Working from home has become an increasingly popular option in Malaysia. It offers the flexibility of earning an income without needing to check into an office at fixed hours.

'Working from home' doesn't have to mean you work only from a home office though. Most of the time, it just means working from anywhere there's an internet connection. This can be anywhere - your home, a cafe, an airport... literally anywhere.

The best part is that you can work for yourself, for a company in Malaysia and even for non-Malaysian companies.

If you've been thinking about transitioning from your office job to working from home, the first question you might have is:

'How do I get started?'

You are not alone. This is one of the most common questions people ask me when looking for jobs you can work from home, especially people who are in more traditional job roles like lawyers, process engineers, and lab researchers which conventionally require going to a workplace daily.

This is why I've decided to compile a list of the most profitable skills you can use start working from home and earning an income for yourself online.

Even if you don't have these skills right now, the good news is that you can learn them online, and often times, for free or an affordable fee.

What are these skills, what makes them so profitable now and where can you learn them?

Let's take a look!


Facebook Advertising Skills

What's Facebook Advertising?

Facebook Advertising means using Facebook's advertising tools to raise awareness or get leads or sales for a business.

Why is this skill profitable?

Facebook is one of the most popular social network in Malaysia. As of June 2018, 78.3% of the entire population in Malaysia have a Facebook account.

For businesses, or people who want to sell a product or service, Facebook can provide a great opportunity to reach a part of the 78.3% Malaysians on the platform and get them to buy from you.

The better you are at creating good ads and optimising them, the more money you'll bring to a business through each ad.

You can use your Facebook Advertising skills to sell your own products and services, or sell your skills to businesses who want to outsource their Facebook Advertising to an expert.

Where can you learn?

One of the best places to get started is through Facebook's own Blueprint platform. It's a platform that provides courses to help you navigate through Facebook's Ad tool features.

Here are all the courses in Blueprint:

If you're a total beginner, you can get familiar with Facebook's features with Blueprint.

The real costs of learning (related expenses)

While courses are a great place to get started, the only way you can truly master this skill is by actually running ads. While Facebook Ad costs in Malaysia is one of the lowest in the world, you'll probably need to budget anywhere from RM500 - RM2,000 to get started.

Instagram Marketing Skills

What's Instagram Marketing?

Instagram marketing means using Instagram Ads (Feed and Stories) and/or Instagram influencers to promote a product or service.

Why is this skill profitable?

According to Datareportal.com, there are over 12 million Instagram users in Malaysia. This means about 1 out of 3 Malaysians have an Instagram account.

While there are less Malaysians on Instagram than on Facebook, it is still the second most popular social network here.

For any business considering to expand their marketing on social networks, Instagram is easily one of top places to start.

Knowing how to market a business on Instagram can open up a new line of revenues for the business.

You can apply this skill for your own business or get businesses to pay you to help them do it for them.

Where can you learn?

Advertising on Instagram is not as straightforward as on Facebook. Other than outright buying ads via Instagram's ad tools, you can also promote a business by buying posts from Instagram accounts with a large following.

For Instagram, I've personally found videos on YouTube to be most useful. One of the YouTube channels I recommend for learning more about Instagram marketing is Brent James's channel.

The real costs of learning (related expenses)

Again, the best way to master Instagram marketing is to get your hands dirty and start buying ads and posts. You'll likely need to prepare RM500 - RM1,000 to get started.

Graphic Design Skills for Social Media

What's Graphic Design for Social Media?

Graphic Design for social media means designing visually attractive graphics to catch the attention social media users.

Why is this skill profitable?

Visual content is known to be more appealing than text-only content. Any business who wants to improve their brand image and gain new fans online rely on visuals to achieve it.

But with more and more photos posted online everyday, it has becomes increasingly challenging to stand out online even with images. On Facebook alone, an estimated 350 million photos are uploaded daily.

This is why knowing exactly what designs will draw in attention on social media can be one of the most valuable and lucrative skills you can have in your toolbox.

Where can you learn?

Having good graphic design fundamentals will likely be useful as a start. But if you don't have any graphic design experience at all, you'll be able to learn from graphic design resources on YouTube.

Other than learning about graphic design, studying successful social media visuals with good engagement (lots of likes, shares and comments) will also be useful.

The real costs of learning (related expenses)

The good thing about graphic design these days is that you don't need to pay for a premium software like Adobe Photoshop. You can get started with powerful tools like Canva for free.

Analysing successful graphic design on social media only requires your personal time investment.

Video Editing Skills for Social Media

What's Video Editing for Social Media ads?

Video Editing for social media means editing videos mainly for the purpose of building brand awareness and/or converting video viewers into buyers on social media.

Why is this skill profitable?

With so much content going live on social media every second, social media users have become increasingly picky about the type of content they interact with.

Videos can present a fresh way for a brand to engage with their fans. In some cases, video marketing can work better than other conventional marketing methods such as images and blogs.

According to Neil Patel, videos can increase conversions by as much as 84%.

Knowing how to create videos that catch the attention of social media users with a limited attention span can not only help you make money from home by selling your own products or services, you can also sell your expert video editing services to help other companies make them.

Where can you learn?

As a start, I would recommend beginning with studying basic video editing from YouTube for free.

Once you have mastered basic video editing, find videos on social media and study the ones with good engagement and try applying their editing style into your own videos.

The real costs of learning (related expenses)

While there are many free video editing tools in the market, I would recommend investing in a paid one because they are usually much easier to use. Especially if you are interested in creating videos mainly for social media, I recommend going for Filmora. The base software goes for just US$59.99 for a lifetime license of the software.

Web Copywriting Skills

What's Copywriting?

Web Copywriting is using words to persuade readers to buy into an idea or buy a product or service online.

Why is this skill profitable?

More and more Malaysians are shopping online. According to Statista, e-commerce in Malaysia expected to grow from US$3.8bn in 2019 to over US$5bn in 2023.

Other than images and videos, one of the most important parts of selling online is the words or copy that goes with the images or video.

Good copy can turn video viewers or website visitors into customers. Master copywriters can easily help a business make 5 - 6 figures a month. So whether you intend to use your copywriting skills to grow your own business or help other businesses grow theirs, you'll be assured to get paid well.

Where can you learn?

While copywriting has moved online these days, it's an art as old as selling itself. If you're new to copywriting, I'd recommend getting started with classic copywriting books such as Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy. Here are some other books you can read about copywriting also.

For web copywriting specifically, Kopywriting Kourse has some really good and easy to understand resources.

Lastly, pay attention to good copywriting around you, copy them and test them for yourself.

The real costs of learning (related expenses)

It really depends on the platform you want to start practicing in. If you want to do it on a website, you might need to invest in creating a website first. If you want to practice your copywriting with Facebook Ads, you'll need to set a budget for the ads as well.

Search Engine Optimisation Skills (SEO)

What's SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation is using optimisation strategies to rank a website high on Google.

Why is this skill profitable?

Visitors that come to a website from search usually know what they are looking for. If they are out to make a purchase, they are more likely to buy from a website compared to visitors that come in from social media ads.

In fact, according to Search Engine Journal, almost half of marketers see search as a marketing channel which gives one of the highest return on investment (ROI).

This is why businesses in Malaysia and everywhere else are investing a portion of their marketing budget specifically for Search Engine Optimisation.

Where can you learn?

The best thing about SEO is that you can learn all the basics of SEO online for free. Moz's Beginner's Guide to SEO is my favourite one to recommend beginners as it is covers the fundamentals of SEO in an easy to understand way.

Other than that, I've also written a few beginner guides to SEO that you can read and learn from:

How to Get Started with SEO in Malaysia: A Step-by-Step for Complete Beginners

Free Keyword Research Method for Beginner Marketers in Malaysia (Updated 2018)

SEO Checklist for Malaysian Website Owners: 21 Ways to Improve Your SEO and Get More Traffic in 2018

SEO Articles: 10 Tips to Write Articles Google Loves to Rank

E-commerce SEO for Beginners: 5 Tips to Improve Your Search E-com Site Search Performance

The real costs of learning (related expenses)

Most of the tools you need to get started with SEO are available for free these days. So the biggest expense for you would be to create your own website where you can test your SEO skills on.

E-commerce Web Design and Setup

What's E-commerce Web Design and Setup?

Designing and setting up websites with e-commerce features.

Why is this skill profitable?

As e-commerce continues growing in Malaysia, more and more Malaysians are interested to build their own e-commerce empire.

You can help them by setting up fully functioning e-commerce websites using popular platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce or EasyStore.

Where can you learn?

E-commerce websites have come along way since their inception in the 90s. As such, it's pretty easy to find free and comprehensive resources about them on YouTube and by a simple Google search.

The most important thing to do is to practice building them.

The real costs of learning (related expenses)

To learn how to set up a website, you'll need to invest in hosting and domain name.

Programming Skills

What's Programming?

Programming means creating programs using coding languages.

Why is this skill profitable?

The benefits of having programming skills is pretty well-known already. Not only will you be able to create programs to solve problems and sell them to people who want the problem solved, experienced programmers in Malaysia usually get paid pretty well.

Where can you learn?

There are a lot of options to learn programming skills, ranging from free ones to paid ones. Personally, I've found these free resources to be pretty useful:

The Odin Project

Coursera - Learn Ruby on Rails

The real costs of learning (related expenses)

If you opt for the free courses, you won't need to spend anything more than the related software and your time investment.

Web Translation

What's Web Translation?

Web Translation means re-writing a web content in another language.

Why is this skill profitable?

While English is one of the most popular languages spoken in Malaysia, a large number of Malaysians mainly speak Malay, Chinese or Tamil.

Businesses that want to reach non-English speaking Malaysians will need all their content translated into Malay, Chinese or Tamil.

Where can you learn?

You can easily enrol in a language class anywhere in Malaysia.

The real costs of learning (related expenses)

Course fees and learning materials.

Conclusion

That's it - 10 top skills I think you should pick up if you are serious about transitioning into a role where you can earn money working from home, or wherever there's an internet connection.

Although I'm not promising it will be quick or simple to master these skills, I do believe that once you do, it will be worth your while. No matter if you are a total beginner, pick a skill, and start putting in the time and effort to learn it.

These are skills which you can use to make money starting your own business or helping a business with their business in Malaysia or anywhere around the world!

By the way, if you're planning on selling your skills as a service, check back on this website as I'll be releasing a guide on how to sell your skills online! You can also subscribe to our newsletter and get monthly updates!

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About the author 

Lu Wee Tang

Lu Wee is the founder and writer of Entrepreneur Campfire. She started her journey in e-commerce and SEO after leaving her engineering career behind. Now, she consults small and medium businesses in Malaysia and Singapore on how to digitise and grow their business.

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