Teachers Pay Teachers Product Link Generator

Here’s the method that I used to generate hyperlinks that I use for my “Item Description” hyperlinks.  Cross-promotiong your items via hyperlinks will help you sell more products.

TPT Product Link Generator Google Spreadsheet

Step 1. Click the link and go to File>Make a Copy.  Call it whatever name makes sense to you.  This will allow you to edit the document because my original file is ‘View Only’.

Step 2. In column A Add the text that you want for your hyperlink.  I usually just use my product name but it could be whatever text you want.

Step 3. In Column B copy and paste the link to your TPT product page for that product.

Step 4. Copy the HTML from column F (columns C-E are hidden) and paste it into your item description.  Boom! No need for HTML anymore.

I have an example of one of my products in Row 2.  Feel free to delete it on your copy.

I find this document to be very helpful for item descriptions and when I want to quickly access all of my product links for pinning or blogging.

How do you keep track of your links?

 

To Bundle or Not to Bundle?

My best selling products are what I would consider comprehensive products. They have more than one lesson in them which ultimately allows me to charge more for the item. For the first few months on TPT I believed that this was the way to go and only focused on the larger products. I trusted that I was right, but didn’t do any testing until recently.

I was wrong. Very wrong. A couple of weeks ago I split up some of my larger products into individual activities and the sales came in for both formats.

One of the things that I did with the pricing is that I made sure that there was actually an incentive for someone to buy the full product over just the single activity. What I did was to advertise all the savings they can be had in the item descriptions for each of the individual products. I also kept the same covers which allowed the customer to know that they were related. I am very surprised to see the individual items selling as well as they do. This is a win-win for the customer and me.

The takeaway here is that you should definitely be bundling and/or un-bundling products to give your customers an opportunity to purchase exactly what they want. I’m thrilled to make $2-$3 rather nothing because someone may not have needed all of the other information from the bundle. I’m also happy to up-sell my bundle to someone that didn’t know that they could buy a more comprehensive product for a discount.

I’d like to hear your experiences with bundling. Leave them in the comments below.

How to Pin High Quality Images From Your Teachers Pay Teachers Store

There are several ways to pin images from TPT and one of them is far more effective than that others.

The freshman team pins their low-quality title page directly from TPT and thinks that their marketing campaign is done with.  They wait around for weeks and ultimately end up wondering why their pins aren’t getting any traction and that sales aren’t coming in.

The varsity squad watches my video below and then hits the game winning shot in the form of increased exposure and sales.  This is the strategy that I use to pin high quality images to my Teachers pay Teachers store.

Which team are you on?

Export Teachers Pay Teachers Sales Data Into a Pivot Table

I like data.  There I admit it.  I’m a nerd and can accept that 🙂

There are a couple of shortcomings when looking at data as a Teachers pay Teachers seller, but they do allow you to export your data to Excel and we can do some damage there.

This video is going to teach you how to export your sales data from TPT so that you can look analyze it a little more carefully.  I’m going to show you how to export an exact date range of sales data and then create a pivot table to that shows you exactly how many of each product you sold in that given time period.  It’s pretty awesome.

In the video I’m using Excel 2010, but most versions of Excel have pivot tables and the process should be very similar.

Spring break is over this week and the posts will inevitably slow down.  I’m hoping to post a minimum of twice a week going forward. I hope that you have enjoyed what I’ve put up so far. Have a great week at school (testing season..bleh!) and an even better week on TPT.

The First Follower

When someone first starts with Teachers Pay Teachers they will inevitably ask themselves the following questions over and over.

  1. Am I ever going to get a sale?
  2. Am I totally wasting my time by doing this?
  3. When I post on my FB page I feel like I’m talking to myself.  Is this worth it?
  4. Why is no one re-pinning my stuff?
  5. How long does it take to build up followers?

These are totally natural questions and the difference between the successful TPT’ers and the pretender TPT’ers is the will to fight through those fears and to keep focus that what you are doing IS important and WILL make a difference.  You are going to feel like a total nut when your spouse asks you how much  you have made for the 15 hours you spent on your product and your response is ZERO.  The first sale will come and so will the first follower.  Once you have both of those things behind you TPT opens the gates and invites you into a world of awesomeness.

I’d love for you guys to watch this quick video on the first follower.  I think that it’s a super important concept to understand, and it relates so well to the emotions of a teachers pay teachers seller.

My first sale came from a TPT user named vlhyams. I unfortunately don’t know who that is, but I wish that they knew how important they were to my business.

My first FB follower was Jean from JWDesigns.  She also happened to be one of the first followers here at TPT School.  I’m forever grateful to her  because she was the “spark” that I was looking for that really set a lot of things in motion.

Work hard to to get that first sale and follower and treat them like the rock stars that they are.  They will ultimately be the reason that you are successful.

Setting Goals for Teachers Pay Teachers

I listen to a lot of entrepreneur podcasts and recently listened to an episode from Amy Porterfield about how to set goals for an online business.  I took away a WEALTH of information from this episode and think that it would benefit any serious seller on TpT to give it a listen.

You can listen to it HERE

One of the many takeaways that I got was to chunk your time for individual actions, and then schedule it prior to performing the actions.  Right now I’m creating products, marketing them, writing blog posts, creating facebook posts, tweeting, etc., all at the same time.  It gets to be a little chaotic and definitely unproductive.  Let me go look at my stats again for the 7th time today!

I’m always thinking of something else I could be doing while working on any given task.  It’s just they way that my brain is wired.  This is all changing though.  In the new year my goals  look something like this for any particular week.

Week 1:
Sun – Schedule 5 FB posts, 5 tweets, 10 science pins, and 3 blog posts for the entire week. (2.5 hours)  All of these tasks can be scheduled within their programs with the exception of Pinterest.  Marketing for the week…done.
Mon – Work on a product (2-4 hours)
Tues – Off
Wed – Catch up on forums for 1 hour.  Work on a product (2-4 hours)
Thurs – Off
Fri – Respond to all feedback, check metrics, and build new relationships with others that might be interested in my brand. (1 hour)
Sat – off

The point of doing this is to have laser like focus on the task that is in front of me.  Some of you are born with that gift…I am not.  I am easily distracted by shiny objects and other things that I think will help build my business.  My business will be much more successful if I just keep pumping out quality products.  At the end of the day without quality products I have nothing.  That is where my focus needs to be.

Working on TPT is fun to me.  Obviously the money that it generates doesn’t hurt anything, but it truly is fun to me.  I don’t think that you can be successful if you look at it like at it like work, but the reality for me is that I have to setup a schedule or I will be all over the place.  This may be different to for each individual.

I would love to hear some feedback on that podcast or this post.  You don’t have to have iTunes.  You can listen to it right from her website.

Finding Color Inspiration and Using it in Titles and Images

Today I’m going to teach you how I find inspiration for the colors that I use on my title pages and images.  Sadly, we do judge a book by its cover, and TPT customers are no different.  I feel like one of the most important things that you need to have for your TPT cover is an eye-appealing cover.  Without it you are leaving money on the table.

In the following video I’m going to teach you how I find inspiration and then use a that specific color palette in my products using a free image manipulation program called GIMP.

You’ll have to cut me some slack that I don’t know my colors very well. I’ll blame it on being male although ignorant is probably the better term. 🙂

Hopefully, you stuck around until the end of the video to check out Pictaculous.  It’s a super easy program that shows you the color palette of any image.  It’s free on the web and can be downloaded as an iOS app too.

Dealing With Negative or Non-Descriptive Feedback

We have all been victims to negative or non-descriptive feedback on teachers pay teachers, but there is something that we can do about it.  TPT has put in a feature that allows you to “mark as helpful” and pushes that particular feedback to the front of the list.

Watch the video tutorial below on how I occasionally deal with this type of feedback.

I would highly suggest that you use caution when using this technique.  The feedback system is in place for a reason, but there are definitely times when it breaks down and could have a negative impact on your sales.  If you are getting negative feedback because because your product needs to be tweaked or re-worked I would take the time to make those adjustments.  In the end you will have a better product and customers will leave TPT happy.  Remember, we don’t survive without them!

 

Cheat Sheet to Pinterest Image Sizes

When I first started on Pinterest I would often pin images only to have them look like crud after they were uploaded. I did some playing around in the lab and came up with a good cheat sheet for pinning perfectly sized images that will look great on Pinterest.

Cheat Sheet for Pinterest Image Sizes

The profile image will be viewed at 165×165. Pinterest recommends that you upload an image that is 600×600 and it will scale it down for you.

Pinterest Profile Image 165x165

The pin image in the feed will be 238 pixels wide and will adjust the height based on the image.

238

Once you click on a pin from your feed the pin can expand all the way up to 735 x adjusted height.  This is where you want to be sure that you have a great high-resolution photo.

735

The complete board image is 238 x 284.  Keep in mind that some of the board will be covered by preview images of pins within the board.

 

Complete pinterest board image size

Part of the board image is going to be covered by the previews to other pins on that board.  Make sure that your board image stays inside these parameters (214 x 147) in order for it to look great.

Pinterest visible cover page size

Keeping these image sizes in mind will help your pins look fantastic and allow them to be re-pinned over and over.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Be Blogging In Addition to Teachers Pay Teachers

One question that I see asked on the teachers pay teachers forum over and over is, “Should I be blogging?”  I’ve put together a list of reasons why I think blogging is essential to building your TPT store.

Reasons to Blog with Teachers pay Teachers

1. Building relationships – This is a great place to build relationships with your readers which will ultimately turn into sales.  In my opinion you should be blogging about what is happening in your class, lessons learned, best practices, new ideas, etc.  From there you can explain how you have used your products and what impact they had on students.  That is a far better approach than, “I created this new product, here it is.”

See my post on 5 reasons why you should be using interactive notebooks as an example.

2. SEO – Search Engine Optimization – When you create blog posts you are also creating pages that can be indexed for Google and other search engines.  This is highly valuable.  If someone goes to google and types “5 reasons to use interactive notebooks” they will find me at the top of the search results.  It’s very unlikely that anyone will search that term, but a search of “reasons for interactive notebooks” returns me on page 2 of Google.  My blog is very new (less than 2 months) and doesn’t have much authority…yet.  The goal with any blog should be to build authority.  Once the search engines notice that you regularly post original content then they will reward you with top search engine results.  This takes TIME and PERSEVERANCE.  It may be another year and 100 blog posts before Google’s algorithms decides that I’m worthy of top results, but when they do it opens up all kinds of doors.

3. Juice for TPT – Creating links to my TPT store from blogs, pinterest, facebook, etc. it gives authority (link juice) to my TPT store pages and helps them rank higher in search engine results.  We want this.  If someone searches ‘moon phase cards’ in Google I definitely want my TPT product link to pop up first in Google.  TPT is an authority site already and ranks well, but providing backlinks to our store pages using relevant keywords helps out.

For example, if you searched out “Guided Reading 101” in Google you will find that Deanna Jump’s top selling product page and blog post about that product are in the top of the search results.  It’s a marketer’s dream to have 2 of the top 3 results for a particular keyword in Google.  I don’t know how many people are searching ‘guided reading 101’ but Deanna is getting the bulk of that traffic for those that do.  This should be the ultimate goal for all of your products.

4. Follow the Top Sellers – Look at the top 10 sellers.  Do they have blogs?  8 out of 10 of them have a blog in their tagline or profile.  I didn’t do an extensive search on the two that didn’t but my guess is that they probably blog also.  I’m going out on a limb here, but I would guess that the majority of the top 100 blog.  Follow the leader wink

5. Own Your Audience – One thing that may be tough to think about is that Teachers Pay Teachers may not be around forever.  I think they have positioned themselves well, but for arguments sake let’s pretend that they disappear tomorrow.  What do you do then?  You don’t own any customer data and have no way to communicate with former buyers.  However, if you build a solid foundation through social media (including blogs) you will still  have access to your core base.  Maybe you’ll ultimately setup a shopping cart on your own site and sell products there, but without that foundation and following you could be up the creek without a paddle.

Blogging is time consuming but it can be very rewarding once you have a community built.  The hardest part is writing for what seems like no one in the beginning.  I have a couple of very successful blogs and a couple that I didn’t put the time into.  The ones that I cultivated have rewarded me handsomely for several years.

Agree or disagree?  Did I leave anything out?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.