How to Make and Sell Teacher Printables Online

Jul 10, 2016 | June/July, Summer, Teacher Rants, Teacher Wisdom | 1 comment

So you want to make and sell teacher printables online? Here's a great article to get started.

So you want to How to Make and Sell Teacher Printables Online?  The question of how to do this and where to start comes up sometimes in the Simply Kinder Teacher Facebook Group and so I thought it would be fitting to help you all get started.

Open up a Teachers Pay Teacher store.  

  • If you have a blog, use your blog name so that way your online presence is known.
  • Click here to open a up a store.  Answer all of the required questions and as many of the not-so-required questions as you can.
  • Upload an image as your profile.  The profile images are circles.  To make mine I used a square PowerPoint slide and inserted a circle into it.  I then cropped a photo into the circle, saved as a JPG, and uploaded directly.  Super simple.  Right?

Create resources or products in PowerPoint.  

  • PowerPoint is a part of Microsoft Office  so you may already have it on your computer.
  • I prefer to use PowerPoint because each slide is independent of the other slides, whereas in Word it is an ongoing document. PowerPoint helps you to duplicate pages and move pages with ease.  Trust me.

Get some clipart, fonts, and borders.  

  • These are all personal preference, of course, so pick what styles you like.
  • Purchase them directly off Teachers Pay Teachers.
  • Clipart. I suggest finding an artist you like and sticking with them.  This will help you build a collection of images that you can use again and again.  Only buy the clipart you need.  Don’t get caught up in things being cute or thinking you may need them one day.  Purchase only what you have immediate plans on using so you don’t waste your money.
  • Borders.  Buy a basic set of borders to use.  These dress up your printables and make them look more professional.  I personally bought Whimsy Workshop Teaching’s bundle of frames because they are clean, not too fancy, and sit right along the edge of the paper nicely.
  • Fonts.  You have lots of choices with fonts.  Many of the fonts are free to use for personal use and you just purchase a license per font you use in your products.  I have about five go-to fonts I use that are perfect for kindergarten.  Pick the fonts that work best for you and stick with them.  (I am not a font-loving person, they are challenging for me.)
  • Be sure to read the terms of use on all of these items.  For the most part though, if you purchase clipart from Teachers Pay Teachers, you can use them for personal or business use as long as they are secured in a PDF and as long as you credit the source on a credits page.  (Keep reading for help with that.)

Just make something.  

  • This is the kind of thing where you learn as you go.  So jump right in and make something.
  • Do make things your students need. Make things that teachers want.  Make things that are different.
  • Don’t copy other people’s resources.  It’s not right and you won’t make friends that way and it is against copyright to copy anything.  Period.

Your resource should include these sections.  

  • A cover page.  This is what will attract people to your resource.  Make it look good and represent what is inside of the file.
  • Activity pages, printables, or whatever you want to call the meat of your resource.  Be sure to watermark your pages. I personally like to put a small gray image of Simply Kinder in the right-hand corner of every page.  It does not need to scream your name, people just need to know who made it so they can find it again or go look for more stuff from you.
  • An about me page.  I do this on the second page of my resources.  I want those who download from me to know where to get more of me.  Teachers may find it annoying, but they DO use these pages to know what is out there.  I suggest making this page have clickable links. You can do this with Adobe Pro.  You don’t need to do this, but if you have the program you should be doing it.
  • A credits page.  This is where you will want to put your copyright statement and credit those clipart and font elements you used.  Most online resources have them, so take a peek at some of the resources you have downloaded to see what I am talking about and decided how you want yours to look. The base of this page stays the same for me and I just change out the logos for the clipart I used.

Upload your resources online.  

  • Again, just jump and do it.  You will grow and evolve as a seller and so you will most likely have to edit those first products down the road but we have ALL been there.  In fact, I am still editing my very first resources.
  • Your first download must be a freebie.  It’s just the way it is.  Pick something that is 2-10 pages that you can give away so people can see a sampling of what you are able to do.  Make it something that leaves people thinking – I want more.
  • Make your description make people WANT to download your resource.  Include as many details as you can.  Think about if you were reading it, would you want to download it?  That’s the goal right?
  • Upload images that give a fair representation of the resource.  You don’t have to rely on the image picker in the system to select your images.  Make your own and upload them if you want.  This is what I do on every resource.
  • Make a preview. This is something I am not super good at but many say it makes a huge difference.  Maybe I should?  LOL.
  • Let’s talk price point.  This is always tricky.  You want things to be affordable so that you are respectful of teachers money but have a price that shows value and quality.  Whatever that means to you is a personal thing.  Just know, you can play with your pricing. If something is not selling at a certain price point, change it.  You own this business and can make these decisions.

Share your resource on social media.  

  • You should have social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and whatever other platforms you like.  You don’t have to be active on them all, just pick one or two platforms and consistently share there.
  • Share the value of your resources.  Don’t just say “Hey, I made this.”  People don’t care.  But what they do care about is saving time and getting quality lessons for their students.  Lead with added value and they will come.
  • Be respectful of other people’s social media.  It is not ok to to leave links to your resources on other people’s social media accounts.  You have to build your own community to directly market to like that.  This goes for Facebook groups as well.
  • Share again, and again.  Most social media platforms are feeds and so if they don’t see it when you post it, they may never see it but play with this for effectiveness because everyone’s followings are different.
  • Write a blog post about it. Don’t have a blog?  Well, you should Start a Teacher Blog.  This will help you create a community around you and one of the things you can share on your blog is your resources.

Find yourself a support network. (Yes this is almost the same as the article Start a Teacher Blog.)  

  • Create a support network, but YouTube has many of the answers you need.  Yes, it’s easier to ask a friend, but the one thing that will make you be a successful seller is drive. Find the answers for yourself or make a fair attempt at doing so before you ask a mentor 35 questions in one day.  (Said with love.)
  • Find some teacher blogger FB groups that are productive and true.  I highly recommend the #TeacherprenuerTribe Facebook Group.  This group is filled with teacher bloggers who are truly passionate helping one another.  (I do recommend not joining though until you have a blog/store set up and ready to go.)
  • Find a mentor.  I remember about 3 years ago I declared Crystal Radke of Kreative in Life my mentor. I literally emailed her and said “Can you be my mentor?  I just have some questions and I really look up to you.”  I was nice to her, I did things for her, and she returned the favor.  Now, word of caution here since you are new.  Crystal and I were at about the same knowledge level but Crystal was just a little ahead of me.  I 100% recommend you finding a mentor who has just a little bit more experienced than you.  The reason why is because you will learn together, push each other, and experience the same stages of blogging together.  Using me for example, it has been so long since I have been through some of these stages and things have changed since then so I may not be the best person to lean on.  (But we can so be friends, I am not saying that I won’t help.)
  • Be friendly with others in your niche.  DON’T get caught up in the drama.  There, I said it and it’s so true.  I personally only surround myself with and support those who uplift others and who reciprocate with me.  I can tell you from personal experience, that you will not gain much from going at it with the mind frame of “trying to fit in with the cool kids.”  Be you.  Do you. And focus on your readers not other bloggers.

I know this is a lot, but it really just scrapes the surface of what goes on when selling on sites like Teachers Pay Teachers.  My #1 tip is to just jump in and get started.  Be friendly, focused, and learn as you go.  Don’t be overwhelmed.  Just start, you will be glad you did.  And ask questions, there are many of use who are here to help.

So you want to make and sell teacher printables online? Here's a great article to get started.

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1 Comment

  1. Jeanine Goodlow

    Thank you for all of this helpful information! I am about to start on TPT and it can be overwhelming. Thanks for making the journey a bit easier. I like that you state to , “Jump right in!” Thanks again, Gigi

    Reply

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