You’ve read those “make money online” articles for teachers that basically list a bunch of generic side jobs.
Unfortunately, very rarely do any of those articles actually explain how to go about doing those side hustles.
You finish the article feeling like you’re right back where you started.
But I’ve got some good news for you.
Yes, as a teacher, there are actual ways to make money online, but there is a process to it.
If you’re looking for real (but not necessarily easy) ways to make money in the education field and beyond while doing it all online, then this post is for you!
These side hustles can be home-based, done throughout the school year, or turned into a full-time gig!
This article explains 5 real ways for teachers to make money online plus I share valuable resources that will help you get started.
Here’s a run-down of the 5 ways to make money online as a teacher:
- Teach English Online (you knew this one would make the list, right?)
- Work for Education or Freelancing Sites
- Run a Successful Teachers-Pay-Teachers Store
- Freelance as a Writer
- Start a Profitable Blog
Let’s dig into it!
The first two side hustles have the lowest barrier to entry and allow you to start making money online as a teacher relatively quick.
1. Teach English Online
This one’s a given, right?
You’re a teacher, and unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard the rave reviews about teaching English online.
VipKid is the most popular choice to date, but there are lots of other companies for teaching English online to kids and adults.
Just so you know…
Don’t think that just because you’re an experienced brick-and-mortar educator with years of experience and advanced degrees that you’ll be swooped up for online teaching with relative ease.
Making money online teaching English is a different ballgame.
It’s a skill-set that encompasses more than just content knowledge.
Companies are often looking for a “specific thing” that either you have or you don’t.
From speaking with several VipKid instructors, many confess that the ability to be animated and extremely likeable are huge assets to getting hired.
Know your stuff but stiff as a board?
Then you probably won’t be a fit for that particular company, BUT like I mentioned, there are LOTS of online ESL companies.
Teachers Making Money Online Teaching English to Adults
You always hear about teaching English online to kids (many of whom reside in China), but what about teaching English to adults who come from all around the world?
I used to work a few hours a week for a company called EnglishFirst (EF); it was a nice little gig.
Why did I choose this company and not one of the other popular choices sought after by many-a-teacher?
First, I needed a break from teaching kids.
Secondly, I didn’t want to have to search for clients myself.
With many online ESL companies, you market your own services. It could take weeks to build up a steady stream of bookings. I didn’t have the time (nor desire) for that.
I’m too busy working on various projects for my own business and need to devote more of my energies towards those things.
EnglishFirst got all the bookings for me; I simply needed to show up and teach!
The downside of teaching adults online is that the pay is usually less.
Making money online as an ESL teacher means finding a routine, schedule, and customer base that you can stick with.
Making money online as an ESL teacher could be a great fit for you!
Try it out and see.
How To Get Started Making Money Online as an ESL Teacher:
On average, the application and interview process of online ESL companies takes at most a few weeks.
If you’re a teacher in need of money now, making money online teaching English is one of the quicker routes.
Here’s a short list of online ESL companies to get you started…
Pay rate with these companies ranges from $10 up to $25 per hour. Choose a company that will give you the hours and pay you need to meet your financial goals.
2. Work for Education or Freelancing Companies
This is one of those vague categories that I often see listed on other “extra ways to earn extra money as a teacher” lists.
But I’m not gonna do that!
Keep on reading.
I’ve got some pretty good resources to get you started, and it’s not too hard to get into the game!
What do I mean by education companies?
I’m speaking of virtual schools and non-profit organizations that hire educators, contributors, and educational analysts to publish a steady stream of content, conduct research, or instruct students.
These opportunities don’t seem to be actively promoted online, but I see them here and there.
The company K12 is a virtual school that’s becoming more popular.
It advertises itself as an online school providing “a high-quality, personalized education experience” to students.
A former colleague of mine now works for this company as an administrator, and she says it’s very tough work.
Note that working for K12 is pretty much a full-time thing, but if you’re okay teaching in a K12 setting in a complete virtual setting, this option may work for you.
But if K12 seems a bit much and you still want to make a few extra coins…
Try educational resources sites or freelancing online agencies.
Educational resources websites sometimes look for contributors to write fresh content for the sites.
Freelancing websites, on the other hand, allow you to post your profile, market your unique skills (whatever they are; doesn’t have to be education elated), and work one-on-one with clients on terms that you and the client set.
Market any unique skills you possess such as translating, proofreading, tax preparation, virtual assisting, coding, etc.
Angle your talents/skill-set to attract new clients, make yourself stand-out among the crowd, and have patience.
So how can you get started?
How To Get Started Making Money Online Working with Education Companies or Freelancing Sites:
- Check regularly for current job postings from K12. See what’s available for residents in your state.
- Apply to become a contributor for ReadWriteThink. This is great experience to add to your education resume, too!
- I’m not the biggest fan of what the National Council on Teacher Quality advocates, but this post about teachers making money online isn’t about me, it’s about you! This organization seeks “Teacher Preparation Analysts” to do various responsibilities related to teacher quality. Check out it’s preferred qualifications for applicants.
- Fiverr is an online marketplace where business owners, small and large, go to hire independent contractors to carry out a variety of tasks. As a teacher, you’re already good at persuading. Sell your skills on the platform, and with time and patience, you’ll start bringing in some cash! These Fiverr tips will help you to be successful on the platform.
UpWorkis similar to Fiverr, a place where freelancers gather to sell their services to potential clients. I’ve interviewed good quality people from this site, some of whom were educators, for work on one of my websites. So, yes, educators are very much present on the site and finding decent side hustle gigs doing varioustasks!
3. Freelance Write Independently
When I was looking to launch a business online, I kept running across freelance writing.
So many people tout how great it is for generating income, even on a part-time basis.
To see if freelance writing would be a good fit for me, I signed up for a free online class by a very successful freelancer by the name of Jordan Roper. She’s the creator of the website Creative Revolt.
I was absolutely blown away by her story and success with freelance writing. Her testimonials from regular, hard-working folks just like us was even more interesting.
So I couldn’t write this “making-money-online-as-a-teacher” list without mentioning freelance writing.
Making money online as a teacher is easier when you already possess the skill-set needed to get the job done right!
You’re a teacher, so I assume you have at least decent writing skills.
If you do and don’t mind putting in some major work upfront, freelance writing may be your ticket to making extra money online as a teacher!
What’s the difference between freelancing sites and freelance writing?
Freelancing sites such as Fiverr and Upwork serve as third-party sites.
Basically, these platforms set up the structure and clientele that enables you to sell your services.
Though you still have to market your skills and compete with other individuals offering the same services as you, the platform gives you exposure to lots of different clients, all in one convenient place.
Because of this advantage, Fiverr, Upwork, and websites like them take a cut of your profit margin. These fees quickly add up as a loss to the freelancer.
When I talk about freelance writing, though, I’m referring to working for yourself, building your own platform, and looking for your own clients, wherever they may be hanging out online or in your community.
You write copy for these businesses/clients. Your writing is used for their websites and publications. They pay you directly for your time and quality work.
This process takes much more work upfront but the reward is that you keep all of your profits. Sweet!
How To Get Started Making Money Online through Freelance Writing:
I’m not getting paid to promote Jordan Roper of Creative Revolt. I just love what she’s doing.
You can learn more about her here.
I believe in her system and her message. I’ve seen her happy clients, giving rave reviews of their success using her tactics.
If you’re serious about making a living or part-time hustle online as a teacher, check out her freelance writing online course. It’s free by the way!
4. Open a Teachers-Pay-Teachers Store
Teachers are really doing their thang on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT). I call them Educational Content Creators. 😉
Years ago, I was skeptical of TpT.
But after moseying around the site for some time (and becoming a seller), I became beyond impressed and very humbled by all the work and time teachers put into their stores.
It can be very intimidating for new sellers.
You’re like, “How in the world can I compete with these phenomenal people?“
But it’s possible. The trip of a thousand miles starts with one step (or mile), right?
If you’ve got the dedication and drive to consistently create quality content on TpT, you can make very good passive income. Imagine making money online while you sleep! What a sweet gig indeed.
Got no time?
Then start slowly.
None of those TpT top sellers were a success overnight or even after a few months.
Selling on TpT is a long-term investment. It’s a lot of work upfront, but the rate of return is as high as you desire. It’s one of the best platforms for creating passive income.
Put in the hard work now, and then let the work make more money for you.
Though I’m not a seller on TpT any longer, what I notice separates the top sellers from those just dabbling are these traits:
- Quality products that serve a consumer need
- Product covers that are visually appealing
- Clear and comprehensive product previews
- A good number of quality products (at least 50)
- Fair pricing of items that seems “just right”
- Responding to customers‘ feedback/making adjustments to products accordingly
- Consistency with creating new products and/or keeping older resources up-to-date
- Strategic marketing on platforms such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram
- Going over-and-beyond to be a great seller
Do you think you have want it takes to be a successful seller on TpT?
How To Get Started Making Money Online as an Educational Content Creator:
Warning: There’s a HUGE learning curve to selling on TpT. Have the right mindset and be in it to win it!
Below are solid resources to help you start your TpT seller journey:
- Getting Started
- 5 Steps for Getting Started with Teachers Pay Teacher
- 10 Steps to Selling on TpT
- Start-Up Tips
- Opening your Teachers-Pay-Teachers Store Guide
- How to Sell
5. Start a Profitable Blog
This method of making money online as a teacher arguably takes the most effort and time but has good income potential.
And I’m not just talking about starting a teacher blog.
I’m talking about starting a blog about any topic you enjoy plus one that serves a need for a segment of society, your potential client base.
Like TpT, blogging is a BIG learning curve.
Research, reading, research, reading, and learn along the way! That’s the name of the game with blogging.
Jump-start your research with the resources below.
How To Get Started Making Money Online as a Blogger
- For inspiration and some general information about starting a profitable blog (WARNING: it’s a long post), check out this free blogging-for-beginners guide. It’s by one of my favorite bloggers!
- Also, if you’re set on starting and/or making money online with an education blog, you should definitely learn how to monetize a teacher blog.
Making money online as a teacher is not only possible, but it’s a worthy goal that has the potential to greatly increase and improve your financial health.
I hope you’re feeling optimistic!
This wasn’t one of those long lists of lifeless side hustles.
With true effort, you can really make a good income online using one or more of these five methods!
Holla’ at me if you need some inspiration!
As a teacher, which of these side hustle ideas are you going to start soon?
Talk to me!