Keep your Website Updated and Schedule Content in Advance

It never fails that it will be January and as I’m strolling through websites of other libraries and librarians that somewhere the information on the site was last updated in October for the Book Fair.

And then I go to visit my own site in January and realize that my last great post was pictures of National Picture Book Month. Oops!

I am as guilty as the rest. At this moment, I really haven’t touched my website for a few months. I think it looks attractive enough, resources are available, but I haven’t had much motivation or willpower to get it updated. It’s not necessarily out-of-date, but it doesn’t have anything new on it. It’s probably been the same with blogging. I pushed myself last year to blog a few times a week but then lost my spark in the spring and slowed my pace down. For a personal blog I’m okay with that. For a school website in this time we live in it’s not as acceptable. Parents do check out websites. New residents will check websites to see what the schools are like. As a job seeker two years ago I looked at countless library webpages to see if I could get a vision of what libraries were like in the districts I was interested in. I’ll tell you, it was really difficult to get a good idea of what kind of vibe the libraries had. Most had a schedule, notes about general checkout, and sometimes a simple librarian biography. But not enough to show the life of the library or to offer resources to patrons.

We all get busy. Behind. Forgetful. Lack inspiration.

Once in awhile I get in a groove and get the content on my school blog lined up and scheduled. This year I want to get a lot of this content scheduled. There are events and resources that make great website content and don’t necessarily need to rely on waiting for pictures of students, events, or work samples. It’s those that I want to schedule to have ready. Then I can fill in the posts about the lessons and the kids between the seasonal updates about resources.

These are the posts I’ve decided to share at TeachersPayTeachers. I wrote 6 blog posts themed for August-September. Each blog post has a graphic to go with it, plain text to make it easy to copy and paste into your school website platform, and accompanying resources.

Welcome Back!
PebbleGo Database
Library Card Sign-up Month
International Dot Day
Talk Like a Pirate Day

Since that seems a bit self-promotional, I’ll share what I shared with another librarian about TeachersPayTeachers. I am big on sharing. I push and push the idea that we all have something to share even if we think it is little. We are all good at something and should give back to the communities we swim around in. We should present at conferences, share files, celebrate accomplishments, etc.

I started using TeachersPayTeachers with deliberation. Could I post this for free if I wanted to because I love to share? Yes. Will I give this file away? Probably to anyone in my district or who I know personally.

But, at the same time, it’s nice to earn a few dollars for the work I did. I would not have done the job quite so extensively for just my blog. I put in many hours to get this project (and others) to meet my objectives. My time is worth that and if the product has value to someone else then they’ll pay a few dollars to own it.

I won’t be shy and I’ll say: the money helps. Currently in my amazon shopping cart I have an aquarium hood, some 3D glasses, and duct tape. Two of those are necessities and one is a frill. For my library. Not for my household. As you know, the dollars we spend to educate our students add up. I spend an average of one pay check a year on my classroom and professional development. My choice, but it’s nice to have an income directly related to the extra time I spend on digital projects.

That’s the end of my 2 cents about TeachersPayTeachers :)

As for this website project, I’m already working on October-November’s posts. I’ll be putting them on TPT as well, but only if people are interested in the first batch. Either way, it’s going to help me out tremendously to get my website posts scheduled in advance with timely content! 

You can find my full file at TeachersPayTeachers with a free preview of the Talk Like a Pirate Day post. You can also download my Pirate Name Generator for free!

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