Teachers are overworked and underpaid, yet they're some of the most devoted and caring individuals you'll ever meet. It’s a shame that so many have to leave a profession they love in order to find higher-paying jobs. Unfortunately, the reality is that unless you have another source of income besides your teaching salary, it’s difficult to pay for decent housing, let alone enjoy a few luxuries or pay your child's college tuition.
Make Money Doing What You Love
However, with the web 2.0 tools now available for free, teachers can stay in the classroom, doing what they love to do, and supplement their income by sharing their expertise with others! If you enjoy creating effective teaching materials for your own classroom, there's a huge market for them among teachers, parents, and home school educators. It's never been easier to become a "teacherpreneur!"
I've been sharing my materials for free online for over 10 years. Then 4 years ago I became a teacherpreneur and started earning money from those resources. After just a few years, I was earning more online than I was from my teaching salary. But the biggest perk was being able to share and collaborate with terrific teachers all over the globe.
I want others to be able to be able to experience this kind of success as well, so I’ve decided to devote this page on Teaching Resources to gathering resources for teacherpreneurs. Right now there’s just one recommendation, but I’ll be adding more links and recommendations in the future. Whether you ultimately decide to stay in the classroom, or leave to become a teacherpreneur full-time, the choice will be based on your passions and not on your financial circumstances. You won’t be forced to take a job you hate because you’ll be making money doing something you love!
Sharing or Selling – or Both?
I realize that some people believe that teachers shouldn’t be selling their materials; instead, they should be offering them for free in the spirit of sharing. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I would venture to guess that folks who feel this way are not classroom teachers themselves, or they have a second source of income supplementing their teaching salaries. Maybe they don’t have big medical bills or college tuitions to pay, or maybe they don’t mind going into debt to pay those bills. I shared all of my materials for free for almost 10 years, but when my older daughter was ready for college, I promised myself that my family wouldn’t be going into debt to pay her tuition! I continue to share many, many resources for free, but I do sell ebooks and other products from my site. Thanks to the support of the wonderful teachers who purchase my materials and tell others about them, I’ve been able to keep my promise to stay debt-free!
Thinking of selling your teaching materials online?
The easiest way to get started is to use a website like www.teacherspayteachers.com.
Here's how to get started:
Blogs began as "web logs," or online journals where people could share their views with others via the Internet. Now blogs often look more like complete websites where people not only share their personal views, they post pictures and videos, sell their materials, and earn money from advertising. If you are interested in selling materials online, you'll probably want to create a blog at some point. The best way to get started is to begin blogging for fun now and worry about the profit part later. You can use your blog to share ideas and post messages about what's going on in your classroom. If you plan to upload photos to your blog, be sure to check your school's policy first and obtain written permission from parents.
Luckily, it's really easy to get started with blogging because of free blog sites like Blogger and Word Press. Lately there have been a number of collaborative teacher blogs that have popped up such as Simply Learning Centers and The Lesson Cloud. You don't even have to have your own blog to post messages on some of these group blogs, although you do have to submit a request and become approved as a blog author first. I'm most familiar with Blogger and I'm a member of several collaborative blogs there, so I created the tutorial below that explains how to write a blog post on Blogger and include images and links in your message.
Whether you're a successful blogger or you're just thinking about creating a blog, you need to check out a course called Teaching Blog Traffic School. So far on this page, I've painted a rather rosy picture of the life of a teacherpreneur, but as with most things in life, there's good news and bad news about starting up an online business.
How Will They Find You?
First let me break the bad news. Teachers have been selling their materials online for a number of years now, and the competition has become fierce! Even if you have really great materials, the teachers who would love to buy them might never find you! You might spend thousands of dollars having someone create a beautiful website or spend hours creating a free blog, but if no one finds it in cyberspace, your investment goes down the drain!
Crash Course for Teacher Bloggers
Luckily, there's good news to offset the bad. Charity Preston, creator of the Organized Classroom Blog, has developed a course for aspiring or established teacher bloggers. With a title like Teaching Blog Traffic School, you might think that this course does nothing but teach a bag of tricks for getting people to come to your blog or website. Nothing could be farther from the truth! It consists of over 30 lessons that show you how to create a teaching blog and attract visitors to your page. Even if you don't want to sell anything online, you still need people to find your blog and interact with you. That's exactly what Charity shows you how to do. It's as if your best friend were sitting next to you at the computer, showing you exactly what to do. Another thing I love about the course is that Charity understands the value of collaboration. She set up a forum using the Moodle platform where members can post questions and ask for help as they create their blogs and begin promoting them. I'm definitely seeing the benefits of collaboration in the forum!
Inside Teaching Blog Traffic School
Why not let Charity tell you about the course in her own words and show you around the Moodle forum? You'll get a feel for what the course involves by watching this video.
How Much Does Teaching Blog Traffic School Cost?
Charity's Teaching Blog Traffic School course is set up as a membership site with a yearly renewal fee. It started out as a series of videos to purchase and watch on your own, but the social networking scene changes too quickly for that type of program to be effective. The new membership course is much more effective because Charity is able to update the videos and quickly add new ones at a moment's notice. Also, the new forum provides unique opportunities for members to network and share ideas. The yearly fee is $59, which amounts to less than $5 a month - amazingly affordable! Click here to visit the Teaching Blog Traffic School page and sign up!
Why I'm Promoting the Course
The only reason that I'm promoting this course is that it's an amazing value that will empower teachers everywhere. Charity does offer an affiliate marketing program where teachers who refer new members get a certain percent of the enrollment fee. However, I have decided not to accept any part of that fee for myself because if I do, you might think that I'm just promoting this course for my own gain. Instead, I've told Charity that I'm donating my affiliate fee to teachers, and I'll do that through DonorsChoose or other programs.
Still Not Sure?
Right now you might be thinking that you don't have money to spend on a course like this, but think of it as an investment in your future. The old saying that you have to spend a little money to make money is really true. I have spent hundreds of dollars on books about social networking and none of them came close to giving me the information that's in the course. It's an absolute gold mine of knowledge about how to get started! Also, after you begin selling your materials online, you can write off the cost of the course as a legitimate business expense! (Hint: Save your PayPal receipt!)
Teaching Blog Traffic School is also a terrific course for teachers who are nearing retirement. I don't know about your state, but the retirement income where I live is significantly less than a full-time teacher's salary. Around your 25th year, you begin to look at what you'll be paid in those golden years of retirement and it dawns on you that you just can't live off your retirement income alone. Now would be the time to get a blog set up and start creating products from your teaching materials. Start by setting up a blog and blogging for fun, and then you'll be ready to go if you decide to sell your teaching materials online later. Signing up for this course is an investment in your future!
Note: Some recommendations on this page may contain affiliate links. However, I would never recommend something if I didn't think it had great value! ~ Laura Candler