Thursday, May 25th, 2017

How I Joined Skillshare and Learned Cool New Skills on the Cheap

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The following branded content post is brought to you by Skillshare, a site that I tried out and like a lot. They’re a great site for learning and offered two free months for AK readers (click to redeem two months of Skillshare Premium here), so I was delighted to share this with you!

I love to learn new things. Scratch that — I crave learning new things, whether it’s how to write a new poetry form, how to cook a new dish, or how to do a perfect deadlift.

And while I scratch my learning itch largely by reading, it’s not enough. I’ve been wanting to take some courses lately, and Skillshare has been the perfect introduction into learning more.

Introducing Skillshare

Skillshare is a website filled with more than 15,000 courses. They are taught by video.

Skillshare members can take as many courses as they’d like — and even create a course of their own.

What kinds of courses are there?

Tons — there are more than 15,000 courses altogether. They are courses from complete beginners to hobbyists, professionals, and even advanced courses for experts looking to grow their skill set.

What kinds of classes are there? To start, they have tech classes on mobile development (“How to Make Apps with No Programming Experience”) and game design (“How to Create Pixel Art for Games”).

In the lifestyle section, there are courses on cooking (“How to Make French Macarons”), and design (“Modern Flowers: How to Design a Stunning Centerpiece”).

In the business section, there are courses on marketing (“How to Create Engaging Social Media Content”), freelancing (“How to Start a Shopify Business”), and sales (“How to Create a Sales Funnel That Converts”).

Most popular, however, is the creative section, where there are courses on everything from video production (“How to Shoot With Your iPhone and Edit Like a Pro”) to art (“How to Create Modern Watercolor Florals”) and UI/UX Design (“UI Design in Photoshop From Scratch”).

This is by no means an exhaustive list — these classes are just the beginning of what Skillshare has to offer.

How much does it cost?

Premium Skillshare plans start at $10 per month billed annually or $15 per month month-to-month — much cheaper than I expected. It doesn’t cost much more than Netflix.

However, Adventurous Kate readers can get two months of Skillshare Premium for free through this link.

My Skillshare Experience — Three Different Classes

I decided to try out three very different classes to give me an idea of how everything worked.

Course #1: Humor Writing: Write Funny for the Internet by Mike Lacher

I’ve been wanting to take a comedy writing classes for a long time, but I haven’t wanted to make the time and financial investment right now. This course, taught by a McSweeney’s author, was a fabulous introduction to writing for comedy, using his experience to outline the steps that make your writing funnier and more entertaining.

So much of humor writing is by instinct, but a lot of it can be mapped out by releasing tension almost mathematically. (Most famous was Steve Martin, where he decided to create routines where no tension was released. People hated it.)

Course #2: How to Create a Morning Routine by Derek Franklin

This course, while technically on video, is more of an audio/podcast-type course. For that reason, you could listen to it while cooking or cleaning (which is when I usually listen to podcasts). This is a simple but effective course on steps you can take to create a better morning — something I could definitely stand to do!

More than anything, this course taught me that if you’re starting your routine in the morning, you’re already too late — you will be so much more productive if you plan your morning the night before!

Course #3: Going Pro with Street Photography by trashhand

I love photography, but I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately and wanted to learn new techniques. This course is outstanding for any kind of lifestyle Instagrammer who appears in his or her own photos, and that goes for travel bloggers as well. This course is a detailed way of setting up editorial shoots that work well with your location and create great results for both you and whatever brand you’re working with.

I always lean away from getting photos of myself, unless I’m traveling with a photographer, but after this course, I’m going to work harder on getting those shots.

The Takeaway

I’ll be honest — I’m surprised by how rich the course selection is and the fact that you can learn about so many different kinds of areas with a low risk factor. If you’re interested in drawing, for example, it’s nice that you can try out a drawing class through Skillshare without investing hundreds of dollars up front.

I also appreciated that you can listen to the courses at up to 1.5x the speed, which cuts down on time and works well if you’re paying attention.

Overall, I think Skillshare provides excellent value for money. Which leads me to my next point:

Get Two Months of Skillshare for Free

Want to try it out? I’m giving away two free months of Skillshare to Adventurous Kate readers!

You can access the two free months promotion here.

Should you try it? It’s free! Why not? And you never know. This could be the beginning of a career change or the start of a lifelong learning project.

What kind of course have you been wanting to take?

Comments

11 Responses to “How I Joined Skillshare and Learned Cool New Skills on the Cheap”
  1. I love Skillshare and have been addicted for awhile now. The only problem is that I often find myself using it as an excuse to procrastinate! “Oh, I don’t have to work on my screenplay because it’s *really* important that I do the next lesson in my 30-day guitar course or learn the intricacies of pattern design.” Ha! Sometimes it’s just therapeutic to watch the drawers draw… even if I don’t actually do it myself. Anyway, total up-vote. I use Skillshare in lieu of retail therapy — it makes me happy.

  2. This sounds really good! I might have to give it a go. 🙂 Knowing me, I’ll end up learning some reeeeeally random stuff, haha.

  3. Connie says:

    This looks great, but how do you know that the teachers are actually qualified to teach their subject? I tried looking at the website’s ‘become a teacher’ section to see if I could gain more insight, but it looks like you have to have an account to see that information. After you took the courses, did you share what you learned with anyone who you know is skilled and qualified in those areas?

    • There’s no barrier to entry, so it ends up being a similar atmosphere to blogging — there are some people amazing at it and some people who aren’t as much of experts as they should be. However, I noticed that you can easily see how many people have taken the course and how high they’ve rated it, which is a pretty good indication. And if people are experts, they let it be known. One example: Rand Fishkin does a course on SEO, and he’s one of the top authorities in the field.

  4. I just came across your traveling blog – you seem to have visited and seen so many places!

  5. Nancy says:

    It’s a very good website, I started using it myself a couple of years ago and I’ve leant a lot about photography 😉

  6. Wanjiku says:

    I think I can try Skillshare for social media management and photography. Does the $10 monthly allow me to select several courses or there is a limit?

  7. Sarah says:

    I’m so addicted to Skillshare its brilliant! The best course I’ve done is one for underwater photography – I love to scuba dive and I have a housing for my DSLR but the course on Skillshare has improved my pictures no end!

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