For those of you who didn’t run from your computers last Friday on April Fool’s Day, you may have caught the breaking news from Illustrated Ministry about our summer curriculum, An Illustrated Leviticus. I worked on putting all of the pieces together for that from about 9pm – 3am on April 1st and yes, I did have a lot of fun. In case you missed it – this is the process I hoped people would work their way through:
- First, they would see the link to our blog post on either Facebook or Twitter. I paid a little bit of money to boost one of our page’s posts and tried to encourage people to share it on Facebook.
- That link would take them to Illustrated Ministry’s blog, where they would read this post. At the end of that post, they were encourage to click on a button that said Download for Free to get a sample copy of the curriculum (which I had put together to look similar to An Illustrated Advent and An Illustrated Lent and then created as a free product on our Gumroad store).
- They would then receive that file and on the second to last page of the PDF, there was a link to a video in which I was sharing more details about the curriculum and it also included a promise of a promo code for 50% off their purchase (I was trying to find ways to make sure people watched the video).
- The link went to the video below. Some people got to the video, heard me being a little too enthusiastic, and didn’t finish it. But you have to finish the video – it’s short. And if you haven’t watched it yet – please do. When you get to the end, you’ll know you’re at the end of the April Fool’s Day joke.
So, it was certainly involved – but well worth it. There were some people (and I won’t name names, but you know who you are) who thought it was real and were interested, but also perhaps perplexed and confused, as to what I was doing – but they went with it. There were also a few people who were not fans of the joke once they realized it was an April Fool’s Day joke. Sorry if you were in that boat- but in addition to creating all of the fun resources we make here at Illustrated Ministry, we also like to have fun.
We created the social media buzz I hoped for, and traffic to the site was very good (not quite as good as the day we got the Brian McLaren Bump – but still good). It was even good enough to get picked up by RNS (Religion News Service) in their article as well as making appearances in The Episcopal Cafe’s April Fool’s Prank Round Up, and in Liturgy’s The World is Round. Thanks to everyone who shared it and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Illustrated Ministry around the web
In addition to the RNS article, Illustrated Ministry has been getting some good reviews and mentions in posts from a wide variety of different blogs and websites. I wanted to share some of them with you below in case you wanted to see what others have been saying about Illustrated Ministry and our resources.
- GenOn Ministries: One of our first reviews when we were still called Illustrated Children’s Moments.
- Pomoletics: A shoutout from a good friend of mine, Jake Myers, who is an assistant professor of homiletics at Columbia Theological Seminary.
- Sacredise: Here is a guest post that I did on this well-known lectionary blog.
- The Blue Room: My friend MaryAnn McKibben Dana invited me to do a guest post on her site.
- Masterin’ the Pastorin’: Another guest post with the good folks over at Masterin’ the Pastorin’.
- Hope4CE: I was grateful to be able to share part of my story with the community at the Hope4CE blog.
- Patheos: Deb Arca over at Patheos did a fun interview with me for their site.
- kaimtry.tumblr.com: Here is a post I just ran across online from someone who also just happened to run across Illustrated Ministry online and ordered our Advent Coloring Posters last fall.
- Call Her Happy: Jenna, a Catholic mom blogger, shared about our Lenten Coloring Posters.
- Play Eat Grow: This site (which focuses on fun, food and faith) did a great review of our An Illustrated Lent materials.
- Flame: Creative Children’s Ministry: Another really good review of our An Illustrated Lent materials.
- Practicing Families: One of the writers for An Illustrated Lent, Erika Marksbury, runs a site called Practicing Families – and so we got connected to their community. This is by another member of that community and she talks about An Illustrated Lent.
- Money Saving Mom: Crystal Paine, blogger at Money Saving Mom, shared both on Instagram (not once but twice) and with her blog about how much her kids loved the giant coloring posters.
One other group I want to publicly thank is the Fizzle community. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in learning about growing an online business, this is the community for them. I love the Fizzle crew, and they’ve been incredibly helpful over the past 6 months. What’s been fun is to get to know the Fizzle folks, the people in the forums (who are also amazing) and to learn from so many talented people.
I’ve also been honored and lucky enough to make two appearances in their weekly podcast. The first was in Episode 129: The Art of Low Competition Business Ideas. You can listen to the short segment on Illustrated Children’s Moments (this was early last fall) here. And then the large coloring posters took off and the business got both exciting and incredibly overwhelming. The Fizzle forums were a HUGE help to me, and since many of their podcasts grow out of conversations in the forums, Episode 141 was based on one of my forum posts: $25K In 3 Weeks, How To Handle The Overwhelm Of A Hit Product. I’ve included the episode below:
A big thanks to the Fizzle crew!
While I’m sure I’m missing a few posts, I just want to thank everyone who has invited me to guest post on their blogs, who has shared photos of kids and families and churches using our resources and who has taken the time to review and share about our resources with their communities.
If anyone else is interested in doing a story or a blog about Illustrated Ministry, or if you’d be interested in having me do a guest post, please contact me here. Thanks!