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Get the lowdown on everything I would have loved to have known when I started my online English teaching business in 2016.
You’ll discover the tools I use to run my business, how I stay sane and how I teach my students listening skills through movies.
Join The Masterclass: Teaching Languages With Movies
Want to teach languages with movies? Your students will love you for it. And the good news is that using films is your teaching is easy, fun and profitable.
In this one-hour Masterclass you’ll learn how to use tools like YouTube, Audacity and chat apps to quickly create engaging movie-based lessons to improve your students’ listening, speaking and pronunciation skills in any language.
Almost All The Online Teaching Tools I Use In My Business
Here are a few of the tools I use in my online business.
Looking for an alternative to Skype that lets you do webinars too? Try Zoom.You can also use the incredible “breakout rooms” function to split large groups into more intimate, smaller ones. Perfect for conversation classes.
Want to book lessons without annoying back and forth emails or DMs? Want to get paid before people book? Want to create free and paid live events people can sign up for? I recommend Acuity scheduling.
Create & Sell Digital Products
Would you love to create and sell digital products? There’s nothing more exciting than waking up and discovering that you’ve made money while you were sleeping. While getting to the stage where you make passive income or recurring income is a lot of work, it’s so worth it. I use DPD to sell and deliver my audio course “Movies on the Run”.
Create an Email Command Centre
You’ve probably heard of the note-taking app Evernote but you might not realise how you can use it in your online teaching. I use it as my email command centre where I draft all my emails. As I use Evernote Premium, I also have it set up so that all the emails I send via Mailchimp get archived in an Evernote notebook. This is perfect for retrieving old campaigns I might want to revive. If you want to try that out, click here get a free month of Evernote premium.
DIY Your WordPress Website
Wondering how I built this website from scratch by myself with zero knowledge or experience ? I used the Divi theme by Elegant Themes. They have a whole suite of themes, and also plugins such as Monarch which I use to create the social share buttons for this website.
Organise Your To-Dos
I use Trello as my brain dump where I put all my ideas and keep track of all my to-dos and projects. I’ve also used it with students to help keep track of their assignments. Check out how to use Trello with your students.
I’m using one of Rescue Time’s paid plans to help me block distractions and see how I spend my time each day. What I love is that you can integrate it with your calendar and create “focus time” sessions at particular times in the day where Rescue Time blocks distracting websites for you automatically.
Host A Super-Fast Website
I started off like many people do with cheap hosting. As my business has grown, I’ve realised I need a fast, reliable host so I switched to Flywheel.
Optimise Your Site Images & Make Your Site Load Faster
Did you know that images can slow down your site if you haven’t optimised them? ShortPixel is an image optimisation plugin for WordPress that does it for you so you don’t have to worry about optimising each image manually. Use my link to get 100 images per month from the free plan and 100 one-time credits.
Want to build a relationship with your subscribers through email?
Truth time: if you don’t have an email list, you don’t have an online business. “Email marketing” is a bit of a misnomer, because emails are actually about making sales.
I’ve been using Mailchimp since 2016 to send my newsletters, create automations and build landing pages.
In fact, instead of stressing yourself out with website creation, you could just create a landing page in Mailchimp and start collecting email addresses. Much cheaper, easier and effective!
Check out Mailchimp to get started.
Smart Teacher’s Library
Join the online community for language teachers that I’ve been a member of since 2018.
Instead of the 8 weeks of overwhelm of your typical online business or marketing course, the Smart Teacher’s Library is a gold mine of relatable, actionable advice from two of my favourite online teachers and coaches: Elena Mutonono and Veronika Palovska.
These smart and savvy ladies have put together over 40 pieces of bite-sized advice, including workbooks, trainings and challenges so you can go from overworked Skype teacher to smart online business owner.
And the community aspect means you don’t have to do it all alone. Join the library or sign up for the waiting list by clicking here.
Website & Design Support
Head over to Veronika’s site for branding, website and design help. Veronika is the one who keeps this website running smoothly. She also designed the lovely images you see on the blog as well as book covers and online course branding.
Get Started with Online Teaching
Confused about how the hell you’re supposed to teach online, get paid and find students? Kerstin breaks it all down for you in this 2-hour course which I took back in June 2016.
Take Your Language Teaching Online
Thinking of taking your teaching online? But don’t have a clue how to? Teaching online already and spending every weekend planning lessons?
To eliminate the stress of online lesson planning, Lindsay from Lindsay does Languages has created an ebook to save you time and money: 100 Creative Ideas for Online Language Teachers.
It’s not just an ebook, it’s 100 creative teaching ideas for every area of language over 9 chapters (speaking, listening, vocab…+ organisation and promotion). Each chapter features digital companion content that supports what you learn, including tech training videos, templates + examples that you can use straight away in your lessons.
Important: Affiliate Disclosure
Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that when you buy via that link, I receive a small commission. You pay exactly the same price if you decide to purchase the product or service. Clicking on the link costs nothing. My affiliate commissions help me pay for things like web hosting or they go into my coffee fund because chai lattes are expensive y’all. Thanks.
About Cara and Leo Listening
Cara Leopold is a cool nerdy Brit who loves nothing more than living abroad in France. When she's not wishing she was the heroine of a romcom starring alongside Ryan Gosling, she's trying to save the world. She is an INFJ after all. She wears her heart on her sleeve as she's a sensitive soul. She'll also make you laugh thanks to a wit sharp enough to make her an honorary Gilmore Girl. Mostly though, she wants you to have awesome English listening skills thanks to watching TV series and movie clips, not passive listening. If you buy her an almond milk chai latte, you may just win her heart.
Read more about her story and how she can help you here.