Did you know that there are 11 different ways on how to make money with Shopify? I bet you only hear about Dropshipping. Well, I will show you here 11 different methods that you might be interested in, depending on your knowledge, skills and personality.
I’m sure that most of the articles you read and the videos you watched were talking about how to start a store, add products, drive expensive Facebook traffic, find a winning product and scale up.
Although this is a great way to make money with Shopify, but it is not the only way. And it might not be suitable for everyone due to the skills required, the time you need to put in it, the money you need to invest in the paid advertising before you start making money, the stress you will suffer before you find a winning product that sells, the stress after scaling the winning product campaigns and start fulfilling orders, doing customer support, dealing with complaints and refunds, dealing with unreliable suppliers, …etc.
And if someone is trying to convince you that it is an easy, quick and free way to make money, then don’t believe him. There’s a learning curve to understanding this way and succeeding with it.
You also need the time, money, patience and the right mentor to learn from. And many of those “gurus” on YouTube, Facebook and Udemy are fake and don’t teach you what you need to learn. They are after selling you their ridiculously overpriced, useless courses, and after making commissions of the programs and tools they will recommend for you to purchase through their affiliate links.
Few of those mentors that are legit and genuine like Franklin Hatchett for example, who teaches dropshipping through his course, eCom Elites.
But still, you need to put the money in advance to drive the paid traffic to your store, and the patience to handle the stress. Which makes this method not suitable for everyone.
This is why I’m writing this article. I want to show you the different, and usually overlooked methods that you can utilize in order to start making money with Shopify.
So, without further due, let’s start with the first, and my favourite method:
11 Ways to Make Money with Shopify
1 – Make Money With Shopify As An Affiliate
If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, then here is a brief description: Affiliate Marketing is a marketing approach where you get paid for recommending certain products, programs or services to others and making sales.
Shopify has an affiliate program that allows you to join, and gives you a unique link, that if others use to join their platform and gets the paid plan, you get a commission for the first two months with the amount of $29 each month.
What you need to do is to learn how to setup a store on Shopify, create a blog post about it, or a video course walk-through (even if a free course!) and share your affiliate link and ask people to join through that link. And when someone does, and they stick to at least two months, you get the commissions on that membership.
You can also make commissions through promoting different themes and Apps that are dedicated to work on the Shopify based stores in the same way.
Affiliate Marketing, in my opinion, is the best way to generate a passive income. It is not difficult to learn, but it requires the time invested in advance and patience as it is with any real business. But unlike dropshipping, affiliate marketing is a stress free, low cost and low risk method to make money online.
And in order to learn it properly, you can join a professional platform such as Wealthy Affiliate that gives you the necessary training and the tools that you will need for your business. It also has a free plan that you can stay in permanently. Click Here to read my review and join it for free.
Note that when you learn affiliate marketing, you can use it to make money promoting any program or product and in any niche you choose. You are not restricted to Shopify and the E-commerce niche.
2 – Build Stores For Others As A Freelancer
You can learn, for free, how to setup a complete store, install a theme and customize it, do the configuration with the necessary Apps and add products, and then offer your services for others who don’t want to touch the technical side (it isn’t too technical by the way, but still some people don’t like to do it).
You can list your services on freelancing marketplaces such as: Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, Craigslist and others. And you can get hired on project basis.
Tip: When you want to create a store for someone, you can use your affiliate link from Shopify and also get paid for the first two months that person commits to pay to Shopify. 😉
If you think it is hard to build a store on Shopify platform, don’t worry! It is easier than it seems. There’s an easy step-by-step training on how to do it on your affiliate dashboard and also on YouTube. Following is a screenshot from the free training on Shopify Academy.
Even during learning, create a Shopify free account, you get 14-days FREE Shopify Trial through this link. They won’t charge you unless you complete the 14 days, but you can cancel before that. After you create your account, visit their academy by clicking here and learn and apply as you go through the free training. It’s really easier than you imagine to create a store. No technical experience is required.
And here are the components of the training:
3 – Become A Shopify Partner
This method is like a combination of the two previous methods, but here, you develop stores for others inside your Partner Dashboard, and this way, you get recurring commissions from Shopify for around 20% of the Plan Fees as long as the customer stays there.
Being a Shopify Partner gives you more credibility as you can sell your services as a professional that is authorized by Shopify. This will make it easier to get customers and ask for better rates. Also, recurring commissions from Shopify are better on the long run.
4 – Create And Sell Shopify Themes
If you are a technical guy, then this might be a good opportunity for you. You can create themes that you can sell either in the Shopify Theme Store, or on your own website.
If you want to sell the theme on Shopify Theme Store, then you have two options:
1 – You get 70% of each sale, but you are responsible of fixing the bugs and providing the full support to the theme users.
2 – You get 50% of each sale, and you still are responsible of fixing the bugs, but Shopify support team may help to answer questions about your theme.
In both cases, you can also sell the theme on your website, but not on open market places.
Alternatively, you may decide to sell your theme only on your own channels without listing it on the Shopify Theme Store. This way you can enjoy the full return of the theme price, but also, you have to provide the support by yourself. Many of the best premium Shopify themes are being sold this way.
Also, there is a free training from Shopify on how to create themes. Let me know if you are interested in the comments section below and I will guide you through how to join it.
5 – Sell Apps on Shopify App Store
Also, if you are a technical guy, you can create Apps and sell them on Shopify App Store and get 80% of the sales revenue, whether a one-time or a recurring fee.
Apps serve different purposes that help store owners increase their sales and profits such as: Scarcity, Discount Timer, Social Proof, Reviews, Upsells & Downsells, Retargeting, …etc.
Also, there is a free training from Shopify on this, let me know if you are interested in joining in the comment section below.
6 – Make Money With Shopify By Selling Digital Downloads
You can build a Shopify store to sell digital downloads with it. These could be Documents, Templates, Checklists, Ebooks, Audio or Video files, guides, photos & images, designs, …etc. Just think of anything that can be useful for people in a specific niche or in general.
But make sure that these are your own products, or products that you are allowed to resell (PLR Products) and don’t sell anything that you don’t have the rights for.
Using Shopify helps you easily build your store and customize it and receive payments from buyers. But notice that you need to integrate an App with your store in order to send that allows you to attach files and then send the customers to the download link once they purchase your products.
Shopify has its own free app, but there are also third party apps and each has its own features.
But when it comes to digital products, my favorite platform for selling them is Sellfy. As Sellfy gives you many features in customizing your store, unlimited number of products, upto 5GB the size of EACH product, and most important, if you already have a WordPress website, you can embed your Sellfy store there easily. More about this in my review of Sellfy.com here.
7 – Sell Your Own Physical Products With Shopify
You can also use a Shopify store to sell physical products that you make by yourself on it.
Having your own unique products makes it easier when it comes to overcoming the competition and can get you better margins. But remember that you have to do the fulfillment and ship the orders by yourself.
8 – Setup And Operate A Print On Demand Store
This is similar to the above mentioned method of selling your own products, but it also has some benefits of the AliExpress Dropshipping model.
This model allows you to create your own designs, put them on different products that are manufactured by someone else such as: T-shirts, Hoodies, Leggings, Wallets, Phone Cases, Necklaces, Watches, Sneakers, Mugs, …etc., list them on your store through an App created by the vendors of those products, and then when someone buys an item and pays you, you pay the vendor and request them to send the item directly to the customer.
This model is a great one as you can create your own unique designs and list the products on the store without actually having the physical product in advance (lower initial cost and risk), and minimize the competition that you would face if you sell products from AliExpress that are available for others to sell.
In addition, with POD you work with fewer vendors, or even one, which gives you less headache as you can easily find respectful Print On Demand Companies.
Here’s a video from Nate Andres, the owner of WC Fulfillment that creates the items shown above and many other products that you can sell with your unique designs. He tells you here about his successful journey with this model that you can learn, apply and make money from. Make sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel for plenty of valuable training videos. Even better than many paid training courses.
While on AliExpress, there are many unreliable merchants that might get you into troubles with delayed shipments, missing or broken items, out of stock issues, lack of support and many other issues.
And even though the POD products impose a higher product & design cost on you, but you can also set higher margins as you are selling unique designs without much competition. And remember that the quality and support of these products and vendors are much better, which means happier and more repeated customers and lower advertising costs on the long run 😉
Important: there are many POD Training Courses out there such as Print Profits and others, but most of these are overpriced and are not worth the investment. Make sure to research and come back to me for recommendations on where to learn from. Even for FREE!
9 – Setup An AliExpress Dropshipping Store
Now even though Print On Demand is a better choice for me, but it is still possible to make lots of money with AliExpress as it has a wider variety of products at low prices. But you have to take the effort in finding the right vendor, finding good products that are not exhausted yet, and keep testing until you find a winning product.
Most important is to keep your customers happy and always go the extra mile, as in any kind of business.
If you want to learn this method the right way, and if you are serious about building a real dropshipping business, then you can read my eCom Elites review in order to learn about the best training program in the industry that is currently being sold at a very low price.
10 – Buy & Sell Shopify Stores
You might not know, but you can also sell your Shopify Store. You can do this with a running store that is already generating revenue, or a newly built store.
Each has its own price, depending on the quality of the design, the theme and apps you use, the brand you have built, the fan page and audience on Facebook and other platforms, the reviews about your store (satisfaction level of customers), the Email list you have, current active campaigns, …etc.
You can sell your store to someone and get paid directly. But I recommend that you go through reliable and dedicated channels in order to protect yourself from potential fraud.
There are two main platforms that I recommend going with through this process:
A – Shopify Exchange Marketplace: (screenshot above) This is the official Shopify Store Marketplace that is powered by Shopify themselves. You can list your store for sale or you can browse other listed stores and buy one if you like.
At this platform, yo will find tools that help you evaluate the price of your store and manage the transfer of the ownership and the money transaction safely.
You can also buy a store that is listed on the marketplace and operate it yourself or sell it at a higher price if it is worth. You can read a guide from Shopify on how to buy a Shopify store.
B – Flippa: Flippa is probably the most known marketplace for Websites in general, and not only E-Commerce stores. You can also sell and buy Domain Names, Amazon FBA stores and even Mobile Apps on Flippa.
Flippa is also a secure platform that protects you from potential fraud acts. They have multiple plans for listing your store or website in the marketplace, and they have different transaction fee plans for successful Buy/sell operations.
You can visit both marketplaces, study the process, fees and guarantees and decide which one you want to use. But both are great places to utilize.
11 – Build & Sell Funnels for E-Commerce
A funnel in E-commerce is a sequence of events that is used in order to increase the AOV (Average Order Value) through offering Upsells and Downsells to the store visitors and buyers.
Although many Shopify Apps allow you to do this, but using funnels that are built with ClickFunnels can help you do this more efficiently and with more flexibility and options.
Even without the Upsells and Downsells, you can use ClickFunnels in order to set up a more customized product page that might convert better than the normal product page on the Shopify Store, as it is with the following page:
Now whether you have your own store or not, if you are familiar with ClickFunnels (which is easy to work with), you can still build these funnels for others on their stores and get paid for it. Or you can build highly converting Landing Page & Funnel and offer it for sale.
You can offer your services on freelancing marketplaces such as: Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr and others, or you can list them on your website or social media accounts.
Tip: While building funnels for others this, you can also use your ClickFunnels affiliate link when creating accounts for them and get commissions as long as they are using these funnels. This is one of the different ways on how to make money with ClickFunnels. Always think out of the box 😉
Conclusion – Can You Really Make Money With Shopify?
So, now that I have shown you 11 different ways to make money with Shopify that are suitable for different people with different characters, skills, knowledge and experience, what are you going to do with it?
Pick the one method that suits you the best, and remember, you can always choose another method to pursue. But first, start with one and don’t move to other method until you either master the first one or decide to leave it.
If you are uncertain, then I advise you to choose the best way to make passive income in my opinion, which is Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate Marketing is the most sustainable way and the one that you can even start for free provided that you follow the right guidance.
At my recommended place to learn affiliate marketing, you can get the basic training, necessary affiliate tools, build free websites in 30 seconds! and many other benefits and tools for free in order to start building your business. No upfront cost and no risk taken and you don’t have to go for the paid membership. You can stay in the free plan forever.
Meanwhile, some other methods usually require technical knowledge or initial investment that range from a few hundred bucks into a few thousands of bucks before you become profitable.
And as I mentioned earlier, you can make commissions from recommending the Shopify Platform, Themes, Apps, Training Courses, …etc.
Actually, if you learn affiliate marketing, you can promote anything you can think of, from software programs, to mobile phones, to laptops, to kitchen tools, tennis balls, basketball shoes, and almost anything you can think of!
If you think I’m exaggerating, then join wealthy affiliate for the free membership and attend the free part of training in order to see the possibilities. Click here to read my review and join for free through the Blue Button.
Finally, if you have any questions or doubts about any of the above mentioned different ways for making money with Shopify, let me know in the comments section below and I will be happy to answer you as soon as possible.
12 thoughts on “How to Make Money with Shopify in 2020? 11 Different Ways for Different People”
Wow I really never knew you could do all of this through Shopify. I had a serious look at Shopify about a year ago when thinking about drop shipping, but after learning as much as I could about it, I decided it wasn’t for me and never looked at them again.
Although my plate is full with my on affiliate marketing I will go back when time permits with one of those 11 ideas in mind.
Hello Stew and thank you for the comment!
I agree, since you already are working on one of the methods, don’t go to another one until you already have mastered the first one or you want to completely ditch it. Focus is the secret for succeeding in any business.
All the best!
I didn’t know there are so many ways to earn with Shopify. I thought Shopify is just an e-commerce platform letting you create an online store. Thanks for this complete guide.
I think working as a freelancer does not worth it in the long run because on one hand it is not passive income and on the other hand the market is very competitive so the earnings are low. Selling apps and themes needs expertise.
Honestly, I think affiliate marketing is the best long-term solution in the list. Because you can create a business step by step which rewards you in passive income. Do you agree with me?
Hello Albert and thank you for the thoughtful comment!
I totally agree. Affiliate Marketing to me is really the best way to make money even with Shopify, which is an E-commerce platform.
As you said, freelancing is very competitive and there’s is always a price war, which I don’t like to enter. And it is not a passive income source.
All the best!
I tried being a Shopify affiliate a couple of years ago, but didn’t do very well.
I wasn’t aware that there are so many ways to make money from it. I especially like the print on demand option, as I’m fond of photography and have been looking for ways to make money from it. Maybe I’ll give Shopify another go.
Hello and thank you for your comment!
Indeed, it is worth the try if you like photography. However, in order to be able to make money with Shopify through the POD method, then you better learn the someone professional like Nate Andres as I mentioned above, especially when it comes to the FB ads part.
All the best!
Wow, I didn’t know that there are 11 different ways to make money from Shopify.
I had a plan to create an eCommerce website on the Shopify platform but now I can also plan to make money with different ways that you have mentioned here.
I think Shopify pays well to its affiliates so I am thinking about joining its affiliate program and let’s see how much I can make from it.
what would be your opinion on making money with Shopify affiliate program?
Hello Sanjay and thank you for the question!
Affiliate Marketing is a great way to earn money with Shopify or any other service provider. If you think you are able to write lengthy articles or create video courses explaining to others how to use Shopify, then go ahead.
Affiliate Marketing is my favourite way as it provides a consistency if you rely on the free traffic methods.
Please, let me know if you have further questions!
I’m interested in becoming an affiliate for Shopify, because I’ve heard that certain people have seen a decent amount of success out of this type of thing.
The one stumbling block I have is where do you post your articles about the service – would Shopify themselves offer you a blog on your store to write on, or will you have to do this on an out-board website?
I would love to know how people do this.
Hello Chris and thank you for the question!
In order to promote Shopify you need to have your own website or YouTube channel, or both. And you can drive traffic to there by different means.
If you want to learn how to drive free traffic mainly, you need to a training course on affiliate marketing, such as the one I mentioned above from wealthy affiliate.
Please, let me know if you need any help!
That is pretty awesome! I had only thought of shopify as something that drop shippers used and loved. I have always shy’d away from it as a monetisation method for my business.
Now, I realise that it is a viable service that I can offer combining two methods mentioned in this article..becoming a shopify partner and outsourcing the “building work” and integration of it to freelancers on upwork. Method 3 perhaps.
Hi Derek and thank you for taking the time to read my article and write your comment!
Absolutely, Shopify is a great platform to make money with. Using these 11 methods, you can combine any of them as you like and you can outsource some of the work to someone else and invest your time inn what you do the best.
Let me know if you need any help in any aspect.