Teaching English Online Business

by Elizabeth
(London, UK)

Hi Diana,

I am a newly qualified ESL teacher and I have come across your website.

I read your about me page and to be quite honest I found it very inspirational. I am trying to set up a business teaching English online. I was hoping you could give me some advice on the market.

What sort of this should I concentrate on with regards to marketing and sell my services?

I noticed that you are doing an experiment with your brother in law using the 'Effortess English' cds. How do you think these product will impact on an online teacher business.

I would really like to make a sucessful businees and I have had enough of the rat race so any advice you offer would be much appreciated.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards

Hi Elizabeth,

I am so glad that you emailed me. I just recently added my "about me page" as a way to tell people a bit more about myself and to show others how I was able to set up a successful business online.

Before I continue I must warn you that I am pretty keen about teaching online and also building websites with the help of SBI, so if I come across as being really excited or eager, it's because I am. I hope I don't bombard you with too much info.

Now to your email, I'm so glad that you are asking me about setting up a business teaching English online because that is currently what I do.

You see I have my day job (teaching English online) which pays my bills and I have my website which currently adds some extra spending money each month but will eventually be my main source of income.

Let me explain.

I absolutely hate the rat race. If you have been teaching for a while (although it sounds like you are just entering the field) you will realize that you only get paid when you work.

One hour equals X amount of money. On one hand it can be very good if you have lots of students or a good hourly wage but the second you get sick (or fall down the stairs and twist your angle...yup that was me) you don't get paid.

That is why I loved the idea of getting paid 24/7. I love the idea of earning money while I sleep or while camping. (This actually happened to me during the summer because I went camping for the weekend and I sold two English courses while gone!)

Anyways, I decided I wanted to start my own website to eventually quit my job but didn't have a clue how to get started.

I mean, building a website is a big task, but I wanted some help along the way. Well after some searching I kept seeing SBI over and over and I finally signed up when I was making the move to Huelva.

I though "What the hell...I have no job for the next while...why not build a business in the mean time".

If you are looking for advice on how to start a successful online business (on teaching English online or any topic) then this is the best advice I can give you...build it with SBI.

In a nut shell they provide you with all the tools that you need to;

- plan your website niche (subject)

-choose pages to write about

-create a professional website

-set up an automatic blog, add images, create a newsletter

-plan how you are going to monetize your website...make some money!

If you don't think you can do it all alone (they have a 10 step course/guide that you work through)...they now have elearning courses that can help you even more if you need it.

Ok...but enough about SBI for now (sorry...I said I

was eager!)

Direct advice for your online teaching business:

1) Build with SBI (you can't go wrong).

2) Choose a sub-topic within learning English that you love in order to focus your website/business on a topic that you can present to visitors.

My biggest mistake is that my main topic is "learn English" which is HUGE. There are far too many areas to cover. I wish I had chosen something like "phrasal verbs" or "learn English videos".

3) Once you create a really great content rich website you can then use all your content to promote your services.

When you think about it. People read my articles and they get to know me. They can then trust me, so when I recommend something that I know is good people are more likely to purchase them they know and trust me. (You must be careful not to break this trust though...and only recommend things that are high quality and useful).

4) You can use Skype to teach the classes but I would suggest something like WebEx or Adobe Connect which I have used while teaching online for a company in Madrid.

They let you have a white board and video and audio etc.

There you can create a teacher profile and arrange classes and you choose your rate. Then edufire charges the student a small user fee when they register for your classes.

You get your rate per hour and access to Adobe Connect (great conferencing software) and students are able to find your services via edufire and you profile there.

Irealize that maybe you don't want to create a full fledge business, but just want to organize some classes. If you want to have a well rounded business with multiple sources of income (Google ads, e-product sales, affiliate sales and classes) then I would create a full website.

If you want to just teach some classes online, I would suggest creating a profile with edufire and then finding a forum where you can become a "guru".

Basically, online you need to create a name for yourself and earn trust. If you just throw up some ads saying "online English classes" then you won’t create a strong business cause people don't know or trust you. When you create a website and provide great free content for visitors you are pre-selling them to your services.

Just a couple other things before I end this NOVEL of a message (I hope I haven't scared you away!)

As for me...I am currently taking 6 months off from teaching to dedicate time to my website so I can write and sell my own courses and products, promote other people's products (like effortless English) and eventually set up my own podcast and promote my own classes. It does take a lot of work up front but I think it is well worth it for the potential in the future.

Just to directly answer your questions:

What sort of content should I concentrate on with regards to marketing and sell my services?

With SBI it all goes with building your site. The marketing process is simple. CTPM. Content first...which gets traffic (traffic is SO important)...with that traffic you PRESELL them to you and your advice...and then finally you Monetize. $$

How do you think these products (effortless English) will impact on an online teacher business?

I think that these products are great. They will never replace having a real teacher though. They just can't motivate, interact and customize lessons like real live teachers can. If anything they could help your business if you promoted them as a self-study tool to go along with your classes.

I am going to leave it there because I honestly I could talk all day about this. Please keep in touch and do consider signing up for LEC (my social network) because that would be a great way to start building your name.

If you have more questions just shoot me an email.

All the best,

Comments for Teaching English Online Business

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Jun 27, 2014
by: Anonymous

Why don't you just say you are promoting SRI (it's actually SBI)to people seeking marketing advice for online English teachers - that you are obviously affiliated with? A little shady lovely lady.

Actually it is pretty clear that I promote SBI. Check out the footer on the bottom of every page of my site. It is also clearly stated on my privacy policy page: http://www.helping-you-learn-english.com/privacy_policy.html

That aside, how is it shady for me to share my experience with those that ask for it? I do not have any other experience to share with my audience except for SBI.

I have used SBI to launch and maintain this website/business since 2006, so that is who I recommend to other people looking to create an online business (especially online English teachers).

It works for me and that is why I recommend it. Period.

Yes I am affiliated with them, but I wouldn't recommend them if they were not (in my opinion) the best. What good would that do me? Recommending poor quality products and services does not get you very far in life or business.

I provide over 1000 pages of free content and yes I do promote products and services where I am affiliated (and therefore get a percentage of the cost), that is how many online businesses work.

Thanks for bring up your concerns and helping me clear that up for future visitors who might have the same concerns as you.

All the best,

Aug 19, 2011
Teaching Online
by: Wen Akeem

Hi Diana,

I'm a classroom teacher and have wanted to teach international students since before the advent of the Internet. I once thought about teaching thru the mail.

I'd like to work with an established company but also have my own online teaching business and students.

I noted the advice you offered in this article and if you have anything more you'd like to add, for someone like myself starting an online teaching business, it will be greatly appreciated. Thanks a Million

Hi Wen,

Thank you so much for leaving a comment!

Regarding teaching online I will be able to provide you a great deal of information in the near future (as I will be launching a sister website for online ESL teachers).

I will announce it here at helping-you-learn-english.com and also in the newsletter.

To help you even more, could you tell me what concerns, questions, and worries you have about teaching online?

I would be more than happy to answer your specific questions and your feedback would help me provide great resources for other teachers as well.

You can leave a comment here or send me a message via the "contact me" form. In any case, I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

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