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How to Increase Your Salary – 12 High-Income Skills to Learn For Free

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Looking to get a better job, score a promotion, or change your career path?

Learning some new, in-demand skills is the perfect way to increase your value on the job market, or potentially even become a freelancer and sell your services online.

I always see those expensive courses that want you to pay over $100 for a certificate, which is just crazy! What if you end up paying for a course that you end up not liking?

That’s why I put together a list of 12 high-income skills you should consider picking up, as well as resources where you can learn them for free (via YouTube or free online courses).

If you’re looking for ways to increase your income, I strongly recommend reading one of these 5 best books on personal finance.

1. SEO

SEO is short for search engine optimization and it plays a crucial role in bringing views to the websites and products of online businesses.

When you type something into a search engine (Google, for example), the search engine makes some complex decisions to decide which pages (out of millions) it’s going to show you.

SEO is the art of making websites better so that Google ranks them up in the search results.

That’s why mastering SEO is a valuable high-income skill – since many businesses are online, companies will pay to increase the number of organic views they’re getting on their websites.

You can learn SEO by watching YouTube videos or starting a free SEO Training Certification course.

2. Software development

Companies are increasingly in need of people to develop, maintain, and improve their technological systems.

Starting programming can be great if you’re looking to change your career path to increase your income.

That said, it does require a big commitment to learn as no one can become a skilled programmer overnight. On the plus side, there are a great number of totally free courses and videos online that teach this high-income skill from the basics!

If you decide to take up coding, the first thing you want to do is research which programming language to study first.

Python is probably the most popular choice for beginners, as it’s easy to learn, but you can also watch a video on how to choose your first programming language.

There are also many free online courses to study any programming language, like this Diploma in Python Programming course that teaches you from the basics!

3. Data analysis

Businesses rely heavily on data to make informed decisions, and they need more and more people who know how to collect and analyze the data.

Data analysts often use multiple tools such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or Python, and know how to read data from them.

So, if you’re good at statistics and math, and are willing to learn to use internet tools and visualize data, then watch this 10-hour Data Analytics Full Course on YouTube or take up a free Introduction to Data Analytics course.

4. Web development

Ever wondered what it’s like to create and run websites? If so, web development may be an interesting new high-income skill to learn.

Web development can get you a job in a web design company, or, if you want to hustle on your own to potentially double or even triple your income, you can become a freelance web developer.

You can start by learning how to create your own website on WordPress, and move on to tougher skills such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Start with a free Web Developer Course.

5. Graphic design

Creating visually appealing content is a must for businesses that want to do well on the market. This skill requires knowing your audience, and a great deal of creativity.

You can design content such as social media content, ads and banners, logos, YouTube thumbnails, and so much more!

You can also become a freelance content creator, and offer your services on websites such as Fiverr.

Free courses to learn graphic design: Youtube tutorial Graphic Design Tutorial for Beginners or Coursera course Fundamentals of Graphic Design.

6. Social media management

Social media platforms are huge money-making machines, so it’s no wonder that businesses mostly target their content and ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and so on.

Businesses and influencers who don’t have time to create content for their social media accounts often hire a social media manager who does the job for them.

Being a social media manager generally means creating posts, developing strategies to get followers, interacting with the audience, and reviewing the analytics.

If you know a thing or two about growing social media accounts, then I highly recommend looking up opportunities to put those high-income skills to good use!

Get started with this free Social Media Marketing course.

7. Video editing

An increasing number of companies, YouTubers, and influencers are in need of developing video content for advertising and social media.

Well-made videos sell, so video editors who know how to make eye-catching videos are high in demand.

What’s great about video editing is that you don’t really need to invest much money upfront – all you need is a working laptop or PC, and you can get started by watching tutorials on YouTube (start with this video on How to Become A Freelance Video Editor).

Of course, learning to become a good video editor takes some time, so don’t expect to be editing like a pro overnight!

8. Copywriting

Copywriting is basically writing content that encourages the reader to take a specific action such as clicking a link, or making a purchase.

Whatever the case may be, copywriters must write texts that appeal to the audience and guide them in the right direction.

Good copywriting can have a large impact on sales, which makes this a profitable and high income skill to learn.

If your written English is good and you know how to write appealing content, then you can easily become a freelance copywriter, have freedom to work on your own terms and earn a high salary.

Watch this Practical Copywriting Course for Beginners for free on YouTube!

9. Blogging

If you think that blogging is dead, then think again!

Although the traditional blogging form of writing about your day (or sharing pictures of your meals) isn’t popular anymore, there is a huge demand for informative articles (like this one!) that the reader benefits from.

So, if you’re good at creating content that people want to read, then blogging may be just right for you!

There are different ways to go about blogging.

One way is to create your own blog from scratch, write blog posts, and learn how to drive traffic to your blog to make money with ads or affiliate marketing.

If done right, running your own blog may become a full-time job, and make you way more money than a regular 9-5.

If you want to create your own blog, then start with this YouTube video on How To Start A Blog in 2023.

Another way to make money is by writing blog posts for other people as a freelancer on websites like Fiverr.

10. Email marketing

Email marketing means building an email list and selling products and services through it.

This means creating an email list of people who are interested in a particular niche and writing useful content in a regular newsletter.

These regular newsletters will also be your money source when you add affiliate links, sell advertising space, or your own products.

If you already know how to write attractive content, then you’re already pretty much set up to start email marketing.

Now all you have to do is find out more about how email marketing works, and for that I recommend watching a YouTube course such as this Email Marketing Full Course for Beginners.

11. Real estate

Now, there are many ways to make money with real estate, so learning a bit about the real estate market will only benefit you.

You can become a real estate agent and earn commissions whenever you close a deal for your customer.

Or, if you’d like to take up photography, you could become a real estate photographer, and make some money for taking beautiful pictures of the client’s property.

Another great way to make money with real estate is to buy or rent a property, fix it up, and rent it out on sites like Airbnb or This does, however, require some upfront capital.

If you’re looking to invest in real estate you can start learning on YouTube by watching tutorials like this Full Real Estate Investing Course, or if you’re looking to become a real estate agent, this video on how to become a successful real estate agent.

12. Accounting

Accountants help businesses and individuals manage their finances and make smart decisions with their money.

They may help create budgets, analyze data to evaluate risks, or advise their clients on financial decisions.

You can totally learn accounting by yourself, but being good at mathematics will definitely come in handy.

This free Fundamentals of Accounting course will teach you the basics of accounting and bookkeeping in four weeks.

Hopefully you found a new interesting skill to start developing!