CREATED: 04.03.2024UPDATED: 24.05.2024

How to Teach Online to Make Money

How to Teach Online to Make Money

You want to teach online but don’t know where to start. Discover what subjects are in demand so you can maximize your money-making potential.

You have the skills.

You may have been a traditional teacher for years and you’re looking for a side hustle (or a complete replacement for your career) that builds on the skills you already have. Or, you may simply be an expert in a subject about which people want to learn. Either way, you’re ready to teach. And you’ve chosen the web as your “venue” of choice for your teaching.

Now, you have some questions. What should you teach? How should you deliver your lessons? What do you need to know to reach the highest number of people possible, allowing you to monetize your knowledge in the process?

Read on to discover the answers to these questions, learning how to teach online and earn money in the process.

Why Choose to Teach Online

Before you start investing in equipment or creating lesson plans for your courses and sessions, you need to know why it’s worth going down the online route in the first place. That’s especially the case for people who already teach – why go online when you know that traditional methods work?

There are a few benefits of teaching online that you don’t get from the old-school classroom setup:

  • Complete control – Subject matter. Your schedule. Your lesson plans. All of them are under your control alone when you teach online, with no worries about having to stick to an existing curriculum. That control is ideal for teachers who feel they have a better way of doing things that they can’t deliver because they’re restricted by traditional setups.
  • A comfortable work environment – When you teach online, you get to choose where you teach from. This typically means your workday won’t include heavy traffic, uncomfortable commutes, or crowded classrooms. All you need is reliable internet access, and you can teach from virtually anywhere and – let’s be honest – wear virtually anything you want (from the top down, at least!).
  • Monetization potential – A single lesson can only be monetized once. But a recorded lesson – shared on an appropriate platform – can generate passive income for as long as it’s online (assuming you use the right platform; more on that later). Online teaching opens you up to a massive audience of potential students, all of whom will pay to learn from you.
  • Create a brand around you – With the control that comes with teaching online comes the ability to create a brand around you as a person. You get to inject more of your personality into your lessons. If students latch on to who you are – as well as what you teach – that opens up opportunities to explore other avenues in which your personality is the primary focus.
  • An easy start – Sure, if you want to build an online learning empire, you’ll need to invest in some high-quality equipment. But to start, all you really need is a reliable online teaching platform like BlurBay, a solid internet connection, and lots of patience and determination. There are no huge investments, complex setups, or numerous considerations. Just you, your skills and knowledge, and a few valuable tools.

In short, the potential exists for you to create online lessons that showcase who you are and allow you to monetize your expertise for years to come.

How to Teach Online and Earn Money: The Basics

When it comes to actually delivering your lessons, you have two options – be an online tutor or create courses that people can use to learn at their own pace. However, these two options also open an additional revenue stream – tie-in digital products.

Online Tutoring

Online tutoring may be the best place to start if you want to emulate the traditional teaching environment as much as possible. Typically, you’ll deliver these types of sessions one-to-one, though some teachers simulate the entire classroom experience by using video conferencing software, such as Zoom or Skype, to teach several people at once.

The benefits of this approach are that it’s familiar and it’s fairly easy to set up. All you need is a recording device – your phone may suffice – and appropriate video conferencing software and you have everything required from a technical standpoint.

The problem with this approach is the limitations inherent to it. You only get paid by the students that you teach directly, whom you can only teach based on both your and their availability. You can make money. Indeed says the average online tutor earns $24.11 per hour. But you limit your audience by choosing a direct tutoring model.

Online Tutoring

Creating Courses

Creating pre-recorded courses that you place online removes the monetization limitations that tutoring imposes. Your potential audience is everybody with a decent internet connection. And while it’s unrealistic to say your teaching will appeal to everybody, even getting a fraction of that audience means you generate more money than you would from tutoring.

You also get to pre-record your lessons – giving you complete control over how you deliver your teaching – and can still get set up fairly easily. Granted, you may have to invest more into professional lighting and better cameras if you want to appear professional. But many course creators use their phones to create their lessons.

The only possible downside comes in choosing a monetization platform. YouTube and social media are both options, though neither pays well. Similarly, building your own website to host your course content comes with the burdens of high initial investment and the need to implement payment platforms that your students trust.

Another option is to use a video hosting platform like BlurBay. As a pay-to-view streaming platform, BlurBay allows you to upload your course content without worrying about maintaining a platform of your own. Students pay for lessons they want to watch, and the platform takes 5% of that as commission. By implementing a paywall in this fashion, you guarantee that you earn money from every student who takes your lessons, even if you slightly reduce accessibility.

Tie-In Digital Products

Once you establish yourself as a sought-after online teacher, you can develop an entire line of tie-in digital products to supplement your income. This line can include a wide range of products, such as supplementary materials, study guides, interactive quizzes, and e-books. Students who want to learn more (or progress at a faster pace) will often rush to purchase these additional resources to enhance their learning experience, especially if the base course has proven highly valuable.

These tie-in digital products can be strategically integrated into your chosen teaching platform, whether through a dedicated section on your website, a bundled package with the course(s), or standalone offerings. Make sure to add versatility to your product line by incorporating various formats, from downloadable PDFs to multimedia content. This way, you’re not only catering to various learning styles but also appealing to a broader audience with different preferences for consuming content.

Best of all?

With this approach, you can earn money tutoring online and earn money when you’re not tutoring. Even if you have to stop making new courses for a while, chances are the resources you’ve already created will continue to generate income.

Try to keep going, though.

By continuously expanding your offerings – both course and digital product-related – you’ll solidify your presence in the online education market. Then, you can reach an even wider audience and diversify your revenue streams beyond teaching.

But remember one thing – always acknowledge your students’ feedback. Be in tune with what they like and what they don’t like, which products they desperately need, and you’ll have no trouble achieving longevity in the competitive field of online education.

How to Teach Online and Earn Money: The Most Profitable Subjects

Once you’ve decided on your method of teaching, you can move on to the important business of what to teach. No subject is off limits. If you have knowledge, somebody somewhere is likely to be willing to pay to access that knowledge. However, there are a handful of subjects that are more popular, thus offering more possibilities to make money tutoring online.

English Lessons

According to TeacherReady, a staggering 1.5 billion people are currently trying to learn English. That makes sense – English is essentially the world’s universal language, at least when it comes to business. So, you have a huge audience waiting for you if you happen to have the linguistic skills required to not only teach English but to work with students who may speak other languages.

Going down the English language route also gives you more options. Teachaway highlights that several companies offer platforms – such as VIPKid – through which you can teach students without worrying about finding them first. Of course, you still have the option of creating your own courses, which may be a good approach for the generalist who covers the basics of the language.

Digital Marketing

Online marketing – which encompasses subjects like search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing – is in massive demand in the business world. Every company wants to climb to the top of Google rankings. But only a select few can do so consistently, which is where you come in. If you have digital marketing knowledge, you have something to teach to the third of business owners who don’t even understand how marketing online works.

The sheer volume of potential course content plays in your favor here. You can go down the generalist’s route – covering every aspect of online marketing at the basic level – before digging deeper into each subject with specific strategies and case studies. The potential for course content is unlimited. That’s great news because it means you can create hundreds of videos, each monetized individually, as well as gather videos into in-depth courses for which you can charge even more money.

Web Development and IT

Shopify points to web development and IT as great subjects to teach, and it’s hard to argue with them. Technology is such an all-encompassing part of our lives – especially with the burgeoning artificial intelligence sector being on the rise – that millions of people need to equip themselves with tech skills to stay competitive in the job market.

These types of courses are especially attractive to students because they can lead to lucrative jobs. For instance, the average web developer earns over $81,000 per year – a fact you can use to market your courses.

Almost Any Creative Endeavor

Do you know how to play a musical instrument? Congratulations – you have a skill that millions of other people want to learn. The same goes for any creative skill. Drawing. Painting. Even playing games like chess well are things that plenty of people want to learn and, more importantly, are willing to pay an expert to teach them.

Credibility is your main challenge when going down the more creative route. Students will want to see that you can do what they’re paying you to teach them, but that simply creates opportunities for you to have some fun. For instance, you might create a set of video tutorials on how to play various scales on the guitar, which you market on social media with videos showing how you implement those scales into your music. You get to play more, and that playing draws people to your lessons.


After creativity, it’s time to make a sharp turn to…math.

All jokes aside, math is an in-demand subject, as it’s required in most schools. Not to mention how many students struggle with this subject, making them more willing to pay for lessons.

Teaching math online is also significantly better than teaching it in person. Why? Just think of all the visual aids, interactive tools, and personalized approaches you can leverage in the digital realm. Essentially, you can transform a traditionally challenging and disliked subject into an engaging experience that fosters a newfound appreciation for math. Do this, and you won’t have to worry about your earnings either!

How to Increase Your Income When Teaching Online: Top Tips

The four subjects highlighted above offer simple – and potentially lucrative – avenues into online teaching, but they’re far from the only subjects to consider. Any area of expertise in which you excel is a potential money-maker. You just need to know how to maximize your money-making potential.

Use Several Platforms

You’re not limited to a single platform when delivering lessons online. For example, let’s say you go down the personal tutoring route. Both Zoom and Skype can record your video conferences. If you get permission from your students, you can earn direct income for your tutoring sessions from them before sharing the recorded sessions as online courses, eliminating the audience limitation that comes with tutoring in the process.

Expand that thinking to other platforms. Social media may not be the best choice for direct monetization, but it’s a great way to market your lessons by offering little snippets or having students share their progress as social proof that you deliver on your promises.

Shoot an Intro Video

Even if you’re selling courses online, in which you don’t directly interact with students, your students still want to know who you are. Not only do they need to know about your credentials – what makes you qualified to teach them? – but they also want to see that you have the sort of personality that works well for them.

Shooting an intro video gives you a chance to showcase some of who you are before you get into the meat of your lessons. That video is a handy marketing tool. Use it to highlight your credentials and give students a taste of what they’ll get when they take lessons from you.

Market Your Course(s)

You can be an expert in your field with impressive skills, years of experience, and a knack for transferring knowledge but still fail as an online teacher.

How is this possible?

Well, the answer is simple – you’re just one of many.

The online education industry is expanding at an unprecedented rate, so standing out is paramount to your success.

As mentioned, you should leverage multiple online platforms to make your online courses a success. Marketing-wise, you might need a strong social media presence, a newsletter, and a website. Granted, you might not need all three. It all depends on your audience and the nature of your courses.

But regardless of the route you take, your entire online presence should have one goal – showcasing the value of your online courses. You can do so by sharing testimonials, reviews, and engaging excerpts.

Marketing tools can also come in handy for creating anticipation for what’s to come. Use user feedback to launch new courses, and then use teaser videos to announce those highly sought-after offerings. However, you can create anticipation even with your existing content. For instance, place BlurBay’s paywall at just the right moment, and you’ve created a powerful cliffhanger.

Choose a Niche Topic

To make money tutoring online, you must choose the perfect topic(s). Think of this selection process as a Venn diagram. Teachers typically consider three circles – topics that they have plenty of expertise in, topics they’re passionate about, and topics their students will care about. However, you should consider adding another circle to your Venn diagram – niche topics.

Finding a unique and profitable niche can be equated to hitting a jackpot.

A niche topic will set you apart from the competition, allowing you to stand out in the vast sea of online courses. It will also attract a dedicated audience seeking specialized knowledge they can’t find in any other place. Of course, try not to go too narrow, as this can backfire and severely limit your audience instead of expanding it.

Also, don’t force a niche topic. Remember – it should still belong to the other two Venn diagram circles – your knowledge and passion. This is the only way for you to create a highly valuable course and tailor your marketing efforts to those genuinely interested in the subject matter. After all, if you’re one of those people, you’ll know just what to do to attract them.

Pay Attention to Analytics

Pay Attention to Analytics

If you want to earn money tutoring online, you must be ready for an ongoing commitment. Choosing the right online teaching platform and creating high-quality content is just the beginning. Marketing that content and tracking its success is what will help you create a sustainable online tutoring business.

This guide has already discussed the marketing aspect. But what about analytics?

Data should always fuel your decisions, no matter what business you’re running. For that reason, it’s not enough to just launch an online course and hope for the best. You should also implement a robust analytics strategy to gather insights and see what’s working and what’s not.

Let’s say one of your courses is performing particularly well. Revisit that course and try to gauge what makes it so successful. Then, you have a goal – create more courses with similar elements. These will resonate with your audience better and, in turn, help you earn more money from teaching.

Give Out Content for Free

Now, you might think: “My goal is to earn more money. Why would I give out content for free?” And you’d be absolutely right. This does seem rather counterintuitive.

However, this move is actually one of the best methods to find more paying students and thus increase your income.


You see, by giving your target audience a taste of your teaching style and expertise through free content, you’re essentially giving yourself a free promo. Think of these free resources as planting seeds of interest. When your target audience recognizes your value as an online teacher, they’ll be willing to pay good money for your content. In other words, giving out content for free is an investment in the long-term success of your online tutoring business.

But what should you give out for free?

As always, it depends. It depends on your strengths as an educator, the preferences of your target audience, and the nature of your niche. However, there are two popular (and highly effective) ways to go about free content.

No. 1 – Create a free webinar conditioned by applying for your newsletter. Then, use the newsletter to inform your students-to-be about paid courses they might be interested in.

No. 2 – Develop a free introductory course for a highly sought-after topic. Use it to draw your target audience in enough to be willing to pay for deeper, more advanced content.

Make More Money When You Teach Online

Make More Money When You Teach Online

Teaching online opens you up to a much larger audience than you have in a traditional classroom setting. Rather than being restricted to a handful of students in your local area, your lessons can reach thousands of people from all over the world.

Assuming you have the expertise to create lessons, your biggest challenge lies in finding an appropriate platform. BlurBay is excellent for sharing pre-recorded videos, especially as its monetization model means you can charge students per video without having to worry about setting up a website or payment platform. For in-person teaching, Zoom and Skype are handy tools, with both also offering recording features that make it possible to deliver both in-person and course-based lessons.

Choose your platform first. Then, dig into what you know to extract the nuggets that form the basis of your lessons. Afterward, use the tips and tricks on how to teach online and earn money to optimize your content delivery and create a successful online education business.

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