Why does everyone think that it is possible to make money without investing a cent? Can I tell you a secret? I’ve spent tons of money on courses, conferences, and education. And it’s not only because I love learning new things (I guess I could have stayed at school my whole life). It’s also because I want to learn them comprehensively, in the right order and as fast as possible.

Now, I don’t want you to think that I was loaded when I started studying. It was quite the opposite actually. I could make ends meet, but not much more. So why not learn new skills for free? On YouTube, for instance? Nowadays, you have almost everything you want without having to pay, right? Just google “how to…” and you’ll find it.

This post may contain affiliate links with NO cost to you.

When is it OK to learn for free?

  • It’s no doubt that if what you need is just a quick answer to an easy question like “how to eat sushi with sticks”, a simple online video will help you. No need to pay a cent there!
  • When you have experience in a field and want to learn new concepts, consuming in-depth books, blog posts or podcasts created by experts could be enough. You already know what they’re talking about, and if you can’t follow, you’ll most likely know where to look for answers.
  • When you’re not very sure about starting a new career. In this case, I do recommend you to think it twice before paying a high fee for a course that you may regret having joined later on. I personally like visiting a free workshop or webinar created by the same people who are offering the paid course I’m interested in.
    • For example, if you’re on the fence about becoming a blogger, you could take the free Build Your Blog Bootcamp offered by Elite Blog Academy once a year.
    • If you decide that blogging isn’t for you after taking the bootcamp, you won’t have committed to anything. 
    • If the bootcamp, the teacher (Ruth Soukup) and her class style convince you, you’ll already have a blog up and running. Elite Blog Academy will show you how to make a business (and money!) out of your blog πŸ˜‰

When isn’t it a good idea to consume only free stuff?

However, there are several reasons why I’d rather pay for a GOOD course or product than search online to get ALMOST the same info for free:

  1. When you’re starting out in a new field. You may find everything online, but not in the right order – or in any order at all.
    • This will lead you to look for answers to the questions that will arise when you start watching a free video.
    • So you keep on looking for free videos which offer you the answer you need.
    • That can go on indefinitely. So you may have to search way longer than you initially thought to make sense of all the info you’re discovering.
  2. You may find WHAT to do – even in the right order -, but not HOW to do it.
    • Most online marketers will offer you a free course as a bait to buy something else. 
    • And that’s the perfect way for you to get to know their stuff before buying something more expensive. That’s what you also get when you download a free sample of a book in Amazon, right? You read the first pages and decide if you want to keep on reading.
    • I’ve learned lots of stuff for free with podcasts like Amy Porterfield’s or Pat Flynn’s. They offer incredibly good and comprehensive episodes – but they’re about skills I’m already trained in, so it might feel easier to follow.
    • The problem with this technique? That some “teachers” don’t really take the time to make a good free product. They just want your contact details to try and sell you their programs. And that’s OK – You don’t have to buy anything that you don’t want, right? But there goes your time! 
  3. If you need any kind of tools or software, please go with the professional ones. What you think you’re saving may let you look unprofessional to potential customers.

In the end, you may find that you’ve been desperately trying to save money, and the only thing you’ve got is less time. Time you’ve spent searching for answers to neverending questions. Or time you’ve spent trying to figure out how that free tool works. And time is money, you know that, right?


PS. Are you born to freelance?

Do I have to invest money to make money? With so much free stuff online, when does it make sense to pay for digital products? Is it always free to learn for free? #freelancerlife #learningmode #digitalcourses #borntofreelance