The Top Skills Worth Learning for Internet Entrepreneurs

By on October 28, 2020

Working online has been a huge advantage for me when pursuing all of my goals. It was only by working online for clients that I was able to give myself the time and space I needed to work on The Bioneer. (Of course, it also helped that many of the skills I needed to work online were also the same skills that would help me grow my brand.)

Working online gave me a flexible income that let me work more when I needed more cash flow; and less when I needed more free time.

It let me travel while still working. In my 20s, it gave me a protracted student experience!

Working online has led to countless amazing experiences: from getting published, to attending tech shows in other countries as a journalist, to meeting industry legends in tech and fitness.

I’ve been able to spend more time with my family now that I’m a Father. And when it comes to fitness, working online has been game-changing. I have more time to train than my employed friends, and I can take regular breaks throughout my working day to perform dips and crunches.

See also: Prediction: Enterring the online gig economy may soon be compulsory

I’ve argued recently that I think everyone will soon be forced to work online. But even before that, I was arguing that everyone should make the leap.

Here’s how to do it, and thrive.

How to Start Working Online

The good news is that working online is not hard. The simplest business model, and the one that worked for me for over a decade, is to sell a service.

Services that are in high demand online, include:

  • Writing
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Video editing
  • Web design
  • Graphic design
  • Marketing
  • Voiceovers
  • SEO
  • Programming
  • Presenting

Companies use the web to get the word out and sell their products. So, if you craft a better advert, website, or blog, there will always be people looking to hire you.

Working online

The Skills That Set You Apart

If you’ve read a little about how to start working online in the past, you may have come across some of these suggestions before: such as copywriting and marketing. It’s less common to see video editing and photography listed, though these are just as useful if you can find the right buyer.

Better, is that by combining these skills, you can offer a polished package that will appeal to a LOT of different employers. I started as a copywriter, but eventually expanded to offer a much wider range of “content creation” services.

I started as a copywriter, but eventually expanded to offer a much wider range of “content creation” services.

That means learning skills. In my experience, learning the following specific skills will make you extremely employable, and allow you to charge an extremely high fee.

To find out the precise skills you need, just sign up for my online seminar. Tickets are going fast so…

Lol jokes! These are the skills:

  • Web design / Graphic Design
    • WordPress
    • Illustrator
    • Bonus: Procreate
    • Bonus: 3D modeling
  • Marketing
    • SEO
    • Social media
  • Writing
    • Blogging
    • Copywriting
    • Technical writing
    • Persuasive writing
  • Video editing
    • Premiere pro or similar
    • After effects
    • I highly recommend signing up for a stock video/photography site
  • Marketing
    • Social media marketing
    • Content marketing
    • Branding
    • SEO
    • PPC advertising
  • Photography / Photo editing
    • Invest in a decent camera
    • Learn basic photography skills
    • Photoshop
  • Narration / Presentation
    • Audible
    • Invest in a decent microphone
    • Improve speaking voice with practice
  • Bonus: Coding
    • HTML / CSS
    • C# (Plus Unity/Visual Studio)
    • Java (Plus Android development)
    • Object C (Plus iOS development)
    • Python

Together, these skills represent a huge range of options for working online. Become proficient in just a handful of these and it will be MUCH easier finding highly paid work.

Why These Skills for Working Online?

The web is built around content. Thus, if you have the ability to create high quality content, you can charge/make a lot of money. That does NOT mean churning out low-quality copy that no one wants to read.

These skills directly benefit my work on The Bioneer, too. They allowed me to maximize the potential earnings and growth for the brand. Understanding this will help you understand why the same skills are so sought after by employers.

Musicians, actors, writers, and martial artists who also have videography skills are using YouTube as an ideal platform to find an audience.

Consider the average YouTuber: they might make some really great videos but struggle with videography and editing. Investing in a great camera, learning the basics, and adding some cool titles and effects could take them to the next level. And give them the chance to work with sponsors.

Many musicians, actors, writers, and martial artists who also have videography skills are using YouTube as an ideal platform to find an audience and maybe get “discovered.” If you can promote yourself, you no longer need to wait on a lucky break!

Meanwhile, a stunningly-designed thumbnail can really catch attention and pull someone in.

No More Outsourcing

Many YouTubers eventually outsource things like editing and thumbnail design but this costs money. If you can do those things yourself, you can keep a significantly larger portion of the profits from your hard work.

working online

Apply a basic understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and you can choose a title and description that will help more people find your content on YouTube.

And all this relates to freelancers too, as services to offer to other content creators or businesses. Better than being a great writer, is being a great writer with an understanding of marketing and SEO.

How many businesses could benefit from a video with high production values, explaining what they’re offering, right on their homepage?

(Note: Signing up to Envato Elements has been hugely beneficial for me. While expensive, this gives me access to a near-limitless supply of stock footage, video templates, background music, and more. Clients benefit from all that content and all I have to do is edit a few clips together into a video!)

Web Design

Having a website has also been hugely beneficial for me. This site allows me to sell a digital product directly off the back of my content creation, thereby earning a living doing the thing I love. If people enjoy my content, some may head here to buy my eBook.

I created this site using WordPress. That is what I highly advise anyone else to do. WordPress is a free, simple, and very powerful tool that lets you create a fully-customizable, open-source website in a few clicks. WordPress powers over a quarter of the web, which includes many of the biggest brands. You can significantly extend the capabilities of WordPress with free plugins and themes too. So we know it can be used to achieve massive success and there’s very little reason not to choose this option!

Me working online from a pub by the beach in 2014!
Working online in a pub in 2014 on an ancient netbook!

Where the skill comes in, is in choosing the right design and creating high-resolution logos.

Branding has been instrumental in growing the Bioneer and is what countless floundering websites and brands are missing. Branding means much more than logo design; it means having a genuine mission statement. A visual language. A consistent quality of content. Even typefaces can make a big difference.

Likewise, I’ve worked hard to keep the site running smoothly and loading quickly on all devices. (I am aware this hasn’t always been the case, but I’m still learning!)

Again, some creators sell products in other ways; by using third-party tools and services for example. While this is a valid option, it also means that they lose money. And it means they aren’t fully in control of their own business.

They aren’t fully in control of their own business.

With this website, I have multiple platforms that I control. If YouTube decides to ban my account overnight (it happens to people!) then I will still have some way of reaching you guys. The blog lets me cover a greater number of subjects that don’t work for my YouTube channel. And I know from experience that big websites with hundreds of thousands of daily visitors can earn a HUGE amount of money from advertising and affiliate sales.

Every business needs a website. And so if you can build a WordPress site with an appropriate design for your clients, you’ll have lots more options for working online.

Writing – a critical skill for working online

Writing has been the single most useful skill for me when working online. My first and “main” job as an online freelancer has always been copywriting. I was hired by everyone from big and small businesses that wanted product descriptions and homepage content, to marketers that wanted sales scripts for their websites. I wrote blog posts, eBooks for other companies to sell, and everything in between. Content is what most people search for online and it’s how Google understands the web, so this was an extremely easy skill to sell.

Writing online

Eventually, it became extremely useful to combine specialist knowledge with writing skill. I got work with Android Authority because I could not only code, but also communicate that knowledge with other people. This also led to my first two publishing deals.

Video Creation and Presentation

That’s where video creation skills and presentation started to come in handy again, too. I’ve made videos on fitness, working online, programming, and more for a number of different clients. I’ve been a presenter for Android Authority, and I’ve made technical videos for Apress Media.

(I’ll be updating this shortly when I’m allowed to talk about the other cool project I’ve been working on recently!)

This is something my competition simply can’t offer, as it requires at least four separate skill-sets:

  • Knowledge of technology/coding
  • Writing skills
  • Videography / editing
  • Presentation and narration

Of course, writing is also what enabled me to create my eBook and training program: SuperFunctional Training. It’s also what let me write a compelling sales script that drove people to actually buy the product. The video advert I created helped a lot with that too! (This is something else you don’t see many people doing.)

Note: Remember, most clients you’ll encounter when working online as a copywriter will want your copy to help them grow their visibility online. To that end, they will also want your content to be “SEO friendly.” This is another reason to learn SEO on top of your other skills.

Learning From the Best Online Brands

I work for countless clients that simply “don’t get it.” These are the “internet marketers” that hire me to write low-quality website content for them, with no real passion or brand image. They use default themes and post things like “How to get six pack abs.” They cover the page in ads, sell crappy products, and stuff their content with keywords.

Can you make short-term money this way? Maybe. But wouldn’t it be better to offer something genuinely interesting and new? Something with polish and real passion put into it?

Content creation

Thing is, this is the audience that a lot of online freelancers are currently catering to. To them, working online means delivering the minimum quality in high volumes. So, by showing some professional experience and qualifications, you can really stand out.

Think about the biggest and most successful brands and websites on the web. Think about the ones you read. These sites aren’t covered in ads and poorly written, dull articles. These are sites with high production values, created by teams that clearly have a passion for what they do.

How to Sell These Skills

I could go on about how these skills combine to provide you with a near-limitless number of options for working online on a freelance basis OR as an entrepreneur.

The point though is that by learning select skills and combining them, you can become an online “superstar” and offer some seriously high-quality work. The key is to keep training yourself and learning new tools and strategies.

See also: The Digital Polymath – Absorbing the Web With Accelerated Learning Techniques

That’s where most people go wrong when working online: they lack that growth mindset. When you’re self-employed, no one is going to send you off on a training course, or force you to get an AWS certification! You need to have the initiative to do those things for yourself.

When you’re self-employed, no one is going to send you off on a training course.

The web makes it easier than ever to learn new skills. So don’t accept the excuse that you “can’t” do something. You just can’t do it yet. And you can rectify that in a few weeks.

Spend your time collecting skills and even certifications and qualifications. Moreover, try to find work and opportunities that will enhance your CV. Getting published has been a huge advantage for me for example, as my writing clients now know that they are hiring a “published author.” Seek out opportunities like this to enhance your resume and your LinkedIn profile.

Learning skills online

I likewise recommend that everyone build their own side projects along with freelance work. Even if you never intend to be a full-time vlogger or webmaster, this will a) provide you with a second source of income, b) force you to learn new skills, and c) serve as an excellent showcase for what you can do.

Don’t charge too much to begin with. And learn to work fast and efficiently. That has been the other big advantage I’ve had when it comes to working online. I’ve been able to grow The Bioneer while working for clients by writing, filming, editing, and uploading my videos in just one day.

But that’s an article for another time!

About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.

One Comment

  1. Devin Love says:

    This article is so important to read during the pandemic as everyone is now trying to break into this internet industry empire! Do you expect to see many emulations of this industry in reflection of more traditional industries?

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