Depending on the precise nature of the online business, there are certain skills that would give you an advantage if you’re to be successful. Such skills are good to have, but not necessarily critical to the success of the online business. Skills like graphic design and the ability to write a proper business plan will certainly be helpful, but there are some essentials that are required for running a successful online business.
There are five skills that are incredibly useful which I’ve classified as essentials. When these skills are applied together, they make you much more effective. Mastering these skills will give you the edge you need to make a success of your online business.
- Content production: This is the backbone of any online business. The ability to create content that would drive traffic to a particular site, content that properly articulates your thoughts and gets your message across to an audience. Whether it’s videos, text, infographics, podcasts, animation etc, content production is one skill that every successful online business is built upon. Quality content is what drives traffic, builds trust in your brand and attracts new leads and customers to your business. The content production process is often time-consuming and some kinds of content, like videos and podcasts will take more money, time and effort to produce properly, but quality content is not something that should be done haphazardly – your entire business depends on it!
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization): after producing proper content, the next vital step is optimizing it for Google and Bing – the most popular search engines. For the majority of websites, searches are their main source of traffic, so skipping SEO is to your own detriment. Starting from your keyword research, to performing the necessary tweaks on the backend and proper placement of keywords in your content(mostly written content), SEO is what will get your site discovered on SERPs and drive traffic to your business. Get familiar with other aspects like backlinks, short load times and more to increase your site’s visibility. If you don’t have the necessary skills in SEO, there are several online courses you can take to teach you what you need to know. Outsourcing your SEO is also another option to keep your website optimized.
- Be proficient in your niche: Think critically about the niche you plan on doing business in. Are you proficient in it? Because surface or residual knowledge won’t be enough. You might want to reconsider your choice of topic if the answer to that question is no. in an online business, just like in any other business, your clients must trust you if they are to patronize you. To build this trust, you must show that you’re an authority in your field, and this needs a proper knowledge of the topic in question. You might still pursue a certain topic with just enough knowledge to get you started, but keep in mind that you will have to build on what you know by investing in learning more about it.
- Digital marketing: Properly optimized, good quality content can drive a lot of traffic to your site, but knowing how to market your products and services on the digital space will help you reach your target audience and build a more faithful follower base. Digital marketing is done mainly on the Internet, but also includes mobile phones, display advertising, social media advertising and others.
- Learn to read basic code: Registering a domain and installing WordPress on it is pretty basic stuff, but after that, what next? To get the most from WordPress, you need to learn some basic HTML so you can tweak it to your satisfaction. You by no means need to know how to code a full HTML site, but the more you know, the easier it will be to customize certain aspects of your WordPress site. There are several great ways to learn basic code, using sites like Codecademy and Lynda. An added benefit of learning how to code is that if you get good at it(not just HTML and CSS, but server-side and scripting languages as well), you could easily make a career out of it. It’s a well-known fact that the number of programming jobs are way more than the available qualified programmers out there, so demand exceeds supply by a wide margin.