Each year when August hits, the anticipation of a new school year mixed with an endless to-do list sends me into a spiral of doubts. I am no longer teaching, so my questions and doubts are related to my TpT store. Am I forgetting something? Do I have enough products posted? Will they sell as well as last year? Will the changes with the search algorithm make this year different? Should I start pinning yet?
The reality is, there is no perfect answer to any of these questions. Things are always shifting. What worked last year may not work this year. If I really did try to accomplish everything that I dream of, I wouldn’t get any sleep.
Will I ever feel ready? Maybe not, but here we are!!
So, what do I do to really feel ready? I start by going over my sales data from last year month-to-month. I like to go over what products sold well this time last year. This helps me decide what products I might promote on Pinterest or in paid TpT promotion spots. This also helps me notice gaps in my products. My math products are ON FIRE in 2nd and 3rd quarter, but I am lacking topics for 1st and 4th quarter, so I know that will be a priority this school year. If it helps you, make a month-to-month “Top 3 Product” list, and reflect on the results. Do you have a gap to fill like I do?
Next, I like to know what people are searching for on TpT. Maybe there is something people need in August that I do not yet offer. Seasonal products do well on TpT. I see that by going to the TpT homepage and clicking my cursor into the search bar. You should see a drop-down menu appear with the most popular search terms. I try to do this once a week during the school year, especially when sales are slow (I need to know what I am missing in my store!). Below you can see what people are searching for in mid-August 2016. Do you have any meet the teacher or back to school products yet?
After looking at that, I do some creating based on what I am missing for beginning of the year. Sometimes I have notes for myself from the previous year. For example, last year I couldn’t get to Columbus Day in time. It is going to happen for me this year! I have a half-finished file from last year that is finally a priority now that August has hit again. Another goal of mine is to make some math products that are relevant in the beginning of the year. I am proud to say I finished one product on rounding–but there is a lot more to do!
The truth is, you need to be realistic about your priorities. Take care of those time-sensitive projects first. I am very loosey-goosey with my to-do list. I work on things that I enjoy, and I do it when I feel inspired. TpT product creation is a creative thing for me, and I can’t always force myself to sit down and do it when I want to. Although seasonal products do well, a brand new one with 0 ratings probably isn’t going to do that great. Seasonal products only have a short window of when they will sell. It is up to you if seasonal products are worth your time and effort. Just like with any product, it could be a huge hit, or a huge flop.
So, in the end, don’t feel too bad if you don’t get to everything on your list before August ends. I’d rather have 60 quality products than 200 thrown together ones. If you’re new to selling on TpT, remember that sales don’t really pick up until September anyway, so don’t sweat if August isn’t what you were expecting!
Leave a comment to share what you’re TpT priorities are in August!