Last week, I shared with you about the insights I got from being self-employed. There I wrote that – thanks to my online business – I no longer have a day job since 2009. Moreover, I have decided from the beginning that control is important and have designed my work accordingly.
A question that you might have is: how could I build an online business?
Well, there are multiple skills involved, but here I’d like to focus on one of them: coding skill. While it’s not mandatory for building an online business, it will make things much easier for you.
Why You Should Learn to Code
Online businesses are – by definition – online. They live on the Internet. That’s why it’s useful to ‘speak’ the language of the Internet. It will give you the power to customize things without depending on anyone else. As a result, you will save time and money.
In addition, you will have many opportunities. There are opportunities online that you can take only if you know how to code. One example is developing apps for the app stores. Another one is creating your own games.
In my case, I feel lucky because I have had this skill for a long time (I majored in it at college). It has helped me a lot in getting my business off the ground. It’s not the only skill needed (writing and online marketing are another two), but it has made the process easier for me.
How to Get Started
To get started, first you need to know that there are different levels of coding skills.
1. The ability to modify the look of websites.
This is the basic level and the one that I suggest most people learn. The languages here are HTML and CSS.
In my case, I have changed the look of my website several times, and each time I have found that I needed to customize it to get what I wanted. I have also made further customizations over time.
Without this ability, you are stuck with the standard look on your website. Or you have to pay someone else even for simple tasks.
2. The ability to modify the behavior of websites.
For example, you might want to add a sticky bar at the bottom of your website for collecting email addresses. Yes, there are ready-made solutions for this, but you need to pay quite a lot for them. It’s actually not hard to do it yourself if you know how.
3. The ability to develop apps.
This one goes beyond the first two levels because here you can develop a new app from scratch. This allows you to sell apps on the app stores, for instance. Or you can write apps to automate your tasks.
Being at this level will open many doors of opportunities for you. The language to learn here depends on the kind of app you want to make.
To learn to code, I recommend you start with learning HTML and CSS. Later you can move to the higher levels if you want to.
Here is a free resource for learning HTML and CSS:
Or, if you prefer a video course, here is a good course to take:
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Good luck!