How to Start an Online Teaching Business

by Leyla Norman; Updated September 26, 2017

Online teaching is a great way for both certified teachers and others skilled in various areas who want to teach to be their own bosses. Working from home, you can set their own hours, decide what you want to teach and to whom as well as set your own rates. As an online teacher, you will have the flexibility to design your own learning materials and to help students using interactive teaching software.

Step 1

Check your state and local business permit and tax authorities for information on starting your business. You may need to register your business as a sole proprietorship with your state and reserve a doing-business-as name if you do not plan to use your own name for your business. See Business.gov for more information on starting a business in your state.

Step 2

Learn about the specifics of teaching online. Group facilitation, using whiteboard technology effectively and time management in an online environment are skills that take time to research and develop. One helpful resource for online teachers is OnlineLearning.net.

Step 3

Write your curriculum. Writing lesson plans for online courses requires a different process from writing classroom plans. The two most important areas of difference involved are the pacing of the lessons and the relationship with the students.

Step 4

Start a website for your business. This site should include pages about the specifics of your business, including what you teach, your contact information, your resume or biography and your fee structure. Include free informational articles, videos, podcasts or a blog to provide some helpful information about the subject you teach to potential students as well. Visit other online teachers' websites to see how they have structured their businesses and their business approaches.

Step 5

Buy online tutoring software to use for your classes. Several products are available to online teachers, such as GroupBoard, Skype’s whiteboard tool and Tucow’s WhiteBoard 2.0. Buy a product that offers only the features you need for your tutoring.

Step 6

Advertise your business on general tutoring sites such as EduFire, Ed2Go, ForteMall and Buddy School. Include information in your advertisements about the specifics of the classes you teach to give students a better idea of what you can offer them. You can also advertise your business on subject-specific tutoring sites. For example, if you teach English as a Second Language, you can post your business on ESLTeachersBoard.com. On some sites, you can list your business for free.

Step 7

Print business cards and flyers. Post them on community bulletin boards in your area, especially at colleges. Ask schools or teachers to pass along your information if they know of students who could use some extra tutoring and want to do it online. (Require parents’ written permission before working with children.)

About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.