One question that I see asked on the teachers pay teachers forum over and over is, “Should I be blogging?” I’ve put together a list of reasons why I think blogging is essential to building your TPT store.
1. Building relationships – This is a great place to build relationships with your readers which will ultimately turn into sales. In my opinion you should be blogging about what is happening in your class, lessons learned, best practices, new ideas, etc. From there you can explain how you have used your products and what impact they had on students. That is a far better approach than, “I created this new product, here it is.”
See my post on 5 reasons why you should be using interactive notebooks as an example.
2. SEO – Search Engine Optimization – When you create blog posts you are also creating pages that can be indexed for Google and other search engines. This is highly valuable. If someone goes to google and types “5 reasons to use interactive notebooks” they will find me at the top of the search results. It’s very unlikely that anyone will search that term, but a search of “reasons for interactive notebooks” returns me on page 2 of Google. My blog is very new (less than 2 months) and doesn’t have much authority…yet. The goal with any blog should be to build authority. Once the search engines notice that you regularly post original content then they will reward you with top search engine results. This takes TIME and PERSEVERANCE. It may be another year and 100 blog posts before Google’s algorithms decides that I’m worthy of top results, but when they do it opens up all kinds of doors.
3. Juice for TPT – Creating links to my TPT store from blogs, pinterest, facebook, etc. it gives authority (link juice) to my TPT store pages and helps them rank higher in search engine results. We want this. If someone searches ‘moon phase cards’ in Google I definitely want my TPT product link to pop up first in Google. TPT is an authority site already and ranks well, but providing backlinks to our store pages using relevant keywords helps out.
For example, if you searched out “Guided Reading 101” in Google you will find that Deanna Jump’s top selling product page and blog post about that product are in the top of the search results. It’s a marketer’s dream to have 2 of the top 3 results for a particular keyword in Google. I don’t know how many people are searching ‘guided reading 101’ but Deanna is getting the bulk of that traffic for those that do. This should be the ultimate goal for all of your products.
4. Follow the Top Sellers – Look at the top 10 sellers. Do they have blogs? 8 out of 10 of them have a blog in their tagline or profile. I didn’t do an extensive search on the two that didn’t but my guess is that they probably blog also. I’m going out on a limb here, but I would guess that the majority of the top 100 blog. Follow the leader
5. Own Your Audience – One thing that may be tough to think about is that Teachers Pay Teachers may not be around forever. I think they have positioned themselves well, but for arguments sake let’s pretend that they disappear tomorrow. What do you do then? You don’t own any customer data and have no way to communicate with former buyers. However, if you build a solid foundation through social media (including blogs) you will still have access to your core base. Maybe you’ll ultimately setup a shopping cart on your own site and sell products there, but without that foundation and following you could be up the creek without a paddle.
Blogging is time consuming but it can be very rewarding once you have a community built. The hardest part is writing for what seems like no one in the beginning. I have a couple of very successful blogs and a couple that I didn’t put the time into. The ones that I cultivated have rewarded me handsomely for several years.
Agree or disagree? Did I leave anything out? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.