How To Watch Premium Skillshare Courses For Free

Discover several ways to watch premium Skillshare courses for free…

Watch the video version of this blog post here…

Skillshare: how to watch for free

I’ve been teaching on Skillshare for over a year, and run two of the most popular Skillshare-dedicated Facebook Groups, one for promotion of Skillshare classes using free access links and one for Skillshare-related discussions.

One question which sometimes comes up is, “how can I watch premium Skillshare courses for free“?

I’ve decided to tackle that question in this blog post. 🙂

First, let’s get some basic terminology sorted out.

There are “100% free” classes on Skillshare, which you only need a free account to watch. Roughly 10% of Skillshare’s catalogue are “100% free” classes, which means about 1,600 of the total 16,000 classes will be “100% free” to watch with a free account.

The remaining 90% are “premium” classes which usually require a premium membership to watch. Teachers only get paid for premium members watching their premium classes, which is why most of the Skillshare catalogue is premium. While it’s not as easy to watch premium classes for free, there are several ways to do it!

 

Look for “free access links”

Free access links are also known as free enrollment links and free coupons. For every premium course, the teacher has the option to create free access links and give them away. If you can get one of these links, you can watch a premium course with your free account.
Why would teachers give away free access to a premium course? Well, there are a few different reasons, but mainly it’s to build awareness of their content on Skillshare. To be successful on the platform, it’s necessary to build a “following” of people who want to know about your courses. One way to build that following is to offer free access to your class. If the person taking the class likes it enough, they may take a free trial of premium. Referring people to the premium free trial earns the teacher a $10 bounty, but also means that teacher will have someone likely to take their future premium classes.

Here’s an example of us offering free access to one of our premium Skillshare classes… (if you want to access the class, click here)

The best place to find fresh, free access links is probably our dedicated Skillshare promotional group on Facebook.

(There are other similar groups on Facebook, but most accept both Skillshare and Udemy free coupons. You’ll need to check before clicking the link that it leads to Skillshare if that’s the link you want).

If you want free access to a specific class, it may be worthwhile trying to contact the teacher online, via social media or their own website to get a link. If the teacher doesn’t know how to create a free link, send them to this page where we explain how to create a free link for a premium class. 🙂

Take up Skillshare’s offer of a “free trial of premium”

A premium trial lasts for two months and will unlock all 16,000 classes on the platform. While this is an easy way to access all classes, it’s not possible if you don’t have a credit card because the free trial requires you to input your card details. Note, unless you cancel your membership within the two months, you will be charged after the trial expires. To start a free trial and access all 16,000 Skillshare courses for 2-months, including all of ours, click here.

Look for “contests” and “challenges” run by Skillshare

Some of Skillshare’s contest offer a year of premium as a prize. In the past, qualifying for a year of premium was as simple as signing up for a free account and creating a class. Nowadays there are more restrictions, such as referring a premium member and getting your class watched for a specific number of premium minutes. However, as long as you track the requirements and complete them, this is a great way to get a whole year of premium membership for free.

Here’s where you can check the current contest and challenges.

Become a “Teacher’s Assistant”

If you’re willing to put in time and be helpful on the Skillshare website, you could apply to be a “Teacher’s Assistant”. The “TA” program at Skillshare comes with a complimentary premium membership.

“As a Skillshare TA, you’ll partner with Skillshare’s Community team to help make Skillshare the most engaging and rewarding place to learn. In exchange, you’ll get a free Premium Membership, special recognition as a TA, and first access to all the cool new things happening here at Skillshare.”

Here’s where you can apply to be a TA.

Grab a scholarship

Another option to access premium Skillshare classes for free, or at a reduced price, is to take advantage of the scholarships Skillshare offer. At the moment, there are three types of scholarships available.

The first is a pool of $100,000-worth of premium scholarships available in conjunction with Mailchimp, which presumably means Skillshare and Mailchimp together are offering 1,000 year-long premium accounts.

Eligibility:
– A small business owner, working at a small business or as a solopreneur. A small business is defined as having between 2 and 150 employees.
– First-time Skillshare premium member (you have never purchased a premium Skillshare membership before)
– 13 years of age or older
– Create a Skillshare account (email address only)

(apply)

The second is a student scholarship with a 50% price reduction.

“To celebrate 500,000 class enrollments, Skillshare is offering $500,000 in Scholarships to eligible students around the world.”

Eligibility:

Scholarships will be given out based on financial need and potential for making a creative impact on the world. Eligible students will receive a 50% discount on a year of Premium Membership with unlimited video access. Scholarships are awarded on the 1st of each month, and selected applicants will be notified via email.

(apply)

The third is a 1-year premium membership scholarship donated to students in need on a 1-for-1 basis.

“For every annual Premium Membership purchased, one is donated to students in need. If our Premium Membership is out of reach, apply for a one year scholarship.”

Eligibility:

– 13 years of age or older
– Create a Skillshare account (email address only)
– Needs financial assistance

(apply)

 

Summary

So there you go… that’s quite a few ways to watch either individual premium courses on Skillshare for free, or to get access to the whole 16,000+ database of Skillshare courses for a period of time. These methods are all totally legitimate and within Skillshare’s Terms of Service. We teach on Skillshare and do not condone any attempts to watch premium Skillshare content without the permission of the content creator and the Skillshare platform.

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