Top 10 Tips for TPT Newbies

Making the decision to sell your original teaching materials on Teachers Pay Teachers can be a big step.  Some people jump in with both feet, while others will start out slow with a basic membership. After the decision is made to become a seller, it can be a little daunting to navigate the site and take everything in while being a "newbie."

This 10 point list, is designed to help you get started.  Are you ready?

You've made the decision to become a seller.....

1.  Upgrade to Premium.  The best decision you will make is to create a premium account.  There is an annual fee of $59.95 to become a premium seller, and it is definitely worth it. Becoming a premium seller will you to receive 85% in royalties without transaction fees for the products you sell.  You will generate more income, and make up for the fee that you paid sooner.  (The Upgrade link includes my special referral code.)

 Here is my referral code if you're interested:

2.  Make a plan, set goals, and plan to spend time working on your store each day.  This is very important.  One of the biggest mistakes new sellers make is opening a store, and not adding product to it.  It takes dedication and hard work to become a successful seller,  sales don't just happen.

3.  Familiarlize yourself with the TPT site, download the Handbook.  The Handbook is located on your "dashboard" under the section "Information & Resources."  (See screen shot).  There is also an archive of past TPT newsletters that are also quite helpful.

4.  Quality vs. Quantity; Develop products with purpose. When you create your learning resources,  make sure that they serve an educational purpose. Having the most pages in a product without substance is worse than having a modest number of pages that are quality.  If you slap together a couple pages and upload them without a real purpose to them, they most likely aren't going to sell. All of your products should include an attractive cover, and title page. This provides a finished look, and is more apt to be purchased than a product that doesn't have them.

5.  Develop your own unique style/brand.  There are numerous sellers in the same marketplace. The sellers and products that stand out are those that are different, and unique. Copying the style or design from another seller will lower your credibility and lead to fewer sales.

6.  Respect Copyrights and Trademarks.  This is a biggie!  If you are unfamiliar with copyright rules, the best place to familiarize yourself with the information is the U.S. Copyright Office. Trademark information, and search can be found here.  There are a lot of misconceptions of what can and cannot be used for creating learning materials. The line is often blurred by terms like "Fair Use" and "educational."  The general rule of thumb is if  you do not have written permission from an author/publisher, you may not use the materials in your products. Trademarked titles/names, and images may not be used in products. You may see products cropping up on TPT that violate trademarks (Dr. Seuss, Pete the Cat, Daily 5),  the sellers that post these products are putting themselves at risk of lawsuit for posting them. It's better for sellers to walk on the side of caution than to risk their reputation, and credibility publishing products that infringe the intellectual property rights of another.

7.  Add new (pay) products frequently, limiting the number of free items.   The frequency that you add your products, the more people will view your store.  Don't fill your store with a bunch of free items to entice people to your store. There are a few sellers that have done that, and it leads to bigger problems.  The old saying  "Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?" rings true.  If you fill your store with free items, why would anyone need or want to purchase anything?

8.  Price products fairly.  This point goes along with point 7.  Pricing seems to be an area that a lot of people tend to waver on.  What is a fair price?  Margaret, a contributing writer for the Teachers Pay Teachers Newsletter wrote an interesting newsletter February, 2013 regarding pricing here that is worth reading.  I recommend that you don't price ANY product under $1.00 (or you won't make very much money), and don't undercut the competition.

9.  Do use social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to promote your products.  Networking (without spamming) is one of the best ways to get your name/business, and store recognized. It takes work and dedication to do so.  There are a lot of activities that you can participate in like Blog hops, linky parties (Events where your Blog is linked to other Blogs in sort of a round-robin.  Each Blog offering something from a freebie, or a contest entry.)

10. Don't become discouraged if you do not make a million dollars your first week.   There has been quite a bit of press regarding the success of Teachers Pay Teachers.  During the last holiday season, there were news reports listing TPT as one of the top 5 ways to make money during 2013.  With all of the media coverage, a lot of sellers came to TPT thinking that they were going to make a lot of money without a lot of effort.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  If you join TPT thinking that you're going to make a lot of money right away,  you're going to be disappointed.  Developing a quality product line, cultivating a following (honestly, and with integrity) will bring on the sales.  Products that are useful, and posted with regularity are going to get the sales.  There is a lot of potential for sellers to make money, but it also requires dedication.

The level of success that you achieve is dependent upon what YOU do.  How much time and effort that you put into your business will make all the difference.  If you have questions, and need help getting started, feel free to email me.  I may not have all of the answers, but I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

My Referral Code:


  1. What great advice. This is a must read for anyone thinking about starting this adventure. :-)

    2nd Grade Pad

  2. Great info. I have been on tpt for a while now but am looking for advice for great titles. My lesson plans a great but I don't see a lot of views on some of my items. What suggestions do you have for making my products more visible?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Art Teacher

  3. Great advice! I received your link from the TpTWiki. Thank yo!

    A Tender Teacher for Special Needs

  4. This is great advice! Even though I've been on TPT for a while, and have developed somewhat of a following, it is great to get a refresher on how to become more successful.

    The Reinspired Teacher

  5. Excellent advice! I joined TpT two weeks ago and have found this advice very useful. I'm glad I found it early on.

  6. Thank you for your tips and advice. It is very helpful.

  7. Very helpful and encouraging! Thank you :)

  8. Thank you so much for the advice!


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