Archive for teaching online
With the vast majority of people drive to work and work for other people, there are a few of us who try to change things up. Unfortunately many people don’t quite understand what we are trying to do. So I was happy to see this segment on CNN about a guy who teaches math on YouTube. The beauty was that he quit a lucrative job in Silicon Valley even with a wife and child!
I do the same thing on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Ustream and so on. I love teaching and am trying to get it up to a sustainable level so I can do it full time.
It’s taken me a while to figure out what I want to do with my life. After obtaining a master’s degree in engineering and doing structural engineering for four years I quit and went into IT. I would commute downtown, travel to other cities sometimes which involved flying, stay in hotels, rent apartments, you name it. I never really enjoyed the office/cubicle environment.
At times I’ve been fairly depressed, wondering why I have so many issues with the typical work environment, when others seem to be okay with the situation. One of the key thoughts I had was ‘There’s got to be a better way.’ I’ve never accepted the status quo, which is good in many ways but also bad as you tend to be unhappy this way. During the last few years I started to work at home for my IT contracts and it’s worked out great for both the client and myself. I knew I was onto something!
During this time I’ve realized that I really enjoy working at home, as well as learning and sharing that knowledge with others. I like teaching and getting feedback from others. And to sell anything online these days requires teaching even if you do this via your own blog. I also wanted to work from home, be able to live anywhere (not dependent on major city for employment) and have more freedom. Freedom to take my dog for a walk during the day, take a nap and work into the evening if I want.
I can’t think of anything better than an online business, especially in the area of information and affiliate products. The online learning market is huge and growing exponentially. Distance learning even at universities is very popular – people don’t have to commute or quit their jobs to study online. Plus there’s no office space to lease, no equipment and no employees!
You can easily create your own information products such as ebooks, videos, software demostrations and podcasts and sell them online. If you’d like to learn how to do this I highly suggest checking out Teaching Sells which has just re-opened for a little while (a while back they closed their doors to new members for many, many months). I was a member of Teaching Sells until I absorbed all the content and got my own sites up and running.
You not only learn how to create content in a variety of multimedia formats, how to organize your content, how to set up your sites (or get others to do it for you), how to market your site online, how to outsource content creation or any other part of the business, and how to joint venture with others (even if you don’t have your own content – find an expert and partner with him or her).
One of the big benefits of teaching online is the scalability and potential for much larger income. If you get paid by the hour, say working downtown, or teaching music one-on-one, you will be limited by the number of hours in the typical week. By creating content once, you can resell this information again and again even when you’re sleeping!
A common question or concern is ‘Can I really make money teaching online’? Take it from me, yes you can!
There are many ways you can teach online, from doing one on one webcam video lessons via MSN Live Messenger, Skype to group webcam lessons via Ustream.tv. This would be for teaching or tutoring as you would do in your home or at a a business location. This is great for making real money. At some point you will want to try to get away from what is called ‘hourly-based revenue’. You only get paid when you work, when you don’t teach you don’t get paid.
You can create websites and blogs that teach and earn you revenue by putting ads on your site – whether they be Google Adsense or you try to get sponsors to buy ads on your site. So the content is free to your viewers but you make money from the businesses that advertise on your site.
You can sell information products – such as PDF files, videos, diagrams, etc as I’ve mentioned in previous posts. But a unique and lucrative alternative nowadays is to set up a virtual learning environment, also known as a membership site or continuity program. This is a protected area of your website and sets you up for recurring revenues.
One method that is often successful is to set up what’s known as a liquidating offer. When someone buys a fairly low priced product from you, you give them the option to join a training program at the time of purchase, that will give them access to lots of great content each month. They will also be billed a monthly basis – a great way to take advantage of the 80/20 rule which says 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your clients.
To learn how to create and market your own content or others, and much more, stay tuned for an exciting announcement tomorrow regarding a relaunching of an awesome online training environment or teaching online.
Do you ever wonder why internet marketing gurus teach you all their money-making secrets via their online products and membership sites, rather than just using that knowledge to make more money for themselves? Well, it is because they have discovered that the ‘online learning’ market is absolutely huge! And combining that with a ravenous ‘internet marketing’ market, they can often make more money ‘teaching a man to fish’ than doing the fishing themselves!
Due to a variety of demographic, technological and social trends, online learning is growing rapidly and is predicted to hit $52.6 Billion by 2010. Internet usage continues to increase…With the rise of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, the Internet has evolved beyond being simply a delivery mechanism for digital files to becoming a community of interconnected individuals. This trend will likely continue migration from large homogeneous communities towards smaller niche communities. People will join those niche communities that they are interested in for business or personal reasons. As bandwidth continues to increase, we’ve seen the type of material available online go from text, to images, to audio and now video (even live streaming video). The content that can be delivered over the internet is becoming richer and more useful for learning purposes. And the technology is often free and getting easier to use. Socially, the ‘cocooning’ phenomenon has also increased leading towards more home schooling, tv watching, internet usage. With rising commodity prices such as gasoline the trend is towards less travelling by car, plane or other means.
According to Regina Lewis (2005), over 4 million students are enrolled in online schools and universities (and that number is growing 30% per year). There are many benefits to online learning:
-flexibility, including anytime, anywhere access to instructors and information
-student-centered teaching according to their individual learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) as well as at peak learning times which can be evenings for some students
-repeatability – students can watch videos or view articles and diagrams over and over
-less intimidating than classrooms for some students who are quiet or shy, can think about answer before responding
-access to experts from around the globe, not just those in a student’s city
-’chunkability’ – the ability to focus on one small topic rather than be overwhelmed by too much information
-younger students who grew up on the internet are more comfortable in this environment
-reduced travel costs, with the record prices of gasoline these days
-part-time learning, where many adults have full time jobs
Education is becoming increasingly important, resulting in the need for continuous learning just to compete in today’s economy.
Whether you sell affiliate (ie. other people’s) products, or create and sell your own products you will need to educate your customers. In other words, you need to ‘pre-sell’ your customers by providing ‘useful but incomplete’ content to them. To complete the information they will need to buy your product or service. If you create your own information products for sale these are also educational in nature.
This educational content can be in a variety of formats these days such as:
-blogs (WordPress.com, Blogger.com or your own blog)
-social networking (Twitter, Facebook, etc)
-podcasts (mp3 audio files)
-videos (webcam or camcorder)
-screencast videos (using Camtasia studio for example)
-diagrams (PDFs, images)
-software (creating multimedia).
Notice that this variety of formats appeals to different learning styles which is important.
So if you’re planning to sell anything online or better yet, sell your own information products you will need to be able to create content in at least some of these formats, and publish it all over the web.
In this blog, I’ve been trying to show you how you can gain freedom. Freedom to choose your own path, to work when and where you want and so on. I can’t think of anything more satisfying than to be able to work at home, in any city, with global clients. This removes many of the usual worries (no jobs in my city, recession in my country) by providing diversification (as you would do with your investments). As I mentioned I’ve been working remotely for many months, but I’ve recently come across some exciting news for those of you that have some sort of expertise to share with the world (and almost everyone does).
At Teaching Sells (of which I’m a member), they show you how to teach online and get paid for it. From figuring out your content and how to structure it, to marketing and building the site. The idea is to set up a paid monthly subscription site, but instead of a regular website you create an ‘Interactive Learning Environment’ using all sorts of multimedia. This creates a community of learners around your topic and provides a constant revenue stream for you.
I’m setting one of these sites up for another of my passions, teaching guitar. What can you teach to others while gaining the freedom you want?