Skills. You’ve got to have them if you want to be successful at this web content writing thing. But web content writers are in a unique position. You write for the web. You work on the web. You find jobs on the web. See the spidery connection here? Everything you do revolves around the web. So it only makes sense to find online training for web content writing.
But. But! Not all online training modules are masterful. You might rehash old news with one training program or develop skills that are not exactly focused on writing web content. Before I tell you how I won with HubSpot certifications, let me tell you about all the time I lost, literally, with online training.
Web Content Courses I’ve Tried
I’ve tried all sorts of online web content courses, some free, some that cost money. Here is a rundown:
- Free via my library system but does cost for users outside of a library system
- Super outdated
- Beyond basic in terms of information
- Is not accredited
- Old school format that lacks a discussion with other students
- Did complete
- 1 out of 5 stars
- Free but can upgrade to paid courses to receive a certificate of completion
- Modern program offering courses from reputable universities around the world like Stanford, Duke, and the University of Copenhagen
- Encourages open discussion with other students
- Each course is semi-related to web content writing but nothing is specifically for this area
- You have to mix and match courses to develop different skills you want or need
- Ultimately, there are too many course options to choose from
- Did not complete
- 3 out of 5 stars
- Subscription service $15 a month but you can sometimes get a couple of months free to try it out
- Is not accredited
- Lead by professionals, name-dropping includes broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien, Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz, and Brian Peters at Buffer
- Video format
- Has a minimalistic feel that makes it less chaotic than Coursera
- For web content writing? Nada, but you can take courses in blog writing, creating an editorial calendar, and content marketing
- I’m currently enrolled in a couple of courses but I’m not engaged with them because they aren’t very relevant to where I'm at in my career and I probably won’t finish...in fact, I just canceled by subscription
- 3 out of 5 stars
- For a fee, ranging from $20 to $200
- These courses are set up by anyone who wants to teach an online class; I could create a Udemy course if I wanted to
- Lack of credentials or verifiable experience in most instances
- Offers a lot of courses for web content writers
- 3 out 5 stars
The Star of the Show: HubSpot Certification
Now we come to the one training platform—HubSpot Academy Certifications—that I did complete and the one I recommend for web content writers. Let me clarify, I’ve only completed one course, Content Marketing Certification. But I have my sights set on a couple of other certifications with the goal of getting each of the free ones eventually. Let’s start with the basics:
- Free and you get a certificate of completion if you pass the ‘final exam’ that is not easy because it requires you to apply your knowledge, so you really do have to learn what they teach to be legit certified
- You can link your certificate directly to LinkedIn or other social media profiles and easily add it to an online portfolio
- The courses are in-depth and focused on specific content skills that you can use for your own business or provide for web content clients
- Each course offers videos, transcripts, and short quizzes at the end
- The information is up-to-date and fresh, and it doesn’t stifle students with boredom
- 5 out of 5 stars
Really? Five? Really. And no way am I getting paid to say that--#notasponsoredpost. Here’s the deal. HubSpot is a leader in online marketing. The agency provides a wealth of knowledge for anyone in the web content world, as well as inbound sales and marketing software you can use for free or for a fee. In other words—they know what’s up in the web content biz. Authoritative, reputable, beneficial.
List of HubSpot Certification Courses for Writers
As a web content writer, you want to spend your hard earned training time completing courses that best serve your needs. Well, you won’t find a web content writing certification on HubSpot. So which ones are going to be useful for you? Here’s what I recommend:
Content Marketing Certification
With this course, you need to have some experience in content writing, which is why I consider this an advanced web content tool. It is intended to increase your web content skills and knowledge, particularly in inbound marketing.
- Topics covered include social media marketing, content funnels, lead generation, URLs, and how to write content. You truly get a comprehensive lesson in all things content marketing.
- The lessons offer real-life examples of skills in action to inspire you.
- As the HubSpot Academy is, essentially, a marketing tool for the company, you are also directed to free or for a fee HubSpot software and tools when appropriate.
Overall, the course took me about 3 months of interspersed training sessions. There are a substantial number of different topics covered along with plenty of super useful information to digest. I kept a notebook throughout the process and wrote down everything that I didn’t already know. Psst! That notebook was extremely useful in the subjective final exam, which isn’t a regurgitation of facts but a test based on an application of knowledge. I thought I aced it but got 85 percent correct, granting me certification.
By the way, the certification is only good for a couple of years. Makes sense since the information is going to change rapidly. I completed the course in December 2017 and a month later I received an email explaining a new lesson was added to the course that I could take, which was awesome.
Ultimately, I feel—and hope—that having HubSpot Certification in my web content writer’s toolbox adds to my professional strengths and shows I’m keeping up with premium marketing concepts.
Other HubSpot Academy courses I’ve got lined up are:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Inbound Certification
Have you started taking a course from the HubSpot Academy or received a certification? What were your experiences? Please share in the comments!