Get Started With Shopify And Create A Profitable eCommerce Store!
Since that last post, I’ve spent a lot of time on Shopify and building a PBN network to finish off ranking some of my older sites that got neglected.
I love getting sites ranked and having organic traffic but Shopify has taken over all my time.
Why? Because it works…
I’m not going to sit here and say it works for everyone because it doesn’t. However, there are people cranking out sales all day long and making a good living.
Over the last few months, I’ve started taking Shopify serious and the results are insane. When I first started it was really just part time because of other projects, I’ve now pushed them aside.
I want to take this time to go through some of my mistakes and cover questions I got emailed.
You might remember that email I sent out a couple weeks ago right? I got over 200 replies…..
So a lot of content to cover! (I’m also going to reveal a hot seller on Shopify!)
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How To Start With Shopify
So I’m not going to answer every individual question 1 by 1, that would take quite some time. I’ll go through the process of this Shopify method and constraint on the areas people need help with the most.
When starting out you should decide how much you want to put into this.
What do I mean?
If you have a day job and only plan to do this after work then you shouldn’t invest much money just yet.
On the other hand, if you have all day to spend on this method then you can usually invest a little more. This way you have the time to sit down, optimize and scale.
Doing Your Research With Facebook Groups
I can’t stress this enough and I wish I did more of this before I started, I would have saved a lot of money.
It’s a good idea to see what’s working and a good way to do that is to join Facebook groups.
These groups are filled with value that will help you succeed. Just a few days ago a single mother posted her earnings from her first store that’s only 24 days old.
That’s why I love Facebook groups and wish I joined them earlier. You can learn a lot from these groups, see how other people are doing things.
Using Shopify Courses To Learn As Much As You Can
Some of us don’t want to spend money on courses, the reality is we need to spend money to make money.
Making money online to me is just a massive investment, most of my earnings get put back into new projects and the cycle goes on and on.
I’ve spent $1000s on courses and I can tell you now the cheapest ones are the best.
Some of you might remember eCom empire right? This is the first course I purchased and it’s the cheapest, that’s why I talk about it a lot.
The problem with expensive courses is they talk about how much money they make throughout the entire course… who cares right? You pay for results not to see their results.
eCom Empire, on the other hand, is the cheapest out of all the courses I’ve seen and they get straight to the point.
My point is, don’t waste money on expensive courses when these cheap ones provide the same content and in most cases even better content.
I recommend looking into 1 or 2 courses to see how others have done it and see it from another perspective.
It’s good to absorb as much information as you can before starting anything.
Finding A Shopify Niche To Work With
What’s the two ingredients you need to make this work?
The right product and audience, without these it simply won’t work.
This is what I look for when searching for products.
- Is the overall niche popular?
- Could it go viral?
- Is there a market for it?
- Is anyone else selling it?
Things I will never sell and you shouldn’t either!
- USB sticks
- Computer mouses
- General tech gear
- Common items
You see where I’m coming from? No one wants to buy a USB stick online from a random eCommerce store when they can just go to the usual big brand stores.
It’s pointless, hate to say it but people try to sell this stuff all the time and in most cases they fail.
This is something that’s worked well for me and it’s still a hot product.
That’s a console skin and quite a few designs are selling well right now.
This is just to give you an idea of what to sell. This is something unique and it’s not a general item.
Finding A Niche That Could Work For You
First I decide if I want to do the free+ shipping method or sell a product with a markup. Usually, I do both when starting out.
I’ll find a product for under $3 and give it away for free then charge for shipping.
I do this for the first 500 orders to get people to my site and build an email list. I also make money on upsells but more on that soon.
I’m not going to get super detailed because most of you have seen the video I have on this, there isn’t much to it, this is how I do it.
Brainstorm ideas then searching online and finding what’s working. I spend days even a week or so trying to find a product that I think will work.
Once I have ideas I use Watch Count and start throwing ideas around.
I look for popular items that are selling well on ebay.
I use Aliexpress to find the suppliers. I haven’t used any other sources for drop shipping and don’t plan to since Aliexpress has everything I need.
When I was starting out with my new eCommerce stores I would add 5-10 products so I could use some of them for upsells.
I would use 1 product for the initial advertising to drive traffic to the site.
This video explains exactly how I find a niche.
There is no exact method I use each time I want to sell a product.
Sometimes I’ll start out with the free + Shipping or I’ll just go right into a product with a markup. You need to find what works for you and your situation.
How Did I Find The Console Skins?
Long story short by spying on what works.
I was browsing Facebook and an advert popped up for console skins.
I used the dark post engine software and found the post with the most engagement then sold the same item but in a different color.
This was the one that was doing well.
To find out what interest I should target I checked out the people who were commenting, they were all male and had the same interest or liked the same pages.
You can check this by checking out their profile.
Overall it took me about 2 hours to set everything up including the Facebook adverts.
If you stay vigilant when surfing the web you will find niches. They pop up all over the place.
At the end of the day finding a niche comes down to you. Take your time to brainstorm, write down ideas and see what’s working.
Another sneaky little trick to finding niches is using app reviews.
This is something I’ve been doing recently and it works well. I’ve explained it in this video.
Another way I go about finding niches is by finding the best Shopify stores that sell the most.
You can do this by doing a reverse I.P check on the Shopify I.P.
Here you go, another video for ya.
Building A Shopify Store
Why do we use Shopify?
You can use whatever you like really, I find Shopify works the best for this type of stuff and woo commerce can be slow at the best of times. I don’t know of any good Shopify alternatives.
Do you want to do a niche store or general store? I would recommend general then you can sell whatever you like without starting a new shop everytime you find a new product.
Before you create a Shopify store get everything you need before starting.
- Domain name
- Shop email address
- Paypal account (if needed)
When you’re ready to start you can use one of the free theme Shopify provides, this is all you need for now.
I got quite a few emails asking me how you guys should set up your “About Pages” this is up to you how you do that, every store is different.
The process of creating the website is very easy and I’ve put together a video of the process.
Import Products And Place Orders With A Click Of A Button
This Shopify app would be my favourite so far, I’m talking about Oberlo.
The app is a must if you don’t have time to manually import products and fill orders.
You can import products straight from Aliexpress to your store just by clicking the extension.
Once imported you can edit a few things then add it to the store with the click of a button.
When an order is placed all you do is click a button and it will fill out all the details for you on Aliexpress. You literally do nothing but click a few buttons.
So to speed things up I would recommend Oberlo. It saves you the hassle of manually adding every single product then manually placing every single order.
I’ve been there and I hated it!
This is something I really hope gets fixed soon because I lose a lot of sales due to this problem.
If you live outside the USA and Canada you will have to use Paypal or something similar.
Right now you can’t take straight credit card payments from your store with the Shopify payment gateway unless you reside in America and maybe Canada? Not sure about Canada.
If you live outside these countries you will have to setup an alternative gateway. Shopify has a list in the payment sections of the store.
You can still take credit card payments right from the checkout however, an alternative payment system needs to be used.
Because we all live in different countries I can’t help everyone with this. If you go into Shopify payments it will show you what works in what countries then you will have to go from there.
You should also have business accounts or some sort of separate bank account set up for this if you want to take it seriously. Some of these payment gateways will require a bank account and in some cases, a business account.
I’ll talk more about that when we get to the legal area of this post.
Installing An Upsell Plugin
This is a must! Especially if you plan on doing the free+ shipping method.
Most free plugin will also work, I didn’t find them as effective though.
As for other plugin’s it comes down to testing. I try to use a minimal amount of plugins so I don’t clutter up the site with popups and coupon codes like I see others doing.
So this plugin and the one called Oberlo mentioned above help me out a lot.
Getting Traffic To Your Shopify Store
I don’t want to confuse anyone with this section but there is a lot to over.
So, you’ve heard it before right? Traffic is easy to get….. Well, it can be if we stick to one method and grind.
Everyone wants to know the best traffic method, that was the most requested question in the email I sent out.
There isn’t any, every situation is different.
Sure Facebook is the most common traffic source for Shopify, then again I know of huge stores that turn over millions by using Instagram.
It really comes down to what you want to do and how you want to get traffic.
My aim is to get as many visitors as possible to my website with the free+ shipping offers and build an email list so I don’t have to pay for as much traffic anymore.
This works very well and I’ll go over what I do.
Using Facebook For Traffic
This is the main traffic source for this method and you’re going to hate me for saying this again….
It comes down to testing.
I often get people saying they followed my exact Facebook advertising strategy and it failed for them.
Well, the same things don’t just work all the time when applied to different niches or situations.
I’m going to give it to you straight, Facebook adverts are hard but once the winning ones start rolling in and you get the hang of it then it becomes easy.
This video will show you in detail how I generally do my adverts. I say generally because things change all the time and I’m always testing new ways to get the best outcome for my adverts.
What’s working right now?
Since things are always changing I like to look for new successful advert methods and one caught my eye lately.
I used to do a mix of Engagement Post (PPE) and Website Conversion (WC) adverts right from the start, I still do this but I’m testing something else and it’s working very well.
I then start 10 or more PPE adverts ranging from a few dollars per advert to $7 per advert depending on my budget for that project.
When creating the adverts I randomize everything like age, gender and use random sections of my interest stacking list. I’ll also throw up a couple adverts using the entire stacked list.
Now I let them run for my required testing time, that’s usually 4-5 days depends on how active they become.
After the testing time, I take the ones that have the most active engagement then copy down the advert copy like age, gender and the interest I used.
Now I start a Website Conversion advert for every good active engaged post and let that run.
If I’ve had sales from the PPE adverts I’ll let them run, if not I might still let them run for engagement and exposure but change down to a lower cost.
Now the Website Conversion Adverts will make me the money.
I hope that makes sense….
So what’s happened here is I’ve used the PPE ads to get an idea of what interest and age group are interested in the product. I then transferred the same details from the best ones over to a new Website Conversion advert.
This way I now have an active audience that will be optimized for sales instead of Post Engagements.
Remember you need to spend money to make money. It doesn’t matter if you spend money on testing (within your budget) because at the end of the day when you find a winner you will make that back.
Using Instagram For Traffic
This is something I’ve had a lot of success with!
When using Instagram with Shopify it’s actually a good idea to build a landing page that really optimized for mobile. I use a program called ClickFunnel and clickfunnels cost quite a bit but it is worth it.
Instagram can become really niche specific because some niches work very well on Instagram and will go viral overnight.
With one of my shops, I’m looking into ordering bulk with my own branding on the product then redistributing it from my country. I need to do this because the product just boomed.
This product is part of a hobby I’m passionate about so it makes it super fun.
I started selling them because I could only find a handful of people selling them worldwide and they retail for around $700! I can sell them for $350-$450 with a very good profit margin.
I already own the expensive version so I ordered one from Aliexpress to compare and the quality was very similar. The only difference is the expensive one is hand made but it still uses Chinese parts.
I’m going to talk more about this in the final section of this post.
Long story short, I’ve built up a very niche specific brand only using Instagram.
You can even have a go on Pinterest. I was reading an article recently where a guy called Ezra Firestone made over $40,000 using Pinterest.
eCommerce and Instagram were around long before Shopify and Facebook, It’s king when it comes to building niche specific brands.
These videos will show you how I use Instagram shoutouts and bots to gain followers.
Use SEO To Rank Your Shopify Store For Organic Traffic
This is the cream of the crop right? Everyone wants free organic traffic.
I haven’t done much to try and rank my store but I’ve noticed it’s easy to get natural backlinks.
Once I start advertising my audience will go on related forums asking members if they’ve used the product.
My sites also have very good backlinks from blogs who review the product, I notice these free links do more for me than building my own so I just roll with it.
At the end of the day, you can rank these sites just like any other site you work on if you like. For me, I find it easier to let the natural backlinks do the work for me since I’m getting traffic from other sources in the meantime.
Once the store starts getting popular you will be surprised at the good backlinks you end up getting and the organic traffic will just keep growing.
It’s still good practice to do On-Page SEO wherever you can to increase your chances of moving up the ranks.
How To Get Visitors Back To Your Site And Convert Them Into A Sale
This is where I made a good chunk of my Shopify income.
Have you noticed you get a lot of abandoned carts? A lot of visitors leaving your site without making a purchase?
This is normal but you should do everything you can to get them back.
I do 4 things
- Send an abandoned cart email
- Email marketing
- Facebook retargeting
- Using coupon codes
Let’s go through each one of them.
Abandoned Cart Email
This is something all eCommerce stores should be doing.
When people leave their cart without checking out you can send them an email reminding them about the items.
It’s good practice to get into the habit of doing this or setting up the automatic system if you upgrade with the extra Shopify fees.
This is super easy to do and will become a great money maker in the long run.
Collecting emails from buyers is simple, all you have to do is get them to consent to emails promotions.
For a full tutorial on this, you can check it out on the Shopify blog here.
When it comes to the visitors who don’t buy anything you can entice them to sign up for a Shopify email plugin.
One of my stores is in a sports niche and I give them a free PDF with spots tips in exchange for their email. If you can’t do anything like that you can simply ask them to sign up for the newsletter.
Giving out a voucher also works great when collecting emails.
With Facebook Retargeting you place a pixel on your Shopify store and it will create a list of people who have visited your website.
Once you have a nice list of visitors you can then serve adverts to them over Facebook at a really cheap cost.
You may have already got them to the store through adverts but because your targeting them and they are super niche related the cost of the adverts are cheaper.
These are 2 custom audiences I’m building up from some new stores I’m testing. Under 20k isn’t a lot but it builds up fast.
Those are potential customers I can get back into the store.
Coupon Discount Codes
I love doing this, it converts VERY well and not many people are doing it.
A large majority of your visitors will always leave your store and go to Google in search of a discount coupon.
You can bring them back by offering them a small Shopify discount code when they do the search.
There are two ways I do this.
First I create a discount code for 10% off in Shopify
Next, I submit my store to a coupon website like couponfollow.com.
Most of the time it won’t get accepted unless it’s a good looking store they think is worthy of getting added. When I started getting added to them I was getting results like this….
That’s 2,726 coupons used! 2,726 extra sales I would have missed out on.
The other method I use is creating a free website using sites like Weebly then posting a coupon code no that.
When people search for “your site coupon” in the search engine the idea is to get the coupon site or the free website you created to rank at the top so people can click on it.
It will rank without any work because there is no competition.
You will then have everything covered, you will get return customers coming back to use those coupon deals they found in the search engine.
I have another video explaining this and how it made me an extra $30,000
This wasn’t something I was going to add to this post but It works very well.
When advertising on Facebook I’ll sometimes advertise competitions. Tell people they will go into the draw to win something at the end of the month if they purchase.
I then notify the winner by email, this is a great way to get buyers onto your email list.
This isn’t one of my campaigns in the picture but you get the idea of what I’m talking about.
Getting Into The Legal Side Of Things
This is something that was asked a lot and unfortunately, I don’t like giving out legal advice.
I can only tell you how I go about business and taxes because I have no idea how it works in other countries.
Where I’m from we pay taxes at the end of the financial year so all I need to do is track my spending and income then sort it out when the time comes.
In fact, I don’t even do that, everything that happens in my online business goes to my accountant’s software each month so I don’t do anything.
I run everything through one online business although, I will be starting a separate company for one of my most successful stores soon since I’m expanding it.
I think most people are worried they will mess up taxes and they need to sort out a company before they even start.
You should consult an accountant if this worries you.
Where I’m from you can earn money online as an individual or a company. So, when I first started online years ago I made money as an individual then went to an accountant about 6 months later with all my earnings.
I paid tax on that as an individual then started a company and became an employee of that company.
Basically, I was fine to make money online as long as I declared it when it came to do the taxes, I then sorted everything with an accountant when that time came.
This is how I do everything online when it comes to the earnings including Shopify.
Think Big And Get Out Of Drop Shipping In The Long Run
Most shops that bring it large amounts of money end up using fulfilment centres to hold products for them.
They send their products to these centres in bulk then they get sent from there.
Why do they do this?
Drop shipping has long shipping times and isn’t something that I would like doing long term. Sure it works but there’s a bigger picture here.
In my sports niche store, I found a great product with good profit margins that sells extremely well on Instagram, I mentioned this earlier in the post.
I’m now moving to scrap drop shipping on that website and running everything from my own office. I’ve reinvested some profits into a large order with my own branding printed on the products.
I will also cut shipping times in half if I send from my own country.
My main traffic source for the store is just Instagram and email marketing. I built the customers up on Facebook but I don’t need to anymore.
This is what I mean when I say think big.
Build a brand and set a goal to have a well oiled machine that doesn’t need constant work to get traffic.
I did this because one of my items was selling extremely well, if I wanted to I could just bulk order and brand that item then drop ship everything else.
The options are endless!
My Biggest Mistake
Seems to be something I got asked a lot in the email I sent out.
My biggest mistake was concentrating on niche specific stores when I started out.
I wasted a lot of time on failing products then starting new stores when I didn’t need to. It was a big learning curve.
Now I have a general store that I use to test products. When I have a winning product that sells well I’ll then create a niche specific store around that product to create stronger branding.
Don’t get me wrong general stores are fine for long term sales, I just find them a little spammy when it’s full of random products with no structure.
This is why I test by added products to the general store then move the product to a brand/niche site if it does well.
There will be a lot of questions I didn’t answer in this and I do apologize, there were so many and no doubt I missed some.
The aim of this post was to run through everything and help you get a better understanding of how this works.
My main goal is to always test products and scale the winning ones into niche stores. I currently have 2 niche stores that do very well and a general store for testing.
It’s a good idea to think big and to do that you will need some good start up money.
This isn’t really a get rich quick thing, you should have a plan in place with some good time spent on niche research.
I would rather spend more time finding good products that could do well than waste time testing multiple products with Adverts.
Shopify is still VERY profitable and when done right the end result always makes it worth it.
Any questions let me know below 🙂