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