Are you thinking about opening a Teachers Pay Teachers store? If you are, keep in mind, it is definitely a marathon not a sprint. The experience can be extremely rewarding, both emotionally and financially, but I'm not kidding when I say it takes WORK!

 
I felt really overwhelmed at first. I just uploaded something to upload something. As I started searching the TpT website, I thought to myself, "Wow! There is a lot of stuff on here." The website seems completely overpopulated...which it is...but keep in mind A LOT of what is on there is not high-quality, or is likely part of an abandoned store. It is still possible to be successful!

I only started my store about a year ago...but I have to say, each month has been better than the last...and that's during a national pandemic!

PICK YOUR STORE NAME & DESIGN A LOGO
The first thing you want to do, is come up with a name for your store. Keep in mind there are TONS of stores on TpT. If you become successful...you don't want to look back and think, "Ahh..I wish I chose a different name." It is possible to change your name later...but I guarantee you will not want to go back and change all your covers, copyright lines, etc. once you've created a bunch of products! Take it from someone who changed their store name after having over 200 products...it was a nightmare to change everything!

Once you have your store name, you want to start thinking about your logo. Definitely take some time to peruse the website to see what's out there. You are going to want to have a logo that is memorable, and different from the majority out there. I decided to use my adorable dog Kona...well because she is cute, and she contrasts well against my colorful products. I've had plenty of people comment that they love my logo. Are you not sure if you can create a great logo? No worries, there are plenty of graphic designers out there who make TpT logos. Jump onto one of the TpT Facebook pages for some recommendations.



CREATE A "LOOK" FOR YOUR STORE
Along with creating a logo, you are going to want to add store banners in the 3 allotted spaces. I would do this early on because once you have your "look" established, you will feel more professional and motivated to create! Don't forget to make sure your look is cohesive. By cohesive I mean think about a color palette, consistent font choices etc. You don't want your store to have several different looks. You want it to be recognizable to teachers. You can check out my store HERE to see what I mean. If you want to make animated banners...I recommend this video HERE.

FOCUS ON THE QUALITY OF YOUR FIRST RESOURCE
Your first resource must be FREE...so don't post something that is 20 pages long. Think about what your strengths are and post something that shows this off. You'll also want to think about the variety of products and/or the subjects you will be posting for. I made my first resource before I developed my real focus (coloring). When I first started, people came to my store for the following: graphic organizers and puzzles and coloring pages for holidays. My first free product was a Personal-Narrative Graphic Organizer for Elementary and Middle School students. Turns out this freebie ended up in the weekly Teachers Pay Teachers Newsletter in April 2020.  It is only one organizer, but I included a color and black & white version. This product works for multiple grades, is easy to use, and frequently searched for. Keep all this in mind when creating your first TpT product.


MAKE SQUARE COVERS (MAKE SURE IT "POPS")
When people are searching on TpT, the thumbnails they see are square, so be sure to make your covers square. It's also a good idea to come up with a template for your products. You want all your products to feel cohesive, so think about logo placement, fonts, and product placement on your covers. If you visit my store, you will see there is a look that all my products share. Make your titles LARGE and easy to read. A good test would be to check out some TpT products on your phone using the app. Can you easily see the covers? Also, you don't need a lot of other text on your covers besides the title. I wish I knew this when I first started because I've been spending a lot of time going back and revising my covers. All you need is the name of your product (big!), your logo, and a great product shot. People love to see what they are getting.

INCLUDE THUMBNAILS & A PREVIEW
People like to see what they are getting. Make sure you include thumbnails (screenshots) of your products. You will also want to have a high-quality preview where your customer can get a closer look at your product. I recommend making a copy of your final resource, then add a watermark that says "PREVIEW" over each page. Make sure you lock your file so that people can't edit it and steal your work. If you leave it unlocked or unflattened, technology-savvy people can open your file, delete your watermark, and use your product without even purchasing it! There are tons of videos and blog posts on how to secure your files. I will write a post about how to do this soon.

DESIGN FOR THE HOLIDAYS IF YOU WANT TO GET MOTIVATED FAST
In order to stay motivated, you're going to want to start hearing that "cha-ching" soon on your TpT mobile app. This is why I suggest making your first few products for the upcoming holiday! For example...if you are starting a product in January...think Valentine's Day. Teachers will be searching for Valentine's Day products soon, so you will be more likely to reap the benefits from your work sooner than if you create just a random product. Let me tell you, that cha-ching never gets old!

BUNDLE YOUR RESOURCES TO START MAKING MONEY
Once you've created a few products that relate to one another, start to bundle them up! What is a bundle? A bundle is when you select multiple products from your store and sell them at a discounted price. Teachers love getting a bang for their buck, so oftentimes they will buy a bundle of resources rather than just an individual product. TpT makes this really easy with the bundling tool (check out the image below). You will just need to make a cover for your bundled resource. HERE is an example of a bundle I made for distance learning.



GETTING FOLLOWERS TAKES A LONG TIME-DON'T GIVE UP!
One thing that frustrated me at first, was seeing some teachers with tens of thousands of followers and I was stuck at 44 for a LONG time. I knew my products were high-quality but many of them just weren't being seen or found. Most teachers just buy and go, and don't really care about following your store. If they really love something, I find that they will end up following you when they return for their next product. You'll see some differing opinions online. Many will say, "you want organic followers" but I'll be honest, most of the people saying that started selling on TpT early on and have a huge following. It is so much harder now to get followers because the website is so overpopulated. And let's be honest...having followers make you look more legit. If you want some followers to get you jump-started, some Facebook groups like TpT Sellers have follow threads almost every week (follow my store, I'll follow yours). With that said, comment below and I'll be happy to follow you!

SUBMIT TO THE NEWSLETTER
TpT sends out newsletters weekly, with the exception of the summer. Before submitting to the newsletter, check out what they are already putting in there. It's "easier" to get a free product in the newsletter than a paid one, so start there. They usually are looking for products that appeal to a wide range of teachers. Keep in mind, it does appear they save submissions for later. So instead of just submitting the same product every week, change it up. You are welcome to submit to the newsletter every week or so. It took me about a year to get into the newsletter, and that was with submitting every week. Although it took a while, it was thrilling to open the email and see my product! The image below has my product that made the newsletter (please note this was my old store name & logo). I also got many new followers and traffic to my store. Submit to the newsletter HERE.
REPLY TO YOUR FEEDBACK
Your TpT app will notify you when you receive new feedback about a product. Make sure you reply to that person. When potential buyers come to your store and read your feedback, they will see your replies, and in turn, feel comfort knowing that you are active in your store in case they have any questions.

I hope you found my tips helpful! Please comment below with any questions and I'm happy to help. Good luck!

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