Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I have just started playing in Teachers Pay Teachers. Ever since I began blogging, my husband has been trying to get me making money through blogging, but this is not why I started blogging! I started blogging to 'give back' for all that I had found online to help with my teaching. These days, I find it hard to keep up with the blogging, but still try to share my thoughts and teaching ideas whenever possible. But at the same time, if I can share some of the work samples I have developed either free or for a price through Teachers Pay Teachers, then it's better than having them just sit on my computer.
So I signed up for an account and did nothing straight away, but then they sent me a newsletter that gave some tips for how to produce quality resources, and that caught my interest. I still had no time to work on anything, until I got sick from my son and thus had an unplanned day at home. Most of the things I had to work on were still at school, so instead I decided to create a "Number of the Day" worksheet for my Maths Group, and do so in such a way that I could also sell it on Teachers Pay Teachers. It took me a day to do this, but I now have a better idea of what is involved. Here is what I found...
The cutesy factor - I'm not a cutesy teacher, and I don't really cutesy up my resources. I think deep down I'm jealous of those who are, but I can't get past the feeling that I went through my cutesy phase in Year 6, and should be beyond that now. There are lots of cute resources available and all with amazing clip art. I don't feel like going down the path of dealing with copyright etc so am trying to create my own style - however 'uncute'! I've started fiddling with some drawing apps on my iPad and creating my own mouse-like creatures to use. I've also started using iOrnament to create backgrounds for my cover pages. I bought iFontMaker so that I can make and use my own fonts.
The time factor - I've already hinted at this, and while I think it may be easier to produce resources as you get into the swing of it, I still struggle to feel it is time well spent. When my little guy is awake, I feel I should be with him, when he isn't, I should be with my hubby, and when I'm at work, I have a long list to get through. I'm considering how I can compile some of the work I have already done with just a few minor adjustments to make them more appealing to others, and also how I can spend just a little more time on the worksheets I prepare for my class so that they can be added to my store.
The already-done factor - There are so many resources already available through Teachers Pay Teachers, and many of them quite chunky at no cost. The first resource you upload needs to be offered for free, but once you have additional resources you can change which resource is free as long as there is always one. This means that there are loads of great free resources, definitely worth checking out. On the flip side, if you create something that someone else has already created, yours has to value add or be offered at a similar or cheaper price. As someone not into marketing this is all very new to me.
The payment factor - Basically, you get diddly-squat for your ideas. Unless you pay a yearly fee of $59.95 the fees on sales are ridiculous, but at the same time, until you start selling items you don't want to fork out $60! With a basic membership you pay 40% in fees + 30 cents per item. So... on a $1 item you keep 30 cents!
I have really enjoyed playing with my resources and creating something I'm proud enough to put out there. I'm having fun experimenting with my ICT skills again and expanding my knowledge in this area. I find myself thinking about it quite a bit and considering which resources I might choose to upload. I've had some great new ideas flowing and the kids in my class are benefitting from my enthusiasm. It has also motivated me to share my creations with other teachers in the school. You can see my store here.
As I said at the start, I didn't go into blogging with the intention of making money. Nor does it seem likely that I will make anything of value through this endeavour. However, if it makes my resources more accessible, doesn't become a drain on time, and helps me to develop my creativity, ICT skills and produce better quality classroom resources for my students - then what have I got to lose?