With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to keep many of us at home, it’s only natural to start to go a bit stir-crazy. Couple that with decreasing ad revenue and fewer sponsored blog opportunities that many bloggers are experiencing, and you may find yourself wondering how to best take advantage of these strange times. One idea to consider? Trying out one of the numerous online courses and certifications that are free for a limited time right now!
I’ve rounded up everything I could personally find, but if you know of other free courses or certifications, feel free to post a comment or shoot me an email so I can add them to this list. I consider wellness bloggers to be those blogging about food, fitness, nutrition, and health/wellness – so I tried to feature opportunities that were specific to those niches, as well as opportunities in the last section that are really relevant for ALL bloggers.
25 Free Courses, Certifications, and Other Opportunities
For Food Bloggers:
1. Milk Street Cooking School – They’ve opened up their entire line of online cooking classes completely free through May 31st. Whether you want to learn more about advanced vegetable techniques, become more comfortable cooking fish, or learn how to excel at herbs and spices – there’s a course that will be helpful for any food blogger!
2. ServSafe Food Handlers Course – Through the end of April, ServSafe is offering up their food handler course and exam for free. While it’s normally only $15, getting it free is a great way to brush up on your food safety knowledge. Even if you are only blogging about food (and not working in the food industry otherwise), it can be really helpful to understand concepts like proper cooking temperature when writing your recipes.
3. Penn State Extension Courses – There are a few interesting courses here that could be great for food bloggers to expand knowledge on certain diets and cuisines. They offer a free course about dining with diabetes, as well as one on Mediterranean cuisine. Plus, if you’ve ever considered branching out with your food blog to other aspects of food business, you can find options to learn about retail farmers markets, beekeeping, creating a profitable food business, and more.
For Fitness Bloggers:
4. TRX Suspension Training Course – TRX is offering their suspension training course in live virtual form for fitness professionals. Normally $295, they have limited online live courses available for free through June! Most of the April/May classes are full, but there are still openings in the June ones. Snag them fast (I’m in the June 21st one if anyone wants to join me!). This will be great for getting additional fitness CEUs, learning a new skill, and maybe give you new fitness blogging ideas.
5. Movement Rx Adaptive Trainer Course – This course is built for fitness instructors, personal trainers, and health care professionals that want to learn more about adjusting fitness plans and exercises for adaptive athletes. It’s an 8-hour live virtual course, packed with a ton of useful information. They do require a $10 deposit to participate just to ensure you’re serious about attending – but it is refunded if you are a Disabled Veteran, a family member of a Disabled Veteran, OR a health/fitness/coaching professional that works with or is interested in working with Disabled Veterans. Most of the upcoming times are currently sold out but there are available spots in the May 1st class!
6. NASM Virtual Training Course – NASM is offering a free mini training about how to train clients online, which is a great way to learn more about bridging your in-person and blogging business!
7. NASM Mental Toughness Course – Through 4/30, you can take this awesome course for free (normally $99). It’s focused on developing the psychological strength for sport and competition. The 4 modules cover focus, confidence, motivation, and coping with pressure.
8. FiTour Myofascial Release Course – Admittedly I think this one is offered free relatively often, but if you haven’t taken it yet, I’m including it here for your reference! The course helps you understand self-massage via foam rolling in order to target trigger points in the myofascial bands. (The link will bring you to the page of all course deals, scroll down to find this one).
9. Express Online Fitness Coach Certification – The Online Trainers Federation is offering this course to help personal trainers create a scalable online business. I’ve never taken this course or done anything with the organization, so I can’t personally vouch for it, but it came up in a sponsored Facebook ad and I figured I’d include it!
10.Cancer Exercise Training Launchpad – The Cancer Training Institute created this Facebook group where they’ll be sharing a weeklong series on exercise for cancer patients and survivors. I know the April round was completely free so I’m *hoping* the next round is as well. The next round launches May 11th through the 16th.
11. Peleton App – Not a course or certification, but you can get a free 90-day trial of the Peleton app if you sign up before April 30th. While it might not be directly work-related, it’s still wonderful to be able to access this and challenge yourself to new fitness activities at home. And hopefully it gives you new ideas for blog posts!
For Wellness/Nutrition Bloggers:
12. Integrative and Functional COVID-19 Nutrition Course – This course was developed by a fellow dietitian and focuses on a two part approach to COVID-19: first-line defense in minimizing viral exposure risk and second-line defense in maximizing the body’s resistance after exposure. There is a ton of value in this, not only for RDs, but for other wellness bloggers interested in learning more about this topic.
13. AND Online Nutrition Courses – I’m kind of surprised I didn’t come across this earlier, but I’m glad I found it now! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has opened up 78 different online courses for free right now (they say they’re designed for future nutrition professionals, though a lot of them are great for practicing professionals too). When you click on the link of all the courses at the website, you can take any of them immediately at any time. If you blog about nutrition, you can find tons of different topics, from “Food After 50” to “Dietary Management of Abdominal Bloating” to “Baby-Led Weaning”. These are great evidence-based resources to take advantage of right now – but unfortunately they do not offer CPEs.
14. Yale’s The Science of Well-Being Course – Yale’s most popular class is offered online for free, and helps you understand the science and psychology behind happiness. While it may not seem relevant, it can actually help you connect the dots between a) how to stay happy as an entrepreneur and in your own life, and b) connecting the concepts into the type of content you put out to connect with people.
15. Reiki Healing 101 – If you’re more into holistic health and wellness, this might be a good option for you. This free course is offered over on mindbodygreen, and covers ways to decrease stress and break through negative energy.
For All Bloggers:
Building Your Business:
16. Pat Flynn’s Smart from Scratch – I’m a die-hard listener of Smart Passive Income, so I signed up for this as soon as I found out it was free (rather than the original price of $249). It’s got great info for those of you in the early stages of developing your business/blog, or for those who maybe have been doing this a while but need some focus and clarity. There’s no specific end date on this offer – it does say “for a limited time” so I’d sign up now while it’s free and you can worth through it at your own pace.
17. Innovation Leadership – This course is offered free through Georgia Tech. Leadership is often something we may not think about as solopreneurs, but these strategies can apply to innovation, business direction, and (eventually) managing and leading a team if you hire one.
18. Coursera Online Courses – The online learning platform has made 85 different classes free through May 31st. You can browse through the full link, but a few that jumped out at me that would be particularly relevant for entrepreneurs: “personal and family financial planning”, “personal branding”, and “creative thinking”.
SEO / Blog Traffic:
19. Moz Academy – If you want to learn more about SEO (outside of my 30-day challenge of course, haha!) you can find a ton of helpful info in the Moz Academy courses. These are normally pretty pricey, and cover topics from keyword research to backlink building to technical SEO and everything in between. They’ll only be free until May 31st, so be sure to take advantage of it now.
20. AHREFS Blogging for Business Course – This comprehensive course is awesome for new bloggers – or even those who have been doing it for a while without many results. It covers business strategy for bloggers and how to use SEO to grow your blog traffic massively. I highly recommend it!
Social Media Marketing:
21. Social Brilliant – This course was developed by Meet Edgar, the social scheduling platform. It’s valued at $199 but is currently being offered for free. I didn’t check it out, but it seems like it’d be really relevant for figuring out social media marketing if you’re just getting started in the online space.
22. Strategic Social Media Marketing – This course is offered online from Boston University (which always holds a place in my heart as my alma matter). You’ll learn about social media strategy, managing your platforms, and assessing effectiveness.
23. Nikon School Online – You can stream any of the Nikon School Online classes for free until the end of April. They cover topics like creating video content, getting started with a DSLR, photo fundamentals, and more.
24. Final Cut Pro – This isn’t an online course or certification, but I figured it was worth including since many bloggers do video that needs editing, and can use this platform to do such editing. I’m not a mac user, but for those of you who are, you can score a free 90-day trial.
Writing / Live Video:
25. Poynter Journalism Courses – I’m really excited about these, because I feel like improving my writing and video style are on my list to work on in 2020 (especially for developing a better feel for non-SEO freelance writing). Free through May 31st, you can find courses on various aspects of digital, print, and video journalism – including things like “Target and Engage Your Audience” or “Broadcast Writing: Write Like You Talk.”
26. Fundamentals of Media Relations Certification – If you run any kind of business where you’re the one pitching the press (i.e. a writer pitching press or a company sending press releases about your services/products), then this is a great option to check out. You can learn more about how to properly pitch journalists and media outlets, and build relationships with those people. (I know, technically this list said 25, but I found one more!)
There you have it – a ton of great online courses, certifications, and programs for bloggers especially in the food, fitness, and nutrition space.
Did I miss any? If so, share ’em below!
And if you took any of these, be sure to comment and let me know how they were.