Getting started with Teachers Pay Teachers comes with a lot of questions. I know, because I get asked questions like the ones in this post on a daily basis and I had many of the same questions when I became a TPT seller. In fact, I continue to learn something new every day and am constantly trying to grow and better myself in the TPT seller business.
Even though I am in no way a TPT expert or millionaire, I’ve decided to share a little bit of my TPT history and provide you with some tips on how start a Teachers Pay Teachers store.
I opened up my TPT store in 2014. I had zero experience with creating and selling online but decided to give it a shot! Through my own research and experience, I have learned a lot about creating and selling digital resources. Here are my best TPT tips:
How to Make Teachers Pay Teachers Products
Step One: Find the Right Fonts & Clipart
If you are including clipart, fonts, or photographs in your products, you MUST purchase a license for commercial use. The majority of the clipart and fonts sold on TPT are for commercial use. Meaning, once you purchase these images/font you are allowed to use them in your products. Credit is not always required, however it is nice to include a credits page at the end of your product.
Once I purchase a font or clipart set, I like to make a note of it so that I know I have permission to use it.
Some of my favorite font sellers are:
Some of my favorite clipart sellers are:
Step Two: Choose the Right Program
The next step in creating your TPT product is to find a program that will allow you to add images and text to your document. Personally, I’ve found that Powerpoint is the easiest program to use when creating TPT resources. It’s very practical and allows you to drag images and text around the page.
Step Three: Secure Your Product
When you start your TPT store, you might hear the phrase “flatten and secure.” This just means that your product has been converted to a flattened PDF file and the elements on the page are secure. When you upload a product to Teachers Pay Teachers, you want to ensure that all of the clipart is locked and cannot be stolen. Adobe Acrobat provides an easy way to secure your products before uploading to TPT.
How to Market Teachers Pay Teachers Products
Once you have finished the time-consuming task of creating Teachers Pay Teachers Resources, it’s time to sell those products! Promotion and marketing are KEY in making sales. Featuring my products on Instagram and Pinterest really helped me make sales on TPT.
Instagram TPT Marketing
As soon as I opened up my store, I created my Instagram page @SweetToothTeaching which focused on all things educational.
I took snapshots of activities in my classroom, organizational hacks, classroom decor, and glimpses of my products in action. Using hashtags, I searched for other teacher accounts and just started following as many as I could! Soon enough, I had also gained a handful of followers. I started commenting on photos that inspired me and creating relationships with other teachers across this digital space.
The online teacher community is honestly AMAZING and extremely helpful.
Pinterest TPT Marketing
Marketing your Teachers Pay Teachers store on Pinterest is different than marketing on Instagram. While Pinterest has the feel of just another social media platform, it is actually a visual search engine. Teachers turn to Pinterest when they need ideas, and YOUR products can pop up in their search results!
TPT Marketing Tips
Here are some important things to consider when marketing on Instagram and/or Pinterest:
- DON’T just post product covers on your feed. (I started by making this mistake.)
- DO display your products in action in your classroom.
- DON’T ask for followers.
- DO follow accounts you feel passionate about and comment on photos that truly inspire you.
- DO join collaborative boards and pinning parties. You can find tons of seller forums on the TPT site. This is a great space for networking.
- DO be honest and REAL about your posts and content. This is what will truly lead you to gain an authentic following and eventually make sales.
Teachers Pay Teachers Premium
Once you have created your Teachers Pay Teachers resources and have started making sales, you might wonder if it’s time to upgrade to a premium seller account.
What is Teachers Pay Teachers Premium?
Getting started on Teachers Pay Teachers is completely free with a Basic Seller Membership. However, for an annual fee, a Premium Seller account provides a larger commission on sales and much fewer transaction fees. There are also some other perks to being a Premium Seller, such as the ability to upload larger file sizes, as well as access to other features.
When Should I Upgrade to a Premium Seller Account?
I started creating resources for my students and it slowly turned into my creative outlet. I created my first product in June of 2014 and did not make a sale until the following month. I was so excited about that $1.20!
I made a little over $100 throughout my first year of TPT selling. During my second year, I made a little over $2,000. I was SO excited and could not believe that I had made that off just creating worksheets on PowerPoint! In 2016, I decided it was worth upgrading to a premium account so that I could keep a larger portion of my sales.
I recommend upgrading to a premium account once you start seeing a significant amount of sales. There is no need to purchase a premium account right away!
How to Balance Life as a Teachers Pay Teachers Seller
After reading about what goes in to creating, marketing, and selling digital resources, it might seem like too much work to balance TPT with the rest of your responsibilities. I wanted to share what I do to keep up with my TPT business.
I try my very best to keep track of my products and constantly brainstorm new ideas. I also like to keep track of my monthly sales and monitor which products are selling the most. This will give me an idea as to what kind of resources to create next.
I have created a set of record-keeping sheets which includes product names and future updates. This will help me keep track of older products that might need some tweaking or additions requested by buyers.
FREE TPT Recording Sheets
These helpful record-keeping sheets will help you organize your Teachers Pay Teachers business!
Grab this freebie and keep all of your important TPT information all in one place.
This year I am vowing to set aside at least one hour a week to checking emails and responding to questions on TPT. This is definitely my weak area and something I struggle with.
Is Selling on TPT Worth It?
Teachers Pay Teachers has forever changed my life. Thanks to TPT, my husband and I were able to have a beautiful wedding, travel to Bali, and buy our first home within the same year. (We do have income from our jobs, but TPT also played a significant role in all of this.)
This is why I feel the need to constantly encourage my teacher friends to open up their own store. This business has taught me how to grow as a person and entrepreneur. It has forced me to step out of my comfort zone by reaching out to others and building relationships. Most of all, it has showed me the value of hard work and dedication.
Getting Started with TPT? Reach Out!
Like I said before, I am obviously not a TPT expert. However, I absolutely LOVE sharing tips and tricks with teachers that are getting started with TPT. I have a Tips & Tricks highlight on my Instagram feed @SweetToothTeaching where I share Powerpoint tips for creating resources.
If there is anything else you would like to learn more about, feel free to reach out and let me know!