Blog Pillar Content Planner for TPT Sellers
When I tell teacherpreneurs and TpT sellers that they can have their whole blog content strategy laid out in 15 minutes, I’m usually met with some raised eyebrows.
It’s totally true, though.
In fact, you can have your ENTIRE content marketing strategy laid out in 15 minutes or less, with the right template.
If you’re here, you’re probably a TpT seller who’s heard that having a blog can work wonders for your TeachersPayTeachers store.
You might have heard a bit about how blogs are fantastic for driving traffic to your store, and how they help to position you as an expert for your chosen niche.
And well, if you hadn’t heard those things before, now you have! haha
Becoming a successful TpT seller, blogger, and blog pillar content planner really will make all the difference for your digital product sales. My blog post ranking #1 on Google for teaching on a reservation has helped me earn hundreds per month between affiliate marketing sales, and sales from my TeachersPayTeachers store.
So if you take the time to read through this post and learn about blog pillar content, it will be time well spent.
Before I direct you to the blog pillar content planner I’ve made, let’s ensure you know exactly what pillar content is, and why it’s so important for the success of your blog.
Or, if you’re short on time, check out this video on my YouTube Channel. You can map our your entire blog marketing strategy in 5-15 minutes if you’re coachable! Use this blog post, along with the video below, as your blog pillar content planner.
Look out for the templates I have available as well.
What Are Content Pillars?
So, what the heck are content pillars – and why do you need a blog pillar content planner for your overall marketing strategy?
You can think of content pillar as the recurring themes and topics you cover throughout your blog, store, other long-form content (such as a podcast or YouTube channel), and short-form content (like email marketing and social media posts).
They’re really the foundation of your blog, and your entire content strategy – since even the smallest of social media posts will be determined by them.
In order to know what your content pillars are, you first need to have a really firm grasp of your niche.
Do You Know Your Niche on TeachersPayTeachers?
Your niche is basically whatever your specialty is, with your own unique flavor or spin on it.
If you sell resources in your TeachersPayTeachers store that focus on 4th grade math, for example, your niche is clear – but it’s still a bit broad. There are thousands (if not tens or hundreds of thousands!) of other TpT Sellers selling 4th grade math resources, so you need to get a little more specific.
Think: How do you do that paritcular niche or specialty differently?
Reflect: What stands out about what you do, or how you do it?
After some thought and reflection, you might find that you use a lot of technology and digital resources in your classroom. This shows that it’s definitely something you’re proficient with. If you enjoy it, it’s something you’re passionate about – and there are definitely thousands of teachers out there looking for digital resources for 4th grade math!
We could do even BETTER, though.
Is there a certain topic in math that you really LOVE to teach? Could you focus on fractions? Decimals? Place value? 2×2 digit multiplication?
Or, maybe you don’t want to narrow down on WHAT you teach. Maybe it’s HOW you teach it that makes a difference.
Perhaps you’ve made some amazing resources for digital math centers focusing on 4th grade math, that other teachers and students have absolutely L O V E D. If you have products in that niche that are selling well, that’s a good sign to stay on course!
Now, you have a MUCH more focused niche: digital math center resources for 4th grade teachers.
You know exactly what you’re making, who you’re making it for, and what kind of products would fall into that niche.
How to Choose Your Content Pillars
Once you know your niche, it becomes a lot easier to choose your content pillars.
These are topics that come up often for your ideal client or customer.
Usually, you already know your content pillars, even if you don’t know that’s what they are.
From those broad, overarching topics, you’ll quickly see how the products and ideas you have already fall into those content pillars.
Content Pillar Examples for TPT Sellers and Teacherpreneurs
I’ve found it’s easier to think of content pillars as statements I stand by, which can be supported by products, services, and product lines I offer.
If your niche is digital math center resources for 4th grade teachers, then the three content pillars you might want to focus on for your blog and store are:
- You can engage and teach your students for centers using just the Google Suite, if you wanted to.
- Interactive worksheets in Google Slides
- Collaborative activities in Google Docs
- Drag-and-drop partner games in Jamboard
- Early finisher pixel coloring projects in Google Sheets
- Project ideas and discussion topics for Google Classroom
- Lesson plans for whole group lessons in Google Meet
- Small group activity ideas for teacher time during Google Meet breakout sessions
- Math manipulatives are important for building conceptual understanding. Thankfully, there are digital manipulatives!
- Sites you use for instruction/digital math centers
- Activities and product lines you’ve created that include digital math manipulatives
- Videos of yourself using manipulatives to show teachers how to use them virtually
- You could record instructional videos for your teachers’ STUDENTS using these, too!
- Digital doesn’t need to mean “high-tech.” There are low-tech ways to do digital, virtual math centers, too!
- Math races with white boards and dry erase markers
- Whole group activities with Google Slides presentations into Google Meet (students use the chat box to answer)
- Students can use the WhiteBoard feature in Google Meets to share their thinking
- I am OBSESSED with my dog! (personal brand content pillar)
- I’m a Christian, married mom with 5 kids; my life is crazy busy. (personal brand content pillar)
My Content Pillars for Teach Blog Travel
Since the above example is for TPT Sellers and teacherpreneurs who are helping teachers in the classroom, I thought it might also be helpful for you to see an example of content pillars from someone who is serving TPT Sellers and teacherpreneurs.
This is always a great exercise for me, too. Even though I’ve been doing this for a while, it always helps to take a step back from your business, and think: who am I serving? How do I want to serve them? How will I communicate the answers to those questions?
My Specialty: Time-saving templates and tools for TPT sellers.
My Niche: Blogging and marketing templates for TPT sellers still in the classroom – who know they need a blog, but would rather focus on product creation with the limited time they have.
It helps to work backwards when planning your major content pillars – so if you haven’t already, jot down some ideas for signature products and product lines you intend to make. And/or, for products that are already selling well.
Which types and pieces of content could lead to sales for those products?
These pathways are called funnels.
One example of a funnel is what I’ve setup for you to buy my blog post template (shameless plug!! hehe).
This blog post > free blogging blueprint opt-in > see my marketing email > buy my blog post template
OR, it might be YouTube video > this blog post > free blogging blueprint opt-in > see my marketing email > buy my blog post template
OR, if someone really knows they need it, they might be searching for a blog post template and buy it directly.
The point is, you always want for your free content (especially long-form content like a blog, YouTube channel or podcast) to lead to more sales.
Another consideration, is any overarching themes you have for your content and brand.
Even though my content pillars are blogging, graphic design and location independence, personal branding is a HUGE overarching topic. It’s not only what I teach, but it’s how I’ve built a successful business myself having multiple businesses in different niches.
It’s ALL about your personal brand!
These are the content pillars I have for this site and the Teach Blog Travel brand:
- Every TPT seller should have a blog – but it’s only worth it if you know what to do with it.
- Types of blogs
- Lifestyle blogs
- Niche sites
- Stages of blog development
- What all bloggers should know about:
- Blog post anatomy
- Keyword research
- Digital product sales
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
- Email marketing
- Things about blogging specifically for TPT:
- Types of blog posts for TPT sellers
- Designing funnels from and with blog posts
- Everything that should be in a TPT product promo blog post
- How to pair a blog post with a podcast episode or YouTube channel video
- Ways to share on social media without spamming
- Learning opportunities for TPT sellers becoming successful bloggers:
- Ironically, blogs and TPT stores both benefit from:
- Compelling copy that converts
- Attractive graphic design
- A strong personal brand
- Providing a solution for your ideal client or customer’s problem
- SEO strategies
- Creating and maintaining strong marketing funnels
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- My products and product line for TPT bloggers:
- Blog post templates
- Graphic design templates for blogging
- Copy templates for email marketing
- Graphic design templates for email marketing
- Pinterest pin templates
- Affiliate links for courses I’ve taken and LOVED
- Courses and other resources for blogging
- Types of blogs
- You can run a TPT business from anywhere, and you can use it to travel everywhere. My entire TPT setup can be packed into a carry-on, and it’s afforded me some pretty amazing opportunities!
- While traveling
- Road trips
- RV trips
- Train rides
- Bus rides
- From hotel rooms
- While staying in hostels
- While teaching abroad
- While teaching on a reservation
- While on a teacher fellowship
- While on a group trip
- While on a family vacation
- While at a teacher conference
- While traveling
- It’s not all about your copy. Everything you make needs to look good, too.
- Graphic design tips and templates for:
- Product listings
- Social media posts
- Blog posts
- Podcast covers
- Social media profiles
- YouTube Channel
- TPT Storefront
- Graphic design tips and templates for:
- Travel is MORE than a passion for me. It’s how I relax, rejuvenate and experience life outside of being a teacher or TPT seller. I’m also a travel agent, so I share my experiences with that as well. (personal brand content pillar)
- When I say I travel for food, I’m not lying. lol Follow me on Instagram if you want to see where I go and what I eat while I’m there lol (personal brand content pillar)
- I’m fascinated by languages and accents. Parlo un poco d’Italiano perche io sono un cantante, y hablo un paquito de Espanol, tambien. Ta Gaelige agam freisin, ach caithfidh me cleachtadh. If you understood any of those, let’s practice!! I need it lol (personal brand content pillar)
Hopefully, those content pillar examples helped. But if you’re still stuck, here are some tools you can use to start searching and clarifying your ideas. I’ve even included a few video tutorials. 🙂
Use Google Search with the ABC Method
You can use Google search to see what others have been searching for when it comes to your niche or topic(s) using the Google Search ABC method. It’s a great way to get started with SEO, keyword research and key phrase planning if you’re just getting into blogging and/or affiliate marketing.
In fact, the same research you use on Google using this method often translates well over to TeachersPayTeachers!
I made a quick video on my YouTube Channel to show you how this works:
Ask Your Audience in Facebook Groups
If you have your own Facebook group, then you already have a collective of awesome people who are your ideal clients and customers. Ask away! Polls tend to do really well with responses and engagement.
If you don’t have your own group yet, find other groups where your ideal clients and customers hang out. Most group admins don’t allow market research in their groups, but there are ways around this while still being respectful of admins’ rules.
Each group has a search bar! You can use that search bar to type in keywords and keyword phrases related to the types of content and products you create. Then, you can search all of the related posts and questions that come up.
You can also just scroll through the group to see what other folks have asked in the past, and to see what they’re asking now.
Use Answer the Public to Find Frequently Asked Questions
This is another great ‘freemium’ site. This means you can use their site for free, but that you can get more services and features if you pay for a subscription. You get a limited amount of searches per day – so if you’re sticking with the free version, be intentional with what you decide to search!
It tends to work best with you limit the search to 1-2 keywords. Make sure that you’ve set your country and language to reflect where most of your ideal clients and customers are living.
Here’s a tutorial that walks you through how to use Answer the Public as a free keyword research tool:
This tool is a bit different. While you can still type in keywords and keyword phrases to find related content pillar ideas, I’ve used it to find out what the blogs I manage are already ranking for. I definitely recommend trying it if you already have an established website. It might surprise you!
If you don’t have your own website yet, or if your blog is very new, you can use this tool to research competitors with established sites.
If you know a top seller within your niche, it could be helpful to see which keywords they’re ranking for.
Remember, though – comparison is the thief of joy. Compare and you will despair! Just use it as research.
Why Content Pillars are So Important for Marketing and Social Media
Knowing your content pillars does a few great things for you.
- You’ll have structure. You’ll always know ‘what to post’ next.
- You’ll have clarity. No more random posting!
- You’ll have a strong personal brand. People will know who you really are, and what you’re about, right away!
- You’ll have super fans and followers who really love you. When you’re clear about who you are, what you do, who you help and how you do that differently, people will resonate with that – and with you! 🙂
- You’ll get more sales. Yay!! Who doesn’t want to hear more ‘cha-chings?!’
Looking for a free PDF version of a blog pillar content planner? I’ve got you covered.
If you need a video walkthrough to help you plan your blog pillar content strategy, click here to watch the YouTube video I’ve made about it.
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