Creating Passive Income Streams Through Digital Skills

Have you ever wondered how you can start an online business?

The internet is a wilderness of opportunity. People all over the world, from all walks of life have launched and grown widly profitable online businesses, starting from scratch. People tend to have misconceptions when it comes to online businesses because they just don’t know how things work. They assume that it takes huge startup capital to get started. They believe you need to hire staff to manage operations and they think it’ll take a few years to turn a profit.

These are typical assumptions people make because this is what it takes to start a traditional business like opening up a bakery or starting a franchise.

Some interesting figures on online business:

These numbers are pretty crazy, right? The one that got me was that 80% of Americans with internet access (which is most of America) have bought something online in the past month alone. The internet is truly changing how we start, run and grow businesses. We’re able to reach people in ways that we never could just twenty years ago.

What is passive income?

Passive income are two of the sweetest words in the English dictionary, when put together. It’s simply income that you earn without being actively involved. So it’s a way of making money work for you, rather than you working for money.

Passive income is superior to any other form of income because it provides time freedom. Most people trade their time for money but passive income isn’t reliant on your labour to produce the goods. Instead, it works through established systems and processes than continue to run without supervision. The internet is full of passive income ideas that you can exploit to build incredible businesses without having to fork out much money at the start.

How does it work?

There are two main ways of creating passive income streams:

Business.

Investing.

Starting a business is one of the best ways to build your first few streams of income as many online businesses are low-cost to start and have the potential for high returns over the medium to long-term. The caveat with an online business is that it WILL require a lot of work at the start! It’s definitely not passive when you first start things up but once you put the work in and setup your systems that drive traffic for you, the rest is income straight into your account.

Investing is another great way to earn passive income. Investing your money can also be totally hands-0ff so you put your money aside and watch your asset grow as well as enjoy the returns. The downside to investing is that it takes a fair amount of startup capital to receive any worthwhile returns.

Traditional investments don’t tend to provide great returns. If you invest in stocks, bonds or REIT’s, you can expect a maximum annual return of just 12%. Another way of investing your money is to buy established online businesses. These businesses are already making money and can be bought at auction for a relatively small fee. We’ve personally seen online businesses that make up to $3000 a month sell for less than $30,000.

Think about this, you’ll make your money back in less than a year and after that, it’s pure profit.

How digital skills can skyrocket your prospects

So where do digital skills fit into all this?

Starting a business is difficult. We’ve seen an incredible rise in tools, resources and technology that simplifies things for people. The barrier has never been so low for people to get started in business. That said, being digitally literate puts you in a great position to start your own online business and build your passive income streams. If you know how to build a website and understand the fundamentals of digital marketing, you’ve got amassive advantage over everyone else.

Mastering digital skills has never been more lucrative than it is now.

In the past, technical hurdles stopped people for progressing online. But in today’s world we can build beautiful landing pages in minutes, setup online store’s in one day and integrate payments systems and products seamlessy, at the touch of a button.

It has truly never been easier to get started online, invest and build those streams of income.

Skepticism is Rife

Many people don’t realise the opportunities they have in front of them. They assume everything is a scam and that people are just out there to get them. This collective mindset presents incredible opportunities for people that are open-minded. The ability to objectively asses something without any innate biases is a very powerful thing. And many online business models are full of untapped opportunities because most people are just so skeptical about everything.

Being overly skeptical defeats the entire point of the thing in the first place. Skepticism is supposed to help stop you from diving head-first into things that will waste your time. For a lot of people though, it stops them from pursuing incredible opportunities.

Don’t let that be you!

The Essential Elements of Digital Literacy

Are your parents digitally illiterate?

Many of know family or friends that really struggle with technology. And it tends to affect the baby boomer generation more than any other. Plenty of us have spent countless hours trying to explain how the TV navigation system works to our grandparents, and they still don’t seem to get it! While this can be quite funny to watch, it highlights a huge problem that many people face on a daily basis.

A lack of basic digital literacy is a stark problem in a world that is becoming increasingly digitally orientated. People that can’t seem to embrace technology will only be left bewhind in the future.

We live in a world where the only constant is change, yet there are so many people that sturggle to adapt to changes. It’s the reason many people stay in the same job for decades rather than jump ship into the unknown. A mindset that fears change is one that is doomed to fail.

Digital Literacy Essentials

Not everybody needs to become a techie, but understanding the fundamentals of technology is becoming increasingly vital to function successfully in this world. Banks are closing down in favour of online banking, bills and invoices sent via email and vehicle tax renewals done entirely electronically. People that lack basic digital skills struggle to complete even the most basic tasks.

Dr Belshaw is a researcher JISC advance. He spends his time researching and advising on issues surrounding education as well as innovation. In his Ted talk, he discusses how essential it is to have a base-level of digital knowledge. He explains how certain people struggle with technology regularly and offers some interesting solutions to this problem.

You can check out the video here:

 

8 Digital Skills Children Must Learn

The expansive nature of the internet has changed the way we do almost everything in our lives. Worryingly, our children have a level of access to information we could only dream about.

The explosion of technology has huge social and economic implications. Experts predict that over 90% of the entire human population will have internet access over the next ten years or so. Our digital and phsycial worlds are merging in ways we could never imagine. These changes are exciting, but with change comes the fear of the unknown. And children are at the forefront on this technology revolution.

How children use technology

Children nowadays are using digital technologies and consuming media at a faster rate than ever before. They’re also starting to use technology from younger ages. On average, kids spend seven hours in front of a screen, every single day. More time than they spend with their parents or even at school every day. This can have a profound impact on the well-being of children.

Its all depends on the type of content being consumed and how much time they spend online.

The very thing that makes the internet so beautiful, is also what makes it dangerous to certain vulnerable people. With the internet, children can be exposed to cyberbullying, violent and sexually explicit content as well as scams and theft of sensitive information.

There’s also a digital age gap. The way adults and children use techonlogy is significantly different. This makes it harder for adults to fully understand the risks their kids are being exposed to online. This gap has also helped fuel the huge range of perspectives people have when it comes to acceptable digital etiquette.

What’s the best way top prepare our children for the digital world?

Simple. Ensure they’re educated.

Take a look at this colourful chart on “digital intelligence”:

DQ is a merginf of IQ and EQ, a set of social, emotional and cognitive abilities that enable people to face the challenges and demands of a digital life. The above mentioned abilities can be broken down into the following eight areas:

  • Digital Identity – The ability to manage one’s own digital reputation. This includes awareness of digital persona as well as managing the impact of online presence.
  • Digital Use – The ability to effectively use digital devices and manage controlled use to prevent unhealthy addictions and achieve a balanced lifestyle.
  • Digital Safety – Managing risk online from things like cyberbullying and radicalisation, limiting these risks to an absolute minimum.
  • Digital Security – Ability to detect virus and malware threats. Email phishing scam awareness in particular as this is the most popular form of hacking.
  • Digital EQ – The ability to connect, build rapport and relationships online with other people.
  • Digital Communication – The ability to leverage technology or effective communication.
  • Digital Literacy – The ability to discover, create and share content.
  • Digital Rights – Understanding and upholding legal rights. Knowing what your privacy and freedom of speech rights are.

Above everything else, attaining these abilities should come from a place of desirable human values such as love, empathy and respect. Embodying these values will help ensure that we use the internet in the most productive and responsible way. Cultivating digital intelligence is and increasingly important trait in a world that is dominated by technology.

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10 Digital Skills You Should Learn at College

College isn’t all about partying late into the night. College gradutes all over the world are getting ready for the working world. Most gradutes will take some form of corporate job. Chances are that you may not been fully digitally equipped to burst onto the corporate.

We decided to put together a short list of fundamental digital skills every college graduate should have. These are all things you can learn on your own and will give you an advantage over your peers that don’t have these skills.

Let’s get started:

Setting up Wi-FI

For most people, setting up their Wi-Fi involves putting in a password to connect to a network. Every college graduate should learn how to setup a basic network. This cna be invaluable if you decide to launch your own business. Even just generally speaking, it’s good to have basic knowledge of computer networking so you can do some basic troubleshooting, in any situation.

Backing up your data

All students should learn how to backup their data to the cloud. The currenct digital landscape is rife with hackers looking to steal any information they can get their hands on. With this in mind, it’s important to be dilligent with your data. You’ll want to back it all up to the cloud. This way, you can access your precious information from anywhere in the world. Even from your smartphone. Dropbox and Onedrive are two cloud data companies that you can use.

Photo editing skills

photo editing

Even if you don’t plan on becoming a photoshop genius after you graduate, it’s useful to know the basics. An increasing number of careers in industries like Marketing and Journalism require photo editing skills, more specifically photoshop editing skills. Get your pixelled paint brushes out!

Video editing skills

Similar to photo editing, video editing is another great skill to have. Again, it doesn’t need to be professional level. Mastering the fundamentals will take you a long way. Start with your native video creator app like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie and go from there. These applications have great support articles and how-to guides, so it’s the perfect way to get started.

Google Drive and Microsoft Office

These two things are hyper important. Google drive is increasingly being used to create and collaborate on work by companies all over the world. And Microsoft Office needs no introduction. It’s used by most businesses out there. Learning how to create a respectable Excel spreadsheet is a skill that needs to be learnt. Excel is surprisingly powerful, but only if you know what you’re doing. These software skills are being seen more often on job listings as businesses require people with expertise around Microsoft and Google’s suite of software products.

HTML and coding

coding skills

Almost everything we do is connected to the internet in some shape or form. You shuld at least have a basic understanding of website creation. Content management systems like WordPress have made it extremely easy to create websites. But anyone who owns a successful site knows there are always coding tweaks that need to be made in any situation. HTML5 is the standard language of the internet. Codeacademy is a brilliant place to learn some basic coding skills.

Creating a website

Leading on from the previous point, everyone should know how to register, host and configure a basic WordPress website. It’s a good idea to have your own personal website as a graduate. This can be really powerful for branding yourself and your services. Learning how to purchase, hist and cofigure a basic website isn’t difficult. A few hours on Youtube will have you equipped with the fundamentals.

Converting files

Sometimes you need to convert a file to a different format. An Apple pages document into a Word document for example. Knowing how to convert fiels is particularly useful. This isn’t really a skill to learn because you can easily download software to do this for you. Which is why you should download the software and have it on standby for when you need to convert files. It’s worth noting that many native applications take care of file conversions nowadays. That said, it’s still useful to know how to do this.

Online banking

Any students who don’t have online banking must have lost their mind. Online banking allows you to quickly check and manage your finances from the comfort of your own smartphone or laptop. You can keep track of transactions, transfer money and deposit cheque’s without going into branch.

Personal Branding

personal brandingCompanies research their prospective candidates through Google and social media these days. Aside from having your own personal website, it’s important to Google yourself and see what comes up on the first page. If you have anything you don’t want potential employers to see, make your your privacy are set correctly throughout your social media.

 

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What are Digital Skills?

Digital skills have never been more important than they are today. We’re living in a world that is increasingly realiant on technology. A world that is so different from just twenty short years ago. The pace of technology is outstanding. And even a little bit scary!

Digital skills are skills that enable people to effectively use technologies relating to things like the internet, smartphones, tablets and software among many other things. It’s a very broad term but one that gets a huge amount of media coverage. Why? Because we have a huge digital skills gap at the moment.

As an individual, it’s important to understand the value of digital technologies in terms of how they can imrove aspects of your life. Digital skills can improve your career prospects, business opportunities and communication skills.

As our world continues to evolve, businesses and other organisations are set to go through digital trnasformations. A third of company CMO’s say Digital Marketing will accont for 75% of their spending over the next five years.

These numbers are HUGE.

This highlights not only the importance of digital marketing, but the overall message of digital transformation that is happening.

It’s very clear that acquiring digital skills is a powerful thing that you can do to improve your prospects in life. Whether you’re a fresh-faced university graduate, the founder of an internet company or a seasoned executive of a multi-national corporation, digital skills can make an outstanding difference for you.

The Digital Skills Gap

It touched on this briefly earlier but let’s flesh this thing out a little more. The digital skills gap is a huge problem.

In today’s world, almost everything is linked to the internet. We consume content, buy things, book holidays, compare insurance, stream music, do our banking, all online. Marketing has alsaao changed forever. Consumer have become way more savvy than they’ve been in the past. Marketing strategies have shifted to cater for this increase in customer intelligence.

Considering the fact that 78% of people research the internet for a product before they make a purchase. It’s crazy that so many huge companies are lagging behind when it comes to digital skills and presence.

There’s a huge digital skills gap in a wide range of industries and verticals. This gap needs to be closed if businesses want to succeed in the long-run. Those who make the effort to upskill themselves will leverage their skills for huge success over the long-term. And it isn’t just about taking one digital marketing course. It’s a commitment to consistent learning for your whole life.

Nine Reasons Why Your Company Should Offer Digital Training

9 reasons why your company should offer digital training

Thanks to Digital Marketing Institute for producing this infographic.

  1. Incredible opportunity – The digital economy has grown to a staggering $2.9 TRILLION in the crazy small number of twenty years.
  2. Huge demand – Because of the digital skills gap, the professional development market is expected to generate $8.5 billion by 2020.
  3. Students want it – Eight out of ten jobs now require some form of digital skill. These type of roles are only growing and they offer 18% more salary than similar non-digital roles.
  4. Marketers need it – Less than half of marketers feel proficient in digital skills.
  5. Sales pro’s crave it – A truly staggering 93% of sales professionals have not received any form of digital training. Over half of these people want help to improve their digital skills.
  6. Business need skilled staff – A gigantic 77% of companies plan to increase their spend on digital marketing over the next few years. Demand for specialist digital marketers has increased.
  7. Recruiters are looking – 65% of recruiters reported a shortage of digital skills for marketing roles.
  8. Growing demand – Over 54% of marketers planned to recruit more people in to their digital team in 2016.
  9. A thriving market – Job prospects for digital marketers will grow by 19% by 2024, fueling demand for skilled digital professionals.

 

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