Zombie Resources: Bringing the Dead Back to Life

episode 71 zombie resources

Let’s revive those zombie resources

We’re getting into the Halloween spirit today by taking a close look at your zombie resources on TPT. If you’re wondering what a zombie resource is, they’re those resources that were once popular but are now outdated and collecting cobwebs inside your store. It’s time to bring them back to life!

I’m sharing reasons why some of your resources may “go zombie” and how to assess whether a resource is even worth reviving. Plus, you’ll gain valuable tips and tricks for refreshing the design, updating information, and making resources evergreen. 

Don’t let your hard work on old products go to waste. Tune in to hear how to resurrect those zombie resources and boost your sales! Don’t forget to share your transformations with me on Instagram @kristendoyle.co

01:45 – Why TPT resources “go zombie” in the first place

03:01 How to use your TPT dashboard to identify your zombie resources 

04:06 – What to consider when deciding if a product is worth bringing back to life or not

06:05 – Tips for getting your zombie resources to move back up your top-seller list

10:43 – My favorite way to market a revived resource without being salesy

Okay, TPT sellers ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place. Welcome to the savvy teacher seller. I’m Kristen Doyle. And I’m here to give you no fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. Let’s get started y’all.

Hey, y’all, welcome to this episode of the savvy teacher seller. I’m your host, Kristen Doyle. And while I am recording this episode a little early, it will be live on Halloween. So I thought it would be fun to lean into the Halloween mood for this episode. And I am not talking about telling spooky stories or going trick or treating, although those are fun as well.

Today, I want to talk to you about some dusty, old, cobweb covered, dead resources that might be in your TPT store, and how you can work to bring them back to life. Let’s talk about a quick example. I have a resource in my store that sold really, really well when I first created it. This was around 2012 or 2014, I haven’t looked to check. I initially made it to match a super popular, very trendy classroom decor style.

And it sold like hotcakes probably because the colors match that decor style that everyone was using. And it was good content too. But fast forward a couple years and that decor set had gone out of style. It wasn’t popular anymore. And the product wasn’t selling either because it looked old. So I gave that product a little glow up. And it is that in my top sellers again now and has stayed there for years.

So let’s talk about how to do that same sort of zombie resource revival in your own store. We’ll start with why resources go zombie in the first place. That’s a phrase I stole for my little guy. He’s been watching a zombie show lately, and it’s chessy as all get out. But he always says, Go zombie. Well, sometimes our resources go zombie too.

So resources might go to zombie on you because trends and styles change like that resource I was just telling you about. Your resource also might need to be adapted to new educational standards, or the content might be great. But the fact that we have new standards might mean your resource doesn’t look like it addresses them. And you might just need to address how you’re packaging things.

Another reason that resources can go zombie is if there are too many similar resources on the market, and we do see this, especially if you jumped in super early on maybe a keyword that was popular but didn’t have a lot of resources. And then other people started to create for that as well, the competition gets a little bit more. And then you really do need to put in some work to get your resource back to where it’s selling again.

The first thing you’ll want to do is identify your zombie resources. And you’ll do that by looking at your TPT dashboard, change the date range to all time and start looking for those things that used to sell really well but they haven’t sold well the last a year or two.

Those are resources that you need to take a deeper look at and decide why you think they went zombie in the first place. And if they’re worth reviving. So if a trend has changed, then you might be able to revive them just with a little facelift. If educational standards have changed, then maybe you can adapt your content to the new standards or adjust what standards are printed on. The teaching instructions are listed in the description.

If your problem is market saturation, and there are just so many more competing resources out there, then you might need to do something to level yours up. And we’ll talk about that in a few minutes. The first thing you’ll want to do though, is decide if your resource is actually worth reviving.

See, the truth is unfortunately, not all resources are going to make a comeback. There are resources that are dead that aren’t coming back. If a resource relies way too heavily on something that is totally off trend now, for example, if you made a set of classroom decor, for a style that is not at all popular, then you may not be able to revive that without completely changing it. If the decor is the product, then changing that theme to something that is trending now is basically creating a brand new product.

So I wouldn’t recommend trying to revive something like that. I would take a look at it and maybe decide that it’s time to just deactivate that product. Another reason that products might not be worth reviving is if they are created around content that is no longer relevant. So if they were something super specific, something date based, something we no longer teach, because we’ve learned and now we know better.

Or, in my case, I have had a product that I deleted from my store, I actually didn’t deactivate, I deleted it so that it’s gone permanently, because it was a product that relied on a classroom management technique I no longer believe in. So those types of products are some of the ones that you might decide aren’t worth reviving at all, and you choose to deactivate or delete them.

However, if you have a product whose content is great, but it just needs to adapt to some changes, maybe new standard, maybe new styles, or maybe that content was based on a past event, but you can find a way to turn it evergreen, those are the products that are worth reviving. And that can make a comeback and start to become your best sellers again.

Let’s talk about how to refresh that content and get those zombie products moving back up your top seller list. We’ll start with the design. See, just like your kids probably would not want to wear that homemade 1980s Halloween costume you still have in your attic, your resource needs to have a modern and current look. This is a way to indicate to buyers that you’re keeping up on things, that your resource is professional, that the content inside is going to be up to date.

So you might need to take a look at updating your fonts, your background, your clipart to reflect more modern and current styles. Pro tip for you here though, is to avoid super trendy styles, even the ones that are trending now, because those styles will go zombie in a year or two as well. And you’ll be right back here again having to change them another time.

So for most content, I recommend that you go with classic and modern styles instead. That way, you won’t have to change it very often. Of course, at some point it might still need to be changed, but it should be quite a long time. The only exception to that is if you’re creating things like classroom decor, where those trendy styles are the ones that are selling right now,

The second thing you might need to do is update information in the product. You want to make sure any information contained in the product is current. Any educational strategies you’re using reflect current best practices, not things we used to do that we’ve learned better than, like I shared about some of my own resources.

And for any resource that has a database topic, I would encourage you to get rid of specific date ranges, references to certain specific current events, and find a way to turn them evergreen, meaning that they are useful anytime. So a good example of this is some of those 2017 Solar Eclipse resources that you might have created because that solar eclipse was huge.

People were canceling school that day, teachers were teaching whole units leading up to it about the Eclipse. But guess what, we continue to have eclipses over time. In fact, at the time of this recording, we just had one last weekend. So eclipses are still happening. Kids still need to learn about them. And Newsflash, no one’s buying your 2017 solar eclipse resource anyway, if it’s about the 2017 eclipse.

So what I would do with a resource like that is turn it into an evergreen, good all the time resource about eclipses, you could talk about the different types of eclipses, you could certainly include dates for past and future eclipses. But not focusing the entire product on one specific Eclipse allows you to sell this on an ongoing basis. And it can help you to revive that dead product as well.

Now you might be thinking, yep, but doesn’t that give the new version free to everybody that bought the old one? And the answer to that is yes. And I would encourage you to lean into that and be okay with it. Because first of all, they bought this resource about eclipses, they’re never going to use the old one. Again, giving them this new one is a nice gesture of good faith. It’s something nice you can do for your customers and it will make them love and appreciate you even more.

The other reason now, there is a business reason for this. And that is those old sales and reviews can help you in search. So you don’t want to get rid of those. You don’t want to start fresh when you have all of these old reviews. They’re also really great for increasing conversions because they do provide some confidence for new buyers that this is going to be a good resource.

Now if your problem with the resource is that there is much greater market saturatio now. There are just too many competing resources out there. And so people aren’t choosing yours. In that case, you might need to give the content itself a bit of an overhaul, and find a way to add more value to your resource.

Think about adding something new, like an editable component or some digital activities. Maybe there’s a way that you can add differentiated levels. And if you’re missing things like teaching notes, or lesson plans, and answer keys, I would absolutely add those.

Those are all things that can add extra value to your resource and help your stand out among a sea of competition. Now, once you’ve updated your resource, you are going to need to do a little bit of marketing magic in order to get it selling again. Keep in mind, your audience has grown since you first posted this product. So some of your current audience wouldn’t have gotten that new product email that went out on TPT. Or maybe you never posted about this product in the first place.

So let the new people know and remind the old people who’ve been around that you have this product available. When you do one of my favorite things to do, because this is a sales tactic that feels non salesy, is to share the before and after. Do a little show and tell of your revamp on this product. Talk about how excited you are that you’ve updated it given it a fresh new look, added these great new parts.

And that’s an easy way to talk about your new product in a way you can feel good about because you can then remind past buyers to go into their purchases and redownload the product. This does two things. This makes your past buyers feel really good about the fact that they’re now getting the updates for free. And they’ll get to download it and use it which is great for them.

But the other thing it does is it creates some intrigue among potential new buyers who didn’t have this product. And it says to them, this seller is updating her products to improve them to keep them current, all of those things. And so when I buy from this seller, I can trust that she or he is going to continue keeping their products up to date and I’m going to be able to download those updates for free. That is a great sales strategy for letting people know that you are going to take care of them in the long term.

Now another thing you might consider doing is bundling. You know zombies, always travel in hordes, they like to be with their friends. So if you have a zombie product that you could bundle with a popular resource, this is a great way to get more eyes on it and increase sales of either the zombie product you’ve revived or the bundle which would be even better.

Keep in mind it is not always about creating something new. In fact, you know, I am all about working with improving what you already have instead of constantly being on that endless cycle of creation. Remember, just because a product is dead does not mean that it is gone for good. You can absolutely put on a little work and wake up those zombies.

Take 10 minutes after this episode right now if you can, not if you’re driving though, go to your TPT dashboard and Identify one resource that has gone zombie on you in the last couple of years. Decide right then and there. Is this a yes or a no for revival and be honest with yourself. It’s okay. Some products aren’t going to be revived. Others are.

For those that you can revive, make yourself a little mini to do list. Are you going to tweak the design? Do you need to make some content updates? And how are you going to get the word out about these updates once you do them? Then set a date. When you are going to sit down to start revamping this product, put it on your calendar so you don’t forget.

All right friends, I hope you enjoyed this Halloween episode of The Savvy Teacher Seller, and that you’re as excited as I am to breathe some life back into those zombie resources that have been sitting around in the dark dusty corners of your store. When you do I would love to see your updates. Share your before and after transformations on Instagram and tag me @Kristendoyle.co.

And if you found today’s episode helpful, don’t keep it a secret share it with your TPT seller friends, or take a second to leave a review for the show. It really helps more people find the show and helps me help more of you improve your stores. Have a wonderful day. I will talk to you soon. Bye for now.

I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please share it with another teacher seller who would also find it helpful. For more resources on growing your TPT business, head to Kristindoyle.co/TPT. talk to you soon

Ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place.

I’m here to give you no-fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. We’re talking SEO, improving product listings, leveraging your website, and more. 

About Your Host

Your host, Kristen Doyle, has a decade of experience selling on TpT and has made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to! As a web designer and the go-to SEO expert in the TpT world, she loves helping TpT sellers stand out in the crowd & grow their businesses with passive income strategies.

Tune in to hear Kristen cover all aspects of running a TpT business – from leveraging SEO, to improving product listings, to effective TpT seller strategies for your store and website.