Being a successful teacher author on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) frequently involves a series of missteps and mistakes before finding your selling groove. The difference between giving up and preserving through the growing pains of being a new seller can be getting advice from educators who have done it before.
Recently, I reached out to seasoned TPT sellers and I asked them to share their best advice for new sellers. Keep reading for 17 of their best tips for new TpT authors.
Use your expertise and create products within that niche. Your store doesn’t need to cover all subjects and grade levels. Successful stores stick with what they’re good at and build from there. ~Grethchen Bridgers of Always A Lesson
Use Powerpoint for your products. Microsoft Word is not friendly when manipulating items. Also, learn to secure your items from the beginning so others can not change your material and/or steal the clipart. ~Jordana Zachara of Elemenary Island
Find a small, supportive group of sellers to collaborate with, or if there are none, create a group. There is so much a seller can learn from each other. ~Jennifer Hibbard of The Yellow Brick Road
Read the forums! You can find the answer to just about every question in there, as well as lots of tips and advice. The sticky notes at the top of each board are a great place to start. ~Dianna Plotts of La Profe Plott’s Classroom
Flatten and secure all of your work from the start. Ask lots of questions in TPT groups! Collaboration is key to success ( along with hard work, great clip art, fonts, and curriculum ties)!Make resources you would like to use in your classroom. ~Anne Rozell of Believe to Achieve
Try submitting one of your freebies each week to be featured in TpT newsletter. Don’t give up on it. ~Robin Harrington of Class of Kinders
Everyone is always wondering about when to sign up for premium. My suggestion is to do it after your first sale or shortly there after! Also, don’t compare yourself to others! But do look to those that have been there before for guidance. When you’re reviewing their working and suddenly realize that the money is in creating bundles, instead of rushing through a big bundle, work on smaller parts over time, list the smaller parts and eventually turn the smaller parts into a bundle. ~Lauren Snider of Wedded Mommy Bliss
Remember that votes and followers will come with time. A lack of feedback or followers doesn’t mean you aren’t doing great things! Also, don’t sell yourself short trying to gain votes or followers. It is more important to have a loyal and interested audience than to build fast numbers. ~ K’s Classroom Kreations
Spend time in the forums so people get to know you. It’s the best way to get seen and known, especially in the beginning. By answering others’ questions or asking your own, or just commenting, you get in front of a lot more TPTers than any other way. Double and triple check your editing (I can tell you thru personal experience even double checking you’ll find mistakes later!). Trade editing with other sellers. ~Susan Berkowitz
Advertising is critical. You are a brand but people won’t know about it until you tell them about it. Social media must be your friend. It’s your best form of advertising. Become active in your professional organizations and get your name out there. ~Carol Lawson Miller of The Middle School Counselor
Learn about Pinterest if you only have time for one source of social media! It is tricky to start but worth the time you put in. ~Ashleigh Longhurst-Smith
Use PowerPoint to create! It’s the easiest to manipulate tools. Also, create what YOU need for YOUR classroom, not what’s “popular.” If you need it, chances are, someone else does too! Filling a hole is the best way to find your niche! ~Caitlin Emily of Cait’s Cool School
Get good clip art and take your time to make the best quality products that you are able to! Mistakes now means more time revamping later (and you are going to have enough of that to do over time anyway!) Look on YouTube for great how-to advice from other sellers. Join Facebook groups for your grade/specialty if you can find them. Linda Cook of Looks Like Language
Be kind to one another. We are all in this together and it is by supporting one another that we can really achieve great things. Yes, it’s great to have a business mindset and competition is GOOD – but by raising each other up we raise ourselves up – give kind feedback, offer kind constructive criticism, write kind replies to awful feedback, reply with kind responses in the forums. We all had to start somewhere – start and continue with kindness and people will respect you for that! ~Laine Woodhouse Sutherland of A Little Peace of Africa Designs
Value your work and others will, too (read: price it higher than you think). Focus on quality over quantity. It’s much better to have few excellent items than myriad mediocre ones. ~Mallory Martin of Mrs. Martin’s Music Room
What additional advice would you offer a new TpT author? Share in the comments below.
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