Best 8 Online Platforms And Services To Try For Free Under Quarantine 

Like millions of people worldwide, you may have found yourself self-isolated because of the Coronavirus pandemic. By now you have probably tried every possible way to battle boredom: from binge-watching your favorite Netflix series and catching up on your reading list, to spending way too much time on social media. But since no one knows how much longer we will all be stuck at home, it might be a good idea to reduce social media consumption, turn off the TV, get out of your pajamas, and start treating this period of self-isolation as an opportunity to grow personally and professionally. It is a perfect time to learn new skills, grow your business, focus on your fitness, or pick up a hobby. We live in uncertain times, but that doesn't mean that you can't take control of your life and become a better version of yourself. Today, we want to share some of the best online platforms and services that can help you achieve your goals.

1. Skillshare

Skillshare is one of the most popular learning platforms on the Internet. It offers thousands of courses that are divided into three categories: Creative (Animation, Creative Writing, Film & Video, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Music, Photography, UI/UX Design, Web Development), Build (Business Analytics, Freelance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Management, Marketing), and Thrive (Lifestyle, Productivity). You can learn a wide array of practical skills from cooking and singing, to web design and accounting. Skillshare membership costs $15 a month and includes unlimited access to all classes. The annual membership costs $99 (which makes it only $8.25 a month!). Right now, you can also sign up for a 1-month free trial and enjoy all the benefits of premium membership, including full access to thousands of high-quality classes and workshops. You can take classes at any time as there is no designated schedule. Skillshare courses are not accredited, which means that you won't get any certificate after you take a class. However, Skillshare is an amazing platform for learning new skills and gaining practical knowledge. Even though the majority of classes on Skillshare are truly great, there are some that have a poor structure. That is why we suggest that you read the reviews from previous students before taking any course.

2. Audible

Chances are, you have heard of Audible before. But for those of you who are not familiar with this service, we will explain what it is and how it works. Basically, Audible is an audiobook subscription service that has the world's largest audiobook library with more than 450,000 titles. What makes Audible unique is that you actually own all the books you download, and they are yours to keep even if you decide to cancel your subscription. Audible offers different subscription plans. The Gold Monthly plan costs $14,95 a month ($149,5 per year), and the Platinum Monthly plan is $22,95 a month ($229,50 per year). For that price you get 1 or 2 audiobooks each month and 2 Audible Originals of your choice as a bonus. Audible also has a 30-day free trial that includes 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals. It is a great way to try out the platform and see whether you like it or not. Right now, Audible made thousands of children's books free for kids who are staying at home during the quarantine. 

3. Scribd (Everand)

Since we just talked about Audible, it would be logical to also include another similar service to this list called Scribd. Although these two platforms are often compared with each other, their business models are quite different. Scribd has a Netflix-style approach: for a monthly fee of $8,99, Scribd users gain access to the whole library that contains not only audiobooks, but also e-books, magazines, sheet music, and more. However, unlike Audible, Scribd members can only borrow books, they don't own them and can't keep copies after they cancel their subscription. Scribd membership also includes access to Scribd Perks, a selection of excellent services, such as MUBI and FarFaria. Scribd offers a 1-month free trial for anyone who wants to try the service out.

4. Babbel

There are several superb subscription-based language-learning platforms on the Internet, and Babbel is definitely one of the best ones. Babbel app offers 14 language courses including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and English, all built by language experts, linguists, and teachers. Babbel has courses for all skill levels, from beginners to proficient learners. The cost of Babbel membership depends on the subscription plan you choose, starting as low as $6,95 a month. You can also take the first lesson in every course for free. Babbel lessons take around 10-15 minutes each, which makes them perfect for learning on-the-go. Babbel is a great platform for those who want to learn to have a conversation in a foreign language quickly.

5. Fiverr

Looking for ways to earn some extra money during quarantine? Then you can check out one of the marketplaces for digital services. Our favorite one is Fiverr which boasts over 3 million gigs. Fiverr is an online platform for freelancers where you can purchase or sell services. In the past, each gig cost just $5, but since the platform has dramatically expanded over the last few years, the $5 limit was removed and now there are gigs that cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Article writing and voice-over services are always in high demand, so that is something that you might want to look into. And if you are a business owner, you can use Fiverr to effectively outsource some tasks to grow your business. Make sure you always read seller's reviews before placing your order though because there are a lot of low-quality gigs on Fiverr. 

Fiverr also has an educational platform called Fiverr Learn that offers online professional courses taught by industry leaders. The courses are divided into several topics: Design & Branding, Adobe CC, Digital Marketing, Storytelling & Voice Over, Web & SEO, and Programs. In our opinion, this is another great chance to upskill yourself.

6. Storyblocks

Whether you are a content creator who wants to grow his business, or you just completed one of Skillshare's Video Editing classes and can't wait to apply your new skills, then you might want to take a look at Storyblocks, a popular royalty-free video, audio, and images stock service. Storyblocks membership includes an unlimited number of downloads per month. You can use all the files you download for your personal and professional projects even after your subscription expires. Storyblocks does not offer free trial anymore, but there are different subscription plans starting at only $8,25 a month. Storyblocks can save you a ton of time (and money!) and really take your video editing to a new level.

7. Airbnb

Travel might be the last thing on your mind during this period, but it is actually a really good time to start planning your next vacation. The prices for accommodation are very low right now and you can get a really great deal. None of us know, how long this whole situation will last, and even if you are not ready to book anything yet, you can still browse through Airbnb and add any listings you like to your "Favorites" folder. Airbnb offers accommodation in over 220 countries and regions, and the prices are often lower than in hotels. Plus, if you haven't used Airbnb before, you can sign up here to get $50 off the first booking.

8. Amazon Prime Video

Okay, we get it, there are days when you are not in the mood to learn and create, and just want to chill on the couch and watch something good. Have you tried Amazon Prime Video yet? If not, now it is the time to do it. Amazon Prime Video is a video streaming service that offers access to a huge library of TV shows and movies including Amazon Original Movies and Prime Original series such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Boys (and if you haven't seen any of these series yet, drop whatever you are doing and go watch them right now. You can thank us later). Amazon Prime Video comes with a 30-day free trial and after that, it costs 8,99 a month.

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