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In-Demand skills for freelancers in Africa

In-Demand skills  for freelancers in Africa

Working from home is now the default setting for most digital companies. And freelancing has become a way for people to earn extra money while also working on their day to day jobs. Starting the freelancing journey, however, is not an easy task, you need a strategy, the skills and a platform to start. This post details a list of skills that can help you acquire or be informed of the skills needed to thrive in Africa as a freelancer.

1. Writing

If writing is your superpower, and you enjoy writing, then you surely can enjoy writing as a freelancer. There is simply a huge demand for content. And writing is one of the easiest to get job referrals once people start trusting your content and the impact it brings to their websites and businesses. 

2. Search engine optimisation (SEO)

This is the process of optimising for search. SEO helps improve user traffic to websites and there are multiple ways of achieving SEO. One is optimising a website structure, such as keywords, heading tags, link structures and the overall website performance. All these things help search engines parse your website and understand how each page links to the next and how users interact with it.

Then the other side of it is content, Researching which kind of content can a website for a certain company in a certain country rank in search engines. This is the most tedious task, and writing content in a way that makes it rank is also another tedious task.

3. Web design and development

Probably the most popular of them all. Websites are now in demand. Almost all companies own a website. If you're good at web design or web development, then you can find a niche and start honing your skills and be hired. Examples of niches are:

  • DevOps - This is the fusion of software and IT infrastructure. DevOps engineers are tasked with deploying software to servers in an efficient and reliable way. Frontend developers use technologies such as Docker, Kubernetes and Linux.
  • Web Design - This is the art of thinking and designing user experiences. How do users interact with the website and its set of features in an efficient and productive way.
  • Frontend Development - As a frontend engineer, your task is transforming the designs into actual HTML, CSS, and JavaScript stuff that can actually be deployed on the server and users start using it. Frontend developers use technologies such as reactjs, vuejs, angularjs, tailwind, bootstrap and many more.
  • Backend Engineering - This is the development of software that interacts with a database. The frontend stuff will be getting data from the backend. Frontend developers use technologies such as Django, node js, laravel, flask, PostgreSQL and many more.
  • Fullstack Engineering - You probably guessed this right, full-stack engineers are masters for both DevOps, frontend and backend stuff, you throw them under any department and they can do wonders. 

However, when you're still starting out, you have to pick one aspect of web development and perfect it before you try to be a full-stack developer. I recommend starting with WordPress for designing and developing basic company websites. It is one of the easiest to start with, and the costs required to develop and host a website are very low and straightforward.

4. Mobile App Development

This is the development of apps, more closely related to web development but using a different set of tools. However, there are technologies which you can use for both web development and apps e.g. react native and flutter. Otherwise, you need to be familiar with programming languages like kotlin, java, and swift to build native apps.

5. Dropshipping

A form of eCommerce where the seller does not keep the stock of what they're selling, but rather relies on third parties platforms such as eBay Amazon and Alibaba. It is very easy to start because it does not require much capital, you don't have to buy inventory unless you have already made the sale. For starters, the only expenses you'll need are a website, that is domain name, web hosting and boom you're in business. You can find and understand more about drop shipping here

6. Graphic Design & Logo Design

Easy to start if you already know how to use software like photoshop, adobe illustrator, and CorelDraw. Showing off your work is a very crucial thing for graphic designers, people believe what they're seeing and so you must make sure you're visible on Instagram, dribble, 99 designs, Pinterest and many more.


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