Inside: These are my best tips for How to Diversify from TeachersPayTeachers (TpT)
I don't believe in putting all your eggs in one basket. When I create products, I put them on TpT, my Etsy store, as well as on my blog shop.
We should all be diversifying our income so when one piece of our income is affected we are not sent into a tailspin of panic trying to figure out what to do.
Take a deep breath. Let's get through this, together
What is Going on with TpT Shutting Down Stores?
This week TpT has been a little sketchy. It's not the first time, either.
Recently, I've had issues with their uploads never completing. I was creating a listing for a client, and the product file never completed its upload.
When I reached out to TpT to express concern, they told me to wait longer. So I put my shoes on, and went for a walk with my dog, Anchovy. When I got home, the product was still uploading. 29 minutes later the file had completed. It was NOT a large file, there is no reason it should have taken this long–But I was most annoyed by their response. “Wait longer”. This was my first experience with TpT clearly not too worried about me as a seller.
Another issue TpT has been facing backlash for is their decision to add advertisements onto download pages for freebies. These ads were sometimes inappropriate (like underwear adverts) for a classroom setting.
The most upsetting problem was this weekend though.
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Stores are being shut down on TpT for “security concerns” after TpT made the news for malware from things downloaded on their site.
Of the 6 teacher-sellers who have come forward, all of them have been sellers for over a year, with over 100 listings each. Meaning –they're not new sellers who are just uploading malicious content. These are respected sellers who have generated a lot of income for TpT.
Instead of sending an email, or simply deactivating the “suspicious” product, they shut down the entire store, and expect the sellers to prove that their products are not malware. When they asked for proof, there was none.
This is all over TpT's forum, if you are a seller, you can check out the Seller's Forum post about Security Concerns. If you are a seller, I highly recommend reading the thread and commenting your concerns. This is how we can make change.
For you personally, this is when you should do everything you can to protect yourself.
It's scary right now, but good decisions aren't made out of fear, sleep on any rash decisions you want to make about your store right now. I see a lot of people talking about deactivating their stores and walking away from TpT, I don't think that's the next right thing, here.
The next right thing is to diversify your income so you don't have to struggle when TpT makes these crazy changes.
I made you a PDF with all of the competitors, so you can see how they match up.
How to Diversify your TpT Shop
While TpT is a great place to sell your resources and supplement your income, there comes a time (like this weekend) when you want to expand your reach and monetize your products on other platforms.
Moving your products to a different platform can be scary. After all, if you've been selling on TpT for awhile, it's comfortable, and you understand it.
New things are scary.
It's okay to be scared.
But we are going to work through that fear so we can get that larger income and customer base.
You can do it!
Interested in learning more about creating educational printables? Join my Facebook group, where I go live several times a week to take questions and talk about creating worksheets on PowerPoint and selling printables on TeachersPayTeachers and MORE. Click here to check it out.
There are a few different ways to diversify your TpT income. Start a blog, go to another TpT competitor, start an Etsy shop, and start an email list.
You need to identify a platform that works well for what you need. Do your research. Don't just hop on any site, because you might run into the same issue.
Look into them, see how they match up with what you need. For example: TeacherSherpa. It's a fast site, there are products already there, and you can add your links to your blog or email sign up anywhere. They're very lenient.
But TpT has a rule about listing a product on TpT that you can find elsewhere for cheaper. I'll add more below the list.
Some TpT competitors you can look into starting a store with are:
- Made by Teachers
- Ampedup Learning
- Etsy < Click here for 40 free listings to get you started
The easiest and biggest place to start a store is Etsy. Millions of shoppers utilize Etsy, and there are a lot of homeschool parents who use Etsy to find curriculum. It's a great step once you've decided on your niche, and have product ideas. List them all on Etsy!
Please do research before you transfer all of your work to any of these platforms. Etsy has a lot of traffic already, so that is the best step forward.
The other platforms get minimal search traffic, so you'll have to drive that traffic yourself. If you're driving all the traffic yourself, you might as well start your own blog.
My best advice for diversifying your TpT is to start an Etsy shop. Etsy is generous with their affiliate program, you get 40 free listings. It's a great bump to start your store without worrying about fees.
Made by Teachers doesn't get very much traffic, but their site is quick and easy to use. This seems the most like TeachersPayTeachers of all the competitors. You can set your own prices, and that's important!
AmpedUpLearning is a site mentioned frequently, but I don't see a way to sign up for them, and they're unclear about how you become a seller, and the fee structure.
Classful actually has a bit of its own search traffic from Google, so that's promising! However, this isn't just a platform for selling products, it's also a fundraising, non profits, schools, people and businesses. To be honest, at first it's quite confusing!
Even after signing up for an account, I still don't have a clue how to navigate the site, but I did finally find their fee structure!
Pin for later:
Move Your TpT Products to Your Own Site
Alright, another option, I'd argue the best option is to start your own site (on wordpress) and build out a shop there.
You'll be in charge of getting your own traffic, but you'll own the land you're on. You make the rules, and you won't be randomly shut down because of whatever TpT is in the news for that week.
When I began blogging, I learned from Sadie Smiley, she has a great membership that will walk you through creating your blog and the business around it. I can't recommend it enough. I am where I am today because of her guidance.
I believe in you!
Let's keep the conversation going, join my Facebook group, where we are talking about this!
Join the Facebook Group for Creating and Selling Educational Printables!
Ready to learn more about creating printables on PowerPoint and selling them on TpT (and other sites!)? Join my Facebook group!
I go live Thursdays at 9am EST and answer your questions, and show you how to create amazing printables you can sell TODAY!
See you there!