How to Make Money on Shopify as a Beginner

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Making money on Shopify as a beginner has never been easier.

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows you to quickly spin up an online retail shop to help you make money quickly, run a shop more affordably, and easily sell your products.

With its simple to use interface, you can make money as a beginner on Shopify in a few simple and easy to follow steps.

Shopify is more affordable than other retail business platforms.

They also allow you to create a beautiful online shop with a very simple user interface. This makes it easier to make more sales.

Starting your own shop from scratch can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be!

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a cloud based platform which is perfect for sellers seeking flexibility and security of their hosted products.

how tot make money on shopify as a beginner

They currently have 11% of the online e-commerce market share. The platform pulls in billions, and is a great place to sell your products online.

Creating an online retail shop where you can easily earn income for your business is the goal of every small business owner. 

Gold City Ventures used their Shopify shop to make over $7,000 in the first few days they rolled out their Shopify store selling Canva templates! These are digital files that you can sell for a big profit.

how to make money on shopify as a beginner

Those are big numbers, and it made me more interested in learning how a beginner, like myself, could set up a Shopify store for the products I sell.

Deciding What to Sell on Shopify

Creating digital products for a Shopify store is my number one recommendation. 

Why? They require very little upfront costs to create and you can earn passive income on them after they are created.

With a digital product, you make the product on your computer and list it on Shopify.

The customer then downloads the file and you make money from the sale. 

You do all of the work in the beginning.

Then the sales that come in later are considered passive income.

The are many benefits for selling digital products on Shopify:

  1. No investment upfront for inventory
  2. You don't need to physically store inventory or work with manufacturers
  3. Thousands of customers can easily download the file you made without further work or investment from you
  4. Digital products seem less risky because it’s cheaper to get started selling them

Examples of digital products include printable ideas such as: 

  • Holiday Games
  • Habit Trackers
  • Planners
  • Workbooks
  • Journals
  • Templates

Need more ideas for printable products you can make? Check out Gold City Ventures YouTube Channel. It is full of great ideas for creators of all levels and will give you ideas on how to make money on Shopify with no money!

How to Make Money Dropshipping on Shopify

Dropshipping is a way for a person to start an online shop while holding no inventory and needing very little start up costs.

To drop ship on Shopify, you will need to start a shop on the platform and then find companies who you will partner with whose products you will sell. These companies will hold the inventory and fulfill the products to the end buyer.

How do you find companies to partner with? Use the app Oberlo. Oberlo is a company that Shopify created to pair budding entrepreneurs with companies that create, fulfill orders, with the dropshipping model.

What are the benefits of dropshipping on Shopify?

  • You hold no inventory
  • Start up costs are small ($29 to open a store and whatever you would like to spend on product samples to try out)
  • You do no order fulfillment

What are the downsides to dropshipping on Shopify?

  • Low margins (others may be selling the same items you are for small prices making you lower your prices as well)
  • Inventory issues may occur with your supplier
  • Shipping issues can happen since you have no control over order fulfillment

Overall, Shopify is a great way for people to start an online business with low overhead and a minimal amount of risk. Shopify makes it easy to get started.

How long does it take to make money on Shopify?

There are many things that determine how long it will take you to make money on Shopify.

  1. Are your product listing images clear and appealing to buyers?
  2. Are your product titles, tags, and descriptions SEO optimized?
  3. Do you already have an audience for your products?
  4. Are you paying for ads?

To make money on Shopify, you have to have to know how to make the most visually appealing product images. Look at other sellers in your niche. What are they doing to make their images appealing?

You also have to make your listings SEO optimized so that search engines can properly index your products. This will make it easier for buyers to find your products.

Having an audience for your products will make it easier to make sales. You can use an email list to bring the products you sell to your audience or share with your social media audience.

Paying for ads is another way to make money on Shopify. You can use ads on Google, Facebook, or other search engines and social media platforms. SEO optimizing your listings first will make your ads more effective.

Below, I will take you through the steps to take as a beginner to to set up your shop on Shopify.

Important First Step for Making Money on Shopify

The first thing to do is to start your free trial with Shopify. 

You will be prompted to select your shop name. Don’t overthink this step.

The goal is to get started and start making money. Try to pick a name that you think you can love for now. 

When you start the trial, you'll have a set period of time to play with Shopify for free. 

You will need to select a payment plan if you want the shop to go live to customers. 

I recommend the lowest priced option which is $29/month, at present. You can always upgrade later as your shop grows, if you feel you need more services. 

Another awesome thing about starting a free trial with Shopify is that you don’t have to give them your credit card information. 

I love this option, because I sometimes forget to stop subscriptions before they hit my credit card account.

Setting Up the Minimal Theme in Shopify

The next step for creating your Shoping store is to set up your theme. 

I recommend starting with a free theme. The theme I like most on Shopify is the minimal theme, which has a really clean look and feel. 

As your shop grows you can invest in a paid theme. When you're getting started, it's important to focus on what will bring in the revenue, and not so much on what your shop looks like. 

Focusing on your products is the number one thing to do from the start.

To choose a free theme, explore the free themes in the theme library. You will find this option under Online Store on the left ribbon when you are on the homepage of your Shopify sellers account.

You can customize a free theme to make it look prettier or more branded. Adding or subtracting features is something that Shopify allows you to do with its free themes.

There are so many customization choices.  You can change the logo, header, footer, the fonts, colors, your product collection list, your checkout page, and more.

You can make your theme as simple as you’d like. I prefer a shop look that is focused on the products. I don’t want to confuse the customer with too many things on the shop landing page.

Having your customers focus on what's important, your products, is the goal of your Shopify storefront. Remember that you can always change your theme settings at a later date if needed.

Setting up the Shop Header

When creating your shop header, make it appealing for your Shopify store.

One way to do this is to upload your logo with a transparent background. When you do this, the logo will sit on top of the theme and match seamlessly.

Next, you can add a search bar to your shop header.

You can select how you want to show the search bar. I recommend having the search bar at the top. When the search bar is at the top, your customer can look for something very specific.

The next thing to do is to place your main menu. I like the way it looks centered below a logo. I think it makes it look sharp and easy on your customer’s eyes.

Putting an Announcement Bar in your Header to Make More Money

Next, you can enable an announcement bar. I love this feature. You can show a coupon that the customer can use in your shop such as “$10 off any purchase of $75 or more.” 

This is a call to action for your customer. A call to action is something that will increase your average order size. People love a bargain.

You can use your announcement bar in many different ways.  Announce a new product that you have out or a special update for your store.

I like to use it for sales because I believe that it drives additional revenue because people like when things are on sale.

You can put a link in your shop announcement bar or just text. Being able to customize your shop announcement is a great way to convert more sales.

Setting up a Featured Collection

A featured collection is the place where you can put products you want your customers to see first when they land in your Shopify store.

Choose products that you want your customers to purchase the most, such as your more popular products. This is how you will make more money on Shopify.

Choose to configure your featured collection in a way that looks good on both desktop or mobile. For example, you can choose to show four products in six rows, or any other configuration that works for your shop.

Putting Links in your Shopify Footer

The footer is the place where you can put the links associated with your business.

Link to places such as your about page, privacy policy, refund policy, your primary business website, other offerings you may have like courses, social media, and a newsletter signup.

To set up your footer, while in the Shopify Admin section, go to themes and then customize theme.

Choose the custom blog section and then scroll down to the footer position. Here you will see what links are set for your footer.

You can edit the titles and content for each link, or even add links.

For your social icons, you will need to edit those in the theme settings. You can change the look and the feel of these to go with your branding, such as your brand colors.

If you need branding color ideas, you can find those on the website Coolors. Choose no more than three colors. 

Make sure they will be recognizable and memorable. Bright colors drive clicks on shop buttons, which leads to more sales. Make the text for your product information black so that it is easy to read.

Remember to save all of your work as you go and then hit publish when you want your footer to go live.

How to Remove Powered by Shopify from the Footer

By default, Shopify puts “powered by Shopify” in the footer of every shop that opens on their platform. You can remove this from your theme in 4 simple steps

  1. Log into Shopify and go to the admin dashboard. Click on online store and then themes.
  2. Find the theme you would like to edit and then click on actions and edit languages.
  3. Within the search translations box you will type in the word “powered”.
  4. Now you will be in the powered by Shopify box. Use the spacebar on your keyboard to type a single space. Click save.

That's all you need to do to remove this from your footer.

Adding a Product to your Shopify Store

In order to sell digital products on your Shopify store, you need to download the digital downloads app on Shopify which is free. 

I have some special instructions below for sellers of digital products but in general, it will apply to sellers of physical products too.

When you're getting started with your Shopify store, you need to have a couple products to list. Once you have created printable products, attach them to your Shopify store and enable customers to buy them by creating listings.

To add a product, start in the Shopify Admin area. Click on products and then add product.

Make sure to give your product a title and provide a detailed description. The best things to put in your product description are any questions your customer may have about using the product and the dimensions of the printable.

A detailed description and keyword rich title helps your search engine optimization, or SEO. 

By putting a lot of detail into your product description, and using keywords in your title that people are looking for, you are helping search engines bring the product to people who are looking for that particular item.

Need SEO tips for printables? We have a great SEO tips for printables idea video on our YouTube Channel!

Next, you will put your product listing images into the media part of the product listing.

How to Make the Listing Images for a Shopify Product

Making the listing images for your Shopify products is super simple in Canva.

Canva is free to use and I highly recommend that any seller try it out for their product images, logos, or any graphics that need to be created for their business.

Create your product listing images 2,600 pixels wide by 2,000 pixels long. This is the optimal size so that your images do not look pixelated.

Having pixelated images will deter a shopper from buying your products. 

It is always a good idea to make sure you are using the best image size for your listing images.

Download your listing images in the JPEG file format and move the quality size down to medium so that you don't have a massive file size.

Anything over 500 kb might be too big because it will load slowly on your site.

The extra second or two it takes for a customer to view your products will make them click out of your product listing. 

You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention, so use the tips above to make sure you maximize those sales with your product listing images.

How to Price Your Products to Make the Most Money with Shopify

Now it is time to pick a price for your product. Research what your competitors sell their products for and then decide what a good market rate for your product would be.

When adding a price for your product, you can also provide a compare at price. If you choose to put this price, your product listing will show the compare price slashed out and the price displayed. This will make the product appear to be on sale, which is a great sales tactic. 

People love discounts, and this will help you make more money on Shopify.

For the tax portion of your product, make sure to consult a tax professional in your area for advice.

Digital products are great to sell on Shopify, because you don’t have to track inventory or ship anything. If you sell a product that isn’t digital, make sure to fill out these sections as they apply to you.

On the right hand menu, you will see different things you can fill in for your product listing.

For digital products you can have sections for the different types of templates you sell and sections for your other products. 

You may be selling different types of products such as kids activities like scavenger hunt. That would be in one section.

Another section could be different types of invitations such as birthday invitations.

How you organize your site and collections is up to you.

Filling out the tags related to your product is super important for SEO. It is important to use keywords that shoppers would use when searching for your product online.

If you sell birthday invitations, you could tag birthday invitations for kids. If you sell something for planning purposes, digital planning, you create a tag for digital planning.

For the theme template you can leave it on default product for simplicity.

Publishing Your Shopify Product Listing

The next step is to move your product to active and publish it. You will attach the products to your listing in the next step through the digital downloads app.

Open the digital downloads app. Go to your product you want to add the digital attachment to.

Click on more actions under the title of your product, and then click on add digital attachment.

Shopify only lets you add one file per listing. If you have multiple digital files, put them into a zip document or add the file to Dropbox and put a link to the Dropbox file onto a PDF document you upload to your Shopify product listing.

That’s it! It is a simple and easy process for sellers wanting to make money on Shopify as a beginner.

How to Change your Shopify Store Name

After a time you may want to change your Shopify store name. This is simple to do via the Shopify admin page on your desktop computer.

First you will login, and click on settings. Settings is located at the bottom of the left hand ribbon.

Next you will click on general. In this area you will see your current store name. Delete your current store name and update the name.

Once you are done changing your store name, click the same button on the top right hand corner to save your changes.

Pausing or Closing your Shopify Store

If you need to take a break from your store, or close it entirely, it is simple to complete these steps within the admin section of the Shopify website.

How to Pause your Shopify Store

As of December 15, 2021, the pause plan will no longer be available for Shopify store owners without a small monthly fee. To qualify for the Pause and Build plan, you must have been on a paid plan, and at least 60 days past your free trial period.

While your store is paused you can't use the online store check out, any point of sale systems, discounts, gift cards, or third party integrations such as Google or Facebook.

To switch your store to the Pause and Build plan you will:

  1. Login to your store as the owner
  2. Click on settings at the bottom of the left hand ribbon, and then click on plan.
  3. You will now click pause or cancel subscription and then choose the Pause and Build plan.
  4. Finally you will review the plan details and click on switch to Pause and Build.

How to Close your Shopify Store

Sometimes a seller will decide that they want to close their Shopify store. You can do this in a few simple steps.

  1. Log into Shopify as the seller. Click on the settings button on the bottom of the left hand ribbon.
  2. Now click on plan. Then click on cancel subscription.
  3. Review the information and finalize your cancelation by clicking on cancel subscription and close store.
  4. Select a reason for your cancellation, enter your password, and click on close store.

After you have closed your store, Shopify will retain your store information for 2 years. You can re-open your store during this time and not lose any data.

Making Money Online with Shopify

When you follow the steps above you can make more money online with Shopify.

The tips I have provided will help you to get started making the most profit with practically no money upfront.

Want to learn how to sell digital downloads on Etsy? Find out more about our e-printables course here!

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Cody Berman

Cody Berman

Cody Berman is a digital nomad who quit his corporate job to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. He started selling digital products in 2018 and became hooked after earning $700+ in one week. Cody also hosts The Financial Independence (“Fi”) Show podcast. Cody co-founded Gold City Ventures with Julie Berninger.
Cody Berman

Cody Berman

Cody Berman is a digital nomad who quit his corporate job to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. He started selling digital products in 2018 and became hooked after earning $700+ in one week. Cody also hosts The Financial Independence (“Fi”) Show podcast. Cody co-founded Gold City Ventures with Julie Berninger.

Learn how to start a business selling printables on Etsy!

Meet Julie & Cody

Julie Berninger and Cody Berman of Gold City Ventures have made thousands selling printables and digital downloads in their Etsy shops and on Shopify. They help others start printable businesses with their programs and templates.

Learn how to start a business selling printables on Etsy!

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