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  • Renee Anderson

5 Roadblocks I Conquered While Opening My TpT Store...

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

One would think that opening a simple TeachersPayTeachers store would be easy as can be. I mean, I am pretty tech saavy, have opened small businesses before, and am not afraid to try new things, so what could possibly go wrong?

GAH! A lot.

First of all, let me clarify that opening a TpT store could be super easy if you wanted it to. You could throw some materials out there that you've created and wham, bam, you're done!


If you want to create a brand and present your materials LEGALLY, you've got to do a little bit more leg work. There are forums out there to help newbies out, and everyone is pretty good about sharing, but it can also be a bit difficult to find answers to your specific questions at times, and if you're doing anything differently or using a different method, you are kind of on your own to figure things out. Great learning opportunity there at least. So here are a few things I got caught up on as I was creating my first materials and beginning my business:

1. Finding Fonts I could Actually Use for Commercial Use

You have to be very careful about what you are choosing to use in any materials you are selling out there. Using a font for say a blog post or an infographic in the classroom is SUPER different than using a font for something you are going to sell. That brings up a whole different set of rules, and really limits what you can do. There are fonts you can purchase for commercial use, or you can actually use Google Fonts for FREE in your items for commercial use. There are a ton of free Google Fonts that will get the job done, so I went that route for now.

2. Finding ClipArt and Graphics I could Use for Commercial Use

Very similar to the font issue, you've got an image and clipart issue. Most people know that you can't just go out on the internet and grab any images you want to use as you please. There are these things called "permissions" and "copyright" etc. I had to be very careful about what images I was choosing to use. Sometimes I created my own. Sometimes I purchased clipart or found some cool free clipart. And sometimes I got lucky and found some images online that were legal for commercial use and modification. Regardless, it took time and research to make sure I was using legal images. You definitely don't want that to come back and bite you in the butt!

3. "Securing" Images in my PDFs

What?! What did that even mean?

Luckily, I found this out early on. I was reading through a forum or something, and someone mentioned the fact that you had to really pay attention to each graphic artist's Terms of Use if you are using their images, because they often want you to "Secure" their images in any docs you are selling. If you don't, you are breaking their Terms of Use.


That freaked me out! I'm a rule follower. So, I figured out how to secure any images in products I was selling. Not all graphic artists require this, but it's a safe practice regardless. Learning how to secure my images while using Google Apps products instead of Microsoft Power Point, and figuring out how to do it for FREE will be an upcoming blog post for sure!

4. Creating a Logo that was "Legal"

I know this seems pretty silly, but believe it or not, I had created a logo using Canva, my go to design tool, and realized quite a bit later that I had done things using Canva that made my logo unusable according to their terms.

Gah again!

Now this was frustrating, but a better logo actually came out of it.

It is important to know all of the rules and guidelines of the tools you are using. You can't just assume that you are able to do whatever you want and then turn around and use it for your business. I am a Premium Canva Member, so I thought I could use all of the elements and simple images for my logo. Nope. I'll clue you in on how I made my logo in a future blog post, but for now, know that you need to read the fine print if you are creating your own logo. Needless to say, I had to go back into all the docs I had created and replace my unusable logo with my new, legal, and honestly much better looking logo.

Holy time consuming!

5. Using Google Apps (Slides, Docs, Drawings, etc) when Everyone Else seems to be using Microsoft Power Point

This actually became a super time-consuming pain in the rear! I always use Google Apps. I don't think I've had Microsoft products since like the late '90's maybe. I mean Google is FREE, their stuff works well for me, I can access it from anywhere & it's easily shareable. It's what I used with my students in the classroom. It just makes sense to me.

Now, in the Teachers Pay Teachers world, it seems like a massive majority of creators use Microsoft Power Point. That's totally cool. I get it. BUT, that means that most of the tutorials on how to create certain things, or secure pdfs, or copy and resize items quickly for previews etc. are all using Power Point.


That means many of the stumbling points I came across, I had to figure out how to solve on my own. Don't worry, I'll share the solutions soon. But jeez! Holy time consuming again!

Have you started your own TpT store? Did you come across any major roadblocks? I'd love for you to share!

Stay tuned for future blog posts explaining how I specifically solved some of these issues!

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