Finding a freelance writing course that walks you through getting started can help jumpstart your career. For existing freelance writers, a course that takes your knowledge to the next level can help you get more/better clients and raise your rates.
This post highlights the best freelance writing courses, based on the criteria outlined below.
How Each Course Made the List
There are hundreds of freelance writing courses and I have not personally bought and tested all of them.
So to compile this list, I used the following criteria:
- Knowledge about courses that I’ve personally purchased and completed.
- Feedback from other writers who have taken courses.
- My experience learning first-hand from course creators’ free content.
- Social proof about courses offered on legitimate online learning platforms.
#1. SEO for Writers
The best freelance writers don’t just deliver articles and call it a day; they focus on maximizing the value their work brings to the client.
One of the best ways to increase the value of your writing is by optimizing your articles so they perform well in Google search results — a process called search engine optimization or SEO.
This can reduce the amount of time your client spends editing your work and, when done correctly, can have a profound impact on their bottom line by bringing more traffic to their website.
A lot of writers claim to know how to incorporate SEO into their writing, but few can actually get results. (Hint: It’s a lot more complex than inserting a few keywords.)
The ability to tailor your content so that it ranks highly on Google is one of the highest-leverage skills you can add as a freelance writer. Larry Ludwig’s course SEO for Writers teaches you how to do it.
Ludwig has a proven track record when it comes to getting results: he started the finance site Investor Junkie and sold it for $5.8 million. At its peak, the site had over 3 million monthly visitors from search.
The course offers six in-depth videos on:
- How SEO works.
- What to write.
- Keyword research.
- Tricks to get your article to rank on Google.
- How to write a perfect headline.
- Creating a good URL slug for your blog post.
It also includes a bonus video on SEO Copywriting.
Why it made the list: I’ve taken (and was very impressed with) Larry Ludwig’s Six-Figure Blogging course.
Where to learn more: See Ludwig’s blog post: SEO Writing for Beginners – Learn How To Rank In Google.
#2. Freelance Writers Den
The Freelance Writers Den gives you access to over 300 hours of training on all things freelance writing. Even more valuable, however, is the fact that signing up makes you a member of their very active community of 1,500+ fellow freelance writers, where you can interact with and get advice from your peers.
New members get instant access to the entire library of content. Most helpful are the boot camps, which are structured mini-courses on topics like “How to Get Your First Freelance Writing Job.”
Beyond that, there are monthly podcasts and live community calls, where you can hear from experts on the latest trends in freelance writing.
Why it made the list: This supportive community for freelance writers has a very solid reputation for helping beginners succeed.
Price: $25 per month.
Where to learn more: The community only opens a few times per year, so make sure to join the waitlist. You can also check out founder Carol Tice’s e-book, The Recession-Proof Freelancer.
#3. Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting
Copywriting is one of the highest-paid freelance writing niches. And even if you don’t market yourself as a copywriter, knowing the principles behind great copy is a high-leverage skill in the majority of freelance niches.
The American Writers and Artists Institute’s (AWAI) Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting has been training copywriters since 1997.
In fact, some of the top copywriters today, like Brian Clark of Copyblogger, learned how to write copy by taking the course.
The program goes deep into the time-tested methods for writing great copy. The e-book, coming in at over 500 pages, is not something you go through in a weekend; it’s meant to be a resource you can return to again and again while you develop your skills as a copywriter.
Why it made the list: This is a course I’ve taken myself, and I know of many other very successful copywriters who have either taken it or recommend it. What really stands out within the course is the quality of the teachers, which amounts to a who’s who of copywriting:
Where to learn more: Visit the American Writers and Artists Institute website.
#4. Copywriting Course
Neville Medhora’s Copywriting Course is another long-standing and widely respected option for freelancers, professionals and business owners looking to enhance their ability to write great copy.
The training materials themselves are primarily video-based. While the above mentioned AWAI course is more focused on understanding the principles of copywriting, Copywriting Course places a greater emphasis on modern techniques, such as understanding:
- UX and layout.
- Email opt-ins.
- Landing pages.
Additionally, the course comes with membership in an active community. There are live group coaching calls every two weeks (where you can ask questions or get feedback on what you’ve been working on), as well unlimited email critiques (where you can send in your project for suggested improvements).
Why it made the list: I’ve learned a lot over the years from Medhora’s free material — mainly his YouTube channel and podcast appearances.
Price: $97 per month or $497 per year.
Where to learn more: Neville puts out a lot of high-quality free material. He’s got a fun, informative and constantly updated blog and YouTube channel. To get a sense of his teaching style, sign up for his email series on his homepage.
When Is the Right Time to Buy a Course?
When buying courses, here are my own personal rules:
- Never purchase with debt.
- Pay with earnings.
Premium courses can be expensive. Personally, I’ve purchased multiple courses for over $1,000. Some have been worth it, while others have not.
If you’re paying with money you don’t have, it significantly increases your level of risk. If for whatever reason things don’t work out, you could be left paying for a course for years — and paying much more than the premium price you already paid (thanks to credit card interest).
My second rule is to pay with earnings.
If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, I’d recommend going out and getting a client or two first. There’s plenty of free material (see below) or very low-cost material (e.g., books) that will help you do just that. Then, reinvest what you made from your first few clients into the course (if you still think it’s necessary).
The big advantage here is you can now apply what you’re learning in the course to what you’re actually doing, thereby improving your existing knowledge instead of starting from scratch.
Bonus: Our Free Freelance Writing Content
It should come as no surprise that as a publishing and media company, The Ways To Wealth has a lot of experience in freelance writing. In fact, we have decades of experience when you add up the resumes of our team members. And we just so happen to publish our freelancing content for free!
We have no writing course to sell here, so we haven’t held anything back when it comes to sharing our best tips and strategies for launching and growing a successful freelance writing career.
If you’re looking for material to help get you those first few clients, make sure to check out:
- The best freelance writing job sites.
- Freelance writing rates: how much should you charge?
- How to apply for Upwork jobs as a writer.
- How to become a freelance copywriter (even with no experience).
And for some general freelance best practices, make sure to read: