How to make money creating and selling digital classroom materials – Side Hustle Series

Side Hustle Series

Teachers can make extra money creating and selling classroom materials

Today we have Jennifer sharing how she creates and sells digital classroom materials for our side hustle series. Jennifer Douglas who is a teacher, a mum, and the owner of Teaching Products. She’s been a teacher for the past eight years and established Teaching Products in 2010.

Jennifer says “I love creating meaningful classroom activities to support and enrich the curriculum. My creations are currently being used in classrooms around the world, saving teachers time every day. My favourite subject to teach is literacy, and this is what most of my products have been made for. I also love children’s literature, you can find a lot of book reviews on my website too.”

You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

What do you do?

Create and sell digital classroom materials to other teachers around the world. I have my own website – www.teachingproductsonline.com – where people can see my products in action. I also sell my products through an online marketplace – www.teacherspayteachers.com

How much do you make?

It really varies and it comes down to how much effort you put into creating resources and marketing your products. Some teachers have made over a million (US) dollars! I currently have over 250 products for sale and sell multiple products per day. The income also varies based on the school year, I always see a huge increase in sales around August/September when teachers in the US are preparing their back to school activities. I usually find June and July are slower months as US teachers are on holidays.

How and why did you get into it?

I’m a registered teacher and while I was on family leave after having my baby I developed Teaching Products as a way of keeping myself busy, my mind active, and overcoming the financial strain of being a single income household without the need to leave my baby with family or in childcare.

What did you need to start?

Computer skills (and a computer!), many teachers create resources in PowerPoint. There are no real start-up costs, you can create a free sellers account with Teacher Pay Teachers here (affiliate link).  Teachers Pay Teachers also have a premium account but this is not necessary to begin with. Then you just upload any classroom resources that you have created.

From a marketing perspective, you also need to be able to use social media sites such as Facebook (not essential, but you can set up a Facebook page for your online store), Instagram, Pinterest (this is a must!), and Twitter. Aside from that, you just need time! I currently work on Teaching Products when my kids are asleep, some days I might only spend an hour at it, other days I might get four hours.

What are the best ways you have marketed and promoted your side hustle?

Social media (Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), join Facebook groups, network with other teacherpreneurs.

What are the pros of what you do?

It can all be done in my own time and at my own pace. I’ve learnt so much about curriculum development, design, marketing, and social media.

What are the cons of what you do?

You need to be driven and minimise distractions around you. If you are a teacher, you will also need to check if your school/state allows you to do this as a side business. At the very least, you will need to ensure you use your own equipment (not a departmental computer/fonts/etc) and do everything on your own time. It is important that you treat this business as completely separate from your teaching job.

What do you wish you had done differently?

Set aside more time early on for marketing, get my branding right from the start

What tips would you give others?

Go for it! If you’re a teacher and you have basic computer skills then this is definitely for you!

 

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