5 websites that will make you a better freelancer

Our guide to the best online resources to polish your freelancing skills
Are you a freelancer, looking to sharpen your skills? Or are you tempted to diversify your work in an exciting new area? Maybe you're thinking of going freelance, but you doubt you have the right skills for it? You know the Internet has a lot of resources, but you're wondering where to find the best ones for your needs? We've prepared a few suggestions.

1. Udemy

Best for: everyone looking to learn or improve specific skills or ability with software

Udemy is the largest e-learning platform right now. It offers a variety of courses in categories like finance, web development, health, and fitness: from 3D modeling and personal branding to dog training and poker, you can find a course to suit your needs. Courses range from 1 to 10 hours in length, they have ratings and feedback, so you can trust the community to guide you to the best.

After completing a course you get a certificate to add to your portfolio or website. Courses also offer free previews and sample chapters, so you can have a taste before you buy. There are a few free courses on Udemy, but the majority of courses are around €10-€20, and since you have to buy each one individually, your shopping cart might get a bit eye-watering (Udemy sells its courses at higher prices, but there are constantly sales on - look around to make sure you're getting the best price). A downside to Udemy is that it allows everyone to teach a course, which makes the quality of some materials questionable, so always check ratings and samples before investing in a course.

2. Skillshare

Best for: those who want to explore a variety of creative and technical subjects

Imagine Netflix but for learning. Skillshare is a bit like that.

For the price of €16 per month (or €96 annually), you get access to 30,000 courses on a wide range of topics. Courses tend to be shorter (around the hour mark and below) and some have great production value, like Skillshare's own courses for example. Like Udemy, instructors can be hit or miss, but with Skillshare you can just click away to a different course if you're unsatisfied.

It offers a seven-day free trial (or 30 days if you find an affiliate link online), so you can try it out first. A downside is that it does not offer certificates when you finish a course. Also, its approach to bite-sized learning can disappoint those who are looking for more in-depth learning.

3. Linkedin Learning

Best for: Freelancers looking to learn and strengthen their Linkedin profile

Like Skillshare, Linkedin Learning (formerly Lynda.com) offers a staggering number of courses, but with a focus on business and managerial topics. As it is integrated with Linkedin, the certificate you get after finishing a course can be displayed on your profile. If you're looking to give your Linkedin some extra shine, this is the right place.

Its standard of teachers is also higher than Skillshare, so the quality of the courses are usually better. Teachers' LinkedIn profiles are attached to the course, so you verify their experience. On the down side, the price of the membership is steeper - €30 per month, or €240 annually.

4. Coursera

Best for: people who want more in-depth learning, and are happy to pay for it

Coursera allows you to browse around 4,000 courses from world-renowned universities. As the courses are taught by professional lecturers, their quality is less under question than in other platforms. The experience they offer is much closer to a standard university course with a set start and end date, and formal assessments - this offers the option to ask questions and interact with the tutors, which isn't available with on-demand services.

You can apply to get an official specialization or degree with them, but the prices can quickly escalate – from around €50 for a single course to thousands of euros for an official degree. On the bright side, most courses can be audited for free, which gives you access to the study materials to look at in your own time.

If you're looking for alternatives, Future Learn and Open Learn offer a lot more free content.

5. YouTube

Best for: those who want quick access to an endless amount of educational content

From its inception, YouTube has offered tutorials for various tasks, and its use for education has only been growing. Yes, there is a lot of untrustworthy content on it, and it does not offer official certificates unlike other websites, but when it comes to the abundance of topics it covers free of charge, nothing comes close. You can watch a full Photoshop course, then jump to someone teaching a specific tool or function immediately. University lectures, insightful expert talks, overviews of every non-fiction book you can think of, and much more - it's all available on YouTube.

If you're looking for a place to start, our YouTube channel has some brilliant talks on freelancing. Also, Futur offers great talks and workshops for business and personal development, Marie Forleo gives great advice on marketing, while TED-x and Mindvalley Talks will provide hours of brain food for you.
Recommended courses for freelancers
1. Going Freelance: Building and Branding Your Own Success

If you're wondering how to start freelancing (and you've already seen our article on it), this is a great starting point. You'll learn why now is the best time to go freelance, how to pick the right niche, how to market yourself and get clients. A great way to test the waters.

2. How to Sell Your Digital Skills

Building on the previous course, this one offers a more in-depth look at freelancing. It will let you explore different options for doing freelance work, give you a roadmap to follow, and cover the basics of working with clients. If you're only taking one course, make it this one.

3. Productivity for Creatives: Turning Ideas into Action

If you're finding it hard to begin and finish creative projects, Tanner Christensen (a former Facebook designer) will give you tips and tricks for moving through writer's block and resistance, and how to start a daily ritual that will make creating feel effortless.

4. Introduction to Time Management

A free course that will give you the boost you need to allocate and manage your time. It will offer tips and strategies to deal with the most common types of procrastination, making an effective to-do list, and improving your focus.

5. Writing for Brands: Freelancing in the Age of Content Marketing

In this short class, you will learn how to market yourself as a content writer and to approach brands with your work. Your research, writing, and pitching skills are crucial for a variety of freelance disciplines, and improving them will make you stand out.

We hope we've given you plenty of material to go over so you can fill those gaps in your knowledge. Know of any amazing resources we've missed? Feel free to share them with us!
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