Scheduling Posts, Tweets, and Status Updates

One of my secrets for getting things done is to batch process a lot of my social media activities.  When I say batch process I mean that I spend a set amount of time writing my posts, tweets, and Facebook updates and schedule them to release at certain times.

In this post I’m going to teach  you how to the processes that I use to batch process my social media.

Schedule a WordPress Post

I like to write a bunch of blog posts at once and then drip them out a couple of times a week.  This serves two purposes.  The first is that I can focus on my writing for a few hours.  I won’t have to worry about always meeting a deadline each week.  The second is that my readers are getting a consistent stream of new information.  This post was actually written 3 weeks before it actually published to the blog.

  1. From within a post of WordPress look in the upper right hand corner of the post.  You will see “Publish Immediately” with an edit link next to it.
  2. Select the Edit link and choose a date that you want to have the post go live on the blog.
  3. Once you are ready to schedule the post click on the blue “Schedule” button.

If you are using Blogger you can view how to schedule a post here.

Schedule a Tweet with Tweetdeck or Hootsuite

The official Twitter product does not let you schedule tweets unless they are promoted tweets which cost money.  However, both Tweetdeck and Hootsuite allow you to schedule Tweets to post in the future.

Tweetdeck tutorial

Hootsuite tutorial

Schedule a Facebook Post

Facebook posts are a little more difficult for me to schedule since they are generally more about building relationships than linking to a post.  However, there is a benefit to scheduling a status update to a time when more teachers would be reading their Facebook streams (late afternoon, evenings).

  1. Go to your Facebook page
  2. Type the status update as you normally would
  3. Before you hit ‘post’ click on the clock to schedule
  4. Choose the day and time that you want to schedule the post
  5. Click Schedule

It’s the little things like batch processing activities that allow you to stay focused on the tasks that you need to get completed.

 

How to save PowerPoint Slides as an Image File

There are times that you want to save one of your pages from a PowerPoint presentation as an image.

I’ve created a quick video on exactly how to do that.

  1. From within PowerPoint you will choose File>Save As
  2. Then change the file type to .jpg, .png, or .gif.
  3. PowerPoint will ask you if you want to save all slides as images or just the current slide.  Make the appropriate selection and choose Save.
  4. The image(s) will be saved in the current default folder.

These images can be used for TpT product preview or for images on Pinterest.

If you only need a portion of the image you can use a program like the Windows Snipping tool or Jing.

Summer Offers the Greatest Opportunity for Teachers pay Teachers Sellers

Summertime is right around the corner and your Teachers pay Teachers sales have likely come to a screeching halt.  The decrease in sales is enough to make you second guess everything you’re doing, but the reality is that June and July are likely going to be slower than any other months throughout the year.  The good news is that August is coming and the customers will be back in full force.

This summer I’ve already put in a plan into place to start pumping out some new products.  That’s not to say that I’m going to put off having some fun also.  There is plenty of fun on the agenda, including a cruise and a trip out to Vegas with my wife for the TpT conference.

If you remember back to my e-book I talked developing a system to achieve your goals.  It’s great to have a goal to create 5 new products this summer, but if you don’t have the system to make that happen then you basically have nothing.

Do you have any products that are almost done?  90% of a completed product is still 0% to a customer.  Get those suckers wrapped up and move on to the next one.

Tips to Streamline Your Product Creation Process

  • Write item descriptions first and then build the product from them.
  • Schedule blocks of time that are specifically dedicated to creating products, and creating products only.  No email, social media, browsing allowed.
  • Batch schedule my social media updates, blog posts, and tweets so that I can free up time to create more products.  In fact, this post was actually written about two weeks ago and scheduled to post on this day.
  • Create units/products that can be bundled together.

How do you plan on spending your summer?  Are you going to focus on TpT?  I would love to hear some of your favorite tips in the comments.

Stay Focused on Project Creation and Write Item Descriptions First

I’ve recently come across a process that has allowed me to create products at a faster pace.

If you’re anything like me then you often stall on bringing your product to market because there is always something that you could add or make better.  I heard a great quote this morning from the LinkedIn founder that says,

If you are not embarrassed by the first

While I want to be sure that I’m providing a solid product to other teachers, I often get caught up in the small things that ultimately don’t matter in the long run.

One of the things that I’ve been doing lately that has allowed me to create products faster is to write the item description for the product first.

When I first started creating products for TpT I would write the item description as a final step in the product launch.  By writing the item description first it allows me to stay focused on exactly what the product is.  It serves as a blueprint for my product creation and the entire process can be done much more quickly.

Try it out the next time you create a product.  I think you will find the creation process is much more streamlined.

 

Top 5 Business Podcasts That Can Help Your Teachers pay Teachers Store

Over the last couple of years I have been listening to several business podcasts as I commute to and from work each day.

A podcast is simply a series of digital audio files related to a certain topic. There are podcasts about all kinds of topics, but I choose to listen to ones that focus on streamlining my business processes or that focus on motivation, leadership and goal-setting.

I can say that without question these 5 podcasts have been instrumental in shaping my Teachers pay Teachers business.

Top 5 Business Podcasts

  1. Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn – Pat Flynn is most notable for publishing his monthly income reports online.  Last month he had nearly 90k in revenue and profited around 65k.  His down to earth personality makes him very easy to listen to, and I make sure that I never miss an episode.  This podcast is amazing.
  2. Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner – Michael Stelzner is the author of Social Media Examiner and discuss all things social media.  He is a master at his craft and I always seem to find great tips from his podcast episodes.
  3. Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield – Amy Porterfield used to work with Tony Robbins and is not considered one of the queens of Facebook marketing.  Her podcast only comes out once a month, but it’s a do not miss.
  4. Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas – John Lee Dumas interviews entrepreneurs and publishes his podcast daily…yes, daily.  I can’t keep up with all of the content that he produces, but I do try to listen to interviews that relate to my business.  You should definitely listen to his interview with Angela Watson as she discusses being an Entrepreneur and Teachers pay Teachers
  5. The New Business Podcast with Chris Ducker – Chris Ducker is the master of outsourcing and has a lot of great strategies that I have implemented in my own business.  I’m just beginning to scratch the surface with what he has to offer, but this is another podcast where I try and listen to every single episode.

In order to listen to podcasts on your mobile devices you need to download a podcasts app.  On iOS the app I use is simply called “Podcasts”.  If you have an Android device I recommend reading this article that discusses the best podcasting apps for Android.

You can also stream the shows directly from the podcasters blog or website, but I find that they are much more digestible when I’m away from the computer.

I also have my own podcast called EduAllStars where we interview the difference makers in education.  We’ve interviewed some great guests like Todd Whitaker, Deanna Jump, and Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.  We have talked to some truly inspirational educators.  Definitely give it a listen.

Do you listen to podcasts to increase to help with your business?  Are there shows that should be on the list?  Please leave a comment and let me know.

Dealing with Haters, Trolls, and Bad Feedback

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had an online presence for many years.  I’ve started blogs, exposed myself on social media, sold high ticket items, etc.  If there’s one thing that has been consistent throughout the years, it’s that I’ve found that some people just suck.

Just like in ‘real’ life there are people out there that are just miserable souls and seem to have a purpose on spreading their wretchedness far and wide.  This comes in the form of many different things.

  • hateful comments on blog posts
  • disgusting comments on YouTube videos
  • unwarranted hate when they see success
  • negative and unjust feedback for products being sold

These people are called trolls or haters.

If these things have never happened to you then consider yourself lucky.  It seems like it would be an easy thing to just ignore and move on from, but it isn’t.  These comments cut like a knife. What ends up happening is that you spend entirely too much time worrying about what one random crazy person thinks rather than what is best for your audience as a whole.

I could get 100 great feedbacks in a row for my TpT products, but it’s that one jerk that leaves a negative and nonconstructive feedback that I’ll think about for hours.

I found a great video from Derek Halpern of Social Triggers that deals with this issue.  Dereck has his own style that’s possibly over the top for some people, but the message is 100% accurate in my opinion.

The reality is that with success you will have to deal with more and more haters.  It’s kind of a badge of honor when you get your first troll.  It’s a sign that you’re probably doing something right and stand for something.

Michael Stelzner had a GREAT podcast about this exact same thing if you’re interested in listening or reading more about it.

Have you experienced haters or trolls online?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started on Teachers Pay Teachers

Time and Money

My ninety-eight-year-old grandfather’s best piece of advice is, “In your life have the correct balance between your TIME and your MONEY.”  If you’re anything like me, you’re probably deficient in both areas. You don’t have to settle for these circumstances.

Living this kind of life can make you worried and stressed out.  Last year I told myself that enough was enough, and I made the choice to take control of my TIME and my MONEY.

I discovered a platform that allows educators to live out my grandfather’s mantra.  I’m now making a substantial income, and my hard work has allowed me a lot more freedom with my time. Teachers Pay Teachers is the first and largest open marketplace for educators to buy, sell, and share their original resources.  They were founded in 2006 and have exploded to over 3 million users this year.

teacherspayteachers-logo
I started selling my products on Teachers Pay Teachers towards the end of 2013, and I’m already seeing 4-figure monthly paychecks.  Yes, you read that correctly.  My wife and I went from a household that once struggled on two teachers’  incomes, to one with a much greater sense of financial freedom.

7 things I love about being a teachers pay teachers seller

7 Reasons That I Love Being a Teachers pay Teachers Seller

  1. My effort is rewarded monetarily –  One of the main reasons that I love Teachers pay Teachers is that my effort is rewarded by customers purchasing my products.  If I work hard and create a fantastic TpT products, that work will be rewarded with steady and consistent sales.  I love the classroom as much as any teacher out there;  however, the reality is that I’m not going to get paid any more than the person next door no matter how much effort I put into my class.  Fortunately money is not a driving motivator in my teaching, and I strive to give my best every single day.  TpT allows me to make supplemental income from my efforts.
  2. My students benefit – My students are the beneficiaries of all the hard work that goes into producing an amazing product. Prior to becoming an active seller on TpT, I provided my students with engaging activities; however,  afterwards  my classroom lessons improved tremendously.  I always get a kick out of a student that sees my copyright on their work and exclaims, “You MADE this?!”
  3. I get to teach students across the country – When customers purchase my products a little piece of me gets to go with it into their classroom.  I have several products that include videos where I am quite literally teaching someone else’s class.  Teachers are very appreciative of a great lesson.
  4. Relationships and collaboration – Since joining teachers pay teachers, I have forged many great relationships with like-minded individuals who I never would have otherwise met.  Although each of us has our own individual store on TpT, the spirit of collaboration outweighs competition in every way imaginable.
  5. It’s just so darn easy – TpT has made it very easy to upload and sell your products in their marketplace.  I have sold items online before and had to deal with all of the headaches that go with merchant accounts, fraudulent transactions, etc.  TpT handles all of that on their servers and takes a very nominal commission for doing so.  The current commission rate is 15% if you are a premium seller which means that you keep .85 of every $1 that is spent on your products.   Each month a check is sent to you either by mail or by PayPal.  It really doesn’t get any easier.

Winners Have Systems, Losers Have Goals

Becoming a seller on Teachers pay Teachers has been one of the most rewarding things that I have done in my teaching career.  I have learned that if I work hard and smart, success will follow in the form of sales.

I would love to tell you that you can just upload your current lesson plans and the sales will start rolling in, but that isn’t likely going to be the case.  There is definitely a strategy that needs to be followed, and many sellers either don’t have a plan in place or simply haven’t figured out the system to success yet. One of my favorite quotes when it comes to success is,

“Winners have systems, losers have goals.”

It’s great to have a set of goals, but in order to reach your goals you need to have a proven system in place.  I think of goals as very broad outcomes that you would like to achieve; whereas, systems are a fine-tuned blueprint on how to obtain your goals.  Without a system you have nothing.

Winners have systems.Losers have goals
When I first started on Teachers pay Teachers, I was having minimal success.  I only had about 3 products uploaded at the time and looking back they were just a mess.  The products themselves weren’t that bad, but I was missing out on many opportunities that only the successful sellers knew about. I quickly realized that there had to be something that I was missing, and I spent countless hours consuming as much information on how to be successful.  I was developing my system.

Once I had my methods in place, I began to see significant increases in my sales.  I now have enough data and experience with my system to know that I can reproduce my successes by scaling  up my business.  Having a system in place is not a replacement for hard work, but it allows me to calculate success much easier. Along my journey I created a list of 25 things that I had wish that I known when I first started on teachers pay teachers.  I want to share 7 of those with you now.

7 Things I wish that I had known as a new TPT seller

7 Things That I Wish I Had Known as a New Teachers Pay Teachers Seller

  1. Product linking – If it’s good enough for Amazon to do then it’s good enough for me.  Your item descriptions for each product should link to other related products or bundles that may be of interest to customers.  TpT does put related products in the sidebar, but this technique is far more effective because you can control exactly what you want each customer to see in the description.  I created a hyperlink generator to make this very easy for you to do.  Don’t stop with the item description.  Link your products from within your products also.  If someone has already showed that they trust you by purchasing your product, then they are far more likely to buy related products from you.
  2. Connect and collaborate with others – It took me a few weeks to even find the Teachers pay Teachers forums, but once I did “it was on.”  There are so many helpful sellers in the forums.  This is a place where you can ask questions about anything and share your own experiences.  I will also suggest that you give back to the forums.  If you learn something new, this is a great place to share that information.  The entire forum is better if everyone is sharing and learning from each other.
  3. Become a premium seller immediately – I wrote a list of 5 reasons why you should become a premium seller in an earlier blog post.  The single greatest reason is that you get to keep more money in your pocket.  Once you become a premium seller you are making the statement to yourself that you’re serious about Teachers pay Teachers and the actions that follow will support that.  Honestly, I think this should be the first thing that you do after creating your account.
  4. TpT is a great resource for clip art and fonts – One of the things that can make your products stand out from the rest is to use professional looking clip art and fonts.  There are a ton of TpT sellers who specialize in selling themed clip art that can be used for commercial purposes.  Do yourself a favor and invest in some of these products.  They will add value to your own products and help other sellers out at the same time.
  5. Don’t undervalue your work – One of the costliest mistakes I made when starting out was that I undervalued my work and set my prices too low.  Many new sellers are just worried about selling something and don’t consider that they may be losing money in the long run by pricing themselves too low.  Lower prices do not equal more sales.  I recently adjusted the price on one of my products, using this method, from $5 to $7 and saw zero slowdown in sales.  I was giving away 40% in profit!  You’ve worked hard on those products.  Don’t undervalue your work.
  6. Don’t compare yourself to others – I’m a competitor by nature and one of the things I found myself doing early on was comparing myself to others.  There are many talented TpT sellers who are having lots of success of TpT.  I feel like it’s a huge mistake to compare yourself to them.  As a new seller you cannot expect to match them in terms of sales and reach.  That will come with time.  Focus on the system, and growth will come with time.
  7. Hard work now leads to passive income later –  The first time that I made a sale on Teachers pay Teachers I came running downstairs to tell my wife that I had made $2.55.  I was so excited.  She then reminded me that I had worked for 10 hours+ to make that money and by her calculation that was .25/hour.  I believe that many sellers begin working on their first product and never finish it because they start doing the calculations in their head and decide the work they put into TpT isn’t worth it.  This is huge mistake.  My wife was correct about my measly hourly wage, but I knew something that she didn’t.  I knew the power of passive income.  I would have worked 20 hours for that same $3 because from here on out every bit of income from that product will increase my bottom line.  That product has now earned me over $500 for that same 10 hours of work that I had originally put into it.  My hourly rate is now $50/hr and we’re only 6 months removed from that first sale.  I expect that product to continue to sell well for many years to come.  Trust in the fact that your hard work now will reap benefits later.

Get the Free Ebook Now

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Free eBook – 25 Things I Wish I Had Known as a New Teachers pay Teachers Seller

Over the last few weeks I have been feverishly working on a FREE eBook called “25 Things I Wish I Had Known as a New Teachers Pay Teachers Seller.

I have been very quiet about my TpT earnings until now.  I started Teachers pay Teachers in late October of 2013 and made a paltry $2.55 my first month, but I quickly developed a system that has exploded my sales.  Over the last few months I have consistently been making four-figure paychecks from TpT.

25 Things I wish I had known as a new teachers pay teachers seller

My point of telling you these numbers is not to brag, but to show you that the system and tips that I use on a daily basis do work.  I’m proof that the system works and confident that it can be reproduced by anyone that uses the strategies and techniques that are in there.

I’m wrapping up the finishing touches on the book and you can be notified of the FREE download by providing your email below. I’m shooting for a publication date of 5/15/14. I think that you’ll really enjoy it.

Subscribe to Get Notified About My FREE eBook Download



Before and After Stats for a Featured Seller

A few weeks ago my friends over at Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy were the featured seller in the Teachers pay Teachers weekly newsletter.  Being the data nerds that they are they kept before and after stats so that they could gauge the impact of the event.

They were kind enough to share the information with TpT School so that others can benefit from the data.

The first piece of data that I want to look at is their social engagement.   You can see that each metric was up overall, but the standouts to me are the increase in FB followers, TpT followers, and blog followers.  Each of these platforms allow the girls to engage with their audiences in the future and should convert to more sales down the road.

social media tpt newsletter

The next set of data that I want to highlight is the TpT site rankings.  Again, we can see an upward trend in their ranking because of the newsletter feature.  They are really close to being in the top 500 overall sellers and that is a very impressive feat!  Equally impressive is that they were the #8 overall middle school seller for the week that they were featured in the newsletter.  This was a huge leap from around the #25 spot the previous week.

tpt rankings

The real meat of their data is found within their product numbers.  Both of their featured products have pre and post data associated with it.  The number of views alone is incredible, but many of these views also converted into sales which is obviously the ultimate reward for being featured.

product data

The last graph that we’ll look at is the dashboard chart that indicates sales per day.  You can see that there was a huge spike the day that the newsletter came out and then it tapered off a bit as the week went on.

newsletter feature teacher

It goes without saying that being in the newsletter had a tremendous impact on all areas of Mel and Gerdy’s store.  I want to thank them for sharing this data with TpT School so that we can all learn from it.