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Most Profitable Skills to Learn Online | Make Money Online

Are you a student or a fresh graduate wondering how to make a nice amount of money? Or are you looking to advance or change your career (yes, career) to increase your income streams? If you answered ‘yes’ to either, learning profitable skills online is a great way to start. 

And, the good news is you’re in the right place. Online learning is an effective platform for education.

When you search the internet, you will find a plethora of skills that are worth learning. But out of the countless options, which skills are in demand and profitable? Which skills will help you make money online? That is what you’ll learn from this blog post — and how to use the skills. 

Let’s dive in.

Profitable Skills You Can Learn Online to Make Money with These Jobs 

1. Social Media Manager

social media icons on smartphone

In this digital marketing era, social media managers are in high demand. Companies and businesses are looking to grow their brand online where potential customers are hiding. 

Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, social media gurus come with strategies to connect businesses and brands with their audience, drive traffic, and ultimately increase sales. 

They also plan and manage social media posts. 

And not only do businesses require social media managers, you can also help professionals who are busy and unable to manage their social media presence. 

You can learn social media management skills by taking online courses available on the internet. A few of these are:

2. Copywriter/Content Writer

blank piece of paper and pen for copywriting

Writing is not just a therapy or a mental exercise you should do daily, but a top money-making skill.

Content writing, in particular, is one of the most popular freelancing businesses on the internet because every brand with an online presence needs content. And there’s a promise of thousands of dollars if you learn the skill. 

The good thing is if you want to learn the skill, you don’t have to invest in a dedicated course. If you are fluent in English, you’re well-armed. You only need to write clearly, be exciting, research well and create appealing content. 

You can also specialize in copywriting. That means writing compelling content to persuade or motivate the reader to take action through emotions. Maybe you want the reader to buy a product, subscribe to a newsletter, visit a page, donate, or schedule consultations. 

Is copywriting an in-demand skill? Virtually every business needs to market and promote its products or services and effectively communicate with potential customers. The potential to earn thousands of dollars a month is there for everyone to see. 

But unlike content writing, you don’t only have to be proficient in English grammar to succeed as a copywriter. That’s not to say it’s an elusive skill. But if you can master the secrets behind how people make their buying decisions, you can succeed as a copywriter. 

Where to begin? 

There are many copywriting books for beginners, but professionals recommend starting with one of the following:

If you want to save time, investing in a course is the best way. 

You can also check out a few copywriting resources:

3. Web/Software Developer

web development

Being a website developer guru is an excellent way to generate money. 

Web developers are tasked with writing code, designing website layouts, and website maintenance. 

To start, you can use free programs and coding tools such as WordPress to create websites for businesses and professionals. Enrolling in WordPress Essential Training for Building Websites helps you learn everything about creating a website in WordPress. 

But if you want to level up, you need to be knowledgeable in programming languages such as Javascript and CSS. A few courses you can sign up for are:

And better yet, fusing your web development expertise with software development skills allows you to thrive everywhere computer software is involved. 

Besides creating apps — which is synonymous with software development — you also contribute to web development by creating back-end databases. 

CodeAcademy is a prominent resource to help you learn to code. 

Other than working as a coder for companies, you can as well, with creativity, build useful apps and sell them on the Google Play app store or the Apple App Store. 

4. Blogging and Affiliate Marketing

WordPress on MacBook

Long gone are the days when blogging used to be just a hobby. 

At the moment, and you can safely bet for years to come, blogging is a super important skill you can use to generate passive income, either as a part-time or full-time job. 

If you want to start your blogging career, you need to pick a profitable niche. That is, in fact, one of the determining factors of what amount of income you can earn. Also, dedicate ample time to your blog, implementing digital techniques that will help attract traffic. 

After putting in work and receiving web traffic, you can monetize your blog and generate income.

Affiliate marketing is the most common way currently for making money through blogging. You can sell courses, products, and services, and affiliate marketing blends well with blogging.

With this formidable combination in your skillset, you can earn good commissions even when sleeping. There are many affiliate programs with tutorials you can always reach out to if you want to learn the nuances of affiliate marketing. 

Other popular methods to monetize your blog include: 

  • Placing ads 
  • Reviewing products and services 
  • Sponsored posts 

To get into the hows of affiliate marketing and blogging, you can try the following paid courses that offer step-by-step guides:

Lastly, the best platform or CMS (content management system) for blogging is WordPress. If you decide to go down this road, make sure you use a self-hosted WordPress site and not from worpress.com.

5. SEO Manager

Google homepage on MacBook

SEO specialists study and apply search engine optimization best practices to help websites rank higher up in SERPs (search engine results page). They are responsible for developing and implementing strategies and managing the overall SEO workload for clients. 

SEO managers are some of the most sought-after talents in this age of digital marketing, as businesses and brands are competing to appear higher in search engine results. So you can guess the amount of money you can make if you learn the skill and help a client out. And better yet, you can easily have multiple clients as an SEO manager and double up your income. 

If you dedicate your time, you can learn SEO and become a professional. For a start, you can follow leading authorities, such as Neil Patel, in the industry offering great content that will help you start without spending a penny.

If you want to level up, here are a few rich courses you can enroll in:

6. Proofreading and Editing

woman working on laptop in bedroom

You may be a writer, but if you have an eye for minor details, consider adding proofreading and editing to your skillset. They are the skills you need in the final bits of any writing before hitting the publish button. 

As they involve catching spelling mistakes and other errors, you need to have excellent grammar and sentence structures, among nuances associated with writing. 

And the ROI of these skills is high. There are loads of entrepreneurs on the internet waiting for you to proofread and edit their content, either blog articles or ebooks, before publishing. 

Like content creation, editing and proofreading don’t need formal training. However, if you want more insights to sharpen your skills, try:

7. Graphic Designer

graphic design of buck

If you have some artistic talent and usually like ‘playing’ with text, color, and shapes, you can flip the script and turn your passion into a full-time job online through graphic design.

With this skill, you can express your ideas through logos, posters, banners, or any other buttons you see on web pages.

Businesses hire graphic designers to create visual elements for various purposes, such as promoting their products, services, and mission. You can display your portfolio on freelancing platforms, including Upwork and Fiver, to search for gigs. You can also land high-paying jobs in large companies. 

There are many online resources, including YouTube, to help you learn graphic design skills. Two leading software you will need to learn or find an alternative are Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. To get started, you can also use free tools such as Canva. You can also check out a few courses to explore your creativity without spending a penny. Some are:

But if you want to upgrade, you may want to invest in paid Udemy courses such as;

8. UX Design 

UX Design skill to make money online

Thanks to digital marketing, user experience (UX) matters greatly due to online advertising on websites and apps. That’s why UX design is an in-demand skill now and even years to come. 

It’s a skill that often goes hand in hand with graphic design. But unlike graphic designers who express themselves with visualization, a UX designer’s job is centered on the user. A UX designer focuses on the user interface — how the product or brand appears to and interacts with users. 

This user interface involves stuff like how users navigate through the websites and apps. UX not only applies to digital products, but also physical products and services. And not to demean graphic designers, but UX design may even pay more with fewer qualifications. 

To help you learn about this bank-making skill, Google offers the Google UX Design Professional Certificate, so you don’t need to enroll in a university course. Here you will learn the basics of UX design and sharpen your skills and generate a handsome income. 

9. Video Editor

earn money online editing video

YouTubers upload thousands of videos every minute. People from every corner of the planet are becoming vloggers.

When businesses have realized the effectiveness of video as a promotional tool for their products and services, arming yourself with video editing skills is essential. 

If you want to throw yourself in the field, video editing requires one of the most modest investments. With a personal computer and a high-end CPU/GPU, you’re good to go.

And better yet, you can also do modest, professional work with the latest smartphone, which comes with inbuilt editing software. Yet, the returns are crazy. 

You can learn how to edit videos from thousands of detailed tutorials on YouTube. But to further your knowledge and strengthen your skills, invest in a few in-depth courses on Udemy or Skillshare. 

However, video editing is a demanding job. But fusing it with the required skills with video filming expertise allows you to thrive well in the industry. Some programs to help get started include:

10. Investing Money

stock charts on laptop and tablet

Some of the skills listed here can turn most of you into full-time employees. Let’s flip the script now and do like the minority; let money work for you.

Investing money will not only help you earn money online, but it’s arguably the most efficient way to create wealth — but it does come with risk. 

If you are wondering where to invest money online, you have the luxury of choosing stocks, mutual funds, fixed deposits, portfolios, and more. 

But it’s not as simple as it sounds — hence why many never try it. Robert Kiyosaki puts it well in his finance book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, you don’t learn the art of using your money to work for you in school. But the good news is the internet is home to many content-rich courses to help you out. 

The potential in this skill is why you will struggle to find free online courses, but you can sign up for the Investing Class at Morningstar, which touches on topics such as funds, bonds, stocks, and portfolios. 

While the free classes are a great place to start, invest in the paid courses; you’ll find experienced and successful mentors who provide you with knowledge and insights on investing money. You can try:

11. Language Teacher 

Eiffel tower at dusk

If languages, as well as teaching, fuels your passion, there’s no better time than now to turn it into a career with an increasing demand for online language teachers. For various reasons, many people globally seek to learn one or more foreign languages. 

And the good thing is you can teach without having a certificate or college degree, although a few platforms require you to have either of them. But if you need certification, enroll in the TEFL Course

You can choose to teach your native language or a second one you’ve learned. All you need is an excellent command of the language, quality technology in terms of high-speed internet, a headset, a camera, and a computer. 

You can work with an online company such as Lingoda. Working with companies is the easiest method as it’s easy to secure students when the platforms host large numbers of global students. But if you want to be your boss, you can start your business or create a teaching profile and offer your services to freelancing platforms such as Preply or iTalki.

12. Translator

women typing on laptop

Translating is one of the mistakenly underrated skills, with many viewing it as too easy. That’s not to say it’s as complex as UX design, but this skill is not only about translation but also interpreting a language into another. 

That’s why being fluent (both verbal and written) in two languages only doesn’t outright make you a translator, although it’s a top skill. But you also need to sharpen some more translation skills and abilities for a successful career, including:

  •  Proficiency in the target language, because experienced natives will access your work.
  • Understanding both cultures of the two languages you are dealing with because you don’t want to preserve the meaning and disappoint your client.
  •  Good communication skills are also essential as you deal with businesses and individuals. 

To build these skills and many others, consider taking online courses from various platforms such as Coursera

Even if you are not good at any foreign language, you can learn from Duolingo.com and other sources. Choose the most popular and profitable languages. They include German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, and Chinese. With this said, if you are not fully bilingual, becoming a translator will be a lifelong journey. Being a language teacher is a better option.

As a translator, you mainly deal with written materials — books, articles, reports, and even blogs. You can work for businesses, including hospitals, schools, conferences, and individuals. You can also offer your services to translation agencies, and if you can play your cards well, you can get opportunities in governments.

13. Life Coach

life coach meeting to make money online

A life coach improves the quality of your professional or personal life.

For this skill, you have to be a critical thinker, objective, and well-versed with different cultures. People listen to you to develop new strategies which improve their lives. That doesn’t mean you should know everything in the world. You can specialize in your strongholds, for instance, relationships and careers. 

Other than that, you need to understand how to use various online technologies, including Skype and video chat, as these are mediums that facilitate online coaching. 

There are many opportunities to encourage, inspire, and help people, to lead balanced, happier lives. You can get a job in nursing care facilities, agencies, and health insurance companies. 

For training, the following online resources can help you start your life coaching career:

You can also enroll in life coaching courses on Udemy and Coursera.

14. Data Scientist

data science profitable skill

This is a field with few qualified professionals but full of potential, as Data Scientists are in high demand.

Working with numbers and with the help of software, data scientists examine, process and model data sets to unearth new information, which they use to make excellent conclusions and decisions. 

Such decisions from data scientists are vital for businesses as they can reveal new opportunities or display helpful business interrelationships, therefore contributing to business growth. 

It’s not an elusive skill. With passion, you can become a professional data analyst. The best way to start is to learn Microsoft Excel before getting yourself comfortable with languages such as Python

The internet also offers valuable resources to help you out. Google announced the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate, which positions you well for any entry-level position and can earn you more than $90K a year. 

If you want to learn from a qualified, successful professional, head to the Preply platform.

Why Learn Online?

woman learning online via laptop

Cheaper than in-person classrooms 

Compared to in-person classes, online courses are cheaper. Affordable tuition aside, opting to learn online saves you money as you do not pay for college meals and housing plans. You also eliminate transport expenses since you don’t commute to the class daily. 

And more, thanks to technological advancement, you don’t need to spend money on expensive textbooks, which are synonymous with in-person classrooms. Instead, you can get your learning materials in digital versions, which is a cost-effective strategy. 

You can learn from anywhere

Where you live does not matter with online learning. With a computer — or even a tablet — and a good internet connection, you can log in from anywhere and start learning the skills. 

The benefit of this flexibility is students from across the world can ‘meet’ in the same virtual classroom, which brings a global perspective to learning. That sets you well on the way of businesses looking to hire cultural-diverse employees who are rich in new ideas. 

Also, since you can live closer to your family and loved ones, learning online is less stressful and can boost your emotional well-being. 

Flexible schedule 

Choosing to learn online gives you the luxury to take more, better control of your schedule. For all skills listed here, you have the advantage of enrolling now, and in a few months, you start earning money. 

What’s more, with flexibility, you can now better manage your education, work, and personal life. That allows self-paced learning, and for courses designed to take 20 weeks, you can condense them to a 10-week program to finish fast and start pitching for gigs.

You can save lessons to your personal computer

Saving lessons to your computer gives online learning an upper hand as it increases student engagement and understanding of a skill. 

For instance, storing a lesson in a video format helps you better understand your skill by reviewing the information later. Other than just totally understanding it, you also develop a feeling for it. That is because the lessons are delivered in a narration format, hence better information retention. 

Why you should consider working online

woman working remotely on laptop in SUV

You can work from anywhere with an internet

You’re not limited to your hometown. Your office or work area can be anywhere you want, provided there’s an internet connection. Ubiquitous resources such as cloud computing and Wi-Fi make it possible to work online. 

This work-from-anywhere convenience, and thanks to taking more control of your work schedule, help you better balance your life and work, contributing to better output. 

You can enjoy a digital nomad lifestyle and travel

Working online allows you to have a taste of a digital nomad lifestyle as you’re free to work anywhere in the world, be it a beach or a coffee shop. 

You can also travel or even live in foreign countries and still earn income with just your laptop. 

With this digital nomad freedom, you can get incredible experiences and learn from different people of various cultures. 

No commuting to work saves costs/time 

Since you don’t commute when working online, you save immensely on costs and time. 

And the time you’d have spent traveling to work, you can use more productively and even finish your tasks way early. 

Also important, eliminating commuting in your work life can be a healthy lifestyle as you minimize the chances of stress and anxiety associated with daily traveling (traffic). 

You also save the environment. How? When employees choose to work online from home, they don’t commute to work daily. That reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contributes positively to environmental impact. 

Final Thoughts

While you can generate thousands of dollars per year with these skills, let nobody lie to you that you will make 100K in your first year — it’s rare.

Many start as ‘entry-level’ freelancers and earn a decent income. But taking massive, radical action daily on a skill you are interested in will help you improve. In time, have the right to paint yourself as an expert — on your portfolio and proposals — and start earning a decent living. 

Remember to learn more than just a single skill. Blend especially those that work closely to cultivate that X-factor. That will give you an edge over the crowd when pitching for gigs.