A Guide to Online Tutoring


With technology becoming a part of our day to day life, online tutoring is seeing an exponential increase. Both students and parents are enjoying the ability to learn from home. This job is in high-demand and incredibly rewarding for those who take advantage of the ability to use technology to teach.

A tutor helps students improve their grades, giving tips, preparing them for upcoming exams, and keeping them motivated. However, the hard part comes in with the process of starting up your own online tutoring business. 

If you’re unsure of where to start on your journey to becoming an online tutor, this guide will help you gain some ideas of where to begin.

Know Your Requirements

Before jumping head-first into online tutoring, you will need to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. You will need to do enough research to find out the advantages and disadvantages of online tutoring, so that you have a clear understanding of the job.

Before starting your business plan, analyze different niches. For example, Math teachers are more in-demand than History teachers. For your particular niche, you will have to know the requirements it takes to start online tutoring. You can’t be a math teacher if you know nothing about math!

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  • What subjects am I good at, and comfortable teaching others?
  • What is my audience? 
  • How will I persuade them into learning with me? What is my unique selling point?
  • How will I market myself?

Teaching online gives you many opportunities and paths to follow. You can be a tutor if you’re a teacher, subject-matter expert or even just a student who aces their tests!

Have the right credentials will help build your businesses trustworthiness, which is a big factor that plays in becoming a successful online tutor.


Know Your Audience

This is another big factor that plays a role in online tutoring. While we slightly discussed above, I’d like to go more in-depth of what your audience means. You will need to do research on exactly what it is your audience needs and requires.

Here are a few questions to help you: 

  • Who are the students that will benefit from you? Are they elementary students, high-school students or university students? 
  • In what area do they need help with? What subject? 
  • What area do they live in?

Doing enough research on the audience you’d like to target will help guide you into knowing exactly what it is they’d like, and what it is you can do for them.

Choosing Your Subject

From your skills, you will need to know what subject you’ll be able to successfully teach to others. Are you a science boffin? English enthusiast? Having an advanced degree or specialization in the category that you’d like to teach will make you have a step above the rest.

Choosing a subject that is best suited to you is an important aspect of creating a successful business, because you can share your knowledge with others in order to better their skills.

After which, you will need to solidify those skills and create an engaging teaching method, through slides and activities. You can check out Book Widget, which will help you create fun activities and games, help you make tests and grade them. 

Choose a Course Pattern

After the analysis of your audience, and finding what needs fit your skills, you will have to personalize your course and make it your own! This talks about the way in which you will teach your students. 

Find out what exactly it is you’re going to be doing. You can do video courses and or written courses. After determining how you will teach your course, have a look into tutoring platforms that house video, live chat, white boards, etc. 

Knowing how you will be teaching your students will give you an added advantage, as students have different learning techniques. 

Set the Course Model

Now that you’ve outline who you’d like to teach and how you’re going to teach them, you will need to create a course model. 

There are two types of course models:

  • Academy model
  • Night school model

Academy model

This model is a school-like model. This allows students to visit a website and get access to multiple categories instead of focusing on one. 

Students will get access to free courses, or a set of courses for a subscription fee. This allows students to learn what they’d like to at their own time. All courses will be available to them until their subscription ends. 

A great example of such a model is Skillshare

Night-school model

This model is a traditional model, with live access to a particular course. This allows students to participate in the course outside of their school and or job time. Many learning institutions have been using this model for years. 

Students pay an upfront fee to get access to a specific course, instead of a subscription fee for access to multiple courses. The students here follow a strict curriculum to complete. 

Tutors using this model often give live classes through video and assignments. Udemy is a great example for this kind of model.

Sell Your Course

Know that exactly how to set up your business, you will need to sell it. You will need to find a tutoring platform to sell your business. 

There are two ways to do this:

  • Sign up on an existing website 
  • Create your own website

Sign up on an existing website:

There are multiple places to sign up as tutor. These places include Udemy, Skillshare, Edx, etc. Each website has their own course model, so you’d have to find the right one to suit you. 

Starting on these platforms is simple. All you have to do is fill out your credentials, bio and a profile picture. Many of these places will ask for certificates and ID to confirm your legitimate. 

Creating your own website:

This is a bit trickier than the above option, and requires a bit of more work. However, this option allows you to completely personalise and customise who you are, what you do and how you can help those around you. 

There are a few platforms that you can use to easily and quickly build up a website, such as Wix – you don’t need any website skills to do this!

Market Your Business

Lastly, you will need to market yourself. Being on a tutoring website or a live website won’t get you enough people. You will need to look into online marketing to do this. 

You can choose to hire a marketer for this job, but you can easily do it yourself. 

The following points will help you find the right marketing strategy for your business. 

  • Create a sales funnel to maximize your sales and convert your visitors into active subscribers.
  • Engage with your audience with email marketing by sending welcome emails to new subscribers. This will create engagement with your audience. 
  • Write blog posts. This will help you grow your email lists. As well as promoting your courses on online forums and communities.
  • Forums are a good starting point for sharing. Find a forum or community where you can interact with other tutors and students. There are multiple on the internet. 
  • If you are financially sound, you can drive traffic via paid ads like Facebook or Google ads.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know exactly where to begin as an online tutor, you don’t have to wait any longer. Grab a pen and write down what you want to teach, you will teach, how you’re going to teach them, and how you’re going to get students to find you! 

With this guide, you can create a successful business in online tutoring, for which you will reap all the benefits. 

Author Desray Posthumus.

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