The internet has many uses, but perhaps the most important thing you can do with the internet is watch cat videos, watch videos of people getting hurt, learn something!
That’s right; the internet is a huge resource for anyone wanting to learn practically anything.
How then, can you turn this to your advantage and make money off of the internet? In a word, teach!
You might be thinking, “but I don’t know anything” or “I can’t teach” or even “I don’t have the qualifications”.
Well, you’re wrong on all counts.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
― William Arthur Ward
Everyone knows something or is good at something even if you don’t realise it.
You don’t need to teach things like physics or history (unless you’re good at them of course!) as there are many other skills and subjects that not everyone knows.
Here are some examples of things you can teach that fall way outside your school curriculum.
Everyone has a friend who is messy and cluttered, and sometimes it’s not down to laziness. In our modern age some life skills are simply not passed down from parent.
With craft beer having a resurgence, if you know how to make your own beer, people would love to learn from you.
Cooking & Baking
If an 8 year old can make $127,00 a month just from YouTube, imagine what you could do with YouTube and a course!
As with cleaning, life skills need to be imparted and often they aren’t. You can teach people a wide variety of tricks and tips that make life easier and better.
Knitting & Crochet
From scarves to jumpers, knitting is not as easy to learn so teaching people is the way to go.
There is a huge market for tips, tricks and techniques for applying makeup, from every day wear and party makeup to film standard makeup.
It’s amazing how much money people waste! If you are a penny pincher and know a great deal from a bad one, you can teach people how to save money.
Yup, fishing. If you know your fly from your worm (I don’t obviously) then people will be willing to learn from you.
Making cloths and costumes
If you have made your own clothes or costumes before, then you have a wide market to target. You could focus on actual everyday wear, or party clothes or costumes for LARP or Cosplay.
If like me you are not engineering minded and want to fix something like a broken tail light without incurring the cost of a mechanic, the only way to do it is to learn from the internet. You could teach this!
The above list is far, far from complete, but it should give you an idea that there are a million and one topics you can teach about.
Your own life skills and experience will obviously push you in a certain direction with these, but as you can see, people want to know things that they can’t find in any academic book, and you can easily profit from teaching people things like this.
No such thing as can’t
Being a teacher on the internet isn’t like being a classroom teacher, and anyone can do it. All you need is a solid understanding of what you are going to teach and the willingness to get on camera to do it (depending on the niche you might get away with just your voice).
Qualifications are (mostly) meaningless
Unless you’re planning on teaching something like law or medicine, qualifications are really not needed.
I mean, who has a qualification in knitting? You might have 15 years’ experience with fixing cars but no qualifications: that’s fine!
As long as your teachings show that you have the experience and knowledge no one is going to care whether or not you have a slip of paper.
As with any form of making money online there are a few ways to actually teach, such as in written form, audio and video.
Honestly though if you’re going to focus on teaching as a method of making money then you will need to mainly use video.
By all means back this up with written articles where necessary, but for most topics and most students a visual way of learning is better: they see and then do.
The most straightforward way of earning from learning is to use a service like YouTube and offer out interesting and useful short videos, and link back to your website where people can gain access to your full course on whatever it is you are teaching.
For example, if you are a costumer you could post videos on creating small pieces or how to correctly hide a seam or a review/study on a material type. In your actual course you could walk people through creating a full costume from scratch and add in even more tips and tricks.
WordPress Makes it Easy
Actually selling courses might sound like a difficult procedure, but if you’re a WordPress user then there are numerous plugins you could be using to make it simple to sell your teachings:
Course Specific plugins
Obviously a plugin that is purely for selling courses is usually the best option. There are several options, but Sensei by Woothemes is very popular. Other than that there is the excellent WPCourseware, and the free CoursePress.
Membership plugins are probably better for selling courses than e-commerce plugins, but their setup up can be more complicated especially if you want to sell more than one course separately. S2Member and Members by Justin Tadlock are both solid membership plugins for WordPress.
Depending on your niche, you don’t even need your own website or marketing (though both are still recommended). Instead you could leverage the power of existing sites that sell course.
There are dozens of places you can sell your training:
- Academy of Mine
- Course Merchant
- Digital Chalk
- Open Sesame
This is not an exhaustive list so be sure to do your research.
As with anything, make sure you read through the site’s terms and payment options.
Make sure that your niche is a good fit for their audience, you can do this by seeing if anything in your niche or similar is already listed or not.
The Bottom Line
We all have skills and knowledge that we can leverage to make a buck online, and selling your skills in a training course is a very profitable way to do it.
Remember that in order to sell a course you need to give away enough value to prove that you and your course are worthy!