Hey Y’all Teacher People--
It is Sunday, which means you have done 1 of 2 things all weekend.
You either relaxed and unplugged-- Literally, you have not touched a single shred of paper or opened a Google Doc for work. You did not grade, create an assignment, or check an email.
Or you worked all weekend and are wondering how it is already Monday tomorrow.
I tend to be a weekend-worker.
I just was commenting back and forth with @thejaysalazar about how we fall into the trap of being like, “well, I’m not doing anything so might as well get on my laptop for a bit to plan.”
For me, that easily converts into hours on my computer and not just a few clicks here and there.
I am quite a “do-er” by nature and thrive when I am working.
Relaxing is literally hard for me.
The idea of unplugging completely and just chilling all weekend makes me cringe. And I’m not a work-a-holic by any means, I just always feel better when I am being productive.
This “work” I was referring to within the TikTok comment threads is not always directly school-related (you know not all lesson planning, email checking, or entering grades). I attempt to complete my school work during contract hours (okay, and kinda on the weekend too).
But technically speaking, the school work I complete on the weekends holds a financial benefit (more on that in a few).
This was the weekend work I had mapped out for me between Friday and Sunday:
Updating a client’s website (Friday and Saturday)
Content creation that will be used in my classroom and placed on my website and TeachersPayTeachers (Friday)
Listening to podcasts; currently listening to Jasmine Chanelle’s podcast, she was my business/branding coach about a year ago (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
Update my media kit on my website (Saturday)
Reply to brand emails that were sent to my kindasortateacher inbox (Saturday)
Start working on my course content that teaches teachers to monetize their content (Saturday and Sunday)
I squeezed in half working for school since some of the content that I am using in class with my students will also be sold online.
It took me a long time to realize that I had the potential to sell my things. I’ve blogged for years, built websites, done marketing work for others, worked with a couple of business coaches-- but I never thought monetizing my content was an option.
My teacher friends always said that I had to sell my materials and I would just be like, “yeah, you’re crazy, it’s not that great. Literally, anybody could make this.”
In August I finally started selling content instead of only sharing it and in the first 30 days made the same amount of money as I do teaching full time. Yes, you did not read that wrong.
I made my monthly salary in my first 2 weeks selling digital content.
I was blown away, I kept asking my husband, “Isn’t that just like so cool?”
For me, the best part wasn’t actually the money (money is great, yeah sure) but personally, the biggie was that something I made for my students and that others saw the worth of incorporating it into their classrooms as well.
Then the killer-- this created no extra work on my end. Literally zero extra work to do as far as content creation is considered because the digital product was already created with the full intent of using it only for my students.
The only extra step was then publishing the material online to my website and TPT to allow others to purchase.
I honestly just thought I was lucky. Like, wow, big deal, beginners luck or something.
I was wrong though. For the rest of August, things kept selling.
In September, my second month after monetizing my content, I had a huge month again.
In my first 60 days, I earned more than $7,000 selling my digital teaching products. If you like exact (because when people say “almost,” “more than,” or “nearly” than a dollar number I feel sketch about it-- like what does “nearly” mean to you?) then $7,570 is the number.
And, I know that sounds wild. Here are the real-life screenshots.
That’s more than I made teaching hybrid classes for 2 months.
So 40+ hours on the teacher contract clock was obtained in selling just 6 digital products. And of those 6, items were split in various sized packages and bundles.
So, it wasn’t even 6 unique products.
It was different slide variations of just 4 sets of Google Slides split into various sized packages with prices ranging from $5.00 to $17.50 (some days down to $2.50 while running flash sales).
And even more specifically, that number I shared with you does not include my earnings from TeacherPayTeachers and venmo/PayPal/CashApp donations.
The $7,000+ was only from my website’s “Teaching Resources” webpage over at kindasortateacher.com.
Want to hear more craziness about how not hard I was working-- after posting them on my site, everything is automated.
I didn’t have to share any documents, send any messages, or communicate with customers (unless somebody emailed and asked for some help!). When the purchase is made and the money is collected, the content gets automatically sent to the buyer's email for them to download.
No work on your end.
So while I am weirdly, horribly, awkward about things that go well for me (it’s always luck or the right place at the right time) I have to own up to it and say, this wasn’t luck.
I’ve done tons of things since 2015 that slowly made me enter the digital world and realized there was money to be made. I just had no idea of how to make the money or what I wanted to do online.
I always say, “I’m going to teach forever.”
I’ve committed so much to teaching-- financially, phew child, y’all don’t even want to see this student loan debt.
You know, like many of y’all I have 6 years invested in my education to get my B.A. in English, then my M.Ed. immediately after.
I don’t want to leave the classroom today, tomorrow, or in the next year. No way. One day, maybe-ish?
One thing this pandemic did teach me is that teachers will be appreciated in spurts (when crisis hits and people realize, oh crap we do need them).
But as quick as that happened, we also saw that we can have our workload tremendously increased without much gratitude (and zero additional compensation).
We’re superheroes, of course, we can do more! How dare you question it?
And as far as being asked (truly asked) about what we think is best, we are expendable, can be replaced, and it doesn’t really matter what we think.
In-person? Hybrid? Online? Have online teachers and in-person teachers? Synchronous? Asynchronous? Sanitizing procedures? Do you feel safe? Are you… okay? You’ll be fine, here’s an email with what’s to come.
I need more security financially in our underpaid profession. And we are not wrong for saying that (I have a whole blog ready for next week about salary, Lordt).
It’s okay to want more.
It’s okay to be compensated for sharing your gifts and talents with others.
The how the hell to do it is what I will be helping you guys within the coming months.
You know all the fancy-sounding parts:
branding your teacher self
monetizing your content
marketing using paid and free methods
social media to reach customers, build relationships, and maximize reach
list building using your website
streamlining across multiple platforms
multimedia must-haves the sites and tools I use
It’s not an overnight process (even though I know as teachers, we can cram a regular person’s 40 hours of work into a weekend).
If you are interested in learning more about monetizing your teaching content make sure to subscribe to our email list and follow me on whatever is your preferred social (I got ‘em all!).
You too can make hundreds and even thousands