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Create a Side Hustle with Online Learning

It’s no secret that the online learning industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years. This has been driven by many professionals adopting remote or hybrid working conditions and the advancement of online learning technologies. At the same time, many have demanded greater flexibility, balance, and opportunity to explore personal interests or even a side hustle.

Today, we are sharing how to start a side hustle in the online learning industry. Online learning can be a profitable side hustle venture where you can share knowledge to educate others and find personal satisfaction along the way.

Is an Online Learning Side Hustle Right for you?

Step 1: Reflect on your Passion

How do you know if creating an online learning course is the right side hustle for you? If you have sought advice, likely someone mentioned that you should follow your passion.

Passion refers to a strong inclination toward a specific activity or subject that you find joyful and fulfilling. It is often associated with an intense emotional drive or excitement. When you have a passion for something, you are likely to have a high level of enthusiasm and energy while doing it, which can sustain motivation over long periods, especially during challenging times.

A side hustle based on passion can be highly rewarding, but passion alone does not guarantee success or proficiency; it merely indicates interest and excitement.

Step 2: Make Decisions using Strengths

What truly underpins longevity and likely success is the need to play to your strengths.

Playing to strengths involves leveraging your inherent abilities, skills, and talents to achieve better performance and outcomes. Strengths are the things you are naturally good at or have developed proficiency in through experience and practice. These might include specific technical skills, problem-solving abilities, interpersonal skills, or talents in areas such as writing, design, or analytics.

When creating a side hustle, playing to your strengths can lead to greater efficiency, higher-quality work, and a competitive advantage because you’re building on your existing capabilities.

  • While passion can provide motivation, combining that with your strengths ensures that you’re also competent and effective in what you’re doing. If you’re skilled at what you do, it can lead to better results, such as higher customer satisfaction, improved reputation, and increased income.
  • Operating from a position of strength typically means you can execute tasks more effortlessly and confidently, which can help you differentiate your side hustle.
  • It can minimize the learning curve and start-up time for your side hustle, allowing you to hit the ground running and garner success more quickly.
  • Focusing on your strengths can help alleviate burnout since you’re more likely to enjoy tasks you’re good at, leading to a more sustainable and resilient business in the long term.
  • Understanding and using your strengths can help with strategic decision-making, where you can outsource or avoid areas that are not your strong suits, focusing your energy where it counts the most.

For the best chance at success, it’s advantageous to find an intersection between your passions and strengths when creating a side hustle. This synergy allows you to enjoy what you’re doing while also providing outstanding offerings and services based on your competencies.

Where to Start with Online Learning

If you have decided that the online learning space plays to your strengths, and you have a validated topic niche, then there are several planning considerations. Today, we will focus on selecting a strong technology partner, and learning engagement recommendations.

For a more detailed discussion about getting started in online courses, check out the 8 Common Sense Steps to Creating Online Courses.

Selecting an Learning Technology Partner

To get started in online learning, one of the most important decisions you will make is partnering with a technology platform. Typically, these technologies are referred to as eLearning platforms, Learning Management Systems (LMS), or online learning marketplaces. At Network PD, we refer to ourselves as a Learning Experience Platform, mainly because learning doesn’t only occur by completing a course. We’d much prefer giving our instructors the freedom to create a variety of learning types for their customers.

Opting for an intuitive and user-friendly Learning Experience Platform should be at the top of your list. The right partner will offer a light weight and friendly solution, ensuring your time is spent on building content and managing learners. Oh, and of course taking care of other life matters. At the same time, be curious about payment models. When you are getting started and before you generate any income, you ideally want to limit the number of paid subsciptions. These costs can quickly add up!

Your technology partner will serve as the virtual classroom for your courses, so look for a learning experience platform with features which include the following:

  • Mobile compatibility
  • Easy content upload
  • Student engagement and communication tools
  • Ability to load resources like videos and attachments
  • Quizzes, assignments
  • Learner registration
  • Learner progress and performance grading
  • Integrations for online classes – like Zoom or Google Meet
  • Sound money management tools for revenue collection
  • Accessible customer support

Ideally, your selected technology partner should have a myriad of additional features. Many you won’t need on day one, however, some you may wish to use as you grow your offer. I am referring to features like content drips, customisable certificates, course prerequisites, and interactive Q&A.

Your technology platform should be a partner that not only matches your side hustle aspirations, but one that can grow with you.

Helpful Tools for Day One

Beyond a learning experience platform, there are a few other items which you may consider. Whilst not essential, you will certainly look more professional, and your content and presence will feel premium.

1. Teleprompter – When recording video content, having a script will help you clearly articulate your message. There are a number of iOS and Android apps which are available for a small investment. I recommend looking at Teleprompter For Video by Norton Five which has a user friendly interface, easy upload feature, and quality video recording capability. You can also perform basic editing, add music, logos, and transcripts.

2. Video Editing Software – Even the best speakers will need to undertake some editing. Not only are editing software platforms good for editing to achieve a succinct video, they usually have brilliant capabilities to add music, combine multiple videos (for presentations), add intro grabs of your branding, and a host of other features. I have had a positive experience using Canva. They also have a free trial, and the free membership includes a bunch of features.

3. Microphone – When delivering quality content, think about investing in a microphone. Quite often, you see content creators either investing in fixed microphones (like podcasters) or mobile microphones (attached to a shirt). Not only will you see a significant increase in audio clarity, but you will also increase listener engagement, reduce background noise, and support variations in voice nuance and expression.

4. Lighting – Good lighting supports visual clarity and helps learners to clearly engage your visual cues and other finer details, like facial expressions. Lighting also allows for consistency across your content, removing lighting barriers coming from uncontrollable weather conditions, or variances between day and night.

Types of Online Learning

The landscape of online learning is rich and varied, catering to various learning preferences and business models. When starting out creating and publishing online learning, we recommend looking towards the following options. As you become more confident, receive feedback, and mature through experience, you can certainly build on these.

eLearning Curriculum

eLearning Module

An eLearning module is a single, stand-alone unit of study, usually covering a specific topic or competency. Think of it as a chapter in a book. It’s designed to convey information in an interactive and engaging manner, incorporating multimedia elements like videos, animations, and quizzes to enrich the learning experience.

eLearning Course

An eLearning course is a series of lessons, activities, and assessments structured around a particular subject area. Courses are often developed to enable learners to gain a deeper understanding of a topic, develop specific skills or prepare for certifications. eLearning courses provide flexibility, allowing learners to proceed at their own pace and often giving them the capability to revisit content as needed. For the instructor, they offer a sound source for passive income, effectively productising one’s knowledge.


Becoming a tutor can be rewarding, both intellectually and financially. Establishing yourself as a private tutor not only allows you to share your expertise in your chosen subject area but also grants you the flexibility to set your own hours and rates, ensuring this side hustle integrates seamlessly with your lifestyle.

Virtual Events

Designing and hosting engaging virtual events are a versatile way to deliver online learning. Virtual events might be a webinar, workshop, classroom learning, panel discussion, or even a lunch and learn. It is a highly adaptable solution that can be delivered as a standalone activity, or a complimentary service to an eLearning course or tutoring efforts on topics. There are also many interactive benefits where people can learn from others and engage in conversation, depending on the format.

Coaching & Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring allow individuals to create meaningful connections, guiding others towards their goals while securing financial progress through their side hustle. There are several benefits to supporting others through their professional growth goals. It supports flexibility, scale, low overhead costs, and opportunities to network. Successful coaches and mentors build a brand and become an authority in their subject niche. Further, it is a great starting point to build from. Over time, offering online course work or events are a great way to scale.


The concept of a side hustle has never been more accessible nor more necessary for those seeking financial stability, personal fulfilment, or a means to explore new career avenues. The digital age has opened innumerable doors for entrepreneurs and freelancers alike, allowing the enterprising individual to tap into a global market from the comfort of their home.

If you are interested in beginning your online learning side hustle, register with Network PD for free below.

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