Online teaching pays big dividends

By Maureen Paraventi

The explosive growth of online learning is providing a rich source of passive income to people with knowledge or skills to impart. While there is effort needed to design a curriculum and engage with students, once an online class in in place, it can be accessed by countless students – making money for the instructor long after the initial investment of time and energy.

Whether your expertise lies in launching successful email marketing campaigns, baking the perfect loaf of sourdough bread, speaking French or developing e-commerce websites, sharing your knowledge with others can be an extremely lucrative side hustle that pays greater dividends the longer a course is in existence.

Although conducting online classes outside of a university framework may seem intimidating, existing e-learning platforms handle most of the heavy lifting. You can focus on imparting your knowledge while they provide features like a sign-up portal for students, user-friendly interface and secure payment gateway.

Being in the online company of other instructors – even ones whose topics compete with yours – can be advantageous. Would-be students who go to e-learning platforms will do searches of subjects they want to learn about. They can compare prices, curricula and teachers’ backgrounds. The aggregate information they will find on an e-learning website yields a much greater level of specificity than a Google search, and so is more likely to result in a student signing up for a class.

Popular e-learning platforms include Teachable (which has 124,000 teachers), Codecademy (which specializes in computer coding instruction) and Skillshare, which is popular with artists, designers, photographers, writers and other creatives.

Platforms may also offer a number of resources to help new teachers get started, such as guides on: how to structure their content, how to build a website to support their class and how to optimize that website for web and mobile use.