To create a TPT store while teaching full-time (or even part-time) can be a challenge. Starting any side hustle business on the side can be a lot of work, which is why the biggest hurdle is yourself. As a teacher we can use to trading hours for dollars. Creating a Teachers Pay Teachers™ store will not be trading hours for dollars. At first you will be putting in a fair amount of hours with little return, but the return will come.
Teachers Pay Teachers™ is a Long Game
It is possible to make good money even in your first month on TPT, but it really is a long game. It takes time for your store to be visible to potential buyers. Unless you have followers on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or even a website, educators do not know you online. Often your first products are “waitlisted”, which is not a bad thing. As a TPT buyer myself, when I see a product I’m interested, I tend to look at the bigger picture. I look at all the previews and thumbnails, then dive into the store of the seller to see what they specialize in. Building your store takes some time.
Can I Create a TPT Store While Teaching Full-Time?
The short answer is Yes! Absolutely, you can! There are thousands of teachers who have created successful stores while teaching full-time and have a family! But, let me tell you. You will probably be building your business “tired”. Many teacher sellers either get up early in the morning and stay up late in the night to put a couple extra hours into their TPT business. Can you do that consistently every week? Some teacher sellers don’t work during the week nights, but commit a large chunk of time on the weekends and holidays to build their business. Does that work better for you?
Compartmentalize Your TPT Life
While you need to create systems and organize a time schedule that best suits for life, the most popular way full-time teachers build large TPT stores is to compartmentalize their lives. When you are at school, focus on school. Leave when your contract hours are over, and then when you get home, either be spending time with the family and spend the time on TPT. Keep things separate. If you are married, this is an important conversation to have with your partner/spouse. If you have children, make it a family meeting.
Make Small Goals, At First
When I started in May 2020, I had a goal to upload 1 paid product to my store. I already had the mandatory freebie required by Teachers Pay Teachers. I succeeded! My product went up on May 31st around 5pm. Then I worried about it for a few weeks and even tweaked it in June 2020. Then I had a goal of 2 products for June. I did that too!
Depending on your ambition level, start with 1-2 products a month. Your first product may take a lot of time because you will be learning all the different components to uploading products to TPT. I will have a blog post going up shortly but if you are looking for tips and strategies, go over to my Youtube Channel. I have lots of videos regarding Teachers Pay Teachers.
If you are new to TPT, my biggest recommendation to you is to just focus on TPT until you have at least 20-30 products on it. It is very easy to get trapped into feeling that you need to have a blog, and post every day on Instragram or Facebook, and you need to create pins. These are all important, but the most important is creating resources right now. Make a list and then put your head down and complete it.
Create A TPT Store That Is You!
Lastly, embed your personality into your store. This is a lot of work but it is also fun and rewarding. I have met wonderful teacher sellers in this journey. This is no one-way of doing things. If you create your store on the weekends or holidays, or a couple hours each night, it’s your store. If you want to read more about the TPT journey, check out this blog post on the costs of TPT.
Happy Teaching! Happy Selling!