How I got started on Teachers Pay Teachers

One day I during my prep I was out of ideas for a tough topic.  So, I hopped online to see if I could come with anything.  After my search there were several lesson ideas from Teachers Pay Teachers that appeared and caught my eye.  That was the first time I had ever heard of Teachers Pay Teachers!  At that time I didn't want to spend any money, but I also knew that generating a new idea of my own would have meant staying late at work and missing time with my family.  So, I bought my very first item for $3 and it was great!  The next day in class my new lesson went over excellent.  After that I was hooked on seeing what other great ideas teachers in my subject area had!  I'm now supporting other teachers, running a more engaging classroom with fresh ideas and able to keep my free time open to spend with my family!

When I started Selling on TPT

I honestly started out as a buyer on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT).  I have about 10 years experience and can plan fairly quickly, but a new job and a 3rd child happened in my life nearly at the same time!  Time management became a major concern.

As things settled down I decided to list a few things myself and open my own store.  I started out with 1 simple upload of a not to fancy worksheet.  I wanted to learn the ropes and see how hard it would be to be a TPT store owner.

It wasn't hard at all!

The whole process only took about 3 minutes.  Shortly after this first product post, I posted a few other items. The sales didn't roll in that was for sure. In fact, I would say it was a good month before I received an email saying that I had sold something!  But when I got that email, man was I stoked!  Another teacher had seen and bought my item!  It was a type of professional excitement and motivation that I needed to fire up my career again.

In future posts I'll start sharing things I do and what I've learned about creating products, posting, driving sales and using tricks to help you cross sell! Thanks for reading!

Step 1:  Open a Free Sellers Account

It's Time You Became a Seller on Teachers Pay Teachers!

That's right! Time for you to get organized, add to the professional community and start earning some profits.  The start will be slow, but with some build up and tips that I'm going to give you, you'll start progressing quickly!

Step 1: Create a Free Teachers Pay Teachers Sellers Account

* At this time you want to think of a catchy username.  That is how people will get to know you as a seller.  I came up with Busy Bugsy, because my dad and aunt used to call me Bugsy when I was young and I'm always busy!
* There is also a paid membership that is around $60- a month and will earn you more from each sale.  As a free account TPT keeps a percent of each of your sales, but with the paid membership that percentage is a lot smaller.  I recommend you set up your store and have 20 quality products listed before you upgrade your account.

Step 2: Connect  to Pay Pal or Dwolla

* You can you use either service to get paid quickly and electronically right to your bank account.  I use Dwolla because it has fewer fees.
* Connect these through your Dashboard on Teachers Pay Teachers

Now Let's Post Your First Teachers Pay Teachers Resource!

Now that you've created an account  on Teachers Pay Teachers, it's time for you to join the thousands of teachers who are posting.  Posting resources is more than about just earning some extra cash (although this is really nice!) it's about putting your good ideas out there for other teachers!  Your ideas are more unique than you think!

First, never compare what you are making to what other people are making.  You need to make and post things that fit your personal teaching style or personal passions.  You are creating a personal style and as you put out more products and gain more followers, people will like your products because of the brand you've created.

Step 1: Pick Your Resource

Pick the resource that you want to start with. Then do the following:
1. Go through it for errors.

2. Make sure it is set up for easy use and add things that would make it better.

3. Check that your fonts are easy to see and attractive.

4. Add some pictures, graphics or border to add to the look. (Power Point is the easiest program to use)

5. Add a directions page or slide, so other teachers know how the lesson works. Give them alternative ideas on how to use the resource and describe how to avoid any possible problems.

Step 2: Login and Post

1.  After you log on go to "My TPT" and then choose "Add a New Resources"

2. Give your resource a title that tells a lot of about it and is catchy. You want the title to tell about the main target audience of the resource and it's main topic.

3. Upload your file and create thumbnails.  Now, if the product you want to sell in multiple files you will want to do this in 2 steps.  For now upload the file that includes the most attractive pages to base your file previews off.  Then just leave the file in place for a few minutes. We will come back and change it after a few other steps.  Trust me, this will save you lots of time!

4. Write a good description.  Starting with a question can be a good starter.  Think about the need your product fills and directly ask your potential buyer if they need that.  Another idea is to just get into why you use the product and how you've seen it work out for you.  Include a description of what the buyer is getting, the format and how many of what is included.  For example, if there are 8 worksheets practicing grammar with answer keys and directions then list those.

5. Pick the subject areas and grade levels that your resource fits into.  Now, in this area you want to choose grade levels that are reasonable.  If you have something that fits 5th grade, then you could check 4th, 5th and 6th.  Pick subject areas that are a good fit.  I always choose all 3 that they let me.  Properly labeling your items will help you get buying followers.

6. Price your Teachers Pay Teachers product.  Generally if something is simple then the price is around $1 and the more time it would take for someone to make it the more you would charge.  I have somethings that took me along time to create but stop selling if I price them over $5.  Remember, most teachers are buying these resources from their own pocket, so remember to consider the means of your target audience.

7.  Pick your thumbnails based on the file you uploaded.  Pick a couple that make your product shine.

8.  BEFORE YOU SUBMIT go back up to your description and copy it.  When I was getting started uploading my first files took me a long time, so I would click submit and the site would time out!  Then I would have to start over again!  Copying your description will save you a lot of frustration in case this happens to you!  NOW SUBMIT.

9. REMEMBER how I told you we would come back to the file if you had multiple files included in your product?  Here we are, if your file includes more than 1 file then you'll have to put the files into 1 file folder and right click them.  Then choose "send to a compressed zip file." You can upload zip folders, but not multiple files.  Most teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers will use zip files. Now choose to "edit product" and browse for you zip file.  Upload the zip file in place of your former file.  Now, go and submit your product again.  The thumbnails should be listed as "I already have the thumbnails I want." This will keep your earlier thumbnails from your original file in place.  This saves you the effort of needing to go through and generate a bunch of picture files and upload them.

Congratulations!  You have just posted your first resource on Teachers Pay Teachers!  Welcome to the global market place!  Thanks for sharing your ideas!