How to Generate Passive Income by Starting a Teaching Blog

generate passive income

So you have the ability to string a few sentences together in a way people can relate, and you are a teacher. Your side hustle may be right at your fingertips…literally. Starting a teaching blog may seem intimidating at first, but for those who love writing and teaching, it may feel more like a hobby that can actually make you some money.

The key to monetizing a teaching blog is to play the long game–you aren’t going to see any income after just a few posts. If you are looking for a more immediate source of funds, this might not be for you. However, with some time, dedication, and know-how, you can monetize your teaching blog into a reliable passive income stream. Here’s how.

#1 Getting started

The first thing you will need, other than a working computer and some motivation to write, is a place to host your blog.

  • Some of the most popular sites are:
    • Wix
    • WordPress
    • Blogger
    • Weebly

All of them are highly customizable, and you can choose your theme, the types of pages that will be on your site, upload photos and content, and more.

WordPress is one of the more robust options, offering extensive options to personalize and optimize your blog, but can take some getting used to. If you don’t consider yourself a very tech-savvy person, you may want to opt for one of the other three instead (although you can still easily build a basic WordPress site without much knowledge).

Many of these sites will allow you a free website, in exchange for their company name in your URL. For example, instead of Amylovesteaching.com, it would be amylovesteaching.wordpress.com. If this doesn’t bother you, go for the free option. If not, consider purchasing a domain name that allows you to drop the company name in the URL.

The final step is to familiarize yourself with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is a fancy way to say that people will be able to find you if they search for you and your site, based on some guiding principles. Here are a few, and you can learn way more through some simple self-education on the Internet or by taking a webinar or tutorial.

  • Use commonly Googled phrases in your writing (called keywords)
  • Keep paragraphs short and sweet for easy readability
  • Don’t write in jargon, advanced academic language, or hard-to-understand phrases. A sixth grader should get what you are saying.

#2 Post regularly

People don’t trust blogs that have just a few posts, or long gaps in between posts. Take your blogging seriously by creating a schedule for yourself, and sticking to it. Posting once per week works well as a starting point, and will ensure you aren’t overloading your readers with too much content.

#3 Increase your social media presence to further distribute your content

If a great blog sits on the Internet with no visitors, does it even exist? Not really. It’s your job to market your own blog, and social media is the way to do it. Follow these steps to ensure your blogs are getting the max number of readers possible:

  • Develop a LinkedIn profile, where you identify yourself as an education blogger, post your blogs regularly, and engage with other education bloggers. You may want to also include your teaching position on your LinkedIn profile to further establish credibility that you are a teacher, and are in touch with current issues teachers care about.
  • Build credibility as a teacher and a writer on Instagram. Sure, you probably already have a profile, but if you look over your last 50 posts or so, will people recognize you as someone really familiar with education today? If not, consider posting yourself teaching, re-sharing posts that align with your education-based beliefs, and promote your own writing and others’.
  • Join Facebook groups where you can share your posts, interact with readers, and read other bloggers’ work. Side Hustle teachers, for example, is a community that encourages teachers in their side hustles, and periodically allows self-promotional posts.
  • Don’t forget Twitter! Once you’ve written a blog, post it to Twitter with all of the relevant hashtags. This ensures your post will be seen by more people in that community who is following that hashtag. Focus on hashtags about blogs and writing, but also about education as well. For example, #bloggers will increase your views by other bloggers. But if you use #virtualteaching, you may draw more of your target audience (virtual teachers) to a post you just wrote about Zoom classroom tips.

#4 Narrow your niche

If a blog is too vague, not many people will be drawn to consistently follow it (except your amazing aunt who comments on every post, of course). Instead, narrow your niche down to a specific area within education you want to cover. While this can feel limiting at first, it’s smarter to get more specific within one niche, and do it well, than try to cover the wide array of education topics. This also helps if you are specifically blogging about a certain grade level or range of grades–not all high school teachers want to read tips from a kindergarten teacher, and vice versa.

#5 Pursue partnerships and sponsors

Eventually, to monetize your blog, you will want to look into partnerships and sponsors from companies who sell education-related products, or who promote concepts and ideas you and your blog represent. For some, this can feel shady, like you are selling your soul in some way, but the benefit is that each of you gain the readership of the other entity. For example, if a teacher blogger partners with a pencil sharpener company, and you mention the product in your blog, you may get a kickback financially from that mention. In addition, the company is able to advertise to their core audience, your readers.

It’s important to be careful with how often you do this, and to carefully vet the company. Associating your brand (your blog) with a company that engages in questionable or unethical practices in any way, or even cluttering up your blog with too many of these partnerships, can turn people away. It can also be detrimental to your credibility as a blogger.

#6 Consider setting up Google Adsense

There are pros and cons of allowing advertisements on your site–the pro is that you get paid, and the con is that it can muddy up your site with content that isn’t yours. Google Adsense is a simple way to step into advertising and involves making a Google Account and linking AdSense to your site. After this, ads targeted to your specific audience will start appearing on your site, as advertisers bid for your webspace. You can control where the ads are placed, and you can also nix ads you don’t like or want on there.

The ads are also adapted to make for an easy user experience if someone accesses your site on a mobile phone, which prevents problems for you. Google charges the advertisers per click, and a percentage comes back to you. The actual revenue you will make from this process varies based on many factors, including your site’s popularity.

Teachers have had success with affiliate marketing in which you add links to various companies on your site. Similar to AdSense, you get a commission based on the clicks. It’s free to start, and the referral fees you generate for those products and companies can add up for you. There are some rules to follow. For example, you have to disclose that you are eligible to earn money from your recommendations, and can’t make any deceptive claims about the recommendations. The program for Amazon is called Amazon Associates, and they advertise that you can earn up to 10% in associate commissions. 

#8 Offer some content for free, and some for a fee

Like any company, you want to charge what you are worth for products that you want to sell to your readers. So maybe your main blog is free, but if they go to a tab called “webinars,” they might pay a small fee to access a webinar on a specific topic. For you, this creates passive income because you don’t have to keep teaching this content over and over, and instead benefit every time someone new purchases your already made product. Here is a quick list of things you can charge for on your blog, while still leaving your main posts/content available for free:

  • Webinars, courses, and seminars
  • PDFs of documents teachers may want to use (worksheets, lesson plans, etc.)
  • Products that represent your brand
  • Products that teachers may enjoy
  • Videos of you interviewing/chatting with experts in your industry

#9 Branch out: podcasts, newsletters, and more

Typically, once a blog becomes established and somewhat successful, you realize you want to distribute content in similar, related ways. Some teacher bloggers also start a podcast, where they chat with other teachers and experts about their ideas. Others monetize their blog through the use of a newsletter, in which they charge a nominal fee to send content to peoples’ email inboxes weekly or monthly. Both of these require revisiting point #2 and promoting your new means of distributing info on social media, so be prepared that they aren’t small undertakings to pivot into these additional areas, but can prove lucrative.

#10 Guest post on other sites

While it seems like a contradiction to contribute to other publications, blogs, and websites, especially in what feels like a similar or competing space, it will give you valuable publicity and send more readers to your blog. If, for example, you run a blog about mental health in education, you can reach out to nonprofits, bloggers, and websites that also cover this topic. You can propose a guest contributor post topic, which you may not be paid for. You do want to ensure that you will be able to include a link to your own blog, even if it’s just in the bio at the end of the post. In this way, you are creating backlinks to your own blog, generating more traffic to your site. Sometimes, these guest posts are paid, depending on the website.

#11 Have fun with it!

Let’s be honest, you aren’t going to want to keep posting on a blog that never has any interaction with readers, or that you feel is taking up too much time for not enough money. If you ever encounter those feelings and start to resent your blog, it may be time to table the project for a bit. Blogging should give you an outlet to share your knowledge, experience, and personality, without feeling obligated to do it as just one more job.

Come join us in the Empowered Teachers community for more inspiring content. 


How to Generate Passive Income by Starting a Teaching Blog

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Alexandra Frost

Alexandra Frost is a freelance journalist and high school publications teacher in Cincinnati, OH. She's worked with other publications such as Glamour, Women's Health, Reader's Digest, and more. She has three young sons under age four and has been teaching high school for ten years. She encourages her students to develop communication skills, independence, and a passion for writing in their authentic writers' voices. To connect or read more of her work please her website or follow her on social media: Twitter Instagram Linked In.

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