8 Insanely Profitable Skills You Can Learn For Free (And On Your Own Time)

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Whenever I tell somebody about online freelancing…

It seems like they get really excited, think about all the amazing benefits it can bring them, and then run into one of two barriers:

  1. I don’t know how
  2. I don’t have the time and/or money to learn a new skill

So after hearing this I don’t know, 1,287,321 times — I’ve spent a lot of time finding free resources to combat these comebacks…

And today, I wanted to share my 8 favorite ones with you.

Starting with:

Coding

From mobile apps to custom plugins, coding is a major component of online business and one that’s probably not going to go away for awhile.

This creates an amazing opportunity for anybody who has any interest in this field, and even though there’s a few free resources out there that I’ve come across…

One that continues to impress me time and time again is https://www.codecademy.com/

P.S. You can get paid a lot for this field as well, so if you have any interest — shut down Netflix for a week and get to learning…your future self will thank you for it.

Translating

Being bilingual is a skill that can help you in many ways, but I never understood the full importance of this until I started freelancing online.

Whether it’s translating a website into a second language, or creating a brochure that includes multiple languages…

Companies are always looking for people to help them with translating, and even if you don’t know a second language right now…that’s okay!

There’s plenty of options out there for this as well, but out of everything I’ve looked into, it seems like the best free resource is https://www.duolingo.com/

Plus, even if you learned a second language and didn’t become a freelance translator, you’re still going to gain a skill that’ll benefit you for a lifetime…so why not give it a shot?

P.S. I’m obviously going to have a somewhat narrowed opinion as I can only speak English, but I’ve seen A LOT of companies asking for English to Spanish translators…so that might be one to look into.

Graphic Design

Now this one is funny for me to write about, because I’ve always been the guy saying that design doesn’t matter as much as people think…

And that your message matters more than anything else, which I still agree with…

But at the same time, I can’t say that design doesn’t matter at all, and that’s why it doesn’t surprise me to see so many companies looking for this service.

Now from a “learning” standpoint, I don’t think that’s really relevant for this skill as you can’t really learn to be a designer…

And from what I’ve noticed, the entire “learning” aspect of this comes in the form of learning graphic design tools, which can take some time…

Unless you decide to use some incredible free tools out there today, such as Canva.com

And trust me, even if you’re not the design type or have never run a Graphic Design tool before…

Canva is something that anybody can use.

I mean hell, I’m the farthest thing from a designer and even I have got paid to design things with Canva before.

P.S. Just go to Canva.com, sign-up for a free account, create a few examples and voila…you’ve started a freelance career.

Copywriting

I’d honestly never heard this term until I started freelancing online, but after I did, I couldn’t help but see the importance of it.

Whether it’s writing blogs for companies to use as marketing material, restructuring existing blogs to increase their SEO, or even writing sales pages that serve as a digital salesman at all times of the day…

Copywriting is something that companies use everyday, and trust me, as somebody who has a few years of experience in this field…

Companies pay very well for it too.

And that’s all great, but here’s the best part…

It’s really not that hard to learn either, as you can become an above average Copywriter by studying the free resources at Copyblogger.com

Heck, and even if you don’t use this skill to become a freelancer yourself…

It’s always a helpful skill that you can use for a future business, so why not take a look?

P.S. If you’re looking for one specific skill to start with, do SEO Copywriting. It’s pretty much a blogger that understands SEO, and once you get a decent understanding of this…companies pay pretty well.

SEO/Data Analytics

Carrying on with the SEO theme…well indirectly anyway, Data Analytics.

Now most people think of SEO as some game, where you try to get backlinks on random sites or insert keywords in random places…

And some of that might be true, but SEO really boils down to attracting more visitors on your website and understanding how you’re getting them there…

Which is why some companies will hire freelancers to help with this.

I know when I first started I would’ve loved to have somebody help me understand everything, as I didn’t quite understand where traffic was coming from and how I could increase it…

Which is also why I was amazed to hear about a free course offered by Google themselves, and that’s a free course that shows you everything you need to know about this field.

In other words, if you like Data Analytics, I highly advise checking out https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/ …

Because your future clients will love you for it.

P.S. Don’t forget to look at this course as a whole either. A lot of companies will also hire people to connect their Google Analytics for them, which is extremely easy to do, but some people would rather hire than learn…and that creates a good opportunity for you.

Editor/Proofreader

I know I mentioned writing a few minutes ago, but this field is so broad that it’s unfair to lump it all into one category…

Which is why I had to show editor/proofreader as a separate field.

Now there’s a few different ways you could work in this category, like being a book editor or copy editor…

But it doesn’t have to be that complex either, as there’s plenty of new entrepreneurs out there that are simply looking for a proofreader to skim through their new blog articles before they hit publish.

That’s something most people can do without any training, but if you’d like to brush up your skills before trying it out…

I highly recommend this free resource: http://www.bartleby.com/141/

P.S. Just remember, there’s a difference between academic writing and copy editing. If they’re looking for academic, then this resource will help…but if they’re looking for copy editing, then Copyblogger.com will be your best choice.

Social Media Manager

I don’t care if you’re a 25-year old looking for a side gig, or a 50-year old looking for a career change…

If there’s one area of freelancing that everybody already has experience in, it’s a Social Media Manager.

Now this isn’t really that hard, as most of the time you’re just publishing stuff on social media..

But it never hurts to learn the “business” side of things either, and if that’s something you’d be interested in, there’s a great resource found at:

1/7/18 Update: Thanks to responses from a few readers, another great resource to take advantage of is found at Lynda.com (link below).

Please note, Lynda is a paid subscription, but they do offer a 30-day free trial and that’s more than enough time to go through this course:

P.S. Yes, it’s really as simple as it sounds #thethingsoldpeoplepayfor

Bookkeeping

Now this one is really hard for me to say, as I have my Master’s in Accounting and I’d love to tell you that every bookkeeper should have a deep knowledge of this field…

But I’ll be honest, with today’s software — you really don’t need to know much accounting.

Sure, it does help, but if you know how to input transactions and can learn any major software…

Then you’re more than capable of doing the job.

The two softwares I advise starting with are Quickbooks ProAdvisor and Xero Certified Advisor as they’re the largest…

But from what I’ve noticed, most major softwares provide free training — so if you want to look at other options, I’m sure they’re there.

P.S. It might not hurt to start with one software and look into other options once you’ve “mastered” that one. And if you do, I’d start with Xero.

Facebook Advertising

Last, but certainly not least…Facebook Advertising.

Now I’m sure I don’t have to elaborate on this much, because if you’ve jumped on Facebook within the last 3 years you know what I mean…

But let’s just say Facebook Advertising is a booming field right now, and I think it’s here to stay.

Now, the amazing part of Facebook Advertising is that it’s very easy to setup and anybody can build a campaign…

But just because it’s easy to setup, doesn’t mean it’s easy to get results…

And that’s why most entrepreneurs are willing to pay top dollar to Facebook Advertisers who can get results, especially after they’ve spent thousands of dollars figuring out it’s a little tougher than it looks.

Oh, and here’s the best part, Facebook actually offers a free course that’ll teach you everything you need to know — found at facebook.com/blueprint

P.S. Learn the basics of Copywriting from Copyblogger.com then create ad images with Canva (they’re both free).

Freelancing shouldn’t be hard (or expensive)

I initially stumbled across the world of online freelancing as a source of side income, but after seeing all the opportunities and loving the work I was doing…

I couldn’t help but stay, and I can’t even start to explain all the benefits I’ve learned along the way.

As I showed you in this article, there’s a free resource for a lot of different skills…

And you can start gaining clients without spending a dime, so if you’re looking for a cheap side hustle to experiment with — I don’t think you need to look any further than online freelancing.

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about online freelancing, you should check this out

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