How To: Create & Sell Digital Resources on Teachers Pay Teachers

"How do I get started on TPT?", "How do I know if I can use certain fonts and clipart in my products?"
These are some of the questions I get on a daily basis.
So, I've decided to let you guys in on a little background of my TPT history and provide you with some tips on how you can open up your own TPT store! 
I'll start by saying that I am in no way a TPT expert or millionaire. lol  I learn something new every day and am constantly trying to grow and better myself in this business. However, I will also say that it is NOT difficult to start your own store! I feel like this is a very common misconception. 
I opened up my TPT store in 2014. I had zero experience creating or selling online but decided to give it a shot! I did some research on Copyrights and what programs
to use. Here's what I learned:

Using Fonts & Clipart in your Digital Resources

  • If you are including clipart, fonts, or photographs in your products, you MUST purchase a license for commercial use. The majority of the clipart and fonts sold on TPT are for commercial use. Meaning, once you purchase these images/font you are allowed to use them in your products. Credit is not always required, however it is nice to include a credits page at the end of your product. 
  • You may find free downloadable fonts online. However, that does not mean you're allowed to use them in your products. Make sure to always read the Terms of Use for every clipart or font you download.
Once I purchase a font or clipart set, I like to make a note of it so that I know I have permission to use it. 

Some of my favorite font sellers are:

Some of my favorite clipart sellers are:

What Programs do I Use to Create Digital Resources?

  • I've found that powerpoint is the easiest program to use when creating resources! It's very practical and allows you to drag images and text around.
  • Adobe Acrobat allows you to secure your PDF files and ensure that all of the clipart is locked and cannot be stolen. 

When Do I Upgrade to a Premium Account?

I started creating resources for my students and it slowly turned into my creative outlet. I created my first product in June of 2014 and did not make a sale until July of 2014. You guys, I was so excited about that $1.20. 

I made a little over $100 throughout my first year of TPT selling. During my second year, I made a little over $2,000. I was SO excited and could not believe that I had made that off just creating worksheets on PowerPoint! In 2016, I decided it was worth upgrading to a premium account. Now I would get to keep a larger portion of my sales. I recommend upgrading to a premium account once you start seeing a significant amount of sales. There is no need to purchase a premium account right away! (It's $60 a year.)

Sales & Marketing- How to Get your Account and Products Noticed

Now, I will tell you that creating resources can be time consuming. However, promotion and marketing are KEY in making sales. As soon as I opened up my store, I created my Instagram page @SweetToothTeaching which focused on all things educational. I took snapshots of activities in my classroom, organizational hacks, classroom decor, and glimpses of my products in action.  Using hashtags, I searched for other teacher accounts and just started following as many as I could! Soon enough, I had also gained a handful of followers. I started commenting on photos that inspired me and creating relationships with other teachers across this digital space. The online teacher community is honestly AMAZING and extremely helpful. Featuring my products on Instagram and Pinterest really helped me make sales over on TPT. 

Here are some tips for marketing on Instagram/Pinterest:
  • DON'T just post product covers on your feed. (I started by making this mistake.)
  • DO display your products in action in your classroom. 
  • DON'T ask for followers.
  • DO follow accounts you feel passionate about and comment on photos that truly inspire you.
  • DO join collaborative boards and pinning parties. You can find tons of seller forums on the TPT site. This is a great space for networking.
  • DO be honest and REAL about your posts and content. This is what will truly lead you to gain an authentic following and eventually make sales. 

How Do I Keep Up with a Teachers Pay Teachers Business?

I try my very best to keep track of my products and constantly brainstorm new ideas. I also like to keep track of my monthly sales and monitor which products are selling the most. This will give me an idea as to what kind of resources to create next. 

This year I am vowing to set aside at least one hour a week to checking emails and responding to questions on TPT. This is definitely my weak area and something I struggle with. I have created a handout for which includes product names and future updates. This will help me keep track of older products that might need some tweaking or additions requested by buyers. 

Why Start a Teachers Pay Teachers store?

Teachers Pay Teachers has forever changed my life. Thanks to TPT, my husband and I were able to have a beautiful wedding, travel to Bali, and buy our first home within the same year. (We do have income from our jobs, but TPT also played a significant role in all of this.) 

This is why I feel the need to constantly encourage my teacher friends to open up their own store. This business has taught me how to grow as a person and entrepreneur. It has forced me to step out of my comfort zone by reaching out to others and building relationships. Most of all, it has showed me the value of hard work and dedication.

Like I said before, I am obviously not a TPT expert. However, I absolutely LOVE sharing tips and tricks with teachers that are trying to get their store started. I have a tips & tricks highlight on my Instagram feed @SweetToothTeaching where I share Powerpoint tips for creating resources.

If there is anything else you would like to learn more about, feel free to reach out and let me know!


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