Part Two: New TPT Author? Six Things You Need to Know

Welcome to part two in the “New TPT Author? Six Things You Need to Know” series. In my first post I shared how using Pinterest to access helpful resources is a smart move and the importance of creating quality products that teachers can use to save time. Today I’m sharing why you need to design eye-catching, attractive product covers and treat your store like a business, not a hobby.

Design attractive, appealing product covers. You MUST learn to design clever, appealing product covers if you want your items to sell. Yes, we all judge a book by its cover, and if your cover page isn't on point, it could be passed over regardless of how great the resource is. This is one area I struggled with in the beginning. Not so much in knowing what an attractive cover looks like but allowing myself to be satisfied with the cover I’d created. At some point, you just have to say, “it’s my best” and put your work out there. You can see the progress from my early covers to date. On the left is the cover from one of my first products. The improved cover page on the right is the look I want to represent my brand.

The key is learning to use PowerPoint to create your resources. It's the go-to program for designing TPT products. In my last post, I wrote about writing quality resources. This is all about the cover. To get started creating covers, think about the brand and look you want to be associated with your business. Download and sample the free clip art from talented artists on Teachers Pay Teachers to get a feel for their style, and then begin purchasing clip art to complement your products. It's a great way to support fellow TPT artists and establish a rapport with some awesome folks. My favorite artists so far offer more middle school appropriate art which fits with the age group I'm targeting. Some I've used regularly are: Clever Cat Creations, In the beginning, you will need backgrounds, frames, clip art, and fonts to design effective and appealing products and product covers. Don’t spend more time browsing for these essentials than you do actually working on your resources. Get a solid collection and stick with those until you feel comfortable with your brand look. Another great clip art and photo resource is Pixabay. I’ve found a lot of images there that I can use for free without having to spend any money for a commercial license.

Run your store like the business it is. If you want your TPT store to be successful, and you are serious about it, you have to treat your store like a business because that's exactly what it is. We all have demands on our time, but unless you are doing this for fun or as a hobby (which is perfectly fine, by the way,) then you need to make a commitment and put in the work. Yes, it’s hard work and work that has to be done every single day! The most helpful action I took was writing daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals for my store. I started a running list of resources I use and can develop, and I'm certain you have just as many ideas, too. You'll first need to offer a freebie if you are new to TPT. This freebie is a requirement and will likely be the resource that sets the tone for your store. Don’t underestimate the power of your freebie. My English Cheat Sheet has been downloaded 4,820 times as of today and what a confidence boost that has been! I later added Scavenger Hunts for the English Cheat Sheet which has also done very well. Another freebie in my store is the letter template. It’s a simple template, but one teachers need and don’t have the time to create. The bottom line - your store will be as successful as the amount of work you put into it. Don’t sell yourself short!

I want to encourage you to keep working on and improving your store every day! You'll begin to see more sales and get valuable feedback about your products. It's great to hear from the teachers who've purchased and used your resources in their classroom. As always, I'd love to hear about your TPT journey!

Until next time,

Melissa :)