Monday, November 3, 2014

Ten Minutes a Day

My best, most cogent ideas come to me in the shower. This morning, between my husband asking me if I had seen his toothbrush and my toddler pushing aside the curtain to ask, "Baff too?," I had one of those clear thoughts.

How is it possible to work from home amidst all the distractions when there is often no large chunk of time to get any writing done? I'm in one of those seasons, a period of constant motion created by a small child and two small businesses. If I cannot work in large sections of time, I must make the small chunks count by focusing on selling what I have rather than creating more.

So, here is a list of ideas for writers who have to work in ten-minute windows of time. Today's list is for my teacher-author friends at

Ten-Minute Tasks

1. Sketch an outline for a new product.

2. Create a document for all the html coded products you like to cross-link in product descriptions.

3. Freshen up a product description. Begin with a clever line and be sure to incorporate key words a potential buyer might use in a search. A list of key words can be found in the Seller's Handbook and on several forum posts.

4. Skim a section of the Seller's Handbook that you have not read in a while. You'll find a link to the PDF in the bottom left hand corner of your dashboard.

5. Drop in a hyperlink to a product within another product's description. How do you do that? You need to add code before the URL, between the URL and text, and after the text.
Here's an example. Pay attention to the red characters.

</a><a href="">AP English Language BIG CHUNK BUNDLE</a>

6. Hop on Pinterest and pin one of your products and five non-product ideas. Who am I kidding? No one gets on Pinterest for just ten minutes.

7. Watch one of Charity Preston's videos on social marketing.

8. Proofread a product.

9. Tag Common Core standards for one product.

10. Study the store of a successful seller who creates a similar line of products. For example, if you primarily create high school social studies units, look for other social studies sellers in the Top 100.

11. Go through the descriptions for five products and make some important wording bold. How do you do that? Add <strong> before the text and <strong/> after.

12. On the Credits page at the end of a product, add a link to the store of every clip artist whose work you used in that product.

13. Drop in copyright information and a link to your store at the bottom of every page of a product.

14. Use several ten-minute chunks to update a cover page with larger letters, more color, higher quality clip art, and your store name.

15. Set up a tabbed binder for product ideas.

16. Add to your marketing knowledge. I have realized recently that I really know nothing about marketing, so I created a Pinterest board for it. Come on by and read, read, read.

17. If you're creating products in Word, spend a few minutes watching a tutorial on PowerPoint, and then STOP USING WORD. I mean it. Stop it right now. Your sanity is at stake.

18. Pay it forward by offering advice or feedback on the forum, pinning for a seller whose work you've purchased, or emailing a friend about TpT.

19. Write a post on your business Facebook page

20. Feel under the seats of your car for loose change. Put it in a bucket marked VEGAS 2015. Complete this task every day! Try the lounge couch cushions, junk drawer, laundry baskets, and gym bag. Secondary teachers, start a cursing jar in your classroom. If a student uses profanity, he or she drops a quarter in. A couple of months of that, and you have your plane ticket.

Here's the take away: You don't have to spend eight hours a day building your store. Small investments of time add up!


  1. Love, love love #20! I really do need to work in small chunks!!!

  2. Great tips! I'll add a couple. Take a photo of a resource in action. Print a page or two of a resource you're working on to see how it's looking on the page. (=

  3. Those are some seriously great tips! And I love the whole "10 minute task" list idea. That has the potential to save my sanity when time frame needed for big chunks of work just isn't going to happen. Thanks!

  4. Ha! There is truly no way to only be on Pinterest for only 10 minutes! I think I need to set a timer:)

  5. These tips are so useful! Even for an experienced seller! Gosh there really is always more to learn about selling on tpt. Thanks for putting this together!