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Using Online Classes as an Income Source and a Creative Outlet
by Jennifer Brown Banks

If youre seeking ways in 2009 to expand your bottom line, your reach, and your creative outlets, online teaching is a great option.

By virtue of your been there done that knowledge, who better to share the pitfalls and perks of publishing with aspiring writers? Consider too, that teaching online writing classes requires the same solitary environment, discipline, and creativity as home based freelance writing. This makes for an effortless transition.

For me, it was the next logical step in my more than fifteen years as a veteran freelance writer, allowing me to capitalize on my love of teaching and writing. An added bonus was the fact that this outlet added another revenue source without adding a lot of time, marketing, or mental muscle work.

Consider this. Virtual classes are big business!  Whether folks are taking classes online to complete job requirements, increase their earning potential, or to acquire advanced degrees, the Internet has redefined class offerings. For many students, the flexible hours and other convenience factors add to the popularity and appeal.

If youre ready for the transition, here are a few things to keep in mind.

The Pros:

  • Teaching online classes can increase your earning potential.  There are neither space limitations nor standard rates as with article publishing.  Instead, your take is based upon the number of students enrolled in your class and the rate you charge.
  • As an online instructor, many times you can promote your own materials in the way of handouts or recommended reading.
  • No need to commute and deal with other related hassles. This line of work allows you to work from home or your local Starbucks. You can post assignments at 2 a.m. or 6 p.m.. Everything is basically conducted by Emails and bulletin board chats.
  • This gig is not labor intensive. In fact, once you create a class outline, and prepare your assignments and handouts, the materials may be slightly tweaked and used over and over againgiving you more bang for your buck.
  • Overhead is minimal.
  • Its a great way to use your creativity and share your love of writing.

The Cons:

  • Without having the benefit of visual clues or body language, its sometimes difficult to gauge whether the students are catching on to the materials, or if boredom is setting in.
  • Sometimes pacing can be difficult; give too much work and it can be overwhelming, give too little and students dont feel challenged enough.
  • Online classes do not allow for the same classroom camaraderie and networking opportunities as face to face contact.

Here are some places to apply for teaching opportunities:


Before applying, make sure to do your homework. Check website content, (particularly the about us section) before submitting your proposal to ensure that youre offering a course that is unique, yet consistent with the focus of the group presenting the classes. Adhere to the guidelines, and it goes with out saying, that you should always put your best forward.  Remember You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

© Copyright 2009, Jennifer Brown Banks

Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com

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