Given the growing consumer trend of using apps for fitness, meditation, yoga, and exercise, I often get asked: “how to make money online as a yoga teacher?” If your dream is to work a remote job as a yoga teacher, there are ways to make a full-time living online. Yoga teachers can make 6+ figures annually teaching online by selling private classes, video courses, and workshops.
So, how to make money online as a yoga teacher? To make money online as a yoga teacher, you have to develop an online following, purchase video equipment, and begin selling online classes. Purchase video equipment such as DSLRs, green-screens, lenses, tripods & lights to create online video courses for yoga enthusiasts.
Teaching online gives you the ability to stay on top of your personal life while earning a full-time income. This guide will show you how to establish yourself as a yoga teacher online and get your first few yoga students. Instead of rushing from studio to studio, you’ll be able to spread your yogic wisdom from the comfort of your home.
Benefits Of Teaching Yoga Online
The most successful yoga teachers not only own their yoga studios, but they continually develop video courses, webinars, and retreats that they sell to clients.
You can make online teaching your primary source of income or supplement your current teaching with online classes. If you wish to grow your income and maximize your potential as a teacher, you can start by teaching online.
You won’t just be teaching yoga enthusiasts, but you can exclusively focus on online teacher training, which can be very lucrative as well.
The following are the main benefits of teaching yoga online:
✔ Massive Reach: 55M Americans Practice Yoga
Yoga revenues expect to surpass $11B/year in 2020 in the US. Currently, there are over 55M Americans practicing yoga, and most of them practice at home. This trend opens you up to a vast ever-growing market of students. The yoga industry is so big that you can choose minor niches, such a teacher training, within the industry, and still make a sizable income.
The number of practitioners doubled since 2008, when only 25M Americans claimed they practiced yoga. There are now thousands of yoga studios in every part of the country, and this creates an opportunity for online courses and new teaching styles as the general population is familiar with the benefits of yoga.
The best way to get a foothold in the industry is to start offering your services online. The fact that you are not limited to your local community for business, but you can attract students from all over the world means you can expect to earn a higher income.
Based on current growth patterns, the industry will double within the next five years, and it’s still possible to get in early for online yoga teachers. There are many “niches” in which you can specialize.
Example: Many older adults are interested in yoga as it helps them relieve pain and become more flexible. If you specialize in elderly yoga, you can teach people who are 60+ entirely online.
✔ Flexibility In Work
What’s better than having flexibility and choice when you’re teaching? If you work in different yoga studios, you have to follow pre-established schedules. You will rarely get the shifts you want to teach and will have to accept classes based on demand.
At home, you never have to worry about commute times or following rigid schedules. You can develop your timing and host everything on your platform. Why teach 1-hour classes when you can host short 20-minute sessions and train people on your terms?
There are few restrictions when you’re teaching from home, and you only have to ensure the quality of your teaching is up to par with the industry standard. You can choose practice areas, set any background you want, and teach in any style of choice. All you have to do is start streaming your classes to paid groups of students (more on this later).
Want to help students individually get over their hurdles? Start charging for 30-minute private sessions. You can make it so that every minute of your day counts by occupying yourself 100% with teaching instead of shifting between studios. Doing so increases your revenue and gives you flexibility in terms of teaching style. One minute you could teach 100-student classes and another you could be helping a private student.
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✔ Extra Teaching Income
Most yogis make $15-20/hour in their first few years teaching at a yoga studio. However, most of these yogis could make the same income (or more!) teaching online as they do in the yoga studio.
With the flexibility that teaching online provides, you can even work your online teaching schedule around your in-person teaching schedule ‒ making it even easier to earn supplemental income.
3 Steps To Making Money Online As A Yoga Teacher
I provide a 3-step process that you can use to get yourself established online in as little as a few months.
The first step shows you how to develop an online following on your website and social media. Developing an online following gives you access to a broad audience that you can start charging for classes.
The second step shows you how to buy video equipment you need for live-streaming and course-production purposes. The equipment will allow you to put yourself out there.
The third step shows you the most profitable ways to make an income by selling your classes and promoting your courses online.
Make Money Online As A Yoga Teacher Step # 1) Develop An Online Following
The first step on your journey to make money online as a yoga teacher is to develop a following online. This step includes building foundational elements such as websites, social media fan pages, joining online yoga marketplaces, and more. In the future, you’ll have to develop courses, and host workshops, which is why building the foundation is the most crucial step.
You don’t have to be a tech expert to do this, and your regular social media could suffice. However, if you keep using your current accounts, you will have to convert your social media profile to a business profile to attract paid students and get additional analytics. Once you’ve built up the foundation, you can start making money online by adding courses, selling memberships, private classes, workshops, merchandise, and more.
NOTE: I have written a complete guide on how to grow your yoga business. Review the guide to understand the basic strategies used to grow a brick and mortar yoga business.
Building A Website
The website is a crucial component of your web following. You need a site where you can gather all your followers from other social media platforms and publish content related to your teaching. If you’re selling classes online, you’ll have to build a website that can accept PayPal/credit card payments from students and sign them up for your classes.
NOTE: With yoga studio software like StudioGrowth, you can create beautiful pages where you can sell memberships to your courses and online classes and take online payments (debit/credit cards, Paypal).
The website and backend panel is where teachers usually sell yoga classes. The website is your home on the internet. It displays everything about your teaching style and what you have to offer and is your marketing brochure. Once you’ve built up a website, you can connect your Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media accounts.
To build a website, you can use basic hosting services such as Wix or purchase a domain and hosting from services like NameCheap. You can have them install a WordPress theme for you and manage the website from a simple backend where you can add pages, blog posts, subscription services, and more.
The website has to contain an “About Me” section that shows who you are, what your experience in yoga is, how much you charge, etc. You want it to be navigable and straightforward – this way, new people who don’t know you can find out about you. Hire a designer to make the theme navigable and make sure there is information about paid classes, schedules, private classes, workshops, and merchandise.
Creating An Online Following Using Your Website
Now that you have a basic website, it’s time to build an online following using your site. Treat your website as a marketing brochure where you can send people if they want to learn more about you and your services.
You can use paid advertising (Facebook, Google, Instagram) to send people to your website. The initial purpose of sending people to your website should be to collect their emails so that you can start building a relationship with them.
Once you have their email id, you can send them content regularly, teaching them about yoga and giving them insightful tips. Over time a small percentage of these people will become your paid customers.
The longer but highly effective way of building a following from your website is SEO (search engine optimization) and content marketing. This process involves producing useful content on your blog that will, over time, attract users organically from search engines.
In short, paid advertising and SEO, coupled with email marketing, are the tried and tested methods of creating a following using your website. You can use tools such as Mailchimp, Convertkit, or Sendinblue for your email marketing needs.
NOTE: StudioGrowth comes with pre-built email templates and sequences you can use to engage the people who sign up to your email list on your website. If you need a simple autoresponder and not a complex email marketing tool, then StudioGrowth is the way to go.
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Online Course Hosting Platforms
In today’s world, you don’t need a website if you have another place where you have a strong following online, for example, on social media. You can funnel your followers to an online course platform where you host your video courses and collect online payments.
Some of the online course platforms you can use are Teachable, Thinkific, and Kajabi. These platforms give you all the tools you need to host your online courses, sell courses, and manage your customers and members.
Social Media Presence
Social media is one of the best ways to build a following for a yoga teacher.
Start by registering on all popular social media platforms and try to use similar usernames for them, whether it’s your name or company name. You need to sign up to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and potentially less popular services such as Snapchat, Tik Tok, and Pinterest. These services will give you the exposure you need without spending a nickel.
You can start building your following organically, but the first step is to sign up and follow people. Once you’ve made a few posts, you can start following people who already follow yoga pages in your area and build a targeted following.
NOTE: I have written a complete guide on Instagram marketing for yoga studios. Use the guide, and you will be able to create a strong following on Instagram.
Growing A Following Using Social Media
Encourage your students to follow you on social media and grow your presence. Post free tutorial videos on YouTube explaining basic yoga techniques and link them to your other social media profiles. This process might take up to a year to build a substantial following. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t build up thousands of followers in your first month.
Grow your followers gradually and NEVER pay bots to increase your followers and view counts artificially. People will catch on to this eventually. What you need is to be consistent with posting engaging content and communicate with your followers. Spread the content out evenly between multiple channels.
If you’re getting lots of views on YouTube, make sure to post quality content on Instagram too. If you’re getting lots of followers on Instagram but neglecting your other social media accounts, you need to pay attention and even them out. Social media algorithms change, and if your entire business model depends on one platform, you could lose your whole business in a single algorithm change.
Pro Tip: The fastest way to get attention on social media is to stream live videos. Here’s an example: on Instagram, once you go “Live,” the app sends a notification to all your followers that you’re going live that moment. This notification gives you immediate attention from hundreds of followers on your list.
Create Following On Online Yoga Marketplaces
Today online yoga marketplaces are sprouting up all across the globe. The consumer trend currently is to use apps to exercise, meditate, and do yoga at home at their convenience.
This trend has led to the massive popularity of online yoga apps like Glo and Gaia. As a yoga teacher, you can sign up to teach on these marketplaces. However, such marketplaces tend to work with a limited number of teachers.
If you are lucky enough to partner with one of these marketplaces, you will be able to grow your following successfully. However, in this guide, I will show you how you can use free streaming platforms and other tools to create your courses and sell them to your clients.
Make Money Online As A Yoga Teacher Step # 2) Purchase Video Equipment
To earn a living online as a yoga teacher, you need to produce and sell content and offer online classes. This content can be in the form of e-books, membership forums, and more popularly in the form of videos.
You can produce course videos and stream classes on your iPhone, but everyone who takes their work thoughtfully invests in essential video equipment. To start with, you only need the necessary equipment: a DSLR camera, a green screen, lights, tripods, and video editing software.
- Video equipment requires a minimal investment: $1000 in total or less.
Video equipment will allow you to record class videos (for YouTube or paid courses), hold seminars online, and engage with students over live streaming. It might take some time to learn the ropes, but if you’re dedicated, you can learn everything on your own by watching tutorials and engaging with other content creators.
Average Cost: $100-200
The Green Screen, also known as the “Back Drop,” is a green cloth that hangs behind you and covers the background. This screen allows you to record yourself, edit the videos, and add a backdrop of choice during post-processing.
The green screen typically hangs in the studio area where you record your videos, but it’s easy to carry around and makes it convenient to shoot videos everywhere. With a green screen, you could remove the distracting background of your surroundings and replace it with a suitable backdrop to focus attention on you.
Green screens can be used for live streaming purposes too. Video editing software picks up on the green area in the background and automatically focuses on the subject (you!). At the same time, it streams the video and changes the green space to appear as an actual background elsewhere. You can customize your video courses and pick out any ideal background, such as forests, beaches, cityscapes, temples, and more.
The green screen is essential for all video-production purposes, and most teachers use it while they’re recording video courses. If you plan to develop webinars, live-teaching events, YouTube tutorials, or anything else, you will need a green screen. You can purchase them for $100-200 each.
Average Cost: $500-1000
The DSLR camera is a professional camera that can output video similar in quality to professional television crews. Most cameras now feature 4K recording technology with lots of adjustment options for photography and video production.
- You can spend as much as $50,000 on a RED video camera, but DSLRs used by influential YouTubers and similar tend to cost $500-1000 on average.
- The new iPhones have fantastic recording technology, but to get that crisp video that looks amazing even when the end-user is watching it in low quality, you need to buy a dedicated camera.
Pro Tip: Invest in 2 powerful DSLR cameras. This way, you can shoot the video from two separate angles and make it more professional. One camera can focus on you as the teacher, and the other can capture the class, creating a wholesome class feeling for viewers.
Canon, Sony & Panasonic-made DSLRs used to dominate the video-production market. They outpaced Nikon in terms of video quality, which was a photography-focused company. Nowadays, most DSLRs have comparable video quality.
Panasonic Lumix is known for producing high-quality 4K videos comparable to Hollywood cameras, and their DSLR bodies cost less than $1000 on the used market. If you want to get the absolute best, look no further than the Sony A7 series. Sony A7’s receive massive praise for their low-light functionality, which allows them to capture exceptional video in low-light settings.
DSLRs such as the Canon 70D are some of the most legendary DSLRs for YouTube tutorial production despite being outdated by a few years, and they only cost $400-500 on the used market. YouTube channels with millions of views keep using DSLRs in this price category.
Average Cost: $100-200
Lenses are essential for every DSLR camera because they’re the “eye” of the camera – the round glass that sticks out at the front. You can remove lenses from the main body, and most DSLRs come without lenses, which you have to purchase separately. Certain cameras come with kit lenses, which are standard 18-55 lenses.
If you have a small aperture lens, you will be able to capture a wider-angle recording. For example, if you shift your 18-55 lens down to the 18, you will capture a wider area of the room. If you change the same lens to 55 aperture, it will zoom in on a select area.
There are lenses you can purchase separately, which only shoot at a pre-set aperture.
Example: You can purchase 10-aperture lenses for a wide-angle recording of a room. A widely popular lens is the 55 lens, which tends to cost $100-150 but provides high-quality video for DSLRs.
Pro Tip: Lenses only work with the camera body of the respective company that manufactured them. If you buy Canon lenses, they will only work on Canon DSLR bodies (unless you purchase an adapter to connect it to Nikon bodies, which could lead to compromising quality). Make sure to buy the camera body first and then buy lenses.
Point & Shoot Cameras
Average Cost: $150-300
Point & Shoot cameras are tiny cameras that offer a similar capability to DSLRs, but they come in a pocket-sized camera body. These cameras are also known as “Compact Cameras” due to their small size.
Point & Shoot cameras are not frequently used for commercial video production because the quality is not high-grade, but the new ones tend to offer decent video quality. If you want to save some money, you can purchase a basic point & shoot cameras that can fit in your pocket and also record 4K.
To make sure the quality of your point & shoot camera will be similar to that of DSLRs, you should stick to cameras produced by Canon, Sony, and Fujifilm.
Example: Iconic video-production point & shoots include the Canon G7X Mark ii, Sony RX100VII and Fujifilm X100F. These cameras can supplement your primary DSLR camera and allow you to get multiple angles while you record your yoga classes.
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Lights & Tripods
Average Cost: $100-200
To supplement your DSLRs and green screens, you need essential accessories such as a tripod and some LED lights. You can purchase them on the cheap for less than $100 each, and you can even get kits that include everything at once on Amazon. Tripods are essential for stabilizing the footage because if you record by hand, your footage could appear to be shaky.
Stabilization is a requirement to produce professional videos. The best way to get a tripod is to hop on eBay or Amazon and look for tripods for your camera model. If you have a Canon T6i, you can type in “Canon T6i tripod” on eBay, and you’ll find numerous tripods for as low as $30.
- You can place the tripod in a corner, strap the DSLR, and record your classes that way. They’re also essential when you’re recording at home and need to stabilize it so you can shoot with the green screen.
LED lights are also essential for a home video production environment. Do you notice how, when you take a selfie on your phone, it looks better outdoors than indoors? This fact is because when you are outside, the light is shining directly on your face, and cameras take better photos when the subject is well-lit.
If you ever experience a professional model photoshoot, you’ll notice lights are pointed directly at the person. They increase the quality of the image and set the tone of the picture. You can purchase large light kits for as little as $100-200 and equip your entire home studio.
Pro Tip: No one does lighting better than nature! Shoot videos in rooms where you have lots of natural light in the place. Doing so will drastically improve the quality of your footage.
Average Cost: $100-200
To edit your videos and prepare your courses, you will need a video editor where you can load up the raw footage and edit it by compiling the clips, adding text, changing backgrounds, and adding music. This process is the final step of the video production process.
There are free & paid video editors for Macs and Windows. If you’re a Mac user, you can use the default iMovie program to edit your videos for free. The most popular video editor for Macs is Final Cut X, and the software costs $299 for a full license.
Final Cut X provides unlimited tracks for professional video editing with everything you need to produce high-end video courses. For Windows, Adobe Premiere is the dominant video-editor for professionals. You can subscribe to Adobe Premiere for as little as $20/month.
Pro Tip: Professional video editors might get overwhelming (and expensive!) for beginners. Try using simple mobile editors as a start.
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Make Money Online As A Yoga Teacher Step # 3) Start Selling Classes
You have created your website, driven traffic to it, and created an email list. You have also generated a social media following. Next, you have bought video equipment and created a yoga course to sell online. The final step in the puzzle is to start selling the courses, tutorials, and classes that you have created online.
To understand how to sell your yoga courses online and earn a living, you can imitate other successful teachers and look at their teaching style. Once you’ve purchased the video equipment, you’ll have the ability to shoot your classes and deliver lessons online.
If you see a yoga teacher successfully selling a 7-day course on beginner yoga, you could develop something similar and sell it on your website. If you notice teachers charging to attend yoga live-streams for 30 minutes, you could do the same with your video equipment. Here are some of the best ways to start making money online from your yoga courses.
Streaming & Teaching Apps
The first step to selling classes is to sign up for streaming apps and services that allow you to stream your classes to an audience or teach private lessons.
There are several yoga specific online course marketplaces such as Glo and YogaAnytime. Yoga specific marketplaces are excellent platforms for you to begin teaching online.
Most online streaming apps are free and popular. YouTube is the main and obvious one. YouTube allows you to go “Live” and immediately stream your classes to a large audience who will get notified if they subscribe to your channel.
You can use Youtube to build an audience and use Patreon to give access to course videos and unique content to supporters who pay a monthly fee.
For private classes where you charge students, you need Skype or Google Hangouts, where you can video chat with the student and teach lessons online.
It’s best to upload your video courses on streaming services such as Vimeo or YouTube, where you can mark them as private and embed them on your website. Vimeo offers a private embedding solution for $60 a year.
I recommend avoiding all the complexities by using a platform like Thikific or Teachable, where you can not only host your videos but also take online payments and manage subscriptions.
Group & Private Classes
You need to know how much your teaching is worth and decide what you’re going to charge students before you go online. Are you going to focus on short group segments where you teach students over live-stream and charge $5-10 per student? Are you going to teach privately in 30-minute sessions and charge the student $20 per session?
You should decide on a price-plan and develop your catalog to sell classes. Typically teachers who work online host multiple group classes over live-stream and engage with students who can ask them questions.
You can do this over Instagram by opening a private account for students and meeting up with students a few times each day. They can also ask you questions over the stream directly.
Be honest & upfront about pricing. The students should be able to find out how much it costs to book a session with you directly over social media and your website. You should also have payment options ready in advance, such as PayPal or credit cards that allow them to sign up per class.
Separate your free content from your paid “premium” content. Example: A strategy could be to release a series of videos for free on YouTube and then to charge for an advance course that teaches them advanced yoga.
Host Online Workshops/Retreats
It’s possible to host monthly workshops where you charge $150-300 per student and keep them engaged online. These workshops have to be creative and present new challenges for students. Online workshops are similar to video courses, but the main difference is that the teacher engages with students and keeps track of their progress.
Upon successful completion, students receive a certificate that they completed the workshop. Before you host your workshop online, attend a few workshops held by other yoga teachers. You’ll notice how they engage with you and what you need to do on your website.
To get students to sign up, you have to invent something creative that resonates with you.
Let’s say you are helping students struggling with weight loss or bad habits. You can make the purpose of your workshop a 30-day yoga to counter X habit. You don’t have to pre-produce the videos, and you can upload new ones daily right after you record them. Make the students follow along and help them drop their bad habits.
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Sell Video Courses
Video courses tend to be the most profitable for yoga teachers because they make an income for the teacher, where the pay is not dependent on direct interaction with the students.
You can charge as much as $2000 for a video course that teaches certain aspects of yoga. To develop a video course, you only need to string together a series of videos teaching a particular method.
Think of video courses as playlists but for video. Technically you don’t have to pre-plan your video courses and write scripts. You can simply record classes you have with students over seven days and sell them as 7-day courses for $299. Then you can sell private class upgrades for $99 and have a video call with students for 30 minutes.
Again, use platforms like Thinkific or Teachable to sell your courses. If you wish to use your website to sell your courses, use a member management plugin like Memberpress.
Look up some top yoga teachers and emulate their video courses. To gain traction, you should upload free video courses on websites with wide audiences such as YouTube and link them to your website where you sell paid video courses.
On YouTube, you could focus on short 2-3 minute clips with catchy titles that attract a lot of attention. You can link your videos to your extensive video course guides where you make the bulk of your income. If your videos get enough views, you will get ad revenue from YouTube, which can further boost your online earnings.
Once you’ve successfully developed a following through social media, workshops, and video courses, you should follow that up by developing merchandise. Merchandise can be simple T-shirts or hoodies with your logos/emblems or merchandise that has yoga quotes.
You can contact t-shirt retailers and have them deliver t-shirts in bulk. If you only pay $3 per t-shirt and sell the shirts for $20 each, you can add significant income to your bottom-line every month. Create an online shop where people can order merchandise directly. Doing so increases the credibility of your website and establishes you as an influential person in the yoga industry.
Making money online as a yoga teacher isn’t easy – but it’s perfectly doable. And if you’re willing to put the time into building an audience, establishing a web presence, and creating high-quality content, you’ll find earning a living online teaching yoga enables you to earn a great living and live a genuinely remarkable lifestyle.
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About the author
Naz Ahm is the founder of StudioGrowth and has spent a decade growing start-ups and venture-backed companies. He writes about sales, marketing, and growth, especially in the yoga, fitness and wellness industry.
Naz has an MBA from IESE Business School and started his journey in the wellness industry when he set-up an on-demand wellness business. Naz currently resides in London, U.K.