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Blogging as a way of promoting resources

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by z1k, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. z1k

    z1k New commenter

    Greetings all,

    As it's Sunday night and I'm trying to put off making the pile of exam papers beckoning to me, I thought I'd find out whether there are any of you out there who use blogging as a way to promote or publicise your resources.

    Are you using your own name? Have you noticed an increase in sales if you have done so? I'm particularly concerned about the first one, so if anyone has any advice or insights they would be willing to share, it would be great to hear from you.
  2. languageisheartosay

    languageisheartosay Occasional commenter

    I have mentioned some new resources (both free and for sale) on my blog but of course it is unlikely that it will promote sales unless you have a huge following established. I probably get about 50-100 views per day mostly from Google searches by topic. Can't tell exactly of course but I don't think any sales at all have come via the blog! Maybe some of the social media things do more for sales?
    When I was working, I did the blog and TES resources completely anonymously but now I'm retired I have put my name to my work. But sadly I don't think I have enough fame points for this to make a difference!
  3. TheGingerTeacher

    TheGingerTeacher Established commenter Forum guide and community helper

    I do blog but not particularly about resources I also do lots of union stuff and personal bits too.

    I don't know how successful it is but I'm hopeful :) Www.beforecharlees30.blogspot.Co.uk

    I have started to use YouTube to promote but I'm so hit and miss creating videos I dont think it has much impact
  4. z1k

    z1k New commenter

    Thanks for the response. I suppose you're right - it's all about how many people are following you or are even aware that you are out there! I was watching a video about travel blogging (my other passion) and there are literally hundreds of millions of blogs out there!

    Social media - I use facebook to promote my blog, but nowadays there is so much more..it can feel hard to keep up at times.

    Re: using your name..I am still working in teaching so yes, it feels a bit weird to be using my real name. On the other hand, I think it gives a better impression if there is a "real person" behind the blog. Haven't made my mind up about that one yet!

    If you're into travel tales, feel free to check out my blog: https://hollygolighter.wordpress.com/

    Thanks again :)
  5. z1k

    z1k New commenter

    Hi Charleei, checked out your blog and it looks great - well done! I will make sure to follow you later tonight..we teachers need to support each other! What software do you use to make your videos? I am absolutely convinced they are the way forward..

    I have a travel blog, https://hollygolighter.wordpress.com, but I want to start blogging about educational issues too. Currently I have an education category on my blog but perhaps it would be better to have a separate teaching blog (with no name).

  6. TheGingerTeacher

    TheGingerTeacher Established commenter Forum guide and community helper

    Hi @z1k I checked out your blog, it looks great. I'm now following :)
  7. z1k

    z1k New commenter

    Thanks! Have returned the favour :)
  8. TheGingerTeacher

    TheGingerTeacher Established commenter Forum guide and community helper

    Sorry I realised I didn't answer your question. I use windows movie maker for my videos I have experimented with other types of software I've used powtoon which is good and puppet pals on the iPad. Both are great but I prefer the freedom of making everything myself not having lots of preset bits.

    Hope this helps
  9. z1k

    z1k New commenter

    Thanks for the feedback! I have a Macbook so I guess it's high time I dipped my digital toe into iMovie. I've been wanting to make "talking head" type videos for a while, but (as always) it's a question of finding the time to do so.
    Charleei likes this.
  10. TheGingerTeacher

    TheGingerTeacher Established commenter Forum guide and community helper

    There are lots of great free apps on iPad as well.

    Puppet pals is on iPad and they have a free version to practice on
  11. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    You're absolutely right to use YT for your marketing. It's all the rage in IM at the moment.

    Your video is actually pretty good. I think you're doing yourself down by saying it doesn't have much. It's nicely animated, which I wasn't expecting from what you were saying. It's visually almost on a par with the 'explainer' videos that are so popular these days, so you're on the right track, if not almost there.

    Having said that, I can suggest some improvements you can make that are proven to increase views and especially your CTR.

    You've branded yourself, which is a good move. The cartoon image of yourself is memorable and, in time, will start to be associated with your 'brand', if it hasn't already, like a penguin with a certain publisher. But where's the 'you' in your video? You're hiding behind the cartoon, the images and the music. People like to buy from other people. It's a proven fact in marketing. I know it takes a lot to put your face out there and talk on a video that the world could potentially see, but even if you're not ready for that, you could introduce your resources using your own voice on an audio track. Then there's a real person there - a personality to respond to. Talk about your own stuff and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the increase in interest and uptake.

    SEO. I'm talking keywords in your description here. The more relevant keywords you include (without 'keyword stuffing', which Google reads as SPAM), the better. Use the description field YT offers you more to your advantage. The Internet is still a text-based system, so it feeds off words.

    Included in SEO are: backlinking to your blog, your FB page, your Twitter feed etc. It all helps. And then link back reciprocally from there. There's a lot more to effective SEO but I'm not going to bang on about it because it's boring unless you love it and it is a bit like rocket science.

    You've got a link to your sales page in the description. Good. But who knows it's there? People might see it, or they might not. So where is your call to action in the video? Where do you tell your prospective customers to click on the link below (with an arrow to make it clearer), and why don't you also have the link actually in the video? You want more customers? You've got to think more like a marketer. Tell your customers what to do next. Give them every reason to stay with you instead of going elsewhere, so tell them what to do. Send them to a page to see samples up-close - you are more likely to sell something if people can see what they are buying, which they can't in the video. And at this stage most savvy marketers would also get them on their mailing list using an autoresponder, but that's another story for another time.

    One last thing. You tell us about the resources in the video: the title, listing what's in the pack etc, but you're making a rookie copywriting mistake that could cost you a lot of sales. What do you think it is? If you were to do a voice-over for that video, what would you say?

    I think your offerings have a lot of potential. You just need a shift in mindset, the confidence to put 'you' into your marketing and a few other tweaks and fixes and you'll sell more.

    Is this info any use to you? If not I won't bang on about it.
    nicadez and z1k like this.
  12. TheGingerTeacher

    TheGingerTeacher Established commenter Forum guide and community helper

    Hi @vuvuzela

    Wow! Thanks for the detailed feedback really good points. I completely agree with the things you're saying. I do actually make videos of me talking as well but didn't feel voice over or me on camera fitted this particular one.

    As for SEO I need to take your advice it is something I need to work on (its on the never ending to do list!)

    Thanks so much for the detailed response really helpful and given me a lot to think about. The first being the call for action. Must bump that up the list a bit too!

    Thanks for taking the time to watch my video and feedback I really do appreciate the response :)

    (And sorry everyone else if we kinda hijacked this thread)
    z1k likes this.
  13. ashleysummer

    ashleysummer New commenter

    I'm seriously considering starting my own blog to pomote some resources, and in such a way to make money. I've already downloaded a cute theme supplied by TemplateMonster . All I need to do now is to customize it accoring to my needs.
  14. z1k

    z1k New commenter

    Hi, thanks to vuvuzela for such detailed feedback which can only benefit all of us trying to make our way in the digital world.

    I´ve recently started a YouTube channel where I create videos for use by students and teachers of English and I will have a careful read of the comments left for Charleei above!

    If you would like to check out my channel and leave me some feedback (or better still, subscribe, like or share!) then feel free:


    Obviously, I've got a long way to go but we all need to start somewhere!

    PS - I'm going to start a new thread talking specifically about YouTube if anyone is interested!
  15. z1k

    z1k New commenter

  16. TheGingerTeacher

    TheGingerTeacher Established commenter Forum guide and community helper

    YouTube is fun but takes so much time and I am spread pretty thin as it is!
  17. z1k

    z1k New commenter

    Yes I have found that the most timing consuming of all is the short video explainers I make! Funnily enough the videos with the most views are the ones of me just talking about something, e.g. a style of writing. There's a lesson in there somewhere...
    Charleei likes this.
  18. TheGingerTeacher

    TheGingerTeacher Established commenter Forum guide and community helper

    I have decided to really step up my YouTube game in the new year!

    I do like the explained videos.
  19. Hi, great post, the feedback from Vuvuzela was amazing!

    I am also trying to build a Youtube channel. I am focusing on animated rhymes for the time being (I love music). I built 2 main characters inspired on my own kids and I am trying to keep the rhymes fun and engaging. I am looking for new ideas (thinking to add songs about "good habits") so feel free to share your feedback or ideas. The channel is still very small (less than a 1,000 subscribers) but I am hoping that dedication and patience will make it happen :)

    Here is an example: Phonics Song ABC by Luke & Mary

    All the best with your channels!
    nicadez and Charleei like this.
  20. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    I'm assuming this is directed at me, so I'l answer as though it is.

    I'm glad the feedback was useful. I posted it publicly so it would be of use to everybody.

    As for your channel/videos, I think you've done a great job! You've put yourself in the videos and production quality is really high. I suspect you've had some training in the past.

    Some of your videos use just text, like a Powerpoint, like one of 'Wuthering Heights'. I'd definitely add audio to these, like you have done with the others, especially as you have introduced it yourself, and you are speaking on it.

    You've got a call to action in the videos 'Subscribe below', which is exactly what you need to do. However, I suggest, if you are serious about selling resources as a business, you get yourself a personal url and direct ALL your traffic to that, even if it's just a subscribe page. Why? Think about it. Where are you sending traffic to? To Youtube. Now what happens if your account is suddenly banned for some reason? You lose all your subscribers!

    The same is true of any other site where you promote or sell. You are sending them traffic, when you should be sending it to your own centralised web presence. Facebook? Great - use it, get lots of 'friends' on there and have a lost of them there but also get them on your own marketing list, so if anything happens, you don't lose your business! It does happen and it has happened to me in the past, over the slightest thing. Then, if you've been sending traffic to a certain site (which takes a lot of time and effort) and than limb is cut off for some reason, you have to start again, right from the beginning, and anyway, you should be sending your traffic to you, for your efforts, not someone else. So my advice is to get yourself a url, and put it on every single thing you produce. Get traffic and get subscribers because 'the money is in the list', as they say. Then comes the tricky part - you have to communicate with that list in such a way that they get to love you...and if they love you, and like what you create, they will buy from you - over and over again.

    If teachers are serious about selling resources, they need to start to think more like marketers. There is great potential here, but so many of you are making rookie mistakes that can cost you later. Years ago, when I first started in Internet Marketing, a well-established marketer said to me, "Don't take this the wrong way, but you need an education." I knew what he meant. I pass the same message on to people here who want to create a successful business selling resources.

    Back to your videos...

    The videos you have produced so far are great for establishing yourself as an authority on your subject, and that is all part of good, subtle marketing, but is that the only kind of video you are going to create? Who are they aimed at? Learners. Who buys your resources for teaching? Teachers. See the mismatch here? It could be that you intend to start doing some more promotional videos down the line, but at some point, you're going to need to mention your resources.

    There is LOTS more I could go on about, but I'll leave it there for now.

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