Let’s go through a checklist of the DOs (and don’ts) of covers and thumbnails that convert to cha-chings.

Episode Highlights

  • What a product cover and thumbnail is and where it’s located
  • Main must-haves of covers and thumbnails
  • What to leave out in covers and thumbnails
  • A walk-through of a cover and thumbnails from one of my best-selling resources

Resources and Links

Free Product Listing Toolkit

Cover and Thumbnail Templates



Kirsten 0:01

You're listening to the creative teacher podcast, a show for busy teachers looking for ways to engage, inspire and make an impact in their teacher businesses. I'm Kiersten, a teacher business owner who is all about simple and actionable tips, strategies and resources that result in wins, big or small. If you're looking for that extra spark of creativity, you've come to the right place. Let's dive in together.

Hi, guys, welcome to another episode of the creative Teacher Podcast. I'm really excited to share with you this particular set of episodes. So this is the first of a four part series all about product listings. To give you some background, I created a course in 2021, I think yeah, it launched in the summer of 2021, call the product listing lab. And fast forward to now where I'm focusing more on branding and graphic design. I of course, think product listings are important. But because I'm focusing more on branding, I went back and forth on this. And I've decided to give a lot of the content that I shared in this course away for free in this podcast. So more of you will be able to learn product listing tips. While I think product listings are super important. There's so much more that I want to share and give really great advice on as far as branding, graphic design. And so I've kind of shifted away from just talking about product listings. So that's why I am basically giving a lot of my course away for free. But for those of you who have purchased the product listing lab, don't worry, because there's still some examples and just more insights in those videos that I can't really share over the podcast. So you guys will be able to still refer back to that in your course platform. But I did want to share the important parts that I think every TPT seller needs to know about product listings. So today we're going to be talking about product covers and thumbnails, we're going to be talking about the main must haves of covers and thumbnails, what to leave out in covers and thumbnails and some tips to create high converting product covers and thumbnails.

Alright, so let's go ahead and start with product covers. A product cover is technically a thumbnail. It's one of the four thumbnails that we usually refer to but it's always the first one we refer to the first thumbnail as a product cover. The product cover is not optional unless you have a bundle. But it is still a must to have a well designed product cover in order to get people to click because it's the first thing people see when they will consider a resource.

Let's talk about the main must haves of a product cover. For product covers, we want to have a large simple text that covers at least a third of the page. So you're going to be pretty much thinking about a title and a subtitle. Another must have are fonts that are clear, easy to read and appealing to your target audience. And then 123 photos of or pictures of your resources. I recommend either a photo or a couple of screenshots, possibly some mock ups depending on what you're adding. There are some exceptions. Let's say you're a clip artist and you're featuring all of the clipart that's featured in that resource. That's fine, but if it's just a typical teacher resource, you really don't need more than one to three photographs or screenshots.

Here are some things to learn If out in the product cover anything that is too small or unreadable. Remember, people are scrolling resources on their phone or computer. And it's already automatically blurred to prevent people from taking screenshots. So that's something you don't have to quite worry about. But the only downside to that is that it's a little harder to read. So you want to make sure that the titles and subheadings are as big as possible. Another thing to leave out are too many different types of fonts. If you have more than three on one cover, unless your font artist, then it gets to be a little too much, there's a little bit too much going on, it looks a little busy. One other thing to leave out are too many photos or pictures, you want to make it as simple as possible. If you could get just one photo on there, maybe two or three, it would look great. If you have any more, it's going to be a lot harder to see the resource when scrolling on a mobile device. And it's not going to capture as much attention. Something that goes along with the fonts is just the wording in general. Think about the wording, you want to pack a punch with the wording, you don't want the product cover to contain way too much information that's necessary. Try to leave that for the thumbnail in the preview, you just want to get attention. You're engaging your audience, you're trying to get them to click and then you can explain more about what is in your resource. Don't try to do that all on the product cover. Something else to leave out is not having any photos but just having clipart. So if you're not showcasing what's actually in the resource, and you're just adding a photograph, or clipart with a title of what the resource is, this is going to be really hard for teacher customers to want to click on the resource. Now of course, there are some exceptions, if you have a product line, and let's say you have different units, and that photo represents that unit, I'm thinking maybe some type of math curriculum and Unit One is placed value and you'll see a photo of place value blocks that can be done really well. But I'm just really referring to really smaller activities. If you don't have a picture of that resource, it's gonna be hard for people to want to click on it. But if it's part of a product line, it might be different. The last thing you want to leave out would be clashing designs, or if it just looks too busy. I think Simplicity is key with the product covers. Yes, you want to capture attention, but you don't want it to be too overly designed with too much going on.

All right, let's talk about thumbnails. Thumbnails are after the first thumbnail or product cover, we have the three other thumbnails that the teacher customer can see. Once they actually click into the product cover or wherever they find your product. They're looking at the actual resource listing, you'll see that there are three rotating thumbnails, if they can hover over on their mouse, they can click on it on their phone, and they can pull up the thumbnail and it'll switch out from what is currently presented on that product cover image. Thumbnails are optional. But in order to maximize your product listing and conversion rates, you must have all three thumbnails included and not just a picture of your resource. And we'll talk a little bit more about that later, you can add a little bit more text on the thumbnails. Whereas on the product cover, we might be adding less text, we still want to go by the motto of blesses more. You don't want to bombard the potential customer with too much information. And also you don't want it to be too small to read. You really want to just get to the point on your thumbnails.

Alright, let's talk about three main must haves have a thumbnail. But first must have is large simple texts with key words and phrases to highlight your resource. Simple text key words and phrases, you're highlighting the main features or parts of your resource. Think about the most exciting parts of your resource, why your teacher or customer should even have this resource, how it would benefit their classroom. Those are all really great things to add on the thumbnail. Another thing that they must have is just like the product cover fonts that appeal to your ideal teacher customer. You are still trying to wow them with visuals. But you also want them to convert over to customers. So you do need to make sure you're using appealing fonts that align with your brand and are appealing. The third thing you must have in a thumbnail are 123 photographs or pictures that are featured. Each thumbnail is not just one screenshot or a page I know that there's a way you can auto fill different images from your resource as you upload it. I don't recommend that I recommend actually taking the time to create square thumbnails, as well as square product covers, you can make it look like it's almost a rotating commercial, like one of those ads you might see on Facebook, think about the best features. And make sure to feature a screenshot or photograph or mock up of the actual resource page or parts of the resource that showcase that really great feature that is in the resource.

All right, let's talk about things to leave out. One is the TMI on the thumbnails, we don't want too much information, we want some information. And again, we're thinking about the main highlights the main points of your resource, you don't want to have too many photos on one thumbnail as well. You might have seen products where there's a thumbnail, and there's overlapping pages, and it shows pretty much the whole resource on one thumbnail, I would not recommend that because it's going to be really hard to see on a mobile device, which most people are doing and browsing for already. And it also is really hard to understand what the resource is about, the best thing to do is make a bigger screenshot so that it's easier to see some part of the page and you can leave another photo or two. In the next thumbnail, you're just giving little tiny snippets of the resource without giving everything away. One other thing to leave out would be using a page from the resource kind of like what I talked previously about, I've been guilty of this, it's very common, but the best thing to do is to just have some type of template where you can change out photos, move things around and add the text around it, take the time to upload it separately. Rather than just adding a random auto page from the resource. The last thing you would want to leave out would be hard to read small or unreadable fonts. We don't want to find fonts that are super fancy, some type of script font, if it's hard to read, think of simple bold text that anybody can read easily on any device Big or small, you want to make sure that you're thinking mobile first. So thinking about fonts that are not too thin, big and bold fonts are the main thing to think about.

All right, I'm going to describe to you what my covers and thumbnails look like for one of my most popular resources Enneagram. for big kids, this is a resource that is just took off as soon as I posted it. And I'm literally not exaggerating, like it became quickly one of my best sellers within a month of just posting it. And I feel that it's pretty indicative of well, there's not a lot of resources like it, that's probably part of why. But also I feel like it converts really well just because of what I have on the listing. So I'm going to share this as an example throughout the series for the cover. If you ever go on my TPT store, the southern teach, you'll see it, it's towards the top, I did get photos professionally taken. And so I do have images, and they're all photos. So each cover in thumbnail has a photo different photo for each one. But I'm just going to describe to you the covers and thumbnails as best I can. So at the top of my cover for my product, I have Enneagram for big kids, the Enneagram is in rainbow color. At the time of this recording, of course I could always change, I have a nice photo of the Enneagram resource. And then on the bottom right hand corner, I have print and digital grades four through six with some print and laptop images. So that's pretty much the cover, it's pretty simple. I have my logo or watermark created by the Southern teach at the bottom left corner, I do think it's important that you add a logo of some sort, whether it's your actual logo or just who created the resource, my second thumbnail, or I guess my first real thumbnail would be student friendly Enneagram activity for grades four through six at the top. That's literally all it says just like a main feature of how it's student friendly and who it's for the third thumbnail informational text for students to learn more in another image. And it shows that informational text, it's very bright, attractive, something that people would want to click on. And then the last thumbnail, build a community of learners who understand themselves and their classmates. And then there's a four thumbnail there. So my goal with the product cover in thumbnail is number one, the cover gets people to click on the actual resource from the search results if they're searching it or if they see it, and then the three following thumbnails, guide them into wanting to click on the Preview like they get that itch and you know how you get that itch of maybe something bothers you a lot. It's like they see those in They're like, well, I want to learn more, they see that view preview. And next week, I'm going to be talking about why previews are like pretty much a must. But it gets people to want to click and learn more about what the resource is about. So that's just one example I have.

And I want to share with you some action tips you can take, think about what I shared, I shared a lot about what you must have in a cover and thumbnail, and what you probably should leave out, I want you to take a close look at maybe your top two or three resources that are currently in your store and give it some fresh eyes. Based on the information I shared in this podcast episode. You can also utilize a product listing checklist that I have to help you kind of know what you should have what you shouldn't probably have, but see how your product cover and thumbnails are standing out with based on what I said? Are they easy to read on a small device? Is it something that's straightened to the point it's not super wordy, or the photos or graphics attractive, and just decide what you can revise based on that, you can go to the southern teach designs.com forward slash free toolkit. And if you want to completely redo your product cover and thumbnails, I have templates that you can utilize in my TPT store that is for sale. Very reasonable pricing. So I'll make sure to link that in the description as well.

All right. Well, thanks for listening to this first part of the series, and I cannot wait to talk to you about previews next week. Thanks for listening to the creative teacher podcast. If you enjoyed listening to today's episode, feel free to subscribe and leave a review. I'd love to hear your feedback. You can also follow me on Instagram at the southern teach dot designs. Have an amazing day.