One of the questions I’m asked most often about my online teacher business is, “How did you get started selling on TPT?” I wanted to dedicate this post to aspiring teacher-preneurs who are looking to earn additional income or even match or replace their teaching earnings. In this post, I’ll share my own personal journey of how I began on Teachers Pay Teachers and how you can get started selling on TPT, too!
How I Started Selling on TPT
My TPT journey began years ago. My friend Jen @primaryworld123 convinced me to create a Teachers Pay Teachers (now officially TPT) account. I already created many of my own resources for my classroom. If these resources helped me fill the holes in the curriculum, maybe they could help other teachers as well.
While I wish I could say I became an overnight success, that is not my story. I set up a premium seller account and slowly started earning some money online. I was a single mom at the time, and I was excited to earn enough to treat my daughters to a girls’ day out and make my student loan payments. Life was so busy then, so TPT was more of a hobby for me that I worked on when I could. I always knew that if I had more time, I could be successful.
Treat TPT as a Business Not a Hobby
Fast forward a few years later. I married the man of my dreams and had a baby boy. In my district, we are able to take one year unpaid maternity leave. I made a promise to myself to work on my TPT business during my time away from the classroom. While the baby was napping and the girls were in school, I worked on my TPT Store finally treating it as a business rather than a hobby. That philosophy made all the difference. I made mistakes and learned a lot on the way, and surely enough I began to see results!
Selling on TPT and Teaching Full-time
Selling on TPT and teaching full-time is not easy. Yet, I didn’t want to give my side-hustle up because the extra income was helping our family. So when I returned to the classroom after maternity leave, I tried my best to keep the TPT momentum going.
There have been some weeks where I didn’t get to TPT as much or at all because my family and my teaching job always come first. Once I got back into the groove, I would squeeze in TPT during little pockets of my day. For example, I wake up at 5 a.m. everyday and work a little before my kids wake up. Some nights I work on TPT after the kids go to bed, and some days I’m just too teacher-tired to TPT!
I have also found success in creating most of my resources during the summer months when I am not in the classroom and have more time to work on my business. I then promote the products during the school year on social media, but the bulk of the work is already done.
You have to do what works best for you and your schedule. Like I said, it’s not easy but it is doable to teach and do TPT.
Tips for Getting Started on TPT
Are you ready to give TPT a try? Here are some tips for getting started on TPT:
- Sign up for a premium seller account so that you get a larger percentage of your earnings. Premium sellers earn 80 percent of their earnings.
- Having Microsoft Office, especially PowerPoint, helps. You can design in Google Slides, but PowerPoint has the best design features in my opinion.
- Invest in clip art and fonts. As they say, “You have to spend money to make money.” Once I started investing a little in clip arts and new fonts, I saw a big increase in sales.
- Secure your pdf files. A PDF file alone is NOT protected. I use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
- Make your product covers appealing.
- Create purposeful products. My resources have been successful because I have used every single one in my own classroom.
- Once you have a good amount of products in your store, you can begin marketing on social media.
You will not “Get-Rich-Quick” on TPT
I wanted to note that If you are looking for a get-rich-quick plan, TPT is not the answer. I listen to Kayse Morris’ podcasts often and she has said many times, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” This could not be a more accurate description for a TPT Seller.
Today I earn a nice income on TPT, but that is the result of thousands of hours of creating over the years. The bottom line is that you have to put in the work and stick with it. If you are willing to do that, you will see results as well!
Overall, I hope that this post has inspired you to begin your own TPT store. I wish you the best of luck in your entrepreneurial journey!
More Teacher-preneur Talk
TPT is where it all started for Kindergarten Korner, but I have now added many more sources of online revenue to my growing business. Read about how I turned my TPT teacher side-hustle into multiple revenue streams HERE.
You might also like 10 Tips for Reaching the TPT Seller Milestones.
Follow along for more TPT and online business tips to come. If there’s a topic you’re interested in learning more about, comment below.