How Can I Get More Students On Chess.com?
If getting people to pay you for advice was as simple as asking, everyone would be doing it! The same goes for chess coaches looking to develop their professional career. While Chess.com does provide the tools you need for teaching, we all know that being a successful coach with a large student base takes much more than just a place to call home for your lessons.
So what have we learned from our years of experience? This article lists a few things we observe many of the best, most popular chess coaches in the world as doing.
5 tips for getting more students on Chess.com:
1. Engage with members in online (and our) forums:
Along with probably Reddit, the forums on Chess.com are the most active chess-related threads in the world. There are hundreds of potential students looking for help! Asking each other what openings to play, when and why to break the rules of development, whether to focus their time on puzzles or endgames, giving each other bad advice back and forth -- and they're waiting for your experience and knowledge to help them.
So get in there! You're a chess coach (and maybe a titled player)! You have something to say, and if you make yourself a known presence, with solid information people can rely on, the next most obvious step is for them to send you a message and ask how much you charge for private instruction
2. Answer regularly asked questions by chess enthusiasts on social media:
Speaking of Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo Answers, Google+ and every other thriving social network on the planet, they all have popular chess pages, where interested, casual chess enthusiasts are engaging regularly, often asking each other advice similar to what you see in our forums. A savvy social media browser can use keyword searches to look for "chess" and see what's being talked about.
Give these "askers" links to your blogs that answer their questions! Maybe you have a video or two on the topic to share? Maybe you answered a question in a previous Chess.com forum thread that might be helpful here? All roads lead to Rome if you're active and looking for more students to provide helpful advice to.
3. Maintain a high quality, regular blog:
Whether you use Chess.com/Blogs as your home, Medium, your own WordPress site or any other blogging tool out there, if you're posting regularly (experts these days recommend quality over quantity, with one good blog a week) people will take notice. And so will search engines!
A well-written, helpful blog (meaning a blog is not a place to advertise, it's a place to provide something truly original, helpful, unique and valuable to your readers, so that they appreciate who you are and what you have to teach/say -- and therefore -- keep coming back each week to read) that answers commonly searched for questions will get tons of organic hits via Google searches, and if you do a great job with a blog here on Chess.com, you'll earn Top Blogger status and receive more advantages with us, reaching the world's largest chess community right here.
4. Get listed as an approved coach at Chess.com/coaches:
This one goes without saying, and was mentioned in the opening paragraph. Now that Chess.com has really tightened who we approve, this thumbs up from us can really go a long way towards helping you earn credibility on the chess streets!
5. Record videos (or stream?) the lessons you are most confident in teaching:
Every experienced chess coach has those "home run" lectures. For me, I really enjoyed teaching Rook Endgames and Isolated Queen Pawns when I first started working with Chess.com. Now, I look back at those videos and cringe at the sound quality and presentation (we've come so far!), but the quality of the content and ideas I delivered have stood the test of time, and members still thank me for this work that greatly helped their chess understanding.
You don't have to be a paid video author on Chess.com to do this! Think of the lessons you feel you're really good at explaining, and make a few, short videos on the topics for Twitch.TV or YouTube. Or become a streamer on Chess.com and show the world what you can do!
Have some other ideas? I'm sure you do! Leave a comment and let me know some other cool ways a chess professional can consider growing their student base! We really want to help improve the lives of chess professionals. Nothing is more important to me personally, as someone who considers himself truly lucky to get to "do chess" for a living!