Karen Berlin Ishii, One-to-One Test Prep for the ACT and SAT in New York and via Skype
Teaching online is not much different from teaching in person, but it does help to have an outsize personality and the ability to project across the medium. If you are teaching a subject that requires a lot of written or other visual explanations, you need to explore various options for interactive communication. As a test prep tutor, I've found Skype to be ideal: everyone has it, it has a chat function so that you can type notes for your student, you can share screens, easily share files or URLs – and for diagrams that don't lend themselves as easily to typed notes, such as math equations, nothing beats a dark, fat tip magic marker or Sharpie on paper, held up to the camera. It's old-school, but it works great without time lag or excess bandwidth concern.
The first challenge, though, is reaching your potential students. How can you access prospective students? The easiest way is to work for a tutoring company. You'll build experience and enjoy the luxury of getting paid while not having to spend three quarters of your time promoting yourself! The downside is that the company will pocket the lion's share of what the students pay. When you are ready to hang up your own shingle, though, you'll have built solid experience, confidence and familiarity with the market and your client base. All the usual promotional techniques apply to online teaching, and using the Web to reach out is a perfect match for your service. There are many free or nearly free sites to market your services, such as craigslist.org and thumbtack.com, for starters. Once you have a website, you'll be open for business.