If you want to learn country guitar, there are a few basic skills you'll want to get under your fingers and eventually master. No matter your skill level - beginning, intermediate, or advanced - there are essential licks, techniques, and knowledge that you have to know.
It doesn't matter the style, there's no substitute for mastering basic fretboard knowledge, so you'll want to make sure that you know the names of all the notes on every fret and every string. Knowing all the notes of the fretboard will facilitate your faux steel guitar bends as well as long country-style runs.
It's also important to have a basic working knowledge of chord construction and chord theory, as well as mastery of open position and movable (barre) chords. Understanding basic chord theory is helpful for many reasons, but in addition to helping you master chords themselves, it will help in targeting bends and runs, since you'll know which notes fit the situation.
While there are a lot of country players who don't know much about scales, like any otherstyle, having a basic working knowledge of scales common to the genre can be very helpful. For country guitar, it's worth your time to have the major pentatonic scale and the major scale memorized in every position. The minor pentatonic scale is also an important scale to know. And remember - you need to have these scales memorized in every key and every position, though it's probably best to learn them first in keys common to country music, such as C, G, D, A, and E.
If you really want to master country guitar, you may want to consider taking lessons with a private instructor, either in your area or online. Fortunately, fast Internet connections have greatly facilitated real-time lessons online over Skype, Facetime, and other platforms. If do take private lessons, you want to make sure that you study with someone who really plays and understands country guitar. There are also numerous books and video lessons available to help you master country guitar playing. Of course, there are many free videos available on YouTube, but not all of them are created equal (in other words, some are pretty bad). So make sure you don't waste your valuable time!
Finally, if you're taking the time to learn country guitar, make sure that you learn a few complete tunes during your practice time rather than just snippets of tunes (the Guitar Center mentality). If you're just getting started, there are literally hundreds of country songs that use very basic open chords - usually just 3 or 4 chords - so there's no excuse for not adding country tunes to your repertoire today.