Over the last few years it has become increasingly possible to use your knowledge, expertise and skill to earn an income online by teaching others what you know. Teaching and tutoring is nothing new. But what changed is that it is now possible to do it remotely online and connect with hundreds of interested learners situated far away.
One of the greatest advantage of online tutoring and video courses is access to students from all over the world. The flip side, of course, is that it is also easy for educators from all over the world to get on board the wagon. So you are going to have competition. The good news is that not all feel comfortable or consider themselves tech savvy enough to tap in to this worldwide potential. There is still plenty of room.
What has also made this process remarkably simple is the launch of several online platforms dedicated to the medium of remote online teaching. These platforms make it easy for you to join and share your knowledge with others.
Apart from having access to thousands of interested students, an added advantage of these online platforms is that they run their own aggressive marketing campaigns to promote themselves and get more people to join them. So while you get access to an existing community of interested students, that number is only likely to increase In the future. You can also promote your own courses as well as the website, for which you are an additional earnings for every member you refer.
Live Teaching Sessions Vs. Online Video Courses
How do you get paid and how much money you make varies from one website to another. Before we get into the income model, let us first consider the two main kinds of methods of teaching online.
One is live sessions and the other one is through a pre-recorded video course . In a live session you get in front of one or a group of students by the means of a live WebCam. You have to show up every as often as that when you have to take a class.
Pre-recorded video courses, on the other hand are just that. You make an entire course on the subject through a series of videos, bifurcating it into different lessons and topics and then you upload the entire package. The subscribers can then watch it at their own convenience. Once you have uploaded your course no major input is required from your end. But many educators choose to respond to Q&As, run contest etc. in order to keep their courses interactive and fresh.
The route that you take depends on which form of teaching you prefer. There are pros and cons to both.
Pros and cons of live video teaching sessions
The obvious disadvantage of live video lesson is that it is live, which means that you have to stand by a schedule and have to be physically present in front of your computer every time you have to take a class and make some money.
Being live might also feel like more of a pressure situation for certain people but not if you’re used to speaking to a group of people. Besides, this is a fear that you can overcome and is likely to dissipate after the first few life sessions.
The advantages are that you get paid by the hour and can determine the number of hours you want to teach. Your rate per hour is determined by you yourself, your experience and your ratings on the tutoring website.
The live tutorial websites are usually more formal. The ones that teach academic subjects and languages need their educators to be formally qualified. For example, teaching English as a foreign language is in high demand. Several websites are dedicated to providing remote English tutoring to students in non-English speaking parts of the world like China.
The job is also a lot like real teaching. You demonstrate before a camera instead of a classroom full of children but the preparation like organizing lesson plans, creating learning guides, having a whiteboard etc. make it very much like a teaching job. In fact, because of the lack of proximity and access you may even have to go the extra mile to make your lessons engaging and understandable.
Pros and cons of Pre recorded video courses
The biggest advantage of creating a video course is that it is a source of a passive and recurring income. Once you create the course and upload it you can expect a recurring amount of money to keep coming your way through it without much further involvement on your part.
However, that is the ideal scenario and some maintenance and upkeep still needs to be done. Teaching websites have thousands of online video courses and some of them might be in direct competition with yours. You will have to do some work to promote it.
However, the best way to deal with the competition is to create a high-quality, engaging and informative course. Usually while choosing between two video courses on the same subject people also look at the number of people enrolled in it. The more people you are able to engage, the higher this number will be and much like a domino effect, attract even more students to join. On most of these websites, a student is able to access all the video courses for a one time registration and membership fee. Which means that they can look at the various courses and decide which one they want to enrol with it. Work to make that yours.
How and how much can you earn teaching online
As already mentioned, the live lessons usually pay you according to an hourly rate. People mostly begin at the base rate that the particular website has to offer. However, this rate also depends upon the qualification of the educator and tends to increase with good reviews and ratings.
The websites that host pre-recorded video courses have different models for payment. The two most popular names in this field are Skillshare and Udemy . Skillshare pays according to the number of minutes watched by a student off an educator’s video. The rate per minute might not be very high and may also very from one month to another.
This rate per minute is calculated by adding the revenue from all the subscribers for that particular month and dividing it by total number of minutes that were watched. So your share will be your watched minutes in the complete pool of minutes. Skillshare gives access to the entire website for the payment of a single membership fee. So while the rate/minute might not seem to high, a large number of students will be accessing it and even watching it repeatedly. However, I am not sure at this point if Skillshare pays for repeat view as well.
Udemy has a slightly different payment model. Each course is listed individually at a certain price determined by the educator himself/herself. So once you join, for each course that you want to take you have to pay a fee. The one time fee might seem like a higher number as compared to the minute based rate, but then this model also restricts a lot of students from accessing your course. As far as I can tell there are no free previews available as well. All that is offered is a 30 day moneyback guarantee in case the student does not like the program.
Another thing that deserves a mention here is something that upsets the educators on Udemy from time to time This is when they run site wide offers on their courses. You have no control when your course gets sold for 30% off the original price you wanted to sell it for. This specially causes affront to educators who create premium courses which they do not like being given out cheaply as it affects their brand image.
Live lessons in front of a web cam will not seem difficult if you are used to speaking to a group of people. But it can be challenging to express and demonstrate when restricted by a camera presence. It calls for a different kind of preparation.
Set up and preparation
Both live lessons as well as creating video courses requires ample preparation. You need high fidelity cameras, good lighting, a good set, good clothes and sound recording equipment. In some cases you will also need someone to help you with recording or shooting the video. However if this is something you intend to do then buying the right equipment and setting things up will be a one time process.
Excellent alternative to starting a business
A lot of our posts are dedicated to starting a small business. But let’s face it, being an entrepreneur is not everyone’s cup of tea and nor should it be. It’s just not for everyone. Here is a great alternative way to utilize your knowledge and skill.
This is so very applicable to the arts and craft field. There is a very large audience that wants to learn the arts and crafts, everything from painting to woodworking and crocheting. Instead of creating and selling a product, you can now create a product out of your knowledge and skill. Judging by the wild popularity of art and craft tutorials on various blogs and also by the number of people watching similar videos in Skillshare, one can safely say that this is a very popular genre.
Creating a ‘how to do it’ is an excellent option for artists and crafts people. In fact, I happen to be attending a couple of courses on painting water-colors these very days on Skillshare!
Here is a list of some of the websites that offer online tutoring jobs. Hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any for the queries and comments do post them in the comments section below. As always, we look forward to hearing from you.
Udemy and Skillshare are the 2 most popular websites where you can upload your video lessons.
These are websites looking for tutors:
VIPKID Englishunt Topic-Time Twosigmas Lingoda Funbulous
These are some of the places where you can post your profile or look for tutoring assignments.
Wyzant, Tutor, Revolution Prep, Course Hero, Skooli, Tutorme.