If you want to start your own business but you don’t want to go through the process of renting and office and becoming entirely official right off the bat, you can start small with some valuable computer skills. All of these skills can be used to freelance from your own home while you’re establishing yourself, and once you’ve built up a formidable portfolio, you can take your business as big as you want to take it.
#1 Web Design
Every business needs a website, and there’s a new business every day. If you’re in the business of making websites for businesses, it’s easy to jump on that never-ending train. There are all kinds of specialties in web designs – you can focus on blogs, eCommerce websites, or informational websites. It helps to pick a specific area of interest in stick to it while you’re establishing yourself.
#2 Graphic Design
Graphic design is a fun computer skill to master if you consider yourself to be the creative type. Graphic designers design images and branding, as well as logos for companies and even packaging for brands that sell physical products. Since there are so many things graphic designers can do, it’s relatively easy to find graphic design jobs online, and there’s work for people at all different skill levels.
#3 Software Development
Software development is one of the least glamorous computer skills, but it’s also one of the most important. Software developers can work on creating anything from games to anti-virus or anti-malware programs. You probably use a lot of software on a daily basis, but it’s easy to take them for granted. Big companies are constantly looking for custom software, and software is constantly being updated and improved. You’ll never run out of work.
#4 Social Media Expertise
If you’re always on Facebook or Instagram, you can turn it into a career. Social media expertise is a valuable skill, because so many companies heavily rely on social media to promote themselves and interact with their customers. All you need to do is be knowledgeable and observant of trends in specific niches while familiarizing yourself with the professional set of social media tools. You can even become a remote social media manager, and work for anyone anywhere without leaving your home office.
Blogging is a skill that can be used in several different ways. People who blog about their hobbies and interests can make real money doing it, especially if they’re creating high-quality content and updating on a regular schedule.
Another way to turn blogging into a business is to run the blog for an already established website. Whether or not you realize it, most of the websites you visit actually have blogs. This is almost always for SEO purposes. Professionals and businesses use these blogs to promote themselves in search engines, which creates a need for constant content in order to help the site maintain its high ranking.
Last, but certainly not the least profitable, blogs can be used for affiliate marketing. If you’ve ever researched something before you purchased it, you likely stumbled upon a buyer’s guide type of website. These websites catalog and review popular items, and include a link to purchase them from a third party vendor. A percentage of these purchases go back to the buyer. When combined with ads, affiliate marketing blogs allow for two revenue streams.
#6 Online Marketing
Businesses do a significant portion of their marketing online because the internet easily allows all barriers to be broken. Customers are easily accessible any time of day, anywhere in the world. Online marketing is highly nuanced and very complex.
While this does involve regular marketing skills that would be used whether or not computers were a part of the equation, it also involves a unique set of skills specific to computer data. Online marketers need to be able to measure traffic and conversion, perhaps running A/B testing to ascertain the best way to market something. Online marketers need to be able to use a lot of tools, and learning how to use them is an invaluable computer skill.
#7 IT and Security
Cybersecurity is of supreme importance to companies that handle a lot of sensitive data, particularly the data of their customers. IT professionals use both software and hardware skills to build and reinforce safe systems for companies, including private servers. Almost every business needs at least one IT professional on staff, and security is far from a passing phase. A great IT professional will never be hurting for work.
Computers aren’t going anywhere. If you want a job that will carry you all the way until retirement, there’s no way to go wrong with a job-based in well-honed computer skills.