If you’re wondering how to teach English online and travel the world as a digital nomad then you’ve come to the right place. Alternatively if you are a looking to work from home then this is also the place for you.

I’m about to give away the biggest secret to how I manage to earn a large income without having to “go to work”.

Today I’m going to talk about some great platforms you can use to make money online as a teacher. Some of these you wont even need a degree for.

1. Palfish

This is the company i’ve been working for for over 2 years. There are two types of teaching you can do on palfish free talk and the official kids course. Freetalk is where you can log on and chat to adults (in English) and you get paid by the minuet. You decide how much you want your minutely rate to be. The second type of teaching and the one I do is The Official Kids Course. This is where all the lesson plans are pre-made, all you do is log onto the app and take the student through the slides on the screen, it even tells you what to say. I have whole blog post explaining exactly how to pass the Palfish interview! CLICK HERE to check it out.

Before we begin I just want to let you know that if you use my referral code: 23678281 you will get a free lifetime access to my Palfish tips and tricks. If you decide to use my code to join Palfish, check your Palfish messages for the passwords. As one of the fasted growing teachers on the platform I made ¥53,459.19 Chinese Yuan in two months. (That’s £6,199.91 or $7,533.44). 

UPDATE: Palfish messages are down for maintenance from 12th July- 27th July 2021. Please message me on instagram for the passwords to the extra tips. 

You won’t need a degree but you’ll need a TEFL, (I got mine from wowcher for £19). If you’re from the US or Canada you might be able to find a course on Groupon. I usually recommend the “International Open Academy 120 Hour” course as it comes with a certificate code. This is not an affiliate or sponsored, just friendly advice. It takes most people a week to complete but I have seen people complete it in a day.

In order to get paid you’ll need a Payoneer account. This is a very safe and simple way of getting paid. I’ve been paid on time every month for year that I’ve been teaching on Palfish. 

If you would like to get $25 for free when you make your first £1000, use this link: www.payoneer.com. That first £1000 will come around quickly if you have the time to put in. My first month on Palfish made me £740 and since then I’ve been working full time. (2020 update: I’m not only working part time as I’m travelling full time in my tiny home on wheels)

Join Palfish for free by clicking HERE

Here’s me teaching one of my regular students:

I talk about my Palfish experiences and showcase examples of some of the classes here on Instagram.

2. Magic Ears

Another great online teaching platform is Magic Ears. I would suggest trying out multiple teaching platforms to find your favourite! You can join for free by clicking: HERE

3. Cambly

This is one of the post popular online teaching platforms. I would say the most popular. You can join for free: HERE.

I’ll continue to add teaching platforms to this when I find good ones! I don’t want to recommend anything I wouldn’t use! 🙂

Wishing you safe (but exhilarating) adventures,

The Lost Girl

Click HERE for even more Palfish teaching tips.

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65 Responses

      • Hi Beth,

        Thanks for your great site and all of your helpfulness.

        Can I download the Palfish app via the Google Play store instead of going via the link you provided?
        I used to work in IT and I’m a bit dubious of installing an app on my phone which hasn’t been verified by the Play Store as being safe. If I side-load the Palfish app via your link there’s the risk it could be harvesting my personal data which I obviously don’t want!
        Can I still use your reference if I install the app via the Play Store?

        Thanks!
        Al

        • Hi! Thank you for reading and I’m glad it’s helpful! Yes you can! And then you can just pop in this referral code at the beginning or in your settings after downloading! Referral: 23678281
          That way I’ll be able to help you with anything and give you passwords to helpful information:)

          • Hi Beth,

            Thanks for replying. I’ve just bought a new ChromeOS laptop (Lenovo C13 Yoga Chromebook) and I’ve installed Palfish (Teacher). When I load it, it’s pops up the user agreement box but the writing is huge and there’s no button visible to click (everything appears oversized but is fitted in a small window).
            This has been another big problem on my journey to becoming a teacher!
            Please can you tell me what device you use to teach so I can get one that works and start teaching!

            Thanks for all your help!

            Al 🙂

          • Hi! Sorry for the late response. I havent heard of this problem before, but I do know that palfish is only an app and not available on desktop 🙂 Maybe you could do the initial set up on a mobile device 🙂 Let me know how that goes 🙂

        • Hey Beth!
          I came across your ticktock on how to teach English online when I was looking to reenter the workforce but dying for a life shift.
          Long story short, your story inspired me.
          I just got my TEFL and am looking to work with palfish.
          I read through  your “How To Teach English Online And Travel The World As A Digital Nomad” And was wondering how to access your other posts on the matter. The links in that article are password protected and the access code won’t allow me to take further steps . .

          Is it possible for me to view these?

          Please feel free to lmk if not

          Best wishes! ♡

          • Hi 🙂
            I’m so glad you have found the information helpful!
            You’ll find the passwords inside your palfish messages, let me know if you didn’t yet receive it 🙂

      • Usually on my iPad but if I have a long day I switch between the two so I can always have full battery 🙂

    • Hello! I found you on tik tok about the online teaching. I am in the US and I am not sure what the TEFL is and how to go about getting one. Also I tried using your access code for the tips and tricks and nothing shows up for me.

      • hiya! the code is for making a palfish account, from there you’ll get the passwords in the palfish messages 🙂
        As for the TEFL, I got mine on wowcher, but in the US I think you guys have Groupon 🙂 You can get it there and its an online course. Just search “TEFL” on wowcher or groupon 🙂

      • Hi,

        Thank you for answering my questions over TikTok. I have completed the TEFL and am all ready for my interview for Palfish tomorrow at 11am, any tips you might have would be so appreciated! I saw that they provide the slides, will this just pop up when it begins and you follow it through?

        • Hi! Goos luck with your interview! Make sure to check your palfish messages for the extra help pages 🙂 Make sure to wear a blue top and have some colourful things in the background 🙂

    • Hello- I’m very interested in making Palfish a possible part time job for me. My only concern is how this affects your taxes. Is this taxable income? I’m in the US so i don’t know what other examples to use as far as how other countries do things, but here when we are employed by a company we get IRS forms such as a W-2 or 1099 form that we have to file yearly… is this applicable for this job? Do I have to file on this? Can taxes be automatically taken out like as with “regular” jobs? Sorry if this is confusing, I’m just curious! Thanks for all the other information you’ve been a great help!

      • Hiya! Unfortunately I dont know much about tax in the US as I’m from the UK. How it works here is we register as self employed with HMRC. so maybe in the US there is something similar where you can register as self employed 🙂

  1. Hi Beth
    I’m thinking of doing a TEFL course. I’ve looked at wowcher and wondered if it is the 120 hr online course I should do?

    What happens if I am going away for a few days and can’t teach. Do I just put in my online diary that i am away (i’m assuming there is a diary for the hours i want to work)

    Thank you

    • Hi Lynda!

      So yes, the 120 hour one would be fine. I did a 160 hour because it happened to come with an extra qualification. However you only need the TEFL. As long as the certificate comes with a certificate number it will be perfect.

      So you can basically see three weeks of your schedule, and your students can book two weeks in advance. so you can sort everything out and work exactly the hours you want to work. I’m actually about to have a week off to visit my family so I just closed off my available slots. Its as simple as that 🙂

      I hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Thank you so much for replying so quickly. Maybe I’ll look at the 160 hr qualification.

        Being able to block off time is brilliant for me as I like to go away a lot and can’t always work.

        No more questions for the time being.

        Thanks again

        Lynda x

  2. Hi there

    Really enjoyed reading this and have not read such a thorough and honest post about teaching English online in a while.

    I’m keen to look into this! I have a quick question if you don’t mind though? I am of Irish decent and English is my mother tongue but I was born in South Africa and carry a South African passport. You mentioned that you need to be from UK, US etc. Will this matter if I am fluent in English and hold a Master of philosophy degree in Environmental Law that was taught in English at university? I am traveling at the moment and would like to fill my time with fulfilling online work.

    Thank you!

    Justine

    • Hi Justine!

      Thanks for the kind words about my blog, I’m glad that you enjoyed reading and fond it useful.
      South African is the confusing one as I know that a while ago Palfish were accepting South African passport holders a place on the official kids course. I’m not sure if that is still the case. I would assume that you would have luck still doing the Freetalk classes however.

      I think the best thing that you could do (if you have the TEFL) is to try downloading the app and giving it a go. Theres no harm in trying. I personally got my TEFL from wowcher for £20 so no need to break the bank for these kinds of certificates.

      Another possible thing you could do (before investing in a TEFL) is get in touch with Palfish on their official Facebook page and message them asking about your situation. They will be able to let you know about your passport and application! This way you’ll know right away and wont need to waste any time on an application that might fail.

      Best of luck with everything and let me know how it goes 🙂 x

  3. Am from Uganda and would like to try out this opportunity though I don’t have TEFL, Will this work out for me??

    • Palfish unfortunately only accepts people from: US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand for the kids course.
      I hope you do find the online work you’re looking for! 🙂

    • Hey, thanks for all the info. Im trying to sign up, but after I put my number in and press sign up it wont take me to the next page?

  4. Hi Beth
    FINALLY, I’ve gotten my TEFL! I’m ready to get started! I clicked on how to pass the interview and the page doesn’t open. Is there a specific order I have to go through to apply? Maybe it doesn’t open because I haven’t signed up for Palfish or Payoneer? I ready to apply, but I want to see the tips for interview page.

  5. Hi again!
    I’m going through your entire blog concerning teaching. One of your links directed me to the App Store. I don’t read Chinese, so I don’t know where to begin to download the app. I don’t think I can continue the application process, watch your interview tip video or anything else until I download the app.
    HELP!

    • Hi! Yes I also dont read Chinese but I assure you this is the correct link. I know its very confusing as there are two apps, one for the students and a separate one for teachers. If its a link from my blog post, its safe and used by many people.

      just use the app downloading method you usually use for other apps 🙂

      I really hope this helps!

      Once you have logged onto Palfish you will receive passwords to the hidden tips page and you’ll be able to see an example video of the interview 🙂

      I’m happy to help!

  6. Hi! I am so interested! I hope you find the time to answer these questions. Do you have to have an apple/mac device to use the app? I am from California living in Spain. Fluent in both languages. I am really hoping I can make this work for me but I have a PC and android. Thanks for the help. So appreciated.

    • Hi! 🙂 You can use any mobile or tablet device, it wont work on any laptop. I’m also living in Spain, isn’t it lovely! You only need the English language for Palfish.

    • Hi, very interesting info thank you for sharing, I only understand, speak and write English, struggle learning other languages wouldn’t even know hi in Chinese, is it possible to do this job in my case? Or do i need some basic language?
      Thank you

      • Hi, you dont need to be able to speak any Chinese. I don’t speak Chinese at all. They like the speaking to be only in English.

  7. Hi! Thanks for this useful blogpost !
    I was wondering if that works for non-native English speakers as well? ( or maybe they do the same for French?? )
    I’m a French-Canadian but I learned English through traveling.

    Also, you don’t need any degree to do that? I just have my high school diploma.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi! thanks for reading! sometimes palfish take on non-native speakers for FreeTalk, but it’s not guaranteed. I have heard that Tandem App can be good for non-native English speakers but I dont have much information about that as I haven’t used it before. Hope this helps!

  8. Hi Beth,

    I wondered what devices do you use to teach? Are you using an apple ipad and apple iphone? I’ve had problems with the Palfish app on ChromeOS (like Android) laptop. I thought it would work but maybe not.
    Can you let me know the models of the devices you use please so I can get something that works! 🙂

    Thank you
    Al 🙂

    • Hi 🙂
      I use my phone or tablet to teach 🙂
      I have an iPhone but there are many teachers do use android phones and tablets 🙂
      Palfish is an app only and doesn’t work on any laptop as there is no desktop version 🙂

      • Thanks for the info Beth. I’ll get a different device to teach – probably an iPad Air so it’s got a good size screen!

        Thanks again and I look forward to starting!

        Best Wishes
        Al 🙂

  9. Bonjour Beth 🙂
    Thank you for all these advices.
    I am French but speak English fluently. Please, do you know any other similar opportunity for non-native speaker ? Or to teach any other language than English?
    Have a lovely day,
    Pauline

    • Hi 🙂
      I’m so sorry but I don’t really know about many opportunities for non-native speakers 🙁 Maybe try Tandem? I think you can apply to be an online teacher there 🙂

  10. Hi! I’m just wondering how many hours a week you usually work? Or how many hours a week you suggest to work to make it worth it or how much to be able to use it as your full time income? Thank you!! 🙂

    • Hi! It really varies for me! I was working 40 hours a week on palfish, but since moving into the van with my boyfriend (who also works for palfish) we cant teach at the same time in such a small space, so we have to take turns. but you can choose the times you want to work.

  11. Hi, I am currently a university student and am looking into doing this along side my studies, is this a good thing to be doing for flexibility? For example possible a few evenings a week and every odd weekend, and then during my holidays which would have much more free time – or do they look for more structure? Thanks in advance! X

    • Hi,
      I think it could be really good as long as you do kind of the same time each week. You can get classes flexibly but regular students will be more inclined to book with you if they can book the same time each week 🙂

  12. Hi Beth
    Can you teach English via typing rather than speaking on the phone or is it verbal only?
    Thank you.
    Jamie

  13. Hi Beth,

    Thanks so much for all the incredible info on such a unique way of working! So excited to get back into teaching in a way that can be fitted in around my schedule and travelling once allowed again. I’ve done my TEFL and signed up to palfish using your referral code but can’t seem to find the password that will allow me to access your how to pass the interview article and the hints and tips in my messages?

    Many thanks
    Hannah

    • Hi! glad you’ve found the information helpful 🙂
      Did you check your palfish messages? Let me know if you didnt get the passwords. You can go into your palfish setting and see who the inviter is, if it says “teacher beth” message me and I’ll send the passwords over 🙂

  14. Hi!

    I registered with your code and I still haven’t received any messages with the passcodes. Should I be worried? How can I obtain the password?

    • Hi! have you checked your palfish messages? Please let me know. if you go into your palfish settings you should be able to see who the inviter is 🙂 If it says “Teacher Beth” then messages me on palfish so I can send them to you 🙂 xx

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About Me

Hi! I am Beth Johnstone, a travel journalist and photographer.

I began travelling in 2014 with what I thought would be a short holiday. I’ve now been travelling around the world full time for five years, taking photographs, writing about the places I’ve been and immersing myself in new cultures.

I am passionate about capturing the whole experience not just with images, but with words too. My blog is a positive place where I welcome readers to learn about the best places to stay, along with tips and advice on long term travel.

“Stop waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life. Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in now.”