The #1 Reason Online Tutors Quit Teaching Online


Over the past few weeks I sent a message to people that are subscribed to my e-mail list and asked why many teachers who want to become an online tutor fail.

Here is a snippet from that e-mail.

The Internet is littered with abandoned websites of people that have tried tutoring online. It makes me sad every time I encounter a person who has tried to tutor online, but has just quit, especially since there are ways to just about *guarantee* running your own online tutoring business. 

But the truth is, many people who start off with tutoring online fail.

And that got me wondering… why? Why do so many amazing teachers who are trying to start their own online tutoring business fail?

I had my own suspicions about what might be the cause of it, but just to be on the safe side, I asked around, and got feedback from all the A-List tutors that I could find…

 …and their answers were surprisingly varied.

 What I came to realize was that – on top of the standard stuff that is involved in the failure of a lot of tutoring businesses across the board – there’s also stuff that is unique and different from one business to the next.

After getting this e-mail a lot of thoughtful people responded that competition was the number 1 reason that people stop tutoring online.  This really got my brain thinking.  I thought, I don’t have a problem with competition, so why do all these other people trying to do the same thing as me have such a huge problem with it.  I think a lot of it has to do with my perspective.  See, there is no competition when it comes to people I know hiring me as an online tutor.  As soon as their child has a problem with reading I am the first person that comes to their mind.  They don’t go onto the internet and start searching, they think about connecting with me and setting up a tutoring schedule that will work for their family.


I think that many people may have a problem with competition because they are magnetically drawn to where the competition is.  I on the other hand understand that people want to work with people they like, know and trust.  Who likes, knows, and trusts me the most?  The people that are already in my circle.  I began tutoring online because my nephew in Illinois was struggling with reading.  Being that I live in Wisconsin I never would have had the opportunity to help him before, but now because of skype and Google Hangouts I can.

Another problem related to competition that I see other people struggling with is what I like to call Hope Marketing.  Tutors will put their information on one of the big sites and hope that people contact them.  When people don’t contact them, they get frustrated and think that there is too much competition.  Instead, I invite people to stop thinking of putting your name on these sites and start building your online tutoring company as a brand.  Stop giving away 50% of your profits to other companies to get rich off of.  Put the dollars in your own pocket and continue to do what you love to do best.  If you are looking for some ideas on how to market your business outside of the competitive realms check out my post called 50 Ways to Advertise your Online Tutoring Business for Under $50.

What are some other reasons that you think online tutors fail when they start their online tutoring company?


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  1. Hi Joanne. I think most online tutors have the same problem as other online marketers have. They think they can just throw up a website and people will come. You hit the nail on the head: know, like, and trust. Unless you are a great big company that everybody knows, people aren’t going to even know about you if you don’t get out there and let yourself be known. I am a music teacher, and I recently closed down my brick and mortar studio. I know that if I decided that I wanted to teach on Skype that I wouldn’t have a problem getting students because of the connections that I have in social networks. You have made a terrific point here, and this site is a wonderful resource for people who want to start a tutoring business.

    All the best,
    Leslie Denning recently posted…How Does My Web Host Find My Domain?My Profile

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