Location-Independent Side Hustles for Aspiring Digital Nomads & Others Pt. 1

I hope your Saturday is off to a good start! This post is the beginning of many…detailing ways I’m making money while building passive income. It’s important to note in 2021, it’s no longer possible to depend on one job. What happens when they cut your salary or fire you and BELIEVE ME…it will happen. It’s no longer possible to graduate from university, find a job, work 30 years, and then retire. It’s not 1975. You must know how to adapt quickly and be one step ahead of the game.

Please note, I cannot in good conscience recommend this job as a dependable career choice. ESL (English as a Second Language) tutoring is a changing industry. However, it’s possible to make a living from doing this while you pursue your true passions IF you live in a country where the cost of living is inexpensive. Still, I wouldn’t feel safe having this as my only source of income.

Cambly, Inc.

-Accepts native and non-native tutors-
-Requires a laptop and headset-
-Degree & TEFL are not required-
-They are not ageists.-
-$10.20/an hour (0.17 cents a minute) for adults-
-$12/an hour (0.20 cents a minute) for kids-
Eh, not so bad.

I started with Cambly about seven months ago because my hours with Palfish were dwindling due to an unfair complaint from a tiger mom. You see… I screamed because a snake came into my living room while I was in the middle of teaching on Palfish. Apparently, I was suppose to continue teaching her bratty child even if an apocalypse was happening outside. So…she filed a complaint against me. Ugh. Can we be f***king human beings please? A SNAKE CAME INTO MY FREAKING LIVING ROOM, LADY! Sorry guys, I got off topic, but that really pissed me off. Island life…Okay, back to Cambly…

Cambly (referral link) is a tutoring company based out of the USA. They connect students from all over the world with native English speakers. I’ll start with the things I don’t like, things I like, and how you should view this job.

Things I don’t like….

  1. The pay sucks…it’s $10.20 per hour or 0.17 cents per minute. If you choose to teach the kiddies, the pay jumps up to $12 per hour or 0.20 cents per minute. They do offer bonuses from time to time if you take on super busy hours. I’m not gonna lie…It was very humbling to revert back to the pay I was making over twenty years ago. WHERE DID I GO WRONG IN LIFE???? However, if you’ve recently been downsized by your company and need a quick and easy job to do while you look for/pursue something better then this is it.
  2. People can call you for an hour conversation or a five minute conversation. The five minute trial students are not my cup of tea. None have turned into regular students and some are prank callers. Not disturbing prank calls, but hanging up and calling back. You can block these callers on Cambly though!
  3. You need a stable internet connection and it can only be done from your laptop. You can’t do this job from your tablet or phone. I highly recommend using an ethernet cable to connect directly to your modem. If the student is experiencing any technical issues, then suggest they close all other applications. Cambly works best on it’s own. This goes for you too.
  4. Cambly got back to me after a week. I heard it can take up to a month or longer for others. They will not employ more teachers than needed to ensure everyone gets a good amount of students. I guess this really isn’t a bad thing, but keep this in mind if you don’t hear back from them right away. You can also follow up with them.

Things I like…

  1. Flexibility. This job offers a lot of flexibility. You can literally work from ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. There will always be students 24/7. I found this really appealing as I transitioned from teaching Chinese kids during specific hours each day. Plus, you can be online all day if you want and pick up calls if you plan to be home! There are no required hours. You can choose to work two hours one week and then forty hours the next. It’s up to you! Their cancellation policy is lenient. You don’t have to grovel to someone to get time off. Feel like taking a few weeks off? Do it! If you’re feeling sick right before a class, you may cancel it. Don’t form the habit of it though or you will be temporarily blocked from receiving future students.
  2. You are not forced to teach students you don’t like. If you’re getting a weird vibe or simply don’t mesh well then you’re not required to teach that student. This company cares about your safety as a tutor. I once cut a call short and blocked a student because they had their camera off and there was moaning! Um…no. You don’t have to tolerate this b.s. You’ll have an option to block these types entirely from Cambly.
  3. The students. I was pleasantly surprised by how delightful my adult students were! An example of some of my regulars include a Korean nurse living in NYC, a Saudi engineer, and an Egyptian primary teacher! It’s a sobering thought to see we are all truly the same. It’s a great way to expand your mind and learn about different cultures. Especially if your mobility is restricted because of a lockdown. This job helped me get through some hard times. I love and have the greatest respect for all my students!
  4. You don’t need a degree or teaching certification to join Cambly! You also don’t have to be a native speaker! Keep in mind, your level of English must be excellent though because you’ll be competing with native speakers. If given the choice between a native speaker and a non-native speaker, the native speakers get the majority of students. I’ll just be honest about that. You also have the option of teaching your first language! Do you also want to tutor in Russian? Spanish? Do it!
  5. Truly a job for everyone. If you’re 18, fresh out of high school, and planning a backpacking trip once the pandemic is over then this might be a good way to have a continual stream of pocket money to fund your adventure. This also works if you are looking to supplement your current income. If you’re retired and your children barely speak to you because they’re far away, then Cambly is a great way to socialize. This company loves conversationalists! Don’t worry if you’re not feeling very sociable. Cambly also has materials you can choose to follow which require no preparation.
  6. THEY PAY WEEKLY!!!!! Okay, so the pay isn’t great. There’s literally NO PREPARATION NEEDED and it’s super flexible. This job is not meant to be your main source of income. They pay through Paypal. As of today, I haven’t had any problems receiving my full pay. I think it’s cool you don’t have to wait a month to receive your money.
  7. Cambly is a U.S. company and here to stay. Once Palfish (ESL teaching platform based in China) cut our pay by over 40%; I refused to work with them anymore. Yeah, yeah, I understand the Chinese government recently implemented drastic changes to the online teaching industry. Still, the motherducking CEOs of Palfish didn’t take a pay cut! They can go suck a limp noodle as far as I’m concerned. Plus, Palfish went about the pay cut in a very unprofessional manner with barely any notice. Cambly students come from all over the world, so there will be a steady supply of work for you.
  8. They’re an equal opportunity employer. Unlike some discriminatory companies from South Korea and China, Cambly does not discriminate at all.

How you should view this job…

Don’t make a career of this or become too dependent on this income. Some days you’ll have a full schedule and on other days a few students. If your rating is over 4.75 then you’ll more than likely have a full schedule. As a new student, they’ll promote you for the first month or so. It took me a few weeks to get some regulars.

View this job as a learning experience. It’s a way to build better conversation skills and learn about other cultures. Think of it as an internship and then the pay won’t sting as much. I appreciate Cambly for what it is. It will help set up my life in Istanbul while I increase my time spent blogging and learning digital marketing.

When this island went under a strict lockdown and all my friends went back home, the students of Cambly helped me remain the bubbly person I am. Depression is something which runs in my family and having human interaction, on a daily basis, makes me happier.

My friend’s mother is doing this job for fun and she’s 78 years old! I know of someone else who works with Cambly because the online teaching industry in China is collapsing. She was quickly accepted and uses this job as a means to earn money while she builds her brand.

I hope you found this helpful! I get a little money if you use my link to sign up and it will be a big help in these trying times. As of right now (may change in the future), they are offering to pay you a bonus of $10 after completing 10 hours on Cambly Kids. I also get a bonus of $10 once you do this, so it’s a win! Every little bit helps.

Here’s the link: Cambly.

Type your questions below and let me know if you sign up and need additional help! I can offer tips on how to make the perfect introduction video! I’ll introduce another location-independent job this month!

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