Welcome back to your Home Business Blog. In the last post we talked about the Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) business model and how some sellers are willing to give free or discounted products in Facebook Groups (and other communities) in order to improve their chances of getting customer feedback such as product reviews in the Amazon marketplace. This helps them rank their listings and sell more products. The FBA business model works best for people with some starting capital due to the fact they have to buy hundreds or thousands of product units at a time. Today I want to bring to your attention alternative ways you could start your online business without having to invest so much money.
The first method I want to share with you is Shopify. The advantages to having a Shopify store include that you will own the domain making it possible to sell just about any product, as long as it is not not banned by the government (like illegal drugs). Another advantage is that you also get to design your store the way you want to, thus making it possible to build your own brand.
Disadvantages to using a Shopify store include the fact that it will take months (or years) for it to rank on Google so you will need to find ways to advertise and drive traffic to your store at the beginning stages in order to be profitable. The other big disadvantage is that due to competition and market saturation it has become harder to be profitable these days. If you want to learn more about setting up a Shopify store and monetizing it watch this case study. A shopify store also requires some of your time, or you will need to employ somebody to answer customer questions. Good customer support is key to building trust especially if you plan to sell expensive products. You will need to get on the phone and talk about these products.
NOTE: Some people say Shopify is no longer what it once was, claiming this method “is dead”. I have not set up a shopify store myself so I can’t make any claims about it. Most resources do state this method is on a down trend. Personally I think is all about knowing how to rank the store on Google and picking a niche and product line with a strong audience to sell to. In order to be successful with shopify you need to create relationships with product manufacturers who sell premium products that you can add to your store (dropship model). In the beginning stages it is recommended to turn to influencers on YouTube, Instagram and find marketers on Udimi in order to start building an audience for your store(s) with recurring customers. Learn more about advertising using Google Shopping which you should use especially if you sell products that are worth $800 or more. Based on the research I have made up to this point it is the more expensive products that are giving the best results with shopify (more profits, less returns to handle, more advertising money…). You should also learn to collect data using Facebook pixels so that you can target lookalike audiences and explode conversions.
The other method which is also going on a down-trend is dropshipping. With dropshipping you would create a niche website around a specific product line (like best photo cameras, or top 10 routers for 2018)… and what you would want to do is use a shopping cart plug in or shopping cart service which would allow you to collect payment information from customers that visit your website (such as shipping address). You would want to markup the price of the item so that product cost and shipping and handling are covered and there should be a profit margin for yourself. Once you get an order coming in you would turn to a supplier like AliExpress or Alibaba where you would place the order for a lower price giving the details of the customer that bought it from your website on the order form. The biggest advantage to dropshipping is that you could do this at very little or no cost to you. You would need a website and to find products to promote using AliExpress and Alibaba. Alternatively you could also use a free blogging platform to start with… but is best if you have your own domain as you would start building your brand, start the Google ranking process and no third party platform would easily suspend or suppress you from posting or using their services. Ana Hoffman for example had her twitter accounts suspended and this used to be one of her main ways to drive traffic to her website.
NOTE: Recall you can order a fully customized website from Fiverr. Use AFFX10 to get 10% off on your order. You can also have Stone Evans build you a free website very similar to this one and all you would need is to give him a domain name. (More details here). If you want a higher end product you can customize specific to your needs, then read this other post.
The last thing I want to leave you with is that you can also join the Amazon associates program and earn commissions for referring customers to Amazon. As far as I know anytime you refer a customer to Amazon using any of your Amazon associates referral links you earn 4-10% commission bonus on anything they buy for a period of up to 24 hours. To get to the 10% cap you need to be a long time affiliate with a track record for proven results. If you think about it… 4% is not that much money but Amazon is such a big and trusted brand in online retail and their Prime service offering 2-day shipping is so stellar that perhaps this is the best course of action to take when first starting online RIGHT NOW. I believe dropshipping and shopify are in a downtrend because using other big online retailers like AliExpress and Alibaba take much longer time frame than Prime shipping (often times two weeks or even months before items arrive). There is also a TRUST barrier making some customers who would buy from Amazon to refrain from purchasing from an unknown online store they just found (if they ever even find it in the first place…). They know if they buy a product from Amazon they will receive good customer support if the order goes wrong and they are protected by an A-to-Z Guarantee.
NOTE: I believe at this point one of the easiest ways to begin building an online business is to start with the Amazon affiliate program. You could do this part time or over the weekends and build up slowly. As you start to generate income then you can look for other opportunities. Selling masterminds and educational products about online businesses with high ticket commissions is the best way to generate mountains of income online, especially if you have a big personal brand (think Tai Lopez). However, it requires you to make an initial investment that often times goes thousands of dollars deep. If you don’t have much money you can choose to start by partnering with a big online retail store (like Amazon, E-Bay, Best Buy, Walmart… there are thousands of others) and start making some money without having to invest a lot of resources or go into credit card debt. Ultimately if you want to generate hundreds of thousands (or millions of dollars per month) with your online business (which is totally possible) either you try many different ways and test for conversions (bad way of doing it as it will take forever)… or you take a shortcut and pay someone or a company who already has the results you want and have them teach you exactly what they do. That’s how it goes in this industry…
I hope the information I shared with you today helps you grow your business. I will have something new next time. Talk soon.
Remember you can earn 2-$4 per lead you refer to Yoonla Evolve. The program is still giving out FREE vip membership to new affiliates. I’m not sure how much longer they will do this. This membership will give you access to many resources which have proven helpful to myself in ramping up my business growth. Included are tutorials with step by step instructions on how to set various automation systems and tips and tricks to grow traffic and conversions. I try to pick up tricks and tips I can apply to my business from as many sources as possible because building a successful online business is all about applying many strategies and testing for results.