Technological creep and advancement is pushing society towards a world of automation and convenience. Our days as hunters and gathers are long behind us, replaced with today’s proverbial rat race where society’s entrepreneurial pursuits and necessity to succeed have become top priorities for us.
While we no longer face the difficulties of having to hunt for or gather our food, many now have to battle technological complexities. Those complexities have nothing to do with the consumption of content on the web, and everything to do with the creation and marketing of it. With so much competition in the world, it’s difficult to rise above the fray.
Yet, if you’re serious about succeeding in life, climbing the corporate ladder or launching that hot new startup, you’ll need some foundational skills that are virtually a prerequisite nowadays. For those who accumulate the right skills, the world truly is their oyster.
For those who hide from and ignore the digital tidal wave that’s sweeping the world, they can’t expect to make monumental progress and get ahead.
There are dozens of great skills you can learn online to further your career or business prospects. Some tend to rise above the others and should probably move to the top of your list. Whether or not you’re technically inclined, so to speak, these skills will provide you with the insights to propel yourself forward, get a better job or promotion, or simply increase your income by providing invaluable services online.
1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO provides the very bedrock and foundation for skyrocketing your sales in any industry or niche. People are far more likely to purchase from you if you appear relevant in an online search versus paying to drive the traffic there.
Clearly, by understanding and harnessing the power of SEO, you can send near-limitless traffic to your site and put your selling on autopilot. SEO is highly complex and convoluted, but if you master any of the skills you can learn online today, it should most certainly be this one.
2. Web development
As technology improves across the world – and more and more devices begin to connect to the internet – the necessity for people to understand web development is going to increase. From the Internet of Things (IoT) to simple web design and development, learning and harnessing this powerful online skill can give you an enormous advantage in the world.
Great web developers are hard to come by. However, if you’re committed to becoming a web developer, you’ve got quite the uphill climb – but that’s also the case in any other notable field.
Just remember, this single skill can give you a tremendous advantage when it comes to building and launching an online business.
3. Online marketing
This isn’t just about SEO. This is about the fundamental principles that are driving traffic through mediums like social media and ads. Learn the mechanics of online marketing, and you’ll be able to drive considerable traffic and scale out whatever business you decide to create.
This will also help you make money online through either passive income or active income activities. There’s a lot of multidisciplinary content to consume and understand here, but it’s definitely well worth it.
4. Email marketing
Email marketing is alive and well. In fact, it’s one of the surest ways to make considerable amounts of money on the internet today. If you master the skill of email marketing, and learn how to build an effective sales funnel, you can virtually skyrocket your sales and income.
This isn’t just about writing compelling sales letters; it’s also about understanding what types of emails get clicked on and lead to active interests and purchases. Email marketing is a skill that can easily be learned online, but it’s also something that will require a significant amount of practice on your end to get it right.
5. Graphic design
Today, aesthetics are an important part of business and sales. Not only do you have to focus on functionality, you also have to focus on the overall design. By learning the highly important skill of graphic design, you’ll understand the fundamentals that make things attractive, clickable and thus, more saleable.
Learning graphic design involves mastering programmes like Photoshop, Illustrator and other popular tools that will allow you to create stunning visual designs. These programmes are an important part of the process in truly absorbing fundamental graphic design skills. It will take some significant practice, but it will be well worth it in the end.
Some of the world’s leading professionals are also the best copywriters. If you can write compelling copy that sells people on whatever it is you’re peddling, you’ll be far more likely to make the sale. Imagine being able to persuade droves of customers to purchase just about anything from you.
The skill of copywriting is definitely one that takes time to acquire, but it’s also one of the best skills you could learn. Use sites like Udemy and Lynda to sign up for an online course where you can learn the fundamentals involved in this highly lucrative skill.
Photography is filled with a variety of nuances and skills that evade most people interested in this field. Not only do you have to understand the art of photography itself, but also everything there is to know about cameras, lenses, contextual settings and how to enhance the imagery itself using photo editing software.
You can use your photography skill set to not only make money by actively assisting others with event or portrait photography, but also by creating stock imagery that you can sell on a variety of popular websites such as Shutterstock and iStockPhoto. Find a good course to learn this skill, and be prepared to buy a good camera and practice taking as many photos as possible.
8. Translating and languages
Understanding and learning foreign languages is an incredible skill to have and one that you can use in a variety of situations. Not only is this great to have when traveling, but it’s also a useful when working to translate and convey documents from one language to another.
You can also use your knowledge of a second language to help tutor people online via Skype or FaceTime – maybe even making a little side income. It’s not difficult to pick up this skill online. Whether you take a course or download a programme through Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur’s audiobooks, for example, learning foreign languages is an advantageous skill to have no matter what the situation.
9. Statistical data analysis
Another great skill to learn online is statistical data analysis. We all know that, in order to achieve our goals, we need to get very good at analysing data. Statistical analysis and regression analysis are two ways we can help to identify relationships between variables that can then be adjusted and refined in order for us to achieve our goals.
Statistical data analysis is a great skill to have in a variety of situations. We can use it to analyse website traffic and to better gauge if our marketing efforts are paying off. It can be used in a number of other situations as well, and the more knowledgeable you are in this skill, the better you can be at just about any endeavour.
10. Psychology and human behaviour
I’ve had a mild fascination with psychology and human behaviour as long as I can remember. That curiosity has been a cornerstone in my understanding of why people do what they do and how best to leverage that information in business and in sales. This skill could benefit just about anyone out there, no matter what line of work they’re in.
This goes all the way into contract negotiations, settlement talks, buying habits and a number of other arenas. What colours do people best respond to, or where should you sit at a table during negotiation talks or meetings, or how can you understand if a person is lying by the way they hold their head or what direction they look? This single skill could offer you tremendous advantages in life and in business.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.