Get Paid to Chat in English Online: 5 Easy Ways (2021)

graphic of stick guy getting paid to chat in english online

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You have a skill millions of people would pay to learn:

English.

If you’re a native speaker, it’s easier than ever to get paid to chat in English online. 

Platforms are cropping up all over the place to connect English speakers with foreigners who want to practice.

Best of all, it gives you ultimate flexibility. You work where you want, when you want — all you need is an internet connection.

So whether you’re looking for flexible travel jobs to top up your funds, a full-time work-from-home gig, or simply an easy side hustle to make an extra $50 a day — getting paid to have conversations in English is a great way to do it.

stick guy getting to video chat in english while traveling

How to get paid to have conversations in English

There are several ways you can chat in English and get paid, some more casual than others. 

The first is by being paid to chat. Like, literally just hop on a call (or text or video) and have a friendly conversation. You basically get paid to be an online friend.

The second is actually teaching English.

Teaching English online is a great way to earn, but it usually requires minor credentials. In this guide, we’ll focus on earning through casual chats, which have no requirements. This makes it one of the easiest freelance jobs for beginners.

To learn more about how to teach, see our guide on how to teach English online to adults.

stick man showing how to get paid to teach english online

Do you need a TEFL certification to get paid to chat in English?

Most platforms that offer casual chat in English do not require a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification.

That said, if you try out a few casual chats and enjoy it, it wouldn’t hurt to invest in a TEFL. Some TEFL courses are super affordable and can open up doors to higher-paying opportunities. 

It’ll also prepare you to answer any grammar-related questions that your chatting partners might have. (Like, Why do you say it’s a “big, red truck” and not a “red, big truck”?)

Remember, knowing how to speak a language is much different from knowing how to teach a language.

If you later decide teaching English is something you want to do full-time, you may want to invest in one of the top-rated courses (this is the one I took personally).

5 ways to get paid to chat in English online (no degree needed)

Many of the sites to get paid to chat in English have similar registration processes. 

When you create your profile for each one, add as much detail as possible to get matched with applicable jobs.

If you don’t want to wait for chat partners to find you, you can hunt for them. If you find an opportunity that interests you, send out a thoughtful application, letting your personality shine through. 

Once accepted, you can chat with customers via the platform’s interface and get paid for your Before signing up with any company, make sure to read their requirements. This is important. Some platforms require a minimum amount of hours per week, so be sure to know your availability before you commit.

1. Palfish

palfish homepage screenshot

Palfish is a mobile phone app that links English speakers with Chinese students.

There are a few distinct programs to choose from, depending on your education, nationality, qualifications, and experience.

If you’re looking for a way to make money chatting in English, the FreeTalk option is worth considering. You essentially participate in a conversation on whatever you or the students want to talk about. This is also the only option that doesn’t require you to have a TEFL certificate.

The FreeTalk program is very flexible. There are no minimum hours, you can set your rates, and create your own content. The other programs are a little stricter. 

Some of their teaching programs offer up to $17 per hour (plus bonuses). So, you’re not going to earn 6 figures, but it could certainly be a healthy side income.

To get started just apply to their program. Once accepted, you can start searching for clients.

For more information, check out our full Palfish review.

2. Cambly

cambly homepage screenshot

Cambly is an online tutor platform that connects English speakers with learners around the world. There are only three requirements:

  1. You must be a native English speaker.
  2. You must have a computer and wifi.
  3. You must have a PayPal account.

To get started, create an account, submit a quick video to test your camera and microphone, and then wait for acceptance as a tutor. It’s super simple.

Cambly offers the ultimate flexibility. You choose when and how often you work, but it should be when students are online. 

With Cambly, you’re paid $0.17 per minute, which equates to $10.20 per hour. Not bad for a casual chat with interesting people from around the world.

3. NiceTalk

NiceTalk homepage screenshot

NiceTalk is another mobile app-based platform that connects Chinese students with English speakers. It’s specifically designed for those fluent in English, particularly those who have a flair for teaching.

Their interface is easy to use, and the platform comes with a built-in video chat.

They have a few easy requirements:

  • A good internet speed consistently be above 300kbps
  • A compatible mobile phone (either Android or IOS)
  • A quiet environment
  • Fluency in English

You don’t need a TEFL certificate, but it is preferred.

Simply register with your email address and create a short interview video to apply to the program. Once you’re accepted, you can start accepting opportunities whenever you’re available. 

You’re paid by the minutes (equivalent to $10/hour), and payments are sent via PayPal.

4. Rent a Local Friend

Rent a Friend homepage screenshot

Rent a Local Friend is a unique and interesting way of getting paid to chat in English. It’s a platform where you can rent out your “friendship services” in your free time, or even for in-person meet-ups like birthdays, weddings, or other gatherings.

In many cases, these friend-renters are travelers interested in learning about your city and culture (in English). But other times, it just might be someone looking for companionship. In this case, you essentially get paid to talk to lonely people, which sounds kind of weird, but actually truly helps people. 

This can also be a great extra job for digital nomads and expats who have relocated to another country. Oftentimes, aspiring expats have tons of questions before moving to a new country, and you can charge for your knowledge. 

Your responsibilities are simple — chat in English about whatever topics pop up, and be friendly. You might end up playing games together, attending an online class, or even meeting up in person if you both want to.

There is a $100 membership fee to join, but depending on the services you offer, you could recoup this cost in a day or two talking to people.

5. Fiverr

screenshot of search on fiverr for english practice partners

Fiverr is a general freelancing marketplace where you can find clients who want to practice their English-speaking skills. 

People make money offering all sorts of services on Fiverr, from music lessons to web design — and everything in between.

To earn money chatting in English, you just need to create a profile, whip together your service package, publish it, and wait for clients to roll in. To jumpstart the process, you may want a couple friends to buy your services and leave good reviews. 

You get to decide the service you want to offer, whether that be a casual chat, tutoring, or more formal lessons.

You’re not required to have any specific qualifications or certificates, but the more convincing your profile, the more likely clients will reach out to you.

Fiverr isn’t the place to get rich (usually). But if you gain some momentum, you can have loads of clients knocking on your doorstep. And once you gain some traction, you can move off the platform and charge more.

To start, many freelancers price 30-minute chat sessions around $5. But again, if you can convince people to pay you higher rates, more power to you.

Tips to get paid to chat online

If you want to get paid to have conversations in English, there are a few things you can do to attract clients faster:

▶ Make sure your profile is as complete as possible. This shows clients and platforms they’re hiring someone serious about working with them.

▶ Update your profile regularly and tailor it to the type of work you’re applying for.

▶ Keep your schedule updated. This helps avoid missed appointments and double bookings.  

Next, be sure you’re confident in speaking English fluently, especially if English isn’t your first language.

There are several ways you can improve your English skills:

▶ Take a class at your local community college or adult education center and practice every day with friends, family members, or co-workers.

▶ Join an online group (such as on Facebook or forums) and find people who want to learn together and improve their speaking ability.

▶ Practice. The more conversations you have, the better you’ll be at chatting in English.

Lastly, it’s also worth improving your conversation skills. People won’t want to pay to talk to a robot that doesn’t know how to carry a conversation, so develop your listening and speaking skills.

▶ Make eye contact. This helps you stay focused and present in the conversation. 

▶ Don’t interrupt. This causes the conversation to be less fluid and makes it difficult for them to understand you clearly.

▶ Avoid using slang, idioms, and another informal language as much as possible (unless that’s what your client wants, of course). 

▶ Be yourself. Customers want an authentic experience so try not to put on an act. A conversation won’t be authentic if it’s forced. So relax and enjoy it.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get paid for speaking English?

Yes, you can get paid for speaking English. With many companies, you won’t even need experience, just a strong command of English and a desire to chat. Many people just need a partner to practice with, especially a native who can correct pronunciation.

Can I get paid to text chat in English?

Yes, you can get paid to text chat in English. Instead of earning per minute, text chatting generally pays per text message. Text chatting is less of a commitment than a phone or video call, and it allows clients to practice their English reading and writing skills.

Do I need to know another language to make money chatting in English?

You don’t need to know another language to get paid to chat in English. While it’s useful to be able to explain concepts in your client’s language, some prefer strictly English. This forces them to figure things out in English and not rely on their language as a crutch.

Mitch's Travel Recommendations:
Travel Planning Resources - Everything you need to plan your trip on one convenient page.
Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Skyscanner - Find cheap flights.
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Anytime Mailbox - Virtual mail service that can handle your mail while you’re away.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).

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