Finding a way to make money online has been on everybody’s mind ever since the internet exploded in popularity back in the late 90’s.
Back then, only a handful of people got lucky and managed to make some sort of income using their computers.
Today though, making money online is way easier than it’s ever been.
One of the best ways to currently make money online is by opening up an online store.
Before you close this article thinking “I don’t have anything to sell”, listen to the following.
You can make money online using Shopify without having any physical products to sell, with absolutely no coding skills and with practically no budget.
Shopify is an eCommerce solution that allows anyone to build gorgeous websites without any coding skills.
It’s so easy, you could probably set up your first online store in just one day.
Plus, I’m going to guide you in this article so you know exactly how to get started with making money on Shopify.
How Shopify Can Change Your Life
If you haven’t already grown tired of your day job, don’t worry, it’s about to happen.
We all tend to get caught up in our daily routines and with enough time, we end up dreading the tasks we perform on a daily basis.
That’s about when most people start dreaming of owning their own business, working their own hours and having no boss looking down at them.
Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to no longer have to worry about money!
Shopify stores are easy to set up, they can provide highly reliable and stable sources of income and best of all, you can work on your Shopify store from anywhere in the world.
You could literally be hiking through Peru, stop off at a local coffee shop, pull out your laptop and start managing your online store.
There are many reasons to quit your day job and launch an online business.
Whether you want to enjoy some financial stability during some of the most uncertain economic times or even if you want to avoid having to spend your entire life working at a job that you hate, an online business can truly change your life for the better.
Keep reading to find out how to make money using Shopify in a variety of different ways.
I’ll even share a few bonus tips on how to successfully choose a business name and how to stay motivated in order to keep pushing forward!
What to Sell on Shopify?
Shopify not only brings you a simple way to create online stores, but it also contains all of the necessary features in order to run a successful online business.
You can easily add products, manage your inventory, accept a variety of payment methods, fulfill orders, print shipping labels and so much more.
However, if you don’t have anything to sell, there’s no point in actually building an online store.
Fortunately, there are tons of ways you can sell items online via Shopify and not all of them require you to physically own the products that you sell.
I’m going to cover some of the main ways you can begin making money on Shopify without much startup requirements.
Most of you will actually be able to begin launching your online store by the time you finish reading this article.
One of the most popular ways to launch an online store when your budget is tight and you don’t have any products to sell is by using drop shipping.
This essentially means that you don’t hold any products at your physical location.
You sell somebody else’s products at a slightly higher price and once an order comes through, you basically purchase the product from the manufacturer and have them ship it directly to your customer.
Drop shipping is rather simple and requires a very minimal investment in order to get started.
You’ll basically only need to cover the costs of your website since you don’t have to order any product upfront.
However, drop shipping isn’t perfect, there are definitely some pros and cons worth considering.
Drop Shipping Pros:
- It costs almost nothing to get started
- There are tons of drop shipping suppliers online
- You don’t hold any product
- You can sell virtually anything
- The amount of risk is very low
Drop Shipping Cons:
- Returned items can become a hassle
- Profit margins are slim
- You have less control over the products & shipping delays
Arbitrage / Reselling
Next I want to share a slightly different way to sell items that aren’t original to your brand.
Arbitrage, also known as reselling, is a popular way to make money by opening up an online store.
This is a form of drop shipping since you didn’t create the products, but it requires more work and space.
The act of reselling basically consists of buying products and reselling them at a higher price in order to make some profit.
There are many ways to find products for reselling, but one of the most popular methods is to purchase overstock products from major retail stores like Walmart or Target.
These types of large retail stores don’t always sell all of the products in their inventory, which they sell with huge discounts, usually found on clearance racks.
Reselling can be quite lucrative when finding excellent products.
However, there are never any guarantees that you will be able to keep purchasing the same products with the same discounts for an on-going period of time.
This makes you entirely dependant upon local deals and clearances. This lack of stability is why most people use reselling as a hobby and prefer choosing other methods to make money on Shopify.
Drop Shipping from China
Here is another type of drop shipping worth exploring and this one just happens to be one of the most popular methods available.
Drop shipping products from China means you’ll be selling Chinese products on your website and once orders come through, you buy the products from Chinese manufacturers who then ship the products directly to the customers.
Many Chinese drop shipping suppliers will handle all sorts of tasks such as dealing with returns, providing customer support and some may even package the products with your website’s logo.
However, the true benefit of drop shipping from China lies in the profit margins. Manufacturers in China are capable of making high quality products for much cheaper.
Drop Shipping from China Pros:
- Higher profit margins
- Large variety of products
- Some can handle many tasks including returns & customer service
Drop Shipping from China Cons:
- Shipping usually takes much longer
- Some Chinese manufacturers produce poor quality products
It’s incredibly important to actually order the products you want to sell so you can test them out for yourself.
This will allow you to find quality manufacturers who you can trust. The last thing you want is to drive your business to the ground by selling poor quality items without even knowing it.
Private / White Labeling
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you’ve probably already dreamed of one day owning your own brand. Well, that dream is no longer impossible. With Shopify by your side, you will easily be able to sell white label products of all kinds.
White label products are items that already exist and get manufactured by third-party suppliers who then place your company’s branding.
For instance, you may want to sell your own exclusive line of spray-on wax for cars.
You would find a supplier of generic spray-on wax products and then you would have them place your company’s logo on the bottle before shipping it out.
This way, customers get to know your brand and this helps grow brand recognition along with customer retention.
More often than not, people who use white labelling will sell just a few products all related to one another.
For instance, if you sell airsoft guns, you could also sell airsoft bullets, protective gear, cleaning accessories, shooting targets and more items that relate to one another.
This allows you to grow a brand as an airsoft professional.
Pros of White Labeling:
- Excellent for brand recognition
- Customers are more likely to return to your website
- Profit margins can be much higher than drop shipping
Cons of White Labelling:
- Rebranding can be time-consuming if you do it yourself
- You’ll have to deal with returns & customer complaints
While white labelling is a lucrative way to do business online, it can also be quite time-consuming if the manufacturer does not handle the rebranding tasks.
Your brand will also become responsible for customer support, returns and all other complaints.
Selling Your Own Products
The last way to make money on Shopify that I want to talk about is selling your own products.
- Are you good at sewing?
- Do you work well with wood?
- Are you a welder?
- Can you paint?
There are many different talents that can come in handy when creating products and even though you don’t think some of your creations would be worth anything, it can often be surprising what people are willing to pay for.
If you’re able to create something unique, artistic or even useful, you will probably be able to sell it online. In fact, selling your own products is the best way to sell on Shopify.
Your profit margins will be way higher than drop shipping or white labelling. Plus, you control everything from the quality of the products to the speed of shipping.
Pros of Selling Your Own Products:
- Make much higher profit margins
- Sell exclusive products
- More control over every aspect of the business
Cons of Selling Your Own Products:
- Requires much more work
- You handle 100% of the business yourself
- Not all products sell
The key to selling your own products is to come up with a few different product ideas and start by listing them on major selling sites like eBay, Amazon and even Craigslist. This will give you a pretty good idea about which products sell the most.
Then when you know what works and what doesn’t, go ahead and open a Shopify store, selling only the products that sold well in your testing phase.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Shopify Store?
Facebook is the 2nd largest website in the world right after Google.
It comes as no surprise that they get billions of dollars in ad revenue every single year. The reason for this is because Facebook ads work.
Most people have a Facebook account and most people spend lots of time scrolling through their news feeds every day, looking for something fun or interesting.
When advertising on Facebook, you can set spending limits, add a monthly budget, create a variety ads and do much more.
The best thing about Facebook advertising is the quality of the clicks. The more your business hits a niche group of people, the easier it becomes to advertise. For instance, if you sew baby clothes with unique sayings on them, you could use Facebook ads that target new moms.
This means that Facebook will only display your ads to new mothers, making it very likely for your products to get tons of views.
You can get really creative with your Facebook ads. You can upload images, videos, links to articles and so much more.
The more interesting the content and the better the targeting, the higher your chances become of converting traffic into buyers.
You’ve seen these many times before – Google ads are among the best forms of online advertising available.
Google is the largest website in the world with billions of monthly visits. Best of all, you can easily target your ads according to specific keywords typed into Google’s search bar.
This means you’ll only be displaying your ads to highly targeted visitors who are very likely to be interested by your products.
Google has various forms of advertising including text ads in their search engine, image ads that get displayed on websites that use AdSense and other forms of advertising such as video ads. If you’re interested in using Google to advertise your business, you’ll want to sign up for an AdWords account.
Once approved, you’ll be able to set up a large variety of ads. With the AdWords dashboard, you’ll be able to monitor performance, cost per click for each ad and so much more.
One of the most crucial steps to take when advertising with Google is analysing your data. This will allow you to really optimize how you spend money towards advertising so you get the best return on investment (ROI).
Social Media Advertising
With dozens of different social media platforms to choose from, Facebook isn’t the only source of traffic these days.
There are plenty of other high-traffic social media networks that you can advertise your products on for free.
Some can also allow you to pay for ads, but I want to focus on free traffic.
Twitter is one of the great places to build a follow rather quickly. By following others, people will naturally follow you back.
Within no time, you could have thousands of followers who see each and every tweet you send out.
As long as your tweets are not too promotional and remain interesting, it’s a great way to get people to find out about your brand.
Instagram is another excellent social media platform for growing your traffic. Posting cool photos of your products in use is a great way to get a ton of attention online.
You could even hold contests or create your own hashtag in order to get people to share their own photos of them using your products.
For instance, Blue Apron has people sharing photos of themselves cooking their Blue Apron meals.
Pinterest is a great platform for people who create their own products.
Whether you make custom wood products or even if you sew unique clothing, share it on the right boards on Pinterest and you could quickly go viral.
Here is a list of some of the top social media networks:
- Google Plus
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most underrated parts of building an online store for most beginners. SEO is the act of optimizing your website in order to get better rankings in Google and other search engines.
There are many useful tutorials online on how to improve your SEO and I recommend reading up on as many techniques as you can.
SEO is a very complex task, but when done correctly, you could get thousands, even millions of visitors every single month that cost you absolutely nothing.
This is the best way to generate traffic online, but it’s also one of the most difficult ways to do so.
Some basic SEO techniques include using proper keywords within your content, getting high authority backlinks from reputable websites online, having a well-maintained website with no errors or corrupt pages and having a strong presence on social media.
One thing to keep in mind with SEO is to never overdo it. When using keywords in your content, always make sure they feel natural.
Your goal is to write content for humans, not simply to rank higher in Google. Also keep in mind that SEO is a long and ongoing process – you won’t see immediate results, but if done right, in the end it will be well worth it.
Shopify Payment Methods
Now that you have your products ready to sell and you’re driving traffic via numerous sources, you’ll want to be sure that you can accept payments from your customers.
This is the most important part of your online store. If you aren’t able to accept payments, you will never make any sales.
Shopify offers their own payment gateway, but you can also use third-party payment processors if needed.
You will be able to accept all major credit cards, PayPal payments, Apple Pay, Bitcoin and many other payment methods.
Shopify even has apps that allow you to create your own gift cards.
You can also choose to setup manual payments.
This means you’ll be able to accept payments via check, money order, eTransfers and other types of payment processing that requires a manual transaction process.
Shopify Store Name / Domain Ideas
Before getting started, I encourage you to spend some time coming up with a solid domain name/store name.
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of launching an online store and most people use the first name that comes to mind.
This is a huge mistake because it’s much harder to change names once your brand has begun growing.
There are many ways to come up with excellent Shopify store names. It’s a lot easier to find a name if you already know which products you plan on selling. You can also use tools like
NameMesh to find great domain names that aren’t already in use.
The key here is to find a store name that is short, memorable and resonates with the products that you’re selling.
For instance, I came across a website earlier this week called Tasty and they shared recipes, food videos and everything on their website had something to do with food. Their name is short, related to their website and very memorable.
Having the Correct Mindset
Along the journey of building your online store, you will often want to quit – don’t! Self-discipline is incredibly important at this point. It’s not easy and it won’t get any easier as you grow, but it will become highly rewarding if you stick with it.
If it were easy, everyone would do it, but most people decide to quit right before they’re about to start earning good money.
Keep your eyes on the goal and you will be there sooner than you think. There are many reasons to give up, but always try to focus on the reasons why you’re working so hard.
Pulling inspiration from your goals is the best way to continue. Make a list of all the reasons why you want to own an online store and why you want it to be successful.
For instance, I would write something along the lines of:
- To become self employed
- To work my own hours
- To become financially free
There are tons of reasons why you may want to grow your online business. By making a list of those reasons and placing it somewhere near your computer, you will constantly be reminded of your goals.
This is incredibly important because it can take months before you make your first sale and many people throw it all away just weeks before reaching their goals.
Keep working hard, keep your chin up high and sooner or later you will be your own boss!