I can’t believe it! Yesterday was my one year teacherspayteachers anniversary, and I can’t believe how far I’ve come.
I have to confess… I didn’t even find TpT! My hubby did and he encouraged me to post some of the things that I already had created each weekend when I was getting ready for the week. I thought he was nuts to think anyone would want to use, let alone, buy my teaching resources. However, I decided to give it a shot, and boy am I glad I did.
Are you thinking about joining TpT? If so, go for it, but first check out these tips and tricks of the trade that I learned over the last year. Maybe they’ll help you not make some of the silly mistakes I have. 😉
10 Things I’ve Learned After 1 Year on TpT
1. 2 Words: Cover Pages. When I first started on TpT, I didn’t have a clue about how it worked. I just uploaded worksheets and activities I had. After checking out the forums, I realized how important it was to create a cover page, or front page, that 1. Included the title, 2. Included your name or your store’s name, and 3. Was colorful and aesthetically pleasing. Going back and adding cover pages was NOT fun, so I’d suggest doing it from the beginning. Here’s an example of (what I think) is a pretty good cover page.
2. Protect your work.You do this 2 ways. 1. Upload your files as PDFs, not Word Documents. and 2. Put a copyright on every. single. page. It doesn’t have to be large, in fact it should be very small, but do it. It protects you in case someone copies you. A copyright should look like this:
3. Pricing. Do not under price your work. Pricing is very hard because you don’t want to overcharge, but you know what’s worse than over charging? Undercharging. Why? it hurts the overall market on TpT and ultimately hurts your sales. When you undervalue your work, people often think there is something wrong with it. Take into account how many pages, what’s on each page, how much YOU would pay for it, how long it can be used, and how creative it is. Also, there is a $3.00 purchase requirement on TpT, so never price anything as $2.99. Check out Margaret Whisnant’s Pricing Guide and Rachel Lynette’s Pricing Guide.
4. Focus. This was one thing I think I did well from the start. Some people hop onto TpT and try to constantly create new products, run a Facebook, start a Blog, and promote on Pinterest right away. I am a firm believer that, if you’re new, you should focus on one thing at a time. Obviously if you already had a blog, that may not be the case. However, I started with my TpT store and creating quality products. After I felt like I had built that up, I started a Facebook page (because I said I was never starting a blog… Ha!). After I was comfortable with Facebook, I started Pinning on Pinterest, and after I had all three down, then I started blogging. It takes a lot of time to do all of those things, and I think starting off slowly helps you to balance all of those things and teaching and family life. Plus, until you have quality products, what can you really promote?
5. Patience young grasshopper. When I started on TpT, I would make maybe 10 bucks a week and thought that was fantastic. I know that a lot of people who came before me had an even slower start. Very few people are “hares” on TpT. There are some, but most of us are “tortoises”. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to stop reading this and go read a book of fables. ;)) It. takes. time. and. work. All of the successful people worked their butt off to get that successful, and it took them months, and even years. Don’t get upset if you’re not an instant top seller. Just focus on creating quality products and celebrating your little success. 🙂
6. Utilize the forums. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Search through the forums and learn from the wise sellers who have already been there. And just a word to the wise, search for what you’re looking for before you start a new topic. 🙂
7. Create products you would or can use. I find my best products are ones inspired by what I’m currently doing in the classroom. If you would use it, others probably would as well.
8. Promote your store and products, but please don’t be annoying. If you use Pinterest, do not post the same product or a ton of your paid products all at once. Anyone who follows you will get annoyed. Instead, post a paid product here and there, but post more free ideas and freebies. Also, your blog should not just be posts about your products. Those are great, but only do it sparingly. I call blogs like that “adver-blogs” and I steer clear of them.
9. Step away. Sometimes you need a brain break just like our kiddos, and sometimes you need to focus on your other responsibilities. That’s okay, and in fact, sometimes it’s the best thing you can do. Your store won’t explode if you take some time off, and often you’ll come back refreshed.
10. Stop and smell the roses. Every once and a while, I stop and realize that people all over the country, (and dare I even say the world?) are using my resources and ideas in their classroom! That is amazing! Even if you aren’t selling that much, look at how much your freebies are being downloaded and think of how many students you are helping. That always puts a smile on my face. 🙂
Friends, I hope that was helpful. If you’re interested in becoming a TpT seller, you can click here. It is my referral link. Of course, you don’t have to use it, but I would really appreciate if you did. 🙂
Happy (almost) Friday!