It started with a friend’s suggestion
The thing she said about that really made me think was this: she often creates products for trainings, and then after the training, they go nowhere.
That happens to me, too!
The other thing that happens to me is that I create things to give away here at GiftedGuru.com, and they only get used if people find them on my Free Downloads page. Teachers Pay Teachers has a much stronger SEO (search engine optimization) structure than I do, so more people will be able to find and use the materials.
How hard was it?
Once Laurie shared the idea with me and I decided to do it, I was able to get my “store” (what they call your micro-site) up and running in a few hours. I could have done it in a few minutes if I hadn’t wanted it to be good from the beginning.
What I mean by “good” is that I wanted the quote area to be a clickable link, I wanted a banner, and I wanted a picture. There are lots of things you can do to make your store solid, and the most amazing thing is how helpful the sellers are to each other. The forums are robust and active, and there is a lot of information there.
For the TpT download, I added the files of the individual tiles, so it’s a better product than the one on my site.
Is it creepy to sell stuff?
I’ll let you know if I sell anything! Your first product has to be a freebie, and most sellers give away a lot! It’s truly amazing.
The first product I put up for sale is a set of differentiated crossword puzzles about literary elements for 4th & 5th grades. It literally took me about nine hours to create, and no one has bought one yet.
Someone will, though, and when they do, I will feel like they got a good deal because it’s only $1.50 and it would save someone a lot of time. Way more than $1.50 worth of time (even at teacher pay rates).
Update: I actually sold a couple of the crosswords! I was way more excited about the feedback than the little-over-a-dollar!
In 1 Timothy 5:18 it tells us that a laborer is worthy of his reward (or pay). That’s how I feel about TeachersPayTeachers. These sellers spend literally hundreds of hours creating cool stuff, and they give tons away. It’s reasonable and fair to pay for their work to have great stuff for class you wouldn’t have time to do yourself.
Why not just keep giving stuff away here?
I will, but as I mentioned above, the reach isn’t enormous. Also, when a product is going on TpT, it has to be good! It has to look good! It has to have instructions! It has to be categorized!
I thought I could drag-and-drop my free stuff from here to there, but that wasn’t the case. I’ve spent tons of time making all of my freebies on TpT fabulous – as fabulous as I can.
People have downloaded them, and when they leave good feedback, it feels like I won the lottery. At least I guess that’s how it feels because I’m LDS and don’t gamble, but if I did and I played the lottery, I think it would feel like that.
You’ve got me thinking maybe I should do it.
Oh, I think you should. You don’t have to be a teacher. You can be a homeschooling mom. You can be someone who has an awesome idea. Go for it.
I’ll be writing more posts about my experiences with tips, and there is a lot in the forums to help you get started.
The number one tip I think I got was to find a niche – an area of expertise. For me it was easy – gifted! For you, it might be a particular grade or subject (or combo).
I hope you’ll follow me on TpT to get emails when I post new stuff!