Sunday, July 27, 2014

Weekend Warriors: It's All About the Preview



I have seen and read so many opinions and questions about creating and making previews for TpT products. Everybody has a point of view about it. I am going to share my own experience and I hope it helps someone out there. 
PREVIEWS ARE ESSENTIAL!!!
It's a no brainer for me. All my products HAVE to have a preview. 
When I go shopping in a store, I want to touch and feel what I am going to purchase. I want to know:
 What is the quality?
 Is it worth the price? 
Why buy it here, when I can get it somewhere else? 
Your product preview needs to answer these questions and entice your potential customers to purchase from you and nowhere else.
My product previews are ever evolving. There is no "right" or "wrong" way of making them. However, I have streamlined the process over the years. Sometimes a collage preview is appropriate. Other times, the preview needs to be a close up of a few pages in a much larger product. Let me show you what I mean.

COLLAGE PREVIEWS
After I make my product and save it as a PDF to upload, I also save all the slides (PowerPoint) as JPEGs. I create a new, one page landscape file, so I can arrange all the pictures of the pages that are included. I want my potential customers to know what they are getting. I don't want them to have to guess. Here is an example of a collage preview:

This file is editable and comes with color and black and white pages. I made sure to include all the color pages in the preview, however, in the product description I explain that black and white versions of each page are also included. Product descriptions are extremely important, as well. However, not everyone reads them carefully, so your preview is the first key to getting your buyers interested. Think of it as a visual "hook." After you make your one page collage preview, save it as a JPEG or PNG file to upload to TpT.

MULTIPLE PAGE PREVIEWS:
Some products require a more detailed preview; a collage preview just won't do it justice. I use multiple page previews for larger products usually. This helps potential customers get a CLOSER look at a few sample pages. Here is an example from my 2nd Grade Interactive Language Notebook preview:

Each page is a full size. Customers can get a close look at what the pages look like once they are completed and get an idea for the quality of the product. It is important to watermark or put your blog button on every page too! Since this type of file is multiple pages, you need to save it as a PDF file instead of a JPEG. 

I hope you were able to get some ideas of how to make your previews work to showcase your products. I would love to hear how you make your previews and what you think is important to include too. 

Make sure to head on over to read some more fabulous tricks and tips from my sweet blogging pals.



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Weekend Warriors: Customizing Your Own Blog Favicon

Weekend Warriors is B...A...C...K!!! This month we are bringing you some great blogging and TpT "secrets!"

Are you wondering, what the heck is a "favicon?" Why do I need to customize it? I have had my own blog for over two years now. I JUST figured out what a favicon is and how to customize it for my blog. Now I want to share my new knowledge with all of you!

Favicon is short for "favorite icon." It is the little picture next to your favorite websites. It is important because it helps with branding. Just like your blog button, your favicon helps people recognize your site. The favicon image is shown next to your blog name on the page tab when someone views your blog. It can also be seen on the address bar and in the bookmarks toolbar.

The default setting for Blogger is this generic symbol:

Now it's time to learn how to customize and install your own favicon. Let the branding begin....
DESIGN:
The first step is CREATING your favicon. I created mine in PowerPoint. But you can use Pages if you use a Mac. Your favicon is going to be SMALL. You need to keep this in mind as you create your image. In order to install the favicon, it needs to be 16x16 pixels! Don't include too many details in your design because you won't be able to see them.  Many bloggers use their blog button as their favicon. I tried using my blog button, but I felt it looked like a blur and didn't do the job of branding my blog very well.
Here is what it looks like:
Hard to tell what is there, right?
I decided to use my blog colors and the dots at the top of my blog button to create my own favicon.
More distinctive and recognizable.
Once you have created your favicon. Save it as a JPEG or PNG file. Then, make sure to resize it to 16x16 pixels so Blogger will accept the image when you go to install it.

INSTALLATION:
Now that you have your favicon created, it's time to install it. It is a very simple process. No HTML code is needed (thank goodness)! Once you are in Blogger, go to "Layout." At the TOP LEFT, you will see a rectangle labeled "favicon". Click Edit. You will either see a picture of the orange Blogger button OR a favicon that you or your blog designer already created. To change the file, click "Remove". Then, click "Choose File" and locate the favicon image you saved onto your computer. Finally, click "Save." Ta-dah!! You are all set.

If you can't see you favicon image right away, don't panic! Make sure to refresh your page. Be patient. Sometimes Blogger takes their time making updates.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you learned something new to use on your blog page. Make sure to hop on over to some of my blogging buddies and check out their tips and tricks, as well.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Lovin': LAST DAY & A GIVEAWAY

This is it my friends! Today is the last day of our Summer Lovin' Sale! Make sure to read the whole post for a surprise!

Today I am putting a few of my top selling items on sale!

First up....

For those of you who don't go back to school for several more weeks, this is great review for your kiddos. It covers every second grade standard for language arts, math and writing. It also comes with answer keys.

Next up...

This is one of my most favorite math concepts to teach. Odd and even concepts can be so tricky to teach. But this packet has just the right amount of rigor and fun to keep all your kiddos engaged. It comes with centers, crafts, posters, and more to make learning about odd and even a snap!

And finally....

Who doesn't love bubble gum? This top seller is a blast to use when teaching or reviewing prefixes and suffixes. The anchor charts alone will get your kiddos asking questions and wanting more! 

I want my Summer Lovin' celebration to end with a big BANG! One lucky winner will get to choose one of the above items as their prize! Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter and I will choose a winner on Saturday! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway




 

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