When I first started selling clipart and art teaching materials at Teachers Pay Teachers, I wanted to be able to connect with buyers to let them know about sales and cool things on the horizon.
I followed a few Teachers Pay Teachers stores and noticed that I’d get these monthly notes with lots of words, words, words. Same with the “New Products” email; it was a long list of links. The “Note to Followers” feature on TPT allows you to add images and links, but no one was using it (probably because it’s super archaic). To me, this was in direct conflict with the concept of tangible and virtual goods sales is all about: the visual. Even MIT researchers understand the power of the visual, how it leaves an indelible mark on the brain in 13 milliseconds. All the more reason for teacher-authors to employ visuals at all times, even in notes to followers.
So I set out to find a way to make my note stand out in the crowd. There are other tutorials out there, but it seems so far that I do things a little differently.
1) First of all, make sure you’re importing images using 72dpi (this is screen result ion size, not printing resolution size so only use it for preview images!), and make them about 200 pixels wide (I’ll get to why I picked this dimension at the end of this tutorial). To do this, I use Photoshop. Open up the product image you want to resize (presumably a product cover), check off the “constrain proportions” box (if not already checked off), type in a resolution of 72 pixels/inch (you should see the image size numbers fluctuate when you do this), and then make the width of your product be 200. Depending on if your image is square or rectangular, the height will adjust accordingly so don’t type anything there. CLICK “OK.”
2) Once you’re done editing your picture (you will probably want to fiddle with the sharpness), it’s time to save it. CLICK FILE >>> SAVE FOR WEB and a new window will appear. Your image will show up in the box. At this point, you’ll want to fiddle with the quality of the image. In the bottom left corner you’ll see the size of the image change as you swing the slider for the quality of the image back and forth. Land on something you’re comfortable with that looks good as has a small size. CLICK SAVE and file it someone safe on your computer.
3) Jump over the Pinterest and create a secret board for your newsletter pins. Call it whatever you want. No one will see it!
4) Next, pin your product cover to that board. For the description, it doesn’t matter what you type because it’ll never be seen. Seriously, I never waste the time. I write in a single alphabet letter. That’s it. CLICK “PIN IT.”
5) Now we want to get a direct link to where the image is stored on Pinterest. So click on your newly created pin just once and you’ll see it’ll pop up and look like this (as though you’re going to re-pin it):
6) Hover your cursor over the image and right-click and you’ll see a dialog box appear. On a Mac, you’ll want to select “COPY IMAGE ADDRESS.” This will save the location of the image where it’s stored on Pinterest to your computer’s clipboard (you know, the one you can’t see but helps you copy/paste things). On a PC, it should read, “Copy Image Location”:
7) Now, go to your TPT account and make a new note for your followers. Here you can see that I’ve already copied a few images into my note (just for frame of reference):
8) To insert an image, you need to click on the IMAGE button. It’s the one that looks like a picture of a tree. We’ll get back to the other two I circled in a moment:
9) Once you click on it, a new window appears (most likely in another browser tab) which looks like this:
10) You want to paste that link from Pinterest into the section of this new pop-up window that says, “IMAGE URL.” Then, click INSERT. The window will disappear and you’ll be be viewing your note again.
Side note: There’s a section for image description, alignment, dimensions, etc. Here’s the rundown with all that: don’t waste your time with any of it. If this were something you were posting on a public website, you’d want a description that used keywords to help people find your content. You don’t need it for the purpose of making a note to followers on TPT. And that thing with the dimensions? Doesn’t work. I’ve tried. It’s supposed to let you scale down images. I used it in my fist note to followers so I’ll apologize to those of you who received a note with images so large they looked like they were screaming at you!
11) Now here’s where things get annoying (for me, anyways). I find that sometimes the image doesn’t “take,” meaning that I can see where there’s going to be an image, but I get this little blue missing image icon. DON’T PANIC. I’ve guessed that sometimes it takes Pinterest a hot minute to catch up with that image you posted over there that it can’t “find” it right away when you post it to you note.
If this happens, simply highlight the missing image icon just like you would if it were text in a note that you wanted to copy/paste somewhere, then click that IMAGE button once again, the window pops up again, and just click INSERT again. Really, it’s like, “Highlight, click, click.” You should see the image show up in your note now. Here’s my image in the note:
12) Lovely! But now you want to link it to something, otherwise it’s as useless as images in a print catalog. So let’s do that. Remember those two other icons to the left of the IMAGE button that I mentioned (and circled) earlier? The one of the far left is the HYPERLINK button (looks like two chain links tied together) and the other removes a hyperlink (broken links) once it’s in place. It’s kind of like an erase button, if you will.
To hyperlink your image to a product page, open up another window and maneuver to its corresponding product page in your store, and copy the URL (it’s highlighted in blue here):
Go back to your note and highlight (or click on) the image you want to link to (it’ll turn blue):
Then click on that HYPERLINK button. Yep, another window appears (probably in another tab). Instead this time it looks like this:
Paste in your product page’s link into the space that says, “LINK URL.” “Target,” refers to whether you want the person who clicks on the link to have it open in the same tab as they’re currently in or to have it open in a new tab. You want them to open it in a new tab always! That way, when they view your note, they’ll have the note in one tab and whatever their clicking on in another and they can toggle back and forth between the images. You can make up a title but again, it’s like the concept of writing a description above: if it’s not being viewed online, it’s not doing anything for you to fill it in. Don’t worry about the “class.” It’s not referring to your students! Skip over it and CLICK INSERT.
And now? You have an image hyperlinked in your note to your followers. Congrats!
Going back to the first step, I picked the image size of 200 pixels wide because after doing some testing, I found that I could safely fit an image of 730 pixels wide in the current allotted space. If you divide by 3, you have enough room for 3 images to fit horizontally with some space between. To make space between images, just hit the space bar! Which was the issue I had when I made my last newsletter: too many spaces shifted my images to the next row. Lesson? Learned. If you need precise measurements, I tried 12 spaces between images. Next time, I’m going for 10.
I hope this helps!