it has also changed the way that we all create. This is a great, contemporary take on writing and a fun course at that too!
The best way to challenge yourself as a writer is to try out avenues you have never been in before. Performance poetry and comedy writing may not be the most sought-after content online but it will surely bring out creative juices you have been hiding for so long.
Offered by the University of Cambridge, this writing course is intended for not just writing but also performing written works to a live audience. Why is this helpful you ask? Just imagine, you are writing for the internet – a living organism of its own.
Image Credit: Udemy
If you’re looking for a quick online writing course or a refresher, you can find lots of them on Udemy. Most of the free online writing classes we’ve found are hour-long, with the shortest being 35 minutes long.
1. On Writing
A truly quick writing course, the On Writing course is only 20 minutes long. The goal is to help writers beat writer’s block, find motivation, and get their writing careers on track. This is good for anyone looking for a quick whip-up for writing.
A 41-minute inspirational video, the course teaches about four important ingredients of good writing. Its goal is to help writers understand and identify their weaknesses and work through them.
If you are a believer in ‘learning-by-process’, then this one-hour course is the best for you. It is a brief edition of another, much longer course. It teaches that the important skills can be learned in just eight simple steps.
It is a good beginner’s course for creative writing. The primary goal for this is to build up interest in writing by learning how to put thoughts into words. Any writer would want to learn the skill of writing on location – literally being able to write on prompt, as soon as the inspiration hits. It could be on a park, in the bus, on the bed, while eating breakfast, or whenever!
Even if it is originally marketed for beginners and novices, any writer at any level could join in. If you feel like you need to update your skills, and re-learn how to spark inspiration, then this is a good course for you.
No writer could write without knowing the essentials. This particular short course is intended for any kind of writer – those who want to try a new style, those who want to start writing, writers who want to be more efficient, and more. It is a total of five lectures spanning only a total of an hour.
These courses will not only help you in improving your writing, but some will even help you get over your writer’s block quickly. You will learn how to be more creative in the content you write, utilize keywords to earn foot traffic on your blog, identify what you lack as a writer and improve them over time.
Other Courses to Try
Descriptive writing is a good literary device that is essential and useful for bloggers. A lot of trending content online that surely ranks on SERPs is the ‘how-to’ and ‘what are blogs. These kinds of content provide readers with information, descriptions, processes, and examples. This course teaches exactly that, how do we write our expertise, experiences, and knowledge so it is helpful for readers.
You might also enjoy:
First published in June 2020; updated September 2021