Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Teacher Side Hustles: Ways Teachers can Earn an Extra Income

We all know that depending on where you teach, salaries for teachers can be pretty sad. I was personally affected when my husband recieved orders to Colorado from Louisiana. In Louisiana I was by no means rolling in dough but the cost of living allowed us to live a comfortable life. Moving to Colorado shook all of that up, with a lower salary for myself combined with a higher cost of living and the military's Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) didn't even match the high cost of living in our new home state. Prior to relocating to Colorado, I crafted for fun, had a Teachers Pay Teachers store that I wasn't consistent with, and was just starting to get into blogging. All of those things brought in a little money but it was nothing to brag about or depend on from month to month. Living in Colorado has made me turn my side hustle into an art. I currently use my money that I make from my side hustle activities to pay my student loans each month, treat my kiddos to some extra activities, fund all of my gift giving, and fund my crafting habit. Below you'll find some of the things that I have found very lucrative. All of these things may not be a good fit for you but if you are looking to supplement your teacher income or maybe you are in a different profession, I have ideas to help you find your niche.

Most educators are familiar with Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT). TpT is the go-to place for educators to find tons of resources, knowledge, and inspiration to implement in their classrooms. They offer more than 3 million free and paid resources, created by educators who understand what works in the classroom.

I created my TpT Store in 2012 with a few free resources and some that were $2 or less. I was not serious about my store. I mainly bought resources from others and did not do a very good job of uploading resources to my store. In 2016, after moving to Colorado I became a premium seller. I made the leap because I started to upload more resources and was starting to see higher deposits each month for TpT. My goal now is to match my teacher take home monthly salary. Some of the top sellers make over $5,000 per month which was a great motivation to get serious about my TpT store. There is a monthly pay out.  Premium Sellers receive 80% of sales and basic Seller receives 55% of sales. TpT provides residual income because you create the digital resource, upload it, and it can be downloaded repeatedly by teachers all over. To become a premium seller the cost is $59.95 per year. Once I surpassed that in sellers as a basic seller, I saw a benefit to upgrade to a premium seller.

I have a step by step course that will help you get your store up and running with some amazing tips and a guide to use along the way. The course is set to launch March 22. Sign up here, https://mrswelchknows.teachable.com.

If you are interested in the free mini course, sign up here and you will be contacted when the course is available for you to start.

Amazon Ignite connects educational content creators with Amazon customers. You can sell your teaching resources as digital downloads. It’s free to join but by invitation only, so you'll need to apply here. It is similar to Teachers Pay Teacher but it's 100% FREE. You earn a 70% royalty on all sales unless products are under $2.99, then they'll deduct a $0.30 transaction fee per resource sold.

Another positive is that since all the content is reviewed to help protect the rights of creators and originality, if your products are posted to the Amazon platform they are considered high quality and original.

Etsy is a global online marketplace, where people come together to make, sell, buy, and collect unique items with a no cost set up based on your market. I have sold everything from physical items to digital downloads. I've bought everything from clothing to craft supplies to images/cut files.

Etsy takes a percentage of each sell and you are charged a fee for each item that is listed for sell. You can have several Etsy shops if you'd like to have different niches or one store with multiple categories. I love Etsy for it's unique market and the fact that there are built in customers since you are listing on a marketplace. 

With anything that you choose to sell you'll need to do some research. Choose a niche, who is your target audience? Decide on your product, what are you selling? No cost/low maintenance items include anything that can be downloaded and uploaded digitally. You do not have to worry about shipping or creating an item by a certain deadline unless you are providing custom digital downloads. Other ideas include stickers, shirts, iron on transfers, party supplies, hand made clothing, decor, jewelry, body products, sew items, knitted items, art, reselling thrifted items, etc. There are probably items that I haven't even began to think of that can be sold on Etsy. I currently receive a few shirt orders per month and the profit is pretty nice. Check out Etsy or start your own shop today, https://etsy.me/39Onm47.

I met this amazing entrepreneur with a dope soul and passion to teach others who introduced me to https://kdp.amazon.com/. She taught me how to create unique journal and book covers as well as pushed me with challenges to keep me producing so that I would get that shmoney. She started with no content/low content templates that can be downloaded then went on to give information on finding a niche that works and more about writing novels and short stories. With self publishing on amazon there is no upfront cost but a percentage of each sale is deducted before you receive a deposit at the end of the month. The Amazon Market is so large that many people will see what you have to offer and there is no limit for the customers that you will receive. Check out my journals and books here. My first book, Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Conquering Teacher Burnout, is available here.

To begin your own journal/self publishing journey check out my friend, Cinquanta:

There are many ways to make money blogging. The few ways I've made money are with sponsored blog post, affiliated links in my blog posts, and blogging about my resources with links to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

With sponsored posts, I've been approached to write blog posts for a set amount of money. I'm given a list of talking points, a post date, and any additional instructions such as promoting on social media, etc. Affiliated links are a little different. You can sign up for affiliate programs, put the links on your blog then every time the link is clicked on, you'll receive money. There is usually a threshold you must reach before you get a deposit. I am apart of the Amazon affiliate program but there are tons of others out there that may fit your niche if you are looking to monetize your blog. You can also use your blog to sell your personal items that others may find useful. You can show how the item is useful and offer a portion of your product for free and if they like it, they are likely to buy the full version.

I'm still learning myself and trying to better understand SEO, keywords, and such to make my own blog more lucrative. Check out my Pinterest board on blogging: https://pin.it/gktnxiatphljkw

I was able to take an online course by Suzi Whitford in her Teachable.com school, https://startamomblog.teachable.com/.

This could have actually gone under many of the other categories such as Etsy, Shirt Business, and many of the other ideas but I decided to put it in an area of it's own because you can sell on official platforms or create your own. There are so many things that you can create with having a cutting machine. I have a Cricut but there are others on the market.

With a craft cutting machine you can make many unique items to sell. I currently sell birthday banners, shirts, cards, labels, stickers, party signs, cake/cupcake toppers, custom bags, treat bags, gift boxes, custom cups/mugs, diaper cakes, and more.

I sell my items on my Facebook Page, Instagram Page, and on Facebook Marketplace. If you have holiday items, they do really well and should be posted about a month before the holiday to get the word out.

This can be done in many different ways. I used my Cricut to start my t-shirt business, Mrs. Welch Creates, but I've recently been introduced to dropshipping. I love that you upload the design and just press a button to initiate production and shipment of your item. The profit margin is smaller but you are doing less work. There are more avenues for running your shirt business.

  • Cut Vinyl and Press: Create or buy a design cut it out and press it on a shirt with heat.
  • Order Transfers and Press: Order your design from a transfer business and press it on a shirt with heat.
  • Dropshipping: Upload your design, sell the item, then pay for production and shipping.
Stay tuned for an online course that is in the works for starting our own shirt business.

There are some companies out there. I found my home with Albert.io. I found this company on Linkedin and it was an amazing find. You are paid for each question published and there are bonus opportunities. When I search for these opportunities I usually include "remote", "content writer", and the the subject area. Last year, I made about $1,875 and only wrote test questions over the summer of 2019.

Podcasts are trending and you could jump in on the action. If you have something to talk about that is worth listening to, start a podcast. There's money in sponsorship, commercials, and paid ads. My podcast is a work in progress because I do more planning than necessary and sometimes you just have to get started which is not always my strong suit.

Check out my Pinterest board on starting a Podcast: https://pin.it/ehc6hqahkvq56h

My podcast: anchor.fm/welchteachertalk

People use Youtube for so many different things from learning to entertainment. My own children sit and watch other children opening toys and playing video games for as long as I will let them.  This proves that there's a market for any and everything. As an educator there are probably a plethora of topics you can have a channel on whether education related or not.
  • Crafts
  • Class Organization Ideas
  • Makeup Tutorials
  • Vlog
  • Tutorial
  • Learning Topic
  • Shop with Me
  • Wardrobe
  • Haul
  • Review Videos
  • Skits
  • Reading Short Stories
  • Educational Based
  • Beauty Based
  • Kid Friendly
Comment below additional ideas that you may have.

Check out my Pinterest board on starting a Youtube Channel: https://www.pinterest.com/MrsWelchKnows/youtube-channel/

My Girls' Channel: http://bit.ly/DaniandSky

Are you an expert on a certain topic? You can share your gift with the world. There are several platforms but I use Teachable.com but I'm considering exploring other platforms. You can create an interactive experience, allow students to navigate on their own, or have drip content that release each week, day, etc.

If you opt not to list on a marketplace, you can open your own online store. There are many platforms for starting an online store. You are able to sell what you want without a percentage based fee but these platform require a monthly fee.

  • Shopify
  • SquareUp
  • Squarespace
  • Weebly
  • Big Cartel
  • 3dcart
  • Wix
  • Ecwid

  • Baking for Profit
  • Ghostwriter
  • Teach English Online
  • Online Surveys
  • Freelance Writer
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Sell on Amazon
  • Graphic Design
  • Tutoring
  • Flip Items for Money
  • Shop for Others
  • Shop with Ebates
  • Design Websites
  • Ride Share Driver
  • Food Delivery
  • Babysit over Breaks
  • Social Media Influencer
  • Develop an App
  • License your Photos
  • Flip Domains for Profit

Until Next Time,


  1. Great read! As a teacher, I see the importance of finding a secondary passive income source. I promote entrepreneurship to my students heavily, and try to lead by example. I hope others find inspiration from this post to do the same!

    1. Thank you for reading. I can totally see this as an inspiration to promote entrepreneurship among students. Do you your school have classes or clubs for entrepreneurship among students?

  2. Subhe eLearning provides one of the best ux design course online in India with studio-recorded videos and live workshops and cohort-based practical oriented pedagogy with dedicated mentorship. Subhe provides learning from industry experts ux designer in india and mentors along with One-to-One Sessions, practical learning, placements training and 100% internship placements.
    Also, check out our other courses:
    Graphic design and video editing courses
    Photoshop tutorials in hindi
    digital marketing course