The best way to learn online marketing

TL;DR: As far as I suggest, you should learn online marketing by practicing, not by attending classes.

There are two ways of learning programming:

  • Studying for 4 years in a College and then practicing somewhere.
  • Learning by doing. You get a problem, you learn how to solve it, and you increase, step-by-step, the difficulty of programming.

If you’re 18, I think it’s a good idea to learn programming by going to a college. If you’re 30, and want to work full-time, though, I think the former option is the better one. You’ll not be as great a programmer in the beginning, but you’ll learn on the fly.

How does this translate into online marketing? I would suggest someone who wants to learn online marketing and is over 25 and has a job not to focus so much on classes, but to learn hands-on.

There are plenty of businesses who have no online presence. You could go to them, give them a minimum budget, just to cover basic expenses, and have them buy a domain name and hosting. Then, it’s your job to make it shine.

Work on making this first project a successful one.

Then, for the second project, use the first one as a benchmark and ask for some money.

Keep doing this until you get good at it.

The thing with the above solution is that you’ll need to read & learn a lot. There are lots of materials online, for pretty much every aspect of online marketing. You’ll get better at detecting good from bad stuff online, but, at least at the beginning, focus on quantity, not on quality. Even after the first project is done, don’t stop reading.

How about classes? It’s good to go to some conferences / seminars / workshops, just to have an idea on how you compare in terms of knowledge to other people. But don’t use this as a primary solution of learning. Most of the participants to a class will never apply what they learn in there. You should use a reverse strategy – start from applying, and read about that, then apply more, and read more. Repeat the process until you know it well. Otherwise, if it’s just theory, you’ll not learn so well.

Programming is different than online marketing. In programming, things are theoretical, and abstracts, and about algorithms. In online marketing there’s much more than an algorithm. For this, learning on a class is good, but learning-by-doing is better. Much less theory, much more practice.

Kristina Alexanderson - Have you grown?, https://flic.kr/p/bX7d7N
Kristina Alexanderson – Have you grown?, https://flic.kr/p/bX7d7N

PS 2015.09.20: Also see: How To Become A Full Stack Marketer — Medium

PS 2015.09.26: If you want to take some classes, still, these are some good resources:

Free courses

Paid Courses

A more up-to-date list: Evenimente legate de online marketing – Lumea SEO PPC – Ca între prieteni și profesioniști.

PS, 2016.02.28: Why marketing today takes courage


Note: Also see the Yahoo! Group on which I present similar issues:IMRo. To join, email imro-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and reply to the confirmation email.

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

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