1. Get Premium
When you sign up, you can choose between two membership types: free (basic) and premium.
Teachers Pay Teachers is a commission based platform. That means they take a cut of every sale you make in your individual TpT store.
With a free membership, you keep 60% of each sale, TpT takes 40% and you’re charged a transaction fee for every purchase. With a premium membership, you keep 85% of each sale and TpT takes only 15%. Plus, there are no transaction fees.
With a premium membership, you earn more because you keep a larger cut of your profits.
It’s $59.95 per year, which averages to just $4.99 per month. If you’re serious about earning over $1,000 on TpT, the premium membership is a no-brainer. Why put in a bunch of effort to create and promote products only to have almost half the profit taken in commission?
2. Create Products that Fill Needs
There are a lot of sellers on TpT. Like over 100,000 to put a number on it.
That’s a ton of sellers to compete against. If you were going to buy fraction flash cards on TpT, how many pages would you sort through until you settled on a product? Maybe 2 or 3? Certainly not the thousands of pages of sellers that actually exist on the site.
In order to sell your products and start earning over $1,000, your products have to be specific and valuable.
Luckily, Teachers Pay Teachers is big on categories. Sellers and products are categorized based on everything from grade level to subject to product types.
This makes navigating a little easier, but no matter what your niche is, it also means there are still thousands of people making similar products.
So, when you’re deciding what products to create and sell in your store, think about what needs you can fill.
What are people searching for? What do people need more quality products of? If there are 30,000 results for decimals, you probably don’t want to focus all your efforts into create more products. Or if you do, think about how you can make your product different from the other products out there.
How can your product add value vs the top selling ones?
Search top selling products to see what niches are popular and to see how you can diversify your product offerings. The TpT search bar is also a great resource.
Start typing in a topic in your niche and it will offer auto-fill suggestions of commonly searched items. This can give you some jumping off points.
3. Use Freebies Strategically
Customers want to try before they buy, and that gives you an opportunity to hook them and show them how much value your products can give them.
Freebies should be stand alone products. Don’t offer a game template for free but make customers pay for the instructions. It frustrates users and can turn them off of checking out your other products.
Freebies should be among your absolute best quality products because it’s often the first glimpse people get at your material and style. You want to make the best impression so that the people who download your free products convert into buyers.
Look through TpT to see what freebies are popular to get an idea of what people are liking.
You also don’t want to offer freebies like they’re going out of style though. If you offer too many freebies, viewers have no incentive to buy your paid products. Aim to offer no more than 10% of your products for free.
4. Use Pinterest
Pinterest is a well-kept secret, but it can be an amazing traffic booster for your TpT store.
Create different boards for the different subjects and categories that are relevant to your TpT store and teaching needs.
For example, you might have boards dedicated to organization hacks, classroom activities, and science resources. Pin your own TpT resources strategically.
Your boards shouldn’t just contain your material. Pin other relevant, helpful, or interesting content, and sprinkle in your own resources with a link back to your TpT store.
Our Teachers Pay Teachers Guide goes into detail on how you can use keywords and a pinning schedule to help gain visibility and drive more traffic back to your store.
5. Offer Bundles
Bundles are super popular products because you get more bang for your buck.
They’re very commonly best sellers, so creating a bundle can help boost your overall sales.
You can either build a bundle specifically by intentionally creating a number of resources that complement each other or are in a similar category, or you can combine similar products you already have.
For example, some sellers create a bundle of their best selling products. Others create bundles of middle school reading quizzes or elementary school math resources.
Take your bundle and then discount it so that you’re offering a better purchase price than a buyer would get if they purchased each item individually.
Find out more about pricing bundles with our TpT guide here.
6. Up Your Graphics Game
The overall quality of your resources can be elevated by having professional, visual appeal.
We’re past the point of slapping some free Microsoft Word clip art on a project and calling it a day.
The cover images of your products should pull a viewer in and make them want to check out your product. The graphics inside a resource should also be appealing, professional, and clean.
A lot of sellers actually purchase graphics and art because it’s usually higher quality than what you’ll find for free. There are even TpT sellers who specialize in offering graphics for other TpT sellers.
Check out some of their bundles or be judicious about the free images you use.
You can also use Canva to create professional graphic design titles or little images. It’s free and it’s user friendly, even for those of us who are a tad design challenged (cough—me).
7. Engage and spread awareness
Having a store on TpT is usually not enough to get things moving. Great products and time investment are really important, but you also have to get the word out.
Again, with over 100,000 other sellers on the site, it might be hard to get visibility unless you have a product just go completely viral.
Even if you’ve earned your first $1,000 on the site, you have to keep growing your brand awareness in order to grow.
Engage with buyers and potential buyers both on and off of TpT. Respond to any comments TpT buyers post in your store, and then bump up your promotional efforts outside.
You’ll notice that a great majority of the top sellers on TpT also have blogs and a social media presence on some combination of Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Via Kacey Potter
You have to engage with potential buyers in order to help spread awareness and funnel them back to your store. A blog is helpful because it provides lots of value for readers for free, but it isn’t explicitly necessary.
The most important part is that you’re identifying who you’re trying to sell to (not just teachers, but teachers who teach a specific subject, or teachers who need a specific tool), and that you’re following them and engaging with them on social media.
You can post links back to your store and connect with your target audience.
8. Use Keywords
Using keywords in your product descriptions on TpT will help improve your product’s visibility. Keywords will help target your product towards the right audience.
Use specifically targeted words in your title and then include other relevant terms in your description.
For example, if one of my products was a Romeo and Juliet Complete Teaching Unit, I would include a description along the lines of:
This complete high school teaching unit contains a full analysis of the 5 Acts of Romeo and Juliet. Includes guided notes for each Act, a full Shakespearean symbolism guide, over 20 pages of student activities, 4 quizzes, and comprehensive end of unit test. Perfect for grades 8-12.
Apart from your descriptions on TpT, you also want to use keywords in your Pinterest descriptions and in your hashtags if you intend to promote on Instagram.
Via Heather Whetham
Think about what your terms your audience would search for to find your product or products like yours. Or use a keyword tool like KWFinder to do some keyword research.
9. Interlink Products
Show people what else you’ve got. Link other products at the bottom of product/resource pages. Link them in product descriptions. Let people know what other items you have that are similar or that they might be interested in.
If the item is in a bundle or if it has expansions, link those in the description so that audiences have exposure to them. You may just convince someone to buy a higher priced item, like a bundle, instead of just 1 single item.
Via Amy Abbott
Or you could expose them to other things they want or need.
Linking your store to your social media is also a helpful way to funnel people back to your store. It also saves people time, which in of itself is valuable.
If you can save people time and expose them to your store/resources, it’s a win-win. It’s kind of like the point of purchase candy stand in grocery stores. You weren’t necessary looking for it, but since you easily see what’s there, you’re more tempted.
Submit To The TpT Newsletter
A lot of sellers on TpT say they saw a turning point in their sales when they were featured in the Teachers Pay Teachers newsletter.
Sellers submit their products (usually freebies, but sometimes paid resources too), and TpT will choose ones to feature and send out to their mailing list of subscribers.
It all comes back to exposure. And this is a great way to get it. People can’t buy your resources if they aren’t aware of your store.
Of course, this isn’t always in your control, and you may have to submit a few times before your product gets featured. It isn’t a given, but it’s a good practice to get into.
Submit your resources regularly. If your resource isn't chosen, go back to the drawing board and try to assess why. Maybe it isn’t unique enough. How is the quality? Keep trying different resources and always aim to beat the quality of the last.
Don’t just submit to submit. Only push your best out, and try to create something different.
It never hurts to submit if you’re pushing out great quality products. And if you do get featured, it can certainly do wonders for boosting awareness and traffic back to your store.
Teachers Pay Teachers is an amazing way to supplement your income, but you have to know how to market your store. But these top 10 tips for earning over $1K on TpT will get you started on the right path. These are things all successful TpT sellers do.