All About Side Hustles
We’re going to get into practical tips for getting started with Teachers Pay Teachers, but first, we’ll talk a little bit about side hustles.
Maybe one of the following sounds familiar to you:
- You’re struggling to pay the bills
- You don’t like your day job, but aren’t sure what to do next
- It’s difficult for you to save enough money for something like a down payment on a house, or going back to grad school
- You hope to build a better financial future for yourself, and your family
Perhaps a side hustle is for you! By “side hustle,” (also known as side gig) I mean something you do at nights, on weekends, or whenever you have free time. The key point is that it’s not your “day job.” You will have to hustle to get things up and running, but the good news is that you can turn your spare time into cash.
Some side hustles are active, such as online tutoring, officiating weddings, or pet-sitting. For these, one hour of work equals one hour of pay.
Others, such as dividend stock investing, building a website, or selling materials on Teachers Pay Teachers are more passive in nature. By this I mean that it’s a lot of work (or cash) up-front, but that you can keep earning money from them years down the road.
If you’re a teacher, and are looking to start a side gig, then the book you’ll need to check out is, Side Gigs for Teachers: Ways to Actually Make Money.
What follows about Teachers Pay Teachers is an excerpt from that book. And in fact, it’s only a very small part of the chapter about Teachers Pay Teachers.
Getting Started with Teachers Pay Teachers
Before you get started with Teachers Pay Teachers, there are a few things you need to be aware of.
Use Office Pro
First, you will need Office Pro because creating products using other Office software is outside of Microsoft’s terms of service. I got a used copy (deactivated from another computer) from eBay at a reasonable price.
Some sellers create their products in OpenOffice, but for me, PowerPoint has enough additional features to be worth the cost. If you really want to keep start-up costs to a minimum, OpenOffice is a valid alternative.
Spend some Money on Clip Art
Second, you will need to spend some money on clip art which is approved for commercial use. Generally speaking, the older the intended student, the less cute clip art will be expected. If your products are for young or very-young learners, though, a certain degree of cutesiness is expected.
One Clip Art Recommendation
There are plenty of clipart and font sellers on TpT, but be sure to read all of their terms of service, as they may have slightly different rules from one another. Some require a separately purchased license in order to use their products in your products.
Kimberly Geswein Fonts is probably the most popular font seller on TpT, but there are dozens of others. Her fonts are clearly organized and marked in the title if they are for personal or commercial use.
All about Fonts
Whatever your needs or tastes, you can find it on TpT. As someone who works with students who may be new to the Roman alphabet, I use fonts which are easy to read and tend to look like neat handwriting. I also like handwriting fonts which show stroke order.
Unfortunately, you cannot use commercial fonts in editable products. Well, you can, but only teachers who have downloaded those same fonts will be able to edit with that font. If you want to sell your super-cute binder covers or personalized items, keep that in mind.
Some, like Kimberly Geswein Fonts (mentioned above) allow free personal use, so you would just need to include a link for buyers to download the free personal-use version. Others, like the stroke-order fonts I like, have no free version.
Pay Attention to the Specific Rules
Many clip art artists have rules regarding how their work is used. For example, many will not allow you to use their images for flash cards, coloring pages, etc. if you have not added any text or otherwise added value to the image. After all, they could (and some do) sell their own clip art as flash cards without doing any extra work.
What to Sell? The Sky is the Limit
There really isn’t a limit on what you can sell on TpT, as long as you made it and you have the rights to all elements of the product. Some teachers sell anything and everything related to the grade they teach. There are who others specialize in a subject area, test prep, lesson plans, games, activities, classroom decorations, fonts, clip art, PowerPoint presentations, etc.
Consider Focusing on One, Specific Area
In my opinion, it is better to focus on one area, especially while you’re getting started. If all of your products are unrelated, you will be losing out on repeat business from happy customers. You can always broaden your product range later.
Maybe you Have Some Excellent Materials Already?
If you aren’t sure what type of products you should focus on, look at the materials you create for your classroom.
Which age/grade level are the majority of the materials you have already created?
What type of materials are you best at creating?
Spend some time searching TpT for similar products. Do you see any underserved areas? Many types of products have dozens of nearly identical competition; if you have something that is unique, you can quickly make a name for yourself.
Physical Products? Not these Days
Teachers used to be able to sell physical items, but now that is limited to legacy account. If you didn’t sell a physical product on TpT in the past, you can’t start now.
However, most teachers include an extra page in their products showcasing similar or related products. If you want to sell a physical product, you could always include a photo, description, and link in your digital products directing customers to your physical products sold through your website, Amazon, or eBay.
Are you a Graphics Wiz?
Pro tip 1: If you are capable of creating high quality clip art, fonts, or other products for sellers, it can be a profitable niche. Photos have recently become popular, because stock image sites aren’t really aimed at teachers, so a majority of sellers end up using the same few images.
Alternatively, if you are skilled at using software such as PowerPoint, Acrobat, and Photoshop, but want a more stable income, some sellers outsource their product creation or photography.
Don’t Compare Yourself with the Pros
Pro tip 2: Don’t worry about the “big name” sellers. Of course, everyone wants to be the next Deanna Jump or The Moffatt Girls, but you can’t become them by copying what they are doing. They have that covered. There are, in some cases, hundreds of copycat products already.
You do you, as the kids say these days. Top sellers have products with 1,000 reviews or more. You are unlikely to sell too many copycat products with zero reviews. Forget about them. Don’t compare yourself with them.
Honestly, I don’t even read the Milestones posts in the TpT Seller’s Forum, anymore, because I don’t want to get discouraged that Newbie Seller X has sold USD$20,000 in the six months since they joined the site. I’m happy for them and their success, but that isn’t helping me reach my goals.
Did you Find this Information Useful?
If you found these tips about getting your Teachers Pay Teachers side hustle going on, then you’re going to love the book, Side Gigs for Teachers. Check out the details below:
Want more Tips for Getting your Side Hustle Up and Running?
Starting up a side hustle could the answer to a whole lot of your financial problems. Additional income streams, that you control is the new job security these days. Don’t worry about getting laid off, or not having your contract renewed. How much money you make is firmly in your hands.
If you’re serious about improving your financial future, or are just worried about an upcoming bill next month, “Side Gigs for Teachers” can help you.
There are ideas for active income, which can get some cold, hard cash in your pocket in as little as a week. And there are ideas for “passive income,” which can earn you money years down the road. In total, there are more than 20 practical ideas to get up and running with some side hustle awesome.
Where Can I Buy It?
You can get the book on Amazon in both print and digital formats. The cheaper digital one can be read on any device by downloading the free Kindle reading app.
It’ll be the best couple bucks you spend all year, because it has the potential to turn into thousands.
Check it out now: