How to Make Money With Shopify [And Start An Online Business]

By Todd Kunsman

Make Money

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Now more than ever, people are looking for ways to make money or start an online business. 

And there are plenty of choices, but one option that has grown in popularity is e-commerce and learning how to make money with Shopify. 

Starting an e-commerce business is incredibly easy these days and you don’t even have to be super technical to get started.

Now, does that mean you’ll be making thousands overnight? Of course not! There are still plenty of challenges to starting a successful online business with Shopify.

However, it can also be a financial game changer if you are dedicated and have a drive to succeed. 

Let’s dive into the pros and cons of an online business, how to make money with Shopify, and how you can get started in a few clicks. 

Starting An Online e-Commerce Business

If you are considering starting an online business, it’s worth understanding the pros and cons in order to help you decide whether it’s the right decision for you.

There are many options to make money online, like blogging, Amazon FBA, Etsy, etc. 

But there is no denying that e-commerce is growing and that Shopify is one of the best platforms. 

Consumers spent $601.75 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2019, which is up 14.9% in 2018. (Source)

Here are some of the different pros and cons of an online business like e-Commerce.


More flexibility

One of the big advantages of starting your own online business is that you have much more flexibility with your work. This simply means that you’ll have the freedom to work when and where you want.

You can fix your own schedule and adapt your work depending on you and your business’ needs. Who doesn’t like a bit of flexibility?

Low startup costs

Another huge benefit to starting an online business are the low upfront costs. Most times you’ll only need to pay for website hosting, a domain name and a software.

This means you get to avoid the high costs of managing brick and mortar businesses such as rent, staff, insurance policies and a large range of overhead costs. When going completely online, your business is only a few clicks away!

Large potential market

By moving online, your market extends to anyone who has an internet connection. This means your potential customer base increases dramatically; you’re not even limited to one country or even continent — if you want, you can cater to every continent on Earth.

With over 4.5 billion people using the internet, you have a much higher opportunity of finding customers.


Saturated market

Alas, the huge amount of customers also means there are a lot of people who have jumped at the opportunity of managing an online business.

You’ll find many companies selling similar products and all competing for the same customers. That’s why you’ll need to make an extra effort to find something that gives your company a competitive edge or makes it unique.

This could mean be better at branding, excellent customer service or a great website design to encourage customers to pick you.

Customer service

Following on from the point above, as an online business you will need to be willing to offer customer service. Since your business is online, you’ll get customers sending in inquiries at all times of the day who are generally not willing to wait.

If you make them wait too long, they’ll move onto your competitors. That’s why you’ll need to be available online 24/7 or hire someone who can help you deal with customer service. 


What is Shopify? (Why You Should Use Their Platform)

Shopify is an online platform that allows individuals to set up a digital store and easily sell products online. They are one of the leading e-commerce platforms because of how easy it is to use for non-developers.

No matter where individuals sell their products (in a physical store, on social media, etc), Shopify makes it easy for them to set up an online shop. 

Why Should You Choose Shopify?

If you’re looking to sell online, Shopify is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to do so.

First of all, Shopify manages all the domain and hosting for you (if you want) as well as the backend. You’ll be able to add your own custom domain and Shopify will deal with the technical part.

Secondly, Shopify is incredibly easy to set up. It’s a platform that was built for the average user, not developers. That means it’s easy to add products, offer discounts and manage orders.

Thirdly, Shopify is quite affordable. You can get started with the Shopify free trial. From there, the monthly plan starts at $29 per month and goes up to $79 per month, making it a pretty good price to start with. (There is also a $299 package, for those having success and need to scale to the next level). 

And finally, Shopify’s design is slick and easy to use. They offer website themes that make it simple for businesses to customize their store and make it look the way they want.

On top of that, there is technical support available 24/7 in case help is needed at anytime. 

Ways to Make Money With Shopify


One of the most common types of businesses that exist on Shopify are e-commerce stores.

Those range from brick and mortar stores opening an extra channel online, to an individual creating and selling their own handmade products directly online. 

By selling online, your product will reach many more people, and the overheads won’t be much higher. You also won’t need to hire a developer or anyone technical, you can easily set up the store yourself.

As an individual, you’ll only need to take care of the marketing and setting up the products online, Shopify takes care of everything else.


Dropshipping is a great way to make money from an online business without having to touch the product itself.

Instead, when someone buys a product from you, you’ll then buy the items and a third-party supplier. And that supplier then ships the inventory on your behalf. The low overheads means this business model is easier to scale.

The main challenge in dropshipping is the marketing: you’ll need to find the customers, build a brand and do the sales. Once you have customers, they order through your online store and this automatically reaches the third-party supplier, who then ships the product.

Before getting started, make sure to order the product yourself so you can test the quality and the delivery process. Learn more about dropshipping here.


With dropshipping, you generally have to reach out to companies and start a business relationship. Many will require that you have a EIN for your business so they know you are legit.

However, you may just want to dabble in e-commerce and getting started quicker. That’s where Shopify’s partnership with Oberlo becomes intriguing. 

After you start your Shopify store, you can user Oberlo to find products and easily add them to your store. Oberlo handles all the storage, packaging, and shipping for you. But this is a fast way to get products and start making money.

Remember, you’ll still have to do your research on products and market your store out there — but now you have access to sell legit products quickly. 

Sell Single Product

This type of option is a good way to stand out from competitors and test a niche. Instead of selling a variety of items, focus on selling just one specific one. This product could be something you’ve created, or something you’ve obtained from a third-party supplier. 

And creating a store with one product type works well if you’re selling a product that offers several features — such as a speaker that helps people sleep or a coffee machine that connects to your phone.

By focusing on only one specific product, you can label yourself as the store for that product. All your branding, messaging and marketing will be very specific, making it easier to stand out.

Just make sure to test the viability of the product and niche before going full in!

Embed Products on Blog

Another cool way to make money with Shopify is using their Shopify Buy Button. If you already have an existing website or blog that is running well, you don’t need to completely convert over.

Instead, you can embed products and add the checkout on your current site.

These are simple embed codes created that can be customized to your brand already. So it is a natural fit on any website you have!

Additional Options

What you choose to sell on Shopify and what type of business to pursue is up to you. Beyond what is listed above, here are a few additional ideas you might want to explore to make money with Shopfiy:

  • Start Your Own Clothing Brand
  • Sell Your Art or Crafts
  • Flip Items from Thrift Stores or Garage Sales
  • Sell Digital Downloads (ebooks, guides)

Bonus: Digital Services

If you are a freelancer (marketing, developer, etc) or starting your own business related to building websites for people, you can make money with Shopify in another way.

The platform has a partner program where you can become a Shopify expert, get certifications, and access to more.

You can make money through referring clients to Shopify, creating e-commerce themes and publish them in their store, or create Shopify apps and publish them in their app store as well. 

Shopify Admin

Creating Your Shopify Store

Are you now looking forward to creating your own Shopify store? It won’t take too long for you to get started!

And if you’re not sure about Shopify completely yet, the good news is that they offer a free trial without an obligation to enter your credit card information. 

Step 1:

Start off by heading to Shopify and signing up to an account. They offer a free trial, and no credit card is required to start.

You’ll need to provide your email, create a password and choose a name for your store. Shopify will then process your information, and you’ll need to add in some more personal details.

Step 2:

You’ll then get access to your store admin screen. Here you’ll be able to start customizing your store, uploading products, setting up payments and shipping. 

Additionally, this is where you’ll want to pick your store’s theme. Shopify has its own official theme store with tons of options and developers adding new themes all the time. Not only do these themes have full support from the designers, but they have modification options. 

The premium themes you pay for will have more modification options, but free ones also have many editable options to be more customized. And no code knowledge is needed to customize! You can also hire Shopify experts to design and customize a site for you. 

These customized options help ensure your theme does not look like other sites using the theme. So you can keep your online store unique to you! 

Step 4:

Whether you are dropshipping, using Oberlo, or adding your own products — you’ll want to set up all your product info into your store. 

Use strong pictures, detailed and description information for SEO and for the customer to be informed about your products. 

You can re-order and arrange your products differently at any time. So no need to get it perfect right away.

Step 5:

The other settings to look at before your site goes live is to ensure things like payments, taxes, shipping, billing, etc. are filled in too. Don’t worry, Shopify makes it easy for you to get this filled in correctly.

Step 6:

When you are ready to get your shop live, you’ll have two options. You can buy a domain and hosting right through Shopify to make it easier. And domains are super affordable and everything is connected automatically.

You can also get your domain from a third-party vendor, but you’ll have to set up the connection to your online store. It’s not super challenging, but you’ll need to have a little technical knowledge.

Additional Online Business Items

The challenges you may face with an e-commerce store includes bringing your store to market. Meaning, ensuring people are finding it and will buy the products.

As with most online business, it will take some work to stand out among the sea of online stores. 

Also, if you are pursuing this as a legit business then you may want to look into getting an LLC to protect yourself and separate your income and assets.

There is way too much to get into about getting an LLC, so make sure to do your research and consult your accountant to ensure you are doing the right things. 

Is Shopify A Good Place to Sell?

Overall, Shopify is one of the most intuitive solutions for those looking to create an online store – whether for as a supplement to their physical store or just as an online business. It’s also incredibly easy for users to get started in dropshipping in a few clicks.

It’s a good idea to think about your business plan and what you want to sell before jumping in. And even though the online market is crowded, there is still room for you to make money and create a potentially nice financial asset for yourself.

You may have some quick success, but expect your online store to be a work in-progress. It’s highly unlikely you’ll get rich overnight, but you can create a lucrative business in the long run.

I’m all about putting in the work early for a while, to then eventually have an asset that makes money while you sleep.

The earning potential for your store has no limits, it’s up to you how much work you want to put in to make your side hustle your income generating machine.

Are you interested in making money in e-commerce? Have you had success with that or even Shopify? Let me know in the comments below!