“Together we can create an independent network of trusted authority.
Together we can teach online and build our legacy.”
Avoiding Obstacles to Teach Online
There are thousands of students trying to find online teachers but the tricky part is finding them! That’s because online search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, use algorithms to rank trusted websites – and tend to favour the big teaching platforms that exploit teachers who want to teach online.
These highly ranked companies are the same teaching platforms that tell teachers to post links to our user profiles on Facebook and Twitter. They ask us to post in the forums and send internal messages to potential students.
If teachers do this and actually attract paying students that way, all we are doing is driving traffic to the teaching platform and helping them keep their SEO ranking high. On top of that, if we do receive a paying student, we have to give the teaching platform commission, meaning we have lost part of what we could earn – up to 50% in some cases.
What’s the Best Way to Teach Online?
The best way to do anything online is to invest a little time and effort into building your own personal brand.
Online private coaching or tutoring is basically the same as teaching in a virtual classroom, minus all the gadgets. The obvious benefit here is that since the setup is a lot less complex, the likelihood of having to deal with technical issues is far smaller. Your students will have less setup problems too!
The ideal case is that you have two people talking with each other on Google Hangouts or Skype. Instead of one sender and many receivers (as is often the case in the classroom scenario), here we have two people who can connect personally. It’s the perfect model to teach online and help your students become fluent in English because both parties switch roles and practice the target language in each lesson.
This particular kind of online learning, via private coaching or tutoring sessions, is one of the most convenient ways for us to freelance and teach online.
What Will I Need?
- A Google Hangout or Skype account.
- A website where people can request lessons. A simple description of your service, including rates and contact information.
- A fail-safe way to handle payments like PayPal.
There are many other things that you can do, but this is the absolute minimum. Even if these three elements are firmly in place, you will still need to get the word out about your service and this is where things get interesting.
How Do I Get Customers?
One of the best ways to get quality traffic to your website is by simply helping people. Yes, helping people – for free!
Create a blog on your website and write articles on a regular basis that talk to potential students. You have to show visitors that you know what you’re talking about and can give people a reason to care. If you cannot prove that you are an expert and have a serious interest in helping students make progress, then don’t expect them to care about you. If on the other hand you produce high value content on a regular basis, you will end up with a strong readership that respects you for the quality of your posts.
Although you aren’t charging for any of this content, each one of your articles will be an investment in the future of your online business. In addition, you will be able to network with your readers, gain supporters and friends, to build strong customer and client relationships. If you’re serious and helpful, people will recognize and appreciate it.
How Can I Build My Own Website?
You do not need to be a programmer or marketing specialist to make a living as an online
teacher. It does helps to have some experience in setting up webpages but it’s a skill that can be learnt by following tutorials and reading blogs. Don’t just accept the status quo (and high commissions) of online teaching platforms. Embrace skills that go beyond teaching and build your own mini-school by using freely available software.
I started this site at English Teacher Online in December 2016 with zero knowledge of blogging techniques such as SEO, keyword search, WordPress or Google Hangouts.
I learnt to build my website with Wealthy Affiliate because their live training program is comprehensive and they give a free 7-day trial. They taught me the basics so I could publish my first few pages in about an hour. By completing each of their five certification courses, I now have a good understanding of internet marketing strategies, email list building and how Google rankings work. I also have a user friendly website and a long list of keyword search phrases that I am eagerly writing fun content for.
As I move into another two-month paid holiday, I am excited by the extra income I am earning. There are places I want to visit and the best thing about this opportunity is that I can do it anywhere!
What Will You Write About?
You could write articles, create material or run a community. You can promote products, write your own e-books or help connect students with teachers. There are so many directions that your website could go. Check out the competition and collaborate with friends – link to friends’ web pages too. Email Steve@englishteacheronline.org if you want to place your link on my directory page – today and for free!
5 Ways to Promote Online Tutoring
- Free Classified Ads – such as Craigslist. Google “free classified ads” for more ideas.
- Social Media – A must for anyone trying to generate serious business. Tie it in with other efforts like a blogging campaign or other form of content marketing.
- Tutoring Directories – There are many directories online where tutors can list their services. Google “tutor directories”.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – This is a topic that many non-technically minded people will shy away from. SEO is all about picking a keyword or key phrase and using it in your site’s title, domain name, description and in individual blog posts. Coupled with a consistent blogging strategy, this is a strong backbone for any online business. Wealthy Affiliate has easy to understand videos that can help you understand SEO and blog strategies.
- Blogging – I can’t stress enough how important blogging is to attract new students and promote your online teaching activity. Each article you write is another potential entry point through the search engines – even through unexpected and unrelated searches people can stumble onto your site. If your keywords are highly competitive, you can use blog posts as back-doors and shortcuts.
Links To Other Websites
The final pieces to the SEO puzzle are links and back links because Google’s ranking algorithm loves links. Search engines not only analyze the popularity of websites and pages based on the number of pages linking to them, but also metrics like trust, spam, and authority. Trustworthy sites tend to link to other trusted sites, while spammy sites receive very few links from trusted sources.
Our Network Of Authority
So that is the plan. When you create your website, you will need to choose a niche. Are you a specialist at primary, secondary or university level? Do you teach English, science, math or another subject? Within those disciplines do you want to focus on four or five key areas to build your online mini-school? If you have another idea I would love to listen.
We are currently looking for collaborators to link to and who can link back to English Teacher Online. Please think carefully because chances like this don’t come along very often and this offer won’t last forever. Together we can build our own independent network of trusted authority. Together we can teach online and build our legacy.
I would love to hear your thoughts so please email Steve@englishteacheronline.org