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How to Make Money as a Freelance Online TEFL Teacher

freelance online tefl teacher teflpros


While online language schools can offer stability, these organizations can sometimes feel restricting compared to the freedom of being a freelance online English teacher. This article will run you through the benefits of becoming a freelance online TEFL teacher and how to earn good money doing so. 


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Qualifying as an online TEFL teacher gives you access to worldwide travel, online job opportunities, and the freedom to be your own boss. So why not become a freelance online TEFL teacher?

While some TEFL teachers work for online English schools and language businesses, many TEFL teachers prefer to go it alone. 

While online language schools can offer stability, these organizations can sometimes feel restricting compared to the freedom of being a freelance online English teacher. 

This article will run you through the benefits of becoming a freelance online TEFL teacher and how to earn good money doing so. 


What is a Freelance Online TEFL Teacher? 

There are plenty of formats to teach online so make sure you choose an online English teaching position that suits you. 

Working for an online languages school has its advantages: guaranteed hours, set salaries, and consistent students. 

However, often these hours don’t work well for TEFL teachers or the salary is lower than you can command on your own. 

A freelance online TEFL teacher finds their students independently. 

Teaching privately-organized lessons, you’re responsible for ensuring your virtual lessons run smoothly. This means implementing systems to deal with everything from student enrollment to managing class fees. 

As a freelance online English teacher, you’ll mostly find EFL students from online teacher platforms, marketplaces like Craigslist, and from social media. 

The most important thing to be aware of as a freelance online teacher is that your profit relies on your reputation. 

To stand out as a credible, high-quality online teacher, you need to be certified as an internationally-recognized TEFL teacher. 

Here’s our guide to making money online as a freelance TEFL teacher. 


Make Money as a Freelance TEFL Teacher – Step #1: Take Our FREE 2-Day TEFL 

If you want to be a freelance online English teacher, you MUST take a TEFL course.

You’ll notice that there are tons of online TEFL programs so it can be hard to know where to start. 

Start by taking our FREE 2-Day TEFL Taster Course and learn what it’s really like to be an EFL teacher. 

That way, you can get a feel for teaching English before you begin the full course. 


Access our Free TEFL Now


Make Money as a Freelance TEFL Teacher – Step #2: Take the TEFLPros 120-Hour TEFL Certification 

When it comes to the best online TEFL course, there’s no competition. It’s TEFLPros every time.

Don’t take our word for it. Check out what our graduates have to say. 

Not only do we offer 50+ hours of teacher training videos, we give our students real-world classroom observations to learn from. 

Adaptable for both online and in-person teaching, the internationally-accredited TEFLPros Teacher Training Course qualifies you to teach all over the world. 

Not only do we prepare teachers for the virtual and real-life classroom, we also offer teaching job assistance and prepare you for the teaching job application process


Make Money as a Freelance TEFL Teacher – Step #3: Set Up a Killer Virtual Classroom

Your virtual classroom should inspire learning in all your EFL students, no matter what age. 

Preparing your virtual classroom means organizing everything from the resources you use to the props you teach with. 

Make sure you’ve got all these things ironed out:

  • Buy and wear a headset while teaching
  • Display inspiring English language resources behind you
  • Find engaging TEFL teaching worksheets and activities
  • Collect bold, illustrative props to provide contextual understanding
  • Ensure your back-end document storage and sharing systems are ready to go


Make Money as a Freelance TEFL Teacher – Step #4: Choose Your Virtual Classroom Software

When you work for an online teaching company, they give you the online teaching software you need to connect with your students.

This isn’t the case when you work as a freelance TEFL teacher. Instead, you need to facilitate this process yourself.

You can use regular audio and video meeting softwares like Zoom, Houseparty, and Skype. 

You will also find more interactive classroom softwares, such as BigBlueButton and Mozilla Hubs. These are great to keep younger audiences engaged.

Look for programs that offer extra features like a whiteboard function, pen tool, document sharing and storage, and recording access.

Remember that in countries like China, you won’t be able to access Google. This means tools like Google Classroom and Google Docs are out of your reach if you teach Chinese ESL students online.

To learn more about choosing an appropriate virtual classroom software as a freelance online TEFL teacher, check out this guide to free Zoom alternatives for TEFL teachers.


Make Money as a Freelance TEFL Teacher – Step #5: Market Your EFL Classes on an Online Teacher Marketplace

For EFL students looking for an online English teacher, the quickest place to head is to an online English teacher digital marketplace.

Like Upwork for online English teachers, these websites are places for you to create a profile showing your skills and to take on clients. 

Make sure you optimize your profile to stand out against the other online EFL teachers.You can display your prices, experience, and qualifications, as well as your available hours and any other preferences.

Take note of who the most successful teachers are and mimic their profiles. 

Top Tip. Try using testimonials from your students to boost your credibility.

What’s great about any of these platforms, is that they will handle the money exchange, charging a small fee for the service.

These online ESL teacher marketplaces have chat functions so you can talk back and forth with prospective ESL students and organize classes.

Three of the best platforms for this are:


Make Money as a Freelance TEFL Teacher – Step #6: Post Your English Classes on Craigslist

One of the best things about Craigslist is its reach. As you are offering online EFL classes, you can post your classes all over the world to see what response you get.

While you may turn your nose up at Craigslist, remember that Airbnb owes its success to the plain-text platform. When Airbnb started up, it didn’t get much attention. As soon as they allowed customers to post their properties as adverts on Craigslist automatically, Airbnb took off!

Use Craigslist to do the same for your freelance online TEFL classes.

For best practice, include these things in your Craigslist advert:

  1. Testimonials from previous students
  2. Details of your TEFLPros qualification
  3. Details of other education and experience
  4. Hourly rate
  5. Available hours
  6. Promotions for referrals 
  7. Discounts for block bookings


Make Money as a Freelance TEFL Teacher – Step #7: Post Your English Classes in our TEFL Group

Our private Facebook group reaches over 14,500 TEFL enthusiasts. 

Every day, thousands of people interested in learning and teaching English can see, share, and interact with your post.

Why not put a post out asking who wants lessons and see what you get back?

Equally, try posting in other EFL and ESL Facebook and LinkedIn groups. 


Make Money as a Freelance TEFL Teacher – Step #8: Use Social Media Advertising

Treat your freelance online English classes as a business. Create a business page for your classes on social media and use the advertising features to widen your reach.

  1. Start by creating a free EFL resource, such as a set of flashcards or a vocabulary list
  2. Create a Facebook lead ad
  3. Target the ad to the countries you’d like to teach English to
  4. Target the ad to your preferred age groups
  5. Set the ad to collect email addresses and names from these people
  6. Email all these people to see if they want online English lessons


Make Money as a Freelance TEFL Teacher – Step #9: Offer Conversation Classes on the Side

Perhaps you’re already an online TEFL teacher with a company and you’d like to make a little extra on the side. 

Maybe you’ve previously taught English but your students have all fallen by the wayside.

Why not contact your existing and previous students and offer conversational classes. Even if your students have reached a good level of English, conversation classes ALWAYS help more.

Contact them with a deal for 10 conversational classes and see who gets back to you. You’ll be surprised!


Want to have a conversation with us about how to become a TEFL teacher?


Talk with the Pros at TEFLPros Today!


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