Sunday, April 21, 2013

3 Reasons Why Your Store in Teachers Pay Teachers Is Not Making Money

I hear teachers complain in the TeachersPayTeachers (TPT) forum about how little money their stores are making. I visit their stores, then I have a look at a few products and check for signs of social media activity or a blog. The pattern is consistent in most of the scenarios. In my modest opinion, these are the 3 top reasons why some of those stores are failing:

1. Problem with products and descriptions. I quote on this one from a newsletter sent to all TPT members on August 3, 2011.  The newsletter lists a series of issues that impact store growth. These include: a) product titles that don’t say what the product is, b) omitted words or ambiguous abbreviations, c) terse product titles and descriptions, d) not listing the contents, e) not identifying learning styles or levels of knowledge, f) not specifying if the resource allows for differentiated learning, g) spelling and grammar mistakes, h) style embarrassments, i) ambiguous terms, j) too many/few grade levels, k) obsolete materials…. 


One of the key problems that the newsletter describes is regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, that is, the process of getting free or organic traffic from search engines. The newsletter warns, “Remember that there are two levels of search to consider: the search function on TeachersPayTeachers (or any other marketplace or merchant web site), and the search engines (Google, Bing, etc.)”. If you fail to write detailed and optimized product titles and descriptions, simply put, you won’t be found by anybody and therefore you won’t get any traffic to your store. Got it?

Product titles have to be written in a professional manner. Some teachers are prepared for this, but some others we are not. Either find a person that can do the job for you or hire copywriting services.  In the same fashion, if you do not know anything about SEO (most teachers don’t) find the right services. You will be shocked with the job they can do for you and the ridiculously cheap prices they can offer you.


2) No blog. According to Paul Edelman, owner of TeachersPayTeachers, one of the most successful ways to bring visitors to your TPT store is through a blog or Pinterest. He claims, “The power of these two promotional tools can’t be overestimated”. You can create a free blog in Google’s platform Blogger or Wordpress. Most TPT members prefer Blogger. Many teachers will say, “I do not know how to use a blog, design it or… “. Well if you do not know, learn how. And learn fast. There are companies that can design a blog for you in few days and even design the graphics for $60 or less. Click here and get more info.

3) No Pinterest account. Most teachers lack a well executed social media strategy plan. In fact, many teachers do not have any strategy at all. Did you know that most top TPT sellers average about 3,000 followers? How far are you from this number? You have to start using Pinterest now. If you have few followers, you have to grow that number soon. Today, there are lots of information about this trendy social media site. Lots of knowledgeable people can’t help boost your account. Get started with Pinterest now.

Check this snapshot from Google Analytics for our client Fonts4Teachers. They started their blog in January 2013. In the month of March they had more than 5,000 visitors to their website. Well almost half of those visitors came from Pinterest. Have a look!

I know most of you do not have Google Analytics (GA). This is a must. You have to know who visits your store and from where, the time they spend on the blog and the content they like and then optimize your strategy accordingly. Well I will write a post soon on GA. 

If you enjoyed this post, I would LOVE you to either follow my blog or  my TPT store. Click here.

I promise you will learn tons of ideas to market your stores!!!!!!

Guest Blogger:
Diego Uribe
1st grade Teacher/College professor and owner of the blog Web Design and Online Marketing 4 Teachers. A destination for those who need help with SEO, Social Media, Design.... Teacher friendly prices. Life time support. Not happy with our services (All services provided by technology savvy teachers in the US)? We will refund ALL the money!


  1. I have Google Analytics, and I LOVE the idea of it, but I know that I am not using it correctly! When I go to my Reports page (like in your screenshot above) it shows that I have no views. That is obviously incorrect since Blogger shows my number of views, plus I have comments and new followers, but I am clearly doing something wrong. I just cannot seem to find where the disconnect is! Any advice on Google Analytics?

  2. TpT has forced me to dive in to social media and blogging, but now I love it all! I can not figure out how to get GA to track my store or blog. Looking forward to your post on GA!
    Forever A Teacher, Forever A Learner

  3. I am your newest TPT follower! What a great post! Thank you- come visit me:

  4. Thank you for sharing! I will be one busy bee this summer! I do have a blog, but it is more of a personal outlet and not so related to my TPT. I plan to create sections (one for each topic in which I am blogging.) I think that will help. Like many others, I am finding the process of being on TPT is actually pushing me to new limits. I LOVE it! Leave it to a teacher to love learning!

    -Great Blog! Check out mine if you would like!

  5. Great information! I'm just getting started with a blog. I've had a TpT store since August 2013 and it's doing well considering I only have 18 products. Thanks for the encouragement!