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How to Sell Teaching Resources Online

Jul 26th, 2021 by Issuu
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Teachers around the world are constantly creating new lesson plans. These usually incorporate worksheets specific to the class topics, class exercises on the subject, reading guides, and putting together educational resources to reinforce the lesson. In many cases, teachers are creating their own customized educational materials — from writing their own lesson plans, designing worksheets that fit the lesson perfectly, making reading guides, developing quizzes, and more. By creating new materials, teachers can incorporate their own style and expertise to make the materials even more impactful than ones provided by publishers or versions that have been around for decades.

In addition to using them in their own classroom, teachers have often shared these custom educational materials within their own schools or districts — sharing was largely determined by proximity to other teachers. Of course now, thanks to the internet, there is a huge marketplace for educators to sell and share these custom-created resources to educators around the world and generate additional income for themselves at the same time. Over the past decade, you may have even read about or heard anecdotes of teachers making impressive sums from selling educational materials online. Although it may not be a new trend, it’s never too late to start doing it!

Create The Coursework and Materials

Whether you already have a collection of personally created educational materials or you will be starting from scratch, it’s important that you make sure to prepare the materials as digital files and for online distribution. You don’t need to be a graphic artist or designer to create your own materials. You can keep the design simple and use software such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint to start designing. You can also check out Issuu's app on Canva for easy access to a wide variety of templates and instant publishing power. If you happen to have more advanced design skills, you can also create your materials in Adobe InDesign before turning them into a file format that can be instantly transformed and shared using Issuu's integration. Try creating the following types of teaching materials:

  • Lesson plans

  • eBooks

  • Flashcards

  • Worksheets

  • Reading guides

  • Quizzes or exams

  • Presentations

  • Videos

These past few years, teachers and educators have dealt with and overcome many challenges due to the global pandemic; students and families have also made their own adjustments to enable learning in remote and hybrid environments. Moving forward we anticipate there will always be classes that remain online and students choosing virtual learning options. Building educational materials for hybrid learning to sell will also allow you to future-proof your materials for changes happening to the education system.

When you are creating materials, do keep in mind the copyright infringement laws to ensure the materials you create are completely your own. If you are currently employed or under contract, you will also want to check into whether you maintain ownership of the intellectual property rights for the content you create. Here are some examples of teaching materials published on Issuu that can easily be shared with families and students via a simple link:

Sell Your Educational Materials

The ability to sell the lesson plans, worksheets, and educational materials that you create is easier than ever. There are a number of online marketplaces that make it really easy to sell your teaching materials, whether the marketplace is unique to educators or more common like Etsy.

The most popular and largest site focused on educational resources for teachers is TeachersPayTeachers with over 7 million teachers in the community buying and selling teaching materials. Depending on the plan you choose, the payout rate for materials you sell on will vary from 55% to 80%. Etsy is another popular platform for selling educational materials. It is also easy to use and a well-known platform but will charge about 5% commission and an additional listing fee for the service of providing and hosting your items.

If you are looking for a site that allows you to keep 100% of the money you earn from your sales, check out Issuu - a digital content creation and distribution platform that not only makes it easy to publish but also helps to maximize content distribution. Join the Issuu Premium plan with the built-in Digital Sales feature, and you will pay zero commission on all of your digital content sales. Plus, enjoy unlimited content uploads that you can list at any price you want. Issuu enables quick and easy content sales and payouts too!

As you get set up to sell educational materials, you might even find it makes sense to utilize more than one marketplace to sell your online teaching resources. A site like TeachersPayTeachers offers access to a community of educators but obviously charges a higher commission fee. However, when you promote your educational content yourself through your own blog or social media channels, it probably makes more sense to link directly to your content on which charges no commission! 

Language books are a perfect example of gated materials that require viewers to purchase the publication beforehand. One of our customers, Akropolis, supplies teachers and educators with digital versions of books for their students. The following publication of theirs is geared towards children of A1 reading level learning Czech, using Digital Sales to monetize it:

Promote Your Teaching Resources

You’ve created the teaching materials that you want to sell and listed them on one or more marketplace — how can you drive sales of your materials? Some educators will most likely just post their materials to a marketplace and hope they find an audience. If you want to be a bit more proactive, then we recommend putting together a promotion plan. 

As you create a promotion plan, we recommend including:

  • Posting to social media

  • Blogging about the different teaching materials available for sale

  • Offering previews of your content

  • Including bonus or free items for purchases

  • Engaging with other educators on social media to build up your audience and demonstrate your expertise

  • Embed or link directly to your materials available for sale

  • Pin your materials on Pinterest

Building your own brand as an educator “to follow” on social media will definitely help increase your sales and help you earn more money. You may find that as you develop your own online presence, it will also be an opportunity to learn from other educators on what type of teaching materials they are looking for and could inspire you to create even more business opportunities for yourself too!

Publish Materials and Assets for All Types of Learning

Teaching materials are not isolated to just worksheets for reading and arithmetic in grade school either. People of all ages love to learn — from cooking, languages, sports, new skills, or advanced study on subjects too. Create educational materials that support teaching all types of subjects and make them available online to sell and distribute to a wide range of buyers. For educational materials that have a broader appeal beyond the K-12 educator audience, the Issuu Digital Sales feature makes it really easy to promote your content. Reach even more potential customers using Issuu to deliver beautiful educational materials by embedding the materials right on your website or linking to the content from social posts. Issuu enables you to easily make derivative assets from your original content to use in email, social media, or other promotional activities too. Whether you publish a cookbook, step-by-step instructions, online courses, or other materials — choose Issuu as the best platform for commission-free digital sales, easy access and sharing, and so much more.

Earn Extra Income for Your Expertise

Take your expertise as an educator and earn a little extra income for yourself! Create new or transform your existing lesson plans, worksheets, reading guides and so much more into digital materials, and start selling teaching materials today!

It’s back-to-school time and educators are planning for the rest of the year. Create and publish your own school materials to start generating extra income. Issuu makes selling digital content easy and takes zero commission, too!

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