A few years from now when the world looks back on the era of the COVID pandemic, people will remember the companies and industries that took advantage of massive changes in the business landscape. Verticals like home fitness, meal delivery, and gaming all saw big increases in demand.
Newly laid-off employees from other industries went online to revamp their skills, and many noticed the opportunity – they could share their knowledge with others and make some extra cash. Since then, the online teaching industry has been steadily growing.
Here’s how you can make use of your skills to teach online and make money in 2021.
Why Online Learning is Booming
First of all, it’s important to realize why people are flocking to online learning in the first place. These market forces are responsible for the growth of the industry in recent years.
- The cost of post-secondary university in the United States has grown much faster than inflation over the past fifty years. Many Americans are growing convinced that higher education isn’t worth the cost and are looking to gain skills online for a much lower price tag.
- Forget about cramming into a stuffy lecture hall for night classes – online learning is far more flexible for students and instructors alike.
- Before the Covid-19 pandemic, major universities like Stanford were already offering online courses for a reasonable price. Massive open online course (MOOC) platforms like Coursera, Skillshare, and Udemy were leading the industry by offering courses in a range of skills – raising the bar for new competitors.
Teaching Online to Make Money
The growth of online learning has led to a realization: teaching online can be an effective way to make money. If you can differentiate yourself in your industry and promote your course well, you can earn enough money to replace your need for a full-time day job.
The reason behind this is that a digital product like an online course doesn’t need to be manufactured and fulfilled every time it is sold, unlike a physical product. Even though it requires more work upfront, each time someone signs up for your online course, it is at no additional marginal cost to you.
You will still need to invest your earnings into making your online course better by buying better equipment and creating better learning materials, but at a certain point, teaching online to make money is pretty close to passive income.
Before you start planning your lessons, you will need to establish where you see yourself in your niche. Even the most obscure skill probably has someone else teaching it online, and you will need to differentiate yourself in some way. Start by asking yourself questions like:
- Who would be your main competitors? Are they small or big players?
- What is unique about your knowledge in this subject and how you share insights with others?
- How many hours per week can you devote to teaching online?
Determine Your Revenue Model
There are several ways to make money from teaching online. Aside from the standard “pay per course” method, you can also charge your students for each individual class, or even offer courses for free, with the option of paying for certification upon completion.
If you are a first-time online teacher without a reputation in your field, you may want to consider the latter two options, as it may be easier to allow students to try your course without a large up-front commitment.
Find a Remote Teaching Platform
Once you have researched your niche and determined how you will earn money, you need to figure out where your online course will “live”, and how you will communicate with your students.
A remote teaching platform is where you will be able to complete functions like video conferencing, screen sharing, breakout rooms, and upload your curriculum. Seems pretty straightforward right?
There are plenty of remote teaching platforms out there, so it can be a difficult decision to find the one that is right for your course. Most importantly, the success of your course can hinge on whether your remote teaching platform is reliable and easy to use.
Imagine that you have a dozen paying students from around the world who have shown up to the first lesson in your online course – when you realize that only half of them can see your screen share. Sounds like an online teacher’s worst nightmare, right?
You will need to prepare for students who are using many different browsers and operating systems. The right remote teaching platform accounts for these potential issues while being easy for you and your students to use.
DaDesktop is a brand new player in the online learning industry that was started with the goal of solving these problems. The platform allows instructors to do what they do best without having to worry about the technical side of things.
Here’s what DaDesktop does better than its competitors:
- There are no limits on how many students or instructors you can interact with, or the documentation you can upload to the platform.
- Unlimited course storage and lecture recording.
- Seamless network connection and no lag time for video calls.
- Quick and simple that takes minutes, not hours or days.
Promoting Your Course
Another vital part of your online teaching process is promoting your course to potential students. You will need to put your marketing hat on for this – there are too many good competitors out there to assume that potential students will find you on their own.
At the bare minimum, you will likely want to create a landing page for your online course and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field of study by blogging, posting on forums, or creating video content.
We will be going into this topic in greater depth in another article, but for now, we recommend checking out this long list of ways to market your online course.
Your Next Steps
If you have an idea for how to teach online and make money in 2021, you should be experimenting with remote teaching platforms to find out which option is the best for you