American Association of Blind Teachers

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The following item originally appeared February 5, 2012 as part of the weekly newsletter associated with the nationally syndicated
Kim Komando
radio program.

It's true that money-making scams are very common online. The good news is there are perfectly legitimate ways to make money over the Internet. Many don't even involve eBay. If you have experience as an English language teacher or tutor, you can make extra income teaching English online to Asians, South Americans and other people around the world. It has, in fact, suddenly become an incredible growth industry.

Most of the teachers providing this service work part time from home, and - thanks to broadband Internet video-conferencing - it doesn't matter if that home is in Cody, WY, or Miami, FL. Talk about globalization!

In the early days of teaching English online, freelancers had to hustle to find their own clients. Today, there are several online services that act as liaisons between learners and teachers. Online language services all work a little differently. One might be a better fit for you than another, depending on how entrepreneurial you are.

Once you're accepted at,
for instance, you hang your shingle up in the marketplace and hope that students like your profile and experience. New teachers often offer free trial lessons to attract students and get the positive-feedback ball rolling. supplies easy-to-use appointment and invoicing software. You set your own rate (most tutors charge around $30 per session), and get paid by the students through PayPal. is a partner of Harper Collins, which publishes MP3 audio language courses, foreign language dictionaries, and other educational materials. The service takes no cut from the teachers.

In a very different business model, teachers get a flat $12.50 an hour at the cleverly named English as a Second Income. The tradeoff? You bypass the marketing work. The service brings corporate students directly to you.

That service also provides a system for organizing teaching sessions and using prepared guides. You can teach as many or as few hours as you want.

Based in tiny Ten Sleep, Wyoming,
is a rapidly growing company that contracts not only with foreign corporations, but also with school systems and government organizations.

Teachers must be experienced and certified, and go through specific training. They earn anywhere from $11 to $13 per hour for one-on-one tutoring or virtual classroom teaching.

So how can you tell these services are legitimate? . . . [One] clue is they aren't asking for you to pay any money upfront to get started. Whenever there's an upfront fee involved in a make-money-online venture, your scam alert sirens should start blaring.

In this case, other than your teaching skills and experience, all you need is a good headset, a fast Internet connection, and accounts with PayPal and Skype, or a similar free video-conferencing service.

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