Earn Money While Teaching Online

Here at eLearningForum.com, we are extremely enthusiastic about the opportunities the internet presents us for learning online. There are some of us though, whose passion runs both ways! If you are like me and you love imparting knowledge as well as receiving it, you should be happy to know that there are opportunities for us to earn online too.

Many full time educators currently have a difficult time living a comfortable lifestyle without working a part time job, or working in other fields during the summer. This post may help you find an option that allows you to make additional income while still doing what you love!

Unfortunately, none of these options are “get rich quick” opportunities and still require hard work and dedication. The good thing is, most of them can be developed into real businesses that often have a great potential for growth, unlike a traditional teaching job where you are pretty much pigeon-holed into a fixed salary.


1. Online Tutoring
The first and simplest item on our list is tutoring. When people think of tutoring the first thing that comes to mind is often face-to-face interaction. These days, with the advent of Skype, Google Hangouts and other video collaboration software, it’s never been easier to tutor kids (or adults) online.

If you are a teacher by profession then you are already equipped with the training and experience necessary to succeed in online tutoring. If you are already good with your students in the classroom, there is absolutely no reason you can’t try it online. If you’re an expert in your field, but have no formal training or experience in instruction, then it might be a challenge depending on your personality, but it’s still viable.

At the end of the day, people will always pay for good teachers and they value expertise. There are a number of websites that allow you to sign up and start tutoring right away. The most popular ones right now are Tutor.com and InstaEDU.com. Each site has their own system and regulations.

There are tutors making anywhere from 20-100 bucks an hour in their spare time. Some even more! This can be a great opportunity.


2. Sell Your Content
Teachers Pay Teachers is a site that has been around for a quite a while now. Their founder, Paul Edelman says, “Teachers work hard and deserve extra compensation for all those hours spent lesson planning. Newer teachers and those looking for ideas can save time and leap ahead in competency by learning from veterans. We strongly believe that the ensuing exchange lifts all boats and leads to the better sharing of best practices. In the end everyone wins, especially our students.”

Sounds great, right. The site is really foolproof, very straightforward and simple. Teachers can easy upload their content for other teachers to browse and choose from. You set the price of your content (it can be free, too). You can also browse other teacher’s free and paid content and opt to purchase or download their resources.

It has the nifty option of sorting by Subject, Grade Level, Type of Content (Lesson Plans, Exams etc) and their price. It was reported by TechCrunch that a teacher there grossed over a million dollars in sales! Lots of other teachers have also hit in the 5 figures.

A big hit on TPT are powerpoint presentations. If you are creative and know your way around powerpoint and you can create attractive, well thought out presentations, you can make good money on there.

Lots of people also have success creating themed lessons based on popular Movies/shows to help drive points home easier when dealing with kids and teens. It’s an excellent source for passive income generation for teachers.


3. Create A Course on Udemy
According to Udemy, their goal is to “disrupt and democratize the world of education by enabling anyone to teach and learn online. Just as blogging democratized the publishing industry, Udemy seeks to dramatically change education by empowering millions of experts to teach & share what they know.”

Udemy is a great opportunity for teachers who don’t mind creating long and detailed courses. Many of the courses there are free but you can offer paid ones. For example, courses like “Microsoft Excel 2010 Beginner/Intermediate Course” has almost 12,000 students and sells for $99. Not too shabby. The course has about 17 chapters and 129 lectures which also includes video demonstrations.

There are a number of categories on Udemy and you are bound to find something in your field.


4. Start Your Own Website or Blog

When many people think of starting their own website or blog they assume it’s a daunting task. But really, it’s very easy these days to create a blog, website or a simple Youtube Channel and start sharing knowledge with the world. By using free solutions such as WordPress.com, Blogger and Youtube, it is free to get started. Advertise your blog locally at schools or with your own students if you’re a teacher by profession. That’s the quickest way to build your audience and start getting traffic. You can then monetize these blogs with ads or by selling an eBook, which we talk about more below.

If you’d like to go the more professional route you can invest in a self-hosted blog and create your own brand. This can also be beneficial in the future if you choose to sell your brand. For example, KhanAcademy started with just one guy filming math tutorials and uploading them on Youtube, it is hugely successful now and is one of the largest resources for academic tutorials. There are also sites like Freakonomics, that started as a simple blog teaching people about economics that eventually sold for millions of dollars.


5. Write an eBook
These days, it’s never been easier to write and release eBooks. It’s extremely easy to write a book on your computer, convert it to a PDF and sell it via your website, your Facebook, Youtube channel, twitter etc. You can also set up an Amazon Kindle publishing account with ease.

Kindle eBooks typically sell for between 99 cents and 10 dollars. Some people might not think they have what it takes to be a writer. But publishing a eBook is something anyone can do, whether you’re a trained writer or not. As long as you are knowledgeable and experienced in your field, you should have no problem articulating yourself.

When writing your ebook, remember to take it step by step and remember to structure it properly. That’s the most important thing. This will keep ideas and content flowing in a logical format and prevent confusion.

Many people suggest offering a free ebook before you start charging for them just to build up your reputation and establish that you really do know what you’re talking about, but at the end of the day it’s up to you. As was mentioned above, a blog is a great complement to an eBook that will help you to achieve just that.

If you are thinking about publishing your own educational eBook, then check out these sites which can help you when getting started.

Academic publishing: The essential checklist for eBook authors
How to Publish on Kindle Platform


6. Create an App
If you are reading this post then there is a very strong chance that you know what an App is. Apps are a huge deal these days, especially with the younger generations. Apps are a great way to connect with students. They’ll have you in the palm of their hands 24/7. Back in the day, creating apps used to be an arduous task only reserved for experienced developers and programmers. These days, however, many people are leaning how to create and launch successful apps without having to invest in years of training in coding.

At first, to the uninitiated, it might seem like a pretty daunting task. Yes, there is a small learning curve required, but it’s well worth it. We are often a lot smarter than we give ourselves credit for! As long you come up with a good idea for your app and are prepared to invest some time and effort up front, it is certainly an achievable goal.

With platforms such as the the Apple Appstore, Google Play, Amazon and Android Apps, the potential is huge. The market is definitely there for apps and products made by real teachers with a passion for education. Check out this article by Edudemic on how to make an educational app. There are many ways to monetize apps. You can choose to charge upfront for your apps, or you can offer a free app with ads. You can also do both by offering a free and a premium version of your app.
If you’re considering building an app, I recommend you check out this article which is all about app building tools for teachers.

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