Have you started selling on TPT but are struggling to understand the data coming from your Teachers Pay Teachers dashboard? It’s a hot topic in the CEO Teacher School community, and I want to break it down for you and share more tips for Teachers Pay Teachers sellers. Before I do, though, I want to encourage you with this: building a successful, sustainable online teacher business takes time. But that time is so worth it.
This quote from Earl Nightingale helps me every time I feel like something isn’t happening fast enough: “Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”
If you’re a teacher growing your TPT business on the side, or even if you’ve gone all-in and turned it into your full-time job, I want to help you utilize your time the best you can. That’s why I created this fun CEO Teacher® Type quiz! Wouldn’t it be awesome to use your strengths to move the needle forward in your business? Click here to take the quiz and get results targeted to your needs!
This week, I shared a photograph on my Instagram that I took just four short years ago. This photo was of our old-school popup camper. We loaded up our 1990-something popup camper for a week-long spring break vacation with the kids at Suwanne Music Park. It also happened to be our favorite music festival week of all time. So, we camped with our kids from Friday to Thursday, and then my husband’s mom came and scooped them up on Thursday so we could enjoy the music festival.
I shared this photograph because now it seems so raggedy and ugly. I had wanted that 1990 popup for so long. We paid cash for it, and I was so proud not to be sleeping in a tent. No bathroom, no shower, but I was on a real bed with an air conditioner. That was just four years ago. In 2020, during the pandemic, my husband and I paid cash for a new RV with bunk beds, kitchen, tv, shower, air conditioner, pull-out couch, master bedroom, and more. In 4 years, my life has changed dramatically: from stressing about paying my Netflix bill to paying cash for nearly everything we own. It all started with selling on Teachers Pay Teachers, and it’s the foundation of my company, The CEO Teacher, to this day. I want to help you get started on Teachers Pay Teachers and give you hope that even if your dreams seem far away, they are closer than you think.
I want to get vulnerable here before we get into the goods of understanding your Teachers Pay Teachers dashboard to share my heart and help you if you’re feeling a little guilty. Yes, guilty. I’ve never seen a therapist because it’s not something people in the South talk about openly if I’m honest. I think I’ve used this podcast over the years as therapy too. But if I did see a therapist, the number one hang-up I would want to push through is the guilt I feel that revolves around money. Specifically, taking people’s money.
I’ve struggled with guilt around money since I started selling on Teachers Pay Teachers back in 2013. As teachers, we feel obligated to give and give and give without asking for anything in return. When you ask for money for something you’ve created, it feels wrong. Or at least it did for me for years, and it still does. Since I’ve shared monetary goals and visions online, I’ve had really mean messages come through, even from big sellers online. Specifically that I shouldn’t share any monetary numbers with people because it’s not good to brag about stealing money from teachers. Whew, that one still hurts.
So sharing about this RV and about some monetary goals my family and I have been able to accomplish is a big hang-up for me. Although I will always believe money cannot make you happier, especially stuff you buy with money, it can make life easier and your experiences richer because it takes the pressure off the gas pedal and lets you cruise. That’s what I want for every teacher in the world: the stress, overwhelm, tears, nightmares, and fear around money and buying things you need to go away. I want to help you turn your side hustle into a blessing. So, let’s get into how to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers the right way.
If you’re just getting started selling on Teachers Pay Teachers, you first need something to sell! How about worksheets? Sounds boring right? Wrong. Teachers Pay Teachers worksheets are still the number one way to make easy money on TpT. There are many different self-proclaimed gurus out there teaching people how to create worksheets for Teachers Pay Teachers these days.
This isn’t a new or novel idea, but here’s the thing: creating the worksheets is just one-tenth of what it truly means to find success online. Anyone can teach you how to make them. Heck, I did with my YouTube channel over six years ago, and since then, there are hundreds of other videos doing the same thing. That’s the easy part.
Let’s get real on this before we start learning: the Teachers Pay Teachers dashboard is not accurate. It should be used as a guide, not a handbook. Using data to guide us is important, but creating hard and fast rules around data isn’t necessary, especially as an entrepreneur. If you have a Teachers Pay Teachers account and have been selling for a bit, here’s how to use your dashboard to guide you.
On your dashboard, you can find a quick way to check and see if you’ve made any money for the day, week, month, or even year. No worries here, this part of your dashboard is accurate and updates in real-time.
Check the comparison of sales from one year to the next. My favorite part is to toggle to see your sales from last year compared to this year. It’s encouraging to see how you’ve grown over time and how you can continue to grow and push yourself as a TPT seller!
Here’s where things get a little grey. Inside your Teachers Pay Teachers dashboard, there’s a traffic tab that tells you about where your traffic is coming from. I know this isn’t accurate because I also track our data from various other reliable dashboards like Google Analytics, Facebook, and Pinterest. Although this isn’t exactly spot on, it does allow us to see at a glance where people are coming from when they come to our stores.
A lot of my students get hung up on conversion rates. We see this question a lot in our communities: What’s a reasonable conversion rate? Well, it just isn’t that simple. In the beginning, you could have a great conversion rate on a new product if your audience knows, likes, and trusts you and the product you put out. As that product progresses and more and more people see it, your conversion rate will naturally drop. In year one, you may have a conversion rate of 18%, which is terrific. And in year two, you may have a conversion rate on that same product of 4%, which is still wonderful considering how many people have viewed that product over the last 365 days. But don’t hinge your business on something like this that will change over time.
Find easy, quick wins to get started. As with anything in life, easy, quick wins are one way to keep your fire burning bright. Using the Teachers Pay Teachers app is one of the ways I love to celebrate my TPT sales. Every time you make a sale, the app cha-chings! My family has been known to dance around the kitchen and has a specific Teachers Pay Teachers dance.
So is Teachers Pay Teachers legit? How much money can you make on Teachers Pay Teachers? Well, the choice is yours, but if you’re interested in getting started today, you can download my free workbook to Start or Expand Your Online Teacher Business here!
Let me be the first to tell you that negativity breeds negativity. Are you in a community where people are complaining or fear-mongering your experience? Get away immediately, and find a community of uplifting and supporting educators. Our CEO Teacher School community is open only to our members, but with nearly 3,000 members, we see hundreds of posts each week of supportive and uplifting comments that help you keep going every step of the way.
Often times, we feel like we are doing this alone because we don’t know anyone in real life that’s done this before. I was the only teacher at my school selling on Teachers Pay Teachers, and I knew nobody else wanted to chat about it with me. So, I decided to try to find like-minded people online. In the beginning, it was a slippery slope because I chose the wrong people who didn’t have my best interest at heart. I want you to make a great decision and find a supportive community that believes in collaboration over competition.
I didn’t dream big dreams in the beginning. I legit just wanted to pay my Netflix bill by creating TpT reading comprehension stuff. I wasn’t thinking of getting out of debt, paying cash for a brand new vehicle, buying an RV, or purchasing a beach home. I was dreaming too small. Sometimes I think we have to really focus on what we desire so we can create that awareness in our belly that says, “You can be the creator of your own future.” Once I got out of my own way, I realized that the sky was the limit, and I no longer put monetary goals on my business, I’m learning to follow the flow of life, and it has proven to be one of the best things in the entire world.
© kayse morris 2020 / legal / design by saffron ave
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