If you told me in 2019 that I’d be making money working online, I would have said you’re crazy! But the pandemic has shown all of us that remote working is indeed possible.
In 2020, I started blogging and freelance writing, and when I got my first paycheck from an online writing gig, I could barely believe it. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming!
I never thought I could ever make money writing online. I was so convinced that I had to get a job based on what I studied in school, and writing, something I’d always been very passionate about, was just for fun.
The past two years have taught me that this isn’t the least bit true! You can learn new skills, find freelance work online, and work from anywhere that has a decent WiFi connection.
Here are some skills you can learn to make money online.
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9 Skills To Learn To Make Money Online
1. Social Media Management
This is definitely one of the best skills to learn to make money online in this social media age!
Almost every business has some sort of social media presence these days. Whether it’s a Facebook page, Instagram, or TikTok account, business owners are going online to reach a wider audience and stay relevant.
Business owners are busy handling orders, shipments, and dealing with customers. Managing and posting content across multiple social media accounts on top of that is just too much!
That’s where social media managers come in. They help businesses create a content schedule, curate and schedule content across multiple business accounts, and sometimes even engage with followers by replying to comments.
If you love social media and know all its ins and outs, this is for you!
While creating content can be fun, social media managers do it in a very strategic way. It’s important to understand your client’s target audience and create content that really resonates with them.
Helpful resources to learn social media management
Social Media Management for Beginners – YouTube video
How to Develop a Social Media Strategy Step by Step – YouTube video
Social Media Management Made Simple For Beginners – Udemy course
2. Content Writing
If you enjoy writing and have a knack for words, this is perfect for you!
As a content writer, you help business owners create written content for their website, blog, online magazine, newsletters, etc.
The written content may be in the form of a how-to guide, listicle, product reviews, and checklists to help your client’s target audience with their specific pain points.
To be a content writer, you need research skills and a flair for writing. Your writing should be well-researched and informative to help the brand you’re working with build trust and credibility.
Helpful resources to learn content writing
Viral Blogging 101: Blogging & Content Writing Masterclass – Udemy course
This is another skill that’s in high demand these days. It’s often confused with content writing, but the two have a distinct difference.
While they both involve writing for brands, their purpose differs. Content writers inform and educate readers to help a brand build trust and credibility.
Copywriters, on the other hand, persuade people to take a certain action, for e.g. buy a certain product, or sign up for something.
While content writers are engaged to write informative blog posts, copywriters are approached to write persuasive copy for ads, sales pages, and promotional materials.
As a copywriter, it’s important to understand your client’s target audience and write copy that attracts their attention and resonates with them.
Helpful resources to learn copywriting
What is Copywriting? The ABCs of Copywriting for Beginners – YouTube video
Copywriting – Beginner’s Guide – Blog post
The Complete Copywriting Course : Write to Sell Like a Pro – Udemy Course
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When we talk about skills to learn to make money online, SEO is definitely high up on that list!
SEO is all about driving traffic to websites or blogs through organic search results on search engines like Google. This is a great skill to have for web developers and content writers.
Designing a website isn’t enough. To get site visitors through Google, a website needs to be SEO-optimized.
Likewise, writing informative blog posts isn’t enough. To get views, the blog posts must be SEO-optimized.
These days, most business websites have a blog to draw readers in and drive conversion. For this to happen, people should come across the blog when they search for certain keywords on Google.
People usually click on websites that appear on the first or second page of their search results. As such, business owners often engage the services of SEO experts to help them rank on the first page of Google to increase the odds of people landing on their site.
This is also a useful skill to have as a freelancer who has a website to draw new clients in. With SEO knowledge, you can use the right keywords and optimize your website to get more potential clients landing on your page.
Helpful resources to learn SEO
SEO Tutorial For Beginners – YouTube
The Beginner's Guide to SEO – Blog post
The Ultimate SEO Training 2021 + SEO For WordPress Websites – Udemy course
My SEO Workbook - Book
5. Graphic Design
Humans are visual creatures. This explains why we are so drawn to platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
These days, brands have various design needs, e.g. logo design, promotional materials, and visual content.
Smaller brands that don’t have an in-house graphic designer may engage the services of a freelancer on a case-to-case basis.
This is also a great skill to hone for social media managers, especially if you create a lot of content for different platforms. Being able to design visually attractive posts that catch the attention of your client’s target market could boost engagement rates and conversions.
There are various design tools available out there including Photoshop and Canva. While Photoshop can be a little intimidating for newbies, Canva is pretty beginner-friendly.
Plus, it’s free to use. You can design a variety of different things using Canva including Instagram posts, stories, pins, posters, and logos.
You can upgrade to Canva Pro for more design options and features. It’s a great investment for social media managers, as they can use Canva Pro to schedule posts to various social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Helpful resources to learn graphic design
Canva Master Course | Use Canva to Grow your Business – Udemy course
Adobe Photoshop CC – Essentials Training Course – Udemy course
6. Web Design
Most businesses these days have a website to promote their products and services. Designing a website can be a daunting and time-consuming task. For this reason, business owners often hire help to set up their websites.
Web development is often associated with coding, but nowadays, there are easy-to-use website builders like Wix that don’t require coding. You can open a free Wix account and get familiar with the user interface.
Once you learn how to design a website on Wix, you can offer your web design services online.
WordPress is probably a more popular website builder, but it has a steeper learning curve. Set up a free WordPress account, learn how to maneuver the backend, and familiarize yourself with the various themes available for WordPress.
Helpful resources to learn web design
WordPress for Beginners | FREE COURSE – YouTube
WordPress for Beginners: Create a Website Step by Step – Udemy course
7. Video Editing
It’s estimated that by 2022, online videos will make up over 80% of all consumer internet traffic. In other words, video content is all the rage these days!
Brands both big and small are churning out video content in the form of ads, YouTube videos, video pins, and reels to attract the attention of their target audience.
Video editing is a technical and time-consuming affair, and many business owners choose to outsource this task to freelancers.
This is a great skill to learn to make money online. Learning this valuable skill opens the door to various video editing gigs for you, especially as more and more businesses shift towards video content to promote their products and services.
Helpful resources to learn video editing
Video Editing for BEGINNERS on MAC – YouTube
Premiere Pro CC for Beginners: Video Editing in Premiere – Udemy course
The Complete Final Cut Pro X Course Beginner To Intermediate – Udemy course
8. A second language
If you’re keen on learning a new language, here’s an added motivator – you can monetize that knowledge down the line! Learning a second language opens the door to various possibilities such as teaching and translation jobs.
You can start small with free apps such as Duolingo that teach you new words and phrases every day. Alternatively, you can hire an online tutor to guide you in a more structured way.
Helpful resources to learn a second language
7 Tips For Learning A New Language – YouTube
The Fastest Way to Learn a New Language – YouTube
Duolingo – Language learning app
italki – Online language lessons
If you’re a grammar Nazi, this is the job for you! Consider this – how many typos do you usually make in a text message? Now, imagine writing a 20-page report. It’s bound to have typos and errors!
As a proofreader, you need to read through materials given to you and check for any grammatical and spelling errors.
You may need to read pages on end and meet tight deadlines, so a general keenness for reading and attention to detail are important qualities for a good proofreader.
Helpful resources to learn proofreading
How to Find & Correct Writing Errors: The Proofreading Guide – Udemy course
Here’s How You Can Get Started
Once you’ve invested time and effort to learn one of these skills, what’s next?
Here are a few ideas to help you kickstart your freelance business:
1. Market your freelance services on platforms such as Fiverr.
Platforms such as Fiverr help to connect freelancers with businesses that need their services. Sign up for Fiverr and create attractive packages to get your first client!
Check out this step-by-step guide to getting started on Fiverr for more information.
2. Set up social media accounts for your freelance services.
Set up social media accounts and market yourself as a freelancer. Post content related to your niche with relevant hashtags on a regular basis to attract inbound leads.
3. Join remote work Facebook groups.
You can also join Facebook groups dedicated to helping people find remote work opportunities.
Various gigs are shared in these groups, and if they suit you, you can try applying for them.
4. Check out job listing websites.
Job listing websites such as Indeed.com tend to list freelance work as well.
In fact, I landed my first regular freelance gig writing for a travel blog by applying through a job listing website. Keep a lookout for opportunities and apply for promising gigs
5. Offer referral discounts.
Word of mouth can be a great source of marketing! Did you know over 90% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than they do advertising?
So be sure to provide good service and encourage positive word of mouth by offering referral discounts!
When existing clients refer me to their friends, I give them a 10 percent referral discount on their next invoice as my way of saying thank you.
People are more than happy to recommend your services when they’re satisfied with your work. This acts as an added incentive!
There you have it, these are the best skills to learn to make money online!
With some time and effort, you can develop and monetize the skill of your choice.
Use the helpful resources listed here to get started, and good luck!
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