Want to know what Mike is using on his TPT journey up the financial freedom mountain?
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Consider using the affiliate referral links on this page!
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links.
- That means we get a commission if you click the link and buy something from the merchant’s website.
- It doesn’t affect the price you pay, but it does help keep the lights up and running.
This page is a work in progress. Thanks for your patience!
(I last tinkered around on this page on Feb 10, 2023)
Books / Podcasts that helped me with my TPT Business
I listened and re-listen (present tense) to Michael Gerber’s book on Audible.
The entrepreneur myth is that if you’re good at a job (i.e. baking), then you should go into business (i.e. bakery) because they’re the same skill set.
The reality is that there’s an entrepreneur, a manager, and a technician in all of us.
Creating a teacher resource on TPT is technical work. We’re on the hamster wheel cranking out products.
But, if you’re serious about making money from a teacher side hustle, then you also need to learn about the big picture and the managerial skills.
I liked it because it helped me:
- Recognize that I can’t simply abdicate my bookkeeping work to my accountant. I have to be the “VP of FInance” to figure out what financial metrics I need
- See how a “world-class company” is structured. Sure, my teacher business is not going to be a franchise. But, learning about the processes and organization chart helped me to understand which part of my TPT business I was working on today.
- Understand the sales process more. I talk about the TPT sales funnel in Episode 17 at 06:17
(Audible offers a free trial. Click here to get this audiobook for free as long as you’ve never signed up for a free trial.)
Bigger Pockets podcast
Yup, they’re talking about the real-estate space and we’re in the TEACHERpreneur space.
But listen to David Greene, the host. I appreciate his growth mindset.
Here are some of my favourite episodes:
- Alex Hermozi (BP episode 649) breaks down how to bring your business to 6 digits and 7 digits of income. One customer avatar. One product. One channel. I applied that to the TPT Sales Funnel in SEOTpreneur episode 17 at 6:02.
- Ed Mylett (BP episode 620) talks about one thing he does that lead to his success: do one more. I applied that to TPT Sellers and effort in SEOTpreneur episode 13 at 19:54.
Tools I use for YouTube
I just upgraded to the Legend plan for the @SEOTpreneur YouTube channel. (Black Friday deal – save 40%)
I was on the PRO plan before (with their RisingStar 50% off coupon code.) But, now that I’m starting to try to grow on YouTube, here are the two features that spoke to me:
- Video A/B Tests & Title Generator (Legend only)
- Bulk Update Cards and End Screens (Star and Legend)
Tools I use for my TPT Business
If I’m trying to access a website too quickly, sometimes, the website will think I’m an automated bot.
(Humans don’t normally request website pages that fast, unless you accidentally open a bunch of website tabs all at once.)
The website will temporarily block my IP address. (An IP address is like your phone number or house address. It’s how computers on the interweb know who you are.)
When that happens, I just turn on my NordVPN to get a different IP address. I usually choose the same country as where the website company is located… or where most of their customers are.
If you use the following affiliate link, SEOTpreneur gets a 40% commission from NordVPN, which proves that this business model of FREE TPT coaching and alternate revenue streams can work.
- NordVPN 2 Year Deal With 68% Off For Only $3.71 Per Month, With Total Of $89. (30 days risk-free. Not satisfied? Get your money back, no questions asked.)
If you’d rather just go to NordVPN directly without the affiliate link, click here.
A few quick things to note:
- I’ve been using NordVPN for the past three years. I just renewed for the two-year plan. (By manually renewing, I was able to get their Black Friday 2022 promotion price. They just add the new months to the end of your existing plan. If you let NordVPN auto-renew, you’ll renew at the current non-promotion rate.)
- I like companies that offer 30-day money-back policies. This company does.
- Don’t feel pressure to buy right away. There’s always a count-down. There’s always a back-to-back sale.
- Generally speaking VPN connections are slower than non-VPN connections. If I find the connection too slow, I just connect to a different VPN server on the app.
- I use this on both my phone and laptop. I think I can load the NordVPN app on my Chromebook, but I haven’t done that yet.
- Every time I work at a Starbucks or some other place that offers free wi-fi, I use a VPN. (Actually, most times I work at a Starbucks, I just use my phone as a hotspot so I’m more secure.)
- FYI: Your internet company probably sells your web surfing habits. They aggregate the data, remove your personal information, and replace it with a user ID. It’s called clickstream data. It’s how we know that four out of ten people who visit the TPT website leave right away. (40% bounce rate as seen in this video at 36:34) – A VPN creates a virtual private network so your Internet Service Provider can’t see what you’re doing.
- If you were wondering about whether search results looked different in a different country, you can use NordVPN and all of a sudden, your computer is located in that country.
- Google knows I’m on a shared VPN IP address so if I’m connected to NordVPN and I try to use Google, Google warns me that there’s unusual traffic detected from my IP address, so usually I have to do those captcha things. I think NordVPN has a paid add-on where you can get an individual IP address, but I haven’t looked into it.
Tools I use for my TPT Websites (TPT Marketing)
Note: I am currently developing affordable TPT website hosting that starts at $10 per month.
If you are interested, please contact me.
Website Hosting: I use WordPress for myself and my clients
WordPress is a free, open-source content management system.
WordPress is kind of like an operating system on a phone – like iOS on iPhones.
WordPress is free software, but you need to pay for hardware (i.e., a server) to run the website software.
- So, you either pay for a web hosting company like WPMU DEV (I use them) to carve out a little server space for you to set up WordPress. This is where you can set up and use all of the best plugins and themes from WordPress.org.
- Or, you set up an account with a WordPress as a Service company like WordPress.com. WordPress.com is run by a company called Automattic (a big player in the WP community.) WordPress.com offers free and premium accounts on their WordPress server.
WordPress is big stuff. You can create blogs, TPT websites, full e-commerce stores, and enterprise-level business websites.
As of Jan 4, 2023, it’s used by 43.1% of websites around the world. (Source: W3techs)
In comparison, you may have heard of some of these website platforms:
- Shopify (3.8%)
- Wix (2.4%)
- Squarespace (2.0%)
- Adobe (1.1%)
- Google i.e. Blogger, Google Sites (0.8%)
Why do I use WordPress and not Wix, Blogger, or another website platform?
Because WordPress is open-source. It means if I don’t like the webhosting company I’m with, I can migrate my website to another webhosting company.
On the other hand, if you set up with Shopify, Wix, or Google Blogger, if you decide you want to switch companies or add custom code… well, you can’t. Those are proprietary web hosting systems.
(I started on Blogger. But, then I wanted to do cool stuff that I saw on other websites, and I realized you needed to install WordPress plugins to add that functionality.)
A few quick things to note:
- A WordPress website needs a domain name and a web server. You have to pay for both, but they don’t have to be from the same company.
- A domain name is an annual payment. (Different companies charge different amounts for the exact same service: registering a domain. Make sure you find one that includes WHOIS privacy protection. See below.)
- Web hosting is a monthly payment and can range from $10 per month to over $1500 per month, depending on how powerful the server is. Imagine a web server is like a car towing something (i.e., your website.) You can have a fancy e-commerce site, but if you’re running on a $10 engine, you’re not going anywhere. That makes intuitive sense. You can’t expect a blazing-fast website like Facebook with gazillion people using the website at the same time… on a $10 per month engine.
- Be careful of first-payment-only pricing. That shared web hosting costs might look like it costs $2.95 per month, but it will auto-renew at the regular price (i.e., $10.99 per month.)
Buying Domains and DNS management: Cloudflare.com
If you’re setting up a website, you’re going to need a domain name.
I now buy most of my domains from Cloudflare.
Because they offer wholesale pricing.
- This is the cheapest place I’ve found to buy .com and .org domain names. (I buy my .ca Canadian domains from Grape.ca)
- It’s even cheaper than what I can buy at “wholesale pricing” to resell.
Once you buy a domain name, you need a DNS server somewhere to manage where your domain name points.
Regardless of where I buy my domain names, I use Cloudflare for my DNS.
Because they have DNS servers around the world. So when you update a DNS setting, it happens immediately – so you can validate your domain for Google Search Console immediately. (Unlike with other companies where it can take a day or two for the DNS settings to propagate around the world.)
Cloudflare also provides caching (which speeds up your TPT website)
A few quick things to note:
- When you buy a domain name, your name, address, phone number, and email gets listed in a public database registry called WHOIS.
- For example, here is the WHOIS database entry for TeachersPayTeachers.com and the WHOIS entry for Cloudflare.com
- Cloudflare provides a layer of privacy by redacting the data in the entry and providing their email as the contact info.
Website Terms of Services / Privacy Policies / Cookies / Legal Stuff
NOTE: I am not a lawyer. Nothing in here should be considered as legal advice or offering of legal services. Please consult a lawyer.
Every teacher with a website needs to make their own decision about how they are going to deal with
- cookies consent and cookie policies
- privacy policies
- terms of service
The moment you set up Google Analytics or have a contact form, you’re collecting personal information which is governed by different laws in different jurisdictions around the world.
Here’s a blog post from the web hosting company I use that goes over
- why your WordPress website needs a terms of service page
- how to add a terms of service page to your WordPress site.
Here’s a tech company (Termaggedon) that generates Website Policies that automatically update as the laws change.
- They are not lawyers.
- You fill out a huge survey about different things about privacy that you probably haven’t thought about. (Watch this YouTube video tutorial.)
- You embed some code on your website, and Termageddon generates your policies. The company also monitors privacy policies around the world and updates the policies as new legislation enters.
- If you cancel your policy, then you’re no longer allowed to use the policies generated by their company. (Read their terms. They explain how it’s copyright infringement to continue using their policies after you end your membership.)
No matter where you get your policy pages, consider getting a lawyer to review the policy.
The fun thing about lawyers is they only have legal expertise in a specific jurisdiction. In other words, they can only speak about the law in their province / state and federal laws in their country.
You can quickly see how far down the rabbit hole this goes…
Ultimately, every TPT seller needs to do their own cost-benefit risk analysis. (Here’s one I did about copyright.)
And, as mentioned earlier. Consult a lawyer to help you make your own individual legal determination about what to do!