Do you want to advance your career? Or earn some extra passive income? Extending your skills is the best way to progress your career or earn more money. Having well-developed skills increases your bargaining power for a pay raise. That’s why we compiled this list of 21 profitable skills you can learn on your own and expand your earning potential.
Besides expanding your career, enhancing personal development, and making money, skill is important in many other ways. For instance, acquiring a new skill can:
- Give you motivation and boost your happiness
- Help you beat boredom
- Boost confidence and self-esteem
- Help you help other people or businesses
- Sharpen your problem-solving and reasoning
- Give you a new experience
- Increases your flexibility and prospects in life
With the skills discussed herein, you can capitalize on online opportunities. And at the same time, fill your pocket. So I want you to pick the most impressive one to learn and expand your skill set. You can learn on your own using free materials or sign up for online courses.
Let’s get to the details, shall we?
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links, we may earn a commission, but the price on your end remains the same.
High-Income Skills to Learn in 2022
For all the skills discussed herein, we’ll give you an overview of what you expect and how to make the best out of them. You’ll understand why they’re the most profitable skills to learn.
1. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a component of marketing that uses the internet and digital technologies like desktops and mobiles to create, promote and sell products and services. You can market your offerings or start a marketing agency with this skill. So, if you are tech-savvy, creative, and interested in advertising, this is one of the most profitable skills to learn today.
With the growing usage of digital media and accessibility to the internet and digital technologies, the future is indeed digital. Having realized this trend, businesses have paid more attention to promoting their offerings digitally. There is much potential in the digital world.
Digital marketing is broad, so you can pick a specific subcategory, learn how it works, and then advance later on. You can learn any of the following popular digital skills:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Strategic Content Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Email Direct Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- Link Building (off-page SEO)
Others include Ad content writing and helping businesses set up and analyze Ad campaigns. So, as earlier mentioned, you may pick one area or two first and maximize on it.
Some of the digital marketing blogs you can follow and learn digital marketing for free include this one and our youtube channel. But you can also check out other blogs like Neil Patel’s and learn about SEO, Backlinko for link-building lessons, and Semrush for marketing content.
You can become a digital marketing consultant on your blog or website (agency). Or advertise your services on Social Media and freelance marketplaces like Fiverr. Even better, you can apply the skills to market your blog and have more people subscribe to your offers.
2. Article Writing or Copywriting
Articles are content designed for a large audience and cover a specific topic. You can learn this interesting and profitable skill by reading articles in your niche and observing how others format their content. And then adopt the most appropriate approach.
Generally, you can find materials online on how to write a perfect article. And then, you’ll realize that you’ll need to advance your skills on:
- Topic selection and keyword research
- Creating an outline for your article
- Copywriting skills
- Identifying and targeting an audience
- Proofreading and editing
- Communication skills to keep your audience hooked up
Then, you can market your writing services online by starting a blog or finding companies that hire freelance writers. In both cases, I want you to focus on advancing your skills first, pinching for new clients and satisfying the current ones, and then growing your portfolio.
3. Proofreading and Editing
Some people would rather write their content, including blogs, articles, or academic papers like essays and dissertations, on their own and hire freelancers to edit and proofread them. As a result, although different skills, proofreading and editing are very profitable to learn. Not to forget, you understand how to polish your content, making you a good writer with time.
Proofreading and editing are two separate yet connected skills. The former means correcting surface errors like grammar and spelling mistakes and punctuation. While editing aims to improve the quality of writing by enhancing its flow, readability, and structure.
Both skills require you to understand basic writing rules and be conversant with the English language. You can learn how to edit and proofread by following writing websites like Grammarly.com and SmartWrite.net, and with practice, you’ll become a pro editor.
Then you can display and market your proofreading and editing services online and earn.
4. Web Design & Development
British physicist Tim Berners-Lee published the first-ever website on 6 august 1991 (https:/info.cern.ch). The number of websites increased to 10 by 1992 and 3000 by 1994. As of 2021, there were over 1.88 billion sites globally, with the number increasing over the years.
Thus, you can learn these skills online to take advantage of the growing demand for web designers and developers. As a web designer, you’ll be responsible for creating a site’s layout, usability, and visual appearance. And you can work with new sites or advance existing ones.
For you to teach yourself website designing and development, which are somewhat technical but profitable skills to learn, you need to:
- Go through WordPress Tutorials.
- Learn the Basics of UI and UX.
- Learn SQL and PHP.
- Learn the Basics of SEO.
- Make Sure Your Site is Responsive.
It can take you at least 3 months to become a web designer. But with experience, you’ll become more conversant with the area and amaze your customers. If you want to fasten the learning process, you can enroll in a course, find a tutor, or even find a coding buddy.
Some free sites you can learn coding and web development include YouTube, freeCodeCamp, Codecademy, Udemy, and Mozilla Developer Network (MDN).
5. Video Production and Editing
Video marketing has been on the rise, and you can capitalize on this trend by learning how to produce videos or tutorials and edit them. And then, you can set up a production firm to shoot professional videos for people and businesses, especially wedding and music videos and Ads.
This is an area you can enroll in classes, preferably in person, and take much time practicing, as opposed to learning theory. You must engage with the camera as much as possible and familiarise yourself with video editing software to perfect your skills.
You can also learn the skill for your benefit, create a YouTube channel and content for a specific audience, and grow your organic reach. And then, start making money through video creation, like running sponsored ads, being a brand ambassador, or YouTube monetization.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing, part of digital marketing strategies, is the second most popular way bloggers make money online after Google Adsense. And if you don’t know what it is or how it works, check this guide. Then fund unlimited products/services to market online on ShareASale.
Check out this article on how affiliate marketing works, and understand what exactly you need to develop this skill. Then you can work as an affiliate marketing consultant for companies, be an affiliate marketing adviser to creators or make passive income using the same approach.
You can make an income stream online with affiliate marketing skills, making it one of the most profitable skills to learn by 2023.
7. Online Course Creation
One reason to learn how to write articles effectively and video production is that you can create online courses combining case studies, articles, and tutorials. And then, you can market your courses on your website, social media, or through paid advertising and other digital means.
Specifically, to create an online course, you’ll need to:
- Find the right topic or subject matter
- Test whether your idea is plausible
- Conduct extensive research on the topic
- Prepare an outline for the course
- Create the course content
- Publish your course online
- Start selling your course
- Find another topic in your niche and replicate the process
So you can check YouTube videos and blogs on how to create and publish a course online and use digital marketing strategies in this blog to market it online and earn. And I want you to conduct extensive research to establish the demand for your topic before creating your course.
You can also advance your skills in course creation and train people on the same. And you can do it on your blog or website, YouTube channel, or by signing up for websites like Udemy.
8. Graphic Designing
Graphic designing is another lucrative skill you can learn and advance your career, strengthen your resume or make a living out of it. A graphic designer creates visual concepts using software or websites or by hand, aiming at inspiring, informing, or captivating customers.
You can practice designing using Canva, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Adobe Photoshop. You can watch tutorials on YouTube, read blogs, or enroll in online classes.
Graphic designing is broad, and you can start by learning how to conceptualize:
- Logo and Brand Identity
- Layout and Print Design
- Product Design
- Book or Ebook Covers
- Website or Mobile App Design
- YouTube Thumbnail Designs
- Social Media Posts Design
- Animations, Infographics, Images, and Gifs
- Business Cards and Letterheads
This skill has been in demand for ages and is not losing relevance soon. So I want you to focus on a particular aspect, learn and advance the skill by practicing. And then market your graphics designing services online, on your website, or other freelance marketplaces like Fiverr.
9. Academic Writing or Tutoring
As part of content writing, you can specialize in helping students not to cheat but guiding them on how to write, edit and proofread their academic papers like essays and research papers. And to do this, you’ll need to learn a few basics about academic writing and perfect your skills.
Some of the areas you may want to focus on include, but are not limited to:
- How to find topics for essays and other projects
- How to proofread and edit academic papers
- Academic writing mistakes students should avoid
- Best tools for students like Grammarly and ProWritingAid
- Different types of papers they should know about
This is an interesting area if you want to engage with students and help them solve the problems their assignments bring them. You can start a YouTube channel or writing agency or sign up for freelance writing websites as a writer. Or market your services on social media.
10. Learn how to Transcribe
Transcribing entails listening to a recorded video (or audio) and writing or typing what you hear word by word. And you can be required to transcribe a range of files, including audio from interviews on market research, meetings, phone calls, company meetings, or zoom calls.
To succeed as a transcriber, you’ll need basic skills like fast typing, editing, multitasking, effective communication, time management, and attention to detail. But having the highest typing speed is not enough. You need to be accurate as well.
And you can follow these steps to transcribe a file effectively:
- First, listen to the entire recording before you start typing
- Listen to the entire sentence before transceiving it
- Edit the first draft, giving attention to mistakes and bad grammar
- Learn how to type with maximum speed while observing accuracy
Then you can promote your new skill or include them in your resume and advance your skills-set. You can even create gigs on freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr and earn from them. Or even start a blog or vlog about transcribing and offer your services.
11. Translating Skills
Translation skills help you transfer the message, tone, cultural elements, and styles from one language to another. So you’ll need to master both languages for your translations to make sense. For instance, “how to translate” is “jinsi ya kutafsiri” in Swahili.
After mastering translation skills, you can advance your potential to earn online or even work in foreign countries. You could be hired to translate an entire book from English to the Hindu, a product description to Swahili, or a student’s thesis from Chinese to English.
So if you’re much into languages, you can advance this skill by taking a course in at least one language you’re unfamiliar with but interested in learning. Or you can follow online courses or blogs for the same, which would probably take you a little longer to master the new language.
Content creators seeking to target global audiences tend to use translators, let’s say, in converting their video captions from English to another language like Germany. So, this is one of the many profitable skills you can learn and increase your chances of working abroad.
12. Resume and Cover Letter Writing
Resumes and cover letters are vital documents submitted by job seekers or by students seeking admission for post-graduate studies. Learning how to craft one would not only improve your chances of securing a job or getting into your dream university but also allows you to earn.
While writing these essential documents for students and job seekers, you should focus more on communicating your ideas precisely. The papers require one to show their skills, qualities, and personality to the employer and justify why they should be hired for the job.
However, in most cases, many people cannot write an attention-seeking resume or cover letter, despite being no more than one page each. So, you can take this opportunity to learn these profitable skills and market your services. When you get clients, offer them the best services so they can see value in your services, increasing your chances for referrals.
A good resume and cover letter increase one’s chances of receiving an interview call and getting into their dream organization. And you can offer editing services as well.
13. Busines Consultation or Coach
Many people are willing to start or grow their businesses but lack expertise in business management or want professional advice on what they can do. And guess what? You can be their savior by offering business consulting services on broad aspects like marketing.
You could specialize in sales, HR, engineering, or security, perfect your expertise and knowledge, and start earning immediately. So, some of the skills you’ll have to learn to succeed as a professional business consultant include:
- Creating thinking and problem solving
- Communicating clearly and empathetically.
- Ability to collaborate with other job levels
- Curiosity and credibility
- Organization and time management
- Interpersonal communication; oral and written
- Creativity and innovation
- Ability to be flexible and cope with pressure
Some of these skills are learned through experience and practice. But you can take a business consultation and communication course to fasten the process of acquiring them. Or find a consulting firm to work within your area and get practical experience.
14. Financial Consultation
A financial consultant explores a client’s financial life, giving more attention to aspects like income and expenses, assets, and investment portfolio, to help them set and attain financial goals. If you can acquire a proper license, you manage their investment portfolio for a fee.
To succeed as a financial consultant, other than having deep knowledge of finance, you should be conversant with the following:
- Creating relationships with the clients
- Have communication and analytics skills
- Manage to give research-based recommendations
- Have a background in wealth creation and management
- Have analytical skills and be detail-oriented
You can run a professional financial consultancy agency and have responsibilities like:
- Helping our clients create financial plans to achieve their goals
- Answer your clients’ financial questions and address their concerns
- Analyze market and economic trends to offer justifiable recommendations
- Maintain effective communication with the client and give updates
- Focus on creating long-term relationships with your clients
And believe me, people earn up to 6 figure income but cannot point out where their money goes. Others know when they are wasting money but cannot quit some bad spending habits. So, you can help them get on the right track and see them control their spending and income.
7 Other Profitable Skills you can Learn and Earn
Here are seven highly demanded skills you can learn and make a living out of them.
- Writing Product Descriptions: You can help businesses or e-commerce stores write product or service page descriptions. Just learn some skills like copywriting and SEO. Then you can learn how to promote your services on your website or social media to get clients.
- Virtual Assistant: You can work online as a virtual assistant. First, take a course or teach yourself the skill, create an online presence, market your services, and start applying for jobs.
- Photography and Photoshoot: If you’re much into cameras but don’t want to start with video production, you can venture into photography. You’ll need a camera and a small room for taking studio photos or passports. Then share your work online to attract clients.
- Data Analysis: Businesses collect a large volume of data daily, but without an analyst to make meaning out, such data is worthless. That’s why they look for experienced part-time or full-time data analysts. You can enroll in a class to advance your data analysis skills.
- Captioning: Captioning is adding short texts to explain an item or describe what people say. And this is a skill that is highly sought by video producers, especially in movies and music. So you can learn how to caption and then market your services online.
- Blogging: As part of content marketing or article writing, blogging is a process of writing and publishing short content on a website on different topics. So you can learn how to write a perfect blog and write ones for your website and get traffic or sell such services.
- Online Business: You can learn how to start and grow an online business of your interest, launch it, write SEO articles or product description pages, and market it online. Then start making money in a few months. I want you to decide what type of business you can start.
The article presents 21 awesome and profitable skills you can learn by taking courses or teaching yourself and earning from them forever. While some of these skills would need at least three months to learn and a little practice, they are highly demanded and satisfying.
Pick at least one that interests you and plan how to capitalize it to your advantage. And remember, this article does not guarantee that you’ll start earning immediately after learning the skills. You need to promote your services to make a good income. Marketing is key!
That being said, let me know which of these skills you’ll be acquiring soon. Which of these skills do you consider to be the most profitable to learn? Why?
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