Knowledge is power. Without knowing and understanding things, you can’t change and shape your life.
When people ask me how they can start to make money online, one of the first things I tell them (after “take action!”) is to start learning.
It’s only when we increase our knowledge and apply that knowledge can success be attained.
With the internet being a massive resource for pretty much everything there is an urge to start off your learning journey with a Google search.
This is a great way to start, but also a great way to fail.
You see, there’s just so much data out there that it’s often easy to get overwhelmed by it all. And an overwhelmed mind does not learn.
As such, I’ve collated some resources for you, both free and premium, that can help you find the right path to take to learn the skills you need.
I’ve focused purely on skills that revolve around the web and computers, because let’s face it, we want to be able to work from home (or the beach or the coffee shop) and have flexible hours as much as possible.
The other great thing about these resources is that even the ones that cost money are a heck of a lot cheaper than going to college!
The core of the web is code, scripts and markup language to be precise. This code makes sure all the servers keep running, websites keep loading and makes website functionality the useful and easy to use thing it generally is.
Most people when wanting to learn code for internet use, want to learn how to make websites, and with good reason as the internet is just getting bigger and bigger and with the constant changes that occur, there is always work for a skilled web designer/developer.
Of course you can learn to code by simply browsing the web and applying what you find, but from experience I know that taking a course in web coding can provide the best sort of platform to build off of.
Some of the best sources for learning to code web sites are:
If, unlike me, you can draw better than just a stickman, you could consider learning all about graphic design.
Some people thing that there is very little to this type of education apart from drawing pretty pictures, but they would be wrong.
There’s a lot of theory that is involved, from basic geometry and form, through color schemes to using the complex art packages such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
Web based graphics cover things like actual web design, as well as things like infographics and diagrams. Logo and mascot design is a possibility too.
Udemy offer a great course that gives you real world skills with Photoshop and Illustrator.
For a broader approach, try a site like TryDesignLab.com which focuses heavily on web based design.
As internet bandwidth increases more content is being produced in video format.
This doesn’t mean that the quality of it is any good though. With the higher quantity, there are opportunities for skilled videographers to create amazing videos for marketers and businesses alike.
Design and technical skills work on par with this style of work.
When beginners start looking for things that they can do to make money online with, they stumble across internet marketing.
Usually they get either scammed, or so confused that they leave it well alone.
That’s a pity because internet marketing is such a rich and interesting skill set and has the potential to make lots profit too.
The great thing about internet marketing is that you can be a jack of all trades (think consultant) or focus heavily on one specific area that interests you. There’s plenty of ways to make money with this skill set, either for yourself or by working with clients to improve their business marketing.
There’s really only one place I recommend to use to start learning internet marketing and that is Wealthy Affiliate. For me they provide everything you need to get started, in a safe and conformable environment, without running the risk of being scammed.
While SEO (Search Engine Optimization) does fall under the catch all of internet marketing, I wanted to pull it out as SEO can be a career all on its own.
The main issue with SEO, is that it is so fluid and ever changing thanks to Google and the people who want to game the system, that there are few courses online for it.
One exception is a course on Udemy, but really this can only be taken as grounding in SEO. Using other sources such as the venerable Moz, and other online sources are really the only way to, not just learn SEO, but keep up with its ever changing face.
Games & Software
Coding isn’t just for websites, and true coding is needed for things like games and software that can be both downloaded to a desktop or used online.
For games I would recommend the Game Institute, which costs less than $100 per year and contains a heck of a lot of training material and courses.
For more general coding in languages like C# and Java, Udemy has your back.
The number of web sites that track and record your data and site usage is incredible. The amount of data they gather is almost impossible to comprehend.
Take Facebook for instance. One man suggests that they had a 1,200 page PDF full of data just for him. Now times that by 1.5 billion users and that’s a whole lot of data. And Facebook is just one company.
That’s why data analysts are becoming popular. Businesses need people who can make sense of all this raw data and turn it into information that can be used to predict trends and to improve sales.
Another, slightly different from of data analysis is interpreting website traffic, via services like Google Analytics.
In fact most people don’t fully understand the power behind Google Analytics and this has created opportunities for people to get paid for analysing and interpreting this web traffic data.
The Bottom Line
These skill sets and training programs are by far a minority when it comes to the things you can learn on the internet, but if you’re looking to make money online, these provide some of the best bets.
As with anything you will need to put in the time and effort, and you will still need to take more courses, and learn from taking action, as well as keeping up to date with the latest and greatest via Google.
One thing is true with most occupations, online or not: you will forever be learning and improving.
The costs of getting started with online courses is minimal compared to offline ones, and they offer the benefit of having up to date course material even as the shape of the web changes.