Marketing Education: 50+ Resources to Level Up Your Skills
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The global marketing industry is estimated to be worth a massive $1.7 trillion.
It’ll come as no surprise to learn that marketing is becoming a popular career path. Businesses are ploughing money into marketing campaigns to reach their target customers in a world overrun with advertising, and they need to employ marketers to do it.
When you want to start working in the marketing industry, you need a lot of background knowledge.
In this guide, we’ll bust the myth that you need to get your knowledge through a traditional degree. Instead, we’ll show you how to learn marketing yourself, with 50+ incredible resources to get you going.
What Does “Marketing Education” Mean?
Before we get into the resources, let’s be clear on what “marketing education” actually means.
Marketing education is how you’ll build skills and knowledge to get a job in the marketing industry.
Your skills and knowledge can either be self-taught or come in the form of a qualification — such as a marketing degree. Regardless of how you get them, most employers will need some marketing skills, experience, and education when hiring for a role.
Do I Need a College Degree to Work in Marketing?
The traditional route to getting a job is to go to college for qualifications.
Unlike training for other job roles, like a doctor, you don’t always need a qualification to get a marketing job. There are plenty of companies that hire marketers based on their practical skills, rather than an official qualification.
That being said, there are pros and cons to getting an official marketing degree. Let’s break them down.
Pros of Getting a Marketing Degree
Sometimes, a marketing degree can be worth it. Let’s take a look at the benefits of getting one:
- They’re recognized by employers: Take a look at some marketing job descriptions, and you’ll see that most ask for a marketing-related qualification. Some employers look for this because it proves you’ve got a solid understanding.
- Some marketing courses offer placements: Depending on where you get your degree from, you might have the opportunity to get real-life experiences in the form of a work placement or internship.
- There’s lots of theory work: You’ll learn why marketing is important, and the strategies and principles behind why we do it.
Cons of Getting a Marketing Degree
There’s no doubt that getting a marketing degree can be valuable, yet it’s not always the best route to go down if you want to get a marketing job.
- It’s expensive: The cost of getting a marketing degree can be up to $34,740, and that’s before you factor in other college-related costs, like textbooks and housing.
- It doesn’t always cover things you’ll need on the job: The work you’ll do is very hypothetical. Whilst you’ll know the theory behind everything, it could be a waste of time. You could be learning on the job whilst getting real experience.
- You can’t learn all types of marketing: Thinking of specializing in one type of marketing? You can’t do that with a degree. There are no SEO or demand generation qualifications, for example. You’ll just get a top-level view of the entire marketing industry.
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50+ Resources to Teach Yourself Marketing
Don’t fancy going down the university route to build your marketing knowledge?
You’re in luck. There are thousands of resources you’ve got access to, and they’re all completely free, made by marketers for marketers.
We’ve compiled 51 of the best resources you can use to teach yourself marketing.
We know that people have different learning styles. Not everyone wants to sit in front of a computer screen, and watch someone else talk you through something.
That’s why we’ve broken each marketing resource into different formats.
Online courses are one of the best ways to teach yourself marketing if you don’t have tons of spare time. That’s because it packages lots of marketing-related tactics — such as content, SEO, and social media — into one course.
You don’t need bookmarks open for thousands of blog posts. One course can teach you a lot about a specific marketing subject.
However, the downside is that most of them aren’t free. You might need to invest a small amount of cash to get access to the course.
Here are some to start with:
- Actionable Marketing Institute: Yup, that’s right! We have a library of on-demand marketing courses that teach you how to become a results-driven marketer. Actionable Marketing Institute features 25+ premium courses covering topics like SEO, marketing project management, content marketing, and so much more! There are even two industry-recognized certifications in Marketing Strategy and Social Strategy.
- Bruce Clay’s SEO Course: Search engine optimization is a form of marketing that prioritizes traffic from search engines, like Google. This course takes you through each stage of SEO — from selecting keywords to target through reporting on your results.
- Marketing Profs: Online courses from Marketing Profs tend to be slightly more expensive than the others, but they’re worth the money. They invite experts in to co-teach their courses, which are taught at a higher level than most. It’s a superb option if you want to specialize in one specific marketing area.
- EDX: You don’t actually have to enroll in your local college’s marketing course to teach yourself marketing. EDX takes the curriculum from colleges like Columbia, Berkeley, and UBC, and makes it free to access online. The majority of online courses are self-paced, but there are some real-time courses where lessons are released once a week.
- Coursera: Similar to EDX, Coursera takes marketing courses from popular colleges and universities, and makes them accessible online. Some courses are short and free, but you can also apply to get a marketing degree through their online courses, if you prefer.
- Copyhackers School: If you want to build knowledge around the copy side of marketing, this is the course for you. It’s run by conversion copywriting expert, Joanna Wiebe, and has lessons to take you from absolute beginner to copywriting expert.
Books to Read
Your marketing education shouldn't stop once you’ve taken an online course.
The marketing industry is always changing. New tactics, technologies, and techniques come thick and fast. While a course can teach you the foundations, you should also look to other resources to stay updated.
A superb way to do that is through reading marketing books. Experts in the industry write books as a way to share which strategies work and don't work.
You can also get a solid insight into how a company actually does their marketing, making your own education less theoretical and more practical.
Below are some of our favorites:
- 10x Marketing Formula by Garrett Moon: The entire concept of this book is to make big moves that get 10x growth, rather than small, marketing tactics that only improve your results by 10%. It’s a must-read if you’re thinking of doing any type of marketing for a startup.
- This is Marketing by Seth Godin: Authored by one of the most famous marketers, this book is a great starting point for beginners. It covers the basics of marketing: how to connect with the people in which you’re promoting products or services.
- Youtility by Jay Baer: Most marketing resources teach you how to do the actual concept, but this book goes behind the curtain and focuses on one of the most important approaches: being personable. It shows how to make your marketing more user-focused, rather than placing the spotlight on your brand.
- Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy: Known as the “Father of Advertising,” this book, from David Ogilvy, needs to be on your bookshelf if advertising forms part of your marketing strategy. It teaches everything from writing an advert that gets sales to running an advertising agency.
- Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath: Human behavior is the foundation of any marketing campaign. Made to Stick dives into that foundation and explains how to use psychology to get bigger and better results with your marketing strategy.
- Content, Inc. by Joe Pulizzi: Speaking of placing the focus on your customer, this marketing book explains the reader-based side of content marketing. You’ll learn how to find the content your audience actually wants to read and how to write it well.
- Everybody Writes by Ann Handley: Writing is a core part of any marketing campaign; it’s how you communicate online. This book teaches you how to do that, whilst also guiding you through the process of writing good content.
- Nicely Said by Nicole Fenton: Here’s another bookshelf staple, if you want to build on your writing skills. It’s similar to Everybody Writes, but it also includes advice from writers working for companies like Pinterest, Design Mom, and GOV.UK.
- Practical Content Strategy and Marketing by Julia McCoy: Authored by a content marketing pro who grew her own multi-million dollar content agency, this book guides you through creating a marketing strategy, step-by-step. It’s more than just a theory book.
You can teach yourself marketing — even if you don’t have money to invest in an online course or marketing book.
There are blogs that exist purely for marketers to share their own experiences in the hopes of teaching others. In fact, it’s such a popular way to teach and learn marketing, that there are over 2.8 billion Google search results for “marketing blog”.
To save you time scrolling through all of them, we recommend starting with these:
- CoSchedule Blog: That’s right! This blog post you’re reading is part of a library of marketing-related blog posts on the CoSchedule website. We talk about every part of marketing for startup businesses to million dollar brands.
- Convince and Convert: One of the marketing books we’ve already mentioned was written by Jay Baer. That book came to fruition after his marketing blog gained notoriety. It’s a great alternative to the book if you just want to dive into one specific marketing topic.
- Copyblogger: Here’s a great blog to bookmark if you’re thinking of specializing in the content space. Copyblogger covers everything you need to know about researching, planning, writing, and publishing online content.
- Marketing Land: This isn’t necessarily a blog-style website — it’s more of a news site that publishes stories relevant to marketers. It’s a good site to check-in on to stay updated. Bonus: there’s also Search Engine Land, run by the same company, that focuses exclusively on SEO news.
- Post Planner: Post Planner is actually a social media tool, but their website has a ton of useful blog posts that teach small to midsize companies how to do marketing. It’s a great one to read if you’re relatively new to the industry.
- Social Media Examiner: They’re one of the biggest social media blogs because they have tons of contributors sharing advice on what’s worked for them. Social Media Examiner also releases an annual report that shares tons of valuable statistics about the industry and hosts events for social media marketers.
- Orbit Media Studios: Similarly, this is an agency who runs a marketing blog. What’s unique about this marketing blog is that they invest in lots of marketing studies and original research, like this one on blogging trends.
- Siege Media Blog: The team behind Siege Media are smart marketers. They share the results they have for their agency’s clients on their blog. It’s a good source of practical content, based on actual results, like a peek through a marketing agency.
- Really Good Emails: Emails are hard to write because they’re so specific. However, you can get some pointers with this email-focused marketing blog. It’s curated thousands of real-life emails, with a breakdown on why they’re good. It’s a superb resource for anyone looking to write marketing emails.
- iPullRank Blog: Here’s a marketing blog to bookmark for when you start getting in the technical side of marketing. There’s a heavy focus on SEO, but most of the principles can apply to other marketing channels.
- Unbounce: You can have the best marketing tactics in the world, but if nobody is coming to your site, it’s not worth anything. This blog teaches you how to optimize your website, so when people arrive, they don’t exit without converting.
The beauty of the internet is that you’ve got instant access to content you’d otherwise pay thousands of dollars for.
These marketing guides do exactly that. They’re in-depth, written resources that teach you everything you need to know about a specific topic. Similar to an online course, but without the price tag and lesson-style curriculum.
Here are some of our favorite marketing guides to help you get started.
- Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO: Search engine optimization is one of the hardest channels to master because it comes with a bunch of terminology. This guide, authored by the SEO geniuses at Moz, walks you through everything you need to know about SEO.
- CoSchedule’s Agile Marketing Guide: We’ve already touched on the fact that marketing is constantly changing; that’s why there are blogs dedicated solely to marketing news, and they publish almost daily. As a marketer, you need to have flexibility to take advantage of those changes. Our manual to agile marketing guides you through that.
- CoSchedule’s Marketing Strategy Guide: Do you learn best by reading case studies? You’re not alone. Case studies prove that the marketing tactics you read about actually work. We published the marketing strategy guide that got us 434% more page views, 1,222% more email subscribers, and 9,360% more marketing-qualified leads — so yeah, it works.
- Email Marketing 101: Mailchimp is a superb email marketing tool that offers a free plan for you to play with when you’re starting to learn marketing. Combined with this email marketing guide, you’re armed with tons of information and a free tool for you to practice sending marketing emails.
The marketing resources we’ve shared so far are mainly in written form.
If you prefer to learn by watching videos, there are tons of YouTube videos you can browse. They’re regularly updated and easy to watch — making them a superb resource for marketers who want to build their skills and knowledge.
Here are some of our favorite YouTube channels for marketers.
- Ahrefs: Ahrefs have SEO software that has a reasonably high price point for beginners. However, they have a YouTube channel that they fill with tons of high-quality videos about SEO and marketing. They walk you through each topic, step-by-step, so you can follow along.
- Behind the Brand: Ever wanted to go behind the scenes of a business that made their millions through marketing? You can with this YouTube channel. Watch interviews with smart marketers, like Daymond John from Shark Tank, bestselling author Simon Sinek, and singer-songwriter Hayley Williams.
- Eric Siu’s Leveling Up: Owner of one of the biggest marketing agencies, Single Grain, Eric Siu’s YouTube channel has videos for marketers at every stage in their education. He’ll guide you through everything from creating a resume to new marketing hacks in which you can experiment.
- Backlinko With Brian Dean: Brian’s blog has become one of the biggest resources for SEO because he breaks down complex topics into easy-to-digest learning material. His YouTube channel coincides with this.
- Marketing 360: Here’s another great option if you want to build your marketing education. You’ll find short, bite-size videos that teach you marketing fundamentals — without needing hours of your time to invest.
- Jay Baer: He’s grown five, multi-million dollar brands, and this YouTube channel shares the marketing tactics he’s used to do it. There are also interviews with other notable marketers you can dive into.
- Ross Simmonds: Ross is an international speaker who teaches people how to better their marketing. His YouTube channel is an extension of this. You’ll find fun videos that answer some of your biggest marketing questions, like how to create a funnel and when you should hire writers.
Got a 30 minute-long commute? Washing the dishes? Waiting to pick up your kids from school?
Instead of mindlessly listening to the radio and dreaming about what you’ll make for your supper, listening to a podcast is a superb way to slot learning into a busy schedule.
You can find tons of great podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any major podcast platform. They all have varying lengths — from ten minutes up to one hour. You can slot them into any time of your day, and start building your marketing knowledge.
Here are nine great marketing podcasts to get you started:
- Actionable Marketing Podcast: This is the best option if you like intensive, value-packed marketing podcasts. We interview some of the world’s best marketers, including Joanna Weibe, Rand Fishkin, Brian Dean, and Noah Kagan. Grab a notepad before you listen.
- Marketing Over Coffee: If you fancy chatting with a friend about marketing but don’t know anyone in the industry, you’ll love this podcast. It’s hosted by two friends who do what the name suggests: talk about marketing over a cup of coffee. It makes for great, bite-sized listening.
- Copyblogger FM: Copyblogger is a marketing blog we’ve already mentioned. The same team also has a weekly podcast that teaches you every element of content marketing and copywriting; the best stuff from their blog packaged into a podcast.
- Everyone Hates Marketers: Want to start learning marketing, but don’t like shady tactics? Marketing pro, Louis Grenier, has this podcast to talk about the human side of marketing; one that doesn’t feel like you’re using spammy campaigns to get money from people.
- The Growth Show: Think of a brand with a powerful marketing strategy, and I’m sure HubSpot comes to mind. Their VP of Marketing, Meghan Keaney Anderson, hosts this podcast. It shares everything you would want to know about marketing, for small businesses to million dollar brands (like HubSpot).
- Marketing School: One of the most popular marketing podcasts is Marketing School, hosted by Neil Patel and Eric Siu. Both have their own successful agencies. They come together on this podcast to talk about their best tactics. There are already over 1,400 episodes.
- Savvy Social Podcast: Need a marketing podcast that’s exclusively about social media? You’ll love this one. It’s hosted by Andréa Jones, and it shares how to make the most out of social platforms for the business you’re marketing.
- Yeah, That’s Probably an Ad: Similarly, this is a great option if you’re looking to build your advertising knowledge. It’s hosted by media giant, AdWeek, and covers trending topics in the industry. Think of it like a news feed for the advertising and technology industry.
- Goal Digger: Here’s a slightly more niche podcast but worthy of being listed nonetheless. It’s a podcast for female entrepreneurs who need help with their marketing. They cover important topics that’ll help you grow a marketing business rather than just learning the skill.
Email Newsletters About Marketing
You’ll need to learn about email marketing when you’re teaching yourself marketing.
Instead of playing around with them yourself, you can subscribe to other marketers’ newsletters. This offers two benefits:
- You can get their best advice that they don’t typically share elsewhere.
- You’ll see what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a good marketing email.
Concerned about which newsletters you’re inviting to land in your inbox? You don’t want to see thousands of emails or spam messages every week.
We recommend starting with these newsletters:
- Sunday Dispatches: Paul Jarvis has a unique way of marketing. He doesn’t believe in aggressive, in-your-face marketing that’s obviously trying to sell something. Instead, he prioritizes building relationships and shares his experiences in his weekly newsletter, "Sunday Dispatches".
- Work Brighter: Similarly, Brittany Berger doesn’t stand for the “hustle” mentality that most marketers have— burning them out. The "Work Brighter" newsletter teaches marketers how to work smarter, not harder.
- The Daily Carnage: Need an easy way to find new marketing news? Searching Google every morning or subscribing to hundreds of newsletters probably isn’t the best use of your time. This newsletter compiles the best marketing news and delivers it to your inbox every morning.
- Total Annarchy: Ann Handley, the author of Everybody Writes, also sends a weekly newsletter. You’ll find great tips on how to become a better writer, which has a huge impact on your marketing work. The best part: the entire history of Total Annarchy is available to read now.
- Sketchalytics: Don’t like reading or watching videos? This newsletter will be right up your street. Every week, you’ll get a mini lesson on marketing in the form of a sketch. It’s a must-have for anyone learning marketing who identifies as a visual learner.
- Convince & Convert: Over 75,000 marketers are subscribed to this newsletter for a reason. It covers everything from content marketing to social media; reading it is a great way to start building your marketing knowledge.
Start Building Your Marketing Knowledge
Ready to start teaching yourself marketing?
While this resource guide is a superb starting point, it’s incomplete. There are thousands of resources you can use to build your marketing education. It proves there are countless free and low-cost resources for you to choose from, for any learning style.
The internet is your oyster when it comes to learning marketing.
Not sure where to start? If you're ready to start generating better results from your marketing, you can learn new marketing skills in 30 minutes (or less) with the Actionable Marketing Institute. Check out the entire course catalog to jumpstart your education with strategies, tactics, & templates you can implement from day 1.
August 3, 2020