Over the past 10 years, I’ve gotten to work with and participate in hundreds of the best online business courses in the world.
During my time leading the marketing for daily free online business courses with the world’s top entrepreneurs on CreativeLive, I learned a thing or two about what it takes to produce high quality online business courses that actually deliver real results for students.
Because ultimately when you’re taking an online business course—you should be paying for results. Sure, you have to show up and do the work, but the system needs to be there too.
I’ve also explored the countless free, cheap & affordable online business courses on other top educational platforms like Skillshare and Udemy. I’ve been behind the scenes with dozens of ultra premium online business courses that often run into the thousands of dollars for enrollment.
I’ve personally experienced all ends of the spectrum with online business courses. Now I’m bringing you all the best.
Hundreds of hours of research, years of testing & implementation (right here on my own blog which has grown to more than 500,000 monthly readers) and thousands of my own dollars have gone into constructing this list of the best online business courses. Here’s what I’ve learned.
What sets the best online business courses apart from the tens of thousands of mediocre courses out there in the world are these five factors:
• Student results are the ultimate success metric. You can have all the best camera equipment, content outlines and presentation slides in the world, but unless the students are able to translate the information into real action—the online business course isn’t worth the investment. You need to take action (not kick back and watch a bunch of videos) in order to build skills, start a blog, launch a business, become a better writer or achieve another meaningful goal. If you can’t find testimonials from previous students that clearly articulate what they’ve been able to achieve as a result of taking this online business course, run for the hills.
• Clear takeaways are explained up front. The best online business courses have a very clear, well-defined end result that students will be able to achieve by making it through the course—and they communicate that up front before enrollment. Here’s an example: With my latest online business course, Built to Blog, the promise for students is that they’ll be able to go from blog idea to generating revenue from your new site in a matter of months.
• The instructor has actually done what they’re teaching. Any online business course instructor that hasn’t practiced what they’re preaching in the course—if they haven’t used their own system, applied their own tactics to get positive results—and shown you clear proof of that before enrolling in their course, they’re misleading students in some way. You need to learn from instructors that have real experience doing what you’re trying to achieve yourself. Check out my month-long challenge where I publicly validated a business idea before building a course on the topic.
• Accountability & community make all the difference in the world. Whether you have direct access to the instructor for video coaching calls, group Q&A’s or membership in a private Facebook group, the best online business courses all have a level of accountability that goes far above the average “video only” course. The reality is that 100% of people who take online business courses will fail at some point—you’ll hit roadblocks, run into challenges, make mistakes—and having accountability from your instructor or a larger community of other students going through the course with you is what’s going to get you back on track.
• Multiple points of view are a must. Any online business course that’s teaching you a particular skill (like blogging skills), strategy or system in a complete vacuum without the input and experience of other experts in the field won’t be very well-rounded. All of the best online business courses I’ve taken have featured interviews, case studies and contributions from other industry experts & entrepreneurs who bring their own unique experiences and viewpoints to the table—which helps add more perspective and even more years of real life experience for students to learn from. This has become a core component of my own online business courses too.
Here’s the bottom line: You’re here because you want change.
In the end, nothing else really matters if you sign up for one of these free online business courses (or even a paid one) and you don’t experience change.
Whether you want to start a business, learn how take winning blog post ideas and turn them into compelling blog content, pick up the essentials of digital marketing, validate an idea, brush up on your SEO, learn how to succeed at freelancing, become more productive, make money blogging, land your dream job or otherwise—these free and cheap online business courses can help you get there.
My frustration with the lack of real-world focus for most online business courses I’ve come across is also what led me to produce my own line of online business courses that are structured around helping you achieve a very specific end result every time. You can join my community and get periodic updates when new enrollment periods open up.
But for now, let’s talk about all of the best online business courses out there in the world today. The ones that meet the high bar for transformational ability.
From free to cheap and even a few premium online business courses with experienced entrepreneurs you’ll want to learn from, we’re covering every online business course that I’ve personally vetted by either taking, working with, testing out, or interviewing students from. I stand behind each of these as having the potential to unlock massive growth & change for you.
If there’s any courses I’ve missed that should be included in this list, please share with me in the comments!
There’s no shortage of online business courses, so I’ve broken them down by category and topic. You can click the topic heading below that you want to explore and you’ll jump down to where those online business courses are in the post.
101 Best Online Business Courses for Entrepreneurs (Free & Cheap) in 2021
- Starting a Business & Finding the Right Idea
- Growing Your Business
- Blogging & Writing
- Productivity & Life Hacks
- Freelancing & Consulting
- Psychology of Success & People Skills
- Career Advancement & Landing a Dream Job
- Building Apps
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend online business courses and learning resources I’ve personally taken, tested or believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them.
Up first on the list, we’re covering the top online courses for starting a business.
Starting a Business: The Best Online Business Courses to Start a Business.
Instructor: Evan Kimbrell
I couldn’t start this list without covering one of my favorite online business courses by my friend Evan Kimbrell, Idea Validation: From Idea to Paying Customer in One Day. If you want to start a business, but you’re not exactly sure where to begin—this course is for you. The target end result students aim for in the course (within 1 day of signing up) is your first paying customer. It walks you step-by-step through Evan’s proven process for finding the right business idea, estimating how much demand there is in the marketplace for that idea and into the process of building an audience around your concept—all in the limited hours outside of your day job.
It gives you the tools, templates, tactics and actionable strategies based around how Evan’s quickly validated his own businesses. From generating massive amounts of pre-sales of a physical product, to pre-launching an online course driving over tens of thousands of dollars in one week, to landing a six-figure freelance contracts, this course will help you validate your idea for an online business, physical product or service with real paying customers in 1 day.
Instructor: Ramit Sethi
In this online business course, veteran entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author Ramit Sethi shares his techniques for transforming your financial outlook. How to Make Money with Ramit is about much more than just making money—it’s about how to identify a profitable niche to blog about that you’ll be uniquely qualified to build a business around.
It’s perfect for people who want to get into freelancing, consulting, through work from home jobs or otherwise selling your services to build an online income. This online business course talks about what you should (and should not) be spending money on while building a business and goes deep into my favorite subject—using your skills to make extra income by building a profitable a side business.
Instructor: Michael Karnjanaprakorn
This free online business course, taught through a series of 6 short video lectures by Skillshare CEO Michael Karnjanaprakorn shares the approach he’s used to validate the idea for his now multi-million dollar, venture backed startup. Minimum Viable Product: Validate Your Idea with Less Than $1,000 walks through the in-depth case study of how Skillshare, the leading online learning community for creatives went from initial idea to first paying customers.
This online business course includes a wealth of material around how to effectively communicate your idea to potential customers, conducting objective customer interviews to get real feedback, building your MVP and testing that MVP in the real world without wasting time or money.
Instructor: Lewis Howes & guests James Wedmore and Derek Halpern
Lewis Howes, a lifestyle entrepreneur, high-performance business coach, bestselling business author and keynote speaker shows you how to take a passion project and convert it into a successful online brand in this online business course. Launching an Online Business is a comprehensive guide to identifying a great business idea, developing it with a core group of early feedback members and pushing yourself to get the online business off the ground in a limited amount of time—using just the resources and tools at your disposal.
Guest speaker James Wedmore weighs in on tactics for creating and marketing high quality video content; something he’s done well in building a YouTube following of more than 140,000+ subscribers over the past few years. Derek Halpern, the sales pro behind several online business courses in this list hops in to teach you about high-converting copywriting, what motivates people to buy and how to build meaningful connections with your audience. This course is full of motivational quotes and actionable advice from entrepreneurs who’ve been through it all.
Instructor: Tara Gentile
Build a Stand-Out Business is hands down one of my favorite online business courses on CreativeLive, taught by the incredible Tara Gentile, the strategist and author of Quiet Power Strategy that’s shared her business advice with us multiple times here on the blog. In this online business course, Tara guides you step-by-step through what makes your business naturally attractive to your customers, and develops a clear plan of action for how you can stand out from the crowd (similar to my own approach around devising a smart blog business plan).
Her teaching topics include goal-setting, blog marketing strategies, community-building, social media, creating a content marketing strategy, understanding which metrics are important when starting a business, perfecting your sales process and product development.
Instructor: Tara Gentile
In Turn Your Service Into a Product, Tara Gentle provides you with the necessary steps to transform the process of providing a service—say content marketing for example—into a product, program, book, or class you can sell. This online business course is perfect for freelancers, consultants or even full-time employees that have built powerful skills or perfected their craft and now want to productize that skill into a format that allows for selling in a more scalable manner beyond just one-on-one consulting.
In this online business course, Tara focuses on how you can do this without burning out, working harder or risking many financial resources. She targets this course at business owners who already deliver a service and are working out a way to perform better with less stress.
7. The Lean Startup.
Instructor: Eric Ries
Eric Ries is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who’s recognized as an authority in the world of building startups—he’s famed for creating The Lean Startup philosophy and authoring the business book of the same name. In this online business course taught by Eric to more than 3,000 students and hosted on Udemy, The Lean Startup methodology is broken down in a digestible way that allows you to apply it’s thought process to validating any type of business idea without burning through your savings. You’ll get access to 2.5 hours of video lecture that teaches you how to apply and implement the Lean Startup principles to your business idea.
Instructor: Eli Natoli
In Six Figure Online Courses, instructor Eli Natoli covers all of the necessary steps for turning your knowledge and expertise into an online course that’ll provide real value to your customers (and potentially lead to massive profits for you in the process). One bonus about this online business course being on Udemy, is that it’s always available and has a very active community of fellow entrepreneurs learning how to kick off the process of turning your skills into a profitable digital course.
Instructor: Phil Ebiner
Business Bootcamp is the flagship online business course taught by Phil Ebiner, a bestselling instructor on Udemy with over 500,000 paying students learning how to build a business. This online business course teaches you Phil’s strategies for finding a potential business idea, making sure it’s potentially profitable and gives you his step-by-step process for creating products that sell at 10x-100x the price of your competition. Phil has delivered this course to more than 24,000+ paying customers over the past few years.
Instructors: Guy Kawasaki and Bill Reichart
Guy Kawasaki is a renowned product evangelist for companies like Apple & Mercedes-Benz, bestselling author and keynote speaker on topics like innovation, enchantment, social media, and entrepreneurship. In this online business course taught on Skillshare, Guy teams up with his business partner from technology investment firm Garage Ventures, Bill Reichert to teach the Art of the Start: Turning Ideas into High-Growth Businesses.
Over the course of 14 video lectures, they discuss the principles they’ve discovered are necessary to bring your ideas to the next level, which will help you attract investor interest for your growing idea. They even give you the opportunity to upload a pitch deck for your business idea and request feedback.
Growing Your Business: The Best Online Business Courses to Grow Your Business
If you’ve already gotten a start on your idea and want to grow faster, these online business courses are for you.
Instructor: Tara Gentile
This great online business course, Value Pricing and Business Models for Creative Entrepreneurs is another from Tara Gentile taught on CreativeLive. Through 33 video lessons in this course, Tara demonstrates how you can use multiple revenue streams to amplify your earning potential. You learn the principles of value pricing—which is great for freelancers, consultants and other service providers that want to move beyond charging hourly or feeling like they’re not making a livable income. She also provides you with a business model that makes selling natural and sustainable in this online business course.
Instructors: Sue Bryce and Tiffany Angeles
In this online business course on CreativeLive, Make More Money and Discover Your Worth, instructors Sue Bryce and Tiffany Angeles focus on how to price yourself, bring in higher paying clients and promote your blog (or brand) to a wider audience of potential new customers. In this online business course, they also discuss how to turn your personal hurdles into your unique advantage and how to be more positive about your position in the marketplace. They examine the unconscious ways you have driven money away, giving you a more clear glimpse into unlocking your dreams.
Instructor: Seth Godin
Bestselling business author and prolific marketing genius, Seth Godin has been starting, running and bootstrapping companies for nearly 40 years. He is renowned as the master of verbal brevity–considered by many to be the best writer of short blog posts in the world. In this online business course, The New Business Toolbox: Help Your New Business Do It Right the First Time, Seth shares practical nuts and bolts material for the owners and managers of small businesses.
The theme of this online business course is that you should build a business around ideas that work, by following seven simple concepts that Seth teaches over a series of video lessons and activities.
Instructor: Silviu Marisk
In this online business course, master instructor Silviu Marisk, a veteran of several Fortune 500 companies and Udemy instructor with more than 71,000 students, teaches what it takes to build a personal brand and establish yourself as a thought leader, in Personal Branding Mastery. In the course, Silviu teaches you how to hone in on your passion points, determine your core strengths and develop your personal story on the platforms that make the most sense for your own core skills and the audience you want to build.
In this online business course, you’ll go behind the scenes of how Silviu’s helped build a massive following for Fortune 500 brands by connecting deeply with their audience—and he teaches you how to employ the same principles of personal connection to grow your personal brand.
Instructor: Ryan Holliday
Media Strategist and former Director of Marketing at American Apparel, Ryan Holiday, teaches this online business course, Smart PR for Artists & Entrepreneurs on CreativeLive. In this course, Ryan demonstrates how to create smart, savvy and provocative PR campaigns based on his experience working with people like Tim Ferriss, James Altucher, Tucker Max and companies like Google. In this online business course, he explains exactly how to go about getting the right kind of attention for your upcoming product launch by getting extremely creative—and without paying for it.
16. The Personal MBA.
Instructor: Josh Kaufman
Josh Kaufman, a specialist in teaching business professionals how to master practical knowledge and skills, is the author of bestselling book, The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business. He’s expanded on the topics covered in his book into a series of two online business courses taught on CreativeLive, which combined are called The Personal MBA. The two courses are The Personal MBA: Foundations and The Personal MBA: Getting Results. His first online business course teaches you the fundamentals of building your own business.
It aims to help you master the building blocks of what it takes to create a strong foundation for a modern online business. In the second course, Josh aims to take you to the next level, where you’ll learn how to be more productive, creative and successful at growing the concept you already have.
Instructor: Rachel Rodgers
Rachel Rodgers uses her experience as an intellectual property (IP) and business lawyer for innovative companies to teach you to Protect and Profit From Your Intellectual Property. She explains how IP works and how easily you can protect your creations. This course covers such topics as conducting an IP audit, licensing your work, and protecting your copyright and trademarks. This course is suitable for all creatives and entrepreneurs.
Instructor: Nir Eyal
Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products focuses on the psychology and science behind building habit-forming products, that keep on encouraging your customers to return. Nir Eyal has based this course on his bestselling book of the same name. He focuses on the intersection between psychology, technology, and business. He teaches you how to build products and experiences that are inherently sticky, leading to you enjoying regular repeat customers.
19. Ditch Your Day Job.
Instructor: Michelle Ward
Michelle Ward, also known as The When I Grow Up Coach, offers dream career guidance to creative women. She taught a great online business course on CreativeLive that I had the opportunity to work with her on called, Ditch Your Day Job, which she subtitles “A Step-by-step Online Course To Leaving Your Boring Day Job And Launching A Career You Love.”
The online business course focuses on creating a simple plan for getting your business started (even if it’s something as simple as a phone case business), establishing an emergency fund and identifying your existing sources of help and support.
20. Explore What Works.
Instructor: Tara Gentile
Another great online business course from Tara Gentile, this one on her own self-hosted platform provides an in-depth system for existing business owners to grow their businesses further. As Tara describes it, Explore What Works is a series of online business courses designed to help entrepreneurs turn smart ideas into influence, customers and cash. Although not always open, it places its focus on giving business owners a step-by-step process for creating a strategic action plan that works.
Instructor: Seth Godin
The altMBA is Seth Godin’s intensive 4-week online business course—more of a workshop that’s aimed at high-performing people who want to level up in their careers and become thought leaders. This online business course runs in classes, typically four times per year and features alumni from notable companies like Nike, Google, Microsoft and more. This online business course has a focus on projects, teamwork, personalized feedback, coaching, curated readings and the ultimate goal of launching 13 products in the four weeks of the program.
22. How to Start A Business.
This online business course compilation brought to you by Michigan State University is what they call a specialization— in this case a series of mini-business courses covering a particular topic. This How to Start A Business specialization covers topics on mindset, ideation, planning, action and strategy which are all essential to becoming an entrepreneur. There are six distinct courses in this free specialty program:
- Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset: First Step Towards Success
- The Search for Great Ideas: Harnessing Creativity to Empower Innovation
- Planning: Principled, Proposing, Proofing, and Practicing to a Success Plan
- Structure: Building the Frame for Business Growth
- Launch Strategy: 5 Steps to Capstone Experience
- Capstone – Launch Your Own Business!
Rather than just describing what to do, these online business courses focus on guiding you through the process of actually doing it in real-time while you’re going through the program—which is the true sign of a strong online business course.
Instructor: William Peña, MBA
Amazon Store Management: Run a Successful Amazon Store is an online business course by instructor William Peña, the author of two notable business books: “Passive Income in 90 Days,” and “The 3 Day Entrepreneur.” Featured on Udemy, this online business course focuses on creating a business by selling your own products on Amazon—so if you’re looking to get into eCommerce, this course is for you. Throughout the online business course, he demonstrates how to can create a passive income stream by using Amazon as a marketplace for growing your online sales—and to take things to the next level with your own eCommerce website builder too. Now, if you want to take a different tract, you can also build a marketplace of your own to serve your customers.
Blogging & Writing: The Best Online Business Courses for Bloggers
Want to start a blog? How about getting more readers for the content you’re already publishing? Then these courses are for you.
Content: 8 hours of video lectures, 15,000 words of written content, 6 hours of interviews with top bloggers
Instructor: Ryan Robinson (that’s me!)
You’re about to review a long list I’ve put together of all the best blogging courses you can invest in this year, to take your blog to the next level. But before you dive into the other blogging courses on this list, I want to show you everything my own ultimate blogging course has to offer.
I consider Built to Blog the absolute best all-in-one blogging course if your eventual goal is to learn how to actually make money from your blog. I built this course (and community) to be the only one you truly need to succeed with starting and growing a profitable blog.
First, we begin with starting your blog, including how to choose a smart topic to blog about, buying an affordable domain with Bluehost, setting up and optimizing WordPress, and installing all the crucial plugins I personally use. Then we take a deep dive into content strategy, covering idea generation, keyword research, demographics, and constructing great calls to action that’ll help build your email list over time.
Once we get through that, we go into the fun part—how to drive traffic to your blog without spending a dime. I’ve employed every content strategy under the sun over the last few years, and I go through the best ones, from guest posting to interviewing experts. We’ll also cover the importance of building an email list and best practices for doing it well.
Finally, we’ll get to the good stuff: how to actually make money blogging. I’ve got tons of experience generating well into the six-figures from my own blog that I share in-depth, including how to do sponsored content, sell your services, launch digital products, scale your affiliate marketing, and many more.
When you join Built to Blog, you’ll also get access to free templates you can use on your blog. And if you get sick of listening to only me, I have a growing stable of interviews with over 10 of the world’s top bloggers (like Jon Morrow here above) that you can tune into as well.
Most importantly though, I give students a step-by-step game plan to taking action and achieving your goal of building a profitable blog—including the pitfalls most beginners need to avoid.
Trust me, I’ve been where you are today. And after years of trial and error, my blog has become a success.
You can check out Built to Blog for yourself and learn more about why my work (and blogging course) have been featured on publications like Forbes, Inc and Entrepreneur.
Instructor: Andrea Goulet-Ford
Andrea Goulet-Ford works with big brands to scale their communications without sacrificing personality or authenticity. In her online business course with Skillshare, Become a Better Writer: Content Planning, she explores how you can improve your blog, using a three-month editorial calendar to help with your planning. She also shows you how to give your blog character so that you can stand out from the millions of other blogs on the internet and offers up actionable advice for learning how to drive traffic to your website in the long run.
Instructor: Kevin Allison
The tagline for this online business course on Udemy, Storytelling for Business says it all: “Grab attention. Create emotion. Inspire action.” Instructor Kevin Allison clearly knows how to tell a story. He’s been a scriptwriter on television series including The State on MTV, Stella, Reno 911! and Flight of the Concords. In this online business course, he teaches you how to create unforgettable stories to use throughout your career.
Instructor: Eric Siu
In his Skillshare online business course, Content Marketing: Writing for Growth, the instructor Eric Siu, CEO of the digital marketing agency Single Grain and Founder at Growth Everywhere, demonstrates his step-by-step process for creating compelling blog content.
Eric used this process to create a seven figure business for himself. He’s particularly tailored this online business course to entrepreneurs and marketers who want to use writing to their advantage. If you’re looking for a little more than just this content marketing primer though, check out these digital marketing certificate programs that’ll give you a very comprehensive deep dive into the world of marketing today.
Instructor: Shani Raja
Shani Raja clearly knows about writing. He’s written for the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Financial Times and Bloomberg News. He specializes in teaching advanced writing skills to professional journalists. It should be no surprise, therefore that Writing With Flair: How To Become An Exceptional Writer is the best-selling writing course on Udemy. This online business course aims to help you dramatically improve the quality of your writing.
29. Blog That Converts 2.0.
Instructor: Derek Halpern
In this incredible (but pricey) online business course, marketer and entrepreneur Derek Halpern, guides you through the process of building a Blog That Converts in his eight-week training course. It is not always open to students, but if you click through to the course landing page, Derek offers a free eBook on How to Get Your First 5,000 Subscribers, then you can add your name to a waiting list.
30. Serious Bloggers Only.
Instructor: Jon Morrow
Jon Morrow knows just about everything there is to know about blogging. He first made his name as the Commissioning Editor of Copyblogger, and then went on to set up the hugely successful Smart Blogger website. He now leads a team who runs courses for bloggers. Serious Bloggers Only is a series of mini-courses, each of about 30 pages.
The first mini-course, The Six-Figure Roadmap, provides a breakdown of all the things you have to do to build a blog from scratch until it grows to the point that it will earn you a six-figure income, working through four stages of your blog’s growth. Serious Bloggers Only currently includes another 25 mini-courses, covering topics ranging from The List Post Handbook to How to Build Your Funnel No Matter Where You’re Starting. Jon usually creates another mini-course for Serious Bloggers Only members once a month.
Instructor: Brian Maehl
In Writing for Brands: Freelancing in the Age of Content Marketing, instructor Brian Maehl, Talent Development Manager at Contently, covers how to pitch to, write for and build relationships with brands as a freelance writer. In this online business course, he breaks the process down into simple steps to help you advance your writing career and even get into content marketing if you’re so inclined.
Instructor: Tara Gentile
Having self-published four eBooks, business strategist Tara Gentile breaks down her own personal process in this online business course, How to Write and Publish an eBook. She covers all of the necessary steps from choosing your idea and creating an outline, through to marketing your book, making sales (without investing in a high-powered CRM) and still getting people to read it.
Instructor: Tom Corson-Knowles
Do you have a dream of being a best-selling author? Entrepreneur, Tom Corson-Knowles did, and today he’s the author of more than 20 bestsellers. He has created a course, How To Become a Bestselling Author on Amazon Kindle, where he teaches the secrets of his publishing success. He comprehensively covers the basics, writing, cover design, Kindle formatting, publishing, marketing, blog layout advice and even touching on financial management for authors (like managing your blog taxes).
Instructor: Ramit Sethi
Like many of Ramit Sethi’s courses, Call-to-Action runs seasonally, so you do need to get your timing right to be able to take this course. It focuses on the power of good copywriting. It allows you to discover how to create quality content week after week. Ramit has distilled everything he’s learned from millions of dollars in sales, into this proven system. The course focuses on the power of writing for your business. If you can’t wait until Ramit next offers this course, he provides you with the opportunity to sign up on a waiting list.
35. Guest Blogging.
Instructor: Jon Morrow
As its name indicates, Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging takes you through the nuts and bolts of how to pitch and then write the perfect guest post. The course contains modules on finding your ideal audience, locating your target blogs, crafting your killer headlines, pitching your irresistible ideas, writing your popular posts, and getting the most from every post. Every participant of this course receives a copy of Jon’s Big Black Book, which contains the editorial contact details for every major blog that takes guest posts.
Instructor: Darren Murph
Darren Murph is the Guinness world record holder for being the “most prolific blogger.” Therefore he seems eminently qualified to teach a course called How to Write Great Content. In this course, Darren teaches how to improve your writing style, how to spot the details others are missing, and how to build a portfolio too impressive to ignore.
37. Tribe Writers.
Instructor: Jeff Goins
Jeff Goins is a prolific online writer, having written and guest blogged for over 100 magazines, publications, and blogs. He has self-published several successful books. He believes every writer needs a tribe – a group of dedicated fans who supports your work and helps spread your message.
His flagship online business course, Tribe Writers, is an intense course with modules on honing your voice, establishing a platform, expanding your reach, and getting published. You become part of a 3,000 member community.
38. Intentional Blogging: Become a Better Blogger.
Instructor: Jeff Goins
Jeff Goins also offers a free 12-lesson course, which aims to make you a better blogger: Intentional Blogging: Become a Better Blogger. Jeff emails you a lesson per day over 12 days, covering a range of topics including how to decide the best blog topic for you, how to write using SEO, how to interview, and how to write guest posts. It is both suitable for beginners, and as a refresher for more experienced bloggers.
Instructor: American Writers & Artists, Inc
The American Writers and Artists Inc (AWAI) specializes in providing training for copywriters. They offer many courses about different facets of copywriting, both traditional paper-based copywriting, as well as writing for an online environment. Their flagship course is their Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. This comprehensive course moves you from Getting Started as a Copywriter to The Fundamentals of Persuasive Writing to The Secret Structure of Direct-Response Copy to Choosing Your Path and finally Your Guide to Getting Clients.
Productivity & Life Hacks: The Best Online Business Courses to Be More Productive
Looking to be more productive, get more done and focus when you sit down to work on your side hustle? These courses are for you.
Instructor: Ari Meisel
In The Art of Less Doing, achievement and efficiency expert, Ari Meisel provides a method whereby you can easily accomplish all of the tasks you need to do, giving you more time to spend on the tasks you want to do.
He provides you with strategies to optimize, automate and outsource your tasks from all facets of your life. He ensures that you apply his techniques to your whole life, not just your professional life.
41. Time Management 101.
Instructor: Mike Vardy
Mike Vardy specializes in productivity and technology. Indeed he describes himself as a productivityist. He uses his Creative Live course, Time Management 101, to demonstrate that being productive is not necessarily difficult. He provides strategies and tools to allow you to work more effectively. He helps you make the most of every day, seven days per week, eliminating distractions, delegating tasks, and setting priorities.
Instructor: Brian Cervino
Productivity and Time Management: Get More Done is a free Skillshare course where Brian Cervino, the Product Marketing Manager at Trello demonstrates tools, tactics, and tips which can help make your day more productive. Although the course includes a section on how you can use Trello to improve your productivity, Brian covers other time-saving products as well.
Freelancing & Consulting: The Best Online Business Courses for Freelancing
Want to land your first paying freelance client and build the path to becoming a six-figure consultant? These courses are for you.
Instructor: Me! (Ryan Robinson)
If you are a freelancer looking to improve your client roster, then this course of mine is ideal for you. Writing a Winning Freelance Proposal will help you to write more effective freelance proposals. I have designed it for writers, designers, marketers, developers, coaches, and artists who want to become more effective at pitching their services, winning more and better clients. Even if you are unsure whether you would benefit from this course, I offer a free High-Converting Freelance Proposal Template which is sure to be useful to virtually any freelancer.
Instructors: Claire Wasserman and Justin Gignac
Claire Wasserman, founder of Ladies Get Paid, an organization helping women achieve their professional goals, and Justin Gignac, co-founder of Working Not Working, a community of quality creatives, combine to teach Going Freelance: Building and Branding Your Own Success. This course is an overview of what it means to go freelance. It includes topics on developing a strong body of work, crafting a portfolio, marketing yourself on social media, pitching, authentic networking, and setting yourself up for financial success.
Instructor: Ilise Benun
Ilise Benun is a business expert focusing exclusively on creative professionals. In Command the Fees You Deserve, she guides creative freelancers through marketing, pricing, and booking freelance work. She teaches you how to land clients who value your services, and how to sift good clients from bad ones.
46. Creative Class.
Instructor: Paul Jarvis
Creative Class specifically targets freelancers with creative skills who attract and provide services to clients online. Paul Jackson has created a 12-lesson practical course to help creative freelancers improve their businesses. It includes topics on defining your niche, researching your audience’s needs, setting up clear processes, collecting feedback, pricing by value, and connecting with your audience. Paul Jarvis is himself a busy creative, so he has transferred what he has learned himself to his teachings.
Instructor: Michael Port
Author, actor, marketer and sales guru, Michael Port, focuses on marketing techniques freelancers can use to improve their client book in this online business course on CreativeLive, Book Yourself Solid. He teaches freelancers the skills they need to pitch to their perfect clients, clearly understanding their needs.
The Psychology of Success & People Skills: Best Online Business Courses for Understanding Psychology
Understanding the psychology behind why people make decisions is fundamental to being successful in business. Pick up these courses to boost your knowledge today.
Instructor: Vanessa Van Edwards
Behavioral investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards is commonly described as a professional people watcher. She demonstrates her understanding of the human psyche in her 30 day Creative Live course, Master Your People Skills, which is appropriately subtitled Be The Most Memorable Person In The Room. In this course, you learn how to increase your likability, identify personality types, deal with troublesome people, and become a master conversationalist.
Instructor: Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek clearly knows something about making presentations. His TED talks have pulled in more than 20 million views. He presents a short Skillshare Premium course, How to Present: Share Ideas That Inspire Action, where he shares his secrets on making memorable, inspiring presentations. He backs up every insight with practical examples.
Instructor: Dorie Clark
Dorie Clark is recognized as a “branding expert,” and is a marketing strategy consultant and speaker, working with numerous big-name clients. Personal Branding for Creative Professionals is an introductory course teaching essential personal branding skills. It gives you strategies on how to connect to the right people at the right time and to use these strategies to improve your brand. Dorie Clark shows you how to make the most of interviews, introductions, and webinars.
Instructor: Vanessa Van Edwards
Vanessa Van Edwards’ second Creative Live course, The Power of Body Language, focuses on how you can make a memorable first impression. It puts a particular emphasis on how you can use non-verbal language to help you come across as more powerful. This course goes wider than just body language, though. It also examines how to improve your phone conversation and make your writing more powerful.
Instructors: Michael Port and Amy Mead
Many people find public speaking to be a tremendous challenge. Indeed the title of this course, Heroic Public Speaking, is an apt name for such a feared task. Michael Port and Amy Mead teach you a system to engage, persuade and inspire your audience. They show you how to make a compelling presentation.
Instructor: David Nihill
A popular speaker and standup comedian, David Nihill clearly knows a few things about captivating an audience. In Become Better and Funnier at Public Speaking, he uses his personal experiences to help you improve your presentation skills. In particular, he shows you how you can use humor to turn a drab presentation into a memorable one. Please note that there is one specific course requirement: a good sense of humor.
54. How to Talk to Anybody.
Instructor: Ramit Sethi
In How to Talk to Anybody, Ramit Sethi demonstrates how anybody can learn social skills. He shows how to banish shyness and take control of any situation, possibly meeting your next best friend or business partner. He presents you with a framework to ensure you never run out of things to say again.
55. Success Triggers.
Instructor: Ramit Sethi
What makes some people more successful, more confident, and happier than others? The answer lies in game-changing mindset shifts. Like most of Ramit Sethi’s courses, Success Triggers is only available for purchase at certain times. Ramit does have a good quantity of free material available on his site which you have access to once you sign up for his Success Triggers Insider List. You can use these free articles to help you determine how much use you would find for the paid course when Ramit makes it available. Success Triggers focuses on the patterns exhibited by top performers.
Career Advancement: The Best Online Business Courses for Growing Your Career
Want to get a raise? How about finding your dream? These courses are for you.
Instructor: Ann Rea
Have you got creative skills that you believe could ultimately provide you with a living? Fulfill Your Creative Purpose is designed to help you uncover your creative purpose. Ann Rea is a successful artist who knows how to make money from her paintings. In this 30-day course, she provides you with comprehensive lessons to define your mission and develop a profitable artistic enterprise.
Instructor: Darren Murph
It is rapidly becoming more common for people to work remotely away from a formal workplace. In Work Remotely: Thrive in a Job From Home, Darren Murph teaches you how to make your home a successful remote office. He focuses on how to advocate for a remote role, cutting out necessary distractions, perfecting your home office and improving your personal communications skills—in addition to his tips on how to get a remote job. This course should help you make a successful transition to a new workplace – your home.
58. Find Your Dream Job.
Instructor: Ramit Sethi
Ramit Sethi’s Find Your Dream Job course shows you his proven system to find unlisted blogging jobs, WordPress developer jobs or otherwise, nail the interview and successfully negotiate your salary. Indeed he claims to give you the exact words you require to get a raise. This course helps you find the job you love.
Podcasting: The Best Online Business Courses for Starting & Running a Podcast
If you want to launch your own podcast, these are the best online courses to help you get started. But first, you’ll need to find the best podcast hosting to get your show online before anything else leaves the ground.
59. Podcasting 101.
Instructor: John Lee Dumas
This online business course taught on CreativeLive, Podcasting 101, is a shortened version of renowned podcaster John Lee Dumas’ full Podcaster’s Paradise course. In this course, John goes through the steps to create and distribute a high-quality podcast. It covers everything from selecting your equipment, to making a high-quality recording to creating and growing your podcast.
Instructor: Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg runs a for-profit podcast focusing on narrative journalism and storytelling. He currently produces three podcasts. He has created the course Power Your Podcast with Storytelling on how to tell powerful, memorable stories with storytelling. The course includes production techniques that can help you create a multi-layered sensory experience.
Instructor: Lewis Howes
High-performing business coach, Lewis Howes, demonstrates in this online business course, Start Your Profitable Podcast, the techniques you can use to start a podcast and leverage your listenership to grow your brand. He covers everything you need from differentiating your podcast, to physically making, it to promoting and monetizing it.
Instructors: Julia DeWitt and Anna Sussman
Julia DeWitt and Anna Sussman are both senior producers of NPR’s “Snap Judgement.” Essential Storytelling Techniques with Producers from ‘Snap Judgment’ focuses on storytelling techniques you can use to convert an idea for an audio, podcast or radio story into a tight narrative. You will learn the necessary skills to produce a quality story in the audio medium.
63. Podcaster’s Paradise.
Instructor: John Lee Dumas
John Lee Dumas is one of the world’s best known and most successful podcasters, with his daily EntrepreneurOnFire podcast setting records on iTunes. Not only does John broadcast himself, but he has also founded the world’s number 1 podcasting community, which includes an extensive training course for all potential podcasters. At Podcaster’s Paradise, Jon teaches you how to create, grow and monetize your podcast.
Marketing: The Best Online Business Courses for Marketers and Bloggers
Whether you want to land a job in marketing or learn how to market your own business more effectively, these are the marketing courses for you.
Instructor: Tara Gentile
Online marketing expert Tara Gentile demonstrates in her CreativeLive course, Market, Launch, and Sell Your Next Big Thing, the best ways you can use email and social media strategically to grow your customer base. She teaches you how to create content that draws the most appropriate clients to your brand.
Instructor: Seth Godin
Seth Godin is a renowned author and blogger who has been inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. His Premium Udemy course, The Modern Marketing Workshop, is firmly aimed at the marketer of today. It teaches you the four building blocks of modern marketing and the relevant terms that underpin them. Seth tries to show you how marketing truly works in the 21st Century. You will ultimately prepare a marketing plan for your own business.
Instructor: Allyson Van Houten
In this free Skillshare class, Getting Started with Email Marketing, Mailchimp’s Product Marketing Manager, Allyson Van Houten, demonstrates how to craft an email marketing strategy for your small business. As you would expect, Allyson uses Mailchimp for her examples. She works from the consideration of your goal for a campaign through decisions about the most suitable content to a step-by-step creation of an email marketing campaign.
Instructor: Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk is a prolific wine guru, business builder and investor who is now known as a public face, with his popular podcasts, YouTube channel and public speaking gigs at major events. Context is Key: Social Media Strategy teaches you how to tell your brand’s story correctly for each social media platform. He shows you how you can tailor your social media content so it can be most effective for each platform.
Instructor: Laura Moreno Caballinas
Growth Hacking has become a buzzword in recent years. Do you understand what it means? Laura Moreno Cabanillas is a growth hacking expert who has applied growth hacking techniques that have rapidly expanded both her businesses and others’. As its name suggests, Growth Hacking 101: Introduction to Growth Hacking teaches you the fundamentals of growth hacking. This includes key definitions, the growth hacking funnel, metrics and measuring tools.
Instructor: Scott Britton
Some people believe that the age of cold emailing is dead. Scott Britton, software entrepreneur at Troops and prolific online teacher, clearly disagrees. This course, Crack Cold Emailing to Increase Sales and Grow Your Business, makes a claim to be “the best course on Cold Emailing on Udemy.” It includes a detailed blueprint of a different, successful way that you should approach cold emailing.
Instructor: Nathan Latka
Nathan Latka, the CEO of Heyo, uses Facebook Marketing for Small Businesses to teach small business owners or freelancers how to take full advantage of Facebook. He shows how you can attract potential customers, turn them into fans and then drive sales. He shows you how to manage your Facebook page efficiently and effortlessly.
Instructor: Scott Britton
This is another Scott Britton course, claiming to be best of its class – “the best course on Startup Business Development on the internet.” Business Development for Startups and Tech Companies is thorough with nine hours of video and 21.5 hours of other content. This training extensively covers a wide variety of business development strategies.
Instructor: Sue B Zimmerman
Sue B. Zimmerman is a master of using Instagram for business. She has written the number 1 eBook on the subject, speaks and coaches about it, and has created several courses including Instagram Marketing for Small Businesses. In this course, Sue demonstrates the marketing opportunities of Instagram and gives you everything you need to know about how to implement it for your own business.
Instructor: Sean Johnson
Professor Sean Johnson has taken some of the material he teaches students at Northwestern University’s School of Management to create this Udemy course, The Ultimate Guide to Funnel Optimization. It gives you a solid understanding of the techniques and tools used by the top start-ups. It focuses on using your customer funnel to gain your first 1,000 customers. The course also teaches you more than 150 tactics for driving aggressive growth.
Instructor: Conrad Wadowski
Grow Hack have built a variety of courses predominantly focused on building your business through different aspects of growth hacking. Grow Hack is regularly adding to this body of courses. A subscription to Grow Hack’s Full Course Library gives you access to all of these courses, created by Conrad Wadowski and several other authors. Courses current created include:
- Marketing Automation
- Growth Hacking – User Onboarding
- Learn to Growth Hack
- Startup PR: Getting Press on a Tight Budget
- Hack the App Store – Get More Mobile Downloads
- Hacking the Facebook Platform – 7 Favorite Growth Hacks
- Analytics for Startups, Mobile Acquisition with Facebook Ads
- Discover Your Product’s Viral Loop.
Instructor: Sue B Zimmerman
In Get Social: Connecting Your Business Channels, Sue B. Zimmerman examines social media marketing for business. She shows you how to develop a social media strategy and how you can build a growing online community. She also examines how you can create affordable ads on the social media platforms that will help grow your business. She makes a clear distinction between using social media for business use, compared to how you use it for personal use.
Instructor: Rand Fishkin
Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz, is renowned for his knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). He has created a free Skillshare course, SEO That Matters: Tactics and Strategy for Entrepreneurs, that explains all of the key fundamentals of SEO, from keywords to links. In it, Rand shows you how to craft an SEO strategy for your business and gives tips that will help you optimize your content.
Instructor: Neil Patel
Forbes has described Neil Patel as one of the top 10 online marketers. President Obama recognized him as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 30. He provides some of his secrets in his Creative Live course, Getting Traffic to Your Online Business. He explains the mechanics of SEO and explains important terms. He shows how to develop best practices and provides a robust toolkit to increase traffic to your website. He also touches on how you can use social media and content/affiliate marketing to increase your traffic.
78. YouTube Marketing.
Instructor: James Wedmore
James Wedmore, a recognized authority on video marketing, demonstrates his knowledge in YouTube Marketing, a Creative Live course. As you would expect, the bulk of this course is filmed, with 25 HD video lessons. James shows you how to develop a winning video strategy on YouTube.
Instructor: Jeff Goins
Prolific marketer, writer, blogger and speaker, Jeff Goins, presents this course on Effective Email and Newsletter Marketing. In this course, Jeff explains how to set up an email newsletter, build a mailing list, and then market your product or service to that list. He shows you how you can add value to your email blasts.
Instructors: Len Smith and Sean Kaye
This Sales and Persuasion Skills for Startups course is appropriately subtitled “The entrepreneur’s sure guide to getting a Yes.” Len Smith (the lead presenter) and Sean Kaye place a real focus on the art of persuasion. Persuasion is often a weak point for start-ups, so this course focuses on helping startups learn the art before it is too late. The course is totally aimed at entrepreneurs, start-ups and beginning business people. It is not just about selling a product, it is also about selling ideas.
81. Email 1K.
Instructor: Noah Kagan
Email 1K is a free 30-day email course provided by Sumo.com founder, Noah Kagan, along with some other email marketing experts. It teaches you steps to follow to double your mailing list. It covers topics such as optimizing your home page, reverse engineering great content, guest posting, giveaways and conversion optimization.
Instructor: Paul Jarvis
Paul Jarvis, designer, writer, teacher, software creator, podcaster and MailChimp expert, has created a 39-video course on how to use MailChimp the right way. Chimp Essentials: Master MailChimp for Your Business, is designed to help you get smarter about your email marketing, making money from your blog and newsletter. This is another one of those courses that only runs at set times, so it would be a good idea to register your interest on the course waiting list, and Paul will contact you next time he runs the course.
Instructor: Christopher Hawker
Christopher Hawker certainly has the credentials to teach a course about crowdfunding. He is an innovator who founded Trident Design, which has recently benefited from record-setting fundraising campaigns. In Launch a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign, Christopher goes through the necessary steps to work your way through the crowdfunding process. He gives you the strategies, tactics, and even confidence, to put together a successful financial campaign yourself.
84. Summer of Marketing.
Instructor: Noah Kagan
Summer of Marketing is another free Noah Kagan online business course that’s worth it’s weight in gold. Noah sends you emails over a 12-week period, each one focusing on a particular area of marketing. He provides actionable tips and ideas, building up from a beginner level to some quite advanced marketing topics near the end. Each lesson includes an actionable exercise you can put into practice for your own business, whether it be offline or online.
85. Affiliate Marketing Explained!
Instructor: Lisa Irby
Internet entrepreneur, Gobala Krishnan, shows people how to tap into affiliate marketing and make passive income in Affiliate Marketing Explained! This is a beginner level course, so no prior knowledge is expected. By the end of this course, you will be able to understand how affiliate marketing works, and you should be able to start to create an affiliate website. The course covers a wide range of material from Internet basics for newbies, to affiliate marketing basics, to finding profitable affiliate offers, to discussions on different types of affiliate marketing.
86. Get 10,000 Subscribers.
Instructor: Bryan Harris
As is the case with several of these courses, Bryan Harris’s Get 10,000 Subscribers is only available for new students at set times. If you are looking at this course outside one of those windows of opportunity you can add your name to a waiting list. This course shows you a step-by-step process for building up your email list by 10,000 genuine subscribers, even if you are starting a new list.
App Development: The Best Online Business Courses for Building Apps
Want to build your first app? Start with these courses that require no prior knowledge or technical skills.
Instructor: Carter Thomas
Carter Thomas clearly knows something about creating apps. Since 2011, he has published over 1,500 apps that have resulted in more than 18 million downloads. Make Your Own App: No Coding Required helps you get started on creating and publishing apps. It covers all of the stages of creating an app and gives you the steps you need to follow. This includes information on monetizing your app and how to hire a developer if you lack coding skills yourself.
Instructor: Diego Guajardo
If you are somebody who wants to start a business on the side to earn some extra cash, then this course on making apps may be ideal for you. The Essential Guide to Making Apps Without Prior Experience shows you how you can create a side business generating up to $5,000 per month by creating and selling apps. It provides you with a step-by-step guide to follow. It doesn’t matter if coding isn’t your area of expertise – you can simply outsource that.
More Online Business Courses Are Coming Soon!
So far, what’d I miss?
Have you taken any particularly impactful online business courses that have helped you create massive change in your life?
Share with me in the comments below!