When you post your first products on TpT you need at least one free product.
This is how people get a glimpse of your work product. This is very important because there are a lot of products that just don’t mesh with all personalities and styles even if it is a great product.
Don’t be scared of free products!
There are plenty of people who do not post any but the obligatory free products while other sellers post tons of free stuff! As my store grows I want to add many free items. At the moment I have 19 products in my store of which, five are free.
My first paid product on TpT came a few weeks after I launched my store. I launched my store with exclusively free products. I didn’t get one download in that time. Stop thinking you are going to be missing out on sales. In the beginning, you are just trying to grow a following. You won’t be getting rich.
My first product is my best seller Teaching with Monopoly.
It can be used in both history classes and economic classes. It is designed for use in high school but could be used in the middle school level. Over the next few months I plan on launching a middle school exclusive version so middle school teachers do not have to modify anything and it will be relatively prep-free.
But as my first product, I have a lot of pride for it. It is a unique item that in my opinion, showcases my creativity. Not many teachers teach with games period let alone an actual board game. From start to finish, it took about two weeks to complete this product. It was a big project with many different aspects that took time to coordinate.
When creating your first products, take your time. Quality matters. Every successful TpT sellers gives that same advice. Quality matters, so focus on it. No one will come back and buy crap.
What is a quality product?
- Something that aligns with teaching standards. You do not need to list the standards you are aligning your lessons with, especially since your buyers may not be from the same state as you but it should be easy for a teacher to align the lesson themselves. If you can align your lessons with Common Core I think that is a bonus and selling advantage.
- Something that is well organized and something teachers could figure out without reading instructions.
- Easy to view. Don’t overly design your products. The design should enhance your product not be the product. You could have the coolest fonts, the coolest boarders, with the coolest color combinations. But if it is hard to read or see your product it won’t matter. You just lost a return shopper.
- Something that helps teachers. Maybe some teachers sell a ton of these but I don’t know any teachers in any of my groups that sell chapter notes. They don’t sell their PowerPoint presentations without something else. Think of what products would enhance your own teaching and sell those, not the chapter notes.
Start off with creating products that keep you working. My husband always wants me to create items that I am not that into because that is what he likes. But he isn’t doing the work. Do what makes you happy and what will keep you working on your store.
My store is an eclectic mix of a game, PERSIA charts, one elementary focused math/history lesson, timeline posters, and Chinese history maps and puzzles. They are all items that I really wanted to make and I had a ton of fun making them. Most importantly, it kept me working on my store.
Be you but be quality.