Thanks to the Internet, earning extra money (or all of your income) as a freelancer has never been easier.
Not only does email, Skype, and online project management tools like Basecamp make it easy to stay in touch with clients, but sites like Freelance.com and Fiverr make it easy to find paying job opportunities – something that traditionally has always been a struggle for freelancers and entrepreneurs.
But the internet offers something else to the budding freelancer as well, and that is tutelage, training, and education. With online video and text resources readily available, one can learn an all-new skill (and in some cases, even earn accreditation) without ever setting foot in a college classroom.
Below is a sample of marketable and in-demand freelancing skills that can be learned online. Get started today in a skill that interests you, and see for yourself how it can jumpstart your career.
Coding comes in many forms, so the first thing to determine when starting out is what coding languages you wish to become proficient in. There are programming languages, scripting languages, and a myriad of other hardware and software-specific forms of code. The type of code that you are proficient in may impact your freelancing opportunities, as some are more commonly used than others. That being said, once you’ve determined a path, you can quickly pick up the fundamentals through vast online resources.
Websites like Code Academy make it easy to learn and practice coding. As you become more familiar, you can undertake more difficult and specialized online training to continue to develop your skills. As coding is highly in demand for a variety of different project types, from software development to websites and mobile apps, you could find that it leads to a lucrative and fulfilling career.
Many men and women seeking a role in management face the same basic hurdle: no prior management experience (or skills). Enter resources like the Project Management Institute. With a variety of courses and educational guides on project management fundamentals, the Project Management Institute enables individuals to demonstrate a thorough understanding of what project management entails in the professional environment. Possessing an understanding of these skill sets, along with key concepts vital to managing any project type, can allow individuals to advance to the next level of their career, and prove a key stepping stone to a more fulfilling (and successful) work life.
Search Engine Optimization
Commonly referred to as SEO in the digital marketing community, search engine optimization is a practice by which a company can optimize its digital presence so that it appears near the top of relevant search results. It involves a number of different techniques and tactics, from use of strong coding to content that is rich, topical, and highly useful to readers. SEO cannot be contributed to one single element, which is why it’s important for individuals looking to make a career in search engine optimization to stay abreast of current best practices and trends.
Websites like SEO Book, Moz, and Search Engine Land (not to mention Google’s own webmaster and developer guidelines) are seen as gospels of sorts when it comes to search engine optimization. Take a deep dive into the material that is available, learn the fundamentals, brush up on analytics and forecasting, and you could make yourself invaluable to any number of corporations seeking an edge in online marketing – whether that be as a consultant or full-time employee within its marketing department.
Sales and Entrepreneurship
For some people, selling comes naturally. For everyone else, there are training courses. If you are interested in sales as a career, or would like to pursue entrepreneurship so that you can be your own boss, resources like Amway Connections can help you get there. Part motivational tool, part educational resource, this online outlet can arm you with the information you need to hone your skills and refine your approach to sales, all while giving you the drive needed to overcome the many obstacles entrepreneurs often face when starting a new business. For entrepreneurs and salespeople, a good support system can mean the difference between success beyond one’s dreams, and defeat. Give yourself the best chance at success and leverage the tools that are available to you.
Marketing ultimately lives and dies by its messaging, and that is determined primarily through copywriting. A good copywriter who can deliver effective and impressionable marketing language will always be in demand, as companies looking to sell goods and services will always be in need of people who can help them get their message across. That is where a copywriter (or editorial writer) comes in.
If you haven’t touched a keypad for anything other than Facebook since your days in college, you might benefit from a regimented course on the basics of grammar, tone, and marketing fundamentals. This is where sites like Grammarly enter the picture. Through various online courses, you can buff up on your writing skills, refine your writing style, and learn new techniques. With these newly learned skills, you can set out to earn a living as a copywriter, or simply earn money on the side as a freelancer.
Resources like Lynda make available to anyone dozens and dozens of tutorials on graphic design, print design, Adobe Creative Suite, and other topics relevant to someone interested in a career as a graphic designer or illustrator. Combine these video resources with the many videos that can be found on YouTube covering these same topics, and you will find that there is no shortage of information available online on the subject of graphic design. Indeed, many graphic designers are self-taught.
In a field as competitive as graphic design, however, something else is often required to set you apart from the crowd. Something like Adobe’s own Accreditation program, for example. With these at your disposal, it’s entirely possible to hone your skills, build up a portfolio, begin earning money, and earn an industry recognized professional accreditation without ever going to school. What more could a freelancer ask for? If you want to become a graphic designer, one could argue that there’s nothing getting in your way.