Monday, May 23, 2011

Creating Your First Product for TpT

The first product you post on Teachers Pay Teachers must be free. That may seem like a drag since you want to start making some money ASAP, but there are some very good reasons for this rule:

  • Your free product shows potential buyers what kind of work they can expect from you as a seller. It will be featured prominently in your TpT store 
  • Your free product can double as an ad for your TpT store, products, blog etc. 
  • Free products are more likely to get rated than for-sale products - and you need to build your ratings. 
  • Free products bring buyers to TpT, which is good for all of us. 
  • High Quality free products are eligible for the TpT Weekly Newsletter. 
As you can see, your free product is important! So it is important that you make sure it is a quality product. You will also want to make sure that it represents your niche in both grade level and content. With that said, it is also a good idea to make your free product appeal to as many buyers as possible. So if you teach high school science, rather than posting a product focused on a specific content area, the Parts of a Cell, for example, you might want to spread your net wider and consider something like Safety Rules in the Lab. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that quantity does not equal quality. There has been some concern over the last year or so about the large number of freebies  - especially big ones, available on TpT. The new rule for possible inclusion in the newsletter is ten pages or less, so don't go crazy with your freebie. It has to be good, but it does not have to be - and probably shouldn't be, long. 
Your product should include the following elements:
  • A Cover Page 
  • Instructions for use and if applicable, a table of contents
  • copyright information (can go on your table of contents page)
  • The product itself
  • Answer keys if needed. 
You may also want to include a one-page ad at the end with a link to your store, facebook, blog etc. 

Unless you want to make your own thumbnail images, you are ready to post (When you are posting a product for sale, there is an additional step of creating a Preview document, but you don't need that for a free product). However, in my opinion, you should wait until you have at least a couple other products ready to post and then post them all at the same time. That way when buyers are thrilled with your free product (as they certainly will be) they will be able to immediately purchase from you as opposed to being disappointed that there is nothing from you except your one freebie. 

Posting is easy, just follow the steps, but there are some things to be aware of so you will want to read Posting DOs and DONTs

You may also want to take a peek at Creating Quality Products


  1. I created my first item for TPT. I tried putting the price at 0, but it wouldn't let me put it below $0.95. I'm not sure what I am doing wrong. Please help.

    1. There is a tab above that says FREE or PAID. Click the FREE tab. That should take care of it!

    2. I'm having the same problem. There isn't a tab that says FREE or PAID?

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