If you want to teach online, you can choose among several platforms, create your profile and start teaching. You don’t need to have a website if you only intend to teach for a short time, teach for a few hours a day to earn some extra cash or you work for a company that pays you a regular salary.
So, in what case having a website could be beneficial for a private tutor?
Advantages of having a personal website
- You can share your knowledge not only with your current students but with a lot of other people who are interested in learning the language you teach.
- You can develop your own material and promote it regardless of possible restrictions of the platform you usually use to offer your services.
- You’re more independent. What if the platform you use suddenly closes down? Or suffers a decline in popularity because another platform has better offers but you’re not yet present there.
- Students and prospective students will appreciate the opportunity to ask questions without having to use precious lesson time.
- Having a personal website makes you stand out from other teachers who just offer 1:1 tuition on a tutoring platform. Make sure to link to it on your profile page. Interested students may not book lessons at once but by giving them the opportunity to follow you on your website (and on social media), they’re more likely to develop a relationship with you and spend money on your services later on.
Domain name and hosting
If you aim to have a professional blog, don’t use blogspot.com or wordpress.com or something similar. It’s tempting because it’s free but if you want to sell your own products, run online courses, establish a member area, or whatever later on, you need to buy a domain and hosting. There are plenty of hosting companies that charge less than $10/month and that should be your first investment. If you want to work with a free theme at the beginning, that’s just fine but don’t save those few bucks for your own domain and web space.
Tips to overcome fears of technology
Many new online teachers feel overwhelmed when they think about how many things they need to learn if they want to have a website. Outsourcing may be an option but only possible if you have the money for it. If this is not the case and you need to do everything on your own, here are some tips to get you started and lose your fears:
- Don’t compare yourself with people whose blogs have already been online for several years or who have an IT background. You won’t be able to catch up with them fast, so just don’t try it.
- Don’t wait with your launch until everything looks perfect. That way you will never get started.
- Ask other people for help. As long as you don’t expect anyone to set up your whole site for free, people are usually willing to give quick advice. However, do also ask Google. It’s inconsiderate to ask someone for help because you’re too lazy to run a quick search on Google.
- Don’t get lost in the plugin jungle. Plugins are small programs that help you with certain things on your blog. Unfortunately, there are thousands of them. If you installed and activated a plugin and then discover that it requires you to change some code, just forget about it. You may want to learn some basic coding later on but in the beginning, it just slows you down.
Social platforms as an alternative
Last year, I started a blog for German learners. After a couple of weeks, I discovered that I hated it. I love teaching, I love this direct interaction with people from all over the world. However, I found it boring to write blog articles about the German language and culture and always felt that I was just repeating what dozens of others had already written before me.
Between being a cog in the wheel of tutoring websites and mastering the arts of web development you will find social networks. Here are three examples of how you can use your social accounts to sell your services and digital products.
Display your services
You can add a services tab that shows the lessons you’re offering and display them on top of your page.
Redirect your visitors to another website
Another option is to add a custom tab and redirect visitors to your teaching profile on a tutoring platform.
Sell digital products
There are plenty of services that allow teachers to publish digital content like PDFs or videos and charge visitors for access. All you need to do is sign up, upload your materials, get a unique link and promote that link on your social accounts.