Hello Online English Teachers!
The title of this article is a tough question. Post why? There are many things to consider when you are pricing your live online English lessons by using Skype.
Are you only conducting English conversations (thus you do not have to prepare much)? Are you teaching varying levels of grammar, vocabulary, and how much time did you put into making the lessons? How long are your sessions? Do you use a textbook? Do you give homework and grade it outside of your scheduled English lessons? How much experience and certification do you have? Are you marketing to only one specific country or to the world?
It makes sense that the more time you put into the preparation, the more you should charge for your online English lessons. So how much is too much? How much is too little? These two questions are darn near impossible to answer, especially when you teach on a global scale!
Some countries will think 20 bucks an hour is outrageous! How dare you teach English online for that much!
But then some countries will feel guilty because they are taking advantage of your cheap prices. I actually had a student from a well-to-do country in Europe, and at one point she told me she felt guilty about paying so little for a package she had bought (she paid 500 dollars). She still bought it, but how many prospective students from her country saw my prices and thought, "Wow! Those are too cheap; there must be something wrong. Those cheap prices are too good to be true."
It's a balancing act! You want to find the most amount of students at the highest price possible.
I used to sell my lessons based on a "point system." 2 points would buy a student one conversation, and 2.5 points would buy one "Power Lesson" which is everything else (vocabulary, American slang, grammar, listening, pronunciation, or a specially designed lesson). The more points they bought at once, the better deal they got.
I believe 20 to 25 dollars for 50 minutes is a good price to attract most countries, but for those countries who are used to paying a truck-load (like 40 to 60 dollars an hour), I've done something kind of interesting.
I priced my original amount between 40 to 50 dollars per lesson, but then I heavily discounted it (by 50% or more). I did this so countries like Japan would see the original price and (perhaps subconsciously) attach value to it because the price was "high and respectable."
Now when they see your discounted prices on your online English school, they will feel like they're getting a bargain (they like to go bargain shopping … or as they say in Japan, I go to shopping.). Also, since the prices are for a limited time, and they might go up soon, this puts a "sense of urgency" into their minds: "I must buy it now if I want that great deal. It will double in price soon! "
You should constantly experiment with prices every two or three weeks to find the "sweet spot." Good luck! I hope this article helps you on how to teach English online and get money.