Weird Business #3: “How to Make Money Teaching Video Game Lessons”

Welcome to Friday! Today’s weird business is something for you big kids. I want to introduce you to Tom Taylor (no relation to this writer). Tom is a scrawny, 23 year old, high school dropout who earns six figures a year playing video games from his south Florida home. He’s considered a professional video gamer and throughout the year he participates in tournaments all over the world where the winners earn big paychecks.

In 2005 Tom started, a marketplace for Tom and other professional gamers to offer tutoring services to amateur players. The website bills itself as a place for gamers to get one-on-one time with a professional and the lessons are “in the spirit of golf and tennis instruction.”

Tutoring is done by phone or gaming headset, which means neither the instructor nor the student needs to leave their living room. Tom has earned a very diverse group of clients from college students to celebrities. He charges up to $65 an hour.

The business quickly earned a front page article in the Wall Street Journal, hundreds of new clients and a few competitors.

Want to Start Coaching?

Whether you are on the professional video game circuit or not, there may be some opportunities for you to start your own video game coaching service. A new website called Gamer Coach allows you to start selling your tutoring services to willing students all over the world. One of their featured students is a high school senior whose profile claims he earned $700 last week giving video game lessons.

It’s free to create a profile on Gamer Coach and you even have the ability to print promotional materials like business cards to give to prospective students. The website takes care of the payment processing and helps set up the tutoring appointment. They charge a 15% commission as the middle man.

While the website claims that you don’t have to be a video game expert to become a coach, it might be helpful if you can get past the first world on Mario.