25 April 2015

10 TPT Tips for Beginners

I started selling & creating products for TeachersPayTeachers in October 2014.  I just moved to a new country and was in the process of becoming certified to start teaching again, so I had a bit of time on my hands.  It was all self taught for me and took me a good 2-3 months to really get into it.  Here are 10 tips for anyone thinking about selling on TPT or just starting out.  Hopefully it can help your transition and make it easier for you!

#1 - Use Powerpoint to Create PDF Products

My first product was created in Word Document.  It took a good while to organize everything and tweak objects to the way I liked it.  Still, it didn't quite look the way I really wanted it to do so.  Then I found tips from Ladybug's Teacher Files about using Powerpoint for printables. (Make sure to click the link for a nice video & more tips on her site!)  The more you use it the easier it gets each time.

I suggest saving the Powerpoint file at first, that way you can easily adjust and edit products later.  When you're ready for Printables just click "Save as" and choose PDF! No matter how many slides you use this program will easily help you stay organize.

Make sure to click the image for the BEST Powerpoint quick tips from Ladybug's Teacher Files.

#2 - Create a FREEBIE

One thing you may not realize when creating your seller account, I sure didn't, is that you will need to create and upload 1 freebie to your store.  Don't be discouraged by this because I think this is more beneficial than counter productive.

My first product was a quick behavior chart that was similar to what I used in my classroom.  I used a generic theme so that it could appeal to nearly anyone and any grade.  This is one of my most downloaded items, and that may be mainly due to it being a freebie.  However, I believe this product has generated plenty of traffic to my store!

You can create a simple product or something a little more.  It is up to you, however, it is recommended to keep below a certain amount of slides.  I'd suggest keeping it simple and no more than 10-12 slides.  (If it's more then consider using that as a paid product instead.)

#3 - Take Your Time with Products & Review Review

I don't recommend rushing a product just quickly put it on your store.  Take your time and make sure it is made to your liking!  I like to spend a few days on products with no more than working on it for 3-4 hours at a time.  This is my personal preference, especially since my work varies each week at the moment.

Also, make sure to review review review!  Just like you used to for essays while in school, make sure you review and proofread several times before completing your product.  I've misspelled a few words on larger products and I've had to re-upload products.  My suggestion wait a day after you completed a product, review everything you wrote, then decide to upload it.

#4 - Find Your Own "Style"

When creating your products make sure it appeals to your own "style." One thing to keep in mind is you may enjoy how someone else made a product don't copy their style.  People will gravitate to you for your unique style.  Dare to be different and YOU!  You've got the knowledge and creative mind to style & format to your liking.

You can experiment with different fonts, backgrounds, and clip art from other TPT Stores, just make sure they are for Commercial Use if you intend to sell/distribute.  

I recommend checking out KG (Kimberly Geswein) Fonts & Creative Clips by Krista Wallden for some great starter stores. Also, click the image for some Font Pairing Guides!

#5 - Add a Thank You/Copyright Page

Make sure to include a Copyright Page with each of your products.  If you use any clipart, backgrounds, fonts, frames or more from other TPT sellers (or any other site/company), make sure to show credit!  Also, make sure each item has permission for Commercial Use.

I like to show credits for every product used in each product and a Thank You section.  Keep in mind whether you'd like your product to be used for Personal Use (majority of the time) or Commercial Use.   I also use this section to share my blog, a page for a list of ALL credits, and a way to contact me (email).

#6 - Become a Premium Seller & Know the Benefits

Free Seller Account vs. Premium Seller, which to choose?  I started out with just the Free Seller account because I was just starting out, then one month (while I was away on holiday) BOOM! I got all sorts of sells.  I had wished I purchased the Premium Seller Upgrade before that.

Free Sellers get 60% royalties and have to pay a transaction fee for each purchase.  Premium Sellers get 85% royalties and don't have to pay transaction fees, but you have to pay $59.95 for each year.  Let's just say that one month would've more than paid for the Premium account with the 15% profit difference and no transaction fees. Click the image for more information and read up on it.

#7 - Utilize a Blog 

This isn't a necessity, but I know it's been beneficial for me as a teacher, let alone as a TPT Seller.  I'm a blogger by heart and I love the community blogs can create.  There's a HUGE education blogging community out there!

It's great to get your name out there, but mainly because you can communicate and learn from fellow teachers.

You can create collaborations, get tons of tips and share ideas with others.  My favorite moment was when I was asked if I'd like to donate a product for an Autism Awareness Fundraiser.  It's amazing to see a community helping each other and causes we're all passionate about.

#8 - Spread the Word

You on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and other Social Media accounts?  Utilize them to spread the word of your product.  I was complete surprised when I realized there was a community for teachers among all social media platforms.

Pinterest is great to generate ideas.  Did you even realize there's a huge education community within Twitter & Instagram?  I find new bloggers that I enjoy following this way.  It's another way to communicate and share what you have.

#9 - Create a Sale

While spreading the word, this is a great way to attract new buyers!

This is something I've looked into and found myself finding new stores to check out.  There are tons and tons of great sellers on TPT and it's sometimes hard to get your store to reach others.

Sales are a great way to get others to check out your store!  Plus, I've kept some items on my Wish List and once I see it's on sale I usually jump on purchasing it.

#10 - Keep a list of ideas

While I'm creating products I'm always thinking of other things I'd like to create.  I personally like using my Google Drive account to keep a running list of ideas that come to mind.  This is because I have an app on my phone and I can update it whenever an idea comes to mind.

I'm such a sucker for "To Do Lists" of all sorts!

**Side note:  Planning & organizing your products can be very helpful on your creation process.  I do this before starting so that I make sure I have all that I want to add/create, decide what is important and adjust accordingly.  (Check out Blair Turner's To Do List & other paper goods!)

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