Looking to pick up a new skill that can earn you a sizeable income?

Luckily, learning a new valuable skill does not always mean you need to enroll in university courses. In today’s digital age, there are plenty of ways to learn marketable skills at home in your spare time, and many won’t cost you a penny. So whether you’re looking to boost your resume or start your career as a freelancer, these six skills can be learned from the comfort of your home without spending a dime.

1. Coding

You would be hard-pressed to find a company that doesn’t need programmers. Coding is everywhere, from basic website maintenance to complicated full-stack development for software and apps. While you could learn this by going to college for Computer Science, there’s no need for a degree to be successful in coding. There are many websites to visit and online courses you can take to learn coding skills, such as Code Academy or Udemy. Once you get the hang of basic programming skills, try practicing on your own using any of the many free and open-source programs available, such as Python or C. With strong coding skills, you can work for several companies or pick up freelancing jobs doing code development for various clients. Coding is one of the most lucrative professional skills, and with the ability to learn it entirely free, there’s no reason not to give it a shot.

2. Graphic Design

While graphic design might seem intimidating or difficult to learn, it can be surprisingly easy when you have the proper tools. There’s no shortage of YouTube videos that can show you how to use programs such as Canva to create stunning graphics. If you’re at all artistically inclined, that opens up even more opportunities to get creative with your work. Leveling up your graphic design game will take time and effort, but it can certainly turn into a profitable side hustle.

3. SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is massively in-demand. For websites to rank highly on search engines, they need to optimize their pages for SEO. This is helpful to business owners, companies, and more. Luckily, SEO is one of the easiest skills to learn, and with the high demand, there will be no shortage of opportunities to use these skills. You can take free SEO courses directly from Google to learn how to do this. SEO sounds complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. Once you’ve learned how to operate SEO keyword search engines, you will be ready to take on clients as a freelancer or apply for positions doing SEO for companies.

4. Copy and Content Writing

Do you like to write? If so, learning how to copy or write content could be a very good opportunity. Of course, being a good writer is a skill that comes more naturally to some than others, but there are plenty of resources available that can help you improve your writing game. Every company needs writers to produce content for them, especially blog or article-based websites. With this type of writing, you can diversify your profile or settle into a writing niche. If you have a lot of knowledge in a specific subject area, such as home improvement, landing a writing job for a home improvement blog would be an easy way to bring in extra cash. One word of caution with copy and content writing is to ensure you never plagiarize another’s work. If you decide to go the freelancing route, submitting a piece of plagiarized work to a client is a great way to ensure you never get any more jobs from that client. Make sure that your writing is 100% your own work and that your pieces are well-written and well-researched. Also, if you wanted to offer SEO-driven copywriting, then learning SEO and applying that to your writing is a great way to make extra money, as SEO-informed writing is definitely in high demand.

5. Proofreading or Editing

If you’re a stickler for grammar, proofreading might be a great skill to pick up. Every website and company needs a good editor in their arsenal. There are plenty of free resources to help you improve your grammatical skills. This could also be another skill to combine with copywriting or content writing.

6. Social Media Management

It’s no secret that social media has exploded in popularity in recent years. Everyone, from major corporations to influencers and TikTok celebrities, rely on social media. However, many of these high-profile people don’t have the time to manage their own social media, especially if they have multiple accounts. Major celebrities like the Kardashians have an entire team running their social media accounts. This offers a major opportunity for anyone willing to learn how to manage social media. Luckily, social media management does not require any degree or certificate. Most likely, you already have experience managing your own social media, which means you already know the basics of popular platforms like Instagram, Twitter, etc. Now, you need to learn how to market those skills and synchronize multiple accounts. There are several platforms available that will allow you to post to multiple social media accounts at once. Some examples of such software include Loomly and Later. These are just two of the most popular options, but there are plenty of others!

The bottom line: learning a skill doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars.

You can learn one of these marketable skills if you are self-motivated and have a few extra hours to spare each week. Whether you’re looking for a career change or just a side hustle to bring in a couple of extra bucks a month, any of these skills will help you achieve your goal. In these times, we could all use a little extra cash, so why not learn a skill that can turn time into money? With no upfront commitment other than your time, you’ve got nothing to lose by trying it out.