How to Teach Online & Earn Money in 2021: Definitive Guide

Selling online courses is, without a doubt, a booming market worldwide, and research statistics prove it (According to recent data, the global e-learning market is going to reach $325 billion by 2025).

This trend, along with the tendency of people to prefer the comfort and flexibility of their homes, encourages them to explore new ways of developing skills online.

Becoming an online instructor means you could be earning from a few hundred dollars per year to a six-figure income.

But, how does someone make money by teaching online?

In this article, I want to show you ways you can start making money online and why teaching online is one of the most scalable ways to achieve it!

Βuilding, launching, and marketing an online course does take a considerable amount of upfront effort. But, its earning potential is through the roof.

It won’t always be easy. You’ll have to work hard and push through mistakes and failures along the way.

But don’t fall for the trap of “easy ways to make money online”.

There’s no such thing as an online get-rich-quick scheme. The hard truth is that the only ways to make money with online classrooms involve putting in real time, effort, and sweat.

However, I assure you, that once you put in the time and effort, you’ll be able to continue to sell your courses and make money for months and years.

Online teaching jobs are increasingly growing across all subject areas and grade levels across the elementary, middle, and high schools, higher education, and also in adult learning. Teachers instruct online students from around the country, as well as around the world, and include the following roles:

In case you are considering to start teaching online you should know that online teaching opportunities take two forms:

In both cases, you can help students learn at their own pace, via your online teaching company to ensure that the content you’re teaching is engaging and relevant to your students’ needs.

LearnWorlds is a top-notch online course platform that provides a top-class online environment packaged with powerful marketing tools to help you thrive in course selling. It provides you everything you need to teach online. You can:

And much more! If you want to give it a try for free, here is the link to it (they actually have a 30-day trial, hence this is worth trying out!).

Get your fully social, engaging and interactive online school.

Launch your school!

Working as a teacher for a company may require some qualification, like a bachelor’s or master’s degree, teaching experience, etc.

But, the remarkable thing here is that when creating your own school, it doesn’t matter what your expertise or teaching experience is.

If you think you can teach something that people want to learn more about, you can become an online instructor and start earning money by monetizing your skills and knowledge.

So, all you need is expertise in a niche subject, a computer/laptop/tablet and an internet connection, these are enough to start creating online courses!


A couple of examples:

Hung Kuen Kung Fu Academy is a Martial Arts Academy. A short clip of the Kung Fu instructors accompanied by a dynamic blend of three colors – black, red and white, invites people to learn more about Kung Fu.

a screenshot of LearnWorlds school website

Learning Liaisons, on the other hand, teaches maths to teachers and qualifies them accordingly.

a screenshot of LearnWorlds school website

It is effortless to start creating your own online courses. With specific necessary steps, you can start your own Academy in no time! And here are six essential steps you must take to start a school from scratch:

These are the necessary steps, but you can learn more about them in our extensive guide on how to create an online course.

At this point – I will be honest with you – it is better that you start a blog if you don’t have one yet.

One thing is for sure… Whatever topic you’re an expert in, there will be people who want to learn. You can monetize your passion, whatever that is.

But, remember. People will only come to you if they find what you are offering is valuable and life-changing for their own personal or, more often, professional needs.

So then, your goal would be to encourage them to see your course as an opportunity for development, a journey of transformation upon which you are calling them to join.

Start by creating a list of what you know and are passionate enough to educate others about. It could be your language, something from your own educational background, work-related, or a favorite hobby.

Once you’ve chosen your subject and started planning and creating your lessons, you can find the right hosting platform and monetization methods.

Υou can choose to become a tutor for one or all of the following online course models.

For example, you might be interested in becoming an ESL teacher. ESL teachers work with English language learners, or those students for whom English is not their primary language.

They help them acquire fluency in English, both spoken and in the written word. Learning more about teaching english may offer you more opportunities for an online teaching career.

The potential income from selling courses online depends on several factors:

Free ebook

The Ultimate Guide To Selling Online Courses (vol 1)

Discover how to make your online courses ready for sales and, most importantly, profitable.

In case you don’t have an audience yet, you can make some hypotheses based on how many people you expect to reach out. Will it be 100 or 200 or 1000 email subscribers?

Conversion rates for online courses depend on the subject, the price, and your capability to attract and sell to the right people. You can think of conversions as:

To calculate conversion, use this equation:

Revenue = Number of your Audience x Conversion Rate x Price of the Course

You can run the calculation on all three conversion rates 1%, 5%, and 10% to see different scenarios and set your goals based on them.

Then, if you want to see if you are making a profit, you will need to subtract the expenses. Luckily, online courses do not cost anything per additional customer but might have production or marketing expenses.

Now, you can really calculate if your course can be profitable, how much work you need to do, and how much money you can make selling online courses!

Btw, you can also read our guide on how much money you can make with online courses for more information on this.

an image showing 50 euros stacked up two piles of coins

While setting up an additional revenue stream of passive income is the principal reason you would want to create an online course, that is not the only advantage attached to it when you already run a business.

An online course can help:

With the plethora of online learning platforms and learning management systems – LMSs, out there, today, it’s easy to build your own online school.

Using a state-of-the-art online learning platform ensures that you are offering all the features that will make your academy the must-go learning destination.

With LearnWorlds for example, within just a few clicks, you’ll get your own school website with powerful features: Student management, integrated payment processing, multiple types of activities, and everything else you need to teach online.

But, before you start, you will need a LearnWorlds account.

Get your fully social, engaging and interactive online school.

Launch your school!

Step 1: Your School’s Branding and Website

First off, start building a website that will host your online school. The LearnWorlds page builder is doing a fantastic job on this since it offers the ability to personalize your website within minutes, without the need for any technical knowledge or coding skills.

On the elearning website builder, you will find a rich collection of templates to choose from and customize as you see fit. Selecting and editing yours is super easy and feels like editing a Microsoft Word’s or Mac’s pages file!

For some more advanced customizations, you can also customize the CSS code and customize each course’s player to create a unique experience.

A landing page for a photography school created with LearnWorlds page builder.

In the same way, you can create any page that either has to offer more to your current students, helps to get new ones onboard your academy or serves a specific goal you want to achieve:

Step 2: Develop Your First Online Course

Create your course outline

To achieve these, it may help to simply brainstorm ideas after having researched the literature, the web, and what others in relevant topics are doing. Or, you can use the storyboarding technique to better organize your content.

Choose your learning method

Decide on a learning method or a blended approach you want to follow and stick with it. This will define the type of content and activities, as well as the format of your whole academy. Setting learning goals and objectives will help you in your instructional design.

Upload your course

First, you will need to create your first course on LearnWorlds. Click on the “Create Course” button and go through the course creation wizard.

LearnWorlds' course creation wizard

Write your course’s title and click next. Follow the steps to as shown there.

If you have already prepared course content on the subject – video, text documents, or blog posts, you are one step ahead as you can reuse your content into the course. Once you have prepared your learning material, you can upload them on LearnWorlds very easily.

Depending on the kind of learning, training, or coaching you will be doing, you will probably use a variety of learning activities, available in LearnWorlds:

Insert a short 1-2 minute intro video to your course, and you will see the difference.

With LearnWorlds, you can create awesome interactive videos! Try them out to avoid boring content and offer something unique!

Step 3: Use tools and integrations

a screenshot of LearnWorlds school website

LearnWorlds comes equipped with many of these tools and connects with the top software tools in the market to take care of the rest. Some of those come as direct integrations or can be connected by using Zapier.

Here are the essential tools for your eLearning business:

See the full list of integrations here.

And, even connect 3rd party software like Zoom to run live classes or webinars.

Run a live class by embedding zoom in a webinar

Step 4: Connect the analytics and know your numbers

Before you are ready to launch your academy, you need to set up your analytics tools. This is a crucial step to take since such tools can help you assess the overall performance of your online academy in terms of website traffic and brand exposure.

Here are some of these tools (the links show you how to integrate those tools in your school):

a screenshot of LearnWorlds school website

Step 5: Use the available sales and marketing tools

Just like with any type of business, your online academy needs to follow a marketing plan. Adopting a marketing strategy can help to sell your online courses and gradually grow the number of your students.

Step 6: Schedule Automated email notifications

a screenshot of LearnWorlds school website

With LearnWorlds, you can send automated emails to your learners whenever certain events take place in your academy (for example, registration emails, enrollment emails, subscription emails, learners notifications, admin settings, email signature).

Step 7: Change the most important settings in your school

Having your own online academy needs tools and options that can give you absolute control:

You can learn more about these in our step-by-step guide on how to start an online school.

Step 8: Set a payment gateway and Go Live

To start receiving payments, you will need to connect your academy with a payment gateway. And we have got five for you to choose from: 2Checkout, Stripe, Paypal, Shopify, PagSeguro.

a screenshot of LearnWorlds school website

Step 9: Check out available resources

Our very own LearnWorlds Academy is here to save the day and educate you on creating online courses. Whether you are looking for a course to teach you how to come up with a course or how to create an educational video in more detail, it is the go-to place for it.

Also, we have a variety of useful eLearning resources to check out. Go through our ebooks and checklists and download them for free, or read our extensive collection of articles on our blog!

Finding that sweet spot where your course price can maximize your profits seems like an elusive quest!

To do this, you will need to balance the value of your course based on quality, expectations, competition and your revenue goals.

Pricing an online course is incredibly important and for a good reason. It communicates your value, it affects the profitability of your course, your customers and the quality of your work. Pricing it too high may result in people not buying from you. Pricing it too low and you won’t be making a profit.

This though varies depending on the industry, market sales, and the amount of your own expenses – both timely and financial. Whatever the case, you should know this:

Your course is worth much more than you give it credit for. An online training course is the amalgam of your work and life experiences, years of learning and education.

To get this right, there are a few factors you need to consider:

Generally, there are two pricing models you can use: One time or recurring.

The first allows students to pay upfront payment or in installments in order to access your course. The second is the most profitable for online instructors and students pay for it on a regular basis e.g. weekly or monthly.

Marketing can increase your academy’s visibility gaining more visitors and potential clients. The profitability of your course rests upon your marketing & sales efforts.

That is, if you want sales coming your way, you need to go the extra mile and start promoting your course. Doing so is necessary, but you need to learn how to do it methodically.

This is where the sales funnel comes in and helps to understand the process of attracting customers and bringing them closer to you.
Marketing an online course is a whole other subject and you can learn more about it at any time.

The Sales Funnel Process (Image Source: Entrepreneur/Shutterstock)

Online instruction is a viable source of revenue, whether you’re looking for a passive income stream or a new and exciting career.

It might seem too good to be true at first – and, as with anything, success doesn’t come without work. If you take this information piece by piece, you will be surprised to find out that building an online academy from scratch is a lot easier than you think.

And we are proof that this is true because tons of people have done it and today they are more than happy with their results.

So, why not inspire millions to live their best lives and make a living in the process by becoming their coach?

Get your fully social, engaging and interactive online school.

Launch your school!
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Course Designer & Content Creator at LearnWorlds

Anthea is a Course designer and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team. She holds years of experience in instructional design and teaching. With a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Modern Teaching Methods & ICT (Information & Communications Technology), she supplements her knowledge with practical experience in E-Learning and Educational Technology.