Grow with Angie and April: A Podcast for Teacherpreneurs
Summary: Join us biweekly as we open up our collaborative conversations with each other. During these sessions, we'll discuss selling on Teachers Pay Teachers, marketing techniques, and ways to save time/stay sane!
2019 is quickly coming which has us thinking about product lines for the new year. So, April and I decided to chat about the strategies that we use for promoting our new products and product lines. We both worked on trying new things this year and have had great results. Here are our favorite, and most successful, strategies: You want to build hype before you release products April and I both admit that we used to stay quiet about the products we were working on. We were worried if we mentioned it someone else would swoop in and steal the idea. But, I’ll be honest—getting your audience excited about what you’re going to be releasing can really help. In the past, it would take 6 months to a year for our new products to really start gaining traffic. But, it’s because we were just posting them to our TpT sites and leaving it at that. It’s good to get traffic eventually, but that’s not what you want when you’ve spent time on a product line. Some of the things that I released this year were year-long resources that took me a year to work on. I wanted them to do well right off the bat. That means uploading the resource and hoping for the best wasn’t going to cut it. Survey your audience April has experienced a lot of success with surveying her audience before creating resources. There are a few ways that she’s done this. The first is by sending a survey to her email list. For example, she created a 5 question survey and asked what standards her audience was interested in. When she got the results back she started making resources for the top 3 replies. By surveying her audience she knows that she’s creating resources that her audience wants to buy. It also helps with the opposite. In one survey she had a list of ideas that she was thinking of creating and asked what people were interested in. A few of the ideas didn’t get any votes. If she would have created them, there wouldn’t have been interest in them and it would have been a waste of her time. Here are a few examples of questions that she has asked: Which of these options would you prefer… Digital vs. print What standards do you want to see included? You can use Survey Monkey to create a free survey to start getting ideas from your audience. Once you have the product or product line ready to go you can email them with the link. You already know they’re interested in it because they told you in the first place. Do you need to entice your audience to respond to a survey? April has done a drawing for a gift card as a way to entice people to complete the survey but found that it wasn’t necessary. When she polls her audience on what they are looking for they want to give their opinions because it means that products will be created that they are interested in. This is motivation enough. Discounting products Another strategy that we like is offering a discount on products for a limited time. For example, you offer 1/2 off for the first 48 hours. If you let all your followers know about the discount it’s a great way to get a jump start on traffic to your new resource. I also like this strategy because it helps to get some quick sales and feedback. Then when people show up to your site there are reviews from people that have already purchased it and love it. Another way to benefit from this strategy is to include a link for people to join your email list if they like the product so they can be notified when the next one comes out. April used this idea and around 10% of the people joined her list, which was around 500 people. She made around 30 products in this resource line. Each time she released one she was able to notify this list and they bought the products. Provide a sneak peek Another strategy that I like to use is providing a sn
We’ve made it to the final episode of our blogging series! We’ve already covered the Blogger vs. WordPress debate and SEO strategy. Blogging is a highly effective way to grow your TpT business. That’s why we’ve been working to answer some of the most common questions about starting and running a blog. Our series is ending after today, but we’d love to keep the blogging conversation7 going with you. Join us over at our Facebook page www.growwithusmastermind.com . It’s a great place to get support and advice when you are struggling to build your Teacher Pay Teachers businesses. Some links in this post are affiliate links. We appreciate your support of the podcast! Ok, we know there are some of you that are glad this series is coming to an end because you just don’t want to buy into the idea that running a blog could help you grow your business. Angie and I completely understand. But, we have a little proof to help convince you that it’s worth your effort. Angie’s recent success If you’ve been following along with our series then you know that Angie has struggled with keeping up with her blog. She’s been open about it in the podcast. She’s had her website up for years but has only had a few posts on it. Well with the recent blogging challenge that we ran in the Facebook group she was motivated to get consistent with her blog posts. She posted a few times over the summer, once in September, and twice in October. Her goal is to shoot for two posts each month and to focus on making them high-quality and valuable to the reader. Wait until you hear what happened! Month to month comparison April: 4,000 pageviews 250 clicks to TpT store October: 21,000 pageviews 3,200 clicks to TpT store If you’ve been saying that blogging can’t really impact your TpT store just look again. The numbers don’t lie. As Angie has gotten more consistent with posting on her site her numbers are going up. She had around an 1180% increase in the number of clicks that she got to her TpT store from her website. Her blog is now her second highest referral to her store. Obviously, these results are super exciting and helping motivate her to want to stay consistent. Where her traffic came from While Angie did have several old posts on her blog the vast majority of her traffic from October came from her new posts. She shared a Halloween post that included some freebies and showcased the other resources that she had. She’s working to mix evergreen content (blog posts that are always useful) with seasonal and trending topics. Angie is great at being active on social media. So, once she had her posts she shared them on her Facebook page and set them up on Tailwind. She had high engagement with her post on Facebook and the clicks were higher than anything she had experienced before on her page. She also received a lot of traffic from Pinterest. Angie likes to create five different pins for each blog post pulling out different pieces of the blog to connect to. Why blogging works We’ve touched on this in some other posts, but will touch on it quickly here. Blogging works because it helps to show that you are an expert on what you are talking about. It’s one thing for teachers to find your store and locate a resource that might help them, it’s a whole other thing for them to find a blog you wrot
We’re on to round 2 of our blogging series! Blogging is something most of us know we should be doing, but struggle to stay on top of. There are so many questions such as “what platform should I use?” and “how often do I need to blog?”. We are going to address these questions throughout our series, but join us in our Facebook group www.growwithusmastermind.com to start the conversation now. It’s also a great place to get support and advice when you are struggling to build your Teacher Pay Teachers businesses. I think there is one thing that more bloggers new and old seem to have questions about over anything else—SEO! We know it’s important, but it seems so overwhelming to figure out what we need to do. Just in case you aren’t familiar with the acronym yet, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s what gets your website, webpage, or blog post to show up in the search engine results. A little of what we discussed on the podcast could apply to your TpT store, but what we’re really focused on is your blog/website. Introducing our guest We were super excited to have Noelle Pickering from Maneuvering the Middle on the podcast to share SEO tips and strategy. Noelle started her first blog years ago when it seemed everyone was being pushed into starting one. However, she only had a few posts up. She didn’t start to take it seriously until she spent time checking out what other industries and niches were doing. She thinks, and April and I agree, that the education niche can tend to be behind the times a little. In 2015 once she followed other blogs, like food blogs, she got the inspiration she needed to fully commit and make a long-term investment into it. She committed to writing regular blog posts, spending the money she needed to on design, and really making it work. Noelle mentioned something I think is worth focusing on for a minute. Any time you are investing, with your time or money, into something to grow your TpT business it’s worth giving it your all. This applies to building your email list, creating a newsletter, switching to WordPress, and everything else. If you are investing in it then you need to really commit to doing it well. Best SEO tips and strategies 1. Create high-quality content This has been brought up before on our podcast but it comes in to play once again. You need to post quality content on your site. If you are just throwing up blog posts for the sake of it then it’s going to end up hurting your SEO because it’s not going to be valuable to your reader. Before you worry about any other SEO strategies make sure you are focused on this. Noelle found that this is the #1 thing that you can do in the eyes of Google. The search engine wants to deliver the most valuable answers as fast and as accurately as possible. If your site meets the needs of what readers are looking for and they stay on your site reading then it lets Google know that your page is a high-quality page. It also helps build your authority with your reader. 2. Choose the right topics and keywords Keywords are always something that comes up when talking about SEO. Keywords are simply the words that you are focusing on in your blog post or on your webpage that your target audience is going to be looking for. They are the words that you are trying to rank for on your page or post. We are going to go further into keywords later in this post. 3. Keep readers on your site This goes along with creating high-quality content. Google and other search engines are looking at things like your bounce rate and how long readers are staying on your site to determine if it should be showing up in the search engines. The longer reade
Blogger or WordPress? That is the question! We promised that a Blogging series was on the way, and here it is! Blogging is something most of us know we should be doing, but struggle to stay on top of. There are so many questions such as “what platform should I use?” and “how often do I need to blog?”. We are going to address these questions throughout our series, but join us in our Facebook group www.growwithusmastermind.com to start the conversation now. It’s also a great place to get support and advice when you are struggling to build your Teacher Pay Teachers businesses. Ok, get ready everyone. Today we are addressing the popular debate: Blogger vs WordPress. We were a little nervous to record this episode of our podcast because we’ve witnessed this debate get a little heated between Blogger fans and WordPress fans. But, the bottom line is there is no one-size fits all solution. We were excited to have Danielle Knight from Study All Knight join us for this conversation. Danielle has used both platforms over the years. She was originally coming on as our Blogger expert, but actually just completed a relaunch on WordPress. She has a lot of knowledge on both and shared why she recently decided it was time to jump back over to WordPress. The pressure to switch to WordPress If you have had a website for any length of time and aren’t using WordPress you have probably felt the pressure to switch at one time or another. It seems that everyone is being pushed over to that platform, but there usually isn’t a lot of explanation given as to why you should switch. The truth is, we don’t think everyone needs to be on WordPress. For some of you, Blogger is going to better. For others, WordPress is going to be what you need to accomplish your blogging goals. It truly depends on what you want from your blog. What we are using on our own blogs Angie and I both use WordPress on our own blogs as well as on the Grow With Us website. We made this decision because there are a few things that we want to accomplish on our blogs that are easier to do using WordPress. While we might be able to do some of these things on Blogger it would require hiring a designer to do the work for us or having to find a workaround. But, we’ll dive more into that later. Angie actually found Blogger to be a little confusing to use but knows that there are plenty of people that have had the exact opposite experience.
Being a teacherpreneur comes with challenges. Do you ever struggle with feeling like a failure because you failed to meet the goals you set for yourself? Or, maybe your sales have dropped from this time last year? If so, you aren’t alone. Join us in our Facebook group www.growwithusmastermind.com after checking out this podcast. It’s a great place to get support and advice when you are struggling to build your Teacher Pay Teachers businesses. We’ll be honest. We want you all to think that we are awesome sellers and that things always go our way. But, that’s just not true. We’ve had failures and flops. We have times when our sales drop. It happens to the best of us. And, we have found that it really helps us to talk to each other during these times. It’s a good reminder that we aren’t alone and it isn’t just happening to us, but it’s something that everyone experiences from time to time. We thought if this is something that we struggle with at times there’s a good chance you do as well. So, we are addressing it in our podcast. We don’t want you to feel alone. Rough times happen to everyone We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make sure that our numbers are always increasing. And, at times we experience an intense feeling of failure when that doesn’t happen. It can be frustrating because sometimes it seems like people online are saying things like, “My sales are always up. If your sales are down just run a Facebook ad.” But, that’s not always the way it works. Honestly, that USUALLY isn’t the way it works. Sometimes we just need to give ourselves a break. Life happens, babies are born, the holidays come along, and all sorts of other things that steal our time and attention away from our business. When the twins were born things slowed down for April. They were born in June and when the following January rolled around there was a drop in sales that really made her nervous. She had to sit down and reevaluate things. It’s important to remember that dips don’t always happen immediately. It can take months for changes to show. Something you are doing right now or not doing right now could be the reason your sales go up or down six months from now. That’s why it’s all about being consistent in what you are doing to keep moving forward. You need to build the momentum Everything in this business needs momentum. So, if sales drop you may decide to master Facebook sales as a way to increase your sales. But, if you quit after one week of trying you will not see an improvement. People do this a lot and then get frustrated that they aren’t seeing improvement. But, there just is no quick fix and advertising isn’t always the answer. When April experienced this dip she had to do a lot of thinking about what to do in order to bring sales back up. She focused on getting Tailwind up and back in order, making sure her Pins were getting out there, and looking at what products were doing well and which ones weren’t. She made a decision to not let it go any longer and start addressing the areas that needed attention. After a few months sales started coming back. I think one of the most important things to remember when we see a dip in sales is to focus on the things that we can control. This includes things like using Tailwind, posting consistently, and writing blog posts. Not meeting your goals Sometimes the stress comes from seeing a dip in your sales and other times it comes from not reaching a goal you set. Your business might even be growing still, just not by the numbers that you expected and planned for. This can be frustrating and even a little scary. We understand that because both April and I
We’re focusing on teacherpreneur email lists this episode! Have you heard about the importance of building an email list but don’t know where to start? Or, have you tried but haven’t had the results you’re looking for? Join us in our Facebook group www.growwithusmastermind.com after checking out this podcast where we will further discuss email list building and many other topics related to our Teacher Pay Teachers businesses. We are super excited to have a special guest on the podcast this week, Jennifer Findley from Teaching to Inspire. Jennifer focuses her store on grade levels 4 and 5 but also has resources for 3rd as well. Her email list has… wait for it… 59K subscribers. Her blog was actually one that has been an inspiration to Angie since she first started her store. Jennifer is going to share with us the tips and strategies that she has used to grow her email list, thus growing her TpT business. We want to give you a quick reminder that we do have an affiliate link for ConvertKit. At the end of this page, we’ll share some additional details about it if you are interested. Now let’s jump into our interview with Jennifer. Below are some of the questions we asked her and a summary of her answer. To hear the full interview make sure to listen to the podcast. How did you get started with your list? Jennifer began building her email list somewhere between three and four years ago. She had a virtual assistant that had been experienced in food blogging before switching to working in the TpT business. She was really big on newsletters and helped Jennifer get started. However, Jennifer shared that it was more of a traditional newsletter format that had lots of images, kind of like what you would receive from Target. That helped give her a start, but she really began to pick up traction between six and 12 months later when she switched it up a bit. She admits her first efforts had little connection for her subscriber and that’s not what she was looking for. What’s your goal for building an email list? While not everyone will have exactly the same goal when building an email list it’s important to know what your goal is. Jennifer’s goal is to serve her audience. Her blog is the backbone of her business, but she knows teachers. She knows that they don’t always have the time to sit and read through post afte
Have you been thinking about outsourcing some of your TpT related tasks? Or, have you tried and had a great experience? Or a bad experience? Join us in our Facebook group www.growwithusmastermind.com where we will further discuss this and many topics related to our Teacher Pay Teachers businesses. I want to start out by defining what we are talking about when we use the word “outsourcing”. We aren’t talking about editing. Both Angie and I have always used editors. I used to use my husband or a friend. Then, I tried exchanging working with other teachers where I would let them have the resource for free in exchange for their editing services. But, now I have an editor that I pay. You really need someone else to take double check your work for mistakes or things you have missed. It really isn’t optional, but having someone edit my work doesn’t really lighten my load. When we say “outsourcing”, we are talking about taking something that we would normally do ourselves and paying someone else to do it. It could be that they will do it better than we would, or just that they will get it done when we are procrastinating on the task. Either way, we have both found outsourcing to be incredibly beneficial to our TpT businesses. Advantages of outsourcing There are a lot of advantages when it comes to outsourcing. Frees up time There are a lot of things to do as teacher sellers. It can be easy to get so focused on things like keeping up with social media and building a following that it’s difficult to have time for product creation. However, you need those products in order to keep growing your business. When you outsource some of those “other” tasks you have the time freed up to create more products to sell. Helps create a workflow Outsourcing has really helped me to establish a workflow. For example, right now I am creating grammar resources right now and have several people helping me with their creation. I am able to create a template and send it to the next person who comes up with questions for the worksheet. We discuss the questions and put finishing touches on them and send it to the editor. When she’s finished checking it over we pass it along to the photographer. The photographer prints it out and takes pictures of it. Because of this process, I am able to get the entire process done in half the time it would take me to do it alone. I still get the final say about the work that is being completed along the way. So, the finished product is still exactly what I wanted it to be, but I didn’t have to do all the work for it. Helps produce products on a more consistent basis Since beginning to outsource and establish a workflow I am able to produce products on a more consistent basis. I know that the freelancers that I use are waiting to complete their piece of the puzzle on a specific day. If I don’t get them what they need in time I delay the entire process. Since I know that someone is waiting on me to get them the information it helps me not to procrastinate. By doing this I can create new products every week. Lets you spend time doing the parts that you like We all have certain tasks that we enjoy more than others. Those tasks that we don’t like can delay our process. If you are like Angie and me, you tend to procrastinate on the tasks that you don’t like to do. But, if you outsource those tasks to someone else, that enjoys doing them or is more skilled at doing them, you can focus your attention on the parts you like doing. Angie and I can both share plenty of stories of times when we were creating resources and we got stuck. For example, Angie shares about a time she was creating 180 days worth of word problems and how
Are you struggling with work-life balance? If so, you aren’t alone. It’s a struggle that we face too. Join us in our Facebook group www.growwithusmastermind.com where we will further discuss this and many topics related to our Teacher Pay Teachers businesses. We will be completely honest here, we struggle with work-life balance. And, we’re guessing that you do too. It seems like this is something that everyone is struggling with right now. I can get a lot done when I work long 12-hour days. But, that’s usually followed by burnout, that feeling you get when you can’t bring yourself to get anything productive accomplished. It might seem like cranking out large amounts of work at once is a good idea, but if it stops you from doing work the next day, or longer, it’s not that helpful. It works better to balance each day and avoid going through the crazy ups and downs. We found an article online that shares 10 habits that successful entrepreneurs have for work-life balance. We’ll admit that we could improve in more than one of these areas. Here they are: 1. Set working hours This is hard for us because we are both working on and off throughout the entire day. It can be hard to step away because our work is all around us. We have access to it on our computers, iPads, and phones. We can check on our results when the kids are eating dinner, taking baths, or we just have a minute to ourselves. When you run your own business you could work nonstop 24 hours a day. That’s why setting working hours is so important. One way that I have been making progress in this area is by keeping set hours when I am able to check my email. I started doing this because it’s really easy to fall down the rabbit hole when checking email. In order to stop wasting so much time on my email, I started checking it only between 6:00 and 6:30 am and then again at 6:30 pm. That’s it. Angie’s great about setting work hours when the kids are at school but struggles with shutting it down once the kids and her husband are back home. She wants the evenings to be focused on family time, but it’s so easy to think of something that needs to be done that should be a “quick” little thing. But, we have both found that all these “quick” little work tasks really add up and steal time from our non-working hours. This leads us to #2. 2. Unplug when you’re not working This is something that we are constantly thinking about doing, but it’s difficult to actually do. Personally, I find myself on my phone a lot during my downtime and I usually regret it. I end up feeling bad from just staring at the screen for so long. I actually read something that shared how many successful CEOs have hobbies that aren’t computer related. Outside of their working hours, they don’t hang out on technology and their families don’t either. Now that TpT is a source of income and “work” it shouldn’t also be a hobby. It’s important to have time that you unplug, step away and focus on other things. This is one reason why I wish that they would just get rid of the TpT app (I know, I know). I end up checking the app about a thousand times a day. It’s so easy to do, but it causes me not to be present in the moment that I’m in. Doing this actually steals time away when I’m spending time with my family. When I really think about all the little things I do like this throughout the day, I probably waste at least 5 or 6 hours a week on things that don’t really matter. In the podcast, Angie and I talked about a few ways to fight this. The first is to try putting
How can you tell if your Facebook ads are successful? Join us in our Facebook group www.growwithusmastermind.com where we will further discuss this and many topics related to our Teacher Pay Teachers businesses. Disclaimer: We are not Facebook experts. The information that we are sharing is from our personal experience. Please remember to test and analyze your own data to see what is working for you and your audience. You need to do what’s best for you and your business. It’s really all about trial and error once you have learned the basics. The importance of trial and error Back in Episode 9: Our 3 Goals for Facebook Ads, Angie and I discussed how we feel about Facebook Ad courses. Angie hasn’t taken any courses. I took one course a few years ago and wasn’t really that happy with it. The person teaching the course had a different style to their page and I ended up feeling like I wasted my money. A course on how to use ads manager might be worth a small investment, $10 or $15. But, ads manager changes on a regular basis so it can be hard to find a course that is current and showing you what the ads manager looks like at that time. So, with that said, let’s jump in. Traffic ads We are going to focus on traffic ads in this episode because both Angie and I have had the best luck with these types of ads. With TpT you can’t really run a conversion campaign. I wish that we did have the ability to do that with TpT after running a campaign for my webinar recently. They allow you to see the whole funnel and it’s a lot easier to tell if the ad is working. However, with TpT a conversion campaign doesn’t make sense, so we are sticking with traffic ads for now. The process that we are going to share with you will be specifically for Teachers Pay Teachers sellers that have access to limited data. Most podcasts and trainings will talk about gauging the success of an ad by looking at the direct sale or conversion, which we just aren’t able to do. The process of checking the success of traffic ads 1. Give it some time This can be hard to do, but you need to give your ad time to run. The data that you are receiving from Facebook and TpT can be somewhat lagging and you want to get a good picture of what it’s doing before you start making changes. I like let my ad run for two weeks and Angie makes sure hers have run for at least a week. 2. Look at spending Once the ad has run for the time period you decide to go with (remember, try to stick to at least a week or two) it’s time to look at your spending. Go to Facebook and make sure to figure out the exact date range that your ad has run. Then, find out how much you spent on the ad. 3. Look at sales Now that you have your date range and spending head over to your TpT dashboard. Look at the specific UTM link that you are using on that Facebook ad and look at the sales period during that same time range.
How has your strategy for Pinterest ads changed since the switch over to everyone having to use the one-tap version of pins to promote? Join us in our Facebook group www.growwithusmastermind.com where we will further discuss this and many topics related to our Teacher Pay Teachers businesses. Disclaimer: This topic is new for all of us. We have spent the last few weeks learning as much as we can about this topic and we are sharing with you. Please remember to test and analyze your own data to see what is working for you and your audience. Update: About halfway through the episode, we talked about closeups showing in the dashboard as more than clicks. My ad rep said that the extra “closeups” where we don’t get charged (subtract closeups from clicks) are in this situation: “As far as the swiping through closeups it is only on mobile. if you close up on an ad and swipe to the right it will show a closeup of the next ad on your feed and so on. Some people utilize the platform in this way so you aren’t charged when people swipe to a close up of your ads.” So to confirm, we get charged on the initial tap, but the weird closeups showing up in our data are because of this feature (which we didn’t even know about!) I had no idea this was even possible. I don’t think it affects us much, but it does answer that burning question. What exactly are Pinterest one-tap ads? One-tap ads are the new way that we can promote on Pinterest to send traffic to our blogs and stores. Traffic ads are not new and neither is the one-tap option. What is new, is that they took the option away and now all traffic ads are one-tap. Before, users would click on your promoted pin and it would open a close-up version of the ad. Users would click again to be taken to the linked website. You would only pay once they made that second click to go to your website. Now, on mobile, users will click the promoted pin and it will open a close up version of the pin with your website loading at the bottom. There will be a “see more” button users can then click to go to your website or they can just scroll down and the website will open. On desktop, users click on your promoted pin and it immediately takes them to your website with no close up. This is really worrisome to us as we know users are not used to it and may be shocked it opens right into a website. They may click right back out. We pay for each person that clicks to our website and some people may not even end up seeing the site. Also, if sent right to TpT, we don’t even get our pixels to fire so we may end up getting nothing for our money if they end up clicking right out because they weren’t expecting to leave Pinterest. We are still testing when exactly we get charged. A Pinterest rep told us the initial click is the charge so we may be paying even if they never open or get to out site. Some of our initial data is showing this *may not* be true so we are keeping a close eye on stats. Keep an eye out for a follow-up show in which we further discuss this topic when we have more data.
We were so excited to be able to record the podcast at the 2018 Teachers Pay Teachers conference! In this episode, we shared our takeaways, and some other attendees came on to share theirs. We also interview Shelly Rees, one of the conference presenters, and the creator of the TpT Focused Success course and group! Find the Focused Success course & group and save $10 off using our affiliate link here. The Early Bird registration rate is sold out, but it’s still worth it to register for the 2019 Teachers Pay Teachers conference in Austin! Join the Facebook group at www.growwithusmastermind.com!
Disclaimer: This post includes information on how we run our own Facebook ads. Always do what’s best for your business, and track your ads carefully to make sure you’re not wasting your hard-earned money! There’s no exact science What works for one person won’t work for another. When we started the episode, Angie & I discussed how shiny Facebook Ads courses can be a waste of money because what worked for that person may not work for you. The best way to learn how to do Facebook ads is to watch videos or take a small course on what everything means in the dashboard – and then taking the time to work towards learning what works best for your business. Ad Budgets Angie shared that when she first started, she would spend daily the equivalent of the price of one sale of the item. Since then, we’ve grown our budgets to anywhere from $10-$30/day, depending on what we have to promote and the size of the audience. The sweet spot lately has been $10/day for one ad. We both closely track our ads to make sure that we’re making money off of them. Goal 1: Selling Products We both use Facebook ads that link directly to our Teachers Pay Teachers stores. Our goal is to directly sell products, so we use TpT’s UTM links to track sales from the ads. It’s important to note that the UTM links and Facebook data is a bit delayed, so you want to give it a few days to look at data. Angie has used traffic, engagement, and video ads for selling products, but she closely tracks cost per click (CPC) and sales. I use primarily traffic for this. Running product ads to a warm audience that has visited your blog, or in on your email list, is a great way to get sales. I also run these same ads to a cold audience. I often split into two ad sets: one cold and one warm. Angie shared how it’s ok to do an engagement campaign (boost) if you’re tracking data and it’s outperforming the other ad types. It’s all about your data, and what’s working best for you! Lately, we’re loving collection ads instead of just the usual video, image, or carousal posts! We also mentioned the text overlay tool – which helps make sure that your ad will run properly. Goal 2: Getting Seen One of our main goals of ads is to share free resources and ideas with teachers on our blogs. We then sell to these teachers using Facebook ads that allow us to push out ads to people that have visited certain pages on our blogs – thanks to the Facebook pixel. The great thing about this is that you can get super cheap clicks over to your blog with a traffic or engagement campaign, if it’s an awesome post or free resource. Video view ads for great videos you made with free targeted teaching ideas are also a way to “warm up” your audience. During the summer is a great way to get information out to teachers that allows them to gather new ideas for their classroom when they head back to school. Not sure what to promote to get seen? Blog posts, detailed videos, and free resources that are related to your biggest, baddest bundle are a good choice. Angie noted that she does really well on sales days because people wishlist items from her store, or visit her store knowing they can find quality resources at a deep discount during the TpT sales. Goal 3: Getting Emails If you’ve listened to other episodes, you know that Angie and I now both use Convert Kit. We run Facebook ads to get people to sign up for one of our free resources that is valuable to them, and related to one of our big bundles. You can run a traffic ad to a blog post with an opt-in form on it,
What are you doing to get yourself and your brand back to school ready? Please share with us in our Mastermind group at www.growwithusmastermind.com. Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You don’t have to purchase them through our links, but if you do, it helps us pay for the costs of the podcast and blog! Get Your Teacher Store Back to School Ready Summer is a great time to focus on your store. Teachers are, for the most part, enjoying their summer break and they have more time to get to know you. They have more time to peruse social media and search for new ideas on Pinterest. Summer is when we gear up for the new school year. This episode is packed full of tips and ideas to help you get yourself ready for the back to school push. Blogging Challenge We committed to doing six blog posts in six weeks over the summer. Our blogs are a big focus for us and we really want to give teachers information and ideas for the upcoming school year. We both were struggling with getting those blog posts out so we created the challenge to help us and you stay focused and motivated to complete the posts. It also gives us more stuff to share on social media. Please join us at www.growwithusmastermind.com. We have already started but feel free to jump right in and get moving on those blog posts! Angie struggled during the first week to finish that blog post. But once it was posted, it brought a lot of traffic to her blog and she got a bunch of new email subscribers. Yay! It really validated for her how important those blog posts are, especially during the summer when teachers are looking for new, fresh ideas. April struggled as well but she got it done even with working on a brand new webinar AND having a wisdom tooth pulled! A webinar is great PD for teachers in the summer so if you have a niche in which you can teach others about, a webinar may be good for you! Email We both are focusing on email lately and the blogging challenge is helping us to also get some more opt-ins out there so that we can target them at back to school time. Depending on which opt-in they sign up for, we take that information to send them more targeted emails at back to school time letting them know about sales or resource releases that they may be interested in. We love ConvertKit for helping us to tag and segment our lists to help us be able to target them about what they might be interested in. We send them emails in the summer with resources that they may be interest in for back to school based on what they have liked of ours so far. Pinterest Pinterest ads over the summer do drop in engagement and the click through rate is much lower in June but that is nothing to worry about. We just remind ourselves that we aren’t paying if they aren’t clicking so we aren’t spending. But also that if they are relevant for back to school to keep them going and they will bounce back come July. So if yours are down, don’t worry! Even if you are seeing the click but then not seeing the same return on sales, that’s because, we think, people are wishlisting more during the summer and then buying during the back to school sale. April did an experiment and had a super low conversion rate on purchases according to her UTM data BUT she saw her wishlist numbers go up a lot during this time. Check out
Thinking of quitting your teaching job and going full time TpT? Our Stories Leading up to Going Full Time TpT In this episode, we were lucky enough to have Michaela from Especially Education join us as we chatted about quitting our teaching jobs and working on our businesses full time. Michaela shared with us that the main reasons she went full time was because she was struggling to keep up with her business while teaching in the special education classroom. Angie’s main reason for going full time TpT was her health. She was getting a lot of migraines during the school year, and it was really hard for her to teach. If you have any health issues that make full time teaching difficult for you, or you care for someone that does, it’s really a blessing to have the option to go full time TpT. My main reason for leaving the classroom was having twins. I was due the first day of school and was seriously concerned about balancing TpT, school, and them. Teachers who go back to work the first year after having (or adopting) a baby are serious rockstars. My first year was a struggle, even with full time teaching out of the picture. I worked on my business when the twins slept, and when they turned 1, they started daycare so that I could focus on my business. If you’re trying to do TpT full time and have your kids at home, it is a definite struggle. Putting them in daycare was a good choice for them, and for me. They love it. Struggles We all agreed that the biggest struggle with going from the classroom to full time TpT is getting on a schedule and staying motivated. All three of us really struggled the first few months to find a schedule that worked for us. If you’re not easily self motivated, full time TpT might be a struggle for you. We miss the students. And other teachers. I shared that my biggest struggle is really missing that interaction with teachers and students. I have a small closed office because I’m not very productive at home, but it doesn’t allow me to interact with other people like I would in the school setting. Finding people to connect with during the day has really helped me. I talk to Angie daily, and Michaela mentioned that she has another TpTer she connects with in person (and her husband works from home as well). Routines Michaela has an excellent routine setup. She uses a block schedule and answers emails first thing in the morning (like I do!). In the morning she does blog posts and social media because she works best on resources in the afternoon. Her and her husband meal prep, which is a great way to keep from eating out every day (now that you have the opportunity to do so as a full time TpTer). Angie just focuses on two main things to work on each day: a resource and one additional thing for the business (photos, blog post, social media, etc). She gets overwhelmed and doesn’t do anything if she has too much on her list. Like Michaela, she also does resource creation in the afternoon. We use a collaborative calendar so that we can hold each other accountable.
Who has some summer blogging goals? WE DO! Read this post to find out how you can participate in our simple Summer Blogging Challenge. This summer, Angie & I have committed to writing six blog posts in six weeks, starting June 1st. From June 1-3, we will be brainstorming our goals & post topics. Each Friday after is our deadline for a post (beginning June 8th). Our goal is to have six quality blog posts that drive traffic to our stores or email list before back to school hits, to increase our traffic overall during BTS and give us content to share during the school year. Want to join us? Join the Facebook group here. Find the Summer Blogging Challenge post (it’s the pinned post) to let us know you’re interested. Download our Summer Blogging Challenge guide: http://bit.ly/growblogchallenge.If you join in the middle of the challenge, that’s ok! Look for the post each Monday for the upcoming week. Make sure that your notifications are turned on for this Facebook group. We will be posting some tips and tricks during the challenge, and weekly accountability threads (On Mondays) for you to post your completed blog posts into at some point that week. We’re also planning on recording a podcast episode with some blogging tips. We will be asking for suggestions for the post soon. That episode will come out June 19th. We hope to see many of you join us in this motivational challenge!