Every teacher knows that a good lesson requires significant planning, preparation, and practice. While teachers back in the day used to have to spend hours each night planning their lessons, teachers today have access to a global marketplace of lesson plans and classroom materials, allowing them to finish their preparation in seconds by outsourcing their lesson planning. For industrious teachers with an entrepreneurial spirit (like you!), selling lesson plans online in this growing marketplace can be a quick and easy way to make extra money if done right. Setting up this side hustle requires some initial legwork, but it all pays off in the end.
Create Something Worth Selling
The internet is an endless sea of educational resources, so any content you sell must be worth its price. Package your lesson plans with any instructional materials, worksheets, activities, assessments, printables, etc. so that anyone purchasing from you can easily reproduce your lessons. Consider adding differentiated material for struggling students to provide your customers with additional resources – by giving your customers options for the activities, they can customize the lesson to their students’ unique needs.
Market Your Product on Multiple Sites
When they first begin selling lesson plans online, many teachers make the mistake of only listing their materials on one marketplace: TeacherspayTeachers (TpT). While TpT is a mecca for educators to exchange ideas and content, this holy grail of resources comes with a major drawback: it’s just too big. Because TpT is so popular, your work can get buried under pages of content created by other teachers, meaning there is less chance your work will get noticed or purchased.
To more effectively market your lesson plans, sell them on multiple other platforms like TeacherSherpa and TES. Both sites, like TpT, are marketplaces ran by teachers buying and selling unique classroom content. However, unlike TpT, TeacherSherpa and TES are small, niche websites, providing sellers with a greater chance of having their lesson plans discovered and purchased. Furthermore, by listing your lesson plans on multiple sites, you increase the chances that your materials will appear in search engine results, providing another source of traffic to your content.
Additionally, consider selling your lesson plans on other online marketplaces like Etsy. While this website of handicrafts and vintage treasures may seem like an odd place for lesson plans, many parents and homeschoolers browse this database for educational materials for their children. By expanding your marketing plan to a site like this, you open the door for a whole new audience to see and purchase your lesson plans.
Build Your Brand
Thousands of teachers across the world post their materials to the internet every day, making it necessary to stand out from this group to actually sell your lesson plans online. Building your brand requires time and patience, but it pays off in the long run.
While it may seem counterintuitive, one of the best ways of building your brand to sell lesson plans online is to offer some of your materials for free. These free materials act as samples for potential customers to get a feel for the quality of your work, helping familiarize them with your style and brand. Just like with free samples in the store, online shoppers who like what they see from you will return to your shop, eager to find and purchase new materials they can trust. Additionally, these samples provide customers with the opportunity to review your work, helping you build a reputation online that can appeal to other potential customers.
In addition to offering some free materials in your shop, be sure to frequently update your online selection to keep customers coming back for more material. Because most curriculums are vertically aligned, many teachers progress through their content building on previous lessons to support student understanding. Former customers will continue to return to your shop to buy your lesson plans if they are constantly updating with content they need to teach next.
Think you’ve got a great lesson? We know you do! Turn your hours of prep time into a passive income overnight by selling your lesson plans online. Whether your materials make you six figures or just enough money to purchase another lesson plan for yourself, you’ll be able to rest at night knowing you are at least slightly less underpaid.