Secrets of Getting started on TPT

Getting started on TPT

It’s been almost 10 years since I uploaded my first product to TPT.  I didn’t set out to become a teacher-author; the path was pretty long and winding.  So how does a regular teacher with no big plan become an author on TPT? What should a new teacher do about getting started on TPT?

Getting started on TPT began for me when my daughter was born in 2001.  I had a long maternity leave and I used much of it to take photos.  I eventually got a really nice camera and learned how to use that.  After a couple of years of learning to take great photos, I opened a photography business.  This meant learning to use some of the Adobe software – Lightroom and Photoshop. 

Secrets of Getting started on TPT

As a business owner, I also learned to use some more niche software for online proofing and sales, in addition to building websites with WordPress and HTML.  It turns out that this was a skill much in demand!  It was vastly more profitable to build websites and proofing sites for other photographers than to take photos – not to mention that it was something I could do on my time rather than having to work around other peoples’ schedules.

This led to learning to use some other Adobe products – In Design and Illustrator.  I worked on curriculum with my district and picked up Audition.  I happened to run across the TPT website and realized that I had many materials that could be adapted for use by other teachers.  When I was first getting started with TPT I had only a couple of items, then added more each month.  One thing you want to do is make sure to have quality items from the beginning – you will get better at making them with experience, but the bones of the products should be sound.

I learned how to make digital escape games, hidden pictures games, PowerPoint games, and other fun things for students.  Now I have over 1100 products in my TPT store and I’ve started selling them in my own store right here on Frenchified as well. 

Secrets of Getting started on TPT

Somewhere along the way, I dabbled in using eLearning software such as Captivate and Storyline, as well as a few online resources – like Canva. As a teacher, learning how to use so many different types of technology has definitely come in handy when getting started on TPT.  I taught newspaper for three years – which meant teaching students how to use WordPress, as well as photo editing software. 

The effect of online teaching and getting started on TPT

Moving to online during the pandemic has given me the nudge to learn some new online programs as well – I’ve started using Desmos for my daily openers, and combined with Canva for graphics creation, it’s been a great combination. My path from teacher to teacher-author may be very different from the path others took when getting started on TPT – but I think I have something in common with my fellow teachers.  We are willing and eager to learn new things – whether it’s a new teaching method, or a new technology that might allow us to do things in an innovative way, or just to improve on what we are already doing. 

It’s entirely possible to make resources using only the basics of a word processor or PowerPoint, and many teachers do so.  There are so many different tools out there that it can be overwhelming.  If you are thinking of starting your own store, or already have one – you have to do what works for you.  Not everyone wants to spend hours learning how to use Adobe software, and that’s just fine.

When you are first getting started on TPT, you need to determine how much time and money you have to put into it – you may not have the time to learn new software, but in the end your buyers won’t care. A good product made in PowerPoint is just as good a one made in InDesign!

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