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Module 03:

Lesson 3: Find quality sources

Emotion is the enemy of rationality.

And online, your emotions are tested to the extreme.

Before going online to dig for useful content, remember this: people are after your attention. You need to enter the world wide web with caution. In one way or another, all creators online, all sites, all “oh, I’m so cool and you’re not” Instagram models want you to stay on their profiles for as long as possible.

But if you allocate most of your time watching them, you’re not improving yourself. You’re helping others make money while you’re indebting yourself further.

So, be sure to welcome only quality sources of information in your life. Such that can be helpful for you, not the other way around.

Now, once we have a clean slate and you’re warned, we can safely open our browser tab and search for content that will help you achieve your goal.

Note: Remember, for context, my goal in this course will be to become a programmer, yours will be something different. Simply replace coding with what you want to learn.

Naturally, to find useful sources of information we’ll head over to Google. Of course, you can use your preferred search engine but from experience, I found that Google brings the best results.(1)

The first thing I’ll do is search for something broad. Something like this “best coding sites for beginners”.

search online

In the case of coding, when I type the above, I’m directed to an article listing 12 sites that promise to “Teach You Coding at a Low Cost, Even Free”.(2)

When I open the article, I’m presented with a couple of websites that offer courses.

Taking online courses is a great way to learn coding. Is a great way to learn anything.

But what if I don’t want to pay for this? Yes, the platforms presented in this particular article offer freemium options but I want alternatives.

I want to find a blog that will teach me how to code. A personal website created by someone with experience.

And how do we find one?

Once again, by searching.

One of the sites that appeared on most of the searches is codecademy.com.

I know that this site is good because I used it in the past. But let’s see if we can find a similar site for free.

To do this, you can perform the following search in Google:

related:codecademy.com
find related sites

The new search loads a couple of new sites without the noisy ads.

I clicked on a couple of links and I found this one to be particularly interesting: css-tricks.com.

The best way to find out more about a certain site is, without a doubt, by visiting their about page.

If you’re not able to find such a page, look for a Start Here section – or check the footer of the site for more information.

If the site is old, like in this case, this will mean that there will be a lot of content. To avoid getting lost, look for a starting point.

This can be done by searching the site itself.

search sites

Since my level of experience when it comes down to coding is zero, total newbie, I’ll disregard most of the articles appearing on the front page. I will look for the search button on the website itself (most sites have a search option) and type the following “how to get started with coding” or “steps for beginners”.

After a bit of scrolling, I found this article for beginners that also directed me to this site that looks really noob-friendly: freecodecamp.org.

OK, so far I have 3 sites that look really useful – codecademy.comcss-tricks.comfreecodecamp.org.

Additionally, I can use the same process to find videos on YouTube. A lot of times, watching videos is way better than reading text. Especially if you’re learning how to code or how to design.

Don’t waste a lot of time on this step but also don’t satisfy yourself with sites that are mediocre – full of ads and such that look spammy.

You need around 3 sites and probably no more than 3 YouTube channels to begin learning.

These will be enough to start mastering the field you choose.

After all, you can always go back to this step but probably it won’t be necessary. Getting involved in one particular topic usually leads to finding more resources – it’s natural because one site leads to the next. That’s why it’s more important to reduce resources from time to time than to look for more.

After all, you don’t want to get back to where you started – suffocated by an avalanche of “must check” sites.

✍️ Action Section:

Find sites with high-quality content that will help you on your journey.

Action Items:

Use the techniques mentioned above to find sites that are going to help you become [insert what you want to become here].

Download the Workbook and use Worksheet #4 to keep track of the sites you’re going to use to learn.

  • Find 3 useful websites.
  • Find 3 YouTube channels – this is optional. If YouTube is too distracting, focus on the sites.
  • Subscribe to 3 newsletters related to the industry you want to master.
  • Take note of any extra resources that might be useful.

📋 Pro tip:

Often your search will lead to sites full of ads. Sadly, Google usually ranks these websites the highest. If you’re not satisfied with what you found by using the default Google search option, you can use the following tricks:

1) If you already found a cool site, you can find a similar site by searching like this:

related:coolsite.com

Additionally, you can check this online tool that will help you find similar sites: similarsites.com.

2) Online forums are a great way to find quality sources of information. But how do you find forums? Simple, type the following in Google:

"your keyword" + "forum"

For example:

"coding" + "forum"

Don’t remove the quotations marks.

3) Finding blogs, as mentioned, is another way to find amazing sources of information. Often though, the results in Google or crowded with crappy sites. To filter them use the following to search for blogs:

 "your keyword" + "blog"

For example:

"coding" + "blog"

4) If you’re not able to find the magnifying glass icon to search inside a site, you can type the following in Google to search inside a site:

what you want to search site:coolsiteyoufound.com

For example:

getting started with coding site:css-tricks.com

Make sure to change coolsiteyoufound.com with the name of the site you found. Also, to change the text based on the site itself.

Mark this lesson as complete to move to the next lesson…

Action Items:

Download the Workbook and use Worksheet #4 to keep track of the sites you’re going to use to learn.

  • Find 3 useful websites.
  • Find 3 YouTube channels – this is optional. If YouTube is too distracting, focus on the sites.
  • Subscribe to 3 newsletters related to the industry you want to master.
  • Take note of any extra resources that might be useful.

 

Footnotes:

  1. I know, Google is probably not the securest way to browse online. There are a lot of speculations around their lack of privacy and their obsessiveness around gathering user data. Sadly, the other solutions I’ve tried are not bringing satisfying search results.
  2. The article I’m referring to is this one: LINK.