Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer's Here!

6 Ways to Help you Use Your Time Wisely Now That Summer's Here!

Summer is here and school is out for most of you by now. You probably have a TPT To Do List a mile long. I know I always did when I was teaching. A couple of things I always found out though were 1) I needed a break from school-related things and 2) Summer break goes by quickly!

What can you do to use your time wisely this summer?

1) Take time for yourself and your family! Teachers need to relax and unwind before they gear up for the next school year.

2) Make a schedule! I have an "Ideal Week" schedule that I try to go by. Michael Hyatt has talked a lot about the Ideal Week on his blog. Click here for his posts and podcasts. Basically, take a weekly calendar sheet and block off the things you do every week. Don't forget meal times, family time, exercise, church, weekly play dates, etc. Then with the time you have left block off your product creation time, blog post time, social media content time, pinning time, etc. Each week try to follow your "Ideal Week" that you have created. It may need tweaked as you go along. You also may find this helping when you move back into school mode. Here is what mine looks like. You can download a blank copy and my example here. A Numbers and an Excel version are both included. Let me know if you have any troubles with it.
6 Ways to Help You Use Your Time Wisely Now That Summer's Here! Ideal Week Schedule

3) Be aware of the Time Suckers! We all have 24 hours in the day. What are you doing with your 24 hours? Being at home all day, I found myself browsing Pinterest, Facebook, the TPT forum, watching shows on my computer, and piddling away my day. I installed Rescue Time on my computer (sorry only for Mac users) and found out how much the piddling around was sucking time from my day. When I realized how much time I was wasting, I was able to move away from my Time Suckers and be more productive most days. I'm not perfect, and I do get caught up in the piddling and watching Project Runway episodes. There are apps for your phone that can also show your Time Suckers, but you probably already know what your time suckers are.

4) Set timers and power through! You may need to set a timer to work on a product for 30 minutes or an hour. Power hours (I learned this from Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive) are an hour of time that allows you to focus on a specific "job". It could be to work on a product for 60 minutes. Maybe spend 60 minutes doing social media or Pinterest scheduling (not browsing for fun but being productive). You might want to work on blog posts for 60 minutes or create the graphics for your posts. Use the 60 minutes to create product pins that aren't covers. Decide what you are going to work on and set the timer! Get focused for 30-60 minutes. I used the app 30/30 when I first started doing TPT full-time. It helped me stay focused and work.

5) Don't stress about the To Do List! When you have a list a mile-long, nothing really gets accomplished. Do a brain dump and write down everything you can think of that you want to do with your store this summer. Then each day pick a couple of things to work on and write them down in your planner or on another list. Don't stare at the mile-long list every day. You will find yourself defeated before you even get started.

6) Start your day with a positive mindset! Some days this is hard. Go find some positive quotes to read. Print your favorites out or write them down so you can look at them daily.

Interested in additional information on planning and scheduling? Check out Plan Focus and Move Forward with Your TPT Store.

I hope this gives you some ideas to get focused for the summer.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

Motivational Monday


Stop looking at all the bright, shiny objects. Decide what action you are going to take and do it. Have a focused week!


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

TPT Promotional Spots

TPT Promotional Spots

Are you looking for ways to get your products seen? TPT has Promotional Spots that can be purchased and is one way to market your resources.

Where do promoted products show up? Promoted Spots are visible at the top of a search page when a buyer clicks on one of the side tags (math, ELA, 3rd grade, etc). If you buy a spot under the category of 3rd grade, then potential buyers will see it IF they click on the side tag "3rd grade". It will not be seen under any other tag and will not be seen if someone searches through the search bar "3rd grade".
TPT Promotional Spots

When can spots be purchased? On the 19th going into the 20th of each month, the spots open up. They are released at 12 am (midnight) Eastern Standard Time and for 3 months out. For example, in May the spots opened up for August. The spots are sold out VERY quickly (many times in less than 5 minutes) especially for Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Primary Grades.

What do these spots cost? The spots range from $3-$10. The money is deducted from earnings during the month you PURCHASE spots, not the month you are purchasing for.

How can I get a spot if they sell out so fast? Be organized and quick. I suggest you know ahead of time exactly which product you would like to promote, what date, and which category. Your chances of getting a spot will be greater if you are prepared with that information before the spots open. I always edit the product title prior to the open time to have an * at the beginning of the title. This will pull your product to the top of your product list in the Promo Spot area.

Are these spots helpful? In the few years that I've been purchasing spots, I have made more than I have spent. With that being said, I don't always sell the promoted product on that day. Some days I do and some days I don't. I do feel that even if they don't purchase the promoted resource, I have people looking at my store. I track my stats (views, sales) before the promotion and after. Even if I haven't sold the product, I have had views. In my mind, they may then go look at other products or wishlist for another day. Everyone's experience is different. Please keep in mind that you may not sell anything.

If you have any other questions about Promotional Spots, be sure to leave me a comment.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dressing Up the TPT Quote Area

Dressing Up the TPT Quote Area

In your quote area (the gray box beside your logo), you can do several things.
You can:
✍ put a quote
✍ put a link to your blog, Pinterest, FB, etc {Just be aware that doing this does mean that potential buyers leave your store.)
✍ put an image
✍ put multiple images into a GIF

Today I'm going to talk about putting in an image - just one photo that doesn't move.

First, create an image that you would like to add to your quote area and upload it to a draft blog post in Blogger, a secret board on Pinterest, or a photo site such as Flickr or Tinypic. The size should be about 450 pixels by 150 pixels (1.5 inches by 0.5 inches at 300 ppi). The matching background gray color is #f1f1f1.
Dressing up the TPT Quote Area

Go to My Account
Dressing Up the TPT Quote Area

Click on Store Profile and then Edit
Dressing Up the TPT Quote Area

Change or add in the Personal Quote box
Dressing Up the TPT Quote Area
☞ From your photo site you want the code that is your image. It should start with https and end with jpg. In Flickr, you will have to pull it out of the Embed Code and for Photoshop it is the Direct Link.
☞ You are only allowed 120 characters in the Personal Quote box, so you need to put your image code into a link shortener such as bit.ly.
 You can link this image to new products in your store, a custom category, or a specific product. Also, use a link shortener for this links URL.
 In your Personal Quote box, you will put this HTML code replacing with your links from above.
<a href=YOUR LINK><img src=YOUR IMAGE LINK></a>

Click Save and you are finished!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Motivational Monday

I took last week off to clean out my office and set up in my bedroom. We are going to be painting and putting in new flooring. Hopefully, it won't take too long. I'm back this week with more motivation and tips. Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter for additional advice!

succes is an iceberg, sylvia duckworth
Photo Source: Sylvia Duckworth

Don't compare yourself to others. You never know what they've gone through or are doing. Remember to take action with YOUR store, products, and marketing. 

Have an amazing week!