How to Make Money Tutoring Online

Illustration of a man working on his laptop looking at a woman wearing a headset on a computer screen

Online tuition is becoming increasingly popular. With more educational institutions adopting online learning, more students are also seeking online help for their classes.

In what is now becoming an increasingly competitive market, it’s important to find ways to increase your earning potential as an online tutor.

Whether this online job is your full-time career or a side hustle, there are numerous ways to make more money while tutoring online. It just so happens that you’re at the right place, too!

The following list of tips will help you grow your income as well as your status as an online tutor!

1. Pick your niche

As a tutor, you’ll possess expertise in certain subjects, so you need to choose which of these areas you will offer tutoring for. For example, suppose your niche is in English literature. In that case, you’ll need to determine which literary eras you will provide instruction in, as well as which levels of study – high school, A levels, undergraduate or a combination of these.

By narrowing down what areas you’ll offer your tutoring services in, it will be easier for potential students to find you and sign up for sessions with you. The more specific you are with your areas of expertise, the easier it will be to build a steady roll of tutees who will need your services.

2. Choose the right platform

If you’re determined to increase your income, then you should consider signing up to different online platforms as this will allow you to reach out to more prospective tutees.

Of course, you should aim to sign up to sites where tutors have a higher earning potential and that have positive reviews by tutors and tutees alike.  

There are numerous online tutoring sites out there, so it’s important to test the waters and find reputable platforms. However, make sure you don’t stretch yourself too thin – you shouldn’t compromise your quality of teaching because you’re overworked and overbooked!

3. Set up your own business

If you want to establish yourself as a tutor, then consider setting up your own online tutoring business. To do this, you’ll need a few things. Namely, a business plan that maps out your rates and policies, a business name, as well as the digital tools you’ll be using to tutor your students, including video call and whiteboard apps.

For your business to thrive, a marketing plan will also be essential. Start by establishing an online presence – a Facebook page, an Instagram account and a LinkedIn profile are all great for networking and advertising your services. Meanwhile, consider setting up a website that will highlight your rates, areas of expertise and qualifications.

Once you’ve established your online business and secured a steady rota of tutees, you’ll have even more autonomy over your finances as well as more control over your earnings.

4. Work with corporate companies

Another great way to ramp up your earning potential as an online tutor is to offer your services to corporate organisations.

Larger companies often host development schemes and learning programmes for their employees to help them grow professionally and sharpen their skills and knowledge. These schemes are also quite common within corporations with diverse, international teams.

Whether you’re a language tutor or an IT instructor, you could approach organisations that offer these perks to their workforce and enquire about the possibility of a collaboration.

5. Create lesson packages

In most cases, tutors get paid after every session, which often leads to a fluctuating income. A great way to increase your earnings and build a steadier tutee rota is to create lesson packages.

You could offer bundles of 5, 10 or 20 lessons, for example, which can be purchased by students in one go. You could also wait for new tutees to complete their first lesson with you before asking them if they would like to sign up for a bundle. An excellent incentive to buy lesson packages is the discounted price. So, for example, the individual lesson price for 10 lessons should be less than a single lesson.

Lesson packages could also help both you and your students get a better sense of each other and, in their case, get used to your tuition style. This could encourage them to renew their lesson package and allow you to have more recurring students and a better cash flow.


6. Offer discounts

At most tutoring sites, you’ll have the freedom to set your own rates. This means you’ll also have the flexibility to offer discounted sessions to new and current students. You could offer discounted prices on your one-to-one sessions or your lesson bundles or provide one hour of tutoring free of charge with the purchase of a package.

Exam season and midterms are a good time to introduce these discounts, as the demand for tutors is usually higher. You could also introduce personalised rates and discounted packages tailored to students’ needs such as test prep, essay planning and exam revision to suit different budgets.

7. Set up a reference system

If you want to gain new students and maintain your current rota, introducing a reference system might be a wise move.

Essentially, you could encourage your current tutees to refer you to their friends. When a new tutee signs up due to a reference, offer them and their friend free tutoring hours or a discounted price to their lesson package.

8. Offer group lessons

Some students benefit more from learning in a small group rather than a one-on-one setting. Therefore, giving them this option could help you add more tutees on your schedule.

This could also complement your reference system, as your tutees won’t only refer you to their peers but also encourage them to attend sessions in groups.

You could also offer group discounts which will give your tutees another incentive to participate in group sessions.

9. Diversify your services

As a tutor, it’s essential to have specialised knowledge and expertise on specific subjects. However, if you want to earn more as a tutor, then you might need to become more flexible. 

For example, you could choose to expand the academic levels that you tutor. So, if you exclusively tutor A level students, you could also opt to assist middle schoolers.

You could also diversify the subjects which you help students with and include other areas related to your core expertise and which you are also qualified to teach. That way, you’ll be able to gain more tutees and increase your student roll.

Beyond tutoring sessions, you could also offer smaller services such as proofreading, essay planning and homework help.

10. Train other tutors

Speaking of diversifying your services, you could also consider taking on a different tutoring role altogether.

If you have vast experience as an online tutor, perhaps you could use that knowledge to help others who are just getting started. There are numerous tutor training courses and workshops which offer the foundations for tutors who want to be officially trained and certified. So, if you are interested in making a bit of a career change, you could look into opportunities as a trainer.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’d have to give up tutoring, but it would definitely lead to a higher income.

Online tutors are now in high demand, with most students adapting to an online learning environment. If you’re passionate about what you do and want to earn more while doing it, then it’s important to ramp up your efforts. With this list of tips, you can double your income, attract more students and boost your career as an online tutor.

Can you share any other tips and advice as an online tutor? Join the conversation in the comments section below!