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How to Make Money with Shopify: The Ultimate Guide For 2020

How to Make Money with Shopify: The Ultimate Guide For 2020
Jennifer Leach Feb 4, 2020
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

Are you curious about how to make money with Shopify? 

Looking to finally pursue your dream of becoming an entrepreneur by opening your own Shopify store?

This post is going to show you how to start your own Shopify store, make money online, grow your store, and more.

Shopify is an online tool/platform that will help you create and launch your online store to the public.

Whether you’re looking to start a side business alongside your 9 to 5 grind or you want to create a full business and leave your job behind, Shopify can help you get there.

Did you know that big businesses like Thinx, Gymshark, and Kylie Cosmetics run their stores on Shopify? 

Make sure to bookmark this post so you can come back to it later.

Let’s dive in.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that connects sellers and buyers.

If you are interested in starting your own online store, Shopify is the platform you’ll want to use.

From marketing support to streamlined navigation and a user-friendly dashboard, Shopify is a one stop shop and has it all:

  • Various ways to sell
  • Email marketing capability
  • Attractive, professional-looking themes
  • Access to experts that can help you with all aspects of your business
  • And, more!

Start your business journey.

Sell everywhere.

Market your business and manage everything, all at your fingertips.

Did we mention, they have an app too?

Shopify has 3 plans to suit your needs:

  • Basic Shopify
  • Shopify
  • Advanced Shopify

You can test drive any of these plans in their 14-day free trial.

15 Business Ideas You Can Start From Your Laptop

There are tons of business ideas that are available that let you work remotely, right from your laptop.

Take a look at some of these business ideas:

  1. Creating and selling handmade goods
  2. Selling apparel, from men, women, and kids
  3. Starting an online pet store
  4. Starting an online bakery
  5. Selling your artwork
  6. Flipping your thrifted goods in your own store
  7. Selling digital goods like printables
  8. Selling digital courses
  9. Selling digital ebooks
  10. Launching a dropshipping store
  11. Selling your services like graphic design
  12. Selling freelance writing services
  13. Selling web development and web design services
  14. Selling fashion accessories like sunglasses or cell phone cases
  15. Launching a podcast

Selling Handmade Goods

This is perfect is you have a hobby that you can monetize, like knitting, sewing, artwork, etc.

What a fulfilling feeling to sell your own crafted and handmade products right on your own store!

Apparel Selling

Apparel is something that people need.

Capitalize off this need and sell clothes for men, women, and kids in your ecommerce store.

You can sell niche apparel items like sportswear, fitness gear, athleisure, swimwear, etc.

You can also sell general apparel items like pants, shirts, dresses, rompers, suits, and more.

Starting a Pet Store

You’d be appealing to a very passionate audience selling pet stuff in your own pet store.

This can range from needed pet supplies like cat litter or dog food, to specialty one-of-a-kind items like a grooming glove.

Online Bakery

Are you a baker?

You can sell your baked goods online, from cakes, cookies, pies, and more.

This is more common than you might think and especially popular during seasons like the holidays.

Selling Your Art

Whether you’re a painter, sculpter, or you create digital art online, Shopify is a great place for you to connect with customers and sell your art.

Selling Thrifted Goods

After you peruse your local thrift shop you can easily add your inventory of sourced items right to your Shopify store to sell online.

Selling digital goods like printables

Printables and other digital goods are great to sell in a Shopify store.

This seller made $50,000 her first month selling her digital products in a Shopify store and more than $7,000,000 to date!

Selling digital courses

Do you have knowledge about a topic or category?

Are you an expert in a field?

Consider creating a course and selling to the masses in your own online store.

People are craving education and learning online tends to be a lot more cost effective than taking a college course or professional seminar.

This is the perfect way to sell your digital courses!

Selling digital ebooks

Ebooks are a way for you to bundle your knowledge and expertise into a book and sell it online.

Do this and put all your books and digital content for sale in your Shopify store.

Launching a dropshipping store

With dropshipping, you’re not going to need inventory.

No more headaches over trying to store your supplies.

No more spending hours fulfilling customer orders from your personal warehouse, garage, or home office.

And pursue an ecommerce model that can help you get started selling online and hit the ground running.

Why choose dropshipping?
  • No need to stock products
  • No physical location needed
  • A third party is in charge of your fulfillment, which frees up your time to work on other parts of the business
  • No warehouse which means you have the freedom to run your business from anywhere

Selling your services like graphic design

Services like graphic design, voiceover, logo design, business card design, and other services are perfect for selling in your own online store.

You’ll need a hub to host your services, share success stories and testimonials, talk about what you can offer, and more, and Shopify can provide that!

Selling freelance writing services

Writers can start a business to support their skills.

  • Copywriting
  • Blog post writing
  • White paper writing
  • Sales page writing
  • Product description writing

These are just a few examples of writing niches you can explore to launch your writing career.

Having your own website can help customers find you and increase your book of business throughout the year.

Selling web development and web design services

For web developers and web designers, being online is where you want to be and where you can find customers.

Having an online store is necessary to have to showcase your talents, share your successes, connect with clients and more.

Web development and design are growing fields.

If you are interested in providing these services but want to sharpen your skills, consider taking self-paced online courses or tutorials to give you more experience.

You can find them in places like this:

Selling fashion accessories like sunglasses or cell phone cases

Accessories can be an underserved market, depending upon the product(s) being sold. You can sell a host of different accessories like:
  • Fashion goods like scarves
  • Consumer electronics accessories like cell phone cases
  • Laptop sleeves
  • And, more!

Launching a podcast

Do you have a magnetic personality?

Do you love to learn from others and chat with people about their history, experience, skills, etc.?

Why not host your own podcast?

It’s easier than you might be thinking.

Check out this step-by-step guide on how to start a podcast.

How Much Does It Cost To Set Up Shopify?

Now that you’ve gotten one step closer to taking the plunge with Shopify, how much does it actually cost?

Luckily, Shopify offers a TON of value for their service.

They have 3 plans and pricing at $29/month.

Their middle tier plan at $79/month is the plan that I’ve personally used for operating my former ecommerce store.

It’s great because it includes a lot of professional reporting which is great for tax purposes and other business needs.

And, gift cards!

I started my Shopify store about 5-6 years ago and it was a rollercoaster of an experience.

Within a year or so of starting, I quit my day job!

I had a lot of success on social media like Instagram and grew my fanbase to over 100,000 social media fans in a short time.

I also met a ton of entrepreneurs, formed some important connections and bonds, learned a lot, taught others, and it was a growing experience that I’m super thankful for.

I sold my products in marketplaces, I was featured on Forbes, and I had a ton of success, reaching $30,000 in monthly revenue.

Shopify really helped me support my business needs and made it super easy to operate the store.

I actually started on a smaller platform and migrated to Shopify after that smaller platform could not meet my needs any longer.

I outgrew it as the store continued to develop and grow.

Check out some more Shopify success stories here.

Is Shopify A Good Place to Sell?


If you’re looking for a reliable platform that makes running your store easy, then Shopify is for you!

It’s a one stop shop that gives you all the tools to run a successful business, plus access to a suite of experts.

Take a look at all the basic features you’ll get with your Shopify plan:

  • Online store (including blog)
  • Unlimited products
  • Staff accounts
  • 24/7 support
  • Sales channels
  • Manual order creation
  • Discount codes
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Abandoned cart recovery

You get all this with the Basic Shopify plan and even more when you choose the mid tier or advanced Shopify plan!

The mid tier plan offers all the above, plus:

  • Gift cards
  • Professional reports

And, the advanced plan offers all the features of the mid tier plan, plus:

  • Advanced report building
  • Third party calculating shipping rates

You can choose a plan that fits the needs of your business best.

Check out all the features including shipping, payments, and more on their Pricing page.

Can You Still Make Money Dropshipping in 2020?

Yes, dropshipping is still happening in 2020 and store owners are still seeing success with it!

What is dropshipping anyway?

Dropshipping is a business model.

Many people pursue it for a variety of reasons.

Let’s take a look at dropshipping versus a traditional fulfillment model.

Traditional Fulfillment Model

First, the traditional fulfillment model involves purchasing inventory from suppliers and storing those products until they sell.

You’ll have to find space to hold those products, audit your inventory and figure out how long you hold the product, understand how much you should buy in advance, and buy in bulk most likely.

Then, when orders are placed, you’ll need a team (or yourself) to fulfill orders, which involves picking and packing products, then shipping via postal carrier of your choice.

Dropshipping Fulfillment Model

Next is dropshipping.

No inventory is required.

You don’t do the fulfillment yourself.

You don’t need a warehouse or staff for fulfillment since your supplier will fulfill orders.

These are all advantages of dropshipping.

The disadvantages include:

  • Limited selection, in some cases
  • No control over fulfillment process
  • Limited shipping carrier selection

So, the good news is, fulfillment is taken off your hands.

The bad news is, fulfillment is taken off your hands.

What’s the catch?

With fulfillment being taken off your hands, it’s great that you get your time back to dedicate to other parts of business, but you also have limited control.

This means you’re subject to selling products that the supplier has, which can limit the selection.

You also have limited control over the shipping carriers being used.

For example, if USPS is the carrier provided and you want to offer expedited shipping, you can’t.

You’re subject to what your supplier offers.

So think carefully if dropshipping is right for you.

There are certainly many perks but it’s not a good fit for every store owner.

Can you make money dropshipping in 2020?


When you start a new store, a lot of capital is required up front, usually dedicated to the inventory but with dropshipping, that capital requirement does not exist for inventory.

Think about all that savings.

For example, if you decide to operate a menswear store, one blue shirt is likely going to have an MOQ (minimum order quantity) of 2 per size.

That means, 2 small, 2 medium, 2 large, 2 XL blue shirts.

So that’s 8 pieces times the cost for one item in one variant, the color blue.

What if you want to have a red shirt, a brown shirt, a black shirt, or carry extended sizes?

One item can easily balloon into dozens or hundreds.

And this is how the cost can add up.

It’s completely different with dropshipping.

If a customer orders a Large blue shirt, you can order a Large blue shirt from your supplier and only be charged for that one item!

This means you actually can start your store with as little as $29, which is the cost of the basic Shopify plan.

There’s a lot of money to be made in the dropshipping industry.

Look at how this entrepreneur scaled his business to $500,000 per month.

How to Find Suppliers?

Finding suppliers is super important and this should be done well in advance of launching your store.

Here are some places online where you can find suppliers for your store:

How Much Can You Make With Shopify?

The sky is the limit.

There are sellers that make hundreds per month to hundreds of thousands per month.

The neat thing is, once you get started with Shopify and launch your store, you can begin making sales from day one!

What Are Some Store/Seller Best Practices?

Here are some best practices to help you run your store as smoothly as you can:
  • Be consistent
  • Get on social media
  • Talk to and engage with your customers
  • Collaborate with others
  • Join communities/groups to learn from other successful sellers
  • Don’t limit yourself to only selling on Shopify-check out marketplaces like Amazon, too
  • Don’t be afraid to invest in paid advertising
  • Embrace change
  • Get help before you think you need it
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself

Being consistent is all about updating and maintaining your store on a regular basis.

This helps you keep the store fresh and updated.

Don’t ignore social media.

It’s a free place to promote your store and a place to connect with customers, share promotions, and more.

You can see where your audience hangs out on social media through Google Analytics or similar traffic tool and focus your attention on that network.

For example, if you see that your baby apparel store gets the most traffic from Instagram, you can focus your attention to Instagram, since that social network is doing the most for you.

Social media is also a great place to invest in paid advertising, like Facebook ads or promoted pins via Pinterest.

Talk to your customers, poll your audience, get your customers involved in your store through giveaways, Be the Buyer events, and more.

It makes shopping more of a fun experience and helps them form a bond with you.

Try showcasing behind the scenes looks of your office, team, etc. so customers can connect with you, the store, and your team more.

Collaborate with others, from other store owners, boutiques, wholesalers, influencers, and other peers in the industry.

It’s a great way to learn more and create a mutually beneficial relationship.

When I was running my store I formed a friendship with a fellow store owner in a different industry.

We became very close and it was great to chat with someone about the business since my friends and family were not entrepreneurs and couldn’t relate to a lot of what I talked about, work-wise. 

Join communities, forums, and groups, like subreddits or Facebook groups to form relationships with peers in the industry, increase your learning and understanding to help you become more knowledgeable and a better store owner.

Next, look at selling on marketplaces like Amazon or daily deal sites like Jane or Groupon.

You can extend your reach and make more money by selling on multiple places, not just your Shopify store.

And, Shopify supports this!

They offer sales channels like Wanelo, Amazon, and more!

Embrace change, switch up your theme or store design on occasion, try new things, and get help before you need it.

Ahead of a busy season bring on new staff to help with the capacity so you don’t get behind.

Be forward thinking and stay organized by keeping a calendar.

And lastly but most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself.

It’s all a learning experience.

How Much Time Is Needed to Run A Shopify Store?

The time needed will vary based on your store and ultimately, your schedule.

Store owners can spend 1 hour per week on their store and other store owners may spend 40 hours per week on the store.

A perk of owning your own business is that you can make the rules, deciding your schedule and how much you want to work every week.

Can I Run A Shopify Store Alongside Working My Full Time Job?

Yes you can!

This is actually how I started my online store venture.

I was working full-time and I worked on the store in the evenings and on weekends, along with during breaks and lunches at work.

This is a flexible opportunity and you make the rules.

It will take an effort to run your store and work but most good things in life require hard work.

Don’t let that scare you off.

How Do I Get Started?

Are you convinced?

Ready to get started and dive into starting your Shopify store?

They have a free 14-day trial to give you plenty of time to have a good look around and see how you like the platform.

When you sign up with this link, you’ll get instant access to the platform, where you can do things like:
  • Name your store
  • Pick a store theme
  • Add products
  • Add product descriptions
  • Create pages like your Contact page and About page, where you talk about yourself, your store, why you started, etc.
  • Add your shipping policy and other policies like Return Policy, Terms of Service, etc.

My biggest advice to you is to not remain stagnant.

It’s not as simple as setting up your store and waiting for sales to come.

You have to be active.

Get on social media, start spreading your message, connect with others in the industry, try free and paid promotion strategies, keep an open mind and have fun!

Final Thoughts

That’s it, your guide to learn how to make money with Shopify.

What do you think?

Do you have experience running an e-commerce store or are you a business owner? 

Share your thoughts down below so we can hear your input!

Jennifer Leach

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