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Online English teaching is booming,how can I join this?

With more than 26% of annual growth worldwide,the online English teaching market is taking off and online English teachers are reaping the benefits.                                              

You can do it part time or full time,with your own business,big or small and you can do it from just about any location in the world.

You might now be wondering –  so what does it take to become an online English teacher?

You can teach English online if you :

– can speak English fluently.

– enjoy teaching people and have the willingness to learn how to teach effectively.

– enjoy talking to people.

– can take payment online(paypal).

– have a reliable internet connection.

The following criteria will further improve your prospects :-

– having teaching experience.

– knowing how to market your services.

– having a teacher certification or degree.

– having a business system in place.

– having a flexible schedule.

– having a good Niche.

– having a fun and interesting online curriculum.

 

How on earth do I find students ? – the all important Niche

One of the biggest concerns that people have about starting their own online English teaching business is about all the competition they will be facing.

One major solution is : your Niche

What is a Niche?

A Niche is an area that you would consider yourself to be an expert at.For example you might choose your Niche to be “English for airline pilots”.With a Niche like this you will be more unique and stand out more from the crowd.This way you will be competing with a lot fewer people.

Here are some example Niches –

Hotel English , English for complete beginners , Business English , English for certain Nationalities , English for kids ,  Exam preparation English , Reading Comprehension.

How do you create a Niche?

1.Use what you know.

– Do you for example speak another language?  –  Pursue students who speak this language.

– Did you train people at your last job? –  Great consider looking into corporate training.

– Did you major in economics? –  Consider focusing on teaching business English.

There is no limit to what you can teach but the key is to stand out from the crowd!

2. Find out what students want.

-If you have taught before think of what students were most interested in.

-Check out message boards focused on learning English.

-Read up on ESL blogs.

-Review some other teachers’ profiles to see what they are teaching.

-Look at Google trends to see what the popular search terms are.

Be sure to choose something for which there is demand,you might have a great course on the life of a worm but it’s not really going to take off.

Also you don’t necessarily only limit yourself to 1 Niche or you can combine things,like for example if you can speak Spanish you could for example have a course in “English for Spanish pilots”.

3.Make sure you enjoy it.

If you don’t enjoy the Niche that you are teaching then you will be miserable pretty fast.You need to be comfortable with it long term.

 

Another important factor  –  Your Online Curriculum.

After the skills of the teacher the most important thing is the curriculum.

Once you have determined your Niche it’s time to set up your online curriculum to suit your chosen Niche.

Your online Curriculum should be :                                                                 

-based on your student’s objectives and interests.

-at the right level for your student,if it’s too easy or difficult the student gets bored or discouraged.

-interesting with games,fun activities,funny videos,short stories and quizzes.

 

 Some of the most essential tools.

Besides the aforementioned skills you will also need to have a number of so called “tools”in order to start your own online English teaching business.

A website

An attractive to the point website that is optimised for your target area.This is going to be at the center of everything and needless to say it is very important.You can make it yourself or have somebody make it for you,nowadays it’s not so expensive to have a professionally made website.

Wisestamp

This is an e mail signature,it looks very professional-it can have a picture of you,the title of your company,your website,ways to find you on facebook etc.Anyone you send an e mail to gets to see all this information.This way you can promote your services for free to many people.

Facebook

More than 1.2 billion people use facebook every day.Marketing on facebook helps you find new students!Join groups,make connections and share things,this way you can boost your brand.

Advertising on facebook also allows you to target very specific demographics based on location,age,gender and interests.This way you can advertise your business to the people that matter.

Youtube

For marketing youtube is the second biggest search engine in the world and it’s for free.It’s a very good opportunity to advertise your business.If you don’t want to be seen on camera that is not a problem,you can make a video in which only your voice is heard.

Skype

With skype you can see your students,write and speak to them and present your lesson materials to them,it can be done on a phone or on your computer and it’s for free.

Google Drive

This is a file storage service developed by google.Here you can store huge files securely and get access to them from any phone or computer.

Pay Pal

This is an online payment service that allows people and businesses to transfer funds electronically.For your online teaching business you can receive funds this way.

 

Concluding Advice                                                                                                                             

There are alternative tools that will help you teach online but the above ones are some of the most popular ones.Here is one last tip on how to get students,it’s very simple but effective : tell everybody – your friends,students and family what you are doing,quite often you can get 50% of your first online students this way.

 

 

 

 

 

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Teaching English Online,should I have my own business?

The Pros and Cons

Have you ever considered teaching English online?You have probably heard the stories about how you can travel around the world whilst making money teaching English online,and yes this is true but there are many other advantages to it too. More on this shortly.

So what’s my story?

After having been an English teacher in Thailand for over 15 years I was stuck in a rut.I had taken on just about every type of English teaching job in the area I was living in,giving English language lessons at hotels,schools,at businesses and privately.I realised that things were not going to get any more interesting.In short the living in Thailand was great but the job prospects were not.

The Game Changer.

Then about 6 years ago I heard about how you can teach English online and I realised that this would be the way to reach a much wider audience and possibly enable me to have more job security and in turn independence.

One of my main considerations at the time was whether I should work for an existing online school or if I should set up my own business to teach English lessons online.I had previously had a kitesurfing school and I really liked the idea of having my own business again.

Fastforward to 6 years later

To make a long story short,in the end I decided to first work for an existing online English teaching company so that I could get a hang of it all,and whilst working there I set up my own online English teaching business.I have been teaching ESL with my own small business for 5 years now.

Here are what I found to be some of the pros and cons of having my own business.

The Pros

Job security – the online teaching business is huge and is growing every year,online is the future of many           types  of education.Via the internet you can get students from all over the world,it’s the proverbial “the world is at your feet”,especially the Asian markets are growing like crazy.It’s also to a large degree “recession proof”,whilst most businesses struggle at a time of economic recession a teaching business can survive or even thrive .This is because at a time of lay offs people are looking to add skills to their resume in order to improve their job prospects.

Judged on your abilities – one thing that I have always liked about the teaching profession is that your personal skills are what makes you successful.In some businesses you need to have all sorts of hardware in order to impress customers, like for example a fancy car or a shop full of equipment.This was the case with the kitesurfing business that I owned previously,you needed to have the latest equipment and a big shop or you wouldn’t be able to compete with the guy down the road,it was a lot about appearances.

Long term – build retirement value,for example by selling the business when you retire.

Discovery – put your own ideas into practise and see what works.

Higher Income – It gives you a chance to make more money than if you were employed by someone else.

Autonomy – be your own boss and make all the decisions.You can make the business as big or small as you feel comfortable with.

Unreasonable Schools – you don’t need to deal with them.

Experience – learn about every aspect of your business and gain knowledge in a variety of disciplines.

Very reasonable investment costs – to set up a small business to teach esl online requires relatively little money.You probably already have a computer.A lot of things – such as many forms of marketing and skype, can be done for free.

Freedom to be selective – you can choose the students who you think are suitable for the curriculum(niche) you are teaching.This way you are getting the right students who are motivated and enjoy your lessons,leading to happy students which in turn means more work coming to you.

Lifestyle – because you are in charge,you decide when and where you want to work.You can basically work anywhere that has a good internet connection.Do however take into account the worldwide time differences.

Satisfaction – you have created this business and you are in control,this is very satisfying.

 

Cons.

Setting it up – like with any business setting it up is not easy,there are many new skills to be learned,this can be very time consuming and frustrating.You can do many things yourself but my advice is to delegate certain  tasks to the experts,for example at the beginning I was not very technology savvy so I had someone build my website.Something like this is a one off extra cost but it will not break the bank and it is definitely worth it,a website is one of the most important parts of your business.

Inconsistency – sometimes,especially at the beginning, your income may not be steady,however if you have already been teaching then  you will already have some contacts.Let everybody know what you are doing!,this can often lead to 50% or more of your students right from the start.

Stress – as a business owner you are the business and you are responsible for everything,this can be stressful.If you want to make it big then start it small and build it up from there.

 

And what about the pros and cons for being an employee at an online teaching business?

Pros

Acquire knowledge – Some schools give some training and you can learn about how to use their online courses.Everything you have learned you can use for the rest of your career and can be very beneficial for you.

Reduced levels of uncertainty – schools usually have good connections and a big budget for marketing which should ensure that you will have steady work.

Everything is ready to go – you don’t have to set anything up.

No investment costs.

Freedom– you can live anywhere where there is a good internet connection and a reasonable time difference.

 

Cons.

Lower pay – language schools take a percentage of what you earn and at some schools an ESL teacher salary can be quite low.There are however schools where the pay is ok so be sure to shop around.

Little room for creativity – usually you have to follow a school’s lesson plans and you are not allowed to diverge from that.

Hiring can be competitive – schools can be quite demanding about the qualifications a teacher must have and there are many people looking for teaching jobs.

Job uncertainty – most schools don’t offer long contracts.

Bad practices – the internet forums are full of messages about how teachers had a bad experience at a certain school.Anywhere you go and with any type of business there are always going to be a few bad apples,do your homework well before you sign up,you can easily check things out on the internet.

 

Online : that’s the way to go.

Whichever way you decide to teach English Online the online teaching market is looking very good.According

to analysts the global online education market is set to grow yearly by 10%.By 2023 the market size is expected to be double the size it is now.

This offers teachers a great opportunity to have a better lifestyle with more freedom and higher wages.