I have been creating and selling teaching resources as my main source of income since 2012. I’ve seen trends come and go and the expectations of teachers has changed dramatically in that time.
Having a range of products in your store is one of the essential things you need when you first start out as a teacherpreneur. There is no doubt that having 100 or more products in your store helps get you found.
So what is the advice I would give to increase sales when you are a new teacherpreneur?
Focus on creating products.
Look at what teachers want. Listen to their social media posts, get involved in conversations with teachers to find out what they need and then create it.
Write a great title and product description and create a powerful enticing cover image. Then upload the resources to either TpT or TES.
Should you upload to both TpT and TES?
I would recommend focussing on one platform at a time when you first sell teaching resources. If you are an American or Australian teacher then put your efforts into TpT. But if you are in the UK, Europe, the Middle East or Asia then focus on TES.
You need to learn the nuances of each platform and create resources that suit that educational system you are selling to.
There is no point in creating a fantastic resource all about American Independence Day that sells really well on TpT and attempting to put it on TES expecting it to sell just as well.
It will be a certain flop. Why would the rest of the world care about the America Independence Day celebrations? It’s not something teachers in the rest of the world would bother buying.
So instead focus on a single platform. Either TpT or TES but not both. Aim to get 100 good quality resources uploaded on that one platform.
If you want help on writing strong titles and product descriptions, you can have free access to my copyrighting course by clicking on the link now.
What do you do once you have uploaded 100 teaching resources?
Once you have reached the magic 100 products that seems to kick-start your results in either the TpT or TES platforms, then you can start to focus on other things.
Sure, you may want to keep creating resources. You may absolutely love creating resources. In which case go ahead, create more.
You may want to even start looking at alternative platforms and adjusting your teaching resources accordingly. If you had good success with TpT then try TES or visa versa but do be aware they are very different and the types of resources that sell on each are different. I wrote a previous blog post called “Can you be a successful seller on both TpT and TES?” which explains the main differences and how you can be successful on both.
However, for some people simply creating more and more teaching resources doesn’t appeal.
I, myself, don’t have a huge catalogue of teaching resources in either TpT or TES. I have a relatively modest range and yet I am one of the biggest sellers on TES.
How do I do it?
A few years ago, I made the decision that scrabbling around trying to sell a heck of a lot of £3 resources day in, day out, so I could cover my monthly mortgage payments, wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my working life.
I wanted to generate a high, sustainable income without feeling like I was on a constant treadmill of creating new resources all the time. So, I branched out into other areas and I’m so glad I did.
I’ve had some exciting opportunities and been privileged to have:
worked with the BBC,
written text books for some major publishers and
had my own book published which has been in the top 0.01% of book sales on Amazon since it was first published in 2019.
I was also asked to be the opening speaker of the first two TES “Authors Train Authors” events and co-presenter of their first webinar for teacherpreneurs. And I did all this with less than 200 resources in my TES store and less than 140 resources in my TpT store*.
How have I done it?
I focused on one new skill at a time. I decided what my focus would be and then went out and learnt what I could and practiced until I was really good at it.
I listened to those that have gone before me. Not only teacherpreneurs but marketing experts, writers, and subject specialists.
I also built a reputation among computer science teachers as an expert in my field. I got involved in their conversations, helping them when I could with advice and tips without any of the hard sell.
But I also had to learn what helps your products rise to the top of the search results. There was no point in creating wonderful teaching resources if nobody could ever find them. Unfortunately, it is often a closely guarded secret by the top sellers so I had to experiment (a lot) to find out what worked and more importantly what didn’t.
Getting higher in the search results.
I’ve already mentioned how important it is to create a strong resource title, product description and cover image and that should be your first port of call. But once you’re satisfied that you have that in place what else can you do?
The short answer is LOADS.
There are loads of tips I have discovered that help your resources raise higher in the rankings, so they can get found more easily and sell more.
Pick one from the list below to focus on. If you spread yourself too thinly you are likely to give up before it has a chance to work. Remember: this is a marathon and not a sprint.
Refresh your old resources
When you edit an old resource, it gives it a boost in the search results. It can involve updating the product itself or something as simple as only changing the cover, title or description. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve updated a product that hasn’t sold for a while and as soon as I do it starts selling again. It seems TpT and TES both put recently edited resources higher in the search results, meaning you are more likely to be found.
Update your store
Have a look at your store and see if you want to change the banner, about me section or even your store name or logo. By making these changes it can also boost you in the rankings.
Throw a sale
You can put your entire store on sale or reduce the price on just a few resources. Be careful of doing this too often as your followers may come to expect this and won’t want to ever want to pay full price.
Look outside the TpT or TES selling platforms
Other things you can do to improve traffic to your store and sell more resources involve alternative marketing strategies and pointing them back to your store. If you do this and have both a TpT or TES store, pick one to direct traffic to (usually your largest) and focus on directing people back to that one platform rather than diluting the message by attempting to direct them back to both.
Use social media
Traffic from Pinterest has decreased recently because Pinterest has changed their focus from standard pins to ideas pins. But it may still be worth putting in some effort into learning how you can use Pinterest to drive traffic to your store. Alternative social media you can experiment with are Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Instagram seems to be gaining in popularity at the moment and could well be an area that is worth exploring more.
Set up an email list
An email list gives you a direct method of communicating with your biggest fans. You need to create a freebie to attract them and persuade them to give you their email address. You can then send out weekly emails telling your subscribers about your products, giving them helpful advice that teachers would want and setting yourself up as an expert in your field. The great thing about an email list is you own the data. You can save the contact details onto your own computer and keep it safe. On a social media platform you don’t get to save the contact details of those connections and if your account gets closed down for any reason, you lose all those lovely followers you have carefully built up.
Create your own website
If you have loftier ambitions, then you may want to invest in creating your own website. Be aware this cannot be just a mirror of your TpT or TES store. There is no way you can complete with the weight of TpT or TES in the Google results and so your own website should offer something different that is not available in your store.
I have a website and on it I only sell a few larger resources, but I also sell training courses for teachers.
If you want to have a look at my website to get ideas the address is www.nicholawilkin.com
So, there you have it. My top ways you can build up your sales without only having to create more and more resources.
* as of 7th February 2022