We’ve talked about the top tips you need to start earning over $1k on Teachers Pay Teachers from getting a premium membership to selling bundles.
But for those just establishing their TpT presence, there’s one element that will help guide the rest of your decisions as a seller.
It’s your niche.
What is a niche?
Your niche is your specialty. It’s what you’ll create a majority of your products around and it will both help guide you in creating and marketing resources as well as help others begin to associate with your brand.
Niches range anywhere from specializing in particular grade levels to emphasizing a particular subject. Some sellers even have niches specializing in selling to TpT sellers.
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Just browse the top seller list to see how different the niches can be. Some offer algebra resources exclusively, while some offer a product in a broader range of subjects but only for particular grade levels like 4th-grade science.
Whether you choose a broader niche or a very specific one like offering graphics for TpT sellers, your niche is what will help guide many of your choices, as well as help you compete in a saturated market.
Your niche should be a combination of your interests and categories that sell because monetizing your TpT store is the end goal.
Not sure where to begin? You’re in luck!
Here are 5 steps that will help you find your niche.
Research Your Competitors
An important first step when choosing your niche as a seller on Teachers Pay Teachers is to get a sense of the market you’re entering.
Although there’s an awesome aspect of community to Teachers Pay Teachers, as a seller, it’s a business and other sellers are your competition.
Go through the different categories on TpT or research the top sellers on the site. What are their niches? Which niches seem to be the most popular?
It’s also just a great jumping off point to start brainstorming all the different niches you could sell in.
Researching what niches are out there and what other sellers choose to specialize in can help you find gaps in the market.
Is there any educational need that is in high demand yet has few high-quality resources available?
Consider Your Passions & Strengths
Familiarizing yourself with the TpT seller market is a must, but it shouldn’t be the only factor that goes into play when choosing your niche.
Just because a particular niche could be easy to break into doesn’t mean it aligns with your skills or interests.
That’s where you have to do a little introspection. What are your teaching passions? Do you live for classroom management resources? Are you obsessed with making fun classroom activities?
Consider also where your strengths lie. Do other educators ever ask to borrow your resources in a certain area? Are there specific activities or subjects your students can’t get enough of?
Are there any niches out there currently that align with your strengths or your passions?
The goal is to do what you love while also making the highest quality teaching resources that you can. Combining your strengths and passions can help you realize what you want to specialize in, while an awareness of the market can help you identify how to break into that specialized area.
Pick up our comprehensive Teachers Pay Teachers Guide for tips on creating popular and profitable resources.
Once you’ve got a broader idea of the TpT market and have identified some niches that align with your own interests and skills, you need to narrow it down.
Your niche should be specific. The more specific your niche, the easier it will be to identify your target audience and create the resources they need and want the most. It also makes it easier to identify gaps in the market.
For example, let’s say you want to focus on literature. Great. Now, what grade level will you emphasize? Will it be middle school, high school?
Then consider how broad the topic of literature is. Will you focus on one particular era or all literature in general? Will you focus on specific authors, particular genres?
Then consider what your goal is by focusing on literature. Is it AP Testing proficiency, thematic understanding, or something else entirely?
Once you’ve narrowed down your niche, go back to your own materials. Think about which resources you have that have been most successful with your own students.
This is a great way to identify a niche that could be very successful for your own store.
Find out more about how to narrow down your niche in our TpT Guide here.
Start With Resources Needed
If you’re still struggling to narrow down your niche, look to the resources that are and aren’t being offered.
This can help you identify ways to break into a particular niche that’s possibly oversaturated. What kind of resources are there a shortage of?
Any time you identify products that you can create that are useful, convenient or time savers, there’s an opportunity to carve out your own space in a niche.
Think about your own classroom. Is there anything that could save you time or energy, or something that could make a lesson more efficient?
Do a search on TpT. Do those products exist? What is lacking in the market that you can provide? Consider items that would make your own teaching experience run smoother.
If you find it hard to find something in particular, like good poetry analyses, then create your own. It’s all about finding a way to provide value that sells while doing what you love.
Look For Ways To Differentiate
Regardless of whether the niche you choose is highly or moderately competitive, it’s important to differentiate yourself.
Chances are, no matter how narrow your niche, you’ll be creating resources that are similar to other stuff on Teachers Pay Teachers. Whether your niche is 4th-grade earth science activities, high school lit test prep or clip-art bundles for TpT sellers, you have to find a way to make your personal brand stand out.
See? It all really does come back to knowing your competition. It’s the only way to find out how you can make your own mark.
Are there resources that you can make better? Maybe you and 25 other sellers offer a complete lesson plan on Romeo & Juliet. How can you make yours more effective, convenient, or useful?
It could be as simple as jazzing up your lesson plan by throwing in some awesome activities or games. It could be that the core content is missing something you know could be beneficial.
You don’t have to buy every competitor’s resources to gain this insight. Read their comments and feedback and try to incorporate things customers want into your own resources. Find your own unique spin to make yourself stand apart from the crowd and claim your own space in your chosen niche.
You can learn our top strategies for building an awesome personal brand in our TpT guide.
Choosing your niche is important and provide your brand with focus, but it’s just the beginning.
What do you do after you’ve found your niche? How do you use it to create profitable resources?
Download our Teachers Pay Teachers guide and get everything you need to start earning on TpT. Learn how to build a brand, create awesome resources, and market your offers. What are you waiting for?