Three Mistakes I Made When I Started Teaching Online

When I first started teaching online, I made a lot of mistakes.

Luckily, I have learned from them.

And I want you to learn from them too. So, watch the video below and learn which mistakes you should avoid and what to do instead.

Watch in HD!

Not Connecting with other Teachers

I was a lone-wolf in the beginning.

When I saw other teachers doing the same thing as I was, I felt anxious. “What if my students see this teacher? They’ll leave me.”

However, we are all unique.

What you can offer is different to what any other teacher can offer.

Different learners connect with different teachers.

And, when we come together and share resources, our stories, our struggles etc., then we – us online teachers – can grow together.

Not Putting Yourself Out There

Moving online can be scary.

You need to put yourself out there. Use images. Promote your lessons.

This was daunting for me at first. I know it’s daunting for other teachers too.

I have talked about this before here.

But it’s something we need to do in order to connect with learners and convince them that we can help.

The good news is this: you can take baby steps…

The first picture on my site didn’t really show my face. I don’t think I even told people my last name. But I realized that it wasn’t that bad and started to do new things.

You will constantly be pushing yourself as an online teacher. And every time you do this, you’ll find that it’s not that uncomfortable to leave your comfort zone.

Not Starting an Email List Sooner

Email is powerful.

I won’t go over the reasons why you should start an email list again. I’ve done that here.

Just promise me that you will make this a priority.

Here is how to set one up.

Over to You

Are you making the above mistakes? What mistakes did you make when you first started?

Let me know if the comment section below.


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  • Cleona Patterson

    Finally got email marketing started through aweber. Yes, I too should have done it earlier. Finding time to do everything is a challenge! Thanks for your suggestions Jack.

    • It’s great to hear that you have got started with email marketing. Get in touch if you have any questions about it.
      ~ Jack

    • Fernanda Sobral

      Finding time to do everything IS a challenge indeed! 🙁

  • Yes, Jack. I got all these three mistakes too. After so many years. I started to share my videos on Youbute, make my blog and right now I am trying to make a email list. Like you said, they are very important. By the way, your new hair style is very cool! John Wang

    • Thanks! Get in touch with me if you have any questions about getting it all started. And thanks for the comment about my hair!
      ~ Jack

  • Talk2Esli

    Hi jack. I also wish I started an email list sooner, like 4 years ago. I’ve recently started one. I’ve also started reaching out to other teachers and putting myself out there, slowly.

  • Fernanda Sobral

    It is SO scary to put myself out there, specially because I am not a native speaker. 🙁

  • George G.

    Thank you for the tips. I’m trying to pursue my career in Teaching ESL online and your blog is just amazing. I still work for a esl company but I was able to get a private student who pays me directly and I found out I couldn’t find anything online that could help me teacher her. We mostly did free talk and I’m trying to find ways now to establish myself. I will religiously check your blog 🙂

  • Stephanie Benger

    Hi jack,
    Thanks for this video, I found it very instructive. Some of these mistakes I am making, especially the one about stepping out of my comfort zone only slowly. The other is that I haven’t set up an email list yet even though I know that’s very important! I suppose my excuse is that I haven’t launched yet (but I should as I do have *some* content and anyhow I know it takes time to build up a list so better to get started sooner rather than later).
    On the plus side I have begun to connect with other teacher, you included, and all the really “good stuff” I am getting is from the 3 of you. Thank you again. Once I get established I would be pleased to have you as an affiliate.