Why Shopify Isn’t Working For You

Why Shopify isn’t working for you

If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re finding that Shopify isn’t working for you. You were expecting to make sales but you haven’t made any yet, or fewer than you had hoped. 

Well, you’re not the only one. The internet is full of people who say that “Shopify doesn’t work”, even though Shopify keeps setting record after record (2018 Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) shopping weekend, Shopify merchants collectively made over $1.5 billion USD in sales). 

So how come you’re not making sales? There’s many possible factors that could play a role, but here’s the most common ones I’ve come across while coaching new Shopify store owners. 

You’re not dedicated

Most people spend decades of their lives in school and college without any problem, but can’t even dedicate a few months of studying online business and marketing in their spare time. 

Same with Shopify. 

Employers often look for people with years of formal schooling and years of work experience. But when it comes to online business you expect to be an expert after watching 3 YouTube videos? That’s insane. 

Truth is: online marketing ain’t all that hard. I made my first online dollars back in 2010. I simply copied an affiliate marketing method I read about on a forum and made $148 in just a couple of hours. 

That was lucky. The next step for me should have been to systemize it and turn it into ongoing passive income. I didn’t. 

To systemize and create a reliable online income, you have to be dedicated to testing, learning, working hard and some more testing. 

Learn from the pros, try all sort of different things and don’t give up. Give up on the social media attitude of scrolling through stuff, that’s not how businesses are built. 

Dedicate your time and energy to actually learning and be patient. Overtime, you’ll succeed. 

Learn Facebook ads

If you’re only going to utilize one marketing channel, let it be Facebook. FB ads are scalable and relatively easy to learn. 

Imagine the immense benefits of having ads run for $1000 a day while you make $1600 per day in profit. 

Is having that kind of passive income worth learning this marketing channel? I think so. 

You should start with 2 or 3 different ad sets, each with 3 or 4 different ads. Set the max spent per ad to $5 while you’re testing. When you’ve found ad sets and ads that perform better than others, test new combinations and new audiences against your winners. 

Video ads perform better than image ads, but you can test both. We’ve found that a video that clearly displays a product being used and all applications and benefits works best.

If you’re completely new to Facebook ads, Shopify has a great Introduction to Facebook Ads for Ecommerce

In our Shopify Masters course we dive deep into Facebook ads with bad, mediocre and GREAT campaigns case studies. 

Learn Influencer marketing

Influencers work really well in 2019 and it’s a good alternative to Facebook ads, though less scalable. 

All it means is approaching Instagram influencers who have a large audience and offer a sponsored post to promote your product. 

It’s fun to find influencers and compare their pricing. You’ll run into anything from $5 stories to $800 sponsored posts. I wouldn’t spend any more than $50 while you’re testing. A few tips:

Investigate their account: don’t go with Influencers who have a lot of followers but only spam comments or few likes on posts.

Haggle the price down: offer to pay less for the first post as a test and assure them you’re looking for an ongoing relationship. 

Make sure they’ve got a loyal audience: a bunch of randos aren’t going to buy products off an Instagram post. Loyal fans are. 

Send free samples: the best way to get the influencer excited. Also them using or wearing the product is 10x better than posting a video or photo endorsing it.

Once you’ve found a good looking influencer on Instagram, you can send them a quick DM. Something like this:

Hey love your page. Do you offer sponsored posts? I got just the perfect products for your page and would love to work together“. 

Keep it simple and sweet.

Build a brand

There are 2 types of Shopify store owners: those lifting off of trending products and making a killing with FB ads for a couple of months before they move onto the next, and those who are building a brand. 

If you’re more comfortable with your own brand, go for it. This takes more manual labor than just running Facebook ads. 

You’ll want a blog, active social media accounts, an active newsletter and a good relationship with your customers. That’s what brand means: something people recognize and associate with some thing or emotion. 

Coca Cola
McDonalds
Primark
https://randomstore.myshopify.com (ehm, what?) 

You get my point. 

On top of blogging, consider podcasting, trade shows, YouTube etc. 

Just to be clear: you don’t have to do any of this to be successful with Shopify. You could just run FB ads and be profitable. This applies to building a lasting online brand. 

Conclusion

You’re selling products to random strangers on the internet. What would it take for YOU to buy something off of some random store? 

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Learn your audience, learn marketing. 

The lack of commitment is, in my opinion, one of the top reasons new Shopify store owners fail. But if you’re serious about this online journey and can enjoy the fun of learning a new skill, you will succeed.

Stop sucking at Shopify!

Sign Up For Our 6-Day Shopify Emails Course And Learn All The Secrets.

No Marketing Budget? 5 Ways To Promote Your Shopify Store For Free

The best way to get started with your dropshipping store is by running ads. With Facebook ads, you get to test different ad sets and different products until you’ve found winning combinations. Then when you’ve found an ad that makes  you money, you scale up and poof…you’ve got a profitable store. 

The ideal ad budget for a fresh Shopify dropshipping store is $1000. But what if you don’t have an ad budget but still want to make this work? 

You certainly can, it just takes more manual work and takes longer to see big numbers in your bank account. After all, it’s manual work vs. simply buying customers through ads. 

Below I’ll discuss 5 examples of promoting a new Shopify store without a budget. 

Twitter

I know plenty of people who have built up their entire business using mainly Twitter to build their audience. From personal brands to e-commerce businesses, it’s being done. 

It takes time but good Twitter accounts can go fast. 

You’ll find plenty of people who follow topics around your niche as well as influencers and brands

You can share quotes, images, YouTube links, articles, guides and other useful content. 

It’s also a good idea to follow your competition and other people in your niche. Not only can you get an idea of the content that works well, you can also analyse and steal their best hashtags. 

Hashtags are a way to engage new people and gain new followers. 
On top of simply sharing content, you can also engage users by following them. There are many accounts related to your niche. 
 
If you really wanna make Twitter work for you then interact with the people on it. You might be wondering: how can I interact with people when I don’t have any followers yet? The answer is simple; just interact with people who talk about topics that indicate they’re potential buyers.

For instance; someone who Tweets this: 

“What’s the best blue widget out there?”. 

Is obviously a potential customer of yours. A simple, friendly @ tweet (reply) can land you new clients easily. An example @ reply would be:

“Good luck on your hunt. Have you considered [model x]? [link to product]”
(either that or link to a buying guide if you wanna write one)

This person will most definitely remember your friendly Tweet and will probably buy from you and/or recommend to others. 

To find these tweets, go to Twitter search and type a phrase in between double quotes. E.g. “new blue widget” or “wanna try these blue widgets”. Try many of these and you’ll find an ocean of potential customers asking questions you can answer. 

It’s usually pretty easy to find potential customers and interact with them. Why not reply to this tweet and offer her a discount code in your store?


Another way to grow your Twitter following is to comment on influencer’s content. If they tweet, you reply. It’s a great way to quickly build a fresh account up. 

I have some alerts set up myself, and whenever an Influencer tweets, I reply first and get a handful of fresh, targeted followers. 

Instagram

 

I’ve gotten sales through organic Instagram on brand new stores before, it’s really not that difficult. 

Instagram is the visual social network and great for products. You can research some successful accounts related to your products and get a feel for the kind of stuff they post. 

The idea of your Instagram account is to have people follow your brand. You want people to open they IG on their phones because they want to look at the style your brand is sharing.

I personally prefer to keep my Instagram accounts consistent, meaning the same style across posts, but some people prefer to just post whatever they want.

A great way to quickly build Instagram followers is through exchange groups. These are groups on Telegram (app) where people like and comment on each other’s post. This engagement will then get real organic traffic in the long run.

Just download the Telegram app and search for IG or Instagram, you’ll find all the groups there.


There’s much more. You can message new followers with a promo code, do contests on your Instagram regularly (tag a friend who would like a free t-shirt or something), talk to influencers for cross-promotion etc. 

Forums

Another great way to get your first few customers in are forums. Actually, they’re a great acquisition tool all the time, even as a long-term marketing strategy.

Being an active member of some targeted forums is a great way to get your first few clients in. Relevant forums aren’t just forums about the products you’re selling. There are plenty of niche and general forums where people ask questions related to your products.

Do no spam these forums. Just become active and have a link to your site in your signature. Simply doing this will bring you targeted traffic that converts easily. It sounds so simple but it can be very, very effective.

What will it do? In the short term, it brings some curious people to your site. In the long run, it establishes you as an expert or at least person who can be trusted. Then getting people to buy from you is almost automatic. It can also help your Google rankings in the long run. 

Tip: I’ve heard people have varying degrees of success with a platform named Quora, where you can do a similar thing as on forums. Go give it a try and see if it’s for you.

Affiliate

This is sort of a no-budget way of doing Influencer marketing. The idea is simple: create an affiliate program (use an app like Refersion for this) and contact infleuncers to promote your store. 

You don’t need to pay the influencers anything up front, and they get a commission for each sale they refer. 

It will take a little longer than when you pay Influencers up front, but it’s also less risky this way. Big influencers will most likely decline this offer, so look for smaller fish and you’ll get plenty of free traffic and sales. 

Think outside the box: who else can promote your products, outside of Instagram? Who has an audience? Think newsletters, mailing lists, Twitter influencers, Tumblr influencers etc. 

Blogging

When people say blogging is dead, they mean starting a blog from scratch with the purpose of making money through ads on your blog. And they’re right, that’s probably not the best business model in 2019.

However, it’s still a great channel for traffic. Shopify has a fantastic blog that gets hundreds of thousands of views and shares. So blogging itself is not dead, it’s actually a great way to engage with existing and potential customers.

If you’re going down this route, focus on content. Make sure you share great content and answer questions that your potential customers might have.

You can write guides, product reviews, answer typical questions, do little how-tos and more. The goal is to inform people about your products, and hopefully make some sales along the way.

There’s many different ways to get traffic to your blog. I suggest starting by contacting influencers and asking them to share your articles. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get shares and backlinks to your content, and ultimately get customers in your store.

Email marketing company Yesware has a fantastic example of this tactic:

Stop sucking at Shopify!

Sign Up For Our 6-Day Shopify Emails Course And Learn All The Secrets.

Top 40 Shopify Niches That Are KILLING It In 2019

Shopify is as hot at ever. Throughout the Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) shopping weekend last year, Shopify merchants collectively made over $1.5 billion USD in sales. At their peak, Shopify merchants generated over $37 million USD in sales per hour and $870,000 USD per minute during BFCM (source: Shopify).

But while Shopify entrepreneurs keep setting one record after another, many starting ones are still looking for products to sell and niches to tap into. After all, you wouldn’t want to try and sell something that nobody is buying.

So we’ve put together a list of top-selling niches that are KILLING it in 2019 so you can capitalize on these awesome upward trends.

Note: some of these are niches, some are products. This list is here to inspire you and see what’s working in 2019. Be creative with these, do your own research and you’re good to go.

Category: Health

Health stores are extremely popular right now. Many people who care about their productivity, feeling good and generally being healthy seek out new trends and products. This niche will continue to grow over the next 5 years with new trends like nootropics and matcha tea gaining a bigger platform.

Tea

Whether it’s selling the actual teas or tea accessories, this is a great niche to get into. Brick and mortar health stores sell more and more tea products but the online arena is by far the largest.

Tea accessories can be dropshipped from AliExpress while actual teas can be resold as whitelabel through other suppliers.

Some tea stores niche down even further and target a specific audience like detox, Matcha tea etc.

Detox

Another very lucrative niche to get into this year. People want to cleanse their bodies from harmful toxins and parasites and see great health benefits from it.

Detox is popular as both a weight loss method and a general health cure. Detox products include anything from teas to health supplements

Yoga

When I first noticed the yoga trend back in 2014 on Instagram and YouTube, I thought it was just a fad. I was wrong, and yoga continues to get more and more popular.

People see real health benefits from these meditative positions and yoga schools keep popping up in the Western world like ice cream trucks on a hot summer day.

Yoga products are easy to source from AliExpress and include anything from yoga mats to yoga pants.

Spirituality

Although it’s kind of strange to call spirituality a niche, I would be ignorant not to include it here. I’ve noticed a rise in “spiritual” products being sold online, from chakra healing stones to crystal water.

The above examples are a bit extreme but tend to do extremely well on Instagram and other places. You can find your own twist to these and see what works for you.

Nootropics

This is a niche I’m very passionate about. Nootropics, also known as smart drugs, are health supplements for the brain and they work extremely well for me personally.

Nootropics are used by professionals and busy entrepreneurs like myself to boost productivity and optimize performance. They’re also popular with athletes and artists for that same reason.

Nootropics are also known to help deal with depression, sleep disorder, anxiety, Parkinson’s, stress, sexual performance and many other things.

Keto

The ketogenic diet is simple: high-fat and low carb. Many people are seeing success with this, and that’s the reason it will continue to be popular.

Indoor Gardening

This is a thing now. People live in cities, are conscious of what they eat and want to grow their own herbs, fruits and veggies. That’s where Indoor herb garden devices come in.

The “smart growing” approach to food is great. Indoor gardening sets as well as parts and accessories can easily be dropshipped from AliExpress or U.S. based suppliers.

Smoothies

Who’s got time for fruit? Give me something simpler, like a smoothie. Products you can sell include washable drinking containers, blenders, recipes, slow juicers and much more.

Coconut

People are going nuts over coconuts. Coconut oil, coconut supplements, raw dessert recipes, cosmetics and much more. You could also sell coconut themed novelty items!

Avocado

I used to run a store that sold avocado novelty items from AliExpress. I had about 10 producs in there and promoted mainly through Instagram influencers who were in the health niche or somehow related to avocado-diets and such.

It did quite well because there are a lot of avocado fans out there. There are also plenty of avocado health & beauty products.

Vegan

Another great niche to sell novelty items in. There’s a huge vegan community out there that continues to grow.

Other vegan store ideas include vegan cosmetics, vegan cooking recipes etc.

CBD

CBD is an extract from the Cannabis plant. Many people use it for a wide range of ailments, such as anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain.

CBD extract is being sold in health shops as well as online in the form of oil, supplements and spray.

More and more studies are coming out on the benefits of CBD oil, which shows the potential of this Shopify niche.

Category: Fitness

Fitness Leggings

A very popular niche with dropshippers. Easy to source from AliExpress and can be sold at a huge mark-up. Fitness leggings are easy to ship and easily fit (obviously, they’re leggings!).

Because the fitness niche is still growing at a steady pace, there’s a huge audience here that can be targeted through Instagram infuencers or Facebook ads.

Powerlifting

Another evergreen, solid niche (think protein shakes, nutritional supplements, equipment etc). Huge range of products with new stuff coming out almost every week!

Fitness Trackers

Fitbits are no fad — they’ve been around for a few years now with no sign of going anywhere.  And there are hundreds of other brands, both low-end and high-end ones, that are being sold everywhere.

Cycling

No modern day cyclist bikes around town without his or her gadgets. From trackers to helmets to phone mounts, this niche only keeps growing.

Everything Else

Cannabis

Yes, even certain plants can be trending. Many U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical use and even recreational use while other countries are following soon (Canada already did).

Although you’re probably not in the position to actually sell weed online, there’s plenty of weed paraphernalia you can dropship from AliExpress.

This one does come with a disclaimer though: both Stripe and PayPal do not allow the sales of “drug paraphernalia” and selling it can get your account suspended. I’ve heard that payment gateway Authorize.net does allow it but you need to do your own research on this.

Specialty coffee

People care more and more about the quality of their morning brew and specialty coffee is a great and profitable niche to get into. You can sell anything from the actual coffee to coffee makers, filters, roasters etc.

Unicorns

You can’t sell real unicorns, mainly because they don’t exist. But as a niche, unicorns are very popular. Think of unicorn themed clothes, accessories, coffee mugs etc.

Coffee Scrubs

Another coffee related one, but this time in the cosmetics field.

Beard Oil

Remember 2015? Well, beard oil hasn’t gone away since then. It’s still very popular with beard-growing hipsters and has actually gone mainstream.

Charcoal

You probably don’t want to sell blocks of actual charcoal, but many related beauty products like scrubs and face wash (for men and women) do great.

Wacky Socks

Oh yes, this is a thing. Don’t ask me why, but some people are really into wacky socks now for some reason. If you’re creative enough you could even theme your store around any of the niches I listed here and print them on wacky socks.

Wooden Sunglasses

This has been popular for a while now and continues to be. They’re sunglasses with a wooden frame and I’m sure you’ve seen them. If you’re selling wooden sunglasses for summer 2019, you’ll sure make a killing.

Subscription boxes

Not really a niche, but a great business model definitely worth investigating. Imagine getting a customer who pays you, and continues to pay the same amount month after month?

Subscription boxes range from specific products to “mystery boxes” where the customer doesn’t know what in them.

The beauty of this business model is that you only need to pay to acquire the customer ONCE (through marketing), then continue to take in revenue without the acquisition cost.

Vaping

Vaping is like smoking, but different. Still grows in popularity, mainly because it’s believed to be healthier than smoking cigarettes. You can sell the vaporizers or only the e-liquids.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Yeah this one is definitely here to stay. Virtual reality may one day become the world’s new reality. Products include gaming headsets, video watching glasses and related products.

Pet Products

A billion dollar a year niche; who doesn’t love their pets? Many things to sell such as collars, jewelry, spoil your pet stuff, vitamins etc.

Religion

A very targeted niche. Sell items such as Christian apparel, engraved rings, jewelry etc. I see these doing great on Instagram and you can work with many influencers here too.

Female empowerment / LGBTQ

You’re probably no immune to world politics and the ongoing gay rights movement. You can sell anything from LGBTQ pride coffee mugs, t-shirts to eco-friendly feminine hygiene products.

Self / home defense

Especially home surveillance and other smart appliances for home security are on a rise. Plenty of self-defense products are popular now too.

Enamel Pins

So these things are popular once again. Especially good if you can offer custom pins.

Watches

A timeless niche, though I can’t help but feel I see more young men wearing watches these days. Gigantic price range too and lots of business models to choose from (e.g. sell expensive brand watches or re-brand cheap Chinese ones).

Minimalism

In a world full of stuff, what’s better than no stuff? I don’t know if that made sense or not, but I love minimalism! You can apply the “minimalist” mark to any niche and you’ve got yourself another niche: minimalist watches, minimalist kitchenware etc.

LED Lightning

In the coming decade, it is likely that nearly all lighting will eventually be converted to LED lighting. It’s much more energy efficient, lasts exponentially longer than regular bulbs, is a lot more controllable, and better for the environment.

Drones

Unlike the “hoverboard” hype we saw a couple of years ago, drones aren’t a fad. You can sell drones, accessories or digital products.

Phone accessories

Obviously a growing niche that isn’t going anywhere. Cases, phone holders, screen protectors etc.

Smart Home Appliances

These things will take over your home in the next 10 to 15 years, trust me. Once again a big range of products you can sell, and lots of options on AliExpress.

Wireless headphones

Ever since Apple came out with that one for iPhone, I want one! There’s so much variety in wireless headphones and a huge price range; from cheap $2 ones to $500+ sets.

Bluetooth speakers

It’s amazing how high quality these speakers are. Once again anything from cheap Chinese ones to expensive brand speakers can be sold / dropshipped.

Power banks

For your phone, laptop and other portable equipment.

Gaming

Clearly this niche isn’t going anywhere. Professional gaming is becoming a sport and the gaming industry keeps growing. You can sell anything from gaming mice to headsets, controllers, old-school games…it’s too much to list.

Stop sucking at Shopify!

Sign Up For Our 6-Day Shopify Emails Course And Learn All The Secrets.

The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Niche

The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Shopify Niche

Starting an online store? You’re awesome! But you need a niche, and that’s where many people get stuck. Quite often starting  e-commerce entrepreneurs don’t know which products they should sell, after all, how do you determine if people would buy it from you?

In this guide, we’ll go over the basic principles of finding products to sell and choosing a niche that will have great potential to generate lots of sales.

So we’re looking for a profitable niche. That means we’re looking for products that are already selling well online. Many newcomers think competition is a bad thing; why would you get into a space that’s already crowded with existing (bigger) sellers?

The real answer is the exact opposite: you DON’T want to sell something nobody else is selling, especially if you’re new to e-commerce. What you want is a product that’s already doing well. Because the internet is much broader than you can imagine, there’s always room to surf on these waves of popularity.

So how do you find something that works? The cool thing about starting your own online business is that you decide everything. The choices are endless, so you might as well sell something cool.

Step 1: Make a list

It all starts with the basics. Make a list of at least 20 (or 200 if you like) niche ideas that you think are cool and could work. Later you’ll dive a little deeper to test if these niches are worth getting into or not.

If you’re not feeling inspired enough to make a list of at least 20 niche ideas, you can use the internet for inspiration:

Pinterest: A popular social curation site. Type in a search phrase, e.g. “Wooden Sunglasses” at the top bar. Not only can you look for trends by browsing the accounts who posted the pics, you can also see if a product is popular or not. What’s more, you can see your competitors who are selling these products and further investigate what works for them. Awesome.

Facebook: if you’re active on Facebook already, keep an eye on your timeline. Look out for products that went viral or general trends that have a product associated with them. Facebook also serves product ads, keep an eye out for those as well.

SSense.com: Fashion inspiration

KickStarter: another good source of trending new products. Kickstarter Discover let’s you browse projects by popularity and funding amounts.

ProductHunt: Browse through trending products

Google Trends Top Charts: Here you can find trending search terms. So for example, if Lebron James is a trending athlete in 2018, maybe selling Lebron apparel is a niche worth investigating.

Wanelo: (Want – Need – Love) describes itself as a community for all of the worlds shopping, bringing together products and stores in a Pinterest like product posting format. Look for products with a lot of saves under “trending”

AliExpress Collections: Niche collections for inspiration. You can even copy an entire “collection” and build a store around that. Take a look around and you’ll find plenty of niches on a platter.

eBay Popular: A list of some of the most popular product categories on eBay.

eBay Watch Count: An online tool that will list the most popular items on eBay based on how many people are “watching” them.

Amazon Bestsellers: Amazon’s most popular products based on sales. Updated hourly.

Amazon Movers and Shakers: Amazon’s biggest gainers in sales rank over the past 24 hours. Updated hourly.

Etsy Trending Items: Check out the current trending items and listings on Etsy.

Trend Hunter: Trend Hunter is the world’s largest, most popular trend community. Fuelled by a global network of 137,000 members and 3,000,000 fans, Trend Hunter is a source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs on the hunt for new product ideas.

Step 2: Choose a Passionate Niche

By now, you should have plenty of ideas running around in your head. Write down any product or niche you think could work, no matter how basic or silly they might seem.

One of the best ways to get started is to look for a niche that has a passionate following online. Selling a product nobody cares about is going to be much harder than selling something people love. This will help you tremendously with advertisements and influencer marketing later on.

Here’s a few examples of products people are not passionate about and you shouldn’t start your first store with:

  • MP3 players
  • Extention cords
  • Refridirators
  • Mousepads

Here’s examples of niches people ARE passionate about:

  • Star Wars
  • Dogs
  • Anime
  • Avocados

So you can sell dog-themed watches, sunglasses and t-shirts. But selling those items plain is not a great idea. Why? People aren’t passionate about them. They’ll go to WalMart or Gap to buy a plain white t-shirt, not buy one through a Facebook ad. But a dog-themed store with cool doggy items can work great with Facebook ads and get you lots of engagement on your ads.

Another thing to look out for is seasonality and fads. Seasonality simply means a product that is bound to a certain period of time, like Christmas decoration or Halloween costumes, but there’s also less obvious ones that perform poorly certain times of the year. You can check Google Trends to see if a niche is bound to seasons.

As for fads, you don’t want to dive into a niche that’s only going to be popular for another month and a half, only to have to start over again with a different niche. Although fads are great for experienced e-commerce entrepreneurs looking to bank off a short trend, it’s a bad idea if you’re just starting out. You’d hate ending up finally making sales right when a fad is over.

To check if a niche is a fad, go to Google Trends. Make sure your prospect niche has been around for at least a couple of years. If it’s the latest children’s toy that popped into existence 2 months ago, it’s probably a fad that’ll be over soon.

Step 3: Proving the Concept

Now that you understand the basics, let’s go and see if people are actually active and passionate about these niches.

Head on over to Facebook’s Audience Insights and search for your keyword under interests.

Go to “page likes”

Facebook shows you all the top pages related to the topic of dogs.

Note: you want your audience to be at least 500K to 1M strong. This is the absolute minimum number of people interested in a topic. If your niche doesn’t have this following, you won’t make enough sales to run a decent online store. Ideally, your audience is at least a few million strong

Next, go and look at each of these pages and see if they have an active following. If they don’t have an active following, it’s pretty useless to target these audiences. Active means active engagement on the page, so frequent posts (more than 4 per week) and lots of genuine comments and likes.

If you’re looking at a niche that has 1) over 1M people interested and 2) active and passionate people on related pages, you’ve found a winner and it’s worth serving ads to this group.

Step 4: Find Products

Now that you’ve found a niche that has a passionate following on Facebook, you know you can start serving ads to these folks. Facebook allows you to target certain interest groups and everyone who follows these groups / topics, it’s so easy.

Now let’s look at products to sell. It’s super important that you find products that are ALREADY SELLING WELL.

Go look at trending items within the niche you chose on AliExpress. If you find items with lots of sales and good reviews, go to Ebay and Amazon. If that item or very similar items are selling well there, you got yourself a winner.

There’s more tools you can use to find top-selling products:

Shopify Stores: Why not check out other Shopify stores for inspiration? Use this handy link to see all Shopify websites on the web. Another trick is to go to Google and type in: “inurl:.myshopify.com [your keyword]”. So for example “inurl:.myshopify.com Fashion” will return some Shopify stores with the keyword fashion associated to them.

To find any Shopify store’s best selling products, paste this after the main URL: “/collections/all?sort_by=best-selling”

AliExpress Collections: Mentioned earlier. You can copy an entire “collection” and build a store around that. Take a look around and you’ll find plenty of niches on a platter.

AliExpress Best Sellers: browse through best sellers on AliExpress. You can also do a regular search for your niche and sort results by most sold.

Need even more inspiration? Check out the Top 40 Niches That are KILLING IT In 2019 (free download)

Next steps…

The biggest takeaway here is to find a niche people are passionate about and then find products that are already selling well online. Once you have these 2 factors in place, you’re ready to build your store.

After you’ve found a niche and products to sell, you can start to find a supplier. Working with AliExpress is by far the easiest way to go since apps like Oberlo (Shopify) and WooZone (WordPress) let you import Ali products easily.

Good luck!

Stop sucking at Shopify!

Sign Up For Our 6-Day Shopify Emails Course And Learn All The Secrets.

How do I find a reliable dropshipping supplier for Shopify?

How do I find a reliable dropshipping supplier for Shopify?

Starting a dropshipping business can be fun and exciting but there are many roadblocks you can run into. Today we look into suppliers. Where do you find one for the products you’re looking to sell?

What is dropshipping?

If you’re starting an online store that sells physical products, you need a wholesaler or manufacturer who can provide you these products at wholesale prices. But holding inventory may not be the most practical way to run your new ecommerce business.

Wholesalers often require a high initial purchase and you could easily end up paying $1000 or more, just to get the inventory. If you don’t want to invest this kind of money or just don’t like the idea of investing money in an unknown business (your own), dropshipping might be a better alternative.

Dropshipping simply means that the supplier takes care of shipping, and sends the package directly to your customer. A good supplier will remove their own labels and replace them with your store’s, so the customer has no idea that they received the package from the supplier and not from you.

This model works extremely well and is widely used by ecommerce businesses. If you’re just starting your first ecommerce business, I recommend you go with dropshipping. Since you’re not obligated to do anything, you can always combine dropshipping with your own inventory later.

Step 1: Choose a product

What would you like to sell? This sounds simple, but you must know EXACTLY what you want to sell.

For example, you shouldn’t say: “fashion”, but niche is down to something a lot more specific. How about “fashion for plus sized women”? That’s better, but still pretty broad and highly competitive. Can you niche it down even more? How about “RETRO fashion for plus sized women”? Now we got a pretty good niche.

Why so specific? We want to eventually have an audience of followers and influencers who love our brand. This is very difficult in a broad niche like “fashion”. The exception is when you’re starting a general store. But still in that case, you want to know exactly which categories and products you need.

Once you know what kind of products you want to sell, you need to find them. Unless you’re designing your own unique product, other stores will already sell items in the same style you’re looking to offer.

Find these stores.

You want to know exactly what type of products you’re looking for, otherwise how are you going to find a supplier for them?

Tip: while you’re looking at your competitor’s websites, note the URLs. Later you might want to use similar colors, designs, content and marketing strategies as them. After all, in business, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Step 2: Finding a supplier

Now that you’ve found other merchants selling products you’re interested in selling, you should (sorta) know what to look for. Finding a supplier can be a time-consuming task but it ain’t so difficult when you know the tricks.

Method #1: AliExpress

This is one of the easiest and most obvious ways to find a supplier. AliExpress is home to millions of products that can be shipped directly to the customer’s home, anywhere in the world.

Simply go to AliExpress.com and type in the products you’re after. You will see products that match your search.

What’s crazy about AliExpress is that you can start selling these items right away if you want to, just put them on your site (or Craigslist for all I care) and buy directly off Ali when somebody buys your product.

But it’s best to first contact the supplier and ask about shipping, labels (they mustn’t put their own labels on it) and possible customization options. If the supplier is terrible at communicating with you, it’s probably better to find someone else.

Method #2: Reverse Google Image Search

Sounds pretty fancy, ey? What it means is this: browse through your competitor’s website and right click on their product images using Google Chrome, then click “Search Google for image”

Search google for product images

Scroll down a little and you’ll find pages that use this image. If you see AliExpress, Alibaba.com or any other website that indicates it’s a supplier: bingo! You’ve found a supplier that sells this very product.

Obviously this only works if the merchant used the original supplier’s images and hasn’t replaced them with their own professional photos. But you’d be surprised how many good products I’ve found using this simple little Google hack.

Of course, this doesn’t work for large, professional e-commerce websites but it’s a wonderful way to find nice products that other starting Shopify stores have found.

How to find small Shopify stores? Go to Google.com and type in:

“your keyword” inurl:myshopify.com

For example: fashion inurl:myshopify.com

This shows you all Shopify stores with that keyword that Google has indexed. You can make it as specific as you like.

Method #3: Google

Yep, the old-school method. Finding a supplier through Google can take some time, but finding a reliable dropshipping supplier you can work with long-term is worth the wait.

A huge advantage here is that you’ll find plenty of U.S. and Europe based suppliers, unlike on AliExpress where they’re all based in China. This has great advantages, like Shipping times, communication and general trust and liability in doing business.

Now if you think you’ll find what you’re looking for on the first page like normally, think again! Wholesaler and manufacturers often don’t rank high in Google, don’t offer a user-friendly website and some don’t have any website at all!

It may take a couple of days or weeks and a combination of 100 different keywords before you find what you’re looking for. Remember that these manufacturers and wholesalers aren’t there waiting for starting e-commerce entrepreneurs to approach them. They usually sell products in bulk with thin margins and you’ll have to ask if they would consider dropshipping.

You can also use search shortcuts in Google, that’ll help you refine your search.

Method #4: Directories

Let’s take a look at some free directories that list profiles of manufacturers, wholesalers and suppliers.

Online Domestic Directories

Online Overseas Directories

Method #5: Just ask the internet

The internet knows, at least that’s what we hope. There’s many great places you can ask about suppliers, from forums to Facebook groups. Some interesting places are:

Next steps…

After you’ve found some suppliers you might want to work with, it’s time to contact them. Send them an email and inquire about dropshipping. Suppliers get bombarded with shady dropshipping requests so you want to sound professional and to-the-point.

Good luck!

Stop sucking at Shopify!

Sign Up For Our 6-Day Shopify Emails Course And Learn All The Secrets.

Buying a Starter Site on Flippa? 7 Things You Must Consider

Flippa is the #1 marketplace for websites, and they offer anything from domains to apps to established websites. You can literally buy anything from a $200 website to a 1.2 million dollar one. But what can you get with only a couple hundred dollars, and are these starter sites worth it? Here are 7 things you should consider before you buy a starter site on Flippa:

1. It’s no substitute for an established site

If you’re comparing buying a starter site with an established one, you’re on the wrong track . Established websites include steady traffic, revenue and should be seen as buying an existing business.

A starter site on the other hand, is more like a template. You buy the site so you don’t have to build one from scratch, or hire an expensive web developer to build one for you. You save yourself lots of time since you don’t need to pick a domain name, register hosting, find a template and learn how to build the entire site from scratch. It’s a simple ready-made solution.

Starter sites typically sell for less than $750 on Flippa and include no existing revenue or traffic, with a few exceptions here and there.

2. Seller reputation

Although Flippa itself is an established marketplace, it is exactly that; a marketplace. This means that anyone can create an account and start selling websites through the platform. Flippa doesn’t require any extensive identity verification so anyone can register and start selling sites within 2 minutes.

That’s why you must be careful. To check a seller’s reputation, simply look at their sales history and feedback. This will give you a general idea of the seller’s responsiveness, but doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the site.

Most established sellers will do their best to keep you (the buyer) satisfied and top rated sellers care about their account’s feedback and reputation. I suggest you withhold your feedback until you’re 100% up and running with your new site.

3. Beware of false claims

Oh, you’re selling a starter site that made $2500 since last Wednesday for only $400? I guess it’s my lucky day! Or perhaps not. Be very wary of revenue claims on starter sites. In fact, Flippa doesn’t even allow revenue claims on starter site listings.

Also make sure you understand the difference between revenue and profit. If they spend $100 on Facebook ads to make $50, and say “this site makes $50 a day”, that’s no good. Always do  your due diligence when dealing with revenue claims and ask for a Skype session to review any financial claims. But remember; most revenue claims on starter sites are completely fabricated.

4. Is the site unique?

Flippa allows sellers to declare whether or not their website’s content and layout are unique. Since most sellers sell the same site many times over, a large number of starter sites on Flippa are not unique.

Is this a bad thing? That depends. If you want to do SEO for the site, you probably want to rewrite the copy anyway to optimize it for your SEO keywords, so duplicate content isn’t that big of a deal.

You might want to contact the seller before you bid if you’re unsure about uniqueness. Also keep in mind that, by default, the status is always set to “not unique” and a seller may have forgotten to change this after the listing went live.

5. What are you going to do with your new site?

This would be the first question a good sales person would ask you. With Flippa, there’s no sales person so you need to ask this to yourself instead. Are you good at SEO? You might want to rewrite the website text to fit your optimal keywords. Want to run Facebook ads? Perhaps you’ll need to create one or more landing pages to drive traffic to.

Knowing what you’re going to do with a site before you buy it is a crucial step and is often overlooked by starters. If you just buy a site and let it sit there, nothing will happen.

6. What’s included?

Make sure you understand what the deliverables are before you buy. Good sellers include installation, instructions and ongoing support if you have any questions. But there are also plenty of stories about sellers disappearing, charging extra for support or charging an extra $35 installation fee. Make sure you communicate this with the seller before you buy

7. PayPal vs. Escrow

Most people who buy and sell low-end websites prefer to use PayPal because it’s instant. Flippa Escrow and Escrow.com require additional ID verification and take longer (sometimes up to 4 weeks). Also keep in mind that Flippa Escrow doesn’t work for certain countries like Indonesia, India and Pakistan.

What about buyer protection? PayPal offers a certain level of protection when you buy a digital asset on Flippa. Disputes (cases) are often decided in favour of the buyer, which means you’ll likely get your money back if you’re dealing with a fraudster. Another way to cover yourself is by paying with your credit card (through PayPal), so you can always do a chargeback, which pretty much guarantees you get the funds back.

Escrow.com and Flippa Escrow offer more protection, since they will withhold the fundsuntil both buyer and seller confirm the site and domain have been delivered.

Update December 2018: It looks like Flippa auctions now always have to offer Flippa Escrow by default. Escrow.com is also no longer supported by Flippa

Conclusion

Buying a starter site on Flippa can be a great way to get started online. It allows you to buy a ready-made product that will save you some time over building one from scratch. If you are careful who you buy from and know what you’re looking for, Flippa Is a great place to get started.

Stop sucking at Shopify!

Sign Up For Our 6-Day Shopify Emails Course And Learn All The Secrets.

The 10 Most Popular Online Business Models Explained

So you wanna be an internet entrepreneur, huh? Well, you’re not the first. Many investors and entrepreneurial minded folks have dived into the profitable online space. And I’ve got good news; now is one of the best times to start your own online business.

But where do you start? One of the first things to consider is exactly HOW you’re going to make money. Will you sell a product or service? Or make some money of advertisement clicks?

We go over the 10 most popular online business models and explain how they work.

AdSense

I bet you’ve seen this before: a website serves free content, like blog posts or guides, and monetizes their platform through Google AdSense. This simply means that whenever a visitor clicks on an ad, Google pays you (the website owner) a share for bringing a visitor to the advertiser’s site.

This business model offers an easy entrance point for newbies and can be used for almost any niche. Most AdSense websites bring traffic in organically, though there are people who have been successful at paid traffic as well.

Amazon Affiliate

Amazon offers the largest retail affiliate program worldwide so it’s worth mentioning here. It’s pretty simple: whenever you refer a customer to Amazon through your affiliate link, Amazon gives you a cut (if that user ends up buying, of course). The percentage you get as an affiliate is quite small (somewhere between 4 and 10 percent, depending on your usual sales volume) but the browser cookie sticks, meaning you even get commission on unrelated products that people end up buying a month later.

Although the commission may seem small, many internet entrepreneurs make their full time living from Amazon checks. Amazon is a popular monetization method for review sites (product reviews) and blogs.

Affiliate Marketing

Just like Amazon, other products and services also have affiliate programs. Nearly every large retailer has one, as well as many information products and courses like Lynda.com. You refer your visitors through an affiliate link and receive a commission for every sale made.

Besides individual affiliate programs, there are also affiliate networks through which you can promote thousands of different offers. A famous example of this is CJ.com. For digital products, take a look at Clickbank.com or JVZoo.

Dropshipping

If you want to sell a physical product, dropshipping might be for you. With dropshipping, you avoid having to deal with stock, shipping and large upfront costs for inventory while keeping full control over your prices and margins (in most cases).

As a dropshipper, you create the entire funnel that helps the customer buy their item. You then order from the supplier (a wholesaler or factory) who ships the item directly to the buyer’s home address.

Good suppliers will include your company details on the packaging so the package looks like it was sent by you, not the supplier. If you want to learn more about how dropshipping works, take a look at Shopify’s Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping

Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) basically means you list your products on Amazon.com and have your own “store” there. There are many benefits to this approach, like leveraging off Amazon’s traffic, their huge userbase and the potentially hands-off approach.

Although Amazon FBA is great, it is best combined with other marketing methods of your online store. Most top selling FBAs have their own store and use Amazon as a sales channel. Not because Amazon’s traffic isn’t good, but because it is always better to have multiple revenue / traffic streams and never to rely on one single source to send you customers.

Ecommerce

Ecommerce is simply having your own online store. Having your own ecommerce store allows you to sell your inventory, as well as dropshipping products.

Most ecommerce site owners choose to leverage paid traffic as well as organic searches. A common way to rank your ecommerce store is by targeting specific product keywords for both paid and organic searches.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

This business model involves a website that provides a service, in exchange for monthly billing. Examples of this include Buffer.com and Shopify.

SaaS companies are sprouting up left and right. It is a very lucrative business model and usually incurs recurred billing. This means that a SaaS company can invest hundreds of dollars to attract a single customer who only pays $39.99 a month, because their lifetime value is likely to be much higher. For example, if the average SaaS customer stays with you for 20 months, then a $39.99 a month client is actually a $799 client.

Info Products

You’ve probably come across some info products in your lifetime. They are eBooks, video courses and all other paid information material. Although you’re probably familiar with the Make Money Online ones, Info products exist in every niche, from gardening to model train collecting.

Info products cost nothing to make. This is an important factor because it means selling a million guides costs you the same as selling 10. Once it’s created, the work is done and every customer means money (excluding marketing costs of course).

Apps

Apps are trending and the market is huge. Well known apps like Instagram and Snapchat are now worth billions of dollars. The app business model is interesting as it offers a different take on website marketing.

Once a user has downloaded your app, the thing you want is for them to keep using it. You can monetize your app using advertisements, paid upgrades (such as unlock premium features) or simply by making the entire app paid.

Lead Gen

Lead generation is a simple business model where you refer potential clients (leads) to an existing business in exchange for a flat fee. For example: if I refer potential customers to an insurance agency, they might pay me $30 for the qualified lead.

You can do this for a countless number of businesses, from personal training clients to cleaning services or massage therapy.

Conclusion

Online business is fun, and doing proper research before you begin is an important first step. Also consider this: will you be doing it all alone or is it better to bring on a parter? And what is your lifestyle / income goal with the business? 

It’s very important to know WHY you’re starting before you commit to anything. 

Do you know of any other popular business model we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.

Stop sucking at Shopify!

Sign Up For Our 6-Day Shopify Emails Course And Learn All The Secrets.

Starting Online: Should I Buy, Hire or Build My Own Website?

Starting a website can be fun and exciting. You get to run your own online business, promote it online and probably even make passive income in the long run. But before you rush in and buy a website, hire a developer or build one yourself, we’ve weighed all 3 options so you can start your project right.

Hiring a Developer

If you don’t want to learn web development and don’t fancy tinkering with free website builders, hiring a developer is what comes to mind. A professional web developer has the expertise and experience to turn your ideas into reality within a relative short timeframe. However, working with a developer can also create new challenged, such as the communication with your developer or unexpected delays.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of hiring a professional web developer to build your website.

Pros:

No learning curve: when you work with a professional, they probably have many years of experience building web sites and developing applications. Because of this, your developer can easily estimate the amount of work involved and knows what tools to use.

If you’re not ready to adjust your goals many times over and embrace the learning process, hiring a developer might be a good option. Learning how to build a website while also trying to make the perfect website will be challenging, especially if you have very specific wishes.

Revisions and support: think something is missing? Want to change the layout? No need to invest another 3 week into reading web articles and watching how-to videos. Your developer can take care of minor changes within a short period of time.

No stress: even if you’re good at building sites, if you don’t enjoy it, you shouldn’t do it.

Cons:

Cost: believe it or not, but web developers need money too. Web development and web design are extremely competitive fields, especially with many third-world developers offering bottom prices. But as always, real quality doesn’t come cheap.

When you hire a developer, make sure the deliverables are properly defined beforehand so there can’t be any misunderstanding about what’s included and what isn’t.

Communication: having problems communicating with your developer can be problematic. A developer who disappears halfway through the project can be pretty discouraging.

Freelancer platforms such as Upwork.com offer a quick insight into a freelancer’s work history and testimonials from previous employers. This can help you weed out the unreliable freelancers quickly.

Doing it yourself:

If you just want a simple website and don’t mind spending a few hours (or days) learning, doing it yourself might be your best choice. Tools like Wix.com and SquareSpace make building a simple website a breeze. For even more flexibility, give WordPress a try.

Pros:

It’s cheap: when you decide to build your own website, your cost will be much lower compared to hiring a developer. Tools like Wix.com and WordPress are free to use and come with extensive online documentation and community support. Platforms such as Shopify and SquareSpace are paid but offer more extensive ready-made options, like ecommerce and user management.

You learn: unless you intend to always outsource future web development and design work, learning how a website works can be quite useful. Even if you end up outsourcing this in the future, understanding the mechanics of it can help you better understand issues and instruct your tech guys later on.

Cons:

It can get complicated: the more features you want, the more complicated it gets. Trying to build advanced sites like a SaaS or subscription dropshipping can be difficult. Free tools like WordPress can become expensive once you need paid plugins to implement complicated functions. The same applies to Shopify and other platforms.

It costs time: you know how it goes. What you think will be done in 3 hours takes 3 days and your 2 week deadline starts to look like 2 months. Once you’ve invested a lot of time in your project, you’re probably more reluctant to outsource because you’ve grown attached to the project. Outsourcing a half-finished project will probably cost the same as a website from scratch.

Buying a Ready-made website:

Another affordable option is to simply buy a ready-made website. Although this is not a custom option, it is the quickest way to get started running an online business without any of the hassle.

Pros:

It’s turnkey: as the name indicates, ready-made websites are already built. They require little upkeep and usually only one or two changes are needed after you buy, such as adding your PayPal address to receive payments through the site.

Set up and support: ready-made websites come with set-up and support so you don’t have to worry about anything. The site is ready to go and support is usually handled by the same person who built the site.

Cons:

It’s not custom: while the other 2 options are all custom, a ready-made website is not. If you have very specific ideas about what your online business should look like, a ready-made website may not be for you.

Unreliable seller: if you buy through a marketplace such as Flippa, you will be dealing with a seller directly. This is helpful, only if the seller is unresponsive and you’re stuck with some issue, you may need to hire a developer or expert to look at it for you, which increases costs.

Conclusion:

Which option is right for you? There’s no single right answer to this question. Because of this, you should choose an option that feels right for you and aligns best with your online business goals. On a budget and got time to learn? Build it yourself. Got an appropriate budget and very specific goals? Maybe you should hire one or more developers to help you build it. Want to get started right away with a ready-made website? Then that might be for you.

Stop sucking at Shopify!

Sign Up For Our 6-Day Shopify Emails Course And Learn All The Secrets.