My Experience With Italki, Amazing Talker, Verbling & Preply
So, you may be thinking about working for a Create a profile type online school?
I recently did a bit of research, applying and working for a few of these platforms
This was my experience……
The first Create a profile type school I applied for was Italki, in hindsight, it seems to be the best platform with the largest variety of clients. It is also not completely focused on English tuition.
The application process was quick and easy, although I have heard that they can be quite selective so make sure you have a good intro video.
The strategy with all these companies is to go in low for the first few months, build up reviews and a solid reputation before increasing your price. I did this and by month three I had the number of classes I wanted at the rate I wanted $25-$30 p/h. The commission is 15%. I spend more than that on Ads when marketing directly to students so I feel that’s pretty fair.
Amazing Talker was the second school I applied to. I found their platform to be clunky compared with Italki’s. I passed the interview and onboarding process pretty fast. The commission structure depends on how many classes you teach. If you teach more than 180 hours in a month (45h per week) then you only pay around 7% but if you only do a couple of hours a week, you will be paying about 35% commission. They also encourage you to keep your rates low (below 17usd P/h) and are less likely to promote your profile if you charge more than that.
For that reason, I feel you can reach a higher rate faster with Italki than with Amazing Talker. I still teach some classes with them but I am not really happy with my current rate. I will see how it goes over time and keep it as a backup to Italki.
Although, I do know Teachers who are very successful on Amazing Talker. If you are willing to work lots of hours and spend time messaging students within the app to try and make them buy your course then you can do very well on this platform.
Verbling wasn’t hiring when I looked into it.
Preply made me edit my video three times to make sure there were no people in the background. I presented in front of my computer and there were some images of people on a digital textbook displayed on my monitor. I had to edit until every person was blurred out for the whole video. After spending days going back and forth and making changes, they ended up declining my application. I suspect it was because they already saw I had an account somewhere else or for some reason, I am not what they were looking for. I have heard that Preply really forces the Teachers to push their rates down low.
I didn’t really like the look of their commission structure anyway:
‘‘Preply takes a 100% commission fee of your first lesson payment with every new student. For all subsequent lessons, the commission varies from 33 to 18% and depends on the number of completed lesson hours with students. The more tutoring you do through Preply, the less commission you pay. When a student purchases their first hour with you, our commission will be 100% of its value.”
Overall, from my experience so far I would say that Italki is the better platform with the best UI and fairest commission structure and also seems to have higher quality clients.
Currently, about 40% of my classes are Via ITALKI, 20% through Amazing Talker, and 40% direct with the students.
Personally, I would prefer to have all my students via Italki as it means I don’t have to do any of my own marketing/ads plus the system for tracking classes, income, schedule & taking payments from my students makes life so much easier than having to do it myself.
My Introduction Video
Here is the Intro Video I use with these platforms, It has been quite effective. It is also the video I used with Preply, who for some reason rejected my application. As they rejected it after having me edit my video a few times (they told me, you just need to edit your video to be onboarded) and then rejected me later makes me suspect that they searched my name on Facebook/Other platforms first.
What has been your experience with create a profile schools
Comment below and ill get back to you.
If you are thinking of working for a Create a Profile Platform then this would be my advice
Apply to them all.
See which ones accept you and then create a stunning profile and intro video. Take a look at teachers who charge higher rates and see what their videos are like to get Ideas
Go in Low
I know it sucks to work for less than you expect but that’s just how these platforms work. When you join, you are unknown and are unlikely to be able to charge a high price
Start low $10 – $15 per hour and then after 2-3 months if you have lots of solid reviews and stats then start increasing your prices month by month
Write on your profile that you will be increasing your fees from June (for example) and that your current rates are discounted so that it isn’t a shock when your prices go up.
And finally, Freelance on the side. Start creating your own following on social media and build up your freelancer business on the side
Best of Luck
*Feel free to comment if you have any questions….
Thank you, for your kind advice.
Happy to help
But how much do you make altogether.. the truth is I bet it’s not enough to sustain yourself in the real western world. Once you come back to reality you’ll wish you had a back up plan, not have to fight over 15ph$ students while living in a hut somewhere in the boogies in Thailand.
Hi, Eva. Thanks for your concern. Online Teaching is only one of my income sources. I teach around 20 hours a week and I earn $2500-$3000 per month by Teaching. I could do 40 or even 60h a week if I wanted and make 2 or 3 times that. So you could comfortably live in the western world on just a Online Teaching Income if I wanted to. In fact I have a close friend who lives in the ‘the west’ and comfortably makes 3000 – 4000 GBP per month teaching on ITalki. He managed to build up his reputation and now charges $40 per class. Personally I would not want to live in the west though, I have lived in Thailand for 9 years and will most likely live here for the rest of my life. The reason I don’t teach 30.40.50 or more hours a week is because I have a brick and mortar business here in Thailand and I am also working on Other projects, including this website which is part of a UK registered business. I am involved in quite a few other projects too both here in Thailand and Online. I guess my backup plan, if I can no longer teach online and all my businesses fail would be to turn up in pretty much any city in Asia (soul, Tokyo, Bangkok, Saigon, ShenZhen, etc) and find a Teaching Job in a school/Language centre/Corporate Teaching position etc.
‘Once you Come back to reality’ – Asia is my Reality, not the west
I’m fairy certain I saw a video of yours when you said you only make less then 1,000$ a month, and couldn’t also afford the university you went too! Well, I’m not surprised to hear you say you earn 3000$ a month.. your friend also earning £3-4k is also very suspicious considering theres been a complete exodus of teachers working online the vast majority earn very little now.. I’m sure a few make some good money but most don’t. Online teaching has had it’s day and actually if you look ahead you should aim for that ba degree you were trying to get and also a licence. On a final note, Asia isn’t the reality though. Visa, change of policy.. could very much send you back to reality.
I am not sure what video you are referring to, but when I first started with Italki, I made less than 1000 per month exclusively from that platform. I make more than that now. check out my profile: ( http://www.italki.com/teacher/4045468 )I charge $25 – $30 per hour (depending on the course) and have all the hours I need. Italki only makes up around 40% of my Teaching Income. Most of the rest is through private students and I charge $28 – $35 for my private students.
My friend who I mentioned comfortably charges $45 per hour and more & has a full schedule through Italki: here is his profile ( https://www.italki.com/teacher/6512293 ) you can calculate his income if you wish by looking at his monthly taught hours and times that by his Hourly rate.
Regarding Online Teaching has had its day.
-For Teachers who want to earn $25 per hour dancing in front of kids for companies based in China. Those days are over. These kinds of teachers made up the majority of Online Teachers and yes those days no longer exist.
But for Teachers who are willing to Adapt, learn how to market themselves & move into Freelancing. The market is getting bigger every day.
Regarding: ‘On a final note, Asia isn’t the reality though. Visa, change of policy.. could very much send you back to reality.’
I am an Immigrant, living in Thailand so yes I am affected by visa policy changes. Do I think that there will come a time when there is no available visa for me? It’s unlikely but possible. I am currently on a marriage visa and that should be fine for the rest of my time here unless I decide to go down the permanent resident path or unless I get divorced. If a time does come when I am no longer able to stay in Thailand due to visa policies. Asia is bigger than Thailand. Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, HK, Taiwan, Korea, Japan. I have spent some time in a few of these countries and I feel I would be happy living in any one of them.
So there is really no way I would return to the west
With regards to my BA in Education, I completed that over a year ago. I actually transferred my credits from the Thai university to an Online European University to complete it as a B.ed instead of a BA with the University In Bangkok. But to be honest, I don’t think I will ever use it. ITs my backup plan for if all my Online projects fail and Online teaching is no longer an option (Unlikely). With a degree in Education I can turn up pretty much anywhere in Asia and find a Teaching position. There was never a point where I couldn’t afford the degree I was studying. Although 5 years ago there was a point where it got close, but that was more to do with reckless spending. I think you may be mistaking me for someone else who made a video? could you link me to the video you are referring to?
The truth of the matter is most native speakers nowadays are fighting over 10-15$ per hour jobs and certainly aren’t earning 2000-3000$ a month teaching online. In the future, more teachers will enter, continuing to over saturate the market and unless, like yourself, who is in the position of a website, a group etc, the average teacher is going to find it harder and harder to compete. I’m still on the stance that online teaching HAS had it’s day and it’s only going to get worse.. whether that will be NNES undercutting, or more and more actual qualified teachers teaching online in their spare time.
As for your qualifications, we both know how useful a Thai degree is, or should we say.. how useful an EDu education certificate is by a college that isn’t accredited in France and holds no weight outside in the real world or certainly wouldn’t be no good in the UK. So it would be much better like you said, not to bother using it…
Obviously you have your own agenda to push, and it was nice checking out your new website but for me.. and only prospective teachers.. I recommend not teaching online as a sole income, but rather as something part time while also gaining experience, skills and qualifications to enable yourself to go to qualify yourself for better schools. Because that’s exactly what I’m doing..
@Eva ‘The truth of the matter is most native speakers nowadays are fighting over 10-15$ per hour jobs and certainly aren’t earning 2000-3000$ ‘
– I agree, the teachers who earn more now either Freelance, work for small specialist companies or create a profile-type platforms. Before the China shut down the average rate was a little higher but it has been getting lower year after year.
It is hard to predict which way this market will go as as well as the number of students moving to Online learning is also Increasing. But yes, currently the market is saturated for teachers who want to be hired. Although the market for Teachers who have a few basic marketing skills is becoming more and more lucrative.
‘As for your qualifications, we both know how useful a Thai degree is, or should we say.. how useful an EDu education certificate is by a college that isn’t accredited in France and holds no weight outside in the real world or certainly wouldn’t be no good in the UK’
-An accredited Degree from a Thai university holds less weight than one from the west. Although, it is sufficient to make visa and qualification requirements to teach in 80% of the positions throughout the non-western world (Asia, The middle east, South America, Eastern Europe etc.)
-Thai Degrees have been used successfully for many years to gain access to Masters and PHD programs in The UK. The qualifications are recognized
-The French University you are referring to is accredited. The Rector of the Paris Academy, Rector of the Ile-de-France academic region has approved PARIS COLLEGE OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION as a higher education establishment. Therefore, Paris College of International Education is a higher education institution recognized by the Paris Academy as degree-granting. The Rectorate of the Paris Academy is under jurisdiction of the Ministry of National Education and Youth and Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.
-To verify PCIE, visit French Ministry of Higher Education Database and search Paris College of International Education.
This Degree has already been authenticated by recent Graduates(Teachers) at the French Embassy in both Bangkok and Soul, Korea. These Teachers had their visas approved and are working in Schools there.
So you shouldn’t make such accusations.
‘Obviously you have your own agenda to push, and it was nice checking out your new website but for me.. and only prospective teachers.. I recommend not teaching online as a sole income, but rather as something part time while also gaining experience, skills and qualifications to enable yourself to go to qualify yourself for better schools. Because that’s exactly what I’m doing..’
Thankyou for checking out my website. And thanks for your comments.
Your plan sounds good & many Teachers prefer to use Online Teaching as just a side gig and there is nothing wrong with that. Infact If you want to do it full time I would recommend starting off part time with as stable inhouse job to fall back on.
Personally, I have had enough Teaching directly for companies both online and offline. I Enjoy my location independence and totally flexible schedule as an Online Teacher who Freelances.
I love that I can move my schedule around when I want, & from hotels all around south east asia.
if you are a good teacher who is popular with students, with just a few marketing skills you can create a totally flexible and location-independent lifestyle.
In response to that French qualification. Actually, I was talking about accreditation in the West. I spoke with 3 universities in the UK. Leeds. Cardiff and also Nottingham. They all said the same thing. The program might be seen as legitimate but they wouldn’t accept me as a candidate using that course. So it’s not an accusation. That’s what I experienced.
Also, how come you say you are a FULLY qualified UK teacher on your italki intro? Do you have a UK teaching license? I didn’t see any mention on that on here, unless I’m mistaken. That’s all now. Good luck.
Well sure you are unlikely to get onto a Master’s Degree program at a UK RedBrick University in the UK but that has to do with that specific Universities entry requirements, But You also won’t get into a UK redbrick uni with a tier 3 UK Degree. You can however as the university mentioned that the degree Is legitimate be able to apply for Tier 2 and 3 UK universities.
getting a BA from Leeds Met, it would be very unlikely that you will be offered a place at The University of Leeds(A Red Brick Uni) of a Masters program lol
Same for getting an Online Degree with the Open University, PCIE etc It is also unlikely to lead to acceptance onto a Top tier UK university. But It could lead to masters Degrees programs at many 2md Tier Unis in the UK and around the world. (if you really wanted to do that)
In my profile, I state I am a fully Qualified Teacher from the UK. I have a B.ED and a TESOL, I am therefore fully qualified to Teach in most places around the world, including in language centers in the UK. To teach for a UK government or Private school I would need to gain a UK Teachers license. Although I would rather work in McDonalds in the UK than be a low paid slave teacher in a UK school ugh.
Your intro video is excellent so if they failed you on that then I have no idea what they want!
Thanks, I suspect they don’t like teachers who are on competitor platforms.