You have probably heard of Teachers Pay Teachers by now. With all of the side hustles that teachers can start in their spare time, selling teaching resources online is the most logical starting point.
It is an easy-to-start business with little overheads, and involves something that most teachers are already passionate about.
However, this means that there is a lot of competition out there. Being strategic and treating your TPT store like a business from day one is the key to turning a hobby selling resources into a profitable career. Yep, career. There are teachers around the world who are making enough money through their online stores that they have stopped teaching altogether!
No matter if your’re starting out or an experienced seller, here are the best resources online about getting started.
For easy navigation, use the below table of contents. There is even a fancy little link at the bottom of each section that takes you back to the top.
Simply, Teachers Pay Teachers is an online platform, where a community of teachers can share (sell) or acquire (buy) lesson plans and other educational content from one another. All teachers of all grade levels and using any kind of curriculum are welcome! Actually, these days, there is almost something for everybody who works in a school.
The marketplace platform allows users to browse content much like Amazon, eBay or Etsy. All resources are helpfully divided into categories such as resource type, subject, grade level, price, etc.
Once you’ve chosen content that’s suitable for what you need, you can get a “sneak peek”, or download a preview before purchasing the content.
Another bonus is the option for teachers to follow their favourite sellers and get updates and notifications regarding new material released.
When starting your own TPT store, there is a lot to consider. There are different membership levels, and a whole process you need to go through before you start.
Remember, if you intend on making a profit from your store, you need to treat it like a business from day one. That means you need to find your niche, work out your branding, and take the time to get the foundations right.
If you’re looking to sell teaching resources, it becomes so much more than just putting some basic word documents together. There are teachers out there who make some incredibly beautiful resources and if you want to compete you have to include basic design elements.
When creating teaching resources to sell, they need to be well designed and easy to implement in the classroom.
The best part about this though is that being the resourceful people we are, most teachers use Microsoft Powerpoint to create resources.
Sure, there is Facebook, Instagram and a million other ways to bring in traffic to a website or product on TPT.
However, Pinterest is the real deal when it comes to marketing your teaching resources.
Pinterest is also on another planet when it comes to learning the skills to use it properly. However, when done right, you’ll get thousands of clicks to your products every day.
The short answer… YES! While TPT can be a great source of income, if you want to take your store seriously, you need a home on your website that you own. Similar to a Facebook page, you don’t actually own your TPT store. You make the profits, but you are at the mercy of TPT.
If for example, TPT were to crash overnight, or even close down, you need a way to keep your business alive. Not having a blog or your own website is building on rented land.
Now, the ins and outs of blogging is another journey in itself. There is a lot to know. However, if done correctly, your blog will be a place where you can communicate with your readers and develop a great relationship.
On the business side, it is also a great way to add other marketing avenues to your business. There are always some great ways to increase blog traffic too.
However, it does take time. So make sure you can be committed enough to see it through and get the benefits.
Pinterest should be the big slice of your pie when it comes to marketing your products, however, it shouldn’t be the only one.
By using your blog correctly, you can start email marketing, which is one of the most effective forms of online marketing. To go with that, using social media channels is also a great way to get your products out there for the world to see.
While Teachers Pay Teachers is the Amazon of teaching resources, there are plenty of other marketplaces where you should also be selling.
When selling your teaching resources online, you don’t have to pick one avenue to do it. If you’re only selling on TPT, you’re leaving money on the table, it is as simple as that.
You should be diversifying your income and selling as many places as you can, including your own blog.
There are even options like The Wheel that copy all of your products to their platform.
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