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Tips for improving sales and visibility

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by tesAuthorTeam, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Tes is seeing incredible growth across the world in 2018, with huge increases in the numbers of new registrants, downloaders and buyers every week… and with such growth we’re excited about the future. In light of this, we want to reassure you that if your views appear to be in decline, there are plenty of things you can try to boost visibility, stand out from the crowd and attract new customers and downloaders.

    Read on for some tips and guidance from the team, and we also want to hear your comments and ideas on what works for you or things you’d like to try.

    Volume of new resources and authors year on year: there are thousands upon thousands of new authors and content on Tes and while demand for these is increasing, so too is the competition. We encourage you to actively update old resources, create both timely and ‘evergreen’ content which works all year round. The most successful authors are constantly tweaking, reviewing poor performing resources and making updates where they can. It can be time-consuming, but it pays off.

    Quality is king: as competition increases on Tes, the demand for quality resources is higher than ever. In addition to reviewing the content included in your resources, check the resources (and the file names too) for typos and don’t over-tag them.

    Check your views on your resources: if they are not being viewed, try updating the content, titles and descriptions, refreshing or removing material if it is no longer relevant or out of date.

    Don’t underestimate the power of Google: The majority of Tes users find their resources via Google searches. To ensure you get the benefit, check out our SEO tips on this thread using SEO to title and describe your resources.

    Less can sometimes be more: having more content doesn’t necessarily help your visibility, so consolidate materials into sets and don’t forget to create bundles too using the Bundle tool. (Pssst… bundles often sell at up to three times the price of individual resources and save customers time and money in the long run!) Bundle up!

    Increase your traffic through social media: we say it often, and with good reason; traffic from social media into Tes is increasing so make sure you don’t miss out! Check out our blog posts for how to promote your resources and some best practice from successful authors:
    * Promoting your resources on Facebook
    * Promoting your resources on Twitter
    * Promoting your resources on Pinterest

    Test and learn: Run sales, discounts and test your pricing in your author dashboard, and don’t forget to cross-link to other resources which are related. You can do this easily in your resource descriptions.

    Everyone likes a freebie: Offer some materials for free and help spread visibility and awareness of your materials to a wider audience. Showcase how great YOUR resources are and keep these resources fresh too.

    Got some great tips of your own? Share them here!
    mracdpresent, hoppytimes and Krazikas like this.
  2. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    "We encourage you to actively update old resources, create both timely and ‘evergreen’ content which works all year round. The most successful authors are constantly tweaking, reviewing poor performing resources and making updates where they can. It can be time-consuming, but it pays off."

    Would it be possible to add the facility to make old resources that need revamping 'inactive' ie not showing in the searches by potential purchasers, on the TES site but still accessible to the author?
  3. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Thanks for your suggestion @Krazikas :D We will explore this with the team!
    Mrsmumbles and Krazikas like this.
  4. MosaiK

    MosaiK Occasional commenter

    Ermm o_O, while I would welcome some system that flags up such resources to me, I would prefer for those very resources to remain visible to potential buyers in the meantime, please.
    I believe that resources which are up for sale do show if and when they have been updated so I don't see a problem with them remaining visible and 'buyable' ;).
    It would however be nice to have a traffic light system or similar which would be visible to the individual author only and directs our attention to certain resources.
    Thank you. :)
  5. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    If the facility were implemented it would be the author who decides whether they show or not, not anyone else. I have a number of resources that I know need attention and I would just like to 'suspend' them until such time as I have time to update them.
    thinky, MosaiK and Littlesherbetlemon like this.
  6. MosaiK

    MosaiK Occasional commenter

    Thank you for clarifying this for me...
    Sure, it would make perfect sense to keep the ability to manage our own resources, rather than having to remove them and then upload them again. I do agree with you on this one.
    Basically a 4th button for 'suspend' additionally to the 'view', 'edit', 'change price' in the resource management section...
    Krazikas and Littlesherbetlemon like this.
  7. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    We absolutely appreciate all of the feedback and ideas coming through regarding driving sales and promotions, and we are sharing this across the team here at Tes.

    We do appreciate the frustration some authors are feeling, but want to reassure the community that traffic to Tes continues to increase and we’re seeing fantastic growth on all fronts; overall sales are up significantly on Tes year-on-year. We’re currently doing a lot of work to further improve visitors and conversion on the Resources pages which will be of benefit to all authors. We published the above post with some tips and guidance to authors to help improve visibility, so we encourage you to try these tips out and add your own thoughts here too.

    To reiterate, we cannot stress enough the importance of an active presence on social media and expanding your networks by engaging with your subject communities - not just promoting resources - you can do this also by leveraging free resources. We’re delighted to see authors sharing their guidance around this on these forums and author groups.

    On the Tes side, we are still doing discount codes and sales, but evolving the mechanisms, offering shorter and better targeted sales and promotions. Thank you for all your ideas and feedback on alternative approaches. We’ll be taking these on board, and will be exploring them alongside our own ideas. Developing new promotional mechanics isn’t a priority for our product development team at the moment, but we will investigate these ideas further, and will be looking at other ways we can help support sales and visibility.

    To give some overview of some of the ongoing activity to highlight resources: in addition to subject-focused promotions around Primary National Tests, GCSE and other curated content, we also send fortnightly subject-segmented ‘round up’ emails (to swiftly growing user segments) which feature three top free resources and top paid resources (based on most popular resources, avoiding repetition of authors in successive newsletters), as well as content-focused blog posts from the Tes resources blog. We invest in paid social advertising and PPC and will be doing more of this over the next few months to support any curated pages (e.g. hubs, Stem and GCSE). We also have some ideas about new ways to approach promotion of sales, including new creative over social, and we’ll be developing these and many other ideas internally in coming weeks, alongside all the new ideas submitted by the community.

    On the social media front, we now have new team members in place who are focused on a new content plan for promotion of content across key moments in education as well as on subject-specific content. We’re focusing on improving click-through rates on onsite marketing, and on improving user experience of this. In particular, we are looking at personalisation to help surface more relevant high-quality content, recommendations and similar, to curated resource pages and search, by driving more relevant traffic to them. More on these aspects to come. We are absolutely dedicated to surfacing quality content to teachers using Tes, and appreciate all of your points and feedback around this.

    What's next?
    So, what’s next? Today we have a 10% sale running and will have some other sale activity in the pipeline to look out for in the coming weeks, including a bundle sale (for all bundles and all buyers). (Note: bundles tend to perform better than individual resources, so we encourage you all to focus on creating bundles if you have relevant resources that will go well together.) You’ll be getting email notification about these promotions soon, and we’ll share graphics and marketing collateral to help you promote this and future sales. As with any Tes-funded sales, we encourage you to take advantage by creating your own promotions and highlighting these across your channels, newsfeeds and social media. Keep an eye out too for the monthly Author Handbook which provides guidance on keywords, promotions and top tips for authors to try out, and make sure to update your settings to ensure you receive these emails.

    Finally, it’s worth reading this post from the new Director for Resources Michael Shaw who sets out some helpful context for the next stage for Resources: https://community.tes.com/threads/the-next-focus-for-tes-resources.772726/

    Thanks all for your continued feedback and ideas!
    mracdpresent and MosaiK like this.
  8. thinky

    thinky Occasional commenter

    I started on TES at about the same time that I started with ***. My resources are UK biased and therefore the balance of my time had always tended to be more towards TES (anything on *** was a bonus).

    During that time I've seen consistent growth on *** despite very little promotion and despite the resources not being aimed at US teachers.

    I haven't seen this with TES. Quite the opposite.

    Which suggests to me that while for TES promoted authors - for example recent maths promotions - are seemingly doing very well, this is not the case for 'regular authors'.

    For TES that may be OK.

    But for the development of an effective marketplace for all, it's not.

    I'll actively promote via social media and otherwise once I feel it's worthwhile. For now it feels more beneficial to direct that promotion elsewhere.
  9. thinky

    thinky Occasional commenter


    Attached Files:

  10. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Thanks for sharing this info @thinky - we have passed it on to our analytics colleagues to take a look into it. We will also discuss with our SEO colleagues too.
    thinky likes this.
  11. FullShelf

    FullShelf New commenter

    I have been viewing a variety of resources this evening and been noticing the same extremely narrow pool of resources appearing in the 'Popular Paid Resources', 'New Resources' and 'Updated Resources' sections at the bottom of each resource page. As a potential buyer, I quickly got bored of looking at these. When I looked up French resources, for instance, it was the same 6 resources appearing each time. When I looked up Maths resources, it was the same 6 Maths resources appearing. I'm pretty certain the pool of resources that appeared in these sections used to be much wider and therefore of much greater interest. Any chance this could be improved soon? Thanks.
    MosaiK, thinky and Krazikas like this.
  12. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

    Your growth is not being reflected in our growth. Great for you, not for us! My stats this financial year: approx 40% more resources on the platform, yet an increase in revenue of just 8%. However, the number of actual sales is way down from last year. This is a worrying statistic and surely the Tes team can see the problem here...if your top selling authors do not see growth, they stop using Tes or explore other avenues like @thinky is obviously doing.

    Are we going to end up with a saturated platform where no-one is really making enough money to make it a worthwhile enterprise? What is Tes's strategy regarding this issue? My 2018/19 project will probably be to set up my own website to sell my resources...how many other authors will be thinking the same? And by the way, I'd rather not be arsked, but it seems the only logical choice!
    rossiw4 and CurriculumForAutism like this.
  13. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

    Oh, and growth from 2016/17 to 2017/18 was approx 300%. So that's 300% growth in year 2 and just 8% growth in year 3. Platitudes about the platform's growth do not help me come to terms with this awful statistic...
    thinky likes this.
  14. CurriculumForAutism

    CurriculumForAutism Occasional commenter

    I'm also considering selling to UK teachers on my own site. I've been selling here since 2016, but sales are disappointing. This month on another marketpIace have made 30X what I have made on TES.
    MosaiK, thinky and mrajlong like this.
  15. occold25

    occold25 New commenter

    Can I ask what market place you use?
  16. FullShelf

    FullShelf New commenter

    I commented above in March that I was seeing the same resources over and over again in the 'Popular Paid Resources' section. I would like to raise this again. From my first days as a seller, early last year, I have been offered the same few resources literally hundreds of times in this section. Anyone who is anything but an extremely occasional visitor to the site must also be sick of the same resources being shown here. I assume we are shown the resources with the most ratings in the category that matches the resource we are looking at. On closer inspection, almost all of the resources I am seeing here gained their ratings several years ago when they were free. That avenue is not open to newer sellers, therefore it is not a level playing field. It also gives the impression to buyers, especially those who are ignorant of TES's evolution, that resources that do not have 50+ ratings are not that popular. Given that my bestselling resources have sold dozens of times but received almost no reviews, I am unlikely ever to get them into this high profile space. Furthermore, I am lucky to have had several of my resources selected as 'TES picks' but have never seen any of them featured on the landing page (I am on this site multiple times almost every day).

    It is essential for TES to showcase the wide variety of detailed, well-written resources, rather than give the impression that there is only a handful of resources in each category that are quality enough to become 'popular'. For buyers and sellers, this seems like one improvement that wouldn't be too challenging to implement.

    As ever, I would like to add that I am hugely grateful for the opportunity to sell resources on this platform. However, after putting in a huge amount of work, my success is slowing significantly, despite many more resources in my shop. Recently I have not even been matching last year's sales. I need to be confident that my time and energy in attempting to grow my store further on this platform will be worth it.

    What do others think? How are things going for you?
    ajs12345, MosaiK and mrajlong like this.
  17. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    Well said - I totally agree!
    FullShelf likes this.
  18. ajs12345

    ajs12345 New commenter

    Totally agree.

    In response to the 'Author Consultation' a few months back, many voiced their concerns about the lack of dynamism in the search features and the unfair advantage of the free-to-paid legacy resources over (often far superior) resources that were developed specifically for the paid-for market. One can only hope that this is being looked into, although I suspect that it might prove a considerable task from a technical standpoint, and there appears to have been 0 progress thus far.

    Having spoken to one of the members of the all new 'TES authors team' the other month as part of their consultation, I do have some confidence that many of the issues we have raised will be addressed, although I feel it will take time.

    For me TES needs to prioritise:
    1) Looking at all resources closely and properly, to ensure that no really good resources are slipping through the 'tes recommends' net, and immediately sifting out complete chaff
    2) Reviewing all current 'tes recommends' resources. Many were recommended in the very early days of TES premium, and have since been bettered quite considerably by others
    3) Updating and improving the search feature, along with the way resources and authors are featured and promoted.
    FullShelf likes this.

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