Becoming a new TPT author is incredibly exciting. The moment when I made my first sale, and I realized that I sold something that will be used in another classroom; now that is a thrill! That feeling drove me to want to create more and share more. When I realized that other teachers were using the resources that I created, I immediately wanted to make sure they looked as professional and error free as possible. It was an exciting time and I am going to go behind the scenes as a first year TPT author.
Why I started selling on for TPT
Before I started selling, other teachers I worked with would always comment things like, “that is beautiful,” or “you could definitely sell this,” and it made me start to think that maybe I did have a talent for creating useful classroom materials.
Also, personally, I was tutoring until 9 pm two nights a week, and I was still paying off student loans and other debt. I was overworked and I felt like I couldn’t get ahead financially. In addition, my personal life was taking a hit. I had a 1-year-old and felt like the time tutoring was taking away from the time I had to spend with him.
So, I took a leap of faith and started to post things on TPT. I did not want to do it “wrong” so I spent endless hours searching for tutorials on the first steps to creating a store, what it meant to be a premium seller, what you have to include in a resource, and how to secure the document. I brainstormed a name (that was fun!) and made my logo in PowerPoint™. I felt like the real deal. I knew that if I was going to try this, I was going to do it right! I had a vision of this working. I knew it would take time but I felt like this could really be a game-changer for me. (I was right but we will get to that!)
My first month
My first month selling on TPT was July 2017. I was nervous. I started to post resources at the start of the month. I started with resources I was already using in my classroom and made them “TPT ready” with a teacher’s page, credit page, cover, etc. I realized that it could be a while until I saw my first sale. In my mind, I was worried it would never happen! BUT IT DID! On July 5, 2017 I sold my Unique Back to School Self Portrait Activity and made a total of $0.90. It was the best $0.90 I ever made. It helped me realize that selling on TPT could be a real possibility!
I was realistic though and knew that this was not a get-rich quick scheme. I continued researching and posting. Since it was the summer, I was working quite a bit on this endeavor. On July 12, I made my next sale at $0.30, then July 14 – $1.50, and July 15 – another $0.30. That is when I decided I didn’t like the higher commission that TPT was taking from those sales, so, on July 16, 2017, I became a Premium seller; this meant that I paid the enrollment fee to get the higher commission on each item I sold. So, I started to make a little more on each sale!
I couldn’t believe it! I could get a few Starbucks drinks without guilt!
My second month
My second month was August, which is the back to school selling season. I earned $273.89 in my SECOND MONTH! I was thinking, oh this could help with more than Starbucks, I could pay some bills with this side-hustle. From here on out, I was determined to make this a success.
I will say, I still had a little imposter syndrome and was nervous when I got a review, and it wasn’t positive. I was confident that I could make it work but I did not feel like I was like the “other sellers” that have been around for longer. So, with each review I made edits and improved the products.
The rest of my first year
I ended my first year earning $3,490.34 from my first July to the next. To me, $3,000 was HUGE. It meant that I had earning power outside of my teaching job and outside of tutoring until 9 pm. At this point, I was still doing those things, so it helped pay down some of the student loans. I would put my TPT earnings each month straight to paying bills!
Every TPT journey is different, but I know that my journey was filled with research, determination, and some serious drive. If my story resonates with you, if you feel like selling could make a difference in your life, take the leap! Let me save you some time on research and walk you through selling step-by-step.
Start here with the FREE 5 Math Graphics for TPT Authors training.