Teaching as a Side Hustle?

It was summer of 2016 and an online friend told me about a platform she was using to teach others how to make homemade wine, cheese, and more. Enter Skillshare.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

I have always enjoyed teaching others how to do something, but up until that point it had been in person or through my books and articles. I was both intrigued and terrified by the thought of teaching online.

After some persuading on her part, I bit the bullet and published a class titled How to Spin Your Own Yarn. (Update March 2022: this class was unpublished by Skillshare due to it no longer conforming to their guidelines. I chose not to record a newer version.)

That class still earns me a few dollars a month, and I only had to do the majority of the work once. Of the 62 months since I first published, there have only been 9 months where my payments have been $0.00. I don’t consider that terrible, since I haven’t really done anything to promote my classes. The majority of the students found my classes through the platform’s search feature.

I only have two classes published at this point, the other being Make Your Own Weaving Sticks (also unpublished due to same reason as above). I tried to teach my Creating and Selling Nonfiction course but was not happy with the format, so left it as a digital download in my Etsy Shop instead.

Are you a teacher at heart?

Whether you’re camera shy or not, teaching others is doable on Skillshare. In fact, because you do the videos yourself, you can do as many takes as necessary to get it the way you want it.

The lessons consist of short videos so your students can consume them in bite-size pieces. There’s nothing worse than trying to go back through a video that’s an hour long to find a segment you want to replay. By having several short videos your students can rewatch a step they may have not understood the first time, or missed because of a distraction.

Recording the lessons can be done with your phone, a camera, or webcam. I recorded mine using either a digital camera or my phone; I honestly don’t recall which it was now. You don’t have to have top of the line equipment; as long as it gives you a clear picture and audio you’re set.

Classes can be anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours long. They must be structured, have an introduction (this is basically where you tell your potential student what the course is about and what they will learn when they take it), as many lessons as it takes to teach the subject, and a conclusion.

As I write this I am using a 5+ hour class for a reference. One thing I have noticed is none of the teacher’s lessons are over 20 minutes. The average lesson ranges from 5 to 15 minutes, with more or less time for some of them. His entire class has 31 videos, which includes the introduction and conclusion.

Skillshare has a wonderful reference section, as well as a teacher handbook. They explain how to structure your classes, how to optimize the description with keywords, and how to record and edit. The handbook also covers class promotion, earning revenue, building your channel, and more.

A snippet of the Getting Started Menu.

As you can see in the photo above, the Teacher Handbook is full of information to help you record a great class. Plus they want you to succeed. If you do well, they do well.

Are you in?

You don’t have to teach classes about spinning or making weaving sticks like I published; you can teach anything you wish. From A to Z, any topic you pick, chances are there’s a class on it. And if there isn’t, then you can be the first to teach one!

The best part is you can sign up for a free trial and take some classes, set up a teacher account, and earn some extra cash for as long as your class is published. Like I said earlier, I have had only 2 classes published for the majority of the past 5 years and I earn a few dollars almost every month. If I promoted my classes more, I know my earnings would be much higher.

It’s nice to get the email from PayPal mid-month saying “Skillshare has sent you $$$.$$.” It’s one side hustle I really haven’t put any time into once the classes were published. It’s almost a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal. However, it’s better if you engage with your students and followers regularly. (I need to practice what I preach in this regard.)

(Update March 2022: In addition to earning as a teacher Skillshare also has an referral program, which I still belong to and endorse. I need to brush up on my recording skills and add another class or two; but don’t foresee it being within the next month or two.)

Let me know in the comments if you are currently a teacher on Skillshare, or if it’s something you’re considering. And if you teach on another platform, which one?

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.


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Change is Good

Sometimes we all need a little change in our lives.

Today I changed the look of my website. If you’re a regular reader of my posts, you may have thought you were on the wrong site for a moment.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

I designed the page header awhile back, and it’s the same style I use on my new Etsy Shop, TOLA50Printables. After some playing around with palettes, colours, and designs, I clued into the fact WordPress has a little button that says something to the effect of “match header colours”. If only I had known it was that easy. 😀

I like the new look. I think it’s much easier on the eyes, and the header isn’t distorted in any way. I think it’s a win-win.

I am into Week 2 of my Create 30 Products in 30 Days course and am loving it. I haven’t created more than a few products but that’s okay. I enjoy learning and creating because I can change the fonts, colours, and clipart to suit what I’m doing. And just because I start with a PLR template, it doesn’t mean I end up with a product that looks the same.

My latest creation from my 30 Products in 30 Days course.

Change is also coming for my family. My first grandbaby will be arriving in April, which is very exciting!

I’m going to have to wipe the dust off my sewing machine and make a couple of baby quilts through the winter. It’s going to be fun deciding on a pattern and colours that are suitable for either gender. My daughter doesn’t want to know until baby arrives, which, in my opinion, is the way it should be. As long as baby is healthy that’s the main thing.

That also opens up a whole new line of printables to be created. Cards, schedules, lists, and so much more. I know from being a mom that babies have their own schedules, no matter what the “experts” say. As I’m working my way through my course I’ll be coming up with baby-themed printables, for not only new moms but also for recording the milestones of pregnancy.

Babies bring changes in so many ways. My daughter is a great furbaby parent, and I know she’ll be a wonderful parent to her little human when he/she arrives. Now if only I could convince her to open up her own Etsy Shop so she can work from home and raise her own babies.

As I close this post I ask you this: What is your sole reason for wanting to start a side hustle? Is it for extra cash, to support yourself and family, to go on vacation, or something else?

Comment below or if you prefer, answer via the contact form.

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.

How to Add to your Product Line Quickly

Fall is here. The leaves are turning quickly, and falling to the ground. It’s such a pretty time of year; both my favourite and least favourite. I’m not excited about winter at all. What I am excited about is learning how to create products quickly. Read on to find out more!

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

I have spent the past couple of weeks getting some yard work done, enjoying the warm weather as much as possible, and working on designing new planners and printables for my new Etsy Shop. I am gradually moving some of the printables over from my first Etsy Shop, as they are mopre in tune with the new one.

Something I have learned recently is PowerPoint can be used to make planners and printables just as easily as Affinity Publisher or Canva. If you have Microsft 365 (or any MS product) you should have access to PowerPoint as well. I’m taking a course now on creating products over at Share Your Brilliance entitled Create 30 Products in 30 Days and it has me spending several hours in the evening at my computer. Between it and trying to finish up the computer side of our community history book, it’s a wonder I get any sleep at all.

I’m having so much fun with this one.

In the course mentioned above D’vorah shows students how to create colour palettes, streamline a filing system (so you can access your products quickly), and replicate the same planner in different themes. My first was a Thanksgiving Planner, which is now in my TOLA50Printables Etsy Shop. I’m happy with how it turned out, and since Canada and the US celebrate at different times I feel it has potential for this holiday season.

A little word of advice: follow the instructions for saving your files just how D’vorah instructs. I thought I could skip a step, and my file DID NOT save like I wanted it to. I now have a PDF but cannot edit the original because I didn’t save it the way I should have. I’m glad it’s done the way I want, and that I created a short video of it for my Etsy listing before I messed up.

The bonus to this course is you get a template to work with. It has so many options: dated, undated, one page per month, two pages per month, weekly pages (at least 3 if I recall correctly), and a small variety of daily layouts.

I personally prefer to create undated planners as they are evergreen (meaning they can be used year after year; simply print a new copy when you fill the old one). Plus, they don’t have to be constantly updated, so you can spend your time creating new products instead of updating old ones. To me that’s a win-win.

There will be times you want to use images, or use different pages than what is included in the templates with the course. Yes, you can find free stock images online but I prefer to pay for mine. I use Creative Market for the majority of my graphics. One of my recent purchases has been this Halloween Bundle which I have used to make a card for my Etsy Shop. With Halloween being just around the corner it’s a good time to get some cards and games listed.

As with any products you create planning ahead is beneficial, especially when it comes to holidays. Have you noticed the Halloween and Christmas items in the stores yet? It seems like summer is barely over before Christmas stock starts making an appearance. I don’t know about you, but I find it showing up earlier and earlier. By the time Christmas rolls around I’ve had enough. (I love Christmas but hearing nothing but Christmas music in every store from the beginning of November gets a little old.)

Okay, back to product creation. If you want to maximize your earnings, start planning and creating for the holidays at least 2 or 3 months ahead. It takes time for customers to notice your shop, especially if you’re not advertising. Create, list, and utilize Pinterest. If you have a newsletter be sure to mention the upcoming holidays and link to your products. I’m the first to admit I’m horrible at pinning, mainly because I get sucked into the Pinterest Rabbit Hole. It’s good karma to pin the content of others more than your own.

Time to go out and enjoy the warm weather for a little while, then get my butt back in my chair and do my “homework” from my 30 Products course. I think a walk is in order, and perhaps take some pictures for my autumn planners.

Have a wonderful day, and let me know what you’re working on.

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.


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