Spring is a perfect time to check in on all the career goals we set for the year and revisit where we can push ourselves. My 2018 bucket list included a laundry list of skills I wanted to improve on, but I didn’t quite know where to start. Looking for a little fresh inspiration on the freelancing front, I was excited to have the opportunity to take a few courses through Skillshare that helped reboot my side hustle! They have thousands of online classes across various business and creative topics, perfect for anyone looking to brush up on or gain valuable skills.
Writing is my wheelhouse, so I was looking to improve all of the other creative and social media elements of the business. I decided to tackle four major areas that I thought could improve my freelance work as a writer and content creator — photography, blog imagery, entrepreneurial finance, and SEO tactics.
And for a limited time, Skillshare is offering Everygirl readers their first two months of unlimited classes completely free! Skillshare currently offers over 20,000 courses on everything from technology to more creative pursuits like graphic design and writing, so there’s definitely something for a side hustler in every industry. Just click here to redeem your two free months.
I ended up working through hours of amazing course content, and these four rose to the top! Here are the classes that added incredible value to my side hustle.
Mobile Photography Basics for Instagram Success
Length: 30 minutes
Staging my avocado toast for the perfect Insta shot breaks me out in hives, but I would love to add a little panache to my feed. I also know that it’s probably outside of my business plan to haul around photography gear, so I really wanted to learn some easy tricks for editing and better photo composition. I was so excited to see this quick 30-minute iPhone photography class taught by renowned photographer Tyson Wheatley. He strolls around Brooklyn taking shots using just his phone, all the while giving you ideas about lighting and his favorite editing apps. My mid-afternoon coffee walk just got a whole lot more beautiful. A few highlighting tweaks and some artful cropping made my average walk home Insta-worthy!
Introduction to SEO Tactics and Strategy for Entrepreneurs
Length: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Thanks to a teacher with 10 years of experience in SEO (search engine optimization for those who don’t know) and a background in coding, I quickly got up to speed on SEO essentials. This class teed up courses on more advanced SEO strategies, and hearing from various instructors on the same topic really reinforced the key points! I immediately put into action a few basic tips for building out the text on the landing page of my own site. (My best takeaway: Too little info on a page can make a search engine think you’re keyword stuffing!) SEO was an area that I thought I’d have to spend hours at and get really technically adept to understand, but not so! Things like improving page rankings by more thoughtfully leveraging links to other sites were some of the easy-to-understand tips that I’ll be working through on my blog’s spring refresh.
Canva for Entrepreneurs, Create a Blog Title Graphic
Length: 22 minutes
This really simple blog graphics class is a freelance game changer! A once tragic afternoon with Photoshop made me swear off attempting any of my own design elements, but a girl can’t get far in the online world with that mentality. In about 20 minutes, I found myself whipping up all kinds of blog elements and a visually stunning resume via free design software platform, Canva. I was really surprised to find that creating visual content actually inspired me to think about new stories I could craft for clients and my own blog! We all know that a major part of a successful online presence is professional, consistent branding and I’m now well-equipped to create some really beautiful design content and have a list of new writing prompts.
The Freelancing Guide to Managing Your Finances
Length: 30 minutes
Since finance is my 9-5, I was excited to hear some new tips on managing money from a side hustle. Faye’s approach of sharing lessons she’s learned over her 10-year freelance career made it feel like you were catching up with a friend who just happens to really know her stuff. Her class also walks you through the wildly useful project of creating a quoting template so you know exactly how to price your services. Most of Skillshare’s courses take a project-based learning style so you’re not just sitting idly in front of a video! Working through a problem or project specific to your interest really makes the lesson stick.
Skillshare Makes Learning a Habit
Even if we’re committed to lifelong learning, it can be hard to carve out time and resources to truly master a new skill. Skillshare makes taking classes easy. I had plenty of classes to choose from, and after a few weeks, the platform got amazing at suggesting other courses based on what I’d previously taken. (Pretty cool to be a business of one and feel like you have your own personal Chief Training Officer!) Skillshare also offers a user-friendly app to save and complete classes on the go, which made it easy to swap in a class for my usual podcast-heavy commute.
It was awesome to have a one-stop shop of a learning platform that offered courses on the very diverse range of my interests. Between creative additions to my side hustle (and even sneaking in a few nerdy Excel courses for the day job), these resources made me feel like I could realistically tackle my 2018 learning goals.
Do you have new career (or personal) skills you’d love to master? Skillshare is offering Everygirls TWO FREE months for a limited time. Just click here to begin and start learning today!
This post was in partnership with Skillshare, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.