3 Ways teach english online

The Three Ways You Can Teach English Online in 2019

In this video and article, we’re going to explore the three ways in which you can teach English online.

I’ve been an online teacher since 2008. I’ve been fully independent since 2011 and I have built up a popular English-learning brand (see here). And in that time, I’ve seen this space explode.

Watch the video and read below to learn more about how you can teach English – or any language – online.

The three ways you can teach online are:

  • through a company
  • through freelance websites (teacher marketplaces)
  • by going independent

Let’s explore these three options. While we do this, think about how much control you want to have and how much time you want to invest in finding students.

Teach for Online Companies

In the past, this wasn’t an option for most. The pay was terrible and companies didn’t treat their teachers well.

Things have changed, however.

The pay has increased and this whole space has changed dramatically (mainly due to China).

The main advantage of working for a company is that you don’t need to worry about finding your own learners. You show up and teach.

But you don’t have as much control as the other two options.

Your pay is restricted, you have to teach in a certain way, and your position isn’t necessarily stable.

Additionally, there is a big supply of teachers now and most companies look for native speakers from specific countries.

This is perfect for those who don’t want the stress of finding students and just want to show up and teach. Try Vipkids, Dada, and TeachAway.

Join a Teacher Marketplace

This was my first experience of teaching online.

I joined a freelance teaching platform, created my profile, uploaded a video, and then started teaching.

And that’s what you would need to do if you wanted to go freelance on one of these sites.

You have a lot more control here compared to working for a company. Generally speaking, you can:

  • set your own prices
  • teach in your own way
  • only take on students who you want to work with

As students are already on the platform, you don’t need to do too much work to find them. Having said that, you will need to take action and interact with learners in the beginning to build your reviews.

The biggest drawback is that you’re in direct competition with other English teachers. Students here are more likely to browse around and look for the best prices (not always).

This is a great option if you want more control but you don’t want to build everything yourself. Try iTalki and Verbal Planet.

Become an Independent Online Teacher

This is what I’ve been doing since 2011.

At first, I taught solely one-to-one. Then, I introduced group lessons. But over the last few years, I’ve focused on my fluency program (online course).

Going independent gives you full control over everything:

  • your teaching
  • prices
  • your sales pages
  • how you invoice your learners
  • and what you offer – for example, online courses

Building your own platform protects against a company that ditches you or a platform that suddenly changes its pricing structure (happened to me).


… there is much more work involved.

To learn more about what’s involved and how you can go independent, read this article.

You’re fully responsible for getting your own students.

As you can see, there’s a balance between how easy it is to get started and how much control you have.

Going independent is great for those who want more control and the opportunity to scale in the future.

Which One Will You Choose?

Let me take the pressure off by saying this: you don’t have to commit to one for life and you could do a combination of the three.

For example, you might want to get a part-time job while you build your own thing on the side.

Here’s an article I wrote on making this transition.

Do some more research on the above and decide which one – if any! – is for you.

Thanks for reading!


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YouTube Pop

Here’s How to Make Your YouTube Channel Pop (Case Study)

In this video and article, I’m going to:

  • share my YouTube analytics
  • show the three times when my channel has popped
  • go through a simple strategy which you can implement to grow your YouTube channel

My YouTube Channel and the Three Times It Has Popped

I started the To Fluency channel in late 2014.

As you can see, I have seen growth year-on-year:

Year-on-year YouTube

This has been through consistent video uploading and small incremental improvements.

(note: YouTube channels can grow exponentially. At first, it’s like pushing a rock uphill. But once you gain momentum, things start to happen.)

The monthly view is interesting:

You can see three distinct periods when my channel popped. When YouTube started pushing out certain videos to new audiences.

The first time this happened was in 2016. I made a few videos at the start of the year which were focused on goals and motivation.

The second time this happened, an old video suddenly started getting lots of traction. YouTube recommended it to new audiences. Watch it here:

But it wasn’t just random. A few months earlier, I had updated various YouTube videos. For this one, I changed the thumbnail (made the text bigger) and changed the title.

We’ll come on to why this works later.

The third pop came about because I made a few videos that I knew had the potential to do well.

You see:

YouTube is all about giving people what they want and playing the algorithm game. You don’t have to do this all the time or go to extremes but know that it’s important to do if you want your channel to grow faster.

You need videos that are going to reach new audiences. Videos that are going to bring in new subscribers.

Not every video has to be like this.

But make these videos part of your overall strategy.

The video I made was this one:

It has a strong title and a strong thumbnail. It’s on a topic that I know people in my niche like.

YouTube recommends videos that:

  • people click on (high CTR rate)
  • people like (watch time)
  • are engaging (comments, likes, shares)

This video had all of the above. Here are the stats for this one:

It’s received three major pushes (I’m hoping for more!).

It has brought in over 13,000 new subscribers. It’s brough in a lot of new course sales.

I’ve recently made a part two for this. I’ll explain why in the next section.

How to Make Your Channel Pop and Grow Faster

With all that in mind, here is how to make your channel grow faster.

Be Clear on the Action You Want People to Take

This isn’t directly linked to channel growth but it makes smart business sense.

Are you going to rely on YouTube’s monetization? Or are you going to use YouTube as lead generation?

I do both.

I monetize my channel and use YouTube as my main source of leads for my programs.

Find Out What Works and Do More of That

When I made my latest batch of videos, I knew what people wanted and gave them more of that.

Some of the videos that I thought were going to do well didn’t.

But some of them did.

Take a look at your YouTube stats, see which videos have been the most popular, and do more of that.

If you don’t have a channel yet, look at what’s working for others.

Update Old Videos

This is what lead to my second pop.

I took various older videos that had performed well and updated the thumbnails, headlines, descriptions.

From there, post the video to your community tab and share it elsewhere to give it that boost.

Be Consistent and Make More Videos

Make more high-quality videos and be consistent with this.

You’ll notice that a lot of the bigger channels might post once per week.

They have reached the stage where they can do this and still grow. But first, you need to earn the right to get to this stage.

To speed this up, make more videos.

Promote Your Videos

Post your videos on Facebook. Use your email list to grow your audience. Tell people about your channel.

Additionally, use YouTube as a community and get yourself out there.

Comment on other people’s videos and collaborate with others in your niche.


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Active Campaign Pricing

ActiveCampaign Pricing: Which Tier Do You Need? (Good News!)

Thinking about getting Active Campaign but you’re not sure which pricing tier is for you?

Watch the video below (or read the summary) to learn if you need to go Pro or beyond or if the Lite version is adequate.

Join ActiveCampaign here (affiliate link)


Spoiler alert: for online teachers and creators (individual or small teams) the Lite plan is sufficient.

In fact, compared to the competition, what you get on this plan for the price point offers incredible value.

It includes the powerful automation tools – and the basic features – starting at just $9 per month.

I’ve been using Active Campaign since 2015. I switched from a popular email marketing platform which I found to be severely lacking.

The difference was night and day. The best way to sum up ActiveCampaign is that it’s simple yet sophisticated.

You can easily get your basic email autoresponders set up and grow into the other features as and when you need them.

The biggest feature for me is the way in which you set up automations. Here’s an example of what it looks like:

Active Campaign Example

It’s visual and you can drag and drop various actions on to the automation.

Note: to learn all about the power of email marketing go through my 5-step plan for email marketing. Click here to join.

The features on the Pro plan and higher are for businesses that need more complex CRM solutions.

What we’re trying to do is the following:

  • Send our audience a free gift
  • Send follow-up emails (automated) to sell our services
  • Send emails to our audience to launch something new / send new content

The Lite version of ActiveCampaign does all of this and much more. You can also use site tracking and send out automated emails based on certain triggers.

For example, if someone reads a specific blog post, you can follow this up with similar content for them to take a look at.

If you understand the importance of email marketing and are in one of these two camps:

  • you don’t have an email list
  • you have an email list but want to try something new

I highly recommend ActiveCampaign.

Here’s my link to try it out.