Earn Income English Teacher

Six Ways to Earn an Income as an Online Teacher

When I started my teaching business, I had one goal in mind:

I wanted to earn more than I was earning in Spain by teaching one-to-one lessons online.

I soon reached this goal and, for a while, I was comfortable with my situation. I didn’t have any aspirations to expand on what I was doing.

But then I started to experiment and, now, all my income – for To Fluency – comes from The To Fluency Program (an online course).

In this video, I lay out the different ways you can earn as an online teacher and give advice for each one.

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Six Different Ways to Earn by Teaching English Online

One-to-One

This is where I recommend starting.

It’s easier to get learners to sign up to one-to-one lessons, and the lifetime value of each student is higher than other areas.

Compared to products and online courses, there isn’t anything you need to create beforehand – you can go from lesson to lesson, planning when necessary.

Additionally, you’ll learn so much from working with individual students, and after some time, you’ll be able to solve common problems through a product or a course (see below).

Group Lessons

This is where you have two or more learners in a live class.

I had a couple of group courses going in early 2014. I really enjoyed these lessons and I’m thinking about doing this again in the future. I used the Zoom platform to teach these courses.

The biggest upside is that you can earn more per hour doing group lessons (4 students paying $15 vs one student paying $30, for example).

But they are harder to get going as you need to find two or more learners who want to take lessons at the same time for a number of weeks.

Offering Services Asynchronously

You can offer writing and/or speaking feedback asynchronously using tools such as Google Drive and SoundCloud.

This can be a stand-alone service or you could offer this in addition to your one-to-one lessons.

I have offered feedback in this way for both exams and presentations, and I currently offer a speaking evaluation as part of my online course.

Products

This is when things start to become more passive.

You’ll need to have a relatively large audience (having an email list is a must) in order to sell products like ebooks.

I recommend starting small and building from there.

Getting this set up is much easier to do these days. You can use something like Selz or Gumroad to take care of payments and the delivery of your products.

Online Courses

This is my main focus right now.

I have an online course for English learners and one for teachers.

My first course was delivered on a third-party platform, but now I host them on my own websites.

Again, there are plugins and other tools to make this relatively easy to do (I say relative because there is a process involved to get this set up).

There is huge potential here if you get things right.

Affiliate Links

Instead of creating your own products, you can sell things that other people have made. Doing this will typically earn you a commission of 10-75% of the sale.

I don’t do this for To Fluency, but I do have affiliate links on this blog.

Bonus: Advertising

You can also advertise on YouTube or on your own site.

It takes big numbers to make a decent income – for example, you’ll make $0.50-5 for every 1,000 views on YouTube – but most teachers advertise to add to their bottom line.

Over to You

Share your experience with these any of the above and let me know what your long-terms goals are.

Leave comments below. Thanks for reading.

Inside The Teach English Online Course, I go through the different ways to earn in more depth. You’ll also learn how to build an audience and how to sell to this audience.

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  • Carol Nuttall-kitsou

    Thanks, Jack!

  • Vania Paula de Freitas

    Congrats!

  • Stordar English Teacher

    Thanks a lot! This is really informative and structured) I have been thinking over expanding my currect teaching practice and you have given me some ideas. Thank you for that.
    I only have a question concerning Services part. This is actually what I am enjoying a lot (being an introvert, I prefer less face-to-face communication)) funny-sounding for a teacher, I guess), but I am not sure about marketing and selling such services. I often do writing and speaking corrections as a part of the online learning for my one-to-one students, but I cannot imagine how to turn it into a real income – I just do it for free. I would like to change that. Maybe you have some recommendations on that?

    • Thanks for your comment. There are different ways to approach it, but a good place to start is with your current learners.

      Let them know that you are now charging for writing feedback (as you should) and go through the benefits of what they will get.

      Ask for referrals, use your current contacts to spread the word, and then think about creating an online presence that automates this process for you. Send me an email – jack@teachingeslonline – if you have further questions.

      • Stordar English Teacher

        Thanks)) That’s a good idea for a start! I will use it)

  • Joseph Huth

    Thank you Jack! I always feel inspired and motivated after watching your videos. I am working full-time to start up my online teaching business and am in the process of marshaling my resources. You are a tremendous resource!

  • Larry Fedorowick

    Thanks Jack… I really appreciate watching this today. I had already thought about a lot of what you had said, so I feel reassured that I may be on the right track or at least realize that this is a process which involves man steps. I have been teaching ESL for over 25 years, 12 in Spain, like you (Valencia) and over 15 in Vietnam. Like you, I have been forced to chnge my place of residence, move back to Canada, give up my job ( I was Head of the ESL program at the VN National University of Science)… and start a new…. So, again, i very much appreciate the info you have provided and your straightforward way of speaking.

    • Thanks, Larry. I’m glad you liked it.