Tag: Interviews

Side Gigs for Teachers: Author Interview

“Side Gigs for Teachers: Ways to Actually Make Money” – Interview with Co-Author Jackie Bolen

In the recently published Side Gigs for Teachers: Ways to Actually Make Money  Jackie Bolen and Jennifer Booker Smith seek to show educators how to earn extra money in their spare time. We reached out to co-author Jackie Bolen and asked her some questions about the book and side hustling in general. We hope you enjoy the interview and be sure to grab your copy of Side Gigs for Teachers today!

1) What inspired the two of you to write this book?

Jennifer and I are both “retired” teachers who met while teaching English in South Korea. Of course, we’re not really retired and are still super busy doing a million things! She’s traveling around the world, and I’ve since moved back home to Canada.

We got started with self-publishing books, developing websites, and putting materials on Teacher Pay Teachers while still teaching in Korea. But these days, we’re both making a full-time living off of our side-gigs.

We hope to inspire other teachers out there (ESL and otherwise) to get their own side hustle going on. It’s an excellent way to earn a bit of cash in your spare time, or even make it into a career like we have. If you’re not happy in the classroom, need a break, or just want to have a bit more cash in your bank account at the end of the month, there are options out there!

2) About how many side gigs for teachers does the book cover?

We divide the side-gigs up into two categories: Active, and Passive.

By “active,” we mean things like tutoring, pet sitting, or test evaluating. Basically, you have to work one hour for one hour of pay with these side-gigs. We discuss 14 of the best ones for teachers options in detail. Teachers have a lot of skills like public speaking, writing, and knowledge about certain areas so why not put that to good use to make some extra money?

The second category of side gigs are passive ones. By “passive,” we mean that you have to put a lot of work (or money with investing) in up-front, but that you can earn money for years down the road. Some of the examples are self-published books, affiliate websites, and investing in the stock market. We give you all the details for how to get started with seven of these ones.

3) Can you tell us about two or three of your favorite side gigs for teachers covered in the book?

There are a few that I’m currently using to make a full-time income. Jennifer and I have 20+ self-published books that you can find on Amazon. The first one took a lot of time, effort and frustration! But, we’ve learned so much along the way that the process has gotten much easier over time.

I also develop Amazon affiliate websites. Basically, I review products on Amazon and if people click a product link on my website, and purchase something on Amazon, I get a commission. This side-gig is good for people who have a very, very long-term vision. It can take a year or two of solid work before you ever earn you first dollar. But, there is huge potential to make this into a full-time job for yourself.

Jennifer is the guru of all things Teachers Pay Teachers. You can put your course materials on that website and people pay you to download them. If you already spend a lot of time creating some awesome stuff, why not make a bit of extra money off of it?

4) What kind of teachers do you think can be successful with side hustles?

I really think that just about anyone can start a side hustle. There are a million and one different ones so you’re sure to find a side-gig or two that will work for you. In our book, we talk about 21 of them, and I’d be very, very surprised if you read the book and couldn’t find one that would work!

However, the people that do the best with starting a side-hustle are usually motived, and are also long-term thinkers. It can a while before you start to get some traction in terms of earning serious money. The key is to believe in what you’re doing, work smart, and also be willing to put in some serious effort to get things off the ground. Of course, perseverance helps a lot. You will get some motivation though when you earn your first dollar from your side hustle.

5) For a busy teacher just getting started trying to make money on the side, what kind of general advice would you give them?

The best advice I could give you is to start with one side-gig. It can be tempting to try and get a million things up and running, but in reality, you’ll have more success if you master one thing. Give yourself at least six months before trying another one.

The other thing I would say is to just start NOW! Actually, yesterday was the best time, but it’s not too late today. You can spend months and years researching and thinking and planning, but it’s better to just make some forward progress in terms of action. You WILL make mistakes. Everybody does. Learn from them and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

6) Besides your books, do you have any recommended resources for teachers getting started with side gigs?

I am a huge fan of Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income. He interviews the top people in the online business world.

7) Anything else you would like to tell us or share with our readers?

You can find me online at www.jackiebolen.com. I’m happy to help you out by answering a question or two. I also offer consulting via Skype for more detailed advice about getting a side-gig up and running. Get in touch!


Author Bio: Jackie Bolen is a former ESL teacher in Korea who turned her side-gigs into a full-time job in Canada. She’s an author, website developer and lover of all things passive income, and online business. You can find her at www.jackiebolen.com.

Side Gigs for Teachers: Ways to Actually Make Money is available now on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback versions!

 


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30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success - Gina Horkey Interview

Educators: 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success? Interview with Gina Horkey

We are excited to announce that going forward we will be featuring regular interviews with financially savvy educators and other awesome personalities.  It is our hope that these interviews will serve as motivation and inspiration for you!   To kick things off, we share our interview with Gina Horkey, freelancer extraordinaire and creator of  “30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success: A Course for Brand Spanking New Freelancers.”

For this interview, we asked Gina a handful of questions relating to educators and freelance writing.  Without further ado, here are our questions followed by Gina’s compelling responses!

What qualities make a good freelance writer? Do you think educators are (in general) well-suited for freelance writing?

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I think you should probably enjoy writing at the bare minimum.

Being good at it or having decent writing chops is helpful, but can also be learned and improved over time. The best qualities are probably having a thick skin and fierce determination – success from freelance writing comes from putting yourself out there consistently and following up. I.e. marketing yourself and doing the work.

I think teachers and educators are definitely prime candidates for freelance writing.

As an educator you’re likely pretty good at teaching and imparting helpful information on students. Writing as a medium accomplishes the same thing – you’re communicating and educating an audience of readers and ideally helping them to improve their lives in some way.

How much can a part-time freelance writer expect to earn?

Of course I have to say it depends. 😉

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It depends on these factors:

  • Your niche. Some niches are higher paying, like personal finance or healthcare.
  • Your experience. As you gain experience (and samples) as a writer, you can command higher rates.
  • Your confidence. If you don’t believe you’re worth a certain rate, you won’t ask for it.

From my experience, new freelance writers tend to start out around the $30-50/article mark and work their way up. More experienced writers command hundreds of dollars per post.

Using myself as an example, freelance writing is only a portion of my diversified business, so I’d consider it “part-time.” I average $2,000-3,000 from just writing in an average month with just a few key clients.

Can you share a success story of an educator who successfully freelance writes?

There are actually a fair amount of teachers that have gone through my course, 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success . Many of them have actually started a mastermind together for accountability and because they have so much in common.

Here’s Philippa’s story, for example:

Leaving teaching was not an easy decision to make, and working out what to do next was even harder!

I was an English teacher, so writing seemed like the perfect fit. Except, people can’t seriously write for a living can they?

When I realized that there was a market for writing website content, updating Facebook or creating tweets, I couldn’t believe it! This wasn’t even a career option when I was a school (which really wasn’t that long ago!).

Initially, I started VA work, but soon realised that I wanted writing to be my main focus. I decided to invest in Gina’s 30DOL course and it helped me to no end! It made everything seem so easy, and totally achievable.

As Gina was writing her 30DOL VA course , I had just landed my biggest client to date and I was thrilled when Gina asked me to create a case study about it for the course. It was amazing seeing “Lesson 10 – Philippa’s Story” pop up in my inbox.

That course, combined Gina’s blog posts and the Facebook group have really helped me move my freelancing up a notch. I now confidently cold-pitch regularly (teachers are not known for being sellers, not in our nature) and have this weekend been working on my latest new client’s website content!

I still can’t believe that people pay me to write.

It is a dream come true. I don’t make enough to do it full-time yet, but while working in my non-teaching day job, freelancing is keeping me motivated, satisfied and happy. I am on the way to the balanced lifestyle I want, and am much, much, much closer to it than when I was teaching!

Besides your own course, do you recommend any particular resources (websites, books, etc.) for educators looking to get started with freelance writing?

Yahoo Style GuideOne of the recommended resources that I came across was The Yahoo Style Guide! It’s a great (and very comprehensive) guide to help you learn how to write for the web.

My friend Sarah also has a site called, Life After Teaching, which helps educators that are looking to transition out of teaching find their way. She also has a book with the same name that you can find on her website.

Anything else you would like to say to educators interested in supplementing their income with freelance writing?

Most people let fear (or any number of excuses that disguise themselves as something else, but really are fear – lack of time, lack of direction, needing everything to be perfect, etc.) hold them back from taking action and pursuing a new direction.

Don’t let that be you.

Instead, punch fear in the face and do it anyway. When I started, I decided I was either going to succeed or fail hard trying.

Why not you, why not now?

Punch Fear in the Face

About Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama to two precocious toddlers. Additionally, she’s a professional writer and online business marketing consultant with a decade of experience in the financial services industry. Gina enjoys helping other freelancers gear up to quit their day jobs and take their side hustles full-time. If you’re interested in starting a freelance career, take Gina’s FREE writing course to kickstart yours today! Click here to get the first lesson sent to your inbox.

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