The days when freelancing was looked down upon, and associated with low-paying data entry jobs are long gone. The competition has risen to new levels, causing a lot of uncertainty among business owners. In order to fight this situation and keep business risk minimal, companies have shifted their focus towards curtailing fixed costs. One way of doing this is hiring freelancers in place of full-time employees.
Expand your scope of expertise by reading about the best skills relevant to the freelance economy. Here are 10 most in-demand freelance skills in 2017.
1. Web Design & Development
With so many websites up and running, businesses need someone to handle the backend process and ensure the website doesn’t go down or load slowly. Web development is a freelance skill that you can master and make a significant amount of money by working few hours daily. If you want to build a website, you need to be familiar with these technologies.
Why you should learn HTML & CSS
When you learn web design, the greatest “a ha!” moments will come as you realize what HTML and CSS are capable of. No matter what newfangled technology you’re using online, the final output always involves these two basic languages. Knowing some code can help you push your projects to be the best that they can be and not leave your designs at the mercy of developers to interpret and implement. At the end of the day, HTML and CSS aren’t that complex. Once you start understanding the big web concepts, designing for the web becomes an opportunity to stretch your creative limits.
Why you should learn WordPress
We find WordPress to be a major tool in developing our client websites. We also know that most Web Design Agencies are using WordPress now for a number of reasons. WordPress is a free software, this means you are free to download, install, use and modify it. You can use it to create any kind of website. It is also open source which means the source code of the software is available for any one to study, modify and play with.
To run WordPress, all you need is a domain and web hosting. You can read more about our WordPress hosting solutions over here
Why you should learn jQuery
The foremost advantage of jQuery is that it is not rocket science, in comparison to its alternatives. You can easily add plugins on top of the base library, and this in turn saves a lot of time and efforts (and head aches). In fact, one of the primary reasons why Resig and his team considered the creation of jQuery was to save time. When it comes to development for the web, time matters a lot, and jQuery caters to the shortage of time by being a flexible and nimble solution.
Why you should learn PHP & MySQL
PHP is an amazing and popular language! It is powerful enough to be at the core of the biggest blogging system on the web (WordPress)! It is deep enough to run the largest social network (Facebook)! It is also easy enough to be a beginner’s first server side language!
Why PHP & MySQL
- Runs on various platforms (Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, etc.)
- Is compatible with almost all servers used today (Apache, IIS, etc.)
- Supports a wide range of databases
- Is free. Download it from the official PHP resource: www.php.net
- Is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side
MySQL is a relational database system that is used to store information. MySQL can store many types of data from something as tiny as a single character to as large as complete files or graphics. Although it can be accessed by most programing languages, it is often coupled with PHP because they work together with ease.
If you can read, write and speak more than one language, translation field has immense opportunities in store for you. A good understanding of regional languages and foreign languages can help you make decent money by taking freelance translation assignments.
3. Social media marketing
Over the past decade, sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Reddit have emerged as major social media platforms. Businesses want to interact with potential customers at these social media sites, and for this they need experts. That’s where a social media marketer can leverage his skills, help brands increase user engagement and make some money in return. You don’t need any technical expertise for this role as long as you’re able to interact with the audience.
4. Graphic Designing
Just like content writing, graphic designing is another freelance skill in demand. Graphic design is the art of laying out and combining images, text and other media to create anything from email templates to packaging to brand collateral. Any organisation that wants to be remembered needs to practice solid graphic design.
In our Graphic Design Course, we cover all aspects of designing graphics for websites as well as for print.
We will cover a lot of different aspects of graphic design including logo design, business cards and stationery design. This course will also teach you everything you need to know about image formats, compression and output.
A great course to learn graphic design the practical way in Gauteng. As with all our courses we learn by doing. The best way to learn.
5. How to optimise a website to appear higher in search results
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is necessary to ensure that a website ranks as high as possible on the list of a search engine’s results page. Hardly anybody goes to the second page of Google’s search results. 91,5% of clicks come from the first page and 32,5% of traffic goes to the first result.
If a business wants their online content to get noticed by consumers they need to ensure their website is correctly optimised for search. This is one of the most important skills required online today due to increasing Internet use. As more websites are created, the owners have to apply all measures to remain at the top of popular search engines. As such, they are in constant need of great SEO content writers and bloggers.
Our SEO Course provides you with in depth search engine optimisation techniques and strategy. We cover all aspects of on site as well as off site page optimisation.
6. How to maintain a healthy brand image and increase a brand’s reach through social networks
In our ever-connected age, a consumer’s interaction with an organisation via social media and in the online space is more important than ever. Digital marketing and social media management are how brands stay on top of customer compliments and complaints.
Why should you learn digital marketing and social media marketing skills?
71% of customers who have a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that company to their peers. Maintaining strong, customer-friendly social and online profiles is a key exercise for any business.
Over the past decade, sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Reddit have emerged as major social media platforms. Businesses want to interact with potential customers at these social media sites, and for this they need experts.
That’s where a social media marketer can leverage his skills, help brands increase user engagement and make some money in return. You don’t need any technical expertise for this role as long as you’re able to interact with the audience.
7. User Experience Design
Also known as UXD, UX, XD or UED, this is the process of enhancing the satisfaction of a user of a product. This can be achieved through improving the usability, accessibility as well as pleasure provided in the interaction with the product(s). In this case, you can be employed as the “tester” for products whereby you use the products then provide feedback that can be used in improving the products. It is a new but very promising industry.
8. How to market through compelling written content
Content creation is fast becoming the only way to market to a world that is jaded by traditional advertising. And writing is the most effective way to create this content.
Why should you learn writing and content creation skills?
Being able to successfully market a brand or product without making people feel like they’re being marketed to takes a certain amount of finesse. Having these skills in your repertoire will enable you to stand out in any freelance space.
For every word written online or offline, there’s someone sitting in front of his computer and bleeding his heart out. With hundreds of thousands of websites, numerous newspapers, blogs, and magazines out there, imagine the kind of opportunities you have as a content writer.
Just polish your writing skills, improve your grammar and learn how to write content that sells. An average freelance writer in India earns around Rs 1.8 lakhs annually, but this figure can go 10-15 times higher for those who know their way around with words.
9. Artificial intelligence
Headline after headline tells us that artificial intelligence will replace many of the tasks currently done by humans. That seems to make sense.
Increasingly, companies are thinking about how to incorporate it into their business strategies, and professionals are developing skills to capitalise upon this accelerating tech trend.
But until AI can build itself, people are still required to build it. Hardly surprising then that it’s one of the most in-demand skills of the moment.
Read on about A.I and Chatbots – The Hot Topics in Web Design
10. Rapid prototyping
In today’s business world, if you’re not innovating, you’re dying. You have to constantly try new things and new ways of working. Thing is, you can’t just decide that’s what you’re going to do one day.
That’s why companies feel the need to bring in experts in rapid prototyping. For those not in the know, rapid prototyping enables businesses to think up an idea and have a prototype in-hand that same day with advances like 3D printing.