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Why I Started Paying For Tutorials

The Internet. Have you heard of it? This massive collection of data with the ability to interact with people all over the globe has led to political uprisings, online banking, and Gangnam Style. With access to information on any subject it has allowed users to learn new skills that has given them new options in a tough economy or just helped in a current job. YouTube is the main place for learning with it's endless stream of tutorials on any subject for any skill level all with an entry fee of $0.

While I use YouTube almost daily to remember how to do some specific effect for a graphics project, for long form learning I have abandoned the free model and have started paying to learn new skills.

In the past month I’ve spent over $100 to purchase books and tutorial series just so I can start to learn new software, specifically Cinema 4D and Adobe Speedgrade. Is $100 a substantial amount of money that is going to ruin my finances? No, but it can certainly add up if I continue to do this multiple months a year. 

But, that doesn't stop me from entering my payment information because the benefits of dedicating myself to learning these tools will allow me to be more competitive when looking for jobs and, more importantly, make my videos that much better. With those obviously benefits out of the way there are two other main reasons why I'm going to continue paying for knowledge.

Time is a huge factor in this decision. When I'm trying to hustle and learn these new skills outside my everyday 8-5 I need to be able to sit down and just go. So the ability to flip right to the last page I was on or open up the next module saves me the hassle of tracking down the next video that hopefully will be the next logical step in the learning process.

But, the biggest benefit for paying for lessons has been the inclusion of assets to use while following along with lessons. The inclusion of full HD footage that comes with the Speedgrade series from Mixing Light is a huge boost to the learning process because it gives me high quality footage to work with and saves me from either using small, low-grade files or from having to take the time (there's that word again) to go shoot footage of my own just to learn the basics of Speedgrade.

Will I ever stop learning from the great resource that is YouTube. Not a chance. But when it comes to in-depth study of new software I will gladly spend the money to gain a new skill.

Have you ever paid money for a tutorial series online? What was your experience like?