How to Make Money Online From Your Phone Teaching English With PalFish

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make money online from your phone

PalFish is an online ESL (English as a second language) app that connects English speakers with children and adults abroad who want to perfect their English language skills. They pay $14-$22/hour for one-on-one lessons that last about 25 minutes each. Here’s how to make money online from your phone as an English teacher!

How to Make Money Online From Your Phone With PalFish

Working with PalFish is a fun and rewarding experience that enables you to earn a steady stream of income while making a positive impact in the lives of others. If you enjoy working with children, you’ll love this online ESL position!

Requirements of the job

To make money online from your phone with PalFish, you need to speak English fluently and have access to a smart mobile device and strong internet. Anyone who speaks English can download the app and teach their Free Talk lessons, which can come in from children or adults, and at any time you choose to be online. Again, you don’t need any kind of experience or credentials to get started teaching these one-on-one lessons, which are typically just structured as conversations. You can set your own rate for these convos, but most teachers average between $10 and $18 per hour.

Official Kids Courses

teaching english online

While many ESL companies require you to have a bachelor’s degree or above, PalFish is not one of them. Not even to teach their more structured lessons, which they call the Official Kids Course. These are 25 minutes in length, generally with kids between 3-13, and pay a set rate (between $14-$22/hour) along with some incentives. For the OKC, lessons come in the form of pre-made slides that guide you to teach certain things in each class. You need to have some experience working with children and be willing to get your TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification.

Obtain Your TESOL

To teach these courses, you need to obtain your TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate, which you can do online here, and if you catch them on sale, sometimes it’s only between $15-$20, which is pretty insane considering other sources charge in the hundreds. Once you get started earning money with PalFish, you’ll be thankful you went through with it.

Work Hours

For free talk, you can simply log on whenever you have free time to make yourself available for calls. For the OKC, however, you need to have certain hours available. The app is based in China, so the busiest hours for bookings are around dinner time during the week, their time, which, if you’re in the U.S., translates to super early morning hours. Evenings between 9-11 pm EST on weekends are also a great time to open slots. To be an OKC teacher, you need to keep a minimum of eight slots open during these peak hours every week.

Create an Eye-Catching Profile

happy esl teacher smiling

Once you’ve been approved to teach, it’s time to set up your profile. There are PalFish teachers all over the world, each wanting to get those peak slots booked, so it’s up to you to create a profile that makes students (or their parents) want to book you. You’ll be able to upload a profile picture, write an intro, and add demo videos, which is optional, but highly recommended. Use a smiling photo as your main, that says “We’ll have fun in class!” Create a simple and sweet intro, and add a few demo videos of your “teaching.” Make sure you’re all smiles and using plenty of props!

Get Booked

You can go online right away for free talk, but you’ll open slots on your calendar for the OKC, and wait for students (or their parents) to book you. Go into your schedule and open at least eight, but as many as you can, peak slots. This is the MINIMUM of what you want to do to make money online from your phone with PalFish, and it will get you bookings, but maybe not as quickly as you’re hoping for. It truly depends on you! There are plenty of things you can do to tip the scales in your favor, though. PalFish offers different live options for you to teach mock classes and attract new students, and if you’re new, I recommend doing this at least a couple of times before you start getting regular bookings.

Gear Up

make money teaching english online

Honestly, to get started as an online English teacher with PalFish, you really don’t need much of anything. As long as you have your phone, a positive attitude, and a quiet area to work, you’ll be fine. But, the more you progress, the more you’ll realize you want to invest in things to make your workdays easier. For instance, when I got started, I used to prop my phone up against my laptop to keep it sturdy throughout classes. But eventually, I decided to get a tripod so that I could move around more and get better angles. Here’s some other stuff you may want to consider getting if you’re planning to do this right:

  • Tripod. Sure, you can prop your phone up on things, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier and more convenient just to get a bendy tripod to stabilize it. This one on Amazon comes along with a selfie ring light, which also comes in very handy for online teaching at night.
  • Whiteboard and markers. If you’re only going to get one prop for your teaching career, make it a whiteboard. They’re great for playing games and emphasizing words, letters, sounds, etc.
  • Puppets and other stuffed animals. These are especially helpful to have for younger kids who are restless and easily distracted.
  • Cardigan. Keeping a nice, simple cardigan on the back of your chair is an easy way to look appropriate and camera ready, even if you’ve just rolled out of bed. Personally, I like these viscose cardigans, which are made from bamboo and are soft, breathable, and comfy!
  • Red lipstick. Some of these classes are insanely early, especially if you’re out in California or elsewhere on the west coast. Keeping a tube of red lipstick within reach is a fast and easy way to appear more pulled together at 5:00 AM!

Get Started With PalFish Now

Are you ready to go live and start booking free talk and/or OKC lessons? Download the app and get started now!

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Erika Sellmer is a digital content specialist with a passion for remote work and empathic design.