Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dos and Don'ts for Creating Products

First- one more Fry Phrase set is done!  This is for the 5th 100 words.  It's got a cute game called PB & J that I know my kiddos are going to LOVE!  I'm planning to complete the 6th 100 tonight and then I'll be done with the Fry Phrase sets!
Find it on TpT

Second- this week's Friday Facts are a bit late.  So, sorry they aren't here until today!  I had a few requests to do Dos and Don'ts for creating products.  So, here are my two cents about that:

Do create your own original ideas.  I mentioned that last week.  You can do it!

Don't forget to check and see that things can print... that includes borders fitting on the pages.  I'm a border-a-holic and now that I have started using them, I have to have them on everything or it looks naked to me!  It's easy to size them too large and then they don't quite print... I try and avoid that by doing test prints!

Do credit the font and graphics designers you use.  I use so many now that I have a general credits page that I include with products.  It lists and links to anyone and everyone that I *might* have used in my product.  This was definitely an evolution for me... I have to work on going back and changing my old ones as they are not as thorough!

Don't use copyrighted characters in your products!  Dare I even say their names...?!  A certain green, mean fellow who doesn't like Christmas.  A feline who loves to wear a red and white top hat and cause mischief.  A reading management system many of us use that was created by two female siblings... Just check out the forums for what you can and can't do and be careful.

Do ask someone else to check out your products.  I know that I become to wrapped up in my stuff that I think I know what it says and I miss errors!  I'm so thankful for patient and understanding buyers who don't get upset when I have to make corrections.  It doesn't happen often, but it's every seller's nightmare when the dreaded error is discovered!

Don't forget to put your name and/or blog on your products!  In the beginning of creating, I only included this once.  Then I had it everywhere.  Then I realized that might make people unhappy... but it protects you and it allows people to track you down for more!  :)  I am now putting just my blog address on *almost* every page in about an 8-point font.  It's small, but there so people can find me if they need me!

Do consider creating preview files and DO give detailed product descriptions!  'Nuf said.

Last... don't forget to show off how you use your products in your classroom.  Join a product swap.  Any time you can bring your items to life, it's a bonus to you!  Not only do I love seeing what ya'll are doing, but if it's working for you, I want to do it too!  I'm going to brag about my friend Tracy (and myself a little too!)... here is an OUTSTANDING example of what I'm talking about.  Tracy and I paired up for a product swap a little bit ago and she completely brought one of my items, my Partner Reading Party, to life.  I was so impressed with how Tracy used my product in her classroom!

On a side note- if you're blogging about someone else's resources, don't forget to give them a shout-out!  And then let them know about it!  :)  Talk about filling a bucket!  Not only that, but it's so nice to let people know who's helping you out in your classroom.

If you have other tips, please leave them in the comments.  I love seeing them and I know other teachers do too... they always get lots of replies!

I'll try to get this out on time next week!


  1. Great blog post Christina!! Having editors is definitely key!


    Creekside Teacher Tales

  2. Thanks for the tips. I just made my first freebies and put them on my TPT page so this is perfect timing.

    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  3. I have a question for anyone to answer...
    How much are Paypal processing fees?
    Is it a set fee or a percentage fee?
    Thanks in advance for your time to answer!

    1. I'm asking, by the way, because I was looking at the Teacher's Notebook seller signup information page.

  4. Hi Christina,
    I always worry about creating something that may have already been created by someone else! You know how some ideas have been around for ages and you don't really know who "invented" the idea? For example, I've seen hundreds of "I Have, Who Has?" games or "Sentence Scrambles" out there, by multiple sellers. I like the ideas, but will I be stealing someone else's idea? I would hate to offend other blogging idols of mine if I accidentally recycled their ideas! Help! What do you think?
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

  5. Another great post, I've finding lots of good stuff on your blog today! Again thanks for the help!


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