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Joining Teaching ESL Online in this interview is Justin Murray of Real Life English.
Real Life English is a hugely popular site for English learners wanting to connect and learn everyday English. In the interview, we learn how they got started, what their mission is, and the exciting things that they are working on right now.
There's also a story of having a 120,000 strong Facebook group being deleted thrown in.
Justin started by introducing Real Life English:
"It's a global community of English learners and speakers dedicated to help people all around the world speak English through real life conversations, real people, real learning materials."
I mentioned this a lot during the video, but RLE started through a party in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Justin, and his cofounder Chad, wanted to teach people English in a way that would help people to live English. And the blog started out of both of these things.
For nearly two years now, they have been posting content (videos, podcasts, articles etc.) 4-5 times a week, and therefore, have a lot of content built up (in both English and Portuguese).
One of their former cofounders started a podcast and a Twitter account. And talking about the podcast, Justin said:
"If you keep doing something over and over again, you get better."
We then talked about the Facebook group that they built to over 120,000 members. And then all of a sudden, Facebook deleted their group. At that time, they had a core Facebook group, and the majority of people within that group wrote to Facebook, but no one got a reply.
"If you build your house on Facebook, they can always take it away from you."
This is why it's so important to build your own blog and email list as this is something that you own.
We then talked about Facebook, specifically organic reach (how many of your followers see your content when you post). Justin then went through the difference between a Facebook page (business page) and a Facebook group.
Justin's former cofounder started their Twitter account and used different tactics to grow their following (currently at 70k), using tools such as Tweepi and Hootsuite to help them grow followers and schedule posts.
They have a free ebook that they offer to grow their email following, and this email marketing has been a big part of their strategy nearly from the start.
Justin and the team spend most of their time interacting with learners through their mailing list, and prioritize this.
We talked about the different products they have sold; this started with an audio version of an ebook, their course Fluency Plus after talking with their audience, and a product that goes with their podcast. I've seen one of these lessons, and it's incredible how detailed and in-depth the lessons are.
The RLE team are now in Chile in a startup incubator. They are now shifting their mindset to try and understand what learners really need, and they believe a big problem learners have is that they need to connect with others and use their English in a way that feels real.
Click here to read the post: http://www.teachingeslonline.com/interview-justin-murray
Here is a link to Real Life English: http://reallifeglobal.com/
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