Ever wondered how to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers? It seems like a big step into the business world, but it is easier than you think. You may not realise, but teachers make for excellent entrepreneurs due to their passion, motivation and their search for knowledge. As teachers, there are so many ways that we can all step into the edupreneur space. However, one of the most popular methods is to sell teaching resources online. By far, the most popular platform for marketing your resources is Teachers Pay Teachers. What started as a small way for teachers to connect has a become big business and is earning some teachers a lot of money.
We, teachers, are an imaginative, hard-working bunch, this is why we make for perfect businesspeople. Some of the most celebrated CEOs and writers of today have come from teaching backgrounds. JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame was once an English teacher. Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba.com, is one of the few rare cases of professor-turned-millionaire. Steve Wozniak, the partner of Steve Jobs in Apple, used to hold computer classes to 5th graders in Silicon Valley.
Lower your workload and get paid to do it
Did you know that a teacher on average makes up about 1,500 educational decisions per school day? It’s true! Crazy when you think about it, then think about every split-second decision you make in the classroom. I know that every time I decide to spend one-on-one time with a student, I am rejecting another. For example, today I had four hands up and another student who needed some one-on-one attention. Through making so many decisions, we have learned how to solve problems and navigate stressful situations.
One of these problematic situations is finding the time to plan classes. Creating unique material that is level appropriate and engaging can be time-consuming to put it lightly. However, resource-sharing sites like Teachers Pay Teachers give the option to cut back on the planning process by buying pre-made resources from other teachers. As a result, teachers all around the world are repurchasing their time. If you are a teacher looking for a way to step into the business world, then Teachers Pay Teachers is a great starting point.
So, if you want in on the most important educator marketplace on the planet, you’re in the right place!
So, what is Teachers Pay Teachers anyway?
Simply, Teachers Pay Teachers is an online platform, where a community of teachers can share (sell) or acquire (buy) lesson plans and similar educational content from one another. All teachers of all grade levels and using any kind of curriculum are welcome here! Actually, there is almost something for anybody who works in a school.
The TPT marketplace allows users to browse content much like any other popular e-retail shops, i.e., 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. Moreover, teachers can follow their favourite sellers and get updates and notifications regarding new material released. Pro Tip: once you start selling on Teachers Pay Teachers, make that follow button your friend.
Teachers Pay Teachers: then and now
Teachers Pay Teachers has made an impressive debut since it was launched in 2006. Since then, the business has taken off and teachers just like you have made fantastic money from the platform. The top-ranked teacher has sold more than $2 million in content and curriculum, more than a hundred teachers earned more than $500,000. Meanwhile, thousands of educators are more than happy selling their lesson plans for a few hundred dollars a month. The marketplace is growing too, and TPT is the platform of choice for more than 5 million teachers worldwide, with a billion resources bought and downloaded. Teachers Pay Teachers also introduces the top sellers, the content of the week and featured plan lesson plans so you can have a “best of” guide for what you need.
As a teacher who was a customer, long before a seller, TPT can be very helpful, fun and is designed to get the best in your classroom. The resources are original, convenient and most of all, created with care. Seriously, the resources you find online for a few dollars will save you hours. Also, let’s face it- not all teachers have the gift of creating one-of-a-kind lesson plans; some are great at motivating students, while others are good at projects and hands-on activities. If you want to get excellent teaching material, then TpT offers a wide variety for a nominal cost.
How to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers
Teachers and TpT members can start selling their unique resource at the online marketplace anytime. Homeschoolers, in particular, can get their stuff bought, and publishers can distribute their material on the platform, earning a significant amount of money in the process.
Standard Teacher Membership
Standard is free and a great starting point for teachers who are looking for teaching aids to buy. Education sellers may also apply for membership at via the Standard account level.
Get up to 60% in royalty fees for the content you sell on Teachers Pay Teachers and $.30 for every transaction made at the online marketplace.
Premium Seller Upgrade
Pay for $59.95 per year and get up to 85% in royalty fees with zero transaction fees. If you intend on selling, then this is the best option.
For publishers who wish to sell original teaching aid products. This account level features no transaction or annual fees, and you can gain up to 85% in royalty fees for the items. Digital sales are 50/50, with half going to the TPT platform.
Opening Your Store
Start by creating your membership profile and a short description of your story and your teaching experience. You can test out the waters by going with a Basic Account (which is free) that gives TpT about 40% of your commissions made from sales. Once you’ve made a name for yourself, there’s always the option to upgrade so you can get a better share of the sales pie. Teachers can set up the payment to be sent to their PayPal account periodically.
You’ll have to create a lesson that’s free before you can start selling with Teachers Pay Teachers. This content can be about reading assignments, group projects, arts & crafts, class decorations, etc. and it has to be in either Word, PDF, HTML or Wordperfect file format.
Once your store is set up, you’ll be provided with a unique Teachers Pay Teachers URL, much like the one you get on Amazon, Facebook, etc. You can personalise your page further by uploading a logo or an image. The more memorable it is, the better!
Creating your content – finding your niche
So, which type of educational content are you good at? Create your curriculum and carve out a niche. Then, decide on the target audience you’ll be selling the content to. If you have the time, do extra research and choose from various design archetypes by reading up on reviews, blogs, similar content marketplaces, etc. Choose the program where you’ll be doing most of the editing, designing and polishing.
Need an inspiration? Here are a few ideas for you:
- Lesson Plans
- Clip Art
- Word Games
- Math Games
- Writing Activities
- Comprehension Activities
- PowerPoint presentations
- Personal planning resources
- Assessment templates
- Guided reading mentor texts
Keep in mind that in some content you’ll have to be specific regarding age or educational level. Depending on how much time you have, you can create single projects or do a whole semester’s worth of curriculum. The range of learning material is really up to you. You can create unique education courses or learning aids that facilitate emotional and social learning, for instance.
Better yet, why not work with the wealth of content you already have, repurpose it and breathe new life into it? Start with the highest quality ones so you can build up a solid customer base. Other factors to consider include usefulness, and time that other teachers can save when they get your content.
Set the right price
One other thing- content you create should be priced a bit lower if you’re new to TPT. The idea here is that you haven’t built up a reputation in the platform, to compete with price and resource quality. Don’t price it too low or some teachers might think it’s rushed or unusable. If you stay consistent in your creation, the resources and sales will quickly add up.
Also, know your value. You worked hard on your resources, so put a fair price tag on your creation.
Take the extra time to create attractive covers to get more interested buyers. Visual stimulation is significant, and it could mean the difference between success and having to wait weeks or months before a teacher picks your material up. Also, include how the content can help teachers and what it adds to the teaching table. The details should be complete and descriptive.
Promoting Your Store
A good thing about Teachers Pay Teachers is that there’s a lot you can do to promote your content. For starters, you can keep an active eye out on your store’s comments and social media sites and reply as soon as you can. Trust me, this works a treat and develops relationships with your customers. Externally, here are some things you can do:
Promote your store by creating useful and informative content in the form of articles. You can then do a soft sell on a product and link to it using anchor texts.
Post On Social Media
Create snapshots of your work and upload it to Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Post regularly and interact with your followers. A video that shows how your content can be used in the classroom is especially helpful in selling educational products. Observe the 80/20 rule, where the majority of your posts are solely yours. Share funny memes, stories, include your favourite quotes, family pictures or adorable shots of your furry friend to show your personal side. You can even schedule your social media posts to make it a passive stream of advertising.
Advertise on Teachers Pay Teachers
There is even a way to promote your own products on TPT. However, opportunities are limited and usually sell out quickly!
All in all, Teachers Pay Teachers is an excellent marketplace and a platform where teachers can be entrepreneurs and customers at the same time. Buyers and sellers both benefit from the very supportive TPT community. Most importantly, you reach and tap on students’ learning potential across the nation.
Bonus Infographic: Sell teaching resources on Teachers Pay Teachers today