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Thursday, March 29, 2012

10 Tips for Creating Products

Opening up a TpT or TN store is not as easy as it sounds. I need to learn not to trip over my own enthusiasm when venturing into new territory but that would require patience. I have patience... sometimes... when I want to.

However, when I am excited, excitement wins out over patience! This resulted in a lot of lessons learned by experience. Here are my top 10 things I learned about creating and selling products online!

10. Saving as a PDF: I I use publisher to create all of my products. It is very easy to use (if you can use PowerPoint you can use Publisher) and it was designed to make products for print. There is a size limit that you can upload to the stores. If you do not want to sit around watching the circle spin for what seems like hours -- save as "MINIMAL" or else find some chocolate as it is never gonna happen!

9. Covers are important! You know the old saying "never judge a book by it's cover" and how we ALL do it anyways? Well... the same thing applies here. A pretty cover will get a product sold. Buyers figure if you care about the cover you must care about the content. Throwing a product on without a cover - I wish you luck! Sales will be slow if you are lucky!

8. We love free! Who does not love free products? When creating an item as a freebie make sure it is the same quality of work as your for sale items. Instead of using Google docs to give the item away, post it as a free product at your store. It will increase your traffic and get increase those who follow you there.

7. Giving Credit where credit is due! I am great at citing references when writing but I have never cited references fro graphics or fonts. This is a big no-no! I just purchase, download, and save onto my computer. Then build, save in publisher, and away I go. Now I am editing after scouring my favorite font and graphic stores trying to locate where I got something. UGH! Take it from me -- save in folders by designer not by season/subject. It will save you a ton of time.

6. Promo Page:  The second page of your file should always be a promotional page. A copy of your header or button should be the main feature as well as your blog address. If someone prints out your work, you want them to know where you got it from.  Another good thing is to add a foot with your blog information.

5. Editing Required: Before listing your product for sale, give away a few copies and ask those peeps for feedback and editing. Doing this BEFORE you list it and not after will save lots of work re-uploading. It will also increase your ratings and decrease the annoyance level of your purchasers.

4. Keyword Optimizing: When creating a description of your product, include the name of your blog, a detailed description including a table of contents for large packets. Suggestions for use and grade levels. In addition, promote additional like products in your store.

3. Promotional Blogging:  Never just pop an item into your store without promoting it on your blog. You can do this while searching for volunteer editors or discussing upcoming events at school or whatever. It does not have to be a big obvious sales pitch, a minor mention will be sufficient.

2. Copyright Searches: When you name a product, do a google search prior to naming it to ensure you do not infringe upon anyone's rights. You will be amazed at what is copyrighted. I know I was when a product of mine was deactivated for infringement. OOPS!

1. Be Yourself!  Do not create a products simply because you saw a similar one for sale or it seems to be a popular thing to have on your site. Create products that you use and love!



At March 29, 2012 at 9:47 AM , Blogger Miss T said...

Great tips and glad to see I was already following them without knowing it! Whew! :)

Journey of a Substitute Teacher

At March 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM , Blogger Krista Carlson said...

Great advice, Misty! Thanks for sharing :)

The Second Grade Superkids

At March 29, 2012 at 11:27 AM , Blogger vicky1970 said...

Hi Misty - What a brillant post so many newbies have asked me about this exact thing...although I can't see anything but black and no anyone else having problems with blogger today? ;O( I can only see the numbers and titles but not words after each title. PS congrats on the great honor you received the other day for your schooling/degree...what an achievement. Good for you. :o)
Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

At March 29, 2012 at 11:57 AM , Blogger Chalk and Slate said...

Hey Misty, I can't see your type either. Would love to read all your great advice. Don't know if it's on my end or yours.

At March 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM , Blogger zputty said...

I can't read the post either - it looks like the text is in black for each of the tips. Maybe just highlight and change color?

At March 29, 2012 at 2:15 PM , Blogger Lori Rosenberg said...

Excellent tips! I think lots of people will appreciate that you took the time to post such helpful advice.

Teaching With Love and Laughter

At March 29, 2012 at 6:24 PM , Blogger Pigs Do Fly said...

Great advice! I wish I had my clip art organized by designer. I acquired most of it just for my own personal use. I'm now sitting with 50gb of clips divided into 40 folders by theme. Figuring out credit there will be a NIGHTMARE! =o


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